Blooper Reel + Autumn Events + HOLA ESPAÑA!

OH, MAN. This will be messy, because I'm doing a hundred things at once.

If you have yet to see the blooper reel that the awesome team at Penguin put together (thanks, Emilie!), and if you're wondering why I rarely appear in recorded form, you should watch the above video. And then you'll understand. The voice you hear patiently (oh so patiently) prompting me in the background is my beloved agent Kate. Bless her.

Nothing scrambles my brain as efficiently as a video camera. They're probably the worst thing in the world. No! Being eaten alive by a wild animal is the worst. Being videotaped is the second worst. War is probably third. And then, like, Brazil nuts.


I'll be doing a lot of traveling in the next few weeks. First up, Madrid and Barcelona! The ones in Spain! For real!

Mi maravillosa publisher Plataforma Neo is bringing me over for the publication of Anna's translation, Un beso en París. Which is . . . incredible. If you live in España, I sincerely hope you'll be able to come. I'm excited to meet so many new readers! Here's a poster with all of the necessary info:

Also . . . I might as well apologize now for the extreme level of language-butchering that's headed your way. I took eight years of (Mexican) Spanish classes, and I worship the films of Pedro Almodóvar, but I'm STILL a beginner. Just like Anna. ;-)

After Spain! I will be at the following!

Parnassus Books: Sunday, October 28, 2:00 p.m.

"Tricks and Treats from Six Young Adult Authors": Please help Parnassus in welcoming six lively young adult authors to Nashville! Tessa Gratton, Sonia Gensler, Victoria Schwab, Beth Revis, Myra McEntire, and Stephanie Perkins will be joining the Parnassus Books community for a festive tricks and treats themed event.

Vegas Valley Book Festival: Saturday, November 3, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Historic Fifth Street School Readers Tent
401 S. Fourth Street

"Who Says There's Not Something for Everyone in Contemporary YA Fiction": Panel with Matt de la Peña, Sara Zarr, Simone Elkeles, Kirsten Hubbard, Abby McDonald, Stephanie Perkins; moderated by Lindsey Leavitt.

YallFest: Saturday, November 10 

There will be forty-nine YA authors at this year's YallFest. Shazam! The panels haven't been announced yet, so I'm not sure when mine will be, but the full schedule will be on this page soon. I'm especially eager for Cassandra Clare and Holly Black's keynote about literary friendships. The keynote will require an additional ticket (five bucks, totally do-able), and you can purchase it here. Oh! And I did a quickie interview with the festival here.


Ohmygod. I have somuchtodo before I leave.


Answering Your Isla Questions! (Sort Of.)

Tired-and-Wrinkly Moi with the Always Stunning Myra McEntire at SDCC 2012
(photo credit: Cutiepie Lauren Billings)

I've been a-working, working, working, so it was my husband who reminded me that I still needed to pick a giveaway winner. Whoops.

(Thank you, Jarrod! Always looking out for me.)

Katy Upperman is the randomly-selected winner—I always use this—for the advanced copy of Mindi Scott's Live Through This. Hurrah, Katy!

Speaking of work, which these days means Isla and the Happily Ever After, I'd like to give a massive, sparkles and rockets, whipped cream and cherries, biscuits and gravy THANK YOU to my author-friend Myra McEntire, who has been responsible for 95% of my productivity since the beginning of summer. I thank my lucky stars every day that we found each other when we needed each other the most. Because of Myra, Isla will be an actual THING that you guys can BUY.*

*Also because of my publisher. I love you, Dutton!

Sooooooo I've been getting tons of questions about Isla on Twitter, but mainly the same ones again and again. I hope this Frequently Asked Questions will help:


There is no set release date, but we're hoping for Summer 2013.


It doesn't exist yet. So . . . I'm not sure. My best guess is sometime this winter.


See the above answer, but maybe you'll get a teaser sooner than that.


I have not already written it. I am writing it. And my editor will be editing it. Also, publishing is superlong and time consuming. There are tons of awesome people involved and lots of boring-but-crucial steps. I promise you that you will have it as soon as it's ready to be had.


My lips are sealed.


All I can say is that you will probably see the characters whom you want to see.

Thank you for being curious, everyone! I'm sorry that these answers couldn't be more exciting. Soon, soon. ;-)


Ha ha ha! Oh, man! I can never resist THE AMES.

Thank you, dear friend, for these excellent questions.

(A) Hair is the most important thing in the universe, so yes.

(B) Every chapter title is named after a menu item from Taco Bell, so double yes.


