Impromptu New York City

I like to call this series of pictures taken by Mitali from Alley of Books as: That One Time Gayle Forman Grabbed My Butt!

Her devious expression . . .

. . . leads to this!

Don't worry. I returned the favor twenty minutes later . . . on the street! Hee hee.

Gayle and I were at a release party for Courtney Sheinmel's latest, All the Things You Are. (Can't wait to read!) It was a spur-of-the-moment thingie, since my trip to New York was spur-of-the-moment, and I'm grateful Courtney let me crash her party. We'd never met before, and she was such a sweetheart!

Sara (Super Librarian!), Moi, Courtney

Doesn't Courtney have the most beautiful smile? I was dazzled by it all evening.

The day before was my impromptu Bryant Park gathering, which Rachel at Bookshelf Lust wonderfully chronicled here. (I wish Rachel would photograph and write-up ALL of my events. Such talent!) I can't even begin to say how amazing it turned out to be. It was unquestionably the most fun event I've had this year, thanks to the intimate setting and delightful attendees. Thank you to everyone who came!

The rest of my quickie visit was spent arm-in-arm with Gayle (who graciously allowed me to stay with her, even though I only gave her sixteen hours notice), telling scary stories over a Japanese dinner with my friends Manning, Marjorie, and Marjorie's mother (who speaks little English, and I speak even less French, which did not impede our enjoyment one bit!), eating a yummy breakfast with my always-fabulous editor Julie, and . . . researching. (Ooo!)

I also bought a fox penis bone for my writing desk at Evolution, a marvelous store lovingly described by Laini Taylor in this post.

Why? Because I could!

Now I'm looking forward to this weekend.

Working on my novel? Maybe. Painting my bathroom? Maybe. Relaxing with a few good books? Definitely!

Speaking of, what are you reading these days? Anything I should know about? I have a ton of recommendations for YOU, I just need to get into gear and blog about them! (And blog about our Princess Army. And several events-of-past. And and and. Etc.)

Happy weekend!


Hang out with me tomorrow (Saturday) in NYC!

Like this, but perhaps with rain.

This is a last-second announcement, because these are last-second plans. I just booked a flight to Manhattan for this weekend. A few people on Twitter asked if I'd be willing to do an impromptu signing, so . . . here we go!

Tomorrow (Saturday, June 11th) I will be hanging out in front of the Bryant Park Cafe in Bryant Park at 3:30 p.m.

As I will not recognize YOU, you will have to look for ME. Thanks to my hair, I'm pretty easy to spot! My stripes are currently pale turquoise.

Since it might rain, we might have to move locations. We'll figure it out when we get there! Check my Twitter account for updates. But, rain or shine, we'll at least meet in front of the Bryant Park Cafe at 3:30.

I'll be happy to sign my books if you bring them. And if you don't have a copy, that's okay, too. We can just hang! Pictures are cool, too. This will be a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY informal (and hopefully fun) gathering.

I'm not sure how many of us there will be; it might be just you and me! But I'll be hanging out until 5:00 p.m. Again, check my Twitter account, because if you're arriving late, we might switch locations.

Hope to see you New Yorkers there tomorrow! WOO HOO!


EEEEEEEEK! Comic-Con!!!

I just got the okay to share some RIDONKULOUS news. I'm going to be on a YA panel at this year's Comic-Con International! The Comic-Con, held every summer in San Diego. As a maaaaaaajor hardcore nerd, I assure you this is far-and-away the most amazing invite I've yet received!


The panel date and time have not been set in stone, so for now all I can share with you is that the fantastic Nathan Bransford is moderating and that these are the panelists:

Andrea Cremer
Amanda Hocking
Tahereh Mafi
Laini Taylor
Kiersten White . . .
and moi!


The gods have put me on a panel with two of my bestest friends, Laini and Kiersten! Could I *BE* any more excited???

(Answer: No.)

