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May. 29th, 2012

JUNE SPLOON!

Mes Anges! I have been away for quite some time! However, if you've been following me/this blog for awhile, you know that this is par for the course. I tend to disappear right after a book release, mostly because I get so very tired of talking about myself/books/anything on the entire planet, yes, even Jon Snow's hair.


And let's be real, that's some discussion-worthy hair.


I think sometimes I tend to forget that despite my Extreme People Personish Ways, I am technically an introvert at heart, so while I LOVE PEOPLE AND TALKING TO THEM AND THEM TALKING TO MEEEEE, I'm also SO FREAKING wiped out by it. And considering the fact that I was bascially on the road for 4 weeks out of 6 back in March/April....yeah. I looked like this:



All of this to say, that is why there's been no blogging. And no blogging over at my Game of Thrones blog, because man, that ended up being more of an endeavor than I'd expected. May resume once books go in and stuff, but sheesh. TV recappers, I tip my cap.

But I'm BACK now, and I'm SO EXCITED because I'm going to share my Writing Plans For This Summer with you! And hope that maybe you will join me in the Wacky Imma throw down.

I've written 5 books now. 5 books in 4 years. That is...unbelievable to me. Mainly because, as I've discussed before, I am the QUEEN of starting books and not finishing them, so the idea that I've finished FIVE is unreal.

HOWEVER. I have learned something in the 4 1/2 years I've been at this. Namely...y'all, I am a SLOOOOOOOW writer. I mean, molasses in January. Slower than Christmas. Slower than a Slow Loris being tickled.




The last draft I turned in that I was really, truly 100% happy with (okay, more like 70% happy with. I am my own worst critic) was DEMONGLASS. That book took me....7 months. 7 months to write with basically NOTHING going on at the time. I wrote that book the year before HEX HALL had even come out. So while yes, I was Wife-ing, and Mama-ing, and Human Being-ing, I still wasn't a Published Writer in the sense that my book was out on the shelves and I had to do stuff for it. I think by the time I started DEMONGLASSS, HEX HALL was already into pass pages, AKA the last stage of edits.

I remember at the time thinking, "Wow, this wasn't THAT bad! I think I've GOT this professional writer thing!"

I hate Dane Cook, but I think he says it best here:





So 7 months to make a draft. 7 months with nothing else really to worry about except writing said draft. Do you see where this becomes an issue when you have 2 books due a year, PLUS books to promote/tour for/edit?



And then my brain broke and making books was hard and I was trying to find a way to write books that made me happy and made me feel like the drafts WEREN'T giant bags of poo while still cranking them out in time to meet deadlines and stuff. But then I COULDN'T, and I would MISS deadlines, and then I was the giant bag of poo, and OH, MES ANGES, IT WAS A TRYING TIME.

However.

Last fall when I was working hard at both REBEL BELLE (Putnam! Summer 2013!) and the As Yet Untitled HEX HALL spin-off (Hyperion! Fall 2013!), I stumbled on something that was kind of magic. See, my biggest issue is getting lots of words out in NOT lots of time. Going at my natural speed, I will write like 500 words/day. Maybe 1000, but then I'll DELETE half of those, and we're back to where we started. With both of these drafts, the main thing was GETTING WORDS ON A PAGE so that I could then FIX said words, but mostly just WRITING. MOAR. WORDS.


So one night, I set myself the challenge of writing 5000 words before I went to bed. This was a very motivating challenge because UGH YOU GUYS, I LOVE GOING TO BED. I have friends who love nothing more than to burn the midnight oil working on a book, but I always feel super- sad when I'm up at midnight and everyone else in the house is asleep. Therefore, I knew I had to get those 5K pretty quickly, and to make that happen, fired up Write or Die and set my goal for 1000 words in 30 minutes.


And I did it! In fact, I met my goal with a few minutes to spare. Then I took a 15 minute break and plunged back in for my next 1K session. Now, I'm not gonna lie. The first 3K came relatively quickly, but that last 2K was like pulling teeth. But at the end of that 3 1/2 hours, I had 5K words. Were they perfect and lovely and shiny? Not really. But they were THERE.

