Monday, March 28, 2011

41 In Stores This Week (with Interviews & Giveaways)

These YA releases pack quite a punch. But first, we have good news for our international friends. Thanks to the kindness of St. Martin's Press, C.C. Hunter's newest release BORN AT MIDNIGHT will be open as an international giveaway! Want to know what else is up for grabs? Read on for amazing interviews, books, and more hot giveaways...

This Week's Interviews

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
  • From Angie's blog: Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.
How long did you work on this book?
The idea started as a short story, which was published in the May/June 2008 issue of Odyssey magazine. Then I started thinking about growing the story into a novel. I worked on it for about a year or so. During that time I workshopped pieces / stages of the book in various online workshops.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?I've been incredibly lucky in my journey. I attended a regional SCBWI conference (Mid-Atlantic), which was the best money I ever spent. After I got home, I submitted the manuscript to several of the editors (and an agent) who had done panels at the conference. (That is one of the perks of these conferences. Editors let participants sub manuscripts directly.) My current editor at Marshall Cavendish was one of those panelists.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
See above. If you're an aspiring children's book author, join SCBWI and go to at least one regional conference.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
All the waiting. You expect it in the submission process. You send out a manuscript or short story and wait. In the editorial process, though, there's even more waiting. You work furiously on revisions and then wait. Ditto for about every stage of the process. The waiting is totally understandable, though. Your book isn't the only one your editor is working on, and he/she is working with copyeditors, illustrators, book designers, marketing, and other editors.

Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls #1) by C.C. Hunter
  • From Goodreads: One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world. Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.  Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…
How long did you work on this book?
Hmm… Well, it depends on what you mean by “work” on the book. It generally takes me about three months to write a book. That’s on top of about another month spent trying to get to know my characters while writing the first three chapters. I’m a character-driven writer and most of my plot stems from my characters. So until I really get to know them, know what drives them, what scares them, what defines them, I don’t really get a lot of pages done.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
Long? Oh…let’s see. I could have made it to China on crutches faster. And I could have left trails of rejections the whole darn way. I started writing in 1984. I wrote novels and toyed around with some nonfiction for magazines. A short ten years, and about 1000 rejections later, I sold my first book to Silhouette Romance. When I had a hard time selling my second book, I had already sold quite a few articles to magazines. So, I pulled out an old 35mm camera and started taking pictures to submit with my nonfiction. Within four or five years, I had another couple thousand rejections, and a full-time job as a photo journalists. I wrote three to four articles a week—some of the very short fillers, some of them meaty pieces, then I would search for the perfect magazine to submit them to. Most every piece I wrote was rejected once and some of them twenty times. So the rejection number got to be in the nine or ten thousand number range. But I ultimately sold over eighty percent of what I wrote. After five years of not writing fiction, I was hit with an epiphany. I was going to sell another book even if I had to kill someone to do it.

Funny thing was, that’s exactly what it took. Killing someone. On paper, of course. I started writing humorous romantic suspense. For the next five years, I wrote eight completed novels and even more proposals. My rejections kept on growing. But then it happened. I got the call from my agent. She said for me to sit down. I told her I’d worked my tush off and could take the news standing up. “I sold a book, didn’t I?”

“No.” Her reply hit me right in the gut, but then she said, “You sold four.”

I immediately sat down. I went on to publish six humorous romances, and three nonfiction books. Then I got another call from my agent. An editor from St. Martin’s Press wanted to know if would be interested in attempting to write a YA series. And that’s how Shadow Falls was born. This journey I’ve been on, has never felt so fulfilling.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Never, never, never give up. Never, never, never stop improving. With every article, every book I wrote, every writing class I took, every book I read, be it a how-to book or another novel, I was improving my craft. I wasn’t one of those writers who was just super talented. I’m dyslexic, just like Miranda is in Born at Midnight. She has a hard time getting her spells to work right. I had a hard time getting the words I put down on paper right. Believe me, writing was hard, but I wanted it so badly that I just working toward my goal. I made it. And if I can do it, I know most everyone can.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I think I really thought that after I’d published four or five books, I’d feel confident, that I’d feel as if I knew what I was doing. But after eight novels and four more in the publishing pipeline, three nonfiction books and over 3000 magazine articles, I still worry. About every other day, I wake up and pray that people don’t discover my secret. And my secret is that I’m faking it. That I really don’t know what I’m doing. While this isn’t my first rodeo, Born at Midnight is my first young adult, it’s my first book for St. Martin’s Griffin, and it’s my first book under my new pen name C.C. Hunter. I’m so excited and I’m so nervous. I love writing about Kylie and all her supernatural friends. I’m having so much fun brainstorming about her struggle to discover who and what she is. I’m hoping my career in YA extends far into the future.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes. First, I’d like to thank you so much for having me today. I’ve had a blast. Next, for your readers, make sure you snag my free short story, Turned at Dark. It’s Della’s story and it introduces the Shadow Falls series. You can read the first three chapters of Born at Midnight, too. All you have to do is visit my Born at Midnight page at Macmillan on March 15th – Born at Midnight Page. Or you can download a free eBook copy of Turned at Dark at all major online retailers. The download also has the first three chapters of Born at Midnight on there as well.

