Bus, Train and Automobiles – My 2009 Conference Schedule

And not an airplane in sight this year. That’ll seem weird.

I just posted a comment at Deb Maher’s blog about Nationals in DC (driving) – I cannot wait!! First of all, I’m always excited for National, and second, this one will be the first one I’m signing at. Talk about a rush! My book will have been out for a month, so I’m hoping people will have read it and stop by to let me know how they liked it. (I’ve already gotten a review, so that was cool!)

I love getting together with friends from around the country – and the world (shout out to Tracey in Oz and Helen, Evonne & Lynne across the pond).

Writing conferences energize me. I know some people get exhausted, but I love them. I thrive on the energy, the bustle, the constant go. Oh, don’t get me wrong; you don’t have to constantly be on the go. There’s plenty of time for downtime; I just choose not to find it. 🙂

I’m also heading to NY for the PASIC Conference (bus) – my first one. Again, I’m really looking forward to it – especially hanging out with my roomies! I’m told this conference is a blast and my agent’s going to be there, a Wombat or two, so it should be great.

Then, of course, there’s the annual trek to the Romantic Times Convention. This year it’s in Orlando and Steph and I are rediscovering our PSU roots – we’re going on a road trip to Orlando! She’ll have her Sirius radio and I’ll have my Combos (original flavor) and off we go!

In June comes the Long Island Luncheon (car, train, train, taxi) – an event near and dear to my heart. The ladies there do a wonderful job with the luncheon and industry personnel – that event helped me sell my Mer trilogy last year, so you can bet I’ll be back!

So, as I sit here putting the finishing touches on Wild Blue Under, I’m already planning the costumes at RT, promotion for In Over Her Head, (mentally working on Catch of a Lifetime), I’m getting really excited. So who else is going???


Blog Tour with Kelly Parra

Invisible Touch

Invisible Touch

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour for author, Kelly Parra.  Kelly is the author of Graffiti Girl, a double RITA nominee and Latinidad Top Pick, and the contemporary paranormal, Invisible Touch. When not pulling her hair while writing her current novel, she likes to play with her abundance of websites (see below!) and feed a serious television addiction.


by Kelly Parra

MTV Books | October 14, 2008

ISBN: 1416563377

(For ages 13 and up)


Do you believe in fate?


Kara Martinez has been trying to be “normal” ever since the accident that took her father’s life when she was eleven years old. She’s buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be — compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.


Because Kara has a gift — one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person’s fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she’s been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she’s been warned about — until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it’s her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it’s too late…or lead her even further into danger?



Praise for Invisible Touch


“A magical blending of mystery, romance, and deep and dangerous secrets. Kelly Parra’s Invisible Touch is an action-packed coming-of-age novel, sure to keep readers turning pages and begging for a sequel.” 
– Laurie Faria Stolarz, Bestselling author of Blue is for Nightmares and Deadly Little Secret


Readers are going to delight in this fast-paced, gripping story, and be kept spellbound until its surprising finish.” 
  — Tina Ferraro, author of How To Hook A Hottie


The Gold Award of Excellence! An amazing, touching novel that deals with big issues in an original context.”  — TeensReadToo


Five out of five gold pens for Invisible Touch.”The Salinas Californian



Judi: Wow, Kelly – you’ve piqued my interest! What a great premise! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
Kelly: I’ve always believed in intuitive vibes and repetitive signs and thought wouldn’t it be cool to have a girl who really saw visions and have to piece the signs together to help others? But not only that, but this gift had to also be a curse and would a logical mother believe her?  And from there Kara was born in my mind with secrets and pain and grief and romance. My inspiration was to write a book to make readers “feel” and I hope I succeeded. 🙂
Judi: This sounds like it could maybe continue into a series. Do you think about writing them or do you prefer stand alone titles?
Kelly: I LOVE to read series and it’s always been a dream to write one. My first books are stand alones, but I currently writing a sci-fi young adult novel and I’m hoping it could be a series.
Judi: You may have seen the contest I just had on my blog to come up with a new name for my second Mer story, Wild Blue Under. The winner gets a character named after her in the story. Do you put your friends in your books? Names, incidents, characteristics? Have any of them recognized themselves in a not-so-good way?
Kelly: I try to steer away from that, but family and friends have stated they see characteristics from other people in my characters. I don’t notice until after publication. It’s not intentional!
Judi: I’ve got a deadline looming and wondered, what happens in your house when deadlines hit?
Kelly: Oh boy, the laundry piles up and the rooms become a mess.  I sort of stare at everything with guilt, but my husband is very supportive in having me meet deadlines and will pick up the slack on the weekends.
Judi: (*relates very well to the guilt and piles of laundry thing, especially THIS week!) If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing instead?
Kelly: I can’t imagine doing anything else right now, but I started off as an artist in graphic design. So it could have stuck with illustration or become a web designer.
Judi: Which do you most like writing–dialogue, action, or description?
Kelly: Action and description. I’m not a great conversationalist and its the same for my characters. LOL.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Judi!

 My pleasure, Kelly. I LOVED hearing about this and wish you all the best!

T-Minus XX and counting

My 3 books with Sourcebooks come out next June, August and October and if you do the math, that’s under a year for the first one. Luckily for me, the first one is written and edits are in (yay!) Books 2 and 3, however, are a different story.

I’d come up with the partials a while ago, but hadn’t worked on them all that much because, let’s face it, if Book 1 didn’t sell, write work on a series that won’t? So, I kept those stories in the back of my brain and prayed someday I could write them.

Voila! Welcome to Someday. Only now, I’m in deadline mode – I’ve got 2 books to finish in the next six months and have them at the same level as book 1. But the nice thing about letting the stories “sit,” was that the characters kept talking to me. I’d been working on another first book of a series during this time period and Rod and Valerie, and Angel and Logan wouldn’t stop talking to me. I ended up getting the black moment of book 3, an interesting idea for the heroine’s character in book 2 and enough inspiration to keep butting into the other series.

It’s fun when things like that happen; even more fun when I actually get to WRITE these stories.

Just, please, remind me of the fun when I’m pulling my hair out as the final deadline approaches!

Blurbs for my stories can be found at: http://judifennell.com/stories.html