“I Wish I’d Known…”: Advice for Debut Authors, Part 2

Members of the Sweet Sixteens share what they’ve learned in their debut year.

Read Part 1.

Kristy Acevedo, author of Consider and Contribute

Kristy Acevedo   Kristy Acevedo Consider   contribute

Find her online at kristyacevedo.com

“I wish I had known how exhausting and amazing publishing my debut book would be. Since I teach high school full-time, I wasn’t prepared for how much additional time would be spent on things like editing, marketing, and emailing. I learned how crucial it is how to manage my personal time to de-stress and enjoy the journey. Also, the relationships I made with other writers were absolutely essential in surviving the rough times.”

 

Melanie Conklin, author of Counting Thyme

Melanie_conklin   COUNTING THYME

Find her online at www.melanieconklin.com

“I wish I’d known that the writing community is so supportive of debut authors. Do not be shy about reaching out to established authors as you figure out the ropes of being an author. You’re not alone, even though it may feel like it at times. Publishing is a team sport!”

 

Christian McKay Heidicker, author of Cure for the Common Universe

Christian McKay Heidicker    Cure for the Common Universe

Find him online at www.cmheidicker.com

“I wish I’d known to start working on your next project as soon as possible. The day after that final draft is turned in. There are rough waters ahead. No matter how successful you are. There will be bad reviews. There will be repetitive questions. Having another arrow in your quiver is the best way to distract yourself. If you get a bad review, fine. You’ve got something different on the way. If you get bogged down describing your book for the 217th time, you’ll still have a spark in your eye. Something more exciting is on the way.”

 

Robin Reul, author of My Kind of Crazy

Robin Reul   mY KIND OF CRAZY

Find her online at www.robinreul.com

“I wish I’d known that marketing my book was like a full-time job all by itself, especially while trying to simultaneously write my next one. You can’t solely rely on your publisher to promote your book and getting the word out in person and on social media via interviews, blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, etc. can be extremely time consuming and costly. It’s helpful to focus on outlets that will get you the largest exposure and to be discerning with your energies so you don’t lose your ability to focus on your writing!”

 

Robin Yardi, author of The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez

Robin Yardi   WAR

Find her online at robinyardi.com

“I wish I’d known that I wouldn’t know what I wish I had known. That after a book with good reviews and awards I would still feel like a beginner. That writing the second book would feel as hard as the first, but that it wouldn’t matter, because I’d do it anyway. Write that next hard book. Writers are like crazy marathon runners. Not the one and done kind, but the kind that run a race or two every year for the rest of our lives. While our intellectual tendons creak and our emotional toes turn black, we keep writing.”

 

Printable Release Calendar for April!

Here’s our handy printable release calendar to help you keep track of all the sweet April debuts coming at you soon!

Click here for the April 2016 calendar in .pdf format

calenderApril

Thanks to our printable calendar team: Sarah Alexander,  Jenn Nguyen, Dee Romito, Shari Schwarz, Kathy MacMillan, Randi Pink and Ava Jae!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16th Day Update

Girls_in_the_Moon_Crop jpegGIRLS IN THE MOON

Janet McNally revealed her cover for GIRLS IN THE MOON on February 10, 2016 over on Publishing Crawl.

Phoebe and Luna Ferris haven’t grown up in the spotlight, but that’s only because their mother, Meg, quit her famous band when the girls were small. She hasn’t said much about it since.

Now, Luna has a band of her own, and their still-famous dad hasn’t called in three years. The summer Phoebe turns seventeen, she goes to visit Luna in New York, determined to discover the truth about her family—and herself.

 

 

 

THE BOOMERANG EFFECTTHE BOOMERANG EFFECT

Gordon Jack held the cover reveal for his YA Contemporary, THE BOOMERANG EFFECT on February 10th.

It all started with a harmless prank.

