Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Bookstore Remembered...

For Marissa Doyle, author of the fantastic novel Bewitching Season, the best bookstore in the world exists in memory (well, and in Massachusetts too)...

I actually haven't set foot in one of my favorite bookstores in almost twenty-five years...but I don't think I'd be a writer today if I hadn't gone there frequently as a child and young teen.

The store is The Bunch of Grapes Bookshop in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard. I grew up spending a lot of time on the Vineyard when it was still a funky, artistic-y place, before it was "discovered". So you got used to seeing James Taylor or Walter Cronkite or Ruth Gordon or Art Buchwald on the streets or in restaurants, and you just ignored them, because on the Vineyard it just didn't matter.

I had (still have!) a wonderful mom who could never say no to buying me books, so a trip to the Bunch of Grapes was de rigueur every weekend we were on the Vineyard. And it was during some of these trips that I found books that I'd never seen anywhere else--books like Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series and Dorothy Hartley's Lost Country Life and Evangeline Walton's The Mabinogion, a retelling of ancient Welsh myths and a book I still re-read and buy for people to read because it's that good. These books are a big reason why I write YA historical and fantasy fiction today...and I might never had found them at a critical time in my reading life if the wonderful people at Bunch of Grapes didn't have a fabulous children's book section back before children's books were "important".

Thanks, guys, for introducing me to those books.

Sounds like she needs to plan an author event on the Vineyard! We'll come to that!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pigs, Goats, and a TON of BOOKS!!!

Sarah Prineas, author of The Book Thief, tends to EXAGGERATE, but she takes her bookstores pretty seriously, so we think she's on the level with this one (because her story is corroborated by the above artist's rendering):

So I grew up in Lyme, Connecticut, and about 10 minutes down Rte 156 from my parents' house is the best used bookstore in all of NewEngland.

The Book Barn consists of six buildings (some of which are sheds, really), with comfortable chairs, 13 cats, turtles, guinea pigs, goats, coffee, tea, cookies, a beautiful flower garden, and THREE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND books (which is why they need six buildings).

Oh, how I love the Book Barn.

A highlight of my career will be goingto the Book Barn and finding one of my books, used, on its shelves.

Also, once my son threw up in the parking lot, but you probably don't need to know that!

Debbie: Not Afraid to Love the B&N...

Debbie Reed Fischer, author of Braless in Wonderland, has two favorite bookstores, and we're including them both here because we're proud of Debbie's willingness to own her love for the BIG guys. A good reminder that there are amazing people in every corner of bookland. And we appreciate all of them!


There are two bookstores that rock my world. The first is Books and Books in South Miami. Every time I go there, I feel like I'm walking into a party, which is often the case. The bookstore is U-shaped, with the inside of the U being an outdoor courtyard with a bar and tables. Whenever a book launch takes place, there's a band, hor d'ouerves (often Cuban pastelitos), always the sense of celebration. There's nothing better than a night visit to Books and Books: first, you browse on the hard wood floors inside, buy your books, then hit the courtyard for a glass of wine, a little salsa music and a warm tropical breeze all year round.

I also like a certain Plantation Barnes and Noble with the greatest CRM in the community, Susan Boyd. Her store is centrally located between three counties, and she really supports Florida authors. Susan has a way about her that brings the author community together so that we all support each other and come out for each other's signings.

The Best Bookstore That May Not Actually Exist!!!

Regina Scott offers us this amazing story, leading us to question reality (and whether Regina knows that they took the word "gullible" out of the dictionary) ... but never Regina's love of books...

Any writer needs good reference books, and when you write about a historical period, you crave them!

A friend of mine was traveling with her parents toLondon and asked what I wanted her to bring back. I begged her to find books about the Regency period that I couldn't find or afford in the U.S. She loves to scour bookstores, so this was no problem...

Turns out it was a bigger problem in London. Every store she walks in to gives her this blank look. Regency period? When was that? She's appalled and not a little discouraged. Near the end of the trip, her father, who's been grouching that he can't find a good cup of American coffee, drags herinto the area around the British Museum in search of a coffee shop. He finds one and settles down, but she's restless and goes wandering.

Near the coffee shop she spots a shop in an old building, windows a bit grimy, no sign in front. Peering closer, she notices that inside, as far as the eye can see, are row upon row of books! In she goes and wends her way to the back to find the wizened clerk.

"Doyou have any books about the Regency period?"

He gets all dreamy eyed. "The Regency period. Ah, yes. Marvelous time. Try this."

And this turns to that and that and that and before she knows it, her arms are filled with books of period architectural drawings, out-of-print books with photos of extant clothing, detailed biographies we'd kill to get in the U.S. After thanking him profusely, she staggers back to get her dad, fully intending to come back the next day and get more.

Only the next day, she can't find it. She wanders every alley anywhere near the British Museum. Her dad joins her, because he'd finally found the perfect cup of coffee. But no matter how they try, they never find the bookstore or the coffee shop again.

It's like it was the Library of Requirement, or perhaps like Narnia. Once through the door, and you can never return.


Best Bookstores (Part 4)

So, we've got so many favorite bookstores, I'm spilling over into 2 posts a day, because THAT'S how much we authors love our booksellers!!

This afternoon, Barrie Summy , author of the super delightful middle-grade novel I So Don't Do Mysteries, is giving up the skinny on her favorite:

Have you ever visited THE YELLOW BOOK ROAD bookstore in San Diego? It’s an amazing, rocking, cool children’s bookstore.


Does it have thousands and thousands and thousands of great books? Yes.

And all kinds of fun teacher-ish supplies that’ll launch kids into a life filled with the love of reading? Yes.

Does it do great author signings? Yes.

Are there Friday and Saturday story times? Yes.

Is there a shelf of free ARCs? Yes.

Does it have a wonderful website where you can order scads of super stuff? Yes.

Does it have decent parking and a yummy chicken restaurant nearby? Yes.

And what else does it have that makes it the rockingest bookstore around?

The people who work there know EVERYTHING! Seriously. Every single store employee also works or has worked for the schools. The owners, Kristin and Mary? Two intrepid teachers!

And what do you get when put people with a ton of knowledge about kids and curriculum and teaching and books in a bookstore? People who know EVERYTHNG!

