Post-SCBWI (made you look)

I know I promised a post after SCBWI, and that is still COMING!

However, I have a few other things going down (including a teensy weensy looming deadline) and I want to make that post as epic as the experience it will detail, so…please stay tuned. I met so many amazing people and had such great experiences—I even remembered to take some pictures!

So the post-SCBWI post (um…) will have to be fashionably late, but it will be coming to you from Hollywood, so that’s okay, of course!

In the meantime, I suggest everyone go over to Goodreads and add Courtney Summers‘s latest novel, THIS IS NOT A TEST. Because she just released what it’s about today, and I haven’t seen so many people on Twitter hit the ceiling in a long time! If you like Courtney’s raw, contemporary novels where people are their own worst enemies and you never see the twists coming until you find yourself muttering ohnoshedidn’t…take all of that…and ADD ZOMBIES.

I cannot wait for this book to come out!  :)

(full disclosure: Courtney is my critique partner—but that just means I know TINAT is awesome)

Okay seriously now, SCBWI coming ASAP!

Quoth the emo maybe-pire… EVERMORE

I’ve completely broken my ban on reading while writing this week because frankly…it was KILLING ME.  As I told my parents, I instituted the ban because the ‘voices in my head’ would get mixed up and I didn’t want what I was reading to impact what I was writing…my parents know enough by now just to say “uh-huh” and ask about the dog.

So I splurged. I went to Barnes and Noble (because my indie, The Tattered Cover, which is located ACROSS THE STREET FROM A HUGE HIGH SCHOOL has the WORST YA SECTION I’VE EVER SEEN). When I left, I was toting EVERMORE by Alyson Noel, FADE by Lisa McMann, BLISS by Lauren Myracle, and a non-black-market copy of CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers to go next to my um…*cough*blackmarket*cough* copy. I would have walked out with DUST OF 100 DOGS by A.S. King, but B&N was OUT – so I shook my fist at them and ordered it, and will have to wait.

So I decided to start with EVERMORE because it is completely new and I’ve never read Ms. Noel before, and I know several other people who have read it/will be reading it and we’re going to Twitter-Book-Club it – which is the ONLY was to book club (140 characters or less), if you ask me. Anyway, I’m about 2/3 through it and…

WHY did I not have this book in high school?? This would have been sooooo up my emo little alley! Srsly, aside from the car-accident-killed-family-leaving-her-with-psychic-abilities thing, I could have been Ever in HS. But I don’t understand something… I totally did the 90′s equivalent of hiding in the hoodie not talking to ANYONE, not looking at ANYONE, and trying my very hardest NOT TO BE NOTICED – just like Ever. If iPods had been invented, I might have stitched a secret pocket into all my hoodies just like Ever …if I could have convinced myself I wouldn’t get in trouble for it, because the biggest thing to me in HS besides trying hard to be noticed not getting noticed was NOT GETTING IN TROUBLE. I never *once* had a late pass. Ever. Though I cut class. A lot. Like Ever.

But for all of my emo-before-emo-existed-hood-wearing don’t-talk-to-me I’m-so-pre-emo-I-must-be-some-undiscovered-level-of-frumpy-sexy antics in high school…NO AMAZINGLY HOT GUY WHO JUST MIGHT BE A VAMPIRE EVER FELL IN LOVE WITH ME DESPITE MY EFFORTS. I still don’t get it. I tried my hardest. I wore jeans that didn’t fit, big flannel shirts, I ~never~ did my hair (not that that’s changed), and my legs haven’t seen the sun since 1992. I sat at the back of the class day in and day out, ate lunch by myself, and sent off such great don’t-talk-to-me vibes that the male half of the “class couple” accused me in European History of being a ‘man-hater’ (he *obviously* was NOT a sexy maybe-vampire).

So I don’t know…maybe it’s better that I didn’t have EVERMORE to obsess over at 16. I might’ve felt all validated, and then been left to question myself. I might’ve tried to be in a car accident to gain psychic powers to attract the maybe-pire, and would probably have just ended up in the special ed room. I guess we’ll never know.

But OMG, in 140 characters or less – I HEART THIS BOOK.

An Interview with Parker Fadley and Her Author, Courtney Summers

 CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers made its debut on December 23rd. I’ve invited Courtney and her main character Parker Fadley to tell us (some very random things) about themselves and the book, which is so awesome you might want to run out and BUY IT FIRST and then come back. Oh and if you haven’t seen the book trailer, that’s a must-see. To be honest, I wasn’t sure Parker would even show up to this interview, but she graced us with her presence in her own unique way, and I didn’t even have to bribe her! Really!

