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January 1st, 2008

The 10'ers

Click on an author name or scroll down.

Sara Bennett-Wealer
RIVAL (HarperTeen, Winter 2011)
Live Journal |
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Email: sbennettwealer(at)fuse(dot)net


Josh Berk
THE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN (Knopf, January 2010)
My Space |
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Email: joshberk at gmail dot com


Erin Bow
PLAIN KATE (Arthur A. Levine, 2010)
Website | Live Journal
Email: erin at vividpieces dot net


Alexandra Bracken
BRIGHTLY WOVEN (Egmont, Spring 2010)
Website | Live Journal
Email: acbracken at gmail dot com


Steve Brezenoff
THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 (Carolrhoda, Fall 2010)
Blogspot
Email: sbrezenoff (at) gmail (dot) com


Stephanie Burgis
THE UNLADYLIKE ADVENTURES OF KAT STEPHENSON, Book One:
A Most Improper Magick (Atheneum Books, Winter 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Facebook
Email: stephanieburgis (at) yahoo (dot) com


Kay Cassidy
THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY (Egmont USA, April 13, 2010)
Website | Live Journal |My Space | Facebook | Blog


Sheela Chari
VANISHED (Disney Hyperion, Summer 2011)
Website | Live Journal | Facebook


Jennifer Cervantes
TORTILLA SUN (Chronicle, Spring 2010)
Website
Email: jen at jennifercervantes dot com


Laura Toffler-Corrie
THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF AMY FINAWITZ EIGHTH GRADER (Roaring Brook Press, Fall 2010)
Live Journal | Facebook
Email: ldtcorrie (at) optonline (dot) net


Kelly Creagh
NEVERMORE (Simon and Schuster: Atheneum, Fall 2010)
Facebook
Email: klcreagh (at) yahoo dot com


Andrea Cremer
NIGHTSHADE (Philomel/Penguin, Fall 2010)
Website | Blogspot |Twitter | Facebook
Email: adrcremer at gmail dot com


Leah Cypess
MISTWOOD (HarperCollins, Summer 2010)
Website
Email: lcypess at gmail dot com


Kimberly Derting
THE BODY FINDER (HarperCollins, Winter 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Blogspot | Facebook | My Space
Email: kim(at)kimberlyderting(dot)com


Jaclyn Dolamore
MAGIC UNDER GLASS (Bloomsbury, Winter 2010)
Live Journal | My Space | Facebook
Email: fabulousfrock (at) mac (dot) com


Trish Doller
THE NEW NORMAL (Bloomsbury, Fall 2012)
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Email: trish at trishdoller dot com


Lindsay Eland
SCONES AND SENSIBILITY (Egmont US, Spring 2010)
Website
Email: epunkins at aol dot com


Becca Ajoy Fitzpatrick
HUSH, HUSH (Simon & Schuster, Winter 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Facebook
Email: ajoywrites (at) gmail (dot) com


Angie Frazier
EVERLASTING (Scholastic Press, Summer 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Blogspot | Facebook
Email: angie (at) angelafrazier (dot) com


Guadalupe Garcia McCall
A MESQUITE IN THE ROSE GARDEN (Lee and Low Books, Fall 2010)
Email: ggwritespoetry at aol dot com


Dee Garretson
ESCAPE FROM CAMP DAVID (HarperCollins Children’s Books, Early Fall 2010)
Website | Blog | Other Site | Facebook
Email: dee(dot)garretson(at)current(dot)net


Margie Gelbwasser
INCONVENIENT (Flux, Fall 2010)
Live Journal
Email: gelbwasserma at yahoo dot com


Christina Gonzalez
THE RED UMBRELLA (Knopf, May 12, 2010)
Website | Live Journal | My Space | Facebook
Email: cdg at christinagonzalez dot com


Teri Hall
THE LINE (Dial, 2010), AWAY (Dial, 2011)
Website | Facebook
Email: teri at terihall dot com


Rachel Hawkins
HEX HALL (Hyperion, Winter 2010)
Website | Blogspot | My Space | Facebook
Email: rachel (at) rachel-hawkins (dot) com


Karen Healey
GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD (Little Brown; Allen & Unwin, 2010)
Website | Live Journal
Email: karen.healey (at) gmail (dot) com


Anastasia Hopcus
SHADOW HILLS (Egmont USA, Summer 2010)
Website | Blogspot | Facebook | Twitter | E-Nation
Email: devenishprep at gmail dot com


Jacqueline Houtman
THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS (Front Street, 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Facebook | Jacketflap
Email: jjhoutman at tds dot net


Holly Nicole Hoxter
THE SNOWBALL EFFECT (HarperCollins, 2010)
Website | Live Journal | My Space
Email: holly.nicole.hoxter (at) gmail (dot) com


Jennifer R. Hubbard
THE SECRET YEAR (Viking, Spring 2010)
Website | Live Journal | My Space
Email: jennifer[at]jenniferhubbard[dot]com


Sean Hutchinson
THE DEATHDAY LETTER (Simon Pulse, Summer 2010)
Website | Blogger | My Space | Facebook
Email: shaundavidhutchinson at gmail dot com


Denise Jaden
LOSING FAITH (Simon Pulse, Summer/Fall 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Blogspot | Facebook | Twitter
Email: d(at)denisejaden(dot)com


Anna Jarzab
ALL UNQUIET THINGS (Delacorte Press/Random House, 2010)
Wordpress Blog
Email: anna (dot) jarzab (at) gmail (dot) com


Stacey Kade
THE GHOST AND THE GOTH (Disney-Hyperion, Summer 2010)
Website | Journal | Facebook | MySpace | Twitter
Email: stacey at staceykade dot com


Julie Kagawa
THE IRON KING (Harlequin Teen, Feb 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Facebook


Tara Kelly
HARMONIC FEEDBACK (Henry Holt BYR, May 25, 2010)
Website | Live Journal | My Space | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Email: contact (at) thetaratracks (dot) com


Kody Keplinger
THE DUFF 'Designated Ugly Fat Friend' (Little Brown/Poppy, Fall 2010)
Blogspot | Twitter
Email: kkeplin1 at ithaca dot edu


Jackie Morse Kessler
HUNGER (Harcourt Graphia, Fall 2010)
Website | Live Journal | MySpace | Twitter
Email: jax at jackiekessler dot com


Karen Kincy
OTHER (Flux, July 1, 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Facebook
Email: karenkincy [at] hotmail [dot] com


Matthew Kirby
TBA Scholastic (Orchard), Fall 2010)
Website | Blog
Email: matthew(dot)kirby(at)hotmail(dot)com


Phoebe Kitanidis
WHISPER (Harper Collins, Summer 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Facebook
Email: pkitanidis at gmail dot com


Caitlin Kittredge
THE WITCH'S ALPHABET (Delacorte, 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Twitter
Email: contact (at) caitlinkittredge (dot) com


Heidi R. Kling
SEA (Putnam, June 10, 2010)
Website | Live Journal | My Space | Facebook
Email: heidi (at) seaheidi (dot) com


Irene Latham
LEAVING GEE'S BEND (Putnam, 2010)
Website | Blogspot | Facebook
Email: irenelatham (at) charter (dot) net


Jessica Leader
NICE AND MEAN (Simon and Schuster/Aladdin M!X, June 2010)
Website | Live Journal | Facebook | Twitter
Email: jmleader01@earthlink.net


Lindsey Leavitt
PRINCESS FOR HIRE (Disney Hyperion, Winter 2010)
Live Journal | Facebook
Email: lindseyleavitt (at) yahoo (dot) com


Michaela MacColl
THE PRINCESS'S MAID (Chronicle Publishing, Fall 2010)
Website |
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Email: mmaccoll at optonline dot net


Laura Manivong
ESCAPING THE TIGER (HarperCollins, Feb 2010)
Website |
href="http://lauramanivong.wordpress.com">Wordpress | Facebook | Twitter
Email: laura at lauramanivong dot com


Rae Mariz
THE UNIDENTIFIED (HarperCollins, Fall 2010)
Website |
href="http://rae-mariz.livejournal.com">Live Journal
Email: rae (at) raemariz (dot) com


Shari Maurer
CHANGE OF HEART (WestSide Books, Spring 2010)
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Email: shari dot maurer at alumni dot duke dot edu


Kristina McBride
TENSION OF OPPOSITES (Egmont USA, Summer 2010)
Website | Facebook | Twitter | E-Nation
Email: kmpurnhagen at yahoo dot com


Dawn Metcalf
SKIN & BONES (Dutton Books, 2010)


Jen Nadol
THE MARK (Bloomsbury Children's, Winter 2010)
Website |
href="http://www.jennadolbooks.com/blog">Blog | Facebook
Email: jennadol (at) verizon (dot) net


Caragh O'Brien
BIRTHMARKED (Roaring Brook Press, Spring 2010)
Email: cob at caraghobrien dot com


Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich
SEVENTH GRADE SUPERZERO (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2010)
Website |
href="http://olugbemisola.livejournal.com">Live Journal | My Space | Facebook


Cynthia Jaynes Omololu
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS (Walker, Winter 2010)
Blogspot
Email: cynjaynes (at) comcast (dot) net


Stephanie Perkins
ANNA AND THE BOY MASTERPIECE (Dutton, Fall 2010)
Website | Blogspot | Twitter | Facebook
Email: steph at stephanieperkins dot com


Mara Purnhagen
TAGGED (Harlequin Teen, Spring 2010)
Website | Live Journal | MySpace | Facebook
Email: scpurnhagens at yahoo dot com


Christy Raedeke
THE PROPHECY OF DAYS BOOK ONE: THE DAYKEEPER’S GRIMOIRE (Flux May 1, 2010)
Website | Blogspot | Facebook
Email: christy at christyraedeke dot com


Dia Reeves
BLEEDING VIOLET (Simon Pulse, January 5, 2010)
Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads
Email: diareeves at yahoo dot com


Jame Richards
THREE RIVERS RISING (Knopf, Spring 2010)
Blogspot |Facebook
Email: jamerichards at sbcglobal dot net


Chris Rylander
THE FOURTH STALL (Simon & Schuster; Aladdin, Summer 2010)
Live Journal
Email: cdrylander (at) yahoo (dot) com


N.H. Senzai
SHOOTING KABUL (Simon & Schuster, Summer 2010)
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Email: nhsenzai at yahoo dot com


Mindi Scott
FREEFALL (Simon Pulse, Fall 2010)
Live Journal | Facebook | Twitter
Email: mindirochelle at gmail dot com


Greg van Eekhout
KID VS. SQUID (Bloomsbury Children's USA, Spring 2010)
Website |Live Journal | Twitter | Facebook
Email: gregvan at gmail dot com


Kristin Walker
A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL (Razorbill, Winter 2010)
Website |Live Journal | Blogspot | MySpace | Facebook
Email: kristin(at)kristin-walker(dot)com


Amy Brecount White
FORGET HER NOTS (Greenwillow Books, Feb. 2010)
Website |
href="http://amybre_white.livejournal.com">Live Journal
Email: amywords (at) verizon (dot) net


Kiersten White
PARANORMALCY (HarperTeen, Fall 2010)
Website | Blogspot | Twitter | Facebook
Email: kierstenwhite at yahoo dot com


Daisy Whitney
THE MOCKINGBIRDS (Little, Brown, Fall 2010)
Website | Blogspot | Twitter | Facebook | My Book Recommendation Site
Email: Daisywhitney at gmail dot com


Sarah DeFord Williams
PALACE BEAUTIFUL (Putnam, 2010)
Email: sarahdefordwilliams at gmail dot com


Suzanne Young
THE NAUGHTY LIST (Razorbill/Penguin, Spring 2010)
Blogspot | Facebook | MySpace


Brenna Yovanoff
THE REPLACEMENT (Razorbill, Fall 2010)
Website |
href="http://brennayovanoff.livejournal.com">Live Journal | Facebook
Email: brenna (dot) yovanoff at gmail dot com

BIO: Trish Doller

Name: Trish Doller

Book Title: SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL

Publisher: Bloomsbury, Summer 2012

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: If you have a story to tell, tell it! Don't wait for "someday" or "when I have time". Do it now.

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing:

Favorite: I finally have a good excuse for sitting around all day in my pajamas. Well, that and dialogue. I love writing dialogue.

Least Favorite: Revising. I know it builds a better book, but by the time I've reached revisions, my brain is in Next Book mode and wants to rebel.

Outline or Let it fly? I fly by the seat of my pants.

5 Things About Me:

1. I live in Florida (in a house we call Mango Villa for the abundance of mango trees).
2. Fortunately, mangoes are in my Top 5 Favorite Fruits (along with pineapple, nectarines, raspberries, and watermelon).
3. My husband and I have, inexplicably, two teenagers. I don't know where they came from (as I am clearly too young to have teenagers) and I can't seem to make them go away.
4. I name my cars. (My previous cars were Molly and Joe. I call my Land Rover "Elvis Costello" because it's English and a little funny looking, but still incredibly cool.)
5. My favorite band is The Slackers. (Perfect, since slacking is my favorite pastime.)

SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL Synopsis: 

Travis Stephenson is a nineteen-year-old Marine on leave after his first deployment to Afghanistan, dealing with PTSD and the death of his best friend. Back home in Florida, he struggles to readjust to civilian life, a disintegrating family, and friendships that no longer fit. When his path crosses that of Harper Gray, a girl whose reputation he trashed with a stupid lie in middle school, Travis finds something to hold onto--someone who helps him feel normal again. Whatever that is.

(Also, if you're wondering why I'm a Tenner when my book doesn't come out until 2012, my debut is actually my second book. The first one, MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY was slated for release in 2010, but was cancelled by the publisher.)

Bio: Lindsey Leavitt

Name: Lindsey Leavitt

'10 Book Title: PRINCESS FOR HIRE


Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: First drafts stink. And that's OK.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: Writing Dialogue. I love love love figuring out a character's patterns of speech and word choice. My fingers tingle when typing the build up to a punchline or emotional revelation.
Least Favorite: Writing Description. I get impatient with the details. Which isn't so great when writing a story with fantasy elements.

Outline or Let it fly?:
I like to refer to this as BD and AD. BD (before deal), I was a let it fly gal. I knew the ending and my main character, and the rest was a wild ride. But since my debut book will be part of series, the AD Lindsey has to go back and outline book 1 AND outline the next two (unwritten) books as well. Organization makes me queasy.

5 things about me
1. Ever since a massive dog tried to... get romantic with me, I'm a little scared of them. Big dogs. Not the ones cuddling in baskets on calender pages.
2. My hubby and I have two daughters with a twinkle or two still left in our eyes.
3. I'm a leo, which supposedly makes me arrogant. I'm too smart to believe in astrology.
4. I'm in my twenties. If you want to assume that means I'm 21, assume away.
5. I was the school mascot for one day. I didn't have a head and could only manage a cartwheel. My brother counts it as HIS most embarrassing moment.

PRINCESS FOR HIRE Synopsis:
After a humiliating encounter with her long-term crush, ex-best friend, and a groundhog costume, thirteen-year-old Desi Bascomb finds herself in the back room of the pet shop where she works, staring into a fish tank. Her boss claims the tank is magical and Desi sure could use a little magic in her life right now.

That night as Desi soaks in the bath, Meredith Poofinski - a no-nonsense agent scouting substitutes for vacationing princesses - pops out of a bubble. Now Desi is about to learn first hand what it feels like to be royalty as she subs for princesses desperate to go AWOL. Soon Desi is dancing in an Amazonian tribal festival and dodging a prince with just a little too much ‘Eastern promise’.  But nothing can prepare her for the magic of falling for a real prince - a prince who has no idea that back in Hicktown, Idaho, Desi is just a girl in a groundhog suit.

Bio: Stephanie Perkins

Name: Stephanie Perkins

'10 Book Title:
ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

Publisher: Dutton

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:
 "Write the damn book." — Jane Yolen

Favorite Part of Writing:
Revising!  Glorious, glorious revising!  I love it when the words are already on the page, and I just have to make them prettier.

Least Favorite Part of Writing: 
Not surprisingly, first drafts.  The terrifying blank page.

Outline or Let It Fly?: Let it fly.  No question.

5 Things About Me:
1.  I have blue hair.  Mostly.
2. The local indie movie theater is my home-away-from-home.
3.  Sometimes I wonder if beavers are mythical creatures.
4.  I collect the number 42.
5.  I think novels and films should have more kissing.  They just should.

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS synopsis:

Here's something short and simple, for now:

It's about a girl.  It's about a boy.  It's about Parisian boarding school, almond-scented macarons, famous cemeteries, and cinemaphiles.  It's about heartache.  And it's about true love.

Bio: Caitlin Kittredge

Name:  Caitlin Kittredge

'10 Book Title:  The Witch's Alphabet (The Iron Codex, Volume One)

Publisher:  Delacorte (Random House)

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: 

"Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard."  The only surefire road to productivity I've found.  I've found it immensely helpful.

Favorite Part of Writing: 

Writing a scene I've been looking forward to.  I usually get snippets and scenes before I get the entire story in my head, and when I finally reach the scene I first thought up chronologically, it's a huge rush.

Least Favorite Part of Writing: 

Copyedits.  How those little red marks taunt me.

Outline or Let It Fly?:

Outline.  I need at least a brief overview of the entire story before I begin, otherwise I find myself rudderless and often on tangents that don't necessarily make a better book than the one in my head.

Five Things about Me:

1)  I've worked as a game designer, phone psychic, and Hot Dog On a Stick girl (hotpants and all.)

2) I proudly let my geek flag fly.

3)  I grew up on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, which is considerably less romantic than it sounds.   

4) I'm an amateur photographer and love to both model and shoot.

5)  I was hippie-homeschooled for my entire primary school career and didn't really have a classroom experience until I went to college.

Synopsis: 

The Witch's Alphabet

It is 1955...but not the 1955 you know.  The Witchcraft Scare polarizes America.  Magic is outlawed and practitioners are burned.  And one girls has discovered that magic is neither fiction nor fairy tale, but very much alive...

