Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Things that Change... and Things that Don't

"Over the holidays my mother handed me a stack of papers to bring back to PA with me—“It’s your permanent record; thought you might want it.”

Um, yes! That thing that teachers and books and movies constantly cite as the paper trail* that will make or ruin your whole future—I was dying to get a look at it.

It turns out it’s mostly vaccine records and report cards and the various results of standardized tests. Other people’s may be wicked exciting, but mine was really disappointingly boring… which is surprising, because I was/am quite the hijinks-magnet.

EXCEPT for one little paragraph in the results of some IQ testing I had when I was in second grade…

Many of you may have heard me talk about my writing process: non-linear, no outlines, and I write the dialogue first (followed by the kissing scenes). Apparently this isn’t a new habit:

Today, the first day of 2013**, seemed like the perfect time to reflect on things that change and things that don’t.

So, while my writing technique hasn’t varied much since I was eight, a whole lot changed this past year. My first book hit bookshelves. I still get a rush each time I see it there. I still squeak out “Really?” in response to anyone commenting, “So, I read Send Me a Sign.”  Maybe I should work on my poker face, because I had a high schooler respond, “Yes… Was I not supposed to?”

I have a hard time wrapping my head around dreams-coming-true.****

Last year brought me so many nights of lying awake because I’m too excited to sleep. Or too impatient to sleep. Or too nervous to sleep. Summary: there hasn’t been much sleep—(I’m hoping 2013 is the year of the pillow). But 2012 brought me many new friends: writers, readers, bloggers. And I’m grateful for each of them.

I’m not sure about 2013*****. I don’t have a book coming out this year; my next novel is slated for release in March, 2014. So there’s definitely some fear that all those “Really?” readers of Send Me a Sign will forget about me. There’s also a sense of restless that’s already creeping in—what is my goal for the year? What am I working toward?

My natural tendency is going to be impatience for 2014—and since I’m not okay with rushing through a year of my life to get to Bright Before Sunrise—I’ve decided my resolution will need to be slowing down, focusing on THIS moment, enjoying the now, and letting what’s-next? come at it’s own pace.

And, of course, writing more books: dialogue first.

*Yeah, they’re probably not on paper anymore, huh?
** Totally typed 2012 there… the habit usually fades out around May
***Yup, did it again.
**** I still go tiptoe in The Schmidtlets’ room sometimes at night and whisper, “Do you know I get to keep you?” Um, but in a totally non-creepy, momma-adoration way.
***** Nailed it first-try that time!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's Release Day - Hip, hip Hooray! (Warning: More Rhyming Ahead)

Last night when I couldn’t sleep, I tried counting sheep, St.Matt’s snores, and the minutes until the local bookstores opened and I could go see Send Me a Sign in the wild.
When all that failed, I got up and wrote you a little poem:
 It’s the eve of release day, I pace at the sink.
This author’s not sleeping, not even a wink.
The Schmidtlets are dreaming, all snug in their cribs.
And St.Matt is snoring, despite my pokes to his ribs.
I could be sleeping, or blogging, or cleaning, or writing,
Instead, I am pacing, fretting, lip-biting
I’m full of impatience, excitment, panic, and glee
Tomorrow readers meet Gyver, Hil, Ryan, and Mi.
My book! In stores! It’s a dream that’s come true,
Look for the cover with dandelions. It’s pretty! It’s blue!
In swirly-whirly letters it says: SEND ME A SIGN.
And the pages, the story, I wrote them, they’re mine.
Tomorrow I share them, and they become yours,
Which is why I’m up pacing, wearing grooves in my floors.
Fine, I’ll go get in bed, it’s near the end of the night,
Not to sleep, but to read — I love my book light!
... is it obvious yet that I was never a poet?

I could not be more excited to share SEND ME A SIGN with readers today!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Something to Celelebrate

Here! Have some cake!

It's my birthday-- Hooray!

But, really... I have one of these every year.

Want to know what's MUCH bigger news?

After all, I've had 32 birthdays, but this is my first book trailer.

Click above to head over to MundieMoms.blogspot.com and watch the trailer -- don't forget to come back and tell me what you think...

...or else I'll make you wear The Schmidtlets' birthday crowns.

Now that you've seen the trailer, you're practically salivating to read the book, right?

Well, have you heard how YOUR pre-order means I'LL donate $2 to cancer charities?

1) Pre-order SEND ME A SIGN from the bookselling venue of your choice
2) Email proof of your pre-order to SendMeASignBook@gmail.com
3) Do a happy dance & get yourself some cake.

