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Victoria Schwab - LiveJournal.com
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1. 3-MONTH GIVEAWAY OF EPIC EPICNESS!!!!

Today is MAY 2ND.

That means that there are 3 MONTHS until THE NEAR WITCH hits shelves!!

That means a GIVEAWAY.

Not just ANY giveaway.

SEVEN giveaways.

Seven giveaways with things like...

FAIRY TALE RAP SONGS

MOVIES

ITUNES GIFT CARDS

MAGICAL CREATURES


SIGNED STUFF

CHARACTER NAMINGS

SIGNED, FINISHED, FIRST-EDITION COPIES OF THE NEAR WITCH

AND MORE.

And ALL you have to do is GO HERE.

That's all. How easy is that? I really, really hope you'll come, drop a note, win some awesome stuff, make my day, and have fun.

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2. Agent

I am updating this to say that I'm now represented by Holly Root at Waxman*.

The reason I'm posting is because I get quite a few people on the blog trying to find my agent by clicking on the agent tag and so here you go.

Agent: The fabulous Holly Root.

*Holly is my second agent, not my first.

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3. This Blog is Now Friends Only



As part of my Birthday resolution regarding moving forward and not fearing change, this LJ account will continue as my private blog in a FRIENDS-ONLY capacity (feel free to friend me).

My public blog will be here: WWW.VESCHWAB.WORDPRESS.COM

It would mean a LOT to me if you'd follow me there, and help me get settled. But to all my LJ loves, I will still post here, but in a locked capacity.

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4. IT'S A CELEBRATION.



THE NEAR WITCH IS FINALLY THROUGH EDITS AND ON TO COPYEDITS.

I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY.

I have been editing this book for 9.5 months. Longer than a pregnancy. It has been A JOURNEY. My editor has been challenging, and motivating, and inspiring. My agent has put up with many spazzing emails.

AND IT IS FINALLY DONE.

I am planning a WEEK O' DEBAUCHERY. It involves booze, and cupcakes, and sleep. That's how I roll.

DID I MENTION THE BOOK IS FINALLY DONE?

*dies*





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5. Are you ready for a story?

To have a little fun, we've got a Round Robin story going on this week at the YA Rebels. I love it because we all have such different methods of storytelling. Here's my part below, and you can find Tuesday's, which precedes it, below:



Please ignore the fact I wrote this around midnight after a VERY long day, a week with too little sleep, and an impending final exam this morning.





* ~ * ~ * ~ *

And now, your lesson for the day: When all else fails, trust in the simple act of writing to relieve the weight.

I've been REALLY stressed lately. If you follow me, well, ANYWHERE online you probably noticed. And the frustration/exasperation/temper was getting worse and worse and I couldn't figure out what I needed to do to relieve it. And then I sat down, and wrote. And just like that, the stress began to bleed away. It's the simplest reminder that this is what I'm meant to do. This is what I'm made to do. It's so easy to forget that all this stuff that surrounds writing, the industry, the (mostly awesome) people, what it all comes down to, what's at its absolute center, is WRITING.





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6. Oh don't mind that, it's just my jaw on the floor...

So, you might have noticed, I don't actually talk about books often on here.

I talk about my TBR pile, but almost NEVER review. There's a reason. I am the Russian judge of the book world. I am so super picky, and anything from bad writing to a familiar plot will turn me off a book. A lacking ending is the worst offense, but poor craft is pretty darn close. The number of books I love is small (but man when I love a book I will shout it from the rooftops).

So let's talk about three books I love, one's been out for almost 15 years, one just came out this year, and one isn't out yet.

NEVERWHERE. Neil Gaiman.

So I'm a little behind. This came out in 1996 and I just finished listening to it driving to and from classes. Oh. My. So, my love of Gaiman is nothing new, and just a few months back I talked about how THE GRAVEYARD BOOK was one of my all-time favorites. This book had me similarly in awe. Perhaps it's because I've been in edits and am thus hyper-attentive to the writing/craft and the world-building/rules, but I found this book to be SPECTACULAR, from the amazingly horrific bad guys down to little details. One of my favorite elements was a major plot element, established in only TWO sentences. It was so cleanly done, I might have paused the CD to marvel. Love love love abounds from my corner for this master.

