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1. breaking up

Dear LiveJournal,

Things aren't working out anymore. It's time to go our separate ways.

It's not me. It's you.

You know what you did. All those spammy comments? And I pay for you? Seriously?

Not cool, LJ. Not cool.

You can keep my CDs. Just stop calling me.

Regards,
Susane


Dear Readers,

You guys get me. It's time to take our relationship to the next level.

This blog has moved to WordPress. My archives, tags, and comments have all moved with it.

My new blog is here: http://susanecolasanti.wordpress.com.

Please update your bookmarks. And please comment over at the new home so I know you've found me!

I will always and forever appreciate your dedication. With you and me? It's TLF.

Love,
Susane

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2. profesh pic

If you take like 100 pictures of me, you might get two good ones. Might. I just look like such a dork in pictures. Which is always a challenge when I have to submit a new author photo. Some authors use the same picture over and over. If I had a really good one, I'd probably do the same thing. But I like the idea of having a fresh photo on each book. That way I still look like the same person and all.

My past author photos were all taken by important people in my life. I liked the idea of the casual street shot, or snapping a few spontaneous pics at Chat 'n Chew. And having people I love take those photos meant a lot to me.

But the problem of my extreme dorkitude persisted.

So last year I promised myself that when I was done with Invisalign, I'd get my first professional author photos taken. Fellow YA author (and a true gentleman - book nerd joke!) Michael Northrop had some profesh photos done. They were really good. I wanted his photographer. Fortunately, I was able to hook that up. If you're looking for a profesh photographer based in New York, I highly recommend Matthew Rodgers Photography. He's super fun to work with and has a sharp eye for warm light. Here's what Matthew was able to do with me:



He's working on a few other shots, but this is my fave. All ready for book six!

If you've seen me at an event, you know I love to get my bling on. A few of you were asking about my ring when I posted this pic on Facebook. True, it has a vintage look. But it's totally from Forever 21. Same with the necklaces. Forever 21 has such pretty necklaces lately that I can't go in without getting one. Or, um, four. Even though I have more than enough necklaces. Oh, and if you see this photo on every single one of my books from now until I'm 73? Would you blame me?

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3. getting my summer on

Welcome summer! I know summer starts for a lot of you the day after school ends. Or after Memorial Day. But for me, summer always begins on the first day of summer. Which is the summer solstice. Which is tomorrow. I will try to focus on the happy fact that sunset is at 8:30 instead of getting that sinking feeling I always have when daylight hours start decreasing. We have the greatest amount of daylight hours all year on the summer solstice (about 15 hours in New York), which means that the day after tomorrow...nope. I will not think about that. I will think about getting my summer on.

Actually, I've already begun the funtivities. Section two of the High Line just opened. I was so there. As if more High Line in my life isn't enough, there's an outdoor art installation right at the end called Rainbow City with all these interactive balloons. Balloons! Plus more High Line! These are the days, yo.



You know how some offices have summer hours? Well, I'm the boss of a one-person corporation over here, and I say my only employee Susane gets to enjoy summer hours, too. Sort of. If it's a sunny morning that's not, like, a thousand degrees, I'm allowed to lay out on the beach volleyball pier instead of being online. It's this new thing at Hudson River Park where volleyball courts are fenced in on a pier - with sand! My entire floor is now covered with sand. Looks like summer. And, um, time to vacuum...

Normally, I would avoid such close proximity to balls zinging in all directions. But they have these cool curvy chairs to lay out on and a sweet summer breeze off the water and it's just too awesome to resist. I watched some fierce Chelsea boys playing a highly profesh game this weekend. It was good to desensitize myself. Back in junior high and high school, I was terrified of getting smacked in the head with any type of ball - baseball, kick ball, dodge ball, basketball, and especially volleyball. Because when you're playing volleyball, you are under attack from overhead. Scary much? Now that I'm (technically) a grownup, I think it's time to be a bit less afraid of volleyballs. So I sat right there and read my book and didn't get hit. Small steps, people. Small steps.

I have to say that I was shocked by how many people borrowed my sunblock. If you're going to be outside for a while, bring protection! One new product I'm loving is Neutrogena Wet Skin.


You know how when you're laying out and sweating and even if your sunblock is waterproof, it still comes off sometimes and you burn? And then you're furious because, hello, you spent half an hour putting on sunblock before you left and you even reapplied it and now look? Or is that just me? Well, if you can relate then you'll love Wet Skin. It's sweatproof, waterproof, and you can spray it right on wet skin. I'm using SPF 85 and loving it. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

In online news, The Guardian has come to my attention with this piece on authors' responses to that ridiculous WSJ article about how teen novels are all corrupt a few weeks ago. Then When It Happens got a sweet review. "It's like Twilight without the vampires!" I'll take it. Also, the Book Blog Experience is running a giveaway of So Much Closer to go with Add a Comment
4. 5 sweet things

1. The event I had at Anderson's Bookshop with Sarah Mlynowski and Maureen Johnson was off the hook. Sarah and Maureen are hilarious. There were so many enthusiastic readers! I did events at the other two Anderson's locations last year and really wanted to do one at their Naperville store. So I was pretty much stoked out of my mind for this. Lots of kindred spirits were in the house. I had no idea there were so many Container Store fans out there. There was much bonding over my organization stories. I was like, Yay, I'm not a total freak! Also awesome - I got to meet a few readers I'd been communicating with online for years. Lauren brought me cupcakes. And I could not get over the huge gift basket Cassidy put together for me. It had all these cool scrapbooking things like Jolee's Boutique NYC decorations and flower stickers and a peace sign stamp/stamp pad and even a calligraphy set. What blows my mind is how well she knows me just from reading my blog and stuff online. Thank you for the amazing gifts, Cassidy!



