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 🙂

fun fact and a book – the little prince collection

Did you see my Epic Reads author fun facts video where I obsess over things like The Office and my Top Five Husbands List? I had so much fun geeking out that I decided to expand on some of those fun facts with a new video series I’m calling Fun Fact and a Book! Each fun fact is directly related to a book I will fangirl over. The videos will be streamed from my home on Facebook Live first, then posted on my YouTube. You can subscribe to my Facebook for notifications when I go live.

Here’s the first Fun Fact and a Book, featuring my collection of all things from The Little Prince, plus Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon:


Thanks for watching, friendly neighbors! Much love xoxo

epic reads author fun facts

When Epic Reads said they wanted to do an author fun facts video with me, I was psyched out of my head. We all know Epic Reads is the biggest and best book lover community out there. And they do the most adorable videos.

You should not be surprised to discover that my author fun facts video is dorktastic to the max. Watch me geek out over David Letterman, The Office, and my Top Five Husbands List. Oh yes. The list is featured.


In other book news, this Barnes & Noble Readout gives you a taste of what happens in Lost in Love after City Love. Spoiler alert! If you haven’t yet read City Love and are considering it, you might want to skip this excerpt.

Epic Reads posted a fun summer paperbacks feature and 40 Perfect Paperbacks for Summer, including City Love and a bunch of other hot reads. If you are looking for summer reading recommendations, check out the books featured there. And it looks like there’s still time to enter their Summer Reading Prize Pack giveaway. You can win TEN BOOKS, a beach towel, a water bottle, and a tote bag. Get it!

Epic Reads Summer Reading Prize Pack
In the book blogger world, this Lost In Literature review of Lost in Love is super cute. Love the buddy chat! Thanks for spreading the book love, Lisa and Becca.

Happy summer reading, friendly neighbors ❤

reader love, office love

I mean, I just love my readers so much.

So I come home after five hours of Japanese straightening, which is what I do twice a year because my hair in its natural state is so curly and big and frizzy you would be horrified if you saw it, and there’s a box from my publisher waiting for me. It’s too early for finished copies of Lost in Love or paperbacks of City Love, so I thought maybe it was some foreign editions. But then I opened the box and saw a note from a reader. In her note, Betsy R said that she couldn’t think of a bigger fan to share these with.

I knew it had to be Office things before I even started unboxing.

The Office swag

There were stickies, pads, a bookmark, pens, pencils, Michael’s World’s Best Boss mug (now I have three!), a dry erase board, magnets, plus lots more…and all because Betsy R wanted to give me a spectacular gift. She is a serious collector like I am, so now I have doubles of a new choice items. I could tell how much she loves The Office by how carefully and meticulously each item she sent was wrapped. Most of these items were never opened. She knew I would give them all a loving home…and talk about spark joy! I am amazed at her generosity and thoughtful kindness. And of course I wanted to share her act of kindness with you. Thanks for the ultimate box of warm fuzzies, Betsy!

I also wanted to share this fresh Page by Paige interview and an Into the Hall of Books review of Lost in Love. The May 3 release date is almost here!

More very soon 🙂

top five, happy springtime edition

Today is the 5th day of spring and flowering trees are already in bloom here in New York. Flowers on trees make me happy. And birds are chirping and it’s not freezing and just YAY. All of this springtime glee makes me want to share some things with you that will hopefully make you smile.

1. First off, I have to give a shout-out to my girl Ronni. Ronni is a longtime reader, aspiring author, and has been coming to my Chicago events for years. So when she told me that she would be in New York for the NYC Teen Author Festival this year, I was psyched for another reunion…local this time. Look how Ronni got the outfit memo I didn’t even send. BOOM.

Ronni and Susane, photo by Wanda Lotus

You know someone is a rising star when they travel with their own super profesh photographer. The remarkable Wanda Lotus took this happy photo of us at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble. You can admire Wanda’s photography at Lotusland Fine Art.

2. Who else did I get to chill with at the big Reader’s Theater event? Oh, I don’t know. Only Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything, a book I completely worship in a godlike way. You can read some of my Everything, Everything fangirling here. Nicola and I share a love for all things Little Prince. So when she rolled in wearing a Little Prince tee (which I believe is this Out of Print one), it just made me love her even more. And don’t even get me started on her Kate Spade typewriter bag. Could this girl be any cuter?

I was freaking out before the event (and decided to capture my freakout live on my Facebook) because we were acting out each other’s books and I was playing Maddy from Everything, Everything. And David Levithan was playing Olly. I KNOW. Not too much pressure or anything. David and I were joking in rehearsals about him doing Olly’s handstand for real. Then he actually went for it! Of course I spotted him cat quick.

David Levithan and Susane Colasanti acting out Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

All of the authors were hilarious. I really liked meeting multi-talented debut author Jeff Zentner.

Jeff Zentner and Susane Colasanti

The Serpent King has so many starred reviews it is pretty much its own galaxy. Snaps for Jeff on his stellar achievement!

3. Events are my fave part of author life because that’s where I get to meet my readers. You guys are why I write. Having the opportunity to meet you in person means so much to me. So yay for book events and all of you who come out for them!

On the other side of author life, the side where I exist most days, I am by myself writing in my home office.

Susane Colasanti's home office

I think it’s important to surround yourself with a creative space that inspires joy. Even if you are not working in a creative field. Surrounding yourself with beautiful things that spark joy and inspire positive energy will help you create your dream life. Finally being able to have the kind of home office I had envisioned was probably the most exciting part of buying and renovating my apartment four years ago. You can see how this office space was constructed here. Since then I’ve added more pieces to my desk, found the sweetest lamp for that corner, and snagged a violet window settee with the perfect dimensions. Curating your ideal creative space is a process. But the cool thing is, you can start right now by simply organizing and letting go of clutter. Then when you find your sweetest lamp, it will feel right at home.

4. This New York Times interactive article: 25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going.

5. Lately I have been listening to a lot of Coldplay. I mean, they have been one of my fave bands for years. Coldplay was even acknowledged in When It Happens. But now I’m listening in a different way. The new book I am just beginning to work on is different in some major aspects that are challenging me as a writer, challenges that I felt the need to bring on. I don’t know, it’s like this music I have loved for years that has helped me so many times in countless ways is now inspiring me to take things to the next level.

You guys know that I obsess over The Office something fierce to the point where I could create an entire 5,000-card trivia game from memory. So when I found this video of Jim and Pam’s history set to Sparks, I freaked the eff out.

Enjoy those nostalgic Jam feels.

Enjoy surrounding yourself with a creative space.

Enjoy the spring. ❤

believe in love

Valentine’s Day is here, which could mean one (or a combination) of a few different things for you. Either a.) You will be spending at least part of today with someone you love, b.) You are fighting to not get sucked into a downward spiral of depression, having been accosted by annoying displays of hearts and chocolates and flowers everywhere you go, and will be self-medicating with discount Russell Stover’s tomorrow, c.) You could not care less about a commercialized holiday that puts an enormous amount of pressure on everyone involved; your day will be business as usual, or d.) You will be taking back VDay with your friends, celebrating the love you have for one another and the love you are developing for yourself.

If you are in a b.) situation, please know that I hear you. Loud and clear. Like, we could be binge watching The Office and baking chocolate chip cookies together right now. I cannot even tell you how much day-after-Valentine’s-Day discount chocolate I have drowned my sorrows in over the years. My comfort chocolate of choice has always been Russell Stover’s Assorted Creams. Their Nut, Chewy & Crisp Assortment was backup, followed by their milk chocolates. Because really, who wants to deal with dark chocolate when you’re depressed?

During those years of Valentine’s Day sorrow, feeling like I would never find true love and would not only die alone, but would die one of those miserable urban deaths where nobody would even know I died and my body would not be discovered until days after when the smell of my decomposed, Russell Stover’s rotting corpse would seep out from under my apartment door and someone down the hall would smell me and be like, “Is the garbage chute backed up or something?”

So yeah. I know all about being depressed on Valentine’s Day.

But here’s the thing. I refused to die that way. Not finding my soul mate was just not an option for me. Now, if you are in a c.) and/or d.) situation and are totally cool with being single, enjoying a girl or boy break or savoring the tingly anticipation of your first relationship to come, you freaking rule right now. I wish I’d had the confidence to be you. Maybe you don’t even want a relationship. I am impressed with your swagger. No matter which situation you are in today, I want to share something about my own process of dreaming big and making that dream reality. I have shared lots of these examples over the years. Today the story is about my fiance, but this is an example that will hopefully inspire any of you with big dreams, no matter what your dreams are.

This magazine ad of a snowman holding a Tiffany’s ring bag was on my dream board for years, then on my scrapbook treasure map.

My Tiffany's vision...

I looked at my Tiffany’s snowman on my dream board every day and visualized finding my soul mate. While the snowman was in my scrapbook, I didn’t see it every day, but the power of creative visualization was still at work because I had put that positive energy out there and was taking steps every day toward making that dream a reality. This photo shows the actual Tiffany’s ring box and bag that Matt (I never told him about the snowman, FYI) gave me when he proposed…in the winter with snow on the ground and the New York City skyline glittering in the background. And this is my engagement ring!

After years of dreaming big and putting those dreams out there in verbal, written, and artistic form, it never ceases to amaze me when I go back to one of my goal lists and can check something off I’d written years before that I’d totally forgot about. Although I never completely forgot about my snowman, I hadn’t looked at him in a long time. That winter Tiffany’s part of my vision was already manifesting in way more specific detail than I expected it to. I mean, why did I put that particular Tiffany’s ad on my dream board? I don’t do winter. Why not one from spring with pretty flowers, or glowing in the summer sun? You can’t just cut something out of a magazine, glue in on your treasure map, kick back and expect a Tiffany’s ring box to knock on your door. You have to work toward achieving your goal, no matter what your goal is, every day. But it is fascinating how powerful the visual components of your dream can be, and how closely they can manifest in real life.

Matt Huntington and Susane Colasanti

It’s okay to have bad days where everything is going wrong and you feel hopeless and alone. Feeling like your dreams are out of reach, or worrying that you won’t be able to achieve them, is a natural part of the process. But then a shiny new day comes and you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on your creative visualization track. Visualize your big dream. Take steps toward achieving it. Put positive energy out into the Universe. And refuse to give up.

Believe in your dreams. Believe in love ❤

ultimate office throwdown

Think about the things you’re obsessed with. Now narrow them down into categories (books, music, shows, movies). What’s your #1 show? For me, it’s The Office. I should note that My So-Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, and Dawson’s Creek are included when it comes to my hardcore fangirl obsessions. I should also note that I ranked #1 in the Dawson’s Creek Trivia Challenge back in the early days of Facebook. Okay, I was only #1 for like a day (this Australian girl was always beating me with her scary knowledge of everyone’s license plate numbers and birthdays). But still. My obsessions don’t play.

You know how you feel a sense of ownership with your fave show? Like no one could possibly know anywhere near as much as you do about it, including those super obscure details you only know because you froze the screen to read that address/note/flyer? That’s totally me when it comes to The Office. Which is why, when Carmen and Layla were visiting this summer with their incredibly cool parents, I challenged them to the Ultimate Office Throwdown.

Ultimate Office Throwdown participants

We immediately bonded over our love for all things Office the second we met. We spent hours tossing around quotes, reenacting scenes and cracking up over the kind of inside jokes only hardcore Office freaks like us would understand. I would have been impressed with anyone who could match my Office skills like they did. But Carmen and Layla are in middle school. That made them way more impressive. Could I let some middle school boy best me in the world of Jam? It was time to throw down, girl power style.

Carmen and I wrote 20 questions each (Layla also wrote some good ones!). We were not allowed to consult the show or anything online. Our questions and answers were strictly from memory. We had the option of challenging if we didn’t agree with an answer. But please. We’re so hardcore the answers had been burned into our brains long ago. If you think we tossed out easy stuff like What does Dwight grow on his farm?, think again. We didn’t call it the Ultimate Office Throwdown for nothing.

Here is a sampling of my trivia questions. These were the hardest ones I could think of with answers on the spot. If you love The Office, you might want to challenge yourself with these. The answers are listed at the end of this post.

Ultimate Office Throwdown Questions

1. How many words per minute do Pam and Jim type?

2. What is the street address of Dunder Mifflin?

3. When Michael wants to do Yankee Swap at the Christmas party, what does Jim say Yankee Swap is called? What does Pam say they call Yankee Swap in her family?

4. When Michael cooks his foot on the George Foreman Grill, what does he ask Ryan to get at the gas station that they didn’t have? Which town is the gas station in?

5. At Pam’s art show, what does Michael have in his pocket?

6. How much did Michael pay for the iPod he gave Ryan for Secret Santa?

7. At Dwight’s wedding, what is the first thing Dwight says when he sees Michael? What is Michael’s response?

8. When Dwight meets with Jan secretly trying to steal Michael’s managing job, near which outlet do they meet?

9. What new nickname does Andy give Jim the morning of Jim’s job interview in New York?

10. What is the name of Jim’s avatar in Second Second Life? What does Pam call his avatar?

11. When Dwight is taken to the hospital for a concussion, what does he tell Michael his middle name is?

12. What are Michael and Jim’s final lunch orders when Michael takes Jim to Hooters?

13. What time is Michael’s birth moment?

Dude, Carmen was crazy good at answering these. The throwdown was a tie! And we had the best non-coincidence after. We all went to Central Park. The kids were climbing a tall boulder. This couple walking by looked up at the kids on the boulder and said, “Hardcore parkour!” No one jumped into a Vance Refrigeration box, though.

Ready for the answers?

Ultimate Office Throwdown Answers

1. Pam – 90 wpm. Jim – 65 wpm.

2. 1725 Slough Avenue

3. Jim – Nasty Christmas. Pam – White Elephant.

4. Yams. Carbondale.

5. A Chunky bar

6. $400

7. Dwight: Michael. I can’t believe you came. Michael: That’s what she said.

8. Liz Claiborne

9. Big Haircut

10. Jim Samtanko. Philly Jim.

11. Danger

12. Michael – Gourmet hotdog. Jim – Ham and cheese sandwich.

13. 11:23 am

So. How did you do?!