Tuesday, May 10, 2011

48 In Stores This Week (with Interviews & Giveaways) Part 2

***This post has been updated with an interview from author Joanna Philbin. Due to recent Blogger errors, this post may be reappearing in your reader and we apologize for any inconvenience. The contest has portion of this post has already closed.
It's day two in our feature that keeps you in-the-know about what hits shelves this week. We've got awesome interviews with YA authors and a spectacular giveaway all the way at the bottom of the post. You're invited to visit yesterday's post if you missed it, where you can enter the giveaway a second time!

This Week's Interviews

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner
  • From Goodreads: While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.
How long did you work on this book?
I wrote the first rough “vomit” draft in a little over a month (which was a crazy feeling since my first and second novels took me 5 and 2 years, respectively). Then, I spent about 5-6 months revising before I showed it to my agent. At the same time, I lucked into an opportunity to put the manuscript into my editor’s hands (although it felt a bit premature). She loved it, but another editor in house didn’t love it quite as much (understatement), so I embarked on a big revision. After revisions, my editor took it back and the house (fsg) bought it. Then additional revisions took place, some keeping the new great changes, some restoring some things back to the original version. Then there were first, second and third pass pages. So, um, yeah, add those all up. :)

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
Short? Hahahahahah. Er, sorry. But, you know, 12 years ... I have two YET unpublished manuscripts that I wrote, queried and shopped before I wrote The Pull of Gravity. It took me ten years from writing that FIRST manuscript to the TPoG book deal, then another 18 months to publication. Not exactly an overnight success, eh? But who counts rejections? Not me. How many? A LOT. But it’s the success that I count. So far: 1. :)

(I may be over-caffeinated this morning…)

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
If you want something, make it happen. Keep trying. Help other people, too, while you’re at it. You’ll be amazed what you learn by helping other people. Breathe. Have a sense of humor. But remember, the only way it will happen is if you keep trying. The main difference between people who have succeeded and those who haven’t, is stamina.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How hard it is to achieve each level of success. How supportive people are. How unsupportive people can be, too. ;) How important it is to learn to keep focused on what matters. And how good it feels, not just when you sell a book, but when some teen you’ve never met reaches out and says, you’ve made me feel happier by your words. How proud of me my children are.

Die for Me

  • From Goodreads: My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything. Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent. Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen. Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind. While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?
How long did you work on this book?
I began working on DIE FOR ME in late May of 2009, at the beginning of summer break at the university where I was teaching. The first draft took me three months, and then I spent another couple of months editing and polishing it before sending it to my agent. Miraculously, she was able to sell it within a week!

After that, there were a couple more months of work that went into the book. My editor at HarperCollins does two rounds of edits, so I revised the manuscript twice, spending about a month on it each time. And then I had a week to go over the copyedits—in August 2010.

So from the very beginning to the final touches more than a year passed, with about half of that time spent working directly on the manuscript. However, I have spent almost as much time on blogging, tweeting, facebooking, and doing interviews—taking care of all of the social media promotion for the book—as I have writing it!

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I found my agent while querying my first book—an unpublished memoir. Stacey Glick (of Dystel & Goderich) was among the first few agents that I queried, so I was very lucky! (If you would like a step-by-step account of how it happened, you can read this post. (http://www.amyplumbooks.com/2010/03/how-i-got-my-agent/ )

The publishers who she sent the book to were very positive, but none of them bought it. I revised it according to some of their recommendations and Stacey sent it back out. After a little less than a year of trying, she asked me if I had anything else. And that’s when I gave her DIE FOR ME.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Get advice on your work from several people, not just one or two. And try for diversity. Get readers of different ages from different backgrounds. What one person hates another will love, so do not despair—or go change your whole book—based on one opinion.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
Everything about the entire process has been a surprise for me. I truly knew nothing about it—to the point that when someone asked me for an ARC, I had to google the word to know what they were talking about. I had no clue how extensive editing could be (or how difficult it would be to rethink and rework something I had written to that extent). And the amount of work that has gone into social networking, interviews, and the like was completely unexpected. But although many things have been a surprise, none of them have been negative. The publishing process for DIE FOR ME has been an incredibly exciting and enriching experience.

Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor
  • From Goodreads: It's the summer before seventh grade, and twelve-year- old Raine O’Rourke's mother suddenly takes a job hours from home at mysterious Sparrow Road– a creepy, dilapidated mansion that houses an eccentric group of artists. As Raine tries to make sense of her new surroundings, she forges friendships with a cast of quirky characters including the outrageous and funky Josie. Together, Raine and Josie decide to solve the mysteries of Sparrow Road–from its haunting history as an orphanage to the secrets of its silent, brooding owner, Viktor. But it's an unexpected secret from Raine's own life that changes her forever.
What routines do you find helpful for you to stay actively writing?
Schedule and routine are important for my writing life. When I’m deep into a story I write everyday, seven days a week, for at least five hours, and always first thing in the morning, before email or conversation or the business of life sets in. I also need a writing space, a particular room or area devoted to the book. Sometimes, when I have a major deadline to meet, I go into a stretch of total isolation—perhaps for a week or so—far away from phones and computers and company. In that way, I clear my mind for the story world.

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?
I think here you’re talking about the commerce of writing—balancing creativity with what might or might not be commercially viable. For me, commercial viability is distinct from audience. In my writer mind, audience is the story receiver, the “someone” on the other side listening to the story. The other half of the story so to speak—because what is a story without a listener? The listener matters to me deeply—as all my listeners do—in life or in fiction, the reader is the reason I’m willing to revise, work hard, get the story right. I want the novel to be a vivid, uninterrupted dream, true and honest, and good enough to take hold of their hearts. That motivates me. It’s a challenge not a compromise.

What advice would you offer writers to build their marketing platform before they become published?
To me, nothing is as important as the book. The first job of the writer is to learn the craft with diligence and passion, to practice, to fail and try again. That’s my bias. But I’m a writer and a professor of writing, so that’s my area of expertise. I tend to think the best people to give marketing advice are those with expertise in that field—and I’m always glad to take their advice, to follow their suggestions. I just don’t feel qualified to give it.

How much do trends influence your writing?
There are people with a terrific sense of trends, people who know what’s hot before it happens, who can create cool, or catch the wave of cool, and that’s a gift. I came to writing young, and my relationship to the written word, to language and story, has never connected in anyway with the idea of “trends.” I think the last trend that I followed was wearing hot-pants in sixth grade, and I’ve regretted it ever since. The photos are totally ridiculous! I have to be authentic—and part of my own authenticity requires letting go of all the fleeting, fickle forces in this world.

Popular by Alissa Grosso
  • From Goodreads: Meet the clique that rules Fidelity High: Olivia, Zelda, Nordica, and Shelly, each one handpicked by ├╝ber-popular Hamilton Best. You know you're "in" when you make the guest list for one of Hamilton's parties. And in the thralls of senior year, everyone wants to get noticed by Hamilton. But Hamilton's elite entourage is coming apart at the seams. Olivia fantasizes about finally having a boyfriend, Zelda dreams of ditching high school, Nordica wants to be alone with her photography, and Shelly's plotting to dethrone Hamilton. Lies and secrets are ripping away the careful ties that have kept them together for years. But Hamilton has the biggest secret of all, one that only her boyfriend Alex knows. If the truth got out, it would shock everyone and destroy Hamilton's fragile world—and she'll do anything to protect her secret and keep her clique together.
How long did you work on this book?
Well, Popular was more than 10 years in the making, but I wasn't really working on it that whole time. I started the book then became distracted by other books and school and work.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
First off, let me start by saying that I have had many, many writing rejections in my life. With Popular, I was at a point where I wasn't sure what to do with the book so on a whim I submitted it to a publisher, Flux, and they ended up accepting it for publication.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Never give up. If you've started a project and you really believe in it, stick with it, even through the difficult parts. Having a bunch of unfinished novels isn't really that useful. Trust me. Also, never give up on yourself and your dream. It's probably not going to be easy, and it will probably take awhile to become a published author, but in the end it's all worth it.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I still think it's strange and a little bit surprising that people I don't even know are reading my book. I mean, I know that's the whole idea of getting a book published, but it all still feels a bit surreal for me.

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
  • From Goodreads: Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.
How long did you work on this book?
I decided I wanted to write a YA novel in October 2009, and by mid-November my agent and I had settled on an idea. I wrote the proposal very quickly (first eight chapters and synopsis), sold the book over Christmas and then turned it in do my editor March 1, 2010. After that came revisions, etc., but the main writing was done between November and March.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I always try to dodge this question because I was one of the lucky ones. While Tempest Rising is my first YA, I also write romance novels under two different names. Though I’ve always wanted to be a writer, it wasn’t until 2006 that I really had the time to do something about it. In 2006, I wrote two books and then went about getting an agent. I actually sold the first book to Harlequin before I found an agent and within a month of getting my fabulous and amazing agent, she had sold the second book to NAL. And as I said above, I sold Tempest Rising to Walker within a few weeks of finishing the proposal. Needless to say, in the publication arena, I’ve been very blessed :)

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Honestly, the thing I’ve had the hardest time dealing with is the ups and downs in this business. I have a tendency to get really excited when things are going well and really down when things aren’t going as well. One of the things I have to remember—and think all writers should remember—is this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not the quick ups and downs that are going to define your career. It’s the long haul, so letting little things get you down is a really lousy use of your time. Focus on the positive and always believe in yourself.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
That it doesn’t get easier after you’re published. You think it will, you’re sure that everything will be magical and fantastic once you get the call, but that’s not true. Sure, getting the call is a dream come true, but it’s not until after you’ve gotten it that things get really hard as you worry about book placement, list placement, selling out your advance, getting re-signed, publicity for your book, etc. There are a million things you can’t control in this business and learning to accept that has been a difficult road for me.

