Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sourcebooks Listened: A Tale of a Font

So did you ever pick out something that you really really loved that everyone else really really doesn't? Like Ugg boots, for example - either you love 'em or you hate 'em and think they're selling only because of mass hypnosis. Or a movie that's your favorite - but your friends think is stupid. (see: my opinion of Black Swan in previous post; I just. didn't. get. it. But lots of people I love and respect think I'm oh. so. wrong.)

Well, the original font for Anastasia's letters in Dreaming Anastasia was like that. My lovely team at Sourcebooks looked for an authentically old-fashioned cursive font that would evoke Anastasia, Russia, a girl hidden away at a witch's house for years and years and years.... And they found it.

Only sometimes things can be TOO authentic. It was tiny and eye-damaging and dare I say it - really really annoying to read. When you start reading reviews that say the equivalent of 'I'd have given you that fourth acorn or star or apple or whatever if not for that horrible font' you eventually start to see a pattern. My favorite actually comes from this video review by a delightful reader and blogger/vlogger - who otherwise loved the book:

And so!! You guys complained, and Sourcebooks listened! As we approach the release of HAUNTED on 2/1, Sourcebooks has printed shiny, new copies of Dreaming Anastasia, this time under the Fire imprint, and with a brand new, equally shiny and very readable cursive font! It's still really cool. Still really old-fashioned looking. But much more reader friendly.

In honor of this, I'll be sending - SURPRISE!! - bookielaura a signed copy of HAUNTED when it comes out on 2/1!! Because don't you think she deserves it?? I do!

As for the rest of you, check out bookielaura's blog listed above. And if you see a copy of the new Dreaming Anastasia in the wild, take a picture of a page with the new font. (You'll know it's the right copy if it says Fire imprint on the cover) Send it to me (and tell me where you saw it!) at joy at joypreble dot com Who knows? Maybe another surprise giveaway is in your future! And hey, if you haven't read DREAMING, this would be a great time to do that! Cause you'll have found the book and all...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pretty Bold Talk for a One- Eyed Fat Man

Been watching some movies lately. I am far from a movie critic; I like what I like and often it's not what everyone else is enjoying. But for what it's worth:

Jeff Bridges as Rooster C0gburn in the new Coen Brothers True Grit: Yes!! Fabulous. Enjoyed the hell out of this movie on Christmas Day. All due respect to John Wayne and all, I don't think I ever "got" the older version. The oddly formal language, the whole point... But somehow this time, it all made sense. Or maybe it's just Jeff Bridges, who just never fails to give a fine performance in everything. Have you seen him in the 80's movie, Starman? Such a quirky, romantic film.

Natalie Portman in Black Swan: Loved you, Nat. You play a good crazy. The movie as a whole? I was so anxious to see this film.... and now I just don't know. Was it serious drama? Real art? Over the top parody? All those jerky camera movements and close ups of nail cutting and bleeding and nail files... Makes me think twice about that post holiday mani/pedi I had planned. Nina goes from crazy to crazier... Not aching to see this one again.

Angelina Jolie in Salt: (which we rented from the $1 box): You look fabulous running Angelina. You are one badass spy. But I never did learn enough about the character to care one way or the other what happened at the end. Manchurian Candidate meets War Games. That's all I'm saying.

Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love (another $1 box rental). What can I say? It's Julia Roberts. I watched it last Tuesday afternoon. It was dark and gloomy outside; I had the beginnings of a sinus infection; I had laryngitis. It was me, the couch, a blanket, tea, and Julia looking beautiful in 3 diff. countries.

And in non movie news: I'm going to be hosting various fine authors during the next few weeks. First up on 1/3, will be Sourcebooks housemate and favorite entertainment lawyer pal Cameron Stracher, whose YA dystopian Water Wars comes out 1/1. You guys are gonna love Cam.

Later in the month, you'll get to hear from Crystal Allen, whose MG debut, How Lamar's Bad Prank Won Him a Bubba Sized Trophy, will be out in February. Crystal is one darn fabulous human and never fails to make me laugh. You're gonna love her, too.

Others will come as we get to spring, including Janet Gurtler and maybe the fabulous Roecker Sisters, although I haven't asked them yet so LiLa, if you read this, have your people call my people. Let's talk.

And as for me - getting ready for the last month countdown before HAUNTED comes into the world on 2/1/11. Plus writing, writing, writing on Again and Again. I love that I know how Anne and Ethan's story is going to end up. But the rest of you will have to wait until 2012 for that.

til next time...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh Suzy Snowflake

If you ever lived in Chicago and ever watched WGN at Christmas time, a little trip down memory lane.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hello Winter Break!

Two weeks to write, catch up, get ready. To have some quiet time - I hope. To stay up late and not have to get up at five thirty. Sounds good to me.

Looking forward to some uninterrupted writing time if I can get it. New territory, writing the third of the Dreaming Anastasia trilogy. Although I've always known in theory more or less where I wanted this story to go, I'm finding surprises and revelations as I push into this last installment. The old standby question to each of my characters: What do you want and how and why am I going to keep it from you and for how long? continues to bring me new answers. My critique group and I had quite the interesting chat the other night about whether we truly believe certain very famous writers when they say that they had every detailed plotted out from the beginning. Can you really do that? Don't your characters grow each time you tell their story? And your writing - it evolves, too. So can you honestly follow a blueprint to the letter years down the road?

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts on that.

Beyond that, I'm gearing up for the Haunted release on 2/1. It's up for presale everywhere (Amazon, B&N, Borders... Walmart!, your favorite indie and more) and the ebook versions are starting to appear on the various sites as well, although interestingly the e version debuts a week later than the paperback.

A hearty thank you to bloggers who have already signed on for a blog tour; Publicist Paul promises another wild and crazy time. And I'll be traveling some too - more on that after the year turns. Maybe I'll be coming your way! (Yes, Joy, we'd love to see you. Please come to our city.) Push those presales in your city and who knows, maybe Sourcebooks will send me to you.

And if you're here in the Houston area, come to The Woodlands Barnes and Noble on Saturday 2/5 from 2-4 PM for the launch party. Book signing! Cookies! Coffee! Swag! Me!

Between new book and book in progress and the prodigal son getting married in late spring methinks that 2011 will be a busy year. Bring it on, I say.

Mostly I'm very much looking forward to getting HAUNTED out into the world. I am so excited about this story. Anne and Ethan's romance ratchets up. New boyfriend Ben adds to the mix. Tess gets to shine in the way that only Tess can. And Baba Yaga tells us some of her secrets. Plus the rusalka - I love my rusalka. Loved working with that bit of Russian folklore. Rusalkas aren't like Disney mermaids. They're sadder and more malevolent and definitely cursed. They can be saved - at least in some Russian tales - but it takes some avenging. HAUNTED is a story of secrets, of love and loss and hopes for second chances. It's about what we want and who we are and how we got that way. About family and destiny and love.

I hope you come to love it as much as I do.

In the meantime, feel free to post a response to my question above about plotting.
More soon. Hoping to have some guest posters of my own in the coming months. Some more interviews. A contest or two.

Until then - peace, joy, good tidings, health.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dark Winter's Tale

Thank you Tynga for asking me to write installment 6 of Dark Winter's Tale with so many other great authors for the DarkFaerieTales blog. I had a blast doing this. So fun to have to work with characters someone else created and to leave a cliffhanger for another writer to finish. What a fabulous idea! Plus there are prizes to be won - from me and others. A signed copy of DA, some Haunted swag... Check it out!