Mental Health, Hogwarts Houses, The Correct Pronunciation of Gif, and Other Strong Opinions

Obviously I’m a big fan of podcasting, so when the lovely people at Candlewick Press reached out to me about their podcast, Candlewick Press Presents, I was beyond excited. I had a fantastic conversation with the Candlewick team about writing, my time as a Candlewick intern, why I love social media, why I’m jealous of how good Walt is at titles, and more. (This didn’t even include the pre-recording conversation about which Candlewick team members would be in which Hogwarts houses, a topic we all take very seriously.)

You can hear my interview on iTunes and Stitcher, and make sure to check out the previous episodes, as well. They include interviews of amazing writers and illustrators like Aaron Becker, creator of gorgeous wordless picture books like Journey, and Lesléa Newman, author of the classic Heather Has Two Mommies. Can you hear my fangirling?

Thanks to the Candlewick team for including me in such a great project. Can’t wait to hear the rest of Candlewick Press Presents, season 1!

International Women’s Day and The Chance You Won’t Return Giveaway!

Amelia Earhart
Today is International Women’s Day and considering female pioneer of aviation Amelia Earhart plays into my novel in a big way, it seems like a fantastic day for a giveaway. First, a few cool facts about the famous aviatrix:

Want more historical trivia about Amelia Earhart (plus some family drama, driver’s ed, mental health, and kissing)? Enter this giveaway to win a signed copy of The Chance You Won’t Return! Entries are open until March 15.

Want bonus points? Share your favorite female historical figure (or figures, there are a lot of great ladies to choose from) in the comments!

 

Happy Amelia Earhart Day! Plus Giveaway!

Photograph showing Amelia Earhart sitting in the cockpit of an Electra airplane. (via Wikicommons)

Happy birthday, Amelia Earhart! Today would have been the famous pilot’s 118th birthday. Despite having been born over a hundred years ago and having disappeared over the Pacific seventy-eight years ago, she still fascinates and inspires the public. And, obviously, her presence and history are a big part of The Chance You Won’t Return.

What better way to celebrate Amelia Earhart’s birthday than to host a giveaway?

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a signed copy of The Chance You Won’t Return, plus some book swag and a few extra goodies. For extra entries, follow me on Facebook and Twitter, tweet with the hashtag #TCYWRgiveaway, and comment below about where you’d go if you could travel anywhere.

Thanks to Amelia Earhart for her continued inspiration, and happy Amelia Earhart Day to all my wonderful readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: Giveaway for US residents only. I love international readers, but postal is expensive.

Amelia Earhart’s Forgotten Footage

Some fun Amelia Earhart news for the week! A film of Amelia Earhart, taken just before her final attempted flight around the world, surfaced recently after sitting on a shelf for fifty years.

In 1937, Earhart was preparing for a flight around the world. Photographer Al Bresnik went to take pictures of Earhart at Burbank Airport, and his brother, John, joined him. Unbeknownst to anyone, John took a short film of Earhart, and his son discovered the contents of the film decades later. Check out some of the footage in the Associated Press clip below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnNrED6yWSw]

It’s unclear whether this footage was taken before her first attempt or second attempt, but either way it’s a look at Earhart within a year of her disappearance over the Pacific.

It doesn’t add a lot to Earhart’s history or clear up any details of her disappearance, but for me it’s a reminder that the public is still interested in her life and her story. Learning about her during the research process for The Chance You Won’t Return was awesome, and i loved realizing why Alex’s mom connected to Earhart so deeply. Even these little glimpses of her feel like they give us a clearer picture into who Earhart was and where she went.

The Chance You Won’t Return – Bookplates Are In!

One of my favorite things as an author is getting to sign copies of my book. It’s been awesome getting to meet and sign for readers at events, but it’s a little harder to sign copies for readers who don’t live in the general New England area.

Solution: bookplates!

photo 2I now have The Chance You Won’t Return bookplates (ie, stickers that you can put inside your book) that I can sign and send to readers across the country!

If you want a signed bookplate, check out my Contact page and let me know your contact info and if you’d like any personalization. Looking forward to sending these out!

My Interview with Aisha Saeed at Story and Chai

Today’s post comes via Story and Chai, a fantastic website about diverse narratives created by Jennifer Zobair. I’m talking with fellow YA author and agent-sister Aisha Saeed about The Chance You Won’t Return, mental health, writing from outside your own experience, and more.

Aisha asked lots of thoughtful questions, and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to talk about The Chance You Won’t Return and what I hope readers get out of it about Alex and her family’s situation.

Click through to see the full interview, and make sure to check out the rest of Story and Chai!

