Pre-Pub Adventure: March

Today is a special Pre-Pub Adventure day! The authors will be showing their favorite sentences or paragraphs form their books!

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Let’s take a peek at our Pre-Pub Adventure authors’ books!


 

Nisha Sharma

 

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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“Remember, Winnie Mehta, fighting fate never works. I’ve made a career out of proving just how powerful destiny can be.”

In MY SO-CALLED BOLLYWOOD LIFE, the heroine Winnie has dreams where one of the biggest actors in Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, visits her and gives her life advice. This line is from the first time Shah Rukh Khan visits Winnie. Shah Rukh Khan delivers the line after Winnie questions whether or not he knows what he’s talking about.

The reason why this is one of my favorite lines in the book is because it was one of the first scenes I wrote when I started drafting My So-Called Bollywood Life, and it remained untouched after all the years of editing the book went through. I think the reason why it hasn’t changed, is because it’s the key truth the main character has to realize in her journey through the story. I hope readers enjoy the journey as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Follow NishaTwitter * Instagram * Blog


Don Zolidis

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What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

It’s so hard to pick one paragraph or line! So I picked this one from the first chapter that kind of encapsulates the tone and theme of the book:

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“Craig,” she said gently, “I don’t want to hurt you.” This is what she always said while she was hurting me. It was as if someone was taking an ice pick and stabbing it through my eye. I don’t want to hurt you. Stab. Stab. Stab. You’re only making it worse by screaming and crying. Stab. Stab. Stab. This will feel much better when I do the other eye.

Follow Don: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


Amy Trueblood

      

 

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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“Do you want to talk about it? The war?” I asked.

“No. I don’t like thinking about it, much less speaking about it.”

I understood what he meant. You could fool yourself into believing you had a normal life if you never thought or talked about your past. It was easier to put those feelings away in some small box locked deep inside your heart rather than face it every day. 

The reason I love this part of the book is that for the first time readers are seeing Grace recognize the deep flaws in her life. How she realizes that her past makes her vulnerable. In this scene with Henry she sees herself reflected back in his pain, and she acknowledges that for the first time in her life perhaps she’s not alone.

 Follow Amy:Facebook * Instagram * Twitter * Blog


 

Adrienne Young

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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I have way too many favorites, but here is one! I cried while writing this little section. Inge, who you will meet in Sky in the Deep, is explaining sál fjotra – an unbreakable bond between souls. I love this because I feel like it’s so true in real life, finding a connection with others through pain that you may have never formed without it. There is something really special about those bonds and I think in a way, they really are unbreakable. When you’ve hurt with someone, you become fused to them on a very deep level. Eelyn calls it “a tether borne of tears”.

Inge spoke softly. “This kind of bond is formed when a soul is broken. It’s formed through pain, loss, and heartbreak. They’re bound by something deeper than we can see. And that made Iri family.”

I stopped trying to hold back the tears that were waiting to fall. Because I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was what I had with Mýra. A tether borne of tears.

Follow Adrienne: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram Blog


Laurie Morrison

  

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

It’s hard to pick a favorite sentence or paragraph! But here’s one I really love:

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“It’s all still completely messed up, that I live in this big house with all this expensive stuff we don’t really need and go to this school where most people’s parents drive shiny new cars and buy them expensive stuff that they don’t need, either, and then there are neighborhoods like the one in Northeast Philly where Mr. Ellis used to teach and even the one where Sierra came from. And even though I don’t know what to do to make any of it less unfair, I do know this: I’m not going to forget about Hailey or zone out when I walk past somebody asking for money on the street. I won’t. Because someday, maybe, I’ll be able to do something more.”

This paragraph comes from the end of the book and I added it pretty late in the game, at the line-edit stage. I like these sentences so much because they really capture my main character’s enduring commitment to justice. The desire to act when she sees something unfair is at the core of her character, and she makes a whole lot of really big mistakes throughout the novel, but I don’t think those bad decisions define her. What really defines her, in my mind, is her continued determination and hope that she will someday help to make the world a better place even though she’s majorly flubbed her very misguided first attempt at doing that. I love this about her and hope readers will, too!

Follow Laurie: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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There’s a certain very famous designer who’s been quoted as saying, “No one wants to see roundish women.” For this guy, fashion is a world of dreams and illusions where only certain people are welcome.

Of course, it’s true that fashion mocks and humiliates fat people relentlessly. But the real deal is that we’ve all been Roundish at one time or another. We’ve all been made to think we’re less than we ought to be. We’ve all faced su­perficial shaming about our sizes, shapes, skin tones, hair or age and have been led to believe that our value is based only on what we see in the mirror.

Yet this designer is totally wrong about fashion. He’s completely missed the point. It’s not an illusion or a dream. It’s a tool that should help people feel good about themselves and to achieve their dreams.

The Roundish are the thinkers, dreamers, doers and be­lievers. Your heart, your spirit, your hopes—these are the things that matter.

About this excerpt: Personally, I have always loved fashion but also, as a fat person, have felt quite excluded by it. There are entire trends – like skinny jeans – designed to show that fashion isn’t really meant for fat people. In my book, I really wanted to explore that idea via my main character, Cookie Vonn. She’s pursuing her passion of designing clothes, dreaming of success in a field that often deliberately shuns people who look like like her. So there’s this tension between this art form that Cookie loves and the industry that monetizes it. Part of her process of growing up is trying to find out if she can change that industry or if it’s going to change her.
Follow Kelly: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog

Mae Respicio

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My favorite lines in The House That Lou Built are actually the very first and last lines but since I don’t want to give those away I’ll share a few that introduce one of my favorite characters in the book, Lou’s wood shopteacher:

“Whenever Mr. Keller sees people goofing off during shop, he points at them with his nub and says, “Careful or you’ll lose a digit.” His finger ends at the joint. He lost the tip in high school while not paying attention during shop. Everyone freaks out when they see the stub up close—including me. Right now it’s hovering a few inches from my face, pale and smooth around the bone. I try not to look.”

Follow Mae on: Twitter * Instagram Blog

 Weren’t all these quotes beautiful and leave you wanting more?

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See you on the next Pre-Pub Adventure!
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Pre-Pub Adventure: February Part 2

It’s time for Part 2 of our publishing adventure for February.

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 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.

Today we have a new author part of the publishing adventure! Say hi to Saadia Farugi!

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Saadia Faruqi

        

 

1. Introduce yourself!

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I’m a Pakistani American author and activist living in Houston, TX. I write a lot… essays, grant proposals, marketing copy, and also fiction. I wrote a short story collection for adults a few years ago called Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan. More recently, I’ve been trying my hand at children’s books: my debut early reader series Meet Yasmin is forthcoming from Capstone on August 1, 2018. Besides writing, my passion is interfaith and intercultural dialogue: I was featured in O Magazine in 2017 for my cultural sensitivity trainings in Houston.

