The news is out so I thought I’d share:

Angelina-Jolie-as-Maleficent

FILHOTES DE PRINCESAS

Com 30 mil cópias vendidas em seis meses, “O Livro das Princesas”, projeto da Galera Record que reuniu autoras brasileiras e americanas em novas versões de contos de fadas, rende crias. Sai em maio “O Livro dos Vilões”, com contos das americanas Cecily von Ziegesar (sobre as irmãs de Cinderela) e Diana Peterfreund (sobre Malévola) e dos brasileiros Carina Rissi (sobre a madrasta da Branca de Neve) e Fabio Yabu (sobre o Lobo Mau). Além disso, Paula Pimenta, uma das autoras de “O Livro das Princesas”, prepara um livro com a ampliação de sua versão para “Cinderela” e outro com releitura de “A Bela Adormecida”. - Folha de S.Paulo

 

A (sorta) translation, for the English speakers amongst us:

Princesses, The Sequel

With 30,000 copies sold in six months, “The Book of Princesses”, a Galera Record project which brought together Brazilian and American authors in contemporary versions of fairy tales, yields offspring. Out in May, “The Book of Villains,” with tales from Americans Cecily von Ziegesar (about Cinderella’s sisters) and Diana Peterfreund (about Maleficent) and Brazilians Carina Rissi (about the stepmother of Snow White) and Fabio Yabu (about the Big Bad Wolf). Also, Paula Pimenta, an author of “The Book of Princesses”, prepares a book with the expansion of its version of “Cinderella” and another with a retelling of “Sleeping Beauty.”

(So, Filhotes de Princesas translates literally to Puppies of Princesses, but speaking as someone who used to write cutesy headlines for little pieces like these, I’m pretty sure it’s the cutesy Brazilian version of Princesses 2: Electric Boogaloo.)

I am SO EXCITED to write this story! I’m a huge fan of Sleeping Beauty  and I’ve always thought that though the evil fairy kind of got out of hand with her revenge scheme, she does have a point about not being invited to the princess’s party. The release of the book is scheduled to coincide with the Angelina Jolie movie, Maleficent.

And I’m so excited to be working directly with Editora Record, the publisher of my Secret Society Girl and killer unicorn books, for the first time ever. I’ve never written directly for a foreign language before, so it’s been lots of fun trying to figure out a title that translates well, etc. Stay tuned for all the details.

Oh, and if you’re an English language publisher, anthologist, editor, etc. who is interested in getting your hands on this story, those right are available and I’m open to exploring my options to getting this to an English speaking audience as well (or any other language, for that matter). Drop me a line.

Posted in anthologies, Brazil Comments Off

Today we’re going to talk about the new book RELEASED, by S. J. Pajonas. I’ve gotten to know Stephanie as my “Viv Daniels” persona because we’re both publishing “new adult” books. But I actually think her futuristic Japanese novels would appeal more to fans of For Darkness and Star-Swept, so I’m posting about her newest book, RELEASED, here.

Look at this cover, guys:

 

Isn’t that gorgeous? I love those cranes. The covers on these books are actually from photographs that Stephanie took while researching in Japan. How cool is that?

And here’s what it’s about:

Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyō recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s eventual rule on Yūsei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs.

Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her?

From Nishikyō to Yūsei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them in the future.

As you can tell, this story is kinda epic, so it might be best to start with book one, REMOVED:

REMOVED (Book ONE of the Nogiku Series)
Duty knows no family. Love has no price. Secrets can cost you everything.

Twenty-year-old Sanaa Griffin, a sweet and smart half-Japanese girl, is about to get more than she bargained for when she wishes for love and excitement on New Year’s Eve 3103. Mark Sakai, who knows more about her than any stranger should, thinks Sanaa is the perfect person to spy on the heads of the three biggest Japanese clan leaders in Nishikyō. He wants her to gather enough evidence to keep them from going to war when they land on Earth’s colonization planet, Yūsei. Nishikyō, built by the Japanese 300 years ago to house the rest of mankind, is failing and everyone is preparing to leave.

