Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Winner of the Setting Contest!

Picture by Mariamichelle, used under Creative Commons. Link

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my contest to guess the location of the setting of The Body Electric! The response was awesome and it was so cool to see you guesses--especially as so many of you were correct!

Without further ado, the correct location of the setting for The Body Electric is...


For the purposes of the contest, I accepted Malta, Gozo, or any Maltese/Gozan city--as long as you were anywhere on the map above, I counted it as an entry :) 

So, from all the winning guesses, the winning entry is...


I've contacted the winner directly--and if you didn't win, stick around. I'll have another contest up soon!

Thanks again for playing, everyone!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Guess the Setting and Win!

I've been hinting at this rather a lot, but The Body Electric does not take place in America...in fact, it takes place in a part of the world that is rarely written about. And if you figure out the location, you could win a signed, limited edition copy of the book before it's released!

All you have to do is guess the location. I've been leaving lots of clues. 

And, I have a collection of pics for you to take your guesses from. I happened to visit this country when I was in college, and all of these pics were taken by my little non-digital camera before the trip.


And here's one of the best pictures of me ever in the world. This is me, standing next to a knight in shining armor...in a brown velvet mock turtleneck. Man, I knew how to dress.

Once you know what country the story takes place in--or have a pretty good guess--ENTER HERE or by the form below for a chance to win a signed, limited edition of the novel. Only 350 copies of this limited edition will be made, and one person who enters here will get one--early.

Tweeting, Facebooking, Tumblring and otherwise sharing the contest and/or subscribing to my newsletter gets you extra entries! I may have to make up an additional prize for whoever best mocks that mock turtleneck. I mean honestly.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Announcing: A New Book!

Subscribers to my newsletter were the first to hear: I've got a new book coming!

And the good news is that it's coming out sooner rather than later. This is a book I wrote between contracted books, and it's going to be self-published. I don't know exactly when it'll be on sale, but it'll be before the end of the year. There will be both print and e-editions available.

This book came from a lot of things I love, and a lot of questions. What makes people, people? Where does one draw the line of humanity? And...what was happening on Earth while Amy and Elder were space?

And that's where THE BODY ELECTRIC came from. Here's what the story's about:

Blade Runner meets Total Recall in this exciting new sci fi adventure!

Ella Shepherd can slip into other people’s minds. Using technology invented by her parents, Ella has the ability to experience–and influence–the memories of others. She’s used this ability to help ensure the safety of the world from a dangerous terrorist group, but not all is as it seems…because someone’s been inside Ella’s head, too.

Want to meet Ella and Jack, the two main characters?

Remember the brilliant illustrations of Amy and Elder that Christine Tyler did for me? She also did two more--one for each of the characters in the new book.

I'll be revealing the full illustrations soon...when I debut my brand-new website. Just as with the illustrations of Amy and Elder, there are a TON of clues hidden in the images about the story and the characters. And personally? Ella's my favorite illustration of the whole bunch. Just you wait until you see the way they look in a larger format!

Five Fun Facts about The Body Electric

  • It does not take place in America.
  • Ella Shepherd's name comes from the title of my favorite Philip K. Dick (and her father's name is Philip in homage to him).
  • Amy and Elder are not in this book, but if you look closely, you'll see some hints of their story.
  • Jack was named after Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who.
  • This book is a stand-alone--there are no sequels or cliffhangers. You'll get the whole story in this book.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Win 6 Signed Books! Newsletter Giveaway

Eep! I'm running late in publishing my newsletter, which usually comes out on the first of every month. So, to apologize for being late and to encourage new people to sign up, I'm holding a quick, 48-hour giveaway!

A little about the newsletter: It's not spam! It contains links to fun articles across the internet on science, art, and more, plus upcoming news, book news, etc. Things tend to get revealed first in the newsletter. Sign up here!

To enter: Just sign up for my newsletter--by July 2 at 11:50pm. One subscriber of the newsletter will get all six books, signed by the author, shipped straight to their door. Simple as that!


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If you're under 18, please make sure that you have parental permission to sign up for the newsletter. If you can't sign up for the newsletter, contact me for an alternate entry.

*Keen-eyed observers will notice that this is the same prize pack I used for a recent giveaway. After trying to contact three different winners over nearly two months, I decided to just roll over the prize into a new giveaway, per my already established giveaway policy. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Upcoming Events! Summer Edition

I have four events all scheduled in the near-ish future, and I hope I can see you at at least one!

Who: Me, Megan Shepherd, Jessica Khoury, and Meagan Spooner
What: Panel and Book Signing
Where: Highland Books in Brevard, NC
When: JUNE 28 at 1pm
More info: Here

I am so stoked about this one--I love any excuse to go even further into the mountain of NC, and this bookstore seems absolutely charming and amazing. Also? My fellow panelists are charming and amazing, and I can't wait talk about books and writing with them!

