Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 Interview with Agent Naomi Davis from Inklings Literary

Hi! Lisa here to welcome Agent Naomi Davis from Inklings Literary! We have a great interview to share so let's get started.

Naomi Davis has a background in writing, editing, and customer service, has been Michelle Johnson's assistant for two years and is now taking on select projects.

When she's not entertaining her spawn, she's immersed entirely in imaginary worlds with the characters who inspire her fiction, or reading stories with characters who spring off the page, grip her by the heart (/throat), and wring her emotionally dry. She loves a good bad guy, especially when he has a story to tell, too.

She currently represents a handful of select clients and is passionate about working with authors to shape their voice and platform to their fullest potential.

In fiction, Naomi is interested in Romance of any variety including Paranormal, fresh Urban Fantasy, general Fantasy, New Adult, and light Sci-Fi, as well as upper Young Adult stories in those categories.

What is it about a manuscript that excites you? 
I'm often drawn in from the first few sentences. If the setting is somewhere I've never thought of before or the relationships are immediately presented in a way that blows my mind, I'm hooked.
What is on your wish list?  
Right now I'm actively looking for YA and NA stories that feature unique settings and a dark tone within the genres of contemporary, fantasy, horror, and science fiction. I adore stories with added elements of romance and LGBTQ themes.
What are some things you love to see in a query? 
I love to see queries that follow the submission guidelines on our website. I know the guidelines vary greatly between agencies, but when I'm sorting through 50+ queries in a day, it is far easier for me to process all the information if it's presented in an organized way. I'm more likely to get excited about a story if I'm not frustrated from wading through unrequested materials.
What are some of the worst things you've seen in a query? 
Please do not quote the last 20 rejections you've had. I realize they said complimentary things about your writing. I would like to evaluate your work for myself without my mind cluttered by all the compliments of others, especially when they were rejections, after all.
Can you define voice for us? 
Voice is one of those things that is so hard to describe because it is different for every author, but I'll do my best. Think of the way you talk: the things you say that make your friends laugh, the witty or deep observations you make in your head, the words you don't say aloud when you're emotional because they are too private, or too close to your heart. That's your voice.
Each character in your story will have his or her own unique voice, and the way you link them together through the observations they make and feelings they have about each other becomes the overall voice of the story. If they are too similar, the story reads flat. If they are too different, the story reads chaotic.
Look at the people you hang out with in real life: they have distinct similarities to you (the main character) and they have distinctly different qualities, too, which then become things you admire or dislike about that person. Striking a realistic balance of the differences and similarities between characters makes the story believable, and your readers will relate to the characters so strongly that they'll hang onto every word your characters say. They'll CARE about the characters, so they'll care about what happens to them (the plot). The sooner you can make your characters consistent within the story, the stronger your hook on your reader's souls will be.
Coffee, tea, wine, chocolate, or any other vices? 
All of the above.
Love it! Which is more crucial: emotional connection or current marketability? 
By far emotional connection. Groundbreaking, market-smashing books were not such huge hits because they were what was "popular" at the time. They were unexpected and made the reader look at the world - or imagine a world - in a way they had never conceived of before.
Why did you become an agent? 
Frankly? As an author, I have the best agent I could ask for who supports every endeavor I undertake and encourages me to grow in all directions possible. She provides me with feedback, champions my work like it's the best thing since sliced bread, and cares about me as a writer, not as just a marketable project. Every single writer deserves an advocate with that kind of passion, and I hope I can be that advocate for the writers who snag my heart through their art.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

8 How to Write Scary by Gretchen McNeil

Here's the thing about writing horror: it's all about the set up.

We're all scared of different things.

For some people, the idea of a giant spider lurking under the bed, is enough to paralyze them with fear. For others, it's the idea of being buried alive in a close, black coffin, utterly sightless in the dark. Still others fear the darkness. Or heights. Or being abandoned in the middle of nowhere.

So many different kinds of scary. The things we fear most come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the physical – like spiders and sharks – to the esoteric – like claustrophobia and paranoia – to the otherworldly – like demons and vampires and witches (oh my!). What scares one person might be unicorns and rainbows to someone else. But set up properly, even unicorns and rainbows can scare the crap out of you.

To me, conveying fear isn't just about describing a situation, object, or person that someone might find scary, but giving a blow-by-blow of the event and actually detailing the fear reaction in the characters.

We all know exactly what it feels like to be scared. First you have the anticipation: What's behind that closed door? What's making that scratching noise in the attic? What's lurking in the deep, dark waters? It's the tensing of muscles like you're expecting a blow, that stretching of all your senses, trying to see/feel/hear/smell danger before it pounces on you. The higher the tension is pitched, the bigger the wallop.

Next, the reveal. The door opens to expose a dead body that spills out on top of our poor heroine the moment she turns the doorknob. The scratching noise in the attic inexplicably moves through the ceiling, down the stairs and manifests in a dark, demonic entity. The dorsal fin of a great white shark breaks the surface of the water in which you're swimming. The terror has been revealed in one jarring, scream-inducing moment!

But that's not scary enough, not for the expectant reader. You need the next step in the process – experiencing the fear through the eyes of the main character. We need to feel their bodies tremble as they break out into a cold sweat. We need to hear the blood-curdling scream that explodes from their mouths. We need to internalize the sick, sinking feeling in their stomachs as death closes in around them.

And lastly, the action. Our heroine's panicked flee from the house, our hero's desperate attempt to out maneuver a man-eating shark. Will they survive? Will they escape? Hearts pound in anticipation with every turn of the page!!!!

Broken down, none of these steps in the process seems particularly scream-worthy, but strung together with pacing and tension? WHAM. Horror show.

* * *

About the Author

Gretchen McNeil's YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, and was nominated for "Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012" by Romantic Times. Gretchen's 2013 release is 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places.

In 2014, Gretchen debuts her first series, Don't Get Mad (pitched as "John Hughes with a body count") about four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school. The Don't Get Mad series begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, also with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. In her spare time, she blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and she was a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels.

Gretchen is repped by the incomparable Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

About the Book

Follows the secretive exploits of four high school juniors - Kitty, Olivia, Margot and Bree - at an exclusive Catholic prep school.

To all outward appearances, the girls barely know each other. At best, they don't move in the same social circles; at worst, they're overtly hostile.

Margot Mejia – academically ranked number two in her class, Margot is a focused overachiever bound for the Ivy League.

Kitty Wei – captain of the California state and national champion varsity girls' volleyball team, she's been recruited by a dozen colleges and has dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.

Olivia Hayes – popular star of the drama program, she's been voted "most eligible bachelorette" two years running in the high school yearbook and has an almost lethal combination of beauty and charm.

Bree Deringer – outcast, misfit and the kind of girl you don't want to meet in a dark alley, the stop sign red-haired punk is a constant thorn in the side of teachers and school administrators alike.

Different goals, different friends, different lives, but the girls share a secret no one would ever guess. They are members of Don't Get Mad, a society specializing in seeking revenge for fellow students who have been silently victimized by their peers. Each girl has her own reason for joining the group, her own set of demons to assuage by evening the score for someone else. And though school administration is desperate to find out who is behind the DGM "events", the girls have managed to keep their secret well hidden.

That is until one of their targets – a douchebag senior who took advantage of a drunk underclassman during a house party, videotaped it on his phone, and posted it on YouTube – turns up dead, and DGM is implicated in the murder.

Now the girls don't know who to trust, and as their tenuous alliance begins to crumble, the secrets they've hidden for so long might be their ultimate undoing.

Preorder Get Even on Amazon
Find Get Even on Goodreads

** Please note: This is an updated repost. AYAP is on limited hiatus until August, with a mixture of old favorites, new posts, and new giveaways.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3 What Makes a Southern Gothic and Two HUGE Pick Three Giveaways of Hot Upcoming ARCs

Today, I’d like to make an introduction. Friends, meet the brand-new COMPULSION microsite. Do you love it like I do? Like the cover, it’s atmospheric, magical, and a bit surreal, not your usual Southern Gothic, but still subtly so.

COMPULSION, on the other hand, is not subtly Southern Gothic. I went there. I embraced my favorite over-the-top Southern Gothic elements and then I twisted them.

So what makes a Southern Gothic? Well, the famed Southern author Pat Conroy, who I’m suddenly reminded once offered to read back when it never occurred to me that I would ever write a Southern book, provided my favorite definition of the genre.

“My mother, Southern to the bone,” he said in a speech to the American Booksellers Association, “once told me, 'All Southern literature can be summed up in these words: On the night the hogs ate Willie, Mama died when she heard what Daddy did to Sister.'”

Got all that? :) That definition gives you almost all the elements: setting, eccentric characters, grotesquerie, and a voice that seeks a bit of light amid the darkness.

Let’s break it down a little more. The elements of a Southern Gothic include:

A Southern setting that becomes a character in the book. That takes more than looming cypress trees hung with Spanish moss, decaying mansions, and seemingly friendly neighbors who aren’t what they seem. A great setting in any book has to show us somewhere new and unique, or something familiar from a fresh perspective. That place must contain specific values and characteristics that impact the people who live there and change them for better or for worse. Most importantly, the setting in a Southern Gothic creates the plot by forcing the need for change upon the characters.

Deeply flawed, damaged, bigger-than-life characters with a heaping dose of crazy. The purpose of these characters isn’t simply to create sympathy for the innocent heroine who has to live with their misdeeds. Nor is it just because nearly every Southern family has a crazy uncle Bobby Joe in the woodpile or the county jail. These characters are broken, and for the most part, they’re finding their way through their lives and navigating among the people around them as best they can. Their flaws and poor choices serve to highlight questions of morality, gender roles, inequality, corruption, violence, racism, poverty versus wealth, and other weaknesses in society.

An innocent plunged into the mix. Because the genre derives from the pure gothic genre, there is usually an innocent: a young woman, young man, child, or outsider who serves to examine, heal, and redeem. By virtue of being different, new, or innocent, she is the catalyst for the change required as the result of the physical, environmental, moral, or societal weakness imposed by the setting.

Powerful family histories, traditions, myths, folklore, and perhaps a bit of magic that serve up unique, supernatural, or ironic events. These derive from the setting and the deeply torn history of the South itself, the push and pull of pride and shame, of love for the past and the need to escape it. This in turn created the characters, which in turn feeds the process of change.

Narrative choices that add humor, lightness, or irony to play against the darkness. I went with swoony romance and a dramatic style, and I love the freedom within this genre that lets me play with extremes. But the range of options writers choose for this element of the Southern Gothic is among the widest. You get gorgeous writing, or very sparse prose. There's the tongue-in-cheek narrator, or one with a subtle hint of humor. There's the gamut from Poe, to Faulkner, to Conroy, to Eudora Welty.  

I love that a wealth of Southern Gothic tradition is developing in young adult literature. And just as young adult authors have stretched the boundaries with every other genre, there are many different flavors of Southern Gothic evolving.

