2016 Wrap-Up

2016 Wrap-Up

Well, we’ve made it to the end of 2016.

Maybe not quite in the same shape as when we started the year, but if you’re reading this, you’ve survived.

As we put 2016 to bed, I thought I’d share some of the things that were good in my world this year.

1.  I sold a second book!  It was a dream come true to see one book become real, but to be given the chance to do it again is overwhelming.
2.  I went to Las Vegas for the first time and celebrated 10 years of marriage.
3.  I retreated with some inspiring authors in the fall.

4.  I gave my first professional (not writing related) conference presentation.
5.  I held my words in my hands–it’s almost a real book!

I was also very entertained by the following books:

1.  Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
2.  My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
3.  Great Small Things by Jodi Picoult
4.  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
5.  Exit, Pursued By A Bear by E.K. Johnston
6.  Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood
7.  Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
8.  Frannie & Tru by Karen Hattrup
9.  Liars And Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath
10.  Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

2017 debuts to look forward to (these are the ones I’ve been privileged to read already):

1.  Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman
2.  It’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Suguira
3.  The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
4.  The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
5.  After The Fall by Kate Hart
6.  How To Break A Boy by Laurie Devore
7.  In 27 Days by Alison Gervais
8.  Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
9.  The Girl With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

I’ll share more 2017 debuts as I make my way through them.

Favorite movies this year:  Moana, Ghostbusters, Sing Street, Love & Friendship, The Edge of Seventeen, How To Be Single, and Rogue One.

Things to look forward to in 2017:

1.  I feel like this goes without saying, but May 9, 2017 is going to be a pretty momentous day.  My debut novel IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE will officially be published and available for public consumption.
2.  My launch party will be May 13, 2017 at One More Page in Arlington, VA–I’d love to see you there!
3.  I’m signing copies of my ARC at the American Library Association’ Midwinter Conference AND I’m on a panel with some fabulous authors.

4.  I’m appearing at YABBAFest in Warrenton, VA in October.
5.  I’ve got a few more signings/readings ideas in the works, so stay tuned.

Whether you’re celebrating this time of year or not, I hope you’re ushering in the new year with loved ones and doing something that brings you joy.

Interested in preordering my book?  Here’s all the info.  AND!  There’s a bonus chapter in it for you.

Feel like asking your library to add my book to their collection?  Here’s how.

This post was originally sent to my newsletter subscribers.  Miss a previous newsletter?  Catch up HERE.

Library Preorders!

Library Preorders!

 

I’m humbling requesting  you to consider asking your local public library, or perhaps your school library, if they would think about adding IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE to their collection.  Not everyone can afford to buy all the books they want to read, so in a way, this is a gift for them too.  Libraries are such important community resources and librarians are super heroes for getting the right books in the hands of readers who will cherish them.

So, how do you do it?

  1.  Access your library’s website.  OR stop by in person.
  2. Locate how to suggest a title.  It may say “purchase request,” “books on order,” “suggest a title,” or something similar.  You may find a form online, you may be asked to call the library, or you might have to fill out a form in person.

 

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Here’s what it looks like for my local library

3.  Use the following information to make your request:

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

Paperback –

  • Series: Blink
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Blink (May 9, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310758661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310758662

E-book –

  • Publisher: Blink (May 9, 2017)
  • Publication Date: May 9, 2017
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01HAKH5LY

And that’s it!  If there’s enough interest, hopefully this baby will be coming to a library near you next year.

iswg final cover

 

Thank you!

 

Preordering IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE

Preordering IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE

Did you know you can preorder IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE and have it delivered right to your mailbox on release day?  Scroll down and find out how.

iswg final cover

On sale at bookstores everywhere 5-9-17

Preorder Here:

One More Page Books (signed copy!)

Barnes & Noble

Target

Walmart

Amazon

Kobo

Book Depository

Indigo

Book Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE shows us that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules.

Check out the book on Goodreads.

Anyone who is so kind to preorder can send me a picture of your receipt and I’ll add you to my super secret list to receive bonus content.  Hit me up here:  Contact

Other fun stuff coming down the road:

  • a graphic design contest!  Want to be like Tatum and create a band poster?  Blink is generously hosting a a little competition and I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  Watch this space for more info.
  • a playlist of the songs Tatum listens to in the book, as well as what I listened to while writing ISWG.
  • a local launch party!  I’m already starting to think about what kind of cupcakes we’ll have, so if you’re in the DC metro area (or feel like taking a road trip), stay tuned for the details.

For more information, visit BlinkYABooks.com.

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In a Year….

In a Year….

….my book will be available.  In a year, the words I have worked on since December 2013 will be released for public consumption.  Sometimes people say that once a book is published, it no longer belongs to the author, but instead to the reader.  That is, of course, the goal, but it doesn’t make it any less terrifying.

