Friday, May 28, 2010

The best liar of the day is...

Laurie Lamb! Laurie, send your address to susan (dot) adrian (at) so I can bundle off your copy!

Thank you all for playing along! I had such fun reading these, and I had a tough time deciding. Honorable Mentions go to:

--Bill Cameron, Patrick Lee, and CKHB for their lies about Sean Ferrell and each other. Because everyone loves to lie about Sean Ferrell.

--Linda Grimes (bff) for starting it off and shamelessly pimping the contest all over twitter.

Jenna, Amy Jo, Karla, Morgan, Carina, Sterling, Charles, Kristin, Nikole, Scarlet, I loved reading yours!!

Why did Laurie's win?

Because I wished it was true. And the whole thing made me laugh. Here's her lie:

Susan Adrian has compiled a nude calendar featuring notable people from her writing/twitter world. Highlights include: Miss January—Janet Reid swigging gin while ringing in the new year, Mr. March—Jeffrey Somers with his pussy cats, Miss May—Suzie Townsend and her puppies frolicking through a spring meadow, Mr. June—a sweaty Bill Cameron showing off Skin, and Mr. December—a snow-covered Sean Ferrell looking NUMB. Get yours! On sale now!

The Bill Cameron and Sean Ferrell lines are brilliant. Congrats Laurie!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BEA Sympathetic Swag Contest: Day 3

The winner of FALLEN is... Natalie!! Congrats, Natalie! Email me at susan (dot) adrian (at) with your address, and I'll send it out!

Today, we're gonna have a little more fun. Today, I'm giving away a copy of Justine Larbalestier's fabulous and brain-twisting book, LIAR.

From Justine's website: Liar is a psychological thriller set in New York City told from the point of view of a compulsive liar.

You guys, I had such fun reading this book, never knowing what was truth and what wasn't. I've always loved unreliable narrators--they mess with you so! (It makes me want to write one. Okay, not quite yet. But someday.)

So believe me (ha) when I tell you that you want to win this one. But I'm going to make it a little more challenging.

To win this book, you've got to lie to me.

Post in the comments with your best, most outrageous lie. Bonus points for making the lie about somebody in our crazy cast of characters writing/twitter world (*cough* Janet Reid, Suzie Townsend, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, Sean Ferrell, Bill Cameron, Victoria Schwab, Linda Grimes, etc..., but really anybody you want or anything you want. Make it a good lie.

Tomorrow I'm actually going to judge my favorite lie (extra judges brought in if necessary) and award LIAR to the winner! Contest closes at 8 am tomorrow.

So GO! Lie to me!

UPDATE: THE CONTEST IS CLOSED. Thanks for playing! 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BEA Sympathetic Swag Contest: Day 2

Thanks for playing yesterday, everybody! The winner of a copy of RAMPANT is...

Derek Molata! Congratulations, Derek! (You're on a good news roll...) :)

Today's swag is slightly newer, still YA (of course): FALLEN, by Lauren Kate. It's gothic and romantic and intriguing.


Some Angels are Destined to Fall
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Want to read it for yourself?

For today's contest, I want you to go to today's BEA schedule of author signings. Pretend you're there, and find 5 authors you'd want to go get a signed book from. Even Rick Springfield and Neil Sedaka are there today!

Then post your 5 chosen authors in the comments field. Contest closes at 8 am tomorrow, when the final one will open!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BEA Contest: Sympathetic Swag #1

Confession: I've been to BEA twice, but it was long, long ago. Before Child...before husband! Before writing.

Back then I was a shiny young bookseller/bookstore manager, and getting to go to BEA was a huge perk. Celebrity authors! I still squee a little over the memory of meeting James Earl Jones. Parties! I'm sure I didn't get to go to the super cool private ones, but I did manage to squeeze into a dark, pulsating party where Stephen King, Amy Tan, and Dave Barry et al. (The Rock Bottom Remainders) were rocking the house.

But most of all...SWAG. Oh my cupcakes, the amazing piles of books (Free Books) for booksellers to take! Galleys, hot titles, new titles...I dragged bags of them all over the convention center. I came home with a suitcase full. It was insane.

