Thursday, October 30, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

I'm officially off maternity leave this week and working again.

I wish I could say I spent the last 12 or 13 weeks since I finished a draft of my WIP coming up with terrific ideas on how to fix it, but I didn't. I read it, and thought about it some, but it was so easy to let my writing brain rest while I concentrated on Baby Management 101 that I really didn't push myself.

Now I feel ready to write again. I've been putting Bridget through some intensive nap training, and I think I can manage to work on the book for an hour a day. It's not a lot, but if I'm focused, I can make it work. What I need to do first is come up with my ATTACK PLAN on how to fix the ms. An outline and detailed bullet points of what needs to change to make this book work, so that when I sit down each day for my brief free hour, I don't need to flounder around wondering what to do.

Do any of you plan revisions this way? Does it work? I normally work all day, every day, until a revision is done, preferring to immerse myself for a short, painful period of time, rather than drag out a revision forever working bit by bit, but that isn't an option now.

Tips, please!

*caroline hickey

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Just saw this in Publishers Lunch:
UK Children's
Becca Ajoy Fitzpatrick's YA novel HUSH, HUSH, a darkly romantic story of dangerous love between a teenage girl and a fallen angel, plus a sequel, to Venetia Gosling at Simon & Schuster UK, for publication in January 2010, by Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Agency, on behalf of Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management.

When Harry Potter came out, everyone began writing about witches and wizards. Then fairy books (spelled faery) burst onto the scene. Then several years of nothing but teen vampires. Every single book was about teenage vampires. I've been wondering for awhile what the next big fantasy category would be -- could this be it? Angels?

Let me know if you've spotted anything else. (Personally, I like gnomes. And trolls.)

*caroline hickey

Thursday, October 16, 2008


You may have heard a lot of buzz about a book called Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott that just came out in September. It's the story of a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped by a pedophile when she was 10, and has been trapped with him ever since. Only he's tired of her (he killed his last girl when she turned 15) and wants her to help him find a new little girl to replace her. She knows he will kill her when she finds the new girl.

Does anyone find this shocking? I did when I heard about it. Could such a book really be intended for teen readers? I checked out my local Barnes and Noble and my favorite indie and neither of them were carrying it. The salesperson at the indie said she'd read the reviews (all of which say it's an amazing and powerful book, which it is) and decided not to stock it.

I finally ordered it on Amazon (extremely high sales ranking) and read it today. Yes, I read the entire book today, even while taking care of my 11-week-old. The book is mesmerizing. Beautifully written. A horrific story that makes me never want to open my front door and go outside again. There are too many sickos out there. And it terrifies me even more now that I have my own daughter.

If I, a grown woman, feel this way about the book, how would a teen reader, one the same age as the protagonist, feel? That's what I've been wondering all day. The book says it's for "16 and up" but it's generating so much buzz it will finds its way into the hands of younger teens. And it's not that the book is graphic -- it manages to have violent sexual scenes without being hideously detailed -- but it's disturbing. I can't stop thinking about it. What must it have been like to be the author who worked on this book for months and possibly years? Such an evil to write about every day. I would think it would have been miserable for her.

I'm against book censorship in all forms. But I do think some books are too frightening for kids to read. And I simply couldn't recommend this to a teenage girl.

*caroline hickey