Author Interview

Author Guest Post: Joy Preble

Today, I have a guest post with author Joy Preble. I asked Joy: “How has the internet helped or hindered you as a debut author?” Here’s what she had to say:

Joy Preble, Dreaming Anastasia, Sourcebooks, September 1, 2009

So here’s the truth about my year as a debut author. If it wasn’t for the internet, I don’t know where I’d be. Or rather, I do know. I’d be nowhere near as sane as I am. Possibly this is not saying much. The whole idea- to- shelf journey can take a toll on a person. My hair dresser can certainly vouch for that each time I keep asking her to add a few more highlights. But if there’s one thing I really do know for sure, it’s that the internet has been my lifeline.

About a year ago, I joined forces with twenty other debut authors. We call ourselves the Class of 2k9, following after our predecessors, the Classes of 2k7 and 2k8. And here’s the cool thing. Although most of us have now met face to face at one event or another, we began as strangers on line. The thread that joined us was that we were all first time children’s authors with books coming out from major publishers and we all knew that we needed help figuring this thing called publication out. Beyond that, we had no idea what we might or might not have in common. Were we married? Single? Straight? Gay? Where did we live? What did we like to do? What were our books about? Honestly, we had no idea. And I think because of that, or maybe because of the crazy competitive nature of this business (although let me interject here that children’s authors are in general some of the most generous spirited folks I’ve ever met), there were a few initial bumps early on. We argued a little. Sometimes about important stuff. Sometimes not. Some people left. Others took their place. We were talking on line and getting group publicity set up and feeling our way through this huge thing we’d never done before. Some of us were with large publishers. Some – like me – with smaller ones. No one knew what to expect – either of the process or of each other. And like everything on line – you had to go a bit on faith that this voice on the page was an honest reflection of the person who went with it.

And along the way, something miraculous happened. The twenty one of us that stuck became friends. And if you’ve never made friends on line, you might not believe that, but it’s true. Real friends, as close in many ways through our cyber chat as though we were actually seeing each other each day.

Now it’s time for the last quarter of our debut year. For the most part without seeing each other (and with great joy when we do) we have maintained a crucial presence in each other’s lives and yes, success and definitely sanity. There’s such a brutal learning curve in publishing. Okay, I guess that’s true for lots of jobs. But I’ve felt here more than anywhere else. Just the balancing act alone – juggling family, day job, writing, revisions, publicity, and most of all the transition from private citizen to much more public person. Without my online community, I would be lost. (For that matter, I’d be lost without my other online communities as well. Verla Kay’s Blueboards were invaluable to me just starting out. Networking on Facebook helps me get the word out. I’m even tweeting with greater regularity and yes – despite the fact that Publicist Paul had to nudge me into the Twitterverse, and by nudge, I mean swift kick to the hind end – enjoying that, too. I mean let’s face it – it’s not like I can sit at the lunch table in the teacher’s lounge and say, “Hey, do Amazon rankings really mean anything? Can anyone demystify them for me?” or “How many author copies are you getting?” Because honestly, all anyone ever responds with there, even if they’re my very best friends, is something along the lines of, “So. Do you think you’ll be the next JK Rowling?” Which, while supportive, sort of, is not particularly helpful.

Internet? Yes! Yes! Yes!

Thanks Joy for that great guest post! You can check out Joy’s debut novel Dreaming Anastasia on September 1, 2009!


In My Mailbox (43)

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention the really cool things, like books! If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here. (This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.)

How Do You Get All Those BOOKS!?

