Friday, January 27, 2012
So, I've started working on revisions for SHADES OF EARTH. Basically, the idea is to make it the most mind-blowing, twistiest, awesomest book ever. And my attitude for this has been:
Which has also meant that very often my brain turns slowly into mush coming up with new twists and turns and attempts to make the book good for you. Also: I get ideas and many of them are crazy, and I have to sort the crazy from the non-crazy. Also also: the idea of becoming a crazy cat lady is starting to look nice, except I have dogs instead of cats, but the principle is still the same.
So what does a writer do when her brain is turning to mush and there are too many twists in there?
She turns to Twitter.
Things got out of hand.
The good news is that by blowing off steam this way, I think I actually come up with the real twist that I'm going to try to use with the plot! And the other good news is that I had so much fun doing this that I thought, like any good party, lets just keep it going.
Have a crazy, funny plot twist or mash-up with another book/show/movie? Tweet it (@bethrevis or #newplot4SoE so I can find it) and/or post it here in the comments, and I'll enter you to win a signed copy of A MILLION SUNS! Enter as many times as you like (as long as you're coming up with new stuff, don't just spam this; it's supposed to be fun). Comments and tweets count. I'll either pick my favorite or--as is likely--there will be too many awesome ones and I can't pick, in which case I will just randomly pick one. Open internationally, we'll close this on Monday, unless I forget. Have I mentioned my brain = mush?
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I took many, many years of ballet despite my short legs and flat feet. I find it hard to walk across a kitchen floor in my socks without doing a few pirouettes and if you look closely, you might catch me standing in first position. On the flip side of that, ballet is fluid and not as rhythmic as other forms of dance, so I’m totally the last one on the dance floor at a wedding and the first one off.
As a kid, what was your favorite book? Have your tastes changed since growing up?
I can’t pick just one…Babysitter’s Club series, Number The Stars by Louis Lowry, Little Women.
In your book, TEMPEST, Jackson can travel through time. If you could travel through time, when would you go?
I’m going to get called a dork or jock for this but I’d go back to 1976 and watch Nadia Comaneci get the first perfect 10 in Olympic Gymnastics history….I know…total dork.
For me, it started with the love story…two people from very different backgrounds who have this amazing summer fling and get to the end thinking it was just for fun and then have to decide what it really means and accept the fact that you are always susceptible to falling in love whether you want to or not.
Most of this happens before TEMPEST begins and it’s trickled in little bits throughout the book. But the love story alone wasn’t big enough. I needed something epic and more original to add to this plot. That’s where time travel came in. And then, just for fun, I tossed in the mysterious division of the CIA and some pretty crazy spies.
One of the great things about TEMPEST is the very realistic voice of your male lead. Could you tell us why you chose to tell the story from a boy’s point of view, and how you made that voice so realistic?
I started writing from Jackson’s point of view because he was the time traveler, but on the side, I wrote a lot from Holly’s point of view as well. It became apparent early on that the story would be much more powerful if I stayed with Jackson because he’s learning so much about himself and his abilities in the first half of the book. The reader truly gets to make all these discoveries right along side Jackson.
Getting my guy lead to sound realistic as a 19 year old dude was tricky at first. It really helped that my editor is a guy and I was sending chapters to him and anything too sappy, I’d kind of chicken out at the last minute and delete, knowing he’d probably roll his eyes…or possibly gag if he read those words. After that initial draft, I went back and figured how I had made those right choices with Jackson and how to continue doing that. It was a fun learning experience. I think of it a lot like acting. Playing a role that isn’t anything like you.
Can you tell us a little bit about the process--particularly the timeline--of writing TEMPEST?
Tempest formed from a premise of another novel that I had written in the summer of 2009. My first novel. An agent requested that horrid manuscript then he became an editor before he was able to read it, but he still wanted to take a look at it. Of course, he agreed that it was horrid and passed on it. Later he came back to me and asked if I’d be interested in writing a YA time travel with that same premise. I sent a few chapters at a time and three and a half weeks later, I had a first draft of Tempest.
I was then offered a three book deal with Thomas Dunne Books and at that point, I went looking for an agent. Again. Because like most writers, I had done the query process with other manuscripts and received a good number of rejections. But technically there was never a query for Tempest. Suzie Townsend was nice enough to drop everything and read my manuscript overnight and luckily she loved it and offered to represent me.
If your reader could only take away one emotion, theme, or idea from TEMPEST, what would you want it to be?
This is a very hard question to answer because one of the best parts about writing Tempest and putting it out there for reviewers is that everyone seems to grasp onto to a different aspect as their favorite theme. A lot of people have commented on the family relationships and the drama that comes with those. I LOVED writing the scenes with Jackson and his twin sister, Courtney. Many people like the romance between Jackson and Holly and others really want more of geeky sidekick, Adam.
With all that said, I guess I’m going to quote something from the end of the book. It won’t spoil the story, but is a theme right from the fourth chapter, “Have no regrets.”
Publishing people are like the long lost siblings I’ve just discovered. When I first started writing, I think part of me believed agents were robots or computers or something and editors were from outer space and New York was this place you only go if you own a business suit and a priority boarding card for at least one airline. It surprised me how easy it was for me to get along with authors and people in publishing. Not just get along but share a passion with that different than anything else I’ve ever done.
Beyond the typical--never give up, believe in yourself--what would be the single best advice you'd like to give another writer?
If you don’t have an agent or a book deal…no editors hammering for rewrites, no copyeditor making up every piece of your novel, then I’d say make sure writing is still fun for you. Not just fun, but you should be in love with it because if and when you do get to the published phase, you’ll have plenty of things to stress about and whine about. Trust me.
What do you think are your strongest and weakest points in writing?
I would say character development and voice are what come the easiest for me. Also, first drafts. And I know lots of authors that feel the opposite. The weakest point for me is keeping the plot from getting too wide or veering off in another direction. I have a bit of an obsession with subplots.
DON'T FORGET: I'm giving away a SIGNED copy of this book! Just click here to enter.
To find out what the other Bookanistas are reading, click below:
- Christine Fonseca brings you a special Guestanista review of
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Julie Cross made me believe that any character--including the narrator--might not make it out of the story whole.
This is a very hard thing to do as a writer. Basically, a reader goes into the book knowing that certain characters are safe. Of course the hero and heroine make it out of live! The standard reader goes into any novel believe this so fully that making the reader convinced that this might not actually be the case shows a very deft writing hand.
Of course, I didn't always love the characters. In fact, when I first met Jackson I would have been sort of okay if he bit the dust. He was honestly kind of a jerk--he's less than flattering (unfairly so, imo) to his girlfriend's roommate, and while his thoughts on sex and the things he notices is very believeable for a boy narrator, it didn't always endear him to me. Which is another thing I loved about the book:
The narrator, Jackson, truly changes from the first page to the last.
This is another thing that I really respect, author to author. Again, the typical reader expects certain things--such as the character staying basically the same. I mean, you expect the main character to change some, or that a bad guy has an epiphany, Scrooge-style, by the end, but Jackson has a very interesting, and realistic, growth. He doesn't change all at once, nor does he become an angel--but throughout the story, through the course of his experiences, he changes from a somewhat cocky jerk to a guy who's honestly trying to do the right thing, but not sure he can make it.
And have I mentioned he's a guy? Because that's another thing I liked:
This is one of the most believable books with a boy narrator that I've ever read.
I've had my eye out for boy narrator since before I wrote Elder's POV, and I have to said: Julie nailed it. Jackson is boy, through-and-through. I really can't explain it, but I will say that there was never a moment I doubted Jackson's voice. He sounded real.
This is me basically fangirling in TEMPEST's general direction. And you should too! If you've not yet, make sure to enter my contest for a SIGNED copy of TEMPEST in my previous post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
As some of you know, I recently had the great pleasure of doing a signing at Books of Wonder, and one of the lovely ladies with me was Julie Cross:
|That's her, second to the left! Thanks, SLJ, for posting the picture!|
Instead, I loved it.