In COMPULSION, I lean toward a star-crossed romance with a mix of magical realism and outright fantasy. Maggie Stiefvater expertly blended Southern Gothic elements with Welsh mythology and romanticism to create a complex examination of friendship, wealth, and poverty. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl build an elaborate paranormal world and a memorable romance in their BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series. Melissa Marr created a heart-pounding Southern Gothic thriller in her upcoming MADE FOR YOU, and Delilah S. Dawson and Natalie S. Parker are leaning toward chilling horror in SERVANTS OF THE STORM and BEWARE THE WILD.

It’s a fabulous fall y’all. Are you looking forward to heading down South?


Congrats to Debra Chavana for winning HEXED by Michelle Krys


I promised I'd brought some great things back from ALA, right? Well here's the first of many giveaways featuring my finds. Click the links to get instructions for how to enter (it's SUPER easy this time around!), and if you'd like, leave a comment below and share what you like!

Click to Enter

Click to Enter

Monday, July 28, 2014

17 Giveaway of 3 Books by Lisa Schroeder plus New YALit Releases 7/28-8/3

Hi Everyone!
It's another great week of book releases. Here's the roundup with an amazing giveaway from Lisa Schroeder! One winner will win a signed copy of THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU plus signed copies of CHASING BROOKLYN and FALLING FOR YOU. What are you reading this week?

The ladies of AYAP,

Martina, Alyssa, Jan, Lisa, Katharyn, Erin, and Clara


* * * *

The Bridge from Me to You
by Lisa Schroeder
Signed copies of The Bridge from Me to You, Chasing Brooklyn, and Falling for You
Released 7/29/2014

Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.

Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible--something to truly believe in.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Bridge from Me to You?

I love books that alternate points of view. My novel, CHASING BROOKLYN, alternates between Nico and Brooklyn and the response to that book and the alternating POVs has been really positive. With this new YA, Lauren and Colby tell the story. Lauren's part is in verse while Colby's is in regular chapters. Lauren has had a rough time of it, and has ended up in this small town, living with her aunt and uncle and three cousins. The verse for her part of the story allowed me to really get inside her head and express all of the emotions she's having about her life. And then there's Colby. He's one of the star football players but he has dreams beyond the field, and he feels alone in those dreams. Basically, it's a story of a girl who is haunted by her past and a boy who is haunted by his future, and they are stuck in this small town and at times, neither of them feel like they belong there, for very different reasons. So I love how the dual points of view tell the story in a unique way.

Purchase The Bridge from Me to You at Amazon
Purchase The Bridge from Me to You at IndieBound
View The Bridge from Me to You on Goodreads


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Strange and Ever After
by Susan Dennard
Released 7/22/2014

Winner - Summer Khaleq

In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Strange and Ever After?

I have to say, I LOVE the Egyptian setting. I mean, Indiana Jones and The Mummy are still some of my favorite films, so it's no wonder that I loved exploring 1876 Cairo so much! I mean, the dusty streets, the intense heat, the call of the muezzin, and the clash of modern buildings with old Turkish side streets--it was seriously a delight researching this book. Then, studying the Great Pyramid, Saqqara, and Heliopolis--there is just so much potential for conflict and romance in those settings!

Plus--c'mon--everyone knows that having mummies as part of a Dead army makes EVERYTHING cooler. ;)

Purchase Strange and Ever After at Amazon
Purchase Strange and Ever After at IndieBound
View Strange and Ever After on Goodreads


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Kalona's Fall
by Kristin Cast & P.C. Cast
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 7/29/2014

With more than 12 million books in print, rights sold in almost forty countries, and more than three years on The New York Times bestseller listreaching as high as #1 the House of Night series is an international publishing sensation. Now, the excitement continues as the Cast mother-daughter duo shares the back stories of a few of the House of Night's most importantand mysteriouscharacters.In KALONA'S FALL, the shadows in Kalonas past will finally come to light We will learn about the winged immortal's secret history and discover how he went from being the Goddess's Warrior and Guardian to her enemy and betrayer. Did Darkness taint Kalona as it did Neferet, or has the powerful immortal always preferred power over honor, and control over faith? This novella will be crucial to fans' understanding of Kalona, before his role in the explosive final installment of the House of Night, REDEEMED coming in October 2014.

Purchase Kalona's Fall at Amazon
Purchase Kalona's Fall at IndieBound
View Kalona's Fall on Goodreads

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Silver Shadows
by Richelle Mead
Released 7/29/2014

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Purchase Silver Shadows at Amazon
Purchase Silver Shadows at IndieBound
View Silver Shadows on Goodreads

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Some Boys
by Patty Blount
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 8/1/2014

Some boys go too far. Some boys will break your heart. But one boy can make you whole.

When Grace meets Ian she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But...Ian doesn't. He's funny and kind with secrets of his own.

But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

A gut-wrenching, powerful love story told from alternating points of view by the acclaimed author of Send.

Purchase Some Boys at Amazon
Purchase Some Boys at IndieBound
View Some Boys on Goodreads

* * * *

The Young World
by Chris Weitz
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 7/29/2014

Welcome to New York, a city ruled by teens.
After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he's secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.
The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park...and discovers truths they could never have imagined.

Purchase The Young World at Amazon
Purchase The Young World at IndieBound
View The Young World on Goodreads

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

4 Editor Aubrey Poole from Sourcebooks on Indie Vs. Traditional Publishing

Lisa here! I asked Aubrey Poole, editor at Sourcebooks,  to weigh in on the whole Indie vs. Traditional debate.

Thanks for inviting me to be a part of this ever-changing and increasingly important discussion.  The rise of the eBook has meant a lot of changes for the publishing industry, and I’m proud to be a part of an organization that has embraced those changes. Sourcebooks is a privately owned independent company that’s gained a reputation for being agile, forward-thinking and willing to experiment. So, we may not quite fall under the category of “traditional” publisher, but we definitely acquire, package, produce, market and sell books, and I’m very happy to talk a little more about what value a Publisher brings to its authors.

