Author Signings at OLA Super Conference 2015

We’re thrilled to have so many of our fantastic YA authors in our booth at OLA Super Conference this year. Drop by to say hello and get your book signed!

MEGAN CREWE will be signing EARTH & SKY on Thursday, January 29th @ 11am

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SARAH HENSTRA will be signing ARCS of MAD MISS MIMIC on Friday, January 30th @ 11am

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CAROLINE PIGNAT will be signing UNSPEAKABLE on Friday, January 30th @ 12pm

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ERIC WALTERS will be signing FIGHT FOR POWER on Friday, January 30th @ 1:15pm

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Behind the Bill: Megan Crewe

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Today we’re going Behind the Bill with Canadian author Megan Crewe, author of the upcoming sci-fi YA novel Earth & Sky. 

1. What was your favourite book growing up?

My absolute favorite book as a kid was Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s THE CHANGELING. I related so much to the main character, Martha, who’s shy and imaginative and bookish, and I longed for a friend like Ivy to draw me out of my shell into creative adventures. I never did have a friend quite like Ivy, but that book made me feel that imagination and creativity were important skills, which I’m sure contributed to my having the confidence to continue writing stories and pursue writing professionally.

2. Tell us about the first piece of writing you ever finished.

If we’re talking any piece of writing at all, the first I remember was a My Little Pony story I made up about my toys when I was too young to even write it down, which my mom transcribed for me and I then illustrated in crayon. 🙂 On a more mature level, the first full-length book I ever finished was a high fantasy novel involving humans, elves, and half-breeds, an evil sorcerer determined to take over the world, and many other cliches, which I spent most of ninth grade writing and was already pretty disillusioned with by the time I reached the end. But I’m still glad I wrote it, because it proved to me that I could write a whole book–and I could only write better ones from there!

3. If you could have lunch with one author, alive or dead, who would it be & why?

I’d have to say Zilpha Keatley Snyder, because as I mentioned above she wrote my favorite childhood book, and I just recently found out she’s passed on, so other than by the magic of this question there’s no way I could meet her now. I’d love to find out more about her writing process, and it sounds like she had a fascinating life beyond her writing as well, with many travels around the world it’d be fun to talk about.

4. If you could hang out with one of the characters from your book, who would you choose & why?

Probably Win. He may have some ideas about Earthlings that need challenging, but he means well–and the fact that he has a time cloth that could take us anywhere and almost any when in Earth history while we were hanging out makes for a pretty big draw. 🙂

5. Describe your book in five words.

Unsettling alien time travel adventure.

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Earth & Sky will be available October 28th. Pre-order here or here and be sure to follow along with the Canadian blog tour:

Oct 18 Me on Books
Oct 20 Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup
Oct 21 Read My Breath Away
Oct 22 Booking it with Hayley G
Oct 23 The Book Wars
Oct 24 Curling Up by the Fire
Oct 27 CanLit for Little Canadians
Oct 28 Esther’s Ever After
Oct 29 Bookish Notions
Oct 30 Feisty Little Woman
Oct 31 Chapter by Chapter
Nov 1 Cozy Up with a Good Read

THE INFINITE SEA Reading Preparedness Guide

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Rick Yancey’s highly anticipated follow-up to the blockbuster THE FIFTH WAVE is out tomorrow. Before you dig into THE INFINITE SEA, we thought we’d help prepare you for the experience.

1. Make sure your schedule is cleared. You’re going to want to read it in one sitting.

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2. Make sure you have a large enough cup of tea/coffee/warm beverage of your choice to get you through the reading process.

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3. Keep a flashlight nearby. You never know when the power is going to go out.

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4. THE INFINITE SEA starts with a bang and you may want to have THE FIFTH WAVE close by for reference.

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5. Blankie/teddy bear/pet. There are some scary bits and some shocking bits. You will something cuddly.

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HAPPY READING!

 

Dear Teen Me: Bloggers Respond to THE ART OF GETTING STARED AT

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We have been so moved by the reviews for Laura Langston’s important and engrossing YA novel, The Art of Getting Stared At. In addition to posting their thoughts on the book, our bloggers have included messages to their teen selves about body image and self esteem. Check them all out here:

The Art of Getting Stared At is a rich story that deals with illness and body image, and does it in such a way that it’s easy to relate to, but also something to reflect on. “

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“Please pick up this book because it needs to be read, it will change you because it change me after I finished it, and it begs to be read and it deserves all the praise in the world. “ Conversations of a Reading Addict

“The Art of Getting Stared At is a thought provoking novel about one girl learning there’s always more to people than what meets the eye. I loved that it communicated the message that people are more than just one thing. “More Than Just Magic

“Langston is clearly an author to watch and someone who knows how to handle difficult subjects with equal measures of honesty and heart. “ Xpresso Reads

I would recommend this read to teens everywhere. Not only to become aware of alopecia, but to read a story where looks are not everything, and that no matter what, things will be okay in the end. “ Chapter x Chapter

“I really enjoyed Sloane’s voice, even though she was stubborn and kept this secret for such a long time. I acknowledged her struggles and I especially loved her dynamic relationship with her stepmother…I really enjoyed The Art of Getting Stared At and I hope more books like it will keep on getting written. Maji Bookshelf

“A compelling, engaging story with a cast of flawed, likeable characters in a novel that promises to both educate and entertain, The Art Of Getting Stared At is one novel that will keep you thinking long after you turn the final page and that can, and will, stand proudly amongst its peers. “ Pop Goes the Reader

Behind the Bill: Laura Langston

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1. What was your favourite book growing up?

I can’t pick just one. I remember being enthralled with the book of short stories my grandmother gave me at Christmas when I was maybe eight. A Collection of Stories for Girls I think it was called. By the time I was 11, I was hooked on Nancy Drew and I’d fallen in love with a series of Sue Barton nurse books too. She had red hair (how glamorous!) and helped save lives (how meaningful!). My next big love was a book called Mrs. Mike. In it, a 16 year old Boston girl moves to the Canadian wilderness and falls in love with a Mountie. It was a wonderful story with themes of overcoming hardship, resilience and living a life of purpose. In my teens I went through a Russian novelist phase (Anna Karenina was a favorite) and I also loved Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice. I have eclectic taste.

2. Tell us about the first piece of writing you ever finished.

I was in Grade Four and I wrote a short story about a girl who was trapped in a box and managed to escape (somehow) so when her parents went to open the box, it was empty. I’m sure Freud would have loved it. My teacher did. I got five out of five.

3. If you could have lunch with one author, alive or dead, who would it be & why?

Oh, this is such a tough question. Just one? Really? Honestly, it depends on my mood. I’d love to sit down with Paulo Coelho or Madeleine L’Engle or maybe Meg Cabot because she’s funny. Today I’d like to lunch with JoJo Moyes because I adored her novel Me Before You and it would be a total fan girl moment, plus I could pick her brain about characterization. She tackled a difficult subject and created characters who aren’t necessarily likable, yet you couldn’t help but sympathize with them. It was a love story without a traditional happy ending and it worked very, very well. I’m in awe of that kind of talent.
4. If you could hang out with one of the characters from your book, who would you choose & why?

Because I spent so many months hanging out with Sloane and Isaac and I know them pretty well, I’d probably say Lexi, Sloane’s best friend. She’s a terrible hypochondriac but funny. I’d like to find out what makes her tick and why she’s so terrified of illness. I sense a story there.
5. Describe your book in 5 words.

Rich, thoughtful, absorbing and heartfelt.

langston_ArtofGettingStared_pbTHE ART OF GETTING STARED AT hits shelves September 9th across Canada!

Join in the blog tour this month! Our dedicated bloggers will be sharing their reviews along with their own thoughts on the one thing they wish they could tell their teenage selves about body image. The schedule is:

09/02 More Than Just Magic

09/03 Xpresso Reads

09/04 Chapter by Chapter

09/05 Mostly YA Lit

09/06 Padfoot’s Library

09/07 Maji Bookshelf

09/08 Pop Goes the Reader

09/09 Emilie’s Book World

09/10 Cherry Blossoms & Maple Syrup

09/11 Conversations of a Reading Addict 0

9/12 Addie’s Book Blog

 

Behind the Bill: Una LaMarche

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What was your favourite book growing up?

That’s such a tough question! The first book I can remember really loving was Kay Thompson’s Eloise, because I, too, am a city child—although I did not have a swanky upbringing at the Plaza Hotel, much to my chagrin. As a teenager, though, I really began to have an emotional reaction to books, and the ones that affected me most deeply were Little Women and Maeve Binchy’s Circle of Friends. Those two just killed me. I was so invested in the romantic relationships, I literally wrote passionate graffiti on the spines.

Tell us about the first piece of writing you ever finished.

When I was about three years old I wrote a book titled “FOOD BOOK,” in which I drew pictures of different kinds of foods. But that was really more illustration-heavy. My first truly finished work was “When Cathy Learned Sign Language,” a short story about accepting deaf people that I wrote in the first grade. My teacher laminated it and everything.

If you could have lunch with one author, alive or dead, who would it be & why?

 Fran Lebowitz, because she’s so quick and funny and brilliant, both on paper and in person.

If you could hang out with one of the characters from your book, who would you choose & why?

Jaxon (the male protagonist of Like No Other), because I just love him. I wrote him as a kind of John Hughes male lead, in the tradition of John Cusack in Say Anything, that sort of nerdy guy with a whip-smart wit and a heart of gold that you can’t help but fall in love with even though he’s your best friend.

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Una is doing a Canadian blog tour this week to celebrate her book birthday! Follow along with us:
July 25 Library of Clean Reads review

July 27 More Than Just Magic review + Q&A

July 28 Sam Couture Reviews

July 29 Words of Mystery

July 30 Pop Goes the Reader review + guest post

July 31 A Lot of Loves

Aug 1 Leonicka.com

Aug 2 Emilie’s Book World

Check out Una LaMarche’s fantastic LIKE NO OTHER, available now!

Saying Goodbye to The Gypsy King

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A guest post by Maureen Fergus

I finished writing Tomorrow’s Kingdom, the final book in The Gypsy King trilogy, on a Saturday morning in early June last year. I’d stayed up until two the night before, hoping to finish it off, but when I got so tired that I had to squint to keep from seeing double, I decided that perhaps a little sleep was in order. I staggered over to the couch and collapsed. Two hours later, I was back at work. Four hours after that, my family started to wake up. As the hours slipped by, a hush fell over the house.

From time to time, my husband or one of my kids would tiptoe by and whisper, “How much do you have left to go?”

“A couple of pages,” I would murmur, my eyes glued to the screen, my fingers flying across the keyboard. “Less than a page … a paragraph … a sentence …”

Then, before I knew it, the answer was, “I’m done.”

And just like that it was over.

The feeling that came over me then was a strange mixture of tranquility and emptiness. Tranquility because I’d driven myself rather mercilessly in an effort to finish this trilogy and I could hardly believe I’d actually done it; emptiness because the kingdom of Glyndoria, its cast of characters and their destinies had been my all-consuming passion for so long that I didn’t know what I was going to do without them.

It was an adjustment, to be sure. It took a few weeks for my brain to stop feeling like a sponge that had been squeezed too hard, and a few months for me to stop repeatedly waking up during the night because I was dreaming about some particularly dramatic or tragic scene from one of the books.

Recently, I was asked which characters I missed the most now that I was finished writing the trilogy. The answer is that it can be hard to let go of characters as complicated as Persephone, as irresistible as Azriel and as deliciously evil as Mordecai, but if I’ve done my job as a writer, by the time I’ve finished a book (or in this case, a trilogy) I’ve told that part of my characters’ stories that I was meant to tell. For me, there shouldn’t be a powerful feeling of wanting to stay connected to them. Sometimes we meet people who have a profound impact on us at a certain point in our lives. Then we or they move on and our time together becomes a special and important memory — an experience that helps to shape who we are and the path our lives takes.

The characters from The Gypsy King trilogy are like this for me. There are still nights when the citizens of Glyndoria, good and evil, visit me in my dreams. But while I enjoy connecting with them again, I don’t really encourage them to linger.

Because you see, I’m working on a new young adult novel about a different boy and a different girl in a different world, and I owe these new characters and this new story nothing less than my undivided attention.

TOMORROW’S KINGDOM is available from Razorbill Canada on July 8th 2014.