Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Texas Bloggers are Rockstars Day Two: Mundie Moms and Girls in the Stacks

(Picture: Left side, second from bottom, Stacy Wells. Right side, third from bottom, Katie Bartow)

Today we’re continuing with Texas Blogger Weeklong Festival of Love with visits from Stacy Wells of Girls in the Stacks and Katie Bartow of Mundie Moms!

I have gotten to know Katie and Stacy at various book events around Texas and particularly at Blue Willow in Houston where I live. Katie has hosted live chats that I've been in and we've got some plotting and planning going on right now for next month, so stay tuned! I recently had the privilege of hanging out with both of them at ALAMW#12 (as well as Stacy’s fellow ‘Stacker’ Nancy) and I’m excited to let the world see their awesomeness here today!

Make sure to visit and

Now on with the questions!

JP: What inspired you to begin blogging about books?

KB: I've always loved books, but it wasn't until I was introduced to Cassandra Clare's City of Bones through Twilight Moms did I finally want to start a site devoted to not only her books, but YA and MG books

SW: TWILIGHT! Once we read that book we were on a book frenzy!

JP: Talk about your own blog: what is its focus? Do you review books you don’t like? Do you interview authors? Do you post about other things besides books? How did you develop that mixture?

KB: My general focus is YA book reviews, live author chats, interviews, blog tours and giveaways. When I started book blogging no one hosted live author chats and I wanted to not only bring authors and readers together, but I wanted to do something no one else did. I've currently hosted over 100 live authors chats (the first ones I hosted were done not on the blog, but on a different chat room site). I love the excitement fans get over talking to their favorite author.

As far as reviews, in the beginning I felt the need to read review or try and review every book I was sent, whether I liked the book or not. I quickly learned that is not why I wanted to run my blog. I want to enjoy what I read and promote. I have posted reviews for books I don't like, but that's been only on occasion. I don't want to spend time reading a book a don't like. There's a ton of other great books I'd rather spend my time reading.

I love interview authors. I'm fascinated by how they come up with their stories, what they think of their characters etc. I really enjoy author interviews. I also love chatting live with them. It's so rewarding for me when readers from around the world get so star struck by talking to their favorite authors. I also enjoy hosting blog tours for books I've enjoyed reading. Since they're time consuming and I do them for free, I've had to become very picky on the tours I run.

SW: Our focus is to recommend a slew of books to others, through our video author interviews and our weekly podcast.

JP: Talk about your experience with the Texas book blogging community, author book signings, conferences you’ve attended like ALA or Texas Festival of Books, the various young adult conferences like Houston Teen Book Con or Austin Teen Book Festival, trade shows like BEA, etc. What’s the most fun and why? What encourages you to keep coming out to these events?

KB: I've had the chance to take part in a lot of awesome events here in TX. There's such a great community for authors and bloggers alike. I've attended numerous signings at Book People, helped out with the Smart Chick's Tour in both Austin and Houston, Harper Teen's Dark Days tour in the Summer of '11 and I'll be helping out with their upcoming event in Feb, as well as hosting Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Chaos tour stops in Austin and San Antonio. I've had the privilege of volunteering at the Austin Teen Book Festival for two years in a row, and last year's TLA, both events fabulous! I've visited the Houston Teen Book Con, signings in Houston, as well as around the Austin Area, attend various blogger get togethers, author meet ups and I'm looking forward to attending this year's ALA in Dallas. There's seriously so much book stuff to do around Austin, it's awesome! I highly recommend the Austin Teen Book Festival. I've attended that for 3 yrs in a row and was first introduced to it via Lisa McMann, whom I went to meet there in 2009.

SW: We’ve been fortunate, we’ve attended so many events/conferences and each of them have been great in their own right. However, there is nothing (and we mean nothing) like a Texas event filled with Texas authors, librarians and bloggers. There is such a feeling of generosity, warmth and a true passion for the written word when gathered.

