Monday, April 25, 2011

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

If the Easter Bunny didn't deliver, this week's authors surely will. Read on for author interviews, YA releases, and a must-see giveaway all the way at the bottom of this post! Don't forget to come back tomorrow for part two, where you can enter our giveaway a second time.

This Week's Interviews

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
  • From Goodreads: When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job. Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from. When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
How long did you work on this book?
I started thinking about BUMPED back in 2008, when the infamous Gloucester High School “pregnancy pact” made news. I researched for more than a year (on everything from the history of surrogate motherhood to IVF to how religion affects sexual activity to twins separated at birth and reunited as adults and so much more) before I started writing in September 2009. I finished the first draft in nine months—which is appropriate for the subject matter!

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I always say that my debut novel SLOPPY FIRSTS took six months and ten years to write. The actual draft took half a year, but all the preparation that went into it started a decade earlier when I took the first of many writing workshops.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Don’t Google yourself. The good reviews are never good enough and the bad reviews can make you never want to write another word again.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
That after six novels in ten years I’d still have to fight the urge to Google myself!


Forever Summer by Alyson Noel
  • From Goodreads: Summer. A break from the burdens of school. Deep tans, deeper thoughts. Far away from the everyday. Closer to making dreams come true . . . What does summer mean to you? For the two teenage girls in these two unforgettable novels, summer means being torn away from the familiar and finding new friends. A new place in the world. A new sense of self. And maybe even new love along the way . . . When you’re having the time of your life, you never want it to end.

What routines do you find helpful for you to stay actively writing?
While having really tight deadlines helps me stick to a routine, the main reason I choose to write everyday, including most holidays and weekends, is because it makes it a lot easier for me to stay in the voice of the character. Every time I take a break, I find it takes me an equal amount of time to get back into it, so sticking to a daily word count—I aim for 2,000-3,000 words a day—really helps. Though that’s not to say that I don’t spend the first three hours of every morning procrastinating on Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail, because I do. And so far, I’ve yet to discover a cure for that!

As a published writer, do you feel pressure to balance your creative writing license with what the audience wants? If so, how do you balance the two?
While I think it’s important to be aware of publishing trends and audience expectation, at the end of the day I just write the story I’m driven to tell. I have to like the characters and believe in their journey in order to spend that much time with them. And while readers always know what they want for the characters—the author knows what’s needed for the characters—and the two don’t always match!

What advice would you offer writers to build their marketing platform before they become published
I know this is an unpopular and old school way of thinking, but if you are trying to become published in fiction, writing the book is the most important thing. Your number of Twitter followers and Facebook friends is all very nice, building a community of readers and writers is always a good idea, but in the end, a publisher cares only about the quality of your story.

That said, if you have a publishing contract in hand and are trying to broaden your name, then building ties through social networking, joining professional and online writer’s groups and chat loops, blogging, vlogging—it’s all good. But, it’s also a time drain, so do the stuff you enjoy and don’t worry about the rest. I think there’s a tendency to feel like you need to be everywhere at once because everyone else seems to be everywhere at once. If you can manage that, great—go for it. But if not, don’t worry—focus on the stuff you enjoy and forget the rest. The most important thing you can do for your career is to write your next book—don’t let your marketing efforts get in the way of that.

How much do trends influence your writing?
I’m aware of them, but they don’t influence what I choose to write next—my own life experiences usually determine that. I wrote The Immortals and the Riley Bloom series after going through a time of great loss that got me thinking a lot about man’s age old quest for immortality. And it was the research I did for those books that ultimately led me to the idea for my next YA series, SOUL SEEKERS, set to debut in Summer 2012.