And I'm thrilled to see super-sweetheart Andrea again (who I met way too briefly a few months ago in Houston) and to meet everyone else! Holy awesome weekend, Batman! I can't stop using exclamation points! July 21-24 are going to (NERD) ROCK!

Comic-Con will be immediately following my appearance at another fantastic con, LeakyCon (July 13-17 in Orlando, FL). I don't think I officially announced it here on my blog, but I'll be on the Wednesday Lit Day panels with all kinds of incredible award-winning people that I have no right to be on a panel with — Seriously. Look at the list. — not to mention, my agent and my editor. I can't wait to see them again!

And, of course, my husband and tons of our friends will be performing their Wizard Rock at night!

♥ The hubs ♥

July is going to rule, dude.

I love being a geek!

For more tour dates, please check out my News page. Especially notable is an appearance later this month at the Irving Public Library in Texas. If you live in the Dallas area, please come see me! And if you don't live anywhere near the places I'm traveling, no worries. There are quite a few more stops up my sleeves that I can't share yet.

HURRAH! I hope to see you soon!


Happy Half-Birthday, Anna!

"Whoaaaa oh ohh! Sweet child o' mine . . ."

Anna and the French Kiss has been out for six months, so I thought now would be a great time to answer your most frequently asked questions. Thanks to Mindi Scott for the idea!

Exactly how tall IS Étienne?

My lips are sealed. But, yes, I assure you that he's shorter than Anna. I had a great joke that revealed his height in Lola and the Boy Next Door, but I cut it due to pacing issues. Maybe you'll see the joke in Isla and the Happily Ever After? Hmm . . .

Also, YES, that means what you think it means. If you're thinking it.

What actors do you picture as your characters?

I'm sorry, but I never publicly answer this question either. I don't want to interfere with who you, the reader, imagine! That's part of the magic of reading.

How do you pronounce Étienne St. Clair's name?

I actually reveal how to pronounce his first name in his first scene ("Eh-t-yen says my name like this: Ah-na"), but here's the full scoop:

Étienne is pronounced Eh-t-yen. Think of the upward sound the "é" makes in "café."

St. Clair can be pronounced several ways.

American: Saint Claire
French: Saun Clai (you can make a slight throaty French "r" sound or drop it completely)
English: I've heard it pronouced both ways PLUS "Sinclair" and "Sink-lur"

I pronounce it somewhere between the American way and the French way. The characters in the book most likely pronounce it the French way. But, really, any of these are okay.

Will Anna and the French Kiss be made into a movie?

Man, I hope so! But the film rights have not been sold. Yet. And then there are, like, eighty billion other hoops that have to be jumped through.

Will Anna and the French Kiss be released as an audio book?

YES! I sold the rights to Listening Library for Anna, Lola, and Isla just last week! I can't even begin to tell you how psyched I am about this. I *love* audio books. The current goal is to release Anna and Lola during Lola's hardcover release this September, and Isla's audio book, of course, with the release of her hardcover the following year.

And to answer the potential follow-up question:

No, I won't be reading it myself. I wish I could! But — like Anna — I cannot pronounce French words. And the idea of doing an English accent is similarly terrifying. So, no. I'm not going to audition to read it myself.

(And, yes, for an author to perform their own audio book, they generally have to audition.)

Will you please write a sequel? Or a book from Étienne's point of view?

I'm thrilled that you're interested, but I'm sorry. No. I'm very happy with how I left my characters. BUT . . . there is more of them to be had!

Ah hem, companion novels.

I found Isla! But where's Lola?

Lola is not in Anna and the French Kiss.

Will Anna ever be released in Spanish?

I hope so. I really, really do. But, as of now, I haven't sold to any Spanish-speaking countries.

(Nor to France! Hello, France? Please. I love you. Buy my book!)

When will Anna be released as a paperback?

August 4th of this year. My paperback editor has done a WONDERFUL job. I've seen the proofs, and it has these amazing French (!) flaps with scalloped edges and a lovely new blurb on the front:

"Magical. Anna and the French Kiss really captures the feeling of being in love.”
—Cassandra Clare,
New York Times bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments series

I couldn't be more thrilled!

