Archive for the ‘The Class of 2k12’ Category

Sep

18

2014

Security Creates Sleepy Hamsters, Fuel for Publishing Adventures and Friendships

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Check-it-out, Community, Family, Pondering, Publishing, SCBWI, The Class of 2k12, Wolfson Literary, Writing

In August as the end of the summer drifted away and the impending doom of school lay before my boys, I noticed my 11yo become increasingly more anxious. He’d had a rough time with an abrupt school transition at the end of last year. And now there seemed to be a residual fear haunting him. So, I caved and got him the hamster he’d wanted for the last year. Part distraction and part incentive to stay positive, it did the trick. Perhaps sometimes all you need in life is someone who understands your secrets and shares a few of their own. There is security in friendship.

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But once the 9yo laid eyes on the 11yo’s Blueberry Dwarf Hamster, he started saving for one of his own. And because I loved little Fredrick so much, I said what the heck–we went to get the next little furry friend on Sunday. This hamster is keeping me on my toes. This tiny, big-eared, baby girl name Herbie is a handful and she’s made me very nervous.

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First she was so shy, burrowing and disappearing for hours and I was sure she wasn’t eating or drinking anything. And she was soooo tiny, I thought for sure she was still nursing or too young to take home. I called the pet store and they reassured me she was old enough. I kept trying all kinds of things to help her feel comfortable. Then we gave her a chunk of apple. It was if she awoke from a deep slumber. She started eating and running. Not just a few trips around the wheel. I’m talking about almost TWELVE hours of running. Herbie is certainly the Louie Zamperini of hamsters.  No wonder she’s so skinny LOL! But the more she ran, even during the day when she should be sleeping, the more I worried. Hamster with OCD? Run, Eat, Clean, Small Hamster Nap on the Wheel–Repeat. So, last night after the 9yo was loving on her–I “rescued” the little imp and while I was teaching my boy more about her, I held her in my hand while stroking her head. When I looked back down…

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She was sound asleep. And I realized something very important. Sometimes we all need to feel secure. Challenges and hardships are how we move forward. Change is how we arrive at the better new things we’re usually too afraid to venture out towards. But in the middle of change and challenge–sometimes we just need a few moments to feel secure. This is true with writing for publication. Returning to a manuscript again and again without knowing if it will ever find a home is a lot like running non-stop on a hamster wheel. Am I really gong somewhere? And if you really do “arrive”–I’m here to tell you that as happy as I was to be dropped in the Habitrail of Simon & Schuster, it was confusing and scary and at times immensely overwhelming. But there were people who made me feel secure along the way. I’m fortunate, there were many of them, but I am particularly grateful to my family, my agent Michelle Wolfson, my editor Anica Rissi, the SCBWI and my fellow debut authors from the Class of 2k12 and the Apocalypsies. They fed me small bits of advice and chocolate and smoothed my fears when my heart was racing. They talked me off the wheel when I was a little bit excitable and just couldn’t stop myself.

And then let’s talk about “internet security,” but with a twist. Lets face it, publishing success and horror stories are easily accessible online–only a google search away. And the truth is that sometimes the good stories can mess with your head just as much as the scary ones can. We tend to be creatures of comparison, jealousy and insecurity at the worst of times. Be careful what you expose yourself to. I encourage you to use those resources to be well informed and learn things that will make you a better writer. I want you to read books and articles and interviews that will allow you to be inspired daily. Having access to that is a gift. But watch what you take in and what it’s consumption does to you. It’s important to find the people and places that make you feel secure. Surround yourself with people who care. They might not always get everything right, but more often than not they do. You’re not always looking for the person who speaks hamster, but rather the one who cares enough to try and understand.

Lots of great things can happen for people who have enough moments of security in their lives. Those special moments fuel the tank for adventure, create friendships and allow uptight hamsters to take a little nap. But even more important, you just can’t begin to imagine where those moments of security will lead you.

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I hope you find my blog a small, hamster-sized space of security that helps you get through all your adventures. I know that when you show up here, it certainly makes me feel like I can close my eyes for just a little bit and dream easy. Thanks for being a friend and follower. <3

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Oct

1

2013

TOUCHING THE SURFACE is out in Paperback TODAY! Enter to Win a Copy

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Author Events, Book Signings, Booksellers, Check-it-out, Class of 2k12, Community, Conferences, Contests, Dancing, Family, In the Wild, Publishing, SCBWI, The Class of 2k12, Touching the Surface, Wolfson Literary, Writing, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

 

 

HOLY GUACAMOLE!!!!!

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TOUCHING THE SURFACE is out in paperback TODAY!!!!!

Where you can find it:

*Amazon

*Barnes & Noble

*IndieBound

Can you believe it’s been almost a year since I became an author? And even longer since I sold my first book and got an agent. Here’s a little walk down memory lane. Humor me–I’m nostalgic today. So in no particular order because that would add a layer of organization I’m not capable of, here’s just a few of my most fabulous moments between finding my agent and birthing a paperback…

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Standing outside the Simon & Schuster offices.

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Apocalypsies at the LA SCBWI Conference!!!

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Meeting my agent (Michelle Wolfson) and editor (Anica Rissi) for the first time. <3

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The Class of 2k12!!!!!

The day I got my ARC of TOUCHING THE SURFACE!!!!

Came home from a run to find my ARC’s had finally arrived!!! Such a squee moment!!!

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The ARC!

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Authors, Simon & Pulse friends and Writer Buds at the NY SCBWI Conference. <3

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Bookmarks!!! Thanks Jeff Fielder.

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Bringing my book to the Golf Bag Holder (Eastern PA Poconos Mountain Retreat with Jodi Moore.)

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First book I ever signed went to Laurie Halse Anderson. Love her.

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This made it feel so real.

