Showing posts with label i did it for you. Show all posts
Showing posts with label i did it for you. Show all posts












if the winners would please email me at thmafi at gmail dot com
i shall arrange to have these books shipped out to you ASAP!

thanks so much to all of you for playing along! and don't worry - i always host giveaways, so i promise there's more to come soon! in fact, we're gearing up right now for our upcoming Spring Into the Future tour, and our shiny new Facebook page is going to be loaded up with really awesome contests VERY soon. we'll be giving away super coveted ARCs, signed copies of finished books, and lots of cool swag! so if you like, you can always follow along?

if not, never fear! i will always be back.




oh look i made a vlog! there are secrets inside! ahhhhhh!





i've been so bad, guys. 

i have like six drafts of six different, incomplete blog posts just sitting on my dashboard and somehow, none of them seem right. so i've been tiptoeing around my blog, hoping to be struck by inspiration for writing something interesting and/or awesome, and mostly shirking my responsibilities as a blogger. it's been so bad. (also there are other things, like the writing-of-books and the touring-for-the-books and the matter of rolling around in piles of fresh laundry, but we all know that these are just EXCUSES! amiright?) (oh hey, while we're not even on the topic, i'd like to point out that i've finally updated all my tabs! look how nice and organized and information-filled they are now! hopefully i will continue to actually update these things! like a grown up! etcetera!)


the point is, i realized that i'd forgotten the most wondrous blog post topic of all. i've neglected it, actually. completely overlooked it. and that is the simple matter of The Giving Away of The Books. because omg i have a problem, guys, and it's called HEYYYY HOW ABOUT WE GET TAHEREH OUT OF THE BOOKSTORE. lucky for you, this problem has resulted in my desk/living room/bedroom/kitchen being overrun by books, and this has become an actual life hazard, what with the stubbing of my toes and whatnot, and so. i am going to give a lot of them to you. a lot of them.

believe it or not, i actually have a TON of my own books to give away, most of which i'll be donating to my local libraries, but! i have set aside a few to give away here. six, to be exact.

so i've put together six (6) prize packs, three (3) books each.
which means there will be 6 winners.

here's what you can win:

#1: Blood Red Road (SIGNED), Hallowed, Shatter Me (SIGNED) 
#2: Legend, The Fault in Our Stars, Shatter Me (SIGNED)
#3: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Under the Never Sky, Shatter Me (SIGNED) 
#4: Spoiled, Wonderstruck (SIGNED), Shatter Me (SIGNED) 
#5: How to Save a Life, Cinder, Shatter Me (SIGNED)
#6: All These Things I've Done, Where Things Come Back (2011 Printz & Morris Award Winner), Shatter Me (SIGNED)

eh? eh?
not too bad, huh?

now, for those of you who are familiar with my blog, you pretty much know the contest rules. but for all my new friends, here is the rundown: is going to choose 6 winners, and to be eligible, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me you want to win.

that's it.

promotion is not necessary! but if you do tweet or blog or myface or spacebook or tumblr or hire a guy to write my name in the sky, please let me know in the comments.

+1 for every time you link to this contest on your twitter, facebook, etc. (up to 5 extra entries!)
+2 if you link to this post on your blog.
(please leave links so i can find them)

THAT'S IT! easy, right?

my contests, as always, are definitely absolutely international, and the contest will end 

WEDNESDAY, February 22nd, 2012 at 11:59 PST.

look at how easy it is to blog. bahaha i'm such a cheater.

happy thursday, everyone!
maybe your days be merry and full of chocolate.

heart heart heart.



holy crap i've been a bad blogger.

these past couple of months have been wonderful and amazing, but i can honestly say, with zero hyperbole, that i have never been busier in my entire life. and i mean, really, it makes you wonder what the hell i've been doing for the past 23 years if i have nothing to compare this to. but there it is. embarrassing truth and all.

i remember back before i had a book deal i used to read posts from published authors about their hectic schedules and these crazy deadlines they were always attempting to meet and everyone always seemed to be so tired and brain-pooped. it was buckets of sweat and frenzied eyes and DEADLINES! I HATE YOU, DEADLINES! I HATE YOU! DIE, DEADLINES, DIE! and i remember thinking, well damn, what i wouldn't give to have a deadline. i'd exclamation-point the crap out of it.

so it's strange.

i love my deadlines. i want to dip them in my tea and wear them around my neck and tuck them into bed at night. i want to knit them little pajama sets and take them to disneyland. if i ever complain about having deadlines i hope someone punches me in the face. so this is not a post about deadlines. it's not a post about anything specific. it's just an explanation that you probably don't even need (because you are very wise, very kind, very forgiving readers) about where i've been.

so basically, about 8% of the time i'm working on book stuff, and 92% of the time i'm trying to find my pants.* because really, true story, the mailman is always ringing my doorbell and i'm always like SORRYSORRYONESECONDPLEASE and i'm hopping around on one socked foot while trying not to slip on hardwood floors and running around like WAIT, I SWEAR, I LEFT MY HOUSE LAST WEEK I COULD'VE SWORN I HAD PANTS ON THEN

and the mailman is always like, um, yeah, ma'am? i'm just going to leave this outside the door.

