Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday with Thor & Gaea

Wagging on Wednesday is brought to us today by the simply AMAZING Thor & Gaea & their friend, writer Barbra Annino. Barb wrote: Okay, here's a bit about my furkids. They are littermates. They will be 2 on May 18. Great Danes have certain traits and these 2 are no exception. They "talk" a lot. Not barking but to get attention or protest something. More like a howl/whine/growl combo. My boy Thor sounds like Darth Vader and Gaea sounds like Yoda.
Gaea loves to cuddle. Thor is big momma's boy. He loves hugs. He stands up when he wants one. They both adore children and Thor has a Canine Good Citizen certificate. We're working on Gaea's. They annoy the hell out of each other, but they love each other two. Just like skin kids!
What are some of Thor & Gaea's quirks? Thor and Gaea are littermates and anyone that has two skin children will tell you that two is double trouble. They have the whole sibling rivalry-big brother teases little sister- little sister is loud and whiny about it thing going on. He steals her toys, she hogs the couch, he sits on her. But they also cuddle together and follow each other around the yard. Thor loves to watch the mail carrier. We have a blue mail box in front and he sits in the yard, perfectly still when she pulls up and watches her every move. I'm not sure if he's expecting a letter, but it's eerie. Thor likes to give hugs and if you are sitting down, it's a bit dangerous. Gaea is a lapdog. She tries to curl her whole body onto anyone's lap that might be available. Only her head fits though. She also likes gum, which my husband seems to spit out in the yard all too often. Thor has a thing for blondes. Gaea is infatuated with kids. They both love to move our stuff. Shoes, dish towels, gloves, the kitchen table. They don't chew it, they just move it. (Okay, I lied about the table). Any bold moments or super powers? Gaea can clear the fence. I think it might be about four feet high, but that's still a lot of weight to get off the ground. Great Danes are not known for jumping, but she's our gymnast. Gaea can also catch anything. They both stop traffic. Thor has helped me uproot a tree. He has also smashed the rear passenger window of our SUV with his head. They are both known to boost sales when we bring them into some of the shops downtown. What inspired their awesome names? I had a written a book and the dog's name was Thor. When we decided we were ready for another Great Dane, it was the natural choice. The Norse God of Thunder. Which is about how loud he snores. My husband, George, choose the name Gaea (GEE_YA). Greek Mother Earth Goddess. Look at both dogs right now. What are they thinking? Thor is thinking, "I love my mommy. Her office is warm and cozy and she needs me near her every second or bad things will happen." Gaea is thinking, "The service in this place sucks. Why can't I have breakfast in bed?" Thor is the soldier. Gaea is the princess. What books are Thor & Gaea looking forward to in the coming months? The Dust of 100 Dogs, of course! [Amy -- Oh stop!] [And thanks!] What do you think Thor & Gaea would do if they encountered a ninja? How about a pirate? I think Gaea would charm them with her long eyelashes and silky fur while Thor opened up a can of whoop-ass. They are the perfect dynamic duo. In fact, at night they don disguises and fight crime. See the photos! Thanks, Amy! Thank YOU Barb, for bringing your furkids around to see us here at Dog Fact #9. Random Links: So hey--did you know The Dust of 100 Dogs is the April Read for the YAedge Book Club? It totally is! So, if you haven't already read it, why not read it now and then click on this widget and join us for Q&A & Discussion? And a shout out to Bookgeek for this great review over at TheBookBind. Yay! A Bit of News: From Publisher's Marketplace: Author of THE DUST OF 100 DOGS, A.S. King's IGNORE VERA DIETZ, about a teenage girl, her dead (ex) best friend, and her attempt to clear his name, to Michelle Frey at Knopf Children's, at auction, by Gary Heidt at Signature Literary Agency. More on this soon, in an interview by a mysterious blogger... And hey! Thanks to all of you who entered the What Bugged You Today contest! Winners announced on FRIDAY!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Love Amazing Booksellers & Contest Extension

I know. It's a no-brainer. Author loves amazing booksellers. But seriously. I really do. This weekend, I had a signing at the Exton Square Mall Borders Express, which was memorable for several reasons. (And thank goodness it was memorable, because I completely forgot my camera. Doh!) First off--I have never seen a Borders store quite like this one before. It is YA-friendly to the point of AWESOME. The amazing Michelle has staff pick notes and recommendations all over, and is so knowledgeable about books, I would have loved to talk to her for hours. The amount of YA, Manga and Children's books they carry was mind boggling compared to most other stores I know. Everyone who worked there was friendly and downright cool. (Though sadly, I didn't get to meet Laura--next time, Laura! I hope your cats have come out of hiding!) And then I got to meet some of the regular shoppers. Yes, Devon, Shannon & Steve--I mean you. We even had a group hug before I left. So, in every possible way, this store is inspiring. INSPIRING! If you ever get a chance to drop in and buy a book, do. You won't be disappointed. I'm coming to the end of my scheduled first round tour dates and I met some of the coolest and most enthusiastic booksellers EVER. Maybe I wasn't really aware of how booksellers do their jobs before. Maybe I wasn't aware of how much they love books or equally enthusiastic authors. Either way, I am just so impressed I needed to say so out loud. To Erica, Mark, Kerry, Rhonda, Sam & Todd, Rob & Harvey and Holly and Brandi and Melissa, Sibley, Dwayne and Michelle & Laura, and to those of you who I haven't met yet, but who have written to me about hand selling D100D (and how easy it is!!): THANK YOU FOR BEING SO ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT MY BOOK! I appreciate it more than I can show without yachts and skyscrapers and massive herds of livestock. I also need to shout out to my MADE OF PLANET-SIZED AWESOME PUBLICIST, Marissa, at Flux. Marissa--you ROCK. Thank you for everything you do for me. The last months working with you were a learning experience I will not soon forget! Skyscrapers and yachts, I tell you! Skyscrapers and yachts! Contest Extension News My poor contest. I admit--four entries is a new low for us here at Dog Fact #9. (A sign that I should go write a new book in April, maybe, and leave this place alone?) Sadly, I'm not going to extend it. I figure it's a bonus for entrants to have such little competition, and I'm going to be up to my ears in work this weekend. You still have 36 hours--I invite you to see what you come up with between now and then! And finally--a link on my sidebar to The A.S. King Omnibus Project. So far, I have the complete list of stories and a complete list of interviews and articles. Soon, I will add articles about writing and miscellaneous articles. See you on Wednesday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

What Bugged You Today? -- Contest

I'm about to disappear for most of April to write a new book. This will probably expand into May, because it always does. I may or may not be posting regular contests during April. We'll see how it goes. All going well, I'll still be able to toss up a few challenges and nothing will change. Or, I could get sucked in totally, and forget this blog exists for a week or two and I would most likely make up for it by throwing a bonanza contest once I'm back. You just never know what to expect when I go radical. So, enjoy this weekend's challenge like it's the last for a few weeks. CHALLENGE: Fictionalize something that bugged you today. Tell the story in 100 words or less. EXAMPLE: No way. There are too many options to choose from to give an example. 'Fictionalize' could mean a lot of things. Instead of that guy in the pick up truck talking on his cell phone while driving toward me in my lane until I beeped and he swerved, it could be an alien in a spaceship, distracted by making a side salad or fluffing his enormous afro, veering into my space-lane until I zapped him with my ray gun. Or it could be exactly what happened, but the driver of the truck has just heard news that his favorite horse had died, or his cancer screen came back negative. Or a kangaroo could be driving the truck. Or a giant nose. The possibilities are endless. Leave your answer and email in the comment area. DEADLINE: Tuesday, March 31st 11:59 EDT. You've got nearly a week. Spread the word. If someone you know has a bad day, send them here. Writing out daily annoyances can be fun. PRIZE: A signed copy of The Dust of 100 Dogs. Winner announced on Friday April 3rd GOOD LUCK! Random Linkage: Hope from Hope's Bookshelf posted a smashing review of D100D at her blog today. A funny line for me was:
I couldn't figure out this book until pretty much the last page. It made me mad while I was reading it...
I have been scolded a few times for being a tricky little monkey, because some people don't find this feeling you describe at all fun. I'm glad you were able to enjoy it! Thanks for spreading the word! And for your listening enjoyment, the audio version of a sea chantey from a few contests ago, thanks to the talented Jonathan Quist. This shows that forcing people to be creative can really pay off! I LOVE this. LOVE it. A huge thank you for Jonathan for belting it out! The Dust of 100 Dogs by J. Quist

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Winner(s) + New Contest = Giddyup!

I said I would announce the winners on Friday, but this week, I am trying to get things done early. So, here's the result of the last contest(s).
The Awesome Arizona contest was an easy win, man. Only 10 entries. I tossed all entries into a hat and picked one. WINNER: Ravenous Reader Congratulations RR! I've emailed you. :) Now--to the Penelope contest. You all ROCK. Some really great entries here. Picking a winner was so tough, I had to go beyond the cosmic hamster & the guys I met at the gas station and call in some real judges for this one. I picked my top five favorites, and then let the others fight over the best one. If you are not the winner, PLEASE know how much I appreciate your participation. I wish I could send you all prizes. WINNER: Jess J. TOP FIVE: Jess J., The Not So Closet Geeks, biblauragraphy, E.M. Reads, pepsivanilla Honorable Mentions: Adele, you made me crave a proper bath and a glass of wine. :) Linda St. Cyr--you creeped me out totally, in like--50 words. Kudos for that. Joanne, I loved your line, "Because Penelope was a functional groupie" and props to Sara J Henry for that ego boost!
THE NEW CONTEST: (which I'm telling you about early) Has been moved to a new post HERE!! Random Linkage: Here's a really nice review of D100D by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, whose THE SKY ALWAYS HEARS ME AND THE HILLS DON'T MIND is due from Flux in Sept 2009. I'm stoked most about the part where she nails down the genre of the book.
...a YA lover MUST read this book. MUST. It’s unlike any other YA I’ve ever read. I read a lot in my subgenre of YA (realistic), and not so much in other subgenres. But this one . . . it’s its own subgenre, really: historic magic realism.
Give that woman a prize! Perfect description! See you Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday with Sachi

