Hi All,

It has been writing central around here! Three things to report:

1) Jezebel published my first pirate article about Cheng I Sao! If you haven’t read it, check it out here: I am very proud of it! It’s amazing to go to, a site I’ve loved since 1L year, and see my name! I am so grateful to my amazing editor there, Jia Tolentino, for providing me this fabulous opportunity! I look forward to sharing the stories of many more female pirates. Piratesses? Can we make that a word?

But with every article comes THE COMMENTS. I know the #1 rule of the internet is DON’T READ THE COMMENTS, but I figured that doesn’t count for when you’re a writer, right? WRONG. Man, there are some mean people out there who say some mean things. And some people who read something into the piece that wasn’t there, and got very angry about it. I don’t want to dismiss anyone’s comments. If they felt strongly enough about my work to share their thoughts, I appreciate it. It is upsetting, though, to read things like “this is a case of an author not doing her research” or someone responding to someone else’s comment (when the first comment had a quote not actually in my article). I will own up to my mistakes, but not mistakes someone else made! Anyway, the whole experience is exhilarating! It’s exciting to be on a big enough website to garner some angry comments. And it’s a good lesson in developing a thicker skin. Because some people, maybe many peoples, are not going to like my book, if it ever gets published **fingers crossed, knock on wood**. And they might say mean things about it. And it doesn’t get to take away my enjoyment of writing it! I’m not going to go all Carrie Underwood and say “mean people need Jesus,” because I do respect critics and I appreciate their point of view. I just don’t have to go out back and beat myself every time I get a bad review. I am thankful, as always, for my brilliant, eloquent friends who rushed to my defense (as well as the commenters who did the same) and made me feel tons better. Y’all are the best.

2) I participated in Pitch Madness last week! For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s a twitter contest of sorts. A bunch of agents get on twitter. Prospective authors tweet their book synopsis in 140 characters or less, and if an agent/editor reads it and “favorites” it, then you send them your book! That is the basic idea of the contest. You’re allowed to tweet once every hour about your book. Let me tell you, it was a crazy, wild couple of hours! I only found out it was happening at noon on the day of the contest (last Thursday), so I didn’t have time to prepare or overthink, which was good. I checked out some other people’s tweets to get an idea, then sent my own. Well, my first tweet did diddly squat, so I phoned a friend for some twitter assistance. We were able to brainstorm some catchy tweets, which I dutifully issued every hour, on the hour! I am delighted to report that I got 5 bites on the book!!!!! I sent it out to those people tout-suite, and I am twisted in knots of fear/dread/delight/anticipation that one of them will want to agent/buy it. It feels closer, now that Important People are interested. I’m not just in the slush pile! I’m moving up!!

Some other day I will write a long post about choosing an agent, because my gosh, you guys, it’s tough. But I’m too tired today from all the Jezebel hoopla.

3) I started a new book!! Now that REJECT is off seeking representation/a buyer, I figured I can’t sit around freaking out about it. It’s officially out there and done, you know? So, I have opened up a blank word doc, inserted page numbers, and started on Page 1. It’s a weird feeling. I haven’t done that in three years! But I am excited, very much so. I am working on a middle-grade (so for ages 8-14) mystery novel. It’s a modern-day adaptation of Holmes and Watson, only they’re preteen sisters. But they solve crimes! And have snappy repartee! And rely on each other to bring out the best in the other! I am very, very excited. Did I mention that? There’s a lot of “me” in this one, and it feels good to write characters based on loved ones from various parts of my life. Also, I’m amped about middle grade. A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorite books, bar none, and I know it played a huge role in me becoming a reader. So I am thrilled at the prospect of enticing future readers into the wonderful world of books!

Can I just say that Nancy Drew sucks? I love, love, LOVED her as a kid. But when I was re-reading, it’s so…dated. One page one, she’s described as “attractive” and “slender” while her friends are “tomboys” and “unattractive”. I want a heroine I can believe in, no matter what she looks like! Nancy has had her day at the top of the MG sleuth charts. So watch out, Nancy, there’s a new sleuth in town. And Harmony Fye is coming for you.

That’s all, folks! This will be my post for the week, so I’ll see you next Thursday! Love,


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