Release Day: Where I Watch You and Not After Everything in 3 Gifs

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Here it is! Happy release day for From Where I Watch You, summed up in 3 Gifs!

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Stalker

 

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Baking

 

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Kissing

From Where I Watch You is available NOW! Thank you for reading!

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Soho Teen

Add to your Goodreads!

 

And Happy Book Birthday to Not After Everything!

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About the book: Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry- loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her?But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?

Not After Everything is available now! Happy reading!

AMAZON | B&N BAM | INDIEBOUNDGOODREADS

 

Shannon writer photo crop 2Shannon Grogan teaches 2nd grade by day, and writes at Starbucks while her kids are at ballet and baseball. If she can stay off Twitter and stay awake, she writes at night, in a tiny logging town near Seattle, Washington. Her debut, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU, will be published by Soho Teen, August 2015.

Michelle Levy squaredMichelle Levy grew up in Littleton, Colorado, but moved to Los Angeles as soon as she was legally allowed because she hates driving in the snow. When she’s not writing, she’s likely working at her other job as a casting director for film and television or skulking about (and occasionally posting—she’s working on that) on Twitter. Her debut, NOT AFTER EVERYTHING, will be released on August 4, 2015 from Dial.

Fearless Fridays: Fonda Lee Describes the Publishing Experience Using Horror Movie Gifs

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I confess: I am a wuss when it comes to scary movies. I am 100% down with thrilling, suspenseful, or violent. Bring all that. But when it comes to full on scary—you know, the kind of movies with blurry poster images of screaming faces and tag lines like “Evil Awaits”—I am a sad coward.

I attribute this to the fact that I suspend disbelief way too easily. This is a helpful trait when it comes to being a speculative fiction reader and writer, but if you tell me that Candyman will appear if you say his name five times in the mirror, or that I’ll die in seven days if I watch this creepy video—well, damn I kinda believe you and now I’m not leaving the spot under this table.

Since this is Fearless Friday, I thought it would be appropriate for me to use one of my fears—scary movies—to describe something else that, despite all its genuinely wonderful parts, certainly inspires its fair share of terror—the publishing process.

So it kind of works like this.

You’re a writer with a book on submission and the rejections are coming fast and furious.

Hooray! An editor takes the bait!

You get your first editorial letter and it’s like:

During the revision process:

Soon you’ve read and revised your book so many times you can’t even stand to look at it anymore:

At times the process seems endless.

But then your ARCs are out, and you imagine reviewers are thinking:

Sometimes bad reviews happen and it’s like:

Meanwhile, you’re trying to sell your next book:

And trying not to obsessively check Goodreads or Amazon Sales Rankings:

Yet, miraculously, your book does make it out into the world, and you want to write another and do it all over again!

Come back next Friday to see what scares my fellow Flux author Stefanie Lyons. In the meantime, help alleviate MY fear of premature career death by checking out the schedule of online and live launch events for ZEROBOXER and grabbing a copy of the book when it hits shelves on April 8!

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s

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, will be published by Flux on April 8. You can find Fonda at www.fondalee.com and on Twitter @fondajlee.

Fearless Fridays – Alison DeCamp Faces Her Fear of Aliens (They’re Real!)

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I used to be afraid of aliens. Oh, who am I kidding. I’m still afraid of aliens.

Once my brother and his girlfriend saw strange lights in the sky while driving a portion of deserted highway. I was probably eleven years old at the time. It was my first almost-UFO sighting. It was also in a section of the state where there was an Air Force base located nearby. I’m sure that had nothing to do with anything.

Years later, after I was married (I’ll admit, I was in my late twenties), a couple came over for dinner and brought a movie with them. FIRE IN THE SKY. A movie so frightening I squeezed my eyes shut and plugged my ears whenever the trailer was shown on TV.

Based on a true story (I know!), FIRE IN THE SKY (in case you are too young to remember) is about a man who is abducted by aliens while his logging coworkers look on. He disappears for five days and resurfaces with no memory and no clothes. Later he has flashbacks about the experiments the aliens performed on him.

There was NO way I was watching that movie. So after dinner my husband and guests slid the movie into the VCR, and I retreated to our bedroom where I turned on the radio and covered my head with a pillow. For two hours.

That was a fun night.

