Saturday, November 24, 2012

Your Book Comes Out When?!?

Lately a lot of people have been asking me when my book will be coming out because I guess that's the logical follow-up to "I sold my first book." *insert giddy squeal here* But when I tell them spring 2014, their heads start to look a little implode-y and they tend to gasp, "That long?! B-but why? Doesn't the publishing stork just leave it on your doorstep 9 months after you decide you're at the stage in your life where you're ready for a precious little bundle of pages then you delivery it in a silvery carriage to bookstores where the world embraces it with open arms?"

(BTW this is the direction I'd like to see publishing move in. E-books, shme-books, the Publishing Stork is the way of the future!) 

When they don't buy the Stork Strike explanation to that assumption, I've started describing the behind-the-scenes of publishing in terms of how a movie gets made. It's a more accessible media for most of my family members, at least, which means it's a heck of lot easier for them to get--again, for most.

I tell them, as the author, I'm like screenwriter and actor and first editorial assistant and gaffer...depending on the scene I'm writing that day. I poor every ounce of my being into the production of my precious movie-book; I develop character backgrounds out of thin air--because I'm Method and these characters are real people with real history that affect their choices on screen (er, page) damn it!--I construct set(ting)s; I decide when the main characters meets their first love and in turn when said first love inevitably does something utterly unforgivable like grinding with the school schlut at homecoming (I wrote YA, remember?) that leads to self-discovery in the second half of Act 2.

Then my illustrious agent (see all the shiny correlations between Hollywood and publishing I'm making here?) shops the "director's (that's also me!) cut" around, and a studio exec (aka senior editor) loves it so much she convinces the bigwigs (pretty sure this totally technical term applies to both industries) to green light distribution. And that's when, in true Hollywood style, the business of selling your little bundle to the masses begins.

At this point I usually shake the person, who, at this point, is officially sorry they asked, awake and say, "That's where you come in--you're the masses I need to buy my book!"

This analogy generally gets inquiring mind nodding along with me as long as they assume the movie I'm comparing my novel to is an indie that I shot in Pittsburgh in 6 weeks on a sub-mill budget that my dad did craft services for. After the selling is said and done, there's still more to do, and nobody's going to do it but the actors...which, in this hypothetical scenario, is an entire cast of moi.

So, yeah, 2 years seems like a long time to wait for my debut novel to come out. And I know you asked your question and assumed the Publishing Stork existed because you're absolutely busting out of your veins to buy and read my book (thank you in advance!!!!), but I see the wait as time to be a guest on the late night circuit to promote my film-book. And start production on my next new project!

Now you're just as curious about my new project as the one coming out, aren't ya? Well, in true Hollywood form, I am super excited about it, but can't really talk about yet. That's Hollywood--er, publishing?--baby!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Doing Lunch

So, I was going to write an epic post about my first ever agent-editor-author lunch from my trip to NYC and talk about how delicious the celebratory desserts--salted caramel sundae w/candied peanuts & popcorn, zucchini cake w/cream cheese frosting & candied limes, and chocolate cake w/frozen concord grapes, hello!--that the three of us shared at the ultra posh ABC Kitchen complete with full color photos and antidotes...then I forgot to take out my camera.

*palm to forehead big time*

I did manage to get a shot of me in  my new Xanadu, the YA stacks at the Strand Bookstore, though. Check it out to the right there. I'm reading the novel that will be my novel's stackmate come 2014! The author's name is also Beth, so I sure hope they play nice in lieu of a Night at the Museum style throw down to prove who owns the most Bethly honor. I'm writing under my full name, "Bethany", so, not to be bias, but my novel will have a 3-letter advantage on the opposition. Also, some guy on the Staten Island ferry that day mistook me for a French girl, so. Just sayin'.

Back to super fab agent-editor-author lunch with my super fab publishing people (sweet Baby Love of Karam I have "people"!). The reason I forgot to take out my camera or even remember that was part of the plan was because I was having a real moment. Y'know, one of those times when a link snaps into place in that eclectic chainlink bracelet (or necklace if you so fancy) we call life and things sort of slow down and your brain does you the favor of  mentally stepping back so you can appreciate and accept this moment, this link, as reality: You are actually living this bit of a dream; you own real estate on Cloud 9.

While I was up there, we discussed the market (dystopia is still leading the pack in YA, but contemporary "reality" stories are slowly making a push for the top spot--go Team Contemp!)  and how a sliver of optimism is wedging itself back into publishing by way of a handful of self-published authors making the switch to a more traditional publishing route. 50 Shades may have clashed with your sensibilities, but these "naughty" authors just might put the romance back in publishing.

But the best part about doing lunch was discussing ideas for future projects with two woman who were genuinely interested and excited about them and have the power to make a whole shelf full of future dreams come true. There's something exhilarating about being around people who are passionate about their jobs--and mine. It makes me unbelievably grateful that those people are now my people. It sure makes neglecting friends and family and sleep and this blog and locking myself in the Writertorium to obsessively work on my inaugural official revisions seem less anti-social/mad scientisty and more teamwork. 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BOOK DEAL 2.0 (Cloud 9 kicks Earth's butt)

Did I mention I landed my first book deal exactly one week ago? Oh. 'Cause I TOTALLY DID!!!!!! And Cloud 9 kicks Earth's waiting for emails, nervous anticipation, tired from hitting refresh for the 30th time on AOL, will I ever get published?, jittery butt. They should bottle this feeling and sell it--celebrity fragrance deal, I am ready. (Yes, I operate under the delusional assumption that I will some day be famous enough for tweens and soccer moms alike to want to smell of me. Didn't you know, that's how you get a book deal?)

*Rerunning the celebration*



(My BF is Peter dressed as a woman in this celebratory scenario that is strikingly accurate to what went down last week after I received the "Deal memo" email. )


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Happy, Joy Joy--BOOK DEAL!!!

So remember that time when I had the biggest most amazing news in the history of ever, but my borderline irrational belief in karma and jinxes kept me from sharing with anyone? Well, the stipulations of jinxes has expired with the arrival of an email in my inbox, and I can officially announce that in 2013 2014 I will be a published young adult author!!!!!!

Let the epic celebration (with no foreseeable end) start! Ren & Stimpy, take it away...

Happy happy, joy joy! Happy happy, joy joy BOOK DEAL!!!!! joy joy! Happy happy, joy joy!

Thank you to everyone who supported (and still supports!) me and my admittedly creepy fascination with "dead girl" books. To all of you along the way that selflessly gave me your guidance and patience and blind faith. And told me I was "tourable." I owe a piece of my joy to you--and a signed book!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rock the Drop to Support YA Lit!

It's that time of year again. YALSA’s annual Support Teen Lit Day is upon us this lovely April 12th just in time to pull us YA-ers out of our Easter jellybean hangovers. As always, the crew at is promoting a share-the-wealth campaign aptly named Rock the Drop. The idea is to spread some YA love with your fellow humanoids by "dropping" a YA novel in a public place for an unsuspecting--lucky--someone to discover.

Make sure to print off the picture above (generously provided by David Ostow for our fabulous sponsors Figment & ReaderGirlz) and tape it to your "drop" to clue your recipient in to Support YA Lit Day. Such a good cause; such a good time. Have fun with it. And by fun I mean stakeout your drop location and snap a photo when your lucky recipient finds their book-o-gram and you holler "Once you go YA, you never go back!" People love that kind of thing, right?

For more details, visit


Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Day in the Life

Since I haven't posted anything in 4 months (wow, that's embarrassing!) I thought I'd treat you to a day in the life of writer Me. As oppose to works 2 day jobs then rushes home to write Me since I'm on vaca from day job this whole week! Woot woot!

6:00am: Wake up because I'm too hot. Throw covers off, try to go back to sleep, then decide to hop ship into the guest room bed so BF won't wake me when he gets up for work.

8:49am: Wake up (for real this time) and force myself to stay in bed until 9, which is my designated start-your-day-or-you're-a-worthless-slacker time when I don't have to muscle out of bed at 7:15 for day job. Didn't want to cheat myself out of those precious 11 minutes!

9:00am: Eat leftover au gratin 'taters for breakfast while reading this week's EW. Feeding the body and mind!

9:30am: Quick shower. Then back in the PJs. Before you judge me on this one, I recently discovered a direct correlation to my writing productivity and how binding my outfit is. Tight pants = creative block. So there's a method to my seemingly lazy madness. Once my water bottle is full and computer's booted, it's writing time!

11:05am: Sell my old car. Who knew?

11:35am: Back to writing!

1:30pm: Lunch break. Frozen tortellini with veggies. Cook time: 10 mins (in which I can still write). If you're confused by my mention of cook time, read this past post for explanation.

1:45pm: Back to writing!

2:45pm: Stuck on a line of dialogue, so I attempt some well overdue yard work. Get to pet the neighbor’s dog—bonus!

2:55pm: Solution to line of dialogue issue miraculously forms in my head, and I drop my shovel and run inside to get it down.

3:30pm: Stuck again. Back out to finish yard work.

4:00pm: Back to writing (again)!

5:30pm: Get dressed and go to my weekly writers crit group where I'll regale them *sarcasm applied liberally* with a new chapter from the novel  I'm working on while I wait to hear back from my agent about my soon-to-be out on submission novel. Oh, did I not mention I checked my email about 32 times throughout the day to see if she's sent me anything? Hmm, must have slipped my mind. 

9:00pm: Get home from writing crit group and finally eat dinner while I go over comments and suggestions from writing group. They tell me I have too many kissing scenes in the first 60 pages. Hm...

9:15-11:15pm: Catch up on some QT with my DVR (oh, and the BF). Last week's Awake, 16 and Pregnant (Briana's ep is no joke!) & Up All Night are up tonight!

11:15-12ish: Read in bed to BF's dismay. Torn between The Fault in Our Stars by John Green , The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg ,and Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin . Handcuffs has an edge for obvious reasons (I share a name with the author, hello!), but my agent suggested I read You and Me, so You and Me wins.

12:12am: Eyes start to hurt. To sleep with me now.