Monday, September 27, 2010

New York, here I come!

I am going to New York on Wednesday. This is very good news. It means I get to eat amazing food, catch up with fabulous friends, go to the Met, buy some clothes and generally relax. I'm not saying I've been stressed recently BUT... OK, I've been stressed recently. New York is my happy place. Sometimes I wish my happy place was closer to home so I could go there more often, but then it might lose some of its shine.

I need your help. I fully intend on spending at least eight hours in the Strand bookstore. I fully intend on buying books. Maybe not as many as last time. So, any recommendations for me? Any new USian releases I absolutely MUST get my hands on? Any old favourites you think I should look up?

Ta muchly.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Contest double whammy!

Today I received cover proofs for ENTANGLED, and they are blimmin' gorgeous. GORGEOUS, I tell you. To celebrate, I'm holding a contest.

The prize: a signed ARC of ENTANGLED AND a finished copy of RAISED BY WOLVES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (thanks to lovely Quercus for this one). It's a double whammy of contesty joy!

To enter, you have to:

1. Live anywhere in the world. No aliens allowed. Intergalactic contest coming soon, I promise.

2. Follow this blog.

3. Complete the following sentence:

I wouldn't mind getting entangled with... (Please add the Hottie McHotterson of your choice.)

The winner will be chosen by an expert panel of judges (headed by me, with co-judges um... me and er... me).

Closing date is WEDNESDAY 6th OCTOBER.

Good luck y'all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maureen Johnson is a bloody genius

God, I love the internet. I really do.  And not just for pictures of Taylor Kitch.

Oops! Where did that come from? No, I love the internet because occasionally you stumble across someone saying something important. Something you believe in. And you sit there nodding to yourself, thinking, 'Man, I wish I'd said that.' Yesterday I read Maureen Johnson's blog about the supposed crisis in boys' reading, and the fact that everyone seems to think we need more male authors for children. Please have a read here.

Here's my favourite bit:

It was like the penis was literally the magical eleventh finger that allowed you to write, and if I could just GROW ONE SOMEHOW, or imagine it into being, I would gain the abilities I so desired.

Tee hee. Anyway, I'd love to know what you think on the matter. Because I think MAUREEN JOHNSON IS  A BLOODY GENIUS!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speak loudly

I wasn't planning to post today, since I have actual paying work to do (yay!). But I had to draw your attention to this. Many of you will already know about it, as it was all over the twitterverse and blogosphere yesterday, but some of you may not.

 A crazy book-banning types named Wesley Scroggins (yes, really) has written an article in which he talks about SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. Now, I love LHA. LOVE HER. I wrote about that love here. SPEAK is one of my top ten YA books of all time. And this Scroggins chap calls it 'filth'. He thinks that high school students should not be exposed to such books. He even goes to far as to equate rape with pornograpy, which is so twisted I can't even begin to get my head around it. Please read Laurie's blog post about it all here.

People like this man really, really scare me. He's a professor, for crying out loud. A supposedly educated man! I've no idea what he kind of books he'd like to see young people read, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to find out. We can't let this book-banning madness win. We just can't.

So, please go and find out more on the blogosphere. There are some pretty inspiring posts out there. Try this one for starters. If you haven't already, please read SPEAK. And if you happen to be a school librarian, please please please make sure there is a copy of SPEAK on your shelves. A student of yours might need to read it - if only to know that they're not alone.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Three months

A lot has happened in the last three months.

I got my first look at the cover for Entangled.

I received a batch of shiny, pink ARCs. My book in book form, at long last.

A couple of authors I really admire read and liked my book.

I got promoted at work.

I handed in my notice at work.

I met John Green, and had a grand day out with a bunch of lovely bloggers.

I started planning my new not-so-top-secret business venture.

My best friend had a baby.

My nephew started school, looking ridiculously cute in his uniform.

I left London.

My ARCs were sent out into the wild, and I got my first bit of feedback from one of the lovely bloggers. She liked my book.

Three months. My mother died three months ago today. I miss her.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

ARCs in the wild

This week has been a tricky one for all sorts of reasons. I won't go into them here, as I like to keep things light and breezy if I can. (This 'light and breezy' policy may not last... We'll see.) Some good things have happened though: those lovely pink ARCs have been sent out to bloggers. Maybe some of them are even being read at this very moment (although knowing the state of most bloggers' TBR piles, I'm not so sure). The thought of people reading the ARC is exciting and terrifying in equal measures. I'm trying my best to focus on the excitement.

The other good thing was that my fabulous friend who produces music under the pseudonym MASSIVE DOG (coolest pseudonym ever, right?) has sent me the final version of the music for the ENTANGLED trailer. And by God, it's good. I really, really love it. Now I just have to somehow create a trailer to do it justice. (N.B. I have no idea how to make a trailer.)

This afternoon I'm heading into Edinburgh to find a cafe in which to write. I'm in desperate need of inspiration.

I hope you are all feeling rested and happy and inspired this weekend.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Contest winner and other stuff

Greetings from Scotland! I'm finally here. It's been... stressful. But last night I had dinner overlooking Edinburgh castle, which was pretty magical and nerve-soothing.

So, the winner of the Mockingjay contest is Anna. Congrats! Please DM me your address, so I can get your prize in the post (if I can find said prize when the rest of my belongings arrive on Friday... if not, I'll have to send an old pair of socks instead). So here's what Anna would want Haymitch to send into the Hunger Games for her final meal:

I would opt for a giant pie, one side steak and ale, the other mash and gravy. My reasoning, you ask? It is thus:

1. I reckon that the hardy crust might protect aforementioned pie from the elements as I roam the arena, should I not be able to finish it in one sitting (an unlikely event)
2. I love pie
To drink – something hugely sugary and highly caffeinated (for the energy). Coke, perhaps.
For dessert: Something chocolaty. No reason. I just like it.
Did I mention it's my birthday on Thursday? (Not that I'm trying to encourage bias, you understand…)

N.B. I was NOT swayed by the imminent birthday. It was the two-sided pie idea that clinched it.

So, other stuff? Not much to report, I'm afraid. Oh, I'm writing - in between the mountains of boring admin, unpacking, tweeting and coaxing the cats out from behind the sofa. So far today, I've written... um... about two hundred words. Impressive, huh?

I'll do better tomorrow, I promise.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mockingjay contest (UK only - sorry!)

In honour of the Impending Move to Scotchland, I've decided to give away a shiny copy of Mockingjay to one of you good people. Here it is, in all its orangey glory:

So, what do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning?

1. Be a follower of this blog.
2. Live in the UK. (I promise not to be biased in favour of Scottish entrants.)
3. Answer the following question...

If you were a tribute in the Hunger Games, what meal would you want Haymitch to send you in one of those little parachutes? And why? Remember, this could be your last meal, so you'd better make it a good 'un.

The winner will be chosen by me on a whim. (Don't go thinking you can win just by saying the word 'cheese'. That's not going to cut it... probably.) The closing date is Wednesday 8th September.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour.