Miranda Kenneally

Mexican Food Cures Writer's Block

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BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE Sold to France and Germany

Good news! I am thrilled to announce that my latest book, BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE will be published in France and Germany! Here are the details:

Rights to author of Catching Jordan Miranda Kenneally’s BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE, to Tanja Poestges and CBT in Germany, by Sara Hartman-Seeskin at Sourcebooks, and to Mortagne in France, by Noeme Rollet of Elaine Benisti Agency.

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New Books!

I’m super excited that I’ll be writing more books with Sourcebooks! I don’t have many details yet except for release date. Here is the Publisher’s Marketplace announcement:

Children’s:
Young Adult
Author of CATCHING JORDAN and BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE, Miranda Kenneally’s next two books set in the Hundred Oaks high school world, to Annette Pollert at Sourcebooks Fire, in a good deal, for publication in summer 2016 and summer 2017, by Sara Megibow at Nelson Literary Agency(World).

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PSA: Side Effects of Spending Too Much Time on the Computer!

Five years ago, right before I signed with my literary agent, I hurt my back. It was Thanksgiving and I was at my husband’s family’s house. His mom chose to bake the turkey in olive oil, and because my purse was in the kitchen at the time of cooking, the olive-oil-turkey smell infused into my leather purse. For some strange reason, Husband then placed the purse on top of my pillow, so when I went to sleep that night, all I could smell was this turkey/olive oil monstrosity.

So I got out of bed and went to find a couch to sleep on, only to discover that my husband’s parents do not seem to have couches! They only have love seats. So I curled up on a love seat, and the next morning I had a horribly stiff neck. I couldn’t move my neck from side to side and I couldn’t sit up straight in a chair. I kept sinking down into my chair like I was melting.

I spent the day drinking wine and gin & tonics, trying to take the edge off the pain from the stiffness, but finally I gave up. I went to the emergency room, where they told me I had torticollis, a nerve injury. Basically, because I was so stressed out over getting a literary agent and selling my first book, I had given myself a back spasm. The doctors gave me valium, which basically made me not care about anything. All I remember from that period is that I wrote a scene about an online dating service?? from 4 different points of view.

Over the years since then, I’ve worked very hard to maintain calmness and not let my back clench up again like during the Turkey-Olive Oil-Love Seat-Torticollis Incident of 2009. I don’t want to experience that kind of pain again. Every time I feel a muscle spasm coming on, I immediately stop what I’m doing and just try to relax.

About two weeks ago, when my new book BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE was coming out, I started to feel my muscles cramping up. I knew I had to relax and stop the pain before it really got going, so I got a massage, I stretched a ton at the gym, I relaxed, I drank some margaritas to take the edge off, but nothing worked! Pretty soon, my back was killing me and I couldn’t get a full night’s sleep. I couldn’t sleep on my back or either of my sides, so I tried sleeping sitting up and also lying on a yoga mat. Nothing worked.

Last week I had a series of doctor’s appointments and an MRI, and the doctors confirmed that I have a ruptured disc in my upper spine. 🙁 This is causing all the nerve endings in my shoulder to hurt like crazy. I’m unable to sleep for more than an hour or two at a time because my body stiffens up if I stay in one position for too long. The lack of sleep + pain medication means I am super loopy and not thinking straight, which is making things very difficult for me given that I have a book deadline this Friday!!

To fix the ruptured disc, the doctors are going to try to repair it naturally through physical therapy and wearing a white cervical collar (it looks like I have whiplash! I’m telling everyone I was in a cool motorcycle wreck. My husband is telling people I was in a Vespa accident, which I take offense at).

The x-ray and MRI showed that my spine has started to change shape because I spend too much time leaning over a computer. This led to me having a ruptured disc. Now I have to change my habits. I can’t be on the computer for 12+ hours a day anymore. I have to get a standing desk for work, so that I can improve my posture and fix the way I hold my neck for long periods of time.

If in 3-4 weeks, after I change my habits, my neck is still not better, I might have to have surgery. Which I absolutely do not want.

Even worse, I’m not allowed to run right now. I am only allowed to use the stationary bike, which is like hell on earth for me. I’m a terrible cyclist!

But the absolute worse part is that I am not sure how this will affect my writing going forward. Will I spend more time drafting on paper before typing it into the computer later? Should I get a Helper Intern who types what I tell him/her to write? Perhaps a Helper Monkey?!

All of this is very scary for me and I’m not sure what will happen, but I wanted to share with you that I might not be online as much in the coming weeks.

