Basically, I like to reward people who do an awesome job on contest linkage and sending people my way. So for every follower you send me, I'll add up their points and add it to your points total! AND if someone you sent me sends me someone else, not only do they get all of the points of the 3rd person, but you do as well! I will grandfather everyone in, so for every person you send me, you get more points! And for every person you send me who sends me another person....you get the idea. MORE points for you.
And if you need an example...
Buttercup follows my blog. And she comments below by saying, "I'd love to win these books. I've been looking for a good read to accompany me on my daily ride with my horse--the only thing that brings me comfort when I'm not in the arms of my Westley."
And so, 1 point is awarded to Princess Buttercup.
But then she decides she wants more points. She desperately needs these books. So she sends word to Westley.
Buttercup: Westley, darling, you must follow Frankie's blog and enter her contest.
Westley: As you wish.
Buttercup: And tell her I sent you.
Westley: As you wish.
Buttercup: And shine my shoes.
Westley: Does that get you more contest points?
Buttercup: No, but my slippers are looking dodgey.
Westley: As you wish.
And so 2 points are awarded to Buttercup, and 1 point for Westley.
But then Westley wants more points....
Westley: Inigo, I need you to follow Frankie's blog.
Inigo: Will you fight me left-handed?
Westley: If you follow her blog and enter her contest and tell her I sent you, yes.
Inigo: Great. I'll go enter now. "Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You held a contest. And now I'm entered."
Westley: And tell her I sent you, or it's right-handed sword fighting for you!
Inigo: And Westely sent me!
So now, Inigo has 1 point, Westley has 2, and Buttercup has 3!
Contest is open Internationally and ends SUNDAY, JUNE 6th 2010 at 11:59PM!
So yesterday was my big adventure with Donna in NYC--an adventure that started for me at 6am (WAY earlier than my normal wake up time) and took off when we arrived at Pennstation at 10:30am.
After we made the trek to the Javits Center...AKA...BEA...AKA BOOK EXPO AMERICA!!!! We entered BEA and kind of went into shock. I mean...this was BEA! OMG!!!! We got to walk around a little bit...and even step on the official BEA carpet--yeah it has its own carpet.
But meeting with Agent Laura was the real purpose.
So I went to the lobby with the Hudson News Stand as instructed and then quickly realized as 11:05 rolled around that...OMG....BEA had more than one lobby and more than one Hudson News Stand. Oh noes!
So Donna and I took off using different clues that Agent Laura was texting from her location and after asking a helpful information person and then running up and down a few sets of stairs and in and out of a few different hallways...we found the right Hudson stand!
And there was Agent Laura!
We've talked a lot before, but meeting in person was super cool and I just love her to pieces and couldn't be happier that we're working together. So after one official BEA lemonade for me and one BEA tea for Agent Laura, and one hours worth of the most awesome conversation ever, she returned to BEA (notice she actually has a badge that gets her inside) and I do not. So I returned to stalking from the periphery and located Donna.
And then promptly got inside a Penguin Car.
Finally, accepting that we couldn't ACTUALLY get inside BEA, not to where they were hiding the good stuff, we left to go be the biggest dorks in NY and find bookstores to play in check out.
This included finding an Indie Book Store--SCORE! That was closed--FAIL!
Another Indie Book Store--SCORE! That was only travel books--DOUBLE FAIL!
A Barnes and Noble--SCORE! (SORRY Indies)! That was so Fugly and dungeon like we had to leave--FUGLY FAIL!
But then we found Books of Wonder--WIN! And saw Allary--my favorite bookseller/student of David Levithan's! DOUBLE WIN! And there were authors there talking about their books! TRIPLE WIN! And I picked up a secret prize package for my 500 followers contest. QUADRUPLE WIN!
We also went to my favorite raw vegan take out and got Cacao Lattes which are soooo good, they make me feel dreamy. I got to order a mediterranean salad and for once didn't have to ask them to hold the cheese (such small things make me happy).
Afterwards, Donna decided she wanted something solid like bread and so we promptly walked into a Czech bakery, and Donna--not being one to beat around the bush--walked up to the cashier and said, "I want a hunk of bread!"
That's the Donna I love!
After we ate our hunks...you really can buy a hunk of bread...and I found a vanilla soy latte, and we realized for the hundredth time that OW--walking miles and miles in NYC in 90 degree weather in flips flops hurts....we headed over to Kidlit Night!
I got to talk to Cheryl Klein again--editor extraordinaire from Arthur A. Levine Books, see a bunch of agents and editors we love and finally meet Kody Keplinger, super debut author of The Duff which I'm DYING to read. Kody was super cute and cool and knew who I was--which was crazy!