2. Tell us a little about your book and how it came to be?

Meet Yasmin is a set of 4 individual stories about a second grade Pakistani American girl named Yasmin. They are early reader chapter books geared for children in K-2 which is a time when kids are forming their identities and first learning about the world around them. It was very important to me to offer books about a South Asian family for younger children, so that they learn to grow up without prejudice and fear. The series features Yasmin as well as her parents and grandparents, and it will appeal to all sorts of children regardless of their own background.

3. What are you currently reading?

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I’m currently reading Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown. Having seen illness and death in my own family I think it’s so critical for kids to understand how to deal with sad and scary real-life events. Probably adults can learn something from this book too!

Follow Saadia: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog

 


 

Erin Callahan

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LOL — I have a full-time job and a three-year-old so writing almost never takes up my whole day. I will admit I occasionally skip hair washing. On a serious note, if anyone out there thinks they can’t write a novel because they have kids and/or can’t afford to write full-time, many, many writers and I are proof that that is not the case. You just have to learn to take advantage of every spare moment instead of waiting for a big chunk of writing time. For example, you can take the minutes you save by not washing your hair, and use them to bang out two or three paragraphs on your phone. *hee hee*

Follow Erin: Twitter * Instagram * Blog


Laurie Morrison

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1. What have you been working on this month?

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My co-author Cordelia and I have been busy scheduling events for Every Shiny Thing and revising a new co-written project we really love. I’m also very slowly making some progress on a new solo middle grade novel that I’m both excited about and intimidated by.

2. What are you currently reading? 

I’m part of two book clubs–one online and one in person–and I’ve been reading the February selections for both. For my in-person book club, I’m reading Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s The War I Finally Won. It’s the follow-up to her Newbery Honor book The War That Saved My Life, and so far it’s just as powerful and fascinating as that one, which is saying a lot. I’m also part of the Middle Grade at Heart team, so I’ve been re-reading this month’s fabulous pick, See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng, to get ready for our newsletter, which will go out on February 26, and our Twitter chat on March 6. It’s just as charming and poignant on the second read, and I can’t wait to chat about it with other writers, readers, teachers, and librarians.

3. Sometimes writing can take up your whole day so be honest, how often do you wash your hair?

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I’m pretty consistent with hair washing, mostly because I don’t feel totally awake without a morning shower. But I definitely let other things go when I’m especially busy with writing. I haven’t been very good about exercise lately. Or downtime generally, really! It’s a bit of a strange goal, but I’m actually hoping to de-prioritize reading and watch a little more TV next month.

Follow Laurie: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

 


Melanie Sumrow

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1.Your cover for The Prophet Calls was just revealed on @Pop_Reader and it’s gorgeous! Did you get to have any input for it?

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Thank you! I’m so glad you like it!

My editor contacted me from the start to see if I had any ideas about how I wanted the cover to look. At that point, I gave more of a general suggestion of how I wanted the cover to “feel” versus specific direction. The illustrator, Colleen Tighe, then provided several sketches and I also received input from the cover’s designer, David DeWitt. Immediately, my editor and I were drawn to a pencil sketch that showed only the backs of three girls, my main character and two of her sisters.

Once we had it narrowed down to that sketch, I provided very specific requests: how their hair should look, how they should stand, their hair color and their dresses, which had to be in pastels because the ladies in the community I based it on primarily wear pastel colors.

And here was a challenge: how do you have pastel colors on a cover and yet project an ominous feel? That’s where the brilliant work of the illustrator and the cover designer really shined. From the muted pastels to the dark background to the title font, they achieved the overall feel I wanted from the very beginning.

I feel so fortunate that they included me in the process, because I think the end result is truly beautiful!

What are you currently reading?

One of the best parts of being in the Electric Eighteens is the ARC tour. I have been able to read so many good books that are coming out this year.

Right now, I’m reading EVERY SHINY THING by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison. It is a middle-grade novel told in alternating verse and prose. I don’t want to spoil it, but it deals with some very tough topics (addiction, foster care, autism, family struggles) in a very real way, while still remaining appropriate for the intended reader. I’m not finished yet, but this book exemplifies exactly what I love about middle-grade fiction today.

Sometimes writing can take up your whole day so be honest, how often do you wash your hair?

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Ha! Yes, writing is time-consuming (by my own choice), especially since this is my only job now. I worked as a lawyer for more than 16 years, and many of those habits remain. I still get up every day and get ready for work, even though that simply means walking into my home office and opening the laptop. I know other writers work in their pajamas, and I think it’s great to do what works for you. But, for me, it’s like a signal to my brain: I have to get ready in order to be ready to write.

Follow Melanie: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog


Until the next publishing adventure!
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Pre-Pub Adventure: February Par 1

It’s time to go on a publishing adventure!

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 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.

Today we celebrate A.M. Rose book release of Road to Eugenica!

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A.M. Rose

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1. Congrats! Your book Road to Eugenica just came out today! How does that feel? 

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It has been a crazy world wind of a day. So many people coming out to wish me a happy book birthday. I even got some special cupcakes to celebrate with my family. It feels so amazing and scary at the same time. Drea’s story is out there for people to judge and all I can do is hope that they love her as much as I do.

2. What are your book launching plans?

My publisher has had me writing a bunch of blog posts and for someone who isn’t a blogger I found it pretty challenging. (Seriously, all you bloggers out there are rock stars.) My launch party is set for this coming up weekend and I’m excited that Road to Eugenica will also be featured by Storygram tours on Instagram.

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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Wow this is a super tough question. I think I would have to say I’d want to hang out for the day at Hogwarts with Luna Lovegood. I think she would be the perfect person to give me a tour. And who wouldn’t want to hang out at Hogwarts for the day.

Follow A.M. Rose: Twitter, Facebook, Blog


Don Zolidis

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1. What have you been up to this month?

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 I have been fighting sickness and writing my second book! I finally managed to work my way to the end of my first draft, and am now through about page 220 of the second draft. As soon as I stagger to the end of this, off it goes to my agent and an independent editor to get advice on all the terrible problems I put into the book!

2. What’s harder to write, a play or a novel?

It is soooo much easier to write a play! Part of that is because I have written so many plays they are second nature at this point. (I’ve published about 100 plays, so I can write a play in my sleep.) Simply put, though, a play is about 50,000 words less than a novel. There’s a lot less actual writing to do. Plus, you don’t have to worry about what anyone looks like, or if anyone is blinking at a given time, or what the weather is doing!

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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Hmm…. Gandalf? It seems like he has really cool friends – like a giant squad of eagles that help him out from time to time. I guess I always wanted to know why he didn’t crack out his magical powers all that often. If I was an amazing wizard, you would bet I’d be casting spells and showing off. Gandalf never did any of that. So I guess I would want to know why he didn’t help that much. I’m sure he could’ve used spells to fry some orcs here and there and help out the Fellowship.

Follow Don: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


1. What have you been up to?

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Well, I had been engaged in some much-needed life maintenance, but then last week I was struck down by the New York City plague. I was very lucky to be excellently taken care of by my lovely husband, but until this morning, I didn’t have the energy to do much more than lie on my couch and watch The End of the F***ing World. But, as of this morning, I am alive again and excited to go to ALA this weekend!

