Previous month:
September 2008
Next month:
November 2008

Parties and Potions, Bliss

Celebrate Halloween by checking out this awesome student-made trailer for Sarah Mlynowski's upcoming witch book! 
(I have already read it. It is the best one so far! Parties and Potions, follow-up to Bras & Broomsticks, Frogs & French Kisses, and Spells & Sleeping Bags)

Then, keep celebrating by watching the trailer for Lauren Myracle's terrifying Bliss:

PW Bookshelf

Here's a nice article in the PW Children's Bookshelf about me and the other four National Book Award Finalists. I am very honored to be in their company. 

But can I just say?
I am having trouble buying these books, and I want to read them!  
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp is not out yet (Nov 11!) but the others should be in any good bookstore, yes?
I love my local indie, but all they had was my own book, and that's cause they know I'm local. 
So I went to my local chain store, and they had one. What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. No Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. No the Underneath by Kathi Appelt. No Disreputable History, even. 

There were a lot of vampire books, though. 

Anyway, it was a tiny bit depressing. 

November 18

November 18, 7:00 PM
I am reading from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks at
a finalist reading for the National Book Awards. 
Each finalist author will read for five minutes. (The whole thing lasts nearly three hours, though, so eat ahead of time!)

Tishman Auditorium, First Floor, The New School, 66 W. 12th St.
New York, NY

Members of the general public who wish to attend the Finalists Reading can purchase $10 tickets in advance through the New School Box Office (212) 229-5488. This event traditionally sells out. Tickets are on sale now.

More info at

(Actual award ceremony is the next night.)

Kelly Parra!

Kelly Parra, on the GCC with me, is the author of Graffiti Girl and her new book is INVISIBLE TOUCH.  And it's a great Halloween read. 

Kara Martinez has been trying to be "normal" ever since the accident that took her father's life when she was eleven years old. She's buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be. Not even her best friend  has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.

Because Kara has a gift -- one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person's fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time.   

Check out the trailer! Or buy it here. Also, this month Kelly is hosting a "secret fates" extravaganza -- where lots of authors share secrets and prizes -- so you might want to check it out before Halloween.

I got Kelly to answer the usual Disreputable questions:

Tell Me Your Disreputable History
In my new book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, the heroine infiltrates an all-male secret society and stages ornate and controversial pranks on the campus of her boarding school.  
1. Tell me the sneakiest thing you ever did. 

Sneakiest as in sneak out of the house during high school. Ugh, the guilt! Sorry, Mom, it was just the fun thing to do at the time. 

2. Tell me the sneakiest thing that happens in your new book. 

The theme of Invisible Touch is secrets. My character Kara has the gift of seeing visions and signs on individuals.  She has to piece the signs together to solve puzzles in order to stop an unfortunate fate.  The catch is she has to hide this gift from everyone, mainly her family, so they don't think she's crazy.  Her big sneak in the novel is the anonymous blog she keeps called Secret Fates where she shares about her gift freely as well as the current mystery she is trying to solve.  However, someone else knows her secret and is secretly leaving her taunting clues without letting on who he/she is. There is actually a whole lotta sneakin' going on.

3. Are you a prankster? Tell me a story.

I'm actually a teaser/jokester. I come from a long line of teasers and pranksters in my family, and was pranked on so much that I find it hard to prank others knowing how it feels. haha. Embarrassing!

4. Were you in any clubs or societies in high school? Did any of those club activities make it into your novels? 

I belonged to student government in junior high, but that hasn't made it in my novels yet. I did hang out with a bunch of graf artists in high school and that gave me the idea for Graffiti Girl. :)

5. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why, or why not?

I don't particularly call myself a feminist even though I definitely believe in equal rights for women. I feel I'm not much of an advocate and really send my message quietly through books instead of verbally.

6. How does your answer to question 5 show up in your new book?

I tend to write female protagonists who really have to fight for what they believe in and endure a journey that makes them all the more stronger in the end. My message is that girls are strong and can overcome personal obstacles with courage and perseverance.

7. The club in my book is called The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. If you were to found a secret society, what would it be called, and what would its mission be? 

The secret society would be The Protecters of the Secrets and its mission would be to keep the secrets of urban legend and myths...secret forever.  Because to the know the answers to every mystery would take away much of the dreaming and imagination in the world. :)

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, E! 


In honor of her new book BLISS, which is scary scary scary, my friend Lauren Myracle  (author with me and Sarah Mlynowski of How to Be Bad, plus on her own TTYL, TTFN, L8R G8R, and more)is challenging people to a scare-a-thon -- by which she means:

challenging people to do something out of their comfort zone -- so far out, it gives you the heebie jeebies. Before October 31! 
And to blog about it!
Or post it on YouTube or something else public.
I am not participating. 
I am, for very good reasons, indisposed to this kind of thing at the moment.
Call me a weenie-head if you will. (Lauren will).

However, I watch the results with bated breath. YA writers participating include: John Green, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Meg Cabot, Stephenie Meyer, Kirsten Miller,  Maureen Johnson, Shannon Hale, Melissa de la Cruz, Cassandra Clare and MT Anderson. 

Lauren is scared of doing the Thriller dance in public
Cassandra (author of City of Bones) is going to eat brains. (She is in Paris, which makes this easier to do).

What will the rest of them do?  I don't know yet, but I am dying to find out....


