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!


I’m incredibly honored and excited to be included among the contributors for HarperTeen’s forthcoming Dear Bully anthology. I’ve just had my first peek at the cover and I love how powerful that image is. What do you think?

The book comes out this fall and proceeds are all for charity. My piece is a quick snippet, but the contributions are very varied; everyone involved has a unique point of view. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product. We got a nice mention in Glamour a while back, and we now have a Facebook page you can “like” to follow news and updates. You can also pre-order the book at Amazon. So many options for such a worthy cause!

Bottomless thanks, respect, and appreciation for editors Carrie Jones and Megan Kelley Hall. This is an incredibly special project.

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!

I’m hosting this brilliant dude over at the YA Contemps blog today.

If you don’t know Andrew Karre or his work yet, you should, and if you’re an author with the chance to work with him, TAKE IT.

Here’s a snippet:

…You know that “the teenager” is an invention, right? The very concept of adolescence as a stage of life is a construct under constant review by scientists, marketers, and, of course, artists. What it means to be a teenager is a moving target, and every contemporary YA novel, every book with a teenage character, is a push in one direction or another.

Swing by if you have a chance, and tell ’em I sent ya!

Monday Muse

March 28, 2011


Gloria Steinem turned 77 on Friday, and over at Jezebel, Jessica Coen reminds us that her importance truly cannot and should not be understated. I certainly don’t disagree.

Who better, then, to inspire our writerly muse this Monday morning?

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

Amen to that. So, let’s get to it, shall we?










Bookish goings-on and such.


*’s Featured Title of the week is the very excellent JULIAN GAME by Adele Griffin. I devoured this one.The theme of the month is Risk-taking; swing by and join the conversation!

*The inimitable @Literaticat (for those of you on twitter) offers a great post on how to proceed when your agent just isn’t feeling the love. Sounds like an icky situation that I’ve thankfully had yet to face, but her advice reads sound as ever.

*And speaking of twitter, last week’s twitter #kidlitchat was all about the evolution of self-publishing in the digital age. At my last check-in, folks were tearing up the keyboard; everyone’s got an opinion about this topic.

*On Tuesday night I went to a book release party for the very grown-up nonfiction title THE BLAME GAME by Ben Dattner. It was not unlike a typical YA book release party, except for how I was the only one there (to my knowledge) currently making a living writing YA books.

*Authoress and fellow Denizen of the Dark Side Sarah Darer Littman offers up a full recap of last week’s NYC Teen Author Fest, so now I don’t have to. Thanks, Sarah! And thanks for saying amazing things about my book in front of a room full of people!

*Ooh! Cover reveal for A BEAUTIFUL DARK by debut novelist (and former student/all-around cutie) Jocelyn Davies. Can’t wait!

*Finally, in honor of her forthcoming BFF BREAKUP, another former student and current fellow-author-and-friend (and cutie!) Taylor Morris is holding BFF Tuesdays on her blog.

Those are the highlights from these parts, people – how have bookish things been for you?

Monday Muse

March 21, 2011

*This week, with the grace of some god — or at the very least, much in the way of Nespresso — I will be working toward conquering ‘The Thing I Fear I Cannot Write” (a phrase I’ll attribute to E. Lockhart, though she may well have been quoting when she exhorted a room full of rapt, wide-eyed writers to tackle just that).

Hence, the Musing. With any luck, it shall ward off the Fear.

It seemed appropriate to kick off this feature with one from The Master himself; the first writer to show me the sublime thrill of fear as entertainment, and to date, the only one who has perfectly articulated for me – and recreated through art, time and again – the urge that humans have toward self-destruction, and how we are, essentially, our own worst demons (sometimes, even, in the best possible ways)….

I’m speaking of Stephen King, obvs.

But then, I couldn’t narrow it down to one. So here are a few of my favorites.

Have at it, writers.

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel [crap] from a sitting position.”

“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘One word at a time,’ and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see that [mother] from space without a telescope.”

“If you write books, you go on one page at a time. We turn from all we know and all we fear. We study catalogues, watch football games, choose Sprint over AT&T. We count the birds in the sky and will not turn from the window when we hear the footsteps behind as something comes up the hall; we say yes, I agree that clouds often look like other things – fish and unicorns and men on horseback – but they are really only clouds. Even when the lightning flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page.
This is how we go on.”