Sunday, December 30, 2012

A more personal post than usual for writers

If you want to know more about my 2012 year, go here:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

YABookNerd: Mysterious Saturday Review: Buried

YABookNerd: Mysterious Saturday Review: Buried: Thorn has three secrets. Thorn is not her real name - not that she's ever tell her new BFF Rune. Thorn loves to create music.  She's c...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Secrets revealed and a chance to win a DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY download.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Changling Amazon Paperbacks

Recently someone showed me an edition of DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY (#1 in THE SEER series 2004) that she'd ordered from Amazon. She wanted to know why the size was larger, so it didn't fit in on her shelf beside the other books and the book looked different, too, from the other paperbacks.

This puzzled me, reminding me of fairytales where someone finds a changling instead of their usual baby. My book baby had changed in size and texture. The larger cover wasn't smooth and shiny like usual. And it was listed as a first edition instead of the most recent 5th edition. Yet it also listed all of my books, including my March 2012 spin-off from THE SEER series, BURIED: A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY. So this had to be a recent change.

Now I already knew my publisher had been cleaning out the warehouse of some older titles, a few of mine included (all still avaiable as ebooks). But DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY is still in print, so I wondered what was going on.

Then I came up with a theory to explain this different edition and the reason Amazon can charge less than othe retailers for this series and even offer a 3 for 4 book deal. My guess is they didn't get this book from the publisher but printed it out themselves, a POD edition. Freeing up space in publisher warehouses while still offering paperbacks at low cost to readers. I wonder if this is happening with other paperback series, too.

I'm grateful that my books are available in mutliple formats. Still, I wonder what this means in the larger world of publishing. Any thoughts on this?

Monday, October 01, 2012


By Linda Joy Singleton

Have you ever had rejection after rejection for a book and wanted to give up? Maybe you have a book you’ve loved for years but it just won’t sell and you’re thinking of shoving it in a drawer or through the shredder. Well hold on a minute. Maybe you can’t sell this book now but there’s hope for the future.

I started writing young, submitting my first short stories when I was 14. I even applied to a writing school but was told to wait till I was 17. But I got discouraged and gave up until I was in my 20’s. Then I joined a local writing group, critique group and learned how to write synopses, query letters and how target my submissions to appropriate publishers.

In 1988 I had this idea for a girl with a bad sense of direction (like me) to have a near-death experience where she meets her grandmother but is told it isn’t her time and to go back—only she makes a wrong turn and lands in the body of a wealthy, popular girl who just tried to commit suicide. I called it TURN LEFT AT THE MILKY WAY (disclaimer: I did not choose this title because Milky Ways are my favorite candy bar).

The first version of this book received rejections. I won’t deny that I was discouraged. I loved this idea SO much, had never read anything like it, but in retrospect I needed to develop my craft to deepen the story. So I put the story away, sold other books, brought this out again every five years or so, rewriting but still not quite there yet.

Then in 2007, I rewrote again, changing the title to DEAD GIRL WALKING. I mentioned this project to my Flux editor (Andrew Karre, now with Carolrhoda), and he liked the idea but he suggested making my main character more likeable, adding paranormal aspects, dangerous villains and turning this single-title into a short series.

Now making a book where the heroine’s body dies at the end into a series offered a serious challenge. I mean, if her body died, what sort of happy ending could she have?

So I thought and thought, until I came up with a new ending and additional plots. After rewriting, here’s what I emailed my Flux editor:
I appreciated your suggestions. Including a villainous character is a great idea and added some interesting plot-twists. Readers seem to enjoy a twisted romance so I included that, too.

A week later he offered me a three book contract.

The book that begun as TURN LEFT AT THE MILKY WAY was published 20 years later by Flux as DEAD GIRL WALKING.

Even better—it’s not just one book, it’s a trilogy with DEAD GIRL DANCING and DEAD GIRL IN LOVE. And my editor’s brilliant suggestions for villains really added wicked fun to the books—especially DEAD GIRL IN LOVE where my heroine risks her heart and soul to a Dark Lifer.

If you want to see the subtle difference twenty years writing can make, compare the original TURN LEFT AT THE MILKY WAY first page and the published first page of DEAD GIRL WALKING here: .

So my advice to writers: Never Shred a Manuscript. Go ahead, put it away and when you look at it next time some new magic inspiration may strike then many rewrites later, like me, you may hold the published book in your loving hands. Good luck! author of DEAD GIRL and SEER series and NEW RELEASE: BURIED: A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY

Friday, September 28, 2012


I MUST BE A MASOCHIST—A WRITER'S LIFE: FRIDAY FEATURES—INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LINDA JOY SI...: Welcome to  Friday Features ! This is where you'll find interviews and guest blogs with and by other authors of juvenile fiction. If you're ...

My favorite childhood mystery is

How many readers can say that they've co-written a book with their favorite author?

I can. 

When I was around 8 years old I discovered the delicious mysteries of vintage girl detectives - Nancy Drew, Ginny Gordon, Trixie Belden,  Judy Bolton and many more. My favorites were Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton. When I was 13, I wrote fan letters to both authors, not knowing that Carolyn Keene was a syndicated name and not a real person (I later met Mildred Wirt, the original Carolyn Keene, but that's another story).  So I did not hear back from Nancy Drew's "author." But Margaret Sutton, author of the 38 Judy Bolton mysteries, published from 1932-1967 did write back, a long single-spaced typed letter that I still treasure decades later. I wanted to be a writer and she encouraged me, even showed some of my work to a college class she taught a few years later. She helped me complete my Judy Bolton collection so I was able to read every mystery.

When I was in my 20's, I visited Margaret (she was in her 80's). She told me of other fans who had started a newsletter called The Whispered Watchword, and I enthusically became part of this group. Through serendipity, I was given the opening chapters to a new Judy Bolton mystery, THE TALKING SNOWMAN, which I was told I could finish if I wanted - and I wanted! I wrote 100 pages in less than 3 weeks, and later edited with Margaret's advice. I self-published this book in 1997, just 4 years before Margaret died at 98. 

Next week I'm flying to PA for the annual Judy Bolton Days event in Coudersport, where the books were set; fictionaizing a quaint, lovely mountain town. The real events of the town are featured in each Judy Bolton Mystery, and we will be touring the sites, including a broken dam, private homes and a stately mansion. Margaret's family will be there, too. All of the Judy Bolton books have been reprinted by Applewood Books (they did some Nancy Drews, too). It's now possible to own the entire collection in paperback. A new Judy has been written as a project of Margaret's daughter, one of the co-writers my a dear friend and former sister-inlaw. I have already ordered my copy.  The only Judy Bolton book not reprinted by Applewood is the one I still have copies of in my closet, THE TALKING SNOWMAN. 

We'll get together each evening and share Judy Bolton fun, like a quiz based on the book selected this year, #13 THE NAME ON THE BRACELET, a mystery about switched babies that was published in 1940. Life was much different then, and as I reread this book, I'm struck by how women stayed in the hospital for days after giving birth and the fathers weren't allowed to even see the babies except through glass.  

While Judy Bolton is my favorite mystery series, I love many other vintage girl series books, and I had fun weaving in titles and references in my THE SEER series. 
How many can you find? I can make a contest out of this and award the one who finds the most a free book.  Just email me with your answers. I'll keep it open for a few weeks.

What is your favorite childhood book or series?

Friday, September 21, 2012



From Publisher's Marketplace:.

September 20, 2012
Picture book

Linda Joy Singleton's SNOW DOG, SAND DOG, in which a a girl's imagination does not stop her from loving a dog, well actually 4 dogs, of her very own, to Kristin Ostby at Albert Whitman, by Jill Corcoran at The Herman Agency (World).

