Thursday, March 29, 2012

If the Internet was High School, I'd Vote Book Bloggers Most School Spirited

I want to take a minute to say how much I love book bloggers. Seriously, book bloggers are THE BEST. Before I was on the published author track, I loved reading book blogs to find out about great things I should be putting on my Goodreads list. I have book bloggers to thank for finally getting into Sarah Ockler, Gayle Forman, Rachel Hawkins, and Jenny Han. Is there any greater gift than a good book? I don't think so. I love their enthusiasm over books and how contagious that enthusiasm could be.

But now that I'm a mere 7 months (!!!) from publication of my debut novel, I love love LOVE book bloggers. Over the last couple weeks, I've been spotting a ton of Waiting on Wednesday posts, which are inevitably followed by a slew of comments from people who are psyched up about reading Meant to Be, some of whom heard about it for the very first time from a blog post! Thanks to book bloggers spreading the word (and the love!), the adds on Goodreads have jumped to exponentially! You guys, thank you so much for blogging and sharing and talking up my book. I really hope you all love the insides as much as the outsides!

And if you're psyched about Meant to Be, I have some good news for you:  I'm almost done with the second book on my Random House contract, another stand-alone contemporary YA comedy. I can't tell you much about it yet, but I can tell you that I'm working hard to make sure it's HILARIOUS (with some swoony bits in there, too!). There's a little bit of The Parent Trap meets a little bit of The Cutting Edge, and I promise, you're going to lust after it, too!

While I've been a little absent from these parts due to my insane writing schedule, I have been tumbling fairly frequently over at, so follow along there to see little snippets of my brain. Posts over there seem to fall into one of three categories:
  • Writing is hard, ya'll
It's basically like being inside my head, except less messy and slightly less insane.

Once I finish book 2 (which should be just four short weeks from now!) I'll be a lot more into the whole long-form blogging thing. I'll probably also have a lot more news to talk about, if these recent Waiting on Wednesday posts are any indication!  Keep up the blogging, and if you have a post to share about Meant to Be, leave it in the comments!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Round-Up of News

The first piece of news is that I'm blogging over at the Apocalypsies today telling you all about how freaking fantastic Lissa Price's Starters is. It's out today, and you will definitely want to pick up a copy.

The second piece of news is that I have my very first author appearance scheduled! Looks like I'll be speaking at Literacy Night at Foxboro High School for World Book Night. I'll be talking about reading, writing, and Meant to Be, and we'll even have a few ARCs to give away! I'm really excited about it. I'll post more details when I have them.

And finally, a huge thank you to all the people who commented, tweeted, facebooked, smoke signaled, or e-high-fived me about Meant to Be's fabulous cover. The internet love was out of control, and I definitely have a case of the warm fuzzies.

Now that the cover is out, I can share these great pictures of my family's traveling ARC of Meant to Be!

My mom, reading MTB at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
My grandparents diving in after my mom handed it off to them
If you have an ARC of Meant to Be and want to show off a picture of it out in the wild, send it on to me (lemorrill at gmail dot com), and I'd love to post it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

An announcement!

I know, I know ... it's been too long since I've blogged, but it's all because I've been writing my behind off on book 2! And also because I got my wisdom teeth out yesterday, which is no fun at all. But now I'm back, because I have a very exciting announcement about book 1, Meant to Be. Are you ready?

Like, really ready?

Because I'm SO ready.

Drumroll please ....


Oh wait, you want to see it?




One second, lemme grab the file ...


Introducing ....

Isn't it so pretty??? I am in LOVE with the color bursts and the London skyline and the green grass ... and also the fact that that's MY. NAME. on the cover! I just couldn't be happier...

So now when you head on over to Goodreads, not only will you see the full synopsis, but you'll see the cover, too! And I recommend that you do that right quick!

Alrighty, back to work on book 2 (which I can't wait to tell you more about!) with frequent breaks to stare at my cover!

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!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The YAmazing Race!

