Monday, January 26, 2015

New Books! New Books!


I'm embedding Michael's tweet here because it's snowing and snow always makes me sleepy and somewhat incoherent. But here's what the PW deal looks like:



So that's the news. My 2016 and 2017 books will come from Dutton Books and I'll be working with the amazing Andrew Karre again.

Eight years ago, Andrew Karre bought my first published book, The Dust of 100 Dogs. By that time, I'd written about 8* novels over 15 years and collected 400+ rejection letters. I was too weird for adult publishers. But Andrew likes weird, and when he read D100D he wanted to publish it. I didn't really know what YA books were when this happened. I'd lived in a place where YA wasn't really booming and I was in need of a reading list. It was Andrew Karre who first uttered the words Octavian Nothing to me. I can't thank him enough for that. (*No, you will never get to read those first 7 novels. Sorry, but I'm saving you. Trust me.)

2015 will still see publication of I Crawl Through It from Little, Brown.

At this point you're guaranteed a new YA book from me every year until 2017.

Let's all just eat tacos and beat on the piñata now.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

On Road Maps

I have three days to finish page proofs, finish my business tax prep, and enjoy my kids before they go back to school. Also: make cotton candy out of root beer barrels.

But it's New Year's Day and I wanted to show you something.


These are my road maps from 2005 (when I started drawing them) to 2015.
Ten years of road maps.

The one from 2005 said things like "Find an agent" or "Finish the book."
Ten years later, there are a lot of extra roads and more concrete and achievable goals because technically, I had no control over the agent or publishing part in 2005, right? All I have control over is what I do. And writing books is what I do.

I didn't realize that this New Year tradition was 10 years old until I took down the maps from my wall to add this year's map. When I realized it, I also realized that time seems compressed. It doesn't feel like ten years...which is made even more obvious by having a kid who is nearly as tall as I am and visiting family today whose kids I remember as middle school students who are now in college.

Time flies.

2015 is going to be an excellent year. I'm going to write my brains out. I'm going to publish I CRAWL THROUGH IT, which is a book I'm very proud of. I'm going to concentrate on all these ideas I have in my head but never have the time to get on paper.

I painted my office this week. When we moved in here, I just tossed my office together because I had to go to VCFA for my first semester of teaching a few days later. It used to be the most hideous color green. Now it's brighter and it's mine. I figured I should have an office that feels like mine as I head into a new year.

I can't tell you what color it is because it's going to be in my next book.

Anyway--road maps. They always helped me concentrate on what I had to do in a year. I love drawing them even though my trees are really poorly-drawn.

I do draw nice birds, though.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fan Art Rocks.


First: When I said "I will be back with many more 2014 moments" at the end of my last post, I totally didn't mean it. Sorry about that.

But here's something I don't talk about much: letters. I get letters. I get letters from readers who say nice things, real things, honest things. It's pretty life-changing when a stranger who read your book can write you a letter and say deeply nice things.
Thank you for your letters in 2014.
They make my day.

Which brings me to fan art.
I am relatively new to fan art and being a person who can't draw, people who can draw well fascinate me. A few months ago, Ana Maia, an artist I met on Twitter, sent me these fantastic portraits of A.S. King characters. I've been meaning to share them because they pretty much blew me away.
Thank you Ana, for taking the time to draw these. I love them.


















See you all in the new year. 
Tomorrow I make applesauce and do taxes.

Also, I tweeted a preview of I CRAWL THROUGH IT tonight. Here it is. 



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 was a great year--part one

I am six months late, but I have to say I have never been voted Best Dressed in my life.

Book Riot appreciates my green boots and I love them for that.

23 year old Doc Martens for the win. 
I will be back with many more 2014 moments.


Friday, December 19, 2014

News News News

It's been a very newsy week here at Casa King.
I'm going to dole out news in little tasty morsels, though, because I don't want you to eat too much at one time. That's why I can't eat bananas anymore. I once ate too many of them and now my body just says "No thank you" which is a real bummer because I really love bananas.