2. The Best Gift Basket Ever wasn't the only gift to be given. Katie brought Maureen a Maureen doll wearing - wait for it - the Pajants! As in the Pajants that have been circulating within the YA lit circle for the past few months. We all signed the Pajants after wearing them. Most of us added some artwork. So what did Katie do? She freaking went and made a mini replica of the Pajants. I could not get over the accuracy. She even used the same colors we did. I posted a close-up on the Twitterhood of the Butt Lifting Pajants page. Here's Maureen and Katie with the doll:



3. I'm honored that a second quote from When It Happens has been added to the English wing of Erica's high school. She selected the Mr. Potato Head line. Thanks for sharing this, Erica!



4. Author Turf interviewed me about the writing process. If you're an aspiring writer, you might want to check it out.

5. As you very well know by now if you've been reading my blog or ecstatic tweets for a while, Sprinkles opened here in New York last month. This is a Very Big Deal. Sprinkles cupcakes are the best. I had them last year in L.A. and immediately fell in love. So of course I had to gather my friends Elizabeth Eulberg and Courtney Sheinmel to check it out. Courtney is a purist. She likes vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing. We agreed it would be a good idea for us to all get the same ones for the purpose of taste testing. But inside I was like, "LEMON COCONUT!" The verdict seems to be that their plain vanilla cupcakes are maybe not their forte. But when it comes to their more creative flavors, watch out for deliciosity.

I needed to return. I needed to experience the deliciosity.

Some old students of mine (aka vintage friendly neighbors) also love cupcakes. They were more than ready to try Sprinkles. So we all went last night for a friendly neighbor reunion. Was it wrong to have a cinnamon sugar cupcake, a frosting shot, and then half a strawberry cupcake? Good, I didn't think so. You can get these little cups of frosting in any flavor featured on the current cupcakes (most of their flavors change daily). I had a strawbe

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5. three events to go...

Just a quick post to remind everyone about my last three tour events.

CHICAGO

Monday, June 13 - 7:00pm
Anderson's Bookshop

123 West Jefferson Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540

With Sarah Mlynowski and Maureen Johnson
Ticketed event - call 630.355.2665 for reservations

NEW YORK CITY

Thursday, June 16 - 6:00pm
Books of Wonder

18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

With Sarah Mlynowski, Tara Altebrando, Nova Ren Suma, and Lisa Pliscou

LONG ISLAND

Tuesday, June 21 - 4:00pm
Merrick Library Annex

2369 Merrick Avenue
Merrick, NY 11566

With Elizabeth Eulberg
Ticketed event - call 516.377.6112 for reservations

Hope to see you there!

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6. get closer to inspiration

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, "What was your inspiration for this book?"

Sometimes ideas come from dreams (like Rhiannon's relationship with James in Take Me There). Sometimes ideas just burst in (like the plot of Something Like Fate). Sometimes they're based on quirky details from real life (like the dots game in When It Happens). And sometimes my own experiences spark ideas. That's what happened with So Much Closer.

In this bootleg, 99-cents store, garage sale, discount video that I very unprofessionally put together, I share what inspired So Much Closer. Thanks to my friend Elizabeth Eulberg for filming! Note: The lacking quality of this video has nothing to do with her. She is highly profesh.




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7. hot summer reads

What do I love most about summer? How the whole city slows down. Infusing water with cucumbers and strawberries and mint. Flip-flops, summer breeze, and long walks at night. And most of all, having a big stack of fresh books waiting for me to dive right in. Here are three I've already read and two that are burning up the TBR pile.



Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

You don't have to be a Sex and the City fan to enjoy this sweet series. But if you're a fellow major fan, you'll love finding out about Carrie's early days in New York City. Summer picks up right where The Carrie Diaries left off. Carrie has arrived in New York and she just met Samantha. Now she has a whole summer ahead of her to figure out how to stay in New York. Some differences between the book characters and the show characters continue to strike a discordant note, like how Carrie's father is in her life and that she's still a virgin after high school. Book Samantha was married and wants kids! Book Carrie cooks! But there are plenty of similarities that paint an authentic earlier version of the girls we know and love. Carrie's immediate love for the city is palpable. Her passion reminds me of when show Carrie said, "Nobody talks s#$! about my boyfriend." She was dating New York right from the start. Her determination to become a famous writer is there. She has the Knowing. I love how Candace included actual locations from 80s New York City, places that still exist like the Pink Tea Cup (which immediately made me kick myself for not including the Pink Tea Cup in So Much Closer - dir!). Discover how Carrie meets Miranda and Charlotte in this second book of a series I'm hoping continues for many more books.



Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

I don't blurb a lot of books. But I was beyond stoked to blurb this one, which comes out todayTen Things takes you on a wild ride along with two BFFs who get to live together senior year...without any parents. Everyone's fantasy, is it not? I was super impressed with the way Sarah pulled off the whole our-parents-can't-find-out-we're-living-here-all-alone thing. This is a hilarious adventure you won't want to end. Plus it has tons of fun dialogue, which I adored. Summer reading at its best!



Divergent by Veronica Roth

The buzz surrounding this book is so loud it's like all I'm hearing these days. I used to be a person who only liked realistic fiction, who wouldn't dream of trying out dystopia. Then The Hunger Games came along. I am now a different person. Divergent sounds amazing.



Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Ten years later, the pants still fit and the girls are still friends. Or are they? I'm just playing with that teaser...haven't read this one yet. Sisterhood Everlasting was my reward for participating in the magical Pajants funtivities with a

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8. happy spring, happy mash, happy table

Yay, it's the Return of Spring! Early Summer was oppressing us with these hot, humid days everyone was over after like five minutes. People kept saying that we didn't have spring. I kept insisting that spring would be back. And now it is! I'm hoping spring will decide to stick around for its official three more weeks. Spring is my favorite season. I am very happy right now.

Well. I'd be happier if I could actually go out and enjoy the springtime that is happening beyond my apartment. The cool breeze blowing in my windows is nice, but I'm looking forward to handing in this revision and taking a few days off. We're on Day 8 of the 10 Day Challenge Throwdown. Things are looking good. Really good - I spoke with my UK editor at Scholastic in London this morning. She is amazing. I love how she's into collaborating and getting to know her authors. I'm thrilled to finally have some good news for my English readers! Two of my books are coming out for you next year. The UK edition of When It Happens will be out in May 2012, followed by So Much Closer in September 2012.

In other book news, Forever YA asked me about my inspiration for So Much Closer. They wanted to know if I think moving for a boy is okay. First off, if you haven't visited Forever YA you need to get over there immediately if not sooner. Freaking. Adorable. Site. Second, I'm really happy they asked. This is a controversial topic. I didn't expect the discussion to get quite so heated, but I love that my book is inspiring debate! You can read my response, plus find out which fictional characters I'd select for my own Ocean's Eleven and all sorts of other fun stuff, here. And P.S.? Their MASH game results made me entirely too happy. Seriously, I am still smiling over them.

Keeping today's happy theme going, I'll leave you with this display table I found at Barnes & Noble. Just chillin with my girls...




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9. llevame alli

It's been hectic times around here, friendly neighbors. But hectic in a good way. I met with my editors last week about the next revision of book six. I am beyond excited about this new book. For those of you who've asked, yes, it has a title, but I can't share it yet. And yes, it will be out next year! It usually takes me about six weeks to do a revision. Not this time. This time I have, oh, 10 days. It's a 10 Day Deadline Challenge Throwdown and I'm determined to not let it squash me like a bug. So how's it been going? Actually, pretty well. I got a ton of work done over the long weekend. The construction workers who are resurfacing the entire exterior of my building and drilling into the brick outside my window were off and no one was around and I went into throwdown mode. Here we are at day five. It's deadline vs. drill. Game on.

Of course, other stuff is happening. Like my readers being freaking awesome. Sparkly warm fuzzies go out to everyone who's told me about visiting some of the New York City locations featured in So Much Closer. That rules! I've been hearing from dedicated readers who went to the High Line or Crumbs or Big Gay Ice Cream Truck after reading the book. Can I just say how amazing that is? You know that realistic fiction is my thing. I love incorporating actual places into my books. And I was especially psyched about this book because it gave me a chance to share the things I love most about New York City with you. Your sense of adventure is impressive. Thank you so much for embracing the energy. And for sharing your experiences with me.

More sparkly warm fuzzies go out to book bloggers who have posted reviews of So Much Closer. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. I really, really appreciate everyone who has posted about the book or shared it with your friends. In case you're into reviews, here are some new ones:

Finally, I'm thrilled that my books are starting to be published in Spanish! Take Me There comes out in a few weeks. How much do I adore this cover?



Cupcakes! On the cover of my book! My incredible Spanish publisher even made a page for Take Me There (which translates to Llevame Alli). You can also read the first chapter in Spanish here. I love all the fun graphics they used. Something Like Fate is next up for a Spanish translation. I can't wait to see what they do with it.

Dude, tomorrow is already June. For those of you getting out of school soon, congrats! You're almost there! And for those of you already enjoying your summer vacay, savor it. Kick back, relax, and dive into your pile of summer reading. My summer reading pile is already waiting for me. I'll be joining you soon...

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10. stupid signage

It all started with a vegetable.

