Friday, January 29, 2010


The author:

Today I'm pleased to welcome another debut author, Anna Jarzab. Anna knows the 'burbs. She grew up in a suburb outside of Chicago and then traded that in for a suburb in San Francisco’s East Bay area, where ALL UNQUIET THINGS is set. Despite spreading herself paper thin doing things like editing the University's literary journal and serving on the Peer Judicial Board, she graduated from Santa Clara University and went on to earn her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She lives and writes in New York City.

The book:

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

Publisher's Weekly calls ALL UNQUIET THINGS "a tense and immersive thriller" and School Library Journal says it's a "rich, psychological mystery." Booklist adds that "the story hooks readers immediately."

The Interview:

What inspired you to write All Unquiet Things?
There wasn't anything in particular that inspired me to write it, it was just a book that grew out of a seed over a long period of time--and that seed was Neily. It was almost like he was born, and then I had to figure out what sort of trouble he could get himself in to. All Unquiet Things is the result of that very prolonged process.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
No, not at all, although I think most of my main characters have something in themselves that's a part of my personality, but none of them is an actual true-to-life portrait of me or anyone else.

What excites you?

What turns you off?

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang outwith you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
Probably Nancy Mitford. I'd love to hear her gossip bitchily about all the rich and famous people she knew. Also, I would insist that the weekend retreat was her house in France.

Have you always been interested in mysteries?
I don't think of myself as a mystery reader, because I honestly don't read that many, but I've always been a fan of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. I went through a huge Mary Higgins Clark phase in junior high, same with Stephen King, so those five are probably my heaviest mystery influences. I always love a literary mystery, though; Tana French writes some amazing murder mysteries that are also beautifully executed and totally compelling.

Who are some of your favorite mystery writers?
LOL, see above.

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
I don't really believe in a "muse" per se, I just believe in working really hard and then taking a break when the struggle becomes insurmountable. I find that my greatest moments of inspiration come as a surprise when I'm feeling exhausted and at my wits' end with a book. I do like to read over what I've written on the screen while holding a book (whatever book I'm reading, usually) and miming turning the pages, which is sort of weird and ritualistic. I also write in incredibly short burst. Five minutes writing, interspersed with five minutes reading or surfing the Internet or watching a DVD. I'm constantly bouncing back and forth, which I find actually makes me more productive.

What songs would make the playlist for All Unquiet Things?
I actually put together a whole playlist for AUT, which you can find on my website. But definitely some of the most influential songs for me are "What a Good Boy" by the Barenaked Ladies, "Perfect Crime #2" by the Decemberists, "At Your Funeral" by Save Ferris, and "Who Will Love Me Now?" by (I think) PJ Harvey. There's a ton of songs on the soundtrack, though.

What's your favorite quote?
"You've no idea how long life goes on and how many, many changes it brings. Young people seem to imagine that it's over in a flash, that they do this thing, or that thing, and then die, but I can assure you they are quite wrong." It's from Nancy Mitford's brilliant comic novel, Love in a Cold Climate. I like it because I'm the type of person who always believes that, for better or for worse, things will remain exactly as they are forever and nothing will change. I always have to remind myself that life is long and things are constantly changing. Nothing lasts forever, but the good news is that nothing lasts forever.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on another mystery set in California about a recent high school graduate who mysteriously disappears. Did he run away? Did he take his own life? Was he hurt or killed? You'll have to read to find out.

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
I use a lot of dashes, especially in dialogue but everywhere, really. I also write "once and a while" instead of "once in a while" ALL THE TIME.

If All Unquiet Things were made into a movie, who would you like to see in the role of Audrey? Neily? Carly?
I think it'd have to be all unknowns, but if we're just going with names people would recognize, I like Johnny Simmons or Kyle Gallner for Neily (you can check them both out in Jennifer's Body), Amanda Seyfried for Audrey, and Amber Tamblyn for Carly. They're all sort of too old to be playing high schoolers anymore, but in Hollywood you're in high school until you're 30, so whatever.

The freebie:
Anna is offering a signed copy of ALL UNQUIET THINGS to this week's lucky winner.
To be entered to win, leave a comment below, describing how much you want to read this book!
This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, February 3.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winner! And... What's Up?

