Friday, October 29, 2010

I Have So Much to Tell You (Part Two)

    Welcome back for Part Two of the I Have So Much to Tell You blog!
    I took a shower yesterday AND today! Big deal during this crazy edit time! Yay for showers.
    And during the day, my Table of Contents got longer...which is why it took me until today to get this let's just do this thing.

    6. We're going to start by finishing up in Arizona.
    I arrived home safely from Barnes & Noble with my spare tire still in tact and used my hotel free drink token because it seemed like the perfect time to do it. Two guys at the bar asked me after about five minutes of chatting if I was a comedian. I have been asked this before and I do not get it. I'm this heavy babe, right? Stop trying to tell me I'm funny.

    So Saturday, I got up really early and I returned my rental car and I used the Jedi Mind Trick on the lady at the counter AND IT WORKED. "The gentleman I spoke to on the phone last night said that since you gave me a a car with a soft tire that went flat after I drove a whopping 12 miles on it, that you would waive the early return fee." And seriously. Early return fee. Pppfffttt.

    Then I ate breakfast with one of my favorite people on the planet, Lisa McMann. I had French Toast, if you're curious. She had something very Southwestern-looking and used utensils. I mean, as opposed to eating with her hands. So, to sum that up, we ate, we talked and neither of us ate with our hands. Well done us.

    Then, Lisa had to go do an event across town and the awesome Book Babe (AKA Faith, which personally, I think is a fitting-as-hell name) came and picked me up so we'd be in time for James A. Owen's talk at Changing Hands Bookstore, which is one of my favorite bookstores. James was mesmerizing and I will forever be completely envious of two things about him: A. His ability to draw so magnificently and B. His ability to keep his hair in total control. The man has amazing hair--something I've never had. I've had crazy hair, yes--that may have seemed amazing, but James has the hair thing going on.

    I did my thing--blah blah blah--you know, read from VERA, talked about Vera, Charlie and destiny and answered questions. We had a lot of pagoda fans in the audience. This picture is for you guys. The real deal. Photo credit goes to my teenage sweetheart, Matt Smith.

    Then, after everyone got their books signed and we gabbed, I got a picture with Brandi, the awesome Changing Hands event coordinator, and also a great one I stole from Amy K. Nichols of Amy, Faith and me. I love that shot, ladies!
    Again--a HUGE thank you to the supportive people who came out to see me. You all know who you are and you all rock like crazy. And Jim, I will see you next month. Your support means so much to me!

    Then, I went to this dinner that had so many awesome authors I nearly died. I got to meet some wicked-cool author spousal units too, which I love doing because Mr. King is so cool, so I know all writers must be married to equally groovy people because who else would put up with writers? I have no pictures of this night, but I can namedrop and you can picture it. James A. Owen, John Lewis, Janette Rallison, Aprilynn Pike, Tom Leveen, Lisa McMann and the Book Babe and Jim Blasingame, who is too awesome for words and wore his Philadelphia Harley shirt just for me. :) Add to this to writer spouses and two awesome booksellers and you've got a party.

    About those booksellers...
    I want to toss this out there because I thought it was so so so so awesome. At this same table sat an indie bookseller (the awesome Brandi from Changing Hands) and a chain bookseller (the awesome Missy from B&N) and better YET? They share ARCs with each other. THAT, as an indie supporter who also has some amazing chain bookseller friends around the country, made my heart soar.

    And here are two random pictures I took on my way out of town. First, a sign from my hotel room that has to be a COMPLETE LIE. Flooding WHERE? I was on the 4th floor. In PHOENIX. ARIZONA. Seriously. FLOODING?

    And then the awesome carpet in Sky Harbor airport. I want this carpet.

    7. More good book news...PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ got a splendid Recommended review from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books  which is really amazing. Here's a snippet of that one.
     King offers a perceptive exploration of a particular kind of friendship, one where one friend is undergoing agonies beyond the power of the other to help. Vera’s own troubles—her abandonment by her mother, the strictness and emotional evasion of her recovering-alcoholic father—get sympathetic treatment, but it’s clear that Vera is loved and cared for in a way that Charlie, stuck in a poisonous, abusive home, simply wasn’t. Yet it’s Vera’s life even more than Charlie’s that’s under scrutiny here, especially since Vera still has the possibility of making changes, both in her dealing with Charlie’s memory and in her ongoing relationships. The writing is emotional yet unfussy, and Vera’s tendency to see and perceive Charlie in every place and every thing is both effective and affecting. It’s not uncommon for the dysfunction in one friend’s life to start sowing seeds of doom for a friendship, and Vera’s poignant take on her double loss will resonate with many readers.
    8. Come and SEE ME!

    I will be at Exton Square Mall Borders Express THIS SATURDAY, October 30th from 1-3pm
    Here's a link!

    9. Don't forget! There's a signed copy of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ up for grabs over at Steph Bowe's Pizza Delivery Tour Post. Go here and comment to enter. It's international. Ends 10-29-10 at midnight EST.

