Thursday, June 26, 2014

ALA Bound!

Preamble: at ALA this year JP and I will be signing galleys of THE MAP TO EVERYWHERE in the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers booth (#422) on Sunday from 3-4!  Come grab an ARC and say hi! More details here.

A few years ago I was able to attend ALA (the American Library Association's annual conference) in New Orleans and it was amazing!  Imagine a massive convention center filled with books and book lovers -- pretty much heaven, right?  There's really nothing quite like strolling the aisles, gazing at all the booths, and hearing all the excitement.  Plus! Friends! One of the things I love about a conference like this is that everyone has a shared passion so it's super easy to strike up a conversation pretty much anywhere -- standing in line for a signing, hanging out in a booth, randomly wandering around the hotel with a massive tote bag filled with ARCs :)

So I'm super excited that, thanks to the wonderful folks at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, I get to return to ALA this year to promote THE MAP TO EVERYWHERE, the first book in the middle grade fantasy adventure series that my husband, JP, and I are writing.  There are a few things that make this ALA feel even more special than usual.  First, that JP will be there. He's been hearing me rave about library conventions for years and now he gets to see it all first hand.  Not only that, but he gets to experience it as a debut author (squee!!).  

Me & Laini Taylor at the ALA 2011 LBYR party - hijinks!
(photo courtesy of Laini's blog)
Second, the conference is in Vegas -- which just in its own right means there are likely to be high-jinks and shenanigans.  But the other connection is that in November 2012 my agent submitted The Map to Everywhere just before the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) convention... which also happened to be in Vegas.  I was lucky enough to be there promoting Infinity Ring: Divide and Conquer.  What I didn't know at the time was that my future editor was also there, reading Map along with her co-workers and preparing an offer.  So returning to Vegas to promote Map feels a bit like coming full circle! 

But more than anything, what has me excited (and, lets be honest, really really nervous) is that I get to get out there and talk to people about MAP for the first time.  I know I haven't said much about this book on the blog (I've become a bit superstitious about talking about books before they're well and done), but I truly, truly love it.  Of course I love all the books I've written in different ways, but I had the same kind of feeling writing MAP as I did writing The Forest of Hands and Teeth -- that this book is special to my heart.

Perhaps part of that feeling came from the fact that I wrote MAP with my husband.  This is a book that we'd talked about for years, planning out worlds and story lines while taking long rambling walks with our dog.  We didn't yet have concrete plans to actually write it, but that didn't matter because the joy was in the imagining of it.  At the heart of MAP is our love of stories -- our desire to write the kind of book we fell in love with as kids.  Those are the books that sparked our imaginations -- that taught us to daydream and think big.

Those books are the reason we are where we are today: packing to head off to a convention with 20,000 other book lovers.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Map to Everywhere

I seriously have been dying to share this cover with the world for so long! And finally I can!  Behold, the cover for The Map to Everywhere, the first book in the new fantasy adventure middle grade series I'm co-writing with my husband, John Parke Davis!

Coming November 4, 2014!
There's so much I love about this cover!  On the left is Fin, a forgettable orphan from the magical Khaznot Quay and on the right is Marrill, a not-quite ordinary girl from Arizona. The orange, one-eyed cat getting ready to pounce is Marrill's rescue cat, Karnelius, and those are two pirats (one has a sextant!!) in the lower right.  I love how the map Fin is holding open morphs into the Pirate Stream itself with the ship (that would be the Enterprising Kraken, with an actual kraken preparing to attack!) sailing toward the Khaznot Quay.

Todd Harris is the artist for this cover (you might recognize his work from The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom) and there are so many details he managed to capture -- little things that we hope the reader will flip back to as they're reading and go "Oh! I see that now!"  Todd has truly done an amazing job at conveying the spirit of this book and the entire series.  When JP and I first saw the cover, we were both just completely blown away.

With The Map to Everywhere, we set out to write the kind of book we'd have loved to read as kids, and this cover captures that in every way.  We owe a huge thanks to Todd Harris and to the art department and our editors at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers who worked together to create such a perfect cover!  Thank you!

The Map to Everywhere will be out November 4, 2014 and you can click here to pre-order it from various places or here to find out how to pre-order an autographed copy (which will come with a free gift from JP and I).

Here's more info about the book itself:

Anything you need--The Map to Everywhere can take you there.

To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it's her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway which connects every world in creation (Apparently she shouldn't have climbed aboard the mysterious pirate ship that sailed out of nowhere and into a dry Arizona parking lot. How was she to know?).

With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere, but they aren't the only ones looking. A dark and sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can't beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear-not least of all themselves!

In Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis' first installment of a fantastical new series, adventure, magic, and hilarity collide in the treacherous skies and dangerous waters of the Pirate Stream. Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.