Monday, December 22, 2008

Fund Your Dreams Contest!!

It starts at midnight in honor of WAKE coming out in paperback, yay!! The Fund Your Dreams essay contest is for U.S. teens ages 14-18 (as of the day you enter - see official rules), 500 words or less, answering the question found on the contest page on my website. Just follow the FUND YOUR DREAMS link.

The prize is ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS to further your life goals, courtesy of Simon and Schuster and yours truly.

ONE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS.

This was a contest that I've wanted to do since before WAKE came out, because I believe in giving back to readers.

Growing up, my parents did all they could for us kids but times were a bit tough financially. I started working odd jobs at age 11 and from that time on, I bought all my own clothes, school books, and put myself through college. It took ten years after college to pay off those loans.

If you've read WAKE, you know what Miss Stubin gives Janie, and also what Captain does at the end. I would have given anything as a teen to have that kind of opportunity. But now I have an opportunity to be on the giving side of things, and I am so honored to have a publisher who understands this passion and was willing to envision it and get behind the idea.

We ran into some problems last year when we were trying to put this project together and I thought the idea was dead. However, a few months ago, my awesome marketing director and team at Simon & Schuster revived it and surprised me with this new concept.

In this crazy economy, I know there are teens out there who could really use some cash to fund a dream. Or maybe you need a little help buying your own clothes and books for school, or you're heading for college someday and are trying to save for that. Or maybe you can't find a part-time job because there just isn't any work out there for teens right now, and your family needs help. Whatever the case, this contest is for you. I wish there could be more than one winner.

Now. I am one of the judges, and I want to suggest a few things:

1. Don't hurry to enter. You only get one shot at it, so make it good. Here's how I'd do it -- I'd think it through for a couple days and then write the best essay I knew how to write and edit it a few times, and then I'd show it to a teacher to get a good critique. Then I'd fix it and put it away for a couple days to get some distance from it, then read through it one last time and fix anything else I wanted to fix before submitting it. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all important.

2. Please, please, please read the directions very carefully before entering. You are smart and you know how to do this. I trust you and I have faith in you. All questions you have should be answered in the rules. If you don't find the answer, read the rules again.

3. This is a personal essay contest. An essay is not fiction. I want to read about real things -- about one real obstacle you've overcome in your life.

I can't wait to read them and learn more about you. Really. I'm getting all teary-eyed just thinking about it. Happy writing!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A lot of things, like contests

Hello dear readers, there is a lot going on.

First, I want to tell you about a contest that I hope will seriously blow you away. And I hope, in return, you will seriously blow me away.

Starting Tuesday, Dec. 23, my publisher (Simon Pulse) and I are having an essay contest for teens in the U.S. ages 14-18. I'll give out the topic and the complete rules on my website on December 23 (or you can find the topic in the back cover of the WAKE paperback, in many stores now) and you will have a couple months to write the best 500-words-or-less essay you can write. There is a prize...a big one. Remember when we gave away a Wake-skinned Wii in March? This prize is bigger than that. You'll find out what it is on Tuesday.

Second, there will be ANOTHER cool contest coming up beginning January 1 for those of you who don't want to write an essay or don't fit into the 14-18 age bracket. So stay tuned for that one too.

Third, I want to know what you are doing for your holiday break. Are you bored or having a blast? Or maybe not having a break at all?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reasons why you should subscribe to my blog

1. Because I finally updated it to the new layout thingy thing, yay me! I am hip!

2. Because I am bringing back the word hip! Yay!

3. Because you are cool. Yay you!

4. Because in the next few weeks and months, you are NOT going to want to miss the new fabulous contests I'll be having. You thought the Contest-O-Thanks was big? That was NOTHING compared to what's coming up. NOTHING, I say, and I say it again. (Nothing!)****

5. Because I already spent years as a mortified teenager who didn't have any followers and I would be mortified if I still didn't have any.


So, what does following this blog do for you? I don't know! But I feel very strongly that you should. I won't be able to see into your dreams or anything if you do it...(she says, glancing nervously about the interroom)

****this is the real reason you should do it, in case it got lost in the mutual hippy coolness of us

Monday, December 15, 2008

A great review of FADE from Booklist

Here's an excerpt (I don't have the full review yet):

“A great blend of mystery, romance, and supernatural elements, and featuring a strong but vulnerable female protagonist, this episode ends with an irresistible hook for the final installment.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WAKE in paperback -- only $8.99

Finally, right? Now you can get your very own copy of WAKE for under ten bucks! And with FADE coming Feb 10, now's a great time to start your WAKE trilogy collection. Plus, you're going to need something to read over winter break.

Now...the WAKE paperback's official release date is December 23, but you can often find books sooner than their official date. I have seen it in stock and shipping already at a couple of well-known online bookstore websites. So it's out there, people! It.is.out there.

But some people don't buy books online, AND more importantly, I like it when you buy your books locally if you can.

So here's what you do: call or go to your local bookstore and ask for WAKE in paperback at the info desk. If they don't have it in yet, ask them to please *please pretty please* order it for you and call you as soon as it is in.

Isn't that easy?

Happy holidays to all, and thank you for spreading the word about WAKE.

xox
Lisa

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

WAKE Lexicon

Hey guys, check out the new WAKE Series Lexicon, put together by a cool guy named Alex. Go comment, take a quiz, read an interview...fun times.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Contest-O-Thanks WINNERS!

First, a short commercial: WAKE comes out in paperback Dec 23, and FADE is coming February 10! So...you know what to do. Let's get back on that NYT bestseller list, shall we?
(thank you, that is all)

Here are the eighteen winners. If you are on the list, please scroll down and read carefully to see your instructions for claiming your prize!


Susan259

Shootingstarsmag (Lauren)

Dissappearme

Deanna (anonymous)

Kalie

Jessica Kennedy

The Bookworm

Amee

Pierre Roustan

Pikealicious

Liv

The Book Girl

karinlibrarian

Reading Junky

Emily Rozmus

Shae

H.R. (from Wantmyya)

Devyn Burton


Congratulations to the winners! And sincerest thanks to all of you who entered and have helped spread the word about the WAKE series. I am ever grateful.