Aoife Grayson is a month shy of sixteen, the age when everyone in her family goes mad.  An orphan in the steam-powered city of Lovecraft, Massachusetts, Aoife escapes the confines of her repressive boarding school and along with her best friend Sam and outlaw guide Dean, sets out to discover the secret of her family's madness.  What she discovers is a world of forbidden magic and faerie curses, and a dark secret that has shadowed the Grayson family for generations.  Aoife must choose between keeping the secret or keeping her sanity, and unravel the dark machinations of the Winter Court of the Fae before it's too late to save her city...or herself. 

Bio: Dia Reeves


Name
Dia Reeves

'10 Book Title
Bleeding Violet

Publisher
Simon Pulse

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice
If your writing doesn't shock or embarrass you at some point, you're not being honest enough.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing

Favorite
:  the Dr. Frankensteinian feeling of creating life, allowing extremely screwed up characters to find happiness at long last, making up words that don't exist and then pretending like they do
Unfavorite:  the slowness of the publishing industry, the occasional sensation that I'm not as awesome as I think I am, describing stuff

Outline or Let it fly?
Outline.  I didn't use an outline with my first book and it took me two years to finish it.  I never would have finished if I hadn't wised up and used an outline.  Now I never leave home without it.

5 things about me

1. I hate phones.

2. I never learned to drive.

3. I love bad movies, and not just MST3K films.  Gymkata, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Summer Lovers, The Warriors--all in my film collection.  This is a part of myself that I've learned to accept.

4. Johnny the Homicidal Maniac makes me laugh. 

5. I am unknowable and, in all ways, unattainable.  I'm pretty sure I am.

 

BLEEDING VIOLET synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Hanna Järvinen is an unusual girl with a head full of hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet full of frilly, violet dresses. Everything a girl needs--except love.  But that's what mothers are for, and Hanna is sure she can reconcile with hers, even though she was abandoned as a baby.

Unfortunately, her mother lives in Portero, an odd East Texas town with doors that lead out of the world, flesh-eating creatures, and parasitical spirits--not an ideal environment for winning a mother's love.

Hanna, however, refuses to let a few monsters interfere with her plans. If she has to flirt a little, lie a little, kill a little, or even bleed a little, she'll do it. Hanna can live with monsters and mayhem, but she would rather die than live without love.
 


 

Bio: Dawn Metcalf

Hi! Newest Tenner, here. So, yeah, me:

Name: Dawn Metcalf

'10 Book Title: SKIN & BONES

Publisher: Dutton Books

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write. Right. Now.

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing:

Favorite: Being “in it” -- me in my element – the hours fly by and I can finally breathe!

Least Favorite: My Muse. She lovingly smacks me upside the head with epiphanies that must be written down RIGHT NOW or they will be gone in a sneeze. She delights in doing this when it can create maximum havoc like when I’m driving, in the shower, or attempting to sleep. Other times she is recalcitrant and no amount of love or chocolate will prod her to speak. I have a love/hate relationship with this part of my brain.

Outline or Let it fly? Oddly enough, most stories come to me fully-formed so I can write as I go or outline them as I see it; fortunately, they are never quite complete so I always have surprises, usually due to character whim! Ergo: Let fly!

5 Things About Me:

1. I am a fringe geek. I can pass for normal, but I’ve got the vibe.
2. I loathe hiccoughs with a passion.
3. I have no good excuse for the way I write. I had a normal, happy childhood, good friends, good family, studied hard, went to college, lived abroad, went to graduate school, got married to my loving husband, and had two beautiful children. Obviously, I’m warped from birth.
4. I am a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.
5. I always wanted to work for Jim Henson, either designing puppets or being a miniaturist... Oh, heck, let’s be honest: I just wanted to be a Muppet!

SKIN & BONES Synopsis:

When sixteen-year old Consuela Bones discovers she can remove her skin, revealing a lustrous mother-of-pearl skeleton, she slips into a parallel world known as the Flow; a place inhabited by archetypical teens with extraordinary abilities. Crafting skins out of anything – air, water, feathers, fire – she is compelled to save ordinary people from dying before their time. Yet now someone is murdering them, one by one, and Consuela finds herself the focus of an intricate plot to end the Flow forever when all she really wants is to get back home, alive.

BIO: Julie Kagawa


Name: Julie Kagawa

'10 Book Title: The Iron King

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

Calvin Coolidge

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:
Favorite: Creating Characters.  Good characters fascinate me.  I love putting the cast together, figuring out what makes them tick, what their quirks and fears are, and having them irritate each other.  I can excuse a weak storyline if the characters are interesting, but nothing irks me more than characters who are flat or worse, unlikable.   

Least favorite: The parts where I stare at my computer and try to slog through a scene where I have no idea of the outcome.  These are the days I lament that my writing is atrocious and the entire book is a horrid, horrid mess, and my husband has to convince me not to chuck the whole thing out the window.  :) 

Outline or let it fly?:  I used to just fly by the seat of my pants, but that was before I got a contract and suddenly my editor wanted book proposals and such.  So I write synopsis' now, the closest thing to an outline I've ever done.  Of course, the final story tends to swing a bit wide of the original synopsis, as plot and characters suddenly decide they want to go this way, and I'm just carried along for the ride.   

5 things about me
1. The white streak in my hair is natural (I was born with a white spot on my head).
2. Before I quit work to write full time, I was a dog trainer.
3. My favorite food in the whole world is sushi.  Give me raw fish over chocolate or pizza anyday.
4. I paint rocks.
5. I used to live in Hawaii, but like Kentucky much better (don't get me started on the shark and giant cockroach stories).

THE IRON KING Synopsis:  When sixteen-year old Meghan Chase's little brother is abducted by the Unseelie Court, it throws her for a loop; she never believed in faeries. But with her best friend Robbie Goodfell—who turns out to be the infamous Puck—by her side, she ventures into Faeryland to get him back, only to discover it wasn't the Unseelie fey who kidnapped her brother after all, but a brand new species of faery led by Machina, the Iron King. These fey, born from the dreams of technology and progress, are completely immune to iron, and are a deadly threat to the courts of Summer and Winter. In the search for her brother, Meghan discovers her own faery heritage, falls in love with a dark prince of the Unseelie court, and confronts Machina in his realm of iron, to save herself and everyone she loves.

Kristina McBride - Author Bio

Name: Kristina McBride

'10 Book Title:
THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES

Publisher: Egmont USA

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: "Write what you know." Cliché, right? But several years ago in a writing seminar, my teacher said this and it really hit me. I’d been writing suspense and horror because I love to get sucked into those kinds of stories. But, having taught high school for eight years, the YA vibe really resonated with me. So I aimed my creative mind in that direction. After some time, I landed an agent. After some more time revising, my agent landed me a two-book deal with Egmont USA. So, I think it worked!

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: When my characters start talking to me and I just HAVE to sit down and write.

Least Favorite: Those moments when I read something I’ve written and feel like people will laugh at how ridiculously non-writerish I actually am (there’s a good example).

Outline or Let it fly?
When I start writing a novel, I have to just let it fly. I need to get to know the characters and see what kind of people they are. Then, when the characters’ stories start to shape into something, I try to outline my general idea for the book. I start this by printing off a calendar for the months that the story will span, and plot out a timeline of events, which usually morphs into an outline. But often, things change as I write. And this part is difficult for me, because I’m a control freak and my characters don’t like to be controlled.

5 things about me:
1. I was almost kidnapped as a child.

2. I kill green things – plants and trees beware!

3. I have a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

4. I am addicted to chocolate and the sun. And I’m starting to have this thing for purses.

5. I believe that all things fiction actually exist in some parallel universe. Seriously.

TENSION OF OPPOSITES Synopsis:

Two years ago, when Tessa’s best friend, Noelle, was kidnapped, survivor’s guilt kept her from living her life. But that all changes the day she learns Noelle has been found . . . Alive. Tessa becomes determined to help her friend acclimate to the life she should have been living all along. But Max, the new kid in Tessa’s photography class, pulls her attention in a different direction. And Noelle, who insists on being called Elle, returns as a distant and self-destructive girl who Tessa has trouble connecting with. Will Tessa regain the friend she thought she’d lost forever? Or will Elle slip away and leave Tessa feeling more lost and confused than ever?


 

Hello everyone!


Name: Holly Nicole Hoxter

'10 Book Title: THE SNOWBALL EFFECT

Publisher: HarperTeen

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." -Ray Bradbury

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing: I love when I'm so wrapped up in the characters that it's all I think about all day, and I want to immediately run to the computer when I get home. I love the feeling I have after finishing the first draft, when there's still a lot of work ahead of me but I can really "see" where I'm going. I love the moment when I first put together a few random thoughts and realize it could be a good idea.

What I don't like is all the waiting! Waiting for time to pass before I can take a second look at the manuscript. Waiting for critique partners to read. Waiting for agents to read. Waiting for editors to read. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I need to learn how to be patient.

Outline or Let it fly? I am unnaturally dependent on my outline. If I don't know the beginning, middle, and end, I can't even start writing. Of course all of this can change while I'm writing, but I need the security of my outline or I'll feel lost.

5 Things About Me:

1. I was in such a hurry to finish school that I graduated from college when I was 19. Then I had no idea what to do with myself. Now I would love to spend a few more carefree years trekking around campus in my pajamas and doing the crossword puzzle during class.

2. All of my full-time jobs since college have satisfied my desire to learn intimate details about other people that are really none of my business. I've been a medical transcriber, legal word processor, and relay operator for the deaf. Oh, and a house cleaner. I only had one client, but he was very interesting.

3. Since third grade, I've wanted to be a writer. I never had any aspirations to do anything else.

4. I'm training for a marathon! I'm not very fast, but hopefully my morning runs balance out all the time I spend sitting on my butt for the rest of the day.

5. I wasn't an animal person until my dad brought home three stray kittens for me to raise. Now I'm a Crazy-Cat-Lady-in-Training.


THE SNOWBALL EFFECT Synopsis:

18-year-old Lainey Pike can tell you everything you need to know about the people in her family just by telling you how they died. Her reckless stepfather drove his motorcycle off the highway and caused the biggest traffic jam in years. Her long-suffering grandmother lived through cancer and a heart attack before finally succumbing to a stroke. And Lainey's mother, still devastated over her husband's death, hung herself in the basement just days after Lainey's high school graduation. Now Lainey's five-year-old brother is an orphan and her estranged older sister moves back home to act as his guardian. Dealing with her brother has always been a struggle, but sharing the responsibility with her sister is proving to be just as challenging.

Lainey knows that this is all her mother's fault, but she also knows that she eventually has to move out of the "anger" phase of the grieving process. What she can't figure out, though, is how to make peace with a dead woman.

BIO: Laura Manivong

Name: Laura Manivong
'10 Book Title: ESCAPING THE TIGER
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Don’t fall in love with your words or it becomes too hard to change them.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: Description and setting. Creating pictures with words. Finding that one phrase, some minute detail, that will plunk the reader right into my characters’ physical world. What’s that saying? A thousand words is worth a picture…
Least Favorite: Plotting. Period (see below).

Outline or Let it fly?
Let if fly. I like to drift around aimlessly, marveling at my pretty words before the realization hits me that they have nothing to do with advancing the story. This epiphany is followed by the anguish of deleting aforementioned words in hopes of discovering a plot.
Warning: Do not try this method at home.

5 things about me:
1. I tried to save the world once by volunteering at a national park in Arizona during a summer after college.
2. I’ve had three cats named Kitty, two at the same time. I am now catless.
3. I'm not afraid of spiders and snakes (see #1), and briefly had a pet black widow.
4. I cheated on a test in sixth grade. The shame haunts me today.
5. Danger! I once wanted to marry Will Robinson from LOST IN SPACE, but that robot creeped me out. 

ESCAPING THE TIGER Synopsis:
When twelve-year-old Vonlai’s father wakes him on a moonless night in 1982, his world is forever changed. His family must flee Communist Laos, crossing the Mekong River where border guards shoot at anything that moves. Once inside Thailand’s Na Pho refugee camp, Vonlai faces an even greater danger that lurks inside the gates. Can he find the courage to face the threat, or will he forever lose the promise of a future and the family that’s part of that dream?

Bio: Rachel Hawkins


Hi, everyone! *waves*

Name: Rachel Hawkins

'10 Book Title: Demonglass

Publisher: Hyperion

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: You can fix a bad page, but you can't fix a blank one!

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing: My favorite has to be those days when the writing just flows. Those are the days you feel more like you're transcribing than writing. I also love those moments of inspiration that come out of nowhere, when some major plot tangle you've been hammering at suddenly unravels and you totally see the story taking shape. Least favorite? The days when it feels like work, ha ha! Also the loneliness aspect. Being a writer involves chilling out for huge amounts of time in your own head, and that can be tough some days.

Outline or Let It Fly? Both, I think. I make very rough plot sketches when I first start out, just jotting down scenes that I've come up with, or relationships I want to form, etc. Then, with those loose ideas in mind, I start writing. When I get stuck, I go back to my journal and make more rough plot sketches until I can see where I'm going. I read once that writing is like driving on a foggy road late at night, where all you can see is five or so feet ahead of you in your headlights. It's tough, but you can make a whole journey like that!

5 Things About Me:

1) I taught high school English for 3 1/2 years, which is where I fell in love with YA. I'm really excited that I can still work with teenagers in the writing capacity, and not have to deal with stuff like, you know, grading essays and having parents yell at me. ;)

2) I have 12 different books on James Dean. I don't collect anything else, like Rebel Without a Cause salt and pepper shakers or anything ;), but if I see a Dean biography in a used book store, I must buy it. It's weird. As my husband likes to say, "Um... wasn't he really young when he died? How much can those books possibly say? And isn't it all the same?"

3) I met Maya Angelou when I was 18, after winning an essay contest. The main thing I took away from  it, other than her extreme awesomeness, was the weird way she posed for pictures. When I was standing with her for the newspaper photographer dude, she told me to look down until the moment he was about to shoot, and then raise my head up with this big smile. I did, and look slightly demented in the picture as a result, but, I mean, it's MAYA ANGELOU. When she tells you to do something, you do it! Also, when we went out to meet her in her supah sweet RV behind the venue- there were about 15 of us who'd placed in the writing competition- she opened the door and said, "JOY, CHILDREN!" while opening her arms really big.

I totally plan on doing that at any and all book signings.

4) I credit Barbie with turning me into a writer. The stories I used to come up with while gettin' my Barbie on were always these huge, multi-character, multi-plot melodramtic smashups, which is...um... much the same as the stuff I write now, ha ha! So go on with your bad self, Barbie, even if you would look all deformed if you were a real woman!

5) I've lived in Alabama most of my life, although I've been lucky enough to travel a lot, and I have to say, there's nowhere else I'd rather live. Although electricity and running water would be nice. ;) I kid,  I kid!

Demonglass Synopsis:

Sophie Mercer thought being a teenage witch meant flying broomsticks, talking cats, and awesome spells. Instead, her mom still makes her ride the bus, she’s allergic to pet dander, and the one big spell she attempts at prom goes seriously bad-like, Carrie-levels of bad. As a result, Sophie is shipped off to Prentiss Academy, a boarding school for Witches, Shapeshifters, and Faeries. At Prentiss, Sophie discovers that the traumas of regular school have nothing on the goings-on at “Freak High,” what with the trio of Dark Witches who want Sophie to join their coven, her futile crush on Prentiss’s hottest Warlock, and her roommate, Jenna, who just happens to be Prentiss’s only Vampire.  When members of Sophie’s coven are attacked, she finds herself trying to exonerate Jenna and solve the mystery, which might be more connected to Sophie than she ever could have guessed.




Bio: Irene Latham

Name:  Irene Latham
'10 Book Title:  Leaving Gee's Bend
Publisher:  Putnam
Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: "Love.  Fall in love and stay in love.  Write only what you love, and love what you write.  The key word is love.  You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for." - Ray Bradbury

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:  Oh wow, I love all of it.  Love it when the words are coming so fast my fingers can't keep up.  Love the research.  Love seeing a raw piece evolve into something polished.  Love when my story takes me somewhere I wasn't expecting.  What I DON'T enjoy is the after-the-writing part.  The promotional show-up-and-sell-your-book part.  I wish I could sprinkle some pixie dust and make that happen all by itself.
Outline or Let it fly? I've learned I fly much better with a good strong set of wings.  Which for me means at least a sentence-per-chapter plan to get me from start to finish.  The great thing about writing historical fiction is you've got actual event to hang your story on, and that helps keep you focused.  The hard part is you've got actual events to hang your story on.  Which means you have a responsibility to the reader to be as accurate as possible, even when you've got this great idea.
5 things about me:
1.  I am a poet in the adult market, so I have a wee bit of book experience, albeit in the small press market rather than the big dogs of New York City.  I absolutely adore poetry and can't imagine writing a novel that doesn't include poetry in it somehow.
2.  I live with one man (husband Paul) and three almost-men (sons Daniel, Andrew & Eric) in Birmingham, Alabama.  It seems I get shorter every year.
3.  Growing up, the books I loved best were the Little House on the Prairie series.  But when I was sixteen years old I bought at a neighbor's yard sale a box of about 50 romance novels for $25 and proceeded to feast my way through the summer.  This might explain why I am currently writing mg historical fiction but see myself eventually writing some juicy YA. 
4.  I love to travel and sometimes think I write just so I have a justifiable reason to go places.  Right now  I really really really want to take a trip Alaska.
5.  I'm part science-geek -- I love learning about science and nature, particularly things related to outer space.
Synopsis:

Every quilt tells a story.

When ten year old Ludelphia Bennett decides to make a quilt for her mama, she thinks it will tell the story of her quiet life in the isolated sharecropper community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. But when Mama gets deathly ill and rumors start flying about the “witches of Gee’s Bend,” Ludelphia worries that it’s all her fault.

Determined to fix things, Ludelphia takes her needle and thread and leaves Gee’s Bend for the very first time. Her adventures take her across the river and into a world she could never have imagined -- where there’s indoor plumbing and motorcars and white folks. As Ludelphia’s quilt grows, her understanding of the world grows too. But is it enough to save Mama?

