Sunday, October 30, 2011

BBC 2: Monday!

Hi there and Happy Halloween! I'm home, I'm home, book tour is over and it was such an amazing experience -- thank you so very deeply to all those who came out to bookstores to support me and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and thanks to the teachers and librarians who welcomed me to their schools, and of course the amazing booksellers, and the media escorts, and to the wonderful crew at Little, Brown. 

I want to tell you much more about it, but right now I am busy fretting about my LIVE INTERVIEW ON BBC 2 TOMORROW! If you're in BBC territory, I hope you will tune into the Simon Mayo show to listen in. The format sounds very interesting; it's a huge honor to be selected for the Radio 2 Book Club. I'll be on at 18:00, and you can live chat with other readers during -- and, I believe afterward with me as well (I'll be in a studio in Oregon, not in the UK, though I do wish I could have been there in person!). Free extract from Daughter for download HERE.

Now ... off to fret some more ...


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hi! Quick dispatch from L.A.!

OK this bike was in London but I have no pictures to post!

Hi all! So nice to see that last post resonated! I'm hastily typing this in my hotel room in West Hollywood before heading out for another very full day of schools and meetings and stock signings and then a drive down to Huntington Beach for a bookstore event. Whew. Yesterday was nonstop and awesome, as was the day before. Thank you Los Angeles area people, and Mysterious Galaxy Books, and Book Soup, and various high schools (especially Venice High and awesome librarian Caroline Gill) for making this such a great and energizing leg of the tour. Also, of course: getting to hang out with my wonderful agent Jane and even my also wonderful editor Alvina, who happened to be in town with her brand new fiance! And big thanks to my sweetest ever Auntie Joyce who came to both events and is also coming tonight! *heart*

Late tonight I fly to San Francisco for two final days of tour! This has been quite an amazing month, seeing Daughter of Smoke and Bone in the hands of readers, trying to sway teenagers to read it :-), meeting other authors, lots of wonderful booksellers, school librarians, bloggers and other book evangelists, doing interviews, reading reviews, WOW. Wow wow. And through all of it I've been keeping the thread of the *new* book alive mostly with thinking and note-taking, and I cannot WAIT to dive back into the story when I get home. Oh man. Breaks are a great way to create new enthusiasm for work. I am hungry-thirsty-eager, even desperate, to return to writing. Sooooooon! (But first come see me in California! :-)


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Creating Your Life

Laini art from a couple of years ago :-)

Hi there! Before I head back out on the road for one last little bit (final leg of the tour = California), I want to talk about creating your life. There’s a quote I love, from the poet Mary Oliver, that goes:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

I so clearly remember what it was like, being young and always in the grip of some big fat daydream. I wanted to be a writer always, but more than that, I wanted to have an extraordinary life. I’m sure I dreamed it a million different ways, and that plenty of them were ridiculous, but I think the daydreams were training for writing, and I also think they spurred me to pursue my dreams for real.
Daydreaming, however awesome it is, is passive. It happens in your head. Learning to make dreams real is another matter, and I think it should be the work of your life. Everyone’s life, whatever their dream (unless their dream is to be an axe murderer or something.)
It took me a while to finish a book. Too long. And you know, it doesn’t matter how good a writer you are unless you finish what you start! I think this is the hardest part for most people who want to write. I was in my mid-30s before I figured it out. The brain plays tricks. You can be convinced you’re following your dream, or that you’re going to start tomorrow, and years can pass like that. Years.
The thing is, there will be pressure to adjust your expectations, always shrinking them, shrinking, shrinking, until they fit in your pocket like a folded slip of paper, and you know what happens to folded slips of paper in your pocket. They go through the wash and get ruined. Don’t ever put your dream in your pocket. If you have to put it somewhere, get one of those holsters for your belt, like my dad has for his phone, so you can whip it out at any moment. 
Hello there, dream.
Also, don’t be realistic. The word “realistic” is poison. Who decides? 
And “backup plan” is code for, “Give up on your dreams,” and everyone I know who put any energy into a backup plan is now living that backup plan instead of their dream. Put all your energy into your dream. That’s the only way it will ever become real.
The world at large has this attitude, “What makes you so special that you think you deserve an extraordinary life?” 
Personally, I think the passion for an extraordinary life, and the courage to pursue it, is what makes us special. And I don’t even think of it as an “extraordinary life” anymore so much as simple happiness. It’s rarer than it should be, and I believe it comes from creating a life that fits you perfectly, not taking what’s already there, but making your own from scratch. 
You can let life happen to you, or you can happen to life. It’s harder, but so much better.

