Thursday, September 29, 2011

"I can dance to anything you wanna sing"

I have good news! The release date for the St. Martin's edition of Switched has been bumped up from January 24th to January 3rd! That's a whole three weeks earlier!

Word on the street is that the reasoning for this is because a major retailer wanted to give Switched a big push, and they didn't want it so close to the Hunger Games film release, so Switched doesn't get eclipsed by all you Hunger Games fanatics.

And me, I'm excited about it because I won't have to wait so long for you guys to read the books. I'm on pins and needles waiting for you all to check out the three brand new short stories and a couple choice extended scenes in each of the books.

Onto the second bit of good news - OMFG! Have you checked out blink 182's new album "Neighborhoods?" It's crazy awesome.

I'll admit to being at first skeptical that blink would ever come out with a new album, and then afraid that it wouldn't be any good. But it totally picked up where their last album left off 8 years ago, and it exploded into something awesome and better. They managed to combine my favorite parts of both Mark and Tom's side projects - (+44) and Angels and Airwaves, respectively - into their new music but still keep it sounding uniquely blink.

If you haven't bought the album yet, go buy the deluxe version. It's completely worth for the bonus track "Fighting with Gravity," which I am ridiculously in love with.

Meanwhile, I've been reading Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, and it's very interesting. I want to start a book club to talk about because none of my real life friends have read it. After that, I plan on reading Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendt. It's gotten some flack over the years, but I think it'd still be a worthwhile read. So if you want to get in on the book club, that's what's next.

Also, I'm not taking a vote on what we read for this book club. I'm just picking things that I feel like reading, and asking you to join me. You don't have to. But if you want to, I'd like it. Right now I'm going through a WWII phase. It happens.

I'm congruently re-reading Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut along with Auschwitz, because it's such a fabulous book. But reading Mother Night along with actual accounts of what happened in WWII really adds a whole new layer to the book. I'd highly recommend it.

In conclusion: Switched out January 3, 2012! Go buy blink 182's Neighborhoods (Deluxe Edition)! And read Auschwitz if you want to join my unofficial book club!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Extra Fun Stuff

I do have some extra fun stuff that I get to tell you. The first one is: Nike MAG. The second one is: book cover.

So let's start with the Nike MAG. As you may know, in the hit film Back to the Future II (a film I am mildly obsessed with), Marty McFly wears a pair of super awesome Nike MAGs in the year 2015. Well, this year, Nike actually made 1,510 pairs and auctioned them off on eBay with all the proceeds going to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation

Here's a video about it:

I was fortunate enough to get a pair, and they arrived in the mail today! I couldn't be more excited! Thank you to Nike and Michael J. Fox for doing this! :)

Here just a few of the 800 pictures I took of them:

The rad label that was on the box it shipped in.

The shoebox.

The shoes!
Nike MAG!

The Nike MAG with my Back to the Future II  Delorean. (I had the Delorean prior to getting the shoes. It did not come with it)

Onto the second part of the good news. I got the go ahead to announce who's doing the book covers for my upcoming book Wake (coming Fall 2012 with St. Martin's). It's James Porto!

For those of you unfamiliar with him, he's an amazing photographer, and he honestly is my favorite photographer ever. I've been in love with his work since I was sixteen.

Here is the very first picture I saw of his. I actually tore out of an artbook in high school (sorry, Mr. Loeschen), because I loved the picture so much. This was eleven years ago, and I still have the picture, because I think it's so amazing.

And of course, James Porto did the cover for Hush, Hush, which is really luscious.

He doesn't only do winged people, though, which is good because the cover for Wake has no wings and the book contains no angels. I've seen the preliminary shots for the cover, and they are BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait to see what they look when he's finished, and I definitely can't wait until I can show you guys.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some Hollowmen Stuff (Including Cover Reveal)

Hollowmen isn't done yet. My goal is to finish it next week and get out to the editor right after that. Then hopefully I can get it out sometime in November. That's the plan right now, but of course, things are subject to change.

