Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Hello all! 

Victoria here. Many of you might know me from my LJ account of the same name (veschwab). This is my attempt to conquer another--I mean, to create a more accessible blog. For now, at least, I will be cross-posting my Livejournal entries here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I feel like the pied piper...

...only without the music.

All I have is a new blog and the plea that you like me enough to follow me there, and the promise that I'll stay put. At first I set out to conquer the internet, and now I must condense my efforts :p


Pretty please, follow me? Would it help if I told you it was my birthday? Maybe?

Well, I'm playing my pipes and wandering over here, if you'd be kind enough to follow. There will be cupcakes in the morning, I can tell you that. Well, PICTURES of cupcakes, anyway :)

Friday, July 2, 2010




I have been editing this book for 9.5 months. Longer than a pregnancy. It has been A JOURNEY. My editor has been challenging, and motivating, and inspiring. My agent has put up with many spazzing emails.


I am planning a WEEK O' DEBAUCHERY. It involves booze, and cupcakes, and sleep. That's how I roll.



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are you ready for a story?

To have a little fun, we've got a Round Robin story going on this week at the YA Rebels. I love it because we all have such different methods of storytelling. Here's my part below, and you can find Tuesday's, which precedes it, below:

Please ignore the fact I wrote this around midnight after a VERY long day, a week with too little sleep, and an impending final exam this morning.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

And now, your lesson for the day: When all else fails, trust in the simple act of writing to relieve the weight.

I've been REALLY stressed lately. If you follow me, well, ANYWHERE online you probably noticed. And the frustration/exasperation/temper was getting worse and worse and I couldn't figure out what I needed to do to relieve it. And then I sat down, and wrote. And just like that, the stress began to bleed away. It's the simplest reminder that this is what I'm meant to do. This is what I'm made to do. It's so easy to forget that all this stuff that surrounds writing, the industry, the (mostly awesome) people, what it all comes down to, what's at its absolute center, is WRITING.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh don't mind that, it's just my jaw on the floor...(books I love)

So, you might have noticed, I don't actually talk about books often on here.

I talk about my TBR pile, but almost NEVER review. There's a reason. I am the Russian judge of the book world. I am so super picky, and anything from bad writing to a familiar plot will turn me off a book. A lacking ending is the worst offense, but poor craft is pretty darn close. The number of books I love is small (but man when I love a book I will shout it from the rooftops).

So let's talk about three books I love, one's been out for almost 15 years, one just came out this year, and one isn't out yet.

NEVERWHERE. Neil Gaiman.

So I'm a little behind. This came out in 1996 and I just finished listening to it driving to and from classes. Oh. My. So, my love of Gaiman is nothing new, and just a few months back I talked about how THE GRAVEYARD BOOK was one of my all-time favorites. This book had me similarly in awe. Perhaps it's because I've been in edits and am thus hyper-attentive to the writing/craft and the world-building/rules, but I found this book to be SPECTACULAR, from the amazingly horrific bad guys down to little details. One of my favorite elements was a major plot element, established in only TWO sentences. It was so cleanly done, I might have paused the CD to marvel. Love love love abounds from my corner for this master.

BEFORE I FALL. Lauren Oliver.
I was so, so happy to see this book have SUCH a strong debut, since I had read an ARC and been amazed by the depth and complexity of the characters. The only way I can describe them is REAL. The most real I have ever found fictional people to be. Beautiful craft and compelling narrative make this one of those books I hock on street corners and in YA aisles of bookstores.

INFINITE DAYS. Rebecca Maizel.
Wow. Okay, so this book comes out this summer. It's a vampire book, and yet it is SO incredibly refreshing. Once again, beautiful language, engrossing plot, and a wonderful attention to detail made this book a DELIGHT. I am actually considering re-reading (and I almost NEVER re-read, no time, but that's how much I loved it). Put this one on your lists, people. LOVED.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Advice: The GOOD and the BAD.

This week on the YA Rebels we're talking ADVICE. Of the good AND the bad variety.

I also polled the interwebs to see what they had to say, too.

Deb Harkness: Best: write every day. Worst: write every day. Sad, but true! Sometimes, the words are just stuck and it's better to take a walk!

Paul Greci: Best advice: Never give up. Worst advice: Don't even start.

Shelley Watters: Best: From Colleen Lindsay a month is like a minute in publishing. Worst: Publishing is luck and who you know, not how well you can write.

Maria Sweet: Worst: worst advice EVER I've been given regarding writing/publishing was to query before I finished a MS and to query even if what I have is only one chapter.

Sara Winters: BEST: To listen to the characters and not worry about everything so much. Let the first draft write itself.

Christopher Morris: Best: Write drunk, Edit sober- Hemingway.

Angela Cerrito: Best: From Markus Zusak "put something unexpected on every page", From Kathleen Duey "keep going, don't stop, be true to your story"...

Kristi Cook: I think the very best advice I've ever gotten is that the very best thing you can do for your career is to simply write more--rather than driving yourself nuts and wasting all your energy trying to promote a book, you're better served concentrating on writing the *next* book, and the next, and the next. Good writing is the best "promotion" there is.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Write Down, Sell Out.

Almost everyone who writes YA/MG gets asked at some point when they're going to go on and write "real" books. It's almost like a rite of passage, that question, along with first bad review, etc.

But I've stopped being asked that. Or at least, the question has given way to a NEW question.

Me: I write YA.
Them: Oh, that was a smart choice, because that's where all the money is.

Well, two things.

1. Obviously it isn't a question, but it's a STATEMENT OF WORTH, if you will, which puts it in with the first question.

2. It seems on the surface less offensive. But it bothers me me.

It makes the assumption that I write what I write because of the money. That my writing YA was a CALCULATED move to get rich (much like my teacher telling all the students that genre fiction was created using a mad-lib format, easy money, so we should all quit school and go fill in the blanks). It also shows an ignorance about the industry, the super-saturation that makes YA even more competitive right now, the real reasons to write YA, the merits of well-written YA...it blankets all of these with the insinuation that I WRITE YA BECAUSE IT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS.

And I think that bothers me worse. But of course it's not an either/or, is it? I still get asked the first question regularly enough, so now I'm accused of BOTH writing down AND selling out.


You know what? I adore writing YA. I write it because it inspires me, because the readers inspire me, because the community inspires me. I could sit here and explain, parse out every motive I have for writing what I do the way I do. But I won't. I don't NEED to. Because the people who matter, the ones who read this blog, they already understand. They get it. You get it.