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!

roundup

My next book, So Much Closer, will be out on May 3. I know we still have four months to go, but I think that time will zip by for me. A lot is going on over here in the hunker down! Since I’ll be starting my book tour on May 3, I’m trying to get some things done now that need to be in place at that time. We just had an exciting marketing meeting at Penguin and I can tell you that some fun things are in store for this book release. It looks like in addition to a book trailer, we’ll be doing a walking tour of locations in So Much Closer right here around the West Village. Plus, I’ll be doing an extra video this summer. So I went ahead and got my YouTube channel on. Come join me if you’re also on the Tube.

While I was favoriting videos and such, I found this sweet Waiting for You book trailer. I’m in love with it. The images and music and fonts all perfectly evoke the tone of the book. Impressive!

A few new reviews of Something Like Fate have also popped up. The Bookologist and The Garden of Books kindly shared their thoughts. I can’t read Portuguese, but in case you can I wanted to mention that my boy Julio in Brazil posted his review on Blog do Julio.  Brazilian readers representin’!  And The Book Queens did a cool overview of all my books because they are awesome like that.

Thanks to everyone who’s requested an ARC of So Much Closer. Your enthusiasm makes me even more stoked for this book release! I used to compile lists of book bloggers for my publisher to send out ARCs. However, I can no longer put those lists together because I’m getting more requests now – sorry about that! If you’re a book blogger and would like to receive an ARC of So Much Closer, you can email my publisher at yrmarketing[at]us.penguingroup.com with your name, blog address, and mailing address. They can’t guarantee that everyone will receive a copy, but it’s worth a shot.

Things will be getting crazyfunbusy soon. For now, I’ll enjoy the fat snowflakes that are falling and a peaceful weekend of work ahead of me. That might sound weird – associating “peaceful” with “work” – but I actually feel the least stressed when I can get my work done without a bunch of distractions. Wishing you a peaceful weekend as well!

home stretch

Ah, darkness at 4:00. And so it goes in the Hunker Down. Actually, things are looking up. I think I can see the end of this first draft I’m working on. Which I am extremely happy about. First drafts are always the hardest part for me. Some authors love first drafts and struggle more with revisions, but the opposite is definitely true for me. I just think it’s a lot easier to work with something already on the page. Once I have a first draft, it becomes much easier for me to refine the story.

This doesn’t mean I’m done or anything. Not at all. Once this draft is done, I’ll print out a hard copy and work on the second draft from there. And then the third. And then (hopefully) it will be ready to submit to my editors. They’re the only ones who read my work in its initial stages, so I never know if a manuscript is any good until they give it the green light. Let’s hope those lights keep shining green!

With all of this early darkness, it’s always nice to find some bright warm fuzzies online. Like how All-Consuming Books is giving away a copy of Something Like Fate. Or this very sweet review of Waiting for You over at The Book Genie. Or these charming videos of cut paper animation on Moving Paper. They’re so cute!

I’ll leave you with a clip of my fave contemporary philosopher, Alain de Botton. I’ve been reading his books on love and relationships for years and am always impressed by his refreshing, astute insights. In this interview, Alain discusses how childhood anxiety inspires intellectualism. As usual, he totally has a point.

Keep you where the light is…

it’s an apple world

Finding your way around my neighborhood can be challenging.

West Village street signs

The Village is a super cute area. One thing that makes it so unique is the street orientation. Most of Manhattan is on a numbered grid system, which makes it easy to navigate. But once you get down here, streets zigzag and curve and lots of them are only one block long. And most of the streets have names instead of numbers, which makes them hard to find. Tourists often ask me for directions. Like the other day when some tourists asked me how to get to a certain lacking cupcake shop. Naturally, I directed them to the far superior Crumbs. Their Cupcake of the Week was the Big Apple. Which I of course needed to try.

Big Apple cupcake from Crumbs

Even better than an apple cupcake (which was actually vanilla with chocolate buttercream filling)? A visit to the Apple Store, aka Shiny Happy Apple World. I was there a few weeks ago, trying to decide between getting an iPod touch and an iPad. I was like 90% sure I’d leave with one or the other. I decided to go with the iPod touch, but something made me wait. I even asked, “Do you know when the new ones are coming out?” They never know. I know they never know but I always ask anyway. It’s funny how we’re so used to the newer and better models blowing away the old ones that we’ve become reluctant to get anything right now. But dude, I am SO happy that I waited. The new iPod touch is amazing! I returned to Shiny Happy Apple World yesterday to get mine. The cameras! FaceTime! The incredible resolution! I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be obsessing over it for a while.

Which doesn’t mean that I won’t make time for new adventures in Netflix. I’m currently into Fringe. I loved the first season. And not just because Joshua Jackson is in it and I’m still missing Pacey Witter so much that sometimes I forget he’s a fictional character and I sit around wondering how he’s doing and if he and Joey are still together. Fringe is excellent on many other levels. It appeals to my scientist side, has really good writing, and is funny when you least expect it to be. Recommended, yo.

On an entirely unrelated note, there are two reviews of Waiting for You that I keep meaning to link to. Open Mind, Insert Book’s review is touching. And Fluttering Butterflies says that the whole book made her feel relaxed and content.  Nice.

No matter what you’re obsessing over this weekend, I hope you have a good one!

new

A new semester is in full swing at NYU. I live a few blocks from campus (i.e. Washington Square Park, clusters of buildings, ginormous library) and walk by all the time. But the beginning of September is always special. You can totally feel a renewed vibe of possibility in the air. Parents snapping photos of their kids in front of the fountain. Everyone lugging stuff to their dorms in big Kmart bags. People with new backpacks and sneakers clutching maps of the Village. Freshmen giggling in huddles of nervous excitement. There’s nothing like starting your first year of college, finally getting a chance to be who you’ve always wanted.

If their college experience turns out to be anything like mine, soon that shiny new feeling will be replaced by insane class demands, even crazier roommates, and feeling left out because you have to work when everyone else is lounging on the lawn, making friends. Which can put a girl in a need of a treat. No worries! The Cake & Shake cart is here to help.

Cake & Shake

Cake & Shake has a new cupcake and milkshake cart parked on campus. I love them because all of their packaging is 100% biodegradable (cupcakes come in paper liners) and the cart runs on green energy. This is just one of the billion things I love about New York. Such creative people come here to turn their dreams into reality you can’t even believe it. There seems to be a service for every possible thing a person could want, right down to an astonishing array of food carts. There’s even a cart that only has waffles. Only waffles! Just as New Yorkers appreciate how misfits can come here and fit right in, we appreciate variety of all kinds.

In other news of new things, I have some links to share with you:

If you’re doing something cool over the long weekend, please have some extra fun for me. I’ll be working and keeping my hair out of any Hurricane Earl-related downpour. Today was Japanese straightening time. Which means that for the next three days, my hair must remain completely dry. True, my hair was worked on for five long hours, but I only have to do this twice a year. The whole rest of the year I just get out of the shower, run a comb through my hair, and I’m done. No product. No blow drying. No hassle. Totally worth it. Or it will be, after hiding out for the next three days…

heart’s desires

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m all about creating your ideal life. We all have heart’s desires. My heart’s desires keep me going. They’re what motivate me to keep moving forward to achieve my next goal, and the one after that, and the one after that. No matter how many goals I achieve, there are always plenty more waiting in line.

Like right now. So Much Closer has officially entered the copyediting phase of its journey. It usually takes a few weeks for copyediting to be completed. While I’m waiting, I’ll move on to my next goal. Which means it’s time for book six! My plan is to write the first draft of book six this summer.

Naturally, I have other goals beyond the author kind. My biggest heart’s desires have been speaking to me for a really long time. Meg Cabot is someone who understands this. I wasn’t surprised at all when she wrote one of her highly entertaining blog entries all about heart’s desires. She was saying how sometimes our heart’s desires are secret. Like Ellen Page’s desire to be a badass roller derby chick in Whip It.

Ellen Page in Whip It

She couldn’t tell her mom that she was a Hurl Scout because her mom would have been like, “Um, yeah, I don’t think so.” She kept her passion a secret for most of the movie. But of course it came out in the end. You can’t hide your heart’s desires for long. In fact, you have to put them out into the Universe so forces can begin to manifest your dreams. That’s how creative visualization works. If you’ve read When It Happens, you may remember the book Sara uses to manifest her own heart’s desires. That book is called Creative Visualization and it actually exists. It’s been part of my lifestyle for years and let me tell you something: It totally works!

With creative visualization, you don’t just imagine the things you want, kick back, and expect them to show up at your door. You have to put positive energy out into the Universe. The goal of doing this should never be just to get something good back in return. That said, karma makes sure that if you put out goodness, you receive goodness. Meg shared how she’s written books and short stories that benefit different charities. But I’m nowhere near that point. My thing has always been volunteer work. Ever since junior high, I’ve had a passion for all kinds of volunteer work. I like being able to help make the world a better place, even if all I can do is make it a tiny bit better. I’ve been a candystriper, a Girl Scout leader-in-training, an AIDS activist, and a bunch of other things. Currently, I do grocery shopping for seniors in my nabe. I do it because I love it.

And guess what? Friendly neighbor Kelsey just documented my books at Walmart. I didn’t even know my books were at Walmart!

Susane Colasanti books at Walmart

Do good things, receive good things. Everything is connected.

So now it’s time for you to put your biggest heart’s desires out into the Universe. You can use the comments section here (I got us started) or do your own thing. Don’t be embarrassed to dream big. How else do you think your heart’s desires will become reality?

south beach love

Well, I’m back from a few relaxing days in South Beach. We stayed at the new W South Beach. I am a major fan of W Hotels, with their fun lighting and cool color schemes. When we checked in, I was raving about how much I love Ws and the lady checking us in asked me which one I liked the best. I told her it was the W San Diego, followed by the W Montreal (the ones here in New York all look amazing, but I’ve only stayed at the W Times Square). She was like, “This one will be your new favorite.” And she was right! Best. W. Ever. Our room was huge. It had a private balcony overlooking both the beach and city, massive bathroom with two sinks, closet/drawer space for days, a refrigerator, two flat-screen TVs, and of course Bliss body butter. I was in heaven. I even got to chill with Sting in the hall:

Sting with Susane Colasanti at the W South Beach

Not that I got to enjoy my room enough. My days were spent lounging by the pool and nights were for exploring. In my world, this is a perfect kind of decadence. One thing you should know about me is that I’m into decadence. Line up ten different eyeglass frames or coffee tables or bags without telling me how much they cost and I will inevitably be lusting after the most expensive one. Which is a hoot and a holler, considering I couldn’t really afford it. So I like to create decadence by enjoying the little things. It made me so happy to just sit out on the balcony in that comfy chair, watching the ocean and the sunset and the lights coming on.

Which brings me to another thing you should know about me. I could look at neon lights for hours and not get bored. I just think they’re so beautiful in their own unique way. Combine my love of neon with my love of architecture and it makes total sense why I love South Beach. The area is known for its art deco. It’s so beautiful you can’t even believe it. Last time we went, I blogged about the art deco and posted nighttime pics here.

When we were at the airport coming home, SP needed a new book. So we went into Books & Books to find him one. Now, I’d only seen my books in an airport one time. Airport bookstores are so small that I couldn’t believe any of them would be stocking my books. But SP is my number-one fan and always hopeful about these things. He likes to check every airport bookstore, looking for my books. I wasn’t shocked when we went to the teen section in Books & Books and didn’t see any of mine. We looked for a book he’d like. He wasn’t feeling any of them. We went over to the magazine section. He wasn’t into any of those. So he went up the the registers at the front of the store, where some books were displayed. He yelled, “Susane!” Because WAITING FOR YOU PAPERBACKS WERE ON DISPLAY RIGHT UP FRONT!

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti at Miami International Airport

I could not believe what I was seeing. It’s one thing to see my books in a regular bookstore, but in a tiny airport bookstore, totally front and center? Talk about a major surprise. Then it was a whirlwind of me trying to compose myself enough to answer people’s questions and the awesome dude working there (hi, Michael!) letting me sign them and there was pretty much a whole mini drama playing out right there in Terminal D of Miami International. Three people even bought copies right on the spot, they were so excited for me. Which made me really happy about how sweet people are and got me verklempt all over again. Special shout-out to Taylor – thanks for sharing the experience with me! Milestones and all.