Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The ALAN Workshop 2010

I love ALAN. (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English) I've been a member for about four years, I think. I will try to never miss an annual workshop because The ALAN Workshop is my home planet. And it's nice to visit for three days every year and feel at home.

Building #3 and behind it, the conference center.
This year it was in Orlando--in Disney--or at Disney or on Disney or however one would say it was at a resort that was so big, it took me over 15 minutes to actually walk to my room. I'm not complaining, just wowed. The resort, one of many, was far bigger than the town where I live, so it was a little overwhelming at first. But I was very close to the small quiet pool, which, of course, made me very happy, and guaranteed I got my 20 laps in every day.

The conference was great--the speakers were amazing and the opportunity to do the Lisa McMann/Robin Brande/A.S. King teen-mortification show one last time on Tuesday morning was great fun. And it's always good to run into author friends, too, of course. (Or make new ones!) Most especially the teachers, educators, librarians and youth advocates make the entire show for me. Bumping into people I spoke to last year, and having the chance to meet new people is always the best part. ALAN in pictures to follow.

The 132-foot "jaguar-inspired" water slide.
Self portrait in elevator. Three is the magic number.
The Random House booth at NCTE on Sunday. Vera has 3 or 4 little stars sticking out of her. Cute.

Lisa McMann, 2010 ALAN Pres & awesome guy Jim Blasingame, Me & Robin Brande.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I am really thankful for all the people who have truly supported PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. My Independent Book Store peeps, my RH sales reps, my fans, book bloggers, fellow authors who have spread the word and librarians and teachers who have written to tell me just how much the book means to them and who have told OTHER librarians and teachers...and anyone else I missed in my post-Orlando fuzz, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Look on the Book Tour widget on the right for upcoming tour dates ------>

Now--don't hate me. There is one more picture. It's an important one. You'll still see me on Facebook and Twitter but you won't see me here for a month or so. I've got to finish the next book, ASK THE PASSENGERS. So, unless there is HUGE NEWS I am playing the card:

Have a great holiday season whatever you celebrate. May the force be with you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Okay just one more thing.

Carla has been digging around, getting herself acquainted with the world of being an author's assistant and she just sent me this link to a Publisher's Weekly article from the end of September about NAIBA. The reason this geeks me out isn't because there's a picture of me there, and mention of the panel I did with the awesome Rob Dougherty of Clinton Books. The reason this geeks me out is that my picture is like INCHES away from a picture of Patti Smith.


While I'm here, I want to let you know that the Coronado Resort in Disney, AKA where I'm headed, has a pool that is 82 degrees all the time and is open until midnight. 

And no, I still haven't packed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Before I Jet South...

Two more days and I will be jetting to Orlando where the universe has aimed its cross hairs of awesome for the ALAN Workshop. Hundreds of authors. Hundreds of amazing teachers and librarians and other people dedicated to the advancement of adolescent literature. It's a little like being on my home planet for two days every year. Of course, this means there will be, for me anyway, some pool time. *omglookatthatpool* Can't visit my home planet and not swim, right?

So before I set off, I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the Pizza Delivery Blog Tour. Whether you hosted me or commented or visited to read, thank you for being a part of it! For anyone who would like a full list of stops, here's where your dream comes true:

Very Cool Interview here: You should check out this great interview at The Drinking Diaries. I was really thrilled the ladies asked me to come around because with the drinking themes in Please Ignore Vera Dietz, it seemed like the perfect place to talk openly about drinking, the "drinking genes" and how I talk to teens about not-so-great decisions in life and how to overcome those.

The Cover Story for Please Ignore Vera Dietz at the awesome Melissa Walker's Blog.
You can win a copy of the book if you comment on the post, so GO TO IT!

And here's another chance to win from Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner. Ends 12/1.
I'm afraid I don't have much more in me this week to get to review links. I do know the awesome Karoline enjoyed Vera and wrote about it on her blog and I believe my trusty assistant Carla raved to me about a great review written by The Book Smugglers. I thank you all out in the blogosphere who are writing about VERA DIETZ.

You will see Carla around more often now. She's helping me a lot with this side of things because I have to, upon returning from Orlando, go deep underground and WRITE MORE BOOKS. So, brief introductions: Carla, this is everyone. Everyone, this is Carla. (No, my Carla is not Rhea Perlman, but she's spunky like Carla on Cheers so I hum the theme song when I see her and it really annoys her and she often looks at me just like that.)