I can throw a lot of terms at you about each piece of the publishing process, like so:

But I’m going to break it down to one core idea: Discoverability.

What does discoverability mean? How readers find your book.  If they don’t know about it, they can’t buy it (or check it out), and they can’t read it. So, the billion dollar question is: how will readers find your book?

With the close of Borders and the increasing popularity of eReaders, brick-and-mortar stores are gradually decreasing in number, limiting the opportunity for chance discovery. It’s becoming less common for readers to be browsing a shelf to find their next must-read and more important for publishers (or self-published authors) to find ways to bring attention to their books.
So, essentially, a Publisher’s job is to connect authors to readers.

This is done in a variety of ways from creating eye-catching book covers (that look good as thumbnails), to writing intriguing jacket copy, to placing ads in magazines, to sending ARCs (advance readers copies) to bloggers, reviewers, booksellers and librarians, to booking spots on TV or NPR, to purchasing advantageous placement in Barnes and Noble (those front-of-store table displays aren’t free!) to making sure the metadata (title, author, pages count, age level, etc.) is sent to Amazon correctly, and more.

With all of the noise out there (347,178 new books published in 2011 in the U.S. alone), it’s a Publisher’s job to make your book be heard.

What about Amanda Hocking and E.L. James, you ask? Didn’t they become successful, bestselling authors without a “traditional” publisher?  Yes! They are part of the lucky few whose self-published eBooks got that magical word-of-mouth momentum combined with low price points that shot them to the top of the bestseller lists. But for every success story, there are thousands of self-published authors you’ve never heard of and likely never will. And, you may have noticed, both Hocking and James turned to “traditional” publishers to take their eBook phenomena and publish them in print to reach an even wider audience.

So, what does this all mean for you, the writer?  Self-publishing is a fantastic new and growing option that will become an important part of the publishing sphere and allow for more and easier access to information than ever before. And for some authors, it will be the right fit. I think it will be especially important for authors of controversial, innovative or niche subjects and genres fast converting to eBooks (like romance!). But in my opinion, a Publisher is still a writer’s best bet when it comes to finding an audience for you book.  

Aubrey Poole got her start as an editor correcting her friends’ grammar in high school, an effort which naturally guaranteed instant popularity. She is now an associate editor at Sourcebooks, acquiring children’s books from picture books through young adult. Her first YA novel, Send by Patty Blount, was a Junior Library Guild pick. Her middle grade novel This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy Cavanaugh received a Starred review from Kirkus and is a Florida State Book award winner. Aubrey hopes to continue shamelessly courting librarians with her forthcoming middle grade series The Ninja Librarians, which also received a Starred review from Kirkus. Some of Aubrey’s authors include NYT and USA Today bestseller Suzanne Brockmann, USA Today bestseller Juliana Stone, award-winner Mari Mancusi, award-winner Jen Calonita, Janet Gurtler, Natalie D. Richards, Anna Staniszewski and illustrators Tracy Dockray and Bill Cotter.

Originally posted on Paranormal Point of View in February 2013

Saturday, July 26, 2014

3 Author Interviews with Stephanie Diaz, Susan Dennard and Laurie Stolarz!

Stephanie Diaz, Extraction

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

My inspiration for writing Extraction came from a question that popped into my head out of nowhere: "What if the moon were poisonous?" I built a world around that and dropped characters into the middle of it.

How long did you work on the book?

The first draft of Extraction only took about two months to write. But it took another eight months of revising off and on before I finished the draft that landed me an agent. A couple more revision passes happened before the book sold to an editor, and two more happened after that. So, the revision process was by far the longest.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

My road to publication was quite long, but I started young. I finished my first full-length novel at age eleven and started pitching it to agents shortly afterward. That novel didn't fly (and no one else will ever read it), so I wrote another, and then another when the second one didn't land me an agent either. The third one, Extraction, did the trick. I was nineteen when I signed with an agent, and twenty when the book sold to St. Martin's.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

Most of the time I write at home in my bedroom, usually with movie soundtracks streaming through my headphones. If I need a change of scenery, I'll go to the local library or a Starbucks.

What's some advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

My biggest writing advice is to keep writing even when you're afraid your work isn't good enough and to always trust your instincts. Also, read often and widely, anything you can get your hands on.


Extraction is Stephanie Diaz's debut novel and it arrived on shelves on July 22nd. Visit her website here | Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads


Susan Dennard, Strange and Ever After

How long did you work on the book?

This book took me about 3 months to write and revise before I turned it in. In some ways, it was the easiest of my trilogy to write because I was familiar with the characters and knew how the plot needed to wrap up. On the other hand, it was the most emotionally wrenching of the stories. (I must've cried a million tears.)

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I get up at 5 AM every day (weekends too), make a cup of coffee, and write at least 1000 words before breakfast. Then, after breakfast, I head back to work until the early afternoon. :) Some days, the writing is great, I'll write 5K, and I'll save every word. Other days, the writing is awful, I barely reach 1000, and I throw it all out the next day. But I find that a little bit everyday--no matter what--eventually gets me over the finish line.

What's advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Publishing is a marathon, not a sprint. This was advice given to me by my agent early on in my career, and it really resonated with me. I think writers of all publication stages (aspiring, agented, debut, long career) get impatient--we want to finish this draft now and sell this book now and reach readers NOW! But there's really no rush. Unlike many other professions, you can write until the day you die. Plus, very few authors are successful right out the gate. A solid career takes many years and many books to build.


