Posts Tagged ‘Jenny Martin’

(Roman Holiday’s THE LONG WAY HOME, my anthem and TRACKED’s theme song, btw.)

This past week has been amazing, and I’ve been heartened by all the well wishes about TRACKED, but something’s been gnawing at me.

I didn’t do this alone.

I wrote a book, sure. I set out on a journey, but all along the way, there were people who picked me up when I fell down or got insufferably weary or couldn’t see my way through. There were people who carried me.

  • My husband, Chris, who always, always encouraged my crazy dream and put strong arms around me, protecting me from the relentless monster of self-doubt. When I thought about giving up, he bought me a Macbook and Scrivener. When I vowed to quit, the week before I sold, he told me I couldn’t, no way, no how.
  • My incredible agent Sara Crowe, who is tireless and responsive and so capable and kind. She is my champion, a true rock star agent who believed in me even when I couldn’t.
  • My editor Heather Alexander, the fiercely cool Penguin who saw something in Phee, my Han Solo girl, and took a chance on her.
  • My best friends Caron and Rosemary and Candy and Sally and Alex and Kate and Amber, and everyone at DFW Workshop who read book after book and who were never too busy to encourage or spur me on.
  • My family, who didn’t laugh when I said I wanted to be a writer, especially my father, who’s been with me the whole way, vicariously chasing the dream, getting just as choked up as his sentimental daughter.
  • My writing friends, online and off, who have been comrades in arms–Kendra and Bryan and Erin and April and Claire and Jamie and PJ and Janet and Julie and Lindsay and the Austin Girls and the Houston Horde and the DC Mafia so many, many more. If you’re reading this, the odds are good that you belong on this list, too. I haven’t forgotten that.
  • My first agent, Mary, who taught me so much, when I was just an embryo writer, still trying to find my voice.
  • Lastly, the infamous, mercurial Mr. Happenstance, who taught me that a good deal of luck–finding the right person at the right time–can make all the difference.

Thank you. Thank you for kicking me in the butt and inspiring me with your brilliance and saying kind things and tweeting me up. I can’t tell you enough how grateful and lucky that makes me feel. You’ve allowed me to be ridiculous and maudlin and silly, and now I get to celebrate and give you presents! So stay tuned, people of awesome, because I am already cooking up a MONSTER GIVEAWAY with lots of insanely rad prizes–a menagerie of carefully curated ‘must haves’ I know you’ll wantsssss, PRECIOUSSSSSS.

Until then, tell me. I’d love to hear about the people who carry YOU.

Guys.

GUYS. I AM HAVING AN UGLY CRY ABOUT POSTING THIS AND I AM STILL IN SHOCK AND I CAN’T STOP SHOUTING IN RANDOM CAPS-LOCKY WAY BECAUSE…

My agent sold my debut. Our first book deal. 

(C’mon. I know you want to sing along with me.)

I can’t believe this is happening. And if you are my twitter friend, or my IRL friend, or my I-haven’t-met-you-yet friend, you may or may not know how daunting and scary and wonderful my writing journey has been so far. Whatever the case, thank you for sharing this moment with me. I love you for it. I would hug you very tightly right now, if you were here. I would ugly cry on your shoulder, and you would get impatient and tell me to stop being so maudlin and so silly, and I would listen to you. But just for a minute. Then I would start acting like a sentimental nincompoop again because…

One of my childhood dreams is coming true. I WRITE BOOKS AND SOMEONE BELIEVES IN THEM AND SOMEONE WANTS TO PUT THEM OUT INTO THE WORLD. I AM A PENGUIN.

I am so incredibly happy and lucky to be able to write that. I have so many people to thank (My family! My fabulous agent, Sara! My dream editor, Heather!). I have presents to give. I have (not very) gory details to share. But that is another post, one I’ll be writing soon. For now, thank you for reading this and being my any kind of friend. It means a lot to me.

TODAY

TOMORROW

I blame Stephanie Pellegrin.

She just had to to tweet pics of her Coca-Cola cake. The cake looked so gooey and delish, it got P.J. Hoover and I talking about cake-offs, which led to tweets about blog recipes, which led to tweets about books and recipes which led to THIS:

#DESSERTEDREADS = Cake Recipe + Book Review +

Friday June 22 = EPIC BLOGNESS

Who’s in? Who’s up for a whole day dedication to decadent reads paired with sugary, iced perfection? If you are, join us by blogging a fave cake recipe with a fave book review. Bonus street cred for blogging about a stellar ‘deserted/desserted’ book that’s been out for awhile, but hasn’t quite gotten the love and attention it deserves. Any cake. Any book. Tweet it up at #DESSERTEDREADS before and all day Friday, June 22. Steph, P.J., and I would love to post a link to your luscious post, so keep those tweets and linked comments going.

