Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I've been so caught up in AFTERTIME lately that I've been a little remiss in reporting in on my young adult series, and I have some news to share.

First of all, I was very pleased to find out that BANISHED has gone into a second hardcover printing!

(For those of you who are waiting for the trade paperback edition, it'll be available in mid-September - a month before the sequel, UNFORSAKEN, comes out .)

Meanwhile, I'm working on a brand new young adult project for Delacorte, with a new editor, Krista Vitola. Actually, Krista's not entirely new to me - we worked together when my wonderful BANISHED editor, Stephanie Elliott, was out on leave last year. I'm very excited to be starting a new venture with Krista! Look for our first book together to come out in 2012.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Zom-Report and a bit of Aftertime News

Yup we had a great time at M is for Mystery last night. Staffer Charlotte surprised us by making us personalized platters of brains - awesome! Then we yammered on at length and met some of Steve's starstruck fans. We also failed to make any impression at all on a dour man who sort of glowered at us from the back row and left in a huff - i think he didn't find us charming.
the BRAAAAIIIIINS, courtesy of Charlotte

brain-tasting with steve

afterwards, the ever-popular dim bar photo with pals juliet and daisy

My two bits of good news - first, which I've been blabbing everywhere so you're probably tired of hearing it - is that AFTERTIME was awarded the March Seal of Excellence by RTBookReviews, an honor I might have to sew onto my vampire ball outfit or something.

But here's a little item that's hot off the presses: the amazing folks at Harlequin are going to make a trailer for REBIRTH, the second in the AFTERTIME series. I'm so darn pleased about that - I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Me and ZombieBoy Down by the Schoolyard

I've got a pretty special event lined up for this Tuesday: Steve Hockensmith and I have a little gig down at M is for Mystery in San Mateo. (7:00, here, if you're in the area.)

Let me tell you a little about my history with ZB, as I have come to call my dear friend (short for Mr. Zombie Boy). My first book came out in August of 2009. Because I am an impatient person, I find it nearly impossible to believe I've only been a published author for only a year and a half. Back then - it feels like eons - I was very unsure of myself as I stumbled about all the new-author things one does. Most intimidating to me was trying to line up signings; I didn't - and still don't - want to do them alone, so I was trying hard to find some coat-tails to ride on.

I had met Steve at the Sonoma Book Festival the prior year when he was on a panel with some mutual friends. He was bright, funny, self-effacing, and friendly. Turned out we had the same publisher, and when I bumblingly mentioned that we also had the same release month for our mysteries, Steve generously invited me to join his signing at the M.

I was so nervous. My friends the P's not only came but brought their parents, a source of great consternation due to the spicy language in the passage I planned to read. But Steve, with his aw-shucks friendly ways, made everything easy. A little later he emailed to say he had read my book and was relieved that it was good (I'm paraphrasing, but you know what I'm talking about, right? - when you meet someone and like them and desperately desperately want their book not to suck because of how awkward that would be); I had read his book and damn, he's brilliant.

Fast forward many wonderful evenings with friends and colleagues, new publishers, new series, ebbs and tides in lives both business and personal, and here we are, a couple of hardened zombie writers. Well, actually, neither of us is really all that hardened, tough, or world-weary at all, which is I think key to why we get along. But we are zombie writers - gleefully, unapologetically, enthusiastically so - and we're even assembling our own court, having named ourselves the ruling monarchs.

The point of all of this is that writing needs to be fun, and you have to respect and enjoy the people who make up your world, or what's the point? Without Steve and the rest of my cherished friends and co-workers (sounds weird but really, that's what we are, harkening back to days of punching clocks at the HoJo's) I'd just be a mumbling grim soul locked in a dark room.

So a toast to you, ZB - virtual for now and for real in a couple days.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tour Report!

Back from a couple of weeks on the road with two of my wonderful writing friends, talking books and meeting booksellers and readers all over the south and southwest. Happy to be back - need to counteract all the fried food and bourbon i managed to put away - but thought i'd share a few highlights:

First of all, I was very blessed to travel with two of my favorite people, JT Ellison for the first week of my tour and Juliet Blackwell for the latter.
me and JT "getting ready" for an event
Juliet with fellow authors Donis Casey and Betty Webb

We visited bookshops....
me and JT at Reading Rock in Georgia

Gave workshops....a standing-room-only presentation of Finish That Book with Juliet and our friend Graham Brown

And visited with fellow authors.hanging out with Craig Johnson, Cara Black, and Josh Bazell

I made some new friends...

This gentleman traveled from North Carolina all the way to the Tucson Festival of Books, with AFTERTIME in tow!

What can I say? I do love the wild ones :)

And as in every tour, some of my most cherished moments were the completely unexpected ones:

Triage at WalMart - suffering from book tour injuries

The WORST chinese food i ever had, with Juliet in Tucson - how we laughed!

The night we got ourselves accidentally locked into a football stadium... (don't ask)

and last but not least, a wonderful thing happened when JT and I showed up at Mysteries and More in Nashville. Mary and Greg, the proprietors, said they had a little surprise for me in back. It was none other than my dad and his wife Judy, who had driven hours and hours to surprise me. I was touched and, believe it or not, almost too dumbstruck to talk books!!