Boston Teen Author Festival 2014
Labels: Boston Teen Author Festival 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Boston Teen Author Festival 2014
Next stop: Boston Teen Author Festival! This will be my third year at BTAF, and it's been exciting to watch this amazing event grow every year. On September 27th, 25 YA authors will converge on the Cambridge Public Library for a day of panels and book talk. There are giveaways, signings, a zany Q&A session with all the authors, and this year -- for early arrivals -- there will be a free writing workshop! If you're a YA fan in the Boston area, and if you're a teen in the Boston area, we'd love to meet you!
I'm thrilled to be part of this "Criminal Minds" panel -- check out my partners in crime!
Labels: Boston Teen Author Festival 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014
Where I'm Going, Where I've Been . . .
With apologies to Joyce Carol Oates for playing with the title of her classic short story (which has nothing to do with the actual content of this post), I thought I'd take a moment to catch up here, since I seem to be everywhere but on my own blog these days! I'm mostly busy ferrying my young son to various summer activities and amusements, but in between, I've managed to work on revising my third book, Blue Voyage, and to get out for some fun Latitude Zero events. I've also left a few signed copies of Latitude Zero (and Tokyo Heist) in my wake, so if you're interested, you can pop by any of these Boston-area stores or give them a call -- they'll happily ship signed copies.
Where I've Been . . .
So since I last posted, I've been to . . .
Next week I'm off to NYC!!!! I'll be at the Jefferson Market Library on Wednesday August 6, 6:00 PM, in the Teen Author Reading Night. Here's the line-up:
Patty Blount - Some Boys
E. Lockhart - We Were Liars
Elisa Ludwig - Pretty Sly
Diana Renn - Latitude Zero
Lindsay Ribar - The Fourth Wish
Amy Spalding - Ink is Thicker Than Water
Mary G. Thompson - Evil Fairies Love Hair
If you're near NYC, come out and join us!
(Um, is anyone actually in New York City in August? Anyone? Anyone? . . . .)
Monday, July 21, 2014
Odyssey Bookshop Odyssey
This past weekend I had a fun road trip out to one of my favorite independent bookstores: The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA!
On the two-hour drive from Boston--I purposely took the longer, scenic route--I started to contemplate how despite my penchant for writing about far-flung travel, this trip to the Odyssey represented a kind of homecoming for me.
I hadn't been to the Pioneer Valley for about ten years, when I went there once for a bike ride and whizzed past my old life at high speeds. I really haven't spent any significant time there since I graduated college. So as the winding roads and lush rolling hills led me into Amherst this weekend, I felt a swell of mixed emotions. In college, I'd been filled with uncertainty. I'd had a tenuous financial aid package and a hefty part-time work schedule that made my existence there semester to semester quite precarious. I'd had a huge course workload; I doubled up on classes and graduated in 3.5 semesters to save money. I'd had fierce ambitions to write but crippling anxiety about how to realize those ambitions. I was too scared to take creative writing workshops and share my work with teachers and mentors who could have helped me along. I imagined I was taking the safe route, majoring in English and starting a path to grad school and to becoming an academic, but in fact I'd been embarking on a dead-end road for me: a path to unhappiness in grad school and highly uncertain job prospects in academia. I'm sure my fear and my impulse to play it safe set my writing goals back a decade, at least.
I arrived early for my event and spent some time walking around my old campus, remembering what it was like to be there at various stages of my college career. If I had to do it all again, I would have taken those creative writing workshops and availed myself of the abundance of talent in the five-college area. I would have been open about my writing ambition and made more connections. I would have turned my dreams into concrete goals much sooner. But I have more peace of mind than regret. I think the learning environment at Hampshire, and the culture of the five-college area, did help to form me as a writer. And I remembered, powerfully, how by the time I graduated, I had the goal to return some day to one of the area bookstores (now not in such abundance, sadly) as a published author.
So when I walked into the Odyssey Bookshop, I felt an incredible sense of satisfaction. It's wonderful when life gives us chances to loop back into time and reconnect with a goal. It really has been an Odyssey for me to get back into that store after all these years.