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Loved participating in the YAmazing Race with my Apocalypsies!!!

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First author event, even before my book was out. LOL! With my buds from the Class of 2k12. <3

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Making friends at BEA!!! Lisa and Kim.

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First BEA was even sweeter because I got to spend time with my fabulous agent. <3

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Blogger love <3  Finally got to meet Erica!!!!

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Joining YA Outside the Lines. 

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It was a BEA Apocalypsie event of awesome.

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Ummmm I got to hear JOHN GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!

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Made amazing new blogger friends. Kim and Grace. <3

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Hanging with Jay Asher at LA SCBWI–Dude, it was awesome.

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Joining the Bookanistas!

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Kimmiepoppins met Mary Poppins!!!! I met Julie Andrews!!!!

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Signing my contract!!!!!! I AM GOING TO BE AN AUTHOR!!!

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My book was at Bologna. Takes my breath away.

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Wow!

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My Yanni dance girls wearing TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirts. <3

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Signing books at my book launch.

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Good friends drove in from far away despite all the trouble with Hurricane Sandy.

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Just an amazing experience.

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Unable to thank my friends and family enough for their love and support on that special day.

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More book launch at Oblong Books. I LOVE that bookstore and everyone in it. <3

Kim and Dad at Powell Point-Grand Canyon July 1998

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Dad–there–even when he couldn’t be. The dedication.

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On bookshelves in bookstores.

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Kimmiepoppins finally gets a book launch in NYC after Hurricane Sandy delayed it. Mean Hurricane–awesome party.

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Woo hoo!!! I got to speak at the NY Public Library.

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I’m a fangirl–it’s A.S. King people!!!!!

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I’m a fangirl–it’s Sharon Creech people!!!!

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My first SCBWI faculty gig at the Eastern NY SCBWI Conference–where I got paid to talk with my hands about things I love.

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Connecting with teen readers and making hedgehogs. *grin*

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Loving on my writer mama, K.L. Going. <3 Wouldn’t be here without her.

And because you made it to the end of my reminiscing…you shall be rewarded with a chance to win a signed copy of the brand spanking new TOUCHING THE SURFACE paperback!!!!

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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May

13

2013

Recap of the New England SCBWI Conference–NESCBWI13

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Signings, Class of 2k12, Conferences, SCBWI, The Class of 2k12

Here’s my recap of the New England SCBWI Conference for the second time. I got this half done for Friday when my oldest son’s school transportation had the drivers go on strike and then my other two kids came down with strep. I decided to postpone the post and finish it over the weekend.  I saved it and and then the gremlins that live in my computer erased only the part I’d finished. *head thunk*

I arrived at the conference at around noon on Friday and did all of the standard checking-in and hugging friends things. Then it was off to the first sessions.

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A Intensive–KEYWORD BY WORD: CREATE A PLAND TO BRAND. SELL, AND PROMOTE YOUR NOVEL with AC Gaughen and Hilary Weisman Graham

I love attending events by my Apocalypsies and Class of 2k12 siblings. So much fun!

Favorite take-aways…

*Everyone IS buying bookmarks and everyone WANTS bookmarks for swag, whether you like it or not LOL!

*Twitter is the most popular place (debut author questionnaire) to focus your social media push, but tumblr is where the teens are.

*  *  *

Workshop B–MANAGING YOUR WRITING; MANAGING YOUR LIFE WITH PEGGY DEITZ SHEA AND JANET DOUCETTE

This session started off with some relaxation and focusing techniques. I became so relaxed I forgot to take a picture and may have almost fallen asleep at one point LOL!

Favorite take-aways…

*Are you here?

*Women are great multi-tasks but being a multi-tasker is not in your best interest. You can get stuck on the bridge between the right brain and the left brain.

*Requests (received or given) should always include the right to decline and a clear expectation of fulfillment.

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Keynote–PANEL DISCUSSION: AN UNCENSORED DISCUSSION ON EDGY YA

Favorite take-aways…

*Be true to the work.

*Should the parent be the gate-keeper or do children effectively police their own reading material?

Saturday 5/4/13

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Keynote–THE WORDS WE CHOOSE TO SAY by Sharon Creech

A HUGE fan-girl moment for me!!!! Yes, she really glows in real life. <3

Favorite take-aways…

*Find your own voice, your own rhythms–it makes you a better writer.

*Use it all (great ideas) when you’re writing. New stuff will grow. Words generate words.

*Don’t be in such a hurry to publish your story. Time may allow you to deepen it. There could be something profound under there.

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C Intensive–REAL REVISION: BIG PICTURE AND LINE BY LINE with Kate Messner

I LOVE Kate! That’s all.

Best take-aways…

*Revision is finding and strengthening the heart of your story.

*You can’t revise, to bring about the heart of your story if you don’t know what the heart is.

*Writing off-draft can help you understand things.

*Trying something you’re not great at can free you up.

*Use a mentor text to guide your way.

*Make what you need to explore and fix your book. (Charts, maps, timelines and outlines)

If you want to learn more about Kate’s amazing revision tips–check out her book REAL REVISION.

 

Time for lunch and another amazing Keynote with author/illustrator Grace Lin

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Stephanie, Megan and Kendra

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Annie, Me, Jodi and Eileen

Best take-away from Grace Lin’s keynote (sorry I don’t have a picture)…

You’ll be your best self when you are yourself in you writing and art. <3

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Workshop G–THE ART OF THE OUTLINE with Elisabeth Papdemetriou

Best take-aways…

*Don’t confuse learning the skill (of outlining) with the act of outlining.

*Plot and character are inseparable.

*Outlines should include every single scene in your book.

*Have your closing scene echo your opening scene.