The Daughters Take the Stage by Joanna Philbin
  • From Goodreads: The daughter of chart-topping pop star Holla Jones, stylish and sensitive Hudson Jones is on the brink of her own musical debut. Hudson has inherited her mother's talent, but she hasn't yet embraced Holla's love of the megawatt spotlight. Can Hudson find a way to perform that reflects her own low-key style? Or will Holla see to it that her only daughter becomes a pop music sensation?
How long did you work on this book?
Almost a year, from the outline until the last copyedit. Because we didn't do an advanced reading copy with this book (it being the third book in a series of four) I had a little extra time with the first draft that I didn't have for the first two. I'm not sure that it was a good thing. I got a little obsessive with certain parts, and Little Miss Perfectionist reared her ugly head a few times. Then, in the second draft, I took out an entire storyline and wrote another instead (but I needed to - I swear!) Besides THE DAUGHTERS, which I started writing before I sold the series, THE DAUGHTERS TAKE THE STAGE took me the longest of all the books in the series.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I had the idea for THE DAUGHTERS series for about seven or eight years before I sold it, but during that time I barely mentioned it to anyone - let alone tried to write it. I think the subject matter just felt too close to home, and I was in an MFA program at the time, desperate to write adult literary fiction. I toiled away on another book for almost three years, until I finally quit, defeated by my inability to write a New Yorker-worthy short story. Eventually I moved to L.A. to write for television. There I acquired a television agent and, later, a job writing on a show. But I never stopped wanting to write fiction - even though my last experience had been a bit...well... humbling.

By now I was being represented by a large talent agency that had a literary division in New York. When my television job was over, I immediately pitched a book idea to one of their book agents over the phone. She hated it. (At least, that's how I remember it....) Embarrassed but undeterred, I started thinking more and more about my idea for THE DAUGHTERS. Finally, one night, I mentioned the idea to a friend over dinner. His response was so positive that I went home and started working on it. A couple of months later I flew to New York to meet with the same book agent and pitched it to her over breakfast. She still wasn't sure. She told me to go back to LA and keep thinking about it.

At last, I figured out the scope of the book. It wouldn't be a book at all, but a series - with each "daughter" being the protagonist of each of three books, which would tell a separate, but related, story. And I finally knew what each of those stories would be. I called up the agent again. She liked it. (Phew!) We sent out the first 60 pages of the first book about six months later. And it was sold fairly quickly. So I guess you could say it took me about ten years to get this book published. But everything in its own time, right?

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Take the time to find your own voice. And try not to fight what may turn out to be your best ideas because they scare you or make you uncomfortable.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I still approach each book with the same worries and insecurities that I did when I was just starting to write. Being published doesn't take all that away - it's still there. And publishing itself is nervewracking in a way I didn't expect. Suddenly your book is coming down the pike, to be reviewed and talked about and discussed and written about, and there's nothing you can do to stop it! That, I wasn't prepared for. It's kind of like being pushed onto Space Mountain against your will. It's dark and you don't know what's going to happen and there's a little bit of danger and a lot of excitement. .... But when you stumble off the ride, you can't wait to get back on. It's like that.


Additional Releases

Tighter by Adele Griffin
  • From Goodreads: When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's connection to the couple so intense? What really happened last summer at Little Bly? As the secrets of the house wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Kiss of Death
My Not-So-Still Life by Liz Gallagher
  • From Goodreads: Vanessa is wise beyond her years. She's never really fit in at school, where all the kids act and dress the same. She's an artist who expresses her talent in the wacky colors she dyes her hair, her makeup and clothes. She's working on her biggest art project, and counting the days until she's grown up and can really start living. That adult world seems closer when Vanessa gets her dream job at the art supply store, Palette, where she worships the couple who runs it, Oscar and Maye. And she's drawn to a mysterious guy named James, who leads her into new, sometimes risky situations. Is she ready for this world, or not?
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
  • From Goodreads: Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon, the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
  • From Goodreads: In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable. But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.
Giveaway

In addition to the books we announced yesterday as part of this week's giveaway, we are thrilled to announce giveaways of THE PULL OF GRAVITY, DIE FOR ME, SPARROW ROAD, POPULAR, THE DAUGHTERS TAKE THE STAGE, TEMPEST RISING, TIGHTER, and KISS OF DEATH. Please fill out the form below and leave a comment on this post to enter. US residents only please. We'll announce our winners on Thursday!

