Stephanie Perkins Blog About Stephanie Books On Writing News Extras



7.23.2010

Friendly Little Post

Oh, hello! This is just a Friendly Little Post to apologize to anyone trying to contact me right now. It's pretty much impossible.

(i.e. worse than usual)

I will be much more available in August! Theoretically.

In other news:

• Serving on a jury is super fun!!!

• I am lying about the jury thing.

• Seriously, I suggest you watch 12 Angry Men instead.

• There's a rumor that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play the Riddler in the next Batman movie. HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?


There's a fancy new Riddler suit hidden amidst these hedges, and I must find it before the sun goes down. Goodbye.

7.17.2010

YA in NY Winner + Lisa & Laini + Maybe Perhaps a Hot Guy in Pretty Clothing (MAYBE)



Congratulations to "I Heart YA in NY" winner, Danae, who left this very kind message in my comments:

Stephanie, your blog posts always add sparkle to my day, and i can't wait to read Anna!!! *hands orange flower macaron*


Merci beaucoup, Danae! The fleur d’oranger macaron was divine. Please email me your address (steph AT stephanieperkins.com), and I'll send out your package prontissimo.

Or, you know, whatever the equivalent of "prontissimo" is in French.

SO . . . this happened:

"Smart and sensual, Anna and the French Kiss is everything your heart is longing for. You'll want to live inside this story forever. More, s'il vous plaît."
—LISA MCMANN, NYT bestselling author of the Wake trilogy



[Steph opens email from editor.]

[Steph's jaw hits floor.]

I'm ecstatic and overjoyed!! Lisa writes such twisty, page-turny, sexy novels. Her characters are real and interesting, they actually grow throughout the series, and as I told her in my thank you . . . it's rare to surprise me as a reader. I'm sure others who read or write a great deal can relate: since I study stories for a living, I see "twists" coming a mile away.

(Sorry, Christopher Nolan. I like your films, but they don't surprise me. But thank you for putting Joseph Gordon-Levitt in such pretty clothing and making him do cool things. A++.)

But Lisa? Something in one of her books COMPLETELY fooled me! Oh my word, it was fantastic. I'm honored by her blurb!

Also, whenever I think of Lisa, I can't help but think of this funny story my friend Laini Taylor told back in January 2009:


"One of the Cybils shortlist titles in sci-fi/fantasy, selected by me and my co-panelists, is Lisa McMann's Wake, a book I read in one sitting (well, one 'lying' because I was in bed and didn't fall asleep until I finished it at 1:30 or so). When I posted about it, a friend in Arizona emailed to tell me essentially, 'Yeah it's great, and did you know she wrote it in seven days?'

At which point I swore violently and laid curses in the general direction of Arizona, where Lisa McMann also lives, because, you know, just because. Because writing a good book in seven days is just plain
showing off!! So, this same friend from Arizona, a YA book enthusiast and his wife . . . were in Portland last weekend and when we got together for lunch, they had this gift for me, a copy of Wake inscribed, by Lisa McMann, as follows:




Tee hee. I find this very, very funny, and it's made funnier by the fact that the book was handed off at night between car windows in a parking lot, the way FBI agents meet informants in TV shows. All clandestine-like. So, thank you Daanon and Michelle for the gift of the book, and thank you Lisa McMann, for good-naturedly rubbing my nose in your absurdly fast writing abilities. :-)

[psst. I don't
really think she was showing off. I'm just jealous. And I really liked this book. It's about a girl who has the very bad luck that, whenever someone falls asleep in her vicinity, she gets sucked into their dream. It's a thriller and a romance, and an unputdownable read . . . It's a good read for adults or teens, and you can count on it for teen reluctant readers, because it is so fast-paced.]"


To which Lisa replied in the comments . . .


"Hey Laini! What I didn't mention is that it took seven days for the rough draft, and months for the revising, and the final product is approximately two hundred-something-something pages shorter than yours.

So there's that."



Ha ha! As someone else who writes sloooooooow first drafts (high-five to Laini), I, too, am jealous of Lisa's talent. Which is why I remember the story!

Speaking of Laini, did you hear she had a second announcement about Daughter of Smoke and Bone? I kid you not, that book will be HUGE. I feel so so sosososo lucky to have already read it. I mean, listen to what her UK editor is saying:


"Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a magnificent book, which grabbed me from the opening page, and had everyone at Hodder completely enthralled. The book’s macabre fairytale feel is incredibly inventive and original, and the fantasy is wonderfully creative yet extremely accessible.

I felt the same way about it as I felt when I read
His Dark Materials and Twilight—that shiver of excitement knowing I was reading something outstanding. It’s a brilliant novel, with a feisty heroine who I know will resonate with readers young and old, male and female."


I KNOW, right? It's already on Goodreads, so mark it as to-read!

Oh. And here's the obligatory picture of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in pretty clothing doing cool things:




Of course I didn't forget.

And, for good measure, here's an interesting interview with him courtesy of Kiersten White (yes, there are pictures, better ones) and . . . here's an interesting interview with Kiersten White! Though I'm more than a wee bit biased, because she says super-nice things about me and uses the phrase "Celebrity Boyfriends staff."

What's that? You want more?

IF YOU INSIST:





Joseph Gordon-Levitt in MORE pretty clothing, dancing with Zooey Deschanel who is ALSO wearing pretty clothing. I truly cannot decide which one is more adorable!

Happy weekend!

7.14.2010

January Flashback

HOW CAN THIS BE REAL?


That's Mysore Palace in India. A good friend of mine is traveling to Mysore (the "City of Palaces") for a wedding later this month, and she's decided to stop by Paris for three days on the way back.

India. And France. Excuse me while my eyes bug out.

She asked me about restaurant and to-do recommendations in Paris, and last night as I was emailing her back, I realized, Hey. I really DO know stuff about this city! Which should be obvious, but it kind of wasn't until that point. I mean, I know practical information now. I can tell you how to get from A to B, and where to eat when you're at C (and what to order), and how long it'll take to get there, and if there's a chance you can fit D into your schedule, too, but as long as it's not a Monday, because D is closed on Mondays. Oh, and you should check out E, F, and G if you have the time, because they're amazing and centrally located.

That sort of thing.

Cool, huh?

And it's exciting for me to realize this, because my year is about to get a LOT more Paris-y. Between promoting Anna and diving back into Book Three, I'm falling into that world again. It's a nice place to be.

So it's reminded me that I never finished telling you about my trip last January! If you recall, my laptop died toward the end of it, and then I came home, and I was really, really tired and busy. And a little melancholy. France was incredible. Going back to my regularly scheduled life? Who wants that?

When I came back, my friend Connie (who also went to Paris this year!) left this quote in my comments:

"America is my country and Paris is my hometown." — Gertrude Stein

I like that.

So here are some scattered memories from my last week in my hometown. Here's an obligatory pretty picture:




So now I can show you some crap!

Here's a random big thing near the Catacombs:




I have no idea what it is. BUT I LIKE IT.

And here's a picture from the actual Catacombs:




It looks like a toilet. And it says "Etienne."

Of course I took a picture.

(I think it's saying that the remains behind it were taken from St. Etienne's cemetery in 1787 and deposited here, behind the stone toilet thing. Anyone else have a better translation? And of course I took pictures at St. Etienne, too!)

If you recall, I took also took several of the Hot Dudes at the Louvre. This guy was in my favorite art museum, the Musée d'Orsay. He isn't super-hot, but he sure as heck thinks he is! It made me laugh. I believe it was my sister who dubbed this: God's Gift to the Flower Ladies.




(Real name: Le Chevalier aux Fleurs by Georges Rochegrosse.)

Here's the Musée d'Orsay itself:




Gorgeous, isn't it? The building is a former railway station, and the museum is primarily known for it's collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. Also, if you ask a native Parisian what their favorite art museum is, chances are high they'll say the d'Orsay!

I took this next one for Lois, who recommended I try them and said they were tastier than the variety we find in America. Too bad I don't remember exactly what "they" are. Vietnamese spring rolls? Maybe? Ha!




But I do recall them being delicious, and that's what counts. Thank you, Lois!

We found them around the corner from the Panthéon, my favorite monument. Here's me on the outside:




And my husband Jarrod on the inside:




We are QUITE happy to be there. If you couldn't tell.

Here are the cutest helmets I've ever seen:




And here are some ceramic pickles:




Oh! And C-3PO:




I'm becoming a nut for les BD (bandes dessinées, comic books) and this was inside of Album, a huuuuge comics store (actually two stores, on opposite sides of the street!) in the Latin Quarter. French comics are VERY different from American comics—they're big and hardcover and glossy and just plain beautiful. Not a lot of superheroes either, though they definitely have our imports! And though still considered a bit nerdy, they're popular and much more mainstream. You'll always find elegantly dressed businessmen browsing the shops.

And there are many, many comics shops.

This particular store also taught me that the French word for "wand" is "baguette."




