Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm Serious. Dead Serious.

Did someone say good news?

*waves arms frantically* over here!

As announced yesterday on PW Children's Bookshelf, I got a two-book deal with Random House/Delacorte for a new book series! And yes, I get to write AND illustrate this series too!  It will be called the Dead Serious series. And the first book will be titled, I Text Dead People, and will be released Fall 2014. The second title is yet to be named, but will be out Spring 2015.

*jumps up and down*

So I've been wanting to write this story for. ev. er. And Lucy (from my webcomic Lucy in Love) will be playing a big role in the first book. So definitely expect craziness!

Here's a short blurb:

As if living in a creepy house on cemetery grounds weren’t horrible enough, Annabelle accidentally becomes a guide that bridges the gap between the living and the dead with her cell phone. Which means she is pestered by the deceased 24/7. And until she helps them with their absurd unresolved issues and ridiculous requests, no one will be able to rest in peace.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Zombie ate my brain. And stole my heart.

So what have I been up since my last book, Secrets From The Sleeping Bag, was published?  I've been pitching more book ideas. I would love to expand my tween writing to young adult. Over the last few months my brain bucket has been overflowing with ideas. It's been keeping me from sleeping, eating (ah, who are we kidding..I always have an appetite), and wishing I were writing 24/7 instead of working all day at my desk job.

My ideas are so scattered. From dark and edgy, to sci-fi and fantasy. I've been dabbling in genres that I never thought I would, and I love the challenge.

So while I do the one thing I'm so not good at doing (waiting and being patient), I've been sketching and writing a new idea in my notebook. It has to do with monsters, creatures, and a human. Personality disorders, a shipwreck, and an uninhabited island. The image here is one of my characters sketches for the story. I think I'll start posting more character sketches and give some samples from the story.

What ideas do you have floating around in your head?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SCBWI North Bay Meeting

So tomorrow I'll be speaking at the SCBWI event in Sebastopol, 7pm-9pm.. Am I excited? Absolutely! Am I nervous? you bet! It seems no matter how many times I do events or signings, I'm always as nervous as the first time. I guess I'm always afraid of two things:

1. Nobody will show up. *crickets* 
2. My brain will betray me.. Like, right in the middle of a sentence my brain will go numb and I'll stand there, mouth open and nothing coming out. Although, I don't think i've ever had a problem shutting up before.

Or what if I talk too much and begin babbling and people think I'm crazy. Like, certifiably.  My crazy girl sketch to the left --yeah, that is exactly how i'm afraid I'll be perceived.

And if you're in the area, it's not too late to register.

 Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

MADly In Love


Lucy. I did a web comic on her for a short time awhile ago. But she is still one of my favorite characters. Like most girls, she has a boyfriend that she is madly in love with. Unlike most girls, she becomes obsessed with him and refuses to take the hint when he breaks up with her. Several times.

And then...he kills her. Oops! An accident? Maybe. But she doesn't care. She still loves him and will haunt him for all of eternity. She even gives him her heart. Literally. Afterall, she has no use for it anymore.

Lucy is crazy in love. Actually, she's just crazy.

Who doesn't love craziness!

What is one of your favorite characters you've created?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Halloween Behavior by Astrological Sign

Are you greedy and take all the candy? Or just sit at home and sulk on Halloween? Should you dress up as bubble gum or a car salesman? Your astrological sign can tell you what your typical Halloween behavior is and even give you costume suggestions according to the characteristics and personality traits of your sign.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Trick or Treating:
Pushes others aside to get to the door first.
Costume suggestions: Gladiator, Mexican wrestler, police officer, fire fighter.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

Trick or Treating: Will only eat the finest of Swiss chocolates.
Costume suggestions: Miss America, Mr. Universe, or a walking tree. How fun!

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

Trick or Treating: Will go around the neighborhood once, changes costumes and go around again.
Costume suggestions: Go with a friend and dress as Siamese twins. No friends? Dress as half man/women and half creature. Use your own good creative judgment.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Trick or Treating: Stays at home and gives candy to the other trick-or-treaters.
Costume suggestion (for wearing while handing out candy): Statue of Liberty, Uncle Sam. Or how about an oversized banana or milk carton.

