BEA Was Amazing!

June 2, 2013 at 11:58 am (A Wounded Name, Appearances) (, , , )

The title pretty much says it all. BEA was absolutely amazing!

Before BEA, though, I actually did a signing at the School Library Journal Day of Dialogue. I got to see finished copies of my book for the first time! How crazy is that? And they looked so pretty all stacked up waiting for the panel downstairs to finish.

SLJsigning

The jacket is so smooth and silky, and the title is printed in gold on the naked cover, and oh my God, seriously, it’s a REAL BOOK. And the librarians were lovely people. I was stunned by how many people came to the table and immediately said “Oh, this is the Ophelia book!”

Yes, yes it is!

Here’s where my poor little debut author brain explodes: the other authors at the signing. I was sitting in the middle of a string of Caldecott winners. Jim Arnosky, Kevin Henkes, Chris Raschka, and David Wiesner. I grew up on Henkes and Wiesner, I do their books for storytimes at the store, and I was sitting right in the row with them! I was sitting next to Ayun Halliday, of Peanut fame. Linda Urban, of Crooked Kind of Perfect was there, and I just about died when I saw Elizabeth Wein, of Code Name Verity, down at the end of the line. Elizabeth Wein! Whose book absolutely blew my mind last year!

I’ll be honest, there’s something terrifying about sitting in a row of names you know and adore, because it is super hard to feel legitimate. But everyone was wonderful and supportive, and I loved hearing the librarians talk about how many of the books they were taking home would be part of prizes for summer readers. Anytime people are reading, are being actively encouraged to read, it makes me happy.

And then the next morning, BEA.

This was my first year at BEA, and while I vaguely had the idea of a madhouse in my mind, I didn’t really have a clear picture of the scope. HOLY. CRAP. Walking into the Javits Center, seeing this miniature CITY of publishing booths, was mind-blowing. I literally had to stop and catch my breath. It’s one thing to know there are a ton of publishers and imprints out there, and another thing entirely to see them all spread out before you. It’s seriously a little metropolis of booths and pavilions, and there are SO MANY BOOKS. I’m not even talking about the giveaways, although there are certainly a ton of those, but just the books on display, the posters of some of the big books they’ve done or the big authors in their stables.

As an exhibitor, I got to go in a little bit early, so I could kind of wander around while the floor was still empty, but then the doors opened and the crowds poured in and WOW. SO. MANY. PEOPLE. I mean, seriously, there was hardly room to walk half the time. Although, to be fair, part of that was people, part of that was the multiple, massive duffel bags full of books on people’s shoulders. I honestly can’t even imagine carrying that much around all day.

One of the first things I got to see was at the Lerner Publishing booth, the parent company of Carolrhoda Lab.

LernerSigning

That’s me!

And it’s spelled correctly there, which is more than I can say for the BEA Autographing Area sign:

Table5

At this point, I’m so used to people spelling my name incorrectly that I’m just grateful it’s spelled correctly on the book.

The signing was at ten, so a little before I went to the green room and got to meet Diana Peterfreund! I LOVED For Darkness Shows the Stars, and her upcoming release, Across A Star-Swept Sea is a post-apocalyptic, gender-swapped Scarlet Pimpernel. *Jaw drops* *drools* Seriously, there is nothing about this book I’m not looking forward to. And she dressed the part! The Pimpernel had a perhaps more-than-healthy interest in fashion, so Diana accessorized accordingly with a giant bow complete with a schooner replica. Honestly. An entire boat. I really, really wish I’d gotten a picture. But she was delightful, and suddenly I was a lot less nervous about my signing.

And it went really well. Thank you to all of you who came by! Everyone was super friendly, and I had a blast.

And I got to meet my fabulous agent! This is the first chance we’ve had to meet in person, and she’s as amazing in person as she is on the phone. I am seriously lucky to have her as my agent. She’s a straight-talker who encourages me to go with the crazy ideas and champions my work, without coating everything in a rosy glow. It took three years for me to find an agent, but looking back, it was totally worth the wait, because I found my perfect fit.

I got to meet up with my friend Shelver, of Shelvers Anonymous, and we trolled around the floor for a bit, and as many incredible ARCs as were available, I’m rather proud of my self-control. I went with a very specific idea of which books I was desperately wanting, and met with mostly success.

ARCs

The one I completely missed out on was Kendare Blake’s Antigoddess, which, you know, sadness, because I loved Anna Dressed in Blood, so the idea of that writing and lingering creep factor mixed with Greek mythology? WANT. But, I’ll just have to be patient for that one. Two others I didn’t get to get my hands on- but may have successfully made arrangements for- were Across a Star-Swept Sea, mentioned above, and Victoria Schwab’s Vicious.

And speaking of Victoria Schwab, total author crush. She’s wonderful! I mean, I knew she was wonderful already, because I talk to her online, and she’s always supportive and super gracious and just awesome. But meeting her in person was amazing, because 1) HUGS! and 2) Vicious trading cards!

And I think that’s really the best thing about BEA. It’s not the ARCs, it’s not the promotional information, it’s getting to meet people. While standing in line for Sarah J Maas’ Crown of Midnight, Shelver and I just kind of randomly bumped into Sarah Beth Durst; her book Vessel was amazing. I’d see a blogger’s name on the registration tag and there’d be that spark of “Oh! They talked about my cover!” or “Oh! They featured my book on a Waiting on Wednesday!” Putting faces to names and being able to make those real connections is just astonishing.

I was only at BEA for Thursday, and I really, REALLY wish I could have stayed for the whole thing, but maybe next year, right? It was such an incredible experience, and I’m awed by the number of people who came by the signing to support me and A Wounded Name.

Sincerely, and from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU.

Until next time~
Cheers!

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BEA and Swag!

May 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Sorry for the relative darkness here and on Twitter recently; I’ve spent the past week switching between work and the hospital (as a visitor, not a patient), so I haven’t been able to attend to a number of other things.

 

BUT.

 

BEA is THIS WEEK, can you believe it?! So, just as a reminder, I’ll be signing Thursday morning, from 10-11 am, at Table #5 in the Author Autographing Area. I’ll also be wandering around the floor for the afternoon, and I will have swag packets with me. How many? As many as I can manage to shove into my bag without damaging anything.

 

So, if you happen to see me on the floor after the signing, just introduce yourself and ask for a swag pack! I will keep handing them out until I run out, and hopefully I won’t have to figure out how to take any home. These swag packs include: signed bookmarks, a signed bookplate, a sticker, and a (pretty awesome, if I do say so myself) keychain.

 

Not going to BEA? Don’t fret, you can still request an e-ARC through NetGalley, and a bit later this summer I’ll be doing a super swag-tastic giveaway, so you don’t have to worry about missing out!

 

If you are going to BEA, please introduce yourselves if you see me! You’ve been amazing and supportive and so excited for me, and I know a hello and a thank you and maybe a hug (if that’s not creepy and unwelcome) is small repayment, but seriously- THANK YOU.

 

Until next time~

Cheers!

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A Wounded Name on NetGalley!

May 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm (A Wounded Name) (, , )

Yeh, this is pretty much what the title says.

A Wounded Name just went up on NetGalley! If you have a NetGalley account (or feel like quickly creating one) YOU TOO can request to read it a whole THREE MONTHS EARLY. The book doesn’t actually come out until September, but that doesn’t have to stop you.

Check it out! And, in the meantime, I’ll be over here dancing like a madman at this further bit of proof that this is a Real Thing.

And don’t forget, if you’re a physical copy type of person, I’ll signing ARCs at BEA on Thursday, May 30th, from 10-11am at Table #5 in the Author Autograph Area. If you’re going to be attending BEA, swing by and get a book! Get a signature! Get a hug!

Until next time~
Cheers!

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Announcements! BEA and More!

April 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm (A Wounded Name, Appearances) (, , , , )

First things first, let’s announce the winners of the FIRST giveaway for A Wounded Name!

The ARC and swag pack goes to….

*drumroll please*

JAIME H!

And the swag packs go to…

ALYSSA SUSANNA!

and

BRIANA!

Congratulations!

In other exciting news, I’ll be at BEA!

BEA, Book Expo America, is this amazing thing where they herd tons of authors together under one roof for ARC giveaways, signings, panels, and more. Pretty much, if you love books? BEA is a dream come true.

And it’s where I’ll be doing my very first signing!

Thursday, May 30th, from 10-11 am, I’ll be at Table #5 in the Author Autograph Area, signing advanced copies that you can then get for free! Honestly, I’m not even sure I can wrap my brain around the prospect yet. There are a lot of steps in the publishing process, and each one seems to be feel more surreal than the last. It’s hard to believe that in four and a half months, my book is going to be out! And soon–so very, very soon–people will actually be able to start reading the pre-release copies.

Eep!

So if you’re going to BEA, make sure to swing by Table 5 Thursday morning, say hello, and pick up a signed copy!

Until next time~
Cheers!

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A (Fifth) Sneak Peek Into A Wounded Name

April 13, 2013 at 9:26 am (A Wounded Name, Giveaway) (, , , , )

I have a thing for prime numbers.

Just to let you know, today is the LAST DAY to enter the giveaway for the signed ARC and swag! After this, it’ll be a while before another giveaway goes up, so if you’re not going to BEA (more on that tomorrow), this is going to be your best chance. It’s super easy to enter, and I’ll be drawing a winner tomorrow morning.

And, without further business, here’s the snippet!
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Then it’s time. It’s been time so often today, but it’s time again, this time to close the lid and forever place Hamlet in darkness. The priest places a hand on the sectioned lid, then glances at the line of ravens in the front pew and asks if we’d like to pay our respects. The violet waits patiently in my palm, its fan-shaped petals a little wilted but the colors still true.

Claudius goes up first, his face impassive as he studies his elder brother. His face shows nothing, but then, it so rarely does. Claudius is not one to let others know his thoughts or plans if he can avoid it. He doesn’t touch the body, doesn’t even rest his hand on the edge of the casket but, instead, clasps his hands at the small of his back in a vaguely military stance that keeps his spine stiff and straight.

Dignity.

Propriety.

Gertrude joins him there, and one of Claudius’ hands floats away to rest on her back. His fingers curve over the small of her back, his palm against the swell of her hip. It’s an intimate stance. I’ve had much occasion over the past three days to study how people touch each other in support: a grip on the shoulder, the forearm, a hand placed gently against the shoulder blades, all things as though they could help the grief stand on its own. It’s too close for brother and sister, as they have been for nearly two decades, and yet there his hand rests, and she doesn’t step away.

Her blue eyes glisten, and tears tremble on her lashes but do not fall. She touches her husband’s cheek, leans down to press a soft kiss against his cold lips. Her hand shakes.

Dane stands abruptly, yanking me gracelessly to my feet beside him. He stalks up the steps to the altar, jerky as a badly controlled marionette. We pass his mother and uncle on their way back to the pew, and Gertrude’s hand brushes across my cheek in passing. The shiver crawls under my skin. Was it the same hand? From dead flesh to living flesh, could her hand tell the difference?
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Until next time~
Cheers!

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A (Fourth) Sneak Peek Into A Wounded Name

April 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm (A Wounded Name, Giveaway) (, , , , )

*imagine trumpets blaring here*
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Gertrude comes out to retrieve her son and his dismal company. She watches our silence for a moment, an almost smile a subtle curve on her painted lips. She is too young to be a widow, I think suddenly, too lovely to be left alone. “Dane,” she says softly, “it is time for us to go.”

He slowly stands, allows Horatio and me to adjust his clothing, but he can’t look at his mother, can’t share this grief even with her. He jerks his head in what might be a nod, to acknowledge her presence or her words I’m not sure, and walks past her.

Her smile deepens when I step out of the shadows and she can see me more clearly. “You look lovely, Ophelia.” Her fingers brush gently against one of the violets, too light to a touch to dislodge it. “Hamlet always loved seeing you with flowers in your hair, like you’d stepped right out of a fairy tale.”

I cringe inwardly, grateful that neither Laertes nor Father followed her to the alcove.

“Thank you for doing this, for him. And…” Her voice trembles, the strength crumbling to reveal the grief beneath. Then she clears her throat, and the moment has passed. “And for Dane. This is especially hard for him.” She links my arm through her. “I’m glad he has his friends to help him through this.” We join the others in the entryway.

Father’s eyes show his concern when he sees the flowers in my hair, but no surprise; Laertes must have told him already. Whatever he might say, though, is unknowingly cut off by Gertrude, who again brushes her fingers across the silky petals.

“It does me good to see this,” she murmurs. “Hamlet would have liked to see this.”

Dane’s jaw clenches, as it does whenever he hears his father put into past or conditional tense. Strange, how words can be so precise and yet have so many shades of meaning. Words, words, words, it’s a wonder that they mean anything at all, when so often they don’t.

But that is the last said of the violets in my hair.
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A longer chunk for you today! And don’t forget, for a few more days, you can still enter to win a signed advance copy and swag!

Until next time~
Cheers!

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A (Third) Sneak Peek Into A Wounded Name

April 3, 2013 at 8:40 am (A Wounded Name, Giveaway) (, , , )

*drumroll please!*
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“Think of what this will do to Father; you know he doesn’t need more distractions today.”

Father never needs distractions; he exists in a cacophony of them. Distractions from memory, from fear, from the loneliness he doesn’t know how to let us fill. He never needs more of them, but he looks for them anyway because that is what he does in the name of the making everything run smoothly. I don’t say any of this. I never do. Laertes and I understand Father in very different ways, I think, and I never can decide who has the more right of it.

My black wrap sits on the foot of the bed, and I push Laertes away to pick it up. Even in high summer, the church is always cold. It clings to the stone, to the silence. I switch the violet to my left hand and drape the wrap over that arm to hide it from view. This final flower will be a gift, the last one I can give to a dear friend now gone. That sort of gift must always be a private thing. “It’s time,” I remind him. “We should go.”

He shakes his head but holds the door open for me. The absence of a scent–a ghost, an echo of violets–follows us into the hall. This is the day Hamlet Danemark V, Headmaster of Elsinore Academy, is laid to rest, and the world mourns.
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And you can still enter to win an advanced copy, plus signed swag! ARC is US only, but swag is international!

Until next time~
Cheers!

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A (Second) Sneak Peek Into A Wounded Name

March 31, 2013 at 10:18 am (A Wounded Name, Giveaway) (, , , )

Ready for round 2? (Note: This was supposed to refer to the second sneak peek, NOT a second book- I am SO SORRY about the confusion)
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Every morning, Jack leaves a small basket of flowers just outside my door, as he’s done for years, as he did for my mother. From the first bloom of early spring to the last bloom of late summer, there are violets. Sometimes other flowers as well but always violets, soft petals ranging from their namesake color through shades of indigo, blue, and heavy cream.

The Headmaster loves violets.

Loved violets.

He laughed and laughed when I told him of their elusive scent, how smelling them actually makes it impossible to smell anything for a little while, and he knotted a flower into my hair and told me the most beautiful things will always be the most elusive. I was nine years old, my first day back after the cold place, and he’d come to welcome me home with flowers that Jack gave me.
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And you can

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A Sneak Peek Into A Wounded Name

March 28, 2013 at 5:34 pm (A Wounded Name, Giveaway) (, , , , )

Guys, guys, you guys! I got permission to share some lines from A Wounded Name!

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing bits and pieces from the first few chapters. Want more? I’m also extending the giveaway- you can still enter here, and then you can read ALL of it.
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The sky is blue today.

Blue like glacier ice, like hidden springs. Blue like jays’ wings, peacock feathers. Blue like my mother’s skin.

It isn’t right. Today the sky should be black or deep, roiling grey, a vast, mottled purple bruise overhead. The air should weep, the Heavens pound in anguish and loss, for today we bury the King of Elsinore.

But it isn’t. And they don’t.

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Stay tuned for more sneak peeks, and don’t forget to enter to win an advanced copy of A Wounded Name, plus signed swag!

Until next time~
Cheers!

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A Wounded Name Giveaway!

March 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm (A Wounded Name, Giveaway) (, , , )

After the rather surreal experience of designing and ordering swag, the first wave has arrived, which means: IT’S TIME FOR A GIVEAWAY!!!

There’s one major prize pack, and other small prize packs- the number of them depends on you. (yes, you!)

One lucky person will receive a SIGNED ARC of A Wounded Name, personlized if you’d like, and a pack of signed swag, including stickers, bookmarks, and a bookplate. The other packs are going to be signed swag, but the more people participate, the more swag packs there will be.

Want a peek at the prize?

Contest

And here’s how to enter:
The actual entry: comment below and tell me what book you’re reading right now, OR, if you’re between books, tell me what you just finished and what you think. (I just finished The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson, and it was GORGEOUS, absolutely amazing writing, beautifully flawed and balanced characters, and hope and death walking hand in hand)
Extra entries: you can get +1 for each of the following:
-Add A Wounded Name on Goodreads
-follow this blog
-follow me on twitter (@dothutchison)
-tweet about this giveaway
-like me on Facebook
-blog about this giveaway

Any and all of these that you do just let me know in the comments, and if you already do them, again, just let me know. You can get a total of SEVEN entries, and like I said, the more people who enter, the more prizes there are going to be. If we hit over 100 entries, I’ll also add a Barnes and Noble gift card with the ARC. And make sure you leave an email so I can contact you if you win!

The ARC has to be US only (sorry) BUT the swag packs are open to international entries! I’ll pick a winner at the end of the month.

Good luck to everyone!

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