And most importantly: you should definitely pay careful attention to your posture and how much time you spend on the computer! I’m definitely paying for it now.

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Summer Surprise Giveaway w/ Great Authors!

Hi Everyone! I’m really honored to be included, along with some of my favorite authors, as part of Katie McGarry’s contemporary giveaway! The giveaway runs from July 15-23.

Here is the prize package:

  • Katie McGarry: a signed paperback of Dare You To, a signed hardback of Take Me On, and a Take Me On poster
  • Trish Doller: a copy of Where the Stars Still Shine
  • Huntley Fitzpatrick: signed copies of My Life Next Door and What I Thought was True
  • Joy Hensley: a signed ARC of Rites of Passage
  • Colette Ballard: a signed copy of Running on Empty
  • Miranda Kenneally: signed copies of Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker, Things I Can’t Forget, Racing Savannah, and Breathe, Annie, Breathe

So let’s recap–that’s 12 books from six amazing authors and this will all go to one lucky winner. This giveaway is international.  Good luck and thanks for entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Hundred Oaks Peep Diorama

For years I’ve been saying I want to build a peep diorama of some sort, but I haven’t had time until now. I decided to do a Hundred Oaks peep diorama! Can I just say I love any opportunity to use my scrapbooking supplies?

Here are some scenes (and a few teasers) from all of my books:

Jordan

Jordan leading her football team full of guys!

parker

Parker getting ready to play some softball.

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Matt wrote Kate a song and is singing it to her. (A complaint: “Matt” would not stop falling over when I was trying to build the diorama. Sheesh! What a handful that boy is.)

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Jack and Savannah riding horses.

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This is Annie and Jeremiah from BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE (July 1). Annie is training to run a marathon in honor of her boyfriend who died. Jeremiah is a guy she meets on the trails, and he’s also Matt’s brother.

Diorama - Book 6

Meet Jesse and Maya! This book is scheduled to come out spring 2015. Maya is the younger sister of a Hundred Oaks alum… 😉  And Jesse, well, he’s a surprise. But you might be able to guess who he is based on the guitars and motorcycle.

Diorama - Everybody

Group shot!

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Bright Before Sunrise blog tour: One Night that Changed Me

Bright Before Sunrise - 300 dpiI’m so excited for Tiffany Schmidt, whose book BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE came out this week! Here’s what it’s about:

Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone . . . but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah, the one person who won’t give her the time of day, but also makes her feel, well, something. So when they are repeatedly thrown together over the course of one night, anything can—and does—happen. Told in alternating chapters, this poignant, beautiful novel’s energy and tension, amidst the humor and romance, builds to a new beginning of self-acceptance and hope.

So, in celebration of Tiffany’s book, I am writing about one night that changed my life. When I was 16, a friend from another city gave me a ticket to an Aerosmith concert in Nashville. My friend wanted me to meet her there. I had several problems, most notably 1) I had no ride to the concert, as my parents had told me I wasn’t a good enough driver to drive over an hour to Nashville at night. 2) It was a school night. 3) I had a soccer game the night of the concert.

But I just had to go! This was Aerosmith. Love in an Elevator! I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing! Sweet Emotion!

So, I told my parents I needed to borrow their car to go to a church event. Lie! I phoned it in at my soccer game and jetted out of there as soon as it was over. I barely played hard because all I could concentrate on was the concert. My team lost to a team we should not have lost to.

I made it to the concert, but this was before the age of cell phones, so I never even found my friend. I saw two girls from school, so I ended up sitting with them. We went out to Waffle House afterwards, where we met LeAnn Rimes, who wasn’t very nice to us. We got her autograph on a Waffle House napkin, though.

The concert ended up being great, but when I look back on that night, I don’t immediately think about the music blaring or letting go and dancing in circles or the smell of weed wafting in the air. I remember the aftermath.

When I got home at 2am, my parents knew I hadn’t been at a church event. I was grounded for a couple weeks. That had never happened to me before.

But that wasn’t what changed me. The next day, my soccer coach yelled at me and cried because I’d played so badly. I couldn’t believe she cried.

I think that was the first time I realized that my actions affected the feelings of other people. When my soccer coach cried, she told me that she worked hard trying to help our team win, and I hadn’t cared at all: all I cared about was the concert. For her, it stunk that she stayed after school every day of the week with my team, missing out on time she could’ve been spending with her husband. What did any of her hard work matter if I didn’t try hard?

I wish that when I look back on the night I would feel excitement, but all I feel is shame. I learned that if I want great memories to be strong in my mind, they can’t be tainted by lies or hurt.

They have to be true.

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