Dec 9, 2013

going global

So my manuscripts have been doing a bit of international traveling!

THE WALLED CITY has been picked up by France (Jean Claude Lattes), Germany (Rowolht Verlag), Norway (Cappelen Damm) and Brazil (Editora Schwarcz)!!!

France and Brazil also picked up the sekrit duology scheduled to come out a year after THE WALLED CITY.

So many beautiful and wonderful places! I'm beyond excited at the thought of having my words translated so international friends can read them! AND I'm excited to see different countries takes on the covers (though the US one is AWESOME (sadly, can't share yet)).

Nov 25, 2013

ARC winners

My three months three ARCs jubilee giveaway has come to a close! Many thanks to all who entered and showed their very great anticipatory enthusiasm. Without further ado, here are the winners, chosen by a highly functional numbers randomizer!

Twitter: @kellisamberlee_

Tumblr: tenismydoctor

New follower: @suekitty13

Three ALL THAT GLOWS are ready to fly/media mail their way to you! A huge congrats!

If you didn't win, fret not! There are still opportunities to snag an ALL THAT GLOWS ARC! There is currently a Goodreads giveaway sponsored by HarperTeen you can enter! And there will be a few more giveaways as the release date draws closer!

Nov 14, 2013

ARC giveaway!!!

So, it is November 14th, which means that it's LESS THAN 3 MONTHS until ALL THAT GLOWS hits a bookstore near you on February 11th, 2014!

*book shimmy!*

I happen to have some advanced review copies burning a hole in my proverbial pocket, so to celebrate the nearness of release day I'll bye hosting an ARC giveaway! If you want a chance to read ALL THAT GLOWS before it hits bookshelves you should be all over this!

I have three advanced review copies of ALL THAT GLOWS that I will personalize and sign for the winners.

These pretties!

The contest will be open from November 15th to midnight EST November 24th. It is open to US & Canada.

Since there are three ARCs, there are three ways to win:

Twitter: One copy will be given to a random person who tweets the following. You may tweet once per day (and thus get one entry per day!).

Faeries, British royalty & paparazzi! 's ALL THAT GLOWS comes out 2/11/14. RT to win an ARC! Details here:

Tumblr: reTumbl this post. Again. Only one reblog per person per day.

Follow me: On Twitter or on Tumblr. Or both. I will pick one random entry out of my new followers from November 15th on for this ARC.

I think that about covers my bases! Best of luck!!! If there are any questions please leave them in the comments!

UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that the tweet was just a few characters too long, so I revised it with a shortened link! Feel free to use the old one or the new!

Oct 27, 2013

joy in the small things

This past week hasn't been all blood, sweat and revisions. Mostly.

Sometimes I think my work habits slide into the territory of "workaholic." Taking time to relax and unwind can be a challenge that's even more murky as a full-time writer working from home. Especially when faced with deadlines.

But relaxation and down time is crucial for me, even in the tightest of deadlines. I often find I become less productive when I work without taking a break. Days off give my brain time to breathe and collect itself and give me some perspective on the words I spend hours and hours trying to perfect.

This weekend my day off consisted of a bluegrass festival on a saltmarsh. Complete with boiled peanuts:


There's just something about the Lowcountry salt marsh that feeds the soul and pours the words back in. It was so, so good. (I'm at the 2/3rds way point with this revision. Which basically feels like it will never ever end. Only one of us can survive, and right now the manuscript seems very vicious...)

I've also been detoxing with other forms of art. I love drawing, because for me I don't feel any stress to be good at it. I don't have to be. I can just draw and enjoy it. This week I've been working on a Sharpie whale tail.

I'm not quite finished with it, but when I am I'll show you the final product.

Mkay. Off to the revision cave until next Sunday. I have to get these edits done in time for YALLfest! Will I see you there this year??

Oct 23, 2013

being a tease

Guys, I just saw cover mock-ups for THE WALLED CITY and oh-my-goodness if they're not wicked gorgeous!!!

