Amy Garvey's Blog, page 4

October 3, 2011

Cold Kiss is ababy I didn't plan.
It feels that way, anyway. One night, one random remark, alittle bit of wine, and bam – conception.
I wasn't entirely unprepared. I'd written books before, andpublished before, and even worked on the other side of the desk for years,wearing a couple of different hats (editorial assistant, freelance copy editor,freelance copywriter, acquiring editor). And that gave me perspective about theroad to publication that a lot of authors don't have when they're firststarting out.  
Coming from it at that angle, Cold Kiss seemed like a bad idea. A book destined to be thetroubled child who would never move out, and steal my lipsticks and find myhidden stash of chocolate, and finally run off with some snarling guy on amotorcycle just to break my heart into even tinier pieces.
Here were the things stacked against me, as I saw it. 1)      I'donly written for children or teens in limited ways, on both occasions under adifferent name. 2)      Oneof those occasions was a ghostwriting gig, which sort of doesn't count.Ghostwriting is all about imitating someone else's voice, and writing his orher idea, not your own. 3)      I'dwritten a couple of fairly steamy contemporary romances. Would YA publisherswant anything to do with me? 4)      Cold Kiss is weird! Come on, there's a zombie. And not exactly your traditionalhappy ending, either.
But my fantastic agent, Maureen, thought we could give it atry. No promises, she said. Especially no promises I could sell it on proposal(rather than a completed manuscript). I went back to brainstorming a fewromance ideas and taking freelance work, wondering what would happen, but notcounting any chickens. Not even lookingat chickens. We were a chicken-free household there for a while.
Boy, was I surprised. I've never been so glad to be wrong inmy life.
There's a lesson in that. I was writing a book I desperatelywanted to write. A book I talked about so often and in so much depth, everyoneI knew was probably desperate for me to write it, too, just so I would shut up.
Young adult fiction was my first love. The first novel Iever completed is one of those highly autobiographical, highly embarrassingefforts that will live forever in a box under my bed. Children's and youngadult books are some of my all-time favorites, and some of the books thatresonated deepest with me when I was growing up. YA is what I've always wantedto write, and Wren's story was one that crystallized a lot of growing up for me(even though I did not ever bring a boyfriend back to life, thank goodness). I felt it in ways I'd never felt theromances I'd written, as much I love them.
Did that make a difference when it came time to submit it? Ithink so. Or maybe I'd just like to think so – it's hard to tell. But I'llalways believe that writing from your heart makes a difference. If you believein the story you're telling, your voice will be stronger, your characters will bequicker to come to life, and all of that does make a difference to anyonereading it.
And now, after two years that passed much more quickly thanI expected, Cold Kiss is actually outin the world. So I'm a proud mom, and I don't even have to hide my chocolate. [image error]
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Published on October 03, 2011 11:37 • 36 views

September 19, 2011

So today I am, of course, holed up on the bed with quilt and laptop, watching reruns of the S7 So You Think You Can Dance auditions on Ovation.


I'm trying to catch up on stuff, too -- emails, blog entries (hey, I can check that off!), laundry, and a million things that sort of got ignored while I was in the last death throes stages of revisions for the follow-up to Cold Kiss. Which comes out tomorrow! TOMORROW!

It's so unbelievable to finally say that. The day my wonderful editor offered for the book, hearing "Fall 2011" sounded like eons away. And now it's here! In stores! Online! With a cover and reviews and everything!

Feelings about this in random order:


pure joy


jittery, bone-shaking nerves


an incredible need to eat chocolate, and/or cake, or maybe both

Toss in some exhaustion, and I think that covers it.

And it doesn't stop there. I'm going on tour next month, and I'm all over the internet on a blog tour, and I'm hoping to set up some local appearances, too. All to celebrate a book I never thought I would actually get to write, about a girl who raises her boyfriend from the dead.

Incredible. There's another word for today.[image error]
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Published on September 19, 2011 12:12 • 89 views

September 12, 2011

I'm finishing revisions on the followup to Cold Kiss, doing a million other kid and house things, and coming off a weekend which included my oldest son's birthday and the sad anniversary of 9/11. I'm surprised I do remember my name, much less how to blog.

But so much is going on! The Dark Days blog tour started, and a copy of Cold Kiss (plus a short manuscript critique from me!) is being auctioned at the Read For Relief site, with all proceeds going to aid the Red Cross with victims of Hurricane Irene. (My fantastic, super-smart, adorable-as-hell editor Erica Sussman is also up for auction! Well, not her, but a critique from her. I think her husband and her cute dog would like to keep her.)  

And there's a Dark Days trailer on YouTube! The Dark Days site has all of the tour information for next month, too. Check it out on Facebook. I'm going to five cities! FIVE. That's so weird and cool, I'm not sure I really believe it yet, to be honest.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, since I forgot to put my kid to bed last night, and found her passed out with a book on the floor of her room. Did I mention I'm also up for Mother of the Year? BECAUSE I TOTALLY AM.

