Posts Tagged ‘The Class of 2k12’
I’m back! And ready for #LA16SCBWI Part 2–Saturday.
You can’t start your day wrong with Jon Klassen: FINDING YOURSELF IN THE WORK
In case you live under a rock, Jon is the fantabulous author/illustrator of the hat books and more.
And according to Lin, he’s also one of the two hottest Canadians on the planet.
And we have one of them with us at #LA16SCBWI! LOL!
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 16: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends the Catalyst Awards Dinner at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
The laughs never ended after that comment, but Jon also brought his depth to the table in addition to his humor…
*”The worst thing you can think about when you’re working is yourself.” Agnes Martin
*Don’t think about your style.
*Your style is mysterious and should be opened up–but not by you.
*Take care of the machine that makes the style.
*Write the stories your brain is able to produce then evolve with your instrument.
*Stop trying to be creative. Don’t try to get a butterfly, you’ll get a car. Embrace the car. Force vs. Flow
Next up was Marie Lu: THE CREATIVE LIFE
Marie was fabulous–I can not begin to tell you how professional, charming, sweet, honest and adorable she was. I was blown away by her work ethic and her ability to speak so eloquently about her experiences. Here’s some of her take aways…
*Was born in China and moved to the US when she was 5.
*New Orleans was VERY different than China LOL! Her first time out exploring was during Mardi Gras. ROTFL!
*Starting writing as a teen.
*Went to work at Disney and was surrounded by creatives for the first time in her life.
*Being published is NOT relevant to being a writer.
*Every writer proceeds at their own pace, in their own way. The process itself should be reward enough.
*Marie has received well over 500 rejections in her writer’s life so far.
*You can’t perfect something that doesn’t exist.
*With time and practice you will get there, but you have to finish something in order to progress.
*Rejection comes for all of us–don’t fear it. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you will thicken your skin in preparation for the really tough criticism.
*Talent is over rated–most of what gets you there is passion, perseverance and hard work.
*Accepting criticism is the key to growth.
*If the critique isn’t “correct” it only means that something isn’t working.
*A high tide lifts all boats. It’s difficult to tame the envy monster but know that books lift books and writers lift writers. <3
*Be brave and listen–none of know everything or are always right.
*Never defend yourself–listen.
*It’s scary to be called out but remember no one goes out with bad intentions.
*As scary as it is to put yourself out there as a writer–think about how scary it often is to be the reader.
*Those readers are worth the work of being brave. <3
*We are all in this together.
Then this happened…
My Eastern NY SCBWI RA was chosen to give the keynote from last year’s crop of Crystal Kite winners!!!
Nancy Castaldo: THE TERRIFYING PATH TO PUBLICATION AND HOW IT ENDS
Hahahaha! I took no notes during Nancy’s speech. I was in the audience cheering, smiling, preening and proud. It was an excellent speech. It had dogs and writing inspiration. It was fabulous. You should book her for your next event.
Saturday’s first Break-Out session was with Justin Chanda: PRO-Track CAREER LONGEVITY
Justin is the Vice President and Publisher of the four flagship children’s imprints at Simon & Schuster: S&S Books for Young Readers, McElderry Books, Atheneum, and the new Salaam Reads. AKA—BAMS! Here’s a look at publishing through the Chanda Filter. As always, I could listen to him talk for hours.
*Always keep communication lines open. Establish the chain of command.
*Communication from an assistant is coming from your editor. Treat them with respect.
*Never think of your agent as a tool.
*A good editor is there to challenge you–not rewrite your book.
*No one wants an unsuccessful book.
*Creative differences happen, but we are all on the same page.
*Always be realistic about achievable deadlines. Advance notice of realistic expectations is better than missed deadlines.
*Make sure your working on your book, not just working on marketing it. At the end of the day readers want books, not marketing.
*Advertising doesn’t work–especially with children’s books. And $10,000 doesn’t even move the needle.
*What does work? Word of Mouth.
*If you do book tours, it’s inevitable you’ll be at an event where no one shows up. Use it as an opportunity to be professional, make connections and be charming.
*School Visits–there is an entire other industry set up to support us.
*It takes time to get traction as a speaker at schools and conferences.
*Social Media–don’t get caught up in the echo chamber.
*Twitter is the best/worst thing to happen in Kidlit.
*Unforgivable Practices–Never air your grievances on social media.