So far glimpsing covers for the first time has been my absolute favorite part of being an author. I've been super lucky in that department. It's really amazing and surreal to see something from your head expressed in a visual art form. The Walled City is also an incredibly rich, visual novel, so the cover artists had a lot to draw from.

BUT... I can't show you yet. :( Secrets must be kept. Anticipation must be built. All that jazz.

Rest assured, as soon as I can share I'll be plastering it over the rooftops.

I am now just over the halfway point with ALL THAT GLOWS 2 edits. So far it has involved a lot of loud techno music, munching on mallowpumpkins, researching Arthurian legend and trying to find someone who speaks Manx. But the beastie MS keeps growing. Every time I cut words I add about double. Like that monster Hercules had to fight that keeps growing heads.

And, baby-squirrel update, Phil has thrived at his new wolf-hybrid-less house! In his short squirrel life he has traveled to Virginia AND been to church. Needless to say, I'm quite glad I decided to pick him up from the side of the road and give him a fighting chance.

Oct 16, 2013

the wolf among us.

So I tried really hard this year to be festive and fall-y. And by this I mean that I bought a pumpkin and put it on my porch. I was slightly apprehensive about it being smashed by some middle-schoolers. But it wasn't the rowdy neighborhood children that led to the pumpkin's poor demise...

I came home last night to find wolf-pup happily doing some freelance pumpkin carving with his teeth.

He's taking commissions if you want your own custom wolf-gnawed gourd.

Oct 13, 2013

I'm taking a day off of revisions (All That Glows sequel!), so instead of cleaning my house I've decided to slink back to this blog with a life update.

Where have you been the past one and a half months, Ryan? What have you been doing all this time when you could have been typing letters into the white blog box?

Good questions, interwebs. Good questions.

Writing wise I've been juggling projects (which is hardly new, I might add). THE WALLED CITY has been sent off to copyedits, I added about 15,000 words to sekrit novel (with the help of one of the best pumpkin spice lattes I've ever had*), and dove into revisions for my second Faery novel.

I can smell autumn from here...

As for the rest of the non-writing time:

The husband and I photographed an engagement shoot with a couple who pilots Black Hawks! Ridiculously cool!

 After five years of eating on the couch, we bought a dining room table!**

I rescued a baby squirrel and named him Rackety Sam. I gave him to another foster mama who does not own a wolf-hybrid who named him Phil.

The other reason I passed Rackety Sam/Phil off to a foster mama is because we went to Turks and Caicos for a scuba diving trip! I'd never been diving before, so I had to get scuba certified while I was down there.

All you see is blue...

Some of the prettiest waters I've ever seen.

Of course, when you're a writer, you never really leave work behind. I had one last round of THE WALLED CITY edits to get through in my temporary office.

The dives themselves were amazing! I saw sea turtles, reef sharks, stingrays. I also got stung by fire coral, which was substantially less awesome. On the flight home we had another unexpected surprise. Our layover in Miami was not two hours long, but twenty-four hours long. We made the best of it by going out for Cuban food:

Seafood Paella
We got home from the trip and I found a package from my editing team at Little, Brown by the door. This beauty was inside:

It's a nautilus necklace! This particular seashell plays an awfully big role in THE WALLED CITY. So this is an incredibly thoughtful gift! I've pretty much been wearing it every day!

And I can tell you up front that these next few months will be just as busy. YALLfest is coming up!!! Yay!

Also! If you want to enter for a chance to win an ALL THAT GLOWS ARC, there's a giveaway going on at Goodreads right now.

*legit. If you're ever in Charleston in the fall, visit the Orange Spot Coffee Shop. They'll hook you up.
** We're real adults now. If you couldn't tell.

Aug 26, 2013

breaking radio silence (aka a post of excuses)

So. It's been a while.

I have excuses! I swear! And photographic evidence to back up ALL of them. In fact, maybe it's just better if I let the images do the talking. (A picture's worth a thousand words, right?)

