Here is Where I Get Technical (even though I don’t know what I’m talking about)

Okay, so.

As some of you may have noticed, things were kind of . . . broken around here last week. Not just for me, but for Livejournal as a general thing.

As is my nature, I spent an unreasonable amount of time and energy obsessing over what I should do if things weren’t back to normal by Monday (i.e., today), and what I should do if outages continued to happen in the future, which—let’s be honest—they might, and what is the absolute best thing to do about the whole situation. And the conclusion I arrived at is that things are probably going to have to change.

This is very difficult, because I hate change.

However, with the help* of my trusty internet-wrangler/husband, I’ve** figured out a way to do what needs to be done, while simultaneously changing things as little as possible.

What’s going to happen is this: I’ll be moving everything over to wordpress.com at the beginning of next month.

This is the sad part, because I really don’t want to leave you guys behind. (D laughed at me when I said that, and pointed out that this is the internet and it is not like I’m moving to some other country.)

The blog on WordPress will look like this blog and work like this blog, and eventually I’ll delete the entries over here or make them private.

Now, the part where things actually change very little: If all goes well, I’ll be able to syndicate my new blog to Livejournal, which means that all you have to do is click a button and I’ll show up on your friends list. Just like always.

When I found this out, it was a big relief, because as I said, I hate change and this magical-syndicated-button-thing gives me the illusion of things staying exactly the same.

Which I like. I like it when things stay the same.

In other news, because of the outage last week, I couldn’t post Thursday’s high school post, so I’ll have that for you later this week.

With pictures.

*And by help, I mean that he did any and all work involved.
**See the first item.

Introducing, Paper Valentine!

Okay, so.

I’ve been sitting on this for a while now (which will come as no surprise—this is a business of patience, secrets, the occasional meaningful look), while behind the scenes, things have most assuredly Been Happening.

And then last week, the deal memo hit Publisher’s Marketplace, which means that I can finally share it:

NYT bestselling author of THE REPLACEMENT and THE SPACE BETWEEN Brenna Yovanoff’s PAPER VALENTINE, in which a girl haunted by the troubled ghost of her best friend finds herself sucked into a darkly mesmerizing string of murders, in which a serial killer who leaves a paper-heart ‘valentine’ on his victims’ bodies draws ever closer, again to Ben Schrank and Jocelyn Davies at Razorbill, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2013, by Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency (NA).

Here is a quiz. I am:

a) Thrilled to be working with Razorbill again (they’ve done such a beautiful job with The Replacement)
b) Excited to see Paper Valentine take shape (they helped me make The Space Between into the book I always knew it could be)
c) Ecstatic to have Ben and Jocelyn in my corner as I dive into my weird, creepy ghost story (with kissing)
d) All of the above

(P.S. I’m not giving you a hint)

Facetious quizzes aside, I DO want to treat this with the gravity it deserves. But I’m really bad at being earnest. I wish I could say something profound and articulate about goals and dreams and milestones, but as soon as we approach the things that really matter to me, my talking almost always breaks down.

Most of the time, it’s easy not to think about this being my job. I mean, with enough dogged insistence and enough avoidance, I can regard sitting down to the keyboard and writing books as “something I do every day.” That’s accurate and true. It’s reductive. It’s manageable.

This is not one of those times. Seeing my name in print—my work summed up in a tight, hooky paragraph—always seems to bring on that crashing realization that this is what I do now. It is actually a profession. Like that aptitude test I took in high school. My life is distinctly this, and not something else. Not any of those other jobs I had. This is the state of things now.

This is the career.

It’s everything I ever wanted.

Also, significantly less monumental, but still exciting in its own way: I get to make a new tag.

Hello, Paper Valentine tag—hello!

I Like My Coffee Black, Just Like My Metal

I just want to say that I am no longer unreasonably caffeinated.

I was. For like a month.

Also, I cooked zero things, ignored all forms of social media, listened to my music way too loud, and neglected to brush my hair.

The payoff? The Space Between has gone to copyedits! Which is two steps off from becoming an actual book. (Okay, more like three or four. But whatever.) It’s so close, you guys—it’s almost there!

So, in celebration of reaching this not-insignificant milestone, and because I can’t share my cold Chinese food with the internet and you probably don’t want it anyway, I have something for you.

This is not actually me revealing a secret, because The Space Between is already listed on Amazon, so the thumbnail’s been floating around for awhile. But I wanted to hold off on sharing it here until I had a nice big shiny file and yesterday, my editor sent me one!

So, here is the cover for The Space Between. And it is perfect.

SpaceBetween

What is this pretty red (red, red) book about, you ask? Well, here is the official copy from Penguin:

Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped—and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible.

Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie’s whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

Now, all I need is an ARC—just one ARC, held in my greedy little hands—and it’s going to feel real. Like a real book. That is happening.

Okay, maybe I am still slightly caffeinated. That doesn’t change the facts:

  1. I wrote another book
  2. It is pretty
  3. It is red
  4. It is a love story (Because when you get right down to it, aren’t they all?)

This is Not a Post About Sunshine

As you might have heard, there’s been some turmoil surrounding the Wicked Pretty Things anthology.

The short version is that fellow YA author Jessica Verday was asked to change the central romance of her story (which features a relationship between two boys) to a heterosexual pairing, and she said no. Her story is no longer going to be appearing in the anthology.

A few weeks ago, I talked about how happy I was to be included in this collection with Francesca Lia Block. If I had to pick the one author who’s had the greatest influence on me, both as a writer and as a person, it wouldn’t even be a contest. I read her books at a time when I was still figuring out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. She changed the way I thought about love and storytelling and what it means to be a human being.

Those of you familiar with Block’s work know that she’s never shied away from topics like depression or drug-use or sexuality, and in the mid-90’s, she was one of the few YA authors writing books that consistently featured LGBTQ characters. The one essential idea I took away from her work is that the most powerful stories are about love, and love comes in a lot of different forms.

And that’s why I’m choosing to withdraw my story “The Drowning Place” from the Wicked Pretty Things anthology. I would have been honored for my story to appear alongside Jessica’s. We need stories like the one she’s written. There are still people who will tell you that love only counts when it looks a certain way, and that’s not true. Love is love. It’s what matters.

I Can’t Think of a Clever Title (inarticulate squealing just doesn’t translate to text)

I’m back! With a huge to-do list and a mountain of laundry and the stupidest head-cold ever, but I’m back, and I’m motivated and slightly euphoric and entirely ready for spring!

-The Breathless Reads tour was excellent—nothing short of spectacular, really. My fellow Breathless authors were not only wonderful people, but highly entertaining, and it was amazing to actually meet readers face-to-face and get to know some of the teens and the bloggers I’ve crossed paths with around the internet.

-I’m probably going to be getting more edits for The Space Between in a day or two and we all know what that means: take-out Chinese food and pie-baking and terrible hair. Also, late-night conversations with the cat about character motivation, and putting the milk in the cupboard instead of the refrigerator because my brain is easily confused by storage spaces with doors and shelves.

-Now, on a less dire note, I would like to present to you Something Very Cool, which is this cover:

Wicked-Pretty-Things

Cue the happy dance! The happy dance! But don’t watch while I do it. Because I am a terrible dancer.

To elaborate, and so that I make sense: I have a story appearing alongside a whole list of phenomenal authors—not least, Francesca Lia Block, who is basically* my most significant writing role model of all time, and whose work is the main reason I decided at 19 that I was actually going to get brave and pursue publication. For real. And when I saw that she was going to be in this anthology, I immediately commenced bouncing around the house like the Gummi Bears! You remember the Gummi Bears, don’t you?

So . . .

I should probably step away from the internet now, before I start resurrecting other Disney cartoons of the 80s.

*By basically, I mean . . . just is.

Away Message

At 4:30 tomorrow morning, I’m taking off for the airport with freshly-painted fingernails, two boxes of Panda licorice, my winter hat, and a packet of rose-petal tea.*

Once gone, my plans include late nights and caffeine at an insurmountably awesome and incredibly massive writing retreat, immediately followed by the Breathless Reads tour.

There will be all kinds of bloggy activities during the retreat,** and once I’m on tour, I plan to keep things current via twitter, but my lack of smartphone might complicate things, so if anyone’s curious about where I happen to be at any given time, you can always take a look at the event schedule on my website.

Somehow, this all sounds very egomaniacal, like you need to be apprised of my movements, when in fact, it’s mostly for my mother. (Hi, mom!)

However, if you’re in New York, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake, or Raleigh, and feel like coming to a signing, the other Breathless Reads authors and I would love to meet you.

To everyone else, keep warm, and I’ll see you when I get back!

*And, you know, some other stuff.

**Not necessarily on my blog, you understand . . . What am I even saying? You all know how it works around here—Tess and Maggie diligently keep you informed with captioned photographs, amusing stories, and up-to-date information. Then, sometime later, I come along and repeat what they said.

Some Glorious, Glorious Things

As is typical, I’m disgustingly behind in sharing all kinds of exciting news. Basically, the internet moves much faster than I do. So, in the interest of being timely and responsible, I’ve made a handy list!

1) Because she is much more organized than I am, Maggie has already announced this on her blog and named names and posted pictures of taxidermied animals, but I’m repeating it here for posterity: in February, I get to take part in a huge writing retreat, where I expect to hang out with a whole list of inestimably cool people and stay up late and drink too much black tea. There will be vlogging. If you post questions on Maggie’s blog, we will try very, very hard to answer them.

2) Dates and locations for the Breathless Reads tour have been announced! Directly after the retreat, I’ll be leaving for a five-stop tour with Ally Condie, Andrea Cremer, Kirsten Miller, and Beth Revis, and you can find all the pertinent details here on my website.

3) ALSO (as you may or may not know) my next book is due out this fall and I’m going to be so mean here in a second and you’re going to hate me.

Okay, here is me being mean: I just saw the cover mock-up, and I can’t show you. I can’t show anybody because it’s not even final yet.

But I will tell you this: I lovelovelove it—the concept and the composition and the color scheme and the font and everything—it’s perfect!

And this: It’s designed by Natalie Sousa, who did such an amazing job with the US cover for The Replacement. The actual photo shoot hasn’t even happened yet, so I expect it will be awhile before there’s an actual reveal, but it’s there, it’s happening, and it’s excellent. And because I don’t like being disagreeable, I will leave you with something to soften my meanness:

4) My second book is officially titled The Space Between.

It is about demons and love and self-destruction and more love. It’s about monsters and transformations and kissing and self-perception and all the things I like best. That is not a good description. Later, it will have an actual summary, but right now I’ll just finish by saying, I am so, so excited for it!

This!

Yes, this:

NYT bestselling author of SHIVER Maggie Stievfater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff’s package of stories, as well as conversations about where these stories come from, taken from their popular blog The Merry Sisters of Fate, from flesh-eating faeries and demons in love, to unearthly magicians and alternate histories, to Andrew Karre at Carolrhoda Lab, for publication in Spring 2012, by Laura Rennert at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency for Stiefvater and Gratton, and Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency for Yovanoff (World English).

This announcement has been a long time in the making, and in honor of it, we’ve revamped the blog. Not to mention: a contest. Also, we ask you what kind of extras you’d like to see in an anthology!