Monday, June 27, 2011

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

Has your to-be-read pile toppled over yet? Caution: this week may cause falling books! Read on for author interviews, fabulous new books, and be sure and enter our giveaway all the way down at the bottom. Stop by tomorrow to enter again when we introduce another round of books hitting shelves this week!

This Week's Interviews

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
  • From Goodreads: Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself. Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets. The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.
How long did you work on this book?
I drafted THE DAY BEFORE fairly quickly - I think I had a first draft done in a couple of months. Some books come out quickly, for whatever reason, and others like to take their own sweet time. This one was pretty easy to write, which was really nice.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
Well, before THE DAY BEFORE, I had 3 other YA novels published, along with a middle grade novel. My first YA novel was published in January, 2008 (I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME). Prior to writing that novel, I had written four other novels that were rejected many times over the course of a few years. I don't know how many rejections - close to a hundred, probably. I think of those early novels as my schooling, since I didn't go to school to learn how to be a writer. It took lots of writing and lots of reading to figure out what I was doing and where I sort of "fit" as a writer.

This one was read by editors at my publisher (Simon Pulse) after I finished it, and they decided fairly quickly they wanted to buy it. I was so glad, since prior to this book, I had gotten a couple of rejections on proposals. So even after having published books, rejections do still happen. I'm glad it worked out the way it did, though. I think THE DAY BEFORE turned out better than those other projects would have.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Play. Have fun. Explore. You don't always know what your strengths and talents are right away, so try different things and see how it goes. Sometimes people write to me, struggling with writer's block because they are paralyzed by what other people might think of their writing. The first draft is for no one else but yourself. Write the story because you want to find out what happens. So have fun with it. I have a jar of buttons by my computer from my grandma. I used to love playing with her buttons when I was little. They remind me to not lose that playfulness when it comes to my writing.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The letters from readers. I didn't think I'd be the kind of author who got fan mail. I thought only big-named authors like Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary got mail. But wow, both teens and kids write to me, depending on what book they've read of mine, and it's so awesome. I love it.

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy
  • From Goodreads: When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster.
How long did you work on this book?
I wrote the first draft of SHARKS & BOYS in 2007. I've been working on it ever since. On and off. And reading about nautical disasters. And sharks. And more sharks. And additional sharks. Also, I watched a fair amount of Shark Week. Chomp!

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
SHARKS & BOYS is my fourth teen novel, and if I include my middle-grade novels with Random House, it's my seventh novel. So the road to publish SHARKS & BOYS wasn't long. But that initial road of writing the first book (LOST IT) and finding an agent and finding the right editor took years. I studied writing too. I have an MFA in poetry and a Ph.D. in English. So that took time also. I sought the academic road to becoming a writer. And it worked for me. And yes, there was lots of rejection along the way. Lots and lots. Lots. Really, there was quite a bit.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Write the book you want to read. Create stories that allow you to pursue your own curiosities. Don't worry about the publishing process. Focus on the writing process. I teach writing classes with my friend Nina LaCour in San Francisco. I think studying craft is essential. (If you're curious about the classes visit www.writeteen.com)

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I get tired of wearing my pajamas.

Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
  • From Goodreads: On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all. Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody? The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?
How long did you work on this book?
I usually give myself about 6-8 weeks to write the first draft of a book. I can write faster than that, but that's a comfortable time frame. And I start writing more and more the closer I get to the deadline. Then, after my editor has had a chance to read it, I go through revisions. Depending on how much I need to fix that can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. There are a few more steps along the way (line edits, copyedits, page proofs) but altogether I probably spend 3-4 months on a book, spread out over 6 months to a year.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
In the grand scheme of things, my road to publication was pretty short. I started writing seriously in late 2002 or early 2003. I found my agent (after dozens of rejections) in October 2005. Then, after several months of rejections, we finally sold Oh. My. Gods. to my editor in July 2006. From then it took two years for the book to be out in bookstores.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Never give up. The most important trait a write can have is persistence. Start writing. Finish a book. Revise it, query it, and move on to the next project. I sold the fourth book I wrote and the first will probably never see the light of day. But you have to keep looking ahead because you become a better writer with every book, you learn and grow and challenge yourself and eventually you will have the right project at the right time. It might take months or years or even decades, but believe in yourself and keep going.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How little things change. When you're unpublished, you have these milestone goals. If I just finish a book... If I just final in a contest... If I just get an agent... If I just get a publisher... Then everything will be okay and on the right track. But there are still milestones on the other side of the contract. If I just get a good review, a starred review, another contract, more marketing push, a bestseller list... The entire career is a ladder and there is always another rung to climb. As some point you just have to accept that there will always be something more to strive for, another goal just out of reach. That's what keeps us motivated and pushing ourselves harder as writers.


Luminous by Dawn Metcalf
  • From Goodreads: As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong. When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.

