Monday, September 6, 2010

19 In Stores This Week (with Interviews & Giveaways)


Prepare yourself for new release madness! There are many great reads debuting this week. Thanks to YAlit.com for helping us keep track of those new releases. Read on for awesome interviews and book introductions. Scroll all the way down for entry into a mega contest!

This Week's Interviews


Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  • From Goodreads: With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.
How long did you work on this book?
Hmm, if you total in everything from creating the proposal, writing the book, to working on revisions … probably about 6 months. It came really fast for me, and that was partly my excitement and partly the fun I had writing in first person for the first time.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I was first published in 2006. I think I met with a moderate amount of roadblocks. Meaning the road to publication was neither too long nor astonishingly short. I focused on getting an agent first and was rejected by many before getting an offer of representation. It took me two years to land my agent, but only two weeks after I signed with her did I land my first publishing contract.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Perseverance is key. It probably would have taken me longer than two years if I hadn’t thrown myself so fully into my writing. And aside of writing and finishing the book – I submitted. And submitted. And submitted. You’re never going to sell the book if you don’t send it out the door.

The other thing I like to stress is knowing the market. Read, read, read. Read in the genre you’re submitting and in other genres. Not only will this alert you to what publishers are publishing, but it will also help improve your own writing skills.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
Um, that someone might pay me to do what I love? But seriously, I was so focused on selling my first book I didn’t have many expectations beyond that. And without those expectations, I didn’t have too many surprises. It’s all been a delight. Nothing can be sweeter than doing what you love for a living. I know it’s a rare thing and count myself fortunate every day.

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
  • From Goodreads: Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory's magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe, but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon she'll discover the shocking truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Pheobe's ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn't been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself?
How long did you work on this book?
I spent about two years on Extraordinary, but I also need to count the "composting time" beforehand, which took place over the previous three years. A book tends to stew inside me for a while before I'm ready to begin the writing. Luckily, I can be writing a book while thinking about the next. However, I never write more than one book at once.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
Extraordinary is my 8th published novel. My first novel was published in 1994, and that book, Are You Alone on Purpose, took over five years to write. Once I had a good draft, I sent it out to three editors at three different publishers, and one sent me a lengthy revision letter with her rejection. I revised over the course of about six months, sent the novel back, and that editor, Lauri Hornik, bought the novel. And she is still my editor to this day. She has advanced in her career from assistant editor to president and publisher. So I'm pretty much the luckiest YA writer on the planet: I had exactly two rejections, and the one acceptance has been a career-long relationship.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
One thing that's changed since I was a newbie is that now, you really do need an agent. (I didn't get an agent until after I sold my first book myself.) But I'd say that this does not absolve you of the responsibility of keeping an eye on which editors are publishing what books. Read current books and when you love one, find out who edited it. That's someone you want to know more about.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The fantastic community around YA books was a wonderful surprise, and probably is the thing I'm most grateful for. I had no idea it existed while I was writing my first novel, and in the years since then, it's grown and gotten even stronger . . . thanks to the internet.


The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
  • From Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
How long did you work on this book?
I started writing THE DUFF on January 6, 2009. I finished hte first draft in March and then started submitting to agents. When I signed with my agent, we did some more revisions. Then it sold to my lovely editor, who added her genius suggestions and we did more edits! (See a theme here?) The final final final draft, copy edited and all, was turned in about a year after I started the book. So from first draft to last, it was a year.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I didn't count rejections mostly because I try to be positive. Instead, I counted requests when it came to querying. I had two - and that was two more than I'd expected so I was thrilled! One of them turned into an offer of representation. My submission process was pretty short. Only a couple weeks, but that was really pure luck. The right book, the right time. I've been blessed with a short and easy road so far. I'm so grateful for that.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Write what you want to read. Don't worry about the market or trends. Write what YOU enjoy because if you don't like what you're writing, no one else will either. Trust me.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The amazing support of the writing community! I"ve made so many unexpected and amazing friends over the past year! I'm so grateful for that!



Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
  • From Goodreads: A terrible secret. A terrible fate. When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but. As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

How long did you work on this book?
I wrote the first draft of Losing Faith in 21 days during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2007. Prior to that, I’d spent about two months devising an outline, and after “NaNo,” I spent about a year revising the manuscript.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I queried three different manuscripts before I finally got an agent with Losing Faith. This was over about three or four years – I don’t know, is that long? I know some who have been trying to get an agent and/or published for over ten years, and some who got an agent within weeks of finishing their first book. I’d say I have over a hundred rejections on my hard drive. It certainly felt long and arduous at the time, but now I have an agent and editor I absolutely adore, so the road was definitely worth it!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. If you’re constantly improving your craft and putting your work out there, that’s what will make you reach your goals eventually. Often in this business, it’s just a matter of kismet, and there is no formula or comparison chart for something like that.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
What a tight-knit community there is of YA writers. So many people have been incredibly helpful and supportive on this ever-winding, eye-opening journey.

We cannot thank you enough for this wonderful opportunity.
Thank you!! All the best with your blog – it looks great!


Everything but the Truth (Young, Loaded, and Fabulous) by Kate Kingsley
  • From Amazon: All’s fair in love and war… Now that Alice and Tally are back on top at their posh boarding school in London, they have more important things to deal with: boys. Alice is struggling to get over her ex-boyfriend, which leads her right into the arms of a mysterious (and possibly bad) new boy. Meanwhile, Tally is walking a thin line as she cozies up to her hot English teacher. Both girls are flirting with disaster, and the heartbreak may be more than they can take…

How long did you work on this book?
EVERYTHING BUT THE TRUTH took me 8 months to write. It's the second book in my series,YOUNG, LOADED & FABULOUS, which is about catty teens at British boarding school and the American new girl who shakes up their world. The first book in the series, PRETTY ON THE OUTSIDE, actually took me much longer to write - probably about a year and a half from conception to delivery. I was working full-time at GQ magazine in New York for most of that period, and only had time to write during early mornings, evenings, and weekends. It was exhausting!

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I was very lucky. I wrote 7 chapters of my first book, PRETTY ON THE OUTSIDE, and sent them round to publishers, with a proposal and synopsis for a longer series. Two publishers showed interest. But Headline, my UK publisher, was very proactive and offered me a deal for three books - so I took it! A year later, Simon & Schuster bought the US rights to the series. It was all terribly exciting.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
For me, one of the hardest things about writing is making myself actually sit down and do it! Deadlines are obviously a great motivator. So my best advice is to appoint yourself a reader - a friend you trust - with whom you have to file your work at regular intervals. It's much harder to avoid writing if you have someone who's expecting the next installment of your book in a few weeks' time...

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How excited I still get when I see my book in stores! I would have thought I'd be immune to that by now, but I'm not. And I hope I never will be.