These days if I attended BEA I imagine I'd do a little more networking, visiting, chatting, and I'd certainly be a lot more aware of what was really going on around me. But I'd still scoop up the swag like nobody's business.

So in celebration of BEA and all the booksellers/authors/agents/editors/friends who are there this week, and in sadness that the rest of us are NOT there, I'm going to give away a little swag.

For each of the next 3 days, you can win one book. All you have to do is answer a question in the comments below. Today's book (hardcover!) I highly recommend:

Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns…

The sparkly, innocent creatures of lore are a myth. Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. And they can only be killed by virgin descendants of Alexander the Great.
Fortunately, unicorns have been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Or not.

RAMPANT, by Diana Peterfreund

Want it?

Go to PW's list of Kids' Galleys to Grab at BEA, then come back here and tell me in the comments which book or books you'd grab. If you don't read YA or kids' books yourself, which one would you snag for someone you love?

Contest closes at 8 AM tomorrow, when the next one will be gearing up. GO!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Between Books

SALVAGED is sitting for a few days, ready to be gnawed on by the shark. It's one of those rare times when I don't have writing or revising or editing or re-reading (of my own work) to do. Writers will understand when I say it's an odd, uneasy feeling to be between books, even for a week or two.

So what do I do with myself? Well, work and shuttling Child and going for walks with hubby (when it's not snowing *looks out window, growls*), like always. But what about creatively? I can't just SIT. It's against my nature. There are two things I'm doing, that I always do:

1) Fill the well.
For me, this isn't just relaxing and going mindless with the ANTM. (There's a touch of that, but not mostly.) I'm reading*, watching movies, listening to news stories, paying attention. Collecting dribs and drabs that will be used somewhere else. Many of them go straight into:

2) Simmering the next book.
I don't often jump RIGHT into the next book. I have ideas of what I want to do, but the plot isn't quite there, I don't have a handle on the characters, I'm not sure of the setting. All that stuff has to work itself out in my brain before I start typing. So I *actively* simmer ideas. For a day or two I think of a possibility, twist it around, stretch it, and see how it would go. Usually at this stage it falls flat somewhere, so I add in something else or mix it up. I see which parts intrigue me most, which parts are unique (or at least not-done-a-zillion-times), which parts make me go "OOH that would be fun to play with." I make notes, look at locations, pick out character names. It's all prep work, and directly tied to #1 above. This weekend I was watching a movie and half-analyzing the character relationships, and halfway through I went AHA and went to jot some notes. My plot idea wasn't anything that was in the movie--it just followed on from what I saw. But I wouldn't have thought of it if I hadn't filled the well.

So far I have a main character, a setting, and some intriguing complications. Next week I might be ready to start exploring on the page. (If I'm not doing revisions of SALVAGED by then!)

I don't think a writer ever stops writing, even if it's only in her head.

*on reading: I'm not flush with money at the moment, so this weekend I poked around at the library for some new stuff to read. They didn't have ONE of the 10 books on my list (mostly recent YA), but I did find 5 books to check out. Interestingly, 4 of the 5 were written by men, with male POVs. Huh. This is unusual for me. Wonder if my subconscious is trying to tell me something...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fabulous books: for middle-graders

Hi everybody!

The craziness continues this week. So far we've had two dress rehearsals and a play cast meeting. Tonight and tomorrow are dance recitals, then Friday we're heading out with Child for a 3-day school campout. No internet! No *computers* even!

Good thing I finished the most recent rewrite of SALVAGED yesterday. I can spend downtime at the campout reading down that big 'ol pile of books I've got.

Speaking of books...I've been having so much fun re-discovering old books and finding new ones with Child. She's 8, and an enthusiastic reader. We read together every night, and she checks out stacks from the library herself. I always feel bad when I have to pull her away from reading, because she gets SO intense on a book she has no idea what's going on around her at all. It's a joy to see.

Since I've got a great list of books for 8+ that we love, I thought I'd share...and see what MG books you guys love!