Sakai has known Sanaa’s family all her life but she knows nothing of him! And despite all the time they spend together, he keeps his distance from her. Then one day, he brings her to Jiro, his nephew, to learn sword fighting, and it changes her life irrevocably. Between falling in love with Jiro and the information she is gathering on the clans, Sanaa realizes Sakai is holding back secrets about her family and her deceased parents, secrets as to why she was chosen for this job, and learning the truth puts her and all of Nishikyō in danger.

Buy it now: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBookstore / Kobo

And here’s a special excerpt to whet your appetite:

“Itami-sama, I’m glad to see you’re feeling better. Sakai-san tells me you were injured during the earthquake. How unfortunate.”

What a supremely cunning liar Minamoto is. I’m sure he knows everything about the fight, my injuries, my recovery, and my near death again in the hospital at the hands of an assassin. He has spies. We have spies. If only we all just told each other everything, but instead we do this dance. To men like Minamoto, the dance is everything, and if I don’t want to offend him, I will have to step lightly.

“I am quite well now, thank you, Minamoto-san.” I rise from seiza to lean forward and lift my cup of tea from the table between us. Jiro is sitting silently to my left, Usagi standing behind me, and Sakai is on my right.

I sit back on my heels and take the time to sum up Kentaro Minamoto. He’s twenty-two, the same age as Jiro. He’s lean, fit, and possibly a little wiry under his gray kimono. He has a thin face, long forehead, and short spiky hair. If I had seen him out and about, I definitely would have thought, “Not my type.” He has yet to utter a word, but he is watching me while I watch him.

“Minamoto-san, you said you had business to discuss,” Sakai says, setting his tea cup down and placing his hands on his upper thighs. I continue to sip at the genmaicha. Hmmm, this tea is not as bad as I remember it being.

Kentaro lightly shakes his head at Minamoto. Violences flashes over Minamoto’s eyes as Kentaro turns towards me.

“Itami-sama, before the earthquake, I was prepared to get back to you about my support. I am willing to throw the full weight of my house behind you, but I ask one thing in return.”

I keep my face as passive as possible. Here it comes.

“You currently have no consort. You are twenty and of the age that such things are permissible. It would be advantageous for both our families if you were to take my son, Kentaro.”

________

Buy it now: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBookstore
Learn more about S.J. Pajonas: http://www.spajonas.com/

Check it out now!

 

Posted in other writers, SF 12 Comments

Books/stories written:

  • “The First Star to Fall” [10k]
  • Omega City [50k]
  • One & Only (w/a Viv Daniels) [75k]
  • unfinished novella* [20k]
  • Sweet & Wild (w/a Viv Daniels) [40k, plus whatever I manage in the next few days]

Total wordcount for 2013: 195,000**

* Despite revising this novella multiple times, I could never get it to gel. It took longer to write than a full-length book. In the end, I was forced to shelve it.
** I also revised 105,000 words

Books/stories sold:

  • Omega City 1,2,3
  • “The Last of the Unicorn Hunters”
  • “Huntress Sinister”
  • (Plus several foreign deals and reprints)

Books/stories published:

  • For Darkness Shows the Stars, extras paperback
  • Foretold, paperback
  • Under my Hat, paperback
  • “Sharper than a Seraph Blade” in Shadowhunters and Downworlders
  • Across a Star-Swept Sea
  • “The Last of the Unicorn Hunters” in When the Hero Comes Home, vol. 2
  • One & Only (written as Viv Daniels)

Book festivals/conferences/attended:

  • New York Teen Author Fest
  • Frederick Book Festival
  • DC AwesomeCon
  • BEA
  • DragonCon
  • Baltimore Book Festival
  • Capclave
  • NINC

Plus another dozen unconnected signings. It was a busy year for events.

Writing Retreats Attended:

  • Chicago with Simone Elkeles and Mari Mancusi (August 2013)
  • New York City with Mari Mancusi (November 2013)

Miscellaneous:

  • After years of only self-publishing reprints of short stories, I not only self published an original short story (“The First Star to Fall”) but I also wrote and self-published a novel! I’m officially a hybrid author!
  • I sold my first trilogy! (Yes, it took me this long to even write one.)
  • I added two new genres to my resume with the above entries: Middle Grade (or action adventure, or both) and new adult romance. It’s fun to write things that aren’t SFF sometimes.
  • For Darkness Shows the Stars, already on the Capitol Choices (DC Area) Reading List, is also on the Lonestar Reading List!
  • Across a Star-Swept Sea got a starred review from VOYA.

