Monday, June 29, 2009

MY BIG (COVER) REVEAL...(finally!)

I just got word from my editor that I can (officially) share. I thought about posting some clever lead-up to draw out the suspense, but because I have ZERO patience, I'm just going to do...like ripping off a Band-Aid.

So, without further ado...

...I give you...

*drumroll please*

...MY COVER...


There is a great backstory about the cover design that I may share one day...but, for now, I am content to simply pet and stroke and maybe buy pretty little baubles for my cover. *sigh*

Saturday, June 27, 2009

2009 DEB, CYNTHEA LIU!!!

Last week I blogged about some schoolchildren in Oklahoma who need our help. Well, you can thank today’s Debs’ Tour guest for organizing the whole shindig to help those kids. Cynthea Liu is one of those amazing individuals who never sleeps.

Really. Never. Sleeps.

She is, of course, a Deb, but PARIS PAN TAKES THE DARE is not her first novel to release this year. Her first novel, THE GREAT CALL OF CHINA was released in February this year. She also has a nonfiction book out called WRITING FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS: A CRASH COURSE (how to write, revise, and publish your kid's or teen book with children's book publishers).

And she has a toddler.

Sleep? Seriously. It’s overrated anyway, right?

I just bought Cynthea’s new book, PARIS PAN TAKES THE DARE, to read with my daughter, check out how fun it sounds:

Twelve-year-old Paris Pan's life is a mess. She's just moved to a tiny town in Nowheresville, Oklahoma; her family life is a comical disaster; her new friends are more like frenemies; and the boy she has a crush on is a dork. Things couldn't possibly get worse, until she discovers that a girl mysteriously died years ago while taking a seventh-grade rite of passage–the Dare– right near Paris's new house. So when Paris starts hearing strange noises coming from the creepy run-down shed in her backyard, she thinks they could be a message from the ghost of a girl. But while she has no plans to make contact with the great beyond, her two new friends have other thoughts. Everyone who's anyone takes the Dare, and now it's Paris's turn.

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Wow. Good question. Bestselling Rockstar Author, only because Snoop (http://www.writingforchildrenandteens.com/about-me/snoop-zone/) (my manager) would never let me answer differently.

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

ALL THREE! Read Paris Pan Takes the Dare: I hope it accomplishes at least a couple of those.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Keep writing from that beach house. Though I would prefer a cabin in the woods. In Maine. During the winter.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook all the way. MySpace freaks me out.

5) After a period, one space or two?

One. I'm a firm believer in moving into the 21st century.

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

HOPE. I encourage everyone to watch the PARIS PAN behind-the-scenes movie to see why I think the word is soooo important. Not just for writers, but for everyone, kids included. http://www.cynthealiu.com/movie/Thanks for the interview!

To find out more about Cynthea, and her books, check out her website at www.cynthealiu.com!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Three Tenners and A Deb!!!

Last night was 2009 Deb Mandy Hubbard's book launch, and while I was there I had the chance to meet not one but TWO of my fellow Tenners. They were funny, smart, and gorgeous!

Check us out:

That's Mindi Scott (formerly Scratching At The 8-Ball, but still working out the final title), author-of-the-hour Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Predjudice), Denise Jaden (Losing Faith), and Me!!!

Oh, and Mandy sold out of ALL of her books at her launch. You Go, Girl!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WANNABE PLAYAH...

I just saw this trailer for a movie that my son auditioned for a couple of years ago. The movie is ALIENS IN THE ATTIC (although when he auditioned they were calling it "THEY CAME FROM UPSTAIRS").

Here's the trailer (he tried out for the part of the skateboarder cousin -- the blonde kid who shows up at about 30 seconds into the clip):



His response when he found out that Ashley Tisdale was in it: "Dude, I totally coulda hooked up with her."

Ummm, yeah....

Dream big, buddy. Dream big.

I DARE YOU...

Author Cynthea Liu is trying to help out some desperately needy children at Tulakes Elementary in Oklahoma, who could really use a hand.

This is from a letter posted on Cynthea's site:

"I teach third grade at Tulakes Elementary, a Title I school in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Children residing in our surrounding area or community live in an environment of high poverty, gang violence, and crime with the inherent social problems these issues generate. The children are so needy that many wear the same clothes several days in a row. Some do not know where their next meal is coming from. Our school receives little to no help from families that can barely afford to pay their bills." (Read more...)

So, what can you do?