The next morning I called my mother and relayed the entire story. She listened without interrupting me or telling me I was ridiculous. All she said at the end was, “Alison, what makes you think any aliens would want you?”

From then on I haven’t been nearly as freaked out by aliens. Because out of 7 billion people in the world, why WOULD a bunch of aliens want me?

But I’m still not watching that movie. And what I just said isn’t true either. Because I just googled all this information about UFOs and alien sitings and Travis Walton to write this post and I might not sleep tonight.

Alison DeCamp grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where she heard many stories about lumber camps, scary grandmothers, and outhouses. She taught middle school for eight years, stayed home with her two adorable children (now adorable teenagers) and works at a bookstore in Harbor Springs, Michigan. MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES (99% True!) is available Feb. 24. You can find Alison on Twitter and Facebook where she loves to posts old pictures and kids’ art.

INTRODUCING NATASHA SINEL

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Here’s how to become a published author in five steps. (Notice I didn’t say five easy steps. Nor did I say they’d all be forward-moving steps.)

1. Live Your Childhood Inside Books

I was a reader. When I finished one book, I’d start the next. Books dictated the ups and downs of my moods (This probably confused the hell out of my parents—well, what is she crying about now?) I wrote stories too. People would say, “She’ll be a writer someday.” But people aren’t books, so I didn’t listen.

2. Go to Business School by Default

Having grown up in Washington, D.C., I assumed I’d be a lawyer, a lobbyist, or a politician. But…eh. A doctor was out of the question—I was one of those faint-at-the-sight-of-blood types. So, I went to business school. Maybe I’d be some sort of business-type person.

3. Do Something That Makes You Feel Horrible About Yourself

During business school, I miserably failed my internship at one of the big investment banks. (Why did I even try it? Because someone—I won’t mention names, but it starts with a D and ends with a D—always told me I could do anything I set my mind to. Investment banking, however? Not in my “anything” category.) Turns out, I wasn’t interested in any of the MBA-type jobs at banks, consulting firms, and product marketing companies. I had no job-worthy interests, period. Then, after listening to me whine long enough, my dad asked one simple question:

“When you pick up the New York Times, which section do you read first?”

The Book Review, duh. Also TV and movies. So something clicked there, and I set my mind to a more appropriate “anything.” After a grueling independent job search, I landed a job at Showtime Networks. I was on the business side, but I was working in TV. I loved watching TV! One of my interests plus job equals happy/successful.

4. Spend $$ on Gas and Parking

Many years later, I put work on hold to start a family. I had an idea for a story, so I signed up for a YA novel workshop. Driving an hour to SoHo every week would give me a kick in the pants to write, and that would make me feel creative, productive, and good. What I hadn’t expected was for my instructor (fabulous author/yoga instructor Kristen Kemp) to say, “Girl, you can write. There is no reason why you can’t get published, if that’s what you want to do.”*

Whoa. That was an option? Sure, I’d fantasized about being an author. Who doesn’t? But, that was just fantasy, right? But something clicked, and I set my mind to another “anything”—being a writer.

5. Fail and Fail and Fail Some More

After ten years, two and a half manuscripts, and numerous heartbreaking but necessary failures, the fantasy is a reality. And it feels like the right “anything.”

*My fellow Fearless Fifteener, Sona Charaipotra (PRETTY LITTLE THINGS) was in that class with me, and I’m so glad to reconnect with her here during our debut year!

Here’s a description of my debut YA contemporary THE FIX, which comes out this September:

One conversation is all it takes to break a world wide open.

Seventeen-year-old Macy Lyons has been through something no one should ever have to experience. And she’s dealt with it entirely alone.

On the outside, she’s got it pretty good. Her family’s well-off, she’s dating the cute boy next door, she has plenty of friends, and although she long ago wrote her mother off as a superficial gym rat, she’s thankful to have allies in her loving, laid-back dad and her younger brother.

But a conversation with a boy at a party one night shakes Macy out of the carefully maintained complacency that has defined her life so far. The boy is Sebastian Ruiz, a recovering addict who recognizes that Macy is hardened by dark secrets. And as Macy falls for Sebastian, she realizes that, while revealing her secret could ruin her seemingly perfect family, keeping silent might just destroy her.

The Fix follows two good-hearted teenagers coming to terms with the cards they were dealt. It’s also about the fixes we rely on to cope with our most shameful secrets and the hope and fear that comes with meeting someone who challenges us to come clean.

“First shot out of the gate, Sinel bravely addresses tough topics, demonstrating that the weight of secrets can pull us under—and their release can save us from drowning.” —Holly Schindler, critically acclaimed author of A Blue So Dark and Feral

“A bewitching, beautiful, and brave debut. Readers will marvel at Macy’s resilience. Natasha Sinel’s writing devastates and uplifts, by turns. An important story of one girl’s journey to rewrite the blueprint of her own life by facing the truth inside herself.” —Carrie Mesrobian, award-winning author of Sex & Violence and Perfectly Good White Boy

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 in September 2015.

ALL FOUR KIDS: An Interview with Maria E. Andreu, THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY

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Today, we welcome OneFour KidLit author Maria E. Andreu to the blog to discuss her debut novel, THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY. Here’s the book’s official blurb:

TSSoE_CoverAs a straight-A student with a budding romance and loyal best friend, M.T.’s life seems as apple-pie American as her blondish hair and pale skin. But M.T. hides two facts to the contrary: her full name of Monserrat Thalia and her status as an undocumented immigrant. But it’s harder to hide now that M.T.’s a senior. Her school’s National Honor Society wants her to plan their trip abroad, her best friend won’t stop bugging her to get her driver’s license, and all everyone talks about is where they want to go to college. M.T. is pretty sure she can’t go to college, and with high school ending and her family life unraveling, she’s staring down a future that just seems empty. In the end, M.T. will need to trust herself and others to stake a claim in the life that she wants.

KS: You’ve said THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY has some autobiographical elements. Which parts are based on your own experiences?

MA: Well, the big one obviously is that I too was undocumented. I went to a small parochial school. I wondered how I was going to build a “normal” life when so many things seemed stacked against me. And some small details are nods to real life too. I really met my high school boyfriend the way the protagonist meets hers. I really did have a Ms. North in my life. Things like that.

That said, the book is mostly fiction. Real life is messy, lessons take a long time to learn, things stop and start and stop in ways that don’t make for a very clean narrative. I took the real emotion of it and put it to snappier, grander action.

KS: You take exception to the term “illegal immigrant” to describe your main character, MT. Can you explain?

MA: There is a wonderful quote from Elie Weisel, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, that says, “No human being is illegal.” Calling a human being “an illegal” as if it were a noun, or even an “illegal immigrant,” has a dehumanizing effect which then opens the door for people to pile on other judgements. It basically says that the human being is illegal, not their actions. In M.T.’s case, it’s not even her own actions that have made her undocumented. Her parents brought her as a baby.

If you get ticketed for speeding, are you an illegal driver? If you’re late on your taxes, are you an illegal taxpayer? Being undocumented isn’t even a violation of criminal law. It’s a violation on confusing and conflicting civil statutes. No human being is illegal.

-steps off soapbox-

KS: MT’s major secret is that she’s undocumented. What are the other “secret sides” to MT?

MA: M.T. hides a lot of secrets. She doesn’t tell her friends what’s going on in her life, not just her undocumented status but everything that’s happening at home. She doesn’t tell her boyfriend Nate her fears and vulnerabilities. She doesn’t tell people at school what’s causing her grades to slip. When stuff finally starts to hit the fan she doesn’t want to tell anyone the truth about herself. So she’s just a bundle of secrets. She wants to go it alone. Or, rather, she thinks she has to.

The other characters have their secrets too. Her best friend Chelsea’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems. Her boyfriend Nate has something he’s not telling her. Even Quinn, whom some might consider something of an unlikeable character, has a story we don’t know at the start which reveals something unexpected about her character. Part of what I wanted to say with this book is that everyone’s got something they’re hiding or not fully revealing. No one’s life is really as it seems from the outside.

KS: MT’s future is shaped by federal regulations, laws, and policies that are out of her control. Did you have to do a lot of research on immigration policy to write it?

MA: As someone who has been undocumented, I knew a lot of the background. I’ve also volunteered for a non-profit that lobbies for immigration reform and awareness, so I get some of it there. But TSSoE isn’t a policy book. There’s actually not a lot of that in there. I’ve tried to let the reader into M.T.’s experience of being undocumented, complete with the confusion, fear and lack of information.

