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May 2016

To Conference or Not To Conference…

Conference Badges Galore

Whoa, that’s a lot of badges you have there.

As we’re in the midst of conference season, I’ve been seeing a lot of opinions on the pros and cons of going to them. It seems people are as passionate about this as they are about either traditional or self-publishing. But here’s the thing—it doesn’t have to be all or nothing (with publishing or conferences!). Since I just came back from Spring Fling, a mid-size writing conference held in Chicago, I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks on how to decide if going to one is the best for you and your career, how to choose which one(s) to go to, and how to get the most out of them while you’re there.

Do I have to go to a conference to get ahead in this business?

I’d say that’s an unequivocal nope. Sometimes it helps, especially if you’re a fairly new writer who is interested in pitching an agent or editor. In person pitching, while terrifying and vomit inducing, is a great way to stand out in the slush pile. So, yes, it could help you get ahead, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Is a conference the best use of my time?

So this seems to be the hot-button issue that I’m seeing discussed everywhere. Some people believe it’s never the best use of your time and you should instead be writing. I’m not one of those people. While, yes, writing the next book will always be the single most important step you can take for your career, going to conferences can give you a boost in many other ways. Liiiiiiike:

It connects you to people who are in the same boat as you. Sometimes these connections will lead to long-lasting friendships, CPs, betas, or bitch partners (every writer needs at least one). Cling to them, because you’ve found your tribe.

It also connects you to people who aren’t in the same boat as you, who are much smarter than you, and who know what the hell they’re doing in this business. Sometimes these connections will also lead to long-lasting friendships, or they might lead to a mentor, or a person with which to bounce ideas off. At the very least, it leads to a new Twitter or Facebook friend, and you’ve soaked up some real life knowledge you could never, ever find on the Internet.

You can also learn a shitton at conferences, if you go with that goal in mind. If you go in knowing you’re not going to get anything out of it, you’re probably not. And, depending on where you are in your career, that might be fine for you! If your goal is only to hang with your tribe, that’s a totally plausible use of a conference. I always go with the hope I will learn new things, but I’m also cool with walking away having only had casual conversations with fellow authors. Me now is very different than me circa 2013, when I attended my first conference and went to ALL THE THINGS! My goal at that conference was to learn every.single.thing I possibly could, and my body and mind felt it. Since then, I’ve learned to tailor my conference experience a bit.

Depending on the conference(s) you attend, it could also be when you meet your agent/editor/publicist for the first (or fifth) time. Getting that face-to-face time with any of those people, while unnecessary, is nice. If that’s the only reason you’re going, though, I’d maybe rethink.

Bad Girlz Laura, Elizabeth, Jeanette, and moi at RWA 2014.

Bad Girlz Laura, Elizabeth, Jeanette, and moi at RWA 2014.

And finally, for those rare few of you who are fellow extroverts, conferences are like brain, body, and soul fuel for this ENFJ. I get revitalized being around all those people. I get pumped up to work, to discuss, to plan with others. There is absolutely nothing else that I’ve found that gives me this sort of juice straight into my writer veins. And I need it. Just like the introverts who crave silence and solitude in order to function/work/live, I crave the energy that comes from a conference. Plus, yay for getting time with your tribe!

How do I get the most out of a conference?

This is a tricky question to answer, because it will vary for each writer at each stage of their career. Maybe your strength is character building and your weakness is plotting. Obviously going to a workshop on character building isn’t going to be the best use of your time. My advice? Take a gander at the listings of the workshops that are being offered. Have a tentative plan on which ones would benefit you most where you are right now. (<—— That’s important, folks. That workshop on military men might be great, but not if that military series plot bunny you have isn’t going to be in your writing queue for three years.) Then talk with your conference buddy. Probably, there will be at least one session where you’d like to attend two or more workshops. Split up, cover more ground, and share your notes (speaking of which, AJ, I need to get you some notes!). If, alternately, there are sessions when none of the workshops look good, use that time, too! Hang out in the lobby/main area of the conference venue. Find new people to talk to, or find friendly faces. Maybe there’s a plot point you’ve been stuck on, or a question you had about Facebook ads or a particular publicist. Use this “down time” too. Oftentimes, these down times are when I get the most out of a conference.

Should I give a workshop?