And now here comes the magic part: I didn't edit those words all that heavily. Nothing written in those 1K/30 minute bursts was ever scrapped. And then, when I turned the drafts in, those bits I'd written so quickly? Those were the spots where I had the LEAST AMOUNT OF NOTES FROM MY EDITORS.



I'm not saying that makes me some kind of magical word savant who can spin out lots of good, usable words in a small amount of time, but I AM saying that there was something about making myself write that quickly that freed me up and silenced all that stuff that makes my writing soooo sloooooow. There wasn't TIME to doubt myself because if I slowed down, Write or Die would EAT MY WORDS.



So with allllll of that in mind, I'm trying an experiment this June. Something I am calling JUNE SPLOON because "sploon" is an ancient Finnish word that means to write many words in a small amount of time.*



This time, I don't need 5K/day, so I'm settling for the slightly more reasonable goal of 2K/day, 5 days a week, in 2 30 minute writing sessions. I'm going to try and stick with my original formula of one 30 minute session followed by a 15 minute break and then back into another 30 minute session just because I think it's easier to keep going once I've started than it is to try and dive back in later in the day.



I'm hoping some of YOU might like to June Sploon with me! I'll be checking in every Friday to let you know how it's going, and I'll probably be updating on Twitter with the hashtag #JuneSploon. SO if you'd LIKE to play, here are guidelines! (No rules, obvs, because whatever works for you, do that. This is just what I'M doing.)


1) 2K NEW words every day, 5 days a week for one month. If you follow this guideline, you'll have 42K on something by the end of June. That's, like. HALF A BOOK. More if you're writing a MG/smaller YA.


2) NO editing. That comes later during July Sply, "sply" being Welsh for fixing your shizz.*


3)I'm using Write or Die, both because I love it, and because when I met Rachel Caine, she told me she swears by it. Rachel Caine writes 4 books a year, you guys. We should listen to her. I always set it on Kamikaze because I'm bad ass like that. You do not have to be so hardcore. There is NO JUDGING IN JUNE SPLOON.


4) Before starting each writing session, think about the scene you want to write. Just opening up Write or Die and GOING is scary. You can jot down a few notes beforehand, or just sketch out some ideas in your head. Whatever. But I reccommend going in with a plan.


5) You can obviously write MORE than 2K/day. That's just the minimum. But if you write 10K/day and it's so easy and fluffy and lovely for you, please don't tell me because then I'll have to punch you in the face. And I LIKE your face.


And that's it! Now you too are ready to JUNE SPLOON!

See you Friday!!

* It is highly possible I made both of those facts up.

Oct. 27th, 2009

HEX HALL ARC Giveaway!

Thanks to the fabulous Teri Hall, who schooled us on The Awesome that is the Goodreads giveaway, I'm giving away my last remaining ARC of HEX HALL! It's absurdly easy, and you have from now until November 23 to enter. So even though there may be excessive weeping and petting as I put my precious final ARC in the mail, I encourage you to go check it out! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5287473.Hex_Hall
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Apr. 22nd, 2009

One Whole Year!

ETA: I've been negilgent about linking up my blogspot with this here LJ, hence the 3 posts today. I didn't actually WRITE 3 posts today. Come on, now.



Yes folks, it was one year ago today that HEX HALL stopped being just a manuscript and began it's journey to bookdom! SO hard to believe it's been that long!

Now, I've told the story of THE CALL here and here, so I won't rehash it, but needless to day, April 22, 2008 was one of the greatest days of my life. In fact, if it weren't for Small Son being, you know, born and all, it would be THE greatest day of my life.


You see why the day that brought this guy into the world trumps even a book deal!

But this is not the time for reminiscing! This is the time for...WINNING SOME STUFF!

And since this is such a big occasion, I needed a BIG giveaway. Now, if you know anything about the South, you know that we love us some gift baskets. Seriously. A gift basket is the go to gift for any occasion. I've seen people bring gift baskets to funerals, people. Yeah.

So in keeping with that tradition, my big giveaway is a Hex Hall Basket made by your truly!

"But, Rachel," you may be asking, "whatever will be in this basket?"

And my answer to you: Awesome. That is what will be in this basket. Pure, unadulterated awesome.

