Voice, Research, Courage & Inspiration what’s your take?

So all of us have got our topics for tomorrow night’s local author showcase at The Oregon City Public Library at 7PM: using an authentic YA voice, life experience as research, finding the courage to write, inspiration & the writing process. I’ll be talking about inspiration.

So authors, what’s the strangest/oddest/funniest thing to inspire your books? Readers, what YA/MG novel inspired you most? I’ll be sure to talk about your books at my talk tomorrow night. I’d like to give as many authors exposure on this tour as possible!

As I type, I’m sitting at my home-away-from-home today, Powell’s Bookstore. Today hubby had an early date with the building department so the cafe of this legendary bookstore is where I’ve landed. It makes meeting my writing goals a little bit easier. My reward for meeting my goals today? I get to check out the children’s book section and swing by books on magic. I love Powells. It’s where I found the very rare book that added so much depth to the research of Winnemucca. It’s where I edited 13 on Halloween. I guess it’s only fitting that I’m editing 14 on Halloween here today. I’m also working on a new project too that I’m really excited about and can’t wait to tell you about! There’s a steady drizzle outside and when we flew in last night, more than one person said they’d just had a few really beautiful sunny days. The crab apples are in bloom and are so gorgeous.

I always pick up a book while I’m here. Today’s find, I’m talking the minute I walked in the door is: MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS by Kelly Link. I can’t wait to dive into this book:)

Writing on the road

I’m heading up to Portland later today for the local author showcase at The Oregon City Public Library this Thursday night. I can’t wait to meet the teens there and also get to spend some great time with my friends and fellow authors Lisa Nowak, Stacey Wallace-Benefiel and Cidney Swanson. What’s that you say? But, you don’t live in Portland. Well, that’s kind of true. See, I travel a lot with hubby’s work and we spent a great deal of last year in Portland, living at the Holiday Inn at the PDX airport. And, as luck would have it, I met some amazing authors who adopted me and made me feel right at home.

I haven’t been up to Portland in a while. So I’m suffering from some serious doughnut & ice cream withdrawl. Hubby’s work has kept us home these past few months. And we’ll be back-and-forth again soon. Because of all the traveling we do, I get to work in some pretty unique places. Today I’m writing in what used to be on old beauty salon:

Don’t you love the groovy couch? It’s so George Jetson, isn’t it? Here’s a sign I came across on our road trip north that cracked me up….

LOL! Before we catch the plane for Portland today we are attending a funeral. We have real funeral weather today––dreary, sprinkles, cold. You know how busy life is. Everyone has a million things to do. And then you get a call. An email. Everything stops. There’s this other time. Funeral time.

So I’d like to leave you with something a little less serious than what’s ahead this afternoon. Here’s a picture from yesterday when I was at home trying to fit everything I need for the author showcase and, you know clothes LOL!, into my suitcase:)

Teaser Tuesday: Perfecting Perfection by Teen Author McKenzie McCann

I had the pleasure of meeting McKenzie McCann at WordStock in Portland. Fellow Rain Boots Required author Lisa Nowak introduced me to McKenzie and she was such a blast to hang-out with that I want to introduce her to you all and let you know about her debut YA contemporary novel, Perfecting Perfection! McKenzie just received her contract a few days ago! Squeeeee! Follow her journey to publication on her entertaining/awesome blog The Ubiquitous Perspective. Take it away McKenzie!

Me: If you had to choose a color to describe your book, which one would you pick? Why?

McKenzie: That’s a good one. Hmm, I think I would pick a sparkly gray. A major theme in my book is how the glitz and glam of fame is only enjoyable until it stalks you in the streets, so to speak. It’s a bleak trap masquerading as luxury and elitist, but Riley doesn’t completely realize it until we meet our love interest: Giselle.

Me: What was your favorite scene to write from your book?

McKenzie: Oh, all of them! Every scene was fun to write. It was my first book. But if I really had to pick one, I’d say the climax. See, I had a terrible case of the flu when I wrote Perfecting Perfection, and a combination of febrile delirium and excitement made me so engrossed in the story, I felt like a part of it. I felt every emotion I wrote about and could see the scene playing in my head so fast my fingers could barely keep up.

Me: Tell us a about your book? Can you share an excerpt?

McKenzie: Perfecting Perfection, a tale of the lead singer in the acclaimed Remington Heights with a terrible case of infatuation for a normal girl.

This is the scene in which Riley and Giselle meet: Continue reading Teaser Tuesday: Perfecting Perfection by Teen Author McKenzie McCann

Diary of a debut author: The first book tour–rain boots, nerves & magic

The Rain Boots Required Tour hits First Fridays For Teens at the West Linn Library (see our rain boots!)

October is a very busy month! I’m on a blog tour and two book tours! Squuee. Last Friday night was a big one for me. It was like going to a new school, in a way. I had never talked about my writing to a group of teens and parents before. But, the West Linn library couldn’t have been more welcoming.

I was so nervous that morning that my friends Bonnie and Sheylain, who hostess and waitress at the Portland Holiday Inn at PDX, where I live right now, gave me a big pep talk and told me I’d be fine. Evan Charles, the hotel general manager, put a smile on my face when he told me I’d be great. I stood and practiced my little ten to fifteen minute talk about “The magic of magical realism” in front of my full length mirror in our home/hotel room. Over. And over. Continue reading Diary of a debut author: The first book tour–rain boots, nerves & magic

YA Indie Carnival: My favorite character to write? 13 on Halloween’s Roxie!

Hands down it has to be Roxie a snarky, saavy, hilarious twelve-turning-thirteen-year-old from 13 on Halloween. Her ideas about luck & popularity are seen through the animal kingdom. She uses humor and her own unique language to understand her changing world and her role in it. It’s what I love about her. She is a strong girl who wants two things: to be like Adrianne, the popular girl in school; and to have Hayden, the boy she likes, notice her. Roxie’s 13th birthday wish comes true in hilariously scary ways! Here’s an excerpt.

I got the idea for Roxie when my friends always laughed at the way I talk. I would say things like I hamster. Or, I squirrel. Or, I gopher. I use animals as verbs. Continue reading YA Indie Carnival: My favorite character to write? 13 on Halloween’s Roxie!

Winnemucca in print! Includes BONUS: CH 1-3 of 13 on Halloween! The Rain Boots Required YA Book Tour & YA Scramble GIVEAWAY!

Proof of Winnemucca's Print Edition

Winnemucca is now available in print AND the print edition includes a SNEAK PEEK: Ch 1 -3 of 13 on Halloween!

And to celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy TOMORROW at the YA SCRAMBLE! [And a groovy Winnemuccca coffee mug!] Just comment all day TOMORROW at my post over at JUST LEFT OF IMAGINATION AVENUE to enter to win, I’ll be writing about powerful YA settings! And there’s a MASSIVE GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY! Visit all the blogs on the YA SCRAMBLE TOMORROW [including mine!] solve the riddle and win!

Rain Boots Required Book Tour

And I’m SO excited to be joining The RAIN BOOTS REQUIRED YA AUTHOR BOOK TOUR! Do you live in the Portland area? I’d love to meet you. I’m touring with these WONDERFUL YA AUTHORS: Continue reading Winnemucca in print! Includes BONUS: CH 1-3 of 13 on Halloween! The Rain Boots Required YA Book Tour & YA Scramble GIVEAWAY!