Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cover Love!

A couple years ago, at a writer's conference, a few of my best writer pals and I were hanging out, chatting, and sharing bits of our WiPs. I clearly remember my friend Jenn Johansson reading a snippet of hers, a book called INSOMNIA. I thought, this book will go places.

Then, a few months later, I read the book, and I KNEW it would go places.

And sure enough, I was right! (I have a sense about these things, people.) INSOMNIA is creepy, dark, and heart-pounding. And now it has an amazing cover to match!

CLICK HERE to see what I mean, and try to tell me that isn't the creepycoolest cover you've seen in, like, ever.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stick Figure Bliss

So, as you may know, I've joined the awesome ladies at the Friday the Thirteeners blog. We're a group of authors debuting in 2013. They're awesome. I love them. :)

Anyway, as part of the blog, each week we play a round of truth or dare with our readers. Well, I took my first dare this week. I had to draw a scene from my book in story board format. And since I did all the work already, I might as well post here on my woebegone little blog.

So, with no further ado, I present, a scene from RELIC!

If my stick figure mediocrity hasn't scared you away, you can always go add RELIC on GoodReads.  Just sayin'. ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Amazing News!

Wow. I can't believe I'm actually writing this post, guys. It's one of those key moments that every bright-eyed newb writer dreams of. I'm sure, years ago, I would have planned a long, gushy post, adorned with many exclamation points and PHRASES IN ALL CAPS to relay this news.

Today, I find myself at a lack for words. So I'll let Publisher's Marketplace do the talking for me:

  I'm just so grateful. Grateful, happy, thrilled, and rather moved, actually. (Tears may have been shed in the writing of this little post.) In the coming days, I'll write more about getting to this moment. Though, I do have to include one of my other favorite key moments in this post. The contract signing photo! My favorite!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cover Reveal! PIVOT POINT

GUYS. So, I have this friend, Kasie West, who is pretty much the bomb.

No, it's true. Not only is she incredibly fun, nice, and down to earth, she's also an absolutely brilliant writer. I was lucky enough to read her debut novel, PIVOT POINT, years ago. Back when she was slogging through the query trenches, hoping and dreaming. I knew PIVOT POINT would take off. It was too amazing not to. And it has!

I'm SO excited for her to finally be able to reveal her cover to the world. Go marvel! Go gaze! Go ooo and ahhh!

And as you do all those things, know this: the actual book is even MORE amazing than that gorgeous cover.

Are you dying for February 12th yet? Have you already made a note of what your husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend/lover/secret admirer is going to get you for Valentines Day? GOOD. Carry on then.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


That's right. It's Jenn Party time! My amazing friend sold her amazing book INSOMNIA once again! For those of you not keeping track we have Germany, Italy, and now . . .


From PM:

 J.R. Johansson's INSOMNIA, about a teen boy who thought spending every night trapped in other people's dreams was bad, but discovers that losing control of his own body and mind is so much worse, to Brian Farrey at Flux, ina two-book deal, for publication in 2013, by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (NA). Foreign: Taryn Fagerness Agency Film: Brandy Rivers at Gersh

BOOM. Let me tell you guys. I've read this book. It's FREAKYAWESOMETACULAR. (Yes, that's a word.) I can't wait to buy it, put it on my YA shelf, and have it scare all the other YA books around it.

Go on over and happy dance with Jenn!

btw, if I'm going to have to keep throwing these Jenn Parties to celebrate her various sales, I'm going to need to seriously stock up on Dr. Pepper.

(Oh who am I kidding, my house is stocked with enough Dr. Pepper to survive the apocalypse. But this is beside the point . . .)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Haters gonna . . .

So, did you guys realize the Hunger Games movie came out this weekend? I know, right? Who knew???

*pauses while your sarcasm detection meter explodes*

Seriously now, I think we can all agree that The Hunger Games is probably the "biggest deal" in teen books right now, thanks to the premiere of the movie. I'm amazed to see the range of my friends and acquaintances who are all pumped up about the books and or movie. Can we agree HG is approaching Twilight/Harry Potter status?

