Monday, January 23, 2012

Erasing Time--the cover is finally final.

Notice any differences? I didn't. (Which is why I'm lousy at all of those picture games where you're supposed to find six differences in what appear to be two identical pictures.) Anyway, I'm very happy with it. It's an awesome cover.

The book is coming out September 2012, and I'm writing the sequel right now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Which Cover Do You Like Best?

I put Playing the Field, one of my earlier books, up as an ebook last month. I needed a new cover and couldn't decide whether to use one that would appeal to boys--because the main character is guy, or one that would appeal to girls--because most of my readers are girls. And, after all, a lot of girls read books with guys as main characters.

Then fellow writer, Robin Brande, suggested I do two covers and see which sells best. Which was a great suggestion and would have been a very interesting cover experiment. The only problem is that Amazon (and I suppose other sites as well) don't let you put up two different covers for the same book.

So, I'm going to ask you all which you like best. Does the boy cover appeal to you even though it's clearly a boy cover, (The guy does have a sort of hot wrist, after all)or would you pass that one by and only buy the girl cover?

And, in case you really do feel like buying a good middle grade comedy, I've just lowered the price to .99 on Amazon and on Smashwords (which lowers it on B&N, right?)so you can also vote by buying one copy or the other.

Here's the link to the girl cover:

Here's the link to the guy cover:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Creepiest kids' toys

Okay, on first glance, cute pink-haired Lalaloopsy doesn't seem creepy--that is unless you've read the book Coraline or seen the movie. Because the evil-scary-bad people have those exact same button eyes. Creepiest thing ever! (Shudders just thinking about it.) Don't put this doll on your bed. She may kill you sometime during the night. That's why she's smiling.

Some things shouldn't be combined. Dora and Pillow Pets are two of those things.

Dora looks like she has become some sort of mutant furry animal akin to that freaky dog in the original Body Snatchers movie. (But at least he doesn't have button eyes.)

I've always loved Barbie. Really. I have more Barbies than is probably healthy for a grown woman to own. (But that's a different blog.) So I was understandably disturbed to see decapitated Barbie heads in the toy aisle. My first thought was, "Well, it looks like Mattel has finally done a Marie Antoinette doll." Then I realized that no, Barbie now has a line where the heads are switchable. Remember how people used to worry that Barbie sent the wrong body image message to young girls? I'm glad they've straightened out that issue.

I'm a huge Star Wars fan. At one point I wanted to marry Luke Skywalker. (On some days I still do.) I hate to criticize anything Star Wars, but despite this deep seated love, I must point out that Yoda makes a really creepy child's toy.

Um, am I only the one who thinks that Yoda looks like he has emerged from a horror film and is trying to strangle this hapless child?

The catalog copy says Cuddle with you, I will! Judging from this picture, Yoda is also saying, "Hide under your bed, I will. Come out at night while you're sleeping, I will. Try to suck your brains out, I will."

No thanks, I'll pass on that Star Wars memorabilia.

If you haven't seen the movie Rango, this next picture is Ms. Beans, the love interest of Johnny Depp--er, I mean Rango. Johny Depp just does the voice for Rango. Anyway, she's supposed to be a Desert Iguana.

Personally, I think she would frighten most children and many adults. I mean, really, she is clearly just an alien wearing a wig.

So parents, if you are going to go to the trouble to buy your children a gift, don't buy them one that they will later need therapy for. Hey, I know what would be really great. How about a book? I know of many good ones, including this one:

It's available at all your fine bookstores (including the Portland airport--how awesome is that?) Here are links for your convenience. (Because I'm thoughtful that way.)

Or if you're looking for a kindle bargain try this book at 2.51

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Two great writing conferences

Do you dream of the glamorous life of an author? Would you like to spend long hours huddled, unshowered, in front of your computer? Then, my friend, I've got good news. Two awesome conferences are just around the corner.

Phoenix Public Library and Changing Hands Bookstore present

Eleven authors of young adult fiction, including several New York Times bestsellers, share strategies, tips, and tricks for writing engaging work for tween and teen readers. You can choose three of four informative sessions to fill your three-session schedule, including "Unforgettable Characters," "Heroes and Villains," "Realistic Dialogue," and "Edgy Fiction." Please select your three sessions before calling to register by viewing class descriptions below.

Presenters and panelists include authors Adam Rex, Bree Despain, James Owen, Anna Carey, Kiersten White, Aprilynne Pike, Amy Fellner Dominy, C J Hill (aka Janette Rallison), Robin Brande, Cecil Castellucci, and Tom Leveen.

Location: Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N Central Ave, Phoenix 85004
Central at McDowell METRO Light Rail Station

EARLY REGISTRATION SPECIAL: $75 through Jan 19 | $85 Jan 20-28

Register now! 480.730.0205
More info at:

If you're agent ready, you won't want to miss the ANWA Writers Conference on Feb 23-25th

Here's just some of the amazing faculty who will be there:

Jane Dystel, President of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
Anita Mumm reads queries and sample pages and presents workshops for writers across the country on behalf of Nelson Literary Agency.
Lisa Mangum, Assistant Editor at Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain.
Linda Prince Mulleneaux is Managing Editor at Walnut Springs Press.
And yours truly.

Plus, they're having pitch sessions--which means you can pitch your novel to one of these folks and get instant feedback. Trust me, that's worth every penny.
More info is at: