Friday, December 21, 2012

Fablehaven the Movie and Schaffer Studios!

Talented and outstanding author, Brandon Mull, of the successful Fablehaven series and talented filmmaker, Clark Schaffer (aka my hubby), are teaming up to make Fablehaven into a movie. This is an exciting and potentially awesome project! We are at the start of a long and complicated creative endeavor and it will be interesting to see how things unfold this year.
Click here to listen to their radio interview with Rebecca Cressman of KSL: 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our keynote speaker for TABC 2013 Shannon Hale!

Writers Cubed is stoked to have charming, successful author, Shannon Hale as our keynote at the next TABC this coming March.
Since the publication of her first book, The Goose Girl, in 2003, Shannon has become a beloved author to young readers as well as booksellers and educators. Her third novel, Princess Academy, earned her a Newbery Honor and is a New York Times, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller. Shannon has also written three books for adults, Austenland (now in production to be a major motion picture starring Keri Russell), Midnight in Austenland, and The Actor and the Housewife. Shannon lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, the author Dean Hale, and their four children.

Registration is OPEN for Teen Author Boot Camp!  We have a fantastic line up of authors joining us and so many cool classes planned. It's gonna be amazing!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween 2012

Clark recently fell off of a ladder at work and broke both feet! Ack! So we ended up not going to the huge party like the one we went to last year when we met all those great YouTube celebs and Flava Flav. Haha But we host our own "open house" party every Halloween night. The kids had a blast!
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Writers Cubed in Kanab

This weekend we were asked to present at a writing conference in Kanab, Utah. I had never been there before. Kanab is a small town in southern Utah with an Old West vibe known for it's striking landscape.There are red cliffs and rock formations stabbing into the bluest sky I've seen, sand caves and sagebrush...a cowboy's dream come true.
 It's a close knit community, welcoming frequent visits from Hollywood. Loads of movies have been filmed there from John Wayne in the 1940s all through the decades up until now. There is also a renown animal sanctuary there called "Best Friends" started by Doris Day.
We made our presentation and met some interesting people at the conference and then spent the rest of the day exploring. Had a great time with the Cube!

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Shannon Hale and Libba Bray

In recent booky events, Writers Cubed had the fun opportunity to visit with Shannon Hale and Libba Bray at their book signing. They are amazing YA authors and definite favorites!  It was very entertaining to hear their hilarious and lively banter. They are friends and have toured together before--so the funny anecdotes flew. Also they sang a very amusing rendition of Total Eclipse of the heart...
 They each have a long list of released titles and an incredible track record. Both very intelligent, funny and super cool people and absurdly good writers. If you have not read them--DO IT. I have read Shannon's Austenland and  its sequel and The Goose Girl. SO good! And I read Libba's Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy. Outstanding. The talent of these two is nauseating!
Check out Shannon Hale's books here.    
  And the amazing Libba Bray here!

We are so pleased to say that Shannon Hale will be the keynote speaker at Writers Cubed upcoming Teen Author Boot Camp. She is a Newbery Award winner and NYT Best Seller. She has recently come off  a movie shoot for the film adaptation of her awesome book, Austenland, directed by Jerusha Hess (wife and partner of Jared Hess of Napolean Dynamite fame) produced by Stephanie Meyer, who is her good friend. We feel very lucky and excited to have Shannon join us and the kids of TABC 2013.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tyler's Book Launch

I'm finally getting this on the blog! Tyler Whiteside's second book in the Janitors series, Secrets Of New Forest Academy, is out! And the party was great! Tyler puts on a  really entertaining show! It was good to see him and his awesome wife and supportive family there as well as a mob of his adoring fans!

 Tyler's percussion skills are fierce! It was like Stomp!
 Brandon Mull was MC...
 Me and some of Writers Cubed enjoying the show.
 Tyler's Capt. Jack Sparrow impersonation is SPOT ON! It was hilarious!
 Didn't know how musical buckets and garbage cans could be!
 Meeting Rubin in person was awesome! I feel so lucky to have such an incredible agent!
Tyler rocks!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Writing Weekend!

It is already September! Kids are back in school and vacations are over. Time to get back to work!

This Saturday I get to meet my agent in person at last! Rubin Pfeffer is a legend and I feel so fortunate to work with him. He lives in Boston and has been pounding the pavement in NYC with my book. More revisions are needed and it's serious go time. I'm looking forward to discussing it with him.

He will be attending the book launch for Tyler Whiteside's second book in the popular Janitors series which is being released this weekend. (I already have my copy! Sshhhh!)
I will be there too-- with my writing group, Writers Cubed, to celebrate the coolness that is Tyler. Not only do we share an agent, but he was good enough to present at this year's Teen Author Boot Camp for us. And he's just awesome. Funny, talented and brilliant-- Tyler has a big future!
So it will be an awesome weekend!

Thanks to all of you have contacted me and supported me in my writing journey. I couldn't do it without the encouragement, feedback and love from all my friends. Especially my beloved writing group. We are more than just a group of authors-- we are super close friends. I am so lucky to have them. Our new website is under construction. Here's a peek at a couple of proofs from our recent photo shoot for the site.
Everything is cooler in the Cube.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Hugh Jackman is my hero. He's a dad in midlife--and he's in serious shape!

 I am active and eat healthy--but I needed just an extra nudge to get serious about fitness. I got a health coach named Pam and have worked hard to get into shape. I have more energy for Taekwondo, and for my whole life. Even my writing benefits when I feel great!

I've had plenty of excuses to be out of shape. But my journey has been a long one. Starting back ten years ago when I first read The Sugar Blues and gave up refined sugar. Over time I educated myself more on the hazards of junk food and the benefits of healthy, whole foods and vitamins. And then I had to do something that made activity a part of my daily life so I opted for Taekwondo. Not only has it provided quality time with my son, but it has been very enjoyable! I have found my "thing" that makes exercising a pleasure!

Who and what inspires you?
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012


This was our fifth summer vacationing at the Mayacama. Feel free to use the arrows to skip through the massive amounts of pictures. (Warning...gratuitous picture taking alert.)    (= Basically we swam, ate, and relaxed there. I came home feeling great-- and with a tan. Check.

Miss my blogger friends. This summer has been so busy and crazy that I have not been on here much. Things are going well. My agent is still out there pushing my book-- and several editors have it in their clutches. Meanwhile I have edits to do on my new books!

Hope you are all having a great summer!

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Good times

Summer is here. What's been going on... Busy! I finished my new novel in three weeks. Unbelievable synergy and flow.
My oldest son has shot past me in height and is conquering the world one creative and kind act at a time. There is so much to learn from our children. Here he is at scout camp.

Taekwondo is going great--I'm enjoying how we are being taught mixed martial arts. We just spent some time on jujitsu and grappling and now we are back to sparring. I recently got my own punching bag to use at home. Love it!

My beautiful cousin Julia got married to an awesome guy named Matt. (=

Life is good.

Haven't blogged much lately. But I'm having a fabulous summer.

I've posted this before-- but it feels right.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interview of ME

I was interviewed by Shalet Jimmy over at Passion Drops. Shalet graduated in journalism and is now a reporter for The New Indian Express in Kochi, India. She's a totally cool girl blogger.
So go and check it out!

Working on a new book that has me all jazzed. Hope you're all getting some good writing time in so your soul won't wither and die of starvation. =)
Happy Writing!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kissing Adrien by Siri L. Mitchell

In this fresh and humorous tale, 29-year-old Claire agrees to supervise the renovation of the Paris apartment her parents have inherited. Ignoring her romantic surroundings, Claire is all business and in a hurry to return to her job, home, and an almost dating relationship with Brian, an associate pastor.
When Adrien, a handsome and flirtatious friend of the family, agrees to help Claire, his spontaneity and "joie de vie" drives her crazy. But in time, even Claire cannot resist the City of Lights' offerings, including the Rodin museum where the sculpture The Kiss raises the questions...who will be the love of her life? And will she ever learn to enjoy the life God has placed right in front of her.

This book was free for kindle so I tried it. And I'm glad I did. Cute story! It is well written, insightful, the characters are relatable and enjoyable. Most of all it made me want to go back to Paris! Obviously the author is well acquainted with the city of love. She is able to write about it with such intelligence and thoroughness--you feel like you are there!
Also, I fell in love with quirky, handsome, Adrien who absolutely bursts with a passion for life. And Claire is easy to relate to--although a bit frustratingly clueless at times!
The only criticism I have is for the end. It needed to be a little less abrupt--easing the reader out of the spell the author wove. Needed a little more satisfaction. However, I would still recommend this delightful book because the journey was like a walk through Paris.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Interview with Liz Reinhardt Author of Double Clutch

Recently read this well written, mature YA, DOUBLE CLUTCH. I enjoyed the well sketched characters and the authentic teen-age feel of the book. Liz is a talented writer and her great personality shows through in the voice of the story. Check it out--there are three books in the series.

What happens when you fall in love with the perfect guy... twice... in one day?
Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she’s back in the States, she’s determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. 
What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once.
The same day that dark, brooding Saxon Maclean charmed her with his killer good looks and whip-smart wit, Jake Kelly stole her breath away with his heart-wrenching smile and intelligent, thoughtful focus.
But Saxon is a proud player who makes it clear that he doesn’t know why he can’t get Brenna off of his mind and out of his system, and Jake’s sweet and humble attitude hides a secret past life that might be more darker and more complex than Brenna’s willing to handle.
Complicating the matter is the fact that Saxon and Jake were once best friends and are now arch-enemies... and the more Brenna finds out about their connection to each other, the more intrigued and worried she becomes.
Between keeping the peace with her lovingly over-protective parents, designing t-shirts for her high school’s rising punk band, keeping up her grades in both academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about with out juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once.
She has to make a choice. But how can she when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the other’s?

Liz Reinhardt

So, when did you decide writing was your thing?

It all started with Twilight...that started my real writing, as in the writing that led to the creation of an entire book I really liked. As opposed to my fake writing, which was either assigned or for someone else or crap, and that really started in 7th grade in Mrs. Schroth's class. I wrote this story.  Actually, Shakespeare wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet, and we had the choice to act out a scene or rewrite the ending.

 In my ending they ALL die. First they all live happily, because all wrongs get nicely righted and everyone's happy and in love. Then there's a toast, and someone poisoned it on accident, like before he realized love would conquer all, and they all drink and they ALL DIE! My teacher loved it.


And Double Clutch?
Started when I was staring dreamily at Frank, probably while he was stuffing his face full of Doritos and watching Overhaulin', and I wondered, "What would it be like if he and I dated in high school?" And it was actually a fairly lame fantasy, because we were both kind of boring. But we had potential to be cooler! So I kind of Bryan Adamsed my teenage years, and looked back at them and reinvented them, and the book just poured out.
Did you use your friends and enemies in the book? Anyone going to sue you?
Hahaha! I hope not! I did use names and kind of mixed people together to get details down, but no one character is any one person.
What made you decide to wrote this as a three book series?

I loved Meg McCafferty's Jessica Darling books, and I felt this huge connection to Jessica because they followed her from sophomore year, out of college, and into the workforce. I felt like I grew up with her, and I wanted to do that for Brenna.

Is there anything you're really proud of with this book? Anything that you think makes it stand out?

I don't want to get on a soapbox or anything here, but I think the whole concept of teen sexuality is really prudish in America. Like, we have these very suggestive images and videos and songs, but when a writer writes a scene with emotion and details and it's true to life, everyone gets very shocked and upset. 
Also, I love family. I mean, I love my family, and I hate that in many YA books the parents are dead or gone or absent  across the board and the teens just run wild. I mean, that's kind of a fun concept, but it's not reality. Brenna's mom is very involved and so is her step-dad. One of the problems with Jake and Saxon is the lack of parental involvement they've both dealt with, for different reasons.