Susan Dennard is the author of Something Strange and Lovely, and A Darkness Strange and Lovely with Strange and Ever After hitting shelves this past week. Visit her website here | Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads


Laurie Stolarz, Welcome To The Dark House

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

A lot of readers ask me if I ever get my ideas from dreams or nightmares. The truth is that I don't. I don't really dream too much – not that I can remember, anyway. But about two years ago, I did have a nightmare and Welcome to the Dark House is the result. I dreamed about a contest in which horror film fanatics (all of them eagerly awaiting the next film in a certain famed director's cult-followed movie series) enter a contest in which they have to submit their worst nightmare. The winners would get flown from all over the country to see the director's long-awaited, highly anticipated film. As the winners arrive, they couldn’t be more excited. The place where they’re staying has been hand-tailored to all of their tastes. They can’t wait to meet the director and see the film. This is a once-and-a-lifetime opportunity - or so it seems. My nightmare continued, and let’s just say there’s a creepy amusement park involved, but I don’t want to give too much away. You’ll have to read the book;)

How long did you work on the book?

It took me about seven months to write the first draft and then another six months to edit it (delete, add, reconsider, rework, strengthen, tighten, tweak, repeat).

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

My initial path to publication was a rough one. I approached editors and agents at the same time, trying to target those who worked with writers like me (namely, writers who wrote in the young adult supernatural/paranormal genre). It took me over a year to sell my first novel. I have a folder filled with rejection letters. My favorite one is from an editor who said: “While this is an interesting project, I do not feel it is strong enough to compete in today’s competitive young adult market.” That same young adult novel, BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES, has sold over 200,000 copies, has been translated into numerous different languages, has appeared on many different award lists, and was optioned by Blondie Girl Productions (Ashley Tisdale's production company) in partnership with Mandalay Entertainment, and sold to ABC Family for a TV series.

When I speak to young people and aspiring writers, I always tell them this story, that if I had stopped persevering, after I received my first – or my 40th rejection letter – I may never have been able to enjoy the success of my career. BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES came out in 2003 and it's still in print. I followed "Blue" up with WHITE IS FOR MAGIC, SILVER IS FOR SECRETS, RED IS FOR REMEMBRANCE, and BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS, all published by Llewellyn/Flux.

I’ve also published several books with Disney/Hyperion: BLEED (2006) and PROJECT 17 (2007); these are companion books to one another, though stand-alone titles. I also published my five-book TOUCH series with Disney/Hyperion, the first book of which is DEADLY LITTLE SECRET (2008), and now WELCOME TO THE DARK HOUSE, the first book in my DARK HOUSE series is also with Disney Hyperion.

I’m grateful to have been very busy with work after publishing my first novel.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc.

When I’m on deadline, I write ten pages per week, revising as I go along. I normally work at home, though I can also work pretty much anywhere - coffee shops, waiting rooms, libraries, the car. I don’t have too many requirements, but a cup of strong black coffee is always nice.

What's advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

My biggest piece of advice is to persevere. There are many talented writers who give up after 5, 10, or even 50 rejection letters. Be open to learning and to getting better in your craft. If more than one person criticizes the same point in your work – i.e. your main character whines too much – chances are you need to look at that point again. Never pay reading fees while trying to get published – ever. Do your homework. Know to whom you’re sending your query letter, who that person’s clients are, what that person’s track record is (i.e. the details of his or her most recent acquisitions), and what that person is looking for. Every letter should be personalized and reflect that you’ve done your research. And, lastly, consider joining a writers group. There’s nothing better than being in a group of like-minded writers who can help inspire and cheer you on, and who can provide constructive feedback that can help to strengthen your work.


Laurie Stolarz is the YA author of the Touch series, with Welcome to The Dark House coming out on July 22nd. Visit her website here | Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

Friday, July 25, 2014

4 Confessions of a Serial Novelist (Part 2) by Clara Kensie

Hey gang! Welcome back to the Adventures in YA Publishing series on... serials! Last week, I told you about the surprising pleasures of reading serialized novels. I hope I convinced at least some of you to give serials a try! This week, we’re continuing our discussion by talking about how to write a serialized novel.

Source: Adam Franco

How, exactly, does one go about writing a serial? While revising my RUN TO YOU manuscripts after my publisher's decision to release them as serials, I learned that it takes more than simply chopping a full-length novel into equal parts. Whether you’re an indie author who decides to serialize your books, or you’re a traditionally-pubbed author whose publisher wants to try it, there are certain things you must keep in mind when writing a serial:

PACING: You must have a strong sense of pacing as you develop the highs and lows that bring the characters and plot to a new level with each installment, but still leave them more to do and learn, giving the reader a breathing point, yet leaving them wanting to know what happens next.

INSTALLMENT BREAKS: One piece of advice writers always hear is, “Never give your readers a reason to put your book down.” But a serial forces your readers to put your book down after every installment! Therefore, it is imperative to end each episode in such a way that your readers must read the next one to find out what happens next. End your installment in the middle of the action. RUN TO YOU is a thriller with lots of plot twists and life-or-death situations. Many chapters end on a cliffhanger. But a serial’s episodes don’t have to end on a life-or-death cliffhanger, leaving the reader wondering if a character is going to live or die. Emotional cliffhangers can be equally as compelling. You want to end each episode in a way that your readers must know the secret the hero is about to reveal, or which suitor the heroine will choose to bring to the ball, or if the hero and heroine’s relationship will survive the latest turn of events. In fact, though many RUN TO YOU chapters end on a life-or-death cliffhanger, all of its installments end on an emotional cliffhanger.

