Woody’s Roundup!

I was gonna call this post, “Welcome To The Month of Mem!” but then I wouldn’t have been able to use this gif:

woody

You can see the bind I was in.

Also can we take a minute and talk about how this was the single funniest moment in a pretty funny franchise, and I have such a vivid memory of laughing my head off about this with my childhood bestie, Serrana? I don’t even remember if she found it as funny, but I – who had been in love with Tom Hanks since Bosom Buddies because I was a strange child, and by the way was that theme song not needlessly aggressive and confrontational?! – nearly wet myself the first seventeen times I saw Woody strut out of that box.

Wow, you guys get super easily distracted.

ANYWHO.

We’re here for a round-up. Because we’re T-18 days from launch and things are getting good. Here’s a bunch of places you can read about MEM – or even read some of it!

(1) Foreword – Now this one isn’t quite new anymore, but this interview was the truth, and I adore Letitia, fr fr. Plus, they made a graphic of me and Mem, so like. Come on.

Foreword interview graphic

(2) Next up, is my first MEM excerpt – and my first publication on Tor.com. Maybe only other submitting writers would know how big a friggin’ deal this is, but it’s been a bucket list item for literal years.

(3) More splendiferous ABA news: MEM is a June Indie Next Great Read pick! Complete with a new, absolutely amazing bookseller blurb, this time from Hannah Oliver Depp of WORD in Brooklyn, NY. (Click the link. Scroll down. Read her words. I adore.)

(4) The Washington Post called MEM one of the “Best SFF Books Out This Month”! (No, YOU shut up!)

(5) Bustle listed MEM as one of “The 15 Best Fiction Books Coming Out in May 2018” – among some seriously intriguing company!

(6) And over at the Chicago Review of Books, MEM is listed as a “Best New Book of May 2018”. (And keep an eye out for an interview with editor-in-chief, Adam Morgan, for Electric Literature, soon come!)

I feel….like that’s everything recent. If I have forgotten anything. You’ll live! KISS EMOJI WINK EMOJI!

And also, ready your cities! Well two of them anyway! The first leg of MEM related travels begins this month!

Book Tour 1.jpg_large

 

 

 

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As If You Don’t Already Know

I’m smiling coyly, or however one smiles when they’re shamefully absent for six months. I just want you to know you’re not innocent in this, either. Every time someone subscribes to this dormant chamber of broken promises, I feel guilty, which of course sends me into a shame spiral, which is what I call it when I tweet non-stop for days at a time.

And then yesterday someone followed the link from my website here, and I was like WHY AM I SENDING PEOPLE TO MY ABANDONED BLOG OH NO. So I tweeted about it. But I have fortified my courage with tacos and iced tea and am here now to tell you all about the past six months. Just kidding, but here’s some stuff that happened or may yet soon and whatever.

First of all, the final jacket design for MEM was in my inbox yesterday and I can’t show it to you but I’m all,

Hell Yes

Like, I might actually cry when I hold it.

And then, wow, I made zero mention of my trip to Winter Institute, my first reading, my first signing, meeting amazing folks – I mean, outside of my FB author page, twitter and Instagram, so basically it’s been a secret. But what I haven’t posted is the amazing video that Tami Charles recorded of said first reading! (Mostly becuz you have to turn it ALL THE WAY UP to hear me – you’re almost there when the intro applause pops your eardrums.) So… I guess when I add captions, I’ll post that?

gotcha

And gosh, with MEM debuting in less than two months now (!!!!!!!!!), there’s been so much stuff, and I am super excited for launch events in LA and NYC (I’d say watch this space for more info but if you believe my lies, you’re just as much to blame, and clearly you’d be better off checking my twitter). But the thing I cannot believe I didn’t immediately blog about is thiiiiiiis:

DEAL ANNOUNCEMENT

My YA debut landed with Tor! Specifically with Diana M. Pho, which is just a wild, amazing thing, given how long she’s been supportive and willing to read my work.

So S&S is about a Portland that’s legitimately weird, we’re talking eloko/gargoyle/sprite weird, and two play-sisters who are the kind of weird that’s still not allowed. Tavia (s/o Octavia Butler) is a siren in a world where only Black women are, and so of course it’s no longer romantic or desirable, and sirens are hidden and protected by the Black community. Effie plays a mermaid in the Renaissance Faire, and with weird shenanigans happening to and around her again, it turns out she might really be one.

Basically it’s a story about the harm of self-proclaimed progressive states who don’t interrogate anti-blackness, it’s about the radical life-saving joy of Black sisterhood, it’s about young Black girls finding love, and building safety, and using their voices, and needing support, and loving the water, and how I always want a Skyline burger, and never laughing harder than I do with my sister and

Ahem.

