September is the New January

Long time, no blog, eh?

But I keep hearing on the Internet that September is the new January (bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils, anyone?), so here we go. I’d like to get back to sharing a little bit more of my life that’s not just artfully curated photos of books and kids. And I spent the long weekend at Decatur Book Festival and wound up hella motivated for all manner of things, so here we go!

Deactur Book Festival

DBF has always been my very favorite book festival in the world, and this year was no different! I got to be on an awesome YA rom com panel is Sona Charaipotra (Symptoms of a Heartbreak) and Nina Moreno (Don’t Date Rosa Santos), moderated by Mayra Cuevas (the forthcoming Salty Bitter Sweet), and I got to moderate a contemporary YA panel with Julie Buxbaum (Hope and Other Punchlines), Susan Kaplan Carlton (In the Neighborhood of True) and Julian Winters (How to Be Remy Cameron). Look, I love doing panels. I’m not shy, and I books and writing, and I love talking into a microphone. Sona, Nina, and I got to have a little fun with the Gilmore Girls boys there at the end, which is all I really ever want in this world. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of Better Than the Best Plan!

I also got to see some incredible authors speak, including Jasmine Guillory, Tessa Dare, and Sarah MacLean. I know. I cheated on the YA stage A LOT with some adult and romance panels. I also picked up a copy of THE CARE AND FEEDING OF RAVENOUS GIRLS by Anissa Gray, who I got to see speak as well. Oh, and I got to see some of the authors from the BLACK ENOUGH anthology, edited by Ibi Zoboi, and knew immediately that I had to get a copy. I’m looking forward to diving into that one.

New Books!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve spent the last year writing and revision a draft of a book that has, until now, been known as #pizzaromcom. Well, that book finally got a title, and I got to announce it, and people went bonkers over it, which was super fun. IT’S KIND OF A CHEESY LOVE STORY is definitely my favorite of all my titles!  I also finished the revision on it at the end of August, and let me tell you, working on this book has been a straight up JOY. Writing has always been VERY hard for me, and by that I mean, the actual sitting down and DOING. IT. I’m a champion procrastinator. But with CHEESY LOVE STORY? Coming back to the computer every day was fun! I couldn’t wait to work on it, to remember where I’d left Beck and the gang, and what fun pizza puns I’d worked into the manuscript. It’ll probably still have one more round to go before it’s done, but I’m so happy about where this book is and where it’s going. April 2021!

September Goals

Ok, so back to DBF. Michelle Knudsen (Evil Librarian) did a panel with Corrie Wang (City of Beasts), moderated by the great and good Jackson Pearce, where she said that while she doesn’t write every day, she tries to touch her manuscript every day. That can be reading over something, jotting down a sentence, revising, or actually sitting down to write. And so that’s my September goal. Last month, under deadline on #pizzaromcom, I worked basically every day on that book. And I found it so much easier to come back to the chair every day when I still felt pulled in from the previous day’s work. Turns out my “binge it all at the very end” strategy was … well … not great. So inspired by that glorious revision experience, I’m aiming to touch my adult romance manuscript (#hotchef) once per day. And hopefully by the end of September, I’ll have a draft ready to send to my agent!

Reading

Hello Girls by Emily Henry and Brittany Cavallero — this is a YA Thelma & Louise that is so fun and feisty, while also being so full of thrillery tension that I couldn’t put it down. Several times during DBF I snuck off to find a quiet bench to read. I immediately passed it off to a friend, because this is one that I’m going to make everyone I know read (or at least the badass women in my life)

Don’t forget that my latest book, BETTER THAN THE BEST PLAN, is out NOW and still oddly inexpensive for the hardcover on Amazon. So get a copy, and if you read it, leave a review!

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