It’s that time of month where we check in with our authors to see where they our on their publishing adventure!
Every 3rd Wed of the month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wonder how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.
Let’s check on our authors to see what they have been up too!
1. Dear Martin’s cover had just recently been revealed and it’s gorgeous! Did you have any say on what the cover would look like?
Eek! Thanks! I had quite a bit of say: the image of the boy was taken by my husband in our living room! The concept wasn’t mine (though I loved it), and the designer went through a couple of iterations before deciding to put an actual human on the cover, but once that decision was made, I chose the model, and my photographer husband took the images. I even got to pick the exact photo they used. (This is a DREAM scenario, by the way.)
2 . Dear Martin is receiving fabulous reviews! How does it feel that readers are loving your book?
I’ll be honest: I haven’t read literally any reviews. I’m… not ready. Lol! Lovely to hear people are loving it though!
3. What are you currently reading?
Lots of Middle Grade! Right now it’s The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill (this year’s Newberry winner) and Bloomability by Sharon Creech. I’m in edits on my 2018 release, so I have to read stuff that isn’t YA contemporary.
The Sandcastle Empire is almost 4 months away from being published, what are you doing to get ready for it?
It’s *less* than 4 months away, at this point—how is that even possible?! Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the events I want to do when the book comes out—my launch party, for example, in addition to some details-still-to-be-determined events at a handful of bookstores around Texas, at the very least! I also just placed an order for a limited batch of special TSE-related items, since I have some fun giveaways coming up over the next few months. (Watch my Twitter/Instagram for info about those!) Speaking of Instagram, I’ve been really loving it lately—I did the #igauthorlifejan challenge last month, and for February, I’m participating in #authorlifemonth; it’s been really fun to post on a daily basis, and to get to know other authors through those hashtags. I’m @authorkaylaolson there, if we’re not already connected!
Eden has only 3 possessions to her name, what would you have if you were stranded on an island?
Oh, man. Great (but difficult!) question! The practical side of me wants to say obvious survival-y things like a knife, some flint for starting fire, and a water bottle like Eden has in the book (it has a special desalinating/sanitizing filter built right in)! I’d also wish for my family, but if I’m stranded there, I’m guessing that means I’d have to be alone? Let’s see. For now, I’ll go the comforts-I’d-miss-terribly route: the hair products that keep my curls from freaking out; a giant stockpile of dark chocolate (chocolate that is also somehow melt-proof, since it might be hot and sunny on said island); and…a crate loaded up with my French press/lots of coffee/a pot to boil water in/my favorite mug, a glass one with gold sparkles on it. (How tragic would it be to have all the stuff to make coffee, but not a mug to drink it in, now that I’m thinking about it? I’d have to, like, repurpose a giant shell, or something. I would not be above that.)
What are you reading?
I’m reading Carlie Sorosiak’s next book, which won’t be out until next year—it’s fantastic so far, though, which is utterly unsurprising. Carlie’s debut IF BIRDS FLY BACK comes out in June, a few weeks after mine, and is still one of my favorites out of all the 2017 debuts I’ve read so far!
1. What have you been working on this month?
Going through copy edits for THE WISHING HEART while in between working on finishing drafting my WIP. Then I will sleep for a month. Well, until May when TWH releases!
2. What are you currently reading?
Just finished OF FIRE & STARS and I’m so appreciative of having more YA fantasy with queer rep to choose from. That HAVE happy endings.
3. What is your greatest wish for The Wishing Heart when it reaches readers hands?
This story is very special to me on so many levels. In it’s simplest form it is about an unloved girl looking for it through wishes. It is a reflection of my own experiences growing up, at a time where I felt invisible, depressed, hiding who I was, and going through a period of feeling unloved, where I looked to stories to fill that hole. So my greatest wish is that THE WISHING HEART will reach the hearts who need it. Stories can be healing. They are for me, including writing this one. And if I had a book like TWH back then it might have made life more bearable, reassuring me that I mattered.
There are so many marginalized writers and my hope is that more of us are given the opportunity to tell our stories, and reach those who need them. Because diverse stories aren’t a fad, and WE aren’t going anywhere.
