Monday, June 27, 2011

Celebrate Books!

Dearest Bibliophiles:

Take a skip over to Back of the Book Reviews and join the Independence Read-a-Thon.  Fun fun fun!

Then look here, to find out what more fun awaits!  Yes, I am on the hunt for some good character names for this summer's project, YA novel manuscript called INVISIBLE.  You know you want in on the fun.  Or maybe you want your daughter's or friend's or frienemy's name to bless the pages of this exciting novel?  Read the instructions are Back of the Book Reviews, and have fun reading.

Not long ago, I was invited to a book club dinner that blew my socks off.  Actually, I wasn't wearing socks, but no matter: This. Dinner. Was. Phenomenal.  The food was divine, and carefully selected and prepared to represent each character's cultural background in Song of the Orange Moons.  But the ladies were the true gems.  I was humbled to be in the presence of these women who truly enjoy books. To Dixie Baum, I salute you, and thank you. I'm still waiting for those pictures!

Tomorrow, I have the good fortune of meeting with an old high school friend who selected Song of the Orange Moons for her book club.  I'm looking forward to a good evening at the bistro with more book lovers.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Immersing Myself in YA Fiction

Another quick post before I dive back into my newest project.

I'm sitting here with my Green Tea with Mint, wondering how long I'll be able to enjoy such pleasures with the heat wave going on here in Dallas.  Ugh.

I did escape to Austin for a weekend of fun.  I was going there to attend the Agent Conference hosted by the Writers' League of Texas, but plans changed.  I ended up helping a friend move the first few loads of boxes into his new, high-tech, greener-than-your house, after which we indulged in a few good glasses of wine.

I also stopped by Book People in Austin and watched fondly as pre-teen and teenaged girls fawned over the 5 authors of the Young Adult Fiction Dark Days tour.  After over a year of corresponding through Facebook and blogging, I finally met Amy Plum, YA author.  I snapped a few pics of her adoring fans:
Left to Right: Aprilynne Pike, Ellen Schreiber, and Amy Plum (Veronica Roth and Tara Hudson are signing books at another table)

Aren't these glowing fans cute?

Then Amy, my friend Samantha, and I met for drinks at the Omni, and wouldn't you know, I'm suddenly surrounded by all these famous writers--all the authors on the tour showed up.  New York Times Bestsellers.  Very nice people, too.  Need I even mention that they exuded coolness?  Thanks, ladies, for a great evening.

I'm now waiting on comments for the last two chapters of my current novel manuscript, but I'm not sitting around stewing.  I've jumped into the genre of Young Adult Fiction.  Teens and pre-teens are probably the harshest critics of all.  They take no prisoners.  They whisper their book critiques at the book signing event, on the front row, no less, but go all weak-kneed and gushy when it's time to stand in line and get their books signed.  This is a tough audience I'm going to try to please.

I remember reading Judy Blume's Forever, staying up all night reading Gone with the Wind and Summer of my German Soldier.  I want to tap into that girl inside me and give her another story to love.

I'm really looking forward to two book club appearances this month.  One is tonight in Dallas, and they're cooking up (literally) a surprise meal.  Should be an exciting evening!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

a review that made me a little teary-eyed

I received an email today that said my book, Song of the Orange Moons, was reviewed in Rain Taxi Review.  I actually teared up a bit, reading those words.  I am still amazed when someone says something nice about my stories.  I tend to fall foolishly in love with my characters.  But I'm in awe that someone else would, too, actually.

Thanks, Rain Taxi.