Monday, January 30, 2017

Happy Birthday to me: my new writing space!

For my 40th birthday (last month), my husband wanted to give me my dream office space. As in no holds barred, dream up what I want, and we're going to make this happen. I'm thrilled to say we're DONE with the renovation and I couldn't be more excited. This is what my office looked like before. Painting over red walls was not easy, but I love the brighter space.

I REALLY wanted a page from one of my books on the wall, so using an overhead projector and a lot of sharpies, we made this happen. It took a LONG time, but it was so so worth it. The text is the prologue to Remake, and I can look at it as I sit from my writing desk. I love that it's a call to arms, a plea to get to work without excuses and do what you're meant to do...the perfect motivation for writing.


We bought and put together these shelves from Target. I had to purge my book collection a bit. We have a library in the house, but these are mostly friends' and YA books which I like to keep close. I also like that I can tuck away things I don't want to see behind cabinet doors.


Lim is my nickname, what my family calls me, and my husband came up with my motto: loved, inspired, and motivated, using each of those letters. He says that's exactly what he wants me to feel when I enter my writing space: loved, inspired, and motivated. I love that so much! So I ordered the wooden word cutouts on Etsy and glued them onto these giant letters that were on clearance at Hobby Lobby. Score!

Here's a close-up of my middle shelf which shows off my books. Some of them are traditionally published, and several are books I've shelved (my early writing) which will never be published. But I love glancing at them and celebrating all that I've accomplished as a writer and how far I've come.


This wood panel wall is AMAZING. It's reclaimed weathered wood we purchased from Stikwood. My father and husband spent an entire Saturday cutting and installing the wood, and it's a perfect accent wall that adds so much character to the space. My favorite part is the DAN + LIM heart my husband carved into the wood with his knife. I love it so much!


Here's my wall of inspiration. It's a collage of boards and displays filled with writing goals and plans I can work from as I write. There's a calendar with my writing goals for the month, character pics from the book I'm currently writing, book outline, inspirational quotes, etc. The small details like fan-made Remake art, a wreath made out of pages from Harry Potter, an arrow my daughter made herself, and a small display of awards my books have earned make it a happy and personal space for me.



I love my new clock along with the octopus my parents gave me (referencing Remake) and Firefly quote. Also a close-up of my plotting board and an inspirational quote from J.K. Rowling that I love.


Scenes from my latest book and a close-up of my new chair. I kept the same desk I had before because I love the size and the pages of Pride and Prejudice I decoupaged on the surface. I can read about Mr. Darcy all day if I want. :)


This is where I like to snuggle up and read. Heaven.


I know I'm seriously blessed to be able to have everything I ever wanted in a writing space. Here's to hopefully many books being written in this room.

If you could have your dream writing space, what would it look like?

I'm waking up.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Latest news: Covers, Awards, Appearances, and more!

Life has been eventful lately, as always. Here are some recent book/writing-related news:

The RESIST paperback has a cover and a release date! Coming July 2017 from Simon Pulse. Tada!


I love it so much, and it goes so well with the first one. It's very exciting!

RESIST has also been nominated for a Whitney Award! REMAKE became a finalist so I'm crossing my fingers that book two does well.


I was invited to give a guest lecture at BYU (my alma mater) on writing unputdownable stories. It was a wonderful experience and a joy to be back on campus. One of my favorite things is to speak to aspiring writers who share my love of stories.


My son built us a Little Free Library! I've always wanted one and am so so thrilled. People have been stopping and trading books every day. So fun!


I have a guest post up on Thinking Through Our Fingers about writing compelling hooks. I wrote another guest post on Adventures in YA Publishing about finding your tribe.


I spied RESIST in the Deseret Book catalogue. Cool!


And of course I've been writing between everything else. Here are local authors around my dinner table getting their write on.


I do have a couple of book signings coming up soon. The first is on November 18, 7pm at The Printed Garden in Sandy, UT for a reading, Q&A and signing for RESIST.

The second is November 22, 7pm at the Holladay Public Library, UT. This free event is called "Apple Pie With Authors." Guests can grab a piece of complementary apple pie and join an informal discussion with authors Tess Hilmo, Bobbie Pyron, Carol Lynch Williams, and me. :) We'll be talking about our newest books and answering your questions about writing, publishing, and pretty much anything else you'd like to talk about!

And possibly the neatest thing that has happened to me lately: a couple of weeks ago we had solar panels installed on my house. The solar company also came inside to replace all of our light bulbs with energy-saving LED lights. When one of the installers walked into my writing office to change the bulbs, she saw a couple of shelves filled with my author copies of REMAKE and RESIST. When she realized I was the author, she totally started fan-girling. She couldn't believe I wrote those books she'd read and loved, and that she was actually standing in the room where I wrote them. That was a surreal experience for sure!

While I post updates on this blog periodically, you can get more timely info by following me on Twitter or Instagram. Both accounts are @ilimaktodd.

Happy Holidays!

I've been warned enough.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Salt Lake Comic Con 2016

I had a blast last weekend at Salt Lake Comic Con. It is always such a fun event, and I am always exhausted by the end of those three days, ha!

This year was the first time I dressed up (I was the wall from Stranger Things) and I was shocked at how many people laughed and screamed and got so excited when they saw my costume. I must have had my picture taken a hundred times...it was a lot of fun to connect with fellow fans of the show. Here are a few highlights from the weekend:

I got to see Coldplay in concert the night before Comic Con started.
What a treat!

Lennie James has the most dreamy British accent.
I could listen to him talk forever about upcoming Walking Dead teasers.

I am SO one of those people who takes a picture of her food 
to remember how good it was.
And this calamari salad from a food truck outside the convention was AMAZING.

