What’s my name?

Whew! It’s done! The book tour is finished! I get to wake up in my own bed for weeks and weeks. Drink from my special mug. Kiss my husband whenever I want. Sneeze at the dog. Marvel at the snow outside. I DON”T HAVE TO WASH MY SOCKS IN THE SINK ANYMORE!!!!

(It’s amazing the little things you miss on the road.)

Many thanks to everyone who braved the snowstorm and the fire down the road to come out to the Moravian Bookshop on Saturday. Despite the obstructions, so many folks came out (thank you and ) that I signed for a solid hour and a half. It was a wonderful way to end the tour.

And now, a word to the wise…

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You know all of those people on your holiday shopping list that you haven’t found a present for yet?

BUY THEM BOOKS! And make out a wishlist and ask them to buy you books! If you are reading my blog, it’s because you love books. What better thing can you do but to spread that love around? There is no such thing as a reluctant reader, remember, there is just a person who has not been given the right book yet.

And while you’re at it, join IndieBound. Seriously. It will make you feel better, I promise.

And now for the latest CHAINS news. The Washington Post likes it, as did the San Francisco Chronicle, and the independent booksellers of America. (Thanks guys!) And this awesome blogger gives one of the most comprehensive reviews of the book yet.

My next novel is a dark YA called WINTERGIRLS that comes out in March. Yes…. three months from now. I have never had two novels come out so quickly – usually it’s 24 months between books.

What’s my secret?

My kids have grown up. We are down to one child, our 16-year-old son, and he splits his time between here and his mom’s house. The other three have flown the nest. It is amazing how much writing you can get done when you don’t have to drive to soccer practice.

Here’s the cover of the new book.

Advanced Readers’ Copies were given out at NCTE/ALAN and some early blog reviews are trickling in. Julie Prince wrote me an open letter with her thoughts, Ruth Price, a reviewer in the UK, gives a great description of the story, and Jen W.’s review made me blush and jump up and down.

We do have the first “official” review, and yes, it came decorated with a beautiful, shiny star, but it wouldn’t be right for me to give details before it is officially published next week.

Blog postings from me are going to be sporadic here through the end of the year. My mom is home, but she’s not feeling so good and I want to hang out with her as much as I can. Plus, I have to finish up all the stuff that has been postponed because of the book tour. And, oh yeah, Christmas is coming. and there was something else I had to do…

Something big…

Something people are bugging me about ….

I know I wrote down a reminder somewhere ….

That’s it! I have to write another book! Must remember to do that, ASAP!

What overwhelming tasks are on your to-do list?

24 Replies to “What’s my name?”

  1. “Buy a Book” — Not only for those on your gift list, but how about one for your local library, too. As my post for the day said, I bet library budgets are going to take an extra beating this year and I can’t think of a better way to spread the book love–support an author, a bookstore, and a library, because there are plenty of people out there who can’t do that any more.

  2. Well darn. I was looking forward to reading your next novel but I don’t think I’ll be able to, at least not right away–hits very close to home and I find I’m more likely to relapse when exposed to something well-written and emotionally haunting–which your writing tends to be. Someday, but hopefully for my own sake, I’ll be able to resist temptation until I’m in a very stable place again (although maybe by then I will be). But I have no doubt that many others are in for a fantastic read.

    My most overwhelming task at the moment is to make it through the rest of my first set of university exams. My fibromyalgia has been particularly bad lately, so I’ve been having to fight my body every step of the way. But I had my first exam today and I think it went well, so we’ll see. After that, it’s getting through a second semester. Kind of overwhelming, but for a long time, with my illness, I never thought I’d make it here at all, let alone be pulling 80s and the occasional 90.

  3. Hey–

    Congrats on the book–the cover art looks great!

    I was wondering–what’s going on with the trailer contest? When are you going to announce the winners?

    Hannah

  4. what lies ahead…

    Well, lets see. I have not written out a single Christmas card yet. Need more than 50. That’s a bit overwhelming. I follow Robert A. Heinlein’s advice. I paraphrase: do what you understand, then look at what’s left. Do the next bit you understand, and so on.

    See today’s post regarding this subject. 🙂

    So, I always start with the cards we just sign, and progress up to the ones which require a note or a letter. How long did it take me to figure this out? Well, I’ve been dealing with a list this long for about 20 years… so… maybe five years learning? And yet, this before I start part is still daunting. Go figure, huh?

  5. I am SO stoked for the new book. 🙂 I absolutely love your writing. I haven’t had a chance to read CHAINS yet, I don’t believe my library has bought it.

    My most overwhelming task is trying to stop being a broke highschool student and actually get a job.

    I’m quite excited that you have a livejournal, by the way. I read it in the back of Speak’s platinum edition and I almost squealed. 🙂

  6. Overwhelming tasks? Hmm. The children. I must feed the children. Now if I can only remember where I left them . . .
    Loved your blog post today, especially the part about having more time to write when the children are grown. Hmm. Someday . . .
    Donna
    http://www.donnagephart.blogspot.com

  7. On my to-do list: Write the new gnome story so that Jane can come back. Send Christmas cards to my near & dear ones. Figure out what books to get for Dad and hubby (since books are most of what I’m buying this year, anyhow, as I’ve already posted about repeatedly).