Wagging on Wednesday is brought to us today by Sachi, and her friend Nikki from YA Reads. Nikki wrote: The dog in the attached photo is Sachi Baggins McPuppy. She is a black and tan, 11 month old Miniature Dachshund. Her middle name is Baggins because she definitely has hobbit feet. She has this really tiny, petite body and these enormous shovel like paws. Sachi loves eating my vampire novels, burying her nose into the insides of teddy bears, chasing the biggest dog she can find and sleeping in my bed, under the covers, curled around my feet. I think she might have been a cat in her past life, because she seems to have the best traits of both dogs and cats. When she's at home inside, she likes to just curl up on the couch and sleep, but as soon as we're outdoors, in the park, its all cat bets off. She's the biggest little dog I've ever met. Her best friend (besides myself) is Yoshi Cullen McPuppy, a black Miniature Schnauzer that I also own. I've never met two dogs that love each other more! What are some of Sachi's quirks? Sachi is a licking machine. Licking everything, and absolutely anything she can wrap her tongue around (especially noses and ears) is her most favorite thing to do. In fact, she's licking my arm right now as I type... its a charming habit, but my jeans don't appreciate it too much. Nor do my Chuck Taylors actually. Any bold moments or super powers? In all her infinite smallness, Sachi seems to be attracted to ginormous dogs. The bigger, the better. Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Hungarian Vizla's - you name it she chases it. She has mastered the art of the commando roll, which I believe has saved her life a number of times. When it looks as if said ginormous dog is about to attack, Sachi simply rolls and rolls and rolls until she's out of danger only to come up the rear and start the chase all over again. The poor dogs don't know what hit them. I think she was blessed with nine lives, like a cat, because during her pursuits of aforementioned ginormous pooches, she often gets sat on, stepped on, squashed and simply outrun. But she never, ever gives up - the object of her chase is always the one to retire first. So with that in mind, I suppose if she had a superpower it would be the ability to morph into cat mode in dangerous situations What inspired her awesome name? Sachi Baggins McPuppy is her full name. We actually chose her first name before we picked her up. Its Japanese and means blessed and lucky, which I think she certainly is. The Baggins component of her name is a bit of a tribute to the Lord of the Rings. If you've ever seen a miniature dachshund's paws they have these HUGE hobbit paws that look way too big for their bodies. They come in handy for smacking her brother over the head from time to time, and digging holes in the garden to bury her bones, or anything that remotely looks like a bone. Lastly, my partner decided that every single dog that lives with us should be a McPuppy, just cuz. Consequently all our dogs, prior and present, are McPuppies, till death do us part. Look at Sachi right now. What is she thinking? "I think I just ran out of saliva, my tongue got stuck to your jeans." What books is Sachi looking forward to in the coming months? Sachi is a huge book fan. They taste really good. She has a particular affection for vampire novels. She's chewed up a number of them. Lucky DUST isn't a book about vamps; it means yours will probably survive. Going off that, I reckon she's probably pretty excited about Blood Promise, the fourth Vampire Academy novel. Mental note to self - make sure to pick book up of couch when making coffee. [Amy: Still no cover for Blood Promise, so I'm posting Vampire Academy 3--Shadow Kiss.] What do you think Sachi would do if she encountered a ninja? How about a pirate? Encountering a pirate would be be like all Sachi's doggy dreams coming true at once. You see, Pirates are dirty, smelly creatures that have lots of tasty scum caked on to their skin. Scum which is, for a dog, good for the licking. Can you hear the slurping? I can... who needs to shower when you've got a Sachi? And a ninja? She's karate chop him (or her) to the ground of course.... then proceed to lick the poor kid to death. Thanks for bringing Sachi around to chill with us, Nikki! Now for some Random Linkage: Here's an interesting review of D100D. I enjoyed this especially because the reviewer talked about how the book related to her, and made her think about things.
"I had a moment of introspective clarity (other than the conviction that I'm a pirate at heart) while reading this story. Do I have convictions so strong that I'd be willing to kill others, and FIGHT to the death?"
Don't Forget -- TOMORROW IS PURPLE DAY! WEAR PURPLE! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Random Brain Meanderings (Too Much Coffee): I wrote a book that includes genocide, violence against women & children, sexual slavery, neglect and a guy who beats his dog. So far, readers seem to care most about the dog. I think this says a lot. First off, I want you to know that if you are someone who's mentioned your concern for Rusty, or about the small part in the book about dog fighting, then I think YOU ROCK. I care about these things, too. I'm a dog lover, and a non-violent person, so of COURSE I care about dogs. And I know people are capable of caring about both violence against women & children and violence against dogs at the same time, so I'm not saying this to be judgmental. I'm saying it because I find it really interesting, in a scientific way, (spot the Vulcan) that readers get vocal about the dog violence more often. (Read to the end. I do it too.) I have an old friend who explored this topic with me while she was reading D100D. She explained that she felt for Rusty, and brought it up specifically, because dogs can't fight back--they are helpless without humans, whereas Emer could fight back. This helped me understand the heightened concern for a dog while human beings all around him in the book were suffering. And believe me. I understand Fred is hard to read. He's a creepy horrid man with power issues that are hard to face. Have you met one of those guys yet? I've met a few. Usually, they are hurting more than just their dogs. Here's Why I'm Bringing This Up. I'm a big proponent of talking about violence against women, especially sexual violence. I believe we're hiding a culture--an EPIDEMIC of violence against women. (Think of it this way--1 in 4 women in the US has been sexually assaulted. If 1 out of 4 people had the measles or bird flu, we'd call that a measles or bird flu EPIDEMIC, right? And if that happened, we'd NEVER HEAR THE END OF IT--on TV, radio, and at school. People would freak out because the next victim could be someone they know and love.) I'm presently involved in my local production of The Vagina Monologues. I know it's a funny name, but don't laugh. The Vagina Monologues is a play that benefits women and girls globally, who are dealing with nightmares you don't even want to think about, through an awesome organization called VDay. VDay is an organized response to violence against women. It's global, yes, but it also benefits the 200,000+ women and girls PER YEAR here in the US who are sexually assaulted, by raising awareness and locally, by raising money. In my town's case, our show is raising money for medical equipment that helps get evidence into courtrooms and convict child rapists, because you have NO IDEA how hard it is to actually convict these people. So, even with the funny name (and some VERY HILARIOUS parts) it's for a serious cause. This year, the production is highlighting the horrors of what's happening to women & girls in the Congo. If you want to start thinking about these things, here is the site for VDay and a link to information on the situation in the Congo (DRC). I know this stuff is hard to think about, but if we don't start to actively denounce and deconstruct this SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE EPIDEMIC, our daughters will continue to become statistics that nobody thinks or talks about. Ironically, I collect for the Humane Society at every local signing I do, but I don't collect for any womens centers or child abuse organizations. People do NOT want to think about things like this when attending a signing to buy a book, you know? (Some people have avoided my table completely because there was already one donation jar on it.) So, since I put my money where my mouth is in regard to doggies, I feel I need to do something for my biggest concern. On the weekend of April 4th and 5th, I'll be selling and signing copies of The Dust of 100 Dogs in the lobby before our production of The Vagina Monologues. 100% of profits from those book sales will go to VDay. It's not huge, but it's something, and every little bit helps. If you live in the Berks County, PA area, you can find tickets HERE. Shows are Saturday, April 4th 8pm and Sunday, April 5th at 2pm. Stop the Violence & Stop the Silence! Stay tuned--Friday I will announce winners from the Awesome/Penelope Contest!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Contest = Win D100D

