I am so excited about Teen Fiction Cafe's 3rd anniversary! Almost exactly three years ago, my friend and fellow author Sara Hantz and I noticed our first YA novels were launching at about the same time, and we decided to put together a group blog featuring YA authors from all over the world. Not only do we have fun posting about various topics, we've all grown to be friends with each other as well as with our readers. We'll be celebrating our anniversary every day through March 13, so drop by often for chances to win prizes and to learn how far each of us has come in the past 3 years.
Three years ago, I was anxiously waiting to see my first YA novel, The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, which came out in December of 2007. Though I'd had some nonfiction books published, this was my first work of fiction, and I was beyond excited. My fabulous husband threw me a huge book launch bash at the Eccles Art Center in Ogden, Utah, and though the weather was less than ideal, it meant so much to me that so many friends and relatives braved the snow to come. Siren went into its second printing only a few months after its launch, which I thought was pretty cool. Also, my second YA manuscript, then called Cupid Girl, was a finalist in the YA category for the 2007 Romance Writers of the World's Golden Heart contest. It was so much fun to go to Dallas for the parties and ceremony (see photo of my DH and me all decked out). My publisher, Simon Pulse, liked this story and just over a year after Siren, my 2nd YA novel came out with a new title: Miss Match. Both Siren and Miss Match are romantic comedies, part of the Simon Pulse Ro-Coms . While I enjoyed writing these very much, I wanted to challenge myself by taking my writing in a whole new direction. For over 2 years, I wrote and worked on on a story about a girl who gets in too deep with a pair of shoplifters, and I was so excited (and relieved) when in November of 2009, my publisher bought Lifted. It's coming out in 94 days--that's June 8!
So, to summarize my authorly journey these past 3 years: 1 publisher, 2 fabulous agents (Christina Hogrebe, pictured below in the pretty black leaf-print dress, and Annelise Robey of Jane Rotrosen Agency), 3 YA books, 5 different editors (!), 1 TV appearance, several newspaper articles, lots of school visits and book signings, 1 key-note speech, 1 writers' conference put on with a writer friend, several presentations for other writers' conferences, and one marriage proposal from a 14 year-old boy. :)
As part of Teen Fiction Cafe's 3rd anniversary celebration, I'm giving away a set of 3 wooden bangles. They're purple like The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren--the little purple book that came out 3 years ago. For a chance to win, just leave a comment between now and March 13 (we'll announce all the winners on March 15). My middle son will draw the winner out of a hat. Good luck, and thanks for stopping by to help us celebrate!