Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One Last Apocalypsies Debut

We are well into 2013 now, and the Lucky 13s have been steadily launching their books into the world. But today, there is one last Apocalypsies debut.

Bridget Zinn was a member of the Apocalypsies -- her picture is there on our "Who We Are" page, her happy face smiling out from under a large, rainbow umbrella. Unfortunately, Bridget died in 2011 at the age of 33, and her debut novel is debuting today without her. 

 Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Bridget was an amazing person, and her spirit and her story have touched many people.  Some of her fellow Apocalypsies are helping to spread the word and celebrate the release of her debut novel Poison:

Posting March 11:
Kathleen Peacock

Posting March 12:
E. M. Kokie
A.G. Howard
Laura Ellen
Diana Renn
Lissa Price
Sarvenaz Tash
Jenn Reese

Posting March 15:
 CarolineStarr Rose

Posting March 25:
Lynne Kelly  

In addition to our posts, there is an ongoing blog tour for Poison, and a number of online and in person celebrations being planned. You can learn the latest events and news at Bridget's website.

You can also join in a live video chat release celebration, Tuesday, March 12, 8:30 pm EDT.

And please feel free to help spread the word on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter (hashtag #Poison) to join in the celebration of Bridget and the release of Poison.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Subverting the Paradigm: ALEX AS WELL by Alyssa Brugman

Hello, Apocalypsies followers! Colleen Clayton here. I am so excited to blog today and interview my good friend Alyssa Brugman whose book ALEX AS WELL released last week and is a wonderful addition to the world of contemporary young adult literature highlighting the LGBT experience. The synopsis from the publisher's website is as follows:  

What do you do when everybody says you’re someone you’re not? 

Alex wants change. Massive change. More radical than you could imagine.

Her mother is not happy, in fact she’s imploding. Her dad walked out.

Alex has turned vegetarian, ditched one school, enrolled in another, thrown out her clothes. And created a new identity. An identity that changes her world.

And Alex—the other Alex—has a lot to say about it.

Alex As Well is a confronting and heartfelt story of adolescent experience—of questioning identity, discovering sexuality, navigating friendships and finding a place to belong. Alex is a strong, vulnerable, confident, shy and determined character, one you will never forget.

With the same tenderness and insight as YA stars such as John Green and David Levithan, Alyssa Brugman has crafted a knockout story about identity, sexuality and family that speaks effortlessly to a universal teen experience.

Before we get to the interview I'd like to briefly mention how Alyssa and I came to know each other. Many years back, I took a writing class and one of the assignments was to write a fan letter to an author we admired. I had recently read FINDING GRACE by Alyssa and identified so strongly with her writing style that I knew immediately that she would be the author I would write. I had never written a fan letter before and was too shy to tell her that I was an aspiring novelist so I basically just stuck with gushing about FINDING GRACE. It was such a thrill to get a ding in my inbox later that day with a very thoughtful and sweet reply from her. She was so nice and real! I told myself at that moment that if I ever got published I was going to write her back and say: REMEMBER ME? About two years later, I finally landed an agent and sold my book WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. I wrote Alyssa to tell her the good news and we've been friends and writing confidants ever since. :) What a pleasure it is for me to interview her here on the Apocalypsies blog. I really cannot express how much it means to me to be able to talk with my friend and share with you her beautiful novel ALEX AS WELL. So let's get started, shall we?

CC: Hi, Alyssa! So glad to have you on our blog today!

AB: Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my book! You and I had many productive conversations about this story back when it was just a manuscript, so it’s especially nice to be able to reflect on the finished product with you.

CC: Yes! It's amazing! I'm so, so excited to do this interview. There are no words, really. So let's jump into things! Okay, so one of the main themes of ALEX AS WELL is the idea of identity. In the broad sense, it is a coming-of-age story about being comfortable in one’s skin and finding a place to belong, something with which all readers can identify. In the specific sense, this is a story that tackles gender and sexual identity. The way Alex sees herself in that regard is complex and fascinating. Can you discuss this a bit and tell us what makes ALEX AS WELL a unique addition to LGBT literature?

