Sunday, January 31, 2010


Last day of the first month of 2010! Can you believe it?!

The turning of each month this year leaves me a bit breathless since it means I'm an inch closer to NIGHTSHADE's release date. Woo-hoo!

With February's arrival, it means that our last hard winter month has come up to bat. March may be temperamental, but it still opens the door to spring. The new month also means it's time for another round of Monday Q & A.

I've garnered quite a few new followers since the last Q & A, welcome aboard :), so please don't be shy in lobbing your questions my way.

Here's the way it works. Please leave your questions in the comments section of this post and tomorrow I'll answer them. I will also update the Monday post with questions left in comments both here and there as they come in.

Looking forward to your questions!!

Here's one of my own for which I have no answer: Why does Fox kill all its best shows?

So long Dollhouse *sobs*

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good Omen

You know you're working with the right folks when they send you links like this. (Thanks awesome agent Lyndsey.) Lyndsey, the InkWell foreign rights agent tipped me off to the lunar news and also gave me some secret super news, which I'll share when I can.

I've been a moon follower for a long, long time. Considering how frigid and clear the sky is in Minnesota today, we'll be basking in luminescence tonight. Wherever you are tonight, may the first and brightest full moon of the year rain blessings on you and yours.

And when it does, be sure to howl your joy to the heavens. It is the Wolf Moon, after all.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bon Voyage (Conference Thoughts)

Many of my writer-type friends are packing their bags and making a pilgrimage to NYC this weekend. Why? It's the annual Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Winter Conference!

Sadly, I'm not attending since I was just in New York, but I am envious of the people that will be there and especially of the Tenners who get to meet up at the conference.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to share my two cents on writers' conferences. I'm an SCBWI member, but I haven't yet attended one of their meetings (LA 2010, baby!).

When writers are starting out on the road to finding an agent, publisher, building a career it can be overwhelming. The climb to the top is less daunting if you have helpers to show you the best route. The internet is an invaluable resource (if used responsibly), but reading web page after web page just isn't the same as chatting with a flesh and blood fellow writer who understands the passion and pain involved in this process.
Conferences are a great place to meet other writers, agents, and editors. I'd vehemently argue that the first of that group are the most important at conferences. Many conferences have agent and/or editor pitch sessions. It is these sessions, and the dream of possibly landing an agent or editor at a conference, that lures many writers in.

That's more than understandable, and it's a big part of why I attended my first conference (San Francisco Writers) last year.

What I learned, however, is that while the pitch session was a great experience (and did get me a partial manuscript request) - the most valuable parts of the conference were these:

1) Great sessions on revision. I learned so much about moving the draft of a manuscript from good to exceptional. The panels by authors/editors/agents on what makes a great manuscript really had an impact on my writing.

2) Meeting other writers. My amazing crit partner Lisa (Three-Book Deal) Desrochers and I met at SF Writers, and that relationship is definitely the best thing that happened in the three-day weekend. Finding the right crit group is such an important step in the writing life.

My take-away:

Conferences are worth your while because they will A) make you a better writer B)tap you into a network of writer friends that will help you with A.

Do not attend conferences only for the sake of pitching agents because you'll be too nervous to really absorb the other great things that are happening in the sessions. Pitches are great practice at condensing your work into its essential hook (i.e. they can help you query better), but don't head to a conference thinking you're guaranteed to land an agent/editor if you do so.
Caveat: I do consider myself indebted to SF in gaining an agent, but again it's because of reason A. Agent Charlie pulled my query out of the slush pile and requested a full ms. That full ms I'd just revised after I'd learned so much at the conference, and my book was much, much better because of the revisions I'd made.

So to everyone in NYC this weekend, have a great time and I'll be thinking of you! Hope to be at another conference with you soon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dear Buffy

I've been putting this off, but we need to talk. (Could you put the crossbow down...please?)

You know I love you. No one can take your place. The Scoobies will be first in my heart, forever.

