Monday, January 10, 2011

34 In Stores This Week (with Interviews & Giveaways)

We wish you good luck. Why? You're going to need it to try and choose from the books releasing this week. Read on for author interviews, awesome books, and scroll all the way down for 4 hot giveaways! Hint: Canadians can get in on this week's action, too!

This week's interviews

Warped by Maurissa Guibord
  • From Goodreads: Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.
How long did you work on this book?
It took me about 1 year to write the first draft of WARPED. That was with some periods of setting it aside and working on other things. Then, after it was sold there were several rounds of revisions with my editor that took place over another year or so.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I've been writing for about ten years and this is my first published novel. I'm told that's about average! I began by writing short stories for magazine markets for children and adults. I've had plenty of rejections along the way, including an agented manuscript that was dear to my heart but never found the right home.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I would say keep writing the stories that sing to your heart and keep perfecting your own, unique way of telling a story. Remember that no one else can tell your story, so it truly is a gift to be shared with others. Try to put on blinders when it comes to noticing the productivity or great reviews or newest mega-deal of your fellow writers- paying any attention to that stuff will only drain you creatively. Have fun with your writing. If you are having fun- it will really show.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
That "getting published" is only the very first step of the journey. How the more I write, the more I feel I need to learn. And how grateful I feel when people are eager to read my story or tell me they liked it :)

Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • From Goodreads: Twelve-year-old Rebecca dreams of becoming a famous sled dog racer. She’s an inventive but self-doubting musher who tackles blinding blizzards, wild animal attacks, puppy training, and flying poo missiles. All of her challenges though, seem easier than living up to the dogs’ trust in her abilities.
How long did you work on this book?
It took a month to write. Much longer to revise. In total, I'd say I worked on it for about three or four months. But it was hard to finally just say, "done." I kept changing something every time I read it.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I was very lucky in that it did not take long. I got about 13 rejections, then revised the first chapter, and sent it off again. It was accepted right away after that.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I didn't try to get an agent until my second book. If I was to give any advice, I would suggest writers take the time to acquire a good agent. (I love my agent, Caryn Wiseman)

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
That my family still thinks I should cook and do chores even though I'm impossibly famous now. Oh, wait. What? Okay, nothing has changed except that my parents think I'm even more cool. Being a published author and being a writer is the same thing in my mind, it's just a matter of time getting that first sale or agent.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

  • From Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules. Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone--one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship--tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next. Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
How long did you work on this book?
I worked on the book while I was also a teacher (I've since quit to write full time), and so I measure time in terms of the school calendar. I started writing the book at the beginning of the spring semester (actually, during Christmas break) and wrote it in large chunks whenever I wasn't doing school stuff--during Spring Break, on holidays, on the weekends. I spent the summer revising with the help of some awesome crit partners, and started subbing to agents at the beginning of the fall semester.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
While it may seem like a relatively short time working on ACROSS THE UNIVERSE if you go by the schedule up above, the reality is that I've been writing and subbing and rewriting and re-subbing and trying and trying and trying for ten years. I wrote ten trunk novels (about one a year) before AtU, and I shudder to think of all the rejections I got on each one of those...

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Write the next book. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE would never have been written, let alone published, if I had only written one book and reworked it a million times.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How awesome everyone in the kidlit community is. You hear about professions that are cutthroat and competitive, but that's not the case in the kidlit world. The internet seems to have made everyone closer rather than more competitive. It's awesome.