Any advice to other would-be writers or writers who want to self-publish?

The internet is a miracle for us. Find a good editor. My best friend, Alexa, did amazing things with Double Clutch. And I'm not just talking commas and spelling. She looked for continuity. She checked facts about when things were said and if that made sense. The book wouldn't have been nearly as awesome without her.

And find a great cover designer (unless you have those skills yourself!). Steven Peterson did the original designs for all three, and I LOVED them. When the third came out and they'd been floating around for a while, my fantastically gifted fried, Tammara Webber, "threw something together." Um, yeah, I practically fainted when I saw the AMAZING, BRILLIANT job she did! I'm so grateful for the help I've had to make my books come out into the world! Self-publishing is a little nerve-wracking, but he made me confident that people were going to be drawn to my novel. And then, hopefully, once the cover made them bite, they'd fall in love with the characters.

Any last thoughts?

Just that I'm so happy to have this opportunity to self-publish. If I wrote Double Clutch ten years ago, it would have sat in the bottom of some drawer. Today I have the opportunity to get it out to so many people.

Who, hopefully, will love it as much as I do.

Oh, and if you ever want to write me, you can go send me an email at or like me on Facebook. Here's my BLOG:

Thanks, Liz. I look forward to reading the other two books in this series. (=

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Teen Author Boot Camp and BEYONDERS book launch

This year at the Teen Author Boot Camp, we (Writers Cubed) felt very fortunate to have eight wonderful authors come and teach some great classes and workshops for our teen writers. We had over 250 kids this year. Our keynote speaker, Brandon Mull was a huge hit.  All of the authors had fantastic, fun and educational classes for the kids, with some great advice and tools for writing a book. (Wish we'd known some of this when we started out!)
And at the end of the day, Agent Amy Jameson presented the prizes and trophies for our First Chapter Contest winners. There are some seriously talented kids involved! After that, the authors hung out with the kids, signing books and chatting. It was a great day. Here is a slide show of just some of the pics taken that day.

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Most of all we had fun! (top row: Jennifer Jenkins, Tahsha Ford, Lois Brown, Margie Jordan, Jo Schaffer, Kirsten Chandler. below: Tyler Whitesides, Frank Cole, Jeff Scott Savage, Brandon Mull, Elana Johnson, Bethany Wiggins and Elizabeth Mueller.

A few days after the TABC we attended Brandon Mull's book launch party for the second BEYONDERS book. It was so much fun! He had skits and glow sticks! Haha! He raised the roof!

Shannon Hale and Brandon on stage being funny.

 D.C .Comedy-- rocked the house. It was like SNL.

 The glow sticks looked awesome when the lights went out between skits.
This particular skit made me laugh so hard. It was group therapy for writers. Authors Anonymous: (Dean Hale, Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, Tyler Whitesides, Eric Patten and Matthew Kirby)

Shannon is not only talented and funny-- she's also a super sweetheart.

Anyway, there are YouTube videos from the launch party if you want to see some of the fun.

Hope you're all getting some writing done! It has been busy but I'm working hard to get stuff sent off to my agent--including the dreaded synopsis. UGH!!! Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lucky Sevens

Lisa Shafer tagged me for this very "seveny" meme:

The rules are as follows:
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating
4. Tag 7 authors
5. Let them know

Ok... here are my random 7 lines:

and locking it. Out in the haunted hallway her brother “oooohhhhed” and moaned.
Shaking and weeping, Atty cowered under the blankets on her bed as the storm battered the house. She hugged Flower’s white stuffed bunny, named Popcorn, to her chest so hard her shoulders ached. Terrible images of gore and murder flashed in her mind. She dreaded the coming of the morning in a house still as death—alone with Brian.
An arm wrapped around Atty’s shoulders.

