The Comic Con One

Hi y'all!  Sorry for not dropping in on Sunday or Monday (I'm trying to establish an actual blogging schedule with limited success), but I was busy, busy, busy trying to finish the story I've been working on since last October!  And I did!  Last night, around 12:30 in the morning. I decided to suck it up and push through to the end, even though I've been feeling under the weather and I kept turning around to gaze mournfully at my bed. I'm really proud of myself for finishing this one--I'm allowed to say that without looking like a d-bag, right?  I've had the idea in the back of my mind since 2009, but I didn't start working on it until Columbus Day weekend last year (when I took a research trip to Boston).  I was going to be all dodgy and secretive about it, but I flat-out said it was Middle Grade in that post and, well, no use pretending.

That's really why I'm proud that I finished it--writing MG is out of my comfort zone, but I wanted the challenge after feeling a little burnt out on YA.  I honestly have no idea if I actually succeeded. Initially, I really struggled with the stylistic changes you have to make to write for a younger audience.  I tend to be a long-winded writer both on a micro sentence level and a macro storytelling level, so it was an uphill battle to change my usual syntax.  It ended up being 65,000 words (just under 250 pages) which is still a bit long for MG, but, hey, that's 100,000 words shorter than the first draft of the last book I finished (she says, trying not to cry).

In any case, it needs a bit more polishing and time to settle before I talk about it, but--I'm excited!  Finish it was one of the goals I had for October, so I'm actually ahead of schedule. Even if it all comes to nothing, I learned a lot about writing MG and I'm really fond of the characters and story.

(I was going to write some slick transition here, but I'm feeling pretty miserable/not-so-clever/headache-y today. This morning on the subway train--which, of course, was running "at slower speeds due to an earlier incident"--I started feeling REALLY ill. I woke up thinking, "I should probably call in sick to work today," but in the two years I've worked here I've never taken a single sick day... and, well, this girl has pride.  Anyway, bad choice.  I felt worse and worse and worse when I transferred to the Q, and, lemme tell you, there are few places worse when you're sick than a super hot, super crowded train.  I started stripping off my scarf, my coat, my knit vest to try to cool off, but I could feel the sweat pouring off me. And all I kept thinking was, YOU WILL NOT BE THE SICK PASSENGER, BRACKEN.  YOU WILL NOT HOLD UP THIS TRAIN BY PASSING OUT, NOT AFTER SO MANY JUDGE-Y TWEETS ABOUT SICK PASSENGERS GETTING ON TRAINS.

This is when the train stopped all together and I basically gave up on life and set my purse and lunch bag down on the ground so I could lean against the pole and puke on the evil person sitting directly in front of me, watching all this happen, and not offering me the chance to sit down.  A girl a few seats down finally got up and thank God for that--I think I was two seconds away from sitting my ass down on the floor of the car to avoid falling onto it.  So yeah, not a super fun day.)

I just wanted to remind you guys that this week is NEW YORK COMIC CON WEEK!!

I would LOVE to meet you guys if you're attending!

Friday, October 12th

11:00 AM-12:00 PM. Disney Publishing Worldwide Booth 1132

I'll be signing THE DARKEST MINDS galleys in the Disney Hyperion Booth alongside Dan Krokos (author of FALSE MEMORY).

1:30--2:30 PM, 1A14  PASSION, POWER, AND PARANORMALS! Panel

Authors Keri Arthur, Maureen Johnson, Tahereh Mafi, Tonya Hurley, Margaret Stohl, Dan Krokos, Alexandra Bracken, and Kalayna Price discuss the inclusion of romantic elements in their action-packed novels. If dating the undead wasn’t tricky enough, these protagonists must also battle the forces of evil while trying to keep their sanity and the world safe from destruction. Moderator Jocelyn Davies will have the authors divulging the steamy details behind creating their characters and their tricky love affairs.

1. Keri Arthur (Beneath a Darkening Moon) 2. Maureen Johnson (The Shades of London series) 3. Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me) 4. Tonya Hurley (The Blessed) 5. Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures) 6. Dan Krokos (False Memory) 7. Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds) 8. Kalayna Price (Alex Craft Novels) MODERATOR: Jocelyn Davies (A Beautiful Dark and A Fractured Light, Editor at Razorbill)
(I'm SO excited about this panel... and super, super nervous!  Luckily Jocelyn is captain of this ship, so I know we're in good hands and the audience is in for a real treat.)
3:15 – 4:15, Autographing Tables 2,3 and 4 Panel Autographing
I'll be signing BRIGHTLY WOVEN after the panel ends, but I'll have a few copies of THE DARKEST MINDS to give out, and--if the shipping gods smile down on me--TDM postcard-sized prints I can sign for you, too.