You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2009.

GilmoreI love the first few seasons of Gilmore Girls. I wouldn’t last five minutes in Stars Hollow without needing a padded cell and I sometimes end up tilting my head–not unlike a dog–at the dialogue, but there is something oddly comforting about the little world Amy Sherman and Daniel Palladino created.

After a hectic week of pondering werewolves, villains, and whether or not my heroine would try to break up a bar fight, there’s something wonderfully comforting about sitting back and watching the trials and tribulations of Lorelei and Rory.



I’ve had the recent pleasure of being invited to contribute to Old People Writing for Teens (OPWFT). A great blog jointly authored by eight great writers, the OPWFT boasts a host of interviews, reviews, and writing advice for people looking to write and publish young adult fiction.

I’m working on planing out some revisions to my plot and one of the things I’m trying to keep front and center in my mind is the question of how to make my villain stronger.

For anyone struggling with the same issues, I highly recommend reading Allison Brennan’s (Murderati post)  The Villain’s Journey.

Awake at 3:00AM

Alright. It’s not 3:00AM and I’m not thinking about combat boots. It is, however, 12:49AM and I’m pretty zonked after spending the evening reviewing, planning revisions, debating the merits of various possible new scenes, and reading up on another author in my genre.

SweetValleyAccording to Variety, Diablo Cody has signed on to pen and produce a film adaptation of Sweet Valley High. I don’t know whether to be really excited or horrifically frightened.

I kinda want Lila Fowler to be a flesh-eating zombie.

The fine folks over at FinePrint have been scratching their heads over how to get into contact with an author who sent them a manuscript and who they have no contact info for.

Collen Lindsay has blogged about it and suggested writer’s go a step further than putting their contact info on the title page and include it in their headers and footers as well. (read her post here)

It makes sense–especially if you are sending out paper-based submissions. It may be time for me to revisit my own headers and footers.

3586Four or five months ago, I was wandering in my favorite secondhand bookstore when my eyes fell on a book called The Great Illusionists. Other than a fleeting crush on David Copperfield when I was fourteen, I’ve never had much of an interest in stage magic—still, I couldn’t help picking up the book.

As I flipped through the pages, I imagined a teenage boy who was drawn to the book because he wanted to disappear. I thought about who might have owned the book before the boy and came to the conclusion that it was a teenage girl with a powerful secret. I had no idea what the secret was or how the boy fit into things, but I had the kernel of an idea.

Needless to say, I bought the book. And then set it aside. I had jut finished the first rough draft of Hemlock and wanted to finish one book before starting another.

The idea waited. Occasionally—usually at 3:00AM when I couldn’t sleep—I’d haul it out and examine it, trying to make the pieces fall into place. They stubbornly wouldn’t fit, not until the week I finished the final (for now) draft of Hemlock.

Once the pieces slid into place, I couldn’t NOT write. Even though I had told myself I was taking at least a month off from, I’d rush home from work and fire up my fledgling manuscript.

Someday, I’ll desperately want to write and the ideas just won’t be there. For now, I’m grateful that the idea are there and that I can work on them. The Illusionist’s Field Guide is underway.

Show and Tell

Friday is magnetic poetry day here at SD&P. Not just any magnetic poetry, mind you. I’ll be posting magnetic poetry as might be seen on the fridge of a frustrated writer (not me).


The screen rights to Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely have just been acquired by Universal Pictures. Caroline Thompson, the screenwriter for Edward Scissor Hands is set to adapt. (read more about it at

Is it wrong that I’d love Guillermo del Toro to direct?

Every so often, I’ll log onto Absolute Write and see a new thread bemoaning the unfairness of the publishing industry. New authors aren’t published, someone will write. Agents aren’t interested if you don’t have publishing credits. No MFA? No freaking chance!

I’ll be honest. Getting an agent is something of a minor miracle. The query process is hard and grueling. There are far more unpublished hopefuls than empty bookshelves and basic math skills tell you that the odds are tough (not impossible, just tough). Nathan Bransford once compared writing a book to spending a year crafting a lottery ticket and he wasn’t far off.

That’s not to say you can’t or won’t get an agent. My astrologist assures me that my chances are very good when the 18th moon of Jupiter is in the 7th quadrant of Saturn’s orbit—provided this occurs on a Sunday just after I’ve spotted Johnny Depp wandering down 5th avenue in a leprechaun costume.
If we want to see more books from first time writers on shelves, we can (and should) buy more first books. Supply meet demand—I’m sure the two of you will be best friends.

There are wonderful books being published from first-time writers of all ages and backgrounds. Let’s declare October First-Time Authors month*. If you’ve read a great first novel lately, leave a comment with the title and author. Come October, try to by at least one first-time novel. They’ve beaten the odds, let’s give them some recognition.

* No. I was not a cheerleader in high school.

— Update —

Kelly Meding’s first novel, Three Days to Dead will be released in November of this year. She graciously shared a list of first time writers with current or upcoming releases:

Jaye Wells, Nicole Peeler, Kelly Gay, Nancy Holzner, Diana Rowland, Linda Robertson, Aprilynne Pike, Carrie Ryan, Jill Myles, Megan Crewe, Molly Harper

Be sure to check the comments for more upcomming reads.