Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Teen Author Reading Night Tomorrow at Downtown Los Angeles Public Library

On Thursday, February 28th (tomorrow!), I'll be participating in the LAPL's Teen Author Reading Night alongside Amy Spalding (THE REECE MALCOLM LIST), Jessica Brody (UNREMEMBERED), and Michelle Gagnon (DONT TURN AROUND), and hosted by Cecil Castellucci.

We'll be reading excerpts from our new novels, chatting about books in general, and answering questions. Tomorrow also marks the one-year anniversary of the downtown library's Teen Author Reading Nights program. Doors open at 6:30; event starts at 7pm.

Thanks to Mary McCoy for helping to organize it!

Click here for more information. Hope you can make it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Creating Great Dialogue in YA Books

What were you up to in fall of 2011? I apparently did an online video interview with Author Learning Center. It was uploaded this past week, so care to take a trip down memory lane with me?

In the below video, I discuss writing dialogue in YA books.

Fun facts: In late 2011, I was pregnant and had very short hair. I know! Crazy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"What the...?!" Wednesday #3: What Goes Into Planning a Launch Party?

I should probably explain what a launch party is first.

A launch party is a way for an author to celebrate the release of his or her book and get the word out to the community that a local writer has made good [aka lives among them and can't be trusted not to eavesdrop]. The party takes place at a book store so the author can sign copies for friends, family, and (gasp) strangers.

Some authors like to include a reading or Q&A session before the signing. Some authors provide raffles, trivia games, or other entertainment. Some authors offer champagne, wine, and snacks. Some authors -- wait. I think nightly readings of The Mommy Book by Todd Parr have bled over into my syntax. Anyway, you get the idea.


Planning a launch party requires advance prep work. I live in the suburbs, and I really wanted to celebrate the launch of BRUISED at my local bookstore. The Valencia Barnes & Noble is a warm, inviting place I go to almost every week. I also attend monthly SCBWI shmoozes there, so I knew I'd feel comfortable throwing the party there, and that memories of the event would make me smile in the future while browsing the stacks or hitting up Saturday story time with my son.

Even though my book doesn't come out until March 5, I contacted the community relations manager, Joelle, last November to introduce myself and my book, and ask if the store might host me.

Because the holidays are crazy in retail, we agreed to discuss the details after the new year. In the meantime, Joelle graciously booked me for Saturday, March 16th, so I could begin spreading the word.

Once January rolled around, Joelle and I got together in person to go over some basics. I brought her a copy of BRUISED for her and her staff to read (they're apparently big YA fans, yay!), a review I'd recently gotten from Publishers Weekly, and some postcards.

Barnes & Noble would be putting up posters in the window to advertise, and I offered to print fresh bookmarks for customers to take home in the month leading up to the launch.

There were also a few smaller items that needed discussing, like decorations, table cloths, gift bags, chair locations, book displays, etc. Joelle gave me a list of people worth contacting, which was an enormous help. She knows all the local librarians and book club organizers, and she even got me in touch with the host of a radio show about the arts in Santa Clarita.

I've been gathering fun items to raffle off, including signed swag and even a few ARCs from fellow 2013 debut authors Amy Spalding, Kristen Kittscher, Cat Winters, Elisabeth Dahl, Rachele Alpine, Nicole McInnes, Polly Holyoke, and more. I'm really looking forward to the celebration!

If you live in or near Los Angeles, consider this your invite. My launch party takes place on Saturday, March 16th from 1 to 3 pm at the Valencia, CA Barnes & Noble.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cruisin' for a Bruisin' (Sorry. Really.) BRUISED Links

Here's my latest book news:

1. BRUISED received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

2. The book comes out in 1 month! You can pre-order it all sorts of ways.

3. I have one last ARC (advance readers copy) and I'm giving it away on GoodReads.

4. Read an exclusive excerpt from the book at Alice Marvel's site.

5. "Readers in Wonderland" blog reviewed BRUISED as part of their Debut Author Challenge series.

6. If you take a picture of BRUISED out in the wild (aka at a library or a bookstore) and send it to me, I'll mail you a limited edition signed bookmark. (Limited edition because I ran out of money.) (But they look really cool.)

To get a bookmark, just tweet me the photo, post it on my Facebook Page, or email it to me: bruisedbook [at] gmail [dot] com