Remember a few weeks ago when I said, "My favorite piece of good news isn't even my own. A very dear friend had an EVEN BETTER week. But because it's not *my* news, it isn't mine to share. You shall have to wait!"



Here's a snippet from the Publisher's Weekly announcement:

"Little Brown Books for Young Readers senior editor Alvina Ling won world rights . . . at auction to Laini Taylor's tentatively titled new YA novel, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Ling beat four other houses for the work . . . Daughter, which is scheduled for fall 2011, is about a pair of star-crossed lovers kept apart by the fact that one's an angel and the other's a demon; also woven into the tale is the story of the devil's adopted daughter, a blue-haired art student in Prague."

First . . .

Guys, forgive me. I've been *dying* to brag!

I have read this book. And it's incredible. I promise that you've NEVER read a story like this before. Every page is bursting with wild energy and gorgeous language and interesting weird things and cities you can smell and feel and taste, and characters you want to know—characters you want to BE!—as well as the most sinfully great, heart-aching, knock-your-socks off love story that fantasy has seen in YEARS.

This book blew me away.

You will like it. Trust me.

Second . . .

I want to point out one wee little thing about the PW description. It calls her novel an angel/demon story, but . . . this is soooooooo underselling it! As you know, there are a lot of angel/demon stories on the market. This is NOT your average story. These are NOT your average angels and demons! If you've read Laini's previous work, you would have guessed this already, but I want to make it clear that this book—this world—is different. It's beautiful and luscious and creepy and intriguing, and yes, I will be gushing about it a LOT here in the coming months.

(Next year, guys! You get to read this NEXT YEAR! In the world of publishing, that is practically tomorrow!)

I cried with happiness on the phone three times when Laini told me she'd sold it. I couldn't wish a five-house auction on anyone or any book more deserving. She's an astounding writer, one of those rare authors to possess a completely unique and original storytelling voice. My most common comment in the margins of her manuscripts is always, "This line is soooooooo Laini!!!!" Because there's no other way to describe it.

And that, to me, is special.

I am THRILLED OUT OF MY MIND that the size of her audience is about to explode into the stratosphere and that the world will soon discover what it's been missing out on.

If you haven't read her work before, RUN to get Lips Touch, which was a finalist for the National (freaking) Book Award last year! It's three romantic, dark, fantastic, twisty stories with a similar atmosphere to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And then try her Dreamdark series—Blackbringer and Silksinger—for faeries like you've NEVER read before.

If you haven't already left your congratulations on her blog, I hope you do! This is huge, joyous, life-changing news. And she tells the story behind the story, which I always love!*

*I remember that day she talks about on her blog so well! I was still a librarian, and I was stuck behind the circulation desk and longing to be writing at home, and suddenly—*POOF*—this amazing scene was in my inbox, and I was transported into this . . . magical weird curious shop. And it was wonderful.

I'm totally like, "Yeah. I knew she was awesome first."

In unrelated news . . . if you're going to ALA's Annual Conference this weekend, advanced copies of Anna and the French Kiss will be at the Penguin booth. Yes! MY BOOK IS AT ALA! And I really, really hope you get a copy! (And take a picture for me? Oh my stars, I'd love you forever if I could see a picture of my novel at ALA.)

Also . . . I love it whenever I run across something that makes me say, "THIS is why the internet was created."

Well, folks.

THIS is why the internet was created:

HA HA HA HA!! I can't stop grinning.

And writers, if you haven't seen Jackson Pearce's (author of last year's super cute As You Wish and the recently released Sisters Red) "Writers' Blok" video, which is based on the above song, you should watch this, too:

MAJOR props to Jackson for singing and dancing about something we can all relate to. Also, for the Froot Loops line. She always creates fun vlogs!

And finally . . . Lola and the Boy Next Door revisions are going well, but they'll require more time. I'll finish this draft in July. Thanks to great feedback and my first opportunity for reflection, I am FINALLY seeing it as the cool, odd, sparkly novel I'd always hoped it would be. I am happy.

(Also, I've been doodling hearts and stars around the Boy Next Door's name. So that's a good sign, right?)

Now I'm off to a wedding in Cary, NC—It's at a science museum! There will be butterflies!—and then I'm further off to Ocean Isle, NC for a week of sun, sand, and twenty-four books I've been eager to read. I don't know if I'll have internet access at the beach house, but I hope so. I'd love to blog while I'm there.

