Lissa is in the Philippines this week and sends this photo of her and Jennifer E. Smith speaking to the smart students of the International School.
Lissa is in the Philippines this week and sends this photo of her and Jennifer E. Smith speaking to the smart students of the International School.
The Philippines is bringing me out for a week of touring in September! Am looking forward to meeting Jennifer (an author friend told me she is really nice). It will be signings in Manila and also Cebu, media, school visits, and signing at the 35th Manila Book Festival. I’ve already heard from many of the readers and bloggers there and I’m so excited to meet you.
From the Facebook page (all rules set by the organization):
I flew in a day early to catch a play with NY friends. The play was great and it was special getting to see them.
Jonathan Karp, CEO of Simon & Schuster
The next day, at the Craftfest luncheon, I didn’t realize I was seated at the same table as Jonathan Karp, our wonderful keynote speaker. He teased the audience with a choice of lectures, holding up two envelopes. Did we want “Elements of a Thriller” or “What Publishers Want?” The choice was obvious and the other envelope was, in fact, blank.
My seat mates were none other than authors Robert Dugoni and David Morrell. Also at our table, D.P. Lyle, Kimberley Cameron, Jon Land, Bob Stine and Joseph Finder. How much fun was this?
Later I gave my Craftfest lecture: Eight Fatal Mistakes Beginning Writers Make. Had a great turnout. Thank you, sharp students, for the excellent questions.
My buddy John Dixon with his poster of PHOENIX ISLAND. If you click on the photo to zoom in a few times, you can read my cover blurb in green. This was the basis for the tv show, “Intelligence” with Josh Holloway.
Random House sponsored the cocktail party so that’s a slide of RH authors. They ran single slides of our books throughout the party.
John took Melissa Marr and I out to celebrate his debut novel. But as we walked into the restaurant, Melissa got the news that Peter Jackson’s company will be making the film from her books, WICKED LOVELY! The restaurant brought us champagne and you can see we already have whiskey on the table. A magical night where every fifteen minutes someone would say, “Peter JACK-son” and we’d grin and click glasses again.
The next day I got up early to see Melissa’s panel on “Research.” She was smart and funny and such a pro.
Melissa and I were having so much fun, she delayed her train by a few hours. But then she had to get back to her family. Before we said goodbye, I snapped this shot of her by her poster – a new adult thriller coming out this fall. I have an ARC for me and one to give away, so keep watching this site.
The clever and wise F. Paul Wilson (of Repairman Jack fame), signing for fans.
Snagged this and an inscription from Chris. I’m such a fan of his writing. Love that cover!
Random House did this large poster of their authors at Thrillerfest that was outside the ballroom. I’m pretty sure I’m the only YA author there.
Friday night I went to talk to the debut authors, at Jenny’s request, to give some tips on how to best use their one minute they would get at the breakfast panel the next day. My main points were to find what is unique to themselves, bearing in mind it might not be a synopsis of their book. I encouraged them to be real and be memorable.
The next morning for buffet helps encourage everyone to get up early (after Friday night partying) to see the debut authors. What an accomplished group. And their short speeches were terrific and memorable.
Doug Preston and the other half of the debut table. These people all have impressive backgrounds. The four person to the right, (woman with the blond hair), had been a commercial airline pilot. I was sitting with Daniel Palmer and we enjoyed this presentation so much.
Later that day, I moderated the YA panel. They called my job “panel master.” I think that should be after my name for the rest of my life. Or at least the “master” part, like “shopping master” or “gym rat master.”
From the left: R.L. Stine, Heather Graham (the author of over a hundred books, not the actress), Allen Zadoff, nominated for Best YA Thriller for I Am the Assassin, Meg Gardiner (Phantom Instinct), and Janice Gable Bashman (Predator). This photo is a serious moment, but later R.L. Stine had us in stitches. Great audience with smart questions, too.
R.L. Stine was one of the first authors to write a long series in the YA arena. Now they’re bringing back the Fear Street series with new books. I can picture early teens sitting around a campfire or with flashlights, reading this aloud. It’s a fast-paced, easy read, perfect for reluctant readers but with some scary images in there that you will not be able to get our of your mind.
At the second of my two signings, this wonderful family of readers came into the city to see me. They were there last year, when Starters was out and this year they picked up Enders. Anthony has the makings of a future writer I suspect. It’s wonderful when readers make the effort to come so far (Anthony flew in from another state) — much appreciated.
Private party before the pre-banquet cocktail party. Allison Leotta, Boyd Morrison, Graham Brown, Robert Dugoni, Shane Gericke, Dennis Pozzessere, Heather Graham to name a few. Not in this photo but other authors also there: Lisa Gardner and mom, Jamie Freveletti and daughter, Lee Goldberg and wife.
At the final banquet and awards dinner, sitting at the Random House table with Anne and Christopher Rice, Mark Tavani, and pictured here with Walter Walker who kept me laughing and Jenny Milchman who waited to eat until she had her turn on stage, announcing one of the winners.
Last year, Michael Palmer invited me to sit at his table (which was pretty much in the same spot as this year’s table). It was generous and kind of him. I remember how he wouldn’t eat his dinner until he had gone onstage to sing a funny duet with his son, Daniel.
Sadly, Michael passed away last October. So Daniel did an amazing thing. He wrote lyrics in honor of his dad to the tune of “Cat’s in the Cradle” (original lyrics here). The song was funny and also poignant; everyone was in tears by the end. I don’t know how Daniel managed to sing and play so well, without breaking down. Standing ovation for this heartfelt moment that will be remembered in Thrillerfest history.
Then the awards were given out and my favorite was a guy I didn’t know but I had been seated next to at my second signing. Best Thriller of the Year, Andrew Pyper, for his book THE DEMONOLOGIST. He beat out Stephen King among other great authors. He was so nice to me when I was signing, so I was especially happy to see him win. It happened that I had bought his book in the B&N conference bookstore on the basis of the cover and title. I didn’t know it was nominated, didn’t read the great blurb.
And I was right to buy it. It’s a page-turner. An adult book with adult themes, beautifully written.
One of the best parts of conferences is getting to see writer buddies from other states. With our busy schedules, this is our chance to catch up for the year. We had all met at TF before we were published and now we’ve each had this amazing ride, one we never would have imagined. Book people are the best.
I was thrilled when I discovered a few months ago that a high school in Canada had picked Starters as their read of the year!
When I told my publisher in Canada, Random House Children’s Books, they arranged to bring me out there. I made a short video for the students to see when they announced the book choice to the student body in April.
Then everyone – 1100 students, teachers and administrators, all read the book at the same time – approx 2 1/2 weeks, turning their entire school into one big book club. Some went on to read Enders as well.
At the end of April, I flew out there for an incredible day. It started with an assembly with everyone in the gym. Several people spoke about this wonderful program that encourages reading for pleasure. Then I gave a short talk and PowerPoint presentation so they could get a glimpse of the context of the book, including the foreign covers and the European tour.
The art dept got involved, making posters to welcome me.
Following the presentation in the gym, there was a reception with teachers and administrators, the student committee that chose Starters, and the wonderful donors responsible for this program.
An artist donated a lovely piece of artwork to a couple of us.
Me with the main sponsor whose firm donated the cost of the books so the students did not have to pay for them. The world needs more book angels like this!
This chic lady to the left is the principal. I loved her style!
It was really fun talking with the student book selection committee. I only wish I had more time with them. But…
There was a signing planned! (I couldn’t believe they had peacock feathers, I happen to love peacock feathers).
Love these posters they made.
So the signing took hours and I’m very grateful to the teachers who helped organize and get the post-its in the books.
Everyone was so patient. You can’t see the end of the line, it snakes around, outside the room.
I loved meeting each and every student.
These four girls were so lovely. I told them, as I told many of the students who were reading Enders, to write me when they finish.
After a lunch break, I gave two workshops. The first one focused more on the books and the second one more on writing. These were smart students who had excellent questions.
It was great hearing some of the students read their work in the writing workshop. It takes courage to read in front of a crowd. My goal was to leave everyone inspired. I took this very seriously, because I know artistic types don’t always get encouragement. My message to them was to read, write and work hard and don’t let any rejections get you down, because every creative person has to work through them. The successful ones are the ones who keep on going (much like Callie).
I heard later that a writing group was formed in between my two workshops, which made me very happy.
This is the most complete photo we have showing the students holding the book in front of their faces. We actually had even more people than this who read it as the teachers and administrators are not in this shot. So amazing to think that all these people read Starters at the same time. And no one gave away any spoilers!
This was an incredible day, one of the most memorable since Starters was first published. I thank everyone who worked very hard to make this happen. Vice-Principal Christina and her team were so thoughtful, from the welcome gift basket to our farewell dinner. Jennifer, Christopher, Betty, Lori, and Susan, thank you. Thanks to my publisher, Random House, for sponsoring the tour. Special thanks to my wonderful friends Sara, Darren and Zevff, for taking the photos and being my support. I loved meeting every student and teacher and administrator — you all were fantastic.
This Saturday, May 17, from 9-5pm, I’ll be at the Ontario Teen Book Festival, in California, along with some amazing authors. Keynotes by Lauren Kate, Corey John Whaley and Jessica Brody and many more panelists. This amazing conference is all free (I can’t believe it), just show up. The bookstore there is the wonderful Mrs. Nelson’s book fair (the store itself closed) and they will open at 8:30 am. I love supporting them so if you don’t have your books yet, you can pick them up from them. I checked and they will have the original hardcover of Starters (now in its 8th printing), the paperback of Starters and the new hardcover of Enders. Or, if you already have books, you can bring them from home to be signed.
There is even a speed date session where you can talk to many authors. It’s all kind of amazing. More information, maps, directions, exact panel times, is all here.
I am bringing special new swag for you, so be sure to stop by my signing table to pick some up. Bloggers, teachers and librarians can get extras. I just want to alert you, I’ll sign exactly at 3 and I have to leave as soon as I can, so when the line stops, I’ll be gone. I don’t want to miss you, so come see me early.
Will create the real post with lots of photos later, but wanted you all to get a taste of this: 1100 students and teachers all read STARTERS at the same time. So many, we couldn’t fit them all in the photo! That’s me, wearing their school color, red, in the center.
If you go to the menu at the top of this site, you’ll see “For Readers.” Under that, on the pulldown menu, you’ll see “contests.” Click there to see the latest contests. We haven’t been updating that page, but we did it today. The latests ones include a tax-deductible auction to win a phone call from me (and yes, this could be on a speakerphone with a reading group or class); signed first printing, first editions of Starters and Enders, a chapter sampler and signed bookmarks (usually not available overseas); Enders; Starters and Enders. One of these ends in a day, the others are up for a while but go do it now while you’re thinking about it. Most are easy rafflecopter entries.
I am off to Canada. I have a big school event (an entire school picked Starters as their read of the year), some publishing events, and a book stop at the Chapters Barrie near Toronto on Saturday May 3 at 1pm. I hope to meet you there! If you are from the Toronto area, please comment or send me an email.
The Pasadena Public Library and Bridge to Books is sponsoring a YA book festival, Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Pasadena Public Library. Click on the picture below to get to the official website:
The free tickets are sold out, and now, as of Thursday night, the waiting list is closed. http://ptbf2014.eventbrite.com. Everyone on the wait list will be allowed into the patio signing area, but are not guaranteed to get in the auditorium. The organizers did say that the first arrivals from the wait list will be the first to enter the auditorium after the ticketed people. So get there early if you are on the wait list and want to hear Andrew’s keynote.
“Anyone who cannot be accommodated in the Auditorium and Story Room can hang out on the Signing Patio, or elsewhere in the library. Also, the recorded sessions will be posted online next week, so people can catch anything they missed.”
It is expected that some people will leave the auditorium for the signings, etc. so wait list people may get in later during the day as well.
The first 150 ticketed attendees get a free book bag!
Starters and Enders will be available for purchase, but you are also welcome to bring your books from home for signing.
Join me in the library Auditorium at 1:40 p.m., for my panel and then signing right after. Check out the full schedule of all the wonderful authors on panel at the Festival here. See you there!
Enter the “renaming contest” for a chance at winning a $50 Vronman’s gift certificate. To participate create a fun or clever name to replace the Pasadena Teen Book Festival. A name will be picked by a panel of judges, and the winner will be announced at the Festival! There are also rafflecopters with easy entry.
The deadline is Friday, April 25, 2014. Click here to get started.