This weekend, I feel blessed and privileged to be attending the 19th annual AIS-DSD Support Group Conference in San Francisco, CA (for those of you who aren’t familiar with intersex alphabet soup, AIS-DSD stands for the Androgen Insensitity Syndrome – Differences of Sex Development).

AISDSD
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diverselogowebsite

Super exciting news, guys!

The #WeNeedDiverseBooks team is thrilled to announce that we’ve been invited to give a panel at BookCon [for those not involved in publishing, BookCon is the consumer event associated with Book Expo America (BEA), which happens to be the largest book event in the country]!

And I’ll be moderating! I can’t be more honored to be talking about the important issue of diversity in literature, in conversation with multiple-award-winning authors Grace Lin, Matt de la Peña and Jacqueline Woodson.

(I’m sorry if I’ve used my exclamation point quota already. Needless to say, we’re all PSYCHED.)
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Guys, I’m so excited to tell y’all that NONE OF THE ABOVE now has an official release date:

April 28, 2015

…which means that my book will be published WITHIN A YEAR, which makes me feel a combination of this (credit maxafax):

excited baby

and this (credit reactiongifs.com):

which basically adds up to this (credit wondermentsofme):

Friends

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weneeddiversebooks-share-sm-rev-1-1

 
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Laura Plus Books

I’m totally embarrassed to come into LGBTQ YA month so late, but as you saw from my previous post, #amrevising. As usual, I was clued into this terrific corner of the blogsphere by Dahlia Adler, whose QUILTBAG compendium I’m still referring readers to.
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The lovely Heather Marie has tagged me in the Writing Process blog tour! I’m taking it as an opportunity to write about Diversity in YA, which has been a topic that’s taken up a lot of my Twitter feed lately, and for good reason:

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side effects coverI am so very excited to celebrate the launch of Julie Murphy’s much-anticipated YA contemporary novel, SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY. Julie’s a fantastic, nuanced writer, and we share the same editor, the amazing Alessandra Balzer. At the recent ALA midwinter conference, I was thrilled to see SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY presented at the Harper Book Buzz, where it was described as “fearless and funny,” with the panelists saying “we can’t recommend it highly enough.” I completely agree.  Continue reading

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I’ve been going to writers’ conferences for years, but this past weekend’s NY SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers) conference was particularly fun: It was the first one I attended as a contracted author.

logo-scbwi

It was a great time. Inspiring as always, and surprisingly stress-free when you’re not going in with high hopes for a critique. At the same time, attending the conference was somewhat bittersweet, because I saw myself in the hundreds of aspiring writers who weren’t in my position. The hope in those conference rooms was palpable, and as I met person after person who was in the querying trenches, or agented but not yet published, I couldn’t help feeling some survivor guilt.

It’s the flip side of professional jealousy, which has been wonderfully documented in essays by Philip LopateBonita FriedmanAlison Cherry,  Susan Adrian, Suzanne Ferrell Smith with Cheryl Wilder and Donna Gambale, among others. Instead of feeling left behind, I worried about being the person leaving people behind, especially when I hung out with my new Fearless Fifteeners friends. I didn’t want to be THAT PERSON.
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We only have what we give.  ― Isabel Allende

I am very excited to announce that my agent Jessica Regel and I are contributing to KidLit for the Philippines, an on-line auction to benefit survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.
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You write a book and it’s like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it in the ocean. You don’t know if it will ever reach any shores. And there, you see, sometimes it falls into the hands of the right person.    – Isabelle Allende

Everyone knows that going on submission is one of the most emotionally stressful experiences of a writer’s life.  Questions abound: Will editors love it? Or will they hate it and use the pages of my manuscript for an effigy to burn in their weekly cathartic editorial ritual? If they do love it, how long will it take for them to read it? Why is my e-mail refreshing so slowly?

Everyone knows that the third trimester of pregnancy is one of the most emotionally stressful times of a woman’s life.  Questions abound: Will the baby be healthy? Is the labor and lead-up to delivery going to suck? Will my epidural work? baby-and-books

I had experienced both of these trials (I almost wrote traumas) before, but never at the same time.  So you’ll understand my trepidation when my book went on submission to editors in early September – when I was eight months pregnant. In preparation for a long, neurotic submission process, my husband, with admirable forethought, made a reservation for me in a local psychiatric ward. Just kidding.
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