BEGINNING THE NEXT INSTALLMENT: To begin episodes two, three, four, etc, you will want to remind your readers what happened at the end of the previous installment. I recommend keeping this very brief; just a few phrases in the opening paragraphs to help them recall what happened last time and to re-establish the mood and tone. But don’t simply give them a bunch of flashbacks. You want to weave in what happened last time in a natural way. The shorter your release schedule—weekly, bi-weekly, monthly—the less reminders you’ll have to give them. (We’ll talk more about release schedules next week, when we discuss marketing your serial.)

STRUCTURE: Each episode of your serial does not have to be self-contained, but there should be an over-arching plot for the book as a whole: each installment must build toward a satisfying conclusion at the end of the book. While your complete serial should be structured as a typical book, with setup, turning points, climax, and conclusion, you may have to add extra turning points within your overall plot to allow for cliffhanger endings of each episode, or you may have to arrange your chapters so the cliffhangers fall at the installment breaks. I found this to be the most challenging aspect of writing my serials: following the standard structure of a whole novel while putting major turning points or cliffhangers at the installment breaks.

NUMBER AND LENGTH OF INSTALLMENTS: This point is both a writing issue and a marketing issue. It’s important to understand your market before you determine the number and length of your installments. There is no industry standard: the number of installments varies per serial. In my case, Harlequin Teen determined RUN TO YOU would have three parts per book. Each part has between 99 and 120 pages. Other serials have six, eight, or ten installments per book. There may be serials with even more installments, especially on Wattpad or in fanfic. Generally, the more installments in a book, the less pages per installment. You should keep your audience and your price point in mind as you decide the number and length of your episodes. You want to give your readers an installment that’s short enough to consume in a single sitting, but long enough that leaves them feeling satisfied with both the story and the price they paid.


So, my friends, now that you are armed with this information, would you ever try to write a serial? If your publisher decided to serialize your manuscript, how would you react: would you run away in tears, or would you be up to the challenge?


Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.

Today Clara is the author of dark fiction young adults. Her debut series, the romantic thriller RUN TO YOU, is Harlequin TEEN’s first serial. Book One is First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm. Book Two is Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense.

Her favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.

Find Clara online: Website   Twitter   Facebook   Tumblr   Instagram   Goodreads  Newsletter

About the books

Good news! The first installment of my serial, RUN TO YOU Part I: FIRST SIGHT, is still free across all e-tailers! 
In Part One of this romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can't even tell him her real name. But Tristan won't be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…

RUN TO YOU is Tessa and Tristan's saga—two books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Each book is told in three parts: a total of six shattering reads that will stay with you long after the last page.

Grab FIRST SIGHT now for free, then join Harlequin Teen and a whole bunch of book bloggers and fans at the RUN TO YOU read-along. We're discussing FIRST SIGHT this week, SECOND GLANCE next week, and THIRD CHARM the week after that. We’re having a great time, and we have some fun prizes to give away. Get more details on my blog: I’d love to see the Adventures in YA Publishing gang at the read-along!

For more about each installment of the RUN TO YOU series, click here

Find RUN TO YOU at your favorite e-tailers, including:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

11 Agent Sara Megibow On Whether You Still Need an Agent

Lisa here again. Today I am sharing an interview with agent Sara Megibow. She took time out of her very busy schedule to answer some pressing questions for writers. 

1.  The market is rapidly changing as we all know. How is the agent's job changing with it, or is it?

Great question and thanks for having me here today! I imagine that, as with most questions about publishing, this answer will vary greatly from agent to agent. I tend to represent debut genre authors (Stefan Bachmann of the middle grade fantasy THE PECULIAR, Miranda Kenneally of the contemporary young adult CATCHING JORDAN, Roni Loren of the contemporary erotic romance CRASH INTO YOU, etc), so my answers will be skewed to those markets.

For me personally, when someone says "rapidly changing market" my thoughts go to electronic book sales and subsidiary rights.

What does "rapidly changing market" mean in terms of ebook sales? Growth. We've seen huge growth in the ebook market since I started working in publishing in 2006. The impact of that growth affects my job in many ways - this won't be an all-inclusive list, but here's an overview:

In 2012, Stefan Bachmann's book sales (remember - he writes middle grade fantasy) broke down to 94% print sales and 6% ebook sales. Conversely, Roni Loren's book sales (for contemporary erotic romance) were 33% print book and 67% ebook sales. How does this affect my job? Well, I need to know this stuff. It's important to know the numbers, the trends and the impact for my clients and their books. We see ebook sales growing tremendously, but it's also important to know in which genres that growth occurs and in which segments growth is perhaps plateauing. Ebook growth in the past couple of years has affected my day-to-day job to include: negotiating contracts that include important ebook language and ebook royalties, crafting publicity plans for my clients that focus on print sales AND ebook sales (or just ebook sales for clients with ebook-only releases), weighing ebook-only deals with p&e deals (print and ebook) and researching the impacts of cover design, metadata, release dates and pricing on ebook sales.

What does "rapidly changing market" mean to subsidiary rights? Opportunity. Subsidiary rights (to an agent) means film, foreign rights, audio rights, gaming, merchandise, etc. Possibly as a side result of the growth in ebook sales (or possibly due to the gigantic increase in pop cultural success coming from books like HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT and HUNGER GAMES) - I've seen tremendous increase in opportunities for my authors to make money on subsidiary rights. I have more interest from Hollywood for film and TV sales than ever before and for a wider range of books (romance, erotica, New Adult, middle grade - etc.). CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally was optioned to producer Nick Wechsler last year, and I have more big Hollywood news coming soon. I'm selling more audio rights and making more money for my clients on foreign rights. Tiffany Reisz's ORIGINAL SINNERS series knocked 50 SHADES OF GREY off the #1 bestselling spot in erotica in the UK and Stefan Bachmann's THE PECULIAR is a bestseller in Germany and Switzerland. So, how is my job changing? Basically - I am spending more time shopping, organizing, planning and promoting subsidiary rights sales for all my clients whether they write fantasy or erotica and whether they are debut authors or international bestsellers.

