Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's Up Wednesday


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  Head over to Jaime's page for links to find out what's up with everyone else. Here's what's up with me.

What I'm Reading

I'm still reading nothing but kid books. I've been a mom for almost two months now, so I really do need to figure out how to introduce adult fiction back into my life. Or at least YA fiction. I do love Amelia Bebelia, but as an author, I feel like my library should contain more than just early readers. I've decided I'm going to try to get back into listening to audiobooks and see if that works. When my kiddos are home, they tend to be very demanding of my attention, but I think/hope I'll be able to multi-task, listening in with other activities during the few hours both kids are at school everyday. Hopefully.

What I'm Writing

The Evolution of Emily comes out on November 18th! At this point, getting it ready to enter the world is taking up all my writing time. I do have ARCs now, which is ubber exciting. A few WUW readers have mentioned they want to review it, YAY. If you haven't told me you are interested yet, but are, please let me know.

If you don't want to write a review, you just want to read it early, I'm holding a giveaway in honor of my cover reveal that happened last week. The giveaway is open for another week, so Enter Now.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

What Works for Me

This new section is still a little hard to answer, because I feel like I haven't done any writing in months. But in a way, that is my answer. Not writing consistently works for me. I know a lot of authors who make an effort to write every day, but I have never been one of those writers. I have always written in short bursts. When an idea hits me, I don't want to do anything but write-write-write. But then I can easily go for months at a time without doing any writing at all. Currently, I'm in one of my no-writing periods.

I'm very busy with real-life stuff at the moment. And I have a new book coming out pretty soon, so I'm still doing author things, even if I'm not actually writing. I know what my third book is going to be about. I even have a decent start at a supper rough draft. I just don't have the time/energy/compulsion to write it right now.

Eventually, I will. And I know the experiences I'm gaining by living my real life without guilt of avoiding my writing life will find their way into my future stories. So this is what works for me. I write is spurts, and at present, I'm busy living and musing but not actually writing.

What Else I've Been Up To

I've been a mom for almost two months now, and I'm starting to get acclimated to it. My kids still have WAY more energy than I do, but I'm not quite as exhausted as I was a month ago. I'm figuring out all the best playgrounds. Although fall seems to have finally hit and it's pouring outside, so I guess now I need to find the best indoor activities for kiddos.

Going straight from zero to soccer-mom is a huge adjustment, but it's also an amazing experience. Adoption is a wonderful thing and I feel blessed every day that these two amazing children found their way into my heart and my life. Even if they are amazingly busy children.

So what's up with you?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Evolution of Emily - Cover Reveal


WOW! Check out that awesome cover. 
And double wow, it has my name on it. 


I am so increadably in love with this cover, and I'm thrilled to finally be able to share it. Even more exciting than this shiny beautiful cover is the words inside the book. And you get to read them in two short months.


That's right folks. The Evolution of Emily by yours truly comes out on November 18th. Mark your calendars now. Add it to your goodreads shelf. And enter to win a free advanced copy.



Emily Charles knows how to run away. Away from her overprotective, agoraphobic mother. Away from her biology-obsessed, autistic sister. Away from her quiet sheltered claustrophobic homeschooled life. When Emily's escape plan involves starting her junior year at Kennedy High School, she realizes she's no longer running away. Now she's running towards. Towards her quiet thoughtful cross-country teammate, August. Towards her zany enthusiastic lab partner, Miles. Towards friendship, love, independence, and life.

Thanks to her sister's special interest in biology, Emily knows all about the birds and the bees. Boys are a lot more confusing!

Readers who enjoyed Counting to D won't want to miss Scott's second novel, also set at Kennedy High School.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Up Wednesday


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  Head over to Jaime's page for links to find out what's up with everyone else. Here's what's up with me.

What I'm Reading

My current reading list still consists of nothing but kids books read aloud to my kids. Thankfully, I like kids books. Right now I'm reading the kiddos The Wind in the Willows. I'm not sure if I never read it as a kid, or if it simply didn't make a lasting impression, but the story feels new to me. It's a fun one that I'm enjoying right along with my little people.

What I'm Writing

My writing time is still all focused on getting my second novel out. The Evolution of Emily comes out on November 18th, which is only two short months away. Tomorrow, I'm revealing the cover, so come back then to see how pretty it is!

In the mean time, you can at it to your to-read list on goodreads.

I also have ARCs now. So if you want to review it, let me know.

What Works for Me

I like this new WUW segment, mainly because I need ideas. I knew what worked for me writing wise when I was working full time at another job and writing in the evenings and on the weekends. Now, my day-job is being a mom to two very active little people, and I haven't been all that successful in figuring out how to fit my writing life into this new picture.

Adoption is a truly wonderful thing, which I'll probably write about at some point. But it's thrown everything about my life, including my writing routine into the air and all the pieces haven't settled quite yet.

What Else I've Been Up To

I've been a mom for six and a half weeks now. It's so crazy to think two months ago, I didn't know these kids at all. Now, it's hard for me to remember what my life was like before them. I might not have a firm grasp on my writing schedule quite yet, but I'm still nothing but happy with my current life. I love everything about my little people.