Giveaway! Mindi Scott's LIVE THROUGH THIS

WooOOOooOOooooo late night blurry phone pic

Oh, man! I'm superexcited for this giveaway.

Last spring, I blurbed Mindi Scott's Live Through This, and it's finally release-time.

"Harrowing, sad, funny, and romantic. I couldn't put it down."
—STEPHANIE PERKINS, author of Anna and the French Kiss

I loved Mindi's debut Freefall—about a hot musician struggling with the accidental death of his best friend while falling for a girl with an automobile phobia and hanging with another girl who smells like gummy bears (I know, right?!)—so I was thrilled for the chance to read her second novel. And it didn't disappoint. Live Through This is . . . something even more.

A BIG something even more.

Here's the official description:

From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her, and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a mom and stepdad who would stop at nothing to keep her siblings and her happy.

But Coley won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost perfect life is her own carefully crafted facade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now that Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.

And I'm not the only one who loves it. Kirkus gave it a STARRED REVIEW and said: "What makes this more than another 'problem' novel is the author's steadfast refusal to deal in stereotypes and easy answers . . . required reading for anyone who's ever wondered 'why didn't they just tell someone?'"


As a former librarian, I especially appreciate that the novel tackles a very specific subject that I had yet to see elsewhere in young adult literature, which young adult literature very much needed. I don't want to say too much (spoilers), so I'll direct you to this (non-spoiler) letter from Mindi about why she wrote it.

Live Through This will be officially released on October 2nd, but I asked Mindi's editor for an advanced copy to give away now. Hurrah!

To enter, please leave a comment here on this post (on my actual blog, not on Goodreads or anywhere else that's being served by a feed) that includes your email address. I'll randomly select a winner this Monday, September 24th.

This giveaway is open internationally.

Mindi, some random tired-looking lady, Gayle, and Nina

I've met Mindi twice, and she's such a sweetheart! (Isn't it nice when an author you love is also an awesome person?) The last time was in the above picture, when Gayle Forman, Nina LaCour, and I were in Seattle for the final stop of our YA or Bust! tour. And Mindi gave me an adorable stuffed giraffe who JUST SO HAPPENS to play a role in Live Through This. :-)

Now for some linkage before I disappear:

Here's where you can mark Live Through This as to-read on Goodreads.

(You can find Freefall on Goodreads here.)

And here's where you can purchase Live Through This via:

IndieBound — always my top choice
Book Depository — free shipping worldwide
• Amazon

Good luck in the giveaway!




WARNING: This is one of those lame posts in which I tell you about some upcoming events that most of you will not be able to attend.

Camera-phone pic from LeakyCon 2011

First Boston, then Orlando, and now . . . Chicago!

It's time for LeakyCon Number Three. If you are NOT attending the conference, but you DO live in the Chicago area, I have excellent news! You can still come and say hello:

There will be a PUBLIC SIGNING for non-attendees this Saturday, August 11 from 1:00 pm3:00 pm in the Southwest signing hall at the Hilton Chicago (720 South Michigan Avenue). Anyone can attend this signing, but if you aren't a conference-attendee with an official badge (which are sold out), you will not be able to enter other areas of the con. Upon entry to the hotel lobby, you'll see someone wearing a LeakyCon shirt. They'll give you a wristband that will allow you to enter the signing room as well as the conference's (AWESOME) vendor room next door.

The authors who will be at this signing are: Holly Black, Dan Ehrenhaft, Lev Grossman, Maureen Johnson, Margaret Stohl, Laini Taylor, Megan Whalen Turner, Robin Wasserman, and myself. Holy holy! Bring your own books OR purchase new ones in the LeakyCon vendor room. Further information about the public signing can be found here.

As for attendees . . .

You can attend the public signing if you'd like, but there will be plenty of additional opportunities for you to get your books signed by us. The full schedule is over here, but I've pulled out my specific events for you right here:


Room: PDR 2

My note: This is a room for all writers—published and unpublished!—that will be open during the entire conference. I'm hoping to stop by at some point and crank out some more words on my WIP, but I just wanted to make sure you guys were aware of this room, because it's so cool.


11:00 am–11:50 am
Panelists: Holly Black, Stephanie Perkins, Lev Grossman & Megan Whalen Turner; Moderated by Maureen Johnson
Room: Williford

Sometimes, the most valuable advice you can get is what not to do. In this panel, writers talk about their mistakes small and large. Learn about pitfalls to avoid, and why you shouldn’t give up even if you think you are doing things wrong.

