Victoria Schwab's Blog, page 8
February 14, 2013
Oh my goodness, I’ve been such a delinquent blogger.
The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. From the Nashville launch party on the 1st, where I got this AMAZING gift…
…to an amazing Malaprop’s event on the second, where I made this face, which apparently I make a lot…
…I was home for a mere two and a half days before heading to NYC.
NYC involved a school visit, a Teen Author Reading Night, and the scariest part…a SOLO EVENT.
A SOLO EVENT.
AT BOOKS OF WONDER.
I was terrified that no one would come (solo events are scary, because it’s all on you, and this was my very. first. one) and then the day before the northeast was hit with a MASSIVE WINTER STORM and I spent most of the hours leading up watching the weather and resigning myself to the fact I’d be making book forts with my housemates.
And then the feared hour came, and…people came.
Like, a lot of people came. Between publishing professionals–editors, agent friends, author friends–and bloggers, and friends of friends, enough people came that they had to sit on the floor and gather at the back, and little by little my fear dissolved (or at least, stopped showing), and from what I’ve been told (I have a REALLY hard time remembering what comes out of my mouth when I’m nervous), it was a wonderful event. Goodness knows, I had a BLAST, and spent the rest of the day giddy from relief and joy.
The next day, I said goodbye-for-nows to my housemates and city friends, and trained out to PA to hang out with one of my closests, Tiffany Schmidt, and prep for the epic shenanigans of the following day.
On Monday, Tiffany, K.M. Walton, April Lindner, Jonathan Maberry and I trekked to a middle school, a high school, a library, and then a bookstore!
One of my favorite moments was encountering an uber fan at the high school. She sat down in the audience and proceeded to say, “Oh my god, oh my god, I’m sitting across from Victoria Schwab. Hi Victoria Schwab, oh my god this is cool…” and it was kind of the most adorable thing ever.
Over all, it was an exhausting, delightful day, and the greatest highlight probably came at the final event, at Children’s Book World, when a nun came up to me, clutching THE ARCHIVED, and said she’d heard about me because of Neil Gaiman on Twitter. That might have been the coolest collision of elements ever.
And the next morning it was back to the airport, and home, where I promptly got sick (this ALWAYS HAPPENS ARGH).
I also came home with a cover for the ARCHIVED sequel (I cannot wait to show you), a new book idea (I cannot wait to write it), a notion of what VICIOUS’s cover will look like (I cannot wait to see it),
One of the things that made the NYC/PA trip so delightful was that it was the first time in nearly six months I didn’t have multiple books on multiple looming deadlines. What a joy to be able to breathe and savor the experiences rather than fretting about how to steal an hour to work.
So, what’s next? Well, this weekend I will be in St. Louis for what might be the coolest event yet. You guys, I’m at the St. Louis County Library on Saturday night…with Ally Carter.
ALLY FREAKING CARTER, KIDS.
I can’t even.
In the meantime I’m loading up on vitamins and minerals and chicken soup. And hopefully the next time I post, I’ll have some insightful things to say, but at the moment, I’m still a little flaily from NYC and a little sick from this stupid cold, so forgive the recap of mischief.
OH OH. Before I forget. The YA2U campaign ends TOMORROW, so if you haven’t entered your city yet, do it!!! The pie chart on the site has shifted A LOT this past week!
LASTLY, I just want to say thank you. I know I’ve been saying it a lot lately, but it doesn’t diminish its propriety. THE ARCHIVED has been out three weeks now, and the continued influx of reviews, ratings, pictures, and messages has brought so much light to my life.
Carry on, lovelies.
January 30, 2013
We made it through release week! Now this doesn’t mean all the work is done and TA will just drift off on an infinite current, but right now it feels like something to be grateful for.
So before I say anything else, I just want to say thank you. To everyone who’s tweeted, bought, gifted, shared, whispered, or shouted, thanks. It doesn’t just make a dent. It makes a book. There’s a certain amount of fear (And a certain amount of letting go) that comes with hitting that first week on shelves mark. You have to trust, if not in an infinite current, at least in a one that lasts awhile, so every time someone reviews the book, or spreads the word in any way and adds to that current, it gives me hope.
ANYWAY. There I go feelings feels again. Let’s move on.
Yesterday, to celebrate the fact THE ARCHIVED was finally available in ALL formats (the digital one was delayed a week due to technical difficulty), Disney*Hyperion and I did a little Twitter chat, and I thought I would post some of the transcript here, for those who missed it and might be interested.
D*H: How does it feel to have ARCHIVED out in the world??
V: SURREAL. This book has been in the works for 4 yrs. Every time I see a pic of it w/ a reader or in the wild, my heart flutters.
V: Like, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I get fluttery. And people have made release week SUCH a shiny thing, cheering with me.
Reader: What was your inspiration for the library?
V: A morgue. W/ those little nametags. I thought, wow, there would be a lot of bodies. And then I thought there would be a lot of MEMORIES in those bodies.
D*H: Mackenzie “Mac” Bishop is a complicated main character – broken, sad, courageous – tell us a little about how you created her?
V: I wanted an MC who was very strong but far from perfect. Mac’s no saint. She’s flawed, full of cracks. Not an ideal. She’s real.
V: She’s a product of this strange environment and trying to exist in a normal world and struggling to keep her selves separate.
Reader: How much of the book did you have plotted out before writing? How much uncovered as you began to write?
V: I’m a connect-the-dotser. I need to know 5-6 specific plot points, and discover the lines between.
Reader: How did you come up with the concept of people lying on shelves like books where you can flip through their histories?
V: It was strangely intuitive, the concept. I mean, this is what lives ARE. Stories. And to me, the scariest part…of death is the idea that we spend a life gathering knowledge/memories, and lose them. The Archive was my solution.
Reader: How much do you know before you start writing?
V: When I start planning, I have a setting. And conflict. When I start WRITING, I have the rest.
Reader: What are some of your favorite books that are in any way similar to The Archived?
V: I love Neil Gaiman. It’s no secret I love the idea of strange worlds overlapping normal ones.
Reader: Why does Mac call her grandad Da? What was the influence?
V: In retrospect, the name Da was HIGHLY problematic bc some confused with Dad. But that was always his nickname. He didn’t FEEL like “granddad” or “Papa”.
Reader: Have you ever considered doing a novella featuring Da in his early days?
V: I have considered SEVERAL shorter pieces, including one for Da and one for Roland
D*H: The #Archived is YA, right? But in some ways it’s not. Do you consider the tropes/conventions of the genre when you’re writing?
V: It is, but its themes aren’t classic YA. It asks strange/complicated/metaphysical Qs, ones that don’t always have a RIGHT answer.
V: I like gray worlds (not black and white, good and evil). This is a world that makes the reader think, and question.
V: I would say I’m aware of the tropes/conventions, but I don’t gravitate toward them. In fact, I tend to turn and go the other way.
V: EX. there are two boys in TA. Neither is a love interest. There’s a like interest, and a lust interest, but this isn’t a triangle.
V: And Mackenzie Bishop is not a hero. She’s not an ANTI-hero, either. She has light gray moments, and dark gray moments.
Reader: Do u make a point to write everyday or just when inspiration strikes?
V: I try to write every day (these days with deadlines I have to).
Reader: Did you know who the “villan” was at the beginning or did you discover it?
V: I always knew who the villain was.
Reader: How many books are planned for the #Archived series?
V: There are at least two books in the Archived series…but Let’s be real, kids. I want enough books that one day we can call it the “Collected Works of Mackenzie Bishop”
Reader: Were the nods to Tennant (the converses, the hair) deliberate, or am I just a fangirl?
V: There are THREE nods to Doctor Who in THE ARCHIVED. Two of them–crack in wall, Roland–are intentional…one of them–the library–was accidental!
Reader: Is there a backstory for Roland? I feel like he had a lot of heartbreak in the past (much like Ten).
V: Yes, Roland has a backstory. You get glimpses throughout the series.
D*H: What’s your best advice for aspiring writers?
V: My BEST advice for writers is to BE BRAVE. Make sure your want always outweighs your fear.
V: This is an industry with A LOT of rejection. Dozens of doors to get through. If you want in, be brave enough to keep knocking.
Reader: Did you base any other characters (besides Roland) on people? Like Da or Mac? their relationship seemed so real.
V: Roland is the only one who is a direct nod to another FICTIONAL character (the Doctor).
V: I borrow personality traits from people–defense mechanisms, body language, quirks–but not whole people.
V: If I insert real people into my books, I start to feel an obligation to the fact, not the fiction.
