The Next Step

So hi. I’m in the midst of moving from Tampa to Cincinnati, and life is sort of insane AWESOME right now. Moving. Bleck. Anyway, we’ve only lived in Tampa a little over three years, but I’m finding it harder to say goodbye than I thought. I’ve made some good friends here. The local indie bookstore hosted all three launch parties for the ARTICLE 5 books. This is where my son was born, and over the past few weeks I’ve been reliving all of the memories he’s given us in this house. The hallway we walked up and down (and up and down) at 3AM trying to get him to fall asleep. The living room where he took his first steps. I wrote four books in Tampa. Some on my couch when my office became the baby room, some standing at the kitchen counter because there was nowhere else to set my laptop, and some at a local coffee shop that was kind enough to proclaim a table outside as “Kristen’s office.”croc

(I can honestly say I had no intention of doing either of these things when I was in Florida)

I see nothing but good things on the horizon. (Joseph Beth Booksellers! Sledding! Louisville – home of ARTICLE 5 – just an hour away!) We will love Cincinnati, but Tampa will always hold a special place in my heart.

All right, Midwest, get ready. We’re coming back!

My Writing Process (Blog Hop)

Hi there!

I recently returned from the UCF Book Fair in Orlando where I had a really wonderful time presenting with Amy Christine Parker (GATED) and Christina Farley (GILDED)…sort of makes me wish I had a G- title…anyway, lots of fun.

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After our panel, I was invited to be the guest speaker in the Teen Scene Writing Workshop. Honestly, one of my favorite authorly experiences. These kids had spent the entire day conceptualizing ideas, supporting each other, and critiquing their work. It was inspiring just to be around them, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to share a little of my writing journey.

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(Apparently this is where I taught everyone how to do the Hand Jive.)

This week, I’m delighted to be taking part in the Writing Process Blog Hop, in which a whole lot of YA and MG authors discuss their…writing process (duh!). I was invited to join by the lovely Anne Greenwood Browne, author of the LIES BENEATH series and just all around likeable person. Filled with sexy, dangerous mermaids, Anne’s books held me captive from the first page. If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend them. You can read more about her writing process here.

As part of the blog tour, we were asked to answer four questions, and since I’m a good girl who follows the rules (sometimes), here are my answers:

  1. What am I working on?

Two things! I’m finishing edits for THE GLASS ARROW, which comes out in January 2015. This is the story of a world where women are endangered. One girl, who is caught in the wild and sold at auction, must return home to find her family. I’m also making some updates to METALTOWN, my next YA (2016) which follows three teenagers in a war-torn world who join together to unionize against their manipulative factory boss.

  1. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think my ARTICLE 5 books differ from those in the dystopian genre because they are so closely tied to the present. There aren’t any new technologies or fancy resources, in fact there are less resources due to the war that has taken place on US soil. The world in ARTICLE 5 is not so different from our world now just a few notable changes to our political structure. And by notable I mean really, really scary changes.

  1. Why do I write what I do?

I write the stories that pop into my head. They aren’t necessarily confined to a genre, they are just the results of what the characters tell me. I didn’t set out to write a dystopian story when I wrote ARTICLE 5. But following Ember’s journey led me to do just that.

  1. How does your writing process work?

I didn’t always outline, I was very much a pantser. Then, as I got farther into the series, I realized the importance of keeping track of all of the loose ends I’d so liberally set up early on. By the third book it became crucial for me to keep track of where everyone was supposed to be when. Now I outlined almost on my work. It’s not a very in-depth process for me, sometimes just a few pages. But it definitely helps keep the focus of the characters the progression of the plot clear in my mind

Thanks for stopping by! Next week you can continue on the Writing Process Blog Hop with Amy Christine Parker – who is a surprisingly well adjusted person for writing such freaky books… Kidding, kidding. She’s great, and GATED is amazing.