I had an interview today with Milwaukee Public Radio for their Lake Effect program. Not sure yet when it’s going to actually air, but I drove to downtown Milwaukee today to tape it I think it went okay. I always feel like I sound like an idiot, but hopefully I don’t. I’ll post again when I find out when it will air.
So my husband was browsing around on the book sites today seeing what my rank is (I think he might actually be more obsessed with it than me!). And my rank on Barnes & Noble is up (or down, I guess, depending on how you look at it) to 753!!! Woot! I’m not sure what it actually means, but it sounds good to me! You can’t tell much on Amazon because the rankings there change literally every hour or so. I’ve seen it as good as 24,770ish and it bounces all over – 75K, 42K, etc. etc.
The one icky note — someone left the same review on Borders that they left on Amazon but something got messed up…they gave it 3 stars on Amazon (which isn’t great, but hey) but somehow the same review on Borders only shows 2 stars! Ack! So if you’ve read Sucks to Be Me and liked it more than 2 stars worth (I hope!), please go over to Borders and submit a review! Heck, Amazon and Barnes & Noble too! (After all, each place you submit a review can earn you extra entries towards the grand Poo-Bah of Prize Packs in the Online Book Launch contest! Win, win, if you ask me! Have you seen what I’m giving away in that prize pack?? (Just remember to drop me an email with where you submitted reviews so I can count your extra entries!)
In other news, my interview with And Another Book Read has been posted up! Check it out!
And thank you to everyone who has participated so far in the Online Book Launch Party (authors included, of course!). And don’t forget to come back every day (or to get your extra entries in)!
All About Alyson
My guest today is oh-so-cool OC (that’s Orange County, California for those of you not in the know) expert Alyson Noël! Yep, she was actually born and raised in that rarified zone made popular by the TV show. She’s lived in Greece (how cool is that??) and in Manhattan but now she’s right back in the OC. Which works out great for you guys, since her teen books (she also writes for adults) are often set in that area. Saving Zoë is probably my personal fave of her books, but I’ve heard some great things about Cruel Summer (it’s the latest). And Art Geeks and Prom Queens is awesome too (great main character – I love Rio).
You can learn more about Alyson at her official website.
Cruel Summer is the story of Colby Cavendish, who is looking forward to a long hot season of parties, beach BBQ’s, and hopefully, more hook-ups with Levi Bonham, the hottest guy in school. But her world comes crashing down when her parents send her away to spend the summer in Greece with her “crazy” aunt Tally. Stranded on a boring island with no malls, no cell phone reception, and an aunt who talks to her plants, Colby finds herself worrying that her new friends have forgotten all about her. But when she meets Yannis, a cute Greek local, everything changes. She experiences something deeper and more intense than a summer fling, and it forces her to see herself, and the life she left behind, in a whole new way…
Here’s my question for Alyson…
You’ve lived in a lot of different places…but where would you live if you could live anywhere (family included, of course)?
And her answer…
Well, it’s actually a toss up between a tiny garret apartment in the left bank of Paris, or a palatial seaside estate right here in Laguna Beach, CA. Either one would be fine.
And Alyson’s question for me…
If you could live inside any book, which would it be?
And my answer…
Wow, that’s a tough question. There are so many books that it would be interesting to experience from the “inside.” There are the magical worlds in Harry Potter and the Narnia Chronicles. And Clive Barker’s very inventive Hours in Abarat. And what about Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels? Oh, to be able to try some of that Boot Rear and argue with Grundy! And what about Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels? To be able to see (and possibly ride on) dragons? Oh, and geez, what about Terry Pratchett’s Discworld?? That might have to be my final answer. And I’ll have to stop thinking about it or else I’ll just keep going on and on with possible answers (oh, hm, what about Douglas Adams’ books? Or…okay, seriously, am going to stop myself now or I’ll be here all night.)
Okay, so I just know you wanna read Cruel Summer, right? How about the chance to win a signed copy of it? So, all you gotta do is visit Alyson’s website and then send me an email at kim @ kimberlypauley.com with the subject line “Oh Alyson, Don’t Be Cruel!” (which is, of course, an Elvis reference…and bears no relation whatsoever to Alyson’s potential cruelness because she’s not cruel…eh, you know what I mean) and tell me…what book has she read at least 15 times? (hint: check out the About Alyson page) And get your entries in for this one by September 8th!!
And just a reminder if you’re popping in directly to this post…be sure to check out all the details about the Sucks to Be Me Book Launch Party ’cause there’s lots more stuff to win (and learn! Didn’t I tell you these were some awesome cool people??)
