Saturday, April 30, 2011

FOREVER Book Trailer! And Secret Musician #1 Revealed!

I am revoltingly pleased to be able to share the stop-motion book trailer for FOREVER. After more days of work than I care to admit, the animation is finally done. Later this week, I'll be doing my usual Giant Book Trailer contest and the prizes this time amaze even myself. So, without further ado, here is the book trailer, with the music, "Under the Northern Lights," by moi in the background (this track will be available for free download on my website closer to the book release).

Oh, but wait, that's not all . . . I have been coyly mentioning that two different musical artists wrote two different versions of "Summer Girl," one of the songs from Shiver. I'm delighted to unveil artist #1. Their version of "Summer Girl" will be available on iTunes early next week. Until then, do what I've done, and buy everything else they've ever done. You might recognize some of their songs from the Linger playlist. Why yes, I love this band. It was terribly cool to have them record a track for the books.

Anyway, loads more to come, including a "making of" post and of course, the contest!

Friday, April 29, 2011

U.S. Tour Locations

Stiefvater Author 2011 largeI'm pleased to say that I have been given my full tour schedule by Scholastic. I don't have all of the exact times or store locations yet, but I'll update when I do (with Facebook events for confirmation). I should mention now that I am getting together some swag for these events. Namely, I'm pretty sure there will be at least one Sharpie guitar, and possibly two. There may also be a Secret Musician singing "Summer Girl" at the launch. Oh! Oh! This is a good excuse to trot out my new author photo. Do you like it? It was hard to find one that didn't have Evil Eyes or Withering Smiles. I also notice that I have my grandmother's nose.

The Sharpie GuitarNow, I can already hear the groans of fans out of reach of the tour events below, but a) remember that I will also be traveling for This is Teen with Meg Cabot & Libba Bray, so your area might be one of those and b) I'll be driving a 1973 Camaro to all of these events, which limits the span of the thing. So when you're moaning, "Maggie never comes to Arizona!" just imagine the days of driving and have mercy on me.

Okay, that aside, here goes:

Tuesday, July 12th
7 PM
MacLean, VA: B&N Tyson’s Corner

Wednesday, July 13th

12-1 PM signing
Philadelphia, PA: Children’s Book World

Thursday, July 14th
7 PM
Dewitt, NY: Barnes & Noble Dewitt

Saturday July 16

Chapters Oshawa
Oshawa, Ontario

Saturday July 16
Indigo Yorkdale
Toronto, Ontario

Sunday July 17
Chapters South London
London, Ontario

Monday, July 18th
7 PM
Novi, MI: Borders Novi

Tuesday, July 19th
7 PM
Naperville, IL: Anderson’s Bookshop

Wednesday, July 20th
7 PM
Madison, WI: Barnes & Noble

Monday, July 25th

2 PM
St. Paul, MN: Red Balloon

Monday, July 25th
Timing TK
Minneapolis, MN: Wild Rumpus

Wednesday, July 27th
7 PM
Kansas City, KS: Rainy Day Books

Thursday, July 28th

Timing TK
St. Louis, MO: Pudd’n Head Books

Sunday, July 31st
3 PM
Nashville, TN: Nashville Public Library

Monday, August 1st
7 PM
Decatur, GA: Little Shop of Stories

Tuesday, August 2nd
5 PM
Raleigh, NC: Quailridge Books

Friday, August 5th
7 PM
Williamsburg, VA: The College of William & Mary Bookstore

Hope to see you guys!

Monday, April 25, 2011

In Which Maggie Can't Break Stride

A reader pointed out that it had been 10 days since I blogged, which is true, and it is because first of all, holidays are a terrible thing (they mean everyone else is holidaying but somehow that effect never seems to trickle down to authors), and secondly, I am working on getting the FOREVER book trailer ready to post here on my blog on May 1st, along with a contest of such epic proportions that it amazes even me. I am working working working on it and I cannot break stride or All Patience Will Shatter.

So I will have something to say later this week, I'm certain. But until then, I leave you with this:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Maggie Dispenses Writing Advice Before Caffeine

A reader asked me writing questions via video. I answered them via video.

*I realize the title of this blog post makes it sound as if I will be dispensing caffeine. I'm sorry. The internet has a long way to go before that is possible.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Three Months til FOREVER

Which made me think I should do a video with the world's tiniest teaser.

Monday, April 11, 2011

THIS IS TEEN! events with Meg Cabot & Libba Bray. Also, Australia

So, in addition to going places and breaking down in my Camaro this year, I also have some events booked with Meg Cabot & Libba Bray as part of Scholastic's This is Teen promotion. 

