This year’s Antioch Writers’ Workshop marks the 20-year anniversary of my attendance as a participant. 20 years! This fact make me feel old. But it also makes me feel accomplished. It was a true honor to join the workshop as a seminar leader this year, taking on an afternoon session of fiction instruction. It’s amazing how close these small groups become over the course of the week – everyone putting everything out there, sticking with that uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability that only a writer can understand.
My group was amazing, ranging from the ages of 18 to 70-something, each participant supportive and inspiring, even while offering a critique. And boy were they brave, sharing their pieces without the anonymity of a screen name or the ability to hide in the murky waters that the internet provides. No, these people met live, face-to-face, for really really real. I had more than one student approach me in a complete, shaky-handed, My-piece-is-being-workshopped-tomorrow! panic. But they all worked through the fear and came out on the other side feeling like they had made some lifelong friends in the process.
I’d forgotten that part – the magical feeling of connection and unity that a workshop provides, with everyone there for one collective reason, to geek out on writing. And now, two weeks later, I’m missing my new friends who feel quite a bit like family, wishing them the best of the best in all endeavors, but especially when it comes to writing.
It’s Official! Contracts have been signed. And I can finally announce the good news!
My second title, ONE MOMENT, will be reissued in January of 2017 with Sky Pony Press.
I’m to-die-for in love with the new cover design, which I’ll share as soon as possible, and beyond excited that this title will be available again soon!
THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES has been chosen as a school-wide summer reading requirement for Beavercreek High School. Such an honor! That means every single student from grades 9-12 will read my very first novel. I’ll then visit the students at the end of August, leading large group assemblies where I’ll share my journey to publication, plus smaller writing workshops with creative writing students. I am beyond excited.
All of this, however, has opened up the tiny little issue of getting over 2,000 books to the Dayton area in a record amount of time. Now there are rumors that the book is out of print. Some people are feeling frustrated and confused (which I totally understand, trust me), so I thought it might be worth clarifying some of these issues.
First of all, THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES is NOT out of print. This title did, however, have a change of publisher when Egmont USA closed in January of 2015 (a very difficult time for many authors). Lerner Publishing took over the sales and distribution. Sadly, my second title, ONE MOMENT, is out of print, which I think fueled some of these rumors. Thankfully, this title will be reissued in January of 2017. With a new cover! Which I am to-die-for excited about.
Back to the issue at hand. How to find a copy of THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES? Like, now.
I have had contact with several area bookstores and have been assured that copies of THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES will be available by week’s end. The local library also has a large amount of copies on order. While the book is not available on Amazon (something I’m looking into), it is available to order online through Lerner Publishing. The cost is $8.99.
Click on the book cover below to follow the link to Lerner’s page for THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES.
Please accept my apologies for any confusion. I am beyond excited that this title has been chosen as a school-wide read and cannot wait to visit the students of Beavercreek High in a few short months!
Because this book is happening, in spite of a very tricky road to publication.
Because this book found new life after the closing of Egmont USA.
Because Alison Weiss and the folks at Sky Pony Press believed in this story.
Because this book will finally be available in July of 2016.
One night. Two paths. Infinite danger.
On the night of the big spring break party, seventeen-year-old Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.
Now Hadley has a choice: go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture or raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.
Chapters alternate to reveal each possible future as Hadley, her ex-boyfriend, Josh, and her best friends embark on a night of reckless adventure where old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets are uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.
Like a teen Sliding Doors, A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point.
The news is live and finally I can share! My next two titles have been picked up by Sky Pony Press!
Kristina McBride’s A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT, in which an Ohio teen girl grieving the loss of a friend, spends the night of her life in two alternate strands of time by getting revenge on her ex with the help of a boy who might be responsible for her friend’s death, for publication in Summer 2016, and THE BAKERSVILLE DOZEN, in which thirteen Senior Class girls are exposed in a viral video, and the murders and disappearances among them that follow until one brave girl seeks answers, for publication in Summer 2017, moving to Alison Weiss at Sky Pony Press, by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group (World English),
I love a good book festival. Books + People + Food = Fun! The Pickerington Public Library’s YA Fest on July 25th was no exception. An all-day event, the PPL YA Fest offered guests the chance to mingle and chat with YA authors from a variety of genres, attend panel discussions, as well as the chance to soak up info presented during several writing workshops. The day was a whirlwind of fun and inspiration. Plus, there were food trucks. Books. And authors. Lots and lots of authors.
Now, I must take a moment to share how much I love authors, and how being part of such an amazing group is a totally exhilarating experience. First off, authors are awesome – funny and witty and sassy and smart. They bring treats to entice readers (which means I get extra chocolate for the day). And they understand me. The crazy part of me that obsesses over character traits and tangled plots, and the excited part of me that needs more books. Authors are supportive too, offering kind words and spot-on advice whenever needed. No matter how long I do this, I will always be honored to be part of a family of authors, those in Ohio and beyond.