A shout-out (in alpha order) to the people who KNOW IT ALL: Alin, Anne, Beth, Budd, Janine, Kristin, Marci, Mary and Tamyka

We love the sound of this, almost as much as we LOVE a good chicken restaurant. Maybe tomorrow, Barrie will tell us more about THAT!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Best Bookstore in the World (part 3)...

For today's best bookstore award, we turn to Nancy Viau, author of the middle grade sensation-to-be, Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head!!

Nancy, what's your bookstore story?

My favorite bookstore doesn't look like the average bookstore at all. See?

And that's because it isn't!

But this is what my area has to offer in terms of an independent bookstore.

I live in a quaint, quiet Jersey town that is seldom on the map for anything unless it's antiques, a broken-in horse, or a cow or two. This Main Street "bookstore" offers not new books, or even almost new books. It has reeeeeealy old books--books you would not find anywhere else on the planet. Books your grandparents and great-grandparents loved; books that are cherished by its owners and sold, now and then, if someone happens to wander in on a Saturday afternoon. And if that someone is in the market for a Hollywood postcard from the twenties, or an Elvis poster, all the better.

Honestly, this place is more barn than store and the musty smell brings you back to those days when you climbed up in the attic searching for those interesting items that thrilled your ancestors. That's not a bad thing. This unique shop is quite precious in an almost-bookstore kind of way, but I won't be searching the shelves for a contemporary anything anytime soon.

Though I did stop in a few years back, and came out with a job opportunity....tutoring the owner's relative in reading...Hmmm...

Oh, I almost forgot, my town does have another bookstore. Perhaps this one will offer me a bit more

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sometimes the best bookstore ain't a bookstore at all...

Continuing our search for the best bookstore in the known universe, we turn to Jen Bradbury, author of the YA novel, Shift.

Jen, as it turns out, lives in a Northwestern bookstore-desert, but that doesn't stop her from browsing the stacks... right, Jen?

It's true! My favorite bookstores are half an hour away in Bellingham, but I don't make it up there as often as I like. So instead of writing about my favorite bookstore, I'd like to tell you about the one I buy from most often, and I'm sure you'll agree it has its own special benefits.

Value Village is part of a thrift store chain based in the northwest. The book selection may be small, but in most of the stores I've visited they position they bookshelves close to the furniture, which means they encourage you to sit down and read somebody's old book on somebody else's old sofa. And you can buy them both if you want! That's an experience you simply can't get anywhere else.

And The Village might be the only place you can find Siddhartha shelved alongside the latest celebrity biography. Such juxtaposition inspires all kinds of wonderful tangential thought. Sort of like the way books are pitched sometimes in query letters or in deal announcements—"Its Indiana Jones meets The Namesake." Only here the pairings are even more unholy. Try cross pollinating The High School Musical Sticker Fun book with one of the old Oprah's Book Club picks and see if you don't come away just a little inspired.

Because thrift store employees aren't necessarily shelving for anything except space conservation, part of the joy is coming across books I might not otherwise find. In a normal bookstore, I tend to beeline for the children's/YA sections, and then migrate into travel, if my husband is content looking at the woodworking books. But in Value Village, everything's chucked in together, waiting for me to make some new discovery.

And some of those discoveries are priceless. There's really nothing better than unearthing a lovely, full-color illustrated, leather bound anthology of Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales published in 1923. Unless its taking that book home for the low, low price of $1.89. Or half that on discount Fridays.

Thrift stores are also pretty much the only safe places to shop books with a toddler. Following a two-year-old around Barnes and Noble, means you spend most of your time reshelving (incorrectly) the books she tugs gleefully off the racks. On the worst days you end up buying the pop-up version of Ulysses because your daughter absentmindedly ripped a page and you can't bring yourself to hide it behind the others on the display. Such trips end up being costly without really enhancing our home library. But in thrift stores, my daughter can accidentally rip a page and I'm only out a buck.

The only real problem is that writers and publishers don't see any of the profits from these secondhand sales. But most often the thrift stores exist to support worthy causes. Even better, it means the books are being read and passed on, collecting the stories from their readers to rival the ones contained in the pages themselves. And I don't think any writer could mind that.

Like the kids say, "Tru dat!"

Do the kids say that? Do they really?

Sigh... probably not. Really, we're not so cool as we like to think. Thankfully we have you, our readers, forcing us to "keep it real."

Keep it real???

Doh! There we go again!!!

(And so we shuffle off to read, or write, and drink some chamomile tea, like the dorks we are.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Best Bookstore in the World (part 1)...

This week we're chatting about our very favorite bookstores. Because even though we live in a wifi world, where Amazon is only a click away, we debut authors LOVE our bookstores. Big and small, dusty and shining, they come in all shapes and sizes...

Today, Courtney Sheinmel, author of My So Called Family, shares her personal fave.


Yep! See, the mother of one of my sister’s closest friends from high school, Caitlin, worked at The Corner Bookstore in Manhattan, which is famous for being the model for The Shop Around the Corner in the movie “You’ve Got Mail.” It was also the bookstore in the movie “The Prince of Tides,” in a pivotal scene when Nick Nolte figured out that his sister was living a double life.

Naturally, Caitlin was a big book person herself, and at some point, I told her about a book I had just finished – Ithaka, by Sarah Saffian. It was a memoir about an adoptee who had been found by her birthparents, and I thought it was wonderful. It had the added distinction of being written by a woman who had graduated from the same high school that Caitlin, my sister and I went to.

Caitlin told her mom, Vikki, about the book. Then, a few weeks later, Sarah Saffian happened to go into The Corner Bookstore. She introduced herself to Vikki, who remembered that I had loved the book. Vikki asked Sarah Saffian to sign a copy for me. I still have it – it is dated December 23, 1998: For Courtney, I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Warmly, Sarah Saffian. I was so excited when Caitlin came over and brought me the book. I couldn’t believe her mom had remembered. It was just the nicest thing. I keep Ithaka on my shelf of signed books.

Years later, my sister called to tell me that Caitlin’s mother had passed away. I didn’t know her well, but I think about her whenever I glance over at my bookshelf and see Ithaka, and some other times too, for no explicable reason. Caitlin is now a writer herself – in addition to countless articles, she co-authored a book called The Best Things to Do in New York (which was very well-received and even reviewed as an “inspiration digest”), and she’s currently at work on her next book. I called Caitlin to ask if I could write about her mom, and she said I could. She also told me something very cool – her brother is now working at The Corner Bookstore.

