Friday, December 21, 2012

Lisa Roecker and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

My humiliating day has become something of a holiday tradition. Hope you enjoy my humiliation! May your holidays be merry and bright!

Let me preface this by saying there were a lot of events leading up to this day. First off, my friend and I took our sons to see The Fantastic Mr. Fox the night before. In retrospect it probably would have been a good idea to do some research around the plot and to consider going to an earlier showing.

Here's a transcript from my hilarious friend recapping the evening for you. Keep in mind that her husband was already semi-annoyed that she chose to keep Jack's bestie out this late "on a school night."

Dad: How was the movie?
Jack's bestie: Good.
Dad: What movie was it?
Jack's bestie: Don't know.
Dad: Well, what was the movie about?
Jack's bestie: Don't know. Ask Mom.
Dad: You don't remember anything about the movie? What was one thing you remember about the movie?

*dramatic pause*

Jack's bestie: There was this really good part where the farmers got their shooters and started shooting at a tree and the foxes. There were lots of guns and it was really scary and they were really bad men.

*dramatic pause*

Dad: Great.

Fast forward to the next morning.

8:00 AM - Jack drags himself out of bed. Gets very excited to learn that he can wear his pajamas to school for the big Snow Day Party. He refuses to go to the bathroom, but I decide to call it even since I don't have to force him out of his pajamas and into his school clothes.

8:51 AM - Drop kids off at school and find out that several parents sent in their money for the class gift a day late which leaves me about two hours to buy additional gifts for the teachers. Being the room mom really is a bitch.

9:05 AM - Arrive at mall to purchase gifts for teachers only to find out the mall doesn't open until 10 AM.

9:06 AM - Place emergency call to uber talented sister to see if she can whip up some personalized stationary for the teachers.

Stacey: (sounding hoarse and groggy) Hello?
Lisa: Hey. How long does it take you to make stationary?
Stacey: (sounding suspicious) Why?
Lisa: Just wondering...
Stacey: I can make it quickly. When do you need it?
Lisa: In an hour.
Stacey: *coughs*
Lisa: Did I wake you up?
Stacey: I was just taking a little nap.
Lisa: Crap.

9:30 AM: Arrive back home to place PayPal order for the stationary to make sure Stacey actually accepts payment. She's notoriously bad at cashing my checks.

9:39 AM: Check Jack's class list to see who paid for the gifts and who didn't. Realize that I gave Stacey an incorrect spelling for one of the teacher's names. Swear profusely and call Stacey immediately.

Lisa: Have you already printed Mrs. D's cards?
Stacey: Yeah....
Lisa: $%^&
Stacey: What?
Lisa: I spelled her $%&^*(& name wrong.
Stacey: %$#&
Lisa: I know. Just forget it.
Stacey: No way, I'll print new ones.
Lisa: I love you.

9:55 AM - Leave my house, double check the door is locked and head to my car. Reach into my pocket for my keys only to find they're not there. %$#&. Check under the door mat for spare key, not there. %$#@.

9:56 AM - Cry a little.

9:57 AM - Grab the Little Tykes slide from the garage and drag it around the perimeter of my house trying to break in through one of our windows only to find they're all locked.

10:05 AM - Notice that I can't feel my hands anymore.

10:06 AM - Find Jack's Lightning McQueen gloves in the trunk and stuff my hands into them.

10:07 AM - Begin trying all the windows again. One last try before I call Stacey and beg her to drive me to Jack's school. The grip on the McQueen gloves gives me just enough leverage to pop open one of my family room windows.

10:08 AM - Marvel at how easy it is to break into my house.

10:09 AM - Try to squeeze past Christmas tree in my huge down coat.

10:10 AM - Fail. The entire Christmas tree comes crashing down.

10:11 AM - Cry a little.

10:20 AM - Cards have been picked up and I'm off to Jack's school.

Editorial note: Loyal readers will remember that there is a bat shit crazy woman in Jack's preschool class who insisted that all of the food at the school party be made of fruit and air. Just a quick reminder as she proved to be yet another leading factor in Lisa's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Day.

10:46 AM - Arrive in Jack's classroom and witness bat shit crazy mom flipping out at one of the other parents for bringing cupcakes.

10:47 AM - Hear bat shit crazy mom telling another parent about her son's clown phobia. She just wanted to verify that no one was planning on hiring a clown for the end of the school party in JUNE. JUNE!

10:48 AM - Bite my tongue so hard that I taste blood.

10:49 AM - Help the children make Marshmallow Snowmen.

10:50 AM - Stress eat a Twizzler.

10:55 AM - Try to assist the kids in getting their snowmen into little personalized bags to take home. As I'm helping Jack he bites the head off his snowman and laughs at me.

10:56 AM - Practice yoga breathing.

10:57 AM - Stress eat another Twizzler.

11:09 AM - Treats have been distributed and Jack eats them all within seconds and wants more. I quietly tell him that he's had enough and he screams "This is the worst party ever!" and throws his juice box across the room.

11:10 AM - Do the walk of shame across the room to pick up the juice box and practice my yoga breathing.

11:11 AM - Stress eat another Twizzler.

11:12 AM - Teacher asks me if I'll be taking Jack home after the party and I smile brightly and say "Oh no, he has extended day today. Remember?"

11:13 AM - Teacher cries a little.

11:30 AM - Call my husband to inform him that I'll be enrolling his son in military school and he reminds me that it was my decision to keep him out until 9:30 PM the night before.

11:31 AM - Cry a little.

11:32 AM - Stress eat all of the remaining Twizzlers.

