Posts Tagged ‘Apocalypsies’

May

6

2014

Highlights from the Hudson Children’s Book Festival

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Author Events, Book Signings, Check-it-out, Community, School Visits, Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I had an amazing time at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival this weekend!!!

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What an amazing group of book loving people. Let me share some of them with you…

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Setting up–the calm before the book storm. <3

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It’s me!!!!

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Signing TOUCHING THE SURFACE for some very special fans.

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Tiffany Schmidt and her amazing books were a teen magnet all day long.

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K.M. Walton and Jennifer Castle hanging out with one of the many fabulous volunteers.

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Jodi Moore and Dragon giving a tutorial on how to make your very own puppet.

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I had the pleasure of sitting next to the extremely talented Hudson Talbott.

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And my fellow Apocalypsie –Tiffany Schmidt

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Made a brand new friend, Bruce Hopkins. Feels like I’ve known him for years.

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Jodi Moore, Dragon and I got to have an early celebration with SCBWI Crystal Kite winner Kit Grindstaff. Congratulations on her win for her debut novel THE FLAME IN THE MIST.

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SQUEE!!!!! MY CRITIQUE GROUP GOT TO HANG OUT WITH THE INDOMITABLE ELLEN HOPKINS ALL DAY LONG!!!! (ALL CAPS INTENTIONAL) And don’t forget  the bonus SQUEE!!!! Megan, Jodi and I got to hang out all weekend together. We hadn’t seen each other in A YEAR!!! Seeing them was the BEST! <3

It was an amazing day. The book lovers in Hudson already feel like family.

I hope I get a chance to see them a lot more often. And I can’t thank them enough for hosting this wonderful event and having me be a part of it.

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Mar

13

2014

Bookanistas Review: 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Check-it-out, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

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It’s time for some Bookanista thrills and chills and no one does it better than my fellow Apocalypsie Gretchen McNeil. She makes me crazy giving me characters I fall in love with and then putting those people I now care about in heart pounding situations. Meanie!

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Josie Byrne’s life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she’s betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can’t get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo’s life is everything Josie wants: she’s popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they’re just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo’s perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo’s boyfriend, he hates her. Jo’s mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.

Kimberly’s Review of 3:59: 

This was my favorite Gretchen McNeil book to date!!! I’m more of a thriller reader than a horror aficionado and things like overlapping universes, doppelgängers and portals just make all my neurons fire. Add in intrigue, characters behaving unexpectedly and shadowy creatures and you’ve got an absolute page turner. And the ending???? I WANT MORE!!!!

You can find 3:59 here…

*Amazon

*Barnes & Noble

*IndieBound

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Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic TimesTop Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012” by Romantic Times.  Gretchen’s 2013 release is 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places.

In 2014, Gretchen debuts her first series, Don’t Get Mad(pitched as “John Hughes with a body count”) about four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school.  The Don’t Get Mad series begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, also with Balzer + Bray.  Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen blogs withThe Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels. She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

 

Want to find out what the rest of the rest of the Bookanistas have been reading? You don’t have to go far…

 

Jessica Love is out-of-this-world excited about ALIENATED by Melissa Landers

Tracey Neithercott is loving BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg

Katy Upperman is riveted by NIL by Lynne Matson

 

And of course I need to know. If you had the chance to visit a parallel universe, who would be the one person in your life (besides yourself) that you’d want to check out and see what they were like?

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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.

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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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Feb

6

2013

The 14th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference February 1-3, 2013 Part 1

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Community, Conferences, Reading, SCBWI, Wolfson Literary, Writing, Writing for Children, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Welcome to Kim’s wild and wacky conference recap. I’m so sorry, but this was the first year since 2008 that I didn’t get to attend the Friday Intensives. I was going to do the novel writing session this year, but due to a busy schedule, all the slots were filled when I registered. You SCBWIers are busy little monkeys. If you’d still like to find out about how it went, I recommend checking out the SCBWI blog.

I did make the most of my fabulous free Friday though. It was the 100th Anniversary of Grand Central Station. What a treat for me to “accidentally” be there.

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I have a soft spot for the clock. This is where I told my husband that I was pregnant with my first child. *heart squish*

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I also went into Posman’s Book store in Grand Central Station and took a picture of my book on the shelf 100 years after the doors to this beautiful transportation hub opened.

And it’s even more exciting because look at the company I’m keeping on the shelf. I’m such a fan-girl!

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Then, I had lunch with my wonderful agent, Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary. I know you hear me say this all the time, but I love her!!!!! I also hit another NYC bookstore and signed stock.

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In an interesting twist, I was able to hang out with my husband and meet some of his colleagues. His building has a great view of Grand Central, the Hyatt (where the Conference is held) and the Chrysler Building.

