Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Wants You to be INSPIRED.



If you can't see, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Day in the Writing Life...

Hey all!

I'm over at the Elevensies (2011 debuts) site today, talking about a day in my writing life. There's dogs, vlogs, and gummy vites. Stop by if you get a chance and say hello/lurk/show some love :)


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Wednesday Puts the Pieces Together.

This week on the YA Rebels we're talking about how we get our ideas, and for some reason I kind skirted that question and instead talked about what I do with my little ideas once I have them :p

You should watch, because I actually committed to an analogy for once!

If you can't watch, click HERE!

So my question to you all is, how do YOUR stories start?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On Chocolate.

I was going to do a really deep post on subjectivity. I even started writing it. But then I realized I had something more pressing to discuss. CHOCOLATE.

Laugh if you will, but chocolate plays a big role in my writing. If you ever saw my very first YA Rebels vlog, I showed the world (or at least the 7 people watching the YAR that first week) my chocolate DRAWER.

The chocolate is strong in this one (I hope I got that line right, I have only seen Star Wars twice).

I made a comment about my chocolate love on Twitter last night. Apparently, others feel the same. I never expected to get so much sugary support at 12:15 on a Saturday night.

But then people say, HOW can you always be eating sugar???

And this is where the third factor in my writing triangle comes in. Thankfully, writing and exercise (not EDITING and exercise mind you; during editing I turn into a slug) are really intertwined as well. I've told people, only half in jest, that I tell my stories first to the stripe on the swimming pool floor.

So. Writing. Chocolate. Exercise. It makes a good triangle. But back to the CHOCOLATE.

Oh chocolate
Bitter and yet sweet
You tweak my words to make them richer
You make my book complete
Taken late night from the drawer
Snagged in cupcake, bar or cookie
I am always wanting more
And sugarfied I sit awake
And ponder that last chapter
The rhythm, plot, mistake
The line before, that scene right after
Chocolate smooths the moments out
And makes the scenes all sweeter
Oh chocolate
You make my book and me complete...r.*

That's about as far as I got before I realized this blog idea seemed MUCH better late last night.

But the moral is simple. Chocolate is important. As Jocelyn Davies and I agreed last night, chocolate is necessary for revisions. And drafting, and plotting, and musing, and editing, and percolating, and wondering, and formulating, and thinking, and reading...

*That was not intended as a serious attempt. Please don't judge me :p

PS. I love that I already had a post tag for chocolate.

Friday, April 16, 2010

First Teaser from the New Book!

I'm taking today off to bond with my new book, to look it in the eyes and ask it about what it wants in life, and woo it with chocolate in the hopes it gives me many words...Anyway, I thought I'd give a teaser!

"I hear a sound, a song, none of the words but the melody, wandering up from the valley. I sit up and look down at the Arch, and see a girl in blue with two dark braids, dancing alone by the falling walls.

Emily has this crown of flowers in her hair that loses petals as she spins, and she looks for all the world like the queen of the wild. Except for the smile. I don’t imagine queens have such foolish grins. It pales only to Edgar’s, as if he turned and kissed her, and left part of his smile behind, an echo."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The book that scared the crap out of me...

And how I wish I'd written it.

The theme this week on the YA Rebels is haunting/disturbing/dark reads. My choice below (and it's so so so so good)...

If you can't see, click HERE.

Sunday, April 11, 2010



Many people have asked me in the past few months where my PM listing was, did they miss it, why wasn't it up, was it going to be up, or something to that effect.

Well, it's FINALLY HERE.

April 11, 2010

Children's: Young Adult

Victoria Schwab's debut novel THE NEAR WITCH, a darkly romantic original fairy tale set on enchanted moors where children are disappearing from their beds at night, and a 16 year old girl must protect a mysterious boy whom the villagers accuse of kidnapping, to Abby Ranger at Disney-Hyperion, for publication in Summer 2011, by FinePrint Literary Management (world English).


A NOTE: I feel like I'm trying to double up on my YAY! and *HUGS* and OTHER FORMS OF DIGITAL ENTHUSIASM because most of the time when people first announce their book deal they show the PM listing with it, but I had to wait on mine for various reasons, and I know it should seem like no surprise/no big deal after eight months of edits...but this is A BIG DEAL for me. It makes it seem REAL. It's an official declaration.

