Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Writer's Voice Entry

The Unwinding of Vivian Delaney 
(Contemporary YA)

Dear Writer's Voice Coaches:

Thank you so much for hosting the contest. I'd like to introduce you to my YA novel The Unwinding of Vivian Delaney in which five best friends whose lives revolve around extra-curricular activities, tutors, and private schools find themselves in a death pact if they aren't admitted to an Ivy League school of their choice.

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Delaney's been faking her way through Evergreen Preparatory Academy, Seattle's most prestigious private school, since third grade. Her best friend, Layne Stevens, is the only one who knows her family doesn't live in one of the exclusive neighborhoods inhabited by EV Prep's elite. Layne doesn't dish on Vivian's secrets because he has issues of his own: he's a gambling addict, the only child of employee number two hundred thirty-seven at Microsoft, with a love of Adderall and Red Bull and a necessity to be admitted to his dad's Ivy League Alma Mater.

When Layne flippantly makes a pact with their tight-knit group of friends that they'll have to kill themselves if they don't get accepted into their schools of choice they jokingly accept the challenge. Vivian knows Layne's been under a lot of stress, but he can't be serious. Plus, they shouldn't have anything to worry about since they're all AP students with top grades and near perfect SAT scores. But when the group finds out the world is filled with students just as special as they are the cracks begin to show.

When the pressure begins to take its toll and the college responses start to come in Layne's behavior becomes more and more erratic and Vivian begins to wonder if Layne's death pact really wasn't a joke after all.  

The Unwinding of Vivian Delaney 60,000-word story about a girl who finds out what happens when you've spent your entire life being convinced your extraordinary.

The Unwinding of Vivian Delaney 

Chapter One

I'm exceptional.
            At least that's what my parents say. They've been filling my mind with specialness since we moved to Seattle and they discovered Evergreen Preparatory Academy. EV Prep is where esteemed parents send the offspring to ensure their acceptance to the Ivy League.
            The problem is that I'm a total phony.
            No, scratch that, my mom taught me not highlight my shortcomings. The truth is, I'm a second-tier private school girl living in the wrong zip code. The only person who knows the real me is my best friend, Layne Stevens, who saw me wearing saltwater sandals in third grade and decided to adopt me as his pet project. No one wears saltwater sandals to private school, but my mom didn't get the memo when we moved to Seattle. Mom's mistake sending me dressed like an REI model on the first day of third grade saved me from a lifetime of private school abyss.
            And tomorrow is the beginning of the end: the first day of senior year. One year of college applications, campus visits, and interviews. It crushes me. Like I'm drowning in a sea of air where the elements have changed and the air is no longer breathable. I'm the girl who took one deep breath and didn't bother to take another.
            Have you ever seen someone crack before? The fine lines start. They're invisible at first, like you don't even realize they're there. That's what's happening to me now.
            Cracks are taking over the place where a person used to be.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Keeping it Simple...

I have a subscription to Publishers Marketplace and I like to scroll through the deals to see what's sold in the genres that I read and write.

Personally, I feel like, perhaps, we've lost an appreciation for simplicity. Have you seen the movie WENDY AND LUCY with Michelle Williams? It's such a wonderful, yet quiet film. She's such a lovely actress, I adore her movies. How about THE KING OF KONG? A documentary about Steve Wiebe who tries to set the new high score in Donkey Kong. Or HELVETICA? Who knew fonts could be so funny?

I'd like to see more unique stories in literature that don't have a million crazy things going on in the plot with characters whose names I can't pronounce. I'm not asking for those stories to go away, I'm just asking to see more realistic fiction with fresh and compelling stories.

A simple song that comes to mind is Otis Redding's song SITTIN' ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY. There's not much to the lyrics, but that song says SO much while saying so little.

Friday, February 3, 2012

One Little Success...

Today I was looking at GIRL OVER THE EDGE on Amazon and saw WINTERGIRLS in the "also boughts". WINTERGIRLS is one of my very favorite books of all times. It was also the book that made me want to write a YA issue book. I clicked on WINTERGIRLS and saw MY book in WINTERGIRLS' also boughts!

It may sound silly, but that felt like a success to me.

Thanks go out to everyone who has been buying my books. And... if you haven't read WINTERGIRLS you should check it out. It's one of the few books I've ever read where I couldn't guess the ending.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blogger Fail

Okay, I need some help.

It used to be when you clicked on someone's profile you were able to see who the person is and link to his/her blog. I want to check out my followers but it doesn't take me anywhere!

I hate how tech companies are always changing things. It's frustrating. I'll figure it out, I just want my new followers to know I'm not ignoring you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Blogger Directory

A shout out to Book Blogger Directory for putting together a list of book bloggers in one easy to use location.

Indie publishing is such a big world to navigate. One most important resources is book bloggers. Are you looking for a blogger to review your book and don't know where to look? Here is a master list of book bloggers that review YA material provided by the Book Blogger Directory. You can find the list is here and here.

Another place to find book bloggers is Twitter. Once you start following book bloggers Twitter will start recommending others. It's also a great place to find book reviews and get the scoop on the "must read" books.

Thank you to the Book Blogger Directory for putting the list together!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Upcoming Releases

Several kind readers have contacted me to find out when the follow-up to Ascent will be out. I plan on releasing two books in the upcoming months.

My next planned release is Ruin (The Toll Witch, Book One). I'm currently editing this book. I had hoped to have it out around Christmas but I'm re-writing portions of it so it's looking more like January. Once I send it off to the editor we'll do a cover reveal on the blog.

The follow-up to Ascent will be released after Ruin. I'm guessing it will be out in March and as I get closer to completion I'll update here. The book is pretty far along and the plot is taking exciting turns. I hope you like it.

I have two other completed books that at some point I'll release. One is a book I don't think will do well, but, who knows? I have no idea, really. The other is an adult book, a Bridget Jones meets the boardroom type book. I have to stagger these as it gets rather expensive paying for the editing and cover art.

Don't think I'm a fast writer. I've been writing for a LONG time. My first two books won't see the light of day. Nobody wants to read those poor books.

Hope you all are enjoying the holidays.