It's simple, TAKE THE DARE!Show these kids you care by completing any one of the three easy tasks on Cynthea's site (you don't even have to spend a penny!). Complete all three and you can make a huge difference in the lives of these children.

All I ask is that you check it out! These kids deserve a chance.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SARAH OCKLER, Superstar Deb!

TWENTY BOY SUMMER is sweeping the nation! Seriously, this book is taking the world (one girl at a time!) by storm. The reviews are in, and TWENTY BOY SUMMER is a smash hit. Don’t believe me??? Then check this out, and this, and this.

See what I mean? And here’s why:

While on vacation in California, sixteen-year-old best girlfriends Anna and Frankie conspire to find a boy for Anna’s first summer romance, but Anna harbors a painful secret that threatens their lighthearted plan and their friendship.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER is a debut YA novel that explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

Today’s Debs’ Tour welcomes Sarah Ockler, author of this amazing debut. Welcome, Sarah. *golf clap, everyone*

Okay, Sarah, feel free to be as wordy as you want (except, of course, for the one-word BONUS question).

Ready? Set?

And…GO!:

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

I was going to say ALAW, because this is after all art and I'm writing it as a form of expression. But, I'm also writing to connect with readers, and if I'm really connecting with readers I hope that means readers are buying the book. Lots of readers. Lots of books. In which case I'd like to be the BRA. Which doesn't work as well as an acronym. So why can't I just be both? A BRALAWA (Bestselling Rockstar Acclaimed Literary Award Winning Author)? This is too hard! :-)

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

All of the above (though not necessarily at the same time)! As a reader, I love when a book makes me laugh or cry or freak out -- that's the sign of a good book. So when I write, if I can spark an emotional reaction from a reader, it means I've helped them see a moment through the character's eyes, and that's important.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

I will never stop writing, even if I stop getting paid for it. :-) Writing is such a joy. I can't imagine my life without it. Now, if I could retire from all the admin that goes along with it, like paying taxes and organizing files and keeping a calender and making Web updates... now we're on to something. Please pass the sun screen!

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

SpaceBook, as my Mom calls it.

5) After a period, one space or two?

One. Just think of all the wasted spaces that die for every book written by every 2-space author. Trillions of acres of spaces! It's shameful!

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Repeat!

Thanks to Sarah for stopping by and playing. To find out more about Sarah Ockler and her books, check out her website at http://www.sarahockler.com/!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Not Your Typical Release Day Announcement!!!!!!!!

So rather than just saying: CONGRATS, IT'S YOUR RELEASE DAY, I've decided to tell you about the amazing author behind this spectacular release!

Today is the debut of my friend, Mandy Hubbard, author extraordinaire, and her fantastic book PRADA & PREJUDICE. I'm not just going to tell you about the book (which you should totally run out and buy. Now!), instead I'm going to steer you toward, as Lisa and Laura call it, some writer porn. Check out Mandy's post on how she got to this point. (Remember that poster from back in the day? The one with the little kitten clinging to the branch that reads "HANG IN THERE, BABY?" Well that's Mandy's story!)

On top of all of her uber-persistence, she also lives right down the street from me. Literally. We lunch together!!! And she's SO cool I can't even tell you! I wish I could share a little bit of her with each of you. (Oh wait, I can, it's called PRADA & PREJUDICE! See, how subliminal I am???)

If you happen to be in the area on Friday June 19th, you should totally check out her book launch at Linden Books in Enumclaw and you can get your copy of PRADA signed. I'll be there, cheering Mandy on!

Oh yeah, and...

CONGRATS, MANDY, IT'S YOUR RELEASE DAY!!!!!!

(Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Supernatural Saturday!!!

To say that my Saturday was awesome would be an understatement. Saying that it was anything less than STELLAR would be like saying baby kittens are just *meh*. Or that chocolate is just okay. Or that George Clooney is alright…and I know you did not just say that. You might as well kick a baby while you’re at it.

So on Saturday, I packed up my staff photographer (or as he likes to call himself: my husband, Josh), my fangirlie attitude, and my lovely permagrin (don’t worry, you’ll get a chance to see it), and I headed off to meet not one…not two…not three…but FOUR HarperTeen authors!!! And as an added bonus, I also met one Tenner, a YA book blogger, the author of the upcoming BONESHAKER, and someone with the *coolest name ever*.

Plus, I totally only embarrassed myself once…and that's a number I can live with.

Yeah, that’s right, I totally rocked it!

