Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS Blog Tour Starts October 3rd!

Arg, me toast.
Readers, you don't really need to know this, but I'm starting with it because it's important. There is nothing--NOTHING--like having an awesome publicist. My awesome publicist, Jessica, is doing so much for me that I have to publicly give her pie. . . or in this case, pirate toast because I haven't left my office in four days and it's all I have.THANK YOU JESSICA!

This week, among other amazing things, Jessica totally set up a great blog tour for launch week of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS and I'm excited about every single stop. We'll have interviews, giveaways, guest posts and other fun stuff. Here's a list of stops!
Monday, October 3: Y.A. Love
Tuesday, October 4: Pure Imagination
Wednesday, October 5: Green Bean Teen Queen
Thursday, October 6: The Book Muncher
Friday, October 7: Booking Mama
Saturday, October 8: Mundie Moms
Sunday, October 9: Compulsive Reader
Monday, October 10: YA Bibliophile
Thursday, October 13: Presenting Lenore

I'll also be at BookBalloon.com for an ongoing Q&A on October 3rd and 4th, so if you have any specific questions you want to ask, join up and ask them!

RANDOM DANCING
EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS just got this amazing review in Raising Arizona Kids magazine this week. You should check it out. And I'm thrilled to be on my way to Arizona in one short week. This is my good luck trip because Arizona people have always been so good to me.

AND SPEAKING OF ARIZONA...PAY ATTENTION!
If you're coming to the launch at Changing Hands in Tempe...OR even if you aren't coming to the launch at Changing Hands in Tempe, IF YOU buy your copy of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS through Changing Hands, you'll get a free prize pack with some cool ANTS goodies inside.


AND SPEAKING OF TOUR DATES...
Just in case you aren't a newsletter subscriber and you didn't see the list of tour stops, here they are. Come out and see me!

EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS
East Coast Launch Party
October 4th, 7pm
Exeter Community Library (with Aaron's Books)
4569 Prestwick Dr, Reading, PA 19606
Please call 610-406-9431 or email sxtchild@berks.lib.pa.us to register.

EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS
Southwest Launch Party
October 6th, 7pm
Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ, 85283

Palomino Library, Scottsdale, AZ
12575 E Vía Linda, Scottsdale, AZ 85259
A.S. King talks writing, books, publishing and anything else you ask!
October 7, 2011
3:30-5:30+

Signing at Barnes & Noble Chandler, AZ
Chandler Fashion Mall
Chandler, AZ 85226
October 8, 2011
12pm-2pm

Signing at Barnes & Noble Scottsdale, AZ
10500 N 90th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
October 8, 2011
3:30-5pm

Chester County Book Company
975 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA, 19380
October 13, 2011
7pm

Books & Co.
350 East Stroop Rd., Dayton, OH, 45429
October 17, 2011
7pm

Learned Owl
204 N. Main St, Hudson, OH 44236
Tuesday, October 18
7pm

Alvernia University Literary Festival
October 25th 1-2:30pm

Keystone State Reading Association Annual Conference
Lancaster, PA
October 28th TBD
Catch Amy at the Author's Tea and signing all day at the Aaron's Books booth!

Clinton Book Shop
33 Main Street, Clinton, NJ 08809
November 3, 2011
7-8:30

Children's Book World
17 Haverford Station Rd, Haverford, PA 19041
Nov. 9, 2011
6:30-8:00pm

Lititz Kid Lit Festival
Aaron's Books
43 South Broad Street, Lititz, PA 17543
November 12, 2011
All Day Fun!

Anderson's Bookshop Naperville, IL
YA Author Panel and Signing
124 W. Jefferson Ave, Naperville IL 60540
November 21 at 7PM

The ALAN Workshop 2011
November 21, 22 2011
Chicago, IL

More soon!
Finished ASK THE PASSENGERS today! Woot!


Friday, September 23, 2011

And now it's Friday. Somebody freaking pinch me.

