Sunday, May 31, 2009

Update from the mountains of West Virginia

Greetings from the sticks! Despite the Great Laptop Disaster of March 2009, I'm back at the secluded cabin in WV for a few days of heavy duty writing. Right now you're wondering, didn't that guy just finish a book?

Technically yes. A few weeks ago I finished my last book (for now) with Shadow Mountain. They've been wonderful to me and I'll always owe them for giving my career wings. Simply put: I wouldn't be a full-time writer without their faith and dedication to the stories I've wanted to tell. I look forward to publishing certain titles with them again soon.

But in the meantime, new challenged await! I've recently agreed to publish my next two novels with the powerhouse of publishing, Penguin. That is, of course, the good news.

The bad news? They want to launch my first ever spring book next year, which means I have to deliver my next manuscript (much longer than Christmas Jars Reunion) on July 1st. Yikes!

The new book will be called The Cross Gardener and, believe it or not, we already have a release date: March 2, 2010. Just 274 days away!

And that, my friends, explains why I drove to the mountains of West Virginia to once again lock myself away and write until my fingers bleed. I'm very excited about the story and message of the new book, but it won't be easy.

Because I'm going to be totally consumed for the next month, I'm going to disappear from Facebook completely and, with the exception of urgent matters, from e-mail as well. As my sweet wife told me this morning, "Time to go to work, honey."

Thanks to all of you for being so supportive. I'm eternally grateful to you for giving my stories life by reading the books and embracing the messages.

Before saying goodbye for now, you might enjoy the latest episode of Jason's Cheesy Web Videos, shot in NYC at Book Expo yesterday. As usual, it's not great film making, but it might interest you if you've always wondered what the biggest book convention in the world looks like.

A final note, I've been having problems with my Facebook account lately (who hasn't, right?) so I will probably close it and start over. Please join my fan page if you haven't already by clicking here:

Off we go!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Covers released for the two fall books

It's not even June yet, but already my Christmas Jars publisher is releasing the covers for my two fall titles. (Christmas Jars Reunion and Penny's Christmas Jar Miracle)

It seems early, doesn't it? Believe it or not, the marketing and buzz-building for Christmas titles has been in full swing for over a month now. Posters, bookmarks, fliers, etc. are all being printed and distributed to bookstores and distributors all over the country. It definitely take a village to write, edit, promote and sell a book...

A bigantuan shout-out to Ben Sowards, uber-gifted illustrator of the children's book. He's what every artist should want to be when they grow up. Also a ginormiant thanks to Sheryl Dickert Smith, graphic designer extraordinaire of CJ, WL, RC, and now CJR.

You two crazy kids are amazingly talented!