My Interview with the Fearless Fifteeners

Today I’m at the Fearless Fifteeners blog, talking with my wonderful agent-sister and 2015 debut author Anna-Marie McLemore about The Chance You Won’t Return, writing, romance, neurological differences, and what I’m not afraid of.

Anna-Marie asked some fantastic questions, and I’m excited to share the interview with you all. We actually had to cut some material because we talked too much. But here is a little of the extra Q&A:

I’ve heard you say that one of your favorite writing tips is not to develop writing rituals. How has this proven good advice for you?
I know I would use rituals as a crutch (“I only write at night!” “I need to have coffee while I write!”) so telling myself that rituals don’t get the work done means that I can potentially sneak in writing time anywhere/anytime. Not that I always do, but at least it’s one less excuse. 😉

Do you have any writing rituals that have crept in anyway? A favorite time of day to draft? A favorite drink or snack while revising?
As much as I love coffee and tea, my favorite writing beverage is lots and lots of water. Woohoo hydration! I also tend to like drafting at night, but that might be because I do the day job thing so most of my writing time is in the evening. My biggest ritual is probably having carefully crafted playlists for each project. I can write without them, but I love having a book soundtrack playing in the background for inspiration.

Make sure to check out the Fearless Fifteeners blog for the full interview, and get to know some awesome 2015 debut authors like Anna-Marie.

Books, Cake, and a Dress with Planes on It: The Chance You Won’t Return Launch Party

Being a writer can seem like a very solitary job. You spend a lot of time alone with your computer, thinking about imaginary people, and occasionally tweeting about things those imaginary people are doing. But sometimes you get a reminder that being a writer involves so many people, that it’s about connecting and sharing. Sometimes that reminder comes with cake. On Tuesday, I had the launch party for The Chance You Won’t Return at Porter Square Books, and it went so well. Check out some of the photos:

An awesome night like this doesn’t just happen. Some very special thanks to:

  • Porter Square Books for letting us use their fantastic space, for being so gracious and professional, and for being a kick-ass bookstore.
  • My incredible critique group who made t-shirts, got a delicious cake, did all of the pre-party prep, managed the crowd, and made me feel super supported. I’m so lucky to be part of this group.
  • The Candlewick Press team, aka, the best people in the publishing business. It was so cool to see some familiar and enthusiastic Candlewick faces in the crowd!
  • My friends and family who came out on a chilly Tuesday night to listen to me read, ask me great questions about writing, give me big hugs, and let me sign their books. I am overwhelmed by love.
  • The fine people of Modcloth who sold a dress with tiny airplanes on it. May all my future launch parties feature book-themed dresses.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out. I couldn’t have asked for a better launch party!

Books, Giveaways, and Cake: Launch Party for The Chance You Won’t Return

The Chance You Won’t Return is now available at your favorite bookstore, but the launch party is still to come! Come to Porter Square Books on Tuesday, April 29th at 7pm for:

  • book signings…
  • read aloud time…
  • questions and answers about writing, life, Amelia Earhart, never-have-I-ever…
  • hearing me talk about how awesome YA is…
  • cake!
  • giveaways!
Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967 (photographer) Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967 (photographer)
Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

But not just any giveaways! Come to the launch party in a TCYWR cover-inspired red hoodie and get a prize. Come to the launch dressed as Amelia Earhart and get a super special prize. Or just come to the launch party and get the chance to win your very own signed copy of The Chance You Won’t Return!

And even if you don’t win anything, there is still delicious cake–so really, everyone is a winner.

The details:

The Chance You Won’t Return launch party
April 29th, 7pm at Porter Square Books
RSVP to the Facebook event page

Hope to see you there!

April 22, 2014: The Chance You Won’t Return in the World

I’ve been saying “April 22, 2014” for a while now. At first in was in the context of, “Oh, my book isn’t coming out for a couple of years, plenty of time to get excited.” Then it was next year, then in about a year, then this year, then this month, then next week, then in a few days.

Now it’s today. My book, The Chance You Won’t Return, is officially in the world today.

It’s a staggering thought that still kind of feels unreal, even though I got to actually see a copy on store shelves over the weekend.

2014-04-19 09.18.36

Please ignore my gross sweatiness.

A lot of people have been asking me if I’m nervous or excited or etc. for publication and honestly, I’m feeling kind of zen about it. Because it’s not really my book anymore. It’s a reader’s book, and I really hope that there’s at least one reader out there who will connect with Alex and her world and struggles and hopes.

I’m so excited to see that today is April 22, and I know that I’ll always look back on today as an amazing day in my life. But it’s not just about seeing my book in print or on shelves or in stores–it’s about passing something I made onto readers who could maybe use this story right now.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped The Chance You Won’t Return on its road to publication, and to any and all future readers it may have.