Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shiver the Movie. Cue the Hyperventilating.

i have been sitting on this news FOREVER (and I don't mean the novel FOREVER). So now I can stop being coy and start hyperventilating instead.

Shiver. The. Movie.

Unique Features picked up the film rights -- they are associated with Warner Brothers -- and this is the official word:

Unique Features has acquired screen rights to "Shiver," a bestselling supernatural romance novel by Maggie Stiefvater that is the first of a three-book series.

Pic will be produced by Unique Features partners Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne.

Book covers a bittersweet paranormal romance between a teen who becomes a wolf each winter and his girlfriend, who helps him find the secret to staying human. The first installment was published by Scholastic Press in August and has been on the bestseller lists for six weeks. The sequel novel, "Linger," will be published next August. Unique acquired all three books in the series.

Shaye and Lynne, who at New Line covered such fantasy and supernatural subject matter as "The Lord of the Rings" and "Blade," sparked to the author's voice, and said they couldn't ignore the grip that otherworldly stories have on young viewers.

"I'm not the biggest werewolf or vampire fan, but the author has a strong take on a young adult sensibility," Shaye said. "It's also a sexy love story that isn't too over the top."

Shaye and Lynne used their discretionary fund to acquire the book in a competitive bidding situation. They will bring it first to Warner Bros., where they have a first-look deal, and will set a writer shortly.

Unique adds "Shiver" to a slate of pic projects that include an adaptation of the Paul McCartney children's book "High in the Clouds," a Barry Levinson-directed adaptation of the musical "City of Angels" and the Broadway-bound musicals "Elf" and "Secondhand Lions."

I will be excited as soon as I start believing it's real.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

I am going to post about my Minnesota adventures tomorrow, but seeing as today is Tuesday and I'm supposed to post about Ballad (according to my own schedule) and I also promised Celtic music and because I feel like being evangelical about Twilight with Cheeseburgers, I decided that today's post will be a massive linkspam post to those who are truly looking to kill time/ stalk me/ find more Celtic music/ watch hilarious Twilight spoofs.

Sound good?


(if you said "no", I'm choosing to interpret that as "yes").

First of all, a couple Twilight favorite things, something both Twihards and Twihaters can enjoy. They are not new. But they are brilliant.

First, the insanely funny Twilight with Cheeseburgers, spoofing the trailer.

And 's hideously funny rundown of Twilight (she does all of them and they are all bed-wettingly amusing).

Okay. Celtic music. Recommending Celtic music online is hard because it requires rather more faith than I'd prefer; it's hard to find places to listen to it before you buy it. I am a total geek for it, having played in a band all through college, grown up with it, and written two books steeped in it. I really, really want to do this long music-geek post about how the joy of Celtic traditional music is that there are four hundred versions of every single song and tune and how there are the gateway drugs to Celtic music, like Clannad, and then there are the hardcore Celtic bands for those well-endowed in the Irish dept., like the Bothy Band, and there are the ones that have a certain charm, especially when two sheets to the wind, like the Wolfe Tones. (There are also unforgivable sins like Flogging Molly who I prefer to pretend don't exist).

But I won't. Because you guys would glaze, and I hate it when you glaze. So instead here's a playlist (I'm sorry, it's long -- I was going to trim and imeem is not flexible that way) of good places to start. Annoyingly, several of my favorite bands are not on imeem or playlist or youtube. Because some people are just so cool only I know about them. Actually, it's probably a good thing. Because otherwise this post would fall over under the weight of its own links. So. Playlist.

Oh, before I post this, the usual preamble. If you love anything on a playlist, please do the music industry and musicians a favor by buying the track on iTunes or wherever, rather than just hitting repeat on it 800 times. /end rant

Ballad Celtic Music

(i pretty much listened to "Fir Bolg" and "Seo Mo Leaba" in rotation for Nuala's trips to the faerie dance, if anyone's wondering)

If any of you are converted by the playlist -- which is embarrassingly not sorted for maximum listening pleasure, I die of the shame of it -- here is a list of bands to check out.

