Friday, August 23, 2013

I'll tell you one thing that will never get old...

Fans.

If you haven't noticed, Lisa and I have been stuck in some sort of rut as of late. We've let the blog slip, let our writing slip, let our connection to publishing slip. We've put our hands up, taken a giant step back and have shut down just a teensy bit. Okay, a bigger than teensy bit. But all of this is okay. It was summer. Life was crazy. We needed a break.

But there have been signs. They've been sneaking into our lives, tapping us on the shoulders and gently nudging us back to writing. An idea for a blog post. A writing conference that inspires. A writing workshop with young, aspiring writers. And FANS.

We taught a summer writing workshop for The Learned Owl (the best neighborhood bookshop ever) called Embracing Your Inner Teenager: Writing for YA. It was awesome. There were retired women beginning a new chapter of their lives, ACTUAL young adults who loved to write and a few who came just because they were intrigued. At the end of the session, one of the young girls pointed to a copy of THE LIAR SOCIETY and said, "Wait a second. Did you write that book?" Why yes. Yes we did. She smiled widely and took out her phone. "My friend Kaylee is going to DIE. She loves that book. It, like, changed her life. Seriously! It's worn and marked up and has all sorts of creases on the spine because she's read it so many times. She's going to be so jealous that I got to meet you!" This adorable young girl went on to buy a signed copy of the book for her friend and it about made our night.

We felt pretty spiffy. Not only did we have an actual fan, but we'd had the chance to leave a special message in the book, including our email address, to said fan who we hoped we'd hear from soon. Because fans are amazing. But EMAILS from fans?! No words. But then I began to kick myself for not passing along an ARC of THE THIRD LIE'S THE CHARM to our new favorite fan. How easy would it have been to hand over the copy I had at the workshop?! She could have had an early read of the final installment. Boo.

But then the stars aligned as they sometimes do. My new favorite babysitter came over to watch my crazy 19-month-old son so we could head out to kindergarten open house and actually be able to breathe, focus and talk like normal people. Favorite babysitter said, "Lydia mentioned you were a writer and when she showed me your books, I recognized them. They're my sister Joanna's favorite!" Now it was my turn to smile widely. Another fan?! So exciting for us. And Ding Ding Ding, a chance to pass along that ARC. I rushed off to get one and handed it over to the best babysitter ever. But this time, I left some more specific instructions in the book.

"Joanna, so glad you like the books! Read (early!) and enjoy, but try your hardest to find Kaylee Arnold* when you're done and pass it along to her."

Mission accomplished. And now I can sleep at night.




*Don't worry Kaylee. I changed your name.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hello, my name is Lisa and I suck...

Well, hello blogosphere! You’re still around? It’s kind of been a while.
So, yeah, I’ve been busy and distracted and kind of a mess. But a mess in a good way. We sold our house. We moved in with my parents. We moved into a new house. We got a dog. I’ve accepted a promotion at work. My kids are growing. They say funny things every day. They give me sticky hugs and kisses. They’re meeting new friends, getting ready for a new school. I’ve seen lots of great movies. I’ve read a few amazing books. I’ve watched way too much shitty television.
And in between all of it, THIS IS W.A.R. made its way onto shelves. We got ARCs of the final book in The Liar Society series. We’ve had a million conversations about what we should write next, when we should start it, how we’re going to find the time.
But writing has taken a back seat to life over the past several months. And I’m ok with that. It wasn’t necessarily on purpose. It just kind of happened. I think we needed a break. Time to shift gears and reevaluate who we are as writers and people and moms and friends and sisters and wives.
But now we’re back.
Or we’re trying to be back. I’m trying to be back. We have a new project that we’re working on. I want it to work so badly. I want to recapture the magic that we found writing all of our other books. And I’m so excited to dive back in. But I’m scared too. Because what if this is it? What if we can’t get back to that place where we’re up all night writing chapters. Laughing out loud over stupid jokes we lace between sentences and paragraphs. What if we’re done?
The truth is: I’m scared. I know too much now. I can’t ever be that stupid newbie writer who thought we could crank out a book in a month that would turn into an international bestseller.
But maybe that’s ok. Maybe being scared is good. Hell, maybe being scared will make us better.
Either way, being scared is so much better than giving up.

PS: Today is the LAST day to enter the WriteOnCon/Reading Room Aspiring Authors Contest. What are you waiting for?!

Monday, August 5, 2013

WriteOnCon 2013

If you haven't already heard, WriteOnCon 2013 is COMING. Next Week. August 13th and 14th to be exact. If you haven't joined us before, this is YOUR year.

Our faculty is incredible and the wealth of information blows are collective minds. You will learn, you will connect, you will LOVE.

Click here to read a little about how WriteOnCon came to be and check out our lovely sponsors of the Aspiring Writer's Competition, The Reading Room. The contest is better than ever this year with the chance to win one of 3 monetary prizes. If you have a finished MG, YA or NA manuscript, you have no excuse! ENTER!