Fort Collins Writer Friends and their Creations!

Hello everyone,

One of the best things about being a writer for teens is the great sense of community that comes with it.  Here are what two of my YA writer friends in town are up to....

Todd Mitchell, another Fort Collinite, had a recent book release -- The Secret to Lying.  Full disclosure: I read an early draft of this YA novel years ago and fell in love with it... and ever since I've been incapable of talking about this book without gushing!

 Over the next few years, the story went through many revisions, but it was definitely worth the wait... it is now a perfectly polished gem.  Here's the review I posted of it on amazon:

Oh, how I wish this book existed when I was a teen! I would have connected so strongly with it. (Now, in my thirties, I still connect with it, but in my teens I was *craving* a story like this!) I love how the book deals with multiple layers of reality and consciousness-- the faces we show to people and the parts of ourselves we don't. The story really resonated with my feelings about existence as a young adult-- how I felt unsure at times what was real, wondering to what extent I could create reality, puzzling over who I was, grappling with how to connect with people. (Deep stuff!) The matrix-like alternate dreamscape works beautifully in the story and really sets it apart from similar books (like John Green's work-- incidentally, I have to say that as a John Green fan, I liked The Secret to Lying even better than any of J.G.'s stuff for this reason). In addition to the psychological thriller/philosophical elements, this book is full of hilarious dialogue and a tender romance and mystery/suspense. Don't miss this fascinating, funny, and utterly engaging read for teens and adults alike! 


 Here I am with Todd at last spring's CO Teen Lit Conference

Here's the front jacket flap summary for The Secret to Lying:

          James was the guy no one noticed —another fifteen-year-old living in a small town. So when he gets into the American Science and Mathematics Academy (or ASMA), James decides to leave his boring past behind. In a public boarding school made up of nerds and geeks, being cool is easy. All it takes is a few harmless lies to invent the new James: rebel, punk, street fighter. Everyone’s impressed —except for the beautiful Ellie Frost, whose icy demeanor holds an inexplicable attraction for James, and the mysterious ghost44, an IM presence who sees right through his new identity.
           But James is riding high —playing pranks and hooking up with the luscious Jessica Keen. Things seem perfect until he begins having strange dreams of a dark city haunted by demons. As the line between dreams and reality blurs, James begins to wonder: What’s the price for being the coolest guy around?
            Funny and real, Todd Mitchell's debut YA novel takes readers into a school for the intellectually gifted and socially awkward, as readers discover the secret —and consequences— to lying. 

Todd made a really funny book trailer for The Secret to Lying called "How NOT to Promote a Book"... you can see it here.

Speaking of funny videos, if you've ever wondered how reviews affect the emotional well-being of us authors, check out this short and hilarious YouTube video made by writer friend  (and Fort Collinite) Amy Kathleen Ryan.

Surprisingly, I don't have a photo of us together, but here's her very elegant author headshot...

     I'm looking forward to reading her recent release Zen And Xander Undone -- I just saw the book trailer on her website, and the book looks fantastic.  

Now if you'll excuse me, I must figure out how to embed videos in my blog! ;)

Before I go, I'll leave you with the latest funny thing Lil Dude said... Last night we were on our way back from a bluegrass festival in the mountains (Lyons), and the sunset was breathtaking-- liquid pools of red, pink, orange, all golden and glowing and melting across the mountains.  I told Lil Dude to check out the sunset, and he said, "Aw!  It's sooo cuuuute!"  Hehehe... but his comment did make me think objectively about the words we use to describe sunsets-- spectacular, beautiful, gorgeous... Cute is definitely outside of the box!

Have a cute week!