Monday, February 28, 2011

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

We've been waiting for this week for a long time. LIAR SOCIETY, the debut of fabulous and reliably hilarious Lisa and Laura Roecker emerges, among many other hot books. Finally, the wait is over. Read on for new books, as well as author interviews. Be sure and scroll all the way down to enter to win some of these books. We almost forgot to mention we have 11 of them up for grabs!

This Week's Interviews

The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
  • From Goodreads: Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

    To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu
    Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
    From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu
    Subject: (no subject)

    Kate,
    I'm here…
    sort of.
    Find Cameron.
    He knows.
    I shouldn't be writing.
    Don't tell.
    They'll hurt you.

    Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...
How long did you work on this book?
The first draft of this book took about three months to write. Perhapst that's why we spent over a year editing. Ha!

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
Our journey was definitely a roller coaster ride. We had many close calls, a few revisions for editors and a bunch of rejections. But we were just waiting for an editor to truly get us and Kate and the entire concept behind The Liar Society. And we found him...or he found us! From start to finish, our submission process lasted around five months. That's five long months of refreshing email.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Accept feedback from other writers. Don't be afraid to dive back into a manuscript and get all dirty during revisions. As much as we would love to say our first drafts are perfect, they are NOT. One of our most valuable tools as writers is our incredible beta reader.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
We keep saying this, but the community is what surprises us on a daily basis. It is the least-competitive, most supportive, entertaining, diverse, talented, most refreshing community we've ever been apart of. Everyone understands us and we've made true friends. Three years ago we would have thought that was impossible. Now we can't imagine our lives without everyone!

Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins
  • From Goodreads: Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers. But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?
How long did you work on this book?
I worked on DEMONGLASS for about seven months. I actually wrote the first three chapters in one day, and thought, "Aha! I will write this book in, like, A WEEK." Sadly, that didn't turn out to be the case. :) I will say that the last half only took a month or so, though. For me, writing is always like the whole snowball down the hill thing- once it gets going, it GOES.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I was ridiculously lucky in my publication journey, so it was pretty short! I found my agent after about two weeks of querying, and then it was about 6 weeks from when the first book, HEX HALL, went on submission to when we sold the trilogy. Of course then I DID have a nearly 2 year wait until the book hit the shelves, so maybe it all evened out.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Read a lot! I think sometimes writers get so caught up in their output that they can neglect their INPUT. Also, remember that as fun as the people in your head are, the people in your life always come first. :)

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I think how LITTLE my life has really changed. I mean, yes, I work in jammies now, and I get to write serious, business-y emails about elves sometimes, but the day-to-day stuff is surprisingly normal. And honestly, I think that's a good thing! :) 


Unlocked by Ryan G. Van Cleave
  • From Goodreads: Andy is the janitor's son, an outcast, a nobody. Then the rumor starts—that Blake has a gun in his locker. In a moment of misguided hopefulness, Andy steals the keys from his dad and opens up Blake's locker, hoping that finding the gun will change his own status. But the gun isn't there and Andy remains an outcast. When an unlikely friendship develops between the two loners, Blake shares most of his secrets with Andy, including the gun. But there's one secret that worries Andy more than anything—the date circled on Blake's calendar. Does Blake have something planned? Something that Andy can prevent? In a fascinating look at how teens deal with the now constant threat of school violence, debut author Ryan G. Van Cleave provides a unique, emotional perspective on how it feels to be the one who can prevent a tragedy.
How long did you work on this book?
Writing UNLOCKED took me about a year. I thought I was done when I had 50 pages. Then my agent pushed me to get 100. Then my editor pushed me further. The final product ended up taking many months (and many pages) more than I expected, but it's a far richer, better story for it. I was very lucky to have so many people around me who insisted the novel be as strong as it could be.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I was able to sign up with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency off the strength of a historical novel. That book came close about ten times but never quite caught on anywhere--largely due to most publishers being extraordinarily picky thanks to the economy, I think. In the meantime, I wrote a pair of other manuscripts and UNLOCKED was the first to get taken. It didn't rack up that many rejections, which is awesome, though it still took many months to go from a submission to a signed contract. I certainly know about rejection from sending out individual stories, poems, essays, interviews, and reviews. Over the past decade, I must have a trash bag or two full of them!