The Silver Bowl by Diane Stanley

  • From Goodreads: Unwanted at home, Molly goes to work for the king of Westria as a humble scullery maid. She arrives at the castle with no education, no manners, and a very disturbing secret: She sees visions, and those visions always come true. One day, while she's working in the king's great hall, young Prince Alaric passes by. Molly finds him unbearably handsome—but also unbearably rude. But what does it really matter? She'll probably never see him again. In time Molly is promoted to polishing silver and is given a priceless royal treasure to work on: the king's great ceremonial hand basin. But there's something odd about it. The silver warms to her touch, a voice commands her to watch and listen, and then the visions appear. They tell the story of a dreaded curse that has stalked the royal family for years. There have already been deaths; soon there will be more. As tragedy after tragedy strikes the royal family, Molly can't help but wonder: Will the beautiful Alaric be next? Together with her friends Tobias and Winifred, Molly must protect the prince and destroy the curse. Could a less likely champion be found to save the kingdom of Westria?
How long did you work on this book?
About a year. The first draft went really quickly, say three months. The revision and all the many steps that followed (editor’s notes, copy-editing, etc.) took much longer.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
Rejections aren’t an issue. I don’t work that way. Since I’ve been in children’s books for 34 years and have published fifty books, I long ago settled in with particular editors and we just do a contract for the next book. Sometimes I know what it’s going to be and write them a proposal. Often it’s for an “untitled fantasy novel” or, in the old days, an “untitled picture book.” I’m currently busy revising the sequel to THE SILVER BOWL, THE RAVEN OF HARROWSGODE, and I have an outstanding contract for the last book in the trilogy, THE PRINCESS OF CORTOVA.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Big, open-ended question! Here are two quick quips that happen to be true: The best way to get published is to polish your craft. And . . . Many people don’t really want to write—they want to have written; real writers love the process more than the product.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
Well, that happened back in 1978, so I don’t exactly remember! But I will say, looking back on a long career, that writingand making art are exceedingly joyful pursuits, and I’m incredibly lucky that I get paid to do it.

The Shore: Shirt and Shoes Not Required; LB (Laguna Beach) by Todd Strasser and Nola Thacker
  • From Goodreads: Building off the success of the reality TV show "The Jersey Shore," a hot summer bind-up of two Summer Share books.
What routines do you find helpful for you to stay actively writing?
Certainly spending money on travel and summer rental homes helps keep me going, but seriously, I wouldn’t know what else to do.

As a published writer, do you feel pressure to balance your creative writing license with what the audience wants?
Yes. How do you balance the two? Every now and then I start to write something for me, but then I get another book contract and got back to writing for them.

What advice would you offer writers to build their marketing platform before they become published?
You mean once they’ve focused mostly on the primary goal of writing a good book? I’d say, “Get ye an agent.” Although I think it’s pretty cool how some writers are now starting on Kindle and other platforms and building an audience with blogs, tweets, Facebook, etc.

How much do trends influence your writing?
I take on contrarian view. When vampires first got big, I went toward realistic thrillers. Now they’re telling me dystopian stuff is big so I think I’ll do an updated version of Cheaper by the Dozen.

