YA Q&A with Randy Ribay, author of An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes

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BW: You wake up one morning and, OMG, you’re a narwhal. What’s the first thing you do with your new ability?

RR: I knock over the lamp on my nightstand with my narwhal tusk as I try to return to the ocean.

BW: Dude. I knock stuff over when I don’t have my glasses on, so you’re really not starting off too badly. You’re parents, however, are less than excited about having an aquatic mammal living in their extra bedroom. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

Jason-Momoa-AquamanRR: Aquaman. Except not the lame blonde one, but the badass Jason Momoa Aquaman. (BW: *coughs* Yes, please). He reassures me that everything will be all right and carries me to the sea. He then invites me to an underwater ice cream social where I make new friends with fellow sea creatures while enjoying a tasty treat. But eventually, I morph back into human form and Badass Aquaman takes me back to shore before I drown.

BW: The next time you go anywhere with Jason Momoa Aquaman, you call me. Got that, Randy? Mmkay, good. So, back to normal, you arrive at school and literally crash into your crush. He/she asks you why you’re shaken up. What do you tell him/her?

RR: There was no hot water in the shower.

BW: That’s totes believable. He/she suggests going somewhere to talk about it more and maybe warm up. *wink* Where’s this dream date taking place?

RR: The aquarium. But having enjoyed ice cream with similar creatures not too long ago, it breaks my heart to see them imprisoned so. Shaking with rage, my narwhal powers reemerge in the form of an immense sword-like tusk sticking out of my forehead. I use it to attack the aquarium employees. Surrounded by their lifeless bodies, I call Badass Aquaman and we set the sea creatures free. But then Badass Aquaman totally steals my crush.

BW: I mean, can you really blame your crush? This is HOT Aquaman we’re talking about. Don’t worry! There’s still a Happily Ever After in your near future. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

RR: Geeky & diverse teens avoid their life problems by taking a road trip. Not enough narwhals.

BW: I’m sort of depressed about the lack of narwhals, but the book totally sounds fabulous. Here’s a longer summary for the rest of you.

 

Infinite Number BGcvr.inddAs their senior year approaches, four diverse friends united by their weekly Dungeons & Dragons game struggle to figure out real life. Archie tries to cope with the lingering effects of his parents’ divorce, Mari considers an opportunity to contact her biological mother, Dante works up the courage to come out to his friends, and Sam clings to a failing relationship. When the four eventually embark on a cross-country road trip in an attempt to solve one of their problems–and to avoid the others–the journey tests their friendship and they quickly realize that real life is no game.

 

RandyR-1(1)About Randy Ribay

Randy Ribay was born in the Philippines and raised in Michigan and Colorado. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he specialized in language and literacy. He is the English Department Chair at an all-boys high school in Philadelphia and a nerd-of-all-trades. Randy lives in Camden, New Jersey with his wife and two dog-children.

Order AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES: Indie Bound, B&NAmazon

Add it on Goodreads

Or visit Randy’s website at: www.randyribay.com

Becky headshots-Becky headshots-0007Becky Wallace is the author of THE STORYSPINNER and its sequel, THE SKYLIGHTER (available March 22, 2016 from Simon & Schuster). She lives in a happy little village in Texas with her own real-life Prince Charming and their four munchkins.
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FEARLESS FRIDAY WITH NATASHA SINEL: THESE ARE A FEW OF MY MOST FEARFUL THINGS

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I’ll be honest, as I approach the long-anticipated release date of my debut YA novel, THE FIX, I have two major fears:

  1. No one will read my book
  2. Lots of people will read my book

Now that that’s out of the way, I decided to just show you a few things that make my heart beat a bit faster and the hair raise on the back of my neck.

