Tags: ya

Happy Release Day to Rosemary Clement-Moore


It's not only Teaser Tuesday, it's the release day for the awesome
Texas Gothic
The goat was in the tree again

I hadn't even known goats
could climb trees.  I had been livestock-sitting for three days before I'd figured out how the darned things kept getting out of their pen.  Then one day I'd glanced out an upstairs window and seen Taco and Gordita, the ringleaders of the herd, trip-trip-tripping onto one of the low branches extending over the fence that separated their encloseure from the yard around Aunt Hyacinth's century-old farmhouse.
Let me tell you, the mystery of the incredible escape goats is a =lot= easier to solve than everything that comes next. Kirkus even gave her a starred review and said, "This engaging mystery has plenty of both paranormal and romance, spiced with loving families and satisfyingly packed with self-sufficient, competent girls."  The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books writes, "A deeply affectionate rendering of Texas landscapes and legends combines with an appealing cast of well-developed characters to give texture to this well-plotted mystery; truly scary moments are balanced by the humorous bumbles of the awkwardly developing romance between Amy and Ben, as well as Phin's sublime cluelessness about the way her eccentricities appear to other people.  The mystery itself is a richly imagined interpolation on documented history and lore of the area; readers who've outgrown the silliness but not the adventure of Scooby-Doo will thoroughly enjoy this." As if all that wasn't enough, check out this awesome open letter to Rosemary Clement-Moore posted by Jenny Martin on Book Binge.  

I couldn't agree more.

Other works by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series
Prom Dates from Hell
Hell Week
Highway to Hell

The Splendor Falls

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit interview with Amanda Ashby

I'm pleased to present today another great Cyber Sister, Amanda Ashby
, author of the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award-nominated You Had Me at Halo and Zombie Queen of Newbury High, which was listed as a YALSA popular paperback of 2011.  She's here today to talk about her latest young adult novel, Fairy Bad Day.

Book Blurb:

It’s going to be a fairy bad day

First, my rightful designation of dragon slayer is STOLEN right out from under me by Curtis Green. Sure, he’s really cute, but that doesn’t give him an excuse.

On top of that, I am assigned to slay fairies. I know what you’re thinking—how hard could it be, right? Wrong! These menacing beasts with their tiny hipster clothes and mocking sarcasm love taunting me. And they won’t STOP!

But the thing that tops my list of stuff to ruin my day? That would be the GIANT KILLER FAIRY that I have to hunt down and slay because I am the only one who can see it. There is someone who can help me. Unfortunately…it’s Curtis.


"Teens with a taste for the paranormal school story and a tolerance for raucous humor will be involved with and amused by this romantic fantasy. The exciting plot, humor throughout—often provided by the little fairies—and relatively innocent romance between characters will grab readers and keep them involved. " Kirkus Reviews

"In a fun mashup of the modern and the magical, Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) creates nicely developed characters and supports them with strong plotting and zippy writing. Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page." Publisher's Weekly

Interview with Amanda Ashby:

What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you schedule time to write each day or are you a spree writer?

I hate my writing process. I'm a panster who wishes she was a plotter, which means that I spend most of the time in a constant battle with myself!
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GCC Interview with Caridad Ferrer

by Caridad Ferrer
St. Martin's Griffin

ISBN: 978-0-312-65004-9, ISBN10: 0-312-65004-3,
Young Adult Fiction

I'm pleased to present the latest Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit interview with
Caridad Ferrer about her latest YA release WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE.  Isn't this a gorgeous cover?  Want to know more?

About the Book:

A dancer driven to succeed.

A musical prodigy attempting to escape his past.

The summer they share.

And the moment it all goes wrong.

Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.     

But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.

About the Author:

Caridad Ferrer is a first generation, bilingual Cuban-American, whose young adult debut, Adiós to My Old Life won the Romance Writers of America’s 2007 RITA® for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance as well as being named to the 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list, awarded by the ALA. Her second novel, It’s Not About the Accent was released in 2007 with Publisher’s Weekly stating, “…this twisting book amply rewards readers.”

She has also contributed to the anthology, Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceañera Stories. Her newest young adult novel, When the Stars Go Blue, is a contemporary retelling of Bizet’s Carmen, and will be released by Thomas Dunne Books in November 2010. Booklist calls it, “Beautifully written, with contemporary characters and an engaging story line.

Your novel in 140 characters (Twitter-version):
A contemp. interpretation of Bizet's opera Carmen, w/a dancer,  musician, & soccer player, in a love triangle marked by passion & betrayal.

If you could be any kind of dairy product, what would you be?
Roaring Forties blue cheese because it's from sweet, smooth, sharp, and strong, all at once.