*The most important thing you can do for self promotion is to get other people to talk about your work.
*Keeping the book alive after the first year–work on the next book. Your next book promotes your first book.
Even at #LA16SCBWI there’s time for Lunch!!!! But then we are back for Carole Boston Weatherford: THE POWER OF PREMISE
I’m so sorry–I don’t have a lot of notes from Carole–she had one of those keynotes you just sit and soak in. She had me at… A premise is a promise that your manuscript will deliver on…
Next up was a panel discussion: INGREDIENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL PICTURE BOOK
JB–Jessixa Bagley (author/illustrator)
JP–John Parra (illustrator)
SR–Susan Rich (Editor–Little, Brown)
BS–Barney Saltzberg (Author)
DT–Don Tate (author/illustrator)
WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL PICTURE BOOK?
JB–the book has a completeness to it.
SR–it has to stand up to weary parents and antsy toddlers.
BS–Rhythm of the page turn, element of surprise.
DT–Connection through emotions
SR–If we knew what the secret ingredient was we’d replicate it.
BS–Put Jon Klassen’s name on it. ROTFL!
ADDITIONAL GOOD ADVICE…
SR–there are hooks (curricular and seasonal) that can make your books stand out–don’t start with that.
BS–You have to be careful who you share your work with and at what stage.
JP–it’s up to us to define ourselves–be unique.
BS–Take your ego and bury it in a box in the backyard. There is wisdom out there to be heard. Show up daily.
And I was waiting all day for this one…
Neal Schusterman on MAKING MEANING: THE WRITER’S STRUGGLES TO FIND ORDER IN CHAOS, AND STORIES WORTH TELLING
Neal started with an “adorable” representation of his 3rd Grade Teacher…
I’ll let you use your imagination on how she influenced Neal. The good news is that he had a strong and persistent personality.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Neal also talked about the fallacies he believes surround the writing process.
*This is how you do it.
-There isn’t one way. Do what works for you.
*Focus on your strengths.
-If you want to be a writer you have to be well rounded and work on your weaknesses.
*Writer’s Block is real.
-There’s no such thing. It’s writing when it’s hard and calling it that gives you permission to walk away. Being stuck it part of the process.
*If you build it, they will come.
-They’ll be walking by on their phones *snicker* Keep building over and over.
*Never ask for feedback from someone you feed.
-Family can be honest. My kids call me out.
*If traditional publishers won’t publish you, then e-pub.
-I know this probably isn’t a popular view, but if e-pub was available I never would have been traditionally published.
-Gate keepers are there with there rejections for a reason. When I look back, my work deserved to be rejected,
-traditional to e-pub is a little different.
*You must have your writing place
-In high school I had that–it was called detention. Now I write everywhere and get inspired. Check it out…
Why Do We Write?
-It’s all about the reader.
-Deep down we have a belief we have something to say.
And a reminder…If we are doing it right, we are always terrified we aren’t doing it right.
And that was the end of the instructional part of the day, but it don’t worry–the day was far from over…
I got to hang out and chat with Marie Lu and she signed my book!
I also got to check out all our fabulous illustrators at the Portfolio Showcase.
There were also Happy Hour Hangouts with the agents and editors.
Followed by the Red Carpet Ball
Our costume goal for the costume contest was to pull out all the stops and glam it up Hollywood style. Nothing says glamorous Hollywood then Fred Astaire!
I even had my tap shoes on.
A class of 2k12 fancy meet up for me and Lynne Kelly or maybe Ginger?
And I wasn’t the only one dressed up. The fashion police were on the scene. Some body was getting ticketed.
There was also a long line of red carpets LOL!
There were loads of people on the dance floor.
And even the balconies were full.
And later when things wound down, it was lovely to take off your top hat and sit outside.
And when you think there are no surprises left in the day…
You come back to your room and wonder if you’re having some unexpected company LOL!
Hoping all this good advice resonates with you. Which bit of inspiration speaks the loudest for you?
And don’t forget to stay tuned for #LA16SCBWI coming soon.
Hello… it’s #LA16SCBWI time…is there anybody out there? I know. I’ve neglected the blog, but for a good reason. Blogs are secondary to the writing and the writing has been my priority. But I LOVE my SCBWI conference blogs. They help me process everything I learned and I also love sharing a bit of the magic and insight with those who couldn’t make it. Plus I missed you. So, let’s go to #LA16SCBWI together!
