Sunday, May 31, 2015

3 M. G. Reyes, author of EMANCIPATED, on using music to enhance the mood for writing certain scenes

We're delighted to have M. G. Reyes here to tell us more about her novel EMANCIPATED, the first novel in the Emancipated trilogy.

M. G., what was your inspiration for writing EMANCIPATED?

If I told you the whole answer to that, I'd be giving you a HUGE spoiler for book 2. So I'm going to give you two-thirds of the answer. The first inspiration was Alex Garland's THE BEACH. That's about young people creating an idyllic utopia, a life outside of any real-world responsibilities. And it's also about the lengths they'll go to to protect their little bubble of happiness. The second inspiration is the TV show Breaking Bad. The genius of that show is the careful construction of a moral breakdown in the main character, slowly unveiling each action that led to his eventual moral bankruptcy. The third source of inspiration is a British movie - a thriller from the 1990s - also about young people living together in an apparently idyllic set-up. I'll tell you its name after book 2 is released.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

To be honest, the first book was a lot of fun to write and there were no particularly difficult scenes. Most of the work went into editing it because the first draft had a lot of material that we ended up holding over for book 2 - there really was so much going on. The scene I most enjoyed writing and probably my favourite scene in the first book of this trilogy was the dinner party that John-Michael gives to celebrate the end of an 'unfortunate event'. It's the first time they are really making a conscious effort to emulate adult behaviour. I remember very well indeed my own first dinner party for teenage friends. It didn't go as well as John-Michael's in EMANCIPATED! So I guess I was writing a retrospective fantasy in that scene - cool friends including one who really knew how to cook, wine, a little bawdy talk and at the end, some heartfelt truths.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

It was something that Philip Pullman, another Oxford-based children's author, had written and it went something like this: "Write the book that only you could write." That's when I stopped trying to be another Dan Brown and started to mix it up. In 2005, who else was going to write a first person, blog-based, mystery-action-thriller with a Mexican British boy as the protagonist, mixing together conspiracy theories, archaeology and a 'Mayan' doomsday prophecy, with a plot that borrowed from telenovelas as much as from Indiana Jones and Stargate? Answer - no-one. That's why I got a six-figure book deal for my 'debut' novel, INVISIBLE CITY.

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

All of the above. I used to dream of having a writing shed, like some authors I know. But I became used to writing in my bedroom,  it's very efficient. When I need a change of scenery it's off to one of three coffee shops in Oxford, or sometimes, a library. I use music to enhance the mood for certain scenes. Like one I've just written in book 2 of the EMANCIPATED trilogy - a long, tense sequence of crimey-wimey action. I listened to the theme from Taxi Driver over and over for that.

What are you working on now?

The sequel to EMANCIPATED, which is called INCRIMINATED. Yes, we're going for the Suggestive, Digestive formula for titles. (That's a joke for listeners to the Kermode and Mayo Film Review podcast, which is the best thing evs.) To readers of EMANCIPATED I say - I hope you enjoy the languid, getting to know you pace of the first book of this series, which is all about friendship. Because that's the only respite and leisure that I give these characters. From halfway through book 2 it's seat belts on and a very hardcore rollercoaster for our emancipated teens.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Emancipated by M. G. Reyes
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/26/2015

The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd.

Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: something to hide.

Now they’re sharing a house in Venice Beach, acting like a family, and living their lies. No parents. No limits. No alibis. One witnessed a crime, another might be a murderer—and one’s been spying on them all.

As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them. And when one of them gets arrested, everyone’s carefully constructed facade comes crumbling down.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup.

Purchase Emancipated at Amazon
Purchase Emancipated at IndieBound
View Emancipated on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. G. Reyes (Maria Guadalupe, aka "Pita") was born in Mexico City and grew up in Manchester, England. She studied at Oxford University and spent several years as a scientist before setting up her own internet company. She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband and two daughters and loves visiting LA.
tumblr: http://mgreyes.tumblr.com/



What did you think of our interview with M.G. Reyes, author of EMANCIPATED? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

0 Katelyn Detweiler, author of IMMACULATE, on writing because it’s a story that refuses to stop whispering in your ear

We're thrilled to have Katelyn Detweiler join us to share more about her debut novel IMMACULATE.

Katelyn, what was your inspiration for writing IMMACULATE?

I am (and always have been) a big fan of hypothetical questions. It entertains my brain to no end to put ridiculous situations to people and make them puzzle through totally preposterous scenarios. For example, would you rather only be able to eat mushrooms every day for the rest of your life, or never find true love? (I mean, REALLY, what would you do???) So one day, way back when I was still in high school, my mom and I were on a car ride, and I asked her: “Would you believe me if I said that I was a pregnant virgin?” She considered the question (she’s a good sport like that!) and then she actually said yes. She said YES. And I actually believed that it was true, that she would put aside her questions and doubts and just choose me and my word.

That idea sat for a while, forgotten in a dark corner of my brain but still clearly marinating, until a few years ago, when I suddenly remembered it and thought—how is there NOT already a book about this? With all the other retellings and re-imaginings of “classic” stories, why not this one? I started putting notes to paper that very same day.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

I have no ability to outline—I write as I go—so the opening was the hardest part by far. I knew I wanted to create a sort of modern new twist on the “Annunciation” story, creating the very specific moment in time where Mina’s pregnancy begins. I had a sense of the setting going in, and of Mina’s personality and background, but other than that, I came to the scene blind. As for the scenes I’m proudest of / love the most, I think those come more towards the end—some of the big emotional moments as Mina gets closer and closer to the end of the pregnancy. But I can’t talk about those scenes without spoiling things a bit!

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

There are the fabulous twists of reality in Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE I FALL, Gayle Foreman’s IF I STAY, David Levithan’s EVERY DAY. Like IMMACULATE, contemporary with that added “what if” element. And as with those books as well, the twists here aren’t the whole story; IMMACULATE is primarily about relationships—friends, family, love. And the relationship you have with yourself first and foremost. These are themes that play out in so many of the contemporary YA novels I’ve loved through the years.

How long did you work on IMMACULATE?

The first rough draft took me about eight or nine months to get down on paper. After that, I didn’t look at it for almost six months, then dove back in with new perspective and spent another few months revising. My agent read and sent it out to editors soon after, so the initial writing process took just under a year and a half from start to finish.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

It made me realize how much I care about the details—how much about my own world / thoughts / feelings I verbalize to the people in my life. Sometimes this is a great thing. Sometimes this is an annoying thing. It definitely took some cutting back in order to hone in on the most important ideas here, but I think it’s also key in really giving shape to Mina’s world and allowing readers into her experience and thought process throughout.

What do you hope readers will take away from IMMACULATE?

