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Hope to see you there!

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You might have seen recently that I hand painted the first page of Harry Potter onto a wall in my home office.

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The story has kind of been picked up a lot of places. AND I REALLY MEAN A LOT OF PLACES. FOR REAL. (Those are just a few. And I woke up to 3 more media requests this morning that came in overnight.)

It’s been a little overwhelming, to say the least. I NEVER would have guessed this was going to happen when I tweeted my little wall into the world of the internets. I’ve had trolls accusing me of photoshopping the whole thing, which is seriously funny because anyone who knows me knows my photo manipulation skills stop at Instagram filters.

Here’s how I did it. I borrowed an overhead projector from the elementary school where my mom teaches, printed out the first two pages of Harry Potter*, which I got from a free sample of the book at Scholastic’s website, onto transparent film, then projected the image onto the wall. I then spent twenty hours tracing it. I thought it would take two. Honestly and truly. I’m awful at time estimation. It took me twenty minutes alone to trace “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley,” after which I realized I had made a serious miscalculation and had a Come to Jesus talk with myself about whether or not to continue.

*It’s actually the first page and a half of Harry Potter because an illustration takes up half of the first page, and there was no way I was going to attempt that.

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I did. I spent the another forty hours painting the words in, bringing the grand total to sixty hours.
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HPwall4 One of the questions I’m getting most is why THAT page? The first page is full of the Dursleys, and who loves the Dursleys? Why not the last page? Or a page with one of the more iconic lines?

Fair question. TBH, I really did struggle with which page I wanted to do. My first instinct was to do a passage from Prisoner of Azkaban because I’m a time travel writer, so it would have been a fun little ode to a genre I love so much, but then I quickly realized that anything with dialogue does not translate well to the wall. It leaves too many blank spaces, and while that might be Taylor Swift’s thing, it’s not very visually appealing. So that really limited me to opening pages. I went back through the first pages of every book, but a nagging voice kept telling me I needed to start at the beginning, on the very first page of the very first book. Where the magic begins.

Another question I get is, Couldn’t you have just gotten a vinyl or a stencil made? And the answer is obviously yes, but, one, it would have been pretty expensive—I mean, just take a quick look at what small stencils cost on Etsy—and, two, it wouldn’t have looked nearly as cool. Also, I’ve never been one for short cuts.

One more question is the type of paint I used. I used interior paint I bought at Sherwin Williams during one of their sales. The color is SW6991, called Black Magic. It didn’t dawn on me until several days after I bought it how appropriate that is.

People also want to know how I measured, since I did have to measure each line as I went. I didn’t do that to begin with, and the entire first paragraph was crooked as a result. I had to redo it, which was seriously annoying. From that point on, I made sure to measure the left and the right sides from the ceiling and the floor to make sure it was straight before I started tracing. It involved adjusting the projector almost every line.

And in the end, I have a wall I love looking at!

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And if you want to take a second to check my books out while you’re here, that’d be super cool. I write thrilling time travel adventures about government conspiracies and the bad ass women who try to unravel them. The ebooks also happen to be on sale for only $1.99 on Amazon as part of the monthly deal program through the end of April. There’s also hardcover, paperback, and audio editions.

Happy reading/painting/geeking out, everyone!

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I’ll just cut to the chase …..

die farbe der zukunft

Isn’t this cover so unbelievably gorgeous? I love it so much. German friends, the books releases November 9! It’s available for preorder on Amazon, or you can read more about it on the publisher’s website.

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I’m so happy to be a Pitch Wars mentor again for the THIRD time! And I’m super ridiculously awesomely excited to be joined by a co-mentor this year—none other than my mentee last year, Ron Walters! (Hey, everyone!)

