Log in

Class of 2k10 update - part 3 of 3

Three years after our debuts, we touched base to see where we are and how we've grown since 2010. We asked our members to consider these questions, and we're posting the answers this week:

What have been the biggest surprises of your publishing career since 2010? How are you different now from the writer you were then?

Denise Jaden:


The biggest surprise, for me, is how volatile and ever-changing this industry is. I’ve seen publishers, editors, and agents come and go and change positions so much in the last three years, it’s practically making my head spin.

I would consider myself a much more resilient person than I was three years ago, due to both personal struggles and professional ones. I certainly went through a period of discouragement about the publishing industry (as I’ve heard many other writers have as well) but I’m happy to say I’m at a fairly leveled-out emotional place where I truly love what I do with most of my time.

Denise Jaden has recently released her first non-fiction book for writers: WRITING WITH A HEAVY HEART: USING GRIEF AND LOSS TO STRETCH YOUR FICTION. Her second book for writers, FAST FICTION, will be released by New World Library in 2014.

Janet Fox:


The biggest surprise for me is how much time and effort I have to put in to market my books. Publishing has changed, even since our debut. It's hard to believe there was no real ebook market in 2010. And I hope I'm a much better writer now than I was then - I'm certainly faster at getting projects done.

Janet Fox lives in Bozeman, Montana. Her most recent release is SIRENS (November 2012, Speak/Penguin), a YA noir mystery and romance set in 1925 New York City.

Jennifer R. Hubbard:

TNTB thumbnail2

Since 2010, I’ve become less inclined to put all my eggs in one basket, or pin all my hopes on one book, one genre, one career path. We tend to think, “My debut is my only shot,” but there really are more choices and more chances than that.

Jennifer R. Hubbard hikes and writes books (though not at the same time). Her most recent novel, TRY NOT TO BREATHE, in which a boy recovering from a suicide attempt befriends a girl who is trying to reach her late father through psychics, appeared in 2012.

Class of 2k10 update - part 2 of 3

Three years after our debuts, we touched base to see where we are and how we've grown since 2010. We asked our members to consider these questions, and we're posting the answers this week:

What have been the biggest surprises of your publishing career since 2010? How are you different now from the writer you were then?

Irene Latham:

The biggest surprise to me is how much I enjoy speaking engagements and school visits. I had to overcome a major fear of public speaking in order to "perform," but wow am I glad I did! The public aspect of authordom has been an enchantment, a miracle, a blessing. I've met the most amazing people, and I love hearing their stories. Plus it's so fulfilling to connect with people over characters that for such a long time hid out in the tree house of my mind.

Irene Latham continues to find joy in all aspects of the writing life and has had fun introducing readers to zoo-resident Whit, the hero of her latest MG novel DON'T FEED THE BOY, which was released in late 2012.

Judith Graves:


When my first book launched with the super-awesome Class of 2k10, I was very much a fish out of water. Everything was new and strange. Unnerving, yet thrilling. I was swept along by momentum and carried to some very cool places. A few years later I'm still treading into unfamiliar territory and having crazy adventures - publishing can be diverse, downright odd, and even heartbreaking - but I find I'm directing the raft, rather than being tossed willy-nilly around in the waves. (What's with the water analogies? It's possible I've had too much coffee this morning.)

I've expanded into short story writing for anthologies, middle grade fiction, have a steampunk series in the works, am ghostwriting, won an award for a screenplay which ultimately enable me to land a film / TV agent, and am collaborating with a brilliant Canadian screenwriter/director on a thriller script that scares me to death. I'd say I'm different now, because then I was fairly intimidated by my fellow authors published in larger houses. Time has taught me that you can sink - or swim - whether you're an indie, small press, or with a traditional house. The story - not how it was published or its format - is what matters.

The trick is to persevere. Try new things. Challenge yourself. And enjoy the ride.

Judith Graves lives in a small northern Alberta town which thankfully has one movie theatre - thus sanity prevails. The third book in her SKINNED series, SKIN OF MY TEETH, launches Winter 2013 with Leap Books. She's often on Twitter: @judithgraves or Facebook: judithgraveswrites

Michele Corriel:


The biggest surprise of my publishing career since 2010 is how fast the marketplace is changing. I remember when we thought we were so slick making a book trailer! Now you need a youtube, vimeo, and an interactive blog, besides Skype and ebook savvy. It's amazing, really.

