Pre-Pub Adventure: September 2017

It’s Pre-Pub Adventure and we have a new author to introduce today!

Please welcome author Karina Yan Glaser!

   

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.

Follow Karina: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog


  1. 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.

  1. 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!)

  1. 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. 🙂

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


Liara Tamani

      

  1. 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.

Follow Liara on her blog * Instagram * Twitter * Facebook


    

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!

Follow Heather: Blog * Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr


1. What have you been working since last we check in?

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!

Follow S.F. Henson: Blog *InstagramTwitter * Goodread *Facebook


Until the next Pre-Pub Adventure check in!

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Pre-Pub Adventure: August

It’s that time of month again for Pre-Pub Adventure!

 

 

Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered 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? What is publishing like? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.

 


 

In light of the disturbing white supremacists and Nazi’s bigotry and hatred in Charlottesville last weekend, I’ve asked some of our authors to talk about their books that deals closely on this subject and what other diverse books they would recommend to help people understand that this is not okay.

 

 

Your book is about the root of what happened in Charlottesville, what do you hope your readers take away from Dear Martin? What books do you recommend people read in light of such a repulsive VA Nazi march?

 

At its core, DEAR MARTIN is a book about learning to grapple with truth and figuring out how to live with it. It features characters from very different walks of life looking at the same set of facts and having to make decisions and choose paths based on those facts, and my hope is that the reader will look at the different viewpoints and engage in some self-reflection.

I think part of the reason race relations are the way they are is because people are afraid of asking questions. We’re afraid of being wrong, both about ourselves and about the world around us because being wrong messes with our senses of autonomy and equilibrium. EVERYTHING we do/think/feel is based on our individual beliefs and worldview, so the idea of those beliefs/that worldview being WRONG is kind of a lot to handle.

But clinging to a flawed worldview doesn’t help anyone, including the clinger. That’s what I want readers to see in the book. That being wrong isn’t the end of the world, and it’s okay–necessary even–to question yourself and what you believe.
    

Other books I recommend: LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds, THE 57 BUS by Dashka Slater, and  STRANGE LIES by Maggie Thrash, ALL of which come out the same day as DEAR MARTIN (October 17th!), and all of which will make readers challenge their assumptions. Also THE HATE U GIVEby Angie Thomas (obvi), HOW IT WENT DOWNby Kelly Magoon, ALL AMERICAN BOYS by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, MONSTER and LOCKDOWNby Walter Dean Myers, THE FIRE NEXT TIME by James Baldwin, BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates, THE FIRE THIS TIME edited by Jesmyn Ward, INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison, KILLERS OF THE DREAM and THE JOURNEYby Lillian Smith (who was hugely influential for Dr. King), and literally everything Dr. King ever wrote (an excellent compilation can be found here: A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

2. You have two months until your book is out! What have you been doing to get ready for that?

Uhhhhhh… trying not to spontaneously combust? Does that count? LOL! No, I’ve actually been working on my final round of content edits for my next book. Which are due literally right now, and I’m answering these questions to distract myself from finishing. #writerlyfe

 3. What is the one thing you must do while writing?

Totally weird, but I put on headphones without actually listening to music. I think I just have to keep up the appearance of being this like super focus, hardcore writer. (Also lets me pretend I can’t hear my husband or kids, lol. Don’t tell my secrets, dear readers.)

4. Ok be honest, writing takes up most writer’s time a lot…do you shower? LOL or do the days fly by?

Ehhhhh… hahahahahaha! Depends on how tight the deadline is. Sometimes I shower just to think, but I will confess: as a wife and mom who has to do stuff like drive to carpool and keep other humans alive, showers are usually the first thing to go.

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


1 . Your book delves into a similar situation of white supremacy like what happened in Charlottesville, what do you hope your readers take from Devils Within? What books do you recommend people read in light of such a repulsive VA Nazi march?

 

 The Charlottesville march is completely repulsive. I have so many thoughts and emotions on it, but for me the most disturbing part is how comfortable these people are with espousing their racist views in public. These are things that used to happen in private, under hoods, in secret. Now they’re emboldened, public, unashamed. I’ve heard people ask “where is this coming from?” and have seen #ThisIsNotUs going around social media. There are a lot of things I want readers to take from DEVILS WITHIN, but here are the big takeaways: this has always been here, and this IS us. This kind of hate is in the ground water of this country, swirling under our feet. It’s always been there, most of us just aren’t used to seeing it. There are 917 hate groups across the US right now; that doesn’t happen over night, and it doesn’t happen because of one election. It’s a poison that has seeped into people’s systems over centuries. We’re angry right now because the hate is flagrant–as we should be–but we should be angriest that it’s been here, growing, for so long. In my book, my main character, Nate, confronts his own embedded racist urges, both overt and latent. I really hope that DEVILS will lead readers to a similar self-examination.

         

As for book recs: Obviously DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone, and THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas. Also THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM by Christopher Paul Curtis, and LIES WE TELL OURSELVES by Robin Talley.

 

2. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

 

 I’ve been planning a trip to England! I’m going at the end of the month and can’t wait! We’re staying in a quaint converted boathouse on the Thames, going falconing outside of Oxford, and seeing Les Mis on the West End. There may be some Harry Potter sites that we have to hit too. Oh, and there will definitely be writing in tea shops/pubs!

 

 

3. Is there a certain scene that is harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Violence?

 

 

I have a terrible time writing love scenes. I’m a pretty awkward person, and all my romantic, kissing scenes come out just as awkward as I am.

 

 

4. What literary character is most like you?

 

 

I think I’m most like Meg Murry in A WRINKLE IN TIME (see previous answer about awkwardness), especially as a teenager. I had braces (for six long years!), glasses, and a love of science. I’ve always related to Meg. I can’t wait to see her come to life again when the new movie releases next year!

 

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook

 

 


 

Liara Tamani

      

  1. Your book is about an African American girl who struggles with family expectations and teenage life, what do you hope your readers take from Calling My Name? What books do you recommend people read in light of such a repulsive VA Nazi march?

 

I hope readers connect to Taja, connect to her journey and her humanity. Connection is where empathy is created. While books that explicitly deal with America’s race problem are very important (especially in these times), books that remind readers that black people and people of color have more than race problems, that we are whole human beings, with the whole spectrum of human problems and human joys are equally as important.

   

With the being said, I would say read and share all kinds of books by people of color. Any book that gives insight into a different culture or background also has the power to open minds and open hearts. Books like Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon are great reads that highlight different cultures, create empathy, show brown people joy, and showcase black girl brilliance and power—all very important.

       

For books that take race relations and police brutality more head on, I’d definitely reach for Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone, and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Keily. They are all powerful and important.

 

These are just some of the books I’ve read in the past six months, but clearly there are many, many authors and books to choose from. I haven’t even mentioned one of my favorite authors, Jacqueline Woodson. Or the many adult authors like Zadie Smith, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Jean Toomer, Rita Dove, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, or Audre Lorde. Or if you want to reach back into the non-fiction genre for a book that deals with race, grab The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois (put this on your list!). Okay, I’ll stop here, but the point is that there are many choices. I would tell readers to explore, find their favorites, and share them!

