Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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

If you thought yesterday's post introduced you to some fantastic YA books, wait until you see what's in store for today. We hope you'll enjoy the author interviews and find something new to read. Be sure to scroll all the way down to enter to win some of these books!

This Week's Interviews

Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese
  •  From Goodreads: Ade Patience can see the future and it's destroying his life. When the seventeen-year-old Mantlo High School student knocks himself unconscious, he can see days and decades into his own future. Ade's the best of Denver's "divination" underground and eager to join the heralded Mantlo Diviners, a group of similarly enabled teens. Yet, unlike the Diviners, Ade Patience doesn't see the future out of curiosity or good will; Ade gives himself concussions because he's addicted to the high, the Buzz, he gets when he breaks the laws of physics. And while there have been visions he's wanted to change, Ade knows the Rule: You can't change the future, no matter how hard you try. His memory is failing, his grades are in a death spiral, and both Ade's best friend and his shrink are begging him to stop before he kills himself. Ade knows he needs to straighten-out. Luckily, the stunning Vauxhall Rodolfo has just transferred to Mantlo and, as Ade has seen her in a vision two years previously, they're going to fall in love. It's just the motivation Ade needs to kick his habit. Only things are a bit more complicated. Vauxhall has an addiction of her own, and, after a a vision in which he sees Vauxhall's close friend, Jimmy, drown while he looks on seemingly too wasted to move, Ade realizes that he must break the one rule he's been told he can't. The pair must overcome their addictions and embrace their love for each other in order to do the impossible: change the future.
How long did you work on this book?
I wrote it about two and half years ago. It was originally very, very different. Aimed at adult readers, it featured a female protagonist who had uncontrolled visions of the future and had to take an illegal drug to try and stop them from overrunning her life. A cool book but not exactly working. So, over many months of discussion with my agent I rewrote it. It was bought by St. Martin's a little over a year ago. A long process but not uncommon.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
While I don't actually publicize it, this is in fact my third novel. The first two are under another name and in another genre entirely. Stepping away from those books, however, was a bit of a challenge. I was thrilled with the fact that we got a deal on our first round of editor submissions with Future Imperfect.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Persevere and grow a very thick hide. Learn to embrace criticism. The publishing world is a rough and tumble place and it's changing now more than it has in the past 100 years. Don't go into it blindly. Don't get drunk on the idea of fame or fortune. If you want to get your work published you need to know the reality out there: 90% of authors never quit their day jobs and only 5% of writers get agents. The barriers to publication are very, very high, but if you believe in your writing and view the industry as the business it is, you can succeed. The other thing is read. Read. Read. Read. They say with screenwriting that you must read at least 100 screenplays before even writing the first word on a script. The same is true with novels. To be a writer you need to love reading.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I'm always surprised when I hear from readers. I'm not sure why I don't assume people would write, but when they do -- regardless of why -- it's an electric sensation. To know your words are reaching people is priceless.

Exile by Anne Osterlund
  • From Goodreads: Crown Princess Aurelia stands in the face of exile. Behind her are the sister who tried to kill her and the father who ignored it. In front of her are the entire kingdom and Robert—the friend she can't help but fall in love with. Aurelia may finally be living her dream . . . but danger is not far behind. When Aurelia and Robert are betrayed by the very guards assigned to protect them, their expedition becomes a fight for survival that carries them from frontier to desert sands. Even with a hunter on their tail, the risks—to their lives, the throne, their hearts—only fuels Aurelia's determination to see her kingdom. And when their perilous journey is finally complete, she will discover just how much her people need her, and just how much of a risk loving Robert can be.
How long did you work on this book?
I began my brand new third novel, Exile (Aurelia and Robert’s expedition through the tangled Asyan Forest, over the Gate, across the raw frontier, and onto the burning sands of the Geordian desert) the same week I completed the original submission of my second book, Academy 7, which means around April 7th 2008. I finished the final edited revision of Exile in 2010. So . . . three years. Though for some perspective, I should add that I squeezed in thirty months of teaching sixth grade, three bouts of directing Shakespeare productions, several graduate level ed courses, a number of author appearances, edited revisions of Academy 7, and about a draft and a half of my upcoming fourth book, Salvation, into that time as well.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
For Exile, the sequel to Aurelia, a year and several months of writing the first draft and half of the second. One rejection. Five months of having Aurelia screaming in my head that I should be writing her sequel anyway. An absolutely glorious moment of being able to tell her that she was right all along! Which, of course, she already knew. And four months of the most intense writing I have ever done in my life.

Exile was quite literally an expedition.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Write the stories you love! Choose the one that is the most demanding, the one that refuses to leave your head, and write that one first. Then the next and the next and the next.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I think the greatest surprises come from within the writing, especially how sneaky the villains are. In Aurelia, Robert and Aurelia’s first story (think Cinderella inside out and with an assassination plot), the villain changed. I did not realize who the real villain was until the fourth revision of the book. In my second novel Academy 7 (a young adult science fantasy about two teens who risk everything to attend the most prestigious school in the universe), two of the villains introduced themselves as main characters. Very duplicitous.

I’ve also blogged about a few of my greatest writing surprises in my 2010 posts, The Emergence of a Villain and Surprise! I’m Dead in case your readers would like to check them out. You can reach my blog via my website. www.anneosterlund.com

As for the greatest surprise about becoming published, I suppose that is simply that the dream came true. Though again, of course, Aurelia insisted that it would.

Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
  • From Goodreads: What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan—the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah—unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.
How long did you work on this book? How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
My road to publication was fraught with disappointment and peril. When I give a quick recap of my journey, it ends up sounding easy. It was not! It also ends up sounding shorter than it was. I submitted my first manuscript fall 2001. I saw my first novel in print fall 2008.

I started seriously writing young adult fiction in college. As an English major at BYU I took a class on writing the young adult novel and knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wrote one (still unpublished) YA novel and I started BACK WHEN YOU WERE EASIER TO LOVE. I submitted my completed manuscript and the book got very close to being published—but ultimately didn’t make it.

It was disappointing, but other things were going on in my life so I moved on. I got married. I graduated from college. I bought my first house. Then I submitted more. I got rejected more. I applied to the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. I learned tons, had great advisors, and made terrific friends.

I graduated from Vermont College with a novel finished that I felt good about (it was not one of the manuscripts submitted/ rejected previously). I looked for an agent. I just looked up how many agents rejected this manuscript—thirteen. Very unlucky. Then, luck: Carrie Jones, one of my VC BFFs, read the manuscript and liked it. She recommended I submit to her editor, so I did, and he liked it, and THE WAY HE LIVED was published a year later.

During this time, I got a terrific agent. He asked me if I had a new book ready to submit. I had been dabbling with BACK WHEN YOU WERE EASIER TO LOVE since college, but I hadn’t finished it yet. My agent is amazing and was able to sell it to Dutton based on a proposal and a few sample chapters.

I don’t know why, but it pleases me that the book debuts in 2011, exactly ten years after I started writing it! Although I wasn’t working on it the entire decade, you definitely have to wait for the time to be right.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
The best advice I ever received as a young writer was this: “Revision is what separates the writers from the dabblers. Be a real writer. Oh, and of course that includes FINISHING your book.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a child, and it’s a double-edged sword because as thrilling as it is to achieve something you’ve wanted your whole life, there is also a certain sadness to it. I am lucky and proud to be a published author, but publishing will not make you smarter or prettier or (necessarily) happier. You will still be the same person you were before you got published.

The Break-Up Diaries by Ni-Ni Simone and Kelli London
  • From Goodreads: Hot Boyz Ni-Ni Simone
    Chance Kennedy always gets what she wants, even if she has to bend the truth to do it. She's set her sights on extremely fine and college-bound Ahmad King, and she will do anything to become his girl. There's only one problem: she didn't count on love entering the picture. Now she's scrabbling to make things right before the tiny white lie she's told to lock down her guy blows up in everyone's face. Now, the girl with everything may lose it all. . .
    The Boy Trap Kelli London
    Pretty, popular, and with mad potential, Gabrielle Newton is, hands down, the girl to know. But Gabrielle only has time for Tyler Scott, Lakeview High's hottest new athlete. He's the golden ticket to her dream: becoming an NBA star's pampered wife. But when Gabrielle plays Tyler one time too many, suddenly more than their relationship is on the line ...
What routines do you find helpful for you to stay actively writing?
Writing everyday, reading, reading, and more reading! I can't stress enough how reading will keep you writing more and writing better. I also find that sticking to a routine helps, my routine is a five a.m. rise and I write from five a.m. until about seven a.m. After that it's time to get my children ready for school and me for work.

As a published writer, do you feel pressure to balance your creative writing license with what the audience wants? If so, how do you balance the two?
Sometimes, I do, but in the end I try my best to stick to what I feel is best for the story--and sometimes that's what the reader wanted and sometimes it's not. However, either way it has to be something that I'm loving, because if I'm not at least liking the plot nothing will happen and the pages will be bone dry.

What advice would you offer writers to build their marketing platform before they become published?
My best advice would be to work the social networking sites. Everybody's up there and they are great places to talk to all sorts of people and introduce yourself. Try and stay away from interviews I would say, to far out from your book's release, because if people interview you and no one can get your book, quickly, then you've wasted your time.