When they first pitched the idea to me, I thought This is Teen would involve sneaking out of the house, grappling with one little triangle of my hair always being greasy, having musicians not take me seriously, wondering why clothing in the juniors section never seemed to fit me, and wondering if now was the time to learn how to put on make-up.

It turns out that was not what they meant. They meant this.

And these are the places Meg, Libba, & I will be stopping by.

• May 24, 2011, Barnes & Noble in Carle Place, NY
• May 26, 201, The Scholastic Store in New York, NY
• June 13, 2011, Books Inc. in San Francisco, CA
• June 15, 2011, Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL
• June 16, 2011, Wellesley Booksmith in Wellesley, MA
• July 23, 2011, Books & Books in Miami, FL

I don't have the times yet, but when I do, they'll be posted here.

MOREVER, it seems, I'M GOING TO AUSTRALIA. I'll be at both the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Brisbane Writers Festival in August/ September. I am revoltingly pleased.

That's all.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Theory of Hubris

I would like to meditate on hubris at the moment.

Those of you who read this blog with any regularity whatsoever probably know that I have a car named Loki that I love dearly. Loki* was a present to myself when I sold SHIVER, finally becoming a full-time writer. He is also, for tax purposes, my business car.

In theory, this is the best idea ever.

In practice, having a vehicle made in 1973 as your business vehicle presents some problems.

*moreover, you'll notice I named him after the Norse god of mischief. This, in theory, seems like the best idea ever. In practice, however, it presents some problems.

Here is a diagram with some details of Loki:

And a close up diagram for finer details:

Sometime last year, while I was on tour for LINGER, I was sitting in my hotel room in Los Angelos and looking out the window and thinking. And that's when I saw this parked outside of my hotel.

And I had a great idea. That great idea was that next year, instead of flying to all of my book tour destinations, I should do a great American road trip. In Loki.

Sleep-deprived, high on sweet tea, and gazing at the Wienermobile the entire time, I stared at a map of the United States and drew a looping, 3,700 mile road trip on it. As I stared at it, I remembered Loki's foibles, the weather in July, and how crucial it is to arrive at events on time. This is insanity, I thought fondly.

Then I e-mailed it to my publicist.

Let's fast forward a few months. By this point, Loki has been to joint author events in Richmond (and broken down), to parade in front of NASA engineers (and broken down), and to numerous school visits (and not broken down, to mix things up a little bit). My publicist calls.

PUBLICIST: Maggie, this is insanity.
ME: yes.
PUBLICIST: However, insanity seems to be your "brand." Let's do it.

The map had just become one step closer to reality. Loki headed into the shop to have wiring replaced and air-conditioning put in. For my part, I picked out jeans that would match Loki on tour. Lover built me a model of Loki to sit on my desk while I meditated. My publicist spent long hours with a phone in one hand and Google maps in the other.

Now, I had grown up with old cars — my dad infected me with an affection for the smell of gas leaking — and so I knew that it was always a bad idea to travel alone in a car you didn't trust entirely, especially if you were a young and tender girl wearing jeans that matched your Camaro.

I needed a co-pilot. Someone who I wouldn't kill after three weeks, and someone, more importantly, who wouldn't kill me.** Who better to ask than my best friend and critique partner, Tessa Gratton?

**I can be somewhat highly strung.

You see Tessa in this photo (left). That is Carrie Ryan on the right. I feel this photograph adequately expresses both of their personalities.

She said yes. My plans were finally coming together.

Meanwhile, after four months in the shop, Loki was supposedly a new man, free of the . . . inconsistencies . . . that had troubled him to that point. Plus, air-conditioning. I do not feel I cannot emphasize this enough. I was delighted when, a few days ago, I got a phone call from the mechanic (who is French. With a heavy accent. This makes all of our technical conversations slightly obscure, like so:

FRENCH MECHANIC: I have finished your car, but zer iz a problem.
ME: oh?
FRENCH MECHANIC: Ze door panels, I can find ze top two parts, but not ze bottom.
ME: which part is that?
FRENCH MECHANIC: Ze part wi ze glove box. Wi ze cavern. Wi ze trash pocket! You know zis word, what is ze TRASH POCKET?
ME: I . . . okay. I just want air co and running car. Everything else is cool.
FRENCH MECHANIC: You need to come into ze shop! So I can stop trying to think of word for TRASH POCKET!


I picked Loki up. Apart from the Trash Pockets, the car ran and sounded like a million bucks, or at least like the $11,000 I had claimed for him on my taxes when I bought him. I was excited, but I was also beginning to feel that possibly I had misled Tessa as to the full extent of what it was like to ride in Loki. With a sense of duty and doom, I pinged her in chat.