P.S. Congratulations to my former writing compatriot John Green, whose fantastically excellent new book, Paper Towns, is on the bestseller list this week!  I read an early copy and loved loved loved it. 

Vote. Or help! Or win prizes.

Over at YA for Obama there are PRIZES every day for stuff you can easily do to help in the last two weeks before the election. Go see!

Adult friends of mine have been canvassing in Pennsylvania, doing volunteer lawyer stuff in Ohio, raising money online by emailing friends and sending them the links to donate, standing in for the Obama position in public debates (and winning), blogging and more. But young people can do a lot, too -- even if you can't vote yet -- so check out the site for ideas. 

Oh, and hang out with your fave young adult authors. This week saw Tamora Pierce on there, plus Megan McCafferty, Sara Zarr and more. Oh, and prizes. Don't forget those. 

Something Rotten, Dresses, National Book Award, etc.

A couple things;

Alan Gratz, who wrote the awesomely action-packed Samurai Shortstop, writes these Shakesperean mysteries that are really fun and smart (I love me a mystery) -- and since the second one, SOMETHING WICKED, comes out this week, Dial books is letting you read the first one, SOMETHING ROTTEN, for free. You don't have to register, give your email addy, nothing --  just click here. 

Go check it out, babes.

Next thing:
People have been asking me about the "Call" I got about Disreputable History being a finalist for the National Book Award. I got an email from the dude at the National Book Foundation, and at first I didn't open it because I didn't know him and I was wading through a lot of backed up email. Then I did open it, and it just said to call him -- and then my PHONE WOULD NOT WORK.  And my cell needed charging. So I had to wait and call him like an hour later. And I didn't know if maybe he was calling about the finalists, or maybe like, he wanted a donation or something. 
And then he said, Congratulations, and I was happy only SWORN TO SECRECY for like 24 hours. So I didn't tell anyone, until the next morning when I told Sara Zarr, who had been nominated the year before for her awesome book STORY OF A GIRL. And she called me right away and talked to me in soothing tones. 

Last thing: Laurie Halse Anderson (also nominated for Chains -- along with Kathi Appelt for The Underneath, Judy Blundell for What I Saw and How I Lied, and Tim Tharp for The Spectacular Now) reminds me that I need a dress.  A really, really good dress. 
or possibly torture. 
Sometimes I take all my agita over something and project it into worrying about what to wear. 
It is highly possible I will do that, now. 
You can call me neurotic, but if it's good enough for Laurie, it's good enough for me.  :) 

National Book Award Finalist

The Department of Self-Aggrandizement (Sp?) suffered malfunction today -- possibly because the universe perceived a need for more HUMILITY on the part of your less-than humble correspondent. In any case, I could not log in to my blogging software all day, and am therefore the last to tell you that Disreputable History is a finalist for the National Book Award.

Squee!  What else is there to say? I am seriously honored.

Linda Gerber's Disreputable History

Linda Gerber's YA mystery DEATH BY BIKINI has a follow-up: DEATH BY LATTE. 
Since her adventures in the previous novel, Aphra had been living a quiet existence on her father’s secluded island resort, until Seth Mulo turned up to steal her heart. Seth provides information that leads Aphra to find her mom in Seattle. But the reunion isn’t quite what she expected. Aphra’s mom doesn’t seem happy to see her, and when mom's boyfriend Joe is found dead at a nearby coffee shop, Aphra discovers her whole trip to Seattle has been based on a lie....

Anyway, naturally mystery writers are a sneaky bunch (read her blog to know more about her adventures!), and I got LInda to submit to my Disreputable History interview:


1. Tell me the sneakiest thing you ever did.

         Don't tell my mom… when I was in 9th grade, I climbed out my bedroom window onto the garage roof, down onto the fence and into the waiting car of some boys I met from a neighboring high school. More than once.

2. Tell me the sneakiest thing that happens in your new book.

         Aphra tells her dad she's going to visit a friend in South Carolina has that friend cover for her while she goes to Seattle instead.

3. Are you a prankster? Tell me a story.

I'm not by nature a prankster, so when I do pull one, people believe I'm serious. When I was getting married, my husband's friend worked for the printer who was doing our announcements. We had a few fake announcements with some rather… informal verbiage printed up in the same style as the regular ones for some family and friends . When my now-MIL got hers in the mail and saw the other faux information in the announcement and that we had included her middle name (which she hates), she shut herself in her bedroom and wailed, thinking this was our real announcement and that it had gone out to all her friends. My FIL was not amused because it took him a long time to calm her down. *giggle*  Oh, I mean, the poor dear.        

4. Were you in any clubs or societies in high school? Did any of those club activities make it into your novels?

I overdid clubs in high school, especially my senior year because all my friends had graduated and I really didn't want to be in HS anymore, so I reasoned that if I got reeeeaally involved, it would make the year more palatable. It didn't.  So far, none of those clubs have made it into any of my books.

5. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why, or why not?

Absolutely – if we define feminist as believing in, fighting for and sticking up for equal opportunities for women. I'm not part of any  feminist organizations.

6. How does your answer to question 5 show up in your new book?

Both Aphra and her mom are strong female characters and it's them, not the men, who do the majority of the thinking and solving.

7. The club in my book is called The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. If you were to found a secret society, what would it be called, and what would its mission be?

My secret society would be called Congregatio Chocolata, dedicated to seeking out and testing the world's finest chocolate.