By evening, everyone who was coming on Friday, had either rolled into the hotel or out of the Intensives in order to hang out. Lots of folks hit Kid Lit Night at the Wheel Tapper. And as is typical, the hotel lobby was overflowing with the buzz of chatting writers and artists. A lovely sound.

On to Saturday morning and the official kick-off of the conference…

Seriously, it wouldn’t be a conference without Lin Oliver giving us the conference stats:

*There were 999 of us in attendance, but Lin rounded up in order to make it easy.

*There were representatives from 17 countries outside the United States.

*FIVE states were no-shows and are now on Lin’s list. (Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, Mississippi and Hawaii) It was determined that the first three were probably frozen solid and couldn’t make it and Hawaii would have crumbled in this freezing NY weather. But Mississippi–we’ve got our eyes on you!

*There were 796 women, 138 Men and 65 people who shouldn’t use their names as the MC of a novel because no one will know what bathroom you should get to use.

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*287 in attendance were published! Woot!!!!

Now let the Keynotes and Break-out sessions begin…

KEYNOTE: So When Are You Going to Write a Real Book, You Know, For Adults? by MEG ROSOFF

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I’m just going to come right out and say it. Meg may have put the screws to some celebrity authors. ROTFL! She was hilarious. Now I’m aware that not all celebrity authors, are celebrity authors. For example–the amazing Julie Andrews (whom you’ll hear more about later) is an author who just happens to be a celebrity. And I feel that way about Jamie Lee Curtis too. But…

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This one is harder to argue with LOL! I can’t claim to have personally read it, so I’ll leave the ultimate decision on this up to you. While you’re mulling it over, here are some of Meg’s best bits (besides her small reading from Fifty Shades.)

*When I was a teenager, I was the right age to have my life changed by books.

*Most of the best books I’ve ever read, I read before I was twenty.

*The best children’s books are about the the same topics as the best adult books.

*Books that are very good are worth reading, no matter who they’re written for or why they were written.

*Picture Books are #18 on the Goodreads list because how hard is it to write picture books? All you have to do is draw a duck. *insert sarcasm here*

Next up was a KEYNOTE PANEL DISCUSSION: Booksellers Panel: What’s Selling?

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Moderator–Lin Oliver (LO)

Mary Brown (MB)–Owner of Books, Bytes & Beyond, a children’s specialty bookstore

Robert Brown (RB)–National Sales and Program Manager at Scholastic Book Fairs

Jon Fine (JF)–Director of author & publisher relations at Amazon

Here are the best take-aways…

(MB) 70% of her market is schools and libraries. Non-fiction is increasingly important due to the core curriculum. *FYI you can download a free app with the core curriculum for our iPad and other devices.

(RB) It’s about getting books into children’s hands.

(JF) There is no finer group of authors than the SCBWI!!!!

(JF) The core concept is to tell a great story. If you do that, your words will be heard.

(JF) The benefit of today’s technology is that anyone can tell their story. (Access) But the down side it that anyone can tell their story LOL!

BREAK-OUT SESSION #1: What Hooks Me: Editors and Art Directors Tell All with Molly O’Neill (Editor, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)

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Some of my favorite thoughts from Molly…

*Having a marketing background never leaves you. (Making her an editor with a double filter.)

*Pay attention to the balance between the specific and the universal.

*Kids are the primary audience.

*An editor is an advocate for the reader.

*When you boil it down, books are about what it means to be a human being.

*There needs to be things that ring so true in your writing that readers want to ingest it–tattoo it on themselves!

*When the reader is done with the book, are they unwilling to let go of it?

*Write what you know emotionally.

*Decide as an author, what part of your book or writing is non-negotiable and stick to it.

Also…Molly has made me crazy to read WILD AWAKE by Hilary T. Smith. It looks fabulous and I’ve always loved Intern Spills.

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After lunch (in which I ate a giant healthy salad followed by a large, chocolate cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. *yum*)

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it was time for…BREAK-OUT SESSION#2: What Hooks Me: Editors and Art Directors Tell All with Rosemary Brosnan (editorial director of HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Gahhhh *pulls out hair* I was so entranced listening to Rosemary, I forgot to take a picture. So sorry.

*I love starred books and great reviews, but readers still have to buy the book. (Can I get an amen?)

*I LOVED the story about how my fellow Apocalypsie sistah, Anne Nesbet, author of CABINET OF EARTHS, met with Rosemary while she was sick in bed at a conference. It goes to show you, you never know what’s going to happen in publishing LOL!

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And SQUEE!!!! Rosemary also highlighted the books of a personal friend and member of my local SCBWI Shop Talk, Jennifer Castle!!!!

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I loved The Beginning of After!!!!

