Friday, July 24, 2009


I'd forgotten (again) how strange and difficult it can be to start writing a book.  I go through this every time (well, except for when I started The Forest of Hands and Teeth because that sort of came out of nowhere and was just an experiment).  And yet, every time I forget.

I've described writing as being a series of hallways with infinite numbers of doors.  Each time we write a word, we make a decision, we start closing those doors.  In the beginning, every possibility exists and in the end (hopefully) you look back along the course of the book and realize that there really was only one path all along.

Except that before you start writing, it's hard to even figure out which hallway you're in.  Where to start walking!

It's funny for me because this is probably the first time that I've really had a clear picture of what I want the book to be.  I know the characters (except for the pesky detail of one of their names which is driving me insane), I know the tensions, etc.  I've been super excited about this book ever since I turned in the proposal.  But I feel like I've got this character and she's staring at me and I'm staring at her and we're both just trying to figure out how to dive in.

Trust me, she's been ready to dive in for quite some time.

It's just made me realize that when you're in the middle of writing a story, you have the weight of all the words you've already written behind you.  You already have the characters set in time and place and circumstances.  For example, when I had Mary et al on the path outside the village, there were only a limited number of things that could happen to them.  But in the beginning... limitless possibilities.

And the beginning sets the course for the entire book.  The obstacles you set up now will come back around at the end, the character arc's established, etc etc.

How do y'all approach beginnings?  Usually I'm a huge proponent of BICHOK -- butt in chair, hands on keyboard -- when it comes to writing.  But with beginnings... I tend to do a lot more meandering.  I have to stop distracting myself and just spend time thinking.  Lots of lounging about which many people call "napping" and which I like to call "working."  After all, at the edge of sleep and awake I find the mind kind of lets go and all sorts of possibilities open up!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

MTV on FHT (and who would you cast?)

Am I the only one that when I think of MTV and MTVNews I see the little typewriter wheel spinning across the screen stamping out each letter?  Boy that reminds me of hours upon hours of watching music videos growing up!  And... er... lots of reality TV now :)  So you can totally imagine what went through my head when I saw a google alert for The Forest of Hands and Teeth on the MTVNews website.

Well, a lot of things went through my head, and then I started holding my breath as I always do when I think I'm about to read a review.

And then I jumped up and down and ran around the house when I read Sabrina Rojas Weiss describe FHT as "a pretty freakin' amazing, empowering and absolutely thrilling young-adult post-apocalyptic zombie love story."

Squee!!  Empowering!!  You can read the entire review here!  So yeah, you can imagine how much of boost that gave me right in the throes of revisions!  Thanks MTV!!!!!  To make things even better, they're apparently going to do another post this week or next asking for dream-casting for the movie!  I can't wait to see what people come up with!!  I'll post the link once it's up!

I also promise to post more about The Dead-Tossed Waves, the companion to FHT, soon!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Free Books! Summer of Seven is here!

First off, the winner of Satirica is Katterley!!!!!!!  Email me your address (to carrie [at] and I'll have it shipped to you!

Second, today starts the Summer of Seven!  Seven debut authors giving away seven books during seven days during the seventh month of July!  Let me tell you, rocking books on this list!!  We'll be giving away a book each day and at the end of the week, two people will win the ultimate prize pack: one collection of all seven books with their US covers and one collection with the UK covers!

So yes!  Lots and lots of books being given away here!  How can you be entered to win?  Go here!  And while you're there, check out all the free stuff!  Interviews, downloadable bookmarks, even a summer song!  It's just our way of kicking off your summer right!

Here's the official contest entry blurb from the website:


Voting begins July 1st, 2009.

You want to win free books, but how, how, how do we achieve that? It's so easy. Starting July 1st vote for Team US or Team UK- and we'll enter you to win one of two prize packs!

US Prize Pack features all 7 escape with 7 books with US covers, and the UK Prize Pack features all 7 escape books with UK covers where available. But you only win if you vote!

Voting will open from July 1st, 2009 - July 7, 2009. Prizes will be awarded July 8th, 2009. Come back and see us soon!