Monday, July 30, 2012
I just finished the copy edits for SHADES OF EARTH (at 3am last night) and you know what that means...ARCs soon! I cannot wait. I am still at the stage where it feels as if SoE might not quite be real. I sort of expect to wake up soon and find out that this was all a really vivid dream.
Anyway! While we all wait for ARCs and proof that I'm not hallucinating my whole writing career, I wanted to tell you guys about some other awesome projects I've been working on. Namely: anthologies!
Edited by: Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong
Release date: February 19, 2013
Add it to your GoodReads here.
About my story: This YA dystopian anthology is going to be amazing, and I can't wait to read all the other stories in it! My contribution is titled "Love is a Choice," and is all about Orion before Elder was born. It describes what happened in those first few months after Eldest tried to kill him. It explains how he became the Recorder and in charge of the Recorder Hall. And it's also about a girl, and love, and the choices we make that divide us.
It was really difficult for me to write this story because it forced me to take a closer look at Orion. When I first came up with this character, in the very first draft of the very first book, he was a mustache-twirling crazy bad guy. He had no depth, and it was way obvious what his role in the book was. As I revised and rewrote ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, though, I found that the character who changed the most was Orion.
And I really started to sympathize with him. This was not something that I expected, and as I was writing the books, I was a little startled by how much I could myself in this character. After finishing A MILLION SUNS, I knew I wanted to do a short with Orion, so I could let other readers see how much I discovered about his character.
Anthology Title: DEFY THE DARK
Edited by: Saundra Mitchell
Release date: June 2013
Add to your GoodReads here.
Official anthology website here.
A little something extra extra: The last tale in this book is being reserved for...you. If you're an unpublished author, you're going to want to check back with the antho website and look at the competition with a prize of being published in the antho (and paid for your contribution)! More information on the contest here.
About my story: The title of my story is "Night Swimming"--in the antho, each story takes place at dark. Mine is about Kayleigh and Harley and the night Kayleigh died.
But the reason why I love my story in this antho extra much is because the narrator in the story is gender ambiguous. In my mind, it could be narrated by either Bartie (the man who started the rebellion in A MILLION SUNS) or by Victria (the woman who was in the Hospital with Harley). I leave it up to the reader to decide who's narrating the story. It's about betrayal and longing, whether you should stand up and fight or bow down and survive. It's about love, too, and what happens when the person you love doesn't love you back.
Anthology Title: AFTER
Edited by: Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Release date: October 2012
Add to your GoodReads here.
A little something extra extra: I'll be celebrating the release of this anthology--along with many of the other contributors--in New York at Books of Wonder! It will all go down October 11--hope to see you here! More info.
About my story: My contribution to this dystopian anthology is called "The Other Elder." It was the very first short story set on Godspeed that I wrote, and I love it extra special because of that.
But I also like it because it tells a little bit about Godspeed and how it came to be the dystopic dictatorship that Eldest controlled. "The Other Elder" describes how the society went from an Eldest who was retiring to the next Eldest, and the young Elder who was going to take over next. It explains what went wrong, and it shows the reader how Godspeed's society came to be.
Also? The narrator is a young Elder, one who thinks about fighting back, bucking the system. And because of the nature of the Eldest system, it could be the Eldest that you met in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. It could be Orion. It could be neither of them. I leave that up to you.
As with most my stories and books, "The Other Elder" centers on a choice: whether it's worth it to give up freedom for peace.
Those are all the anthologies I've contributed to, and each story takes place in the world of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and Godspeed. But I am working on two other things--there are at least two more stories that I'd like to share about Godspeed. One is about Luthor and what he was like before Amy woke up. The other is about Kayleigh, and what she discovered, and the night she died. I'm working on both of these stories right now, and hope I'll be able to share more with you about them soon!
PS: If you haven't voted for your favorite novels on the NPR List, please do so here!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
(PS: If you happen to have extra space on your top ten list and don't know what other book to vote for, I highly recommend THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. It's seriously amazing.)