JP: If someone asked you why supporting books, booksellers and authors is important, what would you say?

KB: I would say because to me reading is empowering. It inspires, it motivates, and it changes the lives of those who spend time getting lost in a book. I think it's important to not only support reading, but those who also support the cause, like book sellers and especially authors!

SW: There’s nothing like a good book to bring your imagination alive! We can learn to be better people, have more empathy for others’ struggles, gain life experiences and live out the human experience more fully through reading. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “There is no frigate like a book/to take us lands away.” Books make us better!

JP: Talk about your relationship with publishers. I’m assuming they’re supportive of what you do.

KB: There's a few that I feel I have a close relationship with and few I'd like to have a closer relationship with. They've extremely supportive in what I do and they've been like that from the moment I reached out to them, or was introduced to them from various authors. The publishers I work closely with are phenomenal!

JP: Any favorite author stories?

KB: I have a few, but for the sake of a long answer I will say I have loved meeting all the authors I have. It's such a pleasure to finally meet people who's books I've read numerous times, and I've talked to via email, or twitter. For me the moments I've had to just sit down and talk to them are the moments I cherish the most. I've made some lasting friendships with authors outside of their books, and those are the most meaningful to me.

SW: Oh, we have had our share of geeky fangirl moments with authors, especially the ones that we love. Maggie Stiefvater was super cool to talk to and game for the strange video ideas we had; Meg Cabot had us all in major squee mode because she was a superstar; and we loved talking to David Levithan, he interviewed Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler as an honorary Girl in the Stacks -wow! Our favorite YA authors not only write awesome books but also are so awesome in real life!!

JP: Okay, that last answer was really fun to read!!

Thank you, Katie and Stacy, for your wonderful responses and for everything that you do for books, authors and literacy!!

Up tomorrow, the fabulous Austin duo of Stephanie Pellegrin and Jen Bigheart!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Texas Book Bloggers are Rockstars: Day One

Today I begin a week long blog series that I have titled “Texas Book Bloggers are my Rockstars.” Please understand, all book bloggers are my rockstars. But here in the Lone Star State, we’ve got an amazing community and I see them frequently at conferences and conventions and book events. So it’s time to spread some blogger love!

When DREAMING ANASTASIA came out in 2009, I was an unknown English teacher/author. There was no big marketing campaign. It was largely through blogger word of mouth that news of the book spread once it released in September. And because of that blogger love, Sourcebooks asked me to write the sequel, HAUNTED, and later, the third book, ANASTASIA FOREVER, which will be out this coming August.

The blogger community as a whole, and the Texas blogger community in particular, has been generous and supportive and amazing. They support not only authors but literacy in general and they do so because of their passion for books and reading and the craft of writing. I am awed and humbled by this generosity, and I am not alone in that feeling. Both Sourcebooks, who is also participating in this blog series, and Soho Press, whose new Soho Teen imprint will include my THE SWEET DEAD LIFE in Spring 2013, understand and appreciate what book bloggers do for our industry.

They include them at dinners and events and today Sourcebooks’ Derry Wilkens, the Publicity Manager for Children’s and YA and Kay Mitchell, publicist, have stopped by the blog to express their gratitude. (Pictures: Top- Derry; Bottom - Kay)

In the coming days, I will interview 9 amazing Texas bloggers!

And now, let’s hear from Derry and Kay at Sourcebooks:

JP: I know Sourcebooks is very supportive of the book blogger community. Can you talk about that relationship?

DW: We love them!! Bloggers are the best cheerleaders EVER for books. On their own dime and on their own free time, they spread their love for reading, for books and for authors to anyone and everyone who will listen. I am so impressed with the joy, enthusiasm and smart commentary they put into their discussions of books on blogs, websites, Facebook and Twitter. And then they go out into the “real world” and do the same thing. We rely on them to start the buzz about a book long before it goes on sale and they also remain fans of the book and the author long afterwards, too. That long term support is invaluable.

