Since 2005, I've blogged here at naturalartificial.blogspot.com. With a nostalgic sort of sadness, I'm leaving this platform to continue my blog at the newly designed stephanieperkins.com.
It was a hard decision to make. I have so many memories here—so many friendships were made here—but it was time to leave Blogger.
It felt very, well, 2005 to be relying on so many different companies and products (Blogger, GoDaddy, Fetch, BBEdit, Photobucket, as well as my friend and web designer Manning Krull) for one single website. Also, GoDaddy is pretty gross.
So now I'm doing the Squarespace thing. Everything in one place.
It seems good so far.
This will be my last blog entry on this platform. If you would like to subscribe to my new blog—and I very sincerely hope that you do—you'll find the necessary links on my new blog. You can subscribe via email (the link is in the right sidebar of the new blog) or RSS.
Thank you for reading this. It has been a pleasure and an honor.
See a bigger version here.
Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.
Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Oh, my! Isn't it wonderful?
I'm so, so happy to be able to share with you the cover and description of Summer Days & Summer Nights, which will be released next summer on June 14, 2016.
Our in-house editor—the extraordinary Sara Goodman—and I wanted a cover that complemented our beautiful first anthology, My True Love Gave to Me, and, once again, designer Olga Grlic and illustrator Jim Tierney did a fantastic job.
(Side note: If you haven't visited Jim's website, you should. I'm a fan. He also did the interior illustrations for MTLGTM, and he'll be doing them again for SD&SN!)
This cover . . . I can't stop smiling. My heart is bursting with joy. I've been working hard (SO HARD) with these incredible authors since last spring, and it feels so warm and good to see all of our work together. As one.
To Leigh, Francesca, Libba, Cassie, Brandy, Tim, Lev, Nina, Veronica, Jon, and Jen: THANK YOU. I LOVE YOU AND ADMIRE YOU ALL SO MUCH. MAN OH MAN. YOU GUYS. YOU GUYS ARE SUPERHEROES.
I mean, holy freaking authors, right?? And every single one of them has been a pleasure to work with! Not only are they brilliant and talented, but they're SO MUCH FUN and have such enormous hearts. I can't wait until you can read what they've written for you. Their stories are just as marvelous and swoony and funny and surprising and delightful as they are.
Look . . . look at these little guys! All of these characters that I know and love!
Like MTLGTM, all twelve couples from the stories are on the cover.
THEY'RE SO ADORABLE I CAN HARDLY TAKE IT!!!
All twelve stories are original and feature all-new characters . . . with the exception of my own. For now, I'll let the other authors (if they choose!) share with you which of these characters are theirs and what their stories are about.
My characters are the ones using the tire swing. Their names are Marigold Moon Ling and North Drummond, and if you read My True Love Gave to Me, you've already met them in a Christmas tree lot in "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown."
North & Marigold fan art by Giovana Medeiros
I loved writing their holiday story, but I knew their journey wasn't quite over. It was a joy getting to revisit them half a year later! Thank you to every single reader who asked me for MORE. I was listening. :-)
Thanks again to Sara and Olga and everyone at St. Martin's, Jim, my agent Kate, and the super-supportive authors—Holly, Ally, Matt, Gayle, Jenny, David, Kelly, Myra, Rainbow, Laini, and Kiersten—of my first anthology. Thank you for letting me do this.
And one more thanks to my summer authors: Thank you for trusting me. You guys brought it. I am so freaking proud of this collection!
Our book will be released on June 14, 2016, and it's available for pre-order now:
Indiebound — order from your local independent bookseller
This anthology will make you feel sunny inside. I can't wait for you to read it!
My friend Alexa’s fantastic new novel Sound is releasing this week! If you love science fiction, you absolutely need to check out her books. They’re so smart. So GOOD. To celebrate its release (and the release of Isla in paperback), I’ll be joining her—and a few other awesome authors!—at two upcoming events:
Sunday, October 4th at 2:00 pm
A young adult panel with Renne Ahdieh, Alexandra Duncan, Alan Gratz, and Stephanie Perkins. Everyone is welcome! Free to attend.