Compared to last year, my journey to #LA16SCBWI was a breeze. No hassles. Everything was on time. The Jet Blue snack was blue chips. I even had my roomie picking me up at the airport and we defied the laws of LA rush hour and made it to the hotel in a record amount of time for the afternoon. Everything was perfect until…
My luggage lock wouldn’t come off. Really???? I think what happened was I accidentally twirled and twisted when I should have pushed and clicked–resetting the combo to a magic number I did not know. Grrrr. I thought about trying all the possible combinations then called the hotel desk and had a lovely gentleman cut it off for me. Crisis averted. Dinner was had and friends caught up. Easy Peasy. And when all was said and done, I fell asleep and never rolled over until morning. Not even the Biltmore ghosts could wake me.
Yes, the Biltmore hotel, the sight of #LA16SCBWI is supposed to be haunted. Do you see the wee ghosty on the SCBWI folder? I wouldn’t lie. Totally haunted. I’m positive, although I didn’t see, hear or sense a thing.
But any building that looks like this inside must be haunted, right?
BTW–sorry for the grainy pictures–I left my good camera at home by mistake. Boo!
But the ghosts aren’t really the important part–unless they inspire some fabulous stories. We were there to get our kid lit on and we took off running on Friday.
Steve Mooser and Lin Oliver were on the scene–Lin entertaining us with stories of her senior prom and bachelor party at the Biltmore. Which by the way, was built in 1923 and was originally a cathedral. And this past weekend it housed…
-952 Full Time Attendees (with a 950 seat ballroom) Good thing there were always spatially challenged writers who had trouble finding their way around the building LOL!
-47 States. (West Virginia was absent and Vermont. But Lin figures they were still too busy feeling the Bern)
-And there were some interesting primary occupations listed: 101 Full Time Artists, Cake decorator (because frosting is a legit medium), 93 FT Writers, A Writer/Shepherdess (and obviously a good one–never saw a single sheep in the Biltmore), 3 Paper engineers, a Bonsai Artist, a cluster? herd? swarm? flock? pod of lawyers? and a Retired Housewife. Lin didn’t know that last one was an option. Sign her up!
And our joke contest was Books in the Olympics–write your own headline!
In LA the faculty also marches in and shares their word of the conference. Here are some of my favorites from #LA16SCBWI…
–Lisa Yee and Martha Brockenbrough–Wonder Woman
–Alvina Ling–Breathe (she was congested)
–Linda Sue Park–(for anyone who cares about kids) VOTE!
The first Keynote Speaker of the conference was Drew Daywalt of crayon fame.
DOES THIS KEYNOTE MAKE MY BUTT LOOK BIG?
Drew was funny and sweet as he talked to the group. Here are some of the most interesting things Drew had to say…
*Jack Gantos wanted Drew to write for children–he was his Obi Wan Kanobi
*Did you ever notice how crayons are in your house but you didn’t buy them?
*20 years later..”I told you so, idiot!” Jack Gantos
*First school visit he panicked but the librarian told him he could bring THE box of crayons LOL! A boy raced past”security” and jumped in his lap and said…”I love you, Mr. Daywalt.” It changed his life. <3
*Hollywood kicked me for 20 years and knocked me down and a million little hands caught me. <3
*Be true to your voice.
*Authors find meaning in the meaningless and define meaning in the meaningful.
*Don’t overstay your welcome. *waves*
Next up was Pam Munoz Ryan: ONE WRITER’S CONFESSIONS
Things she’s learned along the way…
*Getting published and discovering I could still fail.
*If you’re not struggling to learn something new, you’re failing.
*If you aren’t struggling, you’re setting your goals too low.
*I wasn’t self actualized to feel marginalized. (On not seeing herself represented in the books she read)
*Things that get you out of writer’s block–a deadline.
*I don’t have a muse, but I’m still waiting.
*I don’t write every day. A writer has a relationship with writing.
*Goal: I want the reader to sit down and turn the page.
*It still stings–writing doesn’t get easier for me.
*I write in a feeble attempt at immortality.
*I read to forget and I write to remember. <3
Every conference has those bathroom breaks between speakers and they are perfect for coffee and meeting friends you’ve only loved on line. So pumped I FINALLY got to meet Lynne Kelly on of my fellow Class of 2k12 siblings. <3 Such a lovely treat.