So hopefully, I'll talk to you next week. If not, I'll talk to you in July!


What an author looks like when she receives her very first copies of her book ever.

P.S. These prettyprettypretty ARCs have already been claimed. But one of them is for YOU! I'll hold a contest later this summer.

P.P.S. Yes, I still have the blue streaks! I plan on staying blue for at least another year. If you look closely at the back of my head, you'll see a hint of turquoise underneath my roots. They're still quite visible from the side and when my hair is down. (Proof, which I had to provide for my friend Amy.) I'm two months overdue for redyeing, because of that whole Lola debacle. But this is what I look like as a natural redhead!

P.P.P.S. If you haven't read yesterday's post, please do. It explains what I've been up to. And now I'm going back to work.


An Epic Post Before I Semi-Epically Leave You Again

That picture is for anyone who has ever wondered what it would look like if you sat on your leg until it fell asleep in a bungee-style office chair. Which I'd like to say has never happened to me, but clearly that would be a lie.

I'd also like to say this has never happened to me more than once, and especially never more than twice, but those would also be lies.

SO, HI! I've missed you guys! And a great big WELCOME to my new blog readers. Thank you for introducing yourselves in my recent comments! I'm excited you found me. So I have lots to say today and not much time to say it—please forgive the scattered nature. (Again.)

Tra la la. Where to begin?



This was a thirteen-month (plus nine years) labor of love and heartache and heartbreak and anger and deadness and frustration that stripped away my social life and left me with the heaviest physical and mental exhaustion that I've ever experienced. For thirteen. long. months.

But . . . it's OVER.

(Sort of.)

Early Tuesday morning—when I sent Lola to my agent—was the sort of occasion that deserves sparklers and pony rides and fluffy balls of rainbow cotton candy and a week-long vacation on the Spanish coast that somehow turns into a month, that somehow turns into two months, before dragging myself back to the States with a mermaid tattoo and a mysterious accent before throwing myself into revisions.

I had two days off.

Here's what I did:

• Slept
• Drank jasmine tea in a fancy china cup
• Watched J√≥nsi's Go Quiet
• Visited a friend at the library
• Drank half a bottle of champagne
• Slept
• Re-read Kelly Link's "The Faery Handbag"
• Slept
• Went to the hardware store
• Slept
• Planted pink and white begonias between 2 and 4 a.m.
• Slept

I was asleep for thirty-something of the forty-eight hours. In other words, I AM TOTALLY AWESOME AT CELEBRATING. Also, I'm pretty sure 2 a.m. is the rational time to garden, right?


ME: Tra la la!

Front door opens. MY CELEBRITY BOYFRIEND THOM YORKE steps onto the porch. Thom sits on the steps and watches me silently for five minutes.


THOM: You're planting begonias.

ME: Yes.

THOM: In the front garden.

ME: Yes.

THOM: In your husband's underpants.


THOM: Yet it didn't cross your mind that washing the dirty laundry would be a better use of your time.


THOM: At two in the morning.

ME: Yes.

THOM: In Jarrod's underpants.

ME: I hide behind the cherry tree whenever a car passes!

THOM: . . .

ME: Go away.

THOM: Bugger off.

ME: Chris Martin is never this difficult. If he were here—

THOM: I'd be back in Oxford with my wife and children.

ME: —if he were here right now, he'd be helping.

THOM: [Glares. Waters one begonia.]

ME: I hate you.

THOM: I hate you more.

ME: [ten minutes later] I love you.

THOM: Quiet. I'm working on a new song, "Transatlantik Nightsick Gardener."

ME: You are not.

THOM: It's a love song.

ME: [thinking] Okay. I'll allow it.

Speaking of! My curmudgeonly, longest-term celebrity boyfriend was recently a part of this list: "100 Hot Men from Across the Pond."

And . . . I'M PROUD AND HONORED to say that I was asked by Heather Moore to (unofficially) help contribute to the list! My lifetime study of Hot British Men has finally paid off!! The amazing part was that I didn't even put Thom on my list. I wanted to, but figured Heather would think I was crazy.

Her response:

"I was not alone in this. One of my compatriots INSISTED."