How long did you work on this book?
The book itself took 6 months to write...that's the first draft. But with feedback, revisions, delays, being bumped twice, and other sundry details, it took almost 3 years. The offer was made in January, 2008 and Luminous hits the shelves June 30, 2011. I hate math, but I obsessed over this one! Would-be writers be aware: publishing moves at the speed of plate tectonics. I think it has something to do with yetis.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
As I mentioned above, the manuscript itself was snapped up pretty quickly...actually VERY quickly as I got the offer on a partial manuscript, meaning that I wasn't even done writing it yet! But that was the fourth manuscript this editor had asked about, the other three were "good, but not a good first book" (silly me for writing them out of order!) but what that really meant was that I had to grow as a writer before I had something worthy to stand out on the shelves. From my first foray into the Children's Literature world to getting an offer was roughly 15 months with lots of stock rejections for my attempts at picture books, polite rejections for my attempts at middle grade, and some real interest (i.e. personal rejections and inquiries) in my attempts at young adult. It's tough to call how "long" or "short" this was since I started writing full-length novels in 1985 but never submitted anything to anyone until 2005, starting with those picture books. So either it's been a very long or very short journey. Truth be told, if you ask any author and it always FEELS like it's been forever! Patience is a virtue and, in an author's case, a must!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Keep writing. While you're busy researching that big project, keep writing. While you're waiting for feedback from your critique partners, keep writing. While your manuscript simmers in a drawer to think about what it's done, keep writing. While you wait on query letters, keep writing. After you do your Happy Dance with an offer in hand, keep writing. While you wait for edits, keep writing. While you do your promotion or develop an online presence, keep writing. Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing! Do you sense a pattern? Writers write. Patient people wait. And dreamers gaze up at the sky and wonder "What if...?" The key to being a successful writer is balancing all three of these things, but your career depends on your ability to do the first one best of all!

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
A lot has surprised me. The best surprise has been how incredibly supportive the kid lit community is. I'm not exaggerating that there are so many professional, big-name people who are willing to Pay It Forward with helpful blogs, websites, chats, exchange of emails, invites to connect and even long, meandering phone and Skype calls, it's mind-boggling. I am so grateful to these people--editors, agents, authors and teachers--it would be impossible to name them all (although I do have a long list up on my website for gushing and linking)! But the most startling discovery was that I was supposed to have an "online presence". This part of the being a published author never occurred to me. I thought my job was to sit and write books! I had a crash course learning about blogs and Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, LibraryThing and Shelfari and Goodreads and all sorts of platform-building stuff when I discovered was all I really wanted to do was connect with people who loved writing, reading, genre and ranting about gender and diversity as much as I do. When I found those threads, the rest became addictively easy. (I know "addictively" isn't a word. But it should be!) If you surf the web in any capacity, you know what I mean!

Additional Releases
Withering Tights (Misadventures of Tallulah Casey) by Louise Rennison
  • From Goodreads: Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College. This is good-bye, Tallulah, you long, gangly thing, and hellooooo, Lullah, star of stage. Tallulah Casey is ready to find her inner artist. And some new mates. And maybe a boy or two or three. The ticket to achieving these lofty goals? Enrolling in a summer performing arts program, of course. She's bound for the wilds of Yorkshire Dales—eerily similar to the windswept moors of Wuthering Heights. Tallulah expects new friends, less parental interference, and lots of drama. Acting? Tights? Moors? Check, check, check. What she doesn't expect is feeling like a tiny bat's barging around in her mouth when she has her first snog.

Unfriended: A Top 8 Novel by Katie Finn
  • From Goodreads: Madison MacDonald is glad things are back to normal! Madison It’s SUMMER at last -- let the good times & pool parties roll! Location: Putnam Beach. Putnam, CT. Madison My friends are all together again, and Nate and I are better than ever. Finally, everything in my life is working out. :) Location: Gofer Ice Cream. Putnam, CT. Madison Even though Nate will be leaving for college in the fall. Location: New Canaan Drive-In. New Canaan, CT. Madison And there’s a piece of me that’s still waiting for the other shoe to drop from the prom heist. Location: Stubbs Coffee. Putnam, CT. Madison But everything is going to be fine! Right? Location: On A Blender Smoothie Shop. Putnam, CT. Madison Oh. Maybe I should take that back -- Location: Undisclosed THIS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY DISABLED. Madison MacDonald thinks the other shoe just dropped.
Giveaway

Here goes! Thanks to kind authors and publishing houses, we're happy to announce giveaways of WITHERING TIGHTS, SHARKS & BOYS, and 5 signed bookmarks courtesy of Dawn Metcalf for her book LUMINOUS. The AMAZING Dawn Ryan at Simon & Schuster is offering 3 copies of Lisa Schroeder's THE DAY BEFORE along with 3 copies of IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES!!! Please leave a comment on this post and fill out the form below to enter! The contest is open to US residents and winners will be announced this Thursday.

