Once again, I've been an absentee blogger. But the upside of that is that I now have tons of stuff to fill you in on. First of all, YOUR LIFE, BUT COOLER is now on the stands! So definitely run and pick that up. (You can find it online if you can't get to a bookstore.) Just today it was reviewed by Girls' Life magazine: http://www.girlslife.com/post/2010/05/27/your-life-but-cooler.aspx.
So far, so good.
I was also interviewed by Ellen Scordato for her Barnes & Noble grammar blog. My first interview! Check it out:
And I'm excited to report that I have had my first two official in-store author appearances! The first was at the Barnes & Noble in Princeton, NJ, on May 15. But, um, none of you were there. (Doh!) Too bad too, because I had on a new dress and some killer shoes that you guys would have loved. Oh well. Good thing I had invited some friends and my proud parents. We were a small crowd, but the B&N event coordinator, Debi, was great to me.
"You know how many people were at Stephenie Meyers' first reading?" she asked me. I shook my head. "Ten. You know how many were at her second?" I shook my head again. "Six hundred." Okay, so that made me feel a little better. You've got to start somewhere, right? Besides, truth be told, I was extremely nervous before I got there, and when I realized I would be reading only for my parents and a handful of friends (and some guy in the back who was talking on his cell phone), I was kind of relieved. Plus, I got to keep the promotional posters. (Yes, I plan to frame them and put them up in my home office. What of it?) I did do a short reading and even had a little Q&A session, so I got some quality practice in. And Debi showed me where they were displaying my new book and I was happy to see that not only was it placed with the cover facing out, but it was on a shelf at eye level! (Eye level is definitely where you want to be. Trust me.) Afterward my parents and I, along with my friend Shona, drove to downtown Princeton and did a little sightseeing and of course eating. (NOTE: Princeton University is gorgeous.)
The second bookstore appearance at the BookMark Shoppe in Brooklyn on May 20 went a little better in that there were actual kids there. (Hooray!) I owe that all to the genius of the two owners, Christine Freglette and Bina Valenzano, who had the brilliant idea of holding a writing contest for kids leading up to the event. The assignment was to write their own version of a choose-your-adventure story by taking their favorite story or poem and changing it in some way. They could insert themselves in the story, change the ending, whatever they wanted to do. Awesome idea. They got more than fifty entries! How they narrowed it down, I have no idea, because all the entries sounded great. (Speaking of great, if you're ever in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, you must go to the BookMark Shoppe. It's been awhile since I've been in an independent bookstore, and let me tell you, it was refreshing. They had a wonderful selection of books, gift items, cards...all kinds of cool things. And walking in there was just like walking into a warm hug or something.) Anyway, the kids were absolutely adorable, and they actually seemed psyched to meet me. But I was way more excited to meet them and read some of their stories. Again, I read a chapter from Your Life, But Cooler! and then I got to hand the winners their prizes--a gift card and a copy of my book.
Before everyone cleared out, I signed all of their books and we took pictures together. It was a really proud moment for me, and I hope the kids had fun. I'll post my own event photos soon, but in the meantime, you can check out this write-up in the Bay Ridge Eagle to read more about it and see pictures of the winners:
Or check out the BookMark Shoppe's site (check out their brag page) to see all the photos:
In other news, I have something pretty exciting coming up: a trip to Greece and Prague! As you may know, I have a day job at a book publishing company. Because I have worked here for ten years, I am entitled to take a sabbatical, a one-month vacation to use however I wish. Well, I decided I wanted to do something exciting, but where I could also learn a thing or two and be creative. So at the end of June, I'll be participating in a writer's workshop in Andros, one of the islands near Athens. I will spend six days there, writing fiction and poetry, and reading what other people are writing--all while staying in a beautiful hotel on a Greek island. After that, I'm going to see the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. (For all you Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fans, Santorini is where Lena spent her first summer.) And then I'm off to Prague, which I hear is magical. I. Can't. Wait! I'm a little nervous since this will be the first trip abroad that I've ever taken all by myself, but I hear that's something every person should do at least once in their lifetime if they can. I'm excited to be doing it now. (Of course, I'll be paying for this trip until I'm about 85, but whatever...) And don't worry--I'm taking all of you with me. I'll keep updating this blog as often as I can while I'm traveling and I'll post lots of pictures either here or on the Your Life, But Better Facebook page.
Oh! And there's one more bit of good news: My manuscript for book #3, Your Life, But Sweeter, has been accepted! Phew... You have no idea how relieved I am. To be honest, I had a bad case of writer's block on this one. But thanks to my friends Camille, Tom, and Dereeka, and my mom--all of whom spent way too much time helping me brainstorm--I got through it. (Thanks, guys!) So be on the lookout for that one this December.
Okay, time for me to get out of here and drag myself to the gym. (This blog isn't the only thing I've been neglecting while working on the book.) We'll talk again soon!