Saturday, February 28, 2009

Boys and Ballgowns and Murder, Oh My!

I admit, I have been really excited about this blog tour stop! ( And not just because there is an incredible giveaway at the end.) Please welcome The Season by Sarah MacLean!

A bit about The Season:

Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn't fit into the world of Regency London — she's strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings. Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting for years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London Season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance.

Between sumptuous balls, lavish dinner parties and country weekends, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in a puzzling accident, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. It's a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, and suspicion. As she and Gavin grow closer, will Alex's heart be stolen in the process?

Romance and danger fill the air, as this year's Season begins!

And since Sarah is not only my good friend a but a super-interesting person, I like the section about her the most:

Sarah has wanted to be a romance novelist for as long as she can remember. She is a world-class procrastinator, thinks cupcakes have magic powers, and is addicted to Project Runway. She hearts the Barenaked Ladies, and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Baxter. She doesn't go anywhere without lip balm and she really really likes hats & sunglasses--perhaps it's a latent desire to be a celebutante?

Sarah currently works for an unnamed (big) publisher and gives us at the Debs tons of insider info when we have questions. (Not like If-I-Tell-You-I'll-Have-To-Kill-You-type info, but info about the inside of the business. Stuff we just don't know as authors. On top of that, she is a totally fabulous New Yorker and is having the swankiest launch party ever with a seriously impressive guest list! And if that weren't enough, she is also an amazing author who has branched out into the adult world, selling three books to Avon this winter!

So without further ado, here is the Feasty Five for this amazing author!

A.P. What kind of soda would your MC drink?

SM: Ginger Ale.

A.P. Did they even have that back then? *shrug* What is your MC's favorite kind of flower? How about yours?

SM: Alex likes daisies. They're natural. And not at all fancy. I'm more classic. The way to my heart is with a red rose.

AP: I'll bear that in mind the next time I am competing with Eric for your attentions.;) Does your MC believe in magic? Do you?

SM: Alex doesn't believe in magic...until she discovers that love is something very close to magic. And then she might just reconsider. I believe in love. And magic.

AP: Awwwww. I love that! Superman or Batman?

SM: Batman. Dark, brooding and immensely talented. Superman was born. The Dark Knight was made.

AP: Wow. Batman is so winning so far! Give us one line from your book. You don't even have to give it context.:)

SM: She didn't care about her ruined gown, or her filthy slippers, or the tears threatening to pour down her face.

AP: *laugh* It just sounds so regency! (Which, strangely enough, is the point.;)

Thank you Sarah for answering my five. Sarah would love for you to visit her at! But luckily for you readers, we're not done yet! This is a particularly special giveaway, because Sarah has offered to sign this copy of The Season for the giveaway!

So has this entry tempted you a bit? Do you want your own signed copy of the The Season? Of course you do!! So we are going to have our own season!! If you were having a season, what would your dress look like? Describe it in as little or as much detail as you like, but be warned, this is not a random contest. I will be picking the dress I like best.:D (Just to keep things interesting.;)) Entries will be accepted until midnight (MST) on Wednesday March 4th . . . just because it's my son's birthday.:)

So what would you dress look like? Tell me and be entered to win a signed copy of the incredible The Season!

Let the ball begin!!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hot guy, Shrimp Chips, the Forbidden City, Oh My!

It is, indeed, BlogTour time again!!

Tonight we have the author of a book in a series that I think is quite an interesting concept. Have you guys heard of the S.A.S.S. novels?? The acronym stands for Students Across the Seven Seas. and every book is about a young girl studying abroad. Not only that, but they have cool titles like Irish Guys Are Smiling and The Finnish Line. (I'm totally into puns!) Well, author Cynthea Lui has penned the newest one, her debut novel, The Great Call of China!

A bit about The Great Call . . . .