Raven Speak by Diane Lee Wilson
  • From Goodreads: Asa Coppermane is the proud daughter of a Viking chief. Asa and her horse, Rune, are creatures of the sea and the cold northern lands. But this winter has been the worst one Asa has ever seen. Her father and the other men have gone to sea to search for food, leaving behind the women and children, many sick with fever. Also left behind is Jorgen, the clan's wise man. His stories are meant to comfort them all, but Asa suspects that what Jorgen really wants is power. Now that her father is gone, Jorgen demands Asa give up Rune -- for food, and as a sacrifice to the gods. When Jorgen comes to kill Rune, Asa fights him off and she and the horse flee. They find shelter with a one-eyed old woman who speaks to her two pet ravens, and who seems to have a strange power over Asa. The old woman hints that Asa must make a sacrifice to save her clan -- but how? And what kind of sacrifice? What are the secrets of the raven speak?
How long did you work on this book?
RAVEN SPEAK had an interesting journey. I originally began Asa’s story after publishing my first young adult novel, I RODE A HORSE OF MILK WHITE JADE. At the time, I envisioned it as a children’s picture book, but my editor kept telling me it had the makings of another novel. I didn’t see it that way and set the project aside. Over the next few years I completed three more novels and had them published before returning to Asa Coppermane’s world. By then I had a new vision for her story, one that would encompass the complexities of a novel, and RAVEN SPEAK took a little over a year to write.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I was fortunate. The first agent I spoke with signed me, and the second publisher we contacted, Orchard Books, published my manuscript. I’ve just sold my sixth novel to Simon & Schuster.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I tell aspiring writers that writing is more about discipline than talent. You have to do it every day—no excuses; because it’s hard work! There’s no one patting you on the back at the end of the day, no ready paycheck, no assurance that what you’re producing is even any good. You just have to trust yourself and keep going.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I guess the most surprising instances for me occur when I visit classrooms and students want me to autograph any and all objects they can produce: books, napkins, pieces of scrap paper. Of course I’m happy to do so, but I want to tell them “I’m just a person, not a celebrity.”

Additional Releases

Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel by Candance Bushnell
  • From Amazon: Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream. This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.
family by Micol Ostow
  • From Goodreads: i have always been broken. i could have. died. and maybe it would have been better if i had. It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda Jensen hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and—best of all—a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry’s family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs.  And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go.
Abandon by Meg Cabot
  • From Goodreads: Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid. Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
Giveaway

Thanks to these generous authors and publishing houses, we're giving away copies of BUMPED, THE SHORE: SHIRT AND SHOES NOT REQUIRED, THE SILVER BOWL, FOREVER SUMMER, and 5 copies of RAVEN SPEAK. And that's just today. We'll announce more awesome giveaways in our second post tomorrow morning, where you can enter again. Please leave a comment on this post and fill out the form below to win. The contest is open to US residents and winners will be announced Thursday morning.

Happy reading!
The Ladies of ACP

64 comments:

  1. Great interviews. It's interesting to see how different authors paths are and how some write the first draft so much quicker than others. I'd especially love to win BUMPED or THE SILVER BOWL. Thanks for the contest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so excited for Bumped! And I've heard alot about Forever Summer - I follow Alyson on Twitter. I love her immortals series, so maybe I'll check this book out as well.

    Thanks for the giveaways! This is my favorite feature you guys do (with or without the giveaways).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome line-up of books to be given away! Congrats to all the authors!!! :O)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Darn it. I knew I shouldn't have looked. There are three books I want to read and my TBR pile is already out of control. :P

    I didn't know Alyson has a non paranormal book out. I'll have to check it out since I enjoy her contemp books too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! The McCafferty and Cabot books were the only ones I'd heard of, but the others sound great too! The Silver Bowl especially intrigues me...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, what a giveaway!!! I had not heard about the Shore, but I want to read it now. I did make a mistake on the form, my GFC is "Kristie" not javaintheam, so please don't hold that against me, I've been a follower for awhile!
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great list of books for this week! I have been anxiously waiting for Bumped to come out because it looks SO GOOD! I have seen mixed reviews for it, but I still can't wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think it sounds really cool how the idea for Bumped came about.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Another good week! Thanks for doing this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You guys always have the scoopage! I'm reading MC's INSATIABLE right now -- can't wait for ABANDON!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh awesome all good stuff great interviews

    ReplyDelete
  12. These were great interviews. :) I'm looking forward to Abandon.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice books :) Looking forward to Bumped.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks like it's going to be a good week! Bumped looks especially interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I hadn't heard of most of these books. I'll have to check them out. Especially Bumped. It sounds like my kind of book.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The Silver Bowl and Ravenspeak sound like amazing reads. I had not known they were out there. thank you for the great info.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Bumped has been on my TBR list. I would love it. There are so many great books on here too! I need a second job ;)

    ReplyDelete
  18. As usual, the interviews are very insightful. The books look interesting especially The Silver Bowl, Ravenspeak and Abandon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Awesome interviews! Bumped has been on my TBR list for some time now (crossing fingers!) and all those other books sound awesome as well!