Also, besides being awesome...she got an arc of Lauren Oliver's Delirium. I seriously would like promise my first born child for a copy of this book! I already tried to bribe her for it.
Anyway check out the FNC on Friday for Donna's version of the adventure. And also....500 followers contest on the way!
All right guys, I've finally recovered from my trip to New York (brought on slightly early by a brutal session with my personal trainer) and I have finally added up all the math and the multiplication etc, etc...and we can haz a winner!
So since I've delayed you long enough, I will get right to it!
The winner of a signed copy of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, a signed copy of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins and a pre-order of Mockingjay (not signed by Suzanne Collins but still totally awesomesauce) is....
Heather, send me your address! And stay tuned...NY recap is coming along with the epic 500 followers contest. And thank you, thank you, thank you to EVERYONE who participated, entered, tweeted and shared their special Hunger Games Skill!
Ok guys, this is a super quick post of insanity. I am SO behind on some stuff...like announcing the winner of The Mostly Signed Hunger Games contest...but for good reasons that you'll appreciate. I spent the day in NY meeting Agent Laura, sneaking into a little bit of BEA, attending a book signing, drinking raw vegan smoothies (ok that was just good for me, not you) and seeing all the famous publishing people at Kidlit Night--including Kody Keplinger who I'm fangirling now.
Anyway, I promise to come back when I've gotten some sleep and actually tell you who won and post something coherent about my NY adventures.
In the meantime, rest assured, I was thinking about you guys in my travels and I picked up a pretty awesome prize package for my 500 followers contest that I'm pretty tempted to keep for myself, but...I will give it away.
So sorry for the delays! You guys rock, you know that, right? Because you do! You're awesome!
Hey Guys! So I'm a little bit behind on announcing the winner because I need to tally up a whole load of points and do things like double them and multiply them by 15 and count and add and things that sort of hurt my brain but will do all for the love of you guys!
I would have done it all sooner but I had to travel out of town the last two days in a row for total events of awesomesauce!
The first! Delaware to see Richelle Mead! SQUEEEEEEEE! She is so adorable in real life and her hair color is awesome! I may have hyperventilated a little when she walked in--I mean, the woman writes 2 of my favorite series and has created the fictional man I'm in love with--bestselling author, Seth Mortensen! SWOON! And ok, maybe she's created 3 of the men I'm in love with...Seth plus Dimitri and Adrian from Vampire Academy...le sigh!
Needless to say, I was a very happy camper getting a few of my books signed, including an early edition of Vampire Academy--with the original cover. SQUEE! Unfortunately, you could only get 3 books signed--which is actually really nice considering the crazy crowds she gets, so I literally had to go through the 12 books I own of hers...ok, I own more than 12 since I have a few editions of certain books with new covers... and pick out 3 to sign--which was like picking between children!
But anyway it was fabulous and I told her I was the girl behind the Spirit Bound Caper which made her laugh. Oh and you should check out the FNC because we posted a recap of the signing AND you can win a signed copy of Spirit Bound...among other things!
A few tidbits...she created Seth before she really knew what writers were like and said she isn't really like him as a writer though she sometimes will find 5 hours have suddenly passed and she was writing the whole time. Also for anyone like me who is dying for Georgina to get her happy ending, she said to keep hanging out, good things are coming! SQUEEE!
And yesterday my sister Elissa graduated from Lehigh University. Yay, Elissa! The coolest part of her graduation was gettingto hear from Elie Wiesel. He was so amazing to listen to and I tweeted my favorite quote from his speech, "Life is not measured in years, its measured in moments." How fantastic is that? Anyone who gets to take classes with him on a regular basis is super lucky.
And...I got some doodling done! :-)
Ok, so after I teach my developmental psych class today...I promise I shall tally up those results!
So last night I was with a bunch of my friends that I've known since elementary school-we basically all grew up within 5 minutes of each other's houses and have been friends for mostly forever. And this one really embarassing story came up and I figured...oh why not share it with you guys? Right?
Here's what happened. Me and my bff were in 8th grade English class with a teacher who was (until that day) my favorite. We were supposed to be writing in our journals and while we were free to write whatever in the world we wanted--there was always a chance that the teacher would pick a journal at random to read to the class.
Which meant you had to be very careful about what you wrote in there.
Anyway, my bff and I were kind of in a silly mood and trying to read what the other was writing in their journal, so we started writing each other's names down to make the other paranoid and make it seem like we were writing about the other.
At least I thought that's what we were doing.