About a month ago I got this in the mail:

First pass pages for ALL THAT GLOWS! For those of you who don't know what FPP are, they're pretty much the final chance the author has to go through the manuscript and change things. It means reading your story for the *^%$-teenth time searching for typos and things you want to change.

BUT when you get to that last page you're DONE!!! And you have a brick of paper that could probably kill someone if you dropped it from ten-stories up.

So, lo and behold, my first completed novel:

About 24 hours after I slipped the death-brick FPP back into the mail, husband and I got on a plane and skipped the country for two and a half weeks. I plan on doing a more extensive post on this once the photos are edited (though this could be a while). But here's the outlined version:

We hung out with my husband's side of the family in Bolivia for a week and a half (his sister lives down there.) We went to the jungle and tramped around looking for anacondas and fished for piranha. And I realized my lifelong dream of seeing a wild capybara! (They're the cutest giant rodents ever!)

Then we scuttled on over to Peru and did a 5 day trek in the Andes around Machu Picchu:

We also got stalked by llamas.

Then I came home to a round of revisions for THE WALLED CITY! AAAH! You guys, I'm so excited about this book I can't even--

Here's my handy revision map. I just finished them up on Saturday.

Meanwhile, during my break from the revision cave, I moved my baby brother into college!!! He's all grown up now. Or at least, he's now responsible for his own diet and schedule! It was so weird being back in a dorm on move-in day. You could smell the sad and excitement and now what the heck do I do oozing from each freshman's room. Don't worry, kids. You're about to start one of the funnest, free-est times of your life!

And then there were a few boat breaks. Where we taught wolf-dog how to swim.

We also determined he's about twenty times the size of a Maltese. (And still growing!)

So yes. That's what's been happening while I've procrastinated posting.

Hopefully the silence won't be so long next time!

Jul 15, 2013

NEWS! (of the great persuasion)

I've been sitting on a bundle of good news for a quite a few weeks now, and today I finally got permission to spill it all.

So. Here's the spilling.

If you're a regular reader of the blog you've probably heard me talk about Cutthroat Novel once or twice. The project I started writing in October 2011 (there's even video proof: Cheating on my WIP). It was such a different story, so unlike anything I've ever seen on bookshelves, that I wasn't really sure if writing it would pay off. But, the world and the characters and their story took my heart and never really gave it back. I believed in the story so much that I even left my former agent (who didn't think she could sell it) and found new representation.

Tracey Adams at Adams Literary believed in Cutthroat Novel just as much as I did, and we sent it out into the world. With fluttering wings, hopes and hearts.

And guess what? It landed.

Alvina Ling at Little, Brown (both the editor and the company are people I've been wanting to work with for a long time!) bought THE WALLED CITY, which they're going to publish in Fall 2014. (Which means I have two books out next year!! *nervous gulp*)

But wait! That's not all! Little, Brown also bought my next two-book series! (Which I am SUPER stoked about.) And THE WALLED CITY has already been picked up by the UK with Orion Children's Books/Indigo.

Phew. That was a lot of spilling. 

You guys, I am so SO happy that I get to share THE WALLED CITY with you. It is without a doubt the book of my heart. And I'm so glad the world will get to see it!

You can read the official write up of the deal here!

You can read the official write of the UK version of the deal here! (<--I talk a little more about the project in this version. Plus my UK editor has some very nice things to say about the book!)

PS: If you're on Goodreads, you can add it here!

Jul 10, 2013

the wonder of ARCs

So. This happened today.

At around 6:00 I got an email from my agent telling me she'd just gotten two ARCs of ALL THAT GLOWS in the mail. So naturally, I spent the next few hours glued to the window, watching for the great brown bearer of packages that is known as the UPS truck.

When it finally pulled up, I was ready. The following scene occurred.

Me: *bursts out of the front door, arms flailing*

UPS man: *stops at the gate, uncertain*


UPS man: Um. No. No, I don't.


UPS man: This is for Ryan. *

Me: I'm Ryan.

UPS man: No you're not!

