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  1. My #8TerribleTitles Are Darn Horsey

    November 11, 2014 by Kiersi

    the-sweet-sixteens square

    I’ve been ushered in as a member of a really fabulous group called The Sweet Sixteens, an association of MG and YA authors with debut novels on the slate for publication in 2016. (It’s also a fantastic group blog that I’d recommend you bookmark!)

    Some dastardly devil within the membership of The Sweet Sixteens jumped on a blog hop that’s actually quite hilarious—#8TerribleTitles, where you pick 8 random phrases from your novel or work-in-progress and treat them as if they were the terrible titles of new, weirder novels.

    I was tagged in the hop by fellow Sweet Sixteeners Kathy MacMillan and Erin L. Schneider. (Thanks, ladies!) Here are some other Sweet Sixteens who have posted their #8TerribleTitles (and they are funny!):

    Jeff Zentner (I can’t wait to read #5: KINGS AND PRINCES AND SHIT)

    Ashley Blake (I’M PRETTY DAMN DESPERATE sounds like the True Title of a number of books I’ve already read)

    Jenn Bishop (I’m ready for the new, edgy novel, WE GOTTA GET FOOD NOW)

    Kali Wallace (ANOTHER STUPID MONSTER is the paranormal YA my heart has been begging for)

    Jeff Garvin (I really want to know how Ginny Weasley might alter the plot of SENSE & SENSIBILITY)


    My Hilariously Horsey #8TerribleTitles


    When I performed this neat little trick on SECOND CHANCE RANCH: SHY GIRL AND SHY GUY, for some totally unexplainable reason, all of my titles ended up incredibly horsey-sounding! I would actually quite like to write a book with the same title as #5. Izzy should totally get her own goofy rom-com when she’s older, with lots of bossing and frizzy hair.

    Without further ado, here are my 8 terrible titles:









    I’m pretty sure #8 is the horse equivalent of a 5-course, home-cooked meal.

    All right, since I only know a few other Sweet Sixteeners who haven’t yet done the #8TerribleTitles blog hop, I’m going to tag them. So here goes: Nisha Sharma and Melanie Conklin, this is me tagging you!

    Good luck! Have fun!

  2. Dealing with Online Harassment

    August 12, 2014 by Kiersi

    Photo by Carissa Rodgers

    Photo by Carissa Rodgers

    This subject has come up quite a bit recently, as a number of my friends on Twitter have become the target of online harassment for various reasons—for being activists, for being outspoken, for being themselves. It’s a very sad thing to watch someone’s resolve and passion get worn down by cyber-bullying, especially when the issues they’re speaking out about are so very important and salient.

    In case this ever happens to you, here are some steps for tackling online harassment and keeping yourself safe. If you guys like this or find it helpful, I’d love to do a follow-up piece on how to mentally handle online bullying and keep doing what you do, despite the haters. (Because seriously, screw the haters!)

    1. Screenshot and record all incidents that occur.

    The moment online harassment occurs, take screenshots and save them with the time it happened. Keep track of every interaction with the harasser and keep it as evidence, because you never know where a situation may lead. (more…)

  3. My Writing Process Blog Tour

    May 13, 2014 by Kiersi

    Well, I was tagged in this blog challenge by not one, but two lovely ladies: Amber J. Keyser, my oft-partner-in-crime and a devilishly talented writer, and Lauren Spieller, a recently-agented author and spectacular friend. So, without further ado:

    1. What am I working on?

    For reasons, I am revisiting my middle grade novel, Gryphon. Gryphon is an epic fantasy starring a princess, an orphan, gryphons, and even a dragon. It’s that kind of book!

    I’m also in the trenches plotting a new novel, but I’m not ready to talk about it just yet. However, I can tell you it will be YA (I’m returning to my roots!) and it’ll have a retro 1920s sci-fi feel. The mood of the story really captured me and I’m so psyched to start telling it! (more…)

  4. A Change of Direction

    March 18, 2014 by Kiersi

    You may have noticed it’s been pretty quiet over here on The Prolific Novelista. Or maybe you haven’t noticed, because that’s the thing about blogs: they work so long as you continue to update them. Readers will come when they can expect regular content, when they refresh the home page and find something new.