    Mama Nina’s was terrific, btw, and you were so not kidding about the garlic. Also? At least half of my dinner came home with me, and made for a delicious meal this evening.

  8. Wintergirls

    I just had to email you about Wintergirls; it still haunts me weeks after I’ve read it. I’ve never been close to anyone with an eating disorder, but after reading Lia’s story, I feel like I am now.

    The weekend I read it, I had to read it in pieces because it was so intense, and my dear husband kept saying, “If it upsets you that much, just put it down!”

    But I couldn’t. I felt I owed it to Lia to finish her story, no matter what happened.

    I’m already farming out ARCs to local teachers, librarians and teens.

    Lia will stay with me for a long time and I hope she will stay with other readers, too.

    Brava!

    Cathy B at Blue Willow Bookshop

  9. I can’t wait for the holidays to be done with, so I have reading time again! Chains is high on my Goodreads list – and I’m thinking of getting a copy for my niece for Christmas. She’s only 9, but an advanced reader, and I think she’ll enjoy it. YAY for another new novel in March! That will get us through the winter doldrums, for sure!

    My to-do list – oy. Presents to buy. Gift knitting to be knit. Dance classes/drum lessons/swimming lessons to transport the kidlet to. Knitting presents. Holiday concerts. Did I mention knitting?

    If by chance you find yourself in Syracuse on the 19th, and happen to wander into The Big Scary Mall ™ around 8 PM, stop by the Commons area and you can see Molly dance! But I really recommend avoiding The Big Scary Mall at all costs.

    *hugs* and welcome home!

  10. oh I’m so excited about the new book. It sounds amazing. I hope that you get to enjoy the holidays while getting that pesky book out of the way 🙂

  11. overwhelming tasks

    I cannot believe how FAST this school year is going. I started a new job (which takes an unbelievable amount of energy) and had agreed to mentor a new school librarian before I knew I was leaving. So-o, I am devoting the energy it takes to making a splash at my new place of employment, but, not paying enough attention to my mentee. Ack. And don’t get me started on preparing for the holi-daze!

  12. Thank You

    I don’t suppose this is the proper place to pen a comment such as the one flowing around in my mind. I do suppose it ties into the bit in your blog about giving books as holiday presents. I also suppose writing my feelings down will benefit me more than any hope that my words will warm your heart. I suppose I need to stop supposing so much. :o)

    My boyfriend has been having difficulty picking out a present for his younger sister Tara. He, of course, sought out my advise seeing as I have much more experience as a teenage girl than he does. He was clear in regard to wanting to purchase a book for her, since she loves to read and that is a trait he wishes to foster as long as possible.

    So I dutifully rummaged through my book collection. I am not very up to date on what is popular in the world of young adult literature, but I figured I could find something I read at that age that made a great impact on me and would, hopefully, do the same for Tara.

    I couldn’t find anything.

    Then I came across my well-worn copy of Speak. I was 21 when a college friend passed the copy along to me. She was a secondary education English major and had put the title on a reading list in preparation for her semester of student teaching. It was the best suggestion that could have been made. I was going through a Melinda-like period of alienation, though for different reasons. An added bonus came along down the road when I discovered the feature film (much to the chagrin of fellow shoppers who were forced to listen to my sequels of delight).

    A few days ago I reread Speak just to ensure it was a proper gift to bestow upon Tara, given her age and general interests. It simply solidified my decision. We are planning to give Tara both the book and DVD. It comes at a perfect time too – she will be a high school freshman next fall.

    That is my roundabout way of rambling out a thank you. Very rarely do I take the time to compose a fan letter (or comment) such as this, only doing so when I find it well deserved. In fact, I dusted off my virtual livejoural after a year’s absence specifically for this.

    I’m sure you already know that your words have touched individual lives. At the same time, I’m also sure an occasional reminder does not hurt.

  13. awesome reviews! I can’t wait to read it.

    Overwhelming tasks–having learned that I passed the bar exam, I once again have to get up and throw many resumes at the legal community, and see if anyone wants to hire me in this brick wall of an economy (anyone that I would want to work for, that is). Today, though, I will be putting together shovels at the hardware store, selling salt, flashlights and ice scrapers for the coming ice storm. Storm preparation frenzy is always fun.

    I hope that your mom is feeling better, and good luck with the writing.
    –Lettie

  14. you’re welcome! i’m glad we were able to see each other again and i loved hearing you talk about chains and wintergirls! i can’t wait to read it! i was going to say that finals are the overwhelming task on my to-do list, but i’m done with finals, so i’ll say getting ready for the holidays and cleaning my room are the most overwhelming tasks right now. hope you feel better soon and happy holidays!

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