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 And I FINALLY got to meet Jo Knowles. I’ve participated in JoNoWriMo for years and Jo was one of those warm and giving authors who mentors those around her–plus I love the books she writes. Check out her latest, PEARL which won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award!

 

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Workshop H–THE POWER OF POINT OF VIEW with Linda Urban

She is hilarious by the way.

Best take-aways…

*I believe we are living in an increasingly 1st person world. 1st person is only going to grow. Writing in 3rd person may allow you to stand out.

Saturday’s Autograph Party!!!!!

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Katie chatting up the awesome Nova Ren Suma.

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Sharon Creech signing for my friend’s daughter who is her BIGGEST FAN!!!!!

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Of course I’m I HUGE fan too!!!!!

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Jodi chatting with Jodi.

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Kate Messner signing a book for the Fishkill Frogs!

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Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of the MG novel ONE FOR THE MURPHYS, signing and making friends.

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Greg Fishbone (Class of 2k7) and AC GaugheBrendan (Class of 2k12) hanging outIMG_5096

REVISING A CAREER: TIMING, TRUST & TEAMWORK with Brenda Reeves Sturgis, Emma Dryden and Karen Grenick

Favorite take-aways…

*Don’t quit–ever. <3

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Some down time in the Sheraton while waiting for the Ballroom to open up.

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The Books for Boston collection bin.

Check out some of the inspirational messages written in the books going to Boston.

Sunday 5/5/13

Panel Discusion–SCULPTING STORIES FROM FACT: FOUR WRITERS OF HISTORICAL FICTION SHARE STRATEGIES

Sarah Lamstein, Jeannine Atkins, Padma Venkatraman and Pat Lowery Collins (Boo my picture didn’t come out!)

Favorite take-aways…

*I tried to pack Padma in my suitcase. All four authors were great, but she stole the show. LOVE her!

*When story and history collide–story always wins. (PV)

*The attitudes of the times plays a role in the story/plot. (SL)

*The reasons writers aren’t diagnosed as schizophrenic is that we listen to the voices in our head instead of conversing with them. (PV)

*Create a LOVELY FILE to put all the darlings you cut–then you will always have them. (PV)

I Intensive–ADVANCED PLOTTING with Chris Eboch

I was very busy in this small, pro-track class and you guessed it–I forgot to take a picture. *smacks own hand*

Favorite take-aways…

*If your main problem can’t be introduced early, find a way in, something that gives a hint.

*Be careful not to open too fast. Give the reader a little time to get acclimated.

*Action without context is not a good thing.

*Likable character plus a bad situation makes the best story.

*Real life drama needs to be set up correctly to be believable to the reader.

You can find our more about Chris Eboch and advanced plotting HERE.

Workshop N–THE YIN AND YANG OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT with Kami Kinard

More Apocalypsie love!!!!! And yes, I was too busy meeting Kami in person for the first time that I…didn’t take a picture. Should have gotten one of us together. Drat!

Favorite take-aways…

*Add believable traits to your characters.

*Characters with both good and bad motives and traits naturally create much desired tension.

*Books are about physical, emotional and spiritual journeys.

Kami posted some stuff on humor from another of her sessions on her blog. You can catch it HERE!

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And because I always have to buy one more book LOL! Hanging with the AWESOME Padma Venkatraman, author of CLIMBING THE STAIRS. <3

Me, Padma, Jodi and Megan

And then it was time to say goodbye and drive home. NESCBWI was an amazing conference and I’m so glad I got the chance to grow. It truly had the feel of an International SCBWI Event but with the intimacy of a smaller conference. Lots of fun and I hope to be able to attend again next year too! Have any of you been to NESCBWI before? Any new authors that you’ve now got to put into your TBR pile?

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Dec

31

2012

I’m Back and 2012 Makes Me Grateful!

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Blogging, Class of 2k12, Community, Family, Reading, The Class of 2k12, Touching the Surface, Wolfson Literary, Writing, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Sorry I’ve been off-line for the holidays. I contemplated taking the week off but decided not to, then my server was getting work done and I couldn’t get a post up. After that, I had family in, kids sick and lets just face it, I spent some extra time reading. I remember the first Christmas (1999) in my current home. My brother bought me the first Harry Potter book. I was teaching 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at the time and I kept seeing all these kids carrying around these Harry Potter books but I hadn’t actually started reading them yet. I can remember opening up the book on Christmas morning and thinking how much I love it when a gift giver knows you better than you know yourself.

I had no children at the time, so I settled into a comfy chair by the fireplace, eating clementines and reading HP1. Of course, then I had to run out to the store to grab the rest of the HP’s that were already in publication. This year, since I had sick kids on the couch for a few days, I pulled up the same chair in front of the fire, put in ear plugs and read, read, read. It was blissful. Sometimes it’s nice to be forced to slow down a little.

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You can see how I got distracted from my blog, right? *grin*

But I’m back!!!! Woot!!!! And isn’t that what a new year is all about? Reflecting and making some resolutions…

Last year at this time, I was biting my nails in anticipation of 2012–the year my book would be published. I can remember my husband leaning over as the ball dropped and saying…”this is your year!” And it was. It was amazing. So many wonderful things happened to me in 2012. What am I the most grateful for? I have a huge list, but for here, I thought I’d focus on a few of my favorite things involving my publishing journey. Here’s the format: What I’m grateful for, plus a tip or two for the aspiring or newly minted author.

*The first two things I’m grateful for aren’t things–they are very special people–my agent Michelle Wolfson and my former, but always editor, Anica Rissi.

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Tip: This triangular relationship is more important than any book you write. Why? Because people are always more important than things. The book will be a common ground that you all share, but books happen in peaks and valleys. One day you are at the top of the world and the very next you are old bubble gum on someone’s shoe–it’s inevitable. But, you should never be old bubble gum to your editor and agent. They should be the type of people who love you for yourself–who see all the books that live in your soul–whether you write them or not. I’m so grateful–that’s exactly what I was blessed with.