So what's up with you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What's Up Wednesday


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  Head over to Jaime's page for links to find out what's up with everyone else. Here's what's up with me.

What Else I've Been Up To

It's been a while since I've posted anything, so I figured I'd start with the general "what I did last summer" answer first. I became a mom!

I am adopting two wonderful children. They are technically foster kids at this point, but DHS has selected us as their forever family. They came home at the beginning of August. Being a full time mom for a full month of summer was very tiring, but also super fun. Now the kids are in school (kindergarten and 2nd grade), so I have a little bit of free time to think about blogging again.

What I'm Reading

I haven't read a single book alone since meeting my kids, but I've been reading A LOT of stories to the kids. I filled both kids rooms with lots of books, and we've been making regular trips to the library. On her very first night home, my daughter spotted Diary of a Wimpy Kid on her shelf and insisted on making it the first bedtime story in her new house. We're now half-way through book three. It's a very fun series, and I completely understand why so many kids love these books.

What I'm Writing

I haven't even had time to update my blog in over a month, I really haven't been doing any writing. Fortunately, I did a lot of writing last spring. As a result, my second novel, The Evolution of Emily is coming out on November 18th.

Here is the back of the book teaser.

Emily Charles knows how to run away. Away from her overprotective, agoraphobic mother. Away from her biology-obsessed, autistic sister. Away from her quiet sheltered claustrophobic homeschooled life. When Emily's escape plan involves starting her junior year at Kennedy High School, she realizes she's no longer running away. Now she's running towards. Towards her quiet thoughtful cross-country teammate, August. Towards her zany enthusiastic lab partner, Miles. Towards friendship, love, independence, and life.

Thanks to her sister's special interest in biology, Emily knows all about the birds and the bees. Boys are a lot more confusing!

Readers who enjoyed Counting to D won't want to miss Scott's second title, also set at Kennedy High School.


I am expecting a case full of ARCs to arrive at my door sometime next week. So if you want an advanced copy, I'm on the lookout for reviewers.

What Inspires Me Right Now

My kids. I love everything about these two little people, but I especially love reading with them. My little guy has been in kindergarten for less than a week, and he's right on the brink of reading. I love watching him sound out simple words, and I love it when he grabs a giant stack of picture books and begs me to read every single one.

I'm really proud of the fact that I can tell me kids that for my job, I write books. My seven year old daughter is already begging to read Counting to D. It says it's for ages 13 and up on the back of the book, but I told her I'd let her read it early, when she is 11. Maybe I'll have to hop genres and write a MG book sometime.

Now that I'm a mom, I'm starting to hope my cute little kids never grow up and turn into the type of angsty teenagers I write about.


So what's up with you?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nice Enough for Publishing (and Parenthood)

Last week, I became "mom" to two absolutely adorable children. Technically, my kiddo's are still in foster care, but we've been selected as their forever family. A big part of the adoption process involves the agency (in my case DHS) getting to know the family, so the right kids can be matched with the right family. Early in our home study process, I gave my social worker a copy of Counting to D.

I have a lot in common, personality wise, with Sam and figured reading my fiction would be a better way to get to know me than asking a lot of generic questions. The plan worked, sort of. My social worker loved my book, and me, and helped match us with aforementioned adorable children. But she didn't view my book as an example of what I must have been like as a teen, or proof that I'm a very creative person. She took it as evidence of my remarkable empathy.

I am very empathetic it real life. It's easy for me to relate to other people and see things from their point of view. That is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to adopt foster children. But, it's also one of the reasons why I'm a good writer.

Fiction in general, and YA in particular, is all about the feels. Emotions are huge! Writing emotionally charged scenes that the reader can empathize with, and then weaving them together into something that resembles a plot is basically 90% of my job. Okay, maybe only 70%. But it's big.

I'm not only empathetic, I'm also creative. I enjoy making up stories. That is the personality trait I've always viewed as the driving force behind my desire to become make a career out of writing. But I've realized my social worker was onto something. Empathy is just as important, if not more important, than creativity.

Writers need to be able to understand emotion, even if they haven't felt it personally, and describe it in a believable way. That is what writers do. We're an empathetic group. That's probably why I always have so much fun when I hang out with other authors.

So are you nice enough to be a writer? Or a parent? I'm glad that I'm both, 'cause right now I LOVE both om my jobs. And love is a very strong emotion, that I feel and recognize in others.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Evolution of Kate

As an author, I spend a lot of time thinking about character arcs. The idea that people can and do change sits at the root of storytelling. If characters can change, it makes sense that real life people would change too.

During the summer and fall of 2012, I changed. Or at least, I should have changed. I got very very sick and spent a lot of time in the hospital. At the time, I thought my life was going to be forever different. I remember thinking my previous life was over, and I need to figure out who I was now and what my life will be moving forward.

