Posts Tagged ‘Happyface’

February Update, checking in!

Posted on Saturday, February 27th, 2016

So I’ve been away a while. I always want to keep this blog semi-updated but I’m usually working on pitches when I get the chance to write.

That’s basically been the past year or so for me – pitches. Often with authors you hear about their new project and the next one down the line and they seem to pump out books like a factory. I haven’t been so lucky! While it’s great that I had my 3rd book published last August, truthfully I’ve been spending the last year submitting lots of ideas that my editor and agent haven’t been onboard with. I couldn’t tell you if that’s common in the industry or not, because I’ve never heard anyone ever say they had a pitch rejected, aside from first-time authors who talk about all the rejections before THE ONE that got published.

You tend to think that once you’re in, you’re in, and all that rejection is done with, but for me every book is like the first book, and the process repeats again. After HAPPYFACE came out, I pitched a big sci fi series I worked on for a half a year before thinking of WINTER TOWN. After that book, I spent time working on a story about a band, and a ghost story before arriving at what would become BRIGHT LIGHTS. And since finishing that books, I’ve had a lot of various starts and stops. Last year I spent about 8 months researching the Civil War for a historical fiction idea I had, but ultimately the idea was good but I’m no historian and it was really difficult work for the results I could produce.

It’s tough, ideally I’d put out a book every year, every pitch would get accepted unquestionably and it would publish whether my previous books succeeded or failed but it doesn’t really work that way. In fact, I think each book gets a little bit harder to publish because they can say well, your previous books aren’t setting the charts on fire. Now I have a track record to think about. So I have to continuously try and raise the stakes each pitch.

It’s a heartbreaking process, really. I fall in love with each one of these ideas, with all the characters I create, I start delving into world building and getting into their heads and lives and to spend a few months making this thing with the hopes to bring it to the world only to get cut off and start over, it does get old.

That said I still feel passionate and I’m trying my best. I hope to have something soon and I can be “officially” working on a project but I’ll keep you posted. Anyway, that’s my February 2016 update! I’ve also been sick since New Years, I guess that’s the other update. Sigh.

Hopefully next update will be a good one!


Teen Writing Articles

Posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Quick update, I know I’ve linked to a few of these articles before, but every now and again I get an email asking for advice on writing, and I usually include these in my replies. So in case it’s helpful or interesting to anyone, here’s the full list of articles on my writing process I did in 2013.

Where’s My Lemons??

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

WHAT HAPPENED TO LEMONS??? The few of you that followed my autobio comic LEMONS last year may have noticed the lack of updates! Kinda sucks because I really liked doing it, it was cool looking back and seeing all the interesting things I’d been up to, and a fun way to keep a journal. I originally started doing it to be “visible” in the long stretches between book releases. I figured people could read HAPPYFACE and then stop by my page and get to know me and say hello.

That said, the obvious answer as to why I stopped is I got too busy. I’ve had a tendency to work on two projects at any given time – when I was working on HAPPYFACE, I was also working on the EMO BOY movie. When I was writing WINTER TOWN, I was doing LEMONS as well. And now I am working on my third book, and working on the iPhone game – those two projects basically take up any creative time I can muster.

Every now and again I do something really fun or have some interesting life moments and think “AHHH this would be a perfect LEMONS comic!” But alas, for now they have to take their chances with my abysmal memory. Maybe eventually I’ll muster up enough time to bring it back, but for now it’s not meant to be. Of course you can still find me here, facebook, twitter, and always feel free to send me an email. Just give me notice if you’re stopping by the apartment.

Happyface Goes To Germany!

Posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2011

My editor sent me some copies of the German version of HAPPYFACE! It’s really cool! They did an awesome job, it was a far cry from just translating a project of this scope – they had to work with all of the art, the hand-written titles, the comic book bubbles, the asides. Not only did they do all that, but they made it look like I did it! The cover is a nice sturdy embossed image, some people think the more aggressive cover image is cool and a few of my coworkers were frightened.

Here’s a few pictures:

And here’s a few youtube videos I’ve found – I wish I knew what they were saying!

A Look Back at 2010

Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Before I look ahead, here’s a look back at 2010! I brought in the year receiving the advance copies of HAPPYFACE, which I spent 2008 and 2009 working on, and making final changes for the pending release of the final book.

In anticipation of the book’s release, I was on a CT show after the news to talk about the book and blush and show off my newly shaved head:

In March, I had my first book release party and talk at RJ Julia’s in Madison, CT, where I spent my teen years. It was well attended, despite a crazy storm knocking trees down all throughout town!

HAPPYFACE was released, and throughout the year garnered THREE starred reviews and dozens more very positive reviews! I think I am spoiled now, WINTER TOWN will have a lot to live up to!

In April I took two trips to conferences to talk on panels, TXLA in Texas, and IRA in Chicago. One went smoother than the other but they were both great trips and great learning experiences.

Here’s my editor Connie talking about working on HAPPYFACE:

Also announced was my NEXT book, WINTER TOWN. I spent most of the year working on this book. I first had the idea in late August, 2009, but was still working on HAPPYFACE at that point. I worked on the book all through 2010, despite my unattainable goal of doing two books that year. The majority of the first draft was ironically written during the summer months. It is now on it’s way to becoming an ARC!

I also started my autobio comic strip LEMONS in March. It’s almost at #300 now!

Here are a few more interviews/articles I wrote:

A look at my work area:

On journals and self expression:

And on integrating text and art:

And, HAPPYFACE made the TXLA TAYSHAS list for recommended reading!

In all, it was a pretty amazing year, and hopefully 2011 will deliver more than the heaps of snow we’re getting p here in new england! More on 2011 soon!


Posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

I’ll be at the Texas Library Association conference on Thursday morning, 10:15 with Jandy Nelson, Sarah Ockler, and Francisco Stork for a panel on First Time YA Authors. Come see me if you’re in the area! I’ll also be signing some books immediately after!

6 hours on the plane each way, though. Bringing plenty of books and paper for drawing! Maybe I can crank out a few drawings I’ve been wanting to do. Knowing me, though, I’ll just shift about uncomfortably in my seat, trying and failing to sleep.

ALSO! Here’s a funny “trailer” for Happyface that my editor filmed at the company Halloween party:

Blue Rose Girls

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I’m sure more people read the Blue Rose Girls blog than visit my website, but if you don’t check in regularly like I do, my editor Connie Hsu posted there with her thoughts on the process of making Happyface with me. See the story from the editor’s side!

And check out BRG in general for lots of behind-the-scenes info from artists, writers and editors at Little, Brown. Always something interesting going on!

So close!

Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2010

6 more weeks until you can walk into a store and purchase HAPPYFACE! I’m really excited to see the finished hardcover book.

I’m still here!

Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates! I’ve been working on a bunch of Christmas present paintings. I had the bright idea to save some money by giving the gift of art this Holiday Season. Of course that was before I spent $90 on supplies and shipping costs.

I’ll post pictures once they’re all delivered, don’t want to ruin any surprises! It’s been fun and I’ve been playing around with color inks and silver paint.

Besides that I was working on a christmas-themed sketch comedy skit, and a promotional video for Happyface I’ll hopefully have available soon. It’s just a little fun video to post here and talk a little about the book. I plan to do a series of 3 videos.

I’ll post that art soon – promise! And then it’s back to work on the next book!

More NCTE slides

Posted on Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Here’s some more art from my presentation slide show.