12:00 pm–12:50 pm
Panelists: Stephanie Perkins, Laini Taylor & Daniel Ehrenhaft; Moderated by Margaret Stohl
Room: Williford

Why do some people hate love stories? Why do some people love to read about love?

1:00 pm–1:50 pm
Rooms: Boulevard & Williford

3:00 pm–3:50 pm
Panelists: Megan Whalen Turner, Robin Wasserman, Stephanie Perkins, Lev Grossman & John Green; Moderated by Maureen Johnson
Room: Williford

What is a “girl book” or a “boy book,” anyway? Is it true that boys don’t read? Why is “chick lit” a derogatory term? Our panelists come to grips with the thorny subject of the role gender plays in publishing.

4:00 pm–4:50 pm
Panelists: Lev Grossman, Laini Taylor, Amanda Hocking & Stephanie Perkins; Moderated by Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman
Room: Williford

Ever read a paranormal romance and considered the real logistical difficulties of dating the undead? We have obtained a pile of letters from lovesick people in this position, and our panelists will give advice, live.

6:00 pm–6:50 pm
Starring: Maureen Johnson, Holly Black, John Green, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Stephanie Perkins, Megan Whalen Turner & Robin Wasserman
Room: Grand Ballroom

Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman have created a more literary version of “Family Feud.” Or at least the one with the Whammies.

My note: This one will be EPIC, you guys.

9:00 pm–1:00 am
Musicians: Gred and Forge (YAY!), Lauren Fairweather, The Whomping Willows, Hank Green, Harry and the Potters
Main Stage: International Ballroom

My note: Due to my husband's bummer work schedule this week, this is the only night he'll be selling and signing Gred and Forge merch.


10:00 am – 11:50 am
Panelists: Daniel Ehrenhaft, Margaret Stohl, Holly Black, John Green, Stephanie Perkins & Laini Taylor; Moderated by Maureen Johnson
Room: Williford

In which a panel of brave YA authors bring the hilariously embarrassing scribblings of their youth to light (because everyone has to start somewhere).

My note: We did this last year, and it was easily the most awesome panel of all-time ever period hands-down. I laughed so hard that I had tears streaming down my face. And if you're wondering? YES. I'm bringing back my high school journal. If you only have time for ONE Lit Track event, THIS SHOULD BE IT.

1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Signing: Holly Black, Dan Ehrenhaft, Lev Grossman, Maureen Johnson, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Taylor, Margaret Stohl, Megan Whalen Turner & Robin Wasserman
Room: Southwest signing hall

5:00 pm7:00 pm 
Signing: Holly Black, Jennifer Laughran, Laini Taylor, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Stephanie Perkins, Kate Schafer Testerman, John Green, Rebecca Sherman, Megan Whalen Turner, Lev Grossman, Margaret Stohl, Robin Wasserman & Maureen Johnson
Room: Southwest Exhibit Hall

7:00 pm–9:00 pm
Room: Williford

Have a LeakyCon Lit badge and are over 18 years old? You are invited to this private reception for LeakyCon Lit guests and attendees. Food, drinks, and authors. Enjoy!

9:00 pm–2:00 am
Main Stage: International Ballroom

Put on your robes, your jeans, your ball gown, your Storm Trooper costume . . . put on anything you like so long as it includes dancing shoes! Our Saturday night always ends with the most rocking night of music and fun that 3,000 geeks have ever been seen to have at once. Named after our departed friend Esther Earl, this is an event that always ends with a giant group singalong to “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” It is nerdtastic. Get ready.

So . . . YEAH. Those panels sound INCREDIBLE, right?!

Gigantic bear hugs and thanks to Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman, and Felicity Disco for all of their hard work in organizing this year's Lit Track events.

Can't. Freaking. Wait.


Introducing . . . Books Four and Five!

The best thing about this? I'm in EMERIL LAGASSE'S kitchen inside the Martha Stewart offices. My friend Heather was like, "Pose with something!" This was my first reaction.

Today in Publisher's Weekly:


Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) signed a world English rights, two-book deal with Dutton Children’s v-p and publisher, Julie Strauss-Gabel. The first book—both will be YA novels—is slated for 2014; per the publisher, it will be a horror novel in the vein of the movie Scream in which a cadre of high school students are being stalked and attacked by a mysterious killer with no obvious motive. Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary represented Perkins in the deal.

TINY EMBARRASSING NOTE: I actually had to look up the word "cadre" this morning. Ha ha! I guess that's why authors don't write their own pitches. For anyone else who needs it, here's Merriam-Webster, definition two: broadly, a group of people having some unifying relationship [a cadre of lawyers].

