Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Six Years Later PSA

This is a blog that I repost every year, because it is something that is, for obvious reasons, very important to me to educate and inform people about. Since posting about my experience with an ectopic pregnancy and talking about it, several women have told me that knowing the symptoms was what got them to the hospital in time. Please read it. Please tell other women about it.

This is a particularly painful time for me to post this, and my heart goes out to anyone who may be struggling with fertility issues or loss. You are not alone. I wish you peace and joy in the life that you have, even if it is not the life you'd imagined for yourself, and I wish you all the strength and support you need to find that peace and joy. (And I also want you to know it's okay to not be okay now, and it's okay to not be okay sometimes even after you are okay.)

First and foremost, I'm glad I'm not dead.

Seriously. I'm really, really glad I'm not dead. That would have sucked. And, thanks to the fact that I recognized warning symptoms and had some emergency surgery five years ago today, I get to be alive to appreciate being alive. I'm a big fan.

So in honor of my not-dying anniversary, I'm doing a PSA about ectopic pregnancy. Even if you never plan on having children, these are important symptoms to know because you could very well save the life of someone you love. Or your own. (Unless you are a guy, in which case your risk of ectopic pregnancy = non-existent. Still, you like women, right?)

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. This is a bad thing. Usually the egg implants in the fallopian tube; occasionally it implants other places. 2% of all pregnancies are ectopic. That's 1 in 50. Certain factors increase your risks--tubal scarring, abdominal surgery, endometriosis, fertility treatments, IUDs--but it can happen to anyone. I had no real risk factors.

An even scarier statistic than the one-in-fifty? Ectopic pregnancies are the number one cause of pregnancy-related death. Part of the problem is that many women with ectopic pregnancies don't even know they're pregnant. Because your body doesn't produce as many hormones, you might continue having periods like normal, ignore the sudden pain, go to bed because you're feeling tired and dizzy, and never wake up.

I know that sounds terrible and scary. It is. It happens. So even if you don't think you're pregnant, or if you think you are just having a standard miscarriage (which was what I thought), always, ALWAYS call the doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Sharp pain on one side of your lower abdomen. When you press down on it, it will be a stabbing pain that you will feel reflected in the other side, but one side will be more tender. Once your tube actually bursts the pain will lessen considerably--DO NOT IGNORE THAT. All it means is that you are now bleeding internally.
  • Feeling dizzy and lightheaded when you aren't lying down. This would be because of the internal bleeding. Also, difficulty and discomfort breathing.
  • And finally, the key symptom: when you lie down, you have a sharp, stabbing pain in your shoulder. This is called referred pain, and is caused by the blood filling up your abdomen and pushing on your lungs. (This is also a symptom of a burst appendix and often happens after abdominal surgery, in case you were interested.) If you EVER have abdominal pain that is reflected in your shoulder when you lie down, go to the hospital immediately. And have someone else drive you.
Like I said, you may not think you are pregnant, but if there is any chance whatsoever you could be and you have these symptoms, have someone drive you to the hospital immediately or call 911. If I had ignored my symptoms and let my husband go to work that day, I probably would have fallen asleep on the couch and never woken up again. I was in surgery within two or three hours of the pain starting, and at that point I had lost so much blood I nearly needed a transfusion.

But, because I am obsessive and had researched every pregnancy-related topic under the sun, I knew something was wrong. And I'm not dead. And that's a good thing.


Here's hoping you never have to recognize the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. But now you can, and that's the important thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ILLUSIONS OF FATE Tour!

Hello, my lovelies. I know I've been remiss about posting to the blog. I will hopefully have more to say in the next few days leading up to the release of Illusions of Fate (!!).

But I wanted to let you know about THIS:


I'll be touring next week for the release with some of my very most favorite people in the whole world! Please see the poster for details and who will be with me where. I hope to see MANY of you! (Also, if you can't make it, you can always order signed and personalized books through Changing Hands and Blue Willow Books, two phenomenal indies.)