At the heart of this story of survival and courage is the real-life 1932 raid on Gee’s Bend and the subsequent Red Cross rescue.

 
I'm so happy to be here!  What a wonderful variety of books and authors!  Super-glad to be debuting with all of you!
 

Bio: Dee Garretson


Name: Dee Garretson

 

’10 Book Title: Escape from Camp David

 

Publisher: HarperCollins Children's’Books

 

Favorite bit of writing advice: If you want to be published, don’t take criticism and rejection personally. Writing is a business. I try to remember this. Now where did I put that voodoo doll?

 

5 Things about me:

 

1. I wanted to be a spy when I was growing up. 

 

2. I love movies, except sad, dreary ones, and really, really stupid ones.

 

3. I am a Lord of the Rings addict, both books and movies.

 

4. I used to teach landscape horticulture, so I know hundreds of Latin plant names.

 

5. I love to travel, except when I’m gone I worry about my cats too much.

 

 

ESCAPE FROM CAMP DAVID synopsis:

Just once Luke Brockett would like to do something slightly dangerous, but when your father is the President of the United States, that is not an option. Always surrounded by Secret Service agents and kept in a bubble of safety, Luke sees Camp David, the presidential retreat in the woods of Maryland, as the only place where he can almost normal. For one week in August, Luke's mother has arranged for Luke to have a 'summer camp' experience, if summer camp had only three kids and the counselors carried automatic weapons. The experience comes to a quick end when a forest fire surrounds Camp David. Luke and his friends are trapped inside, left on their own, the Secret Service agents incapacitated, forcing the three to outwit security systems designed to be unbeatable before the fire gets to them.

Bio: Kimberly Derting

Name: Kimberly Derting

'10 Book Title:
THE BODY FINDER

Publisher: HarperCollins

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:  I don’t believe there’s any one “right” way to do things.  I’ve never read a writing book or joined a critique group, I’m always afraid that someone will tell me I’m doing it wrong.  But that also means that I’ve made my fair share of mistakes.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:


Favorite: Edits. I know...what’s wrong with me???  And I don’t just love them, I LOVE-love them!  (Picture me with hearts floating out of my eyes…)

Least Favorite: WAITING. I know that’s really more a part of publishing than “writing”, but all of the waiting KILLS me!  Patience is not one of MY virtues.

Outline or Let it fly?:
I’m definitely NOT an outliner. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever be an outliner, it just means that I’m not at the moment.  Writing an outline/synopsis for Book Two was like torture for me.  And it sucked, which is why I was amazed when it was approved.


5 things about me:


1. I’m like a farmer…up at the crack of dawn, eating dinner by 6PM, and usually in bed before 10PM.  Anyone who’s ever been to my house after, say, 7PM has seen my blue robe.  Seriously.  Ask them.


2. When I first met my agent I was so nervous I confused the words “urban” and “rural”, and yet somehow, I still managed to get myself signed!

 
3. I love anything dark and twisted, from horror to humor.  My favorite new TV show is It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing a whole lotta sick fun).
 


4. I don’t eat chocolate.  Except that sometimes I do.  So that sort of makes me a liar.


5. I get paid to lie.  I have the best job ever!


THE BODY FINDER Synopsis:

 

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world…and the imprints that attach to their killers.

 

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer…and becoming his prey herself.


BIO: Kay Cassidy

 

Name:  Kay Cassidy

 

'10 Book Title:  THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY  (April 13, 2010)

 

Publisher:  Egmont USA

 

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: 

 

"Do, or do not. There is no try."

     -- Yoda

 

(Okay, he wasn't  technically talking about writing, but he totally could've been.)

 

Favorite Part of Writing: 

 

When I'm in the zone and everything just flows.  I once wrote 56 pages in a single day and still believe I'm destined for sainthood.  Or a trophy or something.

 

I also love dialogue.  My first drafts are largely a bunch of talking heads saying (what I think are) funny and wry things while closely resembling statues.  To me, dialogue is fascinating.  That's what keeps me tuned in when I'm reading too.  I've gotten better about layering in activity and non-statuelike behavior in the initial draft, but dialogue is still what I love to write.

 

Least Favorite Part of Writing: 

 

My obsession with adverbs.  I absolutely, totally, unquestionably love them.  Sadly, not everyone shares my passion for the -ly ending and I end up having to cut some.  This makes me cry.

 

Also, I detest writing myself into a corner.  Or not so much that, really, as completely changing the direction of the story midway through and having to rewrite the whole first half to match.  That's when the tennis match of questions begins in my head: "Do I rewrite the first half and then continue on?  But what if I never finish because all I do is rewrite?  On the other hand, if I do continue on, won't the story be disjointed because I don't actually know what transpired before the new story took over?"  This can cause me weeks of hemming and hawwing (I'm an old school hem-and-haw-er) and suck the joy out of writing for me.  This is why I...

 

Outline or Let It Fly?:

 

… outline!  Almost to the point of obsession but not quite.  I lay out the major story events… let it gel… outline the story flow… let it gel… do a scene by scene breakdown… let it gel… then review one last time before I decide the story can ride.  The bright side is that once I've got the scenes outline nailed, I can hammer out a first draft in a matter of weeks.  I don't sleep much and we eat a lot of macaroni and cheese, but it's a small price to pay.  Plus, who doesn't like macaroni and cheese?  Bring on the blue box, I say!

 

Five Things about Me:

 

** Thing #1:  I cannot whistle.  At least not like a normal person.  I make this feeble little noise if I blow out.  It's an embarrassment to the whistling tradition.  I can do a zippy, slightly off-key tune if I'm sucking air in via pursed lips, but whistling out like a normal human being?  So not happening.

 

** Thing #2:  I am a former cheerleader and sorority girl.  (Do you have a picture in your mind?  Come on, 'fess up now!)  I'm also an M.B.A. and member of Mensa.  I think it's comical when people are surprised by that combo.  As though somehow all cheerleaders and sorority girls must be devoid of brain cells and all M.B.A.s and Mensa folks must be boring stuffed shirts.

 

** Thing #3:  When I was a teenager, I once took a trip to Europe for three weeks and DID NOT BRING A CAMERA.  Which probably makes you question the whole Mensa thing.  I don't blame you.  It's one of the few things in my life I'd like a do-over for.  And no, this wasn't before cameras were invented.  (Ha ha, you're quite the jokester.)  We even had cars and telephones then.  Cell phones too... though they were so big and bulky it was like holding a loaf of bread up to your ear.  Unfortunately, disposable cameras were yet to be invented.

 

** Thing #4:  I am a ridiculously bad cook.  You know how some people joke that they could burn water?  I'm pretty sure I could burn air.  Even though I'm very organized and detailed-oriented in other areas of my life, I dissolve into a puddle of incompetence in the kitchen.  I'm terrible at timing dishes to come out at the same time, so me putting together a special dinner is cause for celebration.  Me putting together a special dinner that a) is not burned, b) does not have any food that is cold or congealed by serving time, and c) does not irreversibly damage anyone's tastebuds is a miracle of biblical proportions.  And cause for me to reward myself with something nice like more awesome YA books.  Or a pony.

 

** Thing #5:  I am a huge believer in living your dreams.  H-U-G-E.  Life is too short to get stuck doing something you don't like just because other people think you should be doing it.  I'm not talking about going to the dentist or doing chores like the laundry.  No one wants furry teeth or Wonder Woman Underoos that attack you when you open the laundry room door.  (Although at my house, my husband cannot utter the dreaded ch*res word because I have an adverse reaction to it from childhood.  We simply call them "Things to do today".  But I digress.)  There will always be the occasional thing we have to do that we're not thrilled about--that's just a part of life.  I'm talking about the big, devote-your-life-to-it stuff that matters in a profound way.  Like the people who become tax attorneys or dentists because their parents wanted them to, even though they secretly wanted to become gourmet ice cream makers.  That's so sad to me.  Because, really, couldn't the world always use more gourmet ice cream?

 

THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY Synopsis:

When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother…

 

Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret girl power society dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world.  The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover.  It’s all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win.  Determined not to let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion.  Finally, a chance to belong and show the world what she’s made of.

 

… be careful what you wish for.

Jess’s transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds--led by Jess’s arch enemy--begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.

What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?

Bio: Christina Diaz Gonzalez


Name: Christina Diaz Gonzalez

'10 Book Title: THE RED UMBRELLA

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf /Random House

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Choose what you are going to do... write or edit.  Don't do both at the same time.


Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: When an idea comes together.

Least Favorite: When an idea fizzles out... especially after doing the research and writing the first twenty pages.


Outline or Let it fly?:
As crazy as it may sound, I actually outline in my head and then let it fly.  It makes me feel like I'm writing with reckless abandon when I'm really quite methodical.

5 things about me
1. I love to watch soccer, but only if my kids' team is playing. 

2. I'm a lawyer and so is my husband, therefore we never fight... we "discuss".

3. I was born in a small Southern town that didn't get a McDonald's until I was 10.

4. I have a large Cuban family so weekend gatherings usually consist of 40 or more "immediate" relatives (reminiscent of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

5. I have a hard time writing about myself, so I had to ask my sister for help in doing this.

THE RED UMBRELLA Synopsis: 
A year after the communist revolution, fourteen year old Lucia still leads a carefree life in Cuba thinking only of parties and boys.  But this all changes on the day the soldiers arrive in her small town and she is forced to face certain truths about her family, friends and country.

As the weeks pass and the effects of the revolution are felt all around, Lucia's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States... alone.  In a new country, away from her parents, what will Lucia do with her newfound freedom?  Will she ever see her parents or her home again?  And if she does, will she still be the same girl?  

(This story is loosely based on my own parents' experience and that of over 14,000 other children who were part of Operation Pedro Pan --- the largest exodus of unaccompanied minors in the Western Hemisphere.)

 


 

Bio: Rae Mariz

Name: Rae Mariz

’10 Book Title: THE UNIDENTIFIED

Publisher: Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins 

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write. Revise. Repeat.

Favorite and Least Favorite part of writing:

I enjoy the process.

But it never ends.
 

Outline or let it fly?

Whatever works.
 

5 things

I’m one of those make-stuff crafty types.

I miss working in libraries.

I like science more than art.

I moved to the other side of the world for love.

I live a remarkably drama-free existence.

 

THE UNIDENTIFIED synopsis

Kid knows her school’s corporate sponsors not-so-secretly monitor her friendships and activities for market research. It’s all a part of the Game; the alternative education system designed to use the addictive kick from video games to encourage academic learning. Everyday, a captive audience of students ages 13-17 enter the nationwide chain store-like Game locations to play.

When a group calling themselves the Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure of their school, Kid’s investigation into their pranks attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors. As Kid finds out she doesn't have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign.

Bio: Erin McCahan


Name:  Erin McCahan

'10 Book Title:  I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE

Publisher:  Arthur A. Levine Books

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:  When you're stuck, delete the last three pages and start from there.

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing:
Favorite: working alone but feeling like I've been with people all day.
Least favorite:  convincing people I do have a job

Outline or Let if Fly?:  More a framework and letting it fly within those boundaries.

5 Things About Me:
1.  I have an abiding fear that someday this country will officially switch to the metric system, and I'll never again know how tall I am or fast I'm driving.

2.  At some point during Georgian- or Victorian-era movies, I get completely distracted thinking about what people really smelled like then.  And how come no one in these movies ever gets cramps?

3.  I've been married 11 years this April -- no kids, sadly -- and my favorite time of day is evening when my husband comes home, and we hang out in the kitchen and talk while I cook. 

4.  I think, if you insert a monkey into any Hemmingway novel . . . instant comedy.

5.  My dad died a few months after I was born, and it's strange now what little things make me cry about him.  Doesn't happen often.  Doesn't last long.  And I really don't mind the tears.

Synopsis:  Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family.  She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus.  But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely. 

When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birhday.  Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college.  And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants.  But Jared is.  And his family is.  Or so she thinks.

Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was.  She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.

Bio: Amy Brecount White

Name:  Amy Brecount White

'10 Book Title:  Forget-Her-Nots

Publisher:  Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: 

"Write the book that ONLY YOU can write."  Toni Morrison said this at a talk she gave once.  It forced me to discover what I really care about and love, and what I want to share with the world through my words. 

Favorite Part of Writing: 

Living in the world of the book -- seeing and breathing and feeling what my characters are.  I once told a writer friend to say hello to my main character, Laurel, when she visited Charlottesville, Va., the novel's setting.  And I really meant it.  I also love that reading and poring over YA books is part of my "official"  work now.  YA writers are some of the best in the world.

Least Favorite Part of Writing:  The waiting.  This industry requires far too much patience. 

Outline or Let It Fly?:

Both.  I didn't outline enough in the early writing stages on my first novel and ended up doing more work and revision than I probably should have.  I've outlined my WIP (my second novel), and it makes my writing go much more smoothly.  A plot has to fit together like a puzzle, and I think it's a lot easier to fill in the pieces when you have a basic outline as a framework.  That said, if you feel inspired, definitely let it fly!

Five Things about Me:

1)  I think flowers are magical.  Just look at those brilliant colors and the intricacies of every bloom. Whenever I see a flower or inhale its sweetness, I'm filled with wonder and awe.  So - naturally - I wrote a novel about magic flowers and the language of flowers.

2)  I love to put wheels on my body and go fast.  Roller blades are ideal, closely followed by bikes.  Cars, not so much.

3)  If it's not chocolate, why bother?   

4)  I'm a big-time tree hugger.  Green is the new black.

5)  I'm a morning person.  I love to wake up before everyone else in my family and write while it's still dark outside.  Especially in the winter ... with a mug of Earl Grey tea at my side.  It's an incredibly creative and uncritical time.



Synopsis: 

       When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all -- until her own body starts to freak out.  In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum.  Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher.  When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something -- something magical -- is up.  With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others.  But she can't seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her.  And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin.  Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls -- both friends and enemies -- who want their lives magically transformed -- just in time for prom.

Bio, Kelly Creagh, Nevermore

Name: Kelly Creagh

'10 Book Title: NEVERMORE

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: If you don’t commit and write the story already, your characters will leave you for another writer.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:
Favorite: When my characters begin to take over and I have to type fast to keep up with everything they’re telling me. I also love it when I’m in the middle of writing a scene and one of them tells me something shocking and I go all “*gasp!* Nu-uh. No he didn’t.” Can I also say that I love how this doesn’t sound crazy to other writers?

Least Favorite: If I have to step away from a story for a long time (for whatever reason) I have the hardest time getting back into the rhythm and cadence of that particular tale. It’s so frustrating. It’s like you pull out that pair of jeans from last summer that you LOVE only to find that they no longer fit? Yeah. And then you’ve got to run a thousand laps or do a billion hip drops (or write a hundred bad chapters) before you can wiggle your way back in.

Outline or Let it fly?: I’m a little of both. I always start out letting it fly. It’s like driving in a storm and I can only see ten feet in front of me. Then, all of a sudden, when I get far enough, the rain clears and the clouds part, and then I can see where I’m going and that's when my (loose) outline forms. Still, that said, I don’t always know every twist and turn. That’s part of the fun.

5 things about me
1. I am a professional bellydancer and instructor. I love performing though too often do I find myself trying to explain to strangers why I carry a scimitar in my trunk.
2. Junior year I was my high school mascot, Sam the Ram. I wore a furry crimson body suit with a gynormous Ram’s head that had these huge Princess Leia Bun horns that made it hard to fit through doors. No one knew, either. My friends were all Goths, skaters and theatre nerds so I was too afraid to tell anyone. They always wanted to know why I “skipped” pep rallies. It was totally my secret identity.
3. I was a theatre major in undergrad. I’m always amazed at how many actors become writers and vice versa. In a writing lecture, I once heard a speaker comment that “actors are kind of like frustrated writers.” But I think it can go the other way, too.
4. I work in teen services for the Library. I LOVE working with teenagers. I used to drive the bookmobile and that was BAD. Especially that one time when I took a turn too sharply, caught the curb, peeled the stairs off the bus and shouted a bad bad baaaad word in front of my supervisor.
5. I have a dog named Annabel. She’s a terrier mix and I got her from the pound two years ago when I got back from my first Poe-research trip to Baltimore and Richmond. She rolls over and plays dead whenever I shout “AVADA-KADAVRA!” She can sit, lay down, say “I love you” and “mama.” I am very proud.

NEVERMORE Synopsis:

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when Varen Nethers is assigned as her partner for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. But when he makes it clear that he’d rather not have anything to do with her either, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the perfect handwriting and cold, piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her football-playing boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined. And the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.

Yxta Maya Murray

Yxta Maya Murray

'10 Book Title: The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped

Publisher:  Razorbill/Penguin

Favorite Parts About Writing:  Before I became a novelist, I had fantasies that writers hung out in cafes, wearing berets and Isadora Duncan scarves, drinking absinthe and indulging in brutal, witty gossip.  They used fountain pens and wrote in Moleskine books, and -- whatever, were fabulous.  My life as a writer didn't turn out to be EXACTLY that picturesque.  However, every once in a while during a writing rampage, I rip myself from my La-Z-Boy chair, make myself a cup of tea, and call a fellow writer friend on the phone, indulging in said brutal witty gossip.  That -- apart from the few moments when I'm completely in the flow of writing a story -- would have to be my favorite part of writing.

Favorite Things to Write About:  Amazingly powerful girls and women, scandal, and dangerous exploits that feature dark and brooding boys.

Favorite Authors:  Hemingway, Woolf, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Tolstoy, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Francesca Lia Block.


Favorite place to write:  Right now, the above-mentioned La-Z-Boy chair.  I'm sitting in it right now.  It's called The Grand Canyon by the La-Z-Boy Manufacturers and I basically drown in it.

Favorite writing familiars: My two dogs, Sophie and Oscar.  They are silky terriers.

Other things about me:  I'm a law professor at Loyola Law School, where I teach criminal law, feminist legal theory, and law and literature.  I'm a Latina.  I'm short.  My students just told me I have a "strong personality."  I hope that is a compliment.  I'm nuts about ancient history and the French revolution and transforming old sagas about antique manly heroes into modern day romances starring amazing girls.

