Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Dead-Tossed Waves counter + errata

So it appears then I'm math challenged (which is odd cause I really loved math in high school).  Last week I said the release of The Dead-Tossed Waves was a month away when really... it was only a few weeks.  I have like five different timers on my computer counting down various things and I think I glanced at the wrong one - oops!  To make sure that doesn't happen again, I've created a count-down widget for The Dead-Tossed Waves:

Yay pretty!  Please feel free to post that anywhere you want!  I've also created an extras page on my website with icons, banners, bookmarks, etc.  I have to say, I really REALLY dig the tag line that Random House came up with for this book - I get a kick out of it every time I look at it!  And a HUGE thanks to Saundra Mitchell who put all the extras together -- she rocks!

Okay, looking at that timer makes me feel a little ill.  Really?  Really it's only two weeks until this book comes out?!?  Gak!  I feel like there's so much to do before then!  I have to find clothes to wear on tour, I have to clean the house for a newspaper reporter coming tomorrow, I have to write a proposal and dig out of my email deluge and read and write and get my hair done and ..... deep breaths..... I should know we're getting close since I just got my boxes of author copies in the mail yesterday!  YAY!!

This time last year I was preparing for Team Castle.  It still kind of boggles my mind that I got to spend my release week in Ireland with a bevy of amazing authors.  Did I ever mention how there were peacocks who lived there in the castle courtyard?  One peacock and two peahens and they'd fly up and sleep against a window in the alcove on the way to the bathroom on the second story so that you'd just go walking by and they'd shriek and so you'd shriek and they'd flap all over the place.  One day I swear they almost marched straight into the kitchen to see what was for dinner.

Yes, this is a blog of random dis-jointed thoughts and now you can see how my brain's been working recently :)  On that note... I'm putting together my presentation for school and library visits -- anyone have thoughts of what topics work really well?  I've given talks on how I came up with the world of FHT and the role of zombies in popular culture but have found that middle-schoolers often look at me blankly (appears few 8th graders have seen Night of the Living Dead!).  My path to publication always feels boring to me... what would be a good exciting topic to speak on (this is for the school visits -- likely they haven't read the books).  I really appreciate hearing your thoughts!!

I leave you with my most recent purchase that gives me tremendous glee: monkey slippers.  Seriously, can I wear these on the tour!?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Dead-Tossed Waves excerpt

Hey Y'all! Only 33 days until The Dead-Tossed Waves releases - yipes! Yesterday Publishers Marketplace reviewed it saying that "readers are sure to be hooked" and talking about the book's "gripping storytelling style and engaging prose." WAHOO!! Booklist also said that "Ryan knows how to write an action scene," and called the final pages "especially thrilling." Publishers Weekly also mentioned The Forest of Hands and Teeth & The Dead-Tossed Waves in an article about the rise in popularity of post-apocalyptic and dystopic fiction. Diana Peterfreund has a great post on that subject that I hope to respond to soon (go read it here!).

So, in honor of my book coming out in only 33 days I thought I'd link to a slightly longer excerpt than I posted before. Here it is! If you want to read the whole first chapter, it's printed in the back of The Forest of Hands and Teeth paperback that went on sale last week (it's hopefully available most places, including Walmart).

Last week I also posted information on how to pre-order a signed copy of The Dead-Tossed Waves -- here's a link to that information again.

In other news, I turned in my short story for an anthology on Sunday night (literally at midnight on the dot so I squeaked by just under the deadline). I'm really excited about the three short stories I have coming out in 2010 and I'm not sure when I can start giving more details. I'm sure some of y'all have already seen hints of one of them here (*cough*vote team zombie*cough*). Seriously, who in the world is showing all this unicorn love?!

Am off to play with my new secret project - so much fun to have a new secret project again!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

FHT makes the Stoker Award Preliminary Ballot for first novel

I was incredibly honored (I keep wanting to use the word stoked) and excited to find out that The Forest of Hands and Teeth made it onto the Horror Writers Association's preliminary ballot for their annual Bram Stoker Awards for first novel (you can find the entire preliminary ballot here). I was even more thrilled to realize that mine is the only young adult novel to make the ballot for first novel!