I will sign any/all of my books (and Stephanie's, too!), but please remember it's good manners to purchase at least one book at the store holding the event.

You can get this beauty:


And take the cover off to see this gorgeousness:


And open it up to see whether or not it was dedicated to you (I suspect it was):


And, unavailable anywhere else, I'll have some special items! Calling cards for various characters in the book:


Custom-made tarot cards that play a pivotal role:






And chocolate bread pudding!



Wait wait no, I will not have that with me at tour events. But The Chaos of Stars is also coming out in paperback on September 9th, and chocolate bread pudding is practically a side character in that book, so it's only right to include it here.

More soon.

XOXO


Thursday, May 22, 2014

NEW BOOKS NEW BOOKS HOORAY!!!

I am positively EXPLODING (but not literally exploding because eew) on account of the news I have for you today. Allow me to screencap:



EEEEEEEE! First of all, let me tell you how wonderful Wendy Loggia, my editor (my editor!) is. She is a delight, and so smart, and such a smart delight, and I cannot wait to develop this series under her editorial guidance. Plus I get to work with Annie Eaton and Ruth Knowles, who are in the UK, which means I automatically love everything they say on account of ACCENTS. (Plus the whole team is amazing and talented and professional but seriously: ACCENTS.)

Second of all, I'm beyond thrilled to be joining the Random House family at Delacorte. True story: way way back when I wrote my first manuscript, I decided Delacorte was The House For Me. It didn't work out (on account of the manuscript was terrible), but it feels right being with Wendy at Delacorte as I embark on this new adventure in storytelling. In fact, I maybe have devolved to junior high level of crushingness on Wendy and Delacorte. Observe:


I can't believe I get to work with Wendy and the Delacorte team, and I super can't believe I get to write these books.

In 2010, my husband and I visited Romania. Noah (and yes, I'm not going to pretend anymore like the internet can't figure out his name simply by opening one of my seven books) had lived there for two years, spoke the language fluently, and was deeply in love with the country, its people, and its history. I joined him in that love. If ever there were a country designed to feel your inner creative soul, Romania is it. We stayed in seven hundred year old buildings, visited fortified churches and castles, and kept running into the old stomping grounds of this dude:

 
Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad the Impaler, aka the prince so historically notorious Bram Stoker based Dracula on him. (Yup, Transylvania is a real place. We stayed there. It's blow-your-mind beautiful.)

We saw where he was born, before his father Vlad Dracul took the throne.


We saw the castle where he was held captive by his own allies.


We saw the slugs that haunted his pathways, growing to nightmare lengths by feeding on the souls of the dead. (Maybe I made that up, but I think it's accurate.)


We hiked to his fortress, up thirteen-hundred stairs through clouds clinging like memory to the sides of the mountain.


And then we came home.

And then four years passed.

And then I listened to Noah telling my mom the familiar histories of Vlad the Impaler and his ties to history. Vlad had grown up a political prisoner in the Ottoman courts, a peer and contemporary of Mehmed the Conqueror, the sultan who sacked Constantinople as a young man. Vlad's own brother, Radu the Handsome (let's all pick our historical names now, okay? Mine will be Kiersten the Effortlessly Charming, or maybe Kiersten the Fustigator if I'm feeling cranky), converted to Islam and joined Mehmed's courts--and was even rumored to have been part of Mehmed's secret male harem.

The Ottomans put Vlad on the throne, thinking he was loyal to them. He showed them just what he thought of their loyalty, on the end of a stick. Actually, on the end of many, many sticks. 20,000 impaled soldiers, if history is to be believed.

But I already knew all of this. It wasn't my story.

And then--and then--that magic moment my fellow writers know so well happened, where suddenly something shifted, falling into place with a sharp snick and my mind was off and running and I knew I had to tell a story and I knew exactly what it would be.

Because what if Vlad the Impaler, the brutal prince, had been Lada the Impaler, the brutal princess? And what if Lada, Radu, and Mehmed had been locked in a poisonous triangle, with their ruthless ambitions second only to their love for each other?

Heads will roll. Bodies will be impaled. And hearts will be broken.