I devoured the whole book, totally caught in the story and enraptured by the world. It's a time travel book which, right there, should be a sign that I would love it, but the fact that this book (a) picked me up out of a serious reading slump, (b) made me quit being so grumpy, and (c) made me ignore everything to read for two days straight meant that I had to blurb it. So I did :)
- GoodReads page (all the buy-the-book links are there)
- Author blog
- FREE downloadable short story set in the world of TEMPEST
- Great review of the book by the LA Times
Additional contest information:
- Open internationally
- Entrants must be 13 years old or older
- Only one entry per person
- Must enter in the Rafflecopter below to qualify
- Contest closes on February 1, 2012
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Friday, January 20, 2012
Here is something I know: I might have made the NY Times Bestselling list, but I only did that because of you. Every single one of you who bought the book, read the book, shared the book. I've seen the numbers. I'm no John Green (so cool he's ice)--this was not a sure thing, it was not an easy win, it was not something that would have happened at all without you. So--seriously, and from the bottom of my heart--thank you.
This past week was amazing--I had a great time at the launch party in my hometown, and then had a blast at Books of Wonder in NYC and RJ Julia's in CT. Fortunately, right now I've got a few weeks to catch my breath...because starting February 15th, I'm going to be BREATHLESS!!
Okay, okay, I know: lame pun! But also: true! Breathless Reads 2012 kicks off February 15th, and it's even bigger than last year!
Go to Facebook.com/BreathlessReads for all the info on the events! This year we're going to 8 cities across the nation, so chances are we'll be in a city near year--if so, I hope you'll come out and meet me and the other awesome writers on the tour!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
I hope you all enjoyed the Virtual Launch Party! I've never done something quite like that before. If you have any suggestions for doing something like this again, please let me know (either here or you can email me).
As for me, I have a small and probably irrelevant announcement: I am going to be taking a bit of a break from the online world for a while. I'll still be around, but between travel and deadlines, I won't be able to post frequently, nor answer all Twitter @-replies. I want to, but I'm a bit overwhelmed. Also, I figure you guys would rather have another book than some inane online shenanigans. :)
So, without further ado:
The winners of the blog side of the Virtual Party are....
- YA Book Central: featherlyhearts
- Secret of the Stars: Priya
- Page Turners: Julie W
- Mundie Moms: Donna
- League: Jen R.
- Novel Thoughts: Rhys
- Bookalicious: Bee
- Hypable: Alyssa/Tabitha
And the Grand Prize Winner: J. Floyd
The winners from the Twitter part of the Virtual Launch Party:
- Signed paperback of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE: @GeckyBoz @MadiganHeart @JMWriting
- Signed hardback of A MILLION SUNS: of @TabithaMichelle @xjessirae @Gabelle_M @Team_Castiel
- Water bottle: @KathrineRoid @liljerk22
- Grand prize winner of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, A MILLION SUNS, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, and a water bottle: @bookchellef
Thursday, January 12, 2012
It feels like everything was leading up to Tuesday. Like a little kid waiting for Christmas, I counted down the days...the hours...the minutes. I poured so much of myself in A MILLION SUNS, and all I wanted to do was share it with you all. A writer's goal is word read, stories lived vicariously through ink.
There were so many highlights from the day. Former students came out--hi Jan, Lauren, Tearle, and Billy! And teachers: so good to see Ann and Laura and Leslie. Also! Family! I adore seeing my cousins Deana and William for any excuse (especially a book and/or Disney related one). Cake pops were all eaten up. My husband manned the Twitter station, and I loved seeing people call him Mr. Beth. Ha!!
It was such a blast sharing the launch party with Steph and Carrie. I get really nervous in those first few minutes of any event--basically, the hardest part is saying "hi." After that, I tell silly stories and talk about how I blow stuff up, but that first moment is always the most difficult. It made it so much easier to have Carrie and Steph at my side so that I was able to quickly pass on the torch of introductions!
But the best part? Seeing the smiles on my parents' faces. I write because of them. My mother taught me a love of reading, and my father taught me a love of stories (he's a born storyteller and can make anyone laugh).