Oh, MAN. I've been sitting on this news since Valentine's Day!

I'm thrilled about Book Four, and I am so incredibly grateful and humbled that my editor Julie Strauss-Gabel took this enormous leap of faith. A major genre-hop like this isn't exactly what a publisher wants to hear, but Julie was enthusiastic and intuitive from the first email. I'm happy (and relieved!) that we'll be working on this project together. We make a kick-ass team.

Thank you, Julie. This one's gonna be CRAZY. In the best way possible.

I've been a fan of the teen slasher since a friend handed me one of R.L. Stine's Fear Street books in sixth grade. Together, we devoured the entire series as well as everything ever written by Christopher Pike. It was this same friend who introduced me to Scream a few years later.

My love for this film is massive, you guys. I still watch it several times a year. I love how self-aware it is while remaining whip-smart and scary. And INNOVATIVE. There have been many imitators (including—the argument can/should be made—the sequels), but Scream was as meta as get-all-out, and I freaking love it for that.

This movie, this awesome script and cast, turned me into a fan for life.

I devour all genres of horror now, but the slasher remains my favorite. And the attraction makes sense, doesn't it? Teenagers. Humor. Sex. It's not that far off from what I write now. ;-)

Basically, what I'm trying to say is . . .


Here are a few quick facts:

Yes, it's a contemporary. The killer is not a supernatural creature. I'm talking about ye old traditional knife-wielding maniac.

Yes, it will be bloody.

Yes, it will be sexy.

Yes, it will be scary.

At least . . . I hope it'll be scary!

I have a few critique partners and family members who have already said they'll have to skip this one. Which is okay! And it's okay if YOU have to skip it, too. Horror is a tough genre to love. (Even tougher to defend.) But for those of you who don't like it—even if it IS a horror with a hot guy, because let's face it, this is a Stephanie Perkins novel—you'll be happy to hear more about my fifth novel:

Anna, Lola, and Isla's stories are complete, but my work-in-progress swings closer to their end of the spectrum. I'm enjoying it so far, though it still has to pass several more tests before it becomes anything official.

Test #1: I have to like the completed manuscript.
Test #2: My critique partners have to like it.
Test #3: My agent has to like it.
Test #4: My editor has to like it.

So I can't say anything more right now, other than it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that Book Five will be another horror.

In related news: I've seen a few people who are upset on Twitter this morning, because, you know, WHAT HAPPENED TO ISLA?!??!?!?!?!??

No worries, friends. Isla and the Happily Ever After is still scheduled to be released in 2013. (No confirmed date, because I'm still working on it.) We're hoping that Book Four will be ready for publication in 2014, and Book Five will be ready in 2015.

Time to wrap this up . . .

Thank you so, so much to my WONDERFUL agent Kate Schafer Testerman who supported this project from the start and turned it into a reality.

Thank you to Kiersten White who—when I complained last summer about not being able to find a particular type of novel to read—said: "So write it yourself."

Thank you to my horror-film freaks and friends: Manning Krull, Marjorie Mesnis, and Jeff Zentner for spending dozens-upon-dozens of hours with me discussing horror theory and criticism. For funsies.

AND THE BIGGEST THANK YOU OF ALL to my husband Jarrod. Thanks for watching the scariest, goriest, cheesiest, bloodiest, worst films that I can find . . . and for laughing all the way.


And in the end . . .

I have been remiss. The conclusion to a series near and dear to my heart is available now for your reading pleasure!

I love Kiersten White's Paranormalcy trilogy for its sharp wit, for the strength and continued growth of its main character, for the supernatural-but-NOT-melodramatic bond between Evie and her boyfriend, for what it has to say about the choices we make, and for the way it never resists the opportunity to turn a paranormal cliché on its head. It's been an honor to have been a critique partner on this series, to have watched Kiersten and Evie grow together . . . and then to have watched them blossom apart.

Endlessly is a perfect conclusion. The kind that you don't expect until you're right there, the kind where you find yourself shaking your head in delight and thinking back to everything that's come before it and saying to yourself, "Of course. Of course."

If you haven't picked it up yet, I hope you'll make it the next on your list.

Also . . . I mean . . . JACK.

I REALLYREALLYREALLY like the impish Jack.*

*So much so that I essentially demanded that Kiersten put him in the final book. He was only supposed to be in Supernaturally. Hee hee.**

**And that's why it's awesome to be a critique partner.



WARNING: This is one of those lame posts in which I tell you about an upcoming event that most of you will not be able to attend.