11:34 AM - Call the aforementioned hilarious friend to relay the events of the party, specifically the new information about the clown phobia. Hilarious friend claims she's going to start doing carpool dressed as a clown.

11:35 AM - Come dangerously close to peeing my pants.

11:47 AM - Back home. Assess damage to our Christmas tree.

11:48 AM - Cry a little.

11:49 AM - Remind myself that at least I'll get a decent blog post out of this.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19th

Today I'm thinking of all of the parents. All of the children. All of the brothers and sisters. All of the friends. I'm thinking of an entire community, devastated.

Today I'm thinking of my husband and his brothers who lost their brother 9 years ago. I'm thinking of his parents who lost a son. I'm thinking of my kids and my 4-day-old nephew who were never able to meet their uncle.

I'm thinking that all of this loss, all of this sadness could have been avoided if we lived in a world without guns.

Today I'm going to light a candle to remember them. All of them. And today I'm going to pray that our country figures out a way to put a stop to this violence. Join me?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Win a FULL Manuscript Critique from LiLa

We all have dreams.

Laura and I dreamed of being published writers. We dreamed of seeing our books on shelves. And we pinch ourselves every single day that our dream actually came true.

As dreamers, there's nothing we love more than helping others achieve their dreams and we have a friend Kate who has a dream of owning her own bookstore. And now that our favorite independent bookstore, The Learned Owl, is for sale she has a chance to make that dream come true.

But she needs our help. And your help too, if you're willing. Right now Kate is hosting a fundraiser to help earn capital towards the purchase of The Learned Owl and we would love it if you would consider donating toward Kate's dream. Think of it like karma. A dream for a dream.

Of course, you guys have dreams too, right? And I bet some of you dream of being published writers. If being a published writer is your dream and you donate to Kate's campaign, we will enter you to win a FULL MANUSCRIPT critique by the crazy Roecker sisters. That's 4 published author eyes on your writing. And if you're interested, we'll even schedule a phone call with you to discuss your work within one month of you sending it to our little old inbox. We can talk all about your writing and how amazing it is and whatever suggestions we might have to make it even more amazing. Or we could just gossip about Bravo. We're pretty good at that too.

And we'll even throw in signed copies of The Liar Society, The Lies That Bind and the super-secret first chapter of Third Lie's the Charm. Oh, and we'll send you an ARC of THIS IS W.A.R. as soon as we get our hot little hands on one.

SO, if you're interested in entering our contest and helping Kate achieve her dream, make a donation, send us an email at lisa-laura@live.com to let us know or leave a comment on this blog post with your e-mail address. We'll choose one winner on Monday, January 14th!

So what do you say? Want to make some dreams come true? WE DO.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Elana Johnson!

 
 
 
Dear Elana,
Happy Birthday! In honor of your special day, we want to take a moment and celebrate the top 100 51 10 reasons we love you. As you can see, it was hard to narrow to 10.
 
10. Elana Johnson is hilarious. Her emails always crack us up, we look forward all year to WriteOnCon underbelly chats and are even lucky enough to hear Elana LIVE. Yes, we've talked. Be jealous. She's funny. Really, really funny.
 
9. Elana is freaking smart. An emotional plot? Wha? Yeah...
 
8. She can query like no other. Getting ready to send your manuscript out? Download this. NOW. You'll thank us later.
 
7. Elana loves bacon. Can you ever love anyone who doesn't?
 
6. She has something to say. And you can depend on her to actually...ahem...say it. Unlike, oh, I don't know, a couple sisters we know. She blogs! Regularly! And she's helpful and funny and awesome!
 
5. She has really cool hair. Like Vi from Possession. Laura got a really bad haircut before leaving for college. It single-handedly ruined her college experience. Not many people can say that just like not many people can say they have cool hair like Elana Johnson.
4. Elana will eventually take over the world. So get on board. She has ideas and they're really big and she's so generous, she'll always let people hang onto her coattails.
 
3. She's figured out how to clone herself. We're not entirely sure how she's done it, but there are multiple versions of Elana running around accomplishing everything she does in the same amount of time it takes us to brush our teeth in the morning. It's an art.
 
2. The girl can write. Elana's books introduced us to drop dead gorgeous boys with names like Zenn and Jag and Gunner who fight to take control of their own lives and help the girls they care about do the same. They make you take a step back and consider the lives we lead and the society in which we lead them and make a smart statement about power and the abuse of it.
 
1. Elana is one of the most selfless, encouraging, supportive, giving, compassionate people we know. She always has time to listen or help or guide or connect. It might seem like Elana's dropping everything to help a friend and that's probably because she is. We are so honored to know Elana and our writing community would not be the same without her. Happy Birthday to one of our first friends in these parts. We love you and are so proud of everything you've accomplished!
 
Now go win ALL of her books! Click the image above to enter and tell us why you love Elana Johnson and her books in the comments!
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Freeview Friday

Since we're too busy writing Third Lie's the Charm to be much use in the blogosphere we figured it was only fair to give you a sneak peek, so here's a little, completely unedited snippet for you:

Bradley Farrow was broken and somehow looking at him felt like looking in a mirror. His face had been rearranged by grief. He was still beautiful, but now he was more Picasso than Rembrandt and I wanted nothing more than to slide his features back into place. To change him back into the Bradley he was before....


Eek! Aren't you just dying to know what has gorgeous Bradley all torn up? All will be revealed...next year. Sorry, this was kind of mean. In happier news, we've seen the final cover for the third and final book in The Liar Society series and holy BALLS, you guys, it's awesome. Stay tuned for a cover reveal soonest.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1. I got in a fight with some jackhole on Twitter about Suri's Burnbook. Nobody messes with Suri on my watch.

