Saturday, May 29, 2010

The BEA Recap, Part 3

With the rise in YA and Children's Literature, this year's BEA included the second annual YA Editors' Buzz panel and the second annual kidlit drinks night.  In addition to the fabulously talented Jennifer Hoffine, I also got to spend time with some fabulous (non client) writers including Veronica Roth, Michelle Hodkin, and Kody Keplinger (who is so sweet I will forgive her for misquoting me).  And even though I was only there for a few hours, it was crowded enough and loud enough, I managed to have noticeably lost some of my voice the next day...and probably still.

But for the good part: the 5 Books from the YA Editors' Buzz Panel:

Plain Kate by Erin Bow, out 9/1/2010 from Arthur A. Levine Books.

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade" -- a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.


For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate's father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.


Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he'll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what's more, he'll grant her heart's wish. It's a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.


Matched by Ally Condie, out 11/30/2010 from Dutton.

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.


Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.


Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan, out 9/7/2010 from Harper Teen

Marked as special, Jacinda knows her every move is watched.  When she breaks the most sacred tenet of her kind, she nearly pays iwth her life, only to be spared by a beautiful stranger sent to hunt those like her.  For Jacinda is a draki - a descendant of dragons whose ability to shift into human form is her best defense.


Forced to flee into the mortal world, Jacinda struggles to adapt.  The one bright light is Will; Jacinda knows hse should avoid him at all costs - Will and his family are hunters - but the passion he stirs within her can't be ignored even if it means risking her life... With this provocative tale of supernatural desire and danger, Sophie Jordan introduces readers to an exciting world that will appeal to fans of Twilight, Fallen, and Evernight.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, out 9/7/2010 from Poppy.

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.


But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.


Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

And of course, I've read this one several times and can tell you, it's definitely one of my favorites.  Kody Keplinger is brilliant.


Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel, out 8/3/2010 from St. Martin's.

"Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than you...no one."


Those were some of Rhode's last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.


It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lay in the sun. Taste.


Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust.


I never expected to fall in love with someone else that wasn't Rhode.


But Justin was...daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream.


I never expected to be sixteen again...then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me...


Obviously, it sounds like we've got some good reads in YA coming up - not that anyone should be surprised. Stay tuned for the giveaways bound to come, and of course, the most important BEA post of all - How to Swag.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The BEA Recap, Part 2

After networking, the most valuable aspect of BEA (for me) is the variety of different panels.  Like all things in life, you have to find and sort the gold from the not so great, as far as panels go.  On Tuesday, the social networking panel was very disappointing and not at all what I was hoping for, but I managed to get some great information from several panels on ebooks and mobile apps, including a couple statistics I've been quoting consistently since (Did you know 8% of the adult US population bought an ebook in 2008, and 9% of the adult US population bought an ebook in 2009?  Compare that to the 54% that bought a print book in 2008 and 56% in 2009).

My favorite panels, though - last year and this year - were the Editors Buzz and YA Editors Buzz Panels. On both panels editors of some of the most anticipated fall books introduced the book and what made them fall in love with it.  If you weren't lucky enough to be there, here's what you should look forward to from The Editors' Buzz.

Room by Emma Donogue is being describe as The Lovely Bones meets The Incident of the Curious Dog at Nighttime, and with good reason.  It's out 9/13/2010.

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

I just finished reading Room last night, and It. Is. Amazing.  Audrey Niffenegger (love her!) says it best: "ROOM is a book to read in one sitting. When it’s over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days."

West of Here by Jonathon Evison comes out 2/15/2011.

Set in the fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington State's rugged Pacific coast, one part of West of Here is is set in 1890 and thereabouts.  In that era we meet an assortment of characters - dreamers, adventurers, explorers, opportunists - who settle this wild land, in the process pushing the Native Americans, for whom it has been home, literally to the edge of the ocean.  Running parallel to these story lines are those of the descendants of these settlers, now in 2006, forced to deal with teh realities of the deeds and misdeeds of their forefathers.

Juliet by Anne Fortier is a debut novel out 8/24/2010.

Juliet, an ambitious, utterly engaging historical novel on the scale of The Thirteenth Tale and The Birth of Venus, follows a young woman who discovers that her family’s origins reach all the way back to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.

