I'll be honest: 2013 was a difficult year. Last December, I was not at all sad to say goodbye to all the uncertainty of my debut year. But 2014? 2014 was good. 2014 was when I was able to settle into the writing rhythm, and all that formerly stressful stuff stopped mattering as much, and I was able to rediscover why I love telling stories. Some of my professional highlights of the year:
Receiving the North Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Literature. I beat out DIVERGENT for this plaque, so you bet I'm proud, and was thrilled to stand up in front of 700 NC school librarians and teachers and let them know how much it meant.
Speaking at the International HG Wells Society Conference in Durham, UK. What a dream; spending an entire day listening to people far smarter than me talk about Wells in a castle where Harry Potter was filmed, and then swapping book recommendations over a few pints in a local pub.
Selling an Anthology Short Story. One of my goals for 2014 was to branch out in writing; I sold a short story called "Hide and Seek" to a forthcoming YA horror anthology, SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS, coming in August 2015 from Dial/Penguin, organized by the very talented April Tucholke.
Working on THE CAGE trilogy. The first half of the year I finished editing THE CAGE, which is now in ARCs; the second half of the year I wrote the first draft of the sequel. This series has challenged me in so many new ways, and taught me so much about myself.
Holding My First Complete Trilogy. My editor just sent me an early final copy of A COLD LEGACY yesterday; here's the first shot of the entire trilogy. I keep staring at it. I feel really, really proud. (and PS, there's a preorder deal happening now!)