Thursday, September 30, 2010
For each of the 16 weeks of the tour, Julia's going to talk about a specific aspect of her book. The kicked off on Julia's blog--for the 16th week, she discussed her 16 favorite things about Chicago (where the novel is set) and gave away the first chapter of her book to everyone. For week 15, Julia was asked 15 questions by MG author Sheela Chari on the topic of vegetarianism (her main character is a vegetarian) and gave away a copy of the Chicago Diner Cookbook. Today, the 14th week, Julia's going to discuss banned books, which feature in her novel, and give away one of her 14 favorite banned books!
So: Here's Julia!
1. What's your opinion on banned books?
I think banning books is wrong. Discussion about disputed books is good. Controversy provides a learning experience and should be taken advantage of. Books should be read and discussed, not banned.
2. Do banned books play a role in XVI?
They do. In my future world, there are certain books that have become self-fulfilling prophecies and the government doesn't necessarily want people noticing that.
3. Which books in your story are banned? Why?
- 1984 by George Orwell - Because in XVI, government surveillance is the norm.
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - It is not so far from certain aspects of society in XVI.
- Mars Rising (a fictional book that I just might have to write!) It’s about a revolt of the miners
- on Mars.
4. Why did you decide to feature banned books in your story?
In any future society where the government wants to control the general population, it must
make them stop thinking for themselves. Reading books is a key to unlocking critical thought
processes - therefore, any totalitarian government would need to control what reading materials
their citizens would have access to.
5. What are your favorite banned books?
- Harry Potter - all seven!
- Gone With The Wind (hard to believe this book was ever banned!)
- Lord of the Rings
- Call of the Wild
- Brideshead, Revisited
Because this is Week 14 of the 16 Weeks to XVI, we’re got 14 children's books that have, at
some point, been challenged/banned. For this week's contest, (open from Thursday morning to
next Thursday at midnight) commenters (either here or on Julia’s blog) will be offered their choice of one of these fabulous books as a prize!
- ttyl by Lauren Myracle
- And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
- To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
- Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
- My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
- The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
- The Color Purple, Alice Walker
- The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Beth - thanks so much for having me here today on the countdown to the release of my book.
But, mostly, I’m glad to be here and to be able to talk a little bit about book banning, why it’s
wrong and why people need to read banned books and write books that will be challenged.
Because as writers, I think we have been given an internal charge to be truth-tellers and not to be
queasy about laying out the hard stuff! Thanks again!
There you have it, guys! Now, go forth and comment--and be like the cool kids: Read Banned Books!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Guys, remember when I mentioned that NIGHTSHADE had some brilliant marketing going on? Well, I got sucked right into the story: this Monday, I received a package from the main character, Shay Doran!
[For those of you not in the know: Shay Doran is one of the main characters from NIGHTSHADE, a book coming out in October. The prequel to the book is being done online in an interactive way--basically, Shay's on Facebook, Youtube, and blogging about the events that lead up to the first chapter of NIGHTSHADE. It's been totally fun to participate; you should give it a try!]
Recently, Shay's been exploring his new home, and he found a creepy library filled with books that had secret messages. Instead of trying to figure it all out himself, he sent the books to his readers, so we can post the clues and try to help solve the mystery. [OMGosh, see how much fun this is?!]
Here's what I got on Monday:
First, there's this, found on page 106:
Monday, September 27, 2010
SIBA WAS AWESOME.
Thank you ALL so much for your well-wishes and good-lucks and happy thoughts. Because man, I was NERVOUS. Nervousnervousnervous. I just didn't want to become known as that-weird-author-who-stutters-and-falls-on-her-face-and-looks-funny. I think I averted that. THIS TIME. c:
I have pictures! And lots of other things to share! But first, a few quick announcements--
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
HAS A NEW COVER!!!!!!!
There it is ^!!!!! And, did you notice that beautiful, shiny quote on the cover by Kiersten White? *dies of joy*
To celebrate the new cover, the AtU Facebook Page (which isn't run by me, btw), is giving away ANOTHER galley! Just go here, comment on the cover, and you could win! So far, only like 10 people have commented. (PS: I tried to direct link to the contest post--if that doesn't work, go to facebook.com/acrosstheuniversebook. The fan page also has a poll going on about if you'd choose to stay with your family and be frozen, or stay on Earth and give up your family...)
