Monday, July 4, 2011

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

Happy 4th of July! First, a special thank-you to our Armed Forces (and their families) for serving this great nation and protecting our freedom everyday. And now, onto the books. It's day two in our two-part feature of what's in stores this week in the land of YA. We hope one of these books catches your eye. Be sure to check out the great author interviews and giveaway all the way down at the bottom. If you missed yesterday's post, you're invited to go back and see the other awesome books. Psssss..... you can enter our giveaway twice!

This Week's Interviews

Paradise by Jill S. Alexander
  • From Goodreads: Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town. Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true.
How long did you work on this book?
I began writing PARADISE in the fall of 2008, and I finished in May of 2010. I’ve learned that I prefer to let my books unfold organically and at their own pace. I think each story has its own growth-time, and I try to be patient.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
My journey to publication began when I joined The Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI) in 2004. I am a proud member and SCBWI success story. My first novel sold in 2008 at the national conference in NY after a critique. I probably received 4 or 5 rejections on various stories I submitted prior to my novel in 2008.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Again, if you’re writing for children, run don’t walk to your nearest SCBWI chapter meeting. They provide a tremendous service to aspiring authors from basic story starting to face-time with publishing folk.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I’ve met so many wonderful writers, librarians, bloggers – friends I truly enjoy and would’ve never met otherwise. I’m also still responsible for the laundry and cooking in my house. Publishing most likely won’t change your life, but writing your heart can.

The Siren's Cry (The Otherworldlies) by Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • From Goodreads: Not just an Otherworldly... an Unusual. Fern is not like other girls. She has strange and vivid visions and has the ability to teleport—anywhere, anytime. Fern is an Otherworldly, a special kind of vampire that lives in the human world. What's more, Fern is one of the Unusual Eleven, a group of Otherworldlies all born on the same day with extraordinary powers, prophesied to change the fate of Otherworldlies and humans alike. On a school trip to Washington, DC, Fern has a dramatic vision that reveals another Unusual in grave danger. Now it's up to Fern to put together the pieces of where he is and why he's been taken. Can Fern solve the puzzle and free the boy in time to defeat the darkness that threatens?
How long did you work on this book?
From start (an outline) to finish (the final revision), it took about a year. Although, because The Siren’s Cry is a sequel to The Otherworldlies, I have been thinking about the characters for much longer than that. I really loved writing the sequel because it felt like coming back to characters I’d grown to know and love.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I feel very fortunate. My first book was a version of my senior thesis in college. I got an agent fairly early on in the process and I was lucky to have had HarperCollins step up and want to publish my first book, Ruby Tuesday. To still be actively writing is a dream come true.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
First, go for it and go with your gut. There is a lot of advice out there, but only you know what is going to work for you. Second, and I’ve said this before, but every story starts with an idea. How an idea will age and grow is hard to predict. You simply never know what will end up working on the page and what won't. So write down all the ideas that occur to you, come back to them often, and use them as foundations for building your stories. Only then will you be able to tell what is bedrock and what is sand.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
What continues to surprise (and delight) me is when a fan of one of my books reaches out to me – whether it’s at a signing or via email. Honestly, it’s surreal every time. I remember being a wide-eyed kid who loved to read and to play even a small part in a young person’s reading life is, well, wonderful.

Stealing Bases: A PrettyTOUGH Novel by Keri Mikulski
  • From Goodreads: Reformed mean girl Kylie Collins desperately wants to put the craziness of basketball season behind her. (And with it, her cheater ex, Zachary Murphy.) Maybe she’ll finally be able to silence her snarky streak and concentrate on her lifelong dream - being recruited for Division One softball. But when Kylie arrives at her first softball practice of the season, she comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare: Amber McDonald, the best pitcher in the state. Now, Kylie's forced to warm the bench as Amber wows crowds again and again. With all the drama happening out on the softball diamond, Kylie finds herself drawn back to bad habits–sabotaging people and hanging out with a certain Zachary Murphy. . .
What routines do you find helpful for you to stay actively writing?        I do my absolute best to write everyday. Most days, my goal is to accomplish anywhere from 1000 to 3000 words. Writing is my escape, my dream, and my sanity – I love my writing time. :) 

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?
My number one goal every time I sit down to write a Pretty Tough novel is to please the readers of the series. Therefore, I make sure to stay involved and connected to the readers through email, Twitter, Facebook, and at events. Hearing from athletes and sharing sporty stories definitely fuels my creativity.

What advice would you offer writers to build their marketing platform before they become published?


