PopSugar 2022 Reading Challenge.

  • A book published in 2022 – I’m not saying that Take Three at Mulholland High will be published next year, but I’m also not NOT saying that. Check out the first of the two books in the series here.
  • A book set on a plane, train, or cruise ship – A very pivotal scene of Twenty Year Reunion takes place on a private plane… Just saying.
  • A book about or set in a non-patriarchal society – While the events of The Queen of England trilogy do feature some men, with a literal queen, I’d like to think my AU steps out of a patriarchal society quite a bit.
  • A book about the afterlife – While not the main character, in Life After Joe, there is a lot of discussion about life after death (and what comes next for those left behind).
  • A book that takes place during your favorite season – if it’s Fall, it’s marching band. Try Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek.
  • A book about a band or musical group – double dipping here with Twenty Year Reunion and Quinn Martel.
  • A book set during a holidayRoom 702 literally has them all. And also, you can cross off the book that features two languages in the advanced category as well!
  • A different book by an author you read in 2021 – you can find all my books here, or here.
  • A book with two POVs – check out Take One (and Take Two) at Mulholland High, both feature Chloe and Ali as dual protagonists.

Hope that gets you started — happy reading!

A reminder that all of my books are free to read via Kindle Unlimited.

A band romance!

In honor of my Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek (and Valentine’s Day), check out this video from Team Schwartz. Instant classic!

The Line series, new covers.

With my upcoming rerelease of Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek, I thought it was well past time to get new covers up for The Line series.  While I don’t expect a lot of sales, nor did I put a ton of money (obviously) into these, I wanted something that was more cohesive as a series, and a step up from the rather antiquated previous covers.  At some point, I would love to revisit these books to edit and release them, but for now, my hope is that they might find a few new readers.

Book by numbers (Confessions edition).

It’s been another minute, hasn’t it?  I’ve been super committed to editing, updating, and generally overhauling Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek.  As you’ll note previously, I have signed an agreement with a small press and I’m looking forward to the process of sharing the project with a new audience.

From what I can tell, I wrote the first draft of Confessions (original title, Crossing the Line) in 2006 (!). It was published in 2011, so let’s just say that technology has moved forward, as have I — as a writer, and a person.

Editing the book was relatively straightforward.  I had notes to incorporate, language to change, characters to better develop, well, you get the idea.  I’m turning in my new ‘first’ draft today, and am really excited to make this book its best possible version. There is still a ways to go, but I was glad to see a lot of progress in this draft.

So, what changed?  What was I looking for?

  • Too many white characters.
  • Too many similar names.
  • Too many adverbs (spoiler alert, there are still too many).
  • 700+, instances of the word ‘it.’
  • 500+, use of the word ‘that.’
  • 1, use of the word bi-polar (and not in a good way).
  • 65,525, original word count.
  • 68,723, new word count. That is after…
    • Cutting a lot of extra stuff.
    • Adding in necessary (and previously missing) scenes.
  • 16,000+, words on the sequel (from earlier in the summer).

I’ll keep you updated on what the next draft looks like!  It’s due back to me in September.

In which I sign with a small press…

Hey there!  I’m excited to share an announcement with you, and I’m a bit overdue, if I’m being honest.  Earlier in the summer, I entered into negotiations with Christine Ngeo Katzman, the editor of Halftime Magazine, and someone I’ve known for over a decade.  She was looking to expand her portfolio and searching for novels based on the marching arts.  As you might imagine, I was interested.

While I’m not embarrassed of my first six novels — they will forever hold a place in my heart — I haven’t done as much with them as I could, and my writing has changed and grown since they were first published.  So, I decided to put forward Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek as a project for consideration.  I’ve always been proud of it, but thought it never really found its audience. After some back and forth, we agreed it was the right manuscript. A contract was drawn up, and in July I went to work on editing a new draft (with anticipated publication in November 2020). While I’ve been editing furiously over the past few weeks, I’m excited to see where this partnership will lead.

I still enjoy self-publishing, and have other projects I’m preparing for release without Christine, but I’m optimistic to see how far ‘Confessions’ will go with the support of a team. I know many authors who are under a similar ‘hybrid’ approach, and I think in today’s publishing world, there are no right answers.  Authors have to do what’s right for them and their projects.

I’ve always loved the story, and Julia McCoy is such a fun protagonist to revisit. Confessions has also been (twice!) in consideration for adaptation to film/television, so maybe a third outing will be the trick.

Overall, like most of my publishing goals, my expectations are limited. I want new people to find the book.  I hope that if they like Confessions, they might consider buying some of my other works.  As always, I like giving a voice to the band geeks of the world. And perhaps most important of all, I’m now motivated to revisit Julia’s world, and get to work on a long overdue sequel.