Instructions for winners:

Send me an email to: lisa @ lisamcmann.com (no spaces) that includes:
1. WINNER in the subject line
2. your screen name as it is listed above so I know who you are
3. your REAL name and FULL address (reminder to minors -- make sure parents/guardians know what you are doing)
4. anything else you'd like to say in light of these exciting times. :)

I will reply to you so that you know I got your email. So if you don't get a reply from me by Sunday, leave a comment here alerting me to that and we'll try another way.

If I do not hear from you by Monday, Dec. 1, I will pick a new winner in your place.

And guess what?

I'm not going to tell you which book you won. Isn't that mean? I'm going to put them all into identical packages and randomly address them. So it'll really be like a gift. :) To review the prize list, it's two posts below this one.

xox, thanks, peace, and love,

Lisa

Contest Winners posted here later today

The Freaking Huge Contest-O-Thanks is over!

For the obsessive among you who noticed the number of entries going down, that's because I weeded through the entries and pulled out the comments that were double-posts or clarifications or just general comments rather than entries. Everybody gets one shot at winnning a book. And your chances of winning something are better than my chances of winning this. So, yay!

I will post winners here later today, once I have my Diet Coke and get my kids off to school. Thank you for your patience.

xo

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Freaking Huge Contest-O-Thanks

Have you reviewed or blogged about WAKE? Or maybe shared the love in another way? If so, you are eligible to win. If not, you still have time to become eligible!

Go to my new, improved website, LisaMcMann.com and take a look around. You’ll find the rules on eligibility and how to enter on the NEWS page.

If you've already found and read the rules, copy your link into the comments of this blog post to enter! Don't know what I'm talking about? Go find the rules and read them!

Contest ends on Cabe's birthday: Tuesday, November 25, 2008.

PRIZES:

Five (5) autographed Advance Reader Copies of FADE (zomg!)

Five (5) autographed copies of WAKE (if you already own it, give it as a gift!)

An autographed copy of PAPER TOWNS by John Green

INVISIBLE TOUCH by Kelly Parra

An autographed copy of STAYING FAT FOR SARAH BYRNES by Chris Crutcher

THE DEMON QUEEN by Richard Lewis

Something by Elizabeth Scott. Maybe LIVING DEAD GIRL, maybe an arc of her upcoming book SOMETHING, MAYBE, or maybe (maybe, probably, maybe) both.

An arc of FAR FROM YOU by Lisa Schroeder (which I may have to read first before giving it away)

ANNNNNNNND... an arc of CITY OF GLASS, the third and final book in the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS TRILOGY, which isn't due out until March 24. (ditto on the reading of it first)

I think that's it.
That's enough for eighteen winners, right? Seriously, you have a really good chance of winning something.


Go!

Friday, September 05, 2008

I've been Spark'd!

I graduated from Calvin College, a Christian liberal arts school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I had a number of great professors there who were really encouraging and helpful to me as a writer. For those of you who know YA lit, one of my profs was Gary Schmidt, author of two Newbery Honor books.

Recently, I did a phone and e-mail interview with Lynn Rosendale, the Associate Director of Communications and Marketing and managing editor of Spark, the alumni quarterly magazine.

Here is an extensive interview, and here is a book review/interview.

For fellow Calvin grads, the book review/interview will be in this month's print issue of Spark.

Check it out!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thanks to all who

stopped by the Books of Wonder event. It was a blast!



It was so great to see some old friends and meet new ones. Even the guy I went to my senior prom with was there. (thanks for coming, David!)

Monday, August 04, 2008

NYC - Wednesday, August 6, 6:00 p.m.

I'll be at Books of Wonder. Please come! I'll be reading from FADE, woo hoo!
18 W 18th Street
New York, NY 10020

Here's the info from Books of Wonder's website:

LISA McMANN, LINDA GERBER, MELISSA WALKER, CLAIRE MYSKO, KATIE DAVIS,
and JENNY DAVIDSON


Please join us on Wednesday, August 6, as we host 6 talented authors for teen who will present some of the newest in scintillating teen fiction and non-fiction. Come meet author and scholar JENNY DAVIDSON, whose debut teen novel The Explosionist, set in Scotland in the 1930's, introduces us to sixteen-year-old Sophie, her friend Mikael, and her great-aunt Tabitha as they are caught up in a murder mystery involving terrorists and suicide bombers whose plans have world-shaping consequences; best-selling author KATIE DAVIS, whose latest novel, The Curse of Addy McMahon, is a comic look at the titular hero's attempts to get down to the bottom of a purported family curse even as she tries to repair the fallout after her entire school gets a look at one of the comics from her private journal; LINDA GERBER, whose Death by Bikini introduces us to Aphra Behn Connolly, a lonely girl living on her family's island resort and forced to turn sleuth when a shocking murder and the sudden arrival of smoldering Seth's family seem just a bit too coincidental; LISA McMANN, author of Wake, a spellbinding novel in which seventeen-year-old Janie Hannagan learns she has the supernatural ability to enter into other people's dreams and influence those dreams; CLAIRE MYSKO, author of You're Amazing!: A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self, a fun-packed advice book that tackles the pressures faced by today's teens by offering inspired wisdom and guidance from older teens, female role models, and activities from Girls Inc., a non-profit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold; Violet series writer MELISSA WALKER, author of Violet in Private, Violet by Design, and Violet on the Runway, which explore the travails of Violet Greenfield, wallflower turned catwalker turned college student, as she encounters romance, the pitfalls of celebrity, and those everyday insecurities of teenage girls; and CHLOE WALSH, author of The Interns:Fashionistas and The Interns: Truth or Fashion, which presents the glamorous yet nerve-wracking world of the four summer interns at Couture magazine--aspiring designer Callie; party-girl photographer Nadine; accommodating Ava, who's about to learn you don't get what you want by standing back and waiting for it to happen; and Aynsley, sexy socialite with an attitude to match. Don't miss your chance to meet these cutting-edge teen fiction and non-fiction authors and get your books signed by them! 6:00-7:30pm. Ages 12 and up.


This event is free and open to all. Please note that you are welcome to bring one book from home to be signed for each book you purchase on the day of the event. If you have any questions, call us at (212) 989-3270.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I know you are so jealous...



because I am this tight with MC Hammer. Don't I look like a total dork with my mouth all askew? :) Here we are at the Ypulse Conference in San Francisco, where I also got to meet the awesome Melissa Walker, author of the Violet on the Runway series which I absolutely love -- I mean, seriously. Violet is this awesome geeky, awkward, freakishly tall and totally unpopular high school girl who gets discovered by a top modeling agency and becomes this amazing model...but guess what? Her problems don't magically go away. And since author Melissa has seen the inside view of the modeling industry (she has an article in the current issue of Teen Vogue, too), she is the perfect author to tell it like it is. I love this series and can't wait to read book three, Violet in Private, which comes out August 5.

I also met Justina Chen Headley, author of Girl Overboard and one of founders of the amazing Readergirlz. With her was her very cool son, who rocked.

And then there was David Levithan who claims half responsibility for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. He's also an editor at Scholastic and is involved in the upcoming 39 Clues, which is getting a lot of buzz. David and I shared the stage with Mortified author Dave Nadelberg and spent about 30 minutes embarrassing ourselves talking about our teen experiences.

And I can't forget to mention very cool editor Cindy Eagan from Little, Brown, who was a blast.

Awesome conference! You? Must come next year, okay? Okay.


And hey! Do you Twitter? https://twitter.com/lisa_mcmann

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

NYC Signing coming up August 6

Hello peeps,

My lazy month is coming to a close and things start speeding up again for me.

I'll be in San Francisco July 13-15 at the Ypulse Mashup (Youth Marketing Convention). I heard MC Hammer is going to be there and if he is, I'm totally getting his autograph for Michigan friend Brian Aulick, who still owns Hammer pants (rumor has it, anyway). I'm excited to meet cool authors like Melissa Walker, Justina Chen Headley, David Levithan and Dave Nadelberg.

Then it's off to see family and friends in Michigan for 10 days. If I have a chance, I'll stop into Holland's bookstores to sign copies of WAKE. Same goes for the "South of Detroit" area.

Then I'll fly out to NYC for the Backspace Conference (details in the post below) for an August 6 signing with fellow YA authors Melissa Walker and Linda Gerber:

BOOKS OF WONDER
18 W 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

(212) 989-3270

The reading/signing is Wednesday August 6 from 6-7:30 pm. Please spread the word!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Book news -- announcing book 3 in the WAKE series...

WAKE, FADE, ?

NYT bestselling author Lisa McMann's third and final installment in the series that began with WAKE, to Jennifer Klonsky at Simon Pulse, for publication in Spring 2010, by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World).

No title yet.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Looking for a great writing conference?




The 2008 Backspace Writers Conference (August 7 & 8, Radisson Martinique, New York City) brings together literary agents, acquisitions editors, best-selling authors, and publishing professionals for a two-day, two-track program of workshops, panels, and networking in the heart of the publishing world.

In addition to keynote talks by Mark Tavani, a senior editor at Random House, and New York Times bestselling author Lee Child, program highlights include a conversation with Simon Lipskar and Mark Tavani on agents and editors working together, a marketing discussion by M.J. Rose, a workshop from independent editor Jerry Gross on finding and working with a reputable book doctor, a role-playing workshop from Jeff Kleinman: “Buy This Book!”, agent and editor panel discussions, and panels on the young adult market, short stories, memoir, nonfiction, crime fiction, erotica, children’s picture books, and more.

Attendance is limited to 200. $355 for Backspace members; $395 for non-members. In addition, Mystery Writers of America is offering their members a special discount. Register Now and come meet the people who can make a difference in your career!

Literary Agents: Richard Curtis, Simon Lipskar, Jeff Kleinman, Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Paige Wheeler, Laney Katz Becker, Jenny Bent, Maya Rock, Michael Bourret, Scott Hoffman, Ronnie Gramazio, Elisabeth Weed, Stephany Evans

Authors: M.J. Rose, Harry Hunsicker, Jason Pinter, Jackie Kessler, Heather Brewer, Gail Konop Baker, Laurel Corona, Lisa McMann, Jenny Gardiner, Danielle Younge-Ullman, Claudia Gray, Marlys Pearson, Jessica Keener, Elizabeth Letts, A.S. King, Robin Slick, Susan Henderson, Pam Jenoff, Trish Ryan, Leora Skolkin-Smith, Caroline Leavitt, Reed Farrel Coleman, Chris Grabenstein, William Powers

Editors and Other Publishing Professionals: Hilary Rubin Teeman (editor, St. Martin's), Charis Conn (contributing editor, Harper's Magazine), Kristen Weber (senior editor, New American Library), Bella Stander, Jerry Gross, Lauren Cerand, Eileen Winnick


"Backspace is relatively new but it's the real deal - which is amply proved both by the quality of discourse within and the truly amazing hit-rate its members have already achieved."
Lee Child, New York Times best-selling author

"I love being associated with you guys. Such a class act. Backspace is the pre-eminent writers organization because you guys have made it so. Always innovating, thinking outside the box, and just generally doing conferences bigger and better than they have been done before. I'm just honored to have been there from the start."Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

"I mention Backspace whenever I teach my writers' workshop around the country. The yearly Backspace conference is an invaluable resource. I've taught there and can’t say enough good things about the information, encouragement, and enthusiasm they provide."David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author

From Attendees:

"I have never had such an excellent time at a conference! The presenters were uniformly accessible and pleasant. The overall mood was also excellent."

"The workshop was so well organized and run. Bravo to all of you who worked to pull together a truly remarkable event, well worth the price of admission!"

"The superlatives just flow whenever I try to describe my experience at the conference. I can't say enough or thank you enough. Superb. As I keep telling folks, it's impossible to convey what I took away from the experience, because the most valuable things are the intangibles."

"It was the best writing conference I've ever attended on all dimensions - the amount of new information, real contact with other writers and people in the industry, and the level of truth-telling made it stand out."

"I thought the conference was absolutely fantastic. The informal atmosphere and seriousness of intent combined into an exciting, very useful, very enjoyable weekend of talks and panels. I learned so much, met so many wonderful people, and got a far stronger handle on how to market my work. Many, many thanks."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reading/Signing Encinitas, CA

Hey Southern California, I'll be signing copies of WAKE in Encinitas.

Saturday, May 24, 2:00 PM

Barnes & Noble Encinitas
Encinitas Town Center
1040 N. El Camino Real Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024
760-943-6400

Please stop by if you're in the area.

xo
Lisa

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Book Tour Journal, San Francisco

Monday, 03.17.2008 SAN FRANCISCO

All rested up! Caught an evening flight to San Francisco. Another Carey driver with my name on a sign – I was finally getting used to seeing that weirdness. Sadly, there was a huge convention in SF and all the hotels downtown were booked, so I stayed at the Weston near the airport instead. Which turned out to be great, because a friend lives only five minutes from there. I got in late and grabbed dinner at the hotel bar. At least there was no time change this trip, so that was most excellent. Plus, I didn’t have to be ready until 10 a.m. This was like a vacation compared to last week!

Tuesday, 03.18.2008

By 10 a.m. I was anxious to get going. Couldn’t wait to see who my media escort would be for the next couple days. Having enjoyed my time with Shirley and with Judy, poor Jim had a lot to live up to. But he didn’t disappoint. He had a quirky sense of humor that I really enjoyed. Too bad we never found that Starbucks.

My schedule was fairly light. I had one school visit, Monte Vista High School in Danville where I presented to a group of about 100 students. Also there was Colleen from B&N in Walnut Creek, where I’d be signing later that evening. I loved the set-up at this school. One large group of students and a book fair set up by a bookstore. It was great to meet some of the students and sign their copies of WAKE.

After that, Jim drove me to a few bookstores where I signed stock. The media escorts in all these cities calls ahead to stores and asked them to have the books up at the info desk, so it’s an easy in-and-out stop. I liked to have a chance to chat for a few minutes with the store staff though, too.

We got to Walnut Creek B&N around 5 p.m. It was an interesting set-up – a very beautiful shopping area. I was especially excited to get there because I’d be meeting up with friends (who are more like family). The Bloyers, who were our dear friends and neighbors in Mesa for three years, had recently moved to this area. Yay – we met for an early dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen and it was so great to see them all again.

And then the signing. Surprisingly, there were a number of people there (in this town where I knew almost no one) and the questions went on for a while. I think several of the audience members were students at a nearby college. They took a lot of notes, anyway. Which made me sort of nervous, since I’m not exactly an expert on anything, lol.

But it went well. Jim drove me back to my hotel where I had a great night’s sleep.


Wednesday, 03.19.2008

I was really liking this whole “stay in one area for a few days” thing. Today we had one stop at nearby San Mateo High School, where I met Shannon Mathis from Books, Inc. She was so great! She brought books along for me to sign and I had a great time just hanging out and chatting with the school’s book club group and having pizza. Very low key. The group had already read WAKE (yay!) and I signed their individual copies.

And then...and then...Jim took me to see the actual CITY of San Francisco. It was my first time there! And it was absolutely gorgeous (as were the surrounding suburbs). I loved loved loved the hills and the crazy streets and the water...ooooooh, the water. I miss the water, living here in AZ.

Along the way, we stopped at a number of bookstores to sign stock, and wherever Jim couldn’t get parking, he’d drop me off and drive around the block and I’d go in and sign books. Then he took me to lunch at this great waterfront seafood place that was absolutely perfect. I had scallops that were frankly amazing.

And then, as if Jim hadn’t showed me enough cool places, he brought me to the old Catholic Church where his wife works. We had talked about her and their church and how it was one of the oldest structures in SF and had survived the earthquake a hundred years ago, and I was really interested in it. I’ve only been in a few Catholic churches before in my life, so that added to my intrigue. So Jim surprised me with a quick tour (the stained glass windows were gorgeous), and I got to meet his wife. It was awesome!

That night, back at the hotel, I met up with an Internet friend. She picked me up and we went out to dinner at her favorite Chinese place where she revealed her deep dark secrets and I got hit in the back of the head with a piece of broccoli, thrown by someone at the table behind me. It was a pretty freaking hilarious evening, and the perfect way to end the SF leg of my tour.

The next morning I flew home. And I wasn’t even hardly tired at all. Yay!

The end.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Book Tour Journal, Days 6-8, Chicago-land.

Wednesday 03.12.2008, Naperville, IL

7:15 a.m., Judy arrived outside the condo. Judy is my media escort while I’m in the Chicago area. Her car has a cool cup holder right above the passenger side vent.

Our first stop was Naperville North High School, and it took us a good while to get there. But we were early so there was time to stop at Starbucks. At the school, I met Teri from Anderson’s Bookshop and I spoke to two creative writing classes who were really stellar people. After each session we took orders for copies of WAKE. ‘Twas a great time.

Afterward, Judy drove me to Anderson’s where I signed the books along with a bunch more for stock. Then we had lunch next door at Lou Malnati’s. Now, normally, when in Chicago and staring a fantastic pizza place in the face, I’d get pizza. But, after a total of about eleven hours of sleep since I left home four days before, I was in serious need of comfort food. Plus, I knew that my sister was planning on taking me to Giordano’s that night. And, I have been known to order me some Lou Malnati’s pizza and have it delivered all the way to Arizona (it’s a weakness – they deliver everywhere in the country!). So I ordered pasta, and it was warm and delicious and...comforting.

And then Anderson's gave me a free book -- wasn't that nice? I got to choose. I picked The Wednesday Wars, a Newbery Honor book written by my former professor, Gary Schmidt.

Then it was onward to Naperville Central, key rival of the North (I soon discovered). Here I presented WAKE to a wonderful group in an auditorium setting. In the chairs were film and creative writing students of several genres. They asked fantastic questions and it was great to see so many artists all in one school.

I can’t say enough good things about the schools in Naperville—had a great time there!
After school, I was FREE for the whole evening...WOW. And I was exhausted. Judy dropped me off at my sister’s condo where I sort of just fell into a chair and waited for my agent to call with an update of the first week’s sales figures, which he did. And they were great. But there had also been a glitch with WAKE placement in one of the chain stores, which was a bit frustrating. And even though my sales numbers were good, it felt like a good time to have a little cry, so I did. Which was probably the best thing for me after four days of non-stop whirlwind travel on not-enough-sleep.

That night sister Tricia, bro-in-law Kevin and I went out to Giordano’s and it felt great to relax a bit. We stopped at Barbara’s Books in Oak Park (I think?) and signed a couple books (and I also picked up a copy of Hugo Cabret that I’ve been meaning to get) and Barnes & Noble and a Borders on State Street, but it was too late and Borders had already closed.

Back to Tricia’s to crash and prepare for another early morning.


Thursday 03.13.2009 LaGrange, IL

YAY, my lovely sister took the day off to go with Judy and me to Lyon Township High School in LaGrange, a lovely town where 75-bazillion trains pass through each day and the Starbucks is somehow always on the other side of the tracks.

