follow me on Twitter
  • 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.
on Amazon.com
 
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘Books’

All around the Internet today

Posted on April 29th, 2014 by annakjarzab

Just dropping by for a quick post. I don’t talk too much online about what I do for a living (besides write), but I’m actually the Digital and Social Marketing Manager at Penguin Young Readers Group, where I’ve worked for about five years or so. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a pretty great job; it’s hard and I work long (sometimes strange) hours, but I feel very rewarded by the work I do on titles ranging from The Fault In Our Stars and books by Gayle Forman and Sarah Dessen to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series and everything in between! Anyway, if you want to know a little more about the day-to-day of my job, head on over to Pub Crawl where I was interviewed today by Alex Bracken (author of the phenomenal Darkest Minds series). I’m happy to answer questions, so pop into the comments over there and ask away if you want!

Relatedly, my friends at Penguin USA just relaunched the Penguin.com site and it looks fantastic! They asked certain staff members for book recommendations and because there’s nothing I love more than gushing about books that I love, I took the bait and gave them a (very) short list of my in-house faves. Obviously there are a million zillion Penguin (and non-Penguin) books that I love, but I was told I could only pick a handful, which was hard for me but I ultimately succeeded. Check them out!

Updates and extras

Posted on January 14th, 2014 by annakjarzab

Happy 2014 everybody! Just dropping by to give a few updates on what’s been up with me, since I realize I have not posted here in a while. Let’s get started!

Thing 1: Books

tandem cvr quote

Last year, Tandem came out! Which is very exciting! Also, The Opposite of Hallelujah is in paperback now, if you like that sort of thing (by which I mean books that are cheaper than they were previously). I also managed to completely rewrite Tether (Many-Worlds Trilogy Book 2) and it just came back from copy editing, which means it’s like 95% done (she says, having not looked at the copy edits yet). It’s currently scheduled for the very vague Spring 2015, which for a Random House book can mean anywhere from January to June (here’s hoping it does not in fact mean June); as soon as I have a firm date, I will make sure to post it everywhere.

2013 was a hard year for me in many ways, but not in the sense of writing productivity. Not counting the two very different versions of Tether I wrote last year, I wrote two other full-length novels. One is adult contemporary fantasy (I don’t know why but I like that term better than “urban fantasy” even though this book, which we shall give the code name FM, is in fact set in New York, and partly in New Orleans) along the lines of, like, The Magicians. The other is contemporary YA in the vein of If I Stay, and I am OBSESSED with it. We shall call that book BYSA. I got the idea for it in very early November. I’m a weird half-insomniac; I usually wake up four hours after I’ve gone to bed and toss and turn for the next four or so hours, which is obviously very annoying since I have a day job to get up for.

Anyway, I was tossing and turning per usual that morning, and then I just got hit with this idea. I got up and went to my computer, jotted down a paragraph of notes, titled it “Might be something”, and went back to bed. First thing in the AM I started reading books for research, taking copious notes, and writing. I finished in early December. I don’t usually write that fast, but this was one of those situations (it happened with The Opposite of Hallelujah, too) where there was no writing friction to slow me down. I’ve revised it once since then, and am letting it sit and settle for a while before going back to it (plus I still have more research to do). But I’m really pumped about it!

Other than FM and BYSA (and Tether), I wrote a Many-Worlds Trilogy short story last year and half of another one (which I’m throwing out and rewriting because…reasons? Even I don’t actually know why), and about 200 pages of a novel called Red Dirt. Which leads me to Thing 2…

Thing 2: Wattpad

In my professional life, I am the digital and social media manager for Penguin Young Readers Group. So if you’ve ever interacted with Penguin Teen on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., it was probably me. I don’t talk about this a lot in these parts because it feels like a weird conflict of interest of sorts? But actually lots of publishing professionals are secretly or not-so-secretly aspiring or published authors, so it’s not that big of a deal. Anyway, I was on a Digital Book World panel yesterday talking about teens and social media and I met a woman from Wattpad, Ashleigh, which reminded me I’ve been meaning to get on Wattpad for some time now. So I went home and started playing around with it. For some reason (insanity), I decided that I was going to post the first three chapters of an original, work in progress novel called Red DirtRed Dirt is unpublished and uncontracted and unfinished. I got the idea the first time I went to Oklahoma for Memorial Day, and started writing it when I got back from Oklahoma the second time I went there. So I assume that after I come back from Oklahoma this year, I will finish it. The WIP document on my computer is 200 pages, with probably about 50 or 100 pages left to go, and while I doubt I’ll be sharing all of it on Wattpad, I decided to put up the first three chapters for fun. This is sort of what it’s about (this is not great marketing copy, but it’s what I came up with yesterday):

