Preorder contest & tour dates for THE GREAT HIBERNATION!

Great Hibernation coverIt’s hard to believe that my fourth novel, The Great Hibernationwill be on bookshelves next month! I’m so excited for readers to meet Jean, Isara, Rambo the sheep, and the rest of the gang tasked with saving the tiny town of St. Polonius-on-the-Fjord from a mysterious hibernation…and some dastardly political moves, too.

Are you hoping to score a signed copy? And maybe some neat Hibernation swag? You’re in luck! You can either come see me in person on my fall tour, OR preorder a signed, personalized book through my local indie bookstore, BookPeople (and be entered to win an awesome grand prize). Details below!

The Great Hibernation fall book tour

Books of Wonder – New York, NY
Sunday, September 17, 4 pm
Middle-grade panel and launch party! (with Jessica Lawson, Tracey Baptiste,  & Alison Cherry)

The Voracious Reader  – Larchmont, NY
Monday, September 18, 6:30 pm
Science & magic! A middle grade event with Sarah Albee, & Corey Ann Haydu

Trident Booksellers & Cafe
 – 
Boston, MA
Tuesday, September 19, 6:30 pm
Super middle-grade panel! (with Debbi Michiko Florence, Ammi-Joan Paquette, Jen Malone, & Katie Slivensky, moderated by Dana Alison Levy)

One More Page Books
 – Arlington, VA
Saturday, September 23, 3pm
Kidlit panel! (with Tracey Baptiste, Caroline Carlson, & Jessica Lawson, moderated by Madelyn Rosenberg)

Boulder Book Store – Boulder, CO
Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 pm
Middle-grade book launch party! (with Jeannie Mobley & Melanie Crowder)

BookPeople – Austin, TX
Sunday, October 8, 2 pm
A Triple Launch Party! (with Christina Soontornvat & Jeannie Mobley)

 

Preorder campaign!

Can’t make it to one of my events? Never fear–I’m teaming up with BookPeople for an awesome preorder campaign! Just follow the instructions on this page and you can order as many signed, personalized copies as you like; all will come with an exclusive Great Hibernation bookmark and sticker. And as an added bonus, anyone who preorders from BookPeople will be entered to win this amazing Grand Prize Pack!

-Spike, the stuffed narwhal (a key character in The Great Hibernation)61dp4WwNJYL._SL1500_

-A free 30-minute Skype visit with the author, during which you can ask me anything about my books (great for classrooms, book clubs, or just one-on-one chatting!)

AND

-A book club or classroom set of hardcovers of The Great Hibernation!

 

Good luck, and hope to see you and/or sign books for you this fall!

 

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Panel pics, and winners!

The Stars of Summer by Tara DairmanThank you so much to everyone who entered my giveaway celebrating the cover reveal for The Stars of Summersequel to All Four Stars! My editor informed me just this morning that the advance copies are ready, so two lucky winners will be getting their signed copies very soon! And those winners are…

Elizabeth and Ann Buckley!

Congratulations!!

In other news, I had the privilege of participating in an absolutely fantastic panel last night at what has instantly become one of my favorite bookstores: The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY. Francine did a super job bringing in middle-graders, and my co-panelists and I spent a happy hour answering questions and giving away Halloween treats to an incredibly smart, engaged group of young readers (and plenty of terrific adults, too). Thank you SO much to everyone who came and talked to us and generally made us feel like authorly rock stars!

Here are a few pics from the event. (Full album at my Facebook author page.)

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Great signage from the bookstore.

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TWO “Four-star chef” tattoos means that this young fellow is an eight-star chef, right?

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The panelists take their seats! (Left to right: Rebecca Behrens, Tara Dairman, Laura Marx Fitzgerald, Lauren Magaziner, Michelle Schusterman)

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Laura is very adamant! About…something!

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Our treats did not last long. Guess which one was my contribution? 🙂

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Signing books, and chatting with an aspiring teen writer.

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The authors and their books.

What a night, and what a way to wrap up my latest New York adventure. Until next time!

Interview with Colorado Author Amy Kathleen Ryan!

Colorado is for writersWelcome back to the Colorado is for Writers interview series! Every other Tuesday, I talk to different Colorado-based authors about their work and their connections to this beautiful state. Last time, we kicked things off with Jeannie Mobley, and today I’m thrilled to welcome Amy Kathleen Ryan to the blog!

Amy is the author of several young adult novels, including  ZEN AND XANDER UNDONEVIBES, and the Sky Chasers Trilogy (more on that series in a bit). Her books have received multiple starred reviews and appeared on more than one best-of list. Let’s get to know Amy!

