Monday, September 26, 2011

Censorship Whoomps

If ever there was a case for how ridiculous banning books can get, just check out the books in the poster above. These were some of my favorite children's books. Sure those old hags in James and the Giant Peach were scary as hell, but it made the story all that more delicious!

Pee's celebrating Banned Book Week by sending you this PSA:

Don't give kids one more reason not to read. Support Banned Book Week!

If I have time, I plan to participate in the Virtual Read-Out.

Interested in my longer view on banned books? Check out my post Eff The Censors at The Brown Bookshelf.

This PSA has been brought to you by the National Stop Hating on Books Foundation. Yes, I totally made that up. But please, by all means, return your regularly scheduled program.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Welcome to my World

If you've found your way here you must love young adult fiction or you were looking for publishers clearinghouse, whom I unfortunately share initials with. If you were looking for pch dot com, sorry. Visiting here won't make you eligible for a million bucks, but it will introduce you to a great series. So if you're into reading, stay awhile.

My website tells you pretty much all you need to know about me and my books, but it's been awhile since I've updated the JORT and you've come all this way, so I thought I'd do a little tutorial.

Picture This
My author head shot is hella old. I took it back in 2006 right before Kensington Books launched the Del Rio Bay clique. At the time I had an 11 year old and a 2 year old and rocking a short curly 'do was the ultimate in time saved, come mornings. It also really fit my pie-face. But now I'm in the midst of the great twist experience. The goal is to grow out my perm and go back to natural hair but longer. Eeks!

This is my first try at the spiral twists.

A little more hair than I care for, but you have to start somewhere.

What's Up
If you're a first time visitor to the JORT it only takes a tiny scroll down to see it's been over a year since I last blogged. I could ignore that fact or I could claim the usual - I've been busy. But the truth is, if you're living life you'll always be busy. So it's a pretty lame excuse.

My life is always a whirlwind. Whether or not that wind includes writing is the X factor. From 2002 through 2008 I juggled writing the series with raising my family, coaching my daughter's competitive cheer squad and working as a local government PR chick.

2008 marked the year my life took a decidedly downward spiral and writing didn't just sink to the bottom of my priority list, it fell off altogether.

I won't bore you with the details, but between 2008 and March 2010 I had a major car accident which left me out of work for nearly 3 months and unable to walk, Kensington decided not to renew my contract so I had to end the Del Rio Bay story one book earlier than I wanted, my dad passed away and I was laid off from my job.

Many writers turn life's turmoil into good fiction. But the constant flow of challenges thwarted my ability to write and crippled me creatively. I never lost faith that I'd go back to writing, but writing took a backseat to my issues. I don't know if that's what it feels like to "find yourself," but it was three long years of constant unpleasantness.

Back in the ring
I started a new job last August (yay, I can pay my bills now) and thanks to a small circle of writing friends, I stayed connected (just barely, mind you) to the writing community. I officially started writing again about three weeks ago.

While things don't yet flow nearly as seamlessly as they used to, they're cranking up nicely. I'm loving my new WIP and if the writing Gods deem it so, in no time I'll be back to the crazy world of submitting my work and complaining about the level of promotion involved in pushing a new book. Stay tuned.

The Series
The Del Rio Bay series is my debut work. I love this series. And since this is my blog and they're my books, I don't need to be modest - they're damned good books.

They're as good as any of the bestselling pop lit series. But publishing isn't as logical as all that. If you hit a bookstore to look for my books, you'll have a hard time finding it on shelves. Don't ask me to explain why, the distribution of my books has always been a mystery shrouded in a riddle. Since I can't control it, I've always simply encouraged readers to order it online: Books-A-Million, Barnes and Noble and even though I'd much rather you pay full price for it then like twenty-five cents, I still give Amazon love.

And there's always the library. Remember libraries? Well they're still holding on and they've always had the series at the ready for readers. *mwah* Love 'em for that.


I don't know the answer to that. I'm taking it one step at a time. Being an author is exhausting. Writing books is only step one in the entire process. So even before I ran into all those bumps in the road, several years ago, I was feeling the burn out from churning out and promoting five books in a short window. I learned a lot about publishing that I hope will help my experience the next go-round. For now, I'm just happy to be writing again.

I won't promise to blog regularly. But I'll attempt to when I have something to share. Meanwhile, go grab a good book...preferably one of mine.