pub day!

The day I look forward to the most every year is pub day. Today is that day. We no longer have to keep holding on for Keep Holding On. It is officially out in the world!

Friends and old students have been contacting me all morning about the news segment that was on PIX11 today. Keep Holding On was totally featured on the morning news! I’ll post the clip here tomorrow. We filmed the segment last week in the Dunkin’ Donuts Studio on the Run bus outside the PIX11 studios. Which explains the ginormous DD mug.

Susane Colasanti with Keep Holding On, PIX11 morning news

You can read about the book, plus find ordering links on the Keep Holding On page. If you’d like a signed copy of the book and aren’t in the tour area, you can call Books of Wonder at 212.989.3270 to order signed copies.

Thanks to everyone who sent me positive energy today on Twitter and Facebook. You made me smile. Your support means so much to me. I really hope to see you on my book tour. You can find the tour schedule here. The tour kicks off tonight, Long Island style:

May 31, 2012 – 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble
Country Glen Center, 91 Old Country Road
Carle Place, NY  11514
Reading, Q&A, and signing

Next up, I’ll be in the Boston area this Saturday:

June 2, 2012 – 1:30-3:00 pm
Book Ends
559 Main Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Town Day event

I want to give a special shout-out to the book bloggers who’ve given this book their pub day love. I was on Twitter for half an hour this morning, reading your tweets and sweet reviews. Thank you for spreading the word about Keep Holding On. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. I really appreciate your support and kindness. Here are links to some new reviews:

Keep holding on, everyone!

creating the cover

Dude. Keep Holding On officially comes out in two days. How exciting is that?

So exciting that I want to share some behind-the-scenes pics from the cover photo shoot with you. I think the cover is gorgeous. The designers at Penguin put a lot of work into making sure this cover reflected the book as much as possible. They totally added details from the book that I asked to be included, which made the cover even more authentic. So yay! More awesomeness: The photographer was Jayd Gardina, who also shot the shiny new So Much Closer paperback cover.

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti photo shoot

The first thing that surprised me when I saw these photos was the rich blue color of the lockers and doors. Colors get changed all the time on covers. But I was kind of surprised they didn’t keep the lockers blue – it’s such a pretty hue! I love the way the boy model is leaning against the lockers here. And I love his glasses. And everything about him. And P.S.? He totally got in touch with me. His name is Ryan Haagen. You best believe he gave me his number (but just to talk about the photo shoot, obvs). Anyway, Ryan leans like the pro he is. This would have made a cute cover. But I guess they didn’t want the boy up front. It must have been really hard to select the final cover photo with so many amazing ones to choose from.

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti photo shoot

I was also surprised that the girl model was wearing red Converse instead of purple. I’m happy they decided on purple, which was my signature Converse color. As you can see, her Converse didn’t have writing on them. I requested that writing/drawing be added to make them look like Noelle’s Converse in the book. You’ll also notice that the lockers don’t have any locks. The photo shoot took place at a high school in New Jersey last summer right before school started. When I saw the first draft of the cover, I asked for locks to be put on so it would look like they were actually being used. What else? Oh, that flower (which was red in the first draft). There was a bit of a huffufle over that. Let’s just say that I am thrilled it was removed!

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti photo shoot

Oh. Em. Gee. How sexy is this photo? Love love LOVE it. Perhaps it was too hot for the book cover? Definitely my favorite. That said, I love the way the cover turned out. And I am so excited Keep Holding On is out in the world this week!

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

An author video, reviews, and an excerpt can all be found on the Keep Holding On page of my website. Happy reading!

ginormous winners!

I am thrilled to present the winners of my Fifth Annual Ginormous Contest! The challenge was to create an image with text that would inspire hope. Selecting three winners was not easy. You guys submitted so many beautiful representations of hope. Thanks and hugs to everyone who entered.

First prize goes to Ashley S.:

Keep Holding On contest

Ashley’s image inspires hope that we can always find our way out of the darkness and into the light. A reassuring message to remember on the darkest days.

Noel O. won second prize:

Keep Holding On contest

I love the way Noel’s slide inspires hope in everyone who’s been wanting to take a chance, but is too afraid. It’s a simple and beautiful image.

Valerie P. won third prize:

Keep Holding On contest

I’m impressed with the way Valerie used black-and-white vs. color to show that a bright future is always possible, no matter how bad things are today. Very encouraging.

Honorable mentions go to Marissa A. and Lisa R. Marissa’s message is pretty much the story of my life:

Keep Holding On contest

Lisa incorporated five images from Keep Holding On into her artwork, including those pink lights. Impressive!

Keep Holding On contest

Congrats to all of my winners :)

approved

I’ve been hearing from readers that Keep Holding On is already out at Barnes & Noble. Apparently so! Barnes & Noble is going to do displays at the front of the store in June and then A-frame displays (those standing ones with a sign on top) into July, so they decided to put the book out early. But May 31 is still the pub date everywhere else. Only six more days to go! Also on May 31: my book tour starts. Here’s the tour schedule.

In other book news, Publishers Weekly interviewed me about Keep Holding On. The Reading Fish also posted a new interview. And Keep Holding On is Seventeen‘s book club selection!

After waiting forever and a day, the renovation proposal for my new apartment has finally been approved! Which means my contractor can start working next week! Which means I’ll have things like a floor and a bathroom when I move in on June 28!

You probably thought the work had already started. Yeah, no. We’ve been going back and forth for weeks, submitting paperwork and gathering documents and waiting for people to move things forward. It’s been crazy. Ever since I closed on the apartment on April 9, it’s just been sitting there. Empty and waiting. I’m so happy we can finally start making it my new home.

I was stressting over the delays at first, worrying that the apartment wouldn’t be done in time. But then I thought of the worst case scenario. Thinking of the worst case scenario always helps to gain a more positive perspective. What was the worst case? Oh, that I’d have to live in my current place for one or two more weeks. In the best neighborhood in New York City. Cue the world’s smallest violin. After realizing that the worst case was actually pretty awesome, I calmed down.

What also helped to keep me where the light is was a return trip to Fantini. They’re the Italian designers that make the world’s most gorgeous fixtures. Not that I can afford anything in there. But when my architect and I were at the building ordering the fixtures I actually can afford, we couldn’t resist going in again. I’m like a moth to the Fantini flame. They do these super colorful knobs and faucets that make me happy:

Susane Colasanti at Fantini

Adorable, right? Only the Italians could pull off a design that’s both cute and classy.

Do you get New York Channel 11? If so, you can see me on the morning news on May 31. But I’ll post the video of that segment here for everyone when I have it. I’ll have lots of other fun book release things to share with you next week. See you then!

10 days

10 days.

That’s how much longer we have to keep holding on for Keep Holding On. On May 31, Keep Holding On will be out in the world. And my book tour will start! If you’re in NJ, NY, or the Boston area, please check the tour schedule to see if I’ll be close to you. You might also want to check out these new reviews from A Soul Unsung and Tee Loves Kyle Jacobson.

I’ll be doing a Twitter Q&A this Wednesday, May 23, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm EST. If you follow me and ask a question using #KeepHoldingOn, you can win a signed copy of the book. Anyone can win – it’s international! Three random winners will be selected. So get your questions ready and join the party. I love a good Twitter Q&A.

You guys are blowing me away with your Fifth Annual Ginormous Contest entries. Picking winners won’t be easy. There’s still time to enter if you haven’t yet. Anyone can enter – it’s international! The winners will be announced and their entries will be shared here on Monday, May 28.

For your moment of Zen, I want to leave you with the kind of awesomeness that can only be cultivated when Rookie Mag and Jon Hamm join forces. Jon guested on Rookie’s Ask a Grown Man feature. Jon is so grown and manly here that I think it’s worth reposting. Enjoy, ladies.

square one

It’s insanely cool how we can communicate with our favorite authors so easily. All you have to do is Facebook them. Most YA authors are on Twitter. If you wanted to know anything about them or their new book, all you have to do is ask.

Things were way different back in the 80s. That was before we were online. Before social media. Before everyone had a website. Weird, right? Finding out if your fave authors were coming out with new books soon was pretty much impossible. Or even getting to know the simplest things about them. I wrote letters to my fave authors back in high school. Sometimes I’d get a postcard back. That was the most I could hope for. If there had been a way to communicate with S.E. Hinton back in junior high when I was obsessed with The Outsiders, it would have made my life. And now? Susie Hinton is on Twitter. She’s replying to people who tweet her. She even tweeted me twice! Amazing. Just…amazing.

Also amazing is how Susie Hinton was signing 40th Anniversary editions of The Outsiders at a bookstore right near me and I wasn’t able to see her. I wanted to see her again without going all fangirl freakout on her like I did the first time we met. But we’ll meet again. I just know it. At least I got to hear an awesome interview with her on NPR. She was driving around Tulsa, showing areas that influenced the book. She talked about how Ponyboy and Johnny and the other boys are very much a girl’s fantasy. Susie summed things up best when she said:

You’ve got to have the hormones going before you can really appreciate that book.

Speaking of NPR, a big dream of mine was to be interviewed by NPR since I’m such a big fan. I’m stoked to report that my dream has come true! I had my first interview with NPR this week. I believe it will air after Keep Holding On comes out on May 31. Of course I’ll let you know when it will be on. Hoping I didn’t sound like a flippin idiot. In other book news, you can join my Goodreads Q&A group for Keep Holding On. And the same day the book comes out (in two weeks!) is the day my book tour begins. Here’s the tour schedule.

I recently went back to my total body class at the gym for the first time since my surgery. That would be my first surgery (the bootleg one that didn’t work) back in December. So this was my first time lifting and doing abs in five months! Those of you who work out know how quickly all of the progress you make can fall apart if you take some time off from the gym. Reps that were nothing for me are a challenge now. I’m trying not to be frustrated about being back at square one. Square one is the worst when you’re trying to build up something you’ve already had. But conquering square one is the only way to take things to the next level. Then eventually reach your goal. I’m determined to get into even better shape than I was before my time away. This summer is all about working out and being healthy. And leaving square one in the dust.

To all of you at square one, whatever your square one may be: Square one is temporary. Do not be afraid to take those first steps. We’re in this together. Let’s do this thing. Oh, and if your square one has to do with finals, Academic Coach Taylor is here to help you.

Academic Coach Taylor

You think I don’t know that’s not a 1-INCH MARGIN?! Love. It.