Shhhhhh…. want an ARC?

I feel like a literary pusher whispering to passers-by on a street corner when I say this but, ::whispers:: want an ARC of Wintergirls?

There are limited quantities available from my most adored Uncle Penguin. How do you try to score a copy? Head over to the Wintergirls MySpace page. Details are in the blog entry there called “Advance readers copies available.” (And yes, I saw the typo there. No, I am not responsible for it.)

Penmage wrote in to let all of us in the Forest know of her review of WINTERGIRLS. Thank you!

I’ve skipped some of the events here at Kindling Words and did NOT go snowshoeing (though it was tempting) so I could work on my book. This is the part of the writing process that is extremely dull to anyone who is not currently inside my head. I am trying to sort through all of the tangled plot threads and make sure that a) they make sense, logically, b) they are properly motivated by the main character’s emotional state and outside events, and c) they make sense. I feel like I am making progress which is good, but I’m not exactly impressing people with my wit here at the retreat because my eyes keep glazing over as I fade out of conversation and back to that tricky turn of the story in Chapter 6.

A lot of people have written in to ask when the sequel to CHAINS will be released. That’s the book I’m working on right now. Title? FORGE. If all goes well, it should be released in Spring 2010.

When I am done with FORGE, I’ll probably write another YA. I haven’t started hearing a new main character yet, but I suspect he or she will start bugging me later in the spring. I get butterflies in my tummy thinking about it – sort of like knowing that I’m going to go on a year-long blind date, but having no clue about the date’s identity.

I’m off to see if they’re serving breakfast yet.

Shifting gears

Last night’s activities (I’m at the Kindling Words retreat in Vermont, remember) were a blast; poetry, painting, and drumming. I might need a drum, BH. Too much fun for words. (Though my hands are a little sore!)

It’s time to shift gears in the Publicity part of my brain from CHAINS to WINTERGIRLS. This is a little disorienting because I’ve never had two books come out so quickly.

WINTERGIRLS should hit stores March 18th, and that’s when I head out on book tour again. I should have a preliminary tour schedule soon.

Reading Rants has posted her opinion about WINTERGIRLS (thanks, Jen!) and the Publishers Weekly has given it a star, the third star, so far. Here’s the review:

“Wintergirls Laurie Halse Anderson. Viking, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-670-01110-0

Acute anorexia, self-mutilation, dysfunctional families and the death of a childhood friend—returning to psychological minefields akin to those explored in Speak, Anderson delivers a harrowing story overlaid with a trace of mysticism. The book begins as Lia learns that her estranged best friend, Cassie, has been found dead in a motel room; Lia tells no one that, after six months of silence, Cassie called her 33 times just two days earlier, and that Lia didn’t pick up even once. With Lia as narrator, Anderson shows readers how anorexia comes to dominate the lives of those who suffer from it (here, both Lia and Cassie), even to the point of fueling intense competition between sufferers. The author sets up Lia’s history convincingly and with enviable economy—her driven mother is “Mom Dr. Marrigan,” while her stepmother’s values are summed up with a précis of her stepsister’s agenda: “Third grade is not too young for enrichment, you know.” This sturdy foundation supports riskier elements: subtle references to the myth of Persephone and a crucial plot line involving Cassie’s ghost and its appearances to Lia. As difficult as reading this novel can be, it is more difficult to put down. Ages 12–up.” Publishers Weekly 1/26/09

Very sweet!!!! I’m especially pleased the review mentions the Persephone myth references (in a good way) because I tinkered with that a lot while revising, trying to find the right places to weave it in the background, and the best times to bring it forth a little louder in the story.

Oh, and there’s a short interview with me up at Authors Unleashed.

Off for more creativity and inspiration. What creative thing are you doing this weekend?

My own voice in my head, for a change

Spent part of yesterday out of my comfort zone. Instead of writing my words, I was reading them out loud. Brilliance Audio asked me to record the dedication and acknowledgments to WINTERGIRLS as well as answer some interview questions and read my poem “Listen” so they could include all of it on the audio version of the book.

BH and I went down to the Hobin Studios where we worked with the extremely capable Brett Hobin. (Yes, Central New Yorkers – Brett is the son of Todd Hobin, as in the Todd Hobin Band we listened to in our misspent youth.)

Brett had all kinds of sound recording goodies that BH tried not to drool on.

I was very nervous – don’t know why, it’s sort of a dumb thing to be nervous about – but Brett got me through it.

Once I got used to hearing my own voice in the exact center of my brain, it was kind of fun.

I’m off for the Kindling Words Retreat! Seeya!

Shiny Days and over the pond news

Whew! I’m still in a post-announcements daze. Uncle Simon and Aunt Schuster have made images of CHAINS sporting its pretty NBA and O’Dell hardware available. I cannot resist.


Yesterday brought two last bits of very-much appreciated news. CHAINS was named a 2009 Notable Book by ALSC and it made the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults list. Yes! Thank you!

I spent much of yesterday corresponding with my British publisher, answering interview questions and putting in my two cents about the proposed paperback cover. (Can’t wait to see what they do – their ideas are really interesting!) Ian, in charge of publicity, sent a new quote from over the pond.
“Chains is one of the most moving and striking books I have read in a long time; finally some thoughtful, stirring historical fiction for young adults … Anyone reading this brilliant book will be left beguiled and bewildered by her bravery as she suffers under slavery.” Waterstones Books Quarterly

I’ve never had any books that attracted much attention in the UK, so this is very exciting.

Today brings a jumble of tasks. I am still trying to clean up a particularly thorny chapter, I have to go to a recording studio and tape some stuff that will be included in the audio version of WINTERGIRLS, I have to do some things for my mom, WebGod Theo has been patiently waiting for some content from me and – best of all – I need to pack because tomorrow is the Kindling Words retreat and I can’t wait!!!!