Saturday, March 31, 2012
Case in point? I could definitely live here, if it weren't a gazillion miles away from my friends and family. I guess I'll just have to visit more often!
In Melbourne I saw the most incredible rainbow. It's like the Platonic Ideal of a rainbow! In the USA, I've only ever seen patchy bits of rainbow--a few feet at a time--and I actually believed that a semi-circular rainbow thing was a lie, or an exaggeration that existed only in the Care Bears cartoon and in various artistic interpretations of the leprechaun. But now I know that rainbows are REAL, which probably means leprechauns are too!!
Please bring me a pot of gold.
And a Maserati.
In Sydney, I was informed by my cab driver that my hotel was only a half kilometer away from the harbor. I hustled to try and make it down to the water before the sun set, but "half kilometer" turned out to mean "a mile and a half"--I guess it seems closer when you're driving!--and I made it to the harbor just as the last light was leeching out of the sky. And, of course, my camera was out of batteries. I couldn't do the stunning opera house justice on my cell phone, and only managed to get a puny little shot of the bridge, which is in real life quite breathtaking.
I had a wonderful evening all by my lonesome, strolling the promenade and sipping wine at a delicious outdoor cafe, where I also sampled the best oysters I have ever had in my life.
Australia, you had me at G'Day.
Friday, March 30, 2012
I am so very excited to see the treatment the script, and the film, will receive at Gina's hands. We're still not quite at the casting stage yet, as Gina wants to put her spin on the script, but keep your fingers (and toes!) crossed.
Why do YOU want to see BIF as a movie?
My answer? So I can wear a fab dress on the red carpet! :)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
My tour on the other side of the world steams along through various different time zones (I’m currently writing this on the plane en route from Seoul, Korea to Sydney, Australia.) I had a wonderful last evening in the Philippines, and dined with the staff of the National Bookstore responsible for my visit. Vegetarians beware: my favorite dishes were pork knuckle and fried pork intestine! (And no, it doesn’t taste like chicken.)
I was sad to leave Manila after so brief a visit. It’s a beautiful and interesting place, and full of contradictions: cathedrals butting up against shopping malls; towering new construction, all vacant, and shantytowns swarming with barefooted residents; old palms and lush growth, and a brown river slicked with trash. But I’ve vowed to return (possibly for Requiem!), and next time I’m hauling my fiancé with me.
But I’m SUPER excited about my tour in Australia, and I hope my Aussie fans are, too! I’ve posted my schedule for the next few days below. Start planning your road trip—I expect to see you all there!
Thursday, 29 March: Melbourne
4:30-6:00 p.m. The Sun Bookstore
Come drink tea with me, and hear me chat and answer questions!
Friday, 30 March: Brisbane
4:30-6:00 p.m. Dymocks Brisbane
You know the drill: signing, Q&A, chat
Monday, 2 April: Facebook chat
5:00 p.m. For those of you who can’t make it to an in-person event, join me on Monday for a remote chat, hosted by Booktopia in Sydney.
Tuesday, 3 April: Sydney
4:30-6:00 p.m. The Children’s Bookshop
Tea, meet-and-greet, signings, and more!
After that, it’s back to NYC for me...so I hope to see you during my whirlwind trip down under!
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Yesterday, despite the fact that I was up at the ungodly time of 5 a.m. due to the aforementioned jetlag, was one of the best and most gratifying days of my career. In an unfamiliar city on the opposite side of the world from my home, I found immediate welcome and comfort in the presence of thoughtful, gracious, articulate, and generous fans.
First was lunch with a few lucky contest-winners, hosted by the fabulous National Book Store, where I sampled delicious fried tilapia and curry with fish sauce, among other traditional delicacies, and stayed far away from balut. (If you don't know what that is, trust me, you don't WANT to know.)
I even received PRESENTS from these lovely ladies, including several incredibly moving notes, a beautiful scarf, dried mango (one of the few fruits I love!) and a gorgeous locket necklace. These girls know how to shop! Obviously, I had to have a group hug.
After purchasing a new pair of shoes from the Topshop here, just so when asked I could say, with studied unconcern, "Oh, THESE? I bought these in Manila," we headed over to the event.
And what an event it was. (Scroll down for pics!)
So many fans, so many smart and interesting questions, and a two-and-a-half hour signing line, complete with about one hundred hugs.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Happy Friday & Happy Hunger Games! Today I'm sharing a little snapshot of a Pandemonium reader hunting and gathering in the wild. Okay, she's on the 'F' train in NYC, but if that's not "the wild", I don't know what is! :) Anyway, how cool is it to see someone reading your book on the subway?!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
5- Filipino food is dope! You all know I'm a foodie.
4- Aussie men are hott! Have you seen Simon Baker, Eric Bana and Liam Hemsworth (of The Hunger Games)?! Yes, I'm engaged, but I appreciate a little eye candy! ;)
3- Let's face it, getting your passport stamped is fun. It's like getting a coveted Garbage Pail Kids card in the 80's!
2- No pressure to eat with chopsticks... That's right, unlike many Asian countries, the Philippines doesn't bother with them.
1- I get to meet more of my FABULOUS, INTERESTING, MEGA SWEET fans! Seriously, I can't wait to meet you guys!
See ya soon!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
I met Kate Ellison years ago, because I happened upon some of her beautiful artwork online and was immediately inclined to purchase several prints (which now hang proudly on my walls). Kate is, in addition to being a phenomenally talented artist, also a brilliant writer, as is evidenced by her dark, gorgeous, and sexy new YA thriller, The Butterfly Clues. I am such a huge fan of both the girl and the book, I had to ask Kate to stop by the blog for an interiew.
1. The Butterfly Clues is such an immersive mystery, with an unconventional heroine who suffers from OCD. How did these two elements come together to write this story?
