The Craziest Thing (By Far) I’ve Ever Done…

Hey everyone!

So the craziest part of being an (almost) adult is probably doing the things you always said you were going to do, but never thought would actually happen. Or if you did think they would happen, you always pictured a much more mature version of yourself doing them.

Not, y’know…you.

Case in point: Traveling the world with a single backpack.

For two months.

Alone.

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Did I mention that I was doing this alone? Because yeah. Alone. It’ll be me, my laptop (Amelia Airheart), and my loaner backpack (Victor Hugo).

Yes, I name inanimate objects. If I ever find myself stuck on an island like Tom Hanks in Castaway, I will have have a billion Wilsons to keep me company.

So here is the game plan:

May 31st–Fly out of Portland, Oregon.

June 2nd–HOORAY! LAND IN BUDAPEST!

June 4-7–BOOK WEEK IN BUDAPEST! (Meet fans! Geek out like whoa!)

June 8-10–Stay in Budapest, but take some fun day trips.

June 9–Day trip to Győr. (Hopefully do a signing/meet fans!)

June 10–Day trip to either Tatabánya or Gödöllő. (Feel free to tell me which one I should pick in the comments section!)

June 11–Train to Debrecen. (Hopefully do a signing/meet fans!)

June 13–Bus to Oradea. (A signing is in the process of being booked! Huzzah! Can’t wait to meet my fans!)

June 14–Train to Cluj-Naopka. (Do a signing? Meet fans? Convince my fans to check out Hoia Bacu forest with me so that I’m not abducted by aliens?)

June 17–Train to Sighişoara! Visit the foritified churches with my fans? See Vlad the Impaler’s birthplace. 

June 19–Train to Brasov. (Do a signing? Meet fans? Visit Bran castle! Hike the Seven Ladders Canyon with fans who won’t let me quit after four ladders…)

June 22–Train to Sinaia. Visit Peles castle and Sinaia Monastery!

June 24–Bus to Bucharest! (Another signing, perhaps? Meet more fans?)

June 28–Fly to Istanbul. (I’m so excited to stay with an awesome Hungarian blogger!)

July 3– Um…

I.

Have.

No.

Clue.

(Hang out on a Greek island, maybe? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!)

July 16–Fly from Athens to Rome!

July 20–Fly from Rome to New York City!

July 22–HELLO ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA CONFERENCE!

July 26–Fly from New York City to Portland, Oregon.

Sleep for an eternity.

That’s the plan, guys. That’s all I’ve got right now. I might even show up in Budapest with a bunch of it still unplanned.

Now I have been thinking of trying something that could be crazy or incredibly cool!

See, throughout this trip process, I’ve pretty much let my fans pick my destinations. The original plan was to visit Croatia, not Romania! So what if we took it a few steps further…

If a fan wants to meet up with me for breakfast, lunch, dinner, sightseeing, etc….I’m game. I will post every step of my journey and leave the rest up to them. But they should consider this an open invitation to hang out. I hope by posting everything on my Facebook author page right here, I’ll be able to interact with my fans in a very real, meaningful way.

Obviously, I’m going to use my best judgment with this. If I ever start feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, I’ll have to cut the experiment short, or at the very least, restructure it with more ground rules. But I’m willing to give it a chance!

I think the trip will be even more awesome if my readers go on mini-adventures with me!

I can hardly wait to see everyone!

Awkwardly yours,

Marni

P.S. No readings/signings/school visits have been booked yet for Romania. So if my fans would like to contact libraries/bookstores/schools about setting up an event, that would be great!

Szia mindenki!

Tehát a legőrültebb része, hogy egy (majdnem) felnőtt Valószínűleg csinál a dolog, amit mindig azt mondta, hogy ezt fogja csinálni, de soha nem gondoltam volna ténylegesen meg is történik. Vagy ha nem hiszem, hogy meg fog történni, hogy mindig a képen egy sokkal érettebb változata magad csinál velük.

Nem, tudod … te.

Példa erre: Utazás a világ egyetlen hátizsák.

