YA fiction

How this writing thing works

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cake
The Cake of Voices
(It was delicious.)

I’m in the kitchen icing a cake.

This happens, like, never. I’m a notoriously bad cook. When my kids see me making dinner they cry and run away. Baking is better, but I do it so infrequently no one ever really remembers I can, including myself.

So I’m icing this cake. It’s a zucchini blueberry cake with lemon buttercream frosting. (Kinda weird, right? But also maybe yum.) My hair is a mess. So is my face. Not to mention the kitchen. In fifteen minutes a group of friends will show up at my door for book club (aka, wine club). The knife slides along the surface of the cake, forming tiny wakes of buttercream, when suddenly a voice says, “Most of the time I feel miserable and alone.”

The knife stops mid-swipe and I listen. Not with my ears, though, because the voice is in my head.

The call is coming from inside the house.

I don’t know who this character is talking to me (yet), but in my mind I can see her walking through a crowded high school hallway and in my chest I can feel what she’s feeling. It’s like I’m some kind of medium for fictional people.

I put down the knife, pick up a pen and start writing her down. The cake can wait. So can my hair and my face and the clock and my friends showing up at my door with wine. There’s a voice in my head with a story to tell.

And that’s how this writing thing works.

For me, at least.

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Win an ARC of WHILE YOU WERE GONE!

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819VTwVeSVL._SL1500_While You Were Gone doesn’t hit shelves until August 4, but you can enter to win an advanced copy today. Just go to my shiny updated website and sign up for my author newsletter* to be entered to win. The winner will be announced on June 4.

Also, Phoenix Comicon starts today! If you’re going, don’t forget to come say hello!

-Amy

*Don’t worry. I hate spam as much as you do. I’ll only send a newsletter when there’s news to share.

“Tense and Exciting”: Kirkus reviews WHILE YOU WERE GONE

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819VTwVeSVL._SL1500_
On sale August 4.
Pre-order your copy today!

The first professional review of WHILE YOU WERE GONE is out, and…

It’s good! 

*big relieved-author exhale*

Kirkus calls the novel “tense and exciting throughout”, and says it’s “lots of fun on multiple levels”.

But what really made me happy about this review was what they had to say about the characters.

“Danny and Eevee have off-the-charts chemistry.”

“The nonromantic storylines—Eevee’s competition for a shot at a foreign art school placement and Danny’s quick immersion in his parallel self’s light rebellion via graffiti—allow the characters to develop outside of their romance.”

Huzzah! Strong characters, just like in NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE.

This totally made my day. Heck, this made my weekend.

To read the full review (Caution: Spoilers!), visit WHILE YOU WERE GONE | Kirkus.

WHILE YOU WERE GONE hits shelves August 4. 

Pre-order your copy from Amazon, or select the bookseller of your choice.

 

Time to Break the Rules: A theme song for WHILE YOU WERE GONE

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So, I get in my car yesterday to pick up the kiddos from school and a song I’ve never heard before comes on the radio. It starts off with acoustic guitar and then some really cool chord progressions. I’m intrigued. I turn it up. Then the lyrics start, and I realize I’m listening to the perfect theme song for WHILE YOU WERE GONE.

The song is “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. Have a listen:

“It’s our time to make a move
It’s our time to make amends
It’s our time to break the rules
Let’s begin…”

819VTwVeSVL._SL1500_Yeah, that’s pretty much Danny and Eevee in WHILE YOU WERE GONE. In the parallel world, society is at a breaking point, and Danny and Eevee find themselves in a position to potentially push it over the edge. But at what cost?

The really mind bendy part about the song thing is that almost the exact same thing happened just before the first book, NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE, hit the shelves. I love when that happens.

If you’re interested in finding out what Danny and Eevee get up to in WHILE YOU WERE GONE, pre-order your copy today!

IndieBound
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

And if you haven’t read NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE, the book that started it all,  you can purchase a copy at any of these booksellers.


In other news, I wanted to let you know that in the coming days I’m going to be moving my blog to function as part of my actual website (amyknichols.com).  For too long they’ve been separate entities, and I think it’s time they play together. The transition should be seamless (fingers crossed). If you noticed a sudden change in format and appearance, you’ll know why. If you follow or subscribe to this blog, you should have no problems continuing to do so at its new location. Just a heads up.

As always, thanks for reading and coming along with me on this journey.

Cover Reveal: THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

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I’m excited to be part of a cover reveal for my fellow YA Outside the Lines blogger, Jennifer Salvato Doktorski. Her new novel, THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in Spring 2015, and the cover is soooooo nice.

But before we get to the reveal, here’s a little about the book:

Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it’s not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Ready to see the cover?

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TH SUMMER AFTER_CVR_Highres

Isn’t it pretty? Congratulations, Jen!

Be sure to add THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME to your Goodreads bookshelf:

And here’s where you can find Jen online:

www.jendoktorski.com

Twitter: @jdoktorski

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jendoktorski