Sunday, November 6, 2011

Slap Me Silly!

Have I told you that the Sammy Keyes book I'm working on now is the "Heather" book?

No?

How could I have kept that from you?

Maybe because I didn't know myself just how much of a Heather book it would be?

No, that's a cop out.

I knew.

But now that I'm in the middle of it?

Wow. Is this interesting?

I don't mean to imply that the book is written in the voice of Heather. What I mean is that she's in the main plot, not just a subplot, and in this book we're getting to the bottom of why she is the way she is.

As you  can imagine, this is taking a lot of digging.

But before you ever pierce your spade into the ground, there's the whole ordeal of finding "X-Marks-the-Spot."

In the case of Heather, it's been 15 books of figuring out where to start digging.

And now that I've started I'm reminded of digging a hole at the beach. Sand falls in, little crabs appear out of nowhere, you run into rocks and old bottle caps and baby shoes...then the sand gets darker and colder and slowly water starts seeping in.

I should maybe clarify that no, there's not actually something buried in this book--we've had enough of that with Dead Giveaway and Night of Skulls, right? The only thing buried in this case is what's inside Heather's head, and digging down to it has been fascinating.

And (confession time) during this week's writing (and digging), I came upon something that made me tear up.

Me? Tear up over Heather?

Slap me silly! Heather's a beast! And after everything she's put Sammy through? How could anyone (especially me!) tear up over Heather???

But it's true, I did. And although it was temporary, I do still have a long way to go before I quit digging. And if water's already seeping in?

Somebody send me a paddle!

25 comments:

sammy4ever said...

I READ THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THIS POST AND I FREAKED THE FLIP OUT.
It literally took me about half an hour to read this because I was so excited.
WE'RE FINALLY UNCOVERING THE TRUTH THAT IS HEATHER ACOSTA
I AM SO EXCITED IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY!
THIS IS AMAZING.
WHY MUST WE WAIT?!?!
Wait, so if this "Heather" book is NOT Justice Jack, then it must be book #16? Right?
TWO MORE BOOKS AND THEN THE END?
I'M GONNA CRY.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I WILL NOT LET SAMMY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so excited to dive into this metaphorical hole you've dug in Heather's head.
SO EXCITED.

Stefunny said...

Everything I needed know about beasts I learned from Beowulf. Every beast has a mother that is far beastlier. I am excited to discover Heather's mother, i.e., the roots of her beastliness.

Norma said...

Oh wow. A Heather book? For a second there, I was really thinking it was going to be from her pov. Ugh, it makes me crazy knowing how long we have to wait to actually read it. Give a girl an excerpt, won't you? Pretty please with a shiny, big, fat cherry on top? (^_^)

Millers said...

A Heather book huh? Now this , this is gonna be epic. To the belly of the beast!

Wait, does this have anything to do with her being indebted to Sammy cause Sammy saved her life?

And do we sort of get a glimpse on who Sammy's dad is in this one?

Ah, it's a wierd feeling seeing Sammy grow up. I mean, though I started reading sammy when I was 9 and now I'm fifteen and it's kind of like I'm aging in dog years compared to her, I feel like Grams.

Leslie said...

How interesting! Though I must admit I saw it coming; I was (finally, finally) reading Night of Skulls and thinking, you know, we could really get somewhere with Heather by the end of the series. And I hoped that you would get around to addressing her. So I'm glad you are!

Amanda said...

Your posts are always so funny and entertaining. You're probably a riot to be around.

Isn't it funny, in a way, how your own writing can effect you how it effects a reader (i.e. your tearing up)? That has happened to me a few times but I usually have headphones on with some film score playing to make the scene play out in my head better (like I was watching a movie) and the added music just brings another element to what is being written and it is easier to get emotional. Music is my muse, the thing that gets me in "the zone." Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is one of my favorite film scores to write to, especially the track "Einsteins Wrong."

How do you get in "the zone?"

AbaGayleb said...

OHHHMYYYGOOOSSHHH.
FINALLY.
:O

xxCammyLoverxx said...

