Every new year I like to take stock of what I did in the previous year and what I'm looking forward to in the new one. This past year was quite a big one for me!
Books and Stories Published
My short story “Ghost Town” appeared in Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell. My story “One True Love” (which was originally published in 2012 in Foretold) was reprinted in Heiresses of Russ 2013 edited by Tenea D. Johnson and Steve Berman. My novel Adaptationcame out in paperback, and I released an ebook companion novella, Natural Selection. And of course Inheritance, the sequel to Adaptation, came out in hardcover.
Last but not least, I recorded the audiobooks for Ash and Huntress (yes, I narrated them myself!), and Audible released them in December just in time for the holidays.
I traveled to Scotland, Cornwall, London (just long enough to eat a delicious Indian dinner), Chicago, Colorado, Texas, Portland (Oregon), Seattle, and Massachusetts. Some trips were for pleasure (hello, Scotch tasting!), and some were for the pleasure of promoting my books (hello, Texas!).
My friend Cindy Pon and I relaunched Diversity in YA, where we celebrate young adult books about all kinds of diversity. I interviewed David Levithan and Laura Lam, crunched a lot of numbers to make pie charts, and indexed all my posts on LGBT YA in this Guide to LGBT YA. I wrote about the joys and pitfalls of self-promotion for The Toast. I spent a lot of time on Tumblr. I ended the year at over 21,600 tweets.
Looking Forward to 2014
I will not have a new novel out in 2014, but on Feb. 25, my story “The Twelfth Girl,” a retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” will be published in the anthology Grim edited by Christine Johnson. I really loved writing this short story, which is an urban fantasy-style retelling that involves twelve bad girls and a night club. It was so fun to write, and I hope it’ll be fun to read, too.
For readers in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, Adaptation, Natural Selection and Inheritance will be coming your way from Hodder Children's Books beginning in April 2014! I can’t wait for my X-Files-inspired thrillers to cross the pond(s).
In terms of travel, I'm hoping to travel less in 2014 than I did in 2013. As of now I know that I'll be at Romantic Times in New Orleans in May, and I'll be at an undisclosed location I'm very excited about over the summer. I'll tell you more when I can!
The State of My Writing
As I move into 2014, I feel like I’m also moving into a new part of my career as a writer. I’ve now written four young adult novels, two fantasy and two science fiction, but the next book(s) I see myself writing are quite different. I’m in the middle of writing something that is quite a departure for me, namely because there is no magic or magical science involved! Yes, it is a realistic novel, which at first was one of the weirdest things I’d ever written. So far, it has been a challenge, but a welcome one. And anyone who knows me knows I love a challenge.
While I can’t tell you more about this book(s) right now, I can tell you that it has been very good for me to stretch my creative wings and to try something new. But don't worry, genre lovers! I still love fantasy and science fiction and I'm sure I’ll write that again too. I've never had a problem coming up with ideas for books; my problem is there's not enough time to write them all!
In an effort to find more of that time, I'm going to be dialing back the blogging. I went all out with blogging in 2013 and my blog traffic went up quite a bit, but I felt like I was spreading myself too thin and not spending enough time on writing fiction.
Simultaneously, I've mostly given in to the fact that blogging on Tumblr feels easier than blogging here, so I'm now trying some technical things behind the scenes to cross-post some of what I post on Tumblr on my official website. I could never stop blogging altogether because posting my thoughts here and on Tumblr and Twitter has been an invaluable source of support for me. Like most writers, I work alone, and it's been really great to have friends and readers and co-conspirators readily available on the internet when I need a break or when I just want to gush about a random thing I loved.
So. The internet — just like everything in life — is a giant game of balancing priorities. I'm gonna try some new things in 2014. I hope you will too. Happy new year!