I thought I'd share this fan video (way pre-contest) as a little inspiration. Remember this?
I just love it.
(Thank you, Christine Dengel :-)
For more inspiration, go HERE and scroll to the bottom to see the publisher trailers. These are pro and polished; that's not key. But it's fun to see the totally different look and feel between the US and UK versions. Love them both!
Hi there! I haven't posted about Clementine's favorite books in a while. There hasn't been a really clear favorite in a while, but this one is up for its third consecutive read (at 144 pp), and she's quoting it at random, so I think it qualifies. It's The Wizard's Tale by Kurt Busiek, illustrated by David T. Wenzel. It's a kid-appropriate, gorgeously painted graphic novel, and it is wonderful.
(from the flap):
Welcome to the Land of Ever-Night. Bafflerog Rumplewhisker is an evil wizard, from a long line of evil wizards. It's his job to maintain the darkness spells that keep his corner of Ever-Night as dark and gloomy as the rest of it, and to find the long lost BOOK OF WORSE, which holds magical spells that can crush the forces of good forever.
There's only one problem: his heart's just not in it.
So what's a kind-hearted evil wizard to do, when he has to go on a quest to end all hope and light and freedom, for everyone in the world?
Master storytellers Kurt Busiek and David T. Wenzel invite you to join Bafflerog and his companions -- Gumpwort, an enchanted toad who was once a wizard himself, and Muddle, the third son of a woodcutter who's convinced he'll one day be king -- as they make a journey that may mean the end of everything.
Or maybe, just maybe .... it could mean something else.
* * *
We weren't sure if it would be Clementine-appropriate, but all the quotes on the back seemed promising, calling it "sweet" and "light" and "warm" and "heartwarming," and it really is just fine, content-wise. It's a high fantasy about evil wizards and the struggle between good and evil, and there's no killing in it, which is awesome. It's a bit tricky trying to find books that have meatier stories for a lengthening attention span and an increasingly sophisticated mind, but that are still age-appropriate for a very young child. This one is! It is a little tense on the first read, when a young reader won't be sure how scary it's going to get. A couple of parts seem to be gearing up to get scary, but they're never over-the-top. It's funny, silly, and cute, with a lovely, unlikely friendship at its center. Also, it's beautiful, with page after page of detailed paintings like these:
Highly recommended for kids of all ages. Buy it HERE -- or better yet at your local comic book store, and if you're interested in reading more about it, including how it came to be, see HERE. Really interesting piece.
Beautiful, as everything that Hodder & Stoughton does :-) I believe that the paperback with be out in the UK in August.
By the way, I tucked myself away in a hotel last week for a couple of days of intensive writing, like I did last year while finishing DAYS -- though I am not in this case on the brink of finishing book 3 (title to be announced SOON, yayyy!). I did have a chunk of scenes I was hoping to put to bed, and though I didn't get quite as far as I wanted, it was a really productive shut-in couple of days. It was so shut-in, in fact, that I forgot to even bring a hairbrush, so that if I wanted to emerge into the light of day for a coffee run (inessential, as I had a coffee maker in the room), I looked ... interesting. It proved to be additional impetus to not leave the room! Ha. Ploys. I also make sure not to have a wireless connection on these mini-retreats, and I don't bring a book with me, and I don't turn on the TV. Key: never emerge from the spell of your story.
Speaking of writing retreats, I had the wonderful pleasure, yesterday, of finally meeting Cassandra Clare in person, while she was in Portland on her extravaganza promotional bus tour!! I am a big fan, so it was a treat, and she is so much fun, so funny and smart. It was fabulous, on top of which Sarah Rees Brennan is traveling with her, and local author Sara Ryan was along too, and we had the most wonderful dinner and gab. (Gab? Really, Laini? Yeah, I'm gonna go with it. Gab.) Anyway, Cassie and Sarah do a lot of writing retreats in wonderful places with wonderful writer friends. It's really quite a dream. This is a fairly new idea for me. I mean, I always knew about/heard about retreats, but I mean the idea that one might not be able to incorporate the main portion of one's work into one's daily life, but have to set aside dedicated chunks of time to it, apart from regular life. I always envisioned writing as part of the day, and so it would be immensely frustrating when other commitments -- life, but also all the non-writing things that writing demands, like PR etc -- would shove writing out the window.
When I was up against the deadline on DAYS, I did my first mini-retreat, and was astonished at what I got done in just two days, when shut away in a quiet room. I did it again during revisions, I think it was three days, and again was astonished by the productivity. I'll probably pull a couple more before this book is through. I'm just mentioning it here to plant the seed for those of you who might not have considered it before. It doesn't have to be a villa in Italy -- in fact, probably best if it's not. No lure to sightsee! I still incorporate writing daily, but there's just something about having a whole bunch of uninterrupted time, never leaving the story. Massive increases of word count = happiness :-)
Hello there! EXCITING NEWS!!!! Daughter of Smoke & Bone is one step closer to becoming a movie! Some of the press releases are below. You know we have an amazing producer, and a fantastic studio. And now a screenwriter is on board! His name is Stuart Beattie, he's from Australia, and he has been in the business for a long time, and has penned a bunch of big, intricate movies as well as smaller, more intimate ones. Collateral! Thirty Days of Night! Pirates of the Caribbean! I've read some of his scripts and they're awesome. We met in LA last month and he blew us all away with his ideas for the adaptation, and then Universal flew Stuart up to Portland a couple of weeks ago so that we could go over notes on the treatment. Now the first draft of the script is in the works. I couldn't be happier!