The good news is that I now have two other YA books that I think are equally strong. With some luck, UNLOCKED's publication is the beginning of a long relationship between myself and the Young Adult publishing world. I loved reading YA books as a kid, so it's incredibly rewarding to be a part of that world for others.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
The Young Adult market is very difficult to break into. But my advice to writers who want to get there is this: Don't quit. Every year, hundreds of very fine writers quit on their dream of being a published YA author. Nearly every successful YA author I know had to stick with it through some tough years that made them doubt their ability, their courage, and their confidence.

One of the hardest parts of being a writer is persevering through lots of rejection and delays and almosts. Stick with it. If it's truly your dream, you CAN'T give up.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
While I've published more than a dozen other books prior to UNLOCKED, none of those were in the Young Adult category. What I found surprising about the process of publishing a Young Adult book is the opportunity to have fun. For instance, when I was asked to write up something for the Spring 2011 catalog for Walker Books for Young Readers, I was encouraged to include such things as a "5 Things You Didn't Know About Ryan Van Cleave" list. Here's a favorite of mine (#5): My youngest daughter gets along quite well without the number five. Whether it's counting Cheerios or dropping pennies into a jar, it's always "One, two, three, four, SIX!!!" I didn't get to do that when compiling poetry anthologies!


The Chaos (Numbers #2) by Rachel Ward
  • From Goodreads: Adam sees 'numbers' - when he looks in peoples' eyes he can see their death-dates, just like his mum Jem used to. Adam has trouble dealing with his awful gift, and when he realises that everyone around him has the same series of numbers, he becomes deeply afraid of what might happen in 2025. Desperate to find out what could be about to go wrong, Adam spends hours researching possibilities - war, nuclear accidents, killer viruses. He knows something big is coming, but what? And is there anything he can possibly do about it?
How long did you work on this book?
'Numbers' took six months to write and six months to edit. Looking back, it all seems really easy. The second and third books have been a lot more tortuous to write and edit.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I wrote two books before 'Numbers.' Both were rejected by every agent and publisher I sent them to and quite rightly because they weren't good enough. I've been writing in my spare time for seven or eight years, experimenting with radio plays and short stories as well as novels. Writing has been a hobby - done in splendid isolation without going on any courses or joining any writers' groups - which has turned into something rather wonderful.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I would say to write something that you're really interested in, or that challenges you or fascinates you or even frightens you. A book is a big commitment and it's got to be something that you're happy spending time with for a year or more. Write something that you would like to read, and try and write every day. It's amazing how a novel can build up if you add to it every single day.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
Well, the whole thing has been a surprise. I had no idea what went in to publishing or promoting a book before it happened to me. One of the best things has been visiting schools and libraries talking with teenage readers. I've met some truly inspiring teachers, librarians and students. You never quite know what's going to happen and it keeps you on your toes. The other surprising thing is how little the rest of my life has changed. I feel like a writer when I'm actually giving a talk or writing or editing, but the rest of the time I'm just me doing all the normal things I've always done.


Blood & Flowers by Penny Blubaugh
  • From Goodreads: Three years ago, Persia ran away from her drug-addict parents and found a home with the Outlaws, an underground theater troupe. With time, this motley band of mortals and fey, puppeteers and actors, becomes the loving family Persia never had, and soon Persia not only discovers a passion for theater but also falls in love with one of the other Outlaws. Life could not be more perfect. Until an enemy makes an unfair accusation against the group and forces them to flee their world and hide in the neighboring realm of Faerie. But in Faerie, all is not flowers and rainbows. With bloodthirsty trolls, a hostile monarchy, and a dangerous code of magic, the fey world is far from the safe haven the Outlaws had hoped for....
How long did you work on this book?
I'd guess a year to get it ready, then another two years before it came out. Part of the reason for that was because the publication date was pushed back a year after the contracts were signed so we didn't rush with copyedits and editor comments.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?Oh, yeah, long! It was about 10 years after I started submissions before my first book was published. I'd had a few small things published -- a poem and I won a story contest with New England Science Fiction and Fantasy Association -- and a slew of library-related articles (I'm a YA librarian) in journals. But a book, a real live book -- that took a while.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I think you can get so anxious to be published that you can lose your story in the desire for acceptance. (If vampires are in, I should write about vampires!) Be true to your story and to yourself. At some point someone will find the value in what you're doing. (Let me add that this is much easier to say than it is to do.)