Synopsis of The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped:  

The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped is about a Los Angeles girl named Michelle Pena, who's a westside foster child, and a straight A student, as well as a record-smashing track star -- who also happens to come from gang royalty, as her mother, Reina, is a powerful gang leader in Montebello, and her brother, Samson, also ruled his own club. Moreover, Michelle was the girlfriend of the most talented warrior in the city, Silver Mendoza, who promised to always be there for her, and always protect her.

Michelle's destiny as a Montebello Princess, however, looked over when Reina and Samson both went to jail for robbery and drug crimes. Despite her love for Silver, she left the gang life, and didn't look back. She made a new life in Westchester, a tony suburb in L.A., with her foster dad, Frank Redman, and her new best friend, aspiring filmmaker Kiki Markson. Michelle was doing so well, in fact, that both she and Kiki were applying for scholarships to the best prep school in L.A., Yale Westview -- but then Michelle finds all her fine hopes derailed when she and Kiki get kidnapped by her brother's old gang, the Snakes, who bring them to a safehouse in Palm Desert; the Snakes are holding them as hostage for a drug debt that Samson still owes. The worst part is, Silver has transformed from her true love into a heartless soldier known as an "Ice Blood," or "Stone Cold;" now having joined the Snakes after the tragic deaths of his family members, he's the one who tracks down Michelle and brutally snatches her and Kiki from the safety of the westside. He warns her that terrible things will happen to them if Samson doesn't pay -- they could be killed, or sold to another, even more vile drug lord, "The Burner." Though Michelle can't believe how much Silver has changed, he explains that that's what you get when you abandon and betray a savage warrior who once loved you.

During her and Kiki's two day ordeal, Michelle begins slipping back into her old identity, to Kiki's horror: Soon, she's pickpocketing, picking locks, seducing boys, dirty dancing, fighting, stealing cars, and wielding a volcanic temper. But in the end, it's Michelle's amazing speed as a runner that may provide their best chance for an escape. Yet Michelle has to face hard questions in the midst of all this terror: How far is she willing to go to get out of this mess alive, and if she does go to her dark side to defend herself against her attackers, will she ever be able to return to her safe life with Frank? And -- perhaps most pressing of all -- after all he's done to her, and after all they've been through, does she still love Silver?

If you'd like to learn more, please visit my web page, thegoodgirlsguidetogettingkidnapped.com.

Bio: Kiersten White

Name: Kiersten White

'10 Book Title: PARANORMALCY

Publisher: HarperTeen

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Get back to work.

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing: That first drafting high, when the story is carrying me along and I just let myself get lost in it. Oh, glorious. I'm sure that it's the best thing I've ever written, positive that it's flawless. It. Is. Perfect. Least favorite part of writing? Ten minutes after I finish the first draft and realize just how much work it needs before anyone can see it. Writing is a rather up and down process for me.

Organization or Let it Fly? I'm a good mixture of the two, but definite lean more toward Let it Fly. No matter how many things I have planned, my characters always surprise me. It's one of my favorite things about writing.

5 Things About Me:
1. I had a husband, a BA in English, and a baby all before I turned twenty-one. I suppose I'm a bit of an overachiever.
2. I am rather extremely short.
3. I swore I'd never write a book in first person. Whoops.
4. I have two kids and am frequently asked if I'm a teenager. It's not very flattering, actually.
5. While I was researching and writing about faeries, my mother-in-law bought this adorable little "Fairy Door" and my first instinct upon seeing it was, "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!? That's dangerous!" I might be a little more invested in my books than is healthy...

PARANORMALCY Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Normal is so overrated.

Bio: Denise Jaden

'10 Book Title: 

LOSING FAITH

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write every day and the muse will follow.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: Reading a scene that I’ve forgotten writing, or just generally being surprised by something in my own book, even just a single line of dialogue.
Least Favorite: Beginnings. I write them so many times that I probably end up with a whole 60k worth of beginning excerpts.

Outline or Let it fly?:
I’ve tried both, but now I must say outlining is the way to go for me. I get my outline critiqued before I move forward with the actual writing. One of my weaknesses is lack of conflict, so the outline is a necessary evil to help me get past that.

5 things about me
1. I’ve danced professionally with a Polynesian dance troupe for many years, traveling throughout the US, Canada and Japan.
2. I homeschool my one child, a five-year-old boy, and love it!
3. I’m a seriously positive optimist. Most of the time. Except when I'm depressed.
4. I’m older than I look.
5. I’m a little behind the times in some areas. For example, I do all my writing in Word 97. Seriously.


LOSING FAITH Synopsis:
When Brie’s sister Faith falls tragically from a cliff, sixteen-year-old Brie is left devastated and convinced it isn’t an accident. In her grief, she becomes friends with another girl at her school, Tessa, whose sister has also passed away. Tessa and Brie join forces to seek out the truth of what happened the night of Faith’s death and discover, among other things, a religious cult in which Faith was a rebellious member. Brie falls out of the popular crowd into a band of misfit teens who help her learn the truth about Faith, the sister she hated and loved.

LOSING FAITH won RWA’S 2008 Launching A Star Contest for the YA category and will be released Summer/Fall 2010 from Simon Pulse.

Bio: Karen Kincy

Name: Karen Kincy

'10 Book Title: OTHER


Publisher: Flux

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write what you want to read. I started writing because I really wanted a sort of Franken-novel made up of all my favorite bits stitched together (werewolves, romance, Vikings, etc.). Also, I like John Gardner's idea that the writer should create a "vivid and continuous dream" for the reader.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: Descriptions. I bring notebooks with me everywhere, especially on camping trips, so I can take verbal snapshots of the scenery and jot down people so quirky they just have to be characters in one my stories. I love adding descriptive embellishments to later drafts, though of course I have to make sure not smother the cake with too much frosting, so to speak.

Least Favorite: Plotting. It took me some time to figure out how plot works, rather than just stringing together a bunch of scenes that all have my characters in them. Then I found out it has to be consequential, not just consecutive. I still gnash my teeth the most over creating a tight plot with good tension and twists that aren't too crazy. My plots get changed the most during revisions. 

Outline or Let it fly?:
I used to be more of a let it fly kind of writer, but after it took me two years to figure out the plot of my first novel by fumbling around in a thicket of a draft, I decided to create a map before bushwhacking through the wilderness of my imagination. This is, I started with a blurb-like synopsis; I wrote my query letter before I wrote the novel. It helps me to have a destination in mind when I start, though of course I let myself meander from this synopsis when I spot an interesting detour along the way.
Oh, and I like to write scenes out of order, which works a lot better if I have an idea of the whole story.

5 things about me
1. I'm studying linguistics and computer programming at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and I will be graduating the month OTHER comes out, if all goes as planned. I'm not quite as young as you might guess, though I'm still probably a twerp by most standards.

2. I'm a fairly shameless computer/sci-fi/photography nerd. Both of my parents were electrical engineers, so I suppose the nerd gene was inevitable. I'm also interested by how being a nerd suddenly seems to be popular.

3. I like being snarky. Hence the snarkiness of Gwen, the main character in OTHER. And yes, there's a touch of snarkiness in this bio, too.

4. I started writing novels (or trying to, anyway) when I was around ten or eleven. I still have some atrocious partially finished drafts about a talking chameleon and a dragon mother chased by hunters. For some reason, I got it into my kiddie head that I could be one of those "Teen Author Prodigies," which didn't quite work out.

5.
I have a pet Venus flytrap on my kitchen windowsill. I feed it mosquitoes. If these mosquitoes already bit me, I suppose the flytrap is eating a bit of my blood, too, the little vampire. I also have three orange trees and a kumquat tree that I grew from seeds, and they're all taller than me now.

OTHER Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.

When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate—into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and—most importantly—stay alive.

Bio: Becca Fitzpatrick

Name:  Becca Fitzpatrick

'10 Book Title:  HUSH, HUSH

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:  "Cut a good story anywhere, and it will bleed."  Anton Chekhov

Favorite and least favorite part of writing: 
Favorite: Beginnings.  There's so much potential!  There's so much possibility!  Plot hasn't had time to turn schizophrenic on you! 
Least favorite: Endings.  The final pieces of a puzzle are always the hardest.  At the end of a story, I usually find myself holding a lot of pieces that belong in a different story.  On a different planet.  In a different universe.       

Outline, or Let it Fly?: Outline.  Unless, you know, I have a death wish. 

5 Things About Me: 

1.  At one point in my life, I could run a 5:25 mile.
2.  In 3rd grade I watched Romancing the Stone for the first time.  That was all it took.  I knew I was going to be an author.   
3.  I love all things mysterious and suspenseful, ghost stories and Hitchcock in particular.  I have high hopes of owning a haunted house.
4.  I grew up in Smalltown, Nebraska.
5.  I prowl sale racks for reject shoes . . . I also prowl grocery store shelves for dented, dropped or otherwise disfigured canned goods. 


Bio: Stacey Kade

 Name: Stacey Kade

'10 Book Title: THE GHOST AND THE GOTH


Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write a crappy first draft. 

Favorite and least favorite part of writing: 
Favorite-- I love the rush of a new idea, the bits of dialogue that float through my brain as I'm just getting to know these people who are suddenly hanging out in my head.

Least Favorite--I hate revising, making everything match up. I change things as I go along, so sometimes certain elements of the story are quite different by the time I reach the end. That won't do, of course. But the process of going back and pulling all of that through the story backwards is painstaking! 

Outline or Let it fly?: 
I still love to let it fly, but I'm learning (slowly) that the rush of jumping into an idea, which I love, is quickly wiped out by frustration or self-doubt when you haven't put enough time into figuring out what the story is about first. So...I'm slowly easing into my version of outlining, which is just stream of consciousness typing on a page until I figure out who everybody is, what they want and why they want it. :) 

5 things about me
1. I have three dogs, all of them rescued greyhounds from the track. Their names are Joezooka, Tall Walker and SheWearsThePants (Or, Joe, Walker and Pansy). :)

2. My sister, who is 13 years younger than me and still in college, is one of my best friends.

3. I'm a huge movie buff. My family's favorite game is to quote dialogue and see who can guess what movie it's from. (Yes, we're weird.) :)

4. I've been to Hawaii twice, and it's my favorite place in the whole world. 

5. My favorite shoes are $10 flip-flops from Hilo Hatties! 

THE GHOST AND THE GOTH Synopsis:
After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck as a spirit (DON’T call her a ghost) in the land of the living with no sign of the big, bright light to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser outcast who despises the social elite. He alone can see and hear her (turns out he’s been “blessed” with the ability to communicate with the dead), but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High.

Alona has never needed anyone for anything, and now she’s supposed to expose her deepest, darkest secrets to this pseudo-goth boy? Right. She’s not telling anyone what really happened the day she died, not even to save her eternal soul. And Will’s not filling out any volunteer forms to help her cross to the other side. He only has a few more weeks until his graduation, when he can strike out on his own and find a place with less spiritual interference. But he has to survive and stay out of the psych ward until then. Can they get over their mutual distrust—and the weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist?

Hello!

Hello everyone! 

Name
Sarah DeFord Williams

'10 Book Title
Palace Beautiful

Publisher
Putnam (penguin)

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice
All first drafts are bad and that's okay.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing
I love getting to know my characters. I love writing dialog and description. I love when things just flow and seem to come out of thin air.

My least favorite part of writing--plot. I never know where a story is going, sometimes until I've done several drafts and tried it several different ways.

Outline or Let it fly?
I have an absolute law not to outline a first draft. I let the characters take over and decide where it's going to go. When I sit at my computer every day, I don't know what's going to happen next. It just happens the way it happens. After a draft or two, I understand more what I'm writing about and then I outline.

5 things about me

1. I used to be a coffee shop musician. I did it for years and years until my youngest child was born and I got too tired to stay out all night on the weekends.

2. I've moved a lot in my life. I've lived in Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, Idaho, Arizona and Utah. The first time I ever saw a mountain in real life I was 18 years old. I fell absolutely in love. I knew I had to move out west to be close to the mountains, so I did. I've been here ever since. I can look out my front window at the mountains right now.

3. I inherited what my mom calls the "fountain of youth gene." I look much younger than I am. I used to hate it when I was a kid. I was so insulted when people thought I was in kindergarten and I was actually in third grade. I also didn't like it when my kids were little and people would give me dirty looks like I was a child-mom. Now that I'm plunging headlong into middle age, I'm beginning to appreciate that gene.

4. I have a lot of hobbies. I love to write (of course), write music, sing, play guitar, sew, crochet, do paper art, take photographs, do Letterboxing (look it up, it's really cool!), hike, snowshoe, etc, etc, etc.

5. I am rather deficient in my computer skills. I've never joined a LJ group and it took me three days to figure out how to do this post. It may take me another three days to get to step #2. 

Palace Beautiful Synopsis

Thirteen year old artist Sadie Evelyn Brooks moves from Texas to Salt Lake City with her father, her pregnant step mother and her little sister Zuzu. Sadie befriends her thirteen year old neighbor Kristen Smith (who goes by Belladonna Desolation--Bella for short). Together Sadie, Bella and Zuzu find a secret attic room with a hidden journal. The journal was written by a girl named Helen White who lived in the house during the 1918 Influenza epidemic. The girls form a little club and read the journal in installments and set out on a quest to find Helen--living or dead. Helen's journal story mirrors Sadie's struggles as she fears for the safety of her step mother while the pregnancy advances. 

Bio: Andrea Cremer

Name: Andrea Cremer

’10 Book Title: Nightshade      

Publisher: Penguin (Fall 2010)

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write what you love.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing: Getting to know my characters and the constant surprises they throw at me. Least favorite – dry eyes from so many hours staring at a screen.

Outline, or Let it Fly?: I live on the island in between. I don’t have a linear outline, but think of my plots as a spider web with events/consequences spiraling out from the central issue of the novel.

5 Things About Me:

1) I have a freckle under my left eye that helpful strangers are always stopping me to say “Hey you know your mascara is smudged.”

2) Naming characters is one of my favorite things about starting a new book

3) If I don’t live near water I get very sad. Fortunately Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes so I'm alright for the moment.

4) My favorite season is autumn, even though it means my work schedule is about to get very busy (my day job is teaching history).

5) I have three tattoos (left foot, right wrist, back of my neck).

Synopsis:

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.


Bio: Sarah Dooley

Name: Sarah Dooley

'10 Book Title: LIVVIE OWEN LIVED HERE

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write what you see, not what people tell you you're supposed to have seen.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:
Favorite: I love writing first pages and last pages.
Least Favorite: That pesky middle part.

Outline or Let it fly?: I write a rough-rough-rough draft on the fly, then outline what happened or sort-of-happened in it and revise according to the outline.

5 things about me
1. Most of my family is on, or very near, the autism spectrum.
2. I've got three dogs, two cats, and a unicorn. The unicorn is masquerading as a horse, but a suspiciously-positioned bone tumor on his forehead makes me wonder if he has magical powers. So far, the only power that has emerged is the ability to smell a peppermint from a quarter mile away.
3. My office is trimmed in blue painter's tape. It was supposed to be trimmed in blue paint, but I got bored.
4. My laptop is also trimmed in blue painter's tape. That's the only sticky substance I had handy when the hinge broke.
5. I have lived 46 different places in my life. Twelve of them were actual houses.

LIVVIE OWEN LIVED HERE Synopsis:

Go ahead. Look through the windows of any house in Nabor. It won’t take you more than a couple of blocks to find Livvie Owen’s name written on a wall. That’s because Livvie, who has autism, has gotten the Owens evicted from over twenty homes in the town of Nabor. Of course her family doesn’t say it’s her fault. But Livvie can sense it in the stares of the landlords and her growing isolation from her family. The options now are few: move out of town or convince a landlord who knows about Livvie’s destructive behavior to take a chance anyway.

But Livvie, who sees a lot of things her family doesn’t, spies another option hidden in the rubble of their past. The Sun House stands empty on the edge of town, abandoned after the Owens lost it to the bank. There’s a sign on the front porch, and Livvie, who doesn’t read, is convinced the sign says “For Rent.” Can Livvie control her behavior and convince her family to take a chance on staying in Nabor? More importantly, can she convince them to take one last chance on her? In her efforts to reclaim a doomed house, Livvie will challenge her parents’ frustration, her sisters’ anger – and her own ideas about what makes a house a home.

Bio: Steve Brezenoff

Name: Steve Brezenoff

'10 Book Title: THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1

Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: B.I.C., of course.

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing:

Favorite: Meeting the characters I create.

Least Favorite: That point in everything I write when I realize half or more of what my new favorite character has done had absolutely nothing to do with the overall arc, and should be tossed.

Outline or Let it fly? I usually write scene after scene, expanding a character's life and conflict, until something seems to be a theme. Then I outline a story arc based on those scenes, usually (as implied above) abandoning quite a bit of what I've written.

5 Things About Me:

1. I am stay-at-home dad to my son, Sam, born in August 2008.
2. I'm also working on my teaching license; planning to teach English to middle schoolers
3. Every few months, I give in to a craving and end up re-immersed in Azeroth. If you don't know what that means, consider yourself lucky.
4. I was a copy editor for six years before I decided to write full-time.
5. I was born and raised outside of NYC, but met a gal from Minnesota and followed her out here. My life is about a million times better now than it was back then.

THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 Synopsis:

 

The absolute value of any number, positive or negative, is its distance from zero: |-1| = 1

 

Noah, Lily, and Simon have been a trio forever. But as they enter high school, their relationships shift and their world starts to fall apart. Privately, each is dealing with a family crisis—divorce, abuse, and a parent's illness. Yet as they try to escape the pain and reach out for the connections they once counted on, they slip—like soap in a shower. Noah’s got it bad for Lily, but he knows too well Lily sees only Simon. Simon is indifferent, suddenly inscrutable to his friends. All stand alone in their heartache and grief.

 



Bio: Mindi Scott

Name: Mindi Scott

'10 Book Title:  FREEFALL
Publisher:  Simon Pulse

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:   "There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."  -Red Smith   

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:


Favorite:  Creating complex characters and watching them turn into "real" people the more I work with them.

