Category Archives: YA

INSOMNIA cover reveal!

so this past week my very good friend and fellow YA author j.r. johannson got to reveal the cover for her debut novel INSOMNIA! the cover is creepy and sinister and absolutely perfect for her book. i love the use of colour–the pallidness of the model’s skin against the black background, the bright blue of the eye and jenn’s name, the blood red of the title and series title.

while cover reveals are always exciting because it finally means being able to put a face to a name, they’re especially wonderful when it’s an author you admire and whose work you love. jenn’s also a fellow lucky 13 as well as a thirteener, so this is a big day for all of us! congratulations on your awesome new cover, jenn! INSOMNIA will be published spring/summer of 2013 by flux, so keep an eye out for it!

a couple of links to finish off this post. i was over at writer, writer, pants on fire with friend and fellow YA author mindy mcginnis a few days ago. it was my SHIT post for her blog. and that’s not a typo. SHIT=submission hell–it’s true. thank you for having me, mindy!

and then there’s the oatmeal. the man is comedic genius, anyway, but this particular comic had me in tears. every word of it is so very true, and i really appreciate his being able to perfectly nail the truly crazy thoughts writers really do have all the time. you guys must read it: some thoughts and musings about making things for the web.

thanks for reading!

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TRANSPARENT and REBOOT cover reveals!

so these two covers i’m about to go on about? i absolutely fell in love with them as soon as i saw them. i think they are both so unique and fresh and eye-catching. especially for YA covers, which sometimes seem to play it on the safe side due to keeping with trends.

natalie whipple is a fellow friday the thirteener and my good friend, and i was already super excited to read TRANSPARENT, anyway. and now that i’ve seen her amazing cover (no easy feat for her publisher’s design team, considering her teenaged MC is invisible!), the wait for her debut is going to be even harder! i love the vibrant neon colourway the artist chose to use, as well as the cool unfilled title font which ties in so perfectly with TRANSPARENT’s invisibility factor! all of it just meshes so well together, and it’s both vivid and balanced. natalie, huge congratulations on the face they gave your book baby because it. is. awesome!

amy tintera is a fellow lucky 13 as well as a great writer friend. her YA debut REBOOT sounds damn incredible and i’m counting down the days until i can get my hands on it! in the meantime, i’m just going to have to squeal over REBOOT’s incredible cover. so many reasons why i love it–the cold starkness, the classic red and black colour combo, the clever way they pulled down the 178 from the barcode. but the main reason is, i think, how it verges on being a cover you might expect for adult fiction. i’m a big fan of adult fiction covers that have the potential to be timeless, which–for me–usually means something font-driven, without much else in terms of visuals. classy, classy, classy. amy, your cover is fantastic!

TRANSPARENT will be published may 21st, 2013 (harperteen), and REBOOT may 7th, 2013 (harperteen). and whoa, may is my birthday month! i know what i’ll be buying for myself to read!

also, eARCs of DUALED went back up on netgalley and edelweiss yesterday. for all the reviewers and bloggers who have been requesting my book, thank you so much. it’s made the first page of most requested ARCs. i couldn’t believe it. i have no clue how long it’s going to stay that way, but really, really cool. THANK YOU.

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the next big thing, week 21

fellow YA author and writer friend mindy mcginnis (NOT A DROP TO DRINK) asked me to participate in a blog hop this week. the theme is “the next big thing” in terms of what we’re writing, but DIVIDED just feels too far away to be able to talk about it much. so i’m going to answer the ten questions with DUALED in mind and hope you guys can pretend as well as i can that this is all shiny and brand new!

next week, five other authors will be taking part in “the next big thing.” i’ll have links to their blogs posted below!

1) What is the working title of your book?
DUALED

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
My son asked me about everyone having doubles, and what if we all just never knew about them. It lit the fire, so to speak.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Dystopian, with a touch of sci-fi.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I don’t know, but they would definitely have to be of mixed ethnicity. I do like Andrew Garfield and his hair, though, and Ellen Page is cool. Plus she’s Canadian.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I’m going to cheat and use a version of my tagline: Two of you exist; only one can survive.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m repped by The Chudney Agency, and DUALED will be published by Random House Children’s Books.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Five weeks.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ve seen it marketed as The Hunger Games crossed with Matched. I’ll throw in Lisbeth Salander from The Millenium Series, with a touch of Jason Bourne, if you like.