But lately I've been seeing someone else.

At first I didn't think it was serious. I couldn't help but notice the way they bandied about clever dialogue, twisted fright and funny into a glorious knot, and peppered plots with pop culture references, drawing me in. There were so many similarities to the greatness that is your show, Buffy, and now I have to confess. I'm falling hard for Sam and Dean.
Buffy, if you met the Winchester brothers I think you'd understand. And you certainly would appreciate all the hotness going on there.
You will always be The One, Buffy - the show I know backwards and forwards, that I have each episode all but memorized - but I hope you'll forgive me for making room in my heart for Supernatural.

I wanted to be honest and avoid another Veronica Mars fiasco like before.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Yours always,


Monday, January 25, 2010

Hibernation is a Better Option

Our brief January thaw (read 30s and streets full of dirt-flavored slushees) departed, leaving us to stare down a slow-moving, mega-cold front which will gift us with a high of 9 degrees on Wednesday.

The anticipation is horrid. Unlike in that movie, The Day After Tomorrow, cold doesn't roar and chase you.

You can't run away. Nope - that real, terrible chill that makes your lungs ache with each breath moves at a slow, yet unrelenting pace. It creeps up, its weight creaking on each step like the killer heading for your bedroom in a horror flick. But there's nothing you can do - the only exit (a plane to Hawaii) is downstairs (not an option unless I want to get fired).

The only viable reaction: burrow under your covers, squeeze your eyes shut, and hope it goes away. Knowing it's coming, that something monstrous is about to slide through your door, casting a long, ominous shadow, sealing your doom.

I hate this part of the winter. So. Much. (Though I think I'd cope if I could hide out in the New York Public Library with Jake Gyllenhal.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wilderness Survival Tips

The Wild. It's big, it's beautiful, it's scary, it's exciting - and NIGHTSHADE is out in it.

Penguin thrilled me by printing special edition ARCs for the ALA Midwinter meeting and giving them out to conference attendees. I'm just starting to receive tweets and notes from the lovely people who got a copy and are reading it, which is so freakin' amazing I think my head might explode. Thanks so much to those of you who've written to tell me how much you love NIGHTSHADE!!!

Since the book is in the Wild, I think it would be wise to establish my author's guide to wilderness safety (a.k.a blog rules now that NIGHTSHADE is circulating).


Be prepared. [To bite your tongue - NO SPOILERS]

NIGHTSHADE is full of twists, turns, shocks, and head-spinners. Please don't ruin the experience for anyone else by posting questions or comments that reveal the plot. Any spoilery comments will be eaten [deleted].

Respect wildlife. [Be nice to other books]

As NIGHTSHADE peeks out of its den and makes its first forays into the deep, dark woods there are many other critters on the same journey. Writing books is a labor of love (and pain) and taste varies widely. When commenting, it's fine to say "NIGHTSHADE reminded me of, or it creates excitement like," but please don't trash other authors or books by way of trying to give me a compliment. That only makes all the woodland critters sad.

Don't feed the animals. [Be nice to each other]

Along those same lines, please keep comments respectful. Good books should engender strong reactions. That's great! But please respect your fellow writers, readers, and the blogging community by playing nice at all times. Which means:



If you wander off the trail, call the Ranger outpost. [Ask the author!]

Although I will patrol the blog for spoilers, I'm always happy to answer plot/character/world questions via email. So if you do want to discuss/ask/learn more about NIGHTSHADE and think you can't ask here, please send a message to andreacremerwrites (at) gmail (dot) com

Most importantly, enjoy the spectacular (I hope) sights and sounds!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this was a small, special run of ARCs. Official ARCs will be printed this spring, and at that time I host contests/giveaways - I can't wait!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Art Forms

Today was a good mail day. Came home to find a lovely rectangular package containing Buffy #31.Unlike most comic book fans, I came to the graphic form late. Being introduced to Sandman in my early 20s and then staying loyal to Buffy by subscribing to Season Eight.