KM: We love the blogger community! I’ve worked on a lot of different types of books, so I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of different bloggers. They are a fantastic group of people as a whole and really lovely as individuals as well. I have an enormous amount of respect for what you all do—especially those of you who also have other jobs, families to take care of, that kind of thing. I bow down to your ability to multi-task.
One of the things that we understand is just how important the bloggers are to our media outreach, to the success of our books, and to our authors. Just this morning I had an author email me about a note she had gotten from a blogger and she was literally squeeing because she was so excited about the positive response to her book. Just after the holidays 3 of the bloggers we work with selected one of our adult fiction novels as part of the Top 10 of 2011 lists and that book made it into the Amazon Top 100 Women’s Fiction that very weekend. So we get to see the big, big impact of bloggers every day.

I love to send out an email about a new book for review, a blog tour, or an announcement about good news to bloggers because the response is like a tidal wave of warm fuzzies (to use the professional and technical term). Bloggers are, as a group, one of the most responsive and positive groups of media professionals I work with. (Disclaimer: I am not saying that the other media professionals are surly, just that bloggers are awesome.)
We love bloggers (and their reviews, and their love for our authors), and I really feel like they are supporting us at least as much as we are supporting them.

JP: Where do most of your interactions with book bloggers take place? Email? Twitter? In person? What's the most fun for you about that blogger/publisher relationship?

KM: I mostly talk with the bloggers via email, though I’m connecting with more and more bloggers on Twitter (yes, I’m book-stalking you). It would be terrific to meet more bloggers in person! It’s always such fun to meet someone at a conference or a book signing and realize that you’ve been “talking” with this person for months (or years!) on email—I’m not sure who enjoys that more, me or the bloggers. I’m going to say me (but my psychic powers are on the fritz this week, so I can’t say for sure!)

DW: The best part about talking with bloggers is seeing the same excitement for books that I have. Unlike most industries, everyone in publishing has a genuine passion for books. And it’s wonderful for us to be able to share that with the people who read them. We talk to bloggers by email, on Twitter, and then, best of all, we meet them face-to-face at book conferences like Book Expo America. I encourage every blogger to stop by our Sourcebooks booth whenever they can!

JP: Derry, you're a Texas girl. If we promise not to tell book bloggers from other states that you're a teensy bit biased toward the Lone Star State, could you talk about why Texas book bloggers are the biggest rockstars?

DW: That’s easy. Texan Blogger = Rock Star. It’s just what happens when you live in the Lone Star State. Kidding aside, the thing that impresses me the most about Texas bloggers is how they’ve built a community across such an enormous state. Not only online, but I see Texas bloggers in big numbers at conventions, too. So, you get bloggers from El Paso meeting up with Dallas bloggers and South Texas bloggers to go to book festivals and conferences. Do you know how much driving that takes? It can be as much as 10 hours in the car! And all for the love of books.

JP: Kay, you're not a Texas girl. If we promise to forgive you for not growing up in the Lone Star State, could you talk about why Texas book lovers are the biggest rockstars?

KM: Conditional only on that forgiveness! Honestly I’ve found all of the book love that comes out of Texas to be just phenomenal. Every blogger I’ve connected with that is based in Texas (including gracious hostess Joy Preble) is incredibly enthusiastic, wanting and willing to do whatever they can to find out about new books and share them with their readers and everyone else who will listen, and just generally loves books with their big Texas hearts. TLA has been by far my favorite trade show to attend because the energy level is so incredibly high, people are excited to be there talking about books and I’ve gotten to meet some terrific Texas bloggers!

Thank you, Derry Wilkens and Kay Mitchell!

Up tomorrow: Katie of Mundie Moms an Stacy Wells from Girls in the Stacks! Stay tuned!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Five

1. "I liked being a person. I wanted to keep at it." from John Green's The Fault in our Stars

2. Watched Ides of March last night. Wanted story to be fuller, but Ryan Gosling. Oh Ryan Gosling. How did you not get nominated for some kind of award for this performance?