Excuse me while I do a happy dance! Yay! This book was inspired by a photograph of Verla Kay building a snow dog with her sister. The words came quickly, the rewrite slowly and the trip to an offer for publication feels amazing!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Community Bookstop: Buried by: Linda Joy Singleton

Community Bookstop: Buried by: Linda Joy Singleton: Title: Buried Author: Linda Joy Singleton Publisher: Flux Pages: 257 Format: ebook Source: NetGalley Series: Gothic Girl Mystery#1 D...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012



This was my 21st SCBWI LA Conference & and the organization's 41st

I took my notes on my iPad, which is soooo convenient. Love this device!

Lin Oliver says there are 1,234 attendees; full conference. 46 states. 15 countries.

Keynote was ARTHUR LEVINE who is always witty and sincere. He said, “Children's books are a reflection of everything I value most dearly.”.

Also mentioned quote about anticipation being a better tool than surprise.
He spoke of Harry Potter, saying he won't talk about hype but of the good writing. He made an appearance at a week long Harry Potter camp. Now reading the 2nd book to his own 8 year old son. He published it because of his connection to Harry and how it made him cry when Harry stood in front of the Mirror of Erised.

TONY DITERLIZZI opened with, "Always have a logjam of ideas...tons of ideas." He showed photo of Albert Einstein, his favorite say, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairytales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairytales." The importance of imagination, that's key to me.

"Dungeons and Dragons introduced me to a lot of fantasy writing" He drew lots of fantasy creatures. SPIDER & FLY was his first NYT bestseller and Caldecott Honor. Asked himself "What would 10 year Tony want that 40 year old Tony can make?" He has a collection of toys from when he was a kid to remind him what it felt like to be a kid. Trying to make books for the kid version of himself.

SARA SHEPARD opened with, “I'm going to be talking about murders, scandals and lying." Author of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, book and tv series.

She was a ghost writer for Alloy, writing books under other names. Wrote about 6 ghosted books. Then she was told to write her own series and created PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. Was sold as 4 books, then another 4. TV show made it go beyond 8 books. Resurrected book with new plotting; reinventing.

She has rules about how to keep a mystery series (that's what she consider PLL) going.
You always have to know who your murderer is before you start out.
Always incorporate the "red herring."
Leave a bit to chance.
Be willing to change like when she had new book offers.
Outline. Outline. Outline.
Creates material that will never make it in the scenes (background)

"I definitely had secrets in my family, and used that."

Got book deal at age 28, and when PLL came out it wasn't that successful at first, and she was humbled. Although it was optioned nothing happened at first but then she heard people cast and script written. She was like "OMG" because some of the lines are straight from the book. "Whole experience has been kind of bizarre...suddenly on TV." Monday she is going to the set based on the town she made up. "It's a wonderful thing to see the characters on the scene, and pushes me to create better story lines." Sara Shepard, author of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

PATRICIA MACLACHLAN opens with, "I'm so sorry I have no scandals or my books." She added that she’s never written an outline.

She went on to talk about her life as a writer, including stories of her granddaughters and imaginary friends. Humorous, lovely talk! She says, "Even though we look like adults, we're children."

DAN GUTMAN admitted he was a reluctant reader and didn't like classics and wanted to write books for kids like himself. He gave a list of tips, mostly humorous and he seemed very comfortable talking, his humor corny in a cute grown-up-kid way. I liked him.

KAREN CUSHMAN: Pubbed 1st book at age 50. Written 7 books.

Opens by saying "Use me...stop me in the halls...don't think you're bothering me."
Collects blogs with helpful hints.
Karen says to have no rules.
Be open to surprise. At times stray from our outlines, ask ourselves questions that we don't already know the answers. If you were to respond differently, how would that change the story? When writing our characters we undoubtedly write more than we know.
"I've often been surprised by something I've written." Karen Cushman,
She hadn't noticed her birth metaphors in MIDWIVES until others pointed it out.