My Poppa gave me a dozen red roses just before the event. Their scent fills my house and reminds me that no accolade or other measure of success matters half as much as this.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
From 7-8pm, join the Virtual Launch Party on Twitter! @AMillionSuns will be hosting and giving away prizes throughout!
Have you figured out the phrase based on the clues at each of the party stops? Then enter now to win the grand prize!!
In case you missed a stop, here's a direct link to each post:
And remember: you can comment on each post for a chance to win *another* prize.
And it was all so, so, so worth it.
So, are you guys ready for a party? I am! Today, there's going to be a party going on across the blogosphere, culminating in a giant Twitter party that will happen at the exact same time as my live launch party in Forest City, NC! And after that...I will collapse. But before that, I PARTY!!!!
What will you win? One winner who correctly pieces together the phrase will win:
But just in case you can't make it to the party in NC, you can still join the fun through the magic of Twitter! My husband will be tweeting as @AMillionSuns, and he'll be recapping everything that happens at the live party in the Tweet Chat room. It's SO SIMPLE to participate: just log on here or use the hashtag #amslaunch
(I'll be popping on throughout the day in the chat room, so I hope you'll join me there!)
Psst....I'm giving away a bunch of prizes on Twitter during the chat from 7-8pm! So be sure to log on then and join in the fun!
Prizes will include, but are not limited to...
-AtU Water Bottles!
It's just past midnight here...which means, officially, today's the day A MILLION SUNS comes out!
I wasn't going to post anything. I'm really worried I'm going to burn you guys out with this stuff, especially all the posts planned for
tomorrow today for the Virtual Launch Party.
I was goofing off on Tumblr, waiting for my hair to dry a bit before putting it in curlers, and lo, what did I find but an artist who paints koi.
Please watch this video. It's amazing. Artist Riusuke Fukahori has two types of koi art here. The first is a painstaking (but beautiful!) process where he paints a part of a koi, then covers it with acrylic, then paints the next part. He essentially makes a 3-D sculpture of koi using paint. It's...stunning. The second art is where he paints a giant koi with a broom. No kidding!
Anyway, it's not much, but I wanted to share this with you tonight. Thanks for being on this ride with me, guys.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I've been hearing reports that people are having a hard time getting the Fireside page to load. If you'd like to pre-order A MILLION SUNS (so you can get the swag and the signature and maybe the water bottle), then this link should take you directly to the AMS ordering page.
Remember to put in the notes to the seller if you want it personalized or not.
Please forgive a moment of bragging...back to your regularly scheduled programming of shenanigans tomorrow!
“Revis’ interweaving of science fiction, romance,and action is deft—an especially impressive feat given the condensed time line under which this story operates. …Revis just might make straight-up sci-fi cool again.”
–Booklist, December 1, 2011
“The second in Revis’ Across the Universe trilogy is as twisty as the first! You’ll feel the spaceship walls closing in as Elder and Amy race to find a way to save the day. Can’t wait for the third, to find out how it all ends.”
–Romantic Times Reviews; 4.5 Stars
“Oftentimes, the second book in a series struggles to live up to the expectations set in its kickoff, but not here. Revis has penned a fast-paced, action-packed follow-up with her dystopian, sci-fi thriller, “A Million Suns,” that explores not only the nature of authority and loyalty but fear of the unknown and fulfilling one’s personal destiny.”
–LA Times, 8 January 2011
“The twist at the end is unexpected and a wonderful turn for the story to take. The cliffhanger ending ensures that readers will be waiting anxiously for the third book in the trilogy.”
“There literally isn’t one dull moment in the entire story!”
"Revis’ shining brilliance is the fierce tension about survival (is Godspeed deteriorating? can people survive terrorism inside an enclosed spaceship?) and the desperate core question of whether any generation will ever reach a planet. Setting and plot are the heart and soul of this ripping space thriller, and they’re unforgettable.”
–Kirkus, starred review
- Their name is Fireside. Doesn't that sound cozy?
- They are--literally--a Main Street store. You know, that old-school little bookstore right on Main Street? That's them.
- They're 100% local. Southern accents and all.
