Behold the glory of this shiny new advanced copy book goodness!!!
That's right my fantabulous (to-be) readers, ARCs for MY LAST KISS have arrived. If you're a YA book reviewer/blogger and would like one of these beauties to review, you can leave your request and website info along with your name in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @BethDazzled . I only have a limited number, but there's a rumor going around that if you share what your last kiss was, you might be bumped up the list. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*
A little birdie also told me MY LAST KISS is now available for pre-order. I guess you could click here to check and maybe catch it at the super great pre-sale sale price or something.
UPDATE:If you are a book reviewer/blogger who is interested in reviewing MY LAST KISS please forward your request to childrens [dot] publicity [at] macmillanusa [dot] com.
Today is what I call a purple letter day because you all get to be let in on a fantastically exciting secret I've been keeping (on my desktop, phone, and any other device that holds a JPEG file). The cover for my debut novel MY LAST KISS has been officially revealed on MacTeenBooks.com blog!
Click here to experience it in all its shiny new book glory. I can't wait to hear what you guys think and for each and every one of you to read what's inside the cover. Come June 10th, you will find out what happens when your last kiss is with the wrong person... *insert tantalizing Oooo here*
October is by far and wide the best month of the year. Think about it, the weather is cooling down just enough that you can finally wear those cute boots you bought last year on end-of-season clearance, the trees turn beautiful colors, there's an earthy breeze in the air, and at the end of the month you get to dress up as the thing you wish you could be all year long but know people would judge you for. 'Cause let's face it, wearing a tiara and prom dress covered in [fake] blood to Target would not go over well. Re: image below.
(While this ”Prom Night” look was a hit at the party I attended last year, not so much at McD's drive-in.)
So, in honor of the best--and most fabulously haunted--month of the year, I've hunted down a spooktastic to-reads list to help everyone celebrate Book-o-ween.
1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - Monsters and ghouls not your thing? Spend All Hallows' Eve with a "normal" family that will creep you out so bad you'll be begging for a pack of werewolves to take you away.
2. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Disclaimer: If you haven't read the first book in this trilogy, you'll have some creeptastic back reading to do.) An unreliable narrator. A hot boy with an accent. Psych wards. What's not to love?
3. Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann - This Slim Jim reads like a literary The Blair Witch Project. It's a slow burn, but the fire is blood-red hot in the end.
4. Warm Bodies by Issac Marion - If you saw this movie, forget everything you think you know. This book blew my brain right out of my head...in a good way.
5. Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill - The only thing more wicked than a witch are a group of attention-starved girls in colonial Salem.
Bonus picture book pick: Zombelina by Kristyn Crow - Arabesques are a piece of cake when your leg comes off!
Lately a lot of people have been asking me when my book will be coming out because I guess that's the logical follow-up to "I sold my first book." *insert giddy squeal here* But when I tell them spring 2014, their heads start to look a little implode-y and they tend to gasp, "That long?! B-but why? Doesn't the publishing stork just leave it on your doorstep 9 months after you decide you're at the stage in your life where you're ready for a precious little bundle of pages then you delivery it in a silvery carriage to bookstores where the world embraces it with open arms?"
(BTW this is the direction I'd like to see publishing move in. E-books, shme-books, the Publishing Stork is the way of the future!)
When they don't buy the Stork Strike explanation to that assumption, I've started describing the behind-the-scenes of publishing in terms of how a movie gets made. It's a more accessible media for most of my family members, at least, which means it's a heck of lot easier for them to get--again, for most.
I tell them, as the author, I'm like screenwriter and actor and first editorial assistant and gaffer...depending on the scene I'm writing that day. I poor every ounce of my being into the production of my precious movie-book; I develop character backgrounds out of thin air--because I'm Method and these characters are real people with real history that affect their choices on screen (er, page) damn it!--I construct set(ting)s; I decide when the main characters meets their first love and in turn when said first love inevitably does something utterly unforgivable like grinding with the school schlut at homecoming (I wrote YA, remember?) that leads to self-discovery in the second half of Act 2.
