getting there

We’re getting there.

That’s what I keep repeating to myself whenever it feels like my apartment renovations will never be finished. Which is, like, every day. Things are moving along. Just a lot slower than I’d hoped. One good thing that happened today was bathtub reglazing. That’s where they make your tired old tub look like it’s brand new. I was so impressed with the work. The bathtub is so shiny! And flawless! Much better than some other stuff that was damaged. Like how the delivery guys ripped a corner of my new couch. Or how some paint eater dripped on my new stainless steel refrigerator and removed a bit of the finish. I could be grumbly about those things. But I prefer to focus on the Big Picture. My place is looking gorgeous overall. The work will be done soon. The couch and refrigerator damage will be repaired. And I will be able to have nice things for the first time pretty much ever.

In the midst of the construction frenzy, I didn’t get a chance to tell you about a hot summer read you’re going to love.

My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend

 

Fortunately, I was able to read My Life in Black and White months before it was released in June. What a powerful story. It was a total page turner – one of those fast reads where you can’t wait to find out what happens next. You should know that Natasha Friend is the sweetest person. She is truly adorable. Which makes reading her books even more satisfying. I was thrilled to provide a blurb for this book:

“With a perfect mix of emotional depth and intelligent humor, My Life in Black and White will inspire you to reevaluate what’s important in your own life. You won’t want to put it down!”

Also thrilling was finding these at Forever 21 today:

New Kids on the Block sweatshirts

It was not cool to wear a New Kids on the Block tee back in the day when they were actually popular. Apparently, they are cool to wear now. Or maybe it just wasn’t cool for me to wear my NKOTB tee. I was a super fan in high school. High school was too old to like them. The Girls Scouts in the troop I was a leader-in-training for were all obsessed. They understood me. But my love for Joey Joe had to be top secret in front of everyone else. Ours was a scandalous relationship.

However, my love for all the book bloggers who have spread the word about Keep Holding On is very public. Here are some new reviews for you:

Keep Holding On was also included as a hot YA read for adults in this She Knows feature along with Between the Lines by literary idol Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha van Leer. Honored!

In other book news, Barnes & Noble Book Club asked me to write a guest post on how I learned to think like a teenager (hint: no learning was required). The Penn Gazette interviewed some Penn grads who are YA authors about the genre. You can win a signed copy of So Much Closer on Freado. And I have to give a shout-out to Justin for reviewing When It Happens. I love it when boys read my books.

when explicit content happens

How much do I love this cover of the UK edition of When It Happens?

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti, UK edition

So. Freaking. Much.

First off, it’s bright pink in person. Like neon pink. The pink is so bright you have to wear shades. How do I know this? My fabulous Scholastic UK editor sent me a copy. Thanks, Helen!

Then there’s the design. Totally unique and catchy. And some of the images are taken right from the book, like the dime, yin-yang, and diner sign. Plus the adorbs T&S heart (which I guess is English for T+S).

But actually? My favorite part is the explicit content warning sticker. That is so badass. Slap some parental advisory stickers up in here! When the book came out in 2006, I remember my editor at the time saying that it might get a similar warning for librarians. I don’t remember how that played out. The important thing is that I wrote the story that was in my heart. The uncensored, honest story of when true love happens. I wrote every detail of how euphoric first love feels without worrying about what the grownups would think. And I’m so happy I did.

When It Happens is out now in the UK. I believe the UK edition of So Much Closer drops in September. Hopefully, there will be more to come!

cover news + other awesomeness

My amazing UK editor is in town and I just got to have lunch with her. She’s the best kind of editor – a big fan of my books, excited about collaborating, and a very sweet person. Scholastic UK is publishing both When It Happens and So Much Closer next year. Naturally, I am beyond stoked. Helen showed me a mock-up of the When It Happens cover. It’s such a unique design! Without giving too much away, I can tell you that there’s room for some images on the cover that reflect things from the book.

Which is where you come in.

It’s been a long time since I read When It Happens. Even though it’s hard to believe, I don’t remember everything I wrote. How busted is that? Of course I remember details like Tobey’s black Converse and Sara’s sketchbook and the significance of yin-yang and Chez and how music was a major part of the story. But I’d love to know which details you remember. What images do you think should go on the cover? Your comments would be much appreciated – and would really help me get my suggestions together!

More cover news for you: I finally saw the initial cover designs for Keep Holding On and the So Much Closer paperback. They are both super cute. I’ll post them here as soon as they’re finalized.

In other awesomeness, how sweet is the Google doodle today? As soon as I saw it I freaked OUT. He was once a little green slab of clay. Gumby! My old students know all about Gumby and co. I regularly worked them into my lessons. Plus I kept my retro Gumby and Pokey figures on my desk. I adore all those characters, but Prickle has always held a special place in my heart. He is the yellow dinosaur. He is adorable.

One thing I love about New York is discovering new stuff. All the time. Often right down the street. Like the other day when I was mesmerized by some skywriting. The physics component of skywriting is fascinating. Not only do you have to be all about trajectories and angles, you have to take into account wind conditions as well. The skywriter started writing over 10th Avenue. But by the time the message was finished, it had blown east of 6th Avenue. What was the message? LAST CHANCE. A group of us stood on the street wondering, Last chance for what? (Note: That’s maybe not the best message to write in the New York City sky). The romantic part of me usually wins with these things. I imagined the skywriter to be desperately in love with a girl who knew she should leave her abusive boyfriend to be with him, but lacked the courage to make such a drastic life change. It was her last chance to follow her heart. Would she take it?

So how do I know where the skywriting started? Because I tweeted about the message. Then I noticed a tweet in my feed from the High Line. Of course the skywriting was an art project affiliated with the High Line. Awesomeness attracts more awesomeness. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

 

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!

good signs

Have you entered my audiobook giveaway on Twitter yet? If not, no worries – you have one more day. Here’s how to enter.

Okay, writing that just now made me think how weird it is that we use the word “enter” for giveaways. I’m picturing the giveaway as a room in which people automatically appear once they’ve entered with a popping sound effect. “Look, so-and-so has entered the giveaway!” Guess I’m in one of those bizarre word moods. Next I’ll be saying “purple” a bunch of times until it doesn’t sound like a word anymore.

I’ve been known to get like this after visits to the doctor where they take blood.  I do not do needles. Not at all. I have so much respect for everyone in the health profession, especially people who take blood. Sensitive people like me are a pain. The nurse did an awesome job of distracting me while I was taking deep breaths and not looking at the blood. She talked about how fresh the fruit is in Jamaica. Dude. How did she know I’m obsessed with fruit? She’s that good! She’s so good that now I want to go to Jamaica and eat the fresh fruit.

Speaking of fresh fruit, I finally hooked up with some real tomatoes (as opposed to the impostor tomatoes that are currently taking over supermarkets nationwide). Yes, I was so happy to see them in the midst of our tomato crisis that I almost made out with a bunch of New England vine ripe ones right there in Whole Foods. I am not opposed to PDA. “A Day in the Life” came on and I was transported back to the Paul McCartney concert, waving my arms to the “ah-ah-ahhhh” part. At the concert, not at Whole Foods. Then I came home, made a tomato and muenster cheese sandwich with mayo on rye, and enjoyed the classic taste of summer. It’s a good sign that these tomatoes taste like tomatoes. Hope is alive.

Without hope, it’s hard to stay positive. We have to keep hoping that our dreams will become reality. Like how I hope When It Happens will be made into a movie soon. You guys have told me how the book played like a movie when you read it. Which makes total sense. As I was writing it, I pictured every scene like a movie. I had a Knowing from the start that it was meant to be a movie. Back then, the book was actually called Trust. My initial plan was to do one-word titles. My friend Jim and I used to walk down Central Park West on warm nights, summer breeze and city lights all around us, visualizing Trust becoming a movie.

Then Trust became a movie.

As if I didn’t already heart Ross enough, David Schwimmer busted out with this absolutely gripping film that just blows you away. I’m taking it as a good sign for When It Happens. And if Liana Liberato wanted to play Sara, I would be one happy girl.

Best of all, I have my peaceful homelife back. I forgot how quiet facing our little courtyard in the back was until the construction work ended. And I finally remembered to look up (as John Dalton advises) and notice that our building’s exterior is gorgeous. I’m not sure the constant noise was worth it, but this place is all sparkly happy now. I’m taking that as a good sign, too.

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.