If I can’t have everything well then just give me a taste

Hey there! I know it’s been a minute, but you know how it goes, eh? So much has happened since last I posted … that I’ll never pull off a decent recap now, but there are a few highlights I need to hit – for the sake of my sanity, and also because, shoot. I don’t know. Maybe some of you want to hear about it.

First up – as you know, The Agony House is coming soon from Scholastic! By soon, I mean NEXT FREAKING MONTH which is both exciting and a little alarming, but here goes nothing, eh? Trade reviews have been rolling in, and here are a couple of the highlights thus far:


If you’d like to pre-order a copy, then I’d like to help. Pre-orders are crucial in publishing, and the more I can drum up, the merrier. 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:
And to this, I must add another link or two. If you’d like a SIGNED copy, you can pre-order The Agony House via the University of Washington Bookstore. I do not live terribly far away from this bookstore, and it’s my shop of choice for this kind of thing. 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! ::throws confetti::

* * *

In other news, let’s see. In the last few months I cleaned up Cinderwich and got it rejected from a couple of places, oh well, no biggie. I only wrote it for funsies. Anyway, I’ve shelved it for the moment, though I’ll very likely haul it back out again this winter. I think it needs to be a full-length project after all. (To make a long story short.)

In other long stories made short, I had a piece come out in Apex Magazine in May, and you can read it for free right here: Mother Jones and the Nasty Eclipse. It’s um…kind of different, for me. Broadly speaking, its reception fell into two camps: (1). OMG this SPEAKS to me, and (2). Seriously, WTF?

Perhaps tellingly, those reactions largely break down along gender lines. Make of that what you will.

I’m pretty proud of it, anyway.

* * *

In other news, I’ve started a new project for adults.* It’s one I’ve been talking about for years, but it only really gelled a few weeks ago – so here goes nothing. I’m really excited about it; it’s lighter and more fun than [the bulk of] what I’ve worked on for the last few years. Lately I’ve felt like maybe the world was dark enough already, you know?

Yeah, you do. I know you do.

So 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: We shall see.
    New words written: 11,007
    Present total word count: 11,007


    Things accomplished in real life: Walked the dogs every morning; handed in rewrites for The Toll; had a couple of rounds of house guests; went to NOLA for a YA writers shindig; started taking day-job contract work again; finally got my car’s blown headlight fixed and now they’re hilariously uneven like a bad boob job, but I give up.

    Things accomplished in fiction: Kept a cop from getting on a doomed plane, against his wishes; cop figures out that his travel agent is Special; cop looks up travel agent because he wants some discreet assistance on a cold case, and he’s desperate enough to take it from her; travel agent is dubious but kind of game, as long as she can bring her best friend along for the ride.

    Other: This project was inspired by something that actually happened to me a few years ago, and I’m glad my husband was looped in on the text messages and travel updates as they occurred – otherwise no one would ever believe me. If Far-Fetched ever gets published, I’ll go on tour and tell you all about it.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 35,915




* As opposed to “young adults.” It’s not, like, porny or anything.

I read you books and talked for hours

Here’s recent progress on my modern gothic about two lady academics investigating the case of a mystery woman who was murdered and stuffed in a tree forty years ago – with Bonus! lovely ghosts, sinister messages from beyond, creepy small town shenanigans, and a New Southern Weird vibe (as inspired by a true story that happened way the hell elsewhere):


    Project: Cinderwich
    Deadline: April 30 [self-imposed, and oh well]
    New words written: 13,935
    Present total word count: 54,308


    Things accomplished in real life: Since last week? Much of the usual: walked the dogs every morning; cleaned house a couple of times; lots of laundry; had a houseguest for a few days; bought a power washer and now I am unstoppable; etc. etc. etc.

    Things accomplished in fiction: Wrapped up a Draft Zero! It’s fairly solid, all in all (IMO), though I’m going to let it cool off and then clean it up and see how I feel about it. I’ll probably need to trim 3-4k words, if I know me. (I tend to overwrite in first drafts.)

    Other: This is basically a gothic novella chock full of fan-fic about friends – one of whom appears as a ghost. I got everybody’s permission, don’t worry; but this is really a quiet, weird little story that I wrote expressly “for funsies”…and I’m not sure where it’ll find a home. If nobody wants it, maybe I’ll set it up behind a Patreon or something. I don’t know yet. We will see. I’m not ready to show it to anyone yet, anyway.

    What’s Next: This coming week will be spent eyeballs deep in the final (I hope) rewrites for The Toll. It’s a polishing round, but it’s fiddly – and it’ll definitely take a few days of focus.

    After That: After that, I’ve got a couple of things I want to develop. We’ll see which one bubbles up to the top, eh? I’ll keep you posted.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 24,908

When you go, you’re gone forever

Here’s today’s progress on my modern gothic about two lady academics investigating the case of a mystery woman who was murdered and stuffed in a tree forty years ago – with Bonus! lovely ghosts, sinister messages from beyond, creepy small town shenanigans, and a New Southern Weird vibe (as inspired by a true story that happened way the hell elsewhere):


    Project: Cinderwich
    Deadline: April 30
    New words written: 1973
    Present total word count: 40,373


    Things accomplished in real life: Took the dogs on their morning jaunt around the neighborhood; went to grocery store (yet again, but it’s just around the corner); went through and responded to all necessary queries in the pass proofs for The Agony House; received/read through/rejoiced re: the last round of edits for The Toll [or so it is to be hoped].

    Things accomplished in fiction: Went looking for an unmarked grave in an abandoned cemetery. Get your stamping pens ready, because that one’s on your Gothic Cliche Bingo Card.

    Other: Over the weekend, the weather was nice so I got started on a little bit of spring yard work. At least the patio area now looks like civilized people are taking care of it, as opposed to a couple of slackers who just let everything die and then get dug up by a pair of dogs. Ahem. Next weekend [maybe]…the back yard, which will be quite the undertaking. It’s actually pretty big, and it’s a wreck. [We don’t have a front yard, per se.]

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 10,973