Also, to celebrate the release of Born at Midnight, I’m running a “Tweet my Book and Win a Kindle Contest” from March 22th through March 29th. The grand prize will be the Kindle but I’m also giving away copies of Born at Midnight, some Shadow Falls swag and ARCs of Awake at Dawn, which is scheduled to release in October. All the details will be at my blog beginning March 22nd – Blog. So, please drop by and help me tweet my book and you could win a Kindle!

And, finally, for writers you might want to check out my writing website www.writewithus.net. I have a lot of articles on writing and perseverance.


Fury of the Phoenix (Kingdom of Xia #2) by Cindy Pon
  • From Goodreads: The Gods have abandoned Ai Ling. Her mysterious power haunts her day and night, and she leaves home—with just the moon as her guide—overwhelmed by her memories and visions and an unbearable sense of dread. For Ai Ling knows that Chen Yong is vulnerable to corrupt enchantments from the under-world. How can she do nothing when she has the skill and power to fight at his side? A dream has told her where he is, the name of the ship he is traveling on, his destination. So she steals off and stows away on board. The ocean voyage brings with it brutal danger, haunting revelations, and new friendships, but also the premonition of a very real and terrifying threat. Zhong Ye—the powerful sorcerer whom Ai Ling believed she had vanquished in the Palace of Fragrant Dreams—is trapped in Hell, neither alive nor dead. Can he reach from beyond the grave to reunite with Silver Phoenix and destroy Chen Yong? And destroy whatever chance Ai Ling has at happiness, at love?
How long did you work on this book?
I probably wrote a rough draft and revised Fury of the Phoenix once in a four month time frame. Then went on to do three major revisions with my editor within another three or four months time frame.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I queried from end of January 2008 through April 2008. I hit 121 agents and was still sending out queries on the weekend that agent Bill Contard emailed regarding his interest.

We went on sub within two days and Silver Phoenix went to auction and sold five weeks later along with the sequel.

It was an absolute whirlwind and utterly surreal and thrilling. Also terrifying! i always say it takes a lot of courage to pursue your dreams, but it takes even more courage to live it.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Other than the fact that writers write, to read widely and beyond what you usually enjoy reading. Also to constantly challenge yourself with each new writing project. Stay professional and positive in your interactions with others in real life as well as online.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How much work it is to promote yourself and your book. There are many great books being published out there, it's a challenge to make your own stand out!

Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

  • From Goodreads: A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school. There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School. And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.
How long did you work on this book?
Longer than I was supposed to! About a year and a half, when it should have been less than a year. I decided I needed to go to France to research the setting, which delayed things, and then I kept adding layers to the plot that required a lot of time and thought. And, too, the book turned out longer than expected.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
It was loooong and winding, with rejections from every publisher I sent material to except, eventually, one. Long story short, I wrote a romance novel and couldn’t get it published, then spent several years following other career paths until I realized my heart was still set on writing. I wrote another romance (let’s call it Book 2) and submitted it to publishers, then Book 3, and was writing Book 4 before an editor called to say, “Hey, we’re interested in Book 2! And while you’re at it, send us Book 3 as well!” It was ten years from writing my very first novel to getting a book published.

Book 1 was eventually thrown in the recycling bin, in case you’re curious. It’s like when you cook pancakes: the first one off the griddle is never right.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Above all, persevere. I went through phases of giving up, and I know how those rejection letters eat away at your self confidence. The only guarantee of failure, though, is to quit completely.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
Two things: One is that even after 20+ novels and novellas, I still don’t earn enough to support myself without a second source of income; the other is that in my ‘real’ life — the life spent chatting with neighbors or having dinner with friends — I don’t like to talk about what I do. It’s an impossible topic of conversation: I work alone, in an imaginary world inside my head, and the problems I encounter in writing a story can only be known by me. Trying to talk about it is like boring someone with a long discussion of your dreams last night.

So, it turns out that being an author makes for a great answer to the question, “What do you do?” but it makes for lousy dinner conversation!