ANYWAY.

This sunday the New York Times Book Review will publish a review of Glory O'Brien's History of the Future written by Rick Yancey. But you don't have to wait for Sunday.

You can read it here.

If you're not the type to click on delicious links, then here's an excerpt.
"Maybe there are writers more adept than King at capturing the outrageous and outraged voice of teenagers, but it’s difficult to think of one. Her Glory is a wondrous creation, sarcastic, witty, sensitive, insightful, the kind of girl other girls (O.K., guys too) wish they were (or, probably more likely and more often than is the case, think they are)."
Now I will go eat Mexican food.

Hey Mom! I'm in the New York Times!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Okay, six really is a magic number

I don't get it.
I just sit here and write what comes out of my head and some people seem to really dig what I do. This is really cool. And I'm not sure why, but I'm unable to process this. Even though I record these sorts of events or milestones with you--here in public--I don't really let them sink in. I'm just a lady in a room typing what comes to me.

So if you dig what I do, thank you. I really enjoy doing what I do.
We're a perfect match.

In this week's good news department, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future landed on the Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 list. That's always really sweet.

Also in this week's news was a sixth starred trade review for GLORY (I told you I'd get sick of typing that whole title) from the lovely people at The Horn Book coming in the January issue. I'll quote a tiny bit here for you.
✮ "King’s distinctive approach to fashioning a story of adolescent strife results in a book that’s not only thoroughly original but also uniquely compelling and deeply memorable."--The Horn Book
Six is a magic number because it makes a sort of constellation for a book. Because I can't quite process all of this, I can't tell you what the power of that constellation is, but I can tell you that it's a nice constellation and it keeps me humble and keeps me writing.

Since you last heard from me

I went to Arizona and to the awesome Changing Hands Bookstore and had a fantastic time, as always. I really do wish I could split in two and have half of me live in Arizona. Anyway, I took my kids with me and we had a fantastic time panning for gold, climbing the red rocks, and experiencing our first vortex.

Yes. I said vortex.

And it was real. Look:

Does this not convince you?
I can't describe what it felt like. I can't describe how it affected us. But whatever it was, it was something and I plan on visiting local vortexes in the future. (Math geek in me just cringed not changing that to vortices, but it's right, I swear to you.)

More soon. Upcoming events in the Exton, PA are and the Reading, PA area! Check my tour page!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Art & Freedom


Last night was the 65th National Book Awards. Ursula Le Guin received the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. I want you to watch her speech. I want you to listen to what she says about art. And freedom.



"Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an ebook six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books, and make the books, accepting this. Letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish and what to write."

Dear Ursula Le Guin,

I promise you I will never be deodorant. Thank you so much for the reminder.

Love, Amy


Also, Jackie Woodson won the NBA for Young People's Literature for her book BROWN GIRL DREAMING. When she won, I jumped up out of my chair so hard I shook the house.

This book is one of the most beautiful books I've read in years. Woodson's verse lifted me off my porch swing as I read it.

Jacqueline Woodson is a national treasure.

Art and freedom. Art and freedom.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quick Linkage Post

Glory is chilling out with some really great company over at the Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014. Click here to see the whole list, which is a fantastic list!

Other linkage:

A VCFA Faculty blog I wrote about encouragement is HERE.

There are a few bits of good news I cant share yet, but I figured I'd keep you updated because you're nice and I like updating nice people.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tour Picture Blog (Or: My Brain Is Jell-O)


My brain is mush. I just read and sent copy edits for 2015's I Crawl Through It to my editor today and I'm not sure I know my own name right now. But I promised you a blog, and so here I am.

First, good news!

Portuguese/Brazilian rights have been sold for five of my books. (Dreams come true!)

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ will be published in Brazil [only] by Novo Seculo Editora
EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, ASK THE PASSENGERS, REALITY BOY & GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE will be published in Brazil and world Portuguese by Editora Autentica. These should start hitting shelves in 2015-ish.

Go Brazil!

GLORY LIVES!