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And I’m dying to read You Look Different In Real Life–Available June 4, 2013.

THE LAST KEYNOTE SPEAKER OF THE DAY: Internal Migrations by Shaun Tan

I have to start off by telling you, that it never ceases to amaze me, how much I’m affected by the illustrator or illustrator/author presentation at the SCBWI. They are so amazing. I’m very glad our diversity is our unity.

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I WANT!!! Not only the book (it wasn’t available at the bookstore) but I want ERIC to come and stay at my house. This is one of my favorite book characters now!

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I did get THE ARRIVAL signed!!!! Amazing and I played it cool, but Arthur Levine helped me get my books ready to sign when a conference helper had to step away. Between Tan and Levine, I was a tongue-tied fan-girl, muttering gibberish. *sigh* I may have said something about awesome and great and fabulous, but I can’t be sure.

And just so you know, Shaun’s words and thoughts are as beautiful and magical as his artwork…

*Never listen to what an artist says–the truth is in the work.

*The dark side of familiarity is complacency.

*Migration can be internal.

*The truths I’m most interested in are the ones that can be spoken of directly.

*I imagine my stories as really happening.

*I’m very suspicious of artists that have neat and tidy studios–I admire them–but I’m suspicious.

*Comprehension is over rated–what’s more important is a feeling of imaginative empathy.

AND MY FAVORITE…

*The thing that matters most in art, is that thing you can’t explain.

Ummm I may have been too busy lounging across the MASHED POTATO BAR at the Cocktail Gala Meet and Greet to take pictures, but you can’t blame me, it had a toppings bar. Just know that Day #1 was so inspiring, I stayed up way too late in order to discuss it with anyone who had feet. (Yeah, my criteria for bookish conversational comrades is very high LOL!) And in fact, my roommie believes that I fell asleep mid-sentence that night. A new milestone. *grin*

I’ll be back with Sunday (Day #2) on Friday’s blog post. But in the mean time, talk to me, I’m still awake–sort of. What’s inspiring you, my arm chair conference buddy? Anything that resonates? New authors/illustrators to check out? Any editors just added to your Must Have list? Are you saving your pennies for the next SCBWI Conference?

PS–Chris Crutcher, you were missed in the lobby. Everyone was wishing you were there for another fabulous night of conversation. (((hugs)))

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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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Oct

22

2012

The Last YAmazing Race of 2012!!!!!

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Check-it-out, Team Tipping the Surface, Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

****THE YAmazing Race is NOW CLOSED!!!!*****

It’s the last YAmazing Race of 2012!!!! And FINALLY, my book will officially be on the shelves in EIGHT DAYS!!!! I can’t believe it. But before I get too distracted…*shiny*…let me fill you in on the YAmazing Race in case you’ve been–ya know–living under a rock. Just teasing. 😮

The YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes is a massive blog hop featuring over 50 debut authors, and prize packs that include books, gift certificates, swag, and more! If you haven’t yet been to the Apocalypsies website, please click here to start from the beginning and read the complete rules. Now on to the race!

NOTE: The race doesn’t officially start until noon, so any entries submitted before then will NOT count.

Oh…I should also tell you a little bit about my book instead of just squeeing about it. LOL!

TOUCHING THE SURFACE

By. Kimberly Sabatini

Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.

When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

FYI–You still have time to pre-order TOUCHING THE SURFACE here:

*Barnes & Noble

*Amazon

*IndieBound

*And for a signed copy…Oblong Books and Music

Have you got all that? Excellent work, because you’ll need to store it all up in your brain for the quiz ahead. And remember, there are four total quizzes, so for maximum prize winning opportunities, be sure to fill out all of them!

But wait! There’s more!!!! I’m working really hard to get the word out about TOUCHING THE SURFACE and I’m looking for book lovers who…

1. Want a free TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirt.

2. Want an opportunity to win an annotated copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE, a silver origami crane necklace and some additional awesome prizes, if enough people participate.

3. Don’t mind using the power of word-of-mouth to help me.

So, what is this exactly?

I’m using what I’ve learned from Malcolm Gladwell’s THE TIPPING POINT to get TOUCHING THE SURFACE to it’s “tipping Point.” My goal is to have Hot Spots burning brightly all over the country–TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE!

If you are interested, I will send you a TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirt and a packet of materials you can use to help spread the word. There will be stuff for your local and school libraries, your local book sellers and even stuff for teachers. I’ll also have plenty of individual swag for your friends and family and the random strangers you think might like the book. :o Joining also gets you one entry for the prizes and for every extra person you enlist to become a New Hot Spot for TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE–you’ll have an  extra entry into the drawing for prizes.

(In order to create a new Hot Spot–your recruit will have to be in a brand new location. You’ll have my email–we’ll talk!)