Karen says: Read and reread your drafts looking for the surprise...what your story is really about...what you really want to say."
I am not satisfied with lousy first drafts...go over and over, looking for the surprise.
"Inspiration often strikes when I am far from my chair and I have to run home to write."
She reads other writers while writing and she learns a lot (like me!)
"I suggest you read 100 books like the one you want to write. Read what you love and ask yourself why you love it." Karen Cushman

CLARE VANDERPOOL won Newbery for Moon Over Manifest Oct/2010 which I got from library and read. Liked it.

She said: Some highlights in a year and a half, like sitting by Sara Shephard yesterday which impressed her daughter. Took Clare 16 years to be published.
Then: started writing at 1994, quit job and raised 4 kids. Had no agent and many rejections.
Now: Kids out of school for summer & kids in house with friends. She sits at the table with headphones on with rain sounds to muffle sounds. Showed video of her daughter singing while she's trying to write. But school will come. Now she has agent and editor and published book soon to come out, plus a nice medal.

Amazing talk, like no other I’ve ever heard.

Ruta Sepetys who was blond and attractive and opened with her work for American Idol, helping the finalists to pick songs. Then she spoke of how she had a wake-up moment when a finalist asked her about herself and she said she was from Lithuania. But she didn't know anymore, so she researched and found out when her grandfather fled before he would have been executed by Stalin's people, his family left behind was punished, 12 of them sent to Siberia and only 2 surviving. She interviewed, traveled and asked more questions. She got emotional and determined to learn what it was like to survive a prison in Siberia. Then she paused and said she'd been encouraged to tell the rest of her story.

She heard about a group of college kids researching for a documentary. They wanted a real reenactment and were there for only 24 hours, but they couldn't wear them down over time. She wanted to experience this but was refused. So she offered them money and they agreed. She had to sign papers, and did much to her husband's concern. When she got there, there were lined up and suddenly the first men were beaten. She was terrified and it got worse because they came to her and beat her to, so she fell to the ground and they kicked her, rupturing her disk. She wiped off her tears with her wrist as she continued, admitting how she thought she'd be brave but it took only seconds for her to become terrified and a coward, ignoring a man's gesture for help, just wanting to get away, and glad to be put in a box away from the violence. But when she was put back with the others, one guy reached out to her and offered to help, and this gave her courage to help him, too. She didn't say much more, but obviously she got out and used all this for her book which won awards.

Afterwards we listened to Deborah Halverson talk about the market, which has improvement with picture books, which I knew already with my agent's sales.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Australia's "Katniss" is named Ellie

Years ago I read a thin paperback called TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGINS by an author I'd never heard of before, John Marsden. Something about this book intrigued me, and I've always loved reading about Australia. So I started reading...and didn't stop, so breathless by the action and captivated by the voice of a heroine who ripped into my heart. When I finished, it felt like my brain and emotions had run a marathon, and I had to have more books. But I quickly found out these were Australia books and it wasn't easy to get them in the US. After some research, I found all 7 books available in the US through Houghton Mifflin, the original copyright 1993 and first American printing in 1995. I'm guessing the series was a huge hit in Australia since there are 7 books then 2 addition featuring Ellie after the war. I didn't discover this series until 2003. The books were expensive in dj hardback, but I had to own them. (And to get the two Ellie ones later took some trading with an Australian friend). Now I've been a voracious reader since I was 8. So when I say that this series consumed me like no other, that is no small tribute. Each time I started one of the books, I could NOT stop reading till night turned into morning. My heart raced, my hands gripped the book, I forgot this world and lost myself in Ellie's Australia. I felt so fortunate to discover a series when it was completed at 7 (spin-off came later). I was waiting for Harry Potter still, praying that JK Rowling would stay healthy and avoid accidents. So to have all SEVEN books was heaven...and a little bit of hell when I read them and characters died in horrible ways. There's one death in that series that still haunts me. So imagine my absolute THRILL to hear there was a movie. I checked online and found it only available in Australia. I waited and checked again, and found it in DVD but not certain it would work on US DVD's. More time passed, and I saw it was listed on Netflix. I put it on que and it still hasn't come. I checked online again and it was like $30 to buy a copy, and I really just wanted to watch it, not necessarily own it. So I waited again -- and two nights ago I found it on our movie channel and set my DVR. Well I just watched the movie of TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN and I can not understand why US kids are not talking about this movie. It's very different than Hunger Games, but it packs a similar intensity, powerful teens and even small doses of humor. The characters seemed very much like how I remember them in the books, too. If it were released some some hype, it could be HUGE! I loved the cast and only hated when it ended and I'd already heard there wasn't a movie sequel. What's with the Australia movie makers -- get busy and film the second movie before those teens become adults. If you haven't checked out these books and the movie, do it NOW. Start with the books: Enjoy!