So, yesterday was the official offline (i.e. non-Internet, real-life version) Book Launch Party! It was at our house and about 70ish people came (I kinda lost count there). It was an awesome time! I even had a vampire magician / balloon animal artist guy…er, vampire (Keith Cobb, who was awesome…if you need a magician or balloon guy or a juggler or…well, check out his site, he does lots of stuff!)!
Besides the balloon animals and the magic show and all the food and drinks, there was also a bat decorating contest, 10 prizes given out, and a showing (outside, on the house) of The Little Vampire. Seriously a great time…but I’m still worn out! I think it is going to take me a week to recover! But at least I got the floors all mopped today…
All About Alan
My guest today is the wonderfully nice (and talented) Alan Gratz! He’s one of the most helpful (give-you-the-shirt-off-his-back…well, not that I’ve ever asked him for his shirt…it’d probably be too big and, well, the wrong style for me since he’s a boy) guys I know and also a wonderful writer. He’s the author of Samurai Shortstop and the awesome Horatio Wilkes series (Think Shakespeare. Think Mystery. Think Awesome.). He’s been a teacher (and even taught catapult building…how cool is that??) and has written more than 6,000 radio commercials (whoa!).
You can learn more about Alan at his official website.
Something Rotten…a little Hamlet, anyone? Stinking-rich family. A reeking paper
plant. A murder most foul. Something is definitely rotten in Denmark, Tennessee,
and only 17-year-old detective Horatio Wilkes can sniff out the killer.
Here’s my question for Alan…
You’ve given a lot of workshops for both authors and teens. What have you learned from them?
And his answer…
I’ve learned that there are many ways to write a book. When I give workshops, I always talk about my outlining process. Before I write the first word of a book, I outline every single chapter. I want to know what happens every moment of my story before I begin. I teach my process in the hope that it will work for someone else, but I know going in that outlining doesn’t work for everyone. There are general writing tips and tricks that can be shared, but when it comes down to it, each writer has his or her own method for bringing a story to life. I once read that Ellen Raskin, the author of the incredibly fabulous and very tricky mystery The Westing Game was once asked if she outlined her complicated stories in advance. She said no—if she knew what was going to happen before she started a book she would be too bored to write it!
And Alan’s question for me…
Okay, tell me about the big leap to quit your corporate job and become a writer. I quit teaching to become a full-time writer (and stay-at-home-dad) and it was scary. What was your transition like? And had you already written Sucks To Be Me, or was that a product of your new “day job?”
And my answer…
Well, it was kind of a kismet situation. I was a manager at AT&T Labs and it was before the takeover…basically, it was all layoffs, all the time. Very depressing. I felt like my whole job was trying to figure out who I should put on the chopping block next and I’d worked with all of these people for years. My husband was starting to think about changing jobs within the company he worked for, but it was something that was going to require a move (from Florida to Kentucky). We talked it over and decided, hey, we could both use a change. And I’d always wanted to write for a living (rather than just doing stuff on the side). It was kinda scary (heck, terrifying) and we effectively cut our income in half.
Then the bad news – right after we moved I hurt my back and leg. I couldn’t walk for a while and had to go through all kinds of nasty medical stuff and heavy duty medication. But I somehow managed to write Sucks to Be Me during that time. I honestly have no idea how – the doctor had me on Vicodin and muscle relaxers and I spent a lot of time sleeping (those kind of drugs make me verrrrry sleepy). I was also in quite a bit of pain. Pretty much the entire time we lived in Kentucky was kinda sucky. I didn’t really get over the back and leg trouble until after we moved to Illinois.
The writing was kind of therapeutic, I suppose. Mina has a strong character voice in my head and I like her snarky style. She’s spunky. And funny (at least I think so). It was kind of a way to get inside my head and away from the physical pain.
Ha, I suppose that’s more than you ever wanted to know! But, seriously, quitting the corporate life was the best thing I ever did. And now that we’ve got a baby, I’m even more glad. You can’t work 60+ hours a week and have a kid. Well, I guess you can…but it ain’t the best idea. Though between the baby and YABC, I almost feel like I used to have more time to write.
Want to puzzle out the mystery yourself along with Horatio Wilkes? Enter to win a copy of Something Rotten (‘cause you should read it before October, when the next book, Something Wicked comes out) by visiting Alan’s website and then emailing me at kim @ kimberlypauley.com with the subject line “There’s Nothing Rotten About Alan!” and tell me what Alan wanted to be before he became a writer (hint: check out the Author Q & A linked on the “Author” page). Be sure to get your entry in by September 7th!