3. I'm revising a romance. A sexy, sweet, funny romance. And I'm having the best time this week. I don't know what will happen to this book, but I have a smile on my face when I'm working and I find myself rushing for the laptop each day. A good sign.

4. Think we'll being going to see Haywire this weekend. Anyone seen it? Anyone have other movie recs?


And I'm hoping that all those who snagged a copy of the SOHO TEEN sampler are reading the samples of those 6 novels, including THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, by me!

As for ANASTASIA FOREVER, I'm still hoping to show you a cover soon. Maybe some ARC's by TLA? Now wouldn't that be cool....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcome Cynthia Leitich Smith and Diabolical

Today I’m welcoming my friend and mentor and fellow Texas author, Cynthia Leitich Smith, whose new YA paranormal, DIABOLICAL, part of her TANTALIZE series, is out now! Cyn lives in Austin and I once teased her that we should rename Austin ‘Cyn-City’ in honor of her. All puns aside, Cynthia Leitich Smith is not only talented and at the top of her craft, she is also generous and warm and a million other adjectives that all mean made of awesome.

So let’s get down to business.

First a little bio:
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of TANTALIZE, ETERNAL, BLESSED, DIABOLICAL and TANTALIZE: KIEREN'S STORY (Candlewick). Her award-winning books for younger children include JINGLE DANCER, INDIAN SHOES, RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME (all HarperCollins) and HOLLER LOUDLY (Dutton).
Her website at was named one of the top 10 Writer Sites on the Internet by Writer's Digest and an ALA Great Website for Kids. Her Cynsations blog at was listed as among the top two read by the children's/YA publishing community in the SCBWI "To Market" column.


Indiebound link:

And now for the interview. Today I wanted Cyn to talk about two main topics: What it takes to build and maintain a writing career for the long haul and what it’s like to have two writers in the family, since her husband, the equally talented Greg Leitich Smith is also working and successful author.

Here goes:

JP: One of the reasons I’m so honored to have you as a personal mentor is that I admire not only your body of work but also the incredible diversity and longevity of your writing career. Can you talk a little about where you started and how?

CLS: Thank you, Joy. I’m the one who’s honored.
My early strategy—or lack thereof—could be held up as a model for what not to do.
About a year after graduating from law school, I quit my job as a law clerk in Chicago with the intent to write full time. I was newly married, carrying a heavy student debt, and I didn’t have a single word down in manuscript form.
Crazy, right?
But I’d begun reading fiction again—comics and books for young readers. Law school had given me the confidence to believe that I could achieve any goal. And after the Oklahoma City Bombing, I felt personally compelled to make a more positive contribution to the world. I took a long walk home that day, sat on a pier, and talked to some ducks in Lake Michigan.
It was the strangest thing. I didn’t have to think hard about it. I knew there was nothing more important to me than creating books for kids.
So, I went home and told my husband, Greg Leitich Smith, that’s what I wanted to do with my life, and he totally supported my decision. Now, he writes for kids, too.
Greg and I moved from Chicago to Austin, which back then had a lower cost of living. I took a part-time job as a tutor in a program for students from migrant farm families at St. Edward’s University. I also joined the fledgling Austin chapter of SCBWI, under the leadership of a dynamic young woman named Meredith Davis, and soon afterward, signed up for a life-changing private workshop or two, taught by children’s authors Debbie Leland and Kathi Appelt.
Kathi and my other initial mentor, Jane Kurtz, both wrote a variety of books, and so it didn’t occur to me that such a varied career was unconventional or risky or that I couldn’t aspire to the same.

JP: What tips can you give writers who are just starting out in their careers about maintaining and nurturing a career for the long term?

CLS: Read, both in those categories that call to you creatively and those outside your specific areas of interest. Read a variety of books—across age markets, formats and genres. They don’t have to be obvious models to inform and inspire. Be especially sure to read outside of your comfort zone. Creating art is all about thriving, innovating amidst uncertainly and chaos; reading books that challenge you is a smart way to steel yourself.
Find your tribe, a community of people, a partner—someone or, better yet, several someones—to support you along the way, preferably those who understand that it’s an ongoing journey. And while you’re at it, punt the naysayers. I’m not suggesting you surround yourself with Pollyannas or those who won’t stretch you, but rather that you associate with folks who’re all about how and not whether you’ll achieve your dreams.
Write. I can’t tell you how to write. Actually, that’s not true. I could highlight countless ways to write, and the conversation surrounding such strategies can be helpful. But ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out the formula that works best for this time in your life and your current work(s) in progress, with the understanding that you’ll no doubt have to evolve eventually.
Follow your passions. Think hard about writing the book only you can write. Think hard about writing the book that scares you. Once you’ve gotten that first novel manuscript under your belt, perhaps try something different than rewriting protagonist after protagonist in variations of your own image. This is your chance to see the world through fresh eyes. Take it.
Don’t fret trends, but don’t shun them either. If the wind is at your back, enjoy it while it lasts. The only constant is change.
Don’t play writer at the expense of writing, unless you just want to be a member of the community rather than someone who ultimately produces books. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to hang out with children’s-YA writers. Who doesn’t love that? But don’t fool yourself into thinking that your attendance at an endless array of conferences is a substitute for words on the page. If you’ve been hauling that same old tired manuscript to critique group for the last three years (without re-envisioning or beginning a new project along the way), take a break and work on something else.
Celebrate! Celebrate if you finish a scene or a chapter or reach the end! Celebrate personal rejections! Celebrate your sales and awards and readers mail! Yes, there are challenges to the writing life. Sometimes it requires Teflon skin. Occasionally, it’s okay to indulge in some comfort ice cream or have a good cry. But writing and publishing children’s-YA books is also a glorious, magical pursuit. Never lose sight of that. Enjoy!

JP: Anyone who knows you knows that you balance many obligations: your books, your blogging, teaching and mentoring for the MFA program at Vermont College, speaking engagements… Can you talk about that balance and how you achieve it?

CLS: For all of us, balance is an elusive goal, a forever work in progress. I’m on leave right now from VCFA, though, in 2012, I’m teaching several workshops around the U.S. and taking a couple of private students a semester. At various points in my career, I’ve pursued more or fewer short projects, more or less long-distance speaking, been to varying degrees available to nurture new voices. The formula changes with my circumstances and passions.
However, I am committed. I appreciate that, in this global marketplace, I’m competing against thousands of incredibly talented writers from around the world. Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? For precious few contracts. At the same time, I’m someone who’d rather work cooperatively, so I’ve chosen to compete primarily with myself and do what I can to help raise up and shine a light on the community and conversation of books.
Beyond that, I put quality time into both my writing and the business of being an author. But so does Laurie Halse Anderson, Libba Bray, Heather Brewer, Jennifer L. Holm, Robin LaFevers, David Levithan, David Lubar, Mitali Perkins… I could go on and on.
No matter how much we may long for balance, publishing consistently and (by industry standards) successfully, requires sacrifice and dedication. I’ve come to terms with that.
After all, the top doctors, engineers, accountants, plumbers, coal miners, rocket scientists, athletes, and musicians work pretty darn hard, too.

JP: What’s a typical writing day like for you? Writing week?

CLS: I’m on the computer by 8 a.m. By 11 a.m., my goal is to have blogged, touched base with my networks, answered my email, and responded to any publishing/media/event-related inquires. I spend the lion’s share of the afternoon focusing on my work in progress.
After Greg comes home from his day job, we have dinner together and then I either write or do damage control on the author front for another couple of hours. Weekends are a godsend because there are fewer interruptions, though many book events tend to fall on Saturdays.