HUZZAH! And I couldn't agree with the list's caption more:

Anyway. Check out the list! ONE HUNDRED HBM. I can see no better use of your next five minutes.

So where was I? Oh. Yeah.

I had two days off from Lola. Not two months. And this is where the "(Sort of.)" comes in. Because now I have *WONDERFUL* notes from my agent Kate and Laini Taylor (both superheroes for reading the manuscript in record time!), and I have one teeny tiny singular week to turn these notes into a NEW manuscript, one that I'll turn into my editor. Next week. Did I mention I'm turning in my new draft NEXT WEEK?

Pardon me while I cry for a few minutes.

A few more.

Still sobbing.

Sitting in the bottom of my closet. Light's off. Fat gushy tears. Stomach is tight and head is throbbing and this is the end. I'll wither and shrivel and die in here like an indoor fern. The exhaustion, you guys. I don't even know what to say other than:

(1) Thank goodness this will be over in a week.

(2) Thank goodness I love the novel. I do not like it right now, but I love it.

(3) Thank goodness Kate and Laini DO like it. This falls under "Best News I've Heard All Year." Like "HOLY CRAB APPLES, I'M EXPLODING ON YOUR FACE" news.

Except there's no actual exploding because of the exhaustion. It's more like a weak fizz. Like ginger ale, gone flat.

So . . . a few answers to questions before I leave you for another week:

For those who asked how I managed to do the following while indoors:

(A) Get a sunburn.
(B) Put a live beetle into my mouth.

(A) The magic combination of deathly pale skin and sitting beside a window!

(B) My husband and I receive a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box. Jarrod picks up our box of veggies straight from the farm. Sometimes, these boxes also contain insects. Sometimes, these insects are clinging to the lettuce. Sometimes, one does not see these clingy insects when one puts the lettuce into one's mouth.

It's strange to have a wiggling beetle on your tongue. And that's all I'm saying about that.

The only species of beetle I want on my tongue.

My friend Amber Nicole Brooks asked this:

Care to share your strategies for producing 19,000 more words in a about a week? I'd love to know your methods...


Unfortunately, I did not accomplish this. Lola had grown too complex for me to . . . whip out those words. I DID get this remaining word count, but it took half a month to do so, I had a complex structure already in place, and I worked between 16-22 hours a day. I don't recommend this schedule!

But I do write obscene amounts of (terrible first draft) words in a short time every year during National Novel Writing Month. I highly recommend Chris Baty's (the founder of NaNo) No Plot? No Problem! I give this book ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CREDIT for helping me finish my first draft of Anna and the French Kiss. My first *good* draft of Anna, I credit Laini Taylor's Not for Robots.

Also, I have fast-writing NaNo tips sprinkled throughout these blog posts: one, two, three. Basically, it comes down to this: Allow yourself to suck. You have to write a lot of sucky words before you can write the good ones.

I hope that helps. Good luck!!

Okay, this was awesome. Last week I received one of my favorite comments ever, from fellow Tenner (2010 YA debut author) Lindsey Leavitt:

My six-year-old daughter wants to know if you are the REAL Coraline.

HA HA HA!! I smiled for hours. Thank you for telling me!

Lindsey, by the way, is the author of the fantastic-sounding Princess for Hire, which is currently in my take-to-the-beach-next-week stack of books. I can't wait to read it! (And YES. I'm going to the beach when The Bad Week is over!)

Cover twins! Lindsey's book has the Eiffel Tower on it, too.

And as if this hasn't been filled with enough links, I guest posted on Kiersten White's blog last week. She's in Romania right now, the lucky girl! And all I'll say is that she's a VERY GOOD SPORT for posting what I wrote.

With that clunker of an ending, I'm diving into the revision abyss and bowing away from blogging for another week. Maybe a week plus a few days. I hope you're all having a fantastic June!


What time is it? Is that A.M. or P.M.?

This is the face of someone who knows what she is talking about.

Oh, hello.

This appears to be MY BLOG. What ON EARTH am I doing with a BLOG? Have I had this for very long?

Five years? Really??

Do you hear that? That humming noise? What IS that? I'm confused. You don't hear it?

So I haven't left my house in a while, yet I've still managed to:

(A) Get a sunburn.
(B) Put a live beetle into my mouth.




Lettuce attack! Blubberfish!! Tootsie Rolls!!!