9) Who or What inspired you to write this book?
No one knew I was writing, so it was more just pushing myself to see if I could actually finish one from beginning to end.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
That West is just as capable of messing up as anyone.

thanks for reading, you guys! make sure to check out the following blogs of some fellow writer friends for their take on “the next big thing.” their post date for week 22 is october 31st–hallowe’en!

april tucholke
emma pass
peggy eddleman
alison cherry
amy christine parker

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DUALED ARCs at new york comic con!

so this past weekend was new york comic con!
comic. con. in new york city.
and DUALED ARCs were there.
unbelievable.

some super cool blogger friends were able to attend, and not only were they able to snag a copy for themselves, but were also really thoughtful and managed to take some pics, too! comic con’s an utter madhouse, so i appreciate the time it took for them to break from schedule and share them with me! thanks so much, traci and nicole!

and then there’s this pic of the random house booth! the poster in the back came as a huge surprise, and i’m pretty sure parts of my mind were blown with how fantastic that was to see. i’m so very flattered and lucky to be a part of that and to be sharing space with some incredibly talented authors. there’s also a teeny corner of DUALED visible, there in the bottom left hand corner!

now if only someone managed to save that poster, because it would make a hell of a souvenir.

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shipping edward and christian, twitter love, and a link round up!

so to celebrate the release of fellow YA author jeanne ryan’s debut NERVE, us thirteeners got challenged to a blog to blog dare by her group blog, emu’s debuts. fellow thirteener ellen oh and i put together a parody movie trailer, fifty shades of twilight. apart from providing production value (is that what they call it when you do the props and “doll positioning”?), this really is all due to ellen’s brilliant editing. enjoy the rest of our dares, too! what’s really cool is that the whole fiasco got a mention over at publisher’s weekly!

now, twitter. such a serious time suck, but i still love it. because i’ve met some of the best people on there. smart, funny, nice people. who actually read books on a regular basis and don’t think it’s really that weird to want to buy a rolling library ladder to reach the top of your bookshelves. and reading aside, we connect on lots of other levels, too.

for example, louisse who wrote YA inspired haikus during english class. she came up with this for DUALED from the blurb alone. which means i fully expect a nice, long poem when she finally gets to read the book.

and then there’s lena, for saying i’m one of her top ten bookish people she wants to meet! apparently, i am doing pretty well at pulling off this “intelligence” thing.

so isabelle’s post about how DUALED is one of those ARCs she’d sock the pope for made me laugh. her comment about the quality of my tweets made me laugh even harder. i don’t know what i might have been tweeting about. a slight chance it wasn’t about food.

thanks for the love, you guys!

i’m a proud member of the YAkuza. we need badges, jon! you can find DUALED on lee and low’s list of diverse dystopias.
also, an interview i did for nikki over at fiction freak, and for criss over at fantasybooks! thanks for having me, guys!

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link round up! and KENSHIN!

it’s link round up time as i play catch up on general life stuff while waiting on edits, which should hit my inbox by the end of the week.

so some reading (how come it’s taken me this long to discover the monstrumologist series by rick yancey? it’s bloody fantastic!), setting up posts, responding to interviews for future dates. um, not much cleaning. at all. we are neat people, but even i’m surprised how quickly we’ve gotten used to living in a constant state of disarray.

and school’s back on in a week. i’m excited because it means a return to a normal work day. when your kids are going to bed at about the same time your husband wakes up to go to work, the hours just feel off…

ya writer john hansen featured me on his blog, incessant droning of a bored author. read it here. thanks so much for hosting me, john!

i previewed DUALED for fellow lucky and YA author lenore appelhans (LEVEL TWO, simon & schuster, jan 2013) over at her blog, presenting lenore. thank you so much for featuring me, lenore!

fellow lucky and YA author miriam forster (CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS, harperteen, feb 2013) read an ARC of DUALED when her bookstore received a copy. she wrote up a blog post about the importance of world building for her blog, dancing with dragons is hard on your shoes. i was really blown away when she referred to DUALED in her write up. thanks so much, miriam!

so. i made the decision a while ago to not link to reviews here on the blog. (editing to add that fellow canadian, author, and AWer peggy blair (THE BEGGAR’S OPERA, penguin, february 2012) recommends a tab linking to good reviews, which is a great idea. thanks peggy!) there’s going to be lots, good and bad. why i’m not going to link to bad ones is kind of self-explanatory; going on and on about good ones will get very tiresome, very fast. but i might make some exceptions here and there. like this one from kenny brechner, book buyer and store manager for indie DDG books in maine. it’s my first review outside of the blogosphere, and it very much made my day. thank you so much, kenny! come february, i’ll also be doing an interview with kenny for his column, which i’m very excited about.


also, you’ve probably caught me bemoaning the fact that we missed the premiere of the kenshin live-action movie by a matter of days when we were in japan. ads were everywhere. trailers were playing on a loop in every record and bookstore. it was torture. there’s talk of an international release. someone, please make this happen! in the meantime, here are the trailers, subbed in english.