Though Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains my sole subscription, I've become increasingly fascinated by the graphic novel form. I think it is wonderful, engaging and possessing an urgency in its execution that is ever so compelling.

There's been a recent flurry of publishing news about graphic novels sparked by the announcement that Twilight will be released in graphic form this March. A number of other YA authors, including Cynthia Leitich Smith, Cassandra Clare, and Melissa Marr, whose work I admire will also be coming out with graphic tie-ins to their series. I hope that this surge in graphic production is the form coming into its own and not just a trend, and it's a dream of mine to someday be counted among authors who've published graphic novels.

So what do you think about graphic novels? Like, don't like? Do they offer something print-only books don't?

What about books like Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan that include illustrations?Looking forward to your thoughts!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

10 Things I Learned in New York

10. Manhattan (sorry, San Francisco - if it helps, you came in 2nd) remains my favorite place to eat. They have everything and it is all so frickin' delicious.

9. The Algonquin has a luggage cat. Her name is Matilda and the only time I saw her leave the baggage cart was to leap on top of a suitcase and settle into her newly selected perch.
8. The New York Public Library is research heaven. I saw this exhibit while I was there.

7. West Side Story on Broadway was amazing, but I liked watching ice skaters in Bryant Park even better.My favorite moment: witnessing a man in a business suit skate around with his son, who looked about 8 and was sporting a Rangers jersey.

6. The Philomel offices at Penguin Young Readers Group have a brilliant view. (Like this, but a bit further away)
5. My editor is Carrie Bradshaw. (No joke, Editor Jill arrived to meet us in the lobby and I did a double take). I think if I lived in Manhattan she would be my BFF (see #4).
4. Next time I visit I will take trapeze lessons - the school is one more cool place you can see from the Philomel offices. (See #5, she promised we'd go!)

3. As I suspected, everyone at InkWell and Penguin dresses oh-so-stylishly (I hope they liked my outfit).Though garbed like fashionistas, everyone I met was really, really nice and super, super fun. And I happily discovered at InkWell - though I had guessed it would be so - Agent Richard is even more impressive and wonderful in person as he is on the phone and Agent Charlie would be my other BFF if I lived in New York. (More comics' chat soon, Charlie!)

2. I have the most talented, wonderful collection of people working on Nightshade. Thank you so much for an incredible visit!! I can't wait to see you again :)1. Going away for a week is much nicer when you have a wonderful husband and two ecstatic dogs welcoming you back. Even if the dogs took over the bed while you were gone. It's nice to be home.

Friday, January 15, 2010

In Other News

While I'm living the life of NIGHTSHADE in Manhattan, things are stirring across the Atlantic. I've just received this press release from Samantha Smith, my amazing UK editor:

Atom Acquires Major New YA Paranormal Series

Atom, the young adult imprint of Little, Brown Book Group, has acquired a major new paranormal young adult series in a four-publisher auction from debut author Andrea Cremer in a two book deal.

Andrea Cremer was represented by Euan Thorneycroft at A.M. Heath on behalf of Richard Pine at InkWell Management. Atom will be publishing the first book in the series, Nightshade, in January 2011. It will be published in the US by Philomel (Penguin).

‘I'm thrilled that Nightshade is hopping across the pond to make its home at Atom! I can't wait for UK readers to meet the characters of this series, who I love so much, and I know we'll have an amazing journey together through Calla's world,’ says author Andrea Cremer.

Atom is planning a major print and online marketing campaign to launch this extraordinary series which follows one young werewolf Guardian, Calla, through a world of forbidden love, secret histories and the ties of destiny.

Samantha Smith, Editorial Director of Atom, says, ‘I stayed up all night reading this stunning manuscript and couldn’t wait to get in the office the next day to get everyone else reading it too. It’s an absolutely extraordinary novel with real crossover appeal, combining elements of Twilight and Shiver but with a wonderfully dark vibe, a fantastic mythology and compulsive storytelling.’