Leo (July 23 - August 22)

Trick or Treating: Plans their costume for months, then won't go out because someone else had the same idea.
Costume Suggestion (to wear at home while sulking): Lion, cat, king or queen. Or how about combining the two and go as the Lion King.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Trick or Treating: Wears a neatly pressed suit and tells everyone they're a bookkeeper.
Costume suggestion (if you don’t own a suit): A chaff of wheat.

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Trick or Treating: Stands in front of the closet all night trying to decide on a
Costume suggestion (so you can come out of the closet and have fun!): Interior designer.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

Trick or Treating: Scorpio isn't in it for the candy.
Costume Suggestions: Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, Tony Soprano, Al Capone.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

Trick or Treating: Will manage to wander to the next town.
Costume suggestions: Indiana Jones or Lara Croft.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)

Trick or Treating: Will make a list of all the houses that give out the best candy and the optimal route to take.
Costume suggestions: Donald Trump or a construction worker. Just make sure to wear a shirt so you’re not mistaken as one of the Village People.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)

Trick or Treating: Will build their costume out of spare flashlights and spend all night tinkering when it shorts.
Costume suggestions: Mermaid or King of the Sea. Built out of flashlights.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Trick or Treating: Will skip the whole thing to compose poetry. About the Moon.
Costume suggestion (while composing poetry): Astronaut, space alien, ballerina, painter, poet, or a muse. Or a fairy ghost.

Which sign are you?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Completely Caffeinated

While working on a story, I became distracted, surfed the net, and learned way too much about coffee. Do you know how many interesting, completely random and weird facts about coffee are you there? No? Well, good thing I wrote these down to share with you!

  • At one point, Brazil had such a coffee surplus that they tried to find other uses for it, including using it to make plastic.
  • The world record for most coffee consumption is 82 cups of coffee in 7 hours. I love coffee, but that might even be too much for me.
  • In Staten Island, there’s a restaurant owner that drinks fifty cups of coffee a day. Again, I love coffee, but not that much.
  • During World War II there was a coffee drinking competition between the branches of the military. The Marines claimed to drink the most – twenty cups a day.
  • Coffee was so scarce in Germany that during WWII “coffee bombs” or bags of coffee were dropped from planes to turn the people against their government.
  • Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets got his start doing coffee ads.
  • The actress who played the Wicked Witch Of The West in the Wizard Of Oz was promoting Maxwell House in the 1970′s.
  • There’s a tourist agency for people wanting to take coffee vacations called Cafe Away. Personally, I think it’s the greatest idea ever.
  • Norway drinks the most coffee per person. The United States is ranked number 12. C’mon people, we can do better than that!
  • The only place where coffee is grown in the United States is Hawaii. I'm thinking of relocating.

Do you know any other interesting, random or weird coffee facts?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Diets: Myth vs. Truth- Part 2

Here is a Part 2 to the simple guide to help you rule out all the myths and get straight to the facts so you can get started with a new and healthier diet.  Yes, you are welcome.

Myth: Sit-ups will help you have a smaller stomach.
Truth: Simply put--sit-ups are a type of exercise. Exercise helps muscles get bigger. Therefore, your stomach will get bigger. Only do sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Myth: Chocolate is unhealthy.
Truth: Seriously? Chocolate is made from cocoa beans—another vegetable! You get it by now, right?

Myth: Swimming is good for your figure.
Truth: If this is true, then explain whales.

Myth: Getting in shape is very important.
Truth: Um, round is a shape isn’t it?

Myth: It’s very hard to count calories and keep track of what you eat all day.
Truth: Simple rule to remember-if no one see’s you eating, the calories don’t count.

Myth: Candy is not healthy.
Truth: My dr. once said a good way to eat healthy is to fill your plate with colorful food. Greens, yellows, reds..etc. So don’t skittles and M&M’s fall into that category?

STRESSED spelled backwards = DESSERTS. The word DIET contains the word DIE. You make the choice.