Challenge = Write a story, under 100 words that starts with this sentence: Penelope was tired. And ends with this word: awesome. Example: Penelope was tired. She'd climbed 245 flights of stairs and still had 400 to go. This was the solar system's tallest building, and even though she felt like stopping there, on floor 245, and dying of exhaustion, she remembered how much her ticket to Jupiter cost, and how her grandmother had earned the money. Now was no time to be selfish. And she knew the view from the top, once she got there, was going to be awesome. Deadline = Tuesday, March 24th, midnight EDT. Winners announced on Friday, March 27th. Prize = all entrants will be entered to win a signed copy of The Dust of 100 Dogs. Those who entered the last contest (counting the awesomes in the Arizona post) are totally eligible to enter this one, too, for double the chance to win! Leave entries and your email in the comment area! Good Luck!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Arizona in Pictures = Awesome

We're going to do this backward today. I'm going to start with Random Linkage, because I had a really cool interview with Vania of Reverie and I want you to read it! Ravenous Reader used D100D as her Teaser Tuesday entry this week, and I'm mentioning it because she used 2 sentences from my favorite Dog Fact--Dog Fact #4 Humping Inanimate Objects. I read this Dog Fact at one of my events in Arizona, and apparently, others think it's funny, too. Also -- D100D got a really awesome review in VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) this week. It's a long one, so here's the blurby-thing:
"A remarkable and compelling story for readers seeking something out of the ordinary."
Now, ARIZONA. Here's the deal. Joanne Levy took these awesome pictures So, a HUGE thank you to Joanne. Without her I would have zero pictures of this trip, and that would be a massive bummer because I had such an amazing time and having pictures to look back on makes it even more wonderful. So let me start there. I had an amazing time. If Arizona wants me back for any reason, I am SO there, man. The people were awesome, the weather was heavenly, and the casual feel of the place was right up my street. (Also, all the houses there have walls, which you can see best if you put on your chickens.) So, I caught you up last on the Changing Hands reading & signing, but let me say one more time -- WOAH. Changing Hands Bookstore is AWESOME. If you haven't been there, you need to go one day. I met many fascinating people and signed a lot of books. After that event, we drove to Tucson, where the view from our window looked like this. We took a day to chill. We ate really really really really really really nice Mexican food with Robin Brande, whose EVOLUTION, ME & OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE is awesome. (Did I tell you that I finally read Lisa McMann's FADE on the flight there & it was also AWESOME? Seriously. There is a reason it's on the NYT list for a fifth week in a row, people. Read that book.) Saturday we went to the Tucson Festival of Books and it was a day I won't soon forget. I had a very early reading at 10:30 in the Teen Tent and answered some questions, and then we wandered the many tents and booths that were set up along the University of Arizona campus. I was able to thank Ronald McDonald in person for the lovely breakfast, and got to hug Curious George. We even had a minute to chill before our panel, and here is my favorite picture of myself, during that chilling moment. Again--Joanne Levy is a great photographer. Then came our panel. (Lisa McMann, Robin Brande & me.) It was called Dorks, Nerds and Geeks: How daily mortification, ridicule and unpopularity as a teen can turn you into a superstar YA author. After a wonderful introduction by our escort Judi, we started out by each telling an embarrassing story from our youth. Let me say for the record: this was a great way to open a panel. The laughter was infectious for the entire hour, whether we were talking books or answering audience questions. That panel was one of the best hours of my little life. I don't say this lightly. If I could take Lisa & Robin on a tour and do that same panel every other day for a year, I would be the happiest woman alive. Too. Freaking. Funny. After this, we signed books, and then Lisa had her reading in the Teen Tent, where she ROCKED. And then she drove us back to the Phoenix area. Here is where I say a public thank you to Lisa for driving us everywhere. If I had a herd of goats or camels who could also do neck massages, I'd give them to you, Lisa. (Here is also where I mention that for reasons that will remain unsaid, if ever I am driving with you, reader, especially where the speed limit is 75 mph, you should allow me to sit in the backseat and stare out the window. Trust me on this.) Here is where I also mention that if it wasn't for Lisa, I'd have never gone to Arizona in the first place or heard of the Tucson Festival of Books, so thank you a trillion times. So, then, on Sunday, our last full day in Arizona, we went to an old mine town and it was really cool. This was as far west as I'd ever been, so getting a glimpse of the wild west was a total treat for me. I guess until then, it had always been a bit of a movie set, you know? Keeping with the whole movie angle, I was put in jail -- complete with poker-playing floosies. And Joanne & I panned for gold, which my six-year-old hasn't forgiven me for yet, even though I gave her my gold. Then, the signing at B&N, which ROCKED. You know, there is NOTHING like meeting an enthusiastic bookseller who loved my book. Missy, at the Chandler Mall B&N was so nice and so energetic and just so hard core into selling books that we nearly moved every single copy. A HUGE thank you to everyone there who made that event happen. I learned a lot. :) After a massive meal at The Cheesecake Factory next door, we headed back to the hotel, said goodbye to Lisa, and packed for our flights home. Some names I haven't mentioned, but who need to be thanked: Holly from Changing Hands, & Jim & Faith. The made-of-awesome Liz Danforth, Rita Brown & Lauren, JM Prince, Patti (from my reading at the Teen Tent) Krystle & Donna, Mit (who sucks more), Sibley & Dwayne, and anyone who bought a copy of D100D at any of my events or laughed at any of my jokes! And I almost forgot--a big shout out to Joanne's Arizona family! What smashingly awesome and generous people. So now you're in the know. A.S. King loves Arizona. Here's a letter I wrote on the plane home: Dear Arizona, I love you. Love, Amy. QUESTION: How many times did the word AWESOME appear in this blog? ANSWER: Leave your answer in the comments with an email address and be entered to win a signed copy of The Dust of 100 Dogs. .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday with Bino