Am I one of the only people in the world who's always secretly liked the idea of Sammy and Heather becoming friends? I mean, after Heather sorts out her issues...but...
That's probably not going to happen, only you know best, but I can't wait to find out what's going on with Heather's world.
I've actually discussed this with my mom who reads the books and is a clinical therapist (aka she majored in psych and works with serious problem-children).
I think Heather, with what I've seen, could use a person like my mom in her life.
So based on psych class and my mom, I have very keen opinions on the subject of "What's going on in the mind of Heather Acosta".
I'm probably not right.
But I'm reallyreallyrealalallaalayyyy excited now.
I HAVE GROWN UP WITH THESE BOOKS. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOURE ALMOST DONE. SINCE THE FOURTH FREAKING GRADE I HAVE READ AND LOVED AND APPRECIATED ME SOME SAMANTHA JO.
She's like my best friend.
SAMMY KEYES SERIES. LIFE CHANGING.
It's, either people HAVENT read the series, but if they HAVE then they are super-obsessed. I don't think there is an in-between, someone who's like, "I liked it, but kinda". I think everyone who's read this series appreciates it greatly. AND YOUR POSTS.
Trust me, I will cry too when I read it, most likely. I get overemotional at everything, like i get overemotional when reading Hollywood Mummy, I ALWAYS cry at the end. And at the end of Wedding Crasher when Sammy thinks, "...I loved her to the ends of earth" about her mom?
CRYING.
I will throw a party when the last Sammy Keyes book comes out. And if you think I'm kidding you obviously don't see my full admiration of this series.
SIXTEENTH BOOK?? The 15th book hasnt even come out yet. THAT is what I call ahead of the game.
SAMMY LOVE 100%.
xoxo

Optimistic4ever said...

So excited! I remember at the book signing I met you at, I told you about Heather being my favorite character because I really feel she's just a girl who has had a really messed up life, and she's totally misunderstood, and you said that we would learn more about Heather and solve the conflict.

AND NOW IM SOOOOO EXCITED! HEATHER ROCKS!

She's not a beast, she's BEAST! As in amazing, epic, awesome!

Heather rocks!

GwyMaLaur said...

Here you go!!!
encase you didn't know, i just threw you a paddle.
your welcome :)
Can't wait to find out what lies inside heather!! ha ha!
- gwynmalaur

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Tee-hee! I love all these comments. I laughed out loud about GML tossing me a paddle (here you go!), and the comment about Heather rocking--O4E you are brave, brave, brave! xxCLxx: I send you xxooxx! AbaGayleb: I know, right? Amanda: no lyrics, right? I can't do any work around music that has lyrics. I need the hum of the computer and NO TALKING to get in "the zone" -- and darkness helps. Not pitch black, but pre-dawny, post-dusky darkness. Leslie...yup, it's been coming! Millers: Talk about feeling like Grams! Sheez! I used to feel like Sammy, then her mom, (well, you know, a good version of her mom!) and now I'm like,I'm turning into Grams! And yes, this is also the Sammy's dad reveal. Talk about finally! Yes, EPIC is how it feels! Heather and the dad in one book! How does that work!? Sorry, I can't tell you, but I've been setting it up for YEARS so it will. Norma: No sneak peek yet--too early! Stefunny: Yes, beastly is as beastly does. (Or!) And I've been meaning to tell you for WEEKS--you are SOOOO funny. Mark and I have watched some of your bits...hilarious. No matter what other (sensible) avenues you take, KEEP DOING THE COMEDY. And, finally, ('cause I worked from the bottom up) first poster sammy4ever: I love how you freak out. Just LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I really should go back and break this up into separate people paragraphs, but I'm going to leave it all lumped together because I like the thought of you all being rolled together in one big, happy comment (so no fighting with O4E just 'cause she said Heather rocks). You guys are the best! Good night!

Jinnyd said...

They say that bullies are only bullies because of some insecurity they feel in their lives. Well, the people who say such things. And you can't have a paddle without a canoe! Or at least a decent bucket. *tosses a lifeboat, with complementary flashlight and trail mix* For whatever deep, dark secrets that you're unveiling that will make Heather seem like an actual human being worth tearing up over!

Can't wait to read this book! :-D

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Trail mix and a bucket, thank you!! (And the flashlight will be very handy in those dark, scary places!)

Amanda said...

Correct Wendelin, no lyrics because I can't work with people singing.

I have so very few quiet moments with two young kids. It's hard to get any writing done without being interrupted every few minutes. But I keep truckin' on!

If I tried working in the complete silence one of two things will happen: 1) I'd fall asleep because I am sleep deprived. I may get plenty of sleep hours wise, but they are rarely uninterrupted hours. 2) My head wouldn't shut up long enough to be able to get any productive work done because there is too much up there competing for air time and it all just rushes to the fore front all at the same time. This is also why I don't get good sleep because I can't stop thinking.

Funny Huh!

Kylie said...

Quick question, When is the next Sammy Keyes coming out becuase I just can not wait?!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Amanda--that sounds so familiar! I got up early before work (5AM) which somehow worked best for me. Just too exhausted at nightNot funny, though. Hard. And you spend each day with half a headache... sometimes a whole one.

Kylie: May! So forgettaboutit for a while and enjoy the cold dark days of winter. :-)

Naureen said...

Hey Wendelin! I always try to comment but somehow it NEVER goes through. Well...it did once or twice...:D
I love the idea of a Heather book! I really wanted to know more about her. I finished The Night of Skulls about two weeks ago and completely LOVED it. You're and awesome writer. And I just love Billy's character, he made the book very enjoyable.

Julie said...

how intriguing wendelin!!! i've always wondered if we were going to dig into heather's head at some point, and now finding out that we're going to find out about her ANDDDDDDDDDDDDD SAMMY'S FREAKIN' DAD IN THE SAME BOOK IS TOO MUCH!!!! WAITTTTTT NOT THAT I DON'T WANT TO KNOW THEM IN THE SAME BOOK (CAUSE I DO) BUT THAT I WILL BE AN EMOTIONAL WRECK.
i too, am WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too emotionally attached to books ESPECIALLY Sammy Keyes. I literally cry at some point in every book at how great the writing its, or how sad the situation is, or how funny something is, or how cute casey is!! ESPECIALLY in Wedding Crasher!! i legitimately shouted/screamed/yelled from the top of a mountain "YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!" when they kissed for the first time :D and it didn't matter that it was two in the morning.... :D:D:D:D:D
ANYWAYYY i got on a side track (sorry) and i just am SO STOKED to find out about Heather- be careful though, Wendelin! we can't have you drowning before you finished writing SK #18!! here's a kayak, paddle, life vest, matches, a water bottle and crackers... just in case!!
SAMMY KEYESTA 4EVA!!!!!!!!!!!!
<3julie<3

Stefunny said...

AAAH!!! You think I'm hilarious? Thank you for telling me! That made my week/month :)

bookworm said...

i came a little late, kind of busy..........


OMG OMG OMG OGMG OMG OMG OMG SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (happy dance)

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I HAVE BEEN WAITING SO LONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :d THANK YOU WENDELIN, YOU'VE MADE THE REST OF MY WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yuseyz said...

OMG I JUST READ NIGHT OF THE SKULLS! It was so much beter than the wedding crasher. Some times i think im reading ur books just to find out who sammy's dad is. I don't think its anyone of the already introduced characters. anyway after i read NOS in 2 hours this morning i was pumped cuz its so good. When is power of justice jack coming out? im so excited but i dont want to wait a year again.
Is the heather acosta based one the 15th or the 16th one. Hurry up im running out of good books!!!! I wish there were people like holly and casey and marissa and billy and especially sammy. oh and did u say the dads coming in the next book, or the one after that? im so excited! OH AND WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED - BILLY AND MARISSA!!
I WANT TO MEET U SOOOOO BAD AND I WANT TO BE AS GREAT OF A WRITER AS U ONE DAY. I WISH THER WERE MORE THAN 18 BOOKS. :(
CANT BELIEVE ITS BEEN A YEAR SINCE THE SECOND BOOK. SHES COME SO FAR.
AND WE ALL CAME THROUGH WITH HER,
SAMMY KEYES ALL THE WAY - Yusa

Julie said...

OH MY GOSH yuseyz, i forgot that Sammy has only been through ONE FREAKIN YEAR!!!! wowwww we're aging in dogs years compared to her!!!!! crazy stuffff
<3julie<3

Caradith Craven said...

Calling all you Sammy Keyes fans. Please go TodAY to the readers' book reveiw site, goodreads.com, and vote in the 2011 Choice Awards contest. Just register to use the free site, go to the home page, and click on 2011 Choice Awards.

You can write in a vote for Sammy Keyes and the Night of Skulls on the middle grade selection. You can also write in a vote for The Running Dream on the Young Adult Fiction, Best author, or Best Book links.

Please take a moment to let readers out there know how much you enjoy Wendelin's books by getting her 2011 titles nominated. (They will take the top five titles with the most write in votes and include them in the nomiated lists to be voted on in the second round starting tomorrow.) PLEAE VOTE TODAY.

Caradith Craven said...

P.S.: Wendelin, congratulations on The Running Dream being selected as one of Amazon's top ten Young Adult titles for 2011.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Okay. I'm going to have to start calling you Saint Caradith. That's awfully sweet of you!