1. What have you been working on?
The last week and a half, I’ve been working on edits on a novella for the series. I got comments back from a beta reader and am fixing things. I’m hoping to send it to another beta reader by the end of the week. I’ve also been dealing with real life–I got to visit two of my best friends for a long weekend. And one of my puppies sprained her leg. Which means I have to constantly monitor her to make sure she’s not making it worse. It’s harder and more time consuming than you’d think!
Since I don’t have a deadline on my back right now, I’ve also been trying to prioritize taking care of my body by sleeping more when I need it, taking baths, going to yoga classes, not aggravating migraines. Trying to let myself heal and recover from December’s whirlwind 🙂
In the meantime, I’ve been marketing, marketing, and more marketing. I’ve made bookmarks, postcards, ordered tea and other sundries, put together giveaway packs, pre-order prizes, and been organizing a tea tour! I found out I might be speaking at two other events this year. I’ve been coordinating and brainstorming for that.
3. What are you currently reading?
I’ve been researching a little for this novella by turning to some of my favorite YA sci-fi reads. But I’ve also been on an epic fantasy kick. I read 4 Robin Hobb novels in the last month as well as 2-3 of Brandon Sanderson’s. I’ve read Spy Ski School by Stuart Gibbs and Glitter and An Abundance of Katherines. I also finally buckled down to read Ursula’s Le Guin’s book on writing and The Story Genius.
I’m currently scheduling launch parties (yes, plural!) for the week my book comes out, sending out pre-order giveaways (http://www.rosalyneves.com/blood-rose-rebellion-preorders/), working on edits for book 2 and trying not to panic too much.
2. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Stacey Lee’s THE SECRET OF A HEART NOTE, which is a lovely contemporary departure from her previous historical fiction. I just finished Jared Reck’s A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, which comes out this fall from Knopf, and made me cry and laugh–a rare combination.
1. You have 1 more month until A Psalm For Lost Girls comes out! How have you been preparing?
I’m keeping cool (mostly). I had a long wait to my pub date—the book sold back in April 2015—so got a lot of things out of the way early. (Have you heard of precrastinators? Those are the weirdos who get things done early because deadlines freak us out. I am one!)
These past couple of weeks, I’ve been able to focus on the fun stuff: pairing up with author/visual artist Dana Walrath to create a saint card with an original psalm (by me, of course). Everyone who preorders from my local indie will get a gorgeous limited-edition print. I’ll be announcing a giveaway soon too, so watch for details in Twitter and Instagram!
Also in the works: a whole bunch of readings, festivals, and writing workshops for teens. I’m excited to be teaming up with authors I adore (including Marianna Baer, Julie Berry, and Jandy Nelson) for a couple of events… and to be leading teen workshops in communities close to my heart, including the mall where I had my first job and my old high school! It’s turning into quite the tour. (Here’s a sneak peek. I’ll be announcing the full list soon.)
2. How do you feel that it is so close for your book to be in readers hands?
Can I confess something really strange? It wasn’t until this past summer that it occurred to me that people other than my editor would be reading my book. I mean, I’ve been pursuing publication for a while. Getting a book deal with Putnam Books for Young Readers was groovy and all that, but…I somehow hadn’t made the leap to that fact that total strangers—and people I know!—would be meeting these characters I’d lived with so long. And that they’d get to read Psalm whenever they felt like it, without my permission. I basically had a melt down when that realization hit.
And then… I started to get love notes from members of my debut group, and sweet little tweets from bloggers and booksellers I’ve never met, and really nice reviews, including a star in Publishers Weekly! My dad cried when he read the final book. (My sister has the photo evidence.) Each of these moments chipped away at my fear. I started to realize that Callie and Tess had qualities—and struggles—other people could genuinely appreciate. And now? I’m feeling excited to send Psalm out into the world so that more readers can get to know the sweet, salty girls I love so much. They don’t even have to ask my permission!
3. What have you been currently reading?
I just finished two amazing debuts: American Street by Ibi Zoboi and Maud by Melanie Fishbane. The first is set in contemporary Detroit from the point of view of a newly arrived Haitian immigrant teen; the second is an historical novel based on the life of author Lucy Maud Montgomery, who came of age in Canada in the 1890s. Both of these books felt like home to me—I contain multitudes, ok?—and both are brilliantly written.