 

2. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

 

Writing and travelling. Worked on book two and wrote my first personal essay (scary!). Went to Barcelona. I hadn’t been since I was in college, so it felt amazing to be back. It was nice being all about tapas, architecture, and sangria for a week.

 

3. Are you a plotter or a punster?  

 

  Neither! In terms of plot, I usually do a rough, hand written outline so I have a general idea of where I am going. But nothing too detailed. And I can’t call myself a punster. I may crack the occasional corny joke, but that’s about it.

 

4. Do you dream? Do you have any recurring nightmares? 

 

  I have dreams that I remember occasionally, but not often. They are usually good. I have dreams about Obama (not even kidding). For a minute, I was dreaming about Chance the Rapper. Okay, so maybe there’s a trend of me dreaming about famous men I might have crushes on. 🙂 No nightmares, thank God. Trump, his cabinet, and everything he represents is a living nightmare and that’s enough.

 

Follow Liara on her blog * Instagram * Twitter * Facebook

 


And now to a celebration!

Today we celebrate the release of Amanda Foody’s Daughter of the Burning City.

1. Your book is out in the world! Yay! How was your book launch? How do you feel?

My book launch was very fun–there was a great turnout of friends, family, and readers. I feel very relaxed–none of this has been too stressful. I have a fairly demanding day job that keeps my mind off things.

2.You’ve been quite busy with Daughter of the Burning City blog tours, chats and signings, what was the most memorable thing to come out of this?

Connecting with readers! DOTBC was featured in Fairyloot’s July subscription box, and I’ve met so many people through Instagram who received the book in the box and loved it. Seeing their gorgeous photos of the cover always makes my day.

3. What’s next for you?

My next book, ACE OF SHADES, releases in April, so I’ve been busy with editorial work on that. I have a few other projects I’m working on that I’m very excited about. And reading, reading, reading! So many amazing books releasing in the next few months.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram


    

1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

I’ve been making travel plans for my upcoming trips (most notably Dragon Con, where I’ll be on a couple of sci-fi panels in the YA Lit track!), preparing for a local author’s expo at the public library, wrapping up a snailmail giveaway on Twitter, planning my launch party details, writing some promotional posts for my publisher, sending my toddler off to preschool, signing her up for dance class, and of course, still working on edits for book 2. The final deadline is looming and I’m working to make sure it’s a worth follow up to DMT!

2. What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

Like most writers, I think the impetus to actually sitting down and starting was just a really, really enticing idea. What made me keep writing was just pure grit. And the constant cheerleading of my younger sister, who was my first reader, and her constant texts to write the next chapter NOW.

3. What is the one thing you must do while writing?

I must have at least a few free hours to spare. It usually takes me a while to get into my character’s heads after a break, and once I find my groove I completely loose track of time and where I am. I have a hard time writing during just a few minutes’ break, unless I’ve just randomly brainstormed a great line or passage. Likewise, it’s really hard for me to write in public because I’m paranoid about people reading over my shoulder, lol. Plus I have a tendency to speak some lines outloud without realizing it, so yeah, awkward!

Follow Heather: Blog * Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr


Until the next adventure!

Pre-Pub Adventure: July

It’s Pre-Pub Adventure and today we have some new authors joining us!

Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered 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? What is publishing like? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.

Please welcome authors Liara Tamani and Heather Kaczynski!


Liara Tamani

      

1. Welcome to the publishing adventure! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you! Being a debut author definitely feels like an adventure. So many exciting things to take in. My name is Liara Tamani and I’m from Houston, Texas—H-town! (Gotta represent.:)) When I’m not writing or reading, I’m usually dancing, doing yoga, or hanging out with my five-year-old daughter and boyfriend. I love hanging out in parks, being in nature, but summertime in Houston makes that a little hard. It’s hot as hell! When the Houston heat is in full force, I like to spend time in museums and restaurants that have good tacos and margaritas. I’ve recently tried to take up skateboarding, and I have a ton of big bruises on my legs if that’s any indication of how it’s going.:)

Here’s a longer bio with more details about my background.  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16294201.Liara_Tamani

2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with Calling My Name? I just love the cover!

I basically wrote this book to heal my teenage self. Like Taja, the protagonist of Calling My Name, I grew up in a very loving and religious family in Houston, Texas. My family was always in church—Bible study, choir rehearsal, Sunday school, Sunday service, sometimes second and third Sunday services, Vacation Bible School, church conventions, etc. Also like Taja, I had a lot of doubts and questions about religion but quickly learned that I wasn’t supposed to have these doubts and questions, that their presence meant I might not be saved. So I dealt with them internally, fighting against the fear of hell, which was very real to me at the time. And when I became sexually active in my later teenage years, my fears were compounded by guilt and shame. Let me tell you, it wasn’t fun.

 While Calling My Name is not my story, it was definitely born out of these struggles. And now I couldn’t be happier that this book will soon be out in the world and in the hands of teenagers, especially girls, who unfortunately struggle with sexual shame and guilt a lot more than boys. I want to help change that! But Calling My Name is not just about spiritual and sexual freedom; it’s about departing from one’s family and community teachings to find one’s own way.

3. Give us an insight of your main character Taja? What does she do that’s so special?  

Omg, the beautiful, soul-searching Taja. She’s so incredibly strong and radiant. I totally wish I had the strength to choose my own path when I was in high school, but I didn’t. That came much later in life for me. If I had read about Taja’s journey as a teenager, it would’ve saved me from a lot of suffering. Through her curiosity and thoughtfulness, her interior life is on full display. And the emotional journey she goes on is inspiring. I can’t wait for y’all to meet her!

Follow Liara on her blog * Instagram * Twitter * Facebook


Heather Kaczynski

    

1. Welcome to the publishing adventure! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you! I live in Huntsville, Alabama, which – if you’ve heard of it at all – you might know as the home of Space Camp. Before I was ten years old, I moved about every year and a half growing up because my dad was in the military – almost a different school for every grade. None of us figured we’d set down permanent roots in Alabama, but it’s home I’ve known the longest. Being the home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, growing up here helped develop my love of science, space, and sci-fi. We literally have a lifesize replica of the rocket that took men to the moon that you can see from all over town. The space program always seemed incredibly present and relevant in my life.

I also went to college here, where I got a degree in biology with a minor in exercise physiology, because I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist. Little did I realize I’d develop panic disorder in college and faint at the sight of blood (or, as I discovered, in first aid class) so a medical career was out. However, I lucked out and found a job working at a military library not long after graduation. To my good fortune, because it turned out to be the perfect place for me. I wrote Dare Mighty Things not long after I started that job, and I love putting books in the hands of kids who crave them.

I balance my day job and writing career with parenting my preschooler, so right now I watch a lot of cartoons and read a lot of picture books. (And write blog posts while she plays with trains at my feet.) In my precious moments of spare time, I’m obsessed with Bioware games – I’m still slowly working my way through Mass Effect Andromeda.

2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with Dare Mighty Things? The cover is gorgeous by the way!

Dare Mighty Things is about a girl in the near future who dreams of making history by exploring space and seeing things no other human ever has – except in her world, America hasn’t trained any new astronauts for years, and her dream seems impossible. But when she gets an impossible chance to win a spot on a mission to the far reaches of space, she’s determined to win, no matter what.
The seed for the book, oddly, came to me in a dream. Right after I graduated college, I’d been determined to do Camp NaNo to get away from writing sterile lab reports and re-learn how to write fiction. The night before, I’d gone to bed without any ideas but figured I’d come up with one in the morning. And when I woke up, a single scene had left a lasting impression on me, and as I lay there trying to reconstruct it, Cassie and her entire story just filled my head. I sat down to write it and it flowed like nothing else I’d ever written. The seedling scene idea I’d dreamt about didn’t even make it into the final book, but it is in the sequel – so I can’t say anything about it just yet!
I wrote the book around a time that NASA was facing a Congressional budget crisis, and that weighed heavily on my mind. This may seem odd, I know – but when your whole city’s economy, identity, and future is linked to the space program, it’s big news. People were worried. It was a sad time for science and the idea that budget (or possibly greed) was the limiting factor for humanity’s advancement formed a core of the book. I wanted to encourage girls to love science and to go after their dreams, that they were achievable, and that other girls weren’t the enemy – but could prove valuable allies.

And then of course the rest of it was just me fangirling over the space program, adding in things I loved and things I’d pulled from research of space programs all over the world. It was just a fun book to write and I hope it comes across that way in the reading.

3. What is your writing quirk? 

I find I really have to get in the “zone,” and once I do, time has no meaning. I’ll put on headphones to listen to my book’s particular soundtrack (every book I write requires one), but eventually I have to turn it off as it gets distracting. And then I’ll look up and realize seven hours have passed and I should probably blink my eyes once or twice. It’s very hard for me to write in short snippets, so I have to force myself if I’m on deadline to use whatever time I may have.

Follow Heather: Blog * Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr


Nic Stone

     

1. What have you been up to since we last checked in?

Trying to keep my head on my shoulders? Does that count? LOL!

Let’s see… I went to ALA Annual which was kind of a whirlwind, but really cool at the same time. I got to sit in on both the Printz Award reception and the Coretta Scott King Awards breakfast, and I’m sure I looked like a kid in a candy store at both, they were just so magical!

Since then, I’ve just been home working on revisions for my Fall 2018 release (another YA contemporary) as well a new project I’m not allowed to talk about yet. Oh, and gearing up for what looks to be a rollercoaster of a Fall. Also planning my launch, which will be at the Center for Civil and Human Rights here in Atlanta, GA on October 17th at 6:30pm. **hint hint**EVERYBODY COME!**

2. I love your makeup tutorials on Instagram that coincide with books! What spurred you to do these lovely posts?

HA! It was all a fluke! I got mu copy of Nicola Yoon’s THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR last year and thought: Wow this color palette is really pretty! I should put it on my face! Took and posted a picture, and voila—the idea was born. Hoping to expand on it a bit soon. Stay tuned…

3. Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you manage to get the words?

I kind of… write when I can. I don’t have a technical job other than writing, but I do have two small kids, one of whom is home with me all day, every day. So I write during naptimes/while the little is eating/whenever I have more than five minutes to get words down. And for me, the words come in these squeezed times because they have to, lol. It also helps that when I’m driving/carpooling/running errands/folding laundry/etc., I’m constantly thinking about the stories I’m working on. A lot of the legwork happens away from the page.

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


 

Amanda Foody

pre-pub-3

 

1. Your book is one week out until it’s published! How do you feel?

I feel pretty good. I’m not too nervous, not too overwhelmed. A lot of that is because I moved and started a job last week, so I haven’t had much time to work up any nerves. I’ve been focusing all my extra energy on finishing Ace of Shades and ensuring it is the best book it can be.

2. What have you done to prepare for the release?

I’ve been trying to keep up with social media accounts–there have been a lot of wonderful photos of DOTBC on Insta lately. I’m also planning a different giveaway for each day leading up to release for a week straight. There are some really fun prizes, like DOTBC-themed eye shadow pallets and also gift cards. Those will be held via my newsletter.

3. What secret talents do you have?

I can juggle! Three items at a time, though I’d love to work my way up to more. Perhaps if I learn to juggle knives I would be qualified to perform at the Gomorrah Festival in DOTBC myself.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram


S.F. Henson

1. How has your July been treating you?

July has been hot. And busy. But mostly hot! This month I finished up my edits, got a little work done on my WIP, and started preparing for my launch. I did squeeze in time to take a mini vacation, and I picked up some awesome books:  One Shadow on the Wall, by Leah Henderson, One of Us is Lying, by Karen McManus, and Letters to the Lost, by Brigid Kemmerer.

2. What does your writing process look like?

I recently started http://www.youngadultwriters.com/story-analyzer/ing Scrivener, so my process has changed. I always start by sketching a quick query from the idea. It just helps me stay focused on the core story as the manuscript develops. I do initial research–look up pictures of my setting, study the weather, figure out where my character lives, etc–so that it’s clear in my mind while I’m writing. This step is also called “procrastination.” Then comes the actual writing. If I hit 15,000 words, then I know a story is a keeper. Doesn’t seem like much, but I edit as I go, so that 15k is usually a victory. I like to send to my CPs in small chunks as I write, then get betas when I finish the manuscript. After a couple rounds of betas, my last step is to run the manuscript through the YA Story Analyzer for polishing. (I love that thing!). Then off to my agent and cue constantly refreshing my email while I wait for her thoughts.

3. Your book releases in 3 months, what are you doing to prepare for that release? 

3 months! It seems like so much time until you start doing things. I’m done with my edits and am planning my launch, setting up a mini-tour, and working on a secret project that I might unveil next month! Oh, and trying not to freak out about the fact that people will be reading my book soon. No one prepares you for how scary it truly is to put your book into the world. Eep!

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook


Until the next adventure!

Pre-Pub Adventure: June

Today we are excited to have a new author joining us for Pre-Pub Adventure and another authors who has her book out in the world!

Every third Friday of the month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered 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? What is publishing like? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.


Let’s welcome S. A. Chakraborty!

S. A. Chakraborty

 

 

1. Welcome to the publishing adventure! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks for the welcome, and thanks for having me! I have my official bio over here but in short, I’m the author of The City of Brass, a historical fantasy coming out this November from Harper Voyager. It’s my debut novel – and the first book I ever wrote! I got into writing fiction through my interest in history – it seemed a good way to put to use all the hours I spent pouring over manuscripts in Cairo and DC. I’m from the Jersey shore originally…

(yes, I know: I’ve heard all the jokes), and while I’m still proud to call it home, I’ve been living in New York for about ten years where I’ve found an excellent writing family in the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers. I have a toddler who keeps me on my toes, a husband whose brain I unabashedly pick for all the medical elements in my work, and three deeply lazy cats. In the little spare time I can cobble together, I like to run and read. Besides science fiction and fantasy, I have a soft spot for historical fiction; my favorite authors are Naguib Mahfouz and Amitav Ghosh.

