Thursday, April 19, 2012

What It's REALLY Like to be Published

...or, six things I never knew before deciding to hitch my rope to the "I want to be published so badly it hurts" star.

6. You spend an enormous amount of time alone. Luckily I adore being alone. I'm a fan of quiet and get my best thinking and writing done in an empty house. Gone are the days of lunches in the faculty lounge and chit-chatting with fellow teachers in the hallway in between classes. I do miss that. Most days are me, me and my thoughts.

5. The general public really thinks authors are rich or are on the fast train to becoming rich. Famous too. I hear it everywhere I go - people asking me how it feels to be famous. I seriously do my best to not laugh. It's a funny misconception. I let them know that fame and money weren't the reasons I wanted to become an author.

4. Meeting and talking to other authors is not only fun, it's important. In light of this being all so new and mysterious, it is quite reassuring to discuss publishing experiences with authors, regardless of where they are in their career as an author. We authors are an encouraging bunch of human beings.

From an event at the Exton, PA Barnes & Noble: (from the left) Beth Kephart, Ame Dyckman, Monica Carnesi, me,    Dianne Salerni, Amy Garvey, Elisa Ludwig & E. C. Myers

The one, the only, James Howe. He is certainly one of the most genuinely kind human beings I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.
3. Booking events and presentations takes an enormous amount of time away from writing. I'm still in the "figuring everything out" stage of my journey. I'm learning new things every day. Being a logical person, one would think I'd have foreseen this time-suck snafu, but it has come as a surprise to me. Good news though, I'm getting better at managing my precious writing time.

 2. I have to put on eye makeup a heck of a lot more than when I was teaching (I only put it on for Back to School Night or when I was presenting to other teachers). Despite loving how I look with my eye makeup on, I hate putting it on. In fact, I'd say it's one of my least favorite things to do. Right up there with cleaning the toilet and doing the laundry. And since becoming published, with tons of events and presentations on my calendar, I have to put on the damn eye makeup. A lot. Newly published men are so lucky.

1. Having complete strangers read your book is a mind blower. Again, duh, this shouldn't be a real shocker, but it's surreal and wonderful and fascinating and wild. These people, these readers...adults and students, spending their time with the characters I created, is a monumental thing. I hope I never lose the wow factor of how that feels.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rock the Drop

HOW TO ROCK THE DROP: Print a copy of the bookplate (can be found HERE) and insert it into a book (or 10!) to drop on April 12th. Drop a book in a public spot (park bench, bus seat, restaurant counter?). Lucky finders will see that the book is part of ROCK THE DROP!

*Plan to snap a photo and post it at the readergirlz facebook page. Then tweet the drop at #rockthedrop with all the other lovers of YA books. 

Easy. Fun. You should Rock the Drop too!

Teen Author Reading Night 4/11 at 6 PM
I am headed to NYC tomorrow for Teen Author Reading Night held at this incredible venue - the Jefferson Market Library - so I'm Rocking the Drop in NYC baby.

In other event news:
  • I will be at Children's Book World in Haverford, PA this Friday night, 4/13 at 7 PM.
  • And at The Spiral Bookcase in Manayunk, PA this Saturday 4/14 from 2 - 4 PM (Fellow Apocalypsies, Eve Marie Mont (A BREATH OF EYRE) and Elisa Ludwig (PRETTY CROOKED) will also be there! Exciting times!)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Educator Appreciation

The people in my life know that I get a rush out of planning things. Parties, trips, my food shopping list. Anything. However, the rush is intensified when the planning of things involves my career.

A HUGE thank you to Stephanie, the Community Relations Manager at the Exton, PA Barnes & Noble. We batted ideas around over lunch, and here's the magical goodness that came out of it:

Educator Reception, Educator Workshops & MEGA Booksigning

WHERE: Barnes & Noble
Main Street at Exton
301 Main Street
Exton, PA 19341

Beautiful store.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

  • Enter for a chance to win a NOOK Tablet or a $500.00 Barnes & Noble Gift Card. Raffle prizes to be awarded throughout the evening. 
  • Pre K - to 12 educators enjoy 25% off classroom and personal purchases and 10% off music and movies.
  • "My Favorite Teacher" contest winner to be announced at 6 PM

MEET THE FOLLOWING 8 AUTHORS! (This line up is incredible! Thank you to everyone below who said, "YES, count me in, Kate!")

K. M. Walton

Bio: K. M. Walton is the author of Cracked. As a former middle-school language-arts teacher and teaching coach, she is passionate about education and ending peer bullying. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family. You can find her online at and on Twitter at @KMWalton1.

Elisa Ludwig

Bio: Elisa Ludwig lives in Philadelphia. When she's not writing fiction for teens she writes about food for the Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications. Pretty Crooked is her first novel, and the first of a three-book series.

Amy Garvey

Bio: Amy Garvey is a former editor who now enjoys working from the other side of the desk. She grew up reading everything she could get her hands on and watching too much TV (which she still does, and now includes an obsession with the CW's Supernatural). Cold Kiss is her first novel for young adults, and the sequel, Glass Heart, will be out from HarperTeen in September 2012. 

Beth Kephart (YA):

Bio: Beth Kephart is the author of five memoirs, including the National Book Award finalist A SLANT OF SUN and the BookSense pick GHOSTS IN THE GARDEN.  Her other eight books include the autobiography of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, FLOW, and such acclaimed young adult novels as UNDERCOVER, HOUSE OF DANCE, and YOU ARE MY ONLY.  SMALL DAMAGES, Kephart's seventh young adult novel, will be released by Philomel in the summer of 2012, and she is at work on two more Philomel books as well as a middle grade book about 1871 Philadelphia. Kephart teaches memoir at the University of Pennsylvania, reviews for the Chicago Tribune, has judged numerous literary contests, and has had her work translated into more than fifteen languages. She is the strategic writing partner in the boutique marketing communications firm, Fusion, and is a freelance reporter for Publishing Perspectives. Please visit Beth's blog, twice named a top author blog by the BBAW, at

E. C. Myers
FAIR COIN (YA sci-fi)

Bio: E. C. Myers was assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts. He is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and a member of the prolific NYC writing group Altered Fluid. In the rare moments when he isn't writing, he blogs about Star Trek at, plays video games, watches classic films and television, sleeps as little as possible, and spends too much time on the Internet. Fair Coin is his first novel. To find out more about E. C. Myers and his work, visit his website and blog at or find him on Twitter: @ecmyers.

Monica Carnesi
LITTLE DOG LOST (picture book)

Bio: Mônica Carnesi is crazy about (in no particular order) books, art supplies, and animals. She works as a librarian, which allows her to combine her love of children's literature and her passion for illustration.  At home she draws, paints and doodles constantly and is happily building her own personal library of children's books from all over the world.  Her first picture book, Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic, was published in January 2012 by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Young Readers Group.  Mônica is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and now lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their own little dog

Ame Dyckman
BOY + BOT, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino  (picture book)
TEA PARTY RULES, illustrated by Keith Campbell

Bio: As a kid, Ame Dyckman always had her nose in a book.  (And usually, Band-Aids on her knees from running into stuff.)  Not much has changed now that she's a grown-up. But now, sometimes, Ame will put a book down long enough to write one of her own and she has a new project to announce soon!
Ame lives in New Jersey with her family, pets (including a demanding-but-adorable squirrel), book collection, and a big box of Band-Aids.  You can visit Ame at

Dianne Salerni

Bio: Dianne K. Salerni is an elementary school teacher, author, and online book reviewer.  She has previously published educational materials for teachers, as well as short stories.  We Hear the Dead is her first full-length novel.  With her husband and her two daughters, Salerni lives in Pennsylvania, where she is at work on her next novel. 

Anyone out there who knows teachers in the Tri-State area, please let them know of this wonderful event. THANK YOU!

* EDUCATOR APPRECIATION DAYS run from April 14th - 22nd at ALL Barnes & Noble stores.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Recap of the Teen Author Festival

The Teen Author Festival is now a fond memory, emphasis on the "fond". My husband and I checked in to the Bryant Park Hotel and got upgraded to a junior suite without even asking. That started our experience on the right foot. We had some time to kill before my symposium panel discussion so we walked across the street to have lunch at the Bryant Park Grill. Another win.

Off to the New York Public Library's main branch for my first Teen Author Festival event - a symposium panel discussion: Rising to the Challenge: YA Characters Facing Down What Life Throws Them moderated by David Levithan. It was relieving to look out and see the familiar faces of my husband, my lovely editor Annette Pollert, my friend Frankie Diane Mallis, as well as fellow Apocalyspies E. C. Myers, Leanna Renee Hieber and Gina Damico. See a bunch of photos from the event HERE

The next day started with an Apocalypsies brunch at the Chat N' Chew with Elisa Ludwig (PRETTY CROOKED), Lizzie K. Foley (REMARKABLE), Emily Danforth (THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST), E. C. Myers (FAIR COIN), Zoraida Cordova (VICIOUS DEEP) and Gina Damico (CROAK). Great to meet so many Apocs in person. We all walked over to the final Teen Author Festival event...the MEGA Book Signing at Books of Wonder with 66 young adult authors signing books in four shifts - and one of those authors was me. See a bunch of photos from the event HERE.

A big thank you to David Levithan for organizing such an unbelievable series of events. 

The weekend was overwhelming, but in a good way. My husband and I kept looking at each other with "Can you believe this is really happening?" faces, like, twenty or more times. I would do it all over again!!