the carrie diaries

How excited was I when my signed copy of The Carrie Diaries arrived? When I was in LA, promotion for Sex and the City 2 was everywhere. I was telling my author escort what a big fan of the show I am and how I was reading The Carrie Diaries. She was like, “Do you have it with you?” I did. It turns out that she was escorting Candace Bushnell the following week and if I left my book with her, she’d have Candace sign it for me. Sweet non-coincidence!

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

The Carrie Diaries is adorable. I love finding out more about my favorite characters, and Carrie Bradshaw is definitely one of them. We are kindred spirits in a lot of ways. In fact, before I started watching the DVDs a few of my friends were telling me how much I reminded them of Carrie. I’ve bonded with her, I feel her pain, and I loved this opportunity to get to know her even better. We find out that Carrie is from fictional Castlebury, Connecticut. We find out how she met Samantha. We also discover that she had a knowing about living in New York City one day, the same knowing I had. I totally get that pull she felt to this place. And she was always a writer. I completely connected with this part:

“Eventually, I went upstairs and took out the box of my old stories, and tried to soothe myself by imagining a better life, when I would live in New York and write books and have a completely different existence.”

I’m happy to report that The Carrie Diaries is part of the collective mind – it’s another story about a girl who falls in love with her best friend’s boyfriend. Only…well, no major spoilers here. Let’s just say it’s really good. It also makes me happy that Something Like Fate gets to shine with the literati:

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti with friends

Since I’m a major fan of the show, I’ve watched all the eps over several times. I have this thing where I can remember really specific lines of dialogue and random details. Which is how I know that there are three aspects of book Carrie that contradict show Carrie.

1. The book takes place during Carrie’s senior year of high school. She’s a virgin. But on Sex and the City, Carrie tells Charlotte that she lost her virginity junior year to this guy named Seth Bateman “in his smelly rec room.” And P.S.? It was on the pool table.

2. No one ever remembers this, but in Season Five when Carrie goes out to dinner with that Vogue editor who calls her “cookie,” she tells him that her dad left her and her mom when she was five. He never said why and she never heard from him again. In the book, her dad is there with Carrie and her two sisters; her mom died a while ago.

3. Book Carrie says she’s always been good at math. But show Carrie couldn’t even calculate how much she’d spent on shoes. When Miranda was pregnant, there’s a scene where they go shoe shopping and Carrie admits to owning about 100 pairs of shoes at around $400 a pair. She’s like, “So? That’s only $4,000.” And Miranda says, “No, that’s $40,000.” This was a minor point, but still.

Candace has said that she writes about her own characters in her books and what the show does is separate. But aren’t the two Carries the same character? I wonder if Candace pictured Sarah Jessica Parker circa Square Pegs when she was writing this book or some other girl. Despite those discrepancies, the book does a wonderful job of filling in some blanks and adds a dimension to Carrie Bradshaw that everyone who loves her will appreciate. Most of all, it lets us hold on to Carrie a little longer.

This of course gets me thinking about Sex and the City 2. I avoided the preview for as long as I could. Then we went to see Please Give (which is so outstanding I can’t even) and there it was. It looked like SATC. It sounded like SATC. But then…campy show tunes? So much taking place beyond New York? I don’t know, you guys. I mean, of course I’m going to see it. The part where Carrie runs into Aidan makes up for all the rest. I just hope they don’t ruin it. That’s my big fear about sequels (including writing my own sequels) – that bad writing could ruin it. I’ll be working all weekend, so if you see the movie def let me know what you think. Here’s hoping the preview is a lot worse than the movie!

mitali rules

The Teen Author Carnival was a total blast. It blows my mind that Mitali from Alley of Books, along with Devyn and Korianne, organized this whole entire thing yet again. Mitali is freaking amazing. She’s become a well-known entity in the YA world and is apparently one of those people who can do it all. You know, one of those people of whom I’m in awe. Otherwise known as inspiration. Thanks for all of your hard work, Mitali!

Lots of book bloggers were in the house. I finally got to meet James (Book Chic) and Erica (The Book Cellar). Erica and I were supposed to meet on my book tour, but she got the flu and couldn’t make it and I was bummed, so this was a fun surprise. Here’s representation from The Page Flipper, Shooting Stars Mag, and that’s Erica on the right:

Teen Author Carnival 2010

I absolutely love getting to meet all of these people I know from the virtual world. Meeting people for real is another thing that rules. One of these people is Simone Elkeles. I recently read Perfect Chemistry and loved it. I couldn’t wait to meet Simone. I even switched my name plate with the one two plates down from it so I could stand next to her during the signings (Mitali was cool with that). She had big posters of the boys from the Rules of Attraction book trailer. They were hot and everyone wanted one. Here’s me and my new BFF Simone:

Susane Colasanti and Simone Elkeles

Silly Bandz were also representing. I liked how Isabelle did a rainbow spectrum by mixing different kinds of Bandz:

Silly Bandz

I think I’ll mix my zoo animals and space ones to see if I can get a ROYGBIV thing going on. But not today. Today my major deadline looms. My deadline is not allowing me to play with others, so unfortunately I’m missing BEA this year. Drag. If you’re going, please have some extra fun for me!


The competition was fierce, but I somehow managed to select three winners of my third annual Floor Display Contest.

First prize goes to Courtney R., who assembled her brother and his girlfriend to recreate the cover of Something Like Fate.  I’m very impressed with their attention to detail, right down to Jason’s shaggy hair.  Superb job!

Third Annual Ginormous Contest winner

Second prize goes to Allison F. for recreating the cover of When It Happens.  I don’t know how she matched her outfit so exactly (actually, her boots are way better).  And Tobey even has a yellow shirt and guitar!  Nice one.

Third Annual Ginormous Contest second place

Renee C. won third prize by making me laugh really hard with her entry.

Third Annual Ginormous Contest third place

Congrats to all of my winners!

carnival time

Are you so excited for the Teen Author Carnival? I am. It’s going to be a blast!

Monday, May 24 5:00-8:00 pm
NYPL Jefferson Market Branch

425 6th Avenue (at 10th Street)
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212.243.4334

I was able to score some inside info for you regarding the schedule. Here’s how the Carnival will go down. Starting at 5:00, there will be three half-hour panels you may attend. In case you can’t get there right at 5:00, no worries. Each of the 30 authors will be assigned to one panel, so if you attend from 5:00 until about 6:45 you can go to each panel. They are:

The Panel of Teen Love
The Tower Room – Floor Three

Susane Colasanti, Holly Cupala, Alexandra Diaz, Simone Elkeles, Gayle Forman, Kody Keplinger, Heidi Kling, Sarah Ockler, Elizabeth Scott, Kieran Scott

The Real Teen Life Panel
The YA Room – Floor Two

Stephanie Kuehnert, Sarah Darer Littman, Barry Lyga, Sarah Mylnowski, Lauren Oliver, Courtney Sheinmel, Jon Skovron, New Vizzini, Melissa Walker, Amy Brecount White

The Mystery / Fantasy Panel
The Red Room – Floor One

Linda Gerber, Judith Graves, Violet Haberdasher, Tonya Hurley, Melissa Kantor, Michael Northrop, Eliot Schrefer, Jeri Smith-Ready, Maryrose Wood, Michelle Zink

Book giveaways will happen during the Q&A sessions. After the panel discussions, there will be signings and books sales in the Children’s Room on the first floor (I think that’s where Teen Author Reading Nights are) until 8:00. And there will be candy. Lots and lots of candy. I’m still deciding which kind to bring.

Hope to see you there!

writing on the wall

While I was at Whole Foods yesterday, I did a very grownup thing. Tazo makes this drink called Refresh Herbal Infusion. It is so minty and delicious I could drink one every day. When it gets warmer, I’m all about being refreshed. Fruit plays a big part in this because I enjoy making gorgeous fruit salads with lots of different colors in them. See, fruit and I have a very special relationship. I crave it all winter. Not the tired apples/oranges/bananas lineup you can get anytime. I’m talking berries and melons and cherries and plums and such. Every year when it gets warmer, it’s like a big gong is slammed and I’m suddenly running around on a crazed mission to take in as much seasonal fruit as possible. This might seem like an easy goal to accomplish. But here in New York, grocery shopping is tricky. I walk everywhere. So when I walk 20 minutes to Whole Foods, I need to be able to carry whatever I buy on my 20-minute walk back. I can’t just get a whole watermelon. Well, I guess I could lug in on the subway. Hm.

Right, so back to the Tazo Refresh Herbal Infusion. I generally only get two small bottles so my bag doesn’t end up being too heavy. But then I was like, dude. I could order a whole case of these to be delivered to my place! There are people who use delivery services all the time, for everything from laundry to warm cookies. I am not one of these people. Except for yesterday, when I sort of was. I ordered two cases and felt like such a grownup. My Gram taught me the importance of being frugal. Without saving, there’s no way I could have payed off my student loans or would even be living here right now. It seems like once I hit 35, I started allowing myself little luxuries here and there. I’m counting this as one of them.

In other food-related news, did you hear about the guy who got lockjaw while biting into a massive sandwich? While I was doing research for the revision I’m working on, I came across this.  The thing is, that looks like a really good sandwich.  I can see why he was so excited!

A reader sent me this photo a while ago that’s really overdue for posting. You know how some high school English wings have quotes painted on them? Well, this quote from When It Happens is painted on the wall at her school:

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti quote

Want to hear something wild? I don’t remember writing that at all. Lots of times when I see quotes from my books on Twitter or Facebook, it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. Now I know what all those blank stares were about when my pre-author self would go to readings and ask authors about specific lines from their books.

Time to get back to work. And by “work” I mean trying to play Pac-Man at Google’s home page without a joystick. Oh wait, one last thing – a reminder for those of you who haven’t entered my ginormous contest yet. You only have until Sunday night to get your entry in. Good luck!

nyc events

If you’re in the New York area and looking for some fun opportunities to chill with YA authors, good news! There are two upcoming events here in NYC. I’ll be at both of them and would love to see you:

NYC Teen Author Carnival
Monday, May 24 at 5:00 pm
NYPL Jefferson Market Branch
425 6th Avenue (at 10th Street)
Phone: 212.243.4334

Teen Author Reading Night
Wednesday, June 2 at 6:00 pm

NYPL Jefferson Market Branch
425 6th Avenue (at 10th Street)
Phone: 212.243.4334

You know when you’re reading a good book and you can’t put it down because you have to know what happens next so you stay up way too late reading it even though you know the next day you’ll be dragging? Yeah, that describes my relationship with Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. I didn’t even care how tired I was. It’s so freaking good! This is why I’m extra stoked about the Carnival. Simone will be there and I’ll get to meet her and it will be awesome. Here’s a complete listing of authors who will be at the festivities. We’re going to have a blast!

In other book nerd news, The Ultimate YA Reading Group has honored me with being their author of the month. Here’s the first part of their interview with me. In case you can’t hear how loudly I was laughing at the question about whether I was a Golden Kid in high school, trust me, it was really loud. And over at I Heart Daily, a set of five summer reads from Penguin is up for grabs. You can enter here.

Lastly, I’d like to say farewell to the Empire Diner. I can’t believe this old-school NYC diner shut down. It’s really, really sad. We’re losing so many mom-and-pop establishments, places that have been around for years and have defined the essence of this city, because rents are beyond outrageous. It’s such a shame. Well, those of us with good Empire Diner memories will cherish them, I’m sure.

Empire Diner

ginormous contest update

Guess what was waiting for me when I got back from my book tour? A bunch of author copies of Something Like Fate!

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Want one? It’s yours. All you have to do is enter my ginormous third annual Floor Display Contest. This is the last week to enter, so it’s time to bring it. I can’t believe that May 23 is already this Sunday. You have until then to send me your most creative picture of you with Something Like Fate (in a bookstore or at home). If you’re looking for the floor displays at Barnes & Noble, they upgraded me to stepladders this year. I’m psyched about this development because stepladders are bigger than the cardboard displays and have all of my books. The B&N in my nabe is too small for displays, so I went one neighborhood down to Tribeca where I found this:

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti display at Barnes & Noble

Yes, I am such a book nerd that I took the header from the cardboard display and put it on the stepladder. Other bookstores and indies will be doing different types of displays (which may be down by now, so documenting a floor display isn’t required to enter). There’s already some serious competition in the house, but I heard you like a challenge, right? Game on. Here’s how to enter.

For those of you who are into audio books, you might want to know that Something Like Fate is out on audio! Brilliance Audio recorded it with the same narrator who did Wintergirls. That’s hot. I believe they’re releasing my other three books in October.

In case you’re looking for fresh reviews of Something Like Fate, you can check out Dreaming In Books, Book Crazy, Fefe Says…, and Cover to Cover. You guys rule for spreading the word. And thanks to everyone who’s read the book and written to tell me about it. Without reader feedback, I don’t have a clue. I really, really appreciate all of your support!

book tour, part three

The final part of my book tour was a lot of fun! I got to do school visits as well as bookstore events, which meant that I got to meet even more readers. Awesome.

In case you were wondering, I did manage to wake up at 5:00 and drag myself to the airport. I usually get out a book and read when the airport security line is long, but for some reason I didn’t do that this time (anyone sense a non-coincidence coming up?). Which means I was paying attention to the people around me. Which is why I noticed one of my old students. She’s a security officer there. I was like, Shut UP! No one is going to believe us! It was probably best to avoid a whole loud scene in the middle of security, so while we were hugging and freaking out and everyone was totally staring (because how often do you know an airport security person?), she told me that she’d meet me at my gate. We got to catch up and document the reunion:

Friendly neighbor reunion!

When I landed in Chicago, my author escort took me right to Harlem High School. I spoke to two 9th grade English classes, then met with the book club after school. Can I just say that their book club rules? It’s immensely fun to chill with hardcore readers. They’re currently reading Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. Naturally, I wanted to stay and join the discussion.

That night, Wonderland Books & Toys hosted a dinner for me and some awesome readers. They had the biggest pizza in the world! Seriously, when I saw that pizza box I was like, What size pizza is that? It was beyond large. Thanks to Shawna for organizing such a cool event, complete with pink cupcakes. Abbey was there with this cute bookmark she made:

Awesome reader bookmark

The next day started at Scullen Middle School with a lunch group of 8th grade girls. Ah, the days when I had to eat lunch at 10:30 – I don’t miss them at all. A beautiful table was set up in the media center – pink forks, napkins with dots, heart cookies, and a major chocolate cake:

Scullen Middle School girls' lunch

Now, at these lunch and dinner events I don’t actually get to eat anything since I’m doing most of the talking. Plus, my Invisalign condition prevents me from eating whenever. But I usually get to take a treat to go, so it’s all good. I loved meeting this group of girls! They even made a huge welcome poster for me:

Scullen Middle School poster

Next I gathered in the band room with about 30 8th graders. But this wasn’t a typical presentation. While I was speaking with them, the talk was filmed and being broadcast to the entire 8th grade. All the classrooms have monitors. It’s the new assembly, people! That was a really fun discussion, although I should apologize for using the word beeyotch. You’re allowed to use that word here instead of the other. It kind of slipped out when I was talking about this girl I went to high school with who was, well, a total beeyotch. My bad.

Then it was off to Waubonsie Valley High School, where I did an activity with a creative writing class. It was wild being in a classroom with so much room to move around. I’m used to very limited space when I’m teaching. I could have done cartwheels in front of that class. I mean, if I knew how to do cartwheels. As we were walking up to the school, I noticed that signs with each room number were in the windows, facing outward. Smart. I recommend that all schools do this in case of an emergency.

That night was my last tour event at Anderson’s Bookshop. I will never forget it. I got to meet my LJ friend Ronica. Brittany gave me cupcakes. Along with the birthday gift from Tameka and Jessica at my Borders event in LA, I was feeling very spoiled. And Anne drove two hours each way just to be there. I was honored!

Now I’m back home. I’d like to collapse in a heap of post-tour exhaustion, but I can’t because my deadline looms. My new W Hotel king pillows are not helping (thanks for the ultimate birthday gift, Laila!). Stop taunting me, extra puffy pillows. Just be ready.

chicago event

One good thing about being my own boss is that I don’t have to get up at the crack of darkness anymore. Except during book tours. Somehow, I will get up at 5:00 tomorrow and fly to Chicago and do school visits and a dinner at Wonderland Books. It all sounds fabulous except for the getting up at 5:00 part. Wait, why am I still awake? Dude. I’d better make this a quick post.

I’ll be tweeting updates from the last part of my book tour, but probably won’t be blogging until I get back. Here’s some stuff to look at while I’m gone:

Some new reviews of Something Like Fate are up at Forever Young, Not Enough Bookshelves, and The Book Cellar.

The Ultimate YA Reading Group has selected me as their author of the month! I’m totally honored. You can check out their Tumblr here. Which reminds me – should I be on Tumblr? Okay, no time! Must wake up at 5:00! We’ll discuss this later.

Chicago is mostly all about school visits, but I’m doing an event that’s open to the public at Anderson’s Bookshop:

Wednesday, May 12 – 7:00
Reading, discussion and signing
Anderson’s Bookshop
5112 Main Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515-4601
Phone: 630.963.2665

After that, my tour will be over. I’m sorry if I didn’t make it to your town this time. There are lots of other places I wanted to visit! If you’d like me to come to your town next time, please let your local bookstore know. If they request me, my publicist might add that location to my next tour!

book tour, part two

Picking up where Book Tour, Part One left off…San Francisco! My first event was an afternoon tea at Copperfield’s Books. I just loved the idea of an afternoon tea. And Copperfield’s did such an awesome job of promoting the event:

Something Like Fate event at Copperfield's

Next up was the big Books Inc. Not Your Mother’s Book Club YA launch party in Berkeley. This was the first YA event in the new Books Inc. location, which is gorgeous – skylights, wood, airy. I had such a fun time on the panel with Jenny Han, Michael Grant, Cynthia Omololu, and Beth Fantaskey. We found out that Michael Grant wrote some of the Sweet Valley Highs! Jenny and I were in awe. I had to get up in the middle of Q&A to hug him for that. An old friend from college showed up. I didn’t recognize him at first, but then I totally did! I love how book tours can inspire these kinds of reunions. Another awesome part of the night was finally getting to meet Jandy Nelson and Cheryl Renee Herbsman, two outstanding authors whose books I blurbed. Here’s Cheryl, me, and Jandy:

Cheryl Herbsman, Susane Colasanti, and Jandy Nelson

I was only back home for a night before leaving for my next event in New Jersey. If you’ve read Something Like Fate, you know that I have a thing for train tracks. Especially train tracks in the middle of the woods. I’m from Middle of Nowhere New Jersey where train tracks represented possibility, exciting adventures, and life-altering journeys. So of course I took the train to Books & Greetings in Northvale. The store’s owner, Kenny, is freaking amazing. He had huge posters in the window and flyers and tons of displays around. And the event was a pizza party!

Something Like Fate pizza party by Books & Greetings

Lauren M. and her sister came all the way from NYC. I was totally honored that Danielle’s copy of When It Happens was falling apart, just like my copy of The Outsiders was from reading it so many times! A fellow teacher from my old school came with his fam and daughter, Rachel. All the girls were wearing Silly Bandz. I’m not sure when these busted out as the new hot trend (actually, it was explained to me that they were in like three years ago and then they were out and now they’re in again). I haven’t noticed anyone in New York wearing them. But I like being trendy with these kinds of things, so Kenny gave me packs of zoo animals, space, and glitter dinosaurs. Plus, he let me take my floor display header home. Thanks for a super fun time, Kenny!

Books & Greetings event for Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Tomorrow I’ll be in Connecticut at RJ Julia:

Monday, May 10 – 4:30
Reading, discussion and signing
RJ Julia
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
Phone: 203.245.3959

Then it’s off to Chicago way early Tuesday morning. Scary early, in fact. But readers await on the other side, so it’s all good. Hope to see you this week!