Our Current Favorites:

  • Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace
  • Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren
  • Judy Blume, especially the Fudge/Superfudge books
  • Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, etc. by Noel Streatfeild
  • Little House in the Big Woods (she just started it) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • James & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Nancy Drew series
  • The Littles series by John Peterson
  • Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Any Beverly Cleary, but especially Ramona 
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Recent books/series we LOVE:
  • Sisters Eight by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Greg Logsted, & Jackie Logsted
  • Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
  • Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows
  • Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell (she's reading this by herself, and she laughs out loud all the time while reading)
  • Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper
  • Spiderwick Chronicles by by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
  •  Mary Margaret, Center Stage by Christine Kole MacLean
Other series books she gulps in an hour:
  • Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Cam Jansen by David A. Adler
  • A-Z mysteries by Ron Roy
  • The Rainbow Magic books by Daisy Meadows
  • Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
  • Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
  • (many more I've forgotten)

Next I want to try Clarice Bean and Judy Moody. We also have the Anne of Green Gables set waiting for when she's interested. Given this list--and the fact that she really likes the more "challenging" books right now--what else should we try? What middle grade books do you love right now?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Do the Write Thing for Nashville: Bid on a critique from me!!

Hi guys!!

If you haven't checked out the auction for Nashville flood victims, hop over there. It's amazing. If you're a writer or a reader, you'll find SOMETHING you want. item is up today!! You can bid on a 25-page critique from me. Go go!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

On Winning Books & Bidding on Books

Wow, this morning is cool so far!

It didn't start out so well--I didn't sleep great, and I was feeling like a cranky sourpuss. Didn't want to get up, didn't want to take the car to the shop (well, I got that wish, but that just means we'll have to do it later), didn't want to deal with the cold and snow we've got going on today.

But then I checked, because I'd entered a contest a couple days ago and I knew the results would be up today. And I had a good feeling about it.

And I won!! The whole series so far of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's THE SISTERS EIGHT, an MG series Child and I started together that she loves. I'd made a mistake and bought the wrong one to read next, so she has 3 sitting there staring at her but she hasn't read 2, and it was driving her crazy. She was thrilled this morning, chattering up a storm speculating on the books and the characters, and what the last 3 books will be called.

THANK YOU for brightening my day, divining wand!

When I got to work I discovered the second cool thing, that the auction to help Tennessee flood victims had started! You guys, this is going to be AMAZING. Check out all the awesome stuff up so far here:

I've donated a 25-page critique of your mss (or essay, or short story, or whatever) too--I think it'll be up for bid over the weekend.

Tomorrow, I think I'm going to give away a book or two of my own. Gotta share the love.

Now go bid!!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Spread the Awesome: Courtney Summers

This post o' love is part of a whole mess of blog posts, called Spread the Awesome--authors celebrating published books we adore. This project was started by the fabulous Elana Johnson. She has a list of all the participating authors and books they're celebrating here:

After you read about Courtney, please check out Heather Petty's blog for a discussion of Terri Farley's SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA.

But first, the purpose for my post.

It's funny, because within 30 seconds of Elana's email, I knew who I had to write about. It wasn't even up for debate. Yes, I love many, many authors and their books: a tiny list includes Melissa Marr, John Green, Vicki Pettersson, Justine Larbalestier, Suzanne Collins...TINY list. But when I think *amazing* books that are life-changing, that I can't stop talking about or recommending...well. Courtney Summers is right at the top of the list.

I may have talked about Courtney's books here before. *cough* It might be getting a little embarrassing. And YES, I am friends with her fabulous werewolf-hating, Gaga-loving self. I admit it. But that is not why I am so driven to pimp, my friends. Oh, no.

CRACKED UP TO BE not only grabbed me by the throat, it wrung it, knocked me down and kicked me in the ribs, and I still went crazy for the thing. It's So. Freaking. Real. It's so meaningful, and truth-telling about what high school and pressure and relationships and guilt really can be. I can just see my teenage self gulping it, feeling better because of it. Here, watch the book trailer.

And then I got to read SOME GIRLS ARE, and I thought there was no way it could be as good as CUTB. And I was totally right.

It was better. And worse, simultaneously. It was vivid and heartbreaking and honest to all sides of the story, and I almost couldn't breathe during some parts. Book trailer #1 for SGA here.

What Courtney does so very well is honesty, and clear-as-glass voice. Heroines you root for and kinda hate at the same time, but you can't stop watching them. Stories you cringe from, but recognize.

If you're a teenager or you were, read them. Seriously.