Thursday, March 19, 2015


You may have noticed that March 17th came and went with no fanfare from me. Which would be normal for most days, except that March 17th was supposed to be the day that my book, BITE INTO BLOODSUCKERS, came out.


My co-author Kari-Lynn Winters and I worked really hard on that book. Like, REALLY hard. I lost sleep more times than I care to admit. So did our editors, and the book designer, and everyone else. But unfortunately, things just didn't quite work out. There were layout things and cover things and all kinds of other things, and all the THINGS just took too long.

Sometimes, this happens.

Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, things just don’t go to plan. It's nobody's fault. It's just the way things go.

It’s disappointing, but it’s okay.

I would rather have my name on a great book than a rushed book. I think this is important to remember, for creators everywhere. Producing stuff you're proud of is important.

SO, I’ve been told by my publisher that our new release date will be sometime in JUNE. Just in time to try out the fun activities in the book in the warm summer months! YAAAY! Mark your calendars!

And in the meantime, you can order BITE INTO BLOODSUCKERS on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Thanks for your support, and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

When You Wish Upon a Star...

I want to talk with you guys about wishes.

I’m not a particularly superstitious person. I don’t believe that the Universe is out to get anyone, or that the Universe is tilted in anyone’s favor. I do believe that we reap what we sow, but that’s more of an “if you put forward your best self and keep your goals in sight and don’t let the crappy things that happen to you stop you from trying, things will eventually work out in the positive” thing than a Karma or Juju thing.

(Notice that I acknowledge that crappy things happen. They happen to everybody. Nobody’s life is just magically free of crapitude.)

But I totally believe in making wishes.

I wish on everything: falling stars, the first star of the evening, fallen eyelashes, clementine rinds when you peel them off all in one piece, snowflakes

I don’t make wishes because I think that making a wish alone is enough to make something happen. There’s no magic fairy dust that falls on you and changes your reality just because you wished for something. Wishing can’t change the lottery numbers as the machine is popping them out. It can’t make the rain stop, or the temperature go up by ten degrees.

But what wishing CAN do - what it DOES do - is keep you focused. It keeps you moving forward. It reminds you of what you want, so that when the opportunities come, you can take them. And it reminds yo to create opportunities when you can.

Also, it reminds you to keep working for what you want. Emphasis on WORKING. Because working is hard. The discipline is hard to maintain. You need to remind yourself what you’re giving up all this free time for.

Me? I wished for a long healthy life for my kids, which is partly in my (and their) control, and partly up to chance. And I wished to work with an agent. (For about 5 years - yeah. This wishing thing takes TIME.)

Right now, I'm wishing to make a book that is so awesome, people won't be able to help but read it. It might take a while, but I'm gonna keep working on it and wishing for it.

So: wishes. I make them.

What do you wish for?

Monday, March 9, 2015


A while ago, I hinted that I hoped to have some good news to share soon. And then a few posts ago, I mentioned that my trip to New York City for the SCBWI Winter Conference had even more awesome than I was able to include in the post. There's no way you could have known, but those things were connected.

Hee-hee. I know. I'm such a tease.

ANYWAY. You probably want to know what my news is, right?

I bet you do.


Have I drawn this out long enough?

How about now?

Okay, NOW. I have.

Okay, already!

I wanted to wait until all the paperwork was finalized, buuuuut, now that the contract has been signed, I am THRILLED to announce that…

I am now represented by the AMAZING Laura Biagi, of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency!

I queried Laura last September and she requested my full in November. After she read my manuscript, we made an appointment to chat in New York on the day that I arrived for the conference. Chatting with her was fantastic - I could see that she had really thought about my manuscript, and I could also see that she really "got it". She is smart and on-the ball, she's a great communicator, she gets and loves what I'm working on, and I am so, so excited to have her by my side as we plan my career together!

So. Laura Biagi, Agent Awesome. MY AGENT. I can't believe I get to type that.

What is this crazy life?

To celebrate, I'm giving away a free query critique. Comment with your email address for one entry, share (and link to your shares in the comments) for more entries. The winner will be randomly drawn at midnight on Friday, March 13th/Saturday, March 14th.

And as always: you guys have been with me since my earliest days, and your support has kept me going through both light and dark moments. I love and appreciate every last one of you. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

It's a Party!

This is my second blog post in as many days.

I know. Crazy, right?

It’s a little ridiculous. But sometimes, life is just ridiculous.

