Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Today is the release day for WARRIOR, the second book in the Prophecy Series. It's been an amazing year seeing Prophecy published and now Warrior. These books are labors of love and I am so grateful to have a fabulous publishing house, HarperTeen, to send my books out into the world. I have also been blessed with hearing from so many wonderful readers that have touched my heart. Thank you to all of you! I am so glad to be able to share Kira's journey with my fabulous readers!

So today, for WARRIOR's release, I get to share with you my oldest daughter, Summer's portrait of Nara, the kumiho, a nine tailed fox demon. Given Nara's importance in WARRIOR, I think it is only fitting to have another picture of her to commemorate the release date!

I can't wait to hear back from all of you and see just how you feel about Nara and Gom, the new Warrior characters. I hope you get to love them as much as I do!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

More Warrior Fanart!!

Today I get to share with you the cutest little goblin drawing I've ever seen! This is 14 year old Sharon's illustration of Gom from WARRIOR! Gom is a dokkaebi, goblin like creatures that always carry magic cudgels. I am dying from the cute!!

Gom is another new character in WARRIOR that I love. I can't wait for all of you to meet him and tell me what you think. Thank you Sharon for this amazing artwork!!! If I could make a plush from this picture, I would, I love it so much!!

WARRIOR releases tomorrow!!! YAY!!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

WARRIOR Fanart!!!!!

I've said it before and I'll say it forever, the best part of being an author is FANART!!!

This beautiful rendition of Nara, my kumiho (nine tailed fox demon) character from WARRIOR is by the incredibly talented 13 year old Erica. She sent me Nara and my heart just melted. WARRIOR comes out on New Year's Eve, only a few days away! And Nara is one of my favorite new characters in the book. So imagine my joy when I received Erica's artwork! I'm in love!

Thank you Erica! This is truly a beautiful kumiho!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


The fantastic team at HarperTeen did this beautiful social media graphic for the release of Warrior! If you like it, feel free to use it to help spread the word that Warrior is coming out December 31st of this year!! Woo Hooooooooo!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Helping Hands over at the Thirteeners!

I did this for the Helping Hands post we did for the Friday the Thirteeners blog post. Go take a look at some very helpful and handy advice! Go here!
All artwork by my Oldest since as we all know by now I have no artistic talent.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December already?!!

How did time fly so fast? Just yesterday school was starting and the day before that it was summer time. How can it possibly be December already? Please someone tell me my calendar is wrong. 2013 isn't almost over, is it? Really?


But December does mean something big is coming up. WARRIOR, the sequel to PROPHECY, is out December 31st! And Prophecy paperbacks will also be out this month! That means, watch out for lots of giveaways! If you want a paperback of Prophecy and a hardcopy of Warrior, you will have some opportunities in the next few weeks as I gear up for some Holiday giving!

And I will just leave you with a look back at the first year of a baby elephant. Too cute...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ellen Picass-Oh

Hi everyone! So I've not been blogging for a while because I am lame. And I'm going to be even lamer and recycle a blog post I did for the 13ers. But as I'm fairly sure no one saw it there, I feel justified as there was a lot of hard work involved, as you can see.

So this blog post is based off of a dare by my buddy Elsie Chapman. It's great if you are a fantastic artist, like all 3 of my kids. But not so great if you have problems drawing a straight line or a circle. Which would clearly be me. Knowing my inability to draw, Elsie dared me to draw my MC, Kira from Prophecy. And I foolishly took the challenge!

Here's my first attempt. It was important for me to make sure I was accurate by including the yellow eyes and a bow and arrow. The boots were just a special extra I did. But my youngest came by and berated me for drawing her naked. 

 So I gave her some clothes and a sword. But then apparently my middle daughter came by and asked me if I was drawing a sailor. Damn it, she is not a sailor! So my youngest said, put her on a horse!

 My oldest shows up because of the shrieks of laughter emanating from my room and she takes a look and says "why is she riding a platypus?" At this point, I decided to call it a night and loaded up my self-portrait.

They have now taken to calling me Mama Smurf.

And BTW - here's how real artists do it:

 Kira by our very own and extraordinarily talented Natalie Whipple.

Another Kira by the amazing Joni who blogs at Lace and Fog Authoress. 

