INVISIBLE has left the laptop!

Hey everyone!

As many of you may have heard, I’ve been working away recently on finishing up my edits for Invisible (aka the non-spinoff sequel to Awkward).

Now editing is not my favorite part of the editing process. Usually I stare at my laptop and say:

 

And of course that inevitably turns into this…

 

 

Why must paragraphs be so sneaky?

 

Luckily, I have a fantastic editor, Alicia Condon, who gives brilliant suggestions. And with her help, I think I successfully pulled off some book-related karate.

 

This is the extent of my actual karate skills.

But it’s over now. For real, folks. I’M DONE EDITING INVISIBLE!

 

This is an accurate depiction of my Starbucks victory dance. 

How did I celebrate? By meeting up for more coffee with romance authors extraordinaire, Maisey Yates and Lisa Hendrix!

Which is kind of incredible considering that Maisey was the very first person I met at the RWA.

Maisey Yates: Made of Awesome.

At the time, I wasn’t exactly acting cool though. In fact, I’m still not entirely certain I was coherent. Probably because every fiber of my being was doing this:

So I was pretty thrilled to see her again, under slightly less intense conditions. And I’m so glad Lisa was able to join us!

Lisa Hendrix: Supernaturally Awesome.

It felt like a mini-RWA conference! Especially when we roped our Applebee’s waitress into a discussion of Fifty Shades of Grey.

It was a night of great hilarity that nearly didn’t end because I can’t give directions to save my life. Seriously. Maisey threatened to shank me and I still couldn’t produce a single street name. I just kept gesturing vaguely to my left and saying, “I think it’s that direction. Maybe.”

So if a young female character ends up abandoned by the side of the road in Maisey’s next book, we will know what inspired that particular scene.

 

And now I’m feeling all inspired to get back to writing. Well, maybe after I watch a few episodes of Veronica Mars

~Marni

 

 

P.S. If you haven’t already seen it, you should totally check out my book trailer for Decked with Holly! 

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Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve Got Something Special for YOU!

Hey everyone!

I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This year I spent mine at home, getting thoroughly stuffed on turkey, and playing board games with my family.

Oh, and I watched this clip from the West Wing. Because it’s just not Thanksgiving for me without President Bartlet.

And yes, I also considered all the things in my life that I’m grateful for–including elastic waistbands for post pumpkin-pie time.

I’m incredibly blessed with amazing friends and family. My fridge is always stocked with food, unless I’ve gone on a late night rampage and consumed everything in sight. And I have the world’s best roommate who kindly overlooks my less endearing quirks and makes sure that creepy old men don’t try to get fresh with me.

It’s greatly appreciated.

 

She also generously overlooks when my post workout dance breaks turn into this… *Snickers*

To be honest, I feel grateful every single day that this is my life. I mean, I get to write novels for a living. I get to fall in love with fictional characters and then share them with other people! I get to spend hours doodling in journals and that technically counts as work!

 

This is how I feel inside almost every day.

So I’d like to give a big thank you for everyone who made this dream job possible!

I’m especially grateful for my super-agent Laurie McLean and her colleague Pam van Hylckama Vlieg.

They are just…the best.

And I’m grateful for romance writers, for crime-fighters, for readers, for tweeters, for librarians and…antiquarians.

This is how I feel whenever someone “likes” my books on Amazon.

And in the spirit of giving, I am sharing my homemade book trailer for Decked with Holly, my spin-off holiday sequel to Awkward. Now we can finally start getting excited for the holiday season!

I hope everyone likes it!

Happy Reading!

~Marni

Secret Travel Plans and Upcoming Events Revealed!

Hey everyone,

I’m back in Oregon for Thanksgiving!

*Happy dances*

Normally, I like to keep everyone apprised of my travel plans before I hop on airplanes, but not this time.

Why you ask?

Because I’m here as a Thanksgiving/birthday surprise for my mom.

Although, apparently what she really wants for her birthday is a new trash can. I’m not kidding. And when I pointed out that the last time I checked never is the right year for a birthday trash can, she insisted that she doesn’t want just any old garbage bearing receptacle.

Oh no, she wants an enormous green one that’s up to Ashland code with a lid that actually closes properly.

“Sounds like rubbish to me!”

Still, when I jumped out from behind a white pillar to surprise her at the airport, her expression was priceless. I was pretty amazed myself…that my family managed to keep it a secret.

I may be the only blogger in the family but none of us are particularly good at keeping secrets.

Which is why I will reveal all my plans right now:

I’m going to be in Ashland until November 26th and then my aunt and I will be driving up to Portland. This is the point where an accurate Magic 8 Ball would insist that I should try again later because it cannot predict now.

One of the best parts of my job is the travel flexibility. I can pretty much work wherever I can get a steady supply of coffee and Internet access. So I’m not sure when exactly I will be returning to LA.

To be honest, part of the reason my travel plans are so open right now is because I’ve got a serious case of tunnel vision going on.

I have a week to turn in the (hopefully) last round of edits for Invisible.

“Damn you, evil paragraph! Why must you ruin everything? WHY?!” 

And the only other thing my mom requested for her birthday–besides the trashcan–was a copy of Notable. I thought that I might be able to appease her by printing out the 2/3rds of it which I’ve edited but…she’s finished it already.

And now she keeps not-so subtly dropping hints that she wants to read more.