I hope that readers leave IMMACULATE just a little bit more open to the idea of believing in something that can’t be explained. Faith in someone or something despite proof. Believing in a friend even when it’s hard, believing in a feeling even when there’s no cause or rationale. I want readers to think more in the gray—in between the black and white science and logic that drives our everyday perception of the world.

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

IMMACULATE is my first book. I wrote a few short stories in college and started a novel for a writing class through Gotham Writers’ Workshop, but none of those were projects I felt compelled to push further and really explore. IMMACULATE was the first idea that I cared about enough to actually try. I wrote because I had this idea that I couldn’t stop thinking about—not because I considered myself to be a writer, really. The fact that I work at a literary agency certainly made the process easier in terms of getting to the point of selling it to a publisher, and it also made me my own toughest critic throughout writing and revising. I was self-editing constantly as I wrote, and really thinking about what would make this book stand out from others based on a more practical business perspective. I feel wildly fortunate to have that dual agent/author mindset, because I think that many of the skills go hand in hand and push me to be better at both jobs.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

Not at all. And I hope it stays that way—I hope I’m ten novels in and still searching for that key.

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

On weekends when I’m lucky enough to have the whole day free (versus the usual, squeezing in an hour or two after work on a weekday), I always do some yoga first—I swear by headstands, they’re almost as useful as coffee to get my brain fired up in the morning. And no matter what season, how hot or cold it is in my apartment, I need a hood up or a hat on while I write. There’s something about covering my head that just works, even if it’s totally mental. So: yoga, cap… and silence. I have a white noise machine that is my best friend on writing days.

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

Don’t give up. Ever. No matter how many takes, tries, novels in the drawer there are. And don’t force stories and projects that aren’t clicking; write because you’re totally and completely passionate about your idea.  Write because it’s a story that refuses to stop whispering in your ear, all day, all night.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the follow-up novel to IMMACULATE—more of a companion than a direct sequel. It’s set about seventeen years after IMMACULATE ends, when Mina’s baby is now a teenager living in New York City. A teenager who has absolutely no idea about what happened in the past—no idea what his / her mother went through. But he’s / she’s about to find out everything, and life gets quite interesting from there.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Immaculate by Katelyn Detweiler
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 5/26/2015

Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant.

Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant—despite having never had sex—her orderly world collapses. Almost nobody believes Mina’s claims of virginity. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. As news of Mina’s story spreads, there are those who brand her a liar. There are those who brand her a heretic. And there are those who believe that miracles are possible—and that Mina’s unborn child could be the greatest miracle of all.

Purchase Immaculate at Amazon
Purchase Immaculate at IndieBound
View Immaculate on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katelyn Detweiler was born and raised in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania, living in a centuries-old farmhouse surrounded by fields and woods. She spent the vast majority of childhood with her nose in a book or creating make-believe worlds with friends, daydreaming about how she could turn those interests into an actual paying career. After graduating from Penn State University with a B.A. in English Literature, emphasis in Creative Writing and Women’s Studies, she packed her bags and made the move to New York City, determined to break into the world of publishing. She worked for two years in the marketing department of Macmillan Children’s Group before moving in 2010 to the agency side of the business at Jill Grinberg Literary, where she is currently a literary agent representing books for all ages and across all genres.

Katelyn lives, works, and writes in Brooklyn, playing with words all day, every day, her dream come true. When she’s not reading or writing, Katelyn enjoys yoga, fancy cocktails, and road trips. She frequently treks back to her hometown in Pennsylvania, a lovely green escape from life in the city, and her favorite place to write.


What did you think of our interview with Katelyn Detweiler, author of IMMACULATE? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

1 Carrie Ryan, author of DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE, on finding her voice

DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE is the latest novel by Carrie Ryan, and we're honored to have her stop by to tell us more about it.

Carrie, what was your inspiration for writing DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE?

When my husband was learning French a few years ago we watched the Gerard Depardieu version of The Count of Monte Cristo and became totally obsessed by the idea of hidden identities and revenge. Then, a few months later I was visiting my friend Ally Carter and she introduced me to the TV shows Arrow and Revenge and I was totally amazed at how well Revenge tracked The Count of Monte Cristo.  That night I was trying to figure out what it was about these stories that intrigued me so much and I realized that it was the idea of returning home after so many years away pretending to be someone else in order to wreak revenge.

Part of what I found so fascinating about this kind of story is the way these protagonists blame the object of their revenge for a past loss, but inevitably they’re the ones now standing in the way of their own happiness now.  I came downstairs the next morning and told Ally my idea over breakfast and she was like, “Yes! Write that! Now!” So I did :).

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

So many of my favorite scenes are spoilers! But I think one of the ones I always come back to is the moment where Frances decides that she’s going to take revenge. It’s a scene I wrote early on and is really one of the first times I felt like I truly and completely understood her – not just her rage, but the pain and helplessness that the rage kept her from feeling. Through so much of the book Frances comes off as completely cold and calculated and in control, and I think this scene proves how much of it is an act and what she’s really feeling deep down inside.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I’ve been so happily surprised by all the reviews that have compared Daughter of Deep Silence with Gone Girl – that was a book I absolutely couldn’t put down! And of course, for those readers who like revenge, there’s the classic The Count of Monte Cristo (and the TV shows Revenge and Arrow) and the more modern Carrie by Stephen King.

How long did you work on DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE?

I can actually pinpoint when I came up with the idea for Daughter of Deep Silence because I was visiting my friend, Ally Carter. That was in late October of 2012 and I sold it in the spring of 2013 and turned in the first draft later that year.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

Ha – so much!!  Probably the biggest thing I learned (or rather, re-learned) was to write the kind of book I’d want to read and not hold anything back.

What do you hope readers will take away from DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE?

While writing Daughter of Deep Silence I spent a lot of time thinking about revenge and how we can get so focused on the past that we give up any chance for a future. It made me realize how often we’re the ones who get in our own way when it comes to happiness.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I don’t really believe there’s any one key to writing a novel – I think there are a million, smaller keys that all work together. And no one has all of those either – with every book we learn some new keys and lose some old ones. That’s one reason I love to go back and re-read craft books.

That being said, I think a big turning point for me was when I found my voice. It started out as an experiment, and because it was with a book I never expected to publish, I felt freer to take risks. Turns out that risk paid off since the book was The Forest of Hands and Teeth, my first published novel – lol.

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

I wish I had a more exciting ritual! But I mostly write at home during the day with a cat and/or dog curled up beside me and a Diet Coke somewhere within reach. Once I get into the writing, I lose track of everything around me – time, people, obligations. It’s a wonderful feeling!

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

This sounds so obvious, but my advice is always to write. I know so many people who think about writing and talk about writing and plan to write and blog about writing and complain about having to write but who never actually write. Writers write; it can be easy to forget that.

