full circle

Don’t you love Full Circle Moments? Where something significant from your past is introduced into your life again in a profound way? I had a major Full Circle Moment the other day in Barnes & Noble when I saw my book on display next to The Outsiders:

Teen Favorites display

I’ve written here before about how much The Outsiders means to me. It was the book that first inspired me to write my own. When I was in 7th grade, I slept with that book under my pillow. I wished for some magical form of osmosis to happen in my dreams so that I could write books for teens one day, too. The Outsiders sits on my own bookshelf next to my books. At first I was booknerding out over the fact that we have the same publisher. Now I’m thrilled that we’re chilling together somewhere beyond my own bookshelf. And the other books on this display are obvs among my faves. So not only was this a sweet Full Circle Moment, it was a sparkly warm fuzzy as well!

And there’s more happy book news. I’m thrilled to report that the first draft of the book I’m currently writing is done! There’s still a lot of work ahead. But writing the first draft is always the hardest part for me. Once I have a draft to work with, it’s so much easier to revise. Revising is always easiest for me on paper. There’s just something about actual paper that helps ideas flow more than staring at a screen. Guess it’s all part of my old-school ways. I print out the first draft, take over my puffy chair, and mark up that hard copy something fierce.

Writing a book is always hard. But it was harder this time around. You guys know that I recently had surgery for a health issue I’d been dealing with for a while. My pain was so bad that some days I couldn’t sit in a chair. Or stand up straight. Or leave my apartment. Writing an epic love story when you’re in pain is not easy. But I refused to give up. I kept focusing on my goal. I kept hope alive. And most importantly, I kept all of the positive energy you guys have given me in my heart. You are why I write. Remembering that made the pain more bearable.

That’s what we do. We focus on the things that are most important to us. We work towards our goals a little bit every day. And once in a while, we have a Full Circle Moment to remind us of where we came from, where we’re going, and that anything is possible.

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another audiobook giveaway!

I had so much fun with the first audiobook giveaway on Twitter that I’m doing another one this week on Facebook!

You can win any two of these audiobooks on your choice of CD or MP3:

When It Happens, Take Me There, and Waiting for You audiobooks by Susane Colasanti

Here’s how to enter:

1.  Like my Facebook page.

2.  Leave a comment in the audiobook giveaway thread on my Facebook page.

Giveaway rules:

1. All entries must be received by Sunday, August 14 at 11:11 pm.

2. I will announce the winner on Monday, August 15 on my Facebook page.

3. The winner will have two days to email me (susanecolasanti[at]gmail[dot]com) their full name and mailing address. If a response is not received in time, an alternate winner will be selected.

4. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States.

5. The prize is your choice of any two of these audiobooks on CD or MP3: When It Happens, Take Me There, or Waiting for You.

Good luck!

audiobook giveaway

Good news for audiobook listeners! When It Happens, Take Me There, and Waiting for You are all out on audiobook. And my copies have arrived:

That’s right, friendly neighbors. It’s giveaway time! You can win your choice of any two of these audiobooks on CD or MP3.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Follow me on Twitter. If you’re already following, proceed to step two.

2. Tweet this:

Win audiobooks by Susane Colasanti on CD or MP3! Follow @susanecolasanti and RT to enter. Giveaway info here: http://tinyurl.com/4xrev94

Giveaway rules:

1. All entries must be completed by Saturday, July 30 at 11:11 pm.

2. Only one RT per entrant will be counted.

3. I will announce the winner on Twitter on Monday, August 1.

4. The winner will have two days to email me (susanecolasanti[at]gmail[dot]com) their full name and mailing address. If a response is not received in time, an alternate winner will be selected.

5. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States.

I got to approve the narrators for each of these recordings. They are all amazing. It’s so important to select the right narrator for audiobooks, and Brilliance Audio did an incredible job. You will enjoy!

P.S. The Something Like Fate audiobook came out last year. It rocks as hard as these, just so you know.

 

connections

One thing I love about the cover of Waiting for You is the whole Dawson’s Creek tone. Marisa and Nash sitting out on their pier, enjoying the Now just like Dawson and Joey always struggled to do. So I was happy to see that the Indonesian cover of Waiting for You has the same theme:

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti, Indonesian edition

Way to go, Indonesia!

If you are even a fraction as obsessed with Dawson’s Creek as I am, you know what tone I’m talking about. Longing for your soul mate to find you. Nostalgia for times you’ve never experienced. A sense of belonging and home and friends and just everything that’s shaping you into the person you will become.

Felicity has that same tone. Maybe that’s why it’s one of my all-time fave shows.

Some readers have said that So Much Closer reminds them of Felicity. Heck yeah it does! Forever YA even asked me to weigh in on their raging Ben vs. Noel debate (Noel, duh). Of course, So Much Closer was inspired by my own experiences growing up in New Jersey and feeling the pull of New York City, having the Knowing that New York was my true home. It’s all explained in this 99-cents store, garage sale, discount author video I whipped together for you. And speaking of getting closer, here’s a recent review from My Ever Expanding Library.

Can I just say how happy it makes me that So Much Closer readers are now giving out warm fuzzies? I love your comments and emails about the warm fuzzies you’re making for people. The idea of warm fuzzies actually came from my camp counseling days. One of the camps I was a counselor at was for kids living with HIV/AIDS. All of the counselors were volunteers, so the camp was only for a week. We tried to fit in as much as we could during that short time. Making warm fuzzies for one another was a way to strengthen connections over one week instead of two months. And as the Arts & Crafts Director, I made sure we had lots of warm fuzzy supplies ready to go. Putting out positive energy makes the world a better place, and warm fuzzies are an excellent form of positive energy. Keep spreading the love, you guys!

So Felicity. It’s not just the tone that mellows me out. The dialogue could not be more perfect.  Like when Felicity rents that skanky apartment at the beginning of season three – and the whole time you’re like, “Don’t do it!” – and Ben fills a glass with brown tap water and goes, “There’s like activity in the water.” Or when Javier is ranting how his crazy cousin brainwashed Noel (in his Leon days) all like, “Not to mention that you’re married to someone with a police record. And I’m not talking about Zenyatta Mondatta.” Does it get any more brill than that?

It’s fun to watch all the seasons of fave shows over again. Sometimes I’ll bust out an Office marathon and watch all the eps right from the beginning. But I’m mostly searching for new things to watch with Netflix. As if I didn’t already love Josh Radnor enough from How I Met Your Mother, his movie Happythankyoumoreplease is freaking awesome. The title refers to Universal abundance. To experience more, give thanks and ask for more. That totally resonated with me. Part of my daily creative visualization practice is to give thanks to the Universe. There is an infinite amount of happiness in the world. The connection is clear – thanking the Universe for manifesting my heart’s desires is just like giving thanks and asking for more happiness. Rock on with your fine self, Josh. And thanks for returning my yellow umbrella without even knowing.

Some little things are making me happy today. Like waking up on my own instead of being jolted awake by the Construction Worker Coffee Klatch. After months of crazy noise, I think they might actually be…done? Plus, there is a big fresh chopped salad in my lunch future. What’s better than chopped salad for lunch when it’s scorching out? Other than, say, a vat of ice? I plan on tossing about ten different vegetables in mine. Cheers, everybody.

twitter q&a and foreign covers

Greetings, fellow tweeps! I’ll be doing a Twitter Q&A tomorrow, April 28, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Random tweeters will be selected to win ARCs of So Much Closer. All questions and questioners are welcome! To join the Q&A:

1. Be following me on Twitter – I’m susanecolasanti.

2. Ask your question between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time with the hashtag #SoMuchCloser.

3. Random tweeters will be selected to win signed ARCs of So Much Closer.

A few other quick things going on…

Want to win a copy of Something Like Fate in paperback? My friend Melissa Walker is hosting a giveaway with her Cover Story.

I’ve already received so many awesome entries for my Fourth Annual Ginormous Contest! It’s going to be really hard to select three winners. You guys are amazing.

Did you get my newsletter today? If not, you can read it here.

Finally, I’m stoked to share the Polish cover of When It Happens with you. The title is When the Time Comes. My friend Anton told me that in Russian the title would be Hoping for the Right Hour. It kind of looks like a vampire novel, but I love it anyway. So dramatic!

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti Polish edition

And here’s the German cover of Waiting for You. I love that my German publisher is using the same flowers and happy clouds on all the covers.

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti German edition

Well, it’s volunteer work time. Last week I got to clean and totally organize my client’s desk. Cleaning and organizing people’s desks is so fun for me I can’t even tell you. Today I get to untangle a bunch of cords and then sort them with those color coding grippy things. Which, seriously, is so relaxing. I get very bothered when people have big, tangled bunches of wires showing. All wires should be hidden, IMHO. And even though I have a ton of work to do before my book tour starts next week, it’s been warm and sunny here in New York. That’s helping me keep it Zen. I even busted out my new flip-flops yesterday. Which means one thing – spring is officially here to stay. Yay!

reaching out

Here’s something you probably don’t know about me.

I have a thing for colored sand.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved colored sand. I loved colored sand in kindergarten when we glued it to popsicle sticks. I loved colored sand at Great Adventure and Asbury Park when we poured it into tall, clear bottles to make sand birds. I loved colored sand enough to order 10 different colors of it and make those sand birds again as a camp activity when I was an arts and crafts director. I just adore the vibrant colors, the smooth feel, the infinite ways it allows you to express yourself. Basically, colored sand rules.

So when I was walking to the doctor’s and trying not to stress about the part of my annual physical where they take blood because needles have, like, the opposite effect of colored sand, I cannot explain to you how ecstatic I was to encounter:

Joe Mangrum sand painting

Artwork with colored sand! Exclusively! It made me so immensely happy to find another person who also feels a bond with colored sand. I felt such a strong connection to this sand painting. Of course I ran up to the artist all like, “I LOVE colored sand!” Naturally, he understood. The amazing artist behind this gorgeous creation is Joe Mangrum. Colored sand is his most recent medium of choice. You can check out his incredible sand paintings and other works of art on his website.

I told Joe I’d be back after my appointment to see the progress of his sand painting. He had a huge crowd, but I found a space and sat and watched Joe work. I could have watched all day. Hot pink sand was touching turquoise sand. The effect was electric. By the time I left, the piece looked like this:

Joe Mangrum sand painting

I can’t wait to run into Joe creating another sand painting! I know the Universe will make it possible.

Something else touched my soul recently. A reader’s mom sent me this email (which I am posting with her permission):

Dear Susane:

When I bought my fourteen year old daughter the book Waiting for You, it just sounded like a good read. She has liked your other books and I love to find good YA for her to read.

I was totally blown away when I picked the book up after she had had it for a few weeks and saw she had highlited many lines…unfortunately about suicide. I had no idea that these thoughts were in her head and she obviously didn’t know how to tell me. I think having your book gave her the opportunity to bring her troubles to my attention (she left the book out on the kitchen island).

We talked about what was going on and I have made an appointment for her to talk to a therapist. Neither of those things would’ve happened I believe without you.

So I just wanted to say thanks. I’m a writer myself, and I hope as I continue to work on my craft, I can connect with readers the same way you do.

You rock!

I’m relieved that my reader was able to reach out for help in a way that worked for her. Talking about hard issues can be really embarrassing – even impossible for lots of people. As someone who was never able to talk about hard issues with anyone as a teen, I can relate. This is a reminder that there’s more than one way to reach out for help. And there are so many ways to make a difference in this world. Whether you’re creating art that speaks to others or finally deciding to get the help you need, you are making a difference.

It’s easy to forget how strongly our words and actions can affect others. Something that means nothing to you could mean the world to someone else. We are all connected. We can all create the change we desire.

How will you?

turkey surprise

Dude, I’m stressing out. First of all, I banged my head on the glass shelf in my bathroom. It didn’t really hurt. But I have this thing where every time I bang my head, I’m convinced that it will result in a massive brain injury and I’ll be dead within the next three hours. Could I maybe just calm that down? Not yet.

Regular readers of this blog know that I try to keep it Zen as much as possible. I enjoy minimizing stress. But I’m about to submit the manuscript of my new book (not So Much Closer, which was finalized last summer – I’m talking about my next book). Whenever I get to this point in the writing process, all attempts at a Zen lifestyle pretty much go out the window. I never know if a book is any good until my editors tell me it is. So I will try not to worry (about the book and head injuries and everything else) and keep it in the Now.

A few quick things to share with you:

The Book Queens interviewed me about transitions, writer’s block, and advice for aspiring writers. Thanks, ladies!

The More You Read, The More You Will Know! posted this early review of So Much Closer. I know that some of you have gotten ARCs through Library Thing or at ALA and I’m psyched for your feedback.

In foreign edition news, I’m thrilled to report that both Something Like Fate and Take Me There are being translated into Spanish!

Waiting for You
was published in Turkey last July, which I think is crazy cool. I mean, Turkish? Wild. Usually foreign edition covers are way different than the American ones. So I was surprised to see that the Turkish cover of Waiting for You looked really familiar.

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti Turkish edition

It’s also common for book titles to be changed. I had no idea what this one meant, but luckily my friend Umit is from Turkey. He told me that the title is When Are You Coming? Which really is the main question when the waiting becomes excrutiating, isn’t it?

Okay, back to polishing this manuscript. And trying to keep it Zen. I hope your weekend is a peaceful one!