A két hónap. Egyedül.

Mondtam már, hogy én ezt egyedül? Mert igen. Egyedül. Ez lesz velem, én laptop (Amelia Airheart), és az én loaner hátizsák (Victor Hugo).

Igen, nevezze élettelen tárgyak. Ha valaha találom magam megragadt egy szigeten, mint Tom Hanks a Castaway én lesz egy milliárd Wilson, hogy engem cég.

Tehát itt van a játék tervet:

Május 31. – kirepülnek a Portland, Oregon.

Június 2 – Hurrá! LAND Budapesten!

Június 04-07 – KÖNYV héten Budapesten! (Meet rajongók! Geek ki, mint a hé!)

Június 08-10 -, akik Budapesten, de némi szórakoztató kirándulások.

Június 9. – Day kirándulás Győr. (Remélhetőleg nem egy aláírási / megfeleljen rajongók!)

Június 10 – Napos kirándulás vagy Tatabánya vagy Gödöllő. (Nyugodtan mondja meg, melyik kéne felvenni a hozzászólások részben!)

Június 11. – A vonat Debrecenbe. (Remélhetőleg nem egy aláírási / megfeleljen rajongók!)

Június 13. – Bus Nagyváradra. (A aláírása folyamatban van a elkönyvelik! Huzzah! Alig várom, hogy megfeleljen a rajongók!)

Június 14 – Vonat Cluj-Naopka. (Van egy aláírási? Találkozz rajongók? Meggyőzni a rajongók, hogy nézd meg Hoia Bacu erdő velem, hogy nem vagyok elrabolták az idegenek?)

Június 17 – Vonat Segesvár! Látogasson el a foritified egyházak a rajongókkal? Lásd Drakulát szülőháza.

Június 19 – Vonat Brasov. (Van egy aláírási? Találkozz rajongók? Látogatás Bran kastélyt! Kirándulás a hét létrák Canyon rajongók, akik nem engedik, hogy kilép, miután négy létrák …)

Június 22 – Vonat Sinaia. Látogassa Peles kastély és a Sinaia-kolostor!

Június 24. – Bus Bukarestbe! (Egy másik aláíró, talán? Találkozz több rajongó?)

Június 28. – Fly Isztambulba. (Olyan izgatott vagyok, hogy maradjon egy fantasztikus magyar blogger!)

Július 3– Um …

I.

Van.

Nem.

Nyom.

(Tarts ki egy görög szigeten, talán? Nyugodtan hagyja javaslataikat a magyarázat!)

Július 16. – Repüljön Athén Rómába!

Július 20. – Fly Rómából New York City!

Július 22 – HELLO Romance Writers of America KONFERENCIA!

Július 26. – Repüljön New York City to Portland, Oregon.

Aludni egy örökkévalóság.

Ez a terv, srácok. Ez minden, amim van most. Talán még megjelenni Budapesten, egy csomó még mindig nem tervezett.

Most már gondoltam próbál valami, hogy lehet őrült, vagy hihetetlenül jó!

Lásd, ez alatt a kirándulás folyamat, amit nagyjából hagyja a rajongóim vegye a célpontok. Az eredeti terv az volt, hogy látogassa meg Horvátországban, Romániában nem! Tehát mi lenne, ha elvitte néhány lépést …

Ha egy rajongó szeretne találkozni velem a reggeli, ebéd, vacsora, városnézés, stb …. Én játékot. Én is hozzászólok minden lépését az utam, és a többit hagyja az ő dolguk. De érdemes ezt a nyílt felhívás lógni. Remélem, a kiküldetés mindent az én Facebook szerző oldalhoz itt leszek képes kapcsolatba lépni a rajongók nagyon is valós, értelmes módon.

Nyilvánvaló, hogy fogom használni a legjobb belátása ezzel. Ha én valaha is indul érzés kellemetlen vagy veszélyes, nekem kell vágni a kísérletet, vagy legalábbis, átszervezését, több alapszabályokat. De nem vagyok hajlandó adni neki egy esélyt!