    10. And Finally...More Great Linkage!

    Steph Wardrop, awesome literature professor and old friend of the family had this to say on her blog Smells Like T(w)een Spirit:   
    "[The book] presents a very real world and the very real problems of young adults, especially those inherited, legacies of violence, alcoholism, poverty, and pain.  But it also shows how all of this can be overcome and, in the end, a kind of peace, even justice, can be found."
     Joanne over at My Brain on Books wrote a really great post called Ten Reasons to Pay Attention to Vera Dietz. I'll quote from #1:
    "The voice of the 18-year-old narrator is spot-on.  She's sardonic, smart, sarcastic and very real.  By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this is a story about a girl desperately trying to survive her senior year in high school by flying under the radar as she always has."
    And finally, Cade from Braintasia Books wrote a really awesome review too.I LOVE the way she starts her review. In fact, I should have a t-shirt with this printed on it. Becasue I'm kinda like that in real life too.
    "Please Ignore Vera Dietz is one of those books that makes you think. If you're looking for something light and fluffy where everyone rides away into the sunset on fluffy white unicorns, blissfully oblivious to everything around them, then you should probably just stop now."

    11. Oops...added last minute...A Bidding War!  
    This is pure bragging right here. Don't say I didn't warn you. But Sara Zarr, Sara J. Henry and Heather Brewer have started a bidding war over a personalized signed copy of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ here at Swati Avasthi's charity event to benefit organizations that help stop family violence. Here's a link in case you want to join in the fun.

    And better yet! Teachers, librarians and book clubs don't forget you can get a $150 hour-long Skype visit from me for cheap at the same auction! Here's the link to that one...only 3 more days on both of these items and all for a great great cause.

    WOW!! I got to the end of all that news! Holy Late nights, Batman. Now...I must scurry back into the cave. ANTS edits are due next week and I've got some writing to do on the new book after that...I will keep you posted. Next week's stops on the Pizza Blog Tour are awesome and I plan to FINALLY start running some more writing contests.

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    I Have So Much to Tell You (Part One)

    Okay. I have so much to tell you I feel like I have to have a table of contents to keep me on track.
    1. Part One: Pizza Delivery Blog Tour stop with Jen Blom
    2. Great news from Voya & Quick Picks
    3. VERA in Arizona Part one
    4. Cool Links
    5. INTERMISSION (Breathe. Have Lunch. Stretch. AMY: Take a shower. This deadline is making you smell.)
    6. Vera in Arizona Part two
    7. Great news from The Bulletin
    8. Exton Square Mall Signing reminder 
    9. More great links
    1. Today's Pizza Delivery Blog Tour stop is over in Berlin at Jen Blom's blog. I adore Jen. She's a fellow Independent book store lover, she's got a great MG book coming out in April next year, POSSUM SUMMER, and she's just pure awesome. If you want to know if I was weird in high school, do stop by and see our interview. If you want to see past stops on the Pizza Delivery Blog Tour click here.

    2. PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ got a downright AMAZING highlighted review in October's issue of VOYA. Here's a snippet:
    It is hard to describe how deeply affecting this story is. Vera and Charlie are both the victims of extremely bad parenting, but that only scratches the surface of the novel. The writing is phenomenal, the characters unforgettable. The narrative weaves through the past and present, mostly from Vera's viewpoint but with telling asides from other characters. There is so much in here for young people to think about, presented authentically and without filters: drinking and its consequences; the social hierarchy of high school; civic responsibilities; and teens' decisions to accept or reject what their parents pass down to them. It is a gut-wrenching tale about family, friendship, destiny, the meaning of words, and self-discovery. It will glow in the reader for a long time after the reading, just like the neon red pagoda that watches over Vera and her world. 
    Yes, I know that's a long snippet, but man is that one nice review. *a bow of gratitude for your patience*

    More cool book news: VERA DIETZ was nominated for ALA's Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, which is is just too awesome for words. (Especially for this former literacy teacher. A big WOOT there.) We wish her luck on making the list and thank whoever is responsible for that nomination.

    3. VERA in Arizona...Part One
    So where did we leave off?
    Hamilton High School in Chandler?
    How cool Tom Leveen is? I need to tell you about my awesome night at Barnes and Noble in Chandler and my Saturday at Changing Hands where I met James Owen (yes! That James Owen!) and met up with all sorts of awesome people who support me so much, I wish I could by them all cars. Or pay off their mortgages or build them their own skyscraper. (I guess I'd better start writing back to those people who write to me every day from Nigeria about those lottery winnings so I can one day do these things.) Seriously. People are so nice to me in Arizona, I have never wanted to move anywhere more in my life. Except for Ireland, and well...look what happened with that.
    ANYWAY. Here's a picture of the type of thing that awaited me at Chandler B&N:

    Holy crap, right? That's a BANNER.

