Showing posts from August, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Odds and Ends

A reminder: it's not too late to enter this exciting back-to-school YA eight-book giveaway.

Also, I wanted to share this really nifty webpage.  Someone designed an outfit based on Jane--the heroine of my first novel--an outfit Jane herself might wear.  

Finally, I just wanted to remind all my friends that Catherine is back in most bookstores, this time in her gorgeous paperback incarnation.  If you're in a bookstore, please check her out!    

By the way, there's a sample chapter from my next novel, Love, Lucy, in the back.

Setting Out: The First Day of School

Every August, the dread creeps in.  I fret over summer's end--the impending loss of my freedom and precious writing time.  But something strange always happens on the first day of school.  I remember all over again why I wanted to be a college professor in the first place.

The reasons are visceral:

Walking across campus  under a brilliant August sky, a bag of books swinging from my shoulder.  Students hurrying between classes or lingering on the library steps.

Strolling through hushed hallways, past classes already in session.  

Faculty offices with their floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.  Old books that smell of vanilla and must.  New books with deliciously uncracked spines.

Freshly sharpened pencils, brand new Sharpies, and that rapidly vanishing entity, chalk dust.

The hopeful nervousness of freshmen waiting for their first college class to begin.  

Starting over.  Setting out.  

Moving away from home for the first time, and pondering what to hang on those bare cinderblock walls to illu…

How Hence Got His Name

Yesterday was launch day for Catherine in paperback and I went out on a little safari, hunting her in the wild.

I stumbled across her in her natural habitat, the Barnes and Noble in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and fell in love with her new look.  Though I already knew I would love the cover redesign, I wasn't prepared for how beautifully the cover image would glow against the dark shelves.

Now, in honor of Catherine's paperback launch, the wonderful Alexis and Ashley at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book are running a little essay I wrote about how Hence got his somewhat unusual name.

Want a copy of your own?  It's not too late to enter this drawing...or this one.

Happy Catherine-in-Paperback's Birthday!

Today Catherine appears in her new, glorious paperback form in a bookstore near you!  So I'm revisiting the Catherine playlist and turning the music up loud!

By the way, it's not too late to win your very own copy.  Enter this giveaway.

Or this one.

And it's never too late (or too early) for this:

In a First State State of Mind

Thought it pains me deeply to write the next six words: SUMMER IS DRAWING TO A CLOSE.

With the start of the school year less than a week away, I'm tempted to kick myself for all the things I didn't do this summer.  I wrote a little of this and a little of that instead of completing anything major.  I didn't travel anyplace exotic or distant.  But instead of beating myself up, I'm going to celebrate one thing I actually did: take a lovely day trip to the Delaware shore to do a signing at one of my very favorite indie bookstores, Bethany Beach Books.

After a long walk on Bethany Beach, Andre and I met some lovely people and I signed some books in the fresh sea air.

Afterward we drove to Rehoboth Beach to revisit one of our favorite restaurants in the whole world, The Pig + Fish Restaurant Company.  We even paused for a snapshot with Chipper, our favorite server anyplace, ever.  

Chipper waited on us quite a few years ago the first time we ate at Pig + Fish, and all these yea…

Back-to-School YA Giveaway Bonanza

Can't get enough of YA fiction?  Enter here to win eight novels in a brand new Back-to-School giveaway.  And click here to learn more about each book.

I'm thrilled that the new paperback edition of Catherine is included.

NYC Moments--and a CATHERINE Giveaway

In celebration of the soon-to-be-released paperback edition of Catherine, my publisher Poppy is giving away twenty copies.  Enter here to win!

Today I'm doing a little celebrating myself--of New York, the city that inspired Catherine.  But instead of paying homage to big iconic sights, like the Empire State Building, I would like to share a few smaller NYC moments, for instance this chandelier at the Angelika Film Center, one of the world's best places to see an indie film:

And this still life glimpsed at Peasant, a homey and delicious Italian restaurant on Elizabeth Street:

And this still life, at the Union Square Greenmarket:

Also glimpsed on Elizabeth Street: little girl plus even littler doorway equals an Alice-in-Wonderland Moment.  

And this pause between phrases: keyboardist/vocalist/guitarist Michelle Casillas, at Bowery Electric.  (Bowery Electric was my model for The Underground, the legendary Lower East Side nightclub where Catherine is set.)

The new edition of Catherine

Comings and Goings: Blogger's guilt

I've been suffering blogger's guilt lately--the nagging feeling that I've fallen way behind on posting here.  I've been doing some traveling and hosting out of town guests, and the time and headspace I need to write and blog have been hard to come by. 

I won't even mention the writer's guilt that comes from two prime summer weeks spent not writing.

Bloggers--do you suffer guilt when you fall behind in posting? Writers--how do you strike the necessary balance between creation and recreation?