Least favorite:   Trying to come up with commericial-ish hooks for my literary-ish writing.  Just thinking about the word "hook" can suck the energy right out of me.  

Outline or Let it fly?:  

I've tried both methods.  Like any good Libra, what I'm looking for moving forward is balance.  I'd like to be able to have a basic outline that I won't be afraid to deviate from if a good idea comes to me.  (My tendency is to want to rewrite my outline the second I think of a new angle instead of just going with the flow for a bit to see how it feels.) 

So, my short answer to this is "outline." :-)

5 things about me

1. I don't like to view the world through any color of lenses--except clear--because I prefer the way it looks naturally.  This means I avoid wearing sunglasses and ski goggles as often as I can get away with it.  It also means I might develop cataracts in my old age if I don't knock it off.

2.  I've been bitter about my high school experience since the start of my senior year.  Now, at age 31, I'm finally getting over it.

3.  At the start of 2009, I committed to taking better care of myself.  No more sitting at my computer all day, consuming little more than water and string cheese!  I started with water aerobics every Tuesday.  Then I added Yoga and Pilates alternately every Thursday.  Now, I'm also training three days a week to run a 5K, making an effort to eat five full-cup servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and taking my vitamins (the delicious, gummy kind).  I have to say, I'm surprised, but very pleased that I was able to break my lazy cycle.   

4.  Sometimes, when I'm feeling anxious, I check out the OPI website to plan which color of nail polish I should buy next.

5.  When I was 14, my aunt told me that I was cute and should be a model.  It seemed like a good idea to me because then I could fulfill my goal of meeting and marrying Christian Slater.  That year at Christmas (1991), I asked my mom to forgo gifts and help me get an agent instead.  She didn't, so I didn't become a model or marry Christian Slater.  I guess it's good, though, because I like the husband I have way better!

FREEFALL Synopsis:

How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .

BIO: Heidi R. Kling



Name: Heidi R. Kling
2010 YA Book Title: SEA
Publisher: Putnam (Penguin Young Readers)

SEA Synopsis:
Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother's accidental disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year-old California girl Sienna "Sea" Jones reluctantly travels with her father's volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia. During her stay at an orphanage, she meets the scarred and soulful, Deni, who is more like Sienna then anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can't be together, so why can't she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home?
And why is her psychiatrist father so secretive about her mother's plane crash?
The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to the truth.

And Sea's real adventure begins.

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write what you love to read and revise, revise, revise—it's the Golden Ticket.

Favorite Part of Writing Dialog and Ah-ha moments; world creating; getting to work in pajamas
Least Favorite: Getting interrupted during a Ah-ha moment. =D

Outline or Let it fly?: A swirly mix of both.

Five things about me

1.I earned MFA in writing for children and my BA in Creative Writing. Other than drama and English classes, I didn't start liking school until college.
2. My husband's humanitarian work inspired SEA.
3. I love five night slumber parties under the guise of "writer's retreats"
4. Children's theatre playwrite/director, costumer at a haunted attic shop that burned to the ground (again, I swear it wasn't my fault!) where I got paid to dress up as Victorian vampires.
5. If I could live in the Disneyland Hotel, I totally would.

Bio: Jacqueline Houtman

Name: Jacqueline Houtman

'10 Book Title: THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS

Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills Press

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:

“Never take no cut-offs and hurry along as fast as you can.” Virginia Reed.

Actually, it’s not meant as writing advice, having been written by a survivor of the Donner party in reference to her westward trek.

 
Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: When everything falls into place as if I had intentionally set it up to happen.

Least Favorite: Waiting.

Outline or Let it fly?:
A little of both. My science writing has made me very methodical, but once I have set things up, I love to just let my characters go and see what happens.


5 things about me

1. When I was on a High School trip to France, I touched one of Michelangelo’s Slaves. (It was only the base, which looked unfinished to me, and the guard gave me an evil look.)

2. I have written three academic theses:
            Olfactory development in rats (BA)
            Immunosuppressive virus in chickens (MS)
            Mouse model for multiple sclerosis (PhD)

(After that, I came to my senses, left the lab, and became a freelance science writer.)

3. My husband and I lived in Lyon, France for the year after our marriage (18 years ago!). That was, of course, before we had children—a son who’s now 12 and a daughter who’s 10. 

4. I loathe peanut butter in anything sweet.

5. I have performed on stage in three different productions as a human kazoo.


THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS Synopsis:

            Eddy Thomas can read a college physics book, but he can’t read the emotions on the faces of his classmates at Drayton Middle School. He can spend hours tinkering with an invention, but he can’t stand more than a few minutes in a noisy crowd, like the crowd at the science fair, which Eddy fails to win.

            When the local school crossing guard is laid off, Eddy is haunted by thoughts of the potentially disastrous consequences and invents a traffic-calming device, using parts he has scavenged from discarded machines. Eddy also discovers new friends, who appreciate his abilities and respect his unique view of the world. They help Eddy realize that his “friend,” Mitch is the person behind the progressively more distressing things that happen to Eddy. By trusting his real friends and accepting their help, Eddy uses his talents to help others and rethinks his purely mechanical definition of success.

 


Bio: Emily Horner

Name: Emily Horner
'10 Book: TOTALLY SWEET NINJA DEATH SQUAD
Publisher: Dial Books / Penguin

Favorite writing advice:
Get your ego out of the way and stop writing to impress people or justify yourself to them.

Favorite part of writing:
When everything suddenly comes together and I have an epiphany about my characters or my plot, and all the things I was tossing into the story without knowing why.

Least favorite part of writing:
When I have to decline an invitation to a party or a night in the city because I haven't written my words yet.

Outline or Let It Fly?
Half and half. I like to stop at key points in the story and make a rough sketch of what I think will come next, but I don't make it too detailed because I don't know for sure how the story goes until I write it down.

5 Things About Me
1) I am Canadian by birth, have lived in France and Japan, spent my adolescence in North Carolina, and currently live in New York.

2) I have a twin sister. She is twelve minutes older than me and I (almost) always listen when she tells me what to do.

3) I used to cosplay at anime conventions.

4) I play way too much Rock Band -- or I did, until I broke my finger last month. My band is called Deathbunny, and we're awesome.

5) For the first time, I put up my own curtains last weekend. This makes me feel very grown-up.

About TOTALLY SWEET NINJA DEATH SQUAD:

When aspiring Broadway songwriter Julia dies in a sudden car accident, she leaves behind her magnum opus, a musical about ninjas titled "Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad." Her friends band together to produce it -- except for Julia's best friend Cassie. She's too confused about her feelings for Julia, and she doesn't fit in with the theater nerds. It just gets worse when Heather, Cassie's arch-enemy from middle school, gets cast as the ninja princess. Cassie can't deal; she packs her belongings, and Julia's ashes, onto her Bianchi touring bicycle and sets off across the country. The story cuts back and forth between her bicycle trip with her dead best friend and her reluctant participation in "Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad," where she discovers that Heather might not be who she always thought.

BIO:

Book TItle:
THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF AMY FINAWITZ EIGHTH GRADER

Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:
1) Success leaves clues. And, no, that does not mean that I'm a stalker. Find out how your favorite writers work, how they write and how they promote themselves. Then imitate their approach as much as possible.

2) Write everday, or try like hell, even if it's a small amount. This is a 'clue' I picked up from a very successful, award winning writer. All the creative stuff happens when you keep continuity.


Favorite Part of Writing:
When, after fits and starts, my main character finds his/her voice. Then I feel like I'm transcribing. I love when situations, that I didn't anticipate, develop because my characters lead me there. I really love it when my story makes me laugh.

Least Favorite Part of Writing:
Writing everyday (see above.) It's so crucial and it's so hard sometimes. I fight myself on this one. Also, I hate feeling like I've hit a creative wall because then I beat myself up until I break through.

Outline or Let it Fly:
Both. I go back and forth. Ultimately, I have to let it fly a lot as the characters constantly suprise me and the spontaneous stuff is often the best. However, those wacky characters have been known to wander into boring, tensionless, swampland unless I redirect them by checking back with some kind of story outline.

5 Things About Me:
1) I live with my husband and twin daughters (all awesome) and many animals ranging from 4 pounds to 700 pounds. I would like to get a pig, but my family forbids it.  And, no, I don't live on a farm (although my neighbors think I do.)

2) I love Devil Dogs and Halloween (really love 'em.)

3) I get up at least 300 hundred times a night. Don't ask me why. As a child, I sleepwalked (I'm told) and I come from a long line of restless sleepers. I do find comfort, however, in the knowledge that, unlike some of my relatives, I have no desire to cook fried salami at 2:00 in the morning or wake the whole neighborhood by opening and closing the electric garage door numerous times to take the car out for a drive.

4) I like Outsider Art and most anything that is absurd and makes me laugh.

5) In my spare time (snort) I like to do mosaics, paint and fabric art.


Synopsis:

This is a story about Amy, a precocious New York girl, who is emotionally stranded when her best friend moves to Kansas for the year, leaving her to hang with girls who are dorkier than she is and to crush on hunkaliscious John Leibler all by herself. But before she knows it, Amy is caught up in a most unusual intrigue. She teams up with her elderly neighbor and her very religious (Hasidic) nephew to solve a hundred year old mystery that, not only takes them all over New York City, but prompts Amy to find herself in the process.


Bio: Kristin Walker

Name: Kristin Walker

'10 Book Title: A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL

Publisher: Razorbill

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Read as much as you can in the genre you write.


Favorite and least favorite part of writing:
Favorite: The feeling I have when I'm in the middle of a book.
Least Favorite: Starting. The first page is the worst.

Outline or Let it fly?:
I almost always let it fly. The problem is, my plots tend to wander. So I really wish I could write an outline. But I have trouble predicting ahead of time where the story will end up.

5 things about me
1. I have a husband and three sons, and I'm a terrible housekeeper. The results are horrifying.
2. I've worked as an actor, lifeguard, waitress, library circulation clerk, nanny, beginning ballroom dance
    instructor, daycare staffer, acting teacher, and summer camp junior counselor. Oh, and author! I forgot.
3. I have a rather foul mouth. Unfortunately, my kids can vouch for this. But I have improved.
4. I'd love to be in the Pillsbury Bakeoff some day.
5. I married a Canadian, but we cheer for the Flyers.

A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL Synopsis:

When a mandatory course forces Fiona to “try the knot” with super-jock Todd Harding, she’s convinced life could not possibly get any worse.  Until moments later, when her long-time crush is paired with her arch-enemy (otherwise known as Todd’s obscenely hot, slightly sadistic girlfriend).  But that’s nothing compared to her best friend’s fate – a year with the very shy, very goofy, very big Johnny Mercer.

A series of hilarious pranks and misunderstandings leave Fiona wondering: is there something her supposed “best friend” hasn’t told her? Could there be more to Johnny Mercer than a deep voice and an awesome music collection? And perhaps most intriguing of all, is it possible that Todd Harding could actually have a heart – and a brain – beneath his pretty-boy exterior?

Bio: Stephanie Burgis

Hi everybody!

Name
Stephanie Burgis

'10 Book Title
The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson, Book One: A Most Improper Magick (first in a YA Regency fantasy trilogy)

Publisher
Atheneum Books

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice
Write what sounds most fun to you - don't let your brain get in the way! If I'd listened to my brain instead of my heart, I never would have written A Most Improper Magick, because it wasn't the sensible "career" book I had planned - but it turned out to be the most fun novel I've ever written, and now I am completely addicted to following Kat's adventures!

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:
My favorite part of writing is when I've put in the work to set up all my characters in the most awkward and conflicting positions possible, and I can just let them go, sit back, and watch them bounce off each other in all sorts of crazy directions!

My least favorite part of writing comes on the days when I'm exhausted and feel like my brain is made of mush - every word needs to be dragged out one at a time, wriggling and complaining!

Outline or Let it fly?
I mostly just let it fly - and all the best bits of my books and stories have come as a surprise to me! I do tend to come up with a rough idea of what will happen in each scene just before I write it, just to give me the confidence & direction to begin (and a very rough idea of the overarching plot, again for basic direction), but things often turn out very differently than I'd expected. This leads to a lot of rewriting in later drafts, but it works for me.

5 things about me
1. I'm both American AND British - I was born American and grew up in Michigan, which I love, but I now live in Yorkshire, England (where A Most Improper Magick is set), and as of today (hooray! the ceremony took place this morning!) I am officially a dual citizen. And I am ridiculously excited about it!

2. I am a total geek, for both history AND sf/fantasy. I get my best writing inspiration from reading historical nonfiction (so much of it is far wilder than any fiction plot!), I did a Master's degree in music history (specializing in late-18th-century opera), and I can go off on historical rants at the drop of a pin if I'm not careful. Also, I can quote The Lord of the Rings (books and movies) for hours. Thank goodness I'm married to a fellow geek!

3. I am utterly & completely dog-crazy. I grew up with wonderful family dogs, I traveled around the world with my first dog, Nika, and now my sweet, crazy border collie mix, Maya, is my companion throughout the day as I write at home. She makes sure I always take time out for regular walks, cuddles, and play, and she makes me laugh every single day. I could live without a lot of things in life, but I could never live without a dog. (When I was in undergrad and living in dormitories, I volunteered at a local shelter to get my dog-walking and -cuddling fix!)

4. When I was a kid, I imprinted so hard on Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer that it totally warped my vocabulary! In middle school, one of my friends and I used to secretly trade notes in class, signed with over-the-top fake-British aristocratic pseudonyms and written in high-flown Regency language. (Remember I said I was a geek? Yeah...)

5. When I was writing the first draft of A Most Improper Magick, I started every writing session by reading a couple of Jane Austen's letters, and then I wrote the novel with a Jane Austen action figure standing on my desk. I also listened every day to what I think of as the theme song to my book: Adam and the Ants's Stand and Deliver! (SO much fun!)

A Most Improper Magick Synopsis
Her mother was a scandalous witch, her brother has gambled the whole family into debt, and her Step-Mama is determined to sell her oldest sister into a positively Gothic marriage to pay it off--so what can twelve-year-old Kat Stephenson do but take matters directly into her own hands? If only her older sisters hadn’t thwarted her plan to run away to London dressed as a boy and earn a fortune! When Kat makes a midnight foray into her mother’s cabinet of secrets, though, she finds out something she never expected. Her mother wasn’t just a witch, she was a Guardian, a member of a secret Order with staggering magical powers--and Kat is her heir.

Of course, there’s no chance of Kat choosing to join the Order that forbade her parents’ marriage...but Mama’s magical mirror doesn’t seem to understand that. It keeps following her wherever she goes, even when the family travels to Grantham Abbey to meet the sinister Sir Neville, her oldest sister’s chosen fiancé. And what with Sir Neville showing a dangerous interest in Kat’s untapped powers, her mother’s old tutor insisting that she take up her mother’s position as a Guardian, and her sister Angeline refusing to listen to her about anything, as usual...well, it’s a good thing Kat kept her boy’s clothing, because she may well have to use it--especially if the rumors of a highwayman are true.

Bio: Shaun Hutchinson

Name: Shaun David Hutchinson

'10 Book Title: The Deathday Letter

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Writing's a marathon, not a sprint.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: It saves me a ton of money in therapy bills.

Least Favorite: Having family members corner me and tell me about this great idea I HAVE to write, instead of about why I'm still single.

Outline or Let it fly?: I usually know the first scene and the last and then I wing everything in between. Things don't always work the way I thought they would, but I think that's the best part.

5 things about me

1. I own a blind puppy who drives me insane.
2. I despise wearing shoes
3. I prefer writing outside...even during Florida summers.
4. I have never, ever punched anyone.
5. In high school, during my first debate tournament, I made my opponent cry...and refused to let him forfeit the round.

The Deathday Letter Synopsis:

All fifteen year-old Oliver Travers wanted to do when he woke up Thursday morning was squeeze in a little underwear gymnastics before school, until his mom called him downstairs to tell him he had received a Deathday Letter, which sort of ruined the mood.

Content to spend his last day of life at school (where the girls are), Oliver's best friends Shane Grimsley and Veronica (Ronnie) Dittrich convince him to burn his books and ditch school to, you know, have a little actual fun before he kicks the bucket.

In a world where only taxes, Deathday Letters, and teenage boy's hormones are certainties, Oliver, Shane and Ronnie embark upon a bus ride that takes them from the post office, to a house filled with college-aged anti-Deathday Letter activists (and Dave Matthews fans), and nearly to prison. And as the end draws near Oliver learns that living is way tougher than dying…and that kissing is wetter than he'd expected.

Bio: Caragh O'Brien

 Name: Caragh O'Brien

'10 Book Title: BIRTHMARKED
                         (Formerly The Orion Tattoo and before that The Baby Code)

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Get to the end.

Favorite and least favorite parts of writing: Favorite: I love the intense,
satisfying thing that happens when I'm deep in my mind.  Least favorite: Titles.

Outline or let it fly? It happens while I write it.

5 things about me: 
1. I'm wearing a red fleece.
2. I have six siblings.
3. I have a difficult time deciding what info to make public.
4. I'm honest.
5. I came up with a really cool code for my book.

BIRTHMARKED synopsis: In a dystopian future after climate change, the world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside.  It’s Gaia’s job to turn over her quota of infants to the authorities within the wall, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s own mother disappears.  Fraught with difficult choices that propel Gaia further and further within the confines of the wall, to the prison and even to the Bastion where the Protectorat lives with his privileged family, BIRTHMARKED is the riveting story of a girl who wants to save her mother, and a society where a criminal is defined by her genes.

Bio for Mara Purnhagen


Name:  Mara Purnhagen

'10 Book Title: TAGGED


Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: 
"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." — Stephen King 

Favorite and least favorite part of writing: 
Favorite: Writing the first scene and really seeing it in my head.

Least Favorite: Realizing that I need to go back and change a detail or name.

 

Outline or Let it fly?: I always know my first scene and my last scene. Everything else comes to me as I write.

 

 5 things about me


1. I write to music, and I like to create a playlist for each book. My favorite groups right now are The Arcade Fire, The National, The Pixies and Radiohead.

 

2. At one time or another, my hair has been dyed the following colors: blonde, red, blue, green, purple, white, black and orange.

