As mentioned, this blog is a placeholder for my shiny new website, currently undergoing its facelift. Thanks to those of you who’ve indulged me by hanging around this joint as I count down to the “family” release.

The good news is, THE RELEASE IS NEXT WEEK!

Oh, my goodness CAN YOU EVEN?

I, for one, cannot. Seriously.

Still on the horizon, in case you managed to miss it,

*a reading and signing with the Contemps up in Larchmont, NY, 4/29

*an appearance at BEA on 5/26

*a feature on figment.com

*a feature on MissLiterati.com

*various still-being-finalized blog interviews COMING SOON TO A WEBSITE NEAR YOU!

…And other things I might be forgetting in all of the excitement.

So in addition to all of the above hoopla, next week should ALSO bring the unveiling of the new site. Still at this address so you don’t even have to go out of your way to find me. See what I did there? Who’s looking out for you?

Happy weekend, readers!

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Yes, people, the book releases officially on Tuesday, 4/26, so today, it’s all about me. Deal with it.

*Dying to read family? Pre-order your copy now!

*Want a chance to meet yours truly and get a copy of the book all signed and pretty? Come see me at BEA, Thursday, 5/26, 12;12:30, table 5.

*Want to read an amazing review of the book via librarian Liz Burns? Here you go! Sorry to be all braggy-pants, but I can’t help but post a snippet. I don’t think anyone has ever said such nice things about my writing in my life!

Because the language is deceptively simple. Because phrases haunt me. Because I want, so desperately, for Mel to find herself. Because I found sympathy for the most unsympathetic actions. Family is a Favorite Book Read in 2011.

*And one from VOYA:

Ellen Hopkins fans will appreciate the use of verse to tell the gruesome story. Those who know the details of the Manson murders, particularly those who have delved into Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi (Norton, 2001), will quickly notice the similarities between real life and fiction here….[A]n interesting psychological study of cults and the lost souls they attract.

*And finally, what better birthday present than a night of reading, signing, and schmoozing with other awesome Contemps? April 29th, The Voracious Reader, Larchmont, NY. Come for the authors, stay for the free pizza!

I think that’s about it, for now. Next week will probably be equally self-promotional and gross, what with the book releasing and all, but, y’know. Hopefully it’s understandable.

Hope you can make it out to an event or five!

Bookish goings-on and such.

* Jezebel features a review of Sweet Valley Confidential. Deadlines kept me from the book  party, but you can bet I’m still all over reading this one. (Spoiler alerts!)

Have you bought your copy yet?

* This gown was made from Little Golden Books. Wild.

*(Of course,

these are still my fave re-appropriations of that iconic line.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*readergirlz has a nice shout-out to the family trailer on their site, as well as info about Rock the Drop and Support Teen Lit Day. Will YOU Rock the Drop?

*Finally, two chances to see me! I’ll be on a panel at the Albany Children’s Book Festival this weekend, or,  you can Get Real with me, Sarah Darer Littman, Melissa Walker, and Lena Roy at the Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY on 4/29 if you’re so inclined. In addition to the date of the royal wedding, that happens also to be my birthday. But your presence would be present enough!

Bookish goings-on and such.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*If you’ve been following the legendary self-publishing success of Amanda Hocking, you probably won’t be surprised to read about her monster book deal with St. Martin’s of last week. Details here. (WARNING: You might not want to read this unless you’re feeling REALLY confident about your own earning potential as a writer….)

Chasing Ray’s Colleen Mondoor has a thoughtful post up raising what are sure to be the bigger questions about Hocking’s deal, and what this does (or doesn’t) mean for the self-published author in the digital age. Though I can see quite clearly that e-book deals can (and will) be lucrative for a certain type of author – namely, those who write very commercial fiction, most likely serialized, who develop passionate, rabid fan bases – I don’t know that Hocking’s model is applicable to any old writer out there. I don’t begrudge Hocking her mondo-deal because, hey, live the dream, sister!, but I do see Mondoor’s point that a ridonk advance to one author means fewer smaller advances to other, more unproven (aka less-hyped) writers.

That’s a problem, no?

Fact is, to me, anything (including any book deal) that indicates that readers are jazzed about books is a-ok by me. But I do find myself frustrated by these ever-more-jaw-dropping mega deals being reported that essentially tell me what I’m going to LOVE in the upcoming season. Big books have always existed, and likewise, so has buzz. But buzz is different than hype, in that buzz is usually generated by legitimate enthusiasm, whereas hype is fanfare. By throwing wads and wads of cash at a book, a publisher is telling me, YOU WILL CARE ABOUT THIS. I mean, maybe I will. But being dared to, to the tune of zillions of dollars, makes me feel all itchy and twitchy inside.

How could any book possibly live up to that claim?

Give me a good sleeper hit, one that takes a few months to build a fiercely loyal following, and I’m there. I don’t want to get psyched about something just because someone in a corner office told me to.

(*Side note: Colleen also wonders if Hocking’s e-book fans are going to be willing to pay full price for her books rather than the reduced e-book rate they’ve grown to expect. We’ll see!)

*Oh! But there are other writers out there, too – including moi! I’m going to be presenting a workshop to a group of major-talented high school writers as part of this Long Island English Scholars Program on Friday! That’s tomorrow! We’re talking about breaking rules in our narrative form. Though I’ve been teaching grown-ups about young adult writing for almost three years now (there’s still room to sign up for the April session, by the way!), I have very little experience with working with actual, honest-to-goodness young adults. I can’t decide if I’m more nervous, or more excited. Bit of both, it would seem.

 

*Double Oh! Tonight is the release party for Sweet Valley Confidential. I. CANNOT. WAIT. Were you Team Elizabeth, or Team Jessica?

*Last but not least, the Children’s Choice Book Awards finalists were announced last week. Congrats, finalists!


Springing forward…

March 14, 2011

…with all sorts of new changes going on online!

A new book (available for pre-order just over to your right? Do you see? Yes!) means it’s time for a new look for my website. Alas, it won’t be ready for a bit yet, and I wanted to be sure that my most recent updates were up and running for those of you who are just dying to keep up with moi. Hence, this lovely blog. Read the blog. Share the blog. Embrace the blog.

Publishers Weekly called family “dark, mesmerizing, and hazy,” which has been enough to keep me going while I angst about plotting the follow-up (NOT sequel) novel, and I’ve also created a Micol Ostow Facebook page. I mean, you know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

In the meantime, there are events on the horizon! I will be live, in person, with hair brushed, which anyone who has ever stopped by unannounced will tell you is an occasion to marvel. Notably, here:

THE NYC TEEN AUTHOR FESTIVAL:

*Note that the Fest will be running all this week, though my panel is on Friday. I am on the mend from a nasty cold, but will be at as many of the events as my sinuses allow. You should try to be, too! Full schedule here.

Friday March 18th

NYPL South Court, 42nd Street

2:10 – 3:00: Telling the Truths – Hard Topics, Illuminating Fiction

With:
Eireann Corrigan, Donna Freitas, Sarah Darer Littman, and Kimberly Marcus
Moderator: David Levithan

CONTEMPS READING AND SIGNING:

Friday, April 29th

The Voracious Reader Bookstore, Larchmont, NY

6:00-7:30

With:

Sarah Darer Littman, Michael Northrop, and Melissa Walker

THE ALBANY CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL:

Saturday, April 9th

The Albany Academics

2:30-3:15: Discussion: The Value of Contemporary YA Literature

With:

Aimee Ferris, Jo Knowles, Eric Luper, and Melissa Walker

 

So, there you have it – three chances to see me potentially saying something useful! Imagine!

In the meantime, in celebration of the new book and new blog, how about a giveaway? Post a comment here, then head over to Facebook to “like” my author page, and you’re entered to win an ARC of family. Exciting, no?