Okay woah. This was a heck of a good week. You'll never guess what just happened.
EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS got another starred review. If you're counting, that's three in one week and four in all.
I know, right?
You're all, "WTH?"
And I'm all, "I know, right?"
You're all, "Get out!"
And I'm all, "I know, right?"

But it's true. School Library Journal has this to say:

Lucky Linderman has been tortured by Nader McMillan since they were seven, when Nader inexplicably peed on him in a restaurant bathroom. Now it’s the summer before sophomore year, and ever since Lucky unintentionally got the bully in trouble with his social-studies survey about suicide, Nader’s harassment has escalated. What’s more, everyone thinks Lucky is serious about killing himself, and in addition to this and the bullying, his parents’ marriage is falling apart. The only way Lucky can escape his life is through a touch of mysterious magic, in which he dreams of communicating with his grandfather, who has been MIA since the Vietnam War. In his dreams, Lucky is strong and fearless, ready to stop at nothing to rescue him. When Nader smashes him into the concrete at the community pool, crushing his face and pride, Lucky’s mom flies them to Arizona to stay with her brother and his wife for a few weeks. During his time away Lucky learns that he is okay with being a “momma’s boy,” that he can’t keep escaping his life in the jungle of his dreams. King’s heartfelt tale easily blends realism and fantasy. Through a man he never met, Lucky learns he can stand up for himself and stop Nader from terrorizing him and other students. Some mild language and discussion of male and female anatomy are included, but they are within the realm of the story and necessary for these teens to sound real. A haunting but at times funny tale about what it means to want to take one’s life, but rising above it so that living becomes the better option.
I still haven't started the final work on ASK THE PASSENGERS, so if you see me back here, scold me roughly and slap my wrist. It has to be done before ANTS comes out. That gives me a week. Yikes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Um, Wow. Best Monday Ever? (Yes, I know it's now Thursday.)

Addendum to Monday's post three days late...make that TWO STARS for the Monday of Awesome. Two stars in one day. Which is just so completely awesome that I had to go and disappear for three days.

This one from VOYA:
Lucky Linderman’s life is anything but fortunate. His controversial social studies survey landed him in the principal’s office, with a bonus visit to the guidance counselor. His dad is a conflict-avoiding “turtle,” a workaholic chef who is a POW/MIA activist. His mom, a self-proclaimed “squid,” spends her days swimming laps. Lucky is plagued by Nader McMillan, a bully who has tormented him since the age of seven and shows no signs of letting up. After a particularly brutal session of physical abuse, Lucky’s mom surprises him with a trip to Arizona to visit her brother and his wife. Meanwhile, Lucky has a secret nightlife—he repeatedly attempts to rescue his POW grandfather in Vietnam via surreal jungle dreams. Then there are the ants, a kind of anthropomorphic Greek chorus of insects that have begun to illustrate his thoughts. King remarkably channels fifteen-year-old Lucky, creating one of the most believable teen male characters in young adult fiction. Readers will empathize with his problems and root for him as he searches for the best way to finally take control of his own life. Ginny, the feminist neighbor and “hair model,” proves a good foil. Adult characters fare well here too, as King reveals their strengths and flaws, making them three dimensional in a way that many authors fail to do. Lucky comes to understand that he is not alone in suffering. This unique coming-of-age story will hold tremendous appeal for reluctant male readers.
So, I'm back from Atlantic City where the awesome NAIBA booksellers were as nice as they always are and no one made fun of my too-big pants. Still no shoes, but who cares? I do need some before I head for Arizona on the 6th of October, though. Also, will someone out there eat two enchiladas for me? Or, really six. I need to catch up.

More soon. I just got the full ASK THE PASSENGERS manuscript back, so it might be a while...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Totally Rocks.

