Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winners of FHT giveaway!

Wow, y'all!  I'm bowled over!  Thanks for all the entries and comments!  I totally wish I could send books to all of y'all.  I have to say, it's not only really cool to see so many new names but also to see the names of people that I feel like have gone through this whole process with me.  I was going to use a random generator to choose the winners but didn't know how to make that work with the double entries for posting about the contest.  So I did it the old fashioned way - writing them all out by hand.  And let me tell you, I'm glad I did because it really was fun getting to write down each name and feel a little burst of excitement every time that there are people out there waiting for The Forest of Hands and Teeth to come out.

So anyway, this will be a post in pictures because really, this is a blog about procrastination and what's better than procrastinating visually?  Some of y'all may remember my office mates (I blogged about them here).  Well, I decided they've been slack long enough and brought them into the whole process.

I tried to get my co-worker to help with the name writing, but he reminded me that he has no opposable thumbs.  This upset him greatly, because he does not like to be reminded of said deficiency.  After writing out all the names myself and dumping them into the only hat that I could find, I went off in search of The Boss.  He... was not interested in helping.  So I sweetened the deal a bit with some treats.

He... was more amenable to helping at this point.  He chose Willowe as his winner!  Yay!

Next I asked my co-worker to choose a name.  He was less hesitant than The Boss.  Really, he's kind of a brown-noser that way - a dive right in to any project kind of guy.  He happily and with great gusto chose authorwithin as his winner!

At this point, it was time to hunt down that darn mail-clerk.  Which, let me tell you, was not easy.  It involved a flashlight.  Which in turn got the co-worker and The Boss involved because, really, there wasn't much else going on around the office.  So yes, The Boss and the co-worker followed me around as I checked under beds, under couches, under tables.  And then I'm just standing by the edge of the couch and I move my foot a bit and hear a muffled "Mrrwrr."  And realize that the slip cover feels a little warm, a little bulbous.

Let me tell you, she really is suited for the job of runner.  But I tracked her down, and with The Boss and co-worker at my back, I persuaded her to pick a name.  Which she did.  Grudgingly.  VERY grudgingly.    Congrats Indigo!

Yay for winners!  So Willowe, Authorwithin, and Indigo, email me at carrie AT and let me know how you'd like the book personalized and where I should send it!  I really hope y'all like it!

And again, thanks to everyone for entering -- it means so much to me!  Also... would any of y'all be interested in bookplates once the book comes out?  If so, I can figure out a way to make it work but just want to see if there's actual interest first...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Debs Blog Tour: Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Hey Y'all! First, thanks so much to everyone who has entered the giveaway for a signed/personalized copy of The Forest of Hands and Teeth! I'm super excited about all the comments!! Keep those entries coming and I'll choose winners tonight!

Today's guest on the Debs Blog Tour is someone y'all know from recent posts: Saundra Mitchell! For those of you unfamiliar with Saundra and her amazing debut, SHADOWED SUMMER, here are the deets:

About the Book:

Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared. His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind "The Incident With the Landry Boy."

Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette's latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.

What she doesn't realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.

About the author:

A screenwriter and author, Saundra Mitchell penned the screenplays for the Fresh Films and Girls in the Director's Chair short film series. Her short story "Ready to Wear" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her first feature film, Revenge Ends, debuted on the festival circuit in 2008. In her free time, she enjoys ghost hunting, papermaking, and spending time with her husband and her two children.

The interview:

What's been one of the most exciting moments in your journey to publication?

My very first signing has definitely been the highlight. Everything has been amazing, but the signing was two straight hours of surreal pleasure. I've never had a party before so it was a first in a lot of ways!

Is there anything you can't write without?

At the most essential level, my computer. If I had to write longhand, I could write the great American novel and no one- including me!- would be able to read it!

When stuck on a story which do you choose: write make-out scene or explode something?

Explode something, always explode something. Sarah Rees Brennan says I'm doing it wrong, but I like the pyrotechnics.

Can you share a favorite line you've written either in this book or a WIP?

"Wind kissed my ear, cool and soft, and I heard a voice. It sounded like clover tastes, green and new and sweet."

Finally: pro fast zombie or anti fast zombies?

I like the way you do them; I won't say anything else because I don't want to spoil your book.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Giveaway: The Forest of Hands and Teeth!

So when I got home from meeting George Romero on Friday, guess what I found? Boxes of my book! Hooray! It reminded me of that scene from the end of Back to the Future when George McFly gets a box of his debut SciFi novel (which Biff carries in). Except my box was much smaller - lol.