My corner deli had a brand new awning made. It is green. It is huge. And it says something like this right across the front:

"Deli, groceries, beer, snacks, vegetable."

Dude. They have one vegetable.

Really? Just one?

As my friend Rachel Vail said, You better go in quick and snatch that vegetable up before someone else gets it!

Actually, this all started way before the vegetable. I've always been extremely annoyed by typos. Typos in books are bad. But typos on signs? Are the worst. Those typos are like nails on the chalkboard to me. They grate on my nerves and every time I see them they irritate me all over again. Whenever I see a typo on a store's sign, I'll tell the person working there about it and how it should be fixed so we don't perpetuate the stupid.

Yeah. I'm that girl.

Not that they care. No one ever changes their signs. Even the handwritten ones that would take two seconds to correct. What makes me sad about the vegetable example is...well, so many things, but mainly that they just spent all this money on a new awning and didn't even bother to proofread. It's like with the grocery store around the corner. They just did a whole big renovation. Now they have street signs hanging above the aisles. One the the signs says "Bleecker Street." Or it's supposed to say "Bleecker Street." Tragically, it says "Bleeker Street."

And they're one block from Bleecker Street.

Seriously? You couldn't walk one block to check how to spell Bleecker Street? Or freaking Google it?! How hard would that have been?!?

Before I puff up in an even bigger rant, let me leave you with this image. It's the new (of course) awning of my fave vegetarian restaurant. It speaks volumes all by itself.



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11. blog tour roundup

In case you missed my blog tour, I wanted to give you a complete set of links. Each tour stop features one of the New York City places or things from So Much Closer. Several people have already said that the book felt like a love letter to NYC. I totally agree! Here are some of its best qualities...


Thanks to all of the sweet bloggers who hosted me. And congrats to our ten book winners!

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12. top ten tour tidbits

That was a whirlwind! The official part of my book tour is over, I've caught up with all the post-tour mail/cleaning/unpacking stuff (which always takes longer than you think it will), and I finally have a chance to share some highlights from my tour with you. Instead of doing several posts, I've decided to go with one big Top Ten Tour Tidbits extravaganza. Not that it will be easy to only pick ten things. And not that my events are even over! I still have upcoming events in New York City, Chicago, and Long Island. The full schedule is here.

Now Transatlanticism is playing, my pics are ready, and I have some time before the Teen Author Carnival. Let the memories begin!

1. First off, I have to give a shout-out to the guy hacking up a lung in the seat next to me for the entire flight to California. Thanks for keeping it real, Hacking Lung Guy! But then I was in San Francisco for three full days of events in the Bay Area, which I freaking love. If I couldn't live in New York City, Berkeley would be my second choice. The energy there is incredible. And this high school I visited was unreal - there were only 113 kids in the entire school! It had this family atmosphere where the kids didn't feel as tormented as they do in regular high schools. If all schools could be like Maybeck High School, I think our kids would be way happier. Let's end this first item with a positive shout-out to Charlotte at Maybeck. Charlotte was the only one out of all my school visits to recognize both The Cure and My So-Called Life from my presentation. Respect.

2. There were more amazing school events, including one at Capuchino High School where all the When It Happens love convinced me to write a sequel. I've gotten lots of email asking if I'm going to write a sequel and it's something I've been thinking about. The thing is, I'm afraid of messing it up. But the kids at Capuchino were so supportive and enthusiastic that I've made an executive decision to go for it! I have to be Not Afraid. This isn't something I'm busting out with super soon - books six, seven, and eight are already in the works - but it will happen. Okay, tangential much? Getting back to Cali...

3. I was stoked for my Books Inc. event in Palo Alto for three reasons. One, it's Books Inc., which is an outstanding indie bookshop that hosts Not Your Mother's Book Club events. Maggie of NYMBC is so cute - she put an ARC from their huge supply on each chair with a pretty red ribbon. That was such a classy touch. But before the event started, I made sure to get myself over to Sprinkles.



This was the second reason I was stoked. Sprinkles cupcakes take cupcakes to a whole other level. I'd only had them once before in L.A. But they've just opened a store here in New York! Check out how much the Universe had my back - the same exact day Sprinkles opened in New York, I was at Sprinkles in Palo Alto. And they were just as phenomenal as I remembered. (Note: Kara's Cupcakes make a carrot cake cupcake that Martha Stewart says is the best. After sampling one, I believe I must agree. It was decadence squared). The third reason for my stokage is James Franco related. He's from Palo Alto. He went to Palo Alto High. So of course I had to go and stalk James Franco's high school:



4. The Most Adorable Girl in the World prize goes to Shea. She won this poster in a raffle at Oblong Books. As you can see, the poster is almost as big as Shea. O

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13. new events!

Last night was my first night back at the gym after being away for the past two weeks on book tour. It was painfully obvious (and is still painfully obvious - hello, hamstrings!) that I am pathetically out of shape. How can this happen after only two weeks? It's ridiculous. To top it off, one of my fave instructors ever has left and now there's no sexy girl workouts anymore. I loved my Sexy Girl Wednesdays. Nancy's class had a combo dance/core/balance/stretch focus that I adored. Someone new has taken her place. I'm about to test her out today. We'll see how it goes.