Handy-Dandy Pre-Order Links

IndieBound * Doylestown Bookshop * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Pre-orders through Doylestown Bookshop will be signed and include bookmarks/surprise swag.
If pre-ordering through Doylestown Bookshop, please indicate whether you would like your book shipped or will be attending the release party on October 5th .

If you have any questions, please email me at SendMeASignBook@gmail.com

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pre-Orders For Morgan

Below is a blog post I’d written last August while working on edits on Send Me A Sign and dreaming of a time fourteen months from then when my book would be in bookstores.

It’s something I believed in strongly then—and that was before cancer went and made it personal, stealing someone very special from me this year. One of my former students, Morgan, passed away from cancer in January.

Morgan was a fighter. I’d like to follow her example and fight back too—and you can help. Read the details below or by clicking HERE.

As many of you know, my debut novel, SEND ME A SIGN, comes out in a month.

I'd like to make it obsolete – and you can help.

Now, before the publicity and sales departments at Walker-Bloomsbury have a collective heart attack, let me explain: Send Me A Sign is about a teenager with leukemia. It's about a lot of other things, too: love, luck, music, friends, alliteration… but leukemia plays a large role. And did you know that leukemia is the most common form of cancer for young people?

If this were to change, if we could find a cure to this awful disease, then my this part of my book would be… obsolete.

Imagine if in five, ten, fifteen years, everyone who picks up the novel could say, "Wow, cancer. Remember that? I'm so glad we cured it."

And here's how you can help.

You were planning on buying my book anyway, right? Well, for every person who pre-orders my book between now and its release date, October 2nd, I will donate one dollar in Morgan's memory to be split between two cancer charities: The Dear Jack Foundation and Sunshine Kids.

Here's what you need to do:
1) Pre-order my book (links below)
2) Send me proof (photo of receipt, forward email confirmation of order, etc) to SendMeASignBook@gmail.com
3) Pat yourself on the back

Thank you for helping make my book obsolete. Thank you for helping me honor Morgan's memory.

And thanks for reading it, too!

Handy-dandy pre-order links:

IndieBound * Doylestown Bookshop * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Pre-orders through Doylestown Bookshop will be signed and include bookmarks/surprise swag.
If pre-ordering through Doylestown Bookshop, please indicate whether you would like your book shipped or will be attending the release party on October 5th .

If you have any questions, please email me at SendMeASignBook@gmail.com

Friday, August 31, 2012

ARC Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered my ARC giveaway!

The two winners (picked by Random.org) are:  

Maria C. and Meagan R.

Congrats, chickadees! I'll get those books in the mail right away!

For the rest of you -- you've still got until 9/1 to enter the giveaway that Walker-Bloomsbury is hosting on GoodReads -- and they have FIVE copies. Go enter and GOOD LUCK!

Also --make sure to stop by again SOON! There are some BIG things planned in the upcoming weeks (um, starting TOMORROW!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Contest, Author Copies, AND, a New Website

So... that happened. That's pretty much my real-time reaction to getting my author copies. (After I danced around the box and put The Schmidtlets down for an impromptu nap). In case you were wondering, YES, I DID give myself a papercut on the chin while snuggling the book.

And then I quickly put the book back in the box. Where it still sits, along with all my other untouched author copies, in the front hall of my house. It didn't even occur to me to OPEN the book until St.Matt was paging through one when he got home from work.

Guys... they're so pretty! I LOVE them! And I can't wait until you can see them too.

It's only FIVE WEEKS AND FIVE DAYS until SEND ME A SIGN hits bookstore shelves... and since FIVE is my main character, Mia's, favorite number, that means it's time for a giveaway. I'm giving away TWO Send Me A Sign ARCS. (Yes, I DO know it's odd to give away ARCS when I just got my author copies, but I had this giveaway planned out and the author copies were a Very Awesome Surprise).  

To enter, fill out the form below. I'll pick winners on August 31st.

ALSO -- I have a NEW website! (This was how I'd planned to open this blog post before the Very Awesome Surprise). Go! Click around! Explore! This post will still be waiting when you come back. MANY, many hours of stress, tears, and tweaking went into this redesign. I hope you like it! I owe a HUGE hug-accompanying THANK YOU to Courtney Summers who talked me down from my My-Brain-Can't-Handle-WordPress ledge many, many times. (Including a particularly tearful e-mail "I just don't know WHY it's not working! I've spent the past 90 minutes trying EVERYTHING" -- her response, "Tiffany, clear your cache - it's working fine." I dutifully Googled "cache" and she was right.) So, really, this whole post can be summed up as:

Welcome to the new site! I'm so glad you're here! Let me offer you prizes & please admire my pretty author copies!