Nightshade will join an impressive 2011 line-up from Atom, including new titles from bestselling authors P.C. and Kristin Cast, Melissa de la Cruz, Kelley Armstrong and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Can I get a "woo" and a "hoo"?!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

NYC Play by Play

I'm here! I'll be updating this post as events transpire, but here's what we have so far:

Last night, arrived at JFK 30 minutes earlier than expected courtesy of a 'strong tail wind,' I guess Mother Nature knew how much I wanted to get here. Thanks, Mama!

Checked in at my hotel, the Algonquin, which I selected both for its proximity to InkWell and its storied literary heritage.

Had a lovely dinner with friend from childhood. He may be a corporate lawyer in Manhattan now, but I still have fond memories of gathering frog eggs and chasing through the woods with him when we were six.

Managed to get a good night's sleep despite the fact that Army of Darkness tried to tempt me to watch it at 1 a.m.
Headed out for a morning bagel, only to run into Agent Charlie at the cafe. Surprise!! So much fun to meet him unexpectedly and also, he bought me breakfast. Mmmm, delicious everything bagel with veggie cream cheese. Thanks, Charlie!

Now I'm realizing that one cup of coffee is not enough, so I'll be going out in search of further caffeination prior to my meeting at InkWell at 10:30.

More to come!

UPDATE: 3:03 p.m. EST

Wow. Okay, just wow. I am still too dazed from the incrediawesomfabulosity that was my meeting at Penguin. They took me out for lunch and toasted me (aaaaaaaaa!!!!!) What's more I can't imagine a more wonderful, fantastic, brilliant group of people to partner with on this book. They are amazing and now I consider them my extended family - big hugs Penguin family!!!
(Though I didn't have a camera, my agent kindly snapped this photo. Yay - me and Winnie-the-Pooh at Penguin! Ahem and that expression = me trying to smile and yet not scream whilst jumping up and down)

I didn't have to worry about running into my publisher's arms shrieking, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" because he immediately ran over and hugged me :)

I'm still floating a little too high above the ground to post coherently but I'll send more soon. For now: Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Oooh, AND they gave me a board of the cover (aaaaaaa!!!) and an ARC (aaaaaaaa!!!!)

Update: 10:05 a.m., Friday, January 15

Woke up this morning to discover that yesterday's blur of fabulous times was in fact NOT a dream. Hooray!

This morning - work beckons, research at the New York Public Library. Hopefully I won't run into any problems like this:

Have a great weekend everyone! A New York trip run-down will be posted Monday :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Apples, Penguins, and Other Excitement

Thanks so much for the great questions in yesterday's Q&A. I had so much fun and I hope you did too! If you came up with a question that you didn't ask, have no fear. I'll host another Q&A on random Monday next month.

Tomorrow I will be in New York. I'm so excited I have a bad feeling that I won't sleep tonight because I'll be too wired about the trip.

I love New York. On my first trip at age 16, the city stole my heart. I try to visit once a year both to see friends and to spend time in the city itself. My favorite thing to do in Manhattan - just walk. Streets filled with people, shops, restaurants, the distinct character of each neighborhood. Manhattan is a feast for the sense.

Though I'm happy for any excuse to visit, this trip is particularly special. It's the first time I'll meet my agents at InkWell and my editor and publisher at Penguin. I've been practicing my 'calm' voice because I'm worried as soon as I see them I'll throw myself into their arms shrieking, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!" And then they will run away, which wouldn't bode well for my future as a writer.

Sadly I won't have a camera with which to document my trip, but I'll keep you updated via blog posts sans photos. Since I won't have a photo or video guide to share, just assume it will be something like this:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Questions, Answers, Quirks!

New blog feature: Questions, answers, and hopefully not too much yammering by me.

Add more questions in the comments, section and I'll update the post to answer them throughout the day. Don't be bashful, ask away :)

Here's one to start us off:

Tricia asks - I'd like to know when you became enamored of wolves. Did you see any in the Northwoods or find them in the pages of books?