Victoria Police Pipe Band (rockin' pipers) - try "Hellbound Train"
Lunasa - (excellent instrumental, flute driven Irish band) -try the album Otherworld first
Susan McKeown - (strong female vocalist) - try "Bushes & Briars" and the album Lowlands
Ashley MacIsaac - (totally insane Cape Breton fiddler) - try early stuff before he went totally crazy
Old Blind Dogs - (solid Scottish band with some funky rhythms) - start with The World's Room album
Battlefield Band - (hugely prolific Scottish band that covers a lot of trad favorites) - try Home is Where the Van Is album.
Silly Wizard - (a classic Scottish band. Just the standard.) Note the favs in the playlist.
The Chieftains - (a hugely important and now hugely commercial Irish trad band) - older albums super traditional, newer have celeb guests
The Rankin Family - (a Cape Breton family that sings lush close harmonies) - try "An Innis Aigh"
Nomos - (Irish band with fun vocals and wicked drumming) - try "Set You Free" and the creepy "I Love the Trees"
Carlos Nunez - (totally talented, plays in the Celtic/ Gallic tradition - great Spanish sound) - try Brotherhood album
Cran - (lovely small Irish band, hard to find) - try "Newry Boat Song" the saddest song ever.
Sileas - (great Scottish harp duo with nice harmonies) - I have the Play on Light album.
Solas - (Irish powerhouse band, traditional on steroids) - I like the self-titled album a lot. (in playlist)
Altan - (a classic Irish band with nice female vocals) - Runaway Sunday is a nice album to start
John Doyle - (great singer/songwriter) - Evening Comes Early is a great album (in playlist)
Capercaillie - (a sort of wishy-washy Scottish band ... dangerously new agey in spots). Try "Ailein Duinn"
Deanta - (fantastic Northern Irish trad band with harp and flute) - entire album is good: Whisper of a Secret
Leahy - (crazy-good Cape Breton group that does traditional and wildly not traditional.) Self titled album is still my favorite.
Natalie MacMaster - (Amazing Cape Breton fiddler who's now married to lead fiddler from Leahy, last I heard) - try Compilations album
Kila - (awesome fusion band) - you can't buy a bad album of theirs
The Bothy Band - (old Irish trad band from the 70s. Still rocks.) - "The Maids of Mitchellstown" is great.
Planxty - (accordians. Irish people. Trad. Go for it). - Check out the playlist for my favs of theirs.
Andy Stewart - (lead singer of Silly Wizard, went solo) - try "Dublin Lady" & "Take Her in Your Arms"
Seven Nations - (a long-running Scottish trad/ rock band that used to be cooler) - try self titled album
Wolfstone - (fun Scottish band with some funky stuff going on) - try "The Piper & the Shrew" for a taste of their sound

Um. I kind of got carried away. I'm backing away from the computer now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BALLAD Playlist and The Ultimate Amazing Ballad Contest

All righty. I'm about to run off to Minnesota for six days of book related fun fun fun but before I left, I wanted to put up the rules and prizes for the most exciting Ballad contest yet (writers, listen up).

Okay, first of all, the prizes.

The absolute grand prize about which I am enormously excited is

A 1 chapter (or 15 double-spaced pages, whichever comes first) critique by all three of the Merry Sisters of Fate:
me, Brenna Yovanoff (author of forthcoming FE in '10)( ) and Tessa Gratton (possessor of secret news I wish I could share)( ). These are my two critique partners, who read every manuscript I write before it makes it to my editors. They rip and tear my manuscripts apart and put them back together like nobody's business. I would not be who I was without them and I'm thrilled that they've agreed to do this.

The first prize is this swank messenger bag. Not just a swank messenger bag, but a swank messenger bag stuffed with a signed Ballad, a signed Lament, a signed Shiver, and a signed Shiver audio book.