Monday, October 5th, at 5:30 pm
A young adult panel with Renee Ahdieh, Alexandra Duncan, Alan Gratz, Stephanie Perkins, and Will Walton. Everyone is welcome! Tickets are $10. From the store’s website: “Each ticket can be redeemed for $10 off a purchase of the featured authors’ books prior to or at the event, and includes one admission pass to the event.”
I’ll also be attending Hank Green’s super sweet inaugural Nerdcon: Stories in MINNEAPOLIS, MN on October 9th & 10th. The guest list is insane, and I'm so psyched and honored to have been invited. There’s still time to register if you haven’t.
These will be my last events for the rest of the year (and probably most of next year), so please come say hello to me if you can!
As for the rest of October . . . hell yeah, I'm doing 31 Horror Films in 31 Days again! Stay tuned. This blog is about to become a blog again.
I miss real blogging, and I hope/plan to return to it this spring. In the meantime, I wanted to mention these upcoming events:
March 16: I'll be in Winston-Salem, NC at Salem College with Kami Garcia, Brendan Reichs, and Carrie Ryan. The event is at 7pm at the Drama Workshop in Elberson Fine Arts Center. It's free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.
March 25: I'll be at the Midwest City Library in Oklahoma City, OK from 10am to 11am. This event is free and open to the public.
March 25: I'll be at the Northwest Library in Oklahoma City, OK from 6pm to 7pm. This event is free and open to the public.
March 26: I'll be at the Edmond Library in Oklahoma City, OK from 7pm to 8pm. This event is free and open to the public.
April 11: I'll be at YALLWest in Santa Monica, CA. Some of the events will be ticketed. Check their website for details.
May 12–17: I'll be returning to the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas, TX. Registration required to attend.
I'm especially excited for the Oklahoma events, because they'll be my first in the state. I hope some of you will be able to come and say hello!
Before I sign off . . .
HAPPY (early) ST. PATRICK'S DAY! As per my annual tradition, I'll be making Storyqueen Shelley Moore Thomas's delicious corned beef with marmalade and watching Once, my favorite Irish movie. Do you have any fun traditions?
New York City! I'm packing my luggage!
And so are Holly Black, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, and Kiersten White!!!
(Okay. Not Gayle, Jenny, or David. They already live there.)
But—that's right—*NINE* out of us twelve anthology authors are coming for *TWO* very special events in your city this week.
That's so many authors!!!
Plus, I'm doing a bonus reading with a bunch of other cool people this Wednesday at the Jefferson Market branch of the NYPL. Here's my full schedule:
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3rd
6–7:30 PM at Jefferson Market branch library (corner of 6th Ave and 10th St)
Teen Author Reading Night
Featuring: Anna Carey, Sarah Beth Durst, Margaret Gurevich, Daphne Grab, Claire Legrand, Stephanie Perkins, Kieran Scott, and Rebecca Serle. Hosted by David Levithan.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4th
4 PM at Barnes & Noble Tribeca
My True Love Gave to Me: Panel, Q&A, and Signing
Featuring: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, and Kiersten White.
Additional details: Priority seating with purchase. Guests who wish to sit must purchase a book from B&N—either My True Love Gave to Me *or* any book written by one of the featured authors. If nothing is purchased, guests will have to stand. No purchase is required to attend the signing.
7 PM at McNally Jackson
My True Love Gave to Me: Holiday Reception
Featuring: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, and Kiersten White.
Additional details: This party is also in celebration of McNally Jackson's ten-year anniversary. Hurrah! Wear your ugliest holiday sweater. THERE WILL BE PRIZES.
SPECIAL AWESOME SUPER BONUS: Matt de la Peña pre-signed the stock at both stores, and Laini Taylor sent signed stickers. Yes! You'll be getting the anthology signed by *ELEVEN* of the twelve authors.
But . . . but . . . what about Rainbow Rowell?
As you may have seen elsewhere online, Rainbow was scheduled to be here. Sadly, there's been a family emergency, and she'll be staying in Nebraska. We'll miss you so much, Rainbow.
We will also miss this FREAKING OUTSTANDING cardigan that your equally talented husband made especially for these two events:
To be clear: We will miss you more, Rainbow.
We're totally gonna miss your cardigan.
South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia . . . we're coming for you!