2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with The City Of Brass? The cover is gorgeous by the way!

Thank you! I was literally speechless when I first saw the cover!

The City of Brass is a historical fantasy that takes place in the 18th century about an Egyptian con artist who gets a bit more than she bargained for when one of her schemes ends up dragging her into a brewing magical war. It actually started not as a novel, but as sort of a passion project/exercise in world-building that I never intended to show a soul! I’m a big history buff and with The City of Brass I wanted to recreate some of the stunning worlds I’d read about while also exploring traditional beliefs about djinn. A bit contrary to Western lore, djinn are said to be intelligent beings similar to humans, created from smokeless fire and living unseen in our midst—a fascinating, albeit slightly frightening concept, this idea of creatures living silently among us, dispassionately watching the rise and fall of our various civilizations.

It’s also a concept that offers a great opportunity to imagine how djinn might have built their world, mimicking the ways of their human neighbors. So in The City of Brass, there’s a djinn version of Baghdad’s great library, filled with the ancient books humans have lost alongside powerful texts of magic; they battle with weapons from Achaemenid Persia (enhanced by fire of course); the medical traditions of famed scholars like Ibn Sina have been adapted to treat magical maladies; dancers conjure flowers while singing Mughal love songs; a court system based on the Zanzibar Sultanate deals justice to merchants who bewitch their competitors… not to mention a cityscape featuring everything from ziggurats and pyramids to minarets and stupas. I also pushed a little further with the idea of the unseen, imagining a world of enchanted creatures created from other elements passing through ours: marid raising rivers into great serpents, peris whipping the air into tornados, djinn conjuring maps of smoke and racing birds of fire. And then, of course, there’s scheming con artists, irritatingly handsome ancient warriors, and rebellious princes to round things out!

3. What is your writing quirk?

I’ve heard enough other authors confess to this to know I’m not alone, but I love writing to soundtracks. And not just any soundtracks, but the ridiculously over-the-top music for things like Pirates of Caribbean and Game of Thrones. And then, like, the orchestral re-mix version to make it even more epic. It just sets the mood!

Follow S. A. : Twitter * Blog


Congrats to Kayla for the release of The Sandcastle Empire!

Kayla Olson

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1. How does it feel to have your book out in the world?

It’s been so exciting to have The Sandcastle Empire out in the world—people have been so wonderfully supportive, friends and strangers alike, and it’s been fun seeing everyone’s reactions. I was on deadline for my second book at the same time my debut hit shelves, and while it was emotionally/physically taxing to flip between YAY DEBUT and ACK, MUST REVISE, it was incredibly encouraging to receive so many messages from friends and family who’d already finished the book and were ready for another one.

2. How has your book tour been going?

The book tour has been so much fun!! We sold out of books at both BookPeople in Austin *and* Brazos Bookstore in Houston, and had an amazing turnout at every single stop—it’s been so excellent to connect with family and friends, and to meet new readers. I also had the opportunity to participate in a teen day + author panel at the South Irving Library, which was really fun; not only did I get to hang out with five other brilliant, talented authors, but the reader turnout was fantastic! The library staff was wonderful, too, and made these GIANT stand-up posters of all our book covers. It was pretty amazing.

3. What’s next for you?

I just turned in my second book to my editor, so right now I’m taking a few weeks just to read and rest and brainstorm some other projects I’ve had in mind for a while! Hopefully I’ll get to share more details about that second book soon…! 🙂
Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog

Nic Stone

     

1. You just recently went to Bookcon and Book Expo in May, how was it? 

Oh man. It was like my own personal version of heaven. Books and people everywhere! I met SOME of my heroes/heroines (like as in more than three of them), did lots of fun author-y things like sign books and read aloud and sit on/moderate panels, went to fancy dinners and a fun party, spent some quality time with friends over food… it was incredible! Can’t wait to do it again one day (hopefully, lol!).

2. What’s it like going as an author and signing your book?

Surreal, I think would be the best word. I’m still blown away by the fact that I HAVE a book, so the fact that people are willing to stand in a line and wait for me to sign it was unreal. By the end of the second signing (I had THREE. What is even happening??) I’d perfected what I put in the book, so now I’m ready for the next round. **cracks knuckles**

3 .What was your favorite part?

Definitely the meeting-new-friends-and-connecting-with-people-I-only-knew-online part. Like I got to meet some of my favorite bloggers (Like CJ @sarcasmlemons, and Joey @afterthoughtAn, and Shelly @shellysrambles, and Mishma @chasingfaes, and Vee @findmereading–those are their Twitter handles and you should follow them all), some fellow debuts (Stephanie Garber, Chelsea Sedoti, Jeff Giles, Karina Yan Glasser, Jake Burt, as well as some 2018 debuts like Samira Ahmed), and some cool agents and editors (like Matt Ringler from Scholastic. Follow him [@doesntmattr] on Twitter, too. He’s hilarious!).

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


S.F. Henson

1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

Editing, editing, editing. Pretty sure this was my response last month too! I’m working hard to make sure this book is the best it possibly can be, though. And I can see the finish line! I’m soooo close.  Then I can start planning my launch party!
2. What book do you wish you could have written?
This is a tough one because there are SO many. My first impulse is to say Harry Potter (I mean, who doesn’t wish they could’ve written HP??) but if I’m being honest, I wish I’d written A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s the first book I remember reading as a kid that I couldn’t get enough of. The way L’Engle crammed so many world-building and characterization details into such a small space, gahh. I envy that so hard.
3. What are you working on now?
Well, technically still my debut, but I have a WIP drumming its fingertips impatiently. It’s about a girl who travels across the world to find her missing brother. There’s complicated family relationships, mental illness, a forest fully of mysteries, and coming to terms with the things that hold you back and push you forward. I can’t wait to dive back in.

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook


Amanda Foody

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1. You just recently went to Bookcon and Book Expo, how was it? 
BookExpo and BookCon were amazing! Since I got some of my start in blogging, I’ve been waiting to attend for years, but college and conflicts always got in the way. I was able to connect with so many friends from Twitter, and I came home with several bags full of ARCs! Absolutely magical!
2. What’s it like going as an author and signing your own book?
It was definitely surreal. My signings were in the morning, so when I first arrived at BookExpo, I was dumbfounded to see the line circling around the Harlequin TEEN booth for DAUGHTER. We were out of tickets almost immediately, and we had no copies to spare! I cannot being to describe how much I appreciate that enthusiasm and support. I spent my afternoons waiting in signing lines for other authors, so I feel like I got to attend as both author and reader.
3. What was the most memorable moment there?
Probably meeting and introducing myself to some of my favorite authors. I almost collapsed several times when a few of them had already heard of me and DAUGHTER. So many of these authors are ones who I loved as a teenager, who are still huge names in YA, and it would be so fun to tell my 17yo self that in a few years, my favorite author would know who I am because I’m also an author. I pinched myself several times.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram


 

 


Pre-Pub Adventure: May 2017

It’s that time again where we check in with our authors and see what they’re doing on their publishing adventure!

Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered 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.

To the adventure!


Kayla Olson

kayla      pre-pub-4

  1. You just received your first hardcover finished copy of The Sandcastle Empire, what was that like? 

It was so incredible to see the finished copy! I hadn’t actually seen the back cover yet, with the beautiful blurb from Beth Revis on it, so that part was fun. One of the first things I did was to take a peek at the book without its jacket—the spine is seriously beautiful, with shiny green text! The very best part, though, was when I got to show my husband and little boy their names in the dedication/acknowledgment sections. I’d kept those parts a surprise, and I’m glad I did.

2As a writer do you write every day and aim for a set amount of words or pages a day? 

Usually, I’ll set a time goal rather than a word count one—I’m a very slow writer, so it’s better for me to aim for a set amount of focused time (especially in this season when I have a lot going on and am easily distracted; I like using apps like Flat Tomato and Forest to keep me on track!). I usually do set mini-word count goals for each sprint, though, which gives me small goals to aim for. If I do enough sprints, my small word count totals start to add up! 

3. What have you been up to since last we checked in? 

So many things!! I took a trip out to West Hollywood and Santa Monica in late April, and I got to spend time with so many wonderful people. It was also my first time in attendance at YallWest, which was a ton of fun—I even got to meet some readers/sign some ARCs! Ever since coming home to Texas, I’ve been in the revision cave, working diligently on my second book with HarperTeen. (That one’s scheduled for Fall 2018—more on that as soon as I can share!) I’ve also been nailing down details for book events in June—we’ll likely be adding to the list of dates/locations, but for now, if you’re in Texas (Austin / Denton / Irving / Houston), I’m coming your way! Details on my website’s events page here

Fun question for this month! Have you ever put someone you didn’t like in your book as revenge? 

Not in The Sandcastle Empire…but…in another project, yes. 😉

Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog


Nic Stone

     

  1. You had an interview the other day with WBEZ, how did that go? What did you talk about? (I’ll put a link to the interview when it is up)

It was awesome! It was a joint interview with the illustrious Angie Thomas, author of #1 New York Times bestselling THE HATE U GIVE, and we talked about our books and our influences. Check it out here!

  1. Is there a certain type of scene that is harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Drama?

Hmm. Not really? Honestly, the hardest things for me to write are transitions. Especially ones where there’s a time-jump involved. Getting better at it though (I hope!).

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

Honestly, I find that it varies. Some stuff is very intensely plotted, some has a lighter plotting touch, and what I’m working on now is totally pantsed because I tried to plot and failed miserably, lol!

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


Abby Reed

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  1. Your book When Planets Fall is out! How did you celebrate?

Whoo hoo!! I have a book baby!! YAY!! I celebrated twice. The day of release was more low key for me. My husband happened to be home, so we went for a long walk with our pups and bought several cupcakes for us to devour. I made us a nice lunch and splurged with a bath bomb. I spent time catching up on mentions and giggling over pictures people sent of WHEN PLANETS FALL in their hands. By the end of the day, I was so happy I turned anxious (never had that happen before), so I actually did some writing to focus myself.

The next day my family went out to eat. They surprised me by decorating the room with red, blue, and green balloons and bought a massive red-velvet cake. I also got to sign my first copy! It felt pretty magical!

And the kindle version of WPF actually hit in the top 50 and 100 in a couple categories! Not bad for a debut from a small press! Needless to say, my publisher is happy with me. That’s worth a cupcake in and of itself.

2. What are your plans for the release? Any tours?

I’ve actually accomplished most of the things for my release already. But I have one final blog tour coming up at the end of the month with Xpresso Tours. I will also be having a Goodreads giveaway too.

3. Now that your first book is out will you take a small break like a vacation or onto the next project?

Both! I’m already working on Book 2, but I am taking a couple trips. One is for a family event. The other is a not-so-fun, let’s-go-to-the-doctor trip. But the other is to visit my best friend for a long weekend. It’s her birthday and birthdays are as sacred as religious holidays for us. We might hit up Disney or the Harry Potter world (butterbeer anyone??). I’ve got my Gryffindor t-shirt all ready to go 🙂

Fun bonus question! Have you ever put someone you didn’t like in your book as revenge? 

Actually . . . . . totally. Ha. Book 2. Let’s just say you should never hurt somebody an author cares about. You might end up fictionally dead.

Follow Abby: Twitter * Instagram


Amanda Foody

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1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?
I’ve been working on quite a few upcoming projects. In particular, I’m finishing up some rewrites on my next book, Ace of Shades. I’ve also been busy traveling and planning a lot for Daughter’s release in July.
2. What does your writing process look like?
I’m not too particular about writing. I prefer to write at night, with the time to work on large chunks of writing at once. I also like to be comfortable–blankets, lounge clothes, and a candle is a must! I can’t focus at coffee shops and offices, where I’m too focused on the fact that I’d rather be in bed. If I’m struggling, I might break out a little wine or put on a book playlist.
3. What’s your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process? 
I’m not a huge fan of drafting, especially for the very first time. I intensely plot my projects ahead of time, but even though so much development occurs on the actual page, I am always impatient to be done so I can turn on my analytical, problem-solving part of my brain. Drafting can just feel like such a marathon, and I actually write fairly quickly. Plotting ahead of time is the only thing that keeps me sane.
Fun question for this month! Have you ever put someone you didn’t like in your book as revenge? 
No! I’ve never written a character inspired by a real life person–only by other fictional characters. I get way more hung up on fictional people than I do real ones, I guess.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram


1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

Edits! I am in the middle of editing my debut, which is super stressful, but also kind of amazing. It’s kind of like baking bread. I started with these random ingredients that I formed into this lumpy thing that my editor is now shaping, and when it’s all done I’ll have a beautifully formed loaf. I love reading her notes. Some are face-palm worthy (I’m constantly going “why didn’t I think of that?”), and some are cringe-inducing (the sentences that made sense in my head but didn’t translate to the page), and some boost my self-esteem (I mean really, nothing feels better than an industry professional saying your words are gorgeous!), but they all make my book better. I’ve also realized how much easier it is to cut words once you get some time and distance between you and your manuscript. It’s hard to give a manuscript space to breathe, but it makes editing go so much smoother.

2. As a writer do you write every day and aim for a set amount of words or pages a day?

Ha! I wish. I used to try to write every day, but, you know, life. For me, it’s less about the number of days I write and more about the quality of the time I spend writing. I don’t set word goals, but scene or chapter goals. Word goals work great for some people, but I always end up flinging out crap just to meet a goal and then getting overwhelmed by all the editing I have to do later. So I break the rules and edit as I write, shooting for quality over quantity. The initial drafting process goes slower, but revisions are so much faster!

