January 05, 13 @ 8:08 pm
It is the new year. And one of my new year’s resolutions is this:
Yeah, I will admit, I’ve slacked for, um, far too long here on zee blog. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say. I have plenty to say. But usually it’s sent out 140 characters at a time on Twitter or with random observances on Facebook.
Blogging is a whole different animal. It takes a bit more time, a bit more thought. But I do still think it’s a worthy use of one’s time. Just not every day. Because, well, I don’t have THAT much to say online about myself and the world at large. Really, I don’t.
My goal is to blog once a week for sure. Twice if something is particularly interesting. I think I’ll be blogging on two main topics — 1) Seinfeld’s “nothing,” which, really, is everything life has to offer on a daily basis: entertainment, anecdotes, writing progress, upcoming appearances, pictures of my cats, etc., and 2) writing tips. Because I haz them.
And I haz news!
My novel, FALLING KINGDOMS, which I wrote under my high fantasy pen name Morgan Rhodes, is a New York Times bestseller! It snagged the #15 spot on the extended YA list for January 13, 2013. To say I’m super!happy about this would be a vast, VAST understatement. Thank you readers! Thank you FK street team and blog tour peeps! Thank you Penguin Teen and Razorbill Books. Thank you Agent Jim (who also sent me the lovely flowers pictured here). A great way to start off a new year, that’s for sure!
I’m also lucky enough to be included on the Breathless Reads book tour that’s going to be heading out next month. There are two tours, and I’m on the East Coast one, which means I (Morgan Rhodes) will be touring with Beth Revis, Fiona Paul, Jessica Spotswood, Elizabeth Richards, and Lili Peloquin. We’re going to Boston, MA; Chapel Hill, NC; Greenville, SC; Miami, FL; Memphis, TN; New York, NY; and Madison, WI. If you’re near one of these locations, please come out and see us. We’d love to meet you!! You can find all the dates and locations and more information HERE
Do I sound calm about it? I’m not. I’M SUPER EXCITED THRILLED AMAZED BREATHLESSLY OMG HAPPY. But I’m trying to be all cool like Fonzie. Because Fonzie is cool.
What am I doing to fill the time before that??
Well, Right now, I’m brainstorming a new proposal that’s been kicking around in my head for a while. I’m only giving myself a few more days on that to see what I get. Then I need, I NEED to get crackin’ on Demon Princess #4. I had to bump the tentative release date on this book since i was slammed with work at the end of 2012. While I love my DP books, they are, at this point, self published ventures (aka Labors of Love), so they take a back seat to my contracted stuff. Always. But I have promised to write the last book and I always honor my promises. Almost always. Well, I usually do. And this is one of those promises I will honor. And I actually do want to find out how it ends just as much as the loyal readers of this series. Who will Nikki pick? Michael or Rhys? Even I don’t know! (I’m lying… of course I know! Hee hee).
Next official book release is February 26th — WICKED KISS is out. It’s the sequel to DARK KISS. Did you have questions that needed answering after the first book? Well, they get answered. And people get kissed. Check out the first two chapters on the website (follow above linky). It’s a pretty epic book, if I do say so myself. I’ll be chatting WK up a lot more in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned!
Anyway, so that’s what’s going on right now at the beginning of this shiny new year.
February 07, 12 @ 5:15 pm
A few years ago I wrote an action-packed, futuristic romantic suspense novel called COUNTDOWN under a now-retired pen name, which got fantastic reviews and a couple very cool award nominations. The book was favorably compared to The Hunger Games in its Booklist review — BEFORE The Hunger Games came out.
That was then. This is now. And I’m happy to share that something really cool is going to happen with this story….
Here’s the official deal announcement from Publishers Marketplace!
Michelle Rowen’s COUNTDOWN, in which a street thief and a convicted murderer must work together against the clock to beat a deadly reality game, previously published as adult fiction, to be revised and retitled for young adult, to Natashya Wilson at Harlequin TEEN, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
Soooo excited to work on this with Natashya and Harlequin Teen (they’re also publishing my Nightwatchers series, starting with DARK KISS in June). This is one of my favorite books I’ve written to date and I’m thrilled to have this chance to make it available to a brand new audience!!
October 20, 11 @ 3:12 pm
This has now gone up on Publisher’s Marketplace, so I can finally announce it on my website!
Michelle Rowen writing as Morgan Rhodes’s REBEL SPRING, the first novel in the high fantasy series FALLING KINGDOMS, in which an ensemble cast led by a princess-turned-queen see their fortunes tangle together in times of war, pitched as GAME OF THRONES for teens, to Laura Arnold at Razorbill, in a two-book deal, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
I loved working with Razorbill on Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide and I’m both grateful and thrilled to get the chance to continue my relationship with them on this fun new series!
