Carrie Harris | Young Adult Author

Monday, January 31, 2011

Research for Kicks and Giggles

I've heard rumors that there are a few book groups reading my blog in preparation for my visits later on this year. I love you already, but not in a creepy-sparkly-vampire stalker kind of way. More in an I-think-you-are-awesome-but-I-still-sparkle-because-let's-face-it-sparkles-make-everything-better kind of way.

Another thing I think is awesome? I went to see the Detroit Derby Girls skate this weekend, and that bout was 17 different kinds of fun. DDG is 4th in the league, and they're crazy good. The best part? I WAS THERE ON BUSINESS.

I've been on a lot of business trips. I've already told you all about my trip to Slovenia, where I did a presentation on Mad Cow disease to a group of people who kept calling me Carrie Fisher. (I also missed my connecting flight and ended up stranded in Boston with no hotel nor luggage, but that part's not so much fun to tell.) I've been to DC for a few conferences. At the last one, I was pregnant with twins, and the people at my table kept trying to convince me to name them Strawberry and Shortcake.

I didn't. Just in case you were wondering.

Those trips were fun, but it's nothing compared to the stuff I get to do now. I get to research some wicked strange stuff. The roller derby? Research. That book on medical forensics? Research. The links to all the various spellings of the word "awesomesauce"? (As in, should it be two words or one? Should it be hyphenated? Capitalized?) RESEARCH.

I used to take notebooks to conferences and come back with notes to email such-and-such report to people, or send them data on whatever. Now I come back home with the words "helmet panties!!!" scribbled on a piece of paper. Helmet panties are the name for the covers that derby girls wear over their helmets (naturally). And I think it's the funniest term ever invented.

I think the research is one of my favorite parts of the job, partly because of the goofy things I get to learn about. What are the strangest things you've ever researched, whether it's for a book, report, or kicks and giggles?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rock On, Beth Revis!!!!

This is a strange, scary, silly roller coaster of a business. Of course, those of us who are lucky enough to be in it aren't complaining, but you can bet that we're always talking behind the scenes about the good things and the bad. A random day can bring emails from friends who are thrilled about their covers, frustrated about release dates, worried about sequels, nervous about Skype appearances, and so on. Frankly, it's one of my favorite things about writing YA, that there are literally hundreds of people at my fingertips who will know EXACTLY what I'm going through and will send me ridiculous emails to help cheer me up.

Yesterday, for instance, my friend K and I decided to change our last names to Freud-Drool. Because it's fitting.

So when the Bookanistas learned that one of our own made the New York Times bestseller list, we knew that this one deserved a special celebration. Beth Revis is the nicest person ever, and she had the UTTER GALL to write a sci-fi book. Everyone knows that YA sci-fi is out, right? But Beth had the guts to buck the norm and say, "Yo. I'm going to write the story I want to write, and to heck with the conventions." (Okay, maybe she didn't say YO, but you get the picture.) She did it, and damn did it pay off. So the next time you're working on a project and regretting that it doesn't have sparkly vampires or glow-in-the-dark Yeti or whatever the creature du jour is, remember Beth. Write YOUR book, whatever it may be.

And, since she really is one of the nicest people ever, who out of the blue wrote me an email last week to say that she'd randomly thought of a piece of advice for me (and a freaking good one, at that), the Bookanistas are celebrating the bleep out of her today:



From now on, I'd like you to all call me Sonar.

But seriously. CONGRATULATIONS, BETH. It couldn't have happened to a nicer or more deserving person.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Celebrating XVI

No, this is not a post about football. I don't know a lot about football despite having sat through four seasons of it in high school marching band. I do, however, remember all the perverted and stupid things we used to shout at the cheerleaders when they attempted to rile us up. Good times.

Anyway, this IS a post about books! It's Bookanista Thursday! I'm pretty sure we all know the drill now, so I'll run through it fast--theBookanistasareauthors whospreadthewordaboutawesomebooks everyThursdayandisn'tthatfrawesome? It's so frawesome that I want you to give me an all temperature cheer!

