Friday, July 31, 2009
2. My boys have survived sports camp this week despite the record-breaking high temperatures. They want to do cosmic bowling tomorrow afternoon. In air conditioning. I can't say I blame them!
3. My web designer and I have been working on giving my site a fresh, new look. Another couple of weeks and I think I'll be able to reveal! YAY!!
4. I think my husband and I are going to see Funny People this weekend. Please, PLEASE let it be funny.
5. My Reader Appreciation Contest ends tomorrow, August 1st, at midnight EST. Thanks to all the people who have entered so far. I wish I could give everyone a prize!! I leave you with a trailer that a fabulous reader made for the contest. Enjoy!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I love them!! Keep them coming!
You have until Saturday, Aug. 1st, midnight EST to enter if you'd like to. There are all kinds of things you can do for entries, including the simple one of following me on twitter. You still have to e-mail me to enter though.
All the details can be found HERE.
Good luck to all the entrants!!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
They talked about the 1976 conference, before the movie came out in 1977, and people involved with the movie were nervous, wondering what people would think of it. I even heard George Lucas say he was worried it wouldn't make any money and he would have to figure out how to pay for the other two movies he wanted to make.
Well, we know George Lucas doesn't have to worry about money anymore, don't we?
I wonder, in the past 30+ years, how many people have thought - I want to come up the next Star Wars? Don't you think it's got to be a lot???
And yet, it seems to me, like with Twilight, it's not something you plan, or even try to predict. It's not something you can force to happen.
Certainly Stephenie Meyer couldn't have predicted what's happened with her TWILIGHT series. Did her publisher expect it to be big? Probably, yes. But THAT big? No way. It took on a life of its own. It became bigger than big.
It seems like the YA publishing world is working really hard, trying to find the next TWILIGHT. Or maybe they aren't. Maybe they just figure if something is a little like Twilight, it has the potential to earn a little of the money Twilight has earned, and a little of billions or whatever is still a lot.
Anyway, don't you think the next BIG thing will happen when we least expect it? Like it will be something that no one saw coming, and everyone will be like WHOA!?
And really, don't we secretly like it when something sneaks up on us, and surprises us? Isn't that what makes the whole thing so spectacular?
I don't know what it's going to be. But I can't wait to see what it is! And who knows, one of us might be writing it RIGHT NOW!!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Jo Knowles is the author of JUMPING OFF SWINGS and wow, does Jo tackle the tough subjects or what!? LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL was her first novel and it was almost difficult for me to read in parts it was so painful. But I think she has a gift - it takes a special something to write about tough subjects in a way that is honest and real. And Jo obviously has that special something.
JUMPING OFF SWINGS is told from the point of view of four teens, four friends. How one night and the aftermath affects their four lives is played out in the book, and we get to know each of the four characters (Ellie, Corinne, Josh and Caleb) so well, they start to feel like friends of ours. And as a result, the pain they feel becomes our own. I was sitting in my car in the parking lot, while my son was at an appointment, as I read the last quarter of the book, and I cried and cried.
It's SO well-written, the dialogue real, the pacing superb... I could go on and on. I can see this being a great book for teen book clubs and literature circles. It tackles teen pregnancy in a way that speaks to us, just like 13 REASONS WHY tackles suicide in a way that speaks to us. I really think, and certainly hope, this book could see the kind of success 13 REASONS WHY has had.
JUMPING OFF SWINGS is released August 11, 2009 - check www.indiebound.org to find an independent bookstore near you, and ask them to order it!!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
1. I love THIS POST by an agent about writing another book. That's what I did, again and again, before I finally found one that felt right to me and got me an agent. There is so much trying to distract us in today's world, but I want to be one of the ones who keeps writing.
2. And THIS POST by Editorial Ass on authors trying too hard to be cool. I may not be cool. But I can be nice. And nice goes a helluva long way.
3. A GREAT POST on what authors can do to help make their booksignings a success.
4. The talented AND hard-working author, Linda Urban, talks about talent versus hard work. Go. Read. It's good!
5. And finally, a video, courtesy of author Jenny Moss who shared it on her blog yesterday. It was on Good Morning America this morning and I dare you to watch it and not simultaneously laugh and cry. That's what it's all about, people. Have fun. Live. Laugh. Love.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Man, these look like some REALLY good books. What? There are even more scattered around the house? No way!