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bookstores in japan, japanese editions of popular YA titles, and manga!

so i’m here on vacation in japan, and i’d forgotten how absolutely amazing the bookstores are in tokyo. the mass amounts of what they have in stock, the sheer number of volumes and editions, the lovely covers and artwork…give me some take out sushi and bottles of royal milk tea from the vending machine and i could happily stay in one all day.

apart from food, i’m finding myself taking tons of pictures of books here. manga, in particular; never mind that i’ve long forgotten my hiragana and katakana–the artwork alone is awesome. for a while, i read nothing but manga, to the point where i found myself running out of translated manga to read. i miss that time, and seeing so much of it all over the place here makes me want to try harder to find time for it again. also, i took lots of pics of what japanese editions i could find of popular YA books back home!

needless to say, this post is SUPER pic heavy! most of them were taken at maruzen, yurindo, and book-off stores in tokyo and sendai.



japanese editions of THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy by suzanne collins.



j.k. rowling’s HARRY POTTER series. i don’t know why all the different covers. the chess inspired ones are very TWILIGHT-esque.


really excited to see one of my favourite series, CHAOS WALKING by patrick ness, on the shelf!


the INHERITANCE series by christopher paolini.


i’m guessing this is a children’s novel based on the pixar movie BRAVE.


lots of studio ghibli art books!


hayao miyazaki adapted MAJO NO TAKKYUBIN by eiko kadono into his film KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE. being big fans of miyazaki, we picked up the novel for a great souvenir.


FROM UP ON POPPY HILL is studio ghibli’s latest film, and it’s based on the comic of the same name, written by tetsuro sayama and drawn by chizuru takahashi. already a hit here in japan, it comes to theatres in north america in march, 2013!


39 CLUES! this is more middle grade than YA.


THE PRINCESS DIARIES by meg cabot, GOSSIP GIRL by cecily von zeigesar, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS by sara shepard.



found these really interesting editions of stephenie meyer’s TWILIGHT series. it’s been broken down into 13 novels; pictured here are books 1 and 13. cool how bella’s eyes change colour from one to the other.

AND OH THE MANGA.


the newest volumes are kept at the end of the aisles, or along the front.


before manga is collected into volumes, they’re released weekly or monthly in magazines.


KODANSHA BOXED is a new (or relatively new) line of boxed manga!


boys love manga, or yaoi.



BAKUMAN, NARUTO, and KENSHIN are some of the series we’ve collected, or are still collecting, back home.


vol. 12 of HIKARU NO GO. i haven’t read the manga, but the anime is awesome!


NANA’s up to vol. 21 over here! and over at a book-off in tokyo, i found a fan book of the series which has been labelled vol. 7.8. here are some pics of the artwork inside!




i’ve always loved the artwork of VAMPIRE KNIGHT (up to vol. 16 here), and here’s some pics of the artwork inside the fan book! this was 105 yen from book-off–so about $1.25 with the exchange rate.


and this is the infamous BOKU WA IMOUTO NI KOI WO SURU, which lightly translates into “i love my little sister”. it’s a manga about incest between twins and was a bestseller here in japan. when cuddlebuggery’s kat kennedy referenced twincest in a blurb about DUALED, this manga was the first thing that came to mind!


i’ve been trying to find vols. 9 and 10 of IMMORTAL RAIN (published in japan as METEOR METHUSELAH) by kaori ozaki. now that tokyopop’s US operations have shut down and it’s not likely i’ll be able to finish collecting the series in english, i thought the original japanese editions would be cool to have. no luck so far, but i did buy this related MM work. also, the hubs finally found kaoru mori’s EMMA vol. 5 to fill in for the now-out-print english edition!

in all honesty, i don’t think i’ll have the time or dedication to learn enough japanese to read any manga in its original format. but i do think i’ll be looking into picking up some new translated series back when i get home! hope you guys all enjoyed the pics!

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