JP: Your husband Greg is also a writer with many books and projects of his own. What’s it like to live—and work— under the same roof as another writer? Does it have its own set of challenges? Or are you guys just proofreading merrily over dinner every night?

CLS: In addition to his after-dinner writing session, Greg also works on his manuscript first thing in the morning or after a run. He’s an early bird and may put in three hours of writing on a Saturday before I wake up.
Beyond that, we do serve as each other’s first readers. We’re tougher and more direct with each other than we are when we critique other people. After all, Leitich Smith is a joint brand in the business.
You know, I’ve seen author spouses who’re competitive with each other to negative ends, but that hasn’t been an issue for us, possibly because we met as first-year law students (and whatever challenges would’ve probably arisen then).
I enjoy traveling and speaking with Greg more than going out into the world on my own, though I do both fairly regularly. It’s a gift to have someone who understands that when you’re staring out the window, you’re not ignoring him—you’re unraveling a plot snag.
And certainly, we’ve both benefitted from having the other’s books out there during our respective career ebbs and flows.
But big picture, it’s simply fun—what a gift to share the writing life with someone you love. I appreciate his ongoing support, and it’s a treat to read his terrific stories before anyone else does. I can hardly wait for the release of Greg’s upcoming novel, Chronal Engine (Clarion, March 2012).

JP: Anything else you’d like to tell us as DIABOLICAL (great title, btw) comes into the world?

CLS: Diabolical is the fourth book in the Tantalize series and concludes the super arc inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s about second chances, a final test of heroes Quincie, Kieren, Zachary, and Miranda, and a rejoicing of how much they’ve grown. Diabolical is the most fantastical, funny, romantic, scary, jaw-dropping book in the series to date. It’s a hell of a ride.

Cynthia's 2012 Tour Schedule

Feb. 10 Austin, TX

BookPeople YA Fantasy Panel

7 p.m.
Vicious Valentine: featuring authors Jordan Dane, P.J. "Tricia" Hoover, Mari Mancusi, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and L.A. Weatherly---moderated by Sean Petrie. Whether you love love, hate it or fear it, be there for spooky cool refreshments and scary bookish fun!

March 8 Albuquerque, NM
Alamosa Books Author Event
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

March 10 Tuscon, AZ
Tuscon Festival of Books
(plus school visits)

April 18 Houston, TX
Texas Library Association Conference
(two panels and signing)

June 11-15 Sandy, UT
Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers

July 11-15 Southampton, NY
Southampton Writers Conference

August 13-19 Montpelier, VT
17th Annual Postgraduate Writers Conference

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ALAMW#12, Soho Teen and more

ALA Midwinter in Dallas was made of awesome. From the wonder Texas book bloggers (who I will be featuring next week in a series of posts) to the librarians, to my Houston crew of YAHOUs (YA Houston) and our lunch time smack down with Austin's Sweethearts and Scoundrels, it was a crazy busy two days that began with an amazingly attended happy hour arranged by Jen Bigheart at Campisi's. 75 plus bloggers, authors, publishing people all schmoozing and talking books. Heaven!

But of course the main focus of the conference for me was being there with the Soho Press team as they launched Soho Press on Saturday. This was one classy event: wine (red and white!), Soho Crime water pistols, and beautiful samplers of the upcoming Soho Teen line that will start arriving on shelves in 2013, including my The Sweet Dead Life! If you missed out on getting a sampler, you can see a version of it on line here. To the 100 plus people who came out, stood in line, asked me autograph and were in general kind, supportive and generous of heart, I thank you from the bottom of my toes. (plus I did get to ask people if they wanted a gun. and at one point - okay three points -- quoted the gun and cannoli line from The Godfather) The day concluded with the Soho dinner at Wild Salsa where I got to visit with more librarians and also some of my favorite bloggers including Katie of Mundie Moms and Stacy and Nancy from Girls in the Stacks. They have supported me for a long time now, and so it was delightful to hang with them and eat delicious food. (let me add here that I did not take a picture of my three taco platter (two al pastor and one shrimp) but it was yummy)

Plus everyone at Soho: editor Dan Ehrenhaft, publisher Bronwen Hruska and Juliet Grames and Michelle Rafferty... they rock so hard I cannot put it into words.

