Saturday, January 31, 2009

Where I get my characters' names

I love choosing my characters' names. I get to use all the really cool names that my husband wouldn't let me name my children. (I tried to strike a deal with him that he could name all of the children he pushed out of his body, and I got to name all of the children I pushed out of my body, but he wouldn't go for it.)

He's sort of a traditionalist about names. In his mind a name has to be around for at least as long as the Bible for it to be considered a valid name. Which is why 4/5of our children have Bible names. (After 18 hours of labor with our last daughter, and a spinal headache, he patted my hand and said, "You can name her whatever you want." I should have named her Chanel, because then she would be our Chanel number 5, but no, that idea didn't occur to me until long after the ink was dry on the birth certificate.)

Anyway, while I was writing My Fair Godmother (and Just One Wish) I was teaching the nursery class at church. The kids were sooo cute and had such hip names, that I admit I stole several of them for my novels.

Here is a picture of Savannah
And here is a picture of Hunter. (Although the Hunter in the book never wears rabbit ears)
Aren't they so darling? And as a bonus, both of their parents want to buy the book. I should have thought of this idea long ago. My next character may be named Oprah . . .

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Good news! My Fair Godmother was just optioned! This basically means that a very brilliant producer wants to make the book into a movie. Now I'm waiting and crossing my fingers that everything else will come together, because I've always thought this book would make a great movie.

Statistically speaking, most books that are optioned don't actually make it to the box office, but I'm happy regardless because the fact that it got optioned feels like validation to me. Someone else in the business saw the potential in this book. Yay!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

professional jealousy

I was going to put up pictures of my Utah trip, but alas, Techno Bob is on a scout camp-out with one of the offspring, and I am pathetically unable to upload pictures onto my blog. (And no, I don't know how to work my cell phone or our DVD player either. I have mastered the toaster, even though it came with three additional buttons that didn't used to be on our older, less techno-savvy toaster. Seriously, the new one has a cancel button--I suppose for people who change their mind about making toast and want to retrieve their uncrispened bread, yet have never figured out how to flip the toast lever up.)

However an interesting subject came up on one of the writers' lists I'm on. Someone who hasn't seen any nibbles on their novel was bemoaning the fact that a high school friend submitted a book to an agent and two weeks later had a contract.

Yeah, that happens. And it's hard.

I remember how badly I wanted to be published. It wasn't just a want--like you want ice cream, or you want that new dress. It was an actual physical ache that I couldn't really explain to anyone else or to myself.

Pre-published authors tend to see that book contract--or better yet, that fresh new book--as the finish line: the accomplishment of the goal.

It's not though. It's just the beginning.

And that whole jealousy/want cycle doesn't end when you get published.

Once you're published you'll have friends that get this award or that award, or the book tour, or that speaking engagement, or that movie deal, or that Newbery, or hit the bestsellers list, or um, get constantly compared to J.K. Rowling. (And yes, in fact I did know both Shannon Hale and Stephenie Meyer before they became ultra-famous.) And I don't think any of us want our friends not to do well, we're thrilled when they do, we just feel a little left behind.

For me, I've decided that it's much more important for there to be good literature out there for kids than it is for me to be famous/rich/compared to JK Rowling. I have a good life, a wonderful family, a husband who loves me and who thankfully can support our family. I have no cause at all to complain. So I can applaud the success of all of the authors that I love and realize that all gifts (talents) no matter how big or how small are equally important if we're striving to make the world a better place. It's like the parable of the widow's mite. I may only have two pence to contribute but it's still enough.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Win My Fair Godmother

I like to have contests that match the book I'm giving away, but I'm drawing a bit of a blank on this one. Hmmm. Tell me a story about when you defeated an ogre? Nah. Best tips for getting rid of those pesky dragons that keep chomping on villagers? I probably wouldn't get a lot of entries on that one . . .

How about this: leave a comment on where you would ask your fairy godmother to send you, and why. Answers can include real life places or fantasy ones. (Personally, I'd like to visit Battlestar Gallactica . . . but yeah, we won't go into my crush on Apollo.)

After the week is up I'll pick one winner and send them a copy. And just so that you really want the book, here is the teaser:

After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight.

Oh, and the YA Fresh blog will also be giving a book away on Friday so if you'd like to double your chances you can visit:

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Just One Wish interview

Despite the fact that my expression in the beginning of this interview makes me look like I am about to discuss something extremely distasteful (politics, grout stains, Paris Hilton) I am actually talking about something fascinating--my book. Okay, at least it's fascinating to me. I am frequently fascinated by myself.