Amy Kathleen RyanFirst things first: Colorado native or transplant?

Transplant, from Wyoming via New York City. I grew up in Jackson Hole, just south of Yellowstone National Park, and it was the perfect place to be a kid, but the town started to feel very small to me, and I decided I wanted to see other parts of the country. After college, I lived in Vermont for six years where I went to graduate school for an MA in English Literature, then I went on for an MFA in creative writing in New York City. I met all kinds of different people in New York, and I met my husband there too. He’s a born and bred New Yorker, but I somehow convinced him to come out west with me. I wanted to be near my family again, and Colorado seemed the right mix for us, with the mountains nearby, but lots of technical jobs for him. It’s been a great choice for us.

Book One in the Sky Chasers Trilogy

Book One in the Sky Chasers Trilogy

Please tell us a bit about your book(s), published and/or in progress!

My next book coming out is called FLAME, and it’s the third in my space saga, the Sky Chasers Trilogy. I’m terrible at describing my own books, so here’s the copy my publisher is putting in the catalog:

Waverly and the other members of the Empyrean have been scattered. Their mission to rescue their parents didn’t go quite as planned, and now they’re at an even greater disadvantage: trapped with their enemies on the New Horizon, trying to find a way to survive. Kieran has been pulled under Anne Mather’s wing, but is she actually trying to make peace, or just using Kieran to build her own power? Meanwhile, Waverly is taken in by one of the adults who wants to work with her to bring Anne Mather down—but the more Waverly cooperates with him, the more dangerous her position is, and the more at odds with Kieran she becomes.After setting out from the Empyrean on his own, with only a vague strategy to guide him, Seth is a fugitive aboard the New Horizon. He’s doing what he can to challenge the power of Anne Mather, but is badly hurt, and getting sicker. And all the while, unknown to him, the terrorist Jacob is making plans of his own…

Will Seth ever be able to see Waverly again? Will his health hold out long enough to help her topple their enemy? And will Waverly find a way to unite her friends before they fall? Nothing is sure and every moment is a risk in this explosive finale of the Sky Chasers series.

I wish I had a cover for FLAME to show you, but it hasn’t been finalized yet.

Book Two in the Sky Chasers Trilogy

Book Two in the Sky Chasers Trilogy

What’s the view like from your favorite writing space?

Since I had children, I can’t work at home. It’s too loud and there’s too much to do! So instead I go to various coffee shops where I’m surrounded by people and noise. Somehow all the chaos around me helps me focus inward, and I can get a lot done in the short amount of time I have. I don’t have a favorite place; rather I enjoy the variety of going to different settings, especially now that I’m moonlighting as a housewife, and I don’t get out much otherwise!

What’s the best thing about being a writer in Colorado?

The other writers in Colorado! I was sad when I left New York City, which has such a vibrant literary community. There were always wonderful readings I could go to, but even better, I had made lots of very talented and wonderful friends in New York, and I thought I’d go back to being an isolated writer again when I moved out west again.  I had no idea how many writers there would be in Colorado! I’ve met some absolutely lovely people, and have cultivated some nice friendships with them.

The people here are really great. Thank you so much, Amy! A New York writer transplanting to Colorado and writing in coffee shops–I heartily approve. 🙂

Readers: Have you ever relocated and found yourself to be less isolated in your new community than you expected? Please share your story in the comments!

A very literary (and tasty!) east coast trip

Oh, my–almost two weeks have passed since my trip ended. I’d better get this post up, huh? 🙂

I left Colorado just in time to escape 98-degree, bone-dry days and the worst of the wildfires, and flew into NYC just in time to catch 98-degree, 100%-humidity days that made me feel like I was back in the rainforest. A really loud, crowded rainforest that smelled like rotting garbage.

My first literary destination was KGB Bar, where my good friend E.C. Myers packed the house for his reading from Fair Coin. Standing room only! If I ever do a public reading, I can only hope to be half as funny and engaging as he was.

The next day, I headed down to Soho for a get-to-know-you-in-person lunch with Gladys Gatsby‘s lovely editor, Shauna Fay Rossano. We had e-mailed and talked on the phone several times, but this would be our first face-to-face meeting. She gave me a choice of restaurants, each with a more fabulous-sounding menu than the next, and I was having quite a time choosing, but I finally went with this one……because the NY Times hinted that they might just have the best pie in the city. Total scale-tipper. Also, when I asked Shauna if she wanted to split a slice and she immediately proposed we get the peanut butter pie, I knew I was working with the smartest editor in town. 🙂

Yes, I remembered to take a picture of the pie, but somehow forgot to get a picture of me and Shauna at lunch. D’oh! But there would be a chance to remedy that later. In the meantime, we parted ways, and I took a wander through Soho. Here’s a sign I enjoyed in the window of the McNally Jackson bookstore.