Anyway, so all you have to do is wait til Winter 2020. AND add it to your TBR!

AND pre-order MEM!

AND….I’ll probably never see you here again just kidding.

 

 

 

 

Put It On Me

I’m not a blogger anymore, and I just need to say and accept that. I realize I’m here right this minute but it doesn’t mean anything. Don’t fall for me. I’ll only hurt you. And I’m really self-serving too because the only reason I’m here is that I can’t figure out how to tweet this properly.

So once upon a time I wrote a piece of flash fiction. And then I wrote a related one. And then I wrote a third one. And they were all about the same person in the same multi-planet-co-op but they were all stylistically different and what not. And I always thought I wanted to just keep doing that but then after the first three and brainstorming a fourth and fifth, I was like, that’s really restrictive and also it’s a big concept and maybe I should write a novella. And then I was like maybe it should be a YA novel. And then as per yoosh, I started writing two sets of notes: If This Were YA and If This Were Adult, and again as per yoosh, one of those lists got longer much faster. Decision made.

So I did what I do which is Excel Spreadsheet. (S/O to my boo, Excel.)

Ja Rule

And I made all my separate sheets, and had a grand ole time, and started gridding vaguely, and deciding on the major points of the plot, as you do. And like this minor character needed to be really important to the protagonist, right? So I was like, getting images for the first chapter and I got my first line and I got this dope idea for world building and just a lot of stuff was like YUSS. And so I wrote the first chapter and it was really good and it destroyed the entire plan and plot and built in all these other expectations and made the minor character way more important and crap, this is literally what happened when I drafted Avrilis.

So now I’m over here like six months later – because things – rereading the chapter and realizing I have to write a book to match/fulfill this chapter and like, who said writers get to decide what stories they tell? WHOM?!

Anyway.

Also did Fyre Fest really happen or was that a beautiful fever dream?

And finally, did I ever show you this? Ignore the date, I told you I’m trash, don’t make it a whole thing.

MEM PM Announcement

Maybe God Is Tryna Tell You Something Right Now

There is always a come to Jesus moment, y’all.  That moment when God has had just about enough of your shenanigans and He is not playing anymore.

For Josh Morrow, that moment came last night.

But let me back up.

It is the magical time of year affectionately known as Morrowpalooza (by everyone, it’s internationally recognized). The time when all our birthdays happen within four days and then, just when you hoped thought it was done, BAM. Wedding anniversary.

5thAnniversary

This is us on our 5th wedding anniversary. (Pauses for “you were babieeeeeees!”) That night, we went to the movies to celebrate our anniversary properly. By seeing The Simpsons movie. Alas, that did not go to plan, for you see, the building was infested with BATS.

Okay, there was one bat. But that one bat was in our theatre. Here’s why I’m telling you this. Because for years – literally for the past nine years since – Josh has been besmirching my good name, claiming it was I who threw a fit. I who did not understand there was even a bat there for a minute. (I feel it’s relevant here to say I went to UCSC and lived at Porter and went into the woods at night and also was swept over by a murder/gaggle/epiphany/whatever of bats and did not scream. Just gonna set that down right there.) Josh on the other hand, threw his arm across me, bellowing, “JUST STAY CALM!”

Me:

Confusion

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, maybe he thought you were scared.” To which I can only say, “He eventually left me in the theatre alone with the bat.”

So.

Yeah, the thing was diving and dipping and generally sending my poor, terrified husband into a lather, and so he ran to get the TEENAGE USHER because of course that kid was trained for bat removal. (He wasn’t.) And when I say, “went to get,” I mean: tore down the steps with his hands covering his head. My poor Joshie.

The bat eventually sped out into the corridor while another movie was letting out and screaming ensued, which was the end of our entertainment for the evening for you see, when the movie came on, there was no audio. They restarted the movie and about ten minutes or so in, the audio dropped out again. So they basically destroyed my first viewing of The Simpsons Movie. (For which I’ll never forgive them.)

And as an aside, when I said it was the end of our entertainment for the evening, I wasn’t counting the fact that we got FULLY lost on the way home (we were somewhere near Vancouver, Washington, where we are not from nor have we ever lived) and ended up on a road near what looked like an abandoned college where I’m assuming a group of sorority sisters slayed a bunch of demons.

SO!

Josh has never (NEH-VORE) admitted to any of this. Not even to our closest friends. He claims his memory is of me being really upset and him having to run and get help so I didn’t completely lose it. (Please see above gif.)

So Jesus was finally like, “That’s enough of that.”

Our 14th wedding anniversary is tomorrow. [Insert all the pictures of us smooching.] We are far (faaaaaar) from Vancouver, Washington, in a place that you don’t know exists until you get here. The bat debacle is many years on, never to be put to rest. Or so we thought.