What about your main character(s) and why?
Hm. Soledad would be Greek yogurt because it's substantial and strong, yet smooth and soothing; Jonathan would be a cheesecake, because it can be both strong, yet fragile, and Taz would definitely be a rich, smooth dark chocolate dusted with sea salt because it's exotic and speaks of faraway places.

Do you think in themes?  If so, what’s the theme of your new novel?
I do-- if I had to summarize STARS as a theme, it would be that of dreams-- those you consciously have and those of which you're unaware until they happen to you.  Dreams without a name, I suppose.  

What piece of fiction or non-fiction did you not write but wish you had?
HEARTBREAK HOTEL by Anne Rivers Siddons which I discovered at the age of fourteen in my junior high's library.  It's a magnificent setting (1956 Alabama, just as the Civil Rights Movement is getting underway), with a wonderful lead character in Maggie, a properly bred southern belle who's nevertheless restless and knows there's something more, even though she's not consciously aware of it for much of the book.  On top of that, the language is just beautiful and evocative and I think was the book that made me really WANT to be a writer, even though I'd been writing and journaling my entire life.  

Do you want to pimp any contests or other guest appearances here?
On the 1st of December I'll be blogging at the new group YA blog of which I'm part, YA OUTSIDE THE LINES and I'll be giving away a signed copy of STARS and a t-shirt that's a copy of one that plays a part in the book.  (http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/)

Halloween Blog Bash with Denise Jaden

A new Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit interview to share with you during my Halloween Blog Bash.  Denise Jaden is here to talk about her wonderful eerie-sounding novel, LOSING FAITH.  Check out her book trailer:

About the book:

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

Rave Reviews:

“Strong in its characterization…satisfying…a thoughtful read.”

"This book is wonderful. I stayed up way too late because I couldn't put it down. Tessa is one of my all-time favorite characters - fascinating, nuanced - she lived for me, jumped right off the page. Terrific read!"
- Janet Fox, author of Faithful (Penguin/Speak, 2010)
and Get Organized Without Losing It (Free Spirit Publishing, 2006

"Suspense, religion, romance, teenage angst—this book has it all and it is all well done. Losing Faith was an amazing read that hooked me in the beginning and when it was done I was well-satisfied with the conclusion. Great from start-to-finish!"
- Crystal at myreadingroom-crystal.blogspot.com

Interview with Denise Jaden:

Your novel in 140 characters (Twitter-version):
A teen finds more questions than closure while mourning the death of her

If you could be any kind of dairy product, what would you be?
Ice cream. I'm all about the yummy!

What about your main character(s) and why?
Brie drinks a lot of protein shakes, mostly to stay in shape. Though she
also likes cheese quite a bit. Maybe it's in the name.

Do you think in themes?  If so, what's the theme of your new novel?

One theme I feel is strong in the book is: don't be afraid to face your

What piece of fiction or non-fiction did you not write but wish you had?

I'm probably a little different this way, but I don't wish I'd written any
other fiction than my own. My stories are very personal and reflect me, at
least in some ways. That's one part I really love about the process.

Do you want to pimp any contests or other guest appearances here?
I've always got contests happening on my blog. You can find the latest one

Thanks Lucienne!

Halloween Bash - GCC Interview with Linda Gerber

Continuing the Halloween blog bash, I have a Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit interview with Linda Gerber, for her chilling new novel, TRANCE.

TRANCE by Linda Gerber
Speak * A Division of Penguin Young Readers Group *
October 14, 2010
ISBN 9780142414156
Ages 12 and Up

About the Book

Almost everyone has wished that they could take a glimpse into the future—but what if such visions came unbidden, and they only foretold danger? Linda Gerber weaves this idea into a chilling and satisfying young adult novel with TRANCE (Speak; 9780142414156; October 14, 2010; Ages 12 up; $7.99). Perfect for fans of Wake, Gerber’s latest paranormal thriller is a dark but addictive tale of one girl’s curse to unwillingly foresee future tragedies, and the debilitating toll that it takes on her present life—until she realizes that her unwanted power may be more of a gift than a curse.

Ashlyn Greenfield has always known when bad things are going to happen. Each time that familiar tingling at the back of her neck begins, she knows what’s to come—a trance. She’s pulled in, blindsided, an unwilling witness to a horrible upcoming event. But she’s never been able to stop the event from actually occurring—not even when the vision was of her mother’s fatal car accident. When soulful Jake enters Ashlyn’s life, she begins having trances about another car accident. And as her trances escalate, one thing becomes clear: it’s up to her to save Jake from a near-certain death.