Chinese-born Cece was adopted when she was two years old by her American parents. Living in Texas, she's bored of her ho-hum high school and dull job. So when she learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi'an, China, she jumps at the chance. She'll be able to learn about her passion—anthropology—and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots. But when she arrives, she receives quite a culture shock. And the closer she comes to finding out about her birth parents, the more apprehensive she gets. Enter Will, the cute guy she first meets on the plane. He and Cece really connect during the program. But can he help her get accustomed to a culture she should already know about, or will she leave China without the answers she's been looking for?

I love that you can sense the voice even in the synopsis! (Can you tell I'm totally intrigued by this series! It sounds like just the thing I would have picked up in middle school!)

And now a bit about Cynthea (besides the fact that she's seriously gorgeous! We have a good-looking group of authors over at the Debs, I kid you not!)

Cynthea Liu spent most of her formative years in Oklahoma and Texas where she was a member of the Whiz Quiz team, an academic decathlon-er, and a spelling bee champion. Yes, she was very popular.

After attending college on the East Coast, she landed a job as a management consultant. When she had enough of PowerPoint and frequent flyer miles, she traded in her suit for sweats to focus on the fun stuff–writing for children.

And, no blog tour stop would be complete without the Feasty Five! So away we go!

AP: What kind of soda does your MC drink?

CL: She's a Dr. Pepper kind of girl. Go, Texas, baby!

AP: What is your MC's favorite kind of flower? How about yours?

CL: She would be a big fan of star-gazer lilies. (I love them too!)

AP: Even the name sounds gorgeous! (For those of you unfamiliar, I had to include a picture because they are so pretty!

AP: Does your MC believe in magic? Do you?

CL: Sure. Maybe not the kind of magic where you pull Snoop out of a hat, but definitely the kind that makes wishes come true.

Though her faith is sometimes easily shaken.

AP: Man, I SO believe in that kind of magic too! Superman or Batman?

CL: Huh? What? Batman. (Do I win something?)

AP: Heheh, yes! The confusion spreads!! And now, I move on without answering your question, *evil laugh* Okay, give us one line from your book. You don't even have to give it context.

CL: Ta changchang gei wo xie xing.

Have fun figuring that one out! :)

AP: *blinkblink* Well, I guess turn-about is fair play.;)

Thank you Cynthea for joining us!!

Okay, I am apparently calendar illiterate, because contrary to what my last blog tour post said, my next giveaway is on Friday, and I am giving away a SIGNED copy of Sarah MacLean's The Season and then on the TENTH (not the twelfth) is when I am giving away Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth. So lots of free books in the future, very possibly YOUR future, so stay tuned!



I love my friends. I especially love my author friends. Well, I won't even get that specific; my writer friends. I have said this at least once before (and based on how long-winded and short-memoried I am, I've probably said it several times on this blog) everyone else gets co-workers that they see every day! They laugh over cubicle walls, hang out at the water cooler, send memo's, etc.

Authors totally get shafted. One of my very bestest author friends lives in IRELAND!!! Come on!! That is way too far away.

Luckily, this week, I got to connect up with a bunch of friends and even meet some new ones!

On Thursday I went to The King's English, a seriously charming indie bookstore (I'm doing an event there in May!!), to hear Jamie Ford read from his debut novel, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. And, of course, to meet Jamie. I have cyber-known Jamie for over a year. Probably nearly two years now. He and I go way back. He totally cheered for me when I got my book deal ages and ages ago. (Alas, I missed the opportunity to cheer for him because we got to know each other shortly after he got his book deal.)

So in true jail-ish fashion, here is Jamie from the front:

And Jamie from the side:

(I didn't actually do the front/side thing on purpose, I just took two pics to make sure one of them turned out okay. But hey! You use what you got, right?;))

Jamie is . . . man, he is incredible! An amazing speaker who made even the packed room feel like an intimate one on one conversation and he is so clearly passionate about his book. Afterward, we had dessert at his hotel and I got to chat with his awesome wife. And they have the best author love story! They met just after Jamie finished his book, but before he even found an agent. She fell in love with him over this book and he dedicated it to her. How cool is that! So not only was Jamie a fun person to talk to, so was his wife (and she's a labor and delivery nurse and so we had lots to talk about; it was so fun!) So when there was a (brief) break in the conversation, I looked at my phone and it was eleven o'clock. And as Jamie said, you know it's good company when you don't even notice the time flying by. Thanks Jamie and Leesha; I had SUCH a good time!

