One taught me love, one taught me patience

It’s been a minute, yeah. I know. I’ve been busy and things have been happening, you know how it goes. 2018 has been a messy year for me, honestly – messier even than 2017, which featured a massive cross-country move with my husband and four animals. I’m glad that it’s winding down.

I only had a couple of things hit the street from a publishing standpoint this year: The Agony House and a single short story, Mother Jones and the Nasty Eclipse from Apex Magazine. So it feels like I have not-so-much to show for it, and that kind of sucks – but that’s not to say that I’ve been sitting on my hands, over here.

At present I have one partial* sitting with my YA editor at Scholastic, one full YA project being shopped around elsewhere, two partials sitting on my Tor editor’s desk, and a full mystery project on my agent’s desk. Maybe none of those projects will land. Maybe all of them will. You just never know. (Speaking of, yes – I finished my draft of Far-Fetched. That’s the mystery project, and it topped out at 95,291 words. I’ll add that to my total of fiction words composed this year, at the bottom of this post.)

And yes, I’ve started working on something new. I’m frankly excited about it; it’s an idea I’ve been camping on for the last year or two, and it finally gelled to the point that I could get a draft underway. This will be a tricky one, and I only hope I have the chops to pull it off…but I’ll go nuts if I don’t try.

I’m not yet sure how long it’ll run, but my gut says it won’t be more than maybe 90k. Eh. I’ve been wrong before. Maybe it’ll go bananas and run over 150k, that’ll show me.

At any rate, here’s progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a large old school that was boarded up after a shooting 22 years ago, told from the POV of two survivors, their now-teenage children, and their own parents – with Bonus! memories both faulty and true, intergenerational violence and grace alike, and thirty-one ghosts who know something the police never figured out. One part The Haunting of Hill House, one part The Frighteners, and one part Bowling for Columbine…so…wish me luck.


    Project: Kill Me Now
    Deadline: none
    New words written: 2554
    Present total word count: 2554

    Things accomplished in real life: (In the last couple of days) Put up the Christmas tree and wrapped presents; cleaned house including a crap-ton of laundry; walked the dogs; gave the eldercat her fluids; went to post office; went to Walgreens; went to grocery store; vacuumed four times because the dogs and the pine needles and ugh.

    Things accomplished in fiction: Finished a draft of the first chapter, and I actually like it.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 122,680




* For non-writing/publishing folks, a “partial” is sample content and a proposal for a full project, generally speaking. My partials are usually in the 100-150 page range plus outline/proposal/etc.

The Agony House has Landed!

Landed in the marketplace, I mean. Not, like…landed on a witch or something.

AT ANY RATE. The Agony House is here! And you can BUY IT! RIGHT NOW! Should you wish to order a copy, then I’d like to help – and if you (and/or your relevant young adult readers) liked I Am Princess X, I do dearly hope they’ll be on board for this one, too.

[Just a friendly side-note about these things: if you would be so kind as to drop a review or two, when you’re finished…well. I’d love you forever, pretty much. Reviews feed algorithms and word-of-mouth, two of the unpredictable, fiddly things which drive sales the most these days. Authors appreciate your help in this regard – more than you know!]

If you’d like a SIGNED and/or PERSONALIZED copy you can purchase The Agony House via the University of Washington Bookstore. Don’t worry – it’s not complicated!

Follow the directions here.

As you can see, you can order any other signed books [of mine] to be signed [by me] courtesy of that same set of instructions.

It might take an extra few days to ship, depending on my availability for darting over to the U-District to sign stock…but I’ve even included a handy-dandy phone number in the directions to magically grant you free media rate shipping [in the continental 48 states only, I’m so sorry]!

::throws confetti::

Trust me when I say I know the pathway to your head

Before I get to the word metrics, don’t forget – Seattle-area folks: This Friday evening (9/21) I’ll be at the University Book Store in the U-district with Shaun Hutchinson at 7:00! Come out and see us, and see the previous blog post for details, instructions, and so forth. We’d love to meet you there :)

* * *

Here’s recent progress on my comedic murder mystery about an inconsistently clairvoyant travel agent who prevents a Seattle detective from participating in a plane crash – and together, they fight crime! Now with Bonus karaoke parlor tricks, a snarky best friend in a cast, and a fish named Brutus:


    Project: Far-Fetched
    Deadline: October 1, 2018
    New words written: 11,631
    Present total word count: 61,960

    Things accomplished in real life: Well, it’s been another few days since I posted – but in my slight defense, I’m keeping pace with my “1000 words a day, bare minimum” even though more production stuff on other projects has landed in my lap and eaten more of my time. Heck, today alone was a 5100 word day (which is *really* good for me). Real life has been housework, and a sick husband, and yet more audiobook work, and so forth, and so on. But I’m still getting it done, goddammit.

    Bonus Things accomplished in real life: I know I said I was “done” with the audiobook tweaks and so forth, but I turned out to be wrong. Another dump of auditions to review landed and ate up some time, and then – because why not, right? – the copyedits for The Toll hit my inbox. I haven’t started those yet. They’re not due until 10/8 and I’m just…pretending they don’t exist until the end of this month. Yes I can do them in a week. No it won’t be a problem. One thing at a time, yanno?

    Return of Bonus Things: Tomorrow I have a hair appointment eating up much of the afternoon; Thursday is housework + lunch with a friend; Friday is the reading/signing at U-Books; but I WILL keep cranking out the words, you just watch me.

    Things accomplished in fiction: Interviewed our final witness/suspect at the downtown library, and got a little bit more information – then got a phone call that Bad Things were going down at the home of another witness (previously visited) and now we’re en route to that fine gentleperson’s home, where a break-in has occurred.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 86,795