Monday, January 30, 2012

SCBWI Visual Highlights

SCBWI is the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators. Try saying that three times fast. Or three times slowly for that matter. ;)

I've been to quite a few writers' conferences over the years, but this was my first SCBWI, and I had a fabulous and productive time.

I nearly filled a whole notebook with madly scribbled notes. The full day "intensive" on Marketing for Professional Writers was unbelievably overwhelming. My head was ready to explode by lunch. And that day ended with drinks with my agent and the impressive and witty Jon Fine from Amazon Publishing. Now it's time to sit back and prioritize. :)

For now, here are some of the fun highlights -- just the ones for which I have photographic evidence. :)

Here is the fabulous Mahtab Narsiman, moi and multi-talented Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

Photo taken by Debbie (on the right), also known as @inkyelbows

All of the speakers at this conference were unbelievably high quality, but one fun unscheduled treat was a short presentation by Henry Winkler who writes middle grade novels with SCBWI founder Lin Oliver.

Here's bad and fuzzy photo I obnoxiously took of him when I accidentally ended up standing beside him waiting for the elevator. I should have said hello and asked permission, but didn't want to pass up on the opportunity. My apologies to Henry. :)

After the conference, I did a little chill-axing at the MOMA before taking the train to Newark airport for my flight home. Didn't have nearly as much time there as I would have liked, but stopped for the best cup of hot chocolate I've ever had.

What you can't tell from this photo, was that it was hot in two ways... and spiked. I can't remember all the ingredients but the key ones (beyond hot chocolate) were tequila, chilli flakes and cinnamon. Yum. That's a stick of cinnamon sticking out. Talk about spicy. Burned going down, in many good ways. :)

I will talk more about the content of the conference both here and at Drunk Writer Talk soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Book Deal!

This news has already been disseminated on some (most?) of my writers' loops and on Twitter and Facebook but for some bizarre reason I failed to blog about it.

I really have become a slacker blogger. I will get back to it. I will.

But for now.... For those of you who haven't heard...

I signed a three book deal with Amazon Publishing! (Imprint and details to be revealed at a later date.) And for those of you who don't read the publishing press... Yes, Amazon is now a publisher. And no, this isn't anything to do with their self-publishing. And yes, the books will be in both print and e-book form.

The deal is for a YA trilogy, that can best be described as a sci-fi thriller. Think Divergent (although that book didn't come out until after I wrote mine, so I definitely wasn't thinking Divergent... but if you liked Divergent, I think you'll like my new trilogy.)

Book one is called Deviant and will likely be released in the early fall of 2012. Books two and three are tentatively titled Shredder and Chosen.

The trilogy is set in a post-apocalyptic world and the heroine is a 16 year old girl who can kill with her eyes.

Here are a couple of tweets by my fabulous agent, Charlie Olsen, sent the day I could finally spill the beans. (I had to sit on the news for MONTHS.)

"Head-bursting action, dark post-apocalyptic world building, lip-biting sexual tension...Deviant's got it all!"

"#FF Hey. You.Yes, you! C'mere. You like action, yes? Romance? Scab-covered mutants that kill humans for fun? Follow @MaureenMcGowan"

Too bad he can't give me a cover quote!
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