The Day 10 winner of a signed copy of Tiffany Trent’s latest Hallowmere book is Diana Dang! Congrats!
Congrats to James! He won a copy of Kristin Tubb’s charming and funny Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different! (which won’t be out for a good long while yet, so he’s getting a good sneak peek)
All About Niki Burnham
My guest today is the lovely Niki Burnham (I’m so jealous of her beautiful hair!). Niki was born in Colorado, but has lived all over the place courtesy of her father (he was in the Army). She now lives in Boston. Believe it or not, she majored in Political Science and even practiced law before she started writing full time (what is it with lawyers that turn to writing, anyway?). She’s written a bunch of fun books for teens (including Royally Jacked and Goddess Games) and also for adults (like The Knight’s Kiss, which won the 2004 RITA award).
You can learn more about Niki at her official website.
The Latest…Goddess Games
Seneca, the daughter of an Oscar-winning actress, Drew, an athletic Army brat, and Claire, a struggling born-again Christian, are each facing challenges in their personal lives. When they’re thrown together as roommates, all they see are their differences. But fate—and a nasty boss named Marla—brought them together for a reason, and they soon discover that what they need may not be what they originally thought.
In fact, a summer working at the spa may be just what it takes for Seneca, Drew, and Claire to each discover her own inner goddess.
Here’s my question for Niki…
Do you prepare yourself any differently when writing for teens as opposed to adults?
And her answer…
No, I don’t change when I’m writing for teens. No matter what I’m writing, it’s all about being inside the head of the individual characters. Maybe a typical day for a teen is different than for an adult—attending school as opposed to going to work—but that’s window dressing. Storytelling is about getting a character’s innermost emotions down on the page, no matter what the age of the characters.
And Niki’s question for me…
What was your favorite book when you were a teen?
And my answer…
I went through a lot of reading phases when I was a teen and consequently, a lot of different favorite books. I had my Agatha Christie kick, my Mercedes Lackey kick, my Isaac Asimov kick…I went through all the Jane Austen books in one month and went on to Stephen King the next. I was pretty random. But if I narrowed it down to the books that I read and re-read the most, it would be either Jane Eyre (which is no longer on my favorite list because a college professor ruined it for me), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams), or The Number of the Beast (Heinlein). I don’t think I can narrow it down any farther than that, I’m afraid.
Want to win a copy of Goddess Games? All you’ve got to do to win a copy is visit Niki’s website and then email me at kim @ kimberlypauley.com (remove the spaces!) with the subject line “Niki is a Goddess!” and tell me…any one interesting thing you learned about her or her books. Be sure to enter by September 17th!
Tomorrow is the final day of the Sucks to Be Me Book Launch Party! And then the Grand Prize Contest kicks off! So be sure to come back (and tell your friends)!
Congrats, Nancy! You’ve won Alan’s awesome (signed) Something Rotten!
All About Dan
My guest today is the very funny Dan Ehrenhaft who can write like both a boy *and* a girl. He’s also written under the name Daniel Parker and even Erin Haft. Besides being an author, he’s also a musician. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and the obligatory psychotic cat (and dog).
You can learn more about Dan at his official website.
The After Life…Nineteen-year-old Will Shepherd has never met his father, even though they live on opposite ends of Manhattan. Suddenly, within twenty-four hours, Will meets his father and his two half siblings, Kyle and Liz, and then his father dies out of the blue.
A clause in the will requires Will to drive back to New York from the funeral in Florida with self-absorbed Kyle and gorgeous, vulnerable Liz, leading to a road trip filled with tensions, escalating risks, and deep revelations.
In the tradition of Brett Easton Ellis and Hunter S. Thompson, Daniel Ehrenhaft crafts a novel of excess, a coming-of-age story with grit and edge that ultimately offers redemption to three characters in desperate need.
Here’s my question for Dan…
Music seems to definitely be at least your second love (and maybe even your first—not, of course, counting your wife…we’re just talking “things” here). If you could be any musician from any time period, who would you want to be?
And his answer…
Wow…tough question, and frighteningly like my daydreams. :-) I suppose if I had my wish, I would like to have been a session musician in England during the years 1965 to 1971. That way, I wouldn’t actually be any of my heroes—Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, Lennon & McCartney, Keith Richards, I could go on for hours—but I’d be paid to hang out and play with all of them. Plus, late ’60s London, at least judging from the Austin Powers movies, seems like a very groovy scene.
And Dan’s question for me…
As far as I can tell, you’ve read—and reviewed—more YA books than anyone on the planet. Where do you find the time? Do you sleep standing up? Actually, that’s not my question. My REAL question is: Who is your favorite YA character ever, and why?