This picture was taken in Nashville, not Asheville, but close enough. I was at Third Man Records. I did not see Jack White. (NEXT TIME, JACK, NEXT TIME!)

This Wednesday, August 1st, I'll be hanging out in the teen area of the Pack Memorial Library in my homebase of Asheville, NC at 6:30 p.m. I'll be discussing writing, publishing, my novels, young adult literature, and anything else you'd like to talk about. The event is free and for all ages.

The audience will probably be, like, my husband and a librarian. So if you're interested in monopolizing a large amount of my time, you should totally come! Bring questions! Lots of questions! Lots and lots of questions!

(Author casually inserts video of Jack White wearing tight pinstriped pants.)


*gets down on knees*

Please come to this event and keep me company.

Thank you.


Would Beyoncé Be Reading This?

"Beyoncé isn’t Beyoncé because she reads comments on the Internet. Beyoncé is in Ibiza, wearing a stomach necklace, walking hand in hand with her hot boyfriend. She’s going on the yacht and having a mimosa. She’s not reading shitty comments about herself on the Internet, and we shouldn’t either. I just think, Would Beyoncé be reading this? No, she would just delete it or somebody would delete it for her. What I really need to do is close the computer and then talk back to that voice and say, Fuck you. I don’t give a shit what you think. I’m Beyoncé. I’m going to Ibiza with Jay-Z now, fuck off. Being criticized is part of the job, but seeking it out isn’t. That’s our piece to let go."

— Kathleen Hanna, BOMBlog interview

I've been posting a lot of quotes from other people here lately, but I couldn't resist another, because it's probably the most awesome advice I've ever seen about why you (whether you're a musician, an author, an artist, a YouTuber, a Facebooker, ANYONE) should ignore hurtful internet comments.

My sincere apologies to those of you who aren't a fan of language, as they say. Even though I have quite the naughty mouth, I generally keep it offline because I realize not everyone feels the same way. BUT THIS QUOTE WAS SO AMAZING. Thank you, superfriend Amy Spalding, for sending it my way!

Speaking of Amy, have you seen the cover of her debut novel?

Here's the summary:

Things I know about Reece Malcolm:
1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.

L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.

But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?

I read an early draft of this sweet lil' contemporary two years ago, and I can't wait to read the final version! It'll be published in February by Entangled Teen. If you like romantic comedies (OR Stephen Sondheim), you should totally add The Reece Malcolm List to your Goodreads shelf.

Did I mention Amy does improv? So when I say it's funny, I MEAN IT'S FUNNY. And I firmly believe there should be more funny in the world.*

I snapped this great picture of Amy a few summers ago, when she took me on a Weetzie Bat tour of Los Angeles. WEETZIE. Do you guys have any idea how obsessed I am with that book?!**

I mean, THAT is how fantastic Amy is. I love her. You should get to know her! And then she will email you hilarious/smart advice about living your life like Beyoncé.

*Amy is also funny on Twitter.

**Whenever I'm pressed to name my favorite book, Weetzie Bat is my go-to title. I've reread it every year (often multiple times) since I was a teenager. Lola Nolan was heavily inspired by Miss Weetzie.


The Summer Cons: Comic and Leaky

Summer is unquestionably my favorite time of year for work-related travel.


I'm ecstatic and honored to be attending Comic-Con International in San Diego again. This year, I'll be moderating a panel (my first time as a moderator!) about writing paranormal romance. Here's the info:

Friday, July 13
Paranormal Love-Potion: Writing Romance for Non-Human Characters
12:30p.m. - 1:30p.m.
Room: 5AB

From super-hot vampires to seductive Fae and beyond, authors divulge the secrets behind crafting steamy love scenes in their action-packed novels. Whether characters be vampiric, ghostly, faerie, witchy, shape-shifting or angelic, these authors know how to keep the passion sizzling between them. Find out more from the writers themselves, and you'll learn what makes these books red hot! Participants include Tessa Gratton (The Blood Journals), Andrea Cremer (The Nightshade series), Marjorie Liu (The Mortal Bones), Sylvia Day (The Renegade Angels series), Shawntelle Madison (Coveted), Aprilynne Pike (Wings series), and Kelley Armstrong (Thirteen), led by moderator Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door).

So many awesome ladies on this panel! And we'll all be signing books (or your e-reader or your forehead), post-panel.

