Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm Still Alive, I Promise.

I know, I know. I haven't been as full of digital chatter as I usually am. I have a good reason: a sinus infection. It kicked my butt and gave me fever. :'-(

I got antibiotics and kicked its butt back. (insert evil laugh here.) I am feeling much better.

(For those of you who are now worried about my health, since I was sick twice in one month, I promise you that I'm fine. Sinus infections are routine for me at this point. I've gotten them at least twice a year since college. I think it's the cold climes I choose to live in. Must move to California, place of sunshine and warmth and coastal breezes...sigh...someday, ie. after revisions...)

While I've been MIA, things have been happening in the publishing world:

1. Harper Teen Pays Seven Figures for Debut YA Trilogy:

Rachel Deahl -- Publishers Weekly, 3/5/2010 9:44:42 AM

In a major pre-Bologna acquisition, Laura Arnold at Harper Teen pre-empted North American rights to a debut YA trilogy by Josephine Angelini. Mollie Glick at Foundry sold the series--the first book is called Starcrossed--and said she pitched it as "a Percy Jackson for teenage girls." Foundry's Stephanie Abou and Hannah Brown Gordon will be handling foreign rights at the Bologna Book Fair, and film rights are being handled by Angelini's manager, Rachel Miller at Tom Sawyer Entertainment.

In Starcrossed, which brings Greek tragedy to high school, a shy Nantucket teenager named Helen Hamilton attempts to kill the most attractive boy on the island, Lucas Delos, in front of her entire class. The incident proves more than a bit inconvenient for Helen, who's already concerned that she's going insane--whenever she's sees Lucas (or any of his family members) the image of three crying women appear to her.

The murder attempt does have an upside though, as it ultimately leads to Helen's revelation that she and the local heartthrob are, in fact, playing out some version of a weighty ancient love affair. (Said female apparitions are, in fact, the Three Fates.) So Helen, like her namesake, Helen of Troy isn't going crazy, she's destined to start a Trojan War-like battle by being with Lucas. This then begs the unfortunate question: should she be with the boy she loves even if it means endangering the rest of the world?

The second book in the trilogy, Persephone's Garden, follows Helen's journey to the Underworld, and the third book, Ilium, chronicles the final battle between mortals and the gods. Harper Teen is planning to publish Starcrossed in summer 2011.
This totally blew my mind. I mean, I know some of the players involved. I even follow them on Twitter. I saw the excitement even before I knew what the excitement was about.

I have mixed feelings about advances that are high enough to be newsworthy, but I think this one will definitely earn out. I mean, Did you read description of the book? Does it not sound awesome?? I'm already plotting on how to pull strings and snag a galley..... :-P

Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall was released in stores everywhere...

...even in Bozeman, Montana.

I know I said this in my last post too, but it's true here too - You have to read it. I admit, I'm not the biggest fan of this genre. I haven't read other teen weepies like If I Stay or Th1rteen R3asons Why (I have this thing against sad endings), but the pre-pub buzz for Ms. Oliver's novel was so good that I begged a galley off a friend.

Before I Fall deserves every nice thing that anyone has said about it. It totally changed my mind about the weepy genre. It is destined to become the favorite book of multitudes of teens. In five years, all the
copies in the picture above will be battered and dog-eared, the tell-tale signs of many reads and re-reads.

Do yourself a favor, and read it now - that way, you can say you read it before it became a bestseller/won such-and-such awards/got so famous that everybody knew about it.

3. On the same day she emailed me to make sure that the bears hadn't eaten me, my awesome agent J. invited me to go see The Lightning Thief with her after our lunch on Tuesday. Eeeeeekkk!!! I know - I can't believe I haven't seen it yet either, but I want to. Desperately. It totally made my week.

A few things have happened here in Montana too:

1. Spring has begun to crawl up the mountain. This means that the weather has moved away from sub-zero temps and started to look more like this:

This means that mud season is upon us. At the base, the landscape has turned from white to brown, and on either side of the road, rivulets of melted run-off thread their way to the Gallatin River.

I'm crossing my fingers that the snow lasts long enough for my little brother to get here and snowboard to his heart's content. He's spending his Spring Break here, and if he can't get out to snowboard, he's going to be bored out of his mind.

2. Also, I'm off to NYC tomorrow to see my editor, my agent, and oodles of friends. The excitement abounds like whoa.

Of course, my little brother will arrive at the airport an hour before I return. That means that I must clean the cabin unless I want him to see how I've been living and thus be teased/blackmailed until the end of time. I spent a significant part of yesterday and today cleaning. I even vacuumed and made his bed. It was epic.

3. Revisions are everywhere. I still haven't received my editorial letter from my editor, but I've been plowing ahead with revisions for J., agent extraordinaire. Earlier this week, I went into a mild panic, thinking that a month had been wasted since I hadn't finished my revisions in the three weeks since the arrival of J.'s letter. (Note: when I'm sick, everything tends to look like the end of the world.)

Then I started typing up all the new scenes...and realized I had written 20K. Not all of that 20K will make it into this manuscript, of course (one scene has three different beginnings I need to wade through so that's 6K cut right there), but it did make me realize February was actually productive, not just full of illness.

I have maybe three more new scenes to write, and then I revise my revisions. I'll be cutting and pasting the chronology of these new scenes the way a dealer shuffles cars. Then a line-by-line edit or two.... (starting to feel mildly stressed)

But first...laundry! And packing! :-D

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