Category Archives: YA Rebels

I want to be Cal Lightman. Or Richard Castle. Or a ninja!

This week on the YA Rebels, we’re talking about what we’d do if we weren’t writers.

My video is…

I didn’t put this in the vlog, but in addition to being Cal Lightman, Richard Castle, Ben Franklin, a ninja, or a college professor, I’d also like to be a BAKER. <–not surprising if you know me.

Believe it or not I am actually working on putting together A COOKIE TRUCK.

Yes, you probably read that right. That would be a truck…that serves hot cookies. And milk.


So, what were your dream jobs growing up? If the answer is “I want(ed) to be a writer!” (that was the original question we were going to address this week on the YAR, but everyone had that answer), then what would be BESIDES/IN ADDITION TO a writer??

And really, if you don’t know, but you still want to comment because YOU KNOW HOW COMMENTS FEED MY SOUL, then tell me what you think I should call my cookie truck!!!

“Have you seen my imitation of a headless chicken?” OR “YAR adventures!”

If you could see me right now, I would be running around, flailing, drinking soda, and flailing some more.


Or rather, how am I ALWAYS behind?

This is a multipurpose post.


Friday afternoon, I was standing at my kitchen counter, giddy from having seen the full and final NW cover (+ spine + back). I was on gchat with Leah Clifford, the Thursday YARebel, discussing how we needed to get drinks and celebrate. Leah (who lives in Ohio, along with Scott Tracey, Saturday YARebel) said she was actually serious. We had a few moments of (O_O) and (O_O) and (O_o) and then I got on a plane and ended up spending a FAB weekend with Leah and Scott in Cleveland.

And this is all I have to show for it:


Apparently I ALMOST forgot to vlog this week. The topic? Places that work their way into our book.

Prepare for EPIC TOPIC FAIL.

This might be my most incoherent vlog ever (blame school + internship + plotting). Also, I am NOT THAT PALE. The lighting was not working in my favor.

On Opening Lines

So this week on the YA Rebels we are talking about opening lines, and I share the first line of THE NEAR WITCH (and its previous incarnations). Which isn’t TERRIBLY exciting.

What IS exciting is that next week I will be reading THE FIRST PAGE AND A HALF.

You guys. I am kind of excited about that.

Until then, enjoy my thoughts on opening lines, and hear the beginning of THE NEAR WITCH!

Let’s make a MESS. And then cover it up.

This week on the YA Rebels, the topic was structure.

Here I try to explain a little bit about WHY I make rules, temporal and spatial, in my books.

I also make a mess on my dining room table.

And will probably be finding push pins for the rest of the day.

Let’s Talk PLOTTING.

Well, let’s VLOG about it anyway.

In this video:

– Cookie Vlog winner

– Microwaves

-Magnifying glasses


-Plotter/Pantser compromises

So tell me, how do YOU handle plot? Are you a PLOTTER, a PANTSER, or something in between?


Sugar High!!

Apparently I’m giving away cookies…again.

In my defense, I didn’t know it until I filmed this week’s vlog for the YA Rebels.

The topic: Giving advice on non-writing things.

I was challenged to give advice on making healthy food, so of course I threw that out the window and made cookies. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.

And then I had all these cookies and nowhere to put them (they can’t ALL go in my tummy) so that means I have to give them away!


Super easy.

1. Watch vlog.
2. Comment either here or on YouTube saying something to the extent of I WANT THOSE COOKIES. GIVE THEM TO ME.
3. Cookie giveaway ends next Wednesday when I shall vlog again, and announce a winner.

Simple enough?


“All books are pretty in their own way, like babies!”

Let’s talk book covers.

First, you should know:

I technically have a degree in design, with a specialty in typography and book design. Yep. Right industry, wrong position!

This might be the WORST thing to have a degree in if you want to be a writer!!! Because, to answer the question I get asked a BAZILLION* times a week, by both ex-classmates and random passerbys, NO, I DO NOT GET TO DESIGN MY COVER. Really. I swear.

Anyway, this week on the YA Rebels, we’re talking about book covers. And I had to decide, do I go all serious and analytical, or do I go playful? As you can probably tell by the title of this post, as well as the vlog itself, I chose the latter.

But I want to add a short list of (my very subjective) thoughts regarding successful covers…

-Cover should say something about the book. Even if the cover makes more sense after reading, I want it to give me a hint, an inclination of what the book involves.

-Cover should take advantage of type. This is an OFTEN-missed opportunity and it makes my heart sad.

-Cover should not be cluttered.

-Cover should be memorable. I love covers that plant some seed in your mind, some recognizable element that stays with you and then when you see it again, you go OH!

-Covers should try something, take a risk, be playful, and be confident. By this I mean, I don’t like seeing covers that follow in other book’s footsteps because it’s a formula, and “it works”.

-Covers should stand out…BUT should not do so at the detriment of the above factors. Meaning, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH should probably not be HOT PINK, even if HOT PINK would make it stand out. Shameless gimmick = Sad Victoria. And most likely sad author.**

What do YOU think? What makes a cover good? Do you have any favorites? Do you know WHY you like those covers?

*Perhaps a slight exaggeration.

**Please keep in mind that the author almost never has say, and their words will be “clothed” with a cover they most likely didn’t pick. Meaning, we don’t have control over the first impression (and that is scary). I think almost all authors would like their cover to reflect their book’s content or mood, at least a LITTLE.


A Productive Post (Not to be Confused with a Productive Victoria)


We have a winner! I made it hard on myself by actually RESPONDING to comments (I can’t help it, I get excited) and throwing off the numbers, so bear with me.

To find the winner, I used a FORMULA. Well, I TRIED to use a formula. I made up this:

# of days until NEAR WITCH divided by 7 (my fav. number, and my bday, 7/7) = does NOT equal a whole number, and I get intimidated by math, so I used a random number generator, and got…


So I looked at the comments, and the 29th person was: Erica, from! Congrats, Erica! Email me at vschwab at comcast dot net to discuss your prizes!

And then I decided to send cookies to a 2nd person, and the random number generator gave me…


Commenter #17 is Nova Ren Suma!! Nova, email me and I’ll get these cookies to you 🙂

Things I learned from the Chocolate Cake Cookie Contest:

1. There are some great books out there I need to pick up! But have you seen my To-Read pile, guys? HAVE YOU SEEN IT?

It is distressing. Clearly I need to hole myself up for a week and just devour these books. Everyone stop publishing awesome books until I can catch up!

2. People like cookies.

3. I like subscribers. What? I’m honest. It’s all about my plot to take over the world. But don’t you worry about that…


On to order of business #2, it’s Wednesday, and for those who don’t know, I’m Wednesday on the YA Rebels (vlog group, 7 YA authors) and that means you get a VLOG.

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