On the iPod: Halfway Gone by Lighthouse

The winner of CAPTIVATE by Carrie Jones is: *drumroll...*

Robin Cain

Congratulations! Please send your mailing instructions to gerb(@) lindagerber (dot) com and we'll get that sent out to you!

Everyone else, be sure to come on back this Friday for another freebie when we welcome debut author Anna Jarzab to the blog. Anna will be giving away a signed copy of her debut novel, ALL UNQUIET THINGS.

What's up this week?

Singing the Praises of the Unsung - The best YA you've never read. (Yannabe) Any of your favorites not on these lists?

The iPad makes its debut Looks like a big iPhone.

Book trailer debates - where do you stand? Is it effective/a Good Idea to promote books with movie-style trailers?

Speaking of trailers (Fused Film) I blogged about Books to Movies coming in 2010 over at TFC and worried about Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But the trailer is out now and it looks like fun!

Ugly Betty meets Glee? (EW) Is Huge the next big thing?

YALSA's Top Ten Books For Young Adults List (YALSA) Yay, Donna Jo!

And finally, happy release week to Geraldline McCaughrean (
THE DEATH-DEFYING PEPPER ROUX), Sara Shepard (HEARTLESS), Jen Nadol (THE MARK), Hilari Bell (PLAYER'S RUSE), Ridley Pearson (STEEL TRAPP) and Stacy Jay (UNDEAD MUCH?)!

Today's youtube linkie... Remember the Thriller dancing inmates? They're back with Michael Jackson's own choreographer, Travis Payne:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Freebie Friday with Carrie Jones

On the iPod: Explain by Faunts

The author:

Today I'm proud to welcome GCC sister Carrie Jones to the blog. Carrie is one of my favorite authors not only because I love her writing, but because she cracks me up. Here are nine fun facts about Carrie:
1. Carrie can not drink coffee. It makes her insane. Do not give her caffeine.
Carrie is very responsive to loving strokes on the hair, kind of like a puppy. However, do not do this without asking first unless you are a ridiculously handsome man or an editor who is about to offer her a trillion dollars for the first draft of her novel.
Carrie is secretly really, really shy even though she’s pathetically outgoing in person. She has a very hard time calling people. So, if you want to talk to her, make the first move. And, if you’re her in-Maine female best friend, Jennifer, do NOT get mad at her because she is so bad at returning emails.
Carrie sometimes wears mismatched socks, if you do not think this is cool, do not tell her. You will hurt her feelings.
Carrie really, really wants you to like her books. Please like her books. PLEEEAASSSEEEE. She’ll be your best friend forever. That is, if you want a friend who is shy about calling and emailing and who wears mismatched socks and can’t drink caffeine and likes being pet on the head. Hhmmm….
Carrie is not above begging.
7. Carrie, like Belle in TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (ex) BOYFRIEND drinks Postum. It’s for the same reason, too.
Carrie loves Great Pyrenees dogs. They are huge and white, and furry and it looks like they have white eyeliner and mascara on, which is way too cute. Do you have one? Send a picture!
Carrie lives in Maine. She has a hard time with this in the winter. It is bleak in Maine in the winter. Imagine everything shades of gray and brown and no green anywhere except for in people’s noses. This is Maine in Winter. Maine in summer is the best place in the world, so it’s a trade-off. Feel free to invite Carrie to your house in the winter, but not if it’s in Greenland, Canada, or anywhere north of Florida.

Forget that. She’d still probably come.

The book:

CAPTIVATE just debuted at #7 on the NYT hardcover list! (Read about this and Carrie's other great news here.)

Here's the official blurb:
In this NYT-Bestselling sequel to NEED, Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Publisher's Weekly says "Genre fans will enjoy the sizzle between Nick and Zara" and calls it an "exciting venture filled with nasty, evil creatures, nail biting action and heart-pounding romance." About Carrie, VOYA says she "masterfully blends paranormal fantasy, suspense, and romance to craft a new supernatural tale that is certain to appeal 
to fans of dark urban fantasy like Marr's Wicked Lovely and paranormal romances like Meyer's Twilight books."

You can read more about Carrie on her website, from the official Need website (This is where sneak peaks and contests are. You can win a computer. Seriously!), on her facebook page, or on the facebook fan page.

The Interview:

What inspired you to write CAPTIVATE?
It’s a sequel. I wanted to see what would happen next. I am curious that way.

Have you ever done any of the things Zara does in the book?
Yes, I have:
a. eaten food
b. kissed a hot guy
c. driven off the road because it was icy
d. written letters for Amnesty International
But I have not:
a. met a werewolf
b. or a pixie (that I know of)
c. hung out in a hotel room with a guy I barely know

Have you ever had a premonition? What happened?
All the time. It is usually about airplane crashes, people dying, people cheating, people getting hurt, natural catastrophes.

If you could hang out with any literary character, who would you choose and why?
Wilde's The Canterville Ghost or Ron Weasley’s owl. I’m into owls.

Have you ever had your numbers done? Did they reveal anything about you?
They said I was special. Thank you numbers! Honestly, I think my mother put them up to it.

Are you superstitious?
I am very superstitious about talking about superstitions. * lowers voice * However, I do believe if a cat sits on your book it will sell. This is why I put cat nip on all my prepublished pages.

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
Mostly I just beg.

What songs would make the playlist for CAPTIVATE?
There are soooo many, but here are a couple:
Mad Girl's Love Song:
Nobody's Home:
Who Knows:
Feels Like Tonight:

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I like men in uniform and I sleep with strudel every night.

What's your favorite quote?
There are so many.
“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway” – John Wayne

What are you working on now?
The third book in the NEED series. There will be updates and stuff here: Also, my publisher is having a win-a-computer contest there.
I’m also working on two picture books and a horror novel with Steve Wedel.

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
Strudel. That’s all I can say. My mom might read this.

If CAPTIVATE were made into a movie, who would you like to see in the role of Zara?
That is so hard because no actress is perfectly Zara, you know? I’m currently going to say Lea Michelle because of how she looks, plus I’d like her to see her acting chops outside of GLEE.

What kind of chocolate best describes you?
An XOX Caramel Truffle.

The Freebie:
Carrie is generously offering a signed copy of CAPTIVATE to this week's lucky winner. To be entered to win, leave a message below, telling us what kind of strudel you like best! This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, January 27.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winner and What's Up Wednesday

On the i-Pod: I'll Stand by You - Glee Cast

Thanks everyone for sharing your mottos! The winner of Dia Reeves' BLEEDING VIOLET is:

I Heart Book Gossip

Please send your mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get that sent out to you. Be sure to write "winner" in the subject line so it won't get lost in my inbox!
Everyone else, join us on Friday for another Freebie, featuring GCC sister and NYT bestseller, Carrie Jones!

What's up this week?

Haiti is still in desperate need. If you haven't already, you can send donations by texting "Haiti" to 90999 on your cell. It will send $10 to the American Red Cross. Every little bit helps.

Closer to home - I had to send my Macbook away for repairs. Yeah, I know. Not such an important development to anyone besides me. But really. I feel nekkid without that Macbook in my hands! I've been forced to use our PC desktop. (Gasp!) The good thing is the repairs won't take long and Apple is covering them.

Want another chance to win a copy of Rhonda Stapleton's STUPID CUPId? Fictionistas has a contest for you!

For anyone intersted, The Farmer's Daughter Bookshelf is featuring an interview with yours truly this week.

Congratulations to TFC sister Alyson Noel, whose book EVERMORE made the USA TODAY Top Selling Books of 2009 list!

And huge Release Week kudos to Rachel Cohn VERY LEFREAK, Alexandra Bullen WISH, Crystal Velasquez YOUR LIFE, BUT BETTER, Ariela Anhalt FREEFALL, Kashmira Sheth BOYS WITHOUT NAMES, Frank Cottrell Boyce COSMIC, Geraldine McCaughrean THE DEATH-DEFYING PEPPER ROUX, Sara Shepard HEARTLESS: PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, Jen Nadol THE MARK, Hilari Bell PLAYER'S RUSE and Ridley Pearson THE ACADEMY: STEEL TRAPP!

This Week's You Tube linkie:

Friday, January 15, 2010

FREEBIE FRIDAY with Dia Reeves

What's on the iPod - Bad Romance by Lady Gaga

The author:

Big welcome, Dia Reeves, to this week's Freebie Friday! Dia's debut YA novel, BLEEDING VIOLET, hit the shelves just last week.

When she’s not out manning space missions for NASA and scaring little children, Dia spends her time tweeting naughty stuff and reading and writing eleventy billion books, though usually not at the same time. She is a librarian who lives in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Her family, however, grew up in East Texas and has inspired her with many tales from the area.

The book:

Here's the official book jacket blurb for BLEEDING VIOLET:

Love can be a dangerous thing....

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

(Cool! Sounds like my kind of book!)

Kirkus calls BLEEDING VIOLET a “fast-paced (almost manic) page-turner... Captivating” and Publisher's Weekly says it's "Dark and stylish." Booklist calls Hanna an "unusual heroine with a poignant, memorable voice."

The Interview:

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?

I'd never write about people I know. They're almost as boring as I am.

What excites you?
Fan art! A girl sent me some Bleeding Violet fan art, and that pretty much made my year.

What turns you off?
Intolerance. Bathroom humor. People who say, "Because I deserve it."

Why purple?
A lot of people think purple is my favorite color, but it's not. Even though I've been in denial about it for years, pink is actually my favorite color. For BLEEDING VIOLET, I just picked a random color for Hanna to be obsessed with.

What songs would make the playlist for BLEEDING VIOLET?
I love music questions. :) A girl named Jessica introduced me to a song by !!! called "All My Heroes Are Weirdos" so I'd definitely put that on the list. There are a few songs I mention in the book, like "Gloomy Sunday" by Billie Holiday, "Poems" by Tricky (that's the song that's playing while Hanna is looking at the sculptures on the wall in Wyatt's bedroom), and "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses. Then I'd have to add "I'll Stay" by Funkadelic because it's romantic and "Where Is My Mind" by Pixies because it's completely insane. There are about a million songs I could add to this list, but I'll quit while I'm ahead.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I threw up in a Blockbuster store when I was a kid. I think that's why they're struggling now with finances and things--they never recovered from the grossness.

What's your favorite quote?
"I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove." -- Vincent Van Gogh. I like that quote because writers get a lot of feedback--from people who love their stuff, from people who hate it. In the midst of all that noise, it's easy to start doubting yourself or to become obsessed with trying to please everyone. The quote helps me remember that I can only be myself, and that people will either get that, or they won't.

What are you working on now?
STRANGE FRUIT is with my editor right now. It takes place in the same town as BLEEDING VIOLET, but it’s not a sequel. It's the story of two sisters who are the daughters of a convicted serial killer. They kill people just like their dad, but unlike him, they only kill bad guys. It outweirds BLEEDING VIOLET by about 20%.

If BLEEDING VIOLET were made into a movie, who would you like to see in the role of Hanna?
Hanna is biracial. Do you know of any young, biracial actors? If you think of any, let me know.

You can read more about Dia and BLEEDING VIOLET on her website, on facebook, or by following her on twitter.

The freebie:

Up for grabs this week is a signed copy of BLEEDING VIOLET. To be entered to win, leave a comment below answering this question from Dia's Simon and Schuster profile: What is your motto or maxim?

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, January 20.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WInner and What's Up Wednesday

What's on the iPod? Break on Through --The Doors

By random drawing, the winner of Irene Latham's LEAVING GEE'S BEND is:


Please send your mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get that sent out to you. Everyone else, come on back this Friday as we welcome another debut author, Dia Reeves and her book, BLEEDING VIOLET.

What's up this week?
As you might have noticed in the sidebar, TRANCE has a cover! Here it is again - because I love uploading it. Yes, I love Puffin and the cover gods. They have been very good to me. More information on TRANCE will be headed your way in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Lisa McMann is made of awesome. Besides the obvious, I'll tell you why soon, I promise...
Meanwhile, if you haven't entered her "Don't Let Your Dream Fade" Sweepstakes, what are you waiting for? You could win $1000 to pursue your dream.

IMPORTANT: Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake earlier this week. You can help the relief efforts by testing HAITI to 90999 to send $10 to American Red Cross Relief efforts.

And while you're in a giving mood, don't forget the Five Awesome YA Fans support of Devyn Burton's Book Transfusion. Check it out:

And finally, Happy Release Week to

Mari Mancusi BAD BLOOD, Dia Reeves BLEEDING VIOLET, Julie Anne Peters BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I'LL BE DEAD, Shannon and Dean Hale CALAMITY JACK, Carrie Jones CAPTIVATE, Lisa Schroeder CHASING BROOKLYN, Eileen Cook

That's a lot of good books - and I know I missed a lot of releases this week. Better get reading!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Freebie Friday with Irene Latham

I'm going to try something a little different this year.

There are so many fabulous authors and books making a spash with their debut novels, I thought it would be cool to highlight some of them on the blog this year. So, in the Freebie Friday mix, you'll have a chance to meet many of this year's debut MG and YA authors (and win stuff from them!) You can check out some of the upcoming books and authors at The Tenners - 2010: A Book Odyssey, Authors Now, and Class of 2K10. While you're at it, sign up for the Story Siren's 2010 Debut Author Challenge.

Today, I'm pleased to introduce you to Irene Latham, whose MG novel, LEAVING GEE'S BEND made it's bookshelf debut yesterday. (Happy release, Irene!!!)

Irene is a poet, novelist, traveler, dreamer, mom and quilter who lives in Birmingham, Alabama. I could easily identify with Irene as a kindred spirit because she has also traveled the world with her family and likes to use "research" as an excuse to see more places. Irene's experiences have inspired over 120 published poems and her new book, as you'll see.

Here's the official backcover blurb for LEAVING GEE'S BEND:

Ludelphia Bennett may be blind in one eye, but she can still put in a good stitch. Ludelphia sews all the time, especially when things go wrong.

But when Mama goes into labor early and gets deathly ill, it seems like even quilting won’t help. That’s when Ludelphia decides to do something drastic—leave Gee’s Bend for the very first time. Mama needs medicine that can only be found miles away in Camden. But that doesn’t stop Ludelphia. She just puts one foot in front of the other.

What ensues is a wonderful, riveting and sometimes dangerous adventure. Ludelphia weathers each challenge in a way that would make her mother proud, and ends up saving the day for her entire town.

One of my all-time favorite authors, Richard Peck, calls LEAVING GEE'S BEND "a beautifully stitched quilt of a novel." First Draft Magazine says it's a "stunning debut." I think we all need to read it and find out what we're missing!

The interview:

What inspired you to write Leaving Gee's Bend?
I was inspired to write this book in 2003 when my husband and I traveled to New York City and viewed the Quilts of Gee's Bend art exhibit at the Whitney Museum. Although I live only 120 miles from Gee's Bend, it wasn't until then that I became aware of the art and history of Gee's Bend. Something happened to me as I walked through those rooms... I was moved by the quilts and by the voices of the quilt makers. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know: What if your community was so remote and isolated that it didn't have a doctor, and your mother was seriously ill? What if you were black and you saw a white person for the very first time? What if you thought the whole world was just like what you saw from your front porch and found out it wasn't? What if you wanted to make a quilt but didn't have anything but scraps of cloth to work with?

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
They all have pieces of me in them... even the villain, Mrs. Cobb. But they weren't particularly modeled after any one person.

What excites you?
Wasp nests and sea shells and sweet gum balls... I love looking at things in nature through a jeweler's loupe (basically a magification device). Looking at the world from a different perspective opens the mind and heart to WONDER. I make time to this as often as possible, and it always makes me feel like I'm an ocean tide or wind brewing in the west.

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
Shel Silverstein. He's got the guitar, the drawing skills, the funny bone... sounds like fun to me!

Do you quilt?
My 2010 quilting project is a charm quilt, which means collecting 300 + squares of fabric, as in a charm quilt none of the fabrics repeat. So far I have about 30 square cut. Must get busy!!

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
Nope. I just WRITE. I was given a book called BECOMING A WRITER by Dorothea Brande, and it changed my life. It taught me how to keep the writing present, so that whenever I sit down, it's there, ready for me to access. It was a huge thing in my life, because at the time, my kids were small, and it seemed all I had was fifteen minute snatches of time here and there. And it's easy to let that be an excuse. Not anymore...

What's your favorite quote?
“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.” - Ray Bradbury

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
Despite what we're told, I don't believe in writing every day. To me, that would be like those people you see on vacation, the ones with the video camera capturing every single moment, so they can remember? Which means they aren't fully engaging in the vacation, which, ironically, would make it much more memorable. I think the most important part of the process takes place during the quiet times, the still times. It's really important to let a story marinate for a while - then it will pour out, tenderly, without the tough spots. I guess that's a quirk...

If Leaving Gee's Bend were made into a movie, who would you like to see in the role of Ludelphia?
I think Ludelphia should be one of those unknown kids, maybe like the kids they picked up from the slums for Slumdog Millionaire? But Mrs. Cobb -- I'm thinking Glenn Close would be just about perfect.

The freebie: Irene has generously offered a signed copy of LEAVING GEE'S BEND for this week's winner. To enter to win, leave a comment below, describing your favorite quilt. Maybe it's a beautiful work of art like the quilts Irene saw in the Gee's Bend exhibit. Maybe it's just a simple well-worn quilt you like to snuggle up in. Tell me about it and you're entered.

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, January 13.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

First GCC Tour of the Year - Eileen Cook

Starting 2010 off with a bang - today I'm happy to welcome GCC sister Eileen Cook to the blog. Eileen is celebrating the release of her new book, GETTING REVENGE ON LAUREN WOOD, available NOW!

Here's the official back cover blurb:

In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.

Eileen's writing has been called “Sassy and sly and sweet" (Meg Cabot). "pitch perfect" (Jacquelyn Mitchard) and "Smart and fun and full of heart." (Sarah Mlynowski.) You're not going to want to miss this book.

The interview:

What inspired you to write Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood?
The book was inspired in part by rereading The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s such a great revenge tale with secret identities, romance and betrayal between best friends. It made me think how things would play out if the story were to take place in a high school. Right then I was off and running with a story.

Have you ever sought serious revenge on a rival?
I haven’t ever done any of the evil revenge plans (at least for legal reasons I could never admit to it!) I came up with in the book, but I certainly have thought about it! Doesn’t everyone dream of getting someone back who really hurt us? When I started writing the book I couldn’t believe all the evil ideas for revenge that came to me.

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
Nothing in particular, but just to be on the safe side, I make sure to have lots of chocolate around.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I can’t do a cartwheel. I am nearly terminally clumsy. I fall over stray clumps of dust. I always wanted to be able to do a cartwheel, but my arms, legs and gravity refuse to work together. My mom even hired me a trainer when I was a kid to try and help me. No luck. I guess it is clear I will never make the Olympic gymnastics team.

What's your favorite quote?
Carpe Diem. It means seize the day. I think it is far too easy to let life slip away and become routine. I don’t want to be old and in a nursing home and realize I used up all of my life watching reruns of some TV show that I didn’t even like that much. I try and look for any chance to try something new, spend time with friends, enjoy the moment and be willing to take risks.

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
When I am stuck and am hitting a patch of writer’s block I have to leave the house and go write someplace in public (a coffee shop, restaurant, the library- anywhere public) and I have to handwrite versus using my laptop. For some reason this works.

If GETTING REVENGE ON LAUREN WOOD were made into a movie, who would you like to cast in the lead?
I’ve been asked this sort of question before and I stink at it. I come up with one name and then change my mind and then sit there and spend hours on IMDB trying to figure out a better plan B. Personally, I would like to cast Colin Firth so I could meet him, even though there is no real Colin Firth type character in the book. Thus, I will leave the casting to Hollywood as long as they promise to invite me to the fancy parties.

What kind of chocolate best describes you?
Dark Chocolate with nuts, that me- complex with a bunch of quirks!

Huge thanks to Eileen for starting the year off right! I'll see everyone on Friday for the decade's first freebie.

Happy New Year!