I had such a marvelous time talking about YA fiction with my fellow panelists, talented authors Terra Elan McVoy (IN DEEP) and Gillian Murray Kendall (THE GARDEN OF DARKNESS). Thank you, Odyssey--and the wonderful audience who came out on a warm July night--for making me feel at home!
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Launch Week(s) Recap
Lots of people, it turns out! Though I couldn't deliver fireworks or even hum the national anthem, we had great turnout!
I talked about how writing this book was so different from writing TOKYO HEIST, and what inspired it. I read for a bit, and answered some really excellent audience questions. Then I got to sign copies and eat some of that fabulous cake pictured above!
Here are some other pictures from the party:
After the launch party, my family and I went to Seattle, my hometown, where I did two events: one at Seattle Mystery Bookshop, my favorite mystery-themed bookstore EVER. I spent some time hanging out with Amber, the amazing children's bookbuyer there, who made sure I left with an armload of reading material for my vacation! (Seriously, Amber is one of the most well-read people I've ever met, and you absolutely must check out her Agatha Christie blog, My 52 Weeks with Christie--she's reading one Christie novel a week!) The other event was at Third Place Books, and my parents were in attendance! I had a lot of fun meeting mystery fans and cycling fans at both stores!
While on vacation, two rather amazing things happened, proving my theory that if you want good things to happen, get out of town -- ideally to somewhere with weak wifi! (And then when you get good news, it will be EXTRA exciting!) First, an essay of mine got published on the Huffington Post. It's one I'm particularly proud of, about gun violence in YA fiction. You can read it here.
Then I learned that LATITUDE ZERO is a Junior Library Guild Selection!!! This is astounding news, worthy of even more exclamation points than I just gave it. I've seen the Junior Library Guild distinction printed on many covers of books I admire, but didn't fully understand what it meant until I looked at their website. Basically, a committee chooses a select number of children's titles two seasons each year and licenses hardcover rights for their book club. These titles are then available to thousands of libraries nationwide. It's a big honor, and I'm so thrilled and so grateful that this book may find a wider audience of young readers as a result.
A big thank-you to everyone who has supported the LATITUDE ZERO journey thus far, whether it's by attending an event, buying the book, getting it from the library (or requesting it), spreading the word, following my online blog tour, or expressing interest in the book in any way! Everything that readers do helps nudge the book a little farther out into the world!
Labels: Cannon Beach, gun violence in YA fiction, Huffington Post, Junior Library Guild, Junior Library Guild Selection, Latitude Zero, Latitude Zero launch party, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Third Place Books
Monday, June 30, 2014
Bike Friday Recap
(special thanks to my awesome street team at bpcp Consulting, for putting this fun event together!)
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Books, Bikes, Boston!
Boston Bike Friday, this Friday the 27th.
If you're in the Boston area, and you work in the city, Boston Bike Friday should definitely be on your radar. One Friday a month, convoys with leaders will ride into the city from various towns. The whole point is to encourage bike commuting and get people to use bikes more in general. The convoys all lead to City Hall, where there is a big breakfast party outside for cyclists, and a festival with participating local bike-related businesses.
I'm a cyclist, but I'm also a local bike-related business of sorts, since I wrote a mystery involving bikes. So I will be at City Hall this Friday with a LATITUDE ZERO booth and my cool street team!
We'll be handing out Gatorade and water to thirsty riders, plus . . . LATITUDE ZERO swag-- including racing bibs and bike stickers. Also, we have sneak peaks of the hardcover book! My author copies and ARCs will be on display, and the book is available there for pre-order in advance of the 7/3 release date. PLUS . . . you can take a way your very own Chapter 7, which is all about cycling. And will slip neatly into your messenger bag or even your back pocket if you happen to be coming by bike.
If you're in the area, I'd love to meet you! Come say hi!
Friday, June 20, 2014
Blog Tour for LATITUDE ZERO!
Today I'm kicking off my blog tour, at Itching for Books! I'm writing about my not-so-adventurous summers as a teen, and why I write about much more adventurous teens.
Between now and mid-July, I'll be stopping by seven blogs and guest posting at each. Each post provides a window into LATITUDE ZERO - posts about my writing process, the ideas for the book, issues I wrestled with, and more.
Some of the dates are still being determined, so as soon as I have the full schedule, I will post it here!