Microblog: paperback news, Aussie love & librarian contest

Happy bookday!

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookseller and pick up your copy of WINTERGIRLS in paperback!! If it is icy in your neighborhood, or you don’t feel like going outside, order your copy from an independent bookseller via Indiebound.

Do you want to order a copy that will arrived already personalized and signed by me? Call my local independent bookseller, Bill at the river’s end bookstore, and he will make it happen. (You can do this for any of my books at any time, btw.)

The Australian version of WINTERGIRLS goes on sale March 1st, which is very exciting!!!

Congratulations to everyone, but especially my friends Deb Heiligman and Elizabeth Partridge for being named finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize!! Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Are you a school librarian? Make a video and change the world! The AASL is sponsoring a video contest  "in conjunction with School Library Month (SLM) for members and their students to share how their school library program helps their community thrive." Details here!

My self-imposed limited-blogging month is almost at an end. Am looking forward to hearing what, if anything, you got out of this month. While we’re waiting for March 1st, check out a new interview with me over at Birth of a Novel.


I revised all weekend. What about you? If you are working on NaNoWriMo or just putting pedal to the medal to finish a draft, you might want to read the Tips on Writer’s Block I wrote for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program.

Because of the intense revision schedule I’m on, I need to issue a blanket apology to all my friends for not answering email or phone calls right now. I’d grovel too, except I’m too busy writing.

It’s almost Thanksgiving and that means… The National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Conference is just around the corner. This year it’s in my old stomping ground, Philly.

::thinks of cheesesteaks::

Here is my schedule:


7–9:00 pm Doylestown Bookshop

Doylestown Bookshop

16 S. Main St, Doylestown, PA 18901

(215) 230-7610

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2009 All Events open to Conference attendees ONLY

7–9:15 am Keynote Speaker at ALAN Breakfast (Ticketed Event)

Philadelphia Marriot
1201 Market St, Grand Ballroom, Salon A (5th floor)


Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

1–2:00 pm BOOK SIGNING AT SIMON & SCHUSTER, Booth #419

4:15–5:30 pm Panel: "Authors’ Blogs: Connections, Collaboration, and Creativity"
Other authors on panel: Maureen Johnson, Justine Larbalestier, Barbara O’Connor & Lisa Yee
Convention Center, Street Level, Room 103A


9 am–12:00 pm Chester County Book & Music Company Author Breakfast with LHA & Sarah Dessen!

Chester County Books

975 Paoli Pike

West Chester, PA 19380

(610) 696-1661

1–3:00 pm “A Novel Idea” Teen Event for Philadelphia Free Library at Children’s Book World

More authors than you can count at this one: Jay Asher, T.A. Barron, Sarah Dessen, Steve Kluger, Justine L
arbalestier, David Levithan, Lauren Myracle, Scott Westerfeld & Jacqueline Woodson. And me!

Children’s Book World
17 Haverford Station Road
Haverford, PA 19041
(610) 642-6274

My husband did a little more tweeking on the exterior of the cottage and he wanted me to post this picture to prove you can’t see the Tyvek anymore:

WFMAD Day 11 – choices

Writing anything requires that you make thousands upon thousands of choices for your characters. This is why it can feel like so much fun to start a book, but once you are a hundred pages into it, you are ready to pitch it onto a bonfire. If you made a wrong turn on the path of choices, you can find yourself hip deep in tangled plot with no easy way out.

One of the common mistakes I make in early drafts is to let all of the rotten things that happen to my characters come from the outside. I think I do this because I like my characters, or maybe because, in an early draft, I don’t know them well enough.

I’ve found that letting my characters mess up leads to all kinds of fresh plot paths and story energy.

You can probably see where I’m going with this.


Today’s advice:
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good. Yet. But you must get something down on the page today.


Today’s prompt: Put your character in an ordinary scene: babysitting, making lunch, texting friends, whatever, and allow her to make the absolute worst decisions possible for the scene. You’ll need to motivate her decision – let your mind run free. Make it a spectacular screw-up with ugly consequences.


Someone leaves a half-full bottle of tequila at the bottom of your driveway. Write about who left it and why.
(This is based on something that happened to me yesterday. Honest.)



Combine the two prompts above.