Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Highlights & Random Pictures

2011 was an amazing year so I figured doing an end of year random picture post would be a good idea so I can remember 2011 and everything wonderful that's happened and celebrate, because I forget to celebrate sometimes. (Author note: I wrote this blog intro a week ago. I have since celebrated. I have proof at the end of the post.)

I have a good friend in this business--the awesome Lauren Baratz-Logsted--who told me from the beginning: Enjoy every minute. So, I do that. I enjoy every single minute. I try to concentrate on the positive things and I always--ALWAYS--have my eye on the next book and my future dreams and am working to make it a reality. I think that's the most important thing a writer can do...keep writing and keep dreaming.

2011 was crazy at times, and I mean crazy-good. And sometimes crazy-good gets in the way of writing all the time. It had me feeling a little behind for a while this year, but I eventually caught up, so I don't feel like I'm chasing anything the moment, anyway.

So let's take a minute to recap a wonderful year.

Dudes. In January 2011, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ received news of her Printz Honor and her Edgar Award nomination. WHAT A MONTH! Seriously. Surreal and crazy and all sorts of good. There were Vulcan tears shed--you can ask the Printz committee. 

Then it snowed a bunch of times.

AWESOME READ IN JANUARY: I'LL BE THERE by Holly Goldberg Sloan. What a great book! If you haven't read it, you really should.


I was able to share two awesome pieces of news...first, the cover for EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. Then, news of the sale of my 2012 release, ASK THE PASSENGERS. Random picture: I went to NYC for Sara J. Henry's launch of LEARNING TO was awesome (the book and the launch party.) LEARNING TO SWIM is my Awesome February read. 


I wrote like a crazy person. There are no pictures of me as a writing crazy person. Also, the audio of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ arrived around this time. (And I've forgotten pretty much which books I read when at this forgive the lack of Awesome Book listings until fall.)

Random picture from March. We have signs like this in my town.


April started with the annual Vagina Monologues show and my annual post about being part of the solution.  Feel free to find a show in your area this year and occupy one of these seats and make a difference in the movement to end violence against women and girls. 

And of course, April is pool painting time. There it is. With my feet. That's lane three there to my left. Odd fact: Those shoes never fit me. They were always too small and they made my toes hurt. I have finally tossed them and replaced them in my size. I know you're all relieved. I know my toes are. 

I took the whole family to Washington D.C. and paid a visit to the wall and found the missing soldier I take with me everywhere on my POW/MIA bracelet.

April ended with The Edgar Awards in NYC, where Mr. King and I got all gussied up and had a smashing time. See? Here's us having a smashing time. Going to the Edgars was an AMAZING experience. It made me want to hang out with mystery writers more often. They're loads of fun. And the MWA is a great organization that blew me away with just how much they do for writers. 


My [kinda messy looking] office was featured at one of my favorite Tumblrs, Write Place, Write Time.

May is the time for the Rochester Teen Book Festival. Here is the AWESOME Terry Trueman posing as the poster child for the Creative Minds Club.

Then there are these two pictures from our local fair where I and the family hung out and promoted our awesome community pool. I think these are my favorite two pictures of the year. 


And then there was June. Crazy busy June. By June, I was in the thick of editorial letters for ASK THE PASSENGERS and was trying my best to fight back against the book-who-tried-to-kill-me. (That's its other name. But we've forgiven it now.) I got to go to Bryan High School in Omaha, Nebraska for the first time in 2011...not knowing I'd be back two more times in the same year. What a school! What a librarian! What teachers! What a principal. <---Best principal EVER. And I got to go to my annual writing retreat with the best writing pals ever. 

But the highlight of June, without a doubt, was my first ever American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. Holy shit, guys. What a trip that was. I got to hang out with awesome librarians. I got to hang out with awesome authors. I got to go to my first Caldecott/Newberry dinner and I got to participate in the Printz reception and make that speech...which made me cry, but I didn't care because it said what I wanted to say. Look. I can't really come up with the words to explain how lucky I feel on a daily basis since receiving that phone call in early January 2011. This picture, taken in the elevator ceiling the day after the Printz reception, might show just how lucky I feel.


Back to Bryan High School with the fantastic Heather Brewer and Jackie Morse Kessler. 

Photo cred: the awesome Rory!

I usually take July, August and September off to write a new book, so this was my last big trip before being at home for a while and chilling in my lane...


I spent August writing and swimming my little buns off. And the first starred review for EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS arrived from Booklist.

AWESOME READ IN AUGUST: GUY LANGMAN: Crime Scene Procrastinator by Josh Berk. Hilarious book coming in 2012. Loved it.


Two more starred reviews for EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS arrived in September...on the exact same Monday. And then, on the same Friday, another starred review came in from SLJ. How's that for amazing? Dudes. 2011 was amazing. Then I took off to Atlantic City for the annual NAIBA conference which I love because I adore independent booksellers who might occasionally make signs like this for my signing table:

DEAR BULLY, the anthology which I was a very small part of, was released in September. It's a great book and huge kudos to Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones for putting it together.

