I See You Over There, 2014

Today is 2014. Which seems vaguely implausible, since yesterday it was decades ago and I was nine and twenty-four and twelve and also eighteen and thirty, because historically, I have a very hard time noting/remembering/reconciling myself with the passage of time.

(I think it might be fake.)

Here are some of the things that happened this year:

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What Paper Valentine Means to Me: an Essay in Three Parts


I never remember to talk about my books.


This is weird, because I think about them a lot, and not just while I’m writing them. I think about structure and nuance and what things mean, and how I think something should look in order to communicate efficiently or illustrate a point I want to make.

This is because, as much time as I’ve spent inventing made-up people, as much as I love to submerge myself in imaginary worlds, the thing I have always cared more about than anything else in the entire storytelling world is THEME.

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Where I’ve Been While I Haven’t Been Here (also, a fashion tip)

I’m back!

(In an ephemeral and transitory sense of the word.)

(As in, I’m back until I leave again on Sunday.)

BUT, I’m happy to report that this last month has been really excellent and full of All Good Things.

Paper Valentine has been out for two months. Seriously you guys, I can’t even explain how grateful I am for all the reader-love it’s been getting, and how fantastic it was to talk to so many of you during the Breathless Reads tour.

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What Day Is It?*

It’s Paper Valentine Day!

Which means that Paper Valentine is now available in stores—stores like my unassailably-awesome indie, Tattered Cover, where they are super-nice and friendly and invite me to sign copies and even let me take pictures!

Paper Valentine in the wild

Here is Paper Valentine in the wild. I took this picture myself, which is why it is characterized by very weird composition. But that’s okay, because I think Paper Valentine looks nice nestled in with all its book-friends.

[Here is the spot in this blog post where I was going to tell you more about the actual book and what it’s like on the inside, but it turns out that I am way too starry-eyed and scatterbrained and discombobulated, so any informative content will simply have to wait!]

[Until then, look! Paper Valentine! In stores!]

*Also, no, seriously—what day is it, because D has been on a business trip all week, which means that now I don’t have a bedtime and sometimes it’s very hard to tell if it’s a new day, or still the same day and I was just napping.

All Good Things—a Roundup

It’s New Year’s Day! It’s 2013! Which kind of makes me feel like life is rushing by in one long, ungainly sprawl, but whatever!

Due to some general publishing shuffle-y-ness, resulting in a random (and I’ll be honest, not entirely unwelcome) deadline reprieve, I am still writing the first draft of my current book. Yes, that one. Still. Also, it is—hands down—the longest book I have ever written.

However, right now I’m taking a little break from battling the Ever-Expanding Wordcount because I have about nineteen really exciting things to say about Paper Valentine! And by nineteen, I mean six.

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Paper Valentine Contest Winners

Hey, guys—hey! So, I’m finally back, after what feels like a month. (Probably because it was almost a month.)

However, my days of rampant travel are all squared away, and I should be stationary and dependable for the foreseeable future.

(Also, dependable is relative.)

Now, for today, we have the winners of the Paper Valentine contest! In the US:

Sarah at Blogsbykids

Meghan O (@meghan805)

And my International Winner: Liss Martz Villegas

I’ll be contacting you guys shortly so I can get your mailing addresses.

Also, I totally have more stuff to give away, so look for more contests through the end of this year!

(It’s good to be back.)

Paper Valentine ARC Contest

Well, I am back from my trip! (And totally forgot to take any pictures.) (Which, in light of past history, is not really a surprise.)

And more importantly, ARCs of PAPER VALENTINE are here, which means that now I can give them to you!

As usual, I will try to keep the rules simple. As usual, I may get distracted by random ideas about novelty and originality and nuance and oh-look-a-bird, and fail completely at keeping the rules simple.

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Look Look Look (an Announcement)

I know I say this semi-periodically, but in a second, I am going to be so mean right now.

Also, this is not a high school post. It was going to be a high school post, but then this happened:


Which means that now I can think up some sort of big fancy heart-themed contest and give them to you!

But here’s the part where I’m mean, because tomorrow, I am going to be going on A Trip. And because I’ll be on a trip, the contest will have to wait until I get back. Which means … um … now you have something to look forward to? Now I have time to think up my contest? (There is a bright side in here somewhere.)

Also, just so you know, I still intend to post next week, but judging from every other trip I’ve ever taken, I would not hold my breath if I were you. As history has shown us, I am famously bad at updating anything on the internet when I’m away from home, because I get way too distracted by all the new stuff, and then Twitter and Facebook and this blog sit dusty and abandoned and wait patiently (if forlornly) for me to come back with pictures, only I was so distracted that I totally forgot to take pictures.

Also, my trip is to San Francisco, which is a lovely, lovely city, and the weather forecast even swears to me that it will be warm, which would be very exciting, except I know from past experience that it’s probably a lie.

Also, I don’t think anything under 82° qualifies as warm, so according to me, the weather forecast says it’s going to be freezing. Suffice it to say, I will be bringing every thermal shirt I own.

Also, now I’m having a contest with myself to see how many separate paragraphs I can start with the word also.

Also, I win. Which is just one of the many benefits of having a contest with yourself. Okay, I have to stop now, because I’m devolving into massive incoherency even as I watch.

So, work up some excitement for my Giant PAPER VALENTINE ARC Giveaway (terms to be determined at a later date) and I’ll see you guys a week from Monday!

(Unless I see you before then.)

Monstrous Guidance

Yesterday, I officially turned in my copyedits for Paper Valentine, which means that it is now closer than ever to being a Real! Live! Book!

Also it means that now I have all this time to Think About Stuff again. And what I’ve been thinking about today is the broad and fascinating spectrum of author influences.

I’ll be the first to admit that my books aren’t exactly keeping any secrets in terms of my personal interests. Even the most casual reader could probably infer that I’m a big fan of horror movies, and the more academically-minded might go so far as to identify prevailing themes of autonomy, or observe that I clearly have a longstanding affection for Shirley Jackson and Gothic literature and moral ambiguity.

Today, though, I want to talk about an influence that might not be so obvious. Specifically, the trope of the Monstrous Fairy Godmother. (Also, I just made that last thing up, but I don’t care because it totally exists, and I will prove it!)

Before we go further, I want to officially notify you that somewhere below, I’ve included several images of horror-movie grotesquery and they may be disturbing. I can justify this to myself because I really want you to understand exactly what I’m talking about, and it’s a known principle of the internet that people enjoy blog posts with visual aids, and also TNT used to show this movie constantly, meaning that if you happened be channel-surfing on a Saturday afternoon you could very well stumble across the same upsetting content, only it would be live-action and you would be seeing it entirely by accident. See? I am giving you more warning than Turner Broadcasting would, because I’m conscientious like that!

And now, the actual salient point of all this:

When I was twelve years old, I became mildly obsessed with Victor Pascow.

Which is unprecedented and a little weird, because Victor Pascow is not a real person. In fact, Victor Pascow isn’t even a main character.

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