good signs

Have you entered my audiobook giveaway on Twitter yet? If not, no worries – you have one more day. Here’s how to enter.

Okay, writing that just now made me think how weird it is that we use the word “enter” for giveaways. I’m picturing the giveaway as a room in which people automatically appear once they’ve entered with a popping sound effect. “Look, so-and-so has entered the giveaway!” Guess I’m in one of those bizarre word moods. Next I’ll be saying “purple” a bunch of times until it doesn’t sound like a word anymore.

I’ve been known to get like this after visits to the doctor where they take blood.  I do not do needles. Not at all. I have so much respect for everyone in the health profession, especially people who take blood. Sensitive people like me are a pain. The nurse did an awesome job of distracting me while I was taking deep breaths and not looking at the blood. She talked about how fresh the fruit is in Jamaica. Dude. How did she know I’m obsessed with fruit? She’s that good! She’s so good that now I want to go to Jamaica and eat the fresh fruit.

Speaking of fresh fruit, I finally hooked up with some real tomatoes (as opposed to the impostor tomatoes that are currently taking over supermarkets nationwide). Yes, I was so happy to see them in the midst of our tomato crisis that I almost made out with a bunch of New England vine ripe ones right there in Whole Foods. I am not opposed to PDA. “A Day in the Life” came on and I was transported back to the Paul McCartney concert, waving my arms to the “ah-ah-ahhhh” part. At the concert, not at Whole Foods. Then I came home, made a tomato and muenster cheese sandwich with mayo on rye, and enjoyed the classic taste of summer. It’s a good sign that these tomatoes taste like tomatoes. Hope is alive.

Without hope, it’s hard to stay positive. We have to keep hoping that our dreams will become reality. Like how I hope When It Happens will be made into a movie soon. You guys have told me how the book played like a movie when you read it. Which makes total sense. As I was writing it, I pictured every scene like a movie. I had a Knowing from the start that it was meant to be a movie. Back then, the book was actually called Trust. My initial plan was to do one-word titles. My friend Jim and I used to walk down Central Park West on warm nights, summer breeze and city lights all around us, visualizing Trust becoming a movie.

Then Trust became a movie.

As if I didn’t already heart Ross enough, David Schwimmer busted out with this absolutely gripping film that just blows you away. I’m taking it as a good sign for When It Happens. And if Liana Liberato wanted to play Sara, I would be one happy girl.

Best of all, I have my peaceful homelife back. I forgot how quiet facing our little courtyard in the back was until the construction work ended. And I finally remembered to look up (as John Dalton advises) and notice that our building’s exterior is gorgeous. I’m not sure the constant noise was worth it, but this place is all sparkly happy now. I’m taking that as a good sign, too.

audiobook giveaway

Good news for audiobook listeners! When It Happens, Take Me There, and Waiting for You are all out on audiobook. And my copies have arrived:

That’s right, friendly neighbors. It’s giveaway time! You can win your choice of any two of these audiobooks on CD or MP3.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Follow me on Twitter. If you’re already following, proceed to step two.

2. Tweet this:

Win audiobooks by Susane Colasanti on CD or MP3! Follow @susanecolasanti and RT to enter. Giveaway info here: http://tinyurl.com/4xrev94

Giveaway rules:

1. All entries must be completed by Saturday, July 30 at 11:11 pm.

2. Only one RT per entrant will be counted.

3. I will announce the winner on Twitter on Monday, August 1.

4. The winner will have two days to email me (susanecolasanti[at]gmail[dot]com) their full name and mailing address. If a response is not received in time, an alternate winner will be selected.

5. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States.

I got to approve the narrators for each of these recordings. They are all amazing. It’s so important to select the right narrator for audiobooks, and Brilliance Audio did an incredible job. You will enjoy!

P.S. The Something Like Fate audiobook came out last year. It rocks as hard as these, just so you know.

 

getting my summer on

Welcome summer! I know summer starts for a lot of you the day after school ends. Or after Memorial Day. But for me, summer always begins on the first day of summer. Which is the summer solstice. Which is tomorrow. I will try to focus on the happy fact that sunset is at 8:30 instead of getting that sinking feeling I always have when daylight hours start decreasing. We have the greatest amount of daylight hours all year on the summer solstice (about 15 hours in New York), which means that the day after tomorrow…nope. I will not think about that. I will think about getting my summer on.

Actually, I’ve already begun the funtivities. Section two of the High Line just opened. I was so there. As if more High Line in my life isn’t enough, there’s an outdoor art installation right at the end called Rainbow City with all these interactive balloons. Balloons! Plus more High Line! These are the days, yo.

High Line section two opening

You know how some offices have summer hours? Well, I’m the boss of a one-person corporation over here, and I say my only employee Susane gets to enjoy summer hours, too. Sort of. If it’s a sunny morning that’s not, like, a thousand degrees, I’m allowed to lay out on the beach volleyball pier instead of being online. It’s this new thing at Hudson River Park where volleyball courts are fenced in on a pier – with sand! My entire floor is now covered with sand. Looks like summer. And, um, time to vacuum…

Normally, I would avoid such close proximity to balls zinging in all directions. But they have these cool curvy chairs to lay out on and a sweet summer breeze off the water and it’s just too awesome to resist. I watched some fierce Chelsea boys playing a highly profesh game this weekend. It was good to desensitize myself. Back in junior high and high school, I was terrified of getting smacked in the head with any type of ball – baseball, kick ball, dodge ball, basketball, and especially volleyball. Because when you’re playing volleyball, you are under attack from overhead. Scary much? Now that I’m (technically) a grownup, I think it’s time to be a bit less afraid of volleyballs. So I sat right there and read my book and didn’t get hit. Small steps, people. Small steps.

I have to say that I was shocked by how many people borrowed my sunblock. If you’re going to be outside for a while, bring protection! One new product I’m loving is Neutrogena Wet Skin.

Neutrogena Wet Skin

You know how when you’re laying out and sweating and even if your sunblock is waterproof, it still comes off sometimes and you burn? And then you’re furious because, hello, you spent half an hour putting on sunblock before you left and you even reapplied it and now look? Or is that just me? Well, if you can relate then you’ll love Wet Skin. It’s sweatproof, waterproof, and you can spray it right on wet skin. I’m using SPF 85 and loving it. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

In online news, The Guardian has come to my attention with this piece on authors’ responses to that ridiculous WSJ article about how teen novels are all corrupt a few weeks ago. Then When It Happens got a sweet review. “It’s like Twilight without the vampires!” I’ll take it. Also, the Book Blog Experience is running a giveaway of So Much Closer to go with this interview.

As if the summer solstice isn’t festive enough, even more funtivities are going down tomorrow. I’m doing my last book tour event out on Long Island with fellow YA author/good friend/all-around amazing chica Elizabeth Eulberg. Dude, I’m almost as excited for the train ride as I am for the event. Traveling with friends is way more fun than traveling alone. Elizabeth and I will try not to be too rowdy. But we’re not making any promises. Quiet car FAIL. If you’re a Long Islander (or into road trips), here’s where you can find us:

Tuesday, June 21 – 4:00 pm
Beach Bag Book Club
Merrick Library Annex
2369 Merrick Avenue
Merrick, NY 11566

If I didn’t make it to your area on this tour, I def hope to next time around!

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!