Last night, Joshie and I were hanging out, taking in the rural sights, swatting mosquitoes as one does. Neither of us aware of the divine judgment on its way.

“I think that’s a bat,” Josh said. I looked around but saw nothing, and went back to our conversation. At some point, Josh ventured off to get a closer look at some angus cow pups horsing around in the fading light of sunset.

And that’s when it happened.

The bat flew over Josh’s head, turned and swooped at him, and Josh. lost. his. mind. Yelled, “I hate bats!” (But wait, Josh. I thought I was afraid…)

Here is an artist’s rendering of his escape:

run

It was glorious. For real.

Best anniversary present ever.

Spotting Sweet 16s!

The year of debut is finally here, not just for me, but also for all my Sweet 16 siblings! One thing I didn’t realize was how exciting it would be to go into Barnes and Noble and spot their books in the wild! So fun!

I met up with Margot Harrison, author of the forthcoming THE KILLER IN ME, in Burlington, VT, and scoped out the debuters already on the shelves!

Sweet 16s January

I know onlookers must’ve thought we were holding our own books, haha! But it was so exciting! So cool to have something to send them, like checking in on your friend’s kid away at uni or something. 😀 They’re doing fine and thriving and they love you, Laurie and Marieke!

Just in case you haven’t heard of Laurie’s FIRSTS and Marieke’s THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS – somehow, some way – you’ll find their titles linked to Goodreads, so go have a look!

Holy goodness. Someday this will be my book, spotted places I didn’t put her, exciting fellow Sweet 16ers. ::head explodes:: Cannot imagine!

 

You Are Hearing Me Talk

There are things over which an author has no control. This is never more easily understood then when you are the author. Lately, there’s been at least one dust-up over something the author of a very popular series could not really be expected to change. Because, the “not in control” thing. But I guess some people think we’re just kidding.

Expectation:

Reality:

(But she looks comfy, tho.)

And so anyway, the point of all this is who knows what will be, but IF I were to see an audio rendition of The Last Life of Avrilis (guess where that links to… guess!), I have but one request. That the narrator be one of the following:

Pictures

To be fair, I think everything should be narrated by one or both of them. No. Not both. We would not survive it.

While, on deeper meditation, it seems strange to have a grown man narrate a novel with a young female protagonist written by a woman… I don’t know how to finish that sentence. Have you heard them speak?! Was your soul not awakened?! (Apparently I have no convictions and stand for nothing. Because I think this could still work.)

But on the off chance that either selection would be off-putting, I will also benevolently accept another superstar narrator, in the form of Meagan Good.

 

Look Alive! Have A Lively Look About You!

I AM HERE.

What is life, guise. What is it.

What’s this life for.

It’s like…. life.

It’s bigger.

It’s bigger than you, and you are not me.

I’m….sorry, those are various song lyrics and assorted foolishments. I can’t rightly remember how to do this, but I feel like I’m nailing it.

So anyway, I am no longer an expatriate, for one thing, as my family has moved five minutes inside the US border. There’s that. So many changes, all at once, this summer was a whirlwind. And now it’s quiet. Like, country quiet. Like, city folk sitting in corners holding lanterns and holy water quiet. Which brings me to we got a new dog! (Read: a bigger, younger, much more vocal dog.)

Walker

Meet Walker. He is convinced he’s a cat, a human child, and whatever fights apple trees. I will love him more when he’s not teething anymore. (Spoiler: that bed – that bed that geriatric Phineas loved? – is no more.)

Other news: I am a Goodreads author with a book page for Avrilis and that just hasn’t lost its luster yet! LLoA is in copy edits, I’m anxiously and excitedly waiting to see what her cover will look like (insert SPDJFPOSKAGPKSDFG or some reasonable facsimile), and I’m writing the second book (more on that later)!

I’ve made friends with the local library (well, one town over), mostly because they are housed in this ridiculously awesome brick colonial and YAS. Oh and they gave me books so… I mean, friends for life.

So yes, we love the house, Ezzie loves his new school (1st time in an American school, he feels like he’s arrived!), we’re happily still in our church family, and life is moving right along!

Hopefully I’ll have more news to share soon! 😉

OHANDIT’SALMOSTCHRIS–

How I Be

I managed to solve a little problem today. And to celebrate? I’m going to tilt my chair.

Yep. I’m just speaking in Homer Simpsons quotes now. It is the perfectest herald of joy, so they say. (They don’t say that.)

During this whole move back to the United States but not a state we’ve ever lived in situation, there is UH LOT to do. Trust. And I’ve gotten some good-great revising done and am somewhat staying productive? Somewhat.