Okay, seriously, it's made up of stuff that is related to Hex Hall. There are books, obvs, including Kathryn Tucker Windham's 13 Georgia Ghosts since Hex Hall is set in GA, a collection of Flannery O'Connor short stories, since she is the Queen of All Southern Gothic, and a copy of Anne Rice's The Witching Hour, since that's the book that most inspired me to write Hex Hall.

But there are also some fun surprises, as well as a sweet $25 Barnes and Noble gift card! All for one of you, my lovely blog readers!

PLUS, if you're an aspiring writer, I'll throw in a first 3 chapters and/or query critique on top of the Basket of Win (although please understand, this doesn't mean I can give your chapters/query to Agent Holly. I can only help with the writing/structure, not the business-y side). If you're NOT an aspiring writer, no worries. I'll give you something else!

I'll also be giving out second and third place prizes of, you guessed it, MORE BOOKS!

So what do you have to do to be eligible to win this bounty? It's easy. In the comments, tell me about one of the best days of YOUR life. You know, one of those days that fills you with magic and sparkles and the overwhelming need to make gift baskets.

I'll leave the contest open until April 29, so one week. Then I'll pick a winner in the super scientific way I always pick these things: write the number of the comments on little pieces of paper and let Small Son pick them out of a bowl.


"Yes! Your basket-y fate rests in my tiny hands!"


Now tell me about your most fabulous days!

Agent Holly Interview!

Happy Monday, everybody!


To kick off "One Year Anniversary of Magical Book Deal" week, I have a very special treat: a lovely, YA-centric interview with the fabulous Agent Holly!

As you should all know from reading this blog, Agent Holly is the bomb-diggety. I knew from the first five minutes of our first phone conversation that she was the agent for me. For one thing, she's hilarious, and I tend to work well with people who are funny! Secondly, she had a super-clear vision for HEX HALL. She knew exactly which houses she wanted to send it to, and I was so impressed by that since she'd only had the manuscript for a couple of days. And thirdly, and most important for me, she and I were on the same page (hardy har har) when it came to my career. (Side note of Business-y Stuff: If you've been querying for awhile, and you get that first offer of representation, I know it can be SO tempting to jump right on it and be like, "YES! REPRESENT ME PLEASE!" But make sure you have a good talk with your potential agent first. Ideally, you'll be working with that person throughout your career, and it is so important to know that you're a good fit, and that you both want the same things. I've had several friends discover late in the game that their agents were not right for them, and it can be a very painful process to end that business relationship!)

Now, let's get started! Here's Agent Holly' official bio from the Waxman site:

"Holly Root began her publishing career as an editor in Christian publishing in Nashville, TN before coming to New York and joining the William Morris Agency’s agent trainee program. She then moved to Trident Media Group, where she sold audio rights for the agency’s clients, including a number of New York Times bestselling authors, before joining The Waxman Literary Agency in 2007 to sell audio rights and represent her own list of authors.

Recently published titles include Leo Babauta's The Power Of Less (Hyperion); Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna's Cherry Bomb (Simon Spotlight Entertainment); Kate Perry's Marked By Passion (Grand Central); Misa Ramirez's Living The Vida Lola (St. Martin's Press); Serena Robar's Giving Up The V (Simon Pulse); and Libby Malin's Fire Me (Sourcebooks). She is actively seeking upmarket and commercial fiction, including women's fiction, mystery, urban fantasy, romance, and YA, and voice-driven nonfiction projects, with particular areas of interest in narrative nonfiction, lifestyle, psychology, self-help/relationships, science, and practical spirituality and religion."


1) What most attracts you to a project?
Voice + concept = a very intrigued agent. Voice + concept + great writing x >3 emotional/character beats that make me sigh audibly on the subway because it's just so right = I will cross the Sahara (or, um, make a phone call) to represent you.

2) What trends are you seeing in YA right now?
Seeing less desire for more of the aspirational, rich-and-fabulous Gossip Girl knockoff fiction. Paranormal can be funny--some editors will tell you they just have too much and so they are now at a point where they risk cannibalizing their own lists and are therefore backing off; other houses can't get enough still. Having a unique setup is more key than ever. Dystopian or postapocalyptic novels seem to be having a Moment but your worldbuilding and writing need to be off the scale to break in there (although really that's true across the board).