On one hand, I could be sad about how there are no shoes in the world for me. And how I've shrunk out of all my pants. Of course that would be silly. I'm happy that I shrunk out of all my pants and I don't care about shoes. Here's what I care about on this totally rocking Monday:

1. EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS got a starred review in Publishers Weekly today. I got the email from my editor while trying to find shoes. (This was before I realized that there are no shoes in the world for me right now. It's okay. I'm patient.) Here it is:
Reality is a flexible thing in this offbeat and thought-provoking coming-of-age story from Printz Honor–winner King (Please Ignore Vera Dietz). Lucky Linderman, 15, has been the target of bullying by a classmate, Nader, and after a particularly brutal attack by him, Lucky leaves Pennsylvania for Arizona with his mother, who is fed up with her marriage. Staying with his uncle and pill-popping aunt is anything but a peaceful vacation, but when Lucky meets 17-year-old Ginny, a reluctant model, her strong will and courage make Lucky realize that it’s time to stand up for himself. The gravity of the issues King addresses—bullying, marital difficulties, the lack of closure regarding Lucky’s grandfather, an MIA soldier who has been gone for decades—are thrown into high relief by surreal elements interwoven throughout, most notably Lucky’s dreams, which bleed into reality in intriguing ways as he attempts to rescue his grandfather and others, and a Greek chorus of ants Lucky sees, which adds welcome doses of humor and pathos. It’s a smart, funny, and passionate novel that embodies the idea that “It Gets Better”—when you take action.
2. I got to read an AWESOME ARC of an AWESOME BOOK. Get ready to buy BOY 21 by Matthew Quick in March 2012. I loved it.

3. I discovered EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS is a bestseller at my awesome independent bookstore, Aaron's Books in Lititz, PA.

4. I just had a lovely two weeks with my mother-in-law, who came from Ireland expressly to beat me in Scrabble, but I didn't let her. (Kidding. We never played Scrabble before. And I got lucky twice on a triple word score, so without that, she would have totally won.) She goes home today, which makes us all a little sad, but considering she came in on the day our basement flooded, we kinda have some stuff to do now because there are carpets on my front porch that stink.

5. I am heading to one of my favorite places tomorrow: NAIBA. You ask: WTF is NAIBA? It's the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association's annual conference. It's in Atlantic City. If you're going, too, then come find me. I'll most likely be wearing an Indiebound t-shirt because that's how I roll.

6. IT'S ONLY TWO WEEKS UNTIL ANTS IS OFFICIALLY OUT!

7. I am getting STOKED for the double launch party fun! Are you coming to the east coast launch at Exeter Community Library?  If so, do NOT forget to register! Please call 610-406-9431 or email sxtchild@berks.lib.pa.us to register. Are you coming to the southwest launch party at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, AZ? If so, I can't wait to see you!

8. Hmm. Why else does Monday totally rock?

9. I'm almost done with ASK THE PASSENGERS.

10. Ah yes! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This brings us back to the awesome Emer Morrisey and makes us want to scream, "AAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" Remember: There's only one eye in pirate. (Yes, you can get that on a t-shirt.)

Hope you had a great Monday too. If so, tell me why in the comment area. Don't forget, only two more days to win the last ARC of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS at Goodreads:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Everybody Sees the Ants

by A.S. King

Giveaway ends September 21, 2011.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS Book Trailer is Here!

I have to say, my animator, Torrey Meeks, is a genius. I have no idea how he does this stuff. But I'm sure glad he does. And a huge round of applause for debut voice actor Angel Valencia. The perfect voice of Lucky Linderman.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A.S. King Has a Posse


You totally rock. Yes you.
Technically, just for taking a minute to play, you are all in my posse. When we arrive on the scene to rescue someone, I will stand up on my horse, aim my sword for an eye and say: "I am SQUID! And this is my posse. Mind your eye!"

Thank you all for playing. Our judges had a hard time picking a winner, but after a few smackdowns, we all decided that Stephanie W. was our winner with this entry:
My personal posse nickname would totally be The Dewey Decimator (I mean, I'm a librarian so I need an awesome library nickname!). Pretty sure I'd let you call me Dewey Dee for short.