Azt hiszem, az utazás lesz még fantasztikusabb, ha olvasóim menni mini-kalandok velem!

Már alig várom, hogy mindenki!

Ügyetlenül tiéd,

Marni

P.S. Nem Olvasás / dedikálások / iskolai látogatások került lefoglalásra még a Romániában. Tehát, ha a rajongóim Szeretném felvenni a kapcsolatot a könyvtárak / könyvesboltok / iskolák beállításával kapcsolatos esemény, az nagyon jó lenne!

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Marni on the Move!!!

Hey everyone!

I have some news. Big news. Enormous oh-my-god-what-am-I-getting-myself-into-right-now news!

I’m heading off to Europe on June 1st!

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Specifically, I’m going to a book festival in Budapest, Hungary (!!!) where I will get to meet my incredible Hungarian fans (!!!) and totally geek out over all the awesomeness (!!!). I’m still working out the details–and will be for the next few months–but I’m already trembling with excitement.

Okay, and some of that shaking is nervous energy. Because I’m not just going to Budapest. I’m going to be–wait for it–backpacking through Romania, flying to Istanbul, and then adventuring to Greece.

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And then I will spend five days in Rome before flying to New York City.

Why am I not flying directly back to Portland? Funny, you should ask…I’m going to be in NYC for the Romance Writers of America Conference from July 22-25th, 2015.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about taking such a huge international trip all by myself. I mean, I have trouble using the cork-opener thingies. My upper body strength? Zip. Nada. Nonexistent. But soon, I’ll be carting around everything on my back and trust me, that’s scary!

But I also think I’m ready to scare myself. To challenge myself. To see what I’m capable of with only a backpack and a whole lot of enthusiasm.

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Enthusiasm has never been a problem for me…

I would also like to give an enormous thank you to my Hungarian publisher for flying me out to Budapest. This trip wouldn’t be possible without them. I’d still be staring wistfully at pictures of Hungary in Portland instead of gleefully cataloging everything in my closet and evaluating the travel worthiness of each item. I’m an incredibly lucky girl.

If I had told High School Marni that one day she would be traveling to Budapest to meet her fans…she wouldn’t have believed me. It feels too good to be true. This trip is composed entirely out of my wildest dreams.

I can’t wait to share this adventure with you!

All my love,

Marni

Marni Advice Monday: Humble-bragging and Jealousy

Hey everyone!

People seem to like it when I give advice. And well…I’ve never exactly suffered from a shortage of opinions. Just ask my (long-suffering) family members.

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Elementary School Marni considers what advice to give…

So feel free to ask questions! About writing. About life. About anything you want to discuss.

Today I thought I’d tackle professional jealousy.

This topic has been on my mind a lot recently. See, this post about writers on social media started making the rounds on my Facebook feed. I read it, laughed, then stared a bit guiltily at the keyboard.

Because I’ve definitely humble-bragged about meeting my favorite authors before!

In fact, I’ve not-so-humble bragged about meeting people!

Case in point:

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Marni plus Laurie Halse Anderson.

Oh and…

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Marni plus Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

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Marni plus Nora Roberts.

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Marni plus Ally Carter.

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Marni plus Jay Asher.

And my personal favorite…

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Marni plus Ellen DeGeneres!

Are you getting the picture? I’ve posted ALL of these online. Why?

Because. I. Totally. Geeked. Out.

And, yes, because it feels really good to look all smart and professional and…fancy online. These pictures were taken during some of the most wonderful moments of my life. But they are snapshots in time. They don’t tell the real story.

The real story is never as glamorous. The real story is that after a night of dancing with authors at the RWA in Atlanta, I spent the next six hours vomiting in a toilet. My friends think it must have been an allergic reaction to my TWO SIPS of Long Island Iced Tea.

I kid you not. Two sips.

Did I share that with the world? Um, no. I didn’t.

I conveniently left that part out.

So should I feel guilty about my not-so-humble bragging? Am one of those authors that people want to punch in the face(book)?!