What are you working on now?

I’m in the middle of two projects I’m really excited about! The first is my next YA which I can’t say too much about, but it’s another stand alone contemporary and an idea I’ve been excited about for years! The other is the third book in the middle grade magical adventure series I’m co-writing with my husband, The Map to Everywhere. The second book in that series, City of Thirst, comes out this fall.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Hardcover
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Released 5/26/2015

I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process. Sharp and incisive,

Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

Purchase Daughter of Deep Silence at Amazon
Purchase Daughter of Deep Silence at IndieBound
View Daughter of Deep Silence on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carrie Ryan is the New York Times bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series and Infinity Ring: Divide and Conquer as well as the editor of Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction. Currently she’s working on The Map to Everywhere, a four book middle grade series co-written with her husband, John Parke Davis and Daughter of Deep Silence, a romantic thriller, which will be released by Penguin Random House in 2015. Her books have sold in over 22 territories and her first book is in development as a major motion picture. A former litigator, Carrie now lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and various pets. You can find her online at www.CarrieRyan.com or on Twitter at @CarrieRyan.




What did you think of our interview with Carrie Ryan, author of DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

0 Robyn Schneider, author of EXTRAORDINARY MEANS, on glaring at her laptop being part of her writing process

We're happy to have Robyn Schneider stop by to tell us more about her latest novel EXTRAORDINARY MEANS.

Robyn, what was your inspiration for writing EXTRAORDINARY MEANS?

I started writing the book while I was in graduate school for medical ethics. I was studying illness narratives, and tuberculosis came up. The disease had been cured during the early days of germ theory, and was rarely depicted in literature as the frightening and contagious illness it would be seen as today. So I began to wonder what would happen if people in present-day America fell ill with a long-term, contagious illness that modern medicine had no ability to treat. And then I wondered how a teenager would be transformed by the experience of moving from the institution of a school to the institution of a medical facility. But it isn’t a book about a disease, it’s a story about two teenagers who are brought together in their quarantine and who fall in love in the last days before the cure.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I’ve always thought of Extraordinary Means as a cross between Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go” and Donna Tart’s “The Secret History”. If you haven’t read either of those books, you absolutely should. Never Let Me Go is this heartbreaker of a novel where the narrator doesn’t realize how chilling the sweet little boarding school story she’s telling actually is, and where you start to wonder early on exactly what isn’t being said. I tried to do a little of that in Extraordinary Means. And The Secret History is this gorgeously written novel about a group of pretentious college students who set themselves apart until a shared secret sets them against each other. I tried to capture a little of that group dynamic, and how sometimes a choice that seems necessary in the moment can seem sickening the next day.

What do you hope readers will take away from EXTRAORDINARY MEANS?

Lane and Sadie are characters who grapple with what exactly counts as living one’s life. For each of them, their TB symbolizes a deeper issue. Lane arrives at Latham House so exhausted from his rigorous coursework that he has become literally consumed by it. Sadie has internalized all of her fears and, instead of taking action, has become afraid of living. But theirs isn’t a story of what it means to be sick so much as a story about how it feels to be an outsider. It’s a story about second chances, and how easily we could miss them. So what I hope readers will find in Extraordinary Means is a story of what it means to have hope that you’ll figure out your place in the world, and that you’ll be strong enough to get there.

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

I am incredibly bad at having a daily writing ritual, although I do try to keep to the general routine of getting dressed, camping out in a coffee shop, and writing until my laptop battery runs out at least three days per week. I outline, loosely, around scenes that I know will be in the book, so if I ever get lost I at least know what direction to head in. I also start at the beginning and write until I get to the end, as opposed to skipping around. There’s a lot of glaring at my laptop involved. And a lot of Belle & Sebastian.

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

Everyone always says to read critically, which you should, so I’ll say something else: for those of you querying agents and editors, rejection isn’t the opposite of acceptance; it just means “I don’t love it” not “it isn’t good enough”. And finally, remember that social media is a distraction, not a party.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/26/2015

From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.

At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French. 

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down. Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.

Purchase Extraordinary Means at Amazon
Purchase Extraordinary Means at IndieBound
View Extraordinary Means on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

robynschneidersq1Robyn Schneider is a 28-year-old writer and videoblogger. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel The Beginning of Everything, which has earned numerous starred reviews, appears on many state reading lists, and is published in over a dozen countries. Robyn is a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied creative writing, and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where she earned a Masters of Bioethics. She lives in Los Angeles, California, but also on the internet.






What did you think of our interview with Robyn Schneider, author of EXTRAORDINARY MEANS? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

Saturday, May 30, 2015

0 Free First 5 Pages Workshop Opens in One Week!

Our June workshop will open for entries at noon, EST, on Saturday June 6, 2015. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements.  Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing  and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages.

In addition to our talented permanent mentors, we have Shaun Hutchinson, author of The Deathday Letterfml, and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley.  And we have Tina Schwartz as our guest agent, founder of The Purcell Agency. So get those pages ready!

June Guest Mentor – Shaun Hutchinson

Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of The Deathday Letterfml, and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. He currently lives in South Florida with his partner and dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.

0 Megan Shepherd, author of THE CAGE, on not being afraid to let go of an idea

We're honored to have Megan Shepherd stop by to share more about THE CAGE, the first book in her new series.

Megan, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love THE CAGE--or visa versa?

My publisher calls the book "The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series." And I think that holds true! I adore the works of James Dashner and Scott Westerfeld, and I also think THE CAGE would appeal to fans of SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

There is a scene in THE CAGE that was very difficult to write emotionally. All of the captives react differently to the Cage. Some love the easy lifestyle their captors provide them and don't mind being observed, but others are determined to get home. One of the boys, Lucky, was taken by their alien captors as an ideal example of a strong moral sense. But as the book progresses, the Cage twists his morality, and he makes some bad choices that show just how dangerous humans can be.

0 Bill Konigsberg, author of THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH, on writing scenes that make you cry

We're excited to have Bill Konigsberg stop by to tell us more about his latest novel THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH.

Bill, what scene of THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

There's a scene in which Carson takes part in shooting at pigeons on the roof of a trailer with a BB gun. When the older man (a kind of father figure) hits a pigeon and it dies, Carson has this strong visceral reaction and has to hide it. His dad left him and his mom when he was three, and something about the callous killing of a bird by the father figure triggers grief that he feels he can't share. This scene makes me cry every time I read it, and writing it was a challenge for that reason. My parents split when I was four. I feel Carson's pain.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH?