KS: As this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you’re afraid of and something you are not afraid of.

MA: I can almost always trace anything that’s making me afraid – problems with mates, kids, work – to the fear of not being heard and considered. Of not mattering. That is probably my biggest fear. Probably not surprising given my story.

As for what I’m not afraid of: I’m no longer afraid that I won’t do what I’d dreamed of with my life. I don’t know if ten people or a million people are going to read this book, but I know I’ve written it. How the world feels about it is out of my hands. But I can live the rest of my life knowing I put it out there. And that feels amazing.

Go Fearless Fifteeners! Can’t wait to read your wonderful stories!

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Author Maria E. Andreu draws from her personal experience as a (formerly) undocumented immigrant to explore an issue that affects over one million children in the U.S. But while the subject matter is timely, it is M.T.’s sharp, darkly funny voice and longing for a future that makes this story universally poignant.
Kim Savage is the author of AFTER THE WOODS, a debut psychological thriller for young adults coming in 2015 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux/MacMillan. She is working on CELLOPHANE SISTERS (working title), also with FSG/MacMillan, her second thriller for young adults. Before writing fiction, she worked as business journalist, pitching stories along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You get the idea.

Introducing: Kim Savage

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I’ve scared away the sweet old man again.

Explaining why nice people flee me seems like a good way to introduce myself. I’m Kim Savage, and I write psychological thrillers for young adults. My novel AFTER THE WOODS will be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux/MacMillan in 2015, and a second, stand-alone thriller, CELLOPHANE SISTERS (working title) will be released in 2016.

You see, when I write, especially first-draft stuff, I look like a keening witch doctor. I sway as I type, and whisper, looking for lyricism. Working my way into a trance, I tap with grand, oversized strokes, closing my eyes to envision scenes. I read dialogue in character, making sure it sounds authentic. Sometimes, I model my characters’ actions. What does Deborah look like when Shane shows up in Liv’s hospital room? Does she draw in her chin? If so, would her waddle flatten and spread? Wait, I can check this on my mirror app! Oh yeah: major spread. It all adds up to one freaky scene, made worse by the fact that I write in my public library. Choose another table, sweet old man who scans the Globe every morning. Vodoun priestess is in da house!

The magic started when I stalked my dream agent, Sara Crowe, at a Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators retreat and signed with her a month later. She sold my book in a pre-empt to Janine O’Malley at FSG, which I’m pretty sure is entered through pearly white gates inlaid with gold. Next time I’m in NYC, I’m checking that out.

I live with my husband and youngish kids just north of Boston. I’ve spent most of my life as an introvert in disguise, because extroverts have more fun. Though I’ve had careers in journalism and development, writing fiction is the only thing I’ve truly wanted to do. So I shake my head over the fact that I get to write, tics in full force, every single day.

I’m starting to suspect all this conjuration has sparked some supernatural mischief. Because during the last few weeks, my novel has been haunting me.

By way of background: in AFTER THE WOODS, a man tries to abduct Julia and her best friend, Liv. One year later, everything is turned upside down. Liv freezes out Julia, whose terrifying flashbacks of the attack make reassimilating to high school life impossible. When Liv’s risqué new habits include Shane Cuthbert, a violent addict whose temper Liv cultivates, Julia realizes she must remember what really happened that day in the woods before she loses Liv forever.

Back to the magic. Recently, while watching the news, I saw my opportunistic reporter, Paula Papademetriou—not all of her, just her man-hands—attached to a local newscaster.

Last month, I was eased off the road by Shane Cuthbert’s matte black muscle car.

On the same road, I pulled over to send a text and saw the house my predator, Donald Jessup, lives in with his mother. The brown vinyl siding, the yellow mail exploding from the mailbox, the frayed lawn chairs were all there.

Shiver.

I think I know what’s up. I’ve been going hard at Novel Two, and my first baby will not be ignored. The doppelganger body parts and suspiciously similar settings are just Novel One’s way of reminding me it’s there. After all, you can’t summon magic and expect it to stay dormant (see “Frozen”).

