Today I'm so happy to let my very first teen fantasy, Flicker and Mist, fly free in the world! I've wanted to write about invisibility for many years, and I scratched out idea after idea until finally, Myra and her world leapt into my head as if they had always been there. Whenever anyone asks what superpower I would have, invisibility is always at the top of my list. What fun and dastardly things would you be able to do if no one could see you? As soon as I started thinking about that, I realized that if some people really could become invisible, others would fear them. And what if you didn’t want to do dastardly things with your ability, but you just wanted to be free to exist? What if there was more to being invisible than just the things you could do?
Myra’s story is about one girl learning to find her own way, forging her own path when others want to define her life for her. Myra is an athlete. She’s ambitious and strong and also a human who wants to love and be loved and live without fear. Myra’s world, like our own, isn’t easy or fair, but it’s magical and full of love and life. I hope you enjoy spending some time there.
Here is the book description from the cover flap:
In Myra’s world, some people can flicker—become invisible—at will. The ability to flicker is a burden, not a gift. Flickerkin are viewed with suspicion by the ruling Plats: an invisible person might be a spy, a traitor, an assassin. Flickerkin discovered in New Heart City, the Plat capital, can be put to death. Myra, who is part Flickerkin, has never dared to used her inherited power.
But when mysterious happenings begin to occur around New Heart City—disturbances that appear to be caused by invisible people—the Plats’ fear and persecution of Flickerkin intensify. Myra sees her comfortable life eroding, her family split apart, and her budding romance on shaky ground. Violence between Plat and Flickerkin is inevitable, and Myra, with her duel identity and divided loyalties, is caught in the middle.
Tangled in intrigue, political manipulation, and betrayal, Myra feels mounting pressure to choose sides. And she knows that making herself invisible—the very ability she has desperately concealed—may be the only way to save herself.
Today’s the day! My very first teen contemporay novel is out in the world!
Last week at the Teen Author Reading Night at the Jefferson Market Library in New York, moderator David Levithan asked the panel what part of our books were most autobiographical, and this got me thinking. The truth is, even though I’ve never been kidnapped, Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee is probably the most autobiographical book I’ve ever written.
The book takes place in the fictional town of Grey Wood, Oregon, which is very much like my home town of Cottage Grove. Amy’s family comes from the same culture as my family. And Amy is a lot like me. This book was incredibly hard to write at times because I was so fully in Amy’s head that I was feeling everything she was feeling. I started with the question, If I was in this situation, what would I do? What would I feel? Who would I care about? How would I be able to survive?
Amy gets off the bus in the first scene having suffered a terrible trauma and dealing with a horrific secret. She carries the weight of six long years lived one day at a time. Now she faces reuniting with the family she was stolen from. How will she deal with seeing her Mom again? How will she be able to live with herself knowing that others have suffered and are still suffering? How will she process all her memories and be able to move forward? I asked all these questions while putting myself inside Amy’s head. I did read books about real kidnappings, but the main source material for Amy’s personality and feelings is me. As I told the audience at the panel, I don’t know if I would have been as selfless as Amy. I’m fortunate to have never been in a situation as a kid where I had to look out for others. But this book is how I imagine I would feel and act if I had to face those things.
Amy wants to find a way to put one foot in front of another, to experience each day for itself, and to help her loved ones make it through the next day with her. Hers is a story of survival. I think that in some ways, each of us is the main character in our own survival story. Regardless of what struggles we face, we do our best to face them bravely and to help others along the way.
I hope you will be moved by Amy’s story.
I’m extremely excited to finally be able to reveal the cover for my first teen contemporary novel, Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee, coming October 11, 2016! A million thank yous to Once Upon a Twilight for doing the offical reveal!
Here is the official book description:
A bittersweet homecoming holds dark secrets in this heart-wrenching story of loss, love, and survival for readers of Room
sixteen-year-old Amy returns home, she can't tell her family what’s
happened to her. She can’t tell them where she’s been since she and her
best friend, her cousin Dee, were kidnapped six years ago—who stole them
from their families or what’s become of Dee. She has to stay silent
because she's afraid of what might happen next, and she’s desperate to
protect her secrets at any cost.
Amy tries to readjust to life at “home,” but nothing she does feels right. She’s a stranger in her own family, and the guilt that she’s the one who returned is insurmountable. Amy soon realizes that keeping secrets won’t change what's happened, and they may end up hurting those she loves the most. She has to go back in order to move forward, risking everything along the way. Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee is a riveting, affecting story of loss and hope.
I’m so excited to finally be able to reveal the cover of my very first TEEN fantasy novel, Flicker and Mist! Once again, the folks at Clarion Books did a wonderful job and created this beautiful, haunting cover. I love how it showcases the main character—a girl with the ability to become invisible.
AND here is the brand new, updated cover copy:
In Myra's world, some people can flicker—become invisible—at will. The ability to flicker is a burden, not a gift. Flickerkin are viewed with suspicion by the ruling Plats: An invisible person might be a spy, a traitor, an assassin. Flickerkin discovered in New Heart City, the Plat capital, can be put to death. Myra, who is part Flickerkin, has never dared to use her inherited power.
But when mysterious happenings begin to occur around New Heart City—disturbances that appear to be caused by invisible people—the Plats’ fear and persecution of Flickerkin intensify. Myra sees her comfortable life eroding, her family split apart, and her budding romance on shaky ground. Violence between Plat and Flickerkin is inevitable, and Myra, with her dual identity and divided loyalties, is caught in the middle.
Tangled in intrigue, political manipulation, and betrayal, Myra feels mounting pressure to choose sides. And she knows that using her ability to flicker—the very ability she has desperately concealed—may be the only way to save herself.
Look for Flicker and Mist January 3, 2017!
Hello friends, family, readers and other humans! I'm excited to unveil my new and improved website today. But more importantly, I have big news about my next two books!
First up will be my very first teen contemporary! Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee will be released by G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Random House in October 2016. Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee is about a girl who is kidnapped along with her cousin, but six years later, she comes back alone. What happened to her, where is her cousin, and why can't she tell anyone how she escaped? I'm extremely excited about this book, and you can see the Publisher's Weekly announcement here!
Shortly thereafter will come my very first teen fantasy! Flicker and Mist, coming January 2017 from Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is about a girl who can become invisible in a world where her Ability is illegal. Myra wants to live a safe life among the elite, but when the authorities begin testing for the Ability, she'll have to face up to who she really is. There is an all new fantasy world, two sexy boys, invisibility (of course), and even sports! I can't wait to share this one with you!
I'm anxiously awaiting covers for both these books and will share them as soon as I am allowed!