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I write young adult novels whenever I'm not taking care of children, making meals, and tackling the Mount Everest of laundry piles.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Introducing The Femme Fatale


I am very pleased to let you all know that as of today two of my critique partners and I have started a new blog called Fiction Femme Fatale! It's a site where we plan to post original short fiction pieces every Friday of the month. We plan to take turns picking a picture that inspires us and then each of us will use that picture to inspire our fiction for that month. We will post our fiction--one every Friday for the first three Fridays starting this month. Then, on the last Friday of the month (starting next month)we'll ask for all of you to submit an original story that relates to the picture and post the one that speaks to us most. On those occasions when there is a fifth Friday in the month, we'll hold contests and giveaways. We couldn't be more excited about this new site and we hope you will be too!

So, come on by www.fictionfemmefatale.blogspot.com and check out our introductory post. Find out who two of my critique partners are and then check back with us soon for this month's picture!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How I Write A Novel: Post Two, Research










Okay, so today we will talk about the next step in my novel writing process. Once I've gotten my folder, pens, notepads and character studies out of the way, I start kicking around ideas for the actual scenes and events that might make their way into my rough draft. This process doesn't always happen during a formal writing period. I usually brainstorm these things while I'm in the shower or driving kids to and from school, or sitting in bed waiting to fall asleep. Basically anytime that I am doing something other than writing, I am working things out in my head. I am asking myself questions and trying at the answers (I say trying because I end up with a lot of go nowhere thoughts at first). It's almost like wading into a deep pool. I can see the story floating out there somewhere in the water, but I can't get to it properly until I acclimate myself to the pool's temperature and slowly sink in up to my chin so to speak.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lucky Seven Meme and Sunshine Award








Gosh I'm starting to feel so loved! I just got a new award from my lovely friend Ruth who says the funniest things and has given me my new favorite word:

Cowbag: (def) a sorry, self-pitying person--which I am whenever I'm on deadline or sleep deprived.

Anyway, she has awarded me the Lucky 7 Meme and Sunshine Award. Here's what I have to do:

1. Go to the 77th page, 7th line of my WIP and copy down the next 7 lines, no cheating! --Weeelll, since I am on a very new WIP, I will cheat a wee bit and go to my 7th page, 7th line. So here goes:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Post One on How I Write A Novel-The Research

Now that I'm on the cusp of being published and have passed the first few writerly hurdles, I have been thinking about how to help other writers who are where I just was. I tried to think about what blog posts helped me most and I'd have to say the ones that I really learned from were the ones on process (Maggie Stiefvater is one of my personal favorites for these types of posts, her blog is FULL of them). The more exact and detailed the information, the better. Since I am at the beginning stages of drafting my next novel, I figured it would be the perfect time to take you through my process as I go through it for this book. So, that's what I'm gonna do! So, beginning today, I will post at least once a week to describe what I'm doing that week specifically. This way you can follow along and we can write our books together. And I'd love it if in the comments section of this blog you would post what you're up to and how it's going as well. It'll be like we have a little online writer's group going!

One disclaimer here: Bear in mind that I am only just now writing manuscript number three. I am still perfecting my own novel procedures and so sometimes I will try something I haven't before or not do something I did for one of the other manuscripts. But I promise to try and let you know when I do either of these things and why. Obviously there's no one way to tackle a book. This is just the way I do it.

So, now that we've got all of that out of the way, let's get down to business!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Libba Bray Has The Good Juju


*****Can't you practically see the juju emanating from her?******



I have to say it. Libba Bray has the Juju. She does, she really, really does! Know how I know? Last summer while she was in Miami on her This Is Teen tour with Maggie Steifvater and Meg Cabot I asked her to send her good juju my way. She'd told the crowd that she got published when she was thirty nine and considering that I myself was just a little shy of that marker, I figured I'd ask her to sprinkle whatever luck dust she might still have from her own experience on me. She seemed game--graciously so--which maybe had a lot to do with just wanting me out of line and out of her hair (who wants to chit chat with a crazy chick begging for your juju after all?) and even asked me about my book. When I told her it was about a girl, the apocalyptic cult she grew up in, and the possible end of the world, she made a surprised "Oh!" face--the equivalent of, "Gee that sounds better than what I was expecting to hear considering the odd juju request..."  So here is how she signed my book....







 I walked away smiling. For one, because I got to tell a published author what my book was about...and two because crazy or not, putting my wish out there felt good. Maybe thirty nine could be my lucky year too.

And low and behold...IT IS!!

If you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, check out yesterday's blog post. I am on the cusp of being published myself (technically my book will come out when I'm...ahem...in my forties, but we'll pretend that I'll be thirty nine since I intend to stop the aging RIGHT THERE). Now, Libba probably doesn't even remember me considering the large crowd that night, but if she is somewhere out there in the blogosphere at this moment and finds her way here, I just wanted to say thanks, Libba! You should totally pimp out your juju for a little cash on the side...the boy might need a new pair of shoes or somethin'!