Yeah, see... these are the kinds of special, personal, real things that happen in those awesome indies, where people actually know one another. Don't you love bookstore people? So great!

And to you, our readers... we pose the same question... what's *your* favorite bookstore?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Enter if you DARE!!!

It's time for the first ever 2k8 CONTEST!

Cool, right?

All you have to do is visit this link and follow the rules for our fabulous scavenger hunt!

You've got a shot at winning THREE AWESOME 2k8 titles from our "first semester"!

And nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time, which you were only going to waste trolling the web for sad and sorry tabloid shockers, anyway...

So enter to scavenge and win BOOKS instead.

(Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears will still be falling to pieces tomorrow! And besides, books are way better for you than celebrity gossip. No matter how addictive gossip may be...)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Say Farewell to Lisa!

Thanks for spending some time with us this week, Lisa. Of course we'll see you again in the coming weeks...

But as your special week comes to a close, anything you'd like to say?

Thank YOU for letting me tell you about my book and for letting me gush about novels in verse. If you haven't read one before, and you read mine, please let me know what you think. I'd LOVE to hear from you! You can contact me through my website or visit me at my personal blog!

I also need to say thanks to those of you who have spread the news about my book in your own way. Being a debut author is hard. It can be especially hard for authors of books like mine, that are a little different, and may not get reviewed by any of the major review publications. Yeah, it takes a village to get it into the hands of teens!

If you are a librarian, a teacher, or even a teen with a lot of friends who would like to spread the word about my book, drop me a line through my website with your mailing address and I'd be happy to send you some bookmarks!

Finally, one of the exciting things the Class of 2k8 will be doing is making book trailers for each book. I thought you might enjoy seeing mine!

♥ Lisa

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Novel in Verse? What's THAT!?

So, now that you've toasted Lisa's big DEBUT novel, gotten to know her a little, and snooped around in her acknowledgements page...

We want to talk about the book itself.

But one major thing you need to understand about I Heart You, You Haunt Me is that it's a novel in verse. Which begs the questions, what's that???

(Erato, the muse of romantic poetry, is new to the YA section of the bookstore!)

2k8: Lisa? As our resident expert in verse-novels, maybe you can answer?

Well, I'm going to cheat a little. Wikipedia defines it this way:"Verse novels are a contemporary genre combining the power ofnarrative with the rich, evocative language of verse or poetry." I like that definition.

2k8: So... why did you choose to write I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME this way?

To be honest, I didn't really choose it. When I sat down to write, and Ava's pain about losing her boyfriend was trying to come from my brain to the page, that's the way it wanted to come out. And it seemed to be working really well. So I went with it.

Not all stories can be told in verse, especially books for kids/teens, because a lot of dialogue doesn't work in a verse novel. But for this book, with the paranormal aspect combined with Ava's deep grief, it worked well, and created an atmosphere I don't know that I could have created with prose.

2k8: What are some of the challenges in writing a book in verse?

I'm not sure what they might be for other writers, but for me, with this book in particular, it was challenging developing the characters. With each revision, I worked on that more and more. And now, looking back, I wish I had worked on Jackson a bit more. The other challenge is the balancing act between making each page poetic and keeping the story accessible. It's hard!

My editor and I talked about it and I decided that in any book there are going to be passages or pages that blow you away and others that don't. And it's okay - you do the best you can. And hopefully, the overall story is one that sticks with readers when the last page is turned.

2k8: What would you say to a teen who says, a story told through poems? Yuck!

I'd say, Come on, try it, you might like it!

Many people aren't quite sure they'll like it and find out the opposite is true. Even some of our own classmates have told me they were a little hesitant about reading a book in verse and discovered they really enjoyed it. Keep in mind, there is still a plot and there are still realistic teen characters, it's just that the story is told in a different way. And because there is so much white space on the page, and it's a fairly quick read, my book is especially great for reluctant readers.

2k8: Wow, that's not something I would have thought of, but it makes sense! One last question-- are there other novels-in-verse people should check out?

Oh, I love a lot of them, but some faves are:

Reaching for the Sun, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Hugging the Rock, by Susan Taylor Brown, One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, by Sonya Sones, and Rubber Houses, by Ellen Yeomans. Those are all great!

2k8: Fabulous! This was wonderful , Lisa. Thanks so much for answering our questions...

And for those of you who want to know more about Lisa, and her awesome verse-novel, Lisa will be taking questions all day today (Thursday) at the YA Authors Cafe. Pop by and harass her!

Pretty please?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lisa needs to acknowledge...

Today we get the FULL story, the inside scoop, the tale behind Lisa’s acknowledgements page.

Lisa, take it away!

Well, like Liz said a couple of weeks ago, I love reading the acknowledgements page in books. I usually flip to that page and read it before I even start the book. It’s like a little peek inside the author’s life, and I love that.

So today I want to tell you about one of the people listed in the acknowledgments of I Heart You, You Haunt Me, and about how my book would not be the book it is today without her help.

When I sat down to write Ava and Jackson’s story, I didn’t have the story mapped out. In fact, I didn’t know much of anything other than the main premise of the book. So when I was about twenty pages into it, I realized I needed to know how Jackson died. (Don’t worry, I’m not giving anything away by telling you Jackson dies. The story begins at his funeral, so you know from page one he is not alive). I needed something somewhat unique yet believable and something that would fit the story. I was stumped!

I finally e-mailed my friend, Jayme Carter, and asked her for help. She’s really good with ideas, and has helped me on more than one occasion when I needed a good, old-fashioned brain storming session. Jayme e-mailed me back and told me about something that happened when she was in high school. She told the story so clearly, it was as if I was there.

That’s it, I thought! And so, I went with it.

At the time, I don’t think I even knew how well it would fit into everything, but now, looking at the completed book, I can’t imagine that it could have been anything else.

So now you're probably wondering,

Of course I’m not going to tell you. If you want to know, you have to read the book.

Heh heh.

I’ve told Jayme before how much I appreciate her help, but again, I want to say THANK YOU, Jayme, for your willingness to brain storm and for coming up with a crucial part of the story. It’s a bit eerie to me how the perfect idea came to you to suggest exactly when I needed it.

Funny how that can happen...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Lisa Schroeder, our cheerleader-poetess!!!

Our debut author of the week is Lisa Schroeder, author of the young adult novel, I Heart You, You Haunt Me, which hit the shelves recently.