    But before I got there, I discovered, in my hotel parking lot (thank the gods), that my rental car had a flat tire. And in my extreme luck, there was a guy named Cisco outside having a smoke when I discovered this, who said, as I walked around the back of the car to inspect the front passenger tire, "Oh that's flat, man. Don't worry. I'll fix it for you." Then he rolled up his sleeves and he changed my tire for me while I called the rental company (who told me to put the spare on and return the car right then. Uh dudes. I have things to do, you know?)
    Anyway, Cisco changed my tire in like 5 minutes and became my new hero.

    So when I got to B&N I bought him a mug. Because all heroes need mugs to remind them that they rock:

    Anyway, after I was done shopping for Cisco, the amazing Sibley and Missy of B&N were there and they treated me like a queen and made me feel so welcome, as they always do. I got to read to a great bunch of people and we engaged in a cool conversation for quite some time, which was really different and fun. Then, I signed, and though I wanted to hang out for a drink with the ladies, that damn spare tire had me concerned and I just wanted to get back to the hotel in case it was soft, too. Chandler Barnes and Noble ROCKS. Missy and Sibley ROCK. (Bonus of my trip: I got to see Missy 3 times because she came to my Changing Hands event and the awesome Book Babe-arranged dinner afterward! And we have companion tattoos, you know. So, we're like, blood sisters. And check out her t-shirt, man.)

    Next installment of Arizona with pictures, more good news, more links and more fun to come later this afternoon in Part Two of this blog.

    Until then, in case you're wondering if you'd like VERA DIETZ or not, have a look at these cool reviews:

    4. Linkage!

    Here's a really cool review of VERA over at Ranging Bibliomania. A snippet:
     "After reading this book I think I've decided to take more of a chance with YA literature. It was very different from the types of books I usually read, but the story and characters were no less resonant and important and it had the added bonus of being a very creatively crafted book"
     And yesterday, I found this one on Twitter thank to K.M. Walton over at her blog, Some Things I Think. 
    "I finished the book in two days. It's that good. Get your hands on a copy and meet Vera (you're going to absolutely love her personality - her depth - her vulnerability...her)"

     Please feel free to grab a snack.
    We will be back later this afternoon...evening...

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Win a Signed Copy

    Popping my head out of the cave to say:
    Go check out Steph Bowe's blog today for a chance to win a signed copy of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. Also, you get to see my cave. And me with a real-live typewriter.
    I still have good news to share and the whole Arizona wrap-up where I declare my love to Changing Hands bookstore (again) but I have to get this work done first. For now, go and enter the contest! Open to residents of EARTH. No restrictions apply.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    VERA is going to college!

    Today is PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ's first day as a college textbook. The book is part of the University of Delaware's English Language Institute curriculum which is using contemporary fiction to teach English as a second language to students. As well as discussing the novel, the class will complete projects based on the book's themes and later in the semester, I will be talking to them via Skype to talk about how I wrote the book and answer any questions they might have.

     Now don't be cross with me, but I can't update you on all sorts of great news and the recap of my Arizona trip just quite yet. I have final edits to do on EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS and a girl has to have priorities, you know? So, expect me to come back later this week to give you all sorts of coolness. Pictures--even a wee bit of video...and the flat tire story.

    It will be fun.

    Until then, I just wanted you to know that Vera got to college. :) We're very proud parents.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Mid-Arizona Awesome

    Wow. I have a lot of links to share to a lot of cool blogs and reviews and interviews and pictures.

    But first, hello from Arizona, where it is considerably cool for Arizona. But lovely! Yesterday I did an ALA Teen Reads event at ARIZONA'S LARGEST HIGH SCHOOL, Hamilton High School. I have to say, coming from a small high school--WOW. It was HUGE. Just really really enormous. Which makes sense, I guess, but I've seen hospitals smaller than this high school. The library is gorgeous and Tim Loge, the organizer and  head librarian is just too groovy for words. Also, Tom Leveen? Author of PARTY? Is. Amazing. Holy. Cow. What a speaker and what a character.

    Here's Tom, me and Tim thanks to THE AWESOME Shannon Bailey:

    The event went really well--the saxophone quintet was amazing, the awesome Nick Granum ROCKED us out with some killer acoustic tracks and we all had a smashing time. Great book club, great students who asked GREAT questions. My favorite question of the day relating to D100D:

    THEM: Why, if Emer wanted to come back so much, didn't she purposely kill herself as fast as possible during her dog lives?
    ME: Some did.
    THEM: But why not every time?
    ME: How would she do that?
    THEM: Like, jump in front of a truck.
    ME: Trucks only showed up in the early 20th century.
    THEM: Well, other ways, then.
    ME: Like how?
    THEM: Like jumping off a cliff.
    ME: Jumping off a cliff? A dog would know where to find a cliff? Where is your nearest cliff? Seriously. Show me to your nearest cliff.

    Missy from B&N then joined the conversation to explain that the 300 year long journey Emer takes as an assortment of dogs was necessary for her to become a Saffron that was capable of doing what Saffron does...and we moved on. It was so much fun! And a huge shout out to all Hamilton HS students who came to the library yesterday to participate!

