Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Well, the Sourcebooks folks are having their sales conference today and they announced the title of my next book. It comes out in March 2014! So it's time for me to announce it too!

And it's called....


What happens when everything you were told about your father is a lie? 

Morgan McLean wants the truth. Even if it means a road trip with a guy she's not supposed to crush on and dancing in boys underwear online.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Teen Peer Pressure

Since I write about teen relationships, I explore them a lot in my head. Sometimes I take from my still rather vivid memories of being a teen, but often I read up on teen dynamics or talk to today’s teens. I’ve also been known to stalk teens on Facebook and twitter (purely for research and not as creepy as it sounds, I promise) Things have changed with all the technology kids have. Today’s teen years are both isolated with technology and overcrowded with technology. 

The teen years are the time when we’re most ruled by peer pressure. Let’s face it; high school is a society within itself. Adults may govern it, but the actual world is flourishing with teen rules and pressures. What to wear, how to speak. Choices to make. And there is judgment. Most teens try to find a way to fit in, in one group or another. Even by rebelling and rejecting the most popular expectations is a way of fitting in with a different group.

I believe that individual personality and self-esteem play an important role in how much peers influence a teen. Some people are by nature, more invested in what others think of them. They want to conform, fit in, be popular, so the right things and say the right things.  Others are more apt to flow with their own river, and not be so caught up in what they should do to fit in.

I don’t think that being a teenager is an easy job.  For the first time teens are dealing with grownup issues and decisions. At the same time, they’re naturally separating themselves from their parents. The huge influence parents had on decisions when they were younger is fading. And so they turn to the most natural reflection of who they are-- their peers.

Adults function in a much more polite society than teenagers do. We are still faced with popularity contests and pressures about how to look and what to wear, but it’s not as socially acceptable to be as cutting about it.  Teen peer pressure is much more daunting to face and to defy.

The other thing I believe plays a huge role in teens lives is family. Not as directly, but family dynamics past and present play a role in how kids function at high school level.  As young children, we get a lot of our moral value system from our families and it’s these values that carry over and hopefully shape the way teens deal with the pressures that are out there.

 In the books I write, teens are learning to function as individuals and to make their own decisions and figure out WHO THEY ARE.  Their peers are a natural part of that equation.  To me though, part of maturity and growth is also figuring out how to make your own choices and to learn to be true to yourself. I think I explore the teen’s relationship with others, but ultimately focus mainly on the teen’s relationship with herself! Or himself.

In WHO I KISSED Samantha is a pretty independent teen, yet she still seeks approval from her peer group. She’s the type of teen who feels like she doesn’t quite fit in, but she still tries.  A little. Even as she rejects the swimmers who have always been her crowd, she is still influenced by them.  

Sam’s journey is internal, but she also relies on her peer group to get through her tragedy. And  though the peer group is not always supportive, she faces some bullying, overt and not so much, Sam is just as hard on herself. The good thing is that teen are often the ones who are there for each other and can help when no one else can. There are some things teens can't share with their parents.  There are times the peer pressure is something only they can understand.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ugh. Spam tastes really bad.

I know I'm not the most prolific blogger ever but I do like to post things from time to time.
I even have an idea for a regular post once I finish my current book which is on deadline!

One of my pet peeves on blogs is when you go to comment on a blog and you have to plug in information to show you are a human.

Well. Now I get it.

My blog has become a target of spammers and I finally have to do it. I have to turn on comment moderation because it is SO ANNOYING how much spam is getting posted. It's making my blog bloated and filling it up so I'm going to go ahead and turn on moderation.

My apologies. I did hang on as long as I could. But they got me.

Happy reading! See you soon!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Updatey Date

Bonjour mon ami!

It's me. Janet! Who? You ask. I know right? I'm back acting all french and stuff.

I haven't been a good little blogger lately have I? Of course, that is kind of the usual, right? I will flog myself with some paperback books later. Pinky finger promise.

So it's been a busy New Year so far. Already 8 days into February. Seriously, where does the time go?

And I was lucky enough to go to ALA in Seattle this year to sign ARC's of HOW I LOST YOU!  HOW I LOST YOU comes out in May!!! That's only three months away. GAH!!!!!
Me and Bailey! She's so sweet!

I had SUCH A GREAT time in Seattle. I hung out and met lots of great bloggers I saw some author friends and I had lunch with my agent Jill Corcoran, who was also there to sign her poetry anthology.

So fun! I went to dinner with Sourcebooks folks and met some really cool librarians. Good food. A blast. Loved it!

Signing at ALA in Seattle
I actually had lots of free time in Seattle too, so I went and explored a bit at Pike Market the first day but then the rain came so I was happy to hang out at the conference the rest of the time. Got some great YA CONTEMPORARY ARC's that I can't wait to read like Jennifer Brown's new book- Thousand Words, Chris Crutcher's new book Period 8 and a long list of others I'm excited to dive into. Actually I already read Period 8 and really liked it. Thousand Words was the book I was most excited to get, but I have to put off reading it for awhile because I have a slightly similar storyline in the book I'm currently writing. I started Mind Games by Kirsten White last night and so far so good!

Signing at Indigo on the Piano!
After ALA I came home for two days and then was off to Toronto for the Super Conference for OLA (Ontario Library Association) I did a book signing there with my Canadian distributor, Raincoast Books and then the lovely young publicist from Raincoast took me around to a few Indigo stores in Toronto to sign stock. Met some great Indigo employees and Jocelynne from Raincoast was an incredible hostess and she even took me on the TORONTO subway. I'm afraid that geeked me out a little bit too much. As in I was all happy and giggly to do it.

I met a couple of Canadian bloggers at OLA (YAY) and some Canadian Librarians (YAY) and some Canadian authors. Coolio fo shizzle.

Now I'm back in the land of Calgary and working hard on my next Sourcebooks YA book. I have a title and it's really cool and really different from my other ones. I can't say what it is yet...but soon!!!!

Yesterday I also went and spoke with the Grade 7's at Mount Royal School in Calgary. I love going to schools and talking to kids and they never fail to amaze me with their great energy and positive attitudes. They were a great group with lots of really good book and publishing questions and the time flew by! I have to admit my favorite question was from two girls who came up to me at the end of the presentation and asked me where I got my boots. Oh yes. For a moment I felt like a cool girl again!

All right. So I'm going to be head down, deep in story writing mode for the next couple of months. My poor house. My poor family. Digging into the story and after having a chat with the ever lovely and amazing editor, Leah Hultenschmidt I am eager to take this new girl, Morgan, on her journey.

Hope you are all staying warm and getting through the last weeks of winter. I look so forward to Spring! Not only for the release of HOW I LOST YOU, but because, well, it's SPRING. My favorite season!!

Happy reading!