2. I just sent Laura an email that said, "Follow the outline or die." Yup, you guessed it. We're in the midst of drafting Third Lie's the Charm. Get excited. This book is going to be epic. As long as Laura follows the damn outline.

3. Jack got in trouble with the principal at his school (who just happens to be a 70-year-old nun) for throwing seeds at recess (Yes, really. It's so random.) and now he has to eat lunch with her tomorrow. You'd think he was being sent to be interrogated by Abu Nazir. I seriously had to bite my lip to stop from laughing when he was sobbing on my lap about Sister Linda and eating lunch with her and how she was so scary. Jack: 0 Irrational Catholic fear: 1. I will bet you $100 that I get a call from the school nurse tomorrow saying that Jack isn't feeling well. Good times.

4. I'm in a mood this week. A MOOD. Don't email me or talk to me or send me anything important because I'm feeling super crotchety. Just ask Laura.

5. You guys should bid on this. Good cause, awesome books. Make it happen.

What's your truth this Tuesday? SPILL because I'm in the kind of mood where I'll cut you if you don't.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. Every day this week I've put on work out clothes fully intending to actually work out. Sadly, the most athletic thing I end up doing all day is shoveling leftover pumpkin pie into my mouth. So basically, I've been walking around looking like someone who lives in her car and smells of sweaty socks and pumpkin. Sexy.

2. In semi-related news, I purchased two maternity shirts at Target. I'm not pregnant.

3. We've gotten a little bit of a hint about the cover for our SohoTeen book due out in July and HOLY CRAP. It's kind of amazing. We can't wait to be able to share it with you guys.

4. I believe in ghosts.

5. I stopped watching the Vampire Diaries. I just got kind of bored with the whole thing. Elana as a vampire was kind of lame and I seriously can't fathom why she stays with Stephan. Boo.

What's your truth this Tuesday? Spill it in the comments!

Monday, November 26, 2012

On Winnning Publishing

I'm a type-A personality.

"Whoa, I'm totally shocked," said no one who has ever met me.

Although techinically I think I'm more of an A-minus personality in that I only like to compete at things I know I can win. This has led to many problems and unfortunate events in my life. In my twisted little mind, it was better to make a joke out of tennis than it was to take it super seriously and lose. And math. No matter how hard I worked at math, I knew I'd never win so I ended up slacking my way through trig and calculus. (Sidenote: This is actually a really bad example because I've come to the conclusion that math is stupid. I mean honestly, this is the 21st century. We have calculators on our iPhones!) English Lit was a different story because I knew I could win. I loved reading and writing and debating and discussing books. I was always the first one to raise my hand. The nerd in the front row waxing poetic on my hatered for Daisy Buchanan.

When I work hard and take something seriously, I like to know that my efforts will be rewarded. It's easy for me to take my day job seriously because I'm good at it. When I work hard I'm almost always rewarded. It's a game I know I can win.

And publishing kills me because no matter how hard I work, how much I learn, or read or market, I will never win publishing. It might be a zero sum game. Or maybe not. Honestly, I didn't really pay much attention in Econ 101 because after I saw A Beautiful Mind I was pretty confident I'd never be able to beat John Nash. And every time we lose I try to convince myself that I don't really care. I try to convince Laura that we should just give up. I pretend that our writing career was just a long drawn out joke.

But the thing about publishing is that we keep changing the game. At first I thought getting an agent = WINNING.

And then we got an agent and it was really hard for her to sell our book to publishers.

And then I thought that getting our book published = WINNING.

And then our book was published and it didn't get a starred review or get nominated for any awards or really do much of anything aside from hang out on bookshelves occasionally getting purchased by bored 11-year-old girls who subsequently wrote us emails about how The Liar Society was their third favorite book.

Third favorite book? Funny? Not. Winning.

Oh, but I wasn't worried because we had The Lies That Bind and our amazing publisher was sending us out on a huge tour and surely this time around we'd WIN PUBLISHING.

But you know what? It's slow going. If anything, the second book feels harder than the first book. We only have one Amazon review and no professional reviews and sometimes I feel like instead of just NOT WINNING we're actually LOSING.

And the type-A-minus in me wants to just give up altogether. To pretend that I didn't really work hard on our books at all. To pretend that I don't care about Kate and Seth and Pemberly Brown. That we never really expected anyone to buy them in the first place.

But I can't ever convince myself, because it's simply not true.

I love Kate. I love Pemberly Brown and I especially love Seth. When we wrote these books I was sure that EVERYONE would want to read them. I thought they'd be international best sellers. I was positive that Kate would be this generation's Nancy Drew.

Yeah, I realize now that that's probably not in the cards for us. Not for this series. Not for these books. But lately I've been starting to think that my definition of winning is all wrong.

Maybe winning isn't about sales and awards, maybe it's about following our dreams and seeing our books on shelves. Maybe it's about finally overcoming my stupid A-minus personality disorder and growing up enough to realize that I'm not always going to win everything. That I'll never be the best. Maybe it's finally time to feel good, no GREAT, about being one 11-year-old girl's third favorite book.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. I'm still tired from our epic tour. It was the most amazing, exhausting, exciting 10 days of my life so far. We are so grateful to Sourcebooks for sending us out and for Miranda Kenneally and Janet Gurtler for putting up with LiLa uncensored. We'd love to make them honorary Roeckers but after experiencing our crazy first hand, they might not want to join up.

