or treat

TGIM Halloween style! This year I’m enjoying two delicious Halloween treats: mint 3 Musketeers and peanut butter Snickers. If you haven’t tried peanut butter Snickers, trust me, it’s time. Just don’t look at the calorie count on those.

Of course, Crumbs is the ultimate choice for the cutest, tastiest Halloween cupcakes ever.

Crumbs Halloween cupcakes

Enjoy your treats!

keep holding on synopsis

Thanks so much for all of your kind words and excitement about the cover of Keep Holding On! Several of you have even said that this is your fave cover. The thing I love most about it is the girl’s purple Converse. My main character, Noelle, writes all over her sneakers the way I used to in high school. I’m happy the designer was able to add some drawing to her Converse.

I posted a bit about my inspiration for the book here. This one is a bit different for me. The story involves soul mates as usual, but Keep Holding On focuses on the consequences of bullying. So it has a more serious tone than my other books. This story was inspired by my own experiences with bullying. I was a total outsider in junior high and high school. I wrote about some really embarrassing things that I would have been mortified to admit back then. Some of the things that happened to me were so humiliating that I’ve only recently started talking about them to friends who’ve known me for many years.

The thing is, I’m not embarrassed anymore. If those things happened to me, they’re happening to other people right now. Which means it’s time to speak up.

I’ll be sharing a lot more about this book and how it was influenced by my own story. For now, here’s the official synopsis of Keep Holding On:

Don’t look up.

Lunch is the worst, but there’s no safe place at school for Noelle. Keeping her mortifying home life a secret and trying to ignore the kids who make her life miserable are Noelle’s survival strategies. Her emotionally distant boyfriend, Matt, isn’t the one she really wants to be with. But she’s sure there’s no way she could ever be with Julian Porter.

When Julian starts talking to her, Noelle is terrified. It seems safer to stay with Matt than risk a broken heart. But when the bullying of a friend goes too far, Noelle realizes it’s time to stand up for herself—and for everything that makes her keep holding on.

I know how it feels to be relentlessly tormented. I know how it feels to constantly be anxious at school and at home, to feel like you’ll never fit in, like no one will ever understand you. And like you will never find someone who will love you. Writing Keep Holding On was my way of turning a negative experience into something positive.

I want this book to reach out to teens in need. I want this book to help people feel less alone. If it does, then everything I endured will have been worth it.

keep holding on cover!

Here it is! The cover of my new book, Keep Holding On:

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Like all of my other covers, I think this one reflects the tone of the book really well. I was actually picturing a cover very similar to this with the models in front of lockers. Either that or sitting on a bench outside of this coffeehouse from the book. So I was stoked to hear that the photo shoot took place at a school in New Jersey. Once again, the friendly neighbors on Penguin’s design team have dazzled.

The pub date for Keep Holding On is currently June 14, 2012. I’ll let you know if that changes. My books have all come out in May up until now, but I think the marketing team is trying something different this time around.

I hope you like this cover. As always, I’d love your feedback!

team gale

How excited am I for The Hunger Games movie? Psyched out of my head, yo. March 23 is burning a hole in my day planner. Day planner en fuego. The effects in the Arena are going to be crazy hot. Cannot. Freaking. Wait.

Let’s talk boys.

Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark

Liam Hemsworth is more my type than Josh Hutcherson. Except I was picturing Gale darker and with brown eyes. It looks like maybe Liam was wearing brown contacts in the movie pics I saw. I hope so. That’s important. From the movie pics, it doesn’t look like Peeta’s hair is blond enough. I’ve always seen the boys as dark and light like yin and yang. Katniss looks amazing, though. Jennifer Lawrence was incredible in Winter’s Bone. No doubt she will bring it full force.

When I tell you this you’re going to be like, WHAT. But I didn’t start reading the trilogy right away. It look some persuading. People were telling me how awesome The Hunger Games was. I was all, “Yeah, no, I’m not really into dystopia, thanks anyway.” And they were like, “No, this is really good. You have to read it.” And I was like, “I’m all about realistic fiction. So I think I’ll pass.” But they were not hearing that. They were like, “You don’t understand. You need to read this book.” So I finally went and got the book and it sat on my night table for a while.

But then I started reading it.

Next thing I know, it’s four in the morning, I can’t put the book down, eyes burning out of my face, knowing I was going to pay for it the next day and not even caring. Holy crap is that book good. Aside from Speak and Wintergirls, The Hunger Games is probably the only book I’ve read that I thought was perfection. I wouldn’t have changed one word. Unreal.

A spoiler alert might be needed here. I don’t know. Just throwing that out there to the three of you who haven’t read the series yet.

The whole series is phenomenal. But Catching Fire was a little less perfect. And Mockingjay was even less perfect. Particularly the ending. Where certain people ended up with certain other people when certain people were clearly meant to be with certain other people who are their SOUL MATE. I mean, hello, am I the only one who thinks a tragic mistake was made?

Team Gale

So yeah. Team Gale. Why? Because when you live in District 12 and are illegally scavenging in the woods, risking your life to stay alive and trying to feed your family, and there’s a boy by your side the whole time who is bonded to you in a way that no one else in the whole entire world could ever understand, a boy who loves you and you love him and you’re just starting to realize the depth of your love, and when he kisses you you just know…then it is obvious you’re meant to be together. Some people forgot about that kiss. Or act like it was whatever. A kiss is never whatever. That kiss was something real.

And what kind of name is Peeta, anyway? Like, what, he works in a bakery and bakes bread so pita bread and then just change the spelling?

Let me stop. Your turn.

enjoy the now

TGIM! Your TGIM thought of the day is brought to you by my fave comic strip, Mutts.

Mutts enjoy the Now

It’s not easy to be in the moment. Calming my chronic case of Noisy Brain to be present is a constant challenge. But even taking one minute to enjoy the Now has mellowing properties. After all, Now is all we have.

Here’s to the Now!

cover news + other awesomeness

My amazing UK editor is in town and I just got to have lunch with her. She’s the best kind of editor – a big fan of my books, excited about collaborating, and a very sweet person. Scholastic UK is publishing both When It Happens and So Much Closer next year. Naturally, I am beyond stoked. Helen showed me a mock-up of the When It Happens cover. It’s such a unique design! Without giving too much away, I can tell you that there’s room for some images on the cover that reflect things from the book.

Which is where you come in.

It’s been a long time since I read When It Happens. Even though it’s hard to believe, I don’t remember everything I wrote. How busted is that? Of course I remember details like Tobey’s black Converse and Sara’s sketchbook and the significance of yin-yang and Chez and how music was a major part of the story. But I’d love to know which details you remember. What images do you think should go on the cover? Your comments would be much appreciated – and would really help me get my suggestions together!

More cover news for you: I finally saw the initial cover designs for Keep Holding On and the So Much Closer paperback. They are both super cute. I’ll post them here as soon as they’re finalized.

In other awesomeness, how sweet is the Google doodle today? As soon as I saw it I freaked OUT. He was once a little green slab of clay. Gumby! My old students know all about Gumby and co. I regularly worked them into my lessons. Plus I kept my retro Gumby and Pokey figures on my desk. I adore all those characters, but Prickle has always held a special place in my heart. He is the yellow dinosaur. He is adorable.

One thing I love about New York is discovering new stuff. All the time. Often right down the street. Like the other day when I was mesmerized by some skywriting. The physics component of skywriting is fascinating. Not only do you have to be all about trajectories and angles, you have to take into account wind conditions as well. The skywriter started writing over 10th Avenue. But by the time the message was finished, it had blown east of 6th Avenue. What was the message? LAST CHANCE. A group of us stood on the street wondering, Last chance for what? (Note: That’s maybe not the best message to write in the New York City sky). The romantic part of me usually wins with these things. I imagined the skywriter to be desperately in love with a girl who knew she should leave her abusive boyfriend to be with him, but lacked the courage to make such a drastic life change. It was her last chance to follow her heart. Would she take it?

So how do I know where the skywriting started? Because I tweeted about the message. Then I noticed a tweet in my feed from the High Line. Of course the skywriting was an art project affiliated with the High Line. Awesomeness attracts more awesomeness. I can’t wait to see what’s next.


pink smeg affection

TGIM! I’m sending you this wish a bit late, but you know. Monday is good all day.

Your TGIM thought of the day is brought to you by Smeg.

Adorable vintage pink and red Smeg refrigerators

My conviction to procure the sleekest Sub-Zero model for my future apartment is unwavering. But whenever I pass these vintage Smeg refrigerators on the street, I have to stop and stare.

How cute are they?!

steve jobs shines on

Life in the dark days before Shiny Happy Apple World was a lot less shiny and happy.

I spent a bunch of time in the 80s with my fingers on the play and record buttons of my tape player, waiting for the next song to come on the radio, hoping it would be the one I wanted and that the DJ wouldn’t talk into it and there wouldn’t be any of those annoying crackles of static.

Now there’s iTunes.

Apple was different in the mid-90s. That was before Steve Jobs revolutionized the product and design. I’m embarrassed to admit that I owned a PC back then. Not that I was ever a PC person. I hated the interface, the complications, the weird error codes that kept popping up randomly. I especially hated the ugly beige color everything was determined to be. Then Steve Jobs applied his vision of elegant simplicity over at Shiny Happy Apple World. Everything was silver and white and glossy.

It was love at first sight.

Apple logo

But before I found my Apple religion, I was writing When It Happens on a nasty PC. I opened the file one day and my draft was just…gone. All of my words had morphed into rectangles. I cannot tell you the amount of hours I spent on the phone with “customer service” during those dark days, begging for someone to help me unfreeze the computer/retrieve a corrupted file/decode strange error messages/fix a thousand other problems. Why did it always have to be something? Writing a book was stressful enough. I didn’t need all that hoo-ha on top of it.

Now those problems are gone.

Steve Jobs told us this:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

He said that every morning when he woke up, he’d ask himself if he was about to do something he loved, if he was looking forward to the day. If he had too many days where he wasn’t happy with what he was doing, he knew it was time to change things up.

I love my job. And because Steve Jobs was a genius innovator, I get to work with tools that are efficient, reliable, and beautiful to look at all day. His products make it easy for me to focus on what’s most important. He gave every Apple user that gift.

Steve Jobs changed my life. I will be eternally thankful.