AB: Subverting gender expectations, sexual awareness and agency, developing identity and a growing sense of autonomy make up so much of YA fiction, and yet somehow transsexual, transgender and intersex experiences are largely overlooked in this genre. One of the things I discovered while researching this book is that gender is not a dichotomy, but a spectrum. Alex’s experience may speak to a broader constituency than people might imagine. Along that vein, I didn’t want to focus so much on the medical or clinical nature of her circumstance, but on the evolving relationships she has with her peers and her family, and sense of self, which I think is probably common to all teens. I hoped readers would think, “I felt like that too. She’s just like me," rather than fixating on what she might or might not have going on downstairs.

CC: Yes, absolutely. This book is not about the particulars of anatomy. It is about identity and acceptance of one's self and finding acceptance and love within one's circle of peers and family. To that end, one of the most interesting aspects of the book is Alex’s relationship with her mother, Heather. It’s very complicated and while I believe that Heather is misguided and tends toward the narcissistic much of the time, she is still somehow a sympathetic character...so entirely flawed and human. Can you talk about the relationship between Alex and Heather for a moment?

AB: Alex is an unreliable narrator. There are things she doesn’t know about herself that I needed the reader to know. Initially Heather was a vehicle for providing the information, but she is unreliable too. The truth is somewhere between their testimonies. I really wanted Heather to be very present in the story, because so often parents in YA are either absent altogether, or present and totally static characters. That’s not how parenthood is. The relationship between parent and child is constantly evolving, and I suspect friction is necessary so that the parent and child will ultimately, physically (in the case of the mother) and emotionally extract themselves from each other. That’s why they can be so revolting (toddlers and teens) because you have to first get them off your hip, and then out of the house. You wouldn’t do that if the experience was peachy all the time, because the love itself is so resilient.

Many readers have reported really disliking Heather, but part of her experience is my experience as a parent. I had three toddlers while I was writing this, and I did channel some of my frustration and disappointment with parenthood into her character. I often (still now) go to bed thinking, “I’m doing it all wrong! I shouted all day long. Tomorrow I will do craft, and bake, and sing songs, and cook only organic vegetables.” And then I wake up and my children throw food at me, and fight, and destroy things that are precious to me, and I think, “No, no, it’s not me, it’s YOU!” Heather is a much more exaggerated version of that experience. I have always found writing a terrific way to channel mixed emotions, disappointment or confusion that I might feel about totally unrelated things into something creative and useful. It’s the thread from which I weave the tapestry.

CC: Good to know that I'm not the only mom out there beating herself up every night. :) Parenthood is wonderful but it is no around-the-clock picnic, for sure. It's HARD!

Okay, from a writerly standpoint, there are some interesting things going on in this story. You break what is often referred to as “the fourth wall” many times to address the reader directly. Then while the story is primarily told in Alex’s first-person perspective, Heather gets to speak in first-person throughout the book, too. The parental first-person is not something often seen in YA literature. Can you talk about those artistic choices a bit?

AB: I assigned a narratee (a ‘you’) in this novel because it began as an exercise in narrative strategies for overcoming unreliable narration. Assigning a narratee lets the reader know that Alex knows she is being watched, and therefore she’s only going to share the information that she wants to share, which means there will be some self-denial, but also omissions in the testimony she gives because she doesn’t want the reader to judge her. Heather is being observed too, but in a different way. Her commentary is more of a confession than Alex’s. She’s not charming. I made her dialogue peppered with typos and grammatical errors, because she is just emoting, without self-editing. It’s much more raw than Alex.

If you will indulge me, here is an example of Alex being charming:

But I’m not going to tell you any more about that because you’re already feeling sorry for me, and I don’t want that to tip over into something else… like irritation. Instead I am going to tell you something good about me.

I can clap really fast. 

Imagine the fastest clapping ever, well I can do that. I can do six or seven claps in a second. I’m like a hummingbird. My hands are just a total blur. You’re trying it right now, aren’t you? Ok, so maybe you can do five claps in one second, but can you do six or seven claps a second every second for a whole minute? No, you can’t, because that takes a special aptitude and a dogged commitment to fostering it.

No, I’m not going to do it right now, because there are other kids who have hopped off the train at the same station, wearing the same uniform as me. I follow them through the big sandstone gates, smiling my head off at the giant girl on the billboard out the front, because she could be me. I could be her. 

There are good things about me. There are probably as many good things as there are bad things. I am pretty as a girl. I’m really tall as a girl. I bet I could arm-wrestle any chick here, and half the guys too.

