Monday, January 12, 2015

Spotted in the Wild Contest!

WINTER FALLS has been out for a month (woohoo!) but I have yet to see it on a bookshelf!
So, I'm having a Spotted in the Wild Contest, and you could win!
The rules are simple:
If you're in a bookstore - any bookstore, indie or otherwise - and you see WINTER FALLS on the shelf, take a picture of it.
Post the picture on Twitter or Facebook and tag me (Twitter: @nicolemaggi and Nicole Maggi - my public author page - on Facebook).
For each picture you post (at different bookstores) you'll be entered into a drawing.
What's the prize? A signed ARC of the second book in the Twin Willows Trilogy, IN THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF (release date June 9th)!
Only in-store pictures are eligible. Bonus points if the book is facing in (with just the spine visible) and you do a little rearranging to face the whole front cover outward. ;-)
The contest will run until the end of the month. So between now and January 31st, visit as many bookstores as you can and find WINTER FALLS!
P.S. If the store doesn't have the book in, go ahead and request it! While that won't earn you a contest entry, it will earn you my undying gratitude.
WINTER FALLS Launch party
Let the games begin! Let's go book hunting!

Monday, October 6, 2014


I am thrilled beyond belief to reveal the shiny brand new cover for THE FORGETTING! 

Georgie's new heart saved her life...but now she's losing her mind.

Georgie Kendrick wakes up after a heart transplant, but the organ beating in her chest doesn't seem to be in tune with the rest of her body. Why does she have a sudden urge for strawberries when she's been allergic for years? Why can't she remember last Christmas?

Driven to find her donor, Georgie discovers her heart belonged to a girl her own age who fell out of the foster care system and into a rough life on the streets. Everyone thinks she committed suicide, but Georgie is compelled to find the truth-before she loses herself completely.

And now without further ado, THE COVER!!!!

THE FORGETTING will be released on February 3rd, 2015 from SourceBooks Fire.  I'm so proud of this book and can't wait to share it with the world!  And if you can't wait to have it in your hot little hands, you can pre-order it from Amazon now!  

To celebrate my beautiful new cover, I'm running a giveaway for one signed ARC of THE FORGETTING!  Read it before anyone else does!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 25, 2013

Blessings: Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I live a charmed life.

Well, not really.  I have my ups and downs like everybody else, and I've had to climb over many hurdles on my road to publication.

But right now, in this moment, I have everything I could possibly want, or need.

Right now, I'm sitting at my kitchen table while my daughter sings and dances in a circle, waving a blue crayon around.  One of my cats is perched next to my computer and when I reach out to pat him, his soft fur warms my hand.  My fridge is full with delicious food just waiting to be made into a meal.  My husband will be home from work soon, and we'll snuggle on the couch and watch Parks and Recreation.

I spent half of today with a dear friend who just had a baby, after struggling with infertility for the last few years.  And tomorrow I'll go to yoga in the morning and then camp out at my favorite coffeeshop to write.  This weekend I'll see another dear friend in a play at a theatre that she's worked for years to get cast at.

My life is full and rich with my family and their many blessings, with my friends who bring me so much joy, and my work to fulfill two multi-book contracts with two different publishers - a goal I've worked for for years.

I lost my mom when I was a young teenager, an event that reverberates in every aspect of my life.  And while I miss my mom every day, I also feel very strongly that she is always looking out for me.  I even think that she put those hurdles in my way, so that when I got over them I would know what accomplishment feels like.  Suffering that huge of a loss at such a young age made me realize very early on how important it is to appreciate what I have.  How important it is to stop and look around on an ordinary Thursday evening, see the blessings in every little moment, and say thank you.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Class of 2k14

I'M BACK!!!!
Yes, it's been almost a year since I've blogged.  I'll catch ya'll up over the next couple of weeks.  Today, I'm here to talk about the launch of the Class of 2k14!

The Class of 2k14 is a group of diverse YA and MG authors who have banded together to support and promote each other's books over the next year and a half.  I'm thrilled and honored to be part of this group.  And today is the launch of our shiny, brand-new website.  We're celebrating with a giveaway - you could win a $100 gift certificate to the bookseller of your choice!

The Class of 2k groups were started in 2007 by Greg Fishbone as a way to connect authors with booksellers, librarians, teachers, and readers.  All of the previous Classes have webpages that list their authors.  The Class of 2k13 is active right now and I encourage you to check out their website and attend any events in your area!

But first, check out the upcoming Class of 2k14 and get to know us.  Enter our giveaway and follow us throughout 2014 as our books debut.  Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Goodreads.  There will be lots more giveaways over the coming months so be sure to keep checking in!

Here's to The Class of 2k14!  Long may we reign.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

So, today I made myself a playlist titled "Guilty Pleasures."  It consists of songs (mostly from the '80's, the decade in which I spent most of teenage years) that unabashedly make me happy.  But, they're also songs that I would probably get ridiculed to no degree for loving.  Hence the playlist title.

Sample track:

Now, I can honestly say that I never had a poster of Rick Springfield on my wall, although I did have a "Dirty Dancing" poster of Patrick Swayze - on his knees, crawling towards the camera, wearing those black pants and that black tank top - hanging right over my bed.  YUM.