So it started with the launch party at Aaron's Books in Lititz, PA. I love Aaron's Books. They served tacos. And cake. They were wonderful hosts, as always, and they gave me a lovely gift and treated me like a rock star even though I'm just a simple country girl. Friends, family and supporters who pre-ordered from Aaron's or came out to join us in the fun: Thank you. By doing this, you supported my local economy. You supported a family run business that cares about people, not shareholders.

Here's Todd packing up pre-orders a few days before launch.
Note: This is a tiny back room in a real live store, not a warehouse.
Your pre-orders helped keep the lights on for human beings.
Thank you. 

So, tour pictures. I was touring with Paolo Bacigalupi who was talking about his new book, THE DOUBT FACTORY. He told such compelling stories about the history of the doubt industry. You have to read the book to understand, but it's chilling stuff. Trust me.

First stop, Santa Cruz, CA

I have no pictures of Book Shop Santa Cruz, but it was a great event. The next morning we stopped at Aptos High School and this was where my unforgettable day began.

Paolo talking about some seriously heavy stuff.
The Aptos students were great. Librarian Cheryl was so warm and welcoming.
And when I asked her where might be a good place to stop on the
way to the city to hug redwood trees, she said,
"I have a circle of redwoods up by the library. That's where we're going now."
Day = Made.

Now, excuse me while I talk about redwoods.
They are magical.
Here are more pictures than you probably want. But one just wouldn't do it.

Cheryl called this a fairy circle of redwoods. And it was exactly that.
They were amazing trees and Yes, I did hug one.
I may have kissed it, too.
Don't judge.
I love trees. 

Me and trees. Best friends forever. 

Photo Cred: Cheryl
Proof that I did hug the tree.
I can't wait to go back to the west coast and hike in forests
of these beauties. And Sequoias.
Tree love-rant over.

So after much tree loving, we went inside Cheryl's lovely Aptos HS library and signed some books.


Photo Cred: Cheryl
Gandhi FTW!

Photo Cred: Kathy/Cheryl
Here we are before we took off in a car for San Francisco.
I love Paolo's shirt.


Next stop, same day, San Francisco. After many many many years of Maggie Tokuda-Hall and I wanting to get me into Books Inc. for a visit, it finally happened. I was so excited to meet her and to be part of San Francisco's LitQuake Festival. It was a great event for all kinds of reasons.


Reason #1: Someone drew this. 

Photo Cred: Maggie, I think.
Reason #2: This space is gorgeous, isn't it? The art rocked.
And there were tortilla chips. (Among other things, but all I ever need is tortilla chips.)
I had such fun reading from GLORY to this crowd and then talking
about everything else alongside Paolo. He's such a pro. 

Photo Cred: Lianna
Reason #3: VCFA
Maximum respect to the VCFA crew of the Bay area!
You coming out to see me that night made my day even better and
I HUGGED REDWOODS THAT DAY. So this is huge.
Thank you! Thank you!

Reason #4: A late night seriously awesome tour of San Francisco after
I said, "I've been in the city all day and I haven't seen one hill."
The lovely Lianna and Laura said, "You want hills? We can show you hills."
Bonus: they also showed me the Golden Gate Bridge, The Castro, Haight-Ashbury and
a ton of other really groovy stuff.
Random aside: Everywhere I went in SF, they were playing music I liked.
This never happens.
Take, for example, airports. Only once in my life (That's you, Portland, OR)
has an airport played music I like.
Anyway.
After the late night tour, I crashed because I had to catch a flight to Austin the next morning.

Next stop, Austin for the Texas Teen Book Festival.

Photo Cred: Andrew Smith
That's Andrew, A very tired me, James Dashner and the epic Gayle Forman.
We had a great night, but had to get to bed early-ish so we could do the festival the next day.