Also: Jodi just finished reading AtU, and has a review (totally non-spoilerly) here!
Also! VERY VERY SOON this blog page and my author webpage will CHANGE! And I'm freaking excited about it! Because...Manning Krull, the genius behind Carrie Harris's page and Stephanie Perkins's page is doing it! And I've seen it and it is LOVERLY.
OK--tomorrow will be a legit post with news about SIBA and something else awesome that's going on involving NIGHTSHADE and a mystery...
Friday, September 24, 2010
So lately I've been watching a lot of David Tennant films because...well, because it's David Tennant.
Anyway, found this one--and although I think the ending is funny, the *best* part is at about 3:50, when you meet David's neighbor who, surprisingly, is a writer.
Because honestly? I've *so*felt like that lately.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I'm hugely glad that my local indie bookseller will be there, as well as some author-friends who, I hope, will let me get some wine afterwards as I'm incredibly nervous!
- How much of a prison do we make our own lives, whether we're imprisoned or not?
- How far are you willing to go, for the greater good?
- At what point should you leave friends behind? Break a promise?
- If you could create the perfect world--would you? At what cost?
- How much of yourself should you give to protect those you love?
- Is it okay to use a few people, if you're trying to save a lot more?
- At what point does sacrifice become cruelty?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Have you heard about this? Virgin Air has gone Galactic--and is building a commercial spaceship.
I've been researching spaceships recently (for obvious reasons), and came across this. Virgin Galactic isn't live yet--but you can reserve your spot for a mere $200 grand.
Sound crazy? I don't think so--this is definitely the future. Check out this simulation of what a ride to space will be like:
OK, so c'mon, tell me: if you had a spare $200,000 just laying around, would you go up?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
PJ Hoover is hosting an ARC giveaway on her blog!
If you've not checked out PJ yet, you so should. Not only is she the brains behind the timer method of writing I blogged about recently, but she's also about the friendliest person you could meet--and the author of her own trilogy, the Forbidden Worlds trilogy!
Here's the GoodReads description:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
But I admit being a bit reluctant to read it. I mean...another werewolf book?
Then Kiersten White tweeted this:
So I did a bit of poking around. And I saw how Penguin's got some really cool marketing going on for Andrea Cremer's NIGHTSHADE. First, some bloggers have been getting this:
This is the box that was sent to Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. That's a calla lily, wrapped in purple paper, to match the cover. Pages from CRIME AND PUNISHMENT surround the flower, and do you see that tiny key tied to the ribbon? It's actually a flash drive with some videos!
And that's cool--but the videos (also on YouTube) are *way* cooler:
This is, essentially, a video prequel to the book. And even though I haven't read NIGHTSHADE (yet) I'm *so* going to now, and I *so* see what Kiersten means. This video is told from the POV of Shay, the male MC of the book, and there's actually a series of them (four so far) as Shay explores his new home in Vale, CO. And...I so want to know what happens. It almost looks like ghosts are involved, but I don't think it's as simple as that.
YouTube channel (although I suggest that you start there), he's also got a Facebook Page. And, after video four...I'm wondering if some of his friends commenting on his wall are really his friends....
But he's also got a blog page, and it's filled with creepy pictures, sketches by Shay, and more.
Look, I know it's all marketing--but it's pretty darn creative marketing, and it's a lot of fun! This is all supposed to be a sort of "prequel" to the book, and the idea of making the background an interactive discovery is just brilliant.
As for me? I so pre-ordered the hardcover. And now I just have to wait until October 19! And if you're still on the fence about it, here's the teaser trailer for the novel:
Monday, September 20, 2010
I have AWESOME Twitter peeps--one of them, Charissa, clued me in to this AMAZING music video that is poignantly beautiful.
I'll admit, there's a bit of a slow start, but it's got an awesome ending and a very cool premise. I don't want to ruin it for you. Just watch!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
So this happened.
