Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Anniversary!!! 4 years, and 9 books later, I'm still here!

I am so excited! 
Today marks my 4th anniversary as a published author. 


Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students came out on October 1, 2010. I remember the day distinctly. It was a small little educational title that was supposed to sell in a tiny niche. My agent at that time was Krista Goering. She believed in the product, and I believed in her. So I promised myself I would do anything and everything possible to make this book a success. I scheduled a twitter party (Thank you Deborah Mersino) for #GTCHAT, had a blog tour and a signing, not to mention book chats scattered throughout the week, and BAM.....

the book was completely sold out on day 1. Seriously.

That day changed my life!

For the first time, this dream of being published was a reality. I felt on top of the world, like nothing could possibly get in my way or stop me. It is a feeling I return to anytime I question my sanity for staying in this business.

Since that amazing day, I have published three more nonfiction titles with my amazing editor Lacy Compton and the team at Prufrock Press, including 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids, the Girl Guide, and most recently Quiet Kids. With their help, another two titles - Raising the Shy Child and I'm Not just Gifted - will be coming in the first six months of 2015. These titles have also led to publishing opportunities with Tiger Beat magazine, Justine Magazine, Parents, Johnson & Johnson and others. I can't say how excited and life fulfilling it has all been.

In addition to the non-fiction fun, Krista was encouraging with my fiction (an area she did not represent but supported as I tried to find my niche in the very crowded YA market.) I started publishing my fiction in 2012, first through Heather McCorkle's HUGE help, and then on my own. Drawing on the love and support of my early CPs and writing buds: Elana Johnson, Ali Cross, Michelle McLean and Julie Butcher, I honed my craft until finally, I published the Requiem series, including Lacrimosa, Libera Me, Dominus and the shorts Dies Irae and Mea Culpa. Countless other writers helped along the way, as well as bloggers and fans.

The Requiem series was followed by my thrillers, Transcend and, most recently, Collide. For those keep count, that's a total of 9 books, 2 shorts and countless articles.

WOW! 
How did that even happen...

Along the way, paths have changed, goals have shifted, friendships morphed. I've had ups and downs. I've nearly quit at least a million times. And I've lost and found my voice.

Now, as I entered my fifth year as a published author (and my seventh year writing with the intent to publish), I understand that everything cycles back to the stories too loud to stay quietly present in my head, stories and self-help that is meant to inspire and transcend....this is why I am still here. No, I have not reached my goals. Actually, I'm not even close in some respects. But I am very proud of what I've accomplished and what is on the horizon!

I want to thank all of you for sticking with me. I've never been the popular girl, the one on the "in", the one others looked up to.. but with this tribe of writers, I have at least found my voice, my place, my peeps.

I promise to keep the stories coming, to bring more adventure and more love. I promise to tackle the hard topics and continue to make authenticity the norm we all strive for. And I promise to lead by example and honestly approach the next four years with the same passion I've tried to maintain and inspire since the beginning!

HUGS, and thanks for making the dream that is my life a reality. :D

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Weekend Round-Up: Or, where I spill the news about my upcoming releases...

Okay, I know it is not the weekend YET. But, tomorrow the kids are out of school and I get to spend time getting caught up on things...so it feels like a Friday night right now. Which means, it is time for me to spill the beans and share all my bookish news. This is something I plan on doing once a month or so, as I really want to keep you all up to date with the bookish happenings.

So, let's get started...
NON-FICTION

2015 promises to be an AMAZING time for my nonfiction releases. Here is a recap of what's coming, including news about a brand new book I just CAN NOT WAIT to share:

INDIE AND PROUD: FACING YOUR FEARS AND EMBRACING YOUR PASSIONS THROUGHOUT THE PUBLISHING JOURNEY
February 2015

Every writer gets to a point in their path (or many points) when they lose hope, experience fear, and question their passions. This book is all about pushing through the fear, the funk and the doubt and embracing your passions, no matter what where you are with your career. Inspired by the workshops I am conducting at IndieReCon Live in Utah next month, as well as my experience as a life coach and my own fear-filled moments along my path, this book is filled with exercises designed to help you resist burnout and stay connected to your passions along your publishing journey.

Look for this in February 2015!

RAISING THE SHY CHILD: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO SOCIAL ANXIETY
March 2015, Prufrock Press

This book was a true labor of love for me. Packed full of the latest information about social anxiety, anecdotal stories, case studies and specific interventions for parents and teachers, this book is designed to shed light on what social anxiety is and is not and provide parents with specific strategies to support kids.

Hitting shelves March 1, 2015! 

I'M NOT JUST GIFTED: SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL CURRICULUM FOR GUIDING GIFTED CHILDREN
May 2015, Prufrock Press

This is my first book of curriculum for gifted kids, bring together the most recent research in quick lessons that can be done within the classroom or a small group setting. Designed to enhance and develop emotional curriculum, this book meets both the affective curriculum guidelines from NAGC and common core requirement.

Coming May 1, 2015.

