Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. Laura and I spend so much time on the phone that her husband is more informed on my life than my husband because he overhears her side of the conversation while Ken is sound asleep upstairs.

2. I've had three conversations in the past 24 hours that have made me want to stab myself in the thigh with a meat fork. None of them were with Laura.

3. We're going to ALA! If you're going to be there, please, please, please sit in on our panel with the amazing Geoff Herbach, Janet Gurtler and Miranda Kenneally. It's at 10:30 on June 23rd. We'll be talking about the impact of social media on YA lit. And then from 2-3 PM Saturday afternoon we'll be signing at the Sourcebooks booth. And we're completely terrified. What if we're unable to string more than two words together at the panel? What if no one comes to our signing? What if I accidentally wear a see through dress and Laura never bothers to tell me? What if people finally realize that there aren't really two of us, just one crazy girl with split personalities? We're kind of in a panic over here.

4. I'm supposed to be writing.

5. I've been mega moody all day today and I feel guilty for being a crazy, crazy bitch.

6. I'm looking forward to kickboxing tomorrow because I'll get to punch some of the crazy out.

7. I have to find the perfect dress to wear this weekend because I'm determined to look hotter than a sworn frenemy who will be in attendance.

8. Have I mentioned the moodiness? Because...yeah.

9. I read 50 Shades of Grey. I can sum up the entire book in less than 16 words.

10. I get really paranoid when people don't return my emails, but I almost never return emails myself. (See number 5)

11. I just went to schedule this post and realized tomorrow is WEDNESDAY. Not Tuesday. Now I'm moody and moronic. Wicked combination.

Ok, spill your guts in the comments. What's your truth this Tuesday? Lay it on me. Or else. (See number 5).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bookanistas: Another YA has come to visit!

One of the coolest parts about being a writer for young adults, is actually hearing from young adults. Each week we get emails from readers that make our day, every month we meet with girls in my neighborhood and discuss books and at family events we get to catch up with our younger cousins.

Today, YOU are lucky enough to meet our cousin Alex who is extremely well-read and absolutely adorable. We pass on as many books as we can to her and she devours them. Today, Alex is going to tell us about herself and her experience meeting Laurie Halse Anderson--that's right the Laurie Halse Anderson. She was also deeply touched by Anderson's book SPEAK (who isn't?!)--next week we'll share an incredible project Alex was involved in!

How old are you and in what grade? What's the coolest part about your age? What's the not-so-cool part about your age?
When I met Laurie I was in seventh grade and thirteen years old. The coolest part of my age is the new freedom. I'm not a kid, I'm not an adult, but I'm not yet a teenager. It's pretty awesome. It's like getting a taste of all these new and exciting things that you'll be doing in high school and so on, but much less dramatic and much more fun. The not-so-cool part about my age is with more freedom, comes more attitude and the feeling that "you are all grown up". Which is definitely not how it goes. The attitude also gets you in a lot of trouble with the boss. (AKA Mom)
When did you first read SPEAK? Have you read anything else by Laurie Halse Anderson?
I first read speak last year after my one friend, Toni, (who happened to be in my song group) recommended it to me, because we are into the same books. My reading teacher then also highly recommended it, so of course I HAD to read it. I have read Wintergirls by Laurie for a school project, and also Fever 1793, also for a school project. I highly recommend both books, however Wintergirls is like Speak; talking about an issue that girls face all around the world while Fever 1793 is a dip into the past talking about a horrible tradegy.
How did the book speak to you? What part of the book was most memorable?
The book 'Speak' really spoke out to me because it was so mature, and unlike most books intended for Young Adults, it didn't sugarcoat anything. It made me feel like this is how it really is for some girls. It opened my eyes that not everything in the world is right and that there is more then meets the eye. The part of the book that really stuck with me was when Heather left Melanie for the "Martha's". It stuck out so much because I absolutely despised Heather from then on. I didn't care that she didn't know what happened to Melinda. I just knew that Melinda was hurting, and once someone came to pick up the pieces, they left her without a doubt. Melinda was going through so much, that she didn't need the only friend she had to ditch her. I thought it was the most inhumane thing in the book.
Why do you think it's important for kids/adults/EVERYONE to read Speak?
I think it's important for everyone to read Speak because it's the truth. That happens to people, and it's absolutely horrible. Most people don't want to think about that because it just makes this world evil, but they need to realize that by reading this book, they will understand how hard it is to speak up when something awful happens to them. Yeah, it's not an ideal book for younger girls who haven't quite understood the world, but I encourage most parents to read this book, and then their children. It will teach them to speak up, because that's how you will get help.
Speak has been censored in some communities. Why do you think some people are afraid of the book? Do you think this is fair?
Well, I believe people are afraid of this book because as I said earlier, it's the truth. People don't want to have that burden on their minds when they'd rather read something that makes them laugh, or be happy. I think it is fair in some cases because most schools don't want their younger students picking it up and reading about something they didn't know happened. I don't agree that it should be banned from public libraries though because it is literature, and the people have a right to chose want they would wish to read, and I'm sure there are similar books in public libraries.
What part of the book inspired you to write your award-winning song?

The part of the book that inspired my friend and I to write our song is when "It" comes back to hurt her once more. It tore us up inside and we knew at that moment "It" would be apart of the song, and we would try to incorporate Melinda's despair and heartbreak, but also her courage and strength into a song. We threw ourselves into the lyrics, putting ourself in her position, and letting everything fall onto the pages.

What are some of your other favorite books?

That's a tough one, I love all books and it's hard to chose a favorite. But if I must say, The Hunger Games Trilogy is definitely one of my favorites. It's beautifully written with such an original idea, Suzanne Collins made me feel like I was in the arena facing life and death, while also running the rebellion that would and had cost many lives. Honestly, they are amazing. I also am in love with The Matched Series (Matched and Crossed) It too was an original idea, and obviously the idea of rebellion appeals to me. Both books are so different, but yet they symbolise more than what you can get off the pages. They have a lot of depth to them. My last favorite book(s) is The Harry Potter Series. Not much to them besides pretending I was a secret friend of Harry, Ron and Hermione they never spoke about. Or having fought the war with Vold- I mean He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Or being heartbroken at twelve when I did not recieve an acceptance letter into Hogwarts. You can probably say the Harry Potter Books were my second friends, family, and life while I was a child. Heck, they still are.

Pretty incredible thirteen-year-old, right? Tune in next Thursday to hear Alex's award-winning song!

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to:

Shannon Messenger celebrates SURRENDER – with arc giveaway
Stasia Ward Kehoe unearths “shadowy” YA titles
Jessica Love is all about IN HONOR
Christine Fonseca interviews author Jo Ramsey

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When Covers Come Calling

So, it's no secret that we were not the biggest fans of the cover for The Liar Society. We begged. We cried. We blogged. And then we dyed our hair pink. And now we get at least one email a week from a 14-year-old girl raving about Kate and her bad ass pink hair.

Lesson learned. We are not the target market for The Liar Society. We wrote the book. We love the book. But we wrote it for 14-year-olds and that's exactly who the cover should call out to from its spot on the bookshelf.

And this morning we saw this:

This book? It calls to me. The title. The cover. The writer (we know her, you guys!). I can say without a shadow of the doubt that if I was wandering the shelves in B&N and I saw that gorgeous book cover out on one of their tables, my hand would be pulled to it like a magnet. If I'm the target market for this book (and I'm guessing I am): mission accomplished St. Martins. I am charmed. I am enchanted. I will buy this book. Now if only I could fast forward to April 2013....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Bookanistas: STORYBOUND

Once upon a time we met a fabulous writer named Marissa Burt. She was friendly, lovely and represented by an amazing literary agent. Before too long her middle grade novel sold to Harper Collins and we were lucky enough to read an advanced copy. And even luckier, STORYBOUND is pure magic. But don't take our word for it, today we have the lovely Grace, my extraordinarily well-read 5th grade neighbor here to give us her thoughts on the book.
What Amazon has to say: When Una Fairchild stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, she thinks nothing of opening the cover and diving in. But instead of paging through a regular novel, Una suddenly finds herself Written In to the land of Story—a world filled with Heroes and Villains and fairy-tale characters.

But not everything in Story is as magical as it seems. Una must figure out why she has been Written In—and fast—before anyone else discovers her secret. Together with her new friend Peter and a talking cat named Sam, Una digs deep into Story's shadowy past. She quickly realizes that she is tied to the world in ways she never could have imagined—and it might be up to her to save it.

Grace's Take: I loved STORYBOUND! There was so much to think about. The descriptions of the characters and everything else was amazing! I hope that there is a sequel to Storybound or that it turns into a series.  Marrisa Burt is a great author and I would love to read more of her work!

Grace, we couldn't agree more! Lucky for us Story's End is going to be released in 2013. Can't wait!

And be sure to check out what the rest of the Bookanistas are reading this week:
Christine Fonseca  interviews author Sandra Almazan
Stasia Ward Kehoe is spellbound by ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD & GIRL OF NIGHTMARES
Jessica Love falls for UNBREAK MY HEART
Megan Miranda is giddy for GILT

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why We'll Never Read The Liar Society Again. Ever.

As most of you know, the publishing industry is TOUGH. And the really tough thing about having your first book published is that sometimes those big, amazing moments you have built up in your head kind of fall flat to the sound of a very sad trombone (wah wah wah).

The great thing about being debut authors is that you have so much energy. So much excitement. So much confidence that your book will be THE NEXT BIG THING.

And that very rarely happens.

And if you're like us, the road to publication doesn't have mere speed bumps. Oh no, our road was buckled and littered with fallen trees and sometimes it just sort of dead ended in the middle of nowhere.

But at the end of the day, our little book was released into the world. People actually bought it. And The Liar Society is in its 5th printing. Do you think anyone even remembers that the wrong cover was released on Amazon? Or that the book was originally supposed to be hardcover? Or that there are naked pictures of the cover model floating around the interwebs?

Nope. No one cared about any of that crap except us. Well, us and a handful of prison inmates with a thing for girls with pink hair.

Fast forward a year and we've gotten a little bit better about taking things in stride. The release date for The Lies That Bind has changed 3 or 4 times, but I think we're now officially settled on November 1, 2012. (YAY!) The original cover comps totally freaked us out, but they ended up settling on a gorgeous blue haired Kate who we fell in love with. We had to rewrite the damn thing more times than I care to remember, but we finally have a book that we'll be proud to have next to The Liar Society on shelves. Everything really does work out in the long run.

And in other news, we have a new book coming out with Soho Teen, um, well, sometime in the not-so-distant future.

Here's the blurb from Publisher's Marketplace:

Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker's THE HUSH FUND, when a girl drowns at an annual private school picnic a group of friends pool their trust funds to expose the high society culprit, to Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen, for publication in Spring 2014, by Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management (NA).

We are so excited! I should be jumping up and down. YAY! But instead, the OCD writer in me is obsessing on the details. THE HUSH FUND takes place at a country club, NOT a private school. Rose doesn't drown at a picnic, she drowns at this crazy party on a yacht. And the release date? News to us. We thought it was coming out in Fall 2013. A big part of me wants to call Publisher's Marketplace and MAKE THEM FIX IT.

But the new, more rational Lisa, remembers that this is all small stuff. Yes, it's our book. Yes, we're super excited to share it with the world. But the little things don't matter. They really really don't.

What matters is that we're taking baby steps toward our dream. Every day. Every hour we spend at our computers tip tapping our key boards into the dead of the night.

So, my advice for debut authors out there? Don't obsess over what's going wrong. Focus on everything that's right. Close your eyes and let yourself truly appreciate the weight of your first finished copy in your hands. Marvel at the beauty of your book on a bookshelf. Run your fingers over your name printed on the cover of an actual book.

And do yourself a favor, NEVER read a final copy. You'll only see comma splices and the places where your copy editor trumped you and replaced "peeing your pants" with "peeing in your pants" which is clearly not as funny.

Whatever you do, make every effort to enjoy the journey. Dead ends and all.

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. My saddest days are the ones where I fail at doing my day job and being a mom. There's nothing quite as disheartening than working your ass off to be a stellar mom and a kick ass employee and failing miserably at both, on the same day. That thunk you heard wasn't my head hitting the glass ceiling, it was my ass hitting the floor. Hard.

2. When I fall I almost always blame my husband. He's around. He's a man. And he never gets stuck at home with the kids, on a conference call, with a child SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS all afternoon while dinner burns in the oven. Thanks for nothing, Gloria Steinem.

3.  You know what cheers me up? Watching Girls. It's far more entertaining to watch NYC hipsters fail at being adults than to argue with my husband about who should put the kids to bed.

4. I finished A MILLION SUNS over the weekend and holy cow it was AWESOME. If you haven't read Beth Revis's amazing ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series, there's no time like the present. January 2013 can't get here fast enough.

5. I can't stop refreshing our email after sending our revision to our editor on Friday. I'm scared she's going to hate it. I'm scared of copy edits. I'm scared that we're never going to get another email again. Ever.

So that's it. My sad, sad truths this week. Hope you guys have something better to share in the comments and if this post totally bores you, check out the comments in the post below this one. HILARIOUS and awesome. Have I mentioned how much I love our blog friends? You guys rock.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Are You Mom Enough?

Well, the short answer is: Um, no. Probably not.

But the long answer is: If relactating would would get me a body like that then I'm all for attachment parenting. La Leche League here I come!

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You Know You're Editing When...(TAKE 2)

You have this conversation:

Husband: How's your day been?

Lisa: (barely looks up from computer) Good. Busy.

Husband: Are you still wearing your pajamas?

Lisa: No, I'm wearing yoga pants and a tank top.

Husband: But you wore that same thing to bed last night and it's now 7 PM. You're wearing your pajamas at 7 PM.

Lisa: Not true. While I did technically sleep in these clothes last night, I also wore them to drop the kids off at school today and all day while I worked, so they now qualify as leisure wear.

Husband: There's something seriously wrong with you.

Lisa: I know.

Monday, May 7, 2012

You Know You're Editing When....

You eat two cupcakes and then add a scene where one of your teenaged characters smokes a pipe.

Yes, that's right. A pipe.

Sometimes I like to add things just to see if Laura is still reading.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tell the Truth Tuesday: Line Edits

There are very few things in this world that can make you feel as colossally stupid as line edits.

You find yourself thinking things like, "Can it be considered world building that parents are nonexistent and it's always Friday?"

And then you realize that you're a complete hack who never should have written a book in the first place.

And then you cry.

Eventually you work up the courage to open the document again only to find that your brilliant editor has pointed out that one of your characters is a complete doormat.

And then you cry some more.

You make some decent changes along the way and when you're finally done you realize your book is about a million times better than it was before.

And then you eat ice cream

Ah, the glamorous life of writers. Try not to be too jealous.

Don't call this a comeback

So it’s been a minute. Or 10. Or truthfully more like 2,102,400. At least we think that’s how many minutes there are in 3 years, but let...