It's like, in the south, we have debuts, where you're introduced to society. This is my debut, my introduction, and I feel like I've finally, truly joined the party.

And I've NEVER been able to sum up NW in one sentence. I marvel.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In Which Vania and I Cast THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS... the magazine aisle of CVS...using only tween magazines...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pay It Forward Interviews - Karen Mahoney!

Happy Friday, all!!!

It's time to finish up our Pay It Forward Author Series with a great, great girl from across the pond...


1. Tell us about your book. (Publication Date, Publisher, One or two sentence description.)

1. THE IRON WITCH (Llewellyn*Flux, early 2011) is a contemporary fantasy set against the backdrop of a centuries-old war between human alchemists and the dark elves (who were kicked out of Faerie for being... um... dark). Aided by a gorgeous half-fey dropout, a girl with magical iron tattoos must race to save her best friend's life - even if it means betraying the secret of immortality and confronting the very thing that destroyed her family. Secret societies! Adventure! Romance! Indian cooking!

Find out more at:

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication (finding an agent)?

Ooooh... The Journey! The thing with me is that I came to all this later than a lot of my writer friends. I always WANTED to be a published author of fantasy novels (preferably for teenagers), but I never had confidence in myself - for a lot of reasons that we won't go into here. ;) I always wrote - well, apart from the 5 years I gave up completely - but in January 2007, a good friend took me aside and told me to stop whining about my 'lost dreams' and get back to work! REAL work. Which I did. (I am forever grateful to him, by the way, and not only is a character in THE IRON WITCH very loosely based on him, his name will be front and centre under: Dedicated to...)

Anyway, I digress. So I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote a LOT in the following year; I honestly believe that all the frustration during those five years when I gave up sort of poured out in one go. It was like a tidal wave of creativity! In January 2008 I started querying agents in the US with THE IRON WITCH. I'm from the UK - based in London - and I'd already decided that because I love urban fantasy so much (both YA and adult) I wanted to be published first and foremost in the US market. In July 2008 I signed with an agent who I can only describe as that very dangerous cliche: Dream Agent. We revised and went out on submission later that year. But! The road to publication is never smooth, and in January 2009 (there are lots of January's in this story!) the publishing industry in the US got into some serious trouble which affected many writers out on submission, especially those looking for their first sale - myself included. We waited... and waited... and waited. To cut a long story short, after a total of 10 months on submission I finally started getting offers and signed with Flux in a two-book deal. Flux could not have been more enthusiastic about the book and the world I created, and I am so grateful to them for this opportunity! Not only do I get to see my debut novel on ACTUAL bookshelves, I'm able to write the sequel under contract. *beams*

3. Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?

As I said in the previous answer, I sort of DID give up during my earlier incarnation as a writer, but I realise now that I just wasn't ready back then. It wasn't my time. When I started again in January 2007 I can honestly say that I never once thought of giving up. I'm not saying there weren't 'down' periods (for sure, it was tough being out on submission with a wonderful agent but not getting any responses from editors at all) but I was never down enough to want to throw in the towel. Maybe I would've got there eventually, but I told myself: Just try for 5 years. If you don't have a book on the shelves by 2012, maybe this isn't for you. Luckily, my first book will be out in early 2011 so I didn't do too badly.

Other things that helped keep me going: the writing community, especially those writing urban fantasy and YA. LiveJournal was such a source of inspiration during the first couple of years, along with VerlaKay's blueboards and many other writers' blogs. I am grateful for how generous the YA/MG authors community is! If it weren't for the internet, I would never have met all my wonderful friends and CPs and fellow writers. I was also lucky enough to get introduced to editor Trisha Telep shortly after I signed with Miriam Kriss, and because Trisha had worked with Miriam's clients on an adult anthology and they had a good relationship, I was given the opportunity to submit a short story to a YA vampire anthology. My story, 'Falling to Ash', seemed to go down very well and has enjoyed a lot of success and positive reviews in THE ETERNAL KISS (Running Press, 2009). I have a follow-up story coming out in another anthology this summer. While we out on submission with THE IRON WITCH, that anthology kept me going throughout last year - working on it, seeing it published and then getting emails and LJ comments from teen readers all over the world. It was wonderfully inspiring! :)

4. Bonus: Favorite kind of cupcake? (NO cupcake is NOT an answer O_O)

4. Hmm... this is a difficult question, V. I do love cupcakes, but I'm definitely addicted to blueberry muffins. But okay, since you insist! *g* It would have to be a chocolate cupcake, there is absolutely no contest from any other kind. (Please see photo!) Mmmm....