The next Keynote belong to Justin Chanda (VP & Publisher of four children’s imprints at Simon & Schuster)
THE STATE OF THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
Justin took the stage fighting the urge to suggest we unify the party. LOL! Here were a few things going on in the industry…
* 2015-2016 was a great year for independent books stores.
*Kid lit is doing well, but blockbusters are driving the overall sales while the mid-list are struggling.
*Blockbusters keep the lights on.
*It’s a big leap of faith to acquire a picture book. Because of that editors are selectively looking for character drive, humorous books that appeal to adults as well as kids. You have to be the best of the best to get a deal in this market.
*Advice: Write, Illustrate, Rinse, Repeat.
Sorry it’s a little dark. Remember I forgot the one with the telephoto lens. Grrrrr But even so, I can vouch, this is my first break out session of the conference. It was a Pro-Track session with Don Tate on SCHOOL VISITS.
Don gave a sample of his own presentation, followed by advice and tips from himself and multiple experienced authors/illustrators. It was a wealth of knowledge.
He also shared the fabulous Debbie Gonzales who works with the academic standards to create projects, presentations and study guides. She’s currently working with TOUCHING THE SURFACE and I’ll be excited to soon launch some fabulous new ways that TTS can be used in the classroom.
And my favorite tip from Don? GO WITH THE FLOW–IT’S NOT ALWAYS GOING TO GO AS PLANNED!
Next up was the Editor Panel: THREE BOOKS I LOVED PUBLISHING AND WHY
SB-Stacey Barney–Senior Editor (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin)
KB-Kat Brzozowski–Editor (Swoon Reads/Feiwel and Friends)
AL-Alvina Ling–VP and Editor in Chief (Little, Brown)
MM-Melissa Manlove–Editor (Chromicle)
NP-Neal Porter–Publisher (Neal Porter Books)
MR-Matt Ringler–Senior Editor (Scholastic)
SS-Sara Sargent–Executive Editor (Harper Collins)
RS-Reka Simonsen–Executive Editor (Atheneum)
KS-Kate Sullivan–Senior Editor (Delacore)
Moderated by: ED-Emma Dryden (Dryden Books, LLC)
Each editor was asked to talk about three books they proudly published and talk about why they were meaningful. They also gave advice to the audience. I missed a few here and there and I can’t possibly effectively duplicate their gushing–but here’s what I can give you…
SB–Firebird, The Lions of Little Rock, A Crack in the Sea
*Breathe, publishing is a marathon. It teaches patience. Work on your craft.
KB–RL Stein’s Fear Street Series, When the Moon Was Ours
*Build a strong network of people. Publishing is small. Reciprocal relationships.
AL–Thunder Boy Jr, The Year of the Dog, Daughter of Smoke and Bone
*Rejection is not personal.
MM–Picture This, President Squid, Josephine
*Inspiration is electric, but it’s the lightening bolt that hits the person grinding the generator. You have to do the work.
NP–Giant Squid, School’s First Day of School, Ideas Are All Around
*Do I HAVE to write this book? Is there intense feeling?
MR–Kill the Boy Band, The Hero Two Doors Down, Puppy Place Series (Because you can’t have a bad day picking out puppies for book covers ROTFL!)
*Rejection can feel personal, but it’s an industry thing. Editors can’t always get what they want.
SS–Cruel Beauty, The Museum of Heartbreak, Last Year’s Mistake
*Look for the window where you know what an agent/editor likes but then make it different.
RS–Enchanted Air, THE WICKED AND THE JUST (In caps because it’s a fabulous book by my Class of 2k12 sib J. Anderson Coats) and Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal.
*Write what you love.
KS–Ash, Rapture Practice, Passion Counts
Next up was another Keynote with Jenni Holm: IT TAKES A FAMILY
Jenni shared lots of personal stories but this fact was key…If you’re going to write about your family, write about your mother’s family first LOL!
And then, just when you think you can’t do one more minute of conference, we got to celebrate the Golden Kite Award Winners and have a celebratory dinner.
We even had a display in the lobby of our celebrated books for #LA16SCBWI
And don’t forget the pyramid of chocolate. It was very yummy.
And on that sweet note, I’ll leave you to digest this first day of #LA16SCBWI and I promise I’ll be posting more soon.