If you're a Stranger Things fan you'll get this one.
We found this just randomly hanging on the wall.
So hilarious!

It's Theron on display at the Shadow Mountain Booth!
I got to do a couple of book signings during the con.
I love getting to talk to fans about my books.

My daughter Emma dressed up as Joyce Byers to go along with my Wall costume.
Here we are with one of the many Elevens we saw during the event.

Had to snap a picture of my favorite cosplay.
Doesn't this guy look so much like Kylo Ren?
It's creepy.

I got to meet and talk to Gwenda Bond and Ally Carter!
They are so down to earth and friendly, 

and they both adored my Stranger Things cosplay.
It's hard to tell but I'm fangirl screaming on the inside. :)

Me and my gorgeous crit partner and friend, Kathryn Purdie.

We got to meet Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven on Stranger Things.
She was the most adorable thing ever talking in her British accent
and helping Emma figure out how to hold her phone for the pic. 

On a panel with James Owen, Jen Jenkins, Matt Kirby, and Leigh Statham
talking all things world-building.

Some serious writer wisdom spouting from my mouth. (I wish, lol)

On a panel with fellow creatives talking about the importance of support systems.
This one was neat because I mentioned how I listened to James Owen once
give a motivational speech about creating art and that it changed my life,
and he was sitting right next to me on the panel.
So neat to be surrounded by such amazing talent.


After a whirlwind week I am off for a whirlwind trip to the Mediterranean, starting with Barcelona! I can't wait!


I'll be lying right by your side in Barcelona


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Resist Giveaway!

There's a giveaway happening right now on Emily King's blog for a signed copy of RESIST. Check it out!

http://getbusywriting.blogspot.com/2016/08/giveawaysigned-copy-of-resist.html

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Launch Party and July Recap!

July has been a CRAZY month for me all around, both in my personal and writing life. I'm anxious for things to slow down just a tad this month, but I definitely feel blessed and am grateful for all the things going right. Here are a few fun writerly highlights of the past few weeks:


I have a new agent! After querying a new project and receiving a few offers of representation, I decided to sign with Lane Heymont of The Seymour Agency. I'm super excited to work with him and see where this new adventure will take us. Yay!


The RESIST launch party was a huge success. We had a great crowd, live entertainment, delicious food, face painting, crafts and games for the kids, and a fun photo booth to capture it all. And my sister-in-law surprised me with a gorgeous haku lei. I'm so grateful to everyone who came out to support me. It was a day I will never forget! You can see all the photos from the event here.


I have a blogpost up on Thinking Through Our Fingers that is really a miniature version of what I talked about at the launch party. So if you missed it, you can read it here.


I got to talk on a panel and sign books with these lovely YA authors (L to R Mackenzi Lee, Kathryn Purdie, and Sara Larson) at my favorite bookstore, The King's English. It was like 97 degrees outside but so many readers came out to support us anyway. Thank you!


RESIST was in the local newspaper. It was such a fun surprise! Thanks to friends who cut out the article and sent it to me. Also, thanks to everyone taking pictures of Resist and the Remake paperback out in the wild. It's so fun to see my books on shelves all over the country!


I've already received many emails from fans who are loving book two in this series, and I couldn't be more grateful for everyone who has taken the time to purchase and read it. Thank you thank you!
I have been the kindest me, that I can be...
P.S. If you haven't seen "A Girl Like Her" on Netflix, I HIGHLY recommend it. So so good.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Release Day for Resist!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! The timing is perfect, because today RESIST (sequel to Remake) is officially out in the world. What better time is there to head back to Freedom Province? :) The hardcover is beautiful, and it's available as an ebook and audiobook as well. I'm so glad I finally get to share Theron's story with the world. Here's a little more about it along with a few purchase links.

Having been rescued, Remade, and returned to Freedom, Theron must now face a life without Nine. Though he's chosen to be a healer, he uses all the vices Freedom affords to try and dull the pain of losing Nine. But he can't find the peace he so desperately needs. Until he meets Catcher, a man who shows him the dark truths behind Freedom's Batcher program. From him, Theron learns what it means to be a leader and a father. When he falls in love with a captured rebel named Pua, Theron must choose: Freedom and its easy pleasures, or a life that is truly free but full of hardships and decisions.


As if that wasn't enough, REMAKE is available as a paperback today from Simon Pulse as well. It's a party all around! Here it is in all its beauty with more purchase links.

When seventeen-year-old Nine realizes that the promised freedom of Remake Day is a lie, her courage, heart, and beliefs are put to the test as she fights to regain control of her future.

Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She is worried about her upcoming Remake Day. That’s the day when she and the others in her batch will leave Freedom Province and fly to the Remake facility. There they can choose who—and what—they want to be. Everything from hair color to name to occupation to gender is theirs to select. Sounds perfect…but is it?

When something goes terribly wrong, Nine discovers that everything she thought she knew to be true about life outside of the Freedom Providence is actually a lie. Things that she’d been told were bad can be good, and decisions that she thought were hers to make have already been made for her.

Pulled between two worlds and two lives, Nine will have to decide what’s most important for her and her future. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?

I spy Theron at my local Costco. :)
Don't forget I'll be at the American Fork Public library on the 16th at 2pm for the RESIST launch party. Everyone is invited to this free family event! There will be lots of giveaways, games, crafts, live entertainment, and desserts! Here's a link to the event page on Facebook.



Also, I'm doing a YA panel and book signing on the 27th at The King's English in SLC with Mackenzi Lee, Sara Larson, and Kathryn Purdie. Hope to see some of you there! Event link.



I hope you're having a great summer so far! Isn't it flying by so fast?

You taught me the courage of stars.