- You can always order signed books by me from them. But if you order by January 10th before the party at 7pm, you'll get a signed book PLUS a pile of swag, including bookmarks, bracelets, and posters.
- SOME people who order from Fireside will ALSO get a limited-edition AtU water bottle. See below for a pic! I'm sticking them in random packages after I sign them, so it could be anyone!
(PS: you can also order signed, personalized copies of Stephanie Perkins and Carrie Ryan's books--if you order before 7pm on Tuesday! Both of these wonderful ladies will be at the launch party with me.)
Sunday, January 8, 2012
The winner is! @FallingforYA! Congrats!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I've always been told that when new parents have a baby, they do everything with that baby. Hundreds of photos, videos, record every moment, journals, etc. But by the time the parents have a second baby...they're just tired! They forget to fill out the baby book, they don't bother with as many photos.
I approached this year with the same fashion. A MILLION SUNS is my second baby...and boy am I tired! Did anyone care enough for me to bother with a launch party? Should I bother with another big thing on my website?
Well, being a second child myself, I decided that I didn't want to make A MILLION SUNS feel forgotten. (Also: friends of the book threatened mutiny if I forewent a party!) So in true Beth Revis fashion, we're going to celebrate the new year with a PARTY!! And because so many of you aren't in my local area, I wanted to make sure that everyone, no matter where you live, can participate.
Besides, you guys know the answer to this, right? When there's an option to party or not, you should...party hard!
Guys, I'm sorry--I hate to toot my own horn, but I have to share this or I'll burst (also, I'm giving myself a bit of a waiver for the toot-my-own-horn-thing since the book comes out on Tuesday). The LA Times just did a great review of A MILLION SUNS, and it'll be printed in the Sunday edition! *flails about*
The review itself is a tad spoilery (and very spoilery if you've not read ACROSS THE UNIVERSE yet), but there's a piece of it that I just have to share:
Revis keeps the book moving with short chapters that invariably end with cliffhangers to leverage the time-is-nigh plot. She's also fond of killing off and drugging pivotal characters and threatening to defrost others as the ship hurtles toward its uncertain but inevitable future.*happy sigh* It's like they just get me, you know? :D Hurrah for space murder and mayhem!!
Another favorite quote (which I love because I tried so hard to avoid the sophomore slump):
Oftentimes, the second book in a series struggles to live up to the expectations set in its kickoff, but not here. Revis has penned a fast-paced, action-packed follow-up with her dystopian, sci-fi thriller, "A Million Suns," that explores not only the nature of authority and loyalty but fear of the unknown and fulfilling one's personal destiny.Does anyone know how I can snag a copy of the paper here on the East Coast?
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I really want to know! Do you have any questions for me about ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, A MILLION SUNS, or even *gasp* SHADES OF EARTH?
I'll be posting the five best questions + answers in a special feature next week. Please let me know what you want to know!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Which is sad-making because I actually have a ton of events that I want to tell you about. 2012 is the year of travel! And it's also the year of Beth-doesn't-want-to-do-events-alone-so-she-keeps-begging-authors-to-join-her-for-shizz.
FIRST: THE LAUNCH OF A MILLION SUNS! with special guests Stephanie Perkins and Carrie Ryan!
WHEN: January 10, at 7pm
WHERE: Fireside Books and Gifts, 111 Main Street, Forest City, NC. (Please note that this is a change in address from last year; the store moved to Main Street)
WHO: Me, Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door), and Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Dark and Hollow Places).
WHAT: A launch part for A Million Suns PLUS special guests PLUS cake pops PLUS surprise prizes PLUS a virtual party at the same time PLUS MORE. (Seriously)
MORE: Guys, I'm so excited about this. Fireside is my home bookstore, and I love doing hometown events. Also, I get to do this one with Steph and Carrie, and that rocks. Additionally, this event will be special because it's happening at the same time as...
THE VIRTUAL PARTY, OPEN TO THE WHOLE FREAKING WORLD!!!!!!
(I think that needs some more exclamation marks, but I've hit my quota)
WHEN: January 10th, ALL DAY
WHERE: The World Wide Web, baby! And I mean world-wide!
