Friday, December 28, 2012

See Me in 2013!

We have less than two months until Mind Games comes out! I can't believe it. And The Chaos of Stars will be out in the fall, as well, so pretty much 2013 is the year of YOU CAN'T GET AWAY FROM MY BOOKS.

That's a pretty good year for me. Hopefully for you, too!

Here is a rundown of where I'll be:

On February 19th, I'll be celebrating the release of Mind Games at a signing in San Diego County. Details pending, but it will be in the evening and I'll be joined by special guest Kasie West, debut author of Pivot Point! You want to come. It'll be loads of fun. There will be stupid jokes and not-stupid prizes, and Kasie has amazing dimples.

On March 6th, as part of the Dark Days of Winter tour, I'll be at the Provo Library in Provo, Utah. Yay Utah! Joining me for this event and the next few are Claudia Gray, Lauren Oliver, Dan Wells, and Debra Driza. So much awesome. On March 7th we'll be in Seattle at University Books. March 8th is Barnes and Noble in Clackamas, OR, and on March 9th we'll be in Tualatin, OR, and Eugene, OR.

I love this tour. Utah is so beautiful (and always nice to visit home), Seattle is one of my very favorite cities, and I've always wanted to see Oregon! So, hopefully along with seeing these cities I can also see YOU.

Next up, on March 16th, I'll be part of the Teen Author Boot Camp in Provo, Utah. This is such a fun event! It's a writing day camp exclusively for teens. More info HERE, but if you are a teen and can get there, you totally should. It's my favorite, and so much more than just a signing. It's one of the few times I teach about writing. I am an AWESOME(ly ridiculous) teacher. Plus the rest of the authors presenting are incredible and I can't wait to hear Shannon Hale's keynote speech. If you register soon, it's only $49 for the entire day + lunch and snacks. Screaming good deal, and the people who put it on are pretty amazing.

After that, I'll be at TLA in April. Huzzah Texas! I freaking love Texas. I'm not sure if any of the TLA events are open to the public, but when I find out I'll let you know.

And after that, I'll be home for the rest of the year for personal reasons, with the exception of a local signing when THE CHAOS OF STARS comes out. So I really, really hope you can make it to one of these events! And if not, well, at least you'll have your fill of me with so. many. books. in the next two years.

YAY BOOKS.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Favorite Reads of 2012

These kinds of posts make me panicky/grouchy, because I know I'll forget some book I loved and then be mad at myself. But oh well. In no particular order:

THE PRINCESS ACADEMY: PALACE OF STONE by Shannon Hale. Shannon writes strong, real girls better than anyone I know. Her stories always have a timeless elegance to them, but with very modern and interesting themes. I will read anything she writes--it's always worth it.

THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray. When I first got this book--which is a bit of behemoth--and realized it was not a standalone, I was wary. And Bray does weave an abundance of threads into a single book. But what threads they are! It managed to give a satisfying ending while still building enough plot that I cannot wait for the next book. 1920's! New York! Flappers and Very Scary Demonic Serial Killers! What's not to like? (Bonus: There is a boy in my son's Sunday School class that he casually refers to as "Naughty John." SCARIEST CLASS EVER.)

CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein. This is one of those books that sneaks up on you. It starts out interestingly enough, written by a girl spy captured by the Nazis. She's writing her "confessions" before they kill her. But as you read--and especially when the book hits the halfway point and the POV shifts--you are suddenly bowled over by the realization that Wein has so completely fooled you in the most brilliant possible way you find yourself marveling for the entire rest of the devastating, wonderful book. There is a certain line associated with the book that people like to tweet, but I'm serious, I can't even write it here. TOO MANY FEELINGS.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. I'm not going to bother talking about it, since Entertainment Weekly or freaking TIME magazine have already done the honors.

I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga. This was a slick, fun read about the son of the country's most notorious serial killer. Twisted and interesting, I've been told it's like Dexter Light, but never having watched Dexter all I can say is I loved it and I'll be looking for the sequel.

TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I'm a bit of a Peter Pan fangirl. And not the watered-down Disney version. The dark and weird and more-than-a-little disturbing JM Barrie version from PETER AND WENDY. So I always approach adaptations with no small amount of trepidation. When I picked up this book and saw it was narrated by Tinker Bell, I was even MORE concerned. I still don't know how Anderson pulled it off, but this book was phenomenal. She tapped into the brutality of the transition from childhood to adulthood, the impossibility of reconciling who you are with who someone wants you to be, and the horrible suffocating guilt of the things we do to the people we love most. Absolutely worth a read.

BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore. I enjoyed GRACELING and FIRE, but what I loved about Bitterblue as a main character is that...she isn't amazing. Katsa and Fire were both so over-the-top unusual that having normal Bitterblue as a main character, and seeing how she felt being surrounded by extraordinary people, was a really interesting and refreshing turn. Plus, the politics, intrigue, and answer to the question of what would happen when an entire country had been devastated by the worst possible type of predator as a king all made for a wonderful read that is my favorite of the three companions.

EVERY DAY by David Levithan. Levithan writes with such insight and compassion. I don't know anyone else who could have pulled off a book like this, but Levithan does so with graceful ease.

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater. SCORPIO RACES stands as my favorite of her novels, but I thoroughly enjoyed the complex and interesting mythology that Stiefvater built into, over, and through the normal world. I'm looking forward to future installments.

DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor. Where DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was about falling in love, DoBaS is about war. Taylor doesn't shy away from the complexities and impossibilities of the issues Karou faces. The book is saved from being too bleak and brutal by brilliant turns from Zusana and Mik. The world is bigger, the conflicts deeper, and the stakes higher than ever. I cannot wait for book three!

And...that's all for now. Of course I loved many more books than this, but my brain is a drafting-and-editing fog of confusion and desperation right now.

What books did you love this year? What are you most excited for next year?


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kick Butt Girls: Buffy Edition!

The latest video in my Kick Butt Girls series is out! Today, I talk about Buffy.

And Spike.

But mostly Buffy.

Go here to watch, complete with super cute banner and sentimental Buffy gifs!

In other news, I think my six-year-old son has seen a bit too much when it comes to having a mother as an author. I let him draw in one of my writing notebooks yesterday, and came back to find this:

I mean, come on. At least make an effort, you know?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winner + Videos + Sleep

Without any ado whatsoever, Jessica @a GREAT read is the winner of our Gift of Reading contest! Jessica, please email me your choice of prize plus your mailing address! (It was so much fun seeing what everyone was reading/gifting/recommending! Especially cool was an indie bookstore that took someone's favorite book and then sent them a similarly recommended book once a month. GENIUS.)

In other news, oh hi, guys! You are all so sweet and attractive. I've been fairly absent. I'm working on several deadlines right now, pretty much playing triage where I work on whatever is most pressing until something else becomes more pressing, and then I work on that until something else becomes more pressing, etc etc. It's a REALLY FUN way to work!

(That is sarcasm. But I can't complain [oh, really, Kiersten? Because I think you can and DO complain, a lot], because I love all the projects I'm working on and the people I work with. Plus I kind of brought it on myself. So.)

But we are drawing ever closer to the release of MIND GAMES!! In conjunction with that, I am doing a vlog series on Kick Butt Girls! The first installment features none other than my girl Veronica Mars:



In other Very Exciting News, HarperTeen announced the tour dates and stops for Dark Days of Winter! I'll be visiting Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Portland in early March. This makes me Exceedingly Happy, and I hope to see a whole bunch of you!

Now for the third part of the title: NAPTIME. I adore all of you, and hope the run-up to the holidays (or current holidays if you are celebrating Hanukkah, which, happy Hanukkah!) treats you kindly and your days are filled with joy and sweet things.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pepperdine!

My lovely and super talented friend Cynthia Hand, who is not only a fabulous novelist but also a freaking college professor, invited me to come and speak at Pepperdine. I have been feeling VERY FANCY about this. Cynthia and I will do a sort of interview, I'll take questions, and there will be time to sign books.

Bonus! I just found out that, since it is in the library, it's open to the public. Anyone in the area who wants to attend is allowed! Plus, it's in the Surfboard Room. You know you can't pass up seeing what a surfboard room in a university library looks like. Info at this link, starts at 12 PM on Tuesday. Hope to see some of you there*!

*also super cute and exciting, the VOICE OF EVIE, aka Emily Eiden, who narrates the audiobooks, will be there, and I am totally excited to meet her because she did such a phenomenal job.

PS Don't forget to enter the contest in the post immediately preceding this one. I love seeing what books you are all giving for the holidays! So much awesome sibling gifting that seriously warms my heart.