2. We sold our house! YAY! But I have to admit to being a total sap about the whole thing. When it comes down to it, this is the place where we brought our babies home. The place where I decided to become a writer. It's our first home and yes we've outgrown it, but I'm still going to miss it.

3. Our deadline for Third Lie's The Charm scares me a little. Laura isn't worried, so I guess I shouldn't be either. But still. Worried.

4. I spent two hours creating fake Twitter accounts and staging a fake DM conversation between characters today. This may or may not explain my concerns outlined in #3.

5. I keep forgetting Thanksgiving is this week. I'm in holi-denial. As usual.

6. Since we're probably never going to get around to a proper tour wrap up post, I'm going to add our favorite pics from the tour below. We met the coolest people EVER. It makes me happy just looking at these. Prepare to be photo bombed...
























Whew. So much awesome in one place. Whenever I'm having a bad day I'm going to just click on this post and look at these pictures. So. Much. Happy. If you have any pics of the #getreal tour that you'd like to share, send 'em our way and we'll add them to this post for a nice little collage. We can't tell you how happy we were to meet so many of our friends and readers. We are lucky, lucky girls.

THANK YOU to everyone who made this tour possible. Especially our parents, in-laws and husbands who wrangled our kids for 10-days. As the Regulator says, "It takes a village to send LiLa on tour." Truer words have never been spoken.

So, what's your truth this Tuesday? You don't have to post it in the comments, just think it really hard in the general direction of Cleveland and we'll totally commiserate with you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

GET REAL in Cleveland!

HELLO! STOP. WE ARE ALIVE. STOP. ON CRAZY ASS BOOK TOUR. STOP. DELIRIOUSLY TIRED SO THIS SEEMED LIKE AN ENTERTAINING WAY TO TELL YOU ABOUT OUR LAUNCH PARTY FOR THE LIES THAT BIND. STOP.





*In case you're curious this is what we look like when we're on planes. Yes. Really. We have matching neck pillows and sleep masks purchased especially for this trip. That's just how we roll.


Ok, wow. That was awful. We are on the mother of all book tours and have so many hilarious adventures and stories to tell you when we're finally back on our couches in yoga pants.

But for now you'll have to settle for a quick informative post about our mega Cleveland Get Real Tour stop! If you live in Cleveland or really, anywhere in Ohio, you should come. Mostly because by the time we get there we'll be so tired that we'll spill all of our dirty tour secrets. You won't want to miss it. Seriously.

So here are the deets:

The Get Real Tour (including the amazing Janet Gurtler and Miranda Kenneally) will stop at The Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson, Ohio hosted by our very favorite independent bookseller, The Learned Owl.

WHEN: November 8th from 7 PM - 9 PM

WHERE: 100 Lake Forest Dr. Hudson, Ohio

COST: Free! And as a bonus we'll be giving away Twizzlers and bookmarks and spilling our guts.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lisa and You're Welcome...


10 Things You Need to Know About My Dear Sister on Her Birthday...

10. She is insane a very hard worker. Lisa works 2 official jobs, 3 if you count being a full-time mom to 3 crazy kids and 4 if you count Twitter. I have no idea how much sleep she gets—I fear none—and have absolutely no earthly idea how she balances everything. I can barely get out the door in the morning without spontaneously combusting. It’s shocking.

9. She is very passionate. Lisa has many opinions. Lisa talks with her hands. Lisa has many opinions that she expresses with her hands. Whether it’s politics or publishing or being a mom or being a friend/sister/daughter/woman, Lisa is never afraid to speak up and voice her opinion. We’ll have brief detailed 9-hour-long conversations about some random issue and she’ll encourage me to “blog about it” as I slowly back away with my hands up. But she’s never afraid to put it out there. It’s pretty cool.

8. She’ll get on board with any diet, exercise plan, lifestyle change, hairstyle transformation, etc. that one may propose. I love people like this. All I have to do is call and say, “I saw this diet complete with a meal plan, want to try it? And before I’m even at “meal plan” she’s IN and driving to the grocery store to buy beets and a kettle bell. Then we’ll do something for 8 or so days and go back to eating ice cream from the container at 11 PM. It’s awesome.

7. She’s incredibly sarcastic—but you probably knew that already. She scares the hell out of my daughter Lydia and banks on the fact that she’ll be the favorite aunt by the time Lydia’s able to understand sarcasm. Let’s just hope Lydia forgets about all the times I forced Lisa to run upstairs and yell at her for waking up too early from a nap. I have no idea why we thought this was a good idea. Fail.

6. She makes me cry at least once per day. I have no clue if anyone else would find what we find funny as hilarious, but she cracks me up. The more random and inappropriate the better, which confirms the fact that I have a very sick and twisted mind. The bonus is that as I’m eating ice cream at 11 PM at night I can reflect on the fact that during one of our brief detailed 9-hour-long conversations, I got an ab workout in at the same time. Score.

5. She’s the brains behind this operation (and do not let her tell you any different). Our editors can pose some sort of issue with the plot of our book and she’ll pause for a second (while I hem and haw) and spew out some genius solution that simultaneously fixes fourteen other broken areas of the manuscript. It’s an art.

4. If you walk into a library or bookstore with Lisa, she will have read almost every single book in stock. I’ve accused her of skimming, which didn’t go over well, and/or lying, but her retention is convincing. When we were little, the amount of books she’d read baffled me. In addition, if you press “Guide” on your television remote, she will have watched at least one episode and often entire seasons of any given television series. The same goes for movies. “All I have to say is, don’t see Contagion.” “How are you not watching Gallery Girls?” “Be sure to DVR Underemployed!” Review number 10 on my list and your mind will officially be blown. There’s no way she sleeps.

