Melissa Marr (melissa_writing) wrote,
Melissa Marr
melissa_writing

2011 recap, 2012 schedule, & Book Recommendations

2011 recap:
It’s been a strange and kind of surreal year for me. I ended my first series in February with the release of Darkest Mercy, released my first adult novel (Graveminder) in May, and co-edited my first anthology (Enthralled, Sept 2011) with Kelley Armstrong.

In between those, I co-authored (also with Kelley) my first children’s book, Loki’s Wolves: Blackwell Pages Book 1, and then sold it (Little, Brown; releasing in 2013).

To make life more chaotic, the universe saw fit to throw the film stuff into a little more of a spin—the director of the Wicked Lovely film switched to Mary Harron (of American Psycho fame) and we parted with ways with Universal Studio. I got the call with that news the day my plane arrived in Philly (returning from my annual Scottish escape) moments before an earthquake (??). Yes, I was standing in the street outside the airport on the phone with one of my producers answering the “Is this an okay time to talk?” trying to answer without laughter. Of course, the extra amusing part was receiving the renewal check the same week an article in Variety and everywhere else announced that the project was dead. . . The lesson here, my lovelies, is that Hollywood is a weird place OR “don’t believe everything you read.”

In the personal corners of my universe, my kids and spouse are doing great. We spent part of August in Scotland again, and we are spending quite a bit of time in the mountains. My son is obsessed with both snowboarding and tennis, so we’re up here a lot (including right now). I had a bit of extra travel because my daughter was college shopping and because of two releases so close . . . and a trip to Italy for tour & the Bologna Book Fair. I turned several of those into holidays by adding extra days in various places and having family join me--this meant a week in Florence with my spouse.  (I so LOVE Italy!) Still, I feel like I had far too many frequent flier miles this year, so I’m planning a stay-home-more year in 2012.

For those who didn’t see my gleeful tweets in December: my little girl nailed the SATs, and between that & her awesome achievements to date, she got into her top pick and their Honors College program and a great scholarship. I am so proud of her! (I’ll be weeping like crazy when she leaves, but for now, I’m concentrating on her successes.)

The other big news in the personal corner is that, after YEARS of discussion, Loch & I are finally going through the process of adopting. I’m told it could be up to 18 months of waiting for the baby—or as little as a month from now. I’ll share the good news when our new son or daughter arrives.

Some of my 2011 top reads:
I read daily (unless I’m writing), so it’s hard to keep track of everything I’ve loved. I’m sure I’m forgetting some (I do tweet them when I read them so follow me there for book recs throughout the year). At the end of the year, though, a few stand out:

How to Save A Life by Sara Zarr—I think this is my top pick of the year. I didn’t know the topic when I started to read it—only that Zarr=books I love. Reading about the adoption as I was on the verge of entering the journey was a bit more intense, but even without that extra jolt, I would’ve loved this. She never disappoints.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray—I can’t recommend this enough. I laughed aloud. I nodded at the feminist notes that were so true. It is a fab read.

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore—Sweet & snarky & fun. I’ve read ALL of her books, and I have yet to find one I didn’t put on my keeper shelf.

Molly Harper—I’d list a title, but I love them all. Like Rosemary’s books, these are sweet, snarky fun . . . but with Adult Content too.

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton (and sequel out in 2012)—In a sea of paranormals, it’s hard to locate the original ones. These stand out.

The Taker by Alma Katsu—This is technically an adult book, but it’s definitely YA friendly. Gothic and engaging.

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes—Nag Jen for me, please.  I want a sequel to this one. Monster fighting, strong protag. Good stuff here.

UPCOMING:
Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee-- I’ve read and really loved both of her contemporaries, and her newest (which is somewhere between contemporary and supernatural) is yet another wonderful read.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan—If you’ve read Sarah’s blog or seen her at events, you’ll already know that she’s frightfully funny. That voice comes through here beautifully. I’ve read and enjoyed her Demon’s Lexicon series (which I recommend), and this is another smart engaging read--but funnier.

Masque of Red Death by Bethany Griffin –Dark and delicious world building, literary writing, and a storyline that lingers well after finishing the last page.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand—Enchanting and exciting, romantic and believable.

Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton (see above) If I could become a character in a fictional world, I would pick this one. Action and romance combine with good storytelling and an alluring world. More, please!

Icons by Margaret Stohl—No release date yet on this (2013, I think), but it’s so SO good that you need to just write it down now. I loved Beautiful Creatures (Southern Gothic, how could I NOT like it?), but this is even better. I’d tell you more about it, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to.

Reader Questions:
Is there or isn't there going to be a Wicked Lovely movie?
We are pretty far along, so it certainly looks a lot more likely than it has any other time since the initial option. That’s why the articles were so funny: they were announcing the death of the project even as I was getting good news in it. I’ve seen the concept art (it’s stunning). We have a script, director, producers, and a few other aspects I can’t share. My producers continue to say there IS a movie, & to verify that it’s not just words, they pay me. Books are optioned, but option doesn’t equate to being filmed. There are stages. In other words, I’m tentatively optimistic that there may be a film. We won’t actually know if it’s filming until the cameras turn on though.

Will there be more Wicked Lovely books?
My publishers have asked the same thing, and right now, my answer is “I doubt it.” It could happen, but I’m not planning to write any more right now.

Is there a Graveminder sequel?
Again, I’m not planning one. I have written about a third of one, but I’m not committed to it right now. I’ve actually written the starts of 2 other adult novels (different worlds) that I haven’t finished either. Maybe someday, but that’s not where my Muse wants to be right now. I am working on another adult novel, The Ananchronists, that’s due to my editor in 2012.

Will you have a book out in 2012?
Yes. I have a new YA novel (Carnival ), a short story collection, and the paperback re-release of Graveminder & Darkest Mercy.

What's Carnival about? What about arcs? Cover?
I'm not allowed to answer that one yet. They have a schedule. I just write the books. They're in charge of the rest--and honestly, that's just fine. I have THREE publishing teams now: HarperTeen, Harper/WilliamMorrow, and Little,Brown.  I can't imagine trying to handle all the tasks they do! Mostly, I write and say thank you to all the amazing people who handle the rest.

. . . also, I am getting superstition about the presence of a KATE in every endeavour. My adult editor is Kate Nintzel, children's is Kate Sullivan, & one of the heads of HC YA is Kate Jackson. With this many Kates in my corner, I'm feeling like there's some good luck associated with the name. That's my new writing advice: look for a Kate ;)

My 2012 schedule:
Jan 17—Graveminder trade paper releases.
Feb 21—Darkest Mercy paperback AND Faery Tales & Nightmares (my short story collection, about 75% Wicked Lovely stories)
April 11-15—RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago.
June—I’m at Book Expo America in NYC and (I think) ALA in Anaheim. There will be copies of Carnival there with or without me : )
September—Carnival (my new YA) releases. It is NOT a stand-alone. I meant for it to be, but as it turns out I couldn’t fit the whole story in one book.
Still September—“Justine and the Smart Chicks,” AKA Smart Chicks 3.0 tour (US & Canada) with Kelley Armstrong & other not-yet-announced authors in not-yet-announced cities. Tour organized in cooperation with Justine Magazine.
. . . and that’s it. I’m home with my family and writing.
NOTE: I will not be doing anything else event-wise in 2012.

Questions for me:
I make no promises of knowledge, but I do try to answer when possible (ie ask away).

Question from me:
How was your year? (I love reading replies even if I don't answer them all.)
What did you read & love?
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