My motto...I keep going back and forth between DFTBA (Don't Forget To Be Awesome = nerdfighter for life) and Bazinga! I totally think we would scream D-F-T-B-AAAAAAAA while going into battle against evildoers and not-so-awesome people.

I'm a pretty blunt person so I'm not to keen on lying, instead I'm more of a brazen truth kinda gal BUT I would probably lie to you if there was a giant T-Rex behind you running at full speed and there was just no chance that you would make it and you asked me "Is something wrong?". I'd probably lie and be like, 'Nah..it's all good'. Because as your sidekick, I'd rather you not see teeth and T-Rex throat as your last living vision but rather my face. Just saying. (=
I have to say, Dewey Dee, As much as I love DFTBA, your suggestion of BAZINGA! totally cracked me up, I think evildoers wouldn't take us seriously and I think that's the perfect way to disarm them right before we strike. BAZINGA! BAZINGA! I think it's going to be my new awesome word.

What I loved most about this entry was the last answer. If hanging around with you means I get to see a T-Rex, even if it kills me, I'm all for it. And I would totally be okay with you not lying to me in the situation you wrote about, by the way. If I'm about to get eaten, just distract me.

Thank you again to all entrants! You are all part of the A.S. King posse and can yell whatever you like when attacking evildoers of all types. (Loved Mittsu's "Look behind you!" too.) If you lost, don't despair! Go here and sign up for the final ARC giveaway on Goodreads. Giveaway starts tomorrow.




Goodreads Book Giveaway





Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King



Everybody Sees the Ants


by A.S. King



Giveaway ends September 21, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.




Enter to win




Next week, I'll be posting information for the two EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS launch parties. Since you're here, I'll remind you early because you're special.

EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS
East Coast Launch Party
October 4th, 7pm
Exeter Community Library (with Aaron's Books)

4569 Prestwick Dr, Reading, PA 19606
To register call: 610-406-9431

EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS
Southwest National Launch Party
October 6th, 7pm
Changing Hands Bookstore

6428 S McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ, 85283


Now go have fun.
Consider yourself on shore leave. (Does a posse take shore leave? Hell, my posse does.)
I'll see you in a few days.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Help Wanted. Posse Forming. Contest Within.

FIRST! 
Before I get into contest stuff, I have to remind you that TODAY IS THE DAY.
Dear Bully (70 Authors Tell Their Stories) is out today. Go buy a copy and a portion of your money will go to the charity Stomp Out Bullying. This book is great for libraries, classrooms, teachers, administrators and parents too. Bullying: not just for kids, you know.
My small contribution to the book is an essay entitled "The Boy Who Won't Leave Me Alone" which was really hard to write because I hadn't told anyone about the boy except for my best friend at the time and my husband and sister since. Being singled out and harassed isn't fun. It's happened to me quite a bit in my life because I just don't seem to fit inside people's neat little boxes. I'm too weird. I'm too confident. I'm too talkative. I'm too serious. I'm too logical. I'm too good with power tools. I'm not a good enough shopper. I'm too popular. I'm not popular enough. I'm too tall. I'm too short. I'm too skinny. I'm not skinny enough. I'm too funny. I'm not funny at all. I hang out with the wrong people. I hang out with the right people. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Anything to start a rumor. Anything to gain whatever it is rumor-makers gain. Friends? Attention? Something to do on a boring day?

Want to hear a great rumor story? I think I should tell you one to celebrate the release of this awesome book.