I'm also giddy to announce that my husband Jarrod is a panelist! You'll find me in the audience, proudly wearing my Ravenclaw pin, at this one:

Sunday, July 15
15 Years Since Philosopher's Stone: Harry Potter Fandom in 2012
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 6DE

Seven books from J. K. Rowling — or ten, depending on how you count — plus hundreds of thousands of fanfics. Eight studio movies — plus dozens of popular fanfilms, musicals, and songs. One theme park — but soon there'll be three or more! An international museum exhibition — and piles of fan-made shirts, crafts, fanart, CDs and DVDs. An encyclopedic website — and fancons, fan-made wikis, and history courses on the impact of the Harry Potter fandom. We'll look back at 15 years of Harry Potter fandom and try to predict where we go from here.

The panel of experts includes: Andrew Sims from Hypable, Heidi Tandy of HPEF, Alex Carpenter of the Remus Lupins, Airemay of Fiction Alley, Julia Thomas of the International Quidditch Association, The Hillywood Show, and Jarrod Perkins of Gred & Forge and the Harry Potter Alliance.

Also, I'll be attending as a regular ol' comic book nerd (I LOVE YOU, TOP SHELF!!! YOU ROCK MY WORLD, FIRST SECOND BOOKS!!!) on Preview Night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you see me in the crowd, please say hello! I'd love to meet you. Look for my bright red hair:

I'll probably be walking beside Kiersten White when you find me. Because she makes me this happy!


Because LeakyCon is August 9-12 in Chicago!

And as over-the-top fantastic as Comic-Con is, my heart will always belong to Leaky. The Harry Potter fandom has been a home for me and Jarrod for . . . heavens, six years now? Seven? There's so much love and kindness and generosity in this community that my heart practically bursts from the memories.

This year, my husband will be rocking out as Gred & Forge on Friday night, and I'll be speaking on the Lit Track panels. Along with our favorite regulars — our longtime superawesome wizard rock buddies, Maureen Johnson, John and Hank Green, my beloved agent Kate Schafer Testerman — there are several new editions to the family, including HOLLY BLACK (cannot. wait. to fangirl.) and . . . LAINI TAYLOR!

The last time I saw Laini was here, in this picture, at last year's Comic-Con where we accidentally dressed like polka-dot twinsies. I miss her like crazy.

(I just realized that the other picture I posted also involves a black, polka-dotted dress. Obviously, I have a thing for them. And I do!)

I hope to see a bunch of you at these summer conventions. And I hope I'll see the rest of you here online. :-)

Happy July, everyone!


Make Good Commencement Addresses

"Be wise, because the world needs more wisdom. And if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone wise, and then just behave like they would."

With so many schools reaching the end of term, the Internets are buzzing about this year's best commencement address: Neil Gaiman's to the University of the Arts

It stands out, of course, because most commencement addresses are abominable

I don't remember a single thing about mine — not the speaker, nor anything he or she said. I assume it was boring. I assume it was too long. I assume I used those minutes to daydream about the graduation cake I was going to eat when I got home. (Maureen Johnson wrote a great post about this just today.)

But . . . 

Good ones. They DO exist. And they're always worth revisiting.

My favorite commencement address is J.K. Rowling's to Harvard in 2008 about failure and imagination. (Can you imagine speaking to Harvard about failure? How gutsy!) I still watch it every few months (with a box of tissues), because so much of what she says is worth being reminded of.

This, especially, always resonates:

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default."

I also love Steve Jobs' Stanford commencement from 2005, now something of a classic for bringing back the Whole Earth Catalog's farewell message: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

But I like this part just as much:

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle."

If you haven't watched either of those speeches, go forth.

And if you have yet to watch Neil's, go forth again! Zen Pencils made a wonderful comic — "Make Good Art" — from the most quotable bit, but this was also smart stuff:

"When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what you're doing. This is great. People who know what they're doing know the rules, and they know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not. And you should not . . . If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do. And because nobody has done it before, they haven't made up rules to stop anyone from doing that particular thing again."

I also enjoyed the address This American Life host (and nerdy dreamboat extraordinaire) Ira Glass gave to Goucher College this year. Not as many people are talking about it — that's what happens when you go against Neil Gamain ;-) — but it's both hilarious and poignant:

[NOTE: The sound on that video sucks. But it's worth it.]

A choice quote:

"As your parents catch up to you, don't be a dick."

There's also an anecdote about the time his grandmother met Adolf Hitler. I won't spoil the story itself, but it ends with this thought:

"We lurch forward in our lives. We try this. We try that. We make the best guesses that we can based on what we believe at the time, and it is entirely possible that a Goucher grad — that you or you or you — will get the chance to change the world and kill Adolf Hitler, and you will miss it."

