Friday, March 29, 2013

House of Oh

So lately people have been all over tumblr making these sigil things from here and most people have been doing very serious kinds of things like:

 But being a less serious minded person, at least when it comes to this high fantasy series, I did this:

And I laughed like a loon because I thought this was really funny. My kids came running over and wanted to know what was so funny - so I explained and kept laughing. And my oldest says "Mom, it's funny how you are laughing harder than anyone else about this." To which my youngest (9 yr old) responds "You laugh the hardest at your own jokes because you understand them the best."

Which, of course, made me laugh even harder.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology

I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA. It was an amazing time and I'm blown away by how smart and talented these kids are. There's a reason this high school is nationally ranked #2 in the US. These kids are wicked smart!

And can I just tell you how cool it was to go into the main office and have to stick my face in a machine and have it scan my drivers license and print out this sticker? It was quite high tech and I admit to being very impressed!

The fabulous school counselor, Christina Ketchem, who is the reason I was invited to Thomas Jefferson in the first place, was there to meet me with a big hug and an enthusiastic smile! I'd first met her at my Hooray for Books event back in January and we've been chatting ever since! I'm quite jealous of the TJ kids for having such a cool school counselor!

She led me over the the auditorium where a jazz band was performing. They were amazing! Then the 9th graders started filing in. I think there might have been 130 kids there or so. First they started off with a poetry competition. I thought this was incredibly unfair to have me go after these poets. They were phenomenal! These guys weren't just poets, they were performance artists. I was so impressed.

And then I was up.

As is usual for me, there were some technical difficulties in getting my powerpoint going. But eventually, with the help of a lot of teachers pressing buttons in the media room, we were able to get my presentation up and running! The students were just wonderful to present to. They were attentive and enthusiastic and laughed at all my jokes, which goes to prove just how smart these kids are! :o) Because these were high school students, I started off my presentation on a more serious note with a discussion about the importance of diversity. And it was clear from their responses and their expressions that I had touched a chord with them. These are kids who are used to seeing diversity in their lives everyday and want to see it everywhere else too.

Photos courtesy of Christina Ketchem

I even got to do a mini signing for some of the kids. Thank you to Olivia who bought my book and said she loved it! I wish I had a chance to talk to her longer! And I was touched to have students asking me to sign bookmarks for them, as they assured me that they would be reading my book over spring break. Since spring break is next week, this made me pretty happy.

So another fantastic school event! Thank you Christina! Thank you Thomas Jefferson HS!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Prophecy Book Report!

I got these awesome photos from my good friend who's son Brian not only  loved PROPHECY, but he  actually did a book report on it for school! Check it out!

You lift up the ruby and his report is underneath! How awesome is this?!! I love the dragons and the tigers and the awesome shadow girl warrior figures! This is a kickass report!


Brian, I love everything about this report! This is absolutely an A++ book report! Thank you so much for sharing this with me and letting me share it on my blog!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


How much do I love this Kira drawing? It's by 13 year old Sharon and she did a phenomenal job! I can't get over how cute Kira is!!! I have say that receiving fan art is one of the absolute best parts of my job! I meet a lot of kids at school and library events and I love talking to them and hearing them say they loved Prophecy. It's literally music to my ears! But when someone takes the time to actually draw a piece of art based on Prophecy and send it to me? I think my heart grows 3 sizes larger because it feels like it's swelling in my chest. I'm in awe of their talent and I'm so touched that they would send me their art. It is just such an amazing feeling and I'm ever so grateful to them. Thank you Sharon! I love my little Kira anime girl!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Young Critics Club - Greenwich, CT

I'm back from a whirlwind week of amazingness! So last week I headed up to NYC to visit with my wonderful HarperCollins team again. You would think that with a camera in my iphone that I would always remember to take pictures, but I can never remember to use it! So even though I met with my fabulous editor Phoebe and the amazing editorial assistant Jessica, I didn't get any recent photos with them! So I have to stick in a photo from my last trip up just because they are truly the best of the best!

I also did not get a picture with my fabulous publicist, Olivia, for which I'm hitting myself! However, I did get one with Alana, my AWESOME marketing guru, but only because she was the one to think of it in the first place! This was at dinner with my editor, note I once again didn't get a photo with Phoebe. But she and Alana took me out to this amazing little Italian place in midtown that had the most delicious calamari and eggplant dishes.


After the incredible meal, I headed over to my parents place and woke up to a snowy March Friday morning. This was the day that Phoebe and I were scheduled to head up to Old Greenwich, CT to go to the Perrot Memorial Library to meet with the Young Critics Club.

After some back and forth with the lovely librarians about the weather and school cancellations and 6" of snow in Connecticut, we decided that it would still be worth going because the kids still wanted to come to the book club event. So Phoebe and I headed up to Connecticut. By the way, there is nothing like having a whole day of alone time with your editor! I'm sure all of Phoebe's other authors are terribly jealous of me!!

So up in Old Greenwich, we met with the wonderful children's librarians, Kathy Jarombek and Mary Clark that run the amazing Young Critics Club. They took us to lunch in this amazing Italian restaurant called Applausi. I wish I could share with you a photo of my meal and dessert but I ate them so fast that even if I remembered to take a photo, which I never do, it would have been too late. Seriously, I nearly licked both my plates clean! But you know what was better than the food? The conversation between 2 super smart, super experienced children's librarians and my brilliant editor. I was among my people! I could have talked long into the night. However, the Young Critics were waiting and so we headed to Perrot Memorial Library which, btw, is one of the most beautiful public libraries I've ever seen.

This is the children's library and a view of the back of the building. The front of the building has these gorgeous cathedral windows that looks out onto a park with a lake and little gazebo.

And above is the room where the Young Critics Club meets on alternate Fridays. The YCC is a children's book club that has been in existence for 30 years! The book club has an application process that must be filled out by the kids (no parental intervention, please) and the kids must interview for a spot in the club. Plus, there's a waiting list to get in! I wish I had this in my library growing up!

Here's a picture of me with Mary Clark and Kathy Jarombek. My editor is taking the picture and not in the shot! So many regrets on my sad photo skills! Can I tell you how much I loved these ladies and how wonderful this experience was for me? They sort through many many books before choosing some to bring to the YCC. And the fact that they chose PROPHECY makes me so grateful and so appreciative of them. The icing on the cake was then meeting the Young Critics themselves and seeing how enthusiastic and how much they enjoyed my book! They are an extraordinary group of kids who are very bright and very curious. Not only did they have questions for me, but they had smart questions about publishing that my editor was able to answer for them. Can I mention again how lucky I am to have my editor come up with me for my presentation?

The kids were so interactive and the hour flew by so fast that I was stunned to find out what time it was! We had a book signing also as quite a few of the Young Critics had also bought my book to have signed! Leaving behind this lovely library and these wonderful librarians was hard! I kind of want to move up to Old Greenwich so that this can be MY kid's library! I would love to have my kids be a part of this amazing book club! I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to meet with the kids and Kathy and Mary. And I have to thank my editor Phoebe for making it all happen and for going with me! This was definitely an experience I won't soon forget and I will always treasure my day with the Young Critics.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants—hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

 I'm giving away a copy of this fabulous Wasteland ARC from the wonderful Susank Kim and Laurence Klavan! All you have to do is comment over at the Friday the Thirteeners blog! Here's the link! So please pop by and leave a comment! This is a post-apoc western that will leave you clamoring for more!!!

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