Stay tuned for another giveaway, a final teaser before the book comes out a week from tomorrow (I really don't believe that, even though I have all those gorgeous books right here next to me), and more fun stuff in the next few weeks.

First, though, more caffeine. Chocolate has caffeine in it, right? (I'm going to go with YES.)

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Published on September 12, 2011 17:19 • 36 views

September 8, 2011

And some swag to give away, too...

See the lips down there? Blue lip tattoos, i.e. cold kisses! And some icy blue lipstick, too. For, uh, the zombie look? I don't know, but it seemed cool when I bought it. 
And a few readers will be the lucky recipients of my weirdo impulse shopping! More on that soon. 
Meanwhile, look at the Prettiest Book Ever (TM). True facts, people. 
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Published on September 08, 2011 08:34 • 36 views

September 7, 2011

I've been writing so much content for the two blog tours I'm doing, and I have to say, the YA bloggers out there are really creative. Great questions! Even though no one yet has asked where to send my pony. I'll let it slide for now, I guess.

Meanwhile, new giveaway! A signed and annotated galley of Cold Kiss, along with some extra goodies! To enter (U.S. only, please) all you have to do is go to my Facebook author page and "like" it. Then leave a comment on my wall with your email address, and I'll be in touch with the winner on Saturday.

Easy, right? Right. Bring your friends, too! The more the merrier.

And now to go take pictures of my lovely finished copies of Cold Kiss, which got put aside last week during the Death Throes of Sinus Infection. (I asked my doctor, and she agreed that that was the official name.)[image error]
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Published on September 07, 2011 11:29 • 22 views

September 6, 2011

Time for another teaser, and this time -- for real, barring natural disasters and acts of god and, like, another sinus infection -- there will be another giveaway, too! But first, read some more about Wren's growing feelings for Gabriel ... 
"Wren,let me help, okay? I could do some research. I don't want you to go throughthis alone. And I really don't want you to get hurt."      He's serious, and everything about thedefined angles of his body is softer now. But I can't help blurting, "God, whydo you care?"        He flinches as if I slapped him. "Isn't itobvious? I noticed you before Ipicked up on your power, Wren."      That shouldn't feel as good as it does, abright hot pulse in my chest. It doesn't matter if Gabriel likes me, and itreally doesn't matter if I like Gabriel. There's Danny to think about. AlwaysDanny.      I don't know what to say, so I stand thereblinking instead, and finally Gabriel gives up and takes a step toward meagain. I don't back up this time, even though I do have to tilt my head to lookhim in the eye. Why are the only boys who like me always so tall?      "I saw you,Wren," Gabriel says, and his voice is so soft, a feather drifting on the air,that I close my eyes to listen. "I saw this girl with these dark eyes and thiscrazy hair and this fuck you look on her face, and I wanted to talk to you."      I laugh and open my eyes. "Wow. Smooth."      He smirks, his wide mouth twisting to oneside, and shrugs a little. "It's true. You don't look like everybody else, andthat's a good thing."      "At least the outside and the insidematch," I say, and let myself move just a little closer. I can't helpmyself——my life has become a series of balls I'm trying to keep in the air, andI can't hold onto any of them long enough.      I want to hold on to Gabriel.       My hands find his forearms, and I tangle myfingers in the worn cotton of his sleeves. Another kick of energy washesthrough me, warm and bright, and the air shimmers around us. I want so much, somuch I can't have, so much I'm not supposed to even think about.      But I stretch up anyway, trembling, hearingthe echo of Gabriel's voice: I saw you. Isaw you. Inever thought I wanted to be seen like that, so completely. I didn't think itwas possible, after keeping so many secrets for so long. It's amazing how goodit feels.      When I press my mouth to Gabriel's, I canfeel the shimmer, taste it, sweet, mellow gold where our lips touch, aslow-blooming heat that twines around us like vines. And it's so bittersweet,so much like that long-ago first kiss with Danny, I break away with a jerk.      "I have to go," I manage to get out, andthen I'm scrambling, pushing away from Gabriel's outstretched hands and thesound of his voice to grab my stuff and run. 
Check in later for details about the giveaway! 
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Published on September 06, 2011 09:55 • 31 views

August 31, 2011

I'm late again! Yesterday is sort of a blur at this point -- too many errands and too much catching up on too many things. (And apparently today is about too many Ts.)

But I do have another quick excerpt to share, and another giveaway to announce tomorrow! Read on ...

