Category Archives: Updates

Stuff & things 3: the one with the things

This is an updates post, which is different from a News post because News posts are capitalized, but it’s still got quality content about my life and books and stuff. Also, things! If you’re curious, you can read more stuff & things posts by clicking “Updates” to the left of this post’s title.


Interning

Hi. I got another internship! I love working at Entangled and I’m excited to continue doing so, but I wanted to expand a bit—and interning for an agency seemed the perfect way to do just that. Even better, it’s an agency I adore: Stonesong!

The original plan was to stay in Jersey City with friends, but since I go in the office about once a week, I’ve been making trips to NYC from home via Greyhound. (The station is two blocks from the office, thankfully.) I love everything about my new internship—the agents I work with are fantastic, warm, hilarious people who got me bagels so really we’re friends for life.

Also, they’re super smart and excellent agents, but. BAGELS.

Editing

Did you know I offer sensitivity reading? I offer sensitivity reading! Check my editorial services page here for pricing and all sorts of goodies.

I’m booked solid on both sensitivity reading and editing clients through October—genuinely thrilled and humbled to get to work on so many promising projects! If you want edits back to you by early November, it’s best to book now. Freelance editors generally prefer you book our services a few weeks (or even months) in advance.

Also, in exciting news: Rachel Davidson Leigh, one of my first clients, has her debut up for preorder! Get a signed copy of HOLD and support an indie bookstore here! Or order on Amazon. That is also an option. (Notice the shift in punctuation as we go from indie to Amazon.)

Life

Friends. Friends. I got a cat.

A cousin I’d never met before (my family is partially Italian, which roughly translated means “supermassive”) had a baby and couldn’t give the kitty the attention she deserved, so we adopted her. Her name is Monroe, she’s one and a half years old, and she likes shoelaces, wires, those light pointer things, and being rambunctious.

Reading

I’ve only read a few published books/ARCs since we last talked since I’ve been buried in manuscripts, but here they are:

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is a lot of fun—a bit darker than I’d anticipated, but such a fun take on heroes and villains and sharks! For fans of V.E. Schwab’s Vicious who like graphic novels. (This was actually one of my first graphic novels and now I’m itching to read more, so if you have recs, please leave a comment!)

Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa is one of those quiet contemporaries we often don’t hear much about outside of Quiet YA Roundups, which is a shame because it’s gorgeous. Lovely, layered writing; real, vibrant characters; teen angst galore. I really liked this—my agent suggested it to me since she felt there were some similarities between it and The Artwork Formerly Known As SWEETEST DOWNFALL, and I’m glad I picked it up.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: I GET IT, YOU ALL TOLD ME. Still, you could’ve told me MORE. (I loved this to pieces. Highly recommend the audiobook! Just got Crooked Kingdom in audio form like ten minutes ago and now I’m rushing a bit to finish this blog post so I can go listen, ha.)

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera was loaned to me and I FREAKING LOVE IT SO MUCH. Preorder. IMMEDIATELY. It’s hopeful and heartbreaking and lyrical and I want to live in the worlds Adam creates, even though I cried four times at this book.

Music

New to me: Keaton Henson’s “Petrichor” (link goes to Spotify) is as beautiful as what it’s named after. I don’t normally go for instrumental music, but this is so, so my jam.

New to everyone: I don’t know what genre Tor Miller’s American English album (link goes to Spotify) is, but it’s incredible and I need someone to listen to it and talk to me about it. Try “Headlights” if you’re not sure—I am obsessed with that song.

Other stuff

Are you following me here on WordPress? I only have a handful of followers at the moment—used to have more, but then I moved this site from Blogger—and it makes my self-esteem deflate to a normal person’s level. We can’t have that. Click the follow button at the top of your screen and I’ll love you forever (and also follow you back).

That’s all, folks! Thanks for reading. Much love to you!

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Stuff & things 2: revenge of the stuff

This is an updates post, which is different from a News post because News posts are capitalized, but it’s still got quality content about my life and books and stuff. I’m gonna try to make these posts a regular fixture on this blogamajig, so we’ll see how that goes.

ANYWAY.