If you have a topic on which you’re qualified to speak, this is a great way to get a bit of your conference fees knocked off. It’s also a great way to spend the days leading up to it terrified you’re going to lose every meal you put in your mouth. No? Just me? Honestly, this is just as much of a personal choice as all the others. If you’re good with public speaking, put your thinking cap on and figure out what topics you could talk about. Or grab some friends and put together a workshop with multiple people. Best case scenario, people hear your workshop and get something out of it, and they buy your book(s). Worst case scenario, you got some fees knocked off and lost your lunch prior to the workshop. Kidding.

How do I know what conference is best for me?

Again, this depends on where you are in your career, where you live, and what your financial and family/life situation is like. Maybe you can’t take off a week to go to a conference, which means the big ones are probably a no-go for you. Maybe you hate flying, so traveling from Florida to Seattle for the Emerald City conference is going to be out. You just have to do a bit of research here. Talk to other writer friends, look at blog posts, take a peek at previous years’ schedules if they’re still listed, and see what would be a good fit for you, this year. It may change from year to year, and it probably will. In fact, I’ve not once gone to the same conferences every year since I started. Shake things up a bit and see what sticks. But also, don’t write a conference off after only going to it once. It might have been an off year—for you or for them.

Bottom line? Take a look at your circumstances, where you are in your career, and what you want to get out of it, then set forth and pick and choose the perfect conference(s) for you!

Are you a conference goer? Do you love/hate them? What do you get out of them the most? And what’s your favorite one to attend?


Deadline Doubt & Doom

When you’re on a deadline, you doubt everything.

I cannot write. I won’t finish this book. If I do finish this book, it’s going to be utter crap. I am crap. These characters are crap. Is there no logic left in the universe? What is life? What even time is it?!?!

But – plot twist – all of these doubts are horse hooey.

These are lies your brain tells you because you’re under a lot of pressure. The truth is, you can write and you will finish, and the book will be wonderful. You’re just a teeeeeeeeeensy bit freaking out at the moment.

How do I know? Because I’m on deadline right now. O_O (Omg, how did you guess that? You’re so smart!)

It’s not just me though. Over the past, idk, three or four years (HOW HAVE FOUR YEARS GONE BY?!?!), I’ve watched and listened as my best writer friends continue to take this journey. Inevitably, as the book due dates close in, panic ensues.

The book will never be done! ‘Tis rubbish! All is Lost!!!

I’m not smirking at my friends; I’m smirking with them, because I said these exact words this past weekend.

WE ALL PANIC. I’ve come to think of it as a writer rite of passage. Don’t feel like you’re the only head-case around. Come on and join the Panic Parade. We have cookies and Cheetos, a whole spread of unhealthy stress and comfort food, and wine. Like, lots and lots of wine. We will look into your crazy eyes with our crazy eyes, and you will know you’ve found home. Come, commiserate with us over our imminent doom.

I’m kidding. There’s no imminent doom (it just feels imminent), but we do have crazy eyes.

Take a deep breath and repeat after me:

I can finish this book. I will finish this book. I’m a bad a$$ author who has done this before. And, when I do it again, I’ll take a moment to pat myself on the back and celebrate another successful THE END…right before I dive into the next book and repeat this whole process again.

See? Feel better? Awesome! Me too.

Now, I gotta run. I have to finish this damn book! 😀


Binge, Baby, Binge

When not writing or editing, one of my favorite things to do is watch the creative efforts of TV writers. Like, I really, seriously love TV. When we lowered our cable package last year, losing networks such as BBC America and SyFy, two of my faves, it was a sacrifice on my part. I told myself I could get the seasons of the shows I watched on those networks later on from Netflix. Then when we sold our house, I thought maybe we’d move somewhere with a great cable company (LOLOLOL! Yes, I know, I can hear all of your laughter now) and I could get those networks back. But when we saw how much the cable was going to be and knowing what a pain in the behind the last company was, we made the decision to not get cable at all. Horrors!

Copyright STARZ

Copyright STARZ

Instead, we signed up for streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sling (just during the time period for The Walking Dead since that’s the only way you can get it live without cable). I later added the Starz add-on to Amazon to watch Outlander and HBO Now to get Game of Thrones. And you know what? I don’t miss cable! Why I am now seriously in love with streaming:

  1. No cable bill and I don’t have to deal with price hikes and the madness that is trying to talk to a live person at the cable company!
  2. If I want to cancel one of the streaming services, it’s easy. No endlessly being transferred from one person to another in hopes that I’ll give up and just keep the cable and the accompanying bill.
  3. Black Sails, copyright STARZ

    Binge watching! Anyone who really knows me know that I’m a big binge watcher when I find something I really like. Most recently it was Black Sails. I watched all three seasons in less than a week. Loved it! Pirates! Sailing ships! History! Hot men! What’s not to love?