I’m posting here to direct you to a party! What kind of party? A Facebook party! Which is the best kind, because PAJAMAS, amirite?


Some friends and I have teamed up to put together an event to celebrate our books. Come join me, LE Carmichael, Helaine Becker, and Joan Marie Galat while we SPRING into Science! We’ll have cool links, some science chat, a bit of origami, and, best of all, PRIZES! Including four GRAND PRIZES - one from each of us - for four lucky (randomly drawn) people who email us at the designated Spring Into Science email address posted on the event page.

My prize is this awesome collection of Bloodsucker-inspired cookie cutters. 

These will make the BEST COOKIES!

There’s a horse to represent the horsefly, lips to represent the kissing bug, a butterfly (Did you know there is a blood drinking butterfly? Have I given you nightmares now?), a chick to represent the vampire finch, a fish to represent the candiru, and a vampire bat. Awesome, right? I kind of wish I could keep these for myself. Think of all the possibilities!

The party is all online, so click THIS LINK between 1pm and 5pm TODAY, March 7th.

See you there!

Friday, March 6, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Opposite of Geek, by Ria Voros

It's Friday!

You know what that means: a full work-day of scrambling to get all those things done that you still haven't managed to wrap up before the weekend starts and no-one else will be at the office to take your calls!

Also, it's Book Review Day.

(Okay, Book Review Day is the real reason for Friday. That, and staying up late watching movies and making nomming popcorn.)

I've been participating in Ontario's Forest of Reading Program, which is basically a Readers' Choice award program for Canadian books. This means a Lot of Reading. A LOT. There are seventy books on my TBR list before voting starts in April! I've read a few real gems, so I'll be sharing some of those with you guys on Fridays for the next few weeks.

Most recently, I was delighted to discover The Opposite of Geek, by Ria Voros. Here's the blurb:

A piercing novel about the unnerving process of growing up, and a girl finding her feet.
Gretchen Meyers doesn't know exactly what went wrong, but life in the eleventh grade is beginning to suck. As if having a semi-nudist, food-obsessed family wasn't awkward enough, she has lost her best friend to the fanatical school swim team, and her chemistry grade is so close to negative digits that only emergency tutoring can save it. So far, so high school. Then James/Dean rolls into her life — also known as her zit-faced chemistry tutor James and his slightly less zit-faced cousin Dean. Kind-hearted rebels without a cause, they draw Gretchen out of classroom hell, and briefly the world seems full of possibility.
But everything changes over the course of one awful night.
Bewildered by harsh new emotions of grief and love, Gretchen realizes she must now decide who she wants to be and what it means to be loyal. Written partly in verse, as self-confessed poetry geek Gretchen finds new ways of expressing herself, The Opposite of Geek is a tale of haiku, high school, and heartache. Rich with humour, it explores all the anguished details of teenage life through the words of one girl who is finding her way.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I mean, I can tell you - I enjoyed it a LOT!! - but that's pretty inadequate. After thinking about it, I can break it down into a few key elements:

Characterization: I love the details with which the author imbues the minor characters. Gretchen's dad is German and her mom is Scottish, which plays out in all kinds of interesting little ways throughout the text. There are cliques, whose walls break down as we get to know the characters within them better. There is a guy who is totally hot on the outside, but totally not on the inside. When we talk about a world that is fully fleshed out, a big part of that is having three-dimensional characters living in it, and that is really well-done in this novel.

Playful and Interesting Storytelling Choices: There are moments in which this novel feels like it's been written in free verse, and other moments when it's written in haiku. There are moments wen it's straight-up prose. This could have been garbled and awful and jarring, but in this book, it just all flows and it WORKS. The changes to haiku happen at key emotional beats, when really, who thinks in whole sentences anyway? I felt that I was in good hands the whole time I was reading. I was in the hands of a person who knew how best to tell this story.

Language and Voice: Gretchen is a poet, and she uses phrases like "word sugar". Her voice matches the description we are given of her. That is so much rarer than it should be, and it's a delight when I find a novel in which there is a true synthesis of voice and character.

It all boils down to:

Honesty: The growth that Gretchen goes through in this novel makes sense given the circumstances of the story; the emotions and how the characters express them feel true; the world feels real.

This is a really, really good book, guys. You're missing out if you haven't read it.

Get The Opposite of Geek at your local independent bookstore, or from these online spaces:

IndieBound: CLICK HERE
Chapters: CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by.