And the second prize is stack of books all involving the paranormal and teens and death and good stuff:

a signed copy of BALLAD
NEED by Carrie Jones
GRACELING by Kristin Cashore
IMPOSSIBLE by Nancy Werlin
THIRSTY by M. T. Anderson

And the third prize is

a signed audiobook of Shiver (what? I have a lot of them)

And here are the rules:

To enter, you must find a copy of Ballad in the wild -- that is, in a bookstore of any ilk. You do not have to buy said copy of Ballad. All you have to do is whip out your camera or your cell phone and have someone take a picture of you holding it. That's one entry. That's it. You want another chance to win? Have your sister pose next to you. She doesn't have to buy the book either. Or even hold a copy. She does need to be looking at the camera though. Want another chance to win? Have that random woman browsing the Sarah Dessen books stand next to your sister. Again, she doesn't have to hold the book. Or even know you. Just be willing to smile into the camera in proximity to someone holding the book. Want visual examples? Of course you do.

This is ONE ENTRY. Notice James is holding the book and looking at the camera.
TWO ENTRIES. Dee is not holding a book, but she is eyeballing the camera. Vaguely.

THREE ENTRIES. Nuala is not holding a book either, but she's looking at the camera.

FOUR ENTRIES. None of them know the king of the dead, but he's looking at the camera (I think. His eyes are shadowed.) He doesn't have to hold that book, but he is anyway because he's so darn thrilled to be in it.

Then what I need you to do is take the photos and post them somewhere online -- I don't care if it's your facebook, livejournal, photobucket, mom's website, whatever, that's not important. The only thing that's important is that you link them here. You can embed them directly in the comment if you have the voodoo to do that. Or you can just send me a link. Make sure it's someplace I can see it and do a headcount. Bonus prize to someone who gets more than 20 people in a photo. ;) I'll think of something good . . .

Got the idea? Okay, to give you plenty of time to find it in the wild, we're running this baby through October 10th, which is the second Saturday in October. Pleeeeeennnnny of time to find it.

And with that said, here's the playlist for Ballad. I need to preface this by saying that I used a ton of Celtic music like this awesome Kila song, bands like Lunasa and Solas and singers like Iarla O Lionaird whose name is too awesome for me to spell however such music is not available on heathen sites like Imeem or (their loss). For those who are interested in the finding of Celticky stuff, I will do a post on that when I get back and have loads of time.

Okay. So that behind me, here's the playlist of the rock music I used for Ballad. Those who loved the playlist for Shiver may be somewhat shocked as the Shiver playlist reflects the fact that Sam is the type of boy you could bring home to your parents. And James . . . is not.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

See you guys in a week! Happy contesting!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

BALLAD has entered the building!

If there was a thought bubble above my head right now, it would contain this:

If you're thinking, but that's nothing, you would be right. Because my mind has shorted out.

Barnes & Noble is now listing Ballad as "in stock" and available to ship! Early! I always get all psychologically prepared for the big release date and then reliably get my legs pulled out from under me when it gets in stock early.

Plus, I just got my author copies on Friday. Which means I'll be shipping out contest winners' books too. And the lovely fun contest, the funnest of them all, will be going up on Tuesday.

But for now WHOOHOO! Ballad is in the house!*

*and as always, if you want to make an author very happy and you're going to buy their book, do it it's released when at all possible, because it makes their numbers more shiny. And authors like shiny numbers. Just sayin'. Please?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ballad/ Shiver Contest winners!

Okay. So we had a total of 84 links/ entries -- which is pretty crazy-awesome. Thank you, guys, for getting the word out! Especially with Ballad, which doesn't haven't the collective might of a zillion ARCs like Shiver did, word of mouth is super important. So thank you.

Okay. The winners (email me with your address!)(remember this was x-posted from my LJ):

1) One signed Shiver audio book goes to froggaritaville.

2) One signed Shiver audio book goes to devon81.

3) And the mix CDs of homicidal faerie music and music written for Ballad goes to: missmagic188

Congrats to the winners. And if you didn't win, don't be sad. After I get back from Minnesota, I am having the World's Most Awesome Contest because the prize is THIS COOL.

That's all.

Minnesota/ Chicago Dates plus Ballad stuffy

First of all, a reminder that tonight at 9 p.m. is the deadline for the Shiver/Ballad contest currently going on.

Secondly, I can't believe Shiver's on the NYT list for the 7th week. That stretches my brain into weird, unfamiliar parallelograms.

Third of all, remember that if you're thinking of coming to the Ballad Launch Party at Fountain Bookstore (Richmond VA, October 8th), call and reserve a copy of Ballad so that you can get a signed frame of the Ballad trailer art!