And here's the interesting part. With this huge surge in the awareness on the fabric of pop culture, out have trotted the haters. Haters! Where would we be without them? (Sorry, I'm really doing a number on your sarcasm meter today.)

I've formulated a theory over the years. Here's the scenario.

1-Neat Book comes out.
2-Neat Book is neat, so it gathers fans.
3-Neat Book grows rapidly in popularity. As with any books, there are a few people who aren't fans, but by and in large, people like or love it.
4-Neat Book gets so huge they decide to make a movie of it.
5-Neat Book is delivered to the proletarian masses.
7-Rabid fans of Neat Book defend to the death. Haters sneer at their pathetic attempts, become even more convinced they're right.
8-Eventually, when each side is sick enough of each other, the war dies down.
9-Like the final step in the grief cycle, we end with acceptance.

I propose to you that Harry Potter has gone through such a progression. He's enjoying step 9 now. Twilight as well, though I'd say she's between step 7 and step 8. And now The Hunger Games. I'm thinking we're arriving at step 6. I've seen a marked up tick in people bashing The Hunger Games in recent months.

All of this makes me think. So here's the question I pose to you, gentle reader. Does a book's intense fame create the haters? Or does that fame simply introduce it to a larger swathe of the population, some of which would have hated it regardless? It's an interesting question to consider.

Sometimes I wonder if people consider fame in the Teen Book market a "zero sum game." Sociologist Max Weber defines this as a fixation some social groups have that "there is only a limited amount of prestige for its members to share in and only a fixed quantity of attention, authority and material resources that its members can give to each other. Status is a relative value, so for someone to rise in status, another person must fall."

Let me be clear. I'm not saying that the only reason someone might dislike a popular book is jealousy. Au contraire, mon ami. I'm simply pondering the phenomenon of a huge book gaining a sudden, swift increase in rather vocal haters. To quote the Double Rainbow Guy: What does it mean???

What do you think? A cookie to all who share their wise insights in the comments section.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Writing, Love, and other Scary Things

I know, right? I'm blogging. What's up with that?

Truth is, as should be obvious by now, ye old blog has taken a far back seat to other social networks in my world. You can find all the Renee you need on Twitter. I promise, I'm WAY more active there. Also, I'm on Facebook. But that said, this blog isn't going away. It may get a makeover in the coming weeks, but I'll still keep her around for the occasional post of exciting updates, (hopefully I have some of those,) or random thoughts on my mind, (like the blog post you are about to read.)

So, without further ado, I give you random thoughts . . . *clears throat*

Writing and dating. Oh, the many ways they are similar. (If I were a more diligent and dedicated blogger, I would have links to my favorite posts from other writers on the subject, but alas.)

I've done a lot of thinking lately about one particular way the metaphor of writing=dating is applicable to me. To start, let me give you a picture of what I was like when I was younger and single. To quote the cliche: I wore my heart on my sleeve. And I gave that heart away freely. (Definitely too freely, but that's a whole different post . . .) I've always been open with my feelings and opinions, and dating was no different. Once I met a guy I connected with, I plunged in without hesitation. I fell in love many times, and I guess I'm not ashamed of that. Being open to love is a good thing, right?

With writing, strangely, it's been completely the opposite. For whatever reason, all that open, dive-into-your-feeling mindset went out the window. I was one of those girls in the RomComs who's "afraid to love." I built up a wall around my heart, REFUSING to let any book in. I told myself I was being "realistic and business-like" about it all. I wasn't getting swept away. I was strong, calm, and rational.

Until now.

Guys, I'm scared. I'm scared because I've let a book in. Well, technically, I let it in last summer, but this feeling isn't going away. I'm so very much in love with this book. As I prepare myself to go on sub again, I'm trying to steel up my heart and emotionally detach like I always do, but I can't do it. I also can't ward off the lovely dreams that drift into my mind and heart when I'm not paying attention.

At first, it was TERRIFYING. It still is some moments.

But you know? I think it's time. After the YEARS I've put into writing, it's time I really fought for my dreams. It's time I believed in myself. It's time to let myself fall in love. So here I go. Standing on the edge of the cliff. Eyes closed, heart full, diving in head first.

And I don't regret a thing.