How authors party


One of the fun things about being an author is getting to hang out with other authors and cool book people. Last week eight Arizona authors put on an author appreciation open house–which sounds like we were appreciating ourselves, but really we were appreciating all of the many awesome teachers, librarians, and booksellers who do so much for reading. We lured them to Lisa McMann’s house with promises of books and free food.

Here’s another cool thing about being an author. You can have a blow-up of Captain Underpants sitting on your table and nobody thinks it’s strange.

Here is a picture of James Owen and the chalk masterpiece he whipped up for the evening. Seriously, it only took him a few minutes to draw these dragons. Which seriously baffles my not-able-to-draw mind.

Many thanks to Janni Lee Simner, Amy Dominy, Aprilynne Pike, Lisa McMann, Bill Konigsberg, Tom Leveen, and James Owen for a great time!

The Wisdom of Authors

I love hanging out with other writers. It feels so validating. (I’m not crazy, I’m just a writer.) YallaPalooza was lots of fun because I got to meet old friends and new authors–and I also picked up some great quotes I thought I’d pass along to the rest of you who may be inflicted with a writing addiction.

“Every revision, you have to make the guy hotter.”–Angela Morrison

“The first two chapters of any first draft generally need to be cut.”–Aprilynne Pike

“I’ve worked out a Ninja Replacement Score for novels. It’s basically the number of characters that need to be replaced by ninjas to make the book good.”–Janni Lee Simner (I did not ask her what my score was.)

And last but not least on the subject of being an author, Carol Snow said, “It beats having a real job.”So true, so true.

Here’s a picture of me, Janni and Aprilynne–the fairy girls.

YAllapalooza 2010!

You know how every once in awhile I do an event and then I beg followers to show up so I don’t look like a loser? Well, I’m not doing that this time, because I know this event is so cool you’ll all willing want to go without me begging. Look at all of the awesome authors that will be converging on Changing Hands next Saturday. (And yes, authors do indeed converge, just like SWAT teams.)

Tween & Teen Event – Yallapalooza!
Start: January 9, 2010 – 4:00pm -7:00

Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, Arizona 85283

Changing Hands Bookstore and Hoodlums Music and Movies present YAllapalooza 2010, a literary musical extravaganza featuring live bands, pizza, games, prizes, and a chance to mix and mingle with your favorite YA authors and get books signed! We’ll have a live game show that tests contestants’ knowledge of young adult and middle grade literature with games GUARANTEED to amaze and amuse.

Los Angeles authors include Cecil Castellucci, Carol Snow, Blake Nelson, Andrew Smith, Mark London Williams, and Amy Goldman Koss.

Arizona authors include Janette Rallison, James A. Owen, Angela Morrison, Janni Lee Simner, Tom Leveen, Tony Carrillo, Aprilynne Pike, and Jon Lewis. Bands to be announced.

Also, those of you who went to Project Book Babe last April will want to read the Book Babe’s thank you to the many people who supported her during her cancer treatment. The news is good and she’s done with treatment! Yay Faith!

Here is a link to her blog:

projectbookbabe.com/faith

Faerie Festival, in which I almost get wings


I promised I’d post pictures of myself from the Faerie Festival. Here is the outfit my amazing friend, Kristy, sewed for me. She is sort of like Martha Stewart but more impressive because she has seven children. One Halloween she sewed herself a Snow White costume and then sewed matching dwarfs outfits for all of her kids. I’d like to see Martha haul seven kids around the neighborhood without losing any. But I digress.

This is why the festival was so fun–cool authors to hang out with! This was one of the few author events I’ve been to where I was actually friends with all of the authors (and the booksellers) before I got there, so it felt like a party. Here I am with Aprilynne Pike, Janni Simner, James Owens, and Brandi from Changing Hands Bookstore.
And here I am doing a reading from My Fair Godmother. You can tell I’m an autumn fairy because I’m wearing brown and all the grass around me is mysteriously dead. This is why autumn fairies don’t get invited to many social events.