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP


52 comments:

  1. Great interviews. Perservering and writing, writing, writing, are such great pieces of advice.

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  2. Love this line from Lisa Schroeder:

    "Some books come out quickly, for whatever reason, and others like to take their own sweet time."

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  3. I think it's always interesting to read how long it takes authors to get their book written. I like to read about their journey.

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  4. These interviews are so motivating! I can't wait to read the books.

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  5. Love reading about these authors' roads to publication. Thanks again!

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  6. Luminous looks awesome. Thanks for these interviews!

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  7. Wow, some great books this week! I always love reading your interviews. Thanks for another fantastic giveaway!

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  8. So many great books! I've already read Fins Are Forever. It was really good! And I love the cover of Luminous.

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  9. I am so excited for almost all of these book this week! Thanks for hosting the interviews and giveaways and thanks for giving me a chance to win.

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  10. Very inspiring interviews! :-) And of course, more books - always a great thing :-)

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  11. I'm excited about Withering Tights. I've loved everything else Louise Renison has written.

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  12. I've been hearing about The Day Before. I can't wait to read it--and the others I learned about here. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  13. So many great books to choose from here! I'm jotting down notes for my B&N shopping trip! Thanks ladies!

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  14. i am SO EXCITED for the day before!!!!

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  15. Schroeder's writing style is fantastic in everything she does. I can't wait to read that one. Sharks and Boys look great and Withering Tights is supposed to be so funny! I heard Luminous was amazing as well! So many great books this week!!

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  16. I love Lisa's verse novels. I hadn't read any befor that.

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  17. I am so happy that The Day Before is finally here! I have been waiting for a long time to read it, ever since reading a review for it a while back. The cover also really got my attention. Can't wait to read it!

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  18. Really anticipating The Day Before. I love Lisa's work :)

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  19. I loved the interviews. So many great books this week!

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  20. Great interviews! Quite a few of these books are now on my wishlist :)

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  21. Withering Tights I cannot wait to read you! I love these adaptations on the classics ;) I looks great the trailer was awesome. Thank you!

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  22. OWLS!? The trailer that I saw on Twitter just made my tops soon to read Withering Tights. That and the title was genius! There are a lot a great looking reads coming out this week.

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  23. Yay! So excited for some of these! Particularly for Sharks and Boys. :P

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  24. Oh wow, these are some great books coming out this week! My poor to read list, hehe... :o)

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  25. The Day Before and Luminous look great! What a fun list.

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  26. hahaha I hadn't heard of Sharks & Boys. I'm interested!

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  27. Luminous by Dawn Metcalf is on my tbr list right now. I can't wait for these.

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  28. No, my to-read file hasn't fallen over yet, but that's because I'm cheating and filling up a box instead!

    Thrilled with these new releases :D

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  29. I've heard such good things about Lisa Schroeder's writing, and I love the cover for Luminous!!

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  30. I love these interviews. How cool that Lisa Schroeder's editor is giving away so many copies of her books. More chances to win! Hooray!

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  31. I love the line about no matter how long you've been submitting it feels like forever (paraphrase) and I think there is probably no truer statement about writing. It will also help me to maintain perspective as I am currently on that long road, hoping to find something worthy of being that first book in print. You all inspire me. The books are wonderful and having them as prizes is great but it is your stories that are priceless and inspiring.

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  32. When I see lists like these, I'm glad for my Kindle - it's not toppling over yet :P

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  33. I LOVE reading the journeys to publication. :)

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  34. Whee! what a great line-up. And fun to hear how authors have such different stories. ;o)

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  35. The Day Before sounds so good! Can't wait to read it.

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  36. Victoria ZumbrumJune 27, 2011 at 9:36 PM

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

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  37. I'm really looking forward to Withering Tights - love the title!

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  38. OMGoodness! There are some really great sounding books in this list. I especially love all the contemporary YA. :)

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  39. I am looking forward to Luminous & Sharks & Boys!

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  40. This Giveaway dounds awesome!!! can't wait for half of these books!!

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  41. Thank you for the giveaway!!! would love to read them :)

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  42. Really wonderful books. Luminous wow!

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  43. I'm so excited for so many of these books! Sharks & Boys sounds a lot more involved than I had first imagined, so I'm eager to read that one.

    Thanks for another fantastic giveaway!

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  44. Once again, great interviews! I'm really looking forward to reading The Day Before and Luminous. The cover for Luminous is absolutely GORGEOUS! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  45. Doesn't the Day Before sound awesome? I can't wait to read it!

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  46. I've heard great things about a lot of these titles, and they all sound fantastic. :)

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  47. Some books I've been hearing a lot about this week!

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  48. Great interview!! I love the cover of Luminous! Can't wait to read it :D

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  49. Lots of great ones! Thanks so much!

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  50. This is my first time stumbling onto this feature, but I love it! A bit about the book and the author with a giveaway! What's not to love? Thanks.

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