And my answer…
That’s a toughie too…I’ve got a lot of characters that I really, really love. Like the real Mary Poppins (The P. L. Travers version, not the Disneyfied one). And Tiffany Aching from The Wee Free Men. And Coraline from the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman. If I went back in time to when I was a kid and counted up the characters I loved from books that I read over and over and over again, I’d have to include Jo March from Little Women, Pippy Longstocking, and Jane Eyre (though I don’t know that I like Jane all that much any more…a particular college professor ruined her for me).
Though..do any of those count? Technically, those are all probably middle grade reads…hmmm. I like Odd Thomas a lot, but those are technically adult books by Dean Koontz…Um…how about Lirael from the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix? That’s pretty firmly YA. And she’s a great character, resolute when she has to be, brave even when she doesn’t want to be…and I love her name. I even used it as my character name when I played online MMORPGs (yeah, I used to play those sometimes…had to stop some years ago though, couldn’t get any writing done!).
This one is going to be a surprise prize (try saying that 3 times fast)! To win, visit Dan’s website and e-mail me at kim @ kimberlypauley.com with the subject line “Tell It To Dan” and tell me…why did Dan get fired from a cheese shop? (Hint: Check out the FAQs). Please enter by Sept. 15th!
Just a few more days before the grand prize contest (though remember, every daily entry gives you an entry for the grand prize too!). Can you believe Sucks to Be Me has been out for two weeks now?? Yesterday I saw it on an endcap in a Barnes & Noble! Woot! (an endcap is the bit at the end, facing the walkway…it’s a good place to be, face out and on the end where people can see it!). They had a “Vampire Romance” display.
All About E. Rose Sabin
My guest today is the talented E. Rose Sabin. We used to be in a writing critique group (PINAWOR) together when I lived in Florida, so I can truly attest to what a lovely person Elenora is (and knowledgeable). She is the author of the fantastic A School for Sorcery (which is part of a trilogy) and a winner of the Andre Norton Gryphon Award.
You can learn more about Elenora at her official website.
About A School for Sorcery…
When Tria Tesserell arrives at the Lesley Simonton School for the Magically Gifted, she is disappointed to find an old, dilapidated building, only 36 students and six faculty members in addition to the stern Headmistress. She’s convinced that the school is only a scam until she’s faced with a roommate who shapeshifts to a black panther, she gets involved in a power duel with a fire-thrower, and faces the challenge of rescuing two young men from the Dire Realm, a dread place of demons and destruction.
Here’s my question for Elenora…
Fantasy world-building can be a tough business – can you share with us some of your methods?
And her answer…
I make a file for the fantasy world or country—Arucadi in the case of my published trilogy—and list such things as Economy (including monetary system), Government and Politics, Religion, Educational system, Military Status. Geography, Plants and Animals, History, Mythology, Calendar and Clock, Major Regions and Cities, etc. Then I fill in under each topic as much as I can—not just things I think I’ll need to include in the novel but all the details I can come up with. I make a map of the country, showing lakes, rivers, mountains, cities, provinces. Many times the details I include give me ideas for plot development. But always I include much information that is strictly for my own use in understanding the setting and the background of the characters—the land that produced them, the culture they grew up in. All of this contributes to the characters’ beliefs and attitudes and thus their behavior.
And Elenora’s question for me…
You have many things in your novel that differ greatly from the usual treatment of vampires—their powers, their limitations, etc. How did you decide what parts of traditional vampire lore you would keep and what you could discard or change?
Some aspects I took directly from the old myths and legends, which often differ quite a bit from current-day vampire lore. For others, I went with what would make sense to me for “my” version of vampirism (a little more boring and a lot less cosmopolitan). I tried to be consistent in that I felt they should be strong and essentially immortal, but more “normal” and less otherworldly.
You can win a copy of A School for Sorcery just by visiting Elenora’s website and then emailing me at kim @ kimberlypauley.com with the subject line “Tria Rocks!” and tell me…what are the names of Elenora’s dogs? Please respond by September 13th, 2008.
And don’t forget to check out all the other Sucks to Be Me Book Launch Party days with all the great guest authors! The Grand Prize contest is getting closer and closer…
The Day 2 and 3 Winners are…
- Marlene Perez’s Dead is the New Black — Lauren Rusiloski
- Lauren Myracle’s Bliss — Diana Heriford
Congrats to both! (And everyone, don’t forget you can still get extra entries into the Grand Prize contest)
All About Lara
My guest today is the incredible Lara M. Zeises (AKA Lola Douglas)! She’s just awesome and a wonderful person (even though I’ll never personally understand her fixation with reality TV, but that’s me against, oh, the rest of the free world). She’s written some truly awesome books (like Anyone But You and Bringing Up the Bones) and has recently “come out” about also writing as Lola Douglas, author of True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet (which has been made into an Original Lifetime TV movie!!). She’s also just gotten engaged (you should check the blog for one of the most romantic engagement stories EVER)!
