The thumbnail images of books and albums on this site connect you to Amazon.com -- but that's because Amazon and my web service provider have a partnership, so it's extremely easy to put images on my site. However, I don't get any kind of kickback if you buy any of these items and I don't endorse any particular bookstore over any other.
Cheery end of the year stuff is happening with We Were Liars. Your local independent bookshop will probably have nice gift-y looking copies with bands around the center that makes them look special, and Hudson Booksellers (in all the airports) will have the book on display for quick and easy gifts or airplane reading. And Amazon says its their #1 YA book for the year, and the only YA book in their top 20.
So I would be feeling pretty awesome if I weren't trying to finish the next book, which is a BLOODY MESS right now. But still, I do feel awesome.
The most fun awesomeness for you as a reader is that We Were Liars is up for the GoodReads Choice Award -- which you can VOTE FOR. It's in the YA Fiction category and we're down to the finals, now. You can very easily vote in all categories and it is quite fun to do. I voted in fiction and cookbooks. Anyway, WWL is in very good company so when you see the list of books in the top ten, you may vote for something else instead! But I hope you will go vote, because there's no doubt you'll find about about some good new books while you're doing it.
We’re delighted to say we’ll be hosting E in the first week of December – Christmas presents for everyone you know, SORTED = signed copies of WE WERE LIARS! She’ll also be talking about the brilliant title THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU BANKS which we published just last week. Although very different to WE WERE LIARS it’s completely dazzling in it’s own way, so why not prepare for her visit by having a read before she gets here?
So finally, if you want to catch E Lockhart whilst she’s in the UK here are her public dates -
Monday 1st December
After school drop in meet and greet (informal) Waterstones Cheltenham – 4:30pm – link to come but contact Waterstones for more info!
It is an exciting day in Lockhart land. I am interviewed on one of my fave podcasts, Sara Zarr's This Creative Life. Zarr wrote Roomies (with Tara Altebrando) and The Lucy Variations and lots of other awesome books, and the podcast interviews all kinds of writers about the intersection of life and work, the creative process, etc.
Also, over at the National Book Award, the long list for young people's lit was announced today! I was on the judging committee for Young People's Literature last year, so I really understand the process and feel nostalgic about the whole thing -- 289 books, arriving in boxes over the summer. My idea of fun. Our winner last year was Cynthia Kadohata's The Thing About Luck, which is a really wonderful story and everyone should read it.
I haven't posted a Boyfriend List on the site in a while, but since the gorgeous OMNI of the Ruby Oliver novels, THE BOYFRIEND QUARTET, is now on ebook, I figure I should do some more. They used to be the most popular element of this blog, and you can see them all by clicking here -- including lists from Paula Chase, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, John Green, Diana Peterfreund and more.
Here is the Omni jacket in case you don't believe me it's gorgeous.
OKAY. Now, a girl and then boyfriend list that is as thoughtful and sweet as the novel it's promoting.
Michael Barakiva is the author of the adorably Armenian and romantic ONE MAN GUY, a gay love story with lots of humor, skateboarding, delicious food and charm. Barakiva is a theater director and yet ANOTHER Vassar grad who has written young adult fiction (here's a list), and went to Julliard as well. He plays soccer with the New York Ramblers, has recently founded The Upstart Creatures, a theater ensemble dedicated to creating events that co-mingle art and food, and lives in Manhattan with his husband, Rafael.
Michael Barakiva's Girl/Boy Friend List
1) Cindy – Cindy and I met when we were 11, and spent most of the year awkwardly flirting with each other. Then I screwed my courage to the sticking place and asked her out to the Fifth Grade Dance. We lost touch until a few months ago, when she read about OMG online and got in touch with me via the magic of Facebook. I see now that Cindy is happily partnered to a woman with two beautiful children. Were Cindy and I drawn to each other because of our queerness? Who knows?
2) Debbie and I dated for like three weeks or something when I was in seventh grade, but drifted over the summer and pretended it had never happened when we returned to school the following autumn. She was one of the few other people who was in both band and choir, so we obviously had lots in common (she an alto and clarinetest, I was a baritone and bassoonist). We didn’t really last, but I remember thinking her brother Frank was hella cute.
3) Gail – This is really where it got serious. Gail and I had known each other since 1st grade at McKnight, before my family moved a few blocks and I got rezoned to Drew. Then we became friends again in high school, where all the schools fed back into each other.
Gail was in the Lutheran Choir, as was I (don’t ask how an Israeli/Armenian ended up in the Lutheran Choir). We started dating my freshman year of high school and I thought we were very happy, until her best friend Sarah Barnes told me that Gail wanted to break up with me but didn’t know how. I did it for her, on the back of a school bus, on the way down to Culpepper, VA on a band/choir exchange (band and choir are figuring much more prominently than I would’ve guessed in this list).