Demitria Lunetta, Me, Jody Casella, Kate Karyus
Geoffrey Girard, Cinda Chima, Natalie Richards
Me, Paul Melko, Mindee Arnett
Me, Colleen Clayton, Lisa Klein
And the all-important Goofy Shot
In my life, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my purpose. Being kind to others ranks at the top of that list. As does being a calming presence in this oftentimes crazy world. While connected to the first two, being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend, are separate and all-encompassing purposes that I am grateful for on a daily basis. Eating chocolate, soaking up every moment of the summer season, and buying new shoes all fall somewhere in line as well. The combination of these things make me me, but I have two additional life purposes that drive much of what I do. I am fortunate to have the chance to utilize both on a regular basis: Writing and Teaching.
I love all aspects of both writing and teaching, the planning, the execution, and the interaction with others (even if the characters are in my head, they certainly feel real). So when I was asked to lead the Young Writer’s program at Antioch Writers’ Workshop 2015, pairing my love of writing with my love of teaching, I was ever so excited. And that excitement only grew as I arrived at the workshop each morning, invited to attend classes myself, learning from great writers like Nikki Giovanni, John Grogan, and Jyotsna Sreenivasan. The whole thing felt magical, like there was a cloud of creativity swirling overhead, powering us all.
But the magic deepened as I got to know my group of teens, as I watched them throw themselves into the spotlight, totally vulnerable, waiting for critique on pieces they had written. It was nothing short of amazing – the writing each of my teens submitted, the respect and kindness each showed the others as they offered critique, and the inspiration that was brought to life within us all. One thing I know for sure is that I will take the lessons I learned from Antioch Writers’ Workshop 2015 and use them for years to come. Even better? I will be back again next year, teaching an afternoon seminar in fiction for adults. Something I have learned in this life: One purpose often leads to another.
The Young Writers . . . Writing
John Grogan & Me
My amazing group of Young Writers
Me with Sharon Short, the director of AWW
Two totally amazing, talented, lovely Young Writers on the night of their public reading
Sinking into the act of writing is amazing. There is nothing like hitting that zone where you’re only aware of the events occurring in your imagination. Writing is magical. Transformative. And I am so fortunate to experience that magical transformation each and every day, to be living the life I have always dreamed for myself – the life of an author.
It still seems surreal. There was the first book (!). And the second book (!!). Then I sold my third (!!!), and life felt more amazing than I could have imagined. There were the obligatory rounds of revision. The revisions were big, but I made my way through, no problem, no complaints. I loved this story and was dedicated to putting in the time and thought and heart required to make A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT as strong as it could possibly be before publication. Because publication was where I was headed . . . I had proof.
There was the round of copy edits, and the first pass pages, seeing my cover for the first time (Swoon!), and then receiving a hefty box of advance copies in the mail. The book was actually going to be a book in just a few short months! I was elated! Even more so when I found out it was time to reveal the cover, which is always exciting, one of those milestone moments that every author relishes. And relish I did, posting my beautiful cover on Facebook and Twitter, adding it here to my website, even offering an advance copy through a giveaway. I’d finally made it to the fun part! The work was complete, the struggle all struggled out, and it was time to coast my way to the pub date of July 27, 2015. It felt amazing.
For all of one week.
Eight days after my cover reveal, I received a devastating call from my editor. Egmont USA was closing. They would not publish any books after June of 2015. Which meant my shiny new novel, the one with the gorgeous new cover, would not be released. I was shocked, devastated, and numb for days, not just about my book, but about losing my lovely editor, about all the books that were lost. The little things seemed so big – telling my family, taking the cover off my website, making the announcement on social media sites, opening the returned package of completed first pass pages (which are never supposed to be returned to an author), storing my box of advance copies away because I simply could not look at them any longer. I wallowed. I sighed. I cried, and I am so not a crier. I ate as much chocolate as I could handle. And then I ate some more.
Then something happened . . .
I started to hope. I reminded myself that this book still has a chance. A good one, right? I mean, the thing is solid. Rights have reverted and more editors will have the chance to read and consider, editors who might just have ideas to shift or tweak or rearrange something to make this story even stronger than it already is. And on that positive note, I let it go. It’s all I can do at this point. It’s all any author can do after completing a novel. Which loops me right back around to the beginning, to the crazy-as-shit reminder that I’m living the life of an author. That this is the life of an author – the magic of the writing, the struggle of revision, the offering of heart and soul to each story, riding the highs of acceptance and the lows of rejection – it’s all a crazy swirl of amazing and I’m here, living this life I have chosen for myself. I’m reminded that even when I’m feeling heartache, I’m in the game. And all of a sudden, I feel like the luckiest person in the world.