HA!! Awesome.

Jarrod and I spent our last day at the Musée de la Magie and Musée des Automates (Magic Museum and Automaton Museum—they share a building) with our friend Manning. And as I was trying to get this shot of Jarrod:




I accidentally dropped my camera and got this:




Which I ended up liking, because how cool are Manning's shoes? Also, his socks match my coat. Which makes for a nice "huh" moment.

The museums were filled with what can only be described as "Really F***ed Up S***." Which is, of course, my favorite kind of stuff.

FOR EXAMPLE:














Obviously, I cannot recommend these museums highly enough.

That's enough for today. I took a few thousand pictures while I was in Paris, so I think I'll do this again! But I won't post ALL of the pictures. I promise.

There are still two days left to enter my "I Heart YA in NY" contest. Enter if you're interested!


EDITED TO ADD: I just realized that today is La Fête Nationale (Bastille Day). Joyeux quatorze juillet!

7.09.2010

Stars in Paris, Hearts in New York

Directly between my feet is a coppery-bronze octagon with a star. Words are engraved in the stone around it: POINT ZÉRO DES ROUTES DE FRANCE.

"Mademoiselle Oliphant. It translates to 'Point zero of the roads of France.' In other words, it's the point from which all other distances in France are measured." St. Clair clears his throat. "It's the beginning of everything."

I look back up. He's smiling.

"Welcome to Paris, Anna. I'm glad you've come . . . Now make a wish."

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.


That's the description printed on the back of my advanced copies. I realized the other day that it's more detailed than the previous one I shared with you. It's also—in a weird, tiny way—the first time I've posted an excerpt here. Ha!

It also means that I can finally share this:

THE HAPPIEST AUTHOR IN THE WORLD


My sister took this picture last January. Point Zéro is a real place, located in the courtyard of Notre-Dame. Thanks to Anna, it has captured a very special place in my heart. And that's all I'm going to say about it! If you want to know the thing about Point Zéro, please read my book when it comes out this December!

(Sorry! Hee hee.)

So. It's been another strange week. And by "strange," I mean AWESOME. Book blogger reviews for Anna and the French Kiss are popping up everywhere. Yeah, that "it's getting real" thing I mentioned last week? It's, like, totally real now. I promise I won't link to them all, but here are two (non-spoiler) reviews that I found particularly exciting. Sara and Erica decided to read Anna at the same time:


"Top 10 Reasons to Read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS" by Sara at The Hiding Spot

"And now, two days later, I'm still carrying it around with me. And no, I don't mean in my head, I mean LITERALLY. This book is so full of awesome that I can't let it go. I am unable to stop talking or thinking about it."


"In which I profess my love for Anna and the French Kiss" by Erica at The Book Cellar

"There was not a single thing I didn't like about it, and I can't wait until it is out so I can go out and buy a copy. The wait for her next book is going to be painfully long and I really hope she writes many many more lovely books. I would highly suggest preordering this one! It is THAT good."


Thank you, Sara and Erica. I am . . . blown away. I don't think I've even allowed myself to dream of people liking my novel that much. It's very, very unexpected. (And very, very wonderful.)

Also, Myrna Foster wrote a review, interviewed me, AND is hosting a giveaway! The giveaway is for pre-orders of both Anna and the French Kiss and Kiersten White's Paranormalcy, Shelley Moore Thomas' Good Night, Good Knight, an Anna bookmark, a jar of Nutella (!), and "something pink and/or sparkly" to go with Para.

Did you catch that? ALL OF THAT COOL STUFF YOU COULD WIN? Enter, enter, enter!

Myrna was the first person who wasn't a family member or a friend who began commenting regularly here on my blog. (THANK YOU, MYRNA!) She's a friend now, of course, and because of that, I had so much fun doing her interview. And I probably said more than I'd usually say, too. Also, I'm frequently asked how I became critique partners with Kiersten White, so I finally answer that question. In great detail.

I need to get back to revising Lola, but this feels like it's been kind of a selfish me-me-me post.

SO.

Here's the video for The Dead Weather's "Treat Me Like Your Mother," which I've recently decided is the SEXIEST MUSIC VIDEO OF ALL TIME.

Which is soooooo wrong because it's filled with things that I normally do NOT find sexy (guns, violence, leather, cigarettes), but OH MY STARS. After watching the sexysexysexy Alison Mosshart and Jack White, I honest-to-goodness thought to myself, "I need to buy a pair of tight black pants and a leather jacket."

WHAT???

