Good news! My friend and agency-sister Sashi Kaufman has a book out tomorrow. It’s called THE OTHER WAY AROUND (Lerner/http://www.jodimeadows.com/Carolrhoda Lab) and I’m here to give you an exclusive look at the real Sashi Kaufman.
There’s no way you can prepare yourself for this awesome, so sit down and hang on.
2. Oh my gosh. You own the flashy! So, you just saved twenty small children from a bus about to tip over the side of the Golden Gate Bridge (or something). What do you do now?
Distribute homemade potato flour donuts and coloring books with fresh pointy crayons.
3. Gosh. Could fresh pointy crayons be more perfect? That will keep all the children busy until their parents arrive! Oh, I forgot to ask: what is your superpower?
I can fly, natch. And I have the ability to exist within any fiction book of my choosing.
4. That is so cool! What is your favorite kind of pen? (You can answer as Superhero Sashi or your alter-ego.)
I like “found” pens and by that I mean any unclaimed pen that I happen upon. Sometimes the line between that and stealing gets a little fuzzy, but I’m always on the side of justice and finders keepers.
5. Fuzzy like the line of a found pen that’s almost out of ink? Ahem. Last question: if you (Superhero Sashi) were going to recommend your book to us, how would you make us read it?
My book is best read in an enormous quilted hammock hung between two pine trees on the rocky Maine coast on a sunny, seventy degree, insect-free day. It is also best read in three sittings with delicious snacks between each course.
That sounds perfect, and I will definitely keep it in mind as I read my copy! Thanks so much for sharing these details of your superhero life with us, Sashi!
Obviously, for the sake of Sashi’s loved ones, her bio is a little more normal:
Sashi is a middle school English and science teacher who lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and daughter. Her debut YA novel The Other Way Around is launching on March 1st. She is also an amateur trash picker.
About THE OTHER WAY AROUND:
Andrew has seen a flash of his future. (Dad: unfinished PhD. Mom: unfulfilling career. Their marriage: unsuccessful.) Based on what he’s seen, he’s uninspired to put a foot on the well-worn path to the adulthood everyone expects of him. There must be another way around.
After a particularly disastrous Thanksgiving (his cousin wets Andrew’s bed; his parents were too chicken to tell him his grandmother died), Andrew accidentally (on purpose) runs away and joins the circus. Kind of.
A guy can meet the most interesting people at the Greyhound station at dinnertime on Thanksgiving day. The Freegans are exactly the kinds of friends (living out of an ancient VW camper van, dumpster diving, dressing like clowns and busking for change) who would have Andrew’s mom reaching for a third glass of Chardonnay. To Andrew, five teenagers who seem like they’ve found another way to grow up are a dream come true. But as the VW winds its way across the USA, the future is anything but certain.
The path of least resistance is a long, strange trip.
The other day I realized that I’ve been so busy lately I’ve been neglecting this blog. I didn’t even post on INFINITE’s release day! So, here’s some catching up:
1. INFINITE is out! That’s an entire series of books. That’s amazing. I still can’t believe it’s real. When I go into bookstores and see my books there, I feel weirdly disconnected, like it’s someone else’s life. I’m not sure it will ever feel quite real.
But with all three books out, I get to make pretty piles of books like this.
And it never gets old.
For the release of INFINITE, I went to Austin, Texas (Round Rock, specifically) with author Brodi Ashton. We signed books at The Book Spot (where there may be a few signed copies leftover if you want to order them). We did a couple of presentations at my former high school, which was really cool — and kind of amazing, since they built a new school recently and it’s enormous.
It was a wonderful trip, filled with family and friends and airport hi-jinx. Unfortunately, the sky dumped a foot of snow on Virginia exactly at the time I was supposed to do some local-ish events with a few other friends, and I’m not brave enough to do that much driving in scary weather. But I’ll make it up to you, Virginia and North Carolina.
2. I’ve been working my tail off on THE ORPHAN QUEEN! One of the reasons I was so busy during release time is that we were really pushing the deadline for this manuscript, trying to make it as polished as possible before turning it in to copyedits.
