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WoWHi, all! It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged, mostly because I really liked having my book deal blog post sitting pretty at the top, and also because I’m working on the next edition of Perpetual WIPs, which will feature eleven awesome published authors!

But, I do love this What’s Up Wednesday meme, created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, and so, bye bye, book deal post, and hello actual real life that’s still happening!

What I’m Reading

Admittedly, I’ve been in quite a slump lately – I’ve literally started four books in the last couple of months that I just couldn’t bring myself to finish yet. I did love THE DISENCHANTMENTS, but it was one glorious book in a sea of disappointments. And so now I’m reading what’s become my new go-to when I get depressed about the state of books: The Ruby Oliver series, by E. Lockhart. There are no words for how much I love this series – it just has the perfect voice, a fantastically believable and human main character, and it’s a great exploration into the considerably more everyday issues of teens. In short, it’s the series that makes me wish I knew more teen girls, just so I could hand out the books like candy.

What I’m Writing

My life is basically endless revision right now – I feel like I haven’t drafted something in a billion years! (Unless you count the new chapter I just wrote, but it was for revision purposes.) Right now I’m waiting on one more set of beta notes on my contemporary YA called JUST VISITING, and then as soon as that gets its final revision and goes off to my agent, I’ll return to the revisions I already had in progress of my contemporary NA, ONCE YOU GO GREEK. (I was 80 pages in when suddenly ALL THE THINGS happened and I had to not-so-gently shove it aside, but no more!) Then I hope to take a little break before returning my little 2K baby, which is another contemporary YA.

What Inspires Me Right Now

The number one thing that inspires me right now is imperfection. While reading THE DISENCHANTMENTS, I had the same thought I saw a lot of other readers did in the reviews – “Bev sucks.” But here’s the thing – Bev doesn’t suck because she’s a badly drawn character, or an unbelievable one. She “sucks” because she doesn’t make every single decision we’d like her to make, and we disagree with the way she handles situations, and we love Colby and we don’t want him getting hurt.

Writing a character you know not everyone will love is a difficult thing, but it’s so much more impressive to write one who’s right and believable and perfect for the story at hand. Colby loves her for who she is, not who she should be, and who hasn’t been there in high school?

Confession: I know not everyone will like Ally, the main character in my book BEHIND THE SCENES. My husband just read it for the first time, and when I asked what he thought of her, he said the same thing some other readers did – he found some of her choices and reactions a little overdramatic and infuriating. “But then I realized… I just thought she was acting like a teenage girl.”

Bingo.

I don’t know who you were in high school, but I was overdramatic and infuriating. I like to think I was a lot of good things too, and I know Ally is, but I wasn’t perfect, and I don’t like reading characters who are, or who are treated like they are. I don’t want to write characters it’s impossible to live up to or relate to. I want to write the Bevs, the Rubys, the Allys, the Reagans and Victorias (i.e. the MCs of my newest ms). I want to write teenage me, who didn’t always understand the deep truth of “This too shall pass” or “Go for the nerdy ones.” And I love reading the authors who do this really, really well.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I have a beautiful new niece! But otherwise, this is pretty much it. That’s the thing about having a dayjob and freelancing and writing and blogging – life doesn’t really leave room for much else. Mostly, I spend the free time I’ve got watching TV with my husband and trying to learn WTF I’m supposed to do now that I’ve got a book deal. But for now, I’m pretty OK with that 😉

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