Now That You’re Here

My Writing Process (Blog Tour)

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I was invited by YA author Page Morgan to participate in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Page at the Tucson Festival of Books, and she is lovely. She is the author of  The Beautiful and the Cursed, and The Lovely and the Lost. Click here to read about her writing process.

The way this works is I answer four questions about my writing process, and then I introduce you to the authors who will be the next stops on this tour.


Question #1: What am I working on?

I am revising the follow-up novel to Now That You’re Here. The title is While You Were Gone, and it  is slated for publication in 2015.

Question #2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My first two novels are young adult science fiction, which I think is sometimes a love it or hate it genre. I’m trying to write Now That You’re Here and While You Were Gone in such a way that readers will feel solidly grounded in the “real” world, while taking on some heavy hitting science. I try never to clobber readers over the head with the science, but rather walk them alongside the characters as they explore and discover and learn. My goal is to write true and compelling characters whose stories affect how they see and interact with their world. My hope is my readers will come away from my books doing the same.

Question #3: Why do I write what I do?

The short answer is: the ideas come to me and I write them. The longer answer is: I’m curious about the world around me. I spend a lot of time thinking about situations and places and people. Sometimes those situations and people trigger ideas, but usually it’s a voice that starts speaking or an opening line that forms in my mind. Inevitably, the story that grows from that voice or line will take a turn toward the strange or mysterious. I’ve never been able to stick with writing straight contemporary or literary fiction. Everything I write tends to find its home in either the science fiction or fantastical realm. I think I gravitate toward those genres because they make a good mirror for society and issues and people and places and all those things that get me thinking in the first place.

Question #4: How does my writing process work?

Some aspects of my writing process have changed since working with my agent and editor, mostly those parts that deal with deadlines. *grin* But the nuts and bolts of it is this: an idea or a voice will form in my mind. With that idea or voice comes a feeling, which sounds a bit woo woo, but I get a sense of how the book should feel. I let that idea or voice brew for a while before I do any actual writing. Sometimes I’ll do a little research if the story involves something I don’t know enough about to write. I don’t get bogged down in research, though. As the idea cooks, I’ll start taking notes (sometimes mental, but usually written down) about certain scenes I’ve seen played out in my head. As I do this, the characters start to come more into focus. I’ll usually write a couple of chapters at this point, and start getting those noted scenes down on paper. Then, because I’m mostly a plotter, I’ll start sketching an outline for the story. I need a roadmap, or I’ll end up driving off the edge of the world. I’m never married to the outline, though. If the story wants to go another direction, I’ll follow it, and adjust my roadmap. Then it’s just a matter of plugging along, getting the words down, discovering the story with the characters, and figuring out how it all wraps up. When the draft is finished, I celebrate…for about ten minutes…which is when I realize how much work I have ahead of me,revising. And revising is a different process entirely.

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I’ve asked a couple of authors to join me on this blog tour. They’ll be posting next week about their own writing processes, so be sure to check them out!

hollyschindlerHolly Schindler’s debut novel, A Blue So Dark, received a starred review in Booklist, was named one of Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels for Youth, and won both a silver medal from ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and a gold medal in the IPPY Awards. She is also the author of Playing Hurt (YA romance), The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky (contemporary MG), and the forthcoming Feral (YA psychological thriller). Visit her online at

shonnaslaytonSHONNA SLAYTON is the author of the YA novel Cinderella’s Dress, out June 3, 2014 with Entangled Teen. She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. While writing Cinderella’s Dress she reflected on her days as a high-school senior in British Columbia when she convinced her supervisors at a sportswear store to let her design a few windows—it was glorious fun while it lasted. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona. Visit her online at



Suddenly, there were books with my name on them.

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azimuth:0.000000||elevation:0.000000||horizon:0.000000The revisions deadline for WHILE YOU WERE GONE is looming over me like a dark menace, but I had to take time out to post a very cool happening.

I got a package in the mail from my editor, the lovely Katherine Harrison at Knopf, and in the package was books. With my name on them.

My advanced reader copies of NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE had arrived!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen other authors post pics of their ARCs and wondered what that must be like, seeing your book for the first time. Now I know: it’s a very strange feeling. Do I laugh? Cry? Run around the room screaming? Sit and stare, wondering how this ever happened? All of the above? I imagine at some point all of this will feel very normal. But for now it’s a bit Alice-down-the-rabbit-hole. I keep checking to see if the stack of ARCs is still there, to make sure this isn’t actually some surreal dream.

Yep. They’re still there.

And so is that book two deadline. Best get back to work.

Now That You’re Here – Book Cover Reveal!

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Guys! Guys! I’m so excited!

Today is the official book cover reveal for


The fabulous Elana Johnson organized the reveal, and a slew of awesome book bloggers are participating. And there’s a giveaway, too, because giving away prizes is fun!

Check out Elana’s blog or any of the book blogs listed below so you can see the cover (squee!) and enter to win!

Bibliophilia, Please
Two Chicks on Books
YA Story Teller
Min Reads and Reviews
The Reader’s Den
Lisa Swinton – Queen of Random
The Story Siren
Bookworm Lisa
Little Library Muse
Books and Needlepoint
Under a Gray Sky
Kathryn Cooper Writes
A Dream Within A Dream
Stacy Claflin
Ren’s Rambles
Paper Cuts
Books Live Forever
Amaterasu Reads
Chapter by Chapter
Me, My Shelf & I
Fire and Ice Reads
The Book Hookup
A Little Bit of R&R
Fic Talk
A Life Bound by Books
The Book Monsters

And how cool is this?

Huge thanks to all the wonderful book bloggers who participated! You guys rock!

I’ve Got a Date!

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Not that kind of date, silly.

A publication date!

NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE will officially go on sale…

December 9, 2014


About the book:

Danny and Eevee are meant to be together . . .

Just not in this universe.

Eevee Solomon has high school down to a science. Get the grades. Get the recommendations. Get into an Ivy League college, and eventually land a killer job at NASA.

Then Danny Ogden enters the equation.

Danny is a street-smart graffiti artist. He’s always managed to stay out of serious trouble, but this time he’s out of luck. One minute he’s running from the cops, and the next, he jolts awake in an unfamiliar body–his own, but different. Somehow, he’s crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and coolheaded Eevee is not the brazen girl he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she’s only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there’s something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension . . . a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

Sound like a fun read? Head over to Goodreads and add NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE to your bookshelf.

And stay tuned for more fun announcements!

Ready. . . Set. . . LAUNCH!

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Happy New Year!

How’s 2014 treating you so far? Around here, it’s been swell. I spent the first day of the new year reading, doing some web design work for the Class of 2k14 and counting down the minutes to the new season of Sherlock.

(Did you see it? At first I was like *gasp* and then I was like, AHHH! and then I was like, Whoa. I’ll tell you one thing: between The Day of the Doctor, The Time of the Doctor and The Empty Hearse, I’m emotionally spent.)

Anyway, back on topic. 2014.

A few years ago (thanks to S. C. Green, I think) I started choosing a theme word for the year. Last year my word was “spirit“. And if 2013 was anything, it was spirited!

With my first book coming out this year and a slew of other writing projects in the works, the word I’ve chosen for 2014 is…



Let’s do this.