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My note: This is a room for all writers—published and unpublished!—that will be open during the entire conference.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.