But . . .

"When you get your chance to remake the world, when you get the chance to change everything for yourself and hopefully for others, too — when you get your chance to shoot Adolf Hitler — you will know what to do. That's my wish for you."

In the spirit of this post, I'd like to give a shout-out to my cousin Emma, who just graduated from high school, as well as all of the other recent graduates who happen to be reading this. The post-graduate world? It's AWESOME. I'm so happy for you!

I'll leave you with Neil Gaiman's final words:

"Now go and make interesting mistakes. Make amazing mistakes. Make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art."


Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

"Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what your write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for."

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."

"You fail only if you stop writing."

And . . . my favorite interview with the master:

Thank you for changing the world, Ray. Thank you for seeing it.

* * *

The randomly-drawn winner of my Seize the Story giveaway is "Anna (not of And The French Kiss fame)." HA! How awesome. Check your email, Anna!

More giveaways coming soon.


Giveaway! (Teen Writers Edition)

Today's free giveaway is for the latest edition of Victoria Hanley's Seize the Story (Prufrock Press Inc., 2012). Here is the publisher's description:

Do you wish you had a published writer's secrets at your fingertips, ready to help you achieve your goals of publication, success, and the chance to be the next great teen writer? In Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write, Victoria Hanley, award-winning author of young adult fiction, spills the secrets for bringing action, adventure, humor, and drama to stories. All of the elements of fiction, from creating believable dialogue to exciting plots, are laid out clearly and illustrated with examples taken straight from story excerpts by excellent writers. The book is packed with writing exercises designed to encourage teens to tell the stories that are theirs alone.

In addition, other published authors of young adult literature share their insights about the writing life. Teens can gain firsthand advice from accomplished writers T. A. Barron, Joan Bauer, Hilari Bell, Chris Crutcher, David Lubar, Lauren Myracle, Todd Mitchell, Nancy Garden, and many more.

I'm one of the book's featured authors (YAY!), so I received an extra copy that I'd like to pass along. 

To be eligible for this giveaway:

(A) You must be a teenager.
(B) You must be interested in creative writing.

This giveaway is open internationally. To enter, please leave a comment here on this post (on my actual blog, not Goodreads or anywhere else that's being served by a feed) that includes your email address. I'll randomly select a winner in my next post . . . whenever that is. It could be tomorrow, could be in three days, could be in a week. So enter now!

And good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway has ended. Thank you for the interest!


Let the giveaways begin! (Librarian Edition)

Due to a mix-up, Cricket's shirt is a different color on the audio book. I like it!

I have BOATLOADS of awesome giveaways for you this month. First up! These freebies are specifically for librarians in the United States.

(My apologies, everyone else. Your giveaways are coming soon.)

Would you like an audio edition (CDs) of Anna and the French Kiss AND Lola and the Boy Next Door for your library collection?

To qualify:

(A) You work for a public library in America. Not a school library, sorry.
(B) Your library has an established collection of books-on-CD.
(C) Your library does NOT already own an audio edition of Anna OR Lola.

If you qualify, please leave a comment here on this post (on my actual blog, not Goodreads or anywhere else that's being served by a feed) with the name of your library and your email address. This giveaway is first come/first serve, and winners will receive BOTH of my books on audio for their collection. 

UPDATE: I'm out of audio books. Thank you for the interest!

I also have a few remaining German editions of Anna and the French Kiss. (I gave away the rest to actual Germans and Austrians on Twitter a few months ago. If you like free stuff, and you aren't following me on Twitter, you should probably be following me on Twitter. Just saying.)

If you work in an American library — public, high school, or university — that has a collection of novels in Deutsch, and you're interested in a free copy for your collection, please let me know in the comments and leave your email address.

UPDATE: I'm out of German editions. Thank you for the interest!

Thanks and danke!


Links for everyone! Links for writers!


As always, there are so many things I want to tell you about! But I'm still post-travel running around in circles. In the meantime, please enjoy some linkage.

[UPDATE: Mary sent me this link that explains the above picture. Adorable!]


"Icelandic politician moves 30-ton boulder onto his property so he can hang out with elves." The elf thing is one of the many, many reasons why Iceland is my favorite country.

• This assassin bug wears its victims' corpses as armor. Yeah. I'm totally stealing that for a future fantasy villain.

• YA author Stephanie Kuehnert wrote this moving piece for Rookie (my favorite!) about surviving bullying.

• "How to be a fan of problematic things" provides some much-needed advice.

• If you like cute comics about The Avengers, you should definitely be following Noelle's Tumblr.