So, I can’t tell you much about the novel yet, but here are a couple things you might be interested to know:
- I’ve seen a few cover comps (drafts, not final) for this first book and you guys are going to scream when you see the final thing. Scream. It’s going to be so cool and amazing. The tone of the cover is very different from the INCARNATE covers, but, well, it’s a different series. And there’s definitely something spectacular about it that you’re all going to be talking about.
- There’s going to be a surprise inside! Well, not a huge surprise, considering the type of book it is, but it’s something that I’ve always dreamed of having in one of my books.
- It’s officially (I think) a Winter 2015 book. I don’t think it has an official release date yet, but Winter means anywhere from January to the first half of April. So it’s only a year away!
Since the final draft is officially off to the copyeditor, I’m back to work full time on OQ2! It’s about halfway finished (I think, wordcount wise, but the amount of story left to tell is a little intimidating) and I’m excited!
3. Because I know all of you are wondering how the real stars of this show are doing — the ferrets! Well, Katniss is fully acclimated to the ferret room now. A week or so before I left for INFINITE traveling, she started snuggling with Todd, and he seemed to not mind. I kept them separate when I wasn’t around, but Todd gradually got over his dislike of her, and she gradually got over her (completely warranted) distrust of him. I left her little cage up while I was gone, but reports from Hubs indicate that she slept in the big cage with the boys. A few days after I got home, I took down the little cage (which caused some panic).
So, all is well in ferret land. They play. They snuggle. They cause trouble.
I’ve been hiding something from you. Someone.
Her name is Katniss. She’s a ferret.
So the ferret business is up to three. Todd, Hiro, and Katniss.
Good news! POOR LITTLE DEAD GIRLS by Lizzie Friend releases today! Lizzie is part of Clan MacLeod — authors represented by Lauren MacLeod (my agent!), so of course the entire Clan was excited and eager to celebrate. But as things do within the Clan, it all got a little out of hand.
Harmless writer pranks, or murder games? You decide.
Mónica B. W.
Perfect people aren’t just born. They’re made.
The first time she is blindfolded and kidnapped, star-athlete and posh boarding school newbie Sadie is terrified. She wakes up in a dark room surrounded by hushed whispers, hooded strangers, and a mysterious voice whispering not-so-sweet nothings in her ear.
But once the robes come off, she realizes it’s just an elaborate prank designed to induct her into the group that’s been pulling the strings at Keating Hall for generations. The circle has it all–incredible connections; fabulous parties; and, of course, an in with the brother society’s gorgeous pledges.
The instant popularity is enough to make Sadie forget about the unexplained marks on her body, the creepy ceremonial rituals, and the incident that befell one of her teammates the year before. So the next time Sadie is kidnapped, she isn’t scared, but she should be. The worst of Keating Hall is yet to come.
Last night, the cover for INFINITE in German appeared on the internet! So because I love seeing covers all lined up, and I assume you do too, here they are!
What does it all mean? The series title is THE SEA OF SOULS, and the book titles are ONLY ONE LIFE, ONLY ONE LOVE, and ONLY ONE NIGHT.
It’s time for another Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway!
What are these? Reviewer Appreciation Giveaways are something I do every now and then to show my love for the people who take the time to write reviews of books, and share those reviews on various websites. I know reviewing takes a lot of work, and I’m so, so grateful for everyone who’s been so generous with their time.
This time, I’m giving away an ARC of INFINITE, and the book I want you to review is my digital novella, PHOENIX OVERTURE.
So, how does one enter a Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway?
1. Read PHOENIX OVERTURE.
2. Write a review for PHOENIX OVERTURE. (Let’s call anything that’s at least four sentences long a review.)
3. Post that review everywhere: YABC, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Book Depository, Shelfari, LibraryThing, your blog, your Tumblr, even Facebook. If you have an account with international bookstores (like Amazon.uk or .ca), post it there, too. It’ll count! (These are just the places I’m thinking of off the top of my head, but feel free to post your review more places.)
