In Which I Have Turned Into a Tortoise

Okay, I’m not actually a tortoise. (Too bad; tortoises are cute and they don’t have to meet deadlines.) But I’ve been feeling a little tortoise-like lately because I’ve been writing the third and final book in the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series, and it is sloooooow going. Yesterday, for example, I wrote 200 words. On a normal writing day, I can write five times that much. On a really good writing day, I can write ten times that much. 200 words is about a page–and it took me almost three hours to write that page. See how I’m starting to sympathize with my hard-shelled, land-dwelling reptile friends?

But I’m learning that every book has its own personality and its own pace. My first book moved quickly, and I loved it right from the start. My second book moved almost as quickly, but it took me a long time (and lots of revisions) before I loved it. This book, my third, is moving anything but quickly, but the good news is that I love it already. I may not be writing at my usual pace, but the words I’m writing are exciting and fun, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this story. I’m finally wrapping up Hilary’s adventures on the High Seas, and while I know I’ll miss all the characters desperately when this book is finished, I’m excited to give them the grand and glorious ending they deserve.

A few items of business: First of all, I’m going on tour with some of my favorite authors! We’ll be in Baltimore tomorrow (Saturday, November 16th) and in Philadelphia on Sunday the 17th and Monday the 18th. Check out my Events page for more details. I lived in both Philadelphia and Baltimore for many years each, and I can’t wait to be back! Even if you can’t make the tour, I hope you’ll read the new books written by the authors I’ll be touring with: Parched by Melanie Crowder, Brotherhood by A.B. Westrick, The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher, Genie Wishes by Elisabeth Dahl, Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry by Jennifer Ann Mann, and The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff.

Right after I get back from Philadelphia, I’ll be flying to Miami for the Miami Book Fair. I’ve never been to Miami before, so I’m pretty excited. I hear that everyone there wears bathing suits all day, every day, so I’ll do my best to fit in. Do you think it would be weird to wear swimming goggles to an author panel? Anyway, goggles or not, I’ll be doing some school visits in the Miami area and talking on a panel with my author buddies Jeramey Kraatz (The Cloak Society) and Christopher Krovatin (Gravediggers). The panel is open to the public; it’s on Saturday, November 23rd. I hope you’ll come see us if you’re nearby!

The other utterly thrilling piece of news is that Magic Marks the Spot was reviewed in last Sunday’s New York Times book review section! I love the Times and grew up with parents who read the book review section every Sunday, so it’s hard for me to imagine a bigger honor than this. You can read the review here if you’d like. It’s part of a larger children’s book review section which includes great coverage of lots of other books that I’m now dying to read.

I may not get too many more words written while I’m traveling around the country, but I’m looking forward to coming out of my tortoise shell for a little while to meet readers and see some friends. And I am especially looking forward to having some pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving when my travels are over.