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
There was lovely idea in my mind that once that first book was everything was going to change. What actually happened was that I just kind of exchanged my problems and anxieties for a brand new set. I feel now like there are expectations to be met regarding reviews and all that author stuff. (See previous answer last sentence.) And there's still nobody who's begging to clean my house!

On the other hand, holding my book, that real, live book -- wow!!

Giveaways

Who's ready to win some amaaaaazing prizes? We've got a copy of LIAR SOCIETY & fun swag for LiLa's book, as well as copies of DEMONGLASS, BLOOD & FLOWERS, and 3 copies of THE CHAOS (NUMBERS #2)! Please fill out the form below and leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. The contest is open to US residents. Don't forget to stop by tomorrow and enter a second time to double your chances of winning. More prizes will be revealed then. We'll announce winners on Thursday morning. Good luck!

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP

44 comments:

  1. A couple of these books I hadn't heard of, so this is awesome! More to go on my to-read list :D

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  2. I am always to find new books that I haven't heard about, I'm going to add them to my wishlist this week.

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  3. What a great list, and some wonderful insights from the authors. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Great books this week! A few are already on my list, but there are others I'm going to add now!

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  5. This is a great list! I haven't heard of some of them. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway!

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  6. These books look great! Thanks for introducing them to me and including insights from the authors. It is interesting to read about their journey to publication. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  7. Awesome! Thanks for the info! :)

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  8. Great books and great interviews. Awesome :)

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  9. Wow! What a great bunch of books this week! I'm excited to read so many of them! Thanks for doing this!

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  10. Can't wait for Demonglass! Augh, so many books, so little time!!! Sighs, and so little money!

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  11. I so can't wait to read The Liar Society!

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  12. Wow. This is an AMAZING line-up of books, ladies. And I am DYING to read Liar Society. :-)

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  13. I've been looking for some new books to read, as my to-be-read pile is getting very, very short. I hadn't heard of some of these books. Thanks for sharing them. I'll definitely be looking more at these. And thanks for the chance to win!

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  14. I'm really excited for Demonglass and The Liar's Society. I received an ARC of Chaos and loved it!

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  15. I am so excited for Demonglass and The Liar's Society sounds awesome too.

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  16. These are some great books. I CAN NOT WAIT for Demonglass!

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  17. Great books coming out. Can't wait for Demonglass and Liar Society.

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  18. I always learn about new books from these posts!

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  19. Oh my gosh! The lIar Society sounds fantastic (so can't wait to get my hands on it). Looking forward to all these lovely books. ^_^

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  20. I loved the Hex Hall series covers. What a good line-up of releases. I'm eagerly awaiting all of them.

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  21. Oh man, some really great books coming out this week!! So excited for Lisa and Laura especially. Hadn't heard of UNLOCKED, but it sounds like a great read. All of them, do.

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  22. Woo! What great releases this week! I'm very much looking forward to Lila's LIar Society!

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  23. Hi, Ladies! Som great releases, wow! Nice job.

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  24. You know that song, "I'm so ex-cited! I just can't hide it..." yeah well that's me for Liar Society!

    (thank goodness this is a blog and you didn't have to hear me sing that, lol!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  25. Thanks for the head's up to the giveaways! And thanks for the interviews! Loved it! :) Thanks!

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  26. Some totally rocking books that I can't wait to read! Yay!

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  27. Demonglass and Liar Society in the same week? Wowza! Thanks for the roundup :)

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  28. Especially can't wait for Liar Society!! But they all look drool worthy!

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  29. These all sound like great books! I'm actually running back and forth to the front door hoping my preordered copy of LiLa's book will come a day early. :-)

    Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway!

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  30. They all sound like good books. I'd like to read
    The Liar Society. Thanks for the contest.

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  31. I've been seeing The Liar Society all over the blogs. Excited for this one.

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  32. Thanks for the giveaway! so many great books. I love hex hall, can't to read Demonglass.

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  33. Thank you so much for the awesome giveaway! I can not wait to read Demonglass!!!

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  34. Totally awesome! Thanks, as always!

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  35. There are so many wonderful books on the list. What a great opportunity. Thank you.

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  36. I can not wait to read these books!
    thanks for the giveaway :)

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