The World According to Marty — A Father’s Day Post

June 19th 2015

I wanted to write this post last Father’s Day, but I never got around to it. Busy with a newborn or some such. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to celebrate my dad on Father’s Day by writing a blog post about my father’s, ummm, Marty-isms — my dad’s own unique brand of ideals that he’s instilled in me over the past 36 years. (My father, Marty Garnick, is a native New Yorker who loves to cycle. Check out his blog, Marty – The Jersey Pedaler, here.) He won’t be with us on Father’s Day because he’s going to Ohio to bike ride.

A lot of these bits of wisdom seem negative, but they’ve all taught me something over the years. Also, most of these have to do with money. Anyway, these are in no special order.

1. “Never buy a used car. Never lease a car.” I never asked for the reasoning of this, but I’m going to assume it has to do with wasting money or getting snowed by dealers on extra mileage charges.

2. “Don’t f#%k with my family. Don’t f#%k with my money. Don’t f#%k with me when I’m on my bike.”

3. “Don’t ever pay for the extended warranty on anything.”

4. “Don’t buy a snowcone from the Good Humor man. Buy real ice cream.” This killed me as kid. Snowcones were contraband and I wanted one. When I was finally old enough to purchase the flavored ice, I realized they were crap and a waste of money. Dad was right.

5. “Don’t take Route 9.” There’s always traffic.

6. At a restaurant: “Double check the bill.”

7. “Research everything before you buy.”

8. “Skip the Amazon reviews and check it out on YouTube.” Learned this lesson after I bought a lousy vacuum cleaner with decent Amazon reviews.

9. “If asked to pay a deposit, only pay the deposit. Don’t pay in full. You never know if a place is going to go out of business and lose all your money.”

10. When driving, “Never trust someone’s blinker.”

Thanks, Marty.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!


Ready. Set. Write. Week 2

June 15th 2015

Checking in for Week 2 of Ready.Set.Write. Today has been crazy hectic as I’m trying to help with the release day marketing push for Brave New Girls, a YA SciFi charity anthology (proceeds help funds scholarships for girls via the Society of Women Engineers). My short story, “Graveyard Shift,” (no ghosts) is included and I’m super excited about the entire project. Anyway, onto RSW…

RSW1How I did on last week’s goals

Truthfully, not great. I only added 2K words to my WIP and organized the structure a bit better. But it was an unproductive writing week.

My goal(s) for this week

I need to hustle. I want to add 5K words to my WIP. Otherwise, my betas won’t get it until August and I just booked my editor for the project for August.

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

Autumn felt perpetually uncomfortable in her own skin. That’s what happens when you take a Jersey girl and plunk her into hotter-than-Hades Key West.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write)

Finding motivation. Getting some downtime. My son graduated preschool. I was running around.

Something I love about my WIP

I love the Key West setting. Wish I could back to visit.

Thanks for stopping by. I know we’re all hustling to get writing done. I appreciate your time.




June 8th 2015

I’m participating in Ready. Set. Write. this year (Thanks to Leandra for the reminder). This writing intensive– hosted by Jaime Morrow, Katy Upperman, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij is a fun way to give my writing the kick in the ass it needs. RSW gives writers an opportunity to set goals and cheer on other writers. Writing goals I have, but I don’t stay on top of my work until I’m racing toward a deadline. Then life gets too chaotic and I’m yelling at everyone to leave me alone because I’m writing!

Every Monday, I’ll be giving a brief report on how I’m doing. Key word: brief. RSW1

My summer writing goals are:

Finish my draft of Dead and Breakfast (Book 1 of the Cayo Hueso Mystery Series), complete revisions, and outline the second book, Ghost and Found.

My goals for this week:

Just add to my word count on Dead and Breakfast. I need to write new scenes.

Here goes nothin.


#BEA15 — It’s been fun

May 30th 2015

Yesterday, I went to BEA (Book Expo America) in NYC for probably, the last time. (Next year, it’s in Chicago and I don’t see myself flying there to attend.) I picked up a friend at 6:30am and after hitting some of the worst traffic of my life (thank you very much, East Rutherford), we got to BEA at 11:30. We met up with my friend, Jill, and had lunch with our BookPage editor, Cat, who is as charming in real life as she is via email.

Finally getting on the ferry after hours of traffic.

Finally getting on the ferry after hours of traffic.

After lunch, my friends and I stopped at all the vendors and scrounged for ARCs. I’m always looking for new YA and this year there didn’t seem to be much. I got a ton of middle grade titles including Lauren DeStefano’s A Curious Tale of the In-Between which is off the hook. I found a few picture books for my boys and some new adult mysteries to check out. All in all, it was a very subdued BEA. Smaller crowds and fewer books. I wasn’t disappointed as BEA is my most favorite day of the year. But I wasn’t wowed like in years past where I scored Catching Fire, Ally Condie’s Matched, or a signed book by Holly Black.

I’ve been going to BEA for the past — I don’t know — seven years, maybe eight. The first year I went I was a library science student at Rutgers and I got free tickets. I came home with a few books, one on houseplants a vendor was nice enough to give me. As a student, I didn’t warrant too many freebies. After all, I wasn’t a librarian yet doing large book orders.

My paper badge

My paper badge

One of my favorite BEA memories was stumbling upon a book signing by the producer of Days of Our Lives a.k.a my mother’s most favorite soap opera in the world. And you know who else was there? Kristian Alfonso – the beautiful Hope Brady! I hopped in a relatively short line and got my mom a signed book about the soap. I was so excited I called my parent’s house right away and spoke to my very uninterested father because my mom was working at the time.

BEA has always made me feel like I was part of a special, albeit large, book club. I’d chat up other librarians on line and we’d talk about YA books we were excited about and we’d sound giddy talking about authors we wanted to meet. I had no qualms about marching up to publishers and telling them I loved their newest releases or that I wanted to see more YA mysteries. Just yesterday, I told Publishers Weekly that I loved that they’re reviewing indie books now, but that they need to email the authors to tell them the review it up. (I found mine by Googling.) Anyway, the point is, at BEA, librarians, authors, bloggers, reviewers can connect with publishers and book industry insiders.

Author signings!

Author signings!

Sadly, yesterday was probably my last BEA hurrah. I’m not gonna lie — I’m bummed.

I’m gonna miss all those free books.


Sophomore Self-doubt

April 27th 2015

I’m self publishing my second book, The Lady in Blue, next week and I’m feeling (well, what I call) the sophomore self-doubt. This isn’t a new phenomenon. An author writes a first book and gets a great response, so they write another book and wonder — will people like this one, too? What if they don’t? And never read my work again? (cue: wailing)

I’d hate to disappoint my readers. I’m not naive. Not everyone is going to love, or even like, my work. (I’m no Hemingway.) But I’d feel awful if you loved GG&G and read The Lady in Blue and thought it was utter crap. That’s the kind of person I am. You tell me, “Your book is shit.” And I say, “I’m so sorry,” (That’s probably something I should explore in therapy) because I hate letting anyone down.

Truthfully, The Lady in Blue was harder to edit. I found myself unsure of last-minute fixes and additions. My editor expertly marked passages where I needed to explore feeeeeelings and I felt like I was being asked to deliver a presentation in Greek. How do I do that? I don’t know how to do that.

Anyway, I think the answer to the sophomore self-doubt is to publish another book. Which I am. In September. And I’m feeling super confident about this manuscript.

Anyone else experience self-doubt on your second book? (Say yes. Say yes.)