national bullying prevention month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Those of you who know that I was bullied in junior high and high school understand why I want to do everything I can to reach out to others who are surviving daily torment and ostracism. That’s why I wrote Keep Holding On. Keep Holding On is about a girl who is relentlessly bullied at school and horribly neglected at home. Most of her experiences in the book were inspired by my actual experiences back then. I want my readers to know that they are not alone. No matter what you’re dealing with, there are other people out there surviving the same painful times.

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

In conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month, I’m giving away a signed copy of Keep Holding On. Let’s spread the word on Twitter! Here’s how to enter:

1. Follow me on Twitter.

2. Tweet this:

Win a signed copy of #KeepHoldingOn for National Bullying Prevention Month. Follow @susanecolasanti and RT to enter.

Tweet before Sunday, October 27 at 11:11 pm to enter. The winner will be contacted and announced on Twitter. US addresses only.

Less Than Three Conference

Are you in the St. Louis area? I’ll be there this weekend participating in Less Than Three, an anti-bullying conference to raise awareness and focus on positive approaches to end bullying. Here’s the event info:

October 19, 2013 – 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Less Than Three Conference
St. Charles Library
427 Spencer Road
St. Peters, MO 63376

I am so psyched to gather with teens, librarians, teachers, and a stone-cold pack of amazing authors. Hope to see those of you around St. Louis there!

A couple other items: Thanks to Justine Magazine for sharing some of my high school survival tips. And tomorrow, October 17, is Spirit Day. Wear your purple to take a stand against bullying of LGBT teens!

Feeling like you have no one you can talk to is the worst. But there are lots of friendly neighbors who want to help you. You can find a list of hotline resources on the Keep Holding On page of my website. And you can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255. The lifeline is available 24/7 and is a free, confidential service.

Stay strong, reach out, and never, ever give up ❤

keep holding on giveaway

Congrats to the winner of last week’s book giveaway, Trinifer R.! I know it’s hard to believe, but the final week of August is here. Not sure how this Sunday will be September already. So this will be my last giveaway until ARCs of my new book are available this fall. Of course you’ll be the first to know when I have some for you!

This week’s prize is a signed copy of Keep Holding On.

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Entering the giveaway is easy. Just comment here with a message that will help others to keep holding on. It can be some advice that has really helped you. Or an inspirational quote. Or maybe a mantra that motivates you. Anything you feel would help others stay strong is what I’d like you to share.

To enter:

1. Comment here with a warm fuzzy that will help others to stay strong. You can share some advice, an inspirational quote, a motivating encouragement, or anything else you feel would help everyone who reads it.

2. Include your name and email address with your comment.

Giveaway rules:

1. All comments must be made on this blog post by Sunday, September 1 at 11:11 pm.

2. The winner will be notified via email.

3. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States. If you live abroad and have a contact in the States who can receive the prize for you, it can be sent to their address.

Stay strong and never give up ❤

more indonesian covers

Keep Holding On was just released in Indonesia.

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti, Indonesian edition

My Indonesian publisher has an amazing design team. The covers always resonate with my books in gently nostalgic ways. Like the cover of When It Happens.

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti, Indonesian editionVery cool guitar placement here. I’ve never felt entirely comfortable with the original cover of When It Happens. The way Tobey is slinging that guitar over his shoulder? I don’t think so. He would never hold his instrument like that. This is a lot more realistic.

If you’re into foreign cover design, you might also enjoy Indonesia’s covers for So Much Closer, Something Like Fate, Waiting for You, and Take Me There. They all show details from the books that make me smile.

Snaps for Indonesia 🙂

all i need behind the scenes

It’s that time. The photo shoot for the cover of my new book is happening soon. I can’t wait to share the cover (and title and synopsis) of my eighth book with you. While we’re waiting, I wanted to share some behind the scenes action from the photo shoot for the cover of All I Need.

The models on my covers fascinate me. Not that I get to pick them or meet them or anything. But I’m always fascinated to see what they look like. Models’ faces are hidden on my book covers. For some reason, I always imagine them looking way different than they actually do. When I saw the models from the cover of So Much Closer, I was shocked. They looked totally different than I thought they would! Same with the Keep Holding On cover boy. He got in touch with me and sent me pics after I posted about creating the cover. I don’t have the All I Need models’ headshots, but I thought this outtake from the photo shoot was adorable:

All I Need by Susane Colasanti photo shoot outtake

Authors usually have zero input in the planning process when it comes to cover design. Fortunately, my editor asked for input before this photo shoot took place. I told her I’d love to see the models in Vans and flip-flops. Just like Seth and Skye wear in the book. After trying them out, the photo shoot art director decided that barefoot was a better look. Which totally worked out for the best. I love the heart as a tool for hiding their faces. Faces are always hidden on my book covers so you can imagine what the characters look like yourself. The endless possibilities for hiding models’ faces is astounding.

