Climbing toward a Dream

26 01 2015

ladder to sky I always loved this picture of a ladder reaching to the sky. When I first decided I wanted to write, I drew a symbol like this as my logo. I pictured myself climbing that ladder to success, rung by rung, each rung representing a new skill, a new publication, a new height. And slowly, I started learning and climbing.

Some of the most important steps along the way were joining SCBWI, participating in critique groups, reading craft books, and taking classes. I even added an MFA to my goals. But the most important step was doing the writing itself. I’d read somewhere that to become an expert in any skill, you needed to put in 10,000 hours and write 1,000,000 words. So I did.

And the work began to pay off. First in small writing assignments and then in books. During the early writing years, I drew another picture in addition to that logo–a stack of books. A tall stack set up in a spiral shape. I was reminded of that recently when I decided to take a picture of the books I’ve written in the past five years. That drawing looked almost exactly like this:

7_BooksInterestingly enough, some of the titles I put on those books were related to the topics of these books. I’m a big believer in using visualization to achieve goals, but I was surprised at how much the two stacks resembled each other.

I’ve seen so many writing dreams come true  in 2014. This past year has been filled with book contracts and book releases and speaking engagements. All of it fun, although sometimes exhausting. Sometimes the sign hanging behind me at this reading was definitely a reality.

8_reading  One of my long-term goals was signing at BEA, and I not only got to do that, but I got to watch friends and a CP sign too. And that was one of the highlights of the year — seeing so many friends and acquaintances making their dreams come true.

And 2015 is promising more of the same. Several CPs have signed book deals, and I know more will follow. I’m looking forward to what this year will bring. And wishing all of you a move up to the next rungs of the ladder to your dreams.

Recapping BEA

14 06 2014

Switch Press Display with Grace and the GuiltlessAs a librarian, I spent many years going to BEA, but 2014 was the first year that I went to sign books. A few years ago, I had the thrill of seeing one of my books in a publisher’s display. But this time my book was prominently displayed (Yes, that’s Grace and the Guiltless on the top shelf of the Switch Press display.) It was fun seeing the ARCS of Grace between all the other books coming out from Switch Press, Capstone‘s newest venture into fiction., and getting autographed copies from fellow authors.

Capstone boothAnd my book was not only part of the publisher’s display, it was also blown up large (almost the same height as me) on the publisher’s display wall. What fun! And I was amazed by the fabulous covers surrounding it.

To keep with the Western theme, I dressed in cowgirl regalia. It was fun strolling through the streets of NY and clomping down subway stairs in boots, fringed suede jacket, billowy skirts, and a Stetson. I have my wonderful CPs to thank for my costume. When they heard I’d be signing, they dug through their closets and outfitted me in their gorgeous Western duds. So it was as if they were right there with me.

Between my signings and meeting friends and CPs (who were also signing books or checking out their publishers’ booths), I still had plenty of time to be a total fangirl and stand in long lines for autographed copies of books from many of my favorite authors. Knowing I had little room in my suitcase and a 50-pound limit on the trip home, I tried to limit myself to my absolute favorites. The booklover in me sighed as I passed up many books I ordinarily would have snatched up. As disciplined as I thought I was, I still ended up with way more than I could carry home. I rued my addiction as I struggled to the subway each night with 20+ pounds of books in each hand. (Thank heavens for the wonderful free totes!), and I also regretted it later as I mailed home my clothes (to make more room in my suitcase for books) along with boxes of books. But how can you pass up free books? By mega-talented authors?

Globe Pequot signAnd I squeezed in time to meet the awesome editor of our nonfiction book coming out in October with Lyon’s Press. So nice to finally put a face with the name. And I was there when they posted the announcement that the parent press, Globe Pequot, had been bought by Rowman & Littlefield. I snapped a (rather out-of-focus) photo of the sign.

In addition to signing, meeting and greeting, and book collecting, I also attended the Switch launch party (snapshot of them setting up for the event below) and went out to dinner with the Capstone staff, which turned out to be an evening filled with awesome book discussions, lots of laughter, and delicious Italian food, marred only by the trek home afterwards with my 40+ pounds or so of books.

Globe Pequot Launch PartyIt was lovely to be a part of so many awesome book-related events and amazing to once again be in the midst of the pulsing book-energy that is BEA.














YALSA Popular Paperbacks for YAs

23 06 2010

YALSA has announced the finalists for their 2011 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults lists. YALSA is the Young Adult Library Service Association, a division of ALA (American Library Services).

And Island Sting (Leap Books) by Bonnie J. Doerr is on their Crime Scene list. Way to go, Bonnie!! It’s nice to see a fellow member of the Piedmont Plotters making it big.

Lots of great titles have made the list. Here’s the list of contenders for the Crime Scene category:

Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls Mystery

Arnold, Tedd. Rat Life

Blundell, Judy. What I Saw and How I Lied

Cormier, Robert. Tenderness

Cusick, Richie Tankersley. Walk of the Spirits

Doerr, Bonnie J. Island Sting

Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother

Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light

Ferguson, Alane. The Christopher Killer: A Forensic Mystery

Gerber, Linda. Death by Bikini

Gerber, Linda C. Death by Latte

Giles, Gail. Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters

Gordon, Roderick and Williams, Brian. Tunnels

Kate, Lauren. The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

McClintock, Norah. Dooley Takes the Fall

McNamee, Graham. Acceleration

Olin, Sean. Killing Britney

Parker, Robert B. The Boxer and the Spy

Perez, Marlene. Dead is the New Black

Price, Charlie. Dead Connection

Shepard, Sara. Pretty Little Liars

Sorrells, Walter. First Shot

Stolarz, Laurie Faria. Project 17

Vande Velde, Vivian. Never Trust a Dead Man

Weingarten, Lynn. Wherever Nina Lies

Werlin, Nancy. Killer’s Cousin

Urasawa, Naoki. Naoki Urasawa’s Monster

If you love to read, check out all their other lists of Popular Paperbacks:

2011 Themes

Crime Scene: May cause anxiety. . . don’t read at home alone.

What’s Cooking? Tasty reads to fill your belly and warm your soul.

What If…: It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Zombies, Werewolves, and Things with Wings: Because vampires suck!

Have any favorites on these lists?? Or know of books you think should be on the list?