Doing some last minute packing right now, but just dropping a reminder that I will be at BEA in Chicago this Thursday and Friday (with bookmarks and buttons and other swag). I will be signing copies of Bookishly Ever After on Thursday from 10-10:30 at Table 14 in the Autographing area.
Please pop over to say hi (or if you see me on the conference floor--I love meeting readers and other writers (and readers who write)!
If you're writing, querying, or in that in-between stage in the writing journey, I wanted to repost this old blog post for you. I wrote this a little over half a year before getting my book deal. Doubt and fear and frustration are normal. Rejection sucks. But if I had quit before even starting queries, I wouldn't have a finished copy of Bookishly to hold. It's okay to be afraid, but keep working and dreaming, too.
I'm an optimist, a Pollyanna, Anne of Green Gables-loving (well, Emily of New Moon is my favorite but she's not as positive, so let's just roll with the Anne thing, okay?,) twirl-y skirt-wearing glitter addict who sees the glass not only half full, but that it's full of teal glitter.
I'm not saying I don't have bad days or lose my energy sometimes. But, in general, I see life as this short journey and we can't waste it looking for the dirt and shadows when there's so much joy and sunshine around us. This past week, though, I had a few 3 a.m. moments that so many of you pulled me through, like little text and twitter rays of sunshine (cue quote I've put on this blog before:)
"...she knew that there would be days when she would feel desparingly that she could not write and that it was of no use to try; days when the editorial phrase 'not necessarily a reflection on its merits,' would get on her nerves to such an extent that she would feel like imitating Marie Bashkirtseff and hurling the taunting, ticking, remorseless sitting room clock out the window; days when everything she'd done or would try to do would slump-- become mediocre and despicable; days when she would be tempted to bitter disbelief in her fundamental conviction that there was as much truth in the poetry of life as in the prose; days when the echo of that 'random word' of the gods, for which she so avidly listened, would only seem to taunt her with its suggestions of unattainable perfection and loveliness beyond the reach of mortal ear or pen." -L. M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest
I wanted to post this in the beginning of the query stage before waves of rejections start rolling in, because I still believe very firmly in what I wrote in my product development post. I'm not afraid of rejection, but I'm so, so, so afraid that I'm deluding myself into thinking I can write well enough to even try. I'm afraid of being like those dancers in the audition episodes of So You Think You Can Dance who are not awful, but nowhere near good enough to compete with the good dancers. The ones who probably are in the Intermediate-Advanced classes in their little dance schools, but would only qualify for Advanced Beginner in the NYC schools (This, I know from my years of taking class in suburbia and Broadway Dance Center.) They're unable to see that they'll never be as good as the people who do make it on the show.
Worse, I'm afraid that I might be equivalent of one of the delusional awful dancers.
I'm afraid of dreaming about yet one more thing and having that hope crushed--I have enough of that in my non-writing life as it is. (note: here was where I wrote stuff about family, being single, career... but it became rather depressing, so *delete*)
In a little bit, I'll be back to sunshine and rainbows, but I needed to write out this fear. Because, honestly, I'm terrified.
One thing that amuses me to no end (and annoys me, at the same time) is that Bookishly Ever After has the same initials as Book Expo America. Amusing because Phoebe would be over the moon to know it and annoying because it makes it basically impossible for me to abbreviate my own book on bookish twitter without causing massive confusion.
After last year's BEA, I was inspired to write a short story about Phoebe attending this year's BEA. It would be a nice addition to my extras tab, dontcha think?
But short stories take time and effort away from book writing to write and revise, so, in order for me to set BEA Feebs loose on the world, I'd like to ask readers--if you loved BEA, post your reviews for BEA (the book, not the trade show) online at retail sites. I'll unlock the BEA at BEA short from my laptop when any of the sites hits 50 reviews.
And if we hit 100 reviews, I'm not sure if I'll write something new or release a deleted scene :) both are possible.
Or maybe I'll drop a teaser for Ever After Book 2. Hmmm....