3) Anything you'd like to see more of in YA?
YA writers are so creative! Keep it coming; don't chase a trend. Keep flexing your imaginations. Take that popular idea or concept and really give it your own spin.

4)What are some recent YAs you've enjoyed?

THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU BANKS; THE FOREST OF HANDS & TEETH; ARTICHOKE'S HEART; THE HUNGER GAMES; LIFE AS WE KNEW IT; THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. (I've been on a dark'n'serious kick lately.)

Next up on the to-read: EVERMORE (I've loved Alyson's previous books) and Cassandra Clare's CITY OF GLASS.


5) What kind of books were you into as a teen?
YA wasn't quite as fully realized as it is now, but I cut a wide path through the usuals--Little House, Judy Blume, the Babysitters Club, the Sweet Valley books (I remember in particularly vivid detail the "Sagas," in which ancestors of the Wakefields (often twins, usually with variations on the names Elizabeth and Jessica) were casually present at many major events in US history. FAB.), and could probably still quote you all of Madeleine l'Engle's Time quartet. The Princess Bride was a favorite, as were Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz and Robin Cook. And of course I read lots and lots of my mom's romances. (Is it clear now why I work in commercial fiction?)

6)Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to write YA?
Don't write YA if you don't love YA and value teens. Beyond that? Read. Read more. Read everything you can. Then write, write more, write as much as you can. Sift the best of it and go from there.

Thanks again to Agent Holly for answering these questions when I know she is a crazy-busy lady!

My Query Letter, Let Me Show You It


Hope everyone had a great Easter! We spend it with The Husband's family, which was a lot of fun. It's nice now that Small Son kind of gets the concept of Easter (well, not the religious aspects. Just the bunnies/chocolate/eggs part. So basically Small Son is Pagan right now. As are most toddlers, I think.)

On our way down to The Husband's Homeland, we stopped at a Burger King so that Small Son could get one of those new Spongebob toys they're giving away with their kids' meals right now. Small Son was very happy to get this new toy. Now, Small Son is big into gender all the sudden, which is apparently a normal part of the 3 year old thing. He's very into being a boy, and he loves that Daddy is a boy, too. I occasionally get shunned for being a girl, but whatever.

Anyway, with this gender stuff comes a hyped up interest in the, um, parts that make us boys or girls. Which is why, after he asked us if Spongebob was in fact a boy, he announced to everyone at the Greenville, Alabama Burger King that "Spongebob has a penis."

After we finished choking on our Diet Cokes, The Husband and I wondered if maybe it had NOT been the best idea to teach Small Son to use the appropriate words for things.

Oh well. At least we now have an Easter story that shall be retold FOREVER!


"It is Easter, dammit, now pretend to love Mama for the camera or no more chocolate!"

Okay, before I get to the "meat" of today's post, let's talk about Winning Some Stuff.

I love to Win Some Stuff. Don't you? But even MORE than Winning Some Stuff, I love to Give Away Some Stuff, and that is exactly what I'll be doing on April 22 (which is one week from today!)

So why will I be having an awesome giveaway on April 22? Because THAT, my friends, will be the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF MY BOOK DEAL! I know! I can't believe it, either! One whole year, and still around ten more months to go. Insane.

So be sure to drop by on April 22, because the giveaway? It will be AWESOME. Details to come!

All of this reminiscing about last year has me thinking about my query letter, and the fact that I've never shown it on my blog! How can that be? Query letters are definitely a stressful thing for the aspiring writer, and I found that reading other writers successful queries was super helpful for me. I know there are all sorts of books and workshops out there for drafting the perfect query, but I HIGHLY recommend going to agent or author blogs and seeing what's there (and this should go without saying, but I'm saying it anyway: DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know the submission guidelines for the agents you query. And for the love of God, DON'T CC like 30 agents in one email. Not cool.)

Now, I may have mentioned before that my original query was quite sucktastic. It was written according to the specifications of one particular agent (who, in my defense, did request a partial. So I guess it worked for her!), but apparently that agent is weird, because holy hell weasel, did every other agent reject it in a nanosecond. Sadly I don't even have it anymore, due to its general heinousness.