3. She washes her floors every night. And asks me if I think this is crazy. I usually don’t say anything. Refer back to number 10 and 4.

2. Lisa doesn’t take herself (or really anyone) too seriously. If you accidentally take yourself too seriously, she will totally call you out on it and you’ll feel ashamed. This is a good thing. Nothing good ever comes from taking one’s self too seriously. Nothing.

1.  She’s my best friend. But you already knew that. When I was ten (with a very unfortunate overbite and some heavy duty orthodontia), I never would have dreamed that I’d grow up to love my sisters. I couldn’t see past, “Mo-om she’s looking at me!” spat across the dinner table. And now the three of us actually hang out…for fun and force our kids to like each other. Love.

 Happy Birthday, Lisa. Take the day off, you over-achiever.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Mommy Brag

Lately I've been seeing lots of posts about two year olds who are doing amazing things. These kids are are doing some crazy shit like counting to twenty, identifying shapes and colors, and speaking in full sentences. To be totally honest, I've been feeling a little jealous of these baby geniuses. Lucky for me today Ben did something that totally blows those baby Einsteins out of the water. He learned how to get dressed in his own pajamas!


We are so proud.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tell The Truth Tuesday - Dear Teen Me

We have a mega truth this Tuesday and we're telling all to our teen selves over at DearTeenMe.com. Click for the awkward pictures, stay for the random advice!

HUGE thanks fellow Sourcebooks author, Miranda Kenneally (Have you read her books yet? No? Buy them immediately. Seriously. You will not be disappointed.) for including us!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Balance and the Mommy Writer by guest author Natalie Bahm

Every so often we have extra bad days. Maybe the kids are being difficult or our husbands are cranky or we went to bed too late and are over-tired. We might complain in a two hour long phone conversation, write a nasty email or even cry in the shower. And then all of a sudden, we get an email from a fellow author whose heart was touched by a little boy she'd never met. And whoosh. All of the sudden, everything is put back into perspective. Thank you, Natalie, for bringing us back to reality. You are truly an inspiration.
 
Hi, my name is Natalie and I’m a writer and a mom.  When I first started writing I thought I was doing something sort of unique—raising three kids and writing a book on the side.  Then I started blogging and realized there are SO MANY mommy writers out there. All of us are trying to balance caring for our children and chasing our dreams.

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t always balance those two things well.

Three years ago I was immersed in writing and networking and trying to make this dream come true.  I was so totally focused on it that I let other things in my life slide.  And then I had a MAJOR reality check.

I was pregnant with my fourth baby and I got really sick.  Then I had my baby boy and he was terribly sick.  He spent two weeks in the NICU learning how to breathe and eat on his own.

Suddenly all of the writing and publishing stuff that I’d been stressing about for months didn’t matter at all.  The only thing I cared about was getting my baby healthy.

I gradually got back into writing as he grew and got stronger, but I tried to do it in a much more balanced way (“tried” is the operative word here, I definitely mess up some days). 

 I set aside certain hours (usually naptime) to do all of my writing and blogging. This doesn’t give me much time—usually just an hour or two a day. I write slowly and I’m not nearly as good a blogger as I was before I had my baby.  But I feel better about the way I spend my time.  My little guy is two-years-old now.  He’s more work than an incontinent puppy with a chewing problem, but everyday I remember how grateful I am to have him.

 He’s the only one of my kids who is home all day and I really want to enjoy this time. When he heads off to school I know I’ll have way more time to write, but I’ll also miss his sweet baby kisses and exclamations of “I lub you, mommy.” I constantly remind myself that publishing is not a race or a popularity contest and I need to make it work in a balanced way.

 My first book, THE SECRET UNDERGROUND came out last Friday.  It’s a very special project that me and my agent, Sara Megibow, put together as a fundraiser for a little boy named Jayden who’s been in the hospital on and off since birth.  You can learn more about the book and the project HERE.

 Every penny of the profits will go to help Jayden and his family.  You can buy a copy through any major eBook retailer.  HERE are some links.

 Thank you, Lisa and Laura for letting me visit today!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The To Do List From Hell

It's October 1st and that sound you hear is the sisters Roecker weeping.

We have 31 days to do all of the following:

1. Produce four side splittingly hilarious vlogs. We're hoping you'll be laughing with us and not at us, but at this point, beggars can't be choosers.

2. Write some amazing blog posts for the epic Lies That Bind blog tour. (Details coming soon!)

3. Pull together 28 super-secret gift boxes for giveaways.

4. Figure out how to fit 10 days worth of clothes, 3 jumbo boxes of Twizzlers and blue wigs into a carry on suitcase.

5. Convince people to come see us at tour stops.

6. Somehow mentally and physically prepare our husbands to take care of their children for 10 full days so we still have husbands (and children!) when we come home.

7. Edit an entire manuscript so that it resembles something like an amazing, thought provoking, un-put-downable young adult novel. All 73,000 words of it.

8. Whip up some amazing Halloween costumes for our kids. Or (if I'm being honest here) purchase some amazing Halloween costumes for our kids.

9. Deal with the emotional and physical grief associated with losing Gallery Girls (possibly forever). Andy Cohen, if you're out there, please, please, please film a reunion. And please, please, please sign those crazy bitches up for a second season.