Today is the first day of a multi-author Valentine's Day special: #LoveInBooks.
Seven of us have teamed up to share quotes from our books containing the word "love" from
now through Valentine's Day.
Here's the first quote for BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER:
Grand Prize Giveaway
To spread even more love, each of us is giving away a finished copy of our books and swag. You
can enter the giveaway below. Entries are accepted daily through Feb. 12th. The winner will be
announced on Monday, Feb. 15. USA only.
Participating books and authors (alphabetically, by book):
This was the hardest chibi to keep under wraps, but I really wanted to wait for a special time to share it. New Years eve/day it is! Draskia proved yet again how amazingly talented she is with the latest Dev chibi, down to the dog-eared pages!!!
(plus, there's US-only and international-only giveaway info at the bottom of this post, so don't forget to scroll all the way through)
Let's talk about Dev for a minute, shall we?
Hometown: Lambertfield, NJ
Hobbies: Acting, singing, clarinet, trying to learn how to play rugby (like half the guys at Pine Central), setting things on fire at camp
After-school activities: Marching band, Theatre Club
You know these first 2 bullet points? We had a lot of really sweet band and theatre guys in my high school. They were definitely some of my favorite people AND a few of my h.s. crushes. I mean, hello???? a guy who can SING? Yes, please.
Dream career: Actor (shh, don't tell his parents!)
New Years resolution: to read more awesome books recommended by one of the girls in class
Happy 2016! Starting from now (December 31, 2015 EST) until tomorrow evening (January 1st, 2016, 10 pm EST), comment here or tweet at me (@Emberchyld) one of your (positive) New Years resolutions, and I'll randomly pick 1 each US and International for:
-US-only Giveaway: an Annotated ARC of BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER
-International-only Giveaway: A set of Bookishly Ever After Buttons, bookmark, bookplate, and postcard (please put "International" or "OUS" in your tweet or comment so I can sort you into this giveaway
(I LOVE International folks, but shipping is $$$$$ :( Buttons are a liiiiitle lighter than books!)
Happy New Year and I can't wait to see what 2016 brings!
Let's be honest, I totally did this just to be able to commission chibis from Draskia (http://draskiasart.com/). And I've been dying, DYING to share this one she drew of the booksigning scene because it's all levels of adorable.
BUT, since the booksigning scene was already shared during my cover reveal (and I have it up here: Booksigning Excerpt), I guess I should share another excerpt with you instead, right?
So, here's some of Chapter 1, where you get to meet Phoebe, Em, Grace, Alec, and, of course, Dev:
I rocked forward, balancing my book on my knees and tried to ignore the yelling and chatter around me. The edge of the cafeteria bench dug into my legs, practically cutting off my circulation, but I barely noticed.
Em elbowed me, leaning over to hiss in my ear, “Seriously, Feebs, put that down. You look like a freak.”
“Uh-huh. Just one more page…it’s getting good.” I flipped the page. Maeve was about to be transported to the Otherland and the court.
“God, you are a freak.” Em heaved a dramatic sigh and turned to talk to the rest of our tablemates.
Yes. This was it. It was like magic jumped off of the page and into my fingers, travelling straight to the pit of my stomach. Aedan.
The words rolled over me and the cafeteria faded away.
Aedan held out his hand, waiting, his gold-flecked eyes meeting hers, making it impossible to look away. Even though Maeve was dying to reach out and wrap her fingers around his, she hesitated. The whole situation was insane.
“Trust me…”I whispered along with him and my heart skipped a beat.
“What the hell?” Em broke into my thoughts and I jolted back to the cafeteria and caught sight of a guy a few tables over trying to stuff an entire hoagie into his mouth. God, reality sucked.
It took a second to focus and I closed Golden slowly, holding it so tight that the corners of the cover dug into my palms. Even on a reread, it was perfect. “Em, I think I’m in love.”
“Just a tip, Phoebe,” Em said as she none-too-gently pried the book from my hands and slipped it into my messenger bag, “Normal people don’t read books during lunch, unless they have a test the next period.”
