Giving Back: Or, You’re Probably Fine
OK, yours are way better than mine. I loved hearing back from so many of you about your secret heart’s desires!
One thing about secret heart’s desires, though (besides the fact that they’re supposed to be a secret. So no one has to know that you to want to be, oh, I don’t know, a key witness in a murder, or something):
I fully believe that the more you give back to the universe (especially when it’s been kind to you), the more the universe gives back to you!
Like my aunt. She had a secret heart’s desire—to go to Europe. She just got back, and boy, did she have a wonderful time. Ever since kicking uterine cancer on its behind, she’s been giving back by volunteering to help educate women on the symptoms of the gynecological cancers!***
Of course the universe aligned to get her over there!
One of the ways I try to give back (because the universe has been especially kind to me) is by contributing stories to raise money for charity (whenever I can, which sadly isn’t as often as I’d like, because I find writing short stories really hard! But it does happen).
You can click here to see my brand new web page listing ALL (or at least, most) of the books and anthologies I’ve written or contributed to for charity over the past ten years.
I know. There are a LOT. That’s why we designed the page. To make it a little easier on you to help give back by buying them, and then get bonus points with the universe by contributing to these charities, and then get your secret heart’s desire.
Some of you are already getting at least a mini-heart’s desire fulfilled soon, because I finally got my author’s copies of Insatiable! (Yesterday! But it was worth the wait . . . )
. . . because they’re so pretty!
So contest winners Rachel, Heather, Ivri, Mary, and Casey, congratulations . . . expect your copies to arrive soon!
But don’t worry, if you missed the contest, it’s still Audio Book Month! Sign up here to win (if you haven’t already)!
In the meantime, my next contribution to an anthology for charity here in the US, FEAR, 13 Stories of Suspense and Fear, will be out on September 2. All the proceeds go to Reading is Fundamental!
My story, The Night Hunter, is about a girl who gets taken hostage by a psychopath while working her part-time job at the mall. Since RL Stine was editing it, I knew it had to be super creepy. And it is. Let’s just say, it’s for readers 14 and up.
One that’s fine for readers of all ages is in UK stores now! It includes stories by authors who were nominated for the title of (what else?) Queen of Teen . . . like one of my all time favorite writers, Louise Rennison (also Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Hopkins, and many more . . . it’s an all star cast)! All the proceeds for this book goes to Kids Company, a UK charity for underprivileged kids.
Between the mean girls at her new school, a vengeful spirit, and her crush on Digger Number 5 (she refuses to call him by his real name, because she knows he’s just going to leave, like all her dad’s archeology assistants have before him), the heroine of my story for this book, Digger Number 5, feels like she’s never going to get her secret heart’s desire.
Here’s a fun review of the book, on one of my favorite UK review sites. I haven’t actually seen a final copy of this book yet, so my fingers are crossed that my very late page proof corrections made it in.
Whenever people ask, “What’s a typical day like for you?” I know they don’t want to hear the truth. They want to hear that I sit around drinking margaritas all day, then dash off a paragraph or two in my spare time, like Ernest Hemingway. So that’s what I tell them.
But actually a typical day for most authors is REALLY spent freaking out that every reference to the word “booger” in the UK pass pages of her latest middle-grade manuscript got changed to “bogey,” and how could this have happened, since the characters in her book are living in the US, and in the US, no one says bogey, except Tom Cruise in Top Gun when he’s referring to incoming enemy fighter jets?
Then the copy-editor says, kids in the UK don’t know what a booger is.
But kids in the US understand that a “lift” is an elevator in British books. So surely kids in the UK will get that a booger is a bogey. Won’t they?
But then the author becomes tortured with self-doubt, thinking maybe UK kids don’t know what a booger is, and she should just let them change it to bogey. But then is she not remaining true to her artistic vision? Does she even have an artistic vision? We’re talking about a book with boogers in it. That’s when she starts drinking margaritas in an attempt to forget she even had this conversation.
So that’s why the final pass pages are often late. And why I lie when people ask me what a typical day in an author’s life is like.
For those of us who, like so many of my heroines, are still waiting for our secret heart’s desire:
Find out who your perfect paranormal romantic partner is (including characters from Insatiable, Twilight, True Blood and other popular paranormal shows and books)! Take this VERY SERIOUS and HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC quiz written by Exegetical Demonologist Dr. Ann Larson, currently employed by the Vatican’s Palatine Guard. Being a bonafide expert in the field, she’s NEVER wrong.
Which makes me slightly alarmed, since I got Alaric from Insatiable (as well as the guys from the TV show Supernatural, one of whom who used to play Dean from Gilmore Girls).
To be totally honest, I never thought I had a particular affinity for men in leather who carry swords.
But then I remembered those guys find dead bodies all the time. So if I hang out with them, my chances of encountering a murder victim will increase exponentially.
Sorry, I have to go now. I feel this strange urge to go do something good for the universe all of a sudden. I can’t imagine why.
***OK, if you’re a total hypochondriac like me, you’re now sitting there going, “Wait . . . how many gynecological cancers are there? Do I have any? I BET I DO!” My aunt Babs says: “Click here to take this quick risk assessment survey. Most likely, your risk is very, very low. But remember, early detection is the key!” So take Meg Cabot’s advice: Go to the doctor. But you’re probably fine.