  4. Being able to go back and watch things I missed — either seasons I simply hadn’t seen yet (like I just finished last season’s The Last Ship; hmm, ships and hot men, I’m sensing a pattern) or shows I’ve not seen at all but can now totally binge (Grimm, Merlin and Call the Midwife are on my list).
  5. No commercials! I don’t even have to fast forward through ones on a DVR.

Copyright TNT

Are you a binge watcher? If so, what is the last thing you binged? And help me with my to-watch list — what should I add?


Desperate Times Call for Desperate Hobbies

We’ve been talking about our hobbies on the blog lately. I love to write–like, love it. It’s been my favorite pastime since I was a first-grader with ink-smudged fingers and paper cuts from the spiral notebooks I carried around. When a story is going well, the words flow like magic. The emotions are clear on the page, and the characters are as real to me as family and friends. When a story is going well, there’s nothing I enjoy more than being at my computer, creating worlds.

When a story is going well.

The truth is, there are days when the writing does not go well. At all. You realize you have a plot-hole big enough to drive the family minivan through, you realize you’re not a visual person and have neglected to describe anything for one hundred and forty pages, you realize you’ll have to backtrack and throw out three chapters of work, and you realize your fictional “friends” can be uncooperative bastards. When these painful realizations occur, I suddenly find myself with previously unknown hobbies. For instance, did you know scrubbing toilets is super fun?

Add in some rubber gloves, and you've got yourself a partay!

Add in some rubber gloves, and you’ve got yourself a partay!

Okay, fine. “Fun” may not be the precise word, but having a clean bathroom is far more satisfying than sobbing at your laptop that you’re a talentless hack. Turns out, lots of things are. And so I give you:

Activities Tanya Enjoys Way More Than Writing (on the days writing sucks)


Lower body workouts

Slaving away in a hot kitchen on an elaborate dinner my kids will declare gross before they even try it

Walking barefoot through an anthill

Trying on bathing suits. In a room with fluorescent lighting

Re-watching the unsatisfying series finale of Lost and counting up how many hours of my life I “lost” to that show (approximately 121)

Enduring one of my thirteen year old’s “YOU’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND!” meltdowns. (Why limit myself to uncooperative fictional characters when I can enjoy tear-filled abuse in real life?)

Installing Windows Updates

Invariably, those updates take forever and usually screw up my computer for a few hours. But on the upside, by the time I get my document re-opened, I’ve forgotten how painful this writing business is and get sucked into giving it another try. Sometimes, I stumble into a moment of brilliance. The best feeling is stringing together enough moments and pages to produce a book I’m damn proud of (like, hey! this scorching hot friends-to-lovers romance that’s available in stores next week. You should read it. Pre-order now.)


And if the brilliance doesn’t come and the blinking cursor drives me to tears? Well, there are always a few hundred loads of laundry I could do. Bring on the fun.


Confessions of a House Tour Ho

Hi, my name is Sally. (Hi, Sally) And I am a house tour ho. I’ve never met a house tour I didn’t like. Seriously, I have been wracking my brain trying to think of one time I toured a house and gained nothing from the experience.


Can’t think of one.

My house tour habit is so bad that I once made my poor husband visit four houses in one day (Ralph

Emerson’s house. There are books in EVERY room. (by Daderot from Wikipedia)

Waldo Emerson’s house, the Old Manse, the Alcott House, and the Wayside Inn). Um, I might have also dragged him to the replica Thoreau cabin at Walden Pond, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and the Concord Museum. By the time we hit the Old Manse, the poor guy was punch drunk while I was stilling lapping up stories like the one about the time Thoreau made little leather boots for the chickens. He wasn’t intrigued by the fact that leather boots make chickens pass out. He said never again.

Fortunately, I have my mother as an enabler.

To give you an idea about what happens when you turn Jane and Sally loose, let me relate the tale of the accidental house tour. We were driving to Charleston and Savannah, where we would tour MANY houses, when I saw a sign for Alexander Stephens’s house. The following conversation took place:


Me: Hey, that looks cool.

Mom: Who is that?

Me: Not sure. Wanna go–

Mom: Yes.*

Me: –anyway?


