Excellent review of THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID in Kirkus

Congrats to Sharon Biggs Waller on this fabulous Kirkus review.


“Elodie narrates in a formal, 19th-century voice that manages to be witty and smart without calling undue attention to itself. A pragmatic young woman, Elodie’s struggle with the uncomfortable weather and terrain is as convincingly rendered as the conflict between her growing love for Alex and loyalty to her family. Historical details, including the liberal prescription of morphine and Britain’s patriarchal economy, lend rich, textural background.

Well-researched and filled with adventure, romance, and lots of tension—this work of historical fiction has all the elements of an intriguing read. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)”

You can pre-order THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID (which is coming from Viking this March) on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads.

You can also find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Congrats to Julie Bayless on her latest picture book deal!

From Publishers Weekly:

Julie Bayless_picMary Colgan at Boyds Mills Press has bought Crawly School for Bugs by David Harrison (l.), illustrated by Julie Bayless, a book of funny poetry written from the point of view of different insect students. Publication is set for spring 2018; John M. Cusick of Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management brokered the deal for world rights.

Check out more of Julie’s artwork hereJulie‘s debut pb ROAR! just pub’d from Running Press Kids. Get yourself a copy!

(Like this post? Then check out my November 19th webinar HOW TO BE A WRITER WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND: Balancing Work, Life, and Craft. There will be a Q and A as well as query critiques for all attendees. You should check it out!)

11/19 Webinar: How to Be a Writer Without Losing Your Mind

Hi all! If you’ve enjoyed some of the craft-focused and inspirational posts I’ve done on this blog, you should check out my November 19th webinar with Writers Digest, HOW TO BE A WRITER WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND: Balancing Work, Life, and CraftThere will be a Q and A as well as query critiques for all attendees. You should check it out!


Being a writer can make you crazy. The writer’s life is at once invigorating and exhausting, it can be isolating and wonderfully social, inspiring as well as demeaning. As writers we bring our deepest, most sensitive selves to the page, and often the world can feel like a hyper-critical and uncaring receiver, where competition, criticism, and even the success of others can make writing feel like a chore, or worse-utterly terrifying. And yet, we’re driven to return to the page and express ourselves despite the uncertainty and the demands of day-to-day life.crazy writers block

How do we deal with all these contradictions, the isolation, the rejection, the irrational joys and sorrows of being a writer? In this live webinar you’ll learn many ways to kill the fear, or, as Robert Leckie said, shoot that old bear under your desk between the eyes.

With practical tips and tricks, examples from dozens of famous writers, and inspiration culled from years of experience as both an author and agent, instructor John Cusick provides the tools for tackling the writing life with gusto, enthusiasm, and balance. Learn healthy, productive techniques for combating the inner critic, utilize envy envy, and summon motivation. With humor and insight, this webinar will give attendees the skills to conquer the maddening uncertainties of writing and publishing, and to create a space for one’s writer self in the world.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:writing-center-wordlie

  • Techniques for balancing writing time and your day-to-day life
  • Tips for staying focused when distractions demand your attention
  • How to set up a mental and physical space for your writing
  • Tricks for staying motivated and inspired
  • Techniques for coping with insecurity, uncertainty, and rejection
  • How to deal with your internal critic
  • Daily practices and meditations specifically designed for the writing life
  • How to take the measure of yourself as a writer, and keep writing!

Sit Down and StartWHO SHOULD ATTEND?

  • Anyone looking or inspiration and motivation to KEEP GOING
  • Writers feeling hounded by their inner critic
  • Sufferers of “writer’s block”
  • Long time authors in a rut
  • New writers looking to form strong writing habits
  • Writers with day jobs and families, in school
  • Writers who feel distracted
  • Anyone who feels they “don’t have time to write”
  • Writers who feel they’re on the verge of “giving up”
  • Writers who find it difficult to get started
  • Book lovers who want to pursue writing seriously
  • Any writer seeking an agent, a publisher, a first book deal, that break out novel, or feel they are ready for their craft and career to take the next big step


All registrants are invited to submit a query letter to be critiqued. All submitted queries are guaranteed a written critique by Literary Agent John Cusick.

