Thursday, February 27, 2014

Team KEEPER Continued!

**Please Note: Thanks to deadlines, website transitions, and (keeping it real) the fact that you guys are super bad about including spoilers in your comments, I've had to close commenting on this (and all other Team Keeper related posts/pages.)


It looks like the 200 comment limit glitch doesn't apply to blog posts like this one--only to the static pages. (that's what I'd been hoping for, and why I moved the conversation over here). SO. Feel free to keep commenting away. You'll just need to click that "load more" link at the bottom of the page in order to see the comments past 200) 

So wow. You guys have already maxed out the 200 Comment Limit on the new Team KEEPER page that I just built you--which is AWESOME, btw (clearly the KEEPER fandom is growing).

But it also leaves me with the *tiny* problem of not having anywhere for you guys to comment/interact with each other.

I've looked into lots of different things, but so far I haven't been able to find anything that lets you comment anonymously (since I know some of you have parents that don't want you creating accounts or using your name) and lets the comments be "threaded" (meaning you can reply to each other in a nice, organized, easy-to-follow way)

So for now, the only solution I can come up with is to move the conversation to another new place. Like oh, hey, RIGHT HERE.

You might want to bookmark this post so you can find it again, since this isn't a "page" like the others (though I have also added a link to this post on the Team KEEPER page, in case you can't find it). And if you fill all the comments on this page, I'll just create another.


As you were and carry on. Feel free to continue your Team debates (side note: I love that you guys are calling for me to make teams for characters who don't have them yet). It's also awesome that you guys have started discussing theories about things--though please, please, PLEASE make sure you keep that discussion spoiler-free, so we don't ruin the fun for anyone who hasn't read.

Also, if you need a refresher on who the teams are:

Ever feel like you don't belong? Then you look no further--you belong with Team Sophie! You may not always have the answers, but you're brave and smart, and if you trust yourself, you can handle anything. And as for who holds your heart? Only time will tell how you decide . . .

Ever feel like the underdog? Then welcome to Team Dex! You may have people constantly underestimating you, but you'll prove them all wrong someday. And while you may be the ultimate BFF, you're hoping to break out of the "friend zone" eventually. (you might have pretty great dimples, too . . . )

Ever caused a mess of trouble--and loved every second of it? Then you definitely belong with Team Keefe!  Jokes and pranks are the highlight of your week--but that doesn't mean you can't be serious when you need to be. In fact, you care very deeply about . . . well, maybe you're not ready to admit *who* yet. But you're having fun driving the girls crazy in the meantime!

Ever feel pressure to be who everyone expects you to be? Then Team Fitz is the place for you ! You have the looks, the talent, and the family everybody envies--but that doesn't mean you do everything perfectly. And sometimes you can be a little oblivious when it comes to other people's feelings. But you'll hopefully figure it all out--eventually. . . 

Ever made a mistake and had to work to set it right? Team Biana knows how you feel! You may sometimes say or do the wrong thing, but it's only because you're fiercely protective of the ones you care about. And once you make a true friend, you're friends for life. You're also the best person to ask when it comes to style--but there's so much more to you than you're stunning looks. You're brave, smart, and incredibly talented. And the world hasn't seen anything yet!

Ever feel like no one understands you? Then find lots of people you can relate to on Team Iggy! You may be small and good at making a mess of things--but you always know when someone needs you. And you're happy to provide them with a cuddle, a purr, or a nose-full of toxic breath--whatever they need. And hey, you can rock every crazy fur color there is!

Ever feel like you're all alone? Then you'll find lots of friends with Team Silveny--plus more sparkles than anyone could ever need! You're special and one-of-a-kind and extremely loyal and caring. And no one can deny you have great taste in friends--even if they give you the craziest nicknames.

Ever found that doing the wrong thing can sometimes be right? Then you belong with Team Black Swan! Some may think of you as a rebel, but really you're just seeing the world differently. And you're not afraid to bend or break a few rules--so long as it's to help others. 

Okay, and ............ GO!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On trusting characters (aka: why I let them make mistakes)

Okay, so, I get this question a lot (like, a LOT, a lot--it's also a heavy topic of discussion over on the Team Keeper page):


Which, as those of you reading the KEEPER series know, this is referring to something that happens in EXILE. And I'm going to try to keep this discussion relatively spoiler-free for those who haven't had a chance to read yet, but I still thought it might be time to address the issue, since clearly a lot of you are wondering about it--and are maybe even a little sad about it. 

And here's the thing: it made me sad, too. 

In fact, I avoided writing those scenes as long as I could, and when I finally wrote them it broke my heart. I love Sophie. And I love Fitz. So to let him say and do such hurtful things was very, VERY hard for me. 

But I had to do it.

Because here's my number one rule when it comes to writing: I have to trust my characters.

I know this might sound a little weird, but my characters are very real to me. I know their strengths and weaknesses, hopes and dreams, fears, regrets, and deepest, darkest secrets. And because I know them so well, I have to trust them. Even when it means letting them do something I don't like. Because that's the other thing we all have to keep in mind: characters aren't perfect. 

Sometimes they do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, even feel the wrong thing. That's what makes them real. But it also means that sometimes we all want to scream, "NOOOOOOO!" as it's happening. And that's okay, because that's what makes the story interesting. It gives us something to root for, hope for, keep turning those pages to see how it all works out. And maybe sometimes it doesn't work out as well as we'd like. But that's okay, too, because it's something we can all relate to. Life is messy. Characters' lives need to be the same.