HOT! WARM! COLD!

I have no shame.

So let's shamelessly celebrate the book XVI by my friend and Class of 2k11-mate, Julia Karr! Here's a little about the book:
Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.

And here are three reasons that I hate Julia (in the most admiring way possible):
  1. This book made me THINK, but I still enjoyed reading it. I worried about Nina and Dee's safety, and I thought about my own past, and I thought about my daughters. I think this would be a great book club pick because it's the kind of book that people will feel passionate about rather than just going, "Yeah, those zombies were kewl." And isn't that what good dystopians are supposed to do? They're supposed to tell a good story about one bleeping wonky society and get us thinking about our own. This book definitely made that happen for me.
  2. It's a dystopian that felt like it could actually happen. I love dystopian in general, and there are tons of great ones out there. Recently, though, I've read a couple that were fun and interesting, but I didn't feel like there was ANY WAY they could actually happen. That left me feeling a little removed from the story, and I didn't enjoy them as much as I could have. But this one felt all too possible.
  3. Julia has the most adorable cats. I have pet envy. My father-in-law is severely allergic, so we don't have any. (Hey, I didn't say this whole list would be book related.)

So there you go! XVI was a fun, thought-provoking read. If you're into dystopia, I definitely recommend it.

But wait! There's more! (Why do I suddenly feel like an infomercial host?) Check out what the other Bookanistas have to say! And make sure to visit our newest Bookanista, Rosemary Clement-Moore. Her Maggie Quinn books are some of the funniest I've ever read.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things That Make Me Snarf - Guy Gets Murked

This is why you shouldn't put ninjas on reality tv shows like PUNK'D.



Although Big Brother with ninjas would be awesome. Or Survivor. Or Jersey Shore.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blurbs, Whales, Shotguns, and Perviness (Just another day in Carrieland)

Last night, I asked my book to blurb itself. This makes a lot more sense if you're on Twitter. If not, it will only make sense after you know that I made some offhanded comment that my book should tweet, and it would say things like, "Why does this lady carry me around her house all the time? SOMEONE SEND HELP!!!!" Then I went on a weekend trip to visit family, and when I got home? I found out that my book was tweeting here.

EEEEK.

It was actually pretty awesome, and the anonymous book blogger behind it all is getting a big old thank you from me in the mail. Which, BTW, has been slightly delayed by the untimely demise of Helsing, my van. I am attempting to get him started today so he can go to the garage for a generous application of holy water.

Anyway, that poor blogger probably threw a fit, because then my book tweeted, "I should blurb myself!" And I said, "Yes, you should!" Because wouldn't it be cool if books blurbed themselves? I can just imagine walking past MOBY DICK on the shelf, and hearing its little voice: "It's about WHALES, you perv. Quit giggling."

When you walk past BAD TASTE IN BOYS on the shelf, you can imagine it saying this:
Hilarious, scary, awesome, smart and kind of sexy, I am all of these things. You should read me. *cocks shotgun*

Awesome, huh? *whispers* We're trying to get it into therapy to address some of those pesky violence issues.

In other news, I have another REAL blurb from the uberty-awesome Tom Sniegoski that compares my book to BUFFY. And he should know--he worked on some of the Buffy books! ZOMGSOCOOL. You can read ze blurbs and get all the preorder links HERE.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Average Week

ACK! I have forgotten to blog! In my defense, there is a LOT going on at Chez Harris this week, much of which is book related. It's funny, because I thought being a professional writer was going to entail a lot of, well, WRITING. But I find myself getting sucked into a hole of Other Stuff. I'm not big on procrastination, but I could still work on my to-do list all week and never write a single word in the WIP if I were so inclined. And the sad part is that I'm not even on the shelves yet!

Think you'd like to write for a living? You can expect your weekdays to look something like this:
  • Attempt to squeeze in work on the WIP at some point every day.
  • Emails! An hour a day, every day. Gotta keep up with fans, bloggers, interview requests, fellow writers, and publishing in general.
  • Marketing type stuff. It's impossible to do it all, so you just pick something you do well and go with it. Like I do a lot of blogging (sometimes LATE) and tweeting. I do a few Skype visits, but it's not my biggest thing. And I do something marketing related every day.
  • Interviews! If you choose to do them, expect to take two or three hours to answer those questions. No one wants to read the same answers cut and pasted over and over. It might take only five minutes to read those things, but I guarantee that the author slaved over those answers. This helps to explain why I still have interview requests from November-ish that I haven't answered. Sorry about that!
  • Fun mini projects. I'm starting to gear up for the launch. Yes, six months in advance. Those big events take a lot of planning, you know--and I'm a big event kind of person. So this week, I'll be doing things like renting a school hallway, and creating an audition request for actors, and going to the yarn store, and drafting some web copy. All a part of some fun launch related things I've got lined up, although admittedly the to-do list part isn't particularly fun.
  • Critiques. If you decide to trade manuscripts with someone for feedback, and I really recommend it, you've got to return fire. That means reading, thinking about, and replying to their manuscripts as well as reading, thinking about, and replying to their feedback. It takes a lot of time, but it's worth it!
  • READING! Some writers skip this, but to me it's a part of the job. I read a little every day. Some books I pick up for pleasure, and some are sent to me by people I know. It makes me a better writer, and it helps me remember what I love about writing. Sometimes that feeling can get lost in the neverending to-do list.
  • Take your kids to school and try to figure out what's wrong with the car battery. WAIT. That's just me. And something tells me I ought to get on that right now.


Reading over that list, I'm a little exhausted. I'll admit that. But I still wouldn't trade this profession for any other. I GET PAID FOR MAKING UP STORIES ABOUT ZOMBIES. How cool is that?

Oh, and I get to write off my trip to the roller derby this weekend. SNARF.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Back in the Drafting Saddle and Wishing for Roller Skates

This week, I started back to work on what I hope will be my third book to hit the shelves. I've been away from it for a while; I did about six million edits on BAD TASTE IN BOYS (but now I'm DONE!) and wrote a couple of chapters of a just-for-fun project. It's not funny. At ALL. During the process, I discovered that it is indeed possible for me to rein in my inner smartass, but she doesn't like me for it.

Anyway, now I'm back to drafting the new book, and I had a few Ideas of Brilliance on how to change things. So I've been walking around the house with half my brain whirling around the plot and the characters. I may have been muttering to myself. I definitely have been wishing that the snow would melt and a pair of size 5 1/2 roller skates would fall from the sky.

In other news, ARCs of BTIB have been spotted out in the wild! Did you score one?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Celebrating THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE

It's Thursday, and we know what that means, right? It's Bookanista day! For those of you not familiar with the Bookanistas, we're a group of writers celebrating books that are MADE OF AWESOME.

Awesome, I tell you.

So today, I'm celebrating a book that's so good that it KILLED ME. That's right, people. I am now DEAD. OoOoOoooOOOoh. (And doesn't this make you want to read it?) I picked up The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson on the strong recommendation of a couple of fabulous book bloggers. I will admit a few things. First, that I'd picked it up once before, looked at the cover, and kinda lost interest. Second, that I'm not usually a fan of death-in-the-family books, unless the dead person gets up and STARTS WRITING BOOK REVIEWS. But this book awed and thrilled me. It's SO FREAKING GOOD that I CAN'T STOP USING CAPITAL LETTERS.

Yeah, that good.

From the book jacket:Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

So, without further ado, five things I loved about The Sky is Everywhere:
  1. I finally have something to say when people ask me why orange is my favorite color. I used to say, "Well, why not?" or something about Halloween. But now I can borrow a line from the book and say, "Orange is the color of extraordinary."
  2. At one point, the main character internally chants all these words for boner. It cracked me up, and it made me really want to hang out with her. I was totally a boner chant girl in high school.
  3. Frankly, there were very few characters that I WOULDN'T want to hang with. From Gran to Uncle Big to Lennie herself, they all felt so freaking real. And strange and funny and delightfully half-cracked.
  4. NO FLASHBACKS. That's one of the things that kills me about death-in-the-family books. All the flashbacks of times WHEN THINGS WERE PERFECT. And I can just imagine the sappy movie montage with the orchestra score, and it leaves me wishing that aliens would choose that moment to invade the planet and start randomly blasting things with lasers. It makes me feel manipulated, and I don't like that. And invariably, the dead person ends up all Mary Sueish and way up on a pedestal, which I don't like either. This book did none of those things. Bailey was dead and stayed that way.
  5. The writing was so good that it killed me. But then I got up and started working on the new book, and I'm inspired to do better. Even though I'm now undead. And chanting the word "boner" in my head.


So there you go! If you read it, let me know what you think. And if you're looking for a little more book-related awesome, check out these other Bookanista bloggers:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things That Make Me Snarf - Eclipse (the musical)

I'll be honest; this one hurt my eyes. But it was a GOOD eye pain; I swear!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Zombies, Sweatlodges, and ARCs

I'm belatedly answering a couple more of those questions last week. Hanna asked about snow zombies. It's funny, because I have standing plans with my friend Anny to make snow zombies, but it never happens. Mostly because my children would be afraid of them. But also because Anny will want to decapitate them once they're done, and then my neighbors will call the cops.

Speaking of flipping out the neighbors, over the weekend, I did a sweatlodge. You can think of it like a homemade sauna--you make a little structure out of willow, top it with blankets, crawl inside, fill it with hot rocks, and pour water on them until the steam sears your nostrils. And then you get out and roll around in the snow, which is freaking GREAT.

Of course, now that I've brought this up, I need to say that sweatlodges are totally awesome IF YOU FOLLOW SOME SIMPLE SAFETY GUIDELINES. A couple of years ago, there was an accident at a sweatlodge, and some people didn't make it out. So please, if my entry makes you interested in lodges, please make sure to find someone who is experienced with lodges and ASK THEM WHAT THEIR SAFETY GUIDELINES ARE.

Anyway, we did a lodge in a friend's backyard (safely, of course), and we were running around in 10 degree weather and half a foot of snow in shorts, t-shirts, and no shoes. Only for a minute going to and from the lodge, but I can just imagine what the neighbors must think.

Hello, tangent!

Kate asked about my ARCs, which is totally awesome of her. It's so hard to hold on to these ARCs, but my debut is still six months away! I'll probably start giving them away in a month or so--stay tuned to my blog and/or twitter to stay in the loop. Speaking of ARCs, if you have an established book review blog and are interested in receiving a copy, please drop me an email at carrie at carrieharrisbooks dot com. I'll add you to the list!

Oh, and Nushi-ke? I've watched Beetlejuice more times than I can count. It was one of the inspirations for BAD TASTE IN BOYS, you know. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Pretty Pink Ninja, Tattoos, and Missing Pants

This weekend, I saw a bunch of friends, including the Pretty Pink Ninja. (He's pretty! He's pink! He's sick of me making fun of him for ordering pink lemonade at restaurants!) Somehow, we started talking about people who wake up after a night of *insert mind altering substance here* with a brand new tattoo on their lower back, and what would be the worst one to have. The best one we could come up with is "I'VE GOT YOUR PANTS," for reasons that were really hilarious to us at the time. Of course, I had to google it. (The tattoos, not the pants. Although now that I've written that...nope. No one has posted pictures of that on the internet.)

Here are some other front-runners:

At least with this tat you'd know that the Hoff had your back, right?


I'm not even sure that a bunch of sparkles could redeem this. He looks like he needs medication.


And then there were bunches of tattoos that fell into one of two categories: disturbing and pervy or depictions of the Golden Girls. Frankly, I was getting a little disappointed at this whole tattoo thing, when I found THIS:

Zombie penguins are EVERYWHERE. Including on my bookshelf and decorating some girl's torso.


So...I want to hear your suggestions. What's the most horrible (PG-13, please) tattoo to wake up and find on your body?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Things That Make Me Snarf - DERP

I have no words for this. Except to say that the only thing that would make this better is if he was slathered in sparkles.



If you ever meet me in person, just come up and say, "Derp!" and I promise I will giggle maniacally.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Flipping for HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER

Recently, I joined the Bookanistas, an insane, sparkle-flinging--wait, that's me. The Bookanistas are a fabulous, sparkle-INDUCING group of writers who are dedicated to spreading the word about awesome books. And now I'm one of them.

What this means is that on the occasional Thursday, I'll be talking about books that you MUST READ or else the world will IMPLODE. And you wouldn't want to be responsible for that, would you? There would be no more bacon parties, sparkly vampires, or Richard Simmons, and THAT would be a travesty.

Today's book that you must read or the world will IMPLODE (in capital letters, no less) is HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER by Lish McBride. I got this book for Christmas, read it in about two days, and sent a message to Lish asking if I could stalk her. The restraining order hasn't arrived yet, but I'm sure it will come.

Anyway, here's the blurbity-blurb from the book jacket:

Meet Sam, just your average guy rocking that fast-food career.

Enter Douglas, a powerful and violent necromancer. Douglas immediately recognizes Sam as a fellow necromancer--which is news to Sam--and he's none too happy to have a competitor in the crowded paranormal scene in Seattle.

Now Sam has an undead friend on his hands and a hot werewolf girl for company. With just one week to find a way out of Douglas's clutches, can Sam figure out how to use his mysteriously latent powers?

I mean, really. Isn't that stalk-worthy? I think so. Here are five things that REALLY made me love this book.
  1. I think I might have hung out with Sam when I was in college. Sometimes it seems like EVERYONE is bemoaning the lack of well-developed guy characters in YA and particularly YA paranormal. Sam just PWNED all of those people. So did his buddy Ramon.
  2. One of his friends is a severed head. Nuff said.
  3. Yes, this book has zombies and werewolves, but it's not the same old same old. I mean, it's got blood-sacrificing NECROMANCERS. And...um...other cool twists on the usual creatures that I don't want to ruin for you. I already dropped the severed head spoiler, after all. I'm sorry about that, but it's a freaking SEVERED HEAD.
  4. The big bad guy is not cardboard. I hate it when the bad guy just seems like he exists to move the story forward. Douglas feels out and out EVIL, and that nature motivated his actions. He creeped me out in the best way.
  5. It's freaking hilarious! One of the major plot points involves potato hockey. And did I mention that one of the characters is a SEVERED HEAD?!? I get the insane giggles every time I think of it.

And that's that. Cannot recommend this one more highly if you're looking for a fast-paced, laugh your butt off read.

And don't forget to check out the other Bookanistas!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Bleeping Long Road to Publication

Yesterday, during question time, Marsha told me she's not a cold person. Sing out, sister. I could quite happily live in a tropical climate. In fact, I had this tiny one room apartment when I was a grad student, and the heat was included in my rent. That meant it was okay to keep the heat at 82 degrees all winter, so I'd come home from work, take off my snow boots, and put on shorts. It was great, except for the year that Slayer and I made jack-o-lanterns, and they actually BAKED.

Anyway, Marsha asked how long I queried and how many novels I've written. And I haven't really talked about it much. It seems like it's time.

The short version? I've been writing for 15 years. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to write. I tried poetry. Plays. Screenplays. Short stories. Freelance nonfiction. Finally I decided to try my hand on a book, and it was DEPRESSING and CRAPPY. That's right. I wrote a really CRAPPRESSING book.

So after my daughters were born, I decided to try my hand at something funny. I always liked YA, even if I didn't know it was called YA, and I wanted to write about superheros fighting regular old crime instead of maniacal supervillains that stand around and dry wash their hands. Because really--WHO DOES THAT IN REAL LIFE? Of course, you could argue that superheroes don't exist either, but then I'd say that they totally do, and then you'd think I was nuts. Or nutsier. Maybe even the nutsiest.

Anyway, I wrote and wrote, and I found myself a critique group, and they thought it was pretty good. The book ended up being SUPERBLY USELESS, and it cracked me up. I started querying. I belong to the query widely school of thought, although I did make sure to research EVERY agent I queried after a close call with an agent who requested the full, and then I found her listed in Preditors and Editors. I don't have the numbers anymore, but I sent a lot of queries. I got like 30 full requests. And then one of my crit group members recommended that I read Maureen Johnson's DEVILISH.

I devoured it in one weekend and immediately found her agent and queried her. HERE was someone who might get my sense of humor. And she did. A few months later, she picked me out of the slush and offered representation. I still had a few other queries out with some FABULOUS agents that I would have also been thrilled to sign with, and I got a few more offers AFTER ALL THAT WAITING. Color me astounded.

So I signed with Kate. SUPERBLY USELESS went through some minor edits before we sent it out, and it had a lot of close editorial calls, but ultimately it wasn't the right first project for me. But it's still in the back of my mind there, and I hope to revisit it someday.

And the moral of this story is: DON'T WRITE CRAPPRESSING NOVELS. Or maybe: DON'T GIVE UP, BECAUSE THE ONLY WAY IT WILL HAPPEN IS IF YOU DON'T GIVE UP.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Questions!

It occurs to me that it's been months since I took questions. What do YOU want to know? There's been a lot going on here lately, and it's all ME ME ME. I'm kind of sick of that. Let's do a little YOU YOU YOU.

So please--if you don't have a question (or even if you do), tell me how YOU'RE doing. The one drawback that I've found to this whole professional writing thing is that I'm perennially short on time, and I don't make it around to your blogs the way I used to, and I miss it!

In the meantime, I give you this picture of Star Face Man, or whoever he is. Why? Because it's funny.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Best Excuse Ever, and the Psychic Powers of My ARC

This weekend, the Harris herd took a mini roadtrip to see my mommy. I make mix CDs for all roadtrips, because it's the only way to keep the troops in line. Each of us gets a few songs--the twins get Barbie and princesses, the Batson gets Billy Idol and Bon Jovi, I get songs that I like, and inevitably Slayer gets songs with cuss words in them. I don't mean to pick songs with the f-bomb in it--it just HAPPENS.

Freudian, eh?

So we get into the car, and we're listening to the CD, and the kids are singing, and he says, "You didn't put any boy bands on this CD, did you?"

"No," says me.

"New Kids on the Block?"

"NO!"

"N'Sync?"

"NO!!!!"

"Backstreet Boys?"

"NO!!!!! Why would I do that?"

And he looked at me and said, "Because you're Carrie."

How do you argue with that?! I couldn't. But I think that statement is going to backfire on him eventually, because he's going to ask me to justify something at some point, and you all know what I'm going to say.

In other news, Princess Sparkles the Third (my ARC) started tweeting while I was gone. I'm highly impressed by this considering that I took her on the road trip with me. You know what this means, right? Princess Sparkles CAN TWEET WITH THE POWER OF HER MIND.

You should follow her. And if you're behind this brilliance, I must know who you are so I can admire you properly.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Have an ARC, and I've Named It...

Are you sick of good news from me yet? (Freudian moment--I accidentally typed "are you suck of good news?" and was really tempted to leave it that way.) I hope not, because I have more.