The Manuscript (Code Name: The Artwork Formerly Known As SWEETEST DOWNFALL)

Well, Prince died, so I dunno if it’s okay to keep calling this The Artwork Formerly Known As SWEETEST DOWNFALL. Anyway, the only real update here is that we have a possible title for the time being. It makes me laugh every time I try to say it out loud, so there’s that. Don’t want to say what it is right now because there’s a strong chance it’ll change again, but it’s a goodie, trust me.

The WIP (Code Name: Fluffy Cereal)

I had a revelation about this one, thank god. I like to have first lines in place when I’m starting to write a project; I feel like they tell me as much as an outline could, at least in terms of tone and character. I spend a lot of time on them, too, and as a result they don’t normally change in a significant way in edits. With Fluffy Cereal, I originally had a half-baked line that was trying to be Artwork Formerly Known As SWEETEST DOWNFALL’s, and I was kinda-sorta happy with it for a while. About 10k words in, I had a better idea—the main character is drunk off his ass in the first scene, so I wanted to capture his goofy nature and his utter shitfacedness in one sentence. I thought I accomplished that! I was happy! Aaaand then I wasn’t.

I took a long look at it, thought some thoughts, wrote more of the manuscript. The story ran out of steam—like, quickly. I had just finished the first act, but the second act felt like it was the third.

And that’s how I realized I needed to start the story a month before where it is currently. Fun times! I’m rewriting now, which I’m annoyed about, but it’s a good thing for a few reasons:

  • I am cognizant of the major flaws and plot holes that were bugging me in the original draft but which I screamed “THAT’S A FIRST-DRAFT PROBLEM” at, and I get to correct them this time around;
  • I’m introducing new characters, which is great because my casts are usually SO TINY and I know that won’t fly with every book I want to write;
  • The MC’s revealing a whole new side of himself, and I’m getting a firmer grasp on his backstory.

The Shiny New Idea (Code Name: Overdue Hug)

Not much progress on this front, mostly because I was procrastiwriting this when Fluffy Cereal frustrated me, but now I have so much work to do with that one! So much. So. Much. On the bright side, I did find a singer who looks exactly like the love interest, so there’s that? (I totally made the character wear eyeliner because the singer does.)

Reading

Since we last talked I read a few pretty great books! I felt like the last person in the world to read Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, but I finally did and it blew me away. I’ve never been so awestruck by formatting.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson is a gorgeous haunt of a book. Henry felt so real and honest, and I fell so in love with Diego. I want a Diego. GIVE ME A DIEGO, WORLD.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum is adorable contemporary romance that feels like a teen rom-com, which is the highest compliment. (Why don’t we have more teen rom-com movies? Get on that, film industry executive people.)

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead exemplifies fantastic middle grade. So, so smart in a way I don’t think people understand MG can be.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. THAT IS ALL. (Read it.)

Music

New to me: Quietdrive’s whole The Ghost of What You Used to Be album (link goes to Spotify), which is so up my alley I’m a little shocked I haven’t heard it before. I like the first track, “Tattoo,” especially.

New to everyone: Fifth Harmony’s 7/27I don’t understand why I like pop like this, but I so, so do.

Other stuff

Julie Hammerle’s debut, THE SOUND OF US, comes out this Tuesday! It’s pitched as Pitch Perfect at opera camp, and it’s absolutely hilarious. I worked on it as an intern (and I have my boss’s permission to talk about this, worry not!). You absolutely want it. I know you. You’re that person. We’ve had a lot of laughs, you and me. PREORDER THE BOOK.

Also, are you following me here on WordPress? I only have a handful of followers at the moment—used to have more, but then I moved this site from Blogger—and it makes my self-esteem deflate to a normal person’s level. We can’t have that. Click the follow button at the top of your screen and I’ll love you forever (and also follow you back).

That’s all for right now! Thanks so much for reading. You’re a real pal, you know?

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Stuff & Things

Updates updates updates!