I've yet to see a wolf in the wild, though it's one of my life goals. Considering the success of wolf reintroduction in Minnesota and Wisconsin there's a good chance I'll be able to make that goal happen. My dad has seen wolves in the woods by my childhood home, so here's hoping. I was a girl who liked watching National Geographic and Nature as much as My Little Pony; I had several of the episodes memorized and I always loved features on wolves. Julie of the Wolves was one of my favorite books growing up. Wolves were mysterious, intelligent, graceful - embodying both ferocity and restraint. From age 5 to probably 10 I would imagine I had a wolf companion who followed me around, chasing after any car I was in, walking with me through the woods - acting as friend and protector. And I thought I would definitely someday have a husky, because that was the closest you could get in the dog world to having a wolf. (Now I have a pug and a border collie. Go figure.)

Lisa asks - When will you be able to share your cover art?

I could answer this question, but then I'd have to kill you. And, dear Lisa, you are much too valuable of a crit partner to waste. And, just to twist that knife a little more, the cover is awesome.

Kiersten asks (azillion questions, so we'll take them one at a time) - Why don't you like the Beatles?

Okay, here's the deal. It's not that I hate the Beatles, it's not that I don't appreciate their music, or more importantly, the contribution they made to music. I am a music lover. I listen to music constantly. I create soundtracks for all my books. But music has to transport me, it has to grab hold of me and not let go. I have very eclectic taste, listening to everything from hip hop to Chopin, but the Beatles' music has never swept me away. And I resent that it's forced down my throat. This past year, when the Beatles' song book went public, was a tough time for me...

Tricia asks - How long was Nightshade incubating before you wrote it?

Nightshade took me by storm, or rather, Calla did. This book started the way most of mine do with the vision of a character, or that character's voice taking hold of me. Calla showed up in November 2008, while I was finishing up one of my 'practice' novels (see next question). I knew she was a girl and that she was a wolf. I knew she was in trouble. I wandered around wondering 'who is she?' And then when browsing in the bookstore - one of my favorite past times - I came across these lines from a Margaret Atwood poem: 'Not you I fear but that other, she who walks through flesh, queen of the two dimensions.' And that was Calla. I knew she was strong, a leader, and that those very things about her life were coming unraveled, plunging her existence into chaos. The story unfolded from that point. I wrote it in between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2008 and knew it was the book.

Kiersten asks - How many books did you write before you got your book deal?

Writing novels resulted from a blunder involving myself and a horse named Romulus in June 2008, which left me with a broken foot and orders to stay grounded for another eight weeks. It was the summer I turned 30 and my head was full of "what do I really want out of life?" quandaries. I'd always loved writing, but had never given myself permission to pursue it seriously. To me, writers were like rock stars - that was a life you could dream, but not have. The horse accident made it so I had lots and lots of time to think (and not walk), so I turned to writing. Once I started I couldn't stop. I wrote three 'practice' novels before I wrote Nightshade, and the rest is history.

V. S asks - Have you ever dreamed of your characters?

Considering how wacky and vivid my dreams are, I'm surprised to answer 'no,' but I keep expecting to. I have had dreams that I write down as potential ideas for a story, but I haven't yet had a dream that involved characters I was currently writing or in a finished work. But like I said, I'm kind of just waiting for it to happen.

Laura asks - How do you find time to blog?

Blogging is like writing to me. I enjoy it and I can do it relatively quickly. It's always been easy for me to throw myself into things I care about and get them done. I have a hard time finding things to do that I don't like, such as laundry...which I should be doing right now.

Kiersten asks - If you could pick one place to live--knowing you'd have to live there for the rest of your life--where would it be?

I have two answers to this question. My first instinct was to say I'd go home, by which I mean Ashland, Wisconsin. I love Ashland. I love visiting. I think it would be a lovely place to live. But then I remembered that the reason I don't live in Ashland is because it is a four-hour drive to the nearest international airport, and I love to travel.

