Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paperback Design of FIRST COMES LOVE

My publisher's showed me the paperback art of First Comes Love yesterday. It's PERFECT. It might be my favorite cover yet. I love the cactus, it definitely illustrates my story, and my characters (especially Gray). It won't be available until spring, 2013, but I still wanted to share it. We went back and forth over the hardcover--I get that it's steamy, and I can appreciate that, but I felt like it didn't quite fit my story. So, I'm really excited for this design.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Song Two

Here is song number two on the Second Chance playlist. It's called Kamera, by Wilco. This one is Dylan-inspired.


P.S. I had a great time at the Powell's Bookstore Block Party this weekend. Thanks to everyone who came and participated. There is nothing better than seeing a ton of people outside, together, to celebrate books and music. I was floating.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tom Petty, Intro

I'm putting together my playlist for Second Chance. So many songs helped inspire this book; it's hard to narrow them down. Here is song number one. It definitely sets the mood for Gray's mindset at the beginning of the book. Plus, it's just an amazing song:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Got a Haircut (and other earth shattering news)

As some of you may have noticed, I retired my Twitter account last week. I hope the cyber world will manage to continue without my status updates, and my small group of followers will not grieve too long for this loss. My agent suggested I open it when I published my first novel, Awaken, and I thought she was joking. I'm like, "Helen, have you read Awaken?" But, she pointed out it is great for marketing and publicity, which I admit, it is. I also don't knock something until I try it for myself (except for meth, I probably don't need to try that one to realize it isn't good for me). So, I went on Twitter and posted awkward status updates and lost hours of time reading other awkward status updates and it just wasn't for me.

I appreciate everyone who reached out to me on Twitter, and I'm not trying to avoid you, I just try to avoid being online too much. I only check my email twice a day (sometimes I don't check it at all). It's not that I'm anti-technology, I'm not, it's just that I'm ridiculous-insanely busy. Pregnant, running after a toddler, writing multiple's been a year and a half since I could schedule in a haircut. I really needed it and can I just say, my hair smells amazing right now? It's almost edible.

Event update:

Come and see me and my new haircut this Saturday, August 25th at the Powell's Block Party (Powell's Bookstore on Burnside in Portland, Oregon). I will be speaking on the children's stage at 4:00 p.m. If you haven't been to the world's greatest book store, this is the time to come. There will be music, food, beer, authors, and books.

If you can't make the block party, I will also be signing books at the Portland Airport (PDX) on August 29th at 11 a.m. I'll be outside the Powell's Bookstore (I would assume, unless they put me in an airport hanger which would be weird but fun).

Other news...a blog tour for Middle Ground is in the works. I will have a full schedule soon, which will include sneak peeks, an interview with Justin, author interviews, giveaways, playlists. Good times.

Finally, I can announce it: I finished editing Second Chance. Man, that was rough. I've never been in charge of editing my own manuscript and even though I hired a team of editors to help me (Team Awesome is their name), I still had to input all the changes myself. I am so sick of thinking about comma placement right now--it makes me want to play Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend on full volume and scream to it. Maybe I will. Better yet, sing it with me.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Second Chance

Here's a line I wrote this morning. It comes from a scene in Second Chance, (the sequel to First Comes Love), where Gray kisses Dylan. This is how it makes him feel:

My heart pulls apart and collides back together with so much force my hands start to shake. I feel like I’m speeding down a highway in the middle of the night with no headlights on. A single kiss can be one of the craziest things you ever do.   

I like this description, how it conveys the overwhelming, intoxicating, and terrifying feelings of falling in love. I understand why they call it “falling” in love. It is a fall, it’s this letting go, this accepting that is so scary (and tough for Gray in this book).

I also love that this line was inspired by one of my editors. I would never have written it if she hadn’t given me feedback on this scene.

I’m working on the rewrites to Second Chance, but I still can’t make an official announcement of when/where/how it will be published because I still don’t know. My publishers haven’t rejected or accepted this book. I’m still in the painful waiting phase (probably the worst place for a writer to be).

Instead of sitting around, stewing with insecurity over whether or not this book is good enough to be published, (because IT IS), I’ve been working with a small team of editors on the rewrites. If I do decide to go the self-publishing route, I want to make sure this book is fit to be published and that only happens with quality editing. Good writing is rewriting and I could never publish something without hiring some professional, critical eyes to examine my work. Every word of every sentence needs to be critically critiqued. That’s what makes a book shine. Also, some of my best writing comes during rewrites. I have a lot of  “Ah, ha!” moments, where lights snap on in my head and everything falls into place.

Once I have the manuscript fully cleaned up (in the next week or two), I will announce how you can get your hands on it! I’ll have some exciting news soon, and a very awesome playlist to share.