With that in mind, here are three things about Hollowmen that I can share:

1. The opening line. I'll probably have the first chapter up once I'm finished with my book and gone over my first cursory edits before sending it off to the real editor. But right now, I can definitely share the opening line.
    I was dying. Daniels knew it, and I knew it.

2. The soundtrack. Which I spent way more time on than I should. I made the playlist on Youtube since they had all the songs I wanted, particularly Motion City Soundtrack "Disappear" and People on Planes "Last Man Standing," which were both necessary. (And it is a pretty awesome soundtrack.) You can check out the soundtrack: here.

3. The cover. It's once again by the fabulous Claudia Mckinney at who did the cover for Hollowland, as well as Virtue.

FYI: I know you can't see really the words above the title. I think I might remove them for the e-version and only use it on the print version. Yep. That's what I think.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How Can I Forget

Today some nice people took my picture for a Spanish magazine. And what I was reminder of today, for the millionth time, is that I don't like having my picture taken. I don't mind pictures of me. But the act of pictures being taken makes awkward and self-conscious and unable to make a natural facial expression to save my soul.

A picture of me that I didn't hate having taken. Photo by my friend Valerie.

I'm getting a lot of questions about the sequel to Hollowland, entitled Hollowmen. Here's the answer: I'm working on it now, but its taken me much longer than I had scheduled in my mind for the amount of time it should take to write. (In my mind, it was supposed to be finished by September 1st and to the editor by September 2nd. It's not yet finished, and it's September 20th.)

So what does this mean? Not a lot, actually. I was originally hoping for an October release, but I'm pretty sure that won't be feasible. Sometime before the end of 2011, though. That should happen.

I just forgot how hard Hollowland was to write. And it was very hard. I remember a lot of days sitting in my old office, which was bitterly cold in November 2009, and listening to "Disappear" by Motion City Soundtrack and "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga on repeat... and that's about all I did most of the time.

No book in the history of my book writing career has been as difficult for me to write as Hollowland. It should not come as a shock to me the sequel is as equally difficult to write. But for some reason it has been a shock. Possibly because I'm an idiot.

At any rate... I'm playing around with a couple ideas to make this easier for me. (One of them involves chaining myself to a desk).

Also, check out the Spanish version of My Blood Approves  - Instinto (Lazos de Sangre #1), which Google translate tells me means Instinct (Blood Ties #1). Here's the Facebook Fanpage where you can like it: here.

And just the other day, the interwebs reminded me that I loved The Matches. They're music is fun, and they always reminded me of the old British sitcom The Young Ones. Are The Matches British? They should be.

For your enjoyment, here's a video from them:

Monday, September 19, 2011

The world is filled with random, cruel acts of violence and death. Our time here is so short and often, so painful. So, to counteract this even the slightest bit, please be nice to someone today. Do something kind simply because you can.

Countdown for Switched!

I'm starting to get pretty excited about the release of Switched. So excited, I made this countdown:

So far, I'm really enjoying the traditional process. I was pretty transparent about my experiences with self-publishing, and I have no reason to not do the same with traditional process.

Some things I especially like: My editor. Also: The multiple copy-editors that go over my books to make sure they are error free, and the marketing time at St. Martin's that is working on many, many fancy things for when my books are released.

My editor is really great. When I went into this, I'll admit I was nervous. I'd heard all sorts of horror stories about editors wanting to slash and change everything and basically mutilating the original work. I've had none of that experience. While Rose does suggest changes, they're only to support the overall vision of the book and make it stronger. There has been no slashing or mutilation, which I think is good.

We talked a lot about the Trilogy before she started editing and how I wanted that to go. I said that I didn't want there to be too much editing, because the books had already been released. My goal was to make the changes subtle, so a reader re-reading the books wouldn't be able to pinpoint exactly what was different, but they were left feeling more satisfied with things more clarified.