I love this picture.
This is Jen Bigheart and Andrew Smith right before our lunch panel.
At our lunch panel, Drew and I talked about how we golf.
Without golf clubs.
Why we're best friends and about a trillion other things.
Jen is awesome.
Drew is awesome.
The audience was awesome.
Later that day I was on a panel with 4 amazing authors, but I don't have a picture.
Trust me. I was there.
Then there was the post-festival bar time.
Photo Cred: Julie
Said post-festival bar time was a damn fun crowd.
Here's my favorite picture from the night--me and Drew with Julie Murphy who
ROCKS OUT LOUD.

Somewhere in all of this festival day stuff I met a ton of epic readers, signed a lot of books, hugged fans, ate food, broke a tooth, called my dentist, and then went back to having a great time. (Man. My brain really is fried. I'd usually be more descriptive than this.) I highly recommend the Texas Teen Book Festival if ever you're nearby. It's well organized and powered by the best librarians on the planet and many volunteers who love reading.
So then I flew home.

I breathed for four days. I got my tooth fixed. I started the copy edits. Etc.

Last Thursday night I had an event at Children's Book World in Haverford, PA.
You all know how I feel about this bookstore, right? Heather Hebert is an independent bookselling goddess. We had a lot of fun and a huge shout out to the high school students who bused in to see me! That was AWESOME. I saw some superstars that night. Kate Walton was there, Sister Kim the mega-librarian was there (I'll be at the Little Flowers Festival in April), Jenn Hubbard was there, and Beth Kephart--who took the most amazing pictures, as usual. She has a magical camera. Let me show you.

Photo Cred: Beth
She always manages to catch me in the right light... 

Photo Cred: Beth
And whenever we get our picture taken together, we look like teenagers.
Seriously.
Beth rocks.
And if you haven't read any of her books yet, you must. GOING OVER from 2014 is brilliant, and all her
past books are equally brilliant.
Trust me.


Next stop, the Boston Book Festival.

Photo Cred: I completely forget, but thank you!
That's Scott Westerfeld (our second panel together in a week), Meg Wolitzer, and me
at the Emmanuel Church in Boston.
People who were in the crowd: WOW! That was some crowd! Thank you for coming!
Great discussion. Great Q&A and a great signing.

After the BBF event, I went to dinner with some stellar authors and then crashed for my early flight on Sunday morning.

Aaaaand we're done for a few weeks. Thank you for enduring the me me me tour post.
And thank you for all of you who came out to see me on my travels.
And thank you for all of you who read the books.
And my brain is officially fried now.

 Next up:
  • Clinton Book Shop, Clinton, NJ on Nov. 7th at 7pm. 
  • Reading Public Library, Reading, PA on Nov. 8th at 1pm.
  • Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe location, AZ on Nov. 21st at 7pm.
  • BONUS appearance: Changing Hands, Phoenix location, for a screening of e.E. Charlton-Trujillo's AT RISK SUMMER--a film that will blow you away, at 5pm on Saturday 11/22/14. I'll be there with mi hermana e.E. for Q&A after the screening. Proud to be a part of this project and its bright future pairing authors with facilities for at-risk youth. 


Placing objects in toilet may cause system failure.
As an ex-smoker I have to say: Why would anyone toss a pack of still-smokable
cigarettes down an airplane toilet?
I mean, I get tossing them. I did that a lot.
But why in the airplane?
Also:
DO NOT THROW SEVERED HANDS INTO THIS TOILET.

Remember: Badasses are kind to others. They do not shove on airplanes. They do not cause system failure in airplane toilets. They don't recline airplane seats. And they say thank you.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MORE TACOS!

I'm still gathering photos to show you from the tour.
I'll get to it, I promise.

Today I am stuck into copy edits here in rainy Pennsylvania. So this will be short. But it's exciting!


GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE got its FIFTH starred review today in The Bulletin! (If you read yesterday's blog, you're like--what? I thought yesterday was five?--but publishing is weird. It counts some starred reviews and doesn't count others. I won't stop you if you want to say six because it means more tacos for all of us. More tacos for all of us is good. Please add the drink of your choice and we will have a party.)

✭ "King continues to be one of the most original (yet accessible) YA writers today, and the magical realism element accentuates the humanity of the narrative by looking past people’s momentary selves to place them in times both past and future."--BCCB 



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tacos!