No. I do not need to buy tight black pants and a leather jacket. I would look ridiculous in tight black pants and a leather jacket.

BUT BEHOLD THE SEXY:





Ooo, they are so angry at each other!

(WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I WRITE STORIES WHERE THE SEXY PEOPLE ARE *NOT* ANGRY AND LEATHER-CLAD. WHY CAN'T I STOP WATCHING??)

But if angry rock stars aren't your thing, how about another giveaway?

This would be that giveaway I've been hinting about, oh, FOREVER. Arrrghhh. The humiliation! Do you see what it is? Do you see the theme?




"But Stephanie," you say. "Weren't you in New York last April?"

Yes. Yes, I was. I was there in EARLY April. And I bought these presents for you, and I've been holding on to them ever since.

[Hides in shame underneath mountain of unwashed laundry.]

So. Um. If you'd like to win this special *cough cough* New York City giveaway, please leave a comment in this post that says: I Heart YA in NY!

No need to announce this contest on Twitter or Facebook or your blog. Just an "I Heart YA in NY!" comment here will be enough to enter. I'm keeping this low-key, because:


(A) It's embarrassing how long I waited to do this.

(B) I want the package to go to someone who actually read this entire post. Ha!


My giveaway includes a classic "I ♥ NY" mug filled with instant Starbucks coffee and two of my favorite YA romances set in the city, Maureen Johnson's Suite Scarlett and David Levithan and Rachel Cohn's Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

Maureen's book features the HOTTEST OLDER BROTHER TO GRACE THE PAGES OF YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE, Spencer Martin. And if you've only seen the Nick and Norah movie, then you're missing out! The novel has one of the sexiest scenes I've ever read. (And they aren't even angry or wearing leather jackets.) I am NOT exaggerating. And it is NOT what they put in the movie.

My only warning is that Nick and Norah has a lot of strong language. Not a little. A LOT. So if this is the sort of thing that bothers you, for the love of New York, please don't enter. Seriously. (But do check out Suite Scarlett and its sequel Scarlett Fever!) And if you win, and you aren't a coffee drinker, let me know. I will gladly keep the coffee for you. Or you could save it for house guests. Like me.

This giveaway is open internationally, and I'll choose a winner next Friday, July 16th.

SO. The moral of the story is: if you've ever contacted me, and you've wondered at why I am sooooo slow at replying, um . . . obviously, I am slow at MANY things! In other words, it's not you. It's me.

("BUSY! I'VE BEEN BUSY!!" she says desperately.)

Oh! And I still have to tell you about the rest of my beach trip! I mean, I saw squirrel underpants, you guys. Ah, well. Next time.

(She says.)

* * * The giveaway is closed now, thanks! * * *

7.01.2010

Beachy, Sandy-Feet Greetings!

Anyone else singing Echo & the Bunnymen? "Lips like sugaaaar. Sug-ar kiss-eee-ees!"


How sexy is the new cover for my agency sis Carrie Harris' zombie book? MY WORD. I'm fanning myself and chugging an entire pitcher of lemonade. I want to devour this novel NOW. (It comes out next July. *sniff*) That's winning the cover lottery if I've ever seen it.

The tagline is brilliant, too: "It’s scary. It’s twisted. It’s sick. It’s high school."

ACK. Love it.

So! I'm on vacation! Yippee!! Apologies to those who have already seen this picture on Twitter:




But it's the only good one I have. My camera keeps fogging up from the humidity! I wanted to take a picture of a sailboat yesterday and make a cheesy quip about how sailboats are so '80s, but no luck.

You'll have to pretend there's a picture of a sailboat here. If it helps, the sail was white with pink and orange stripes. (LIKE ANY SELF-RESPECTING '80s SAILBOAT WOULD BE.)

During the day, I've been sleeping, eating, and reading, and doing most of it in a rocking chair. At night, I find myself taking long walks along the shoreline. It's as if I can't walk enough. I never tire, and it feels like I could walk forever. My legs and heart are restless.

I've been thinking a lot about The Darjeeling Limited. The film is about three brothers (Jason "will one day realize he's Steph's best friend" Schwartzman, Adrien "best nose in Hollywood" Brody, and Owen "shouldn't be allowed to make movies without Wes Anderson" Wilson) who are dealing with, well, issues. And they're traveling by train across India with an exquisitely strange and burdensome amount of luggage.


(Fun fact: the luggage was designed by Louis Vuitton!)


There's a scene at the end—which I imagine made most film critics roll their eyes, but that I've always loved—when the brothers are racing to catch the train home and they literally have to shed their baggage to catch it.