One of the things I hope readers glean from this book is something of a reconciliation between the LGBT community and spirituality. Both Carson (who is straight) and Aisha (who is gay) are atheists at the start of the book, but by the end that black-or-white view of "organized religion is evil" has been complicated. I used to have a ton of anger toward organized religion; I still do, as a matter of fact, for the treatment of LGBT people throughout history. However, there are good things about organized religion, too. To me it's the best and the worst of humanity. And spirituality, which is different than religion, is a gift to us all. As Aisha says in the book, I refuse to allow anyone else to own God anymore. I have as much right to the cosmic mystery as anyone else, and that is a right I hope all LGBT people claim.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

This book is such a logical fit for those who loved PAPER TOWNS, which is my favorite John Green book. There are similarities in the quest and friendship, and the humor and sadness have a similar feel, too. Other than that, readers who love this book will surely love MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold. Uncanny how many similarities there are between these two books.



ABOUT THE BOOK

The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg Hardcover
Arthur A. Levine Books 
Released 5/26/2015 

The author of OPENLY STRAIGHT returns with an epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend our hero can't have, the grandfather he never knew, and the Porcupine of Truth. 

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn't really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and Pastor John Logan, who's long held a secret regarding Carson's grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation thirty years before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson's dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the "Porcupine of Truth" in all of their lives. 

View The Porcupine of Truth on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

bksghead1Bill Konigsberg was born in 1970 in New York City. Expectations were high from birth - at least in terms of athletics. His parents figured he'd be a great soccer player, based on his spirited kicking from inside the womb. As it turned out, the highlight of his soccer career was at Camp Greylock in 1978, when he was chosen for the Camp's "D" team. There were only four levels. Bill played alongside the likes of the kid who always showered alone, the chronic nosebleeder and the guy with recurrent poison ivy.

Early in his life, Bill decided he wanted to be a disc jockey, a professional baseball player, or the Indian from The Village People. None of these career paths worked out for him. Yet. He still holds out hope for a Village People revival and has set up a Google Alert in case it happens.

A B- student throughout high school, Bill was voted Most Likely to Avoid Doing Any Real Work In His Life by a panel of his dismissive peers. He proved them wrong with a series of strange-but-true jobs in his 20s - driver recruiter for a truck driving school, sales consultant for a phone company, and temp at Otis Elevators.

He moved to Denver in 1996 and was voted Least Stylish Gay Guy in the Metro Denver Area (including Loveland!) for each of the years from 1996-98. His fashion-free wardrobe robbed him of prospective dates countless times, as did his penchant for wearing a mustache that didn't suit him.

He worked at ESPN and ESPN.com from 1999-2002, where he developed a penchant for sharing too much information about himself. That character flaw earned him a GLAAD Media Award in 2002, for his column "Sports World Still a Struggle for Gays." That coming out essay made him a household name to tens of people across the country.

He continued oversharing in graduate school at Arizona State, where he added People Pleasing to his growing list of character defects and parlayed that into the title of Most Chill Teacher of freshman composition.

As a sports writer and editor for The Associated Press in New York from 2005-08, Bill once called his husband, who was at the time working a desk job, from the New York Mets dugout before a game. "I'm so bored," Bill whined. He slept on the couch for a week after making that call.

He wrote a novel called Audibles at Arizona State, and sold that novel to Dutton Books for Children in 2007. His editor asked him to change the title so that it would appeal to people other than "football players who read." The resulting novel, Out of the Pocket, received strong reviews from his mother, father, significant other and one girl who had a crush on him in high school. It won the Lambda Literary Award in 2009.

His second novel, Openly Straight, hit the bookshelves in late May of 2013. He describes the novel as "Twilight-like, only without vampires and wolves and angsty teenage girls. Also, set in an all-boys boarding school in Massachusetts. Otherwise, it's like an exact replica."

Openly Straight won the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor and is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.

Bill currently lives in Chandler, Arizona, which is the thinking man's Gilbert, Arizona.

His blog and website is at billkonigsberg.com.


What did you think of our interview with Bill Konigsberg, author of THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

0 Cherie Priest, author of I AM PRINCESS X, on balancing Writer Business with Writing

I AM PRINCESS X is the latest novel by Cherie Priest, and we're thrilled she could stop by to chat about writing.

Cherie, how long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before I AM PRINCESS X and how many never got published?

I Am Princess X will be my 18th book, so I've been in the industry for awhile. That said, it took me a number of years to break in; I think my first published novel was the sixth or seventh one I'd actually finished. None of those other books have ever been published, and they never will be. Frankly, they don't deserve to be. They just weren't good enough; I still needed time to level up.

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

Get up in the morning and walk the dog. Answer emails/phone calls/do Writer Business stuff until lunchtime (at least). Break for lunch. Try to write in the afternoon ... unless there's too much business stuff to tackle. Usually I do all the business stuff in my office; but I drag my laptop into the den, because I tend to write while sitting on the couch with the TV on in the background. (Usually music videos, ghost hunting shows, or home improvement shows.) Sometimes this process works better than others.

What are you working on now?

This year, I'm working on a modern dark fantasy for Tor (tentatively titled THE SEVENTH BRIDGE), as well as a historic horror/gothic novel called BRIMSTONE for Roc. With any luck, I might add another YA project to the mix, but we'll see about that.

ABOUT THE BOOK

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Hardcover
Arthur A. Levine Books
Released 5/26/2015

Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, and illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.

Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her. 

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window. 

Princess X?

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon - her best friend, Libby, who lives.

Purchase I Am Princess X at Amazon
Purchase I Am Princess X at IndieBound
View I Am Princess X on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CHERIE PRIEST is the author of over a dozen novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures The Inexplicables, Ganymede, Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor; and three novellas published by Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, her first foray into George R. R. Martin’s superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the interstitial mystery), debuted in the summer of 2011. Cherie’s short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Publishers Weekly, and numerous anthologies. She lives in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband, a big shaggy dog, and a fat black cat.


What did you think of our interview with Cherie Priest, author of I AM PRINCESS X? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

Friday, May 29, 2015

2 On Writing About Grief and Staring at Trees by Margo Rabb

We're delighted Margo Rabb stopped by to share more about her latest novel KISSING IN AMERICA. Additionally, her publisher is offering amazing prizes in a contest you can enter here.

And don't forget -- our Free First Five Pages Workshop opens June 6. Find out all about it here and make sure you submit!

On Writing About Grief and Staring at Trees: A Craft of Writing Post by Margo Rabb


Margo, what was your inspiration for writing KISSING IN AMERICA?