Sammy Lester’s had about enough of her life in back of beyond Oklahoma, but family loyalties and uncertainty about the future are holding her hostage. She’s got her ex-con, ex-addict father take care of, and her five-year-old sister, Decca, to think about. And then there’s Brayton Foster, a rich boy just arrived for the summer; for some reason, Sammy can’t resist his charms, no matter how hard she tries.

Then the unthinkable happens–Sammy’s father disappears. She believes he’s been murdered; the police and her older brother, Denver, aren’t so sure. As the summer marches on, and there’s no sign of Billy Ray Lester, Sammy is forced to question everything she thinks she knows about the people she loves, and to wonder whether it’s even possible to get justice in a place where the very ground is red as blood.

You can read the prologue and the first three chapters of Red Dirt on Wattpad. If people like it (and I’m comfortable) I might post more! But I did make sure to post enough so that you meet the boy. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Speaking of Wattpad! I also posted the prologue and first three chapters of Tandem up there, plus a little bonus essay called “A Brief History of the United Commonwealth of Columbia”, which is probably only of interest if you’ve read Tandem. I have a bunch of extra stuff like this for the series, I just need to find it and make sure it still makes sense since these books have changed a lot over the years. But I will post more when I can.

I also have a The Opposite of Hallelujah short story about Hannah that takes place before the events of The Opposite of Hallelujah called “The Girl in the Well” that I’m going to post, but I need to re-read it for continuity. TBD on that!

I think that’s it. Oh:

Thing 3: I turned 30 yesterday.

I think that’s self-explanatory.

An interview with the Tandem cover designer!

Posted on September 30th, 2013 by annakjarzab

tandem cvr quoteI don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover for Tandem, my third YA novel that comes out next Tuesday (!!!!). If you haven’t seen the interiors of the book, they are also super beautiful. I’m totally fascinated by the process of creating packages for books–it’s a lengthy, and often much-debated process that people outside the industry don’t always get a glimpse into. So I asked Sarah Pierson, the designer of both the cover and the interior design of Tandem, a few questions about this mysterious but very, very important part of making a book.

You are a book designer at Random House–does this mean you design all aspects of the book: cover and interiors? Do you work on all imprints and age groups, or do you focus on YA/novels?
I currently work on all aspects; jacket, interior, and the hardbound case cover. I work on middle grade and YA for the Knopf and Delacorte imprints. I also do paperbacks for the Ember and Yearling paperback imprints.

Once you have a title assigned to you, what steps do you take? Does the editor usually have very specific ideas of what they want, or do you read the book and come up with a proposal of what you’d like to do?

This process varies book to book! I read the most recent draft of the manuscript. It helps me come up with ideas, from big concepts and motifs to small details. Having a strong sense of themes and mood is important to be able to approach the design. After reading the manuscript, I’ll sit down with the editor and talk about how they envision the cover. They tell me what they want the cover to convey and they may ask for specific imagery. Then I start making cover comps based on a few different concepts, either my own ideas, the editors’ or something we arrived at together.
 
How did you become a book designer? Did you go to art school? What made you want to design books for a living?
I went to Drexel for graphic design and I worked at the library throughout college. I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I’ve never been a huge fiction reader! But I loved working at the library because I love books…jackets, paper, ink, bindings, headbands…I love them. I spent way too much time shelving art, design and photography books, stopping to leaf through them. I came across unusual old engineering and science books, and popular fiction was always circulating. I studied everything from a design perspective. Junior year I got an internship at a super cool independent publisher called Quirk Books. A few months after graduating in 2005, I got a job in the picture books group at HarperCollins and have been designing books ever since.
 
What are some other books you designed, besides TANDEM?
Mister Max by Cynthia Voigt, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Posses by Gretchen McNeil, Wildwood by Colin Meloy. Check out my website.
 
What was your thought process behind designing the TANDEM cover? Was your first idea much like the finished product, or did it go through a lot of revisions? How did you go about bringing together all of the visual elements (the girl, the bird, the colors, the amazing title treatment, etc.) into the beautiful cover we have now? 
I read TANDEM very closely. It was so good! The story felt intricate and intimate and epic at the same time. As I was reading, I made note of different things could work as imagery for the cover. I had several ideas at first, and one of those eventually became the final cover. I searched for and used stock photography to use to build the image, combining elements in photoshop in a similar manner from the beginning. After initial comps were promising, I was directed through rounds of revisions adjusting the composition and scale, typography, color, and different models and poses for Sasha.
 
tandem cvr comp1a
tandem cvr comp1b
tandem cvr comp1c

These are some of the comps from the first round. The basic concept and all the elements are here, but it took time to get to the end result.

tandem cvr comp2a
tandem cvr comp2b
tandem cvr comp2c

Trying out different girls, sizes of the girl, typefaces, colors, ways of blending the sparrow and girl. I had the basic composition and down. This is just a few of the variations.

tandem cvr comp2d
 

This is when we felt like we had hit it.

 
tandem cvr comp3

Livened it up with some color. I tried several different background color variations at this stage.

 
tandem cvr quote

More color to Sasha’s face, more depth in the background, and some fine tuning. Series title is in place and quote at the top.

Knowing that TANDEM was the first book in a series, did that affect how you designed the cover? Did you design it with how you would create the covers for the other books in mind?

I kept in mind how I would change the various elements. I tried working on the second book along with the first once it was more developed to see how they would look together. The sort of soft glamourous starkness is what I hope will carry over through the series.
 
Okay, let’s talk about the interiors! What was your thought process behind how you did the interior design (which is really quite complex and thought out!)? Do you usually create such design-heavy interiors, or was this out of the ordinary? 
I do not usually design such complex interiors but with its 3 parts, different points of view, and day countdown TANDEM presented a unique chance to do something interesting. At first I was totally stumped about all this! I think I spent a whole week just getting my head around it. I chipped away at it starting with the parts (Earth/Aurora) and then more ideas came out of that. I eventually mapped out the whole structure because it was helpful for me to see it that way.
 
What is your favorite part of the TANDEM interiors (or the cover!)? 
I like the lines of little dots on the flaps, back jacket, under the page numbers…other places too. It’s a small detail but I think they’re elegant and have a little meaning. They represent ‘many worlds.’
 
Is there anything else you’d like to share about the TANDEM cover or interiors? Any designs that didn’t make the cut? 
A part of the interior design was inspired by a music video from 2011! I am pretty sure music videos have less cultural impact these days but I find them to be a really nice source of visual inspiration!

Thanks so much to Sarah for giving us a little insight into how a cover gets made! You should absolutely check out her website, which showcases many of the beautiful book covers she’s worked on in her career, including many I know you’ll recognize.

Book 2 title!

Posted on May 16th, 2013 by annakjarzab

Since BEA is almost upon us (if you’re going, here is a list of where I will be–come chat with me!), and the title of Many-Worlds Book 2 is in the back of the Tandem BEA galley (it’s in the back of the regular galley, too, which I know some people have already gotten, but the release date has been changed so that back ad is slightly incorrect, as you will see below), I thought I might just go ahead and tell you what the title is! Drumroll?

IMG_1512 copy

So yeah, TETHER! It is my intention that every book is named after the thing that causes all the trouble in that book; when you read TANDEM, I think this will make more sense.

I’ve had a book 3 title for ages, but until the book is actually finished, there’s no way to tell with certainty what it will be called. I’ve written a draft of TETHER and my editor has it, so as soon as it goes to copy edits, I can work on book 3 in earnest. I decided that there was really no point in starting a draft of the third book until I knew what was going to stay and what was going to change from my draft of TETHER, but I have been working on some Many-Worlds short stories that we’re going to release digitally.