• "Publishing is not all six-book mega-deals and twenty-year olds winning national book awards." The INTERN's healthy reminder is a must-read for struggling novelists.

• Never respond to a bad review. Unless you are MCA.

• Agent and bookseller Jennifer Laughran put together a comprehensive guide to bookstore events for published authors. As a former bookseller and current author, I found myself nodding enthusiastically in agreement throughout this entire post.

• Jennifer also wrote this helpful post about what information authors should include on their website to help booksellers.

• The discussion about race in YA literature is, thankfully, fervent and loud. Author Sarah Ockler wrote a good one here.

"Ten Things I've Learned from Anne Lamott." Lamott is the author of Bird by Bird, the ultimate modern creative-writing classic. This is an excellent refresher.

The Guardian wrote an important piece about why authors need to respect their followers.

• S. Jae-Jones, editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press, has a great article (featuring gifs of David Tennant) that explains what's happening inside a publishing house during the dreaded acquisitions process. The basic idea? LOTS. Lots is happening. 

(Published authors, have you thanked your editor lately?)



Advice From One of My Role Models

"And remember that a no is free. Ask for what you like, and get used to being turned down. Rejection is hard, but to get acceptance you have to put up with a lot of rejection. If you really like something, don’t ever think, Can I do this? If you think Can I? you won’t. You have to say, "I’m gonna do this, and nobody’s gonna stop me!" But you have to believe that, you can’t just say it. It might take really a long time, because people never say you’re good at first. Or if they do, you’re a flash in the pan and it’s over."

— John Waters, Rookie interview


YA OR BUST! We're coming for you, Seattle!

Nina, Gayle, and moi at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Tonight — Thursday, April 26th — is the last night of our YA OR BUST! tour. We've been having a blast, and if you live in the Seattle area, I hope you'll join us:

Roosevelt High School: 7-10 p.m.
1410 NE 66th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
(hosted by University Bookstore)
Gayle Forman!
Nina LaCour!
Stephanie Perkins!

A few quick, unrelated notes:

• I am not attending BEA (nor any of the BEA-related festivities) this year. I was listed on their website by mistake. I'm sorry. I'm bummed about this, too.

"The 21 Absolute Worst Things in the World" Jarrod and I used to find number fourteen in our apartment in Atlanta. I'm far from squeamish, but . . . yiiiiiiiick!

• I MIGHT have purchased a creepy Edward Cullen wedding doll.* And MAYBE I was encouraged by Kiersten White. And it's POSSIBLE we will take pictures with it next week when she visits me in Asheville.

Speaking of . . .

I have one additional superspecial event next week. I'm on a panel with local YA authors Beth Revis and Megan Miranda, PLUS Kiersten White — Her first appearance in the South! — at Malaprop's in Asheville, NC at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1st.

And thank you to everyone who has come out to support Penguin's YA OR BUST! tour. We love you. Seriously, we do. You have been hilarious, kind, and generous audiences. We are so lucky to have readers like you. Rock on.

* No offense to book Edward Cullen, who I find quite dreamy.


YA OR BUST! Afternoon in Petaluma

Chartreuse Ladies: Jess Rothenberg, Nina LaCour, Moi

Coffee Shop Terrarium Lion

Our Beautiful Welcome at Casa Grande High School

Gayle working on Just One Day — out next spring!

Goooorgeous, right?

Jess and Her Fiancée


Thursday, April 19: Petaluma, CA
Copperfield's Books, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Friday, April 20: Santa Barbara, CA
Chaucer's Bookstore, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 21: Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
University of Southern California
Signing: Mrs. Nelson’s Bookstore Booth #747 @ 12:00 p.m.

Monday, April 23: Los Angeles, CA
Children's Book World, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24: Huntington Beach, CA
Barnes & Noble at Bella Terra, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 25: San Diego, CA
Mysterious Galaxy, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 26: Seattle, WA
Roosevelt High School
1410 NE 66th St.
(hosted by University Bookstore)
7:00-10:00 p.m.


Available via Feedburner

Happy Passover/Easter/Spring! Love, Unsettling Window Display

I've finally hooked this bad boy up to Feedburner.

("Bad boy." That will never happen again. I'm sorry.)

If you'd like to follow this blog via reader and/or email, the new links are in the right sidebar. And if you'd like to see Easter bunnies FAR creepier than the one in my neighborhood (of course you do), you should visit this post on Laini's blog.

Also, I think I've made my comments here threaded. At last.

Also also, I'm excited to bring you this happy update: Bully got a PG-13.