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP

48 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for these interviews and giveaways! There are so many books coming out this week that I can't wait to read. I haven't heard of Sparrow Road or Kiss of Death, but they both look interesting and I can't wait to read them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interviews. I'm looking forward to Die for Me and Sparrow Road and I've just been hearing about Tempest Rising, which sounds good.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm excited for so many of these books! Die For Me was an awesome read! I REALLY want to read The Pull of Gravity and Tempest Rising and Ruby Red, though ALL of these sound amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the cover for Tighter. It definitely grabs your attention. That is one book I will be picking up for sure. There are so many good looking books coming out it is hard to decide which ones to read first!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really looking forward to Tempest Rising and Ruby Red. Great selection!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love hearing about authors' journeys to publication. Every one of these books sounds awesome. I hope I win!

    ReplyDelete
  7. oooh, there's a bunch of those I'm dying to read! They all sound so interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  8. These giveaways are so great! I'm so excited about DIE FOR ME. And TEMPEST RISING looks interesting too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So many great books to choose from and to add to my reading list.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So many awesome books coming out - sign me up!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ooh, a few of these I hadn't heard of. More to put on my to-read list! D'oh!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, all the books sound really interesting! :) I can't wait to read Die For Me and Tempest Rising! If I don't win, I'm going to buy my own copies.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh! More awesome books! Can't wait to read them!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't wait to read Tighter it looks so good! I Saw Ruby Red in the bookstore yesterday and was tempted too. So many good books are coming out. I really need to slow down my book purchases before I go bankrupt! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gotta love the Mermaids. There have not been many book out lately with them, I would love a chance to read Tempest Rising. Thanx

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is a great stack coming out! I cannot wait to read Die For ME. I have heard oodles of good things about and would love a chance to receive it. Thank you for the amazing updates on great new books and the giveaways!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Another batch of really good books, I am going to be broke :) They all sound so amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Fascinating interviews and the cover for Ruby Red is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love the cover of Die For Me. It looks like a great read. And so does Tighter. Thanks for the list.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There are quite a few books releasing that I've been waiting for. Die for Me is up there on my list :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great interviews. I want to read them all!

    ReplyDelete
  22. i can't wait to read these! I get to meet some of these authors soon. =]

    ReplyDelete
  23. Such great books!!! I cant wait to get my hands on some of them...others I've read and loved :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ahh! Die for Me! Tempest Rising! The Sweetest Thing! The Pull of Gravity! Such a great book week. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. So many awesome books this week! Thanks for the giveaway and interviews :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ruby Red looks amazing, I hope these books become successful. Thanks for the giveaway and interviews!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love these posts - hearing about the books and the journey to publication. Really eager to read Die For Me and Tempest Rising and the Sweetest Thing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ah, I've been dying to read Tempest Rising! Thanks for the chance! They all look so good!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am so excited for some of these books! Thanks for the interviews; again, SO WONDERFUL that you do these. Very informative and I *love* them. Thanks for the giveaway, too!

    ReplyDelete
  30. A TON of great books came out this week. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. More to add to my list. I'd only heard about Die For Me and Tempest Rising. All the others are new to me. Thanks for the interviews.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for another great set of interviews and giveaways! Sheila O'Connor's take on how much trends influence writing is something that everyone should adopt. Authenticiy always comes through in books and if an author writes something just to follow the trend, it's noticeable.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow! That is an awesome list of books. Loving the cover of Die for Me. Thanks for the interviews and giveaways!

    ReplyDelete
  34. wow! what a ton of great books - good luck to my US buddies! :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for the great giveaway. Lots of great books to read. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Yay for some of these books! Die For Me? Tempest Rising? Kiss of Death? Not really some of my NEEDS, but still going to read!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great interviews and reviews!!! I'm really looking forward to read Die for me and Tempest Rising!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Crossing my fingers for Sparrow Road.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I can't wait to read some of these books! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  40. So many great books! So little time. Which to read first?

    ReplyDelete
  41. This is a really ecclectic selection this week. Tighter and Kiss of Death both are intriguing, but the storyline of The Pull of Gravity sounds like one of those books that changes you as you read it.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh some wonderful books being released this week.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I am so excited for the new releases!

    ReplyDelete
  44. This second batch of books sounds even more interesting than the group you announced yesterday which I wouldn't have thought possible. Such wonderful titles and stories and the author interviews were really helpful and encouraging for wannabe authors like me.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I can't wait to read Die For Me. Ruby Red and Tighter sound really good too. I just added some more books to my "need to buy" list!

    ReplyDelete

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