Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Great News for Great Friends

Liz and I have been friends since Kate signed us within a week or two of each other back in the spring of 2012, so when I found out that Albert Whitman wanted to buy Liz's latest sci-fi, I busted out my happy dance. The official announcement is over at Publishers Weekly, but if you don't feel like clicking, I've pasted it below:

"Wendy McClure of Albert Whitman has bought NA author Elizabeth Briggs's first YA project: a science-fiction novel called Future Shock plus a sequel. In the books, a Latina teenager raised in Los Angeles's foster care system with an eidetic memory is recruited by a tech company for a mission--a trip thirty years into the future. Publication is slated for March 2016; Kate Testerman of KT Literary brokered the deal for world English rights."


And in other awesome news, Amy's debut, RED BUTTERFLY, got its first review from Kirkus, and it happened to be starred. (I say "happened to be" like there was ever any doubt, but when I read RED BUTTERFLY many moons ago, it was already poignant and beautiful and everything you'd ever want from your award-winning MG. I'm sure it's only gotten better over time.) It's too long to paste below, but you should definitely check it out (and add it on Goodreads while you're at it!).

What about you? Any exciting news, writing or otherwise, that you'd like to share with us?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mini (Work-in-) Progress Reports

I haven't had a ton of time to blog lately, so here's a quick roundup of the projects I've been working on:


Word count (to the nearest thousand): 60,000
Status: Chilling like a villain (okay, not really like a villain, but it (sort of) rhymed)
Attitude: Not hostile

Also known as THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING, Steve is the little book that could. It recently occurred to me that I started querying this manuscript three years ago this month, and I'm STILL working on it. Okay, maybe I'm not actively working on it at the moment (and I'm pretty sure most of the heavy lifting is behind me), but I still have at least another round of pass pages to review and who knows what else. That said, holding an ARC in my hands for the first time was a really awesome moment, and I can honestly say that I don't hate this story anymore. I plan to give away an ARC or two on the blog and on Goodreads, but I probably won't get to those giveaways until after the holidays. In the meantime, you can pre-order him and/or add him to your Goodreads list, so if you're interested, you can check out the "Books" page above.


Word count (to the nearest thousand): 44,000
Status: Waiting for first pass pages
Attitude: Excited to see what happens next

We still haven't settled on a new title for Clyde, but since my last update, I have turned in a revision and finished copy edits, so things are moving along. Though the manuscript hasn't been designed yet, Sourcebooks has added this copyright page to the beginning of the document. Like a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly, Clyde is slowly but surely turning into a book.

Clyde the Second

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 48,000
Status: Working on the second draft
Attitude: Amused

I cranked out a few and have spent the last few months cleaning it up and getting reader feedback. Clyde the Second isn't a straight sequel, but it is a companion novel that takes a secondary character from Clyde and turns her into the main character. It's also a math mystery (thanks for the idea, Liz!) set at a summer camp. I'm still not sure if Sourcebooks will even want it, but I've enjoyed writing it, so that's something, at least.

Well, that's all I've got. What have you been working on in the last few months?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Actually, THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING got this blurb a while ago, but I haven't really appreciated it until now. When this blurb rolled in, I didn't understand that most authors won't have the time or inclination to read the books they're asked to blurb, and even the ones that do might not--or probably won't--be willing to put their names on it for a host of reasons. So this blurb from Tricia Springstubb, who wrote WHAT HAPPENED ON FOX STREET (among other things), has come to mean a lot to me:

"Krista Van Dolzer gives us a treasure in Ella Mae Higbee, a think-for-yourself, do-it-yourself heroine sure to win hearts. Like most of us, Ella Mae believes she knows the difference between right and wrong, until life and truth prove to be much more complicated. This is a story brimming with empathy, humor, forgiveness, and wisdom about what it means to be truly, fully human."

Ms. Springstubb picked up on everything I'd hoped a reader would pick up on, then expressed it in a beautiful, straightforward way. I'm not a hugger, but if I ever meet Ms. Springstubb, I might not be able to resist.