Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Question: Are you having any author events in the near future?

Answer: Why, yes, I certainly am. I'll be signing books on two separate occasions in the near future and I would be thrilled to see you there.

Here are the details:

Event 1
Saturday, February 5
1 to 3 p.m.
Seagull Book in Lindon
(677 N. State St.)

Event 2
Saturday, February 12
1 to 3 p.m.
Seagull Book in Spanish Fork
(1052 N. Main St.)

I'm planning lots of fun stuff for these signings, which I'll be announcing in more detail soon, so for now just mark your calendars and get pumped up. It's gonna rock!

Oh, and Shelly, this post is for you.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Question: Have you worked on any good books lately?

Answer: Yes.

I'm tempted to just leave it at that for comedy purposes, but I'm not sure how well being cryptic works in blog format.

So instead I now present my Top 10 Fiction Books of 2010. These are books I either edited or proofed at some point in 2010 and that I particularly enjoyed. One or two people may remember that I made a list for 2009 on my previous short-lived blog, so if you're interested in that list, leave me a comment and I'll try to resurrect it from wherever it landed in the mass of stuff I call my bedroom floor.

Just kidding. I can see the floor of my room. Today. Don't tell my mom I said that.

(Disclaimer to all my authors: Please don't be offended if I edited your book and it's not on here. This list is completely subject to my own personal taste as a reader and doesn't necessarily reflect my feelings about the authors of these books or how well I thought the books were written as compared to all the books I worked on.)

Okay, so without further ado, the list...

Heidi's Top 10 Fiction Books of 2010

First, honorable mentions: I had the privilege of working with two awesome first-time authors this year and loved getting to know each of them. I also really loved their books.

The first was Growing Up Gracie by Maggie Fechner. This was a sweet and honest story about a girl who grows up in a small town with a big Mormon family and learns a lot about life along the way. I remember when I first heard about this manuscript, I called dibs on it because it sounded like my own life. (I'm the oldest of seven.) And I will also say that I think this book has my favorite cover of 2010.

The second was Independence Rock by Debra Terry Hulet. I really liked Debbie's characters and I thought she did a great job interweaving two different story lines to keep the suspense going and suck you into the book.

And now the countdown.

10. The Peasant Queen by Cheri Chesley. This book has all the right stuff. There's magic and romance and pretty dresses. It's a totally girly fantasy. And sometimes that's exactly what you need. Plus I was home sick one day and I distinctly remember proofing this book while lying on my bed in the summer sunshine and looking out the window at a perfectly blue sky. So that's a nice association.

9. Lipstick Wars by Christine Thackeray. I haven't read any of Christine Thackeray's other books, but if they're as good as this one, I obviously have some catching up to do. I loved her zany characters and all the little daily drama of a neighborhood full of women who think they're failing and that everyone else is perfect. Not only was it true to life but it was very well written.

8. 10 Days Until Forever by David Peterson with illustrations by Tera Grasser. This is such an adorable book. I love the illustrations! I love the colors! I love the whole thing! Highly recommend it.

7 and 6. This one is a tie because I worked on these two books back to back and they have similar themes, so in my mind they're somehow intertwined.

The Broken Road  by Shannon Guymon. I worked with Shannon on a nonfiction book earlier in the year, so I already knew how awesome she was when I started editing this book, but I wasn't prepared for how much I was going to fall in love with her characters or how caught up I would get in the romance triangle? quadrangle? quintangle? I think I made that last one up. But anyway, another thing you should know is that the guy in this book is super hot. I'm just saying.

Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin. I loved getting the story from both the guy and the girl. And there were a lot of great scenes in this one. I was also impressed that the young child in the book was cute and not annoying. I get really easily annoyed with fictional children in adult books, but this one didn't annoy me. And once again there was a really hot guy. I promise I'm not usually this superficial. At least not out loud.

5. Guardians of the Hidden Scepter by Frank L. Cole. It's no secret at Cedar Fort that I absolutely love working with Frank. He's hilarious and easy to like and so are his books. This latest one is a departure from his Hashbrown series and I really enjoyed seeing something different from him. There's a lot of action and adventure and awesomeness and... alligators. Well, okay maybe not alligators but I don't want to give too much away. Look for this one in March 2011. No seriously, remember to look for it. It's good.

4. Luck of the Draw by Rachael Renee Anderson. First of all, the cover is awesome and I can say that because I had nothing whatsoever to do with its creation. But on top of that, the inside of the book is great too! I got to work on Rachael's first book in 2009, but I think this one is better. The characters are easy to relate to and I had a lot of fun imagining what I would've done if I were them. Also the dialogue was excellent.

3. Flecks of Gold by Alicia Buck. Funny story about this book. After it was printed I brought it home and told my roommate she should read it because I knew she would like it as much as I did. So I think she started it a little before I went to bed and when I woke up the next morning she was still reading. She hadn't slept. And then she was late to work that morning because she had to finish it. Yeah, it's that good. Seriously, if you like teenage sarcasm and spells and a doomed romance, this is the book for you.

2. Hashbrown Winters and the Phantom of Pordunce by Frank L. Cole. I have such a soft spot for Hashbrown. And I really think this is the best book of the series so far. There's a new character I LOVE and the gang is still in just as much zany trouble as always. If you haven't read the Hashbrown Winters series, you should. They're perfect books for middle graders but grown-ups love them too. Or at least this (mostly) grown-up does.

1. The Hoarders by Jean Stringam. I can't gush about this book because it's too good for that. So instead I'll simply tell you it's powerful and so well written that it actually challenged me as an editor because I really, really didn't want to mess it up. Jean is a wonderful storyteller and this book about two boys who hoard food and learn to take care of each other is a very memorable read. It was such a joy to work on and I'm really excited to be editing another book by Jean right now featuring some of the same characters, so if you decide you like The Hoarders as much as I do, look for her next book in April 2011.

Well, that's it for the countdown. Hope it was exciting. I'd write more now, but it's way past my bedtime and if I don't go to sleep I'll be a grouchy editor in the morning and no one wants that. On another note, Happy Friday to all and to all a good weekend!

PS--Special thanks for this entry goes to Kimiko for reminding me in an email that I actually have a blog. I had sort of forgotten about it.