Monday, October 30, 2006

A new book submission

Last night I started getting a wicked sore throat and it's no better today. Maybe it's the change in weather that's making everyone sick. In any case, I have a hugely busy work week and can't afford to lie around in bed so hopefully I will get better soon.

In happier news, my agent is sending out a brand, spanking new book proposal to editors this week. It's a totally different story - not one of the vampire books - but I think it'd be really cool to write so I'm hoping an editor wants to buy it!

Basically how it works is I write a partial (which is about 50 pages) of a new book and a summary of the book (describing the whole story- about 7-10 pages) and then the editor decides if she wants to buy the book based on what we sent her. We send out to several editors at once so then if more than one of them likes the idea they have to bid against eachother in what's called an auction. This is good for authors cause it means a better deal for them. :) We then sell the book to the editor with the best offer and then I get a deadline to finish it.

Sometimes only one editor will be interested. Or none at all. You never know. It depends on the quality of the book, the subject matter, what the editor has already bought that month, if the idea hasn't been overdone, etc. etc. Sometimes a sale can happen within 2 days of submission (like what happened with Boys that Bite) sometimes it can take months and months.

So cross fingers and wish me luck as we send this new baby out into the world!!!

PS The reason it can sell on a partial manuscript is because I already have other books out. If you're a first time author you have to write the whole book first.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cute Guy Friday!

When I was writing Sk8er Boy, this is who I pictured as Sean.

Chad Michael Murray. Mmmmm. Delish.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Star Was versus Harry Potter

Think Star Wars and Harry Potter are completely different stories with totally different plotlines? This may change your mind... :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Children of the Universe

Found this on YouTube. I love it.

The process of writing a book

I'm up to page 70 on Girls that Growl. That means I need at least 150 more pages before it's done. Gah! Sometimes when I think about my deadlines I feel like pulling out my hair!

Ever wonder how writers write? Do they plan everything out in advance? Or do they just wing it and see what happens? While everyone's different, I can tell you what I do.

First I come up with a concept. That's sort of like a "What If." What if there were two twins and one of them wanted to be a vampire, but the other got bit instead. What if it were a week before prom? What if the cutest guy in school had just asked her out?

Then I come up with a title. (Though sometimes I think of the title first and the concept second. hehe) My first idea for Boys that Bite was "Wow, That Sucks!" (Get it??) But I thought some people might object to "suck" being on the cover so that's when I came up with Boys that Bite.

Then, if my editor likes the idea, I write up a synopsis. This is basically a plot summary from beginning to end. It's usually between 5-10 double spaced pages. And yes, you have to include the ending. Editors get cranky when you say things like "And to find out what happens you have to read the book!" just like teachers do when you write that in book reports.

Once the synopsis is approved by my editor I start the book. I usually have to write 3 chapters and send them in first because the cover department wants them so they can come up with a good cover for the book.

The way I usually write is I give myself permission to write crap in the first draft. Just get the basic ideas on paper and not worry about perfect sentences, jokes, etc. Then I go back and review each chapter many many times and revise the heck out of it. Edit and polish it to perfection. Then I show it to my critique partner and she edits it some more.

All this time I have to figure out what each scene is going to be. The synopsis gives me some clue -- like a roadmap -- but I really can't know all that's going to happen until I start the actual story. That's because characters can be funny sometimes. They like to do things you haven't planned them to. And sometimes that takes the story in a different direction. Subplots can be added, etc. etc. This is okay, as long as you still are aiming for the same basic plot as the synopsis. You can go from A to B to C or A to D to C as long as you end up at C in the end.

Once I'm done writing and polishing I send the book into my editor. Then they make notes on it and send me a list of questions and/or things they want changed. I make those changes and then send the book back. Then another editor (called a copy editor) goes through and corrects all the grammar and makes sure all the facts are right, etc. For example, in Boys that Bite I had inserted an extra day in the week. The copy editor caught that.

I get to go through the copy edits and check their changes and answer their questions. Then I send it back and they send the book to be typeset. Now it's in the same form as it looks like when you read it in a final book. (Before this it's been double spaced like an essay.) I read through the book again (yes again! at this point I'm usually sooo sick of it!!) and make sure all of it makes sense and there are no typos. You can't change a lot of stuff at this point cause it gets expensive now that it's formatted professionally.

And that's it! Next time I see it it's a finished book!

Whew! A lot of work, huh? But it's fun too. As long as you can make your deadlines. Which, speaking of, I'd better get back to!