All I Need by Susane Colasanti photo shoot outtake

My friend and photographer of the last three book covers, Jayd Gardina, shared this inside info about the photo shoot:

We went to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn! When we arrived the beach was packed with people even though it was a weekday in the late afternoon. We were all talking out how to make it work and if we should stay or try to make the hour long drive to Long Beach, when a woman who overheard us suggested that we drive to the other end of the beach. Fifteen minutes later we were at a much emptier section that was peaceful and perfect. You wouldn’t know it from the photos, but about a mile away was Coney Island and we could see all of the rides from where we were! The models in the photo were actually a couple in real life so I think their comfort level and love for each other helped make the photo shoot more authentic and emotional.

Dude. The models were a couple in real life. HOW ADORABLE IS THAT?

The Brighton Beach photo shoot location was supposed to represent Sea Bright, New Jersey. I’m happy that I captured Sea Bright in the book. As part of my research for All I Need, I visited Sea Bright. The actual town is not entirely like what I’ve depicted in the book. But the colorful, lively Sea Bright I created will live on. Brian Williams was on Letterman right after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey shore. I got chills when he said, “Sea Bright is gone.” Sandy changed the Jersey coast landscape forever. Entire areas of vegetation were ripped out. Atlantic City’s beachfront sand width decreased from about 125 feet to 25 feet. Parts of the boardwalk and rides are gone. But the Jersey shore’s spirit lives on in All I Need. And I will cherish my childhood memories of summers down the shore forever.

All I Need by Susane Colasanti

This heart on the sand was a beautiful design choice. To me, the heart represents the sweet nostalgia I will associate with the Jersey shore forever. I carry you in my heart, NJ.

summer breeze

TGIM! The first thing I decided on this gorgeous summer morning was to have weekly book giveaways for the rest of August. All I Need is a sparkly summer romance. What better time to give away copies to you guys?

Entering this week’s giveaway is easy. The first 100 people to sign up for my newsletter starting today will be automatically entered to win a signed copy of All I Need. US mailing addresses only. You can sign up for my newsletter/enter the giveaway here.

Hostess cupcakes are back. Sort of. I was beyond psyched to hear that Hostess snack cakes would be back in stores this summer. Those cupcakes with the icing squiggles make me happy. Even the tag line for their ad campaign was awesome: Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever. So when I saw them at 7-Eleven the other day, I got a little thrill. Until I looked at them more closely. Upon further inspection, I was devastated to discover that the icing squiggles were much thinner. These impostors are not the classic Hostess cupcakes we knew and loved. Less icing = less excited Susane. Will I still try them? Probably. But don’t expect a rave review. RIP, Hostess CupCakes. You were the bomb.

I love when readers are inspired to create art. Whether it’s making wish boxes and treasure maps like Sara in When It Happens, warm fuzzies like Sadie in So Much Closer, or collages like Seth in All I Need, seeing photos of your work makes me happier than an old-school Hostess cupcake. I find this nail art inspired by my book spine stripes to be awesome:

So Much Closer nail art

In other book news, Miss Print interviewed me about All I Need. Some fresh reviews are up on It’s a Book Thing and Winter Haven BooksThe Reading Girl posted a beautiful review of Keep Holding On with visual aids you’ll want to snag. And Pretty Little Memoirs posted a cute review of Something Like Fate. Thanks to these friendly neighbor bloggers for spreading the love!

Speaking of friendly neighbors, I’m off to Crumbs for a friendly neighbor reunion with some old students (aka vintage noodles). Although I absolutely love my job, I miss chilling with my people. Teens are and will always be my people. That’s why I write for teens. That’s why my purpose in life is to reach out to teens and help them feel less alone. I remember that sinking feeling at the end of summer when there were only a few days of summer vacay left. Like I couldn’t hold on to them, no matter how hard I tried to freeze time. Later in life, I discovered that being in the Now helps to create inner peace. Taking even one minute to be still and connect with your environment can improve your attitude so much.

It doesn’t matter where you are. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Take one minute to tune out any negative thoughts or feelings. Really see your world. Connect with the things around you. Appreciate everything you have. Just one minute can turn your day around. Anytime you want it to.

Enjoy the summer breeze, friendly neighbors!

on the news

TGIM! There’s nothing like a shiny new week for a fresh start. I hope you’re having a spectacular summer so far.

Just wanted to share this clip from when Keep Holding On was featured on the PIX 11 morning news. We recently had the clip retrieved from oblivion. Shout-out to reader Emilie Woda for making this segment so special.

Stay strong and never give up ❤