The End of the Line by Angela Cerrito

  • From Goodreads: Gripping and suspenseful, this powerful, no-holds-barred novel by an exciting new talent goes deep inside a young boy's mind. Thirteen-year-old Robbie is locked in a room with nothing but a desk, a chair, a piece of paper, and a pencil. He's starving, but all they'll give him is water. He is sure he's in a nuthouse or a prison. Actually, he's at Great Oaks School, aka the End of the Line. Kept in solitary confinement, Robbie must earn points for food, a bed, even bathroom privileges. He must learn to listen carefully, to follow the rules, and to accept and admit the truth: he is a murderer. Robbie's first-person account of his struggles at the school—at times horrifying, at times hilarious—alternates with flashbacks to the events that led to his incarceration. Ultimately he must confront the question: which is worse—that he wanted to kill his friend Ryan or that he killed him by accident?
How long did you work on this book?
On and off through a many revisions over about three years.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
In 2006, I entered a few pages of the unfinished manuscript in the SmartWriters.com WIN competition. The book is being published in 2011. The journey felt very long (if not impossible) at times, but looking back it seems “just right.” I don’t have a total number of rejections because I never counted them though I’m sure it was at least 2 dozen.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Join SCBWI.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I’m surprised and happy whenever I get a response from readers on my website!

Additional Releases

Entwined by Heather Dixon

  • From Goodreads: Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation. Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest. But there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.
Giveaway

We're beyond ecstatic that our giveaway of C.C. Hunter's BORN AT MIDNIGHT is open internationally. As for our U.S. friends, we have 2 signed copies of Cindy Pon's FURY OF THE PHOENIX, as well as 2 copies of Angela Cerrito's THE END OF THE LINE. Please fill out the form below and leave a comment on this post to enter. Winners will be announced Thursday morning.

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP

41 comments:

  1. Great interviews. They are always so insipring. C.C. Hunter's advice to never give up is so true. I'd love to win Born at Midnight or Fury of the Phoenix.

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  2. Wow, awesome interviews and amazing contest! Everyone of the books in on my To-Read list!

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  3. So many good things! Thanks so much! :)

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  4. I've heard of all these books already so they're greatly anticipated!

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  5. Fabulous interviews. CC's was particularly inspiring! Thanks.

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  6. Great post!!! Books sound very interesting.

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  7. I read so much this week my book pile is very low. Guess I need to win one of these books! :)

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  8. Great interviews! I can't to read so many of these :)

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  9. Once again great interviews & all the books sound amazing!

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  10. I can't wait to read some of these! I'm dying to read Entwined and so many of the others!

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  11. I've been waiting for Angela's book for a long time! They all sound good.

    I'm in it to win it!

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  12. ANGELLAAAAAAAAA I can't wait to see your book!

    Cindy, I always keep you in mind when I'm querying my books. I read Silver Phoenix a year or two ago and wondered what the heck those agents were thinking. :p

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  13. I'm very excited for Born at Midnight and Memento Nora. However, they all do sound great!

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  14. Thanks so much for the giveaway! All these books look great! I really enjoyed Memento Nora and can't wait to read the sequel. Thanks for the international giveaway.

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  15. C.C. here. I just wanted to pop in and say hello. Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of this great line up. My reading list just grew!

    CC

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  16. I love having the interviews in addition to book reviews.

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  17. I would love to win Born at Midnight it looks awesome! Alos Memento Nora looks great and intwined! They are all gd lol :)

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  18. Thanks for the giveaway! I really want to read this book!

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  19. Awesome giveaway.

    The books are AMAZING!

    Love to read about the authors!

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  20. DYING to read born at midnight!!! :D
    Awesome interviews too! :D

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  21. Thanks for the contest! I've been dying to get Born at Midnight!!!

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  22. I love the interviews that you conduct every week. I always think it's fascinating to see an author's journey, they always have such inspiring things to say. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  23. Great reviews. I love to hear about authors who overcame the mountain of odds.
    Ann

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  24. Ohh I love all of those book blurbs!
    I would love Born at Midnight. I heard great things about it.

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  25. I think the best thing about this post was the fact the authors were so candid about the fact for many of them this was a long road to acceptance and publication. It encourages writers like me. Also the advice about joining SCBWI is a big help. Finally, just reading about the wonderful assortment of books available through this post is amazing.

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  26. I want every single one of these books! I definitely should be getting Born at Midnight! I get to meet the author tomorrow. :)

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  27. Another great list of books! Thanks for the tips and the interviews :)

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  28. Wow. I liked CC Hunter's interview a lot. Very cool set of books. :) Thanks!

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  29. Awesome contest & interviews! The message to persevere comes at a great time --just what I needed to hear. :) Thanks!

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  30. All the books are on my Goodreads TBR list! Great interview. I never read a few interviews in one post before. Awesome!

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  31. great interviews! all of these books sounds awesome. thanks for the great giveaway!

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  32. thank you for the chance to win! love the interviews. I have not read anything by this author. Would love to read them!

    Thank you!
    mindy

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  33. Gosh, it sounds like getting published is a long and winding road.

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  34. I love these weekly posts, not just for the giveaways - but also for the interviews, stories and seeing what is new each week.

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  35. Wow. Too many good books to read. My TBR list is growing so long because of this blog.. Thanks so much!

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  36. These are all such amazing books. Wow! What an opportunity. Thank you.

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  37. I have been waiting for Born at Midnight to be released since I first seen it around the blogging community.

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