A starred review in Shelf Awareness for Glory today!

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

I have a big blog post coming with pictures to show you around my tour stops. But first, I have to work.

A drag, but you know. Has to happen.

This week's events: 
Thursday 10/23 at Children's Book World in Haverford, PA
Saturday 10/25 at the Boston Book Festival--panel with Meg Wolitzer and Scott Westerfeld at 4:15 at Emmanuel Sanctuary.

More soon.




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Glory O'Brien!

I've packed.
I'll be chilly in San Francisco, but I tend to stay indoors--except for when I find a few redwoods to hug. Then I won't care if I'm chilly. I've been wanting to hug a redwood tree for 40 years.

GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE comes out today.
Tonight is the launch party at Aaron's Books.
Tomorrow I will hop into a car at 5:30am to get to those redwood trees and beyond...from Santa Cruz to San Francisco to Austin, Texas for the Texas Teen Book Festival. All new places for me.
I'm excited.

I had no idea what to write on the blog today. But then I came across this poem. I rarely share poems. But part of this poem was written by Glory's mom, Darla O'Brien.

I'll most likely be back soon to post some links to cool interviews. There's a doozy coming soon from BookRiot and a really cool conversation over at Nerdy Book Club. Oh! And today at 4pm ET there's a twitter chat with me and Paul Hankins about the book. Don't miss that. I'm at @AS_King.

So here's the poem.

With Age You See the Passage of Time Ugly


1

With age you see
the passage of time ugly
as wrinkles tell stories
you were meaning to hide.

And now those tales gone,
like a generation of bards
killed by ancient plague
made their sons mute.

It must surely be madness
inventing technology
to make one young again
for youth is not knifed back.

But rather it is reclaimed
by the stories your face tells
when your tongue
is not making a sound.


2

With age you see
the passage of time ugly
as the images around you
grow prettier every day.

The girl on the wrinkle
cream ad on the telly
is barely sixteen and
computer enhanced.

It must surely be mockery
inventing this technology.
Engines roaring to
hate our very selves.

And death is mandatory,
unavoidable no matter
how good you may look
in your mirrored coffin.


--A.S. King 199?


See you on the road!

Monday, October 13, 2014

GO BADASS.

The AWESOME ladies over at Forever Young Adult and I are challenging you to go find the people who made you badass and thank them.

That's right.
We are asking you to join us in badass gratitude.
It's called, fittingly, THE BADASS GRATITUDE PROJECT.

You can see more here, where there's an interview with me and Mandy as well as my own video of thanking my favorite badass, my mom. 




And hey! If you missed it, there was a groovy interview over at the Barnes & Noble Blog last week.
Follow this link!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Four Days and Counting.

It's almost time!

If you pre-ordered from my local independent bookstore, Aaron's Books, than your signed book is on its way. I love this picture that they posted on Facebook.




Sam and Todd (and Aaron) at Aaron's have been huge supporters of my books from the very beginning and I can't wait for the launch party at their store on Tuesday night.

I've sent in my midterm reviews, paid the bills, cleaned up my desk, updated all of my calendars, backed up my computer and my phone. I've even cleaned the fridge.
Book release seems to push me into some sort of nesting mode.

I'm not packed, but I'm relying on the fact that I'm so used to packing I could do it in my sleep.
Although last time I did that, I forgot stuff and was forced to use hotel shampoo and "conditioner" which is really glue. I swear. Hotel conditioner is really glue.

Okay. So maybe I should make a list or something right about now.

Watch the blog this week for links to interview on a few of my favorite bookish websites!

To those of you who pre-ordered though Aaron's, Thank you for helping me support my community bookstore.

Oh! And don't forget the Twitter chat on launch day! 4pm Eastern.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Here we go.

It's ten days until the release of GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE. So the linking begins.

So here's a groovy interview that came out this this month's BookPage. 

More when I have it!


I'll see you all in a few days once I get my student work off my desk.