I was a bit more nervous with Wake, which is the first book in the Watersong series that is coming out next year. It hadn't been released, so Rose was free to slash and cut, if she wanted to. But she didn't. The edits she suggested were smart, clean, and simple. It still stayed true to exactly how I wanted the book. She only suggested things that made it stronger and better, which is exactly what an editor should do.

On the subject of Wake, I've been actively involved in every process of the book so far. Since it's still a long way from being released, that's basically just the cover. We talked about what I envisioned as the cover and picked through images that represented it. Then I picked out the models for the cover, and I even picked out their clothes.

I did not pick the photographer, but it acutally turned out to be my favorite photographer doing the cover photoshoot. I was so excited I actually shouted when I read they were doing it. (For comparison, this would be like if Christopher Nolan directed my book trailers.)

Plus, they're planning a crazy amount of publicity for when the Trylle Trilogy is released. Something I'm excited about is that Switched is having a one-day laydown. I didn't know what it was before I found I was going to have one. But now I've found out, and I'm excited about it.

I guess to be honest the biggest thing I'm enjoying about all of this is that there really is a huge relief off my shoulders. I send the book to them, give them notes, answer questions, and they take care of everything else. I just get to sit in my house and watch reruns of Frasier while they make my book awesome.

(And honestly, it's freeing up a lot more time to write. I have several ideas for new books and serieses that I think I'll finally have time to work on next year.)

I'm hoping to self-publish another book soon-ish, and when I think about all the work I have to do for that, it stresses me out. I have to edit it a ton, and I know it will still have errors, which frustrates me so much I want to rip out all my hair. I have to format it, and there's a good chance it will still turn out wonky on a page or two. I have to do the cover, which means getting the title and lettering just right, and that always gives me a headache. Plus about  a hundred other little things that don't seem like much but add up to being a whole lot.

That's not say that I don't enjoy self-publishing and there isn't something gratifying about the work. Because there is. But anybody that says "self-publishing is easy" is a liar, and you should immediately punch them in the face for being such a liar.

But regardless of where the future takes me, I'm happy with what I've done so far, because it's gotten me where I am now. And I'm tickled pink with where things are now, and crazy excited about the things to come. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Help Please: UPDATED

You guys, I need your help with something. I can't tell you why yet. But I'm having trouble picking a name. I've narrowed the list down to the names I like best, and I'd like it if you could pick what names you like the most. So... yep. Please vote and let me know what you think!

UPDATE: To help you all make your decision, I'm just going to clarify that the name is NOT for a leading man. So it need not be the "sexiest" choice.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What I've Been Up To

It's been quite awhile since I last posted a blog, but for good reason. My good friend Pete got married last Sunday, and I was in the wedding. I also had friends staying with me throughout the week, and it was a very busy, very fun time.

You may remember my friend Pete from the cover of a book I wrote.

This is her on her loveliest of lovely days (She's the one in the wedding dress):

Here are all my friends, some visiting from out of state, some from out of town, and even some from out of country, together again, celebrating our togetherness:

And here are some shoes I bought:

All the proceeds go to Michael J. Fox's foundation, so it's okay that I spent too much money on the Nike MAG. Because I'm also saving Michael J. Fox's life. And whenever I think about him being sick, I cry.

In the meantime, I'm writing things and editing things. So all around it's been a very busy time in my household. Busy, but good.

OH! And I got my Halloween costume. Me and Eric doing a theme. This year it's Disney villains. I'm the Queen of Hearts, he's the Cheshire Cat (who according to the Monopoly Disney Villains Edition is technically a villain), my dog is being Captain Hook, and my cat Squeak, who is my dog's best friend, is been Captian Hook's sidekick, Smee. So it's going to be loads of fun for Halloween at my house.

But that's a really long time away. Which is good, because I have a ton of things to do before then.