Monday, March 30, 2009


On Wednesday evening, Jennifer Ziegler and I are road-tripping to Houston for the 2009 Texas Library Association Conference. I'll be participating in a panel with John Green and Wendy Lichtman called Do the Math: A Formula for Teen Reading on Thursday morning at 10:00. Jenny will be signing at the Random House Booth on Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00. Then we'll be at the bar, tossing down margaritas discussing abstract literary concepts with other authors.

Other Austinites in attendance include:Margo Rabb, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Don Tate, Chris Barton, Brian Anderson, and Jessica Lee Anderson.

Hope to see some of you there.


Friday, March 20, 2009


At least for today, good news comes in pairs!

1.) My Life as a Rhombus was named to the New York Public Library's "Stuff for the Teen Age" List. Rhombus was listed in the "Girl Drama" group, along with Audrey, Wait (Razorbill) by Robin Benway, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye (Simon and Schuster) by Deb Caletti, 30 Days to Getting Over the Dork You Used to Call Your Boyfriend (Delacorte) by Clea Hantman, Suite Scarlett (Scholastic / Point) by Maureen Johnson, The Market, (Hyperion) by J.M. Steele, and Climbing the Stairs (Putnam) by Padma Venkatraman.

Compared to past lists, the NYPL has made quite a few changes, which makes Rhombus's inclusion even that much more spiffy! You can hear about some of the new changes below:

You can check out all of the "stuff" that made the list at the NYPL's "Stuff for the Teen Age" website:

I really, really, really wanted to go to New York for the ceremony, but I was just too damn stingy to shell out the money for a ticket. However, I will be going to Waco next month, because...

2) Rhombus was named as a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Best Young Adult Book. The other finalist are Anne Estevis for Chicken Foot Farm (Arte Publico / Pinata) and Jo Harper for Birth of the Fifth Sun (Texas Tech Press). The award for this and all of the Texas Institute of Letter's awards will be announced at the organization's annual meeting in April.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Shidai (My First Girlfriend)

My classmate Rachel is part of Barrel of Monkeys, an arts education theater ensemble in Chicago. Among other things, they teach creative writing to under-served students, and adapt students' stories for the stage.

And now, thanks to Rach [who (whom??) is also singing background], I can't get one of the songs out of my head. The actual title of the song is My First Girlfriend, but like all good 90's styled R&B grooves, it needs to have an alternate name.

Thus, Shidai.

It was written by Tyberius W., who (whom??...dammit, where's a copy-editor when you need one) despite being in only 4th grade has already found himself on the loosing side of love.

Check out Tyberius's original story. Then listen to the podcast. And while you're at it, check out what else Barrel of Monkeys have to offer.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Introducing Saving Maddie

With all the press the Delacorte Dames and Dude Society has been getting, I figured it might be a good idea to actually talk about my Delacorte book, Saving Maddie. Of course, the book doesn't come out for another year, and it isn't even listed on Amazon yet, but why let a little thing like purchasability stop me.

First, here's the cover:

Let's just say I'm...curious about what the response will be concerning the cover.

Personally, I love the cover, and so does my editor. I think it gets across everything the novel is about.

So what is the novel about?

As I've stated before, I hate describing a book. I never know if the person is asking about the plot or the theme or the characters or whatever.

And, in general, I suck at summaries.

So until I get the official flap or catalog copy, you'll have to do with my rag-tag description of the book.

Saving Maddie is about:

1) A boy named Joshua
2) A girl named Madeline
3) Lust
4) Love
5) Proverbs Chapter 4 vs The Parable of the Lost Sheep
6) Jose Cuervo
7) Coffee
8) Blackberries

Got it? Good!