NYT best selling author

Friday, May 30, 2008

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


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

Please stop by if you're in the area.


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


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
Jolene at Major Disaster
Supes, who needs to start blogging again.