People & Books Mentioned in this Vlog

For Review:

Sphinx’s Princess by Ester Friesner
The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones
The Waking: Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall
Lady Macbeth’s Daughter by Lisa M. Klein
Forest Born by Shannon Hale
Pastworld by Ian Beck
Fatal Child by John Dickinson
Catwalk: Strike a Pose by Deborah Gregory
The Splendor Falls by Mary Clement-Moore
Karma for Beginners by Jessica Blank
Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
The Other Girl by Sarah Miller
Ash by Malinda Lo
Gossip Girl: Take a Chance on Me by Cecily von Ziegesar
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Soulstice by Simon Holt
The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

From Paperback Swap:

Torched by April Henry

Trade (Thanks Tami!):

Undone by Brooke Taylor
Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Under the Rose: An Ivy League Novel by Diana Peterfrend
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler


The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter

Okay so now you know what’s in mine, what did you get in yours? You can sign the Mr. Linky below, if you would, please link your actual IMM post, so that it is easier to find! Thanks!



I am so THERE!

It’s been a while since I’ve been to an author signing! And I have TWO of them coming up here in the next couple weeks!

First up:

September 12, 2009 A.J. Whitten, The Well

I’ll be heading to one of my local Barnes and Noble for this one! I’m so excited. This is the first signing that I haven’t had to drive at least two hour to go to! This one is only twenty minutes away! YAY!

I’ll be meeting author A.J. Whitten which is really a pseudonym for author Shirley Jump. Her teenage daughter Amanda, who helped to write The Well, will be there too!

Here’s all the official info for this one: Friday September 11, 2009 7:00 PM
Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center, 4140 W. Jefferson Blvd. Bldg. J, Ft. Wayne, IN 46804,

If you live in the area and think you’ll be making it, let me know! I’d love to meet up before, after or during!


September 13, 2009 Julia Hoban, Willow

I’m super excited to meet Julia! This one will be just over a two hour drive for me, but I’m sure it will be well worth it! It’s will also be at a Barnes and Noble.

I was going to be making the trek with super awesome 2010 debut author Julie Kagawa (The Iron King), but she has family things going on, so I’ll be making the trek alone. I’m thinking of doing a video diary of my trip and the signing… would that even be interesting… would you be interested?

I do know of some other bloggers that will be going, that I am even more so excited to meet! If anyone else is planning on going I’d love to know and possibly meet up, before, during or after. I promise I do not collect children and teens to put in my basement ( I don’t even have a basement) and I’m not an axe murderer either.

Here’s all the official info for this one: Saturday September 12, 2009 2:00 PM
Valparaiso Marketplace, 150 Silhavy Road Suite 120, Valparaiso, IN 46383, 219-531-6551

Can’t wait to get my copy of Willow signed!



Harlequin Teen Tour Contest Winners!

I got the prizes for this contest yesterday and I must say the t-shrits are very cool! I decided to have four winners total. Two winners will receive the t-shirts with their corresponding book and two winners will receive a finished copy of one of the titles.

The winner of a paperback copy of My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent and a My Soul to Take t-shirt is:


The winner of a hardback copy of Intertwined by Gena Showalter and a Intertwined t-shirt is:


The winner of a paperback copy of My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent is:


The winner of a hardback copy of Intertwined by Gena Showalter is:


Congrats to all the winners and thanks to everyone that entered! I’ve contact the winners by email, please get back to me asap with your address and information! Have a great weekend!


Book Review

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

Release Date: August 25, 2009
Publisher: Candlewick
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400
From: book fairy
Interest: n/a

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish – only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary “gifts.”

But as the students claw their way up – reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty – the side-effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most
unforgivable sins.

At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

This was an interesting read to say the least. I wasn’t aware when I first found the title was that the title was an extension of “Faustian bargains” or what I’ve always known it as– selling your soul to the devil. Perhaps I was alone in this revelation. I’ve seen it portrayed in literature and movies before, but this was an altogether take, which was refreshing.

I enjoyed the overall story, the manipulations, the deceit, the jealousy, makes you feel all warm in fuzzy inside to know what humans are capable of. But despite my intrigue with overall premise, at times I found the story to be tedious and sporadic. Parts of the story felt incomplete, while others were beautifully detailed.

And the ending for me, was completely anticlimactic. I found that I had a lot more questions than answers. Who really was Madame Vileroy and what was the point?

However, I did enjoyed the power of redemption that some of the characters ultimately achieved.

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