Back in the days before iTunes, I used to keep a blank tape (a cassette tape - remember those?) in my dual radio/cassette player so that if I heard a song that I loved come on, I could just hit RECORD and voila!  Song recorded.  Yes, that's how we made playlists in the 80's.  This was one song that I remember chasing down for days until I finally caught it (so important to get the opening guitar line):

And of course the ultimate love letter of high-schoolers in the '80's was The Mix Tape.  I got a particularly memorable one from an ex-boyfriend who wanted to get back together (we did, briefly).  He'd written a paragraph for each song, explaining why he'd included it.  For this one, he wrote that one night he called me on the phone...but there was no answer:

 There are several more tracks on the playlist I made today, but these are the only ones I'll admit to including...and I can already hear the teasing coming my way!

So, I 'fessed up - your turn!  Tell me your ultimate guilty pleasure song.  Bonus points to anyone who names one that's on my list!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Price Are You Willing to Pay?

Recently, a friend of mine on Facebook posted this blog (The Sheila Variations: It's Got to Cost You Something) and it really struck a chord in me.

At last year's SCBWI Conference, one of the speakers said the same thing.  A reader needs to feel that the book they're reading cost the author something to write.  Otherwise, why should they read it?  If the author didn't care enough, why should the reader?

I can tell you that all my favorite books are books that feel like they cost the author something very dear to write.  Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver.  My God, that book came out of someplace deep and personal within her.  I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith.  Her heart is sprawled out all over the pages of that book.  And two of my very favorite books, Gone With The Wind and To Kill A Mockingbird, cost the authors so much to write that they never wrote another book again.

On the other hand, The DaVinci Code reads like Dan Brown wrote it with one hand tied behind his back while smoking a cigarette and reading The Times of London.  (Of course, he's laughing all the way to the bank, so that says more about what it cost US to read it than what it cost HIM to write it.)

Sure, we could become authors who blithely write dozens of books a year, churning them out without ever really falling in love with the characters or worrying about their destinies.  And maybe we'd make enough money doing this that we wouldn't care about caring.  I don't know about you, but I couldn't live with myself if I did this.

The thing that I love most about writing IS the caring.  The obsessing over my characters' fates.  The feeling of complete exhaustion and exhilaration I get after I've written an emotional scene.  I want to leave my blood and guts all over the page.  I want to put my heart out there and have every single one of my characters wear it on their sleeves.  Yes, it's scary; terrifying, actually.  But it's the good kind of scary.  It's the emotionally-satisfying kind of scary that comes from creating true, meaningful art.

And that is not to say that prolific writers can't also be the kind of writers who put their blood, sweat and tears into every book they write.  I've never read any of Stephen King's novels - I can't read horror; it scares the absolute bejesus out of me - but I have read On Writing, and I've flipped through enough of his books to know that his heart is pulsating out of every page.  I've read (and met) Anne Perry, the prolific mystery writer, and I know that she spills herself into every character. 

As Sheila O'Malley says in her brilliant blog post, it's got to cost you something.  That is the deal you make when you become an artist.  The best art doesn't look pretty.  (In fact, sometimes it looks horrifyingly ugly, like Munch's The Scream).  It looks like it was dragged out of the artist's soul and splattered onto the canvas or page or stage or film or CD, almost against their will.  That an imprint of themselves is left there, forever.  Forget alchemy; that is how we truly achieve immortality.

But the amazing and wonderful thing about being an artist is that for each piece of yourself you leave behind in your art, you gain back by continuing to create more art.  Give, and you shall receive.

Watch the footage of Elvis in the blog post above.  You can literally SEE the price he is paying with each note that he sings.

So the next time you sit down to write, take a deep breath, and pay up.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sound The Trumpets!

When I was a little girl, I used to pick dandelions, make a wish, and blow, watching all the seeds scatter onto the wind.  I truly believed that the wish I'd made would come true.  And some of them did, and some of them didn't.  But all the ones that did had something in common: I made them come true.

Now as an adult, I still believe in wishes and dreams.  But I also know that in order for my wishes and dreams to come true, I have to make them happen.  It's not enough to wish for publication; I have to write the book.  It's not enough to dream about hitting the bestseller list; I have continually work on my craft in order to write a book worthy of the list.  It's our actions that make our dreams and wishes come true.

That's why I've redesigned and renamed my blog Making A Wish & Making It Happen.  To inspire other artists to close their eyes and make a wish, dream a dream...and then go out and take action and make it happen.

And with the big redesign comes big news.  I made a wish, and I (along with some help from my family, my friends, and my awesome agent) made it happen.  I am thrilled to announce that my novel, WINTER FALLS, will be published by Medallion Press in 2014.

As the followers of this blog know, it has been a long, hard road to this moment.  I made the wish a long time ago, and through a lot of hard work, sweat, blood and lots of tears, I made it happen.

And I fervently believe that any writer out there can do the same.

So that's why this blog is here.  Tell me your wishes and dreams, and I'll tell you mine.  And together, we'll make them happen.