Showing posts from May, 2009

A Post from BEA

As you read this, I am at BEA. If you're at BEA, too, feel free to come to one of my signings! If you're not sure which one is me, here's what I look like:


(Actually, if you see a young woman with socks hanging from her ears, or carrying a teapot in lieu of a bag, or some such, that's probably me, too. Nerves make me batty.)

My full BEA schedule is here. Re the signings: on Saturday I'm signing Fire ARCs at Table 17 from 10-11am, and then, after that, I'm doing a Graceling signing at the bookstore Books of Wonder (18 W. 18th St.) with Melissa Marr from 1-3pm.

Also, note that the Bridget Zinn Auction ends at 11pm on Saturday, May 3o and the Gracelingbook giveaway ends on Monday, June 1.

Happy weekend, everyone!

A Short Post. Sort of.

Graceling is a finalist for the 2009 SIBA Book Awards in the YA category, along with Sarah Dessen's Lock & Key and Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. It is so nice to be honored by people you admire (indie booksellers!). Thank you so much to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance! Go indies!

Speaking of the South, I would like to state for the record that Florida is the only place I've ever lived where I've needed to use sunglasses, a sun visor, a raincoat, rain boots, sunscreen (for the small portion of leg not covered by coat and boots), and a golf umbrella simultaneously. The river is high and the gutters have given up. Is it ever going to stop raining here in north Florida?

In other news, I promised a short post today, but is it cheating if I link you to a long interview? Follow that link to read my Summer Blog Blast Tour interview at Hip Writer Mama and/or to enter a giveaway of ten copies of Graceling. …

FAQs on Writing and Publishing, A.K.A. the Longest Post E.V.E.R.

So, this post answers FAQs about writing and getting published. If those topics don't interest you, I promise that this will be the most boring post ever. Well, okay, even if those topics DO interest you, chances are you'll get bored, because I wrote SO MUCH! I apologize up front for length.

1. When and how did you start writing?
I'm going to give you a sleep-inducing answer, but I have a reason for doing so.

I did critical writing for years, but didn't get serious about creative writing until 2003, when I was nearing the end of my master's degree at Simmons College's Center for the Study of Children's Literature. I took an intro to writing class, then finished my degree with a creative writing independent study, with the marvelous writer and teacher Liza Ketchum as my mentor. With Liza, I began a middle grade contemporary realistic novel. I started working on it in September of 2003 and wrote maybe a third of it during the semester. After graduating, …

"What are your names, please?" asked Wilbur, trembling with joy.

"I'll tell you my name," replied the first little spider, "if you'll tell me why you are trembling."

"I'm trembling with joy," said Wilbur.

"Then my name is Joy," said the first spider.

Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White

Today's post is about my readers. That means you! I would love to know who you are, where you are, where you'd rather be, what you like, what you don't like, or anything else you want to tell me -- especially if you've never commented before! No worries if you've never read my books. Use your real name or a secret code name, whatever you like. No pressure, of course -- no one has to respond. But please do feel free to say hi today. (Even if you've done so before!)

A friendly reminder to anyone reading this post on LiveJournal, Amazon, or anywhere other than my blogspot that I won't see your comments unless you come to my Blog Actual to post them.

And a reminder that the Summer B…

Can You Help? An Important Auction

Popping in on a Friday with a special note about an auction you might want to get involved in.

The following is from April Henry’s blog:

Can you help?

Three things happened to Bridget in February:
1. She got an agent for her young adult novel.
2. She got married.
3. She found out she had Stage Four colon cancer.

Bridget Zinn is a librarian and writer in Oregon who's currently in her second round of chemo for Stage Four colon cancer. And in case you haven't noticed, health insurance in the U.S. is a travesty. To help defray her costs, some folks have organized an online auction. Check it out. There's some awesome stuff! Signed books, vacations, manuscript critiques, quilts, jewelry, etc.

Here is the auction blog site, where you can bid on items until May 30.

Here is Bridget's blog.

Have a nice weekend, everyone :o)

In Which I Blather

A happy addition to my BEA schedule: On Saturday, May 30, from 1-3pm, I'll be signing books with Melissa Marr at Books of Wonder, 18 West 18th Street, New York City.

For today's post I direct you to the podcast of my recent conversation with Deirdre and Maria at the Mount Kisco Library in Mount Kisco, New York. Deirdre and Maria had some great questions about Graceling and YA lit! Here are some of the things we talked about:
Katsa's relationship with Raffinthe nature of Gracesfantasy character nameswhy YA is such a great genreMegan Whalen Turner and why "write faster!", though often meant as a compliment, might not be the most empathetic thing you can say to a writerthe anti-marriage thing (which, incidentally, I blogged about once, here)how my characters surprise me as I'm writing Warning: there are a few Graceling spoilers in the podcast.

Go here to listen. Thanks to Deirdre and Maria!

Notes from a Mission Accomplished

Dutch adult market cover of Graceling ---> click to enlarge --->
Last week I visited the Boston area for a few days. There, I: spent some time with a friend and a small orange furry quadruped person;got to hang out with my sister, secret code name: Apocalyptica, for an evening;made beef stroganoff;baked cookies;wrote 10 pages of a frustrating scene and crossed out 9; andaccomplished a very important secret mission.Then I flew back home to Florida, where the air feels like bathwater. There, I: went for a sunset walk along the river. The sky was dusty blue, the water was the color of an eggplant, and a humongous, nearly full, pale pink moon rose right out of nowhere. I live in such a beautiful place!;curled up on the couch and watched an embarrassing number of Veronica Mars episodes in succession. (My thoughts on Season 2 [SPOILERS!]: It's not as good as Season 1. However, I remain v. fond of Logan and am convinced that if everyone he loved would stop beating him up, betra…


Dutch cover for the YA edition ----> click to enlarge ----->

So, I read Jane Eyre, first published in 1847, before I ever read Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca (1938) or Mary Stewart's Nine Coaches Waiting (1958). Do you know those two books? Both of them are obviously influenced by Charlotte Brontë's novel; I'd go so far as to call the Stewart book an homage; and it's hard to read either without thinking of Jane. I loved and read and re-read all three of them; and eventually the day came when I couldn't read Jane Eyre without thinking of Rebecca and Nine Coaches Waiting. My appreciation of the novel that was written first began to be influenced by later novels Charlotte Brontë never could have read.
I love that time-travel aspect of intertextuality. Here's another example: Now, when I read Hamlet (c. 1603), I enjoy it even more than I used to, because I'm bringing Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1964-65) along with m…

A Snood FAQ and a Pride and Prejudice Poll

I bet I'm the only YA writer who gets asked frequently, "What's the story behind your snood fixation?"
Well, dear reader, I'll tell you, and by the time I'm done telling you, you're going to wish you never asked.
It all started last August. I was preparing for a School Library Journal photo shoot in which I was to wear medieval garb and wield a sword. I picked out the perfect snood for the occasion. I was so excited about the snood. It was the B.E.S.T. thing I'd ever purchased. But when I tried everything on for my sister, secret code name: Cordelia, SHE TOLD ME THE SNOOD LOOKED STUPID!
As you can imagine, I was devastated. Naturally, I took the story straight to my publicists, Sarah and Barb, because I knew they would understand and shower me with sympathy -- which they did, and more! They embraced the entire snood moment and came up with a new battle cry: SNOOD, BE DAMNED! (Highly satisfying when bellowed.) Over the weeks, the battle cry evo…