So we toured the house thinking the tour guide would enlighten us as to the owner. Not so much. We got such scintillating instruction as “That there’s some forks and plates. They et on those.” True story. In the woman’s defense, she was the substitute tour guide, and it looked as though people didn’t stop by that often. Of course, that might be because, after Googling the aforementioned Mr. Stephens, I discovered we’d just toured the house of the former Vice-President of the Confederacy. Oops. I knew his name sounded familiar. If I’d done my Googling first, I might have skipped that one. Although probably not—it’s a sickness, people.

Now THIS is a house tour. (by JcPollock from Wikipedia)

Then there was the time Mom and I went to the Biltmore in August. It was hotter than blue blazes, and, after an extensive tour of the house and gardens, we decided to try out the winery. There was this ugly turtle lamp that was one hundred dollars, and I said, “That is so ugly. Who would want to pay that kind of money for a lamp?” Well, after tasting wines and champagne, I said, “That lamp’s starting to look pretty cute.”

No, you really cannot take my mother and me anywhere.

One of my favorite house tours was the unassuming home of Scott Joplin. Not only have I always been fascinated by his rags, but it was just a great little tour in Saint Louis. Bonus points because Her Majesty called it Scott Gobblin’s House.

Shakespeare’s House (1890-1905) MANY other writers have visited and left their names etched in various places. Huh-huh. I think I went upstairs to see Shakespeare’s etchings….

Just last summer I got to tour the house where John Wesley grew up as well as Charles Wesley’s home. Learning about the founders of Methodism really meant a lot to me. Same trip? Shakespeare’s boyhood home. After touring his home, I went outside to listen to the players, and they did a scene from Much Ado About Nothing. My eyes leaked a little bit. I tried to soak up all sorts of inspiration there.

In fact, I’ve made it my mission to visit the houses of writers. I’ve been to Faulkner’s House, Hemingway’s, O’Connor’s, and once we even drove by Alex Haley’s house, which I think is now open to the public. (Road trip!)

There was the time I, um, might’ve known more than the tour guide (Belle Meade in Nashville, TN) and the place that inspired my first romance novel (the Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, AZ), and there’s another novel idea brewing, one that was inspired by a house tour. I’m not spilling that one until I get that particular book written. Be on the lookout in about three years. Don’t forget, now.

I’ll leave you with one word of warning, though. I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts—I know, I know. I

Better Get to Livin'--available May 31st! Chock-full of ghosts! Most of them are friendly!

Better Get to Livin’–available May 31st! Chock-full of ghosts! Most of them are friendly!

wrote a whole book of ghosts—but I do believe that certain places have a. . . . vibe. Usually the vibe is neutral or even welcoming, but there is one house that I’ve toured that I won’t go back to because it gave me the most serious case of the willies. That house was the Mercer House in Savannah. The room where Jim Williams killed Danny Hansford? It was all I could do to stand there while the guide finished his or her spiel. No, thank you. That house has some bad vibes.

And that, ladies and gents, is one of the things that I like to do other than read and write. Of course, once I’ve toured a house, I really need the book to read later. And I’m probably going to write a story that was inspired in some way from my tour, so….there you go. You can take the girl away from her stories, but you can’t take the stories from the girl.


* Spoiler alert—any time you ask my mom “Do you want to go–?” the answer is yes before you even add in the place.


Hobbies? What Hobbies?

Wow, when I heard the topic for this round of blogs, I cringed. What the hell do I do with my free time that doesn’t revolve around reading and writing? Hmmm… Let’s see, I’m basically a child taxi service from 2:30-6:30 Mon-Fri which is more penance for having kids than hobby. And even then, plots spin through my head while I’m driving and subjecting my kids to my book playlists. Weekends revolve around my son’s club soccer schedule.

I have a slate of TV shows that I watch with my husband, although I don’t rise to fan-geekdom with any of them. Except for PBS Masterpiece Theater, I could probably give any or all of them up without crying, which speaks more to my nerdiness than a true passion. As an aside, is there a fandom for Masterpiece Theater? I enjoy superhero movies, but don’t go on opening day or wear hero-inspired clothes. Although, if the follow-up is as good as the first, Deadpool could become a mini-obsession. I loved it!

So…*twiddles thumbs*

Wait! There is one thing that I am obsessed with. One thing that has me dressing the part and counting down the days…Tennessee football. *Cue Rocky Top* And, if you don’t know the Tennessee fight song, then I’ll sing it for you—all the verses—at RWA in San Diego. It is the best, most unusual, red-necky fight song in all of college football. I have spent an insane amount of money on game tickets, approached heat exhaustion, and sat through torrential downpours to watch my team with 107,000 of my closest friends. I’ve never face-painted, but I would!