 The form has been removed because the contest is closed -- thanks for entering!

Monday, August 13, 2012

YA Fest - Winners!

Since Friday the 13ths are UNlucky, can we establish a new rule that Monday the 13ths are EXTRAlucky?

At least they are for Sarah & Maddie! Congrats to you two -- beaucoup de books coming your way.

Didn't win? I'm so sorry -- maybe you'll have better luck over at GoodReads-- Walker-Bloomsbury is giving away a handful of copies of SEND ME A SIGN.

And if you're local(ish) -- come see me at PAYA in West Chester, PA on August 25th. I'll have chapter samplers, swag, smiles & hugs!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 6, 2012

Giveaway! -- Vicariously Experience YA Fest

I spent Saturday in fabulous company – with 34 other authors, a squad of helpful “Volunteens”*, bucketfuls of wonderful readers, and the amazing staff at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Public Library.  
 It was YAFest and it was spectacular!
The Apocalypsies at YA Fest: Anne Greenwood Brown, Eve Marie Mont, K.M. Walton, Elisa Ludwig, Me, & Brigid Kemmerer

I cannot thank the lovely Cyn Balog and Jennifer Murgia enough for all their work arranging this event. I was lucky  to be seated with Alecia Whitaker—and the two of us spent much of the day just admiring how well organized this event was and saying how happy we were to be a part of it.

See? This is my happy look!
I loved meeting readers and other authors – and since there’s still 8 weeks and 1 day until Send Me a Sign releases, I handed out Teaser Samplers with the first two chapters. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me when teens came back up to tell me they’d read it already and they wished October 2nd would hurry up and arrive **

Aren't they pretty? The book is even PRETTIER!

And just when I thought the day couldn’t possibly get any better – I won THIS in the raffle.

It was so heavy, I needed help lifting it even AFTER I'd given away stacks.
It was almost TOO MUCH AWESOME – so I immediately began foisting books off on the other authors.  I came home with a few dozen less than were in that bin, but as soon as I walked in the door, St.Matt said, “MORE BOOKS? But we’re already DROWNING in them!

And he’s right.

So… since all of you couldn’t be at YA Fest, let me bring some YA Fest to you –

I’ve created two prize packs with the books I brought home -- enter to win them using the Rafflecoptor below.

Prize Pack A includes:

  • A chapter sampler of SEND ME A SIGN
  • A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS by Michelle Zink
  • PURE by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • DIETY by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • LEGACY by Molly Cochran
  • A BREATH OF EYRE by Eve Marie Mont
  • INSIDE by Maria Snyder
  • MISFIT by Jon Skovron
  • WHERE I BELONG by Gwendolyn Heasley
  • TORN by Christine Hughes
  • SOLVING ZOE by Barbara Dee
  • INCONVENIENT by Margie Gelbwasser
  • SIRENZ by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman
  • SIRENZ: BACK IN FASHION by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman
  • CRACKED tote bag
  • An assortment of bookmarks and other bookish swag 

Prize Pack B includes:

  • A chapter sampler of SEND ME A SIGN
  • LIES BENEATH by Anne Greenwood Brown
  • ANGEL STAR by Jennifer Murgia
  • BLOODSPELL by Amalie Howard
  • A LONG WAY FROM YOU by Gwendolyn Heasley
  • TRAFFIC JAM by Melissa Groeling
  • SPIRITED: 13 HAUNTING TALES edited by Kat O'Shea
  • FALL FROM GRACE by Charles Benoit
  • INCONVENIENT by Margie Gelbwasser
  • ELEMENTAL REALITY by Cesya Marae Cuono
  • LIES BENEATH T-shirt
  • An assortment of bookmarks and other bookish swag

Since these packages are going to be HEAVY and postage gets pricey, I’m going to restrict this contest to U.S.  entries.

Good luck!

*This is my new favorite word
*** As usual, the talented Tiff Emerick was in charge of photos <3>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Schmidtlets have informed me I can't give away the Tupperware bin & tinsel -- or, as they like to call it -- their Disco Bobsled.
Photo taken BEFORE the family room exploded into a tinsel wonderland...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why I don't blog more often...

...because if I look away for even a moment, this happens:

Yes, that IS my manuscript.