(that's all :-)

Random sweet idea:

And, from Geninne's Art Blog, a favorite of mine,
always makes me want to drop everything and paint:

Now, I must go and pack.(Which, after having totally nailed the packing for the last
-- and longer -- leg of travels, will be EASY!)

P.S. The quote on the art at the top is:


*love it*

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You need a banana!

from thing; see below

I really don't mean for this blog to become all about my book mybookmybookmybook lookit read my book blah blah blah. I'm just a bit all-consumed right now. Sorry for the lack of content! In fascinating non-book news, today was a day of bleh: assembling IKEA cabinets to increase kitchen storage, and then failing utterly to mount them on the wall (they have to go high up, over a window). It was quite comical. Envision: Jim is standing on a step ladder holding aloft a heavy cabinet while I, on a different step ladder, try to line up the screw holes to the hanging thingamy. We're both cursing under our breaths, and Clementine is trying to get us to play store with her. She has all these fake fruits and vegetables set out in a delectable array, and while Jim and I mutter and grumble and probably grunt unbecomingly, Clementine is calling out, "You need a banana!" And she'll say the same thing over and over until she gets a response, so ... "You need a banana! You need a banana!"

Hell. Maybe she was right. Maybe a banana was exactly what we needed right at that moment.

In any case, the cabinets remain solidly on the floor, the room messier than ever, oy. OY, I say! *wails for order and cleanliness*

Maybe the IKEA fairy will come in the night and we will awaken to installed cabinets? Someone on Twitter said you just need to leave out Swedish meatballs overnight ... Ugh. Meatballs. Ate too much tonight, and that thought is not a pretty one.

So, there is my fascinating non-book anecdote, aaaaaaaand ... now back to book blab! *groan*

  • has put up a photo diary of a typical Laini work day. HERE.
  • Daughter was reviewed on MTV's Hollywood Crush site today! Yay! HERE.
  • A video! At the start of the London launch party, I was interviewed by; you can hear the party noise all around. That party was such fun. English book bloggers and booksellers! And one Welsh blogger, at least, who'd taken the train all the way :-) 

with the lovely interviewer; photo by my dear friend Lori who came from Amsterdam for the party!

Quickly, on the subject of London, this was awesome. The YA bookseller at Waterstones Picadilly, the BIGGEST BOOKSTORE IN EUROPE (a beauty!) keeps a display of American YA titles that she imports, that are not published in the UK. Her name is Nicole, and she has really great taste in books. Check this out!

Anna and the French Kiss, right on top. Yay, Steph! Also, John Green, Daisy Whitney, Libba Bray, and more. A very good shelf, don't you think?

Okay, I think I've heard the IKEA fairy won't come so long as you're awake, so I'm off to bed to read. READ! (The Red Glove, by Holly Black!) I'm so so so so so SO behind on books, I keep meaning to take a picture of the most pressing stack, but it's so depressing. Please someone, is there no way to STOP TIME? So I can READ??? Preferably in a hammock in a private tropical cove? In the shade? With spearfishing interludes, and swimming with a knife strapped to my thigh? And frolicking, and watching Clementine frolic. Frolic. What a word.

With that, good night!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Lovely display from the Boulder Bookstore.

Hi! I'm briefly home in Portland before the final leg of my tour (California! Come see me :-), and it is so nice to be here, even in the midst of the still-not-unpacked house mess. Such an unreal few weeks this has been, kind of feels like someone took scissors and snipped around it and it is just outside of and apart from real life entirely. Being on book tour. Weird. I am working on a longer post, but for now I just want to post the AWESOME that is happening! 