1. A blank word document with cursor blinking (some people love this. Not me. I find it scary.)

blankpage

2. Rejection (I’ve learned to get past this fear, because…practice. Writers get rejected on a daily basis. If you want to be a writer, you must know this.)

rejection

3. Stepping on a LEGO (If you haven’t, take my word for it…it smarts.)

legos

4. A traffic jam when I have to pee

5. Apocalypse survival-type scenario–I have no contact lenses and my glasses are broken beyond repair

broken glasses

6. And finally, my number one fear…tidal waves (I don’t know why I put a picture here–now I can never look at this post again.)

tidal-wave

Natasha Sinel writes YA fiction from her home on a dirt road in Northern Westchester, NY. She drives her kids around all afternoon, but in her head, she’s still in high school, and hopes no one near her can read minds. Find her on Twitter and on YA Outside The Lines. Natasha’s debut YA novel THE FIX will be out from Sky Pony Press on September 1, 2015.

The 15th Happenings: June News

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Launch Days

YOU'RE INVITED THE WITCH HUNTER THE EDGE OF FOREVER BOOK SCAVENGER SKYSCRAPING

May 19th: YOU’RE INVITED by Gail Nall and Jen Malone
2nd: THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker
2nd: THE EDGE OF FOREVER by Melissa E. Hurst
2nd: BOOK SCAVENGER by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
2nd: SKYSCRAPING Cordelia Jensen

SECRET OF THE SEVENS SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE RAISING RUFUS THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE

8th: SECRET OF THE SEVENS by Lynn Lindquist
9th: SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE by Jen White
9th: RAISING RUFUS by David Fulk
9th: THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oakes
9th: LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE by Gina Ciocca

MOTHMAN'S CURSE THE NIGHT WE SAID YES BETWEEN THE NOTES

16th: BETWEEN THE NOTES by Sharon Huss Roat
16th: MOTHMAN’S CURSE by Christine Hayes
16th: THE NIGHT WE SAID YES by Lauren Gibaldi

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AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES by Randy Ribay @YA Highway

Of Interest
Cindy L. Rodriguez discusses suicide and aftermath for Mental Health Awareness Month at Disability in Kidlit.

Angelica R. Jackson shares some bumps in her writing journey, talks research and writing, and about the crossover as a visual artist:

Melissa Hurst discusses publication and THE EDGE OF FOREVER at the Sweet Sixteens, and how pre-writing made her a better writing at Unleashing Readers.

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman talks research and her favorite scene over at Littlest Bookshelf.

And! Jennifer’s launch party for BOOK SCAVENGER will be on July 1st at the Tattered Cover Book Store in Littleton, Colorado.

Attention Woodstock, Georgia! Becky Albertalli, Katie M. Stout, Gina Ciocca, and Melissa E. Hurst will be at the FoxTale Book Shoppe on June 30th.
FoxTale Book Shoppe

Hop over to Goodreads for a chance to win CLAYTON STONE, AT YOUR SERVICE by Ena Jones.

Rachel A. Marks’ DARKNESS BRUTAL is #1 on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Teen & Young Adult Fantasy!

Professional reviews

booksUnusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones is making all kinds of lists, including the WNDB Summer Reading Series and Instructor Magazine’s 50 best books for summer. It was also the review of the day on SLJ’s Fuse #8.

Madeline Dyer’s UNTAMED was named among MurderMayhem&More’s Ripping Reads.

Latina magazine featured 7 Summer Beach Reads By Latino Authors, including WHEN REASON BREAKS by Cindy L. Rodriguez, SHUTTER by Courtney Alameda, MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera, and THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT by Melissa Grey.

Ena Jones’s CLAYTON STONE, AT YOUR SERVICE has a lovely review from Kirkus review:

Clayton’s endearing senses of loyalty to and responsibility for both family and friends is the undercurrent that gives this story depth and sets it apart from the rest.

Kerry O’Malley Cerra won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for JUST A DROP OF WATER!

Melissa Hurst’s THE EDGE OF FOREVER made Paste Magazine’s 13 of the Best New YA Books in June.

 

tessaelwoodTessa Elwood designs sites & haunts various highways in her four-wheeled baby. Her YA, INHERIT THE STARS, arrives 12/2015 from Running Press.