Daughter of the Dragon, coming in 2016.

XOXO
Kiersten

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Join Us IN THE SHADOWS!

I am happy today. Content, even.

That's weird, guys.

Past book releases have been filled with nervous, panicked, frantic energy. I didn't know what to do with myself. Today, I am playing with my baby. Enjoying the sunshine. Working on some editing.

Peaceful.

I think part of that is because this is book number seven. (SEVEN.) One can only be an anxious wreck so many times before one gets tired of it. But I think it's mostly to do with the fact that I am so ridiculously proud to be a part of this book. And just that--I'm only a part of this book. It's not mine. It's ours, Jim Di Bartolo and me. The whole process was different. Working with a partner was an incredible, energizing experience, and I do believe that what we created is bigger than the sum of its parts. (Well, if you've seen Jim's biceps, admired by librarians around the world, you might disagree with me on the book being bigger than those.)

Along with that, I want you (yes, you) to experience the book. Because it is a book to be experienced--the combination of art and words, the way in which the two storylines dance around each other, the satisfaction of a mystery lived and solved at the end--is unlike anything else in the YA market right now. And Jim's art (his glorious, glorious art!) is on a whole new level. You can see a bit of the process here to understand just how much work went into this book:



I still remember the first piece of art he sent me--stunning, bright, beautiful, but also layered and atmospheric. I wanted my writing to be the same. I think you'll be surprised by it. I hope you'll love it.

Along with that, I've been teasing photos of some of the covers hand-painted by Jim:

 Amazing, right?? As if the 5,000-8,000 hours he already spent creating art for this book wasn't enough. And it just so happens I have one of these painted cover books...for you.

Well, one of you.

Here is what you can do to enter to win this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Step one: Buy IN THE SHADOWS.
Step two: Take a photo of the book. Be as creative or wacky or boring as you want.
Step three: Post that photo somewhere online (Twitter! Tumblr! Facebook! Blog! Instagram!) with the phrase, "I got lost IN THE SHADOWS."
Step four: Email me the link to your post at intheshadowsbook@yahoo.com. (If your accounts are private, which I totally understand, you can email me a screenshot of the page instead.)
Step five: Do all this by May 20th.
Step six: Wait and see if you win the random drawing of all the entries!

(Please note: I will be posting many of the pictures I receive, so be aware of things like giving away your location, including your children, etc. Safety first!)

And that's that! I hope you enjoy the book as much as Jim and I enjoyed creating it for you.

XOXO

Kiersten

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

In The Shadows teaser trailer!

Hello! You look lovely this fine Tuesday morning! You know what else looks lovely? The calendar, which informs us there are only THREE WEEKS LEFT until the release of In the Shadows, my delicious gothic-horror-romance-supernatural-story-in-two-parts novel with artist Jim Di Bartolo!

So, to that end, behold: a teaser trailer! You can see some of the art from the first "prequel" art chapter! Isn't it amazing??



Mad props to Jim for not only his jaw-dropping art, but also all the time he put into making that trailer. (Which I made the mistake of watching with my kids in the room, who were freaked out by the sound effects. "What are you watching?!")

I am so very excited for the twenty-ninth, when we can share the rest with you. Along with that, Jim and I will be at TXLA on Thursday, on the "Other Worlds" panel, at the Tea Time, and signing. We love Texas and we ultra-love librarians, so we hope to see many of you there. Our book will be available early, and we'll have bookmarks!


After that, we'll be at Wondercon in Anaheim on Friday, the 18th, on the What's Hot in YA panel. (Note that it's not "Who's Hot in YA," which would be a very different sort of panel.) And then, on Sunday, the 27th, we're having an early launch party at the Cedar Hills Crossing branch of Powell's in Portland, Oregon.

Can't make it? You can order a signed copy through Powell's! It'll be signed by both of us, and I suspect even doodled in by Jim!

BOOKS. YAY BOOKS. YAY ART. YAY ART AND BOOKS GETTING MARRIED AND MAKING BEAUTIFUL HYBRID BABIES.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Long Overdue Updatery

Hello, friends!