"So," he finally says, and takes a deep breath. "You raised your boyfriend from the dead."      I wince. "I had nothing to do that night?"     "Wren, it's not funny."     I groan and sink back into the sofa, tilting my head back to stare at the ceiling. There's a stain on the plaster in the shape of a rabbit's foot. Does that mean Gabriel is going to bring me good luck? I doubt it.         "I know it's not funny, okay? I know exactly how funny it isn't, and I've known since that night. It just hurt so much, Gabriel, you don't even know. And I ..." I stop and twist my head to look him in the eye. "I'm not sure I really expected it to work, you know? I mean, I did, but I didn't. And I definitely didn't think about what would happen afterwards. All I wanted was to see him again, touch him again. When he appeared in the graveyard, I thought my heart would stop. I hadn't even thought about what would happen next, you know? And now ..." My voice trails off in the silence, a little wisp of sound that shames me.      "Now you have your dead boyfriend living in your neighbor's garage."
Giveaway details to come tomorrow! In the meantime, I'm going to open the box of shiny new FINISHED BOOKS that just arrived. I wish I thought to kiss the UPS man. [image error]
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Published on August 31, 2011 10:03 • 28 views

August 29, 2011

Athina! Expect an email shortly.

So many great comments! You guys are excited about a lot of great things. Thanks so much for entering, and apologies for the delay in announcing the winner -- between family stuff and Irene, the last few days have been a little crazy.

We didn't lose power for as long as we could have, and it turns out playing Lord of the Rings Monopoly by candlelight is not a bad way to spend an evening (especially when you're DESTROYING the other players with your awesome real estate purchases -- who knew Bag End and Farmer Maggot's could be such moneymakers?!). Reading, however, is better by booklight. Less flickery.

More excerpts and another contest to come this week. Stay tuned ...[image error]
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Published on August 29, 2011 08:44 • 31 views

August 24, 2011

This has been the busiest month I can remember in ... a long time. I turned in the followup to Cold Kiss, then my son's best friend was here for a week. Then we had torrential rains and water dripping through the light switch in the kitchen, which is very much Not a Good Thing. My grandmother died, my brother went through a really hard time, and all of a sudden we're scrambling to get everyone ready to go back to school.

Some days I just want to curl up with a Project Runway marathon and Pirate Booty and a giant Hershey bar. Or two. But in the background of all that has been the incredible support I've found online and in person for the coming release of Cold Kiss. 

It's still a little unreal to me that so many people are excited about the book, and that people who have already read it have liked it! It seems like forever ago that my agent called to tell me HarperTeen was interested, and now we're just weeks away from Cold Kiss on shelves. In actual bookstores! Not just the ones in my imagination!  And I'm going on tour, with four fabulous authors. Tour! That's, like, rock star stuff. I'm still not sure I actually believe that one.

And with that rambling lead-in, I do have another giveaway to announce! It's easy, too. Simply take a look at my last post  and leave me a comment (including your email address) telling me something you're excited for in the weeks to come. Doesn't matter what -- it could be a new flavor of Ben and Jerry's, or the next full moon, or Robert Pattinson actually turning into a vampire. Just tell me something that's going to make you happy.

Leave comments on that post, and on Saturday morning, I'll announce the winner of a signed galley of Cold Kiss, and a few special extras. I'll get in touch with the winner personally via email.

One note: U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY, please. Sorry about that, international friends, but I didn't know I'm not supposed to send galleys out of the country. Oops.

So enter! And tell your friends! And if you have extra Pirate Booty or Hershey bars, you know where to send them...

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Published on August 24, 2011 10:35 • 33 views

August 23, 2011

So it looks like I miscounted -- today is actually five weeks from the release of Cold Kiss. (Let's just call last week practice.) In celebration, another teaser! And later I'll announce a new contest ...

I slide into my seat in homeroom and nod at Meg D'Angelo, who still has her iPod earbuds in. She nods back, same way she does every morning——we've known each other since third grade, and she's one of those sort-of friends, someone I hang out with at school when Jess and Darcia aren't around.Of course, I haven't seen them much at all since Danny died in July, and while Jess has gotten angrily vocal about it over the last few weeks, Darcia just stares at me sadly across the row that separates us in World Lit and sends me cryptic texts about new songs she likes or her little brother's soccer games. At least Meg doesn't look at me like I've disappointed her. I slouch down to get my French notebook out of my backpack while Mr. Rokozny calls roll. Madame Hobart is quizzing us on the imperfect tense today, and I fell asleep watching a rerun of some reality show before I even thought about studying.  I raise my hand silently when Mr. Rokozny calls my name, and it's only when he pauses after Cleo Darnell's name to say, "Gabriel DeMarnes?" that I look up.Twenty-two pairs of eyes are trained on the kid in the very back of the room. Even Rokozny is squinting at him from above the morning's roll. This far into October, it's weird to find a new kid in homeroom. "That's me," the boy says, and Audrey Diehl sits up a little straighter, head tilted in appreciation. He's tall——I can tell even though he's hunched over his desk, because his legs go on pretty much forever, kicked out into the faded linoleum of the aisle. His hair is the color of clean sand, and even short it's sort of messy. He's all angles, planes, a geometry proof of a boy in a wrinkled yellow button-down and faded jeans, and when I drag my gaze away from the long, slender fingers splayed loose over his thigh, I blink in surprise. Because even with everyone in the room checking him out, he's staring right at me. [image error]
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Published on August 23, 2011 08:12 • 25 views