Fourth of all, if you are of the Chicago/ Minnesota persuasion, here are some dates for next week (everything bolded is open to public)(if you're at MBA, come see me!):


September 23rd, Wednesday, School visits.

23rd, Wednesday: 7:00-8:00 p.m. Anderson’s Bookshop, Downer’s Grove, 5112 Main St, Downers Grove, IL 60515, 630-963-2665


September 24th, Thursday. School visit.

September 24th, Thursday, 7:00-8:00 p.m. The Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105, 651/224-8320

at MBA conference : September 25th, Friday. Authors Moveable Feast at MBA Conference, St. Paul, MN

September 25th, Friday. Bookseller dinner.

at MBA: September 26th, Saturday, Author's Breakfast at MBA Conference, St. Paul, MN

at MBA: Saturday, inbooth signing at Flux's table, 2:00-2:45, formal autographing in audiotorium 5:00-5:30.

September 26th, Saturday, Signing w/ other Flux authors. 7:00-8:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble HarMar Mall, 2100 North Snelling Ave, Roseville, MN 55113

Okay, most exciting bit about this? Do you know what I'll be signing at the Barnes and Noble? BALLAD.

My publicist is checking in with the other two bookstores to see if they'll have Ballads as well as Lament and Shiver, but for sure, if you want a signed copy of Ballad, I'll have it on the last day of the visit. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Oh, and since this is a Ballad Thursday and I'm supposed to say something Ballad related, have the Booklist review for it that just came out:

The stunning stand-alone sequel to Lament (2008) follows Deirdre and her best friend, James, who attend a boarding school for promising musicians. Even though no one knows more about bagpipes than James, he wants to go there to stay close to Deirdre, whom he has always loved and who sees the fey. Then James meets Nuala, who sets her sights on him. A fey who is immolated every 16 years, rising from the ashes of a Halloween bonfire devoid of memories, Nuala can suck the life out of those she endows with extraordinary musical prowess. James, no fool, refuses her offers. Meanwhile, Deirdre is keeping her distance, and solitary fey around the school are being murdered. A pulse-racing climax forces James into an impossible situation as the queen of the fey plots against the human race. Readers of Holly Black's Tithe (2002) or Charles de Lint's The Blue Girl (2004) will enjoy this rich foray into faerie. The book's backdrop, so firmly rooted in Celtic myth, is scary, mysterious, magical, and horrifying.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dear John letter to Matt Costa

Dear Matt Costa,

You may or may not remember that the letter that I sent you in July, letting you know that your song "Wash Away" had basically gotten me through the draft of LINGER. In that letter, I asked politely for you to release another single in time for me to use it for inspiration during my FOREVER drafting days. (I mean my novel titled FOREVER, not that my drafting days go on forever.)(Yes I am seeing about getting more than one-word titles.) In fact, this is what I wrote:

Dear Matt,

I used your song, "
Wash Away," to help me write my novel LINGER. I have to have a thematic song to set the mood for my novels, and "Wash Away" was that song. It was so bittersweet and gorgeous that I knew instantly it was The One. For that I am eternally grateful. However, starting on November 1st, I have to write the third and final book in the series, and I'm afraid I cannot reuse "Wash Away." I really need for you to write something else awesome. Hell, you don't even have to release a whole album. I just need a single. I'm not saying that the entire fate of world literacy rests on your shoulders, but the future of werewolf literature probably does.

Please don't make me ask The Bravery.

Your fan,


Well, it is now September, and I am writing FOREVER, and guess who never wrote back?


Oh, Matt, how I mourned my lack of newly-minted Matt musical material through July, August, and the first half of September. I struggled through an anemic draft powered by Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket. During those long weeks, however, Matt, in which you were no doubt kicked back, drinking organic coffee, wearing fashionably wrinkled button downs, and trying to decide whether to hang with Jack Johnson or watch reruns of Dr. Who, not releasing a new single for me, guess who was in the studio?

Oh yeah. The Bravery.

And I didn't even have to ask. They just knew. That's love, Matt. It's anticipating needs before they become needs, Matt. Giving answers before I have time to ask the question. Where's the love, Matt?