Want to see a little bit more of the Biltmore and it’s Hollywood History? Check out this video…
And we are winding down to the last day of the 2014 LA SCBWI Conference. And the jet lag is starting to lose it’s steam, so of course I arrange for an early morning Class of 2k12 mini breakfast reunion with Suzanne Lazear (The Aether Chronicles) and Caroline Starr Rose (May B and Blue Birds). It was worth every yawn to have some quality time with my girls. <3 This is my public service announcement for the day: My class of 2k12 friends were indispensable to me for the last three years. If you are slotted for debut publication, seriously consider becoming part of the Class of’s Contact me if you need help finding contacts in the up and coming groups. I’ll help you figure it out.
The official morning started off with Deborah Halverson and her always helpful Market Report. Besides the who, what, when, where and why of the children’s book market being incredibly dynamic, she provided us with an amazing handout…
Just another fabulous benefit of being an SCBWI member and attending these awesome conferences. *fist pump* Time to join people–this organization is fabulous and means the world to me. Here is what you should know…
*Up-swing in picture books
*Increased demand for highly illustrated early chapter books.
*In response to Common Core:
-Not a lot of acquisition changes. Same quality books–just might market them differently.
-Eye out for subject matter that touches multiple areas. The more hooks the better.
*Diversity projects are increasing but editors are looking for approaches that are not stereotypical or heavy handed.
*MG is finally coming into it’s own–promising place for single tittles.
*The bar is very high with books like WONDER but there are varying needs within this audience.
*MG is allows slow growth over several years. 2-3 year projections while YA is more likely to be evaluated in a quick splash.
*YA possibly over saturated. Editors being picky.
*Popular, established authors are getting sales.
*Trilogy is slowly dying.
*NOT MORE OF THE SAME!!!!!
*Contemporary realistic fiction getting a bump.
*YA lovers continue reading after aging out.
Next up was an amazing Keynote with Linda Sue Park–THE HOW OF IT: MAKING EVERY WORD COUNT
This presentation was the PERFECT combination of technically useful and emotionally inspirational. LSP is hard to beat, she is a master of craft and emotionally dedicated to her work. Here is what you should know…
*Don’t bore the editor–you want then to hang on your every word so make every word count.
*How? Use the tools of the writing craft–WORDS!
*Small changes make huge differences.
*ALWAYS put your finished MS away for several weeks before you send it out. Look at it again with fresh eyes.
*Use the word count function and whittle down your words slowly.
-Pick your best words and put them in the best order.
*Change your font, it will help you see your MS differently.
*Print your work out and read it in a different location–some place you don’t usually write.
*Read your work aloud from beginning to end or have someone read it to you.
*Words have become one of our cheapest currencies because of technology and social media, so it’s even more important that we value our words.
*An adult is never going to love and reread books the way they will when they fall in love with a book as a child–our books have to be worthy of being ready more than 62 times. (Daniel) <3
Our next Keynote was by Sharon Flake–WALKING WOUNDED: HOW TO KEEP WRITING AFTER YOU’VE HIT THE WALL. Her best take aways were…
*”Magic” can give you a false sense of confidence.
*Kids need to know that there is more than one way to be a human being.
*Remember it’s in you to make it through.
*I love writing so much that even when it didn’t feel good I kept going.
*It’s about being a connection.
My first Workshop of the day was with Bonnie Bader–LEVELED READERS AND TRANSITIONAL CHAPTER BOOKS.
As a mom and a former special education teacher I really wanted to make some sense of this area that always seems so inconsistent and confusing to me. I walked away with a very good understanding of how these books work or don’t work and how difficult they are to write. I feel like they are a sudoku puzzle for children’s writers LOL! I think when I get a little extra time on my hands I might play around with the sight word list a little bit and see if I’m any good at it. If you see me with chunks of my hair pull out, you’ll know what I was doing.
Time for the Golden Kite Luncheon!!!!!
This is when we honor the outstanding members of our tribe. This year’s Member of the Year was Ellen Hopkins for her above and beyond service to the SCBWI and it’s tribe members. Love her! We also celebrated our Golden Kite winners.
