I just got back from Romance Writers of America’s National Conference in New York City. Okay, it’s so good to be home. I missed my hubby, my dog, my house, my bed and my pillow. But I had a blast! New York has an energy, a vibe, to it that I love.
The streets, especially in Time’s Square, are packed with people. The street venders are cooking everything from hot dogs to grilled corn. Varrious scents fill the air as you walk by. Buskers sit on street corners playing music. Spider man and Mickey Mouse walk by with the crowds—everyone is hurrying to be somewhere.
Yellow cabs, one right behind the other, fill the streets, dodging the guys speeding by on bicycles. Their horns blast and blend with the distant sound sirens.
I caught myself looking up at the sky scrapers looming above.
I ate Korean, Italian, and Cuban food. I had pastries. I drank red wine and mojitos. Yum!
I saw fabulous shows on Broadway, and stayed up way past midnight too many days in a row. I watched other writers getting much deserved awards at RWA’s Awards Ceremony. I got to visit and meet with my fans.
But the best part about going to New York was seeing my writer buddies. Reconnecting with old friends, making new friends. Laughing and sharing. Talking about the hurdles of this business. Oh, and the hugging, of course!
We writers are such a crazy bunch that just being in room with all the creative energy is invigorating. It’s like finding family that you didn’t know you had.
Today, I’m back in my office, living on the creative energy of New York and all those writers that I soaked up from my six days of being a city girl.
So here’s to New York, to writer friends, wine, mojitos, and to memories that I gathered this last week.
Have you ever been to New York City? What was your favorite thing about the Big Apple?
My very special guest today is fellow YA author, Vicki Leigh. Vicki is the author of Catch Me When I Fall (available now) and Find me If You Dare (out December 2015) from her popular Dreamcatcher series.
Catch Me When I Fall
Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.
Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.
A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.
Vicki agreed to answer a few of my questions.
1. In Catch Me When I Fall, your first book in your Dreamcatcher series, your hero protects people from Nightmares. Where did you get the inspiration for this series?
My inspiration came from two places. First, I had my own struggles with nightmares, and I’d bought a really bright clock to illuminate the room at night. One night, I looked at my ceiling and noticed there was a shadow of what looked like an angel poised above my bed. But there were already so many great books about angels! So, I asked the “what if” questions: What if we were guarded not by angels by people who’d sacrificed themselves to save another, and in their afterlives were still protecting people? And what if nightmares weren’t in our heads but actual creatures that fed off our fear? With those questions, I took the Native American lore of the dreamcatcher and created what became my Protectors of the Night.
2. You’ve said you suffered from nightmares. Do you still?
Actually, no. I think writing about them was almost therapeutical, in a way!
3. The second book in you Dreamcatcher series, Find Me If You Dare, will be out in December. It sounds like a real nail-biter. Is this the last of the Dreamcatcher books or will there be more?
There will be one more. No official release date yet, but it should hopefully be Fall 2016!
4. You also write contemporary and historical YA under your pen name Tori Rigby. What’s your favorite YA genre? Paranormal, contemporary or historical?
My heart is really in high-concept, genre fiction: fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, etc. I just happen to have a few contemporary and historical ideas bopping around in my head, so I felt I need to brand my work in two separate ways.
5. When did you first start writing and why?
I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school, but with the goal of getting published, I began writing in 2012. I’d always had a love for books and stories (I could read when I was four), and at that time in my life, I was going through a lot and needed an escape. So, I took what I loved (stories) and let myself drown in them, and my love for writing just grew and grew. Now, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop!
6. The second book in your Dreamcatcher series, Find Me If You Dare, will be out in December. It sounds like a real nail-biter. Is this the last of the Dreamcatcher books or will there be more?
See my answer to question three. 🙂
7. You’re a big fan of Harry Potter. If you were at Hogwarts, which house would you be in?
Well, I’d hope to be in Gryffindor. But pottermore.com placed me in Slytherin!
