It’s Pre-Pub Adventure and we have a new author to introduce today!
1. Welcome Karina! Introduce yourself.
Thank you for having me! My name is Karina Yan Glaser, and I am a full-time writer and a contributing editor at Book Riot. I live in Harlem, New York City, with my family and assortment of rescue animals.
2. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street sounds humorous and entertaining, how did you come up with the idea?
The idea for The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street actually came to me in the middle of the night four years ago, around 2am. I woke up with the first sentence for the book and jotted it down on a piece of paper on my bedside table. I ended up writing the whole (very messy) first draft for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I had wanted to write about a big family living in modern New York City, sort of like a contemporary spin on classic books like All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor and The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright.
3. The cover is amazing, did you get to have any input in it?
Yes, my editor and the book designer kept me in the loop with every version of the cover. I didn’t have much to contribute except, “Wow, this is amazing!” or “I love it!”. I gave some feedback on aspects of the cover that did not line up with the story, but otherwise I really trusted my publisher and the cover artist to create what they thought was best.
- You’ve been busy the last month with trips to book conferences, how do you prepare for them?
Mmmmmm… *prepare* is kind of a strong word, lol. Earlier in the year, I would spend weeks trying to figure out outfits and makeup looks and blah blah… Now? I throw a bunch of stuff in a backpack the morning of my flight and pray I didn’t forget anything. It’s really such a whirlwind at this point, I’m constantly on the fly both literally and figuratively.
- You recently held the final hardcover of your book in your hands, what was that momentlike?
Surreal doesn’t begin to cover it. By the time the book comes out, it’ll have been 32 months since I sold it, so it felt like the end of a legitimate era, really. I know I’ll never read the thing, but I’m going to use that First Copy I Ever Held as MY book that people sign while I’m signing theirs. Like a prose yearbook. (Shoutout to Sabaa Tahir who’s the first person I ever saw do that!)
- With only a month until Dear Martin releases what are your plans?
Sleep as much as possible. Trying to really rest and fuel up before the TRUE journey begins. 🙂
- With a month to go until Calling My Name is released, what are you doing to prepare?
I can’t believe my pub-date is getting so close! I remember when October 24th seemed so far away, and now it’s almost here. So exciting. Seems like I’m doing a little bit of everything these days! Setting things up for the book launch party and subsequent Calling My Name bookstore events. Writing for a new (still secret) project. Doing podcasts. Working on book two. Writing pieces for various blogs. Putting together a pre-order campaign. So many things! But all things to help build momentum around Calling My Name and keep my writing career moving forward, so I can’t complain.
2. Epic Reads just recently did a feature on the cover design of Calling My Name, did artist Vashti work with you when designing it?
No. I had no idea she was designing it until my publisher, Greenwillow Books, presented the finished design to me. I cried when I saw it. Vashti obviously invested time into reading my book and understanding the protagonist, Taja, and her journey to find herself. Taja couldn’t be more perfect on the cover—beautiful and magical and contemplative—and I couldn’t be more grateful.
3. Calling My Name was also featured on BuzzFeed’s 22 YA Novels You’ll Want to Read From Cover to Cover this Fall, how does it feel about the excitement around your book?
It’s an awesome feeling seeing Calling My Name on lists like that. As a writer, you never know how well your book is going to be received. It feels great knowing people have read it and enjoyed it. And obviously being on lists like that helps get the word out about your book, which is always a good thing! I try to come from the place of putting my best work into the world and not worrying about its commercial success, but it’s hard. I want my book to succeed. And if I’m honest, I want as many people as possible to read it.
1. You have one more month until Dare Mighty Things releases! This is so exciting! What are you doing to prepare for the release?
What am I doing? I assume you mean other than growing more panicked every day? ;P Mostly I’ve been buying fun stuff for my launch – photo booth props, prizes, food – and setting up my preorder campaign. Oh, and doing interviews! 🙂 But yeah, no, mostly my brain has been on frantically trying to finish book 2 before deadline, which happens to be like 2 weeks before book 1 comes out.
Yeah, I have to finish the sequel before the first book is even out. Author life is nuts that way.
Don’t miss out on Heather’s pre-order giveaway here!
2. Tell us about your experience at Dragon Con? (I loved your Instagram pics!)
Thank you so much! I wish I could’ve taken more photos. I saw SO MANY amazing cosplays – I mean, just astounding, incredibly detailed and beautiful ones – but it’s literally so packed all you can do is kind of jump into this river of humanity and get swept along until you reach your destination and have to jump out of the stream. And I was too shy to ask most people for their photos, haha.
I did two panels with some authors that I was super intimidated by at first, but they were SO quick to welcome me and make me feel at ease. Pretty soon I forgot to be nervous and just enjoyed chatting about the things I loved and sharing that love with other panelists and the audience. Which is the best part of doing panels, I think – mentioning some book or movie you love and having the room go “YES!”
It was super overwhelming, the first couple of days. But you know, even with 80-thousand-some-odd people crammed into 5 hotels, everyone was kind of amazing. Super friendly, just happy to be there, and most everyone was super respectful of your personal space (as much as could be allowed.) I never saw people being rude or even short-tempered, really. People were geeking out over each other’s costumes and it was generally just a friendly, happy atmosphere; a giant nerd party! Even for an anxious introvert like me, the crowds became easier when I realized that NOBODY is looking at you, because they’re all looking at that AMAZING Maui cosplay over there with the gigantic 12-foot-long hook.
I have to admit, I was really happy to get home, but it was a lot less fun knowing I wasn’t going to see Daenerys carrying around a massive dragon on her shoulder or Wonder Woman on my way to work. For a few days during DragonCon, people turn what they love into reality, and it’s just kind of magical. I was glad to experience it.
3. What’s it like hanging out with other authors?
Um, intimidating? Haha. But also, a lot easier than I’d imagine. You see people in real life and they’re suddenly human to you – more real and normal than you might think when you only know their online persona. And we’re all so like-minded when you get down to it; we all just love books. Nobody understands what you go through in publishing, especially in your debut year, like other authors. They’re so ready to commiserate with you and share tips, advice, and hilarious stories to make you feel better. It’s often easy to get into conversations, even when many of them are just as nervous to be outside & away from their computer screens as I am.
Much love to everyone I met that weekend. I hope to meet more of you soon!
I have been working on a super secret project that is near and dear to my heart. I can’t say much, but I can say that I was inspired by the beautiful British countryside and some of the people I met on my travels. ; )
2.So you recently spent an afternoon falconing, tell us all about it?!
Falconing was incredible! We got to hold and learn about several different falcons and owls, then we got to actually fly some of them! A few things I learned: falcons, while light, are heavier than you’d expect; holding an owl is like holding air, you barely feel anything when they land on you; some owls like to walk on the ground and it’s hilarous; and it’s way easier to become a falconer in the UK than the US. I left with a new appreciation for these beautiful birds of prey!
3. Your book is a month away from releasing, how are you preparing for it?
Publishing has the unique ability to go from completely motionless to boulder rolling down a steep hill in no time flat. You go months with nothing to do and then wham. I’ve been sending out ARCs, setting up interviews, scheduling events, creating & ordering bookplates, and a dozen other tiny things. My release date was pushed to October 31, so now I’m scrambling to reschedule my launch party as well. The month or so leading up to launch is definitely a whirlwind!
Until the next Pre-Pub Adventure check in!