Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bedtime Reading

So whaddayado when it's 102 out and there's no AC in the house? Apparently, you fall asleep in the back of my bookshelf:

On this date: In 2005, Hurricane Katrina slams into the Gulf Coast.

Friday, August 28, 2009

License to...Sell

I got another fun envelope in the mail today - my resale license! I don't know why that thrilled me so much, but it did. That little goldenrod piece of paper said that I am allowed to drag copies of my books out into the public and sell them to people. Oh yeah, apparently I get to pay taxes too.

I got it because I'm going to my very first book fair - the Sonoma Book Festival on September 19th. For those of you with very sharp eyes, you might notice that it is the day after the official (and slightly delayed) launch party here in Northern California. Not having done this before, I have no idea what I'm in for, but what the heck. It's Sonoma...there might be wine.

On this date: In 1996, Charles and Diana divorced.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Campfire Memories

We just got back from camping. I'm talking sleeping in a tight nylon bag on the ground in a tent with just a flimsy piece of fabric between you and the elements. I've discovered that I don't really like camping much anymore. I think I'm too old to sleep on the ground and not wake up grumbly, even though the Costco mats we had were a huge improvement over the bouncy yet self-deflating air matresses of previous years. I'm too old to enjoy being dirty all the time, no matter how hard you try to scrub stuff off. I'm also too old to put up with a tent city at the next campsite, complete with generator and big, bright spotlight. Wouldn't want the nature to sneak up on anyone after dark. And who were the guys with the satellite dish and big screen monitor? Camping just ain't what it used to be.

Maybe I'm painting too bleak a picture. It was fun sitting with good friends around a glowing campfire and eating more marshmallows than is legal. The kids had a great time, and that's all that matters. Well, they did until the day after we got back.

It's infomercial time. When your oldest son comes down with the most wicked case of poison oak all over his face and neck two days before school starts you'll try pretty much anything. He was so miserable with his puffy face and eyes that wouldn't really open, I was making deals with anyone who'd listen to try to fix him. Went to the doctor for pills and creams and that just seemed to make everything worse. Finally found the miracle that made it go away enough so he could go to school today without feeling like a monster. It's this:

I'm a skeptic and don't believe much of what I read, but this stuff is amazing. $40 a pop and worth every penny. Seriously.

The kids still want to go camping again, and I'm considering it. Not with the generator or satellite dish, but I have to tell you, some of the luxuries are starting to look pretty good. This time next year, you may find me at the campsite, loaded up with marshmallows and throwing another log in the fire.

Just stop by the site with the nice, comfy pop-up camper and say hello.

On this date: In 1939, the first major league baseball game was televised.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Away From Home (Again)

I did a "guest blog" post type thing today over on Kay Cassidy's website where I did a version of my "Nine Points for Plotting Fiction" article. For some of you who have been with me for awhile, it may be a repeat, but if not, it's a good way to go about writing a book. Kay is doing a series of posts by various authors on their writing style and it's always great to be a voyeur.

Kay is one of those people who makes me look like a slacker (ok, admittedly not that hard). Not only does she have a YA called The Cinderella Society coming out next year :

(love the little countdown thingy on the site, but I think I would just sit and watch it if I had one for DLS), her blog and website are always full of great interviews and information, and she's also creator of the Great Scavenger Hunt that is getting a lot of press(which reminds me, I have to finish my questionnaire for when it's my turn). She's a good person to have on your side. Go check it out.

DATE CHANGE!!! A while back, I got the impression that Dirty Little Secrets was coming out in April. NOT TRUE! It is actually going to be out February 2nd (if you can believe Amazon) or sometime in February (according to my editor). I finally changed the dates on the blog and on the website, but make a note on your hand for later. Guess I'd better get on it.

On this date: In 1977, the Police played their first gig.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dirty Little Secrets - Cover!

Yes, it's here! Drumroll please for the official cover for Dirty Little Secrets:

I really like the cover because it evokes the feeling of the book without being too creepy. The weird thing is that the girl on the cover looks freakishly like I did at the age of 18 with the black hair and lots of eye makeup. There is a moment in the book that this photo could almost be lifted from, so it's great that they were able to find a picture to match so well. Walker did a great job, and I hope the cover entices readers to pick it up and find out more about the book.

Look for it in a bookstore near you in February of next year.

On this date: In 1961, Berlin is divided.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

She Likes It!

Okay, I know I'm supposed to be a calm, cool, distant author-type, but dangit, someone likes Six O'clock and she's not even related to me! Really thrilled with the lovely review on Shelf Elf the other day - she really got what we were trying to do with the book. I hope that other teacher/librarian types see it and get a chance to use it in their work. Teachers rule!

In other news, I've finally updated my profile on GoodReads. Apparently, I've been a member since 2007, but I've reviewed a total of 0 books up to now. Slowly remedying that so that I don't look like a total slacker. One note, I don't put up bad reviews. If I don't like a book, I keep quiet about it. I don't like tomatoes at all, but lots of other people do, so who am I to bad mouth them? Also, even though I've been an adult for awhile (some people debate that fact) I don't read many adult books, so most of my reviews are YA with a few mid-grade thrown in for good measure. If you're on GoodReads, please friend me because I'm lonely.

Check this space tomorrow for some Thrills on Thursday (I just made that up, but it sounds good anyway). I may just have something to post that requires a drumroll. (No, not another book sale - yet.)

On this date: In 1994, Woodstock II (what, you forgot about this one?)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What's New?

Guess who's on the list over at Amazon's "Featured in Children's Books" section? That's right, When it's Six O'clock in San Francisco! The order seems to change around each time you log on, but it's been hanging out around number 18.

First spotted by fellow YA author Josh Berk, it was really cool to see my book right up there with notables like Kate DiCamillo and Barbara Park.

For those of you who are wondering about a signing/party, it looks like it will be on September 18th right here in town. I'll post more information as things get solidified, but we decided it would be wiser to wait until after school started again. Our local bookstore, World of Books will be selling books for me, or you can just come to have cake!

On this date: In 1921, Alex Haley was born.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Blogging Away From Home

No blog here today, but I did put up my monthly blog post over on Author's Now! if you need me ;)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bunch O' Stuff

When It's Six O'clock in San Francisco is doing really well out in the world - thanks so much to everyone who bought a copy! I know a few local indies who sold out and had to reorder, so I think that stint as PTA president came in handy in getting to know a lot of parents. You guys rock.

As most of you know, Dirty Little Secrets is coming out in February (did I mention that it's February and not April like I'd been thinking - February, put it on your calendars), and it's sort of a hoarding love-story. I'm no expert, but I did get pretty heavily immersed in the world of hoarding as I was writing it and it seems that the subject really does have legs. I've put it on here before, but the best hoarding film around is Cynthia Lester's My Mother's Garden:

Cynthia did such an amazing job and I have so much respect for the film - I have this recurring fear that she reads the book and gets angry with the way the story ends. Hope not.

In other TV news, A&E has been running a series called Obsessed, which deals with different cases of OCD - now they are going all the way: the new series Hoarders will premier on August 17th.

On this date: In 1962, Marilyn Monroe is found dead.