So, my dear indie label friend, oh Mr. Pitiful, I am afraid that I must part ways with you for now. That's right, I'm leaving you for my first musical boyfriends, because their album is slated for November.

Just in time for my birthday. Coincidence? I THINK NOT. I know who loves me.

Time Won't Let Me Go,


P. S. This is Not the End

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11- Love is the Higher Law

Today is 9/11. I remember when that day was just amusing because it was the same as dialing 911. It had no significance whatsoever. Now, it’s hard to escape its influence. I live in Virginia, far from NYC, but not that far from the Pentagon, and I still remember a school visit from two years ago that drove home for me just how much 9/11 had changed us.

I’d just finished speaking and packing everything up, and I headed out across the parking lot, which was full of students waiting for the buses. You could barely hear yourself think for all the talking. And then a plane flew over. We were pretty close to DC, so it wasn’t unusual that a flight was heading toward Dulles over the school. But something about the plane . . . it was just a little too low, and it was banking a little more steeply than usual. It was probably just redirected and reapproaching for some reason; who knows why it was so off kilter and so low over the school.

But every voice in that parking lot stopped. It had been years since the attack, but everyone remembered, and every teen stopped and watched the plane as it flew overhead and straightened out. It took almost a minute after the plane had disappeared for the voices to reach their original volume. And I thought: this. This is who we are now, forever.

I don’t normally post a 9/11 related blog post, just because there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. And even if I could say it differently, there’s nothing I can say that would change the events of that day.

But I read a book this year that changed my mind. It’s called LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW, by David Levithan. In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that I both know and like David -- he’s editor Mixtape and we work together on SHIVER. I should also mention, however, that I know and like a lot of authors -- and yet I don’t blog about a lot of books. I’m really picky and though I like a lot of books, I only blog about the books that I really love.

I really love this book. And here’s why.

It’s about three teens’ experiences on the day of the attack, and how it changes them as people. I have to admit I was really leery about reading a book about 9/11 -- I didn’t want anything that was a) maudlin, b) manipulative, or c) intensely depressing. And I just didn’t see how a 9/11 book could avoid all of those things. But I thought, if anyone can pull it off, it’s David -- his novels all have this very innocent, open quality to them.

So I began to read. And on page seven, my eyes teared up, and I thought: here we go.

But here we didn’t.

That was the first and last time my eyes watered in this book, because LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW is not about reliving the horrors of 9/11. What can I say about it? It’s this incredibly inspiring, moving, and honest look at how something good can come out of something terrible. David’s love of New York City permeates the novel, and as a non-New Yorker, it was wonderful to have a window into that world.

And it was not a sad book. Incredibly, it was everything that 9/11 was not. Though as a writer I saw a ton of things that I would’ve changed about the book (remember this post about loving books that we had issues with? yeah, this was one of them), all I could think after I closed the pages was what a buoyant mood I was in. I was filled with faith in the ultimate good of people in the face of horror, and I, like the main characters, felt like I wanted to talk about where I was that day, how I felt, what changed.

I did. That night, I curled up with my husband in bed, lights off, and together we whispered back and forth what we remembered about 9/11. I still remember the exact place I was when I first heard the news on my car radio, not just the street I was on, not just the block I was driving through, but the distance from the curb and the quality of the light. I remember the payphone that I called my now-husband on as the ambulance he drove raced towards the Pentagon.

Ultimately, what I loved about LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW was the message -- that 9/11 was not for nothing if we let it change us for the better. If we remain better versions of ourselves, the versions that reached out to strangers and felt part of something bigger, then it wasn’t such a senseless, vicious tragedy, and it’s something worth remembering.The title says it all -- if it's not true, it's what ought to be true.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Richmond, VA Book Signing @ Creatures n' Crooks this Saturday

Also, just to remind folks, I am part of the group signing this Saturday, 9/12, at Creatures N' Crooks. This is my last signing at Creatures N'Crooks because, unfortunately, they're closing.