Victoria, thanks so much for having me - you are one of those awesome and inspiring people that I'm happy to have met! Thank you for sending me many of these: *\o/* when I needed them most, especially in recent months.

Karen, you are incredible, and I'm happy to know you and to witness your ascent into rock star-dom :)

Thanks everyone for joining me this week! Be sure to check out Karen's blog HERE, and have a great weekend :) Thanks to all the authors for participating!

Here are the other Pay It Forward Interviewers...
Elana Johnson, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Beth Revis, Leah Clifford, Kirsten Hubbard, Susan Adrian, Dawn Metcalf, Carrie Harris, Amy Holder, Kathy McCullough, Gretchen McNeil, Kim Harrington, Tiffany Schmidt, and Suzette Saxton/Bethany Wiggins.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Three Times the Fun this Thursday!!

This lovely Thursday is three times wonderful.

1. I'm off to Atlanta for author photos!!
2. My interview is up over at the simply marvelous blog of Lisa and Laura Roecker, AND
3. I get to continue our Pay It Forward Author Interview series (dreamed up by Elana Johnson) with the fabulous...


1. Tell us about your book. (Publication Date, Publisher, One or two sentence description.)

SKIN & BONES is a dark, paranormal YA novel about Consuela, a suburban teen who discovers she has the power to remove her skin and craft news ones out of anything - air, earth, feathers, fire - to keep people from dying before their time. It is based loosely on the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos and I describe it as "Latina Buffy meets Quantum Leap." SKIN & BONES is due out by Dutton Books, spring/summer of 2011.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication (finding an agent)?

Oh dear. Well, it wasn't the usual way! I went to SCBWI's Winter Conference in New York in 2007 and signed up for a Writer's Intensive -- that's where 7 other writers and one professional critique your 500 word sample. (*gulp*) The editor I met at my table later asked me for the manuscript. I was thrilled! But it was rejected. I sent her another...which was also rejected. And a get the picture! What I didn't expect was that the editor would call me, tell me that these were good books but not a "breakout novel," and asked what I'd like to be known for? I described my latest project, SKIN & BONES. She asked if she could read the four rough chapters and notes. I said, "Sure," thinking that she would give me feedback. Instead, she gave me an offer!

3. Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?

Yes and no. No, I never feel like giving up on writing. Yes, I've felt like giving up on the writing-for-publication process. It has not been an easy road, despite my fairy-tale beginning. With an offer in hand, I approached my favorite agent...but never heard back. I picked my Top Five and met them all, chose a successful and savvy agent...who then disappeared. Dissolving that relationship, which was one of the hardest things I had to do, I was back looking for an agent and chose a great one recommended to me by my editor. In the meantime, I'd been bumped once (from spring/summer 2010 to fall 2010) and then again (from fall, 2010 to spring/summer 2011). You can imagine how this can play havoc with your creative brain! Fortunately, I've had a lot of time to explore online opportunities, social networking, research, make friends, write another book, keep busy & still hold a candle for my editor who -- believe me -- is worth waiting for!

I try to remember through all the hard stuff that this is a lifelong dream come true and I am very, very lucky.

4. Bonus: Favorite kind of cupcake? (NO cupcake is NOT an answer O_O)

Anything chocolate. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! (No sprinkles, though.) Mmmm!

Dawn, you're marvelous. Thank you so much for stopping by! Everyone, be sure to follow Dawn (in a non-creepy way) back to her BLOG!!

Here are the other Pay It Forward Interviewers...
Elana Johnson, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Beth Revis, Leah Clifford, Kirsten Hubbard, Susan Adrian, Dawn Metcalf, Carrie Harris, Amy Holder, Kathy McCullough, Gretchen McNeil, Kim Harrington, Tiffany Schmidt, and Suzette Saxton/Bethany Wiggins.