Lucky Day Goes to Germany

I’m happy to announce that Lucky Day, the I Hunt Killers prequel novella, will be published in Germany in June 2015!

Nice cover, huh?

The title roughly translates to “The Evil Awakes,” which is pretty damn solid by my reckoning.

As in the U.S., e-only.

WiRL: Episode 14 — It’s All Routine

WiRL-icon

The fourteenth episode of Writing in Real Life is live!

Routines for raising a baby, writing books, and — possibly — staying sane. Bringing gifts to babies. Daycare’s pluses and minuses. Plus: Could you be the next Paul???

All that and this: Get a look at Morgan’s desk!

Please: send us feedback, subscribe/rate us on iTunes, and follow us on Twitter!

(And of course, you have until midnight April 30, 2015 to enter the contest for a signed ARC of After the Red Rain. Listen to Episode 12 for details!)

Book Length(s)

tbtwkm_4-19-11For some reason, people are obsessed with the length of books. And by “people,” I mean aspiring authors. “How long should my book be?” “How long is too long?” “How short is too short?”

I used to answer in the snarky words of my high school Spanish teacher. When asked (incessantly) how long our essays needed to be, Señora Durham would respond, “Make it like a skirt — long enough to cover the topic, but short enough to be interesting.”

And then people would look at me askance for putting it that way, so I stopped. But it’s true. No rules, man — tell your story. Don’t worry about length.

The more I pondered the subject, though, the more my thoughts turned to myself. Because that’s who I am.

So here, for the possible edification of those who might be interested or just really, really bored, is the length of each of my books. Enjoy!1

  • The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl – 77,200
  • Boy Toy – 102,200 (originally 131,000)
  • Hero-Type – 68,700
  • Goth Girl Rising – 81,400
  • Wolverine: Worst Day Ever – 23,600
  • Archvillain – 35,200
  • Mangaman – 20,000
  • Archvillain 2: The Mad Mask – 44,800
  • Archvillain 3: Yesterday Again – 66,500
  • I Hunt Killers – 88,000
  • Game – 119,000
  • Unsoul’d – 70,100
  • Blood of My Blood – 106,100
  • Lucky Day – 22,700
  • After the Red Rain – 104,000
  • The Secret Sea – 95,200

So, what can we learn from this? Hell if I know! First, we need to discard WolverineLucky Day, and Managman, the last because it’s a script for a graphic novel, the others because they’re novellas and therefore deliberately shorter.

Of the remaining books, I’m not sure if there are any lessons for would-be authors. The middle-grade books tend to be shorter, but even there the Archvillain series began as my shortest and then edged into Hero-Type territory, with that book being the shortest of my YA. By the time you get to my most recent middle-grade, The Secret Sea, we’re fully in crazy-length territory.

The longest books are Game and After the Red Rain (which surprises me because I thought AtRR was pretty short). But Boy Toy was longer than them both by far before I chopped about a hundred and fifty pages out of it. (Some of those pages live on the Deleted Scenes page.)

And Unsoul’d, my only (so far) adult novel is shorter than pretty much all my YA (except, again, for Hero-Type).

If you are looking for confirmation that middle-grade should be super-short and YA should be kinda short and only in adult fiction can you really let loose with word count…well, you came to the wrong place.

Follow the advice of Señora Durham, people: Your book is as long or as short as it needs to be, and no more.



  1. Please note that these are approximations. I used the latest version of each manuscript on my computer, so these counts are rounded to the nearest hundred. Given corrections made in copyedits and page proofs, there could be variations of a hundred or more words, but nothing that’s going to make a substantial difference in the final totals.

Do Yourself a Favor: Buy this Book

AdriftHey, everyone. I don’t do a lot of hard selling on the BLog or anywhere else, for that matter, but I’m breaking that unwritten rule to encourage you — no, to beseech you — to buy this book.

Those of you who listen to my podcast or have seen me speak publicly have heard me sing the praises of Paul Griffin. Paul is an author of truly prodigious talents, and if you seek proof that we live in an unjust universe, the fact that he is not bigger then Rowling and King combined should suffice. Paul’s books are full of heart and passion and vivid, poetic language in service of tough stories and brutal honesty.

Yeah, Paul’s a friend of mine, so maybe Lyga’s just doing his buddy a solid, right? Nah. I was a fan of Paul’s before he and I became friends. Fan first. I’m still a fan. The only difference is that now I can call him up and tell him how damn brilliant he is.

Adrift will hit your bookstores in July, but you can preorder it now. I urge you to do so. Let’s make this book a hit before it even comes out.

If you’d like to sample some of Paul’s work right away, he has four other wonderful novels that you can find at the usual places…

The First Review for After the Red Rain

Coming in August 2015!

I didn’t expect to be seeing reviews for After the Red Rain already ,but the folks at School Library Journal have already weighed in! And I think they kinda liked it…

Facinelli, aka Dr. Carisle Cullen from the “Twilight” movies, and producer DeFranco team up with YA author Lyga to create a powerful postapocalyptic novel. This particular version of the future is so far post the apocalypse that no one can remember how exactly they got there, though theories abound, most of them involving a “red rain” that may or may not have killed half of the world’s population. The main character, Deedra, was raised in an orphanage and now leads a plodding, government-controlled existence working in a factory and scavenging on her days off. It is on one of these trips that she meets the oddly named Rose, a boy her age who seems to have come from nowhere and is completely different from anyone she’s ever met. When Rose’s true nature is revealed—not a vampire or robot but something far stranger and more interesting—Deedra realizes that he may be the key to saving their dying world. She just needs to save him first. The story moves along without feeling rushed, and with the exception of the scenery-chewing magistrate, characters are fully formed and subtly drawn. VERDICT Not just another dystopia: strong characters and adept world-building make this work stand out from the crowd.

I think my favorite part is that bit early on about how “no one can remember how exactly they got there, though theories abound.” That was something I really cared about a lot, as a way of making this stand out from other post-apocalyptic stories.

Anyway, I’m glad SLJ dug it, and I hope you will, too, when it comes out in August!