You can learn more about Lara at her official website, http://www.zeisgeist.com.
ANYONE BUT YOU
“Family, it turned out, was something you really could choose for yourself.”
Seattle should know. Critter and Jesse have been close to Sea since her dad moved in with their mother. Closer still since he took off six years ago and Layla decided to raise Sea as one of her own. It’s a decision none of them regrets, especially not Critter. He’s more than a brother—he’s Seattle’s best friend.
Now it’s vacation, and Seattle and Critter are stoop sitters, at least until summer school starts in July. It beats working like Jesse, or worse, studying like Layla wants them to. It’s too hot for Seattle to be on her skateboard—too hot, even, for Critter to be scamming on girls. But Sea comes up with a plan for them to bluff their way into the ritzy swimming pool the next town over. Big mistake.
Soon Critter’s got his heart set on a Penn Acres princess, while Seattle’s trying hard not to fall for a skater boy on the rebound. For the first time in a long while, they can talk to anyone but each other. Then Seattle’s dad shows up unexpectedly, and the way of life Critter and Seattle have always known begins to change even more. . . .
Here’s my question for Lara…
Ok, given the recent big news, I’m going to ask a non-writing related question…so…if money and time and space were no object, what would your dream wedding be?
And her answer…
Honestly? It wouldn’t be much different from what we’re already planning – it would just be a lot less DIY (my team and I are doing everything from tablescapes to constructing the chuppa). My fiancé and I are having our ceremony and reception at the Arden Gild Hall in Arden, Delaware, which is a space that actually has special meaning to me and my bridesmaids (a theater group we founded the summer after we graduated from high school had our debut there!). Our officiant will be the Rev. Annie Lawrence (http://revannielawrence.blogspot.com/), whom I’ve known for ten years, and who I know will make our ceremony warm, personal, and unique. For photography, I’ve been fortunate enough to get Laura Novak (http://www.lauranovak.net/), who took both of my headshots and who does the most amazing work.
Truth be told, I’m actually not a huge fan of big-budget weddings. I mean, if you’ve got the money, then great. But on some of my wedding planning message boards I’ve heard stories about women who take out $40k in loans just to fund their “dream” weddings – and to me, that’s a nightmare! The one thing I would splurge on if money were no object would be the honeymoon. If the two of us had unlimited time and unlimited funds, we’d rent a cushy car and drive Route 66, taking in every tourist attraction possible. Or we’d fly to San Francisco and drive the coast of California. We’re big road tripping people.
And Lara’s question for me…
What scares you the most about transitioning from aspiring novelist to published author?
And my answer…
The follow up! While getting published the first time is hard enough, the second time isn’t guaranteed by any means. I definitely don’t want to be a “flash in the pan” and disappear forever after one book. I feel like I’ve got a lot of books in me! Of course, getting them out now is a little harder now that we have a baby. :-) And it’s hard to figure out what the next best thing to work on is.
I also don’t want to be one of the authors that winds up essentially “typecast,” writing similar things over and over again (which, I suppose, could be potentially lucrative, but sounds kinda boring to me…I love too many genres). So, while I am working on a sequel to continue Mina’s story, I’ve got a lot of other (non-vampire) stories I also want to tell.
And, of course, there’s always the fear that no one will buy the book or that they’ll hate it. But so far it’s mostly been good (though I know all stories are not for all people—heck, as a reviewer I definitely know that!)!
Want to win a copy of Anyone But You? All you’ve got to do to win a copy is visit Lara’s website and then email me at kim @ kimberlypauley.com with the subject line “Lara…Lola…Whatever Lola Wants!” and tell me…what songs are on Lara’s soundtrack for Anyone But You? (Hint: Click the Soundtracks link…) Be sure to enter by September 12th!
And don’t forget to check out all the other Sucks to Be Me Book Launch Party days with all great guest authors! The Grand Prize contest is getting closer and closer…
Congrats to Poodle649! You’ve won a SIGNED copy of Tantalize, Cynthia Leitich Smith’s awesome book + a Sanguini’s t-shirt PLUS I just noticed she also stuck some stickers in there too! Woot!