When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?

I haven't started this one yet, but I can't wait to crack it open.  Alison Weir, the author of The Lady in the Tower said "We will never see Romeo and Juliet the same way again."

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale has been getting quite a bit of buzz, particularly for a particular romantic scene between the world's first talking chimpanzee and a woman who is his caretaker.  It will be published on in 2/2/2011.

Bruno Littlemore is quite unlike any chimpanzee in the world. Precocious, self-conscious and preternaturally gifted, young Bruno, born and raised in a habitat at the local zoo, falls under the care of a university primatologist named Lydia Littlemore. Learning of Bruno's ability to speak, Lydia takes Bruno into her home to oversee his education and nurture his passion for painting. But for all of his gifts, the chimpanzee has a rough time caging his more primal urges. His untimely outbursts ultimately cost Lydia her job, and send the unlikely pair on the road in what proves to be one of the most unforgettable journeys -- and most affecting love stories -- in recent literature.


And for the non-fiction in the group, there were two titles:

Bad Science by Dr. Ben Goldacre, out 10/12/2010.


Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren’t medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what’s, well, just more bullshit?

Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. But he has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window in its quest to sell more copies. Now Goldacre is taking on America and its bad science in this revised version of his runaway U.K. bestseller. But he’s not here just to tell you what’s wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample size, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You’re about to feel a whole lot better.

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddartha Mukherjee.  This Biography of Cancer comes out 11/16/2010.




In The Emperor of All Maladies,  Siddhartha Mukherjee, physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion.  the result is an astonishing lucid and eloquen chronicle of a disease humans have lived with - and perished from - for more than five thousand years.

The BEA Recap, Part 1

I'm just not as talented as Janet Reid.  At least not yet.  (Though I did have a few Janet Reid-esque moments when people on the floor at BEA recognized me as "Suzie Townsend, the agent!" which was flattering and a little disconcerting at the same time.)

Anyway, when I was running around like crazy during the past three days of BEA, getting up before 5 am and getting home at midnight, Janet was doing the same thing.  The difference?  When I got home, I collapsed into bed.  When Janet got home, she blogged about it.  (For Janet's recaps of Day 1, Day 2, More Day 2, and Day 3)

One of the coolest aspects of BEA is the sheer amount of people who come into NY from out of town for BEA and for some of the events surrounding it.  I finally got to me the fabulously talented Jennifer Hoffine (who was the first writer willing to sign with me!) in addition to tons of amazing writers, industry professionals, teachers, and librarians who I'd only before interacted with via email or phone.

At the Teen Author Carnival (organized by the always inspiring Mitali Dave, Korianne Wey, & Devyn Burton - three fantastic teen bloggers), I heard 30 YA authors talk about their books and answer audience questions, including none other than The Kody Keplinger, whose debut novel The DUFF comes out this September.



Kody was part of the Teen Love panel, along with a few of my favorite authors including Elizabeth Scott, Simone Elkeles, and several more.  They talked about everything from their writing (outlining vs. winging it) to their own love experiences (and first dates!) and literary crushes (Kody and I both share our love of Mr. Darcy).  It was an amazing night, and I hope this event becomes a long-standing event for YA authors and and readers (and fangirls, like me).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Release Day!

Brains: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker comes out today.

College-professor-cum-zombie Jack Barnes is a different breed of undead—he can think. In fact, he can even write. And the story he has to tell is a truly disturbing—yet strangely heartwarming—one.


Convinced he'll bring about a peaceful coexistence between zombies and humans if he can demonstrate his unique condition to Howard Stein, the man responsible for the zombie virus, Barnes sets off on a grueling cross-country journey to meet his maker. Along the way he recruits a small army of "super" zombies that will stop at nothing to reach their goal. There's Guts, the dreadlocked boy who can run like the wind; Joan, the matronly nurse adept at reattaching decaying appendages; Annie, the young girl with a fierce quick-draw; and Ros, who can actually speak. United they embark on an epic quest to attain what all men, women—and, apparently, zombies—yearn for: equality.