So my revised answer is San Francisco, which competes with New York and London for my favorite city, but of the three I think I'd like living in San Francisco the most. I love the idea of amazing, fresh produce all year and the scent of the Pacific Ocean rolling in with that thick, sea fog.

Lisa asks - When did you consider yourself an author?

The author/writer distinction irks me a little because it feeds into the whole 'oh you're a writer, what a nice hobby, my brother-in-law is writing a book too, blah-de-blah-blah.' That said it's a good topic of discussion because it does come up a lot in writerly circles. I use writer and author interchangeably now - though I didn't use that label publicly until my book sold mostly to have a clear distinction for readers of the blog, my web site, etc. Many, many people don't realize how hard writing is, that as much as a writer loves her/his work, it is still work. Hard work.

Kiersten asks - Why is your hair so pretty?

Aww shucks *blushes*. Answer - some sort of miracle granted by the powers that be because A) I have no patience for styling and thus B) anything more complicated than a blow dryer becomes a tool of destruction in my hands, but in addition to said miracle, there is also the skill of Brent at Moxie

Brigitte asks - How do you manage your ideas?

Whenever I have an idea I open a new Word document and start writing whatever inspired the idea, whether that's an opening scene, a character description, some dialogue, a short synopsis. I have a folder full of those ideas (backed up on a flash drive) so I can develop them further as I choose. I'll be discussing some of these fledgling ideas with my agents later this week!

Kiersten asks - What if you had to pick one place to vacation for the rest of your life, and you could never vacation anywhere else, ever?

Tuscany. I love the climate, the food, the people. I spent the first week of January in Tuscany four years ago and it was heaven. I would be heartbroken if someone told me I could never go back, so that tells me it should be my vacation spot.

Yvonne asks - Have you ever had trouble with word counts? Too many...not enough?

Fortunately, no. My thoughts are based on observations, but there's competing advice out there on this topic. Word counts matter when you're pitching a book as a debut novelist (whether it's in person at a conference or in a query letter). Counts vary by genre, but generally if you're hitting over 100,000 as a first time author you run the risk of having the agent in question assume you're an overwriter because most novice writers are overwriters. Learning how not to overwrite is a huge part of making the jump from writing pretty well to writing as a craft (a big part of this process is adverb slayage, but that's just the tip of the iceberg). Word counts also change a lot in the revision process. The Nightshade manuscript that sold was ~85,000 words, the final ms that will be published in October 2010 is over ~100,000.

The trick to word counts is to take that phrase literally; to be worth keeping in the ms. each WORD must COUNT. Use the words you need to tell your tale well. And that usually means a few thousand less than you wrote.

Rid yourself of chaff. Have no mercy. The additional 20,000 words of the ms that happened after my book sale were completely new scenes added after awesome editor Jill and I discussed the revision strategy, not just tweaking that added a word here and there throughout the novel. Take-away lesson: if your editor tells you to add stuff, have at it, but if you're the one clinging to that longish word count, for your book's sake let go. It's those pesky words here and there, extras, and hangers-on that need to be eliminated to give you the cleanest manuscript possible.

A great post on word counts is here. If you read the guidelines and think "there's no way I could cut that much out of my 300,000 beauty," repeat after me: You are overwriting, embrace the delete key.

Kiersten asks - And finally, how DO you survive living in a place where you have to wear...shudder...SOCKS?

Are you implying that you own no socks? Does no one in your family own socks? I am intrigued by this possibility. And in answer to your question: if you want to visit sometime between November and April you'll understand why socks are imperative. It also helps if you purchase socks that are either very silly, and thus have an entertainment factor involved, or very fuzzy and thus make your toesies feel snuggled. (But I do prefer the barefoot glory that is June, July, and August.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Q&A Tomorrow!