*I’m also grateful for two very amazing groups of people–my debut author siblings–The Class of 2k12 and the Apocalypsies.

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Tip: Do you remember the Who’s down in Whoville and how they needed each little voice just to be heard? That’s how it works. It is hard to stand alone in a sea of books and get noticed. It was awful nice to have friends to “amplify the noise.” But more importantly, it’s just lonely being all by yourself. It was such a wonderful thing to be surrounded by friends who knew exactly what you were going through. Prior to February 2011, I spent a huge amount of time dreaming of the moment when someone would buy my book. And of course I had day dreams of covers and book signings, but I never really had a clear picture of what happens behind the scenes and neither did any of my debut author friends. Honestly, it can be very overwhelming at times. We made ourselves a support group–a kind of family. We shared the bits and pieces of the things we did know. And we worked together to figure out the rest. It helped–it helped a lot. These are the people who I cried to when things felt bad. These are the people who prevented me from doing stupid things. These are the people who laughed with me and cheered for me. I love these people and I will be friends with this amazing group of authors for the rest of my days. Don’t pass up a chance to have a group of friends like this.

*I’m really grateful for my family and friends–my community.

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Tip: This isn’t really a tip–just a joyful observation. My local book launch was a huge success. I felt like a rockstar. In the middle of Hurricane Sandy, my community came out to both of my book launch events. They came and they came and they came. And what touches my heart and always will–was that they didn’t come for my book–they came for me. I could have written a huge pile of poo and they would have come and given me that moment of joy. At that point, they had no idea if I’d written anything good. They just came and with their actions they said…you are one of us and we are proud of you. I’ve since gotten lots of wonderful feedback about TOUCHING THE SURFACE. Phew–most people seem to love it. I hoped they would. I dreamed that my book could be something that they were proud to share. I cherish every text message, every FB post, every comment that I get. It means the world to me, but I’ll always know–that even if they weren’t going to like my book–they came. They came for me. Priceless.

What were some of the best moments of your 2012? Did you have a wonderful holiday? Did you know I missed you while I was reading?

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec

17

2012

Class of 2k12/13 in the Spotlight–MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza with an ARC Giveaway!!!!

Filed under: Book Reviews, Check-it-out, Class of 2k12, The Class of 2k12, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I know a couple of you have been waiting for it, so I won’t delay. My copy of the MILA 2.0 ARC by Debra Driza is up for grabs!!!!!  Just in case you’re not familiar with my fellow Class of 2k12 (pushed back to Class of 2k13) classmate, here’s a little bit about MILA 2.0 and Deb Driza…

 

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Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

You can Pre-order MILA 2.0 here…

*Barnes & Noble

 *Amazon

*IndieBound

 

Kim’s Review of MILA 2.0:

MILA 2.0 made me nostalgic for one of my favorite shows as a kid–the Bionic Woman. Only this time, I got to be in the characters’ head and I loved it. Driza’s did a wonderful job expressing what it feels like when Mila learns she isn’t exactly who she thinks she is. Additionally, the tag line for the book is fantastic–No one suspects what she’s made of–I adore the play on words. While MILA 2.0 is a fun and exciting read, a mash-up akin to The Bionic Woman meets the Bourne Identity, there is a sweetness to Mila that made her very likable even though she’s kind of a badass underneath. It gave the story a very nice balance. I had a blast reading MILA 2.0, now I can’t wait for the next one!

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Debra Driza

I’m a wife, a mom, a dog lover, a writer, a physical therapist, and the owner of the messiest purses on the planet. No, really. Sometimes I worry that I’ll reach inside for my keys and lose a hand in the process. My YA thriller series debuts in March 2013 with Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins. Oh, and when I grow up, I want to be Veronica Mars.

 

Now on to the really fun stuff–how to win the ARC of MILA 2.0. It’s not hard at all…

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

See what I’m willing to do to make your Monday better. *grin* I hope you win!

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Dec

10

2012

Monday Morning Clean-up

Filed under: Check-it-out, Contests, Team Tipping the Surface, The Class of 2k12, Touching the Surface, YA Books

On Monday  mornings I usually find myself cleaning up from the weekend. Seems like my tiding up is extending to my online life also. Here are a few loose ends–all in one location.

 

*Just a reminder–Between now and THE MORNING OF DECEMBER 14th you can order a signed copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE right HERE!!!!!! Ordering a copy from Oblong books also means you’re supporting a wonderful Indie Bookstore for the holidays!

*The Class of 2k12’s year is almost over and our Class of 2k12 Epic End-of-the-Year giveaway of 20 Authors, 21 Books and just ONE winner ends on the 12-12-12. Don’t miss your chance to enter to win!!!! 

*I’m still looking for people to become Hot Spots for TOUCHING THE SURFACE. (Details HERE) I have one or more Hot Spots in…

FL, TX, SD, PA, CA, MI, NY, PA, AL, CT, IL, UT, NC, KY, IN, OK, NJ, SC, GA and WA

How was your weekend? Mine was great but went way too fast. Are you ready for the holidays or has your inner holiday elf run from the house screaming in fear? Have a marvelous Monday!

 

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Sep

28

2012

Class of 2k12 in the Spotlight–TOUCHED by Corrine Jackson

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Class of 2k12, Reading, The Class of 2k12, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I’m so pumped–I’m one of the very first US reviewers for TOUCHED by Corrine Jackson!!!! I adore Cory and I am such a fan of her writing–I’m sure you remember how I gushed about her other debut novel IF I LIE. Loved it! Well, TOUCHED has been teasing me for quite some time now because it debuted in Germany first. And even though I lived in Germany for four years–I did not master the language. So I had to wait. But my waiting is over. *cheers* You on the other hand, you’ve got a few more weeks before you can get your hands on this one, but it will be worth it…

Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.
Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll becoming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.
This is Book One in the Touched trilogy.