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
  • From Goodreads: When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York—and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future. When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?
How long did you work on this book?
I wrote the first draft of OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE in about seven months. My fabulous agent, Elizabeth Evans, and I then spent several weeks polishing the manuscript in preparation to submit it to editors. After the novel was sold to Random House/Delacorte, I worked with my editor on a few revisions, and then I went through the process of reading the manuscript numerous times and making slight revisions. So to answer your question—it took seven months to write the original draft, and several more months to create the final version.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
The longest part of the journey was the time between when the novel was sold to my publisher and my publication date—which has been almost two years. I was fortunate to have been offered representation by my agent within two months after I began the query process. We did receive some rejections when the manuscript was out on submission, but we were offered a deal relatively quickly—it only took about two months.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Aspiring authors should always keep in mind that writing is extremely subjective. People connect with and judge fiction based on their personal experiences, values, and taste. Just because an agent, an editor, or anyone else tells you that he/she doesn’t like your work doesn’t mean it isn’t good—it just means that the reader didn’t make a connection. When that happens, don’t allow it to discourage you or make you doubt your abilities. Listen to people’s criticism, take from it what you think is valid, and discard the rest. Don’t allow criticism to stop you from writing or make you give up trying to become a published author. Some people might not care for your work—but there might be many others who will love it. Just keep looking for those people, and always keep writing.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
What has surprised me most is the overwhelming support I have received from the book blogging community. I was introduced to these amazing people—readers and bloggers—through Twitter. Before that, I had no idea that this community existed. Everyone has been so welcoming, friendly, and supportive of my novel. I’m truly grateful to have met these wonderful people.

  • From Goodreads: Athletic and strong willed, Princess Emmajin's determined to do what no woman has done before: become a warrior in the army of her grandfather, the Great Khan Khubilai. In the Mongol world the only way to achieve respect is to show bravery and win glory on the battlefield. The last thing she wants is the distraction of the foreigner Marco Polo, who challenges her beliefs in the gardens of Xanadu. Marco has no skills in the "manly arts" of the Mongols: horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Still, he charms the Khan with his wit and story-telling. Emmajin sees a different Marco as they travel across 13th-century China, hunting 'dragons' and fighting elephant-back warriors. Now she faces a different battle as she struggles with her attraction towards Marco and her incredible goal of winning fame as a soldier.
How long did you work on this book?
Ooh, that’s a hard one to answer. In June 2001, I took a ‘leave of absence’ from my job to write this novel, and it took me eight years, writing nearly full time, to get it accepted by a publisher. The prize was Random House, so the story has a happy ending!

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
It was a looong journey to publication. I wrote the first draft quickly, in third person, from Marco Polo’s point of view. After scathing critiques, I rewrote it in the voice of Emmajin, a fictional granddaughter of Khubilai Khan. Trained as a just-the-facts journalist, I needed to learn how to describe emotions and character motivation and personal growth. So I joined a critique class, which met every Monday morning. The book swelled to 900 pages, and I cut it to 600 pages. After 22 rejections, at the suggestion of my agent, I rewrote it as a young adult novel, at about 300 pages. Finally, that felt right, and Random House made an offer just five days after my agent sent it out.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
My advice may sound familiar, but I’m telling you, it’s heartfelt and hard-won: Don’t give up easily. When you get knocked down, don’t stay down. Every critique is a gift; learn from it. Failure hurts, but you can get over it if you find lessons in it. If you believe in your book, keep trying to find an audience for it. To succeed, talent is not enough; you also need persistence. Sometimes in heaps!

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
My biggest surprise was the delightful, committed readers who write hundreds of book reviews online. With trepidation, I sent out two of my three precious ‘advance reader’s copies’ (ARCs) on ARC tours, which means they got mailed from one blog reviewer to another. These reviewers were all strangers to me, and I had no idea what they would say about my book. Before publication, Daughter of Xanadu now has 13 thoughtful reviews from these readers. Check them out on my website, www.dorijonesyang.com! Most are also posted on goodreads.com, where my novel is rated #1 on the “New YA historical fiction in 2011” list. After all I’ve been through, that feels awesome.

Additional Releases

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
  • From Goodreads:  Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her. With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.
Badd by Tim Tharp
  • From Goodreads: Ceejay has never been pretty or popular, but she knows who she is: she's younger sister to Bobby, the most charming bad boy in town. Bobby's a bit wild, but with his big heart and sense of fun, everybody loves him. And nobody understands Ceejay like Bobby.Now, Ceejay can't wait for Bobby to return home from his tour in Iraq. But then he turns up unannounced and seems to be avoiding his family. And he's so different. His wild streak has become reckless. His sense of fun has become desperate. And seeing this, Ceejay's own tough shell begins to crack. How can she believe in being strong when her hero is broken?As she tries to get Bobby back, Ceejay begins to reexamine her family, her community, and everyone in her life. What she finds is that true strength is not quite what she thought it was.

