Monday, May 31, 2010
This party marked the world premiere of the incredible Foundrymen! It turns out that Foundry, my literary agency, is chock full of incredibly talented...musicians! When I was in Bologna, I made the mistake of singing as I wandered the streets with my agent, Stephen Barbara, and his boss, Peter McGuigan (yes, I admit, some red wine may have been involved). Somehow, I got roped into performing a guest spot at their BEA party...thus the spectacle of ridiculousness you see below! (And, yes, those are leather pants.)
Enjoy, giggle, spread via twitter and youtube--I'm a rockstar, baby!! :P CHECK OUT THE VIDEO HERE!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Anyway, last week entailed many fun things, including a fancy-schmancy dinner in midtown with my publicist, Elyse Marshall, and editor, Rosemary Brosnan, two of my favorite people to spend an evening with. And the cover for DELIRIUM was on a big poster hanging right above our table! It was pretty awesome. Afterwards, Elyse and I shared a taxi back to Brooklyn and kept the party going at the Vanderbilt, a great new restaurant in Prospect Heights. All in all, a solid evening.
The next day I had my signing, which went so well. I was worried that nobody would show but I shouldn't have been--the line was HUGE! I felt bad that I couldn't stop and chat with each person who came by, but it was like a straight-up assembly line: people stepped up, I scribbled their names in Before I Fall and galley copies of Delirium, and then BOOM! On to the next one. It was actually slightly stressful, but I was just so amazed and grateful to all of the lovely readers who stopped by. So if any of you are reading this now: YOU ARE ALL SO PRETTY AND NICE! THANK YOU!
Then I had my geek-out freak-out moment of the Fair: I MET LEMONY SNICKETT. I cannot fully articulate how I instantly morphed from a self-possessed, decently collected young women to a stuttering, blushing mess in his presence. You will just have to believe me. Thankfully, he was quite gracious about the fact that a writer had, in front of him, just displayed all of the command of the English language that a gnat might possess. I suppose he's used to it.
That night I went out with my agent, my film agent, and some other publishing kids, including one of my best friends, Pam, who works at a small and amazing publishing house in San Fran called Zest. (Website here.) We had a great time hanging on the rooftop lounge of the Thompson LES (yes, that was the night I took refuge in the hotel; I think we cranked the air conditioning to, like, 50 degrees), and then went to bed far too late.
I'm telling you...There ain't no rest for the wicked... :D
The next night was MY BIG STAGE DEBUT!!!
Don't know what I'm talking about?
Check back tomorrow for amazing video footage!!
For now I wanted to leave you with a fun start-of-the-summer gift: new music! This playlist--inspired, of course, by Before I Fall--is brought to you by the fabulous Samantha (who, ahem, awesomely shares a first name with my protagonist!). I met Sam at a fabulous event I did at the Voracious Reader in Larchmont with the wonderful Gail Foreman (see my post on it here). It was obvious she had an encyclopedic knowledge of music and had really connected to the book, so I asked if she would be willing to do a Before I Fall-inspired playlist. And she did!
Check it out, below. If you're like me, there's nothing you like better than being introduced to new songs. So check 'em out, let me know what you think, and if you send any song recommendations...for my book, or just for the love of summer...send 'em my way!!
Also, make sure to check back later in the week for my BEA recap. And in the meantime: Summer 2010!!!!! Let's make it a good one.
Ain't No Rest For the Wicked by Cage the Elephant (theme song for Lindsay and her gang)
The City is at War by Cobra Starship
Electric Feel by MGMT
11th Dimension by Julian Casabalncas
The High Road by Broken Bells (the crash)
Help I'm Alive by Metric (pretty self explanatory)
Here it Goes Again by OK Go (Day 2)
Teenagers by My Chemical Romance
Last Nite by The Strokes
Breakeven by the Script
Heads Will Roll by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Giving Up the Gun by Vampire Weekend (day3)
Your English is Good by Tokyo Police Club
Troublemaker by Weezer
Can You Tell by Ra Ra Riot
Back Against the Wall by Cage the Elephant (Day 7)
Lisztomania by Phoenix
Jigsaw Falling Into Place by Radiohead
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? by She and Him
M79 by Vampire Weekend
No Sunlight by Death Cab For Cutie
The Resolution by Jack's Mannequin
Life in Technicolor ii by Coldplay
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Re: Hermaphrodite Sea Slugs
Hermaphroditic reproduction is still sexual reproduction, so if we’re going to keep the word in the hypothesis name(which I think we should), we can’t call it asexual.