Help us make this celebration ridiculous fun and SUPER SWEET!

I belong to a great writers’ workshop, and we put on a writers’ conference every year. And this year, DFWcon melted my face off like Dave Grohl rocking during a Foo Fighters’ encore set.

Lemme give you 10 reasons why:

1. I met my agent, Sara Crowe, in person, for the first time ever!!! She’s so phenomenal in eleventy-billion ways, and hanging out with her all weekend just confirmed them all. I had so much fun gabbing and getting into shenanigans. (In-N-Out Burgers! Panel Discussions! Bull-Riding at Billy Bob’s!)

2. I met many other publishing professionals, and it turns out that PR genius Mer Barnes, and super agents Sarah LaPolla and Jennie Goloboy are just as crazy cool as you’d expect. (Psst…they aren’t bad at Texas two-stepping either.) And editor Stacey Barney? When she talks about YA, drop your fork and take notes. Her taste in good books (and dessert) is impeccable.

3. Alec Shane is at Writers’ House. He’s also a former Hollywood STUNTMAN. Dude. Fo Realz. He might not have an official action figure, but hey, google his IMDB page. Then award 1,000,001 street cred points for appearing in a flick called MAXIMUM CAGE FIGHTER. And award another 1,000,001 points for championing boy YA books. (Note to self: Write heartbreaking, edgy YA about a seventeen-year-old mixed martial arts master. Who cage fights. In Post-Apocalyptic Detroit.)

4. There’s a coffee shop in Hurst called ROOTS. They make blackberry green tea Chai lattes. That taste like warm blackberry cobbler. Don’t tell me how many calories are in a Venti. I don’t want to know.

5. Author Rosemary Clement-Moore is a perfect hotel roommate. She doesn’t snore, she doesn’t hog all the hot water, and you can totally pick her brain at 1:00 a.m.

6. Kate Cornell is the world’s best agent wrangler. She gets your agent coffee, packs a mean conference survival kit, tells perfect anecdotes, and absolutely, positively doesn’t hold it against you when you have to drive back to Abuelo’s and kidnap her because you couldn’t figure out the right exit to get to the airport.

7. DFWcon attendees are charming and sweet and 100% inspiring. When you teach a session, they don’t heckle you and they ask great questions. When they practice pitch you, they blow you away with high concept premises (Hey, Sally Hamiltinez!) and well-developed ideas. (Hello, MR. SECULAR APOCALYPSE, I’m talking to YOU.)

You can e-mail Jason at purplebondagelolcats@gmail.com

8. This year’s GONG SHOW–I can’t even, guys. What happens when you listen to agents gong and crit queries/first pages? A scorched earth, DEFCON LEVEL I nuclear blast zone of shock and awe-some. Mildly painful. Seriously instructive.

9. Rosemary, A. Lee Martinez and I taught a ‘Perfect Your Pitch’ class. And Candy Havens critiqued reads with us, too! Our best advice? When querying, your e-mail shouldn’t be purplebondagelolcats@gmail.com. Also, never google ‘purple bondage lolcats.’ EVER.

10. Author Roni Loren knows how to write a scorching hot love scene. She also knows how to teach you how to write a scorching hot love scene. She also, also knows the words one must never use in a love scene. No LOVE SWORDS or SECRET GARDENS, apparently. Can’t imagine why.

So…how was your conference weekend? If you were at DFWcon, I’d love to hear about your experience!

I have news! The University of Texas at Arlington contacted me about developing/teaching a few courses for writers. This spring, I’m teaching Writing Young Adult Books. You do NOT have to be a UTA student. Anyone can enroll.

The class will run for five sessions, Monday Evenings from 7-9 p.m. CST.

Session one: April 30th
Session two: May 7th
Session three: May 14th
Session four: May 21st
Session five: June 4th (No class on May 28th for Memorial Day).

Basically, during the class, I’m sharing every secret I’ve ever learned about writing, querying, revising, landing an agent. And here’s the thing…You won’t just be learning from me and from the other students in the class…You’ll be learning from some amazing industry pros!

Check out these STELLAR SPECIAL GUESTS!
GWEN HAYES lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real life hero, their children, and the pets that own them. She writes stories for teen and adult readers about love, angst, and saving the world. Gwen’s first novel, Falling Under, was released in March of 2011 by NAL/Penguin and followed up by the sequel, Dreaming Awake, in January of 2012. She is represented by Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. You can find her at http://www.gwenhayes.com/

Gwen will be sharing her expertise in creating chemistry between characters!

