YA Lit Community

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As you all know, I am the creator of the YA Lit program at the 92nd Street Y. I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with some amazing authors like Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, Lauren Oliver, Holly Black, Maureen Johnson, Maggie Stiefvator, Melissa de la Cruz and Chuck Wendig just to name a few. I hold a special place in my heart for James Dashner, who is the nicest guy on the planet. I met him and the cast of the Maze Runner when we did an event with them in September. I also got to meet Susan Ee! If you haven’t read “Angelfall,” what are you waiting for? Amazeballs!

This Friday night, I added to my growing list of awesomeness by meeting Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux series) and Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland). These two ladies lit up the stage and were both so warm and charismatic. Their fans were amazing too! One of the girls handmade a beautiful dress and looked exactly like the cover model from “Alice in Zombieland.” I was uber impressed. This is the absolute best part of my job; connecting readers with their favorite authors. I love that teens are excited about reading! And YA authors are the most gracious authors on the planet. They are just as enthusiastic about meeting their fans as their fans are about meeting them. Great night!

Book Launch at Books of Wonder!

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I have amazing news to announce. Books of Wonder has agreed to do my NYC book launch! Why is this so amazing you might ask? Because it’s freaking Books of Wonder! For all of you who aren’t familiar with Books of Wonder, they are a wonderful (pardon the pun) children’s bookstore located on 18th Street in Manhattan. They normally do launches with YA superstars from large publishing houses, so for a girl from a small press to get a gig there is a dream come true. I do have a slight leg up on the competition; I am the creator and curator of the YA Lit program at 92nd Street Y and Books of Wonder are my partners. Still, dream come true!

I hope this opens the door for other YA authors from small presses who are producing quality work but don’t have the opportunities authors from big houses do. But I also want to stress that networking really is the way to go. Visit your favorite bookstores, become friends with the event staff, go to conferences, make relationships and open doors for yourself. You are the CEO of your own company! You are in charge of your destiny!

Hope to see you at Books of Wonder on December 7!

Event Info Here

Hello World!

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This is my first blog entry! The very first! I feel I should take a moment, celebrate, or just quietly reflect. Sure, everybody has a blog these days, but I only have one because I finally got my first book published! Woo-hoo! And like every other writer on the planet, I want to talk a little about getting published. I know, I know, but I’ll try to keep it interesting and peppered with wisdom.

When your book finally gets accepted for publication, you’re overjoyed. Those eight years you spent polishing and perfecting your manuscript weren’t wasted after all. All those emails from agents telling you that you’re a good writer but they just don’t “love” your story; you can give them the proverbial middle finger. Someone liked your story! Someone thinks you’re talented!

Rocking Horse Publishing contacted me in January 2014 with a contract offer. To say I was elated was an understatement. I quickly signed on the dotted line and got started. The honest truth is as hard as writing my first book was, the real work begins once someone actually wants to publish your work. You have to make social media connections, start learning about marketing, research your audience, etc. The list goes on and on and it never ends.

But it’s all worth it. My debut YA fantasy novel, “The Other Inheritance,” launched on November 14, and I have never been so proud or scared in my life. I hope you love the book as much as I loved writing it. And if you’re a writer, remember this, persistence is the key to success. That and a good editor. Don’t give up on your dreams and keep writing!

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