____________________

That’s all the good news. The bad news is that while I was doing all this, I forgot to take care of myself. It’s been a very stressful few years–2013 might be the worst of the lot–and my health has taken a hit. As I’ve read the accounts from fellow writers like Stephanie Perkins, Lauren DeStefano, Jessica Spotswood, Andrea Cremer, and others who have struggled with health issues, I’ve seen too much of myself in their posts. (And a few weeks ago the YA community lost Ned Vizzini, who wrote wonderful books about his own struggles with depression.) When I read the blog of the fabulous and indomitable Susan Donovan and learn how one of the reasons she’s alive today is because she was so very healthy and active when the infection hit, I know that I’ve been too much of a lump. My friends and family have seen it, too. I read the articles about the increased rate of depression in writers, I hear the jokes about how we’re all miserable, alcoholics, and drug addicts, I see the cartoons like this:

drunken vagrantI’ve started thinking it’s too close to true. So though I’d like to set out goals for next year, I have only one priority, and it’s to get myself back together again. I used to be the girl who went hiking with my dog for three miles every day. I used to be the girl who grew a garden every year, who liked cooking and crocheting and home improvement projects, who kept foster dogs and volunteered at the zoo and wanted to travel. And I tell myself, well, you have a kid now, some things are going to have to give. But what shouldn’t give is me.

Of course I’ll still be writing; it is my job. I have edits due in January, not to mention two books to write, a short story to expand, and two books to publish in 2014. Still, my MG and NA novels are shorter books, not the 120,000 word doorstopper that Star-Swept ended up being (watch out, George R. R., amirite?). But I think I will be pulling back majorly on events and concentrating on my health and achieving a work-life balance.

On that note, I’m off to celebrate a kid-friendly “GMT New Year” with some friends-with-kids. Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night.

Posted in Uncategorized 2 Comments

After the discussion exploded on Twitter and Facebook yesterday, I felt I would be remiss if I didn’t include a more in-depth analysis of the issue here. I think there are some who are misunderstanding the complaint of the YA writers who feel the category has been underserved by its description.

HOW THE RITA WORKS

The way the RITA award is structured is messed up is that you pay $50 to enter your book (and $150 if you aren’t an RWA member), and when you enter you pick the category you are entering your manuscript in. There are nine subject/subgenre categories, plus a “best first book” category that debut writers can check in addition to the category they are also entering. Most of the categories are subgenre related, such as “best historical romance” and “best paranormal romance”. (It would be like the Nebulas had a best space opera, best steampunk, best dystopian, etc. category. It would also be like the Nebulas was a pay to play award, but that’s a whole OTHER discussion.)

There are two length-based awards: “best novella” (romance doesn’t publish a whole lotta short stories), and “best short contemporary romance” (by which the denizens of romancelandia mostly mean category romance as published by Harlequin, though in this brave new world of ebooks, there are lots of titles that now fall into the “under 65k” rubric.

So basically, when you enter, you, the entrant, decide which category your book fits best into. Your historical paranormal romance could be entered into either category, for example.

In the decade or so I’ve been in RWA, they’ve rejiggered the categories and their descriptions several times. Like they used to have a category called “single title romance” by which everyone in the industry understood meant NON-Harlequin-category contemporary romance, but no one else understood the jargon, so they axed it. They had to change the descriptions of their “short contemporary” and “long contemporary” requirements every time Harlequin changed their word counts. They added in a “fiction with strong romantic elements” category at one point [read: women's fiction/chick lit]. Then, two years ago, in an attempt to rebrand RWA as being for ROMANCE writers, they axed that one and wrote new descriptions and judging guidelines and decided to focus heavily on the romance.