It's a lazy Sunday and I'm curled up on the couch with the dogs. Tomorrow I'll host the first Monday Q&A blog session, so please offer any questions you have in the comments section of today's post. I'm happy to answer questions about writing, getting an agent, getting published, how to survive a Minnesota winter, history, why I don't like the Beatles or the Beach Boys, or anything else you're curious about!

Don't be shy, ask away!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Camera Hunt and John Green

Still looking for the camera, but in the mean time here's what I think might be the most apt, hilarious discussion of Twilight out there from the writing-whirlwind that is John Green, author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Lament of the Lost Camera


I have two posts planned that I was oh-so-excited for.

But at some point over the holidays the digital camera went missing.

It has not been located.

Timing? Terrible.

What of our awesome tribute to evil genius, the Berk?

What of our new Monster Duo commentary feature?

What of our upcoming New York trip?

Camera, oh camera, return to us please!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Living Right?

Or at least writing right - the deities of blurbosity have been smiling on me. First the oh-so-wonderful Cyn Leitich Smith gave NIGHTSHADE a big writerly high five, and today the uber-awesome Becca Fitzpatrick offered a gold star. Squee!

Sexy and thrilling, NIGHTSHADE had more than enough suspense to keep me flipping pages all night. I was pulled into Andrea's seductive, twisted world where humans are pawns to a powerful pack of werewolves, and nothing is what it seems. I was left guessing until the very end.

Becca Fitzpatrick author of Hush, Hush

To celebrate: I iz going shopping in preparation for my New York voyage. I'll be hitting Manhattan in one week; will spend the rest of this week making key decisions about New York wardrobe...oh, and revising WOLFSBANE.

In honor of these wonderful words here's one of Calla's favorite songs.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I got tagged (thanks, Yvonne!). It was awhile ago, but I've been saving up for the new year to answer questions and welcome new followers (111 - whee!) Thanks to each of you for taking the time to hang around this blog. I'm delighted to read your comments and I'll be starting up a weekly Q&A post next week (Monday Q&A)!

Being tagged is a bit like Q&A as I have to answer a basket full of questions. The official tag is 26 questions, but that makes for an awfully long post so I'm going to pick my ten favorites for 2010.

Here we go:

1) Write poetry?

No. I cannot write poetry. Not a lick of it. The poetry section of my high school English class was an Epic Fail for me.

But I am lucky to have amazing poet friends like Kristin Naca.

2) Favorite genre of writing?

Fantasy (urban and high)

3) Most annoying character you've ever created?

WOLFSBANE has a know-it-all character that drives everyone batty, but I kinda love him

4) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?

Uh, hello, spoiler? Not gonna give that up. No way.

5) How often do you get writer's block?

Never *knocks on wood*

6) Do you type or write by hand?

I write really, really fast and my handwriting can't keep up with my thought process, so it's typing all the way. Though I keep a notebook by my bed for ideas/plot points that wake me up in the middle of the night. That happens to me a lot.

7) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?

Not yet, but I keep all my ideas on hand in case they do become recycle worthy.

8) How many writing projects are you working on right now?

Officially: 3

Honestly: 6, okay 7

9) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?

My characters sneak up on me. It's often when I'm driving or walking my dogs. A scene will appear in my head, or a snippet of dialogue that introduces a character to me and the stories unfold from there. I'm often startled when it happens.

10) Do you favor happy endings?

Again, spoiler. Not telling.

Start saving up questions for the first Monday Q&A next week. I'll answer questions posted in the comments or emailed to me.

2010 slogan contest winners: your books will be in the mail tomorrow. Congrats again!

And Lisa Desroches - you are officially tagged!

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Heart Aflutter!

I think one of the most thrilling moments for a writer is having another writer say nice things about one's book. *You like me! You really like me!*

When it is a phenomenal writer, like Cynthia Leitich Smith, the thrill quickly morphs into hyperventilation and fainting spells.

NIGHTSHADE just got its first blurb. From the amazing author of so many wonderful books, but most recently TANTALIZE and ETERNAL (raise your hand if you are so excited for BLESSED), and creator of the deep well of writing resources that is Cynsations.