3. I could live on guacamole.

 

4. I once got lost in France. And I mean lost, by myself, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but sunflower fields and the setting sun. I owe a debt of gratitude to a van full of Polish tourists. They didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Polish, but somehow we communicated. I ended up spending a week camping with them. Sometimes, I think you’re supposed to get lost.


5. I’m a hardcore Simpsons fan, and I look forward to the annual Halloween episode with the same excitement some people reserve for their birthdays.


TAGGED Synopsis:


Kate Morgan is just as confused as the rest of her classmates when she arrives at Cleary High to find six life-size gorillas spray painted on the side of a building. Could the culprit be one of her friends or classmates? And is the kind-of-amazing creation really vandalism, or a work of art? She's tempted to stay out of it, mostly because, as the police chief’s daughter, she's always accused of being a snitch. But when gorillas start appearing throughout the state, her investigative instincts kick in.

Now Eli, Kate’s favorite co-worker at the local coffee shop, is MIA. With her best friend, Lan, preoccupied with her own boy troubles, Kate needs to figure out some things on her own. Like why she can’t stop thinking about Eli. And what she will do when all clues about the graffiti point to someone she knows...

 



Bio: Jame Richards

Name: Jame Richards

'10 Book Title:
Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Show up on the page. The rest will take care of itself.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: Getting in that zone where characters become like real people, then take over the show and surprise you with what they think should happen next.
Least Favorite: Revising, in those cases when you just don't know how you're going to fix something.

Outline or Let it fly?:
I'm all for seeing where a story takes me...and if it demands an outline along the way, I don't mind obliging (but I won't marry it).

5 things about me
1. I can drive backwards.
2. I love TaB, and, yes, they still make it.
3. I can imitate people in writing and in person. Also, I pick up accents instantly.
4. I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, now I believe writing is what I was born to do. (Isn't a writer a kind of artist anyway?)
5. Every single day I think about the pioneers---mostly it reminds me to be grateful for running water, central heat and groceries.

Three Rivers Rising Synopsis:

Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania 1888-1889

Three Rivers Rising includes a forbidden cross-class romance between a guest and a hired boy at the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, site of the dam that burst in 1889, flooding the valley below. The main characters are in the city of Johnstown when the wave hits and piles debris at the Old Stone Bridge, damming up the water once again. The city of Johnstown is under water and the debris at the bridge is on fire. Each thinks the other is dead. Will they find each other? Survive? Endure being disowned by their families?
Winner of the PEN New England Children's Book Caucus 2008 Susan P. Bloom Award

Intro

Name: Phoebe Kitanidis

'10 Book Title: WHISPER

Publisher: Harper Collins

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: From Kurt Vonnegut: “Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: Dialogue. Love it. I say it all out loud as I write it. (Means I can’t write dialogue in a coffee shop cause other customers would think I was eating crazy pie.)

Least Favorite: Descriptions. Setting. Scene-setting. Bleh. Confession: as a child I always skim/skipped those parts in books to get to the dialogue and action, and even now sometimes I have to force myself to stay with them past two lines. I admire masters like Anne Tyler and Tom Perrotta who know how to get in, pick that one perfect detail (the one that manages to ground us in scene, evoke atmosphere, reveal character, and advance action all at once), and get out. Also, on a philosophical note: I am something of a setting renegade in that I like to write about people who live in emotionally desolate, generic settings (bedroom-community sprawl, white American middle-class high schools) and for whom lacking a sense of place is a big part of what defines them. However, the novel I’m writing right now is ALL about the setting. So there’s hope for my rehabilitation yet!

Outline or Let it fly?: It's complicated. :) For my first novel, I was organic girl. I figured A) if I knew how the story ended, I’d be too bored to finish writing! And B) my subconscious mind is way smarter than my conscious mind (gotta give due respect to the subconscious) so what was the point of left-braining out the whole book? So, I let it unfold naturally, and was genuinely surprised by the end. My second novel, WHISPER, has a tighter structure, more tension, more action, so I did outline, and I can’t believe I’m saying this but… erm... I’ve been converted. Sort of. I couldn’t have written the book without my outline, and yet, my outline is so not like the book. (Because my subconscious mind really is a lot smarter than my conscious. My critique partners are too. In fact, my conscious mind seems to burden the whole enterprise and should simply get out of the way whenever we’re wri—Hey! Who wrote that?!)

5 things about me

1. I went to five different elementary schools.

2. I’m from two cultures, Greek and American. As a kid, I always felt like there was a neon sign on my forehead that said “DIFFERENT” because of my name, my family, my other language, etc. I was super frustrated with my parents for not letting me change my name to something that would give me a fighting chance to pass as normal. It took me over 20 years to finally accept, and then even love, the name “Phoebe.”

3. I care about the environment. I'm proud that my city, Seattle, uses mainly hydro power for electricity, I try to eat local, and I walk/bus whenever I can. However, I still drive and fly and eat processed junk from halfway across the world, sometimes.

4. My looks are decieving. Okay, so that sounds super dramatic. Let's just say, at any rate, that strange dudes always approach me on the bus and assume I’m waaay younger and sweeter—and dare I say dumber?—than I am.  I think it’s because I happen to have a round, soft-looking face and… fine, I’m sort of curved and rounded in other places too. But it’s eerie; I feel like they’re talking to someone else. “Her.” The character I would be cast as based on my looks. At times I almost wish I could turn to them--suddenly lightning-fast, red-eyed, fanged-out--and say, “I tire of your ogling, mortal. For despite these chipmunk cheeks, I have wandered the earth 1000 years, and now I shall feast upon your sorry blood. See what you get for judging on the superficial?!!” But, alas, I usually just smile politely and then shuffle off at my bus stop.

5. If I were to go back for another grad school degree, I’d pick Economics. Total money geek. (One of my favorite quotes, from the Economist, "Forget India, China, or the Internet, economic growth is driven by women.")

Synopsis of WHISPER:
I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…
Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears Jessica whisper: I want to kill my Hearing dead, and kill me too if that’s what it takes, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

Bio: Anastasia Hopcus

Name: Anastasia Hopcus

'10 Book Title:
SHADOW HILLS

Publisher: Egmont USA

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:
 The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.

-Robert Cormier

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing:

Favorite: Getting to know my characters. Finding out what band they love or what movie they have watched a hundred times. Discovering what kind of parents they have and how they’ve shaped my character’s personalities.
Least Favorite: The timeline, aka: getting all the events to line up correctly. If I didn’t need to do it so my stories would make sense, I wouldn’t.

Outline or Let It Fly?: I do a little outlining, then write the book, then outline some more, then rewrite the book. Rinse and repeat until it is clean and shiny. Would it be easier to do all of the outline first? Undoubtedly. Would I enjoy writing the book as much? I don’t think so.

5 Things About Me:
1.  I go see the bands I love whenever possible. It doesn’t matter if I’ve already seen them play twice in the last month. If Gogol Bordello played a weekly show in Austin, I’d probably have to set up a second residence in the alley behind the club.
2.  I love to sing. Especially at the Alamo Drafthouse. It’s a movie theater that serves real food and is run by tattooed movie dorks. Add cheesy music videos and off-key warbling? I’m so there.
3.  I am a Buffy addict. I once drove 22 hrs to make it home in time for an Alamo Drafthouse Buffy Sing-Along. (How could I not? That is three favorite things at once!)
4.  I believe having a British accent makes you a better person. Or at least a more interesting one.
5.  I don’t have a British accent and am, therefore, a very uninteresting person.

SHADOW HILLS synopsis:
Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.


Bio

 Name: Margie Gelbwasser

'10 Book Title: Inconvenient

Publisher: Flux Books

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: When you're overwhelmed, make a manageable goal like 20 minutes of writing a day or a page a day. That's completely doable (or so I tell myself) and while it may not seem like a lot at the time, those pages add up.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: It lets me change the past and create worlds and outcomes I want.

Least Favorite: Is there another profession where you doubt yourself this much and waver so frequently between “I'm awesome. What great writing!” to “THIS is writing? I can't believe I wrote such garbage!”? 

Outline or Let it fly?: I see outlines as a necessary evil. Even though I know the basic plot of the book, unless I outline, the subplots get lost. I don't stick to every chapter of the outline, as the characters often surprise me, but if I get stuck, I can refer to the outline for guidance.

5 things about me

  1. I have a son who will be two in July. Other than him still not sleeping

through the night, he is the most amazing little boy, my good luck charm, and the best thing to have happened to me.

  1. I crave soda a lot. Do I have some kind of carbonation deficiency?

3. I think I'm still young enough to go clubbing and miss it sometimes. But then I see what girls wear out, decide I look much better in shirts that don't show my belly, turn up the radio and dance in my oh so hot sweats instead.

4. I love watching teen shows—One Tree Hill, Degrassi: The Next Generation, 90210, the now defunct Kyle XY, just to name a few—and I'm not even going to pretend it's research.

5. I like to watch and play sports, but I am much better at watching than playing.

 

Inconvenient Synopsis:

            Alyssa Bondar’s world is falling apart. She has just entered her sophomore year at Glenfair High, the only place to hang out is behind the CVS, and her best friend Lana has started the school year with large breasts and a sexy attitude–-attracting the attention of the most popular kids in the school, a group Alyssa clearly doesn’t fit into.

             Alyssa’s Jewish, like most of Glenfair, but since she’s also Russian, Alyssa feels even more separated from other teens. How many other Jewish families have a New Year’s tree with ornaments? On top of all this, Alyssa’s once stable home environment has become chaotic.

             Alyssa is used to alcohol accompanying every meal and event in the Russian culture. But when Alyssa’s mother loses her job, the usual drink or two changes into a full-time happy hour. While Alyssa's father uses news reports of war unrest in the Middle East as his escape from reality, Alyssa is left to pick up the pieces of her shattered family alone. As her mother’s alcoholism gets worse, Alyssa must decide how much she can and should handle before she crumbles as well.


Bio: Chelsea Campbell

Name: Chelsea Campbell

'10 Book Title: The Rise of Renegade X

Publisher: Egmont USA

Favorite bit of writing advice: This isn't writing advice, but it's good any time advice that can be applied to many things. One time my dad was having me help him fix our gate. I was supposed to hold some nail or screw or peg thingy in place, but I didn't really know what I was doing. I panicked and told him, "I don't know what I'm doing!" and he said, "Act like you do and do it anyway."

Favorite part of writing: My favorite part of writing is getting totally and completely OBSESSED with my work. Like, putting in 16 hour days and only pausing to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. Everything is awesome and the world goes by in a blur and the book just rushes out.

Least favorite part of writing: My least favorite part of writing is when books come out sloooow. When they're exhausting and drain all my energy, instead of increasing it, and I can only stand to work on them for chunks at a time, and then I have to take weeks, sometimes months long breaks before getting another chunk done.

Five things about me:
1. I have the movie ticket stubs for every movie I've seen in the theater for the past ten years. I just put them in a scrapbook--there were exactly 100 of them!

2. I have a B.A. in Latin and am very passionate about promoting the language.

3. I have a Bengal. His name is Teisel and he looks like an ocelot. I love him because he's super LOUD (no, louder than that) and ornery. :)

4. I've wanted to be a writer since before I could spell. I used to make my mom join my fake book clubs and make her spell each word for me as I wrote the books. I remember one about a unicorn who jumped off a cliff... or something.

5. I like buying blank journals, even though I have very little use for them.

Outline or let it fly? Outline. It varies how much I outline--sometimes I plan out each exact scene, and sometimes I just know all the important parts of the book--but if I don't outline at all, the story gets really stupid and falls apart.

The Rise of Renegade X Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she's been hiding all these years, that the one night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father's too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he only has six weeks to prove he's not a hero in any way, or else he's stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.

To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad's “flying lessons” that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city—despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights—thwart the eccentric teen scientist who insists she's his sidekick, and keep his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.

Bio: Anna Jarzab

Hey guys! I would've posted this yesterday, but Live Journal wouldn't let me for some reason...Cool story, huh? Moving on.

Name: Anna Jarzab
'10 Book Title: ALL UNQUIET THINGS
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Random House

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: In Bamboo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, Kurt Vonnegut wrote that there are eight essential rules for writing a short story (but I think they apply to all fiction), and two of them especially resonate with me.

1. “Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.”
2. “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.”

Favorite and least favorite part of writing: My favorite thing about writing is spending time with my characters in my own head, imagining what they would do in this situation or that situation, feeling what they’re feeling, because it’s like getting to live a bunch of different lives at once. My least favorite thing is revising. Actually, revising isn’t that bad, it’s more the idea that you can never get it absolutely perfect no matter how you try, that you could go on forever if you could only live that long.

Outline or Let it fly? Outline. Since I write mysteries, it’s just easier that way, if I know what the bare-bones plot is going to be before I start. However, I don’t plan out any of the characters’ emotional arcs—those happen more organically.

5 things about me:
1. I live in New York City.
2. I spent most of my childhood in the Chicago suburbs, but moved to California when I was sixteen-years-old.
3. I have my BA in English and BS in Political Science from Santa Clara University. I have my MA in the Humanities from the University of Chicago.
4. ALL UNQUIET THINGS (or AUT, as I call it in my head) was my Master’s thesis at the U of C. The title comes from the third canto of Byron's long narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.
5. I’m unofficially obsessed with the Mitford sisters, and Nancy Mitford’s two comic novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate are two of my favorite books. I’m in the process of building a collection of books by and about the Mitfords.

ALL UNQUIET THINGS Synopsis:

ALL UNQUIET THINGS centers around the murder of teen heiress Carly Ribelli, who was found shot to death a mile from her house in a wealthy Northern California suburb. Carly's uncle, a dissolute alcoholic, was convicted of the crime, but a year later his daughter still doesn't believe her father is guilty. Determined to prove his innocence, Audrey Ribelli contacts Carly's ex-boyfriend, Neily Monroe, the boy who found Carly's body. She is convinced that he knows more than he thinks about the events that led up to Carly's death. Despite Neily's initial reluctance, he and Audrey begin their investigation at the posh private school they attend, identifying prime suspects from among their spoiled classmates and digging up secrets about Carly's past to get to the truth behind her murder.

Bio: Jessica Leader

Name: Jessica Leader

’10 Book Title: NICE AND MEAN

Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Aladdin M!X

Favorite bits of writing advice: Conflict on every page! 

Favorite part of writing: When I’m on a roll with a character. This usually happens when someone is being snarky or feeling sorry for herself.  Oh dear. 

Least favorite: Probably changes every day, but right now, it’s figuring out how to begin. 

Outline or let it fly: The advice to outline jump-started a revision that lead me to my sale, so I’m pretty much an outline gal these days. 

5 Things About Me

1) The coincidence of names. Since seventh grade, I’ve had two close friends who are also named Jess, and together, we are known as The Three Jesses. My mom, pseudo-stepmother and longtime bud are all named Susie, though with three different spellings. As if that weren’t enough to keep straight, my best friend and I call each other Betty. And yes, Paul Simon fans, I also have someone I can call Al. 

2) I taught middle-school English for 6 years. My favorite thing a student ever said was, “Ms. Leader is mad cool. But don’t get on her bad side.” 

3) After growing up in NYC and living there until I was 29, I now live in Louisville, Kentucky. Yes, I miss New York. Every single day. What we do for love...

4) And speaking of love—last spring, after 7 years of dating, my girlfriend and I got engaged! Look, sometimes you just need a little while to be sure about these things. 

5) 
I never win at Apples to Apples, and I feel that this is very unjust. 

NICE AND MEAN synopsis

It’s easy to get pigeon-holed at New York City’s Jane Jacobs Middle School. But there is a way out: getting a video into the arts assembly, which transformed last year’s winners from outcasts into superstars.  Alpha-girl Marina knows that a killer video will help people see past her nickname, “Marina the Hun.” And if her video can take down her so-called best friend and rival? Even better. Sachi, tired of being just another honor-roll Indian girl with pencils to lend, will do anything to get into video class, even lie to her strict parents. 

The vastly different girls are assigned to be partners, and their hopes of fame plummet when they realize they barely speak the same language. They decide to divide and conquer: Marina films a fashion-news show, and Sachi conducts interviews to learn what she longs to know: What makes something popular?

The collaboration barely gets underway when the girls’ deception explodes in their faces. Shunned by family and friends, and thrown out of video, the girls surprise themselves by turning to each other to salvage their project. In the process, they explore the differences between dorkitude, niceness, and popularity, and how to get what you want without destroying your life.

Bio: Cynthia Jaynes Omololu

Name: Cynthia Jaynes Omololu

'10 Book Title: Dirty Little Secrets

Publisher: Walker (Bloomsbury)

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. - E.L. Doctorow

Most and Least Favorite Part of Writing:
The least favorite part is sitting down every day to do it - it's scary not knowing if the voices in your head are going to continue to talk.

The most favorite part is when the voices do talk and they say something amazing.


Outline? Heck no. That would take a longer attention span than I possess. I get a character and a vague idea of what is going to happen. And an ending. I always have an ending, although it doesn't always stay the same. I've recently started using a cool nine-square plotting tool to give me a loose roadmap and that seems to be as close to an outline as I can get.

5 Things About Me:
1. I can ride a unicycle, but I can't juggle.
2. I was 5 foot 10 when I was 12. Great for teenage angst, not so great for dating boys my own age.
3. Despite appearances, my married name isn't Hawaiian, it's Nigerian.
4. I once ran a 5k race in 58 minutes and then threw up on the finish line.
5. I have over 150 snowglobes, but we live in such a small house there's no place to put them.


Dirty Little Secrets Synopsis:
When 16 year-old Lucy comes home to find her mother dead under a stack of National Geographics in their garbage-filled home, she hesitates as she starts to dial 911. She hardly notices the mountains of stuff that fill every available space in the entire house or smells the decay anymore - but she knows the paramedics will, and so will the news cameras that will follow. They’ll notice the garbage and the smell and wonder how anyone ever lived like this. Only freaks live like this.

As she stares at the cell phone, Lucy can already hear the echoes of “Garbage Girl” and picture the look of disgust on everyone’s faces. With a best friend, the perfect boyfriend and a normal life finally within reach, Lucy has to decide how far she’ll go to keep the family secrets safe.