I spent the day in the school library and the classes came to me – four of them, to be exact. I feel so sorry for that 4th class because usually after three classes I have run out of words for the day. But everything was great and Nancy Richter, the school media specialist, was a great asset, too. She even brought the superintendent to the book signing that evening (and we saw her at the soup and sandwich place for dinner, too)! Now that’s what I call support.

Judy managed to get me to a few more bookstores in the area to sign stock before we had to get back to the Borders in LaGrange for the signing.

And there, I met two more myspace friends! It was so great of them to come out for the event. It really made my night. I also met a lovely woman who is mother to one of the friends I list in the book’s acknowledgements, and we had a great chat. A few students from Lyons Twp HS came by too – it was great to see them again! And of course Nancy and the superintendent and some others who I hadn’t yet met.

Thanks LaGrange Borders! It was a great night.


Friday, 03.14.2008

Crawled out of bed, threw everything in the suitcase, and said a sleepy goodbye to Tricia and Kevin. Thank you for your hospitality! And thank Manson, too, for not attacking me. (Manson is their psycho cat). Time to head HOME for the weekend! Hubby Matt was at the airport to pick me up. And I was off duty until Monday – San Francisco, up next!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Book Tour Journal, Day 5, Novi, MI

Tuesday, 03.11.2008, Novi, MI

Another night short on sleep and early to rise – my schedule was bound and determined to retrain my body to embrace the eastern time zone. At around 7:00 a.m. my media escort for the day, Shirley, picked me up and we made our way to Novi High School where I would talk with a few classes of writers. Unfortunately, there was a last-minute change and because of testing, I would only be presenting to one class. Fortunately, there was a techie there waiting to video tape me for a quick clip about WAKE and about my visit, so that was cool. After the school visit, I had a few hours of free time and I took advantage of the Internet access to catch up on a few things.

Later I checked out of the hotel and met up with Shirley again for lunch, and then we set out to visit bookstores to sign stock (we also dropped off my rental car so I wouldn’t have to worry about that later in the evening when I was on my way to catch my flight). We probably hit about 6 stores and I seriously can’t tell you where we stopped. But I do know we ended up back in Novi, which was great since that’s where my book signing would be.

I happily got to see more family (the in-laws, this time) and also a new media specialist friend, Jill Morgan, from Flat Rock High School. With her she brought three students and the five of us had a terrific chat before things got started. It was another decent showing and it was great to see my family again, even if it was just for a short time. Also great was seeing Deb, my former boss from my early bookstore days – what a treat! She hired me when I was 17.

Shirley, who was watching the clock, hustled me out the door because I had a 10PM flight to catch that would deliver me to Chicago. Borders in Novi, you rock – thanks for a great event! After a nice flight, I arrived and was whisked away by one of those guys in a suit carrying a sign with my name on it. He then drove me to my sister’s condo, where I’d make my bed that night and two nights after. It was so great to see my sis and brother-in-law – hadn’t seen them since they got married in October. But it was so late that we all just crashed, because Wednesday would be another early morning.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Book Tour Journal, Days 3-4. Grand Rapids / Holland, Michigan

Sunday - Monday, 03.09 – 03.10.2008 Grand Rapids/Holland, Michigan

My chauffeur picked me up from my house in Arizona at 11:00 AM to drive me to the airport. Actually, he was 15 minutes early, which made me happy. I would soon find that all Carey drivers arrived a good deal earlier than scheduled, which really gave me comfort during a time when I felt like I wasn’t completely in control of my everyday actions.

This was my first experience with having a driver. I had questions – where do I sit? Do I tip? My driver ushered me to the back seat, passenger side, where water bottles awaited (and a TV). And yes, you tip the drivers in the black sedans, most of whom are Carey drivers. But you don’t tip the media escorts (more on media escorts in the next entry).

Brrrr! I arrived in Grand Rapids around 9:30pm local time and made my way to the rental car desk at the airport, only a little worried about the piles of snow I saw outside – I haven’t driven on snow in four years. Luckily the roads were dry and clear. Why am I renting a car and driving myself? Because I am crossing the state in the next 24 hours and media escorts basically drive within their greater city area only. There was no one who was available to drive me the 2.5 hours from southwest Michigan to southeast Michigan. My lovely publicists at S&S made sure well in advance that I was comfortable with the plan, which I was -- I grew up here and have made the trip from Holland to Novi many times. I felt very comfortable driving myself.

I made my way to the elaborately appointed Amway Grand Hotel downtown to spend a (very) short night. They greeted me with an envelope – my publicist had thoughtfully sent a copy of my itinerary to the hotel for me. I found out they did this at every stop. It made me feel important, lol.

Starving, I grabbed a room service burger at 11 p.m. The 3-hour time difference had me still twiddling my thumbs at midnight, unable to sleep when my body thought it was only 9pm. A few hours later I finally managed to doze off and the 6 a.m. wake-up call was pretty hard to take when my body said it was 3 a.m. But I was SO excited, because Holland is my hometown. So the adrenaline kicked in. Breakfast in the room while I packed up again. I drove into Holland (about 45 minutes away), met my media escorts, Amy and Michelle from Treehouse Books, and was off to West Ottawa High School, where I presented to three classrooms. Afterward, I had 2.5 hours to make a round-trip back to Grand Rapids to stop at two excellent bookstores. I stopped at Schuler Books on 28th Street and at Pooh’s Corner in Breton Village (my old place of employment while in college and afterward). I signed books both places so if you were unable to make it to Treehouse for the signing, you can find autographed copies in Grand Rapids.

Then it was back to Holland for an after school gig, again with West Ottawa HS, this time a wonderful book club of students grades 6 and up. We had a terrific discussion and some pretty great homemade salsa, too.

I had a couple hours to spare after that, so I stopped in to spend some time with my parents, and then made my way back downtown Holland to see my sister-in-law’s awesome art collection on display at Uptown Gallery. Her name is Michele Gort and she’s a wonderful painter. To my chagrin, the store was closed for the day, and I’d missed my only chance to see her collection up close. Luckily, I could see them through the store window...not the same, but better than nothing.