  • I mentioned I was interviewed live on the Woman's Hour on BBC 4 Radio while in London. That was scary and fabulous. Here's THE LINK if you want to listen; it's not long. And so I didn't get to feeling it was too serious or anything, the next segment is on making fish pie, ha ha :-) (Another BBC spot upcoming later this month; more on that later!
  • HOLY SMOKES! ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY! As if the Must List wasn't enough, a review! An A-!! Thank you so much, Entertainment Weekly, I love you!

  • And, um, still processing this one. THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW. They liked it!  

Now, off to pizza and kid's music with mah bebbies. Cheers!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

From London to Vail: how lucky am I???

A quick dispatch from the road! Sorry for the dearth of blogging. I miss it!
It is very strange for me to be without either my camera or my laptop. Instead I have my phone
and a dinky little cute notebook computer that is NOT A MAC.
The horror! Ha ha. I feel handicapped on this thing!

Anyway, long story short, I have been to London (!!) and then to Vail, Colorado (!!)
and now I am in Boulder with Jim and Clementine, full of good food and a day of laughter.
Happy happy happy :-)

Real blog posts will have to wait, but for now, some images ...

Holy smokes, I was on the radio! The above is in a booth talking to BBC Scotland.
That one was recorded, but earlier in the morning I was LIVE. And on BBC 4 Radio,
which they tell me has massive listenership. YIPE! I was so nervous, but it was fun!
I don't have a link yet to hear it (I haven't heard it yet!),
but Jim and my Hodder publicist Eleni gave me the thumbs up
so WHEW!

(also, I like my biceps in that picture! That is pure toddler-lifting muscle!)

I also signed lots of books!

This is in the office, but I also got to go to lots of bookstores,
including THE BIGGEST BOOKSTORE IN EUROPE: Waterstones Piccadilly,
which was absurdly gorgeous and will be the site of an entire day's leisure on some future London trip,
I vow it.

Look, Piccadilly Circus!

There was also an amazing party, at an amazing place called, get this,
The Worship Street Whistling Shop. How fabulous is that???
And the food! (Dry ice merengues that made your nose smoke, "chocolate air,")
And the drinks! A bespoke cocktail that started smoky grey and turned PINK.
And the site. And the guests! Bloggers, booksellers, I love you.
Hodder & Stoughton, I love you. Kate, Eleni: lovelove :-)

Jim and I got dolled up a bit:

(I will have more pictures of the party!!!)

There was more, oh more. I hope I can get it all together to show.
So WEIRD traveling without my camera!!! Weird and meager!)

Anyway, back to the States, to Vail, Colorado for the Sirens conference,
which was so great. Much more later. The key thing up front was that CLEMENTINE was there!
Ten days without her, oh man, too long. Toooooooooo long!


The aspens were changing. Um, wow?

Check out these costumes from the Monster Ball. Just a glimpse:

On the left, that's the lovely Faye Bi from Little, Brown, dressed as...
Marionette Zuzana!! Best. Surprise. EVER!

I am going to bed now. I miss you!

P.S. HOLY CR** Daughter is reviewed in the current Entertainment Weekly. A-!!! Wheeee!
Too clutzy to link or post a pic right now. I hope you will SEE IT!

*heart heart heart*

Sleep well, blogland :-)

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Isn't that photo wonderfully creepy?
Thanks to the great girls at Dana Hall School in Wellesley MA for a fun day!

I'm rushing for an airport pickup now. Off to London!

Had an amazing first leg of the tour. Thanks so much to everyone who came out
in Illinois, Michigan, Massachussets, and Connecticut, and adjoining states!
I'm so moved by people who drove far. And near, of course.
Thank you SO MUCH.
I am having a blast!

If you are still awaiting word, I'm sorry that there are no public events in the UK this time.

More soon and more photos.

This one is me saying hello to Daughter in Target!

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