And here is Heather being raw:

And then last night Alex says to us, just sitting there at dinner. I’m a girl. Just like that. Three words.
And. My husband explodes at me. I couldn’t stop crying. My husband packs up a suitcase and he just walks out. He’s gone to his borhters place. I’m still crying now.

I just can’t handle it. I look at Alex and I don’t think I love him. I know that if we had a normal child our lives would be so much better. It’s not his fault that he was born like this, but it is his fault that my husband and I have not had the life we dreamed of.

I want to have a Christmas where I don’t go around the shops looking for non-gender specific toys (which are totally impossible to find) and watching his face as his opens the presents for clues as to whether his hormone balance is right. That’s not the spirit of Christmas, that’s hell.

I am so angry, and I am angry with Alex, and I don’t know how to move beyond it. I know that makes me a bad mother and a bad person. It’s also unfair that my husband is rhe one that gets to move out and have a holiday from this life. I am at the end of my tether. I want to have the holiday from my life. I’m ready to pack a suitcase and get on a plane, and never come back again.

These characters are both aware of a ‘you’, but they are reacting quite differently to it.

CC: I'm going to admit this now to you and the world...when I read the early manuscript of ALEX AS WELL and then again when I read the final book, I put it down mid-page and totally tried the fast clapping. (Apocalypsies readers...you're doing it right now, too, aren't you? You're fast clapping right now, aren't you?) Also, I found the typos in Heather's testimonies to be very in tune with the character and her state of mind. I really feel that the vast majority of readers are insightful enough to "get it" and will not chalk the typos up to lazy copy-editing. (For those of you who take issue with the typos, they're Heather's typos, not Alyssa's. Dig deeper, man...)

Okay....moving on. ;)

Having read some of your other young adult books FINDING GRACE, WALKING NAKED, and SOLO, one of your trademark strengths as a writer is your quirky sense of humor. Your characters are really, really funny, Alyssa. Do you have a favorite humorous passage from ALEX AS WELL that you would like to share with us?

AB: Sometimes young adult characters in YA books are whiney and self-obsessed, and after you read the first ten pages you want to slap them. It is necessary for them to be this way so that you have an arc, and something to grow into. I’ve always used humour as a way of making them more likable initially, so that the reader has a reason to stick with them.

In this book I have tried to make Alex banter with the reader all along the way, a kind of light, coasting sort of humour. She’s like a talk show host interviewing herself – asking the probing questions, and then giving the answers that are the truth (her truth) but still paint her in the most flattering light. Much of it is not so funny out of context, but here is a small example of the type of strategy I’m talking about.

I sit with Sierra in visual art. We’re making a hen out of clay. The teacher says my hen isn’t very good. Apparently Sierra’s is a masterpiece. I don’t really understand why her hen is better than mine.
This one kid didn’t even make a hen, he just made the letters to spell out, squawk! When the teacher asked what he was doing, he said, ‘subverting the paradigm’.

You could see her frozen with indecision, because she wasn’t sure if it was really clever, or if he was taking the piss. She gave him six out of ten, a bet each way, the same mark as me, and I actually made the chook like I was asked.

I think about reminding the art teacher about that gallery that literally exhibited the work of a two-year-old, but I don’t think that’s going to make her like my hen any better.

‘It’s stupid and arbitrary,’ Sierra whispers to me, but secretly she’s pleased. I can tell by the sparkle in her eye and the sly way she smiles at her hen when she thinks I’m not looking.

My hen rocks, so I don’t care what the teacher thinks. And I’m subverting the paradigm in ways she can’t even imagine.

We are art, says Alex.

Clucking oath!

CC: Thank you so much for stopping by The Apocalypsies, my friend. Truly, it was an honor.

AB: Thank you for inviting me! I’ve always enjoyed talking about writing with you, Colleen! I hope your blog readers have found it interesting too. (Just declaring an interest for the readers who might not already know, I have only a few trusted beta-readers for my manuscripts, and Colleen has always provided me with acute insights. She has a good eye, and good instincts, which I appreciate! So thank YOU.)

CC: <3 <3 <3

Please check out ALEX AS WELL by visiting the publisher's website here. You can also find out more about Alyssa's other critically-acclaimed young adult novels by visiting her Goodreads author page.