Also read:

What other Myth vs. Truth have you heard?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Diets: Myth vs. Truth-Part 1

There are so many different versions of health advice out there, it’s hard to really know which are facts and which are myths. Is candy really bad for you? Should you eat more veggies and less meat? Here is a simple guide to help you rule out all the myths and get straight to the facts so you can get started with a new and healthier diet. And I because I love you all so much, I made sure to extensively research each of these so you won't have to.

Myth: Exercise and Cardiovascular activity can prolong your life.
Truth: Your heart is only good for so many beats. Eventually, like all things, it will wear out. Don’t waste it on exercise. Prolong your life and take a nap!

Myth: It’s healthier to eat more fruits and veggies and less meat.
Truth: When you eat beef, you’re eating cow. And what do cows eat? Hay and corn (veggies) and field grass (leafy greens). So really, when you eat a big juicy steak, you’re getting all the nutrition you need from vegetables. Eat chicken if you need more grains in your diet. 

Myth: You should limit your alcohol intake.
Truth: Again, let’s look at what alcohol really is. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine. And beer is made out of grain. Drink up!

Myth: Calculating your body/fat ratio can be very complicated. And confusing.
Truth: Nope, not confusing or complicated at all. If you have a body and you have body fat, the ratio is one to one. If you have to bodies, the ratio is two to one, etc.

Myth: Fried foods are unhealthy.
Truth: Fried foods are not bad for you at all. Most are fried in vegetable oil. Why would more vegetables be bad for you?

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow!

Whats diet myths have you heard lately?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Will Write For Cupcakes

One of my BWFE (best writer friends ever) recently recieved her very first book contract. As if that wasn't terrific enough, the publisher offered her a 3-book deal. I am so proud of Amie Borst and just as excited. This also made me think back to when my first book was published. I realized there are so many "firsts" that I experienced and thought I'd  admit share.

1. Prank or.....
    The very first fan mail ever received I thought it was a prank. Seriously. I thought it was some adult messing around trying to be funny. I didn't think it was from an actual kid. I still responded..but was very doubtful. Those doubts slowly diminished with each fan mail received.

2. Google this...
     An obsession with google. Is my book posted on websites? Are there reviews? Anything going on I just HAD to know about.

3. Reviews, the good, the bad...
    Especially the bad. I always told myself I wouldn't take book reviews personally, as everyone has different tastes and different opions. However, there is no preparing yourself for the first negative review of your book you come across. It was on Goodreads and I really wanted to comment on their review and tell them how wrong they were on so many levels. I think I might have even done that. Maybe. I don't quite. remember.

4. Amazon time...
     Yeah, I might have stalked Amazon a little more than a sane person should have. But then again, having your first published book out there, you tend to think a bit differently.

So i'm sure I could keep going on. And on. And on. But I'll be kind and stop here.

And if you haven't stopped by Amie's blog lately, go visit her! And congratulate her on her upcoming book CINDERSKELLA. The first in her ScaryTales series. Oh, and she is also doing an AMAZING giveaway for writers. Need I say more?

So...who here can relate? Who has experienced a "first?"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

So you guys definitely don't make it easy to pick ONE winner. So that is why I picked TWO winners!

Congrats to.....
        SA Larsenッ   AND    Emily White!!

And, thanks to the two new peeps who added comments. Because I love new people, I would like to say thank you by sending each of you out a copy of Secrets from the Sleeping Bag as soon as my copies come in (hopefully in the next few week!) Yes, that means you

         Emma Brahmey  and  Mia Coffin  !!

 So if everyone mentioned above could please email me at and send me  your mailing addresses,  I'll be happy to send you your books!

Thank you to everyone who has been such a great supporter. I love all of you!

Friday, June 29, 2012

SECRETS Book Trailer and Giveaway!

I'm jumping up and down and clapping while I type this. Well, almost. Random House has produced the cutest book trailer for Secrets From The Sleeping Bag: A Blogtastic! Novel (out July 10th) and it's amazing to see the characters animated. And Sofia even has a voice! 

To celebrate, I'm giving away an ARC of SECRETS!!!

All you have to do is leave a comment.

Easy, right?

I'll announce the winner on Monday, June 2nd!

So turn up the volume,  press play, then leave a comment!

Oh, and if want to spread the word about the giveway and book trailer,  I won't be mad:)