Which is fine. I cannot stress this enough. If RWA wants to be an organization that focuses solely on its mission of romance fiction, I think that’s GREAT. It doesn’t need to have women’s fiction in its organization just because some of its members also or mostly or even only write women’s fiction (raises hand). I published “women’s fiction” for years and I didn’t enter it in the RITA because I didn’t think it belonged and I’m fine with that. I don’t need RWA to cater to me when I’m not writing romances. But, you know, sometimes I write romances, too.

Now, in order for your category to “make it” into the contest, it needs to comprise 5% of the entries, which are capped at 2,000 (so, 100 entries in any given category). This year, YA didn’t “make it” which means that there weren’t 100 YA entries. YA entrants got the option of having their book switched to another category or having their entries and fees returned.

ISSUES WITH THE CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

Here’s why I think that happened. If you look at the category descriptions of each category, they are far, FAR more restrictive for YA romance than for any other category of its nature. Because they are so restrictive, many people who would have entered their books in the RITA did not (I heard from nearly a dozen yesterday.)

Most of the subgenres of romance have crossovers. For instance, you can write a historical paranormal, or an inspirational [read: Christian] suspense, and you have to choose where your book best fits. When they redesigned the RITAs two years ago, due to a huge, years-long outcry by the erotic romance community about how they were being judged too harshly in their respective categories by judges who didn’t like sex, they chose to institute a special “erotic romance” category. Erotic romances can be any other subgenre of romance (historical, paranormal, etc.). Same with “inspirational romance” which also doesn’t always get a fair shake in say, the straight up historical category.

[Please note that in every single category of the RITA, the judging guidelines that appear below the category description require that "the love story is the main focus of the novel, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic." This appears in every single category, because it's a romance contest, and the books should be romances.]

So let’s play a game. Here are some category descriptions:

  • Paranormal Romance: Novels in which the future, a fantasy world or paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot.  
  • Romantic Suspense: Novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. 
  • Historical Romance: Novels set in any historical time period.

Okay, fair enough, right? They focus on the specific elements that make those romance novels fit into those categories. Now, here’s the description for YA.

  • Young Adult Romance: Novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship between two adolescents. These novels are marketed to adolescents and young adults.

One of these things is not like the other. Compare that YA description to the description for the two “contemporary romance” categories:

  • Short Contemporary Romance: Novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are less than 65,000 words in length.
  • Contemporary Romance: Novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are greater than 65,000 words.

Gee, nearly identical, huh? Reading that, you’d think that “YA Romance” was just another kind of contemporary romance, wouldn’t you? Like “contemporary romances” (i.e., now-set romance novels with no strong paranormal, mystery, thriller, religious, etc. plotline) YA romances are required to “focus primarily on the romantic relationship.”

Star-sweptExcept, we all know that’s not what all YA romances are. Sometimes they are contemporary romances that focus primarily on a romantic relationship (Anna and the French Kiss, Eleanor and Park, Perfect Chemistry, etc.) Sometimes, in addition to the romance, there’s a lot of other stuff going on, like saving the world from a demon invasion (The Mortal Instruments), or running away from home and falling into a magical addiction (Valiant), or trying to survive on an alien planet after your spaceship crashed (the upcoming These Broken Stars).

Because of this description, a lot of people didn’t enter their YA romances. I still entered Across a Star-Swept Sea, though it also does not “focus primarily on the romantic relationship between two adolescents.” What it is is a futuristic spy thriller. Yes, there is a romantic relationship that is a “main focus” of the novel, but there’s also a revolution and genetic engineering and court politics and all kinds of stuff, much like there would be in an adult romantic suspense novel (i.e., they fall in love while also catching the serial killer). I mean, let’s be honest here. It’s inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel, which is one of the ur-books of the romance genre and inspired countless of the romance novels published. It’s definitely a romance.

HOW CAN THIS BE FIXED?

Since YA Romance, like erotic romance and inspirational romance, also exists in every other subgenre of romance, I feel the description of YA Romance should mimic that of those categories. Here’s the description of “erotic romance” in the RITA Awards:

Erotic Romance: Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.).

Why can’t the YA description be similar? Something, perhaps, like this:

“Novels in which a romantic relationship between adolescents is an inherent part of the story. These novels are written for and marketed to adolescents and young adults and may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.).”