After that letter started to rack up a few rejections, I started scouring agent blogs for other successful query letters. On Rachel Vater's blog- sadly, it's down right now-she did a whole series on the query letters her clients had sent her. One in particular, Caitlin Kittredge's, really struck me. It was clean, it was simple, and most importantly, it made me want to read the book.

One of the problems in my old query was that I had an entire paragraph trying to explain the themes and the deeper meaning of HEX HALL (then called TOO NEAR THE GLASS). But most agents don't want that. They want the plot, and the "hook."

I scrapped my crappy query, and wrote a new one based on the "formula" of Caitlin's. I sent it out as soon as it was done, and by the end of that day, I had my first request for a full. A few days after that, I had fabulous Agent Holly.

A good query letter isn't everything; you need to write an awesome BOOK, too, of course! ;-) But query letters are important, and I'm offering up mine, just in case it can help someone else the way Caitlin's helped me! (And of course, the title has changed, and the name of the school, and a few other things along the way...)


Dear Ms. Root,

Sophie Mercer thought being a teenage witch meant flying broomsticks, talking cats, and awesome spells. Instead, her mom still makes her ride the bus, she’s allergic to pet dander, and the one big spell she attempts at prom goes seriously bad-like, Carrie-levels of bad. As a result, Sophie is shipped off to Prentiss Academy, a boarding school for Witches, Shapeshifters, and Faeries. At Prentiss, Sophie discovers that the traumas of regular school have nothing on the goings-on at “Freak High,” what with the trio of Dark Witches who want Sophie to join their coven, her futile crush on Prentiss’s hottest Warlock, and her roommate, Jenna, who just happens to be Prentiss’s only Vampire. When members of Sophie’s coven are attacked, she finds herself trying to exonerate Jenna and solve the mystery, which might be more connected to Sophie than she ever could have guessed.

Completed at 60,000 words, Too Near the Glass is my first novel, and it would appeal to fans of Meg Cabot and Libba Bray. I have had several short stories published in my college literary magazine, and I am a high school English teacher. Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Too Near the Glass. I can be contacted by either email or phone. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely,
Rachel Hawkins

Apr. 9th, 2009

Tenner Tea Party!


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of going to Miss Rosemarie's Special Teas in Birmingham for a tres girly lunch with fellow Alabama Tenners, Lindsey and Irene, and Honorary AL Tenner, Alexa! (She's an Honorary Alabamian since she lived here as a teenager; now she makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, so we were really happy to have her down for a visit!)

If you live in or near B'ham YOU NEED TO GO TO MISS ROSEMARIE'S! It was fabulous! The food was delish, and everything was so pretty, and feminine, and fun. I mean, look at this table!


Gah! So pretty!


It's always a pleasure to spend time with other writers, but it's even better when those other writers are people you'd hang out with regardless of career. We had a ball!


Alexa, Irene, Yours Truly, and Lindsey posing in front of a lot of tea pots!


Oh, and let me leave you with some PR goodness. If any of you are soon-to-be-published writers, or just curious about the PR/marketing process for debut authors, check out this post by Saundra Mitchell. It is crazy helpful! And then go grab a copy of her book, SHADOWED SUMMER. Southern Gothic and ghosts FTW!

Apr. 5th, 2009

Back to Life, Back to Reality....


For those of you of a certain age, the song referenced in this blog title is now STUCK IN YOUR HEAD FOREVER. You're welcome!

So I've been the most negligent of bloggers lately, mostly due to Life (as in my actual one, not the board game. Although that would be kind of hilarious.) So let's catch up, shall we?

1) The Southern Breeze "schmooze" in Florence with Irene Latham and Lindsey Leavitt was SO GREAT. Seriously, had a ball. For one thing, as I've mentioned before, writing can be a kind of lonely career, so getting to talk with other writers was really, really nice. I mean, I talk online to other writers all the time, but to have an actual, face-to-face conversation with Writer Friends? Kicks ass.