(At this point I was getting fairly nervous, because there was still a chain link fence between us, and, seeing as I acquired a leash-burn injury on my daily jog, I was confident he could outrun me. Even with a box of 15 paperback books in his hand.)

Me: No. Really. I am.

He didn't back away from the gate quickly enough, so I succeeded in acquiring the box. And giving him a signature. That quite clearly said RYAN.

I took the box inside, opened it, and THIS is what I found:




A lovely note from my editor.


Aren't they gorgeous?! It feels so surreal to actually HAVE A PHYSICAL THING that embodies these last 3.5 years of work (I started writing the rough draft in March 2010). It really makes all those early morning writing sessions, rejection letters and months and months of waiting worth it!

Me & Emrys being besties.

And the inside. Oh you guys. The inside is pretty.

Even the chapter headings are pretty. Magical curly wisps abound!!

So yes. I'm happy to finally be hanging out with a real paperbound Emrys! Woot!

Do you want to hang out with her too?

They're still giving away an ARC at YA Books Central, though you'll have to hurry, since I believe the contest ends in 8 days!!

*This is not the first time in my life that people have refused to believe that my name is actually my name. Because, clearly, I am not a boy.

Jul 8, 2013

wolf-dog sings the song of his people.

I have done a wolf-pup post in a while. Actually, in the span between, he's graduated to wolf-dog (I suppose that's necessary once your beastie reaches 100 lbs. He's not so wee anymore). In fact, he's so tall he can put his head on my desk and breath all over my computer without any additional help.

Jun 20, 2013

the research of zoom.

All novels require some sort of research. Whether it's watching Youtube videos of Kate Middleton attending a gala, lugging around tomes of Civil War books or eating dumplings in Chinatown.

Latest project (Motorcycles & Tattoos), has required a bit more in depth research than most of my books. It does involve maps and tomes of a war, but by far the best research I've done so far made me go outside. In the sunlight! (Believe me, when you start spending weeks on weeks in your writer's cave, this becomes a commodity). 

Actually, it was my wonderful husband who surprised me. He's been very excited about Motorcycles & Tattoos, but has rightly insisted that I learn how to ride a motorbike. He told me we were going on a day-long date and brought me to a dirt bike course!!!

The point was to A) learn how to operate a motor-bike. B) learn how to drive said motor-bike over tumultuous terrain. I'm always up for acquiring new life skills, so I was really eager to get on and drive. 

But first I had to put on a helmet that smelled oh-so-distinctly of sweaty boys. (Blurgh). My husband patiently guided me through the kickstart and the shifting of the gears. We practiced weaving around cones in a gravel lot. And then--THEN--we tackled this:

I think it's safe to say that this map was a mixture of happy, thrill and terror. (Combined those trails are hundreds of miles!!) Even the "easy" trails looked daunting, with hills and mud and sharp turns! We tackled it bit by bit. There were a few falls. A few expletives. Many bruises. I started to feel very, very bad for my main character.

Once we tackled the easy trail we moved on to "moderate."

Haha. Moderate.

Moderate saw an exponential rise in the expletive department. (Though, fortunately, this did not correlate with the bruises). And I felt even worse for my poor MC.

Poor MC.

Though on the bright side, we did forage berries from the trail:

So, there you have it. I can now drive a dirt bike. And describe riding a motorcycle on less than pristine roads!

in which i gush about my cover

One of the most exciting things about the publishing process has been getting a cover! Usually, when I start a new project, I'm daydreaming about the cover as well! HarperTeen did such a great job capturing the feel of ALL THAT GLOWS in this beautiful image:

The mist and the elegant script and the stars (THE STARS YOU GUYS! THE STARS!!!! (I love stars)) really give the cover an ethereal feel, which is very much in line with the tone of the novel! It captures the exquisite mystery of the Fae.

And the model? You guys, she's perfect! I was really stunned when I first opened the email. My editor Alyson did SUCH a great job with the casting. She looks exactly the way I imagine Emrys: a gorgeous, fierce and fiery redhead. She still holds the mystique of a Fae too!