Combining romance and suspense, Linda Gerber delivers a paranormal thriller that is unique in its ability to appeal to sci-fi and chick lit fans alike.

About the Author

Linda Gerber is the author of the popular Death by Bikini, Death by Latte, and Death by Denim as well as two books in the S.A.S.S. series. She lives with her family in Dublin, Ohio.

Interview with Linda Gerber


Your novel in 140 characters (Twitter-version):

“A fast-paced, heart-wrenching paranormal thriller. Trance is addictive.” – Lisa McMann, author of the best-selling WAKE series.

If you could be any kind of dairy product, what would you be?

Graeter’s raspberry chocolate-chunk ice cream, because… well, why not?

What about your main character(s) and why?

Ashlyn -  string cheese, because she feels like her life is unraveling

Jake – cream cheese, because he’s smooth and versatile

Gina – Sour cream, because she's kind of saucy and she has a little bit of a tang to her

Do you think in themes?  If so, what’s the theme of your new novel?

A person must trust to be trusted.

What piece of fiction or non-fiction did you not write but wish you had?

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. What would I give to write like that – and be a trend starter? Plus, if I was the author, maybe I’d get to meet the model on the cover as Patch!

Do you want to pimp any contests or other guest appearances here?

Two more days to go in the Trance Final Countdown contest. Up for grabs, a Sony Cybershot camera, an entire basket of YA supernatural fiction, and more. For rules and prizes,
check it out here.

Crossroads blog tour details


Judith Graves has put together the exciting Crossroads Blog Tour, complete with a Q&A scavenger hunt and prizes and a chat at the end.  The amazing line-up of authors are listed above.   Full background and tour details are available here for those who want to play along, but I've got some of the info for you below:


Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new research question will be revealed here on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page (http://judithgraves.com/events/the-crossroads-tour/), and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween.

Send your answers to judithgraves at ymail dot com by midnight on October 31st to win a fab grand prize consisting of:

  • signed copy of Under My Skin by Judith Graves
  • copy of Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
  • copy of Freaksville by Kitty Keswick
  • gothic stickers
  • funky Halloween decorations
  • a DVD featuring Classic Horror Films
  • a $10 gift certificate for Leap Books
  • a Leap Books T-shirt
My schedule and a list of the participating bloggers is below.  I hope you'll make the rounds of the blogs each day to answer the daily question and enter to win!  Good and ghoulish luck!

Where I'll be when/topics:

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GCC Interview with Kristina Springer

Reading level: Young Adult, ages 11+

Hardcover: 192 pages

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (August 31, 2010)

ISBN-13: 978-0374399108

Blurb for My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours:
Seventh grade was supposed to be fun, but Tori is having major drama with her BFF, Sienna. Sienna changed a lot over the summer—on the first day of school she’s tan, confident, and full of stories about her new dreamy boyfriend. Toriknows that she’s totally making this guy up. So Tori invents her own fake boyfriend, who is better than Sienna’s in every way. Things are going great—unless you count the whole lying-to-your-best-friend thing—until everyone insists Tori and Sienna bring their boyfriends to the back-to-school dance.


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Interview with Kristina Springer 

Your novel in 140 characters (Twitter-version):
My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours is about two 7th grade BFFs who get in a crazy and funny competition of the fake boyfriends.

If you could be any kind of dairy product, what would you be?
Iced mocha.

What about your main character(s) and why?
Ice cream—because she’s so fun!

Do you think in themes?  If so, what’s the theme of your new novel?

No, but somehow my books end up with them.

What piece of fiction or non-fiction did you not write but wish you had?
Uh, Twilight? Just kidding. I can’t think of anything! I like to write what I want to write.


Other works by Kristina Springer:
THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, *In stores now* from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

PUMPKIN PRINCESS, Fall 2011, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Find her on:
Blogs: KristinaSpringer.blogspot.com, author2author.blogspot.com

Other: @TinaSpringer on twitter, facebook.com/KristinaSpringer 

YA Week continues with...me

I decided on a post of my own to conclude YA week here on my blog (unless some of my stragglers come in with guest blogs next week, in which case, I'll extend things).  I hope you've enjoyed the past week's posts and look forward to presenting more theme weeks in the upcoming months.  Stay tuned!

As for my bio, most of you know me as a literary agent for all kinds of commercial fiction, including fantasy, romance, mystery and young adult.  My youn
g adult series featuring Gina Covello, fashionista of the damned, started last year with Vamped and will continue in September with ReVamped (*shameless plug* now available for pre-order!).  Flux has also contracted two more books in the series, Fangtastic and Fangtabulous.  Hope you'll share in the fun.

Better Living through Fiction by Lucienne Diver

They say familiarity breeds contempt.  They say write what you know.  They say I was dropped on my head as a child.  While that last part might be true, I beg to differ on the first two points.

I write a fashionista vampire.  She’s confident, cocky, popular and fashion-obsessed.  Oh yes, and she’s seventeen.  While I will admit to once being seventeen (just yesterday), I was not at the time confident, popular, fashionable or fanged.  I played D&D, wore shapeless shirts to cover up the figure I wish I had now, took extra classes, particularly in art and English, did drama and generally lived the life of a Gleek.  I think what drew me to Gina (my character) was that she was so absolutely alien to me.  My first YA, Vamped, was originally meant to be a short story called “Unlife Style” about a teen vamp who faces true horror when she claws her way out of the grave, totally destroying her manicure, and realizes she’s got to face eternity with no way to fix her hair and make-up.  She decides to save her sanity by turning her stylist and starting an undead entourage. 

I didn’t have to like Gina.  I only had to live with her for about ten pages. Unfortunately, my writers group informed me that “Unlife Style” was more of a vignette and that Gina demanded more.  Not exactly a surprise that my heroine was high maintenance, but did I have to be the one to cater to her every whim?  The short answer is, of course, a resounding, “Yes.”  So, I had to learn to live with Gina.  I had to learn to love her.  Which meant that I had to understand what made her who she was and discover her more redeeming characteristics.  In short, I had to learn tolerance and acceptance for a character who was so alien to the real me.  Gina changed as well, learning to open herself up a bit, becoming more human as a vampire than when she lived and breathed.

It didn’t occur to me until I sat down to write this blog that my path is more or less echoed in ReVamped.  Gina, the girl whose most noble goal is to beautify the world, one person at a time, ends up having to go undercover as a goth…no color palette so speak of, more chains than a bike rack, and don’t even get her started on the shoes….  She’s sure she’ll have nothing in common with the goth gang, but they take to her instantly, particularly Ulric, who wants to be a whole lot more than her new BFF.  She learns a lot of things, beyond what’s messing with the ley-lines and causing outbreaks of violence at her new school.  She discovers that we’re all the same beneath our outer skins.  Whether hair is shorn or dyed, spiked or gelled, whether flesh is pierced, tattooed or untouched, everybody shops.  And whether you’re a biter or a bleeder, all life is precious.

You don’t necessarily have to start out writing what you know, but you do have to come to know that which you write.  For me, familiarity didn’t breed contempt, but understanding and acceptance. 


Special Note: one day left to participate in my mighty minions contest with a chance to win a Flip Video Camera or B&N gift card.  Details are here!  And tune in to Bitten by Books on September 15th for the virtual launch party for ReVamped and chance to win an iPod Nano with a special skin.

YA Week continues with Shannon Delany

I was introduced to Shannon Delany through a mutual friend I first met on-line (see, networking really does work).  Her debut YA paranormal, 13 to Life came out this year from St. Martin's Press and is already generating quite the buzz.  She's her today to talk about:

Why YA


Shannon Delany, author of the 13 to Life Series: 13 to Life (6/22/10), Secrets and Shadows (2/15/11), Bargains and Betrayals (Fall 2011)




I’m an adult. I know. Sometimes I don’t act it (like when I’m standing in line just to get into a store in the Hogsmeade Village area of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—the twitching that happens!). But as an adult I feel very little desire to write what most adults are envisioned as reading. You know—straight, dry fiction (or Nicholas Sparks). But notice what I said: “envisioned as reading."

Let’s be honest. There are a lot of adult readers who are reliving their youths (or a better, more exciting version of their youths—mine never included werewolves, that I know of) by opening up YA novels. I think this is great. Not only is it a brand of escapism that makes us feel young again (and who doesn’t like that?) it also encourages more would be young adult authors to review their past (and the way we color it through the big, clumsy brush of memory) and to pay closer attention to teenagers.

Granted, that might be the downside if you’re a teen—more adults paying attention to you means you may get away with a little less. Ah well, as long as you still like the books they produce maybe it’s an okay tradeoff.

For me, having the personality I have (an odd one), writing YA is natural regardless of my age. See, my middle school existence was pretty much miserable thanks to the mean girls and a couple of (bless their hearts) not so bright guys.

I learned to throw a punch in 7th grade. And somewhere in those corridors part of my personality stuck and refused to be easily unwedged.

I like to think that’s part of why I made such a good middle school teacher later on. I knew how much it could all suck and I’d developed decent radar for identifying troublesome people.

So it’s only natural I like writing—and usually deal with characters—who are in the young adult category. And from an author’s viewpoint, what’s not to like?

Teens are bright, willing to question authority and stand up for their beliefs. All those reasons (socially, morally and in the interest of keeping your career on track) that we adults don’t say what’s on our mind and rock the boat? Teens don’t have those things holding them back as often.

They test the world. They push the envelope. They’re brave (okay, sometimes they cross the line right into stupid—but who hasn’t been there?) and full of passion (hormones’ll do that to you) and are trying to balance an idealistic dream of their future with the gritty realism that so often makes up their present.

Teens are an absolute dream to write and I hope to have the opportunity to keep writing teens for years to come because as old as the publishing business can make you feel, writing teens’ll make you young again!

YA Week continues with Mari Mancusi

Because I'm going to be away tomorrow, I'm posting tomorrow's YA Week blog today.  A very special one it is too, because this piece really resonated with me.  I hope it will resonate with you too.

Mari Mancusi
is the author of, among other things, GAMER GIRL and the wonderful Blood Coven series for Berkley JAM.  Midwest Book Reviews has called her work "humorous and hip."  And, of course, I have a special fondness for her because she gave my YA debut, Vamped, such a nice quote.  Without further ado, I present to you:

Write What You Love? Well, Maybe Not...
By Mari Mancusi

I love science fiction. I love futuristics set in post-apocalyptic, dystopian societies. Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson. These are the authors I devour and re-devour over and over and again.

But every time I try to write that style of book? It falls flat. As much as I love their bleak visions of the future--their harrowing descriptions of a disjointed society in a world gone wrong--I struggle with creating my own. I can do it, when pressed, but it takes a lot of effort and never turns out to be my best work.

I also love historicals--especially medievals. Knights in shining armor, ladies in waiting, kings and queens and courtly love and valiant battles. But again, I can't write them worth a darn.

I hear, over and over again, authors and editors and agents urging writers to "Write what they love." But I'd argue this is not necessarily the best advice for everyone. While some of you may love to read the genres you're equally talented at writing in, some of you may find your writing strengths lie elsewhere.

And if so, my advice is to not fight it.  

For me, I'm best at comedy. I can easily whip up quirky characters and odd situations and pop culture references galore.  And when I'm writing comedy my hands fly on the keyboard and sometimes, I admittedly even make myself laugh out loud, wondering where on Earth my brain conjured up that particular joke.

But for many years, I fought against my natural light style. I tried to write bigger, deeper, more epic novels with dark themes and alternative dimensions. I wanted to be that author with the kick-ass cover of a woman in leather, wielding a sword in a dark, twisted world. Because that's the kind of book I'd pick up in the bookstore, over the one with a silly cartoon cover and a quirky title.

But I'm just not that author. I'm the cartoon cover kind.

This kind of self-revelation can be tough. Especially if the market is currently leaning towards dark, moody paranormals, as it has been for some time. It can be tempting to try to change your voice for the market--so you too can get one of those big book deals that every author under the sun seem to be getting for Dystopian Book X.

But in the end, you'll just drive yourself crazy. And you'll suffer needlessly and turn out a book that may be fine--that may even sell--but you'll have to admit in the end, was not your best work.

Now that's not to say you can't include certain beloved themes in your book. You just have to give the story your own voice and twist. For example, I knew I wouldn't be great at writing a straight medieval. So instead I decided to bring a teen King Arthur to the 21st century in my upcoming novel "The Camelot Code." He Googles himself and learns his true destiny and decides to join the football team rather than go home and pull the sword from the stone. So, in this way, I was able to incorporate something I love--medieval fantasy novels--with something I'm better at writing--light, humorous young adult fiction. And in doing so I was able to create my own sort of genre mash-up. (After all, where else are you going to find Morgan La Fay accidentally agreeing to a Brazilian wax...)

And sometimes you can even get lucky with covers. I wrote light, fluffy Buffy'esque vampire novels and my publisher packaged them with dark, brooding Twilight'esque covers to attract new readers. At first I was worried teens would pick up the book and feel tricked when they discovered a funny story beneath the dark packaging. But I've gotten no complaints. In fact, many are pleasantly surprised at the lighter tone.

So my suggestion? Write what you love to write, not necessarily what you love to read. And remember, well written books will find an audience and home no matter what the genre du jour. You may not get a big major auction for your novel, but you'll end up with something better. A book you have fun writing and one you know will be to the best of your ability.

I write funny. And I'm going to continue to stay true to my voice. And when that inevitable pendulum swings and we're ready for humor in our society again, I'll be there waiting to greet everyone with the best books I can possibly write.

(Along with a copy of MockingJay in my hand for my own reading pleasure...)