So in Fitz's case, yes, he was mean. And it was sad and wrong and we all want to yell at him for it. But he had to. Think about it. Overnight, he'd basically lost everything--and that's about 10,000 times harder for a character like him because remember, he's grown up in a world where things like that just don't happen. And while there are lots of ways he could've reacted, I knew in Fitz's case he was going to be angry. 

So angry. 

I also knew that his anger was going to be targeted at poor Sophie, because of the role she played (in *his* mind) in what happened, and that it was going to be this ugly, explosive thing. But I had to let it happen because I had to trust Fitz. I had to let him work through his grief in whatever ways he needed to. Only then would he be able to heal. And now that he has, he can start making it right. 

So I hope that answers your question--and I hope you guys can see that I (and Fitz) had very good reasons for why things happened the way they did. 

Also: Can I tell you how much I LOVE that you all care this much about Sophie and Fitz??? You guys are the best. fans. EVER! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LET THE STORM BREAK Launch Party--and a pre-order giveaway!!!

Wow--I can't believe it's already time to launch another book baby into the world (hee, every time I say that I imagine myself hurling a baby like a football--which is *probably* why it's a good thing I have cats, not kids, right now).

ANYWAY, despite my disbelief, I've checked the calendar and YES--IT'S TRUE. LET THE STORM BREAK will be hitting shelves in a bookstore near you on March 4th (OMG THAT'S BARELY MORE THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!)

Which means, I've got some events to tell you guys about--and I'm *hoping* some of you will be able to come:

Tuesday, March 4th

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

LET THE STORM BREAK Launch Party!!!!

Barnes & Noble, Oceanside
2615 Vista Way 
Oceanside, CA 92054
*with Kiersten White and Kasie West*

Wednesday, March 5th

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Barnes & Noble, Monctlair Plaza
5183 Montclair Plaza Lane

Montclair, CA 91763
*with Kasie West*

Thursday, March 13th

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Mysterious Galaxy Books
7051 Clairmont Mesa Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92111

April 25 - 26th
9am - 2pm

Knicely Conference Center
654 Campbell Ln.
Bowling Green, KY

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!! And it's *possible* I might add a couple of other things.


I know that *is* a fairly Southern California dominant list. And I know some of you might be a *little* disappointed that I'm not coming to your state. All I can say is SORRY. I'm a *wee* bit behind on writing and deadlines right now, and I learned last year that it definitely comes back to bite me if I don't scale back on the events/travel and focus on the writing a little more.

I'm hoping to branch out a bit wider in the summer and fall, after I catch up a bit--and I promise if I do I will keep you all posted.

But I also wanted to TRY to make it up to those of you whose states I won't be visiting. And so, I give you: THE LET THE STORM BREAK PRE-ORDER GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

Anyone who pre-orders LET THE STORM BREAK before it releases and fills out the form at the end of this post will get this:

1 *signed* LET THE STORM BREAK Bookplate (which can be personalized with your name)
1 *signed* limited edition LET THE STORM BREAK bookmark
1 sticker

As usual, I'm not requiring proof of purchase to enter--though I AM hoping you'll do the right thing and be honest. And I'm willing to mail the prizes anywhere--even internationally. All you have to do is pre-order the book and fill out the form at the end of this post before 11:59 pm on 3/3/14. And if you already pre-ordered the book before you found out about this contest, that totally still counts. It doesn't matter when you ordered it, just that you did. Also: there's no limit on how many times you can win. If you buy five books and fill out the form five times, then you get 5 prizes (also, you're my new favorite person EVER!)

I *think* that covers everything--but if I missed something, feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments.

And I just want to end with my deepest and sincerest thanks for all your amazing support for my books. You all totally blow me away (hee) and I CAN'T WAIT for you guys to continue with Vane and Audra's story and experience the haboobs, mainly so you'll know I'm being inappropriate when I make haboob jokes. (well, okay, I'm being a LITTLE inappropriate. But... can you really blame me?)


Only a few weeks left--EEEEEEEE!!!

**Form has been removed because this giveaway has ended. Huge thanks to everyone who entered!**

Friday, February 7, 2014


I don't usually do title reveals for my books, since I feel like they tend to come across as a *little* anticlimactic compared to something like a cover reveal. So I generally just wait until I can share all the awesome at once.


I have gotten many, many, MANY emails and messages from you guys begging for me to share something--ANYTHING--I can about K33P3R. And I hate leaving you guys in suspense (well ... okay ... torturing you guys is a *little* bit fun ...) So, when my editor told me I was allowed to share the title, I thought, "Okay--LET'S DO THIS!"

And so, I give you (if you haven't already cheated and scrolled down)...




(In case the graphic isn't loading, the title is EVERBLAZE)

Now, before you ask, you should know that this is it. This is ALL I can share right now. I can't show you the cover (though I *can* say that you're going to love it) or tell you who's on the cover (though I *do* think you'll be happy) or give you any plot description for the book (partially because, um... I'm still revising it. THINGS ARE STILL CHANGING).

But now you know the title. And I hope you love it as much as I do. Because I really, REALLY love it--and not just because this is the first time with this series that *I* came up with the title (though that *is* a bonus). But mostly because EVERBLAZE is actually the original title I gave KEEPER (book 1) all those years ago, before anyone had decided they wanted to publish it. 

After it sold, my editor decided we should change the title because she knew that no one would know what Everblaze is at that point (since it was the first book in the series). But now that we're up to book #3 and you guys know how mega-epically cool (and um... dangerous) those unstoppable neon yellow flames can be, I can finally have my book called EVERBLAZE. 

I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited!


*runs away with flailing muppet arms before you can drag any other secrets out of me*