Today as we walked together to her fabulous quilt store, Sew Creative, she sighed and said, “This weather is great for quilting. Or reading.”

When I merely nodded, her smile widened devilishly.

“Hint hint.”

Yeah…so no pressure there.

I also have a short story for an anthology that needs to be edited (More on that later! I’m so excited for it!) and I’m organizing two panel proposals for the Romance Writers of America conference this year.

And I have a super exciting Decked with Holly project that I’m hoping to reveal on Thanksgiving!

So stay tuned for that explosion of awesomeness.

It’s times like this when I laugh really hard when my siblings suggest that I get a real job.

Okay, so maybe I respond more like this:

But if everything goes according to plan, most of the pressure should be off in a week or two.

And in the meantime, I get to enjoy a family Thanksgiving in my hometown. I get to go for walks and see trees with actual leaves that are actually changing color. I’ve also found time to snuggle with our dog Rascal and to read romance novels in the hot tub.

So despite the time crunch, I’m enjoying the holiday season to the fullest!

Now I better get back to work.

Happy reading, everyone!

~Marni

I need to learn “AWKWARD” in Portuguese (and other big news)!!!

Hey everyone!

Yesterday I woke up to a stunningly awesome email sitting in my inbox from my awesome KTeen editor, Alicia Condon.

Here was the subject line:

3 Brazilian Rights Sale – Marni Bates

Now, maybe I’ve been reading too many romance novels lately, because I completely misinterpreted what this meant.

At first I thought maybe Kensington sold some books about Brazilian billionaires for another author and wanted to let me know about it.

And then I thought that since they included my name, maybe they wanted to hire me to write books about Brazilian billionaires! (All Brazilians are super wealthy in romance novels. And they wear very, very expensive ties that become disheveled after they rake their hands through their thick, dark hair.)

And yes, I would have a whole lot of fun writing three steamy books about very rich Brazilian men! Except, it’s not exactly what I had in mind for my next project…

Anyhow, I rubbed my eyes and decided that maybe instead of obsessing over the subject line I should do something bold like, oh, I dunno, read the email.

Which is how I found out that Awkward, Decked with Holly, and Invisible are all going to be translated into Portuguese!!!!

I am absolutely thrilled to be translated. It almost makes me want to learn Portuguese. The only thing stopping me is the fact that I’m terrible at learning other languages.

Trust me, the last thing Brazilians want is for me to mangle their beautiful language.

I want to give Brazil a big hug too.

But with some help from Google translate, I’d like to say:

Obrigado por ler meus livros, Brasil!

That’s not all either!

Because today I got another email…

Awkward is going to be translated into Spanish!!!!

Gracias por leer mis libros, España!!!!

I seriously can’t express how excited I am about all of this. So I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone involved in making this happen.

Feliz Leitura!

¡Feliz lectura!

Happy Reading!

~Marni

Two Weeks of Awesome!!!

Okay, so I know my birthday is kinda old news now, but I have lots of fun pictures to share! So here’s what happened:

*Opening scene*

Marni wakes up to Birthday Banquet of AWESOME!

 

Anytime I can light my breakfast on fire, I’m pretty darn happy.

Then I spoke to family members and friends and felt very loved. Thanks everyone for all the well-wishes!

And then Gwyn and I went to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena where we proceeded to crack each other up for hours.

I pretended that was Chelsea Halloway. This is the closest I managed.

 

Yeah…something tells me Chelsea would be rolling her eyes.

We thought this guy had the most flair:

 

“Does this armor make me look fat?”

This guy had the most anger management issues:

“How could you not say, SPOILER ALERT!?”

This guy was the swooniest:

Um, hellooo Mr. Darcy!

Then we created this brilliant still-life piece entitled, The Gambling Lobster.

 

But I think the highlight had to be when we saw a statue and simultaneously burst out laughing because he was totally doing Psy’s Gangnam Style dance.

For anyone unfamiliar with this reference (*cough* Mom) you can watch the music video here: 

For everyone else…enjoy!

 

We even got the security guard to start singing with us.

Then I had a birthday cocktail after reminding Gwyn’s older brother again that 23 is past the legal drinking age.

 

One sushi dinner later, and Gwyn and I were watching Pitch Perfect in a practically empty theater.

Definitely the right note to end the day on.

But the best part about living with a best friend and loving your job is that every day kind of feels like it could be a birthday.

 

And I definitely got my birthday wish when the election results came in. *Releases huge sigh of relief*

Oh, and I got to see an advanced showing of the last Twilight movie when I went to The Ellen DeGeneres show.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it into the studio audience. But I’ll get another chance for that in March. I can hardly wait!

And today I got some AMAZINGLY AWESOME news that I can’t wait to share with everyone! But I don’t think I’m allowed to share it quite yet. Since I have a hard time keeping secrets to myself, Gwyn and her older brother Owen made me keep editing while they read some pretty darn good books…

This one might by my favorite picture of them all:

It was a lovely, lazy afternoon… until they decided to drag me up a fricking mountain.

Gwyn just shook her head in disbelief and said, “you wanted to go!”

And since she is cooking my dinner, I plan to smile and nod…while I whimper in pain.

Still, the view of LA at sunset is completely worth the blisters. A great time was had by all.

 

I hope you enjoyed all the photos! Keep checking in for that AMAZINGLY AWESOME news I’ve promised to share!

Happy Reading!

~Marni