Back at Treehouse Books, I arrived to find two LOVELY myspace friends already there and waiting. It was so great to meet them both for the first time! After them came a steady stream of people including all my dear family members. The signing lasted nearly until the 9 p.m. closing time and we sold some 65 books or so. As things settled down, I had a great and rare opportunity to chat with Danny Reyes, who is a terrific musician and a dear friend of my husband’s (and mine). But too soon it was time to pack up and head out to the next place – Novi, Michigan, and a 2.5 hour drive to my next hotel. The drive gave me a great chance to come down off the high of a fantastic signing and seeing all those old friends and relatives. Exhausted is an understatement, but it was a good sort of exhaustion.

Thanks, Treehouse Books! Hope to see you in July when I’m back in town.

Monday, May 05, 2008

What is a book tour like? Days 1-2

A lot of people have asked me about my tour and what that was like. So I've written up a sort of journal. I'll post segments of it over the next week or so. Here are days 1 and 2, both local to me.

Wed. 3/5/08, Mesa/Tempe, AZ
This morning I arrived at McClintock High School in Mesa Arizona to speak to three classes about writing. Before I got started, my teacher contact, Ms. N, introduced me to a student who interviewed me for the school newspaper, and then I got to meet her other English students, one class at a time. By 1:30 I was done for the school day. At 6:00PM I had my first book signing at Borders on Alma School Road. I was not as nervous as I thought I'd be (doing the school visits really helped with that). It was amazing! Tons of friends came by and from what the store contact person told me, we sold 42 books. Not bad since many friends had already purchased theirs by then.

Thursday, 3/6/08 Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ
Today’s school was Chaperral High School in Scottsdale. Upon arrival, I discovered there had been a bit of a mix-up in scheduling and I was asked if I could come back in two hours. Since I was over an hour away from home, I decided to grab an early lunch and catch up on some email at the Borders store where I was going to be signing that night. What a pleasant surprise to find a large display of WAKE near the front of the store.

Back at school (which is undergoing a huge construction project that necessitated parking quite far away – a quick and sincere thank you to the kind security gentleman who gave me a lift in his golf cart, by the way), I spoke to three fabulous classes that were made up of some pretty cool people, many of them writers. And their teacher, Ms. M, totally rocks.

After school I headed out to Borders again to hang out in the café and get some more work done. Had a quick dinner at Souper Salad and then it was back to the store for the signing. I had met some really cool students in the Borders café earlier. I noticed the book CRANK by Ellen Hopkins (a book I loved) on their table and we struck up a conversation about it. They were a lot of fun and later they came by and bought a book to share among the three of them. Thanks guys! Several other friends came out to this signing, and I made some new friends and readers as well just by walking around in the store during the quiet moments. Turned out to be another great signing.


Tune in for more over the coming days.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tagged...

Okay, I guess I can't put this off any longer. :)

I've been tagged by a number of people for the Six Random Things meme, most recently authors Kay Sexton (after knowing her for four or five years, I just found out her real name isn't Kay. Wow.) and Linda Gerber (who used to work for the US Senate!)

Commence with Six Random Things About Me:

1. My favorite thing for breakfast is last night's leftovers. This morning I had half a sandwich with cold chicken breast, tomato and avocado. Yum!

2. I'm ambidextrous. I play most sports right-handed, unless I see an advantage going lefty or switching back and forth to confuse the competition, but I always sign books left handed (my left-handed signature is prettier -- or at least legible).

3. I have an extra vertebra and an extra set of ribs.

4. I do not have a favorite color. When people ask me, "what's your favorite color?" I am baffled. It's like deciding on what to have for dinner at a restaurant. It depends on the day and the mood.

5. I spent three summers as a teenager picking blueberries endlessly. My hands were blue. I dreamed about blueberries. I now hate blueberries and will never ever eat a blueberry willingly again.

6. When I was a kid, I had an awesome recurring dream -- I dreamed that our garage had turned into an amazing candy store. It was so real, in the morning I'd go check to see if it had really happened. The store looked much like the Fabiano's Holland Peanut Store on 8th Street in Holland, Michigan where I grew up -- the store is still there today and every time I'm in town, I go say hi to the Fabiano family.

The rules:
a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.


I am tagging:

Blueboarder buddy, Adaora
Mom2BJM
Ilse
Jolene at Major Disaster
Buggy
Supes, who needs to start blogging again.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In Publishers Weekly's Children's Bookshelf

(or: to avoid all potentially misplaced apostrophes... In the bookshelf of the children belonging to the weekly of the publishers)

A little photo and story -- Cassandra Clare and me and our time in Phoenix.

Scroll down a little...we're right below Felicity Huffman (OMG).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Authors -- on promo and marketing

Hey author friends,

Are you scared to death of speaking in public, doing a book signing or school visit, or just don't have the first clue about how to get the word out about your book? (Why do I feel like this 'graph sounds like the beginning of an infomercial? It's not, I promise.)

Recently I did an interview with Kelly Spitzer.
In it, Kelly asked me quite a few questions about promotion and marketing and what my publisher and I did together. I've had a bunch of people tell me it was very helpful, so I'm passing along the link.

The lovely Bella Stander picked up the interview as well for her blog and she tells the story of how she and I met.


I just wanted to let you know that these articles and this help is out there. Bella is amazing. And I just noticed she's doing a workshop called Book Promotion 101 on May 17 in NYC. If you live in the NYC area, go. And if you don't, maybe you could spread the word to other author friends who do live there.

She also offers reasonably priced sessions over the phone that will really help you get your brain focused on the goal -- selling your book -- rather than on the churning feeling in your gut that's telling you you can't do this.

Check Bella out! She's brilliant.

Phoenix Public Library

I'm so terribly sorry about the mix-up.
Thank you to those who made such lovely signs and artwork to welcome us. We appreciated it...




...and we apologize for disappointing you. I'm working on setting up a new event -- unfortunately Cassandra Clare continues on her tour, so you're stuck with just me!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler! Tonight and tomorrow...

Last night at Borders in Superstition Springs was a BLAST! Standing room only. Thanks to everyone for coming out. I had a chance to meet two (three?) more virtual friends in person -- Georgia, who made my lovely "dream" pendant, and Mom2BJM and her son, (B). Fantastic people!