How much do trends influence your writing?
With my teen fiction I write with a lot of trends in mind, as teens are trendy, however I am learning a balance between trendy and what gives a novel lasting shelf life. Sometimes writing too trendy can kill your staying power.

Additional Releases

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
  • From Goodreads: Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end. Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
  • From Goodreads: Fourteen-year-old Karl Stern has never thought of himself as a Jew. But to the bullies at his school in Naziera Berlin, it doesn't matter that Karl has never set foot in a synagogue or that his family doesn't practice religion. Demoralized by relentless attacks on a heritage he doesn't accept as his own, Karl longs to prove his worth to everyone around him. So when Max Schmeling, champion boxer and German national hero, makes a deal with Karl's father to give Karl boxing lessons, Karl sees it as the perfect chance to reinvent himself. A skilled cartoonist, Karl has never had an interest in boxing, but as Max becomes the mentor Karl never had, Karl soon finds both his boxing skills and his art flourishing. But when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl must take on a new role: protector of his family. Karl longs to ask his new mentor for help, but with Max's fame growing, he is forced to associate with Hitler and other Nazi elites, leaving Karl to wonder where his hero's sympathies truly lie. Can Karl balance his dream of boxing greatness with his obligation to keep his family out of harm's way?
Carmen by Walter Dean Myers
  • From Amazon: Into the summer heat of New York’s Spanish Harlem strides Carmen, a chica who is as hot as the sizzling city streets. When she first meets José, she falls for him hard. He’s not like the gansta types she knows—tipo duros who are tough, who think they are players. But José has a quick temper, and he likes to get his own way. And nobody gets in Carmen’s way. When Escamillo rolls into town, everyone takes notice of the Latino Jay-Z—a quadruple-threat singer/rapper/producer/businessman. But he only notices one person—Carmen. And Carmen has given up on José—he’s not going to get her out of her tough neighborhood, el barrio, and into the action. Escamillo will. But José won’t let that happen.

Would you like to get your hands on a copy of FUTURE IMPERFECT or BACK WHEN YOU WERE EASIER TO LOVE? Fill out the form below and leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. You'll automatically be entered to win the books we announced for giveaway yesterday. Don't forget you can enter both days to double your odds of winning! Winners will be announced Thursday. The contest is open to US residents only please.

Happy reading!
The Ladies of ACP


  1. Amazing picks! I love how Breese mentions that his story was originally very different from what ended up being published. Makes me feel like I'm on the right track. :)

  2. Great interviews. Breese's advice to have thick skin and persevere is so true.

  3. Great choices again! I just recently purchased Anne Osterlund's first book in the series (AURELIA) and can't wait to dive in.

  4. I love that cover for Future Imperfect. It's so striking.

  5. More great books! Future Imperfect is calling my name! But The Last Little Blue Envelope looks like a fun read too :)

  6. Wow, what a bunch of great sounding books!

  7. I love reading these interviews & seeing all the books that are coming out. Once again there are a bunch of great ones coming out.

  8. Future Imperfect sounds awesome! I want to read it... adding to TBR list... now!

    Great interviews :)

  9. Wow, Back When You Were Easier to Love sounds great! Thanks for spotlighting the author :-)

  10. all these books look great. I especially like the pub story for Back When You Were Easier to Love... it's inspiring. she waited and worked and her dream came true!

  11. I love knowing what books are coming out. Future Imperfect sounds awesome.

  12. Such an awesome book lineup! :)

  13. Future Imperfect sounds fascinating. Plus I'm very excited for Back when you were easier to love.

  14. Back when you were.. and exile look awesome!

  15. Back When you were easier to love was my top want from the week. The book sounds like a great read!
    Thank you for all the great blurbs on these reads.

  16. The cover of Back When You Were Easier to Love is sooo cute! I got 13 Blue Envelopes because it was free on Kindle. More great books this week! :)

  17. Future Imperfect sounds intriguing. Glad he rewrote it, because it sounds much better than the original idea he had.

  18. Thanks for the continued great line-up of books to give away! Woo! Have a great Tuesday, ladies. :)

  19. Lots of great books. Thanks for the giveaway. Tore923@aol.com

  20. I love Maureen Johnson, but haven't read The Last Little Blue Envelope yet. Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. Exile and Last Blue Envelope look great! Can't wait! thanks for the giveaway!

  22. Thanks so much! These all look great.

  23. My sister is a big Maureen Johnson fan. I'm sure she'll be really glad another Blue Envelopes book is out. Berlin Boxing Club looked fantastic months ago, and I've been waiting for it's release for a while. (Yay!) I've also heard tons about Future Imperfect.

  24. Oh my gosh! The Last Little lue Envelope sounds amazing (loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes).

    Awesome picks....as usual.

  25. Loved the interviews again. I didn't realize so many books came out this week.


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