So, check me out:
YA blogger Sarah and Me. (Aptly titled: Permagrin #1)

Waiting in line, where I met Kelley Armstrong, Claudia Gray, Aprilynne Pike, and Kim Harrison (to whom I actually introduced myself as a "Harper Arthur".) I'm actually an "author" not an Arthur. OOPS!

Me and fellow Deb Aprilynne Pike. And, yes, she had to take her heels off to still be taller than me...in my heels.

Me, Cherie Priest (author of the upcoming BONESHAKER), and fellow Tenner Caitlin Kittredge.

I also totally met a great writer named...wait for it...

Best name ever!!! I wish I would have gotten a picture with her too, but you'll just have to visit her blog to check her out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

DEBS TOUR: Aprilynne Pike (or HarperTeen authors are the coolest!)

Today’s installment of the Debs’ Blog Tour is especially timely since, just yesterday, I attended the Supernatural Summer Tour and got to meet FOUR amazing HarperTeen authors, including my fellow Deb, Aprilynne Pike! Can you say WOW???

Aprilynne’s debut novel, WINGS, is the first of four books about an ordinary girl named Laurel who discovers she is a faerie sent among humans to guard the gateway to Avalon. When Laurel is thrust into the midst of a centuries-old battle between faeries and trolls, she's torn between a human and a faerie love, as well as her loyalties to both worlds.

(This is another one of those covers I consider drool-worthy…it’s very pretty and I want to pet it. Just a little.)

So now that the formalities (and the creepy petting) are out of the way, let’s get down to the reason we’re all here, the interview with Aprilynne. You know the drill, five questions plus a ONE-WORD bonus question.

1) So, Aprilynne, would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Rockstar author! I am all about pleasing my readers. And being a bestseller says to me that I am pleasing my readers. Critics? I just don't worry about them too much.

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Cry. I'm a sucker for a good emotional scene and I try to put those kinds of scenes in my book. Although the choice between cry and laugh was a hard one to make. I love to make people laugh too!

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Ooh! I have a beach house!?!?! Why would I ever leave THAT??

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Face Book!!! I have a hard time with MySpace . . . I don't know. I try to keep it up, but I enjoy FaceBook a lot more.

5) After a period, one space or two?

One. I'm lazy.:)

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

READ!

Great, that does it for today! To find out more about Aprilynne and her books, check out her website at http://www.aprilynnepike.com/!

And check in later for more details on my amazing (and, yes, fangirlie) day at the book signing!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Five (really random) Facts About Me On A Friday

1) I don't like to have my face touched. Ever. Even during a massage I ask the masseuse to skip my face completely.

And facials, eww!

2) I love bubblegum. Not all gum, just bubblegum...big, sticky, sweet wads of it. When I was little I used to save the chewed hunks by my bed at night and resume chewing in the morning. I know...gross.

3) I have a weird mascara fetish. I have tried probably hundreds of brands (from the super spendy to the ones on the cheap), and hate almost all of them. My old one was discontinued so I stocked up on eBay until those bottles (even though they were unopened) were just...too old.

My current fave: L'Oreal Voluminous. Go figure.

4) I can't touch my toes. Not even close.

5) I love it when people fall. Or run into things. I'm not sure why this is, I'm probably some kind of simpleton...or I was a Keystone Cop in a past life.

Case in point, my two favorite commercials of all time: the ad for Microsoft's SYNC (in which the woman walks into the door and spills her coffee all over) and the ad for Computer Associates (you've seen it, it's hilarious!).

UPDATE: I totally put the wrong L'Oreal mascara in the original post, so I had to correct it. I did NOT like Lash Architect. My favorite (at the moment) is Voluminous. OOPS!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Big (FRICKIN' HUGE) Saturday Plans

So this Saturday at exactly 2pm, I'm going to be at the Borders in Redmond, WA to meet some of my peeps! That's right, my fellow HarperTeen authors. I'm going to be ridiculous and fangirlie and probably make a complete and total fool of myself. I'm crazy excited about it! Even the making a fool of myself part.

(Yeah, I know, sad, right?)

I so don't care. I get to shake hands with none other than Claudia Gray, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, and even fellow Deb Aprilynne Pike!

Okay, are you ready, I'm gonna do it...some of you may want to plug your ears. Those with a weak stomach may need to leave the room...

SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right, I'm that excited!

Sick, huh???

If you're in the area, you should TOTALLY check it out. TOTALLY!