But now high school junior (and resident stoner) Lawrence Barry is one step away from reform school unless he agrees to participate in a mentorship program. His mentee? Spencer Knudsen, a Norwegian exchange student with Spock-like intelligence but with the social skills of the periodic table. Lawrence thinks this is an easy task, but every time he and Spencer are seen together, Lawrence drops a rung or two on the school’s social ladder.

Then disaster strikes—Homecoming Week. When someone dressed as the school Viking mascot starts destroying the fairy tale–inspired floats, all suspicion falls on Lawrence. Add to the mix a demon Goth girl named Zoe, a Renaissance live action role-playing group, an overzealous yearbook editor, and three vindictive chickens, and Lawrence soon realizes that his situation may be a little out of control. But quiet, brilliant Spencer seems to have some answers. In fact, Lawrence is beginning to realize that Spencer may be the one friend he never knew he needed.

A TAIL OF CAMELOTA TAIL OF CAMELOT

Julie Leung revealed the cover for her MG debut A TAIL OF CAMELOT on February 15th on Mr Schu Reads.

Young mouse Calib Christopher dreams of the day when he will become a Knight of Camelot like his father and grandfather before him. For generations, Calib’s family has lived among the mice that dwell beneath the human Knights of the Round Table, defending the castle they all call home. Calib just hopes he will be able to live up to the Christopher name.

Then, on the night of the annual Harvest Tournament, tragedy strikes. The mice suspect the Darklings are behind the vicious sneak attack, but Calib has his doubts, so he sets off on a quest for the truth. Venturing deep into the woods beyond the castle walls, Calib and his friend Cecily discover that a threat far greater than the Darklings is gathering, and human and animal knights alike are in grave danger.

With help from a host of unlikely new allies, including a young human boy named Galahad, Calib must get the Mice of the Round Table and the Darklings to put aside their differences and fight together. Only then will they be strong enough to save Camelot.

Iron Cast_FinalIRON CAST

Destiny Soria revealed her cover for her YA Historical Fantasy IRON CAST over on Pop! Goes the Reader on February 15th.


It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths–whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art–captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite.

When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

 

 

NEW PUBLICATIONS

Dee RomitoDee Romito, author of THE BFF BUCKET LIST (Aladdin/S&S 2016), will have two middle grade books releasing next year.

ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES (Aladdin/S&S) follows A 12 year-old girl, used to flying around the country for her father’s job, who gets a chance to go to middle school for six weeks and sets out to see what she can accomplish without her VIP status.

SEVEN SIDES TO EVERY STORY (Aladdin/S&S) will be co-written with six other Aladdin authors. A middle grade novel in the format of Love, Actually, Seven Sides to Every Story is told from the perspective of seven different, but intersecting, characters. It takes place over the course of one night and is centered around a middle school dance.

You can add them on your Goodreads TBR lists using the links in this announcement!

CONFERENCES

Amy CookAmy Allgeyer, author of the contemporary YA novel DIG TOO DEEP, will be presenting a workshop on writing for children and teens as part of the Idaho Writer’s Guild Workshop Series in August 2016.

For more information, see http://idahowritersguild.blogspot.com/p/2015-workshop-series.html or www.amyallgeyer.com

 

 

 

Melissa GorzelanczykMELISSA GORZELANCZYK, author of the YA novel ARROWS, will be appearing at NoVaTEEN Book Festival in Arlington, VA, on March 5, 2016. http://novateenbookfestival.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

BEHIND THE PAGESAva Jae (BEYOND THE RED)
Janet Sumner Johnson (THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY)
Kathy MacMillan (SWORD AND VERSE)
Laura Shovan (THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY)
are joining forces for a March book tour that includes panels and presentations at the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators MD/DE/WV Regional Conference on March 19 and 20 and appearances at several schools, libraries, and bookstores in the area.