Here’s what my friend and fellow KTeen author, Brigid Kemmerer, has to say:

I hate articles that seem to imply that we should shut up about our successes because we might make other people feel bad. It’s ridiculous. There’s no need to police social media to protect anyone’s feelings. Yes, non-stop promotion gets tiresomeBut so does non-stop complaining or non-stop anything.

If people are allowing social media to make them feel inferior, then they need to step away from the computer and get back in the real world. What people post on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram is such a narrow slice of their world — and it’s only what they WANT you to see. Further, if someone IS offended or overwhelmed by what one person is posting, then they can block that person or hide them from their feed. There are a few people I’ve unfollowed on Twitter because all they tweet are promo feeds for themselves and others. That’s IT. Who wants to read a non-stop stream of that? I like social media for one reason: the social aspect.

That’s when it kind of hit me. It’s not the bragging that bothers most people. I mean, yes, sometimes it can be grating, but that’s not at the heart of this issue. I suspect that the real problem is that the publishing world is a really murky place. To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to look at a book deal and say, “Oh okay. This is standard.”

I have a friend whose debut YA advance was 5x more than mine. Another friend was paid 40x less. It was only after a three-hour long conversation that any of us were brave enough to broach the subject of advances, even though we all depend on them to keep the bills paid.

It’s impossible to know if I should commit to using Instagram/Tumblr/Goodreads, etc., or even if these social media platforms translate into book sales! Do blog tours actually help reach new readers? Or would that time be better spent, y’know…writing?

These are all unavoidable questions for everyone within the industry and the fact that NOBODY appears to have the answers makes it even harder to reach any satisfying kind of conclusion. In the wake of all that uncertainty, we all seem to scrutinize each other’s Facebook feeds to see if we’ve been left in the dust.

This is where the real professional jealousy kicks in.

So how do we fight it?

I think Brigid’s advice is spot on. Step away from the laptop. Stop comparing yourself to others. Do not check out someone’s Wikipedia page to determine if they were younger than you when they got their first book published. Guess what? It’s not a competition!

But let’s say that isn’t working for you. Let’s say you’re feeling jealous and petty and irrational, oh, and annoyed because even though you know you’re being irrational you can’t seem to logic your way out of the situation.

Maybe…give yourself a little room to be bad?

Not terrible. It’s not like you’re going to say and/or do anything mean. Are we clear? That’s not going to happen, because you are not a bully.

But sometimes it feels really good to read terrible reviews of famous books. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with a book of quotations called, Writers on Writing. My favorite section was the one where all these iconic authors trash-talked each other. There was something oddly liberating about watching them trip over the pedestal my English teachers had reserved for them. The Germans have a word for this: Schadenfreude. It means, “happiness at the misfortune of others.” I like to look at it a slightly different way though…

Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself that you’re not the only flawed person around.

So that’s my Marni Advice for the week!

Awkwardly yours,

Marni

Houston, We’ve Got a Problem (RWA, Please Fix This!)

Hey everyone,

So yesterday I received the following email from the Romance Writers of America:

Dear Marni Bates,

Due to the failure to obtain the minimum number of entries (5 percent of total contest entries) required by the contest entry deadline, the Young Adult Romance category of the 2014 RITA® Contest has been canceled.

I’m not going to lie, I’m really disappointed.

Awards are important. And I’ve spent the past hour staring at my screen trying to figure out how to discuss them without coming across as narcissistic. Here’s a sad truth: It requires bravery for a female author to say that she believes her work to be worthy of consideration. It’s a whole new level of scary. It’s the kind of statement that you instantly want to take back before somebody says, “You aren’t a real writer! Your stories are light fluffy things of absolutely no consequence!” because that would make you want to crawl up into a very tight ball in the back of your closet.

Which is why I still feel obligated to preface this post with something self-depreciating.

Not that I expected to be nominated…

Not that I had a shot at reaching the finals…

I’m mostly disappointed that so many of my peers won’t get the recognition they deserve…

And yes, I absolutely believe that gender plays a large role in this. If you want to read an amazing article on what it’s like to be a female YA author, I highly recommend this piece by Sarah Rees Brennan. It’s spot on.