I’ll definitely talk more about REBEL SPRING when I get the book written and I receive the cover art. But in the meantime — Hooray! I’m a happy girl.
August 25, 11 @ 12:00 pm
I hate cliffhangers.
Actually, that’s not really true. I love cliffhangers when I can anticipate what’s going to happen next and get excited to buy the next in the series when I know it’ll ultimately wrap up in a satisfying manner.
I ended book two of my Demon Princess series on a cliffhanger — or, to be more specific, on a note that set up lots of fun that I had planned for the books to follow. This was a mistake. Even though, based on the feedback I received, readers loved the books, the sales were just not enough for the publisher to maintain their enthusiasm past book two. I was emotionally invested in this series and devastated (yes, devastated!!) that I wouldn’t get the chance to continue on with it.
Even now, over a year since REIGN CHECK came out, I receive several emails every week and comments on my Facebook page asking what’s up with the status of the series and the noticeably missing book three — some confused, some sad, and some downright angry (!!!). It makes me cringe every single time since I feel so incredibly helpless to do anything about it except repeat that “these things happen” and “I’m sorry”…
…but then I suddenly remembered that I’m not that helpless!
I already know what’s going to happen next for Nikki and her friends. And I know that there are quite a few readers who are very interested, too.
SO I’M WRITING IT!!!
THANK YOU to all the readers who’ve contacted me to share their love of the first two books. Some have even told me they never liked to read until they picked up a Demon Princess book; that it sparked their love of books and reading — this is probably the biggest compliment a writer can get!! You’re the reason I’m going to keep going. I was ready to walk away totally and not write any more about Nikki, since I was so disappointed with what had happened. But you guys…you’re very stubborn and wouldn’t take no for an answer! You are all awesome!
I tried to figure out how to wrap everything up in one more book, making it a trilogy to keep things nice and easy (for me, that is). Alas, it’s impossible. I originally envisioned the series as six books so there’s a lot of ground left to cover.
Now I envision it as a quadrilogy — four books total. And I am hereby committing myself to writing the last two books and publishing them myself so I can get some closure for myself and for my amazing and loyal readers.
REIGN FALL (DP #3) and REIGN STORM (DP #4), both full-length novels, will be jam-packed full of awesomeness and answer all the questions left dangling after the first two books.
The books will be available as ebooks — through Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc. And print versions will be available through CreateSpace, which you can easily order online or through many bookstores. The books won’t be available on bookstore shelves like my previous titles, but they will be available.
As far as release dates… I plan to release REIGN FALL in January 2012 — which isn’t very far off at all! I’m finished writing it, but it still needs to be edited, proofread, and formatted. REIGN STORM will follow sometime after that, but not too long after. I’m writing these books in my spare time, since my first priority is, and always will be, my contracted books. But keep an eye on my website and my Facebook page for updates on my progress….and I’ll post the back cover blurb for REIGN FALL as soon as I write it up.
Plus, if you want to, please “like” the brand new official Demon Princess Facebook Page I’ve set up. This is where I’ll be posting blurbs, book quotes, polls, fun facts, and exclusive news about everything to do with Nikki’s world and future adventures.
As you can see, I’ve already designed the covers (click on pics to see them bigger), which I think rock and really give the kind of vibe I always wanted for this series.
I hope you’re as excited about this decision as I am. I think Nikki deserves to have the rest of her story told. And I can’t wait for you to get the chance to read it!
Until then, happy reading!
P.S. If you’re a YA book reviewer with an established blog and you’re interested in reviewing REIGN FALL when it’s available (it would be provided as an ebook ARC), please email me and let me know! Thank you!!!
November 11, 10 @ 4:05 pm
Sometimes it might seem as if everything is happening all at once when it’s actually the culmination of many months of hard work. For example, I have been lucky enough to get two deals for new books in just the last month!
I’ve already talked about the YA deal with Harlequin Teen, which I’m super excited about. But today I get to tell you all about the other one.
It has a bit of a back story to it….
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: “Will there will be more Immortality Bites books?” The five books featuring Sarah Dearly, fledgling vampire, are currently complete as a series. Although it made me a bit sad, I knew from about book #3 that there would only be enough of a romantic arc to last for five books. (I mean, how long can you keep with the “does he love me/Does she love me thing before it starts to get a bit long in the fang? About five books, that’s how long).
Since the books were published as paranormal romance, I wanted to end on a high romantic note, which I feel I did with Tall, Dark & Fangsome. It won the 2009 Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Vampire Romance, a perfect bookend to Bitten & Smitten, which won the Holt Medallion for Best First Book back in 2007. I feel it had a very good run and I’m proud of each of the books, which so far have/will be published in five countries other than the U.S.