Peter Brown–Golden Kite Winner for Picture Book Illustration
Pat Zietlow Miller–Golden Kite Winner for Picture Book Text
David Meissner–Golden Kite Winner for Non-fiction
Tim Federle–Golden Kite Winner for Fiction
And Bill Konigsberg–winner of the Sid Fleischman Humor Award
Each of these award winning tribe members gave amazing, funny and inspirational speeches. Best crop of award winners I’ve heard as a whole. I left lunch full, inspired and motivated. Can’t wait to read their books!!!!!
My afternoon Workshop was with Bruce Coville–NO BUT SERIOUSLY, THE ART AND CRAFT OF WRITING A SERIES
Sorry no picture–we got right down to business and there was a lot to learn. One of the great things for me at the conference was that I was able to take some very interesting classes on new topics I’d never explored before. As a regular conference attendee, this made me very happy.
Here are a few tips about series writing from Bruce who has 15 series under his belt…
*Show up at your desk–when you are doing your work you will maintain a certain level of competence in your writing and some times you will be lucky enough to rise above your own abilities.
*Two most important times of creativity are coming in and out of sleep–use them to your advantage.
*Always go for royalties because you are betting on yourself–the 1st Hardy Boys book (with a packager) the author made $150 Doh!
*Craft without inspiration is basket weaving. Inspiration without craft is modern art. *insert Bruce giggle here*
*An outline is not an impediment to creativity.
-Bruce’s tend to be front heavy
-They never end the way he planned and that’s ok
*If you want to explore a world or character with more depth than one book–a series is the way to go.
*Conclude a story but throw in an unresolved cord.
*Create your bible.
-tells what the world is gong to be
-characters, side kicks and bad guys
-Show you are taking your work seriously
*Writing for a packager is a great way to hone your craft–you should always write a book better than what they are expecting.
*Problems with a series:
-keeping it fresh
-keeping it consistent (BIBLE)
-getting important info to the people who haven’t read the previous books
-knowing when to stop
*Our lives are series non-fiction <3
I told you I’d have more Tomie!!! We were still able to do his interview with Lin Oliver via Skype <3
His bits of wisdom and love…
*Being an artist is also the way you live your life.
*When you create your art–be prepared to be misunderstood.
And then after feeling like I had the biggest, warmest pep talk from my SCBWI Yoda/Grandpa–Judy Blume stepped onto the stage for an inspirational send off…
* I was far from a courageous child–except in my head.
*I was brave in my writing the way I wasn’t in my life.
*Judy’s take away word from the conference is FOCUS.
*Do not let anyone discourage you. If they try–get angry not depressed!
*Determination is as important as talent.
*It doesn’t ever get easier–persist.
*Ideas come from everywhere and you never know when they will arrive.
*Kick the critic off of one shoulder and the sensor off the other. Sometimes you just have to write a book and not worry about who is going to read it.
As if this wasn’t enough, Judy shared with us the ups and downs of a project she’s currently working on and how she would also be leaving the conference inspired to go back to her work. Just like me–just like everyone else in that room who had the pleasure of hearing one of our greatest idols speak.
After a long and powerful standing ovation for Judy, Lin Oliver closed with this…
“We picked a very difficult and challenging road–it’s so much better that we walk down it together–hand in hand and arm and arm.”
My Tribe–I am grateful. <3
Yes, I photo bombed Meg Medina LOL!
But then Jodi and I gave her hugs so she didn’t mind.
Chatting with Bruce Coville–he’s such a hoot! Always love his advice.
Me and Bruce Coville <3
Like Aaron Becker and Journey and Journey says…Don’t stop believing.
Fan girling over Maggie Stiefvater–helping me solve for X.
Megan McDonald of Judy Moody and Stink fame.
Love her–she’s fabulously hilarious.
Judy Schachner or Miss Judy as my 9yo likes to call her–signing her newest, adorable Bits & Pieces.
Judy talking picture books with Jodi Moore author of WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN. I want a collaboration–when Skippy Joh Jones moves in with my favorite Dragon.
And then it was over. Dinner with friends while talking about three days worth of awesomeness. Hugs goodbye. Suitcases packed and the pull to find your way home to family and the page where you left off in your own writing…
Hope you are as inspired as I still am over a week later. And my fingers are crossed that you enjoyed my conference recaps. See you on Thursday with a little conference bonus post before I put LA away until next year. <3
TOUCHING THE SURFACE is out in paperback TODAY!!!!!
Where you can find it:
*Barnes & Noble
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…
Standing outside the Simon & Schuster offices.
