Tuesday, May 31, 2011
On Monday, I got to crash a blogger preview to celebrate the launch of one of my VERY BEST FRIEND'S DEBUT NOVELS, coming out this fall. (Check out her blog about the S & S preview--and the soundtrack she made for her book, Fury, here.) It was pretty awesome, actually, because I knew, like, half the people in the room. Yay, blogosphere! And it was equally awesome to see my girl celebrated and treated like the star that she is. Check out the pic below of me and Elizabeth in Portland, Maine in December...fyi, I stayed at Lizbeth's house when I was researching Delirium!
Later in the evening, HarperCollins threw a beautiful party to introduce various booksellers to my new middle-grade, Liesl & Po. It made me feel like a movie star at the beginning of a press junket--the venue, Beauty and Essex, was absolutely gorgeous, and I think I ate about eighteen delicious miniature sliders. (18 sliders = 1 burger, right?) I chatted with a ton of wonderful book industry people, and it was wonderful to be in a room with so many supportive and enthusiastic readers and booksellers. It really was a magical celebration, and it reminded me of how lucky I am to be able to do what I love for a living.
On Tuesday I attended the ABA Awards luncheon, where Before I Fall was an honor book in the YA category. I was so grateful to have been honored by the independents, who consistently provide me so much warmth and comfort when I'm on tour, and have supported my books from the beginning. The one bumpy spot? I was completely taken by surprise when I had to actually speak in front of the crowd, and somehow, in my bumbling speech, forgot to thank my publisher. Of course Susan Katz, the head of HarperCollins Children, was sitting right next to me. Worst. Author. Ever. I'm sorry HarperCollins...please don't drop me!!
Wednesday I had an early a.m. signing and was SHOCKED by the number of amazing people who turned up at 9:30 a.m. (and even earlier) to stand on line. I've posted some pics below, although they're very blurry, and it doesn't give the best sense of how crazy the line got. We even ran out of books! But everyone was so nice and gracious about it, and I got to chat (briefly) with a ton of my lovely fans.
In the afternoon I sat on a panel with Colin Meloy (the lead singer of The Decemberists) and Carson Ellis (his wife, and an illustrator extraordinaire whose work I have geeked out about for years) to discuss Magic and Myth in middle grade. The panel was short and sweet, and I went home with a signed ARC of Wildwood, Colin and Carson's book, which I of course began immediately devouring. (Find more info about it here.)
After my whirlwind week, I got slammed with a sudden fever and basically laid out for two days--literally. I slept for forty hours in two days! I obviously needed it, because on Saturday I woke up totally refreshed...although sad that I'd missed a YA sleepover hosted by my friend Leila Sales. (If you haven't ever read her blog The Leila Texts, you've been missing out.)
Next up: rest, recuperation, and writing time!
I hope everyone else had a great BEA. Check back the blog later in the week for the lucky winners of both my Crush and monthly Liesl & Po giveaways! And next week a writing challenge will be coming your way, so get ready....
Monday, May 30, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Want a signed copy? You know you do! Just reply to this blog post by 6/1 and tell me how old you were when you had your first CRUSH. (If you're really brave, feel free to include a name, too). :)
And don't worry, all...the collection is OUT in stores now, so even if you don't want to spill the details of your first love (and possibly heartbreak), you can order a copy of this awesome anthology by clicking here.
And don't forget to enter to win a copy of my very first middle-grade, Liesl and Po! Enter by checking out the contest here.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I really didn't think this day would come.
What did I learn?
1. Granola bars and water can sustain a person for weeks.
2. 'Tis better to tour with others than 'tis to tour solo.
3. Really nice hotels charge exorbitant amounts for wifi, while really bad hotels provide it free. Conundrum?
4. Even at the ripe old age of 27, it's possible to get homesick.
5. Boyfriends come and go, but the pleasures of room service are forever.
Seriously, though, I had an amazing time in Toronto these past whirl-wind few days, as evidenced by the fact that I am going home with a suitcase newly stuffed with letters, a beautiful fan-made poster, and CHOCOLATE! I think I've eaten more cookies since I've been in Canada than since I was a child, and yesterday, a fabulous fan gifted Veronica Roth and me with goodie-bags filled with all the great sources of caffeine: coffee, and Canadian cocoa derivatives. Clearly, she knows me!
Veronica and I even got to make our mark by leaving chocolate-stamped hand prints on the wall of the adorable cafe/chocolatier Moroco Chocolat (if you live within driving distance of Toronto, so worth a stop!). Check out the pics below:
(Veronica had just been invited to sample the chocolate on her hand--a mix of 99% cocoa that apparently does NOT taste very sweet.)
It wasn't all chocolate and macarons, of course. We met so many engaged and avid readers and booksellers and fans--it was a pleasure and a surprise to see how many of our Northern neighbors have responded so strongly to our books. So Canada: thank you for being such a fabulous way to round out this crazy, crazy couple of months. Stay delicious, and I hope to see you again soon!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Okay, I'm sold. All I have to say is, our northern neighbors really know how to make a girl feel like a princess. Last night I arrived in drizzly Toronto and was soon warmed up by the AMAZING suite at the Four Seasons (yes, all--that is a couch, a table, and a separate seating area...and if you look closely, you can even spot the ketchup!).
For those of you who are wondering, this is my version of unpacking:
After an early dinner (Linner?) with the lovely Veronica Roth and some of the sales and marketing team of Harper Collins Canada, we headed over to the fabulous Indigo Bookstore, where many adorable readers were already waiting for us. One girl had been in line since 1:30 pm! Getting to chat with the rising superstar Veronica was a great pleasure, as were the thoughtful questions from both the audience and the moderator. One of my favorite questions came from a fan of only thirteen years old, who asked whether the dystopian societies we created in our books were a reflection on the pressures of conformity that exist in modern life. I told her she should go to Harvard!
Or ART SCHOOL, because then she gave me this amazing and beautiful poster, a joint effort she had put together with her best friend, who was also in attendance:
I nearly cried. Isn't it amazing?? Thank you, Jen and Gillian, sincerely and with all my heart. And thank you, Canada, for being so wonderful!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
But this week is the grand finale. The wrap-up. The swan song.
And it's happening in Canada.
I'll be touring with Veronica Roth, the fabulous author of the tremendous Divergent, so please come and see us. (Let's hope the dystopian theme applies only to the content of our discussions, and not weather patterns and/or flight delays, as happened the first time I went on tour for Delirium!) Mark off your calendar, call in sick to work, skip school--do whatever you have to do. (I'll help you with your algebra homework, I promise!)
Tuesday, 7:00 PM: EVENT: INDIGO BOOKS – YORKDALE MALL
Location: 3401 Dufferin Street
Wednesday, 7:00 PM: EVENT – CHAPTERS BARRIE
Location: 76 Barrie View Drive
Thursday, 7:00 PM: EVENT – CHAPTERS BRAMPTON
Location: 52 Quarry Edge Drive
Be sure to follow @indigogreenroom on twitter for exclusive photos and updates on my trip to Toronto! For that matter, make sure to follow me @OliverBooks!
I'm so excited that I finally get to show our northern neighbors some love. Canada, see you soon! (If I can find my passport, that is...)
Friday, May 6, 2011
But more importantly...I got PRESENTS!!
Anyone who knows me well knows that I looooove getting gifted (I love giving gifts, as well--Christmas in my house always looks like Santa Clause's elves threw an enormous celebratory kegger). So thanks to the wonderful Mindy Janicke and Michele Moore Luker for the AWESOME Delirium-themed shirt ("We don't follow--we stalk"), which really helped me feel the love. I plan on rocking it all around NYC and then showing off the pics here.
Thank you, too, to the students of Pasadena Memorial High School, for the INCREDIBLE gift bag they put together full of all of my favorite things. Seriously...their gifts to me came from the result of an author study, and each one is tailored just for yours truly! They gave me dozens of individual packets of my favorite substance in the world--ketchup!--each of which was wrapped up in a quote from one of my books. They also gave me a bag of coffee (*tears up) and gatorade for post-workout inspiration. Soooo amazing. After the sweet-as-pie librarian at Oak Ridge High School today surprised me with a beautiful bracelet, I'm thinking I could totally get used to this southern hospitality thing....
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Thanks to everyone who has entered to win a copy of my very first middle-grade, LIESL AND PO! I'm pleased to announce the first three winners. Check out some of their favorite childhood book pics, below!
One of my most favorite books in grade school was MANDY by Julie Edwards (Julie Andrews). I bought it with my own money and I still have it. :)
My fave book back when I was a kid was Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal
My favorite childhood books were definitely the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and the Animal Ark series by Ben M. Baglio.
All amazing picks! I'll be contacting the winners soon for their addresses. In the meantime, for those who DIDN'T win this month, don't worry! You still have plenty of chances--15 chances, in fact, since I'll be picking three winners each month from now until October! Haven't entered yet? What are you waiting for? Enter here.
Monday, May 2, 2011
So spread the word and I'll see you soon! x
Tuesday, May 3rd, 4:30PM:
The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
Wednesday, May 4th, 7:00 PM:
123 West Jefferson
Naperville, IL 60540
Thursday, May 5th, 7:00 PM:
Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
Friday, May 8th, 7:00 PM:
Barnes & Noble
1201 Lake Woodlands Dr. #3008
The Woodlands, TX 77381