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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Book Has An Accent!

Received a beautiful copy of the UK ARC yesterday, and here is a picture of me holding it:

It's so interesting what different publishers will choose to highlight and emphasize about the book and on the galleys. You can't really see it, but the cover is basically this beautiful silver with gorgeous silhouettes of trees and birds patterned on the back. Overlaying it all is a quote from the novel:

I know some of you are thinking maybe I deserved it. But before you start pointing fingers, let me ask you: Is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserved to die? So bad I deserved to die like that?
Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does?
Is it really so much worse than what you do?
Think about it.

Anyway, I'm super super excited. In this picture the galley is also serving a secondary useful function, as I am holding it up and using it to conceal a mosquito bite ON MY FACE, procured yesterday, like, ten minutes before I was supposed to go on a date. Yes, peeps. This kind of stuff only happens to me.

This post is dedicated to my friend Lisa, who a) didn't know I had a blog until this weekend and b) had to listen to me complain about the aforementioned disfiguring bug bite yesterday and miraculously was able to keep her laughter in check.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Do you KNOW that you can read the prologue to BEFORE I FALL on my website?

Well, you can! You can read it here:

If you do read it, though, make sure you keep pressing "next" at the bottom of the screen until it's done! Because it would be really sad if you only read the first page and then thought, "How strange. This seems unfinished..." And didn't realize that yes, it *was* unfinished because you'd missed the "next" button!

Also...don't feel obligated to read. But if you're sitting at home, twiddling your thumbs, or waiting for reruns of The Real Housewives of New Jersey to come on, and thinking--I wish I had the 3-4 page prologue of an upcoming YA novel to read right now...

Then honey, I got you covered.

Okay...That's my Public Service Announcement for the day!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meditations (and High-Dives) from Vermont

So...my mom rents a house in Vermont every summer. Nearby, there is a particular spot in the woods where a little makeshift beach has sprung up at the edge of an absolutely frigid river. Seriously. Like, freezing.

But if you manage to coax your protesting muscles and quivering, goose-pimpled skin into the aforementioned river, and swim across to the opposite side, where a craggy series of rock extends upwards all along the bank, you can--by scampering, swinging, heaving, and cursing--climb up to a small lip of rock that extends invitingly--or, okay, terrifyingly--over the water. Someone has attached a rope swing to a tree branch up there, and all summer long kids (and adults!) swing out of the woods and into the river. You can, alternatively, just take a running leap from the rock lip into the water (fifteen-? twenty-? feet) below.

A few years ago I'd made a New Year's resolution to Be Less Lame. This rather generalized and poorly articulated goal meant, to me, that I would do things that frightened me; that I would take advantage of any and all opportunities presented to me; that I would travel more and stress less and eat full-fat ice cream and cheeseburgers when I felt like it and get really sweaty when I danced in nightclubs and always listen when someone was speaking to me--like, actually listen, not just sit there thinking about what I was going to say next. In short, it meant that I would try as much as possible to recognize that life is full of myriad things--some of them strange, some of them scary, some of them painful, all of them miraculous--and that they should all be experienced, devoured, luxuriated in.

So yeah. Be Less Lame. That's my motto.

Point is, I was REALLY scared to jump the first year. Trust me, it's freaky once you get up there. But I did, and now I make it a kind of annual pilgrimage, an opportunity to take stock and reaffirm my promise to myself. It's my mid-year, late-summer resolution, a chance to say: "Hey, Life. You're vast and weird and you've got a lot of strange, twisty tricks up your sleeves...But I've got grit, so you can go ahead and bring it on."

This is me jumping this year:
So...yeah. It's a little early, but...Holla back at me, 2010. Let's make it a good year.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

OMG It's Aliiiiiiiiive

(Cue Diabolical laughter, a la Dr. Frankenstein).

And yes, those are extremely embarrassing pictures of me as a high school student in the "About the Author/Inspiration" section. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dunkin Donuts Fiend.


I am so excited.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Endings, Musings, First Review

So, for some reason google alerts dug up a very old review of my book--the first, I think, of its kind:

(And by the way...Is everyone impressed I figured out how to post in a link? You should be!).

I think it's extremely interesting/fortuitous/bizarre that this review just popped up on my radar today, because it makes particular reference to the ending of BEFORE I FALL, and endings--of one kind or another--have certainly been today's general theme. I am grateful for the five-star rating, of course, and for Irish's kind words about my characters' voice and the writing style in general. I have to say, though, for the record...as today proved to me yet again, endings are very often not happy...and just because an ending was unanticipated doesn't mean that it also wasn't, in some sense, inevitable.

Those are my Deep Thoughts for the day, anyway...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ode to my agent

I'd just like to take this moment to shout out to my agent extraordinaire, Stephen Barbara. Here is a pic of us doing our best "Blue Steel"-Zoolander-inspired faces at The Standard on Wednesday night, where we were out celebrating the newest deal. Apparently everyone else in the restaurant must also have been celebrating book deals because they were all doing their best impression of ri
diculously self-involved models...

