How a Lullaby Sparked the Darkest Book I’ve Ever Written

Music is a huge part of my life. From the twenty bajillion songs on my iPod to all the bands I’ve been in to Resident Hottie’s mad composing skills, every memory I have comes with its own soundtrack. This probably explains why I love Adam and Mia from Gayle Forman’s IF I STAY series so much. I see a lot of Resident Hottie and myself in their relationship, particularly in why he’s drawn to her:

“I’ve never seen anyone get as into music as you do. It’s why I like to watch you practice. You get the cutest crease in your forehead, right there,” Adam said, touching me above the bridge of my nose. “I’m obsessed with music and even I don’t get transported like you do.” – IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

Music also drives the books I write, and not just because of the insane playlists I put together. All it takes is a particularly brilliant lyric to set me off, sometimes a single harmony, and I won’t be able to stop until I’ve bled every emotion I feel onto the page. It’s a crazy process that takes me deeper and darker each time, but it works. At least Resident Hottie is used to listening to the same eight or nine songs 48 times a day for thirty days straight. He’s my Adam. He gets me.

FLAWED came about four years ago when I stumbled across the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine. Who knew a lullaby about the light of someone’s life would turn out to be so dark? I came away from that writing frenzy with a book about obsession, betrayal, and how easy it is to throw your life away because of misplaced loyalty. FLAWED follows the downward spiral of You Are My Sunshine‘s lyrics closely. I can only hope reading the book affects you as much as writing it affected me.

You Are My Sunshine
© 1940 Peer International Corporation
Original lyrics by Oliver Hood

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

The other nite, dear,
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke, dear,
I was mistaken
And I hung my head and cried.

I’ll always love you
And make you happy
If you will only say the same.
But if you leave me
To love another
You’ll regret it all some day.

You told me once, dear
You really loved me
And no one else could come between.
But now you’ve left me
And love another
You have shattered all my dreams.

I have NEWS!!!

And holy crap, is it news!

My dark, contemporary YA romance, FLAWED, has sold to Entangled Teen! The book releases July 2012, and will be edited by the fantastic Liz Pelletier, who also edited OBSIDIAN, TOUCH, and HUSHED. I still can’t believe my debut ended up somewhere this phenomenal. Have you seen their covers? Is it possible to die of luck??

So what comes next? Edits. But also, we get to reveal the cover and the blurb! I’m told both will happen sometime next week, possibly as part of one of those mammoth cover reveals EP is so good at, and possibly including an excerpt (eeee!!), so be watching for more info on that. I’ve seen my cover, guys, and I love my cover. Again with the dying of luck!

Now if only I could stop jumping up and down long enough to finish this website…