Monthly Archives: March 2012

vlog hopping (or, blog hopping #4)

yep, that’s no typo in the title! i’m over at friday the thirteeners today, answering a couple of writing truths for truth or dare via my first vlog ever. come say hi!

this week has been all about the hunger games. my reaction to the movie? love. what i think about some of the racist reactions to the casting of rue, thresh, and cinna? they are supposed to be dark-skinned. that’s how suzanne collins wrote the characters in the book. on that note, fellow YA author and blogger friend ellen oh is running a diversity in YA feature on her blog this week.

random stuff: listening to taylor swift’s safe & sound (the hunger games soundtrack); reading haruki murukami’s iq84

even more random stuff: i blogged about the duality (see what i did there?) of this adam lambert video a bit ago. the song’s still a total ear worm for me; check out this amazingly talented dance class, choreography (by Dejan Tubic & Janelle Ginestra) set to a very cool remix:

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it’s here: jacket copy for DUALED!

you know those little blurbs on the inside flaps of a book jacket? the ones that must somehow condense a 300 page novel into a couple of paragraphs and still manage to, you know, sound good?

there might be a few minor tweaks down the road as we get closer to pub date, but this is pretty much the official jacket copy for DUALED.

i’m so, so incredibly happy with it. my editor at random house, the copy editing department–they couldn’t have done a more fantastic job.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman’s suspenseful debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

i’m going to be such a mess when i finally get to hold a copy. hitting bookstores february 2013. *cannot. wait*

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prepare to get wet: the wild ride that is drafting

immersed in copy edits for DUALED for the next little while. then immediately diving into writing the sequel afterward.

when it’s time for revisions or edits, we call it disappearing into the revision cave. we hunker down and devolve into people no longer capable of two-way conversation. we finally emerge from the dark weeks later, weak as runty kittens and pale as the moon.

what do we call it when drafting? i guess it’s like trying to navigate the crazy, choppy waters that lead to the mouth of that cave. we arm ourselves with a mental map of the general direction we know we need to take, a fuzzy composite of the ultimate destination point. words and characters and plot points are our adrenaline, deadlines our endurance, caffeine and unhealthy finger foods our sustenance. we might very well drift a little astray or get blown a bit off-course during the process, maybe even get soaked to the bone with cold, errant waves, but we’ll get there just the same.

every story wants to be told; we just have to help steer it along.

on another note, debating whether or not to brave the crowds for the hunger games movie, or wait for them to die down before going. opening crowds are both exhilarating and frightening, especially for movies with rabid fan bases. example: twilight. already both series are being compared, and by extension, their fans. a comparison i heard the other day? twilight fans are all high-pitched squeals, HG fans roaring battle cries.

random: listening to arcade fire’s abraham’s daughter

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blog hopping #3

find me over at the lucky 13s site today where you can catch my interview with author jenny lundquist, whose MG debut SEEING CINDERELLA releases today!

and over on friday the thirteeners, i’m introducing our newest author to join our blog. come over and say hi to author mindy mcginnis, whose YA debut NOT A DROP TO DRINK   will be published by katherine teen/harper collins, fall 2013!

otherwise, playing much catch-up with all things writerly today. that, and boatloads of laundry (the worst part about coming home after vacation!).

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my visit with random house in nyc (and book 2 news!)

this past week has been slightly surreal. not only because i’m lucky enough to be in new york city for spring break (where the weather has been unseasonably and wonderfully warm), but because i was able to spend a whole morning and afternoon visiting my editor, my agent, and the random house publishing offices.

(did i mention that it’s not even called an office building, but a tower? it’s officially called the random house tower on broadway. yep.)

first off, i was absolutely right. my editor and agent were nothing but awesome, and amazingly easy to talk to irl. i’m so glad i finally got a chance to meet them in person! here’s a pic of me with chelsea, my editor, and steven, my agent! (steven, why so serious?)

i also got to meet so many people who are involved with DUALED in some form or another. from the art department to sales and marketing, they were all fantastic and incredibly enthusiastic about my book. i knew i was in good hands before, but being able to personally witness the amount of in-house support was truly overwhelming. it really hit home for me just how much work goes into publishing a book. each step is made up of many smaller steps. no one person works alone. it’s insane–and wholly intimidating to know that your little book has actually kicked this huge machine into gear.

a group of high school students were also at random that morning to learn a bit about how the publishing process works, so we got to talk to them about DUALED. so unreal to hear their positive response and feedback regarding many aspects of the book! i’m sure i grinned like a maniac during the entire session.

then it was time for a photo shoot for an author pic. i’m not the biggest fan of getting my photo taken, but as we walked around mid-town manhattan in hopes of finding that one perfect shot in that one perfect locale, it turned out to actually be fun. i think a curious construction worker or two knows about DUALED now, thanks to my editor explaining what was going on! lots and lots of cover talk, and then lunch–which turned out to be way more relaxing than i could have ever imagined.

my hugest thanks to everyone at random house for such a memorable day! aaaaaand not only that, i saved the best news for last, because, yes, there’s going to be a sequel to DUALED! details still to come, but SO very, very, grateful, excited, thrilled–the works!