Then my illustrious agent (see all the shiny correlations between Hollywood and publishing I'm making here?) shops the "director's (that's also me!) cut" around, and a studio exec (aka senior editor) loves it so much she convinces the bigwigs (pretty sure this totally technical term applies to both industries) to green light distribution. And that's when, in true Hollywood style, the business of selling your little bundle to the masses begins.
At this point I usually shake the person, who, at this point, is officially sorry they asked, awake and say, "That's where you come in--you're the masses I need to buy my book!"
This analogy generally gets inquiring mind nodding along with me as long as they assume the movie I'm comparing my novel to is an indie that I shot in Pittsburgh in 6 weeks on a sub-mill budget that my dad did craft services for. After the selling is said and done, there's still more to do, and nobody's going to do it but the actors...which, in this hypothetical scenario, is an entire cast of moi.
So, yeah, 2 years seems like a long time to wait for my debut novel to come out. And I know you asked your question and assumed the Publishing Stork existed because you're absolutely busting out of your veins to buy and read my book (thank you in advance!!!!), but I see the wait as time to be a guest on the late night circuit to promote my film-book. And start production on my next new project!
Now you're just as curious about my new project as the one coming out, aren't ya? Well, in true Hollywood form, I am super excited about it, but can't really talk about yet. That's Hollywood--er, publishing?--baby!
So, I was going to write an epic post about my first ever agent-editor-author lunch from my trip to NYC and talk about how delicious the celebratory desserts--salted caramel sundae w/candied peanuts & popcorn, zucchini cake w/cream cheese frosting & candied limes, and chocolate cake w/frozen concord grapes, hello!--that the three of us shared at the ultra posh ABC Kitchen complete with full color photos and antidotes...then I forgot to take out my camera.
*palm to forehead big time*
I did manage to get a shot of me in my new Xanadu, the YA stacks at the Strand Bookstore, though. Check it out to the right there. I'm reading the novel that will be my novel's stackmate come 2014! The author's name is also Beth, so I sure hope they play nice in lieu of a Night at the Museum style throw down to prove who owns the most Bethly honor. I'm writing under my full name, "Bethany", so, not to be bias, but my novel will have a 3-letter advantage on the opposition. Also, some guy on the Staten Island ferry that day mistook me for a French girl, so. Just sayin'.
Back to super fab agent-editor-author lunch with my super fab publishing people (sweet Baby Love of Karam I have "people"!). The reason I forgot to take out my camera or even remember that was part of the plan was because I was having a real moment. Y'know, one of those times when a link snaps into place in that eclectic chainlink bracelet (or necklace if you so fancy) we call life and things sort of slow down and your brain does you the favor of mentally stepping back so you can appreciate and accept this moment, this link, as reality: You are actually living this bit of a dream; you own real estate on Cloud 9.
While I was up there, we discussed the market (dystopia is still leading the pack in YA, but contemporary "reality" stories are slowly making a push for the top spot--go Team Contemp!) and how a sliver of optimism is wedging itself back into publishing by way of a handful of self-published authors making the switch to a more traditional publishing route. 50 Shades may have clashed with your sensibilities, but these "naughty" authors just might put the romance back in publishing.
But the best part about doing lunch was discussing ideas for future projects with two woman who were genuinely interested and excited about them and have the power to make a whole shelf full of future dreams come true. There's something exhilarating about being around people who are passionate about their jobs--and mine. It makes me unbelievably grateful that those people are now my people. It sure makes neglecting friends and family and sleep and this blog and locking myself in the Writertorium to obsessively work on my inaugural official revisions seem less anti-social/mad scientisty and more teamwork.
Did I mention I landed my first book deal exactly one week ago? Oh. 'Cause I TOTALLY DID!!!!!! And Cloud 9 kicks Earth's waiting for emails, nervous anticipation, tired from hitting refresh for the 30th time on AOL, will I ever get published?, jittery butt. They should bottle this feeling and sell it--celebrity fragrance deal, I am ready. (Yes, I operate under the delusional assumption that I will some day be famous enough for tweens and soccer moms alike to want to smell of me. Didn't you know, that's how you get a book deal?)