After that, I spent much of Friday and Saturday at a symposium for Sci-fi and Fantasy called Life, the Universe, and Everything. (I love that name!) I got to spend lots of time with another best author friend, James Dashner, (and, *ahem* if you check out his latest blog entry you just might find out some news about my book *ahem*) got to know an author acquaintance named Dan Wells better, as well as hanging out with (*koffkoff* shameless name-dropping*koffkoff*) Tracy Hickman and L.E. Modesitt. I also got to meet Julie Wright, who writes YA for a religious press, and is inches away from breaking into the New York scene!

And if that weren't awesome enough, I also got to meet a bunch of aspiring writers who were incredibly fun and awesome! (You know who you are!!!) It was such a great day!

Oh, and I sat on some panels too.

Honestly, I think the panels will matter more to me in the future . . . maybe . . . but last weekend I was mostly glad to just hang out with other wiriters. People who understand me and speak my language. People who can sit around and discuss the business of publishing for hours simply because we share the same obsession. Why can't we do this every day like everyone else!!

A lot of people talk about writing as a very solitary business, and it is. There are definitely other people involved. Crit partners, agents, editors, marketing and publicity teams. There are so many fingers in your literary pie . . . but in the end, it is still just you, putting the words on the pages. And to be able to share that with someone else, another writer who does the same thing you do, day after day, book after book . . . well, let's say refreshing doesn't even begin to cover it. I had a weekend where I really got to fill up my social well. And I needed it. It's been a while.

So thanks everyone. Jamie, Leesha, James, Dan, Julie, Jessica, Brandon, Kimberlee, the threesome whose names I am so sorry I can't remember. Thank you. I really needed you.


Monday, February 23, 2009


Okay! Sorry this is late, I had a podcast to record last night and last minute edits to do this morning and, unfortunately, those take priority.

But I have winners now!!! (With thanks to!)

First Place Winner: PATTI!!!! (and there might be more than one, so Patti, your shout-out was "I love you my hubby and three children.")

Second Place Winner: Noodlesforyou!

Third Place Winner: Miranda! (No, I did not do that on purpose!!;))

Fourth Place Winner: Lenore!!

Fifth Place Winner: Nancy! (I didn't do that one on purpose either!)

And I'm laughing really hard right now because two of those winners have known me since I was a little kid. Very strange. Blame :D

If all the winners would please email me at aprilynnepike at gmail dot com with your addresses so I can send you your prizes!!

Thank you guys for entering! This was the best giveaway yet!!! And my next giveaway will be on the twelfth of March, when I will be blog touring Carrie Ryan and giving away a copy of her incredible novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

War and Flu and Ghosts, Oh My!

Welcome to our next Debs 2009 Blog Tour stop! I'd love to welcome Jenny Moss author of the book Winnie's War, now in stores!

Here's a bit about Winnie's War, a historical Middle Grade, set in 1918:

Life in Winnie's sleepy town of Coward Creek, Texas, is just fine for her. Although her troubled mother's distant behavior has always worried Winnie, she's plenty busy caring for her younger sisters, going to school, playing chess with Mr. Levy, and avoiding her testy grandmother. Plus, her sweetheart Nolan is always there to make her smile when she's feeling low. But when the Spanish Influenza claims its first victim, lives are suddenly at stake, and Winnie has never felt so helpless. She must find a way to save the people she loves most, even if doing so means putting her own life at risk.

Winnie's War has been getting really great reviews. Here's what some of the lead reviewers are saying!

“A multifaceted, nuanced debut.”

- Kirkus Reviews

“First-novelist Moss brings poetic language to
this story . . . ”

- Publishers Weekly

“In sum, an appealing historical fiction tale.”

- Booklist Online

"A Beautiful cover that is even prettier in person."

-Aprilynne Pike (LOL!)