    OH! And then at the end,  I saw an Arizona double rainbow! Proof:

    After that, I went out to dinner with a huge group of awesome people--teachers, librarians, readers, booksellers, and we had a lovely outdoor meal. So a HUGE THANK YOU to Tim Loge for setting the whole event up, and to Tom Leveen who taught me a lot about how to pace and talk and look really cool by doing so, and to EVERYONE who came out last night for the meal. I'm not all that good at feeling famous, but you all made me feel famous.

    Now to the AWESOME LINKAGE:


    First, a newspaper review in the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star.
    "King's voice and gift for capturing the delusions of high school are impeccable and timeless"
    Over at Library Lounge Lizard, there an amazing review I found thanks to Twitter:
    "Love it, love it love it! Seriously, a must read ages 15 and up! Read. It. NOW."
     You'll find a sweet review from The Book Scout here.
    "Please Ignore Vera Dietz was one of the most original and well written books I've read in awhile and I definitely recommend picking this up!"
    Today, I am writing new material. I have a few hours and I haven't been able to work on the next book in a while, and nothing will stop me! Just got room service breakfast ordered because this blog took entirely too long to write! Then...writing!

    And I will be at BARNES & NOBLE at the Chandler fashion Mall tonight from 7-9 signing books and talking and generally being me! Come around and see me!


    Can't wait!

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Spirit Day

    I'm in Philly Airport looking at the cloudy sky, chilling out. Just ate a piece of pizza and a Caesar salad. Bought a bag of Skittles. Just read a cool Spotlight Wednesday blog about Vera and me here at The Contemps. Most importantly, I'm wearing purple today in support of GLBTQ youth and Spirit Day. Go to Little Brown Children's Facebook page for all sorts of awesome Spirit Day messages from authors.

    Pizza Delivery Blog Tour Stops

     Want to learn more about A.S. King?
    See embarrassing pictures?
    Get recommendations on her favorite things?
    Hear more about Please Ignore Vera Dietz?
    See vlogs in which she eats Oreos?
    Then click here for some hilarious fun throughout October and November.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Therapy Pizza With Jackie Morse Kessler

    Today, I deliver pizza to Jackie Morse Kessler, and I spill a bunch of things I never told anyone before. It's as if Jackie had a magical therapy effect on me. Weird. Anyway--you can find the interview here.

    Jackie is the author of HUNGER, which came out yesterday and it's about a girl who struggles with eating disorders and oh...being the incarnation of Famine here in present day Earth. It is fabulous and I loved it so much, I blurbed it last year when I read it. "A fantastic and gripping read that never shies from its difficult subject matter. This book is a knockout." —A.S. King,  author of The Dust of 100 Dogs

    A portion of proceeds from HUNGER sales will go to the National Eating Disorders Association, so if you buy a copy, thank you for helping to make a difference.


    Vera & Saffron are local bestsellers this week, thanks to the enthusiasm of my local booksellers, Aaron's Books.

    I am still not packed.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    ARIZONA here I come!

    Before I get into the schedule for Arizona, a quick bit of news.

    That's just amazing. 
    Just amazing.

    “Watching characters turn into the people they’ve long fought to avoid becoming is painful, but seeing them rise above it, reflect, and move on makes this title a worthy addition to any YA collection”
    And since we're talking about awesome things, here's a picture of me and Nic, my awesome Random House sales rep at the party on Saturday night. I adore Nic. She's a frekin' superhero.

    Since I'm going to be out of town for a few days: If you review my book let me know by sending me an email so I can include you in the weekly linkage!


    I found this link to a review of VERA and here's a snippet:

    "This book is a great young adult read, but I also highly recommend it to parents who perhaps want and need a better understanding of how their actions affect their children and their children’s future."


    For as little as $20 you could have me skype visit your school, library, or book club.
    All proceeds go to stopping domestic violence. 
    If you've read VERA, you understand this is close to my heart.

    I had a great visit today at Conrad Weiser High School and can't wait to go back one day again. YOU GUYS ROCK. And the continuation at the Roby library ROCKED also.


    Hamilton High School
    See you THURSDAY for Books with Beat! 

    A.S. King at Barnes & Noble Chandler Mall
    Chandler, AZ 85226, USA
    Friday October 22nd, 7-9pm
    A.S. King at Changing Hands Bookstore
    6428 S McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ, 85283
    Saturday October 23rd, 4-6pm

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    The Please Ignore Vera Dietz Launch Party

    Quickly--Before I Forget!
    The winner of the Carrie Jones Pizza Delivery Blog Tour Giveaway is: CASS C! (cherii_2009
    Congratulations and I've sent you an email for your mailing address!

    Now, About That PARTY.