Plus it's pretty dang cool to see my name down there. :)

Also, there's an ARC giveaway over at YA Books Central, who so graciously hosted the original cover reveal! Go on over and enter for a special chance to read ALL THAT GLOWS before anyone else. I'll also sign it and personalize it for you too!!

Jun 19, 2013

my cover!!!

So this is one of those super surreal THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING author moments! The cover of ALL THAT GLOWS just went live! Go and check it out HERE.

More thoughts later! I'm running off to tweet up a storm! ;)

Jun 18, 2013

tomorrow, tomorrow

The cover of ALL THAT GLOWS will be released into the wild! For all to see! Keep an eye out, I'll be posting a link to the cover reveal here.

There's also a chance to win a signed and personalized ARC (advanced review copy), so you don't want to miss out!

Jun 13, 2013

a debut author moment

So I was bumping along through the world of internet last night and LO AND BEHOLD what did I find?

ALL THAT GLOWS is available for pre-order on Amazon!!!

One of those sweet and unexpected debut author moments. :)

It's a pretty sparse page right now. With just an ISBN number and a page count of 320. But next Wednesday, the 19th, I'll be having my cover reveal over at Young Adult Book Central! So there will be a nice splash of pretty to go along with the title!

Exciting things are happening, which is probably (definitely) why the blog has stayed sparse for the time being. But not to fear. I'll talk about them as soon as I can!

Jun 5, 2013

getting fit

Operation "get-fit-for-hike-in-the-Andes" has seen some success. (And some setbacks... though really the biggest one is that we really don't want to pay the fee to join a gym. I mean, who needs air conditioning and water fountains anyway?)

First, we decided to take wolf-pup (who's really more a wolf-dog in size now, but still a flailing six-month-old in action) for a hike in the woods. Charleston is rather lacking in the hiking department (being in the Lowcountry and all), so we took a weekend trip to Toccoa, GA. At Jessica Khoury's very sound advice we decided to go on the Panther Creek Trail, which was about 8 miles round trip and quite pretty.

Wolf-pup has had limited interaction with nature (ie. chasing feral cats and squirrels out of our yard and growling at incoming waves on the beach). He LOVED the trail, though he had some vertical doubts at first (jumping over logs and stones and such) and tumbled into a rather deep part of the creek. There were parts of the trail where he bounded ahead (always on a leash of course) and people coming the opposite direction clutched their chests and said, "For a moment I thought it was a wolf!" (because there are so many of those in northern Georgia...)
After nearly tumbling into the stream. 
This foliage looked so much like something from Alice in Wonderland to me.
Pretty waterfalls made the hike worth it.
Raiden enjoys a quick swim!

Outside of the weekend hike I've been running with wolf-pup. Three miles a day seems to be our standard at the moment (sticky humidity makes it that much harder).

May 31, 2013

take a moment and drool with me.

Sometimes, being an author means writing.

Other times it means surfing Pinterest for the perfect picture of a protagonist, watching Youtube documentaries or reading speeches by dead guys. Researching comes in so many random forms, that sometimes I feel like I'm not really working when I click play on the sixth episode of some awesome travel documentary. Or when I'm grilling my father-in-law about alternate history scenarios over Ethiopian food. 

My WIP (which I've fondly been referring to as Motorcycles and Tattoos), predictably, has a lot of motorcycles in it. Pretty, pretty Zundapp KS601s to be exact. 

Okay, so this one isn't technically a KS601. It's not even a Zundapp. But it was much too pretty not to take a picture of.
I just... I want it.


Yeah, so, complete and total honesty time. I've never driven a motorcycle. I HAVE ridden one (in the pouring rain with three other people on the muddy roads of Phnom Penh while flatbed trucks zoomed around in every direction). And almost been hit by one (on the same muddy road, rain pouring Phnom Penh day incidentally). But I've never jumped on and taken one for a spin. That might have to change. You know, if I'm really dedicated to this WIP. ;)