FICTION

I can't tell you too much about my fiction plans, other than to say this - 

Requiem Series News: 
Be on the lookout for NEW REQUIEM-INSPIRED NOVELS. Yes, that's right, I am bringing back my favorite Requiem characters for a companion series about the Seers, and the story of Nesy and Aydan when they were Elle and Adam. To celebrate the new additions to the series, I am releasing a special "Director's Cut" edition of Dominus, with a few new surprises!
New books coming in 2015.

The Solomon Experiments:
I promised you would not have to wait too long for COLLIDE's sequel. And you won't. My goal - release in EARLY 2015 (like January, I hope). I can't wait to spring on more ups and downs, more thrills with Dakota and David and some unexpected surprises.

Book 2 coming in early 2015.

A NEW Series:
Yep, I have a new series coming. I am not ready to tell you more....at least, not yet. Mwahahahahaha

Okay - that's it for now!!! Be on the look out for updates, very soon.......

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Big News!!!

HOLY WOW!!!  
Where did all the time go? One moment it is early August, and the next September is here. I am so sorry I feel off the blogging planet. To say the start of the school year has been hectic is a serious understatement!

But, that's not why I'm here. I wanted to share all shorts of book-related news. New books coming, award nominations, and lots of non-fiction book escitement: 

It's an exciting time.

So, let me get to it:

UPCOMING NEW SHORT STORY/ANTHOLOGY

You may have heard of a fabulous NEW anthology coming in early October, Strange and Lovely.  The book features fabulous CLEAN paranormal romance stories. Here's a little more about the anthology:

Mermaids, changelings, and ghosts...oh my!

From fae assassins to subjugating the dead, Strange and Lovely is a collection of short stories that seamlessly blends spine-tingling chills and swoon-worthy romance.

This anthology of supernatural creatures from ten talented authors, serves up short stories with heart-stopping storytelling that will haunt you long after you've put it down.

If you love tales of the paranormal variety, but can't decide which ghostly, supernatural or otherworldly creature to focus on, here's the perfect book for you.

Whether humorous, suspenseful, or romantic, the stories in Strange and Lovely will leave you feeling wickedly entertained.


My contribution to the anthology is a NEW short story called Dark Night. Based on the Requiem World and the Seers, Dark Night follows Tristan as he tries to save his sisters from their fate. It is a precursor to a new series coming in late 2015 or so. EXCITING!

Strange and Lovely comes out October 4 and is available for pre-order HERE!



AWARD NEWS
 

Help COLLIDE and THE GIRL GUIDE WIN!!!


I am happy to announce that COLLIDE and THE GIRL GUIDE are up for the first annual Howey award in the categories of Best Cover and Best YA book of 2014 for Collide, and Best NF book for THE GIRL GUIDE. Also, I am up for best NF Author of 2014. These awards are determined by popular vote, which is where you come in.

From now until SEPT 15 you can vote on your choices in a variety of categories, including best YA book of 2014, Best NF book of 2014, Best NF Author and Best Cover. I'd of course appreciate any and all votes, but just voting for your favorites is epic too. IF YOU'VE ALREADY VOTED, PLEASE VOTE AGAIN NOW!


Follow the links below and show a little Indie Love!

BEST YA INDIE BOOK of 2014 - Collide

BEST INDIE COVER

BEST NF BOOK 2014 - The Girl Guide

BEST NF AUTHOR

I can't win without your votes so please...VOTE TODAY!!!


I have other NEW book news, but I think I'll wait until next week for all that...

Until then, thanks for all of your support!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wherein I talk openly about the creative mind...

Hi all -

In light of the news about Robin Williams on Monday, I wanted to write a post that has been years in the making really. And a rare one that I decided to post on both of my sites...

Robin Williams' death angered me in many ways, something that made me take pause. I wasn't angry because of the tragedy of it all, but because another creative genius felt there was no way out. And more, I was angry because while his death started a much needed conversation about mental health issues and the stigma attached to those battling with a mental illness, it did not start even a ripple of the conversation I wish it had. Robin Williams was not ONLY and individual who had battled both depression and addiction, he was a genius. His very being meant he was intense.

So much of the conversations in these last days has attributed the creative genius to the mental illness, as though they always go together. But they don't. The intensity DOES. And as a society, we don't accept that intensity without also thinking in the back of our heads that there MUST be a mental illness piece.

How do I know this? It's been my reality for ever.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a very intense, creative person. I am a divergent thinker, a gifted adult, and prone to strong emotions. When I create, be it books, music or choreography (yes, I composed concertos as a child and conducted string orchestras and music camp. I was also a theater-dance minor in school and dabbled in choreography), I see/hear the finished product in my head long before the first word/note/move existed. Like many famous artists, everything existed in my head in perfection. My job was simply to find a way to purge it from my thoughts and get it out for the world to see.

And therein was the problem.