See you next week! Until then, join the Kindness Ninja Squad and go out of your way to be nice just for an hour this week. To people. To a book. To yourself.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holy Freakin' Goat Cheese, man.

So okay. Today was supposed to be a BIG work day for me. Trying to get to the end of part one in WIP. Trying to balance all this event madness coming at me (which I love every minute of because it means I am heading to indie bookstores far and wide to spread the word of Vera.) Trying to get all my little stuff done before I leave for ALAN Workshop on Saturday. A little hectic.

But we interupt this Pennsylvania Dutch work ethic to bring you two BIG-ASSED THINGS.
First, THE FINAL STOP on my Pizza Delivery Blog Tour has come and it's not your regular every day blog tour stop. It's a TRIPLE WHAMMY CRAZY INTERVIEW with the awesomeshizztastic ladies from Forever Young Adult so DO NOT MISS THIS.

Then there's this: PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ IS A KIRKUS BEST BOOK FOR TEENS IN 2010. I am not kidding. This discovery has given me a slap-across-the-face Laverne and Shirley moment and if I was to be honest, I poured myself a drink to wrap my little head around it. (And yes, editor Michelle, I DO BELIEVE this means dos enchiladas por favor!)

HERE'S THE LINK. I'm in some great company and very proud.

*bows in gratitude to all who made this happen.*

Now go read that interview. Seriously. I talk about getting to second base and my childhood fears. And it's my last stop ever, so it's kinda sentimental. Or just mental.

If you want to see the full list of Pizza Deliveries I've made in the last two months, here's the link to them.

Back to Pennsylvania Dutch work ethic. Tomorrow a school visit. Then, if I can finish this part one before I take off for Florida, I will be one happy little Dutchy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let's Do It!

Keith in Hollywood, Florida with Vera
A quickie blog today--am writing.

But after getting this awesome picture yesterday from my friend and fellow author and ninja Keith Cronin I have a challenge for you. If you have a copy of Vera Dietz can you go out and take a cool picture of her to show me just how far she's traveled?

Send your pictures to: asking (at)

You know, you can't buy PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ in most chain stores, and I think that's a bummer considering just how many people are talking about the book, how many great reviews it's seen (and how many people write to me asking "Where can I get your book!! My B&N didn't have it!") I can't do anything  about what they stock in those stores, and from what I hear, their stock is becoming more and more limited by the day. But what's really cool is: Vera has traveled so far WITHOUT THEM thanks to wonderful Independent Bookstores and the few awesome YA booksellers in chain stores around the country who have made sure to stock the VERA because they think it's a great book and they know it will sell well. Combine that with online ordering options and those of you who ROCKED enough to actually order it when your local store didn't have it, Vera has already found herself in a second printing. Thank you!

So, no matter where you bought it, if you've got it, take a shot of Vera near a local landmark, or say, in the parking lot of your local McDoanlds...and send it to me!

The awesome Barb Annino sent me this from the Chicago area!

Back tomorrow for the FINAL STOP on the Pizza Delivery Blog Tour at Forever Young Adult.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Indie Next, Other News & Friday Giveaway!

As the title suggests, there is Indie Next news.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz has been chosen for the Winter 2010-2011 Kids' Indie Next List
As a lover of Independent bookstores, this makes me really happy. Thank you so much to those who nominated and voted!

And wow. I just skimmed the blog and I realize I forgot to tell you blog readers that VERA has already gone back for a second printing. A HUGE thank you to all who made that possible. (That's you.)

Second-to-last stop on the Pizza Deliver Blog Tour! 
I managed to roll myself off Heather Brewer's couch and get back to work. Today I deliver pizza to the Story Siren, who read, loved and reviewed Please Ignore Vera Dietz a week or two ago. I share my final embarrassing picture. WOAH. Check out the perks of growing up in the early 70s. Let's hear it for fluorescent floral fabric. Also, learn a little more about the Pagoda. BONUS. If you enter, YOU CAN WIN A SIGNED COPY OF PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ.

I've been super busy this week, so if I missed your awesome review of the book, my apologies. (Always feel free to send me links. I don't check reviews and my filter uses Google alerts, which aren't great.) I did see this quote from katie the librarian, on the ACPL Mock Printz blog and nearly cried.
This is a book that will endure. Like Perks of Being a Wallflower it speaks to the universal truths of being young. No, not everyone loses their best friend to a mysterious death, but everyone knows what it is like to feel helpless, to feel alone, abandoned and utterly betrayed. While Please Ignore Vera Dietz definitely has a mystery element about it, ultimately this is a story about what it takes to save oneself.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pizza Stop and a Moment of Thought and Thanks

Today's Pizza Delivery Blog Tour stop is at Heather Brewer's awesome blog. I show off my only ever perm and also talk about the grossest thing I've ever done. Definitely worth a look! (Plus you get to see the hideous wallpaper that probably made me insane enough to write books.)

Today is Veterans Day. So, while I'm here, I need to ask you to take a minute to think about and thank our country's veterans. If you know me and have read interviews about me, you know I'm a pacifist, yes. You know I want world peace as much as the next guy. But you'd also know I read a lot about war (especially the Vietnam War), and that my favorite writers wrote about war (Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut! I miss you!) and that I am very open about my support for the National League of POW/MIA Families and that my next book touches a bit on that subject.

<------------ Please scroll and check out the link in my left-hand sidebar to the League's page.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010


Quick linkage before I get to work. PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ comes out in Spanish in Mexico/Latin America. It's called Ignoren a Vera Dietz por favor and the cover is over there to the left. I think Vera's bobo sneakers are cute. No comment on the rest. :)

The Story Siren reviewed VERA today over at her awesome blog. (Thank you!) VERA seems to leave a lot of people at a loss for words. Kristi had this to say:
"King is such a talented writer, and it couldn’t be more apparent than in this novel. I dare you to not be riveted by Vera’s story"
Also, for huge hair fun, go check out Melissa Walker's Before You Were Hot blog for a picture of me with  enormous glasses and hair. Can't beat it for a laugh.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Thank you to all who entered the 2+2=4 Redux contest. You are all gutsy and awesome. My hearty crew of seasoned judges and I sat around today and argued over which was best. We had some great finalists.

One of my favorites, at 8 words, was from David, with: I saw seven pirates ingesting decomposing Chateaubriand unceremoniously. First: Ew. And seriously, who else can fit the word Chateaubriand into a sentence?

The longest sentence, at 9 words, was from Lindsi: I eat eight cookies (chocolate) deliciously, independently, instantaneously, choreographically. We loved the effort and give kudos to Lindsi for this entry, but in the end, after much arguing over just how many adverbs really worked on their own (like, say, I eat deliciously or I eat choreographically) and in a row, we realized that this one wasn't the winner. Sorry Lindsi. I hope you'll enter again in our next contest.

The winner, then, is Em. This was not simply due to personal reasons (those being that I recently took my kid to the ER for x-rays due to the actions described by Em's sentence): I was often running backwards haphazardly, imaginatively procrastinating. The judges agreed: it a smashing example of a coherent AND excellent 2+2=4 sentence.

Em, I have sent you an email!
Now, if you DIDN'T win? GO HERE AND LEAVE A COMMENT for another chance to win!

Alison, over at Alison's Book Marks wrote this really great review last week...and before I ever saw it, I got to meet her at Clinton Book Shop which was awesome. How cool to come home to find this: 
Grabbed me by the hair, grabbed me by the heart and wouldn't let go. Vera Dietz is the most original YA I have read in a long time...through changing up the narrative, Vera's smart humor, and never ever becoming cliche', A.S. King puts her stamp on her very own brand of genius. 
Thank you Alison! I am so glad you enjoyed it!
And holy cattle, my trusty Mr. King internet filter found this on Book Page:
Ignore this book at your peril; it’s a keeper.
 We like that!

Okay--off I go into a week of insanity. Three stops on the blog tour this week...and some very embarrassing pictures. And a giveaway. So stay tuned!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Oh, you already know how I feel about independent bookstores.

And if you know me, you know how I feel about Clinton Book Shop and Rob and Harvey (and you too, Biz!) I love love love it and I always feel welcome and even with Friday night football games to compete with on a quiet Friday night, we sold nearly all copies of VERA DIETZ and had a great time. Thank you to all who came out! Great to meet you MJ & Alison & great to see new faces!

Here are some pictures...
Here's me with Alissa Grosso, author of the forthcoming Popular, coming from Flux in May 2011.

Here's a great shot of the Clinton Book Shop Crew. (Rob, the alternative to this was the one where you put bunny ears on me and Mr. King said you'd prefer to not look belligerent on my blog. I think he needs to get you know you better, because you'd probably disagree, but I'm using this one.) That's Rob, Me, Harvey & Biz.