(my life is so glamorous, guys. you can't even handle it.)

so that is where i've been. book stuff, pants stuff. i've also spent an extraordinary amount of time just staring at the dishes in my sink, wondering how on earth they got there and why they refuse to wash themselves. also, lately i've been buying most of my socks just to avoid doing laundry. it's kind of sad. @tanagandhi is always trying to be a good friend and she makes valiant efforts to dissuade me from taking the lazy way out, but i have to admit, i'm tempted every single day to buy a 24-pack of those really ugly men's sport socks from Costco. i figure 24 pairs of socks means i can spend more time on tumblr and less time measuring laundry detergent into a cup.

though i should probably stop confessing these things to you.

i mean, you guys? i trust. but my mom reads this blog and whenever i talk about things like not doing my laundry, i always ALWAYS get a call from her like "THAT IS DISGUSTING I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU HAVEN'T DONE YOUR LAUNDRY I AM SO DISAPPOINTED IN YOU I'M COMING OVER RIGHT NOW AND YOU BETTER HAVE TEA"


basically though, i'm going to be traveling pretty much all of October. i'm barely going to be at home at all next month, which means i have to solve my pants and laundry situation before i go. it also means that i will probably continue to be a terrible blogger. in fact, if i'm being honest, i'll have to admit i'm probably going to be a terrible blogger... for a while. ahhhh i am cringing so hard right now.

but! here is some good news. i might not be on the tinterwebs, but, maybe you can come see me in person! because if you're going to be at the New York Comic-Con the weekend of October 13th, I WILL BE THERE! and you can come find me and my pants on a panel on Friday morning (details here), and then i'm doing a signing (giving away ARCs) at the HarperCollins booth shortly after (12:30-1:30pm). (AND YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME! IT'LL BE LIKE I HAVE FRIENDS!)

speaking of book stuff, there are so many exciting things coming up in October in preparation for the SHATTER ME launch, so if you're ever curious, Harper has set up an official FB fanpage that they update regularly with teasers, upcoming info, and Other Very Cool Things that will be happening very soon. so there is that, too.

bottom line: there is a lot of stuff. but i just wanted to say thanks for being so patient with me. thanks for being so amazing and so supportive and thanks for all the tweets, the emails, the tumblr and facebook messages. thanks to all of you who've contacted me to let me know you've pre-ordered the book or reviewed it or even just entered contests to win it. you guys make this journey so much more fun. every single day i'm so ridiculously happy that the internet brought us together.

one last thing? i hope you know i haven't forgotten about you on this blog; the truth is i'm just afraid of putting out mediocre content. i still tweet pretty much every day, though. that's mediocre content allllllll dayyyyyy longgggg.


heart you guys so much.

*i had to use a calculator to figure that out.



that's right, guys. i promised you a contest, and i'm going to deliver.

CROSSED and LOLA & THE BOY NEXT DOOR are two hotly-anticipated upcoming novels, and i have ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) that i'm very excited to share with you. i also just got a VERY SHINY new box of SHATTER ME ARCs (with jacket art (!!)) that i'd like to throw into the pot! for you! all for youuuuu!! :D :D

see here:

so. we have THREE PRIZE PACKS to give away here.




you guys know the drill, right? we've done this before. it's super simple. is going to choose 3 winners, and to be eligible, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me you want to win.

that's it.

promotion is not necessary! but if you do tweet or blog or myface or spacebook or tumblr or bake a cake filled with feelings and declarations of your truest true love, please let me know in the comments.

+1 for every time you link to this contest on your twitter, facebook, etc. (up to 5 extra entries!)
+2 if you link to this post on your blog.
(please leave links so i can find them)

THAT'S IT! easy, right?

my contests, as always, are definitely absolutely international, and the contest will end 

NEXT WEDNESDAY, August 17th, 2011 at 11:59 PST.


and happy winning. he he.




heyyyyyy guys!

i've been a bit out of the blogging-world this week, and i'm not sure why. probably because i've been reading too much and too late into the night and it's made me too tired to blog. it is shameful, this book-gluttony. shameful! and yet, i'm not ashamed at all. he he

BUT, not to worry. i promise we will be back to our normal programming shortly. in the interim, here are some Things To Know!

1. COMIC-CON. i'm going to be on the panel "What's Hot in Young Adult Fiction: Sit Down with the Writers We Can't Stop Talking About"on Sunday, 10:00-11:00am. Room 23ABC

It's going to be hosted by Nathan Bransford (Jacob Wonderbar Cosmic Space Kapow), and features other awesome author-panelists Andrea Cremer (Nightshade series), Amanda Hocking (Hollowland), Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss), Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), and Kiersten White (Paranormalcy).

We're doing an autographing session afterward from 11:30am - 12:30pm in room AA4, where i'll be signing ARCs of SHATTER ME. (for you! to take! TAKE THEM ALL! buahaha)

i won't be getting into the convention until around noon on Saturday (i'm running another 5k that morning and literally jumping into the car in my gym clothes), so i'll probably be wandering the floor a bit in the afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday.

if you're going to be around either Saturday or Sunday, let me know! i'd love to say hi!

if you have any writing-related questions, feel free to leave them in the comments (or shoot me an email) and i'd be happy to answer them on the blog.

3. DUN DUN DUN. i'm probably going to be diving into an edit cave of isolation in August (to work on polishing and plumping Book 2), and i'm thinking it might make me a little bad with the blogging. SO. would you guys be interested in doing guest posts?






thank you so much for being patient with me. i had to calculate the 360+ entries and it involved maths and numbers and calculators and counting on more than 10 fingers and LET ME TELL YOU. it was quite an ordeal. the maths become very difficult for me when i run out of fingers.


thank you all so, so, so so much for all of your enthusiasm in entering this contest. i can't even tell you how much it means to me. and, as always, i really, truly wish i could give an ARC to each and every one of you, but... alas, i cannot. BUT! i will be getting a second set of ARCs (with cover art!) so not to worry. there will be more ARC contests in our future. promises.

without further ado... our two winners are:


if you would please email me your mailing addresses at 
thmafi at gmail dot com, i'll send those right out!

thank you all for entering! and again, don't worry!


july is going to be spectacular.

also here is a baby sloth:



i promised you we'd have another contest, didn't i?
and i would never lie to you, would i?