Wow. There is so much advice out there. In my newbie opinion, the most important thing to keep in mind is that marketing platforms are individual. They depend on what your book is about and/or your passions. The best advice I’ve been given is to do what you’re comfortable doing and make sure you’re available to your readers. But most of all create a platform that feels right for you.

Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. by Medeia Sharif
  • From Goodreads: During Ramadan, we're not allowed to eat from sunrise to sunset, for a whole month. My family does this every year, even though I've been to a mosque exactly twice in my fifteen years. My exercise-obsessed mom—whose hotness skipped a generation, sadly—says I could stand to lose a few. But is torture really an acceptable method? I think not. Things wouldn't be so bad if I had a boyfriend, but my oppressive parents forbid me to date. This is just cruel and wrong. Especially since Peter, a cute and crushable artist, might be my soul mate. Figures my bestest friend Lisa likes him, too. To top it off, there's a new Muslim girl in school who struts around in super-short skirts, commanding every boy's attention—including Peter's. How can I get him to notice me? And will I ever feel like a typical American girl?
How long did you work on this book?
Approximately a year.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
My journey to publication was extremely long. I wrote my first book in’94, when I was a teenager, and I started querying in ’95. I remember how in ’95 and ’96 I was keeping all my rejections in a folder, but the folder was ready to burst. So I threw the rejections out unless they were personalized, since the personalized ones gave me insight on the do’s and don’ts of writing.

Between 1994 and 2008 I wrote at least a dozen manuscripts, and I queried for most of them, so you can imagine how many rejections I received during all those years of writing. I lost count. BRE isn’t my first novel and my current agent is not my first agent. So, yeah, it was a long journey. But things weren’t as grueling with BRE since that novel was “the one.”

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Be mindful of the feedback you receive. In my early writing years I didn’t believe any criticism. I thought my writing was flawless and I was a misunderstood artist. It took me years to develop a craving for criticism, at which point I became active with critique groups and beta readers. Another piece of advice is not to be too quick in believing your manuscript is ready for an agent or editor. These days I put a manuscript away for weeks, even months, between revisions.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I didn’t know there would be so many interruptions. There’s always an interview to do (like this one, wink-wink), an event to go to, bookmarks to have printed, etc. I had an inkling I would be busy around launch time, but not this busy. Now that I’ve been through this experience, I’m sure I’ll be more prepared next time. Other writers have told me the excitement and busyness does die down after the launch. I'm grateful that I'm going through all this, but at the same time I'm dying to get back to my two wips.


The Serpent's Coil: Prophecy of Days - Book 2 by Christy Raedeke
  • From Goodreads: After discovering that Uncle Li betrayed her and the Fraternitas Regni Occulti burned down her family’s house, Caity Mac Fireland retreats to a boarding school that allows her to travel around the globe. With the murderous Fraternitas hot on her heels, Caity continues to mobilize the planet’s young people as she attempts to fulfill the Mayan prophecy. Helping—and sometimes hindering— Caity in her quest are her best friend Justine, boyfriend Alex, and new classmate Jules D’Aubigne, an intriguing French boy. Can Caity end the devastating global reign of the Fraternitas and save the world?
How long did you work on this book?
This second book in the series I wrote in about 9 months – which was really fast compared to the first. Book I was written over about 4 years (with an infant and a toddler it was a bit on/off). Having a deadline really put the pressure on!

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
Once I was ready to query, I was rejected by just one agent (Jodi Reamer, who was a tad busy with the Twilight series). I met Laura Rennert at one of the phenomenal Big Sur Writers Conferences that Andrea Brown Literary puts on, and was offered representation a few months later. After the book went on submission, I think I got about 10 rejections before an offer came in. I’d have to go back into old emails to get a precise count of rejections, but I shudder at the thought of reading them again!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I would say go to any conferences or workshops that you can. I started with local ones and worked up to the larger conferences. If you want an education in publishing, it’s really the way to go – in one weekend you can learn so much! Beyond hearing what the editors, agents, and authors have to say, it’s a great way to connect to other writers. I’ve made some really good friends at conferences and workshops, and now most of those people are published authors. It’s amazing to witness! Also, if the conference has a writing contest, by all means enter it. If you win it’s a great thing to put in a query letter, especially if you don’t have prior publishing experience to talk about.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
What surprised me the most were foreign sales. It absolutely amazes and delights me to think that my books will be published in languages that I can’t read. Plus, each country does their own cover art, so it’s like a book makeover with every release! Such fun. Having a book series published is a dream come true—having those books translated into other languages is like a bonus dream!

