After six months of procrastinating, Second Chance is finally available for Nook and Kobo readers. I put off doing this for so long, and you know how much time it took to upload the book? About five minutes. Seriously. I thought it would take hours (which I don’t have readily available). When you have a newborn baby, all to-do lists get thrown out the window (or in my case, down the diaper genie). But now this book is available from my favorite bookstore and Indie bookstores as well.
Here is the link to order Second Chance at Barnes and Noble, and here is the link for Kobo.
Be sure to check out the Second Chance playlist. There are some good summer tunes here.
My agent and editor are currently reviewing Awaken #3. This is one of the scariest moments in an author’s career, the SUBMISSISION process where people start to critically examine your work. My publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, has yet to make an offer on this book. I asked my editor what’s holding them up, and what can I be doing on my end to speed things along. She said to just keep spreading the word about this series.
So, I have compiled a list of ten things you can all be doing to help spread the word about Awaken.
1. Carry a copy of Awaken (or Middle Ground) with you at all times and make out with it in public places. People will definitely ask you why you’re making out with a book cover; it’s an easy way to get noticed and generate conversation.
2. Ask your local bookseller to stock it. Offer to make out with your local bookseller if they agree to carry multiple copies. If your local bookseller is hot and ends up being a really good kisser and you fall madly in love, than you can thank me at your wedding.
3. Tweet about it. Tumble about it. Trot about it.
4. Write and record an original song inspired by Awaken, post it on YouTube and have it go viral. That would be cool. Maybe you’ll sign a music deal. I would buy your album.
5. Call Steven Spielberg, and tell him to buy the film rights to Awaken. Publicity will then be handled by Warner Brothers or Universal Studios or another mega-movie-marketing-mothership, so your job will be done.
6. Bieber Fever. I just wanted to write that.
7. Tattoo the cover art of Awaken to your face, that way if you don’t really like talking to people you will still get the point across that you love this book.
8. Recommend it to friends, boyfriends, neighbors, even animals. Do we know if dogs like to read? Have we tapped into that market yet? What is stopping us?
9. Talk to people about it. Face to face. It’s this old fashioned form of communicating, where you use your lips and voice to make sounds that are words. It’s a dying form of communication, but some people still do it.
10. Okay, you can text people about it too.
Alright, I provided plenty of practical suggestions. I hope to have some exciting news to share soon.
Here are some pictures from the YA author event at Klindt’s Booksellers this weekend. There were twelve authors there, all amazing, all so kind and funny and wonderful. It is such a blessing to be in this business; I really meet the coolest people. The booksellers at Klindt’s (Angela and Tina) are extended family to me. I love these women for their passion, their vision and their energy to embrace books and their community.
One thing that has surprised me over the years is authors are CHATTY. I used to think writers would be shy and quiet and introverted, bordering on awkward. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. We have a lot of ideas in our heads–I mean, we freaking write books. Our brains are always going. We have a lot to say, so trying to get a writer to shut up is the challenge. We tend to ramble. Speaking of rambling, I’ll get to the pictures now:
Inside at Klindt’s:
My soul sister, Angela, the most passionate book lover in existence:
Other news…I’m still waiting to hear from Houghton Mifflin about an offer for Awaken #3. When I got an offer for my first book, I got a tattoo to celebrate. For my second book, I bought tickets to Los Angeles to see Ryan Adams in concert. For Awaken #3, the plan is to dye my hair…pink. Not all of it, just a streak. This might not sound like a big deal to you, but I haven’t dyed my hair since high school, which was an awful experience (it turns out black is not my best color, especially when it fades to gray-ish green–it wasn’t a great way to spend my senior year). So, I’m hoping it goes better this time. I just want to make Maddie proud.
The Event of Events is about to go down, this Saturday in The Dalles, Oregon. It’s a 12 author event (all YA authors). There will be live music, food, books. It’s better than Christmas, people.
The Dalles is located about ten miles east of Hood River, along the Columbia River Gorge (this town is also referenced in Middle Ground, because its high desert hills are breathtaking and inspired one of my scenes). There are too many amazing authors to list, so I’m going to be lazy and leave you with the website for Klindt’s Booksellers:
See you there.
And, P.S. Did you get your copies yet? They make a handsome pair. It’s must have coffee table décor…
Last night I had a blast talking about writing inspiration with fellow YA authors Lisa Burstein and soon-to-be-published Bryan Bliss. We each discussed what drives our writing muse. Bryan talked about movies and screenplays, Lisa discussed photos, and I talked about music. The audience was hilarious–thanks to everyone who showed up.
During my discussion I admitted something I hadn’t even realized—that I give all my characters theme songs. It’s my way of understanding them and getting in their heads in order to write their story. It’s part of my writing process. If I’m distracted, or if I haven’t written for a few days, I play my character’s theme songs, and BAM, I’m in their heads, I’m walking around in their converse tennis shoes.
Here are Maddie and Justin’s theme songs. I think the energy, lyrics and rhythm match the thoughts and energy of these characters. What’s your theme song? Mine is probably written by Eminem. He likes to rage.
P.S. Any of you have music recommendations for me? I’m always taking them. Music is my muse.
Justin’s Theme Song: The Love Song, performed by K-OS
Madeline’s Theme Song: I Feel It All, performed by Feist
After major procrastination, here is the full playlist I used while I wrote Middle Ground. It will mess with your head. You can find all my other playlists under the music tab on this site.