Here’s a small excerpt from her article:

Common Responses To Female Authors Promoting Themselves I Have Seen, Over and Over Again.

“Why do you think you are so great? You are not so great.” (By promoting yourself/talking about yourself or your work, you indicate that you do think you, and/or your work, has some value, and there is so much pushback, conscious and unconscious, to that.)

“Don’t reblog fan graphics/talk about your characters/talk about your MALE characters (what do you think you are, some sort of harlot?)/be so smug about your books as if you think they might be any good. It makes it seem like you think you’re so great!”

“Do you expect PRAISE?” (I don’t! I never do. Most ladies I know don’t, being accustomed to expecting constant negativity. But it would be nice if people didn’t talk about praise as if it is some incredible, celestial prize that a women should never even dare to dream of getting, and the very idea of them getting it is to be scorned.)

“She’s writing romance and that’s girly and it sucks./She’s writing YA and that’s girly and it sucks./She’s writing literature and men write it better and she sucks./She’s writing about a girl and girls are annoying/shallow/not literature.”

So I repeat: Awards are important. Why? It’s a source of validation. And for a whole bunch of us, it means that we will feel valued instead of dismissed. Especially if you write books that end with a happily ever after.
Now I will always love the Romance Writers of America. I’ve met so many unbelievably talented people through that organization. My life is a hundred thousand times more awesome because of the friendships that have formed, too!
But they have made a huge mistake.
The Young Adult community within the RWA first began to feel alienated last year when the organization decided that all books in that category must “focus primarily on the romantic relationship between two adolescents.”
Here’s the problem: YA is all about coming of age. It’s about figuring out your own identity at a time in life where everyone has an opinion about your future. And yes, YA protagonists often navigate complicated romantic relationships, but the happily ever after is usually built on the character’s ability to know what they believe in. Young Adult fiction can also mean just about anything. Historical. Suspense. Horror. Sci-fi. Contemporary. Humor. Drama. There are YA books that include all of those elements…and have a romance too!
So here is the position that most YA writers found themselves in. Do I really want to spend fifty bucks when I’m pretty sure my book is going to be instantly disqualified? Do I want to feel guilty about focusing more on the growth of a primary character instead of an overarching romance?
And for a bunch of people the answer to that was a resounding, “Oh, hell no!” Some of my friends are going to leave the organization because they feel so frustrated/alienated by these policy changes.
Now that whole category has been eliminated.
I know you might be sick of hearing this, but…AWARDS ARE IMPORTANT!
This community is important! This is our refuge when the rest of the world tells us that we are girly and that we suck. So I hope the RWA will remove the problematic language and consider opening the category to late submissions.
I’d love to hear your opinions!
~Marni

It’s a Party at the RWA!!!

Hey everyone,

Okay, so after last year the bar was set pretty darn high for the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta. I was actually a little nervous that it wouldn’t be quite as magical as my first time.

BUT THIS YEAR WAS EVEN BETTER!

Where to begin?

Well, I was able to meet a few pretty cool people…

Nora Roberts.

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Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

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Kieran Kramer

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Cherry Adair and I even joked around before the Literacy signing!

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Speaking of the Literacy signing…I got to hang out a little with Shea Berkley before things started to get crazy!

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What can I say? We’re pretty classy ladies.

I loved every second of the literacy signing, especially when some of my AMAZINGLY AWESOME fans showed up to my table! I can’t tell you ladies how much that meant to me. Seriously. It was so wonderful getting to meet you!

(Pictures unavailable. I was too busy geeking out)

And then…well, then I really lost my mind.

Because I got to meet Ally Carter!

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I am a huge Ally Carter fan. Huge. I love everything about the Heist Society series, so meeting her in real life was…unspeakably awesome. And I mean that literally. I think all I managed to say was, “I love your books!”

I’m thrilled to confirm that she is every bit as awesome in real life as I imagined.

Here’s the funny part: all of this excitement happened before my 50 Shades of YA panel. That’s when the awesome kicked up to a whole new level!