Once the world could see it, it was scrutinized, criticized, commented on. Teachers when I was 8 told me I was crazy for believing I could get a random group of 7 and 8-year-olds together and do a Shakespeare play (think Little Rascals does Macbeth), but that didn't keep me from wanting to try. When I recreated a South Pacific coral reef to scale in 7th grade as part of a project that advocated for the preservation of our oceans, my teacher thought me extreme. When I came up with a theory about the relationship between political cartoons and their influence on political culture of the 1700 and 1800s in high school, my US History teacher told me I I could never prove my ideas and I should just write a term paper of something--anything--else.

Such was my life growing up.

By the end of High School I learned just how strange and divergent I was. More, I learned that none of that was a "good" thing. Nerds and Geeks weren't cool back then. Everything that was important to me, that made me "me", was weird to the rest of the world. And being weird was definitely NOT celebrated.

I thought in pictures, and usually had five or more thoughts going on at once. To me, in my head, multiple realities were the norm. I couldn't understand that other people didn't conceptualize multi-dimensional thinking as I did. I lived in a profoundly lonely world, one in which I wasn't accepted except by my mother (gifted in her own right) and an occasional friend.

So I cultivated new interests, ones that were more mundane. I got into fashion, modeling, and the like. I developed an eating disorder and my own intensities channeled themselves into much more destructive thinking. It would be easy to think of me as mentally ill. After all, I had developed a mental illness. But that wasn't me. Not fully. It was a means to an end, a way to belong. And it worked in the short term. I had friends, but very few knew "me". Heck, I barely knew me.

I was called overly dramatic, a drama queen, etc - all in response to my very extreme emotions. I don't blame people for saying it really; from their perspective it was true. I was extreme and intense. I still am. And yes, I still lose friends because of it.

In college, my world imploded as my eating disorder spun out of control and I had to admit the problem. I sought help and got better. A lot better.

On the surface.

It wasn't until many years later, after a load of therapy, maturity and a few personal crises that forced me to self-examine, that I learned the truth about who I was and why I acted the way I did. I learned what it meant to be gifted, to be intense.

See, I never thought of myself as smart, despite the "proof" in IQ tests, the GT label, etc. And no one ever explained to me that being smart, being gifted, MEANT asynchronous development. It meant I'd struggle with EQ, at least when I was younger. Most importantly, it meant that I was - I am - intense.

Why am I writing this crazy long post? It isn't to brag, garnish sympathy, or anything else. It's to talk, openly and honestly and what being gifted and creative has meant to me.

There is an intensity with which I approach life. This intensity DOES NOT mean I am crazy. It doesn't mean I need to be fixed. When I say I need a break, when I speak openly about my intensity, I'm not looking for someone out there to "fix" me like I am a problem. I just want someone to know I'm at my limit and I need a break.

When I struggle socially, or I come off aloof, please know it isn't intentional. My brain works fast - very fast. And sometimes, I get lost in it. That doesn't mean I am uncaring or uninterested. In fact, the opposite is likely more true. I desperately care and I am profoundly interested. I am just somewhat lousy at showing in.

And when I get down, REALLY DOWN, I am seldom depressed. I am just overwhelmed by life and its emotions.

This is NOT TO SAY that other creative, gifted people aren't depressed. Gifted people do get depressed.

I am lucky. I have done a TON of work in the field of giftedness, learning why I feel existential depression as often as I do, why I approach the world as I do, why I am so intense. I really think it is BECAUSE of this that I have significantly improved my EQ and learned what my personal "normal" is. I have also learned when I need to ask for help - when I am overwhelmed beyond all ability to cope. More importantly, I've learned how to receive help from others, even when they aren't really able to relate.

So, this is me. And it is many other gifted individuals. We are not broken in our intensities. But we do
need acceptance, even when we seem crazy. And if we do actually break, because it can certainly happen (especially when we receive the constant message that we are crazy because of our intensities, or when we fail to connect socially because there are so few who "get us"), we need acceptance even more.

And we need the world, our family, our friends, our therapists, etc to understand that our baseline - our "normal" - is DIFFERENT from everyone else. If you force us into your version of "normal", or medicate us to some random definition of  "normal", we still are not "normal" from our perspective, and we will reject your version of help.

Sometimes with deadly consequences.

Gifted creatives are blessed with passions that burn brighter than the sun. And sometimes we get burned in the wake of our own intensities.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Help Collide WIN!!!


 

Help make Collide the Best YA book of 2014 with the Best Cover!


Thank you all for making the release of Collide so fantastic. I appreciate the thoughtful reviews, emails of love and your readership. 

I am happy to announce that COLLIDE is up for the first annual Howey award in the categories of Best Cover and Best YA book of 2014. These awards are determined by popular vote, which is where you come in.

From now until Aug 15 you can vote on your choices in a variety of categories, including best YA book of 2014 and best cover. I'd of course appreciate any and all votes for Collide, but just voting for your favorites is epic too. 


So, follow the links below and show a little Indie Love!

BEST YA INDIE BOOK of 2014

BEST INDIE COVER

I can't win without your votes so please....vote for Collide!