Alyssa Brugman was born in Rathmines in New South Wales in 1974. She has written several books for young adults including Finding Grace, which was shortlisted for the Printz Award, and Walking Naked, which was a CBCA honour book. She lives in the Hunter Valley with her partner and their children.
Website: http://alyssabrugman.com.au/

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Meet debut authors Lenore Appelhans, Erica Lorraine Scheidt and Lissa Price in SF

Even though we all got through 2012 alive and the Apocalypsie year has given way to the Lucky 13s debut year, we will still post here from time to time so stay tuned.

Today's announcement is that Lenore Appelhans will be speaking on a panel at Books Inc. Burlingame about her amazing debut LEVEL TWO.

You have to meet Lenore, she's so much fun. She's so cool that I agreed to fly up to join her to talk about Starters. Also with us is Erica Lorraine Scheidt, one of the rare authors who received a starred review from Kirkus for her debut USES FOR BOYS. Not your Mother's Book Club is generously going to serve snacks, so come and eat and laugh with us this Wednesday eve.



Monday, December 31, 2012

The End (of the year) Is Nigh!

Well, it's flown by, but our debut year is ending! It's been quite an adventure for the group; we saw our first books (and a few babies!) enter the world, we've made new friends, and met lots of readers. We've enjoyed the thrill of becoming published authors, but we've learned that publication doesn't mean the struggles of the writing life are over. Through it all, we've had a great support group to hold our virtual hands in the tough times and celebrate with us during the good times.

Check out our "What's Next?" post to see what's coming up for us in 2013 and beyond. For now, here are some parting words from some of your Apocalypsies, about what we've learned and our favorite moments of 2012:

"What I've Learned:
A. You are your book's best advocate. Don't be shy.
B. Make at least one trip out of your own region for a book signing event--even if you have to pay for it yourself. Personal appearances make a much bigger impression on readers than a Tweet."
~ Anne Greenwood Brown (LIES BENEATH, Random House/Delacorte)

"What I learned from my debut year: It's natural for us to have a lot of expectations around the actual book release date, but I found that the work of promotion and growing into my skin as an author was just beginning when my book was published in March, and the process continues. So my advice to new authors is totally enjoy THE DAY, eat your chocolate, crack the champagne, get a massage, soak in the Twitter accolades, but remember that it's not all going to happen at once, and save some energy because tomorrow there's more work to do.
Highlights from the year: Besides meeting other Apocalypsies and developing wonderful friendships with fellow debut authors, I'd say the major highlight has been the little surprise kindnesses that happen when you finally get published—the high school friend of your sister who buys the book for his niece, the reader who shows up at an event with a thoughtful gift, the aunts and uncles that talk you up to random strangers, the librarians and bookstore owners and teachers who go out of their way to give you a platform. I was incredibly moved, on multiple occasions, by what people were willing to do to help me and my career."
~ Elisa Ludwig (PRETTY CROOKED, Katherine Tegen Books)

"Fave thing about the debut year: Getting to meet and learn from so many amazing writers, within the Apocalypsies and the wider kidlit community.
One thing I've learned: Promotion can be fun and creative, and when you've spent so much time on a book it's important to do your best to get it out into the world. But promotion can easily become a full-time job. And expensive. Keep promotion in perspective, in terms of time and money, and don't let it get in the way of writing the next book."
~ Diana Renn (TOKYO HEIST, Viking)

"What I learned this debut year: Surrounding yourself with supportive people, such as the wonder-group, The Apocalypsies, proved to be quite the necessary thing to do. Debut year is a roller coaster ride, and you need a rock solid 'cart of support' to ride in, especially when you crest those hills.
My favorite thing this debut year: Heartfelt feedback from readers, especially teen readers. I hope it will always blow my mind that complete strangers are moved to tears from characters and scenes I created—it’s rather humbling."
~ K.M. Walton (CRACKED, Simon Pulse)

"My favorite thing about this year has been all of my debut author friends. They have given an endless supply of support, real and virtual hugs and a gazillion laughs. I wouldn't have wanted to do it without them. As for what I've learned--for better or worse--I am me and that is enough. I'm looking forward to supporting the Lucky 13's in 2013!!!
~ Kimberly Sabatini (TOUCHING THE SURFACE, Simon Pulse)