What a crazy couple of months.

My book came out! I went on tour!
I love these ladies--Sophie Jordan, Tahereh Mafi, and Veronica Rossi--and their books! But most of all I love all of you who managed to make it out to one of our stops. It is ALWAYS a joy to meet you and talk books and squee together.

I also hit up some museums in NYC, including this one with an Ancient Egyptian temple in it. This is my ANCIENT EGYPTIAN STUFF face.

Wadjet eyes? WHY YES. I LOVE YOU. I took an obscene number of photos in museums, and someday I'll get around to posting some of them. Someday. Ha ha. Yes. Someday.

In the meantime, because book release and travel and tour and being away from my kids wasn't enough, we went ahead and found our dream tree. So we bought it, along with the house that came on the property. And we moved. Moving! SO MUCH FUN.

 Then my baby brother got married. He must have forgotten he is still five years old in my head.

Then my baby got an ear infection and we discovered his allergy to penicillin. Exciting! He also discovered grass. ADORABLE.

Here he is in the house that came on the property with our tree. We're mostly settled in. We've hit the point where we are living comfortably, and yet the garage is somehow still entirely filled with boxes. WHAT IS IN THEM? I suspect they breed while we aren't looking, and if we open them, it'll just be box after box filled with tiny gestating boxes. Also maybe the beginning of a horror movie?

And here is some of the sky that came along with the tree and the house. It's good sky. We're very pleased with how it worked out.

True story: We have discovered that, while the house on the property does not have an ocean view, the tree we bought does! You just have to climb way, way higher than I am comfortable with. Still, an ocean view tree. We knew that tree was a winner!

As if all of that wasn't exciting enough, I have another book out this month!

Here I am with IN THE SHADOWS, my book with phenomenal artist Jim Di Bartolo. (To quickly correct some accidental misinformation I've seen: it's YA. Jim is not the illustrator, he's co-storyteller and should be credited wherever the book is listed, because it's not my book, it's OUR book. You'll understand when you read it--super, SUPER not just my book. And I am so excited for you to read it!!)

It comes out on April 29th, which is holy cow so soon. I was looking through pictures for this post and realized that it has not even been a year since I had a baby. This will be my third release post-Baby Otter's entrance into the world. Plus buying a house and moving. Plus trying to work on what I'll do next since I have no more books under contract.

HI GUYS I'M TIRED.

But IN THE SHADOWS is something special, and I can't wait for it to go out into the world. Jim and I worked really hard to craft it, and I hope you fall in love with it!

Along with the book release, I will Be Many Places. TXLA! WonderCon! Portland! Please see my "appearances" tab for up-to-date information on where I'll be and when I'll be there and how we can hang out and talk books!

And now I go, to decide whether to a) shower, b) check on the progress of all the little boxes that can't be weaned from their mother boxes yet, or c) work on the next book.

Or d) climb that tree to peek at the ocean.

Monday, March 17, 2014

IN THE SHADOWS Art Sneak Peek!

I know it sounds like an exaggeration when I say there is nothing like In the Shadows, my book with artist Jim Di Bartolo, on the YA shelves right now. But...there is nothing like it! And today I get to show you a sneak peek of just how amazing and unusual it is.

Because it isn't an illustrated novel, and it's not a graphic novel. It's a novel in two parts--one storyline all text, and one all art. Gorgeous, jaw-dropping, FULL COLOR art!

I could go on all day about what a phenomenal talent Jim is, but I will let his art speak for itself. (Because it does! In the whole book!)

My one request--and I didn't have many--was that the main character of Jim's half of the book be swoony. IT WAS FULFILLED.

This was one of the first pieces Jim painted, and thinking about it being in anything other than full color made me want to cry. Scholastic! David Levithan! THANK YOU.
 I want to go to there.
 I don't really want to go to there, though...

Or to there.

But YOU can! You can go to all these places, on April 29th, when In the Shadows is out and you can discover our book for yourself!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Perfect Lies Bonus!