Publisher: Kensington/KTeen
Debuts: November 27, 2012
ISBN-10: 0758273339
ISBN-13: 978-0758273338

You can pre-order TOUCHED here…

*Amazon

*IndieBound

*Barnes & Noble

*Books-A-Million

*German Amazon

I also have to share the German cover of TOUCHED and TOUCHED 2 because I love them and that’s exactly how I picture Remy!!!!

Kimberly’s Review of TOUCHED by Corrine Jackson:

I have to start off by saying I just love the name Remy. I know it’s a silly thing, but a name can just set the tone for a book and the more I read, the more I unraveled the multifaceted girl behind the unique moniker. What I loved about Remy was that she was a beautifully balanced mix of strength and weakness. A also adored that she wasn’t a block head. By that I mean that I’ve noticed a trend where the MC is almost too heavily vested in fighting off the good things that happen. Realistically, we all make some dumb choices in life, but for me there also comes a point where I roll my eyes and say…

“Seriously? Well, that was just stupid. My cat even understands that this person cares about you.”

Remy wasn’t stupid–she had her insecurities and many legitimate reasons to be cautious, but she also was able to embrace some of the good things that were happening to her. I found that I really enjoyed that as a reader–even as a person who likes a little angst in her books.

I also loved the premise of TOUCHED. The concept of healers and protectors really took the paranormal into a completely different direction for me. I am intrigued by books that make me peek over my shoulder because I start to wonder if there really could be folks walking around with “unusual hidden talents”. I love to imagine worlds within my own existence and this book sparked that in me. TOUCHED was very fascinating and I can’t believe that I’m going to have to wait to find out what happens next. Grrrrrr

Corrine Jackson (pronounced Cor-een) is a young adult author repped by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency. Her debut young adult novel, If I Lie, will be published by Simon Pulse (August 28, 2012). Touched, the first book of her young adult paranormal romance trilogy, will be published by Kensington/KTeen (November 27, 2012).

Once upon a time, Corrine worked as a graphic designer before she switched to account management at one of the country’s top marketing agencies. She has a deep and abiding love for Anthropologie and intends to move into her nearest store when the employees aren’t looking and/or she can get her hands on a key (which she expects to find in one of their bins).

An education addict, Corrine has attended eleven different colleges, has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. A recipient of a West Chester Poetry Conference scholarship, she is also the former Editor-in-Chief of two literary magazines, including Statement (CSU, Los Angeles) and Dash (CSU, Fullerton). A member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), RWA, YARWA, and AWP, she has mad skills in the kitchen, especially when it comes to pies and cupcakes.

 You can find out more about Corrine Jackson and her debut novels TOUCHED and IF I LIE here…

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*Apocalypsies

I know–November 27th feels like it’s still a long time away, but to pass the time let’s chat. If you were a healer, but  you had to temporarily take on someone else’s injury and its pain in order to fix them, is there a certain injury that would be a deal breaker for you? Or would it be dependent on who you were healing? Would a skill like this be a blessing or a curse? How would you use it?

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Aug

12

2012

The 41st Annual SCBWI Conference–Part 3–Sunday

Filed under: Class of 2k12, Conferences, SCBWI, The Class of 2k12

I think I mentioned earlier that this conference had some of the best panel discussions that I’ve been to at a SCBWI event. Up first on Sunday morning was the AGENTS PANEL–REALIZING YOUR CREATIVE DREAMS:WHAT THE PUBLISHING WORLD CAN OFFER YOU. (LO) Lin Oliver (Moderator)

(JC) Jill Corcoran

(DW) Deborah Warner (Filling in for Rubin Pfeffer)

(LP) Linda Pratt

(JA) Josh Adams

Here are their best pieces of advice…

What are you looking for?

JA-We don’t look for perfection, we look for potential that needs to be highly polished.

JC-Do your research. Pick 5 ideas you love , then pick the one that seems the most exciting. Be sure to research comp books. You can change the setting to make an idea you love more unique.

JA-We are looking for something that is truly unique. If we love something, we will find a home for it. What is expected of an author besides writing?

JA-Social media, tours, school visits, marketing. First books allow you take lots of time but after that, you’re expected to produce.

LP-Second books can’t be obscure and quirky. Your sales are being tracked (Book Scan) and you have to be pragmatic about what you pick in the beginning of your career.

JA-There is less time today to build a career.

Advice?

DW-Placing your second book is just as important as placing your first.

JA-Do your homework first. LP-Make decisions that progress your work, not just add another book. Selectivity. And be professional!

JC-About social media: Why do we all have to say EVERYTHING we feel. Have a filter. Be cautious and professional.

LO-Ask…Is this the highest and best use of your time.

Money?

JA-Children’s and YA have historically done thing differently than adult publishing and that is why we’re doing well.

 

Now on to the picture book panel. I’ve dabbled with picture books but don’t consider myself a picture book writer at this point in my career, but I am so glad that I stayed for this session. The wonderful insight and messages transcended the world of picture books and I walked away with a large amount of wisdom and inspiration–plus a whole bunch of laughs.

(JK) Jon Klassen

(AP) Antoinette Portis

(DY) Dan Yaccarino (Moderator)

(EY) Eugene Yelchin

(LW) Lee Wardlow

Trends?

EY-Trends? I don’t know what that means–we are in a very specific cultural moment. We must consciously be aware of being in THAT moment. We are helping to create the culture

JK-Trends apply more to novels because PB’s don’t have as much trouble explaining themselves. Don’t need comps the same way.