Additional Releases

Sirensong: A Faeriewalker Novel by Jenna Black
  • From Goodreads: When Dana is invited to Faerie to be officially presented at the Seelie Court, it’s no easy decision. After all, everyone knows Titania, the Seelie Queen, wants her dead. But Titania claims not to be the one behind the death threats; and her son, Prince Henry, makes the decision a whole lot easier when he suggests Dana might be arrested for (supposedly) conspiring with her aunt Grace to usurp the Seelie throne. So she and her father better do as they're told…The journey through Faerie is long – and treacherous. Dana thought it would be a good idea to have friends along, but her sort-of-boyfriend Ethan and her bodyguard’s son, Keane, just can’t seem to get along, and Kimber’s crush on Keane isn’t making things any easier. When a violent attack separates Dana from their caravan, the sexy Erlking saves her just in the nick of time… and makes it clear that he hasn’t given up on making her his own. Arriving at Titania’s beautiful palace should be a relief. But Dana is soon implicated in an assassination attempt against Titania’s niece, and is suddenly a fugitive, forced to leave her father behind as she and her friends flee for her lives. Will she be able to prove her innocence before the forces of the Seelie Court catch up with her? Or, worse, the Erlking? And will she save her father before he pays the ultimate price in her stead?

Original Sin (A Personal Demons Novel) by Lisa Desrochers
  • From Goodreads: When secrets and old histories come to light, Frannie realizes that nobody is who she thought they were. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Some are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell's grasp. And not everyone will get out of it alive.
Giveaway

We hope you'll enter to win one of these sparkly prizes-- STEALING BASES, PARADISE, BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER., a galley of THE SIREN'S CRY, THE SERPENT'S COIL, and SIRENSONG. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and fill out the form below. The contest is open to US residents.

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP

31 comments:

  1. Great interviews and giveaways. I'd love to win The Siren's Cry, The Serpent's Coil, or Sirensong.

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  2. I like what Medeia Sharif said about criticism. Believe it. Don't think your manuscript is flawless. Great advice and hard to do.

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  3. Awesome books this week :D Super duper excited for Original Sin!

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  4. Thank you so much for the interviews and giveaways. Happy fourth of July!

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  5. Thanks again for these book giveaways and inspiring interviews! :-)

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  6. So many great books! Thanks for doing this every week.

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  7. I cannot wait for Sirensong. The faeriewalker series has been such a great read!

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  8. Ohh the Siren's Cry and Sirensong sound like really reads! I have read the prior books to Sirensong and loved them. This is a fabulous week for books!

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  9. Man, I totally want Personal Demons. Thanks so much yet again!

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  10. Hm................ The Siren's Cry looks interesting. Better put it on my to-be-read list.

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  11. Happy 4th of July! I am so excited for Sirensong, it looks amazing!

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  12. Great interviews! I'd be happy to win any of these books.

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  13. Can't wait for Sirensong! Hope you are having a fun (and safe!) 4th of July :)

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  14. Every week there are so many great releases!

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  15. What great interviews. Inspiring as always. I would love to read each book.

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  16. Victoria ZumbrumJuly 4, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    There are so many great releases. I would love to read them all. Thanks for the giveaway. Tore923@aol.com

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  17. Medeia is brilliant - can't wait to read her book! :)

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  18. Great books out this week! Looking forward to the Ramadan one.

    Happy 4th, Ladies! Hope you have a good one!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  19. I'm so glad to hear a sequel to The Otherworldlies is being released!

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  20. So nice to see these books and interviews! I've been following Medeia's journey a little, on her blog. :o) And YES to Jill Alexander--the SCBWI is great!

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  21. Original Sin! I can't wait to go back and read more of Luc's adventures :)

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  22. I cannot wait to read more about Caity in Serpent's Coil. Loved Christy Raedeke's Prophecy of Days, it was definitely one of the best debut books I've read. =)

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  23. My daughter and I have been anxiously awaiting the release of The Serpent's Coil. I loved Raedeke's first book so much, I bought a copy for myself, the school library, and all my young adult friends!

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  24. Thanks again! Happy holidays :)

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  25. Thanks for introducing to more fabulous books.

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  26. I've heard so much about a lot of these books. Thanks for having such a great giveaway.

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  27. So excited, the books sound great!

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  28. I'm so excited about all of these books, but I really can't wait to get my had on Medeia's. Great contest and interviews. Thanks!

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