In large part, these elements of the story were inspired by my cousin. We grew up like sisters, and she struggled with OCD for as long as I can remember. When we were in high school, her grandparents died in a very sudden, tragic way and her compulsions seemed, in turn, to intensify. So many of these compulsions make absolutely no sense to an outside observer, but when they're going on in your own head, they make perfect sense—they’re the only way to keep things safe. And I loved the idea of writing a book in which these behaviors might also benefit someone—might draw her into a mystery, and cause her to feel a kind of compulsion to solve and untangle it.
2. Penelope, your protagonist, becomes incredibly attached to objects, which is in large part due to her OCD. Do you share her love for objects--if not her OCD compulsions :) ?
I do share her love for rare, beautiful objects. I'm a big thrifter/vintage affectionado, and one of my favorite things to do, especially when traveling, is to search for incredible things that no one else has. I always like to imagine who it might have belonged to before and what era it's from.
It's sometimes a struggle to not become too attached to objects, especially the artwork I create.
Lo becomes attached to objects because, in her mind, they are so wonderfully unlike human beings—who are risky and easy to lose. Objects can be kept safe. They can't just up and die.
3. Through the bulk of the novel, Penelope is navigating a depressed area of Cleveland called Neverland. Can you tell me more about the setting and the characters she meets, and if you yourself had similar experiences?
Neverland was based, in large part, on Baltimore. There are long stretches of city blocks with boarded-up houses and businesses. You wonder how such huge sections of a place can just be left to die like that. The setting is meant to mirror the state of many of its inhabitants—kids, runaways, who felt ignored, or unwanted, or fled from emotional and physical violence.
But Malatesta's is the safe, artistic epicenter of Neverland—and it was based on an anarchist bookstore in Baltimore called Red Emma's. Flynt was inspired by a boy I knew from the bookstore who existed, very much by choice, on the fringes of society, and lived life on his own terms.
4. What else are you working on? And is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming book?
I've been working intermittently on some short fiction and poetry, as well as a strange little hand-written book that I bound (poorly)--I'm trying to work on its illustrations.
In terms of my next novel for teens, I can't tell you much (in order to appear as coy as possible) but I can tell you it's another murder mystery. It involves a sassy teen artist attempting to unravel a recent tragedy while dealing with major heartbreak. Oh, and it's definitely sexy. I'm very excited about it.
If you haven't picked up your copy of The Butterfly Clues, do it! Kate writes with some of the most luscious and imaginative prose I've encountered. And Flynt? Hot.
Friday, March 16, 2012
If you're in the 'hood, stop by the Teen Stage at Centennial Park tomorrow, Saturday 3/17, and see moi! I'll be talking books, dystopia, and also the process of writing a series, and afterwards I'll be signing copies of my books. And NO GLITTER EYESHADOW IS EVEN NECESSARY! So come on down and I hope to see you there.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
What would you tell your teenage self if you could write a letter to her? Or if you're a teen, what do you wish your older (well 10-15 years older) self could enlighten you on? Hmm... I'm guessing, there's a lot of wise, mature, sensible advice that would add substance to those letters, but they'd mostly be funny, outrageous, and heartwarmingly REAL. My BFF (Elizabeth Miles) and I collaborated and wrote a piece for a book called Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves. The book is a crazy cool collection of YA author's advice and letters to their teenage selves! It will be released on October 31, 2012, but why wait around when you can pre-order it right here through Amazon! Don't thank me now, I know you will later!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
2--I am not a morning person. Okay, admittedly I knew this, but it was REAFFIRMED. After a week of 6 am wakeup calls, I could barely form a coherent sentence, much less make it past 11 a.m. without a steady caffeine drip. I'm sorry, but anything earlier than 7:30 a.m. is not morning--if the only other people awake are marathon runners and crackheads, IT DOESN'T COUNT.
3--when you are on tour, there may not be time for a sitdown meal, a bathroom break, or a phone call home...but there is always time for more stock signing.
4--Miami is awesome. I kind of had always associated Miami with spring break and bad music videos (not that there's anything wrong with either), but I was really impressed by the downtown area, which was architecturally dazzling and just plain beautiful, and also by the INCREDIBLE bookstore, Books and Books, which hosted our Friday event. The bookstore encircles an open-air courtyard and restaurant (with delicious hummus), thereby combining my all-time favorite things: food and reading. I swear, if Books and Books sold condos, I'd buy in an instant!
5--The Cheesecake Factory has a new low-fat menu that is actually really good. This requires no elaboration; it's just a new fact I discovered, to my pleasant surprise.
6--I like being on TV! I had such a fabulous time on Good Day NY and Good Day LA, and I totally caught the TV bug. So if any producers are scoping this blog and looking for a new star...I'm your girl! (I can sing, too. Just sayin'.)
7--My fans are adorable and ask really cute questions. My favorite this tour came from a preteen (who was probably twelve) who stood up and, while holding a copy of Delirium, said: "Lauren, are you PRO-love or ANTI-love?...because this book really confused me!" LOVE that, for sure.
8--Bloggers make REALLY good seven-layer dip. Okay, I just re-read that and it sounds like I'm saying if you make bloggers INTO seven-layer dip it's really good, which is NOT what I meant to say AT ALL. What I meant is: I was lucky enough, while on tour, to enjoy several meals with several different groups of bloggers. On Sunday night, I was even invited to a fab potluck hosted by Thefandom.net, in honor of the imminent release of The Hunger Games. THERE, in addition to meeting some great people from all over the country, I ALSO had some really good seven-layer dip. Yum!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Sunday, March 11th
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Saturday, March 10th
Friday, March 9, 2012
Friday, March 9th
Monday, March 5, 2012
Tuesday, March 6th