DY-We never get tired of hearing the same stories–we just want to have a unique delivery.

EY-You do your research, but it still has to filter through you.

JK-What makes a classic? It has something unreachable about it that makes you want to keep returning to it to try to figure it out. (GOODNIGHT MOON; GO, DOG, GO!)

 

The first breakout session of the day was one that is close to my heart. The Class of 2k7 (The founding class of 2k’s) is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary and of course that makes me a member of the 5th class to come through. Of course I had to attend this session by Greg Fishbone, Jay Asher and Greg Neri called CLASS OF 2K7: SOCIAL NETWORKING YOUR WAY TO THE VIRTUAL TOP.

Here are some of the stats on the Class of 2k7…

39 Members (13 Middle Grade and 26 Young Adult)

Releases: 17 Spring, 12 Summer and 10 Fall

When they started…

*They may have started as a group of balding male writers. LOL!

*Online marketing was very new and not the primary focus.

*MySpace was the big thing LOL! But it shows that social media is a moving target and you can put a lot of effort into something that just goes away.

Why group branding?

*Lends credibility to the authors–looks professional. There are groups beyond the Class of 2k series that do this also–like the Apocalypsies and the Lucky 13s.

*Joint presentations/signings make something an event.

*You better control your own spin.

 

Class of 2k’s Websites:

*Class of 2k7

*Class of 2k8

*Class of 2k9

*Class of 2k10

*Class of 2k11

*Class of 2k12

*Class of 2k13 They are just getting started!

Up next was the SCBWI Golden Kite Luncheon. If you’re not familiar with the SCBWI Golden Kite award, you can find out more about it HERE. The awards given out at this luncheon also include the illustrator awards, the humorous Sid Fleishman Award and the SCBWI Member of the Year Award, which was deservedly won by Suzanne Morgan Williams.

 And this year was also very special for me because Kate Messner won the Golden Kite Picture Book Award. Kate is a member of my SCBWI Eastern Upstate New York and one of the authors I used as a role model when I first started this journey. Congratulations Kate!!!!

And here are the other amazing winners…

So proud to see what the SCBWI is producing. Each book is a stone in a path that we are all creating together. I’m so amazingly proud to be a part of this tribe. After the luncheon I got to go to another breakout session with Ruta Sepetys!!! This allowed me to get an up close look at a Golden Kite award…too stinkin’ amazing!

Who needs an Oscar when you can have one of these? And of course, Ruta sent out a message of thanks to all of Verla Kay’s Blue Boarders when she saw Verla in her session too.

 

Okay, back to topic–which is–SELLING, PROMOTING & TOURING IN FOREIGN MARKETS. I wasn’t sure how much I’d get out of this session because I have 3 young kids and hopping on a plane and touring overseas isn’t going to be the easiest thing for me to do, but I’d learned so many fabulous things in my other sessions with Ruta that I couldn’t pass it up. I wasn’t disappointed. I learned a ton of information that will give me lots of advantages to dealing with foreign markets even if I’m staying right at home.

Here are some general tips that everyone will find useful…

*If you send video content–attach a script for easy translation.

*Have a selection of author photos because tastes vary widely.

*Create your own Q & A.

*Send thank you notes.

*sob* The last Keynote speaker of the conference. I hate saying goodbye to this kind of inspiration.  Gary Schmidt–THAT KID IN THE BACK ROW, THE ONE WITH THE RED SHIRT ON. Gary is the author of one of my favorite books–THE WEDNESDAY WARS.

*We are at our best with good and healthy routines. We need to pay attention to our surprises.

*I was put into Track 3 in first grade–I didn’t learn to read for a very long time.

*Never doubt your stories will effect kids.

*You write the stories that give your readers more to be a human being with.

*You will never learn to love art well until you learn to love what it mirrors better…the world.

-Love the world

-Love the stuff of your craft–words.

-Give your readers the deepest questions not easy answers.

-Pay attention

*Does the writing serve? We do not want to be hacks who simply seek fame and fortune. We are in a culture where we cease to cherish our children. We are called to cherish our readers.

The child deserves…

How do we get started?

Look.

 

Yes, it’s a miracle that I’m still alive today because by all rights, after that speech and all the others I heard at the conference, no one would have blamed me if my heart had burst. But that is how you should leave a conference so full of inspiration, hope and motivation that the touch of a feather would cause it to leak out of you. Now it’s time for the autograph party or as I like to call it…Kim gets to hug her heroes.

Of course, everyone feels the same way I do, so the line is outrageous LOL! But it goes rather quickly and it’s so worth it.

After hearing Eugene Yelchin in the Picture Book Panel I had to have this book, BREAKING STALIN’S NOSE. Can’t wait to read it with the boys!

 The second page of KINDRED SOULS by Patricia MacLachlan has a Red Tailed Hawk on it. Perfect.

Awww Bryan Collier blew me away with his keynote. From that moment on I became a life long fan. The SCBWI doesn’t get better than this.You must read DAVE THE POTTER!

I love Clare Vanderpool and can’t wait to read MOON OVER MANIFEST!

It’s Karen Cushman!!! Karen has published seven books since she started writing at age 50, including Newbery award winner THE MIDWIFE’S APPRENTICE.

OMG!!! My kids are going to be soooo jealous. They LOVED reading Gary Schmidt‘s  THE WEDNESDAY WARS together. It was such a wonderful experience to share my children’s enthusiasm for his writing with him. We can’t wait to read his next book, OKAY FOR NOW together.

Pictures are worth a 1,000 words and sometimes us writers CAN just leave it at that–or maybe I’ll have just a little bit more to say about Ruta on Wednesday LOL!

And then it’s over…waving goodbye to LAX.

This is still the only view I’ve ever had of the Pacific LOL!