See my journal entry looked something like this:
Blah blah blah BFF's NAME yadda yadda yadda BFF thinks Im writing about her, but I'm just writing yadda yadda yadda, haha BFF nonsense word nonsense word BFF
Well...BFF's journal did NOT say Yadda Yadda Yadda. It in fact made a lot of sense. But I didn't know this until our English teacher--seeing how much we were distracting each other--chose HER journal, not mine to read to the whole class.
And it said this:
OMG I have to write down this most serious secret about Frankie. I mean, really, it has to be said. Frankie is absolutely positively head over heels in love with CUTE BOY* and its all Frankie can talk about. CUTE BOY this and CUTE BOY that. Frankie wants to marry CUTE BOY and have CUTE BOY babies!
*name changed to protect the innocent
Well after our English teacher read this, the whole room erupted in laughter and I gave my bff the most stank stink eye possible.
Anyway, one would think the humiliation would have ended there.
Or at least, my English teacher's role in the fiasco would have stopped.
But no. He stayed involved.
See, CUTE BOY was the lead in the school play. And our English teacher was the play director...
So that VERY afternoon, English teacher goes to run play rehearsal with CUTE BOY. And just before rehearsal can start, he pulled CUTE BOY off to the side and in a not so quiet voice said:
CUTE BOY, I think you should know...Frankie is in love with you!
To which CUTE BOY responded....Oh, and went on with rehearsal.
Now you want to know to the really surprising part of this whole thing?
I didn't even LIKE CUTE BOY! At all.
Yeah...Thanks a lot BFF!
Needless to say the whole thing died down pretty quickly and me and my bff are still bffs, but for a minute it's was touch and go there with us.
So have you ever had a crazy middle school humiliation?
1. Between today and yesterday is like night and day. I mean that figuratively btw, metaphorically even, but just realized that technically there was night and day separating yesterday from today. Anyway, my point is this--editing yesterday= just moving along. Editing today? Baby, we are flying!
2. Today is the LAST day for you to enter to win a MOSTLY signed set of The Hunger Games trilogy! Click at the link above this post if you haven't entered yet people! Do it. You don't want Regina George to win.
3. Stay tuned for a 500 followers contest because you guys are awesome. With sauce. Awesomesauce. The contest....you will love it.
4. I just started listening to Richelle Mead's Blood Promise on my ipod--it's the 3rd reader in this series, and I've surprisingly liked all of the narrators for different reasons. This one is pretty fabulous--and I was loving her until she suddenly gave Adrian a random British accent. WHAT? Now I am worrying about if I sell my books and sell audio rights...what will my reader sound like and will she dole out random British accents? Or French? How can this be prevented? Or did I miss the part about Adrian having an accent?
5. I'm just kidding about number 4. I mean, if someone wants to record my book in a studio, she can have any accent she wants. That's cool with me.
6. Ok. I'm totally lying. No unauthorized accents! I mean it. Also...I'm completely incapable of actually counting to 5.
Actually it's more like an editing update. So basically since I signed with Agent Laura, I've been tackling her editorial letter (8 pages baby) and line edits for mah book which arrived in a fun and HEAVY box.
The sad news is I'm only on chapter 3's line edits--out of 22--eek!
But the good news is, I'm pretty much done with chapter 1--which apparently had the MOST complaints from Agent Laura. Actually most of what I've been doing in terms of revision has been rewriting and reworking a particular scene in chapter 1.
Apparently, I made it too cheesy.
Since I'm a vegan.
But anyway, now that I've gotten through what I'm pretty sure is the tough part, I'm ready to fly--which is great!
Because next week I'm going to NY!
Not to BEA :-(
I will get to meet Agent Laura in person over a vanilla soy latte. SQUEEE!
PS. Over at the FNC today, Donna wrote a really wonderful (though totally EMBARRASSING) post about me that gives a few more details about some of the behind the scenes of my querying process--like...just how many times my full was requested...EEEK!
So you know, thought I'd send you over there, because as soon as something embarrasses me, I'm like genetically programmed to share it.
Ok ya'll that's it.
What on earth shall I do with my Thursday night now that Vampire Diaries season 1 is over? Edit, perhaps?
So I don't know how much of this review is going to be a review in the review sense, mostly it'll be me gushing. First of all--Vampire Academy is hands down my favorite YA series--I adore Richelle Mead, I love the characters, the action, the romance, the twists, the angst...I just love it. And I love how she's not afraid to go there---there...like as far there as you can go--the series is very mature as far as YA goes, but its realistic I think and I love that and every situation, every issue is handled beautifully.
Anyway, I'll try to keep this spoiler free if you haven't picked up your copy yet (why haven't you? Go get it!) but if you haven't been reading the series at all, then this might be a little spoilery.
