Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Coaches, You Rock. Love, Amy

I told you I'd check in once I met that deadline, and here I am. I sent the book back to my editor last week, and I think I have a week or two of relaxing (read: catching up on everything I neglected in the last 2 months) before I have to go back to work on it.

Yesterday I had a really cool experience. I got to go and talk to a bunch of awesome girls who are taking part in a summer sports camp. When I signed my daughter up a few months ago, I really loved the idea of their "girl power half hour" but I never thought I'd actually be part of it. The question I answered was: How did your participation in school sports influence your life?

And you know what? The more I thought about that question, the more I realized that everything I do is influenced by my childhood of playing sports. But relating specifically to writing? Like--EVERYTHING. (Think about it. Publishing is teamwork times twenty, right?)

My question to the ladies (or sisterhood, if you will) was: What is the difference between the 7-year-old Amy who stood in front of the basket and shot and shot and shot and missed and missed and missed until she put the ball in the hoop and the 25 to 40-year-old Amy who wrote and wrote and wrote books and stories and got rejected hundreds of times until she finally got a YES?

The answer: No difference.

Discipline, determination, teamwork, respect and a positive attitude were all shown to me at an early age through sports and the coaches and players who took the time to run programs for little girls like me. I'd like to thank every person who dedicates their time to teaching kids these important life skills. You all ROCK.

Good News Time:

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ (which comes out in two little months!) is a Junior Library Guild selection for Fall 2010. This news really made me smile.

I just heard THE DUST OF 100 DOGS is going for another printing! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the little book that could.

So--in just another month we'll be kicking off some fun contests to win copies of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. I'm excited. Until then, I have two final The Dust of 100 Dogs events.

This weekend, Sat. July 31st from 1-3pm, I will be reading and signing at Moravian Bookshop in Bethlehem, PA. I can't wait for this. I love Moravian Bookshop.

Then, August 14th from 10am to 2pm, I'm part of a large, multi-author signing at the Lebanon Valley Mall Waldenbooks, benefiting the Lebanon Library. There will be STORMTROOPERS. I think that's all I need to say. STORMTROOPERS. I will finally have my chance to say, "These are not the droids you're looking for" to a STORMTROOPER. I bet they don't hear that everyday.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ten Questions

I'm taking a quick break from editing to say:


  1. How did that happen? 
  2. And where did half the summer go?
  3. And have you bought Lauren Baratz-Logsted's The Education of Bet yet?
  4. What about Jon Clinch's Kings of the Earth?
  5. Have you marked your calendar LAUNCH PARTY! on October 16, 2010?
  6. Have you read this nice review of PIVD? 
  7. Are you getting ready for my rad writing contests during launch month?
  8. Chances to win?
  9. Prizes to read?
  10. And Oh! Have you seen my new website?

    Also, I missed a huge thank you in my last post.
    In the last two weeks, two great blurbs came in for VERA DIETZ and I need to thank those authors for being so kind. Thank You! I have to say, I'm still a little fangirlish about these two, so the fact that they both loved VERA just sorta rocks too hard to say.

    Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a "please go away and don't bother me, I have to finish this book before I do anything else" kind of book. Brilliant. Funny. Really special. 
    Ellen Hopkins 

    A truly astonishing and great work. I love it!
     Terry Trueman

Back to the cave with me. Should be done in another week. Insert deafening cheers here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

All Those Loose Ends

I guess you hear writers say this all the time, but I'm on a wicked deadline. We don't mean to use it as an excuse. It's a weird phenomenon, the deadline. For the first few weeks, it's a mellow thing--I'll still talk on the phone or schedule dinner with a friend. In the middle, getting closer to the day circled in red on my calendar, I will stop answering my phone. I won't go out if I don't have to. If I do go out, I am the world's worst conversationalist. Right now, I'm about to enter the end of a deadline period. In English, that means I have about three weeks to finish this revision. I will not answer my phone. I probably won't go out. I won't know the last thing I ate or if I do, I bet it will be cereal.

The best thing about a deadline is that at the end of it, there is a feeling of relief...even if there is more work to do. (There is always more work to do.) This particular revision has been a challenge, so that relief will be a welcome feeling. Also, I have the next book in my head, and I am dying to sit down and get it out...and I can't do that until this work is done.

So, I figured before I disappear for the next few weeks, I should tie up some loose ends.

1. First a huge thank you to those who bid in the Do the Write Thing Auction for Nashville! I was offering a rare ARC of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and a signed copy of THE DUST OF 100 DOGS and Sara J. Henry was the high bidder. Thank you Sara! I got to meet Sara in NYC during the Backspace conference and I handed off the books to her there only to find this blog within the week...PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ...But I Can't. 

2. More thank yous to those who bid in the PAYA Auction and to the highest two bidders, Sharen Ford and winner Barbra Annino, who both made generous donations to the PAYA fund to aid Pennsylvania libraries. Barb--it was a pleasure to read your work! Can't wait to see your books on a shelf in my local bookstore!

3. In other news: German and Spanish language (Mex/Latin America) rights have sold for PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. This makes me very happy. :)  

4. And speaking of Germany: Watching Germany win 4-0 the other day made me happy too. Nothing against Argentina, but the Germans played their hearts out and it was great to see them win.

5. Within the week, my A.S. King website will be new, improved and completely awesome thanks to the amazing Mike at ktf web design for writers. I can't wait to share it with you! I go. Wish me luck as I wrestle this book to the mat and pin it. Fitting analogy for this particular book.