Aug 29, 2011

Monday Round-up

Just a quick update to share a few things that I think are very cool:

1. Lenore Appelhans is winding down another fantastic Dystopian August on her awesome blog, Presenting Lenore. Head over there for reviews and author interviews on some of the most exciting books on YA bookshelves, and on the horizon. If you like dystopian and/or post-apocalyptic fiction for teens, it's a must.

Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
2. The Hunger Games Trailer on MTV's VMA's. (OMG, that was a lot of acronyms. LOL.) Have you seen it? It's really short. My favorite part is the voice over, to be honest. I think I'm going to like Gale. I also think I might have a thing for Australian male actors in general, but I digress. Are you as excited about this movie as I am? March 23rd cannot come soon enough.

3. For fans of Game of Thrones, check out this incredible mash-up of the opening title song. I think I've listened to it 130 147 times over the past day.

4. I have a Facebook Author Page now, which actually felt like a much bigger milestone than I had anticipated. Thanks to those who have followed. Much appreciated.

A quick reminder that I'll be giving away a signed ARC of UNDER THE NEVER SKY. To enter, either follow the blog or leave a comment. Two more days left--good luck!

Finally, what a relief Irene has come and gone. I hope those of you in her path weren't' affected too much, and that you're safe and sound.

Have a great week, everyone.

Aug 26, 2011

People Are So Cool & Quotable Friday

1. Y'all are leaving the nicest messages in the comments below, and via email, about wanting to read my book. I've heard from old high school buddies (Hi Adam and Rae!), writing friends (Hi Aimee, Elizabeth, Janis!), internet friends (Hi PB and Beth!) and people who are new (Hi everyone else! Welcome and hope to see you back.) Thank you for your support, guys. I so appreciate it. Good luck to all who have entered to win the ARC!

2. I'm going to try a new feature on Fridays and share some of my favorite quotes, on writing most often but occasionally about other things.

Here's one of my favorites to kick things off. This comes from agent and writing guru Donald Maass's book WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL:

Every protagonist needs a torturous need, a consuming fear, an aching regret, a visible dream, a passionate longing, an inescapable ambition, an exquisite lust, an inner lack, a fatal weakness, an unavoidable obligation, an iron instinct, an irresistible plan, a noble ideal, an undying hope… whatever it is that in the end propels him beyond the boundaries that confine the rest of us and brings about fulfilling change.

Great, huh?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Aug 25, 2011

ARCs and ART and More!

1. ARCs! - Want to win an advanced copy of this book over here?----->
To celebrate the earlier release date of UNDER THE NEVER SKY (January 3rd, 2012! Mark you calendars!) and because of the tremendous response to the ARC contest at the YA Muses, I'm giving away a signed ARC!

To enter, just leave a comment below, or follow this blog. Contest ends August 31st. The winner will be announced September 1st. (Open internationally.)

2. ART! - What Do These Two Works of Art Have in Common?

Munch The Scream

Bernini's Pluto and Persephone

Head over to the YA Muses to find out!

3. Huge congratulations to my pal Gretchen McNeil on the release of her debut novel, POSSESS earlier this week. I just received my copy, and can't wait to dig in.

4. Looking for a good book? Check out these Bookanista recommendations!

Elana Johnson revels in Write Your Book Now!
LiLa Roecker  is gaga for Imaginary Girls
Christine Fonseca  celebrates Circle of Fire – with giveaway
Shannon Whitney Messenger catches The Eleventh Plague – with giveaway
Megan Miranda is transfixed by Between
Shana Silver delves into The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Corrine Jackson celebrates her “Blogiversary” with YA Authors sharing Lessons Learned
Stasia Ward Kehoe  falls for the cover of The Fox Inheritance

Aug 23, 2011

UK Cover!

First, thanks to those who came by yesterday. Welcome, fifteen new followers! I have another home on the web, but this is a much easier platform for me to keep updated. And I get to see your smiling faces here.

A week ago, my wonderful publisher in the UK released this gorgeous cover for UNDER THE NEVER SKY. Having an art background, I immediately thought of art nouveau print artist Alfonse Mucha, of whom I'm a huge fan. The cover composition, the circle in the background, the palette and romantic feel reminds me so much of modernized, but still somehow retro Mucha.

Atom, for the stunning cover, Muchas gracias. (I'm so sorry. I couldn't help myself.)

Speaking seriously, I love it.

Aug 22, 2011

New Release Date

Hot off the press! UNDER THE NEVER SKY will be available one month sooner than planned. The new release date is January 3rd, 2012.

That means the following:
  1. I have less time to accomplish many, many things! Things I'm not even sure about yet, but I know there are many.
  2. I have one less month to wait - which means one less month to gnaw on my fingernails. (Which is great!)
  3. I can buy a copy for my mother for her birthday on the 4th of January now.
Switching gears, I also wanted to congratulate the winners of the YA Muses Blogoversary contest, IceyBooks and Elizabeth Briggs. I'll be sending them signed ARCs of UNDER THE NEVER SKY soon. They're the first people, outside friends and family, who I'm sending ARCs to, so it's rather special for me. Kinda like packing off the kids for their first day of school, which is coincidentally also happening over here. I do hope they enjoy it!

Aug 21, 2011

Here we go!

So here I am, officially blogging now. For those of you who are new to… umm… me, I’ve been blogging for a while over at the YA Muses, and more recently with Brave New Words. (So my last post technically wasn’t in 2010. That would be an utter disgrace. Cough cough.) But it seems things are heating up, with UNDER THE NEVER SKY only months out. So welcome to my new home for bloggy things.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting a FAQs page and a page dedicated to NEVER SKY’s international publishers. (What else, guys? What would you like to know?) For the time being, here’s a little update on what’s going on.
1. I’m knee-deep in the second-ish draft of the second book in the NEVER SKY trilogy, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT. I’m feeling the title right now. It feels like an eternal night, with long, long hours spent on this book. Some of my friends talk about their struggles with “book twos.” I don’t know what they’re talking about. This book has just poured out of me. Just like NEVER SKY. And the two drawer novels before that. I’m guessing my sarcasm isn’t coming across… This book has been tough. Really tough. But they’ve all been tough at the outset. I’m a reviser. I love everything from the third draft on, so I see clearer skies ahead. Oh yes I do.
2. I’ve been reading so much incredible YA fiction lately. It makes me so proud to be writing in this genre. A few titles I have on my nightstand right now: SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi, EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor, LEGEND by Marie Lu, and INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows. Guys… I love my nightstand right now. I’ve finished a few of these, and I’m getting into the others, and they are all so incredible. I reviewed LEGEND over at the YA Muses (link below). I’ll get the other soon. Other books I need to read: THE NIGHT CIRCUS and THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS. In the midst of all of that, I’m trying to keep up on my New Year’s resolution to read more diversely, i.e. outside the YA genre. I’m halfway through an amazing Viet Nam book called MATTERHORN. It’s just gripping, and a breath of fresh, if humid and swampy, air amid all the YA-ness that is packed into my brain.
3. Summer is almost done. My boys are heading back to school this week. Sad and happy. Mama needs to work, but it’s been fun having the chaos of bare feet stomping through the house all day long. But fall also means football, which means guaranteed happiness on the weekends. Go Steelers!
4. Book news… There’s going to be a fair amount of this coming up. I need to clear it through the powers that be, but I’ll have big news to share soon.
So there you have it. Head back soon. I’ll be here!