The Artwork Formerly Known As SWEETEST DOWNFALL

I turned in a round of edits about a week and a half ago and I’ve been on cloud nine since. This is the book I always wanted TAFKASD to be. Agent Heather is taking it to the next level, and I’m so thrilled to be working with her. Also, she’s fun to talk to. I never really expected agents to be funny or charming or approachable when I started querying back in the olden days, but Heather is all three—and also professional. I don’t know how she does it.

Also, we’re making progress on the title! We might not have to type out The Artwork Formerly Known As SWEETEST DOWNFALL much longer! Will update that once there’s news (titles are important to me).

BREAK THE WORLD, my WIP

As of right now, I have 14,177 words. I’ve been writing this one slowly—TAFKASD had first priority, of course—but ever since I turned that in, my daily word count has increased pretty steadily. I don’t generally keep track because I write in Word and I’d have to do math, but I think yesterday was a 1.5k day—yesterday I wrote more than one-tenth of this thing I’ve been working on for months. Yay!

BREAK THE WORLD is much, much lighter than The Artwork Formerly Known As SWEETEST DOWNFALL—the similarities pretty much begin and end at “gay contemporary YA set in New Jersey.” I don’t want to talk plot, so instead I’ll list some things I love about it:

  • There are three boys—Emory, the narrator; Jude, the love interest; and Peter, Emory’s best friend—and I am in love with all of them despite Peter being straight
  • It’s fucking funny
  • It’s from the POV of an extrovert falling in love with an introvert, which is something I’ve noticed isn’t super common in the YA romance I’ve read, so, yay!
  • Because it’s an upbeat and largely fluffy book, the playlist is mostly upbeat music. I listen to my current book’s playlist frequently, even when I’m not actively writing, and I’ve noticed I’m in a better mood as of late. I think these things are interconnected, somehow, in some small way—music has to have an effect on mood, if just in me
  • There is a sibling relationship (Emory and his older sister Rowan), and siblings are so fun to write
  • I don’t generally write to theme, but I realized over plotting that BTW has two subjects it tackles: the day-to-day of recovery and all its nuances and steps backward and little victories, and your sense of agency and how you reclaim it when it’s taken from you
  • BREAK THE WORLD has a “talking” Venus fly trap named Herbert; random, late-night, anonymous, illegal acts of kindness; a very, very subtle but present Hamilton reference; casual gay sex; a narrator who loves gardening; a love interest who loves poetry; a best friend who loves cereal; and a writer who could not be more in love with all of it
  • I want to share so many parts of this book with you so you can understand why I’m obsessed with it.

Interning

Obviously I can’t say a whole lot about the details of my internship publicly—it’s unprofessional and Wouldn’t Do. That said, I read a slush manuscript the other day and I loved it. Like, it blew me away, and my reader report was glowing. Slush works. Cross your fingers, friends!

Also—and I’ve received confirmation that I can talk about this, so, yay!—I’ve helped out with or seen quite a few of the books on Kate’s list, so I’m going to name- and link-drop some I especially love (links go to Goodreads):

  • WHY I LOATHE SUMNER LANE by Ingrid Paulson: I’ve read a few iterations of this, and guys. It’s incredible. SUMNER LANE is like a YA romcom—it’s fun and snappy and adorable. You will love it.
  • 27 HOURS by Tristina Wright: Absolutely thrilling, in more than one sense. It’s fast-paced, full of action and conspiracies and battle scenes—and it has diverse characters at the forefront of that action and those conspiracies and battle scenes. LGBTQIAP+, disabled people, and people of color. 2017!
  • THE SOUND OF US by Julie Hammerle: Pitch Perfect at opera camp. YOU NEED IT. TSoU is so beyond adorable I’m getting butterflies thinking about it. Plus the cover is gorgeous—don’t you want that on your shelf?

#DVpit

I’m offering critiques for writers participating in #DVpit, a Twitter pitch party about and by marginalized voices! If you’re participating, feel free to send me your query and/or your pitches for critique. The instructions are in the “resources” section on Beth Phelan’s #DVpit homepage. I’ve been told I’m thorough, so there’s that. PLEASE NOTE: There is a backlog right now, and I’m working to get back to everyone with the attention their work deserves. Thanks muchly for your patience!

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