Turning back around over the ocean and doing an LA fly by on my way home.

 

Can you spot the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza?  It’s the low building with a curved shape next to the white tower.

On Monday there was also a wonderful day of Intensives but I didn’t attend, I was ready to head home and see my family. On my way out, I did see this little cloud and I can only imagine that some day it will show up in one of my stories LOL!

Don’t forget that you still have a chance to win a Pre-order of TOUCHING THE SURFACE right HERE!

Now that you’ve had a virtual SCBWI Conference, what do you think? Interested in joining the tribe? Already a proud member? Find any authors that you would love to hear? Make sure you request them with your SCBWI RA for your local conferences. Or just check out their amazing books and if you do love them, be sure to take the time to write a review for Amazon, B&N and Goodreads. Your positive support means the world to all authors and illustrators. It will never go unappreciated.

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Jun

8

2012

BEA 2012-A Recap in Pictures

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Blogging, Book Reviews, Booksellers, Check-it-out, Class of 2k12, Conferences, The Class of 2k12, Touching the Surface, Wolfson Literary, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

My recap of BEA 2012 in pictures!!!!

Yeah…off to a pretty good start. *grin*

My awesome roommate, book blogger at THE YA CONNECTION and aspiring author…Lisa Lueddecke. Ummm so we just happened to go right by the Hershey’s store. And they had free samples.

The Class of 2k12 Books at the Bank Street Bookstore where we talked about breaking into the business of children’s and young adult fiction.

We got our swag on!

Bank Street Bookstore provided yummy snacks and beverages.

The whole gang from L-R

Kimberly Sabatini (Touching the Surface available October 30th), Sarvenaz Tash (The Mapmaker and the Ghost), A.C. Gaughen (Scarlet), Sarah Tregay (Love & Leftovers) and Lynda Mullaly Hunt (One for the Murphys)

Someone asked me why I had such a little book…of course my answer was that I write for little people LOL!

We had so much fun with this bunch!!!

Of course a little ice cream from the “Seinfeld Dinner” never is a bad ending to a great day. Lisa and Kim.

Look what was waiting in our room from the W Hotel!!! I felt so special…((((hugs)))) to A.C. Gaughen.

Tuesday morning…the view from our room.

Lisa needs an official Times Square picture!!!!

Meeting Suzanne Lazear (Innocent Darkness) for a quick breakfast.

The registration area of BEA.

The Editors for the YA Editors Buzz Panel. Everything sounded fantastic. You can read all about it at Publisher’s Weekly-BEA 2012: Diversity Rules at YA Editor’s Buzz Panel. But I want to give a special shout out to my fellow Apocalypsies: Gennifer Albin, author of Crewel and Kat Zhang, author of What’s Left of Me!!!!

I got to spend the WHOLE day with one of my favorite people EVAH!!!! My fantabulous agent Michelle Wolfson. *Heart Squish* And a shout out to Jennifer Laughran for taking a kick-ass picture of us. *grin*

Can you spot all the fabulous Sourcebook authors I found? SEND by Patty Blout, My YAOTL buddy Geoff Herback with STUPID FAST and NOTHING SPECIAL, and some of the Apocalypsies like…Miranda Kenneally with CATCHING JORDAN and STEALING PARKER, Zoraida Cordova with THE VICIOUS DEEP and Leanna Renee Hieber with DARKER STILL and THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART. Plus a ton of other great reads!!!

Time to meet more of the Apocalypsies!!!!! We had an amazing Meet & Greet. Everyone was given a dance card to get signed by all the Apocalypsie authors in attendance. Here’s what they looked like. Each card was numbered and prize packages of books, ARCs and swag were auctioned off through out the afternoon.

So excited–I got to meet Erica Haglund of The Book Cellar and Julie Cross’ Perfect Ten.

I also got a chance to meet Natalia from Dazzling Reads. Love her!

It’s a small world! Barbra Kane (High School Librarian and Media Specialist in Jamestown, NY) and I graduated from the same college. Go Geneseo!!!

And don’t forget my buddy Grace from Words Like Silver. We saw each other everywhere…she may be tired of me LOL!

And here all the Apocalypsies who participated!!!!

After a hanging out with all the wonderful folks at Simon Pulse, I headed over to the NYC Teen Author Carnival.where I found lots of Simon Pulse authors and Apocalypsies and sometimes they were both, like K.M Walton (CRACKED) and Corrine Jackson (IF I LIE.)

Hilary Graham (REUNITED)

Lucas Klauss (EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE)

Fiona Paul (VENOM) and Lauren Morrill (MEANT TO BE)

Rebecca Serle (WHEN YOU WERE MINE)

Gennifer Albin (REWEL), Tiffany Schmidt (SEND ME A SIGN) and Katie McGarry (PUSHING THE LIMITS) There was a ton of other great authors here but I have yet to learn how to clone myself…the dystopian writers are working on that for me though.

Of course we were REALLY hungry after all that book talk so K.M. Walton, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Me and Corrine Jackson got some yummy stuff.

Are you getting tired yet? You should have seen me by the time I crawled into bed that night, but no rest for the weary because I was off on Wednesday morning to the YA Author’s Breakfast!!!!

Chris Colfer from Glee was the MC for the event. He was wonderfully funny and very touching as he talked about his own goal, from the age of 10 to have his book published.

In my opinion he seemed very genuine.

Chris Colfer, John Green (the Justin Bieber of the YA world *snort*), Lois Lowry and Kadir Nelson–Each one of these three legends was amazing. Lois Lowry received a standing ovation that was well deserved. You can watch the a live stream replay of the breakfast here…Live Stream Book Expo America

Yeah…I got this close. *sigh*

Back on the main floor I got Tom Angleberger’s autograph for my boys…they were thrilled!