Want to participate? Here’s what you have to do! If you would like to start a Hot Spot in your area for TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE, please send me your full name, email address and your mailing address HERE!!!  I’m looking forward to hearing from you. If you don’t think you’re up for being an official Hot Spot–I completely understand–but I’d really appreciate it if you’d  share this information with anyone you think might be interested. (((hugs)))

So, now that we’ve got all that settled–here’s where you have to go next…

You are off to see… *drum roll*… Anne Nesbet!

Good Luck!!!!!

Oh, I should ask a question…so we can chat? Is this your first YAmazing Race? Have you ever been a winner before? What’s your favorite part of the race? What about the race annoys the foam peanuts out of you?

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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…

*Website

*Blog

*Twitter

*Facebook

*Goodreads

*tumblr

*Pinterest

*YouTube

*Class of 2k12

*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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Sep

19

2012

My Secret Marketing Weapon and Some Other Marketing Tips that aren’t for the Birds

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Class of 2k12, Marketing, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I know not everyone will agree with what I’m about to say, but I find marketing fascinating. I sort of think of it like playing a game of Angry Birds–it’s a challenge and I love to adjust my angles to see where I’m going to aim my efforts. Just like playing Angry Birds, marketing your book takes some skill, hard work, practice and luck. And if you do even some of it right, you have a chance to knock down some serious stuff–pigs AND the barriers that keep you from literary success.

As my book launch gets closer, I’ve been thinking about marketing a lot more and I’ve come to realize that I’ve developed my own marketing truths. Here are some of the things that currently resonate with me…

 

*Be genuine. It’s much better to make 10 real friends on line than to spam a hundred. I know what I’m willing to do to support the people in my life that I care about–most people feel the same way. Genuine time and effort can’t be faked.

*Pretend that you don’t have a publisher. My publisher is doing a zillion amazing things to help market and sell my book. Duh! It’s their book too, but it’s easier for me to pretend (from a marketing perspective) that I’m self-published. This way I push myself to do my best and whenever something unexpected and exciting happens, it’s a ginormous, wonderful bonus!!!

TOUCHING THE SURFACE at the Bologna Book Fair!!!! I had no idea my book was there until my editor sent me this picture. BONUS!

*Try to enjoy the type of marketing you do. I’ll be honest, when two openings came available to join the YA Rebels (a weekly vlogging collective) I thought about auditioning. It would have been a fabulous opportunity. I also realized it would likely cause my premature death. The expectation to create weekly vlogs, that were interesting and funny AND get the tech thing down would have applied enough pressure to squish my head like a melon. Stick to the stuff that doesn’t take years off of your life.

*JOIN A MARKETING COLLECTIVE!!!! I am a proud member of the APOCALYPSIES and the CLASS OF 2k12 and I can say with absolute certainty that these two groups have been the best. They are so much more than a bunch of debut authors banding together–these are my friends. I could not have done it without them. I wouldn’t want to. We SQUEE over each other’s good news and we commiserate when we’re knee deep in suckage–personal or professional. We help each other be better writers–and marketers. And the best part is that they make me laugh. Have you seen this video?

So when you get that opportunity to join an amazing group like this… raise both hands,  jump up and down and shout pick me, pick me!

*Lastly, you should have a secret weapon. Here’s mine…

 This is my mom–aka my secret weapon. She carries a stack of signed bookmarks in her pocketbook and every place she goes, she tells people about my book. She also shares how proud she is of her daughter and she means it–I can see it in her eyes. THIS is the best kind of marketing. It is also the BEST way to live your life. It’s better than word of mouth–it’s word of heart.  What we all really want is for someone to love us, to love our writing and to want to tell the world about it.

PS–I’m a very lucky girl because I’m surrounded word of heart–in my home and in my life. There will never be enough ways to adequately say I love you back.

Who is your secret weapon? Who shares their love of you through word of heart? I know just thinking about them makes you warm and fuzzy right now–so ‘fess up.

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Aug

17

2012

Win an ARC of WHAT’S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Check-it-out, Contests, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

***THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!!!!***

 

At BEA I was lucky enough to grab an ARC of  WHAT’S LEFT OF ME by my fellow Apocalypsie, Kat Zhang. And now you’re lucky because I’m giving you a chance to win my ARC. Before I tell you how, let me give you a little preview of WHAT’S LEFT OF ME (#1 in The Hybrid Chronicles.)

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

In order to win, you need to tell me what you think the biggest problem would be with have two distinct, but closely connected souls, in one body. I’m thinking it would be pretty traumatic if my other self had a different taste in books LOL! Leave your problem in the comments below with your contact information. You can’t win if I can’t contact you. This contest is open internationally and it will be running all weekend.

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