Yes, my friends. That counts as a work email!
I <3 my job.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Here's what it looks like!
On Friday, to kick off Book Expo America madness (and a week of near-constant meetings), I had a little dinner party for some of my favorite people in the YA book industry. In attendance: Jess Rothenberg, senior editor extraordinaire at Razorbill and author of the yet-to-be-released The Catastrophic History of You and Me; Leila Sales, editor at Viking and author of the hilarious forthcoming Mostly Good Girls (blurbed by yours truly); Emily Heddleson, school and library whiz at Penguin; Corey Haydu, brilliant up-and-coming literary writer; and my friend Lenore, famously of the fabulous blog Presenting Lenore, along with her husband Daniel, a children's illustrator.
On the menu?
Home roasted tomatoes
Homemade marinated mushrooms
Burrata with Herbs
Ricotta crostini with cracked black pepper and honey
Crab salad with basil, grapefruit, and frisee
Arugula salad with caramelized onions and goat cheese
Fettucini with ricotta, mint, lemon, peas, and asparagus
Almond and pear tart
I wish you could have all been there! But you would not all have fitted in my apartment. :(
But you can check out the pics below and it will be ALMOST THE SAME--particularly if you find some cheese and eat it while you are looking at your computer. :)
1. The giant bookshelf crammed with books--a necessity in every well-kept house, I think!
2. In the very bottom picture, despite all appearances, Daniel, Leila, and Corey are actually NOT having a miserable time. We were just all engaged in a very serious conversation about America's Next Top Model, and whether Miley Cyrus's new song "Can't Be Tamed" is on par with "Party in the USA." You know--we were hitting the hard topics.
Monday, May 17, 2010
That's why I've decided to start off this Monday by posting two recently unearthed, and extremely embarrassing high school photos of me, in the hopes that it will at least jump-start a smile, if not your productivity.
Without further ado...
This pic was actually scanned from a Polaroid (thus the poor quality). In it, my sister Lizzie and I are showing off our tongues in her room. Why, you ask? Pshaw. As though we needed a reason! To be honest, I neither remember nor care to know...
And this, an all-time favorite:
Here I am looking the soul of beneficence and kindness while at a Quaker Notes rehearsal. (Um, yes, I was in an a cappella group called "The Quaker Notes." Don't judge me--so was Dar Williams!) Two facts of note: one, my arm is slung around the shoulders of a girl who remains one of my best friends to this day. And two...Yes, that is a "Sugar Daddy" t-shirt I am rocking. Classy. So classy.
Ahhh...some things never change.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Last evening I had drinks with two of my favorite friends/work colleagues/publishing peers (one of them, Molly O'Neill, is an editor at Harper and was one of the original champions of Before I Fall; the other, Lexa Hillyer, is my business partner and one of my close friends). And that's the thing: I don't exactly know how to define them. I don't know how to define an evening spent gossiping about everything from boys to books to market trends. We drank wine; we ate cheese; we waxed poetic about prose, and character, and the subtle workings of a successfully orchestrated plot. Is that work? Play? Publishing porn?
Perhaps all of the above.
Here's the thing: I believe that you work harder, and better, when your work is your passion, and your creative output a reflection of your moral values, and your friends are your partners and even your competitors. I believe in balance, sure, but I also believe in blend. Work and life should be like a good vinaigrette--you have to get the proportions right, sure, but it's also really important to get them to merge. Otherwise you're just left with sad little circles of vinegar, floating listlessly in a limpid pool of olive oil. AND WHO WANTS TO EAT THAT?? Nobody.
My point is: It's obviously time for lunch. Wish I still had the cheese board from last night!
My other point is: I live to work, work to live, socialize to network, and network to make friends. And that's okay with me.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Here is what I woke up to in my apartment this a.m. And no, these are NOT STAGED PHOTOS:
The shoe graveyard: evidence of my complete and utter shoe fetishization. Usually, a scene of carnage like this means that I was on a date the night before, and frantically trying to figure out what to wear about five minutes after I should already be dressed and on the subway. And in fact, I DID have a date last night--with the lovely YA writer Donna Freitas, author of The Possibilities of Sainthood and the forthcoming novel, THIS GORGEOUS GAME)...
And, the coffee-mug skull. I bought this two days ago from this AMAZING new store on 7th avenue in Brooklyn called Homebody. If you live in the area, you should definitely go!
Lord knows I needed many skulls-full this morning...after my THREE HOUR LONG meal with Donna last night. She is beautiful and brilliant and my total writer crush... altogether, she was the perfect date!
We even ate softshell crab!
I know that this is the randomest post ever, but that's where the "Miscellany" in my blog name title comes in, people!!
Friday, May 7, 2010
I've been so blessed that publishing BIF has brought me into contact with all of these incredibly passionate and talented young people--artists, writers, photographers, etc. And I'd like to start featuring some of their work. I mean, I'm cool and all that, but it can't be all Lauren Oliver, all the time! It gets boring to talk about myself!
This week, a young songwriter sent me a song she had composed that was inspired by Juliet, a Very Important Character in Before I Fall. Juliet is, in some ways, an inscrutable character, at least for the majority of the book: misunderstood, isolated and ostracized, she is alternately ignored and tormented by her classmates. I think Paige evoked all of this so brilliantly in her lyrics, below. Don't you? Now she just needs someone to set it to music (hint/hint, nudge/nudge, to all of you composers out there...).
She’s the girl in the hallway with her face hidden in her hair
She’s the girl who’s unnoticed because nobody cares
She’s the girl with so many secrets to hold,
That she has no place for her own
She’s the girl walking around hidden by a mask
And if she was gone the next day, nobody would ask
Cause she’s the invisible girl and no one really knows her name
She walks around, head hung low, is she really to blame?
Her life went downhill because of one simple act
It all started when her best friend stabbed her in the back
And yet no one gets it,
But her name’s Juliet
She’s the girl who walks around with so much pain
She’s the girl that everyone takes in vain
And she’s the girl with the beautiful smile
You know, you’d love her if you talked to her for a while
But she’s the girl labeled as an outcast
And if she was gone tomorrow, no one would ask
She was the girl who didn’t want to be saved,
But she was saved anyway
Who knew that her tomorrow would end today
She was the girl who willed her life away
She was so close to tomorrow, but too far away
And she was saved, she was saved, she was saved…
She’s the girl in the front row of the funeral, who was so close to death
And she’s the girl whose life was changed when her enemy took her last breath
Cause she was the invisible girl and no one knew her name
She walks around, head held high, cause no one has her to blame
Her life was turned upside down because of one simple act
And now she’s living her second chance because she got her life back
They might not remember, but now they’ll never forget
That her name’s Juliet
And here is a pic of the lovely Paige herself! (Don't worry, her mom said it was okay for me to post her pic!) Follow her on twitter: @fearlessmuchh. Love the twitter name, too! Paige...you rock.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Well then, my friends, I am here to correct you, and show you that IN FACT, it's all semi-opaque scarves, mugs of coffee, story-boarding and excruciating moments of self-doubt!
I've decided today's blog post will be a slice-of-life feature; I documented an average Monday and am posting it, along with helpful visual aids, for your reading/viewing pleasure. Welcome to a Day In The Life...of Lauren Oliver!
7:15. Alarm goes off. Ironically, when I worked a full-time desk job and had to get up early, I never did; now that I work for myself, however, I usually can't sleep late. I'm too excited by my work.
7:22. Three sun-salutations in the kitchen: this is the extent of my yoga. Ohmmm.
7:30-9:30. During these two hours, I do my writing. Sometimes my writing takes far longer than two hours; sometimes I can finish in only one hour! I write 1,000 words per day of whatever novel I am currently working on, unless I am working on two very challenging books (as is the case now), in which case I fudge it. Since I am writing both a middle-grade and a teen novel simultaneously, I write 500 words of the middle-grade and 750 words of the YA novel each day, every day. This is challenging but manageable; it keeps me on a steady pace, while also preventing burn out.
During this time, I also consume:
5 cups of coffee
toast with peanut butter
Incidentally, this is what I eat for breakfast every day, although sometimes I sub in a grapefruit for a mango. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit. Writers usually are, I find. Maybe it's because we need to navigate the chaos of all these imagined worlds--we like the real world to be familiar!
This is my desk:
(Incidentally, it is also my dining room table!)
10:00. Pilates!! It's so nice to do something purely physical after I've been flexing my brain (and cramping my fingers) all morning. I love my instructor, Spela. She says things like, "Easy ankles, easy ankles, inward rotation, more buoyancy in the abs." I don't really understand what any of it means, but her accent is adorable and my abs will definitely be bikini-ready this year.
11:30. Showered and dressed, which is actually not necessarily common nowadays. I can go whole weeks in my pajamas, which is good for my laziness but bad for my romantic/social life. I hop in the F train to head into the city; I have to pick up a check from my agency, Foundry Media, and visit with my agent extraordinaire, Stephen Barbara. I love visiting Foundry. The agency has a beautiful penthouse space just next to Union Square, and going there always makes me feel majorly legit. I mean, c'mon. Look at my agent?? How for realzies does HE look?
12:30. I deposit a check. I have mastered the impressive art of receiving money just after my account gets overdrawn. Today, the check clears as my account registers -12.30. Success! Time to go shopping...
1:00. ...Except I can't, because I have a doctor's appointment. Blech. Don't worry, guys!! I'm okay!!! (I know, I know; your anxiety was spiking.) It was just a check-up.
2:30. Back to Brooklyn. In the train I make some notes about some new projects. I often write on my Blackberry; in fact, I wrote the majority of Before I Fall this way, while commuting between my jobs and graduate school. I type an email on my phone and send it to myself when I'm out of the subway. See that speckled white thing under the phone that looks like a strange variety of unhealthy fish? That's my thigh. Good thing I'm headed to Mexico in a few weeks. Ay, Querida. Mama needs some sun.
3:30. My friend Corey, also a YA writer, is waiting on my doorstep when I show up. The thing about writing is that it can be kind of lonely; you spend so much time by yourself, and you're deprived of the social element of office life. (The social element was my favorite part of office life, actually--that, and the free Swiss Miss hot chocolate.) So recently I've started breaking up my days by meeting up with writer friends and working side-by-side. Even if we're not really speaking, it feels less isolated--less like work, more like fun.
6:30. I say goodbye to Corey just as my dad arrives. He recently moved a few blocks away from him, so now I can stop by a bunch and ask him if I can borrow sugar and stuff like that. (Literally. Recently, after finishing a Pilates session, I got tea and the barista forgot to put sugar in it--thankfully I was only a block away from my dad's crib!) We walk to a delicious Italian place in the 'hood and have dinner. Conversation topics include: my dad's new ipad (I love how you spend heaps of money just to approximate the sensation of getting to turn book pages! Brilliant.), and how people turn into the people they turn into--specifically, how I've turned into the person I am. My dad studies psychopaths, so that's a favorite topic of his; and since I'm his daughter, I'm a favorite topic of his. Incidentally, in case you are concerned, he does NOT think I am a psychopath. Score!
There was a really pretty sunset. I took a pic while walking back from the restaurant...
9:00. I meet up with my good friend Emily H at one of my favorite bars, Double Windsor, and remember once again that Park Slope/Windsor Terrace is essentially a coven for publishing people. Emily is one of my friends from Penguin--we used to work together there--and no sooner have we waltzed in the door than we run into Michael Stearns, a major NYC literary agent (who, incidentally, I had just seen the previous week at a small industry event). Cozy! That's why you have to be NICE, people: even in New York, you will run into the same people all the time.
A beer and a bite of Em's grilled cheese later, and I was in bed by 11 p.m....ready for a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call, as I had to fly to the Borders headquarters in Ann Arbor the following day (yesterday) for lunch. But that's a whole different Day In The Life Of...
So--what did YOU do on Monday?
I did a short reading, and then--happiness of all happinesses--got to sit down in the audience and listen as Gayle read from her book. Even better, she brought musical accompaniment! The main character, Mia, is a cellist, and the book is full of beautifully evoked descriptions of music. It lends itself perfectly to this kind of performance. Below is a pic of the insanely talented Gayle reading.
I must say, I read If I Stay so long ago I had forgotten how very powerful it is in its evocations of grief and choice and ambivalence. As I listened, I once again rediscovered the musical quality of Gayle's language. It was so, so cool. It was like the music was speaking, and the writing was singing! I had goose bumps, my friends, truly.
After the readings, we got to chat with some pretty awesome teens who had attended. This is always my favorite part of events. That's why I'm so smiley in the pics!
If you haven't read If I Stay, you are very silly. But if you read it, you'll be smart! And smart is sexy.
So be sexy and read If I Stay, now out in paperback.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I think that Reading is Sexy. Willow thinks that Reading is her escape. I can get down with that. And how adorable is she with her friends at the library?
Willow, I'll be getting in touch with you about YOUR PRIZES very soon--so get excited! And thanks to everyone who entered! It was so great to read about the meaning reading holds for all of you. I had to include a list of some of your responses, below. I've bolded particular favorites of mine, but I truly enjoyed reading all of your responses. YOU ARE ALL SO PRETTY AND NICE!!
Reading is Life
READING IS LOVE!
Reading is a Superpower
Reading is Fantabulous. :)
Reading is EVERYTHING!
Reading is ENCHANTING!!!
Reading is sustenance.
Reading is AIR
Reading is anti-social. XD
Reading is awesome
Reading is REAL
Reading is right!
Reading Is... Freedom. :)
Reading is dreaming.
Reading is the cat's meow
Reading is "Happyness" :) (misspelled on purpose! referencing the pursuit of happiness.)
Reading is an adventure
Reading is my escape
Reading is what all the cool kids are doing
Reading is breathing.
Reading is living vicariously through fiction
Reading is my addiction. :)
Reading is pimp!
READING IS WICKED!
Reading is my breath
reading is a temporary escape from reality
Reading is my Boyfriend!
Reading is... ESSENTIAL!
Reading is the ultimate obsession and satisfaction.
Reading is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Yes, I have watched Mary Poppins enough times that I can spell that word without Googling it ;D)
Reading is an escape exit.
Reading is inspiring!
Reading is My Tea Time
Reading is My Tea Time
Reading is COOL (That's right jocks! Reading is the new thing ;))
Reading is LOVE <3 My heart breaks once it comes to an end:)
Reading is 'me time'.
Reading is infectious.
Reading is healing.
Reading is absolute abandon.
Reading is paradise!
Reading is an escape into someone else's mind.
Reading is Bewitching
Reading is baller.
Reading is LIBERATING.
Reading is.... like oxygen!
Reading is the match to my fire. Ooh baby, ouch!
Reading Is Invigorating
reading is like a box of chocolates YUM!
Reading is my rock star!
Reading is AN ADDICTION! (I've no intention to reform from this at all!)
Reading is true creativity, Unsurpassed, paramount, preeminent, superlative, awe-inspiring, splendid, astounding
Reading is my anti-drug. (Or should it be Reading is my drug since it's so addictive?)
Reading is my obsession!
Reading is fantabulous!
Reading is fantastical!!
Reading is brain-licking good!
READING IS LIKE PURE SUNSHINE!!!!!!!!
Reading is therapeutic
Reading is neverending.