If you’re busy November 19th, no worries– the webinar will be recorded, and you can re-watch it for up to a year. So sign up today!

Courtesy of Alex Thayer Stewart, who took these notes during a live version of this talk :)

Welcome New Client Ann Dee Ellis

Ann Dee Ellis_picI am so excited to be representing the phenomenal Ann Dee Ellis, author of This is What I DidEverything is Fine, and The End or Something Like That. I’ve been a fan of Ann Dee’s superlative, heart-breaking writing for many years, and was fortunate enough to meet her at the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference In Utah back in 2012. Ann Dee has a knack for tackling immense yet personal issues with gorgeous prose– I have never *not* cried reading one of her novels, and it’s a joy to now be working with her.

Ann Dee teaches writing at Brigham Young University and spends the rest of her time hanging out with her husband and five energetic kids in the foothills of the rocky mountains.

Welcome to the family, Ann Dee!This Is What I Did

The End or Something Like That Everything is Fine

A History of Glitter and Blood Halloween…

Happy Halloween! Plan to dress up? The team at Chronicle Books is going as Hannah Moskowitz‘s HISTORY OF GLITTER AND BLOOD…that is, famous people from history– bloody and glittery.

2015-10-29 15.22.22

Featuring HELLen of Troy, Creep-o-patra, Amelia SCARE-hart, Anna Psychopath-lova, Rosie the Ripper, Zelda Fitz-SCARE-ald,The Tudor Terror, Nancy KILL-igan, and HOG&B’s own editor Taylor Norman as BOOnie Parker…

Guys, these costumes are awesome, and so are you.

Congrats to Evan Kuhlman on his BLOBBY BLOBSON deal with Razorbill!

I’m so exited for this totally weird and wonderful series!

From PW

Tiffany Liao at Razorbill has acquired Evan Kuhlman‘s Blobby Blobson, illustrated by Merrill Rainey, first in an illustrated middle grade series. It features the adventures of a blob boy from the sewer who tries to fit in at a suburban middle school. Publication is planned for spring 2017; John Cusick at Folio Literary Management represented the author and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator in the two-book deal for world rights.


Christian Heidicker, Hannah Moskowitz, and Kat Helgeson on HuffPo’s YA Trends List

So cool to see Christian Heidicker’s CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE and Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson’s GENA/FINN on Huffington Post’s YA Book Trends list. Check it out…

5 Exciting YA Book Trends to Look for in 2016

CURE Final CoverGenaFinn_Cover

Check out CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE (Simon & Schuster, June 2016) on Goodreads, or preorder at Amazon and IndieBound.

And GENA/FINN (Chronicle Books, April 2016)! Goodreads, Amazon, B&N.

Happy Pub Day to Julie Bayless and ROAR!

Today Running Press Books releases Julie Bayless’s adorable debut picture book, ROAR!

It is nighttime in the savanna, which means that it is time to play for one rambunctious lion cub! The cub tries to make new friends with the hippos and the giraffes, but roaring at them only chases them away. The young lion is about to give up, but when a rabbit accidentally mistakes the cub’s tail for a carrot, the lion realizes she might have met her match, in all the right ways.


ROAR! is Julie Bayless’ beautiful debut picture book about friendship and play!…Expect young children to carry ROAR! around the house.” –  Kid Lit Reviews

“So adorable.  Perfect bedtime book!” – Unconventional Librarian

Congrats Julie!


Today we announce the winers of the #manicpixel scavenger hunt and #CureFortheCommonUniverse cover reveal giveaway! And now here’s Christian…

Welcome back, scavengers! Glad you survived that crazy, pixelated city.

