Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

Over at The Novel Girls this week, we're talking about New Year's resolutions. I haven't actually figured out any good ones to write about yet (check back Thursday to see what I come up with!)But I have been reflecting on the past year this week.

2008 was a really great year for me, and in a way, I'm sad to see it go. The highlight may have been in January, when The September Sisters sold at auction-- after having been rejected in one way or another in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. I thought that was a very good sign for my writing life in 2008-- and I was right!.

In fact, 2008 was the first year I came to think of myself as a real writer -- as in I could tell other people that I was a writer without having to feel like an imposter when they asked me exactly what I had written. Which means while I was writing my second book, I could tell people I was working and have it be true, since I was actually getting paid to do it. (A thought which still boggles my mind.)

Looking back, I've also done a lot more writing this year than I ever, ever have in my life. I wrote and revised and polished my second novel (which will be out in 2010 from Harperteen), and I just this week I completed a draft of what I hope will be my first adult novel. It's not that I had more ideas this year or even more time to write (In fact, I probably actually had less time than I've had in the past.). But 2008 was the year I started having enough confidence in my writing to really, really, really work at it. To make myself sit at the computer for two hours every night after the kids went to sleep and just write. Even if I was tired. Even if Grey's Anatomy was on! Because it was the first time I believed that if I kept at it, it would be worthwhile, that I could be writing something other people would eventually read.

But for the last part of 2008 I've also felt like I've been waiting, waiting for The September Sisters to come out, waiting to see it in a bookstore, waiting nervously for reviews, waiting for my real writing life to start. So I'm excited for 2009, excited for the possibility of what it might bring both for my writing and for my life as well. I love fresh beginnings, new starts, new years, because you never know what might be waiting for you just around the corner. (Can you tell I'm an optimist?!)

So what were your 2008 highlights, and what are you looking forward to in 2009? I'd love to hear.

Happy New Year!!

PS. Don't forget, Thursday is the last day to enter my contest and the contest over at The Novel Girls!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wondrous Strange Release!

My cyber writer friend and fellow Novel Girl, Lesley Livingston, had her debut novel, Wondrous Strange hit bookstores today! (I'll be blogging more about my excitement for the book over at The Novel Girls on Thursday, which will include my sighting of the book on a real live display at Borders yesterday!!!)

My copy is, according to Amazon, arriving tomorrow, upon which I'm planning on rippng open the box and reading it right away. I've heard so many wonderful (wondrous?!) things about the book, and when I saw it at Borders I was blown away by how gorgeous it looks.

And if you want to enter to win your very own signed copy, all you need to do is become a follower of The Novel Girls by January 1st!


I came across an awesome review of THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS over at YA Book Realm, and I was so excited and awed to read it!!

Among other lovely things, YA BR says, "Jillian Cantor’s debut novel, was unforgettable with the perfect mixture of realism, great character development, and plot. . .The moment I started reading it, I seriously could not put it down until I learned more about the disappearance of Becky."

You can click here to read the whole review.

And don't forget, a little over a week left to enter my contest for the chance to win an ARC of THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blogging with Harperteen!

Today I'm blogging over at the Harperteen MySpace site about the old writing adage, write what you know. You can click here to read it. One thing I left out of the post is how a writing teacher of mine in college, once referred to my life (after reading an autobiographical piece I'd written), as "tragically boring!" (And that was definitely not a compliment in his eyes.) But you can see how I sort of figured out how to write what I know anyway!

And if you haven't already, enter my contest for a chance to win a signed Advanced Review Copy of The September Sisters!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


If you'll notice from the title of this post, I said "contests" plural. That's because I have two great contests to tell you about!!

First, as promised, I'm having a contest to give away a signed Advanced Review Copy of THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS. All you have to do is become a follower of my blog by January 1, 2009. (Click on "follow this blog" on the left hand side -- you might have to scroll down a little bit to see it.) If you're already a follower, then you're already entered to win! I will pick one winner, at random, after Jan. 1st.

Contest number 2 is going on over at my group blog, The Novel Girls. We're giving away a signed, hardcover copy of Lesley Livingston's WONDROUS STRANGE, in celebration of her December 23rd release. (If you click over, you can find the details, but really all you need to do is become a follower of The Novel Girls.)

It's simple, so enter them both! And good luck!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Do you follow?

Head on over to The Novel Girls to check out my post about Abby's (the main character in The September Sisters) favorite things. You'll get to learn a little bit about the book, and I promise no spoilers.

Earlier today, I figured out how to add the cool "followers" feature to my blog, only, I sadly don't have any followers yet :-(.

There's going to be lots more blogging in the new year, and I'm even planning some contests for January, where I'll be giving away a few advanced copies of The September Sisters!!! So follow away, or, at least check back soon for the contest details.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm Still Here. . .

I know I've been neglecting this blog as of late, and I have to apologize. But I've been busy, busy busy writing what I hope (fingers crossed) will end up being my debut novel for adults. I'm working on the end now, and when I'm done, when I come out of this writing fog that is consuming my life at this moment, I may get back into other things, like blogging, or say, cleaning my house.

I've also officially finished revising my second YA book, which will be out from Harperteen in Winter 2010. I'm super-excited about this book, and I think the details about it, the writing of it, and the title, deserve their own blog post, which I promise will come soon, probably in January.

For now, it's back to writing for me, back to pushing through this first draft so I can spend my holiday break from teaching revising.

You can still find me every Thursday on The Novel Girls. Last week we blogged about names, and I discussed the importance of nicknames, both for me and my characters. This week we're going to blog about our favorite things, just like Oprah or um, Maria Von Trapp. (Only don't ask me to sing. Really. Don't.)