Hi all! You know I love foreign editions, and today I've gotten some awesomely fun foreign edition love. First, check out the:
COMPLETELY BAD-ASS DUTCH COVER:
sent to me over Twitter by the book designer. Thank you!!!
Isn't it so cool???? Now I just need to go back to Amsterdam and see it in a shop window!
Next, arrived in my mailbox today:
THE ESTONIAN DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE!!!!!
You guys. Estonian!!!!! :-)
And lastly for today, the video book trailer for:
THE FILIPINO EDITION:
(I've learned via Twitterites that the English edition has been available in the Philippines for a while, and this edition is for the Tagalog-speaking market; I'm also told this publisher does mainly paperback Harlequin-type romances, so I wonder how it will go over!)
This is a great time to remind you about the BOOK TRAILER CONTEST!!! Deadline is May 1; you see above some ideas of how you could do this without shooting original video. It's funny, actually, this publisher pirated some photos that a lovely reader, Katherine, who lives in Hong Kong, staged of herself as Karou while she was in Prague! I'm not sure where they got them, but they look GREAT in the trailer; it's not really kosh to pirate pics, of course!!!
I'll have info any day on the youtube channel that my fabulous UK publisher has put together for posting entries. Soon!
And P.S. Big thanks to everyone who supported POISON today, its launch day, or plan to support it in coming days. It's coming alone into the world. Help it feel welcome :-)
Hi readers, friends, and stoppers-by! Some of you may recognize Bridget Zinn, above, and know her story. Bridget Zinn was a vital, beautiful, talented, book-loving librarian and writer who passed away from cancer in 2011 at the age of 33. Some time before this happened, Bridget had sold her debut novel to Hyperion, and during her lengthy cancer treatment, she worked on revisions when she could. It seems maybe a footnote to the tragedy of her loss that her book had not yet been published at the time of her death; of course, of all the things that suck about Bridget dying so young, that's a lesser suck, but a suck it is. It would've been cool if Bridget could have seen people holding her book, and heard how much they loved it.
Well. Poison is finally coming out this week, and it would be absolutely lovely if you would help spread the word about it, and of course, read it! If you are in or near Portland, it would be exceptionally lovely if you would come and celebrate its release with a number of Bridget's writer friends, myself included, at A Children's Place this Saturday, March 16, at 6 pm.
But first, a little about the book!
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses. Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
Kirkus Reviews says, "Don't let the title or cover fool you! No grimdark teen fantasy or angst-y heroines here; just a frothy confection of a fairy tale featuring poisoners, princesses, perfumers and pigs, none of whom are exactly what they appear (except maybe the pigs)…. Good silly fun—a refreshing antidote to a genre overflowing with grit and gloom."
"A frothy confection of a fairy tale featuring poisoners, princesses, perfumers, and pigs!"
Doesn't that sound wonderful? It is. It's a light-hearted adventure-fantasy-romance that's suitable for younger teens, but also really fun for adults. I first read it when the ARC came out last year, and have been rereading it, and enjoying it so much!
If you'd like to order it, you can do so at your local bookstore (or library), or:
Or, best option: contact A Children's Place to pre-order a copy signed by some Portland-area YA writers, including me, who will be reading and signing in Bridget's place! They can take phone orders and ship. Better yet, of course if you can come in person! There will even be cupcakes!
Read more about the book and Bridget here, and please help spread the word! Sincerest thanks. XO.
Hi! Nothing weird about this Wednesday, actually. It's drizzly and Clementine and Jim are getting over being sick. Yesterday was lazy in the extreme. Between acrobatic acts of catching child-vomit in a bowl (sorry for that visual), we watched Anne of Green Gables, and I read a fair chunk of Splendors and Glooms, which is wonderful so far, living up to one of my fave-ever middle grade books, A Drowned Maiden's Hair, also by Laura Amy Schlitz. Today I am back to work. Yay! Almost back to work. First some random weirdness from the pin board:
Weird things to wear!
It all began with this knitted balaclava from a 70s craft book.
Utterly terrifying, no?
And look! More freaky face balaclavas! Was this a thing?
It's totally a family portrait!!!
This is a "wild man" costume of some sort, a real ritual/myth thing; more here:
Just ... fashion? I'm so getting that hat.
What's weirder? Face mask skirt or naked Barbie skirt? Obviously the face masks are weirder.
This, apparently, is snow storm protection.
But they don't look dressed for a snow storm, so I'm thinking it's fashion.
Hi guys! I kept hearing about this talk on Twitter so I just watched it, and WOW. It's really moving. I admired Amanda Palmer already, without really knowing that much about her (I had to miss her and Neil Gaiman live on stage in Portland when Clementine was wee and got sick) and this is just ... terrific.
Based on the title, and my general non-knowing of what she's about, I didn't really expect to be so personally affected by it, but now I think that is what Amanda Palmer just does. She personally affects people. That's what she's about. Which is extraordinary. Here you go :-)
Great, no? So INSPIRING!!!
(Technical note: how do these people memorize and deliver their TED talks so fluidly? Wow.)
Also, tangentially related (by marriage, that is :-) ...