Anyway, if you are in the Richmond area, I will be there signing for the first two hours of the signing -- from 1-3. I have to leave promptly at 3, I'm afraid. I hope to see you there:

Creatures 'n Crooks Bookshoppe
3156 West Cary Street
Cary Court Park & Shop
Richmond, VA 23221

Decatur Book Festival & Old Teasers

So in honor of my Ballad Thursday post, I thought I would cheat slightly and link to all of the teasers I did for Lament, right before it came out. Do you guys remember that? There are several hundred more of you on ye olde f-liste since then, so I'll 'splain: I illustrated key scenes from Lament as teasers, but to keep from being spoilery, I replaced all the characters with animals. I included this one here because it has James in it, who of course narrates Ballad. Anyway, here are the Lament teasers. I like the one with Eleanor the crocodile, personally.

Okay, so, this weekend I was in Atlanta for both Dragon*Con & Decatur Book Festival. I was sharing a hotel room with Jackie Dolamore and hanging out with Jackson Pearce, an Atlanta native. And this is what happened.

4:00 a.m. "Wake" up. Drive to airport. Daydream about FOREVER most of the trip. (I mean FOREVER the book, not forever as in how long it's taking me to write it)
6:00 a.m. Go through security. Get stopped for random security check. Get patted down.
6:03 a.m. Realize I've left my cell phone in the car. Contemplate living without it.
6:15 a.m. Get my cell phone.
6:25 a.m. Go back through security. Get stopped for a random laptop check. Tell the security personnel: "This is no longer random. It's personal."
7:00 a.m. Fly.
9:00 a.m. Atlanta. Wait for Jackie's flight to come in. Sketch a man who is staring at his hand with a magnifying glass. What is he looking at? I have no idea. Just that it was really small.

10:00 a.m. Sketch the terminal while listening to the conversation next to me.
Man 1: I think Marilyn has pawned her wedding ring and the diamond earrings I got her. All the stuff that was meaningful.
Man 2: That's a crying shame. How do you know?
Man 1: I went through her stuff while she was out.
Man 2: Clever of you. Not worth very much though, pawning stuff.
Man 1: I know. Such a waste. Marilyn always did just think of short term benefits. It's probably cash for her affair.
Man 2: She's having an affair!? How do you know?!
Man 1: Because she pawned her rings and diamond earrings, weren't you listening?

Noon: Jackie and Jackson Pearce! Whoo! We proceed to get lost in Atlanta because people have cleverly named every street 'Peachtree.' I was informed by at least 8 Atlanteans that this was because Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground and they had to rebuild everything, so it's not quite right yet. I was a British history major, not American, but would I be wrong in assuming that Sherman did said deed 140 years ago? Which makes Atlanta the Capital of Procrastination.

1:30: Head to my first event for the Decatur Book Festival, a talk for 150 teens. Met Terra Elan McVoy, author of PURE, who was helping to coordinate the madness of DBF. (Also insert random shout out to Joe here! Not that you read the blog, but if you did, thanks for helping organize!)

3:30: Successfully avoid swearing during library talk.

Then I spent the rest of the day frolicking with Jackson, Jackie, and Jessica Burkhart ( )(author of one million Canterwood Crest novels), who I snagged at The Little Shop of Stories. We went to The Real Chow Baby, a make it yourself stir fry restaurant, which Jackson thought would be good for me, as I'm allergic to preservatives.
Manager: Welcome to The Real Chow Baby, where everything is real and natural and fresh!
Me: Great! Can I eat this?
Manager: I wouldn't.
Me: This?
Manager: Not unless you want to die in a twitching pool of drool.
Me: Is anything indeed real and natural and fresh here?
Manager: The brown rice. Also, the bean sprouts. Possibly parts of the broccoli.

I am not making this up.

However, the evening was salvaged as Jackson took us to a comedy club. Which made me laugh until my face hurt. So, a successful day.

Saturday (there are no hours listed on Saturday or Sunday as I lost all sense of time)

All of Saturday was spent in search of preservative free food, a search that did not culminate in actual food until 8 p.m. I supplemented my natural energy with caffeine, however, because safe tea is easy to find, which means that I basically jittered and rattled through this entire day. I'm sure it was exciting to watch.