It would be exhaustive to list everything discovered on the CURE cover, so I’ll just name the top ten things I didn’t even know were on there (and a few that made me chuckle):

  1. “Six barber-pole swords”
  2. “A man reading a love letter written with invisible ink”
  3. “A lucha libre parade float falling in the street” alternately “Just the sweetest, fattest, blue-haired little baby chubbo that better end up on a t-shirt or I’m going to scream and cry at the same time. Scry? Cream? Hmmmm.”
  4. “A camouflage helicopter blasting David Bowie music (obviously)” alternately “the Quad City DJs copter blasting tunes to the neighborhood”
  5. “1/10 of a robo-squid”
  6. “The bottom of someone’s leg, wearing a purple-striped sock. This person must be a giant.”
  7. “Two happy green tripods talking about the upcoming presidential election (they’re both rooting for Trump).” alternately “A couple of gleeps having a sweet convo”
  8. “A rather muscular wrestler standing under a purple umbrella with his favorite child (everyone has a favorite).”
  9. “A potted succulent on a balcony.”
  10. “That yellow dog head is totally licking its own eyeball.” alternately “A dog-head sculpture. Maybe it’s a vehicle… If people ride in these, do they stick their heads out the window?”

And, of course, they can all by seen now, by you, in full, on the no-longer-pixelated CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE cover:

CURE Final Cover

Add on Goodreads.

Preorder on Amazon this weekend.

This eye candy of a book was pitched by John Cusick, bought by Simon & Schuster Teen, edited by Christian Trimmer, and designed by Greg Stadnyk with art by eboy. I feel obscenely lucky to work with such talented people and to have such a jaw-dropping luscious cover. I only hope the words inside live up to it.

As my friend Korey Hunt, who actually came up with the idea for a story about a video game rehab in the first place . . . MISCHIEF SCAVENGED.

But that’s not why you’re here.

You’re here to see if you won one of our five elite prizes, which, to remind you, look like this:

Prizes day 3 image

Ooh, look! The cover isn’t blacked out anymore!

Our five Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt winners are . . .

  1. Krys McCintyre
  2. Yamille Mendez
  3. Annette Weed
  4. Alicia Van Noy Call
  5. Tim Campbell

The Cotton Floozy will get stitching and Simon & Schuster will get printing and we’ll hopefully have your stuff out to you by December.

Thank you for hunting. I hope you enjoy the inside of the book as much as I enjoy the outside.

See you in June,

Christian McKay Heidicker

P.S! Thanks to all of the bloggers who participated: Christian Trimmer, John Cusick, Elana Johnson, Jennifer Bardsley, Valynne Maetani (friend and agent-getter), Brooke Lark (who designed my website and shot the prizes!), Carol Lynch Williams (who taught me a thing or eight about writing), and finally, Marie Davis Brian, The Cotton Floozy, who made the embroidery-posing-as-cross-stitch that elicited just as much drool as the cover, and whose company I misspelled several times throughout the blog because I’m not accustomed to using the word floozy.

Editor’s note: Both spellings (floozy and floosy) are acceptable, but there’s only one acceptable place to order top quality embroideries: http://www.cottonfloozy.com

CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE Cover Reveal and Giveaway Starts Today!

Today the #CureForTheCommonUniverse Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway continues! Take it away Christian…



This is it, folks. This is your chance to easily win the CURE prize package:

Day 2 Central Image

An ARC of Cure for the Common Universe and an embroidery of ‘Nobody Puts Princess in a Castle’ from The Cotton Floozy!

Oo. Aah.

For a chance to win, just participate in the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt.

Oh, look, here’s a pixel now!


What do you see?

Write down your findings from this and the other pixels at any or all of the other blogs (listed below) and email them to me at cmheidicker@gmail.com or message them to C.M. Heidicker on Facebook.

For every three things you send, I’ll put your name in the hat (or my jeans pocket) again and again and again, and then I’ll draw five names out of the hat (pocket) and send prize packages to those people.

Go! Get started! Win it! Win it all!

Valynne Maetani

Carol Lynch Williams

Elana Johnson

Christian Trimmer

John Cusick

Brooke Lark

Brooke Kelly

The Cotton Floosy

#cureforthecommonuniverse #manicpixel

(I hope you’ll take some time to explore the amazing blogs.)

(I also hope this means that more than just my mom will participate.)

Tune in tomorrow to find out if you’ve won!

Happy Scavenging!

Go check out the book on Goodreads!

Prepare to be cured June 2016.