And then they can have your whole “love story must be a main focus of novel and ending must be satisfying and optimistic” bit in the judging guidelines, just as they do now and as they do for every single category in the entire contest.

What I’m not saying: That RWA should open up the YA category to books that aren’t romances. That’s silly. Of course not all YA novels are romances. Not all erotic novels are romances, either.

As for me, I chose to have my entry fee returned to me rather than choose an alternate category for Star-Swept. I did this because I didn’t feel like “paranormal romance” (where RWA lumps the tiny, tiny percentage of futuristic SF romance that is published along with a ton of vampire and werewolf books) was a suitable category for my story. Luckily, there are still other genre awards this book may be eligible for. There are lots of awards and other honors for young adult lit given out by librarians (hi, librarians!) And as a science fiction novel, it has options that my fellow disappointed entrants writing, say, historical YA, may not. If you are a SFWA member and liked Across a Star-Swept Sea, you can vote for it in the Nebula Awards (Norton). (Hi, SFWA folk!)

And, if you are an RWA member, please consider writing a letter to the board to ask them to revisit the YA descriptions, so what happened this year does not happen again.

For more excellent coverage on this issue, check out blog posts by Marni Bates, who discusses her disappointment in the category and why the awards are important (and there’s some great points in the comments section), and Bria Quinlan, who is posting covers of books that didn’t make it into the RITAs this year because of the cancellation.

Posted in industry, industry news, romance, writing industry, writing life, YA 4 Comments

This year, I published my most frockalicious book yet. Lady Persis Blake wears nearly twenty different amazing outfits over the course of Across a Star-Swept Sea, and she’s also a certified badass. Which is how I know she’d get on like a house on fire with Lilac LeRoux, who like Persis, is futuristic, rich, fashionable, and totally awesome.

And she manages all of this in a single gown. This one:

TBSCover

Altogether now: Oooooooooooooh. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

These Broken Stars is the first in an amazing new sci-fi series by authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Think Firefly meets shipwreck. You’re gonna love it.

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, NC, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.

Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner. You may also sign up for their newsletter as well! These Broken Stars will be available in North America on December 10, 2013.

And here’s the coolest part. Lilac’s green gown is real, and it’s going on tour! The first stop, yesterday, was chilling with Marie Lu on the streets of LA. Today, the gown is hanging with me in our nation’s capital.

We took a little hike in Rock Creek Park. Ah, the fall color!

dress1-test

And by “we”, I mean me, the dress, and of course, Rio:

DSC_0930

 

This one might be my favorite:

dresstest2

Nothing like a rock throne, amirite?

Thank you so much to Disney/Hyperion, Meagan, and Amie for letting me unleash my inner Lilac and go hiking through the wilderness in a fine green gown.

And that’s not all, folks!

TBSposterbanner_largeClick on this picture to enter the pre-order campaign.

And stay tuned for more adventures of the Traveling These Broken Stars Dress.

Posted in fabulosity, other writers 6 Comments

Tomorrow afternoon from 4:30-8, you can find me at the Annapolis Barnes & Noble, signing copies of all my books and chatting with fellow authors Lea Nolan (ALLURE), Jon Skovron (MAN MAD BOY), and Andria Buchanan (EVERLAST). Catch me there!

 

Posted in Uncategorized Comments Off

So I go off and be Viv for one week and look what happens!

ForDarknessShowsPB-small* For Darkness Shows the Stars is named to the 2014 Lone Star Reading List

* Across a Star-Swept Sea is named to the 2013-2014 Winter Indie Next List: “This novel has everything that I loved from Peterfreund’s previous book, For Darkness Shows the Stars, but with a story all its own: a fast-paced plot, a captivating post-apocalyptic setting, crazy-enough-to-be-plausible technology, and a simmering romance. Across the Star-Swept Sea is an enchanting amalgam of adventure, political espionage, romance, and science fiction, tinged with humor and wrapped in a sparkling futuristic world.” 

