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  • I read a lot, and I have a lot of opinions, so I can't believe I haven't made a list like this before. If you are even a little bit like me or you want to get a peek into my psyche (you probs don't), these are the books to read.

Archive for June, 2009

Crazytown, Population: Me

Posted on June 29th, 2009 by annakjarzab

First things first: Cynthea Liu, 2009 Debutante and author of The Great Call of China and Paris Pan Takes the Dare, is raising money for Tulakes Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There are many ways to help out: you can spread the word, buy Paris Pan and have Cynthea donate the royalties to charity, donate through, or bid on auction items such as manuscript critiques from some of the best YA writers out there, as well as editors and agents. You can also bid on a full manuscript critique from me! So please check out what Cynthea’s doing over there.

Second things second: The All Unquiet Things ARC giveaway is still going strong! I’ve gotten so many great questions, you guys, I think I might have to randomly choose a winner because I can’t! pick! my! favorite! NOT ONLY THAT (so many good things), but now when you comment you have a chance to win ONE of TWO AUT ARCs! That is right. Joanna is donating her second ARC (she only got two, so you know she loves you) to the giveaway. So go ask some Qs!

Okay, also, you have to know, I’ve been keeping an Excel document of all the questions, because I’m ridiculously organized like that, and there are 90. 90! You guys rock. Let’s get it to 100, shall we?

Third things third: I’ll admit it, I was avoiding my pass pages. I was afraid that I would read them and cringe at my own writing. But last night I finally buckled down and worked on them (I’m about 1/3 of the way through at this point) and you know what? I’m totally enjoying it! I’m trying to take Dia‘s suggestion and read it as though someone else wrote it, and at first I thought that would be impossible, and in some ways it is (like, for instance, I will never be able to imagine what it’s like to read about Carly for the first time and form an impression about her based only on what I’ve written; once people have read the book, I would love some feedback on that, if only for curiosity’s sake), but as I get farther and farther into it I start to forget that it’s something I wrote and just enjoy it for what it is. Which is such a relief for me, I can’t even tell you. And I’m glad I’m getting this one last moment to read the book cover to cover, because after these pages are done, I probably will never read it again.

Fourth things fourth: Want to see where the magic happens?


That’s my desk. I just cleaned it up yesterday, so I felt like I could show it to you without embarrassment. That desk is where I write everything, from emails to novels. I don’t ever go to coffee shops or the library to work. Sometimes I write on my bed, which is to the left, but mostly I just sit at that desk, day in and day out for hours at a time, writing. I need a bigger bedroom.

Those three piles of paper are my pass pages; the pile to the left is larger now that I’ve done more work. You know what is crazy making? The fact that it’s summer and I don’t have AC (welcome to New York City), so I have to use the fan that’s sitting to the right of my desk to cool off while I’m working, but also I’m editing a huge stack of papers so I have to use various items to weigh them down so they don’t blow away and get mixed up. That’s what the purple starfish is for; I have no idea where I got that thing, or if it even belongs to me (might be my sister’s), but it’s incredibly useful for making sure my pages don’t all blow away.

Oh, and on that computer screen? That’s Book 3, a.k.a. GR. I’ve got about 80 pages written right now, and though I seem to have hit a wall at the moment, I’m confident I’ll push through soon. Productivity!

As you can probably see there’s a lot going on. This is going to be a big week for me, as I have to finish these pages, get them to my editor, wrap up the AUT ARC giveaway and announce winners, plus my BFF Kim is coming to town on Wednesday (poor darling, taking a red eye and arriving at the crack of dawn) and it’s the Fourth of July! So as you can probably tell, it’s Crazytown, Population: Me right now, but all of it’s exciting. And I’m happiest when I’m busy, anyway.

All Unquiet Things excerpt posted!

Posted on June 28th, 2009 by annakjarzab

I guess the title of this post says it all. After a few technical difficulties, I finally got the excerpt to post! I should tell you, I did not draw that excerpt–which is quite long, fourteen pages of the manuscript–from a digital copy. I typed it all out into WordPress off the page proofs, which I’m supposed to be reading but am pretty afraid of.

I’ve only flipped through the ARC a couple of time, never letting my eyes linger on any words, for fear that I’ll be revolted by how bad it is. I’m my own worst critic, so hard on myself that my friends sometimes think I’m crazy, and not entirely in love with my words all the time. Me and my writing have a contentious relationship–I’m the quickest to think the worst of it, and the last person to praise it.

So, Chapter One is the only chapter I’ve done with (if my editor is reading this, I swear I’ll get to it by deadline!). I’m just having a hard time getting into it, but I will prevail. Already, just typing out the first chapter, I found a couple of changes I want to make and even one (ugh) continuity problem. Well, I guess that’s what this step in the process is for. You think you’re done, but you get one more chance to fix mistakes. If only life were that forgiving. 🙂


Posted on June 25th, 2009 by annakjarzab

I promised you an ARC giveaway, and though perhaps a week of silence doesn’t qualify as “very soon”, I’m here to announce the Very! First! All Unquiet Things! Giveaway! SPECTACULAR!


Wow, I made that sound way more exciting than it is.

Okay, so here’s the catch: the giveaway is not here! It’s over at The A-Team, because Joanna and I need material and you might have some questions for us, so ask them and you’ll be entered in the giveaway. It really is that simple. You can ask a question of Joanna (my agent, for anyone who’s new), me, or both of us, and then we’ll answer them on The A-Team until we run out.

All the details are over at the official giveaway post (let me be clear about this: comments posted on this post, while appreciated and awesome, ARE NOT ELLIGIBLE; if you have a Q, you’ve got to ask it over here). Multiple Qs=multiple entries, because we’ll be giving the ARC away to the best one (as judged by us, obvs). Questions with spoilery answers will be answered after the book comes out, under a cut, but all of the questions will be answered eventually on the blog (at our discretion, of course).

The contest will last for a week, and the winner will be announced on Friday, July 3rd.

Don’t delay, ask away!*

Oh, and also, if you wanted to, um, tell people about this (perhaps on your blog, on Twitter, etc.) and get them excited about it, I’d be most grateful. Not required! But definitely encouraged.


*Oh, yeah, I went there. I went to the rhyming place. Sorry.

ARC party!

Posted on June 19th, 2009 by annakjarzab

ARC party (n.) – The party one throws oneself when one’s Advanced Reader Copies arrive. Involves dorky dancing and photo taking and massive smiles. Varies by author.

Look what I got in the mail today!


Okay, granted, I took this picture with my friend’s point-and-shoot camera in not-so-great lighting, so it’s a little washed out, but in real life they are the most gorgeous creatures I have ever beheld (am I being melodramatic enough about this yet?).

Many have asked me what I plan to do with these ARCs. Well, I plan to keep one. I plan to send one home with my dad next week (he’ll be in town for a business meeting and is taking me out to dinner, w00t!) for my family to have. I plan to send one circulating amongst the Tenners, because that’s how we do. One has been handed over to the wonderful people in my office, some of whom read the book in (a now outdated) manuscript, but most of whom didn’t and still want to. That leaves three. Three beeeeeeeeautiful ARCs.

Which means at least one of them will be given away. RIGHT ON THIS VERY SITE YOU ARE NOW VISITING (or maybe you’re reading this post in Google Reader, I know that’s a possibility). That day is not today, but it will be very, very soon, I promise. Let me repeat: this is not a giveaway post. Howevs. I won’t do one of those very complicated, requires-advanced-calculus-type giveaways where you get one point for this and forty-seven points for that, et cetera. Because I hear judging those is a very lengthy process and frankly I’m awful at math. So I have to come up with something easier. I will do that as soon as possible.

The ARCs are getting a lot of my attention right now, but actually I got some other stuff in the package also. I got two jacket flaps, for instance.


Click the pic to expand.

They are GORGEOUS. The ARCs are not shiny, but the cover will be matte gloss, which is new terminology for me, but basically it means glossy in some parts and not in others (Cyn Balog‘s debut, FAIRY TALE, which comes out next week, is a good example of a matte gloss cover–the wings are glossy but the black background is not–and is actually the one my editor used to demonstrate to me what that means, because Cyn’s another Delacorte author and she had a copy on hand). The photo on the finished copies of AUT will be glossy.

And as you can see, they carried my favorite squiggly brackets over onto the spine. Love that. The jacket also tells me who took the photo (a very talented woman named Eva Kolenko) and who created the design (a very talented Random House cover designer named Angela Carlino). Thank you so much, ladies, for this cover! I’m really lucky.

I also got a copy of the RHCB spring 2010 catalog. AUT has its own page, which may or may not contain the sentence “A dark, atmospheric thriller that’s an unputdownable debut.” I don’t know, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.

Brief updatelettes

Posted on June 17th, 2009 by annakjarzab

Hey guys. Sorry I fell off the face of the planet for a hot second there. I was in California, as you probably gleaned. I’m working up to a post about all the things I did there (hint: it was a lot, mostly for GR research which went SPLENDIDLY; I find myself approaching the manuscript with a lot more love and vigor, if caution), but for right now I need to catch up on some much needed sleep, visit my friend Jenny, who has been pretty seriously sick (she’s getting better, though, and finally coming home from the hospital!), unpack my suitcase and put it back under the bed so it isn’t taking up literally half the floorspace in my teeny, tiny bedroom, and attend to some other things that, um, need attending to.

Meanwhile, no news about ARCs or first pass pages or blurbs or…anything, really. I will keep you updated, though. And hopefully this week you’ll get a huge post (probably a two-parter, with the second part to go up on The A Team blog, because I’m sneaky like that) on all the GR research I did last week. If I can drag myself out of bed and away from How I Met Your Mother Season 1 long enough to write it.


Posted on June 9th, 2009 by annakjarzab

ARCs are used for a bunch of different things. Publicity sends them to reviewers; marketing gives them away in contests (and…other stuff, probably). Authors send them to their mothers and fathers, who show them off to relatives and coworkers regardless of the age of said author. Editors send them to other authors, bigger name authors who might just say something nice that they can put on the cover of the finished product.

My ARCs are coming sometime this week, which means my editor will be sending them out to other people, people way more established in the industry than I am, so they can read it and maybe blurb me. I just want you to know, if nobody likes or wants to blurb my book I HAVE IT COVERED. My friend Mary (alternately known in these parts as MD, Tha Dubbs, Her Royal Dubbsness, etc.), who has an unspecified job at an unspecified publisher and knows from blurbs, generously offered to provide a couple for the cover of All Unquiet Things if, for some reason, the whole blurbing thing goes horribly awry. If I’m extremely unlucky, one of these gems may end up on the AUT cover:

“She’s my friend, so take this with a grain of salt, but it was pretty good for a first try.”


“I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would.”


“On a scale of 1 to 10, it was a good, solid 6. That’s a D. And you know what they say: Ds get degrees. I would say maybe this earned an associate’s degree from Normandale Community College, where my Aunt Patty Jo got her nursing degree. I mean, it’s definitely not a Harvard D–that’s like a Normandale A++, which isn’t even allowed. But definitely would be accredited somewhere. Good work, AUT. You’re a plumber. ‘Read nights and weekends! At your own pace!’

I could keep going, but I won’t.”

OR (my favorite)

“Not terrible.”*

Vote for your favorite in the comments!

*You should know that Tha Dubbs didn’t actually say this about my book, but a different one altogether. If that author doesn’t want to use it, though, I’m all over it.**
**Also, she hasn’t actually read my book. She’s waiting for the ARC.

Matryoshka love

Posted on June 7th, 2009 by annakjarzab

Just in case you missed this in the comments, Amy posted the link to this crazy hilarious video featuring my favorite thing: matryoshka dolls! Enjoy:

Now more than ever

Posted on June 5th, 2009 by annakjarzab


Friday Five: To note

Posted on June 5th, 2009 by annakjarzab

1. Joanna and I both posted yesterday on our A-Team blog: J on BEA, and me on what I’ve been doing while I’ve been waiting for book stuff to happen–namely, figuring out how I’m going to do my book trailer. We’re working on a way to auto feed those posts into this blog’s sidebar (or something, E and I are still hammering out details), so soon you won’t need me to tell you every time a new post goes up, but I’ll keep doing that for the time being. If you have anything you’d like us to talk about on there, BTW, just hit me up!

2. Also, on the hidden content: I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback from people who’ve found and liked the HC! I’m so glad you guys think it’s cool. I plan to do more of it (I’ve got a nice collection of things to post), but gradually, so I don’t flood the site with it all at once. Just in case, I feel I should point out that eventually all the dolls on the site will be optimized, not just the “hidden” ones on inside pages, and some of them already are. Hint hint.

3. That said, something else just went up. A little thing.

4. Oh, and Dia Reeves, one of my fellow Tenners and author of Bleeding Violet (January 5, 2010 y’all!), created a Listmania! of Tenners books on Amazon (the ones that are up; more will be added as they go up for preorder). There are so many awesome books I’m looking forward to reading, I really can’t wait for 2010 to roll around.

5. The word on the street is that AUT ARCs are coming next week! Of course I’ll be out of town, because the universe is totes on my side, and I don’t yet know how many I’m getting, but I know what I’ll be doing with them: giving them away right here on this site! Okay, not all of them. But some of them! And some of them I’ll be giving away on other sites! I have a very organized plan for this (I have no plan, but I believe one will come to me).

More hidden content

Posted on June 3rd, 2009 by annakjarzab

I know it’s been a while since new hidden content went up, but that’s because poor Eric was slaving away on this particular tidbit for a while. It’s up now, though! Go exploring and let me know what you think.