For a few months, I’ve been guest blogging over at Short and Sweet Reviews on the weekly “Best Book Ever” series, where authors and bloggers offer their recommendations for the best book on any given topic, such as Dragons (my pick: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien), Indies (Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman, published by Small Beer Press), and Strong Female Leads (Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce). To help Amanda celebrate the one year blogaversary of Short and Sweet Reviews, this week we’re hosting some giveaways and featuring a Best Book Ever free-for-all. My choice this week is “Best Childhood Book Ever,” one which I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while: (more…)
Monthly Archive: March 2012
Last Friday, I gave my first reading of Fair Coin to a small crowd at the Philadelphia Fantastic reading, hosted by Oz Fontecchio at Robin’s Bookstore & Moonstone Arts Center. It’s a little known fact that I don’t throw parties often because I’m paranoid that no one will come; I don’t know many people in Philadelphia and even fewer have heard of me, so I expected only a handful of guests, but I was pleasantly surprised to see many dear friends at the event, and I even made some new ones. (The usual way, not out of clay, or anything like that.) I read three short excerpts, which were well received, and sold and signed more books than I expected. Many thanks to Oz and Robin’s for such a shiny welcome to this new author and his book.
You might be wondering how you can hear me read from Fair Coin. It just so happens there are a few opportunities coming up in the next week:
I will be interviewed tonight/early tomorrow morning on Jim Freund’s radio program, Hour of the Wolf on WBAI 99.5 FM, from 1:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. I’ve been on the show lots of times with my writing group, but this is my first not-quite-solo appearance; agent extraordinaire Eddie Schneider from JABberwocky Literary will join me. If you’re awake, you can listen on the radio (if you still have one of those) or stream the station live at http://www.wbai.org. If you’re asleep by then, the episode will be available in the archive for two weeks.
The show may be a terrible tactical error, because tomorrow morning I’m reading at 10:00 a.m. at the Inwood branch of the NYPL with authors Jessica Rothenberg, Léna Roy, Mark Schulman, and Arlaina Tibensky, in the NYC Big Read, part of the NYC Teen Author Festival. The word of the day will be COFFEE. (I’ll also be signing books with fifteen other authors at Books of Wonder on Sunday, April 1, from 2:30 – 3:15.)
Finally, next Tuesday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m., I’ll be reading at the NYRSF Readings series at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art with Alaya Dawn Johnson, who has a great new book out called Wicked City. There will also be a guest appearance by Sam Weber, one of my favorite artists, who made the awesome cover for Fair Coin!
I’ll have some Fair Coin swag at all the readings and signings, if you need a little more incentive to attend. I look forward to seeing lots of friends and meeting other readers!
There’s been some confusion over the release date for Fair Coin, but after today, that shouldn’t be a problem. See, March 27 was the tentative publication day, but just like the Pirate Code, a release date is often more of a guideline than an actual rule. The official release date was March 6, and books appeared even before then; what can I say, the book has been waiting to be published for a long time, and you can’t blame it for a little impatience right at the end. Ah, reckless youth.
In any case, not every site and bookseller updated the release date when it changed, so you’ll likely see some folks celebrating Fair Coin‘s birthday today and in the coming weeks. To that, I say, “Huzzah!” Who doesn’t like celebrating a birthday more than once? Especially if that means more cake. I’m happy that people are enthusiastic enough about Fair Coin to celebrate it on the internet, and I hope more readers, stores, and libraries will pick it up since it is now, finally, officially, out.
In the fine tradition of Hobbit birthdays, I decided to get you all a little something to celebrate this most excellent non-occasion. We’ve been working on something special, and I hope you like it.
Since Fair Coin involves a coin that grants wishes when you flip it, a lot of readers have been wondering what I would wish for if I had such a thing, or asking themselves that very question. I’m curious about that too. I was introduced to the concept of Japanese wishing trees in an episode of the anime series Kimagure Orange Road years ago and have been fascinated with the idea ever since.
Here’s how they work. The Japanese Star Festival (Tanabata) celebrates the one day each year, on the seventh day of the seventh month (ie. July 7), in which two star-crossed lovers are actually able to cross: the Cowherd Star (Altair) and Weaver Star (Vega) meet–the separated lovers reunited. Part of the festival involves writing your wish on a slip of paper and tying it to the branch of a bamboo tree, in the hopes that it will come true.
There are lots of variations on this idea. For instance, a Scottish wish tree involves hammering coins into a tree–granting one wish per coin. As I thought about how to celebrate the publication of Fair Coin, one of my wishes come true, it seemed natural to try to develop a similar tradition for the modern age. We all know the internet has power, so who says that it can’t grant wishes? I believe that sometimes just putting your desires out there for the universe to see can help them come true.
So I’ve put together a new Tumblr site called Wishing on a Fair Coin, where you can share your wishes–anonymously if you choose, along the lines of community art blogs like PostSecret. You can upload your own images or allow me to find something appropriate to complement your wish.
I have no idea if this will take off, but my wish is that you’ll drop by, wish for something, and help spread the word wherever you can.
Go ahead, make your wish and flip the coin…
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has done something, anything, to spread the word about me and my debut YA novel, Fair Coin, in the last few weeks. I’ve been overwhelmed by all of your generosity and support. Whether you’ve interviewed me on your site, purchased the book, told your friends and family about it, tweeted, Facebooked, blogged, or reviewed it… It all helps, and I’m so grateful. As much as I’ve been talking about myself here and on social media lately, it doesn’t come naturally. In fact, it makes me a bit uncomfortable, so it’s much easier when other people talk about me instead. And I hope I’ll be able to return this blog to its usual eclectic programming soon!
Some friends have kindly asked what else they can do, such as whether buying it from a particular place is better for me than another. The answer is: Yes, probably. But honestly, I’ve been working on Fair Coin for years and I’m just happy I can finally share my first novel with friends and strangers alike–after all, I wrote it to be read by more than just my family and critique group. As long as you aren’t downloading it illegally or stealing copies, I’m thrilled that you invested hours, days, or weeks to reading it. Hopefully you also enjoy it. I’m even happier if you get the book into the hands of actual teenagers; I hear kids like YA books even more than adults do.
I’ve been learning plenty about book promotion in the last year, and I have discovered some interesting and unexpected things that could influence a book’s sales and long-term success. I will share them with you in case you are inspired to help me become a bestselling young adult author, the better to give my doofy cat the life of luxury she deserves. No pressure. These suggestions can also benefit other authors and books you like, so please consider this a general public service announcement.
I should have mentioned this sooner, but if you are in or near Philadelphia this Friday at 7:00 p.m., please come to the Philadelphia Fantastic reading night, where I will be reading from (and signing) Fair Coin for the first time ever! Some books will be available for sale at the event.
WHEN: Friday, March 23 @ 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Robin’s Bookstore & Moonstone Arts Center
110 A S. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
More info to come! I hope to see you there.
Feel free to RSVP at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/257072964383488/