Additional Releases


Dark Song by Gail Giles
  • From Goodreads: Mark said he heard the dark song when he creeped houses. The song the predator's heart sings when it hears the heart of the prey. I heard it now. Mark said it had always been in me. Lurking. Waiting for me to hear. Ames is not the person she was a few months ago. Her father lost his job, and her family is crumbling apart. Now, all she has is Marc. Marc, who loves her more than anything. Marc, who owns a gun collection. And he'll stop at nothing--even using his guns--to get what he wants. Ames feels her parents have betrayed her with their lies and self-absorption, but is she prepared to make the ultimate betrayal against them?
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
  • From Goodreads: New name, new town, new life. Nastasya has done it too often to count. And there’s no end in sight. Nothing ever really ends... when you’re immortal. But this time is different: Nastasya knows that this new town must hold her salvation—or her death. Nastasya was born into darkness, and has embraced it her whole life. Four hundred years ago, a tragedy robbed her of her birthright, and she’s been living a lie ever since. Now, four centuries of exploring the depths and limits of dark power has left Nastasya feeling sickened unto death. If she continues down this road, she will end up as a very dark, twisted, evil thing—with unthinkable power. Or she can begin the long, painful road toward light, and reclaim the destiny that others tried to destroy. They’re rare. You may have never met one, never sat next to one on a plane, never eaten in the same restaurant at the same time. But the Immortals are there. Have always been there. Will always be there. Moving among humans, playing out their own cursed fate. Sometimes subtly, sometimes with huge, sweeping implications for mankind. But no one will ever know. Except you.
Z by Michael Thomas Ford
  • From Goodreads: Josh is by far the best zombie Torcher around. At least, he is in his virtual-reality zombie-hunting game. Zombies haven't existed in the real world in more than fifteen years, and the battle to defeat the devastating zombie epidemic is now the stuff of history lessons. Or so it seems. When Josh accepts a coveted invitation to join an underground gaming league in the dark, forgotten tunnels of the city, he soon realizes that hunting zombies is not all fun and games. Real blood is spilling, members of the team are disappearing, and the zombies in the game are acting strange. And then there's the matter of a mysterious drug called Z... This darkly thrilling teen novel will have readers holding their breath as they turn every page.
Monster High by Lisi Harrison
  • From Goodreads: They prefer to call themselves RADs, but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, Oregon, but this year two new girls enroll at Merston High School, and the town will never be the same. Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's lonely formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and friends. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normi" world can be rough for a chic freak like her. She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver--but can a normi be trusted with her big secret?
Giveaways

Sophie Jordan, Nancy Werlin, and Kody Keplinger are generously giving away a copy of their books to three lucky readers! Kate Kingsley has kindly offered 2 signed copies of her book! We're not great at math, but that sounds like five chances to win to us! Enter below by filling out the form and leaving a comment. The contest closes on Friday, September 10th at midnight EST and is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be announced Saturday, September 11th.

Happy Reading!

Martina & Marissa

19 comments:

  1. So many fabulous books. Damn my TBR pile is going to topple over and squash me. LOL.

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  2. Great books. I've seen Firelight creeping around. Amazing cover!!

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  3. Awesome contest! I loved Firelight and I'm really looking forward to reading the rest!

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  4. So many good books coming out! Good luck to everyone entering :)

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  5. Great interview. So many new books I want to read. It's also so fascinating reading about everyone's road to publication.

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  6. A few of these have been on my "eagerly awaiting release" list for quite some time now. So many good books coming out this month. Love it!

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  7. Very nice spotlights! I love Firelight's character name of Jacinda (being a collector of more unusual names, myself). And the cover for Dark Song is FANTASTIC--looks like a rose yet like a shattering goblet of wine at the same time. Stunning image!

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  8. I'm excited by a lot of these books - my credit card, not so much. :)

    I've had Kindle edition The Duff pre-ordered for a while. I like waking up in the morning and seeing a new book waiting for me.

    I love reading about the road to publication. It gives me hope. :)

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  9. Thanks for another great contest. Free (good) books are always well appreciated!

    -- Tom

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  10. I pre-ordered THE DUFF now I'm just waiting for it to be sent. And I'm planning to buy LOSING FAITH. Love the mini interview. Other than Kody's story, they give us hope. Kody's is just plain depressing. ;)

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  11. Thanks for posting the stories behind the stories! Reading them has been so inspirational. : )

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  12. I wanna read Losing Faith and Firelight so badly. Too bad the giveaway is not internacional. :( Good luck to everybody. :)

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  13. Losing Faith, Dark Song, Extraordinary and maybe Z are on my TBR. Some great advice there, too!

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  14. Very cool contest! I'm guessing my luck is all used up (thanks again for MOCKINGJAY!), but who knows :)

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  16. I want to read these and I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/ape2016/status/24030857774

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  17. Oh my GAWD there are so many great books out right now. Great micro-interviews. I wish all these authors nothing but the best. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  18. A lot of goodies coming out. Thanks for the great contest.

    http://twitter.com/ReenaJacobs/statuses/24135646918

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Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)