How am I different than I was? I think I'm a lot more humble. It's a great, big publishing world out there -- thank goodness I'm not alone! Thanks Class of 2K10!

Michele Corriel lives in Montana's beautiful Gallatin Valley surrounded by seven mountain ranges, where she also works as a freelance art writer as well as an author of books for young readers. Her new book, WEIRD ROCKS, a non-fiction picture book, has just been released from Mountain Press.

Class of 2k10 update

Three years after our debuts, we touched base to see where we are and how we've grown since 2010. We asked our members to consider these questions, and we'll be posting the answers over the next three days:

What have been the biggest surprises of your publishing career since 2010? How are you different now from the writer you were then?

N.H. Senzai:

SHOOTING KABUL went on to receive many awards, including the ALA's APALA for YA, and was NPR's Backseat Book choice for February of 2012. It made it on many state lists and has been all school reads.

It has definitely sunk in that the writing process is very time consuming. Period. And the success of one book does not mean you will sell another quickly! My philosophy now is smooth and steady -- keep having good ideas and keep writing. There is a market for your work out there. But be abreast of what is going on in the market; don't write another Vampire/Dystopian/(fill blank) just because it's hot.

N.H. Senzai lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends her time trying to keep busy and out of trouble while preparing for the Fall release of her next MG novel, SAVING KABUL CORNER.

Leah Cypess:

I've been wracking my brain trying to decide what was the "biggest" surprise and honestly, I can't pinpoint anything. I will say that my understanding of how the bookselling industry works has changed entirely. Now, I can walk into a bookstore and clearly see all the marketing going on; I read book deals and see trends; I listen to the experiences of authors, agents, and publishers, and form a picture of the industry that is a lot grittier than the one I had before.

I've actually been doing my best to NOT change as a writer because of all this, to not get caught up in awareness of trends or panic or any of that, with variable success. My biggest real change is that I try to narrow my focus so that I can get books finished in a somewhat timely manner. So, where I used to work on 7 or 8 projects at a time, I've managed to narrow it down to 2. Or 3. Okay, sometimes 4...

Leah Cypess just wrapped up the edits for her novelette, "Buried Above Ground," which will be published by HarperImpulse in August, and is back at work on her still untitled fantasy duology, the first of which will be published by HarperCollins in March 2014.

Kristina McBride:

The biggest surprise I’ve encountered is that the publishing industry is in such a state of transformation. Nothing has ever been certain in publishing, but I believe that statement is more all-encompassing these days. I think it’s an exciting time to have broken in, with so many opportunities opening up for all writers. But that also makes it a little scary, the exact way to go a bit uncertain. While I have changed in many ways myself, my goals have remained the same – to write the best books I possibly can, and to make a positive difference in this world.

Kristina McBride, the author of THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES (2010), has had an exciting year with the publication of her second novel ONE MOMENT (2012), which is about overcoming the tragedy of losing someone you love while also finding a renewed sense of hope. ONE MOMENT will be released in paperback as well as in the UK this coming July.

Are You Enough?

In celebration of my new book, Never Enough, I've put together a video with some of my author friends (and a few 2K class members). I hope you'll take a few minutes to have a look!

Buy a book, help a library

From now to the end of August, for every copy of her book purchased, Class of 2k10 author Alexandra Diaz will donate a free hardback copy of Of All the Stupid Things to a library (including international libraries) of your choice.


Anyone is welcome to contact her for further details at adiaz[AT]alexandra-diaz[DOT]com or on Twitter @alexandratdiaz
It's time to catch up with the Class of 2k10 again, proving that there is life after the debut year!

Michele Corriel's picture book, WEIRD ROCKS, will be out from Mountain Press in the spring of 2013.

Bonnie J. Doerr spent February in Key West, Florida, researching book 3 in her environmental mystery/adventure series (working title BUSTED) for an expected 2013 release. Her previous book, STAKEOUT, was short-listed for the 2012 Green Earth Award.

Janet Fox's third YA novel, set in 1925 New York and featuring romance, gangsters, and ghosts, will be out early in 2013. Janet is currently at work on two new YA's and a middle grade novel. FAITHFUL (Penguin, 2010) is in its 3rd printing and FORGIVEN (2011) is gathering momentum. You can find her on Twitter: @janetsfox.