Anyway, in celebration of getting all these books I'd like to give some away! I'd hoped to come up with some clever way to decide how to pick winners, but since the book is coming out two weeks from today (!!) I decided it might just be easier to go with the old standby: leave a comment on this post in my blog or LJ for a chance to win. Link back to the contest for an extra entry. I'll choose winners Weds at midnight!

Also, Arya Darcy interviewed me on her blog (interview here).  She has a great blog that I highly recommend -- tons of author interviews that I've loved reading!

It's still hard to believe that The Forest of Hands and Teeth comes out in two weeks (or could already be out in some places since I guess the books are shipping!).  On the one hand, it's just crazy to think that years of planning, thinking, day-dreaming comes down to this.  To right now.

But that's kind of dramatic.  And on the other hand, I tend to think of time as a relative thing.  So I don't think of the release date being two weeks away but rather in relation to other things going on.  And before the release I have a party at JP's firm to go to, a house to clean for guests, a Ben Folds concert, a trip to Ireland.  So in my head, the release seems MILES away!  Which might explain why I'm feeling a little behind in the planning-launch activities arena (which, anything in particular y'all would like to see around launch time?)

Then there are moments when I'll catch myself and realize that this is really happening.  The books are sitting on my dining room table.  People will be reading them.  This book that I wrote for JP, that I thought would never sell is coming out soon.  Wow.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Romero Weekend

So I spent the weekend with George A. Romero.  And it was totally totally awesome.  First, JP and I went to a signing and met him face to face.  I'll admit to being nervous but he was so genuine and down to earth!  He took the time to talk to everyone and was honestly just so cool.  I have a picture of the three of us but accidentally left the camera in JP's office so will post it when I get that back.  

Then we went to a screening of Night of the Living Dead after which there was a Q&A session with Romero.  Let me tell you, it was fascinating.  I'd always thought that they'd set out to make Night as a social commentary about race.  But it turns out that the only reason they cast Ben as a black man is because the best actor among their friends happened to be black.  Romero said that when writing the script he'd basically thought of all the characters as being white and didn't think to change it.  And in fact, that it's NOT overtly addressed in the script is one of the things that makes the movie feel like such a commentary on race.

So when asked what kind of statement he was trying to make with the film, Romero said it was about the inability of people to pull their sh*t together in the face of a huge obvious threat.  Which, if you've seen the movie, is exactly what happens (as well as in Dawn of the Dead).  For some reason this just made everything click together in my head because I was always so frustrated by both Night and Dawn and how the characters just constantly screwed up.  I don't know why I never stopped to think that Romero did this on purpose -- that this was the *point* of the films!  I feel like an idiot now that I realize this!!

On Sunday we went to a small seminar with Romero answering more questions.  Someone asked him if he'd ever thought of writing a novel and he said he's started plenty of them.  And then he said that he gets advice about writing scripts, books, etc and he always says the same thing: finish it!  He repeated this over and over again: you have to finish the work before you can move to the next step.  Excellent advice!

They also showed a sneak peek of his next movie which I think is called Island of the Dead.  Awesome! Definitely an amazing weekend all around!

Friday, February 20, 2009

O Romero, Romero, wherefore art thou, Romero?

First up, the winners of the autographed Shadowed Summer giveaway are:

leeaverday and Kathleen Foucart!  

Email me at carrie AT to claim your prize!!

So other than visiting my family, the reason I've been MIA this week is because of this:

Yes, that's right.  George Romero is in town. THE George Romero.  Is here.  All weekend.  I'm meeting him today.  In a couple of hours.  ME meeting GEORGE ROMERO!  And then I'm going to listen to him talk about his movies and watch said movies.  All weekend long.

I promise to give a full report.  But for now I must go find my "in case of zombie emergency follow me" t-shirt and get ready for his signing.  


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Debs Blog Tour: Erin Dionne

Hey Y'all!

Sorry to have been MIA this past week, I decided to jet home for a few days to hang out with my family!  I owe y'all some winners of my giveaway last week and promise to post those tomorrow!!

Today I bring you another installment in the Debs Blog Tour: Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne!  I can't tell you how excited I am to read this book, it just looks so amazingly cute and I've heard great things!  Here's some info about it!

About the Book:

Thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris is no string bean, but comfy sweatpants and a daily chocolate cookie suit her just fine. Her under-the-radar lifestyle could have continued too, if her aunt hadn’t entered her in the HuskyPeach Modeling Challenge. To get out of it, she’s forced to launch Operation Skinny Celeste—because, after all, a thin girl can’t be a fat model! What Celeste never imagined was that losing weight would help her gain a backbone . . . or that all she needed to shine was a spotlight. 