I always joked that if I wanted to keep writing books about Sarah I’d have to start killing people off so she could solve the mysteries.
“Okay,” Sarah said. “I’m actually fine with that. Let’s do it.”
I tried to ignore her.
However, I’d forgotten that, out of all the characters I’ve ever written, my first born had developed a mind of her own over the years. And she was very, very stubborn when it came to getting the things she wanted.
Time went by. I was writing about other characters, other worlds, and despite missing Sarah, I was happy doing that. I’d kept getting reader emails or comments wondering if there would be more books about her. “Unlikely,” I always said. “But I’m open to the possibility in the future. So you never know.”
And Sarah started tapping her foot, glaring at me. She didn’t think her story was finished. Not by a long shot. And patience has never been one of her virtues.
As I was working up some new proposals earlier this year, she started speaking very loudly in my head. All the time. I told her that it was impossible for more books. She disagreed.
“It wouldn’t be a series continuation per se,” she assured me. “More like a rebirth. A different direction. How about…dare I say it? Mystery!?”
“But, uh, I don’t write mystery.”
“Why the hell not? It would be so much fun!”
My mind immediately began flowing with ideas that were too much fun to resist.
“Okay.” I nodded firmly. “Let’s do this.”
And ninety pages of proposal material poured out of my imagination and onto the page. Like buttah.
This is not Immortality Bites nor will it be promoted as such, BUT it will star Sarah and Thierry as they embark on their eternal lives together, therefore there will definitely still be romantic elements threaded into the mystery plots. I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
This was the deal announcement on Publisher’s Marketplace:
Michelle Rowen’s BLOOD BATH & BEYOND, pitched as True Blood meets Hart to Hart as a fledgling vampire and her master vampire fiance head to Vegas to bust criminals at a child beauty pageant and investigate who’s been draining local humans of their blood, to Cindy Hwang at NAL, in a two-book deal, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World English).
I honestly can’t express how excited I am to continue on with these fun characters — but in a different genre and with a different publisher. I’ve been told that this normally just isn’t done. But I’m thrilled for the opportunity and hope that fans of the Immortality Bites books will follow Sarah Dearly to the mystery aisles, and that new readers will enjoy reading about my vampire couple in their fresh series starter. Reading the original books will not be necessary, but will certainly enhance a reader’s experience with the new books to know the back story.
I am very thankful to Cindy Hwang, Leis Pederson, and Penguin/NAL for thinking outside the box and giving me this wonderful opportunity. And huge thanks to my agent, Jim McCarthy, for thinking it was a great idea from the get-go instead of patting me on my head and telling me to forget about it.
And I definitely want to thank my readers too, so very much. If not for the continued interest in more books about these characters, I might have been much more successful in ignoring Sarah.
But I’m very glad I didn’t!
And yes, if it’s not already apparent, I do love vampires very, very much. And I’m finding that it’s not just a passing fancy! That I get to write about them, both light and dark ones, is something I feel very lucky about every time I sit down at my keyboard.
So that’s all the good news.
The bad news…if there is any, really, in this situation, is that these books won’t be out FOR A WHILE. Right now we’re looking at January 2013 for the release date. Yes, two whole years from now!! But I promise it’ll be worth the wait…….
UPDATE: The release date’s been moved up! Looks like we’re looking at Summer 2012. Totally closer! Now that just means I need to write it sooner!!!
November 02, 10 @ 10:02 am
I’m happy to announce that I’ve sold two new young adult urban fantasy novels to Harlequin Teen, the home of such awesome YA as those written by Rachel Vincent, Julie Kagawa, Maria V. Snyder, and Gena Showalter, among others. I’m very excited for the chance to write for them!
Here’s the official deal announcement from Publisher’s Marketplace:
Michelle Rowen’s NIGHTWATCHERS Books 1 and 2, after her soul is stolen in a kiss, a 16-year-old must join a force of demons and angels to protect humanity from an immortal threat, to Natashya Wilson at Harlequin Teen, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World).
Angels and demons working together against a common enemy…and the girl who helps them find a way not to tear each other apart in the process. And of course I have a rather epic love triangle planned. It’s an idea I’ve had for a very long time and I’m very happy to get the chance to finally write it! It will be scheduled to release in Spring 2012.
I’m going to be writing book one right after I finish Eden #3 — THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC — which I’m starting in earnest tomorrow.
Speaking of Eden, and in other good news, I found out yesterday that SOMETHING WICKED is a nominee in Romantic Times Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards for paranormal fiction! Niiiice!