Linds and I road-tripped it together from Birmingham to Florence, and she is now totally my new Beffie. We laughed, and talked about books, and bought some truly amazing "vintage" YA at The Salvation Army there in Florence. In fact, we both bought Caroline B. Cooney's THE CHEERLEADER which is about...um... a cheerleader. AND VAMPIRES. And, one assumes, VAMPIRE CHEERLEADERS. How great is that? I think we need to do some sort of joint review of it, or like a Point/Counterpoint thing. Stay tuned!

It was also WONDERFUL to meet Irene, whose book LEAVING GEE'S BEND sounds- and looks! The cover is gorgeous!- amazing! Irene is also a poet, which I have so much admiration for since I'm a great lover of poetry, but I suuuuuuuck at writing it. A lot.

And the people who came! They, too, were Made of Win! Everyone asked such great and interesting questions that were so fun to answer. Plus it's always nice to feel like you're contributing something positive to the writing community!

Also, there were snacks, so you know, that took it to the next level of awesome. Thanks so much to Sheila Renfro and Pat Weaver for putting that together!


Me, looking like I got up at 5AM (which I had), Lindsey, looking wicked and determined with candy, and Irene, looking beautiful and poet-like in Florence.

2) I TURNED IN MY COPY EDITS! Hurray! It occurred to me the other day that I talk a lot about edits on this blog, but I haven't really talked about what edits entail, or all the different kinds of edits there are. So a quick refresher course:

A) Global edits- These are usually in the form of a letter. Sometimes you get this letter separately, sometimes it comes with your line edits, as mine did. Basically, the global edits are exactly what they sound like: things that need to be changed or enhanced throughout the manuscript. I've heard tell of this letter being anywhere from 2 to 20+ pages long. Mine was about 5 pages. Global edits are slightly daunting, because...well, they're GLOBAL. They require you to look at the book as a whole, and figure out where you can insert extra scenes, or add world-building stuff. On the plus side, this letter is also where your editor usually gives you some positive stuff, too, like "I love how you've done XYZ," or "So and So is such a great character." And that's always nice to hear!

B) Line edits- This is where your editor has gone through the whole manuscript and written various changes on it. Sometimes, the changes are specific, like I might have written the line, "Her eyes were wide as she looked at me," and Editor Jen will have written over it, "Eyes wide, she looked at me," or something like that. Or she might just write, "Rework" and remind me that I've used the word "look" five times on that page (I have a BAD tendency to do this. Everyone in my book was looking at someone, or looking like something. Or smiling. Dear God, all the smiling people did in a book that is ostensibly scary. Sheesh.)

Other times, she won't change anything, but she'll write in the margins, "Why does he do this? Earlier he said he didn't care about This and That?"

Oh, and best of all, sometimes there are SMILEY FACES next to the stuff she likes. I live for the smiley faces. Seriously. And they usually come along just as you're starting to think, "This book is really bad. I'm so sorry I inflicted it on people." Then bam! Smiley face and maybe a little note that says, "This is great!" And then you soldier on.

C) Copy edits- These are a lot simpler than the other two, but still kind of tough. Your copy editor fixes basic stuff like grammar or spelling errors, but she is also your Continuity Guard. So if I have someone's eyes being blue on page 156, but green on page 285, the copy editor will catch that. She (I'm going with she since my CE was a she) can also point out awkwardly written sentences that slipped through in line edits. Or the fact that it seems like everyone wears pink in your book (again, guilty as charged). Now, you don't have to change everything the copy editor suggests. If you come across something, like you have a character entering a room, and the CE has changed "room" to "chamber", you just write "stet" next to that change, and it stays "room."

Whew. Okay, so those are the basic forms of edits (and we won't even get into page proofs right now). Now, I steamrolled right through global/line edits, but copy edits took me a good two weeks. I think it's because it's the last time I'll get to make really BUG changes if need be, and that was freaking me out. I seriously had to fight the urge to call Editor Jen and be like, "So...what if I just rewrote the whole thing? I can make it even better, Jen! I promise!"

Luckily, I resisted, and the manuscript is now safely back in NYC (another nerve-wracking thing, mailing my whole MS. I've only ever sent it as an e-mail file. So of course, I was totally obnoxious at UPS, and all, "I NEED TO MAIL THIS TO NYC! I HAVE SPECIAL HYPERION SHIPPING ACCOUNT NUMBERS! I AM VERY IMPORTANT, DO NOT LOSE THIS, UPS GUY!"
And of course, he was like, "Whatever, Spazzy Lady. Sign this form.")