And if that weren't cool enough, Jenny is a way interesting person herself. For example, she kisses her brother.;) (I guess technically, that's her brother kissing her . . . but still! :D)

Jenny is a former NASA engineer. She earned a master's degree in literature and taught writing as an adjunct at University of Houston-Clear Lake. Winnie's War is her first novel. She lives with her two teenagers in Houston, Texas.

You can visit her at or you can get all the REALLY important information right here! Here's my Feasty Five about Winnie's War!

AP: What kind of soda does (would) your MC drink?

JM: She'd drink lemonade

AP: Party pooper.;) What is your MC's favorite kind of flower? How about yours?

JM: Indian paintbrush - for both of us

AP: I actually really love Indian paintbrush. Does your MC believe in magic? Do you?

JM: Magical moments -- yes, for both of us

AP: Superman or Batman?

JM: Batman, because he's more conflicted.

AP: Give us one line from your book. You don't even have to give it context.:)

JM: "Does it all belong?"

AP: Well, I did say you didn't have to give it context.;) Thank you Jenny! We will all be looking forward to hearing how Winnie's War does and which awards it racks up!;)

In other news, my full schedule is up at my website, with all of my tour sites!

And also, you have two more days to enter to win an ARC of WINGS along with lots and lots of chocolate.:D


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Querying Jodi

What can I say, I have a popular agent. I often (very often!) get emails from aspiring writers asking me what Jodi likes, how to get a leg up with her, what she's looking for. Often they will ask if I can read sample pages or even their whole book to see if it fits with what Jodi wants. (I can't BTW, it's too big of a liability risk for me. Sorry!) Unfortunately, the answer to this is often . . . well, I don't know.

However, Jodi has asked me to pass on a couple of her preferences! So if you are thinking of querying Jodi, here is what she says.

She does not like the abrupt jumping into book description without an introduction. For example, instead of this:

Dear Ms. Reamer,

The bloody knife was just lying in Chloe's living room. She didn't have anything to do with it, but now the police are carting her away!

Go with this:

Dear Ms. Reamer,

I am a reader of your very favorite author, Aprilynne Pike, and since you seem to enjoy riveting fiction, I would love to send you my paranormal YA manuscript, CHLOE'S MISTAKE, complete at 70,000 words.

The bloody knife . . . .etc.etc.etc.

(and yes, that intro is totally tongue in cheek.;))

A lot of agents like the jumping-in approach, but your exclusive Aprilynne tip, Jodi doesn't.

Also, with as full as Jodi's list is, she has a strong preference to read materials exclusively. You are welcome to debate the pros and cons of exclusives elsewhere, but just saying, you will get farther with Jodi in particular, if you are willing to grant a short exclusive.

There you go, a couple of Jodi's preferences. Other than that, she's just looking for good books. With her background as a corporate litigator, she is always looking for a good legal thriller, but she reps a bit of everything with a specialization in children's literature.

And for those who are querying right now, a few basic reminders:

DO give your word count. Don't try to trick the agent. A word count also lets them know your novel is finished.

DO tell the agent the plotline. I cannot tell you how many queries I have read that only tell about the character. You need a plot, you probably HAVE a plot . . . so spill!!;)

DON'T tell the agent how great/compelling/interesting/fabulous your book is, show them a great/compelling/interesting/fabulous plot in your synopsis paragraph. Telling an agent how masterful your own book is and how many readers will adore it means nothing. We ALL think that about our books! Just lay out your plot and let it speak for itself.

DON'T address your query to "Dear Agent" address the agent personally. (Also, Jodi is a woman, don't let the Esq. at the end through you off. It just means she's a lawyer.)

Similarly, DON'T send a query to every agent at the agency. One at a time. Jodi said that she and the other agents always have to laugh a little when someone queries every agent in the agency at once because it is painfully obvious. The mail all going to the same small mail room, people!!;)

So good luck querying!!!

Don't forget that the contest for the WINGS ARC and Valentine's gift bags is still open. And just as a little incentive, here's a picture of the bags I made this morning.:D

You can find the rules on how to enter here for Blogger users or here for LJ users.