Tessa was still game. My evil plans really were falling into place. French Mechanic urged me to drive Loki as much as possible before the tour, in order to "iron out ze bumps." 

With a sense that I had the best ideas in the world, I decided to take Loki to a fairly local event in Fredericksburg on Thursday. The organizers had arranged for me to have a parking space right by the building, and in my head, I could already see my triumphant arrival. Bright orange-red muscle car belching smoke and roaring proudly, license plate shouting my novel, me cool as a cucumber in my newly air-conditioned front seat. Everyone would have to walk by it to get into the event and oh would they see how terribly cool I was.

I was riding high as I left the house that evening. The sun was as low and red as my car, and I was feeling pretty smug. Loki tore out of my home town, engine thrashing enthusiastically, speakers pumping. The miles careened out behind me. One mile. Two miles. Four miles.



Somewhere around seven miles from home:

LOKI: >cough<
ME: I know that was just an accident. Clearing your throat. You —
LOKI: >coughcough<
ME: If you ever want to be let out of the house again, you —
LOKI: >die<

From the side of the road, I noticed that the spring flowers were super pretty and considered the idea that, possibly, there was still more wrong with Loki than the trash pocket. It was probably time to have another chat with Tessa. As Lover sighed over the phone and packed up Things 1 & 2 to rescue me, I pondered the meaning of the word hubris.

Forty minutes later, I pulled up sulkily at my event in my diesel Volkswagen. It did not belch smoke. It was not bright orange-red. The license plate did not say SHIVER. Really, the only thing it had going for it was that it ran, and really, that is the least important thing a car can do, right?

I have loads of time before July. And at least I have air conditioning in Loki now. Which, turns out, is slightly better in theory than in practice.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

2011 Critique Partner Love Connection

I've been asked several times in the last few months if I would do another critique partner love connection on my blog and I now have enough requests that I'm going to go ahead and do it. I did one WAY back when and, looking at it, I find that the wording on it still mostly applies, so here we go:

Okay. As y'all know, I have two critique partners ( and ) whom I love dearly. They rip and tear at my ms with everything they have in them and they read what I read and love what I love and . . .well, after a long critique partner search, I have learned much about what I need in crit partners, and they are what I need.

However, it's come to my attention that not all of my blog readers have found what they need, and they're having a hard time putting out a call for crit partners on their own blogs because of traffic. Some of them are really good too -- agented or published or close to agented or published, and they need someone at that level. Others are just starting out.

So I thought I might do a Crit Partner Love Connection here on my blog, if anybody's looking. This is PRECISELY the way I found Tessa and Brenna.

Here are the rules, such as I ever have rules:

Post a comment saying the age range (adult, YA, MG), a brief, one-sentence blurb about your book or just the genre if you don't want to share more than that, and whether or not you have an agent, etc. Also the last book that you read that you loved that you feel epitomizes you as a reader.

Then, if someone sounds appealing to you, you send them a message saying so and find out if it's mutual. If it is, you exchange the first 50 pages of your manuscripts, critique them, and return said critiques. If either of you doesn't feel like the crit relationship is working at that point, you get to smile and say thanks and walk away without any questions asked. That's the way it works.

NOTE: I myself am not looking for critters. Two partners is enough for me -- I can't keep up with anymore. I recommend definitely two or three partners for best results. That way when someone says "this sucks!" and someone else says "does not!" you can be the tie breaker. But if they both say "this sucks!" and you say "does not!" it means you're wrong. ;)

Okay. Go! Any questions?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You Would Not Believe the Things I Do When Caffeinated

Actually, you guys probably would.

Cole on Facebook

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Appearances in Virginia

1. I swear this is not an April Fool's Prank. Google did a great one.

2. I have two events coming up in Virginia in the next few weeks, the last ones I have until FOREVER comes out in July.

3. One is in Fredericksburg, VA, and put on by the Fredericksburg Area Service League. It's a Author Book Chat and Dinner and it benefits area projects and they will be giving fun stuff away, as will I, and I think I shall read a Small Part of Forever. It's on April 7th, details here:

4. The other, "Taking Books to Heart," is aimed at teachers, librarians, and "other adults interested in young adult literature" (that would be me). It's in Williamsburg, VA, on April 13th. Details here: I'll be talking about books that I fell in love with as a teen and chatting with participants.

5. I'll be announcing a few other appearances VERY SHORTLY. I think next week, as a matter of fact. With exciting! guest! stars!

6. Today I am picking up my car, Loki, from the shop, where he was getting air-conditioning installed for my Epic Road Trip this summer. I am obscenely excited.

/maggie out
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