Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Secret Musician #2 REVEALED!

Man, one of my favorite things about my job as it stands is that I get to mess around with music more than I thought humanly possible. I love finding new music, and I love making music, and when I can combine the two with book-making, well. I felt rather cheeky last year when I approached musicians about possibly setting some of Shiver's lyrics to music, and I was thrilled when both of the artists I asked said yes. One of them, as readers will already recall, was Jonas & Plunkett (Their version is here).

The other musician is one that I found, in a backwards way, through my writing. I had done a school visit at a Northern Virginia high school back when Lament came out (so, 2008. I was a baby writer). The creative writing teacher asked me if I wanted to come to the senior high's open mic night. Apparently, students felt free to climb on stage and share music, poetry, and whatever else could be shared on a stage.

I wanted to say no.

I have been a musician for a very long time and I have been to enough open mic nights to know that, generally, they are painful things. They are like family reunions. The concept seems great. But they always go on and on and someone always gets food poisoning. But I was a baby writer, so I agreed.

And shock of shocks, it was not painful. In fact, it was the opposite. In fact, there was a musician there I was so sure was going to be famous someday that I wrote his name on my hand with my signing Sharpie so I would remember to google him in a few years.

And that's Secret Musician #2. I tracked him down, nearly three years later, and found out that he was just working on recording an album. I asked him if he would be interested in recording a version of "Summer Girl." And he said yes. A couple months later found us in the studio, me recording my music for the FOREVER trailer, and he recording "Summer Girl."

I'm very pleased to be able to share Sulaiman Azimi's version of "Summer Girl." I wanted to do a proper video teaser of it, but I caught a cold at BEA, and I am feeling indolent and terrible. I am actually wearing an orange t-shirt and a purple plaid button down at the moment, and if that doesn't convince you of my dreadful feelings, I don't know what will. So instead of doing something new, I remixed my very first stop-motion project, with Sulaiman's song attached.

If you love it, PLEASE support Sulaiman by going to itunes or Bandcamp and buying it (you can get it for 50% off at Bandcamp using the code 'forever'). And do follow him on twitter (@sulaimonster) or check out his website: www.sulaimanazimi.com so that you can keep tabs on when his album comes out. He'll also be at the launch party in Tyson's Corner, VA, for FOREVER.

Hope you guys love it, and I'll leave you with a very brief Q/A with him!

MAGGIE: I approached you pretty much out of the blue about Shiver. I remember thinking “this guy is going to think I’m such a stalker.” What was really going through your head when you got that e-mail?

SULAIMAN: I was just surprised you remembered my name from an open mic so long ago. I replied to your email with a picture of Shiver and Linger and a receipt next to it, haha. I couldn't find Shiver or Linger at Barnes and Noble until I found like 30 of them on their own separate shelf. At that point I was thinking "Whoa." I was and still am very excited about the putting music to these wonderful books.

MAGGIE: Well, "Sulaiman" is sort of impossible to forget. Sort of like "Stiefvater." Something about starting with an S and being hard to spell. So, I know that you read SHIVER before you started writing the music for “Summer Girl.” How much did your reading inform your composition process?

I kept coming back to the first ten or so pages. I wrote the music based off of a feeling I got from the beginning of the book. By the time I got to the "Summer Girl" lyrics, it was done. I got to hear a song in my head when reading that part.

MAGGIE: Which is amusing to me, because that's how I wrote the lyrics — by inventing a tune in my head while I stared at the computer screen, and then writing lyrics for it. So I reckon that makes you the second person ever to read that page that way. Talk to me about how you compose. I tend to start writing almost all my tunes while standing at my kitchen counter, but I understand this is not the only way.

SULAIMAN: You won't believe me, but I wrote "Summer Girl" in my kitchen. And you're right, its not the only way because I write songs in every room in my house, except the laundry room.

I would believe you, on both counts. It's a universal truth that proximity to cookie dough increases creativity and proximity to laundry detergent squelches it. I notice that you share some Sam-like features. Do you think that you’re like him, at all? Also, will you ever shave that beard?