In the mean time, I’ve finished my adult novel and started work on a new YA that began kicking around in my head at the end of last year. It’s contemporary, but it was partially inspired by the research I did for book 3 in the Many-Worlds series, in kind of the same way that TANDEM was inspired by research I did for THE OPPOSITE OF HALLELUJAH. What’s interesting about the new project is that, while it’s in no way a crime novel or mystery, it is more like ALL UNQUIET THINGS than anything I’ve worked on in a long time (other than the fake AUT sequel, which I play with occasionally but will probably never finish). It also contains vestigial elements of a book I worked on right after ALL UNQUIET THINGS that ended up getting shoved in a way-back, deep, dark drawer (little things like names, and a dog). It just goes to show, no work is ever truly wasted.

How I Did It

Posted on November 19th, 2012 by annakjarzab

Just dropping a line to say that the kind folks at Kirkus asked me to write an article about “How I Did It” – meaning, how I got published. The idea was for me to give my perspective as someone who both is published and works in publishing. It was really cool of them to ask me to do this (and to call me a “publishing insider”–if by that they mean “publishing gossip“, then yes, true dat/double true), and I had a lot of fun writing the article! You can find the full text here.

In other news, I’m in the final stages of writing TANDEM 2. It’s so weird to me that I’m on my way to a final version of the sequel to a book that hasn’t come out yet and won’t for another 11 months, but that’s the publishing machine for you. We work ahead. Most of the time. Hopefully. I’ve also been reading a ton of manuscripts for our fall 2013 launch here at my place of employment, which is always fun. I’ve just been reading a lot in general, so I’m planning on doing another book recommendations post soon, but I’m constantly putting “Things I’ve Read That I Loved” posts on my Facebook page, if you’re looking for a good book to read right this minute.

 

TANDEM synopsis!

Posted on October 22nd, 2012 by annakjarzab

I’m not a very patient person, which is annoying, because half of being a published writer is just sort of waiting around for things to happen or people to get back to you or whatever. But I’ve been trying to be better about this as part of a whole self-improvement-before-30 thing. It’s going okay I guess? Anyway, I was trying not to spend the few months leading up to the publication of The Opposite of Hallelujah by talking incessantly about Tandem, which comes out October 9, 2013. I’m so out of control excited about Tandem, but it seemed gauche to ignore Hallelujah (which I also do love, don’t get me wrong!) and keep jabbering about Tandem. Now that The Opposite of Hallelujah is out, though, I feel no such compunctions and therefore I’m going to share the synopsis with you today–because I can! If my self-improvement-before-30 thing was working better, I’d wait until I got the go-ahead to show you the Tandem cover/full jacket, which are SO COOL and YOU WILL DIE and then you will have to order Tandem from Amazon.ghost to read it, but it would be WORTH IT because OMG.

But it’s not working and I’m still impatient and I want to tell you what Tandem is officially about so here it goes:

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather’s stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real–until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she’ll be trapped in another girl’s life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love–one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she’s someone she’s not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing–and no one–is what it seems.

As Ryan Lochte would say, “Jeah!” More soon!

 

What’s up with you? Nothin’. What’s up with you?

Posted on February 28th, 2012 by annakjarzab

Does anyone love The Sweetest Thing as much as I do? Apparently not, because I tried to YouTube the “Nothin’. What’s up with you?” scene and I couldn’t find it. Which, honestly, makes me sad. Such an under-appreciated gem of a film. But I digress. (Can you digress if you haven’t started making your real point yet? I digress again.)

Anyway, hello there, faithful blog readers! I.e., Shannel, my darling college friend who dropped a comment on my last post just this morning saying that she missed my long, ridiculous ramblings on this here blog thing. What’s a blog, you say? It’s like Tumblr, but with less Hunger Games fan art. Well, you knew that, or you wouldn’t be here, I guess. THE POINT IS, some stuff has happened in these last few months, and I’d like to tell you about it. In great detail. With pictures to illustrate. Aren’t you excited?!?!

I guess the first piece of big news (which shows you how little I write in this blog nowadays, because this has been up on my Tumblr for months) is that The Opposite of Hallelujah has, in the order in which I received them:

  • A cover
  • A synopsis
  • A pub date/pre-order link(s)

The Cover:

So, without further ado, here it is!


I don’t have a lot to say about this cover except that I think it’s really beautiful. I’ve heard a lot about authors struggling with their publishers to get covers they feel represent their work, but I’ve honestly never had that experience with Delacorte. They sent me the All Unquiet Things cover and I loved it, had no changes. They sent me this cover, and I loved it to. There were two versions, one with my name in lower case and the title in upper, which I also saw, but my editor and I both preferred the version above. (And, actually, they sent me a THIRD cover that was completely different, although my editor explained it was only for my reference, since she didn’t like it and didn’t want to use it. It was pretty, but I didn’t feel strongly about it. Maybe someday I’ll get to show it to you!) So, my cover experience has been pretty boring; I write the books, they make the covers, I love the covers, they use them, we’re done! Sorry it wasn’t a more exciting story, but it’s a lovely cover, so we all win.

The Synopsis (jacket flap copy):

Caro Mitchell considers herself an only child–and she likes it that way. After all, her much older sister, Hannah, left home eight years ago, and Caro barely remembers her. So when Caro’s parents drop the bombshell news that Hannah is returning to live with them, Caro feels as if an interloper is crashing her family. To her, Hannah’s a total stranger, someone who haunts their home with her meek and withdrawn presence, and who refuses to talk about her life and why she went away. Caro can’t understand why her parents cut Hannah so much slack, and why they’re not pushing for answers.

Unable to understand Hannah, Caro resorts to telling lies about her mysterious reappearance. But when those lies alienate her new boyfriend, friends, and put her on the outs with her parents, Caro seeks solace from an unexpected source. And as she unearths a clue from Hannah’s past–one that could save Hannah from the dark secret that possesses her–Caro begins to see her sister in a whole new light.

Pub date/Pre-order link:

Yay! Wasn’t that synopsis intriguing? So The Opposite of Hallelujah comes out on October 9, 2012, according to Amazon. You can pre-order the book at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or from your local bookseller via Indiebound.org.

I don’t have galleys* yet, but I’ll probably be getting them soon, although I’ll most likely get, you know, two of them. If I happen to get more, I’ll do a giveaway, promise! I’ll also let you know if the title ends up on NetGalley, if you’re of the sort who frequents NetGalley.

Other than that, I’ve just been working like a maniac at my day job and writing like a maniac at night and on weekends. I’m hoping to finish a new draft of my work in progress (Tandem, which I sold in a two-book deal to Delacorte last May or June or something) by late April. This will be the fifth draft. It is, by turns, incredibly fun and incredibly difficult to write, and it’s really teaching me the value of discipline, hard work, and perseverance. Ah, novels; making authors cray since the 15th century.

*Advanced copies of a book that are available in limited quantities for booksellers, media types, etc. about 6-8 months before on-sale.

The dead girl on the cover

Posted on May 13th, 2011 by annakjarzab

Recently, I was talking to an editor (not my editor), and she was telling me that she was using the cover of All Unquiet Things as a comp title for the art form for one of her upcoming books. She was saying that the cover of AUT is the perfect direction for this title also, and, not having read it yet but knowing a little bit about it, that makes sense to me. But she was also saying that now, a year post-AUT and post-Before I Fall, you can’t really do the “dead girl laying sideways on the grass” thing anymore. It’s just too common, probably because the “dead girl” trope in YA lit is also common. It’s something I hear people complaining about a lot on blogs, actually, sometimes in reviews of AUT. “Oh, another dead girl book, how original.” Setting aside the fact that nothing is really original anymore, and hasn’t been since the ancient Greeks, and we’re all telling the same five stories over and over again anyway, it’s true. You do see a lot of dead girl (and, I would argue, dead boy) books in YA lit. (You see them a lot in adult lit, too, but let’s focus.) And there’s a reason for that.

People die in high school.

All of the time.

Recently I was having dinner with three of my friends, and one of them (my roommate) mentioned that a friend of a friend had recently died. My roommate’s birthday was several months ago, and she’d bought a pretty, blank notebook and brought it with her to the party for her friends to write notes in, since it was her 30th and she wanted a tangible reminder of that night. This friend of a friend had come to the party and wrote in the notebook and a few days ago she’d been going through the notebook looking for a gift card she remembered leaving in there and came across the friend of a friend’s note. This reminded me of going through my junior high school yearbook in which there is a note from my friend Rebecca, who died about a week after she wrote it, right before finals week. I was moving to California, and she wrote, “Don’t forget me!” I haven’t looked at the yearbook in a long time.

The conversation segued on to the (slightly morbid) topic of people we knew who died in high school, and everyone had a story to tell. Some had several. I couldn’t help thinking of my aunt, whose best friend died from illness when she was fifteen, or my brother, whose baseball teammate had died in a car accident when he was fifteen. One of my friends knew several girls in high school who lost their lives to violence. As common a trope as it is in YA, it’s actually more common in life. If you’ve listened to the exclusive interview on the All Unquiet Things audio book, I think (I recorded that a loooong time ago) I mentioned that about a year before AUT was published (way after I’d written the thing) I was doing some Googling around and found out that a murder not unlike Carly’s had happened in one of the very towns I mention in the novel. It was, of course, entirely coincidental and completely heartbreaking. But this stuff happens, every day in fact, which is why we write about it. That was very clearly driven home to me at dinner with my friends.

And the thing about teenage death is that, while it is never, ever easy to lose someone who is close to you, or even to tangentially experience the death of someone in your peer group, everything is heightened in high school. It all seems more immediate and intense and of-the-moment, because you’re so young and you’re so promising and you’re so alive. Not to quote myself, but allow me to quote myself:

“Murdered.” It was a ludicrous word; it didn’t make any sense when used to describe Carly. How could Carly be dead? She was so alive.

Poetry, I know. But anyway. That stuff sticks with you long after you’ve graduated, when your life is nothing like what it was in high school, when your life is not anything like you even imagined it might be in high school. When other memories have faded, or you feel like all those events happened to someone else whose memories were implanted in your head (this is how I feel all the time about my high school years, for no particular reason), you still remember your deepest losses and brushes with death. And they still come up, years later, over glasses of chilled wine on the patio of a tiny bar in Hell’s Kitchen.

I guess I don’t have a very clear point to close out this post, which is probably pretty frustrating to everyone who managed to read through to the end (but! if you did! you can use the comment tool now! so you can comment! if you want! no pressure!!!), but I’m just saying…death is not a cliche. Or maybe it is, maybe it’s the biggest cliche there is, but that doesn’t make it less scary or less mysterious and it certainly doesn’t make people less inclined to talk about it.

I think people who follow the publishing industry find “dead girl/boy books” exhausting because they (the people, not the books) are jaded; there are so many books, and they all get lumped into categories because that’s the easiest way to process them. And I’m not saying I’m not jaded. I’m totally, 100% jaded! But I also know that All Unquiet Things and, say, Thirteen Reasons Why and Before I Fall and If I Stay (to use some random examples that I can speak to because I’ve read them) are completely different books. They all happen to have a dead girl in them (or, in the case of If I Stay and Before I Fall, girls who are neither dead or alive but in some sort of ‘tween state which eventually resolves itself), but other than that they’re not at all alike. The writing styles are totally different–my voice and Jay Asher’s voice and Gayle Forman’s voice and Lauren Oliver’s voice are all distinct–the characters are different, the plots are different, etc. I think saying, oh, just another dead girl book, is a disservice to all of those stories, because they’re so much bigger than that. And furthermore, I think teens like them (no joke: Thirteen Reasons Why, Before I Fall, If I Stay–all HUGE bestsellers) because their themes are so relevant to the lives they’re living.

I, for one, am looking forward to more “dead girl” books, because I actually haven’t figured out how I feel about my own approaching death, or that of my loved ones (because obvs we all die eventually). Reading books and engaging with the ideas they contain is how I process my own fears and dreams and feelings. The work is not yet done. By anyone! I’m not just talking about YA fiction here. I just finished A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Pulitzer prize winner, current ladyfic lightning rod) which was ALL ABOUT death! (At least, I think it was. I’m not sure I totally plugged into Goon Squad and therefore may have slid over some of its Very Important I’m Sure themes.) There was even a dead girl (actually, he was a boy, but same diff in this context). Now I’m reading One Day and I’m pretty sure that one’s going to be all about death, too. All books are about death (talk about a cliche). Now I’m just spiraling away from my central point. End of post.

Things that are brand new!

Posted on May 10th, 2011 by annakjarzab

Okay, so big news–Eric was able to fix the comment tool! For now I’m still going to moderate, so if your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry. I’ll probably take it off moderation eventually, but since it’s a new tool I’m going to try it out like that for now. And you guys aren’t seeing what I’m seeing, but the back end of my website is all slick and shiny and updated. I logged in (after being locked out for a little while, as you may have noticed if you follow me on Twitter) and was literally like, “Whoaaaa.”

Other things that are new: the All Unquiet Things paperback! It went on sale today, and you can get it…well, you can definitely get it online in a bunch of places, but also I think at the chains? I’m not sure yet because I haven’t gone in to check, but you can probably get it at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books a Million…basically any place that stocked the hardcover. And the paperback has a new cover! Okay, so it’s only slightly new. The photograph of Carly no longer wraps around, and it has a lovely blurb on the front from Nancy Werlin, New York Times bestselling author of Impossible!

Otherwise the cover is the same. I can personally attest that the paperback looks great in person. My editor sent me one, which I then stupidly mailed directly to my parents (where they can add it to what my siblings derisively call the “shrine to Anna” in their office, where two hardcovers plus the galley of AUT are on display) before taking a picture, so I guess you’ll just have to imagine what it looks like. It basically looks like a paperback, but with the above cover on it. When I get my author copies I’ll give some away on Goodreads, to spread the love a little.

Third new thing: the anti-Kindle policy at Yankee Stadium. I’m going to the Yankees v. Royals game tonight and my friend Nikki emailed this morning to warn me not to bring my Kindle–last time she went to a game, she saw a man and his daughter prevented from entering the stadium because she had her Kindle in her bag. What am I supposed to read on the train now? J/k, of course I always carry a real flesh and blood book with me, I’m not a robot! But I have a bunch of fun manuscripts for work on my Kindle that I was hoping to get a jump start on. Boo, hiss, Yankee Stadium! I think they’re just being ornery. I really cannot think of a single reason why they wouldn’t allow you to bring a Kindle into the stadium. It does less than an iPhone! It literally does only one thing. Mysteries.

For those of you who actually read my Make It or Break It recaps, I’ll have one for you today or tomorrow. I will say this about MIOBI–if that’s really how they’re going to leave Damon and Emily forever (not sure if Chelsea Hobbs is returning post-having her actual baby), they did a really terrible job of wrapping up that storyline, because at this moment I totally hate Damon after loving him for two seasons. I’m sure that’s not what they want, so I’m hoping the couple will be back.

Black is the Color…of a movie screen! (*headdesk* ugh *sigh*)

Posted on April 21st, 2011 by annakjarzab

(Why am I the worst at coming up with subject lines for my blog posts, you guys? Really, I’m awful. Take the blog away from me!)

I just wanted to pop on to tell you (if you hadn’t already heard elsewhere) that the film rights to my friend Alex’s BRILLIANT sci-fi trilogy about a near-future America in which, upon puberty, children either die or develop frightening psionic powers, where those that survive the so-called “Kid Killer virus” are experimented upon and placed in internment camps, have been optioned!

My love for BLACK IS THE COLOR is well documented on this blog, so as you can probably imagine I’m BEYOND pumped. It’s hard for a person like me to love a book so much and not be able to talk to anybody about it, since I want to talk about everything, all the time. I can read The Hunger Games (as I am doing now, rereading it, actually, and also I’ve moved on to Catching Fire) and chat about it for hours with my coworkers, my friends (who’ve all read the series), people on Facebook, etc. It’s painful to love a book nobody else but a few privileged few have read yet! So I can’t wait for it to come out (summer 2012!), and I’m crossing my fingers for a film version, although I’m not quite sure there’s a young actor in the world who can live up to the Liam in my head (as evidenced by my hesitancy to accept Josh Hutcherson as Peeta).

Yay! Go Alex!