Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I want to tell you about Trafficked

Yes, I'm emerging from the weeks-long writing/life/derby cave. No, I'm not done with book 2. Only about half done, actually. But I had to climb out, because I have something oh so important to tell you:

You need to read this book.

No seriously, you should read it now.

The other night I was curled up in a fluffy hotel bed in Montreal, midway through a vacation weekend that included a game of roller derby against Montreal's New Skids on the Block and some serious writing research (because, as I mentioned earlier, book 2 takes place in Montreal!). It was late, and I was using the Westin wifi to catch up on my GoogleReader. A post from The Story Siren came up, and I nearly blew by it. It was a guest post by Kim Purcell, talking about her own research travel to Moldova for her YA novel that came out last week, Trafficked. And the post was intriguing and terrifying.

I immediately went to Amazon and read the sample, and when I got to the end of it, I bought the whole book. And then I didn't stop reading, in the dark on my laptop while my husband and my dog snoozed, until I finished. And then I laid in bed thinking about the story, and Hannah, the main character. You have to meet Hannah. She's a victim of human trafficking who refuses to see herself as a victim. In every situation where she can give herself agency, she does it. She has spunk and life, even in the most horrible of situations.


Kim Purcell, please write a sequel to Trafficked. Please. I want to see Hannah further come into her own here in the US. I want to see the work of the organization that helps her. I want to see her stand up to Lillian and Sergey and Paavo in court. I want to see what happens to the children. I want to know a little bit more about the neighbor boy, who was so thoughtfully written. He wasn't a savior, he wasn't swoony. He had his own problems, and he was confused by Hannah. And yet he did the thing that needed to be done at the moment it needed to be done.


So please, pick up this book. I promise you, you won't be able to put it down, and it will change the way you look at your safe little world, at least for a little bit. It's an Important book with a capital "I." And then come back and tell me what you thought of it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Curiously Absent ... aka, the Life of an Author Between Book 1 and Book 2

I know, I know, I've been a little MIA lately around these parts, but that's because I'm smack in the middle of Book 2. And also starting to prep for the release of Meant to Be, aka Book 1 (only 285 days to go!).

And well, I've been spending the last 48 hours gazing longingly at this:

Yep, that's the title page to my very YA first novel, our November 13, 2012! Wendy, my editor, sent first pass pages, which basically means the thing is typeset and LOOKS LIKE A BOOK. My job is to go through looking for typesetting or small proofreading mistakes. This is not the time to decide that I want to change a setting or conversation. That ship has sailed. All I can do now is look for misplaced commas or misspellings.

I estimated that I have to read through 23 pages per day to get through it all by February 14, when it's due back to Random House. I sat down last night to get started, and can you imagine my shock when I ended up at 40 pages! I actually got sucked into my own story, which is kind of crazy since I wrote it and I know what's going to happen. And then I looked over at my husband, blinked back a few tears, and said, "Um, I think this is pretty good." I can't wait for you guys to have Meant to Be and fall in love with it as much as I have. It's funny and sweet and swoony ... it's a rom com with some serious heart.

But it's not all daisies and roses around here. Yes, it's really exciting to have Meant to Be in my hands, almost a real live book, but there's WORK to be done. Serious work. Beyond reading through it carefully for mistakes, I'm also knee-deep (well, maybe more like neck-deep) in the first draft of book 2. So far I've got 6 chapters, 18,900 words, and 2 POVs. Oh, you didn't know? Book 2 is told in dueling perspectives!

And so while reading through Meant to Be, I also have 4 new chapters due, plus a revision on the first 6. All by February 14th. There's going to be some serious celebrating come Valentine's Day, that's for sure! Luckily I can do that celebrating in Montreal, where I'll be playing roller derby, eating poutine, and doing some vacation book research. Oh, you didn't know? Book 2 is set in Montreal!