Wagging on Wednesday is brought to us today by Thao, from over at serene hours, and her dog Bino. Thao is a regular visitor to the Dog Fact#9 blog, and a positively delightful person who always has something nice to say. She also lives in Vietnam, which is a place I have always wanted to go, and so I daydream that one day Thao and I will meet up there! (Who said I wasn't a dreamer?) What inspired Bino's name? I got his name from a novel about dogs, Bino was the closest friend of the main lead - a dog called Beto. (A Vietnamese novel about a dog, roughly translated, I AM BETO.) Bino was white and nice and very active just like my dog, so I named mine after that character. Look at your dog right now. Can you tell what he/she is thinking? He's thinking how mean the other dog called Puppy (owned by cousin) is. Puppy is younger but he eats a lot, he always steals food from Bino and he's jealous when Bino gets patted by us as well T.T If you were a dog, whose dog would you want to be? My Mum's. Sometimes she takes more care of Bino than me : ) I want to be Suri Cruise's dog too, the kid is too adorable and she's not afraid of dogs! Does Bino have any super powers? Bino doesn't have any super powers...but he can do so-called dance moves : D What books is your dog looking forward to in the coming months? Your book, maybe? My dog doesn't read, only I do. I'm looking forward to lot of books, to name a few they are Evermore, Willow, Taken By Storm, Love You Hate You Miss You...I also want to read The Dust Of 100 Dogs. ^^ Thanks, Thao, for bringing Bino around to meet us today! I was going to put together an Arizona pic-fest for the blog by now, but I've got to do a university chat today and I'm still sleeping off my jetlag (of course yesterday the kids had to jump on me at 6AM, right?) So, be patient with me and I hope to have a pic-fest blow-by-blow of Arizona on the weekend, complete with a contest! For now--a small bit of random linkage. Random Linkage: If you're interested in the deeper meanings in D100D, and how the book came about, you can read the Backstory of the book over at MJ Rose's Backstory blog.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hello Tucson!

I am loving the desert. Like L-O-V-I-N-G the desert. Last night was a great reading at Changing Hands in Tempe and I have pictures! Tomorrow is the Tucson Festival of Books, and I'm looking forward to a day of readings, signings and meeting other authors. I'm presently chilling with my favorite peeps Joanne Levy & Lisa McMann, and they rock so much, there just isn't space to tell you how much. So, we have a few things to clear up. I suppose you'll be wanting to hear about who won the eyeball contest. Let's get that out of the way. First, as always a HUGE HUGE thank you for EVERYONE who participated. 100 entries is a lot of entries, and we got a few over that. I really appreciate every one of them, and if you don't see your name below, don't fret! There's always another contest next week, right? First place: Paradox said: Collecting ambiguous images, defining reality. What do I really see? Second place: hey dave! said: Coffee-colored and myopic. Like my women. Third place: Christie said: It's only a little tic. The Top Ten:
  • beth said: Fortunately, still both in my head.
  • elisa nader said: Immeasurably benefiting from under eye concealer.
  • pepsivanilla said: Unappreciative of being poked with contacts at an ungodly hour.
  • emilyhainsworth said: Sliced with lasers - YOU can't see - but now I CAN!
  • nhertel85 said: My eyes take up my whole face.
  • Anonymous (carolee999a) said: Round and squishy, but surprisingly powerful.
  • Erika Lynn said: when closed, there’s a freckle on my eyelid
  • Joanne Levy’s Kia said: blue-white like a glacier, on the lookout for dropped food.
  • penny roth said: First thing people notice (since my boobs are kinda small).
  • Angel said: Blinded by love, one eyeball plucked out at a time.
CONGRATULATIONS to the winners and THANK YOU to all participants! I really appreciate all of you who come around to have a bit of fun. See you next week! Random Linkage: Cynthia Leitich Smith had a GREAT interview with me yesterday. Go here to read about how I used to read in my closet. Don't forget! Only TWO more days to enter Reviewer X's HUGE giveaway. I'll see you next week when I'm back!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday with Xander