10. Finally complete the 30 Day Shred, so we can squeeze into our (extremely limited) tour wardrobes.

What do you think? Time definitely isn't on our side, but crazier things have happened, right? Right. Or maybe we'll just go crazy trying to do all of this crap. Either way we'll keep you posted on our progress.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Truth About THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

My mom read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS first. Then she demanded that we read it. Laura read it next and then finally it was my turn.

I finished it Saturday night. Sobbing.

I think you should read this book, but even if you decide not to read it you should read this quote:

"Grief does not change you...It reveals you."

I know this to be true. And it terrifies me. Because what will grief someday reveal about me? I have no way of knowing. Not really.

But I'm so glad I read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Because even though it's fiction (the Author's Note made that fact abundently clear), I have no doubt that there is truth in John Green's words. And strength. And beauty. And, yes, even hope.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Child Rearing Advice Goop Style

Gwyneth Paltrow discussed some of her best parenting advice in a recent In Style article, including this little nugget of wisdom:

“I only let [Apple and Moses] watch TV in French or Spanish. When I’m in France, I go to [Boulevard] Beaumarchais and buy all their cartoons.”

Well, I guess we now know who to blame for the rampant use of casual French in our culture. If I tried this with my kids I'm guessing it would manifest into something like this:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why We Can't Shut Up About the Get Real Book Tour

Ok, so I know you're probably SO sick of us right now. Come see us on our book tour! Buy our book! Look at our crazy hair! LiLa! LiLa! LiLa! (Yeah, you're totally chanelling Jan Brady. It's ok. Own your inner Jan. It's easier that way. Trust me. We've all got her in there somewhere.)

But here's the truth, we can't stop talking about this stuff because we can't believe it's actually happening. Sourcebooks is sending us on a national book tour. They're investing in us, investing in The Liar Society. And we're floored. FLOORED.

Back when The Liar Society was released in March 2011 our publicist told us that we'd be lucky to be stocked at Barnes and Noble for a month. He said we had one month to sell a lot of books to keep our book stocked and the way he said it made it pretty clear that he thought we'd all be eating ice cream in hell before that happened. Of course that was right after he admitted to not having time to read our book. To go from having a publicist who never read our book to a 9 city book tour is kind of insane. And we're grateful and excited and overwhelmed and terrified that no one is going to show up. Which is why we haven't been able to shut up about it.

So, yeah. Sorry. We suck. We're obnoxious. But we also have pretty new bookmarks!



If we send you one will you maybe consider forgiving us for being so promotion-y and come see us when we embark on this crazy adventure? Because there's no doubt in our minds that we'd never have made it this far with out YOU, loyal blog readers (Especially our Grandma, because she's awesome! You get as many bookmarks as you want, Grandma! You too, Kim J.!) Anyone who reads our day-to-day ramblings on a regular basis should have something to show for it.

So comment if you want a bookmark and we'll email you for your address. Thanks for putting up with us!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Maghic Wisard by Jack

I was cleaning out Jack's backpack tonight and at the very bottom squashed between a crumpled Nutrigrain Bar wrapper and an old apple was this:


Jack's first story!!!! As a writer this was a huge moment for me. A chance to finally see what stories were churning around in my 7-year-old's brain. I was not disappointed.

Here's the text of THE MAGHIC WISARD in its entirety:

The Wisard was working on his new magic tric.

Boom! Bam!

No! No!

Wat happened?

He called 911.

Move over Harry Potter.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Coming Soon to a City Near You...



The dates for the Get Real tour are finally finalized and we could not be more excited!!! Well, excited and terrified. I have this vision of us stopping at bookstores and seeing lines out the door for the crazy talented Janet Gurtler and Miranda Kenneally while Laura and I sit at a table alone eating Twizzlers.

So, um, you guys will come see us, right? Because we will be so happy to see some friendly faces in all of these new cities. This marks a lot of firsts for us:

1. First national book tour.

2. First time away from our kids and husbands for more than a long weekend.

3. First time visiting Seattle, Phoenix and Minneapolis.

4. First time we've spent 10 consecutive days together since 1997.

5. First signing of a finished copy of THE LIES THAT BIND.

Now that I've successfully made us sound like long lost members of the Duggar family, please click here to see a full list of tour stops and be sure to let us know if you're planning on attending one of the events. We'll save you a pearl bracelet and a Twizzler! And, if you aren't able to make it to any of the tour stops you can always order a signed copy of THE LIAR SOCIETY or THE LIES THAT BIND from The Learned Owl.

The incredible Sourcebooks team has a ton of events and promotions around the tour and the book launch planned for the next couple of months, so stay tuned for contests, vlogs and assorted randomness.

Can't wait to see all of you in November! We'll be the ones sitting alone at the table with neon colored hair and pearls!We're so excited, we're so excited, we're so...scared.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Third Roecker

Stacey has the thankless job of being the most talented Roecker sister. Not only is she the best swimmer, best tennis player and the only Roecker with rhythm, she also owns her own design company where she single handedly creates gorgeous paper confections on a daily basis.

Because of her bottomless talents she gets stuck doing crap jobs for her bossy older sisters. As you might remember, one of those jobs was taking our new author photos. The fact that Stacey managed to make us look like people who shower on a regular basis speaks volumes about her talent.

Well, Stacey, as a thank you, we really wanted to give something back to you. Something special....



TA DA!

Ok, ok, all kidding aside, as soon as you pop that baby out, let's take some real sister pics, ok? Normal hair, no bellies, lots of laughing. Think Mike Roecker is up for the task?

