Updates (or why I’ve been MIA lately)

This blog has been pretty stagnant the past few weeks, and I apologize. Between deadline hell (multiple deadlines, I might add), and general life craziness, my blogging has suffered. I think this calls for a run-down on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.

Back in April, FROZEN launched, which resulted in lots of book events and library visits. I had a lovely launch party in Canton, CT (my hometown), and the staff set up pretty book wheels I couldn’t help swooning over. (I’m easy to please, I guess.)

Frozen Launch Party Book Wheels

{ pretty book wheels at FROZEN’s launch party }

About a month later, I was off to New Orleans for the Romantic Times Book Convention. I’ve never been to RT before and didn’t know what to expect, but I had a blast. Most conferences I’ve been to have focused on writing and craft, and while some of the panels at RT did that, there were also a ton focused on the business side of things—self promo, marketing, money, self-pub and indie, and so on. It was writer heaven.

I was on a panel focused on marketing and maintaining accessibility online with fellow writers Susan Dennard, Sarah J. Maas, Tessa Gratton, and moderator Vitoria Scott. And when not at the con, I was enjoying all that NOLA had to offer. It was my first time in the city and I didn’t have a bad meal the entire time I was there. I also got to see some live jazz and catch up with my PubCrawl besties.

RT PubCrawl Reunion

{ PubCrawlers Sarah J. Maas, Jo Volpe, Biljana Likic, yours truly, and Susan Dennard }

In between all this madness, I finished pass pages for FORGED, turned in the book’s dedication and acknowledgements, and frantically drafted VENGEANCE ROAD. After revising a bit on my own, I sent it off to CP extraordinaire Susan Dennard (this was about two weeks ago), and while she read, I attended a wedding for close friends (hooray!) and then hopped a plane to Arizona for a bit of last minute research. I did a ton of research prior to drafting, but there is only so much a writer can glean from non-fiction books and google maps. I’ve been to Arizona several times, but not in the last five years, and I wanted to stand where my book was set.

Superstition Mountains

{ The Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains }

So I did a bit of hiking in the Superstition Mountains, along the Apache Trail, and in White Tank Mountains (all between 6-10am otherwise it was ungodly hot), and then hit up museums in the afternoon or relaxed at the hotel pool. I was able to make a ton of notes on climate, landscape, plant and animal life, and so on. More than anything, I learned that my characters are way tougher than me when it comes to desert heat in the summer. At 7ish it was usually around 80 degrees and by ten it was always approaching 100. (And the sun isn’t even at its strongest until 10am-2pm!) I hiked in shorts and tanks with plenty of sunscreen. My characters, as fitting of the era, wear trousers and chaps and long-sleeve shirts—sometimes even jackets. I don’t know how the people who settled this country survived. They were troopers.

While in Arizona, I learned that TAKEN was selected as a 2014 “Best Children’s Books of the Year by the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee. I was completely shocked/humbled/happy/over the moon. To be in the company of authors like Patrick Ness, Rainbow Rowell, Walter Dean Myers… Let’s just say it’s still sinking in.

Now I’m finally home and settling in for one last revision of VENGEANCE ROAD. I want to layer in all the details I picked up on my trip (plus Susan’s insightful feedback) by July 8th, when a “first” draft is due to my editor. (First put in quotations because we all know that the first draft an editor sees is actually more like the author’s fiftieth.)

I’ll be joining the girls hosting Ready, Set, Write! this summer as I tackle said revision. This will help keep me on track and focused, as well as give you a peek at my revision process. Plus, it will hopefully keep my blog active long after I turn in the revision. Here are my goals for RSW:

  1. Revise VENGEANCE ROAD and submit a first draft to my editor by July 8th
  2. Revisit (read, revise, and polish) SHUTDOWN, a YA speculative fiction stand-alone I’ve had on the back burner, by the end of the summer
  3. Read three books a month (because I’ve been slacking lately and my TBR pile is out of control)

 

Are you participating in RSW? It’s never too late to join the fun! Either way, tell me: What are you trying to accomplish this summer when it comes to your writing?

OH, and be sure to stop by PubCrawl later this month—I’ll reveal the cover for FORGED on June 24th!

Find Erin Online:

          

Categories

New + Forthcoming