I think that's what's happening with my restless night walking. It's as if the farther I walk, the more baggage I shed. The last year of my life is slipping away, and I'm heading toward something new.

Something better.

These days, I often find myself thinking about the last thirteen months, in which I destroyed myself while working on Anna revisions and writing Lola and the Boy Next Door. It would be easy—terrifyingly easy—to jump back into the same cycle while working on Lola revisions and writing Book Three. So the question on my mind is: How do I keep from repeating last year? Some of the things were out of my control and couldn't be helped, but most of the damage was self-inflicted. Most of it came from a scared new author trying to figure out how to make this NEW life work.

Who knew having your dream come true could be so . . . challenging?

I have made mistakes in my daily life. MOUNTAINS UPON MOUNTAINS of mistakes. But I'm learning from them. And some day, when my thoughts have solidified, I'll share what these hard lessons have taught me. Maybe they'll help someone else.


Goodbye, Bad Year. See you never again ever.


So . . . this week has been GOOD.

There have been many good things! Alexa and Jessica Shea both sent me pictures from the big ALA conference last weekend. EEK! THANK YOU!!


DUDE. THERE WAS A POSTER.


SERIOUSLY. A POSTER.


And I heard from two people that the Penguin booth ran out of advanced copies of my book! And while it isn't the type to have a bazillion copies printed, this is still awesome happy-making news. Thank you so, so much to everyone who picked one up.

And—AND—my novel finally met Kiersten's! Look how cute:


It's like they're on a date! Fingers crossed for hand-holding and paper-cut kisses!


Thanks, Jessica, for that AMAZING picture. I grin like a fool every time I see it.

Everything is getting real now. It's strange to be in this position where people are actually reading my book. I mean, I realize that's the ultimate goal, but truthfully? This is where it gets nerve-wracking.

PEOPLE ARE READING (*cough* JUDGING) MY BOOK. RIGHT NOW.

Because of this, I've been making an effort to get Anna into the hands of as many friends as possible—people who will help me build that cushion of comfort, so when the going gets tough (I am looking at you, future nasty one-star Goodreads reviews), I'll have their kind words to fall back on.

So to everyone who has sent me such WONDERFUL emails this week (and you know who you are), please allow me to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words mean the world to me.

Also . . . advanced copies are arriving into the hands of other authors! I exploded with surprised joy when I opened up my Twitter feed today and found a stream of comments, including these:






Thank you Suzanne, Lindsey, (and Kimberly!). It's still near-impossible to believe that OTHER AUTHORS are READING MY BOOK.

WHEN DID THIS BECOME MY LIFE??

On top of this (!), ANNA RECEIVED ANOTHER BLURB:

“No one captures the exhilarating and exhausting ‘but-does-he-like-me?!’ question better than Stephanie Perkins. A scrumptious read.”
— Justina Chen, author of NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL

Surreal. I can't stop shaking my head. My name is in that blurb, you guys. Thank you, Justina. Wow. THANK YOU.




Justina is one of the super-cool Readergirlz and has written three novels, the latest of which I've heard nothing but great things. (And it got a starred review from Booklist!) The description sounds fantastic:


"From behind, you’d think Terra Cooper had it all: she’s tall but not too tall, has a figure to kill for, and boasts naturally blonde hair. But the palm-sized birthmark on her face might as well be her fate map. Everyone in her small, touristy town knows what’s hidden beneath the heavy makeup she’s worn since birth. Sick of being the town oddity and even sicker of her caustic mapmaker of a father, Terra yearns to escape the suffocating grid of her life. And then she nearly runs over an Asian Goth boy, her age . . . and encounters True Beauty in him . . . and herself."


It's been on my to-read list for months, so it's safe to say I'll be devouring it the moment I get home. I can't wait!

And now I'll leave you with a list of things seen on tonight's beach walk: green fireworks, young boys chasing crabs with flashlights, sandcastles being erased by the tide, a dark sky filled with stars, and one lonely golden planet.

Happiness. A good week.


EDITED TO ADD: *faints* *cries* These just in from my first book blogger! And THIS is why I love Twitter. Thank you for capping off a perfect day, The Hiding Spot:




FURTHER ADDED: I will stop bragging now.

EVEN FURTHER ADDED: But I really like the idea of other people typing "St. Clair."

EVEN FURTHER-EST ADDED: St. Clair, St. Clair, St. Clair.
 


2009 Stephanie Perkins. All rights reserved.