P.S.
I know in my heart of hearts that someday Laura is going to write a picture book and Stacey is going to illustrate it and they'll both be on the Today Show while I sit on the couch at home sobbing and reading this blog post. Thanks for nothing, Sisters. I'm pissed at you already.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Win One of FIVE Signed Copies of THE LIES THAT BIND

Our super amazing publisher is giving away five signed copies of THE LIES THAT BIND on Goodreads! Click here to enter to win immediately. Please?


And...check out the final cover. Gorge, right? I will never, ever get sick of Kate with blue hair.



Honestly, we can't believe that it's almost November 1st. We are so excited for you guys to read the next installment of Kate's adventures. She's got a LOT going on. Including a new love interest (Sorry, Liam fans...) and a whole new mystery to solve. And a whole lot of randomness because it's a Roecker book and the Roeckers love the random.

Stay tuned for our officially official tour schedule, blog tour deets and lots of fun contests to celebrate our book birthday.

P.S.
If any of you are interested in going blue for the launch, just send us your profile pic and we'll doctor it up for you. You know you're dying to go blue (pun SO intended), so send us a pic!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Conversations with LiLa - Fashion Fail

Lisa: Omigod, have you seen the latest Lands End catalogue?

Laura: You get the Lands End catalogue?

Lisa: Sure do. And their stuff is so cute lately!

Laura: Really?

Lisa: I know, they've like rebranded or something. Remember when we used to make fun of Mom for wearing Lands End stuff? I just placed a huge order. Can't wait...

Laura: Uh, you realize that Lands End hasn't really changed at all?

Lisa: Oh no, they totally have, I used to think their clothes were for moms.

Laura: Right. They are for moms. They have the exact same stuff. You're getting old. You probably just ordered mom jeans! *cackles with glee*

Lisa: *quietly hangs up phone* *cancels order* *weeps*

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1. I've watched every episode of Gallery Girls at least three times. Chantal scares the crap out of me. If some poor hipster and Freddie Krueger had a baby, slapped some red lipstick on her and then raised her to have a really bad work ethic, the product would be Chantal. I can't stop watching. Can't. Stop.



The fabulous Joy Preble said it far better than I ever could: "Chantal scares the pee out of me. I want to drag her to the suburbs & force her to eat at Olive Garden, non-ironically."

Yup, that about sums it up.

2. Stacey took new author pictures of us. They're pretty amazing. The best thing about having your sister take your pictures is that she tells you when you need to suck in your stomach or if you're making that wonky face you always make when you smile. Sadly, the one that best depicts our personality and relationship isn't exactly book jacket friendly.



I'm pretty sure that's how I look almost all of the time (minus the photoshopped hair) which makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

3. Laura has decided that our blog tour for The Lies That Bind should be exclusively vlog content. I wasn't on board until she promised that we could make an opening sequence that involved her doing a calypso jump.

4.  I keep debating about whether or not to keep my bangs (or as the fabulous Loretta Nyhan calls them "fringe"). Stacey and Laura are both in favor of them, but I'm worried it's some kind of conspiracy theory. Yes, this is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.

5. I loved the Newsroom. I don't care if people think it's unrealistic. I'd watch the news way more if it was written by Aaron Sorkin.

6. The Regulator is watching the kids for us over the weekend which involves an overnight stay at my house. I'm kind of terrified. She's never stayed at my house unattended before. What is she going to say about my junk drawer? What if she notices that I haven't cleaned the blades of my fans, EVER? I have Xanax for the plane ride, but I think it will be much more useful to keep Regulator anxiety at bay.

7. Our house is officially ready to go back on the market, sadly I think we're the only people who care. But look how pretty it is! My real truth is that sometimes I don't want to leave...



And feel free to judge me for the ginormous TV. I don't mind. Really. I'm a television whore. TV is a very real priority in my life. Sabrina Soto can take her "no visible TV when selling a house rule" and suck it.

Ok, spill. What's your truth this Tuesday? Tell us everything in the comments.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Maybe someone needs this today. WE DID.

Amy over at Chasing the Crazies recently asked us the following question:

Was there ever a time you thought about giving up on your writing dream? If so, what motivated you to keep writing?
 
Here's a sneak peek at our answer:
 
 
Many, many times. Just last night Lisa called me and said she wanted to give up. When I asked her why, she said she felt like we could never be good enough. We commiserated for approximately 2 hours (our standard phone call length) and hung up with a renewed sense of hope. Yes, there are incredible, fantastic, award-winning, we-bow-down-to-you-genius-writer books out there. Books that make you want to hold the delete button, slam your laptop shut and GIVE UP. Will our books be amongst them? Maybe? Never? Definitely? In our dreams? Who knows! The beauty is in the trying. If you give up, you'll never know if you could have gotten there! One of the best parts about writing is that there is no race. People will always need books to read. As a result, people count on us to get better (or something like that). None of our books will ever be as perfect as we want them to be. In fact, we have a pact to NEVER read a final copy of the published book. There's just no way we wouldn't want to change something and that would kill us in a very slow and painful way. So we write. And we delete. And we re-write. And we complain. But at the end of the day we hope. Because you just never know. That next big book could be right around the corner. And I don't know about you, but I want to be a part of it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Win an ARC of The Lies That Bind (and more)

Ok, so in a startlingly unoriginal turn of events we're giving away signed copies of THE LIES THAT BIND and THE LIAR SOCIETY in a Twitter contest.

To enter all you have to do is retweet this tweet.

When we hit 100 RTs we'll include some awesome books by fellow Get Real: Contemps on Tour authors Miranda Keneally and Janet Gurtler.

