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

election day

I voted and, as always, got a bit verklempt in the booth. Being part of history and all.

Election Day 2016, voting in New York City

Oh, and then I had to get all Jack Bauer black ops to score an I Voted sticker. Apparently my polling place ran out earlier today. But I asked the right people the right questions and bam! My sticker was scored.

Did you vote today? Then congrats. You are part of history in an election you will be asked about for the rest of your life. Way to rock the vote, friendly neighbors ❤

top five, good vibes edition

Happy November! For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you much happiness and progress in your novel writing journey. As I am also working on a first draft this month, there is nothing but good vibes up in here. Writing a first draft is the most difficult part of the process for me. So I am surrounding myself with positive energy and warm fuzzies as motivation. Keep going even when things get rough (and know that they will)! The key to reaching your goal is to never give up.

1. I am sort of still dragging after Halloween. It was a wild day of trick-or-treating, then walking in the NYC Halloween Parade. Walking in the parade is so freaking fun I can’t even tell you. For nine years I watched the parade pass by right near where I lived in the West Village, wondering what it would be like to actually be in the parade instead of watch it. So I was stoked to walk for our fourth consecutive year. My fiance got to pick our costumes this year (we alternate back and forth). Perhaps you recognize us.

The Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood

When you walk in the parade, you never know who you’ll get to see walking along beside you. I saw Harry’s Styles, six friends who dressed up as Harry in different stages of his style evolution. I saw a Nasty Woman with a Bad Hombre. There was a huge inflated dinosaur bouncing along. Sometimes we were walking next to him and sometimes we weren’t. He kept fluctuating in and out of our area, which I adored. But when I saw these two guys, I lost my ish:

Michael Jackson and Prince in the NYC Halloween Parade 2016

2. It has come to my attention that there is a Love Wall here in New York. How City Love is that?!

Love Wall NYC

I will not rest until I kiss it. Obvs.

3. Speaking of kisses, Jay Asher’s new book What Light is out in the world. As you can see, I am a major fangirl.

Susane Colasanti and Jay Asher with What Light

You know how some people are not only outstanding at what they do, they are genuinely good, caring, altruistic people? That’s Jay Asher. Congrats on another super successful book launch, Jay!

4. October was National Bullying Prevention Month. As someone who was bullied all through junior high and high school, I feel the pain of each and every one of you who has been mistreated, ostracized, or abused. My book Keep Holding On was inspired by my experiences being bullied and is dedicated to Tyler Clementi. So when the Tyler Clementi Foundation asked me to write a guest blog post, I was honored. This piece I wrote is all about survival and the importance of staying strong. You are the change you’ve been waiting for.

Tyler Clementi Foundation + Susane Colasanti

5. When I turned 40, I decided that this decade was going to be fabulous. Every year I’ve been posting a Fabulous at 4_ photo to document. It’s a good way to keep me on point. Especially when I am very interested in cake. This is Fabulous at 43.

Susane Colasanti, Fabulous at 43

Stay strong, friendly neighbors! xoxo

read up

Book festivals make me so happy. Mostly because I get to meet readers in person, which is the best part of my job. Some readers even drive long distances to be there. Like five or six hours each way! It is always an honor to meet you in person at book events, whether you travel from far or near. Thanks to everyone who came to Read Up, a shiny new festival in Greenville, SC that had such amazing energy.

Here is an example of how amazing the energy was.

Susane Colasanti and Jay Asher, Read Up 2016

See, this is another reason I love book festivals. Jay Asher and I had not yet met in person, even though our first books came out close to each other about 10 years ago. When It Happens came out in 2006 and 13 Reasons Why came out in 2007. We even had the same publisher. But for some reason, we just never met at any events over the years. I always felt like Jay was a mentor from afar, an author I looked up to and admired. Now I understand that we were destined to meet at Read Up. Because when I asked him for an ARC of What Light, he had already saved one for me! And when he gave it to me he swooped me up for this fabulous photo! I mean, how awesome is he? Obvs this was the author highlight…followed closely by discovering that Stephanie Perkins and I both ate lunch in the bathroom in high school during our panel discussion. More proof that you are never alone.

Our panel was a blast. Michael Giller, our moderator and local high school hardcore librarian, was a master moderator. He even tweeted a pic before the event with our books and Office paraphernalia because he knew all about my Office love. And then he gave me Dwight’s ID badge and we all got to pick out magnets at the panel! I really enjoyed the southern hospitality of South Carolina, but Michael wins the Most Gracious Host award.

Susane Colasanti and Michael Giller, Read Up 2016

Speaking of awards, M.Judson deserves lots of bookstore acclaim. Like we should just throw awards at them. M.Judson is one of the most spectacular bookstores I have ever seen in my entire life…and I have seen a lot of bookstores! First of all, their entryway is designed from stacked books. So right when you walk in you know you are entering the kind of place you will never want to leave.

M.Judson bookstore in Greenville, SC

There is such an abundance of positive energy at M.Judson it feels like you can bottle some up and take it home until the next time you are in Greenville, SC. Seriously, if you are anywhere near that super cute town, go to M.Judson immediately! You will love the adorable seating areas, the beautiful design elements, the blackboard paint on the walls of the children’s reading room, and tons of natural light making you feel uplifted and refreshed. My only regret is that I did not try one of everything in their cafe, which looked like the kind of place you’d want to be a regular at. Snaps for the magnificent M.Judson!

It was time to leave too soon. I really wanted to explore more of Greenville, which has a total indie vibe and was the perfect place for a book festival. Three seconds after I got there I discovered their dopest coffeehouse, Coffee Underground, and was in mocha mint frap heaven in no time. Too bad I couldn’t snag one more for the plane home. Not that I could take it through security, but the airport had a sweet frap-sipping lounge area that Nova Ren Suma and I immediately commandeered. The airport was so small there was pretty much only room for the two of us…plus our buddy in the background.

Susane Colasanti and Nova Ren Suma, Read Up 2016

Shout-out to festival founder Lee Yarborough for working so hard over the past 18 months to bring Read Up to life! Lee is a fellow organization enthusiast. Which is why the day ran so smoothly you would think Read Up was in its tenth year instead of first. She thought of every detail, including longer handles on our totes because short handles are annoying. I know, right? Lee even had her husband Hubert and daughter Caroline working the festival, too. Hubert was the perfect escort schlepping us from the airport because he is the friendliest neighbor ever! And Caroline managed her group of volunteers like a pro. You could feel Lee’s passion for this event in every part of the day, which made it feel so welcoming and alive. You should def plan on being at Read Up 2017 if you are in the area!

Happy summer reading 🙂

top five, deadline edition

TGIM! Today’s Top Five is going to be cat quick, as I am on deadline with line edits and have snuck over here like a ninja. So here are some super fast things…

1. New York City! I will be at the Barnes & Noble B-Fest this Friday, June 10 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the Citigroup Center B&N. There will be games and prizes, including a raffle of those ginormous canvas book covers hanging all over the store! Hope to see you there.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016

2. I am loving this Booklist review of Lost in Love: “Teens who are drawn to new-adult titles and dream of romantic, parent-free summer escapades will be well rewarded.” Like all of my previous books, the City Love trilogy is YA, but I was hoping it would have crossover appeal. Good to see Booklist agrees! You can explore Lost in Love things here, and City Love here.

3. So there’s this sculpture called Looking Up by Tom Friedman that is on temporary display on Park Avenue. The second I read about it, I knew I had to go see. I mean, Look up is one of my main mottos, even right on the cover of City Love. It’s also a theme in So Much Closer. My whole thing is that we miss so much when we don’t look up. When we look up, not only do we discover beauty and history that we probably passed without noticing a hundred times before, but we invite positive energy into our day that can make magic happen. Anyway, I bookmarked an article about the sculpture and made a note to go see it before July.

The other day I was walking down the street when I looked up and noticed a cool sculpture. It was of a guy looking up. I was like, “Sweet! Look up!” But I totally forgot about the sculpture I had bookmarked. The next day I found it and realized I was on Park Avenue when I saw the guy looking up. I saw Looking Up without even realizing it at the time…all because I looked up. Full-circle meta, yo.

Then last night I looked up from my computer to look out my window and saw this.

New York City rainbow, June 5, 2016

There were lots of rainbow pics on social after the storms we had. But how many of those rainbows were radiating from a water tower? And dude, I have a thing for water towers. Always look up…

4. Taking a fangirl moment, I just have to say that this diagram perfectly quantifies my eternal love for the soul mate magic of How I Met Your Mother and Jason Segel as Marshall.

ceciliachart

I have been a huge Paul Simon fan since forever, so this dorktastic intersection of a fave musician and a fave show in science/math form blows my mind. Well played, HIMYM.

5. I will leave you with a warm fuzzy for the week about your time. Make the days count.

Make the days count

Much love ❤

donut throwdown

This amazing thing happened at YALLWEST. I mean, tons of amazing things happened at YALLWEST. That’s how the YALLs roll. But this amazing thing involves donuts.

When I got to my hotel in Santa Monica, I immediately bonded with the guy who checked me in. You know how sometimes you meet someone and you just click? That was me and Josh. A bunch of authors were staying at this hotel, so we were talking about the festival and Josh asked me what kinds of books I write. His eyes lit up when I told him that I write contemporary, realistic love stories. He said he loves those kinds of books. When he said he loves romance trilogies in particular, of course I gave him an extra ARC of Lost in Love I’d brought with me. He was stoked.

“I feel like I’m always lost in love,” Josh said.

Then I asked him about vegetarian restaurants nearby. We were talking about good places in Venice for green juice when I mentioned that my birthday was coming up that Sunday. I had already researched potential cake places and found a nearby donut place that looked good called DK’s Donuts.

“Shut the front door,” Josh said.

Josh called out two guys from the back who work with him. He explained that every Monday is Doughnut Monday, where they order late night donuts and kick back to get their sugar rush on. The three of them and one other girl even have an official Doughnut Club. For reals. And this guy Josh works with, Rigo, is all about the DK’s. He was mad gassed that some girl from New York City shows up in Santa Monica and even she knows DK’s.

“It was obviously the superior choice,” I said.

Or was it? Because Josh is a Donut King lova and thinks those are the best. You could tell this was a hot debate in their Doughnut Club. Rigo was taunting Josh how DK’s was getting bicoastal attention. But Josh stood by his Donut King loyalty. So Josh and Rigo made an executive decision to order donuts from both places and have me do a taste test in the lobby on my birthday after the festival events were over.

The DK’s Donuts vs. Donut King Throwdown was on.

When I showed up for the donut throwdown, I was super impressed.

Donut King and DK's Donuts, Santa Monica

Rigo had arranged donuts from both places so I couldn’t tell which came from where. I was psyched to see that some of my classic faves – rainbow sprinkle, twist, coconut – were represented. So it was Josh, Rigo, two other Doughnut Club members and their manager, all gathered with me to celebrate donut excellence.

We cut pieces for everyone. Rigo and Josh watched my face carefully as the donuts were sampled one by one. I didn’t want to know which donuts were winning, so I tried not to look at their reactions because these guys were not even trying for poker faces. This was a hardcore throwdown of epic proportions and every bite was crucial.

I gave my feedback after each sampling. The rainbow sprinkles one was adorable, but a bit on the dry side. The twist was fluffy and delicious. The bomb maple log was a fan favorite. And so on…until only two remained.

Glazed vs. Glazed

Oh yeah. It was down to Glazed vs. Glazed for the win.

The winner? Donut King! Josh was ecstatic. Ringo was all “In your FACE” when I showed up raving about DK’s and now he had to deal with his beloved bakery being bested.

As if I already wasn’t hoping to be at YALLWEST again next year, the prospect of Donut Throwdown 2 makes everything even sweeter. We have agreed to take it up a notch with more complex flavors next time. I can’t wait.

Donut Throwdown party people

Oh, and PS? I just want to say how much I freaking love people. These friendly neighbors got together to include me in a special birthday treat over our mutual love of donuts. How incredible are they? Just one more amazing thing to add to the list…