Twitter chat on March 3rd

On Monday, March 3rd at 7pm (EST) I’m going to join in a Twitter chat hosted by my publisher, Penguin.  The subject is “thrillers’ and since The SYLO Chronicles is a thriller, I’m in!

Sounds like it’s going to be fun with games and what-not.  I believe they are also giving away some books, though I’m not sure of how that’s going to work.  The authors are:

Elle Cosimano (Nearly Gone) @ElleCosimano

Jessica Khoury (Origin) @jkbibliophile

Dayna Lorentz (No Easy Way Out) @DaynaLorentz

And me @DJMacHale

@PenguinTeen; #YAThriller

Should be fun!

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The SYLO Chronicles #3

I know it’s way early, but that’s the way publishing works. On February 17th my publisher will be releasing the title and cover artwork for SYLO III. But I want you guys to see it first. So…I’ll reveal all on Wednesday, February 12th. Check back here as well as FB.

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The SYLO Chronicles #3

Here we go.  With a little over a month to go before the publication of The SYLO Chronicles #2: STORM, here is the cover for the final chapter in The SYLO Chronicles.  Publication is set for November 2014.

Strike Final

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Guys Read – Other Worlds

I’ve been remiss in not posting about this awesome book. Hopefully you’re familiar with Jon Scieszka’s terrific “Guys Read” series. I was asked to contribute a short story to this volume and I’m happy to say that the entire collection is great. I’ve been reading them together with my daughter and she loves them, which proves Girls Read too…but everybody knew that already. And how often do you get the chance to be included in a collection with Ray Bradbury? Check it out.

GuysRead4 hc c

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STORM – Tour information

We’re putting together the tour for STORM that will be in March.  As I did with SYLO, I’m putting it out there to you guys to give me suggestions on the places you would like me to visit.  That helped a lot in planning the last tour so I’m hoping you guys will come through again.  Note:  I probably won’t be going back to the stores/cities that I visited on the last tour…it’s too soon!  We’ll have to wait for SYLO III for that.

So, send me your ideas.  If I get a number of responses about any one place, it might just get on the schedule!

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One of the moments I love the most when writing is when I can type THE END on the first draft of a manuscript.  Today, I did that with SYLO III.  However, that euphoria is always short lived because you are then faced with one of the most difficult moments of the writing process.  It’s when you’re sitting with your finger hovering over the mouse as the curser sits on the “Send” button.  Once you hit that button, your story flies out to the world and is no longer yours.  Gulp.

Actually, most of my manuscripts don’t finish with “The End”.  They finish with “To be continued…”  But not the final books.  So as with The Soldiers of Halla and The Blood, I’ve wrapped up another story and completed the saga of SYLO and the kids from Pemberwick Island.  It’s sort of bittersweet.  Sweet because it’s always great to finish a huge project.  Bitter because, well, I’m not really done.  Now comes the re-writing process.  Yeesh.  So I never feel as though I’m completely done until I see the book on a shelf.

Also, I’m not revealing the title yet.  I’m still holding out until the last possible moment to avoid another “Pendragon The Great” snafu.  (Besides, STORM hasn’t even been published yet!)  This past weekend I actually thought about changing the title of SYLO III for reasons I won’t mention here because they would be huge spoilers. But I changed something else instead and decided to keep the current title.  But that just shows how the work goes right up to the last second.  Just before I hit “send”, I made that huge change in the manuscript!

So, now it’s time to take a little breather and turn my thoughts to what might be next.  I’ve already got  something brewing…

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Launch (On the SYLO tour)

Getting ready to hit the road (or the airport) to begin the SYLO tour.

I’m pretty psyched because I set a deadline for myself to hit before I started traveling, and that was to complete the first (rough) draft of SYLO III, and I did it.  I typed the words “THE END” today.  Of course, there’s still a boatload of work to be done before I even turn it into my publisher in November, but it’s a good feeling to know that it’s all been roughed out and now I can set the Wayback Machine and concentrate on talking about SYLO.  (Or SYLO I)

The first stop will be in Madison Connecticut on the 16th.  I’ll be speaking at some schools in the morning and then visiting the great R.J. Julia store in the afternoon.  (Check the appearance schedule for details)  The last time I was at that store was with The Soldiers of Halla, so that was a few years (and book series) ago.

I hope to see many of you on the tour.  If I’m not getting near you, maybe we can correct that in March during the STORM tour.

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SYLO Tour update – September 11th

A few little changes to the schedule.

I’ve added the link to the Perrot Library in Old Greenwich, CT.

Also, there will NOT be a public event at Lake Forest Books in Lake Forest, IL.  I’ll only be visiting schools that day.  Sorry!



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As I’ve done with many of my other books, I’m doing the cliche’ writer thing and spending a week in the mountains, with my dog, to concentrate on finishing the first draft of SYLO III.  It’s kind of magical.  I’m totally secluded with nothing to do but focus on the story and the words.  It’s amazing how that helps the flow of ideas and general creativity, not to mention productivity.

Many readers have asked me how to get over writer’s block.  My theory is that writer’s block isn’t about not being able to come up with ideas, it’s when you have too many ideas and thoughts competing for valuable brain-time and that keeps you from focusing on your story.  Normally at home, when I get stuck I go for a run.  It’s remarkable how doing a simple physical exercise washes away all the extraneous thoughts.   I often come up with incredible ideas while running, or solve a problem I’ve been wrestling with for days.

That’s what it’s like getting away to the mountains, alone (except for the dog) where all thoughts are focused on only one thing.  The story.  It’s been an incredible week and right now I’m writing the climax to not only SYLO III, but The SYLO Chronicles.

Not that I want to be a tease, but I’m getting all goose-bumpy while I write.  That’s a good sign.

And BTW…I’ve come up with a title too.  But I’m not telling anybody yet.  Not even my publisher.  I don’t want it showing up on Amazon next week.

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STORM and stuff

Just finished going through the proof of STORM.  It’s amazing how many little things slip through the cracks at each step.  After doing untold drafts and being scrutinized by several editors, wacky things still pop up…like the exact same phrase used two paragraphs apart.  Or my calling the island Chinicook in one chapter, and Chillicott in another.  Yeesh.  Even after so many eyes are on it, I’ll inevitably get an e-mail from a reader who points out a type-o somewhere.  Ahhhhh!  But we’re trying.  Honest, we’re trying.

I’m also now getting close to finishing a first draft of SYLO III.  In my head, the story is coming to a close, so it’s going to be weird going on tour next month and only able to talk about SYLO I!  I’m going to have to be on my toes not to be giving away spoilers because believe me, to say that things hit the fan with this story is an understatement.

We’re finalizing the stops for the tour.  Check out the latest dates/places on the “Appearance” page.  If I’m not getting anywhere near you on this tour, sorry.  We won’t be adding any more stops.  However, I’ll be going on the road again when STORM comes out in March, so hopefully I can get to some of the requested spots that we missed this time around.

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