Monday, February 21, 2011

40 In Stores This Week (with Interviews & Giveaways) Part 1

It's a SUPER-SIZED week in the land of YA lit! We'll be splitting our post into two portions to give ample room to all the books coming out this week. Read on for books, author interviews, and scroll all the way down to find out the details about our HUGE giveaway! Don't forget to drop by tomorrow to enter a second time and see even more great books!

This Week's Interviews


Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
  • From Goodreads: In the dim light of the darkroom, I'm alone, but not for long.
    As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.
    The background of the dance studio blurred, so the focus is all on her
    legs extended in a perfect soaring split.
    The straight line to my squiggle,
    my forever-best friend.
    Sixteen-year-old Liz Grayson is photogirl—sharp, focused and ready to take the world by storm with her camera. But Liz's entire life is called into question when her brother is accused of a crime—and the accuser is Liz's own best friend. As the aftershocks from that accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself, shifts out of focus. And for the first time in her life, Liz finds herself unable to trust her own point of view.
How long did you work on this book?
I spent about four years working on Exposed before sending it off to my literary agent. During those years, I was learning what it took to craft a novel. A good portion of the time was spent swirling thoughts around in my head, until they turned to useable images that could then be put to paper. And, once I sold Exposed, my fabulous editor guided me through revisions which helped deepen the story.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
When my first child was born, I left my job as a child therapist to be a stay-at-home mom. I’ve always been book-obsessed, and read many picture books to my son and daughter. I’d always loved to write, and decided I wanted to try my hand at writing my own picture books. I enrolled in a graduate certificate program in picture book writing and wrote and wrote, revised and revised, and wrote some more. Throughout that process, I received many rejections letters (I have a thick file folder full of them), but I didn’t give up. After about four years, on my son’s birthday, an editor called and gave ME a present.... she wanted to publish my first picture book! That book, Scritch-Scratch a Perfect Match, is illustrated by Mike Lester and comes out from G.P. Putnam’s Son’s in April. The sale of Exposed came after that, and I love the balance of writing both fun, rhyming books for young readers and teens novels that tackle tough topics.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I’ve heard it suggested that one should “write what you know,” and I agree that can be a good place to start, as a way to add validity to your story. But I’d like to share a piece of advice I once heard from Jerry Spinelli, an author I admire. His fabulous novel, Milkweed, takes place during the Holocaust. Initially, he felt he shouldn’t write about this part of history since he had no familial connection to that terrible event. But, lucky for readers, he overcame this doubt by deciding that the most important thing for him is not to “write what you know.” Instead, he believes the most important thing is to “write what you care about.” I think that’s very good advice, indeed.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I think the thing that has surprised me most has been hearing from teens who have read the book and connected to it in some way. This is what every writer hopes for but, each time it happens, it feels like I’m being handed a present.

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
  • From Goodreads: In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day. Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.
How long did you work on this book?
It seemed like forever. Seriously, over a year. I wrote the first draft very quickly, but there was a lengthy, multi-part revision process. Definitely the longest writing a book has ever taken me, considering I can usually go from draft to polished in four months or less.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I'd say I got about 10 rejections from agents before I signed with mine, and about 5 or 6 from publishers when we sold my first adult series. It really seemed like no time at all to me, as a newbie, since I was expecting to wait months, if not years, to find an agent. We sold the Iron Codex books based on a 50-page proposal, and garnered very few rejections--publishers really seemed to like the book!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Stop worrying and just write. I know that sound simplistic but it's surprisingly hard to turn off your inner censor, to not worry about the market or about being rejected, and just tell the story you want to tell. But authenticity is the soul of all good stories, so without it, your prose will be soulless and you won't be having any fun writing.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The boundless enthusiasm of readers, especially teen readers. People who genuinely love books are the best people to have in your corner, and I hope to encourage a whole new generation to read fiction, nonfiction, classics, pulp, comics and anything else they can get their hands on.

Wonderland by Joanna Nadin
  • From Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Jude has to get out of tiny Churchtown. She has to escape her outcast status and her pathetic dad, who hasn’t gotten past her mother’s death. The one bright light is drama, her way out, if only she can get into the Lab, a prestigious program in London. Then Stella, Jude’s childhood best friend, swaggers in after years away. With bold and magnetic Stella by her side, Jude knows she’s capable of anything. But Stella’s influence extends well beyond the theater. Soon Stella’s wild and dangerous streak begins to cause trouble for Jude -- yet Jude can’t bring herself to abandon Stella and the attention she’s always craved. And besides, now that Stella’s back, there’s no stopping her.
How long did you work on this book?
The book took about three months of planning, then about six months to write. I don’t usually do this much research, but, once you read it, you’ll see why it was needed. I also spent a lot of time back in St Agnes in Cornwall, where the book is set (though I’ve changed it to Churchtown), and near where my family grew up, just watching people, and places.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I mentioned the idea over the phone to one of my editors here in the UK; they bought it on the strength of those few sentences. I have been enormously lucky in my writing career. I did get rejections for my first book, from agents and publishers, but all it takes is one of each to say yes, and I got both within a month.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Write every day. Even if it’s just a diary, and even if you don’t think the words are working that well. Just the physical act of writing is a discipline in itself. And the more you do it, the easier it gets, and the better it gets.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I never set out to be a writer. As a young child I wanted to be a jockey and win the Grand National; then I wanted to be Baby in Dirty Dancing; then Donna in the West Wing. Realising I was no good at any of those things, and actually kind of good at making up stories about those kinds of people, has been a huge and wonderful surprise.