Jennifer Estep, Erica O’Rourke, Nina Berry, Alicia Condon (our editor) and I had so much fun discussing the limitations imposed upon YA authors when discussing taboo subjects like sex, drugs, and rock and roll alcohol. They were absolutely brilliant and it was a pleasure and a privilege just to sit next to them.

But I must admit, I didn’t have high expectations for attendance at our panel. It was at 8:30 AM!

In my experience, authors don’t tend to do well with morning hours. We avoid them. At all costs.

So I sort of assumed that there would be a handful of bleary-eyed writers chugging down coffee while they half-heartedly listened. And trust me, I would have been thrilled with that.

It was a full room.

Totally packed.

And afterwards, Katie McGarry and Kady Cross introduced themselves to me. Because they were excited to meet me! Which still strikes me as hilarious because…have you met them? They are made of AWESOME!

So I’m trying to play it cool and not just blurt out, “I think we should become best friends FOREVER!” when they glanced over my shoulder and whispered, “Did you know that Jay Asher was here?!”

Yep.

Jay Asher, New York Times Bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, attended the 50 Shades of YA panel.

*Insert geek out here*

It gets crazier. He saved a seat for me at his table so that we could chat before Kathy Maxwell brought the house down with her luncheon speech.

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Just in case you were wondering, Jay Asher is a ridiculously nice person with a great sense of humor. Oh, and he can dance.

Time sort of moves funny at a writers conference. I tried to enjoy every second to the fullest, which means that I slept little and lost my voice by the time I left the conference. But some of the highlights include:

I had dinner with Tessa Dare, drinks with Julie James, Tracy Deebs, Emily McKay, (and some other lovely people whose names are evading me right now) and a slumber party with the fantastic Hannah Jayne.

And then I partied with most of these people after the RITA awards!

Here I am with a whole bunch of awesome YA-ers! (Back row, l-to-r) Bria QuinlanHolly BodgerAmy DeLuca, Jay Asher, Darcy Woods, Me, Cecily White, (Front row, l-to-r) Jennifer McGowan, Kim MacCarron, and Shea Berkley.

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It was a great night. I mean, you might think authors are a pretty staid bunch…but that goes right out the window as soon as the music starts playing. And okay, so maybe there were a few line-dances. But that just made me feel like I was in What A Girl Wants (Remember that movie? Back in the good ol’ days when Amanda Bynes seemed like she had it all together) and this was just the big group dance number!

And I definitely had a few pinch me, I must be dreaming moments with my friends.

Unfortunately, three hours later I was suffering from either an allergic reaction or a bizarre case of food poisoning. I’m not kidding. The lovely Cecily White and a romance-writing stranger found me shaking and vomiting in the handicap stall in the hotel bathroom. This is so not the kind of information you really needed to know about my RWA experience, but I’m mentioning it because I think it shows the extreme kindness of the writing community. One thing I picked up on quickly was that every woman there was ready and willing to extend a helping hand.

Even if that meant spending their last night at the conference tracking down Sprite and saltine crackers for me.

I feel like the media often portrays women as back-stabbing, passive-aggressive monsters who will do anything to eliminate their competition. That could not be further from my experience at this conference. I’ve never felt more supported, both creatively and personally.

These woman accepted me for me. Even if that included quoting One Direction songs at random intervals, much to Tracy Deeb’s chagrin.

I need to thank my lovely roommates Andrea, PJ, and Lisa for making the conference such a great experience. And to all the authors it may seem like I’ve forgotten; trust me, I haven’t. I love you ladies!

The next morning I boarded my flight to Ashland, Oregon. It was only a quick trip, but I was able to see my family–and meet the most important man in my life!

Smiley Riley with Auntie Marni!

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I can’t wait to make up stories with him!

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And then I caught a flight back to LA for the Teen Author Reading Night where I met Eve Silver, Jessi Kirby, EJ Altbacker, Francesca Lia Block, and Cecil Castellucci!

It was a fantastic evening that deserves it’s own blog post. But I seriously need to get back to my writing. See, I have these characters making out on a couch and–

I’ve already said too much!

