Tag Archives: Giveaway

Banned Books Week – Support a Challenged or Banned Author & Giveaway!

25 Sep

Today marks the beginning of banned books week, which runs until October 2nd. Lately, challenged books have been talked about all over the blogosphere and twittersphere – especially concerning YA titles. From Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK being deemed pornographic, to Sarah Ockler’s TWENTY BOY SUMMER and Sherman Alexie’s THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, there’s no doubt about it: we’ve seen quite a bit of censorship going on. (Heck, even the Merriam-Webster Dictionary has been banned from a school this year – no lie!). 

In this day and age, you’d think we would all be a little more open; you’d think that we would all respect the right for people to choose what they want to read. You’d think people claiming rape to be pornographic wouldn’t be taken seriously (I mean, really? That’s horrifying). It’s bad enough that there are issues of white washing on covers – now we’re going to try to censor books with minority protagonists? We’re going to ban books because it contains homosexuality? Because they look at the human condition and point out our flaws, our shortcomings, our problems?

The reasons people choose to challenge (and try to ban) books is numerous. And here at LTWF, we believe that books being banned is equivalent to them being burned. We should be able to freely choose the books we want to read, and the books we want our children to read. To ban a book is to take away the choice from someone else –someone who has the right to choose.

So if you agree with us, we’re asking that you join us in supporting banned books and their authors by purchasing (or by borrowing from your library to tote around in public) a banned or challenged book. And if you can, we’d love it if you could also show your support by sending us a picture of yourself with a banned book you have chosen – and next Saturday, we’ll post your pictures on the blog. We want to visually show our support for banned and challenged books – so please, go out and buy a book (or even if you already own it – chances are you do!), and take a picture. Own more than one banned book? Take a picture of yourself with all of them!

And If you’re on Twitter, join the #SpeakLoudly movement.

So just to help you out (for those who aren’t as aware of what books have been banned), here is a list of the Ten Most Challenged Books from 2009 according to the ALA:

1. “TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality
3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

(also check out the 200820072006, and 2005 lists and decade lists for the ’90s and ’00s)

The most frequently challenged authors of 2009:

Lauren Myracle, Alex Sanchez, P.C. Cast, Robert Cormier, Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, Stephen Chbosky, Chris Crutcher, Ellen Hopkins, Richelle Mead, John Steinbeck

And if that wasn’t frightening enough, take a look at the most frequently challenged authors of the 21st Century.

And want to know some of the more recently challenged books? Here is a list of all the challenged and banned books of 2009-2010.

So, tell everyone you know; help make others aware. Those of us against banning books can speak our minds just as loudly as those who are for it. We will not be silenced – we will Speak Loudly. So stand up, be proud, and tell people why book banning is just plain ridiculous.

~ The LTWF Team

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GIVEAWAY

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As we said in the article above, we are asking our readers to take a picture with their favorite banned book(s) and send it to us (letthewordsflowblog AT gmail DOT com). We will post your pictures (and our own) next Saturday, and choose one lucky reader who sent us a picture to receive a giveaway prize!

We are giving away this bracelet from Carolyn Forsman. OR, if you don’t want it/don’t wear jewelry, we will ship you one banned book of your choice!

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Plain Kate / Erin Bow Blog Tour: Interview and Plain Kate Giveaway!

19 Sep

by Vanessa Di Gregorio

~~~

As you all probably know, I absolutely loved Erin Bow’s YA novel, Plain Kate (which again, I highly recommend!).

Today, we’re the third stop in Erin Bow’s blog tour – and we even have a copy of Plain Kate to giveaway, courtesy of Scholastic Canada.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Erin Bow, and I must say, I am INCREDIBLY excited to share her answers with you! For those of you who don’t know her, Erin Bow is the author of two books of poetry and a memoir (published under her maiden name, Erin Noteboom) – and Plain Kate is her first novel. She also studied particle physics and worked briefly at CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research), but left in order to pursue her passion for writing. And she’s  married to YA novelist James Bow.

For those who aren’t familiar with Plain Kate (or just need a refresher), here’s the description from Goodreads:

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

If you want to know more about Plain Kate, check out my review for it here. And now, onto the interview!

~~~

Vanessa Hi Erin! Thanks so much for joining us. Plain Kate, your first novel, draws a lot from Russian folklore. Does it draw from any one in particular? What was it about Russian folklore that inspired you to write Plain Kate?

Erin Bow: Right before the beginning of PLAIN KATE came to me, I read this huge collection of Russian fairy tales.  I love fairy tales and I thought I knew them, but the Russian ones blew me away.   They’re full of white nights and strange transformations, villains that read as tragic heros, doomed heros that still stand tall.  When I read the Grimm fairy tales, they often seem familiar, as if you’ve heard them or part of them, as if you’ve been to that Kingdom.  The Russian tales aren’t like that.  They come from just over the edge of the map; they are wilder and darker.

There’s no one tale being retold in Plain Kate.  In fact the only thing explicitly Russian in the final draft is a rusalka — a sort of vampiric ghost — and the setting is more Eastern European than anything.  Still,  I hope I got some of that wildness and darkness, some of that sad triumph.

V: It took you six years to write Plain Kate. Did the story change drastically over time?

EB: Oh, yes. I remember having vague ideas about Linay going to see a king to have a wish granted, and Kate having to stop him with some heroic act of carving, such as making a statue of the King’s dead son. There was this bit of magic, you see, where if you could make the king cry he would grant you a wish, but he was rather mad and didn’t cry, and Linay needed Kate’s shadow to weave into his violin to make his music sad, but Kate’s carving trumped that by getting at the root of the king’s madness: grief.

Well.  It’s not a bad story, but you can see that I didn’t exactly have it flushed out.  And in the end, none of that turned out to be right: there was no King, and it was Linay that was mad.  This is often the way with me: I have only the vaguest notion of where I’m going, and I usually turn out to be wrong.

Even in this iteration of the story – the Roamers, the fog, the rusalka, the journey to Lov — I went through four different versions of the ending before settling on this one.  In fact I sold this book to Scholastic with a radically different ending.  Thank heavens my editor called me out on it.

V: You’ve said on your site that of all writing, you like poetry and children’s stories best; that, “they have in common mindfulness about the magic of language”. Why do you think most stories for adults lack that magic of language?

EB: As a reader, I like YA best, but I also do read a lot of literary fiction for adults.  I am often disappointed with it in a particular way.

If a piece of writing is magic, is a spell, then too much literary fiction is a spell that does nothing.  It gives us exquisite characters, wonderful prose — and then no story.  You get to the end of a book and think: that was beautiful, but what was the point of it?  The individual words have  this tremendous power but the spell as a whole just fizzles away.

In a YA book you can’t get away with that.  Young readers know all about potential and many secretly dread that growing up means fizzling away.   So they won’t put up with it in their books.  A YA novel will, therefore, never be a spell that does nothing.   The spell may not come off, it may blow up in the author’s face, but it won’t do nothing.

I also think young readers — along with poetry readers — are more willing to fall under the spell of a book than the average adult reader.  Think about it:  is there any book we love like the books we love as children?

V: What are some of your favourite children’s stories?

EB: For children — as opposed to tweens and teens — I love E.B. White’s stuff.  Trumpet of the Swan was my favourite book when I was eight or ten; it’s about a mute trumpeter swan named Louis (that went right over my head) whose father steals him an actual trumpet.  Now I like Charlotte’s Web better.  It’s got one of the great opening lines in fiction:  “What’s Pa going with that axe?”

I could name many more books, but E.B. WHite has a special place in my heart.  I loved him as a kid, and I still love him now.   He tells wonderful, deeply human and humane stories with his animal characters.   Yet he doesn’t write down to kids the way, say, C.S. Lewis sometimes did. As a kid, you just know it’s a magical, wonderful story.  As an adult you can read it aloud and marvel at the rhythmic beauty of the sentences.

V: Taggle was my favourite character in Plain Kate; he made me laugh, he made me cry, and he had a wonderful personality. How did his character come to be? Was he your favourite character to write?

EB: From the moment I wrote the first sentence, I knew PLAIN KATE contained a talking cat. I really don’t know where characters come from; they seem to be gifts from some great giver.

Taggle got away from me, though.  He was meant to be a sidekick, but he grabbed himself a character arc, and made a pretty good bid at being the hero.  There’s a scene in the middle where he tells Kate “I can’t cry,” and then cries, that made me cry too:  I could suddenly see all the possibilities for where he was heading.

And, yes, Taggle was my favourite character to write.  He’s so honest, and everything he does is so outsized.   He was break from writing the small, subtle reactions of dear Kate, the hidden ones of Linay.  And his body language was fun to do — I got to spend time watching cats and consider it part of my job.

V: Who was the most difficult character to write, and why?

EB: Kate herself was the hardest to write, because  when she feels things strongly — particularly if she’s angry or afraid — she shuts down.  The more she feels, the less she shows.  That’s tricky to portray on the page.   Just when your editor wants you to ramp things up, the character wants to harden herself away.  Then the editor writes “but what is she feeling?” in the margin, and you want to say, “she doesn’t know, and if she did she wouldn’t tell you.”  But you have to find a way to show it anyway.

V: What are you reading right now?

EB: I am reading NICKLE AND DIMED, a non-fiction book about living on near-minimum wage.  I want to read STARCROSSED or THE REPLACEMENT or MOCKINGJAY next!

V: Last question! What are you working on now? Can you share a bit?

EB: I’ve been telling everyone on the internet about SORROW’S KNOT, my work in progress that’s almost done.  Would you like to hear about THE TELEPORTATION OF GILBERT PEREZ instead?  I’m just getting started on it.  Here’s the first page.

On October 24, 1593, a young soldier named Gilbert Perez was found wandering dazed in the Plaza Mayor in Mexico City. On being told where he was, he insisted that he had just been on sentry duty in the governor’s palace in Manila ― and indeed he was uniform of the Philippine regiment — and offered the news that the governor had just been murdered.
He was arrested for desertion and on suspicion of witchcraft.
It’s in the history books.  Look it up.
***
About all that’s left of me — of the boy who staggered beside the ruins of the serpent wall  in the blinding sun, covered in blood, clutching his head – is the boots.  They just don’t make boots like they used to.  These days it’s all steel reinforced toes and orthopediac arch support.  Give me cross-bound leather any day.  And dye it red.
Blue jeans, now, blue jeans I’ll take.
And the name, Gil.  I’ve tried to hold onto that.

(It really is in the history books.  Look it up.)

V: I definitely will be looking that up in the history books! Thanks so much, Erin!

~~~

Giveaway Details:

Want to win a copy of Plain Kate? Here’s the scoop:

Contest is open to Canadian residents only (sorry all you non-Canucks!), and will be shipped directly from the publisher (much ❤ to Scholastic!).

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment with your thoughts on the interview.

For extra entries, you can do any (or all!) of the following:

+1 for following LTWF on Twitter (add your twitter name to your comment so I know you’re following)
+2 for commenting on my review of Plain Kate
+1 for following Erin Bow (@erinbowbooks) on Twitter (let us know if you do)
+1 for following Scholastic Canada (@scholasticCDA) on Twitter (let us know if you do)
+1 for being a fan of LTWF on Facebook
+2 for following this blog – (if you don’t, just subscribe to us with your email!)
+1 for sharing this contest on Twitter – (please provide the link of your tweet in the comments)
+2 for sharing this contest on your blog – just be sure to leave a link (so that we know who you are, and how you’re sharing it!)

There are 12 entries in total. Don’t forget to leave a comment with your thoughts on the interview, otherwise your extra entries won’t count. And don’t forget to add your email so that we can contact you!

The contest ends at noon EST on Saturday, October 2nd. The winner will be picked using random.org, and will be announced on Sunday, October 3rd.

~~~

Blog Tour details:

In case you’re interested in following the blog tour (which I suggest you do!), here is a list of all the stops (including past ones and those upcoming):

September 17th:
http://eoseventeen.blogspot.com/

September 18th:
http://www.blogger.com/www.yabookshelf.com

September 20th:
http://www.lil-library.blogspot.com/
http://www.lavenderlines.wordpress.com/

September 21st:
http://www.21pages.x10hosting.com/
http://www.bellasbookshelves.wordpress.com/

September 22nd:
http://www.todays-adventure.com/

September 23rd:
http://www.themoodyteenager.blogspot.com/

September 24th:
http://www.maybe-tomorrow.net/
http://www.shelfelf.wordpress.com/

~~~

Vanessa is a Sales Assistant at Kate Walker & Co., a book and gift sales agency located in Toronto. She is also enrolled in a publishing program. Currently, Vanessa is working on a YA fantasy novel and a Children’s non-fiction series.

Saturday Grab Bag: Mashup

4 Sep

Mashup:

Here are some great links on writing, the industry, and all things book related. We highly recommend you read them!

    -Wonder what the covers for this series look like in Japan? Germany? Italy? The UK? The US? (hint: they’re VERY different!)

  • US Covers vs. UK Covers
    -Often, the same book released in the US and in the UK has two very different covers. One site analyses dozens of books and their alternate covers.

~~~

Giveaway:

When:

August 1st – October 31st, 2010 (it’s been extended!)

Hosted by:

Jillian @ Random Ramblings
Linna @ 21 Pages
Raila @ Books Out of the Bookshelves

Donate some money to charity and you’re entered for a chance to win an amazing giveaway (I mean, just look at this prize list!)

There are 6 prizes, plus a 7th “word-spreading” prize – so if you’ve been tweeting or blogging about this giveaway, you can win a prize as well too!

~~~

Share any cool links you’ve come across in the comments!

And have a great weekend!

Winner of the THE WORST THING SHE EVER DID Giveaway!

29 Aug

The winner of THE WORST THING SHE EVER DID is…

Jill Jones!

Jill will receive a copy of Alice Kuiper’s, The Worst Thing She Ever Did!

But first, here’s a description from Goodreads:

“My New Year’s resolution: I’m moving on from everything that’s happened. I’m not going to talk about it, think about it, let the memory pounce upon me like a waiting tiger, nothing.”

All Sophie wants to do is forget. But it’s not easy now that everything’s changed. The house feels too big, school drags on for too long, lights are too bright, the room spins, and her hands get sweaty for no reason. And she can’t remember why she was ever best friends with Abigail, who is obsessed with parties and boys. Only the new girl, Rosa-Leigh, with her prose poems and utter confidence, might understand. But talking to her seems impossible.

Lost in memories of the life she once had, Sophie retreats into herself. But there’s only so long she can keep everything bottled up inside before she explodes. Maybe by confronting the tragedy of her past she’ll figure out how to fix her future.

~~~

[Description from Goodreads]

Congrats Jill!

Saturday Grab Bag: Mashup

14 Aug

Mashup:

Great Giveaway (and for a great cause):

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Picture Perfect:

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Happy Saturday everyone!

Remember how we were the first stop for the Alice Kuipers blog tour? Well, our giveaway is still going on (so be sure to enter)! And check out the guest post Alice wrote over at 21 pages!

Share any great links you’ve come across in the comments! You know we love to hear from you (even if you just say hi!).


Moleskine Notebook Giveaway!

25 Jul

Hey all! As a thank you for helping us reach 300 Twitter followers (WOO!), we’re giving away a pocket-sized Moleskine Volant notebook (which actually comes in packs of two!). AND, for helping us reach 100 Facebook followers, we’re giving away yet ANOTHER set of Moleskine Volant pocket notebooks! That’s right! There will be 2 winners!

Since Moleskine has so many different types of notebooks, here’s the description from the Moleskine website for the Volant style:

The Volant Notebooks with soft cover come packed in sets of two, consisting of two different shades of the same colour except in black.  The acid free paper pages are thread-bound and the detachable sheets are perfect for loose notes. Available in black, blue, green, pink and in the new 2009 colours, red and sky blue.
Inside the history of Moleskine.

We have green, red, navy, and black pocket notebooks to give away – which is perfect for carrying around with you wherever you go! If you have a colour preference out of the ones just listed, let us know in the comments.

So want to snag a free set of these legendary notebooks? All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment with your email address AND answer this question:

Moleskine notebooks are used for various things – writing, doodles, grocery lists, favourite quotes, to-do lists — but what would YOU use your Moleskine notebook for?

For extra entries, you can do any (or all!) of the following:

+1 for following LTWF on Twitter (add your twitter name to your comment so I know you’re following)
+1 for being a fan on Facebook
+3 for following this blog – (if you don’t, just subscribe to us with your email!)
+1 for sharing this contest on Twitter – (please provide the link of your tweet in the comments)
+2 for sharing this contest on your blog – just be sure to leave a link (so that we know who you are, and how you’re sharing it!)

There are 9 entries in total. Don’t forget adding your email so that we can contact you! This contest is open internationally.

The contest ends at noon EST on Saturday, August 14th. The winner will be picked using random.org, and will be announced on Sunday, August 15th.

Good luck!!! And thanks for being so awesome!

~ The LTWF Team

Book Giveaway: The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman

11 Jul

I was born out of sorrow, so my mother named me Rain.

So begins The Foretelling; a favourite book of mine which I read a few years ago. It is a very short story, but the lyrical beauty of Hoffman’s prose is absolutely enchanting. Rain, a young woman shunned by her own mother, struggles in her search for her own identity. She is desperate to prove herself in a society of strong Amazon women; but she will soon discover that she sees a different future for herself.

After recently discovering that I actually had two copies of this book, I’ve decided to give one of them away!

Here’s the description from Goodreads:

A stunning tale of primal power and mythic beauty from a New York Times bestselling author. Rain is a girl of the Amazon tribe of women warriors, the daughter of Queen Alina, living in a time of blood and fear. As the future leader of her people, she must seek and hold fast to her inner warrior. But amid the horrors of the battlefield, Rain is startled and mystified by the first stirrings of mercy towards the enemy–men–within her. What she encounters along the poignant and harrowing path toward her destiny–a kind young man, a strange recurrent prophecy, and a condemned baby brother–lead her, against odds, to forge mercy, love, and peace.

~~~

I think any writer could learn from Hoffman’s prose; she absolutely amazes me. And any reader would be entranced by her prose and storytelling.

How to enter:
This contest is open internationally.
All you need to do is leave a comment and your email to be entered in the contest. For extra entries, you can do any (or all!) of the following:

+1 for following LTWF on Twitter (add your twitter name to your comment so I know you’re following)
+1 for being a fan on Facebook
+3 for following this blog – (if you don’t, just subscribe to us with your email!)
+1 for sharing this contest on Twitter – (please provide the link of your tweet in the comments)
+2 for sharing this contest on your blog – just be sure to leave a link (so that we know who you are, and how you’re sharing it!)

There are 9 entries in total. Don’t forget adding your email so that we can contact you!

The contest ends at noon EST on Saturday, July 31st. The winner will be picked using random.org, and will be announced on Sunday, August 1st.

Good luck!

~Vanessa

WINGS Winner!

4 Jul

The winner for the Supernatural Tour Giveaway Part 2 is…

Glaiza!

Glaiza will receive a signed copy of Aprilynne Pike’s YA debut, Wings!

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

~~~

[Description from Goodreads]

Congrats Glaiza!

The Supernatural Tour Part 2: Wings Giveaway!

27 Jun

Hey everyone! As a continuation of our Supernatural Tour giveaway, we have a second book up for grabs! This time it’s for a signed copy of Aprilynne Pike’s YA debut, Wings!

Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

~~~

How to enter:
This contest is open internationally.
All you need to do is leave a comment and your email to be entered in the contest. For extra entries, you can do any (or all!) of the following:

+1 for following LTWF on Twitter (add your twitter name to your comment so I know you’re following)
+1 for being a fan on Facebook
+2 for following this blog – let us know if you do!
+1 for sharing this contest on Twitter – (please provide the link your tweet in the comments)
+1 for sharing this contest on your blog – just be sure to leave a link (so that we know who you are, and how you’re sharing it!)

There are 7 entries in total. Don’t forget adding your email so that we can contact you!

The contest ends at noon EST on Saturday, July 3rd. The winner will be picked at random, and will be announced on Sunday, July 4th.

Good luck!

The Supernatural Tour Giveaway!

31 May

by Vanessa Di Gregorio

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Hey all, it’s me again!

Today we’re going to do something different: we’re going to give away a signed copy of a book! Because every once in a while, it’s nice to take a little break from writing to read. After all, there is nothing better than reading to help inspire you.

Last Thursday, I attended an event called “The Supernatural Tour” in Toronto. There were author readings, a Q+A session, a pretty cool swag bag, an author signing session, and… oh, yes. Three authors!

The Supernatural Tour

Having multiple authors was great (because how often do you get to hear three individual authors read from their new books and talk about writing, all in the same night?). I had the pleasure of meeting three extraordinary ladies: fellow Torontonian Lesley Livingston, Aprilynn Pike, and Kim Harrison. They bounced around ideas and had such great chemistry together; it was really great seeing them joke around and voice their differences.

So, just who are these women?

Me with Lesley Livingston
Lesley Livingston is the author of the CLA award-winning, and Quill & Quire Best Book of the Year WONDROUS STRANGE. Lesley is a writer and actor living in Toronto, Canada, and her second novel, DARKLIGHT, is also out in stores. I had the wonderful opportunity to see the cover of the third novel in the Wondrous Strange trilogy!

Me with Aprilynne Pike
Aprilynn Pike is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling debut, WINGS. It is the first of four books about a seemingly ordinary girl with a not-so-ordinary destiny, and – get this! – the film rights to WINGS have been optioned to Disney! Not bad for a debut author!

Me with Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison is the best-selling author of the adult series THE HOLLOWS, which is now on it’s eighth book! She is also the author of a new YA series, the first book being ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY. She decided to write a YA series because she found her love of reading with YA fiction as a young girl.

So, with these three women in the room with me, I obviously had to jot down some of the things they talked about!

How They Plot:

Lesley Livingston’s WONDROUS STRANGE series was always a a three-act structure in her mind. But when she got her book deal, it was for a two-book deal. Since then, they’ve asked her to make it a trilogy, which works perfectly for Lesley: she had always imagined it as a trilogy! So for her, it was plotted out right from the beginning.

For Aprilynne Pike, she plotted by series – much like Lesley did. Her WINGS series has always been a close-ended four-book series, and she plotted out the entire series together. It seems she has always had it planned out entirely!

Kim Harrison, on the other hand, talked about how she plots one book at a time; she doesn’t plot out the entire series (such as her series THE HOLLOWS). She also said that THE HOLLOWS is the longest trilogy she has ever written! Her books just had a life of their own, it seems!

Best Job in the World?

Someone during the Q+A session asked all three ladies what it was like having writing as their day job.

Kim Harrison described it perfectly: “It’s a miserable, wonderful, fabulous job”. Her day starts with her doing an hour and a half to two hours doing PR work (maintaining her website, Facebook, blog, etc). And when she starts writing, she writes until 7:00 pm, with only a half hour lunch break. But she loves every minute of it, even though it isn’t an “easy” job.

Aprilynne shared Kim’s sentiments in many ways. For her, being a writer is the best job in the world. But she was quick to remind us all that just because one becomes published, it doesn’t mean it gets easier. For her second book, she whipped it out – and her husband had enough courage to tell her it needed work. But even with so much time devoted to writing and rewriting, being a published author is a dream come true. Having her first book in the hands of so many readers feels like she won the lottery.

For Lesley, being an author gave her the excuse to write down the voices in her head. She loves that people no longer think she’s a lunatic (although I doubt anyone ever thought she was!). Winning awards was one of the most exciting and wonderful things about becoming a published author. She also thinks that it’s wonderful hearing from people who’ve read her books and have her characters living in their heads too. And one of the amazing things about her journey to publication? When she was contracted for her WONDROUS STRANGE series, she had only sent 5 sample chapters with an 8 page synopsis. Which is incredibly rare in fiction, to be taken on with just a proposal!

Giveaway Time!

So while at this event, I was able to pick up signed copies of one of each author’s books. This giveaway is for a signed copy of Kim Harrison’s YA novel ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY. Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Once Dead, Twice Shy

“My name is Madison Avery, and I’m here to tell you that there’s more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I’m there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.”

Madison’s prom was killer—literally. For some reason she’s been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she’s stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn’t know why the dark reaper is after her, but she’s not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison’s ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

How to enter:
This contest is open internationally. All you need to do is leave a comment to be entered in the contest. For extra entries, you can do any (or all!) of the following:

+1 for following LTWF on Twitter (add your twitter name to your comment so I know you’re following)
+2 for following this blog (RSS feed) – let us know if you do!
+1 for sharing this contest on Twitter – add @LTWF when you share it (again, let us know your twitter account name in the comments!)
+1 for sharing this contest on your blog – just be sure to leave a link/ your twitter name (so that we know who you are, and how you’re sharing it!)

The contest ends at noon EST on Friday, June 11th. The winner will be picked at random, and will be announced on Saturday, June 12th.

Good luck (and be on the lookout for future giveaways)!

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Vanessa is a Sales Assistant at Kate Walker & Co., a book and gift sales agency located in Toronto. She is also enrolled in a publishing program. Currently, Vanessa is working on a YA fantasy novel and a Children’s non-fiction series.