Pictures: top picture is the Soho team; two pictures at Soho booth are me (with sampler) and the lovely and talented author Bethany Hegedus and then (with water pistols), me and librarian and all around wonderful human Jennifer Haight (@hipmamajenn); at Campisi's: Jen Bigheart, me, Stephanie Pellegrin; at our YAHous/Sweethearts smack down lunch: Jenny Moss and Kari Ann Holt and then me and my Comic Con cohorts -- Jessica Lee Anderson, me, and PJ (Tricia) Hoover.

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I feature another Texas treasure: Cynthia Leitich Smith, whose Diabolical just released today!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five for Friday

1. And another observation about Lyla the basset/boxer: people talk to me now when I walk her. More specifically men talk to me. Men tell me about their dogs. Men tell me about the dogs that live with their ex-wives. Men walking their dogs stop and ask if our dogs can 'visit.' Stoner teenage sons taking out the garbage say (and this is an exact quote) "Dude, what the hell is that dog? I LOVE that dog."

2. Finishing a trilogy is a strange and wonderful and bittersweet experience. I have been writing some piece or another of Dreaming Anastasia since 2005. That is a long time. A lot of characters. Anne and Ethan and the gang have been cozied up in my brain for all those years. I think we will have to be pried apart with a crow bar. But we'll hang out for awhile longer, since Anastasia Forever is coming in August. And soon a gorgeous cover (i've seen hints... i'm excited) coming soon. More on this later.

3. Excited to be going to ALA today and at the Soho Press booth Saturday as they launch Soho Teen and I get to begin chatting about The Sweet Dead Life, which will be out in 2013 as part of Soho Teen's inaugural list. Let me just say that I love, love this book. And the others in the new imprint, too! Stay tuned.

4. Reading Catching Jordan by Miranda Keneally, a Sourcebooks 'sista author.' Jordan Woods is the star quarterback. Jordan Woods is also female. And then the love troubles begin, initially in the form of a new quarterback named Ty. A fun, fun read. After this, it's The Fault in our Stars, by John Green, which I've been sneaking pages of since I bought it earlier this week. I am in awe of John Green's writing in this book. Love, death, life... it's all in there. Beautiful and heart wrenching and funny all at once.

5. And speaking of John Green, it's possible there's still a restraining order from the fan girl hysteria that I squeaked his way when we met at TLA a couple years ago. I mumbled on so long and gushingly about how wonderful he was and such an inspiration and... eventually his eyes glazed over and we snapped a picture.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What are You Watching?

One set of edits (Anastasia Forever final copy edits) turned in. One to go (first round macro edits for The Sweet Dead Life) More tomorrow about how it feels to complete a series.

Today we're chatting TV.

I like TV. I really do. And while I've yakked about my love for Bravo (Beverly Hills Housewives; Top Chef Masters), my real love is scripted shows. (Okay, reality is scripted, too. But we're not supposed to acknowledge this) Drama more than comedy these days, although I still have a warm spot for Big Bang Theory. I think I have to since Jim Parsons grew up just down the road. Even though it's getting repetitious and I honestly haven't seen an episode in a long while, it's still funnier to me than Modern Family, which I find it tedious and not particularly amusing.

Awkward on MTV? Love, love, love. It's not perfect. Real high school isn't like that. But I forgive it for that because I adore Jenna Hamilton and her narration. I adore lines like "The ellipses is the slut of punctuation." Too f-ing funny.

