Saturday, February 25, 2012

Guest blogger: Mari Mancusi


I still remember the day my company dragged us all into the conference room on Friday afternoon—pay day—and announced there would be no pay checks distributed at the end of the day. Not today—and not ever again. We were summarily dismissed and suddenly found ourselves unemployed--with no way to make up the money that was owed to us. It was devastating, to say the least. I feel powerless and weak and alone.

Fast forward 10 years and bring on the déjà vu when I opened my mailbox to find a royalty statement from my long time, traditional publisher. While the statement clearly stated I was owed thousands of dollars, there was no check inside. The publisher was having financial difficulties, just like my and chose not to pay what it owed its employees.

But this time, I wasn’t going to just lay down and die. Maybe I’d never see a dime from that publisher, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make a dollar on my own. And so, as my agent worked tirelessly to get the rights back to my books, I started researching how to publish these backlist titles on my own.

Skater Boy is the first of these books to breathe new life online. My very first YA—contemporary romance--and a book that’s always been close to my heart. (God, I loved those skater boys back in the day!) I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to see it up for sale on Amazon, B&N, and the rest--and know, without a doubt, I’ll get paid for each and every download. I love that I got to choose my own cover. I love that it will never go “out of print.” And the fact that I can offer it for half the price the publisher was charging—total bonus!

I know I will never get that last check from my company. And there will never be a royalty check in the mail from my old publisher. But you know what? Their failure is not mine. I’m determined to make the best of a bad situation and not only make back what was stolen from me—but then some! And whether I succeed or fail, well, at least I know I never gave up. I never surrendered.

About Skater Boy
Dawn Miller is sick of being good. Her parents have scheduled her to within an inch of her life and her popular friends can only think of hooking up and shopping. She's ready for a serious boyfriend, and it's definitely not the obnoxious rich boy everyone wants her to date.

Then she meets Starr, the headmaster's rebellious daughter who refuses to play by the rules. The differences between them are night and day but Dawn is fascinated. Starr introduces her to a world she didn't even know existed: indy record stores, all night raves, and cute skateboarders who hang out underneath a parking deck downtown.

Skateboarders like the gorgeous Sean, who's sweet, smart, and curiously serious --everything Dawn's always wanted in a boyfriend. Soon she finds herself head over heels and doing the unthinkable, lying to her parents and friends. Deep down she knows her parents will never approve of this boy from the wrong side of town...and her secret life is finally catching up to her. Will Dawn be forced to choose between the girl she was and the girl she is meant to be? And if she chooses, will she lose her skater boy forever?

Two time Emmy award winner Mari Mancusi used to wish she could be a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another bloodsucking profession--journalism--instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens, including the award winning Blood Coven Vampire series published by Penguin Books. When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movie and her favorite guilty pleasure--videogames. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and dog Mesquite. You can find her online at







Twitter: marimancusi


Catherine Lee said...

You're very wise. The statement you make: "Their failure is not mine" could be a mantra for a lot of people.

Mari Mancusi said...

Thanks Catherine! And I agree! Not just writers, either!!

Jane Myers Perrine said...

You are a resourceful and courageous person (that sounds like a fortune cookie but I mean it!) Thanks for the story and congratulations on the sucesses!