BIO: ALEXA MARTIN PRUIT

Name: Alexa Martin Pruit
'10 Book Title: Untitled...for the moment
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:
The late Lucy Grealy, a teacher of mine at the Bennington Writing Seminars used to say: "You can write a book on just two hours a day." Getting back into the writing game after a long hard slump, two hours a day seemed just doable. Now, of course, I have to spend way more than that (being a v. slow angsty writer). But, I couldn't have gotten back on the horse were it not for that advice. She was wonderful. Read her books. Read the memoir Ann Patchett wrote about her friendship with Lucy.

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing:
Least Favorite: When you've been stuck for god knows how long, and you don't know what the problem is exactly, but you know that "it" is holding up your book, and maybe you try to write anyhow, but deep down you know that you're wasting your time, or even making matters worse, and you start to panic and think that maybe the book is doomed, that maybe you're doomed, that your editor is going to hate you, that it's all going to fall apart like dominoes, and you're going to end up a bitter old person begging for handouts on the street talking about the good old days when you once thought you were a writer.

Favorite: The breakthrough! When you're not doing anything writing related--you're now so deep in your despair and self-pity that you're not even thinking about the book because "why bother?"--and then suddenly, maybe it happens when you're washing dishes, maybe it happens when you're emptying the cats' litter box, you know exactly what your next move should be...and how to execute!

Outline or Let It Fly:
Quote OUTLINE unquote in which, gnashing my teeth, I write a very sketchy summary of what I think needs to happen in each chapter and then ignore most of what I've written later on. Still, feeling like "I have a plan" makes me feel better--even if I do something else.

Five Things About Me:
1). I believe in Kombucha (the nasty tasting but oh-so-good-for-you fermented tea).
2). I've been a passenger in seven car crashes.
3). I belong to three different running groups: One--a group for teen girls (they help me with my book and tell me what to read). Two--a group I host for some very awesome ladies who act like teenagers. Three: a group of ultramarathoners who run insane distances on twisty trails often after dark with headlamps usually in the rain and mud because it's wet and nasty here in Western Washington. They are my stand in writing group, and to get them to understand what I'm going through I make a lot of running metaphors, like "You know how like when you're at mile thirty-one and you're bleeding, and you just threw up, and you're covered with bugs and mud, and you want so badly to quit..." They understand endurance.
4). I don't get mad at my husband anymore when he reads my work and makes "suggestions."
5). I've been a vegetarian since I was thirteen--not quite a vegan, but close.

Book Synopsis:
(This has changed so so so much in recent revision that I need to give it some serious thought--for now, here's what was written in Publishers Marketplace)
UNTITLED is a darkly-comic novel about a high school senior who comes undone following a disastrous collision of first love, performance anxiety, and envy.

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Bio: Brenna Yovanoff

Name: Brenna Yovanoff

'10 Book Title: Fe

Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Putnam)

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:
What you learn from finishing things is how not to drown.

Favorite part of writing:
Hitting those beautiful crests where I really *get* a plot point, or suddenly understand something new and exciting about a character.

Least favorite part of writing:
The frustration of trying to get what's on the page to match up with what's actually in my head.

Outline or Let it fly?:
Um, both? I'm really trying to be one of those people who has an organized idea ahead of time, because I have this theory that it would shave a couple months off my drafting if I started with a plan. However, almost all my character development seems to work better on the fly.

5 things about me:
1. I love survival horror video games
2. And soccer
3. And dresses
4. And over-the-knee socks
5. Did I mention shoes?

FE Synopsis:
Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.

A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

BIO: Guadalupe Garcia McCall


 
 Name: Guadalupe Garcia McCall
 
'10 Book Title: UNDER THE MESQUITE (A novel in verse, formerly known as A Mesquite in the Rose Garden)
 
Publisher: Lee and Low Books (Fall 2010)
 
Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Revise, Revise, Revise! Hug your Editorial Revision Letter.
 
Favorite Part of Writing: Making stuff up! It is so much fun to just pretend to be someone else and let my imagination go wild.
 
Least Favorite Part of Writing: Making stuff up! Sometimes that can be hard too, especially when the cat sprayed your keybord, or your son found an almost naked man in your driveway in the middle of the night, or your neighbor shoots your dog in your yard... you just can't think straight. When reality interferes, in unbelievable, out of this world ways, making stuff up can be downright daunting.
 
Outline or Let It Fly? Ouline. Gotta have a plan. I'm linear. The story unfold too fast in my mind to keep track of it any other way. Plus it's constantly changing (evolving). At first, I write it down no matter where I am, in little pieces of paper if I have to. Later, I use these "notes" to create my outline. If I didn't outline, I'd go mad.
 
Five Things About Me:
 
1.) I was born in Mexico, but we immigrated into the US when I was six. I grew up on the border in Texas. So I can cook authentic Mexican food like there's no tomorrow. My specialty? Mole.
 
2.) I have lots of men in my life. I have a husband, 3 sons, an indoor male dog, and an indoor male cat. The only other female in our home is an outdoor dog, which doesn't count. None of this was intentional. But it does allow me to be their little princess... and that has its benefits.
 
3.) I love teaching middle school. Yes, I said it. I love teaching!!! I get my own little audience all day long.
 
4.) I have five sisters. It was hard growing up in a house full of beautiful women, and that's all I have to say about that.
 
5.) We bought a house and moved to the country to lead the "quiet life" and write poetry in a nice, relaxed atmostphere, but so far we've had more excitement and ridiculous things happen to us than ever before. So, I'm documenting every single occurance in a collection of  poems. It's therapeutic.
 
Synopsis: UNDER THE MESQUITE
 
When Lupita sees Mami crying over a pesky mesquite growing in her rose garden, she knows something is wrong. Through the kitchen window, she overhears that Mami has cancer. After an operation, things seem to return to normal for Lupita and her family, and they go on with their lives, going back and forth between attending school, working, and living in the United States and visiting family and friends in Mexico. However, when Mami’s cancer returns, Papi doesn’t know whether he should accompany Mami during her long convalescence at an out of town cancer clinic or stay home to care for Lupita and her seven brothers and sisters. Suddenly, being a high school student, dealing with difficult friends, starring in the school play, even writing, become less important to Lupita than doing whatever it takes to save Mami’s life.

 

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Bio: Matthew Kirby

Name: Matthew Kirby

'10 Book Title: The Clockwork Three

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Write what you think you can't.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:  My favorite part of writing is the surprise, the moment when I realize or learn something I did not know setting out, but which turns out to be essential to the story.  When the story seems like it's hiding things from me, I know it's taken on the autonomy it needs to succeed.

My least favorite part of writing are revisions.  I hate them.  I don't mind tweaking and fiddling, but if I have to go back and rewrite something, it takes a while to work up the nerve and the resolve.  I do it, because hey, that's the job, but I sure don't like it.

Outline or let it fly? Let it fly, man.  Let it fly.  I did try outlining once, and went off the grid within the first few pages and never looked at the outline again.  Now, I only outline toward the end, the last few chapters, to make sure I work in all the loose threads I plan to tie up.  Otherwise, I like letting the story unfold organically.  It means some false starts and dead ends, but that's just the way my brain works. 

5 Things About Me:

1) I was a Navy brat, so I went to three different elementary schools and three different high schools.  Only one junior high, though.
2) I'm a school psychologist.  Right now I work with elementary school kids.
3) I played Van Helsing in a high school production of Dracula.
4) I wanted to play Dracula.
5) I love to barbecue.  I mean real barbecue.  With live coals.  Real slow.  And lots of smoke.

Book Synopsis: Giuseppe is a busker, wrenched from his brother and sister in Italy and brought to America to play his fiddle on the streets for the ruthless Stephano.  He sees no way to escape, until the day he finds a green violin that plays magical music.  Frederick is an apprentice clockmaker, with a past he chooses not to remember, but which has left him unable to trust anyone.  His need for independence fuels a secret ambition, the drive to create a clockwork like none ever seen.  Hannah is a maid in a grand hotel, working to pay the rent for her family's shabby tenement and keep them off the street.  Her life is one of sacrifice and endless drudgery, until a mysterious guest moves into the topmost suite of the hotel, and Hannah overhears a rumor of hidden treasure.

The lives of the three children soon interlock, like the turning gears in a clock, and they all come to realize that each one holds a key to the mysteries and dangers faced by the others.  Their adventures sweep them across their city, from the shipyards to the opera house, from the depths of the Archer Museum to the opulence of the Gilbert Hotel, from the city's old cemeteries to the darkness of McCauley Park.  Along the way they must learn to trust each other, and in themselves.  For they risk losing those things they hold most dear, and the dangers they face soon become all too real.

bio, Leah Cypess, Shifter

Name: Leah Cypess

'10 Book Title:
No final title yet… originally it was called “Shifter,” but since Harpercollins is publishing another book called “Shifter,” by Janice Hardy (ironically, submitted under a title that wasn’t “Shifter”), that title is going to change.  But we can call it "Shifter" for now.

UPDATED TO ADD: Yay, I have a title! "Shifter" is now "Mistwood."

 

Publisher: Harpercollins/Greenwillow Books

Favorite Books:
Passage (Connie Willis), The King of Attolia (Megan Whalen Turner), Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson), A Great & Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray), The Fairy Rebel (Lynne Reid Banks), Emily of New Moon (L.M. Montgomery), A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin), Daughter of the Forest (Juliet Marillier), Dogsbody (Diana Wynne Jones), The Night of the Solstice (L.J. Smith)… augh, somebody stop me!

 

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: "Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." -- E.L. Doctorow


I am a frighteningly unstructured writer.  When I read about writers who do outlines and actually know the ending of the book before they even start writing it, I tend to wonder if I know what I’m doing. This piece of advice reassures me.

 

Random Info About Me:

I wrote my first story in first grade.  The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).  In high school, I published my first short story, and started submitting my first (completely unpublishable) book to editors.  A mere 15 or so years later, I am finally going to be a published novelist – I am so excited about this!

            In the meantime, I got a degree in biology, became a lawyer, became a “non-practicing” lawyer, got married, moved to Boston, and gave birth to a daughter, who is currently two and a half years old.

 

"Shifter" Synopsis:

            Everyone tells Isabel that she is the Shifter – the ancient shape-shifting creature who has protected the kings of Samorna for centuries.  They need her to be the Shifter.  Prince Rokan risked everything when he rode into her forest to summon her to his side; Dakkin, the handsome magician's apprentice, has devoted his life to studying her legend; and even Princess Clarisse, who fears and hates her, depends on Isabel's powers to further her own plans.

But Isabel doesn't feel like the Shifter.  She feels like a lonely human girl, beset by flashes of memory that do more to confuse than to help her.  If she is the Shifter, why can't she change her shape?  Why doesn't she remember what made her flee the castle so many years ago?  As she is drawn deeper into a web of magic and assassination, Isabel will have no choice but to look for answers. But her search will lead her to the one question the Shifter hasn't faced in a thousand years: where does she come from, and what does she really want?

Bio: Blythe Woolston

Name: Blythe Woolston

'10 Book Title: FREAK OBSERVER

Publisher: Carolrhoda 

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:Offer your experience as your truth.” (Pauline Oliveros via U. K. LeGuin)

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing:

Favorite: Writing is like reading, and I like to read. 

Least Favorite: N/A

Outline or Let it fly? Bricolage and duct tape.

5 Things About Me:

1. According to my parents, I was late to talk, indifferent to affection, and attractive to rattlesnakes.

2. After being wrongly punished when I was two, I found half a chocolate bar in the dust under a sewing machine. I have believed in justice ever since.

3. When I was a teacher I had a reputation for throwing chalk and having bad aim. My teaching evaluations were high. I forbade my students to mention that I bribed them with gingerbread.

4. Cubone is my favorite Pokémon. This has been pretty darn handy in social situation involving boys of a certain age.
5. I read books for a living.

.

FREAK OBSERVER Synopsis:

High school, heartbreak, a miserable job, and a family as happy as sack full of wet cats--anyone can cope with that. But add hallucinations to the mix and you’ve got either a craptastic life or a serious puzzle to crack.

FREAK OBSERVER is a realistic YA novel set in contemporary rural Montana. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that the narrative structure is not straight-forward and the book is rife with ambiguity. It is lacking in prom dresses and predictability, but it is rich in theoretical physics, murdered chickens, and an unusual and resilient main character...Loa Lindgren. 

She’s spent sixteen years getting by on duct tape, guts, and ingenuity. She has a boot load of gumption and the problem solving skills she's sharpened in physics and computer programming. She also has a crippling case of PTSD and a plan to deal with it. She's determined to debug her own short-circuiting brain. If she keeps her eyes open and her neurons busy, there will be less chance for her imagination to brew up nightmares and panic attacks--and she will understand what it means to be a Freak Observer who identifies pattern and beauty in chaos.

Bio: Lindsay Eland

Name: Lindsay Eland

'10 Book Title: Scones and Sensibility

Publisher:
Egmont-US

Favorite bit of writing advice
: People who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Favorite part of writing: I love to revise. No wait, I ADORE revising. That's not it...Okay I'm obsessive about revision. I love to play around with my manuscript, tweak things, and hopefully make something I've written better.

Least favorite part of writing: The first draft. Yikes, it's painful for me to finish. I think it's kind of like a seventh grade dating thing. I am so excited and enthralled about a new idea that I'm crazy about getting my thoughts on paper. That lasts for maybe the first...um...twenty pages or so. After that, I'm thinking of excuses to not write or even look at it. Hmm, I wonder what they're saying on the Blueboards...I wonder if there are any deals on ebay...the carpet looks very dirty today. But I'm crazy committed so I finish it up one painful paragraph at a time. My other least favorite part is commas and apostrophes...I'm HORRIBLE with them. Most every word that ends in an "s" get's (see!) an apostrophe and my manuscripts tend to look like 150 pages of lists.

Five Things about moi:

#1: I have four wonderful kids ages: 7, 6, 5, 4. And no, I am not crazy, though I am crazy in love with them! As a stay-at-home mom of these growing munchkins, I have also turned into the Rest Time Dictator, hence the reason I am able to write more than a grocery list for the store.

#2: I think cream cheese is what heaven is made of. And honestly, I don't think any food on the planet would taste bad if you mixed a spoonful of this holy creaminess into it.

#3: I can't stand losing on ebay. Really, I hate it. I don't consider myself a competative person at all, but don't you dare try to outbid me on a Ponyville set for my daughter. I once (almost) spent 45.00 dollars on a playschool mini jeep for one of my sons...lucky for me, I lost. But HA! I wish I could've been there when the winner had to tell her husband...so I guess in a way, I did win.

#4: I've had my nose pierced for seven and half years. I forget I have it until I hold a little baby and they attempt to pick it off. Ouch! I also have only had long hair once in my life.

#5: I cry every single time I read the last line of Mo Willems picture book, Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct

#6: I hate the sound of someone eating a banana...it's revolting. But the sound of gravel under my feet is almost as heavenly as cream cheese...(but cream cheese on gravel would most likely taste amazing)

#7: I'm computer illiterate. I'm really terrible with all things like this and most likely this is going to be posted in the wrong place, so please, if I need to redo something...HELP!

Okay...just one more...can you tell I'm long-winded?

#8: I'm convinced that the world would be a happier place if we all talked with an English accent

Outline or Let it Fly?
Well, actually, I'm a fly by the seat for the first twenty pages (see above "Dislikes) and then I realize I don't have any idea what I'm doing so I outline. I love outlining, which is another way I like to procrastinate on writing the first draft. "Should I use bullets, dashes or roman numerals? Hmmm...what number does XI actually stand for?"

Synopsis:

Alas, to speak thus of Polly's story would require much more time allotted here, but I shall make a gallant attempt. At the blossoming age of thirteen, Polly Madassa is anything but a material girl living in a material world. On the contrary, though she lives in our contemporary world, Polly is certain she was born for a more romantic time. Her heroines are the lovely Anne of Green Gables and the charming Elizabeth Bennet. So upon finishing up that glorious work of fiction Pride and Prejudice, Polly is convinced that her true calling is to bring lovers in her small beach town together...whether they like it or not. For wasn't it she who introduced the bull dog down the road to the Dalmation across the street? And what better way to bring two people together than a chocolate croissant or fresh baked scone from her family's own bakery?
She is certain that, just like Elizabeth and Anne, she will not fail...but when you're matchmaking for your sixteen-year-old sister, your best friends father, and the "plump" lady down the street, life turns out to be much more complicated than in a book.

Bio: Greg van Eekhout

Name: Greg van Eekhout

'10 Book Title: KID VS. SQUID

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's USA

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Writers write.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:
Favorite: Similes. A good simile is like the peperoni on a pizza.
Least Favorite: Struggling to figure out What Happens Next.

Outline or Let it fly?: I like to work off a loose outline that gives me some points to shoot toward but leaves me plenty of room to improvise. Oh, who am I kidding? I'd *love* to be a tight outliner, but my brain hasn't learned to write tight outlines.

5 things about me:
1. I tie my shoes wrong. Watch me sometime. It's painful.
2. In traffic, I'm the person in the car next to you, singing his brains out.
3. The only kind of exercise I can stand is martial arts.
4. I believe the best toy ever was the 2-XL robot. Or maybe the 8-inch Mego Aquaman action figure. Or maybe Lego. Or Baron Karza of the Micronauts. I'm not sure, actually. They ought to fund a study.
5. My favorite member of the X-Men is Nightcrawler. BAMF!

KID VS. SQUID Synopsis:
Evil sorcery. A head in a box. Jellyfish boys. Nasty pizza. These are just some of the threats faced by Thatcher Hill and his friends, superhero-in-training Trudy McGee, and Princess Shoal, heir to the throne of sunken Atlantis.

This wasn't the summer vacation Thatcher was expecting. He was supposed to be traveling through Asia with his parents. Instead, he finds himself stuck in the small beach town of Las Huesas, California, helping his great-uncle Griswald run a seaside freak museum. His companions are a headless mummy, the FeeJee Mermaid, and the What-Is-It???, a sealed box containing the sleeping head of the ancient, evil witch whose curse sunk the legendary city of Atlantis. And when the head is stolen, Thatcher finds himself entwined in an epic battle to save himself, his friends, the survivors of the lost city, and possibly the entire coast of California.