- Fake Empire/The National
- Help I’m Alive/ Metric Fantasies
- Kontact Me/Boys Noize
- Infinity Guitars/Sleigh Bells
- Swimming In The Flood/Passion Pit
- Trail of Lies/Jedi Mind Tricks
- Where Is My Mind?/Pixies
- Pursuit of Happiness/Kid Cudi
- All the Night Without Love/Elvis Perkins
- Hide and Seek/Imogen Heap
- My Night With the Prostitute from Marseille/Beirut
- Dem Na Like Me/The Qemists
- Heartbeats/Jose Gonzalez
- Fight Test/Flaming Lip
- Darlin’ Do Not Fear/Brett Dennen
- The Cave/Mumford & Sons
- The Love Song/KOS
Two great bits of news:
1) The final draft of Awaken #3 is DONE! It’s still needs edits (good writing is rewriting and rewriting and more rewriting), but the story is there. It was so weird to type THE END on a manuscript. I’ve published four books and all of them have been continuations, so this is the first novel I actually had to end, which was a challenge. I can see why so many writers rush an ending, or seem to hurry it up (or don’t really end it at all which is infuriatingly annoying). Luckily my mind has been contemplating this book for about five years, so I had most of it ironed out before I even sat down to write.
Will I give you any hints about the last book in the trilogy? It’s fabulous, how’s that? I do promise to give you closure. I promise not to leave it open ended. I personally believe if you pull readers along and ask them to invest in a series, then you need to wrap things up and provide closure. So, I did fulfill that obligation to you, my lovely fans. I will give you one other hint. IT WILL NOT END THE WAY YOU’RE EXPECTING. Nope, sorry, all of your theories are wrong.
I don’t have a release date yet…it will probably be about one year from now, but I promise to reveal some fun things along the way, have some contests, all that good stuff.
2) Do you have plans tonight? Come and hang out with me and two other local YA authors for an hour discussion at the Corvallis Public Library. We will talk about writing, music, and all things awesome.
I am an escape artist. That is my superpower. I am able to escape any situation–not physically, but I leave with my mind.
I’ve always had the power to drift, to daydream, to imagine my way out of situations that are boring or stifling (I think it’s how I made my way through high school).
I tend to daydream more than I actually live in the moment. Whenever I’m bored, nervous, uncomfortable, or uninspired, I just imagine my way out of the situation. It definitely makes writing come naturally.
The other day one of my friends pointed out that I love extreme people. This is true. All of my best friends are on the extreme side. Extremely weird or extremely ambitious or extremely flawed or extremely inappropriate. I like that. It holds my attention.
But, lately I’ve had a problem escaping. It’s not that I can’t escape, it’s that, probably for the first time in my life, I don’t want to. I have two amazing balls of energy around me–a little girl that never stops smiling and a little boy that makes me laugh so hard I’m crying on a daily basis. I don’t want to mentally stray from them. I want them next to me every second. I want to strap them to me, like a second skin, like armor, like a shell or a nest.
It’s strange to want to be “here,” so much of the time, to rarely feel the pull to daydream. For mother’s day, I want to give my kids the greatest compliment I can offer: You make the moment greater than one I can even imagine. Thank you.
Two events coming up, one tomorrow at Grass Roots Books and Music in Corvallis, OR from 11 am to 1 pm. I’m co-signing with YA author Lisa Burstein. Check it out:
Also, a free writing workshop is coming up. Three YA authors will discuss their writing inspiration on May 21st at the Corvallis Public Library. More details coming soon…
Did you know that the paperback for First Comes Love is officially available? And it’s so gorgeous. Get your hands on it NOW! Buy one or two or several. It’s perfect summer reading.
Finally (and most awesomely) Awaken has been released in France. Check out the cover, published by Pocket Jeunesse.
I had the privilege to sit in on two book club discussions of Awaken this month. Here are some photos with me and my readers (featuring a pretty cool pair of socks).
Thank you to the two lovely book clubs that hosted me (and supplied me with wine, tea, brownies and my favorite—pancakes with whipped cream in dedication to the scene where Maddie eats pancakes for the first time).
I love listening to how people respond to my book—especially to the timely message of technology. Last night, one of the readers said, “We no longer know how to embrace silence.” That comment really struck me. We are so over stimulated with distractions all the time, we don’t know how to unplug and be still. We rarely are ever in the moment as we text and email and try to be twenty places at once.
As a writer, I struggle with technology because there are so many benefits to social networking. I’ve met some amazing fans, I get to Skype with classrooms, and it’s great publicity. But, I really struggle with my online presence(s). I would much rather be outside than be on my computer tweeting, or online updating my stupid status all the time. I don’t know why we feel the need to have such strong online billboard advertisements of ourselves, announcing ourselves all the time. It’s very self-fulfilling and I guess, my response is, who cares? Go outside. Take a walk. Do something for someone else. Volunteer in your community. Cook a meal for a family with little kids that could use your help. Help your neighbor paint their house. And after you do it, don’t announce to the world that you did it. You don’t need a hundred “likes” to feel justified. Do you?
If people unplugged for an hour each day and invested that time in others—wow. Now that is what I call being social.
Speaking of being social, I have a couple of events coming up in Oregon before I move East. So, for any of you that live in the Oregon area, come and meet me on May 11th, at Grass Roots Books and Music from 11 am to 1 pm. First Comes Love (a finalist for the Oregon Book Award), will be in paperback, and my other books will be there as well. Buy ahead for Christmas presents! I will also be signing with fellow YA author (and Oregonian) Lisa Burnstein. Come down and hang out!