Friday, October 20, 2006

Cute Guy Friday!

When I was six I had a crush on Mark Hamill. As you probably know he played Luke Skywalker in the original three Star Wars movies.

When I was about twelve, I saw Labyrinth and fell in love with David Bowie.

In high school I discovered The Cure and fell for Robert Smith's beautiful, sad voice.

Then there came Buffy. And with Buffy, Spike!

I had a thing for Jude Law for a long time, before he cheated on Sienna with his nanny... (I still think he's way hot, even though he's a dirty dog.)

But now I've replaced him by Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

How about you? What guys rock your socks?


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Girls that Growl

So remember how earlier this week I posted a photo and description of what I wanted the Girls that Growl cover to look like? Well, Kayla, one of my fab readers decided to get creative with PhotoShop and came up with a fabulous mock up!! Check it out! She did such a good job - I'd totally be happy if this was exactly what my real cover looked like. :)

Isn't it great? She even used the same font as BOYS THAT BITE. I think she has a future in book cover design, don't you?

Anyone else want to give it a try? :)


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Can you believe Halloween is less than two weeks away?? I love Halloween. This year, my friends and I are going to go to Spookyworld. It's like this indoor area with all these haunted houses and stuff. You'd think it would be totally cheesy, but we went last year and it was actually really scary and fun.

I'm not sure what I should be. I have this costume that I wore to a writer's conference in the spring. (Yes, sometimes they have costume parties at those things!) I was an evil goth fairy.

Here's what it looked like. What do you think?

So what are you guys doing? And what are you going to dress up as? Any vampires? Someone told me their friends (2 sisters) are going as Sunny and Rayne, which I think is awesome! Anyone else going to dress as the Boys that Bite twins?? If so, you'd better take pictures and send them to me!!!!


Monday, October 16, 2006

Cover Stuff

Have you ever wondered how they come up with covers for books? What most people don't know is that the authors have very little to do with what ends up on the cover. The publishers have an art department that does all that stuff. That's why sometimes you see covers where the characters don't look anything like they're described in the book. I've been very lucky with my Boys that Bite and Stake That! covers -- I love them both and I think they're great representations of the girls in the book.

So now I'm currently awaiting the cover of GIRLS THAT GROWL, the third book in the series. My editor asked me for some ideas, which she will pass along to the art department. Of course, remember, they don't have to take my suggestions - but at least they asked for them!

I told her since the book is about Rayne going undercover as a cheerleader we should do something where you mix a cheerleading outfit with a goth outfit. So she could be wearing combat boots and fishnets, but have a cheerleading skirt and pom poms.

Here's the photo I sent them.

Imagine something like this, but with pom poms and more of a cheerleading skirt. Wouldn't that be so cute on a cover?

I think so. In a few weeks, we'll see if the art department agrees with me!! :)


Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

Yay it's Friday! And not only Friday, but Friday the 13th! Ooooh scary! To celebrate, my ex and I (yes, we're still total BFFs, isn't that great?) are going to do a Friday the 13th movie marathon at my house tonight. Fun, fun.

Both of us love horror movies and when we were together we'd schedule regular "cheesy horror movie nights" where we'd go to Blockbuster and find the most random B-movies ever and watch them into the wee hours of the morning. Some of them were SOOO terrible. Like "Jack Frost" - which is about a killer snowman. (They actually made a sequel of that - where Jack Frost came to the Bahamas or something - if you can believe it.) And then there was the one about the sadistic dentist. Oh and we can't forget the ice cream man who chopped up kids and served human flesh in ice cream cones. (Or something like that...)

Yeah. They're silly and gross and not a bit scary, but they're also fun!!


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Hey all,

I'm Mari and welcome to my new blog. Here's where you can find out the latest stuff going on with the Boys that Bite series as well as my life in general. Feel free to add comments if you have questions, opinions, or just want to say "hi!"

So it's less than two months before STAKE THAT! hits store shelves! Are you excited? I know I am. I can't wait to see what you guys think of Rayne's adventures as a vampire slayer.

Because we authors have to work sooo far ahead, I'm now writing the third book in the series. It's called "GIRLS THAT GROWL". We should get a cover very soon and of course I'll post it as soon as I get it!! Can't wait to see what the artist comes up with. I really love the covers of Boys that Bite and Stake That!, don't you?

Anyway, I've got to get back to work, but I'll write more soon, so make sure you keep checking back.