The Friday Five!

1. Whew! I don’t know about all of you, but this week has been a total whirlwind for me. Just crazy busy, plus my husband had the flu. When it rains, it pours. Or spikes a fever. He seems to be on the mend, though, which is great as long as my daughter and I don’t come down with the same thing. Sometimes I feel like we are just a circle of sickness, passing germs around and around. If it finally gets warm, will all the colds and flu magically disappear? I can only hope. And oh, how I am.

2. One reason this week was so busy was that I was doing promotional stuff, gearing up for the paperback release of What Happened to Goodbye on April 9th. On Wednesday, I went to speak in the media center of East Chapel Hill High, which was super fun. I hung out with a bunch of girls while they ate lunch, talked about writing and my books, and eyed their nachos and donuts with a barely disguised longing. (We did NOT have nachos as a lunch option when I was in high school. I wish!) I always love going back to the local high schools as I gear up for tour, as it’s a good way to get used to speaking in public again. I feel like I’ve been under a rock for, well, the last two years or so. Except for my gig in Pittsburgh back in January, I’ve basically just been writing, tweeting and playing Princess Car Crash with my daughter. Now, though, it is about to be ON. It’s like training for a race. You have to start slow, condition yourself, and be sure to remember to stretch. Also, naps are crucial. Always.

3. Another thing I did this week was my first Twitter chat with PenguinUSA for their online book club, which is discussing What Happened to Goodbye. It was from 7-7:30 last night, and we happened to have a babysitter, so I had a dilemma. Do I cancel my sitter, or try to do the chat while out in The World so I can enjoy a dinner with my husband? I decided to get all cavalier and try the latter. So I packed up my Macbook and my portable hot spot and headed out to City Kitchen, one of our favorite restaurants. Our waitress was one of our babysitters, so she was totally okay with me working from her table. We ordered apps, enjoyed a glass of wine, and then I powered up and joined the chat. It worked! I was cooking along, typing like crazy, while my husband ate his hanger steak. Occasionally, he picked of piece of my pizza and held it out to me so I could grab a bite. Teamwork! He also documented me as I was working:


Anyway, the chat was SUPER fun. The next one is this coming Thursday, April 4th, again from 7-7:30 pm EST. The hashtag is #readpenguin. I think I will try to stick closer to home, as I don’t want to tempt fate. Yes, this living on the edge for me. I am such a rebel!

4. One thing that came up during the chat—-and during just about every Q&A I do, online or otherwise—is whether I will ever consider doing a sequel to any of my books. I understand why people ask. There are SO many good series in YA that readers almost expect a follow up. But the truth is, I like to think that my characters are fine where I leave them on the last page of the novel. And I worry any sequel I tried to write just wouldn’t live up to expectations. This is why I orginally began bringing characters back from previous books, as  a way of thanking people for WANTING sequels, and trying to do something sort of like that. When I was asked this question last night, though, I happened to mention that if I ever did do a sequel it would be to This Lullaby, and that I’d actually started one a couple of years back and got scared. Which is true. The pressure! Dex and Remy! I mean, come on. But people got SO excited hearing this, I was crazy flattered. Maybe, maybe. Someday. But for now I’m at work on another book. Never say never, though. I do love me some Dexter. How much fun would it be to get to spend a whole other book with him? Hmmmmm.

5. Finally, I will admit here to being a bit of s superstitous person. I won’t open an umbrella anywhere NEAR inside, avoid cracks whenever I can, and knock wood pretty much constantly. Also, I do a lot of magical thinking, I think because as a writer I never know if I’m going to have a good work day or a totally terrible one, so I try to control it by saying things like, “If I make this wastebasket shot, today will be the day I figure out that scene that’s making me nuts.” Because of this, I will also do just about any ritual that anyone says might work for, well, anything. Which is why I ordered a St. Joseph statue yesterday. Let me explain. We have an investment property that has been on the market for almost a year now. It is gorgeous, with new appliances and floors and an addition, in a great location close to UNC. But for some reason, we haven’t had even a good nibble. I was lamenting this yesterday when my Twitterverse suggested the St. Joseph thing. Apparently if you bury a statue of him upside down by the For Sale sign, facing the house, and say a prayer, you have a much better chance of selling. Will this work? I don’t know. But I am going to try. Another suggestion we had from our painter was that we let a live chicken loose in the house’s yard to scare away bad vibes and “cleanse” the property, but that seemed a bit extreme, even for a magical thinker like me. So St. Joseph it is. You never know, right? Can’t hurt….


Have a good weekend, everyone!