BEFORE I FALL. Lauren Oliver.
I was so, so happy to see this book have SUCH a strong debut, since I had read an ARC and been amazed by the depth and complexity of the characters. The only way I can describe them is REAL. The most real I have ever found fictional people to be. Beautiful craft and compelling narrative make this one of those books I hock on street corners and in YA aisles of bookstores.

INFINITE DAYS. Rebecca Maizel.
Wow. Okay, so this book comes out this summer. It's a vampire book, and yet it is SO incredibly refreshing. Once again, beautiful language, engrossing plot, and a wonderful attention to detail made this book a DELIGHT. I am actually considering re-reading (and I almost NEVER re-read, no time, but that's how much I loved it). Put this one on your lists, people. LOVED.




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7. Oh don't mind those, they're just my fraying edges...

*takes a deep breath*

I CANNOT KEEP UP WITH LIFE.

*sighs*

Sorry, had to get that out of my system.

How are we, LJ?

I'm feeling a bit frayed. Frazzled. Again, you say? So soon, you say? Alas, alack, tis true. I seem to have a paper or test EVERY day, and piles of reading, and commuting, and that pesky thing called life where people expect you to be present or at least make an occasion appearance...

But let's focus on the positive, and there is positive to be had!

1. This song. This song is a positive in my life right now.



2. I'm doing my final tweaks and OMG LJ, they are so light!!! SO CLOSE. Down to only a couple little tweaks per page, and GOODNESS ME, even some positive remarks from ZE EDITRIX, even some *gasp* EXCLAMATION POINTS. I wish I could convey to you how those make my heart flutter.

3. I had a major revelation about ZE NEW BOOK (I do sometimes wonder why some phrases require ze accent), and oh how that major revelation made me happy. It lit this little spark in me and I simply cannot wait to work on ze book now. All I can say is: FALLOW and TYNE. What do these words mean? Nothing to you, but to me, OH SO MUCH.

That is all I have right now. And now I must go finish a paper, study for a vocab test, prepare for a BIG poetry test and a short story quiz, and plot out this chapter...




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8. Best and Worst Advice

This week on the YA Rebels we're talking ADVICE. Of the good AND the bad variety.



I also polled the interwebs to see what they had to say, too.

Deb Harkness: Best: write every day. Worst: write every day. Sad, but true! Sometimes, the words are just stuck and it's better to take a walk!

Paul Greci: Best advice: Never give up. Worst advice: Don't even start.

Shelley Watters: Best: From Colleen Lindsay a month is like a minute in publishing. Worst: Publishing is luck and who you know, not how well you can write.

Maria Sweet: Worst: worst advice EVER I've been given regarding writing/publishing was to query before I finished a MS and to query even if what I have is only one chapter.

Sara Winters: BEST: To listen to the characters and not worry about everything so much. Let the first draft write itself.

Christopher Morris: Best: Write drunk, Edit sober- Hemingway.

From Angela Cerrito: Best: From Markus Zusak "put something unexpected on every page", From Kathleen Duey "keep going, don't stop, be true to your story"...

THIS IS AN ONGOING LIST...

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9. Click here.

Hey guys!

I did a guest post over on Sarah Woodard awesome blog for her birthday extravaganza! (She's turning 19 and having people talk about their 19th birthdays).

If you get a chance, you should go check it out, and even comment. If you comment, then I'll look like an "author". Well, THAT might be a stretch :p

SARAH WOODWARD'S RANDOM MUSINGS!


Oh oh oh! And my witchy sister (we both have witch books, but that's not as fun to say) Karen Mahoney has her cover!!! You should go see it. It is LOVELY!


KAREN MAHONEY'S BEWITCHING COVER!


