Friday, March 12

TFC ROCKS!

It's been fun to look back on the past three years with the other TFCers to see how much has changed. So that's the theme of my post today - changes.

Back when I sold my first book - SASS: NOW AND ZEN, a friend told me, "This will change your life forever." At the time I thought the statement was pretty dramatic. I mean, yes, I'd been chasing the publishing dream for years and yes, I'd just achieved that goal, but even then I was smart (wise? savvy? jaded?) enough to know that one publishing contract didn't mean I'd "made it".

But you know what? She was right. Things changed. Not the 'now you're a rock star" kind of change, but for sure, definitely, absolutely that little fork in the road set me on a different path.

One of the cool changes that came from being a published author was 'joining the club' so to speak. I'm still a total fangirl who doesn't even think I'm in the same universe as my favorite authors, let alone the same league, but whereas before I was a wannabe writer, when my first book was published, I became an author, just like them! And as an author, I got to be included in things that were previously beyond my grasp - such as group signings, school visits, contributing to anthologies, and being invited to participate with a group of completely cool authors on this blog. That, to me, was one of the most exciting, life-changing moments of all. It's been an honor and a joy to get to know my TFC sisters over these three years. *sniff*

The years have brought about other huge changes for me as well. When we first started TFC, I was in transition. I'd just left my first agent and signed with Elaine Spencer at the Knight Agency. I think that's the first time I really felt "legitimate" as an author.

My family was still living in Japan at the time, and I was busily researching for my next book, SASS: THE FINNISH LINE. That's when I discovered that women ski jumpers weren't (and still aren't) allowed to compete in the Olympics and I joined the fight for their inclusion. (You can read about it and sign the petition at the Womens Ski Jump USA website.) THE FINNISH LINE was released in the fall of '07, and earned a blurb from Olympian Gold Medalist Nikki Stone and a 'recommended read' nod from the Women's Sports Foundation.

I was busily writing my next book, DEATH BY BIKINI when my family and I made the move back to the States. That was a fun change because unlike the SASS series, which was written by a bunch of different authors, this was my own series. All me! Scary and fun at the same time. DBB presales were strong and it went to a second printing before the pub date. And then Scholastic Book Club picked it up to be included in the school book fairs. By the time it was released in May of '08, I was flying pretty high. That continued as DEATH BY LATTE was released in the fall and DEATH BY DENIM the following spring. (Side note: This spring the books will be re-released in a bind-up edition with all three under the title "THE DEATH BY BIKINI MYSTERIES".)

Meanwhile, like everyone else, the three years brought a lot of downs to go with all those ups. My publisher decided we should 'end strong' and not do a fourth DEATH BY book - even though they had asked me to leave the ending of book three totally open for one. (So now I get a ton of letters from readers wanting to know when the fourth book is coming and I have to sadly tell them... it's not.) I proposed a bunch of ideas that didn't go anywhere. I banged my head against countless walls.

BUT the frustrations all seem worth it when the good stuff happens. In the summer of 2008, I sold my first YA paranormal. It evolved into what is now TRANCE and will be released this fall. Fast forward another year (and countless proposals later) and I sold a four-book MG series about the international adventures of Cassidy Barnett. Those books will come out one per season starting in 2011.

For me, a former mom-wannabe-writer, these were some pretty huge changes in just three years. There's been good and there's been bad, but you know what? It's all been worth it.

How about you? What kinds of changes have you been through recently? Comment below to win your choice of one of the above mentioned (published) books. I will randomly draw a winner to be announced Monday, March 15.

BONUS: I just learned from my editor that I should have my TRANCE ARCs by the end of the month. In addition to the book-choice winner, I will draw one winner of the very first TRANCE ARC to anyone who blogs, tweets or posts about the TFC party today or tomorrow. (Post link in comments.) Ready? GO!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, TFC!!!!!

39 comments:

Kay Cassidy said...

Hooray for ARCs, Gerb!! I LOVE the cover!

bookaholic said...

Yay for ARCs!!I Tweeeted!http://twitter.com/Debasmitadhar/status/10382151718

Wendy Toliver said...

I love all of your books and am so excited for Trance and your MG series. Boy, you've been busy !!

Sara Hantz said...

Yay on the arcs. I can't wait to read Trance I LOVED the Death By series sooooo much.

Amanda Ashby said...

Gerb - snap! I so agree that one of the best parts is getting to hang with other ya authors. Not that I get to do that too often in person (apart from Sara, whose husband is pretty sure we never put down the phone!) but it's so nice being part of an online community and it definitely makes the hard parts of writing a lot more fun!!!!

Cherie J said...

Great post! Funny thing that you should mention changes. I have really had to change my lifestyle since sustaining a serious knee injury over a year ago. I had to undergo surgery and months of therapy before I could even walk again. It was a difficult time and due to all the scar tissue I developed so quickly my knee will never be back to normal so I have had to learn to adjust.

Cherie J said...

Forgot to also say I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/cherierj/status/10387802893

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Go, Gerb!

kristina shields said...

i'M GOING THROUGH A TIME WHERE MY PARENTS JUST GOT DIVORCED. It's kind of difficult from seeing my dad everyday to once every few months.

Finnish Line

Alyson Noel said...

Fantastic news, Gerb!! WTG!!
:)

KrysteyBelle said...