Timeless by Alexandra Monir
  • From Goodreads:  When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance. Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.
All Just Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • From Goodreads: Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood. Aida Vida is Sarah's older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida's mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out.
Giveaways

Four of these lovely authors have offered up copies of their books for YOU to win! Maurissa Guibord's WARPED, Terry Lynn Johnson's DOGSLED DREAMS, Lorraine Zago Rosenthal's OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE, and Dori Jones Yang's DAUGHTER OF XANADU are up for grabs. Please fill out the form below and leave a comment on this post to enter to win! DOGSLED DREAMS will be open to US and Canadian residents, and the remaining books will be open to US residents only. We'll announce winners Thursday morning!

Happy reading,
Marissa


34 comments:

  1. It's nice to see that Dogsled Dreams is open to Canadian residents! I'd love to win!

    I'm also looking forward to the release of Across the Universe. Hoping my copy will arrive in the mail this week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interviews. Terry, that's so funny your family still expects you to cook and stuff. Please tell me your secret when you get them to realize that being an author means they do everything around the house.

    I'd love to win Warped, Dogsled Dreams, or Daughter of Xanadu.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am DYING to get a copy of Across the Universe. Thanks so much for the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow. There's a few I haven't heard of. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really enjoyed reading this post and what the authors had to say. I always enjoy reading about their journeys to publication. Thank you so much for doing this each week. You two are awesome:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to win any of these (especially Dogsled Dreams)!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just love these posts! I can't wait to read Across the Universe! Thanks Ladies!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You guys always have the best stuff! I Tweeted about this and posted about it on the new Write-Brained Network site.

    Hope to see you over there!

    ReplyDelete
  9. There are just so many great releases this month, and I want to read them all. :-) Thanks for the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Holy cow! This is a big week for books. That is an awesome line-up! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awesome! Thanks for helping us keep up on what's coming out. All of those sound like really great reads and I just about devoured the 'publishing journey' answers! I entered the contest even though I didn't catch if it was for international or not.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, there is a lot of variation on how long the writing, querying, and publishing processes took for these authors. I don't know why I find that so fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Okay I FINALLY broke down and entered your contest!! You wore me down week after week of all these great books...

    ReplyDelete
  14. My goal this year is to read the books in my pile. But then I come here and want my pile to have more books :)

    THANKS for the giveaways!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I actually bought all of these, except for Other Words for Love. So, as I am broke now, I will sit here with my fingers crossed!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks again - you gals are awesome! I've been waiting for Across the Universe for months.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just got AtU today. Squee!

    Another awesome post. I love finding new books for the TBR list. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ahh! I really want to win so I can read Other Words for Love, Warped and Dogsled Dreams!! SOoo excited! Thanks for hosting this!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yay, I've been waiting for Other Words for Love to come out. And Daughter of Xanadu sounds interesting. Thanks for the contest!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, what great words of wisdom from all of these authors! Some really fabulous books too. :)
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a terrific batch of new books--congratulations to all of the authors!

    ReplyDelete
  22. So many amazing books out this month!! I'm especially excited about Beth's book, and so happy for her after a long journey of writing. So many of these writers seem to have had particularly long journeys towards publication, too. It's a bit reassuring. Great interviews!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great giveaways! Thanks for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  24. SWEET! Thanks for such a great contest!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Inspiring interviews! Thanks for this opportunity! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ooh, I've been waiting a long time for Dogsled Dreams. Thanks for another great set of interviews and giveaways.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I LOVED Dogsled Dreams!!!!! And I can't wait for Across the Universe! The others look so good too - this could be a very expensive week! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Talk about a great week for book lovers. I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Across the Universe and Warped. And I can't wait to check out these other new releases as well.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Awesome contest, thanks! All of the books sound so good!

    ReplyDelete
  30. great contest as always!


    -- Tom

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh, wow! I only knew of one of these books. Beth's of course.

    Yay! I can enter the contest this week!!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'd love to win Dogsled Dreams, Other Words for Love or Warped - all sound amazing! The interview snippets you include each week make the books that much more enticing!

    ReplyDelete
  33. FYI, I just won Dogsled Dreams so please don't give me that if I win. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

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