Star-swept* Across a Star-Swept Sea is given a starred review from VOYA. “Inspired by The Scarlet PimpernelAcross a Star-Swept Sea places the mysterious spy adventure in a lush and terrifying futuristic world. The Galatean use of Reduction, brain damage through medicine, is eerily realistic, as is the Darkening (DAR), a dementia that is acquired by the Helo cure for Reduction. Persis fears for her Darkened mother, while Justen tries valiantly to complete his grandmother’s research to reverse DAR. Their attempts to not fall in love have a sweetness caused by two very likable and well-developedcharacters. This imagining of Earth’s future is a fascinating stand-alone but also a solid companion to For Darkness Shows the Stars.”

* Across a Star-Swept Sea is nominated for the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list.

Maybe I should take a split-personality vacation more often? I’m honored by these reviews and recommendations and so happy and grateful that people are enjoying my books. This series is especially close to my heart because I wrote it while pregnant and in the early years of life with my daughter, and I was so aware of the kind of characters I wanted to write for her. I just love Elliot and Persis so much.

Anyway, enough glamor for the week, I guess. I’ll be over here in the corner, in yoga pants and fluffy socks, drafting Viv’s next romance novel and plugging away on the revisions for Diana’s Omega City, which is so much fun, guys, I can’t even stand it. When is 2015 going to get here again?

Posted in fabulosity, PAP, series, star-swept, writing life, YA 1 Comment

I often get asked in interviews or on panels how I got an agent and a book deal. I think this is because of two reasons: 1) a lot of times, the people asking the questions are aspiring writers themselves, and 2) especially lately, the YA market has exploded and a LOT of the people being interviewed are debut writers. I feel kind of silly responding sometimes, because I got an agent in the days before social media, before these bizarre Twitter pitch-fests, and largely before even electronic submissions. (And it wasn’t even that long ago!) But some experiences are universal, and some advice doesn’t change.

From M:

I stumbled across your blog today while I was researching YA versus NA. I read a little more about you, and I just loved your attitude and personality.

I have written the first in a series of YA novels, and I’ve been seeking representation for approximately a year. I always knew it was a difficult market to tap, but I’m excited about my characters and their story, and the constant rejections is disheartening.

You don’t mention in your Q&A how long it took you to secure an agent… was that a difficult process? I am struggling to stay excited about my story (and write the next book in the series) when the feedback I get it all so negative. But I do understand that if it was easy, everyone would be published! Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

It took me four years and five manuscripts to get an agent and a book deal. I didn’t even start looking for an agent until I wrote manuscript #4, because before then I was writing category romance manuscripts which, at the time, I believed were of much less interest to an agent. The first time I looked for an agent was ten years ago. It was a very different industry then (plus I wasn’t querying YA). I had to send out snail mail packages with self-addressed, stamped envelopes in order to receive a reply. I sent out 20 submissions and got 18 passes over the course of about 6 months. Two agents still had manuscript number four when I started querying manuscript five. That one I queried to four agents. I got three offers (the fourth one didn’t respond in time) within a week. Then I sold it.

I say this because I think if you’ve been querying a single manuscript for a year, it is time to write and query your next book. The dirty little secret about submissions is that with the right book, getting an agent is a pretty straightforward process.

There are all kinds of reasons you can get passes that have nothing to do with the quality of the book. For instance, if the YA manuscript you are querying is a vampire novel or a dystopian, you should know that this is a very, very hard sell right now. Publishers and agents have lots of these on their lists already — they have some they can’t sell. They are unlikely to take on another.

You say in your email that you are writing a series. Stop. Do not write subsequent books in a series until you have movement on the first book. Your writing career is not about one book or one series. Even the writers of megabestselling series like JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer have written multiple different books. Suzanne Collins wrote many books and even TV shows before she wrote the Hunger Games. George R R Martin had a robust, award-winning, book and television career for several decades before he published A GAME OF THRONES.

(I said above I got an agent with the fifth manuscript I wrote. It was the first in what became a series. I have written and sold/published four other series since then. Your writing career will be many things.)

There is this fantasy now of the total newbie sitting down and pounding out some kind of lunatic bestseller. Meyer woke up from a dream and started typing. Veronica Roth was a college co-ed. It’s romantic, but it’s not the only story. Most writers have long paths, where many manuscripts fail to find a home, and many books get published without superstardom following.