REVIEWS

26150590Peter Brown Hoffmeister’s THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU LAUGH earned a starred review from Kirkus on February 1, 2016:

It’s one tough summer in Eugene, Oregon, for Travis and his friends, “good kids with rough lives,” as Travis’ basketball coach calls them. Travis’ friend Natalie says, “This is the part where you laugh. You just have to. When things are so shitty that there’s nothing you can do, there’s no other way to react.” And the problems do pile up. Travis lives in a trailer park with his grandparents, and his grandmother is dying of cancer; his mother is a homeless heroin addict. Natalie has reason not to trust her new stepfather. Travis breaks his ribs jumping off a bridge, and his friend Malik is stabbed during a pickup basketball game. Yet the story never feels heavy or melodramatic. What might seem didactic in lesser hands feels realistic and right here. Messages are delivered in natural dialogue, the well-drawn characters speaking from the heart with wisdom derived from firsthand experience. “We keep working. We keep trying. ‘Cause fuck everyone else, you know? We just do what we do…. We keep trying hard.” And plenty of humor leavens the tale: Travis releases two 4-foot caimans into the local pond and pees on a racist neighbor’s steps, and Malik writes “dirty love letters” that Travis’ grandmother reads and loves. Travis and feisty Natalie are there for each other, and teen readers will identify with them. Travis and Natalie are white; Malik is black; poverty and love connect them. A memorable story of good kids transcending rough lives. (Fiction. 14 & up)

 

Cheryl Blackford is thrilled that her MG historical fiction novel LIZZIE AND THE LOST BABY received a fabulous review in the Wall Street Journal on the same day that over 70 people attended her launch party at The Red Balloon Bookstore in St. Paul, Minnesota (when the windchill was -25 degrees)! You can read the full WSJ review here.

WAR

Robin Yardi had three great recent reviews for THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ:

“Hooray! Booklist calls Robin Yardi’s #MGdebut, “an imaginative backyard adventure with light touches of fantasy.” http://www.booklistonline.com/The-Midnight-War-of-Mateo-Martinez-Robin-Yardi/pid=7791989

“Yes!! @PublishersWkly calls @RobinEggWrites‘s #MGdebut, THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ, “an entertaining story!” http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4677-8306-4

“THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ by @TheSweet16s author @RobinEggWrites gets a ⭐ from @KirkusReviews!!! https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/robin-yardi/the-midnight-war-of-mateo-martinez/

 

WEBSITES & RECOGNITIONS

Laura Shovan has a new website and blog. She’ll be running a daily write-along in February. This year’s theme is Found Objects. Anyone can participate on a drop-in basis. Poetry and prose are welcome.

Diana Gallagher’s contemporary young adult novel, LESSONS IN FALLING, was selected as one of the most anticipated 2016 releases by the Barnes and Noble teen blog.

FOREIGN RIGHTS:

SWORD AND VERSE by Kathy MacMillan will be published in German by Beltz.

CONTESTS

Consider-fan-art-flyer-webKristy Acevedo, author of YA sc-fi, CONSIDER has two amazing contests happening now.

Goodreads ARC giveaway–10 CONSIDER ARCs available! Win a chance to read it before everyone else. Ends March 6, 2016.

Jolly Fish Press is hosting a Fan Art Contest based on one of three passages of CONSIDER. Fabulous prizes! Ends March 31, 2016.

 

 

The Sweet Sixteens at ALA Midwinter

MW-Reg-slideMany of our members will be on hand at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting this weekend in Boston!  Here’s where to find them:

Saturday, January 9

9:00 AM-10:00 AM: Evangeline Denmark will be signing CURIO at the HarperCollins Booth (#2017)

11:00 AM: Monica Tesler, author of BOUNDERS, will be participating in a Middle Grade Fantasy Panel and Signing at the Pop Top Stage

1:30 PM-2:30 PM: Kathy MacMillan will be giving out SWORD AND VERSE swag and signing MORE STORYTIME MAGIC and her other storytime resource books at the ALA Store

1:30 PM-3:00 PM: Amy Allgeyer (DIG TOO DEEP), Elizabeth Briggs (FUTURE SHOCK), and Dana Elmendorf (SOUTH OF SUNSHINE) will be signing ARCs at the Albert Whitman Booth (#1922)

All day: Kristy Acevedo will be offering signed CONSIDER swag.  Find her on the exhibits floor!