D*H: Sum up THE ARCHIVED in ONE tweet!
V: Girl works for library where dead are shelved like books, returning those that wake/escape, until one fugitive changes everything.
January 28, 2013
I had a reader come up to me at an event this past weekend and ask me how I’d feel about someone taking THE ARCHIVED and continuing the story once I’m done.
“Like fan fiction?” I asked.
She shook her head. “No,” she said, “I mean, like, write more books with Mac and Wes. To sell.”
“Well,” I tried to explain, “I hope the story will feel done. And in the end, those are *my* characters. I’m happy for people to write fan fiction, but I wouldn’t want to see it on shelves.”
“But if other people want the story to continue,” she said, “and you don’t want to write more, why not give the world to someone else?”
This question is indicative of a mental state being developed not only by writers, but readers in the current book climate.
It’s no secret that the hottest books selling right now started out as fan fiction. It’s no secret because it’s plastered all over the internet, and in the stores. Some books own it, and some books would rather not. The latter claim that while they might have had the seeds of their story in another (and really, aren’t most books inspired by elements of one sort or another) their stories no longer resemble their inspiration.
But if the fan fiction truly no longer bears resemblance to the original work, then why call it fan fiction? The answer insofar as I can tell is to capitalize on the fan fiction’s *audience*. But then, if you want the audience, you must also take the stigma. You can’t capitalize on the audience without being attached to it.
By glorifying a story’s origins in fan fiction, we are encouraging a creative world without clear delineation, where an author’s characters no longer belong to them.
And I think it’s being complicated by other endeavors–such as the Cassie Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson collaboration–that encourage the communal nature of a story. It’s so hard because we as writers WANT people to feel they are a part of our worlds, that those worlds belong as much to them as us, but at the end of the day, we are the creators of them, and the intellectual property owners (I’m actually fascinated by that collaboration, but the primary difference at the end of the day is that Clare is collaborating WITH the other two, and has given them permission).
Back to the topic of fan fiction being pulled to print…
I don’t take issue with the stories themselves. I take issue with the glorification of their ORIGIN stories.
If the stories themselves are well-written and appeal to the masses, then let them do those things on their own merit. But the continuing emphasis on how those stories got started blurs what I still consider to be a very important line.
Fan fiction is fan fiction.
January 23, 2013
I wanted to blog yesterday, when THE ARCHIVED hit shelves, but when I opened up the blank post template, I couldn’t do it. I felt so many things–those scattered, shimmering snow globe glitter kind of feelings–and for someone who is supposedly good at putting them in words, I had none.
This has been such a journey, one with its fair share of highs and lows and highs again, and when I think about how far my little book has come, and all the people who’ve come with it, and all the people who will now be able to, it leaves me without air, let alone words.
This book has been my book for so long, and now it’s yours.
I’ve done everything I can to help it succeed.
And now it’s up to you.
If you can, buy a copy.
If you love it, spread the word.
Because that’s how books find their way. By love and voice. Mine can only reach so far. But together, we can give The Archived its chance.
Believe it or not, The Archived started out as a small book with big dreams. It’s already come so far because of your excitement, your support, your belief. And mine. I believe in this book with all my heart. If you can help it, please, please do.
Happy birthday, little book.
January 21, 2013
Soooo…THE ARCHIVED hits shelves tomorrow.
As in, it’s only a day away I might be freaking out we can count in hours instead of days TOMORROW.
But before the book officially hits shelves (it’s showing up a few places already!), I have a few things I want to mention.
THE DIGITAL DELAY:
I spoke about this online on Friday, but I know it will be impossible to reach everyone through one medium, so I’m posting here, too. The digital version of THE ARCHIVED got pushed back from the 22nd to the 29th because it wasn’t registering properly.
I’m really upset–I know a lot of people preordered TA for their devices looking forward to a midnight release–BUT you must trust me when I say it’s better to wait a week for a lovely, readable copy of the book than get a broken version on time.
THE ARCHIVED’S FIRST WEEK:
A book’s first week on shelves is really, really important, not just to the author, but to the publisher. Everyone is looking very closely at numbers, and even though the patterns have shifted slightly, spreading out so that a book doesn’t have to spike right out the gate, or even be its strongest in the first week, that’s still what everyone WANTS to see. Myself included. Because, you know, I’d like to keep writing books (well, right now I’d like to sleep, but in the big picture, more books happy V).