    ReplyDelete
  20. These all sound excellent and I loved the interviews! So many good books are coming out that I wish I had more time to read!

    ReplyDelete
  21. There are always so many amazing books coming out. Thanks for the heads up for this week!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nice! Forever Summer looks good. I can't believe this many books get published!

    ReplyDelete
  23. My TBR list keeps getting longer. Thanks for the great interviews!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've been VERY curious about Bumped. I've heard so many things, good and bad, and I want to be able to make my own decision about it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Some great books here. I'm especially interested in Raven Speak.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great giveaway with a lot of good books. Thank you. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. So many amazing books coming out! I hadn't heard of The Silver Bowl before, but I love the cover!

    ReplyDelete
  28. As always, great interviews. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ditto to Pam's comment- you guys rock with the interviews and the giving away of all the awesome books :D

    ReplyDelete
  30. Bumped looks like an amazing story!!! I love getting to read how the ideas for these novels were spawned, and your amazing reviews of them.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think all of the reviews were amazing and i can't wait to read them!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Every single one of these books are awesome!!! What amazing line up!!! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I really want to read Forever Summer now!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Awesome selection. I've not got a few of these on my TBR list. Time to change that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Man! Ive been DYING to read Abandon, Forever Summer and Bumped! Great insight! I enjoyed reading all the authors views, especially Alyson's!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Bumped sounds very good, all of them do, actually.

    ReplyDelete
  37. U have great giveaways and even better interviews!!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for the great giveaway! This is a great list of books.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I could read all these books, all the authors are amazing writers and I cannot wait until I can read all them!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great interviews! I'm dying to read Abandon and Bumped!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow! Awesome list of books - my To Read list just grew some more ... Good thing summer is just around the corner and I can catch up on reading! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I LOOOOVVVEEEE Alyson Noel. So excited about this giveaway. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm so looking forward to Abandon. And I'm also meeting Meg Cabot on Wednesday! *fangirl squee!*

    ReplyDelete
  44. Wow, what an awesome giveaway!!!! I wanna winnnn :D

    ReplyDelete
  45. These are some very unusual premises. I am especially intrigued by Bumped. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I can't wait to read Bumped, it sounds so intriguing! Thanks for the giveaway :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. The Silver Bowl and Raven Speak both really sound fascinating to me! I love hearing the road to publication answers the authors share.

    ReplyDelete
  48. It's so interesting to see the paths the different writers took toward their first draft, especially all the research that has gone into some of the books. They all sound fascinating. I'd be thrilled to win any one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I cannot wait to read Bumped! I requested it from my library about a month ago but I know it will still be a while before they get it in. I'm a big fan of the Sloppy Firsts book. I actually live one town over from the real town represented by the fictional town in the book. Wow...that's a mouthful!

    ReplyDelete
  50. omg....I love Alyson Noel. I look forward to my next trip to B&N. I want to read bumped

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am really excited about Bumped! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am so excited about so many of these! Also, my computer was having issues, so if there are multiple entries for me on the form, can you just keep the first one! sorry! thanks for all the awesome books on here!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I hadn't heard of Raven Speak before. It sounds really good. Thanks for the intro.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Looking forward to Bumped, great post!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Some great advice! Thanks for posting it.

    ReplyDelete
  56. All of these books sound wonderful! I can't wait to read them.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Lots of great books out again this week and some I didn't even know about. Off to peruse amazon.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Bumped has been really intriguing for a while, and the Silver Bowl and Raven Speak both look really cool. Forever Summer has a really cute cover :)
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  59. There's a lot of great books this week that I haven't heard about. I'm always excited to learn about the journey to publishing.

    ReplyDelete

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