So there you go. It's kinda mysterious when seen this way. Haha!
I'll tag 7 bloggers to play
1. Roland (he's the most prolific writer I know!)
2. Talli (have you read her books yet! Love them!)
3. Candace (my adopted daughter *wink*)
4. Elizabeth (one of the guest authors at Teen Author Boot Camp.)
5.Bethany (her book Shifting is super cool! Also a guest author at TABC!)
6.Johanna (we share a name... and her book Losing Beauty is awesome.)
7.Susan ( a talented woman and one of my first bloggy friends.)
Now I'm off to get some stuff done! Teen Author Boot Camp is this Saturday and our registration has doubled from last year! Wooot!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Build A Man--by Talli Roland

The perfect man is out there . . . he just needs a little work.

Slave to the rich, rude and deluded, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she's a high-flying tabloid reporter. Unfortunately, every pitch she sends out disappears like her clients' liposuctioned fat, never to be seen again. Then she meets Jeremy Ritchie -- the hang-dog man determined to be Britain's Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between -- giving Serenity a story no editor could resist.

With London's biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy's progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success, even going undercover to gain intimate access to Jeremy's life. But when Jeremy's surgery goes drastically wrong and Serenity is ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, she must decide how far she really will go for her dream job.

This book totally met my expectations. I'm already a Talli Roland fan, so I knew this read would be witty, fun, unbearably stressful at parts and very satisfying in the end. Roland has perfected the comedic undercurrent that comes from the achingly frustrating as well as a nice balance between funny and tragic.

Main character, Serenity, is a likable girl that most of us can relate to. After making some horrid mistakes, she learns that what she thought she wanted--turns out to be wrong for her. Her "perfect" guy turns out to be an OCD living hell, but the "fixer upper" man just might be the perfect match for her.

Hilarious narrative, snarky dialog and totally, deliciously awkward moments  that build tension in this fun Chick Lit romp.

A very fun read, but surprisingly touching and insightful. Get it. Read it.

Get it on AMAZON now!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Writing frenzy

So I just sent off the edits to my agent. Whew. Round one done.
It was really interesting to see my book through fresh eyes. I was pleasantly surprised at how good I feel about my book-- because it had gotten to the point where I was almost sick of the sight of it.

Sometimes, as writers, we need to take a step back from what we're writing. Maybe it is dang good writing and we just need to look at it anew. And third party feedback is invaluable. I'm super grateful for my writing group WRITERS CUBED and my agent and his cool assistant.

Now as I wait for the next step, I will busy myself with the sequel and another WIP, which is not in the series, that I have about half written. It gets a little tricky to slip back and forth--especially because the voice is so different in each book. But I'm having fun. (=

The Teen Author Boot Camp is almost here. I will be reading a ton of entries again for the First Chapter Contest. I actually enjoy seeing what the kids come up with and am often surprised and impressed! This year our numbers almost doubled from last year. Probably partly due to having Brandon Mull come hang with us-- but also because we are getting more publicity etc. TABC is growing. (=

It has been a busy month for my "writing life". Hope all of your writing is coming along too. Never give up. It is surprising how things can take off if you stick with it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Years in the making...95ers the Movie

My sister and her husband have been working on this micro budget indie for years and it is looking gooood. My hubby was involved with some of the special FX. It is amazing to see what these talented people are pulling off for next to no $$$$. (=

Visit the site 95ers

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Thanks for all of the well wishes and support. You guys are awesome to be so happy for me for getting an agent. I'm super excited to get things going with my book!

Here is my most recent radio interview with host, Rebecca Cressman on FM 100.1. My awesome friend and fellow "Cubie", Jennifer Jenkins joined me as did clever author, Frank Cole. We had a good time-- a full 25 minutes to gab about our writing and the Teen Author Boot Camp.
This interview took place only a few days before my agent picked me up--so you will hear me talk about my query quest--which is now OVER! Whew!
 Take a listen!  THE INTERVIEW