Last order of business: I have a vlog due up today. BUT I have heinous hair right now, and at approx. 4:30pm I will have shiny new hair, so the vlog will be late :)

Happy Wednesday Morning.

~V




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10. This kind of sums my day up.

Today's tweets, in order:

Spazzing. <--there was a meeting of import.

You know when you get nervous and then you get hungry and so you eat but way too fast because you're nervous and then you feel ill? YEAH.

I need to write this last paper and study but I can't stop zoning out. Curses.

(Are you ready? Here's where it gets fun...)

You know what's AWESOME? When you turn in edits, celebrate, eat a cookie, and then realize there is a PLOT ISSUE.

I shall now fix this crisis with some LOUD MUSIC. Because if I can't hear myself think, I can't think about how I f***ed up.

I shall also, while playing said music, try to recall the moment today when my CP compared me to AN AMAZING AUTHOR, and I won't weep.

The weeping, of course, stems from the fact that I'm relatively certain said author wouldn't make such a sad little plot hole.




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11. And a vlog.

On character.



A rant AND a vlog in one day? Wow.

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12. Write Down, Sell Out.

Almost everyone who writes YA/MG gets asked at some point when they're going to go on and write "real" books. It's almost like a rite of passage, that question, along with first bad review, etc.

But I've stopped being asked that. Or at least, the question has given way to a NEW question.

Me: I write YA.
Them: Oh, that was a smart choice, because that's where all the money is.

Well, two things.

1. Obviously it isn't a question, but it's a STATEMENT OF WORTH, if you will, which puts it in with the first question.

2. It seems on the surface less offensive. But it bothers me me.

It makes the assumption that I write what I write because of the money. That my writing YA was a CALCULATED move to get rich (much like my teacher telling all the students that genre fiction was created using a mad-lib format, easy money, so we should all quit school and go fill in the blanks). It also shows an ignorance about the industry, the super-saturation that makes YA even more competitive right now, the real reasons to write YA, the merits of well-written YA...it blankets all of these with the insinuation that I WRITE YA BECAUSE IT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS.

And I think that bothers me worse. But of course it's not an either/or, is it? I still get asked the first question regularly enough, so now I'm accused of BOTH writing down AND selling out.

Lovely.

You know what? I adore writing YA. I write it because it inspires me, because the readers inspire me, because the community inspires me. I could sit here and explain, parse out every motive I have for writing what I do the way I do. But I won't. I don't NEED to. Because the people who matter, the ones who read this blog, they already understand. They get it. You get it.



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13. What a difference a weekend makes.

Wow. I feel SO much better, guys.

This weekend I finished my edits, wrote my paper, did all my reading, and got back to work on the next book! Two days off made a WORLD of difference. Thank you for bearing with me, and for your encouragement and support. Was getting a wee bit frazzled. It happens.

I feel refreshed and ready to tackle this week, before I head to Chicago for the weekend!

Let's kick the week off with my TBR pile (of course not including the books on my comp that I'm reading for people)...

These are the books I'm CURRENTLY reading:



These are the ones on deck:



Anything good in your TBR piles?

Also, did you know I'm strongly considering moving to England later this year? It's true. A few things have to come together first, but if the fates are in my favor, I will find myself on the other side of the ocean for at least 6 months. More on these plans in the near future!




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14. UNPLUGGING.

So I'm writing this paper for one of my lit classes, and it's about public/private life in a short story we read.

And it got me thinking (which is always a dangerous thing).

I'm going through a small patch. Not a rough patch, per se, or a hard patch. A stagnant patch. Meaning, despite all the movement and activity in my life and around me, my actual progress on things of import feels frustratingly static.

Add to that the feeling like I can't keep up online (right now I can hardly keep up OFFline, for that matter) and I find myself a little ill.

Sometimes we get to the point where our connectivity becomes damaging to our focus, where the best thing we can do for ourselves and our work is unplug.

My friend told me that sometimes it's okay to be selfish now and then, and I'm hoping she's right.