    Wow. Okay. You know, I'm not much of a party person anymore.
    So, when the good people at Aaron's Books (that'd be Sam & Todd) told me that they wanted to throw me a launch party, I have to say I faltered for a while. Dilly-dallied. Might have even seemed standoffish. Then they said to me one day, "Amy, just let us do it. Have some fun, will you?"
    So I said yes.
    And I am so glad I did!
    A HUGE thank you to all who could make it and came to help us celebrate. A HUGE thank you to Nic, my awesome sales rep for coming up for the party, and for Sam & Todd, of course (and Grammy and Gramps and Aaron) for throwing such a great event. And an extra thank you to Ben for providing amazing music for the night. (Dude--I was totally kidding about the Hendrix. I LOVED your set. Everyone commented to me about how awesome you are, too.)

    Here are some pictures...more to come, as they come in. Most of these I stole (with permission) from my BFF Maria Kolevas, except for the 2nd one which I stole from the Aaron's Books facebook page.

     The Awesome Cake. And the awesome cupcakes with awesome pictures! (Oh Sam! How You Rock!)

     Me and the table 'o books.

    Post-mingling and pizza, Amy made a small speech thanking everyone for coming. She explained that the choice of food for the night (pizza and non-alcoholic beverages) was dictated by the book, considering Vera is a pizza delivery driver who struggles with a family history of alcoholism. She then asked the room full of people from all areas of her life (past teachers, fellow library trustees, fellow pool rats, friends from high school, family, and random people from the community) " many of you have seen me wear a t-shirt like this before?" After peals of laughter and an entire room of raised hands, Amy went on to explain the Indiebound movement and how even if you live in a location with only chain bookstores, you can now shop locally ONLINE, so you can still support family-run community businesses. Bottom line: Indies nationwide have always chosen to support Amy's work, which is why she chooses to support independent bookstores right back and wears one of these t-shirts every day. 
    And no, she did not play the guitar. That was Ben, who ROCKED.
    I have no idea why I switched into third person for that part of my party commentary. But I did. 
    Anyway, after the short speech about supporting the community and the economy by shopping locally, I read a really small piece of Please Ignore Vera Dietz and then got straight to work...

    I signed for about an hour and a half and I thank every single one of you who stood in that line!

    I call this picture:
    Behind every insane author is a really awesome man.
    Meet Mr. King--love of my life, raiser of my children, cooker of my dinner most nights these days and the best guy ever. 23 years and it keeps getting better. And he supports me like no one else. I wish this type of partner on every person in the whole world.
    I love this picture. 
    I'm usually pretty private, but since those on FB saw some shots of him, I figured now was as good a time as any to show him off and share this amazing shot.

    Now, I must remind you that tomorrow night I will be at the ROBESONIA COMMUNITY LIBRARY at 6:30. Come and talk to me! Before that I get to go talk to students at Conrad Weiser High School! GO SCOUTS! So, now, I have the rest of the day to figure out exactly what I'm going to say to them and start packing for ARIZONA.
    I'll be back Tuesday with a quick run down of Arizona events!

    Thank you again to everyone who came out last night & for everyone who is supporting us, Vera and everyone who has shown kindness. I bow gratefully in your direction and send good vibes.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Launch Week Chaos ROCKS

    Before I even start I want to invite you to join me at #litchat on twitter this afternoon at 4pm ET for "An Hour of Rebellion" with A.S. King. What does this mean? You will have to come and find out. Come to twitter. Look for this hashtag: #litchat

    This week has been insane. And that's thanks to YOU.
    So we'll start with thank yous. Thank you to every supporter and every person who bought the book or spread the word or retweeted or linked or said, "Hey! Congratulations!" Thank you to everyone who is participating in my Pizza Delivery Blog Tour. (Today's stop: Booking Mama...more below.) Thank you to every person who is waiting patiently for me to return an interview (getting there...promise) and thank you to everyone who has come out or will come out to see me.

    I need to thank whoever at Barnes & Noble decided to make this insanely awesome banner for my Chandler Arizona event. I finally got a picture and I have to share because
    <------------HOLY COW. Dude. A BANNER.
    I hope maybe you'll carry my books soon. In the meantime, I send thanks for the banner and for Missy & Sibley, two of the nicest, finest people I have ever met. Can't wait to see them next week.

    I also want to thank the guy who flipped me off yesterday because I was driving the speed limit in a construction zone and the two people at the restaurant who gave me dirty looks as my toddler talked a little too loudly for a whopping 20 seconds. Look--she was EXCITED. We were there to CELEBRATE the PW star. We said CHEERS! We clinked glasses. We had a group family hug. Deal with it. You know, some people ARE allowed to be happy.

    Now that that's out of the way, let me give you some awesome linkage and reporting.


    Today, the Pizza Delivery Blog tour continues with an amazing interview by Booking Mama. The blog includes a shot of the Rading, PA Pagoda at night by my first real boyfriend, Matt Smith, who was kind enough to give me permission to use it. I found it kinda fitting he took that picture considering Charlie and Vera's relationship.

    This week there have been some sweet reviews including this one from Aaron Pound at Dreaming About Other Worlds:
    "To pay homage to the book, here is me using the word "brilliant" in a sentence: Please Ignore Vera Dietz is, quite simply, a brilliant book. Casting an unflinching eye upon that wonderful and tragic moment in a person's life in which they are balanced between fantastic unrealized possibilities and the awful potential for utter failure, the book presents the very real struggles of children yearning to become the adults they want to be"
     Aaron, man can you write a review. Holy smokes. Thanks.