And don’t forget to check out all the Sucks to Be Me Book Launch details for more giveaways!
So I needed to make a new sidebar banner for Sucks to Be Me for the YABC site (since the countdown one was kinda obsolete now). I think it came out pretty cute. Whaddaya think? And feel free to use it on your site if you’d like to
All About Lauren
My guest today is Lauren Myracle (which is not pronounced “miracle” like I’ve heard many people say but more like my-ruh-cull). You might know her best as the lady that wrote the very fun TTYL, TTFN, and L8R, G8R (in IMs!). Or you might know her as the author with the coolest hair. She’s got three cats, which is one more than me, but I bet they are just as insane as mine are. She’s also written a bunch of other books, including the really cute Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen which feature a really great female lead character named Winnie.
You can learn more about Lauren at her official website: laurenmyracle.com
The Latest: Bliss
Bliss is something really different. Some people describe it as a horror novel (though Lauren doesn’t and I don’t know that I would either). It does have some scary moments, but it is more of a story of the loss of innocence. Bliss grew up on a commune and now she has been thrust into the elite Crestview Academy. She really is an innocent and wants to make friends, but her friendship with a troubled girl puts Bliss (and anyone she is kind to) in serious danger.
Here’s Lauren’s favorite quote (to date) about Bliss, from the lovely Bookshelves of Doom review site: “I started this book without knowing that to start Bliss is to immediately create the need to finish it. I was hooked from page one, sentence one… A creepy, tense, thrilling, hair-raising, goosebump-inducing, yicky and sometimes downright twisted ghost story.” Go, Bliss!
Here’s my question for Lauren…
You wrote How to Be Bad along with two other awesome authors: E. Lockhart and Sarah Mlynowski. What was it like to work on a group project, especially with those two?
And her answer…
Fabulous, wonderful, and more FUN than any other writing project I’ve ever embarked on. Oh, and also more work. Three brains writing together = not a third of the work apiece; three brains writing together = three times the work. I hated group projects in college. HATED them, probably because:
a) I was incredibly socially awkward;
b) the peeps I was assigned to work with never seemed very…smart (soooooooo obnoxious to say, I know);
c) it just seemed like a big ol’ waste of time.
But working with Emily and Sarah (on purpose, mind you! we CHOSE to do this!) was exhilarating. Like, I’d write my chaps knowing that Sarah and Emily would read them almost immediately, which meant almost immediate feedback. So awesome! And not only that, but feedback from authors I admire so much. I learned all sorts of things about writing from them. We had to be on our best game with each other, if that makes sense…if nothing else because we wanted to wow each other and make each other laugh.
The VERY best thing about writing HOW TO BE BAD with Emily and Sarah, however, was…Emily and Sarah. We wrote a book; we grew a friendship. I love them both dearly and feel so lucky to have my life entertwined with theirs.
And Lauren’s question for me…
Kimberly. Babe. *Loved* Sucks to Be Me. Seeing as how you’re a vampire gal, what in the world do you make of the insanity surrounding the release of BREAKING DAWN? And I must know: would Mina be friends with Bella????
And my answer…
I have to admit that I haven’t read past the second book, mostly because I stopped reading vampire novels after I found out my book was going to be published (I actually wrote Sucks to Be Me in 2005 before Twilight came out that October). So I wasn’t standing in line for Breaking Dawn or anything… However, I think it’s really cool, all the craziness. Any time people (of any age) get that excited about reading is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. I’ve read lots about the controversy over the book (people hated it, people loved it, etc. etc.) and all I can say is – hey, whether you liked it or not, it excited you and enraptured you and emotionally impacted you. That’s a good thing. Go reading!
And would Mina be friends with Bella? Hmmmmmmm. I don’t know. Somehow I don’t think they’d really run in the same circle and they definitely don’t have the same sense of humor. I think they’d probably nod to each other in the hallways, but they wouldn’t be buddy-buddy.
Intrigued by the description of Bliss above? Well, you’re in luck. I’ve got an ARC copy to give away of this awesome, very intense book. And all you gotta do is visit Lauren’s website and then email me at kim @ kimberlypauley.com with the subject line “Lauren Rocks!” by September 4th and answer this question…what is Lauren’s favorite guilty breakfast (Hint: look on the Q&A page of Lauren’s website)?
If you popped in here directly, be sure to check out the main contest info post for all the nitty-gritty, including how to win a hugely awesome grand prize pack of books and stuff!