Friday, March 25

The Rita Awards

About 90 minutes ago, I learned that I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE is a finalist in two categories for the Romance Writers of America's Rita Awards -- Best First Book and Best YA Romance -- and my hands have not stopped shaking yet.

From their website:

The purpose of the RITA® contest is to promote excellence in the romance 
genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas.

The award itself is a golden statuette named after RWA's first president, 
Rita Clay Estrada, and has become the symbol for excellence in published 
romance fiction.

And in the words of the lovely Tina Ferraro, whose ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS was a 2010 Rita Awards Finalist, "This is top honors in the romance writing world."  So naturally I'm a nervous wreck.  A grateful one.  An overwhelmed one, but both nervous and a wreck nonetheless.  I think I have more to say about this, but since I'm fuzzy-headed at the moment from too much adrenaline flooding my system, I'll have to write more later.

Tuesday, March 22

My 2011 Reading List . . . So Far

1.  The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons*
2.  The Fall of the House of Walworth  by Geoffrey O'Brien*
3.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
4.  When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
5.  Slaughterhouse Five (again) by Kurt Vonnegut
6.  Cheerful Money by Tad Friend*
7.  Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh

Reading Now:
1.  Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein
2.  Archie and Amelie by Donna M. Lucey*
3.  Second Sight by Cheryl Klein*

On Deck:
1.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
2.  Daughter of Boston by Caroline Healy Dall*
3.  Scoop by Evelyn Waugh


Saturday, March 19

The Saturday Seven

My Week in 7 Words

midweek party
more workmen

Monday, March 14

Monday's Reader Question

"Do you have another book coming out?"

Finally, I am able to say yes!  I wanted to wait until the ink was dry on the contract, which it is, so it's official.

KISSING MR. GLASER will be published sometime in 2013, but since the world is going to end in 2012, according to the Mayan calendar, no one but my agent, editor and husband will actually ever read this book.

I'm so irked with the Mayans.  They ruin everything.

But in the event they or their interpreters are wrong, KISSING MR. GLASER will be out in 2013, which sounds like a long time to wait, but I waited almost exactly 2 years between signing the contract for I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE and its publication, and, in retrospect, that time -- like all time, I'm finding -- passed very quickly.

In the meantime, I'm working on a third and will write more about that when, like KISSING MR. GLASER, I have something official to convey.  I don't use the word convey very often, but I like how it sounds here -- stiff, lofty and in keeping with the formality of legal contracts.  And speaking of contracts, I asked for a 'pony clause.'  If I sell X number of copies, the publisher has to buy me a pony, but that didn't make it into the final document.

Every year for Christmas, when I was little, I asked for a pony.  And every Christmas morning . . . no pony.

Quick Synopsis of KISSING MR. GLASER:  Brainy 16-year-old Josie Sheridan falls in love with a guy who falls in love with her older sister who is engaged to a man Josie hates.  When Josie's sister appears to return the feelings of Josie's love interest, Josie finds herself armed with the ammunition she has been looking for that will stop her sister's wedding.  But emotions cloud Josie's normally logical mind, and she  struggles to balance her feelings with her sister's.  At the same time, she must learn what to do when the person she loves might never love her back.

(Pre-order before the end of the world, 2012.)

Saturday, March 12

The Saturday Seven

(My week in 7 words)

It's official.  Second book contract is signed!

Friday, March 11

My Editor's New Book


From the website for SECOND SIGHT

Whether you dream of writing a book for children or young adults, or you want to take a finished manuscript to the next level, it always helps to get a fresh point of view. Try a little Second Sight.
In this collection of talks, a professional editor offers insights from the other side of the publishing desk on a wide range of writerly topics:
+ Terrific first lines and how they got that way
+ What makes a strong picture book manuscript
+ Why the Harry Potter series was such a tremendous success
+ Finding the emotional heart of your story
Worksheets and checklists for building characters and bolstering plot
+ The Annotated Query Letter from Hell
+ And an Annotated Query Letter That Does It Right
With its wit, intelligence, and practical tools for analyzing and revising your work, Second Sight will be a first resource for writers of children’s and young adult fiction.

Cheryl has what can only be described as a stellar reputation in the publishing world, and more than once, when I've told another writer or aspiring writer that she is my editor, the response has been,  "You are so lucky.  I would love to work with Cheryl Klein."  Naturally, of course, I was completely intimidated by her reputation when I began working with her, but I quickly discovered she has the loveliest combination of qualities -- a unique balance of brilliance, approachability, humor and talent -- and I soon found myself saying,  "I am so lucky.  I love to work with Cheryl Klein."  And when she said she was writing a book, I knew I wanted a copy before I knew what the topic was.  Fortunately, it's not about lima beans.  (See my post Personal Dictionary K-O)  But even if it had been, Cheryl would have made it warm and wonderful in a way only she can.
My copy is fast on its way from My Book Orders, and when it arrives -- after I read it -- it will go on the shelf where I keep books by authors I know, books I show off to friends at parties here as my own version of,  "I'm with the band."  
I was never with the band, but I think this is much cooler.