You are invited to the following book readings/signings where I'll be signing my NYT bestselling YA paranormal book WAKE. The delightful NYT bestselling author of the Mortal Instruments Trilogy, Cassandra Clare, will be there too to sign her books and read a bit -- She's giving away a sample chapter of City of Glass, which comes out next year. Get your sneak peek!:

Wednesday, April 9
4:00 PM
Joint Event with Cassandra Clare (City of Bones, City of Ashes)
Phoenix Public Library
Burton Barr Branch
1221 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

7:00 PM
Joint Event with Cassandra Clare!
Changing Hands
6428 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283

Thursday, April 10
5:30 PM
Joint Event with Cassandra Clare!
Phoenix Book Company
4134 East Wood St.
Suite 290
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Saturday, April 05, 2008

BBYA

WAKE has been nominated as one of the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults! BBYA is A compilation of the current year’s books with proven or potential appeal to teens.

Pretty freaking awesome. Many thanks to those ALA members who found WAKE appealing enough to nominate it!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Phoenix Reading/Signing Events April 8-10

I am so excited to be spending some time with NYT bestselling author Cassandra Clare when she is in Phoenix promoting her Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones (now in paperback) and her latest, City of Ashes -- just released. Come out and join us!

Tuesday, April 8
7:00 PM
Joint Event with Cassandra Clare!
Borders - Superstition Springs
6555 E. Southern Ave., Ste. 1502
Mesa, AZ 85206

Wednesday, April 9
4:00 PM
Joint Event with Cassandra Clare!
Phoenix Public Library
Burton Barr Branch
1221 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

7:00 PM
Joint Event with Cassandra Clare!
Changing Hands
6428 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283

Thursday, April 10
5:30 PM
Joint Event with Cassandra Clare!
Phoenix Book Company
4134 East Wood St.
Suite 290
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New York Times Bestseller (!!!)

GREAT news, friends! Just found out WAKE made the NYT Bestseller List. It comes in at #9 in the children's chapter book list.

WOOT!! Thanks to ALL of you who bought the book or spread the word about WAKE. You totally rule! I am so grateful!

If you haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, please do. Or spread the word to all your friends -- maybe we can keep it on the list for another week. That would so rock.

You can find a list of retailers here on my website.

Now, go celebrate for me.

xo

Saturday, March 15, 2008

San Francisco, here I come!

Woo hoo, this will be my first time in San Francisco and I can't wait!

Here are my events as I know them:

--Tuesday, March 18, Barnes & Noble, 7:00PM
1149 S. Main St., WALNUT CREEK, CA 94596
(Daytime school visit: Monte Vista High School)


--Wednesday, March 19, Daytime school visit: San Mateo High School with Books, Inc., SAN MATEO, CA. We'll be selling and autographing books on-site at SMHS.

Can't wait to see you there! Don't forget there's a dank* WAKE gift raffle thingy at the B&N evening signing!

*dank --- awesome or cool (courtesy of my friends at Lyon Township High School in LaGrange, IL)

Friday, March 14, 2008

PULSE BLOGFEST! Now!

Check it out. Comment! Ask questions! All your favorite authors in one place from now until March 27.

Go to PulseBlogfest.com to read answers to today's question, “What would you be doing if you hadn’t made it as a writer?” My answer is there! And so is Judy Blume's. We're, like, on the same page and everything. (OMG!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Book Tour Schedule

**Note: I've post-dated this blog entry so that the tour info stays on top. I'll be updating it as more info comes in. Meanwhile, new blog posts continue below this one.**

For each bookstore signing I do in March, there will be a special gift bag raffle. These gift bags contain a dream journal, a Dunkin Donuts gift card, a sleep mask and a mug with the WAKE logo on it! How cool is that?

---
Monday, March 10, Treehouse Books, 7:00 - 8:30PM
37 East Eighth Street, HOLLAND, MI 49423
(daytime school visit: West Ottawa High School)

----
Tuesday, March 11, Borders, 7:00PM
43075 Crescent Blvd, NOVI, MI 48375
(Daytime school visit: Novi High School)

-----
Wednesday, March 12, daytime school visits: Naperville North High School and Naperville Central High School (with Anderson's Book Shop), NAPERVILLE, IL

---
Thursday March 13, Borders, 7:00PM
1 N. La Grange Road, LAGRANGE, IL 60525
(Daytime school visit: Lyons Township High School)

---
Tuesday, March 18, Barnes & Noble, 7:00PM
1149 S. Main St., WALNUT CREEK, CA 94596
(Daytime school visit: Monte Vista High School)

---
Wednesday, March 19, Daytime school visit: San Mateo High School with Books, Inc., SAN MATEO, CA

---
Tuesday, April 8, Borders - Superstition Springs Mall, 7:00PM (w/Cassandra Clare)
6555 E. Southern Ave., MESA, AZ 85206

---
Wednesday, April 9, Changing Hands, 7:00PM (w/Cassandra Clare)
6428 S McClintock Dr., TEMPE, AZ 85283
(daytime school and library events)

---
Thursday, April 10, Phoenix Book Company, 5:30PM (w/Cassandra Clare)
4134 East Wood St. Ste 290, PHOENIX, AZ 85040
(daytime school events)

Friday, February 29, 2008

WAKE -- a Borders "Original Voices" Nominee

Exciting news yesterday -- we just heard that WAKE is a Borders Original Voices Nominee for the month of May.

The program description reads, "The Borders Original Voices program highlights exceptional emerging writers." Very cool! Every month they pick a book or two from the YA category (and from other categories too -- WAKE is in the Young Adult category). Through a magical process, at the end of the year they narrow down the nominees so maybe six remain, and then one is chosen as the YA Original Voice of the Year.

Fun times!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Creative teens

Check out orb28, a blog by and for people ages 12-18.

From their blog:
Orb28 is looking for exciting new content! Send in your stories, poetry, articles, travel logs, biographies, videos, songs, podcasts, drawings, paintings, photographs, games, cartoons, reviews—and whatever else you think would fit on our web space! Work on any topic pertinent to teen girls is invited…the sky’s the limit!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Follow up to the "John Green is not a Pornographer" post

Here is a nice article that sums up the school board meeting: Buffalo News

My favorite quote is apparently from one of those who wants to ban this book from the school curriculum (even though it wasn't required reading):

The Rev. Nelson C. McCall, pastor of Hillview Baptist Church in Depew, said he had not read the book “but a doctor doesn’t have to have cancer to treat someone who has.”