We sat down and asked Lisa some questions, so we can all get to know her better. Grab a cup of tea (Lisa's beverage of choice), sit back and enjoy a little conversation, Lisa-style!

2k8: So, where do you do most of your writing? What's it look like?

I mostly write in my office, early in the mornings or on the weekends. I have a laptop now, so it makes it a bit more convenient to go somewhere and write, although I don't do it as much as I might like.

2k8: Can you tell us how the book came about? How did you begin writing it?

I had a dream about Ava and Jackson, although I didn't know their names until I wrote for awhile. I just knew they loved each other very much. So much so, he didn't want to leave her behind after his death. I woke up, sat down, and started writing, in a poetic sort-of way that I'd never tried before. It felt right, so I kept going.

2k8: And how did it find a publisher? Give us the real dirt!

I got quite a few rejections, because, let's face it, it's a different kind of book. It's in verse, which can be a tough sell, and on top of that, there's the paranormal aspect. I think some houses just weren't sure how they would market it. My agent sent it to an editor at S&S, who I guess thought it'd be a good fit for the teen division, Simon Pulse, so he sent it over there. My editor picked it up and read it on his bus ride home and liked it. The rest, as they say, is history!

2k8: Did anything surprise you or catch you off guard when you were writing your book?

I think what surprised me with this book is how it poured out of me and how I couldn't stand to be away from it. The other novels I'd written up to that point didn't come as easily. And sometimes, I'd get stuck and stay away for months. But not this one. I could hardly write fast enough, and I had a first draft finished in a month.

2k8: Imagine you have an offer from your dream press to publish your dream book, no matter how insane or unmarketable it might be (though of course it might not be). What story do you want to write next/someday and why?

I'm pretty careful about putting my ideas out there for the world to see, because I have so few of them! But I will say the book I really want published is already making the rounds. It's a sweet middle grade book, titled Double Scoop, written in verse from the point of view of Oliver, a boy who likes animals, basketball, and spending time with his best friend, Ben. When Oliver discovers he also likes poetry, he uses it to help him deal with the impending move of his best friend.

Novels in verse are so great for relunctant readers. I know because I have one living in my house! One of his favorite books is Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. I hope there is an editor out there who can see the potential for my little book and how great it could be with fun
illustrations. I think there's this fear that kids, boys especially, won't read poetry and I say, the more we put it out there, the more kids will learn they like it! Let's raise a nation of kids that say, "Poetry rocks!"

2k8: What question won't most people know to ask you? What is your answer?

How about - Did you like being a teenager?

And the answer to that one is... I loved it.

I have such great memories of that time of my life. Sure, of course there were challenges, too, but there is nothing like that time in life, when it's all about having fun and making memories. One of my favorite TV shows is "Friday Night Lights" because it takes me back to those days when we routed for our Lebanon Warriors and danced the night away after the game. I think like writing for teens because it allows me to imagine being that age again.

(Can you pick Lisa out from among the cheering fans?)

2k8: Wow, that makes so much sense! I know we all have years and memories like that (although of couse some of us hated high school!) But it's really nice to hear about this... Thanks for chatting with us, Lisa!

Our guess is that Lisa is going to have her own cheering fans before long. And we bet our readers agree... Right, readers?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We HEART Lisa Schroeder!!!

That's right-- it's time for another glass of bubbly! Because it's time for our next DEBUT AUTHOR! Lisa Schroeder, come on down!

She's a picture book author, native Oregonian, and experienced strawberry girl. But this week, she's (most of all) our 2k8 debut author of the week!

Although her book was officially released on the 8th, Lisa is still celebrating (and we expect she will be all year!). So please join us in wishing her all the best for her young adult novel in verse, I Heart You, You Haunt Me.

I Heart You, You Haunt Me is the story of fifteen-year-old Ava who is heartbroken over the death of her boyfriend, Jackson. But Jackson's spirit is unwilling to let go just yet, and has rooted himself to Ava's home. At first Ava is thrilled, and she does whatever she can to stay home everyday just to be with him. But she soon realizes that having a ghost for a boyfriend is neither easy nor fulfilling. Ultimately, Ava must choose between the ghostly romance and moving on with her life.

Sound good? Wanna read it? Of course you do!

Visit your local bookstore today, or you can order it on-line HERE.

Thanks for stopping by to wish Lisa well and give her book a happy send-off out into the big, blue world.

Lisa will be reading comments all day, so please let her know you stopped by.

And come back tomorrow, when Lisa will answer some burning questions for us. Or later in the week, when we'll give her the chance to teach us all about novels in verse (Hey, maybe she'll even tell us about her own secret experiences with ghost-boyfriends!)

Now, really-- you can't afford to miss THAT!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Steal this widget!!!

I'll have more thievery for you all later, but in the meantime I wanted to make sure that everyone took note of our awesome WIDGET (off to the right, down a little, in the sidebar-- that box with a book cover insode it)!

Made for us by the good folks at Jacketflap (thanks, Tracy!), the 2k8 widget can be easily customized to match the color scheme of your blog, and it only takes a few seconds to add to your Livejournal or Blogger or Wordpress page (or whatever you use).

The books will rotate and show off all our awesome covers, and hopefully lead people to our website when they click on the link!

So go on, don't think twice about it, steal a widget yourself. Show that you love and support the Class of 2k8 and our crazy hairbrained marketing eforts.

Get one today!

Pretty please?

(and to think that a few weeks ago we didn't even know what a widget was!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Our next thievy thief is *totally* embarassed...

Next 2k8 member to join the "Plagiarists anonymous" blog-week? Laurel Snyder, author of the new middle-grade fairy tale, Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR The Search for a Suitable Princess.
Laurel, what've you got for us? Just how bad is it?

Oh, man-- it's pretty bad.

See, the number one rule of stealing is that you're not supposed to steal from an obvious/famous source, right? You're supposed to steal something nobody will recognize. Or you're supposed to creatively tinker with what you've stolen, for a kind of meta effect.

Well I broke that rule without even realizing it. We were already in the copyediting stage when I started to have this weird feeling, this panicked sensation that one of the lines in my book was NOT MY OWN! It just felt like I'd seen it somewhere before...

Can you imagine?

The passage in my book was:

“Which way do you think you’re going anyway? North? North is nice, but then, South has its advantages too. And West rhymes with best, so it can’t be too bad. What’s your general direction?”

