Saturday, January 31, 2009

Don't Forget! Signed Shadowed Summer giveaway!

Just a reminder for y'all to enter my giveaway for an autographed (and personalized!) copy of SHADOWED SUMMER by Saundra Mitchell! Just post a comment on my blog or LJ to be entered and for an extra entry, link to the giveaway and put your link in the comments so I know you've done it :) I'll pick a winner some time after midnight on Monday!  And I'm giving away two copies so there will be two winners!

And just to entice you more, check out this awesome review!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Interview with Stacey Jay -- mmmm brainzzzz

I couldn't be more thrilled to be hosting debut YA author Stacey Jay on my blog today. For those of you who don't know Stacey and her book, YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME, she's a fellow zombie author and you know, we zombie chicks have to stick together!  Also, check out her cover -- I LOVE that cover!

About the 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. 

About the author:
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 are So Undead to Me", Stacey's debut paranormal Young Adult Romance featuring Zombie Settler, Megan Berry will be a January 22nd 2009 release from Razorbill books. 

The Interview:

My blog is known as Carrie's Procrastinary Outlet which 
showcases my penchant for procrastination and making up words.  First... do you ever struggle with procrastination and what do you do to (a) procrastinate and/or (b) not procrastinate. 

I don't like to call it procrastination, I call it internet research. Lol. Yes, I struggle. Daily. The internet is The Evil Time Suck. I try my best to avoid the lure of blogs--mommy blogs, writer blogs, blogs about cupcakes, I'll read just about everything--but it's hard. When it really comes time to buckle down and get things done, I have to turn off the internet. Or better yet, go someplace without Wifi access.

Second, what are your favorite made up words?

Scrimshank--something sketchy and potentially painful if handled improperly. My husband and I made this one up years ago and it's still a favorite.

What's your favorite flavor or Dum Dum? (or alternatively, if you eschew Dum Dum's what's your favorite candy?)

Cherry, but my four year old steals them all before I can get to them.

Do you like playing board/card games?  If so, which ones?

"Candyland" is a daily occurance around my house. As is "Don't wake the Hulk", a new one my son got for Christmas that sends him into giddy, twitchy fits when the Hulk actually does wake up. VERY exciting stuff.

If it could rain anything (cats, men, fish, frogs) what would you choose?

Diapers. Those things are expensive! Or maybe beer. Can I say that on a young adult blog?

Lightening round, choose one: PJ's when writing all day or actually getting dressed?

PJ. No time for dressing.

Law or Order?

Order. Who cares about law as long as we're all getting along.

Left or Right?

Left. It's different, but still a hand.

Thanks Stacey Jay!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Interview with Saundra Mitchell + giveaway!

Hello all!  Today I'm super excited to bring you an interview with my friend, imprint buddy, and all around fabulous author, Saundra Mitchell.  Her debut novel, SHADOWED SUMMER (Amazon, B&N, Indiebound), is coming out in less than two short weeks (!!!!) and at the end of this post I'll have details for how you can win an autographed copy of this really amazing book.

A bit about the book:  I love the tagline for SHADOWED SUMMER:  In a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.  It's about a girl growing up in Louisiana one hot summer who begins to be haunted by the ghost of a boy who disappeared years ago.  But the book is more than that, it's about friendship and that age when suddenly your best friends start to notice boys and your friendships are tested.  It's about growing up, and realizing that you're growing up.

A bit about the author:  Saundra is a screenwriter and author.  She's funny, she's brilliant with graphic design, and she writes phrases that make me literally put her work down so that I can close my eyes and savour them.

The interview:

My blog is known as Carrie's Procrastinary Outlet which showcases my penchant for procrastination and makig up words.  First... do you ever struggle with procrastination and what do you do to (a) procrastinate and/or (b) not procrastinate.

The answer to both a and b is housekeeping. The procrastination starts with some light desk organizing, and has been known to mushroom into tasks like painting the hallway ceilings, or organizing the linen closets.

And the thing is, I hate to clean. I loathe it, I find it deeply unjust that it must be done. So I do eventually get to the point where I would rather write than clean, and the procrastination is over... for the moment.

Second, what are your favorite made up words?

Oh, I like bazam which is a catch-all for full of awesome and other essential win. (She's all sparkly with bazam! Ooh, he's got some bazam right there!) I'm also on the sauce- awesomesauce, failsauce, winsauce, pwnsauce.

According to ads on the internet, Chuck has pre-ordered your book.  What do you think draws Chuck to Shadowed Summer (other than its obvious awesomeness).

I feel I have to be honest- Chuck Bass would hate my book. It's languorous and longing, and entirely chaste- not his speed at all. However, Blair Waldorf, closet classicist and romantic. would love it. Therefore, Chuck would buy my book and carry it around, just to annoy Blair.

And I have to say- I'm okay with that!

What is some good advice you've gotten during your career as a writer?  Any advice you've gotten that you think is worth ignoring?

I think the best advice I ever got was to avoid listening to advice. Seek counsel, definitely; take critique, absolutely. But the only way to write a book is to sit down and write it. Anybody who says that you must outline, you must not outline, you must do character sheets, you must know whether they call it soda or pop- they're talking about what works for them. Every writer has to figure out their own method and you can make yourself sick trying to fit other people's conceptions 

What's your favorite flavor of Dum Dum?

Root beer! I love root beer lollies.

Do you like playing board/card games?  If so, which ones?

I'm from Indiana, so by law, I have to enjoy playing Euchre, and I do. But board and card games invariably tick me off. There's something about the repetitiveness, same board, same pieces, same color, same suits, blar! They make me crabby.

If it could rain anything (cats, men, fish, frogs) what would you choose?

Money, duh.

Then again, are we talking about small, localized showers, or worldwide deluge? Because if it's raining money everywhere, dude, inflation nightmare time. Can I offer you a wheelbarrow of million dollar bills for a loaf of bread, please? Also, if it rained change, that would hurt.

This question is surprisingly difficult.

Okay! If it were raining in my back yard only, then money. If it were raining everwhere, Skittles. Taste the rainbow, right?

Lightening round, choose one:  PJ's when writing all day or actually getting dressed?

Sweats, so technically, I am dressed while I'm in my PJs!

Law or Order?

Oooh, that's hard. That's like asking, Briscoe Pun or McCoy Loophole. How do you survive without both??

Zombie or Unicorn (only fair you fess up on this one since you ask it during your interviews!)

Zombies forever!

Left or Right?

I actually can't tell my left from my right unless I raise my hands. (Left hand makes an L!) So I say both. Or neither!

Head, shoulders, knees or toes?

Shoulders. Ooooh, shoulders. I bought A Great and Terrible Beauty and A Northern Light on the same day because of the girls with their pretty shoulders and profiles on the covers. I
love shoulders. You know who has good shoulders? Sendhil Ramamurthy. Hello kitty; that's some bazam right there.

Cats or Dogs.  If cats -- the boss or the mailroom clerk?

Cats! And the clerk. After what happened to that intern, I avoid the boss!

Now for the GIVEAWAY!  I truly am so excited for SHADOWED SUMMER to come out and to finally be able to share the love.  So leave a comment on either my blog or livejournal to be entered in a drawing for an autographed copy of SHADOWED SUMMER (I'll be giving away TWO).  You get an extra entry if you also link to the contest (and put the link in the comments so I know).  I'll choose a winner midnight (eastern) on Monday.  

And speaking of giveaways, Saundra is having a huge one at her site soon -- go check it out!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Big News: Another Sale!!

Hey Y'all!  We're back from Curacao and had a fantastic time!  I promise to post more about it soon (and to post more pics) but first I wanted to share that news I talked about before I left... I've sold a third book to Delacorte Press!  Squee!!!  I don't have much more info about it -- we're not sure yet what the book will be (if it will be another book set in the same world as The Forest of Hands and Teeth and its sequel or totally different) but I do know that it should be coming out in Spring 2011.  Yay!!!!

Brainz for everyone to celebrate!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hello! Goodbye!

Hello all!  I can't thank you enough for the birthday wishes -- seriously y'all made my day feel so special!!

Sorry to say, not going to be able to share that news today but almost certainly when I get back.  Yes, that makes me a tease and for that I apologize.  Yay, I turned in my revised draft of book two (DTW) today!  I have many many errands to run and bags to pack to get ready for my trip to Curacao, but just wanted to pop by and say good-bye and I'll be back in a week!

And just so I don't leave you empty-handed, may I present double-decker cats:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

12 Months of Debsness and other exciting things!

First, happy birthday to me.  Wheee!!

Second, happy first month of Debsness!!  Squeee!

Find Out What's In The Bag And Win It Today

Third, I don't think I'll be able to share that news I was going to share until after I get back from Curacao.  But I have other news to share!  I think I do at least... I can't remember right now as brain is fully congealed from revisions.  Huzzah!

Fourth, I've finished rewriting the end of Book 2 and now just have to read it again and tidy things up a bit!  Hurrah!

Fifth, I should be getting the cover for Book 2 soon which, now that I think of it, probably means that I can share the title since I guess it must not be changing!  w00t!