Jeff Hirsch is originally from the suburbs just south of Richmond, VA. Growing up, he always knew he wanted to do something artistic but it wasn’t until he started writing poetry and short stories in Junior High that something really stuck. Jeff  graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with an MFA in Dramatic Writing and is the author of The Eleventh Plague and Magisterium (Scholastic).  He lives in Beacon, New York, with his wife. Visit him online at www.jeff-hirsch.com.

Jeff will wow us with his expert skills in writing taut action with emotional intensity!

Kiera Cass is a graduate of Radford University and currently lives in Blacksburg, Virginia with her family. Her fantasy novel The Siren was self-published in 2009, and The Selection is her young adult debut. Kiera has kissed approximately fourteen boys in her life. None of them were princes. You can keep up with her at http://www.kieracass.com/

Kiera will be Skyping into class to answer all your burning questions about the writers’ journey! (Did you know CW snapped up The Selection, and a pilot is in the works?! You might want to ask her about it.)

Rosemary Clement-Moore is the author of award-winning supernatural mystery novels for young (and not so young) adults, including Texas GothicThe Splendor Falls, and the Maggie Quinn: Girl versus Evil series. Her books have been included on the YALSA list of best books for teens, the New York Public Library’s Books For the Teen Age and Kirkus Reviews best teen books of 2011 and received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. A recovering thespian with a master’s degree in communication, she now puts her drama queen skills to use writing novels and posting on Twitter. She loves coffee, dogs, history, Jane Austen, archeology, fantasy novels, comic books, Gilbert and Sullivan, BBC America, Star Wars, books with kissing and movies with lots of explosions. You can visit her webpage at www.rosemaryclementmoore.com.
Rosemary will appear (in person!) to teach us all about making magic on the page–creating rich narratives that sing with romance and  crackle with adventure.

Sara Crowe  is an agent at Harvey Klinger, Inc. where she represents adult fiction and nonfiction and children’s fiction. Her clients include NYT Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, Nina LaCour, Michael Northrop, Lisa Schroeder, Kristen Tracy, and Dan Wells. Her authors have been nominated for Edgars and the Morris Award and have been on the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults list and in the Top Ten. She is consistently ranked among the top three YA agents in Publishers Marketplace. You can check out her submission guidelines at http://saracrowe.com

Lucky for me, Sara is my own (WONDERFUL!) agent.  She’ll be chiming in to offer advice and answer all your burning questions about agents and the industry in general.

In case I hadn’t mentioned it yet, I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS CLASS!  https://www.uta.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?~~12CO1722001

Okay, I’m just gonna admit up front…this blog post is just an excuse to gush about TWO GLORIOUS THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK:

1.) I finally got to devour Beth Revis’ sparkling debut, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE…

Cheers!

2.) And I finally got to imbibe copious amounts of Butterbeer at Universal Orlando’s WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER.

People waiting in line for a taste of Butterbeer, AKA Frothy, Scrumptious Elixir of Delirium

Naturally, my photo-journalistic account of said pilgrimage may be lacking in quality and objectivity, but you hafta admit you’re feeling a Gringott’s level of trollish jealousy just looking at these pics, right?

Yeah, I thought so.

On our flight, Amber began reading AtU. Elder and Amy's story hooked her right away.

Staying at THE HARD ROCK HOTEL was worth it. Steps away from the Park.

Our first night, of course we had to take in the sights at THE HARD ROCK CAFE and the hotel. We were total diva poseurs…

Amber, Brit, Me, and Caron

By the time my head hit Hard Rock’s luxe feather pillows, I had not only fallen in love with Orlando’s WIZARDING WORLD, but I’d also fallen head over heels for AtU’s male lead, Elder. I digress, but…this Hard Rock photo of Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill reminds me of Elder. Both guys are sweet, smoking hot, slightly damaged front men. Never mind that Caleb rocks a rhythm guitar and Elder leads an intergalactic expedition.  Pfff…why quibble over minor differences? Contact with either of them equals a mind altering experience.

Is this bolted to the wall? Lemme just tuck Caleb into my suitcase...

On our last day in the park, we hit the pavement and explored every corner of Hogsmeade. Lemme say, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and Universal’s Harry Potter park have something else in common. Revis’ book and HP park are expertly crafted, lovingly designed to entertain.

Delicious Wizardly Fare at The Three Broomsticks. No value meal corn dogs here.

Turning the last page of AtU felt a bit like leaving Hogwarts for the last time. I’d been enchanted, transported to another world–one I was heartbroken to leave! I can’t wait to return to Orlando and I can’t wait for Revis’ next book!

One last pic before we leave...

In short, I highly recommend enjoying a Beth Revis book with a side of Gryffindor.

Hungry for more? Try this recipe for Hogsmeade Butterbeer. It’s about as close as you can get to the real thing!

Binge!