And while this is a PG blog, I'm gonna knock that rating up to PG-13 to say simply: that's bullshit.
In case you've never read this book, it's about a young girl who's raped and--throughout the course of the novel--gets up the courage to speak about this rape.
Which means that this censor's objection to the book--the "soft porn" scenes he's talking about--that's when she's raped.
Now, there's something inherently wrong (and rather sick) about someone who thinks that rape is equivalent to pornography. And there's also something wrong about someone who wants to ban a book that has made hundreds of thousands of people think about consequences:
- the consequences of a young man taking advantage of a young girl
- the consequences of adults who don't listen to their children
- the consequences of friends who forget the true meaning of friendship
- the consequences of fear and malice and jealousy and hate
- the consequences of silence
- You should censor yourself and what you expose yourself to.
- Parents & legal guardians have not only the right, but the obligation, to censor their children and what their children are exposed to.
- No one else ever has the right to censor anything else.
I need your help.
Please share your experiences with SPEAK; your own response to the book, or the way you’ve seen it work in a school setting. You can do the same. Please share links to your blog in Comments.
But then, please speak up to the people who can make a real difference in Republic, MO.
Friday, September 17, 2010
When writing about conflict and battles and power struggles and war, I think it's important to remember that no one is a monster, even the enemy.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Whenever I get stuck or need inspiration, these are some of the videos I've been checking out lately. I'm so glad I write sci fi.
The first is the longest, but prettiest: views of Earth from space.
This one just fascinates me: the Earth rising over the moon.
And finally: lightning storms seen from space. The video quality is poor, but can you imagine how beautiful it would have been to see in person?
Guys--I promise not to turn this into the All-AtU-All-The-Time channel. One last thing, then we're moving on to different subjects! Sorry for the extra booky news lately!
Even if you're not a book blogger, please read this post for a chance to get free stuff! Free for everyone--not just book bloggers!
So, lately I've been getting a lot of requests from book bloggers for ARCs. And...uh....I don't have any more left to give. I didn't get many to start with, and they went FAST! But if you want an ARC, never fear!
- There ARE going to be some contests on this blog to win one! And they'll be open internationally!
- There are contests open RIGHT NOW to win one: here, here, and here.
- I'm also taking up information that I will pass on to Penguin.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Did you go to all the awesome blogs and piece together the clues? Did you go to Lisa's site and enter for the grand prize, including an iPod shuffle?
Hey, waitaminute...you probably want to know who won all the swag from Sunday, don't you?
OK, without further ado, the winner of swag is....
I only have a handful of ARCs to give away--literally. Right now, I think the number is only at 3. I plan on doing two giveaways here on this blog, and the other one I donated to WriteOnCon.
WriteOnCon was an entirely free writer's online conference that a group of very selfless and giving bloggers. They donated time--and money--in order to bring this conference to several thousand writers. And they want to keep doing it--but they need help buying server space and with other expenses to keep the program up.
- If you want a signed ARC--one of only a few--all you have to do is comment on the WriteOnCon page for it.
- If you want extra entries, all you have to do is donate. Any amount will get ten extra entries. They actually recommend a small amount, such as $5.
- If the comments go over 75 (and that looks like it will happen any time now), you get a query critique on top of the free ARC.
- If the comments go over 150, you get a query critique + first ten pages critique + the signed ARC.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Many things going on!
First: All this week on the League, we're posting our top writing tips. A lot of people lately have been asking about the first chapter of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE since Penguin released it. So, today I'm posting about how that first chapter came to be.
Second: WriteOnCon was an entirely free online writer's conference run by a group of awesome bloggers who just wanted to give back to the writing community. But while they made sure it was free for the THOUSANDS of participants, it's not free to buy webspace, serverspace, and internets. So, they're holding a fundraiser. And, um, listen guys--one of the prizes? It's from me. I'm not going to say more, but it's something a lot of you have been asking for, and it's signed, and it's going to be announced tomorrow at 7:00 AM.
Third: I've decided to extend the swag giveaway until Tuesday, when Lisa will also pick a grand prize winner! Be sure to enter--just comment for a chance to win swag, but visit the other blogs to gather the word to make the phrase that you can enter to win the grand prize! OK--that sounded confusing. But it's not. Trust me. And go enter at Lisa's blog for the grand prize, which includes an iPod!
Fourth: Shameless plug for my church, which is holding a fundraiser. If you need flower bulbs, please buy from my church!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I am happy to be a part of Lisa Desrochers's blog tour for PERSONAL DEMONS, her debut from Tor MacMillan, which comes out SEPTEMBER 14th!!!
PERSONAL DEMONS is...well, why don't I let Lisa tell you what it's about?
Frannie Cavanaugh has always been a bit of a loner. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance, even her closest friends. That is, until Luc Cain enrolls in her school. He's hot, sarcastic, and dangerous—and Frannie can't seem to stay away.
What she doesn't know is that Luc is on a mission. Because Frannie isn't exactly ordinary. She possesses a skill so unique that the king of Hell himself has taken notice, and he's sent Luc to claim Frannie's soul. It should be easy: All he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and he's just started making progress when the angel Gabriel shows up. Gabe will do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for, and his angelic charm might just be enough to keep Frannie on the right path.
It isn't long before Luc and Gabe find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie's soul. But if Luc fails to win her over, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.Sound awesome? You know it! So...wanna a chance to WIN stuff? TWO grand prize winners are going to win a signed copy of PERSONAL DEMONS, an iPod shuffle pre-loaded with awesome music, swag, and other items. To win a grand prize, write down the red, bolded words in this post, then check out the posts on the other stops of the blog tour for more bolded words...put the words together, and you'll find the hidden sentence that's the key to winning the grand prize at Lisa's blog on TUESDAY.
BUT...someone's winning prizes TODAY. All you have to do is comment on THIS POST today, SUNDAY, and you're entered for a random drawing of the swag pictured below--including a Personal Demons tank top and...yes...some ACROSS THE UNIVERSE swag!
Here's the rest of the schedule, so make sure you visit these blogs throughout the tour.
Thursday: Carrie Harris
Friday: Myra McEntire
Saturday: Lisa and Laura Roecker
Sunday: Beth Revis
Monday: Andrea Cremer
Tuesday: go home to the author of Personal Demons herself, Lisa Desrochers
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I know that I don't usually post on the weekend, and that Sundays are kind of everyone's day off anyway, but if you return to me on Sunday, then YOU WILL WIN A PRIZE. I mean, maybe. If you comment on a post and are randomly selected.
BUT! The prize! Is awesome!
Why YES. There is ACROSS THE UNIVERSE swag included! As well as tons of swag for PERSONAL DEMONS which is coming SOON. And! And! And! You might win a grand prize that includes an iPod Shuffle AND MOAR!
So be sure to check back on SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY (<--read that in your best Demolition Derby voice.)
- Complaint 1: the narrator is a typical rich white woman, and her problems are nothing compared to, say, the suffering in the third world. It comes off as whiney.
- BUT: that's not what this book is about. It's a memoir of one specific person in one specific situation. Yes, it's a bit narcissistic, and yes, there are bigger issues in the world than one woman's divorce and recovery from heartbreak. But we each have our own stories, and this is hers. And honestly? Even if this was nonfiction, I have to admit I read it a bit as if it were escapist fiction. I'd be lying if I didn't say I imagined living in the apartment in Rome, flying to Bali by myself...
- Complaint 2: the solution to the narrator's problems are to travel the world in search of herself. Yeah, that's great--but how realistic is it? It's not like we can drop everything to have a life-altering adventure.
- BUT: wouldn't we want to if we could? I mean, I know I don't have the means to literally stop my life for a year and explore foreign countries. I don't. I probably never will. Most of us probably never will. ...but wouldn't we want to if we could? If I can't do it, at least she can, I least I can read about it.
- Complaint 3: this book is so self-centered. The author goes to Italy, India, and Indonesia--and it's all about "I, I, I"
- BUT: this is a memoir. Isn't that a little the point? And actually, I didn't really think it was all about "her, her, her." What really made this book interesting to me is that Liz sprinkled in other people's stories with her own. You get a sense she really got to know the people she surrounded herself with.