dream big news

To close out January, I have some news to share from the Dream Big Department.

I’ve been working on a passion project for over 10 years. In response to the suckitude of 2016, I made an executive decision in December that 2017 was going to be Year on Fire. As in I didn’t come to play. I came to SLAY. I made a list of goals for 2017 and hit the ground running on Day 1 to make those big dreams reality.

One of my 2017 goals was to collaborate on this project. Which I will tell you all about when I can! Another 2017 goal was to do a deal with Alloy Entertainment. Warner Bros. TV owns Alloy. Guess where I was today?

Warner Bros. TV - Alloy Entertainment

Alloy acquired this project and we are working on it together. Two dream big 2017 goals already checked off! We had a development meeting that was freaking amazing. I can’t wait to share more with you soon.

Here’s to manifesting your big dreams in 2017 ❤

10th annual nyc teen author festival

Has it really been 10 years since superstar David Levithan organized the first NYC Teen Author Festival? A whole freaking decade?

Apparently.

Get ready for the 10th Annual NYC Teen Author Festival, happening March 18-26!

NYC Teen Author Festival 2017

Dude. SO many fabulous authors will be at this thing it’s unreal. I mean, just look at the full schedule of events. How amazing is that?

If you are in the New York City area the weekend of March 25-26, you can totally find me at the festival. Here’s where I’ll be:

Saturday, March 25 – 7:00-9:00 pm

McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012

What Is a Love Story? panel with Kayla Cagan, Susane Colasanti, Pete Hoffmeister, Adam Silvera, Sarvenaz Tash, Maggie Thrash, and Nicola Yoon. Moderated by David Levithan.

Sunday, March 26 – 1:30-2:00 pm

Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

10th Annual Ginormous Signing! With a ridiculous amount of authors! Which you absolutely do not want to miss!

Hope to see you at one of these events, friendly neighbors! xoxo

the female of the species

You know when you read a really good book, maybe one of the best books you’ve ever read in your life, and then the next book you read blows you away too? And, if you are very lucky, the ones after that? So you’re reading a bunch of books in a row that are consuming your soul and every day you look forward to getting back to your current book because you are having so much fun reading it’s like this whole euphoric state with endorphins firing and epiphanies sparking that transports you to another plane of existence because reading is the best drug ever?

Welcome to my world.

I have been on a natural reading high for months now. Why? Because dude. Look around. Have you seen the phenomenal teen novels out there? Specifically what is shining in the contemporary, realistic genre, which is where I live? I mean…wow.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is what I am talking about.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

First of all, just look at this cover. Have you ever seen a cover like this? No. No, you have not. Because rock star cover designer Erin Fitzsimmons, who also designed my covers for the City Love trilogy, is a freaking genius. There is no way you could look at this cover and not be intrigued.

Then you open the book and Mindy McGinnis sucks you into her vortex of brilliance so stellar you wonder which solar system you are spinning in.

The Female of the Species is extraordinary. There is just no other book quite like it. It is a striking, captivating story that will break your heart and empower you all at once. This book is an outstanding example of YA fiction at its best. I am so grateful that Mindy McGinnis wrote this story. I know it is speaking to a lot of readers and will resonate with many more. I know it is making teens feel less alone.

Shout-out to our publisher, Katherine Tegen, for sending me this book when I fangirled all over Twitter in anticipation. Some books are so good you just know you will fall in love with them even before you’ve read the first word. Basically? MM dropped the mic.

Happy winter reading, friendly neighbors! xoxo

20th new yorkiversary

I’m just going to say it.

2016 sucked every which way a year could possibly suck. Seriously with that ish? What even was that? You know it’s not a good year when you set your alarm clock to NPR every morning at the start of a major news hour so that the second you wake up you can find out where a shooting was and/or who died. I mean…I cannot EVEN.