Wagging on Wednesday is brought to you today by Xander, most huggable dog ever & Kristi, Xander's book-loving biped: This is Xander. He is a two year old rottweiler, who has made it his personal mission to remove the stereotypes of his breed. He hasn't met a person or animal for that matter that he hasn't showered with wet, slobbery kisses. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body, and it irks him to see his "brothers" portray vicious roles in the media. He enjoys long walks- anywhere, going bye-bye, swimming, and snuggling. He is spoiled rotten and proud of it. And his owner, which is me, Kristi, loves books almost as much as she loves her dog. I run the little YA book blog, the story siren. What are some of Xander's quirks? Xander has to sleep on his back with his legs all sprawled in the air. It's funny to look at, but really inconvenient when you wake up with feet in your face (yes he sleeps in the bed) and he is a bed hog as well as a cover stealer. I accidentally spilled water on his head when I was putting his water bowl down one time. Now whenever I go to fill his water bowl he runs into the hallway and won't come to his water bowl until I set it down. He also loves to have his ears cleaned and rubbed. Sometimes I'll be sitting on the floor and he'll shove his head in my lap so I'll rub his ears! Any bold moments or super powers? He does have a super power! It's called super strength! He easily outweighs me and if he really wanted to get away when we were on a walk, he could! They actually have a Rottweiler cart club, since they were originally breed as working dogs. I really want to get one of those carts and have him pull me around town! He's super smart too! And really CUTE! What inspired his name? My man toy, er I mean my husband, actually came up with Xandy's name. We were originally going to call him Jagger, but on the way down to the breeder to pick him up, we decided on Xander. There is always that Triple X movie... I think his name was Xander Cage and then someone else told me that there is a Xander in Buffy, but I've never seen an episode. I mostly call him Xandy, or Mister, or Nelly... because he is a nosy nelly! Look at Xander right now. What is he thinking? Right now he is thinking how delicious this string cheese is that I'm eating. He is such a beggar. Which is totally my fault, because I can't help those baby browns looking at me! He's also wondering if I'll ever get off the computer and play with him. What books is Xander looking forward to in the coming months? There are a lot of books Xander is looking forward to in the coming months. He really likes vampires and fae, so he has Stargazer by Claudia Gray, Wings by Aprilynne Pike, Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr , The Forest of Hands and Teeth, City of Ashes by Cassandra Claire and Faery Rebels by R.J. Anderson on his wish list. Thanks for having me and Xandy stop by!! Thanks so much for coming around, Kristi! Random Linkage: I stumbled upon this review yesterday at Readings of a Teenage Tree and it made my day. Any review that ends like this...
"Epic win. Just completely, totally epic win,"
...gets a big YAY from me. So so glad you liked it Willowe. Thanks so much for saying so! Contests: You've got one more week to enter the HUGE GIVEAWAY at Reviewer X. If you've bought D100D, you really should think about entering. Who doesn't want $300 worth of books? THE EYEBALL CONTEST closes tonight at midnight EST. Winners will be announced Friday. I'm now on my way to Arizona, so I'll be scarce until next Wednesday...though I might get some writers you all know to help me figure out the weekend's contest and toss it up while we sit by the pool, sipping something refreshing and probably icy. In case you live in in the Phoenix area or you're coming to the Tucson Festival of Books, here's where I'll be and when. Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ - March 12th 4:30pm-6pm The Tucson Festival of Books Saturday, March 14th Reading at Teen Authors Lounge 10:30-11:15am Author Panel - 2:30pm-3:30pm - Dorks, Nerds and Geeks: How daily mortification, ridicule and unpopularity as a teen can turn you into a superstar YA author. Lisa McMann, Robin Brande & A.S. King. Book signing until 4:30. (Lisa McMann reading follows the signing, in teen author lounge.) Barnes & Noble, Chandler Mall, Chandler, AZ Mar 15th 2-4pm See you there!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's true--today is my birthday. Here is a post I wrote to celebrate over on Liviania's March Blog Party. (If you didn't click on the link, you're missing out on some pretty funny pictures that I wouldn't share with just anyone.) Random Notables: A great interview with my Flux editor, Brian Farrey over at Cynsations yesterday. I stumbled upon a really cool article this weekend entitled Barnes and Noble = Top 40 Radio Station = Catering to the Masses.
"Whereas there are great books available at BN, if you really care about finding something other than the bestsellers your local BN is oftentimes not the place to go to find them..."
I think this piece and its conclusion has a lot of truth in it, and I don't think it's automatically a negative thing, either. I think it just is what it is, and I think, as readers, it's nice to remind ourselves that there's a huge big world out there beyond the top 40. There's also a really great Q&A at Writer Unboxed with my first and favorite independent bookseller, Rob Dougherty of Clinton Book Shop, where he discusses the ways in which indies support us as authors and readers, and the ways we can support them. indiebound Shout Outs: A super amazing review of D100D touched down this weekend from Karen Kincy. And I totally spaced linking Shana's awesome review last week. Thanks so much for all the support, guys! It means an awful lot. WE NEED ABOUT 20 MORE ENTRIES IN THE EYEBALL CONTEST. GO ON. TELL YOUR FRIENDS. THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME. CONSIDER IT A BIRTHDAY GIFT, K? Now, I'm off to pack for Arizona. And if you totally ignored this before, I'm giving you one more chance... Here is a post I wrote to celebrate my birthday over on Liviania's March Blog Party. (If you didn't click on the link, you're missing out on some pretty funny pictures that I wouldn't share with just anyone.) indiebound

