Open Up and say 'Blog'!

Archive for the ‘Rage’ Category


Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Happy Halloween! All the candy has been given away, so now it’s time for me to announce the winners of the two giveaways.

First, for the Authors Against Bullying giveaway…since there were five entries and four books, I’ve decided to throw in an extra book so everyone wins! I’m giving away, signed from me, HUNGER and RAGE, and signed from A.S. King, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. The winners are:

Michelle M. Pillow


YA Book Queen

Sara M


Winners, please email me via my website contact form, and let me know which of the four books you want, in order of preference, as well as your mailing address. I’ll email you back to confirm your address and to let you know which book you’ll be getting. 🙂

And for the VELVETEEN contest, the winner is…

Naomi Clark

Congratulations!!! Naomi, please email me via my website contact form with your mailing address. 🙂

Thank you to everyone for participating! I promise there will be more giveaways in the near future. Stay tuned!

Welcome to the Crossroads Blog Tour of 2012!

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Hooray! Today kicks off the 2012 Crossroads Blog Tour! Starting today until October 28, 13 authors are touring eight blogs. Lots of interviews! Tons of books! And an AWESOME grand prize!!!

How awesome?

How about a Kindle? With 13 books pre-loaded onto it?

I know, right???

For more information on how the tour works, check out Judith Graves’ site here.

Here’s the list of authors participating (taken from Judith’s site – seriously, check it out for all the info!):


Judith Graves – Leap Books – Under My Skin, Second Skin, Skin of My Teeth, Killer’s Instinct

Joy Preble – Sourcebooks – Dreaming Anastasia, Haunted, Anastasia Forever. Soho Press (forthcoming May 2013) – The Sweet Dead Life

Stacey Kade – Hyperion – The Ghost and the Goth, Queen of the Dead, Body & Soul

Amanda Ashby – Speak – You Had Me at HaloZombie Queen of Newbury High, Fairy Bad Day, Demonosity

Lucienne Diver – Flux – Vamped, Revamped, Fangtasic, Fangtabulous

Kiki Hamilton – Teen / Macmillian – The Faerie Ring, The Torn Wing

Jackie Morse Kessler – Harcourt Graphia – Hunger, Rage, Loss

Christine Fonseca – Compass Press – Transcend, Libera Me

Carrie Harris – Delacorte Books for Young Readers –Taste In Boys, Bad Hair Day

Dawn Dalton – Leap Books – SPIRITED Anthology, Killer’s Instinct

Leanna Renee Hieber – Sourcebooks – Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1), The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul, #2)

Ty Drago – Sourcebooks – The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses, The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead

Janet Fox – Speak – Faithful, Forgiven, Sirens


For Day 1, Judith Graves and I visit A Simple Love of Reading! This one’s all about Halloween. Check it out! And remember to visit the main Crossroads Blog Tour page for information on how to participate – who wouldn’t want a free Kindle with 13 e-books pre-loaded? 🙂

Making the Darkness Visible

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

I was at a friend’s surprise party last night when I myself received a huge surprise: a friend emailed me with the news that my book Rage was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, in an article called “Darkness Too Visible.” At first, I was ecstatic — I mean, hello, the WSJ mentioned my book! I was giddy with validation.

When I read the article, I got my second surprise: the article blasts darker-themed contemporary fiction for teens. Rage was used as an example to illustrate how “tame” issue-oriented books from the 1970s were in comparison — including Go Ask Alice, Sarah T: Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, and I Am the Cheese. Worse, after mentioning that the protagonist in Rage struggles with self-injury and quoting two lines from the book, the article goes on to say that books like Rage are likely to help “normalize” issues such as self-injury — and “may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people who might otherwise never have imagined such extreme measures. Self-destructive adolescent behaviors are observably infectious and have periods of vogue.”

That sound you hear is my blood pressure rising.

To suggest that Rage effectively glamorizes self-injury is both insulting and stupid. The entire purpose of the book — indeed, of all of the Riders of the Apocalypse books — is to raise awareness of issues such as self-injury and eating disorders and bullying.

Not everyone wants to raise awareness of such things, though. The article argues: “If books show us the world, teen fiction can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is. There are of course exceptions, but a careless young reader – -or one who seeks out depravity — will find himself surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds.”

Heads up: Life isn’t always beautiful and joyous. That’s not the real world; it never was. We just know more today about the issues that have been around for a long time — and we’ve come to a point where we’re not afraid to talk about these issues.

But then, not everyone wants to talk about them. The article laments, “Alas, literary culture is not sympathetic to adults who object either to the words or storylines in young-adult books” and goes on to suggest that “the book industry’s ever-more-appalling offerings for adolescent readers spring from a desperate desire to keep books relevant for the young.”

You want relevant? Let’s look at the numbers.

According to the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescents and Young Adults, “12% to 24% of young people have self-injured” and “about 6%-8% of adolescents and young adults report current, chronic self-injury.” According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, “about 1 in 10 young people will self-harm at one point.”

One in 10. So in a classroom of 30 teens, 3 of them either are or will self-injure.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 10 million females and 1 million males suffer from anorexia or bulimia, and another 15 million suffer from binge eating disorder.

I was one of those 10 million females.

CyberMentors indicates that “as many as 70% of all young people have experienced some form of bullying” and “1 million kids are bullied every week.”

Let me repeat that: One million kids, every week, are bullied. This is not okay.

These numbers show that issue novels such as Cheryl Rainfield’s Scars and Lauren Myracle’s Shine — two books also mentioned in the article — are not simply “relevant for the young.” They’re urgent for the young, and for their parents. Ignoring issues such as self-injury or eating disorders or bullying doesn’t make them go away. Covering our ears and shutting our eyes and going “LA LA LA” as loud as we can doesn’t make these problems magically disappear. The only things that go away if you ignore them are your teeth.

Maybe the notion of discussing these issues makes some people uncomfortable. That’s understandable; these are not comfortable topics. But that’s not a good reason to remain quiet. To those who insist that they’re protecting children and teens by not talking about these issues — or by banning books that discuss these issues — don’t you realize that the best way to protect children is to educate them about these issues?

The article concludes with the following: “The book business exists to sell books; parents exist to rear children, and oughtn’t be daunted by cries of censorship. No family is obliged to acquiesce when publishers use the vehicle of fundamental free-expression principles to try to bulldoze coarseness or misery into their children’s lives.”

That’s right: parents are there to raise their children. And that means teaching our kids about the world, the real world, not just some idealized fantasy where everything is joyous and beautiful. With numbers like “1 in 10” and “10 million females/1 million males” and “1 million kids,” it’s crucial that kids and teens — and adults — understand that when they’re suffering with conditions or disorders that might otherwise lead them down a path of no return, they’re not alone.

At the very top of the article, there’s a blurb that sums up the article’s tone: “Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?”

Why? Easy. Ignoring ugly truths doesn’t make those truths go away. Silence is never the answer. Granted, there may be those who will always advocate censorship rather than frank discussion. But the more that people insist on limiting the books we read, the more those books need to be read.

Learn about the world. Read a book.

To everyone on Twitter who responded to the article with #YAsaves: Thank you. You all rock out loud.

May updates

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Yes, RAGE had a huge blog tour in April. No, I didn’t blog a lot about it (although I was pretty good about tweeting every day). Sorry, sorry, sorry. I suck. I was on deadline with LOSS.

Here’s a list of all the terrific sites I visited on the official RAGE Blog Tour, with their reviews of RAGE or their interviews with me, or my guest posts (whew!) :

Literary Escapism

Bitten By Books

The Compulsive Reader

The Book Smugglers

Presenting Lenore

Mundie Moms

The Story Siren

Book Faery

Bookworming in the 21st Century

Green Bean Teen Queen

The Neverending Shelf

Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf <--- An A+ review!!! Yow!!! In Bed With Books

Wicked Awesome Books

Confessions of a Bookaholic

Tales of the Ravenous Reader

Rebecca’s Book Blog

SciFi Guy

A Backwards Story

The Hate-Mongering Tart

Thank you again, everyone!

The good news: I handed in the draft of LOSS to my editor, on time! The manuscript (66,600 words) is much longer than either HUNGER (44,000 words) or RAGE (55,000 words). It looks like LOSS will be a spring 2012 publication. Rah! Details to follow when they are available.

The great news: RAGE had a terrific launch, with lots of amazing reviews, including this one from Mrs. Giggles, who says: “The vicarious beat down that leaves me feeling wonderfully bruised all over is the sign of a story that succeeds in reeling me in, emotionally and intellectually, and damn if it doesn’t feel great.”


To everyone who has been reading and reviewing RAGE: Thank you, hugely. I hope you’ll enjoy LOSS even more! (Yeah, okay, you have to wait a year. Sorry about that!)

And hey: a new Post Mortem interview! The amazing Jeri Smith-Ready’s latest book, SHIFT, is now available ((DROOL!!!!!!!! CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT!!!!!!!!)), and her character Logan is interviewed by Death. Complete with playlist! Rah!

I’ll be at the Rochester Teen Book Festival next week, and I hope to see you there. 🙂

RAGE Blog Tour: Book Smugglers and Presenting Lenore and RT

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Hey there! Sorry I didn’t post yesterday; traveling from New York to California sort of messed me up, time-wise. I’m at the RT Booklovers Convention this week — today I will be moderating the 1 pm panel about worldbuilding in urban fantasy.

Yesterday, I guest posted at The Book Smugglers, and Ana shared her thoughts about RAGE.

Today, I should be guest blogging at Presenting Lenore (who, by the way, recently scored a phenomenal deal, so please congratulate her!).

Remember to comment so that you can be entered in the ginormous giveaway for a chance to receive HUNGER, RAGE, and some other goodies!

And now, it’s off to the hotel gym. Rah!

RAGE launch day and blog tour: Bitten By Books

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Happy RAGE launch day to me!!!

Today I’m answering questions at Bitten By Books. And, bonus, Death interviews me! 🙂

I’ll also be at Flights of Fantasy tonight at 7 pm, in Colonie, NY — and tomorrow, it’s off to LA for the RT Booklovers Convention!

RAGE Blog Tour: Literary Escapism and Indigo Teen Blog

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Today we’re kicking off the RAGE Blog Tour! Throughout April, I’ll be visiting blogs and babbling about lots of things (say, Twinkies). And there’s a big tour contest — three people will win copies of HUNGER and RAGE, plus some extra goodies!

Today’s official tour stop is at Literary Escapism. In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, I do a post about my faux memoir, ROAD RAGE. 🙂

Bonus: I was interviewed by Indigo Teen Blog — and Death makes an appearance!

Guest blogging at Dark Faerie Tales

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Today, I’m guest blogging at Dark Faerie Tales, where I give a handy, dandy color-coded guide to the Riders of the Apocalypse. And, if you’re going to RT this year, I also posted my convention schedule. 🙂

All throughout April, I’ll be doing a blogosphere world tour. Lots of guest posts; lots of interviews. Lots of RAGE reviews, eek!

In other news: I finally got my taxes off to my accountant (rah!!!) and I’m full-speed ahead on LOSS (double rah!!!).

And a reminder: If you’re in the Albany, NY area, I’ll be at the Empire State Book Festival this Saturday for a 2:45 pm panel called “She Blinded Me with Science Fiction,” followed by a Meet & Greet (aka, signing copies of RAGE) at 4:45pm. I’ll also be doing a reading at Flights of Fantasy on Monday, April 4, starting at 7 pm. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming appearances

Monday, March 28th, 2011

With RAGE coming out in one week (RAH!), I wanted to post my upcoming appearances:

Panel and signing
Empire State Book Festival, Albany, NY
2:45 pm panel: She Blinded Me With Science Fiction

Reading and signing
Flights of Fantasy, Colonie, NY
7 pm

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention
Los Angeles, CA

Panel: Worldbuilding in Urban Fantasy
1 pm

Club RT
9:30 am

Panel: Say Anything? Boundaries In YA
10 am

Book Fair/Teen Day
Time: 11:00 am – 2 pm (Book Fair)
Time: 5 pm (Author Speed-Dating, session 2)

SAT, MAY 14:
Rochester Teen Book Festival
Rochester, NY

RAGE author copies

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

So I got home from tae kwon do to find a carton waiting for me. Yes, that’s right: RAGE author copies are here!!!

One of...gosh, a lot!

Ooh, FOIL!!! It’s so SHINY!!! I love it! I love it even more than I love the HUNGER cover, and I seriously love the HUNGER cover! Hooray, author copies!!!

Gosh. What am I going to do with all of these copies? Hmm…