Notice that The Pip Squeak is totally feigning innocence while simultaneously using his little toes to push the papers around. The Wild Imp is just gleefully mischievous.

Heaven help me once he learns to remove pen caps...

Saturday, June 23, 2012


This afternoon The Schmidtlets scampered around the backyard while St.Matt worked on their sandbox, the puggles napped in the shade of a maple tree, and I picked blueberries.

I dropped handfuls of them into their little sand pails. They washed them in their octopus sprinkler between trips down their slide and visits to watch Dada shovel. The Pip Squeak helpfully pointed out the worms wriggling in freshly turned dirt while The Wild Imp stole berries from his bucket.

Afterward we traded swimsuits and work gloves for shorts and sneakers, plopped them in their stroller, and ran to our favorite ice cream shop. We traded bites on the walk home and I kissed their sticky cheeks before plopping them in the bath.

The past month has been chaotic: I was up in NYC for BEA and Teen Author Carnival, then down in the Carolinas for vacation and visiting old friends. They were wonderful experiences and adventures, but...

Today it was good to feel HOME. 

Even though not a single blueberry made it into the house and I didn’t take a single photograph, it was the perfect afternoon. Not extraordinary. Probably not a day that I’ll remember in a decade, a year, maybe even a month – but perfect nonetheless. Full of those simple moments that are saturated with comfort and contentment.

I wish you all such days.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Two on Tuesday -- Chances to Meet Me


I have TWO author-type events on this coming Tuesday. My FIRST two author-type events.

I'm not nervous (she says with a laugh that fools no one).
I'm wicked excited (this is actually true).

I give good hugs (feel free to request/demand/prepare yourself to receive one).

If you're going to be at BEA, I hope the Apocalypsie Mix & Mingle has made your schedule! Do you see all the amazing covers below? The amazing authors whose stories live behind them will ALL be there for your mix & mingling pleasure.

And then, after you've mixed & mingled (and grabbed something to eat) I hope you plan to zip over to the Jefferson Market Library for the Teen Author Carnival. Check out these panels.

Let's all take a moment to pretend I won't be too busy grinning like a fool to contribute to the conversation... actually, that's not true. I'm too chatterboxy to stay quiet.

At both locations I'll have plenty of Send Me A Sign swag and hugs to go around.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

YAmazing winner!

If the contest had been a spelling list, I'd now be required to use all your words in sentences or a story. That would be a horrendous homework assignment and a VERY LONG spelling list. And, there is less than zero percent chance that I would have gotten the spelling of hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia or pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis or floccinaucinihilipilification correct. But I guess when there's 100+ words on the list (and awesomesauce is on there three times), it wouldn't have hurt my score too badly to skip some of your zanier choices ;)

Thank you all for stopping by, entering the race, and sharing your favorite words with me. You are ALL YAmazing.

But there can only be one winner of the YAmazing Race SEND ME A SIGN bonus contest and that person is...

*mentally insert drumroll here*

-- I guess "rediculous" is not only adorably adorable, it's also lucky! Congrats, Desiree!
Also!!! Did you see my BIG NEWS from last week? Did you know BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE is already up on GoodReads? It think it would very much like to visit your To-Read shelf...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bright Before Sunrise

The best things in my life come in TWOs.

Obviously there's my favorite duo - The Schmidtlets.
Look, Momma, we can edit too...

Then there's my pair of puggles.

Being this adorable is *exhausting*

And now I'm adding a new two to the list: A SECOND BOOK DEAL!

I’m thrilled to share that my second book - Bright Before Sunrise - will be published by Walker-Bloomsbury in winter 2014!

Here’s a little more about Bright Before Sunrise, which is dual-perspective (See! TWO narrators!) and takes place over the course of a single night.

 When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage; and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him. 

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand.  She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.  

I can’t wait to share Bright Before Sunrise with you all! HUGE thank yous to my amazing agent, Joe Monti. And I’m very excited to be working with Emily Easton and the rest of the Walker-Bloomsbury crew on BBS.

I’m feeling so lucky and blessed and giddy… I feel like I should go celebrate with something that comes in a two-pack.

...if only Twinkies weren't gross.

Any celebratory suggestions?!


Bonus Twin AND Puggle photo - Yes, it's old... YOU try getting all FOUR to sit still and pose ;)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

YAmazing Race

Hello! Thanks for making it to the Send Me a Sign pit-stop on the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes! Since I'm not the first stop on the Exploding Flamingos, you probably know the drill by now -- This is a blog hop featuring a zillionty debut authors. We're giving away prize packs stuffed with ARCs, gift certificates, and all sorts of swag.