    And I have not lived up to that expectation.

    There’s a couple reasons for that, and even more reasons why it’s led me to decide to change my direction.

    A few months ago, I started to struggle to come up with topics for both this blog and for Publishing Hub, where I post every other Wednesday. Every post I began writing for TPN felt tired and boring and totally uninspired. (more…)

  5. Banned Book Week: The Golden Compass

    September 25, 2013 by Kiersi

    goldencompassIt’s Banned Book Week! While I’d normally blog about hoping my own books get banned by fidgety parents someday (all publicity is good publicity, amirite?), I was encouraged by my fellow bloggesses over at YA Stands to write about a banned book for my semi-monthly blog post.

    So, I picked The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.

    Until a friend of our family back home told me he would never let his children read it, for “atheist undertones.” I was aghast. An intelligent person–someone I respected–was going to keep this book away from his children because he was afraid they would be exposed to viewpoints other than his own; that it might influence them in some damaging way.

    Read the post here. Hope to see you over at YA Stands!

  6. The Gods of WordPress Have Been Appeased!

    September 16, 2013 by Kiersi

    God protects! by Shankar S.

    Photo by Shankar S. (flickr)

    I know it’s been quiet over here. Like, the-deafening-chirps-of-very-large-crickets quiet.

    Here’s why: I was a bad webmaster. I let my site fall terribly behind in WordPress updates. I wasn’t doing my job. So I had to hire a guy to do some WordPress magic for me, and the whole process just took some time.

    But now, The Prolific Novelista is back up and running again at full capacity! It’s kind of amazing, really. When I click things–they actually work. Who’d have guessed?! I can reply to comments! I can check past stats! I can do searches and tweak settings and make everything pretty! (more…)

  7. Querying Tips, Critiquing, and YA Stands!

    July 3, 2013 by Kiersi

    So, two weeks ago I started blogging with a great group of authors on a fabulous book blog called YA Stands. Today my second post with them goes up, so I figured my relationship there is cemented enough that I can announce it here!

    You can read my first post, 5 Query Tips You Would Never Have Guessed Actually Work, by clicking here.

    Determine the end point of your query. The “end point” of your query is very different from the end point of your novel. A common pitfall in a query is trying to tell the whole story in three short paragraphs (including the ending)–but the point of a query is not to tell the whole story. The point of the query is to capture the agent’s interest so they request a partial or a full portion of your manuscript.

    I also just put up a post today about critiquing: The Ten Commandments of Critique. I hope you’ll stop by and bookmark this great resource!

    Select a partner that respects you as a person and a writer. Be clear up front about the category, genre, length and style of your manuscript. Ask point blank if your potential partner enjoys similar work–I try to select comparable titles (published work that’s like mine) and see if my partner has read or enjoyed them.

    The next part is important, but hard to quantify: select a critique partner that understands your vision for your work, and is willing to help you achieve that vision.

  8. Veronica Mars Kickstarter! And news!

    March 13, 2013 by Kiersi

    I have a great post coming for you tomorrow on first pages and first paragraphs–but I decided to push that back a day and instead deliver a couple VERY IMPORTANT announcements.

    News item #1: Rob Thomas is making a Veronica Mars movie! If you haven’t heard of Veronica Mars, here is a post about why it’s amazing, and why Veronica remains my favorite teenage heroine in book, movie, or TV history.

    Of course, because the push for a movie/new TV series starring our favorite snarky blonde was purely from rabid fans (like myself), Rob had the great idea to fund production of the movie via crowdfunder giant, Kickstarter. (more…)

  9. The Fine Art of Doing Your Freakin’ Nails

    October 6, 2012 by Kiersi

    Yo, guys. I did not meet my deadline yesterday for the latest revision of Devil’s Fire. So, to cheer myself up–and because I desperately needed a break from editing today–I started a blog to host all my nail art designs.

    Check it out at