About the Author:

Erin Dionne has lived on two coasts and in four states. Her debut novel, MODELS DON’T EAT CHOCOLATE COOKIES, was inspired by events that occurred in seventh grade, when she wore a scary peach bridesmaid dress in her cousin’s wedding and threw up on her gym teacher’s shoes (not at the same event).  Although humiliating at the time, these experiences are working for her now.  

Erin lives outside of Boston with her husband and daughter, and a very insistent dog named Grafton. She roots for the Red Sox, teaches English at an art college, and sometimes eats chocolate cookies. 

Watch the Trailer:

How awesome does this look?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Review Roundup!

Confession: I haven't really known what to do about the reviews for The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  Like most other authors (or maybe debut authors are just more crazy about it) I've been anxious to see how people like my book.  I've even set up a google alert or two (the second being for when people who've read the book like Justine Larbalestier accidentally call it The Forest of Hands and Feet ).  And so over the past few months I've loved reading what various people have had to say about FHT.

But I haven't commented on those reviews because I haven't wanted to make any reviewers feel like they have to worry about author response.  And I haven't posted them here because I didn't want to inundate y'all with reviews.  However, at the same time, every time I read one of these reviews I want to shout from the rooftops with glee!  And the thing is, it takes a lot of time and effort to read a book, think about it, and post a review.  And I really really REALLY want to thank every person who does so!

So I think what I'll do is every now and again do a review roundup and post snippets and links to reviews here.  Without further ado, here are some lovely things folks have been saying about my book:

In her review in Drops of Crimson, Liz says:  "The novel is an astonishing piece of work.  The conclusion happens too quickly – you are so wrapped in their world, that you are reluctant to leave it behind, for all its terror and horror.  The love-triangle is woven deftly into the fabric of the story and the characters demand your empathy.  I sincerely hope that there is a follow-up novel in the works as Mary is such an amazing character that it would be a shame to not travel with her some more.  The world post-apocalyptic world created by the author rings true and again, it needs to be trotted out for another story." (you can find the review here as well).

KarinLibrarian gave it 5 glasses out of 5 and says: "THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is an enthralling post-apocalyptic masterpiece.  Carrie Ryan’s description of the unrelenting Unconsecrated comes through loud and clear to the reader.  At times, the suspense will cause you to put the book down for fear of what you might read next only to pick it up again because you can’t wait to find out.  You’ll be able to feel the boney fingers of each and every Unconsecrated reaching for you as you turn page after page of this amazing novel.  The ending definitely leaves the reader begging for the next installment in this amazing series."

I really appreciate what Tales of a Ravenous Reader a Lush Budget Promotion says about FHT  because of their approach to the zombie angle (which I plan to post about soon):  "I must admit that I am not a fan of the "zombie". Honestly they freak me out, but this book only had me wanting more...brains?, more book. Maybe, because you read this entire novel about zombies without ever seeing the word mentioned, or the fact that Carrie Ryan wrote an amazing post apocalyptic story so well that you could actually feel those cold fingers reaching for you beyond the other side of the fence. SHUDDER!"

Jake-the-Girl from A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland, CA says, "I read it. And it was awesome."

Mark Henry, in the Fantasy Book Critic, says, "Oh Carrie! How I love your zombie apocalypse. It’s no hold barred horror. Its dystopian fundamentalists. If you don't do for zombies what Meyer did for YA vamps, then I'll eat a brain."  And Mark should know a thing or two about zombies!

Ashley of Ashley's Bookshelf gives FHT an "A" and recommends it.

Jenny writes for the Arlington Teens Library Ninja Blog:  "This book kept me completely engrossed from page one. I even dreamt one night that I was in the Forest of Hands and Teeth with the Unconsecrated chasing me. Though Ryan leaves some minor questions unanswered, the entire novel is completely compelling and will keep the reader completely engrossed until the very end."

A Curiosity Shop discusses choice in YA books, specifically FHT, Graceling, and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (really fascinating post, by the way, even if my book weren't mentioned).

There are also a lot of reviews up on Goodreads!  

A massively huge thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read, post, pass on and talk about The Forest of Hands and Teeth!  I'll do another post soon with more reviews!  And only 25 days till its release!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Updates, News, Interviews

Hey Y'all!

Don't forget to comment on yesterday's blog to be entered in a chance to win one of two personalized autographed copy of Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell!