4. Keep links of the places you post your review.
5. Fill out the Rafflecopter. (Some like B&N don’t let you direct link. It’s okay. Just tell me your name there and it will count.) (Note: one of the “review” options is marked for three points, and mandatory. The others are optional, and you may leave as few or as many as you like. Please no duplicates. To enter this giveaway, you must leave a link for a review in the first option. If there aren’t enough additional options for your overachieving self, let me know before you enter, and I will add more.)
6. The more links you post, the better chance you have of winning.
7. This will run from now (November 18) to December 16.
8. On December 16, I will activate the Rafflecopter and randomly select a winner.
9. Yes, this is international.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Today is kind of an important day for me, and it has nothing to do with costumes or candy.
Um, well, I guess it does. Sort of. Let me explain.
Ten years ago tonight, after my husband had gone to work the night shift, I turned off all the lights and booted up my old laptop. I don’t know what it was, but something about tonight made me realize that I’d been saying for years that I wanted to be a writer. And if I wanted to be a writer, I should actually — you know — write.
I pulled out the manuscript I’d been sort of working on for the last year, and I joined an online writing workshop (smartly called the Online Writing Workshop for SFFH). I began writing, critiquing, and learning.
It was not a fast process, but I worked hard — harder than I’d worked on anything in my life.
Four years ago tonight, I finished the biggest points of worldbuilding and plotting for a new trilogy I wanted to write. I almost waited until November 1 to start it — not as a NaNo project, but just because it was the beginning of the next month — until I remembered what night it was: the night I’d made the decision to be a writer, and to follow my dreams. I started writing the first draft of INCARNATE right then.
This anniversary is all about new beginnings: deciding to write full time; taking on a challenging story I’d been too scared to write before; and a story about the newest thing in the world.
To celebrate, I want to do some giveaways. (US only.)* They are, of course, themed.
In INCARNATE, Ana is new, and deals with a lot of things for the first time.
To win a signed paperback of INCARNATE, write a blog post about a time you were new to something, or somewhere, and how you dealt with it. Your post should be at least 200 words long (about two or three paragraphs), use the image above, and link back to this post. Then grab your link and fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
In ASUNDER, Ana takes a stand for something she believes in, in spite of intense opposition. To win a signed hardcover of ASUNDER, write a blog post about a time you stood up for something you believed in, and the punishment for your good deed. How did you deal with it? Your post should be at least 200 words, use the image above, and link back to this post. Then grab your link and fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
In INFINITE, Ana goes on an epic journey, facing unknowable dangers as she makes what might be the most important choice in her world.
To win a signed ARC of INFINITE, write a blog post about a time you went on an adventure, or made a difficult decision that would impact the rest of your life. Your post should be at least 200 words, use the image above, and link back to this post. Then grab your link and fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
*All of these giveaways are US-only. I’m really sorry; I love my international readers, but I do not love the cost of shipping. There will be (and have been) other giveaways open internationally.
- The giveaways are open for one month.
- You can enter one, two, or all three, but if you enter multiple, the posts need to be separate entries. You can’t enter all three giveaways with one post.
- If you want to write more than 200 words for your story, that’s great! 200 words is just the minimum.
- If you win INCARNATE or ASUNDER but you already have those books and you really want INFINITE, I can probably be persuaded to let you trade for INFINITE.
Let me know if you have any questions!
The title translates to Newsoul, which is all kinds of appropriate. Funnily enough, when I was renaming Ana way back, my editor and I went through a ton of name ideas, including both Alma and Nova. I love that both words made it into the title in Brazil. (And no, I didn’t tell them about those name ideas!)
If you want to read Incarnate in Portuguese, here are a couple of places to order!
Big thanks to Editora Valentina for believing in the series so much, my fantastic translator Ana Rezende (high five for such a fab name!), and Carina of the marketing department for always keeping me so informed about what’s going on with my books in Brazil.
Hey Brazil! I hope you enjoy ALMANOVA!