Judith Graves is celebrating the launch of the next book in the SKINNED series, SECOND SKIN, as well as having a steampunk short story published in SPIRITED: 13 HAUNTING TALES, along with fellow 2k10 authors, Shannon Delany and Kitty Keswick, and also featuring authors such as Maria V. Snyder and Candace Havens. Proceeds from SPIRITED go to 826 National, a literacy-based charity.

Jennifer R. Hubbard saw her second novel, TRY NOT TO BREATHE (Viking/Penguin), launch in January. It is the story of a boy recovering from a suicide attempt, and his friendship with a girl who attempts to contact her late father through psychics. You can find her on Twitter: @JennRHubbard

Denise Jaden’s debut novel, LOSING FAITH (Simon Pulse 2010), has gone into its second printing. Her next YA contemporary novel, NEVER ENOUGH (Simon Pulse 2012), is out this July and has been getting some wonderful advance praise. C.K. Kelly Martin, author of I KNOW IT’S OVER, says: “A poignant, important book, NEVER ENOUGH tackles self-esteem and body image issues while always remaining true to its three-dimensional characters. ... a cliché-free zone filled with hurt, heart, and personal strength. Jaden's tender sympathy for her characters and dedication to honest storytelling shine through every page.”

Irene Latham's new middle grade novel DON'T FEED THE BOY will be released in October. It chronicles the adventures of a boy who lives at the zoo as he befriends the mysterious Bird Girl, and together they struggle to find their own places in the world. Irene is busy this spring with events at schools and book groups for LEAVING GEE'S BEND, and she's excited to be writing poems for Scholastic's STORYWORKS and SCOPE magazines. Meanwhile, she's teaching her middle son to drive: Exciting AND scary! You can find her on Twitter: @irene_latham

Shari Maurer (author of CHANGE OF HEART, WestSide, 2010) welcomes visitors to her new group blog, Got Teen Fiction?: Got inspiration? We do! Plus a whole lot more! Writing tips, contests, giveaways and author interviews! Join teen authors Selene Castrovilla, Karen DelleCava, Joe Lunievicz & Shari Maurer in the fun!

ONE MOMENT, the second book by Kristina McBride, author of THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES, will be released on June 26, 2012. Check it out here.

The final installment in Jeri Smith-Ready's SHADE trilogy, SHINE, will be out May 1 in both hardcover and paperback, with a tie-in novella, "Shattered," to follow in the summer. In September she'll join the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour, appearing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Follow her on Twitter at @jsmithready, or visit www.jerismithready.com for all the latest news and online antics.

It's great catching up, and we hope our followers are having a wonderful 2012!

More alumni news and chances to win books

Judith Graves is thrilled to announce she has a steampunk ghosthunter story coming out in SPIRITED: 13 Haunting Tales, an anthology published by Leap Books and featuring a chilling talent pool. And she's not alone! Shannon Delany and Kitty Keswick also have killer stories in SPIRITED, as well as Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, and more!

SPIRITED will be released in ebook form this October 31st and print in March 2012. Proceeds go to a literacy-based charity.

The full press release is here: http://judithgraves.com/2011/10/15/spirited-final-cover-and-press-release/

There are 13 chances to win an ARC if you put your ghosthunting skills to work and follow the clues posted on the Leap Books blog: http://leapbks.blogspot.com/ and on Twitter: @Spirited13

Where are they now?

Life doesn't end after the debut year, as the Class of 2k10 discovered when comparing notes on their latest experiences:

Michele Corriel's first picture book, Weird Rocks (Mountain Press), will be released in Fall 2012. She's currently working on several projects with her agent Mark McVeigh at the McVeigh Agency.

Leah Cypess's Nightspell was released in June, and has been nominated for the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list.

Bonnie Doerr was surprised and pleased to learn that Island Sting was the 2011 recipient of the EPIC eBook Award for children’s literature. Stakeout, the sequel to Island Sting, was released in summer of 2011. Stakeout is hailed as a fun read and important contribution to children’s lit­­-- especially by sea turtle conservationists throughout the world. Recently—when she’s not gardening or preserving the bounty—Bonnie has been busy speaking about writing and sharing Island Sting’s teacher guide at conferences in addition to working on the next of her ecological mystery/adventure series.

