Today was the release of the final book in my Skylark trilogy, Lark Ascending. Any book launch is a hugely emotional thing—years of work boiling down into one single day, when you send this thing you’ve created out out of your blood and your tears into the world to sink or swim on its own. But releasing the end to a trilogy is even weightier for me, even more overwhelming. I first started telling this story over five years ago and when I think back to where I was five years ago, it’s astonishing how much in my life has changed.
Back then I had just decided to try, really try, for the first time, to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer. I had the support of my family, my friends, and my soon-to-be co-author, Amie Kaufman; I had the knowledge gained from the six-week fiction-writing crash course Odyssey; and I had a nagging idea for a world and a character that wouldn’t leave me alone. I had my ideas and I had my keyboard, and all I really wanted was a chance to see where they’d take me.
Five years later… now, by the end of this year, I’ll have five books on the shelves. I’ve moved countries twice, moved states, attended conferences I never thought I’d get to attend, met and signed with authors—fellow authors!—I’d always dreamed of meeting, and received letters and emails from fans around the world that never stop amazing me, never stop reducing me to a blubbering, emotional blob on the floor. I still wake up at least once a week thinking “…I’m an author. That all actually happened. Is this really my life?”
And yes, there’s bad with the good. This is a rough, rough industry, not for the faint of heart. It’s impossible to come through five years of it totally unscathed.
But, at the end of the day, the most important things haven’t changed. I’ve still got my friends, my family, the support network that lets me keep doing this. And I’ve still got my ideas, and I’ve got my keyboard, and I’ve still got my chance to see where they take me from here. And that’s all I need.
Rather than write a long(er) reflective post about today, I will just put here what I wrote at the end of my acknowledgments in Lark Ascending:
I was on my way back from a book festival the other day and I finally realized why these acknowledgments were such a struggle for me: I wasn’t thanking who I really wanted to thank. Though Skylark certainly wasn’t written in a vacuum, it was written privately; and, to a certain extent, Shadowlark was as well. But by the time I got to the third book in this trilogy, I wasn’t writing it just for me anymore, or even for me and my publisher.
I was writing it for you.
You, who stays up late at night, reading by flashlight. You, who write to me after you finish each book. You, who I’ve never met, and perhaps never will meet, but for a few shared moments spent in this book. It’s your enthusiasm for this story and these characters that has kept me going and pushed me to finish this trilogy. I couldn’t have done it without you. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
So thank you.
Hey guys! As some of you know, I have a newsletter with my fabulous co-author, Amie Kaufman. On it we do share news about our books, but we also include articles about the industry, interviews with other professionals like editors, agents and other authors, and behind the scenes glimpses. This month, though, we’re going to have an absolute doozy of a newsletter. So we wanted to let you know, in case you wanted to subscribe and get the cool stuff!
Firstly, we are going to be sharing the first ten minutes of the THESE BROKEN STARS audio book, from Listening Library, with our subscribers! Guys, let me tell you, this is like no audio book I’ve heard before. I’m not just saying that because it’s mine—it really is unique. They hired not one, not two, but THREE narrators–one for Lilac, one for Tarver, and one for the interrogator between scenes. And the narrator for Tarver, Johnathan McClain, emailed us to let us know how much fun he had, and told us that he actually got to be in the recording booth with the interrogator during those scenes, and that it was more like a play than a narration. COOL, right?
Secondly, and perhaps the only thing even more exciting than the audiobook sample, is that we are announcing the title of book two in the Starbound Trilogy! (Plus, a little tidbit as to what the book will be about.) It’s been a closely-guarded secret for over a year (yes, we knew the title even then) but we’ve finally gotten the go-ahead to share it. So, tune in for the newsletter next week. As promised, it’ll be a doozy.
It’s been a long time since I did an “Ask a Question,” but Amie and I have been getting this question a LOT, so I wanted to put an answer front and center!
Annabel P. (and others) asked, “I just finished reading THESE BROKEN STARS (omg so goodddd) but I’m wondering about the sequel. It says that it’s the first in a trilogy, but book one wraps up so well, what’s going to happen in book two?”
That’s extremely perceptive of you! We actually wrote THESE BROKEN STARS to be a standalone novel. The Starbound series is not a traditional trilogy, following the same characters in one linear plot. Each of the three books will focus on a new pair of characters, and their individual stories.
So these books are actually more like companion novels than direct sequels. They all take place in the same universe, and they actually do happen in chronological order. We designed the whole story so that the things that happen in book two couldn’t have happened without the things that happen in book one, and so on. So each of the books will build on the one(s) before it, BUT, you can also read them separately with no real drawback except spoilers. (And don’t worry… there is a very distinct possibility you might see a familiar face or two in the other books!)
We love trilogies, of course, but we also love being able to read a book and have it be finished and completely satisfying in one shot, too. So with the Starbound series, we’ve aimed for the best of both worlds!
THESE BROKEN STARS is available for pre-order from your
favorite online or local bookseller. Snag your copy now!
Do you have a question you’d like me to answer about books, publishing, or anything else? Ask it here, and enter my monthly drawing to win a prize pack of signed swag!
To see more questions I’ve answered, click here.
As some of you may know, THESE BROKEN STARS has had an amazing home in the US with Disney Hyperion for quite a while now. But as others of you may know, our writing team is only half American, so Amie and I have been waiting oh-so-impatiently to be able to announce our exciting news–which is that THESE BROKEN STARS is also going to be coming out in Australia!! (Read more…)
If you haven’t yet, be sure to go check out the official SHADOWLARK cover reveal on YA Books Central for a chance to win an ARC of SHADOWLARK!