2. Your book The Accidental Bad Girl is part of the Thrills and Chills 18 Book Box, how does that feel?

I am so excited about the Thrills and Chills 2018 Book Box Series! The other authors in the giveaway — Dana Mele, Jessica Bayliss, Amelia Brunskill, Amelinda Berube, Amber McLelland, Kit Frick, and Demetra Brodsky — are all fabulous, witty, brilliant women and it’s so cool to be able to help introduce their writing to the world!

Enter here!

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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Miss Jane Marple. A long tea that leads to several glasses of sherry and gossip. I don’t care that I don’t know anyone in Saint Mary Meade. I WANT IT.

Follow Maxine: Blog * Twitter


Kelly deVos

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1. Your book Fat Girl On A Plane has been sold to Spain! Wahoo! How does that feel? 

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I am SO excited. One of the locations in my book is in Salta, Argentina and now it’s possible my actual book might be on sale there. My dream is that they desperately need me to do a signing. And I AM available. 🙂

2. You’re doing a 4k giveaway, tell us a little about it?

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Over on Twitter, I’m giving away an advanced copy of one of my favorite books so far of 2018, THE DIMINISHED, by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson. I also wanted to give away a couple of items that play on parts the book. In THE DIMINISHED, almost everyone is born a twin. So my prize includes a super cute set of Twin Pins that show high fiving cats. I’ve also got a pair of crystal moon earrings as a nod of the fact that the action in the book takes place 500 years after the world’s moons have broken apart. I hope everyone enters because this is an incredible book!

Enter here!

 

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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Ahhh! I don’t know that I could narrow it down to one. Can I have a slumber party with some of today’s YA characters? I’m thinking I’d have Jane Sinner from NICE TRY, JANE SINNER, Mei from AMERICAN PANDA, Vi from THE DIMINISHED, Camellia from THE BELLES, Grace from NOTHING BUT SKY, Mattie from THE ART OF ESCAPING and Serendipity from GUNSLINGER GIRL. We’d have adventures and teacup animals and dancing and dry, witty banter. And snacks. We must have snacks!

 

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Dana Mele

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1. Your book People Like Us comes out in 3 weeks! How does that feel?

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Scary and exciting. Everyone says there’s a huge emotional crash after the book releases, and I’m nervous about that. But it will be exciting to have it out in the world. I’m really looking forward to my launch party on February 28 at McNally Jackson. I was there yesterday for the launch of Down and Across (which I just started reading and is wonderful) and it was so much fun.

But I’m fairly anxious, too. There’s so much riding on the success of a first book and so many amazing books out there. I really have zero idea what to expect. I need to find a new show to binge watch. Taking suggestions!

2. What are you plans once the book launches?

To read more and write more! I need to conquer the book two monster and my TBR pile is growing out of control. I’ll be doing some events, too. I’ll be at the NoVa Teen Book Festival, the Rochester Teen Book Festival, and the NYC Teen Author Festival, and I may be adding a couple of other appearances to my events schedule. I update the calendar my website frequently! Danamele.com

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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That is a hard question. Off the top of my head I would say Jo March from Little Women. We’d spend the day writing and picnicking and I’d grill her on what really went down with Laurie and why she picked the professor, and doesn’t she secretly think Amy is kind of entitled and who’s her favorite idealized old guy: father, Mr. Lawrence, or the prof.

Follow Dana: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


Mae Respicio

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Yay! Thank you! It’s a contemporary middle grade about a girl named Kaia whose family has been through a tragedy—what she wants more than anything is for their lives to finally get back to normal. She’s obsessed with “mermaid makeup” and Filipino folklore, and uses her passions to come up with a unique plan to help her family. (I’m aiming for equal parts #joy and #getyourtissuesready with this one!)

2. Was it much harder to write the second book than the first?

Yes and no. Yes in that it’s hard to write any book… there will always be moments of self-doubt (I haven’t met any writer who feels otherwise). No in that my debut experience has turned out to be an amazing master class. The chance to work with a revered editor like Wendy Lamb has helped me strengthen my craft for sure, which somehow balances those hard writing days.

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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The middle grade reader in me would meet Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables in a magical spot on Prince Edward Island. We’d become fast friends, drinking raspberry cordials and musing about life and love.

Follow Mae on: Twitter * Instagram Blog

Jessica Pennington

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 1. Your almost finished with book 2’s first draft, how long did it take to write?

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Because I have a job that is seasonal (and a toddler I stay home with), my book 2 drafting was a bit sporadic. It started around this time last year. I wrote for a few months, and then had to put it aside for most of the summer while I put on my wedding planner hat, and then I jumped back into it this fall! I wrote Love Songs in 2014, before I was a mom, mostly between the hours of 10pm and 5am. I sat down to write anytime and anywhere, when inspiration struck. Book 2 I had to be much more structured, and in a lot of ways, I felt like I was re-learning how to write! I’m extremely excited to move into the revision phase, as it’s my favorite part of the process. And I’m going to be SO excited when I conquer book 2. What everyone says is true…it’s much harder than book 1!

2. You have a street team for Love Songs & Other Lies, tell us a little about what you hope your street team accomplishes?

I am SO excited about my street team, it’s a really fantastic group of bookish people! Promoting a book is funny, because you want to get people excited about your book, but also no one has READ your book! So my biggest hole from the street team is just that it’s a really fun place for fans of the book to commiserate, and for us all to have fun promoting the book in an authentic way. So far it’s been a ton of fun, I can’t say enough nice things about the group of people aboard “the tour bus” with me!

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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Oh man. I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t really have an all-time fave book, I’m always obsessed with what I’ve read pretty recently. But if I did meet someone fictional I’d want it to be a really epic experience so I think I’ll say Jace from The Mortal Instruments, and we’d ride the  motorcycle. I’ve never ridden a real motorcycle, so one that flies seems like the obvious place to start, right?

Follow Jessica: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog


 

Adrienne Young

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

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I’ve been working like crazy on my second book, a companion novel to Sky in the Deep coming in 2019! Things are speeding up with promo and marketing and I’m learning a lot along the way which has been overwhelming and awesome at the same time.

2. There have been many early great reviews for Sky In The Deep, how does that feel?

It feels amazing that people are “getting” the book. As an author, you really don’t know how people will receive your work or if they will understand what you were trying to do. I’m so happy that this book is clicking with people and that people are excited. I can’t wait for it to come out!

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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I would want to meet Jo March from Little Women. She was the only girl in a book I related to when I was young. She was so strong, with her own mind, and she was incredibly aware of how different she was from the people around her. if I met her in real life, I would honestly just give her a huge hug. And then I would probably weep uncontrollably. Haha.

 

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 See you next time for Part 2 of our publishing adventure on Pre-Pub Adventure!

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Pre-Pub Adventure: January Part 2

It’s the second part to our monthly blog series Pre-Pub Adventure!

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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.

Today we’re celebrating the release of Lyndsay Ely’s Gunslinger Girl!

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1. Your book Gunslinger Girl is out in the world! How does that feel?

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I’m still processing all the feelings, but pretty neat! I definitely expect that, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be popping into every bookstore I pass, just to see if it’s on the shelves.
 

2. You’re on tour now for Gunslinger Girl, what’s that like?

It was a lot of excitement, which led to a lot of exhaustion, because I was generally too wound up to properly rest. I really loved getting to visit a bunch of stores whose names I’ve heard for years, and talking with the booksellers there. Now all I want to do is plan a long road trip to visit indie bookstores all around the country!
 

3. What’s next for you?

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Pretty much same as always: write the next book! (Whatever that book may be…)

Follow Lyndsay: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


Nisha Sharma

 

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

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Moving! I packed up my house with my fiancé, my cat Lizzie Bennett, and my chihuahua Nancey Drew. We moved back to New Jersey to be closer to work and friends. Although we had to downsize a little bit, the whole process has been a really good one.

I’ve unfortunately been neglecting some writing through the whole moving situation, mostly because I’ve had no time to do anything but put things in boxes and then take them out again. Now that I’m starting to settle in, I’m falling back into my routine.

2. Your book My So-Called Bollywood Life is featured in Paste Magazine’s top 10 most anticipated books of 2018, Bookriot’s Hey YA! Podcast, Publisher’s Lunch Spring/Summer YA Buzz Books and in B&N Teen 11 new and forthcoming YAs from the South Asian diaspora. Congrats! How does that feel?

Thank you! And it feels wonderful. I’m so excited about the early buzz my book is getting. I feel like some days there is serious momentum and I’m flying high for hours while on other days, it’s just a waiting game until my release date in May.

I have to keep reminding myself that although lists are great, they aren’t the sole predictor of a book’s success. Some novels that hit all the lists end up falling short with readers, while others that don’t make a single list are huge successes. My job is to continue writing and build relationships with my audience.

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

Wild Embrace (Psy/Changeling Collection, A) by [Singh, Nalini]

I’m re-reading an adult urban fantasy romance series by Nalini Singh right now, and I’d love to meet one of the characters in her book. The alpha of the Snow Dancer wolf pack sounds ridiculously gorgeous and who doesn’t want to meet a gorgeous man? If we were to meet in person, I wouldn’t be able to do anything because I’d probably pass out from experiencing his hotness. That’s usually how my luck works, even in my dreams.

Follow Nisha Twitter * Instagram * Blog


 

Erin Callahan

1. What have you been working on for The Art of Escaping?

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 I just ordered bookmarks for THE ART OF ESCAPING because…*drum roll*…I will be promoting it at the ALA Midwinter Meeting! I plan to hand out bookmarks and signed ARCs to all the lovely librarians and other bookish folks who attend.

2.  The Art of Escaping is getting some great reviews, how does that feel?

Good reviews are always so validating and remind me why I’m still writing. That said, I also appreciate mixed reviews that include thoughtful critique. Honesty helps writers write better!

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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Oh jeez, this is a tough one! But I’ll give it a shot. A few months ago a read an ARC by a fellow 2018 debut — Maxine Kaplan’s THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL. There’s a nerdy and complex love interest named Gilly that I would love to hang out with while we watch some old-school film noir.
Follow Erin: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

Kamilla Benko

    

1. Your book The Unicorn Quest comes out in two weeks! How does that feel?

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It’s actually even sooner now! At the last minute, my pub date was moved up a week early to accommodate a bookstore’s request–which is a good thing! As I’ve navigated the publication process, I’ve learned it’s best not to sweat the small stuff, if you pardon the cliche. As an author, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of marketing and lists and reviews, when in reality, the only thing you can control are the words on the page.
As for my feelings…eep! It’s actually happening!!! It feels so surreal that this book that I’ve been working on for almost four years is about to be released into the wild!

2. Tell us a little about your pre-order incentives when readers pre-order The Unicorn Quest? It’s magical UNICORN SWAG!

I’ve lived many places and have friends from all over the world with whom I would love to share my pub day with, but since that’s not possible, I wanted to come up with something they could participate in as a  thank for their support over the last several years of writing…and then I realized it was something I wanted to share with everyone who took a chance and bought a debut novel.

So, anyone who fills out the form on my website will receive a Unicorn Quest sticker and bookmark, as well as an autographed bookplate so that they, too, can have a signed copy.

Ten people will also receive a poster of my GORGEOUS UK Cover!

And finally–because it’s fun to procrastinate and I like to google unicorn-themed items–I put together a Unicorn Grand Prize which contains a unicorn necklace, a unicorn journal, and a unicorn mug. Because as everyone knows, if you can’t be a unicorn, you should have as much unicorn decor as possible!

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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Why would you give me such a difficult question? There are so many characters I want to meet! After a lot of thought, I would want to meet Albus Dumbledore. He’s the most approachable wise person I’ve ever read, and I would love any personal advice from him, even if it’s just to avoid Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans.
Follow Kamilla: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

Laurie Morrison

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1. With a few months to go until Every Shiny Thing releasing, how are you preparing?

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I’ve been working on an educators’ guide for Every Shiny Thing, which has been a lot of fun. I taught middle school English for ten years, so I’ve been enjoying using my teacher brain and thinking about the questions I’d ask and activities I’d assign if I were reading the book with students. My co-author Cordelia and I have also been planning some events. We’ve got a few school visits and bookstore events on the calendar so far, so that’s both surreal and exciting!

2.  Every Shiny Thing has been getting great reviews, how does that feel?

Thank you! It’s been especially incredible to see the response the book is getting from teachers and librarians who are excited about sharing it with kids and teens. When I taught 6th-8th grade language arts, I spent a lot of time looking for upper middle grade novels that would resonate with my students and spark conversations about the big questions I saw them grappling with. I’ve hoped that Every Shiny Thing would be the kind of book that could do these things for 5th-8th graders, so I’m so honored and thrilled when I hear from educators who believe it’s a valuable book to give middle school readers!

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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I’d love to have a picnic with Anne Shirley at some especially scenic spot on Prince Edward Island. I cherished Anne of Green Gables as a kid and was delighted to re-read it as an adult and adore Anne just as much now. I’d just love to sit and chat with her…but I’d know to be careful if she offered me any raspberry cordial!
Follow Laurie: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

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

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Since we last checked in, we have been finalizing the cover for THE PROPHET CALLS, and I’m absolutely in LOVE with it! The artist has done an amazing job, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

I have also been editing a YA manuscript and have been in the process of researching for my next secret MG project, which I’m very excited about!

2. There seems to be a great connection with all the 2018 debut authors, part of @Class2K18Books , what’s that like?

I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Electric 18s. I have had the opportunity to interact with people I might not have otherwise met, and it’s such a supportive group of YA/MG authors. Since I have a November release date, I have been lucky to learn from my fellow Electrics who are publishing before me. They have great insight about the details of the business none of us knew before becoming a debut and have been so generous in sharing what they’ve learned.

3. If you had to pick any character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

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Oooo, that’s a tough one, but the first one who comes to mind is Snape. He’s such a misunderstood character for so much of the HARRY POTTER series, and I’d just love to sit with him in The Three Broomsticks over a butter beer and ask him questions about his past.