Monday, July 16, 2012
So this past weekend, I was at Ascendio, the Harry Potter conference run by HPEF. Which was fantabulous. So much fun. Partly because Libba Bray is my new hero. Also because anything associated with Harry Potter = awesome.
One of the panels was Katniss, Bella, and Hermione: Finding the Balance Between Asskicking Prowess and Emotional Realism in the Girls of YA Fiction.
Keeping in mind, of course, that my definition of feminism is: women deserve equal rights and anyone who wants to take those rights away deserves to be kicked in the face.
So. The panel. It was epic. I was a tad bit afraid it would end up as people comparing characters to the point that one would be downplayed more than others, but our excellent moderator started us off on a positive note by pointing out that being a badass doesn't necessarily mean fighting--that there is a certain courage toward going after whatever it is you want, even if it's not something grand like winning a rebellion. There is strength in knowing that what you want is love, and going after that.
I ended up summing our panel conversation up thusly:
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Hi guys! As some of you know, I help out with the technical side (like website design) of the YA Scavenger Hunt, which was created by the awesome Colleen Houck. It's a triannual event where YA authors from all over basically do the most epic blog hop ever--with a grand-prize of a signed book from every author on the hunt. I'll be participating later this year, but for right now, I wanted to send a shout-out to all my author-friends:
Authors, you can sign up to participate in the YA Scavenger Hunt now! Authors can find out more information here, but here's some reasons why you should sign up:
- Increased web traffic--at the last hunt, we had around 1,500 entrants for the grand prize, and authors saw about a 6,000 pageview increase on their websites during the hunt.
- Meet new authors--part of the hunt is about swapping information with other authors, as each author hosts someone else
- Meet new readers--more than 600 people voted in our poll last hunt that the #1 thing they looked forward to on the hunt was not the change to get a prize, but the chance to find new books to read.
- Space on the hunt is limited. Not every author who signs up will be able to get in--but that doesn't mean you shouldn't sign up. We're looking for fresh blood, that's what I'm saying :)
- You need to sign up SOON! Like...NOW! Don't hesitate! :)
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
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She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.
In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.
For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.
Lark did not expect to become the City's power supply.
For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she's ever known...or face a fate more unimaginable than death.
Thank you, Meagan, for sharing that awesome post with us! Now everyone, comment below by the end of the week to be entered to win a signed, first edition copy of SKYLARK! Sorry, but this is US only as the author is shipping it herself.
---Winner selected. Congrats Daisy R.!---
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Sunday, July 8, 2012
I've just come back from a much-awaited family vacation to the wilds of thrilling Canada, and while I was gone, something big was announced, something that I know a lot of you have been waiting for! Last week, the cover was exclusively revealed by GeekDad at Wired.com (thanks GeekDad!)...along with another surprise...
All the books in the trilogy are getting a new look!
|Click to embiggen!|
- Penguin/Razorbill didn't change the covers lightly. We talked about the whole process, what was best for the books, and what the readers would like. That said, of course, we also knew...
- We can't please everyone. There will be some people who don't like the new covers. There are a lot of people who didn't like the old ones, too. It would be absolutely impossible to please everyone, but I do believe that...
- These covers capture the essence of each book. I really love that they are each stylized to look like the outside of the ship (rivets! Yay for rivets!). The ice is obviously symbolic to Amy for the first cover, and the leaves line up great with the third book, but my favorite is the second book. True fact: in the original book designs, they did several mock-ups for AMS. My favorite mock-up was a cover that was mostly orange, but no one else liked that one as much. So I'm secretly pretty thrilled that the second one is finally orange :)
- The covers don't spoil the plot. This one was a huge issue for me, because I like my twisty plots! Every idea we had for the cover of Shades seemed to reveal a plot element that I wanted to keep hidden. This cover, though, seems to perfectly encapsulate the secrets of what is left for Amy and Elder to discover, and I truly appreciate that!