Once Upon a Time and Grimm -- well, it's been a contest each week. I was Grimm all the way, but now OUAT is pulling ahead with its back stories of Rumplestiltskin and Hansel and Gretel. Fabulous writing. Blew me away!

Season Two of Being Human is off to a good start.

Vampire Diaries --- I will never tire of Damon. Even when he mugs the camera. Never. Tire.

Lost Girl --- just getting into this. Will report soon.

(note to self: this is a shit load of television. Please justify it by saying that you learn about scripting and pacing and character development. Um. Yeah. What I just said)

It's on hiatus, but Covert Affairs is nice eye candy.

But my new revelation --- and yes, I have to finish catching up on season 1, is Downton Abbey. I had no idea I would love this. But I don't just love it. I adore it!

How about you? What are you watching?

Monday, January 16, 2012

almost done and teasers for what's coming

Yes I know I've been under the radar. But both sets of edits -- Anastasia Forever copy edits and The Sweet Dead Life 1st round edits-- are due one week from today. Yes, 2 full books. Due in a week.

And I'm headed to Midwinter ALA in Dallas on Friday to celebrate the launch of Soho Teen with the Soho and Random House folks. Come on by the Soho booth on Saturday 1/21 at 3:30 and join me!

Btw, did you now that there's a Dallas bar called Lee Harvey's?

So I need to get working.

But let me tell you what's coming:
  • a recap of the Darcy Pattison revision retreat
  • an interview with the fab Cynthia Leitich Smith as she releases Diabolical
  • a post series I call " Texas Book Bloggers are Rockstars" featuring questions and answers with a huge number of our wonderful Texas bloggers and also some tidbits from the publicity team at Sourcebooks, including Derry Wilkens and Kay Mitchell! Possibly with a giveaway. Stay tuned!
  • the cover reveal for Anastasia Forever (I figure if I type this then it will really happen!)
  • the deets on a blog tour I'll be doing with Mundie Moms at the end of February
  • other cool stuff
Til then, I'm diving back into the revision cave for a couple more days.

See you soon.
Come on by the booth in Dallas!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's Up Wednesday

Hey there 2012!
Here's what's up on this first Wednesday of the new year:

  • Finishing up the macro edits for The Sweet Dead Life for the new Soho Teen. Falling more and more in love with this book by the nano second. But you still have to wait til 2013!
  • Speaking of Soho Press, they are going to celebrate the launch of Soho Teen at their booth at midwinter ALA in Dallas on Saturday 1/21 at 3:30 - 4. And I will be there! The invitation and the ALA program say there will be a champagne toast! Come join us. Say hi. Check here for the deets.
  • Lyla the rescue dog had a good obedience session yesterday. She keeps working on leave it. Some day she may.
  • Somehow bashed my hand making the bed yesterday. Comforter didn't move when I tugged, I let go, bashed wrist/thumb on sharp corner of the nightstand. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Wouldn't I be in worse pain if it was broken? This is what I'm thinking.
  • This Saturday 1/7, I'll be at the Forum near Barbara Bush Library with many fine YAHouston authors for Whim2Weird. Panel, signing, swag, fun. Please come join us! It's free! And it's me, Sophie Jordan, CC Hunter, Mary Lindsey, Crystal Allen, Mary Lindsey, Chris Mandelski. Check it out here.
  • Not sure what I think about Andy Cohen taking Watch What's Happening Live to five days a week. It may be too much snarky Bravo for me. But if anyone can make it work, Andy can.
  • Being Human is returning to SyFy soon. And Vampire Diaries soon, too, yes? I haven't looked. And new eps of Grimm and Once Upon a Time...
  • And have I mentioned what fan girl I've become of Stephanie Perkins? I adored adored adored Anna and the French Kiss. And I'm sad that I have to write now because I'd rather be reading Lola and the Boy Next Door, which I just started last night, turning the Kindle pages as fast as I could with my injured thumb!
What's up with you this Wednesday?