5 sweet things

1. The event I had at Anderson’s Bookshop with Sarah Mlynowski and Maureen Johnson was off the hook. Sarah and Maureen are hilarious. There were so many enthusiastic readers! I did events at the other two Anderson’s locations last year and really wanted to do one at their Naperville store. So I was pretty much stoked out of my mind for this. Lots of kindred spirits were in the house. I had no idea there were so many Container Store fans out there. There was much bonding over my organization stories. I was like, Yay, I’m not a total freak! Also awesome – I got to meet a few readers I’d been communicating with online for years. Lauren brought me cupcakes. And I could not get over the huge gift basket Cassidy put together for me. It had all these cool scrapbooking things like Jolee’s Boutique NYC decorations and flower stickers and a peace sign stamp/stamp pad and even a calligraphy set. What blows my mind is how well she knows me just from reading my blog and stuff online. Thank you for the amazing gifts, Cassidy!

Awesome reader Cassidy with Susane Colasanti at Anderson's Bookshop in Chicago

2. The Best Gift Basket Ever wasn’t the only gift to be given. Katie brought Maureen a Maureen doll wearing – wait for it – the Pajants! As in the Pajants that have been circulating within the YA lit circle for the past few months. We all signed the Pajants after wearing them. Most of us added some artwork. So what did Katie do? She freaking went and made a mini replica of the Pajants. I could not get over the accuracy. She even used the same colors we did. I posted a close-up on the Twitterhood of the Butt Lifting Pajants page. Here’s Maureen and Katie with the doll:

Maureen Johnson with Pajants puppet

3. I’m honored that a second quote from When It Happens has been added to the English wing of Erica’s high school. She selected the Mr. Potato Head line. Thanks for sharing this, Erica!

Quote from When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

4. Author Turf interviewed me about the writing process. If you’re an aspiring writer, you might want to check it out.

5. As you very well know by now if you’ve been reading my blog or ecstatic tweets for a while, Sprinkles opened here in New York last month. This is a Very Big Deal. Sprinkles cupcakes are the best. I had them last year in L.A. and immediately fell in love. So of course I had to gather my friends Elizabeth Eulberg and Courtney Sheinmel to check it out. Courtney is a purist. She likes vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing. We agreed it would be a good idea for us to all get the same ones for the purpose of taste testing. But inside I was like, “LEMON COCONUT!” The verdict seems to be that their plain vanilla cupcakes are maybe not their forte. But when it comes to their more creative flavors, watch out for deliciosity.

I needed to return. I needed to experience the deliciosity.

Some old students of mine (aka vintage friendly neighbors) also love cupcakes. They were more than ready to try Sprinkles. So we all went last night for a friendly neighbor reunion. Was it wrong to have a cinnamon sugar cupcake, a frosting shot, and then half a strawberry cupcake? Good, I didn’t think so. You can get these little cups of frosting in any flavor featured on the current cupcakes (most of their flavors change daily). I had a strawberry frosting shot. I was blown away. It was like a burst of fresh strawberry goodness partying in my mouth. So of COURSE I had to try a strawberry cupcake after that. Which was bursting with even more fresh strawberry goodness. You can totally tell they use fresh, organic ingredients. Unreal. Here I am with Jane, Mamusu, and Sherae in front of the special window bedazzled with signature Sprinkles dots:

Susane Colasanti with vintage noodles at Sprinkles Cupcakes

We had a time.

P.S. Thanks for the warm fuzzy at Anderson’s, Mia (the other Mrs. Krasinski)!

happy spring, happy mash, happy table

Yay, it’s the Return of Spring! Early Summer was oppressing us with these hot, humid days everyone was over after like five minutes. People kept saying that we didn’t have spring. I kept insisting that spring would be back. And now it is! I’m hoping spring will decide to stick around for its official three more weeks. Spring is my favorite season. I am very happy right now.

Well. I’d be happier if I could actually go out and enjoy the springtime that is happening beyond my apartment. The cool breeze blowing in my windows is nice, but I’m looking forward to handing in this revision and taking a few days off. We’re on Day 8 of the 10 Day Challenge Throwdown. Things are looking good. Really good – I spoke with my UK editor at Scholastic in London this morning. She is amazing. I love how she’s into collaborating and getting to know her authors. I’m thrilled to finally have some good news for my English readers! Two of my books are coming out for you next year. The UK edition of When It Happens will be out in May 2012, followed by So Much Closer in September 2012.

In other book news, Forever YA asked me about my inspiration for So Much Closer. They wanted to know if I think moving for a boy is okay. First off, if you haven’t visited Forever YA you need to get over there immediately if not sooner. Freaking. Adorable. Site. Second, I’m really happy they asked. This is a controversial topic. I didn’t expect the discussion to get quite so heated, but I love that my book is inspiring debate! You can read my response, plus find out which fictional characters I’d select for my own Ocean’s Eleven and all sorts of other fun stuff, here. And P.S.? Their MASH game results made me entirely too happy. Seriously, I am still smiling over them.

Keeping today’s happy theme going, I’ll leave you with this display table I found at Barnes & Noble. Just chillin with my girls…

Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti books at Barnes & Noble

twitter q&a and foreign covers

Greetings, fellow tweeps! I’ll be doing a Twitter Q&A tomorrow, April 28, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Random tweeters will be selected to win ARCs of So Much Closer. All questions and questioners are welcome! To join the Q&A:

1. Be following me on Twitter – I’m susanecolasanti.

2. Ask your question between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time with the hashtag #SoMuchCloser.

3. Random tweeters will be selected to win signed ARCs of So Much Closer.

A few other quick things going on…

Want to win a copy of Something Like Fate in paperback? My friend Melissa Walker is hosting a giveaway with her Cover Story.

I’ve already received so many awesome entries for my Fourth Annual Ginormous Contest! It’s going to be really hard to select three winners. You guys are amazing.

Did you get my newsletter today? If not, you can read it here.

Finally, I’m stoked to share the Polish cover of When It Happens with you. The title is When the Time Comes. My friend Anton told me that in Russian the title would be Hoping for the Right Hour. It kind of looks like a vampire novel, but I love it anyway. So dramatic!

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti Polish edition

And here’s the German cover of Waiting for You. I love that my German publisher is using the same flowers and happy clouds on all the covers.

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti German edition

Well, it’s volunteer work time. Last week I got to clean and totally organize my client’s desk. Cleaning and organizing people’s desks is so fun for me I can’t even tell you. Today I get to untangle a bunch of cords and then sort them with those color coding grippy things. Which, seriously, is so relaxing. I get very bothered when people have big, tangled bunches of wires showing. All wires should be hidden, IMHO. And even though I have a ton of work to do before my book tour starts next week, it’s been warm and sunny here in New York. That’s helping me keep it Zen. I even busted out my new flip-flops yesterday. Which means one thing – spring is officially here to stay. Yay!

the hunker down

Thanks to everyone who commented with suggestions for the When It Happens movie casting! I’ll be forwarding all of your ideas to my agent. It will most likely be a really long time before I have any definite movie news to tell you, as these things tend to take way longer than we’d like. But as soon as I have some news to share, you will read it here first!

Speaking of When It Happens, do you remember how Tobey and Sara played Dots? Well, Dots is a real game that the boy who inspired Tobey’s character showed me how to play when we were seniors. In case you were wondering if I ever use real-life experiences in my books, I absolutely do and Dots is one of them. Back then, we had to make our own Dots boards by taking regular notebook paper and filling the page with a dot grid. Those took forever. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that Rhodia has a new Dot Pad!

Rhodia Dot Pad

It’s totally ready to play Dots! Man, I could have really used one of these 20 years ago.

Little things like this make me happy. Because I am all about the little things. Especially when it gets dark ridiculously early. Seriously, it’s like totally dark out and it’s not even 4:30 yet.

So not cool.

It’s official. The Hunker Down has begun. This is the time of year when daylight hours are the shortest. Lots of people think that daylight hours keep getting shorter throughout the winter. False. We get the least amount of daylight on the winter solstice, which is December 21 this year. After December 21, daylight hours start increasing by about two minutes a day (until June 21). This is good news! It may be butt fricking cold in February, but hey, at least we have more daylight. The Hunker Down is the best time to stay inside. It’s dark and cold out. There’s no quality fruit available. No one can come out to play. That’s why the Hunker Down is the perfect time to write a new book! I’ll be working on book six for the next three months. If you also have writing goals, the Hunker Down welcomes you.

Did 2010 zoom by or what? With only 1.5 months to go, I’m flabbergasted. It seems like just yesterday I was hanging on the edge of 2009 and having good feelings about 2010. I made a secret pact last December. I know this might seem crazy, but I don’t care. My pact was…okay, announcing my pact may jinx it, but I am taking the risk. My pact was that I would not get sick in 2010. I was getting all these annoying colds last year and was just really sick of getting sick. I’m like the worst sick person ever. I am whiny. I am demanding. And I can never get comfortable. I also refuse to do any work when I’m sick. You know those people who manage to keep doing everything when they’re sick? Yeah, I’m the total opposite. I pretty much just read and sleep the whole time. And complain about how sick I am.

So I thought, Hey, you know what would be fun? To not get sick in 2010! Irrational as it was, I was determined to reach this goal. It’s actually working – 2010 has been free of sick. How am I doing it? A few new routines have helped. I always wash my hands right when I come home. I use my own pen to sign receipts in stores. I guess I’m just being more careful about what I touch. I’m sure I’ll go back to being less obsessive in 2011 and will immediately get smacked down by a horrible cold. But at least I’ll have my new Dot Pad, ready and waiting to play Dots. Then I’ll just need to find someone who feels like playing Dots with a complaining sick person…

For now, though, I have begun the Hunker Down. Let prime writing time begin!

your skills are requested

When It Happens is going to be a movie.

Let me clarify.

I don’t have a movie deal yet. I’ve just always had a Knowing that this book was meant to be a movie. My agent is working on things now and she wants to know who should play Sara and Tobey. While I was writing When It Happens, I pictured each scene like a scene from a movie, complete with soundtrack. Which I think filtered into the writing because I’ve gotten lots of emails from readers saying that the book totally felt like a movie when they read it. Sweet! The thing is, the actors I originally wanted for the movie are now too old. And I’m not really sure who to suggest.

That’s where you come in.

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

Some of you have emailed me casting suggestions over the past couple of years, but now I need to get everyone’s ideas together. So! Please share your sharp movie casting skills and tell me…

Who should play Sara?

Who should play Tobey?

jon stewart is my bff

Last night was spectacular. Jon Stewart and every writer on The Daily Show were at the Union Square Barnes & Noble to sign their new book, Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race. Being the Daily Show nerd that I am, I arrived at 5:00 for the 8:00 event. Think that’s crazy early? Dude, I got one of the last seats left in the front section! I don’t know how I thought I could waltz in three hours early and score my usual second-row aisle seat. The place was already packed. But I did snag a very respectable fourth-row seat next to three friendly neighbors. It was easy to make friends, all crammed together and clinging to our seats while the entire fourth floor of B&N filled up. People who got there two hours early had to stand.

As always when meeting the people who’ve inspired me, I was super nervous. I was trying to think up a good question for Jon. I was trying not to geek out. But when it was my turn to meet Jon, I totally did anyway.

Jon Stewart and Susane Colasanti

Here’s Jon looking at copies of my first two books. He got shout-outs in both When It Happens and Take Me There because he is made of all things awesome. I marked the pages with his shout-outs. At least, I thought I did. Until I was walking home and realized I completely missed the two biggest shout-outs in Take Me There.

* bangs head on several hard surfaces *

Why do I always do this? I’m always too nervous to think of anything good to say until after and I end up babbling like an idiot and I couldn’t even remember that I said all this cool stuff about Jon and The Daily Show in the books that I gave him.

That I wrote.

But it’s all good. Jon thanked me for the books. He even shook my hand!

Jon Stewart and Susane Colasanti at an Earth signing

Did I have a professional photographer following me around to capture this Moment of Zen? Sort of. One of those friendly neighbors I was sitting with was Robert Denbo, who has his own multimedia company. He had a mad profesh camera with him and was totally sweet about documenting me and Jon. If I hadn’t been sitting next to him, I wouldn’t be able to share these visual aids with you.

The Universe had my back on that one. Respect.

pub date + more news

The pub date for So Much Closer has been finalized! It’s May 3, 2011. I know that’s a while from now, but Amazon already has a So Much Closer page and we’re pretty sure the pub date won’t change. When I’m allowed to share the cover, you’ll see it here first. It’s my favorite cover so far. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

There’s also some event news. I’m coming to Texas! I’ll be at the Austin Teen Book Festival on October 2. I’ve been hearing how cool Austin is and I’m really looking forward to meeting those of you who live in the area. I’ll post all of the event details here when I have them.

Some online news:

Erika Breathes Books interviewed me about cupcakes, the best part of the YA world, and which song I would be (loved that question!).

In a review of When It Happens, Just Read says, “Susane Colasanti never fails to give me faith in fate, soul mates, and love.” That’s what I’m here for.

That’s Write reviewed Take Me There. Leigh says it’s “romantic and angsty, and justice is served.” Awesome.

I’m feeling that dystopia is the new vampires. Did you read this New Yorker article about why YA dystopia is so hot right now? I loved their point about how high school is a dystopia. Because everything is pretty much as bad as it can get in high school.

It’s so funny when I meet grownups and they find out I’m a YA author and they’re like, “Oh, I loved high school! I wish I could go back!” I’m like, Who are you? Seriously with the wanting to go back? I mean, yeah, I’d go back if I could have perfect skin and hair that did what I wanted it to and rich parents so I could fit in with all the other kids at my school instead of getting tormented every day. But let’s keep it real. Anyone who says high school was the best time of their life was either physically and financially privileged back then or just forgets 98% of what happened.

This is actually good news. For those of you in middle school or high school, let me just tell you. Things do get better after this. Like, way better. And those kids who make your life miserable? Eventually, you won’t even remember all their names. Or even that you knew them. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. So focus on you this year. Get stellar grades, learn new skills, and make good friends. It’s a new year and it can totally be a new you if you make it happen. I’ll be rooting for you all the way.

working out, kicking back

Going to the gym is hilarious on so many levels. First off, it’s amazing that I’ve belonged to gyms since I was 18 considering that I hated gym in high school. No, I HATED. IT. Those of you who’ve read When It Happens know what I’m talking about (see the Here’s Why Gym Sucks list on page 127). But belonging to a gym as a grownup is a whole different thing. I don’t have to be tormented by scary dodge balls flying at me. I can do my elliptical or lifting or kickboxing or whatever else I want. Well, it’s been a while since I did kickboxing. Or any other class for that matter. Eight years, actually.

I didn’t mean to get into an exclusive relationship with my elliptical for eight years. It just happened. I switched gyms and stopped taking classes and switched gyms again and was too lazy to start taking new classes. Until today. I took my first class since I stopped and was not at all prepared. That was one serious wake-up call in cardio sculpt today. After about five minutes, I was pretty much on the floor. Hilarious! When you do the same workout for years, your muscles adapt and you hit a plateau. The elliptical has spoiled me. Which is why we need some time apart. I’m not talking about breaking up. We just need to see other people. The other people I need to see are instructors who will whip my butt into shape. Was I really the princess of step, dance aerobics, and kickboxing in my 20s? I kind of was, yes. And I’m determined to earn my crown back.

Something else I’m determined to do is catch up on my summer reading. I finally bought The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. After hearing so many of her fans rave about it, I could no longer resist. The girls next to me were buying Waiting for You. It’s fun when people are picking out my books while I’m standing right next to them. I also bought Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, which for some inexcusable reason I haven’t read yet. Sarah did a summer reading recommendation video for Barnes & Noble – it’s here, in case you haven’t seen it yet – and all of the featured books were on a cute display. So a big thanks to Sarah for spreading the love!

My new books will be much appreciated over the next few days. I’ll be unplugging from all things Internet to go chill in Philly. I love reading on the train. The main reason I’m going to Philly is for John Mayer’s show across the river in Camden, but I’ll also get to hang out with some friends and see how much Penn’s campus has changed since I last visited. It’s funny how I spent so many late nights in the science lab building, had so many frustrating times there and could not wait for the endless work to be over, and now I’m all excited to go back. Just goes to show that time really does heal.

While I’m gone, I’ll leave you with this interview by Allykatzz. Those girls rock. And because I’m psyched out of my mind about this concert, here’s the Waiting for You playlist.

Out of all my book playlists, this one seems the most summertime to me. It’s just a happy, mellow mix. You can check out the other playlists on my website.

Whatever’s going on in your life these days, I hope you take some time to kick back and enjoy the summer breeze!

awesome author alert

How excited was I to finally meet Jonathan Tropper last night? Beyond excited, that’s how. He had an event at the Columbus Circle Borders to celebrate the release of This Is Where I Leave You in paperback. And not just any paperback.  His paperbacks have been reissued with shiny new covers. I think the artwork reflects the tone of his books beautifully.

Jonathan Tropper shiny new covers

If you haven’t read any of Jonathan’s books, you want to get right on that. They are all so warm and funny and introspective. And I know sometimes the term “brilliant” is thrown around loosely, but it definitely applies here. I’ve been a huge fan since Plan B, so I was stoked to finally hear him read and get to meet him. And guess what? He sort of knew who I was! Life is now complete.

I got there early to snag a good seat and signed my books while I was waiting. I’m always thrilled to see them on endcaps, but it’s even more thrilling when I get to share such good company:

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti endcap

Sharing space with Sarah Dessen, Candace Bushnell, and Cecily von Ziegesar? Sweet! And I totally need to read Burned by Ellen Hopkins. Now, you see that book by Kate Brian? Kate Brian is actually one of Kieran Scott’s pen names. Kieran is one of the warmest, funniest YA authors I’ve met. Even her website is cute! She’s running an awesome contest on her blog that you should def check out.

A few other links for you: The Paperback Princess interviewed me about inspiration, dessert, and the latest news.  Plus, Cem’s Book Hideout just reviewed both When It Happens and Take Me There.  Thanks for spreading the word, Cem!

heart’s desires

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m all about creating your ideal life. We all have heart’s desires. My heart’s desires keep me going. They’re what motivate me to keep moving forward to achieve my next goal, and the one after that, and the one after that. No matter how many goals I achieve, there are always plenty more waiting in line.

Like right now. So Much Closer has officially entered the copyediting phase of its journey. It usually takes a few weeks for copyediting to be completed. While I’m waiting, I’ll move on to my next goal. Which means it’s time for book six! My plan is to write the first draft of book six this summer.

Naturally, I have other goals beyond the author kind. My biggest heart’s desires have been speaking to me for a really long time. Meg Cabot is someone who understands this. I wasn’t surprised at all when she wrote one of her highly entertaining blog entries all about heart’s desires. She was saying how sometimes our heart’s desires are secret. Like Ellen Page’s desire to be a badass roller derby chick in Whip It.

Ellen Page in Whip It

She couldn’t tell her mom that she was a Hurl Scout because her mom would have been like, “Um, yeah, I don’t think so.” She kept her passion a secret for most of the movie. But of course it came out in the end. You can’t hide your heart’s desires for long. In fact, you have to put them out into the Universe so forces can begin to manifest your dreams. That’s how creative visualization works. If you’ve read When It Happens, you may remember the book Sara uses to manifest her own heart’s desires. That book is called Creative Visualization and it actually exists. It’s been part of my lifestyle for years and let me tell you something: It totally works!

With creative visualization, you don’t just imagine the things you want, kick back, and expect them to show up at your door. You have to put positive energy out into the Universe. The goal of doing this should never be just to get something good back in return. That said, karma makes sure that if you put out goodness, you receive goodness. Meg shared how she’s written books and short stories that benefit different charities. But I’m nowhere near that point. My thing has always been volunteer work. Ever since junior high, I’ve had a passion for all kinds of volunteer work. I like being able to help make the world a better place, even if all I can do is make it a tiny bit better. I’ve been a candystriper, a Girl Scout leader-in-training, an AIDS activist, and a bunch of other things. Currently, I do grocery shopping for seniors in my nabe. I do it because I love it.

And guess what? Friendly neighbor Kelsey just documented my books at Walmart. I didn’t even know my books were at Walmart!

Susane Colasanti books at Walmart

Do good things, receive good things. Everything is connected.

So now it’s time for you to put your biggest heart’s desires out into the Universe. You can use the comments section here (I got us started) or do your own thing. Don’t be embarrassed to dream big. How else do you think your heart’s desires will become reality?