You made it! Welcome to my humble internet home, and your next stop on Leg 5 of the YAmazing Race! I know it's been a long, arduous journey, but with so many MGnificent prizes awaiting, I'm pretty sure it's worth it.

If you're reading this and wondering, "What in the heck is the YAmazing Race and how can I join?" then head on over to the Apocalypsies page to read the full rules and get started on the journey to win ARCs, gift certificates, and other awesome swag. Over 50 prizes are up for grabs!

And now, on to the race...

Take note, YAmazing Racers. #hint #hint

Cyrano de Bergerac meets YA in a Shakespearean comedy of errors in which one mysterious romantic text message sets off a wild goose chase full of mistaken identity, misdirected chemistry, and misguided heartache. Join Julia and her classmates as they tour London and find themselves lost in mystery, romance, heartache, and more than a bit of trouble. If you love contemporary YA, romantic comedies, swoony boys, and not-so-swoony boys, then you will love Meant to Be.

Oh, but don't just trust me ... why don't you ask Sarah Mlynowski?

Shameless, shameless self-promotion ... really, I'm ashamed #sortofbutnot

Meant to Be releases November 13, 2012 from Delacorte, and I can't wait for you all to read it! But first, you need to mentally prepare yourself for the next and final stop on this leg of the YAmazing Race ... because you've got a quiz coming up! Thanks for stopping by, I hope maybe you'll came back and visit me sometime, maybe learn a little bit more about Meant to Be, maybe get psyched up for book 2, which I'm working on right now, or maybe just learn a little bit about my super hero second life as a roller derby queen.

Oh, wait! Before you go, a bonus contest! In honor of the amazing Sarah Mlynowski, who is one of my favorite contemporary authors, if you leave a comment here with your email address or twitter name, then you'll be entered to win a copy of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have), which I picked as one of my favorite reads of 2011.

Have you commented? Great, now head on over to finish out the YAmazing Race. Thanks for stopping by!

EDIT: There have been so many awesome entries into my giveaway, that I can't bear to only have one winner! SO when I draw for a winner, I'm going to pick 2 people! The first winner gets a copy of Ten Things We Did, and the second winner gets a copy of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Pretty awesome, right? Just doing my part to spread the YA contemporary love!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Unveiling My Shiny New Blog!

If you're reading this through Google Reader or some other RSS aggregator, I recommend clicking over to the site for a quick moment so you can check out my sassy new design! I'm so excited to have a design that is gorgeous and eye catching that also fits my style to a T. Don't you just love it?

First, a little commentary on author websites. I think it's cool to have one, and I've seen a lot of truly spectacular ones out there. But every time I go to an author website, my first (and pretty much only) click is the blog link. That's all I'm really interested in. I might look at the books they've written (if I didn't already know) or their bio page, but those can both exist via a blog, so instead of setting up some kind of snazzy author website, I decided to keep everything really centrally located and just go with a blog.

I found Don, my badass designer, after I saw that he did a gorgeous redesign for a blog I read called Sometimes Sweet. Don runs a blog called Adeline's Daddy that is all about his completely adorable family and his design work. After clicking through a couple other blogs he did, I contacted him and got him on board to do mine for a really reasonable price. With only a couple of emails that included me babbling about colors I like (blues, greens, purples) and colors I don't (pink), plus a couple lines about how much I like vintage library stuff, he came up with this design.

And I'm so in love with it. So click around a little on my navigation buttons over there on the library card, and check out the sweet widgets for all my social networking on the bookmark. Pretty sweet, huh? Seriously, it's perfect! Don, thank you so much for all your hard work. I'm totally going to steal your kid's name for a character in a future book and make her the cool, smart, fun, nice girl.

Ok, back into my hole to finish chapters 3 and 4 today. Book 2 is chugging right along!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Being an author means...

I did a big thing this weekend. It may not seem very big to those outside of my world, but it's very VERY big to me.

But first, some background...