As a side note, many times when writers ask agents about the "rapidly changing marketplace" they are asking about self-publishing. Self publishing is a wonderful trend that has seen tremendous success in the past few years. This trend doesn't affect me much though as I don't tend to represent previously self-published titles. My inbox is still stuffed full of authors looking for traditional publishing deals and that's the model I, personally, tend to prefer. For example, Jaleigh Johnson came to me via the traditional email query letter in December and we sold her debut middle grade fantasy in 12 days in a significant deal to Random House. So, self publishing works for a lot of authors, but it's not a trend that's affecting me much right now as the traditional model is still working for me very very very well.

2.  Many are going the self publishing or Indie route. What would you say to those that choose this route?

Awesome! Seriously - the success stories are inspiring and heart warming. It's not a segment of the industry that I pursue as I am still rabidly in love with traditional publishing. But, some of my clients are self publishing ancillary works - for example, Juliana Stone is publishing a New Adult,  THE STILLNESS OF YOU, under the name Julie Bale and is very happy with that decision. One big benefit self publishers have (at least in my limited experience) is control - they can control content, length, release date, cover, editing, pricing, metadata, promotions, publicity, audio rights, etc. For authors who prefer a lot of control in the process, I imagine this is a powerful and wonderful feeling. If someone who is not a client says to me, "I've decided to self publish" I say great! If someone who is not a client says to me, "I've decided to traditionally publish" I say great! If that someone IS a client, then my answer is a bit more complex as all clients receive in-depth, personalized career planning. Still, your question is "what would you say to those that choose this route" and my answer is, Great!

3.  Here's the big one! Why do we still need an agent?

That's an excellent question! You don't.  :)

Many authors don't want agents and if you don't want an agent, then don't get one. Personally, I want to work with people who WANT to work with me and I'm sure it works the other way around too. This question doesn't offend me at all and it's an excellent one! Here are some reasons why you *might* still need an agent:

There are publishing houses and imprints that only accept material from agents. However if an author has no interest in submitting to those houses, then having no agent is no loss. In general, I would say if an author wants a traditional publishing deal, they want an agent. If an author wants a small-press publishing deal or to self-publish, they don't need an agent (although she/he may want one anyway).

As an agency, we provide serious and thorough contract negotiation. However, anyone can hire an entertainment lawyer (just make sure to hire one that specializes in publishing contracts). If you are self-publishing, then there are fewer contractual issues to worry about. But if you are print and/or e-book publishing with any publishing house - big or small - then the contract is a complicated document that most people need explained and/or negotiated for them.

I provide editorial feedback, career planning and publicity/promotions help - but an author can hire an editor, make their own career plans and pay for a publicity team.

Our agency audits royalty statements for our clients and tracks license payments, advance payments and royalty payments. An organized author can do that for her/himself, especially if they have an accounting background.

The big question is subsidiary rights. Can an author shop their own foreign, audio, gaming, film, TV and merchandising rights? That I don't know. I wouldn't want to have to do that on my own, however there are some very savvy people out there and if this extent of sales floats your boat, then I imagine it can be done. Perhaps the savvy author could hire their own foreign co-agent and travel to LA to meet with film co-agents? Again, I don't know the answer to that one. My gut response in today's market (and that could change next year, next month, next week) is that if an author wants to exercise their subsidiary rights then they need an agent.

Hugh Howey didn't have an agent when WOOL went viral as a self published e-book, but he has one now (my boss, Kristin Nelson). Kristin has closed foreign deals for him, a print-only deal (very rare) and a significant film deal with Ridley Scott. Courtney Milan DID have an agent (again, my boss - Kristin Nelson) when her self published e-books hit the NYTimes bestseller list. If an author wants to self-publish, they don't need an agent, although these are two good examples of authors who wanted them.

So, that's my answer. Why do you still need an agent? If these additional services would be of benefit to your author career then you may need an agent. If these services would not benefit you, or you simply don't want an agent, then you don't need one.

Want to know more about our guest? You can find her in the following places: 

Sara Megibow
Literary Agent
Nelson Literary Agency

on twitter @SaraMegibow

and on publishers marketplace:

originally run on April of 2013 on Paranormal Point of View.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

8 Doing Stuff and Reading: Roadmaps to Not Losing Yourself as a Writer by A.S. King

I think most writers find their love of writing through reading. I think we all have influences and our dreams came mid-sentence at some point in our lives—that moment where we thought I would really like to do something like this. Reading grew us. It is a writer’s parent or soil or maker. Reading is where we start.

So there I was, many moons ago, on my farm in Tipperary, writing on my own time, writing what I wanted to write, published by no one, touring to nowhere, on deadline never. I read constantly and volunteered when I wasn’t in my garden or working. But now is kinda…different. Now I write because I have to write, I am published several times over, I travel like crazy twice a year and I am always—always—on a deadline.

I still manage to help my kids with homework, play tipsy games of Ping-Pong with Mr. King, and I see my family and friends, though not as much as I’d like to. I also help run my non-profit community swimming pool. And I’m secretary of my library board. And I volunteer with my local V-Day. I will not lie. These volunteer positions have, at times, stressed me out. But, they also feed my material. I am out of the house, meeting new people, experiencing new things. I cannot tell you how important this is in relation to being a writer.