SULAIMAN: Yeah, we're both totally adorable and we play the guitar. I was sad to find out he doesn't have a beard though. I definitely thought that since he's a wolf and all that'd make sense. I trimmed mine a week ago, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

MAGGIE: What’s next for Sulaiman Azimi?

We're working hard on a record and "Summer Girl" will be featured on it! The album is called The Music of Sulaiman Azimi and it's due this Summer 2011. It'll be available alongside "Summer Girl" at SULAIMANAZIMI.COM (bookmark it!) and please follow me TWITTER.COM/SULAIMONSTER for some hilarity. I want to thank y'all for the opportunity of putting Summer Girl to life.

Monday, May 30, 2011

New York, in Stolen Pictures

So I have been quiet this week because I was in New York City for BEA and events with Meg Cabot & Libba Bray. If you're not familiar with BEA, its proper name is Book Expo America and it is a giant (25,000 people giant) book conference for booksellers and librarians and publishers to talk about the books that are coming out that year. It's massive, full of publisher giveaways, and is designed to make authors rock and groan in a fetal position. Which is to say that it's a great thing.

Now, I was at BEA two years ago when SHIVER was about to come out, and I remembered the insanity, so I didn't bring my camera this time. So that means that the only photo in this entire post that is mine and not stolen from someone at Scholastic is this one, taken with my phone:

That would be just some of the bags that booksellers brought to the show. To fill with books.

I was feeling a bit queasy about BEA this year, because Scholastic let me know that they would be giving away advanced review copies (ARCs) of both FOREVER and of THE SCORPIO RACES. Which meant that after months of my manuscripts being carefully secluded from public eye, they were both being unleashed at the exact same moment. The sudden unveiling of my work brings out all kinds of neurotic characteristics I don't normally have. Like self-googling. And haunting Goodreads. And stopping in my tracks whenever I hear someone say "forever" or "scorpio."

I tried to make myself less neurotic with the knowledge that only a very few people would have copies of the books.

Head of publicity (@TVS_557 on Twitter) helpfully sent me a photo of the Scholastic booth on the first day of the show:

Okay, maybe more than a very few.

My publicist sent me a photo a few minutes later:

It was like there had been . . . wildebeests. Or piranhas. Or bloggers.

Pause for self-googling on cell phone. Has anyone read the end of FOREVER yet? Does anyone know what THE SCORPIO RACES is about yet? DAMN, there is bad reception at the Javits Center. Moving on . . .

Later, I had a signing session at BEA and signed THE SCORPIO RACES for an hour straight. Oh yes, my neurotic meter, she's ticking. But that wasn't all! I also had two "This is Teen" events with Meg Cabot and Libba Bray. There were a few people at the one at the Scholastic Store:

We took questions from the audience and talked about our books (I talked about how I came up with one of the dire scenes from FOREVER). Meg and Libba are both a lot of fun (also, Libba is evil, which I appreciate), so I reckon that the next four events with them (San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago in June, and Miami in July) are going to be equally delightful.

The other fantastic thing that happened in NYC was a "This is Teen" blogger meet and greet. The fantastic thing about this? Well, every once and awhile, I remember acutely what life was like last year, two years ago, four years ago, etc.

Like -- the signing at BEA was odd because I remembered very well the first time I'd been to the conference, back when I was a shaky, nervous author hoping that SHIVER might make a name for itself in the YA world.

Going to Savoy for lunch with my Scholastic publicist was weird, because I remembered the first time I'd ever come to NYC and had lunch at Savoy with my now editor, David Levithan. He'd told me "now, we can't promise that Shiver will be a bestseller" and I remember saying, "That is an OPTION!?" 

And the blogger meet and greet was weird too. Some of these bloggers that I was rubbing elbows with were supporters of my books back when it was just LAMENT in 2008. I still remember some of their reviews of LAMENT, my first blog reviews ever, and just how deliriously excited I was to see them. Look at me, I thought, getting reviewed alongside Scott Westerfeld and Libba Bray and all these other YA greats . . .

It has been a crazy three years.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Imagined Conversations in Dutch

DUTCH PUBLISHING PERSON #1: Do you remember how we published Maggie Stiefvater's novel LAMENT last year?


DUTCH PUBLISHING PERSON #1: Remember, we retitled it HEARTBEAT.