Apocalypsies at the LA SCBWI Conference!!!
Meeting my agent (Michelle Wolfson) and editor (Anica Rissi) for the first time. <3
The Class of 2k12!!!!!
Came home from a run to find my ARC’s had finally arrived!!! Such a squee moment!!!
Authors, Simon & Pulse friends and Writer Buds at the NY SCBWI Conference. <3
Bookmarks!!! Thanks Jeff Fielder.
Bringing my book to the Golf Bag Holder (Eastern PA Poconos Mountain Retreat with Jodi Moore.)
First book I ever signed went to Laurie Halse Anderson. Love her.
This made it feel so real.
Loved participating in the YAmazing Race with my Apocalypsies!!!
First author event, even before my book was out. LOL! With my buds from the Class of 2k12. <3
Making friends at BEA!!! Lisa and Kim.
First BEA was even sweeter because I got to spend time with my fabulous agent. <3
Blogger love <3 Finally got to meet Erica!!!!
Joining YA Outside the Lines.
It was a BEA Apocalypsie event of awesome.
Ummmm I got to hear JOHN GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!
Made amazing new blogger friends. Kim and Grace. <3
Hanging with Jay Asher at LA SCBWI–Dude, it was awesome.
Joining the Bookanistas!
Kimmiepoppins met Mary Poppins!!!! I met Julie Andrews!!!!
Signing my contract!!!!!! I AM GOING TO BE AN AUTHOR!!!
My book was at Bologna. Takes my breath away.
My Yanni dance girls wearing TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirts. <3
Signing books at my book launch.
Good friends drove in from far away despite all the trouble with Hurricane Sandy.
Just an amazing experience.
Unable to thank my friends and family enough for their love and support on that special day.
More book launch at Oblong Books. I LOVE that bookstore and everyone in it. <3
Dad–there–even when he couldn’t be. The dedication.
On bookshelves in bookstores.
Kimmiepoppins finally gets a book launch in NYC after Hurricane Sandy delayed it. Mean Hurricane–awesome party.
Woo hoo!!! I got to speak at the NY Public Library.
I’m a fangirl–it’s A.S. King people!!!!!
I’m a fangirl–it’s Sharon Creech people!!!!
My first SCBWI faculty gig at the Eastern NY SCBWI Conference–where I got paid to talk with my hands about things I love.
Connecting with teen readers and making hedgehogs. *grin*
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
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.
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!
*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!
*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.
Keynote–PANEL DISCUSSION: AN UNCENSORED DISCUSSION ON EDGY YA
*Be true to the work.
*Should the parent be the gate-keeper or do children effectively police their own reading material?
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
*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.
C Intensive–REAL REVISION: BIG PICTURE AND LINE BY LINE with Kate Messner
I LOVE Kate! That’s all.
*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
Stephanie, Megan and Kendra
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
Workshop G–THE ART OF THE OUTLINE with Elisabeth Papdemetriou
*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.
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!
Workshop H–THE POWER OF POINT OF VIEW with Linda Urban
She is hilarious by the way.
*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!!!!!
Katie chatting up the awesome Nova Ren Suma.
Sharon Creech signing for my friend’s daughter who is her BIGGEST FAN!!!!!
Of course I’m I HUGE fan too!!!!!
Jodi chatting with Jodi.
Kate Messner signing a book for the Fishkill Frogs!
Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of the MG novel ONE FOR THE MURPHYS, signing and making friends.
Greg Fishbone (Class of 2k7) and AC GaugheBrendan (Class of 2k12) hanging out
REVISING A CAREER: TIMING, TRUST & TEAMWORK with Brenda Reeves Sturgis, Emma Dryden and Karen Grenick
*Don’t quit–ever. <3
Some down time in the Sheraton while waiting for the Ballroom to open up.
The Books for Boston collection bin.
Check out some of the inspirational messages written in the books going to Boston.
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!)
*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*
*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!
*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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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…
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
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!
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!
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!
The Class of 2k12’s EPIC End-of-the-Year Giveaway is here!
Fiction that ROCKS!
Twenty authors. Twenty-one books. All for one lucky winner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you read any Class of 2k12 books this year? How many? Have a favorite? Were there any unexpected surprise? Do you still have one you’re dying to get your hands on? Let’s talk fiction that ROCKS!
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.