And although I didn't actually take this passage, word for word, I did totally steal it. From Stuart Little no less. Remember this?

"North is nice," said the repairman. I've always enjoyed going north. Of course, south-west is a fine direction too... and there's east. I once had an interesting experience on an easterly course..."

Imagine my horror when I figured it out, after a long night of poking around online, searching for a vague case of plagiarism. Because although I knew I hadn't really written it, I had no clue where I'd gotten it from. It was awful!

So that's it, my big experience as a thief.

Of course, I didn't actually make up the name of the villain from my next book, but I did pay for it, sort of. So that's not stealing, right? Just prostitution...

Yeah, okay, you're right, Laurel. We all agree. You're a total sleazeball, and you *should* be embarrassed.

Just kidding. Sort of.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Teri is a good girl...

(Teri's inspiration...)

Okay, maybe she's *above* thievery and maybe she's just plain chicken, but either way, we love Teri Brown.

And even though she lost her nerve, and so this isn't really a tale of honest-to-gosh stealing, we have to share the story. Because this one's a hoot!


Yeah, okay... so I was working on a scene from Read My Lips, and I wanted to describe how the girl felt so emotionally and physically drained. I usually try not to start a sentence out with "I feel," but this line kept running through my head. "I feel like a two ton heavy thing."

It fit and I was tired of thinking about it so I used it. You know that feeling you get when you want to finish a chapter and can't, so you just stick whatever in.


A few days later my husband was listening to Queensryche, and there it was at the beginning of a song-- I feel like a two ton heavy thing!

We haven't listened to that album since the early 90's and it was still sitting in my brain. Taking up space. Maybe that's why I can't ever remember where I put my car keys! My hard drive is filled with random song lyrics.


LOL! Sure, Teri... whatever you say. But we know the truth. You're a secret Queensryche freak. Admit it!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sarah, Our Proud Thief...

(You've just got to know who to steal from...)

It comes as no surprise that the lovely Sarah Prineas, author of a middle grade novel (and soon-to-be international hit, as it has already sold in NINE countries!!!) is a dirty stinkin' thief. Not when her main character is a thief, and her book is actually *called* The Magic Thief.

She's basically a booster for Thieves R Us.

So we found her response to this issue of stealing a fitting one. Sarah says:

You want stealing? I got stealing!

In the second Magic Thief book the main character, Conn, is marked by a sorcerer... so that this bad magic can find him.

Now I have not read the Harry Potter books (pause for gasps of surprise) but even *I* know that Harry has a lightning bolt mark on his forehead. So I put a silvery
runemark on Conn's temple.

Then my husband told me that was too much like Harry Potter. So I asked my editor.

Me: Is Conn's runemark too Harry Potterish?

Editor: Marks on foreheads were an established convention before HP. Glinda's silver kiss on Dorothy's forehead, for example. Wherever you mark him, you're going to run into comparisons.

Me: Okay. Hmmm. Yes! I know, this will be perfect. I'll put the mark on his hand!

Editor: Well, then you have to contend with Eragon...

Me: Doooooohhh!!!!!

Well, we worked that out. Editor had a wonderful suggestion and I... stole it.

Then there's the Tolkien issue. I love Tolkien's work, especially his gift for language. Yes, I can say Frodo's greeting to the elves, and with the correct pronunciation. In Middle-earth, the magic is based on language. So when I was looking for ways to make the magic spells in my book sound magical, I whipped out my copy of Ruth Noel's The Languages of Middle Earth and brushed up on my Sindarin and Quenya. After getting the rhythms and sounds of those languages in my head, I created my book's magic spells. One spell is a direct ripoff of Tolkien. The spell for "Light" in my book is "Lothfalas." The name of Arwen's horse in The Fellowship of the Ring is "Asfaloth." In the other spells are bits and pieces of Elvish words, because they just sound magical.

We think Sarah is awesome, and we love her unique blend of shameless stealing and absolute honesty.

Just don't let her near your pearls. *Or* your boyfriend!

But we don't steal everything...

We don't have to steal your love, because you keep on giving it to us, in link form... And we are so so so grateful for the continued affection.

From Jen Robinson, one of our absolute very favorite kidlit blogosphere folks!

From Bookboy, who totally rocks!

From KTLIterary, a fabulous agent about to blaze trails out west!

Thanks, you guys! Really!

A Week of Confessions...

(Pickpocket or writer?)

This week at the Class 2k8, we'll be giving you the inside scoop on some of the lines and names and ideas we've umm.... "borrowed" from other people... and used in our books.

This is not an uncommon practice, for authors to steal (as the saying goes, "good poets borrow, great poets steal") from other books, people, movies, folklore, even the guy sitting at the next table at the Starbuck's talking too loudly on his phone.

Really, everyone does it. Really!

But it's worth talking about. Not because it's shocking or wrong, but because it's FUNNY!

Up first is Elizabeth C. Bunce, author of the upcoming, Curse Dark as Gold.
Liz, your whole book is in a sense "borrowed" because it's a retelling of a fairy tale. But I think you've got a good story about a borrowed name?

Well, because "Rumpelstiltskin" is, in part, about the power of names, I wanted the characters in CURSE to have literal and/or "meaning-laden" names--the miller's daughter is Charlotte Miller, the blacksmith is Nathan Smith, etc.
The crochety old dyemaster is Mr. Mordant (mordant is dye fixative). While I was running the manuscript through critique group, our moderator was subscribing to an email "word of the day" service. One day she brought in the word "dag," which means (cough, cough) a small bit of feces caught in the wool around a sheep's, uh, yeah.
She was so excited, and begged me to find a place to use it in CURSE. I resisted, until one of the very final scenes, when suddenly I needed a first name for Mr. Mordant. Dag it was, and it was perfect!

Well, and then I totally stole Pilot, the name of the dog, from JANE EYRE.
That's great, so now our readers know the "dirt" on CURSE *and* they learned a new word.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

On your mark-- get set-- GO!!!!

Are you up to the CHALLENGE?!

We're amazed and excited and overwhelmed and hugely appreciative to hear about TEEN BOOK REVIEW's 2k8 CHALLENGE!!!

TBR says:

I’m going to read at least 28 books that are the YA or MG debuts of authors published this year–like those from the Class of 2k8.....

I don’t have any really strict rules because this is mostly a way for me to find new books, but if you want to join in, that’d be awesome. And by posting this here for all to see, I’m more likely to finish it myself!

Set your own number, at least 8 books, as 28 is too much for some people. Read them all by the end of 2008. You can post a list now if you like, or you can wait and see what great books you come across. They count for other challenges, too.

Post reviews, on your blog if you’re a blogger or on a site like Amazon if you’re not...

We don't know if we can stress how thrilled we are to be a part of this challenge, and we cannot WAIT to see who joins up,... and to hear what people think of our books.


Today's Link Roundup...

We're getting mad love over at the Story Siren. Thanks, Siren!

And the same goes for Em's Bookshelf! Right back at you, Em!

As well as Becky Levine's Blog! We love you, Becky!

And Buried in the Slush Pile! Much appreciated, Buried!

Nevermind this mention in a real live newspaper! Fancy!

Say Goodbye to Liz!!!

And in closing, a note from the amazing LIZ GALLAGHER! We're so glad to have had her here, to kick off this craaaaaazy year of fabulosity. And we assume you'll go buy her book!

Wow, it's been a great release week for me here on the Class of 2k8 blog! And those of you who have found us this week have sooooo much more to look forward to this year. My classmates are a talented bunch and I sure can't wait 'til the libraries and bookstores have ALL of our debuts available.

If you want to follow up with me and The Opposite of Invisible, I'm very available online. My website is; I keep a blog at livejournal;I'm on Facebook and MySpace,
My top four friends on MySpace are Alice, Jewel, Simon, and Vanessa from Opposite! They need some friends!

Please keep an eye on my web site events -- lots of fun stuff coming up!

And there's something ultra-cool going on for the rest of the month. Read on!

If you’re a teen reader, or you know one, then you gotta know about Teens&Random! It’s the new community site for readers of Random House YA books. I promise, I’m not just saying it’s cool because my book is featured for January (but I’d love it if you’d check that out!)

Here’s the deal.

You go to the site and sign up. Then you start doing fun stuff, like a photo contest. There are tons of activities, a media room, boards, and more.

The best part? For everything you do on the site – like answering polls and trivia questions – you earn points. And with those points? YOU BUY BOOKS!

You can also get free Advance Reader’s Copies of books before they’re released. It’s just cool.

See you over there. It’s where I’ll be hanging out all month, in addition to this Class of 2k8 blog!

Thanks to everyone who celebrated with me this week. Your enthusiasm matters so much, and made this week one for the record books. I couldn’t be more appreciative, especially for the other members of the Class, who have been whopping and hollering all over the place for me and for Lisa Schroeder, whose awesome verse novel, I Heart You, You Haunt Me, came out this week, too. You’ll get to meet her in two weeks, and trust me that it’s something to look forward to! Extra special thanks to Laurel Snyder for being my “blog Mom.” It’s been fun!

You Have to Acknowledge...

We aren't sure if sane, normal people do this, but when we (the aspiring writers of the world) crack open a new book, we often check out the acknowledgements page. Just in case there are deep dark super secret tips encoded there.

There never are.

But it's always a fun read, a chance to look into the life of the author. You find yourself wondering, guessing, mulling... trying to figure out if "John Doe" is the author's ex-husband, editor, secret boyfriend (or maybe all three!)

So today, we've asked Liz to unpack the acknowledgements for The Opposite of Invisible for us!


Yeah, one of my favorite things about cracking open a new book is checking out the acknowledgements page. Making a book is so much more than one person and the typey typey typey. So I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the people on my own acknowledgements page.

The first crew: Ruth Homberg, Robert Warren, Kaitlin McCafferty, Andrew Bast, and Katie Harmon. These helpful folks are Wendy Lamb’s team at Random House. Caroline Mackler needs to be added to the list, as she joined the team after my acknowledgements were all turned in!

Wendy Mass is my editor, and I’m so glad for it. She’s just the most amazing. Without her, I don’t think that this mess of pages I wrote would ever have felt like a novel. How lucky am I? Sooooo lucky.

Then comes Rosemary Stimola, Super Agent. When I decided to send my manuscript to agents, I knew that it wasn’t finished. It needed work, and it could either go very literary, very commercial, or somewhere in the middle. I wanted to keep it somewhere in the middle, and Rosemary saw it the same way. Then she worked hard to find an editor who could help me accomplish that task. Ro Stimo, as she’s known to those in the know, is truly magnificent.

My Vermont College advisers are next. They are, in order of appearance in my life,
Lisa Jahn-Clough, Ron Koertge, M.T. Anderson, and Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Lisa is a lively picture book author/illustrator and a compelling YA novelist. I especially love her latest YA novel, Me Penelope.

Ron writes YA novels and poetry in a gorgeously spare way that I dream of emulating. My favorite work of his is Margaux with an X.

M.T. Anderson is my number one favorite author and all-time literary hero. How’s that for putting it lightly? I often say that falling in love with his novel Feed is what made me want to be a YA writer.

Cynthia is not only an author across genres, she’s a pillar in the kids/middle grade/YA writing community, thanks to her enormous knowledge and generosity. My favorite read of Cyn’s is her newest YA novel, Tantalize.

Next on my list is Anita Silvey. Ms. Silvey is a great supporter of the Vermont College MFA program in writing for children and young adults, and I am forever grateful that she awarded me a scholarship based on an early draft of The Opposite of Invisible. Her 500 Great Books for Teens and 100 Best Books for Children are absolutely wonderful resources for booksellers, teachers, and librarians. And readers!

Next up is Lara Zeises. Lara and I became great friends when Lisa Jahn-Clough put us in touch, having mentored both of us and having the hunch that we’d get along. Lara metaphorically held my hand through the process of “going pro”. My favorite of Lara’s books is Anyone But You. I also love the Hollywood Starlet books by her alter-ego, Lola Douglas, the first of which is being made into a Lifetime TV movie!

Then we have the staff of All for Kids Books & Music. I worked at All for Kids when I first moved to Seattle, and it’s where I truly learned to love YA literature. It’s also where I found a supportive group of amazing readers who love nothing more than talking books.

Lastly, but never actually last, my family and friends. They’re the best!

Ha Cha Cha...

It just keeps getting better! More linky fun, this time from the likes of Barbara Vey, at her PW blog, Beyond Her Book. And also from The Poisoned Apple!

Ha Cha Cha indeed!

Liz Gallagher's Walking Tour!!!

Okay, readers! Today we have a walking tour of Fremont, the Seattle Neighborhood in which Liz Gallagher chose to set her debut YA novel, The Opposite of Invisible! Join us for an insider's look at the views and vistas...

Take it away LIZ!

The setting in The Opposite of Invisible –Seattle, mainly its Fremont neighborhood – is central to the atmosphere of the book. The constant drizzle and gray skies make cozy moments between main characters Alice and Jewel that much cozier (they practically live inside of their sweatshirt hoods!), and the weather also helps to highlight how uncomfortable being exposed can feel.

Plus, Fremont is quirky. It’s awesome. And I’m lucky enough to be living there right now, so I took some photos of the places Jewel and Alice wander through.

Let’s just get the obvious thing out of the way: Fremont has a lot of coffee shops!

This coffee shop is ultra-super-special to Opposite and to me because it’s where I sat to write most of the novel! It’s also a place that Alice and Jewel (and Alice’s dad) frequent.

A couple of big scenes happen at the Fremont Troll – a mixed-media (including one real VW Beetle) sculpture that was built in 1990 after its design won a competition put on by the Fremont Arts Council. I found it difficult in the book to describe just how huge the Troll is – so I put myself in there for scale in the photo! You can also catch a glimpse of the troll in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. And if you’re ever there in person, you’re only half a block from my apartment. In my mind, Alice lives a block to the left of the Troll, if you’re looking straight at him, and Jewel lives about a block in the other direction.

This next Fremont landmark is another big one. It’s not actually in the book, but Alice and Jewel definitely see it pretty much every day. Alice has a secret hope that someone will decorate the Bus Stop for her high school graduation. It’s odd that this photo was snapped on a day when no decorations were up – these statues celebrate lots of birthdays, graduations, and births! The Fremont Bridge is in the background.

It’s not a landmark, but this decorative glass flower would definitely catch Alice’s eye. Its in the gate outside of – what else? – a coffee shop.

Speaking of things that Alice would notice, this sign would definitely be something she’d appreciate. And it’s the kind of thing Jewel might actually be the mind behind.

That little bunny happens to live right next door to the junk shop I had in mind when I wrote the scene where Alice finds the perfect witch costume . . .

And, last but never least, Rain City is the video shop where Alice and Jewel get the DVDs that they do lots of bonding over.

And here I am at Rain City, Silly Author.

Thanks so much, LIZ! Now we all want to move to Fremont...

Monday, January 7, 2008

The warm and wonderful Liz Gallagher...

Liz and her famous Liz-smile! Not to mention her (always required) latte...

Our debut author of the week is LIZ GALLAGHER, whose first YA novel, The Opposite of Invisible, just hit stores! Today we're sitting down and asking Liz a few questions, getting the skinny on her book, her coffee shop habit, her MFA, her agent search, and the next novel in her arsenal.

2k8: So, Liz... where do you do most of your writing? What's it look like?

LG: I write mainly in coffee shops around Seattle. The most frequent one, and the one where I wrote at least 90% of The Opposite of Invisible, is called Caffee Ladro. It's right down the street from my house, has great, long tables, and yummy lattes. (Will try to include a pic in my planned weekend excursion). Ladro has several locations around the city, but I like this one for its proximity to my bed and for its warehousey/lofty feel. The walls are dep olive and soothing red; the art rotates every month. I tend to sit at the community tables, with other people working on their laptops. There's a brigade of laptop offices in Seattle, and the coffee shops are home to lots of 'em.

2k8: Can you tell us how the book came about?

LG: I started Opposite as a short story for my first MFA workshop at Vermont College. Each semester, you submit some pages that your group will read before the MFA residency, and discuss during workshop. At first, I didn't think that Opposite would become a novel. I didn't know that I could write a novel. So it started as a short story focused on Alice and Jewel buying a dress at a junk shop for Alice to wear to the upcoming Halloween dance at school. That scene, though revised, still exists in the novel and is still important to the novel. I remember that the first sentence of the short story was something like, "It all started with this dress." That could still be the opening line, though its changed as Alice's world expanded from a short story one to a novel one. In that workshop, I had some positive feedback and\n some helpful questions. I spent my first residency, with Lisa Jahn-Clough as my adviser, working on developing the characters and taking the story beyond a short story. Then I spent the remaining three semesters taking the story in different directions 'til it was ready to send to agents! I owe this book to the focus and feedback of Vermont College's program.

2k8: And how did it find a publisher? Give us the real dirt!

LG: My goal toward the end of my time at Vermont was to find a publisher. So, I sent the manuscript to three agents (and queried one other agent, who did not want to read the manuscript). I ended up signing with Rosemary Stimola right before graduation. She submitted the manuscript to seven editors; three were interested, and Wendy Lamb (Wendy Lamb Books, Random House) made a pre-emptive offer. This path sounds so easy written out like that, but it happened "easily" at that point because I had done my homework -- had a solid manuscript to send out, knew which agents were up my alley, how to write a query, etc. I owe that to my own research and to the mentorship of my friend Lara Zeises, an author who believes in paying it forward, publishing-wise.

2k8: Did anything surprise you or caught you off guard when you were writing your book?

LG: I had one very surprising moment. It's to do with talking about what I was writing, and the realization that, for the first time, I was writing something that might be read by people other than me and my teachers: an actual audience! When my brother and his wife asked me some simple questions right around the time I signed my contract -- What's it about? Who are your characters? -- I literally couldn't answer. I started cracking up, laughing harder than I've ever laughed! I just couldn't take these characters in my head and allow them to BE in the real world! I'm getting better at that. It's actually\n a good thing for me that the publishing process is a slow one. That time has given me the chance to ease into seeing myself as an author of novels that will be on bookstore and library shelves.

2k8: Imagine you have an offer from your dream press to publish your dream book, no matter how insane or unmarketable it might be (though of course it might not be). What story do you want to write next/someday and why?

LG: Wow. I already feel like I'm living my dream! What I want to work on next is a manuscript that I'm about 75% finished with, and have been for two years. It's much darker in subject matter than Opposite; it deals with teen suicide and mental illness, and was inspired by a speech I heard given by the surviving best friend of a guerrilla artist who died mysteriously on train tracks. I just feel these characters so strongly, and I really want to spend some publisher-sanctioned time with them! I could also see myself someday working on a series of biographies of artists -- but only really strange artists! I'm interested in what's behind art, and would love to spend some time doing that.

2k8: What question won't most people know to ask you? What's your answer?

LG: Nobody's asked me yet about why I write specifically YA books. There's a simple answer: YA books are awesome. There's so much great literature on those shelves, and I'm honored to be among that literature. I recently read an interview with Nick Hornby in which he said that he'd found a hidden treasure trove in the book store, and he was talking about the YA section. Personally, I'm drawn to the themes of adolescence: firsts, friends, coming out from under your family (even if they're a great family!), goals, most of your life in front of you.

2k8: Well, we're certainly glad you *are* writing for teens! Thanks so much for hanging out with us this week, Liz. I'm sure readers will be excited to hear about all of this. Congrats and good LUCK!!!! We hope you sell a kazillion copies.

And to all you blog readers out there-- check back tomorrow for a virtual tour of Fremont, the town Opposite of Invisible is set in!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


In honor of Liz's BOOK, a few new links:

We love the looks of Shelf Elf, and not just because Shelf Elf likes us!

So do the Bookshelves of Doom!

Not to mention the amazing Thunderchikin! Chikins of all sorts, even the thunderous kind, are fans of LIZ!


Make way for Liz Gallagher!!!


We really hope everyone has fully recovered from New Year’s Eve, because it’s time to break out another bottle of bubbly!!!

Yes, it’s time to lift our glasses, toast to the very first Class of 2k8 author, LIZ GALLAGHER!!

Liz is a former children’s bookseller and early education teacher. She received her MFA in writing for children from Vermont College and lives in Seattle (if you want to more about Liz--including the story of how this witch costumed inspired her book--come back tomorrow for her author interview).

Or stop by on Wednesday, for the Liz Gallagher tour of Fremont, Washington. Or on Thursday or Friday for other top-secret Liz-related fun.

Why all the fuss?

Because today Liz is stepping over the threshold, taking the plunge, (and mixing just about every other metaphor you can think up) as she becomes an AUTHOR.

A real live author.

For everyone out there who isn’t an unpublished author, let us take a moment to say that this is HUGE. This is the day Liz has dreamed of for years and years. It's like having a baby, making a million dollars, waking up to find herself a movie star. Just imagine what it would feel like to find your childhood dreams had come true.

Just like that.

Her book will be shelved in libraries everywhere, beloved by teenagers all across the country. And so it seems only appropriate that we find some way to create a fuss.

So... without further ado... YAY! HURRAH! WOOOOOO HOOOOO!
It's time you ran out and got yourself a copy of her awesome book, The Opposite of Invisible!

It looks like this:

Hot, right?
It's really really good. You want the official scoop?

Alice and Jewel have been best friends since grade school. Together, they don’t need anyone else, and together they blend into the background of high school. Invisible. To Alice, Jewel is the opposite of invisible. Jewel is her best friend who goes to Indie concerts and art shows with her. Jewel scoffs at school dances with her. Alice is so comfortable around Jewel that she can talk to him about almost anything. But she can’t tell him that she likes the cool, popular Simon. And then Simon asks her to the school dance the same day that Jewel kisses her for the first time. Still, she can’t say no to Simon. He seems like the easy choice, the one she’s attracted to, the one she’s ready for. But will it mean losing Jewel? In a bright debut novel set against the lively backdrop of Seattle, Alice must learn the difference between love and a crush, and what it means to be yourself when you’re not sure who that is yet.

Now you'll have to read it. How could you not run out and get one right now?

Or, if you're too lazy to run you can order the book here!

Then you can spend some more time with Liz at Randombuzzers!

And if you want to meet her in person, you can catch her Saturday, January 12, at 1 pm, at the Chester County Book Company, in West Chester PA.

Now, show Liz some serious love, folks! She's an author now. She's all growed up! Leave a comment in the box, and let her know how proud you are of her.

That way, when she's uber famous, you'll have proof you knew her when.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Linky Update!!!

Two more:

Word Lovers Unite! finds us worthy of mention.

Finding Wonderland appears to agree!

Double yip.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Yummy links!!!

More press from the ever-supportive blog-world! Thank you to Heather's Blethers, The Simple and the Ordinary! And to one of our very favorite kidlitosphere blog-reads, BIG A little a!!!

That's all the news (at least all the news before 10:00 am). But check back on Monday, for our first Virtual Book Release!!! (when we'll all find out just what that means. Hrm.)

Some news, related and not-so-much...

We know that this has no direct relation to 2k8, but we'd feel a little remiss if we didn't mention the BIG NEWS TODAY in kidlit!

Jon Scieszka, author of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and The Time Warp Trio series, will get the imprimatur of the Library of Congress Thursday as the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

"We think it's very important to have an evangelist for reading" said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. The library's Center for the Book has teamed up with the Children's Book Council, a publishing industry trade association, to create the National Ambassador program.

Slightly less HUGE as world news, but of great interest to us is this awesome link over at Haunts of a Children's Writer! And THIS ONE at Galleycat! Me-OW!

We do, in fact, plan to be the "kiddie lit heroes of 2008". It's all right there in our strategic plan, right after "make some kids happy" and "get lots of warm fuzzies". We know it's kind of a weird strategic plan.

Last, but not least, be sure to stop back on Monday for Liz's virtual release party!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Off to a roaring good start!!!

We were just about to sit down and post a little letter of explanation--

We wanted to tell you a bit about how this blog will work, how we'll be SUPER organized, allotting exactly one week to the launch of each new book (so that everyone gets their moment in the sun). We wanted to describe how we plan to follow a careful outline, beginning each launch week with a Monday "virtual release party" and proceeding with a tell-all author interview, followed by cool posts that include ridiculous pictures, deep dark secrets, and games and contests...

But then Lisa Schroeder did this cool interview over at Authorlink. So even though she isn't "scheduled" for another two weeks, we're blogging her today

Just a little extra sumpin sumpin for Lisa, and her book, I Heart You, You Haunt Me.


(Oh, and in other news, we got a few new links! From Beatrice, Becky's Book Reviews, Hip Writer Mama Thanks, guys!!!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Probably the entire world is either recovering from last night or spending time with family... and we here at 2k8 want to do the same... so for today we'll just say...


It's OUR YEAR!!!!!

(In the next few days we'll explain how this blog plans to function once books start rolling off the presses, but for now let us just say IT'S GOING TO BE AWESOME!!!)