And the night was made extra special because my sister Robyn and sister-in-law Lori always come down to Clinton to see me when I'm there!!

(The night was also made special by Sara J. Henry's presence. You guys NEED TO READ Learning to Swim her debut, coming February 2001...but we got no pictures of ourselves together at the event. Boo.)

Okay--TODAY IS READING, PA--the hometown crowd! Come out to Borders on Woodland Road (across from the Berkshire Mall) to see me! I'll be there from 2-4pm.

Oh hey. And today is now the deadline for the 2+2=4 contest. Winner announced tomorrow.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pizza Delivery to Lenore & Linkage

Today's Pizza Delivery Blog Tour stop is over at Presenting Lenore, where we talk about kissing and I share my most embarrassing picture yet and an very interesting story to go along with it. If you're only catching up, here's a list of all the past Pizza Delivery blog tour stops.

I would like to say: I am almost done with EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. Which means I get to finally start working on finishing the next book. Which is a wonderful thing. I love the next book. I mean, always--I love "the next book" no matter what it is.

OH! HEY! And I've extended my2+2=4 contest until Saturday because I can't believe you guys are not up for that challenge. Seriously. Where are the fun people? Have you all grown too busy to construct mathematically pleasing sentences?


Please Ignore Vera Dietz was reviewed yesterday by none other than The Book Lady Rebecca and she really loved it. 
"Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a fine example of why good young adult literature is so important, and it offers much to be enjoyed by adult readers as well (as evidenced by the fact that I don’t tend to love YA and I can’t stop talking about this book). King is a powerful storyteller with a keen ear for how people really speak and a strong grasp of the challenges adults and teens face in contemporary life. She writes tension and struggle without being melodramatic and comedy without kitsch"
 I am expecting a visit today from Sara J Henry, and I am so EXCITED! I am loving Sara's book LEARNING TO SWIM, and I am going to make my famous chicken and black bean enchilada/burrito thingies. (It's a mix of both. What can I say?)

So, I am skipping additional linkage until I have more time. For now, enjoy Lenore's awesome interview and Rebecca's panty-tossing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How many Oreos can I eat in a minute?

Today's Pizza Delivery Tour blog stop is special for me. Steph is someone I knew since I was a geeky little dork and she was really smart and awesome. And I kinda wanted to be her. And now she's this awesome professor/novelist and I want you to come and see our interview because she asks me some really great questions...especially relating to our old town. Also, there's a vlog that answers the question: How many Oreos can I eat in a minute.

Monday, November 1, 2010

2+2=4 Contest Redux

This is the first time in weeks there hasn't been a free signed copy of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ available anywhere here's one of my favorite writing contests with a chance to win a signed book AND a cool VOG. (VOG = Very Odd Gift.)

Here's the challenge:
Write a sentence made of words that increase by two letters. (Each word has to be two letters longer than the word before it.)
Example: We have twelve exercise assistants.
Word length: 2, 4 ,6, 8, 10

Example: I had seven pickles yesterday.
Word length: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
How long can you make yours...and still make sense?
(Coherent sentences only, please. Excellent sentences encouraged.)

Winner chosen by 4 anonymous judges and announced here on the blog Thursday, November 4th.

Please leave your sentence in the comment area.
Don't forget to leave your email address!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, Nov 3rd 11PM EST   Extended until Nov. 6th at 11:59EST for any lily-livered sissies who haven't entered yet.

PRIZE: A signed copy of Please Ignore Vera Dietz and a bonus pagoda magnet!

Good Luck and Thanks For Playing!

Bonus Linkage!

Before you go: check out this awesome review of PIVD at Amy K. Nichols's blog, AMY WRITES. I think it's especially awesome because of this point:

"But what I loved most about this book –as a writer –is that it breaks so many of the YA genre rules. You know the rules, don’t you?
“Kids don’t want to read about adults.”
“Juggling too many points of view can be confusing.”
“No prologues.”
Yeah. Please Ignore Vera Dietz thumbs its nose at rules.
 Look. When I write those Writer's Middle Finger posts, I'm not messing around. When I say that I love writing more than the business of publishing, I'm not just saying it. I'm serious.

It's NaNoWriMo. A perfect time to remind yourself to WRITE WHAT YOU WANT. Have fun.

Now...start by entering my contest. You've only got two days and eight hours to go.