 

Follow Melanie: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog


 Until the next adventure!
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Love Tawney

Pre-Pub Adventure: January Part 1

It’s a new year! Welcome back to the publishing adventure.

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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.


 

Laura Steven

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

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Honestly? A lot of eating, drinking and being merry. I’ve had an amazing festive period with friends and family, but now I’m raring to go in 2018. I’ve also been chipping away at a new YA project, and hit the 30,000 word mark on New Year’s Eve. That felt awesome – especially because I’m usually flagging at this point in the drafting process, and yet somehow it still feels magical.

To be completely honest with you, I’m also having a serious bout of self-doubt about my upcoming debut release. We’re two months out, but now that we’re officially in 2018, it suddenly feels a lot more real. I’ve been suffering severe insomnia stressing about my launch party (what if nobody comes?!) and preorder numbers (what if they’re not high enough and my agent/publisher drops me?!), and the only thing keeping me sane is my WIP and the amazing Electric 18s debut group.

2. What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp, which is out to buy! It was a brilliantly atmospheric exploration of inspiration porn and small town prejudice. I also read Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King, which instantly become one of my all-time favourite YA contemporaries. Next up on my pile is Goodbye Days, because I’m an incredible masochist and would like my heart to be ripped out all over again, and You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon, which is also out today. 2018 is going to be an amazing year for YA!

3. Any resolutions for the new year?

Not resolutions, exactly, but I have goals. Big ones. I want to write two books, edit the sequel to The Exact Opposite of Okay, outline proposals for two other ideas I have, and write a new comedy pilot. I also want to finally meet my Goodreads goal, which I’ve set at 52 every year and never quite managed to achieve. In my personal life, I would like to get up a little earlier, but again I’ve told myself this for years and always failed! Ah, well. We can’t all be morning people.

Follow Laura: Twitter * Instagram* Blog


 

Mae Respicio

1. What have you been working on?

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I’ve been working on a few things including my next #MG novel (more official info soon!) and some picture books. I try to have at least a couple of fiction projects in rotation so that if I get stuck on onewhich happens a lot, I can noodle around with another. 

2. Writing can be hard, do you have any advice on conquering self-doubt?  

Self-doubt is such a normal (and dare I say frequent?) part of the writing process (or at least my writing process!). I try to focus on one thing that I have control over—improving my craft. Workshopping, reading craft books, reading a bunch in my genre to analyze what works/what doesn’t… all of these things arm me with tools to conquer any lack of confidence on the page. That’s the goal, anyway! 

3. It’s a new year! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Yes! My New Year’s goal is to get back into a regular medication practice and to work on the mindful art of letting go. That, and to stop stress-eating giant spoonfuls of Nutella during #amrevising. 

Follow Mae on: Twitter * Instagram Blog

A.M. Rose

A.M. Rose    Road to Eugenica (Eugenica Chronicles) by [Rose, A.M.]

1. What have you been working on?

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I’ve been working on edits for NOT INNOCENT, another book that is coming out from Entangled Teen in 2019. And I’m excited to say it is really coming along. I can’t wait to tell everyone more about this book.

 

2. You have a Pre-Order giveaway going on for ROAD TO EUGENICA, tell us a little about that!

My pre-order for Road to Eugenica is up and running. I was lucky to have the amazing artist, Beka Duke do some character drawings so anyone who orders the book will get a limited edition character bookmark. Also, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to giveaway and thought that giving out some “surprise gifts” would be a fun way to run this. So a few people will get more than just the postcard, bookplate and bookmark(s). And the more books you buy the more chances you have at getting something great. Like the Amazon Echo Dot. (I have one, and love it.)
Check out the Pre-Order Giveaway here!
3. It’s a new year! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

As for New Year’s resolutions I haven’t really thought about it. Since having two surgeries this last year I’d like to get back into working out, as soon as I’m done with physical therapy. It’s been hard not having that outlet. I’d also like to finish a few of the books I’m working on and get back on the query train to find an agent. Right now I’m really just taking it one day at a time.

Follow A.M. Rose: Twitter, Facebook, Blog

 

Rachel Lynn Solomon

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

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Surreal. I tried to prepare myself for the response I’d get — mostly, preparing for people to hate my very unlikable protagonist, but a lot have connected with her, which I was definitely hoping for! But it was impossible to prepare for the deeply touching notes from people connecting with this book on a deep level for a variety of reasons — the representation of Judaism, the reality of living with a parent with a degenerative illness. And on a more personal level, I don’t think I’ll ever get over how wild it is to see the book on shelves, to see other people holding it!!

2. What was it like at your own book launch?

It was overwhelming in the best way!! I loved getting to see friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and I honestly couldn’t wrap my mind around people lining up so I could sign this book for them…I probably still sound dazed about it all because I totally am. It was really, really lovely, and I’m grateful beyond words.

3. It’s a new year! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

I’m hoping to finish a proposal for my next project, expand my reading horizons genre-wise, and go to dance class at least twice a week!

Follow Rachel: Twitter * Instagram * Snapchat * Blog


Maxine Kaplan

 

1. What have you been working on?

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With my fantasy WIP off to my agent for evisceration, I’ve turned my writing brain over to formulating a pitch for a project I hope to write. It’s actually inspired by a smaller character in THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL. Somehow, in the process of writing BAD GIRL, this character, who I had included mostly just for background texture, became suddenly extremely important to me and I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I’d have liked. I’m in the very early stages, but it’s another feminist crime caper, this time set in Paris instead of New York. We’ll see how it goes 🙂

Otherwise, I’m mainly working on staying sane. See below.

2. Writing can be hard, do you have any advice on conquering self-doubt?  

Dude, I wish I had a full-proof method for conquering self-doubt to share, but this is something I find myself having to re-learn again and again. My strategy is three-fold:

First: Learn to love criticism. If criticism becomes your friend then it becomes much harder for the devil on your shoulder to use it as a bludgeon against your self-confidence. Well-considered criticism will always make your work better. Seek it out. Ask for it. Use it.

Second: Keep your eyes on your own paper. This has been a tough one for me, because there are SO MANY amazing YA authors. The Electric 18s in particular are a wildly talented group, chock-full of absolutely inevitable stars. My lizard brain immediately put envy and insecurity on my emotional menu. But the honest truth is that there is no truth in comparison. Everyone writes in their own voice, at their own speed, with their own characters, themes, setting, etc. Winning and losing doesn’t enter into it because — say it with me — it truly is not a competition. We’re all here to forge a career creating stories we care about. Focus on your own work and on positively boosting the work of your peers. It’s a more honest and productive way to navigate the world. This is something I have to keep telling myself, but that doesn’t make it less true.

Third: Cultivate a healthy ego. Love your story the most. Embrace the criticism, absolutely, but I have found going in with the already settled idea that the book in my head is goddamn incredible to be invaluable.

3. It’s a new year! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions….Mostly I’d like to continue getting better at being a healthy adult. I’d like to explore mindfulness meditation. I want to write six days a week. I want to make sure I check in with my friends who live far away. I want to work out three times a week. I’d like to not beat myself up when I can’t do everything. I want to get enough sleep. It’s amazing how much it takes to maintain the human machine!

Follow Maxine: Blog * Twitter


 

Kelly deVos

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1. What have you been working on?

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I’m currently revising my YA political thriller and have recently gotten some great feedback from my critique partners to help polish up the manuscript. I’m also trying to get my life organized. I got a Passion Planner for Christmas and have been busy setting it up.

 2. Writing can be hard, do you have any advice on conquering self-doubt?  

It is hard! And there’s lots of rejection on the path to publication. I think there are two important things. The first is to practice self-care – to take whatever steps are necessary to protect your emotional and physical health. The second thing, I think, is to just keep going – keep writing new things, keep reading, keep in touch with your writer friends, keep engaging with the community.

3. It’s a new year! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Can you believe it’s 2018?! Every year, I make a bunch of resolutions and sometimes I keep them, sometimes I don’t. But I often end up feeling bad. So this year, my resolution is simply to do the best I can and to look for opportunities as they arise. For January, I’m doing a writing challenge put together by Hollywood Homicide author Kellye Garrett that I joined to help me have a productive month. Follow her on Twitter (@kellyekell ) if you want updates on our group. 🙂

Follow Kelly: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog


 

Don Zolidis

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1. What have you been working on?

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I am working on my next novel, about a girl who joins the greatest high school speech team in the country in order to destroy it from the inside out. Currently titled SPEECHGEEK. I just finished the really terrible first draft and am about to embark on the less-terrible (hopefully) second draft.

2. Writing can be hard, do you have any advice on conquering self-doubt?  

Self-doubt comes from self-judgment. You have to allow yourself to write badly; the best thing is to get the terrible words out of the way to make way for the better words. For the most part, though, people judge themselves too harshly. No one is born being a good writer. It takes practice, and it takes a lot of misses before you get better. But the more you do it, the better you will get.

3. It’s a new year! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Well I have big plans to write a lot this year! I’ve got two commissions for plays lined up and there will be more on the horizon. But I really want to get this second novel done and start working on my third. And pet a lot of dogs, I guess.

Follow Don: Twitter * Facebook * Blog

Amy Trueblood

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1. What have you been working on?

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I just finished the synopsis for my new YA Historical book. I’m digging into the first chapter and remembering how hard it is to start a book! Ugh!

2. Writing can be hard, do you have any advice on conquering self-doubt?  

The key for me is to stay focused on my own journey. I can’t control who is going to give me a review or buy my book. All I can do is keep writing and hoping my stories get out into the world.

3. It’s a new year! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

I tend not to make resolutions (because I can never keep them) – but I did make a mantra for this year which is “Write the next book!”

 Follow Amy: Facebook * Instagram * Twitter *Blog

Dana Mele

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1. What have you been working on?

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I’ve been working on my book two! I still can’t talk about it yet because nothing is finalized, but I think it’s safe to safe that it’s set in the near future with sci-fi elements and I am very excited about it. It’s definitely true what they say- book two is about twenty times harder than book one, and about a thousand times more stressful. I can’t wait for book three. At least, I think I can’t wait. No one talks about book three! I’m hoping that’s the one where the words flow like chocolate milk.

 2. Your book People Like Us was recently featured in Buzzfeed’s post 18 New YA Books You Need to Check Out This Winter, how does that feel?

 So wonderful! I’ve been really stressed out lately so every nice thing that happens is amazing.

 3. It’s a new year! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Finish my first draft, start to get at least a little bit of physical activity, and… it’s probably not a good sign that I forgot the third one.

Follow Dana: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


 

Until Part 2 of January’s Pre-Pub Adventure!

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Pre-Pub Adventure: December Part 2 & Giveaway!

It’s the second part of our monthly blog series Pre-Pub Adventure and we have a treat today!

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.

But first we have a giveaway!

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In Celebration of the New Year & all of our Pre-Pub Adventure authors’ upcoming book releases we are doing a Pre-Order Giveaway! 2 winners can pick the book of their choosing from these upcoming releases. RT & follow on twitter! Ends 1/1/18

Choose one of these books for Pre-Order!

Enter here!

Let’s take a look at our authors on their publishing adventure!


Kamilla Benko

    

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

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 Since we last checked in, I’ve turned in the second draft of Book 2! It is the second book in The Unicorn Quest trilogy and will start where Book 1 left off. Everyone always says that the second book is the hardest to write…and they’re right. Writing this book has been like trying to tame a unicorn. Every time I think I’m almost there, the manuscript does a little side twist and I fall off again. This is why editors are so incredibly helpful, magical creatures — they give you the encouragement to get back on and ride–or write, in this case! Now I’m flexing my fingers to get ready to work on Book 3 again…and all before Book 1 has even published!

2. Your book The Unicorn Quest releases in February, how are you preparing for that?

I can’t believe The Unicorn Quest comes out so soon! I’ve been working on this book for three years, and I’m celebrating its near birth with a giveaway as a thank you to everyone who preorders a copy. (If you like unicorn-y things, take a look here!) I’m also in the process of finalizing my tour dates. But mostly, I’m trying to relax. After so much time and effort, your book can start to feel like your whole world. I’m taking this last home stretch to go on hikes, bake pies, and visit friends.

3. What are you currently reading?

 I just finished fellow 2018 debut author Anna Meriano’s A Dash of Trouble, the first Love, Sugar, Magic book (January 2). I absolutely adored this story about eleven-year-old Leo, who is the youngest of five sisters and also a bruja who can bake spells. This book made me laugh out loud many times, but it also made me hungry!
Follow Kamilla: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

Lyndsay Ely

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

Everything? That’s what it feels like. Between day job, holidays, trying to write, and getting ready for Gunslinger Girl’s publication, I feel like I’m getting pulled in ALL the directions. Not complaining—no one ever said it would be easy!

2. Your book Gunslinger Girl releases in Jan, how are you preparing for that?

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I made Gunslinger Girl pins! (As a pin enthusiast, I’m pretty stoked about this.) And I’m bugging all of my friends to come to the launch party, obviously. If anyone is in the Boston area, near Trident Booksellers on January 2nd at 7pm, please come join us! There will be pins!

I’m also excited to be going on tour. (Mainly because I’ll be headed to some great bookstores I’ve heard about for years and finally get to visit! Can’t beat that!)

3. What are you currently reading?

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I just started Caraval, by Stephanie Garber, a book I’ve been wanting to read for ages. I hear it’s only a game, but we’ll see…
Follow Lyndsay: Twitter * Facebook * Blog

Laurie Morrison

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

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I’ve been working on a new dual POV, half-prose/half-verse upper middle grade novel with Cordelia Jensen, my co-author for my debut. I love going back and forth on projects with Cordelia; it’s so energizing to brainstorm together and build off of each other’s ideas. So that’s been a lot of fun! Other than that, I’m refamiliarizing myself with UP FOR AIR, my second contracted book and solo debut, which is due out in 2019, so that it’s fresh in my mind when I get an edit letter soon, and I’m very gradually working on a new middle grade novel that I had started last spring but then stopped because I couldn’t get the voice right. I think I’m getting closer now, but I’m trying to take my time with this one.

2. What are you currently reading?

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I’ve been reading ARCs of lots of awesome 2018 books! Most recently, I read an ARC of K. A. Reynolds’s lovely MG fantasy, THE LAND OF YESTERDAY, which is beautifully written, deeply emotional, and full of adventure. I’ve also been in a mystery mood. I loved Caroline Carlson’s smart, funny middle grade mystery, THE WORLD’S GREATEST DETECTIVE, and now I’m devouring Brittany Cavallaro’s fabulous Sherlock Holmes retelling, A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE.

3. Any resolutions for the new year?

This month, I’ve set some limits for my social media usage, and that’s helped me to feel much more at peace with my own writing and publishing journey. Before, I had been doing a lot of mindless scrolling on Twitter, which often led me to compare myself to other people and feel generally crummy. In the new year, I plan to keep setting aside specific times when I can be on social media and staying off otherwise so that I can still connect with writers and readers in positive ways but I won’t fall back into that negative pattern. I’m also working on adjusting my sense of what it means to be productive. I tend to be very hard on myself if I feel like I haven’t written enough, but I value many parts of my life that have nothing to do with writing, and I want to work on giving myself credit for the meaningful and productive things I do outside of this work.

Follow Laurie: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

Erin Callahan

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

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Since we last checked in, I’ve been doing some beta reading for a few very talented writer-friends and also working on a YA horror novel inspired by GOODNIGHT MOON. Yes, the picture book. 🙂 My writing always slows down around the holidays but I’m still trying to eke out as much of that project as I can each day. I also launched a silly-fun new blog series about reclaiming cringeworthy moments from my teenhood by giving myself a YA rewrite: https://erinpcallahan.com/2017/11/27/yamylife-reclaiming-moments-from-my-teenhood-one-sentence-at-a-time/ Finally, a few of my fellow writers and I have been live tweeting a weekly rewatch of My So-Called Life. We’re going to start up again on January 4th with episode three. Our hashtag is #MSCLrewatch. Come join us! We have a time.

2. What are you currently reading?

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I’m currently reading PEOPLE LIKE US by Dana Mele and it’s dark and twisty and fantastic.

3. Any resolutions for the new year?

 My resolutions for next year: 1) Finish my YA horror novel. 2) Spend less time checking social media so I have more time to work on my novel.

Follow Erin: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

Jessica Pennington

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

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I’ve been feverishly working on my promotion plan as I hit the 4-month countdown to Love Songs & Other Lies! Organizing a few group giveaways, designing & ordering swag (which has all arrived-it’s so fun!) and just in general trying to get everything mapped out as my release date approaches. I’m a professional event planner by day, so having a plan (and lists!) always sets me at ease. I’m also currently working on my draft of Book 2, which is planned for Spring 2019. I don’t want to share too much, but it mixes some of my favorite things–a beach town in summer, two main characters trying to re-invent themselves after some personal losses, and canoes. It’s also a bit of a love letter to the area where I grew up along Lake Michigan.

2. What are you currently reading?

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I just finished an ARC of The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman, which isn’t out until Summer 2018, but was absolutely fabulous and it still on my mind a few weeks later. It’s beautiful, and sweet, and heartbreaking, and I’m a tiny bit obsessed at the moment! I also just cracked open an ARC of The Midnights (March 2018) by Sarah Nicole Smietana. I’m only a handful of pages in, but I’m already glued to the page and absolutely loving the voice. So I’m very excited to dive into that one this week!

3. Any resolutions for the new year?

I always have a million resolutions. The old standbys: eat healthier, exercise more, get more sleep. My biggest resolutions really all revolve around writing and reading this year (no surprise there!) and I’m going to be extremely focused on work-life balance, time management, and also relaxation. I’ve been stretched extremely thin in 2017 between staying at home with a toddler, and running a business, and writing. It’s left little time for my brain to wander, and I think that makes all creative endeavors more difficult! So in 2018 I’m looking forward to working more relaxation time into my schedule–art, more reading, maybe yoga or barre–and seeing how that helps with my creative process.

Follow Jessica: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog

Until the next adventure!

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Pre-Pub Adventure: December Part 1

It’s that time of month where we check in with our authors to see how they are doing on their publishing adventure!

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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!


Today we have a new author joining us! Welcome Mae Respicio!

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Mae Respicio

1. Introduce yourself! 

Yay! Thanks so much for having me, Tawney. My name is Mae Respicio and my middle grade novel is called THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT—it hits stores on June 12, 2018 from Random House Kids and Wendy Lamb Books. I live with my family in the Bay Area not far from the Golden Gate Bridge, and my favorite thing to have in arm’s reach while writing is iced coffee (which all of the local baristas know by now!).

2. Tell us a little about your book and how it came to be?

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My book is about a 12-year-old Filipina American girl named Lou (short for Lucinda), whose greatest dream is to build a tiny house for herself. But of course, building one isn’t as easy as she thinks it’s going to be. Along the way Lou gets into all kinds of adventures with her friends and cousins and in the end, she learns what makes a true home. The book revolves around Lou and her big, extended Filipino American family. Growing up, I had the best time with my cousins creating these really elaborate forts—we’d sit inside and dream of having our own space (what kid doesn’t want her own little house?). Those memories served as a very small spark for the book’s premise, as did my experiences as a kid straddling two cultures and eventually I found Lou’s unique, rich story.

 3. Any plans for the holidays?

Even though they can be hectic, I love the holidays. For me it’s about reconnecting. I get to hang out with family I haven’t seen in a while, and I spend lots of time with my kids hiking and enjoying non-crowded beaches (my favorite part of California during the holiday season!), plus other traditions. I also have a goofy personal tradition of swapping my normal middle-of-the-night revising time for a glass of wine while wrapping presents and watching Love, Actually (don’t knock it ‘til you try it!). I also usually plan on getting some writing done. Publishing seems to slow down during these months so I feel like I can focus on projects without the pressure of deadlines, and surprisingly I accomplish a lot with that mindset—it’s a lovely way to ring in the New Year.

Follow Mae on: Twitter * Instagram Blog


 

Dana Mele

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

I’ve been working on a few different possibilities for my second book. I wrote People Like Us very quickly, so the process for book two has been comparatively long and drawn out. Everyone says that the second book is harder (and often the hardest) and I fully endorse this idea. It’s really tough following up that first one! I may finally be onto something, but only time will tell!

2.Your book People Like Us releases in February, how are you preparing for that?

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At the moment, I’m sitting tight. I’ve gotten together some fun preorder gifts that I’ll announce as soon as I have time to take pretty pictures of them, but until then, I’m reading the reviews as they roll in and just getting excited as the big day gets closer and closer!

3.What are you currently reading?

At the moment I’m reading an ARC of Kaitlyn Sage Patterson’s The Diminished, a wonderful, heart-pounding fantasy out this April! I’ve been reading mostly ARCs this year and it’s been so cool to have had the opportunity to read so many amazing books before they hit the shelves. I can’t wait until they’re out and everyone is talking about them!

