Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I hope you guys can handle posts with excessive amounts of all-caps and exclamation marks (and nerdy wind puns in the title) BECAUSE THERE WILL BE A LOT OF THEM IN HERE!!!!

The amazing team at S&S have truly outdone themselves with this cover and I am SO EXCITED that I can finally share it with you!


(WARNING: You *might* drool.)

Holy Hotness, RIGHT????

I could go on and on about how much I love it and why I love it and how this gorgeousness came to be. But if you guys are anything like me, you're probably too busy staring at the shiny to bother reading any of that right now.


*stares more*

So for now, I'll leave you with the jacket copy (in case you're curious about who the smexy falling couple is): 
Vane Weston should have died in the category five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past—except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She's swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she's real.  
Audra is real, but she isn't human. She's a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She's also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.  
When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, they start to realize the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.  
And if that sounds like something you'd want to read (or you just like making nerdy authors happy):

- You can add it to your Goodreads shelves HERE

- Or you can "like" it on Facebook HERE.

(Remember, every time you do either of those things HOT GUYS--OR GIRLS--FALL FROM THE SKY AND TELL YOU HOW AWESOME YOU ARE!!!!! #justsayin)

*goes back to staring at the precious*

(Also, if you're noticing the Becca blurb, yes--I announced that yesterday (along with the other blurb)! And I have a contest to celebrate. Go HERE to enter)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LET THE SKY FALL has been blurbed--twice!!! (And a celebratory contest!)

Since I'm revealing the cover for LET THE SKY FALL tomorrow (yes--TOMORROW!!!!) I wanted to use today to share the amazing blurbs its gotten, since one of them is on there and I don't want it getting overlooked as you're all staring at the HOTNESS. (of which, there is a LOT)

I have to say, these blurbs are especially meaningful to me--and not just because the authors are hugely successful authors (though they are) or because they described my book exactly the way I'd hoped people would (though they did).

See ... the thing is, I've been EXTRA nervous about LET THE SKY FALL.

Not only is it my "accidental YA"--and a story I never thought I'd have the writing chops to pull off--but it's also the most personal book I've ever written. Sure, it's about two teenagers who control the wind--but beyond that, there's a whole lot of Shannon in there.

The setting is the area I grew up in, and there are so many moments and details and references that I ripped straight out of my own life. And even though 99.9% of readers won't know that or be able to recognize those things, *I* know they're there. So letting people read this book feels very exposing,

So when my manuscript went out to these amazing ladies there was an even bigger moment of, Oh-Holy-Crap-What-If-They-Hate-It-PANIC!!!

And there were MANY stunned-happy tears when these blurbs arrived:

"Charged and romantic—a whirlwind of a love story.” 
—Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush Saga

"Funny, fast-paced, and slyly romantic, Shannon Messenger's YA debut dazzles.” 
—Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally


*sniffles more*

Becca and Kiersten--if you're reading this--THANK YOU for taking the time to read my book and for liking it enough to blurb it. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to properly express how much it means to me!

And to celebrate, I'm giving away a some of these ladies' amazing books! 

But I'm doing things a *little* differently this time, since I know a lot of you probably own some of their books already. The winner will get TWO BOOKS--one by each author. But they'll get to CHOOSE which books they want:

For Becca Fitzpatck, you can pick from:
*If you choose FINALE, your prize will be a pre-order, not an ARC

For Kiersten White you can pick from:
*If you choose ENDLESSLY, you prize will be a pre-order, not an ARC

To enter, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm pacific time on Friday June 1st. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Saturday, June 2nd.* International entries welcome.

And remember, you'll win one book by each author if you're chosen, so make sure you let me know in your comment which one you would want from each list. (Does that make sense? I hope so. If not, ask away in the comments)

*Sorry, I won't be able to email the winner to let them know they won. Not only do I not have time to do that anymore, but I'll be out of town for BEA that week and with limited access to internet. So I *highly* recommend you follow my blog in some way/form so that you won't miss the "winner" post and have me give your prize to someone else--but its up to you! That's not a requirement!




Friday, May 18, 2012

Ever feel like giving up?

I have. In fact, I get pretty honest about it in a vlog today.

Oh, but I'm not talking about it here. It's my week over at the Friday the Thirteeners blog, so you'll need to click HERE if you want to see it.

Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Reality of Writing Book 2

If you follow a lot of writer blogs--and certainly if you've been following this one for the past few months--you've probably seen authors mention struggling with book 2. (Okay, fine, for my part there was some serious whining)

And I'll confess, when I dove into KEEPER 2 I'd naively hoped I might be immune to the problem, since I thought the Book-2-Woes had more to do with trying to write a second book for the first time, and I'd already triumphed over that challenge with LET THE SKY FALL.

But no, writing LET THE SKY FALL came with its own set of difficulties--but it was NOTHING on the stressful, brutal, nightmare that was writing KEEPER book 2. And while a small part of that probably has to do with the KEEPER series being a BEAST of a series (those of you who've read book 1 understand), honestly, it had much more to do with what I suspect makes Book 2 so freaking hard for everyone: the nature of sequels, and the reality of writing a book under contract for the first time. 

Let's look at each of those one at a time.

So... sequels. Yeah, they're HARD. So much harder than I ever thought they would be. Why? Because you're stuck building on something that already exists. Book 1 is a concrete thing and for better or worse, whatever is in there needs to be acknowledged and then taken to the next level. So you not only have to figure out a way to remind the readers of everything that happened (which, side note, means you need to remember--in precise detail--what happened, or spend a LOT of time going back and checking, like I had to), but you also have to then take all of that and find a way to continue with the story.