A little about us:

  • Meredith is now a full-time writer. Before this, she was a full-time lawyer. And she still squeezes being a full-time mom into the mix.
  • Meredith has two books published. THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN is a fast-paced thriller set in a world of time-traveling teens employed by the US government. (Because you can take the girl out of the law, but you can’t take the law out of the girl…) The sequel, BLACKOUT has been out for a few months, and she’s working on the third book in the series.
  • She will never pass up the opportunity to geek out over Harry Potter.
  • Ron recently signed with Leon Husock of the L. Perkins Agency. He’s currently out on submission with THE GOLEM INITIATIVE, a fast-paced thriller about a kid who moves to Prague and unearths a device from WWII that gives him the power to raise golems.
  • Ron has been a stay-at-home dad for over six years. Before that he was a newspaper reporter and a college registrar.
  • Ron once dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween, if that tells you anything.

If you write any of the following, we might be soul mates and you should put us on your submission list. Please note, we’re mentoring YA only this year!

  • Historical.
  • Fantasy.
  • Historical fantasy! <———- IF YOU HAVE ONE, SEND IT TO US!!!
  • If there’s magic or anything off-the-wall in it, WE WANTS IT, PRECIOUS.
  • Anything fast-paced, high-adrenaline, super-actiony. (That’s a word. Seriously. That word is why Ron knew Meredith would make an awesome mentor. SEE HOW THAT WORKED OUT?!)
  • As a general rule, the darker, the creepier, the better with us. And if you’re not 100% sure whether we’d like something, feel free to find us on Twitter and ask! @MeredithMcP @ronwaltersjr77

We will probably not be a good match if you write the following. (Although we’re sure you’re still awesome, and we totally still want to hang out with you.)

  • Contemporary romance.
  • Anything light-hearted in tone.
  • Time travel. (This one is Meredith being neurotic. She makes it a general rule not to read a genre she’s actively writing. Sorry, yo.)
  • Golems. (This is Ron being neurotic.)

So why would you pick us?

  • Meredith has been a Pitch Wars mentor for the past two years. Both of my super awesome mentees signed with agents as a result of Pitch Wars. YAY, SUCCESS STORIES!
  • Ron’s knows what it’s like to be a mentee. It’s a lot of work, but totally worth it. No way would he have signed with an agent if it wasn’t for the revisions he did during Pitch Wars.
  • We’re good at reading a manuscript, identifying the problem areas, and working with a writer to figure out how to fix them.
  • We have a solid knowledge of the industry. What’s selling, what’s not, what agents and editors are looking for at the moment, what they’re not. And that will always be in the back of our heads.

And that’s it! If you think we’re a good fit, we hope you keep us on your list. And if not, then we wish you all the best! Good luck to everyone!

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Hey guys! I’m so, well, thrilled to be going to ThrillerFest this year as a nominee for Best YA. Is anyone else going to be there?

I’ll be on a panel Friday, July 10, at 12:15, and I’ll be signing books from 5-5:30 p.m. later that day. And then I’ll be at the banquet Saturday night. If you’re going, come find me and say hi!

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ROWA

Summer is about to begin! 

 But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we should stop reading and writing. I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places—both ordinary and extraordinary—where they are reading and writing. This is open to all readers/writers of both middle grade and young adult books!

You can also take part in…

A MONSTER GIVEAWAY! 

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN!

The Eighth Guardian final cover

And there’s more! Every author participating in this campaign is giving away books, critiques, swag and/or Skype visits.

So are you ready?

Drum roll….

Read or Write Anywhere

 

Can you guess where I am? Here are five clues.

  1. This is a city that loves its waterways.
  2. No really. It’s been called the Venice of America.
  3. A whopping 10% of this city is made up of rivers or canals.
  4. It’s also the yachting capital of the world.
  5. Chances are you know someone who’s spent spring break here.

Got it?

Once you’ve figured out where I’m reading/writing (author: choose one), head over to the YA Chicks site and:

  • Officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win.
  • For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).

For writer prize packs:

  • Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. Then follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it.
  • For even more chances, gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). And hey, since you’re already together, why not host a write-a-thon?

For teacher prize packs:

  • Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).
  • Then let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments–we won’t open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.”
  • You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available on their site.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!

 #ReadOrWriteAnywhere

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die achte wachterin

Isn’t the cover so pretty? I’m seriously in love with it. German friends, check it out on the publisher’s website or on Amazon!

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