Follow Dana: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


 

Rachel Lynn Solomon

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

I’ve been hard at work on my 2019 book! It’s dual POV, like my debut, and currently untitled. It’s about the aftermath of a kidney transplant between best friends, complicated by the fact that the donor is in love with the recipient. It’s about friendship codependency and unrequited love and discovering who you are without the person who’s defined you your whole life. 

2. Your book You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone releases next month! Yay! How are you preparing for that?

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I can’t believe it’s almost out in the world!! I’ve been busy making connections with local bookstores, writing guest posts, planning giveaways, and reaching out to media organizations. I’m also planning my book launch! I was on the fence about having one, but I’m so glad I decided to — my best friend is flying out from Boston to be there (her first time in Seattle!) and it’ll be a blast to see all my friends together and hopefully meet some new ones :). For Seattle-area folks, the event is Saturday, January 6 at 3 p.m. at the University Book Store in the U-District

3. What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Shea Ernshaw’s THE WICKED DEEP, another 2018 Simon Pulse debut! Shea’s writing is so atmospheric, and the book is witchy and captivating. 

Follow Rachel: Twitter * Instagram * Snapchat * Blog


 

A.M. Rose

A.M. Rose    Road to Eugenica (Eugenica Chronicles) by [Rose, A.M.]

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

Since my last check in I had surgery on my ankle so I am playing catch up. Luckily the surgery went well, but I will be off my foot for the next 3 weeks. I do have a single leg crutch to get around that makes me feel like a pirate.

2. Your book ROAD TO EUGENICA releases in February, how are you preparing for that?

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To get ready for my release in February, (from my couch) I am putting together some fun preorder gifts that I am really excited to share. (Soon – very soon.)

3. What are you currently reading?

Also, since the surgery I am taking a little break from my WIP and catching up on my reading which is really nice. I just finished Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu, and am currently reading The Third Kiss by Kat Colmer and The Breathless by Tara Goedjen.

Follow A.M. Rose: Twitter, Facebook, Blog


 

Kelly deVos

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

Well, I once again tried and pretty much abjectly failed at Nanowrimo. But I did get a lot of outlining and project planning done and I was able to check in with all my Nano buddies, so overall, I consider it time well-spent. In our house, November is birthday month. Both my daughter and I have November birthdays as do a few important friends (like my favorite twins from this very blog), so we’ve been doing a lot of celebrating!

2. How does it feel seeing the ARC of your book in reader’s hands?

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It’s awesome and scary! On one hand, the idea that people might actually be reading my book is a dream come true. Since I started writing Trixie Belden fan fiction in the 5th grade, I’ve been dreaming of getting a real book published. On the other hand, people might actually be reading my book! What if they hate it? What if they DNF me? What if they give me 1 star on Goodreads? I’m excited but also filled with mortal terror.

3. What are you currently reading?

I recently read Amy Trueblood’s NOTHING BUT SKY, which is a beautiful YA historical that I was lucky to read in early draft form and then again as a finished book. Brenda Rufener’s WHERE I LIVE, a really poignant book that tackles young adult homelessness, is another recent read. Right now, I’ve got my hot little hands on Tara Sim’s CHAINBREAKER and I can’t wait to see where this series goes!

Follow Kelly: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog


 

Amy Trueblood

 

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

Since we last talked I’ve been outlining two new books. One is YA Historical – 1930s San Francisco. The other is YA Paranormal – which is a huge leap for me, but I’m super excited by the idea!

2. How did it feel to hold the ARC of your book for the first time?

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Honestly, I sobbed when I held my ARC for the first time. NOTHING BUT SKY was five years in the making and it felt surreal to actually be holding it as a book in my hand!

3.What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading an ARC of Kim Chance’s KEEPER and loving it.

 Follow Amy: Facebook * Instagram * Twitter *Blog


 

Don Zolidis

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

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I’ve been plugging away at my second novel, “SPEECHGEEK,” which is about a girl who joins the greatest high school speech team in the country – in order to destroy it from the inside out. I didn’t quite win #nanowrimo, but I’m about 170 pages into the book now and it’s starting to come together. There are many more drafts to come, of course, but I’m hoping to make it through to the end of the novel before Christmas. I’ve also just premiered a new Christmas play, “THE ELF ON A SHELF MUST DIE” which is a dark comedic adaptation of Pupl Fiction – (two boys accidentally murder their elf of a shelf and have to find a way to dispose of its body before Santa discovers it’s missing.)

2. You write plays as well, how different was it to writing your book The Seven Torments of Craig and Amy from a play?

There are Sooo many differences between writing a play and writing a novel. For starters, there’s length. The play version of the book weighs in at about 12,000 words, where the novel is just over 70,000. So it feels so much bigger. Mostly, though, a play is meant to be performed, so you’re essentially writing a blueprint for a performance by real people. You don’t need to describe what the characters look like, or even what the scenery looks like. In the book, one character is described as very blonde, but a dark-haired actress played her in the play. In real life, you’re using the people who show up to be in the show, so you can’t have any pre-conceived notions of what the characters look like even when you’re writing it. It’s a very different process in a novel – you have to imagine and picture everything.

3. What are you currently reading?

I just finished THE GOLDEN COMPASS – I know, I’m an extreme latecomer to this series! Next up, I’m reading BINTI, by Nnedi Okorafor and ALWAYS NEVER YOURS, a debut title from Austin Siegumund-Broka and Emily Wibberley. One of the great joys of this author journey has been the chance to read so many books of writers who are new to publishing this year.

Follow Don: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


 

Maxine Kaplan

 

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

What I have been up to since we last checked in is mainly worrying about things I can’t control 🙂 This is because, in so far as what I can do, THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL is done! No more copy edits, no more changes–it is in the can…the terrifying, final can. So what I’ve been working on instead is my next project, a YA fantasy that hopefully subverts the genre tropes of the tavern wench and the wicked queen. The first draft of that is done, so I’ve been working on making it what I call “less awful” before sending it to my wonderful agent Ali for her notes. I’m also starting to coalesce my pitch for the companion to BAD GIRL. And just livin’ life, man. Reading the news and railing about it.

2. Your book The Accidental Bad Girl got a new cover and it’s gorgeous. Did you have any input on it?

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Thank you so much! I think it’s great, too. The overall design change was done without my input, but I’m thrilled with it. But generally Abrams has been great about letting me contribute my two cents. The full jacket (stay tuned!) has these doodles all over the back and the flap, and my editor Maggie was awesome about letting me come up with the ideas for them. They’re a bunch of little Easter eggs for the mystery in the book. That was a lot of fun.

 3. What are you currently reading? 

I have been reading so many good 2018 debuts! Readers next years are in for a serious treat if they seek out the work coming out of the Electrics. I just finished OUT OF THE BLUE by Sophie Cameron, which is beautiful. And I finally have had the emotional wherewithal to crack open HRC’s WHAT HAPPENED. My love for her continues unabated.

Follow Maxine: Blog * Twitter


 

Until Part 2 of the next December Pre-Pub Adventure!

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