Brains is a blood-soaked, darkly humorous story that will have readers rooting for Barnes and his zombie posse to the very end.

And Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest project, which I can't wait to pick up, a new YA novel featuring Nick Gautier, one of the principle characters from her Dark Hunter novels: Infinity: Chronicles of Nick.


At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.


Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.


But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.


As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

Check out the book trailer:


And read an excerpt here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Yield to Janet (this time)


Contest Winner to be announced....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

YOU Contest Closed.

A winner will be announced this week after I consult with The Janet Reid and the herpet American assistant.  There are too many hysterical entries to choose from - there's no way I can do this alone.

In the meantime, while you're waiting to find out what The Janet Reid plans to do to get back at me (I'm sure it will be pretty brilliant), check out Charles Benoit's website and blog to learn more about the ARC I risked the mean and sharkly wrath to steal.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

a writing challenge for YOU - take 2!

You know the brilliant and fabulous mean and sharkly colleague of mine The Janet Reid.




You saw her contest to win a copy of an ARC for the amazing and life-changing YOU by Charles Benoit.




You may have even entered to win.




You thought she could get away with tormenting me with limericks.  (And she is an excellent limerick writer, is she not?)




But you underestimated the trouble with godsends.  And you underestimated me.




I've officially hijacked YOU and her contest.  See evidence below.









If you want to win the ARC (you should), there are new rules.


Your challenge? 100 words that describe what Janet is going to do now.


Rules:
100 words or fewer.


Answers/entries must be posted to the comment column of this post.


You may lie, cheat, steal and bribe to get info.


You may collaborate and collude.


You may work in groups or alone.


Points are awarded for originality and correct use of second person POV.


Extra points for using the words "gnaw" "chomp" "minions" and "herpet American assistant" or for starting with the first line of the book "You're surprised at all the blood."


You have 24 hours (that's three extra hours!).  The contest now closes at 3:00 pm on Sunday May 23rd.




Prize (and here's the best part): the winner gets the ARC of YOU.  (And don't worry, I will make sure The Janet Reid knows you are completely innocent.  I will bear the full measure of her sharkly wrath).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oh. My. God.

Janet Reid has stolen a copy of You by Charles Benoit.



Several months ago, she told me to go out and steal a copy.  Because of the Goddess of Harper Marketing and Publicity, I managed to get my hands on an ARC without stealing (promise).  Then I read it.  And realized why The Janet Reid was advocating such actions.

I have since been passing said ARC around the office and taunting people with it.  (Oh, wait, that might not be me, that might be something the mean and sharkly one would do.)

In fact, it appears the oh so fabulous and benevolent mean and sharkly Janet Reid is going to give away the stolen copy of You on her blog if you can tell her where she hid it (No hints here.  I don't want to get gnawed.) 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Poseur by Rachel Maude

I finished reading Poseur by Rachel Maude last week, and found it fun and addictive read.  I can see myself burning through the rest of the series while lounging on the beach, preferably somewhere down in the Caribbean (though not sure I'll get down there any time soon...).


po•seur (noun): a person who pretends to be what he or she is not.


Charlotte Beverwil, Janie Farrish, Melissa Moon, and Petra Greene attend exclusive Winston Prep in the Hollywood Hills. And that's all they have in common. But hang out together? They'd rather be hanged. Borrow one another's clothes? They'd sooner borrow a zit. So when these four sophomores are forced into a class to create their own fashion label, they Clash with a capital C. Janie thinks Melissa and Charlotte are Beverly Hills brats. They dismiss Janie as a Valley rat in sheep's clothing. And Petra, well . . . Petra couldn't care less. Can a cool coquette, a shy punk, a hippie goddess, and a ghettoglam egomaniac make beautiful couture together? At Winston Prep, survival of the fittest comes down to who fits in-and what fits.


Introducing a juicy new series from the publisher of the national bestselling series Gossip Girl, The Clique, The It Girl, and The A-List.  Includes Do-It-Yourself instructions by NYC fashion label Compai and fashion sketches throughout by the author.

GIVEAWAY
This is your chance to win a copy of Poseur. Just comment below and leave your name - and your email address so I know how to find you.