BUT!

I’ve been musing on Avrilis Book 2 – hold for glitter cannon festivities – and today the elements and recent story bit additions feel like they slipped into place so that it feels like this is a book! The world wraps around that, the characters themselves fuse it all together – with their whys and needs and motivations – and I know you’re thinking, why would you be this pleased over something that’s admittedly early stage? Because that’s how you get to the next one.

Sing wid me now…

That’s Where You’ll Fiiiiiiind Meeeee

I’m not saying I’m bidding this blog adieu – SWEAR! – but so much things, guys. Everyday life is getting real for the moment, SO:

If you’re looking for me, you are most likely to find entertainment on my FB author page! (Click it up!)

If you’re looking to read some of my work, you must away to tNY Press’ Electronic Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature and read an excerpt of my novel! So happy to have a piece of my non-traditional, cross-genre novel out in the ether. Can’t wait to share the whole thing! And also, highkey loving the artwork they paired with my story!

I shall blog gloriously someday/eventually. Until then, take it one day at a time. And know that I love you.

My 1st Twitter Chat: #WO2016 Edition

Oh. Things.

Life post-book deal (PBD) has definitely been exciting and interesting, friends. I often wondered how I was going to fill my time after I signed with an agent, when I didn’t need to keep up with agent research and requests and forums on which one commiserates with other writers in the query trench. Alongside subbing my short stories and revising and writing new projects, it made up quite a large part of my job. So what could possibly fill that?

Everything. Everything else. Since announcing LLoA’s sale, I’ve joined a couple of communities – which.are.awesome – and recently took part in my first PBD twitter chat. (Despite having that morning suffered a major screen tragedy.)

#WO2016 had our first Twitter party and it was so much fun! And also, for those of you on FB who only saw one side of the conversation, possibly really annoying! My apologies! So today, I wanted to put it in context for you so you can see what the heck I was talking about. And fingers crossed, you’ll come to the next one.

So! First things first, bien sur – Q1: We introduced ourselves and our books.

Intro. - Mozilla Firefox 822015 62434 PM.bmp

LLoA.bmp

This was so awesome because despite being on forums and groups with these authors, I felt like I got *such* a clearer impression not just of their stories but of their worlds. Love.

This was also interesting because on this journey, I’ve done a number of elevator pitches, loglines, twitter contests, pitch workshops, etc – and still I just wing it. (Winged? Wung?) And when you’re talking to other authors, bloggers, readers, etc, the constant wonder: am I telling the most interesting aspects or have I forgotten? Of course, there’s not a lot of time to ponder this since the timeline is racing by!

The second question (Q2) was: What book have you stayed up way past your bedtime reading?

I may have gotten very excited at my tweep’s response to this answer. A little.

What is better than sharing our love of a book? Sharing our love of a character.

Q3: If you could spend a day with any character from a book, who would it be and why? 

A3Yes, I failed to answer the second half that question but. I feel like it’s self-evident. Come on. I may have zoned out, just ruminating on Ender and Valentine for a moment or seven.

The time slot was racing by – amidst a lot of other side-convos and fun exchanges – but we did squeeze in one more question.

Q4: Why do you write?

A4.co8ho6gdb22w - Mozilla Firefox 822015 45420 PM.bmpA4.2.bmpFirst of all, how much do we love typos that get retweeted and favorited? Not at all. Of course I meant “a” not “an” but LET’S NOT OBSESS OVER THAT. Or “have written” but that’s more Twitter’s fault blah blah blah LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, BWAM = Black woman, Asian male. There are criminally few romantic Asian male leads in entertainment, period, and no, it’s not cool. So. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Relatedly, though, an interesting little factoid came up during the chat when authors were talking about characters taking on a life of their own and forcing changes to the plot:

Minor Characters.bmpAnd finally, a snippet of the conversation that was very, very important to me. Part of discussing why we write, I think, and though it wasn’t related to LLoA, it is near and dear to me.

Therapy. =This refers to my novel, THIS IS NOT HEAVEN, which is written in a nontraditional format and for which I am looking for the perfect home. It’s sci-fi, academic, short and intense and the most cathartic thing I’ve written to date. Because this past few years have been difficult in a way that otherwise defies translation. And if you want to know what social commentary and race and trauma have to do with aliens and immortality… well, I hope to one day soon be able to tell you.

And of course, “the” should be “this” – as it is on-going – but again LET’S NOT OBSESS OVER THAT, BETHANY.

And that, my friends, is a glimpse at the first #WO2016 twitter chat! So much fun! I’ll be hosting one toward the end of the year but you can find me taking part in them about twice a month. Hope to see you at the next one!