Friday, July 06, 2012

This is where I am: A tiny town at the edge of OR and Idaho. I've been visiting my picture-book-author-friend Verla Kay for a few days and we've been having a great time. Our hubbies get along great, too. The weather has been perfect, no hotter than 80 with cool breezes. And it's lovely here with rolling green hills and a friendly town right out of Mayberry. So far I've: * Took aa walk on a dirt road that used to be a railroad track * Road on a ferry boat ride on 4th of July * Walked a golf course while hubby played 9 holes & I found 12 lost balls (not his) * Played cards * Went to a casino where one of us won $300 on a piggy penny slot (not me) I also finished reading two books so far, both of them advance copies which I'll review later: SCARLET by Marissa Meyer (ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY LOVED IT!) and SPY AND LIAR by Rebecca Stead which was a quiet, enjoyable read with twist at end. I just started EVERY DAY by Levithan which has an intriguing story of a guy who wakes up every morning in someone else's body. Anyone who has read my DEAD GIRL trilogy knows I love books about body switching, and just a few pages in this book and I'm already intrigued and eager to read more. When I read YA books I enjoy and learn, always studying why something works. Writing is a continual learning process, and I consider myself lucky that my education (reading books!) is so much fun.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

FREE on Kindle and Nook...mystery short

FREE on Kindle and Nook What happens when psychic sleuth Sabine needs out-of-body help from Dead Girl Amber?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rae's Rumblings: May Challenge Buried

Rae's Rumblings: May Challenge Buried:   Buried is the story of a finder of lost items.  Thorn's mother is a minister and does not approve of Thorn (real name is Beth Ann) appea...

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Cynsations new article by me!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

REGENERATION series is regenerated

Tihe first book in my REGENERATION cloning series is now an ebook for only $2.99, and a wonderful new illustrator created a new cover for this book. Check it out here:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Editors, Agents, Authors...Oh, my NOTES!

My SCBWI Spring Spirit Conference notes are up on my blog. Enjoy the editor, agent, author advice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pens for Paws Auction: Teaser Tuesday: Auction Items as of 4/16/2012

Pens for Paws Auction: Teaser Tuesday: Auction Items as of 4/16/2012: In writing blog circles, we do a little thing called Teaser Tuesday, where we offer up short teasers from our work. I'm carrying that over ...

Monday, April 16, 2012

CubicleBlindness Reviews: Buried by Linda Joy Singleton

CubicleBlindness Reviews: Buried by Linda Joy Singleton: In a new school and determined to keep her secrets from being discovered, Thorn finds a mysterious locket that leads to a shocking discove...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Did you see this interview? All about writing & my books! Check it out! Also don't forget that DARK LIFER'S REVENGE is still free on Nook and Kindle.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trust Me...I'm a Writer: Is Your Character a Zombie?