Heading over to my favorite place…Simon & Schuster!!!!

And look who I found on the way…Tim Gunn. He is Fabulous!

Simon & Schuster was crazy busy!!!! I think I can see someone grabbing one of my bookmarks LOL!

I am an awesome mom! Was in line for almost 2 hours to get my oldest son a signed copy of INSURGENT by Veronica Roth! (Lisa, Kim and Jennifer)

And when you make friends on line…you might just get dubbed the Fabulous Five by the line monitors LOL! Don’t forget to check out Terri’s blog Read & Riot. And a Happy Birthday to Terri’s mom, Irene–she’ll be celebrating on Saturday with my brand new 7 year old. Cha, Cha, Cha Irene!!!

The front of the line for the DARK DAYS TOUR had been sitting w-a-y   u-p   t-h-e-r-e since 10 am so I won’t complain LOL!

Apocalypsie Elizabeth Norris signing UNRAVELING, Veronica Roth signing INSURGENT, Bethany Griffin signing MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH and Aprilynne Pike signing DESTINED.

Flew by Rachel Ray

And a very TALL Harlem Globetrotter LOL!

I also wanted to hit some of the Apocalypsies at their author signings. I missed a ton, but was luck to get a book from…

Sorry it’s blurry–Dan Krokos signing Lisa’s copy of FALSE MEMORY.

And TIME BETWEEN US author and sweetheart, Tamara Ireland Stone

My last Class of 2k12 event was Mix, Mingle and Win! So I mixed and mingled with two of my new favorite people Kim an Judy…making me the winner.

The Class of 2k12 Sarah Tregay, A.C. Gaughen, Megan Bostic, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Sarvenaz Tash and me.

One of my favorite BEA pics! A.C. Gaughen and her new FIGHT LIKE A GIRL T-shirts for a GLOW fundraiser. Great cause–I am so getting one! If you’re interested in buying one and supporting GLOW–leave your contact info in the comments and I’ll make sure that A. C. gets it.

And what you’ve all been waiting for…the books!

Not including all the MG books I got for the boys…here was my amazing YA haul. Keep tabs on my blog because a lot of these will be up for grabs after I read them!!!! Contests galore, but I can assure you that you will not be getting my 11yo’s signed copy of INSURGENT or my signed ARC of Lois Lowry’s book SON. <3 But that means my question must be…which book would you be desperate for me to have as a prize in a contest???? *FYI DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT is only a sample–not the full ARC, but it comes with the full paperback of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. Also–if you’ve blogged about your BEA experience–add your link so I can check it out. I had a fabulous time and I hope you did too. And if you couldn’t be there, I hope this helped you feel like you were. Thanks for stopping by.

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Jun

1

2012

Monday Kicks off BEA (Book Expo America)

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Class of 2k12, The Class of 2k12, Wolf Pack, Wolfson Literary, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Next week is Book Expo America (BEA) week in New York City which means that a plethora of publishing folks take a bite out of the Big Apple during a weeklong discussion and celebration of books, books and more books. Yeah, my kind of a get together. This is my first time going to BEA so I’m not sure exactly what to expect, but I know I’m really excited to hook up with my agent, Michelle Wolfson. Hang with out with my Editor Anica Rissi and meet a whole slew of people from Simon Pulse. I’m also so excited to meet more than a handful of members from the Class of 2k12 and the Apocalypsies for the first time. And of course I’m thrilled to spend more time with the ones I have met before. Last but not least,I’m really excited to meet some of the book bloggers that I follow online. Remember, first and foremost, I’m a reader and I depend on those wonderful reviews to figure out what goes to the top of my reading list.

No need to reinvent the wheel. The lovely Sarvenaz Tash, debut MG author of THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST, put together this amazing list of events that I’ll be participating in. Here are all the places I’ll be–so if you’re going to BEA, or if you’re a blogger, teacher, librarian or a reader who wants to get out of the house, feel free to come to one or all of these events. I’d be super stoked to see you.

Monday, June 4, 2012 
What: BEA Kick-Off Party/Breaking into KidLit Panel with the Class of 2K12
Where: Bank Street Bookstore
610 112th St., New York, NY
When: 7 PM
RSVP: Your invitation is here!
Info: Kick off BEA week with the Class of 2K12. We’re going to talk a bit about how we broke into the kidlit business before mingling in a fun party atmosphere.

Tuesday, June 5th 
What: Meet the Apocalypsies at BEA
Where: Javits Center, Room 1E04
655 W. 34th St., New York, NY 
When: 3-5 PM
Info: Come meet over 20 of this year’s debut MG and YA authors. There will be raffles, prizes and cookies! You do need a BEA pass to attend this event.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 
What: Mix, Mingle and Win with the Class of 2K12
Where: Tenth Rail
413 10th Ave., New York, NY 
When: 6 PM
RSVP: Your invitation is here!
Info: Our big BEA party complete with appetizers and awesome raffles where you can win books, swag and critiques!

*I won’t be there for the Thursday event because I don’t have a book yet, LOL!!!! Only 150 more days to wait!!!! But there is another Class of 2k12 event at Books of Wonder that sounds awesome. Wish I could be there.

 

Thursday, June 7, 2012
What: Panel and Signing with The Class of 2K12
Where: Books of Wonder
18 W. 18th St., New York, NY 
When: 6-8 PM
RSVP: Your invitation is here!
Info: Come meet some of 2012’s debut kidlit authors (including me) and get your books signed!

 

And here are the official flyers for the events…
 
I also have a really cool post card to show you from the Apocalypsies, but due to a Level 2 cover reveal today, I’ll be sharing that one with you at a later time. Hope to see you at BEA. Before you go…have you been to BEA before? Any tips for me? Any questions about the event? I might be able to answer them. Hope to go some day?

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