I'm taking a VERY SMALL break. Literally a long weekend (what does it say about my present state that I felt the need to check in and inform you all rather than just pop off the face of the interwebs?).

I just need to focus. I have my final edit deadline coming up, my new book to make serious progress on, a paper on public/private life and about 100 pages of reading this weekend, etc. etc.

I just need a fresh spark. A good, writing-packed, progress-filled, Ben and Jerry's ice cream day.

So. I shall return. And until then (let's say Monday, but certainly by Wednesday), I wish you all a marvelous weekend.

Love, of course.

Victoria



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15. Ugh.

FRAZZLED.

*puts head on desk*

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16. Things I Learned Today - 2

Another edition of "Things I Learned Today" and another promise that soon I will write a post with actual CONTENT.

-If you're used to writing books OUT of order, like me (I write many distinct scenes, and then stitch them together, cut the stitches, re-order, re-stitch, etc) then trying to write a book IN order can be horrible. Like, finger-hovering-over-DELETE-key horrible.

-I have a shiny new project in the "mulling" stage called THE MANY FATES OF AUGUST ALTER. This is actually the project I posted a small excerpt from last week.

-I start class this week! Experience of Literature and Literature and Film. The commute is 45 minutes each way, so I'll be tearing through some audio books if you have any suggestions.

-If you don't work out hard, and then you work out too hard (like swimming an hour and a half after two days off) you can pull a muscle in your chest that makes breathing not so fun.

-I turned in the first 50 pages of BOOK WHICH WILL HOPEFULLY FOLLOW NW to my agent yesterday evening, and got feedback back at lunchtime today. DAMN. That's all I have to say about that.

-I am still in edits on NW. One day it will be over.

-It's only June (it's June, right?) and I am already looking forward to the Decatur Book Festival in September.




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17. Snippet

Hoping to start a series of connected short stories here on the blog, but until then, digging around through my WIPs, looking for snippets...


            Eli jumped when the massive black shape of Vic's dog brushed by him. Dol had inky fur and the spindly grace of a great dane. Grace was a funny word to put with Dol, a beast whose tail fell off whenever he got excited and wagged it too hard (it had never stuck firmly after being lopped cleanly off once by Lena). But he was graced, in a way.

            Vic trailed a tapered finger down Dol’s snout, tapping his nose absently. The dog didn’t seem to mind. His tail swished side to side along the concrete floor. Vicious preferred concrete spaces, because the screams bounced around pleasantly without alarming anyone who might be passing by on the other side.

            “Who’s my little frankenpuppy?” cooed Sydney, rubbing Dol’s ears.

            A long white scar ran like a zipper down Dol’s stomach.

            Most people changed. Whenever Sydney woke someone from the dead, they always seemed a little…vapid. But not Dol. Dol had been brought back six times, and he was always Dol.
            "He looks like he's been hit by a truck," scoffed Eli.
            "He has."





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18. Vlog: Where is Tuesday???

This week the YA Rebels seem to have...misplaced on of our team. On Monday, we realized she was missing. On Tuesday we were disturbed to find her chair empty, her phone unanswered. And today, I try to piece together the last time we saw her...







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19. Big Day in Victorialand!

Hey guys! So today was kind of a big day!

1. I signed my contracts!







2. My two auction co-hosts and I made the evening news!!!!!!






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20. Wednesday (on Saturday) Takes the Bad Boy Too Far

Hey guys. My YARebels vlog this week: a quick look at abuse/manipulation in YA.



Now I'm off to Memphis for the weekend to help my aunt move! SO BUSY. BUT you should be very happy to know that this morning I *gasp* SLEPT IN. Yes, yes, I know, it's a MIRACLE.




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21. Wednesday is easily distracted! And loves Lady Gaga.

On a less serious note than last week's vlog...

This week's vlog is a day in the writing life. Co-starring Diet Coke, Cupcakes, and an Impromptu Lady Gaga Dance Party! WITH CROWN.







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22. BEA BUZZ.

BEA is over, but the evidence is everywhere!

It reminds me of a room after a large party. Half-drained cups here and there, an article of clothing, an unconscious friend crashing on the couch.

Two big things came out of BEA, as far as I can tell from my position on the sidelines (I'm SO going next year):

-Books. Lots and lots and lots of books.

-Buzz.

Now, I'm ALWAYS up for books. I'm positively SALIVATING over the ARCs people managed to grab, but what intrigues me even more is BUZZ. Buzz is that things ever author wants. That thing publicists and houses try so hard to time and calculate.

Buzz is like fire, in that it can flare up in a flash, engulfing, or it can spread in a slow burn. So my favorite part of watching BEA is watching how the books burn (metaphorically, of course). I want to see if the buzz on some books cools off in the wake, or if the roaring fires created under some titles manages to last all the way to their publication in the form of that slow burn.

I'm excited to watch these two books by my friends, which had GREAT buzz, continue to burn.





And hoping that one day, maybe, my book will catch fire, too.

So, in the BEA aftermath, what books have you been hearing about?




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23. Where am I? And where am I going?

So I've been a bit thin on the blogging lately. Mostly because I'm not quite sure what to post. The vlogs take up some of my waning mental capacity, and I feel like you probably don't want to hear about the life-angst (trying to figure out my future right now).

I'm getting to the point where I've considered taking a road trip JUST so I'd have something fun to blog about!

So, I thought I'd ask you.

What do you want to see more of here?

Interviews?

Random, rambling life updates?

Recommendations?

More of a schedule? (i.e. Monday life update, Wednesday vlog, Friday awesome topic)

Teaser and/or snippets?

Themed posts?

Deeper explorations on topics?

Q&A?

Other?

Help!




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24. Things I Learned Today

Welcome to a new series. It's called, as the title of the posts suggests, Things I Learned Today.

The reason for this series is this: I'm spending the summer prepping for PhD applications. That means studying...A LOT. That means four intensive Eng. Lit classes, plus a crap ton (that's a real measurement, trust me) of independent reading, and poetry, and French, and then a little German, etc etc.

So I figured, if I have to learn all these shiny new things, then so can you! But take heart! Sometimes I learn random things from researching for stories, and I'll throw those in, too.

-Pamplemousse is French for grapefruit.

-Poet Shelley (married to Mary Shelley of Frankenstein at one point) is brilliant. His sense of rhythm and rhyme makes my heart happy.

-I remember entire scenes from any movie seen before the age of 12. Evidence: Men in Black. Could recite first ten minutes while watching at lunch.

-Poet Whitman is too wordy for my tastes.

-I like titles that involve wordplay. I just titled my new book (nope, can't tell you about it), and then I made a list and realized every one of my titles involves wordplay. It makes me happy.

-It doesn't make sense for houses in a village with mostly hills and only scattered trees to be made of wood.

-Dr. Who is intriguing (I just started watching today, eps. 1 and 2 down)

-It's apparently still May.

That's all I've got today! (And don't worry, these segments will probably be incorporated into blog posts of actual substance most of the time). Did YOU learn anything fun/interesting/cool lately?




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25. Reason #235789 My Mom is kind of my hero.

From my mother earlier, when I was having a classic "BAD DAY":

So, I was listening to NPR on the way here and they have been doing a running series on graduates, their majors and job prospects etc. The girl they were speaking to this morning is graduating this week from Brandies U in Massachusetts with a BA in English and a minor in Creative Writing. She is also graduating with $85,000 in student loans.

Her dream job - writing popular fiction as a career. However, she is questioning her choices, even though she really wants to write, given the job market and her debt load etc. She thinks that maybe she can get a job, for now, in publishing.

So, when things are not going well in the morning, your pizza dough is being difficult, your eyes are crying from onions and your editor (yes, your editor) hasn't gotten you the number of pages she promised, please remember that you are not in debt and well on your way do your dream job, and many other's dream job, and that you have the love and respect of many people in that industry - already - at 22!

How great is that!

*~*~*~*~*

Amen, Mom. Amen.




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