3) And now that copy edits are done and the book is back in NYC, Editor Jen and I talked briefly about THE COVER, which makes me want to dance around my office. Nothing firm yet, but I did give her a detailed description of Sophie, just in case they want to put "her" on the cover. Which would be ever so awesome.

4) I'm hard at work on HEX HALL 2: HEXUAL HEALING (still not really the title, still funny, still calling it that for now). I have about 20K words, which means I'm soon to enter the Scary No Man's Land of 30K words, where many a book has gone to die. Luckily, the fact that people have already paid me for this book lessens its chances of dying. ;-) Still, I'm pushing to have it done by May 1 as the fam and I are going to Maine May 9- and it's a road trip! From Alabama! With a toddler! Ha! Haha! HAHAHAHAHA!- and I'd like to have it done by then.

Okay, so now we're all caught up. So what have y'all been up to?

Mar. 25th, 2009

Taking This SHow On The Road...


This weekend, I'll be doing a SCBWI Southern Breeze "schmooze" with two ridiculously cool AL authors, Lindsey Leavitt and Irene Latham. If anyone is in the Florence, AL area, check it out! Here are the deets:

DATE: March 28,2009
TIME: 2-5pm


LOCATION: Florence-Lauderdale Public Library

350 North Wood Avenue
Florence, AL 35630-4709



SPEAKERS:

Rachel Hawkins, author of HEX HALL

Irene Latham, author of LEAVING GEE'S BEND

Lindsey Leavitt, author of PRINCESS FOR HIRE

Also, hear tips learned by attendees of the recent

SCBWI Springmingle Conference.



MEET:

Other local writers and artists, published and unpublished.



GET FEEDBACK:

On your work to help you toward publication.



Limited seating, please RSVP by: March 26.

CONTACT: Sheila Renfro annbrenfro@comcast.net

Pat Weaver dawgprint1@comcast.net



This event is for adult writers and artists in the field of children’s literature


We'll mostly be talking about the "so this is what happens when you sell a book" aspect of publishing since we're all still in the early stages of that. I know, I sold nearly a YEAR ago, and I'm still in the early stages. Such is the book world!

As for me, it's back to copy edits today...

Mar. 17th, 2009

Go Win Some Stuff!

NOTE: Okay, so since so many of my friends are on LJ, from this post on,  I'm posting RWR both here AND in its regular Blogspot spot. (Ha. Spot spot). Probably going to keep both spots open (Spot how many times you've spotted me saying spot!) since both bring different and equally magical things to the party.


So some of you may know YA Authoress Extraordinaire, Lindsey Leavitt. What you may NOT know is that Lindsey and I are living parallel lives in that A) We both live in AL, B) We are both former teachers, C)We are the same height, i.e., very tall, D) We both got 3-book deals from Hyperion, and LAST BUT NOT LEAST E) Our books come out within 2 weeks of each other. TWO WEEKS! So 2 weeks after you buy HEX HALL (March 2, 2010), you can just hop right BACK to the bookstore and buy PRINCESS FOR HIRE (March 16, 2010).

Linds and I are also planning on doing a completely informal "book tour" of AL together at some point, so that should be fun, and full of us being tall, and discussing our love of People Hooking Up in books.

Anyhoo, Lindsey is having a MOST EXCELLENT contest over at her blog, so please go check it out. And, hey, win some stuff while you're at it!

Then if you have time, hop over to Fellow Tenner Christy Raedeke's blog, where she has interviewed Lindsey, as well as lots of other "Tenners," including my friend/ARCH NEMESIS Josh Berk, whose book THE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN sounds so amazing that I just might have to murder him.

In HEX HALL news, my copy edits got here today, and once I've stopped breathing into a paper bag, I'll be sharing that experience here at Reading, Writing, Rachel. (Seriously, they're not that bad, but there's just A LOT going on on every page, from the actual copy edits, to instructions for the typesetter, to a few line edits from Editor Jen...slightly overwhelming!)

Now go visit those awesome sites until I return!