You see, I started playing roller derby in 2007. From the very first time I strapped on my skates (a pair of Carreras I got off of ebay for $35), I was hooked. I wanted to skate ALL THE TIME. And that's pretty much what I did. I skated my way through my last semester of grad school. I skated my way to Boston for my first job, and from the time I joined the Boston Derby Dames in the summer of 2008, I pretty much played as much roller derby as I could. I volunteered for extra games outside of the league, I signed up for every extra travel game I could, and I never EVER missed a home game.

Wicked Pissahs v. Nutcrackers, BDD Hometeam Championships (we won!)

As you can imagine, this is a pretty big chunk of my life. I attend 2-3practices a week, lasting from 2-4 hours depending on if it's a team practice or a scrimmage day. And it's not just skating. As a member of the league's executive board, I have a lot of admin work I do from home, and as the manager of our all-star travel team, The Boston Massacre, I'm pretty much always on email organizing games and dealing with team business. It's like having another part time job, but it's never bothered me because I LOVE IT.

With the Boston Massacre at WFTDA Eastern Regionals, just before we played London
 But now that I work full-time and am on a book 2 schedule that's so aggressive I think it would make Norman Mailer cry, I'm finding that I need to prioritize my life in a way I've never had to before. And so what was that big thing I did?

I withdrew my name from tryouts for the Boston B Party, Boston's traveling B Team.

Skating against Jersey Shore with the B Party (photo by Dezdemona Lott)
What does this mean exactly? I'm still skating for the Wicked Pissahs and managing the Boston Massacre, but I can no longer commit to an extra practice every week and traveling to extra games. And that really sucks. Because B Party games are really fun. But I know myself and what I have on my plate, and right now my priority needs to be working on Book 2. And that's the part that doesn't suck ... knowing my limits, and making a big girl decision that doesn't exceed them.

Holy crap, I'm becoming a grown up. When did that happen?!

Ok, now back to work, so that I can get everything in my office done, so that I can do a final edit on my first two chapters of Book 2 before I send them in (Beth, if you're reading this, it'll be later tonight!)

Book 2, I'm coming for you. (photo by Sergio Keith Abe)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Goals for 2012

I'm not a big New Years Resolution person. In fact, I don't think I've ever kept a single one! Well, I take that back. Sometime in high school I probably resolved to quit biting my fingernails, and I managed to accomplish that sometime during grad school. Does that count?

But I am down for goals. I like accomplishing things, like shaving seconds off my lap time in derby, or reading a certain number of books each year. So instead of resolutions, I'm going with goals, which can be accomplished at any time.

This bottle is hanging out at work with me. Love it!
Drink more water ... My liquid diet is made up of mostly Coke and Starbucks grande nonfat iced chai. My body is probably begging for hydration, so I think it's about time I answered the call.

The first bits of work on Book 2
Write a novel ... ok, this is kind of a cheat, because I'm contractually obligated to do this. But I'm going to say that once Book 2 is turned in (around June), I should finish a draft of something else.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Lauren has read 0 books toward her goal of 52 books.

Read 52 books ... this one shouldn't be a problem. I hit 60 in 2011, and 52 is only an average of a book a week. But it's nice to set at least one goal you'll have no trouble accomplishing! This is one you can track along with me (and set you own goal!) over at GoodReads. This one probably also won't be that hard with all the amazing Apocalypsies book debuting this year!

What are your goals for 2012?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In 2012, I resolve to be waaaaay more nerdy

And to kick that off, here's my very first (super cheesetastic) video blog! Just a little debut year message for all of you

I'm new to this whole vlog thing ... seriously, I made that about 5 minutes ago, and until then I'd barely used the video feature on PhotoBooth. So if you have any tips, feel free to share them! And of course, I'm always open to ideas for what in the heck I should talk about (though I won't be doing this often ... hello, did you see me in that one?!)

Happy New Year from a super nerdy 2012 debut author!

Meant to Be
November 13, 2012

Join The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge, and read Meant to Be along with a ton of other great 2012 debuts!