The first YA book by Janet S. Fox, Faithful, is still selling very well; her second, Forgiven, is a Junior Library Guild selection and has garnered great reviews. She's under contract for a third YA (Moll, Speak/Penguin, 2013) with an option for a fourth. Janet is also at work on a middle grade fantasy.

Rhonda Hayter can be seen reading from The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams at the West Hollywood Book Fair on October 2nd and will be excitedly meeting thousands of Girl Scouts at the LA Convention Center during GIRLTOPIA on October 29th.
Rhonda Hayter

The Reinvention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman was selected for the Tofte/Wright Award for Children's Literature by the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Theater for Young Audiences of Sheboygan, Wisconsin is adapting and staging the World Premiere of The Reinvention of Edison Thomas.

Jennifer R. Hubbard saw her first novel, The Secret Year, selected as a 2011 Quick Pick by YALSA. Her second novel, Try Not to Breathe, will be released by Viking in January 2012. It is the story of a boy recovering from a suicide attempt, and his friendship with a girl who’s visiting psychics to try to reach her dead father.

Denise Jaden's Losing Faith has recently gone into its second printing with Simon & Schuster. Her next YA contemporary, Never Enough, is expected out in July 2012.


Kitty Keswick has a novel called Furry & Freaked due out soon. She is also renovating a historic building (1860's) into an Independent Bookstore and Coffeehouse (the picture on the right, above). It's a bit of a lengthy process and is taking a wee bit longer than she'd planned! Kitty is also trying her hand at writing Middle Grade fiction.

In May of 2011, the paperback of Kristina McBride's The Tension of Opposites was released. New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher, considers the read, "Tense! The constant push and pull of friendship, pain, love, and jealousy is beautifully drawn. A definite must read." McBride's next novel, One Moment, will be released in June of 2012.

Mara Purnhagen has seen the release of three more YA novels and two novellas since her first book, Tagged, was published by Harlequin Teen in March 2010. She is currently working on a new YA series. More info can be found at www.marapurnhagen.com.
Class of 2k10er Jacqueline J. Houtman, author of The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, will be a guest on the Larry Meiller Show on June 7 from 11:00 to 11:45. Producer Judith Siers-Poisson will be guest hosting. Jacqueline and UW Assistant Professor Wendy Machalicek will be talking about books and autism.

It's on the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio. Listen live and call in! Or find it in the archives afterwards.

Two 2k10 alumni discuss voice and plot

Today's guest post is by author Janet Fox. How is this process like, or unlike, your own?

Jennifer Hubbard and I are cross-posting on the subjects of voice and plot. I found it so interesting to read her post, because we do have different approaches. I usually don’t have my novels well-plotted before I begin writing; all of my stories start from voice. I hear a sentence or two in my head, and it will be the voice of the character, and often I have no idea what kind of story she is trying to tell me.

That’s when I need to take some pondering time. I’ll write snatches that may (or may not) become scenes; I’ll write the names of other characters and their relationships to the protagonist; I’ll sound out her chief desire; I’ll uncover the antagonist. I spend hours on walks sorting out what I think may be happening and why. I’ll often dream ideas that become important. Finally I’ll sit down and start writing, organically, with the voice of my main character firmly in hand.

This means that my plots are a mess, and my revisions extensive and nasty. And that first-drafting for me is a time-consuming and painful process. But I’ve learned the hard way: if I try to mash out a detailed plot before my story is ready, it falls flat. (For the same reason, I don’t discuss or describe my work in any kind of detail until I have a complete first draft; I don’t bring unfinished first drafts to critique.)

Once I have a messy first draft I can go back and pick through the scenes and find what works and what doesn’t and what’s missing. And at that point I may need to resharpen the voice. What tends to happen as I work is that I start out with a strong character voice, and while I’m crafting scenes the voice disintegrates until it’s my own voice telling the story. In my second draft, I work to be cognizant of the nuances of my main character’s voice again, hearing her tell the story, just as she did when it all began.

I love the fact that there is no one right way to approach crafting voice and plot, that Jenn and I know what works best for each of us.


Janet Fox is the author of the young adult historical novel Faithful (Speak/Penguin 2010), and the companion YA Forgiven (2011). Her blog address is www.kidswriterjfox.blogspot.com.