Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Please Dream

Oh shoot, it's Wednesday, which means I'm a day late to being a once-a-week-blogger. Sorry about that. I have good excuses. For one, this pool has been taking up a lot of time, lately. It's my community pool. It opens this weekend. Isn't it pretty? That's Lane 3, where I spend a good amount of time every summer, dreaming up books.
And I finished my galleys on PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ this week, and started my first edits of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS (which is partly set at the pool), so that's good. The machine is in motion. I've also been busy preparing to go to the Backspace Writers Conference this weekend, where I'll be talking about the YA voice with Randy Susan Meyers and Barb Ferrer, and talking to some amazing industry pros about the details of sales departments, book selling and PR and publicity. Can't wait!

But here's the picture I want to share with you most of all. This is @aaron007 's twitpic, but it made my day so much, I had to post it here to show you what can happen if you follow a dream. (@aaron007, I hope that's cool.) See those fang smiley faces? Those are thanks to my friend Heather Brewer. See those steps? Those are the steps to BOOK EXPO 2010. I'm sorry, but if ever anything I dreamed up in my head is plastered that big anywhere, let alone the steps to BEA, please pinch me.

As far as I'm concerned, this picture screams, "Please Dream." Go Heather! Go Vlad!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rochester TBF 2010 = WOW.

Yeah, WOW. What an amazing time I had this weekend!

I drove up to Rochester on Thursday and met up with some friends for the Rochester Teen Book Festival. We had dinner on Friday night and I learned that what I'd heard was true. RTBF people really do treat authors like royalty. A few months ago, we were asked for five fun facts. Mine were:
1. My favorite food is corn pie. Yes, that is a pie made of corn.
2. I was self-sufficient for about a decade, which means I lived on my own food. (Including corn pie.)
3. I was robbed at gunpoint while talking on the phone at work once, and I scolded the guy for being rude and interrupting my call. That was before I realized he was seriously robbing me.
4. I can juggle two soccer balls and an apple while eating the apple.
5. My first crush was Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H.
So, at dinner Friday night, all participating authors received gift bags. Inside was a gift. When I unwrapped mine, this is what I found.
How hilarious is that? (And yes, Hawkeye now stares out at me from behind my desk lamp here on my desk. Is there something wrong with that?)

I got a whopping 5 pictures on the day of the festival. That's pretty sad isn't it? I should have taken more, but everything went so fast and I just didn't get a chance to get my camera out again. (Read: I was overwhelmed and star-struck.)

Here are my photo highlights:

Riding in a limo with (visible) Alyson Noel, Barry Lyga, Holly Black, Alisa Libby, and Laurie Halse Anderson, who was on the floor taking creative pictures.

And here's a panoramic of the early crowd. I say early crowd because it increased quite a bit during the forty minutes we sat there, answering a few rounds of questions. Some of the coolest people ever are in that picture. Can you find yourself?

Because I was lame on the photography front, I have asked Joanne Levy's permission to use a few she got of me to prove I was there. Here are all the authors in the morning and organizer, Stephanie A. Squicciarini, at the mic welcoming everyone. (Photo: Joanne Levy)

Our HS Humiliation Panel. I want to note that this is a really cute picture of me, which was hard to get with me in pigtails. That's the amazing Lisa McMann (Wake trilogy and upcoming Cryer's Cross) at left, me, and then the insanely awesome Robin Brande (Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature and Fat Cat) to the right. (Photo: Joanne Levy)

This is me heading home Sunday morning, with star in hand and thumb up. (Photo: Joanne Levy)

All in all, this was one of the coolest things I ever participated in in my whole life. Yeah. I'm not exaggerating, either. Not only did I get to meet a ton of cool authors but I got to meet so many amazing librarians and readers. I really hope to go back next year. I even challenged Matt de la Pena to some sort of basketball challenge, which is really funny considering Matt would wipe the floor with me while blindfolded and duct taped to a pogo stick, but you know, who cares? I would happily be humiliated on the court to go back to RTBF.

For more coherent posts on this weekend and lots of great pictures, go here:

Jessie Andersen's Blog

The Official TBF Blog (Go Carly!)

Vivian Van Velde's Blog

Crissi's Blog

Eve's Fan Garden (includes interview with Lisa McMann!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Help PA Libraries!

With an added bonus of solid feedback on your work and a chat with me!

Remember a few posts back I told you about the PAYA Auctions? Well, this week, I am one of them. And with a reasonable $20 starting price, too! I'm offering a query critique, 25 page critique and a follow-up phone call about your work.

In case you need a recap on what PAYA is, this is from their site:
PAYA is a coalition of Pennsylvania’s young adult authors, bloggers, librarians, readers, and other book-lovers. Our mission is two-fold:

  1. To share the love we have for young adult literature with others in our state
  2. To raise money to support Pennsylvania’s libraries, with a focus on helping build Young Adult library collections and Young Adult services.


Now...I'm off to Rochester in the morning for the Fifth Annual Rochester Teen Book Festival! I AM SO EXCITED! Are you anywhere near Rochester NY? Do you want to hang out with other YA lit lovers and meet a bunch of awesome authors? Check out this link and come join us!
I'll be back next week with a full report and pictures. I hear I'll be riding in a limousine. I'm guessing I should shave my legs.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Please Ignore Vera Dietz ARC Auction!

If you haven't already heard about it, there's a great charity event going on to help middle Tennessee flood victims. It's called Do the Write Thing for Nashville, and there SO MANY awesome things to bid on!

I've added my own small contribution. A signed hard-to-get ARC of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ (and a bonus signed copy of THE DUST OF 100 DOGS.) Go check out all the auctions! So many amazing authors, editors and agents have offered manuscript critiques and a variety of incredible items to win!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Set a Course for Rigel, Number One

In case you missed it, the awesome Dawn Metcalf posted a wicked-nice recommendation for The Dust of 100 Dogs yesterday, and we offered up a groovy contest to win a copy of the book. I haven't done a contest around here for a while because I'm waiting to give away PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ soon, but this contest reminded me how much fun it can be. To see all entries, go here. And here is my official winner announcement:
I loved these entries! Thanks so much for playing! People who know me and my contests know I'm all about rules, so those of you who used constellations and not stars, better luck next time. :(  Doesn't mean I didn't love your entry. Just that I'm a rule freak.
(Yes, I know I'm a horrible person. But in a Miss Snark kind of way, so I'm sure you will eventually forgive me.)

And Jonathan Quist, I'm not picking you because you have won my contests before, also, the Pleiades is a star cluster and I can't figure out if you're following rules or not (yes I know you did that on purpose) but I have to give you this nod because your entry was amazing and I thank you for it. Let's have a look at that again.

Awesome are the Pleiades;
moreso 'cause there's sev'n of these.


Awesome stories are stored on Rigel for future space travelers., your entry ROCKED. And I hope you're right, because what could be cooler than arriving on Rigel to find awesome stories? Please send your mailing address to me at asking (at) as-king (dot) com and I'll get your book to you ASAP!

Dawn, thank you again SO MUCH for featuring my book. I'm so thrilled you enjoyed it so much. I have a feeling you'll enjoy PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ too, which comes out in October. And thanks to Elana Johnson for being UNDENIABLY AWESOME and thinking up this wonderful idea.

Monday, May 3, 2010

CONTEST! Win Stuff!

Feel like having some fun on a Monday and winning a signed copy of The Dust of 100 Dogs? Go to Dawn Metcalf's blog and check out this easy writing contest. Ends midnight EST TODAY.