When will people learn that they can make a much more credible argument if they actually read the book? I don't understand how the Reverend McCall can make a call on this without reading it. Especially a man with his education. Is that how he preaches the Word of God, too? He doesn't have to read The Bible in order to teach it? Please, sir -- you're only making Christians look more ignorant, and frankly, we don't need your help on this right now.

Why are you so afraid? And what are you afraid of? Acknowledging that sex exists is NOT the same as promoting sex. And it's certainly not porn. It seriously makes me wonder what is in the "history" log on these people's computers. And the deep, dark secrets they have that makes them so fearful.


Thanks to John's blog, Sparks Fly Up, for the link.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

WIN WIN WIN!! You can win a hardcover copy of WAKE

Between now and Friday, February 8th at midnight, you can win an autographed copy of WAKE from friend and fellow author Elizabeth Scott, author of BLOOM and PERFECT YOU.

Go to Elizabeth Scott's blog and follow the rules to win. Good luck!


Also, if you haven't downloaded your WAKE countdown clock, dream journal stationery, avatars, screensavers and wallpaper, here's that link again.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Week in review...

Crazy, busy and fun!

Have I mentioned lately that I love my publisher, Simon Pulse?

On Monday & Tuesday, they sent me to Ann Arbor, Michigan, so I could have lunch with some people at the home office of BGI (Borders Group Inc), which is basically Borders and Walden book stores. My wonderful escort, Victor, is the national account manager of the children's division of S&S, and we had a blast together.

I spent ten years as a bookseller, but I think I had forgotten how much fun book store people are. Victor, Jennifer, Tara, Lori...if you're watching from our studio audience today, here's a *wave* and a thank you for a fantastic lunch. We talked about books and babies and all the cool authors that these BGI friends have met (I'm so jealous) and it was a really lovely time. I hope our paths cross again one day.

Victor and I also visited four bookstores in Ann Arbor before it was time for him to drop me off at the airport for my flight back home.

On Wednesday, I received the edits for FADE from my editor, and I've been working on those the last few days. This would be an appropriate time to say my editor, Jen, is brilliant.

And now we are in February, and suddenly WAKE comes out next month. Wow!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

FADE

FADE is the sequel to WAKE. I submitted the manuscript to my editor a few months ago, then did a revision based on her comments. I was delighted (*hop*) to find out today that my aforementioned lovely and talented editor, Jen Klonsky, LOVED the revision. YAY!! This is terrific news!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Kirkus Reviews WAKE

Review from the 2/1/08 issue of Kirkus Reviews:

McMann, Lisa

WAKE


"Dealing with an alcoholic single mother and endless hours of working at Heather Nursing Home to raise money for college, high-school senior Janie Hannagan doesn’t need more problems. But inexplicably, since she was eight years old, she has been pulled in to people’s dreams, witnessing their recurring fears, fantasies and secrets. Through Miss Stubin at Heather Home, Janie discovers that she is a dream catcher with the ability to help others resolve their haunting dreams. After taking an interest in former bad boy Cabel, she must distinguish between the monster she sees in his nightmares and her romantic feelings for him. And when she learns more about Cabel’s covert identity, Janie just may be able to use her special dream powers to help solve crimes in a suspense-building ending with potential for a sequel. McMann lures teens in by piquing their interest in the mysteries of the unknown, and keeps them with quick-paced, gripping narration and supportive characters. (Fiction. YA)"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Counting down!

Today, with my shorts and t-shirt, I wore a pair of boots around the house.

Yep, gotta break them in. I am gearing up for the WAKE tour, and I'm going to cold places! I just had to buy a new pair of boots for the occasion.

THE TOUR:
I'll be doing school events during the days and book signings in the evenings.
Will you be in or near one of these cities in March so that you can come see me, my book, and my new boots?


March 5: Mesa, AZ
March 6: Phoenix, AZ
March 7: Dallas, TX

March 10: Holland, MI (my old home town!) Treehouse Books
March 11: Novi, MI
March 12: Naperville, IL
March 13: Chicago, IL

March 18: San Francisco, CA
March 19: San Francisco, CA

April 9: Tempe, AZ (Changing Hands Bookstore) With NYT bestselling author CASSANDRA CLARE.

More details as they come in, so stay tuned! And if you haven't been here yet to get your free WAKE downloadables, go now and check them out, and then let me know if you put anything on your myspace or website so that I might come and admire you and thank you properly.

Monday, January 14, 2008

book characters and their jobs

When you read a novel, discovering what the occupation of the main characters helps define the character in your mind.

Janie Hannagan, the main character of WAKE, works in a nursing home, and that is simply the best darn job for her.

When you WRITE a novel, having worked in a variety of places helps make giving occupations to your characters a bit easier. The more experience an author has in a variety of occupations, the more options the author has. This is not to say that an author can't research and create an unfamiliar job for a character -- it's just easier if there is some life experience one can draw upon.

I never worked in a nursing home.

However, my mother did. She was a beautician, and one day a week, she would set up shop in the nursing home on 40th Street and do hair. My sister and I went with her sometimes. We got to know the residents there. Spent some time in the game room hanging out with the old folks and playing games while The Price Is Right blared full volume in the background.

It was a learning experience -- one I never expected I'd write about thirty years later. To this day, I enjoy visiting residents in nursing homes. There can be a lot of joy there.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I *heart* Judy Blume

And it is with delight that I point you to her new website.

Judy Blume's site is a wealth of information both for readers who have loved her many books over the years, and for aspiring and current authors.

She also has a blog.

What's your favorite Judy Blume book?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cook! Read! Win Finn for your local high school!

A friend of mine, Jon Clinch, author of FINN: A NOVEL (the story of Huck Finn's father), is holding a cool menu contest.

From his blog:

Win a visit from Jon Clinch to your book club,
and copies of Finn: A Novel for your high school.

If there's one thing that book clubs like better than reading, it's eating. Which is why we've put together the Finn Book Club Menu Contest.

Here's how it works.

Design a menu for your book club to enjoy on the night you discuss Finn. Use your imagination. Use your frying pan. Use catfish and whiskey and fatback bacon and cornbread and sunfish and baking powder biscuits and...well, you get the idea. Be inspired. Have fun. And make sure that you don't forget the huckleberries...


More information at the contest link above.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

An awesome blurb:

WAKE is "A lyrical, shuddersome novel whose images linger with you long after you've turned the last page, like the most haunting of dreams."
Cassandra Clare, author of NYT Bestseller City of Bones