As some of you already know, at the end of this month there will take place a wondrous, super rare phenomenon… Amie Kaufman and I are going to be in the same country at the same time! WOOOO!
Yes, we’re headed to Book Expo America in NYC at the end of this month. We’re both tremendously excited–it’ll be our first time ever signing our book together, and I’ll also get to sign copies of SKYLARK’s sequel, SHADOWLARK. (Which is in Publisher’s Weekly as one of BEA’s “Galleys to Grab!”) We’re also really looking forward to connecting with people we haven’t seen in a while, as well as meeting those we’ve never met in person. Our official schedule is below, or you can check it out on the events page. We hope you’ll come by and see us! (Read more…)
It’s newsletter time–and GIVEAWAY time! Amie Kaufman and I now have a joint newsletter, where you can receive all the latest news on our books, as well as information about upcoming signings and events, writing advice and tips, exclusive contests, and sneak peeks at secret upcoming projects! What’s more, by signing up for our newsletter in the next two weeks, you can also enter to win our TOTALLY awesome contest. In the process, you can let us know what YOU want out of your newsletter, and get extra entries!
Because we want to hear from YOU, we decided to offer a prize pack of swag and books from over TWENTY authors, not just our own. The winner will receive a package full of signed swag (including bookmarks, postcards, temporary tattoos, jewelry, tea, buttons, author business cards, book plates, magnets, stickers, and more) from over twenty authors, as well as FIVE advance reader copies from my collection, which the winner will be able to choose. Click on the image to enlarge it and see the prizes!
Contest is open INTERNATIONALLY, but due to shipping costs, international winners won’t receive the ARCs. (We’re so sorry, but the cost is insane!) You will get all the other awesome stuff though!
Click the link below to subscribe, then be sure to come back here in order to enter the contest and tell us what you want in a newsletter!
Did you come here looking for In Search of the Write Space? Well, too bad. You’re getting something different today. There are still book to be won, though. Oh, are there ever books to be one.
Guys, it’s finally here. It’s FINALLY HERE! The cover for THESE BROKEN STARS is live today–RIGHT NOW! I could show it here in all its glory, but where would the fun be in that? Instead, Amie and I have gathered six awesome bloggers to share in the reveal. Visit each blog to see the gorgeous cover, and enter on each to win one of SIX advanced reader copies, the very first to roll off the presses! Plus, check out the unique content on each blog for more about our upcoming book. (Read more…)
It’s been a busy couple of months on my end, and I haven’t done much updating here outside of the Write Space series. I like looking at other authors’ desks (and giving away their books) a lot more than I like talking about what I’m doing, though, so that suits me fine! Be sure to check out the two current contests, where you can win the whole ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series by Beth Revis, and where you can win a signed copy of TIME BETWEEN US by Tamara Ireland Stone.
Tomorrow I’m leaving on a mini signing tour, and I hope I’ll get to see some of you guys along the way! I’ll be hitting up Malaprops in Asheville, NC, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA, Hooray For Books in Alexandria, VA, and Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. The best part about all of it is that I’m going to be chatting with and signing alongside some absolutely kickass YA authors, including Beth Revis (ACROSS THE UNIVERSE), Megan Shepherd (THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER), Lenore Appelhans (LEVEL 2), Jodi Meadows (ASUNDER), and Victoria Schwab (THE ARCHIVED).
Click here to see my event schedule over the next week–be sure to come by if you can! Hanging out with other people who love books, whether they be authors, aspiring writers, readers, or just plain quiet folks who like the smell of binding glue… well, that’s just plain guaranteed to be a good time. (Read more…)
Well, sorry for the radio silence from this corner of the internet! As some of you may know from my twitter feed, I’ve been traveling around with co-author extraordinaire Amie. (She just got her plane back to her side of the globe yesterday. I’m pretty inconsolable.)
We caught up with our agents at Adams Literary in Charlotte, then headed to Asheville where we met up with the local author ladies there for dinner and chocolate and discussions of serial killers (thanks for the nightmares, Steph). I managed to get my hands on ARCs of THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT and THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, and devoured them both. Seriously, they are amazing, folks. Normally I don’t feel the urge to brag about things when I read them before they hit the shelves, but I will be shouting about these two books for a good long time. (Read more…)
First of all, before you do anything else, click over to Crits for Water and check out today’s auction! Amie and I are giving away a critique, PLUS Adams Literary will look at your query, PLUS (seriously, this package is crazy) Disney-Hyperion editor Laura Schrieber will read your first chapter AND call you on the phone to discuss it with you! Have you gone to check it out? Yes? Okay, then carry on below.
Well, I think I’m finally recovered (mostly!) from BEA. It was my first Book Expo, and man, what a way to start! My editor, Andrew Karre, spoke on the YA Editors Buzz Panel about SKYLARK, and then I got to sit with the other amazing buzz authors and discuss our books on our own panel. I also got to meet a wonderful bunch of bloggers at the blogger breakfast with me, Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff.
And then—one of the craziest experiences yet—I got to do this:
Look at that line! Total madness. I got to meet so many awesome people while I signed, I wish I could’ve had more time to talk more! One guy told me that he wasn’t even going to come to BEA that day—but he came JUST to get his hands on a copy of SKYLARK and get it signed. Dude, whoever you are, you made my day. And given what an incredible day it was, that’s saying something.