****Obviously said juju only works if you have put in an inordinate amount of time revising, writing, angsting, pulling your hair out, rewriting, etc. first. Libba is pretty powerful, but ain't no substitute for hard work, honey.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Best News Ever!!!





Yesssss! I am officially swinging from the rafters! As of today I can announce to the world that my novel, THE SILO was picked up at auction as part of a two book deal by the fabulous Suzy Capozzi at Random House!!!! I don't think I've come down from cloud nine since I heard the news. I've just been hanging around up there for the past week waiting until I could tell all of you! I am so excited, nervous, elated, hyper over this that I find myself at a loss for words--something that almost never happens, just ask my husband! Below is the official announcement that went out today in Publisher's Weekly:

Parker Lands at RH Children’s for Debut YA

Amy Christine Parker closed a two-book deal with Suzy Capozzi at Random House Children’s Books for her debut effort, The Silo. Capozzi bought world rights, for six figures at auction, from Lucienne Diver at the Knight Agency. The YA book, which is scheduled for fall 2013, follows a teenage girl named Lyla who has been living in a religious cult after the disappearance of her sister. While her parents are hopelessly under the sway of the group’s leader, Pioneer, Lyla is drawn into a dangerous situation when she begins to question Pioneer’s prophecy about the impending apocalypse.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/book-news/deals/article/51118-deals-week-of-march-19-2012.html

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Second Liebster

I have gone and done it again. Out of the kindness of her heart, Sarah Barnett over at Fanatic for Fiction (http://spbwriting.blogspot.com) has re-awarded me the Liebster Award which now makes me a second time honoree! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy for sure!

First, let me pass the award along again to five more folks so that you can visit their sites as well. For those who don't know, the award is basically a "favorite" blog award and is meant to help get traffic to sites that are followed by less than one hundred people. If you are nominated as an award recipient, you must:

1. Put five interesting things about yourself in a blog post

2. Pass the award along to up to five more deserving bloggers.

3. Leave a comment on your award recipient's blogs so that they know they've won.

4.  Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.

5. Post the award on your blog.

Here are my award recipients:

1. http://andrealmcbride.blogspot.com
2. http://mysouperstories.blogspot.com



So, I suppose maybe I should tell you five new things about me that I didn't say before. So without delay, here goes:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dinner Out

I am going to go all personal today since I can not speak of writerly things at the moment for fear of spilling beans I just ain't meant to spill yet...so instead I'll talk about ...last night. Last night I met my cousins (who are down here to watch baseball's spring training) for dinner. We sat out on the deck of what is arguably my new favorite restaurant, The Columbia, and looked at the ocean as the sun set along it's edge. And then, once the sky had gone mostly blue-black, the most gorgeous moon peeked out over the tops of the clouds, gilding them with this incredible silver gray light. The night was just about perfect as nights go. We laughed, remembered a dozen embarrassing things that happened when we were kids and just reconnected after a lot of years where we haven't seen each other very much. It was a night that writers like myself love because it was filled with moments of beauty, talk that inspired my imagination and people that mean something to me. And I came home wanting to write, my head full of new directions for my WIP. Sometimes all it takes to get going again is some time away.


Monday, March 5, 2012

I Feel Like A Contestant On American Idol





I'm going to start off by admitting that I came late to the whole American Idol phenomenon. I was not a consistent viewer until last season when Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler showed up. But I think that my decision to watch had less to do with them and more to do with my personal life. At that time I'd been writing for a little while and was seriously pursuing my dream of publication and when I turned on the show, the contestant's stories really resonated with me. I felt exactly what they were feeling, the "I want this so bad that I could just sit right down and cry over it" part and the "I don't know what I'm gonna do if this doesn't work out" desperation. They were me--only they were singing instead of writing. And I couldn't stop watching.

Then, a year later, I got my own "ticket to Hollywood" when my agent asked to represent me. And now I am currently right in the midst of submissions, wading around in a sea full of talent and hoping that the editors will notice me in the midst of all of these other brilliant people. I'm just like the contestants on Idol, trying desperately to stand out and make my dream happen. And it's a scary, fun, crazy place to be. The stakes feel higher because my dream is so close that I can almost reach out and touch it. And yet it still feels tenuous at the same time, like a delicate soap bubble hovering just over my head, threatening every second to pop before I can capture it in my hand. This moment, the one I'm in right now is the most scary of any that have come before. It's strange how that can be. I'm more validated than I've ever been. People in the know have told me I have talent--enough to consider my book and me, and yet I can't be sure it's enough to get me over this last hurdle, not yet.

So how am I handling it?