Extra entries:
+1 New followers
+2 If you're already a follower
+1 Linking to my contest on your blog, twitter, etc. Include links. (up to 5)
+3 For posting about my contest on your blog. (Must be actual post)
+2 Add me to your blog roll
+3 for referring someone to the contest
+3 for being the person referred

This contest is open internationally! It will end June 5th at 11:59 pm Eastern time. Winner will be announced June 6th. Good luck and happy entering!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ten Things Agents Think When Reading Your Query

Check out the post Cheryl Angst did, reflecting on one literary agent's list of ten things that go through her head when reading slush.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Haunting Emma - The New Series by Lee Nichols

This weekend I just finished reading Deception by Lee Nichols, the first in the Haunting Emma Series, a new YA paranormal series by author Lee Nichols.

And I loved it.  It's the perfect combination of prep school Gossip Girl-esque drama and paranormal suspense and mystery.  Emma is a fantastic character who came alive for me on the first page, and I identified with her crush on Bennett and her search to feel like she belonged.

When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.


After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain, as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.






GIVEAWAY
This is your first of two chance to win a copy of Deception.  Just comment below and leave your name - and your email address so I know how to find you.




Extra entries:
+1 New followers
+2 If you're already a follower
+1 Linking to my contest on your blog, twitter, etc. Include links. (up to 5)
+3 For posting about my contest on your blog. (Must be actual post)
+2 Add me to your blog roll
+3 for referring someone to the contest
+3 for being the person referred

This contest is open internationally! It will end May 30th at 11:59 pm Eastern time. Winner will be announced May 31st. Good luck and happy entering!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Query Recap

It's official.  My inbox is back to 0.  *sigh of relief*  I sat down at 7:45 and read all of my queries, with only one quick twitter break.

Queries I answered today: 333

Requested: 16

Of those...

4 Paranormal YA (one where the main character and love interest don't have supernatural abilities!)
Paranormal Mystery YA (where the mystery is the focus)
Dystopian YA (ohmygod, the writing!)
YA Fantasy/Retelling (very unique)
Contemporary YA
2 Adult Urban Fantasy (one, a la Jim Butcher's Dresden Files)
3 Contemporary MG
Middle Grade Fantasy (even though it might be about 10K words too long)
Adult Historical Romance
Adult Paranormal Romance


Of the ones I passed on...

Referred to a colleague: 1

Too similar to a current project: 6

Writer was really looking for a publicist: 1

Not my genre: 6

Novella: 1

Short Story Collection: 1

Word count too high: 4

Word count too low: 6

Query was sent as an attachment (email was blank): 2

Um, I think this was a query...: 1

Liked the idea, but didn't connect to the voice in the pages: 19

Couldn't ascertain what the book was about: 19

Just not for me: all the rest


My 3 biggest pet peeves about queries today:

3. Don't tell me things about myself.  I already know who I am...or you should hope I do.  And, you could be wrong, and isn't that embarrassing!?    And don't tell me what I'm looking for.  I know that too - show me instead in your query that your manuscript has those things I'm looking for.

2. What is the point of using a super hard to read font?  Too small, too elaborate (Eduardian Script, really?), too light (light gray?) all equals too hard to read.

1. Don't open your query with "Imagine...." or ask me a bunch of rhetorical questions - it's how my high school freshmen used to start the introduction of their first essay of the year.  It makes me cringe.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Must Check Out Site

Check out all the amazing auction items at Do the Write Thing For Nashville, and help three fabulous writers raise money for flood relief in Nashville!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY



Contest Winner - THE DAUGHTERS by Joanna Philbin

My Joanna Philbin Contest has now officially come to a close.

I'm excited to be giving away a copy of The Daughters the first book in the new series. After using the Research Randomizer,the winner is...

Josin L McQuein. Check out her blog!

Congratulations. I've sent you an email. Send me your address so I can ship out your new book! :)

This. Is. Hysterical.

And not related to books at all, but it's okay.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Validated

After reading Finnikin of the Rock by the brilliant Melina Marchetta twice, I sent the book to a friend and said "You HAVE to Read This!"

Two days later, I got a package and the book back from her, with this:

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?