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.
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.
This year's long list includes some books I've loved (Threatened by Eliot Schrefer and Noggin by John Corey Whaley) and some others I'm psyched to discover. If you're looking for quality YA and MG to read, you really should check out the "Up all Night" online exhibition of previous YPL finalists and winners. Happy reading. XXOE
There's a bunch of We Were Liars internet fun been going on past few weeks. I can't imagine you folks want to read it all, but here are some links anyhow!
Here on Bustle, eight books besides mine with honkin' plot twists, including two of my fave books of all time, Liar by Justine Larbalestier and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
And here, on Hello Giggles, a list of the best fictional liars, ever. Very nice company to be in.
Then on Flavorwire, a list of feminist YA novels, starting with Disreputable History and including a load of awesome reads.
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.
And below, a video interview I did with Goodreads.
I had a lot of fun doing this Goodreads interview about We Were Liars, my friendship with novelist Justine Larbalestier, my tattoo, and what a mediocre person I am. Have a look.
I am answering questions on Goodreads May 22- June 1. I'll do as many as I can. No spoilers please -- but otherwise just go over there, log in, and ask me anything.
Nice interview over on Debbi Michiko Florence's website about We Were Liars. And you can enter to win an advance copy!
Hello from a hotel room. I have been traveling a lot! I love room service! When I get home in a few days I have to start my next YA book. I am frightened.
Meanwhile, here is a little news!
Most of my events for We Were Liars (May 13) will be after it publishes, but Seattlites -- a sneak preview plus FUN and EMBARASSING hijinks with other writers.
Feb 27, 2014, me, Robin Wasserman, Adele Griffin and Sarah Mlynowski will read from our new books and from early and embarassing first attempts at fiction. It's at the downtown Seattle Public Library, 6:30 pm. More details here!
The four of us are also doing two panels on Saturday the 29th at the AWP Conference, also in Seattle, so if you're headed to that, come see us.
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).
Pretty awesome. Plus our usual faculty who are listed here on the MFAC website. We spent a lot of time talking about picture books this season, and a lot of time talking about writing cultural difference -- sharing LGBTQ book lists, POC fantasy novel booklists, and more.
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.
TUMBLR and more TUMBLR
So not only do I recommend THAT Tumblr, but I want you to know I got ACTUAL TUMBLR lessons from Rachel Fershleiser, who works there and does all their cool book stuff -- and she explained it all to me! Though I haven't figured out totally how to work it, I am getting much better and you should come and follow me because I will be there and on Twitter much more than on this blog.
Also, of course, the We Were Liars Tumblr is dead sexy (made by the folks at Random House) and it has pins and maps and all that juicy stuff connected to the book.
Just launched: the We Were Liars Tumblr. #wewereliars
So pretty, right?
I can gush because Ihad nothing to do with it. The folks at Penguin Random House made it. The only thing I supplied was the book, and they just went to town.
They made loads of pinnable and rebloggable images with quotes from the book -- which are also fun teasers as to the plot.Which is under wraps. The book comes out in May.
What else is on the Tumblr?
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).
Anyhow, I hope you all will spread the word and follow the Tumblr and repost the pretty pins if you like them.
Apparetly at least four members of the staff at Avid Bookshop in GA read an early copy of We Were Liars (May 2014) - and you can read their responses here.
And: The National Book Awards are on November 20. Follow on Twitter. I think the hashtag will be #nbaward but I'm not sure. I will post photos and give you the inside scoop when I can.