DUTCH PUBLISHING PERSON #1: I know, right? We're publishing the sequel, BALLAD, this year. What should we call it?


DUTCH PUBLISHING PERSON #1: Hard to follow up that first act.


DUTCH PUBLISHING PERSON #1: Exactly! I was thinking we should call it: HEARTBEAT.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Impromptu Facebook and Twitter Contests for FOREVER!

So, as I may have mentioned, this week I am at BEA, which is a giant conference for booksellers. It involves things like publishers talking to booksellers and librarians about their upcoming books, and also advanced reader copies of said books. While I was there, look what I managed to snag two of:

Because I am the kindest, fuzziest author ever, I am going to give these two away. And I'm going to do it on Facebook and Twitter. The rules are revoltingly easy this time.

To enter for the Twitter copy, change your Twitter profile pic to the FOREVER cover. Then go to the contest site HERE and enter your twitter name. The cover has to stay up on your profile all week, until June 3rd, when the contest ends. A winner will be picked randomly. TA da!

To enter for the Facebook copy, change your FB profile pic to the FOREVER cover. Then go to the contest site HERE and enter your facebook profile (it's okay if it's private). The cover has to stay up on your profile all week, until June 3rd, when the contest ends. Ta DA again.

Here's the image for you to grab: 

You can enter both. It ends June 3rd.

ETA: International folks can enter, but you MUST have a U.S. address I can mail it to. (this is ARC rules, not mine)

I think that's all the rules and things. I will have cool things to say when I get back from BEA, I promise.

Oh, oh, and tonight I will be at the Scholastic Store in NYC, signing books with Meg Cabot and Libba Bray at 6:30 p.m., so if you're around, come see me!

Friday, May 20, 2011

In Which I Do My Most Disgusting Video Yet

Because of this book:

Why, yes, that is a quote from me on the front cover. It says:
"Love buried in cemeteries, horror hidden behind masks, and the whispered language of blood. I adore this book."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What is THE SCORPIO RACES really about?

So, in case you were losing sleep wondering what THE SCORPIO RACES is about, Scholastic has just released their Fall Librarian Preview, and I talk all about it:


(Hint: I'm near the end)

The Scorpio Races cover

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

I've been doing Teaser Tuesday snippets over on Twitter and Facebook for the past couple of weeks and realized that I had been meanly excluding my blog. So I figured I would remedy that by gathering all of the teasers I have posted so far for FOREVER and putting them in one place.

Here are the teaser sentences I've posted so far:

Week 1: “Grace,” I whispered. “This isn’t how it ends.”

2: "Cole," I breathed. "What have you done to yourself?"

3: I had no real idea where I was, but I knew this: I was nowhere near Mercy Falls.

4: I said, “Uh — six minutes since I found him. He’s not breathing.”

5: “Just tell me. Is there something going on between you two?”


I have a 12 hour and 36 minute long playlist for FOREVER, since there are 8 weeks until FOREVER comes out, here are the top 8 songs with the most plays (I listened to most often while writing).

8. "Lille" - Lisa Hannigan
7. "First Floor People" - Barcelona
6. "Gutter" - Paper Route
5. "Comes and Goes (In Waves)" - Greg Laswell (iTunes LIES. This was the song that influenced me the most)
4. "Devil You Know" - Pinback
3. "Honey Honey" - Feist
2. "Sandra's Theme" - Danny Elfman
1. "One Last Message" - Andrew Lockington


Things I have said about FOREVER: "It has happier moments than either of the two books . . . and SADDER MOMENTS than either of other two books."


Me reading the first chapter of FOREVER.

Well, you just don't get more teasery than that.
/Maggie out

Monday, May 16, 2011

Winners! winners! Winners!

I know y'all don't care about any intro to this, so I will merely cut to the chase and post the winners of the giant FOREVER contest!

We had over 800 entries for the first five prizes, and over 200 for the last two, so thank you, guys, muchly, for spreading FOREVER love across the internet! 