Things you can do to support a book on release week:
–Buy the book in-store or online
This is the most straightforward way to help a book’s sales. Plus, you guys, it’s a really pretty book. I mean, I know I’m biased, but did you SEE the vlog? Soft matte finish, black and silver end papers, I could go on. BUT I know not everyone can afford to run out and buy a copy, so here are a few other things you can do that REALLY help.
–Call a bookstore and make sure they’re stocking the book.
–Order/put a hold on it at your local library (these holds often translate to more copies being ordered!)
–If you’ve read the book and reviewed it on a site like GR, upload those reviews to Amazon/BN
You guys, please, please, please do this.
–Spread the word online
Run! Shout! Wave your hands! Tweet! Pin it! Every little bit counts when it comes to buzz, and these days, the biggest generators of buzz are YOU.
SHADES OF EARTH WINNER:
The winner of the signed copy of SOE is…jovialvampyre!
I think that’s all I have for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with RELEASE DAY FLAIL!!!
January 14, 2013
You guys! Today is a very special day!
Today, the final book in Beth Revis’s amazing ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series, SHADES OF EARTH, is finally on shelves!!!
This book. This series. My feelings. Beth’s epicness.
It’s a widely known fact that I love Beth, and I love these books, and I’m so thrilled for her, and so honored that I get to spend release day celebrating with her IN PERSON!
That’s right, we’ll be in Morganton, NC this afternoon (4-7pm) to help launch the final installment in the series*, along with epic authors Megan Miranda, Jessica Khoury, and Alexandra Duncan (and there will be copies of THE ARCHIVED there! My first event for it!)
You should all come, but if you can’t, be sure to wish Beth a very happy book birthday on Twitter (@bethrevis).
AND to celebrate SHADES OF EARTH’s release, I’m going to give away a signed copy from today’s event!!! Pretty cool, right?
Want to win, right?
To enter, simply leave a comment below, and make sure I have some way of contacting you! The contest will run till 9PM EST on Friday!
Lastly, if spending release day with Beth and giving away a signed book wasn’t cool enough, Beth was awesome enough to make a MAKING HISTORY video for you all!
Watch, enter to win, and don’t forget to shower Beth in release day sparkles!
January 10, 2013
There were more than 90 applications for 10 spots.
You guys, I spent HOURS trying to whittle down the list. I enlisted help. I angsted. I cut names. I added them back. The fact is, all 90 would have made WONDERFUL Keepers. In the end, I had to consider several factors, from experience to the answers given to geographic location. I needed a spectrum of Keepers with a variety of strengths.
In the end, I narrowed the list to 16. That’s as close to 10 as I could get it.
Without further delay, here are the first Keepers of the Archive:
Megan – Charlotte, NC
Kate – Buford, GA
Kenzie – Albany, NY
Rachel – Lake Tapps, WA
Cade – West Covina, CA
Rachel – Athens, OH
Nicole – NYC, NY
Becky – Omaha, NE
Lane – Portland/Tucson
Jill – Reading, MA
Jen – Houston, TX
Dulcy – Lake Mary, FL
Bethany – West Warwick, RI
MaryAnn/Gabby – Winnipeg
Michelle – Toronto
Jessica R. – Ottawa
To the 16 chosen, you will be receiving an email from me with further instructions. You’ve been given the chance to be Keepers, but now you’ll have to earn your book and your key.
To the 74 who weren’t chosen, you’ll also be receiving an email from me. I’ll be asking for your mailing addresses, so I can send you a set of 10 signed bookmarks. You all had so many great ideas for spreading the word, and I hope you’ll still support the book, even though I wasn’t able to add you to the street team *right now*.
The reason I keep emphasizing the *right now* is because I am really hoping the Keepers will grow as the series goes on! While I’ll only be starting with these 16, you’ll have another chance to join the Archive before the sequel is released *and* if one of these 16 is unable to perform their duties, I’ll enlist new Keepers from those who didn’t make the list, but stuck by me.
Until the emails go out to both sets, I just want to say thank you. You are ALL wonderful, and I feel totally honored and humbled that so many people wanted to support the book, and me.
January 4, 2013
Mackenzie Bishop is a Keeper. Now you can be one, too. You may not be able to hunt down Histories, but you can still work for the Archive.
If you think you have what it takes, fill out the form below.