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Eyeball Contest

Those of you who have read the book understand that eyes have a certain D100D significance. And so, a contest. The Eyeball Contest Challenge: Describe your eyes in 10 words or less. Awesome words preferred. Beautiful descriptions favored. Wit rewarded. Gore appreciated. Humor always welcome. Prizes: 1st=A signed copy of The Dust of 100 Dogs (or your choice of a signed rare D100D ARC that I found & bought online. Even though I dislike ARCs, because they aren't the final version, I know people dig having them.) 2nd=A cool VOG (Very Odd Gift) & a book of your choosing from my giveaway shelf. 3rd=A book of your choosing from my giveaway shelf. The Catch: No one can win until we have 100 entries. The contest will end at midnight the day we reach 100 entries. So, spread the word! How to Play: Leave your entry and your email address in the comment area. There is a two entry limit. Winners chosen by a herd of rabid camels and two guys I met at the gas station. Good luck!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Random News & Shorts Part Two

I'm planning on running a writing contest this weekend, so sharpen your pencils and get ready. It's party week at Casa King (we've got a birthday, an anniversary and St. Patricks, which we're very enthusiastic about in an old country way) and I feel like tossing out some cool prizes. Yes. Plural. Prizes. Come back tomorrow for that. Today, I just need to toss out random news and shouts. Also, I found this article yesterday and want to share it with you. It was kinda hard to ignore the title. NINE OUT OF 10 GIRLS SEXUALLY HARASSED. You need to read this. News: In case you live in in the Phoenix area or you're coming to the Tucson Festival of Books, here's where I'll be and when. Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ - March 12th 4:30pm-6pm The Tucson Festival of Books Saturday, March 14th Reading at Teen Authors Lounge 10:30-11:15am Author Panel - 2:30pm-3:30pm - Dorks, Nerds and Geeks: How daily mortification, ridicule and unpopularity as a teen can turn you into a superstar YA author. Lisa McMann, Robin Brande & A.S. King. Book signing until 4:30. (Lisa McMann reading follows the signing, in teen author lounge.) Barnes & Noble, Chandler Mall, Chandler, AZ Mar 15th 2-4pm Contests: Youve got one more week to enter the HUGE GIVEAWAY at Reviewer X. If you've bought D100D, you really should think about entering. Who doesn't want $300 worth of books? Random D100D/A.S. King Notes: Here's a post, including video, of my reading at the awesome Aaron's Books in Lititz last weekend. If you haven't already done so, you are going to totally want to find your way over to Liviania's blog, In Bed With Books, next week, because she's celebrating birthdays....and since next week is my birthday, I wrote a fitting blog, and there are very interesting (and/or embarrassing) pictures. But all month, she's doing some really great guest blogs, so you should go over right now to read them. A note to my Dublin, Ireland peeps--Hughes & Hughes in the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre is stocking D100D! Shout Outs: Thanks for the cool review over at Sarah's Random Musings. A groovy review over at {Insert Book Title Here} starts by saying, "I have to say that The Dust of 100 Dogs may just be my favorite novel to date." This made my day. I mean, obviously, right? And to end, another baby step on the A.S. King Omnibus Project. This group of shorts is more adult-themed. Nothing too awful or that different from my other stories, but not particularly written for teenagers. Then again, neither is Steinbeck, so for the sake of the project, I'm listing them. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Short Stories Part Two--Includes print RAUL SHOWS ME THINGS Word Riot READ IT HERE.

WHY PEOPLE TAKE PICTURES The Huffington Post READ IT HERE.

I AM MOMMY Literary Mama READ IT HERE.

SKIN Underground Voices READ IT HERE.

HOW I BECAME MY FATHER Lit103.3 (written version) READ IT HERE.