And lastly, I can finally unveil Harper's tour plans for me this summer!!!

Well, some of them.:)

I will be participating in the Supernatural Summer tour this June with Kim Harrison, Claudia Gray, Kelley Armstrong, and Melissa Marr!!


Tuesday, June 2 Anderson’s Naperville, IL

Wednesday, June 3 Books & Co. @ the Greene Dayton, OH

Thursday, June 4 Joseph Beth’s Cincinnati, OH

Friday, June 5 B&N Portland, OR

Saturday, June 6 Borders Redmond, WA

They are mixing and matching the authors, so I won't be at all these events, I will be at the ones at Portland and Redmond. I will have more specific info up on my website in a few days.

I also have four other places I am touring to, but I don't know the specifics yet. As soon as I do, I'll let you know!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Grand Valentine's Day ARC Giveaway!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

And especially happy day to Kiersten who won the giveaway of Shadowed Summer! Congrats Kiersten and please send me an email at aprilynne pike at gmail dot com with your address so I can send you your copy!

I have been looking forward to this for a long time. It's the WINGS ARC Giveaway!!!! Not only that. But because it's Valentine's Day and all of the Valentine's candy is going to be on sale on Monday (*snicker*), it is ARC plus gift bag giveaway time!!!!

Here's the deal:

1st Prize= An ARC of WINGS, a cover flat, a large Valentine's Day goody bag, and a small swag bag like the ones I gave out on my pre-pub tour.

2nd and 3rd Prizes= A cover flat, a large Valentine's Day goody bag, and a small swag bag.

4th and 5th Prizes= A large Valentine's Day goody bag plus a small swag bag.

The Rules:

I don't like complicated entry rules and I don't want to follow people all over the web to find out if they linked to my blog or whatever (although I've done that) so this one is easy. It's Valentine's Day and WINGS is, at it's heart, a love story, so you enter by commenting and giving someone you love a shout out.

I'll start.


See? Easy!

You have one week. Next Saturday at about this time (11:00 PM EST) I'll do a random number generator . . . thingie, and we'll have winners!!

Good Luck!

And for something amusing in this post, I have two pics for you!

The first is from Anderson's in Chicago. This is a picture of me and Becky (on my right . . . your left, my right . . .) and all the kids who came to this amazing event. Awesome, smart, awesome kids. (Yes, I know I said awesome twice. They are awesome times two!)

Man, it was so the best night ever!!!!

And secondly, I've been holding this under my hat for a while, but now that it's up on, I can unveil my UK cover!!!!

Sorry about the borders. I don't know how to take them off . . . But I just adore this cover! The UK will be marketing WINGS to a younger audience and it totally shows in the whimsical nature of this cover. I love the flower and purple and the sparkles! And the byline. A new kind of faerie tale. I LOVE it!!!

And finally, WINGS has received it's first official honor!! It has been given a spot on the Spring 2009 Indie Next List for teen readers! I was so excited to find this out because the Independent booksellers are such a big part of a book's success or failure . . . that and they're just awesome.:D

So it's been a great week! Now go give someone you love a shout-out and win a prize!!!!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shadowed Summer Giveaway and Randomness

This was a really happy week for me! I went to the bookstore on Tuesday and got to see several of my friends' books on the shelves! Most face-out even! I have known a lot of authors in my time, but most of them were either already published or about to be published. It has been so fun to see some of my Debut 2009 friends go from barely contracted to on the shelf! And only 82 days for me!!! (Not that I'm counting.;))

So in celebration of this, the first Debut 2009 giveaway featuring the inestimable Saundra Mitchell's Shadowed Summer! You can read all about it here.) This is an incredible book and I have been predicting for months that it is going to be a sleeper hit and possibly an awards contender. Beautifully written, fabulous voice, creepy undead, trust me, you can't ask for more.

Want it?

Easy entry. Just leave a comment with where or who you would haunt if you were a ghost.:D Entries are accepted until I put up my next giveaway which will be on Saturday when I get the time. Could be early, could be late--I suggest you comment now.;)

Okay, now for some serious randomness.

*I've started doing an actual organized homeschooling system with my three year old son who reads and does math at about a first grade level. He needs more structure than he has now and this seems to work really well. His handwriting? Not quite so advanced.;)

*My daughter's new favorite song is Kate Perry's I Kissed a Girl. There are few things funnier than listening to a five year old sitting at the table singing, "I kissed a girl and I liked it. . . . It felt so wrong, it felt so right." Love it!

*My "desk" is eating my closet. One of the really cool promotional things I am doing (that I don't know if I have actually mentioned here . . .) is that Harper is offering specially bound signed first editions of my book. Well, rather than ship me a zillion books, they shipped me a zillion title pages and then they will tip them into the binding process. Smart huh! However, these pages all (obviously) have to be kept very clean, so I keep them on a table locked in my walk-in-closet. Originally the table was ONLY for the pages, but . . . well, my "desk" is now full of lots of things and it has become very apparent to me that when we move this summer, I need an office.

This is said table with the pages in two stacks--finished and unfinished--and lest you think I'm a slacker, there are a ton more finished pages already packed in the box on the right. The box on the left is the recording device for the podcast that I have to do sometime next week. (Yes, next week! Eeek! Deadline approaching!!!) Oh, and that manila envelope on the far left? Estonian contracts. How cool is that!?!?

Worse, my work stuff has spilled onto the floor. Here are a bunch of bags of swag bags that I made for touring and now have lots of extras of (didn't want to run out!) that I will be giving out for lots of other things, such as Saturday's ARC giveaway.:D

And, of course, beside my file box (that looks way more organized than it is!) is the thing that is NOT allowed on my table at all; my drink. Anything that could possibly mar my pages in any way, is NOT allowed anywhere near the table. So much for snacking while working. *sniff*

* Gender neutral names are apparently the new thing. I was getting my daughter's valentines prepared and she had a class list and we had Barbie cards for the girls and Superhero cards for the boys. And I had to ask on over half of the names whether they were a boy or girl. I am so not crazy! Check some of these out!!
Emory (girl), Riley (boy), Morgan (girl), Jaden (girl; this one stumped me because every female Jaden I've seen has a Y in there, i.e. Jayden.) Also, there are only four boys in her class. Odd.

So there's my randomness! I have been crazy busy trying to catch up from tour and meet deadlines this week, so I promise something a little more organized next week.:D


Monday, February 09, 2009

Zombies and Pom Poms, and Evil Seniors, Oh My!

Welcome to the next stop of the 2009 DebsTour! Tonight we have Stacey Jay, author of You Are So Undead to Me! (And seriously, I so dig that cover!)

A little about Stacey's book: Megan Berry's social life is so dead. Literally. Fifteen-year-old Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a bunch of dead people. All Megan wants is to be normal--and go to homecoming. But someone in school is using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into flesh-eating Zombies, and it's looking like homecoming will turn out to be a very different kind of party--the bloody kind.

On top of that, we have Stacey here to answer my special Feasty Five from the Feast of Awesome! Welcome Stacey (and man! how many of you would kill for those eyes!!?!?)

A: What kind of soda does your MC drink?

SJ: Sprite is what she drinks in the book. Her mom is a freak about with-holding caffeine from Megan so as not to stunt her growth.

A: What is your MC's favorite kind of flower? How about yours?

SJ: Megan likes anything that blooms at night. I prefer calla lillies. So pretty.

A: Does your MC believe in magic? Do you?

SJ: Yes, she works magic to coax the Undead back into their graves. And yes, I do. I think my own magic causes electronics to malfunction. If it's plugged into the wall, I WILL destroy it simply by using it. Oh yes, I will. (Or maybe I'm just a super conductor of static electricity :).)

A: Superman or Batman?

SJ: Batman, clearly. Superman is too...clean, or something.

A: Give us one line from your book. You don't even have to give it context.:)

SJ: "How quickly the inner voice worm turns, returning to its negative tangent ways."

A: Whoa!

And just for Stacey's enjoyment, here's a picture of her book, face out, at the new Borders Concept store in Ann Arbor Michigan!!

More about Stacey: Stacey Jay is a workaholic with three pen names, four kids, and a decidedly macabre sense of humor. She loves zombies, creepies, crawlies, blood, guts, gore, and of course, romance. You can find her at

Good Luck Stacey! Thanks for stopping by!

Keep an eye out on the blog; Thursday and Saturday I am doing giveaways, and sometime this week you will get the pics of my "desk" eating my closet. (Aprilynne needs an office . . .)


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Tour Leg Two

So veeeery, very early on Tuesday morning I started the second leg of my tour. *snickers at a pun re: being glad I had a second leg* I have to admit, I was SO excited for this part because it meant I got to go back to New York City. *big sigh* I love New York City. I will admit that I like it better in the summer, but even in the winter, I love, love, love it! I love it so much I even took pictures out the plane window as we were landing. Yes, yes, I am a dork.:)

Isn't it lovely! NYC in the snow!

On an unrelated note, I thought it was interesting how many half empty (or more!) planes I flew on while touring. (And I have a funny story about that in a minute!) I try to stay very non-political in my blog, but it is interesting to see first-hand some of the more dramatic results of the shift in the economy. Being the optimist that I am, I really do believe it is cyclic and will get better (on it's own, *koffkoff*) but I really haven't seen very many direct results that were quite as in-my-face as this one.

I stayed at the Warwick hotel in New York which is everything a New York hotel should be, in my opinion. It had a historic feel to it. You felt like you were walking down the hall of a hotel from another time, yet everything was immaculately kept up. It was really lovely.

Due to the long flight, I didn't have much time to get ready, so instead of taking a shower and starting my hair from scratch, I cheated and decided to put flatiron spray in my hair and mouse at the roots, and blowdry it that way. So I had just sprayed my hair and started working some mousse in when my phone rang. So with foam still on my hands I managed to answer my phone and got an automatic message telling my my flight for the next day had been canceled. *panic!* So I immediately called my publicist and got her voice mail. I left a long, hopefully not TOO panicky message, and hung up. My phone instantly rang again and it was my husband calling to let me know that the airline had called him too. By the time I got off the phone, the spray and mousse were both dry. *headthunk* So I sighed and started again. Just as I got done misting my hair with more flatiron spray, my phone rang again. This time it was my publicist calling to let me know that everything was fine; I got booked on a flight only half an hour later. However, by the time that conversation was done, my hair was dry again. So I started over once more. Let's just say that by the time I met my agent downstairs half an hour later, there was a LOT of product in my hair.:D

I had a great chat with my agent (man I love my agent!) and then it was off to dinner. There is something about dining in New York city that is just so fun and slightly different. We all had a really great time and since Harper had been pretty selective about who they invited, I really felt like I got to have some real facetime with every attendant. And they were all totally fabulous.

The next morning I got up a half hour early so that I could walk the streets a little. I love walking the New York streets. By the time my car came for me, I was freezing cold, but still a little sad to go. I can't wait to go back!

Next up was Chicago. I admit, I was SO looking forward to this event, because instead of a dinner with booksellers, this was a pizza party with kids. Real teen readers!! Anderson's in Chicago got a whole bunch of ARCs from Harper and passed them around to a ton of teen readers and then invited them back to meet me and party! How cool is that!

So I was really excited and didn't look out the window much until we started the descent. Then I looked out and saw this:

Wow! Forgive the obviousness of this statement but the Great Lakes are really big!! I'd never flown over them before (or actually seen them ever, come to think of it) and it was amazing how the water stretched out almost as far as I could see! It was like the ocean almost. Except that it was covered with a thin sheet of ice that cracked all over the place! (At one point I saw a really big boat pushing through the ice; that was amazing!) And being the geographically gifted person that I am, I didn't realize that Chicago was right on the shore.

I think I've fallen a bit in love with Chicago too.

The event with the teen readers was every bit as good as I could have hoped. There were about forty kids there who had all read the book (and two of them were guys!!) and after we all ate (well, they ate, I circled the room and met everyone briefly) we had an open Q&A and I couldn't call on people fast enough! There were always two to three hands up as soon as I finished talking. It was amazing. And I was really impressed by the questions they asked. Smart questions and a lot of questions about my writing process. Several young authors in the making! I was so thrilled by the end of the night. It made me so glad that I chose this age group to write for. And the best part? As I was signing ARCs for everyone, they all signed and ARC for me! That is something I will treasure forever. A truly incredible night! (I will post pictures as soon as Becky sends them to me!)

But four in the morning came very early the next day, and I was off to Ann Arbor. After a brief luggage issue, I headed to the Borders headquarters. That was such an interesting lunch because everyone who attended represented the business side of the industry. The buyer for YA was among them and I was very pleased to find out that she was in her early twenties. It seemed fitting to me that a younger person was ordering the YA books for Borders. (OTOH, the picture book buyer has been there for thirty years and if you have ever seen the picture book section of Borders, you will know how fab a job she does!) After our lunch (which seemed so short compared to the three and four hour long dinners I'd been having--but they all had to go back to work) Liz took me on a mini-tour of the children's department and then (YAY!) gave me books!! (Including Bones of Faerie, which I mentioned yesterday, and a copy of Maggie Steifvater's Shiver!!! Yes, be very jealous, it is awesome!) I left headquarters very pleased with them, and I hope they were pleased with me.

Then I went to the Detroit airport to fly home. There is this hallway in the Detroit airport that is like its own disco hall. It looks like this:

And within seconds the lights flashed and became this:

I kid you not, it was this total disco hallway. The light flashed and chased, the music blared, and I kinda felt like I should be dancing . . . very odd. Cool, but odd.

And then, I walked out of that disco tunnel and back into real life and it felt symbolic. My incredible, fabulous, glittering tour was over and I was on my way back home and back to my real life. And also like the tunnel, it was a fun place to be, but I didn't want to stay in there too long. The music hurt my ears after a while and the lights would have given me a headache. The glamorous part of being an author is like that too. It is cool and wonderful and I absolutely love it, but I was glad to come home to my husband and kids and the things that matter the most.

And to you, lovely blog readers.

Again, thanks for joining me on this trip.:)


Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Preview

Hey! I'm back! Unfortunately, this leg of the tour did not have any helpful airports with free Wi-Fi, so there was no update while sitting and waiting to board the plane. My apologies for that.

This is not actually a blog post--it's a preview post. Like the previews in movies. Because the next week is going to be a really exciting one! Here is what is coming up.

Sunday: Full report of the pre-pub tour part two. Pictures, commentary, everything.

Monday: The 2009 Debs BlogTour stop with Stacey Jay!! (I know I said this was going to be like two weeks ago, but I was a moron and looked at the wrong date. Aprilynne=FAIL.)

Thursday: Another Deb BlogTour stop, and the first Feast of Awesome giveaway! I've already done an interview with Saundra Mitchell, but her book wasn't out yet! It comes out on Tuesday (guess where I'm going on Tuesday? Did you guess the bookstore? Oh, you're so smart!) and I am doing a giveaway of her book on Thursday. Please stop by and enter!

Saturday: I have been recieving emails about this one, but it's finally here. The WINGS ARC giveaway! I'll be giving away a copy of WINGS in ARC form as well as some other fun Valentine's Day prizes. After all, let us not forget that at it's heart, the WINGS series is a love story. *swoon*

That is my week! Four updates at the very least! And actually, the tour report was supposed to be today, but my son got sick and slept on my shoulder for two hours. Goodbye blogging time.:) But man, it is so nice to snuggle up with my baby. And when he's running a fever he really keeps me warm! (I'll find the good where I can!;))

I also finished Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner and oh man! It was so freakin' good!! Wow! It's like Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth meets Faerie magic. Amazing!!!

So till tomorrow, this has been your preview.;)