Focusing on good things helps. One good thing about 2016 (that automatically included lots of other good things) is that January 6 was my 20th New Yorkiversary. I moved to New York City for grad school on January 6, 1996 in a blizzard with no money, no friends, and no job, just big dreams I was determined to make reality. So all this year I have been celebrating 20 years in my dream city, the city that makes me feel alive every day. Even when I woke up day after day to horrifying news, I was grateful to live in the city where I belong. And right now I am relieved that, as of December 22, daylight time is increasing a little every day. That is a very good thing.

Winter solstice

Some good things that happened in 2016? I got engaged. A scene from City Love manifested with Claire Danes on the street. The second book of my City Love trilogy, Lost in Love, came out and Epic Reads did an author fun facts video to celebrate. I got to be Maddy from Nicola Yoon’s spectacular Everything, Everything. I went to YALLWEST and chilled with author rock stars and fangirled all over the place. I made some dorktastic YouTube videos. I shared one of my favorite hidden West Village areas with you. And every day, no matter what sad things were happening in the world, I was feeling the city love. The past 20 years have been filled with magical New York City moments that have shaped the person I am today. I am forever in love with my home and the infinite possibilities it brings.

Something tells me you are looking forward to 2017 as much as I am, if not more. I am here to tell you this: You can turn your big dreams into reality in 2017. How do I know? Because dude. I went from having 73 cents in my bank account in college to becoming a homeowner in downtown Manhattan. With enough kitchen counter space to bake my annual 200+ Christmas cookies.

Christmas cookies by Susane Colasanti

That journey was not an easy one. Anything worth achieving requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and the passion to keep going when it feels like everything is falling apart. And I have to say, time is a wild thing. You are just living your life one day at a time. The next thing you know, 20 years have suddenly gone by. 20 years.

Where do you want to be in 20 years? 10 years? 5 years? 2017?

One technique I have used since I moved here is creative visualization. I picture my goals with clarity, then take steps every day towards achieving them. Try writing down your biggest goals for whatever timeframe you choose. Then write down one thing you can realistically do every day to take steps closer to achieving each of them. This process, the passionate dedication of working hard to achieve your goals, is how big dreams become reality. It worked for me. And if I could do it, you definitely can.

Happy New Year, friendly neighbors! Much love to you from New York City. xoxo

Empire State Building at Christmas

holiday magic from asteroid b-612

If you’ve seen any of my dorktastic YouTube videos, you might have noticed the one in which I fangirl over my Little Prince collection. The Little Prince is my favorite book of all time and I have been collecting all things Little Prince for many years.

Which makes this the best. Christmas present. EVER.

The Little Prince tote bag

A Little Prince tote with the text of the entire novel printed on it!!!

Dude. This bag is seriously ready to dazzle at my next book events. Hopefully I will see fellow YA author Nicola Yoon at one of them so I can share it with her. Nicola is also a Little Prince fan. Which you know if you’ve read her outstanding novel Everything, Everything. I had to rave about her book here. And that video I mentioned earlier? Was one of my Fun Fact and a Book videos featuring Everything, Everything.

So yeah. Lots of fun connections.

Wishing you holiday magic and a beautiful new year. xoxo

serendipity day

Happy Serendipity Day! Every year on December 20, I repost my annual Serendipity Day reflections to celebrate the power of this auspicious day with you. Here’s to positive energy, following your heart, and the magic of soul mates. Much love xoxo

*

Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do Da, aka Do Da Day.

You would probably like an explanation.

If you didn’t see the movie Serendipity, then not to be bossy? But you really need to go ahead and do that. It’s all about fate and destiny and positive energy and has some amazing New York City scenes. Films like Serendipity take city love to a whole other level. But even if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20. Being obsessive about those kinds of details, I totally did. Then I immediately made an executive decision that December 20 will always and forever be known as Serendipity Day.

When they meet, Jonathan and Sara are in Bloomingdale’s trying to grab the same pair of gloves. You know how sometimes you meet someone and there’s this instant intense connection? That’s what happens to them. So of course they can’t just go their separate ways. They have to go to Serendipity 3 (which is only a few blocks away – love the accuracy) for frozen hot chocolates. And then they go ice skating in Central Park. It’s one of those magical New York nights, filled with excitement and possibility.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Serendipity

But then.

When Jonathan writes down his number for Sara, the wind blows it away. She thinks it’s a sign that they’re not meant to be together. Or at least, not right now. She’s all about fate and destiny. So she makes him write his name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which she immediately uses to buy mints. Sara’s idea is that if the five-dollar bill makes its way back to her, then they’re meant to be together.

Good, right?

If you’ve read Something Like Fate, you can understand why I love this movie. I love it so much that my friend Joe and I used to celebrate Serendipity Day by reenacting the original Serendipity Day’s events. First, we put our names in at Serendipity. There’s usually a three-hour wait for a table around the holidays. I am not exaggerating. Serendipity is a gorgeous winter wonderland right now, all sparkly lights and trees and tinsel. Everyone wants in. But it was perfect because we needed those three hours to reenact scenes from the movie. We would head over to Bloomingdale’s, where we both grabbed a pair of gloves at the same glove counter. That counter doesn’t have gloves anymore so we had to bring the gloves over from the gloves section, but it still counted. Then it was off to Wollman Rink in Central Park. It was always the Coldest Night Ever when we did this. I don’t know how to ice skate, so we would kind of just stand there shivering and watching the glittery skyline and sending positive energy out into the Universe.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Wollman Rink in Central Park

 

Then our table was ready at Serendipity 3 and it was frozen hot chocolate time! In the movie, Jonathan and Sara get red and blue straws in theirs. But we always got regular straws. So I asked about the red and blue ones. I was monumentally disappointed to discover that they don’t have those red and blue straws anymore. But then I got over myself because their frozen hot chocolate is the best in the world, regardless of straw color.

If Joe and I were at a point in our lives where we were single, we would each take out a five-dollar bill and write our name and number on the back (in red pen for accuracy). Then we’d give the bills to the waiter as part of his tip. Not that anyone ever called us. But that’s not the point. The point is that we put positive energy out there. We made a choice to create more possibility for finding true love. Anything is possible here in New York. This city makes magical things happen when you take action to work towards your goals.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager, reunited

How can you celebrate Serendipity Day if you’re not here in New York? Well, if you are already with your soul mate you can make frozen hot chocolates and call it a day. But if you are still searching, send positive energy out into the Universe today. Take some time to write down your goals. Visualize what you want your love life to be like. Then make a plan to take steps every day towards finding your person. All of these actions will help you get closer to turning your big dream into reality.

Oh, and PS? Serendipity 3 is also home of the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, served in a Baccarat crystal goblet (which you get to take home), made with the world’s most expensive chocolate, and covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf. Just in case you weren’t sure what to order.

Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity

Happy Serendipity Day, friendly neighbors! Go make magic happen.

holding up the universe

I was only a few pages in to Holding Up the Universe when I was like, Seriously? Could this book be any more dazzling? Because no. No, it could not have been. The book was already so spectacular I didn’t even know what to do with myself.

This is what I’m talking about. Jack’s 10-year-old little brother is carrying a purse to school and doesn’t care one hang what anyone thinks. Something flew out of Libby’s nose when she was laughing at a cute boy’s joke in class and it landed on his textbook. BOOM.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Does writing get more brilliant than that? And I mean, this story is incredibly unique with two of the most endearing characters ever. It is fresh and fabulous, written in a style I absolutely adore. As if I wasn’t already fangirling hardcore, with every page turn I fell in love even more. I was like, Are you seriously this awesome, Jennifer Niven? SERIOUSLY?! Because yes. Yes, she seriously is.

Holding Up the Universe is phenomenal on about 73 different levels. This story is stunning. Consuming. Absolutely brilliant. This is one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life, across all genres. As a bonus, if you have met Jennifer Niven in person then you know how sweet and genuine she is. I am beyond thrilled she is writing for teens now and cannot wait to read her next YA novels!

So yeah. Just thought I’d share some book love with you. Read on, friendly neighbors. ❤