Kissing in America was inspired by thinking about how, when I was a teen and in my twenties, I believed that falling in love would change my life. I thought that if I was with the right person, then many of all the sorrows I felt so deeply—grief over my mother, who had died very suddenly, and then over my father, who died seven years later—would be easier to bear. In many ways, love does change and alleviate grief—but it’s also very complicated. In Kissing in America, Eva, the narrator, finds solace in many of the things that have comforted and helped me: poetry, which I loved to write and read; travel (I spent half of my teen years on buses and trains); and feminism, which I first learned about as a teen, and which changed the way I thought of myself and what I dreamed my life could be.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The scene with Eva and her mother at the end was difficult to write, but also the most gratifying. That’s one of the most pivotal scenes in the book, and as I wrote it I kept thinking of the love I had for my parents, and that I have for my children, and how deep and overwhelming it is.

How long did you work on KISSING IN AMERICA?

I started the first draft in 2008—I handwrote it in notebooks—and this book took me many years to finish. It really was a labor of love.

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

I like quiet when I’m writing, and I love having a view out the window. I spend a lot of time pacing around the house and staring out the windows. I need to be able to look at a tree—at least one tree. In my twenties, I once rented an apartment in Manhattan where I couldn’t see any trees out the window, and I felt depressed. I realized how much I like to stare at trees.

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

Don’t give up! It may take years to finish a novel and a million drafts, but keep going—the only difference between many books that were published, and those that were not, is the hard work of revision and perseverance.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Released 5/26/2015

I loved romances because when you opened the first page, you knew the story would end well. Your heart wouldn't be broken. I loved that security, that guaranteed love.

In real life, you never knew the ending. I hated that.

Sixteen-year-old Eva has never been in love. But when she meets Will, everything changes. With him, her grief over her father's death fades, and she can escape from her difficult relationship with her mother. Then, without any warning, Will picks up and moves to California. So Eva—with the help of her best friend, Annie—concocts a plan to travel across the country to see him again. As they leave New York City for the first time and road-trip across America, they encounter cowboys, kudzu, and tiny towns without stoplights. Along the way, Eva and Annie learn the truth about love and all its complexities.

Purchase Kissing in America at Amazon
Purchase Kissing in America at IndieBound
View Kissing in America on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Margo Rabb is the author of the novels Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak, and she's written essays, articles, book reviews, and short stories for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, Slate, The Rumpus, Zoetrope: All-Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, and One Story, and elsewhere. She grew up in Queens, NY, and recently moved from Austin, TX to Philadelphia, PA. She writes about grief a lot (her mom died when she was in her teens and her dad died when was she was in her twenties). (Here's a link to an essay she wrote recently, about the death of her cat and the death of her mom (it was published, coincidentally, on the 24th anniversary of her mom's death)).
website: www.margorabb.com
Twitter: @margorabb


What did you think of our interview with Margo Rabb, author of KISSING IN AMERICA? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,


Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

Thursday, May 28, 2015

0 Interview and Chance to Submit to Agent Victoria Selvaggio of JDLA

With a strong background in business ownership, Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to JDLA as an Associate Agent with over seven years of actively working as a volunteer and Regional Advisor for SCBWI: Northern Ohio.  Drawn to the publishing scene first as an Author writing all genres, with her most recent publication in the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, Vicki’s passion for honing the craft carried over into reading manuscripts for the agency. Currently, she is excited to read compelling manuscripts that will resonate with her long after she’s done.

To Submit:
Please email a query to  (vselvaggio@windstream.net.) and put “Adventures in YA Publishing" in the subject line of your email. For queries regarding children's and adult fiction, please send the first twenty pages in the body of your email (for picture book manuscripts—send the full manuscript), along with a one-paragraph bio and a one-paragraph synopsis.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1 Some Thoughts on How to Become a Better Writer by Todd Hasak-Lowy

We are thrilled to welcome to the blog today an author who has dared to push beyond the boundaries of prose. Todd Hasak-Lowy's newest release, Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You, is a novel told in lists. Lists. Perhaps he is very well suited to share with us his ideas on how to embrace your deformity to become a better writer! :-) Read on to discover his advice for breaking out of the "becoming a perfect writer" mentality.

Embrace Your Deformity: A WOW-Wednesday Post by Todd Hasak-Lowy

I think most of us, when we start off writing, have some idea in our head of the perfect writer. This writer is the writer who can do anything. We all want to be that writer, naturally. Someone who can create life-like characters, place them in a brilliantly crafted plot, and represent the whole thing through one magical sentence after another. Plus about twenty other daunting literary things.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

26 Looking for Blog Contributor for Adventures in YA Publishing - Plus WHITE ROSE ARC Giveaway

Things have been a little bit hectic here at Adventures lately. We're all on crazy deadlines, dealing with sick family members, last days of school, getting kids off to Madagascar (That would be my daughter, who's headed there for eight weeks) and, of course, book festivals, school visits, and so on.

Which brings me to my point. We could use a little help! : )

Image via Tabako


We have an opening here at AYAP for an intern who, if things work out, would become a permanent contributor. 

The selected intern will help coordinate giveaways and interviews, which involves contact with authors, data entry,  and html formatting. We will teach you everything you need to know, so if you have an interest in blogging about YA books, either because you love to read them or because you're an aspiring author, this is the perfect opportunity. The position is virtual and you set your own hours and pace.

Adventures in YA Publishing is a three-time Writers Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Blog, and depending on the time of the year and what we're up to, we get between 80,000 to 200,000 visitors a month, not counting RSS feeds and email subscriptions.

If you're interested, please send your resume or summary of qualifications and interest to us at ayaplit at gmail dot com.

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY


The White Rose (The Lone City #2)
by Amy Ewing
ARC Giveaway

Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a n ew ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

Monday, May 25, 2015

16 FIVE Books to Giveaway plus New YALit Releases 5/25 - 5/31 with Author Interviews

Since today is Memorial Day, we want to say how much we appreciate the brave women and men who are past or present members of the armed forces and honor the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for your service.

We also want to share eighteen new books releasing this week, with eight author interviews, and five giveaways of four of the titles. Let us know in the comments which ones you're itching to read.

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Jan, Shelly, Susan, Lisa, and Erin

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


* * * *


Kissing in America
by Margo Rabb
Signed ARC Giveaway (2 Copies)
U.S. Only

HarperCollins
Released 5/26/2015

I loved romances because when you opened the first page, you knew the story would end well. Your heart wouldn't be broken. I loved that security, that guaranteed love.

In real life, you never knew the ending. I hated that.

Sixteen-year-old Eva has never been in love. But when she meets Will, everything changes. With him, her grief over her father's death fades, and she can escape from her difficult relationship with her mother. Then, without any warning, Will picks up and moves to California. So Eva—with the help of her best friend, Annie—concocts a plan to travel across the country to see him again. As they leave New York City for the first time and road-trip across America, they encounter cowboys, kudzu, and tiny towns without stoplights. Along the way, Eva and Annie learn the truth about love and all its complexities.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

0 Heather Dixon, author of ILLUSIONARIUM, on writing on a train

We're thrilled to have Heather Dixon here to tell us more about her latest novel ILLUSIONARIUM.