Point is, he rocks.
We actually went to the U of
C together, and he just signed my friend Leila Sales, also a fellow U of C-er and an insanely smart and funny YA writer, so we have a whole coalition of U of C peeps going on.

Stephen B, this post's for you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I See Dead People

Or rather, I hear them. And they're not really dead, they're fictional. But whatever, it feels like a form of Sixth Sense...

Point is: I was minding my own business yesterday on a run (more like a walk, interspersed with brief periods of half-hearted jogging--it was, like, ninety degrees), when I suddenly started to hear these two characters speak to me...and I knew I'd found the basis/heart/core of my third book. It's really hard to describe how or why this happens, exactly, but the recognition of these two girls, and their developing story, literally stopped me in my tracks. As in, I stopped running (or, walking) and just stood there, heart pounding, feeling a flood of gratitude and relief. Gratitude because I know this is a story I can write and want to write; relief because no matter how often I write, there is always the fear after completing one story/manuscript that it is the last I will ever produce.

I'm still in the very, very earliest flickering stages of thinking about this project, so I don't want to disclose too much. But I will say that I believe it will incorporate elements of an adult novel I finished and then abandoned while attending the MFA program at NYU, which I am super excited about; and also, that it will be a split narrative POV involving two sisters; and thirdly, that while my first book is about death, and my second book is about love, this book will be about beauty. As my agent said last night, I like to tackle the small stuff. :)
Lastly, I will share the first line:

I was nine years old when I started the fire that almost killed my sister.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tweet Tweet

Okay, I did it. I broke down and joined twitter. So far I still don't really "get" it though. I think I have to figure out a way to update from my phone. Otherwise I have to sign on to my computer just to let people know that, I don't know, the person sitting to my left has visible nose hairs or it's still impossible to get into Milk & Honey in NYC! (It is, by the way. Not impossible, but pretty durn close.)

The point is...THIS IS ALL KHY'S FAULT!! (Sorry, Khy...I had to shout you out.) Khy blogs over at freneticreader.blogspot.com and we were put in touch by the lovely Suzanne Young, author of the forthcoming Naughty List. (Incidentally, I woke up this morning and saw that Khy had posted something SO NICE about Before I Fall. Yay!! Thanks, Khy.) Anyway, during our correspondence she mentioned she was obsessed with twitter...so I decided to give it a shot. She has already been incredibly nice and helpful and sweet, and even taught me one of my favorite new emoticons: xD. I'm not sure exactly what this is meant to express but in my mind it is a devilish, gleeful grin.

Point is...you can blame her. And the fact that I love the word "tweet." I mean, for real. Or you can just go follow me at www.twitter.com/OliverBooks.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Best. Week. Ever

So much to celebrate this week...

I've been unable to blog before now because I had to wait for the internet to be installed in my (SPOILER ALERT) brand-new apartment, but now I am happy to post and say: I moved into abrand new apartment! (I warned you about the spoiler, didn't I?) It is absolutely beautiful, albeit devoid of all furniture save a desk and a bed. But really, what else does one really need? Here is a lovely (or, um, terrifying) picture of me enjoying my very first cup of coffee in my brand-new office. Yes, I have a separate office!

Bonus to anybody who can figure out why on earth one part of my hair looks like the cosmetic version of a ski jump...

My week got even more ridiculously good when I found out that my incredible publisher, Harper, offered me another TWO-BOOK DEAL!! I just feel so happy/relieved knowing my writing career is secure (as much as a writing career can ever be secure) a little bit longer. Unfortunately (for everybody else), this means I will not be shutting up anytime soon.
The moving madness has made it impossible for me to celebrate this week but New York City is on high-alert as of tonight: I am putting on heels, a dress, and makeup, and I am prepared to boogie down until the wee hours of the morning.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Lastly, but not leastly, last night I had the chance to go to New Jersey and see Jay Asher speak/read. His book Thirteen Reasons Why has been on the New York Times bestseller list for forty weeks--unbelievable--but even more unbelievable is how sane, humble, helpful, and wonderful he is. He's, like, the anti-diva! We had dinner after the event and apart from scarfing an entire bread basket myself and probably making people suspicious of my table manners (or lack thereof), it was wonderful. I'm just really happy that I got to see Jay's event--he is so lucid and smart and comfortable and great with teens, it was inspiring--and I continue to be honored that he gave my book such a great blurb and has continued to advocate for it.

So, like I said...Best. Week. Ever.

Off to put on those heels...


Content by Lauren Oliver - Copyright 2011. Blog designed by Ella Press Studio - 2011.

Author Photo by Jonathan Alpeyrie - Copyright 2010. Original Font Idea by Erin Fitzsimmons - 2010.