Everyone, be sure to enter to win Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez by the end of today (if you haven’t already) (and yes, I just noticed that I’d put the wrong end entry date on the original post. GAH! That was due to a last minute shuffle of which author was going on which day. So I’m giving you until the end of the day today to enter for Marlene’s book. And Lauren Myracle’s Bliss too — so get those entries in!)
And for anyone wondering how the winners are being selected…First, I basically just check to make sure you actually followed the instructions and answered the daily question correctly. Then I enter the info into a spreadsheet. Once the deadline has passed, I use a randomizer function in Excel to select a winner (I hit F9 11 times because 11 is my favorite number and take the 11th hit).
Remember, every day you enter also enters you for the Grand Prize! Good luck everyone!
All About Tiffany
My guest today is the awesome Tiffany Trent. She won her first major writing award (the Edmond Hamilton/Leigh Brackett Scholarship) at the ripe old age of 16. And she’s got THREE master’s degrees (English, Creative Writing, and Environmental Studies). Whew! I feel like such a slacker! Not to mention that she’s lived all over the place (like in Hong Kong) and she teaches writing at Virginia Tech. She writes the Hallowmere series and is currently working on some new ideas…the hints at which make me really anxious for more (medieval beastiaries?? Victorian cross-dressing?? Ah, a lady after my own heart!)!
You can learn more about Tiffany at her official website.
Whoever said fairies weren’t dangerous? In Hallowmere, a dark, edgy historical fantasy series, Corrine finds out just how dangerous they can be…and readers are enraptured with stories full of danger, intrigue, romance and deception.
In Queen of the Masquerade, Christina wakes in a new world with no memory of who she is or where she came from. Tasked with solving a riddle that will save the duke and duchess who rescue her and take her in as a changeling, Christina seeks to puzzle out just what she’s doing here and why her memory has fled.
But the riddle isn’t just a key to saving the duke and duchess–it’s Christina’s key to something far more dire, a mission she knows she must remember, one that involves the strange young man who keeps appearing in odd places. Is the riddle a prophecy or a warning?
Here’s my question for Tiffany…
Can you tell us a bit about how your love of your home’s history influenced the Hallowmere series?
And her answer…
I think some of us Southerners just grow up with the Civil War from the cradle, almost like genetic memory. My dad talked a lot about it and I remember visiting the museum and Lee’s tomb at Virginia Military Institute/Washington & Lee when I was very young. I also took a steam train, the Powhatan 611, in sixth grade up to Appomattox and stood in the house where Lee surrendered to Grant. I visited Charleston, South Carolina when I was in college and I found the old slave market just chilling to look upon. I learned about the Gullah people there, and I wanted to make a story that celebrated them, about a young slave girl who had the magic of her people and wasn’t afraid to use it. Mara developed out of that, as well as my love of the Hans Christian Anderson tale “The Marsh King’s Daughter.”
I also had a friend who owned an old farmhouse not far from many sites of battle in Culpeper, Virginia. She always told me Civil War ghost stories whenever I visited. We used to joke that she’d like to have a school around there, but any place she bought would probably be haunted. Falston was built from midnights spent on her porch telling one outrageous story after another and listening to a bobcat scream at the back gate. (You haven’t heard anything more terrifying than a bobcat screaming in the middle of the night!)
So it really is true when they say that writers are mostly observers. I just took the little shards of Southern history that I found interesting and pieced them together with bits of old fairy lore. And, lo, Hallowmere was born!
And Tiffany’s question for me…
I am dying (no pun intended) to know where the idea for SUCKS TO BE ME came from! Please do tell!
And my answer…
The simple answer, of course, would be: from my wee little brain. :-P Seriously, I was lying awake one night and thinking about a couple of things: 1) how this vampire book I’d recently read was really annoying because it purported to be following along with Bram Stoker’s Dracula tale but it actually got a lot of details wrong and 2) how vampire books all (at the time) seemed to be so danged serious and all about the blood and slayers and whatnot and 3) wouldn’t it be funny if all of that were turned on its head?
The first line came to me that night, probably around 2 AM-ish. I got up and wrote it down and then just kind of kept going for a few paragraphs and then went back to bed. When I got up, I still liked it (that doesn’t always happen…). And then Mina just took over. Well, that plus a bunch o’ research into vampire myths all over the world.
Want to win a signed copy of Queen of the Masquerade? All you’ve got to do to win a copy is visit Tiffany’s journal/blog and then email me at kim @ kimberlypauley.com with the subject line “Medieval Bestiary? Heck Yeah!” and tell me…what post did you read…and what did you learn? Be sure to enter by September 11th!
And don’t forget to check out all the contest details so you can find out how to win the Grand Prize!