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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wanna Read My Book?

Come on, you know you do. :)

So...there's a dearth of available galleys (I only have one copy in my possession!) and a few wonderfully enthusiastic bloggers/reviewers have been asking to read my book, so I decided to send my galley off on a little cross-country adventure. On its journey, it will make pit-stops at the homes of interested readers, before jaunting off to the next location. Think of it like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Copy of Before I Fall.

Comment back with your email if you're interested in placing your house/office/school as one of the Destination Stops on my book's road trip. The only catch is you will have to send the book on to the next reader after reading, which means 1. You have to pay for postage :( and 2. You can't, like, horde the book under your bed for five weeks.

On the plus side, you'll get an early, early look since the book isn't out until March 2010! And being a trendsetter is always good. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion? You Betcha.

So, Lenore of presentinglenore.blogspot.com-- a powerhouse blogger if there ever was one-- read my book last week, and it's not an exaggeration to say I was on pins and needles the whole time. (Suffice it to say, my twitter kept tapping out because I was refreshing it so often to see whether she would drop any hints about her reaction.) I knew she'd been anticipating the read, and having obsessively stalked her blog for the last few months, I knew that I really valued her opinion and would be forced (good or bad!) to respect what she had to say about Before I Fall. Fortunately, she had very good things to say. :) Check out her pre-review review, here:

There's no other way to say this: I'm over the frigging moon. And very, very relieved.

Off to eat a scone to celebrate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Extremely Quick Thoughts, UK Edition

"Hot buttered homemade teacake."

Most beautiful words in the English language?

I think so.

Shakespeare, you got nuthin' on the Muffin Man. Zip zero.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

London, London Bridge

Today I am leaving to take my brilliant sister (Dr. Lizzie) to Oxford, where she will be living for two years doing a post-doc (that's a fancy word for what people do after they get their Ph.D.--because obviously, six years of graduate work is not enough!).

After making sure she is safely ensconced on the Oxford campus (where I am convinced, after reading His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman, and all of the Harry Potter books, that everyone will be wearing pointed wizard caps and secret doors will give entrance to alternative worlds) I'll be chilling in London for a bit, doing various fun things that may or may not include:
1. Taking the tube.
2. Using the word "chuffed," whenever possible.
3. Ordering chips, receiving fries, and laughing like a maniac.
4. Scoping cute british boys.
5. Meeting my UK editor!!

(This list is ordered inversely, from least to most important.)

I am SO. FRIGGING. EXCITED. Next time I post it will be Lauren Oliver: UK edition.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I <3 Harper

Title of the post says it all...During my meeting at Harper on Tuesday I met a lot of the people who have been, and will continue to be, working on BEFORE I FALL, from the cover designer to the marketing director. (I started to try to list the people I met by name but then realized that my post would be, like, enormously long, because everyone was so fabulous I couldn't bear to leave anyone out!)

The warmth, enthusiasm, and support I felt during that meeting was just overwhelming...I really think some of them are more excited about Before I Fall than I am! :P I was incredibly nervous before the meeting but everyone made me feel just so comfortable and welcome. I know this post is essentially just a big mushy gush but I'm really still so keyed up I can't truly articulate how glad and proud I am to have my book shepherded into the world by such a dynamic and smart and lovely group of people.

The only downside of the whole day was that after the meeting was over, I was still so overwhelmed/excited/happy I ended up eating, like, five big Godiva truffles in a row and then feeling sick. :/ Take note, people: large quantities of sushi + large quantities of chocolate, consumed in extremely rapid succession and then mixed with a high dose of very nervous energy, do NOT go well together.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wayward Girls WOOT WOOT

This post is dedicated to my very brilliant--and absolutely hilarious friend--Leila Sales. Leila wrote a brilliant and hilarious book (obviously) called WAYWARD GIRLS, and on Friday she got her VERY FIRST BOOK DEAL! That's right, she is going to have a book in the stores, people.

This makes me happy for so many reasons. I'm going to list some of them now.

1. I was lucky enough to read WAYWARD GIRLS in an early pass, and it really was special. Leila's voice is sharp and funny and her characters are sharp and funny and, most importantly, real. She doesn't just write about a bunch of girls blow-drying their hair and talking about boys with yummy butts. The girls in her books are quirky and smart and ambitious and insecure and just feel like real people you would know and be friends with.
2. Leila and I share an EXTREMELY talented agent (and friend!), Stephen Barbara, and so a triumph for her is, by extension, a triumph for him. And a triumph for me, too, because it just reaffirms how talented my friends are!
3. Leila is really nice and really cool and she likes to do things like have long lazy picnics that culminate in spontaneous dance parties, so if anyone deserves a book deal, it's her.
4. Okay, here's where it gets crazy: Leila, Stephen B, and I all attended the University of Chicago and graduated within a few years of each other. Stephen B just recently made another deal for a fellow U of C grad, so basically I feel like the U of C is slowly putting the smack down on the YA book industry (in a good way). College pride!

Anyway, just wanted to give the lady--and WAYWARD GIRLS--a shout-out. Keep your eye on this Miss Leila Sales...she is one to watch. And congrats, Leila!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You Gotta Have Faith, Faith, Faith

…This post was inspired by Molly O’Neill of Harper, as was my last one. Molly and I were talking about how important faith—and not just religious faith—is to a meaningful life. I did not grow up in any traditional religious background, and she asked me what I had faith in. I told her that I had faith in books (of course), and art, and ideas; but as anyone who has read Before I Fall should know, I also have tremendous faith in connection and, perhaps most importantly, in friends.

So I just wanted to do a little shout-out to some of the ladies (and gents) who have kept me sane all these years (relatively speaking, that is), and who have also made life joyful and worthwhile. Thanks for the giggles, the cries, the conversations, and the spontaneous dance parties.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monsters and Mayhem and Middle Grade, Oh My

Monday I had drinks with the wonderful Harper editor Molly O’Neill. Molly has been a fan of and an advocate for my book from the very beginning (when my book is finally released, you can check out her shout-out in my acknowledgments) but this was the first time we’d ever spent time together one-on-one.

And lordy, was it fun.

Molly is completely, completely passionate about children’s books, and she’s also smart and deeply engaged with the world around her and absolutely fascinating to talk to. I feel like I’ll probably be blogging about our girl-date for days to come, because our conversation was so interesting and rich and took so many twists and turns and zig-zags—and I feel like we only scratched the surface of all the things we have to discuss!

Okay, I’ll stop geeking out about Molly now and get onto one of the major things we discussed. Basically, as I wait for edits on my second book (eek!) I am trying to distract myself by working on a book for younger readers. I suppose it falls under the rubric of middle grade, although it might skew even younger. (But it is definitely a chapter book, with a fairly sophisticated vocabulary.) I’m sure that this question is irrelevant because the book is probably terrible and will no doubt never see the light of day, but I’ve been curious about how dark/disturbing books for younger readers can go? It’s probably a difficult question to answer in the abstract, but I’m just wondering what people think…

Coraline’s pretty dark, for example, but I’m not sure what age group Neil Gaiman is targeting? And I always felt Roald Dahl’s books were pretty dark, and I absolutely adored them when I was younger (I still read Matilda every time I’m sick).

One thing I love that Molly said—and an illustration of why she’s such a great editor!—was that children’s books need to leave their readers feeling more in control of their worlds than they were before reading. They need to give their readers some kind of key, or door—a way of understanding the world and feeling comfortable in it. I love this idea, and totally agree (actually, I think this is true of every great book…).

Opinions? Thoughts? Comments? Expressions of concern?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bloggers ROCK.


I am overjoyed and over-the-moon and generally feeling xD about the fact that the lovely Sharon from this wonderful blog is hosting a contest in which she is giving away her galley copy of Before I Fall! And I didn't even have to bribe her!

Don't believe me? Check out the contest here.

This is really so wonderful and generous of her, I can't gush about it sufficiently.

Another blogger who really made my day is Suzana, who is based in Slovenia (!!) and who recently read my book and reviewed it on her fabulous blog. Please read the review here. I read it with a mixture of gratitude, joy, relief, and incredulity. Seriously, I am just so thrilled that she found lots of layers and meaning in the book--I can only wish/hope/pray desperately that other readers will have a similar experience.

Seriously, what on earth did I do in a past life to deserve this? Whatever it was, I was obviously racking up karmic brownie points faster than a teen starlet can rack up DUIs (sorry, couldn't resist), because all of this very early support is just incredible and has already exceeded/surpassed my hopes!


Hope everyone is gearing up for a great Labor Day weekend...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

End of the Summer Round-Up

It's the first day of September, and so for no particular reason I thought I'd do a round-up of all the things I learned this summer. Here are all the kernels of wisdom I harvested during the past three months:

1. "Kernels" + "Harvest" in a single sentence = abusively cutesy seasonal metaphor that should never be used again. (Okay, to be fair I just learned that five seconds ago.)

2. Jumping into cold water at the end of a long, hot run is the best feeling in the world...

3. ...Except for eating hot berry bread pudding with cold melty ice cream, which actually might be the best feeling in the world.

4. Despite what people are always saying about teens (they're self-involved! They can't write except in text-speak! They're all having crazy house parties featuring drugs synthesized from cold medicine and horrible, immoral acts!), the teens I've begun to have the pleasure to speak to are articulate, creative, kind, and deeply engaged with the world around them...and none of them appear to be on drugs! In your face, stereotyping. :)

5. You should never consent to be smaller just so that someone else can feel bigger; shorter so that they can feel taller; cheaper so that they can feel more generous, etc etc.

6. I love to write. No, really. I love to write. I love to create things in general, but I really love to write.

7. I also really love to read.

8. March 2010 (when my book pubs) is still really, really far away.

9. Portland, Maine is beautiful; as a corollary to that, no matter what is happening in life, it is impossible to feel depressed when you have a best friend to giggle with.

10. Cool Whip is really good, but not when you eat a whole tub of it in one evening. Then it's gross.

Some of these lessons may be frivolous, some of them may be petty, some may be profound...but that's the way it goes, folks. And trust me, it's just as important to know not to eat a tub of cool whip as it is to understand the value of a good friend--ignoring either piece of wisdom will leave you with a really gross feeling at the bottom of your stomach. (Another thing I learned at some point, but probably not this past summer--what may initially seem silly might actually be quite critical, and vice versa.)

Happy autumn...Here's to another season of Life Lessons, big and small. :)


Content by Lauren Oliver - Copyright 2011. Blog designed by Ella Press Studio - 2011.

Author Photo by Jonathan Alpeyrie - Copyright 2010. Original Font Idea by Erin Fitzsimmons - 2010.