The Archive will only be taking applications for ONE WEEK.
Next Friday, TEN potential Keepers will be selected. Yes, only ten. Those ten initiates will be given be given a list of FIVE tasks. They will need to perform THREE of the five in order to be inducted into the Archive.
If they fail, a new Keeper will be selected and given the chance to take their place. Only the strongest, most dedicated will succeed.
As each Keeper succeeds, they will be given…
1. A signed first-edition copy of THE ARCHIVED
2. A personal letter of acknowledgment
3. A Keeper’s Key necklace. There are only 10.
A KEEPER’S DUTIES
These days, word of mouth is more important than ever, and the Archive needs your help. I need your help. I need people to get the word out, to whisper in ears, and sometimes shout.
So I’m employing the Keepers.
Sometimes the ways you can help will be clear–like RTing an announcement, or passing out bookmarks–but other times it will be up to you to show your Archive spirit.
I’m looking for passionate, creative thinkers.
And rest assured, my Keepers will be rewarded. First looks at new covers, new material, indefinite swag, and a dozen smaller ways I’ll show my thanks. My Keepers will truly be my team.
Think you’re ready?
January 1, 2013
Happy New Year, lovelies!!! I can’t believe it’s 2013 (at last, at last). I can’t believe it’s January! I can’t believe THE ARCHIVED comes out in three! weeks!
I have to save some exclamation points, though, because today, I have something else to share with you. A secret! But secrets secrets are no fun, so here’s one to share with everyone!!!
You guys, I’ve been dying to talk about this for months. Months, I say! And it’s finally time to share!!
What am I talking about???
Well, this spring, five authors (myself included) are…
Bringing YA to You (or YA2U for short) was a project that came from YOU–all of you who have ever said, “Why won’t a book tour make a stop in my hometown?”
Well, that’s what we want to do! We’re hosting a contest–everyone gets to put in whatever city they most want us to go to, and whatever town has the most votes, will get an exclusive tour stop from all five of us!
And that’s not all–we’re also hosting another contest where, if you help us spread the word, we’ll give you ten signed books, all the books we five have published so far!
In short, you could win a tour stop in your hometown from five award-winning and best-selling YA authors or ten signed books direct from the authors!
Sounds fun, yes?
You can find the full details of the YA2U project here: http://ya2u.blogspot.com and you can also go ahead and enter your hometown for the win and help spread the word. There’s also lots of cool features on the site, including downloadable posters (consider putting them up in your school or library!) and other tips on how to win.
Remember, the more votes you can drum up in your city, the better chance we’ll be coming to YOU.
But that’s not all. I said that there were five of us, and I bet you’re wondering who the other four authors are!!
If you CLICK RIGHT HERE you’ll discover the identity of another one of the authors! On their blog, you’ll find the link to another, and so on!!
Well, are you excited????
Then go enter! And spread the word!
December 21, 2012
It’s the 22nd of December, and that means there’s only one month till THE ARCHIVED.
If you’ve been following this blog for more than a month, you know that I’ve been doing a series of countdown giveaways (starting at the 6-month mark!) and today should be the last giveaway!
But here’s the thing.
A couple days ago, THIS HAPPENED:
And between my SQUEEEEEEING over finished copies, and the ongoing Making History series, I feel like I’ve been really…loud. I try to maintain a balance online between promotion and everything that’s not promotion, and I’ve felt myself leaning too hard toward the former. And because things are going to necessarily get loud and necessarily swing more toward promo shortly, I want to catch my breath while I still can.
It’s the holidays, and I want to take some time to be quiet, and reflect, be with family, prepare for the new year, and focus on deadlines (oh, you ever-present evil things).
Because of that, and because my last giveaway is arguably my biggest, I’m going to hold it for a couple weeks. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll run it at the three week mark, or the two week mark, but I promise that I WILL HAVE ONE.
Just not this week.
And if for some reason I’m not back on here before year’s end, I just want to wish you all the HAPPIEST of holidays. You’re all wonderful, and you brighten my year, and I hope the rest of yours is filled with joy and warmth and cheer.
[That rhymed, and I'm not even going to fix it.]
All my love, lovelies.
PS. A reminder! If seeing the finished copy of THE ARCHIVED has you wanting to preorder your copy, remember that if you do preorder (through ANY outlet), and email me proof (vschwab at comcast dot net) I will send you signed goodies!