A weekend went by. I spent time with family, visited friends, went to a wedding.

But then Monday found me and Andy venturing out to Flushing, where we had somehow convinced Shauna and her husband to meet us at Fu Run, a restaurant specializing in the “Dongbei” cuisine of northeast China. We chowed down on dishes like the “Muslim lamb chop” (not a chop, but actually an amazing rack cumin-crusted lamb ribs) and “green bean sheet jelly” (actually a spicy cold noodle dish). Of course, I needed to get a glamour shot of the lamb ribs…and luckily remembered to pose with Shauna in the same picture!A few days later, I spent the day at Coney Island with my sister. We rode the Wonder Wheel and got hot dogs from the original Nathans and spent hours watching walruses play at the aquarium. I took lots of atmospheric pictures, since I’m planning to set a scene at Coney Island if I ever write a Gladys sequel!

Brooke and I also took some fittingly old-timey self portraits, thanks to the magic of Instagram.

At the end of the day, we wandered over to Brighton Beach to eat delicious potato/mushroom- and meat-stuffed vareniki (Ukranian dumplings) at Cafe Glechik. I had read somewhere online that a $7 order came with more than 20 vareniki, but I didn’t believe it until they were right in front of me. SO. GOOD.Fast forward a few days and a Megabus ride, and I found myself in Boston, ready to have my second literary power lunch of the trip–with my awesome agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette! Stupidly, I had so much fun hanging out with Joan that I forgot to get a picture either of the food (a delicious date-and-mascarpone “pizza”) or of the people. All I’ve got is this exterior shot of the restaurant in Harvard Square (in fact, the only photo I took the entire three days I spent in Boston, despite seeing many old friends and engaging in fun activities like kayaking on the Charles.).But I made up for that by taking plenty of pictures during the next part of my trip, a swing through New Hampshire and Vermont. The sole purpose of this leg was to finally meet my critique partner extraordinaire, Ann Bedichek, in person! Here we are with an order of garlic knots at Ramuntos in Hanover, NH–which make a greasy, delicious cameo in Ann’s middle-grade manuscript Scientastic Supergirls.The fact that Ann and I were only just meeting in person that day was kind of ridiculous if you know our history, which includes graduating the same year from the same college, where we apparently had a slew of mutual friends and Ann did the same three-month foreign study program as my future husband. Three years ago, Andy and I got married a few miles from where Ann and her husband live, and last summer we were all at our 10-year college reunion…and yet Ann and I still managed not to cross paths in life until we entered the same pitch contest last fall and ended up connecting online as writers.

Lo and behold, now she’s my number-one beta reader and we’re agency-sisters…so it seems that we finally got the memo that the universe want us to be friends. 🙂

Anyway, I was lucky enough to spend my final weekend on the east coast hanging out at Ann and Dan’s house, picking herbs at the local farm with their adorable son Ethan, drinking chocolate frappes at LA Burdick, and taking a dip at my favorite wedding venue, Alyson’s Orchard.

How can you not be happy when you’re sitting on a dock, listening to the frogs sing, on a beautiful pond in New Hampshire?Let’s leave it there. Sure, there was a long train ride, and a few more days spent in New York, but I think I’ve shared most of the important parts. I was happy to go back east, to reunite with family and friends and meet some amazing new people. But I’m happy to be home now, too, where the mountains tower outside my window, I pass deer and prairie dogs on my bike ride to work, and most days I have the time and calm to get some writing done.

(I do wish we had better vareniki here, though.)

 

Start spreadin’ the news…

I’m in New York!

It’s about 100 degrees and humid out, which makes it feel like I’m literally in the jungle…which I guess I sort of am. Can’t wait to venture into the city tonight and experience all of the crowdedeness, rudeness, and black-hued fashion that’s been missing from my life for these past six months!

Anyway, in case you’re curious, here are a few of the items on my jam-packed agenda over the following week:

-Hear E.C. Myers read from Fair Coin at KGB Bar (tonight!)

-Meet my lovely editor Shauna at the Penguin offices

-Check out Matt Freeman’s latest play, Confess Your Bubble, at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg

-Take a virtual tour of China with outings to Yunnanese, Dongbei, and Cantonese restaurants

-Attend the wedding of two good friends (who started dating when we all worked together on the 2007 production of my play, PB&J–aw!)

-Take my sister to Coney Island (she’s never been!)

And then I take off for Boston, where even more fun awaits.

What are your plans for the next couple of weeks?