Right now, the active members of HWA are voting on which books will make it from the preliminary ballot to the final ballot (voting ends Feb 15th and any active members of HWA would would like a .pdf of my book, email me - carrieATcarrieryan.com).

One of the things that really makes me so happy about this is that I read almost exclusively horror when I was a teen. It was Christopher Pike and RL Stine who kept me up until 3am on the weekends (and who taught me to speed read because I refused to go to bed until I knew how their books ended). These are the books I couldn't put down and made me fall in love with reading. I look at the list of other books and authors on the preliminary ballot and I'm overwhelmed that I get to be mentioned in the same breath as they are. Thanks HWA!!

Pre-ordering autographed copies of The Dead-Tossed Waves

Hey y'all! I've had a few people ask about how to get an autographed copy of The Dead-Tossed Waves when it comes out March 9, 2010 (yay so soon!). Here are three ways!

2. Pre-order a copy through my local indie, Park Road Books before March 5th! We've set it up so that before I head out on tour I'm going to drop by and sign any pre-orders so they can ship them out to you on release day. Just give them a call at 704-525-9239 to place an order. Make sure to tell them who you want the book made out to (and how to spell the name) and if you want a specific message included. You can also get signed/personalized copies of the hardcover or paperback of The Forest of Hands and Teeth if you want a matching set :)

3. Bookplates! Just send a SASE (normal size envelope, normal postage) to: Carrie Ryan, 1235-E East Boulevard, PMB 191, Charlotte NC 28203. Let me know if you want just a signature or if you want it personalized and if you want any specific message. I'll toss in some bookmarks and whatever else I have on hand and send it back!

Note: because I'll be touring most of March, any orders placed with Park Road Books or SASE's sent to my PMB after March 5th won't get turned around and sent back out until at least March 29th! So if you want an autographed copy of The Dead-Tossed Waves on release day and can't come see me on tour, make sure to pre-order with Park Road Books before March 5th!


Autographed copies of my books

Hey y'all! I've had a few people ask about how to get autographed/personalized copies of my books -- here are two ways!

1. Place an order through Park Road Books. They're a fantastic indie in Charlotte right down the road from my house and they call me up when they get an order and I come sign - super easy! They'll even gift wrap! Just call them at 704-525-9239 and tell them you'd like a signed copy of whichever book of mine ( The Forest of Hands and TeethThe Dead-Tossed Waves, The Dark and Hollow Places, Foretold, Infinity Ring: Divide & Conquer, or any of the anthologies I'm in: Zombies vs Unicorns, The Living Dead 2, Kiss Me Deadly, Enthralled, Brave New Love, After). Make sure to tell them who you want the book made out to (and how to spell the name) and if you want a specific message included.

2. Bookplates. I have bookplates that will fit into any of my books. Just send a SASE (normal size envelope, normal postage) to: Carrie Ryan, 1235-E East Boulevard, PMB 191, Charlotte, NC 28203. Let me know if you want just a signature or if you want it personalized and if you want any specific message. I'll toss in some bookmarks and whatever else I have on hand and send it back!

[[note that as of July 2012 I've hard to reorder bookplates and am behind on getting these sent out -- sorry!]]

Thanks y'all!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Paperback - out now!!

I'm so SO excited about today! It's the day that The Forest of Hands and Teeth comes out in paperback! With the pretty cover (which is very pet-worthy if you ask me - seriously, when you see it in the stores pick it up and pet the cover (and if you do that and happen to snap a photo, send it to me and I'll post it and mail you bookmarks & stickers :))

And yes, I totally plan to make the rounds today to check out (and possibly pet but definitely sign) copies in my area. I will also post pictures (prob on twitter).

I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has cheered me on over the past year. I've been incredibly humbled by the overwhelming support from bloggers, readers, family, friends and even strangers. Thank you for buying my book or checking it out from the library or passing a copy on to a friend. Thanks for reading and taking the time to post your thoughts. Just thank you for everything!!

Oddly, I was out of the country last year when the hardcover came out and this morning JP had to leave the country for work. I'll be on tour when The Dead-Tossed Waves releases... I wonder if we'll ever get to be in the same place to celebrate!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Dead-Tossed Waves reviews & blurbs

I honestly can't believe that the paperback release of The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a week away. A WEEK! Yesterday my UPS man stopped by with two boxes of them! This is on top of Friday when he dropped off a case of the FHT re-jacketed hardcover and the day earlier in the week when he dropped off a case of FHT with the old cover! I'm swimming in them (and am natch planning a contest)!

In second book news, reviews of The Dead-Tossed Waves have started coming in. This is that point in the process where I tend to open official emails with only one eye open, a little scared of what will be inside. Thankfully so far everything's been great! Here are a few things people have been saying:

"Proving once again why she is one of the most gifted voices in modern YA, Carrie Ryan threads life, love, and subtle beauty throughout a monstrous, post-apocalyptic world."
- Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, bestselling authors of Beautiful Creatures

"The Dead-Tossed Waves was even more engrossing than The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Beautiful, romantic, horrifying and heart-breaking."
-Jennifer Lynn Barnes, author of Raised by Wolves, Tattoo, Golden, Fate and more!

"The second book in Ryan's zombie series moves the story ahead in some surprising ways as it introduces compelling characters. Readers will be up late with this one, turning pages and biting their nails."
-Romantic Times

"Fast-paced... [The Dead-Tossed Waves] will be gobbled up by fans of the first volume like brains."
-Kirkus Reviews (yes, they came back from the dead to give me that review)

YAY! Now I'm off to finish working on the third book in the series!

Monday, February 01, 2010


Recently I blogged about words.  I talked about how writer's write and said:
Writer's write.  Writers may also blog, tweet, critique, whine (I'm a fan of that), outline, vlog, etc., but they all write.  Or should write (and that's a topic for another blog as well).
And since I promised to write another blog dealing with the "should write" part, I thought I'd go ahead and talk about that today.  Up until a year ago, I was working full time while I was also writing.  I've mentioned before that this often takes some sacrifices: I used to watch TV every night and now I don't, I used to cook dinner (or JP did) and now we don't that often.  I used to have free time and gave up most of that as well.

I also spent a whole lot of time feeling guilty for NOT writing.  My logic was this: if writer's write and I want to be a writer but I'm not writing, that must mean I don't want to be a writer after all.  Writing became a lot like exercise: I know I like it once I start doing it, I know I feel amazing afterward, but it's often really hard to motivate when LIFE gets in the way.

One of the anecdotes I tell when asked about finding time to write is that I wrote a chunk of The Forest of Hands and Teeth when I was also prepping for a trial and working crazy hours.  There were nights I'd come home and set the water to boil and write during the eight minutes that it took to make mac'n'cheese.  What I don't mention are the weeks when I wrote nothing because of work, because of life, because I didn't know what happened next or just because I plain old wasn't writing.

Free time became so valuable to me then (because I had so little of it to myself) that I hated spending my precious little bit stressed out about something I felt I *should* have been doing, like writing (or cleaning, or cooking, or weeding, or reading, or talking with my family).  And I finally realized something: if I'm not going to write, I'm going to own that decision.

I decided I was done with guilt.

I decided something else: not writing doesn't mean you can't or don't want to be a writer, it just means that maybe something else is taking precedence right now.  Life isn't easy and it's certainly not easy to balance and juggle all the various parts of it.  Sometimes you have to put all your energy into your day job or your family or whatever else and sometimes you need to come home after a long day and veg on the couch and let your brain recover.

There's a difference between passively deciding not to write (i.e. just not deciding to make time for it, not analyzing your priorities, just not getting around to it) and actively deciding not to write (realizing that now may not be the best time to fit an additional "should" in your life.)  And if you make an active decision not to write, then own that decision.  Enjoy the time you save and don't feel guilty for it.