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Monday, December 14, 2015

In the Presence of Greatness

I was honored and excited to be accepted into this little thing called Launch Lab.

I can't believe it's over. I know so much now that I never expected to discover. I had a lot of information before Launch Lab, but this program gave me the tools to sort through the information and think critically about what will work for Seven Noble Knights. Today is T minus one (leap) year and one day, or 367 days before the launch date for Seven Noble Knights, so I have just about enough time to plan.

Massive added bonus: I got to meet and share in some of the joys and sorrows of some excellent authors. In Launch Lab, we talked a bit about making ourselves seem like "regular people." Yes, we do want to seem approachable. But this group was made up of anything but regular people. There were so many accolades and so much talent in the room, I'm surprised we all fit. But we did, because everyone was so down-to-earth. I'm so proud to work with them! With me in Launch Lab 2015 were:

Moderator/Expert/Consultant Lynne Griffin is the author of the novels Sea Escape (Simon & Schuster) and Life Without Summer (St. Martin’s Press), and the nonfiction parenting guide, Negotiation Generation (Penguin). She has just launched the harrowing novel Girl Sent Away and the nonfiction companion Let's Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Health. For more about Lynne’s work, visit her website, or her blog, Field Guide to Families.

Moderator/Expert/Consultant Katrin Schumann is the co-author of The Secret Power of Middle Children and Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too. Current works-in-progress include a novel of psychological suspense, a book on parenting strategies that can make or break affluent children, and ongoing editorial work for editors, agents and writers. For more info, check out her website and join the conversation on Twitter: @katrinschumann

Katie Bayerl's young adult novel, A Psalm for Lost Girls, will be published by Penguin/Putnam in spring 2017. Find her online at @katiebayerl, Facebook/katiebayerl, and

Jennifer S. Brown is the author of the novel Modern Girls (NAL/Penguin, April 5, 2016), which is already getting some buzz as a most anticipated debut novel of 2016. Find her at, on Twitter @j_s_brown, and on Facebook at authorjennifersbrown. The novel is on Goodreads.

Lindsay Hatton's evocative emotional history of the West Coast's most famous aquarium, Monterey Bay, will be released by Penguin Random House in July 19, 2016. The novel is on Goodreads.

Freelance journalist and meditation instructor Rick Heller is the author of Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy – A Guide from the Humanist Community at Harvard, which has already launched from New World Library.

Maile Hulihan is the author of the hilarious series Trinity of Bitches, the first book of which is due out in November 2016. You can find her on Twitter @MaileHulihan,, or Facebook.

Katherine Ozment's first book, Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age, will be published by HarperWave June 21, 2016. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter (@katherineozment), or her website: The book is at Goodreads.

Marian McMahon Stanley's The Immaculate will be launched by Barking Rain Press in May 2016. To learn more, visit her website, or Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter @mjs_mysteries. The novel is at Goodreads.

I have it on good authority (having heard synopses and excerpts) that each of these books is worth a read and even a pre-order. Not a bad start to a To Be Read pile.

Seven Noble Knights is also at Goodreads. It's a great idea to add it to your To Read list so you can get notifications of publication and possible giveaways.

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