8. What’s next for you once you complete your Dreamcatcher series?
Right now, my heart is torn between a YA thriller and a YA epic fantasy. So, both will be written; I’m just not sure which one will be done first!
To learn more about Vicki Leigh, visit her website: http://www.vleighwrites.com/. You can buy Catch Me When I Fall at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today, Vicki.
New York City, Here I Come!
July 22-25, 2015, I’ll be in the Big Apple at the Romance Writers of America’s Annual Conference at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square. I will be teaching a workshop: “Polish Me Pretty: Five Polishing Tips to Take Your Writing to the Next Level” and participating in several book signings, including RWA’s Literacy Autographing along with 500+ other authors (FREE and open to the public).
Ahh…summer. Hot days and balmy nights. The smell of suntan lotion, ocean breezes and BBQ. I love sitting on a beach watching the waves come in, a tall cold drink in my hand. But maybe you’re more of a mountain girl. Perhaps you’d rather sit on a porch looking out at tall peaks, listening to the birds chirp, fishing in a mountain stream. Or is your idea of a vacation a week spent in an exciting city like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago?
Speaking of NYC, I’ll be in the Big Apple at the Romance Writers of America’s Annual Conference at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square, July 22-25.. I will be teaching workshop: “Polish Me Pretty: Five Polishing Tips to Take Your Writing to the Next Level” and participating in several book signings, including RWA’s Literacy Autographing along with 500+ other authors (free and open to the public). For more information go to https://www.rwa.org/conference.
What are you doing this summer? Are you going on vacation?
You’ve been asking and I can finally tell you. Film rights have been picked up for Shadow Falls! This is new so I’m still learning, but here’s what I know. CDS or Collective, is a multi-channel network on YouTube and is based in Los Angeles. Their plan is to develop Shadow Falls as an online series. Am I excited? You betcha!
CDS has established a track record in producing some of the most compelling web originals for YouTube, including Video Game High School. They were recognized in 2014 as the Hottest Video Network Studio and also won the 2014 Streamy Awards for four categories including Action & Sci Fi as well as Ensemble Cast for Video Game High School. They also have under option and are developing as an online series, best-selling author James Patterson’s young adult franchise “Maximum Ride.”
See why I’m excited? Now, I know that you have questions. When? Who do they plan to cast? How many episodes is it going to be? I’m gonna warn you, I don’t have the answers. Trust me, when I know something, you will know something.
You, all my fans have helped make this happen, and I’ll tell you more news as soon as I have it and can shout it out to the world. So be sure to check my weekly blog.
Come to DJ’s Bridal Shower, celebrating the release of the Texas Straight Up Boxed set! Tomorrow, July 7, 1:00-7:00. I’ll be there from 6:00-6:30 PM CST, and I’ll be giving away a Born to Read t-shirt. The grand prize is an IPAD MINI! All comments on July 7th are entered to win the grand prize.Please join me and my author friends to celebrate the second Somewhere, TX boxed set release, which will culminate in the wedding of DJ Diaz and Brent Kane! Just follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1572724162992134/.
Don’t forget, July 9, 2015, I’ll be speaking at the Coldspring Area Public Library Desert and Silent Auction Event. United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, 1 Cemetery Road, Hwy 150, Coldspring, TX 77371. I’ll talk about my books, struggles, making the NYT best-seller list and I may even motivate you to chase your own dreams. Price of admission: Adults $10, Children under 12 Free. Tickets sold at the door. For more information call the library at 936-653-3104.
Almost Midnight will be out February 2, 2016 in print, but it is available for pre-order NOW!
Nestled deep in the woods, Shadow Falls is a secret camp where teens with supernatural powers learn to harness their abilities and live in the normal world.
Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang did not believe in vampires…until she became one. Chase Tallman is the newest member of Shadow Falls, but what made him into the sexy, mysterious vampire he is today? And what led him to Della Tsang? And for Miranda Kane, magic has always been something she’s struggled with, but when an opportunity to test her powers takes her to Paris, she’ll have to prove that she’s a witch to be reckoned with and belongs at Shadow Falls.