If we pass 100 RTs, well, we'll just have to add more awesomeness.

You've got until noon EST tomorrow (August 17th) to enter, so GO! Tweet and win!

I am a Writer. No really....

It's that wonderful week between camp and school where I'm left without childcare. Thank God for this amazing 12-year-old who lives up the street who came over this morning to help out for a few hours so I could escape to First Watch for some much needed writing time.

I love First Watch because they give you your very own carafe of coffee and there's free WiFi and it's relatively quiet. I mean, really what else can a girl ask for?

Well apparently, the staff are also well versed in writer shame because today this happened:

Waitress: Can I get you anything else?

Me: Nope, I'm all good. Is it ok if I hang out here for a while? *gestures awkwardly at computer*

Waitress: Oh sure, you writing the next great novel?

Me: I wish. I actually am a writer.

Waitress: (visibly shocked) Oh, how cool! What do you write?

Me: Mysteries for teens.

Waitress: Anything I've heard of?

Me: Well, probably not, but it's called The Liar Society.

Waitress: Oh, I have heard of that! (Editorial note: I'm 99% sure she's thinking of Pretty Little Liars, but I'm going to pretend that's not the case to protect what's left of my writerly ego)

Me: Oh, cool! *bobbles head awkwardly* (Editorial note: I never know what to say when people acknowledge our books and I almost always end up doing some weird nodding that probably makes me look like I'm having a seizure) I'm, uh, we're just starting the third book now.

Waitress: Nice...but um, you're on Twitter.

Me: *Looks at computer, flushes with shame* Oh, uh, yeah, but I was just going to um, I have the word doc open on here somewhere....*clicks aimlessly on computer*

Waitress: Oh, well, I guess I'll just leave you to it. You know what they say, butt in chair.

Me: Yeah. People do say that.

Right, so it's Thursday and I've been write shamed and my waitress is getting a huge tip.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The People Behind the Con: Shannon Messenger

Shannon Messenger is WriteOnCon's #1 cheerleader. Girlfriend is BUSY. She has so many books releasing this year we can barely keep them straight and she still managed to carve out some time to help us keep the conference running smoothly this year. And she wouldn't miss an Underbelly for the world.

We'll always know her as WriteOnCon founder, but my guess is that everyone else is going to know her as a New York Times Bestseller!








Check out her gorgeous books below. Preorders are encouraged!


The People Behind the Con: Nikki Katz

No one likes getting stuck. Or when something doesn't work the way it should. Or when your WordPress post looks wonky. This is where Nikki Katz comes in. She's the kind of girl who says "Yes" to the questions, "Does anyone know how to fix the messed up looking sidebar on the website?" or "Who can create comment threads in the forums?" So yeah, everyone needs a Nikki around because if we tried to HALF of what she does, all of our brains would explode. And that would be very messy.

We also had the honor of meeting Nikki IN PERSON at ALA in Anaheim. She is just as adorable and sweet as she is online and the entire exchange only confirmed the fact that we must be friends and that WriteOnCon would go down in a ball of flames without her.

And no one wants WriteOnCon to go down in a ball of flames.

Here's to Nikki, Forum-extraordinaire, WordPress-magic-worker, website-fixer and 100% fabulous! As a sidenote, we've also learned that Nikki wants to be a contestant on Survivor. And we think she'd win.

Now stop slacking.

The People Behind the Con: Jamie Harrington

We hope you've enjoyed the first day of WriteOnCon. If you're anything like us, you've learned a ton! And yet there's still so much more to come.

Over here, we're celebrating and right now we're celebrating the genius of Jamie Harrington. Hilarious, ridiculously smart, marketing-guru, server-understanding, YouTube Customer Service-navigating, Underbelly creating, Live Event coordinating JAMIE HARRINGTON. If you don't know Jamie, you need to because she has single-handedly made us cry from laughter more times than we could ever count. Also she frequently rocks pink hair which automatically increases her awesome factor by multiples of ten.
She's the kind of gal who says, "I'll take it from here..." and you know she will and much better than you ever could. Jamie is one of the smartest writers we know and we are lucky to learn from her. Just last night she rocked our world with her opinions on Pinterest, which as many of you know, is extremely close to our hearts and our procrastination efforts.

Here's to you, Jamie Harrington, genius comedienne. We love you and could never pull WriteOnCon off without your ridiculous breadth of knowledge. When our heads are about to explode with technical questions, we blindly look to you our fearless techie leader.

Group hug!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The People Behind the Con: Elana Johnson

Honestly, this post should be one sentence long.

Without Elana Johnson there would be no WriteOnCon.



Yes, we have an amazing team who works together to put on this incredible event, but there is never any doubt that our leader is the amazing Elana J. She does EVERYTHING. Seriously. She bosses us when we need bossing. Nudges us when we need nudging. And cries with us when we're so tired we don't think we can load another blog post. And she manages to do it all with a huge smile on her face and endless amounts of generosity and love for her fellow writers.

Our Tuesday Truth: There's no one in this world quite like Elana Johnson and we'd be completely lost without her in our lives.


P.S.
We're half way through SURRENDER and holy CRAP it's good. It's also the perfect book for us to be reading right now because despite the fact that it's not a sequel, it perfectly re-introduces her world and seemlessly integrates characters from POSSESSION. More on this to come, but we need this you guys, we need this so bad. Sequels are freaking hard! So there you have it, in addition to being an advocate for aspiring writers Elana is also a phenomenal writer. Go buy your copy of POSSESSION and SURRENDER today. You won't regret it.