12 August 2008

"RWA, continued"

I’ve been writing a new book and distracted with back to school coming up. So of course, I’m slacking on those RWA pics!

Okay, once again I attended the awesome Nora Roberts chat. Funny thing, new attendees each year and some of the same questions. Nora was awesome, funny, and laid it on the line. I’ll hopefully blog some of her wisdom in the coming days. Here’s a quick snapshot of her at the end. I couldn’t bring myself to bulb flash her as she was talking. I thought it was rude!


Friday, brought the GH/RITA ceremony. One of those forgot my camera events! The awesome Linnea Sinclair took my pic and I snagged Simone Elkeles’s pic of the YA finalist.

RITA certificate

2008 RITA YA finalists

First off, I met Simone at the NLA dinner and she’s an awesome dinner conversationalist, making us laugh and showing us pics. And I had a blast being silly with Ally Carter at dinner, she loves to have fun and tell some stories of her great experiences so far in writing. (not pictured here)

Rosemary Clement-Moore (far left) was very cool and wore fab dresses, and I also met Melissa Marr (next), who is really cool and down to earth.

That night some of the YA authors got together and chatted. Here’s a pic with many of us. (Just click on the pic for a larger view and to find out who is who. :))

YA Authors

YA Authors

I had the best time hanging out with other writers. I think that’s one of the main perks for me when attending conference. I’m always so far away from everyone and it’s just me and my computer. haha. When you go to conference there are lots of smiles, hugs, meeting new people, and revisiting friends. It’s all great and I’m glad I was able to attend this year. 🙂

More soon…

6 August 2008

"RWA: Day 1"

For some reason I still feel like I’m recuperating from the conference. At this rate I won’t be back to normal for a week!

I’ve loaded some pics from Wednesday, the first day of conference. The day started off with sightseeing with the family. We always make it a small vacation when I go to a conference.

Then it was coffee/tea with my agent in Union Square at small, unique coffee shop. The weather was fabulous! I’d never had a shot of expresso in my mocha coffee before. I went from mellow to very chipper in 2.1 seconds!

Kristin & Kelly

From there it was a rush to get ready for my first “Readers for Life” Literacy signing. I was all paranoid I wouldn’t get my books sent, so the publicist for S&S sent some before I left. My books ended up arriving, but good thing I had the extra books for the press room and my workshop. Some authors were left with out their books this year too.

So I didn’t get to the signing early enough to walk around much, the room was packed elbow-to-elbow with authors, over 500. My agent took this pic with my RITA flags. And hey, I got to keep the flags. 🙂 I sold out of my 15 books, that’s pretty good for me!

Readers For Life Lit Signing

I wanted to officially meet Nora Roberts. I didn’t have the guts in Reno and wanted to this time around. I had this funny idea I’d get the first romance I read by her autographed, but her line was long as always and I couldn’t just quickly run over and back.

I met so many writers and authors that I have been chatting with on-line for years like Rene, Jill, and Elizabeth! I also posted on YA Fresh all the YA authors I ran across.What was really cool were the teen girls buying many of the YA books. I guess some of them came with their parents.

I managed to run over to get a pic with one of my fave authors, Marjorie M. Liu. It was like, “Love your books. Big fan.” Fast hand shake. “Can we take a photo?” Marjorie was trying to keep up, shaking my head and smiling. She was sooo nice!

Marjorie & Kelly

Overall, it was exciting! That night my agent took her clients out to dinner to the posh restaurant, Micheal Mina’s. Wow, I have never eaten food that melts in your mouth like this. And there were like five courses. haha. I could barely walk back to the hotel! These pics are from Ally Carter, I’d forgotten my cam that night in my book box. The restaurant was so dark, that was probably why toward the end I was ready to sleep.

Kelly and Ally

Here we are at the end of dinner.

NLA Clients

Wednesday was one of my busiest days at conference. Stay tuned for more!

4 August 2008

"Back Home & Relieved"

I’m back home, and so relieved. Staying practically a week at a hotel with several events going on is exhausting. Mostly because you don’t sleep well, and my nerves were constantly hoppin’. haha.

So I didn’t pick up a RITA this year, but having it go to a NY Times bestseller was the obvious choice. Melissa Marr was very nice and polite when we met, and I’m very happy for her! I met so many cool writers! I can’t wait to share pics. I’m hoping I’ll get to it some time tomorrow, but definitely this week. And IMO, Graffiti Girl didn’t have a chance at Best First Book for a prestigious romance award, but being a RITA nominee will be an experience I won’t forget. Writers congratulated me left and right, and everyone was so nice and welcoming.

I think I’ll try and recount the conference in order of events and pics, starting with Wednesday.

If there is one thing I brought back with me from the conference was the realization that it’s time to get serious. Time to write, and write well. I’m at time in my career where I think I’m spending way too much time on promotion and I’m not all that sure my efforts are doing any good. After the release of Invisible Touch, I’m going to focus on the craft of writing instead of the craft of promotion. I have several things going on in my head, and it’s time to get them on screen before they are forgotten.

