Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hey winner! Let me tell you about my Squid...

A huge thank you to all who entered. My next contest will be coming along any day now so keep your eyes open for that. It's going to be awesome.
But before we play again, we have to pick a WINNER from the last contest.

Fact: I have a thing for the Giant Humboldt Squid. So much so that I capitalize all three words. Giant Humboldt Squid. I saw a documentary about them years ago and have been in love with them ever since. I've written stories about them, read books about them, and I even dream about them. The winner of last week's contest doesn't know this. Which makes it even funnier that her entry involved a girl getting engaged to a Giant Humboldt Squid.  

Joanne Levy, step right up! You just won an ARC of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS.
Thanks again to everyone who entered. Come back again this weekend for another contest. This time, we will have some 2+2=4 fun.

Random news in numbered list form:
  1. You all rock.
  2. Here's a great review of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS from YAlove blog! A quick taste: Everybody Sees the Ants is one of the BEST books I’ve read.  I was completely engrossed in this novel and couldn’t put it down. Wow! I love when that happens.
  3. Some VERA nomination news: Please Ignore Vera Dietz has been nominated for the 2012/2013 Gateway Readers Award! The award is chosen by students and is sponsored by the Missouri Association of School Librarians.
Until next contest: Have you seen my new website? Check it out here!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My [Fictional] Summer Vacation Contest

That's the cave, right there.
Been locked in my cave working. They only let me out occasionally to eat and swim.
Also, they let me out to support PA libraries.

Don't forget that this Saturday, August 27th, PAYA will be happening in West Chester, PA. I will be signing from 12-1pm, and the list of awesome authors is amazing! UPDATE! PAYA will now be earlier (11-2) and I will not be able to make it! Still--a lot of great authors coming together to support PA libraries! If you can make it, do!

Now, for the fun! 
WIN AN ARC OF EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS!

Over the next month, you will get a weekly chance to win an advance read of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS because I'm going to run my usual pain-in-the-ass writing contests here on the blog. Why are they a pain in the ass? Because you have to work a little to win. I know. I suck. I've been told this before. But it's fun. I promise! 
That's an ANTS ARC, right there.

Challenge: All you have to do is write a 100 word (or less) piece about your FICTIONAL summer vacation.

YOU MUST INCLUDE *ONE* OF THE FOLLOWING WORDS IN YOUR ESSAY:
Squid
Ohio
Calcium
Howitzer
(There are no bonus points for squeezing all of these words in, so don't hurt yourself.)

A very poor, late-night, 82-word example: (Please don't think yours should look like this. You don't have to have spaceships or actual squid and you don't have to feature rock n' roll superstars.)
The squid (that's me) spent a lot of time swimming in the warm Indian Ocean in early summer before the Martian spaceship landed in her back yard and beamed her ass up to Mars where she got to hang out with Elvis and learned the truth about Adam Ant by actually reading his Wikipedia page. Then she glowed red for believing such rubbish for so many years about Adam Ant. Turns out all the stuff she believed about Elvis was accurate.
How to enter: Type your entry in the comment area. Make sure to give me an email address in order to contact you if you win!
How to win: Make us laugh, snot through our noses or spit our coffee by writing something that we can tell you had a lot of fun writing. 
Prize: A SIGNED advanced reader copy of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS.
Deadline: MONDAY, August 29th at 11:59PM EST  EXTENDED due to hurricane Irene!



Happy inventing!  

Now, Random Thank Yous & News

A huge thank you to Rene' (and Judy) at Third Place Books in Seattle for this amazing review of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. I now must come to see you. I've been planning a Portland trip, so maybe I can just, you know, figure out a way to get up there.

Another huge thanks to Junior Library Guild's Susan Marston who wrote this awesome article for School Library Journal and included ANTS as one of her favorites.

EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS has landed on the YALSA nomination lists for both Best Fiction for Young Adults AND Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Thrilled to see this! Go Lucky Linderman.

Back to the cave.
See you to announce a winner next Monday!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Booklist Digs Lucky Linderman

We're having a great week at Casa King, reorganizing our house so it's not always full of toys and random bits of kid stuff. (Actually, all this means is that we carved out a 12 x 12 area that is ours where I can actually leave a book out and no one will touch it. Presently on the book table: REVOLVER by Marcus Sedgwick (finally!) and Josh Berk's new book, which is hilarious.)
Most important: IT'S CORN WEEK.
Anyone who knows me knows this makes me very happy. By end of the week, we'll have the freezer full of corn for the winter. The bonus side effect is I get to eat a lot of corn.

Before I go back into my cave to work on the next book, I wanted to share two things with you.
First, this great starred review for EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS from Booklist that came to us in the last weeks:
Fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman doesn’t feel lucky. After creating an ill-conceived school survey on suicide, he is besieged by well-meaning but ineffective adults who want to “make sure he’s okay.” But though he is honest about how “not okay” Nader McMillan's bullying is, no one intervenes, not even his parents, who are too caught up with their own inadequacies. Better to pretend everything’s fine, even when Nader’s bullying escalates, and Lucky begins seeing the ants, a tiny Greek chorus that says what he cannot. The only place Lucky has agency is in his dreams, where he runs rescue missions to save his POW-MIA grandfather from Vietnam. But are they only dreams, or will bringing his grandfather out of the jungle save Lucky, too? Blending magic and realism, this is a subtly written, profoundly honest novel about a kid falling through the cracks and pulling himself back up. Lucky narrates with bewildered anger and bitter humor, his worrisome moments of emotional detachment going unnoticed by the adults around him. Though heartbreaking, the story is ultimately uplifting, as Lucky accepts responsibility for himself, his family, and the other victims he knows are out there, seeing the ants and waiting for someone to speak up.--Krista Hutley

Isn't that awesome? We thought so too.

Also, I wanted to share the paperback cover for PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ with you. The paperback will be out in April 2012.


Okay. Off to reorganize one last room and then swim and then buy lots of ice for corn day. Then swim more. Then write a chapter of the secret project. Then probably more swimming. And then more corn. I love American summers. . . even if they do make my hair frizzy.