Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Fantabulous Philly Visit!

A couple weeks ago I went to the beautiful city of Philadelphia to attend Wizard World and visit my family. But the best part about being in Philly was getting to visit the Quirk headquarters for an afternoon. It's very serendipitous that my trip brought me to the city where my publisher is, so naturally I was excited to see it for myself and meet all the awesome people who work there.

I was fresh off a red-eye flight (a turbulent red eye flight, so I wasn't able to sleep for gripping my armrests so hard), and I may have appeared slightly zombiefied. Luckily Quirk books is no stranger to zombies, so I think things went well, overall!

Me in front of the Quirk Building
I got to meet my editor and publisher, Jason Rekulak, and he gave me a tour of the place, introducing me to everyone as he led me through the labyrinthine Quirk Books building (so many stairs!-including a vertigo-inducing spiral staircase - not for the faint of heart. Incidentally, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Warren hotel with all its narrow, twisting corridors!)

It made me really happy how excited everyone seemed to be about Warren the 13th - it feels so good knowing that everyone at Quirk is a fan and is supporting it 100%. It was also really nice to meet the marketing team in person, especially after so many faceless emails exchanged back and forth over the last few months.

I then had an excellent lunch with Jason, Rick (another editor at Quirk), and Nicole (associate director of marketing), followed by a meeting with Jason and Rick to discuss Warren Book 2 (and beyond??). We brainstormed some great ideas, and I'm now working on a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of the next book. I'm really looking forward to writing this one - I wish I could give you a hint about what it's about, but the first book isn't even out yet, so you'll just have to wait! ;)

Anyway, my entire trip to the east coast was worth it just for getting to visit Quirk alone. I left there feeling so invigorated and excited about Warren (even more so, if that's possible).

OH! And the BEST thing was that I got a copy of the Warren the 13th ARC! Look at it! It's gorgeous!  I wish I had more than just one, because I'd totally host a giveaway, but I think they're saving most of the ARCs for Book Expo America, which is coming up this weekend. (So if you want one, stop by the Quirk booth! I believe there will be a little game you can play to earn one.)

My preciousssss

After my Quirk visit, I headed over to my table at Wizard World where I handed out Warren bookmarks to the kids. I was pleased to see how many people seemed curious and intrigued by the project! 

 But I realized later that the bookmarks have a tiny typo. Can you spot it? (Hint: it's on the front).

How annoying! Well, I also forgot to put the ISBN on the bookmarks so maybe this is a sign I just need to have new ones printed...

But in happier news the Warren the 13th website is now live if you want to take a peek! 

Anyway, that's all the news for now. I should be having more updates soon about my upcoming appearances to promote the book, so check back!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Six Months to Go!

It's May! Which means that there's only six months left until Warren the 13th comes out. It's not long now before promotion officially kicks in. As I write this, ARCs have been printed and are in Quirk's hands in time to be handed out at BEA at the end of the month. I can't wait to get my hands on one! (Luckily, I don't have to wait long - I'm flying to Philadelphia tonight and am going to visit the Quirk headquarters tomorrow!)

Here's a look at the ARC pre-printing, marked with all my notes and changes. Mostly minor stuff, luckily!

I'm so excited people to see what Will and I have been working on, but I'm also a little nervous to have our beloved project in the hands of early readers and critics. Granted, it's just an ARC and not the final book, but not all of Will's art is completed yet, so more pressure falls upon my writing. Fortunately, I think it holds up, even though I didn't add as much visual description as I normally would (due to the fact that Will's art will be supplementing the text).

In fact, of all the projects I've completed in the past (both published and otherwise), I feel the most confident about this one. Maybe it's because I'm surrounded by such a supportive team - between my editor and the folks at Quirk, and Will lending his creative vision, I've felt so buoyed all throughout this journey. I DO feel like we've created something special, and I'm confident that we have something that people will love.

In fact, my main "problem" with Warren so far has been convincing myself that this is actually happening. I've been dreaming of a project like this for so long that I don't think my brain has yet caught on to the fact that it's REAL. I remember after the initial offer was made for Warren I was so careful not to get my hopes up because a part of me was certain that they'd call up and say "Oh, psyche!* It's not YOUR project we want, it's another one!"

*my imagination is stuck in the 90s apparently

I told myself that once the contract was signed I could rest assured that this was, indeed, real. But even after the paperwork was finalized, I was still pinching myself and fearing that someone would say it was all a big mistake.

Even now, just six months from publication, a part of me is waiting for the the curtain to be raised, revealing that this is all part of an elaborate prank show, You Thought You Had a Book Deal! (That would be a cruel show).

Honestly, I think this will only become really real once people start reading Warren the 13th. Because stories gain power the more they are told, the more people hear them. Before books are released into the open, they exist in some nebulous ether, like a dream. That's why I'm so eager to hear what people think of Warren (those that are fortunate enough to get an ARC in their hands!)

And despite all the self-doubt that pops up now and again (a writer's curse), I actually kind of hope this feeling of wonder doesn't go away because I don't ever want to take it this for granted. I don't want to become complacent or forget what it feels like to manifest something I've been striving towards for so long.

Well, I must be off to finish packing. I'm on a red-eye tonight and have a long convention weekend ahead of me. If you're attending Wizard World Philadelphia by chance, stop by my table B5 in Artist's Alley for a Warren the 13th bookmark!