Ironically, I met an oboist on that exchange (the double reeds are always sat next to each other) whom I would briefly date when he and I re-met in NYC a decade later.
Gail, like Cindy, got in touch with me recently when she read about OMG. She works in the same building in Central Jerse as my sister and my mom. Gail sang like an angel, and I’m incapable of thinking about her without hearing her dulcimer sounds.
4) Kim – Kim and I met after my sophomore (her freshman) year of high school, at McCarter’s Summer Shakespeare Camp. We continued dating for years. I remember the first year or two happily, and the rest as…well…how shall I put it?
Kim remains one of the smartest, most talented and most beautiful women I’ve ever known. I always felt like we were soul mates, and after we finally finally finally broke up, I kept on waiting for the time we’d become friends again. As is incredibly clear from her rejection of my facebook request, she is clearly not eagerly anticipating that time. We still have a few friends in common from our Shakespeare days, and occasionally I can fb-stalk her via them to she what she’s up to, but I can’t help but feel a sliver of sadness because I think if I had already been out when I met Kim, she and I would be great friends today.
Or maybe not. Maybe Kim’s narrative is radically different than mine, and I’m just this annoying guy she met who detoured her romantically for a few years. Who knows?
5) It’s hard for me not to get sentimental when writing about Linsay, my last girlfriend. We met in college. She was a director, also. She was a Drama/English double major, also. She was a year ahead of me. We became good friends. She graduated. We started dating. The best parts of my senior year I remember spending in her railroad apartment on 6th between B and C. Linsay grew up outside of the city, knew it well, and introduced me to it, much the way Ethan does to Alek in OMG. My 21st bday fell in the six months we dated, and she took me to Lutèce.
We broke up. It wasn’t pretty.
We tried to be friends again. It didn’t work.
We didn’t talk. It wasn’t pretty.
Then we tried one more time.
This time, it really came together.
Linsay and I have seen each other through everything. Her daughter Julia, the most gorgeous creature on the earth, is my goddaughter. Last weekend, my husband and I went to Brooklyn to celebrate Linsay’s birthday in Prospect Park, where I realized I liked her friends almost as much as mine.
Linsay’s best friend from college, Joy Peskin, is the editor of OMG and the reason it happened. Linsay is one of the best board game players and cooks I know. Sometimes you wonder who in your life is going to be there forever. Sometime around ten years ago, I stopped wondering with Lins.
THEN I CAME OUT
6) Ricky was the first person I met when I started backpacking through Europe. It was the summer after my second year of grad school. I was supposed to start a theater company but the funding fell through last minute and I was depressed so I marched into Juilliard’s Financial Aid Office, insisted on taking some crazy loan with crazy interest rates that I’m still paying off, and used that money to flee to Europe.
Ricky was a smashingly handsome 6’4 Aussie who was kind and fun and the kind of person whom everybody loved. I met him in the hostel in London, he joined me in Paris the following weekend, I skipped Budapest to spend an extra few days with him in the middle of my trip, and then he sorta showed up in the States ten days after I’d left him because we decided we couldn’t be apart.
We dated for almost two years and broke up right before 9-11. He’s back in Oz now (Sydney, I believe) and if he’s still single, snatch him up, Ozzies. He’s a catch.
7) Raymond and I met at one of the more underground gay bars in the East Village. He was pale with blue eyes, a combination I should’ve learned to avoid by then because of how my knees quiver around it. He had a real job, and a real apartment, and lots of other real things that real adults have. He also had lots of real problems, which I didn’t realize often accompany real adulthood.
We lived together for 12 of the 18 months we dated. When it was good, it was good. And when it was bad, well… We’re not in touch much, having gone through that post-break up phase where we ignored each other, then that next phase where we went out and drank too much wine and one of us would cry and apologize for hurting the other so. Now we’re in that phase where I refuse to call him because he always made me initiate everything, and he doesn’t call me because he never called me, before during or after our relationship.
He wrote me the loveliest email the day that OMG came out. I wish him well.
8) I met Rafael shortly before I left NYC for a year on a gig. We wrote each other letters. Real letters, with postage and envelopes and everything. We fell in love in absentia, which I believe is really the easiest way for other people to do it with me. I came back. We started dating. And even though our relationship has not always been “a bed of roses,” and we are no longer “spring chickens,” (both examples of phrases he uses that made me fall in love with him), we got married on May 26th, 2013 and I have been happier than I thought I could with this warm, handsome and incredibly kind man.
Below! Booktalk Nation video of me and Gayle Forman (Just One Day, Just One Year, If I Stay, which will be a movie in August! ) chitty-chatting about We Were Liars and drinking wine and talking feminism.
There's a new jacket for The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, designed by the lovely designers at Hyperion. I love it. This jacket art has a soft roll-out, by which I mean bookstores will have the old cover and/or the new cover for a while until the old covers are all sold. But I have seen this one in a lot of places so keep your eyes open.
That means you follow these instructions. Read the book. Post on Tumblr, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #liarsliveread during th day. Share the experience! Photo comments like the one below, especially.
May 17, Sat -- American and British readers are talking about We Were Liars on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. #liarsliveread. That's tomorrow! Follow the page number prompts below, or just join in. It begins 9 AM EST or 1 PM GMT and goes on till everyone falls over. xoE
Signing at the Random House booth at 1:30 PM: not just We Were Liars (hardcover! before pub!) but also The Boyfriend List and two Jenkins books: Water in the Park, Toys Go Out. (Not on the schedule! But I will be there.)
The same info I've told you, but it bears repeating:
We Were Liars is out in the USA on May 13 and in the UK on May 14.
US Tour dates are here. Come out and see me beginning May 13! Write on your hands and show me. Bring your friends. I am doing stuff with Lauren Myracle, Lauren Oliver, Sarah Mlynowski, Libba Bray, Robin Wasserman, Gayle Forman, Jennifer Smith, Susane Colasanti, Eliot Schrefer -- basically, an awesome crew.
Here's the Australian cover for We Were Liars. Out down under in August from Allen and Unwin.
And in other news, I have been writing on my hands. The characters in We Were Liars do that a lot -- mainly mottos and phrases and ideas they like. Here are two.
What are your mottos? I think you should write them on your hands, take a photo, and tag me on Twitter. Just an idea.
We Were Liars is out in the USA on May 13 and in the UK on May 14. US Tour dates are here. NYC, Rochester, Rheinbeck, Washington DC, Book Expo, various places in MA and CT. Come see me. In New York, lots of fun events with other authors.
And here is an article I wrote for the LA Times to publish during the festival. It's about howI came to write for young adults from grad school in Victorian literature. And they made a fun sketch of me. It's from an old PR photo though. My hair is shorter now.
Look! You can make a pinword re-bloggable thingummy. The We Were Liars site now has an app — you put up a photo, add text, add a Beechwood Island filter and then it is super good-looking and you can blog and reblog and pin and Instagram it. Here is my first one:
Ideas: confess your LIES, proclaim your TRUTHS, share your MOTTOS (there are a lot of mottos in the book), pull QUOTES you love, pose IMPORTANT LIFE QUESTIONS.
I just got back from spending 11 days teaching at Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children, low-residency program. To put it simply, there are intensive residencies in July and January, and the rest of the time students write like crazy and send in work to their advisors for critique and guidance. The faculty is very thrilling to be around, for me.
This time, I taught writing workshop with Laura Ruby (Bad Apple, Good Girls, etc) and our guests included: Anita Silvey (who lectured on the history of picture books and middle grade novels), Jane Yolen (who gave our commencement speech), Kate DiCamillo (who talked about her process on The Tiger Rising with Jane Resh Thomas), Geoff Herbach (who talked about his theories of primal emotions and how they drive stories) and Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (who talked about her development process on No Crystal Stair).
Anyway, the Hamline MFAC now has a Tumblr, which is unofficial but supercalifragilistic. It is run by faculty member and NBA long-lister Anne Ursu, and if you have interest in children's and YA books generally, it's a good one to follow (it's not centered on Hamline stuff, but on stuff we talk about at Hamline, if that makes sense.) Here it is.
A map of the island -- Beechwood Island -- where most of the story takes place. (Scroll down)
A family tree of the beautiful Sinclair family. (Scroll down further.)
The chance to read the opening chapters. Or read reviews (including fun quotes from Maureen Johnson, John Green, Sarah Dessen, Scott Westerfeld, Shannon Hale, etc, plus loads of your favorite book reviewers and librarians).
Hope you had a good Halloween. I was a monarch butterfly. Someone stole our pumpkin AND the bowl of candy we left out for neighborhood kids. I saw a man with a beard dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I ate all the Butterfingers nobody else wanted. Business as usual for All Hallows Eve in NYC.
Today (Nov 1) was the cover reveal on the Entertainment Weekly website for my upcoming book, WE WERE LIARS. It was an exclusive, which means no one was allowed to see the cover until today -- or the juicy John Green quotation at the top of the shiny beautiful jacket. Here it is! You also get a hint of the plot, which is highly under wraps.
I have a book coming out in May. It is called WE WERE LIARS. There will be a fancy pants cover REVEAL on Entertainment Weekly's website on November 1, and advance reader copies (ARCs) will be mailed out after that -- but before then my publisher had me sign about 100 manuscripts which were sent to top secret recipients.
Okay, they're not top secret. I just don't know who they were. So if you were one of them, tweet me and let me know!
If you want to know more about We Were Liars, I answered questions on Twitter the other night so there are some clues there. Search hashtag #wewereliars and you can read the conversation.