3. What’s your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?

I’m the most impatient person ever. Which sucks in an industry dominated by so much waiting. It doesn’t matter what phase of the process you’re in–writing, querying, submitting, editing, debuting–there will be a significant amount of waiting involved. Don’t get me wrong, I love this industry, but sometimes I wish I could hibernate through the thumb-twiddly parts and skip straight to the exciting bits!

Fun question for this month! Have you ever put someone you didn’t like in your book as revenge?

I’m going to have to plead the fifth on this one! But I will say that I’m inspired by the people I encounter, and I may or may not have have been inspired in particular by folks who have made me mad. Take that as you will. ; )

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook


Until next the next Adventure!

Pre-Pub Adventure: April 2017

It’s that time again where we check in with our authors and see what they’re doing on their publishing adventure!

Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered 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.

Today we have a new author joining us on her publishing adventure! Please welcome S.F. Henson.

S.F. Henson

 1. Welcome S.F. Henson! Please tell us a little about yourself? 

I was born and raised in the deep south. I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Animal Science, which I put to great use by attending law school. My law degree has gotten some mileage, though, giving me the experience to write about criminals and other dark, nefarious subjects. I live beside a missile test range in Huntsville, Alabama with my husband, dog, two oddly named cats, and, of course, the missiles that frequently shake my house.

2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with Devils Within? 

Devils Within tells the story of Nate, a boy who grew up at The Fort, a white supremacist compound, and whose only means of escape is to kill his father (the leader of the group) in self-defense. No matter how far he runs, he can’t escape his past or the horrible things he did while with the group. It’s a story about hate, acceptance, owning up to your mistakes, and learning to forgive yourself. You can read the full description here: http://www.sfhenson.com/books.html

The idea came to me after reading an article about a boy just like Nate. He, too, killed his white supremacist father, except it wasn’t in self defense, and the real boy was ten. It stuck with me. I kept wondering what he’d experienced to reach a point where murder was his only way out at such a young age. That’s when Nate came to me. I did a lot of research on hate groups, especially how they recruit, how they operate, and how they handle the media. The Fort is based on a real compound here in Alabama. Every hate incident in the book was inspired by something that happened in real life. This is a story I was terrified to tell, but one that wouldn’t let me go. While I was writing this story, Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Eric Garner was killed in New York, conversations and debates were happening across the country. This book is part of that conversation. Through it, I hope readers see how easy it is to let fear and misinformation navigate your decisions.

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook


Today we also celebrate Rosalyn Eves release of Blood Rose Rebellion!

Rosalyn Eves

pre-pu          pre-pub

 

1. Your book Blood Rose Rebellion has released! Yay! How does it feel?

Being a debut has been such a wild mix of emotions I’m not sure I’ve untangled them all yet. There are some really wonderful parts–seeing so many friends and family come out to support me and my book, seeing my book in the wild for the first time (actually, that hasn’t gotten old yet). Finding my book in unexpected places, like an airport bookstore or Target. But I’m a pretty strong introvert, and so it’s also been a little exhausting and I’m still catching up on my life. Some days it doesn’t quite seem real. 🙂

2. How has the book tour been? What’s it like?

Book tours are probably different for everyone–some authors get sent with other authors. In my case, I was sent by myself, but other, more established authors hosted each event, which was really helpful since I was never sure what to expect (or if anyone would show up!) I always tend to expect the worst, so I’ve been relieved to have people show up to all the events and they’ve been uniformly gracious, interested, and welcoming. I wound up spending quite a bit of time by myself between events, and even for someone who *likes* being alone, I was definitely glad to be around people when the events came around. (Hmm. Maybe that was part of my publicist’s plan!) Ultimately, I loved getting to visit new places and meet new people, but I’m also happy to be home with my husband and kids too.

3. What is next for you? 

I have one more bookstore event, in Boston, at Trident books, on April 27th. Then I’m helping with a writing conference in May and I need to finish writing book three, which, to be honest, is terrifying me right now. I have some great ideas, but the story feels bigger than my skill set and I’m going to have to work hard to pull it off. I’m taking comfort from something Neil Gaiman said in the introduction to American Gods, which is that he only ever knows how to write the book he just finished–each new project is a new challenge.

Follow Rosalyn: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Facebook

Thank you for joining our Pre-Pub Adventure Rosalyn! We look forward to your next adventure. 

Nic Stone

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1. You were featured in NY Times! How do you feel about that?

Oh man. Honestly, I’m still in total disbelief. It was a literal dream come true, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen so SOON, you know? I’m still six months out from publication! When I got the email saying a reporter from the New York Times wanted to interview me, I was stunned. And then to hear MY little book mentioned on The Book Review podcast? Amazing.

2.  Dear Martin is being published in Brazil! Congrats! How did that come about?

Beyond my wonderful fairy god-agent submitting it to publishers there and one of them liking it, I have no idea, lol! Like the New York Times feature, the Brazil sale also caught me totally off guard. Definitely excited about holding DEAR MARTIN in Portuguese though!

3. You recently went to MADCAP Retreat. I”ve always wanted to go and learn from authors like you! What was it like?

Oh my gosh. I would seriously go to every single last Madcap Retreat ever if I could. It was magic. Being in the company of so many incredible writers, all of whom are in pursuit of becoming even better, was really encouraging, especially since writing can be such a solitary endeavor. You just meet and connect and spend time and forge legitimate bonds with so many amazing people. I highly recommend!

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


Katie Bayerl

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1. Your book A Psalm for lost Girls released! Yay! How does it feel?

Oh, my gosh. It’s surreal and delightful and strange. I’m behaving a bit like a mom who can’t stop checking up on her kid at college—Are you hanging in there, book? How are the shelves treating you? And the Internet? Need me to send you more snacks?

2. How has the book tour been? What’s it like?

I really spread out my so-called tour—a few events here, a few events there. So far my favorite ones have been the events with kids. Last week, I got to do a workshop with students from the high school where I first trained as a teacher. The next day, I stood in front of an auditorium full of middle schoolers and got them to laugh. I’ve always loved talking with young writers about their stories, so in some ways this isn’t new territory for me, but as a “guest author” I’m able to interact with students in a new way that is so, so satisfying.

3. What is next for you? 

At some point I’m going to stop sending my book so many metaphorical snacks and let her be out there in the world on her own. I may need an intervention or a stiff drink to get there, but I think it will be good for both of us once I do. I’m looking forward to having more time and headspace to work on my next book!

Follow Katie: Twitter * Facebook

Thank you for joining our Pre-Pub Adventure Katie! We look forward to your next adventure. 


1. You have less than a month until When Planets Fall releases! Yay! How are you preparing for that?

I’m probably the only author who will ever say this . . . but I actually have been preparing by doing . . . less. I got a lecture from my doctor saying I’m pushing myself too hard. So I’ve had to majorly back off doing marketing. Or, really, everything. Not the news you want to hear before a book launch, but one I needed to hear.