KNOXVILLE, TN - AUGUST 31, 2014 - Aerial wide shot from overhead of a full stadium during the Season opening game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Utah State Aggies at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, TN – AUGUST 31, 2014 – Aerial wide shot from overhead of a full stadium during the Season opening game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Utah State Aggies at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics

I don’t know what it is about football that I love. Certainly, not the concussions or deflated balls. Maybe it’s the suspense of not knowing what’s going to happen, the joy of watching a play come together, the anxiety of not knowing whether your team is going to get a happily ever after…er, I mean, a win.

I love football for many of the same reasons I love to read and write—it’s high drama, y’all! Plus, all the screaming and shouting and stalking around the house during the game is a great stress relief after sitting in front of a computer most of the week.

And—bonus points—I managed to combine both my love of writing and football for my first contemporary series. Wait, that’s where things are vastly different, there’s no keeping score in writing and publishing. That’s another reason I love football. After a three-hour game, there’s a winner and loser. No gray areas. Not like writing where you slog through months of drafting and editing only to have to wait another 6+ months before the book releases.

My point is I need some hobbies! I’ve been meaning to try one of those adult coloring books…I’ll let you know how that goes…



When Your Escape Becomes Your Cage

I love writing. I love reading. They are the things that have sustained me for pretty much my entire life. In my darkest periods, they were my escape, and there have been a couple of times when they were probably the only things keeping me sane.

When you love something that much, all you want to do is more of it. And so I wrote and I wrote and I read and I read, and eventually, two years ago, I hit my ultimate goal. I signed a contract for a multi-book, traditionally published series.

I’d made it. My dream was now my life.

But what I didn’t see coming at the time was that, in its own way, it had also become my cage.

Don’t get me wrong—writing and reading are still my passion. But over the course of those two years, the thing I turned to as an escape from the pressures of real life slowly became my real life. Between deadlines and sales figures and marketing, the stress of it slowly began to crush me, to the point where I finally started therapy for an anxiety condition that had been generally manageable for decades, but which had suddenly reached a point where it was controlling me and making me miserable.

One of the first questions my new therapist asked me was, “So what do you do for fun?”

And all I could do was blink at her. It was the scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier where Sam Wilson asks Steve Rogers, “What makes you happy?” and Steve gives the saddest little smile in the world and admits, “I don’t know.”

As my writing career became a bigger and bigger source of stress, the writing itself remained enjoyable, but it stopped serving as an escape. It came with a huge amount of baggage, reminding me at every turn of the pressures and fears lying in wait.

It took time and a lot of soul searching. But I eventually had to accept that while writing could remain a wonderful, important, fulfilling, enjoyable part of my life, it couldn’t continue to be my entire life. Not if I wanted to hold on to any shred of perspective or sanity.

So. In the past six months, while dodging deadlines and continuing to work my butt off at my writing, I’ve been putting real effort into trying to figure out what else is important to me and what else I enjoy. Some of it I’m less than proud of. Binge watching multiple seasons of Supernatural isn’t the peak of mental health. But at the same time, it was the escape I was so sorely lacking in my life, and while it can get out of hand, a little couch potato behavior can sometimes be a good thing for a mind that can’t seem to let go and relax.

Some of my other efforts have been better. My husband and I have been spending more quality time, going for walks and playing games. I’ve gotten back into some creative endeavors, including knitting, sewing, adult coloring, and even a little bit of drawing. Making something tangible with my own two hands has been particularly satisfying, especially in the publishing world where so much progress is intangible and everything is a matter of waiting.

While the time away from work has come with its own anxieties, overall it’s been worth it. I come back to my writer life with better perspective and more energy. And less crippling fear of failing at what I love. That kind of helps, too.

All in all, it’s a work in progress.

Has anyone else made the transition from doing something for fun to doing it for work? How have you coped? What fun things have you brought into your life to help take its place?


I sew vintage!

When I’m not writing, working the day job, or wife-and-mothering, one of the first places my imagination goes is to the sewing table. I first learned to sew in high school following the instruction of my mom and grandmother. In college, I worked my first retail job in one of the lowest-end fabric stores imaginable–I mean, really–there was no 100% cotton in the whole store. Since then, I’ve have had on and off bouts of sewing obsession. And thanks to former Bad Girl Frances Fowlkes and her wonderful print dresses, I’m in the throes of one, now.