Example: Had I locked myself in my office five years ago and not become part of the swimming pool board, I would have never had the opportunity to wear a greasy, leased catering polo shirt and serve food to hockey fans at the local stadium. This is not a romantic job. It really isn’t. But because I did it several times a year for the last few years, I can perfectly describe to you what a greasy, leased catering polo shirt feels and smells like. I can remind you of the trivial tasks you once had to remember when you worked fast food in high school. I can remind myself that real people still often forget to say please and thank you to food service workers in greasy, leased polo shirts. I am reminded also of the nice people who tip me because they know I’m volunteering.

People say (I mean this—people say this to me all the time) “Why don’t you quit that volunteer stuff you do? It’s taking up too much of your time. You need to concentrate on your work.”

But they can’t see that those nights at the hockey games are my work. Life. Life is my work. Having sore feet after six hours serving hockey fans is my work. Filling the ice bins is my work. Listening to the old man complain about the temperature of his hot dog is my work.

How can that be my work? Because those experiences percolate into books. My main character Gerald, in my next book Reality Boy, works at…I bet you get the picture. (But only if, in that picture, Gerald is wearing a greasy, leased polo shirt.)

I believe: Everything you do, you will do it as a writer.

I believe: The more you do, the better writer you will be.

As much as I am inspired by meeting the cranky hot-dog-complainers and the greasy, leased polo shirts, I am inspired by books. And yet, this is the one love that has fallen away from me. I am sad to admit it, but in the last two years, I have read very few books. Worse yet, I didn’t really read books for fun. My favorite books are literary adult translations and the books I’ve read in the last years have been for work—for endorsements, mostly, which I love to do but have stopped doing because I have run out of time for reading.

It seemed the more books I wrote, the less books I read. It seemed the more cities I traveled to, the less I read on airplanes and the more I made sure my battery was charged so I could work on airplanes.

About a year ago, I realized that I’d lost…me. I couldn’t find me anywhere. Amy was in the office writing and meeting those deadlines, and she was going from town to town talking about empowerment to teenagers and loving every single minute of it. But me, the woman who was inspired to write by the amazing books she once read? I had no idea where she was.

Then, last weekend I read the most remarkable book. I stayed in bed for two days and just read. Like the old days—a deep Norwegian translation. Nearly five hundred pages. It was a perfect book—not just because it was great in itself, but because it showed me why I do this and reminded me how to do it well. It even showed me how to fix an eight-year-old project I’d abandoned long ago.

I realized: If we get too caught up in writing and keeping up with the responsibilities we have as authors, we can forget that books—they are roadmaps. They are tour guides. They are teachers. They are mirrors.

I believe: Everything you read, you will read it as a writer.

I believe: The more you read, the better writer you will be.

So today I am here to remind you: Reading is essential. Getting so caught up in a book that you don’t shower for two days is part of your job description. Staying up until three in the morning because you just can’t put it down and then dreaming in dark, flat Norwegian translation worlds is part of what you’re supposed to do. Being slightly late on a deadline because you are reading a book that will make your book better is…probably the best thing you can do for everyone concerned. Don’t worry about your friends. They’ll understand. Don’t worry about your editors. They know all this stuff already. Don’t worry about the kids. They will learn from you even if you smell bad and can’t tear your eyes away from the page.

They will learn that books are important.

Which is the whole damn point, isn’t it?

About the Author

A.S. King is best known for her award-winning young adult novels, though she writes novel-length and short fiction for adults as well. After more than a decade in Ireland dividing herself between self-sufficiency, restoring her farm, teaching adult literacy, and writing novels, she returned to the US in 2004.

Amy's newest YA novel, Reality Boy (October 2013) is a A New York Times Editors' Choice,Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, a Junior Library Guild Selection, Amazon Best Books for October, and a Winter 2013-2014 Kids' Indie Next List Top Ten pick. 2012's Ask the Passengers (Little, Brown October 2012) is a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly & School Library Journal Best Book of 2012, an Indie Next List pick and has been called "Another thoughtful, and often breathtaking achievement" by Booklist in one of six starred trade reviews for the book. Everybody Sees the Ants (Little, Brown October 2011) was an Andre Norton Award finalist, a Cybils finalist, and a 2012 YALSA Top Ten book for young adults. Her 2010 YA novel, Please Ignore Vera Dietz was a 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, an Edgar Award Nominee, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book for Teens 2010, a Junior Library Guild selection and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick. Her first YA novel, The Dust of 100 Dogs, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an Indie Next pick and a Cybil award finalist. Her short fiction for adults has been widely published and was nominated for Best New American Voices 2010. Her short fiction collection, Monica Never Shuts Up is available in paperback and all ebook formats. Amy now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children and is a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut, corn on the cob, libraries, and roller skating.

Visit her website
Follow her on Twitter

About The Book


  • A New York Times Editors' Choice, 
  • A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013, 
  • A School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, 
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2013, 
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection, 
  • Amazon Best Books for October, 
  • A Publishers Weekly Book of the Week, 
  • A 2013 VOYA Perfect Ten Book, 
  • A 2013 Association of Booksellers for Children Best Book for Children, 
  • A 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book, 
  • A 2014 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers Book, 
  • Winter 2013-2014 Kids' Indie Next List Top Ten, 
  • A 2014 Tayshas High School Top Ten Reading List Pick...

“Fearless and brilliant, a seething pressure cooker of a masterpiece.”
—Andrew Smith, author of Grasshopper Jungle, Winger and The Marbury Lens

“Timely, incisive, compassionate. All of A.S. King’s novels are must-reads.”
—Matthew Quick, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock


Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

Order signed/personalized copies from Aaron's Books. 


Download the REALITY BOY Discussion Guide HERE.

** Please note: This is an updated repost. AYAP is on limited hiatus until August, with a mixture of old favorites, new posts, and new giveaways.