But hey. I am not here to complain. I'm here to rejoice! Some new events have been added to my book tour, including a big one in Chicago at the legen - wait for it - dary Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville. For those of you who have been asking for a Chicago event, the Universe heard and delivered! I'll be joining famous YA authors Sarah Mlynowski and Maureen Johnson for a night of good times.

Here's where you can find me for the rest of my tour:

BOSTON
Friday, May 20
4:00 pm
Book Ends
559 Main Street, Winchester, MA

NEW YORK CITY
Monday, May 23
4:00 - 7:00 pm
Teen Author Carnival
NYPL Mulberry Branch
10 Jersey Street, New York, NY

NEW YORK CITY
Wednesday, June 1
6:00 pm
Teen Author Reading Night
NYPL Mulberry Branch (may change to Jefferson Market Branch)
10 Jersey Street, New York, NY

CHICAGO
Monday, June 13
7:00 pm
Anderson's Bookshop
123 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville, IL

NEW YORK CITY
Thursday, June 16
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street, New York, NY

LONG ISLAND
Tuesday, June 21 - summer solstice!
4:00 pm
Beach Bag Book Club
Merrick Library Annex
2369 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, NY

I hope to see you at one of these events! Be there or be a rhomboid. That's an inside So Much Closer joke.

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14. ginormous contest winners!

It is my immense pleasure to bring you the winners of my Fourth Annual Ginormous Contest! I wanted to post these sooner, but I had zero time during the California part of my book tour. I received about 50 entries and wanted to take my time reading all of them.

Can I just say how impressed I was with all of your entries? It was extremely difficult to select only three winners. You showed me the most beautiful Zen places ever. There were some common themes, like backyards, your room, and Paris. A majority involved water. There was even a totally tricked-out bathroom. Thank you for sharing your Zen places with me and the experiences that made those places so special to you. I cherished each and every one.

And now...the winners!

First place goes to Max H. Her Zen place is the Presidio:



Max says, "The Presidio used to be an army base, but now it’s a national park on the north side of San Francisco, where I grew up. I love it here for a lot of reasons—there’s a great bowling alley, free Shakespeare in the park every summer, the ocean, the Golden Gate bridge. When I was little, the empty barracks made for a great make believe setting. Whenever I need a break, I take a thermos of tea and a book and sit in the forest or on the cliffs above the water. A lot of time I don’t read. It’s not quiet there, but it's one of the only places in the city where everything I hear is natural: the crashing waves and the wind and the seagulls. I can totally clear my head. It used to be a place of war, but nature has reclaimed it and now it brings me peace."

How awesome is that?

Second place goes to Kelly K. for this very Zen visual of her local Botanical garden:



Kelly says, "When I just need to get away I go here and look at all the beautiful blown glass bobbing in the water. It's peaceful, all my worries and stress melt away. All you hear are birds chirping, and kids laughing. At my age (14), me just like a lot of teenagers, we don't know who we are yet. We try and put labels, like nerd, popular, geek, stoner, cheerleaders, jocks on everybody...even ourselves. Everyone is different... sure they can all be in the same click but everyone is their own individual. And that’s how I relate that quote to the pond. All of the glass blown bob things can be cauterized by color, shape, etc. But they are EACH different, because they were all made different. Sure they might look the same far away... but up close you can see everything and just how unalike they really are. That’s just like people. You can see a bunch of cheerleaders sitting at a table and go 'wow they're all snobby' then once you get close you can see that they're fighting with each other or having family issues just like everyone else. It always amazes me how a pond filled with blown glass always relates so much to my life."

Preach it, girl.

Third place goes to Angel S.



Angel says, "My zen place would have to be The NorVa in Norfolk, Virginia. It used to be an old theater back in the 20's and 30's, and they would have all kinds of stage plays and musicians would come out to play. Today, it is still proudly open, and now serves as a concert venue. I love music. It's the one thing that k

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15. cali events

After a super fun first week, the So Much Closer book tour marches on!  How excited am I for my upcoming Cali events? So. Freaking. Excited. Ah, California. You enchant me with your mellow charms. I'm flying to San Francisco today for some events in the Bay Area. Here they are:

Tuesday, May 10
7:00 pm

A Great Good Place for Books
6120 La Salle Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
Reading, Q&A, and signing

Wednesday, May 11
5:00 pm
Towne Center Books

555 Main Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Pizza party

Thursday, May 12
7:00 pm
Books Inc.

74 Town & Country Village
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Not Your Mother's Book Club event

In other news, my Fourth Annual Ginormous Contest ends tomorrow night.  Show me your Zen place to win So Much Closer.

Hope to see all of my San Fran people this week!

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16. weekend events

I am happy to report that I survived yesterday's 17-hour tour day challenge throwdown. Not sure if I conquered it with flair. But I'm still functional, and that's a good thing.

Another good thing is this weekend. I'm so excited for my New York City events! Today I'll be doing a meet and greet at my fave coffeehouse, Joe, which is featured in So Much Closer and Take Me There.

Saturday, May 7
2:00 pm


Joe the Art of Coffee
9 East 13th Street
New York, NY

My first Barnes & Noble event is tomorrow in Brooklyn. I'm pretty stoked. But I'm also worried about the turnout because of Mother's Day. So if you're in the nabe, please stop by!

Sunday, May 8
5:00 pm


Barnes & Noble
267 7th Avenue
Park Slope, NY

Hope you're enjoying this gorgeous springtime :)

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17. challenge throwdown

I was able to come home last night before heading out for the next part of my tour today. There were tons of huge movie trailers all on my street. I'm keeping an eye out for Jake Gyllenhaal or any other potential husbands.

Coming home in between tour events is always appreciated. I only travel with two carry-ons. This requires the need to replenish supplies after a few days. Being the organization freak that I am, I love hearing about other author's packing habits and seeing their luggage. Here's mine:



These Baggallini bags have been traveling with me for years. The top one has a panel on the back that slides down on the handle of the bottom one. The top one has a waterproof compartment and the bottom one has tons of nooks and pockets. Flight attendants use them because they wheel down airplane aisles with just enough room to spare. Plus they both fit under airplane seats. I find the watermelon color to be essential. Your bags should stand out among all the black ones, even if you don't check them.

My next tour stop is Philadelphia. Tomorrow is going to be the Craziest Day Ever. I'm getting up at 5:00 (which is outrageous), doing four school events (two each at two schools), a bookstore event, and then taking the train back which gets in at like 10:00. Now, you know I love being on tour and getting to meet my people. But this 17-hour day will be a challenge.

Challenge throwdown received.

Challenge throwdown accepted.

Will I see you at my event tomorrow? It sounds super fun! Harleysville Books is throwing a Teen Girls Night Out with refreshments and a local band. This is a ticketed event - you can purchase tickets at the bookstore. Here's where it is:

Friday, May 6 - 6:00 pm
Harleysville Books
672 Main Street
Harleysville, PA 19438
Phone: 215.256.9311


Today is day four of my blog tour. Check out my guest post at The Story Siren and leave a comment to win a copy of So Much Closer.

As for tonight, I'll get to chill with my friend Mike in Philly. Fun times with friends are recommended before facing a challenge. And annihilating that challenge. So bring it, Craziest Day Ever! Okay, maybe I shouldn't taunt...

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18. you guys rule

Thanks to everyone for all of your kind words about So Much Closer! You guys rule. I couldn't be more impressed with how quickly some of you read the book and the sweet things you've taken away from it. And Melanie G. let her inner awesome shine by documenting the floor display for me:



It's day three of my blog tour. Yesterday's gracious host was Mundie Moms. I discussed - what else? - cupcakes, and they posted a review of the book. Today I'm over at Green Bean Teen Queen. Remember that you can win a signed copy of So Much Closer at every stop of my blog tour just by leaving a comment.

The story of So Much Closer was inspired by my own experiences. Want to find out how? Check out my guest blog post at Books Obsession. Books Obsession is also hosting a giveaway of Something Like Fate because that's how they do.

Well, it's all cold and rainy today on the Jersey shore. Not the warm and sunny time I was hoping for. But it's all good. There will be lots of other beach walks in my future. For now, I get to chill with librarians, some of the most amazing people on this planet. I'll be on a YA lit panel here at the New Jersey Library Association Conference. Naturally, I'm wearing my Reading Rainbow shirt for the librarians. They know what's good.

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19. 15 more days...

...until So Much Closer is out!

*throws sparkly confetti just because*

In other book news:

1. Congrats to the winners of my Something Like Fate contest, Brittany H. and Ashley S.! They will be participating in Screen-Free Week this week by turning off screen entertainment and turning on life. That rules.

2. Something Like Fate comes out in paperback tomorrow!

3. To get the So Much Closer party started, I've created a Goodreads Q&A group. All Goodreads members are welcome. Please join us!

4. My Scribd sampler has been updated to include the first four chapters of So Much Closer.



5. Recent book reviews can be found at The Book Girl Reviews and The Book Sp(l)ot. Thanks, ladies :)

And...I'm running a contest this week exclusively for book bloggers! With only two weeks to go until So Much Closer hits the shelves, it's time to spread some book trailer love. Three winners will be selected to win signed ARCs. To enter, just post the book trailer on your site and leave a comment here with the link to your post. You must have a US address to enter (or know someone who lives in the States to accept the prize for you). The last day to enter is Friday, April 22 at 11:11 pm. TGIM!

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20. creating the cover

When I found out my publisher did a photo shoot for the cover of So Much Closer, I was ecstatic. Cover shoots are pretty rare. Even better - they actually brought my dream cover to life! You can read how it happened here.

I wasn't at the cover shoot, but my editor was. She's also into documenting. So I can share some behind-the-scenes pics and info with you about the photo shoot. First off, I've been wondering what the models look like from the front. Four Lots of people have told me that it looks like me and John Mayer on the cover. I am totally going with that. Although the boy looks more like Taylor Lautner from the side to me. The models' headshots were much different than what I was picturing!

   

Jim Hoover is my magnificent cover designer. He also did the cover of Something Like Fate. There was a photo shoot for that cover as well. I asked Jim to tell you a bit about his process. He agreed because he is awesome like that. From Jim:

"Susane and I had discussed very early on that we'd like to shoot on the High Line on Manhattan's west side for this cover. I scheduled the shoot, and did a little reconnaissance the week before just to be safe - (always do your homework, right?). I wanted to find the perfect time for when the sun was setting and do a little location scouting. I realized quickly that, while the views were stunning, there was a lot of parking lot space between the park and the Hudson river. I ended up taking some close up images of various buildings, the river, and New Jersey beyond, knowing that we would likely need to composite various elements into the cover to get just the iconic look we were going for."

The background of the original photo was changed. There's not much on the New Jersey side from that spot. So Jim took other background photos from different locations on the High Line and Hudson River Park, then Photoshopped in a new background. That clock tower and the other buildings on the cover are actually located south of the High Line. Here's a photo I took of them from the High Line:



The left side of the photo had to be completely changed, too. There was this big, dark wall that looked kind of evil:



Evil Wall was substituted with a less obtrusive, glossy building. Glossy buildings rule. They did try shooting in the opposite direction, but I guess they originally wanted the sunset.



Which brings me to the pink sky. The very first cover design I saw had a gorgeous sunset. I was stoked. Then the sunset was toned down to look more like the pink sky I know and love. Here's the Pink Sky cover:

   

I love this cover! I think it's even better than the final version. I fought to keep some of the sunset in the sky. I really did. Ev

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21. fourth annual ginormous contest

It's that time again, friendly neighbors! So Much Closer comes out next week on May 3. To celebrate, I'm giving away three copies in my fourth annual ginormous contest. All books will be signed and personalized.

First prize: So Much Closer plus your choice of any two of my books
Second prize: So Much Closer plus your choice of any one of my books
Third prize: So Much Closer



The contest theme this year is Your Zen Place. In So Much Closer, Brooke likes to chill in a Zen garden she discovers in her new neighborhood. That Zen garden is real. It's a place that speaks to me in an intense way. I just feel totally at peace when I'm there, looking out across the water or watching the city lights come on. I can always rely on the Zen garden to make me feel better. Another Zen place is my future home. I haven't seen it yet, but I imagine the view would be something like this:



What about your Zen place? It could be a place in your town. It could be a place you once visited. It could be a place that you want to visit one day. Or it could even be a place that you wish existed. Wherever it is, I want to know about it.

To enter the contest, email a photo of your Zen place to me at susanecolasanti [at] gmail [dot] com. The photo can be an actual picture, artwork, text, or other type of homage to your Zen place. You can add a quote or anything else you'd like to your photo.

Ginormous Contest Rules:

1. Email a photo representing your Zen place to me at susanecolasanti [at] gmail [dot] com. Tell me where your place is and explain your connection to it.

2. Include your full name and complete mailing address with your entry.

3. Entries must be received by May 10 at 11:11 pm.

4. This contest is open to US residents only. However, if you live abroad and have a contact in the States who can receive the prize for you, it can be sent to their address.

I can't wait to be dazzled by your creativity. Ready...set...dazzle!

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22. twitter q&a and foreign covers

Greetings, fellow tweeps! I'll be doing a Twitter Q&A tomorrow, April 28, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Random tweeters will be selected to win ARCs of So Much Closer. All questions and questioners are welcome! To join the Q&A:

1. Be following me on Twitter - I'm susanecolasanti.

2. Ask your question between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time with the hashtag #SoMuchCloser.

3. Random tweeters will be selected to win signed ARCs of So Much Closer.

A few other quick things going on...

Want to win a copy of Something Like Fate in paperback? My friend Melissa Walker is hosting a giveaway with her Cover Story.

I've already received so many awesome entries for my Fourth Annual Ginormous Contest! It's going to be really hard to select three winners. You guys are amazing.

Did you get my newsletter today? If not, you can read it here.

Finally, I'm stoked to share the Polish cover of When It Happens with you. The title is When the Time Comes. My friend Anton told me that in Russian the title would be Hoping for the Right Hour. It kind of looks like a vampire novel, but I love it anyway. So dramatic!



And here's the German cover of Waiting for You. I love that my German publisher is using the same flowers and happy clouds on all the covers.



Well, it's volunteer work time. Last week I got to clean and totally organize my client's desk. Cleaning and organizing people's desks is so fun for me I can't even tell you. Today I get to untangle a bunch of cords and then sort them with those color coding grippy things. Which, seriously, is so relaxing. I get very bothered when people have big, tangled bunches of wires showing. All wires should be hidden, IMHO. And even though I have a ton of work to do before my book tour starts next week, it's been warm and sunny here in New York. That's helping me keep it Zen. I even busted out my new flip-flops yesterday. Which means one thing - spring is officially here to stay. Yay!

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23. pub day!

This is it! So Much Closer is out in the world today!



Naturally, I am beyond ecstatic. I don't think I'll get a chance to see the Barnes & Noble floor displays for a while. If you see one, I would very much appreciate your documentation.

My book tour starts today in New Jersey. I'm trying out this school presentation for the first time - exciting! Will I see you on the road? Here's the tour schedule. Hopefully, I'll be getting so much closer to where you are...

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24. good day

Today is a very good day. First off, So Much Closer comes out tomorrow! I'm getting ready for my bookstore events by selecting readings. And reading over what I wrote like a year ago - it's been a while. The first event of my book tour is tomorrow in New Jersey:

May 3 - 5:00 pm
River Road Books

759 River Road
Fair Haven, NJ 07704

There will be good pizza. There will be good times. This is a ticketed event, so please call 732.747.9455 to RSVP.

Why else is today a good day? Well, it's day one of my blog tour!



Over the next two weeks, I'll be stopping by one book blog each day to share some special New York City places and things from So Much Closer. You can win a signed hardcover copy of the book at each blog tour stop just by leaving a comment (the bloggers will give you comment topics - very Coffee Talk). The blog tour kicks off today at Alley of Books.

That's not the only place you can win my new book. Adventures in Children's Publishing is hosting a giveaway, too. Check out their post featuring lots of hot YA book releases this week.

Yesterday was a good day, too. Last time I blogged I explained about redefining my birthday. Mission accomplished on so many levels. About two years ago, I reconnected with a friend of mine from high school. I saw Paula last time I was in New Jersey and we had a blast. Yesterday we took a short drive to the town where I'm setting book seven. The Knowing definitely had me on this one. It's a lot like I was picturing, with some unexpected twists that will make for awesome writing. We found this old-school variety store with Ms. Pac-Man (which of course we had to play) and a vintage photo booth (which of course we had to use) and Lunch Lady action figures (which come with serving utensils). Here, Paula displays the Lunch Lady for you:



But yesterday wasn't just a good day. It was a historic day. May Day was redefined beyond my wildest dreams. It was the day that Osama bin Laden was finally done. It's also the day Adlof Hitler was captured. So from now on, I'll think of May Day as a symbol of good over evil. Best. Birthday. Ever.

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25. here we go!

Well, friendly neighbors, we're almost there...just four more days until So Much Closer is out in the world and my book tour begins. The best part of my job is getting to meet readers. You are why I write. You make this life possible. I'm mega psyched to get out there and connect with you! Check out my tour schedule to see if I'll be getting so much closer to you (I am very corny, obvs).

I'm actually leaving early for the tour on Sunday. Sunday = May 1 = May Day = my birthday. Which hasn't been the best day for me. My Gram (i.e. entire family) died on my 30th. But! I am trying to redefine May Day as the happier one I used to know. So I'm heading down the shore to chill with a friend from high school, lay out if it's sunny, walk on the beach, and research the town where I'm setting book seven. The Universe totally decided all this. My first school/bookstore events are near Long Branch, New Jersey. Which is like a five-minute drive from the town I want to research. It should be fun times.

My books usually come out a few days after my birthday. This was especially fun last year. The Something Like Fate tour began at the L.A. Borders. They were incredible. They had a cake and everyone sang when I came out!



One thing I'll have to watch out for on tour is hotel rooms, aka the Land of TV. I was staying at the W last week (I adore W Hotels something fierce) for a top secret 24 mission (blog post coming soon) and I had the TV on. I was just minding my own business when a promo for The Office came on. Michael Scott was saying how he was leaving for Colorado to start his new life with Holly. Or something. I'm not really sure, because I immediately put my fingers in my ears like lalalala! But at the same time I was like, Dude! Did I call that or what? Right after I found out Michael was leaving, I predicted that he'd run away with Holly to California. There is a tweet out in the interverse to document this prediction. So hey, at least being attacked by that spoiler wasn't a tremendous shock.

But I don't know if I can handle The Office without Michael. And Steve Carell still hasn't gotten his long-overdue Emmy love, which is just wrong. He has to win next time. The Office DVDs always come out in September. At least I have several months to wait until I have to say goodbye. Sarah Dessen was just saying on her blog how hard it was to deal with this on top of Friday Night Lights ending. I couldn't agree more. Heart. In. Pieces.

Speaking of Sarah, her new book comes out a week after mine. Some people have already received their pre-ordered copies of What Happened to Goodbye. Mad early! And a few readers have told me that they've already seen copies of So Much Closer on the shelves. Like Sarah's book, So Much Closer has a strict on-sale date. That means it's not supposed to be out anywhere until May 3 (May 10 for hers). See, it even says so on the box of my author copies:



No worries, though. May 3 is almost here! I'll be blogging from the road to keep you updated, of course. I'll let you know how my redefined birthday goes. And hopefully, I'll even get to see you. Which would be the best birthday present of all.


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