Heather, what was your inspiration for writing ILLUSIONARIUM?

Terry Pratchett.  The Discworld books are stories that I can read over and over and over, and so a lot of that humor transferred over into Illusionarium—including wry footnotes.  He has recently passed on, which broke my heart.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

0 Francesca Zappia, author of MADE YOU UP, on writing what you love

MADE YOU UP is the debut novel by Francesca Zappia, and we're excited to have her here to tell us more about it.

Francesca, how long did you work on MADE YOU UP?

I've been working on MADE YOU UP for over ten years. It hasn't looked the way it does now until just recently, but the characters and settings have always been there, and they've evolved as the story evolved.

What do you hope readers will take away from MADE YOU UP?

2 Brian Katcher, author of THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK, on avoiding distraction

We're honored to have Brian Katcher stop by to tell us more about his latest novel THE IMPROBABLY THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK.

Brian, what was your inspiration for writing THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK?

My editor called me up and asked me to write a book about nerds. I told her she had found her author. I didn't need to do ANY research.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

1 Free First 5 Pages Workshop Opens June 6!

The First Five Pages May Workshop has come to an end.  The participants worked so hard, and did a great job with their revisions. A big thanks to our guest mentor, Diana Renn, and our guest editor, Georgia McBride, both of whom provided terrific comments and suggestions, and of course to all of our fabulous permanent mentors!  

Our June workshop will open for entries at noon, EST, on Saturday June 6, 2015. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements.  Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing  and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages.

1 Amy Butler Greenfield, author of CHANTRESS FURY, on the importance of a logbook in her writer’s toolkit

CHANTRESS FURY is the final novel in the Chantress trilogy by Amy Butler Greenfield, and we're excited to have her stop by to chat about writing.

Amy, how long did you work on CHANTRESS FURY?

I had to write CHANTRESS FURY in less than a year – a real challenge for a slow writer like me! I’m a big believer in doing multiple drafts, so I gave myself three months to get a first draft down. It was a very stressful time, but I’m glad I did it that way. It gave me plenty of opportunity to revise, and that meant I wasn’t afraid of making big changes. With each draft the story got stronger.

1 Hilary T. Smith, author of A SENSE OF THE INFINITE, on leaving readers feeling hopeful and less alone

We're happy to have Hilary T. Smith join us to share more about her latest novel A SENSE OF THE INFINITE.

Hilary, what was your inspiration for writing A SENSE OF THE INFINITE?

Every draft of this manuscript came out completely differently—different plot, different characters, different tense. It would have been impossible to convince anyone that they were even drafts of the same novel—you would have thought I was crazy! If I can point to a single inspiration, it would be my hometown of Niagara Falls, Ontario. I’d never written about the place where I grew up, and it was interesting to sift through all the sensory memories of train whistles, sumac, and waterfall mist, all those things I haven’t thought about much since I left.

1 Sarvenaz Tash, author of THREE DAY SUMMER, on writing to explore

THREE DAY SUMMER is the latest novel by Sarvenaz Tash, and we're delighted she stopped by to share more about it.

Sarvenaz, what was your inspiration for writing THREE DAY SUMMER?

I’ve always been very enamored of the ‘60s as a decade. The 25th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival happened over the summer that I was 12 and I remember both MTV and VH1 were showing lots of documentaries on the subject (as well as putting together an anniversary concert with contemporary artists). I had very little interest in the contemporary music of the time, to be honest, but I loved all of the old footage and Behind the Musics that had anything to do with the original festival. That always stuck with me and, years later, I also happened to stop by the Woodstock museum at the Bethel Center for the Arts (the site of the original festival) on what was the 40th anniversary. I realized then that my enthusiasm for what I had always perceived to be the optimistic vibe of the festival hadn’t waned at all.

1 S.E. Green, author of KILLER WITHIN, on finding your voice

KILLER WITHIN is the sequel to KILLER INSTINCT, and we're thrilled to have author S.E. Green join us chat about writing.

S.E., what did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

Writing both KILLER INSTINCT and KILLER WITHIN taught me how to be me. How to take
chances and write how I truly want to write--raw and gritty and dark.

1 Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer, authors of OFF THE PAGE, on writing with a family member

We're honored to have mother-daughter writing team Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer join us to chat about the writing process for their new novel OFF THE PAGE.

What was your inspiration for writing OFF THE PAGE?

We knew that we left things hanging at the end of BETWEEN THE LINES -- what happens to Edgar?  What's it like for Oliver in the real world?  Tons of readers wrote to ask us -- but we had a very real world obstacle in our way, namely, Sammy was in college at Vassar and didn't have time to write a novel.  One day Sammy called home to say she missed writing.  Jodi said, "You write every day!"  but she meant creative writing.  Sammy suggested writing the sequel the summer after her freshman year of college -- so that's exactly what we did.

Friday, May 22, 2015

32 MONSTER Giveaway, Including COMPULSION, SNOW LIKE ASHES, and ICE LIKE FIRE #ReadOrWriteAnywhere

I'm back from Dallas, and wow! I've never been to a convention that huge or that full of energy. There were fabulous workshops and bookish events. I got to embarrass myself at the YA slumber party in my pajamas. I met some die hard Eight fans, and hopefully created some new ones-- interacting with readers is always so much fun and one of my favorite things about being a writer. Plus I got to fangirl over some of my favorite authors and discover that they were the BEST people in person.

The AMAZING and gorgeous Brenda Drake, who was in one of our early First Five Pages workshops, went on to start Pitch Wars and get a fantastic pub deal. SO excited for all her success -- and she's the loveliest person ever.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2 Agent Kurestin Armada of PS Literary Talks Voice, Tea, and Originality

Kurestin began her publishing career as an intern with Workman Publishing, and spent time as an assistant at The Lotts Agency before joining P.S. Literary. She holds a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, as well as a publishing certificate from Columbia University. Kurestin is based in New York City, and spends most of her time in the city's thriving indie bookstores. She reads widely across genres, and has a particular affection for science fiction and fantasy, especially books that recognize and subvert typical tropes of genre fiction. She can be found on Twitter at @kurestinarmada.



What is it about a manuscript that excites you?

1 GABRIEL BOOK BLITZ -- THE STYCLAR SAGA by Nikki Kelly









About


Title: Gabriel

Author: Nikki Kelly

Series: The Styclar Saga #2 

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends 

Release Date: October 27th 2015



Goodreads Page

Pages: 352 

Synopsis: 

The handsome Angel from Lailah gets center stage in this continuation of Wattpad sensation Nikki Kelly’s romantic and action-packed series about mortals, vampires, and angels.