“Filled with love, lust, action, suspense, and mayhem, NIGHTSHADE is a glittering dark gem. A finely-wrought, compelling tale of romance and treachery that artfully explores the relationship between loyalty and servitude.”
-Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of TANTALIZE

Someone hand me the smelling salts. SWOON.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Once again, Happy New Year! I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm beyond thrilled to be in the third day of 2010. And what great slogans you dreamed up to get us off on the right foot!

And I did reach 110 followers (WOOT!); however, #110 didn't sign up until January 2, so rather than giving 2 books each away, I'm compromising and adding a 4th winner to the contest. Happy for me, because I loved all the entries and picking winners was a challenge!

It was tough, but I've selected the four winners for the 2010 slogan contest:

Dani - "2010: The Year We Go Broke (from buying too many books)"

TeamMagnusBane - "2010, when the girls are obsessed with sparkly men, men try to be like Edward Cullen, and when the Nerds out shine them all."

SuzyHaze - 2010 "The Year The People Rediscovered The Book"
In an odd turn of events humans and otherworldly things began flocking to bookstores and libraries, large and small, in order to sniff the glue binding and escape reality, only to find out that BOOKS ARE WONDERFUL and they escaped into the words (instead of the glue) by the billions

Krista Ashe - "2010,The book biz's best that's ever been The year authors are really gonna win Making all those readers heads spin With Tales of Zombies, Vamps, Angels, and furry kin First love, first lust, and MC's showing some skin. Ah, 2010, authors pick up those pens!"

Winners send an email to adrcremer (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and your choice of 1 book from the top 9 o'nine list and I'll post it to you stat!

Thanks again for participating in my inaugural blog contest many more contests to come in 2010!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

10 for 2010

It's here, the first year of the new decade. And my novel's birthday! While I still have to wait until October (ack!) for NIGHTSHADE's release date, having the year 2010 on the calendar makes it all the more real.

I don't do New Year's Resolutions, but I do goals. So here are my 10 goals for 2010 (next year you can check in and see how I've done).

10. Have patience, enjoy the ride (this one is last on the list because I have no patience and thus expect to spectacularly fail at meeting this goal)

9. Find a title I love for Book 3, NIGHTSHADE and WOLFSBANE were easy. Book 3 is killing me. Not the book, just the title.

8. Speaking of Book 3, finish it.

7. Write Book 1 of new series. This book currently has a smattering of pieces that add up to a few thousand words (I don't write chronologically). My goal is to bring them together into a coherent whole, complete novel.

6. Prioritize WIPs. Other than said Book 1 of new series I have half a dozen, give or take, WIPs floating around my laptop - and in my head - that need some sorting out. Hoping my agents and editor will help out with this one.

5. Speaking of my fabulous NIGHTSHADE Pack at InkWell and Penguin: meet agents and editor. *coughs* Okay, this is kind of cheating because I've already booked my flight. Will be in NYC in January and again in May. Cannot wait (see above, no patience).
4. Learn to speak German. Okay, I'm talking beginner German here, not fluent German. But I really would like to be able to speak with NIGHTSHADE readers in languages other than English. I already speak Spanish (passable) and French (sort of), but not German and I want to fix that. Plus my husband, father-in-law, and brother all speak German. So in theory I should have help. In theory.

3. Move. I love my apartment, but it's too small. I've written before about how I'm a messy person, naturally inclined to clutter. But lack of storage really pushes clutter into tornadic-strewn piles of notes, books, etc. We need more space. The move will happen.

2. Read all The Tenners books. 2010 debuts rock!!!!

1. Get NIGHTSHADE into the hands of every person I know, meet, bump into on the street. I love this book, I love the characters, I can't wait to share it with the world!!! I would also like Bret and Jemaine (Flight of the Conchords) to help me with promotion. I'd even get them a new sign for their booth.