My fingers itched to pull Golden back out of the bag. My brain was still on a book high, stuck on the Hill of Tara in Ireland with an incredibly swoon-worthy guardian. The contrast between that and a South Jersey high school cafeteria was jarring. “Normalcy is overrated.”
“Normalcy is what keeps us afloat in this sea of teenage drama,” Em said in her best authoritative voice with a dramatic toss of her short, dark curls. Without missing a beat, she managed to seamlessly pop back into her conversation with Grace and Alec.
We were like four legs on a wonky table. Em and me, the band geeks…I was the bookish one to balance her drama nerdery; Alec, the sciencelete; and Grace, our resident cheerleader. Most of us, like me, kinda flew somewhere below popular and above total nerddom. Grace, with her blown-out strawberry blonde hair and designer wardrobe, was a part of the glitterati but still deigned to sit with us nobodies. If she hadn’t been a sciencelete with Alec before making the squad, she probably wouldn’t even know our names. Instead, she was the voice of reason to balance Em’s theatrics, Alec’s geekiness, and my tendency to quote fictional characters. And Em and Alec, who had grown up next to each other, were the glue that held us all together.
I unpacked my sandwich and resigned myself to the fact that I’d gone from living in a world of ancient magic to lunchtime mundane.
“Can someone explain to me why we even need pep bands?” Em said, breaking into Alec and Grace’s debate about football. “I’d do anything to get out of another Friday night of freezing our butts off in the stands and playing the stupid victory march over and over again.”
Grace was still wearing her red and orange uniform from the pep rally that morning, and even her color coordinated, beribboned ponytail screamed school spirit. “That’s assuming our team even manages a touchdown against Millbrook. Their offense has a spread-passing attack that dominates the field and their defense has given them five shutouts this season. I doubt you’ll be playing any victory marches tonight.” The words that came out of her mouth sounded like they made sentences, but I wasn’t really sure what they meant.
Em elbowed me. “Did you understand anything she just said?” Grace sometimes forgot that Em and I routinely failed the football module in gym every year, which was kind of impressive considering we were forced to sit through all the home games for credit in band.
I took a bite of my sandwich, swallowed without chewing, and twisted my nose at Grace. “Total lack of athletic knowledge here, remember?”
Grace threw a carrot stick at me. “Says Miss Wannabe Olympian.”
“Because archery is so much like football. If someone starts running at me, I don’t try to jump on them. I shoot them.” I anchored my hand alongside my chin and shot her with an imaginary arrow.
“Like that girl from that new movie.” Alec said, “Perfect Zombieism. That was so awesome how she made a bow out of that tree branch and her shoelaces.”
Not that scene again. The shoelace thing I could forgive even though it was a string made out of braided fishing line in the book, but the branch part was annoying. “That’s so not possible. She’d never get enough force and distance out of the size stave they used in the movie. I read the books and they weren’t that ridiculous. Hollywood messes up everything.”
“But the movie is still really cool,” Grace said with a shrug. “Even with its total lack of respect for the laws of physics.”
“And biology,” Alec added, which earned him another shrug from Grace. “What? All good zombie movies at least pretend there’s some kind of biological reason for their zombies.”
I pressed my hands flat to the table and sat forward. “Okay, this is something that’s been bugging me for a really long time. Did you notice that the people in Zombieism all have perfect vision? Totally not realistic.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Em mouth, “Here we go again,” to Grace.
I continued. “Will someone please tell me why no one in dystopian or apocalyptic novels has bad vision? I’m so blind without my contacts that, if we ever have a nuclear or zombie apocalypse, I’m screwed. I won’t even be able to get contact solution, and, if my glasses break, that will totally suck. If the world was ending and people were scrambling for their lives, you know there would be some people going ‘Guys? Guys? I can’t see where you are.’”
“Well, if the world is ending, we’ll just leave you behind to fend for your half-blind self.”
“Thanks, Em. Thanks so much.”
“I’ll blindly fight off the zombies with you.” Came a voice from behind me...Continue Reading