When I was in high school, there was this girl who pretended to like me but she didn't like me and I knew it. And one day she walked up to me and told me that she had a secret and she was really freaked out and I couldn't tell anyone about it. (NOTE: I knew this was a set up the minute she approached me. She never talked to me. Why would she tell me a secret?) She then told me she was pregnant. (She was not pregnant.) She swore me to secrecy. Of course. Then, she left the rest to her sidekick.
Her sidekick wasn't very smart that day. I'm not sure if she was like that all the time and I wouldn't want to judge. But that day, she wasn't very smart. Make a mental note, readers. If you want to be a mean girl and do shifty stuff, at least make sure your sidekick is smart on the day you want to do said shifty stuff.
So about 5 tiny minutes later, the sidekick walked up to me. (Probably the second time this person ever talked to me. Clue #2 to that something shifty was going on.) Sidekick put on dramatic voice and said, "OMG! Did you hear [not-pregnant-girl] is pregnant?!" I stared at her and said, "Are you sure you were supposed to tell me that?"
She looked confused and walked away. Then, moments later, an irate [not-pregnant-girl] was in my face saying I told the sidekick the big secret. She told all of her friends that I passed a rumor around about her and they all gave me the evil eyes. I think she may have even challenged me to a real live fight. We were 18 years old. I was too engrossed in Plato's cave to get into a fist fight--which is good because I think she would have kicked my ass. Plato, on the other hand, I could probably take.

Here ends my walk down memory lane. Not sure if there's a moral to the story, but I guess if I was to come up with one, I'd say it's: Make sure you're hanging out with the right people.
Don't forget if you want to read about the boy who wouldn't leave me alone and 70 other essays by amazing authors, and help support a great cause in the process, then buy Dear Bully (70 Authors Tell Their Stories).

NOW...back to our regularly scheduled blog...

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you might have noticed that lately, I'm taking a step back in time to when I was 11 and discovered Adam Ant. Or more accurately fell madly in love with Adam Ant. Or maybe more accurately, fell madly in love with a picture of Adam Ant. I only got to see him live on YouTube lately. Back then, all I had to fall in love with was the picture on the front of my record sleeve.
It was this picture:
SWOON.
He looks wild, eh?
I think my love for this picture was an indication that I might choose a future life partner based on how utterly exciting he was, which, if you know Mr. King, is exactly what I did. (Not to mention massively good-looking.) (I brag. You would too.) When I look wider at my posse, I realize I chose some mighty exciting people to hang out with. And like my story above illustrated, it's pretty important who you hang out with, and it says something about you, too.

Anyway, I've been listening to that album, and the title track gave me a great idea for a contest:



Add this track with my love for Yul Brenner and the [original] movie The Magnificent Seven, and you have a contest. Are you ready to win an Advance Reader Copy of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS?
Sing it with me: WE ARE THE FAMILY!

The A.S. King Posse Contest
 
I am forming a posse. First, I need a right-hand man/sidekick/Spock/cohort. To choose my right-hand man/sidekick/Spock/cohort, I need to ask applicants three questions. 
  1. What would your personal posse nickname be? (What would I call you?)
  2. What's your motto? (This is what you yell before we have to attack evildoers and scoundrels.) (Except for Han Solo. He's an acceptable scoundrel.)
  3. Would you ever lie to me? If yes, then about what?
How to enter: Type your entry in the comment area of this here blog. Make sure to give me an email address in order to contact you if you win.
How to win: Make us laugh (funny cohorts are the best cohorts), 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: Friday, September 9th at 23:59 EST.

If we get 50 entries, there will be TWO CHANCES to win. (And our posse will be a bit bigger, which is good.) So retweet, post on facebook and spread the word.

Good luck!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Can You Help Me and Vera?

A HUGE thank you for the great response to this plea for help! The discussion guide is made and almost ready to go. I have turned off comments for this post.

Teachers, librarians, readers, bloggers, tap dancers and anyone else who has read PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ, I need your help.
I am making a discussion guide for PIVD because many teachers and librarians are using it in their classrooms and are looking for a guide. Though I can think of many questions myself, I'm not a teacher and I'm not sure my questions or discussion topics would be as relevant as yours because I wrote the book.

This would be a collaborative effort and I'd do my best to include all contributors somewhere on the final brochure. If you can contribute a question or discussion point, please leave one in the comment area with your contact info! Thank you! This would be a great help to the hundreds of people who search Google for "Vera Dietz discussion guide" every month.

I thank you in advance!

Amy