Wait. What did you say? I can't read them!? Because you're GIVING THEM AWAY?
No fair, no fair, NO FAIR!! I'm going to be depressed forever!!
Don't forget to enter. Good luck!!!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Okay, peeps, here we go. I have some ARCs and I’m not afraid to use them. What do I have, you wonder?
CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins, SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater, HUSH HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick, FLASH BURNOUT by L.K. Madigan, FIRE by Kristin Cashore, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST by Kristina Springer, AFTER by Amy Efaw, JUMPING OFF SWINGS by Jo Knowles, THE DEVIL’S KISS by Sarwat Chadda, THE MILES BETWEEN by Mary Pearson, DANIEL X: WATCH THE SKIES by James Patterson, LADY MACBETH’S DAUGHTER by Lisa Klein, BREAK by Hannah Moskowitz, and more!!!
This is a great opportunity for me to say thanks to all of you who have been so great about reading my books and letting others know about them.
1) You get 1 entry if you’ve shown my books a little love– it can be a blog review, VLOG review, review on goodreads or other on-line site, interview, blog shout out, etc. For your entry to count, you MUST provide a link for EACH entry. It can be in the past, or you can do an entry now, doesn’t matter. But you must provide a link for EACH one for the entry to count.
2) If you already own one or more of my books, you can get an entry by taking a picture of one of my book(s) with you or your pet or something fun, and e-mailing it to me. Post the picture someplace on line for people to see, you get another entry (provide me with the link). If it's okay for me to use the picture in a future blog post, PLEASE say – you have permission to use this, and you get another entry for allowing me to use it at a later date. I won’t use all of them, but I’d love to use some of them.
3) Follow me on twitter and you get another entry – @lisa_schroeder. Make sure you tell me you are following me in your e-mail entry. (Current followers or new followers both count).
4) Talk up one or more of my books on twitter or facebook between now and August 1st, and you get 1 entry (limit 1 entry for this, no matter how many times you tweet it)
5) Make a book trailer or special promotional vlog for one of my books and you get 5 entries!
6) In case you haven't bought one of my books yet and have been meaning to, buy one novel (FAR FROM YOU, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, or pre-order CHASING BROOKLYN) between now and August 1st, you will get 2 entries into the contest. If you buy two of the books, 5 entries. Buy all three – and you will get 10 entries!! NOTE: your receipt (or e-mail forwarded from an on-line bookstore) MUST be dated between 7/20 – 8/1 in order to count for this. If it's a bookstore receipt, please take a picture and send it via e-mail. Powell’s has SIX signed copies of FAR FROM YOU which you can get here: http://powells.com/biblio/2-9781122824767-0 and yes, Powell’s will ship to anywhere in the US!
7) So sorry – contest open to people with a US address, only because it’s just too expensive to mail that many books. Hey, if you live outside the US but know someone who would be willing to mail them to you and work out the cost of postage with you, that's fine with me! I just need a US address for my part.
On August 2nd, I will draw THREE names for first, second and third place. First place gets his/her choice of 7 ARCs, second place gets 4 ARCs from the remaining ones, and third place gets 2 ARCs from the remaining ones. There will also be a special drawing for a CONSOLATION PRIZE. A fourth person will get his/her choice of an ARC of CHASING BROOKLYN or IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES this fall.
Comments of glee welcome here, of course, but to officially enter, you need to send me an e-mail with all your links, photos, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please list each entry, and then TOTAL your entries for me. I will be double-checking, but this will be very helpful for me to have an actual number at the bottom of each entry.
Deadline – August 1, 2009, MIDNIGHT EST.
I made these bars on Saturday and they are so good! Our blueberries are coming on strong now, so in addition to blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, I like making these bars. They are REALLY good when the bars are warm, served with vanilla ice cream. I think I'm going to make another batch to take to work tomorrow!
Blueberry Crumb Bars
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease 9x13 pan.
2. Stir together sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Slice butter up and add to flour mixture. Whisk egg and vanilla together. Use a fork or pastry blender to blend in butter and egg/vanilla. Dough will be crumbly. Put 1/2 of dough into the prepared pan and pat down for the bottom crust.
3. In another bowl, stir sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in blueberries. Sprinkle berries over crust. Crumble remaining dough over berries.
4. Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is lightly brown.
Friday, July 17, 2009
So, I will never tell someone - yes, you should do google alerts or no you absolutely shouldn't. I think each author has to decide for him/herself. If google alerts are going to mess with your writing mojo, however, you probably shouldn't do it, right?
For me, I am most sensitive when a book is new and there isn't a lot of feedback yet. This is NOT the time I want to be reading negative stuff. We worry about our babies. We want people to love them. So, I will probably wait until CHASING BROOKLYN is out a little while before I turn them on. Once I have some notes from my readers telling me they like it, I'll be okay. Once I know it's not total crap (even if I know this intellectually now, I still need some people to TELL me that, if that makes any sense) I'll be able to turn them on.
So, this morning, my I HEART YOU google alert took me to a librarian's blog. I'm so glad I had my google alerts on. It took me to this YA librarian's blog. She was doing a recap of ALA. She listed the authors she got to meet at the coffee klatch, and I was one of them. She said the time with the authors were so short, and she didn't really get to say the things she wanted to say.
Here's what the sweet librarian, Katie, wished she would have said to me:
"Like to Lisa Schroeder — I wanted to tell her that I have a teen who loves her books so much that she hides them in the library so that she can always find them. I know where it is and I call it “C’s Cubby.” I wanted to tell her that this teen has been a part of my Teen Book Club since I started, but that she never finished a book until she read I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME."
ahhhh - do you blame me if my keyboard is a little wet after that???
Some days, as hard as I try not to, I beat myself up over the fact I am not a John Green or a Laurie Halse Anderson or a Sara Zarr, authors who are so amazingly talented and gifted and tell such great stories.
But today, after reading that, I'm happy to be me. Because a girl who never finished a book finished MINE!! And she goes to the library to visit with her friends in my books, which is *exactly* what I did when I was a kid. No matter what was going on in my crazy, mixed up world, at the library, I knew where I could find the books that I loved, and I would feel better.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
But here is why she is a genius:
The pacing. Action and then a breather. Action and then a breather. And within those breathers are important moments, interesting moments, tender moments, and there's never a time you don't want to keep reading.
The details. There are things in book two that wouldn't work if she hadn't laid the ground work in book one. How much plotting and planning went into the series before she wrote it, I wonder? I always think someday I might like to try a series, but then I think, how do you map it all out??? So much of the important stuff is in the details, and those for me usually come out as I'm writing.
The chapter endings. She is SO good at those cliff hanger chapter endings, so you want to keep reading. Again, this comes back to pacing and ending those chapters at the right place.
The characters. How is it possible that one moment I think Gale is the only one for Katniss and the next page I'm so in love with Peeta I decide I must be wrong about Gale? I mean, seriously, how does she DO that? When I'm done, I should reread the book JUST to study the characters. I have so much to learn.
I know it's not very nice of me to talk about this book before most others have had a chance to read it. But I think all of this applies to book 1 too, yes?
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Group photo after the coffee klatch:
THE Arthur Levine posed next to Laini Taylor's upcoming YA LIPS TOUCH for me. I can't wait for this book to come out this fall - here is a line I grabbed on-line about the book: "Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls." Oooh, doesn't it sound good?
Maggie Stiefvater and Mark Teague signing. Yes, I got SHIVER - yay! Everyone is saying that it is FABULOUS. It's in my box being mailed home so have to wait until it arrives. Mark Teague is a well-known illustrator, and his first novel is coming out with Scholastic and I got a copy for my son. It sounds awesome. Sorry, I can't remember the name of it - ack!
I went to a BBYA (Best Books for Young Adult) session where teens talked about books on the nomination list. It was SO interesting to hear what these kids had to say about books. And they are not afraid to speak their mind. I found myself half wishing FAR FROM YOU had been nominated and half thankful it hadn't been, because it would have been a bit painful to hear someone rip it to shreds. The interesting thing is each kid picks a book he/she read, so some books are mentioned lots of times, some aren't mentioned at all. SOUL ENCHILADA by David Macinnis Gill was mentioned quite a few times and they all really liked it. YAY David! I took this picture for Carrie Jones - Carrie, the girl talking about NEED really liked the main character and the unique characteristic of having so many phobias.
SInce the Newbery dinner was sold out, Tanya, Kristy, Cassandra and I dressed up anyway and went to dinner. The food was delish, and the company outstanding. We ran into Jessica Lee Anderson, author of TRUDY and the upcoming BORDER CROSSING, which looks amazing. Here we are at dinner:
And here we are on the streets of Chicago. So fun!! Thanks girls - smooch!!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Okay, so on to Sunday.
Sunday morning was the William C. Morris award presentation and the coffee klatch, that I was so fortunate to participate in.
Here's some pictures from the green room. Okay, actually, it was called the Kansas room.
Here's Tina Springer
E. Lockhart, someone I don't know, and Sarah Dessen. I introduced myself to Sarah and she was very kind:
In the meeting room, we each sat at a table and watched as Elizabeth Bunce accepted her award. Her speech was fabulous! So proud of this fellow 2k8er!!!
After that, Tammi Sauer, Cynthea Liu and I rushed to the convention center to make Tina's and Kate's signing.
Here are some of the books I snagged. More were added on Sunday, including Kate Messner's and Tina Springer's! (pics of their signings coming in a later post)
Saturday night I went out with a bunch of authors, a librarian, and a S&S publishing peep. Author Stephanie Kuehnert (author of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE and the upcoming BALLADS OF SUBURBIA) lives in Chicago, so she recommended this "eclectic Asian cafe" called Tamarind that was perfect. It wasn't too noisy and we were able to get a round table so we could all chat. They had sushi, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese food. Stephanie recommended the make-your-own stir fry so that's what I got. It was delicious! No one else was taking pictures, so I felt funny getting my camera out, or I would have taken a picture, because I know how much ya'll like some food porn.
I did take a picture of the interesting drink Stephanie ordered. We were all quite fascinated by it. You pick up to three fruits and they make a smoothie. THEN they add these funky little balls of something squishy called boba. She said it's similar to getting bubble tea? I've never heard of it!
Here's Mara of S&S who tried it. When the boba hit her mouth, she didn't know if she was supposed to chew or swallow it, so she swallowed it, and apparently, that's a mistake. (That's NYT bestselling author Lisa McMann to her left).
Okay, so there you have my detailed report on boba. So fascinating, I know!
Still lots to come. I'm going to try and do one more post before I have to pack up and head home. We'll see...
But I just got back from listening to Neil Gaiman's speech (thank you to the people who put chairs in the back for people to come and listen who can't/don't attend the banquet!!). And so I must spend a few moments before my head hits the pillow sharing what I can with you in a very small way.
Here is Neil. He has a very nice, British accent. You can listen to him read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK if you'd like. He does the audio version himself. (BTW, he was dressed differently than this for accepting the award, but I was sitting far away and didn't get a good picture. So this will have to do)
I really wish you all could have been there to listen.
He made me laugh.
He made me cry.
And deep in my heart, even though I am such a tiny fish in the vast, amazing ocean, he made me feel like what I do as a writer matters. I thank you, Mr. Gaiman, especially for that.
A few quotes for you to ponder:
While talking about the Newbery discussions last year about popular books vs books that are good for you, he said something like, it became apparent I was supposed to choose sides. And then he said:
"But I always have been and always will be on the side of books that you love."
Other notable quotes:
"Sometimes fiction is a way of dealing with the poison of the world."
"Children's fiction is the most important fiction of all."
Wow. Just wow.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN!!!!!
I have some pictures, and will put all on Facebook, and a few here every time I post.
Here is one from Friday night, with a thanks to Kate Messner who said I could snag it from her. We had dinner at Pizzeria Uno where we had real Chicago style pizza. So good and filling! And of course the company was just as fabulous as you might think it would be. Really and truly.
(left to right - Kate Messner, Marybeth Kelsey, Robin Prehn, me, Cindy Pon and Julia Karr)
I slept in this morning (Saturday) accidentally, but luckily, I didn't have anywhere I *had* to be, I just wanted to get there for the sought after ARCs. It worked out because I got the one I really wanted, mostly for my son - CATCHING FIRE!!! Here's the line I stood in, although it wraps around so it really doesn't look like much.
I got some other great ARCs that I'll tell you about later, and will probably have some giveaways. Stay tuned for that! I went up to Houghton Mifflin's booth and asked for
I went to some signings:
That's David Macinnis Gill, author of SOUL ENCHILADA and Cindy Pon, author of SILVER PHOENIX.
Two of my favorite book bloggers finally got my attention after apparently yelling my name as we stood in line. They were so sweet and look! I got a picture!!
(L to R: Me, Chelsea (aka thepageflipper), Kristi (aka thestorysiren), and Emily(?) Ack, not sure. Horrible with names. She's Chelsea's best friend. Chelsea had me sign an autograph book and then I walked away and realized I stole her pen. I was so glad I found them again to return it to her. I didn't want her to remember me as - that stupid author who stole my pen!
I traveled to the Magic Tree Bookstore and saw five fabulous authors with these wonderful ladies:
(from L to R: Cassandra Whetstone, me, Kristy Dempsey, Tanya Seale)
and look who happened to be one of the fabulous authors!! Kristy did an amazing job and her picture book, ME WITH YOU, is SOOO wonderful. I teared up as she read it.
Yay Kristy, you are such a rock star!
More to come, it's late and I have to be up early to go to the coffee klatch in the morning. I can't wear my ear plugs to make sure I hear the alarm, so let's hope I get some sleep tonight. There is lots of honking in downtown Chicago!
I can't believe tomorrow there are so many more books I hope to get and lots more people I hope to see! Should be... oh, wait, I promised I wouldn't say that word again. :)
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Q: Who were the two girl singers leading WE ARE THE WORLD at the Jackson Memorial?
A: I'm not entirely sure, but it seems they might have been his back-up singers.
(side note: I had a WE ARE THE WORLD sweatshirt in high school and I wore it proudly)
Q: Can capris pants be too long?
A: Short people should not wear capris because they will be too long.
(side note: I wore them anyway and just rolled them up)
Q: When will season 6 of Project runway begin?
A: August 20th (now airing on Lifetime!)
Q: What is a unique, pretty name for a male horse?
A: Found a web site with about 1,001 horse names. In the unique category, it gave me names like The Whiskey Bandit, Elmo, and Peter the Pumpkin Eater. Um, no thanks.
I need a name that would work well as a title. A one word name. I'm sort of writing a horse book, but not really. Yes, that makes a lot of sense, I know, but that's all I have to say at the moment.
So now I'll google you, my wonderful friends.
What is a unique, pretty name for a male horse? (He is white, if the color matters)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
a) the black shoes I will wear with my capris pants on Saturday are not dressy enough to wear with the black dress I will wear to the Newbery dinner Sunday night. Furthermore, I do not want to wear black the whole entire time, so that means I am now up to at least 3 pairs of shoes, most likely more.
b) The forecast says sunny with a chance of thunder showers. Now I have to pack an umbrella. Or a jacket. Or both.
c) You know whenever you go to a conference, you have to make sure you have a sweater because it gets chilly? I can’t pack just one because one doesn’t go with everything. I have to pack at least three.
d) I use four different brushes and two different curling irons when I’m doing my hair to look its best. No, I am not joking. I have thick, wavy hair and it’s just what is required! Many weekends and when I’m on vacation, I just let it be wild, wavy and frizzy. But this is not a weekend when I particularly want to go with the wild and wavy look. I’m really in trouble if my hotel room doesn't have a hair dryer.
e) I can’t decide what I want to wear Sunday morning to the event where I'm one of the featured authors. Basically this means I'll be packing two different outfits, maybe even three. I know you're thinking, just pack one and then you HAVE to wear that one. Are you kidding me? Of course I would wake up Sunday morning and HATE that outfit, and then what???
I should just have my husband pack for me. He would throw in four t-shirts, clean underwear, one pair of jeans and call it good.
Friday, July 3, 2009
I pulled up this picture for fun:
And then I was like, oh man, the yellow house! See, it's no longer yellow. Look what we did in the spring:
We have flowers blooming now, and it looks really pretty. We've had lots of compliments on the new color. But once in awhile, I miss that yellow house covered in snow just a little bit.