    Also, yesterday, Vera and I were featured on Random Acts of Reading, a blog run by Random House Children's Books sales reps. I loved this blog because it features a video I made about the making of Please Ignore Vera Dietz, my love Indiebound t-shirts and how I think my sales reps are superheroes.

    I thank those of you who have spread the word via Amazon, Library Thing, B&N, Goodreads and all those other places.

    STILL A FEW HOURS TO WIN A COPY! Here at Carrie's blog. All you have to do is comment and a signed book will be yours! (Spread the word and your chances increase, too!) Ends tonight at midnight!


    TUESDAY I had my first VERA event at my old neighborhood library and I told you that I might cry. And let me tell you, it was a freaking miracle I didn't. (I cried on the way home though, so that probably counts.) It was a room full of friends and family and here's the big  one: my teachers. My favorite teachers who made me who I am--or allowed me to be who I am--or whatever you want to call it. One of them dressed in native American gear because I once wrote him a letter to thank him for being weirder than me in high school. He'd made me feel okay to be weird. So he wore the garb on Tuesday so I didn't feel too weird. It worked. Because, as usual, I was under-dressed (jeans and NO! an Indieboud t-shirt.) (And YES, I gave the 2 minute Indiebound speech too. You bet.) I am what I am, folks. Plus, I'm less distracted if I don't have to think about my slip showing. Anyway--it was a GREAT event and I will kick off every darn book there from now on. Not in a launch party way, but in a community get-together way. Seeing some of those people just made my year. THE ONLY TROUBLE: I do not stop and take pictures. Seriously. This must be rectified. I must start taking pictures. Dammit. It was my one instant regret upon driving home. AND I HAD MY CAMERA. (Picture above, thanks to Laura, one of the ECL librarians.)

    TOMORROW (Saturday) is the National Launch party at Aaron's Books in Lititz, PA. I think you may have heard me mention it before. :)
    Attendees: I'm warning you. I will be wearing (shock!) jeans and an indiebound t-shirt! This is informal and chilled. It's A.S. King, man. And it's VERA. Pizza, munchies, drinks. Bring the kids. Don't be shy and browse the awesome books. A lot of them are used and you never know what you might find. To Todd, Sam and Aaron--THANK YOU for planning such a cool party! I cannot WAIT.

    MONDAY Oct 18th  I will be at my local high school for Teen Reads Week! This makes me so so so so excited. Go Scouts. See you Monday! I'll be talking about how music has influenced my writing just as much as (or more than?) reading amazing literarture.

    THEN MONDAY at 6:30  I will be at my own awesome community library in Robesonia continuing the conversation and generally chatting about whatever anyone wants to chat about. Might read a little form the book depending on the crowd. Very excited about this because I serve on the board there and they support me and are very kind.

    THEN I LEAVE FOR ARIZONA, which is a whole other post to be posted, I guess before I leave!! All of you in the Phoenix area, check my event links and you will see where I'll be and when.

    I'll be back on Sunday with a full report from the launch party!

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    The Writer's Middle Finger Part Five & More Love For Vera!

    Before I go strictly Vera-centric, let me point you to the continuation of my popular Writer's Middle Finger series. (If you never heard of this, don't worry. There's a link at the end of part five to all previous parts!)


    Yes, the picture to the left is exactly what you think it is.
    My apologies to any easily-offended people. Read the blog and you'll probably laugh. I mean, unless you're one of those never-laughing-easily-offended people. And if you are--what are you doing here? Didn't anyone tell you about me?

    ALSO! I totally forgot to mention that this weekend I was on the front page of the Life section of my local newspaper, The Reading Eagle. If you want to read that article, go here. And look around. There's a companion article you can click on that includes an interview with a cool guy named Mark Letcher and he's very kind to me and Vera.As well as being very clever about YA lit in general.


    First: Check out Linda Gerber's blog for a BONUS PIZZA DELIVERY TOUR STOP where Vera and I get our numbers done in celebration of Linda's new book TRANCE which comes out this week.
    Linda also asks me a few great questions about VERA, and I share a picture of my former life...on potato harvest day...

    Here is an AMAZING review from Lori at Pure Imagination. I am so happy I blew you away, Lori. I live for that. A snippet:
    "What makes this book so special? The writing! A.S. King has a way of telling you a story that will make you turn pages faster than you ever have before. The story is beautifully complex without being over done. She weaves the mystery and questions in flawlessly, but you don't get impatient for answers because the path to get there is so engaging."
    Jackie Morse Kessler has a sweet (because she is sweet) birthday message up for Vera with a few links you might want to follow--Death's interviews with Vera and Saffron, from D100D, and especially her own blog tour stop of the day at Steph Su's blog. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I loved Jackie's book HUNGER. It's out next week. Pre-order it. NOW.