Signed bookmarks: starryeyedjen, Sarahjane Larkin, aleib1, safaripoet, and Dana Joyce Moore

Wolves from the FOREVER trailer: MrsChristensen, Donna.Stelloo, ILikeTheseBooks, inee_, mouse909, and Megan Thiesse

So, winners of bookmarks and wolves, email me: StiefvaterReaderMail AT gmail.com (remove AT and put in @). Make sure you put CONTEST WINNER in the subject line, and in the e-mail, make sure you include your mailing address and what you've won. It makes prizes arrive a lot faster when I don't have to rely on my sketchy memory.

And the winners of the top 5 prizes:

Linger Tank Top Winners: Taylor_LeAnn_, wildshea, Cuda Fuad, and Ambur Hostyn 

Doodled in copy of Linger: cc.landess

A Shiver Keepsake Box with Goodies: Anita Ward


An EARLY COPY OF FOREVER:  chelsea.rose.detorres

And in perfect timing, I just got in my ARCs of THE SCORPIO RACES, so I'll be able to mail that out sooner than I expected. All of the prizes should be mailed out by the 30th at the latest.

A huge congrats! Thanks, guys!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Contest Reminder - One Day Left to Enter!

This is just me saying that, if you missed the blog post announcing the Giant Forever Contest, today's the last day to enter. Cool prizes include things like a chance to read FOREVER early and an advanced review copy of THE SCORPIO RACES. Details here!

Friday, May 13, 2011


So, I still can't tell you anything about it (I'm aware this is like the longest, slowest reveal ever. It is like the American Idol of book reveals), but I am happy that I can finally share the U.S. cover of THE SCORPIO RACES (coming October 18th).

This is all I'm allowed to say at the moment:

"With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world, where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff--with more than just their lives at stake should they lose."

Oh yeah, and it's a standalone novel (not a series), with blood, beaches, and kissing. My favorite that I've written so far. Ever.

What do you think? Let Scholastic hear ya at www.twitter.com/scholastic!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Twelve Steps to Road Trip Readiness

I'm sure pretty much everyone know that I am taking my '73 Camaro on nearly month-long road trip for FOREVER this July (dates here). Many people have expressed the idea that I am insane to take a car older than me on a 3,700 mile trip where getting places on time is crucial. I am here to say that the key to success in these matters is PREPARATION. Allow me to describe for you the 12 steps to getting a '73 Camaro ready for a road trip halfway across the country.


Buy the car. Name it Loki. Tell the IRS it's your business vehicle and proceed to drive it to every school and library event ever invented. Realize that the windshield leaks, so you'd better put your books in the back seat. Also, the driver's side window doesn't roll up all the way. Also, sometimes, the glove box won't shut.

These are cosmetic things. Superficial.

Tell yourself you are not a superficial girl.


Learn the international language of motoring. i.e. when you are traveling to an event, and people begin to point frantically at you, they're not admiring the paint job. They're trying to tell you about this:


During a hard winter, observe your Lover accidentally taking a piece out of your car's finish with a snow shovel.

Suspect that it was pushed, not fell, because Loki has taken to stopping randomly in the middle of the road and Lover is tired of coming to rescue you.


Okay, so apparently you are a superficial girl.

This thing's getting painted. Blog readers vote red. Red it is. Well, not quite red. Really, it's TANGERINE KANDY, if we're being specific.

You are always a specific girl.


Decide that, while you're at it, you'll replace the hood that comes open while you're driving sometimes, because it seems wrong to paint a crappy hood in TANGERINE KANDY.


Good bye, snow shovel tattoo. Hellloooo, beautiful!

You, authorfriend, are driving this baby everywhere from now on. They'll have to surgically remove it from your buttocks to get you through airport security (oh and what a surgery that would be).

You are driving the hottest author vehicle out there.

Loki painting in progress



This is the part where Loki goes to the shop and spends four months having the wires ripped out, because the random stopping thing stopped being humorous about 12 months ago.

It would be a terrible crime to lose your sense of humor.


Enthusiastically and optimistically map out your tour stops while Loki is in the shop. Complete with little doodles of the things you are doing along the way. Find Lover crouched by the giant map spread in the entrance hall, trying to decipher the hieroglyphs.


Make it 9 miles from the mechanic before the car gasps to a halt.


Make it 8 miles from new mechanic before car again gasps to a halt. Repeat steps 7,8, 10, and 11 several more times. Stare at the map.

3,700 miles is a long way.


Buy a new one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Look What Amazon UK's posted

Why, is that the UK cover for THE SCORPIO RACES?

Oh, it is.

Monday, May 2, 2011


First of all, I should mention to everyone asking that Jonas & Plunkett's version of "Summer Girl," along with another beautiful song very appropriate to the series, "Uncovered," are now available on iTunes: here.

Now, the contest. The FOREVER contest . . .

I'm trying something different this time to see if I can make it not take MY ENTIRE LIFE to manage all of the entries. I'm going to be going through ContestMachine and seeing if that helps streamline the process for both entering and counting entries, so let me know how it is for you.

Those of you who have been here awhile know how this works. I have a handful of prizes, and in order to be eligible to win them, you have to embed the video on your blog or FB, or you can link to it in your twitter (the latter makes you eligible for different prizes, so PLEASE read the instructions carefully!)

The prizes are as follows:

1) reading FOREVER early. I do not have any advanced review copies of FOREVER like I did for LINGER, nor does anyone else in the world, but I pleaded with Scholastic for SOMETHING to give away for this contest and they said they would find some sort of early edition of FOREVER for the grand prize winner, to be mailed at the end of May. That's a month and a half early.

2) An advanced review copy of THE SCORPIO RACES (better known as Secret Novel)

3) A Shiver Keepsake Box filled with secret goodies.

4) A signed, doodled hardcover copy of LINGER.

5) Linger Tank tops (4 winners will get these)

6) A Wolf from the FOREVER trailer (5 winners will get these)

7) Signed Bookplates (5 winners will get these)

Now, to be eligible for prizes 1-5, you have to embed the video on either your blog or your Facebook. It can't show up as a link, it must show up as a video. The blog must be hosted on a site that is 100% dedicated to blogging (for instance Blogger, Wordpress, LJ, Tumblr, but NOT things like Goodreads) and you must be 100% in control of the content (no group blogs or communities). In order to be a valid entry, it has to have the video and a link to buy the book: http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie.

There are two versions of the trailer, one with my music, and one with Jonas & Plunkett's fantastic version of "Summer Girl" from SHIVER. I don't care which one you embed, but if you use the one with Jonas & Plunkett's music, it would be very kind to also include a link to where folks can find the song for sale: http://bit.ly/mPK6mP.

If you win, I reserve the right to verify that the thing was up there. You may enter multiple times if you have both a blog and a facebook (each embed counts as one entry).

And THIS is where you enter for that: http://www.contestmachine.com/hosted/promotion/BYJRWEWBQQ   I sure do hope that works.

Now, for those of you who only have twitters or can only link on your facebook, etc., there is a second half of the contest. To be eligible to win prizes 6 & 7, you must link to one of the two versions of the trailer. I'm not going to make you say something excited, but I'd like it if you did, anyway. ;p To enter for that, post a link to where you linked it here in the comments, and that counts as your entry. One entry per place. You can enter in both halves of the contest if you have a twitter and a FB, etc, but you have to enter in the two different places in order for me to count the entries properly. Again, this may be verified by me if you win.

HERE are the embed codes for blogs (copy and paste only the parts between the <>):

MY VERSION:  <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EbcYV19hkLY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

JONAS AND PLUNKETT VERSION: <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NsDtc4SiyY0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And the links for FB and twitter, etc (Facebook will usually show the video as embedded if you paste just the link in your status and wait a moment for it to come up before you hit "post"):

MY VERSION: http://youtu.be/EbcYV19hkLY

JONAS AND PLUNKETT VERSION: http://youtu.be/NsDtc4SiyY0

What else do I need to say?

The contest is INTERNATIONAL.

The contest begins now and runs until the morning of MAY 16TH.

The contest prizes will be mailed out the last week of May.

I'm sorry that this is so long and so detailed, but these things tend to get huge, with several thousand entries, and I have learned to be insane with the details and rules. Pretty much it's common sense, but if you have any questions, let me know. (I will delete them after I answer to keep the comments clear for entry counting).

Thanks, guys!!!! wHoo!!!
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