More later!

~Marni

Going to My Happy Place!

Hey everyone!

I am headed to the happiest place on earth! And for those of you thinking, Um, Marni? You live in LA. Can’t you go to Disneyland whenever you want? 

That is NOT my happy place. I’m way too afraid of rollercoasters to go on most of the rides. My friends have given up on trying to talk me into them too. Mainly because I agree to do it with them…and then I begin panicking during the safety checks. Somewhere around the five hundredth, “Oh my god, I can’t do this! No, I seriously can’t do this!” an employee looks at me and asks, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

That’s when I yell, “HECK NO! I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS!”

And I unbuckle my harness and totally abandon the person next to me.

My happy place doesn’t involve metal rides of death. But I might try to summon the courage to go on a ride if that meant I could attend the Romance Writers of America conference. Because that conference, my friends, is the happiest place on earth.

It’s just…magical!

Of course, I want to be fully prepared for the magic so I need to keep this post short. *Glances warily at half-packed suitcase*

But if you want to see me at the conference in Atlanta, (drumroll, please) you can find me HERE:

Wednesday, July 17
5:30–7:30 p.m.
2013 “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atrium Ballroom A–C (Atrium level)
*This event is open to the public and there is no entry fee.

But wait! THERE IS MORE!

I am also on a panel called 50 Shades of YA where a whole bunch of stellar YA authors will talk about SEXYTIMES!

Thursday, July 18

8:30–9:30 a.m.

50 Shades of YA

Atlanta Marriott, Room: M301/M302

I am so freaking excited, you guys! Talking about YA SEXYTIMES with Jennifer Estep, Erica O’Rourke, Nina Berry, and my fabulous editor, Alicia Condon…that’s a big enough incentive to get me out of bed before 10 a.m.

And on that note, I really gotta go!

I will do my best to keep you updated on all the awesome! So stay tuned in!

~Marni

How Did I Get Here?

Hey everyone,

I still can’t believe this is my life.

That’s not a joke or an exaggeration. It stuns me nearly every single day that I get to live out my wildest fantasy–one I was too afraid to even name for most of high school. And every day brings something ridiculously wonderful into my life. A message on my Facebook author page from someone who enjoyed reading Awkward and can’t wait to buy Invisible. A tweet from an author whose work I admire. An email from my fantastic Hungarian publisher. Maybe it will be as simple as reading a line in my new work in progress which cracks me up.

I still find myself trying to understand how I could have gotten here.

My older brother recently reminded me that when I was in elementary school he predicted that I’d be a trash collector. He told me that waste disposal was the logical occupation for someone with dog-poop brown eyes and a lack of common sense. “Hey someone has to do it,” he reasoned. “And that someone is definitely going to be you.”

I remember being terrified that he’d be right.

And now here I am proudly holding this!

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My Hungarian publisher renamed Awkward: Help, I’ve become a YouTube Star!

I love it so much!

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My best imitation of the Mackenzie yell.

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Signed and everything! It doesn’t get any more official!

If you’re curious about my experience with my Hungarian publisher, you should definitely check out the video I made about it!

It doesn’t feel real to me.

My third novel (Invisible) will be released in just under two weeks.

There aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to capture how I feel about that.

And I know that there is someone very important I need to thank for all of this: you! 

Yep.

You.

You are the reason I’m not hauling trash off to landfills right now. You are the reason I will be leading a panel at the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta. You are the reason I will be celebrating my 24th birthday in Las Vegas with a whole bunch of sensational YA authors!

Maybe that’s the hardest part for me to believe. Somehow I found a group of people–intelligent, passionate, unashamedly geeky people–who have supported me throughout this process. Who believe in me even when I don’t.

Remember that scene in The Sound of Music where Maria turns to Captain von Trapp and sings, “For here you are, standing there, loving me–whether or not you should. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good”?

You guys make me feel like Julie Freaking Andrews.

I think vlog Marni might say it best, so I’ll let her take it from here!

All my love,

Marni