The time I spent in the hospital was definitely different than my regular old pre-illness life. But eventually, I got better, and discovered I was still the same person. I felt like fiction had lied to me. Old friends who I lost touch with during that period of illness could see me afterwards and not know anything had happened. I began to joke that while I had lost a few internal organs, my brain wasn’t one of them. I’m the same person now as I was two years ago. I am, always have been, and always will be myself.

Now, my life is changing again. Today is the two year anniversary of my getting sick. Tomorrow, I'm going to meet my children for the first time. I mentioned that during this whole illness fiasco I lost a couple internal organs. I may have kept my brain, but all my reproductive organs were removed. So I didn’t give birth to my kids. We are adopting them out of the foster care system.

I am, and always have been, myself. I love kids. I’m naturally patient and slow to anger. I’m playful and imaginative. I will be a good mom. If I’d been able to give birth, I would have been a good mom to my bio-kids. If I’d adopted two and a half years ago, I would have been a good mom then. But I’m not giving birth, and I didn’t adopt two and a half years ago.

I lived through a horrible illness. My husband stayed by my side through months of hospitalization. We were hurt, physically and emotionally, and we survived. The act of surviving changed us. At our cores, we are the same people we have always been. But we are also different, new people, with a new perspective on life and the ability to understand tragedy. We will be better parents because of it.

I would never wish what I went through two years ago on anyone, ever. Trust me, blood poisoning isn’t fun. But a part of me is grateful for that experience. Because being admitted to the ICU was the beginning of a two year journey that’s lead me to where I am today. About to become the mother of two wonderful children who have also experienced far more trauma than anyone should have to endure.

As a writer, I feel like this is an important lesson on character as well. Lives change not people--people grow. My second novel, coming out this fall, is titled The Evolution of Emily. I titled this blog post The Evolution of Kate in homage to that book. And just like in my own life, Emily is Emily at the beginning, middle, and end of her story. But that doesn’t mean her life is stagnant. She grows, and evolves because of the changes in her life. We all do, I certainly have. And I can't wait to live my next chapter.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What's Up Wednesday


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  Head over to Jaime's page for links to find out what's up with everyone else. Here's what's up with me.

What I'm Reading

This week I read One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. It was a good book, I don't think reading it this week was the smartest plan on my part though. It's a middle grade book about a foster kid. There aren't very many books about foster kids, and One for the Murphys is a very good one.

It's basically a love story about a girl and her foster mom. The emotions are all there, the characters are well developed, and the picture of foster care presented is relatively accurate.

The problem is that I'm currently in the process of adopting two foster kids. They are actually scheduled to move into my house next week. So this emotionally charged story hit a little too close to home in some places. Carly may be a tough girl who never cries, but I cried A LOT while reading it.

What I'm Writing

The Evolution of Emily is set to be released on November 18th, so I have three and a half months to get everything ready for publication. I thought I was doing great schedule wise, but this whole new parenting thing is demanding a lot of my mental energy, so this week I really haven't gotten much done at all.

My goal had been to finish picking up all my latest notes from my copy editor, do one more complete read through, and send the "final" version off to my layout guy to make ARCs before the kids moved in. Um, yeah, they're moving in next week. I don't think I'm going to make that deadline.

Hopefully, I'll be able to find some time to work on stuff after they arrive, because November 18th really is right around the corner. My little guy will be in kindergarten, so I'll hopefully be able to get some work done while the kids are at school. But school doesn't start until September, and I have a lot of deadlines to meet between now and Labor Day if I'm going to keep my November release.

I did write a first attempt at the back cover copy this week. What do you think, is this a catchy blurb?

Emily Charles knows how to run away. Away from her agoraphobic mother. Away from her autistic sister. Away from her quiet sheltered homeschool life. When Emily's escape plan involves starting her junior year at Kennedy High School, she realizes she's no longer running away. Now she's running towards. Towards her cross-country teammate August, and her lab partner Miles. Towards friendship, love, independence, and life.

Thanks to her sister's special interest in biology, Emily knows all about the birds and the bees. Boys are a lot more confusing.

What Inspires Me Right Now

Last week, I talked to a group of aspiring young writers at a creative writing themed summer camp. The kids ranged in age from 3rd grade to high school. A few of them shared samples of their writing with me afterwards, and wow they were talented. Seeing these kids get excited about story telling, and connecting with my characters, was definitely inspiring.

I love writing. And I love knowing that there are so many other people who also love writing, both old and young. There are so many stories to tell, I'm glad it's my job to share them with others.

What Else I've Been Up To

As my previous answers alluded, I'm in the process of adopting two absolutely adorable foster kids. We get to take them home next week! Legally, I can't post their names or photos on the internet, because they are still in foster care. But even after the adoption is finalized, I want to respect their privacy.

In preparation for the kids eminent arrival, I bought a minivan on Saturday. And I just finished putting the final touches on their rooms earlier today. Here are pictures of my kiddo's beds. This is probably the cleanest these rooms will ever be, so I might as well post the photos now.


So what's up with you?