So it's a few months after the events in Blood Promise and after not too long, Rose and Lissa graduate from the academy and are preparing to enter the real world/college. But first they need to stay at the Royal Court...and also break Victor Dashkov out of prison to get the info they need to save Dimitri who is a constant threat for Rose.
Once they break Victor out, the story starts to fly and the twists and turns keep coming. I loved how a lot of old characters resurfaced to play a role in this story (Eddie is back!) as well as some of the newer characters we met in Blood Promise (Sydney and Abe) continuing to hang out. And thankfully Christian had more lines than last time--yay! And Lissa really developed!
Adrian's role in the story has definitely increased and deepened and I absolutely loved the developments between Adrian and Rose. I was always severely Team Dimitri--I almost never switch teams or feel torn (except in The Hunger Games where I'm team both) but I really fell in love with Adrian this time. I still love Dimitri and I'm not giving anything away (but everything changes again), just keep in mind--we still have one more book to go and books 5+6 were originally one. So I still have no clue what's going to happen, or who Rose should end up with...though I'm leaning toward Dimitri even though I LOVE Adrian--I feel the angst!
So many things that I wanted to happen happened and then a lot of stuff that I didn't want to happen but that made the story sooooo amazing did! I seriously cannot stop thinking about this book--it's definitely worthy of Richelle's 5th effort with this series and I cannot wait until December for Last Sacrifice!
Alright, maybe this was coherent...maybe not, but I LOVED this book! LOVED! I loved what Richelle has done and continues to do and while I think I desperately need book 6 to sleep at night, it's going to be very sad when this series is over. Anyway th Vampire Academy series in a word is AMAZING. And Spirit Bound ROCKS.
So in a word, Friday night was EPIC. For two reasons....maybe more. But it all started when I met up with Donna to meet Melissa Marr who was on her Radiant Shadows tour. We went to our favorite Indie book store--which for the record--I'm totally pro Indie, I just live really far away from Indies, so most of my escapades occur at Barnes and Noble--however the level of Shenanigans I got into Friday night--and I mean SHENANIGANS--probably more than made up for lost time.
P.S. I feel like I should not mention the name of the book store to protect the identities of the innocent, but one can surmise it was in Pennsylvania and also Richelle Mead had no trouble finding the book store, but...ok, backing up.
So here's what happened.
The Spirit Bound Caper!!!
While Donna and I were waiting for Melissa Marr to begin her talk I was stalking the YA section and lo and behold OMG, I discovered copies of Richelle Mead's Spirit Bound...for sale...4 days early!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Immediately I went into a SQUEEing meltdown and squeeed so hard I think even Donna was scared and she's seen her fair share of squee-age. Anyway, the books were out 4 days early...4 DAYS...which isn't a big deal a lot of times, but was for Spirit Bound because it had a hard release date.
I grabbed a copy and kind of had to read the title ten times because I was in shock and you always read about those weird stories where some guy who owns a candy store in "The-Name-Of-This-Town-Is-So-Weird-It's-Fakeville, USA" somehow started selling a Harry Potter novel ten days early and the odds of that happening are totally like finding one of those golden tickets in a Wonka bar-- AKA it could never happen to me--but it did! I found Spirit Bound.
Anyway, being a writer myself and savvy about the whole release day thing and a supportive fan of Richelle's, I hailed down my book seller friend and was like "DUDE, OMG, you know these books aren't released yet?"
And she was like all like, "OMG for reals?" (hehe she's going to kill me for this)
And I was like, "FOR REALSIES! You can't sell these until Tuesday."
And she was like, "You're right! We can't!" So she went over to the pile of Spirit Bound books to remove them off the shelves ASAP. As for me...
I RAN to the cashier and paid for that book before anyone could confiscate it. And then...it was MINE!
Hey! I'm release date savvy, but I'm also only human and the amount of will power it would have taken to get me to not buy that book on the spot was beyond even my abilities. Plus I'd done the right thing in reporting release snafu, right? Also I'm buying more this week that will be signed for a little something called a 500 followers contest...
Anyway, the SQUEEEAGE kind of took over and I had to tweet my excitement. And squeee...a lot.
And after a few minutes, my Spirit Bound squeeage took a chill pill--something only made possible by the awesomeness that was Melissa Marr!
OMG Melissa Marr!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She was so fun, sweet and insightful--I'm so happy to have met her. She's just one of those genuinely awesome writers who cares so deeply for her craft, but is also realistic about the business side--I loved seeing that balance in her. Plus she wears purple boots. I mean, how cool is that? Also, you might not know this if you haven't met her, but she has a wonderful voice--I could pretty much just listen to her read or talk all day.
