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And here's the moment I've been waiting for ever since I knew WHAT THE WOODS KEEP was going to be published, and even more so, ever since I had my first glimpse of its cover design.
Without further ado, I'm thrilled to reveal this stunner of a cover to the world. 
[Drum roll...] 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Release date: September 18, 2018 Publisher: Imprint (Macmillan)

Links (pre-order is available): 
Goodreads Amazon On Publisher's website

Publisher's description:
On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home—on the condition that she uncovers its dark secrets.
Hayden tried to put her past behind her—and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it's all coming back: her mother's mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s crazy theories, and Hayden's own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado wo…

how long does it take - What The Woods Keep's journey

That question I used to dread...
"So how's your book going?" is the type of question I used to/get a lot these days, but has been struggling to answer for a while.

"Which one?", as in "Which one are you referring to" has been my first reaction response ever since my 2018-debut-to-be WHAT THE WOODS KEEP sold to Imprint Macmillan in 2016 (along with my book # 2, OASIS).

I've been evasive in my responses, true, but only because it takes energy and time to explain the difference between 'I have a book contract' to 'I am a published author/You can buy/read my book NOW' to my friends, family and an army of acquaintances curious about the status of my writing career but not involved in the publishing in any way themselves.

The truth is, it can take years for a book to be published. Factors affecting the book publishing process are many and, guess what, they are rarely in your control.

When I first signed with my agent, she asked me if I …

some thoughts on my reading in 2017

As the end of the year nears, it is customary for me to do a round-up post discussing my favorite books. I might do a little vlog later on as a special December treat, but for now, here's my usual:

My top reads of 2017 are, in no particular order:

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill 
I've read this one early on in the year, but it still feels fresh like it was yesterday.

All Our Yesterdays is a time-travelling tale and it's got all the right moves. What attracted me about this book is its smart science, powerful narration and realistic resolution, albeit a sad one.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Gosh, I love books about super-villains! And Vicious does not disappoint.

It was so ridiculously good!

A must for V.E. Schwab fans as well as those not familiar with her fast-growing body of diverse work.

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
I admit, I saw Andrei Tarkovsky's eponymous movie first, then read the book it's based on nearly two decades later. I wish it was the other way ar…

querying process myth-busting

Back in the day when I was querying What The Woods Keeplike a woman possessed, I made a habit of reading up on any querying advice I could find. The Evil Editor and Query Sharkblogs were my daily staple reads but I also devoured many a confessional posting from fellow writers at varying stages of the querying process.

I did appreciate the success stories the most, especially the kinds that started with the infamous ‘slush pile’. But then, I also paid attention to the troves of other kind of advice available out there, some pretty common sense obvious (e.g., research agents before querying, craft your query based on each agency’s requirements, don’t approach editors and agents simultaneously, etc.), but some didn’t turn out to be true for me at all!

Hence, this post, where I ‘bust’ some myths surrounding the agent querying process.

Though, I’d need to reiterate that this is my experience, and it happened this way for me because the publishing stars have aligned in the particular way the …

visuals and writing YA

Back in August, I got an email from NaNoWriMo (that's National Novel Writing Month) organizers, inviting me to guest-blog for them. The theme was writing tips and/or motivation, but it was open to interpretation. I quickly said 'yes, please' (that's my usual tactic where writing is concerned) and got to work.

The use of visuals for inspiration and motivation emerged as a topic for me to write about and NaNoWriMo folks liked my pitch. So here's me reblogging this piece (all images are licensed under Creative Commons and you can find details in image captions on the original posting available here).

I'd like to thank NaNoWriMo for reaching out and for running my guest-post on their blog.

Can a picture inspire a thousand words?

Can a picture inspire a thousand words? NaNoWriMo investigates the power of images in our writing lives. Author Katya de Becerra describes how using an image board brought her novel’s setting to life:

For me, a book begins with a place. The…

on the scariest ever book for kids (among other musings)

When I met with my editors in New York last November, we talked about all sorts of things, from the origins of ideas, to the reasons why we write, to our motivation to use non-traditional literary formats to tell a story. But this one thing in particular resonated with me: inspiration. I find myself going back to ponder one of my editor's questions in regards to inspiration behind What The Woods Keep: 'But why [spoiler removed]? Why not something else? Why this particular bit of mythology?'
Why indeed!
In response, I mumbled something along the lines of: 'When I was a kid, I remember reading this book... called '100 mysteries' or 'legends' or something... and [spoiler removed] stuck in my brain like a splinter and I don't know why but here's me twenty years later writing a book about it. I really don't know!'
Today, as I smoulder in the summer inferno that is Melbourne in February, I return to the question of inspiration once more. I d…

new year’s book resolutions

So indie author superstar Lauryn April (who by the way gave an interview to this blog – yay!) tagged me with New Year’s Resolution Book Tag and why not, so here it is…

An author you’d like to read (that you’ve never read before)
Margaret Atwood. (I tried several times before but the timing was never right.)

A book you’d like to read
Well... I currently have just over 500 books in my To-Be-Read folder on GoodReads and am currently reading 8 books at once. But if I’m to set my priorities and pick, say, three books I’d definitely like to read in 2017, those would be:

The House of the Spiritsby Isabel Allende (everyone I know who had read this, adored this, so…)

All Our Yesterdaysby Cristin Terrill (It’s been sitting in my TBR folder for a while now. It’s time)

Burn (the 4th book in The Rephaim series) by my fellow Australian YA author, Paula Weston

A classic you’d like to read
Does Kurt Vonnegut qualify as a classic today? I’ve read Breakfast of Champions in 2014 and I *think* I’ve read severa…