AFTER THE WOODS began with flipping a question. Would you sacrifice yourself to save your best friend? Then: would you sacrifice your best friend to save yourself? What follows isn’t easy. Neither are my characters. I’m with Clare Messud when she asks, “The relevant question isn’t ‘is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘is this character alive?’ ”

I want readers to care as deeply about Julia and Liv as I do. About them, if not for them. Understand their hard choices, then agree, or disagree. Ultimately, I hope my characters come alive for readers, which would, in fact, be a little bit of magic.

I’d love to hear from you, especially about your favorite “tough” YA characters. Tweet me @khsavage

 

Kim Savage is the author of AFTER THE WOODS, a debut psychological thriller for young adults coming in 2015 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux/MacMillan. She is working on CELLOPHANE SISTERS (working title), also with FSG/MacMillan, her second thriller for young adults. Before writing fiction, she worked as business journalist, pitching stories along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You get the idea.

The Fearless Fifteeners: By The Numbers

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Applications for 2015 debut MG and YA authors have been pouring in since we launched the site for the Fearless Fifteeners on October 15. Below is how we break down in terms of gender, genre, publisher, the things that make us run for cover, and the things we face without fear.

If a single person were created to represent the majority of us, that person would be a female author of a YA contemporary novel published by Harper Collins. She would be afraid of sharks and not afraid to take on new challenges (like writing a debut novel!)

In reality,  though, we are a diverse group of people who live in the U.S., Canada, and England.  We write everything from MG fantasy to YA historical fiction, and soon we will each introduce ourselves in more detail on this site. For now, here we are by the numbers.

Members: 42

  • Women: 41
  • Man: 1
  • YA: 33
  • MG: 9

Genres (we have information for 36 of the 42 members):

  • Contemporary: 14
  • Fantasy: 6
  • Thriller/Suspense: 6
  • Science Fiction: 2
  • Mystery: 1
  • Humor: 1
  • Magical Realism: 1
  • Horror: 1
  • Dark Near-Future Multicultural: 1
  • Verse Novel: 1
  • Paranormal Mystery Romance: 1
  • Historical Fiction: 1

Publishers:

  • Harper Collins imprints: 13 (Harper Collins Children’s Books, HarperTeen, Balzer + Bray, Katherine Tegen Books)
  • Penguin imprints: 9 (Dial, Viking, Putnam, Philomel, Razorbill)
  • Macmillan imprints: 6 (St. Martin’s, Feiwel & Friends, Henry Holt, Roaring Brook Press)
  • Simon & Schuster imprints: 5 (Simon & Schuster, Aladdin)
  • Random House imprints: 4 (Knopf, Crown, Delacorte)
  • Scholastic: 1
  • Bloomsbury Children’s USA: 1
  • Soho Teen: 1
  • Little, Brown, & Company: 1
  • Disney Hyperion: 1
  • Jabberwocky: 1

Yes, we have 42 members and 43 publishers listed. One member, Krista Van Dolzer has two novels coming out in 2015!

Top 5 things we fear:

  • Sharks
  • Heights
  • Spiders and other creepy crawlers
  • Snakes
  • Zombies

Top 5 things we don’t fear:

  • Challenges, stated as: taking on new things, taking risks, new challenges, change, starting over, being busy
  • Failure/uncertainty, stated as: mayking miztakess being wrong, making a fool of myself, not knowing what what I’m doing
  • Deadlines
  • And tying at two each: flying, heights, the dark, and the zombie apocalypse

Be Fearless and Join Us on Our Adventure!

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Hello and welcome to our new site! We are the Fearless Fifteeners, a group of middle grade and young adult authors making our publishing debuts in 2015. So far, our novels fall into the contemporary, paranormal, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, and fantasy categories. If you want to find out more about us, check out our Books & Authors page, where you can find our individual websites, where else to find us on social media, and a little about our upcoming novels.

Between now and our debut year, we will:

  • share our experiences as writers–the editorial process, how we got published, and more.
  • discuss issues in kid lit.
  • interview 2014 debut authors, who will share advice and wisdom.
  • reveal our book covers, host giveaways, and share conference information.
  • meet and interact with readers, writers, and general kidlit enthusiasts.

Not so scary, right? Stop by often over the next couple years as we work our way through the publishing process. If you’re really brave–and we know you are–you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Are you a 2015 YA/MG debut author, too? If so, be fearless with us! Check out our Becoming a Member page for more info on how to be part of the Fearless Fifteeners.

Thanks so much for checking us out. Come back soon. We double-dog dare you!