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bologna blurb love!

it was already so cool seeing it online, and having it mentioned on the lucky 13s blog as i’d mentioned downwind from this post. but then i found it at the union square barnes and noble here in nyc. real hard copies, right there on the shelf.

in this week’s publishers weekly magazine, an article about american lit agents attending the bologna children’s book fair.  it’s bologna briefcase: what the agents are bringing. a quick iPhone pic:

wow. WOW. you can bet i was a dork and bought a few copies! i think of foreign deals as over-the-top icing on an already fantastic cake–never expected, never a gimme, yet always squee’ed over. crossing my fingers!

(and speaking of cake, am totally on the lookout for drake’s coffee cake. they’re supposed to be everywhere here in the city, but so far no luck. well, we’re walking the brooklyn bridge today. maybe we’ll find them over there?)

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blog hopping #2

come back soon for a post all about my visit to random house! i met my editor, my agent, and so many other fantastic behind-the-scenes people. it’s kind of mind-blowing (in an awesome way) how many people have already read DUALED.

until then, i’m still in new york and eating way too many black and white cookies. and online, you can find me here today:

a mention of DUALED and other books from lucky 13s in prep for the bologna children’s book fair. and my interview with YA author lissa price about her book STARTERS which releases today!

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finally meeting the powers that be (aka my agent and editor)

we’re hitting the big apple for spring break this year. and of course i can’t pass up the chance to finally meet my agent and editor.

so next week i’m going out for my first “business lunch” ever and then getting a peek inside the random house offices in manhattan. my editor has told me there’s some folks she’d like me to meet. i’m guessing the ones in charge of design, publicity, and sales and marketing for DUALED.

eeps.

i’m really, really, excited…and more than a little bit nervous. because conversing back and forth over emails and through a computer screen is safe. being able to project a certain personality of your choosing is safe. having a whole manuscript to fall back on as conversation is safe. filters, folks. i like them. i need them.

i’m a fast talker as it is. when i get nervous, i’m nearly incoherent. whatever does make it out might very well end up being halfway offensive. and as i was saying to a fellow YA author not too long ago (right before she was about to meet her own editor for the first time, actually), i’m pretty sure i’m incapable of not spitting food from my mouth while talking at the same time.

because here’s the thing: as much as they might love DUALED, have invested in me as an author, have faith in my writing abilities, i want them to like me as a person, too. just like no matter how much i appreciate them as my agent and editor, i also really want to enjoy them as individuals. though for me, after a year of pretty regular correspondence (filtered as it might be), i’m already confident they’re nothing less than awesome (book deals tend to make me like you).

if i get through it without making a massive fool of myself, i will reward myself with an authentic new york black and white cookie. inner peace, indeed. that and a couple of jimmy fallon coffee mugs.

random: listening to adam lambert mad world (channeling gary jules more than tears for fears), coldplay charlie brown, brandon flowers only the young. reading is everyone hanging out without me? by mindy kaling.

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ARC giveaway SEEING CINDERELLA by jenny lundquist

i’m so looking forward to my upcoming interview with author jenny lundquist, whose MG debut novel, SEEING CINDERELLA, releases march 20th (aladdin m!x). sweet and delightfully funny, SEEING CINDERELLA is such an entertaining read:

Seventh grade is not going well for Calliope Meadow Anderson. Callie’s hair is frizzy, her best friend, Ellen, is acting weird, and to top things off, she has to get glasses. And her new specs aren’t even cute, trendy glasses—more like hideously large and geeky.

But Callie soon discovers that her glasses have a special, magical perk: When she wears them, she can read people’s thoughts. For the first time ever she’s answering all the questions right in math class, and gets a glimpse of what goes through people’s minds all day, including what Ellen—and her longtime crush—really think of her.

Crazy glasses aside, Callie has more drama to face when she’s cast as the lead in the school play—and instead opts to be an understudy, giving the role of Cinderella to Ellen. Can Callie’s magic glasses help her see her way to leading lady, or is she destined to stay in the background forever, even with her super freaky magic glasses?

it’s only right to share the love, no matter how much i want to hang onto these lovely ARCs. so up for grabs is an ARC of the fantastic SEEING CINDERELLA! all you have to do is post a comment on this post with your name and twitter handle. contest open within north america and closes midnight pst, monday march 5th. a winner will be chosen using random.org and will then be contacted via twitter.

good luck! and be sure to visit the lucky 13s blog on march 20th for my interview with jenny!

contest is now closed, and if you’re the winner, you’ve been contacted via twitter! thanks for entering, you guys!

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