In fifteen minutes, I'll be hopping into my car and driving to YALLFest. Hurrah! I assume that if you're planning to attend, those plans, well . . . they've already been in the works for a while. But for everyone else in the South, you can still catch David Levithan, Jennifer E. Smith, and me at the following events this week:
CHARLESTON, SC: Saturday, November 8
Various panels and signings at YALLFest.
DECATUR, GA: Sunday, November 9
2:00 PM reading and signing at Little Shop of Stories.
ATHENS, GA: Sunday, November 9
7:30 PM party and signing at Avid Bookshop.
CHAPEL HILL, NC: Monday, November 10
7:00 PM reading and signing at Flyleaf Books.
ASHEVILLE, NC: Tuesday, November 11
7:00 PM reading and signing at Malaprop’s.
And if you don't live in this region, there's still time to enter this sweepstakes to win a free copy of My True Love Gave to Me and these cute holiday cookie cutters!
If you live in the United States, you can enter here now through November 13th to win either: 1 of 10 grand prizes (a copy of My True Love Gave to Me, a holiday cookie cutter, and a gift tag) *or* 1 of 115 holiday cookie cutters and gift tags.
The gingerbread lady cookie cutter is inspired by something in my story, “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown.” So much fun!
Okay, gotta dash. I hope to see some of you soon!!!
Happy November, friends!
The first snow of the season began falling on Asheville at midnight between Halloween and the first of November. It was magical. It felt like a gift just for me. I love snow, and I love November. It's my favorite month.
My lucky month.
Good things happen in November.
Last month—my second favorite month, and, yes, I rank everything—Jarrod and I participated in horror author Daniel Kraus’s annual 31 Horror Films in 31 Days Challenge. The idea is simple: Watch thirty-one horror films during the month of October, and tweet about each one with a brief description or review.
There's no prize. Just the glory of getting to say you've done it.
Well . . . WE DID IT.
Here's the full list of films we watched. Some of these tweets were more clever than others.* We watched these movies pretty late at night, okay?? My brain was tired.**
*The best were written by my husband.
**That's my weak excuse for two Kevin McCallister jokes. Cripes.***
***Also, I just really like Home Alone.
1. THE MIST (2007): Andrea, Dale, & Carol from THE WALKING DEAD get trapped in a grocery store & fight a parking-lot octopus.
2. SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983): Crop tops and short shorts are killed in delightfully creative ways. Lock up your curling iron.
3. ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (2006): Unfriendly friends go to a ranch for blow jobs. Heads are blown off instead.
4. RAVENOUS (1999): Cool setting cool cannibals OH NO THIS MUSIC AGAIN. Guy Pearce, you're great, but I *think* it's a comedy?
5. COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES (2012): It'll make you wish the elderly were used more often in climactic chase scenes.
6. GRABBERS (2012): Irish island gets drunk for protection against alien sea monsters. Great characters. Gorgeous setting.
7. THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (2008): Poor choices abound as Bradley Cooper photographs a butcher doing his work on the subway.
8. OLDBOY (2003): Keep your mouth shut. For multiple reasons.
9. FUNNY GAMES (1997): If their son had been Kevin McCallister, this home invasion would have gone very differently.
10. [REC] (2007): Blair Witch Outbreak in Barcelona.
11. SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (2011): Some guy = ice cream man. People = bullies. Sad. Sweet. Funny. Quiet. Not really horror?
12. DETENTION (2011): Peeta and Dane Cook star in this 90s edition of Trivial Pursuit: Pop Culture.
13. HORNS (2013): Townspeople can't lie to Harry Potter's pointy nubbins.
14. DRAG ME TO HELL (2009): Rests beside CORALINE in the pantheon of films about evil buttons.
15. CANDYMAN (1992): It takes longer to call him than Bloody Mary, but it's worth it for his coat alone.
16. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2009): I'm having a hard time digesting this one.
17. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (2011): What's black and white and brown all over? That one scene.
18. THE VANISHING (1988): Why you should never buy coffee at a gas station.
19. THE GIANT GILA MONSTER (1959): Teenagers, hot rods, and ukeleles. A regular gila monster. And then more ukeleles.
20. CURSED (2005): (A) Wednesday Addams, Mark Zuckerberg, Pacey, Kitty Sanchez, Ron Swanson, Lindsay Bluth. (B) Werewolves.
21. BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974): The call is coming from inside the sorority! A modern slasher made pre-HALLOWEEN. Impressive.
22. THE RETURNED (2013): Zombies have been cured! Oops. Medicine's gone. Cue humanity at its worst.
23. FRANKENSTEIN (2011, Cumberbatch as Creature): Wow. WOW. Been waiting to see this for three years. Danny Boyle did NOT disappoint! Outstanding.
24. THE HITCHER (1986): Killer hitchhiker finds perfect victim—a guy who, inexplicably, will never describe him to the cops.
25. PROM NIGHT (1980): Disco dancing! And other things that go bump in the night.
26. FRANKENSTEIN (2011, Cumberbatch as Victor Frankenstein): Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller switch roles. Creature becomes Creator. Phenomenal.
27. THE GINGERDEAD MAN (2005): Gary Busey is a tiny homicidal cookie. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, you should watch it.
28. ERNEST SCARED STUPID (1991): When fighting booger trolls, don't forget the miak.
29. YOU'RE NEXT (2011): The Wet Bandits were lucky Kevin McCallister didn't use a blender, unlike this film's Final Girl.
30. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004): My favorite horror comedy. Period. (You've got red on you.)
31. SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999): Is it weird that I've always wanted to live on this set? Christopher Walken's pointy teeth and all.
All of these films were new-to-us with the exception of Ernest Scared Stupid, which we watch every Halloween Eve while carving pumpkins, and Shaun of the Dead and Sleepy Hollow, which we watch every year on Halloween itself. Obviously, we love them! Tease me all you want about Ernest, but I'll still maintain that it's massively underrated. It actually did scare me as a child. And the troll in it (a man in a costume) is ickier than 95% of modern CGI monsters.
As for the new films, Jarrod and I were unanimous in our top pick: Sleepaway Camp. This one was BONKERS. And so, so wrong. I never use this verb, but: Bless this film for existing.
Also, thanks to everyone on Twitter who told me to listen to the Sleepaway Camp episode of How Did This Get Made? It made me laugh (almost) as much as the movie.
Seriously, guys. That movie is ridiculous. And I mean that as a compliment.
The other films that I loved: Grabbers, Oldboy, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Candyman, Horns, The Vanishing, Black Christmas, and both versions of Danny Boyle's filmed play Frankenstein, which I saw in a movie theater via Fathom Events.
I also really, really, really liked Some Guy Who Kills People, though it seemed like it would be better friends with Little Miss Sunshine than Nightmare on Elm Street. It was great to see Kevin Corrigan, one of my favorite weirdos, in a leading role.
There was also plenty to enjoy about these: The Mist, Ravenous, Cockneys vs Zombies, [Rec], Drag Me To Hell, The Human Centipede, Cursed, The Returned, The Gingerdead Man, and You're Next.
As for the SCARIEST film, my tolerance for horror is high, so . . . none of them frightened me. I'm sorry! I know that's not helpful. But Candyman was the only film that made me vocally jump, and [Rec] was the only film that made me sick to my stomach. But that's because it used shaky cam. (Death to shaky cam!)
Funny Games was the hardest to watch. An hour and forty minutes of unrelenting misery. It wasn't graphic. Just bleak. And frustrating. With my least favorite type of ending to boot. The director accomplished exactly what he set out to do, and I can admire that, but I still hope I never have to see it—or anything like it—ever again.*
*I can't help but feel like the director (of both the original and the remake), Michael Haneke, would see this as a victory. Kudos to you, Haneke.
A few final thoughts:
Best title = The Midnight Meat Train
Runner up = Some Guy Who Kills People
Best title screen = You're Next, it's part of the actual plot
Runner up = Ravenous, vomiting Guy Pierce
Best kill = You're Next, blender
Runner up = Sleepaway Camp, curling iron
Best chase scene = Cockneys vs Zombies, elderly man with walker vs zombies
Runner up = Frankenstein, the entire film(s)
Best worst quote = Sleepaway Camp, "Eat shit and die." "Eat shit and live, Bill."
Runner up = The Gingerdead Man, "Got milk?"
Best costume = Candyman, the title villain's wicked sweet coat
Runner up = Sleepaway Camp, male crop tops and short shorts
Seriously, guys. You HAVE to see Sleepaway Camp.
Even though it's November.