Gabriel is an Angel Descendant. He's also an ally to a generation of vampires who want to break away from the demon who controls them. His faith in the power of good over evil wavers, however, when he discovers that Lailah, the woman he considers his only true love, may be both angel and demon. Is their love enough to overcome the dark forces who are ready to go to war with Gabriel, the vampire Jonah, and the angel and vampire forces? And can Gabriel compete with Jonah, who is also in love with Lailah?

Once again, Nikki Kelly looks deeply into the heart and soul of good and evil to create a romantic, action-packed reading adventure.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

9 Dear Teen Writer: The Worst Mistake You Can Make by Jami Gold

I am so thrilled to welcome the phenomenal Jami Gold to the blog today! Jami is well known among many writers as she has run her own fabulous blog for years, filled with insightful articles on items of interest in the publishing world and in a writer's life. Jami's not afraid to go deep and ask tough questions about changes in the industry.

I am also excited to have Jami here with us on the day of the release of her adult paranormal romance, Treasured Claim. I was fortunate enough to read this wonderful story of a shape-shifting dragon woman when Jami was still polishing it, and am so happy to see its release and beautiful cover.

Jami shares with us some great advice for teen writers who should never stop writing! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below for a giveaway of her new release!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

17 Creative Stage vs. Analytical Stage by Julie Musil plus a Giveaway of The Notorious Pagan Jones

The fabulous Julie Musil probably doesn't need an introduction, but I'm going to give her one anyway. She's not only a lovely person, but she's made a huge difference to a lot of aspiring authors, including me, with her thoughtful breakdowns of popular books over on her blog, which she does regularly along with some of the most inspirational posts anywhere on the web. Oh, and did I mention she's a writer? : ) Check out her lovely book below!

Creative Stage vs. Analytical Stage by Julie Musil


Has this ever happened to you? You’ve written the story. You’ve edited it. You’ve sent it off to beta readers. You’re prepared to tweak the story using their constructive feedback. You read the suggestions, and...they’re not tweaks. They’re major flaws in the story. You feel like the whole thing is an unredeemable mess.

Can I get an Amen?

If you’ve been there before, or if you’re there now, believe me, I get it. I wrote a story that I absolutely loved, and when I got feedback, I realized I needed to do some serious work before it was ready for other readers. But where to begin? How would I take those helpful comments and put them into practice within the manuscript? The task overwhelmed me.

That’s when my writing buddy, superhero Leslie Rose, gave me this useful advice: exit the creative stage, and enter the analytical stage.

Monday, May 18, 2015

17 SEVEN Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 5/18 - 5/24 with Author Interviews

There are so many great books releasing this week! Check out the eighteen new titles, with eleven author interviews, and seven giveaways of six of the titles. Then tell us in the comments which ones you're looking forward to reading.

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Jan, Shelly, Susan, Lisa, and Erin

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


* * * *


A Sense of the Infinite
by Hilary T. Smith
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/19/2015

By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship, the weight of secrets, and the healing power of nature.

It's senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn't prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe's new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she's been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it hard to eat or even breathe.

But most especially, she isn't prepared to lose Noe.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

1 Renée Ahdieh, author of THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, on the importance of tenacity

We're delighted to have Renée Ahdieh stop by to tell us more about her fantasy novel THE WRATH AND THE DAWN.

Renée, what was your inspiration for writing THE WRATH AND THE DAWN?

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN was inspired by the frame narrative of The Arabian Nights--the story of Scheherazade. I also threw in a bit of Beauty and the Beast, as well as The Count of Monte Cristo, for good measure!

2 Holly Bodger, author of 5 TO 1, on trusting your instincts

We're thrilled to have Holly Bodger join us to share more about her debut novel 5 TO 1.

Holly, tell us about your inspiration for writing 5 TO 1.

5 TO 1 was inspired by a journal article I read about the consequences of son preference and sex-selective abortion in China and other Asian countries. After I finished this article, I could not put the idea out of my head. I told myself, “You are NOT going to write a dystopian-like novel in a time when dystopian is saturated,” but I did not listen. I started to imagine a future where there were no girls left. Since I write YA, I immediately jumped to thinking about what life would be like for one of the rare teen girls. I saw all the advantages she would have—money, choice, power—but I also saw how those advantages would tip the balance of society in the opposite direction of where it is now.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

0 Sarah Alderson, author of OUT OF CONTROL, on not being too much of a perfectionist

We're excited to have Sarah Alderson here to tell us about her latest thrilling novel OUT OF CONTROL.

Sarah, what was your inspiration for writing OUT OF CONTROL?

Lots of producers tell me that my books read like movies and that’s because I’m heavily influenced by film. I grew up in the 80s and my favourite film was Terminator but I also loved John Hughes movies like The Breakfast Club - so in my books I think that I always blend wild romance and wilder thrills.

I set the book in New York, which is also one of my favourite cities. I wanted to utilise all those landscapes and that frenetic energy.

The other inspiration was from a friend at a party who told me I should write a book about human trafficking. She worked for the UN and at first I dismissed the idea (as did my agent) but then I went away and thought about it and came up with the idea for Out of Control.

How long did you work on OUT OF CONTROL?

It takes me about 6-8 weeks to write a book.

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

I have had a dream road to publication. I wrote my first book Hunting Lila almost on a whim. I had quit my job and my husband and I were travelling around the world with our then three year old daughter to find a new place to live. I needed some way of making money and thought writing a book would be the answer (stupidly I never Googled how much authors earn) so I wrote Hunting Lila having never studied creative writing at all.

It took me four months and during the process I realised just how much I loved writing. I got an agent straightaway for it and it sold within a month in a two-book deal to Simon & Schuster. I’ve since published seven books with them (in the UK) and I also write for Pan Macmillan under a pen name Mila Gray (new adult fiction).

I wrote a blog while we were travelling and that just got picked up by a publishing company too and is being published this summer.

I have written about three books that haven’t been picked up though by any of my publishers. Frustratingly it’s often because of trends, you write a dystopia and the publisher tells you ‘sorry, dystopia isn’t selling any more, can we have a contemporary romance instead.’

I’m storing them though in my bottom drawer and will publish them all eventually. It’s just a matter of time as now I’m doing a lot more screenwriting. Hunting Lila should be hitting the big screen in the next year or so, which is really exciting.

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

I can write anywhere so long as I have music and headphones. I’ve written on planes, in cars, on trains. I lived in Bali for five years and would write by the pool or in a cafe or on my bed. We moved back to London for a few months in the winter, and I’ve been writing in my bed with the electric blanket on full, wearing three layers of thermals and a hat (I live in a 17th century cottage in the middle of nowhere - it’s freezing cold).

