I’m going through my last pass on DEVOURED, and I’m trying to get it done ASAP so I can go back and finish revising the first book in my Magic Repair Shop series for my April deadline, but here’s a few random book things.
1. Holy Cow! Audrey Niffenegger’s HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY, “a delicious and deadly twenty-first-century ghost story about her familiar themes of love, loss and identity,” to Scribner in a major deal, reportedly for approximately $4.5 million, at auction, for publication on September 29, 2009. Sadly, my deadly ghost story, DEVOURED, didn’t go for quite that much. With the economy down the toilet and S&S letting editors go, I thought the really big deals where a thing of the past—or at least on hold. Guess not.
2. Bahamas Pajamas: I took a workshop last year called Legally Fiction: What Writers Need to Know to Protect their Rights given by Amanda Brice. One thing covered was using other people’s materials and what’s fair use and what percentage of a song or poem you can use before you have to get permission. Well, I used five of eighty-five lines from a Joe Scruggs’ song, and now the legal department is seeing if I can keep them or if we need permission. I hope I can keep them—I love the song and Joe was a favorite of ours when the kids were little. (The video for the song is hysterical.) I also think the light-hearted lyrics are just right for the otherwise tense scene. If I have to, I’ll delete the lyrics and make some up, but I’m hoping I can keep “You can see his underwear.”
3. First Reader: Once again my son, Max, is my first target audience reader. He’s reading my final pass pages of DEVOURED and plowed through 198 pages in two nights. I think that’s a good sign—and having subjected him to a life of show tunes, he also gets all of my Broadway references.
4. Hudson’s Children’s Book Festival: On May 16th I’ll be on a YA author’s panel titled First Amendment “Writes” How Far Is Too Far In Young Adult Literature? I’m excited about this because there are a lot of people who have gone online to complain about the content of UNINVITED. Do I wish we lived in the High School Musical universe where a kiss on the lips is about as hot and heavy as it gets between a boy and girl and there’s not a keg party in sight? Sure, but that’s not reality for a portion of any high school population—I know this from ee owner this morning about this and she does not like sex, drugs and rock and roll in YA books, but concedes the YA section is full of it. Sexperience. I talked with my local indie’s come a long way, too. She opened her store shortly before UNINVITED came out, and for a good six or so months would only put it on the “Local Author” shelf, but it’s now in the YA section—sometimes faced out!
5. Schmoozing and New Books: I can’t wait for said book festival because it’s happening in my agent’s home town, and there are a slew of authors I know going—nothing better than hanging out with writers! It’s also a great excuse to buy new books. One of the writers on my panel, Maryrose Wood, wrote Sex Kittens and Horn Dogs Fall in Love. I’ve always been intrigued by the title and ordered it this morning from my indie store. I also found out that despite the title, the book is “squeaky clean.” Hmmm—I wonder if the organizers know this. I also ordered her book My Life: The Musical ’cause it’s about girls being upset that their favorite Broadway show is closing. I’m still bitter that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels closed way too soon, so I’m sure I’ll love this one!