"Picture a debut author in the middle of an otherwise great tour suddenly panicked. In a chilly city where you’ve never been before, the B&N who loves your book has a nice poster outside announcing your arrival, but inside, no one is in the store. There’s a sports final going on and everyone is there instead. To top it off, the shipper made an error and only sent a few boxes of your book. The rest were the more expensive jacketless library copies.
A few people do show up but the night is really saved when an Apocalypsie you’ve never met before arrives. And she’s brought her writing group. They’re bundled up in coats and smiles and it’s something you’ll remember forever.
The debut year has more ups and downs than any ride at Disneyland. One constant for me was having the support and friendship of the Apocalypsies. Some of you are wild and crazy, some hysterically funny, some bloodthirsty (in a good way), but I've loved meeting you in chats, at conferences, in restaurants and bars. And of course, bookstores."
~ Lissa Price (STARTERS, Random House)

"I've learned not to compare my writing journey to anyone else's. If jealousy is a green-eyed monster, then comparison is a troll with extremely sharp teeth that will chew you up and spit you out, leaving your self-confidence in shreds. Comparison is the quickest way to suck the joy out of your writing life. Don't do it.
My favorite thing about this year has been getting to know other writers and learn about their books. Some of my favorite books this year have been from the Apocalypsies!"
~ Jenny Lundquist (SEEING CINDERELLA, Aladdin)

"I know it's a bit cheesy, but the best thing about my debut year was meeting the Apocalypsies! They have been a wonderful support - we've laughed, cried, drunk virtual cocktails and offered hugs when needed. I really couldn't have survived my debut year without them!!!"
~ Elizabeth Richards (BLACK CITY, Putnam)

"The most important thing I learned this year was to listen to my experienced writer friends. A year ago, I was chock full of hope, dreams, and WAY too much confidence in my task-juggling abilities. A good writer friend cautioned me to write as fast as I could before my launch date, 'because you won't have time to write anything for a year after that.'
I sort of laughed at her. I need to apologize.
Of course, she wasn't right entirely - I've written lots of revisions, a few chapters on a new manuscript, and a million and forty-seven guest blog posts since this summer. But not anywhere near the pillowy mounds of weekly drafting that had served for years as my happy place.
I'm learning to lie fallow, a bit. And to listen not just to my friends, but my heart, when it tells me 'back to the page.' Because, to me, the page is home.
And there's no place like it."

"Wow, what to say? My favorite part was launch week, when I got to meet readers face to face and see people holding the book. That was the moment it finally felt real. The rest of it sort of seemed like just a dream.
The surprising (and perhaps disappointing?) thing for me was how little time I had to WRITE this year. I wish I'd known that getting on the path to publishing would triple my email load and internet/social media demands. I really have to work hard to MAKE the time to write these days, so that's been a learning curve."
~ Erin Jade Lange (BUTTER, Bloomsbury)

"Like Erin, I learned that for the first few months after my launch, I had almost no time to write.
I also learned that there is strength in numbers, and being a part of this group helped me grow stronger as a writer and as a promoter of my book!
And here is my favorite thing about the year: I loved getting that first piece of fan mail, from a little girl whose signature included 'Your biggest fan.'"
~ Kami Kinard (THE BOY PROJECT, Scholastic)

"My favorite thing? Meeting readers. Meeting people who are passionate about the books they read, and who work hard to spread the book love to everyone they know.
The most surprising thing? How quickly time went by."
~ Jodi Meadows (INCARNATE, Katherine Tegen Books)

"My favorite thing about this year were all the people who posted pics of my "book in the wild" on my Facebook page during launch week. This included old high school friends I hadn't spoken to in years as well as fabulous new Apocalypsies friends and everyone in between. It seriously made me weepy like nothing else did to know all these lovely people were going out of their way to find the book and send me a photo.
The most surprising thing: how life post-book publication is really not very different from pre-publication. There is still writing, rewriting and rejections to be had."
~ Sarvenaz Tash (THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST, Bloomsbury/Walker)

"For my favorite part, I have to go with reader responses, too. I've enjoyed reading professional, blogger, and Goodreads reviews (well, most of them). I've enjoyed hearing from family and friends who read my book. I haven't heard from any teens post-pub, but I got some pre-pub responses that brought me to tears with their enthusiasm and honesty.
My launch events were also very rewarding. Family, friends, coworkers, and people from my past (my first and second grade teachers, among others!) came out to support me, and it was great fun. Next week I'll be doing my first teen event, and I'm optimistic for that as well."
~ Lisa Jenn Bigelow (STARTING FROM HERE, Amazon Children's Publishing)

