Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Potluck Giveaway

Remember me? I sure hope so. Sorry to have been swallowed by life as of late, but that's my excuse. Today's post will be a bunch of stuff for your entertainment. You certainly deserve to be entertained in light of your steadfast allegiance to this poor neglected blog. Go you!

First off, check THIS out:

Yes, they are the ARCs of my new book EMPTY! I am thrilled to have them in my hands and I can't wait for you all to meet Dell....

Here's the back cover copy:
Dell is relentlessly teased about her weight, and she’s devastated when a tender moment with her long-time crush turns violent. Distraught and isolated after the attack, Dell’s depression—and life—spins out of control.

Finding that food no longer eases her pain, Dell turns to her mother’s prescription pain pills. But what starts as a quick fix rapidly escalates. How far will Dell go to make the loneliness, the self-loathing, the heartbreak, the shame, and the name-calling stop?

In CELEBRATION of this momentous occasion I'd like to do a giveaway of EPICALLY BOOKMARKISH PROPORTIONS. I'm serious. It's epic. 

I have bookmarks from close to thirty Apocalypsies, as well as other authors from BEA 2012, a Chris Colfer tote bag (yes, THAT Chris Colfer from Glee. He has written a middle grade fantasy book.), the complete Apocalypsies dance card from our BEA event (it has everyone's signatures!!), a few magnets, an Apocalypsies BEA event promo card, AND a $25 Amazon gift card. Booya. 
Giveaway details:
- When you share the link to this post anywhere online, and tell me where you shared it in your comment here (you can just say: facebook, twitter, blog - no need to put the link, I trust you), you are officially entered. Simple.
- Giveaway starts now and ends Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 9 AM EST. 
- Winner to be announced here on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 no later than 10 AM

Best of luck to those of you who enter and thank you for joining in the fun!!
To anyone who loves beautifully handcrafted jewelry, you must check this out:
It is the work of fellow writer and blogger, Christina Lee. She is clearly a talented artisan. You can find details about this necklace, titled TURN THE PAGE, here.

And I highly encourage you to spend some time over on her full-blown jewelry website called Tags-n-Stones (block out a chunk of time because you will be there a while ; ) 

Well, I hope this post has done its job and you experienced some joy, some excitement. 

PS I've added lots of new CRACKED review links up there in that tab, as well as links to some recent interviews (list is to your right, in a side column). Hang out for a bit!

Friday, June 8, 2012

BEA 2012 Day 2

Day two was a far less harried day than day one, but far more air punching occurred....

Months back, when I decided to go to BEA, I discovered the Children's Author Breakfast featuring Chris Colfer (from GLEE), Lois Lowry,Walter Dean Myers, Kadir Nelson and John Green. As much as I love the other presenters and their artistic contributions to the world, I'm not gonna lie, John Green was the main attraction for me. The dude is my literary hero. I signed up immediately.

Fast forward to the day of the breakfast. The hall was packed with 1,100 people and who do I see? Miss Frankie Diane Mallis. There was one seat left at her table. It was definitely my lucky day.

I tried to live tweet the event but the wireless reception inside the Javitz was spotty at best. The presenters were glorious and witty and funny and endearing. Publisher's Weekly does a great recap HERE. I did manage to snap this one photo.

The applause ended and everyone filed out to start their BEA journey. I was determined to get my stupid phone to work, so I stayed seated. I wanted to access my BEA schedule and see where I'd set myself up to go first. I sat and silently cursed the forever loading BEA app. I heard someone say my name.

It was Mary Kate, a young woman I’ve known since I wrote my first book, and her friend. Mary Kate works in publishing and very kindly tried to help me out way back then. We got to talking about how incredible the speakers were and what a massive John Green fan I am. She said, “I know his publicist. We used to work together at Harper Collins.” My mouth dropped open.

Then Mary Kate added, “Let me see if I can get her attention. They’re right over there.” I turned around, and twenty feet away stood John Green, David Levithan and three women. I didn’t even know they were in the room with me – which was pretty much empty by then. We walked closer, and John Green’s publicist spotted Mary Kate, waved, and came over to us. I was introduced, and after discussing how great the speakers were, I told her how John Green is my literary idol.

The publicist smiled. “Well come over and I’ll introduce you.”

I said, “Like right now?”

She nodded.

I mumbled something resembling, “Oh my God, I’m going to pass out.”

The publicist introduced me to him, and I have zero recollection of what she said. I was too stunned. I put my hand out to him. “I’m Kate Walton, K. M. Walton, I have a book too, called Cracked.” I said it all bumbly and mumbly. But at least it was words and not "A-baaa-gaaah-baaa."

JOHN FREAKING GREEN SAID, “I know who you are. I know your book. Nice to meet you.”

I stared for a split second. “No you did not just say that to me.”

He smiled.

I gathered my wits. “I am a huge fan. Every one of your books influenced me deeply and inspired me to write Cracked.”

He smiled again. Then I honestly can’t remember what was said or how the conversation changed. I was in lala land. But I do remember all of us talking about his speech and how wonderful Chris Colfer and Lois Lowry were. I was, you know, just talking to John Green. Having a conversation with John Green. I will never, as in ever, get over it.

I seriously floated around for the rest of the day. Each time I told the story, my arms flailed with zealous air punches. Really zealous. I replayed that moment over and over and over again in my head.

John Green knows who I am and knows my book. WHAT? What alternate universe am I living in?

Oh, and on a really cool side note, the woman standing right next to John Green was his agent, Jodi Reamer. I introduced myself to her too. Yeah. Insane moment.

Here is photographic proof. Mary Kate's friend captured the moment right after I met him!

The day of awesome continued.

I got to walk the floor with fellow Apocalypsies Hilary Weisman Graham and Kimberly Sabatini, as well as book blogger, Lisa Lueddecke. We saw got books signed by the unique and charming Tom Angleberger and also saw Tim Gunn!!
I listened in on a panel discussion with David Levithan, Nick Eliopoulus and James Dashner, where they discussed the new interactive Scholastic series The Infinity Ring. And guess who I ran into there? Miss Frankie Diane Mallis.

I waited in the autograph line to see my amazing friend, James Howe. He jumped out of his seat to give me a big hug. I adore that man.

When the lower half of my body refused to move without pain I was forced to head back to my hotel, grab my bag and catch the next train home. Weighted down with piles of books and glorious memories I settled into my seat and stared out the train window. BEA 2012 will remain one of the most incredible experiences of my published life.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

BEA 2012

BEA = Book Expo America. What a short strange trip it has been.

Day 1 recap.

I got on the wrong train on my way to NYC. In my defense, it was pre-coffee and 6 AM. I got on the correct train at the next stop and all was well. But then that train got delayed an hour in Philadelphia because of an accident involving one of the train workers. Every train was held at 30th Street Station. We got the all clear to get going, then our train died. I swear this happened. So we had to wait again for them to work on it.When all was said and done, I made it to my hotel by 10 AM.

I hit the ground running and walked the six blocks to the Javitz Center with an excited spring in my step. BEA was all new to me; I couldn't wait to experience it. The Javitz Center is enormous and by enormous I mean like a small city. Sweet mother. And it was filled with thousands and thousands of people. Some bloggers, some authors, lots of publishing people, book sellers, librarians--basically anyone or anything related to books. I'd refer to it as "book mecca".

In the midst of the hordes of people, who was the very first friendly face I saw? Miss Frankie Diane Mallis! Next I met up with my lovely editor and agent and fellow Apocalypsie, Corrine Jackson. We sat and had coffee as we waited for our Meet the Apocalypsies BEA event.

The event was incredible for many reasons, first, I got to meet so many Apocalypsies, second, the room was packed with people, third, I spoke with actual fans of CRACKED. 

I took these photos as people streamed in. We had a humongous line!

Massive amounts of thanks go to Lenore Appelhans for organizing the event and to Hilary Weisman Graham and Kat Zangh for creating the promotional materials.

From there I was supposed to go to the Simon & Schuster party, but I got stuck on the shuttle bus--in rush hour traffic--and missed the whole thing. Yes, I cried.

Despite the frustration of missing the party, I did make it on time to the Teen Author Carnival, which was made of WIN. Since my panel was in the second time slot I was able to pop around and listen in on other panels.

The authors on this panel, from left to right:
Barry Lyga
Tom Pollock
Hannah Mokowitz
Michelle Hodkin
Corrine Jackson
Rebecca Serle
Eliot Schrefer
Crissa-Jean Chappell
Kody Keplinger
Tiffany Schmidt
Fiona Paul

My panel went really well.

What's In A Name?
New Voices 

Rebecca Serle
Alecia Whitaker
Lucas Klauss
Corinne Jackson
Lauren E. Morrill
Katie McGarry
Hilary Graham
Gennifer Albin
Tom Pollock
Fiona Paul
Tiffany Schmidt

Great questions from the audience and from our lovely moderator, Mitali Dave (co-founder of TAC). Interesting and entertaining answers from everyone on the panel. The audience was big, and composed of a lot of real teens! We wrapped up the night in what I'd call perfection--we signed books and gave away candy.

In my heart, BEA translates to Books Equal Awesome, because my two day whirlwind experience was mindblowingly AWESOME. And by awesome I really mean: infinity amounts of magic + a generous sprinkling of fairy dust + diamonds wrapped in hugs. It was a place where dreams come true.

I kid you not.

Tune in tomorrow for my Day 2 recap. I will share how my dream came true. I can't stop smiling or replaying the moment. You'll see.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Meet The Apocalypsies

Anyone heading to BEA next week, you are officially invited to come Meet The Apocalypsies. Well, 24 of us!

Lizzie K. Foley
Zoraida Cordova
Sarvenaz Tash
Lenore Appelhans
Emily M. Danforth
Tamara Ireland Stone
Gretchen McNeil
Claire Legrand
Kat Zhang (YA Buzz Panel Honoree)
Sarah Tregay
Hilary Weisman Graham
Tiffany Schmidt
K.M. Walton
Gennifer Albin (YA Buzz Panel Honoree)
Gina Damico
Shannon Messenger
Sarah J Maas
Fiona Paul
AC Gaughen
Jess Rothenberg
Lauren Morrill
Kimberly Sabatini
Leanna Renee Hieber
Elisa Ludwig

Check it out:

The lovely and brilliant Hilary Weisman Graham, author of REUNITED, created this invitation. We'll be handing them out all week up there in NYC.
There will be cookies and book swag and prizes and custom made signature cards. Swing by! EVERYONE IS INVITED.Join in on the FUN!

PS A big THANK YOU to Lenore Appelhans for organizing this event and creating the signature cards, to Hilary Weisman Graham for creating the invitation cards, and to Kat Zhang for creating the power point of covers. Apocalypsie Teamwork!