Saturday, February 14, 2015

Author Visit!

Thanks to Mrs. Webb and everyone at John F. Kennedy Middle School! 
You made my author visit great and I adore my gift basket!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

LinkedIn For Writers?? YES!!!

We all want to look professional to agents and editors when they search us online and if you don't have time to keep up your blog or website, you should at least have the time to have a shiny looking profile on LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn isn't just for people who work in an office anymore. If you're a writer, I recommend you start a profile. With over 332 million users, LinkedIn is a force to be reckoned with and if you look up most agents and editors via LinkedIn, guess what? They're on it! And what do you suppose they do when they're interested in a perspective client? They Google you of course, and what's one of the main websites that pops up for finding people? You guessed it, LinkedIn. 

Okay, all that said, you might now understand that it's not only vital for your profile to be found, but it's vital that your profile looks good. Don't phone in it. Look like a pro! Below are a few simple tips to really make your profile sparkle. 

1. Have a photo--and a good one!
I have my LinkedIn profile for both my work life and my writing life. I didn't want two profiles, so one serves both purposes. That said, I need a picture that works for both, something professional, yet fun and approachable. Some may disagree, but LinkedIn is not the place for cute avatars and profile pictures of your cat instead of you. Snap a decent photo of yourself with a real camera or your laptop, not your phone if possible (as the angle usually looks weird or I can see your darn arm) and please smile! Don't look like you want to hurt me or like you drive a white van with no windows. Look happy to be there! 

2. Connect with 3 new people every day!
I make it a point to reach out to people in my industry every week, be it in work or writing. Doing this builds your network and builds your chances of getting noticed by someone. It's that whole six degrees of separation idea. Here's a funny thing though, if you don't have a picture, I won't connect with you. It just bugs me, you seem so anonymous, I need a face! So again, get a picture and start connecting. You never know who your connections are connected to! 

3. Write a super-star headline.
Don't just write something to the effect of, 'Nurse at Smith Hospital'. We'll see that on your job title. Be daring! Write something like, 'Inspired care giver and formidable children's writer'. Yes, you may be daunted at first writing a headline like that, but headlines like that get you noticed, and wow, you are suddenly way more interesting to me! 

5. Take full advantage of your Professional Gallery. 
LinkedIn offers a Professional Gallery to all their users. This is a fantastic vehicle for getting your work out there. Whether it's a word document showcasing your latest teaser or a full-on book trailer, this is where you can show it proudly on your profile! You can give an agent or editor something they didn't yet ask for...more of you! 

6. Ask for recommendations.
Professional or even from-the-heart recommendations from those who have worked with you are an awesome way to spread the word that you're great to work with. I don't care if it's a work related recommendation or someone from your critique group who sings your praises. Recommendations mean people enjoy working with you. Editors and agents will be happy to see you’re not a grumpy curmudgeon who likes to tick people off if they're considering taking you on. 

7. Complete your profile!
LinkedIn is very good at recommending what you should fill out and why. Listen to them. The more you have filled out on your profile the more you'll get found. Take advantage of it. It's a great tool for showing yourself off and getting your message out there quickly for all the world of writing to see. Go one and shine, shine, shine. You deserve it!

Hope you learned a good tip or two for LinkedIn! What are some tips you might add? And yes, I will connect with you on LinkedIn if you reach long as you have a picture...and even if it's of your cat. ;) 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And the Lame Posts Continue!

I know. I know. Not exactly the post of the century, but hey, I'm in the middle of a new book and I'm on a roll, so the blog must suffer (more). My love for LOL Cats will never die, though, so at least you get some writer/kitty humor out of me. :)

All the best!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Keep Moving Forward

Approximately 200 rejection letters sent between 2008 and 2009, when most rejections still came via snail mail. That's a lot of stamps and some serious carpal tunnel. 

My lovely agent, Marietta Zacker of Nancy Gallt, who I signed with April 2009.

 My first book contract for Nightshade City, September 2009

 Spring: 2010 My first real live editor edited manuscript. This was scary!

 Fall 2010: The first time I spotted (well, more like stalked) my book in a bookstore. Wow! 

Fall 2011: My 2nd Book 

Books published to date. 


Friday, April 11, 2014

French Cover Reveal for Catacomb City Tome 2, La Rébellion!

Bonjour, mes amis! I'm so lucky to get a sneak peek at the cover for Catacomb City, Tome II, which releases this June! This is the French version of The White Assassin, from Albin Michel--who have been great to work with. I'm in utter awe of this cover. The red is so incredibly striking and Billycan couldn't look more regal! The illustrator, Richard Collingridge, has really outdone himself. I think he may be a mind reader! 

I've been really lucky to have Richard and Omar Rayyan, my US illustrator, for the series. What great talent from both! Below is Omar's cover for The White Assassin. I love seeing two completely different takes on my books!  Très bon!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Free ebook of Nightshade City now through Spring!!

 No, sorry, no ribbons, but I do have free ebooks! :)
In honor of the release of Lords of Trillium and the new official Nightshade City website, my publisher, Holiday House, is giving out free ebooks of Nightshade City, Book I of the Nightshade Chronicles all through spring!  

To get your book, go to Amazon, Kobo, or Barnes & Noble and download the book that started it all (including my career) for free!  

Thanks everyone and happy spring!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

BOOK BIRTHDAY: Lords of Tillium Giveaway and FREE STUFF!

Read an excerpt of Lords of Trillium here!

Finally, finally, finally, I get to celebrate my book birthday! It's been a while! Hopefully it's St. Patrick's day providence that my post is today!

In honor of the Lords of Trillium release, Book III in the Nightshade Chronicles, my publisher, Holiday House, will be providing free e-books of Nightshade City, Book 1, starting this week and for the next few months! The promotion will be through BookBub, so if you're not already a member sign up now (it takes literally a whopping 5 seconds) and they'll alert you every time free promotional books from publishers come out in the genres you choose! They have more than 2 million subscribers. You simply choose the genre you want and BookBub will send you links to books currently being promoted on their site. For all of you authors looking to promote, this is a great site to do so on, no matter what your genre. It supplies links for most e-readers (Kindle, Nook, Apple, Kobo, etc), so you do little to no legwork, other than clicking a couple times for awesome free reads.

Also, in further honor of the Lords of Trillium release, I'll be giving away 2 signed hardcovers of Lords of Trillium on Project Mayhem today. In order to enter, please follow PM if you don't already and leave a comment on the post (Project Mayhem Giveaway). Winners will be announced this Thursday on Project Mayhem and books sent out ASAP!

Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive of the Nightshade Chronicles! I love that writers and readers alike are so kind. What a great community we are part of!

Now go signup on Bookbub and they'll alert you the moment Nightshade City is available AND comment to win Lords of Trillium on the Project Mayhem blog! May the leprechauns be ever in your favor! ;)