Print Stories

MONICA NEVER SHUTS UP Washington Square Issue 20 Summer 2007 BUY

THE TESTS I FAILED Quality Women's Fiction Issue 53 Aug 2008 BUY

BUTCHER Quality Fiction Summer 2009 Issue BUY

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday with Baxter

Wagging on Wednesday is totally stoked today, to have Sarah MacLean, and her dog, Baxter. Sarah's book, The Season was released this week. Happy Launch Week Sarah! Can't wait to read it! I have to say, before we start--Sarah MacLean cracks me up to no end. Here's what she first wrote, about Baxter: "He's a total attention hound. No pun intended. Ok, sort of intended. :)" See what I mean? Now--for the questions. How did Baxter come home? Baxter didn't find us until he was a year and a half old. We're told that he grew up in a pound in Virginia and, when he had been there for a year, they had to put him down, but the warden took pity on him because he'd never had a chance to live outside of the pound and asked a friend of his to take Baxter in and help him find a home. That woman, Linda, taught Baxter everything he knows...and is the reason he's such a good dog. We certainly had nothing to do with it. Of course, when Eric and I heard this story, we wanted to meet Baxter immediately. He was driven up from Virginia and we met this poor, scared, love from the country in Union Square...about the most opposite place we could have found. He was terrified of the city and crawled into Eric's lap immediately. We fell in love with him then and there (obviously!) and he came home. What are some of his quirks? When he's excited, he jumps straight up in the air, like he's on springs, and then spins in circles. When someone scratches the inside of his right ear, he groans. He carries his food from the dish all the way across the house to eat it. Sometimes he sleeps sitting up. He only walks on the right side of people. He is transfixed by the sound of French. [Amy: ROFL!] He will not get into bed without a squeaky toy...or without squeaking it. Many times. Any bold moments or super powers? He can fly. It's true. One time, a few years back, Baxter leapt off a second floor balcony into 3rd Avenue. We were very very very lucky that there were no cars...and that Eric had taught him to "heel." All of a sudden, he was on the ground, and I was 20 feet up in the air calling out "Baxter! Heel!" He was totally freaked out...and so were we! But thankfully, there was a kindhearted stranger who came running to help! We took him straight to the vet...but there wasn't a thing wrong with him. So, obviously, he was rechristened Baxter, the flying dog. What inspired Baxter's name? He came with the name. It suits. Also, he sometimes comes to "Shatner" which is fun for me. [Amy: ROFLAPMPAL] Look at Baxter right now. What is he thinking? Zzzzzzzzzzz. *ice cream*dog run*fortune cookies*scratching*woof* Zzzzzzzzzz. What books is Baxter looking forward to in the coming months? Well, I sure hope he's looking forward to THE SEASON! Other than that, he's been telling me that he's really excited about reading D100D, but worried about this whole "100 Dogs" thing...he likes to be top dog, of course. He's also getting excited for new dog treat cookbooks. Which I imagine is self explanatory. Thanks so much for coming around, Sarah. You totally slay me. Best of luck with The Season and everything you do! You ROCK. In the Blatant Self Promotion Category we have this review of D100D from The Book Gobbler.
"The Dust of 100 Dogs is an absolute page-turner; my only disappointment was in reaching the end of an excellent pirate's yarn."
Danke, BG! Glad you dug it. And another, by PJ Hoover, author of The Emerald Tablet, who posted a review of D100D as part of Barrie Summy's (I So Don't Do Mysteries) Book Review Club. Thank you for all the support!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Short Stories & The A.S. King Omnibus Project

Some of you who know me know that I don't just write YA-ish historical/contemporary/dog training guides. I started out writing adult fiction and continue to write literary short fiction. Though these are literary stories written with adults in mind, many of them cross over for a YA audience, and so, I have been trying to compile a linked list to the stories that are online for my sidebar. I've also written a bunch of articles about writing, and I've been interviewed a bit, and I'd like a place to house those links, too. These ideas have bloomed into the A.S. King Omnibus, which I've been officially procrastinating on for about two months. So, I figure the best way to work on this is to do it in baby steps. Today, I will make the Short Story List, Part One. Before I do, I need to give some shouts out to people. Check out this review over at For the Love of Books. How cool is this?
"To be completely honest, I almost didn't read D100D because of all the hype around the blogosphere, I was scared to read it and be that one person who didn't enjoy the novel. I mean what book could really be so good that every single reader loves it? So instead of ditching it completely, I bought the book and forced my little brother to read it. Him and I have very similar personalities so i decided that if he liked the book I would read it. Well, he loved it. In fact, he nagged at me every ten minutes until I finally agreed to read it."
Well, Taylor, not every reader has loved it, but many have, and I'm grateful that you finally tried it, and so pleased that you liked it! Thanks for dropping by the blog last week & saying so. (And thank your brother for me, too! :) ) And here's another review from another wicked-awesome reviewer at Fire Must Burn who I had the pleasure of meeting at one of my events last month. And OO! A cool interview in which I reveal my writing secrets! Now, on with the list.
Short Stories Part One

LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD Ghoti Magazine READ IT HERE.

HARRY'S GIANT Eclectica READ IT HERE.

LEROY CAN TELL YOU WHEN FRiGG READ IT HERE.

RIVER 16 Eclectica READ IT HERE.

WILL DEIRDRE BEAT THE ODDS? Contrary READ IT HERE.

HOW I BECAME MY FATHER Lit103.3, Valley Free Radio LISTEN HERE.

CAN YOU SEE LOIS GARDENING? Amarillo Bay READ IT HERE.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dirt Nostalgia

You're wondering where I was this weekend, right? You've hit the lows of writing contest withdrawal? You can't exist without scribbling to obscure parameters for a chance to win the occasional VOG**? My apologies. It was a hectic few days. On Saturday, I got to chill with my local-est indie booksellers, Sam & Todd at Aaron's Books in Lititz. It was very cool, and I got to meet some really nice people, read them a chapter of my book, and sign their copies. Thank you to all who stopped by. My next local appearance isn't until after I get back from the Tucson Festival of Books in mid-March. I'm really looking forward to going out to Arizona. I've never been to the southwestern United States before and I am stoked for a whole new climate. I will also get to chill with some good friends and enjoy nice weather and PROPER MEXICAN FOOD. And maybe swim? Maybe? Please? Swim? Though a winter storm is hitting us here, I've enjoyed this past week of springy days, and it's made me nostalgic. I miss my garden and my spring-times of planting and seeding and pitchforks and shovels. It's all Amy's fault. I was digging out an old picture for an interview we were doing, and next thing you know, I'm missing my old dirt. Here's the interview over at Addicted to Books. And here's a bonus picture of the dirt where I used to spend my days. Some D100D links for anyone looking for A.S. King related procrastination: Becky's Book Reviews has a nice review up here. Dog-eared and Well-read, a blog I never knew about before, but will visit more often now that I've found it, because it's written by a high school librarian who obviously ROCKS--thought D100D was "the best adventure I've gone on in a while." And HERE'S an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT about the Dust of 100 Dogs Contest at Reviewer X's blog. The deadline has been extended to March 15th. $300 worth of books and bookstore credit. YOU NEED TO ENTER!