    Oh! This just in! A review from Stories and Sweeties Little Miss Becky!
    "Highly recommended, but steel yourself...this one is a bit of a bumpy emotional ride"
    Agreed, Becky. Glad you said something about that.

    PAST REVIEWERS!  Amazon is finally allowing reviews on their Vera page! Please share your thoughts! I thank you! *bows*

    TONIGHT: my first event at my old neighborhood's library. (See my event page for more details.) If you have a library near your house, thank the gods for it. (My kids are so sick of hearing me say that.) This library didn't exist when I was a kid and we had to go 15-20 minutes by car to get to ours. If it wasn't for wonderful people who worked hard to get this library built, and the wonderful people who run it, it would not serve the community as it does. I am so glad the kids who live in my old neighborhood can get there on their bikes!

    I'll be back tomorrow to hook you up with more links and maybe run a COOL GAME for PRIZES. Until then...THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE CONGRATULATED ME TODAY. Vera and I really appreciate it.

    Happy Birthday Vera!

    Let's start with the awesome news I cruelly withheld from you yesterday.
    PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ got a killer amazing insanely awesome STARRED review in Publishers Weekly yesterday.  Here it is--the whole damn thing, just because I like sharing. And it's Vera's birthday. Sharing with her is nice.
      Please Ignore Vera Dietz
    A.S. King, Knopf, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-375-86586-2
    Beginning with the funeral of Charlie Kahn, high school senior Vera's neighbor and former best friend, this chilling and darkly comedic novel offers a gradual unfolding of secrets about the troubled teenagers, their families, and their town. Though Charlie's death hangs heavily over Vera, she has the road ahead mapped out: pay her way through community college with her job delivering pizza while living "cheap" in her father's house. But first she has to face her fractured relationship with her father, a recovering alcoholic who worries about her drinking; the absence of her mother, who left six years earlier; and the knowledge that she could clear Charlie's suspected guilt in a crime. Vera is the primary narrator, though her father, Charlie (posthumously), and even the town's landmark pagoda contribute interludes as King (The Dust of 100 Dogs) shows how shame and silence can have risky--sometimes deadly--consequences. The book is deeply suspenseful and profoundly human as Vera, haunted by memories of Charlie and how their friendship disintegrated, struggles to find the courage to combat destructive forces, save herself, and bring justice to light. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)
    The Plan:
    Throughout the day, I will be posting links to guest blogs (DUDES. Vera and I get our numbers done by Linda Gerber. And it is UNCANNY how spot on they are.) and reviews. I was hoping to get my first contest up for a free book, but if you're looking ot enter a contest for a free book, you're going to have to check out yesterday's stop on the pizza Delivery Blog Tour, Carrie Jones's blog. Contest ends on Friday!

    So here's the first batch of awesome links to awesome people and places:

    "PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ would be a fantastic book club pick for teens or even mother daughter book clubs. There are so many relevant issues to today's teenagers that warrant further discussion including first love, peer pressure, drinking, drugs, grief, loss, secrets, and bullying. I think this novel is ideal for opening the lines of discussion on some very serious (yet very real) issues."
    I chose to quote that line from Julie's review because I would LOVE to see VERA read in mother-daughter book clubs. In hindsight, I can say that maybe, that's the reason I wrote it. To get mothers, fathers, sons and daughters talking to each other about tough subjects that face teens every day. Thank you Julie, for such a lovely review!

    A groovy blog from my local independent booksellers, Sam and Todd over at Aaron's Books.

    A TEASER from Beth Fish Reads includes one of my favorite quotes from the book. Deny it all you want...but it's true. Change is as easy as you make it.

    Catching up...a review from Chapter Chicks from last week:
    "Quick Overview: Here is me using amazing in a sentence. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an amazing, thrilling book. Here is me using favorite in a sentence. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is probably one of my favorite books that I have read this year. And here is me using stupid in a sentence. If you don't pick it up, you're stupid."
    [She's joking about the stupid part, but I thought it was funny, so I stuck it in there...]
    Here is part two of a great list of books that release this week at Adventures in Children's Publishing. Includes a small interview in which I reveal the truth about the best perks in publishing.

    MORE as the day goes on...and don't forget to ORDER YOUR COPY! Go here for links! Your best place to find Vera is your local independent bookstore. If you don't have one, online is the next best bet (indies do online too--did you know that?) and if you only have big chains nearby then call ahead to check for availability.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Let the Pizza Delivery Blog Tour Begin!

    Today is the first official day of the Pizza Delivery Blog Tour to promote Please Ignore Vera Dietz which comes out...
    We kick it off over at the blog of the amazing Carrie Jones, where I divulge my least favorite color crayon, share an embarrassing picture, and give away a FREE SIGNED COPY of Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

    Catching up: Winners!
    There was no exact winner from last week's contest. But I'm going to pick whoever got closest, so don't worry. But let me say, for the whining I hear about my writing contests being "too hard" I thought we'd get more orders considering this one was so simple! So, if ever you needed proof to be yourself, do your own thing and ignore the voices of the whiny, here it is. :)  A HUGE thank you for all of your orders.