SO! here we are!

i'd contemplated doing this contest a little later, because we're supposed to get the second set of Advance Reader Copies (with cover art!) relatively soonishishish, and i thought you might like to wait and get an ARC with cover art. but then i asked twitter what they thought about this idea of mine and they pretty unanimously agreed that i should just have two contests. i guess i'm easily convinced.


see? no cover art yet :(
also! just a quick side note: so many of you have been asking me about SHATTER ME cover art and when, if ever, we will get to see it. and i'm so sorry for the wait, but there are things and hoops and steps and surprises and SECRET SECRETS and basically i have no control over it. but suffice it to say that i am VERY VERY VERY excited to share it with you. and hopefully this will happen soon. soonish. soonishish. and when it does, you will know. this i can promise you, because harper has things and stuff and THINGS planned for this occasion. you will know. promises.



YOU GUYS KNOW THE DRILL, RIGHT? this is simple. it's always simple.

if you want an ARC, just leave a comment saying you want one!
and will choose TWO winners.

easy, right?

promotion, as always, is not necessary! but if you do tweet or blog or myface or spacebook or tumblr or grab a tube of lipstick and write it on your forehead, please let me know in the comments.

+1 for every time you link to this contest on your twitter, facebook, etc. (up to 5 extra entries!)
+2 if you link to this post on your blog.
(please leave links so i can find them)

THAT'S IT! them's the rules.


contest is INTERNATIONAL, and closes NEXT SUNDAY, June 26th, 2011, 11:59 P.M. PST.


happiest happy day, dear friends!


p.s. here's the teaser trailer, just as a bit of a refresher. :D



no matter what stage you're at in this process, there are always things you should be doing.
here are four:


blogs are the gold mine of the internet. i learned about 100% of what i know about publishing from the internet. (danger danger: you must, of course, be wary of what you read! find blogs that are known and respected -- blogs that win awards for content and are generally agreed upon as the best publishing blogs in the industry -- i'm talking about Nathan Bransford, Janet Reid, Rachelle Gardner, Miss Snark, Pimp My Novel, Guide to Literary Agents, GalleyCat, Writer Beware, Alan Rinzler, and 101 MORE of some of the best sites on the web.) i read blogs before i had a clue, i read them while i was still figuring things out, and i read them now, every day, every single day, long after i started this process. good blogs will keep you on your toes and apprised of current events, changes in the economic climate, breaking news with regard to bookstores, authors, agents and editors. if you want to know the world you're working in, you have to keep yourself informed. all the time.


not just books. not just any books. but the new releases in your genre. you have to know what's selling, what's working, what's doing well in the market. read everything! but don't forget to read lots of new releases, too. they'll give you a good idea of how trends are working and what readers are responding to. it's also interesting to study publicity, marketing, to see how much the industry has shifted in these new-fangled electronic days and how much social media is making a difference in how we connect with readers. things are changing, books are changing; new releases will give you a... newer perspective into what's happening on the shelves.


as you progress in this industry, you'll tend to meet and connect with other writers who've, more or less, achieved the same sort milestones you have. and this is good. it's always good. but i think it's also very important to never lose touch with those who are still new to the journey, still plugging along, still drafting, editing, preparing to query, or sitting tight in the query trenches, helmets strapped to their heads as shrapnel falls from the sky. don't lose sight of where you came from and how long this journey was, is, will continue to be. there are so many talented writers (agented or unagented, published or unpublished) that we can learn from and build relationships with. don't burn any bridges. don't isolate yourself from others just because you've managed to climb another rung on this ladder. we're all here to support each other and we can't afford to lose that.


no, seriously. being a writer makes it too easy to get caught up in an endless cycle of writing, reading, editing, reading, editing, reading, writing, tooting, myfacing, spacebooking and emailing. get out of your house. say hello to someone who doesn't live inside of your computer. exercise your eyes in front of natural light. go buy a carton of milk. trip on the sidewalk and blush in front of a friendly stranger or two. go to a coffee shop and hold up the line by asking for a tall half-skinny half-1 percent extra hot split quad shot (two shots decaf, two shots regular) latte with whip. and then smile a lot. twitch a little. wonder if these pants are too tight, too loose, too long on you now, because honestly, you can't remember the last time you wore actual pants made from anything but stretchy cotton. try to make time for the fun things, for social events, for long walks on the beach. it's good to feel an actual breeze every once in a while. really. at least this is what i've heard. i wouldn't know.

i'm clearly still sitting inside of my house.




1. you are a complete emotional train wreck.

your mood swings are insane. one moment you're all OH BOY OH BOY I AM SO PUMPED YOU GUYS THIS IS GOING TO BE SUPER SWELL and the next you're rereading your query letter and your manuscript and you discover 17 typos on page 22 and you're ready to start bawling your eyes out because YOU'VE READ THIS MANUSCRIPT ELEVENTY-BILLION TIMES and how is it even POSSIBLE that you didn't see these things until you SENT IT OFF and then you're sitting there, hiccuping sobs and sniffling snotbubbles when for no reason but the sheer manic state of your brain do you suddenly switch off and feel a strange hope that maybe things will work out, that maybe this agent will be The One, the one who loves you and gets you and sends you special messages on twitter and then OHHHHHH YOU'RE GOING TO VOMIT EVERYWHERE and maybe, you know what? you don't even know, you're crying again, and maybe now you've thrown a few sharp objects across the room and you're hit with SUDDEN BRILLIANCE. you have the perfect solution. you're going to be PRODUCTIVE. you're going to spend your every waking hour doing "research" to help assuage your ailing heart.

yes. that's right.

2. you develop stalker-like tendencies.

you start reading agent blogs, twitter feeds, every interview they've ever given on the internet, hoping for some kind of magical insight into the possible outcome of your situation. you're searching for a sign, a signal that they're secretly in love with you (or will soon be secretly in love with you!) and your manuscript. you're hoping for a glimpse into their thoughts, their feeeeeelings, their reactions to what they're receiving in their slushpile. do they seem happy today? do they sound excited about something? all of a sudden you're all omg omg maybe it's because they're in love with my manuscript OR WAIT. MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE'S MANUSCRIPT AND THEY HATE MINE SO MUCH THEY WISH I WOULD JUST FALL OFF A CLIFF AND OMG THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING WHY DID I EVER EVEN GET OUT OF BED 5 DAYS AGO SOMEONE PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST SHOOT ME IN THE FACE

3. you exhibit an almost Pavlovian response to the pinging chime of your inbox.

this is pretty self-explanatory. but suffice it to say that the moment you hear that sound, you will exhibit a multitude of emotions, including, but not limited to:

- nausea
- vomiting
- sweating
- crying
- anger
- anxiety
- shaking
- twitching
- insomnia
- loss of dignity

4. people will stop liking you.

all you care about, all you want to talk about, all you even want to think about is your inbox. if you own a smartphone, you are constantly checking your emails. at work. at home. in the middle of dinner. every 3 minutes. every 2 minutes. hell, who are you kidding, every 60 seconds. did you used to have a family? maybe you had a couple of kids? yeah? whatever happened to them? refresh refresh refresh HEY SO I READ THIS THING ON THE TWEETER ABOUT SHE SAID THAT THE THING AND THE YEAH AND YOU KNOW I REALLY THINK will be just about the only words you're capable of stringing together coherently. your ACQUAINTANCES will like you just fine -- you'll put on a smiling face for THEM, and when they ask you how you're doing, you'll cry only just a LITTLE bit -- but it's your truest friends and family who will not be able to stand the sight of you. every day it's, Oh, hey! How are you doing, Janie? and you're already pacing up and down the living room waving your arms like a crazy person, wringing your hands and WHAT IS THIS CHILD AND WHY IS IT CLINGING TO ME HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT MY QUERY LETTER YET

5. you want to give up.

you want to make the agony disappear, you want to make the pain stop, you want to back away slowly and take what little is left of your dignity and retire in Bermuda but wait, you were really hoping to cash in on that book thing because without the book thing all you can afford is a rickety adirondack chair at the ledge of your local community pool but the point is YOU'RE REALLY SICK AND TIRED OF THIS and you can't even REMEMBER the last time you had a nap, or slept through the night, and OH MY GOD HAS ANYONE BEEN FEEDING THE KIDS BECAUSE YOU CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER

it gets scary.
it gets scary as hell.

but know this: we've all had the crazies. all of us. and it's just a part of the process.

you, my friend, will be just fine.

never give up.




when you’re forced to attend some kind of social event when all you really 
want is to be at home with a book.*

*this is a repost from my tumblr.




it's been too long, i think, since there was a decent post up on this blog, and i want to apologize for that. post-BEA was a little crazy, and then book 2 was officially due, and then i think my brain was just tired and a little bit broken. but! i am back! and it is JUNE! and june means all manner of things! seriously.

stay tuned for exciting things to happen in june.

but first!

1. this is WAY overdue, and forgive me for the delay, but the winners of JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW are Melody, Heidi, and Ishta Mercurio! congratulations, ladies! if you would please email me your mailing addresses at thmafi at gmail dot com, i will gladly send those wonderful books posthaste.

2. i'm sure you guys have heard all about the Wall Street Journal article about YA, yes? of course you have. and from this article has grown many things, including an entire deciduous forest of feelings and emotions and important reactions. all of it has been said. all has been said well, and from every angle. but all i really want to say is that i'm so proud of the YA community. so wowed and humbled. and i think the most awe-inspiring thing to come of this entire event was the #YAsaves hashtag. i would highly recommend taking a look through these tweets if you haven't already -- they really touched my heart.

3. i have to go in for jury duty this month. *stares at things* *pokes internet* *sighs a little*

4. someone, 2 weeks ago, re: one of my failed blogging attempts on my iPad, said that i'd saved them a lot of money by pointing out that i couldn't, well, blog on my iPad. and i wanted to address this, very quickly, just to say this: the iPad is incredible. i don't regret buying it or using it or traveling with it, ever ever. it is not the replacement for a laptop though, and this is something that i think might confuse people. the iPad is, in my opinion, an insanely tricked out e-reader. and for this it is nothing short of perfect. so if you need a laptop? if you don't own a laptop? an iPad is not a substitute. not even close. but if you need an easy travel companion with access to internet, emails, important applications and thousands of books at your fingertips? it is your best friend. (also i still have no idea if there's a proper way to blog on my iPad. it could be that i'm just doing it wrong.)

5. EMAILS! i have so many of these that i still haven't answered. forgive me. i promise i will be with you shortly. and for all of you who might be book bloggers, etc, and are interested in receiving an ARC of SHATTER ME for review, you can skip straight through me and go directly to my publicist. she has all the information. if you're interested, her name is Allison Verost, and you can find her at Allison.Verost at harpercollins dot com. 


6. i'm thinking it's time for another SHATTER ME ARC contest. what do you think?

happy hearts, everyone!
i hope you've all been doing well :D



OMG I'M FINALLY BACK HOME! with an actual computer!

as demonstrated in my two previous posts, i was having a difficult time using my iPad to post on blogger, and, as a result, all of my posts were weird and devoid of formatting and little more than really pathetically hideous blocks of text. BUT NOW I'M BACK! and all is well again in the world of aesthetically-pleasing posts.

BEA! updates!

BEA was insane. i mean. huge. and noisy. and there were SO MANY BOOKS IT WAS INCREDIBLE. also there were people lugging suitcases around for all their ARCs and swag and i was... astounded (she said, not unkindly). more than anything else, it was truly awe-inspiring to see so many people come together to share a love of all things literature.

here are some things that happened:

  1. harper set up this photo shoot for my face. also the rest of my body had to be there, too, so. anyway, bright and early monday morning, me, tara (my editor), jodi (my agent), and alison (art director) headed over to central park, where we met matt furman (photographer) and scott (his assistant). matt then proceeded to spend the next 2(ish) hours taking no fewer than eleventy-billion pictures of me trying to smile into the camera. it was probably the most fun i never expected to have at a photo shoot. the tourists kept taking pictures of matt taking pictures of me like i was some kind of exhibition on their tour of the park, and we ended the whole thing on a carousel ride, where i attempted to look awesome on the back of a plastic horse. i am just saying, it was nothing short of epic. hopefully i will be able to share these pictures with you soon.
  2. i got to meet everyone at harper. and all i'm going to say about this is that every time i think about this particular event i get a little weepy. calling them wonderful would be the understatement of the internet. amazing, amazing, amazing. amazing.
  3. i went speed-dating! well, no i was not actually speed-dating. that is to say, i was not looking for love and long walks at the beach at BEA. i actually got to do this awesome thing where, for 3 minutes at a time, i sat with 19 tables (8-10 people per table), and pitched my book. it was spectacular. i love librarians and booksellers almost as much as i love butter pecan ice cream. and let's be honest, that's a hell of a lot of love.
  4. I SIGNED BOOKS. you guys, i realized -- albeit, a little belatedly -- that i needed an author signature just about 2 minutes before my signing. not a good time for realizations, i have to say. but let's tell a story about my signing, shall we? YES I THINK WE SHOULD. here i was, sitting in the green room with tara, feeling relatively calm about the entire thing, hoping that maybe a couple of people would show. no pressure, i said to myself! it's the first time you've ever done a signing, tahereh! no need to be disappointed if no one shows up! ohhhhh so i sat there, patting my self-esteem on the back, feeding my brain mental cookies and making myself promises i didn't intend to keep when jodi walks into the green room -- without even saying hello, i might add -- drops her bag on the floor and says HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR LINE? and. well. yes. this is where i promptly started having a heart attack. i don't even really remember much of what happened after that. all i know is that my hands started shaking so hard i couldn't even hold a pen straight and i had to keep apologizing for my handwriting (which, i SWEAR, does not normally resemble that of a 5-year-old's).
  5. WE RAN OUT OF BOOKS. it was unbelievable. someone just told me today that the line was so long they had to cut it off 7 minutes after i started signing. they'd allocated only a specific number of books for the signing, and the rest were set up at the harper booth for a giveaway a bit later in the day, and, unfortunately, we had to turn people away. i also heard there were a lot of people cutting in line (FOR SHAME!). but this is a strange place for me to be on the feelings train. i want to apologize to all of you who weren't able to get a book (and who were cut off either by my publicist or a line-jumper), but i am also so unbelievably FLOORED that you came out at all that i am just beyond words deliriously happy. i don't even know how to tell you how much it means to me that you took the time out to stop by, to say hello, to tell me you read my blog, to take a picture of my shoes and tell me you follow me on twitter. but thank you. a million times, thank you.
there were so many other things i could tell you stories about, but i do not wish to stuff you with so many words that it spoils your appetite. i will only leave you with this, in case you never get to see it:

a picture taken from the acknowledgements section of my ARC
p.s. so many people got to see me at BEA, and so many of you have asked me to share a picture of myself that i feel it's only fair for me to indulge this now. but i'm going to tell you a very big secret, my friends: my picture has been all over the internet for like, 3 months now. all you had to do was google my name. but i never said anything because i really don't like pictures. and pictures, truly, truly hate me. though i suppose now i need to get over it. i don't know. in any case! here is a tahereh-sanctioned photo. and as soon as i get pictures from my harper shoot i will share them with you!





i have a few updates to share with you. i hope that is okay.

1. FIRST YOU SEE ME NOW YOU DON'T! i will be a bit scarce this week. i'm diving back into book 2 to polish and plump it up a bit, so i'll be focusing most of my energy in the direction of my manuscript. as a result, my blog posts might be skimpy, or, you know, i don't know, maybe they'll be really good? maybe i'll be blogging more in an effort to procrastinate or i don't know i don't know it's too soon to tell. if, however, all goes according to plan and i manage to stay focused, i will very probably be writing skimpy blog posts. we shall see!

2. CONTEST! STILL OPEN! blogger decided to let its freak flag fly last week and, in the process of discovering itself, totally threw the rest of us under the bus. blogger was basically broken on Thursday and Friday, and even though now it's back up and functioning, it caused us a lot of problems. we also lost all of our comments on recent posts. SO! i'm keeping the contest for a copy of Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow open for another day. RUN ALONG AND ENTER! you won't regret it.

3. WIN AN ARC OF SHATTER ME & A 10 PG CRIT! mm hmmm. so. the amazing ladies over at Help Write Now are running an auction to benefit southern storm relief. andddd... even though this auction went up last Thursday, blogger attacked it and killed it and ate all the comments. so if you bid last Thursday and you're still interested -- feel free to bid again! and if you didn't bid last Thursday and maybe you want to bid now? feel free to bid! all proceeds go to charity, and the auction for the ARC & crit will be open until this Wednesday, May 18.

4. I'LL BE GONE NEXT WEEK. i'm leaving for BEA soon, and i won't be back until the end of next week. so... i don't know how my blogging will be, but i will try to at least post funny pictures or something. this is more of a heads up for anyone who emails me or is waiting to hear back from me on anything. i've got a stack of questions from readers to answer on the blog but, seeing as how i can't really answer more than one question at a time, it might take a little while. but i will be in touch! AND MAYBE AFTER BEA WE'LL HAVE ANOTHER ARC CONTEST?? i don't know! the possibilities! they are endless!

5. THE COVER. remember how i said that the ARC with the cover art for SHATTER ME would be at BEA? welllllll... not so, my friends. not so. not anymore. the cover is all super-sekrit-agent-man and is still underway, so it won't be revealed until after BEA. but! i can tell you this: i have seen some early cover concept stuff and.... i am so excited i don't even know how to put it in capital letters. seriously. i'm so excited that i'm now in a state of shock and my fingers can't reach the caps lock key. i will definitely definitely keep you posted. i can't wait to share.

6. SOMETHING EXCITING I CAN SHARE with you the week of BEA. yes. it is coming. you will see it. that is all i can say for now.

7. MMMMMM COFFEE. what. this is relevant.

i think.


now you tell me: what's one thing you wish you could say to your 16-year-old self?




emyshin asked...
if you don't mind me asking -- i think you've mentioned that you had a job while writing SHATTER ME: how did you find time to write so quickly, hold a job, and keep up with social networking (and generally being awesome) at the same time?

Holly asked...
Hi! I’m one of aspiring writers who wants to get her book done but doesn’t have enough time (I’m studying hard). I think I need to get on schedule but don’t know which one really works. Do you have your own writing schedule? Is it really possible to write a novel in a short period of time? 

these are really excellent questions. i think they're questions every writer struggles with, because so many of us are working and/or going to school, and/or supporting a family and/or running after kids and trying to get dinner on the table, all while attempting to write a novel, research the industry, establish an online presence, and attempt to market our books. it's a lot to ask of anyone.

up until about a week ago, i was working full-time. day job + writing job + life and life and life and life. and i don't even have kids. i am in AWE of the mothers and the fathers who work full-time and parent full-time and still find time to write. it boggles my mind.

because here's the thing: it's hard as hell.

i'm not going to lie. i can't pretend i just waved my Writer Wand and made things happen, because it's not easy to do all of these things at the same time. it really isn't. that's why it makes me ache with frustration when people intimate that writers must have a lot of free time, and oh, how nice for them to be able to sit around and suck on a pencil while inspiration bubbles in their teacups. i have no idea what world they think we live in, but it's cruel and painfully unfair to assume that writers don't work hard. in fact, we're working almost every free minute we can find. 

we read books because we have to know our genre, our industry. we have to know what sells, what's hot, what's hitting the shelves in a big way. we read because we're looking for an agent, an editor, a publisher. we scour the acknowledgments sections of books we love because we're doing research to find a good fit for our novels. we save money to go to conferences just for five minutes to meet with an agent or an editor or to hear a few words at a panel that might help us inch closer to our dreams. we write until it hurts, until it makes us cry, until we're hunched over our laptops banging our heads against the windows and telling ourselves it's useless, it'll never work, what were we thinking and when was the last time we brushed our teeth.

it's hard.

but it's not impossible. i know it's not because i see it every day. i see moms and dads and college kids and teenagers getting book deals and finding their fit in this industry and i know it's not impossible. but scheduling time to write isn't something i can teach anyone. it's something that has to come from you. you have to want to write -- you have to want it badly enough to prioritize, to restructure your plans, to understand that you'll be cutting back on your social life and your play dates and you probably won't be sleeping much at all. that's what it takes.

i found time in the quiet moments i should've been sleeping. i found time in the hours i could've been out with friends. i found time in the early mornings i should've been hitting the snooze button and in the evenings i should've been cleaning the kitchen. i found time on the weekends when i shirked family responsibilities and should have, but didn't, leave my house. i spent every single 3-day weekend and holiday break working, writing, reading, revising. i read industry blogs and studied query letters and scoured forums and rss feeds while waiting in lines and eating breakfast. i spent lunch breaks at the library, the bookstore, combing through stacks of books and touching individual spines and staring at covers and studying trends. i blogged every day, almost every single day, and promised myself i wouldn't give up. i told myself i couldn't. not now. not anymore.

there's no such thing as a schedule for your average writer. we don't have the luxury of staring out of windows and taking longer than 30 seconds to splash water on our faces. we're running on a quarter tank and we make it work however we can. the schedule is up to you. you'll find pockets of time you can no longer afford to squander. 90 second commercial breaks. five minutes while you're waiting for the kids to jump in the car. 10 minutes while the chicken cooks. half an hour in the waiting room at the doctor's office. 45 minutes at the DMV. the moments will arrive -- it's up to you how to use them. 

writers are thieves. we steal moments and memories and now we steal minutes, too. we scramble for extra seconds and shove them in our pockets when no one is looking. 

if you want to write, you make it work. you make time.

there's really no other way.




1. i've gotten... a lot of questions about how to pronounce my name. so after many, many failed attempts at trying to spell it out phonetically, i just broke down and recorded my voice. so, i guess, if you're interested, you can hear me say it here. so... yeah. i'm going to delete it soon.

2. i just read A Northern Light and it was BEAUTIFUL. definitely one of the best books i've read in too long. i'm so late to this party but OMG if you haven't read it, definitely put that book on your TBR pile.

3. let's not kid ourselves, this is a cop out of a blog post.

4. this is really funny.

5. i'm beginning to realize that a lot of writing-related questions i get through my email are probably best answered on my blog -- if only because i think the answers might interest more than one person. so. if you have any questions (feel free to remain anonymous), you can go ahead and drop them in here, and i'll do my best to answer them in an upcoming blog post.


have a great weekend, everyone! what's on YOUR TBR pile?




Molly asked....
So I wanted to ask you a question, because I know you used to be totally a panster. So now, are you still a panster? Is that even possible with a three book deal, bc don't they want synopsii? You always say that you learned something from each book you wrote, and I was just wondering how your processes have changed as you've written your various books, and what you thought was most helpful...?

Barbara asked...
As an aspiring author, I have a question. I'm currently submitting my first book in a series I have planned. Since Shatter Me is part of a series, did you have the entire thing outlined before you submitted your book one? The reason I ask is because there isn't a whole lot out there on series, aside of everyone telling you to move on from it if you don't "sell" your first book. I just want to know how prepared I should be with the rest of them!

Anonymous asked...
do you outline before writing a novel? if not, how did you manage to need only 1 revision before having SHATTER ME ready for querying?



i get a lot of questions about writing a series, and these three questions were all so similar that i thought i'd try and answer them together. i hope this helps clarify some things.

i am still absolutely, wholeheartedly a pantser. i do not outline, i have never outlined, and i never write a book knowing exactly where it's going to end up. when i sent out the queries for SHATTER ME, i had only a vague idea of how the story would develop. i intentionally left loose threads in the first book -- few enough to keep it as a standalone novel, but just enough to give it the possibility for evolving into other books -- but i didn't focus my energy on developing intricate plots for the other books in the series. you should never count on your first book to sell, so you should always be working on a second different book, and not the second in a series. that way you'll always have fresh material to work with in case the first book doesn't sell.

that being said, regardless of whether you're a pantser or an outliner, you should always have an idea of where your story has the potential to go. know enough to be able to sketch it out in a couple of paragraphs; that's all you really need to pitch the series. (my synopsis for book 2 was about 2 pages, and my synopsis for book 3 was only 1 page.)

but a brief synopsis -- a general understanding, if you will -- of a story, does not an outline make. i think that, perhaps even more so for pantsers, having a very strong grasp on your characters is critical. you have to be able to trust them to guide you in the right direction -- you have to know their feelings and what's at risk for them. i finished writing book 2 about a month ago, and it took me about a month to write it. i just picked up where i left off with book 1 and, with the [aforementioned] general idea of where i knew things were headed, followed the story through by paying attention to my characters' wishes. no outlines necessary.

and a quick answer to Anon's question: i try very hard to write complete, chronological, cohesive first drafts. i edit as i write — reading and rereading everything i’ve already written every time i sit down to write again — and i’m extremely, extremely meticulous about it. (i hope i'm not making this process sound breezy, because it's not.) when i complete a first draft of a book, it’s usually very clean, but only because i like to start with as strong a first draft as possible. my post-completion revisions have never been incredibly rigorous -- just a lot of adding detail and dimension to things -- because i do most of the legwork in the first draft. this is not to say, however, that my drafts are perfect. i always spend time really trying to enhance the story in my second draft, fleshing it out and adding layers to characters and plot lines. i don't even know if it's successful, truly. i can only do my best.

but please note: these are the processes that work for me. they're not universally applicable processes -- and i don't want anyone to think that there is only one right or wrong way to approach a manuscript. in fact, the beauty of writing is that it's so unique to the author. it's a very personal, very intense, very all-consuming labor of love -- and that gives us each the right to tackle it the way we see fit. 

this is something i had a really hard time coming to terms with, because before i got a book deal, a lot of people were telling me i was doing it wrong. people would tell me it wasn't possible to write a decent draft in such a short period of time, that it wasn't possible to be a pantser and write a cohesive novel not filled with plot holes and glaring errors. in short, i became convinced i was writing incorrectly. but i soon discovered that there is no incorrect way to write a novel. my efforts to change these things about myself didn't work. they weren't organic to me and what i needed to do. they were forced and unnatural. i had to revert back to what was comfortable for me.

so don't worry. don't feel like your process needs to be the same as everyone else's. people are going to try to tell you that you take too long to write or you don't take long enough. one person will tell you the story is boring and another will say it's too complex. in short, you have to be wary, because sometimes the feedback we hear from our fellow writers isn't right for us. sometimes we forget to be readers and instead advise writer-friends to write a book the way that we think it should be, instead of the way it should actually be for the author herself/himself. 

honestly, all you really need to do is focus on writing the best book you possibly can, the best way you know how. that's the only thing that matters.



if you have any questions you'd like me to answer, please feel free to email me or leave a comment. 

in the interim, you tell me:
are you a pantser or an outliner? and do you have any tips or tricks for writing a series?


i hope your weekend is full of wonder and delight.



Matthew asked...
For a few years I've been working on a teen/YA novel (just like 80% of the country it seems), and while the current draft is far from submission quality, I was wondering how you were able to get into contact with a publisher like HarperTeen? By no means am I asking for you to read my manuscript, but I'm just curious as to the details on how you were able to effectively contact someone like Jodi Reamer and Harper.

so, Matthew was kind enough to allow me to post this question on my blog, because i think this is a BIG question. 

it's a question that's basically asking: How do I get published?

and while i know that the majority of you who read this blog are all very intimately acquainted with the Query Letter and the Query Trenches and The Publishing Journey of Perseverance, i think there are a good number of quiet (lurking) readers who might not be as familiar with these things. and so. because i remember all too well what it was like to be dazed and confused in the face of Publishing: The 8th Wonder of the World, i want to touch on this subject. i want to talk about it. just a little bit.


the query letter is your golden ticket to Hogwarts. it's one page and 15 seconds to capture an agent's attention. it's like Willy Wonka and Harry Potter had a baby and the result was this piece of paper that gave you a snazzy scar and a lifetime supply of chocolate to ease the pain of it all. because querying is hard as hell. it hurts like hell. it's like Voldemort is hanging out in your back pocket and your forehead is splitting open and Hermione won't stop yapping about you doing your Herbology homework and Cho Chang just decided to dump you for Robert Pattinson. then you get home only to find your mom has made cabbage soup, AGAIN, and maybe you want to throw your laptop out the window, but maybe you'll just bang your head against the wall for a few hours, you're not sure. 

that's what it's like to query. seriously. i wish i were lying.

but to answer your question? this is exactly it. i queried. i queried and queried and queried. i queried bad and i queried okay and i queried mediocre until i learned to query good well. i studied the industry. i read a trillion agent/editor/author blogs. i ate books for breakfast and dinner. i studied the craft, the process, the rules and regulations. i DEVOURED the internet. Queryshark. Miss Snark. Nathan Bransford. The Rejectionist. Rachelle Gardner. Kristen Nelson. Editorial Assten billionmillion others.

(spoiler alert: i still read all of these blogs. almost daily.)

then i joined the AbsoluteWrite forums and they changed my life. i scoured thread after thread dedicated to agency information. i made lists and spreadsheets and double-checked them against the information on Preditors and Editors. i lived and breathed and i shoved books in my pockets and carried them with me to work. i googled until my fingers were covered in letters and my face was paper-mached in research. i spent countless nights hiding from laundry and social responsibilities just to be able to sit under flickering fluorescent lightbulbs and read one more article about landing an agent or undergoing revisions or what on earth an SNI was.

that's how i found Jodi Reamer.

which brings us to:


Jodi found HarperTeen, not me. because basically, if you're interested in being published with a "Big Publisher", most won't accept submissions from unagented manuscripts. this is why i first had to find an agent. once you write a query letter that's enticing enough to, well, entice, you send off your manuscript to the requesting agent. if the agent loves it, the agent will offer representation. once you've accepted representation, you then proceed to do one of two things:

1. Revise, and then go on submission to editors
2. Go on submission to editors

most people will spend some time working with their agents to polish their manuscripts. how much and how long is entirely dependent on you, your agent, and the state of your manuscript. either way, once both of you feel ready to pitch the book, your agent will compile a list of acquiring editors (at different publishing houses) who she thinks might like the book. 

and then.
you wait.

response times vary. sometimes it takes a day. sometimes it takes two years. sometimes the book doesn't sell at all. there are no guarantees. you never know. you rip your heart out of your chest and you wrap it in a cover letter and toss it into the ocean. and you wait.

so my advice to you, Matthew, if you're seriously interested in getting published? is to learn everything. read everything. study all of it. try to understand as much as you can about the way things work. 

and then finish your book. 

finish it and revise until you've beaten the manuscript within an inch of its life and only then consider querying agents. you don't want to put out anything but your best work because you deserve the best. because it's never good to get eager and jump the gun. it almost never pays off.

so read blogs. read books. know your genre. understand what it means to be a writer in this new-fangled century and then own it. because it's not impossible. it's nothing you can't achieve. and though it may seem daunting in the beginning? the more you know, the less scary it becomes.

so hang tight!
keep your head up!

and write the best damn book you can write.


what do you think, dear friends? can you suggest some of your favorite writer/agent/editor sites for Matthew to peruse? maybe share some tips and/or tricks you think will help him on his journey?


may your inboxes be bursting with full requests and agent offers in multiples of 1000.




so i got these in the mail yesterday.


and i figure it is TIME TO SHARE THE WEALTH.

i'm going to start by giving away only one copy, but! i promise there will be so many more opportunities to win a copy if you're interested!


we're going to keep this super super simple. is going to choose a winner, and to be eligible, all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me you want one.

that's it.

promotion is not necessary! but if you do tweet or blog or myface or spacebook or tumblr or post about it on your abandoned friendster account, please let me know in the comments.

+1 for every time you link to this contest on your twitter, facebook, etc. (up to 5 extra entries!)
+2 if you link to this post on your blog.
(please leave links so i can find them)


well, except that the contest will end NEXT SUNDAY, April 24th, 2011 at 11:59 PST.


and maybe
if there are a lot of people interested in an ARC, then, i don't know, maybe will choose two winners or something? i don't know. it depends. hopefully you actually want an ARC.

otherwise i guess i can give them to my mom?


may your weekends be full of wonder and whimsy and magic.


p.s. just FYI: i don't mind if you live across the street or across the pond; my contests are always, always international. 



hee heee you're welcome.

happy thursday everyone!


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