Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Giveaway! Dreams of Gods & Monsters

The stars aligned and showered me with sparkle dust. That is to say, I have unwittingly, through only a touch of luck and happiness been gifted with not one, but TWO copies of Laini Taylor's Dreams of Gods & Monsters.

So why not give it away? The contest is simple. Rafflecopter, some options, a bit of drum roll, and soon we'll have a winner of this major opus of a book. 613 pages, people!

And if for some reason, you do not know Laini Taylor's Smoke & Bone Trilogy, this is fantasy at its finest, and this is the final installment of the trilogy.

And sorry my fine international friends, but this book is massive, and heavy, so continental US only please.

Friday, June 20, 2014

When Sucky News Affects Awesome People

That's the case today with the news of Angry Robot killing its YA imprint, Strange Chemistry. I personally have three friends affected by the deal.

Two haven't even debuted yet and in some ways they're the luckier ones. Those books may be shopped to other publishers. There is still a chance for them to sell. But that doesn't ease the burn and grief of having their big debut moment pulled out from underneath them.

My other friend is mid-deal. The first in her scheduled trilogy only released a month ago. What happens in this situation? It's very hard for an author to sell the latter part of a series to a new publisher. It rarely happens. And what about the first book? Will Strange Chemistry still print a back list?

So I'm taking a moment for empathy. If it were me, I'd need a day or two or three for fetal position and tears. Then I'd start strategizing, figuring out what I wanted to do. Do I self-publish? Do I shelve these books? Do I try and find a new publisher? I know I'd be back on my feet sooner than later, and I know these three friends will be, too. They're that kind of strong.

So when you're ready to feel a little better and step out into the world, try on these shoes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A few exciting updates

With less than six months till NO PLACE TO FALL finally launches, things are starting to happen!

The e-arc is now available on Edelweiss. If you are a librarian, bookstore owner, or book blogger, you can jump on their site and request a copy for review! Here's the link:

My launch party is scheduled! That's right! I'm actually going through with it and plan on a big shindigarama. Malaprops, my favorite independent bookstore in Asheville, NC, will be hosting it. So if you're close, please put Tuesday, December 9th, on your calendar (my guess is 7pm, though it's not set yet). I hope to have music and there will be light refreshments along with questions and answers, etc. I'm dreadfully excited and dreadfully nervous all at the same time.

And speaking of Malaprops, they are now my official venue for signed copies of NO PLACE TO FALL. This includes pre-orders. So if you want a personalized copy or just a plain old Jro signed on the dot, you can let them hook you up. Here's that link:

In the meantime, I'm scheming about a story related to NPTF, working on Book 2, and finishing out my school year. Last day of testing today, then a couple of days with straggler kids, and 2 TWD's next week, then, BOOM, summer.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dusting Yourself Off and Walking Through Doors - Deep Jro Wisdom

Jro's about to get all philosophical on you, so put your hand to your chin in thinker pose and bear with me.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend about the difference between successful people and people that tend to get stuck in a quagmire of bogginess. For me, it pretty much all boiled down to a couple of simple tenets.

One, when life opens a door for you, walk through it. It may be you need to back out of the room you walked into real quick like, but HOW WILL YOU KNOW if you don't walk through the door?

In writing, this could translate into sending that first query. Entering an online pitch contest. Saying yes to a new critique partner. It could mean spending two hundred dollars on a conference instead of Modcloth. When the opportunities present themselves, and you're reasonably prepared, walk through that damn door!

Two, don't blame other people. Your life is yours. Sure, other people may affect your life, but ultimately how you handle ANY situation is up to you. Be like a weeble. Wobble but don't fall down. Or if you do fall down, lie there for a minute (or an hour, day, week) and curse at the ceiling, but then raise yourself up, dust yourself off, look around and say "Okay, that sucked, but what now?" 

In writing, there are millions of rejections. And I do mean millions. You're going to fail. By God, I hope you fail. Because failing in this game means you are playing it. But the important part is not to let those failures stop you. What's important is to figure out your next steps. It's okay to need a break, to pull yourself into a corner and tend to your wounds. It's okay to pout and punch your pillow. All natural human reactions. But the crucial part is finding that moment when you stand yourself back up, take a deep breath and shout "I'm not going to let the bastards get me down!"

And with that, I'll say this.

You got this.