Oh. And it also contains the first chapter of Lola. ;)

When are you going to put those Anna extras on your website?



Actually, this is only the first stage. You can find the official playlist here and listen to it here. Hurrah! I'll keep uploading more extras as I find the time. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to do this, but this sort of thing is incredibly time-consuming, and I am only one wee little author.

But I hope you enjoy the playlist! Listening to it again brings back such crazy, fantastic, heart-breaking, heart-warming memories . . .


Lola, Lola, and More Lola

You asked for it, you got it! (And I reaaaaally appreciate you asking for it.)

Here's my official countdown widget for Lola and the Boy Next Door:

If you're viewing this post as an RSS feed, you'll probably have to click on over to my blog to see it. Please add it to your own blog or website, if you wish, and help me spread the word!

A handful of copies of Lola were handed out at Book Expo America last week, and I am enormously relieved (ENORMOUSLY, you guys know what a killer this novel was for me) that these earliest reviews have been positive.


Today I even learned that one of my favorite book bloggers, the always professional and charming Story Siren, named it as one of her five early buzz books:

"If you've read Anna and the French Kiss I'm sure you are dying for this novel. And it is that good. I think it's even better than Anna. Now I read this title in public, at the airport actually, so you could imagine my dismay when the book made me cry.... twice. And it wasn't so much that it was sad, but I made such a strong connection with these characters it was hard to not be emotionally involved. You are going to LOVE this one."

Thank you so much, Kristi. Your words mean more to me than you can imagine.

And then . . . I learned that it got blurbed by Sarah Mlynowski:

“You’re going to fall in love with Lola and the Boy Next Door. Madly in love! Every page sparkles.”

— Sarah Mlynowski, author of Bras & Brookmsticks and Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have)

Oh, heavens. I didn't even know my (fabulous fabulous fabulous) editor was going to try to get a blurb! It's particularly thrilling, because years ago I read Sarah's See Jane Write (co-written with editor Farrin Jacobs), a guide to writing chick-lit, and it was HUGELY helpful in getting me to figure out those things that my college creative writing classes should have taught me, but didn't. I referenced her book ALL THE TIME while writing my first novel!

So . . . it's surreal that now she likes *my* book.



Isn't life crazy? And amazing? I hope your Fridays were as happy-making as mine!


Where I Have Been . . .

Hi, everyone!

Ahhh . . . it's nice to be back. It's funny how when one thing settles down (work), another thing inevitably acts up (family). The last several weeks have been filled with birth, death, illnesses, and emergency room accidents.

[Note to my family: Can we please just chill out for a while?]

But things are okay. And my new nephew, whom I visited last week in Minneapolis, is most certainly a happy and welcome sight! As were my friends Sara and Jeff, who moved from Asheville to Nashville last winter, but who returned for a visit over Memorial Day weekend.

Like us, they never did many of the touristy things while they lived here, so now that they're officially visitors again, they're making up for it. Jarrod and I were eager to tag along with them on Sunday to Grandfather Mountain, the tallest peak in the Blue Ridge mountains.

The following pictures are courtesy of Jeff Zentner, with the exception of the one he's in, which Jarrod took:

My husband is incapable of acting normal in a photograph. Also, this was the moment Sara almost loaded her son into the trunk. My kinda gal.

Jarrod and the French Kiss. With a bug.

I'm actually holding my "friends" hostage.

The Mile High Swinging Bridge, which is no longer wooden, and, therefore, no longer swinging.

My necklace is totally a panda bear, you guys.

Sara is so beautiful!

This is why I live in the mountains of North Carolina.

Fixing Jarrod's hat hair.

Happy June!

I'm off to return to work, which is, unsurprisingly, piling up again. But I still hope to see you all a lot more on my blog this month!

Never give up hope, right? ;)