Changes? Well, the birth of Small Child was really the big one. Lots of changes, but lots of fun as well.

Tweet for Trance ARC here - http://twitter.com/KrysteyBelle

Elle Strauss said...

I've never won an ARC!
I tweeted here:
http://twitter.com/elle_strauss

Iffath♥Ahmed said...

Fabby! Great post! I'm so excited!
Well (quite) recently..I made the huge change..from being just an ordinary teenage girl, in Boringtown..then welcomed into the fantastic world of book blogging, authors..and ermm..more BOOKS! :) And I have to say - a very successful change it was!

Tweeted about Tance. http://twitter.com/lovereadingx/statuses/10391395116 :) :)

pepsivanilla said...

I'm in the middle of changes actually, getting ready to move away to college.

I posted here:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000503821687

hannah r0x yoUR soX! said...

One change I recently went through was the death of my grandma... I was really close to her, too.
It's alright though since she's alright now and free of cancer. :)
Love, Hannah
P.s. By the way, I love your Death by Bikini series!
Very cute!

Cassay said...

Yay for ARC's!!

Llehn said...

Thanks for sharing Linda!

Alexa said...

Changes? Well as a teen, I'm always changing, but nothing huge has happened to me recently. I am going to be driving in less than two months which is going to be an awesome change that I can't wait for.

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/naggy8/status/10404393861

mariska said...

ARC ? Pick ME ! pick ME !

I tweet'd here : http://twitter.com/becunique/status/10405596922

Gerb said...

Aw, you guys are great. Fellow TFCers, thanks for the love.

Bookaholic, thanks for tweeting!

Oh, Cherie - I'm sorry about your knee! (And thanks for tweeting.)

Wow, Kristina. ((((Hugs)))) I'm sorry you have to deal with that.

Um, yes, Krystey... the birth of a small child definitely qualifies... and your life will never be the same. Congratulations!

You're hereby entered in the ARC drawing, Elle.

Isn't the book-blogging community fantastic, Iffath? Welcome! (And thanks for tweeting!)

College is such a fun change, PepsiVanilla. I wish for you a fabulous college experience!

Aw, Hannah. (((Hugs)))) for losing your grandma.

Casay - I know, right???

Hi, Lehn! *waving*

Woo, Alexa! Driving! Now the real fun begins. : )

You are hereby entered, Mariska. Thanks for tweeting!

Bee said...

Wow, that's an inspiring story.
My life changed rapidly recently when I lost my grandpa, who I was closest to in the family. Then a schoolmate I knew passed away too and it all made me realise how flippant life is, which made me seriously want to finish this book I'm writing. I think it's working and it's not far away from being done :))

Btw, I tweeted: www.twitter.com/bee_muses

And you said it, TFC rocks!!

YA Vampire Books said...

Great post! Changes ...hmm? Well I turned 21 just a couple of days ago, that's a change! ;)

Andye said...

My big change this year has been joining the blogging world! I had no idea what I was getting into!

I would love to review Trance on my blog!

Here are some of my favorites so far...
http://readingteen.blogspot.com/search/label/A%20few%20of%20my%20favorite%20YA%20reads

Heather Kelly said...

These books look very enticing! I think it's great how you keep evolving and changing as an author. Good luck with TRANCE, it sounds amazing.

Jenn-ay said...

I don't know if this is open internationally, but here's my tweet

http://twitter.com/jennay1221/status/10429814724

Lea said...

Great post!

Changes...I guess the biggest change for me so far is taking more time out for the things I love to do, instead of always stressing about school. It can be difficult to balance, but it's worth it! ;)

Sean said...

http://twitter.com/Helios330

Representing TFC! You guys are great. :)

Holly said...

Awesome!

S.o.L.a.R. said...

Changes? Well recently I moved from NH to GA, I'd say that's a change.

And since I really LOVE the sound of Trance, I have tweeted!
http://twitter.com/Froze8

Andye said...

I'm writing again, because I just want to say that the Trance cover keeps grabbing my attention! It's fantastic, and I think it's really going to stand out on the bookstore shelves! Well done!

Laurena said...

Just have to say that the Trance cover looks awesome. Also, congratulations on your past three years. I can't wait to read your Death By series--they're on the top of my to read list now!

Erica said...

I really haven't been through any changes lately. I just do the same old same old for the most part.

Yay for Trance ARCs :) :) I tweeted here http://twitter.com/thebookcellarx/status/10453723746

Kelly said...

YAY for ARCs! BTW, love the cover. I tweeted: http://twitter.com/kghobbs/statuses/10454761483
kghobbs@gmail.com

Suzette said...

cool blog!!!

hope i win your book
soccer_chick.11(at)hotmail(dot)com

~ Suzette

Aliya said...

I loved your contributions to the SASS series. Will definetly have to check out your others :)

Kristen said...

I love that cover! I'm crossing my fingers for a win, because I haven't read any of your books yet and they all look fantastic!

dragonzgoil at gmail dot com

Melissa Walker said...

Linda, you are awesome!

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

Changes? Not yet but I know my life will going through some huge ones in the next year. I just need to take the leap.

Ok - one right now. I'm working on my first novel - something I never thought I'd do!

Bunny B said...

Well, I moved to a new place and it's exciting! Everything's new and it's fun having a place of our own. We get to choose the furniture and all that fun stuff :)