Please see the "Bonus" tab for a little extra Perfect Lies goodness, to thank you all for reading, reviewing, talking, coming to see me on tour, being patient when I STILL haven't mailed things out (oh my gosh I'm the worst, I'm so sorry), etc etc etc.

XOXO x a million,
Kiersten

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

PERFECT LIES Day!!


http://harperteen.com/books/Perfect-Lies-Kiersten-White/?isbn=9780062135841

Gah, so weird. I can't believe it's here. Perfect Lies was such a fun and hard book to write. Here's some trivia: In Mind Games, I originally thought the second POV would be Adam's, not Annie's. And in my original idea for Perfect Lies, I thought the second POV would be James. But, much like when I tried to write Adam as a POV, I couldn't get over the fact that this needed to be a book about the relationship between the sisters, not the relationship between Fia and a love interest.

I still like the idea of writing a short that would trace the history of James and Rafael, how they got to where they are in Perfect Lies. Maybe someday. Until then, as a special release day bonus, I'll share the experimental opening scene for a James POV story.

And again, some more, always: Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy the second half of Fia and Annie's story!


Twenty Years Ago
She reads him Greek tragedies for bedtime stories.
            He puts on his favorite pajamas, always laid out on the bed by the maid. Everything smells like the bubblegum peppermint of his toothpaste, except when she hugs him and his nose fills with the sharp tingling flower scent of her perfume. She lets him jump on the bed precisely five times before grabbing his ankles mid-jump and giving him that wild, terrifying rush of falling before being safely caught by the mattress.
            She makes him tell her the best part of his day as she tucks the blankets tightly, and she tells him hers, which is always the same: him.
            Her favorite story to read is Cassandra; only later will he realize that she wrote this version herself. He giggles when Cassandra falls asleep in the temple and the snakes lick her ears and give her the gift of prophecy, imagining slippery reptile tongues cleaning out his own ears. Sometimes when his ears are being washed he pretends the washcloth is a snake and he’ll be like Cassandra and start hearing the future. But by the point in the story where Cassandra goes mad because no one will listen to her prophecies he has usually lost interest, most often fallen asleep.
            The story always ends with the same line: Cassandra saw a future that destroyed everyone she loved, and she could do nothing to change it.
            If he is still awake, he puts a small hand on his mother’s cheek and tries to make her look at him, but she stares further away than he can see, and she looks impossibly sad, and it scares him. That’s why he likes to fall asleep before the end of the story.

Friday, February 14, 2014

ILLUSIONS OF FATE! MIND GAMES! PERFECT LIES!





First and foremost, BEHOLD: THE GLORY THAT IS MY NEWEST COVER!



Man, oh man. I'll admit, I didn't know what they were going to do for this one. I gave them a book with a historical fantasy setting based on Edwardian England (but not actually Edwardian England). So it had magic, but also a recognizable setting. Fancy dresses! Teacups! Bewitched birds! And, at the center of it all, Jessamin, a girl feeling very small and alone in a country far, far from the beautiful island she'd grown up on. They had to come up with a cover that somehow captured all of that.

AND THEY DID.

Anyway. Gah. So gorgeous. And that tagline kills me. Thank you, HarperTeen and my designer Michelle Taormina, for once again working your cover magic!

It doesn't come out until September, but here, have a blurb from Stephanie Perkins, internationally bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door:

Illusions of Fate is an absolute delight—a magical, sparkling, dangerous world with witty repartee and a romance that will light your heart on fire. Kiersten White’s best yet.”

Love.

Moving onto the next exciting thing:

You can read all of Mind Games online for FREE until Monday! That's right--the entire book. Snuggle in with your laptop or tablet and read away. It's a fast read, and you'll be done just in time for Perfect Lies coming out on Tuesday! No waiting, and, since it's a duology, no cliffhangery second book.

That's it for now. But this weekend look for some fun Perfect Lies extras! And don't forget to come see me next week if you're near NYC, DC, Nashville, or New Orleans!