Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book News!

The ink on the contract is dry! I am finally allowed to make an official announcement!

My next book, THIS ORDINARY LIFE, will be coming out next October! Check out the blurb below for a little more about the book.


Sometimes Hope is the Most Extraordinary thing of all.

High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a NYC radio station, she knows she can turn things around.

That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future.

Then she meets Wes. He’s smart, cute, and the perfect combination of funny and sweet. He also happens to have the same condition as her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going out with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her.
Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health, and not even where her heart will lead her. But that doesn’t mean she can’t try to live each day as if it were a somewhat ordinary life.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Books, books, books!:)

Hey friends!

November is epilepsy awareness month which means I will once again be donating a portion of ALL book sales for the entire month to help children and adults with epilepsy. This year’s donations will be going to the National Epilepsy Foundation.

Any sales in any format and from any retailer count – Second Verse is available at the major online retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble and can also be purchased at any independent bookstore.

If you want an autographed copy, you can buy directly from my local indie bookstore: WORDS bookstore. Just shoot them an email when you order and let them know if you want hardcover or paperback, who you want it made out to, and I’ll swing by the store and personalize it for you before they mail it out.

If you buy from an online or local-to-you retailer and would still like it personalized, just email me at, message me on FB, or @ me on Twitter, and I will send you an autographed bookplate sticker to stick inside the book.

Books make awesome holiday gifts! And a part of your purchase will be donated to the National Epilepsy Foundation!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Hey blogger friends!

Just getting home from my first day at the NJRWA conference. Can't wait to head back for a full day of workshops tomorrow. I left all the sessions I attended today feeling inspired to write, revise and brainstorm! Plus, it was fun to hang out with so many amazing and nice writer folks.

But the most amazing and surprising thing of all happened tonight as day one of the conference was winding down with the last event of the evening - the awards ceremony . . .

SECOND VERSE won the NJRWA Golden Leaf Award in the Young Adult category! I was in shock. I am in shock!

Well I better get to sleep. Conference starts early tomorrow and I want to be ready to dig into the conference sessions and be inspired some more!

Happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On the Ups and Downs of Writing: A Writer’s Guide to Surviving the Emocoaster. Plus, How Reading Helps and Hinders Us.

Writing and self doubt go together like Nutella and a spoon.

Writers, naturally full of doubt, introspection, and self-criticisms, are often strapped in tightly to the emocoaster (emotional roller coaster). The range of emotions over the course of a writing project, or a period of querying or editor submission, or even a single week or day can vary wildly. One minute you’re in love with a project, it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever written no seriously I love this story, and the next, you’re ready to tear out your hair, gouge your eyeballs and drink a drano cocktail to rid the world of another hack writer (okay, a bit dramatic, but you get my point.).

The highs are high, the lows are low, the little self-doubt monster continues surfing on the swell of emotions that comes in droves, driven by the constant back-burner wrangling of fears: will I make it? Will I ever be good enough?

On a good writing day, you’re riding high, and it’s easy to banish the thoughts, but one little slip up: a bad writing day, a batch of particularly negative beta comments, an agent/editor rejection, a bad review, whatever, can send the emocoaster plummeting once again.

And then there’s those times where you’re stuck in one pattern or another, either sailing on the whoo hoo my writing rocks breeze or sloshing through the I suck sewers and just trying to get through the fricken first draft, when you happen to read a great book, one that grabs you and pulls on every emotion, has you rereading lines and whole passages because the language is that beautiful, but you’re flying through it anyway because the plot and tension are amazing too and you finish and put it down and are so smitten with the book that you broodingly stare at it and want to break down in tears because:

Damn it will I ever write like that?

Here’s the thing about reading. For a writer, there is nothing as useful as reading, and reading a heck of a lot. It keeps ideas fresh, keeps us current on what’s happening in the reading world, and, duh – writers are readers – it’s fun, too. Plus, there are things you really can’t just know or learn any other way. It’s one of those you’ll know it when you see it things. Things like story flow, plotting, pacing, dialogue, tension, action, emotion, relationships, climax, characterizations, sentence structure, plot structure, mythology, and gosh, the list could go on forever. These things soak in when you read, whether you're consciously looking for them or not.

But reading can hinder us too. I tear through books pretty quickly but I find that when I read too much, too fast, my head starts getting too crowded with ideas. If I’m really taken by one author’s metaphors, but the next book amazed by another’s tone, and the following week swimming in awesome voice and dialogue and next floored by descriptions… etc., I start looking at my ms like I need to fix everything at once. It’s overwhelming.

I know many of us do this comparison thing, so here’s what I’ve learned to remember:

When I am first drafting, I have to slow down my reading DRASTICALLY. Too many different voices interfere with mine, and if it’s anything even close to my genre/story, my muse is off balance, stumbling along like she sucked down way too many books at last call.

Also, when reading a published novel, it’s good to always keep in mind: it’s been written, rewritten, revised like hell (most likely) and edited by many industry professionals. Your book? The one you’re crying and thinking sucks? Most likely it’s a draft – go easy on yourself. Just finish the thing, then freak out.:D

Relax. Ride the emocoaster when you have to, allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel before letting it go. Like I tell my kids, we can’t control the outside forces that make us feel what we feel, we can only control our reactions to them. A rejection, beta comments that bring us down, or a beautifully written book we feel we can never aspire to. Whatever it is, let it soak in, accept it, have some chocolate/wine/cheese doodles/etc. and then move on. We all have our down days and rejection and writing can beat us up, but just keep pounding away at the keyboard and finish that draft so that someday, it’s your book people are sighing over and underlining in and putting on the shelf for a second, third or fourth read someday.

So up up up we climb again, until the emocoaster takes another dive.

(Reposted from April 2011)

Friday, February 21, 2014

ALAN Picks Review of Second Verse!

So excited to find out SECOND VERSE got a really nice ALAN Picks review. Here's an excerpt of what they had to say:

Second Verse has ghosts, murder, a tantalizing romance, past lives and a shocking conclusion. Walkup has an enticing writing style that will keep all who enter her haunted world glued to the page. Some readers may find the ending unsettling but others will relish the unexpected twist.

The rest of the review can be found here.

Happy weekend, friends!

Buy Second Verse:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Nuvo Newsweekly Review of SECOND VERSE!

This Nuvo Newsweekly review of SECOND VERSE made this snowy day a little warmer!

Twisting through past and present is a chilling experience for two teens on a quest for truth. Walkup's Second Verse edges between Agatha Christie and Tony Hillerman, with themes touching on alienation, rebirth, the occult and destiny, setting the scene with intensifying turns of strangeness and familiarity while leading us deeper into the evil that lurks among us. … Hang onto your seat as pages turn."

Buy Second Verse:

Monday, January 6, 2014

School Library Journal Review!

Hey friends!

Here's a peek at the School Library Journal review of Second Verse from their January print issue.:)

“Walkup ratchets up the tension effectively through contrasting the past and present, building empathy for both couples and making the denouement all the more shocking. A chilling, accessible read.” ~ School Library Journal

Buy Second Verse: