BEA and BookCon Schedule

Are you going to BEA or BookCon??? Here’s my schedule, as well as info about how you can get an early copy of A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT if you are attending!

BEA, FRIDAY, MAY 13:

8 a.m.: BEA Breakfast (ticketed event)

2-3 p.m: Signing A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT advanced copies at the Penguin Random House Booth (Booth 2433)

7 p.m.: Panel at THE BOOK STALL (811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL 60093), with John Corey Whaley, David Arnold and Jennifer Niven.

BOOKCON, SATURDAY, MAY 14:

9 – 10:30 a.m.: Penguin Teen VIP Trivia Challenge

11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Panel with Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver, and Melissa de la Cruz and Margot Wood of Epic Reads: “What is light without darkness? Balancing good and evil in YA literature.”

12:15 – 1:15 PM Signing following panel—Table 4.

Baa Mix 86: Winter/Spring 2016

I was in the writing cave for the past 8 months or so, so while I was listening to music, I never had the time to put it all in one post. So this is a weird hybrid mix of stuff I’ve listened to during that time, divided into Winter and Spring.

If you’re going to listen to one song—Water by Ra Ra Riot. Wait, also the Smells Like Teen Spirit cover from Freedom Fry because holy $h!t. Favorite line is from “Shovels & Dirt” by the Strumbellas: “I gotta a head full of darkness and darkness is good.”

 

Winter 2015

  1. Ra Ra Riot: Water (This was my theme song all the way through the end of writing TORCH)
  2. Bob Moses: Tearing Me Up (Another TORCH theme song!)
  3. Bishop: River (OK THEY ARE ALL TORCH THEME SONGS WHAT.)
  4. Farro: On a Wire
  5. Grimes: Venus Fly (feat. Janelle Monae)
  6. Grimes: Kill V. Maim (This. Song. Is. Life. Also my 6yo is weirdly in love with it.)
  7. Beach Slang: Bad Art and Weirdo Ideas
  8. Julien Baker: Something (sobs)
  9. A$AP Rocky: Everyday (Just ignore the fact that Rod Stewart is in this song and it’s so great)
  10. Vance Joy: Mess is Mine
  11. The Lumineers: Ophelia (very sing-able, so warning, if you have children they will start driving you crazy with the chorus.)

Spring 2016

  1. Freedom Fry: Smells Like Teen Spirit (Thank you KCRW).
  2. Marvin Gaye: Sexual Healing (Kygo Remix)   (I don’t know why I love this song, but I absolutely blame April Tucholke and Maggie Thrash.)
  3. Bon Jovi: Living on a Prayer (Teaching the kids to air guitar and this seemed fitting for instruction, and then I remembered how great it was so here it is)
  4. Rae Sremmurd: Look Alive
  5. The Strumbellas: Shovel & Dirt
  6. The Strumbellas: Spirits (I GOT GUNS IN MY HEAD AND THEY WON’T GO)
  7. The Brinks: Temporary Love
  8. Boosie Badazz & C-Murder: God, I’m Sorry (A man’s convo with God.)
  9. Lewis Del Mar: Malt Liquor (So obsessed with this song)
  10. School of Seven Bells: Open Your Eyes (The back story to this whole album is so damn sad. http://www.stereogum.com/1840511/out-of-the-desert-school-of-seven-bells-final-chapter/franchises/interview/
  11. Basia Bulat: La La Lie
  12. The Young Wild: Not a One
  13. Fitz & the Tantrums: Handclap (YASS FITZ)
  14. Miike Snow: Ghengis Khan (Obviously)
  15. Beyonce: Formation
  16. Oasis: Champagne Supernova (Idk, I just remembered it and then started listening to it obsessively exactly like in 9th grade. Weird time warp. Also, this video is so horribly 90s OMG. )

Introducing Debut Author Jeff Zentner

IMG_2887Despite all the excitement of this week, I couldn’t forget our debut author of the month, Jeff Zentner! Jeff’s novel, The Serpent King, was released on March 8. 
For those of you just joining, I’ve been hosting a 2016 Debut Author Series, where I post short, Proust-inspired questionnaires with a 2016 debut author every month.

Now, on to the interview…

  1. What character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)?
    I would steal Kerry Kletter’s wisdom generally, but especially her wisdom about the workings of people.
  2. What’s the last lie you told?
    I have never lied in my life.
  3. If you could punch one person on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
    Larry Brinkerhoff of Des Moines, Iowa because he f— [My lawyer covers the microphone and whispers in my ear] I, uh, would punch world hunger. World hunger is what I would punch.
  4. What possession do you consider your “precious”? So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom.
    My favorite material possession is my 1996 Toyota pickup with 225,000 miles on it. It is immortal. It bears the nickname “The Rooster.” It would probably survive the fires of Mt. Doom.
  5. Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
    The road to hell is paved with adverbs.Author photo jacket
  6. What book do you wish you’d written?
    Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
  7. You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
    “Wild” by Beach House
  8. You magically obtain the ability to cast one and only one spell from the Harry Potter universe—but you can cast it as much as you like. Which one is it?
    Anteoculatia, the spell that makes people’s hair turn into antlers. If you so much as fail to wave after I let you merge—enjoy your new rack of antlers.
  9. With only your wit and an oft-malfunctioning magic wand, you are forced into a death match with either Shelob, the enormous spider from Lord of the Rings, or Voldemort. Who do you choose?
    I gotta go with Voldemort because I’m more familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the human body and I would be able to think of more things that would distract him. Plus, every time I got in a good hit, I’d loudly gloat and I’d want my adversary to know they were being gloated on.
  10. Describe your debut novel in one sentence:
    Three misfits in a rural Tennessee town have to break the chains that bind them.

Thanks, Jeff, for participating in this interviews series! And readers, I encourage you to buy a copy of The Serpent King here! (FYI, IT’S ON SALE FOR 1.99 ON AMAZON RIGHT NOW)

Check back in just a couple of weeks for our next interview of the series, our May author Evelyn Skye!

Introducing Debut Author Kerry Klettler

Welcome back, readers, to the 2016 Debut Author Series! March was full of great debut novels, so I couldn’t resist posting twice.

For those of you just joining, I’ve been hosting a 2016 Debut Author Series, where I post short, Proust-inspired questionnaires with a 2016 debut author every month. Our fourth author is the wonderful Kerry Klettler, author of The First Time She Drowned

  1. What character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)?
    Quick-wit from author Jeff Zentner who makes me laugh so loud every day that I feel like I’m constantly scaring my neighbors.
    Cover for Amber
  2. What’s the last lie you told?
    That a mouse broke into the freezer and ate all the ice cream. I don’t think I was believed.
  3. If you could punch one person on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
    Anyone who would deliberately hurt a child. Then again I can’t imagine a lower depth of misery than being that kind of person so maybe life already has punched them…?
  4. What possession do you consider your “precious”?
    So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom. My surfboard.
  5. Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
    Study screenplay structure. (Thank you Jennifer E Smith!)
  6. What book do you wish you’d written?
    Well first of all, yours! Beyond that, oh, so many. I think the books I always wish I’d written are books that capture something I want to say or that resonate with me on a very personal level. So OLIVE KITTERIDGE and THE PRINCE OF TIDES in adult lit. In YA, Jennifer Niven’s ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, David Arnold’s MOSQUITOLAND and Jeff Zentner’s THE SERPENT KING. There are other books I have loved as much and thought were equally as brilliant, but those were the ones that conveyed very specific things that I feel deeply about.Author Photo For The First Time She Drowned
  7. You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
    This is cruel Sabaa. Maybe something old school and chill like James Taylor Rockabye Sweet Baby James because it’s happy and soothing and brings back good memories. Could suit a lot of moods.
  8. You magically obtain the ability to cast one and only one spell from the Harry Potter universe—but you can cast it as much as you like. Which one is it?
    Oh boy! Probably Legilimens. I know it could be potentially painful to know the thoughts of others so there’s definitely a big downside, but I also imagine it would build so much understanding and empathy to see other people’s memories.
  9. With only your wit and an oft-malfunctioning magic wand, you are forced into a death match with either Shelob, the enormous spider from Lord of the Rings, or Voldemort. Who do you choose?
    Voldemort. I’m bug phobic.
  10. Describe your debut novel in one sentence.
    Released from a psychiatric ward after years of being locked up for something she insists she didn’t do, Cassie O’Malley struggles on the outside as dark secrets from her past emerge and the estranged mother who had her committed reappears, throwing everything Cassie believes about herself into question.

 

The First Time She Drowned was released on March 15, 2016. You can follow Kerry on Twitter, @kkletter.
Thank you for your participation, Kerry! And as always, thank you READERS! Check back soon for more debut author interviews (: 

 

Introducing Debut Author Alwyn Hamilton

Hello, readers! I’m excited to introduce our March debut author: Alwyn Hamilton!

For those of you just joining, I’ve been hosting a 2016 Debut Author Series, where I post short, Proust-inspired questionnaires with a 2016 debut author every month. I kicked off the series with author Marieke Nijkamp, and last month I featured the lovely Kathryn Purdie!  Our third debut author of 2016 is Alwyn Hamilton.

Alwyn’s book, Rebel of the Sands, was released YESTERDAY in the US! Check it out here: http://rebelofthesands.co.uk.  Without further ado…

  1. What character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)?RebelSands_no_tagline(1)

    I’d steal my mother’s discipline. With that I’d instantly become more organized, suddenly have the patience to actually chop, simmer and all around cook things, and actually absorb non fiction without getting distracted.
  1. What’s the last lie you told?
    I don’t really lie? I know that sounds like a lie itself, but ironically, given my main character in Rebel, lying has just never been an instinct. I’m the sort of person who turns up late to work, and instead of muttering about slow trains and bad traffic I will flat out tell my boss I stayed in bed an extra 10 minutes watching Taylor Swift’s new music video.
  1. If you could punch one person on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
    Probably an IRL nemesis (everyone has a few of those right? I’m not weird?) I mean it just always looks so satisfying in movies when the jerk ex gets punched?
  1. What possession do you consider your “precious”? So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom.
    A small jade New Zealand Tiki necklace that my dad gave me. He told me it would bring me luck so I’ve worn it to every exam and job interview I’ve ever done. I had it on under my shirt when I met with my now agent. I still wear it when I feel like I need a bit of luck.
  1. Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
    From Pixar’s Emma Coats 22 #StoryBasics (which are all invaluable): “Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.”
  1. What book do you wish you’d written?
    I’m not sure I’d want to have written any book I’ve loved because then I wouldn’t have gotten to read it and obsesses and learn from it…but I read Fables by Bill Willingham recently, and I have always wanted to do a something creative with fairytale characters so maybe that one. Plus, it’s a graphic novel, so if I’d written that it would mean I was also artistically talented.
  1. You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
    Bulletproof by LaRoux. I don’t even love it that much, but I’ve drafted books to that song on loop more than any other. I’m scared that I’d never be able to write another book without it.
  1. You magically obtain the ability to cast one and only one spell from the Harry Potter universe—but you can cast it as much as you like. Which one is it?
    There’s a charm to immediately put a room back to rights isn’t there? Slughorn uses it at the beginning of Halfblood Prince? I can’t remember what it is exactly…but being the equivalent of a human hurricane when it comes to turning a room to chaos I’d pick that one.
  1. With only your 11391518_10101323635002010_9076461431576017942_nwit and an oft-malfunctioning magic wand, you are forced into a death match with either Shelob, the enormous spider from Lord of the Rings, or Voldemort. Who do you choose?
    Voldemort. I’m seriously arachnophobic, I’d freeze up against Shelob and all her legs and eyes *shudder*. At least I’d have a chance of standing my ground and fighting back against Voldy.
  1. Describe your debut novel in one sentence:
    A sharpshooting girl gunning for a better life, a foreign rogue with a secret, and a rebellion that could set the desert on fire.

Thanks for taking the time Alwyn! And thank you, readers. You can follow Alwyn on Twitter at @AlwynFJH. Happy reading! 

Introducing Debut Author Kathryn Purdie

Welcome back to the 2016 Debut Author Series! I hope you all enjoyed my last interview with debut author Marieke Nijkamp. I’m excited to introduce my second interviewee: Kathryn Purdie, author of Burning Glass (To be released March 1, 2016). Let’s begin!

webEdit-10edited1. What character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)?

I want to be as unapologetically fierce as Sybella is in Dark Triumph by Robin LeFevers. She also discovers she’s good at heart WHILE being such a force of nature, and I love that mix.

2. What’s the last lie you told?
I told my seven-year-old daughter that her older brother was asleep in bed, when really he stayed up to watch Star Wars with us.

3. If you could punch one person on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
The dentist who half-tranquilized my kid so he couldn’t move but never numbed his mouth (because the dentist was too lazy) while he drilled my son’s cavities for the next 1 ½ hours! Rage!!

4. What possession do you consider your “precious”? So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom.
My new Edward Scissorhands Funko Pop! doll. I coveted this toy so much I actually got two, one from my husband and one from my best friend. Edward Scissorhands changed my life when I was a teenager! I identified with him so much. Now he’s my writing mascot.

5. Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
Put thnewbirde strongest word in your sentence at the very end where it has more weight.

6. What book do you wish you’d written?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This whole series is
amazeballs. I spent a decade of my life rereading these books and hardly anything else. So many aspects of the series are incredible, but my favorite moments are when Harry learns secrets of the past regarding his parents, Voldemort, the marauders, Dumbledore, and Snape. So good!

7. You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
“Christmas Lights” by Coldplay. It’s a holiday song, but I heard it the first time in the summer during a time in my life when everything was changing and felt magical. It was the summer I attended my first writing conference, and I had so much hope for becoming a published writer. Somehow this song captures all of that feeling, even though the lyrics don’t match up.😉

8. You magically obtain the ability to cast one and only one spell from the Harry Potter universe—but you can cast it as much as you like. Which one is it?
Expecto patronum! I’d have a stallion patronus that would shoot out of my wand and trample over all my demon writing doubts and insecurities. Perfect!

9. With only your wit and an oft-malfunctioning magic wand, you are forced into a death match with either Shelob, the enormous spider from Lord of the Rings, or Voldemort. Who do you choose?
Yikes! I have terrible reflexes, and with my faulty wand, I’m sure I’d die. So I’ll vote for the most painless death. Since Shelob would sting me, wrap me up in webs, and slowly eat me, I’d have to go with Voldemort in the hopes he’d just say, “Avada kedavra,” and be done with it. But if he used one of the other two forbidden curses, maybe I’d be better off getting sucked dry by Shelob!

10. Describe your debut novel in one sentence:
When a growing rebellion forces an empath to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.

Thanks, Kathryn, for participating in this series! You can find Kathryn on Twitter at @KathrynPurdie. And don’t forget to purchase a copy of her book, to be released on March 1, 2016!

Stay tuned for more interviews with amazing debut authors over the next few months!