Thanks again for everyone’s support with the nomination. Now it is time to rest. 🙂

29 July 2008

"Off to San Fran"

I’m off to SF RWA National Conference!

To those of you going, hope to see you there! And I’ll probably share lots of pics next week.

But for now, the Fictionistas are interviewing the YA RITA finalists this week, and giving away books! I believe my interview will be up Wednesday so stop by if you’re in the neighborhood. And I’ll be signing at the “Readers for Life” Literacy event from 5:30 – 7:30 that evening.

Don’t forget I’m blogging on the RWA site on Thursday morning.

And Saturday 11 am, I’ll pretend I know what I’m talking about in a workshop with Shelley Adina, Carol Culver, and agent Jennifer Jackson, titled 10 Things I Love About Writing YA Romance.

And Saturday 8 pm is the big ceremony. *sigh* I just want to say it’s an honor to be double nominated for a RITA. I mean, wow. All I used to relate with the RITA before I even started writing was Nora, Nora, Nora. haha. The odds are definitely stacked against me, but like I said noms are something to be proud of even if there’s not a statue attached, and I’ll gladly cheer on every winner!

Have a great week…

I may be able to drop a twitter or two by TXT, we’ll see. And there may be some flickr fun. Hard to say…

Talk to you soon!

~ kelly

18 July 2008

"RiTA Blog Tour: Rosemary Clement-Moore"

I’ve interviewed Rosemary before on YA Fresh, so it’s a pleasure to do so again, this time for the RITA tour! Rosemary is my other RITA nominated Young adult book pal nominated for “Best First Book”.

Hello RITA Nominee, Rosemary! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author’s writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Rosemary: My ideal writing day goes something like this:

Get up, have coffee, read some blogs, update my own, answer e-mail, get dressed, have more coffee, get the “real life” stuff done. Then I work all afternoon, with breaks for stretching my legs. (Or, more accurately, playing Guitar Hero.) After dinner, I watch a little TV, then work a few more hours. Or a lot more hours, if things are going well or I’m on a deadline.

Please tell us about your RITA nominated debut novel, PROM DATES FROM HELL (such a fun title!), and what we can expect from your characters.

“Rosemary: PROM DATES FROM HELL is a supernatural mystery novel that is ostensibly for young adults, but has a lot of humor and subtext aimed at adult adults, too. (Like Buggs Bunny cartoons, you know?) Maggie Quinn is an honors student who can’t wait to get out of high school and get on with her plans of becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. But when Twilight Zone stuff starts happening just six weeks until graduation, she has to get her girl detective on and figure out what’s happening, with the help of her sarcastic best friend, her psychic grandmother, and a good looking college student who knows way too much about the supernatural.

Sounds like a great adventure! How did it feel to receive the RITA finalist call?

Rosemary: Aside from being thrilled and honored? Here’s the story. I was, naturally, on tenterhooks and finally I decided that I needed to take a shower and pretend it was a normal day. In other words, pretend I didn’t care if I didn’t get a call. But Murphy’s law was entirely in effect, and the phone rang just as I lathered my hair, so I ended up taking the call wrapped in a bath towel with soap dripping in my eyes and the dog licking shaving cream off my legs. It was AWESOME.

haha! What’s up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Rosemary: The sequel to PROM DATES FROM HELL comes out in August (very soon now!). In HELL WEEK, Maggie gets on the college newspaper by writing a story only a freshman can–she infiltrates sorority rush. But she manages to pledge a sorority that’s in league with the devil. (Don’t you just hate it when that happens?) So she has to extricate herself before initiation makes her stay on Greek Row permanently hellish.

And in the third Girl vs. Evil book, Maggie and her BFF spend their first college spring break stuck in South Texas where they have to take on… El Chupacabra.

Congrats on being a RITA finalist, Rosemary, and best of luck! I’m looking forward to meeting you in SF! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Rosemary: I compare writing to becoming an Olympic gymnast. Classes and coaching are vital, yes, but the only way to actually become any good is to do the floor exercises. As a gymnast develops balance and muscle memory, writers have to develop their voice, their flexibility with words, their ‘ear’ for dialog. And the only way to do that is to write. Don’t let your inner editor tell you its crap. It might be, or it might not. Just keep writing until it’s not crap anymore.

Rosemary Clement-Moore has been writing stories her whole life, even when she should have been doing other things, like algebra homework. Despite this inauspicious beginning, she managed to acquire a master’s degree in communication, along with an extremely eclectic resume.

A recovering thespian, she now puts her drama queen skills to work writing books full of “smart (and smart ass) characters” (Kliatt). She lives in Texas with her husband and arguably the cutest dog on the planet. For proof, see her website: www.rosemaryclementmoore.com.