    Karoline came VERY CLOSE to my secret combo with: pepperoni, Italian sausage and pineapples.
    (The winning combo was pepperoni, Italian sausage, pineapples and extra cheese.)

    So Karoline! A signed copy of Please Ignore Vera Dietz is coming your way!

    As for the BONUS PRIZE of a Vera-themed box of goodies, tahnk you all for spreading the good word. We tossed each mention into a hat and pulled outBlogger ksnb1963. 

    I have emailed both winners for addresses, etc!


    Right now GET TO CARRIE JONES'S BLOG and check out the first stop of the blog tour!

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    We Interrupt This Contest...

    ...four days to VERA's launch to alert you a few cool things around the internetz this week...

    Like this stunning review by Brent over at Naughty Book Kitties.
    "Vera Dietz has got to be one of my favorite books of 2010. Because everything about it was perfect. The characters, the writing, the plot, the emotion. I felt it all. And loved it all. Vera Dietz and I would be best friends. I think anyone could be best friends with Vera, just because she’s so relatable, and real. And sarcastic. And emotional. And funny."
    Dude Brent. I am so glad you liked Vera. I have a feeling she would like you just as much.Thanks for the kind words. I especially loved your ending: BYE! GO, LEAVE, GET OFF MY BLOG AND GO READ THIS BOOK.

    And check this out. DEATH has interviewed Vera Dietz on his radio show here at Jackie Morse Kessler's Post Mortem. Here's a snippet:
    DEATH: Hey, Vera!
    VERA: Uh. Hi…Death.
    DEATH: So hit me: In one sentence, what’s PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ about?
    VERA: If you think your best friend dying is a bitch, try your best friend dying after he screws you over and being the only one who knows the truth about how he died.

    Go over to Post Mortem to read more...and find out the one thing that Vera and I have in common. Hint: it's on our heads. And don't forget to pick up a copy of Jackie's HUNGER after October 19th! It's an amazing book. I know. I read it and I loved it so much, I blurbed it too:
    "A fantastic and gripping read that never shies from its difficult subject matter. This book is a knockout." —A.S. King,  author of The Dust of 100 Dogs

    Next, Please Ignore Vera Dietz was an October Mover and Shaker over at Goodreads. This was a surprise and really really cool to find out through a good friend who pointed out that it arrived in his newsletter. It's esepcially cool to be on a list of six books with the authors of those five other books. Swoon! And here's a link to the giveaway there, too.

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

    Please Ignore Vera Dietz (Hardcover) by A.S. King

    Please Ignore Vera Dietz

    by A.S. King

    Giveaway ends October 27, 2010.

    See the giveaway details
    at Goodreads.

    Enter to win

    And lastly...this is the LAST CALL for those of you who might live near enough to come and help us celebrate Vera's launch into the world! The NATIONAL LAUNCH PARTY for the book is October 16th from 6-8 at Aaron's Books in Lititz, PA and we will be having some serious fun! Click on this picture for full details. PLEASE RSVP so we know how much food to get! It's important!

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Can I Take Your Order?

    Mmmm. Pizza.
    It's contest time again. And this one is easy.
    I have picked a special pizza combo from the list of toppings below. It's a little bit like the game CLUE. The answer is in a yellow envelope and nobody but ME knows the answer. You will win by sheer order a pizza and if it's the right topping combo, YOU WIN. If, by sheer insane luck more than one person chooses the right combo, then each will win the big prize.

    PRIZE: A signed copy of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. 
    BONUS PRIZE: A Vera-themed mini pizza box full of goodies. 

    There is a possibility that the winner of the main prize will also be the winner of the bonus prize.

    Leave a comment by ordering a pizza.

    *Use the topping list below*
    • No limit on how many toppings on you order (i.e. triple anchovies or double pepperoni are also valid)
    • Get as creative as you want. Just stick with the listed toppings, or else there is little chance your combo will be the winner.
    • Don't forget to leave your email address with your order (You (at) here (dot) com)
    • ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON THIS TIME. Any additional entries will be deleted.
    With your order, leave the following information: 
    • Are you a blog follower here at Here's Me Using the Word Blog in a Sentence?
    • Have you spread the word about this contest? Where? Each place you spread the word counts as a chance to win the bonus prize. So, a Facebook mention? One chance. Tweet? Another chance. A mention/link on your blog? Another chance. 
    • Yes, you may become a blog follower in order to answer yes! (And what better way to stay up to date with the next contests?)


    Italian sausage
    black olives
    green peppers
    hot peppers
    extra cheese

    1. Place your order (with your email address!) in the comment area.
    2. Make sure to follow the blog and/or spread the word and let me know where you did this.
    3. Cross your fingers and see if you're the winner.
    DEADLINE: Saturday, October 9th, 11:59PM EST

    An advance THANK YOU to anyone who orders!

    p.s. I'm really sorry if this blog makes you hungry.

    This is for Vera Dietz, who will be out in the world in one short week. Go Vera.