In lieu of marketing I’ve been trying to focus on Book 2. I was working on a novella for the series but was able to finally figure out how to fold that into Book 2. Now my first draft is even closer to being finished! Best feeling ever!

2. There is a blog tour going on now, which I had the pleasure of interviewing you for, how has that been?

 The blog tour has been really fun! (and thanks so much for interviewing me!!). I loved answering all the questions and it’s been really fun reading some reviews. I don’t think I’ll keep reading reviews once the book releases, just to keep my head clear. But it’s really fun to be seeing people enjoy the book. Totally makes my day 🙂

3. What have you been doing to lay low before your publishing date next month?

 I’ve been doing a lot of reading but I’ve also been painting again! I haven’t been able to paint much lately, so it’s felt r-e-a-l-l-y good to be back in my loft. It’s my happy place 🙂 I’ve finished a couple pieces and hope to re-sharpen my watercolor skills. Watercolor is one of those mediums where you have to be constantly dong it to stay sharp. At least, I do. I have to know my paper and brushes and colors. The longer they sit, the more I have to figure out their temperament again before we can work together.  I’m excited to dive back in!


Amanda Foody

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1. So excited for your next book Ace of Shades, which you said was Six of Crows meets Spirited Away. You had me at Spirited away! How did you come up with the idea?

 

Honestly, I’ve been working on ACE for so long, that I’m not entirely sure where the idea originated, as it is one of many attempts of mine to write a book that mixes magic and money. I also had a very unique publishing journey with it, as it was considered “dead” for over two years before my publisher made it an offer. Actually, my revisions on the book right now are the first time I’ve gotten to dig my hands into it in over there years. I feel like I’m rekindling my old teenage romance, without the clearest memory of how it began, only that my love for the story and the characters never really faded. ACE has always felt like the most defining book I’d ever write. It was scribbled into the margins of my high school notebooks and plotted out against the giant whiteboard I bought myself after graduation and still keep with me now.

However, the core of the idea is an amalgamation of a lot of different concepts. The novel follows two characters and their two different plotlines: Enne Salta, a lady-to-be, who has left her entire life behind to find her missing mother in the “City of Sin;” and Levi Glaisyer, the card dealer with crime lord aspirations, whose unraveling Ponzi Scheme could end his life before it truly begins. Additionally, it is set in a world where the source of currency is directly derived from magic, a magic created by a select group of bloodlines.

The plot of the story and the characters definitely came from Spirited Away, one of my all-time favorite movies. Enne is Chihiro, Levi is Haku, and Vianca–the vicious owner of one of the city’s most famous casinos–is Yubaba. Although the novel has some major Six of Crows vibes, its influencers were several years older, like the street gangs in THE DEMON KING, the relationship of Day and June in LEGEND, and the cons of WHITE CAT. As for the Ponzi Scheme, I’ve held a long-time interest in them ever since my dad told me the story of how a company he worked for collapsed due to a Ponzi Scheme run up top. Seems appropriate, now that I’m getting my masters in accountancy. My accounting nerdiness really comes through in the story.

 

2. Your cover reveal happened last month for Daughter of the Burning City and it’s gorgeous! Did you have any input for it?

I was able to offer some feedback on the overall stylistic choices for the cover, like the colors and such. I think the artist did a great job selecting a very eye-catching, unique backdrop that does a great job in suiting the feel of the Gomorrah Festival, the circus city where DOTBC takes place. The smoke, the size, the bright colors–it’s very Gomorrah.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram


Kayla Olson

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1. What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m revising my second book, which will be out in Fall 2018 from HarperTeen! I’m on a tight deadline, but am so excited to make the book even stronger.

 

2.  I love your writer life posts on Instagram! They are very inspirational. How did you come up with the idea?

Thank you! I’ve had such a blast doing those posts. On New Year’s Eve, I saw someone post a month’s worth of prompts for January, so I jumped in—and found I really enjoyed the structure of having prompts, especially in this busy season where I’m putting so much energy into writing/revising (which means I naturally have less time/energy for social media). The challenges have been so much fun, because everyone puts their own unique spin on each day’s prompt. I did another one in February, but when I couldn’t find one for March, I decided to just…create one! That’s how #writereadrepeat was born. So many people participated, which was great, because I met a ton of new writer friends. This month’s challenge is #writelifeapril, created by Gina Denny (@ginad129) and Darci Cole (@darcicole)—I’ve missed a few days this month, but it’s always fun to jump in when I can!

3. Tell us something silly you recently did!

Oh, man, with a five year old in the house, I feel like I’m constantly doing silly things to make him laugh! The latest thing is that I’m always giving our cat new names…the most recent name being “Wobbegongical Reaction” (“Dubber” for short), which evolved from the previous silly name I gave him (“Wobbegong”)(a type of Australian carpet shark)(because our cat is constantly eating our carpet). Our cat’s *actual* name is Remy, named after the rat in Ratatouille.

Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog


Until next month!

Love Tawney

Pre-Pub Adventure: March 2017

Today on Pre-Pub Adventure we are celebrating a book release!

Every 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.

This week one of our authors had a book release. We celebrate the release of Katie Bayerl release of A Psalm for Lost Girls!

Katie Bayerl

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1. Your book has just released! How do you feel?

I’ve had the best week! I was all nerves and flutter on Monday, but the outpouring of love this week washed all of that away. I am now filled up with love for all of the folks who’ve been part of this journey—my wonderful agent, Erin Harris, the incredible team at Penguin Teen, my ridiculously large and enthusiastic biological family, and my writer family who came out in full force to celebrate with me. I had my first Skype visit with students this week too, and it was so much fun!

2. What are you doing for your release? 

I celebrated with a blizzard, literally! Mother Nature threw quite the party on Tuesday. I spent most of the day responding to a corresponding blizzard of messages on social media and then tromped out in the snow to have tacos and bubbly with a group of neighborhood friends. The official launch party isn’t until Saturday. That’s when I’ll be celebrating with a larger group at one of my favorite bookstores, Porter Square Books, and then–best part—enjoying some saint-themed cocktails at a nearby restaurant.

3.  Any advice for newbie writers? 

I think the best advice has been well covered by others. It isn’t very sexy, but it’s true:

1. Read a lot, read it all, soak in great stories and art through your pores.

2. Write a lot. This seems obvious, but you have to put lots of words on the page to have material to work with.

3. Keep going. Writing—and publishing—a book takes far longer than any of us ever imagine when we get started. You don’t have to worry about the longer timeline, though. Just look at the next step ahead of you—whether it’s finishing today’s chapter, working through a revision, or sending out a few more queries. Lift up your chin and get. it. done.

Follow Katie: Twitter * Facebook


 

Nic Stone

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1. What have you been up to this month?

**Boring Alert** I got my first round of edits on my Fall 2018 release! Which is… odd? Working on the thing that comes after the first thing even though the first thing is still seven months from being on a shelf? Lesson: publishing is WEIRD.