From now on, I shall leave the art to the artists!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Catching up!!

It's been nearly a month since my last blog post and I have a very good reason for the long radio silence! I caught a bad case of summer brain that essentially turned me into a zombie. Well, a zombie/chauffeur who's sole existence was to drive the Oh kids to a seemingly endless array of sports, health, school, and party time related activities. Needless to say, I'm quite happy the kids are back in school. However, I do have some fun things to report. Well, they were fun for me at least! I went back up to NYC and met up with my new editor and my first editor and my agent and my buddy Alana, Harper marketing guru extraordinaire! Here's me and Alana! She is not only the coolest person in the world, but she has the most stunning hair!

I met my new editor Alyson who is super cool and super nice and I am truly blessed to have Prophecy, Warrior, and King in her fantastic editorial hands.

I also got the opportunity to meet up with my first editor, the one and only Phoebe, who is now Publisher and VP of Crown Books for Young Readers, Random House! Seriously an amazing promotion for someone who I think is one of the best editors in all of NYC! This promotion is  so well deserved and I couldn't be happier for her!

Phoebe then took me to dinner with Soman Chainani, author of the amazing SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, a book that is simply one of my absolute favorite reads of the year! I have been in such awe of Soman because I think he is just a brilliant writer. And I've been telling Phoebe how much I want to meet him in person (we've been communicating via email for months!). So she made it happen! He is seriously as nice and as funny as I expected him to be! And I tried to bribe him into letting me get a sneak peek of book 2, but I haven't been successful yet...

I realized after the fact that I didn't have a picture with me and my agent, Joe, which bummed me out! He took me to this fantastic breakfast restaurant up on the upper west side and then we walked from 86th to 66th just chatting up a storm! It is always so great to see him in person and catch up. Joe's knowledge of the industry is amazing. I'd seriously be lost without him!

One last interesting thing that happened this summer was a Lucky 13 event at the Bethesda library! It was awesome to see these amazing Luckies all in one place! Stephanie Kuen, Kelly Fiore, Elisabeth Dahl, Cristin Terrell, and Alex Lidell. These ladies are all awesome and they were a really interesting panel to listen to! Also, we got to hang out and have dinner together which is always the best part of author get togethers! (FYI - I know I'm wearing another black and white top but it is not the same top as in NY. I just have a lot of black and white clothes.)


So that's all the news that's fit to print - or post! I'll be back with a giveaway of some WARRIOR ARCs! Stay tuned!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Diversity in Writing

 I did this post for Write on Com. Figured it would be worth sharing here also.