First up, interviews!  I had the best time answering questions for Jen Hayley (interview here) and Chandler Craig (interview here).  Thanks ladies for hosting me and for giving me the chance to relive some of the awesome moments I've experienced over the past year.  If anyone have questions, post them in the comments on their pages and I'll keep checking in!  And I highly recommend both of their blogs -- I love them!

Second, I have news!  Lots of fun news (to me at least - lol)!  Here it is in list form:

1.  Because the in-house launch for Book 2 was yesterday, I am now free to announce the title of my next book!  Drumroll please.... the second book set in the Forest of Hands and Teeth world is called:


What do you think?  Hopefully I'll have a cover to share soon (and I use the publishing world definition of soon).  I'm really really excited about this book!  It's crazy to think back on this time last year -- getting my first cover, wondering what was going on behind the scenes.  And that book still isn't even out yet!

2.  The Forest of Hands and Teeth is #4 on the Spring 2009 Children's Indie Next List!  This has me super excited because this is a list created by indie booksellers based on their reviews and recommendations.

3.  I *just this minute* got word that UK rights to both The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves have sold!  Both will be coming out from Gollancz, though I don't know when!  Yay!!

4.  What do, Diana Peterfreund, Holly Black, Cassie Clare, Ally Carter, Robin Wasserman, Sarah Cross, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan and I all have in common?  We're all going to a castle in Ireland in March to write (and play)!  I can't tell you how thrilled I am about this!  I've been perusing for galoshes and everything.  Really, is there anything more appropriate for a post-apocalypse writer than wearing hot pink and heart rain boots?  I think not!

5.  Finally, how do y'all like the new digs (all you folks reading this via flist, I updated my blog and LJ to match my website).  I have to admit, I love tinkering with the layout of my blog and LJ -- I seriously could do that all day.  But thankfully my fabulous web designer picked out the colors and set it all up so all I had to do was match the LJ (and not have to worry about colors which I'm frankly not good at).

So I think that's all the news for now!  In the coming days I plan to post a recap of some reviews I've been getting for FHT and to post details on a giveaway of an FHT ARC!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Shadowed Summer - release day and more giveaway!

Everyone in our house is so super excited that it's finally release day for Saundra Mitchell!!!  Finally SHADOWED SUMMER is out there in the world!  To celebrate I'm giving away two more signed, personalized copies (btw, Viabloomington - email me for your copy you won last week!).  To be entered for this week's prize, comment on this post and for an extra entry link back to the contest.  For another extra entry, congratulate Saundra on her release on your blog (and post link in comments).  And anyone who posts a picture of Shadowed Summer out in the wild will get five additional entries (don't forget to link back so I know about it)!  I'll be picking a winner Friday at midnight!  Yay Saundra!!

So why am I so in love with this book?  There are a few reasons.  The first is personal -- Saundra and I met at the beginning of the process of having sold books and having no idea what came next.  We're both Spring 2009 Delacorte releases which means that between the two of us we almost figured out what was going on - lol.  She'd share what she learned from her editor, I'd share what I learned from mine and somehow that made the whole scary process a little easier :)

But the second reason is her book.  I admit that I opened my ARC of Shadowed Summer with a little trepidation.  I love Saundra and wanted to love her book and I was scared that I wouldn't.  I had no idea what I was in for.

I knew this was an amazing book from the first page.  Even today when I go back to try and figure out which line it was that made me realize Saundra's skill, it's hard to choose.  Because it's all just that good.

I'm not kidding when I say that I would read a line and put this book down and just savour it, roll it around in my brain and on my tongue.  Because here's the thing about Saundra's descriptions -- they're almost truer than truth.  She has a way of looking at things and writing about them that bypasses the brain and hit you in the stomach -- you feel them rather than know them.  She has a way of describing sound that makes you gasp and say "that IS the way blue jeans sound against old concrete and I never would have thought about it that way but it's so true!"

On the back of her book is the following snippet:
"Wind kissed my ear, cool and soft, and I heard a voice.  It sounded like clover tastes, green and new and sweet."

So beautifully put and so perfect -- the taste of sound!  Ugh, reading lines that that (and her book is full of them) just make me want to become a better writer!  In fact, this book is so good that after reading the first chapter I walked into the den where JP was playing a video game that he'd been waiting for all year and picked up that day.  I read him the opening and handed it to him.  I wandered back into the living room and the house was silent.  He'd put down his game to keep reading -- now THAT is a good book!

I'm not someone who likes to read books more than once, but this is one I go back to.  When I need inspiration and a reminder of how to dig deep to find just the right way to word things, the best description, I pick up this book and flip through it.  And that's why I'm so excited about it and why I'm giving away more copies.

Congratulations Saundra!  Thanks for being a great friend, thanks for inspiring me, and I can't believe this day is finally here!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Debs Blog Tour: Winnie's War by Jenny Moss

Today I'm super excited to be hosting Jenny Moss, author of Winnie's War, a debut novel set against the backdrop of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.

About the book:

Life in Winnie's sleepy town of Coward Creek, Texas, is just fine for her. Although her troubled mother's distant behavior has always worried Winnie, she's plenty busy caring for her younger sisters, going to school, playing chess with Mr. Levy, and avoiding her testy grandmother. Plus, her sweetheart Nolan is always there to make her smile when she's feeling low. But when the Spanish Influenza claims its first victim, lives are suddenly at stake, and Winnie has never felt so helpless. She must find a way to save the people she loves most, even if doing so means putting her own life at risk.

About the author:

Jenny Moss is a former NASA engineer (yes you read that right, she really is a rocket scientist -- how cool is that!?!?). She earned a master's degree in literature and taught writing as an adjunct at University of Houston-Clear Lake. Winnie's War is her first novel. She lives with her two teenagers in Houston, Texas.

My thoughts:

Rather than bring you interview questions, I wanted to give my own thoughts on Winnie's War since I was lucky enough to read an ARC of it.  Before I even opened the book I was excited by the premise -- diseases fascinate me.  And even more than disease, how people handle disease fascinates me.  While Winnie's War doesn't deal with the Spanish Flu directly (and what I mean by that is that it's not a treatise on the disease) it uses it as a backdrop to thrust the main character, Winnie, into the adult world.  

The flu comes to her town and suddenly everything changes and she has to examine her whole life against this new threat.  I really think Jenny did a great job of balancing everything and intertwining Winnie's own personal problems with the larger problems of those around her.  Because when it comes down to it, I think every girl growing up has these moments in her life that are all encompassing to her and I loved seeing the interplay between these moments and the larger issues of her world.  

Hopefully that makes sense.  In the end, I thought it was a very rich book of Winnie trying to figure herself and her world out and I'm really looking forward to what Jenny Moss comes up with next!

Congrats Jenny on your debut!!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Reading every day

Today I'm heading to the mountains with JP (or more accurately, I'm going with him to Asheville while he meets with a client and then we're headed to the mountains).  In the past, I've done a ton of writing up there.  There's something about the whole place -- the views, the quiet (it didn't have internet access until recently), the fresh air -- that really stokes my creativity.  And JP's parents have always been so wonderful and understanding that I spend my afternoons tapping away on the computer.

Mostly, I wrote up there because I had to write every weekend (or I was under deadline) and so I didn't have a lot of other options.  But I realized yesterday that I don't have to write this weekend.  And since I'm waiting for my second round of revisions, I don't have a deadline to work with either.  I can actually read this weekend!

What a novel idea!  And thankfully I have two big TBR stacks just waiting for me!  The first is a stack of books I bought for my mom (she's becoming a YA aficionado) and then promptly borrowed for my trip to Curacao.  The second is a stack of books I'm reading for an upcoming trip.

Growing up I used to spend all weekend reading.  My dad would take me to the local indie (The Open Book) and I'd pick out something (usually Christopher Pike) and then read it.  Or I'd peruse the shelves in my sister's bedroom and pick up a Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High, and eventually romance.  I'd stay up late late late into the night and I wouldn't even roll out of bed in the morning -- I'd just pick up the book and keep going.

It's really been a long time since I've done that.  Back in law school when I realized I wasn't reading enough, I started reading just before bed.  It was supposed to be my way of making sure I got some reading in every day.  But I've since realized that that often tends to be my ONLY reading.  When I left law, I relished the idea of stopping work at 4pm and just cracking a book (after all, industry reading can be considered work!) and yet, I've never done it!

So this weekend I'm looking forward to taking a stack of books to the mountains and just indulging.  Of course, that is... if my current WIP doesn't call to me instead :)

What about y'all?  Do you read every day?  How do you choose what books to read and when to read them?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

First lines and whatnot

Justine and Diana love to make fun of me because I have this need to know the first line of a WIP before I can actually start working on it. I tried really really hard with my latest book (Book 2) NOT to need to know the first line. I started multiple drafts with the notion that I could just go back and change the first line if necessary.

And then, oddly, on the way home from a trip JP and I stopped at a gas station, a first line popped into my head and I used his blackberry to email it to myself. Those of you who've been around here for a while might remember that something similar happened to me with the first line for The Forest of Hands and Teeth -- I was walking home from work one night when the first line came to me and I used my blackberry to email it to myself.  (Seriously, I feel like I should be on a commercial for blackberry!  Thankfully I have an iPhone now so any future first line emergencies can be dealt with pronto!)

Anyway, I like to think that I don't *need* to know the first line to a book before I start writing.  But recently I've had to face facts and at least now I've figured out why knowing the first line is so important.

The first line is everything.  Everything.

It's the entry into the book.  It sets the tone, it sets the time and it sets the place.  It sets the character, it sets the POV and the tense.  It defines the book.  And of course you can go back and change it later, but for me the entire story changes depending on when, where and how it starts.  Trust me, the book I ended up writing for Book 2 is VERY different from what I'd been writing before with a different first line.  And honestly, once I had the right first line, it all clicked into place where it hadn't clicked before.

So that's where I find myself now. -- casting about for the right first line.  It can be quite maddening, really, because the need to write builds and builds inside me and I can't do anything about it until I have that line.  Yes I know, I know, why don't I just throw something down on paper and get started -- there are always revisions?  But I think part of the way it works for me is like an egg timer or something.  The "ding" is when I get the first line.  Maybe before that point I don't have it all sorted out in my head, maybe the idea needs more time to coalesce.

All I know is that right now I want to try writing this story, but I don't know where it starts.  Oddly, I know many of the plot points (which I rarely know before starting a book), but not the beginning.  It's quite frustrating!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Question for y'all

Hey! As y'all know, I'm part of a group of YA and MG debut authors called the 2009 Debutantes.  Throughout the course of the year I'm going to be hosting many of them on my blog as part of a Deb Blog Tour (Stacey Jay was my first guest last week!).  So here's my question... what do you want to know about these debut authors and their books?  I've been trying to come up with a set of interview questions when it occurred to me that since y'all are the ones who will be reading the interviews that maybe y'all are the ones who can help me come up with questions!  I also want to make sure that for those of you reading other Debs blogs you don't get bored :)

In other news, it snowed last night!  Just a dusting which of course will paralyze the city for hours I'm sure.  But it's still pretty nonetheless!  

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

And the winners of Shadowed Summer are....

Drumroll please.... the winners of a personalized, autographed copy of Saundra Mitchell's amazing debut, SHADOWED SUMMER, are....

Please email me at carrie @ and let me know how you'd like the book to be personalized and where I should send it.  Cause it doesn't come out for another week, it might be a little bit until I can send it out :)

Congrats!!  And thanks to everyone else who entered - I loved all the excitement!  And because so many people are stoked to read this book, I'll be giving away two more next week to celebrate the official release day!!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Starred Review from Publishers Weekly!!

Okay, I have to say that this week has been off to a good start :) This morning I was scrolling through the Publishers Weekly reviews (as I do every Monday morning hoping to spot good reviews for friends) when I saw my name, my title, and a STAR!! Seriously, I clapped my hands over my mouth and started screaming and laughing with pure joy/excitement/relief/amazement/shock -- you name it and I was probably feeling it!  

And then, just as I'm starting to calm down a bit, I heard a knock at the door and it was the FedEx man with a package from Random House. Inside, a copy of my book. My real book -- finished, done. Like, what will be going on the shelves in 35 days.

Wow! What a great morning!!  I can't wait for JP to come home so we can celebrate (and finally pop that bottle of champagne left over from new years :)

Here's the Publisher's Weekly review:
Mary's village has been trapped for generations by a very near, very visible menace: the Unconsecrated—insatiable, flesh-eating zombies that constantly tear at the village's fences. Yet the Sisterhood—a conventlike order of religious women charged to protect the village's survival—is as much responsible for the submission of Mary's village as the Unconsecrated. When the fences are breached and the village overrun, Mary and several others escape through gated paths and arrive deep into the Forest of Hands and Teeth, forced to search beyond it for their future. Mary's observant, careful narration pulls readers into a bleak but gripping story of survival and the endless capacity of humanity to persevere. That Mary maintains emotional distance serves to render her yearnings and romantic feelings even more poignant and powerful. Fresh and riveting.
And here's a picture of The Boss with a copy of my finished real book -- he approves, thankfully!  (we all know that The Boss can be quite persnickety about his likes and dislikes!)