Cracked Up To Be
Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore.  She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school.  Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud.  It isn’t even something she can say to herself.  A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault.  If she can just remove herself from everybody–be totally alone–then everything will be okay…The problem is, nobody will let her. "
Q) So Courtney let’s get right to it: What Is With The Volcanoes?
I just love them.  I think they’re fascinating and terrifying and beautiful, much like zombies.  Except for the beautiful part.  I actually used to be really, really afraid of volcanoes.  Don’t laugh, but Dante’s Peak scared me to DEATH.  The thought of a volcano taking out Pierce Brosnan was more than I could bear.  Somewhere down the line, my terror shifted to awe.  It was also around the same time I decided Pierce Brosnan was no longer attractive to me.  Do you think that is a coincidence?  In any case, volcanoes are AMAZING.  And you should RESPECT them.

 Q) Parker, how do you feel about social networking? Do you have a MySpace/Facebook/Twitter?
Q) School Uniforms (either/both of you): Yay or Nay? Why?
Courtney:  I think uniforms are horrible.  For the most part, I can understand the reasoning behind them but, God, I hated wearing mine.  I found them as stifling as the environment I was in.  I prefer a dress codes vs. uniforms.  Blegggh uniforms bleeeeeegh.
Parker: (ò.ó)
Q) How do (either/both of you) feel about pressures to stay in/drop out of high school? What would your advice be to someone having a rough time in school?
I (Courtney!), will take this one.  I think the pressure to stay in school and the stigma of dropping out can be equally ridiculous at times.  The education system isn’t for everyone and I would encourage anyone who is having a rough go of school to explore all their options–whether that means staying, going, transferring, or seeking an alternative education (unschooling, homeschooling, etc).  I think one of the hardest parts about these types of situations is that some (not all) parents and teachers assume having a difficult time at high school is par for the course and inadvertantly shrug off a genuinely unhealthy situation as being ‘normal.’  This is really unfortunate.  On the flipside, leaving school is not the most feasible solution for some families, even if it is the best option.  That’s also really unfortunate.  I can’t tell someone who is having a rough time at school to drop out or keep plugging away, but I would encourage them to talk to their family and their teachers, to examine all their options, and hopefully some sort of solution will present itself.  If not, write it all down and put it in a book later!

 Q) What kind of music do you like, Parker? Favorite bands/artists?
d-_-b  Matthew Good Band, all the way!
Q) Courtney, in 140 characters or less…what is the best thing about Twitter?

 Q) (either/both of you) What would you do if you woke up to find Edward Cullen sleep-stalking you?
Courtney:  (ó.ò)
Parker:  (ó.ò)
Q) Parker, I know Courtney feels strongly about the impending zombie apocalypse…what is your opinion?
zombies: f(O_o)f   [¬º-°]¬
Parker:  (ó.ô)
zombies:  f(O_o)f   [¬º-°]¬
Parker:  (9ò_ó)=@
zombies/Parker:  (x(x_(X_x(O_o)x_x)_X)x)
Q) Courtney, what is the coolest/freakiest/weirdest authory-thing that’s happened to you since Cracked Up To Be was released?
It has all been cool, freaky and weird, to be honest.  People where I live know that I write now.  I used to hold that card close to my chest.  And now it’s just out there!  It is bizarre.  But in a good way.
Q) (either/both of you) You can SAVE THE WORLD or go after the ~*sparkly*~ thing. What do you do??
Well, obviously we would–OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT ~*SPARKLY*~–
Q) BONUS QUESTION for Courtney: If you could be Doctor Who’s companion…where/when would you go/see/do?
Look.  To be honest.  I would just stay in the TARDIS all day and make out with the Doctor.  Yeah, that’s right.

Endust for LJs

*Dusting off poor LJ*

Agh, well family trips are done with for a bit, and I’m feeling like a writer again! :D It’s funny, I haven’t been doing much actual new WRITING in several weeks. Either I’ve been editing or tweaking, or just analyzing crits. Finally, things came together and it seemed very obvious that I needed a new first chapter. Not a re-write of the old one, but a ~*brand spanking*~ all NEW MATERIAL first chapter!

And the funny thing is that some part of my brain really wants to hate me for this. I can hear it thinking this should suck, and why do I do this, etc. But the leather-clad whip-bearing dominatrix part of my brain is like, YES, YES, YES!!! (*_*)

I’m ENJOYING it! I didn’t realize how much I *missed* writing fresh stuff until now! I LOVE spending this extra time with my MC – I feel like I’m getting to know her better. The new scene/chapter came to me pretty much fully-formed once I realized I needed it. I take that as a sign that it was ~*Meant To Be*~. Of course, once I add this chapter, I will have to go make drastic alterations to some later chapters because the information is getting juggled. But for now, I AM WRITING. I AM HAPPY. I get so much confidence in this part of the process. *Yay.* All you doubts can go wait your turn for the next round of crits! :-P

And in other REALLY COOL NEWS… The first two chapters of Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers are available online (release 12/23)! I have to say I was all set for her book to Rock My Socks. BUT – now that I have read these two chapters, all I can say is: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MUST READ THIS BOOK ASAP.