Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Why I write.

Why do you write?

That's me on the far right working the panel. :)
For me, there are a lot of reasons: because it makes me happy, because I can't not do it, because if I don't get these characters out of my head my mind will explode. The list goes on, but publishing has brought another layer to that list. It's brought readers, and in the few months that my book has been out, I've learned how big a role they play in my reason WHY.

From online reviews to social media posts to encouraging emails in my inbox, it's been such a neat experience to hear how words I've written affect those who read it. Writing can be such a lonely endeavor, and making a connection with others who share a love for my story is a really neat thing.

Teen Ilima
I've been left in tears a few times reading about how my character and story has affected some readers, especially teens. I feel a strange combination of love, humility, and joy that I get to be a part of that experience.

So thank you, readers, for bringing a special WHY into the reason I write.

What books have deeply affected you?

What else I've been up to...

I wrote a Dear Teen Me letter to my fifteen-year-old self in which I share advice on the struggle ahead. There are also some great teen pictures of yours truly. :)

I was on a panel at FanX talking about diversity in the book community. It was my first Comic Con experience and the highlight had to be meeting Steven Yeun (Glen from The Walking Dead). Who's ready for the premiere this Sunday?

My husband Dan, Glen, and me. :)

I enjoyed this vlogger's review of Remake. It starts at around 2:30. I'm always relieved to hear people say Nine's naiveness is funny because I thought so too, ha.

Me and Jenn Johansson
I picked up a couple of great books last week from blogger friends: CUT ME FREE by Jenn Johansson and WOVEN by David Powers King...both of them signed! I also can't wait to buy SHUTTER by Courtney Alameda. So excited for new books!

Registration has gone live for WIFYR (Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers). I will be teaching an afternoon class this year. If you're serious about writing for children, this is the conference for you!

I've shared some artwork from my daughter on the blog before, but did you know she's a talented music composer? As in one of her songs will be featured on an album soon and she'll release her own album later this year. She's so talented it blows my mind. The book I'm currently drafting has a musician who writes a song for my main character and I've been working with my daughter on creating the music and lyrics. Guys, it's so amazing. I can't tell you how excited I am to have an actual song to go along with the one in my book. Hopefully I can share it here soon. :)

At DPK's and Michael's launch with Emily King, Elana Johnson,
Erin Summerill, and Caitlyn McFarland.

What have you been up to?

Floating through the slipstream...


Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Happy release day to my good friend David's debut novel, WOVEN. I've read this one and can assure you it's wonderful. Here's my review from Goodreads:

"A refreshingly original fantasy, WOVEN was an enjoyable read full of adventure, romance, and unforgettable characters. I really liked the sewing/textile based world and creative. And I can honestly say this is the first time I've had a literary crush on a ghost--I LOVE Nels. :) Well done." 
Five stars!

Congrats David! Want to check it out? Here's some info about the book:

WOVEN by Michael Jensen and David Powers King, published by Scholastic

Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.

All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.

Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.

Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.

Available now wherever books are sold


About the Authors:

Michael Jensen is a graduate of Brigham Young University’s prestigious music, dance, and theater program. Michael taught voice at BYU before establishing his own vocal instruction studio. In addition to being an imaginative storyteller, Michael is an accomplished composer and vocalist. He lives in Salt Lake City with his husband and their four dogs.

Photo credit: Michael Schoenfeld


David Powers King was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to become a writer. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He now lives in the mountain West with his wife and three children.

Photo credit: Katie Pyne Rasmussen


Praise for Woven:
"It’s not often that you read a fantasy that feels as epic and original as Woven by King and Jensen. Clever, well-paced, and full of intrigue, it’s a superb read. Highly recommended."
— James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner
"WOVEN reads like a lost classic that was somehow just rediscovered. It has the feel of a comfortable, familiar blanket that's somehow been newly-made of the brightest, most original material possible, and it is pure pleasure to read."
 James A. Owen, author & illustrator of Here, There Be Dragons
"The worldbuilding is dynamic, original and intriguing … and the characters, appealing. A sure bet for high-fantasy fans." — Kirkus Reviews
"This brisk adventure from first-time authors Jensen and King is a charming quest tale in classic fantasy tradition." — Publisher’s Weekly

Rafflecopper Giveaway Link (One of 5 copies of Woven – signed by both authors):
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 is going to rock!

I seem to be down to one post a month. Sheesh. Apologies. Life is crazy and apparently blogging has taken a back seat for now. I wanted to take a minute to catch people up with what's been happening with me, but mostly I want to know about YOU. So please let me know what you've been up to in the comments!

Da beach, PCC, Pali look-out,
and Angel's shave ice
I spent Christmas in Hawaii. I know, poor me. It was a wonderful break and it flew by, but what a blessing to spend time with my family. I already miss them (and the beach) so much!

While there, an article about me came out in the local newspaper, so I was able to get a physical copy of it. Fun! Here's a link to the article.

My friend and fellow Shadow Mountain author Deborah Lytton interviewed me and you can check that out here. Her book SILENCE is out in a couple of months and you'll hear me gush about it closer to release. So so good!

Also, remember that audiobook of REMAKE I told you about? The voice actress blew me away. Listening to her bring Nine and all my favorite characters to life was such a treat. It's available on Audible and you can listen to a sample here.