If you've stumbled on this post and are feeling a little lost -- skedaddle over to the Apocalypsie website where you'll find some helpful directions and links to the beginning.

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt 

Mia Moore has spent her entire life looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. A sign that the summer before senior year will be the best one ever.

But when Mia is diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, the only sign she wants to see is that she will survive cancer. That she will get through a summer of intensive chemo and be able to go back to being the girl she’s always been—top student, part of the A-list crowd, and dating Ryan, the hottest guy at school.

And until she’s better—meaning no throwing up, no hospital stays, and definitely no wig—Mia doesn’t want anyone to know she has cancer. She doesn’t want her friends’ pity. And she certainly doesn’t want to start feeling something more than friendship for the one person who does know what she’s going through, her best friend Gyver. But the sicker Mia gets, the more she realizes that not even the clearest signs offer perfect answers, and in order to find out what happens in her life, she will have to find the courage to live it.

I know your brain is packed full from all the YAmazing/MGnificent Exploding Flamingo bookstops you visited before mine -- but I hope you paid attention, because you'll need to know a factoid from the synopsis above to answer the quiz and enter to win the prize packs.

Want more chances to win stuff? Since you're here and everything, I might as well offer you an incentive to stay... or at least come back and visit.

Complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a pre-order of Send Me a Sign.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nothing Screams DOUBT Like a Blank Page

Every time I start a new writing project I’m convinced that I’ve completely forgotten how. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve faced a blank screen, part of me is convinced that THIS TIME will be the time I totally blow it. That everything before now is a FLUKE. And I will never, ever remember how to write a book again.

During this panic stage, I’m unusually susceptible to outside influences. This is when I’m convinced I should try things like Journaling From The Characters’ Perspective, Making Story Collages, and worst of all: OUTLINING.

I’m totally not judging these activities. I think they’re fabulous and super-useful for people whose names aren’t Tiffany Schmidt.

But despite knowing I’m the pajama-pantsiest of pantsers, I sat down yesterday morning and dutifully typed up Chapter 1 – then bullet pointed the things I wanted to happen in it.

I made it to Chapter 2 before I started squirming in my seat. By Chapter 3 I was checking Twitter and Facebook and pacing the kitchen. Chapter ? (yeah, I stopped numbering after 4) had me in full-body twitch mode, digging through the cabinets to try and discover where St.Matt had hidden the leftover jelly beans.

Luckily, by the time I got to Chapter ???? – Unknown Plan is Executed with Stuff & Scariness, I gave up. I woke up. (and part of me wanted to THROW UP – I really think I’m allergic to planning).

Then I did what I should have done all along – the thing that’s served me well on every other book…

I started writing the kissing scenes and dialogue first.

Sometimes you just have to know your writing style. And more importantly, BELIEVE in your process. It may not work for anyone else, but if it works for you, cling to it like a baby koala bear.

What’s yours?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Lucky 7 Game!

When I'm mad at my dear, dear friend Scott Tracey, I call him Scottopher. It has more heft as a lecture name, don't you think? "Scottopher Tracey, get down here this minute! And no dessert for you!"

Well, Scottopher is getting All The Looks this morning & I'm not mailing him any of the cinnamon buns I made this week. What was he thinking tagging me in a writer chain letter? He knows how I feel about luck.*

My debut novel, Send Me a Sign, is ABOUT superstition--- if I break the chain, that's probably like spitting on a black cat or playing paintball in a funhouse mirror room.

So here are the rules (copied straight from Scott's post)

Open your most recent novel or work-in-progress.

Turn to page 7 or page 77.

Count 7 lines down.

Copy (or read aloud in a vlog post) the next 7 sentences…in their entirety.
No cheating or editing!!!

Then tag 7 more authors!

And here is my snippet -- it's an email my MC (Della) receives early in the book. And it's exactly seven sentences.

Della. I’m sorry. So sorry. I never meant for this to get out. I know I promised I’d delete it. I’m so sorry. So sorry.

This is from my current contemp WIP. Codename: Full Nuder**

Oh. And my seven people:

*Scottopher, I’m not really mad. In case you were worried, which you weren’t because my anger is about as scary as a rage-filled cupcake.

** Yes, this does make me gigglefit EVERY time.

*** Remember that book I was raving about in my last post, The Archived? She's sharing from THAT!