Bio: Jen Nadol

Name:  Jen Nadol

'10 Book Title:  THE MARK

Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children's Books

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice:  Writers write.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:
Least:  Getting started.  Not first-page started, but every day, sitting at the computer, putting words on the screen.  Once I get going, I'm good, but that initial push to stop procrastinating is always tough.  Hence, my fave writing advice - have to remind myself often. 
Favorite:  Just about everything else!

Outline or let it fly?
Somewhere in between.  Loose outline, I guess.  I always know the beginning, the end, and a few key things that happen in between.  

5 things about me:
1.  The best thing I learned in high school was how to type.
2.  When I was five, I wished Catwoman was my mother.  My real mom is much cooler and does not wear spandex.
3.  My parents are each one of eight kids and I have twenty-eight cousins.  There's always someone to play poker with when I go home.
4.  I once wore a 50s prom dress to school inside-out.  I thought it was very Madonna.  My friends still make fun of me.
5.  I have always wanted to be a writer.

THE MARK Synopsis:
Sixteen year-old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back.

The one time she pointed it out taught her not to do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant.  Until the day she watches a man die.  Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death.  Not how or where, only when: today.

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret.  How does the mark work?  Why her?  Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?



Bio: Jackie Morse Kessler

Name: Jackie Morse Kessler

'10 Book Title: HUNGER


Publisher: Harcourt Graphia

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: You can't fix what you don't write.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite: Writing emotional scenes. Love it when the tensions are high and the blood is pounding. Words just pour out when I'm tuned into a character's emotions.
Least Favorite: Writing description. Really now, I don't care what the room looks like--what are the characters doing?

Outline or Let it fly?:
I used to just Let It Fly--and that is how I wrote HUNGER. But when I plan a book ahead of time, I like to have a basic outline to serve as a roadmap. Hey, just because you know what happens at Point A and what happens at Point B, how you get to Point B can still be surprising.

5 things about me
1. I have a Loving Husband, two Precious Little Tax Deductions, and one grumpy Officekitty who loves to steal my chair. (That's okay; my kids steal my dragons.)
2. Speaking of dragons, I collect them. (But my kids keep stealing them, so my collection is really tiny.)
3.
I used to think I was 5' tall exactly. But recently, I discovered that I'm actually 4'11.5". Either I'm shrinking, or the nurse who measured me was feeling particularly sadistic. Either is a possibility.
4. I have recently become vegetarian, with vegan tendencies. Tried going completely vegan, but that was a wash. (No one is making me give up my chocolate. No. One.)
5. I have a lot of comic books. I used to have a lot more, but I had to pitch 1,000 after our basement flooded. There was sadness in Kesslerville that day. (And not just because our basement flooded.)

HUNGER Synopsis:
An anorexic teenage girl becomes the new Famine of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (Yep. That's it. Once I get jacket copy, I'll update the synopsis.)

A portion of HUNGER proceeds will be donated to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Bio: Kody Keplinger

Name: Kody Keplinger

'10 Book Title:
 THE DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

Publisher:
 Little Brown/Poppy

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Don't write to publish. Write because you love it.

Favorite and Least Favorite Part of Writing:
I love getting to know my characters, and I really, really loathe writer's block. Don't we all?

Outline or Let it Fly?: I totally just let it fly. When I hit the last few chapters, I outline a little, but I have been in the middle of books before without knowing how I wanted to end it. I'm super character driven. Plot is second to me.

Five Things About Me:


1.) I'm a new college freshman majoring in Writing at Ithaca College.
2.) I'm a HUGE fan of Paramore. They are my all-time favorite band.
3.) My favorite movie is Cruel Intentions. OMG, isn't it brilliant?
4.) My celebrity crush is Ed Westwick, aka Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl. He is amazing!
5.) I was born legally blind in both eyes. So my vision is really bad, but not completely non-existent.

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca knows she’s the Duff (the designated ugly, fat friend). So when Wesley, a notorious womanizer, approaches her at a party she knows he wants to score with one—or both—of her hot friends. God, the man-whore’s arrogance really pisses her off! But Bianca needs to escape from some personal drama, like her mom’s abandonment and her dad’s denial, and a steamy fling with Wesley seems like the perfect distraction. Bianca makes it clear she’s only using Wesley, as if he cares. He’ll sleep with anything that moves after all. Unfortunately, the enemies-with-benefits plan totally backfires.

When her mom files for divorce and her father stumbles into a downward spiral of drinking and depression, Wesley proves to be a surprisingly good listener, and Bianca finds out that his family is pretty screwed up, too. As sickening as it sounds, she has to admit that she and Wesley are a lot alike. Soon she becomes jealous of the pretty girls he flirts with and his cocky grin begins to grow on her. Suddenly Bianca realizes—with absolute horror—that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated.

Bio: Tara Kelly

Name: Tara Kelly

'10 Book Title: HARMONIC FEEDBACK

Publisher: Henry Holt BYR

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: I wrote this motto on every page of my notebooks in junior high and it has inspired me ever since: There is no limit to the imagination.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing:

Favorite:

1. Dialogue is rad. I even love editing it down so it has the perfect amount of snap and gives away just enough about my characters. Seriously, I'd be happy writing a book that consists of nothing but chat conversations. But I won't...at least not entirely.

2. Character development--I love letting my characters shape the story and create their own conflicts.

3. I'm also a huge sucker for romance scenes. But shh--don't tell anyone!

Least favorite:

1. Setting. I admit--I'm a setting skimmer. Even as a reader, I tend to gloss over the description of the town to get to the dialogue and action.

2. Writing any kind of synopsis. Do I really need to explain why? =)

Outline or Let it fly? Let it fly and then trim and shape like crazy.

5 things about me:

1. I'm a one-girl band, and I love the creative freedom. I sing, play guitar, bass, keyboards and produce. I played drums in high school, but I'm definitely a melody feign.

2. My debut novel was inspired by my younger brother who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD. I also have ADHD--which is kind of like the halfway point between NT and Asperger's. Or so I've been told. If I've learned anything about these acronyms, it's that one size will never fit all.

3. I graduated from UCSC with a degree in Film and Digital Media, and I'm currently a freelance web designer and music producer. I've been a graphic designer for the news, a teacher at an art college, a Mac (the computer) specialist, and a video editor. Before graduating college, I was a technical recruiter and a legal assistant. What can I say, I like variety.

4. Despite my lust for all that is artistic, writing was my first love and will always come first. The rest is inspiration.

5. I don't have kids, but I love my two cats and my bf(and his two cats) dearly. They make my house a warm and comfy place to write.

Synopsis:

Doctors have pinned 16-year-old Drea Horvath with everything from ADHD to Asperger’s Syndrome. She has an obsession with sound design, a tendency to blurt out whatever she’s thinking, and a problem making friends, but likes to think of this as following her own rhythm in a confusing world.

Drea is hesitant to befriend purple-haired Naomi Quinn, her teenage neighbor with a kamikaze personality. But Naomi is the first person to treat her like she isn’t a world class dork. Then there’s Justin Rocca, the persistent boy in her film class who has a comeback for every snide remark she makes. If she has learned anything from her mom, it’s that boys are trouble.

Still, Drea bonds with both of them when she discovers Naomi's love for drums and Justin's piano prodigy status, and the three form a trip-hop band. Fearing that her new friends will find out about her disabilities, Drea makes up stories about boyfriends she never had--all in an effort to seem 'normal'. Then Justin reveals a disturbing secret about his past, and Naomi runs away with her drug dealer ex-boyfriend--a guy she swore she'd cut out of her life. When Drea finds Naomi unconscious in an abandoned house, she questions what 'normal' really means.

Bio: Jaclyn Dolamore

Hi everybody! Heidi let me join although there is a CHANCE my book could get bumped up to '09. I just got the offer a few weeks ago, though, and 2009 seems way too soon, so I think I'm pretty safe. ^_^ I am just excited to be here!

Name
Jackie Dolamore (It will be Jaclyn on the book cover, though, as my friends agree that sounds more "authoress"-like.)

'10 Book Title
Magic Under Glass

Publisher
Bloomsbury

Favorite Bit of Writing Advice
I guess if I had to pick one "bit", it's, stay true to yourself, and don't forget to have fun.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing
My favorite part is when the character relationships feel real and the characters develop a good rapport with each other...as family, friends, or best of all, a romantic couple. ^_^ I like being a writer because I can get those first-love jitters again and again with my characters! And then, of course, I get to torture them, which is the other side of the fun.

My least favorite part of writing are the frequent bouts of irrational neurosis about one thing or another.

Outline or Let it fly?
I used to not outline. Back when I never finished anything. I've found I have to outline, at least a little, to get anything done. I always deviate from the outline, but I consider it like wandering off the trail versus not having a trail to begin with.

5 things about me

1. I work at a health food store, where I have learned a LOT about healthy food and cooking, and it fanned the fire of what was already a burgeoning food obsession. I love to cook. I use it to lure people into friendship with me. ;-) Hearty Eastern European fare and Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese, are my favorite.

2. I was homeschooled, largely unschooled, through my childhood, which means rather than having structured education my mom just let my younger sister and I play or read or whatever. I read several books a day and sometimes we spent the entire day in one big involved pretend game. I maintain that boredom is very good for children! It stretched my creative muscles. I didn't go to college either. Thank goodness for the library.

3. I am a thrift store addict and I collect vintage clothes, especially late 50s/early 60s dresses and 70s jackets, men's shoes and pants. I wore a real 1920s wool bathing suit for Halloween last year, and sometimes I wear neckties. Still working up the guts to wear hats with jaunty feathers.

4. At one point I thought I'd be a comic book artist/writer. I love to draw my characters. At some point I realized I don't have the patience for art, though. Especially backgrounds. Ugh.

5. Every book I write needs a soundtrack, and every soundtrack needs a David Bowie song.

Magic Under Glass Synopsis

Magic steeps the gas-lit lanes of New Sweeling, where Nimira is a foreign singer, paid barely enough to survive. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to accompany a piano-playing clockwork automaton, she thinks her savior has arrived.

Hollin may treat her with the kindness and respect she's yearned for, but buried secrets stir--including a rumor he may have murdered the former head of the Sorcerers' Council on the brink of a peace treaty with the fairies. Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break his curse. As Nimira and Erris fall into a love that seems hopeless, Nimira must uncover the truth behind the councilman's disappearance, or not just her fate, but all the magical world may be in peril...

Bio: Karen Healey

Yay! I get to do this now!

Name: Karen Healey
'10 Book: GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD
Publisher: Little, Brown (US/UK); Allen & Unwin (Australia and New Zealand)

Favourite Writing Advice:

When I was about 11 or 12, I went to a writing workshop with Gaelyn Gordon, whose work I adored. She looked through my carefully typed portfolio and wrote some very nice things, but the thing that stuck was "KEEP WRITING". She underlined it several times, so I thought it must be important.

Favourite Part of Writing:

I like revising. Possibly there's something wrong with me. But I really like getting into all the bits that I knew were shitty and broken or far too cute on the first hectic draft and either ruthlessly slashing or working them over into something useful and clean. Of course, when it doesn't work, it's a pain.

Least Favourite Part:

Having to finish the first horrible draft when I know it's horrible, and can only persevere by chanting "You'll make it in revision. You'll make it in revision."

Outline or Let It Fly?

I usually have some vague idea of beginning point and destination in mind, and let fly at the latter from the former, stopping to acquire directions on the way. In my co-written work, my partner and I talk through plot very thoroughly, but even there we tend to be writing while we're doing it.

5 Things About Me

1) I'm a New Zealander living in Australia (I wrote GUARDIAN in Japan).

2) I wrote my MA thesis on an internet porn site. I'm currently writing my PhD on superhero comics.

3) I also write about superhero comics when I'm not getting paid, for feminist comics site Girl-Wonder.org: my blog is called Girls Read Comics (And They're Pissed).

4) I have just discovered the most incredible recipe for cashew and chocolate chip cookies.

5) I didn't realise I was writing a horrible, gruesome novel until I had finished, and people started praising it for being creepy and terrifying. Then I was all, "Oh, yeah! I guess there are some bits where people get eaten."


GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD synopsis:

Ellie Spencer thought that her parents dumping her in a boarding school for her final year of high school while they tripped around the world had given her ordinary problems - no freedom, no partying, no decent vegetarian food. Then she encounters the chilling Reka Gordon, whose interest in Ellie's best friend is neither healthy nor human, and her problems are suddenly extraordinary.

Ellie has stumbled into an ancient conflict between humankind and the mist-dwelling creatures of Maori myth, and it's coming to a terrible climax that threatens to destroy her home, her people, and her land. With her newly discovered abilities and the aid of the secretive (and distractingly attractive) Mark, can she do anything to stop the coming disaster? When she's seen a taniwha in the Avon River, a woman in the moon, and the Guardian of the Dead in her underworld sanctuary, almost anything seems possible; but averting the death of millions might just be too much.

Bio: Erin Bow

Name:  Erin Bow

'10 Book Title:  PLAIN KATE

Publisher:  Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic

Favorite bit of writing advice:
Ribe Tuckus.  (Most of writing is the ability, courage, or muleheaded stubborness to sit and look at a page until something happens.) 

Favorite part of writing:  Surprising myself.   It doesn't happen often enough, but sometimes, if you keep pushing, if you go beyond where you thought you should stop, something amazing happens, seemingly all by itself.  And sometimes you have to hit select all/delete.

Least favorite part of writing: 
Wrist pain.  And the feeling you get when you hit page 78 and realize you just can't tell this story anymore. 

Outline or Let it fly?:  Let it fly!  I never know what's going on in my stories, and I like it that way.  It astounds me that outlining works for people.  But, alas, right now I'm outlining, because I have to write a book proposal, and because the new book has time travel in it and so I have to know the whole story before I can tell it.  


Five things about me:


1.  I have a deeply useless degree in particle physics and worked briefly at CERN and at Los Alamos National Labs.  But not the bomb making part.  That's important. 

2.  I've been officially excommunicated from the Catholic Church (Lincoln, Nebraska diocese) for campaigning for the ordination of women.  Fortunately, I don't live in Lincoln (anymore) so this, like having a book banned in Alabama, is a point of pride. 

3.  I  am working on a book of new translations of lyric poems by Catullus and Ovid, and another book of autobiographical haibun.  Because just plain poetry isn't obscure enough!  (My poetry is published under my maiden name, Erin Noteboom.) 

4.  I'm an American living in Canada, where I now have citizenship.  Because just plain Canadian isn't obscure enough!

5.  I'm married to another YA writer, James Bow, and we have two girls:  Vivi (born in 2005) and Nora (born in 2008).


About PLAIN KATE:

In a market town by a looping river there lived an orphan girl called Plain Kate ....

Kate's is a colorful world of brokenhearted magicians, wandering gypsy clans, carved charms and stolen shadows.  It's a dark world of ghosts, fog and questions.  It's a dangerous world of witch burnings, persecution and plague.  Her story is a coming-of-age story, a story about friendship and family, trust and betrayal, loyalty and bravery, death and what lies beyond.  Also, there's a talking cat in it.  

A Russian-flavored historical fantasy for ages 12 and up. 

Bio for NH Senzai


Name: N.H. Senzai
'10 Book Title: SHOOTING KABUL

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Dig within yourself and write what you know, you’ll surprise yourself!
Favorite and least favorite part of writing: 

Favorite:  Believe it or not, doing research. I love finding out the history, back-story and details of what I’m writing about, and although I may only use 5% of it in my book, the journey of discovering new information is immensely satisfying.
Least Favorite: Checking grammar. I was an Accounting and Business major… I still don’t know what a dangling participle is. But the good news is that I have an excellent critique group with two English majors – Woo hoo!
Outline or Let it fly?: I am a big time outliner and plotter. Okay, so I’m a bit anal (it’s the accountant in me) but I have dozens of spreadsheets outlining chapters, character development, subplots and elements I’m using in a book. BUT I’m always open to change, so if my character decides he is now a girl instead of a boy, or the plot needs a radical twist, I accommodate it into my outlines.

5 things about me
1. At age four I moved to Jubail, Saudi Arabia from San Francisco when my father, a civil engineer, was transferred for work. I lived there 10 years, made tons of friends, ate camel meatloaf, camped on the beach with my girl scout troop and had a blast.
2. I went to a boarding school in London, England, wore a navy, itchy blue uniform and was voted “Most Likely to Lead Literary Revolution” (Mostly because I was reading comic books and romance novels when I was supposed to be analyzing Anna Karenina, doing calculus problems and distilling compounds in chemistry.)
3. I love to cook and own over 300 cookbooks. Most of my favorites deal with dessert..(Sshhh... I have sweet tooth and a secret desire to become a pastry chef.)
4. I’ve sailed down the Nile, through Cairo, past the Pyramids, the Temple of Luxor and swam with barracudas in the red sea.
5. I am an Intellectual Property Consultant in Silicon Valley by day and help companies and inventors figure out what to do with their patents. A few of the technologies I’ve worked on are: hybrid cars, plastic packaging, car seat warmers, fireworks, cell phones, meat processing, MRI machines and robots.
SHOOTING KABUL Synopsis:

In early 2001, Fadi and his family hide in a sheltered teashop on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Staring at the full moon, Fadi recalls the first line of the tattered book he found in the black-market, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler -

 “Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away...”

Fadi hopes that his family’s escape will be successful - if they arent', they're going to be in an awful lot of trouble. As the truck rolls into pick them up, the Taliban show up, and in the chaos, Fadi’s younger sister, Mariam, is left behind. Settled in the United States as refugees, in a post 9/11 environment, Fadi tries every hare-brained scheme he can think of to find his sister. As he waits to hear if he’s won the grand prize of a photography competition, which would allow them to travel back to the border to look for Mariam, he wonders if he’ll see his beloved younger sister again.

Shooting Kabul is about the power of hope, love and perseverance.


 

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