And finally, now that I am out of exclamations, I must go to bed and dream of cakes and candles and zombies.  Yay sleep!

Monday, January 12, 2009

News! Junior Library Guild Selection!

Hey y'all!  I have good news!  I found out that The Forest of Hands and Teeth has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection!  It's their YA book for April, 2009!!  I'm super excited and thrilled about this!  I'm also very honored because they have chosen so many fantastic books and it's just very cool to see my book listed in such amazing company.

In other news, it's my birthday on Thursday.  Astute readers of the blog will remember that in my family we don't just celebrate the day, but the entire season.  So this is officially my birthday season.  And I have to say that my fiance, JP, has really topped all gift-giving this year because for Christmas and my birthday he surprised me with a vacation!!  On Friday we leave for a week of scuba diving, reading, relaxing, eating, etc in Curacao!  Go JP!

Speaking of JP and how amazingly wonderful he is, he's just had a story published in Tower of Light called Those Who Fear.  This was one of the stories that he wrote when he and his brother were challenging each other to weekly fiction writing goals and the pitch (the theme or starting point) of their challenge that week was "Those who fear are lost."  This is probably one of my favorite stories of his because I think funny is hard and this one cracks me up.  I've always begged him to turn this one into a series!

And speaking of funny stories, I'm reading an AMAZING book right now.  Unfortunately it's an ARC and won't be out until May 14, but DULL BOY by Sarah Cross is incredible.  I plan to gush more about this book in future posts, but wow.  I wish I could be as funny, sardonic, and poignant as Sarah is in her writing.  If it weren't for revisions, I'd still be in bed reading it (actually, I would be in bed sleeping because I would have stayed up all night reading it!).

And speaking of revisions, they will be done by the end of the week.  w00t.  And speaking of w00t, I should have more great news to share in the next few days.  Hopefully by the time I leave for Curacao at least.

Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Revision brain

You know you're deep deep in revisions when you're standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom at 1:30am and staring at yourself wondering "have I already brushed my teeth tonight?"  And then you realize that yes, your breath is minty fresh and your toothbrush is wet and, oh yeah, it's still in your hand.  So you did brush your teeth.

It reminds me of a favorite family story of mine.  My uncle is a rather brilliant professor but can also get very caught up in his thoughts.  According to family lore, one time he was stopped in the stairway at his university by a student and they were discussion something or another.  After the conversation my uncle asked "Was I going up the stairs or down the stairs when you stopped me?"  The student told him he'd been going up the stairs to which my uncle replied "Good!  Then I've had my lunch!"

Monday, January 05, 2009

12 Months of Debsness!

I'm still in deadline mode but wanted to pop up to announce something really cool!  As many of y'all know, I'm part of an awesome group of debut MG and YA authors call the 2009 Debutantes.  It's a totally all-inclusive group: anyone with a debut in 2009 can join (there's a similar group for 2010 debuts call the Tenners).  For the past year, we've mostly just been a support group, talking about our process, sharing our goals and accomplishments, helping each other out, etc.  I've made some great and amazing friends.  I've also read some fantastic ARCs :)

Now that 2009 is here, I'm super excited to start pimping some of these books :)  While we're not a marketing or promotional group, we do have some cool group projects in the works (and since it's an opt-in type of group with no requirements, not every project will include every deb).

One project that will last all year is the 12 Months of Debsness.  It's a really cool give-away I'm super excited about.  We'll be posting more about it soon and the first give-away will be January 15th (which just happens to be my birthday!).  So be sure to sign up as a watcher on the community to learn how to win!

The 12 Months of Debsness Giveaway is Coming!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello 2009!

As wonderful as 2008 was for me (and it was!), I'm also really really looking forward to 2009!  I still have that darn head cold I mentioned yesterday and that deadline still looms so I'm not going to get into posting my goals just yet... but some of the things I'm looking forward to in 2009 are seeing The Forest of Hands and Teeth come out, seeing the cover for the sequel, writing a third book and settling into the job of full time writer (and really seeing what I can do with more time!).  

I've met so many wonderful writing friends who also have debuts out in 2009 which will make the entire year just amazing and exciting.  My imprint buddy, Saundra Mitchell (whose book, Shadowed Summer I LOVE LOVE LOVE) even got her first review from Kirkus (which said "readers will appreciate the suspenseful plot and tragic story") so the good news is already rolling in!

On the personal front, I'm also looking forward to a few trips that I have planned and perhaps -- if we can ever get things organized and pulled together -- actually getting married :) 

Here's to a fabulous new year for everyone!  Cheers!!