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
  • From Goodreads: Eden didn't expect Az. Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings. Yeah. So long, happily-ever-after. Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven. She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own. And that's only the beginning of the end. 
How long did you work on this book?
I just checked WAY back into old journal entries and from the looks of it, I started the book in February of 2008 and finished it on October 10th of the same year. After a couple months of edits, I started querying!

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
It all happened VERY quickly. As far as rejections, I'm gonna be brave and give you actual numbers! For A Touch Mortal I sent out 24 total queries, and had 7 requests and 12 rejections. I also had 5 non-responders. A month after I sent my first query I received the first of four offers of representation and chose to sign with Rosemary Stimola. What I usually don't mention is that there was a trunked novel I wrote before ATM that received a LOT of rejections. The key is to keep going. Keep writing and revising!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Try harder. Always. Twist things, twist perspectives. Push yourself and your characters until you think they'll break and then go a step further.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The tight-knit community. I started out with one writing friend who introduced me to forums and twitter and everything. I had no idea there were writing groups or critique groups or book bloggers! The way everyone supports each other is just amazing and I'm so so grateful for the friends I've made in the process of being published!

Additional Releases

Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

  • From Goodreads: The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey. Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life. Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.
Giveaway

It's times like these that we'd love to enter our own giveaway. We have 3 copies of EXPOSED, as well as THE IRON THORN, WONDERLAND, A TOUCH MORTAL, and DARKEST MERCY to pass on to our lucky readers! It gets better. Tomorrow, we'll announce 3 more giveaways! Wait for it...You can enter both days to increase your odds. Please leave a comment on this post and fill out the form below for a chance to win. We're open to US residents only please. Winners will be announced on Thursday morning. Don't miss Kimberly Marcus' blog tour date below, too. Go!

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP




Follow Kimberly Marcus on her blog tour throughout the week!
            TeenReads.com
2/24    Examiner.com

40 comments:

  1. even when I'm busy and scanning my Google Reader, I always read at least the summaries on these posts. It helps me keep an eye on what's out there, you know?

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  2. Oh my gosh, there are so many good books in your giveaway. I had to laugh when Kaitlin Kittredge said it took forever to write her book--a year. I wish I could be so lucky. I'm super excited Melissa Marr's new book is coming out.

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  3. I don't know how I will get through all of these books! Thanks again for posting the new releases!

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  4. Thanks for the post and giveaway. There are so many good books being released!

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  5. another great contest. thankyou thankyou!

    -- Tom

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  6. Awesome! Thanks for a great contest. I'm crossing my fingers for Darkest Mercy, but would love and enjoy any of the great books!

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  7. I always look forward to these posts each week!

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  8. These look like good releases! It's interesting to see how long it took to write too! :) Nice idea!

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  9. All of these books look great. Thanks for posting off all the new releases. I think it's going to be a busy week. :)

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  10. I love the wicked lovely series! can't wait to read Darkest Mercy :)

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  11. I feel like a diabetic in a candy store! Swooney!

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  12. All of these books look awesome- especially A Touch Mortal :) Thanks for the contest as always!

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  13. Aside from the contests, I always look forward to the interviews. Thanks! :)

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  14. Wow - it's a great week. I haven't heard of Wonderland or The Iron Thorn before - they look interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  15. There are so many great books this week!

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  16. All of these book sound really good. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  17. Oh my gsoh! Darkest Mercy. I am so dying to read that. ^_^

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  18. Yeah, so the last two are my favorite! Just reviewed Darkest Mercy on my blog today!! Heart, Melissa Marr all to pieces.

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  19. This really has been a banner year for book releases, The Iron Thorn , Darkest Mercy and A Touch Mortal wow what another great week.

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  20. I am desperate for Darkest Mercy. You have no idea. I ordered a signed copy, so I don't even know when it will arrive GAH!

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  21. The Wicked Lovely series is one of my favorites. I can't wait to get Darkest Mercy. It is torture waiting!

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  22. I love these posts! So interesting! :)

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  23. Love the post and the books! :-) Thanks for the giveaway!

    californiablue17@AOL.com

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  24. My book list grows every time I read this blog.

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  25. Wow - another list of books that are just screaming to be read! Thanks :)

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  26. Cool-sounding books and cool covers. Love 'em. I will have to enter, even though I feel like quite the oink to even try, since I won a book a month or so ago. *grin*

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  27. All of these books look so amazing! I've heard so many about each... love to have the chance to win them! :)

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  28. OMG...so many awesome titles in your giveaway and I haven't read a single one of them. That's so sad, I know. I want Darkest Mercy and The Iron Thorn so bad I can taste it. LOL

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  29. So freakin' coolio! Love it!!!! A Touch Mortal here I come! ;)

    oreo_93 at hotmail dot com

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  30. THANKS SO MUCH EXPOSED SOUNDS GOOD!!!

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  31. So many amazing releases! I'm not even sure I can pick on I'm most excited about! :)

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  32. OMG. I hope I win something! This is AWESOME! :D

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  33. omg I love these interviews, always!

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  34. I think this is one of your best line-ups ever!!!! :-)

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  35. These books sound very interesting. It would be nice to get my hands on one.

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  36. Iron Thorn! I cannot wait to read that and I forgot Darkest Mercy came out!
    Thank you for these great reminders. I would love them.

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  37. These interviews are such a great way to get to know these authors and explore different writing processes - thanks for sharing!

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