My editor and I are starting to have conversations about promotion and book events, about my launch party (!!!) and bonus content.  We’re discussing preorders and buy links and all the things that happen as a publisher prepares to turn that word document into a book you can buy and hold in your hand.

A lot can happen in a year

Looking back on where I was a year ago, a lot has definitely changed.  I was on submission and was feeling like this book just wasn’t going to find a home.  I was working on a new book I loved and trying to convince myself that second books have a better track record with sales….no idea if that’s true, but it sounded good at the time.

And then, the book sold!  After a really long time, the very wise “it only takes one” came true.

With one year to prepare and make sure everything is just right, I know there will be many more things to learn.  More changes are coming.  But I’m ready.   I think.

Only 365 days to go!

#TBT – Throwback Thursday 1

#TBT – Throwback Thursday 1

My parents moved recently and unearthed a huge box full of poems, short stories, school projects, and art work from my elementary and middle school days.  So of course I’m sharing it with you!  I’m hoping to make this a regular blog feature.

Throwback Thursday 1:  a fine specimen containing two poems, circa 4th grade.  Please note the old-school font and take a moment to appreciate that this was printed on a dot-matrix printer.

 

TBT 1

What’s Been Happening

What’s Been Happening

Long time, no blog.  I’m quickly learning that working on a contracted book plus day-jobbing plus parenting plus adulting plus having any kind of down time is hard.

That said, it’s been a really great, productive couple of months!

Where are you with IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE?

Well, I’ve just turned in the second round of developmental edits (plot and character changes) and the next step will hopefully be copy edits.

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Me and the esteemed Lisa Maxwell, working hard.

Have you seen your cover yet?

YES!  And it is beautiful, gorgeous, perfect, etc etc etc.  The designers at Blink REALLY paid attention to my preferences and those of my editor, while also finding a way to work in some key elements from the story.  It is a thousand times better than I ever imagined it could be and I’m so very grateful for it.

Well, when can we see it??

My cover reveal will be June 14 on YA Highway, so set your calendar!

Will there be ARCs?

Sometime over the summer!  My editor is working on getting endorsements right now, which is both awesome and terrifying.

In fact, you can win a signed ARC if you make a donation to #YARunsA5k.

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What are you working on now?

A bunch of things.  BUT I’ve found that when I’m making revisions, it is very very difficult for me to get in the head space of another character, so writing new words has been sporadic.  I’ve definitely been doing some plotting though.

What else have you been up to?

I’ve done a pitiful amount of reading in the last few months.  This is in part due to revision brain and part because my husband and I binge-watched all 6 seasons of THE WALKING DEAD.  I was pretty dead set against watching, even though he’s been a fan for a long time, but then we went to a panel with the show runners, plus also Andrew Lincoln, and I decided it was time to give it a try.

TWD

It was a solid life choice, except that now I have to wait months to find out who got Lucille’d.

I went to the Walter Award Ceremony at the Library of Congress with We Need Diverse Books.

I’ve done some fun beta reading for Heather Van Fleet and Kelly DeVos.

I read WILD SWANS by Jessica Spotswood, DEFENDING TAYLOR by Miranda Kenneally, ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes, and THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner.

I listened to the audio of SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY MAYBE by Lauren Graham, BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler, and finally, FINALLY, I cracked and listened to PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jane Austen.

I’ve also been vacation planning.  My husband and I are celebrating our 10 anniversary this summer and we’re going to Las Vegas, the first trip for both of us.  (Any and all tips and recommendations are appreciated)

 

Annnnnnd, that’s about it for now.  Hopefully I’ll have things to share before another 3 months passes!

 

Latest Great Reads

Latest Great Reads

I’ve gotten a lot of reading done lately, which is always awesome.  If you’re looking for something to read, or to add to your TBR list, here have been my recent favorites:

 

 

I’ve also been flying through some audiobooks and have discovered a fantastic narrator – Clare Corbett.  I will now auto-download anything she reads.

 

2015 Was…

2015 Was…

new-year-messages-and-sms

 

….. a pretty great year!  There were a lot of firsts for me and a lot of interesting milestones and happenings.  This was the year that:

  • I sold my first book! This is definitely top of the list of exciting things.  The road to traditional publication is something I’ve been dreaming about for the last almost four years, and really my whole life in abstract, so to have made it to the starting line is monumental in my book.  I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported me along the way.  2016 is now the year I get to say “my book comes out next year!”
  • I sent my baby to kindergarten.  Everyday I’m amazed at how fast she’s learning and growing up.
  • I took on more responsibility in my day job.  Some of it has involved defending for things I believe in, occasionally loudly, which really isn’t in my nature, so I’m proud of myself for being able to speak up.
  • I got to meet my lovely agent in person, which was completely delightful.  I’m blessed to have such a caring advocate in my corner.
  • I went to New York 4 times, in three different seasons.  It remains one of my favorite places in the whole world.
  • I started listening to audiobooks.  It seems small but having a little bit of time to myself on my commute to add in “bonus” books has been really fun.
  • I joined RWA and my local chapter, WRW.  Both organizations have been helpful and also rejuvenating.  I look forward to their newsletters in my inbox and to attending monthly meetings to learn about craft.  Plus, the fellowship is excellent.
  • I completed a new book, start to finish, that is shiny and fun and I love it.  I hope it gets it’s chance to go out into the world.
  • I entered said book in a handful of contests (and finaled in one!) and have found the kind feedback of experienced authors to be very enlightening.
  • I won NaNoWriMo for the fourth time.  That book hasn’t been touched since Nov. 30, but I plan to finish it up soon.
  • I generated a number of new ideas and plan to try something totally new for me with my next project, which is exciting and scary.
  • I read 61 new books.  That’s half my total from the previous year, but it makes sense, given everything else that’s been going on with my time.  I’ll aim for a similar number for 2016.
  • I made new and continued ongoing friendships with wonderful writing community friends.  This is most definitely not a solitary endeavor and I love having so many hands to hold as we walk along this road together.

2016 is going to be full of even more accomplishments and surprises and gifts.  Cheers to a new year and thank you to everyone who made 2015 amazing!

NaNoWriMo 2015 Wrap-Up

NaNoWriMo 2015 Wrap-Up

NaNoWriMo #4 is in the bag.  I’m thrilled to report that I won, continuing my streak.

In the past, when I’ve started something new, typically a character shows up with a tiny plot seed.  I think about the character, who they are, and the conflict tends to present itself when I know how the character will handle it.  I like to marinate on all these things for a while, jotting down notes, until I have the big picture and the voice figured out.  Sometimes it takes a few days, if I’m lucky, and sometimes a few weeks.

This year, in an effort to come up with stories with bigger hooks, I came up with a ton of hooks, shared them with my agent and writer friends and they unanimously chose one over the others.  So I had a great, compelling hook–but no idea who the characters were.  I did some preliminary research on a few things I had no clue about (cryobanks anyone?) and came up with some major plot points, but the characters just wouldn’t come.  As I marinated, small details finally began to present themselves, but I waffled for so long on big important things like gender and settings.

Eventually, a few days before November 1, it seemed to click.  I settled on a story with 2 sisters because it made for better tension and set them on the road between Virginia and Chicago.  It felt like the Red Sea parting and the little paranoid voice became quieter.

The last 3 years, I’ve had the opportunity to really front load my manuscript due to a few days off work and/or an amazing writing retreat totally off the grid.  Didn’t happen this year, so I was really nervous about not winning, even though I knew I was really only competing with myself.  But somehow, I managed to discipline myself and write my 1700ish words daily and a few days before the deadline, I won!

The book is currently several scenes from being complete and it is a literal mess–scenes are all out of order and overwritten and things are missing or forgotten.  But I won and that’s the important part.  With a few more days of drafting, it will be done done and I’ll put it away for a while and think about other things.  I don’t know if this book is meant to become shiny and beautiful or not yet, but I know it needs to sit for a bit.

And, it’s worth mentioning that the book I write AFTER NaNo tends to be a thing I love.  I do have a new idea (there’s always an idea…), so here’s hoping.

I always learn something with each book and this one showed me more clearly what my personal process is.  Every book is different of course, but this solidified for me that I NEED to know who my characters are in order to move forward.  Otherwise, I just don’t care enough to put in the work.

The verdict?  Another great November spent generating a fun and interesting story–regardless of what happens next, that’s always worth it for me.

Cover Reveal UNHOOKED by Lisa Maxwell

Cover Reveal UNHOOKED by Lisa Maxwell

Today Lisa Maxwell and a few author and blogger friends are revealing the cover for UNHOOKED a YA Fantasy releasing in February 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win an awesome book pack and an ARC of UNHOOKED!
On to the reveal! 
 
Title: UNHOOKED
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Pub. Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Hardcover: 352 pages
Find it: Goodreads| Amazon | B&N | iBooks
 
From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and
brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to
build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.
But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all…
Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil
lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she
must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the
right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.
Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from
all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?
 
 
 
About Lisa: 
Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep (Flux, Fall 2015) and Unhooked (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). When she’s not writing books, she’s an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Giveaway Details:
 
As a thank you to the lovely authors who blurbed UNHOOKED Lisa is giving away…
 
(1) winner will receive Sara Raasch’s books, Snow Like Ashes & Ice Like Fire. Ellen Oh’s books Prophecy & Warrior. Christina Farley’s books Brazen & Silvern. AND an ARC of Unhooked! US Only.

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