Why I have to keep writing

It’s plain and simple, really. If I didn’t keep writing I wouldn’t get invited to fun places like James Dashner’s author dinner last night at the Phoenix Book Company.

Here’s a picture of Aprilynne Pike (Wings) James, (Maze Runner) and Me. (And I’m not going to list all my books but number 16 comes out in May.)

We got to meet lots of librarians and reading specialists, who are superheros in my book because they’re the ones that help kids discover the fun of reading.

And I know I said next blog I’d be giving away more books, but I guess this is good time for all of you to learn that you can’t trust writers because we lie for a living. Next blog, I’ll give them away. Really.

Where Children’s Book Authors Work

Not long ago I saw a blog that featured where fantasy writers write. Not to be outdone, I decided I should do a blog about where children’s book authors write. As you can see, I frequently work with children draped around my neck. It helps with the dialogue and all that.

Shannon Hale (Princess Academy) employs the same technique. When people ask her how she manages to write with children, she says she doesn’t–children are too unwieldy. She writes with a computer. Although here you can see she is clearly trying to print block letters using her baby’s footprints. I love the laundry in the background. You are my hero, Shannon!

Next we have James Dashner’s (The Maze Runner–which everybody loves and which I still do not have an ARC of–not that I’m hinting or anything) work space. He isn’t around because he is obviously out on tour, rubbing shoulders with celebrities. What do you suppose he keeps in that backpack and why does he only have half a lamp?

This is Aprilynne Pike’s (Wings) workspace–she is absent too, probably out on tour with James having mocktails with JK Rowling or something. Love the wooden floor! A lot of my house is done in tile that we picked because it matched the color of dirt. But that’s just my family.

Here is James Owen’s (Here, There Be Dragons) workspace. Although you can’t see it very well, he is holding a sword. Personally, I think all authors should be issued swords. It would help out when dealing with editors. (Just kidding, Tim!) His wall is the coolest!

This is the lovely Lisa McMann, author of Wake. I love the fact that she has cover art from her books framed. How very authorish. I should do that. Except for then I’d have to find a place for the 300 pictures of my kids that cover the walls of my house.

Next we have P.J. Haarssma’s (The Softwire ) workspace. He wins the prize for most computers. (Okay, there wasn’t a contest, but there should have been.) I love the fact that he has the galaxy nearby for inspiration. Since I write teen romances perhaps I should put up a picture of Robert Pattinson or something.

Chris Gall (Dinotrux) claims that this is where he writes. I don’t believe him though. I’m sure he writes down all of his award winning ideas on napkins and then sends them to his editor. Truly great minds work that way.

This is Chris Crowe (Mississippi Trial, 1955) proving that he is Super Dad. I mean, that’s real dedication. Bonus points to anyone who can recognize what sort of computer he’s working on.

Here is Sydney Salter Husseman.(My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters) You can tell she’s a writer because her bookcase is big enough that it would kill someone if it toppled over. I have several like this at my house.

And here’s another one of my author friends, Janni Simner. (Bones of Faerie–which I always end up spelling wrong because I can never remember the cool way to spell Faerie. If you pick up my book, My Fair Godmother, you might surmise that I don’t know how to spell the uncool way either.) If you look closely on Janni’s wall you’ll see she has a certificate that proclaims she is a “Real Writer”. I’m still waiting for my certificate to show up.

This lovely woman is Dotti Enderle. (Man in the Moon) You die-hard Rallison fans will realize right off that I named the hairdresser in Revenge of the Cheerleaders after Dotti. Is that a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream carton on the top of her desk? If it’s not, it should be. That’s the sort of thing muses like to eat. I generally leave out some Almond Joys for mine.

Next we have Melissa Walker (Violet on the Runway)who is obviously trying to promote the idea that you can write in style and comfort. How cool is that chair? I want to write in that chair!

And last but not least is Heather Tomlinson (The Swan Maiden) whose cats like to help her write. I have one that does the same thing. Sometimes it’s dang hard to get to the keyboard without getting cat fur in my mouth.

Note to my author friends: If you sent me a picture and I didn’t put it here, drop me an email as your picture is probably lost somewhere in my computer files.