New WIP

Dear readers. Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I wrote a novel. I queried that novel and got…nothing. Ah well, so it goes. The novel was good, but it wasn’t great. It was kind of trope-city, and it certainly didn’t stand out in a crowded genre. I wasn’t heartbroken that the book didn’t get any bites. After all, I’ve only got a zillion other projects to work on, right?

But the thing I couldn’t let go of was these characters. Theses characters were, if I do say so myself, amazing. I was utterly in love with them, and in particular, their relationship with one another. So I started thinking…if I knew the issue was the story, and the trope-y-ness, why not write them a new story?

And then, on January 8, while listening to Lights “Muscle Memory” on repeat (yes, I’m obsessed with this song. Go listen to it now) I found that new story idea.

And now, dear readers. Now I’m almost 30K into this new book.

I can’t even tell you how excited I am about it. Does it still have tropes? Of course, they’re difficult to get away from, and some of them I just plain like. It still has princesses in ballgowns, and swordfighting, and typical High Fantasy creatures (unicorns instead of dragons, this time). But this story passes the Bechdel test. It has gender equality and diversity, things I didn’t realize I wasn’t writing until I got on Twitter. And it has an awful lot more standing in the way of our heroine and hero finding their HEA, making it a more exciting story.

Will this be the book that lands me an agent? Who knows. But at 30K, I know that I love, love, love this story and whether or not it ever gets published, I know that writing it is the right choice for me.

So what are you all working on that you’re excited about?

Oh Hi 2015 + Six Things I Did/Learned in 2014

On my last blog post, I apologized for not posting in a month. That was in December of 2013. It’s been more than a year since then, so I think it’s officially safe to say that I’m the worst blogger ever. I will say that this whole blogging thing does not come naturally to me. Like most authors, I’m a bit of an introvert, and struggle with the balance between sharing too much and not enough information. But that’s no excuse! And so, dear readers, I promise to try (try!) to be a better blogger from now on.

So, to kick off my return to blogging, I want to share with you six things I did and/or learned in 2014! And oh boy, some of them are BIG.

1. I learned the importance of Twitter. The fact that so many people in the publishing industry, from writers to agents to editors, all congregate on one form of social media, and talk about issues relevant to the industry, still blows my mind. The wealth of information, people, and resources is magnificent. There are authors on Twitter who regularly schedule events, called “Pitch Events/Parties” that help us un-agented, un-published writers, to connect with agents and editors. Agents and editors use the hashtag #MSWL to post exactly what they’re looking for. And the supportive community among all authors, agented or not, is incredible.

Of course it has its downside as well. Twitter is on the internet (I know, shocking!), which means it’s open to everyone. Which means it’s permanent. If you publicly step out of line, or make a fool of yourself, people are going to notice – and remember. Luckily my personal experience has been nothing but positive, but I’ve seen others crash and burn, and it’s difficult to watch.

2. I got a new Critique Partner. I’m still working with my amazing CP, Daniel Wheatley, who recently secured representation for his fantastic, diverse, YA fantasy THE ZANNA FUNCTION, but I also started working with the lovely Joanna Meyer, who writes stunning YA literary fantasy. We met on Twitter about a year ago (happy anniversary dear!!) and quickly became fast friends. Now I don’t know what I would do without her (forgive me, I’m still in the honeymoon phase even a year later).

3. I revised and started querying the MS I was finishing up last December. I’m not going to talk about how it’s going, because part 3b is that I learned it isn’t polite to discuss the querying process. But I will say that I adore this manuscript and I’m very hopeful that it will find a nice home.

4. I did NaNoWriMo for the first time, and won! The MS I wrote was a YA High Fantasy retelling of Swan Lake. Right now I’m polishing, before I send it off to my CPs for the start of revisions!

5. My husband and I bought a house. This was a big one, as you can imagine. We moved out of the tiny little house we were renting in Baltimore, and moved to a bigger house in a tiny little town outside of York, PA. We did this because….

6. I discovered I was expecting and subsequently gave birth to my first child! So obviously that was a big deal. My daughter Lyra was born at 8:40 AM on September 4th. She’s now four months old, and the light of my life. As you might imagine, crossfit kind of went out the window, and while I miss my flat stomach and superior strength, I wouldn’t trade my little girl for anything!

So clearly I had a busy 2014! And I’m looking forward to an even more busy 2015! What about you guys?