Nine made it in the paper. 
If you're in Utah, registration has gone live for Writing For Charity. This will be my first year participating on a panel and I'd love to see some familiar faces. The best part is all proceeds go toward a great cause. You can register here.

2015 is going to be a great (and busy year) with another book release, teaching at several writing conferences, book signings, a secret project I can't wait to tell you about, and most of all--more writing. I can't wait!

What are your plans/goals for 2015? And remember to tell me what you've been up to.

River, won't you take me out into the sea
So I can get a good look back at the land that grounds me

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lots of news to share!

I found my book at Costco!
(In excellent company, too)
First off I have a guest post up at Thinking Through Our Fingers today where I talk about how to pull off really big stakes in a story. I'd love for you to check it out and leave a comment.

The amazing Elana Johnson gave my book her author endorsement. She's so cool! Here's what she said:

"From thrilling action, to sweet romance, to intriguing decisions that must be made, REMAKE is a brilliant debut not to be missed." 
- Elana Johnson, author of the POSSESSION series

Getting my signing face on.
Thanks, Elana!

I've been doing several author signings lately. Check out the Events tab to see where I've been and where I'll be. I have two more signings left in Utah this year, so if you're in the area...come and see me!

Speaking of events, I am set to teach at two writing conferences next spring. In April I'll be at Teen Author Boot Camp, a writing conference for teens. I'm talking about How to Write the "Unputdownable" Story. And in May I'll be at Storymakers running a bootcamp group and teaching a class on Diversity. So excited for these!

More fun news...Remake is going to be an audiobook! Not only that, but the voice actress is Kirsten Potter, the same person who did the audiobook for IF I STAY (Gayle Forman) and I'm totally giddy about it. She's so good. I can't wait to hear the whole thing!

My husband designed the site and did a fabulous job!

And last but not least Remake has a website! I love it so much I want to hug it and and squeeze it and keep it under my pillow at night. But alas I'll have to be satisfied sharing it with you all. Please check it out and tell me what you think!

I gave it all...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Remember that one time my post went viral...

It was a year ago and I shared this post on twitter and @NaNoWriMo retweeted me to their bajillion followers and I was instantly super famous...or at least as close as I'll ever get to going viral, haha. ;) To this day it is by far my most popular blogpost read by thousands of people and still one of my favs.

So while I'm not participating in Nano this year (I just drafted a 100K word book in two months and I'm taking a break), I'm a big believer in the magic of Nanowrimo and thought I'd share that poem again as a way to say "Go go go!" to all of you doing the crazy Nano dance this month.

10 Things I Hate About NaNoWriMo

I hate the way you're hard to spell and even worse to say.
I hate it when your site goes down in the middle of the day.
I hate the month you choose to live.
I hate your taunting graph.
I hate how all my buddies read my word count with a laugh.
I hate how much my hands hurt and my eyes and rear end too.
I hate that all my words are crap.
I hate staying up 'til two.
I hate it when you're over and my life's no longer stalled.
But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

Hang in there all. You can do it! Butt in chair. ;) I believe in you!

How many of you are doing Nano this year? Tell me how it's going!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Launch Party!

I'm crawling out of my revision cave *waves to the sunshine* for a few minutes to share the awesomeness that was my launch party day.

I thought my official release day was epic; I was flooded with friend well wishes and book reviews all day long with no time to breathe. But party day was craaazzy.

I woke up at 3:30 am to get to the ABC4 Studios for a live interview later that morning:

After a quick breakfast with my publicist, I headed to a radio station for a twenty-minute interview that was a ton of fun:

I had a few minutes to spare and went home to attempt a nap, but I mostly just sat still for an hour and tried to rest the best I could. Then I was off to another live TV interview on CBS:

Then it was launch party time at The King's English. I talked for a bit, my friend and CP Emily (who flew in from San Francisco just for my launch) read some of my book, I made a couple of secret announcements about Remake (that I hope to share with you all soon), and I answered lots of questions from the audience.

My CP Katie gave me and "Nine" a happy book birthday cupcake!

Emily and her gorgeous radio voice.

The space was filled to capacity, and the room in back was packed too--standing room only! So cool.

Then it was signing time, which lasted over an hour but flew by quickly. So much fun to see friends, family, writers, strangers, my publisher peeps, etc. who all came out to support me. Hopefully everyone got a chance to mingle and snack while they waited. I wish I could have chatted with everyone!

My favorite fan of the night...and the only one I let get that close aka my husband. :)

The King's English was fantastic, of course. They said they ordered way more books than they usually do for a launch because they had a feeling it might be crowded. But the turnout was still way more than they expected and they only had a few books left at the end of the night. My amazing wonderful spectacular publisher, Shadow Mountain, set up a rockin' party for me, and they all came out to support me too. So awesome!


As if that wasn't enough, a few of my writer friends and I went out to eat afterwards. So. Much. Fun. It's kind of a miracle I didn't fall asleep driving home, whew.

My CPs Emily, Katie, and Robin(who was back in NC with a newborn).

David, Katie, Angie, Emily P, Robin, Christy, Emily K, me, Celesta.

All in all, I can't think of how the day could have been any better. It's a once in a life time experience that I will never forget, and I'm thrilled with how the day went. Thanks again for all of my friends who came out to support REMAKE!!!

*Crawls back into revision cave*