Diversity in Writing

Recently, I was part of a conversation where an author said the following: “But there’s been a lot of anger from some quarters about “appropriation” and “exoticism” … I’m terrified of incurring the kind of wrath I’ve seen online, and have decided I’m not qualified to tackle diversity head on.”
Guys, if this is you, then I want to talk to you about why it is okay to “tackle diversity.” If you are the type to say, “Yes, I want to include diversity! I just don’t know how.” I want to talk to you too, because there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. But mostly I want to tell you how important it is that you all are trying. Thank you for that. Because I was once that little girl scanning through the books desperately looking for someone like me, who wasn’t a stereotype. And now I have kids who are doing the same thing. Thank you for wanting to have this conversation.
But if you are scared about being called out for including diversity in your book, then wake up and smell the diapers, children, because you are not going to be able to make everybody happy. Someone somewhere is going to be offended for something you wrote and for a reason that you never intended! You wrote a girl empowerment book? How dare you put down feminine girls! You wrote about sexual exploitation? How dare you write a slut shaming book! You wrote a POC main character? How dare you white person try and exploit minorities!
Look, I’m Korean American and I wrote a fantasy book based in ancient Korea. I studied it for 10 years on top of all that I knew from being raised by Korean immigrants. And yet I had plenty of people bash me for getting things “wrong” about Korean culture in my book – and most of them weren’t even Korean! So the one thing I can promise you with absolute assurance is, someone somewhere is going to be irate at you for writing. Whether it is the fact that you wrote a POC character or the fact that you are posing in your author picture with a hand to your cheek, someone is going to hate you for something. Listen, you are not ever going to make everyone happy. That’s just human nature. I bet someone out there is reading this post right now and pissed off at me just because they don’t like my face. What can you do? You can start not caring about making everybody happy.
Now writing about POC is a bit different in that most people are afraid of being called a racist. So they avoid diversity because of it. However, let me reassure you that by not including diversity, you are also being called a racist. Maybe not to your face, but you are. And guess what? Being called a racist is nowhere near as painful as dealing with actual racism.
Now that I have freed you from the fear of being reviled on the internet, let’s talk about a few things that you need to keep in mind:
  1. Do your research and be respectful. Don’t culturally appropriate from POC and then claim that your world is different therefore you can do whatever the hell you want with it. Call your world whatever you want, but if your world looks and sounds like China, and you even use Chinese words and architecture and terms specific to that culture, then don’t pretend it’s not China and mix us up with every other Asian culture. It just reeks of sloppy research and not giving a damn. If you want your world to feel Asian without specifically calling out a specific country, it can be done – see Eon/Eona. See The Last Airbender series.
  2. Avoid stereotypes. There are many. The magical negro, the blonde bimbo, the smart Asian math whiz, the ghetto talking black kid, the feisty Latina, the Asian dragon lady, the cryptic but wise Native American, the uppercrusty WASP, etc. Using stereotypes is lazy writing. You don’t want to invest in your character’s development to go beyond an easily recognizable trope. Don’t do this.
  3. Exotification of another culture. “But remember, there are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.” ? David Wong. I think the context of this quote was about women and how men view them. But it works well in this context also. If you don’t include POC in your book, you are dismissing them. If you do include POC but make them exotic and other-worldish, you are going the other way. Neither is acceptable.
  4. Check your privilege. Don’t get mad that I used the “P” word. I know privilege can be a touchy subject. Asking you to be aware of your privilege is not the same as calling you a racist. What I’m doing is asking you to be aware of it. If you are a female, then you know that male privilege is very real. Take what you understand as male privilege and make a correlation to white privilege and you will see what I mean. And if it helps, read this: http://ted.coe.wayne.edu/ele3600/mcintosh.html
  5. Reach out to minorities for help.  If you know nothing about the culture that you want to include in your book, then reach out for help. Yes, you can find a lot of information on the internet, but some things you can only learn from people who live that culture 24/7.
It won’t be easy, and it shouldn’t be! You will probably make mistakes. And that’s ok! You’ll learn from them and you will fail less and less the more you try. But the most important thing is that you try. Because you are writing for kids. All our kids! And they need to see that their books can reflect their world.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Summer is nearly over...

And I'm so behind! I have to post my trip to NYC and my Library of Congress event, but the summer has killed my brain and the posts are much delayed. So while I try to work around my summer (zombie) brain, I shall leave you with my new favorite GIF.

This is my husband when he wins an argument. It doesn't happen that often.

And in the meantime, I shall work on my blog posts! See you guys soon!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Portrait of Kira Kang - The Girl with a Tiger Spirit

Do you ever get something unexpectedly that chokes you up and makes you a bit weepy from happiness and absolute gratitude? I had that moment when I opened my email and received this beautiful art creation from the amazing and wonderful Joni who blogs at Lace and Fog Authoress. 

One of my dreams would be to see the Prophecy series published as a manga or graphic novel. So to see this portrait of Kira, exactly as I envisioned her in a manga book, was surreal. Joni even wrote "tiger" in Korean for her tiger spirit. I have been mesmerized by this art all night long. It is beautiful and wonderful and just perfect.

This is Kira. This is the girl with a tiger spirit.

Thank you Joni for bringing her to life for me.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Funniest GIF

So my friend Renee sent me this GIF and I have been dying laughing over it for hours now! Also, as an FYI - this is the best and spiciest ramen out there. It's called Shin Ramen and you can get it at the Korean grocery. But a word of caution, it is seriously spicy! Please don't snort it!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Warrior ARCs!!

Warrior ARCs are here!!!

They are so pretty! I can't believe that I'm holding book 2 already. I am in awe!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Why you shouldn't assume...

