llevame alli

It’s been hectic times around here, friendly neighbors. But hectic in a good way. I met with my editors last week about the next revision of book six. I am beyond excited about this new book. For those of you who’ve asked, yes, it has a title, but I can’t share it yet. And yes, it will be out next year! It usually takes me about six weeks to do a revision. Not this time. This time I have, oh, 10 days. It’s a 10 Day Deadline Challenge Throwdown and I’m determined to not let it squash me like a bug. So how’s it been going? Actually, pretty well. I got a ton of work done over the long weekend. The construction workers who are resurfacing the entire exterior of my building and drilling into the brick outside my window were off and no one was around and I went into throwdown mode. Here we are at day five. It’s deadline vs. drill. Game on.

Of course, other stuff is happening. Like my readers being freaking awesome. Sparkly warm fuzzies go out to everyone who’s told me about visiting some of the New York City locations featured in So Much Closer. That rules! I’ve been hearing from dedicated readers who went to the High Line or Crumbs or Big Gay Ice Cream Truck after reading the book. Can I just say how amazing that is? You know that realistic fiction is my thing. I love incorporating actual places into my books. And I was especially psyched about this book because it gave me a chance to share the things I love most about New York City with you. Your sense of adventure is impressive. Thank you so much for embracing the energy. And for sharing your experiences with me.

More sparkly warm fuzzies go out to book bloggers who have posted reviews of So Much Closer. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. I really, really appreciate everyone who has posted about the book or shared it with your friends. In case you’re into reviews, here are some new ones:

Finally, I’m thrilled that my books are starting to be published in Spanish! Take Me There comes out in a few weeks. How much do I adore this cover?

Llevame Alli by Susane Colasanti - Take Me There Spanish edition

Cupcakes! On the cover of my book! My incredible Spanish publisher even made a page for Take Me There (which translates to Llevame Alli). You can also read the first chapter in Spanish here. I love all the fun graphics they used. Something Like Fate is next up for a Spanish translation. I can’t wait to see what they do with it.

Dude, tomorrow is already June. For those of you getting out of school soon, congrats! You’re almost there! And for those of you already enjoying your summer vacay, savor it. Kick back, relax, and dive into your pile of summer reading. My summer reading pile is already waiting for me. I’ll be joining you soon…

stupid signage

It all started with a vegetable.

My corner deli had a brand new awning made. It is green. It is huge. And it says something like this right across the front:

“Deli, groceries, beer, snacks, vegetable.”

Dude. They have one vegetable.

Really? Just one?

As my friend Rachel Vail said, You better go in quick and snatch that vegetable up before someone else gets it!

Actually, this all started way before the vegetable. I’ve always been extremely annoyed by typos. Typos in books are bad. But typos on signs? Are the worst. Those typos are like nails on the chalkboard to me. They grate on my nerves and every time I see them they irritate me all over again. Whenever I see a typo on a store’s sign, I’ll tell the person working there about it and how it should be fixed so we don’t perpetuate the stupid.

Yeah. I’m that girl.

Not that they care. No one ever changes their signs. Even the handwritten ones that would take two seconds to correct. What makes me sad about the vegetable example is…well, so many things, but mainly that they just spent all this money on a new awning and didn’t even bother to proofread. It’s like with the grocery store around the corner. They just did a whole big renovation. Now they have street signs hanging above the aisles. One the the signs says “Bleecker Street.” Or it’s supposed to say “Bleecker Street.” Tragically, it says “Bleeker Street.”

And they’re one block from Bleecker Street.

Seriously? You couldn’t walk one block to check how to spell Bleecker Street? Or freaking Google it?! How hard would that have been?!?

Before I puff up in an even bigger rant, let me leave you with this image. It’s the new (of course) awning of my fave vegetarian restaurant. It speaks volumes all by itself.

Vegetarian's Paradise awning

blog tour roundup

In case you missed my blog tour, I wanted to give you a complete set of links. Each tour stop features one of the New York City places or things from So Much Closer. Several people have already said that the book felt like a love letter to NYC. I totally agree! Here are some of its best qualities…

Thanks to all of the sweet bloggers who hosted me. And congrats to our ten book winners!

top ten tour tidbits

That was a whirlwind! The official part of my book tour is over, I’ve caught up with all the post-tour mail/cleaning/unpacking stuff (which always takes longer than you think it will), and I finally have a chance to share some highlights from my tour with you. Instead of doing several posts, I’ve decided to go with one big Top Ten Tour Tidbits extravaganza. Not that it will be easy to only pick ten things. And not that my events are even over! I still have upcoming events in New York City, Chicago, and Long Island. The full schedule is here.

Now Transatlanticism is playing, my pics are ready, and I have some time before the Teen Author Carnival. Let the memories begin!

1. First off, I have to give a shout-out to the guy hacking up a lung in the seat next to me for the entire flight to California. Thanks for keeping it real, Hacking Lung Guy! But then I was in San Francisco for three full days of events in the Bay Area, which I freaking love. If I couldn’t live in New York City, Berkeley would be my second choice. The energy there is incredible. And this high school I visited was unreal – there were only 113 kids in the entire school! It had this family atmosphere where the kids didn’t feel as tormented as they do in regular high schools. If all schools could be like Maybeck High School, I think our kids would be way happier. Let’s end this first item with a positive shout-out to Charlotte at Maybeck. Charlotte was the only one out of all my school visits to recognize both The Cure and My So-Called Life from my presentation. Respect.

2. There were more amazing school events, including one at Capuchino High School where all the When It Happens love convinced me to write a sequel. I’ve gotten lots of email asking if I’m going to write a sequel and it’s something I’ve been thinking about. The thing is, I’m afraid of messing it up. But the kids at Capuchino were so supportive and enthusiastic that I’ve made an executive decision to go for it! I have to be Not Afraid. This isn’t something I’m busting out with super soon – books six, seven, and eight are already in the works – but it will happen. Okay, tangential much? Getting back to Cali…

3. I was stoked for my Books Inc. event in Palo Alto for three reasons. One, it’s Books Inc., which is an outstanding indie bookshop that hosts Not Your Mother’s Book Club events. Maggie of NYMBC is so cute – she put an ARC from their huge supply on each chair with a pretty red ribbon. That was such a classy touch. But before the event started, I made sure to get myself over to Sprinkles.

Susane Colasanti at Sprinkles Palo Alto

This was the second reason I was stoked. Sprinkles cupcakes take cupcakes to a whole other level. I’d only had them once before in L.A. But they’ve just opened a store here in New York! Check out how much the Universe had my back – the same exact day Sprinkles opened in New York, I was at Sprinkles in Palo Alto. And they were just as phenomenal as I remembered. (Note: Kara’s Cupcakes make a carrot cake cupcake that Martha Stewart says is the best. After sampling one, I believe I must agree. It was decadence squared). The third reason for my stokage is James Franco related. He’s from Palo Alto. He went to Palo Alto High. So of course I had to go and stalk James Franco’s high school:

James Franco's high school, Palo Alto High

4. The Most Adorable Girl in the World prize goes to Shea. She won this poster in a raffle at Oblong Books. As you can see, the poster is almost as big as Shea. Of course I had to get permission from her mom to post this pic. How cute is she?!

Shea with a huge poster of So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

5. A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland is legendary. I kept hearing what an amazing bookstore it is. So I was psyched to find out I was doing an event there. The store’s owner, Kathleen, is generous and hilarious and made sure I left with a copy of Divergent, the book everyone is raving about. Ever since The Hunger Games kept me up until 4:00 in the morning with my eyes burning out of my face knowing I was going to pay for staying up mad late the next day but not caring because the book was so freaking good, I haven’t been so quick to insist I only enjoy realistic fiction. I am prepared to be blown away. Oh, and we had an esteemed guest at the Place. It was so cool to finally meet fellow Viking author Rosemary Graham – I loved Stalker Girl!

Susane Colasanti and Rosemary Graham at A Great Good Place for Books

6. I’ve written here before how it was a Very Big Deal the first time I saw one of my books in an airport bookstore. It was one of those big goals I didn’t have a lot of control over, something I kept wishing would happen One Day. Then all of a sudden One Day was here and the Very Big Deal was real and I practically busted out crying in Terminal 3. Airport bookstores have such a limited amount of space. It’s pretty major to score placement there. So how psyched was I for Sarah Dessen when I spotted her floor display in the San Francisco airport?

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen floor display

Airport floor display! I didn’t even think those existed. This is a Very Very Very Big Deal. Snaps for Sarah, everyone. And for those of you who wanted a better idea of the size of my two beloved carry-ons I travel with everywhere, here you go. I heart my bags. Packing lightly rules. But if I ever have to go away for two weeks without coming home, I’ll need a real suitcase. Well, first I’ll need a bigger apartment to put the real suitcase in. Which is one dream I hope becomes reality before I see my own floor display in an airport bookstore.

7. My first Barnes & Noble event!

Susane Colasanti reading at Barnes & Noble

This one was at the Park Slope store in Brooklyn. You might think taking the subway to Brooklyn was like whatever. Actually, I don’t often leave Manhattan and had only been to Brooklyn three times. Yes, I’ve lived in New York City for 15 years. Yes, I am aware that cool stuff happens in Brooklyn every single day. What can I say except that I am lame? Not lame: E. Lockhart at my event! Okay, she just happened to be at the bookstore when I was there. But I am still counting it. Thanks to everyone who was there despite it being Mother’s Day. And thanks to the event’s organizer, Sara, who is filled with enthusiasm and positive energy.

8. Speaking of Barnes & Noble, my seventh grade science teacher is famous. She’s mentioned on page seven of So Much Closer as the teacher who taught Brooke how to make origami cups. The magic of Facebook has made it possible for my teacher and I to stay in touch. It’s so weird calling her Nancy, though. When my old students have a hard time calling me Susane, I totally get it. Which is fine – it’s better for them to call me Mrs. Krasinski. Anyway, my teacher was getting the book at B&N and mentioned that she’s on page seven. They got on the PA system and announced she was in the store and people came over to meet her! Go, Mrs. Cadwallader! Or, um, Nancy.

9. Going to Philly for one night wasn’t nearly enough time. I stayed at the most incredible hotel ever. I was basically ready to move right in – plus I got upgraded to a suite, and I am all about the suite. There was a gorgeous fruit plate waiting for me with raspberries and blackberries, which made me really happy. I have a sort of ritual for when I visit Philly. It goes back to my days at Penn when I lived a block off campus. It always felt so restorative to walk across the bridge on Walnut Street to Center City and chill around Rittenhouse Square. I’m not exactly sure why. I think it felt like a promise of days to come when school would finally be over and I’d be living in the big city, doing Big City Things. So when I got to the train station, I didn’t take a cab to the hotel. I walked across that bridge just liked I walked across it so many times back then. And everything came rushing back. It always amazes me how a place can still have so much power after so many years. Going with the whole nostalgia theme, I had to stop in at 7-Eleven for a cherry Slurpee and Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet. Hello, 1995! Then I walked past my old boyfriend’s place without even realizing I was going that way. It used to be such a big deal to even walk down his street. But I didn’t realize I was on the same block until I passed his building. I guess places only maintain their power when your feelings for what they’re connected to haven’t faded.

10. Why was I in Philly for only one night? I had to get up ridiculously early the next morning to face a 17-hour tour day challenge throwdown. Full disclosure: I had fear. But I was determined to prevail. Fortunately, there was a special gift waiting for me at Harleysville Books around hour 14 when I really needed it:

Birthday cookie from Harleysville Books

Yay! There’s nothing like a birthday cookie to make any event extra festive. Thanks to Shelly and Stef for a super fun time…and for letting me hog your puffy chair.

Thanks to everyone for making this tour such a fun adventure – everyone who came to the events and everyone who made the events happen. If I didn’t get to see you, I hope to catch up with you next time!

new events!

Last night was my first night back at the gym after being away for the past two weeks on book tour. It was painfully obvious (and is still painfully obvious – hello, hamstrings!) that I am pathetically out of shape. How can this happen after only two weeks? It’s ridiculous. To top it off, one of my fave instructors ever has left and now there’s no sexy girl workouts anymore. I loved my Sexy Girl Wednesdays. Nancy’s class had a combo dance/core/balance/stretch focus that I adored. Someone new has taken her place. I’m about to test her out today. We’ll see how it goes.

But hey. I am not here to complain. I’m here to rejoice! Some new events have been added to my book tour, including a big one in Chicago at the legen – wait for it – dary Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville. For those of you who have been asking for a Chicago event, the Universe heard and delivered! I’ll be joining famous YA authors Sarah Mlynowski and Maureen Johnson for a night of good times.

Here’s where you can find me for the rest of my tour:

BOSTON
Friday, May 20
4:00 pm
Book Ends
559 Main Street, Winchester, MA

NEW YORK CITY
Monday, May 23
4:00 – 7:00 pm
Teen Author Carnival
NYPL Mulberry Branch
10 Jersey Street, New York, NY

NEW YORK CITY
Wednesday, June 1
6:00 pm
Teen Author Reading Night
NYPL Mulberry Branch (may change to Jefferson Market Branch)
10 Jersey Street, New York, NY

CHICAGO
Monday, June 13
7:00 pm
Anderson’s Bookshop
123 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville, IL

NEW YORK CITY
Thursday, June 16
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street, New York, NY

LONG ISLAND
Tuesday, June 21 – summer solstice!
4:00 pm
Beach Bag Book Club
Merrick Library Annex
2369 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, NY

I hope to see you at one of these events! Be there or be a rhomboid. That’s an inside So Much Closer joke.

ginormous contest winners!

It is my immense pleasure to bring you the winners of my Fourth Annual Ginormous Contest! I wanted to post these sooner, but I had zero time during the California part of my book tour. I received about 50 entries and wanted to take my time reading all of them.

Can I just say how impressed I was with all of your entries? It was extremely difficult to select only three winners. You showed me the most beautiful Zen places ever. There were some common themes, like backyards, your room, and Paris. A majority involved water. There was even a totally tricked-out bathroom. Thank you for sharing your Zen places with me and the experiences that made those places so special to you. I cherished each and every one.

And now…the winners!

First place goes to Max H. Her Zen place is the Presidio:

So Much Closer contest winner

Max says, “The Presidio used to be an army base, but now it’s a national park on the north side of San Francisco, where I grew up. I love it here for a lot of reasons—there’s a great bowling alley, free Shakespeare in the park every summer, the ocean, the Golden Gate bridge. When I was little, the empty barracks made for a great make believe setting. Whenever I need a break, I take a thermos of tea and a book and sit in the forest or on the cliffs above the water. A lot of time I don’t read. It’s not quiet there, but it’s one of the only places in the city where everything I hear is natural: the crashing waves and the wind and the seagulls. I can totally clear my head. It used to be a place of war, but nature has reclaimed it and now it brings me peace.”

How awesome is that?

Second place goes to Kelly K. for this very Zen visual of her local Botanical garden:

So Much Closer contest second place

Kelly says, “When I just need to get away I go here and look at all the beautiful blown glass bobbing in the water. It’s peaceful, all my worries and stress melt away. All you hear are birds chirping, and kids laughing. At my age (14), me just like a lot of teenagers, we don’t know who we are yet. We try and put labels, like nerd, popular, geek, stoner, cheerleaders, jocks on everybody…even ourselves. Everyone is different… sure they can all be in the same click but everyone is their own individual. And that’s how I relate that quote to the pond. All of the glass blown bob things can be cauterized by color, shape, etc. But they are EACH different, because they were all made different. Sure they might look the same far away… but up close you can see everything and just how unalike they really are. That’s just like people. You can see a bunch of cheerleaders sitting at a table and go ‘wow they’re all snobby’ then once you get close you can see that they’re fighting with each other or having family issues just like everyone else. It always amazes me how a pond filled with blown glass always relates so much to my life.”

Preach it, girl.

Third place goes to Angel S.

So Much Closer contest third place

Angel says, “My zen place would have to be The NorVa in Norfolk, Virginia. It used to be an old theater back in the 20’s and 30’s, and they would have all kinds of stage plays and musicians would come out to play. Today, it is still proudly open, and now serves as a concert venue. I love music. It’s the one thing that keeps me going besides my family and reading. When I’m there, I don’t care about all of the pushing from all of the excited people in the ‘pit’, moshing and going crazy over the live music playing before our eyes. I don’t care that I know I’m going to go to bed with my ears ringing after the show later that night, and then wake up the next morning to find that I can still hear that pounding drum, that earth-shaking bass guitar. I welcome it. Because for those few hours, while I’m there in that room with 1500 other people, I feel like I’m the only one there. I feel calm, I feel good… I feel at peace. It really is a strange place to chose for my zen zone of choice, but to me, it makes perfect sense. Being in your place of zen doesn’t have to mean silence. You don’t have to be sitting out by the water, reading a book or resting your body in sleep. Sometimes, you can have your zen moment simply by just living.”

Respect.

Honorable mention goes to Kalie S.

So Much Closer contest honorable mention

Kalie says, “My Zen place is the house I grew up in. I learned how to ride a bike, drive a car, and had so many other great experiences in this house or on the property it is built on. It is out in the country so it is very relaxing and there is always a great view of the sky. On the day I took this picture, there had been a thunderstorm and I saw a double rainbow when I took my dog outside when the rain stopped. It was the only time I had ever saw one. Now that I am in college, I really appreciate having a home to return to that is away from everything. Everything is so close at my apartment so I love going home and being able to look at the sky and relax in the wide open spaces.”

Congrats to the winners! And thanks to everyone who shared their Zen place with me. It really meant a lot.

cali events

After a super fun first week, the So Much Closer book tour marches on!  How excited am I for my upcoming Cali events? So. Freaking. Excited. Ah, California. You enchant me with your mellow charms. I’m flying to San Francisco today for some events in the Bay Area. Here they are:

Tuesday, May 10
7:00 pm

A Great Good Place for Books
6120 La Salle Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
Reading, Q&A, and signing

Wednesday, May 11
5:00 pm
Towne Center Books

555 Main Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Pizza party

Thursday, May 12
7:00 pm
Books Inc.

74 Town & Country Village
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Not Your Mother’s Book Club event

In other news, my Fourth Annual Ginormous Contest ends tomorrow night.  Show me your Zen place to win So Much Closer.

Hope to see all of my San Fran people this week!

weekend events

I am happy to report that I survived yesterday’s 17-hour tour day challenge throwdown. Not sure if I conquered it with flair. But I’m still functional, and that’s a good thing.

Another good thing is this weekend. I’m so excited for my New York City events! Today I’ll be doing a meet and greet at my fave coffeehouse, Joe, which is featured in So Much Closer and Take Me There.

Saturday, May 7
2:00 pm

Joe the Art of Coffee
9 East 13th Street
New York, NY

My first Barnes & Noble event is tomorrow in Brooklyn. I’m pretty stoked. But I’m also worried about the turnout because of Mother’s Day. So if you’re in the nabe, please stop by!

Sunday, May 8
5:00 pm

Barnes & Noble
267 7th Avenue
Park Slope, NY

Hope you’re enjoying this gorgeous springtime :)

challenge throwdown

I was able to come home last night before heading out for the next part of my tour today. There were tons of huge movie trailers all on my street. I’m keeping an eye out for Jake Gyllenhaal or any other potential husbands.

Coming home in between tour events is always appreciated. I only travel with two carry-ons. This requires the need to replenish supplies after a few days. Being the organization freak that I am, I love hearing about other author’s packing habits and seeing their luggage. Here’s mine:

My Baggallini bags are made of awesome

These Baggallini bags have been traveling with me for years. The top one has a panel on the back that slides down on the handle of the bottom one. The top one has a waterproof compartment and the bottom one has tons of nooks and pockets. Flight attendants use them because they wheel down airplane aisles with just enough room to spare. Plus they both fit under airplane seats. I find the watermelon color to be essential. Your bags should stand out among all the black ones, even if you don’t check them.

My next tour stop is Philadelphia. Tomorrow is going to be the Craziest Day Ever. I’m getting up at 5:00 (which is outrageous), doing four school events (two each at two schools), a bookstore event, and then taking the train back which gets in at like 10:00. Now, you know I love being on tour and getting to meet my people. But this 17-hour day will be a challenge.

Challenge throwdown received.

Challenge throwdown accepted.

Will I see you at my event tomorrow? It sounds super fun! Harleysville Books is throwing a Teen Girls Night Out with refreshments and a local band. This is a ticketed event – you can purchase tickets at the bookstore. Here’s where it is:

Friday, May 6 – 6:00 pm
Harleysville Books
672 Main Street
Harleysville, PA 19438
Phone: 215.256.9311

Today is day four of my blog tour. Check out my guest post at The Story Siren and leave a comment to win a copy of So Much Closer.

As for tonight, I’ll get to chill with my friend Mike in Philly. Fun times with friends are recommended before facing a challenge. And annihilating that challenge. So bring it, Craziest Day Ever! Okay, maybe I shouldn’t taunt…

you guys rule

Thanks to everyone for all of your kind words about So Much Closer! You guys rule. I couldn’t be more impressed with how quickly some of you read the book and the sweet things you’ve taken away from it. And Melanie G. let her inner awesome shine by documenting the floor display for me:

So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti floor display

It’s day three of my blog tour. Yesterday’s gracious host was Mundie Moms. I discussed – what else? – cupcakes, and they posted a review of the book. Today I’m over at Green Bean Teen Queen. Remember that you can win a signed copy of So Much Closer at every stop of my blog tour just by leaving a comment.

The story of So Much Closer was inspired by my own experiences. Want to find out how? Check out my guest blog post at Books Obsession. Books Obsession is also hosting a giveaway of Something Like Fate because that’s how they do.

Well, it’s all cold and rainy today on the Jersey shore. Not the warm and sunny time I was hoping for. But it’s all good. There will be lots of other beach walks in my future. For now, I get to chill with librarians, some of the most amazing people on this planet. I’ll be on a YA lit panel here at the New Jersey Library Association Conference. Naturally, I’m wearing my Reading Rainbow shirt for the librarians. They know what’s good.