Where writing is mental and emotional, sewing is physical and mental. As a writer, I have a lot of angsty moments: sending off queries, waiting to hear feedback, and the never-ending doubts about the story, direction, and everything, not to mention life’s moments that make me too wound up or pissed off to write a coherent paragraph. There’s something about cutting out fabric, pinning and planning that’s therapeutic. It makes me focus on something immediately in the present, and it’s challenging enough that I’m not obsessing about whatever is bothering me. And then, there’s the potential! The real appeal of sewing for me is taking an idea and making it real…kind of the same thing as writing, now that I think about it! When I think about sewing, I imagine what it will be like when I wear the creation I’m imagining. A cocktail dress for a RWA conference, a gathered skirt for work, a vintage muu-muu maxi dress for patio time this summer.

About 80% of my sewing projects are vintage patterns or reissues of vintage patterns. I’m not a full-on vintage girl all the time, but I like to incorporate the aesthetic whenever I can. Since many of my stories are set in the past, wearing vintage gives me an opportunity to feel what my characters feel–the rustle of petticoats, a nipped-in waist, stockings and garters. Also, the pattern art is the best!

So here are a few of my latest obsessions, finished, planned, and in-progress:

Here’s me in Butterick 6285 (skirt), with a petticoat underneath. I liked this so much, I’m working on a second one!











And, now for the planned/pending stuff! This is Butterick 6318. I’m planning to do this in black and white seersucker for graduation and RWA. And I may have cut my hair shorter based on how much I love this pattern art…


Butterick 6318











A play suit/bathing suit cover up (I’m doing the short version in an umbrella print):

simplicity 8085










And, last but not least, the vintage muu-muu for après-swim patio time! This pattern is circa 1967 and it’s almost finished. The plan is to wear it on Mother’s Day while doing absolutely nothing.

simplicity vintage mu-mu










So do you sew or have a craft that makes you semi-obsessed? I’d love to hear about it!


My Life Away from the Computer Rocks!

If Writing is my Art, Music is my Muse.

Music inspires me. Songs inspire me. Bands (and the introspective hotties in them) inspire me.

The lyrics. The melodies. The bass lines. The guitar riffs. The drum beats.

In this post, I’m giving you a glimpse into my life outside of writing. Music is my social life. Whether it’s hanging out at places I can take my kids that have live music, going to concerts with my husband and friends, or just cranking the volume and dancing around the house. Music is always in my life. For example, here’s my concert schedule for the next 2 months:

May 24 – The 1975 in Milwaukee
May 25 – The 1975 in St. Paul
(Yes, I am flying to see The 1975 in 2 cities in two days! I LOVE them)
June 15 – The 1975 in Charlotte
June 28 – Twenty One Pilots in Charlotte*

*Schedule does not include the following shows in May that I WANT to go to, but haven’t bought tickets for yet… The Wombats, Silversun Pickups, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie.

Did I mention that I may be a teeny tiny bit obsessed with The 1975. As a throwback to my teenage self going wild over The Cure—I simply adore The 1975 right now.

You haven’t heard of The 1975?? Oh my. Start googling now. I tried to upload some concert clips, but for some reason my movies are telling me the file is not found. (I type this calmly, though I’m panicking on the inside!!! My adult life in concerts–gone??? A freakout for another time, like 5 seconds after I post this…)

Music is my muse in many ways. Matty Healy, the lead singer of The 1975, inspired Aleksandr Varenkov’s hair in DELAYED PENALTY.

IMG_9365Matty’s hair is EPIC!! It’s difficult to see just how glorious his locks are in this pic. Again, just google him.

Every key scene in each book I write is inspired by a song. No joke. If you look at my playlists for each book, you can piece together which song inspired a certain part of the book.

When I write I listen to a ton of stuff: The 1975, Twenty One Pilots, The National, Frightened Rabbit, Catfish and the Bottlemen, James, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Poe, Shakira, The Griswolds…there are hundreds of artists.

When I write sexy scenes I listen to a lot of New Politics.


Let’s jam together. I love trying new bands or rocking out to old favorites, so hit me with you favorite music in the comments below!

*Meanwhile, I’ll try to find some personal concert footage I can upload. 😉  (NOT FREAKING OUT. YES, I AM.)

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.


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