This has to be one of my absolute favorite video clips from a television talk show. I want Retta to live with me and be my best buddy. I would happily cruise down the street blasting my favorite opera arias!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Asian Mythology

I originally had written this post for the lovely Lili over at Lili's Reflections for her blogoversary. But I thought it would be good to crosspost this here also. One of my strongest memories of being young is reading all about Greek, Roman and Norse mythology, along with practically every fairytale book every printed. I have a special fondness for the Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors. I remember rereading the blue, red, yellow and pink books over and over again. I never got tired of them. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that these books I loved were not very diverse. In fact, it began to dawn on me just how underrepresented my culture was in children’s literature. This became an issue for me when I had my three girls. Trying to find multi-cultural books became my mission. It was easier in picture books, but as my girls got older, I began to notice that something was missing. Right around when my first daughter was born, I’d begun what has now become a lifelong love affair with Asian history. I read everything I could about Asia, specifically Korea, and I was fascinated by everything I’d learned. Asian myths and legends are just as fascinating as European ones, but not as well known. For example, there’s the Korean myth of the Kumiho – a nine-tailed fox demon who takes the form of a beautiful woman and lures men into marriage in the hopes that they can become human. But just as the kumiho sees her goal within her grasp, the man becomes aware of her demon nature and she is forced to kill him and eat his heart and liver. Or what about the Japanese kami? A kami is a water sprite monster that has a crater on the top of its head that is filled with water. Kami’s are famous for lurking in pools of water and trying to drown people. But they are known for being so polite that if you bow to them, they will immediately bow back, which spills out the water from their crater heads and renders them immobile. There are still signs in front of some ponds in Japan that say “Beware of the Kami!” Many myths and legends of Asia are completely unknown in the west. Even my children had no idea of what Asian mythology was like. And this is why I wrote Prophecy. I wrote it for my daughters who loved to sit by my side and hear about all those long ago stories. I wrote it so they could be exposed to a side of their heritage they don’t get to read a lot about. And I wanted them to be able to point to a strong Asian girl hero instead of the smart, quiet, nerdy, Asian side-kick. I wanted to destroy the Asian woman stereotype once and for all and give my daughters their own Katniss or Katsa to root for. Now I say this now, but I actually wrote Prophecy way before Graceling and Hunger Games ever came out. And it is interesting to me that the year my first agent went on editorial submission for Prophecy was the year that Graceling and Hunger Games were both published. I’ve always thought of it as a wonderful coincidence of women authors who were ready to write about strong female heroes. We even all gave them names starting with K for kickass! I admit that I worried about how people would react to the Asian mythology in my book. When I first tried to get published, I came across so many people who told me that “no one wants to read about ancient Korea” and “these names are too strange and too hard to pronounce, nobody wants to deal with it” and “it’s just too foreign.” I have to admit that it hurt a lot. Because it felt like they were telling me no one cared about my culture. But here’s the thing, like all things in life, these naysayers are not everyone. For every one person who might hate reading a book about another culture, there’s at least one who wants to read it. And that’s who I focused on, my true audience—kids. Because diversity is such an important issue for me, it was a natural decision to write a book for kids and give them exposure to another culture. And the reaction has been all that I could have hoped for and more. I’ve been overwhelmed at the amazing response I’ve gotten from kids. It made me realize that kids are eager for exposure to new and different things. They aren’t close-minded or hyper-critical. What they want is to be entertained, and if in the process they are exposed to diversity, so much the better! And the more diversity our kids are exposed to, the more we can hope that one day, diversity isn’t something we have to go hunting for. That diversity in literature will become the norm.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Viva la Vida cello ensemble

My two older children are quite musical. The oldest plays piano, guitar, violin and sings. Extremely talented. And my middle child plays piano and cello. She's only played cello for 3 years but she is quite good. And so she's always on the hunt for a good cello video. I think this might be my new favorite music video. Viva la Vida is one of my all time favorite songs by Coldplay. But to hear it on cello, well that's an entirely different and amazing experience.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why Being a POC Author Sucks Sometimes

When I do my diversity presentation for high schools, I open with this chart:

It's an immediate attention grabber. Why? Because this highlights the gap in diversity of caucasian and POC authors. This is an informal survey taken by author Roxanne Gay that breaks out authors reviewed by the NYT in 2011 by race. Nearly 90% are caucasian. This by no means shows a complete breakdown of publishing. But I would venture to say that a more accurate number of published books might even further compound the gap between caucasian authors and POC authors.

Ms. Gay states in her article that "These days, it is difficult for any writer to get a book published. We’re all clawing. However, if you are a writer of color, not only do you face a steeper climb getting your book published, you face an even more arduous journey if you want that book to receive critical attention. It shouldn’t be this way. Writers deserve that same fighting chance regardless of who they are but here we are, talking about the same old thing—these institutional biases that even by a count of 2011 data, remain deeply ingrained."

I am a person of color, a minority, and I am a published author. Did it feel like it was harder for me than a caucasian author to get published? I can't answer that. I have no idea what their path to publication felt like. But I can talk about my own path and the roadblocks that I came across. I can talk about being told over and over again by other writers and publishing professionals that no one would buy a book about ancient Korea. I can talk about having my writing ridiculed by saying it reads like a bad translation of a Chinese book, even though English is my native language, and I'm not Chinese. I have numerous tales of the type of dissuading I endured, but I didn't give up because I believed that there needed to be more books like mine out there. And I was extremely lucky to get published by a wonderful publisher.

I wrote a children's book. Historically, children's books have always been a wonderful place to find multicultural books... at least compared to other areas of publishing. With librarians and teachers looking for diversity, there have been many more multicultural titles in children's publishing. Although I would not say it is the same for YA. In this aspect, I am speaking most specifically about chapter, picture and middle grade books. Or so I believed. But now I have a new graphic to share in my diversity presentations.

This is a new graphic by Lee & Low books that put an end to my rosy colored view of diversity and publishing in children's. The percentage of books by and about people of color has hovered around 10% for nearly 20 years. When I first saw this graphic, I was absolutely stunned. I had no idea how little had changed. And when I read the accompanying article here, I found myself nodding my head in dismay.

Betsy Bird, School Library Journal blogger at A Fuse #8 said "The public outcry for more multicultural books has so far been more of a public whimper." And I have to ask, why? Is the problem supply or is the problem demand?"

From the viewpoint of a minority woman, I believe the demand is there. But maybe the default of "white culture" is so ingrained that even minorities don't know to demand for more. We read what is there. What's available to us. They say girls read boy books but boys don't read girl books. Is the parallel POC read white books but whites don't read POC books? I don't think so. I think that the truth is, they are not exposed to them.

Publishers seem to believe that multicultural books just don't sell as well. But do they get the same marketing push as non-POC books? Are all things equal when they are sent out into the world? I would hazard a guess that they are not. Because if you do not believe that multi-cultural books will sell well, then you will not put the marketing money behind them and thereby you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now I have been lucky, my books have had terrific marketing support from my publisher. So the question then goes to the other side of the coin. Where are the booksellers, the librarians, the teachers on pushing the multicultural books? It's not just enough to ask publishers to publish the books, there must be help from the other side. There has to be a support system for these books once they are published, to help get them into the children's hands. And that is not all up to the publisher.

I once asked a YA librarian if she thought there were enough diverse titles and she said that they were there, but you just have to know how to look for them. Isn't that part of the problem? That they are invisible and no one knows about them? How are they shelved in bookstores and libraries? How easy are they to find? Of the 112 titles chosen by YALSA for the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list, less than 10% were by POC authors. The 2013 list is looking like it may fare even worse. So if teen librarians are looking to these lists that are so woefully underrepresented, does this not aggravate the underlying problem?

One thing that really stood out for me is this series of questions by Ms. Bird, "Finally, we need to officially address how we feel about white authors and illustrators writing books about people of other races. Is it never okay? Sometimes okay? Always okay?"

To this - I want to offer up a response from writer Claire Light because I couldn't say it better:
"What I want to add to the debate is a small piece of truth that gets glossed over. In response to the complaint of white writers about writing about people of color: "Damned if you do. Damned if you don't," I want to say: Absolutely.
It's absolutely true. You're damned either way. Race and racism exist in this society, and if you ignore them, you're expressing a racial privilege...
If you do do it and get it "wrong", you'll get reamed, and rightfully so. It's presumptuous of you to think that you have the right to represent a culture you don't belong to if you can't be bothered to properly examine and accurately portray that culture.
Further, if you do it and get it "right", or rather, don't get it wrong, you'll still get reamed by members of that culture you've represented who rightfully resent a white writer's success representing their culture. After all, every American ethnic minority has its writers: good and bad. The good writers are mostly ignored. Inevitably, some white writer will come along and do a bang-up job portraying that culture and will get--in one book, in one section of a book--more attention than the poc writer got over the course of three or five or ten books.
You're a white writer trying to do the right thing, but no matter what you do, it's wrong. And that's so unfair to you, isn't it?
Welcome to a tiny taste of what it's like to be a person of color."
I want to tell you an honest truth people, because of all the racism I have endured in my life (and even seeing the racism my own children have had to face) I cannot help but resent when caucasians write about Asian culture. Yes, I resent them. I absolutely do. Yet, at the same time, I appreciate them for at least trying to do it, when they do it right.

It is a complicated situation. There is no easy answer. We need diversity in literature. We need it desperately. Diversity is not only for the under-represented—the truth is, diversity is important for everyone. All people need to be exposed to other races and other cultures in positive ways. All people need to learn tolerance and acceptance of differences. When we promote only a homogeneous view of society in our literature and our media, and deem books or movies about minorities as unsuccessful, it harms everyone. And so it is important that all authors include diversity in their books.

But there is that part of me that wonders why is it that when I see a list about what Asian fantasy books are out there, the books are predominantly by caucasian authors. Are POC writers not writing them or are they being passed over for books written by non-POC authors instead? And why is it that books by or about POC don't tend to sell as well as other "mainstream" books. What is the difference? Is it the difference in how they are marketed? Is it their cover art? Where they are placed in the bookstore or library? How they are pushed or not pushed by the booksellers, librarians, and teachers?

The reality is, there are just not a lot of POC authors out there. We are not representing the 37% of our population when we only amount to 10% of publishing. When you look at diversity panels or even the YA tag in racebending.com, the authors tend to be predominantly white because they reflect publishing.

This is why I can't help but be resentful. I freely admit it. It sucks being a POC author sometimes. You feel invisible. You feel passed over. And true or not,  it feels harder for us to get to tell our own stories. And that shouldn't be the way things are.

I want to see more of me in publishing. I want to see more POC authors overcoming the publishing barrier and writing about their cultures. I want to see diversity panels filled with... diversity! We need to be performing on stage with our counterparts, not just watching in the audience.

We need to represent.

We need to belong.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

WARRIOR - Book 2 of the Prophecy series

So now that my exclusive cover reveal has gone up on YA Book Central, I can now share it on my own blog! But I also get to share with you a little something extra. The back cover jacket! It's just as cool:

You get to see the awesome kumiho that is on my cover. The kumiho is a 9 tailed fox demon and is a new character that you all will meet in Warrior. I have to admit that she is one of my new favorite characters and eventually I might have to do a short story just about her one day. There's one more new favorite character that came up in Warrior, but I think I'm gonna make you all wait and read it to find out who it is.

And just like Prophecy, Warrior also has a beautiful spine that is simply gorgeous and really pops out at you. Seriously, how lucky can an author get? Thanks so much to my amazing art design team at HarperTeen! They are simply brilliant!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013


Is not here. It's over at YA Book Central!!!

Take a look and enter for a chance to win my ARC and my friend Megan Shepherd's ARC of her new Madman's Daughter Book 2!! Go check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Authorial catch up!

I apologize for not blogging more frequently! It's been a crazy busy month!

I had a fabulous time at the Gaithersburg Book Festival with Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked. We talked about world building, outcast females, girl power, research and books we love. It was a great time!

I also had a author hero worship moment when I got to meet both Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers. Guys if you don't have We Are America in your bookshelves, you should! It is beautiful and brilliant and the illustrations by Christopher Myers is gorgeous! It should be right next to Harlem, which you should have in your bookshelves also! After introducing myself to them and mentioning that we had the same editor, the brilliant Phoebe Yeh, I was rendered speechless. It is not every day that you meet the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and his talented illustrator/author son. 

I got to hear Mr. Myers speak and he was amazing! Funny, sincere, eloquent. It was such a pleasure. And then I got to go home where I found that my oldest had been playing around on her Instagram account and had made this photoset of me during my panel discussion. 
All I have to say about that is - Hey!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Gaithersburg Book Festival!!

Tomorrow - Saturday, May 18th - is the Gaithersburg Book Festival!

And I'm so proud to say that I'm going to be speaking there! I'll be speaking with my friend Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked (a book Oldest adores, btw), at 2:15 in the YA Pavilion. If you are in the area, I really hope you can come by! We will be talking about worldbuilding, strong females, and outcasts.

And then at 3pm - I'll be signing in the author's tent. I really hope some people show up so I won't be lonely! ;o)

So if you are anywhere in driving distance of Gaithersburg, I really hope you will come and say hi! The festival has amazing authors there and is a Don't Miss event!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Young Critics Club and Fan art!

Ok so I blogged earlier this year about going to meet this awesome kids book club called the YOUNG CRITICS CLUB at the Perrot Memorial Library in Greenwich, CT, that's been in existence for 30 years. It was one of the best experiences I've had as a new author and I just loved going up to CT and meeting the librarians and all the kids. So imagine my surprise and my happiness to receive an email letting me know that PROPHECY had been chosen a favorite book by the Young Critics! Here's the link where you can see what amazing company I'm in! I'm very honored and happy to be chosen by the Young Critics who are just an amazingly smart, bright, funny, well read group of kids! Thank you Young Critics!

I'm also going to share some amazing fan art that I've been sitting on lately! How cool is this job that I get fan art from kids? I just love this!!

Seriously, how gorgeous is all this? I just love getting fan art! I think I'm going to have to make a gallery page on my website for all of it!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

INSOMNIA Pre-order Blog Hop!!

Today I'm really happy to host my dear friend J.R. Johansson for the debut of her fantastic thriller INSOMNIA. I've read this book and let me tell you, it's AWESOME!

Her eyes saved his life. Her dreams released his darkness.
After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can’t take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he’s made eye contact with. If he doesn’t sleep soon, Parker will die.
Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that’s utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker’s furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he’d go. And when someone begins terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker’s memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.
“The perfect blend of everything I love in a story. I hope a sequel comes soon!” –James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER

 So not only is Jenn going to share with us the insider scoop on INSOMNIA, we also have this fabuluos opportunity to win a brand new HD Nook!! And let me tell you something, I have an HD Nook and I ADORE mine! All you have to do is pre-order the book and you get a chance to win one! 

And now here's Jenn with an insider's scoop into her mind and INSOMNIA!
J.R. Johansson: 

I’ve had a fascination with dreams ever since I was a little girl. In elementary school, I had a recurring nightmare that aliens were attacking our house and I was running through it in the dark. Lights flashed through the open windows, the curtains blew in the wind. I was alone and couldn’t find anyone. I heard grinding metal and gears outside as I searched for my family. I got to my mom's room and finally found my big brother sitting next to the dresser. I curled up next to him, and held his hand, but when I looked up at his face, I saw him staring blankly ahead and knew he was dead. The door to the room swung open, banging against the wall, and I woke up.

It was the same every time and I had it at least once a week for over a year. Even remembering it now gives me a shiver. It seemed weird to me that I never actually saw the aliens, but I still knew they were there and I knew they were coming for me. When writing INSOMNIA, I figured it was time for me to take on my own nightmare. Addie has a dream halfway through where she’s in a park, with a heavy mist and she hears grinding metal somewhere that she can’t see…but she doesn’t run, and she is confident that whatever happens next, she can handle it. I’ve never had the nightmare again, but if I did, I hope I’d be more like Addie this time and kick some dream-alien's trash.

Thanks Jenn! So now here's your chance to win a fabulous HD NOOK! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

J.R. JOHANSSON is a young adult thriller author published with Flux & FSG/Macmillan. Her debut, INSOMNIA is coming June 2013. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. When she's not writing, she loves reading, playing board games, and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time. She has two young sons and a wonderful husband. In fact, other than her cat, Cleo, she's nearly drowning in testosterone.

Jenn’s Links -
INSOMNIA on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12260608-insomnia
Pre-order Links –
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Insomnia-The-Night-Walkers-Johansson/dp/0738735930/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352960177&sr=8-1&keywords=insomnia+by+j.r.+johansson

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