WHO: Me & you & you & you & you....
WHAT: A VIRTUAL party online. More details on this will be revealed later today, but it involves:
- Party games (in the form of a blog hop updating hourly throughout the day)
- Party favors (in the form of prizes, open internationally, given out at each stop!)
- Socializing (in the form of a live Twitter chat-room going on at the same time as the launch party, so no matter where you are, you can participate! You'll be able to ask questions of all three authors, join in on the giveaways, get your book signed if you order through Fireside, and more!)
Ugh. I know. That title is very very lame. Which is a shame because what I've got to showcase today is the opposite of lame.
Any ideas? Here's a clue...
Any more guesses?
How about this...
That's right! Today I'm featuring the lovely Lauren DeStefano...and I'm following it up with a signed copy of BOTH books!
WITHER debuted last year with a huge fanfare--and justly deserved! It was an amazing book, both because of it's un-put-down-able-ness and because of the beautiful way in which it was written. Here's the thing. For me, if a book has a great plot that makes me keep turning the pages no matter what, I really like it. But if that book also adds on a truly beautiful language style...I'm in love. Very few books do this. Carrie Ryan's works...Neil Gaimon's...Victoria Schwab...these are the only authors I can think of off the top of my head with a similar mixture of amazing plot + beautiful writing style.
So, of course, I immediately began stalking Lauren. And then I begged her for FEVER. Guys. Seriously. BEGGED.
And my evil machinations worked! I totally snagged a copy of FEVER and devoured the whole thing in less than 24 hours.
Guys. GUYS. You need to read this series. No shizz. It's...amazing. *happy sigh*
Things I love about WITHER and FEVER:
- Rhine is a very realistic character. The decisions she makes when she's faced with them are either (a) exactly what I would do, or (b) not what I would do, but I understand why she would do it.
- There's a love triangle. Sort of. And I really only like sort-of-love-triangles. In WITHER, Rhine is forced into marriage against her will. Thing is? Her husband's not a douche. In a lot of ways, he's got just as real problems as Rhine--he's been lied to, and deceived, and he's only trying to find something that's real. And the boy Rhine thinks she might fall for? She's not sure. She's trapped. She's not willing to risk too many emotions here.
- In FEVER, the suck doesn't go away. By which I mean--Rhine's world changes...but it's still bad. Okay, so here's the thing. You know how HUNGER GAMES was always a little unbelievable because the bad districts were so bad, and the good ones so good? I mean...no distribution of wealth? Not everything's quite so black and white. Don't get me wrong, I loved HG, but I loved it more for the plot than the setting, yanno? Anyway, my point here is that in FEVER, there is striation. Gradiation. There a lot of shades of gray. Not just in the people, but the settings. What is right and what is wrong. Sometimes, the things you think are wrong...in this situation, with these people....it's right. Or sometimes, the things you think are right...aren't. Lauren takes these impossible people in an impossible world, and she gives them impossible situations, and she forces them to react to them.
Monday, January 2, 2012
There's a fresh new year here, and it's time for some fresh new reading challenges!
Last year, I set myself a low bar--I figured I'd be doing well to read 35 books in a year. Imagine my surprise when I read nearly 50!
I credit the upsurge in reading to several things:
- I got an e-reader. I had played with them before, but I thought I was getting the e-reader mostly to aid in quickly reading friends' manuscripts. I was shocked to discover that I actually read faster on an e-reader, and now prefer it as a format for many books. Additionally, it's so easy to snatch up samples, short stories, and on-sale books this way. Easily half of my reading this year was done with my e-reader, and I never would have started some of the giants (GRR Martin, anyone?) without the Kindle.
- I got more books for free. There's something about being sent an ARC that makes me want to drop everything and read :)
- I read more books of friends. I feel truly blessed to count some of my writer-idols as friends now, so of course I wanted to be sure I read every single title of theirs I could. Also, writer friends make great recommenders, too. After the last retreat I was on, I bought five more books before catching the flight home (on my Kindle, natch)!