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1. Eileen Cook, author of REMEMBER, on being inspired by scientific experiments

What was your inspiration for writing REMEMBER?

I’d read an article about some scientific experiments being done with memory. The scientists were looking for a way to reduce the difficulty war veterans have with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It occurred to me if people could get rid of very traumatic memories, there would also be a market for people who wanted to get rid of all sorts of memories.

I began to wonder what types of things might go wrong once you begin messing around with someone’s memory. It can be relatively easy to confuse what is a real memory from what someone might tell you happened. What if something you were sure was true, suddenly seemed to be uncertain, possibly a lie?

Once all these questions were swirling around in my head I knew I had a book- all I had to do is write it!

How long did you work on REMEMBER?

It takes me about a year to write a book, that includes time spent thinking about the idea before I even start writing. I find I work best when I give myself a chance to let a book sit for a period of time. When I do that the ideas really start to come.  I’m lucky in that I enjoy the actual writing process. I don’t have difficulty making myself sit down and get words on the page- for me that’s the fun part. It’s the idea formulation and revisions that can give me headaches.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I had confessed to a writing mentor that I was nervous about sending my work out and the rejection I knew would come. She told me “Eileen, you already aren’t published. The worst thing that will happen is that you still won’t be published.”  That’s when I got it- rejection isn’t fun, but it’s not life or death either. I realized I could survive hearing No, or someone telling me I was no good. What I couldn’t survive is knowing that I never took the chance.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Read. Read a lot. Books are the best teachers. If it is a book you like take it apart. Look at how the author told the story, whose point of view? What scenes did she include? Who are in those scenes? How does the story unfold? Writers are making choices all the time- you can learn from how they chose to tell the story what kind of options you might have to tell yours.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a new mystery that involves friendship, lies, some betrayal and Italy!


by Eileen Cook
Simon Pulse
Released 2/24/2015

A thrilling tale about what a girl will do to get back a memory she lost…or remove what she wants to forget.

Harper is used to her family being hounded by protestors. Her father runs the company that trademarked the “Memtex” procedure to wipe away sad memories, and plenty of people think it shouldn’t be legal. Then a new demonstrator crosses her path, Neil, who’s as persistent as he is hot. Not that Harper’s noticing, since she already has a boyfriend.

When Harper suffers a loss, she’s shocked her father won’t allow her to get the treatment, so she finds a way to get it without his approval. Soon afterward, she’s plagued with strange symptoms, including hallucinations of a woman who is somehow both a stranger, yet incredibly familiar. Harper begins to wonder if she is delusional, or if these are somehow memories.

Together with Neil, who insists he has his own reasons for needing answers about the real dangers of Memtex, Harper begins her search for the truth. What she finds could uproot all she’s ever believed about her life…

Purchase Remember at Amazon
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Head shot distanceEileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her latest release, YEAR OF MISTAKEN DISCOVERIES came out in February 2014.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and one very naughty dog and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

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2. Day 28: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

kareem author photoHe’s far more awesome than I realized.

When I went to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s website to get a little background info on him for this post, I discovered a man that has contributed more to our society than I believe most people are aware of. While I don’t have the space to recount all of his accomplishments here, I’ll bullet-point a fraction of them:

  • NBA All-Time Leading Scorer
  • US Cultural Ambassador, 2012
  • California’s STEAM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) Afterschool Ambassador, 2012
  • Cancer Research Advocate
  • Columnist for TIME Magazine and LA & OC Registers
  • Award-winning Filmaker
  • New York Times Best Selling Author of 9 Titles (including 3 children’s books)
  • Two-time NAACP Image Award Winner (What Color Is My World & On the Shoulders of Giants)

It is his for work as a children’s book author that we celebrate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on this final day of 28 Days Later. The three, well-reviewed children’s titles he has co-authored with Raymond Obstfeld (thus far) are:


Streetball Crew Series, Book Two: Stealing the Game

stealing the game cover


“Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld…team up for another exploration of the intersection of sports and life conduct. Chris is a good, quiet kid who likes to keep his head down. As he says, ‘I was friendly to everyone but friends with no one.’ Still, if the machinery of thought made much noise, Chris would be a one-man band. For a 13-year-old, he does considerable shrewd, high-ground thinking, as do his friends (‘You know,’ one says, ‘not talking about things doesn’t actually make them disappear’). Where it really shows itself is on the basketball court, where he plays a savvy, court-wise game. Enter his brother, Jax, a golden boy who appears to have fallen from the pedestal upon which his well-intentioned parents have placed him, and Chris’ still waters are about to feel a hefty stone break their surface. Add his classmate Brooke, a sharp girl with plenty of her own baggage, and a waterspout is in the making. The authors’ light hand allows readers to inhabit the characters; to taste the value of respect, dignity and vulnerability; and to embrace the elemental joy of sports-all without ever feeling like they are being tube fed. The shifting structure of the story and a clever series of blind alleys keep readers on tenterhooks. A deft, understated sports thriller with a solid moral compass.”Kirkus

“In another exemplary mix of issues and action both on and off the court, the middle-school cast of Sasquatch in the Paint (2013) returns to take on a team of older, bigger, thuggish rivals amidst a rash of local burglaries. Thirteen-year-old Chris is stunned when his golden-boy big brother, Jax, suddenly shows up at home with gambling debts after (he claims) dropping out of law school. With extreme reluctance, Chris agrees to help Jax get out from under-both by enlisting his street-ball buddies against a club team to settle a bet and by helping his brother break into a pawnshop. At the same time, Chris asks his Sherlockian friend Theo to check out Jax’s story, and he also definitely beats the odds by finding common ground with brilliant, acid-tongued classmate Brooke. Along with vividly drawn characters, the coauthors craft a mystery with artfully placed clues that Jax might not be the loser he seems to be, and also inject plenty of exciting, hard-fought basketball in which speed, strategy, and heart play equally strong roles. Flashbacks crank up the tale-s suspense, flashes of humor brighten it, and the end brings both surprise twists and just deserts all round.”Booklist Online


Streetball Crew Series, Book One: Sasquatch in the Paint

sasquatch cover bigger


“The author team behind What Color Is My World? opens the Streetball Crew series with the story of Theo Rollins who, though only an eighth grader, is already more than six feet tall. A self-proclaimed nerd, Theo gets recruited for the school basketball team, even though he’s terrible at the sport. Additionally, Theo is puzzled by new girl Rain, who’s smart but being threatened by a guy on a motorcycle; his widowed father is unexpectedly interested in dating; and he might be kicked off the school’s Aca-lympics team if he can’t balance his responsibilities. The depth and realism Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld bring to the novel keep it from being a run-of-the-mill sports story. Rain, for instance, is Muslim, while Theo is one of only a few black kids at his school; their ostracism doesn’t overshadow the action, but it isn’t ignored, either. Perhaps most refreshing is the fact that the authors allow Theo to gain confidence in basketball without the predictable game-winning shot. Readers will feel a kinship with Theo as he maneuvers through tough but realistic choices.”Publishers Weekly

“A crisp tale of sports, smarts and what it means to be your own man or woman-or boy or girl, if you happen to be 13. It seems to be an embarrassment of riches to be, say, one of the best basketball players in history and also write tightly entertaining novels for kids, but there you have Abdul-Jabbar. Surely Obstfeld added polish and framing, but this obviously is a work of someone intimate with sports and, by extension, how sports can serve as metaphor for a way of being in the world. Here, newly tall eighth-grader Theo Rollins is trying to find his way between the brainiacs and the basketball players. Along the way, he meets Rain-aka Crazy Girl-a sort of ‘girl with the dragon tattoo’ minus the heaviest baggage. Characters, both friend and foe, feel real; there is talk of abandonment as well as serious comments about the skewed vision Americans have of Islam. The deepest running narrative pivots around sports, but the story has much to give. Theo’s cousin’s taxonomy of basketball players is broadly applicable: There are the happy-go-lucky, the self-conscious and ‘those who never want the game to be over, because each minute is like living on some planet where you got no problems….[They are], for that brief time, in a place where everything they thought or did mattered.’ Fearless, caring sports fiction.” —Kirkus


What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors

what color is my world


“Making use of an unusual format, former NBA star Abdul-Jabbar and his On the Shoulders of Giants coauthor Obstfeld offer an upbeat history lesson set within a fictional narrative framework. Siblings the Shoulders of Giants coauthor Obstfeld offer an upbeat history lesson set within a fictional narrative framework. Siblings Ella and Herbie, whose story unfolds in typeset chapter booklike pages surrounded by warmly lit paintings of their adventures, are less than enthusiastic about their fixer-upper of a new house. But as eccentric handyman Mr. Mital unveils the house’s potential, he also teaches them about contributions made by African-American inventors (‘There’s more to our history than slavery, jazz, sports, and civil rights marches,’ he says). Flaps show lifelike portraits of individuals like Dr. Mark Dean, a v-p at IBM; Dr. Charles Drew, who developed the concept of blood banks; and nuclear engineer Lonnie Johnson, inventor of the Super Soaker squirt gun. Ella’s off-the-cuff notes appear inside the flaps, while several spreads provide detailed profiles of other inventors and graphic novel–style passages. The banter between the siblings and, in particular, Ella’s snarky zingers keep things from feeling didactic—it’s an entertaining and often surprising exploration of lesser-known innovators, past and present.” Publishers Weekly

“A fictional story lies at the heart of this unusually formatted collective biography. Twins Herbie and Ella and their parents have just moved into a run-down older home; while they work to fix it up, Mr. R. E. Mital, an eccentric handyman hired by their parents, recounts the contributions of African American scientists and inventors. As the figures are introduced, foldouts on the sides of the pages contain Ella’s notes (full of humor, as well as facts) about each one. More detailed profiles of other inventors fill the spreads, and some are introduced in graphic-novel-style pages. Instead of famous inventors such as George Washington Carver and Benjamin Banneker, readers are introduced to lesser-known individuals, including Alfred L. Cralle (inventor of the ice-cream scoop), Dr. Henry T. Sampson (gamma electric cell), and nuclear engineer Lonnie Johnson (Super Soaker). Information about the subjects’ home, lives, and avocations is a welcome addition…the large trim size, numerous illustrations, and unusual format (not to mention the celebrity author) will certainly attract browsers. And a surprise discovery about Mr. Mital’s identity at the end will leave readers with something to ponder.”School Library Journal


For more information on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his work, please visit his website.

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3. Wolf Hall: count up the bodies

Historians should be banned from watching movies or TV set in their area of expertise. We usually bore and irritate friends and family with pedantic interjections about minor factual errors and chronological mix-ups. With Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and the sumptuous BBC series based on them, this pleasure is denied us. The series is as ferociously well researched as it is superbly acted and directed. Cranmer probably didn’t have a beard in 1533, but, honestly, that’s about the best I can do.

The post Wolf Hall: count up the bodies appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Victoria Scott, author of SALT & STONE, on knowing your character's objective

What was your inspiration for writing SALT & STONE?

The Pandoras were my inspiration for this sequel. I wanted to give them ample opportunity to show just how able they are in assisting their Contenders. Until now, it's mostly been the Contenders who were challenged. In SALT & STONE, the Pandoras have to step up in a big way.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Know what your character's objective is, and make it crystal clear to readers within the first 30 pages. Keep that objective consistent, and remind readers of the goal a handful of times during the book. This keeps readers turning pages to find out whether the character ultimately succeeds.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a stand-alone YA thriller called TITANS. It's about a teen girl who rides a steel, mechanical horse in a Detroit derby to win prize money to save her family's home, and keep her best friend close. The races take place at midnight in the woods, and are attended by rowdy men who place bets on the robotic horses. TITANS releases spring 2016 from Scholastic.


Salt & Stoneby Victoria Scott
Scholastic Press
Released 2/24/2015

What would you do to save someone you love? In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race. But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another? The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.

Purchase Salt & Stone at Amazon
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Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016. Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

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5. Character Talents and Skills: Regeneration

As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer. 

When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story. 


Description: the ability to restore one’s physical condition to an optimal state, healing wounds and bodily damage at a cellular level.

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: to achieve this ability, one would require an evolved level of mental control so that the healing progress could be triggered at will. Superior genes and intelligence would both be needed to direct the allocation of energy, ensuring that if necessary, calorie intake, stored fat and even muscle tissue could be refocused to repair tissue or organ damage. Being able to consume large quantities of high energy foods without getting sick and learning to sleep at will would both heighten one’s ability to regenerate and recover as needed.

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: focus, intelligence, determination, adaptability, gluttony, conservative, self-controlled

Required Resources and Training: While a large part of regeneration would have to be genetically imparted (unless it came about through taking a drug or some kind of nano technology), a great deal of concentration and study would be required to learn how to harness and focus healing, especially during times of high stress. Meditation and having a mentor who can lead one through exercises to boost one’s mental prowess would help one master this skill. Additionally, a deep understanding of the body, organ placement and how everything works in concert would be necessary to perform regeneration without over extending oneself and depleting energy stores beyond recovery. As well, a person with regenerative skills would have to have constant access to an energy source (food, sleep, a drug, etc.) to power one’s ability to regenerate.

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • in battle, warriors could fight longer and harder, and not be slowed by injuries
  • people with this skill could fight off infections and disease, even if there was no known cure
  • those with this skill could work in hazardous environments that could kill a person normally (radiation leaks, sub zero temperatures, etc.)
  • If one suffered a major trauma in an accident (such as losing limb) regrowth would be possible

You can brainstorm other possible Skills and Talents your characters might have by checking out our FULL LIST of this Thesaurus Collection. And for more descriptive help for Setting, Symbolism, Character Traits, Physical Attributes, Emotions, Weather and more, check out our Thesaurus Collections page.

Photo: erikawittlieb @ pixabay

The post Character Talents and Skills: Regeneration appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.

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6. Giveaway: Manwhore by Katy Evans

Today I have a giveaway for Katy Evan’s Manwhore!

Is it possible to expose Chicago’s hottest player–without getting played?
This is the story I’ve been waiting for all my life, and its name is Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint. Don’t be fooled by that last name though. There’s nothing holy about the man except the hell his parties raise. The hottest entrepreneur Chicago has ever known, he’s a man’s man with too much money to spend and too many women vying for his attention.
Mysterious. Privileged. Legendary. His entire life he’s been surrounded by the press as they dig for tidbits to see if his fairytale life is for real or all mirrors and social media lies. Since he hit the scene, his secrets have been his and his alone to keep. And that’s where I come in.

Assigned to investigate Saint and reveal his elusive personality, I’m determined to make him the story that will change my career.
But I never imagined he would change my life. Bit by bit, I start to wonder if I’m the one discovering him…or if he’s uncovering me.

What happens when the man they call Saint, makes you want to sin?

Author Bio: Katy Evans is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Real series.

The first book in her adult contemporary series, Manwhore, is to release in March 2015.
To find more, please visit www.katyevans.net

US addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Giveaway: Manwhore by Katy Evans appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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7. Rebel Girl: Lesley Gore’s voice

In 2005, Ms magazine published a conversation between pop singer Lesley Gore and Kathleen Hanna of the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Hanna opened with a striking statement: “First time I heard your voice,” she said, “I went and bought everything of yours – trying to imitate you but find my own style.”

The post Rebel Girl: Lesley Gore’s voice appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Patrick Carman, author of QUAKE, on pushing through the hard days

What was your inspiration for writing QUAKE?

The PULSE series is a direct response to three stories I loved growing up: Star Wars, Spiderman, and Lord of the Rings. All three of those stories helped inspire PULSE, TREMOR, and QUAKE. The Force (from Star Wars) finds it's way into my story as the Pulse - the power to move things with your mind. Faith Daniels in particular deals with the primary lesson of Spiderman: with great power comes great responsibility. And the way a perilous journey changes characters is definitely from Lord of the Rings. Bilbo Baggins changes in many profound ways by the time he unloads that ring of power. Faith Daniels has a similar transformation in the PULSE series.

What do you hope readers will take away from QUAKE?

This trilogy is so much about transformation, so what I'm hoping readers get is that personal change is hard, but ultimately it's worth it. Faith, Dylan, and Hawk all have a lot of character work to do when the series begins. By the end, they've figured out what's holding them back and causing them pain. The journey they are on - not unlike the journey each of us is on - has the power to change them (and us) for the better.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

Trilogies are hard! I never think I'm going to end up a thousand pages into a story when I start. I just think about how excited I am to tell a story. It's a long and arduous commitment to write a big, sweeping story over three books. I learned during the process there are going to be great days and lousy days. Sometimes it's just a lot of work and I have to stay with it. Other days, it's a pure joy. So I guess the big thing I keep learning as I go is that if I push through the hard days, I will eventually make it to the end. Perseverance baby!


Quakeby Patrick Carman
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 2/24/2015

Fans of I Am Number Four and The Maze Runner will clamor for Quake, the climactic finale to the Pulse trilogy by Patrick Carman—an epic dystopian story of love and revenge.

Faith Daniels and Dylan Gilmore have a special ability called a pulse: they can move things with their minds. They're caught in the middle of a deadly war with two other pulses: Clara and Wade Quinn, who have joined forces with Hotspur Chance, the most wanted man in the world. Outnumbered, it will take more than Faith's and Dylan's pulses to save them—it will take a miracle. 

But this isn't just about the States anymore; it is about finishing what they started. In a series of hair-raising battles, they discover an even greater strength: the power of their combined love. Together, Faith and Dylan might just be able to save the world with a quake that is big enough to change the course of history.
Purchase Quake at Amazon
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Patrick CarmanPatrick Carman is the award-winning author of many books for young adults and children. He grew up in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from Willamette University. His birthday is February 27th, 1966. He spent a decade living in Portland, where he worked in advertising, game design, and technology. 

Patrick Carman writes books for young adults and children for Scholastic, Harper Collins, and Little Brown Books For Young Readers. His bestselling books and series includes The Land of Elyon, Atherton, Elliot’s Park, 39 Clues, Floors, Trackers, Thirteen Days to Midnight, Dark Eden, Pulse, 3:15, and Skeleton Creek. Mr. Carman’s books have been translated into approximately two dozen languages.

 Mr. Carman spends his free time supporting literacy campaigns and community organizations, fly fishing, playing basketball, golfing badly, doing crosswords, watching movies, dabbling in video games, reading (lots), and (more than anything else) spending time with his wife and two daughters.

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9. {Indie Spotlight} Bullying is No Laughing Matter

THE SONG OF THE BULLIED Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head? You know, a song you haven't heard for a while. Suddenly and unexpectedly it pops into your head and goes into repeat cycle. It is funny, but a little frustrating. Over and over it plays, making you want to sing along. Often it is at inopportune moments, like when you are at work or school. When you are supposed to be

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10. C.J. Omololu, author of THE THIRD TWIN, on listening to your story

What was your inspiration for writing THE THIRD TWIN?

When I was a kid, we had a family story about two identical twin cousins who made up a triplet in college to date boys that they wouldn't date as themselves. I took that basic story and threw in a murder mystery to make it an actual book.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

There was one scene that was a surprise to me as I was writing it - I had no idea that this particular thing was going to happen to this particular character, but in the end I knew it was the right thing to do. I had to finish writing the scene through tears and even my editor was surprised. I hope readers like it as much as I do.

How long did you work on THE THIRD TWIN?

When I finally sit down to actually write a story, I give myself a minimum word count a day - usually 1,000 words a day. THE THIRD TWIN is about 90k words, so it took about three months to actually write the draft - I write very chronologically, from front to back. Then of course, it's nowhere near done. There are probably three or four drafts before I'm ready to show it to my editor.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE THIRD TWIN?

First off, I hope they enjoy it. That's why I read - to step into someone's life for a few hours. I hope they're surprised at the twists and turns the story takes - it really wrote itself. I just dictated.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Listen to your story and don't try to make it something it's not. I often find that if a story isn't working its because I'm trying to force it to be one thing. Once I listen to the characters and let them do their thing, the story usually picks right up and I'm able to continue.


The Third Twinby C.J. Omololu
Delacorte Books for Young ReadersReleased 2/24/2015

Identical twins. Identical DNA. Identical suspects. It’s Pretty Little Liars meets Revenge in this edge-of-your-seat thriller with a shocking twist.

 When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava, made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia’s guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything. The game is all grown up now that the girls are seniors. They use Alicia as their cover to go out with boys who are hot but not exactly dating material. Boys they’d never, ever be with in real life. Now one of the guys Alicia went out with has turned up dead, and Lexi wants to stop the game for good.

As coincidences start piling up, Ava insists that if they follow the rules for being Alicia, everything will be fine. But when another boy is killed, the DNA evidence and surveillance photos point to only one suspect—Alicia. The girl who doesn’t exist. As she runs from the cops, Lexi has to find the truth before another boy is murdered. Because either Ava is a killer . . . or Alicia is real.

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The Third Twin at IndieBound
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Cynthia OmomoluC. J. OMOLOLU majored in English at U.C. Santa Barbara because she liked to read, not because she liked to write. She later discovered that the voices in her head often have interesting things to say. You can find out more about her on her website.

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11. ‘Adventure Time’ Is Headed To Bigscreen

Finn and Jake are about to get a lot bigger.

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12. Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of MARK OF THE THIEF, on understanding who your reader wants to be

What was your inspiration for writing MARK OF THE THIEF?

MARK OF THE THIEF started with two facts I stumbled upon. The first was that Emperor Julius Caesar used to claim he was a literal descendent of the Goddess Venus. He did this to make himself seem more powerful and invincible, but I began thinking, What if he was telling the truth? That would have made him a demigod, perhaps with some of their magic. The second fact was that ancient Roman boys used to wear a large golden amulet called a bulla, which was filled with gems in order to provide the boy good luck. So I thought, What if Caesar’s bulla was where he kept his magic? And what if that bulla became lost after Caesar’s death, only to be found nearly three hundred years later by a slave in the mines?

What do you hope readers will take away from MARK OF THE THIEF?

What an interesting question! I would love for readers to understand that there is a price for freedom. Nic wants that more than anything, but it won’t come easily or without a cost. I also think there’s a message for readers that every individual matters. Even those who society might determine are the lowest of the low.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I do most of my writing at home, but only because I’m lazy about going out! I enjoy editing to music, but the plotting and first draft needs to be in silence. That’s the time in which I really need to become absorbed in the story’s world.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

One thing I’ve learned in publication is to understand who your reader is. Readers who love a story will read themselves into the pages, as if they are going on the adventure in that character’s shoes. So once we understand our reader, then we write, not for who they are, but for who they want to be. Let them go on an adventure with a character they want to be more like.

What are you working on now?

My goodness - it’s a crazy time! As I type this, I am in the middle of edits for MARK OF THE THIEF 2, outlining the third book in the series, doing proofs for A NIGHT DIVIDED, a Cold War era historical coming this August, and plotting for another standalone book for fall of 2016. Needless to say, I’m not sleeping a lot. But I am having a great time!


Mark of the Thief
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Scholastic Press
Released 2/24/2015

Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of the NYT and USA TODAY bestselling Ascendance Trilogy, has woven an electrifying tale of greed and power, magic and destiny, and one boy's courage at the heart of it all.

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.

Purchase Mark of the Thief at Amazon
Purchase Mark of the Thief at IndieBound
View Mark of the Thief on Goodreads


JenNielsen_color_smallNew York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer Nielsen, was born and raised in northern Utah, where she still lives today with her husband, three children, and a dog that won’t play fetch. She is the author of The Ascendance trilogy, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE; the MARK OF THE THIEF series, and the forthcoming A NIGHT DIVIDED. She loves chocolate, old books, and lazy days in the mountains.

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13. Vale Leonard Nimoy!

The word was out this morning. Leonard Nimoy is no more. That makes me very sad.

I grew up with Star Trek. I loved science fiction but apart from the anthology shows the only thing I could find on TV was Lost In Space

Now, don't get me wrong. Since my childhood I have seen Lost In Space again and realised that it's delightfully silly, camp 1960s stuff, and that if you watch carefully you'll find people who are better known than you might expect. Michael Rennie was in an episode, "The Keeper". The composer of much of the music was a certain "Johnny Williams" who went on to compose the music for Star Wars and other such films. Another composer was Alexander Courage, composer of the Star Trek music. A lot of guest actors also appeared in Star Trek. The dashing Guy Williams, head of the Space Family Robinson, was Zorro. And little Billy Mumy went on to be one of the most popular characters in Babylon 5.  So, yes, there was much to admire in that series. 

But when I saw my first episode of Star Trek, "Mudd's Women", I sighed, "Thank God! SF for adults!" Even if I wasn't yet an adult myself. And I knew I would never get back to Lost In Space

And much of what I loved about Star Trek was the characters, especially Spock. He was the man who didn't quite belong anywhere, though he had friends who loved him. And which teenager doesn't have that feeling?

Spock inspired fan fiction from me. It's not that I wasn't writing - I was writing dreadful historical novels in my teens - but my very first published work was stories about Spock. I learned a lot about writing through fan fiction. Mr Nimoy cared about the character. It wasn't just a job to him. 

So, in some ways, I owe some of my writing skills to him. 

Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy, and thanks for giving me a lot of enjoyment over the years.

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14. Query question: former agent/when to reveal

My former agent and I recently parted company on good terms. Without going into details, we inherited each other when his partner left the business. and weren't really a good fit.

I am currently completing a non-fiction proposal, which was not completed at the time when we said "bonne chance and farewell" and which he did not send out. Do I mention previous representation in the query or bring it up later in the process?

You do not need to mention a former agent for a new project UNLESS you've been published before.

If you have been published, you'll need to mention the earlier works, the publisher and that the agent who handled the deal for you left the business.

If you haven't been published, you don't need to mention any previous agent relationships since this project did not go out on submission.

Make sure you update your website if you have the old agent's name on it.  That's one of the easiest ways for me to discover that someone has been represented/published before if they don't mention it in the query. And yes, I DO look. If I'm interested in reading your manuscript (or in this case proposal) I do some sniffing around ahead of time to see if there are any bumps in the road.

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15. happy birthday, co-author!

(If you've never read our Dartmoor Pegasus story, you can catch up here.)

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16. Five Biblical remixes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Civil Rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was also a theologian and pastor, who used biblical texts and imagery extensively in his speeches and sermons. Here is a selection of five biblical quotations and allusions that you may not have noticed in his work (in chronological order). 1. “And there is still a […]

The post Five Biblical remixes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared first on OUPblog.

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17. Diagram Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year.
       A fairly entertaining selection -- and readers have until 21 March to vote for the winner.

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18. Lynn Carthage, author of HAUNTED, comparing ideas to ice cream sundaes

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

There’s a plot twist in the book that occurs about midway through, and that was my “aha” moment. I felt all along there was something missing to the book, and it needed an extra boost: this plot development allowed me to explore deeper themes and hopefully give pleasure to those who didn’t see it coming.

As I write, Goodreads is exploding with readers who did see it coming, and are scornful that I thought anybody wouldn’t. Readers love figuring things out before characters do, and so I had hoped this would be a bit of a pleasure for savvy readers…if you haven’t read the book yet, I hope you can approach it with an open mind and enjoy the plot twist if you get it early…and please, no spoilers for those who haven’t read it yet!

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

My ritual is basically that I have to get out of the house. I work well in cafes so long as I’m not sitting by very loud people; I can generally tune out music and regular-volume conversations. Unfortunately, I’ve learned I cannot tune out country music, and once had to leave a café for its twangy, brain-incisoring soundtrack.

My favorite place to work, though, is the library. If I can manage to get one of those glassed-in private study rooms, I’m in heaven. All three of the libraries in driving distance for me have vistas of green trees (and in one case, a goose-adorned pond), so I look up periodically to gaze out at the fortifying view and puzzle out dialogue or “what comes next.”

I also love being surrounded by books. I let my eyes pass along the spines and occasionally get up to pull a book off the shelf and flip through it while I let my mind percolate. It’s heartening to know other writers’ words, ideas and carefully-constructed plots form my borders.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

A writer writes. Anybody can have great ideas, anyone can describe an incredible premise…but until it’s written down, it’s not any more valuable than someone talking about the ice cream sundae they’d love to eat. Until there’s ice cream in the bowl, it’s meaningless.

We joke about the A/C ratio (ass to chair): it really is about sitting down on a regular basis ---or standing, if you have a standing desk—and putting those words on paper. I believe pretty much anyone can have a spurt in which they write about 25 awesome pages…even that is not writing a novel.

You need a sustained practice in which you pass the hundred-page mark, in which you wallow in the despair of the middle-of-book doldrums, in which you eke your way towards 200 pages, in which you finally hit “the end.” The only way that will happen is if you calendar time for it. Put it in the calendar like a dentist appointment: “3:30-5:00, work on novel.” That way, you’ve set aside sacred time for your novel to grow. You won’t get detoured and wind up eating French fries with your friends at the corner diner. If you’re realistic with the time you can carve out and stick to it, you’ll be pleased by what you can accomplish in small spurts.

Finally, we’re all so electronic these days. On a regular basis, print out your pages. You’ll feel pride at how much is there: your book is tangible and real, and you believe in it more when you see the tower rise. I also find I catch errors more readily in hard copy form. Good luck!


by Lynn Carthage
Released 2/24/2015

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she's a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.

But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself…

Purchase Haunted at Amazon
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View Haunted on Goodreads


Lynn Carthage, author of HAUNTEDLynn Carthage is a novelist living in Sacramento, California, near where the Gold Rush launched. Under her real name, she was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. Born in Vermont, Lynn has lived in Maine, Ireland, and Arizona. She reads voraciously, loves anything French, gets “itchy feet” to travel on a regular basis, and finds peace in the woods, in meadows, in nature. She has always been fascinated by how history allows us to imagine how people of the past lived and breathed and felt.

HAUNTED is her first young adult novel, and will be followed by the next two books in the Arnaud Legacy trilogy.

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19. Cecil Castellucci, author of STONE IN THE SKY, on interviewing an astronaut

What was your inspiration for writing STONE IN THE SKY?

STONE IN THE SKY is the sequel to TIN STAR which was very loosely inspired by the film Casablanca.  For Stone, I wanted it to have a western kind of True grit / gold rush of 1849 feel.  So look to any western.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

A really hard scene for me to write I can't really talk about it, because it's a spoiler.  But it basically really shows you how horrible Brother Blue is.  I think when you are writing about the results of someone's evil, it's hard to write.  That darkness does not sit well with me, but as writers we must push through the darkness to get back to the light.  I also wrote a scene that takes place during a spacewalk.  I actually got to interview astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who is a space walking expert, about what that's like.  That was pretty cool, to get little details from a person who has actually walked in space.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I would say to check out John Christopher's The Tripod Trilogy.  That has always been a touchstone for me.  And the aliens in there are very alien, even if it's an earth based story.  I would also say that Deep Space Nine or Babylon Five are probably good watch alikes.

What do you hope readers will take away from STONE IN THE SKY?

I wanted it to be the story about a girl who sheds her humanity in order to survive and then rediscovers it.  So I hope that a reader thinks about what it means to be human.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

I always say that it's about a ten year waiting list to be an artist of any kind.  You have to get in line, do your work, and do more work.  For me, it took about 7 years from the time I got serious about writing before I sold my first book.  That book was BOY PROOF, it's about a girl who is obsessed with a post apocalyptic film and dresses as the main character to go to school every day and how that affects her relationships when a new kid comes to school.  I wrote three full books before I sold that one.  And it came out two years after I sold it.  So, almost 10 years.  I say, just keep writing and putting stuff out there.  It's a marathon.  It's a long road.  And once you do get published, there are more roads to keep walking on.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I make a play list for every book that I write.  It's a bunch of songs that jump me straight into the vibe and emotional tone of the novel.  Here is the one I had for TIN STAR http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2014/02/book_notes_ceci_2.html I work at home and at coffee shops depending on where I am at in the process.  Sometimes I need to hole up in my house like a mad woman.  Become a troll, emerge a fairy.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Don't be afraid of making your work better by listening to good notes.  Anything that you have to cut you can always put in another project.  Nothing is ever wasted.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a draft of a middle grade novel.  We'll see!  It's my first!  Always experimenting, that's my motto.


Stone in the Sky
by Cecil Castellucci
Roaring Brook Press
Released 2/24/2015

In this thrilling follow-up to Tin Star, Tula will need to rely on more than just her wits to save her only home in the sky.

After escaping death a second time, Tula Bane is now even thirstier for revenge. She spends much of her time in the Tin Star Café on the Yertina Feray—the space station she calls home. But when it's discovered that the desolate and abandoned planet near the station has high quantities of a precious resource, the once sleepy space station becomes a major player in intergalactic politics. In the spirit of the Gold Rush, aliens from all over the galaxy race to cash in—including Tula's worst enemy.

Purchase Stone in the Sky at Amazon
Purchase Stone in the Sky at IndieBound
View Stone in the Sky on Goodreads


Cecil Castellucci 2014 web_res-9382Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star and Odd Duck. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, and various anthologies including, Teeth, After and Interfictions 2. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus and a two time Macdowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.

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20. How to Write for a 3 Year Old

a literary device that poses questions about the relationship between fiction and reality.

Not the kind of thing you would ever find in a book for 3-year-olds.

Until now, that is. I didn’t intend to, honest.

It happened like this:

SSX b&w smallWhile writing Story Structure Expedition (which launches in two weeks) I found myself the unwitting protagonist in a Congo River nightmare.

Narrator — that’s the role I signed on for. From Brazzaville we would head upriver in search of the heart of a story. My thesis would prove first of all that the story heart exists, then explore its deadly nature.

Something happened. The essay morphed, it went rogue. Characters showed up uninvited and soon I found myself in  a novella. I didn’t ask to become fictional. I suppose it’s my fault for not blowing the whistle, which left me to face the consequences that befall any worthy protagonist.

I didn’t quite get it — me, a  fictional protagonist in my own story.

Would I have to suffer the story heart myself? The facts of fiction demand that the hero suffer a massive failure. Meaning what exactly—that my book wouldn’t get written? I would rather die.

I wanted to escape from my own story.

How meta is that?

OffYourBum, Columbus!Anyway, for comic relief I distracted myself by writing a children’s picture book.

I called it, Off your bum, Columbus! Explore the world!

A series of photographs would depict a woolly little character named Columbus who reluctantly abandons his storybook heroes to see the world with his own two eyes.

(Oh, yeah — Una Kitt — that’s my pen name.)

“Be a storybook hero yourself, Columbus!”

Do you see what’s happening here? My cute little alter ego is being made to suffer my surreal ordeal.

DSCN5539“If I was in a storybook,” Columbus asks himself, “what would I do?  Storybook heroes do something.”

Columbus confronts the very same metafictional existential dilemma. It’s a book for three-year-olds, for goodness sake!

“If this was a storybook, I couldn’t lie here all day, could I?” says Columbus. “If this book was about me, I’d get off my woolly whatsit.”

DSCN5544Columbus doesn’t have to wonder very long. The tide comes in!

Now he’s in trouble. Now up the Congo River!

I’m betting—in both these books—that readers young and old have a soft spot for the unwilling anti-hero.

I’m already finding out. Columbus launched this week and it’s already heading for #1 in its category. One reviewer liked the “ingenious concept that connected straight to the heart of my child’s imagination and to the way he already plays.”

Metafiction for kids. Who’d have thought?

If you have kids, or are a kid, or just want to see Columbus hit #1, here’s the Amazon link to save Columbus:

Go Columbus!



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21. Blurb ethics

       Much as I love Open Letter's books, and thrilled as I was to see Georgi Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow, I do have to wonder about the prominent placement of this blurb on the (front) cover of the book:

The Physics of Sorrow blurb

       'Well, how could you resist putting a blurb like that on the cover ?' you might ask. What great praise for a book to get !
       The problem is that surely anyone who sees the blurb assumes the obvious: that it refers to the book in hand -- after all, there are no indications otherwise. Alas, it does not: the blurb comes from a review in The New York Times Book Review from ten years ago -- long before The Physics of Sorrow was even written -- of Gospodinov's earlier novel, Natural Novel.
       Is it just me, or does this go way, way beyond even the usual ridiculously loose lines of blurbing-ethics ? Surely, this blurb could not be more misleading -- yes, the praise and description may apply equally well to The Physics of Sorrow, but ... it doesn't: as presented, this is just classic bait-and-switch.
       Mind you, I'm tempted to think maybe consumers should be baited in this way in this case -- Gospodinov, and this book, deserve the readers ..... But, no, that really is playing too fast and loose with readers' trust.
       I realize we don't, and can't, expect blurbs to be very reliable, or representative of what whoever is quoted actually wrote and meant, but this stretches things beyond breaking. The appropriate place for this blurb would have been on the inside-page of praise where other blurbs are collected -- there's a whole page of more general: 'Praise for Georgi Gospodinov', with a mix of blurbs taken from reviews of his earlier work as well as (foreign) reviews of this work. As is, however -- beyond dubious indeed.

       [Incidental observation: Among the 'Praise for Georgi Gospodinov'-quotes is one ascribed to the: "New Journal of Zurich"; it is taken from this review in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Okay, maybe the NZZ isn't as English-familiar as, say Le Monde ('The World'), Pravda ('Truth'), or Die Zeit ('Time' (but not Time ...)), but I'm still surprised the publication-name is translated -- especially when another quote is simply ascribed to the far less well-known and prestigious "Berliner Zeitung".
       Also: 'New Journal of Zurich' ? Huh ? Oh, wait, I see: that's what Wikipedia says ! Yeah, no, not the way to go/translate it.]

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22. Darren Shan, author of ZOM-B BRIDE, on mixing various genres

What was your inspiration for writing ZOM-B BRIDE?

It was inspired by a dream scene in the very first book of the series – although, to be honest, I knew even at that stage that this book lay ahead of me, so perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the events of book 10 inspired that dream scene in book 1. While I didn’t know all the twists and turns of the main storyline when I started the series, this was one of the major arcs that I knew it would have to include. This is a key book, and one which answers a lot of questions, not least of which is why I chose to make my main character a girl as opposed to a boy...

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I’ve been influenced by all sorts of books, and although my work tends to get sold under the horror banner, it’s a real mix of genres. Some of my recommendations, which I hope would appeal to fans of Zom-B, would include The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, The Turbulent Term Of Tyke Tyler by Gene Kemp, The Stand by Stephen King, Bless The Beasts And Children by Glendon Swartout.

How long did you work on ZOM-B BRIDE?

I spent about three years at work on it, the same as I did on every other book in the series – but I juggled them around and worked on them at the same time, which is why I was able to release them so quickly.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

It taught me that I’d never make a living as an author of romance novels!

What do you hope readers will take away from ZOM-B BRIDE?

The bridal bouquet!!

What are you working on now?

I recently finished work on books 11 and 12 of the series (the last two books) and have written the first draft of what will hopefully be my next book after that. All I can say about it at the moment is that it won’t be a horror book, although it’s not a million miles removed from that field...


Zom-B Bride
by Darren Shan
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 2/24/2015

B Smith has been reunited with the murderous maniac clown, Mr. Dowling. To her shock and consternation, he's desperate to make B his partner in crime. Mr. Dowling disgusts her, but B thinks she can see a way to control him and maybe even save the world. But it will involve a sacrifice far greater and more surreal than any she has contemplated before...

Purchase Zom-B Bride at Amazon
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View Zom-B Bride on Goodreads


Darren ShanDarren Shan is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O'Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak Series in the United States. He is the author of The Demonata series, as well as some stand-alone books, and a series of books for adults under the alternative name of D.B. Shan.

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23. If You Were Me and Lived in … Greece: A Child’s Introduction to Cultures Around the World | Book Giveaway

The Children’s Book Review | February 28, 2015 Enter to win a complete autographed set of the If You Were Me series, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman; including If You Were Me and Lived in … Greece: A Child’s Introduction to Cultures Around the World! One (1) winner receives the grand prize: An autographed set of Carole P. […]

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24. Lisa Gail Green, author of SOUL CROSSED, on banning your inner editor

Today we're thrilled to interview one of our own. Lisa Gail Green is the Agent and Contest Coordinator here at Adventures in YA publishing. Proving that she loves to keep busy, she's currently running the Pitch Plus One contest while also releasing her latest novel SOUL CROSSED!

So, Lisa, what scene of SOUL CROSSED was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

Every scene where Cam does horrible things was difficult. It felt really creepy getting into his head. I just had to remind myself that he is supposed to be the potential Anti-Christ, so, you know, he has to have the makings for being excessively evil. The scene I’m most proud of though is probably the climax. I felt the anticipation and knew what had to happen, but I also knew it had to “bring the feels” as one reviewer said.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

Obviously FALLEN or HUSH HUSH, which are two awesome Angel/Demon books. But also I think PERSONAL DEMONS, which I love.

How long did you work on SOUL CROSSED?

The initial draft was only two weeks! I was in the zone. LOL But that doesn’t mean I didn’t revise. Gosh, from inception to publication it was literally years. Of course I worked on it on and off during that time, but still, that ought to give you an idea.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

That challenging yourself is the best thing you can do as a writer! Ban that inner Editor and just write it.

What do you hope readers will take away from SOUL CROSSED?

The idea that good and evil aren’t as cut and dry as one might imagine. A short answer with a big meaning.

What are you working on now?

Oh so many projects. But right now I’m finishing the first revision of the sequel to SOUL CROSSED! It’s called SOUL CORRUPTED and is slated to release July 1st! I’m a busy bee, but I LOVE it!


Soul Crossed
by Lisa Gail Green
Full Fathom Five Digital
Released 02/25/2015

One Demon.

One Angel.

One Soul.

Josh lived a reckless, selfish life, so upon his death, escaping the eternal torments of Hell by assuming the role of a powerful, soul-corrupting demon is an easy choice. His first soul assignment doesn’t seem too hard: the mortal Camden is already obsessed with weapons, pain, and torture. If only Josh wasn’t distracted by Cam’s beautiful friend, Grace.

Grace never expected to die violently at age sixteen, but now she’s an Angel, responsible for saving a soul. She can already see past Camden’s earthly flaws, so the job should be be easy. If only that handsome, playboy Josh would stop getting in the way.

It’s forbidden for an Angel to be with a Demon, so if Josh and Grace stop resisting each other, the results would be disastrous.

And only one can claim Cam’s soul..

Purchase Soul Crossed at Amazon
View Soul Crossed on Goodreads


Lisa Gail Green lives with her husband the rocket scientist and their three junior mad scientists in Southern California. She writes books so she can have an excuse to live in the fantasy world in her head. She likes to share these with readers so she's represented by the lovely Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content. She has a parrot but would most definitely get a werewolf for a pet if she weren't allergic.

Lisa loves YA. She believes with all her heart that teen readers are ready and willing to experience things that some adults have closed their minds to, that books are the safest way to explore, learn, and escape, and that imagination is the key to just about everything.

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25. The Physics of Sorrow review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Georgi Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow, coming out soon from Open Letter
       Internationally acclaimed, this is definitely one of the most anticipated translations of the year.

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