I took my mom to Chester County Book Co. to meet Ellen Hopkins! Woot! I love Ellen. I might propose to Ellen one day in another life. Even if we both come back as dung beetles, I'd do it.

Also, at the end of September was Banned Books Week and I got to read aloud from one of my favorite banned books. (This was taped in New Orleans in June, though, which explains my 98% humidity hair.)

AWESOME READ IN SEPTEMBER: BOY 21 by Matthew Quick. Out in March 2012. Do not miss it.


October 3rd was EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS launch date and things got so crazy-good and crazy-busy, I'll just point you to the post where you can get an idea of what the next few months held. Wow, right? I was all over the place and loved every minute of it. There was a great podcast interview on Read, Write, Think.  There were a lot of signings and school visits and I met so many awesome students, teachers and librarians and know...people. I saw this view a lot:

I was named an honorary roller derby girl for the Shotgun Shirleys out in Phoenix and that just made my year in the I am a badass department. Thanks to The BookBabe for that awesome honor. 

So much happened in October, I'm not going to go overboard. But I can't thank the whole world enough for welcoming Lucky Linderman and ANTS the way they did. Thank you!

AWESOME READ IN OCTOBER: DEAD TO YOU by Lisa McMann. Coming in Feb 2012. The perfect read. Seriously don't miss it.


November started off with a freak snowstorm that knocked my power out for almost a week. It was kinda hardcore, but we all lived. In the meantime, EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS made the American Booksellers Association's ABC Best Books for Teens catalog.

I did a lot of writing on a new book (the tin foil hat book) that I'd worked on during those summer months, when I wasn't taming ASK THE PASSENGERS. I also admitted here on the blog that I am a badass quilter.

Then I went to my favorite conference, which is the ALAN Workshop. I'm a member of ALAN and have been for years and I can't urge you enough to join if you are at all interested in the teaching, reading or writing of young adult literature. Before ALAN is NCTE and I managed to drop into the booth to visit my starry book mere seconds before the booth's destruction.

Then, as if October and November weren't amazing enough, news came in about another starred review for EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS and then...ANOTHER ONE. Which brought the total to six starred critical reviews for that book. Which is just insane and amazing and it was one of those dreams that if I'd ever said it aloud, someone would have told me to never even dream of it because it was impossible. Anyway, add two more shiny guys to that picture above.


That's Dom Perignon, truffles and tacos. Yes. Tacos. 
(Author's note: I wrote the December entry two weeks ago.)

I just wrote 25,000 words in a week. I have secret news I can't share right now, but it's good news. (No, it's not a movie deal, but one day, day.) My family is all well and we're all happy and it's the day before Christmas. There's a bottle of Dom Perignon on my desk (Sent by the best BFF ever) that has not been opened yet because all that stuff you just read hasn't really sunk in yet and I am making it sink in this week. I am going to celebrate. Feel free to celebrate with me. (Okay, that's now past I hope you celebrated with me.)

AWESOME READS IN DECEMBER: FEED by MT Anderson. Holy shit. If you haven't read this yet (it's 10 years old) stop everything you're doing and read it now. And CATCH AND RELEASE by Blythe Woolston coming in March 2012. An incredible book. Read it. 

FINALLY! This blog post is over! 

Thank you for reading, writing to me, telling people about my books, being librarians and teachers--the most important jobs in the world. Thank you for your support and your celebrations with me throughout this amazing year.

To 2012! May it bring many more words, great books to read and lots of corn.


Matthew MacNish said...

I've been hearing about you for months. But I'm one of those people who has so much going on, I slide those comments to the back of my mind, thinking "surely this person, and her writing, is awesome, and I know I'll want to check her out ... as soon as I have time."

Which is a lame excuse, I know.

But then my friend and mentor Andrew Smith said in an email conversation that you were the best writer he knows, who is currently writing books.

If we were drunk, and having a conversation, I would probably say that last bit twice, because it's big, but my point is this: I can't believe I tarried in stopping by here, but I'm glad I did now, and I can't wait to read your books.

A.S. King said...

How much do you rock? And how much does Andrew rock? I have recently been overheard saying that I wish I'd written The Marbury Lens, so I think the feeling is mutual when it comes to Andrew and me.

I hope you enjoy the books. They're all a little different and yet, are kinda the same in ways.

I will also say that I wish my blog was more like Andrew's. I love his blog. A lot. But considering it took me two weeks to write this one post, I'm thinking I'll leave the awesome blogging to him and just continue posting pictures of tacos.

Because Mmmmm. Tacos.

Alissa Grosso said...

Sounds like a wonderful (if crazy busy) 2011. Hope you have a spectacular 2012.

Also note to Matthew: READ HER BOOKS! Do it. You won't be disappointed. Trust me.

A.S. King said...

Alissa Grosso--another book I forgot to mention! I bet 2012 will rock it for you and you deserve every minute of it.

Sara J. Henry said...

Somehow I lost all the blogs I subscribed to and just realized it, so I'm just now reading this awesome post (which sort of exhausts me just to read!). Kudos for such a great year - richly deserved - my life is far better for knowing you. And yes, PS, thanks for the mention!