This was the day of the massive Vampire vs. Werewolves Smackdown with Richelle Mead ( ). I was feeling bad about this, both because we are friendly online and also because neither of us really write traditional vamps or weres, so I was hoping there would not be actual smacking down. The crowd was packed into the room and quite rowdy. I think that Richelle and I were probably too nice to each other (my only subversive act was to hold up index cards with things like 'pulse' written on them while Richelle was speaking), but it was huge fun anyway. I'm not sure there was a clear winner.

Plus afterward we signed books for an hour and I got to meet a ton of book bloggers, which was nice to put faces to the names. I also got author swag in the form of a DBF shirt (I loved DBF, by the way, it was SO well put together).

I then drank my 18th tea of the day while shooting the breeze with Editor Mixtape (David Levithan) and Aimee Friedman (author of SEA CHANGE). After a brief sojourn at an author VIP party (meeting more people, like Ally Carter -- I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU -- ) Jackson, Jackie, and I stole David to play spot-the-hooker on the streets of Atlanta and grab a preservative free taco from Chipotle before my DragonCon faerie panel at 8:30 p.m.

Yes, p.m.

DragonCon = insane. DragonCon people = insane people. Every hotel and street in Atlanta was packed with people in costume. I saw someone dressed as Ursula from the Little Mermaid. And also a man who was dressed only in a speedo with the superman logo on it. Unless you count a few gallons of body oil as apparel, in which case, he was practically covered up. Anyway, the high point of the fairy panel was meeting Steve Berman, who was a DragonCon person (read = insane person) but entertaining anyway.

I had only a signing at DragonCon on Sunday, and spent the rest of the day in pursuit of a biscuit. Which I eventually got. Because I'm a big believer in following your goals.

I just realized that there were millions more people I met up with at DragonCon that I should've linked to, but I have totally run out of steam. I've already emailed most of you guys anyway.

I will leave you with a random cartoon Tessa did of Sam as a womb. Just because.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kraken are the new Vampires

Today, I did a public service announcement involving bad guitar, brief animation, and some singing about why Kraken are the new Vampires. Hopefully this will open people's eyes to a whole new species of love.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ballad/ Shiver Contest + Tuesday Teaser

Remember how I said I'd do a Ballad related post every Tuesday and Thursday until October 1st when it came out? Well, it's managed to be Tuesday again, so here goes. I will probably post about my DragonCon/ Decatur Book Festival adventures tomorrow. Or possibly a butt kicking or hopelessly inspirational post. It's been awhile since I've done one of those.

BalladBut first, a Ballad contest. Well, actually, it's a Ballad/ Shiver contest. Because you are playing for Shiver prizes but with Ballad content. Here are the prizes:

1) A signed Shiver audio book.
2) Another signed Shiver audio book.
3) A CD of my Homicidal Faerie Mix -- the music I played while writing Ballad

There are two ways to be eligible. One is for bloggers of all sorts. You post

1) the cover
2) the link to Amazon
3) The teaser

and then comment here with a link back to your post. Every comment is an entry (if you have two blogs, comment twice).

And the other is for Facebookers; it's less image intensive. You post
1) The teaser
2) the title
3) the link to Amazon

The contest ends next Thursday, the 17th.

Here's the teaser:

He turned towards me. For a long moment, he stood facing me. I was held, anchored to the ground – not by his music, which still called and pushed against the music already in my head and said grow rise follow – but by his strangeness. By his fingers, spread over the ground, holding something into the earth, by his shoulders, squared in a way that spoke of strength and unknowability, and most of all, by the great, thorny antlers that grew from his head, spanning the sky like branches.

Then he was gone, and I missed his going in the instant that the sun fell off the edge of the hill, abandoning the world to twilight.

And the link for the Amazon page is here. Before you go running off to pre-order on Amazon, however, any of you who are planning on possibly coming to the October 8th launch at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA, listen up. Everyone who reserves a copy of Ballad at Fountain Bookstore will get a signed frame from the trailer at the launch.

Okay, onto the html. For blogger entrants who want it the easy way, here's the html to grab and paste (just choose HTML view while posting your blog, then cut and paste this text:

BalladThis is a teaser from Maggie Stiefvater's BALLAD, a novel involving homicidal faeries and kissing that's coming out October 1st.