A little less boring: my book was chosen for the BookExpo Buzz program! (Google it. It’s pretty cool.) So I’ve been vacillating between shock-and-awe and wild-celebratory-dancing. And lastly, I’m actually writing this while sitting in a session at a Madcap Retreat (again Goooooooogle!). It’s basically the best thing ever and every writer should do one.

2. Any advice for newbie writers?

I won’t give the cliche, though very excellent: READ AND WRITE A LOT (except I just did, muahahaha #subterfuge), but also 1. Be okay with sucking. We all suck in the beginning. Practice makes better. (And even with YEARS of practice, your first draft will ALWAYS suck. It’s cool. NBD. I promise.) And 2. Try really hard to keep your sense of self and worth OUT of your pages. What I mean by that: you are not your work. Your work is your work. If someone doesn’t like your work, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you’re not good enough or you’re worthless or they don’t like YOU. It just means they don’t like your work.

  3. Any book recommendations?

      

Out now: Angie Thomas’s THE HATE U GIVE (duh), Tiffany Jackson’s ALLEGEDLY (this one is deeeeeep), Sarah Lemon’s DONE DIRT CHEAP (swoon!), and Jeff Zentner’s GOODBYE DAYS.

Coming soon(ish): Sonia Belasco’s SPEAK OF ME AS I AM, Laura Ruby’s YORK (y’all, this book.), and Jason Reynolds’ MILES MORALES (Hullo, black Spiderman!).

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


Kayla Olson

kayla      pre-pub-4

1. 3 months until The Sandcastle Empire is out! How do you feel? 

THREE MONTHS. WHAT. I feel like I’m at the top of a roller coaster, equal parts exhilarated and slightly overwhelmed (in the best way); part of me wants to stop time so I can enjoy the view, while the other part is pure adrenaline, anticipating the rush of excitement to come. (!!!)

2. How are you prepping for the release? 

This month, I’m taking things day by day, trying to do as much as I can ahead of time so I’m not overcommitted close to my release date: answering interview questions for posts I’ve committed to; planning another giveaway or two in the lead-up to release; nailing down event logistics; things like that. Most importantly, I’m trying to enjoy the experience and be grateful for every little thing—I think the only way to avoid getting swept away by this busy season is gratitude, along with making rest a priority.

3. What fun things did you do this month? 

Ooh, fun question! First fun thing of note: I attended the North Texas Teen Book Festival in Irving a couple of weeks ago, and was able to catch up with (and meet) so many lovely writer friends! I also did an ARC giveaway for The Sandcastle Empire while at NTTBF—the winner was someone I’ve connected with on Twitter over the past several months, and it was so lovely to finally meet her in person. The next fun thing: I finally finished drafting my Fall 2018 book, which was SO exciting! (It’s a standalone, not at all related to The Sandcastle Empire—details to come!) I love the project, and am very much looking forward to making it even stronger in revision.

Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog


 Abby Reed

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1. What have you been up to this month?

I work slower than most, so I’ve been plodding along on Book 2 and a novella for the series. That was my priority, but I also started prepping for blog tours so I don’t have to cram last minute and prepped for some classes I’m teaching this year. Due to my illness, I had to take a step back from marketing (now is normally the time you step it up) and take some me-time. I’ve been sleeping in, going to yoga classes, catching up on reading. I’ve easily read 20 books in the last month.

I also got my Kirkus Review! It was really positive and I totally cried. I hadn’t cried like this since I got the you’re-going-to-be-pubished email. You can read the review here!

In short it said: “In this richly imagined start to a new sci-fi series, Reed brings optimism to the goal of solving entrenched violence in a galaxy far, far away…A propulsive, sharply crafted tale about a planetary war.”

I’m still crying.

2. You have 2 months until When Planets Fall comes out! How are you dealing with that?

2. It doesn’t feel real. I’ve done so much preparing for being published, it honestly feels like I’m already published. Except, I’m not. Once I hold WHEN PLANETS FALL in my hands, I’m sure the reality will hit me. But I’ve got two more months before that happens 🙂 Honestly, I’m so happy about my Kirkus Review I already feel like I conquered the world. Anything else at this point will just be frosting.

I’ll be excited once the pub date passes because then I can really hone in on working on the next book without extra distractions. I think that’s where some of the weird-reality feeling stems from. Even though I’m being published, I still have to keep chugging on the next book. It almost feels like I’m starting completely over, though technically I’m not.

3.  Any advice for newbie writer’s who are just coming into the writing world?

My dad stopped by this week for lunch. He brought me a gluten-free cupcake and we talked about publishing and cultural pressures to achieve and succeed and accomplish. I complained about how much I want to do x, y, z but I can’t because of being sick, and how much I hate having to decide what’s best for me and doing it.

He said, there’s a deeper integrity that comes with doing what works best for you. You put aside what everyone else tells you you need. Instead, you live more true to yourself and to what you need. For me, this meant less marketing and more me-time because that’s what my body needs to survive. It means working more slow, at the pace I need. Not trying to push-push-push myself into goals I think I should have.

I really, really like this approach to integrity. When I hear integrity, I think “don’t lie and don’t be fake.” I’ve never thought of integrity in this way–of being true to what I need and pushing aside other pressures.

So, that’s my advice because it’s the advice I need right now: Live with integrity and do what’s best for you.

Follow Rosalyn: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Facebook


Amanda Foody

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What have you been working on this month?


I’m still deep into the revisions of my second project, Ace of Shades. I’ve also been plotting and organizing a new WIP so that I can begin drafting once I finish these revisions, though that probably won’t be for a few more months.

What advice can you give writer’s with writer’s block?

Outlining books beforehand usually prevents you from getting stuck mid-draft. As for getting ideas, consume as much media as possible! Books, movies, video games, anything!

Do you have a playlist for your book?

 

Yep! You can find my Spotify playlists here: https://open.spotify.com/user/akfoody

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram

Rosalyn Eves

pre-pu          pre-pub

1. Your release is just weeks away! How are you feeling?

 

A little like I’m on a thrill ride, honestly! Sometimes elated, sometimes terrified, sometimes confused . . . I’ve got a lot of little things to take care of that I don’t normally do, so I’m constantly a little distracted. But it’s starting to feel real: I got an author copy of the finished book and it was so beautiful that I teared up. Of course, then I tried to show my kids so that someone could share my excitement, and they were all basically like, “So?”

2.  What are you working on now?

I’m currently plotting through some problem areas in book 3 and reworking the opening chapters again. I’m expecting copy edits for book two about the same time Blood Rose Rebellion comes out, so I’ll switch back to book two then.

3. Any book recommendations?

   

I just read Angie Thomas’s THE HATE U GIVE, which was incredible. Powerful, so well-crafted, and such an important topic. I wish everyone would read it. True, parts of it were uncomfortable to read, but they were supposed to be, and I still find myself thinking about the book all the time. Also, Katie Bayerl’s A PSALM FOR LOST GIRLS comes out this week, and it’s a gorgeous book. A lovely sister story, a mystery, a meditation on unknowable things, wrapped in exquisite prose.


Until the next adventure friends!
Love Tawney