"The best part of this debut year for me has been meeting other authors. It's a great big scary publishing world and it's nice to have peers to look up to. I've had a great time interacting with bloggers and readers. Knowing someone is picking up your work is a truly great feeling."
~ Zoraida Cordova (THE VICIOUS DEEP, Sourcebooks Fire)

"One thing I learned this year was how glad I am to have the Apocalypsies--launching a debut novel would be so much scarier without people to lean on who are all going through the same thing.
My favorite thing this year was hearing from readers and realizing all the different ways many people can read one book!"
~ Emily Hainsworth (THROUGH TO YOU, Balzer & Bray)

"Something I learned: Take a break. I discovered very early that I was so much more creative and productive when I scheduled time AWAY from writing and promoting. I actually declared some days 'CHLOE-free days.'
Favorite moment: Seeing WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE on library shelves. Brought me to tears because libraries were such a huge part of my life growing up."
~ Shelley Coriell (WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE, Amulet Books/Abrams)

"My highlights of the year were releasing book two in the Magic Most Foul saga, THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART and landing a 3 book deal with Tor/Macmillan for a new Historical Fantasy saga for adults with cross-genre crossover potential as characters from my other series will enter into this new parallel story line. THE ETERNA FILES will debut 2014 along with a reissue of my first Historical Fantasy saga."
~ Leanna Renee Hieber (DARKER STILL, Sourcebooks Fire)

"I've learned to enjoy myself, not get caught up in all my writing insecurities. I don't want to look back on this time and only remember how scared I was. I want to remember that this was the year one of my very oldest dreams came true."
~ Kristen Simmons (ARTICLE 5, Tor Teen)

"Don’t read critiques of your book. It will only slow you down on your real job: writing the next one. The good ones intimidate you, the bad ones discourage you, and either way they don’t help. Just sit down and keep on writing."
~ Huntley Fitzpatrick (MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, Penguin/Dial)

"Try not to take criticism personally, not everyone is going to enjoy your book. Trust your agent and editor's advice, they know what they're doing and are working in the best interest of you and your story. Lastly, take biotin every day and do yoga because writing and publishing books will make your hair fall out."
~ Colleen Clayton (WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, Penguin/Poppy)

"What I have learned this year: life is sweet; the world is beautiful;
writers are an amazingly supportive bunch. Learn to doodle--very useful
for book signings. Keep hydrated. Get some sleep. Keep writing. Keep
writing! And if life decides to throw you a major curve ball or two, just
smile and bring out the bright blue hair."
~ Anne Nesbet (THE CABINET OF EARTHS, HarperCollins)

"What I learned about my debut year: Don’t take it personal; you’ll never please everyone. This lesson was hard for me because I have a tendency to get along with most people I meet. Putting your work out there makes you vulnerable to criticism. All of it is subjective. What one person loves, ten will hate, and trying to cater to everyone may risk your creativity.
My favorite thing about this year: Meeting cool authors and swapping stories and war wounds. The support system is amazing and it’s a comfort to know while in a crisis that one email, Tweet or chat will bring the cavalry."

Thanks so much to everyone who's been following our progress and supporting us along our road to publication this year, and to everyone who helped us achieve the dream of becoming published authors. We'd like to gather you all up in a giant group hug.

We hope to bring you many more books in the coming years, and we'll have occasional posts here about author events and the writing life.

And now, we turn things over to The Lucky 13s! Best wishes, debut authors, and Happy New Year to all!

~ Lynne Kelly (CHAINED, Macmillan/FSG)

Friday, December 28, 2012

The End (of the week) Is Nigh!

Happy Friday and happy almost-the-end-of-the-year! Here's our latest and last weekly news update:

New release:
FADING AMBER by Jaime Reed

Paper Chain of Prizes: Pre-Order DEEP BETRAYAL by Anne Greenwood Brown and get a chance to win an E-reader or one of 39 other prizes
Enter to win signed ARCs from lots of great authors when you check out A.G. Howards's virtual launch party post

Other awesomeness:
French readers picked Starters by Lissa Price and The Selection by Kiera Cass as the only two YA books on a list of their 12 Favorite books, along with J.K. Rowling and Toni Morrison
The sixth and last bonus scene from Anne Greenwood Brown's LIES BENEATH is now available on her blog
Ame Dyckman's BOY + BOT and Anne Nesbet's THE CABINET OF EARTHS are among the Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Books for Kids

Have a great weekend, everyone! We'll be back next week with an end-of-the-year wrap-up!