He turned towards me. For a long moment, he stood facing me. I was held, anchored to the ground – not by his music, which still called and pushed against the music already in my head and said grow rise follow – but by his strangeness. By his fingers, spread over the ground, holding something into the earth, by his shoulders, squared in a way that spoke of strength and unknowability, and most of all, by the great, thorny antlers that grew from his head, spanning the sky like branches.

Then he was gone, and I missed his going in the instant that the sun fell off the edge of the hill, abandoning the world to twilight.

Buy it here. Enter the contest at Maggie's blog here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dragon*Con & Decatur Book Festival Schedule

I'm leaving at o'dark thirty tomorrow morning to head to Dragon*Con & Decatur Book Festival in Atlanta. Here's the final schedule (ooh, also please note that the Ballad launch has been changed to the 8th of October in Richmond, VA).

2:15-3:00 p.m. Decatur Library Presentation (I think this is closed)

4:00-5:00 p.m. YALSA Discussion with Teens at the Children's Pavillion at the Decatur Book Festival (not certain if this is open to the public?)

11:30-12:30 Reading at Dragon*Con. Hyatt Regency

2:30-3:00 p.m. Vampires vs. Werewolves Smackdown with Richelle Mead (her standing up for the fanged half of the panel) at the Escape Teen Stage, Decatur Book Festival

3:00-4:00 p.m. Signing at DBF, Teen Stage, directly after

8:30-9:30 p.m. Faeries & Faery Tales panel at Dragon*Con. Marriott Marquis


11:30-12:30 p.m. Signing at Dragon*Con, Marriot Marquis.

I'm going to get lost, aren't I?

In Which I Am Kilted

It is now one month out from Ballad's release date (October 1st), which means it's time to do some fun count down things. I think I shall spam you guys with Ballad stuff every Tuesday and Thursday until October 1st. Because #$%^ I am excited. Ballad was a huge jump forward for me, so I'm psyched to see what readers think of it.

For those of you who are unaware, Ballad is told from James' point of view. He was the bagpiping funny best friend in Lament, and he got upgraded to main character (making Ballad a standalone companion novel in the process). His story involves bagpiping, people getting burned alive, hungry souls, kings of the dead, and of course homicidal faeries. And snogging. There's always snogging. It's why I can't write picture books; they ask too many questions.

Anyway, so for Ballad Thursday #1 (I need a catchy name here), I thought I would share some embarrassing pictures of me from eight or ten years ago when I was first getting into my piping obsession. It was also before I had learned the meaning of the words "sexy" or "hairstyle," so I'm warning you, it will. not. be. pretty.

So. Join me as I saunter down memory lane.

Me looking sulky. Hey, I was 16. That was what my face always looked like.

Yes, I had hair down to my butt. What of it? Wait, I have further photographic evidence of long hair.

Me when I was 17 at an early Ballynoola band gig. I cut off all that hair in a rebellious act when I was 18. Partially to annoy my parents. Mostly to stop buckling it into my seat belt.

Yes, I had a kilt.

Me playing nicely in a group before my anarchic qualities kicked in in my 20s. Notice how they issued men sized small polos to the women. There was room for another piper in there. (That was not an invitation).

Me acting as both musician and bridesmaid at my older sister's wedding.I have always been good at multi-tasking. That is my husband's butt in the photo. We had just met a few weeks before this photo was taken. Which meant a few weeks after this photo was taken, we were engaged. See, I told you. Multi-tasking!

Now, before I leave you, I must tell the story of James and how he existed before this story. I actually wrote another novel with James in it before Lament came out and submitted it to agents. One agent wrote back that she was really enticed by the writing, but she was having a really hard time picturing a "rockin' bagpiper" without the benefit of, say, Korn backing them up. I fainted in a very Victorian manner and then I sent her this:

The Hellbound Train - Victoria Police Pipe Band

And you may also have this:

Congressional Reels (The Congress Reel, The Swallow Tailed Cost, Captain Chops, The Phoenix) - City Of Washington Pipe Band

If you're not convinced, I don't want to know.
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