Monday madness

Thanks to everyone who ignored the gorgeous weather, the Bills game, and the Giants game to come out to the bookstore yesterday. The crowd was much bigger than I thought and I stayed for a very long time chatting and signing. I hope to have some photos to post soon.

I have already been working on my revision for a couple of hours. I should be able to ship off Part 1 this afternoon. I sure hope so – I am desperate to go to the gym.

In the breaking news category: FEVER 1793 will soon be translated into Korean, TWISTED has been nominated for The Heartland Award, and next month, a stage version of SPEAK will premiere at both Fayetteville-Manlius High School and Nottingham High School.

I leave you library lovers with a little game to play…

Happy Birthday, Doris Noble Prize Winner Lessing!

TWISTED – New York Times Bestseller!

Thanks to you guys – my readers, all the librarians and teachers who support my work, and the outstanding booksellers who lined up solidly behind TWISTED – the book has made the New York Times Bestseller List, at position #6.

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Yes! That’s my book!!! ::dances and squees:: Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you, thank you!!

Be sure to give a shout, too, for #10, Barnstormers, by my buddy .

Because the list is put together a few weeks ahead of time, the April 8th edition actually reflects sales from the week of March 18th. That means that TWISTED cracked The List in its debut week and that makes me really, really happy. I can also tell you that next week’s list (to be published April 15th) has already been put together, and TWISTED is on it again.

Life is looking mighty bright today, my friends.

I have one more afternoon of paperwork ahead of me and then a few hours at the gym. I am thinking of calling a work-free weekend and just gorging myself on all the books I brought home from the tour. It snowed again last night and it is snowing right now, so I don’t have to worry about neglecting the garden or yard.


Yeah, I’m doing it. I hereby declare a guilt-free reading weekend for all!

(Tell me what you’re reading.)

Let the turning of pages begin!

Dare to Read

Well this is something I never saw coming!

PROM was chosen to be part of Elle magazine’s Dare To Read Bookclub. Somehow, this qualifies me as an Elle girl. (I wonder if I can get that on a tee shirt.) Elle is having a contest, too – free books as the prize, so hop over and take a peek! Fellow LJer and cool YA author tanyaleestone is also on the list. Be sure to check out her book: A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl.

In the comments section on the 15th, Anon wrote: You often talk about story arcs in your novels. Would you please define what a story arc is, and discuss how different arcs relate to each other and pull the story along? Is there conventional wisdom for developing and using story arcs?

I will take a crack at it. (If any of you English teacher think I have messed up this definition, let me know.)

A story arc is the storyline… the path of a character as she works her way through the story. She starts the story, stuff happens, she reacts to the stuff that happens, she changes and grows as a result of the stuff that happens, and by the end of the story, she is a more mature and (one hopes) wiser person for having gone through these experiences. The trick in a novel is that you have a number of story arcs – different characters all on their own paths which cross and intertwine with each other. Every scene has to move someone’s arc ahead a little, or there is no point to the scene being in the book. In TWISTED, one of the secondary character’s arc was unclear. He was acting one way in the beginning of the book and a completely different way towards the end, and I hadn’t made clear why the transition happened. Not only was this bad for his character, but it messed up the interactions he had with the other characters in the book. So for the last couple of days, I’ve been studying every scene this guy is in with a microscope. I’ve changed a couple of the scenes. Today, I’m adding in a few more towards the end to better set up a fairly dramatic resolution to his set of issues with the main character.

That, my friends, is what we call revision.

And to answer Max’s question: the historical WIP is on hold until next week while I take a last pass through TWISTED. I occasionally look at the corner of the office where my notes are heaped on the floor and whimper, but I have to finish this project before I’m allowed out to play with the next.

Happy Book News, with vicious rant behind the cut

It’s official: PROM is available in paperback!

::happy dancing::

PROM was also honored by making VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers (check out the whole list for other great titles).

::more happy dancing::

And FEVER 1793 proudly sits on the
2006 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults List
, chosen by YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association.

I love the way this committee organizes the list. It comes up with fun, funky categories every year. Check out this year’s (descriptions stolen from the committee’s press release):

“Books That Don’t Make You Blush: No Dirty Laundry Here” Books that are fun to read and appeal to all teens.

“Criminal Elements” Fiction and nonfiction about teens that find themselves in opposition to or on the wrong side of the law, as well as stories about lives affected by encounters with the legal system, gangs, law enforcement, and prison.

“What Ails You?” Fiction and nonfiction about how diseases, disorders and other general health related symptoms affect our lives. (This is the list that FEVER is on.)

“GLBTQ” Contemporary fiction and nonfiction for teens of all persuasions.

If you’re looking for something good to read, I strongly suggest you print out the list and take it to the library with you.

::stops dancing to stare at mountain of paperwork on desk::

In the cranky news category: I spent hours and hours again yesterday trying to straighten out the host of Medicare issues that have been hounding my parents for months. Many of you probably don’t care about this so I’m putting it behind a cut:

My rant about Medicare and companies that abuse the elderly and weak

ALA awards announced!!

Many, many congratulations to all the winners!!!!!

The Printz

Honor Books
BLACK JUICE by Margo Lanagan
I AM THE MESSENGER by Markus Zusak

The Newbery Medal
CRISS CROSS by Lynne Rae Perkins

Honor Books
WHITTINGTON by Alan Armstrong
HITLER YOUTH by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
SHOW WAY by Jacqueline Woodson

The Caldecott Medal
THE HELLO GOODBYE WINDOW illus. by Chris Raschka, written by Norton Juster

Honor Books
ROSA, illus. by Bryan Collier, written by Nikki Giovanni
ZEN SHORTS written and illus. by Jon Muth
HOT AIR: THE (MOSTLY) TRUE STORY OF THE FIRST HOT-AIR BALLOON RIDE written and illus. by Marjorie Priceman
SONG OF THE WATERBOATMAN AND OTHER POND POEMS illus. by Beckie Prang, written by Joyce Sidman