You say the feedback you’re getting has all been negative. What do you mean by this? Do you mean you’re getting rejections on your queries and no requests at all? If you are getting zero requests from your query, it means there is a problem with your query. There are classes you can take, essays you can read, or you can find critique partners. There’s lots of good resources out there: Verla Kay’s Blue Boards might be a good choice if you’re writing YA. Having critique partners can also help keep your spirits up if you’re getting rejections.

And I want to reiterate again that my favorite cure to feeling like you are getting nowhere with your manuscript is to write a new manuscript. My friend and mentor Julie Leto wrote a great article about this. There are problems in early books that you cannot solve, but you can use what you learn to avoid making those mistakes again in later manuscripts.

I hope any of this is helpful to you. Good luck!

~Diana

Posted in writing advice, writing industry, writing life 1 Comment

I’m so excited! Today marks the release of my tenth novel, ONE & ONLY. It’s also the debut of my romance-writing alter-ego, Viv Daniels, and my first leap into self-publishing.

OaO-Cover

One night they can’t forget…

Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she’s sworn to keep: the father who won’t acknowledge her, the sister who doesn’t know she exists, and the mother who’s content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets the distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets.  But when summer ends, so does their relationship — Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university.

One love they can’t ignore…

Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan’s life.  Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess’s legitimate half-sister.  Tess refuses to follow in her mother’s footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time.

…And only one chance to get things right.

Buy Now:

To celebrate the release of One & Only, I’m taking off (virtually) on a weeklong blog tour with dozens of stops, I’m doing interviews, sharing teaser posters, and writing lots and lots of guest posts — everything from playlists and dream movie casts to glimpses into my past and the inspiration for the novel. Plus, an insane amount of giveaways. Every blog is doing its own unique giveaway plus there’s a tour-wide extravaganza. Here’s where you can find me:

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Book Goddess
Mostly YA Lit

Monday, November 11, 2013

Kimberly Faye Reads
Dark Faerie Tales
Book Jems
The Novel Hermit
Teen Readers’ Diary
The Starry-Eyed Revue

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Labyrinth
I Read to Relax
Angieville

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nyx Book Reviews
The Word Nerds
The Reading Date
Tressa’s Wishful Endings
Tea For Three Books

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Allodoxophobia
S.J. Pajonas
Bookish Treasures
The Last Chapter
Books Over Boys
Mary Had a Little Book Blog

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Perpetual Page-Turner
Novel Sounds
Library of a Book Witch
Scenes from a Chaotic Mind
Blogging by Liza
The Violet Hour

I love this book. Tess and Dylan wormed their way into my heart big time. They’re two really great kids and I adored having the chance to give them a happily ever after. I’m so glad everyone else gets to meet them now, too.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I shall be in New York next week. If you want to see me and get copies of your books signed, here’s where you’ll find me.
I will also be stock signing and tweeting other places I might pop up. If you find me, I have SWAG.

New York November

LADY JANE’S SALON
Booksigning, Reading

Monday, November 4, 2013 
7 PM – 9 PM
Madame X
94 West Houston Street
New York, NY 10012
Click to view a Google Map

Hope Tarr takes off her Lady Jane’s Salon® co-founder hat–tiara–to read a sneak peak of HONEY (Fate Series Book #2) and sign copies of SUGAR. Also guesting: Mari Mancusi, Diana Peterfreund, Hanna Martine and Lise Horton.

AND:

Teen Author Reading Night

November 6, 2013
6-7:30 PM
Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, corner of 6th Ave and 10th St

with:
Sean Beaudoin, Wise Young Fool
Matt de la Pena, The Living
Carol Goodman, Blythewood
Adele Griffin, Loud Awake and Lost
Ellen Hopkins, Smoke
Alethea Kontis, Hero
Mari Mancusi, Scorched
Jacqueline Mitchard, What We Lost in the Dark
Diana Peterfreund, Across a Star-Swept Sea
Jordan Sonnenblick, Are You Experienced?
Sean Williams, Twinmaker

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