Which sounds simple enough except... plots have a way of taking on lives of their own and not going the way you expected them to. With Book 1, it's easy to let them do as they will because if you hit any walls you just brainstorm a solution and then go back and adjust as needed. But with Book 2 you can only go back so far. You can't let the plot do anything that will ruin/contradict anything you've already built in Book 1. Which I know sounds like it wouldn't be a problem--especially when you pre-plot the whole series like I did. But trust me--it was a BIG problem. Making KEEPER 2 work seriously broke my brain, and I'm SURE my amazing editor is in the process of catching all the things I still have wrong.

And then there's the whole challenge of creating a story that has a beginning, middle, and end but is also, in essence, the middle of the longer trilogy ARC. Yeah. Wrap your head around that one for a second. It. is. so. hard.

But all of that aside, I think the REAL challenge of Book 2 has to do with the fact that for most of us, it's the first time writing a book under contract, which has a whole other set of stresses and worries. A big one being: WHAT IF MY EDITOR HATES IT?????

Sure, we had that worry with Book 1 when we queried it and shopped it. Of course we did. But... it is SO MUCH WORSE when it's for a book you are CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED TO DELIVER. Trust me, that is a whole other REALM of pressure.

As if that weren't fun enough, you also catch yourself comparing book 2--in its rough, unedited state--to the shiny, super-polished, been-revised-a-billion-and-a-half-times state of book 1 and thinking: see--it's not good enough. It's never going to be good enough. Book 2 is going to be a raging disappointment and I'm going to let everyone down and my career will be over before it even began and ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (Sadly, I'm not exaggerating--though it's possible not everyone is as neurotic as I am).

I'm very lucky that I have a seriously incredible editor who went out of her way to assure me that there was nothing I could do with book 2 that would scare her or make her doubt my abilities. But despite that, the nightmares of WHAT IF SHE HATES IT???? did not fully go away. Especially as the plot threw me twists and turns and led me farther and farther away from the synopsis her and I had originally discussed. It became an almost crippling fear that made me question every chapter, every sentence, every WORD---and it led to long hours staring at the screen, doubting myself, afraid to move on because what if it isn't right and I'm only making it worse?

Oh, and have I mentioned deadlines yet? Yeah, those are FUN--and the fear of what if I don't make it???? only seems to slow things down more

So, yeah. It's a bit stressful. And at this point I've probably thoroughly traumatized all of you and you're wondering: why is she telling us this????????

And the reason is: because someday you'll all be there too and I want you to know it's normal to struggle with book 2.

One thing that REALLY helped me through this process was knowing that I wasn't alone in what I was feeling. In fact, I had several friends fighting the same battle as I was and we'd send each other these long, desperate emails about how brutal this process was and somehow that made it better. We lost sleep together. We threw out large chunks of writing together. We stressed and obsessed together.

But the best part? The really, really awesome part?

We all survived.

And turned in our drafts on time!!!! 

And in my case, I've already heard back that Book 2 is on the right track!!!

(*pauses to happy dance*)

It still needs work--LOTS of work, I'm sure--but it's not the raging disaster I was afraid it would be.

And now that I'm on the other side of all that panic and worry I can see that even if it HAD been a mess, it still would've been okay. Because here's the thing that's SO HARD to remember when you're drafting book 2 for the first time: Editors LIKE editing. (I know, novel concept, right?)

They've also been through this eleventy billion times with eleventy billion authors and have seen it all. They trust you. So you need to trust them.

Trust that they want to work with you and are happy to help you fix any problems the draft may originally have. Which is--of course--why having an editor is such an incredible thing to begin with. They make you a better writer. And in order for them to do that, they have to catch your mistakes.

And yet, I knew that going in and I still couldn't shake off that crippling fear of WHAT IF SHE HATES IT??? You probably won't be able to either. But the more I think about it, the more I wonder if that's just part of the process. It seems to be for a lot of us. So if it happens to you here's the only real advice I can give you: push through.

I can't tell you how many days I had to FORCE myself to open my draft and work on it. It wasn't easy and it wasn't always fun. But being a author is a job. An awesome job. But still a job. And to be professional means to push through the hard parts. Rally your friends around you. Whine and vent as needed. But keep writing. Keep going. Push through.

It will get better and you will get done. Everything will work out okay!

(And btw--can one of you guys remind me I said this in a few weeks? 'Cause yeah, thanks to my crazy schedule I have a SECOND book 2 to write this year and who knows if I'll have to fight this same battle all over again. *shudders*)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012



In case you missed all my FB/Twitter celebrating, as of about noon yesterday Book 2 is now officially my editor's inbox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes--happy dancing was done. 
Along with a few happy tears. 
It was a long, long, longlonglong road getting here, with so many twists and turns and ups and downs--plus some seriously INSANE hours. And the work has really only just begun since I have a feeling my editorial letter is going to be... intense. 


Huge impossible-feeling hurdle crossed!!!!!!

And I'd planned to write a much more meaningful post on some of the challenges/things I've learned but...

So... I'm giving my brain a chance to recover. Catch up on a few things. MAYBE even take a Shannon day or two. And THEN I will put together a proper post for you guys.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a lovely, wonderful week!