Sunday, January 10

11:00 AM: Marieke Nijkamp, author of THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, will be participating in the We Need Diverse Books Panel at the Pop Top Stage

11:00 AM: Jennifer Mason-Black will be signing ARCs of DEVIL AND THE BLUEBIRD at the Abrams booth (#1825)

1:00 PM: Riley Redgate will be signing ARCs of SEVEN WAYS WE LIE at the Abrams booth (#1825)

11:00 AM: Emily Skrutskie will be signing ARCs of THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US at the Flux Booth (#2041)

4:00 PM: Elizabeth Briggs (FUTURE SHOCK), Dana Elmendorf (SOUTH OF SUNSHINE), Emily Martin (THE YEAR WE FELL APART), and Roshani Chokshi (THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN)  will be participating in a Class of 2k16 Panel at the Pop Top Stage

Monday, January 11

11:00 AM: Emily Skrutskie will be discussing THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US at the Pop Top Stage

 

Sample Chapters and Preorder Goodies!

Put those holiday gifts cards to use and preorder some of the great upcoming releases from the Sweet Sixteens!

Sample Chapters

Secrets-of-the-dragon-tombChapter 1 of Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick Samphire (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt / Macmillan, January 12, 2016)

 

 

 

Kathy MacMillan (SWORD AND VERSE)Chapters 1-9 of Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan (HarperTeen, January 19, 2016)

 

 

 

WHERE FUTURES END

Sample of Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse (Penguin/Dawson, February 9, 2016)

 

 

 

CONSIDERChapter 1 of Consider by Kristy Acevedo (Jolly Fish Press, April 19, 2016)

 

 

Preorder Incentives

CurioCurio by Evangeline Denmark (Blink, January 5th, 2016): Preorder and get a set of three charms including key and two gem stones.

 

 

 

Marieke Nijkamp (THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS)This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (Sourcebooks Fire, January 5, 2016): Every US and Canadian preorder gets a free lanyard with “Time Was Ours”, and every pre-order gets entered into a giveaway for a Polaroid camera.  International pre-orders get a limited edition This is Where It Ends postcard with a secret on it, and every pre-order gets entered into a giveaway for the very last annotated ARC.

 

Sword And VerseSword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan (HarperTeen, January 19, 2016): Preorder in hardcover, ebook, or audiobook and receive your name written in the language of the gods and a letter from the main character!  (Open internationally.) Ten winners will also be selected to receive handmade personalized Sword and Verse bookmarks.

 

Heidi Heilig (THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE)The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, February 16, 2016): Preorder and get one of three letters from Nix, the main character, printed on the back of a map, a signed book mark, and a map drawn by Heidi of the Sandwich Isles in 1868–the map the captain is searching for.

 

 

LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE USLiars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath (Sky Pony Press, March 15, 2016): Preorder and get a signed bookmark, postcard and a personalized signed bookplate.

 

 

COUNTING THYMECounting Thyme by Melanie Conklin (Penguin, April 12, 2016): For every pre-order, Melanie will personally donate at least one dollar to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer (maximum donation of $5,000 total*), PLUS you will receive exclusive swag including a Counting Thyme bookmark & postcard, I’m a Good Cookie! stickers, a coupon for a free event starter kit from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer so you too can DO something to help make a difference, and an early invitation to participate in a Counting Thyme reader participation campaign launching in 2016! Click here for more information.

CONSIDERConsider by Kristy Acevedo (Jolly Fish Press, April 19, 2016): The first 200 people to preorder will receive a signed bookmark. Receipts must be sent to publicity@jollyfishpress.com to qualify.  Also, 20 random winners will receive a special author letter, and 5 random winners will receive a 18×24 signed poster.

 

 

JerkbaitJerkbait by Mia Siegert (Jolly Fish Press, May 3, 2016): Preorder and get a Jerkbait keychain. Email publicity@jollyfishpress.com with proof of preorder.