This year my fourth (Fins Are Forever) and fifth (Sweet Venom) books came out in hardcover and Forgive My Fins came out in paperback. Forgive My Fins also came out in the UK, Germany, and Scandinavia (that I know of) and will be out soon in Brazil (if it's not already out).
This year I wrote the second Medusa book (Sweet Shadows) and it's been revised and copyedited. I'm only waiting on page proofs to show up and then it will be completely done and ready for its fall release. Just wait until you find out what's in store for Grace, Gretchen and Greer this time!
I also wrote the third mermaid book (Just For Fins) in record time and even managed to turn the revision around super fast as the world around me when sideways. I'm expecting copyedits soon, followed by page proofs, so the next step in Lily and Quince's world can hit the shelves on July 3, 2012.
|Revising Just For Fins|
At the beginning of the year I released my unpublished chick lit books (Eye Candy and Straight Stalk) as ebooks. I'm so glad to be able to share those fun characters and their stories with the world.
I worked on a few other projects and proposals throughout the year, some of which have been shelved (either temporarily or permanently) while others are still works in progress. I planned to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but life had other ideas.
I did a lot of writing-related travel this year. In April I attended the RT Booklovers convention in Los Angeles (one of my favorite cities), where I got to sign with Sophie Jordan at Mrs. Nelson's in La Verne, eat vegan country fried steak at Doomie's Home Cooking, and meet hundreds of amazing teens at Teen Day.
From there I went to Austin for the TLA conference (Forgive My Fins was on the Bluebonnet Award list).
In the summer, as my parents headed to Las Vegas with my dog, I drove from Oklahoma to Seattle to find an apartment. On the way I camped in my car in national parks. I stayed in Pawnee National Grasslands, Grand Teton National Park, Craters of the Moon National Monument, and Mount Rainier National Park.
|Grand Teton National Park|
After spending two weeks on Heather Davis's couch, I headed to New York for the RWA national conference. While there I popped up to New Haven, Connecticut, to do a library visit for the fabulous Jennifer Rummel (aka YABooknerd).
From New York I took the train down to Washington, DC, where I got to spend the 4th of July with my cousin Rachel and her husband Kifly. I had an amazing time, even though I was getting sick.
Then I flew to Houston to celebrate the release of Fins Are Forever at my favorite bookstore, Blue Willow Bookshop. From there I joined my parents in Las Vegas for the rest of the summer. As my dad headed to Chicago to design a show, my mom and I drove a moving truck full of my stuff up to Seattle.
I flew back down to Vegas for the first ever (and maybe last) MerCon. I went on my first ever (and hopefully not last) book tour, traveling to Houston, Dayton, and Chicago to sign Sweet Venom with Sophie Jordan. I also got to attend the amazing Austin Teen Book Fest where I met tons of amazing readers and lots of great authors.
|Zombies at Austin Teen Book Fest|
At the end of October I flew to Oklahoma to be with my parents as my dad had heart surgery and, except for flying once more to Vegas for the Vegas Valley Book Fest and then driving back to Oklahoma with Daisy and then flying back to Seattle for a day only to hurry back when my dad had complications, I've been pretty much here ever since.
This might have been my busiest travel year yet. And if you know anything about my travel habits you know that's saying a lot.
In August, after nearly a year and a half of planning, I finally moved to Seattle. Daisy and I found a perfect little apartment on the quiet side of Capitol Hill, where we see only trees out our windows and are within walking distance of groceries, buses, and (most importantly) coffee.
|My Home Office|
This part of my life definitely took the hardest hit this year. For the first ten months everything was fine, then I found out at the end of October that my dad needed heart surgery. I flew home to Oklahoma and was there as he came out of that with flying colors. Then, after two weeks at home, he ended up back in the hospital with a very serious infection. He battled that for twenty-four days and finally got to come home again. He went back in for one minor procedure when, just as he was about to be released one more time, his heart stopped. On December 18, 2011, after more than 68 years on the planet, 46 years at my mom's side, and 35 years as my father, he died. I am so glad to have been so close with him and am proud to continue his legacy with the integrity and the big dreams he taught me to carry.
Goodbye Daddy, I love you. Always.