Trust Me...I'm a Writer: Is Your Character a Zombie?: With the season finale of The Walking Dead still fresh on my mind, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the zombies vs. survivors dynam...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


ADVERTISING THROUGH YOUR SUBMISSIONS by Linda Joy Singleton While the writing process can seem magical and wondrous, one basic fact remains: Writing is a business. We sell our product to an editor, who (usually) then sells it to her associates, and then once purchased, the "book product" is sold to readers. As with most businesses, selling involves advertising. And for a writer, your first advertising tool is the query. A query can appear in many forms depending of the publisher and submission specifications. For a picture book, a short query will introduce you-the-author and your manuscript. For non-fiction, a query will describe the project and request permission to submit. And for middle-grade of young adult, you might send a brief cover letter, synopsis, and sample chapters. No matter what form your query takes, use it well. Think of your submission as a commercial. This is your chance to snag an editor's interest. Your cover letter/query/synopsis should be fresh, dynamic, and compelling. Editors read through hundreds of proposals, so make yours IRRESISTIBLE. Here are some guidelines: #1. KNOW THY EDITOR. Some editors prefer a short, breezy query or synopsis. They want the essence of the story without a lot of wordy explanations. But other editors demand scene-by-scene details. Study submission guidelines. #2. CHARACTERS. Characters are the breath and substance of a successful book. When you think of your favorite books, it's usually the characters you remember. Create a character trait chart and know your fictional people as if they were alive. Then write from your heart. Emotion is a key to strong, memorable characterization. #3. BE A PRO. This goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Write professionally. Follow tip sheet rules. Don't send a picture book to a non-fiction publisher or middle-grade series to a hardback single-title publisher. And make the manuscript look GREAT. Use a dark ribbon, double-space, use proper margins, and check for misspellings and grammar problems. The quality of your product is a reflection on YOU. Strive for PERFECTION. #4. RAZZLE DAZZLE. Editors are people, too. But they are over-worked people who see similar plots and situations repeatedly. Don't be cute or silly (no pink perfumed paper or cute kid photos or stickers). Think past the ordinary and let your own natural style WOW the editor. Open your a query/synopsis with an irresistible hook, follow through with a suitable submission, and then wait for magic to happen; the kind of magic that starts with blank paper, grows with imagination, and then materializes into a book with your name on it. ---------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Inspiration Blog I am so honored and touched by this blog. I love my fans!

vvb32 reads: Spirited with Linda Joy Singleton

vvb32 reads: Spirited with Linda Joy Singleton: ~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~ by Linda Joy Singleton ~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~ SCENE FROM "PHANTOM OF THE PROM" short story in Leap/SPIRITED a...

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Love this!

Some reviewers really get it -- check it out!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dark LIFER'S Revenge is free

FREE on Kindle and Nook

Sunday, February 12, 2012

SPIRITED 13 Authors

Last year I was invited to contribute a short story with a paranormal them to an anthology from Leap Books titled SPIRITED. I was super excited, especially when I found out that some fantastic authors would be joining me.

Since my THE SEER has some amazing fans, I wanted to give them a new story with favorite characters Sabine and Dominic. So I wrote PHANTOM OF THE PROM; a ghost, prom, romance.

SPIRITED is out now online and in March a paperback comes out, too.

This book is split up in three different genres of stories: PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE. My story is in the PRESENT category. I thought it would be fun to share the titles and authors for each story:

SPIRITED paranormal Anthology, edited by Kat O'Shea


1. Strangeways vs. the Wraith by Judith Graves
2. The Senet Box by Jill Williamson
3. Stained by Mark Finnemore
4. Thread of the Past by Dawn Dalton

5. The Cold One by Candace Havens
6. Death becomes Her by Kitty Keswick
7. Oast House by Carmen Tudor
8. The New Girl by Maria V. Synder
9. Aftermath by Halli Dee Liburn
10.Phantom of the Prom by Linda Joy Singleton

11. Night Queen by John W. Otte
12. To Hell and Back by Shannon Delany
13. The Story of Late by Heather Kenealy

Hope you check out our stories!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012


In this short story Sabine from THE SEER unites with Amber from DEAD GIRL WALKING to rescue Sabine's boyfriend Dominic from a Dark Lifer.

Also BONUS 3 chapters from HE SEER, DEAD GIRL and preview of BURIED: A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY.