I am so incredibly excited to reveal the cover of my upcoming YA novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards (set to release in May!).
Publishing with an awesome, small press like RAP means I get to have input in things like cover design. When I was asked about what I wanted to see on the cover, my mind spun with a zillion different ideas. Everything flew out of my mouth. Tree branches that spelled out the titles! A girl leaning up against a gravestone rocking out to music, holding her dead beloved’s hand! Silhouettes because I just love silhouettes! Interesting typography! My cover inspirations were everything from Splintered by A.G. Howard to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Tucholke to The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett. It amazes me how a graphic artist can take an idea and conceptualize it in such a way as to nail down exactly what you want without you saying what that is. I am truly in love with my cover. And every time I look at it, I see something new. For example, at this resolution and size I just noticed that the silhouette of the girl is wearing headphones and carrying a Discman or Walkman (the book is set in 1996, so that makes perfect sense).
Anyway, I am incredibly excited that this day has arrived. Please consider adding GGG to your Goodreads shelf.
When the book’s release date nears, I plan on doing all sorts of fun giveaways. I hope you’ll check back.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about an email I had sent to my public library administration in December expressing some frustrations over their poor YA collection development. (They didn’t have Cat Winters’ In the Shadow of Blackbirds which I was dying to read, or any Maureen Johnson novel published past 2006, not to mention they were missing several Printz books…) But then I didn’t hear anything back. Nothing. Radio silence. It wasn’t until after I participated in a phone-in town hall meeting with my state senator, and brought up the issues I had with our library, that I got a response. From my state senator. Still, not the library. Well, long story short, my state senator put me in touch with the new library board president and he invited me to meet with him and two other board members to discuss the library and ideas on improving, not just the YA collection, but teen outreach and customer service.
That meeting happened last night at the new library building in town. I was so excited to attend. You’d think I was going on a wine tour in Napa Valley. But, as a YA librarian, being given a chance to talk about the insufficient YA collection and programming is a tremendous opportunity. And the board did not disappoint. They listened to my ideas with open ears. They deferred to my experience and knowledge. The board president apologized to me for not receiving a reply to my 1.5 page email. He was interested in my ideas on how to get teens into the library and he asked me for a specific list of YA titles the library should order for the collection. At one point, I was referred to as a consultant which practically made my head explode. These trustees seem to be very involved and they value community input.
I left the meeting feeling very hopeful about the future of the library and excited about the changes I believe are coming. Just this morning, I sent another email with a recommended list of YA titles and teen programming ideas and I have faith progress will be made. Perhaps, in baby steps, but still progress. Because in Pennsylvania (unlike New Jersey), library funding does not come from taxes unless a special referendum is passed. But county residents won’t pass a referendum for the library unless the library can show how they are an integral part of the community. And unfortunately, they haven’t been able to do that.
I am incredibly grateful that my state senator facilitated this meeting and I’m grateful that the board of trustees were receptive to my ideas. And hopefully some wicked YA books will be gracing the shelves of our public library very soon.
This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. This. Sucks.
Congratulations to Janet Johnson who won the Mistwalker ARC! And thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on the blog. It means the world to me.
I am so excited because my website got a fabulous new makeover! Tasha at My Cute Lobster created the design based off an idea I had. The girl on the homepage is my accidental sleuth. She’s stumbled upon a mystery and is taking notes under the lamplight, with her trusty greyhound protector by her side. I even wrote a piece of flash fiction for the homepage.
With trusty Sergeant by my side, I stand beneath the yellow light and watch. And wait. From my vantage point, I can see shadows moving behind closed curtains. No one’s left the apartment building for hours and my feet throb in these dreadful heels. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have left the sock hop early to tail Mr. Key, especially not during a slow dance with dreamy Bobby Goldman when Buddy Holly was playing. I just keep telling myself that I’m doing this for Edith, my best friend. There will be plenty of school dances to go to once I figure out how Mr. Key is involved. Until then, I stand in the shadows and watch and wait.
In honor of my website’s fabulous new look, I am going to giveaway a fabulous ARC — Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell — to a random commenter. (I feel like it’s a fitting novel for the mysterious and intriguing atmosphere on my new site.) Please leave your email in the comments section so I can get in touch with the winner.