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

Don’t be too much of a perfectionist or you’ll never get anything finished. And read as many books and watch as much great TV and movies as you can (a lot of the best writers are working in TV at the moment). Don’t be a snob about what you read but do be discerning.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on three different screenplays and I just finished the edits for my second Mila Gray book This Is One Moment.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Out of Control by Sarah Alderson
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 5/12/2015

A girl looking to escape her past in New York City ends up on the run from a dangerous conspiracy in this sizzling, high-stakes novel. 

When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she's taken into police custody, supposedly for her own protection, she realizes something isn't right, but it's too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target and she needs to escape before it's too late. 

With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you're on the edge, there's a long way to fall.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SarahAldersonfullbodysmallHaving spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.

She finished her first novel, Hunting Lila (winner of the Kingston Book Award), just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel on the beach in India and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they had reached Bali.

A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, was published in January 2012.

The Sound, a thriller romance set in Nantucket, was published in August 2013 and this was followed by the critically acclaimed Out of Control in May 2014.

She also writes New Adult romance for Pan Macmillan (UK) / Simon & Schuster (US) under the pen name Mila Gray.

You can find Sarah on facebook and at www.sarahalderson.com or follow her blog at www.canwelivhere.com


What did you think of our interview with Sarah Alderson, author of OUT OF CONTROL? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,


Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

0 Amy Fellner Dominy, author of A MATTER OF HEART, on being patient with yourself

We're thrilled Amy Fellner Dominy could swing by to share more about her latest novel A MATTER OF HEART.

Amy, tell us about your inspiration for writing A MATTER OF HEART.

In 2010 I brought my kids to a heart screening at their high school. My daughter and son were both athletes and I’d read about a boy, Anthony Bates, from the same high school who had died of an undetected heart condition some years before. At the screening, I met Anthony’s mom. Wow. I was inspired by the foundation she’d created to bring heart tests to schools and my imagination was captured by the idea of an athlete who lived to compete…and who might die from competition. That’s the day Abby was born.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

As a writer, I think what made this book flow so quickly was that it features a character with a strong, definable goal. (Abby wants to swim in the Olympic trials that take place in three weeks.) I’ve made the mistake of starting with generic goals like “I want to be popular.” Or, “I want to be accepted.” Well, what do those things really look like? How do you know when those goals have been achieved, and what actions will actually take you there? It’s impossible to know when the goal is so cloudy. So my advice to other writers would be to give your characters concrete goals. Definable goals. It not only makes for a more compelling book for your readers, but it makes your job as a writer a lot easier, too.

What's your writing ritual like?

I wish I were one of those writers who has a playlist because it always sounds so cool. But the truth is I don’t listen to music while I write and even when I hear a song that feels perfect for my WIP, I always seem to forget it before I have a chance to write it down.

I tend to talk out-loud as I write, often speaking the dialogue as I type it. Because of that, I ought to stay hidden away at home, but I do like coffee shops and I’ve been known to bribe myself with bagel breakfasts or afternoon bakery sweets to get my butt in a chair when I’d rather be doing, well, anything else.

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

I’d like to tell you to be patient with yourself.

Writing is really hard work. Fully formed books don’t appear in dreams for most of us. We have to slog our way through many, many drafts. I know that I was very hard on myself starting out, thinking it should be easier, and I should be faster, and I must not have any talent if I can’t figure out a story without making ten wrong turns. But that’s how it is for many of us. So, be understanding of yourself. And keep writing.  


ABOUT THE BOOK

A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 5/12/2015

Readers will happily sink into this emotionally grounded, contemporary young adult novel about the sudden end of one girl's Olympic swimming dreams and the struggles she endures before realizing there are many things that define who we are.

Sixteen-year-old Abby Lipman is on track to win the state swim championships and qualify for the Olympic trials when a fainting incident at a swim meet leads to the diagnosis of a deadly heart condition. Now Abby is forced to discover who she is without the one thing that's defined her entire life.

Purchase A Matter of Heart at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

amy-bioAmy Fellner Dominy worked as a copywriter in the advertising business before leaving to earn her MFA in playwriting. Her plays for adults and children have been staged in various cities around the country. Amy's novels for teens include OyMG (Walker, 2011) and AUDITION & SUBTRACTION (Walker, 2012.) Amy's next book is a contemporary YA coming May 12, 2015 from Random House/Delacorte. It's called A MATTER OF HEART.



What did you think of our interview with Amy Fellner Dominy, author of A MATTER OF HEART? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,


Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

0 Edward Hogan, author of THE MESSENGERS, on still learning, still making mistakes

THE MESSENGERS is the latest thriller from Edward Hogan, and we're pleased he could join us to talk about writing.

Edward, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

Well, I can only tell you what other YA books I love - and hope that they've influenced me, somehow!  I'm a massive fan of Patty Dann's classic Mermaids.  It's so funny and well-observed - sometimes a book just feels true.  If you're into British writing, David Almond (Kit's Wilderness) and Mal Peet (Life: An Exploded Diagram) are amazing.  I loved Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me.  In terms of non-YA books (is the term "A"?), I think Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness, The Flying Troutmans) is the best writer of teenager characters that I've ever read.  Her books are moving, hilarious and real.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

I try to do something different with every book I write.  I'm still learning, still making mistakes, but that's part of the fun!  The Messengers is the first book I wrote with a big, complicated central idea (Frances has intrusive visions of future deaths).  It was really hard to do, and I was lucky to get help off some brilliant editors.  I also wrote it while bringing up two small babies - so I learned a lot about writing with two hours sleep (and a heart full of love!)

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

It's hard for me to give advice -  I'm not exactly a bestseller!  I know there are writers out there who haven't been published who are my equals or beyond.  I recently heard a very beautiful little lecture from the writer, Elizabeth Gilbert.  The gist of it was that you can't be an inspired genius all the time.  The trick is to "keep showing up" at your desk.  I'm also learning about the importance of cutting oneself off from ideas like 'success' and 'popularity'.  As Allen Ginsberg said, "To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard."



ABOUT THE BOOK

The Messengers by Edward Hogan
Hardcover
Candlewick
Released 5/12/2015

If you could see the future, would you have the guts to change it? A new psychological thriller from the author of Daylight Saving.

Fifteen-year-old Frances is sent to her aunt’s house for the summer to escape difficulties at home. Soon she meets Peter, a man unlike anyone she has ever known. Peter is a messenger—but his messages never bring good news. Peter believes that Frances is a messenger, too. In a compelling page-turner as complex as it is chilling, the author of Daylight Saving poses the provocative question: If you could change the future, where would you start?

Purchase The Messengers at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edward_HoganEdward Hogan’s first adult novel, Blackmoor, was short-listed for the London Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and the Dylan Thomas prize. Daylight Saving is his first young adult novel. He lives in the U.K.



What did you think of our interview with Edward Hogan, author of THE MESSENGERS? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin