Saturday, September 7, 2013

the year of the bug

I know I haven't been here in a month.

I feel guilty about that.

But the reason I haven't posted anything is the exact opposite of because nothing's been happening. Too much has been going on, and I've been busy.

1. I have always believed that when you put energy out into the universe, it turns into stuff. I think I have released an awful lot of bug energy this year. For some weird reason, I have seen hundreds and hundreds of praying mantises in my garden this summer. We usually don't get mantises up here in the mountains.

I did something weird.

2. Speaking of weird, you can win this:

There are fewer of these than there are mantises in my garden.

I honestly only have one to give away, but you can win it on September 30--just about three weeks away. I will sign it, and maybe draw a bug in it, too.

You can enter to win by clicking here.

3. A couple weeks back, my pal John Corey Whaley and I did readings from our books and signed at Mrs. Nelson's Bookstore in La Verne, California. Corey read from Where Things Come Back, and I read from Winger.

There were lots of great questions from the audience. One question (I don't think either of us had been asked before, but it fit very well with our books) dealt with adolescents' preoccupation with death, and why death is an important element in YA literature.

Also, the traffic was HORRIBLE that day. I swore an awful lot in the car.

Afterward, we went to dinner with friends, but all the pictures came out too dark, so here we are outside at the signing.

4. Speaking of Winger, I did a signing at Barnes & Noble in Valencia. The turnout was huge, the traffic on the drive there was delightful (my son drove me), and I signed an awful lot of books for readers.

One thing that I haven't mentioned enough, I think, is the spectacular job done by Lucy Ruth Cummins on the design of the wrapper on Winger. It really is amazing, and so is this photo, taken by Navah Wolfe, an editor at Simon & Schuster, who saw Winger on display with some of the greatest books ever written in Grand Central Station, New York City:

I mention this now because in the past month, I have gotten to view photos of the models who will be used for the wrapping on my next Simon & Schuster book, 100 Sideways Miles, which is coming in the fall of 2014. A few days ago, Lucy sent me the wrap (front and back cover) image for 100 Sideways Miles.

Unfortunately, I can't show it, but it is BEYOND AMAZING. You will agree when they reveal the cover.

5. The year of the bug: There have been so many exciting things happening with Grasshopper Jungle (coming February 11 from Dutton/Penguin), but I can't talk about them yet, even though I want to. Which will give me something to start the next list with, I suppose.