Who: Me, Jessica Khoury, Meagan Spooner, and Alexa Duncan
What: "Spark a Reaction--the Spark Behind the Story" YA book talk panel for the Cleveland County Library System's summer reading program
Where: Don Gibson Theatre in Shelby, NC
When: JULY 24 at 2pm
More info: Here

I am so happy to return to the county library system where I used to work as a school teacher. We're going to be a part of the summer reading program to talk to kids about reading, writing, and so much more! The event is open to everyone, so please come by!

Who: Me, Ann Aguirre, Alexa Duncan, Meagan Spooner
What: Mortal Danger Book Launch & Tour Stop
Where: Malaprops in Asheville, NC
When: AUGUST 5 at 7pm
More info: About the tour; about this event

GUYS. GUYS. Have you seen Ann's latest book, Mortal Danger? IT LOOKS SO GOOD GUYS. I can't wait to read it--and luckily for me, her very first stop in her book tour is on her launch day, at Malaprops! 

You can read more about Mortal Danger here, but it's a book about revenge, devil's deals, beautiful people, a private academy, bullies, and trust. 

Who: Me, Jessica Brody, Jessica Khoury, Megan Shepherd
What: Girls Gone Sci Fi Tour Stop
Where: Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC
When: AUGUST 7 at 7pm
More info: Here

If you've never been to a Girls Gone Sci Fi stop, you absolutely must check it out. These girls have organized the perfect formula for fun events, with games, prizes, hilarious stories and q&a. This promises to be a lot of fun, and Greenville is a beautiful city with an idyllic downtown, so make sure you stop by!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Hate is Boring, and the Same, and Let's Stop Listening to It

A little while ago, someone published an article basically saying that YA was for kids and adults who read YA were idiots. You don't need to read the article; I don't need to link it. You've seen at least a half dozen more like them if you've been in the YA world at all.

They're all the same. They have different trappings, and whatever most popular book is on the market is the one that's discussed, but, the articles are all the same.

Ultimately, this is what every single one of those articles is saying:

I don't like the popular thing, therefore the people who do like the popular thing are wrong.

This particular article was anti-YA, and if you look in the history of the rise of YA, you'll see these articles have happened since the the first popular YA books, and with every single subsequent one.

Do you see the pattern?

Every time a YA book hits big, some pretentious ass-hat takes it upon himself (or herself) to say that people who like YA are weird and wrong.

They dress it up in different language, but the fact of the matter remains: all it takes is one big hit for the haters to come out. And every single argument incorporates the same basic logic:

I don't like the popular thing THEREFORE the popular thing is wrong THEREFORE anyone who likes the popular thing is wrong.

Ironic, isn't it, that the very people slamming adults for liking "books written for kids" have the most basic, childish logic behind their arguments.

Now, I've just given examples based on the YA genre, but this is true of every genre that hits popularity. The critics all have the same arguments, and they're weak:

They all sum up to the same thing: some people believe that genre fiction isn't literary and therefore isn't worth...well, anything. As this NY Times article sums it up, "For the longest time, there was little ambiguity between literary fiction and genre fiction: one was good for you, one simply tasted good. "

And now, I suppose, that ambiguity is fading. Because more and more people are telling these ass-hats that they're full of it. More and more people are pointing out that telling someone that the thing they like isn't as good as the thing this other person likes is a really dick thing to say. 

In the end, the genre-hate is just another form of prejudice. Most of these critics are not fans of genre, and many even confess to not having read the book they're hating on.

There's another sort of hate and prejudice being applied here, too. Is it really a coincidence that the romance that's considered too literary to be romance is written by a white dude? That the fantasy that people have begun calling literature instead of fantasy is...written by a white dude? That the most recent article hating on YA does call out the most recently popular YA author--a white dude--and then quickly gives him the biggest insult the author of the article could think of, by comparing him to the popular work of a female author.

All those links I gave you above to the female YA authors who were criticized for being popular? Nearly every single one mentions the female author's appearance (including age or physical attractiveness) or makes a point to say that the romance is predominant in part because of the gender of the author. It should be noted that, with this freshest round of YA-hate directed at a male YA author, his appearance has not been mentioned in a negative way, and the romance is heralded rather than being decried.

Consider for a moment the most maligned genre in the business: romance. These books, more than any other genre, tend to be dismissed. And these books, more than any other genre, tend to be written by women.

There will always be cockalorums who think their opinion is more important, who think that because they don't like a thing no one should, who want to make you feel bad about liking something.

Call bullshit on them. All these articles are is nothing more than someone looking down their nose at you. Don't put up with that. Think for yourself. Know what you like, and don't let someone else's prejudices get in the way of that.

At this point, those sorts of articles are just clickbait. And the people who write those sorts of articles are just turd sandwiches.