Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I am GONE Though I am Here...

On the iPod: Voodoo Chili by Jimi Hendrix

Another on-the-run post.

The winner of 8th GRADE SUPERZERO is: Llehn

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

This week I'm rushing to meet a Monday deadline, so there will be no Freebie Friday (sorry) but be sure to come back next week for a chance to win a signed copy of Lisa McMann's GONE! (I'll be seeing her Tuesday at her Cincinnati signing (yay!))

(P.S. Extra points towards the GONE freebie to the first person who can accurately identify the line quoted in this post title. )

This week's video linkie because I love you guys:

Friday, February 19, 2010

FF - 8th GRADE SUPERZERO by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Wow, guys. I am so sorry. I meant to have this post up before I left for my crit group meeting, but I didn't make it! But it's still Friday, right? So here we go!

The author:

Today I'm happy to welcome another 2010 debut author, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. Don't you love her smile? ---------------------->
It's contagious. I can't help smiling right along with her.

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the daughter of a Nigerian father, a Jamaican mother, ,and married to a man of Croatian descent. She was born in New York City, and was the 'new kid' at school many times, in more than one country. She now lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York, where she loves working on crafts in many forms.

You can find out more about Olugbemisola on her website.

The Book:

Publisher's Weekly gave EIGHTH GRADE SUPERZERO a starred review, calling it “…a masterful debut…" Kirkus says it is written with "lively good humor." And Amazon choose it as a Best Book of the Month for January 2010!

The interview:

Are any of your characters based on real people (or cats) that you know?
I think that yes, in a sense, my characters include some part of everyone I know, or come across (including cats). There may be a moment, or personality trait, or mannerism that I incorporate into a character if it seems appropriate... A lot of the characters have the spirit of some of the people that I knew in junior high, and college.

What excites you?
Seeing my daughter make her own books and toys, the availability of diverse stories by people of colour, radio documentaries, snacks, making things, podcasts, the books of Jean Ray Laury, kids getting really excited about new books, the cover illustrations of Langston Hughes' The Best of Simple collection, Weston Woods videos, the prospect of travel, the moment right before I open a book that I just *know* is going to be good, the chance that I'll be surprised by a good story, getting ready to re-read an old favourite, oh! sharing an old favourite with my daughter!, Advent & Easter, 'adult' works by old favourite children's lit authors (like Elizabeth Enright's Doublefields), a really good meal that I feel comfortable enough to enjoy wholeheartedly, an opportunity to laugh, cheese, The Muppets, when SuperGrover comes on Sesame Street, rainbows, pants that fit, Martha Speaks, studying the Bible...I could go on.

What turns you off?
Rare meat. baby pink. the sound of my own voice. finding out that there's been food in my teeth for a while. the times when people, including myself, take themselves too seriously. People who go on for too long in meetings. People who complain about other people. Ahem.

How does one pronounce your name? : )
My first name? The closest I can offer is Oh-loo-bemmy-soul-ah. :)

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
I like to write with a pot of black tea by my side, and I usually say a quick prayer before I start. If I'm struggling, I might read a bit from a collection like Bird by Bird, The Rock That Is Higher, On Writing, The Creative Habit -- something inspirational/motivational.

What songs would make the playlist for 8th Grade Superzero?
That would be a *long* playlist! It would include music 'about' the book, and music that I listened to while I worked...some would be Ben Harper and The Blind Boys of Alabama's "There Will Be A Light", Bob Marley's "Redemption Song", Souad Massi's Raoui album, Jill Scott "A
Long Walk", Yo-Yo Ma's 6 Unaccompanied Bach Cello Suites, Cecile Licad's Schumann: Carnaval/Papillons/Toccata album, Ella Jenkins' You'll Sing a Song, I'll Sing a Song album, Odetta's This Little Light of Mine album at least twice, Pete Seeger's "If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus", Bonga's "Sa Ka Mache", Blind Melon's "No Rain", Prince's "Starfish and Coffee", Billy Joel's "River of Dreams", and Nneka's "Heartbeat"....Again, I could really go on and on!

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
I don't know how interesting it is, but a lot of people are surprised at how much I write longhand. For me, it's another revision opportunity; I think differently about the words and the work when I use different media to write.

The Freebie:

Olugbemisola is offering this week's winner a signed copy of EIGHT GRADE SUPERZERO. Since part of Reggie's growth in this book involves his service to the community, to be entered to win, leave a comment below telling one thing you can do this week to make a positive change for someone (including yourself).

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, February 24.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Everybody Wins!

On the iPod - No Time by The Guess Who
(not really, but it would be the perfect theme song for me this week!)

This is going to be a quick post. The combination of very sick child, broken clothes dryer that forces me to go to a laundromat, four snow days in the past week for the kids, possible strep for me, a foot of snow outside and a looming deadline has left me with zero time to blog.

So here's what we're going to do... Everyone who commented on Julie's interview wins. The first three to send me an email with their mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com get a signed THE IRON KING bookmark. Everyone else can have either a DEATH BY bookmark or, if they are willing to wait until mid-March, a shiny new TRANCE bookmark. Or both.

Oh, whatever... ANYONE who wants a TRANCE bookmark or two or three (and is willing to wait until mid-March to get it) go ahead and send me your mailing instructions, too and I'll put you on the list.

Meanwhile, do come back on Friday for another debut author interview with Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (ten points if you can say her name three times, fast!) author of 8th GRADE SUPERZERO.

Enjoy the rest of the week! See you Friday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

FF - THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa

On the iPod - Use Somebody by Kings of Leon

Finally! It's Friday. My son has been counting down to this day for months. Today we're going to see The Lightning Thief. I really hope it lives up to the book. Meanwhile, I am pleased to welcome debut author Julie Kagawa to the blog! Julie's celebrating the recent release of her first YA novel, THE IRON KING. Yay, Julie!

The author:

I'm taking Julie's bio straight from her website because it made me smile: Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.

You can learn more about Julie and the Iron Fey series on her website, her blog, on facebook, and by following her on twitter.

The book:

The interview:

What inspired you to write The Iron King?

I wanted to write a faery story that was different than the other fey stories I’d read. So I thought: what are the fey afraid of? In myth, the answer was iron, so what if there was a type of faery that had evolved to be completely immune, and how would that impact the more traditional fey? Then I thought of all the “monsters” lurking in machines: gremlins, worms, bugs, ect. And from that thought, the Iron Fey were born.

Are any of your characters based on real people (or cats) that you know?

People, not so much. Meghan and I share the same loner status I had in high school, but a lot of my inspiration comes from books, video games, and anime. (For instance, my villain is a straight-up Sephiroth, and props to those who know who he is!) With Grimalkin, I took everything I knew about cats and rolled them all into one sarcastic, arrogant, exasperating feline.

What excites you?

I'm going to assume you mean in a book, lol! Good characters obviously, romance, danger, and action. I’m a sucker for a great battle scene, and I love it when a story has some kind of sacrifice at the end. I also love assassins for some reason (look at Poison Study’s Valek and tell me he’s not sexy)


What turns you off?

Moopy goopy love scenes, mean-for-no-good-reason love interests, spineless heroines, fight scenes that make no sense or are completely illogical, and MARY SUES.

If you could invite anyone, living or dead, to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would it be and why?

Ooh, Neil Gaiman. He’s my hero. And he has a great voice. I could listen to him all day.

Does the Faery King look like David Bowie? :

AHAHA! That is awesome! “You remind me of the babe …” Yes, that reference has been brought up a few times, but strangely has encouraged people to read the book more. Would it be bad of me to say that David Bowie WOULD make a great Iron King, if he had longer hair? And got rid of those pants…

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your

Does caffeine count? Or the army of Mt. Dew cans lined up along my desk? I can’t work without caffeine. Its impossible. Maybe I should make a totem of Mt. Dew cans.

What songs would make the playlist for The Iron King?
I actually have a playlist for The Iron King on my site if anyone is interested.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
That I lived in Hawaii for ten years and never learned to swim.

What's your favorite quote?

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” And: “Of course you don’t have wings. You’re a boy.”

What are you working on now?

At the moment I’m finishing up edits for the third and final book of the Iron Fey trilogy.

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?

If I get stuck in the story, I automatically check email. I don’t know why this is. Maybe I expect to find the answer there, somehow?

If The Iron King were made into a movie, who would you like to see inthe role of Meghan?

Oh goodness. I don’t really know. I’m horrible at actor names and faces, so I’m not even going to attempt to embarrass myself. ;-)

The freebie: This week we'll have three winners. Each one gets a signed IRON KING bookmark. Because I love Julie's Princess Bride and Dark Crystal quotes above, to be entered to win, leave a omment below, telling us your favorite movie quote.

This drawing will remain open umtil Wednesday, February 16.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh, yesss! The Fan Girl in Me Does the Happy Dance*

On the iPod - Crayola Doesn't Make a Color for Your Eyes by Kristin Andreassen

And the winner of Jen Nadol's THE MARK swag pack is: kathleenliz

Please send your mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get that send out to you. Everyone else, please come back on Friday for another freebie with debut author Julie Kagawa and her new book THE IRON KING.

What's up?

My sweet friend and amazing author Kate Coombs nominated me for the Prolific Blogger Award. Thank you, Kate! I'm going to pass along the nominations in a couple of weeks - as soon as I meet my current deadline!

Snowpocalypse has created a winter postcard outside my office window. Very pretty, but not so fun to drive in or shovel. The kids are on their second snow day from school. Have I mentioned how hard it is to get any writing done with the kids home? *grumble, grumble* Oh, um... hi, kids. I love you! : D

Ellen DeGeneres made her American Idol debut last night. I really liked her. Yeah, yeah, I know. But I love that cheesy show. Anyone else watch it? What did you think?

*Huge week for fabulous YA new releases... HAPPY RELEASE WEEK to Lisa McMann (GONE: WAKE), Heather Brewer (ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS: THE CHRONICLES OF VLADIMIR TOD), Ally Carter (HEIST SOCIETY), Kristin Harmel (AFTER), Jillian Cantor (THE LIFE OF GLASS) and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (TOKEN OF DARKNESS)!

And finally, today's video link: My friend Nikki Stone was on the TODAY SHOW on NBC! Go, Nikki!

Friday, February 05, 2010

FF - THE MARK by Jen Nadol

For today's Freebie Friday, I'm happy to welcome another debut YA author to the blog - Jen Nadol, author of the just-released novel, THE MARK.

The Author:

Jen grew up in Reading, PA, the hometown of John Updike, Taylor Swift and the now-defunct Monopoly railroad. She has a BA in Literature from American University and has lived in Washington DC, Boston, and New York City. She currently lives in a 150 year-old farmhouse in Westchester County, New York with her husband and three young sons.

The book:

Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back. The one time she pointed it out taught her not to do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today. Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret.

How does the mark work? Why her?

Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?

The Reviews:

Nadol has interwoven an absorbing and thoughtful philosophical dilemma with a YA romance...characters grapple convincingly with the moral question and nothing is oversentimentalized. A great book for discussion groups, this will engender plenty of conversation. --Booklist

A thoughtful exploration of fate and free will...the engrossing narration and realistic characters create a deep, lingering story. –Publishers Weekly

The Interview:

What inspired you to write THE MARK?
I'd pretty much thrown in the towel on my (utterly horrible) first novel and was trying to come up with something interesting to write about, something *I'd* want to buy if I saw it at the store. When the idea - what if you knew it was someone's day to die - popped into my head, I knew I'd found it.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
No, they really only exist on the page and in my head.

What excites you? Change.

What turns you off? Undercooked beef.

If Cassie told you today was your last, what's the first thing you would want to do?
Try to make it not so. I'd probably run home and hide in my office. It seems like the safest place in my house.

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?

Nope. Got any I can borrow? The only thing that works for me is the old-fashioned BIC (butt in chair).

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I lived in Copenhagen for four months and can say "yes", "no", "thanks" and "twenty-two beers" in Danish.

What are you working on now?
I'm about to start a new book. I've got two ideas that have been simmering and I'm ready to run with one as soon as I find out what's happening with my second book, which is on submission now. So, uh, I guess the real answer is "nothing".

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
I save all the stuff I've cut from my books in computer files. Pages and pages (and pages) of scenes, paragraphs, lines, even single-words that I've deleted from the manuscript.
I edit pretty ruthlessly when I finally start going back over a draft. Anything that gives me the "I wonder if this really works here..." feeling, goes. So, I started these files - with page numbers noted - just in case I wanted to put something back in. 98% of the time, though, the cut stuff stays cut.

The Freebie:

For this week's lucky winner, Jen has generously donated THE MARK "swag pack" which includes a bookmark, a glowing pen and a THE MARK notebook. To be entered to win, leave a comment below, telling what you would do if you found out today was your last day to live.

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, February 10.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Winner and GCC Tour: THE NAUGHTY LIST by Suzanne Young

The winner of Anna Jarzab's ALL UNQUIET THINGS is: M

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 for another Freebie with debut author Jen Nadol and a chance to win THE MARK.

What's up this week?

LOST! (And I am even more lost after last night's season opener.)

Amazon vs. MacMillan
Not cool, Amazon, to remove the buy buttons for MacMillan books. Your fight is with the publisher but you're punishing the authors.

BONUS GCC INTERVIEW! It's GCC tour time with Suzanne Young, author of THE NAUGHTY LIST!

About Suzanne: Suzanne Young is a brilliant scientist. Not really. But she is a former middle school teacher turned zookeeper (mother). When Suzanne's not fending off zombie squirrels or narrating her daughter's Barbie soap operas, she can be found camping on the Oregon coast or writing obsessively.

Suzanne is the author of The Naughty List series about a group of cheerleaders who investigate cheating boyfriends. Which Suzanne never did. Or at least, not that you can prove.

Also! Suzanne just announced the sale of an upcoming book, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL "in which a 17-year-old discovers that by performing the good deeds that her body compels her to, she will disappear into the Light and be forgotten, but by fighting "the Need," her fate could be even more dire." Sound cool or what?


As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

(Series book release dates: The Naughty List-2/4/10, So Many Boys-6/10/10, A Good Boy is Hard to Find-10/2010 )

The interview:

What inspired you to write The Naughty List?
Ninja Cheerleaders. Then it evolved into a secret society who investigated cheating boyfriends… something I could have maybe used in high school.

Have you ever done the things your characters do in your books?
What? You mean like spy on a boyfriend, or sneak in his window at night, or get in a physical altercation with a girl that I think is trying to steal my boyfriend because she is a—oh. I mean. No. I haven’t.

Have you ever had a premonition? What happened?
I’ve had dreams, but never anything really cool. Sometimes I get a feeling that something will
happen, but usually it’s just simple stuff like things being dropped.

If you could hang out with any literary character, who would you choose and why?
Hm… I wouldn’t mind meeting Dexter from This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. He’s dreamy.

Are you superstitious in any way?
HAH! I am SO SUPERSTITIOUS. In fact, if I’m not wearing the right jersey while watching ESPN, I’m convinced my basketball team will lose.

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
Do Reese’s Pieces count?

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I used to be in the Speech and Debate club in high school. And I was pretty good at it!

What are you working on now?
I’m working on book 3 in the Naughty List series. It’s called A Good Boy is Hard to Find.

You can read more about Suzanne on facebook or her blog and you can follow the ninja cheerleading squad here.