I'm back from an amazing conference, everyone! Wow. My brain hurts. I made so many new friends, learned a ton about writing and the publishing market, and absorbed all kinds of ideas for my WIPs. So naturally, I'm blogging instead of writing.
I'll be sharing some things I learned here in the next little while, if I can get all my ideas out of my brain. But first, some business.
My friend Elissa was at the conference. I asked her about the middle grade blog I knew she had started, along with some other book peeps.
Guess what, sphere? Her blog, Mixed-Up Files, is HUGE. No, not just got a few followers huge. I mean Random House huge. That's right, the big houses are buzzing about her blog. They got 3,000 hits their first week. They already have 270 comments on their first post. Authors are contacting them begging to be interviewed. Sometimes, big things really do start with a small idea. Elissa, you rock. Congratulations. If you write or just love middle grade fiction, go check it out.
Also, I wanted to mention some amazing books I've read lately.
First, here's one I loved immediately after I read it--The Way He Lived. Emily Wing Smith's writing style is amazing--one that I hope to emulate someday. She doesn't tell the reader everything--you get to think and fill in the blanks. Told from six different points of view, we learn how 16-year-old Joel died and see the effect that he had on other people's lives.
Second, I'd been meaning to read The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams for ages, and I finally decided to buy it when I met the author and had a chance to get her to sign it. 13-year-old Kyra is a member of a polygamist religion. When she has to marry her sixty-year-old uncle, she wonders if she dares leave the only family she's ever known. This book was creepy and sad, but also hopeful and happy at the same time.