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.

 

getting my summer on

Welcome summer! I know summer starts for a lot of you the day after school ends. Or after Memorial Day. But for me, summer always begins on the first day of summer. Which is the summer solstice. Which is tomorrow. I will try to focus on the happy fact that sunset is at 8:30 instead of getting that sinking feeling I always have when daylight hours start decreasing. We have the greatest amount of daylight hours all year on the summer solstice (about 15 hours in New York), which means that the day after tomorrow…nope. I will not think about that. I will think about getting my summer on.

Actually, I’ve already begun the funtivities. Section two of the High Line just opened. I was so there. As if more High Line in my life isn’t enough, there’s an outdoor art installation right at the end called Rainbow City with all these interactive balloons. Balloons! Plus more High Line! These are the days, yo.

High Line section two opening

You know how some offices have summer hours? Well, I’m the boss of a one-person corporation over here, and I say my only employee Susane gets to enjoy summer hours, too. Sort of. If it’s a sunny morning that’s not, like, a thousand degrees, I’m allowed to lay out on the beach volleyball pier instead of being online. It’s this new thing at Hudson River Park where volleyball courts are fenced in on a pier – with sand! My entire floor is now covered with sand. Looks like summer. And, um, time to vacuum…

Normally, I would avoid such close proximity to balls zinging in all directions. But they have these cool curvy chairs to lay out on and a sweet summer breeze off the water and it’s just too awesome to resist. I watched some fierce Chelsea boys playing a highly profesh game this weekend. It was good to desensitize myself. Back in junior high and high school, I was terrified of getting smacked in the head with any type of ball – baseball, kick ball, dodge ball, basketball, and especially volleyball. Because when you’re playing volleyball, you are under attack from overhead. Scary much? Now that I’m (technically) a grownup, I think it’s time to be a bit less afraid of volleyballs. So I sat right there and read my book and didn’t get hit. Small steps, people. Small steps.

I have to say that I was shocked by how many people borrowed my sunblock. If you’re going to be outside for a while, bring protection! One new product I’m loving is Neutrogena Wet Skin.

Neutrogena Wet Skin

You know how when you’re laying out and sweating and even if your sunblock is waterproof, it still comes off sometimes and you burn? And then you’re furious because, hello, you spent half an hour putting on sunblock before you left and you even reapplied it and now look? Or is that just me? Well, if you can relate then you’ll love Wet Skin. It’s sweatproof, waterproof, and you can spray it right on wet skin. I’m using SPF 85 and loving it. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

In online news, The Guardian has come to my attention with this piece on authors’ responses to that ridiculous WSJ article about how teen novels are all corrupt a few weeks ago. Then When It Happens got a sweet review. “It’s like Twilight without the vampires!” I’ll take it. Also, the Book Blog Experience is running a giveaway of So Much Closer to go with this interview.

As if the summer solstice isn’t festive enough, even more funtivities are going down tomorrow. I’m doing my last book tour event out on Long Island with fellow YA author/good friend/all-around amazing chica Elizabeth Eulberg. Dude, I’m almost as excited for the train ride as I am for the event. Traveling with friends is way more fun than traveling alone. Elizabeth and I will try not to be too rowdy. But we’re not making any promises. Quiet car FAIL. If you’re a Long Islander (or into road trips), here’s where you can find us:

Tuesday, June 21 – 4:00 pm
Beach Bag Book Club
Merrick Library Annex
2369 Merrick Avenue
Merrick, NY 11566

If I didn’t make it to your area on this tour, I def hope to next time around!

5 sweet things

1. The event I had at Anderson’s Bookshop with Sarah Mlynowski and Maureen Johnson was off the hook. Sarah and Maureen are hilarious. There were so many enthusiastic readers! I did events at the other two Anderson’s locations last year and really wanted to do one at their Naperville store. So I was pretty much stoked out of my mind for this. Lots of kindred spirits were in the house. I had no idea there were so many Container Store fans out there. There was much bonding over my organization stories. I was like, Yay, I’m not a total freak! Also awesome – I got to meet a few readers I’d been communicating with online for years. Lauren brought me cupcakes. And I could not get over the huge gift basket Cassidy put together for me. It had all these cool scrapbooking things like Jolee’s Boutique NYC decorations and flower stickers and a peace sign stamp/stamp pad and even a calligraphy set. What blows my mind is how well she knows me just from reading my blog and stuff online. Thank you for the amazing gifts, Cassidy!

Awesome reader Cassidy with Susane Colasanti at Anderson's Bookshop in Chicago

2. The Best Gift Basket Ever wasn’t the only gift to be given. Katie brought Maureen a Maureen doll wearing – wait for it – the Pajants! As in the Pajants that have been circulating within the YA lit circle for the past few months. We all signed the Pajants after wearing them. Most of us added some artwork. So what did Katie do? She freaking went and made a mini replica of the Pajants. I could not get over the accuracy. She even used the same colors we did. I posted a close-up on the Twitterhood of the Butt Lifting Pajants page. Here’s Maureen and Katie with the doll:

Maureen Johnson with Pajants puppet

3. I’m honored that a second quote from When It Happens has been added to the English wing of Erica’s high school. She selected the Mr. Potato Head line. Thanks for sharing this, Erica!

Quote from When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

4. Author Turf interviewed me about the writing process. If you’re an aspiring writer, you might want to check it out.

5. As you very well know by now if you’ve been reading my blog or ecstatic tweets for a while, Sprinkles opened here in New York last month. This is a Very Big Deal. Sprinkles cupcakes are the best. I had them last year in L.A. and immediately fell in love. So of course I had to gather my friends Elizabeth Eulberg and Courtney Sheinmel to check it out. Courtney is a purist. She likes vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing. We agreed it would be a good idea for us to all get the same ones for the purpose of taste testing. But inside I was like, “LEMON COCONUT!” The verdict seems to be that their plain vanilla cupcakes are maybe not their forte. But when it comes to their more creative flavors, watch out for deliciosity.

I needed to return. I needed to experience the deliciosity.

Some old students of mine (aka vintage friendly neighbors) also love cupcakes. They were more than ready to try Sprinkles. So we all went last night for a friendly neighbor reunion. Was it wrong to have a cinnamon sugar cupcake, a frosting shot, and then half a strawberry cupcake? Good, I didn’t think so. You can get these little cups of frosting in any flavor featured on the current cupcakes (most of their flavors change daily). I had a strawberry frosting shot. I was blown away. It was like a burst of fresh strawberry goodness partying in my mouth. So of COURSE I had to try a strawberry cupcake after that. Which was bursting with even more fresh strawberry goodness. You can totally tell they use fresh, organic ingredients. Unreal. Here I am with Jane, Mamusu, and Sherae in front of the special window bedazzled with signature Sprinkles dots:

Susane Colasanti with vintage noodles at Sprinkles Cupcakes

We had a time.

P.S. Thanks for the warm fuzzy at Anderson’s, Mia (the other Mrs. Krasinski)!

happy spring, happy mash, happy table

Yay, it’s the Return of Spring! Early Summer was oppressing us with these hot, humid days everyone was over after like five minutes. People kept saying that we didn’t have spring. I kept insisting that spring would be back. And now it is! I’m hoping spring will decide to stick around for its official three more weeks. Spring is my favorite season. I am very happy right now.

Well. I’d be happier if I could actually go out and enjoy the springtime that is happening beyond my apartment. The cool breeze blowing in my windows is nice, but I’m looking forward to handing in this revision and taking a few days off. We’re on Day 8 of the 10 Day Challenge Throwdown. Things are looking good. Really good – I spoke with my UK editor at Scholastic in London this morning. She is amazing. I love how she’s into collaborating and getting to know her authors. I’m thrilled to finally have some good news for my English readers! Two of my books are coming out for you next year. The UK edition of When It Happens will be out in May 2012, followed by So Much Closer in September 2012.

In other book news, Forever YA asked me about my inspiration for So Much Closer. They wanted to know if I think moving for a boy is okay. First off, if you haven’t visited Forever YA you need to get over there immediately if not sooner. Freaking. Adorable. Site. Second, I’m really happy they asked. This is a controversial topic. I didn’t expect the discussion to get quite so heated, but I love that my book is inspiring debate! You can read my response, plus find out which fictional characters I’d select for my own Ocean’s Eleven and all sorts of other fun stuff, here. And P.S.? Their MASH game results made me entirely too happy. Seriously, I am still smiling over them.

Keeping today’s happy theme going, I’ll leave you with this display table I found at Barnes & Noble. Just chillin with my girls…

Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti books at Barnes & Noble