The 15th Happenings: May News

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Launch Days

tracked freaks material sound extra

5th: TRACKED by Jenny Martin
5th: FREAKS OF NATURE by Wendy Brotherlin
5th: MATERIAL GIRLS by Elaine Dimopoulos
5th: THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING by Krista Van Dolzer
5th: EXTRAORDINARY by Miriam Spitzer Franklin

cost 50-1 crow chickens madeyou

12th: THE COST OF ALL THINGS by Maggie Lehrman
12th: 5 TO 1 by Holly Bodger
12th: CROW’S REST by Angelica R. Jackson
12th: UNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER by Kelly Jones
19th: MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia

conviction tiny

19th: CONVICTION by Kelly Loy Gilbert
26th: TINY PRETTY THINGS by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

 
sold
Sheila Grau sold three books to Amulet/Abrams!

Sheila Grau’s next two books in the DR. CRITCHLORE’S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS series, following the continuing adventures of Runt Higgins as he searches for his true parents while training to be an ideal minion for Evil Overlords in need, again to Erica Finkel at Amulet, in a two-book deal, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (World English).

DR. CRITCHLORE’S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS author Sheila Grau’s THE BOY WITH SEVENTEEN SENSES, a reboot of Jack and the Beanstalk featuring a resourceful boy, a greedy neighbor, and a planet where every single inhabitant has synesthesia, to Erica Finkel at Amulet, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (World English).

 
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THE FIX by Natasha Sinel @YA Highway
DARKNESS BRUTAL by Rachel A. Marks @That Rachel

 
Of Interest
Fonda Lee discusses sports in speculative fiction over at Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing

Kelly Jones talks chickens and epistolary novels at The Sweet Sixteens.

Natasha Sinel explores rejection at Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire

 
Professional reviews
Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s BOOK SCAVENGER made several lists, including:
Indies Introduce— Indie Next Kids’ Top Ten Pick for Summer/Fall 2015
— Indies Introduce New Voice Finalist
— Publisher Weekly Best Summer Reads 2015 selection
— Scholastic Instructor 50 Best Books for the Summer list

Also, BOOK SCAVENGER will have two launch parties on the west coast! June 5th at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos, CA, and June 6th at Book Passage Bookstore in San Francisco, CA

Fonda Lee will be at the “YA-landia” Author Fair on June 6th, at the B&N Tanasbourne in Portland.

CLAYTON STONE, AT YOUR SERVICE by Ena Jones was featured among the BEA 2015: Can’t-Miss Kids’ Galleys!

Kelly Jones’ UNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER is an Amazon Best Books for May (for ages 9-12).

 

tessaelwoodTessa Elwood designs sites & haunts various highways in her four-wheeled baby. Her YA, INHERIT THE STARS, arrives 12/2015 from Running Press.

Release Day: ZEROBOXER in Gifs

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ZEROBOXER hits shelves today.

Here’s how I’m feeling, having finally reached publication day:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a description of the book using words:

A Sci-Fi Thrill Ride Set in the Action-Packed Sports Arena of the Future

A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way.

As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.

Here’s a description of ZEROBOXER using moving pictures. It’s like this:

And this:

With this:

Follow the zero-gravity excitement by checking out the schedule of launch events including readings, blog posts, special content, interviews, and more.

You can get your hands on ZEROBOXER at:

AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundPowell’s 

Zeroboxer final cover

 

FJLee HeadshotFonda Lee is an author and recovering corporate strategist who was born and raised in Calgary, Canada (land of hockey, rodeo, and oil reserves) and now lives with her family in Portland, Oregon (land of rain, hipsters, and Powell’s books). When she is not writing she can be found training in kung fu or searching out tasty breakfasts. Her debut upper YA science fiction novel, ZEROBOXER, is now available from Flux. You can find Fonda at www.fondalee.com and on Twitter @fondajlee.