wondering…

…what will be under the Lost in Love book jacket.

All three books of the City Love trilogy will have super shiny metallic jackets and printed cases (images printed right on the book covers, front and back). I was blown away by the beauty of the City Love cover.

City Love by Susane Colasanti

One thing that’s really cool about the metallic jacket is how radiant it looks on the shelf. Dazzling!

So yeah. I cannot wait to see a finished copy of Lost in Love, which comes out on May 3, 2016. You can pre-order the book and read a synopsis here.

Happy holidays, friendly neighbors ❤

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yallfest feels, all the feels

Remember how I was raving about Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon? And how I promised to refrain from fangirling all over her during our panel at YALLFest? Yeah, I didn’t keep that promise. Not at all.

My favorite book, The Little Prince, plays a big role in Everything, Everything. I am a collector of all things Little Prince. I especially adore the fox because his tail is so big and puffy and he says lots of profound things. As soon as I found out I would get to be on a panel with Nicola, I decided to bring the Little Prince bag I made from a tee I got in Paris that I cut up and stitched onto a Strand tote. I showed her my bag. She asked if I was crafty. I was like, “Not as crafty as your husband,” because David Yoon made all of the charming illustrations in her book. How cute is that? They are like this collaborative creative team just bursting with brilliance.

I was stoked that Carolyn Mackler was on our panel. Carolyn lives here in New York and I’ve known her for years, so she was spared the fangirling I busted out when I first met her like ten years ago. Have you ever met someone you have so much in common with it’s almost scary? Like how did they make another person so similar? That’s me and Carolyn. She pulled off writing a novel that takes place over four years of high school with such skill and ease I was awestruck. Infinite in Between is a beautiful book…and of course I had to document with these beautiful authors.

Carolyn Mackler, Susane Colasanti, and Nicola Yoon

 

Who moderated our panel? Um, I don’t know, only Aaron Hartzler! What We Saw is burning a hole in my to-read list it’s so hot. This was also my first time meeting Aaron, but I managed to reel in the fangirling since he felt like an old friend already. You know how sometimes you meet someone and they immediately feel like your people? That’s me and Aaron. During our panel, Aaron shared about a librarian who reached out to him back when his reading choices weren’t being supported. We were all verklempt. This was after I got verklempt over Everything, Everything being one of those rare books that changes you, that makes you see the world differently. So I called us the verklempt panel. If a YALLFest All the Feels Award existed, we would have totally won. As you can see here, I was not excited to be a part of this touching panel. Not at all.

Aaron Hartzler, Carolyn Mackler, Susane Colasanti, and Nicola Yoon

The opportunity to participate in events like YALLFest is my favorite part of being an author. Why? Book events are where I get to connect with my readers in person. My readers are why I write. My readers are why my dream bigger job is reality. So getting to meet you is extremely important to me. Some of you are newer readers. I am excited for our journey together! Some of you have been communicating with me for years online. It feels like I already know you. And some of you are the kind of dedicated readers who know me so well you give me gifts like this one from Emily D.

YALLFest warm fuzzies

Emily made this jar of warm fuzzies for me with quotes from my fave book, movie, actor, musician, and author. How cute is that? I have the best readers in the world and I could not be more grateful. Thanks to all of you who were there…and have been there for me.

On the way back home from YALLFest, my plane was delayed three hours. We sat at the gate for a long time. The pilot came out to make an announcement about how we were not going anywhere. Then we had to get off the plane and eat chips while the people in charge figured out if the flight would be canceled. Apparently there were signal problems at JFK in New York, something about their radar system not communicating properly with planes coming in. This was the day after I found out about the attacks in Paris while I was flying to Charleston.

You know how I feel about non-coincidences.

Tragic attacks happen every day, all around the world. Which is why the delay didn’t really bother me. If a three-hour flight delay was tolerable, what does that say about the little things that annoy us on a daily basis? Temporary situations that only last a few minutes? Like a long line at the post office or a slow elevator or just missing the subway? Maybe we shouldn’t even allow those things to annoy us. Maybe those fleeting, minimal inconveniences are part of a life we get to live. And maybe that’s the important thing to remember.

The Little Prince

We are alive. We have a responsibility to live this life to its fullest. Focusing on the moments that matter, like all the feels from an epic day, deflates the irritation of those little annoying things to the point that they merely become background noise. They fade to gray while the vivid colors of what really matters shine brighter than ever. The colors of everything we love, everything that makes us happy, everything that inspires us. Let’s put those colors into sharp focus, unfiltered, and live

everything, everything by nicola yoon

Once in a great while, you come across a book so powerful, so dazzling, so alive, that it changes you. It changes the way you see the world. It changes the way you think about relationships. And it reminds you that life is a gift we cannot afford to waste.

For me that book is Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I’m not even factoring in the wonderful non-coincidence that The Little Prince is my favorite book of all time and plays a significant role in this book. Or that the vignettes and illustrations fuse together in a spectacular way I’ve always wanted to read. This book has everything.

Everything.

This unique story brings all the feels in a burst of emotions so dazzling you can’t see straight. This is the kind of book you can’t stop thinking about long after you’ve finished reading. Beautifully written and illustrated, Everything, Everything will impress you like no other reading experience ever has.

I’ve been a full-time author for eight years. During this past decade, I have read a lot of teen novels. This book is one of the absolute best ever.

Let’s hope I don’t fangirl all over Nicola Yoon too hard on our YALLFest panel. But if I do and you are there to see it, you will understand.

yallfest

Could I be any more psyched out of my head for YALLFest?

No. No, I could not be.

YALLFest

I am so freaking thrilled that YALLFest is almost here. After hearing tons of magnificent things about this epic event, I cannot wait to get this party started!

Here’s when and where you can find me at YALLFest on Saturday, November 14:

2:00 pm – Contemporary Book Club panel
Charleston Museum
360 Meeting Street

3:00 pm – Show Some Emotion panel
American Theater Cinema
446 King Street

4:00 pm – Signing
Blue Bicycle Big Tent
420 King Street

This is a complete listing of all the authors who will be at YALLFest. Just click on their names to see their schedules. And here is a detailed schedule of the panels.

See you in Charleston 🙂

halloween soul mates

Hello November! And hello darkness before 5pm! It should not be dark before 5pm. Not at all. But daylight time will start increasing after the winter solstice on December 22. So that’s something. If I can give you any kind of TGIM warm fuzzy today, longer daylight time within reach (sort of) would be it. Fight on, everyone.

On the brighter side, this Halloween was warm enough for me to wear my costume without a jacket. Can we just move Halloween to the summer? So we’re not freezing and we don’t have to wear a coat over our costume? My BF/soul mate and I walk in the Village Halloween Parade, the super famous parade that goes up 6th Avenue from Tribeca to the West Village. You have to line up a few blocks before the parade route starts if you want to be in the parade. It takes about half an hour of standing in a super tight crowd shuffling ahead a few inches at a time before you even start walking in the parade. But then you are officially in the parade and it is awesome. This was my view from the crowd as we filtered up to the starting position:

Village Halloween Parade 2015

Continuing with our theme of soul mate costumes, this year we decided that Matt would go as Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko. That scary Donnie Darko rabbit is like the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.

Frank the Bunny, Donnie Darko

So then who would I be? Frankie, of course! In her first ever appearance. I love creating characters where none existed before, on the page and on Halloween.

Frank the Bunny and Frankie

Frank the Bunny is so. freaking. scary. I’ve had nightmares starring him he’s so scary. Maybe that’s why I wanted to do these costumes. Suddenly Frank wasn’t scary anymore. He was just a costume with a soft, fuzzy heart. Good to know in these darker days before we bring on the light.

Shine on, rock stars!