What is Academy 7 about:
It is a young adult science fantasy about two teens who risk everything
to attend the most prestigious school in the universe.
What is Exile about: It is the continuation of Aurelia and Robert's story! See my About Exile page to learn more.
What is Salvation: Salvation
is a young adult contemporary novel about Salva (Salvador Resendez), a
young man who doesn't want to be everyone's salvation, and Beth, the
walking disaster area. See my What's Next page to learn more.
When does Salvation go on sale: January 2013
Where and how to purchase the books: They
should be available in most bookstores that carry young adult books,
though you may need to ask smaller stores to order a copy. I know my
books are available through all the bookstores on my Perfect Places to Purchase My Books page.
Who is publishing my books: Penguin Books is the parent company. Speak is the imprint. Other books on the same imprint include The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, and The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson.
Possible sequels: Aurelia, Robert, and I are thrilled to say that Exile, the sequel to Aurelia, was published in April! I would love to write still more about Aurelia, Robert, Aerin, and Dane!
What is it like working with an editor: I have been blessed to work with Angelle Pilkington and Kristin Gilson, both editors who have provided wonderful insight for bringing the characters in my stories to life
What is it like working for Penguin: They’ve been very supportive. The covers of all the books are gorgeous! They put Aurelia
on the back cover of their spring catalogue and released it in larger
numbers than normal for a first time author. I hope the readers like my
books as much as they do!
What are your goals for your books: I hope people read them and fall in love with the characters and want to read them again and again.
What are your goals for the future: I
would like to support the literary community as much as possible. I'm
presenting community workshops and visiting schools, libraries, and
bookstores (guest speaking page).
I'm also trying to learn about on-line marketing. Mainly, though, I
want to write and share all the other stories that are in my head.
What events do you have coming up: See my event schedule.
Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers: Write
the stories you love! Choose the one that is the most demanding, the
one that refuses to leave your head, and write that one first. Then the
next and the next and the next!
How do you deal with writer's block: I
have far more ideas than I have time to write about them. That said,
when I am working my way through a manuscript, it isn't always fun or
inspiring. I deal with the tougher sections in three main ways: 1. I
have a scheduled time for writing, and I make myself stick with it.
Generally, once I sit down, the section I have been worrying about
works itself out. 2. I write down the questions I have been struggling
with. I find that once I actually make myself write them down, I often
know the answers. 3. I try researching about the topic with which I'm
struggling. An hour or so on the internet or reading the encyclopedia
can give me all kinds of ideas I did not know were available.
How did you become published and do you have any tips for writers who would like to become published: First
I committed myself to finishing a book that could actually be
published. Aurelia volunteered for the position. Then I committed the
time to completing the manuscript and learning as much as I could about
the submission process. I have created a Submission & Publishing Tips page based on my personal experience which I hope is helpful.
There are many wonderful writing organizations that offer workshops,
classes, and retreats for aspiring writers. See my Friends and Writing Resources page.
Who would you like to thank for helping you accomplish your goal: My
parents who let me live in their basement while I was revising full
time. My critique group members and other proofreaders who read my
drafts and gave me suggestions as well as support. My best friend,
Maria, who proofread my books and designs my website and postcards. My
friend, Dawn, who is doing the technical work on my website. My first editor,
Angelle Pilkington, who decided to take a huge chance on a princess who
should not be a princess and an author who has never been very good at
staying inside the box. Kristin Gilson for stepping in to help polish Academy 7 and to edit Salvation.
Michael Frost, Linda McCarthy, and Theresa Evangelista for their
absolutely breathtaking covers. And all the readers, students, friends,
librarians, teachers, co-workers, parents, and bookstore workers who
have been so supportive on this crazy learning curve!