I was curious about your writing BEFORE you published your books. Did you submit stories to magazines, anthologies, contests, etc and have anything else published before your books? Did you take a bunch of writing classes or get a degree? I read the author section of books I get all the time and most of them have some kind of degree for writing/English and since I don’t sometimes it can be…discouraging for someone like me when I rarely see authors that don’t have the degree.
These are great questions! Getting published is a different journey for everyone and there is no one true path. Decades ago — and in more literary circles today — the standard advice was to submit short stories for publication in magazines and anthologies, and try to attract the attention of an agent or novel editor. I actually do know people who’ve done that fairly recently, but the market has changed a lot, and while you can take that path, it certainly isn’t the only path available.
So, my path: With the exception of a few articles in my small-town newspaper when I was in high school, I didn’t have anything published before INCARNATE.
In 2003, I quit college, moved to Virginia, and got married — and I started writing full time. I joined the Online Writing Workshop, made writing friends, and began developing my critiquing skills along with my writing. I wrote for several years before an agent wanted to represent my work, but we ended up parting ways without selling anything. Then, I worked as a slush reader for an agent, which was like a crash course in identifying strong premises and writing. I learned a ton.
It wasn’t until Fall 2009 that I wrote my seventeenth completed manuscript — INCARNATE — and March 2010 that I got a new agent. We accepted an offer from HarperCollins in July 2010.
But along the way, I gathered quite the pile of rejections and, more importantly, experience.
See, I know people who’ve gone to school for writing, and it was the right thing. I know people who’ve gone to school for other things and switched to writing, and it worked out. I know others who’ve gone to school for other things and are still in school for those things while they’re writing, and it’s just fine, too. And I know others who, like me, decided to jump right in.
There is no single right way, except writing. Whatever you do, if you want to be a writer, you must write. You must read. The other stuff just depends on you and what you want to do.
In a way, what I went through was a little like school. I learned from the books I was reading, and from the other writers around me. I sent hundreds of queries, which one might think of as agents grading my paper. When I began to show improvement in my writing, their rejections began to change as well. At first, I got form notes. Eventually, I started getting more personalized ones. And then the kind that come with compliments and “please try me with the next project.” The whole time, there were agents (and writer friends!) watching my progress and waiting, wanting me to succeed.
I’m still learning. Getting published definitely made me feel as though I’d leveled up, but I’ve had even more tests since I signed that contract with my agent. The tests seem to be getting more difficult, too, which is another reason I’m grateful for my long — at least long to me — path to publication. It helped prepare me for the next part in my publication journey: staying published.
So, back to your question! Don’t worry about what others have done or say you should do. You’ll make your own path.
Good news! I have a few signing events coming up, and I’d love to see you at one (or all, if you’re a friendly stalker) of them!
If you can’t make it to an event but you want a signed book, both Fountain Bookstore and Hooray for Books will ship. (Just make sure you tell them you want a signed copy!)
October 4, 2013 – 7:00pm – With Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton at Barnes and Noble The Court @ Oxford Valley in Fairless Hills, PA.
October 5, 2013 - 2:00pm – With Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton at the Massannutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg, VA.
October 6, 2013 - 2:00pm – With Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA.
October 26, 2013 - 3:30pm – With Phoebe North, Ellen Oh, Alex London, and Cristin Terrill at Hooray for Books in Alexandria, VA.
November 9, 2013 – Time TBA – Crozet Library Book Fair, at Barnes and Noble in Charlottesville, VA.
December 7, 2013 – Time TBA – Fluvana High School Book Fair, at Barnes and Noble in Charlottesville, VA.
December 8, 2013 – Time TBA – Orange County High School Book Fair, at Barnes and Noble in Charlottesville, VA.
This isn’t necessarily a complete list for the rest of the year, so I may add more events! I will update as that happens.
Getting to meet readers face to face is one of the best parts of my job, so even if I’m not coming to your area, be patient. I’m working on my INFINITE tour schedule, and adding cities to my event wishlist every day. One day, I hope to make it everywhere!