Luckily for me, Donna took AMAZING notes on her talk which you can check out at the FNC Monday and Tuesday. So my recap is kind of short...but I have PRIZES.
Anyway a few quick tidbits.
Melissa doesn't plot, and many of her subplots or later books in the series arose from a single scene she wrote without understanding it, or from wanting to explore a single word--which is SO cool.
Directors are reading the Wicked Lovely script--and they are really working to the keep the folklore accurate.
Vince Vaughn is her producer and she didn't even know who he was when he offered to buy:-)
She writes non-linearly, but did for her adult novel--which is fascinating, because I always assumed if you wrote a book one way, you always wrote a book that way--I guess I'll have to see for myself.
She's totally open about discussing any questions writers might have about publishing and if you're a writer and ever have a chance to talk to her--you should! She's amazing, supportive and helpful! And so sweet.
The Spirit Bound Caper continues....
So anyway...while Melissa was signing books I found out that Richelle Mead...having seen my tweets about her book AND Melissa Marr, put two and two together and actually called the store to make sure they weren't selling Spirit Bound early--which they weren't at that point.
Except to me.
Because I couldn't help it.
See I told you there were Shenanigans! I actually got my favorite author to call the store I was in, when I was in it, because of a tweet while I met another one of my favorite authors, and kind of got the Indie Store in trouble, but also saved Richelle Mead from missing early sales.
How's that for a Friday night?
Twitter--you are dangerous!
Also, I'm really starting to think I need a personal handler because I clearly can't be trusted. At all.
Ok, so two more things.
1. I already finished Spirit Bound and OMGGGGGGGGGGGG! Seriously, everyone needs to be reading Vampire Academy. These books are AWESOME!
2. I have SWAG from Melissa Marr to give you! Because she rocks!
All you have to do is comment on my blog and I'll pick out 3 random winners.
I have 2 bookmarks signed by Melissa. And a handful of Fairy Court Bracelets to give away!
Pretty Double Sided Bookmarks SIGNED!
Fairy Court Bracelets!
So comment away and I'll announce winners Tuesday morning!
So I promised I'd give you guys some behind the scenes insight into my querying process and how I ended up signing with Agent Laura. And being a woman who attempts to stand behind her words, here it is.
So my total querying process from sending out that first query by email to recieving my final "Call" took exactly 30 days.
And though that process went by QUICK--the road to sending out that first e-query was looooong.
Since this is a post about getting an agent, I'll stay focused and not tell you about how I first wanted to be a writer when I was 3 and how I used to write 100 pages of my book and throw it out the next day and just how many versions of my novel exist and...yeah....
So ok--here's the story and how I went about tackling Query Wars.
Research and Networking
I did A LOT of research for a LONG time. I followed every agent blog I could fit in my google reader, I followed every agent on twitter and I went to a lot of conferences and took copious amounts of notes on what different agents were like, what they wanted and who they represented and then I talked to them and got to know as many as I could.
Every single agent I decided to query ended up on my list for a combination of the following reasons:
1) They represented books like mine and/or wanted to represent a book like mine
2) They represented authors whose work I liked and/or respected
3) I got along with them in person and/or I got along with their clients or I thought based on their blog/twitter that I would get along with them
So once I got my agent list together I started working on my query. And I WORKED on my query.
I can't recommend these workshops highly enough--half the agents I queried requested my full. And I started to get offers of rep after two weeks. The speed and the volume of success were awesome and amazing and definitely not luck but a direct result of how much work I did before I started the process.
Getting the Call
Getting ready for the call was also a lot of research! I came up with a HUGE list of questions to ask each agent--a combination of questions that were recommended and questions that were important to me. But I was also very interested in how I felt we'd work together and how easy they were to talk to on the phone. And...yeah, I took copious notes. The important thing to know about The Call is that you are no longer interviewing to work with the agent--they are interviewing to work with you--so relax, you're in the driver's seat.
Making the Choice
I was lucky enough to get to choose between a few agents--all of whom were awesome. But here's why I picked Laura. Laura was actually one of the few agents I queried that I hadn't met in person and hadn't seen at a conference. So I queried her cold and though I'd made a lot of other connections with agents which helped me receive fast responses--with Laura, I was literally lucky to be pulled out of the slush pile.
So I knew her the least in a way, and in another way, I knew her the best. I was very familiar with her client list, I was (and am) a fan of many of her clients and friendly with them too--though she had no clue if I even knew who she represented until I actually talked to her.
But I was pretty sure from the start that if I got along with her authors (who I LOVE), and they got along with her...well, it would be an easy jump to conclude I'd get along with her too and I was right. She was so easy to talk to, we really clicked on the phone and actually had a lot in common beyond a similar taste in books.
But here's what really sealed the deal--Laura immediately mentioned really loving and being inspired by a specific aspect of my book that is in my mind--the heart of my story. When she told me that, I knew she got me and in the end, you want the agent that most understands your vision.
And then you live happily ever after:-)
So here's what I learned...
Networking and meeting agents definitely helps the query process to flow smoothly and faster than usual--but it's not necessary.
You really can be pulled out of the slush pile by your dream agent.
Never underestimate that gut feeling in your stomach--I had it with Laura.
Pick the agent who understands you and your story. A lot of agents might love your book, but WHY they love it is super important.
You should also pick the agent whose communication and work style most closely matches yours.
The entire query process sounds like its a battle of luck and out of your control, and to an extent, yeah--sure it is, but you have way more control over the process than you realize. Putting forth the effort does get you results. And why approach it like it's this big scary thing that you have no say in? That's no fun. It's way more fun (though still just as STRESSFUL) to query with confidence and to know that you've done everything possible to make your query wars a success.
OMGizzles you guys! Seriously do not underestimate the super powers of Cassandra Clare! It's so fun to meet so many Mortal Instrument fans here after she tweeted the link to my contest :-) I hope you all stay and hang out some more. It's good times here!
Also if you haven't yet, you should definitely enter my Agent Signing Contest--I'm giving away a mostly signed set of The Hunger Games trilogy--The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are both signed by Suzanne Collins and I'm going to preorder your copy of Mockingjay! So enter, enter, enter and join the cool people on my sidebar.
So without further delay...here are the two winners of the sample chapters from Clockwork Angel!
Yay!!! Congrats! Send me an email with your addresses so I can mail you the chapters!
And now le update from my life.
More Lessons from Personal Training
Well....I met with my personal trainer again. I didn't turn to jelly like the last time, but my legs are very very very very sore! I have more lessons for you.
1. If you should stumble upon an exercise machine you're really good at, do not admit this to your trainer.
2. They will never let you near said machine again.
3. That machine never looked so good before.
4. When your trainer tells you to lift your arms like a bird, it's going to hurt.
5. When they add weights to your bird-arm-lift, it hurts more.
6. When they tell you to lift your arms with weights like Wonder Woman--cry!
On Being An Agented Writer
I've developed this crazy habit that I'm pretty sure could be diagnosed as agent-itis. It's pretty lame....but...so like I do this thing where I bring random friends into Barnes and Noble and gather a bunch of books from authors that Agent Laura represents and I stack them in a pile and then go over to whoever I dragged into BN with me and squeeeeeeeeee and say, "These are my colleagues."
I'm officially a dork.
And so it begins...
Line edits have arrived!
Ok, so I'm diving in and stay tuned. I still need to fulfill my deal with the universe and dress up like Hermione and share my insight into querying.
Last night was seriously made of win because I met these two amazing authors in the middle of their tour! The set up at Barnes and Noble was pretty fun--instead of chairs everyone was crowded on the floor, like we were in camp. It was cozy. There's something kind of fun about sitting on the floor at a book store. Or maybe that's just me and I'm weird...but you know what I mean---you don't sit on the floor at a public place, so getting to do so is like you're getting away with something you know you shouldn't. Ok I'm five.
So I'm going to recap my night with them--as usual I took copious notes.
Research is Dangerous
So Cassandra Clare and Holly Black both opened with short funny stories about how they did research for their latest book. Cassandra was traveling in London taking pictures of different Victorian era sights with her friend Clary--who she named Clary in The Mortal Instruments after. Her friend showed her courtyards and gargoyles and a Victorian window--where Cassandra snapped a picture only to realize she'd just snapped a shot of a man. Stark naked. Cooking breakfast.
Then Holly Black decided, since she was writing a noir crime novel, there would inevitably be a scene in which someone is kidnapped and thrown in the trunk of their car. I love Holly Black for this--she actually asked a friend to put her in the trunk of her car and drive around--of course her friend had a hatchback trunk so it was really obvious to anyone driving behind that she had kidnapped someone--luckily no one called the police.
Dog in a Bar...or Octopus in a Coffee Shop
So then they decided to act out a classic con that appears in a ton of crime movies and novels usually referred to as Dog in a Bar, except that since most of the audience was underage it became a coffee shop and because they only had a stuffed octopus, it was really an octopus. But basically here's the rundown, con artist 1 (Holly Black) goes into the coffee shop and leaves her dog/octopus there while she goes on an interview. Then con artist 2 (Cassandra Clare) comes by and is like OMG that dog/octopus is worth thousands, I'd buy it for thousands of dollars, but oooh, not your dog? What a pity. Well here's my card, pass it onto the owner. Then when the first con artist comes back, the bar tender/coffee shop owner aka the Mark, offers to buy the dog/octopus for like a hundred bucks--thinking, "Ill call con artist 2 and make thousands." So they buy the dog, call Con 2 and...its a wrong number.
Then Cassandra read an excerpt from Clockwork Angel and Holly read from White Cat--both of which I'm SUPER excited to read! And about Clockwork Angel...I have a mini give away for you at the end of this post :-)
Ok so then there was the Q&A session---here are the highlights!
1. Cassandra Clare said Magnus will be appearing a lot in Clockwork Angel nd then in City of Fallen Angels a lot of his past will come up to mess things up with his relationship with Alec.
2. The movie script for City of Bones is complete and they are now searching for a director.
3. Cassandra's favorite kind of character is the snarky bad boy with a heart of gold...or Jace :-)
4. Holly Black said that the Spiderwick Chronicles are officially complete.
5. Cassandra had just to moved to New York when she started writing The Mortal Instruments series and chose it as the setting for her story--she also felt that it had a shadow self that intrigued her, little secret areas--but this is true of any city.
6. Holly discussed the difficulties of switching from novel writing to graphic novel writing--you suddenly can't use descriptions because the artist takes care of that and your pacing is determined by the page spreads and the bottom of every set of pages must have a cliff hanger so readers turn the page--this is similar to what I've heard about picture book writing.
7. Cassandra's favorite part to write about romantic relationships are when there is the most tension--she's happiest when her characters are most miserable. Her favorite scene to write was in the Seelie Court--and that is actually my favorite scene in the series!
8. All of the epigraphs in the TMI series relate to The Hero's Journey which many heroes tend to follow in fantasy stories (check out some Joseph Campbell if you're unfamiliar with this--its amazing stuff).
9. Cassandra isn't really trying to cast actors for her movie for various reasons, but she'd love to see Robert Downey Jr as Valentine--that would seriously rock, but he'd be awesome in anything as anyone I think.
10. They both absolutely LOVE fanvideos, and are totally fanfiction friendly but obviously can't read them.
11. Cassandra and Holly in case you didn't know are friends and CPs--seriously how cool would it be to go on tour with your BFF/CP? So they mentioned how great CPs are--you have someone to hold you accountable, to bounce ideas around with or work through issues, or say I need help with a scene--right now!
12. Some of Holly Black's current fave authors are: Megan Whalen Turner, Ally Carter, Sarah Rees Breenan and some of Cassandra Clare's current faves are: Tamora Pierce, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Suzanne Collins and Kristin Cashore.
13. They also talked about how surprised they were by how indifferent many people in their lives were to their stories. Someone from the audience mentioned how personal writing is and whether or not their friends and family suddenly felt like they understood secret parts of them after reading their stories. The answer: they didn't. So many parts of their stories are taken from so many things its hard to trace. Some friends think a character is them when it's not and others who have characters based off of them never see it. This was interesting to me, because I have to admit, I'm a little anxious to see what people realize about me when they read my story. So I guess I can relax....but who knows....
14. And last but not least, make sure your villains all have a reason for doing what they do--they need to have some redeeming qualities and reason for their evil.
OK so after the signing we all had numbered wrist bands that told us when to get in line and since my number put me in signing group 3--I had to wander over to get a vanilla soy latte:-)
Then waiting in line was pretty cool, because I met some of the other fans including these two really cute 24 year old girls who were so worried about being the oldest ones there until I told them I was 27--which relieved them. At least some people are relieved by my age...anyway, meeting Cassandra and Holly was SO fun!
I told them about how I recently signed with Laura and what I wrote and they both approved of the title of my book, STOLEN! That makes me squeee with all kinds of squeeeeee-y-ness because I spent sooooo long trying to come up with a title and sooooo many were very horribly wrong. They also took my cards to check out the blogs because pretty soon at the FNC we're having our 500 followers giveaway and up for grabs will be a signed copy of White Cat by Holly Black and a signed copy of City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. I can't tell you how cool and sweet they were--they just made me soooo happy to be a part of the YA community.
So now...the mini-giveaway!
Cassandra gave me two mini booklets that contain a chapter from Clockwork Angel and after midnight I'll pick two random winners from the comments below to receive them!
In honor of my signing I am giving away (a mostly signed) The Hunger Games Trilogy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah baby! You can win:
The Hunger Games--SIGNED by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire--SIGNED by Suzanne Collins
This year Suzanne Collins had only one book signing (which I was lucky enough to attend and recap HERE) so signed books by her are pretty rare and hard to come by--but I have two of them for you and will preorder Mockingjay (unsigned) to complete your entire set!
Yay!!! Now here's how you win--those of you who have been hanging out with the cool people for a while know what's coming, but for anyone new (Hi new cool people!!! *waves* Welcome!!!) I'm going to break things down.
All you have to do is head over to the sidebar where the cool people are hanging out and click the follow button (and/OR follow me through Facebook), then leave a comment below and tell me, if you were in The Hunger Games, during the initial scoring section---where all the tributes have to show their special skill for the arena, what would you do? Or what would you wish you could do? And that's it!
Want more votes? Bring a friend over to my blog and make sure they tell me you sent them and I'll give you an extra vote! For every friend you send, your name gets entered again. AND if your referral makes a referral than you get more chances from that too because I grandfather in the votes (its a labor of love). So please get creative and tweet, blog, facebook, beg, bribe...ummm just figure out a way to get more friends over here so you have more chances to win, ok? :-)
And here is the demonstration in case what I just said makes no sense.
Ok so Regina George reads my blog. "It's where I go to laugh and get away from all the fugliness that are the people who end up in my Burn Book." And she's reading and she sees I'm giving away The Hunger Games (mostly signed) Trilogy and immediately decides to enter and comments below saying, "I would totally score a 12 from the judges of The Hunger Games by simply strutting around in my teeniest bikini ever! They'd be mesmerized, I'd have to score a perfect. And in the arena, I'd take down my enemies the same way. You what they say--beauty killed the beast--right? Plus I can throw a mean punch if I have to."
And so Regina George is awarded 1 point in my contest!
But 1 point is not enough for Regina George! No! She has to win. She's a life ruiner and she wants to make sure that she--not you--wins those books. And so she enlists the help of Gretchen Weiners.
Regina: Gretchen, you have to follow Frankie's blog. She just signed with this awesome agent and she's giving away these books that are fabulous. So go enter and say I sent you!
Gretchen: Oh wow that sounds so fetch!!
Regina: Gretchen! Stop trying to make fetch happen. It's not going to happen.
Gretchen: What are you talking about, Regina? I just heard someone say it in the mall the other day and the way they said it, I just totally know that they heard it from me. So I'm pretty sure it can happen, which is--
Regina: OMG, Gretchen! Just...wait a second....I have call waiting. *clicks over* Hello
Regina: Karen? OMG, I'm on the phone with Gretchen and she is SO annoying. I'm trying to get her to enter this contest for signed books and I would have told you to enter, but sweetie, you can't read and anyway she just keeps saying fetch like she has a syndrome or something and---
Gretchen: REGINA! It's still Gretchen.
Regina: I knew that. Now are you entering or not?
Gretchen: Fine, I'm in, but only because I actually like The Hunger Games and Frankie's blog, not because you told me to. And--
Regina: Just make sure you tell I sent you. Ok love you, bye!
And so 2 points are awarded to Regina and 1 to Gretchen.
But then Gretchen snaps. "Why should Peeta get all the glory from fans of The Hunger Games while everyone else just ignores Gale? What's so great about Peeta? Hmmm? Gale is just as cute as Peeta! Gale is just as smart as Peeta. People totally like Gale just as much as they like Peeta. And when did it become okay for one person to be the star of the story, huh? Because that's not what love triangles are supposed to be about! We should just totally be Team Gale!"
And so Gretchen goes to Cady for help.
Gretchen: If you only knew how mean she really is! I mean I want to read The Hunger Games too. And I like Frankie's blog. But I think I deserve to win the books signed by Suzanne Collins. You know?
Cady: What's Frankie's Blog?
Gretchen: Oh you're like a martian, you don't know anything. Here sign online and read it.
Cady: Oh, this is really cool! And oh. I HEARD of The Hunger Games! I'm totallly going to follow Frankie!
Gretchen: Really? You will? And you'll say I sent you, right? Not Regina? Because we have to stick together against her and I need the points way more than she does.
Frankie: Ummm, Gretchen, I grandfather ALL the points in so Regina still benefits from Cady signing up.
Gretchen: Irregardless, I still get more points and then may the odds be ever in my favor!
Cady: And mine too!
And so Regina now has 3 points, Gretchen has 2 and Cady has 1.
Ok, just to entice you a little more, let me know if you're an old follower (like you followed my blog before this contest) and I will double all of your points.
And if you post about this on your blog, like a whole post just for this...I will multiply all of your points times 5! So if you bring a lot of people over...your points can be through the roof. Just make sure you tell everyone to say you sent them!