So Long, And Thanks For All the Fish

Friday, August 31, 2018

As I contemplated this post, I wondered what more I could say. I feel like I’ve pulled back the curtain on my life a bit this year as we’ve gone through the ups and downs of being a debut author. I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard and exhilarating and daunting and anxiety inducing and a dream come true and a nightmare all at the same time. It’s been…


To All the Words I’ve Loved Before

Friday, August 24, 2018

I know I made a lot of mistakes while writing and publishing The Diminished. I know because it’s literally impossible to not make mistakes while writing and editing and promoting a book. That said, and much like Julie, I don’t really remember what those mistakes were. I have a tendency to dwell on things. If I said something that might be misconstrued as being somewhat out of line to you ten years ago,…


How to Birth a Book

Friday, August 17, 2018

This week we are talking about launch parties! As I thought about writing this post, I found myself wishing that I’d written it closer to my actual launch. That time feels SO LONG AGO! But! I had the great good fortune of joining the wonderful Tracy Banghart as she launched her novel GRACE & FURY just a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I’d talk a little about the…


Interview with L.L. McKinney, Author of A Blade So Black

Saturday, August 11, 2018

L.L. McKinney is a writer, a poet, and an active member of the kidlit community. She’s an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear. She’s spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and participating as a judge in various online writing contests. She’s also a gamer girl and an adamant Hei Hei stan. A Blade So Black is her debut…


Trunked: A Love Story

Friday, August 10, 2018

I have a veritable stockpile of poems none of y’all are ever going to read, and you should thank your lucky stars because those words– though they taught me about imagery and evoking emotion and storytelling– they are not good words. There are 23 versions of my first novel sitting on a hard drive next to 3 years of MFA poetry work that you’re also not going to read. And that’s…


Book Two and the Reviewers in My Ear

Friday, August 3, 2018

I wrote The Exalted, the sequel to The Diminished, in late 2016 and early 2017. By the time I began editing The Diminished, I’d already written the sequel as well as another book. By the time reviews started rolling in, I was already halfway through the initial edit on The Exalted. I turned in my first round of major revisions the day The Diminished was released. In a lot of ways, I think that gave me…


Taking From Our World to Build Something New

Friday, July 27, 2018

Much like Cass, I am, by training, as much a historian as I am a writer. I took more history classes in college than I did English classes by a fairly wide margin. (I don’t, however, have a history degree because I stupidly refused to take one class, taught by a racist old white dude, that was not taught by anyone else and required for the degree. Way to go,…


What Do We Want? Success! When Do We Want It? Now!

Friday, July 20, 2018

I had the great good fortune to meet a group of wonderful veteran YA authors about a year before my book came out, and their greatest advice to me was to manage my expectations. Very few people hit the NYT list, and those that do get there because of publisher buy-in and enormous marketing campaigns, a thing The Diminished was never going to have. My friends told me to set reasonable goals,…


Breadcrumbs in The Diminished

Friday, July 13, 2018

I didn’t think much about Easter eggs when I was writing The Diminished. So much of my focus was on making something new, something fresh, that everything I did, every choice I made, was in pursuit of writing something that no one had seen before. That said, when I went back and edited the book, I wanted to leave a few things behind. Though it doesn’t exist on the page, there…


Taking Up Space

I am, by nature, a people pleaser. I think it’s a trait that a lot of women struggle with, whether they learned it or, like me, came with it. Being a people pleaser wasn’t taught to me. In fact, my parents actively discouraged this trait, and yet, at my core, my driving force is to please others. It’s a trait that makes it harder to be a woman in publishing, and…

Friday, July 6, 2018