I GOT BAD TASTE IN BOYS ARCs YESTERDAY!

For those of you not familiar with publishing-speak, ARCs are the advanced copies of a book that they give out to reviewers and things. The book still won't be on the shelves until July. Yes, it hurts me to say that too. But in the meantime, I have a book! It has my name on it! It's MINE.

I cried a little. And then I set it up with my zombie heels and took a grainy picture with my webcam.

We go together like a-rama-lama-lama-NOM NOM NOM!


So now, I've taken to carrying one of the ARCs around the house with me. I don't want to put it down. Forget pets; I'm just keeping this ARC. I've named it PRINCESS SPARKLES the THIRD, because I think all cool things should be named.

The best part about all of this is that I'll be able to give some away. I only have a few, though, so I'll have to pace myself. Stay tuned for more deets.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Things That Make Me Snarf - Josh Groban

You guys are AWESOME. Thanks so much for all the congrats on my new book deal! I'm hoping to be able to gift you something fun soon--just waiting for fun things to arrive!

But in the meantime, let me give you THIS. I'm not a huge fan of Josh Groban, but I would totally buy this:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How My Footwear Helps Me Sell Books

I think I mentioned this once already, but Slayer got me a pair of shoes for Christmas. This is not ANY pair of shoes either. They're three inch platforms with red velvet heels, black silk bows, and WEREWOLF PRINT. I wanted to take a picture of them, maybe with my kids making growly faces and trying to bite them, but my camera battery won't hold a charge. So you'll have to do with this catalog photo from Too Fast.

Growl, baby. VERY GROWL.


Now, some of you might remember that I bought a pair of zombie heels to celebrate the sale of BAD TASTE IN BOYS. Since then, I've written a sequel called BAD HAIR DAY. It's about werewolves and nanotech and shaved bears in lab coats and blueberry flavored astronauts and bath mats made of human hair. Since they don't make blueberry flavored astronaut shoes (and why NOT?!?), I asked for the werewolf shoes for Christmas because it just seemed fitting that I'd have a pair for both of the Kate Grable books.

Guys? The werewolf shoes are LUCKY. Because I woke up this morning to THIS:
Author of BAD TASTE IN BOYS and Class of 2011 member, Carrie Harris's next Kate Grable novel BAD HAIR DAY, again to Wendy Loggia at Delacorte, in a nice deal, for publication in Summer 2012 and 2013, by Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary (World English).

In case that's not clear enough, let me shout it out for you--I SOLD TWO MORE BOOKS! That's right! BAD HAIR DAY will be released in summer of 2012, and then there will be a new, to-be-determined book from yours truly in the summer of 2013! It may or may not have blueberry flavored astronauts in it. Because really, there are not enough astronauts of any flavor in YA. Don't you agree?

And thanks to the makers of Iron Fist shoes for helping to make my dreams come true. I'm working on a couple of books with demons and vampires in them. Can you make more shoes?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Inner Hulk and Fight Scenes

I like writing fight scenes. I like the fast pace and choppy sentences and the feeling of being pulled forward because you CANNOT BEAR TO WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT even if dinner is burning and the smoke alarm is going off.

Not that I've done that. At least, not often.

But I like to write them. And I think I'm pretty good at them, which is funny, because I've only been in one fight my entire life. I was in kindergarten or first grade, and my dad had just given me a necklace with six little rainbow heart charms on it. I was so proud of that necklace. But then Cameron from down the street came roller skating through our parking lot and grabbed my necklace and broke it, and the six little rainbow charms went flying.

I Hulked out. No, seriously. He was twice my size, but I grabbed him, spun him around, and threw him onto a car. And then, despite the fact that his nose was bleeding, I made him pick up every one of those little rainbow heart charms, but he could only find FIVE, and I was so angry that he skated for his life.

Grr, baby. VERY grr.

And that is the extent of my fightery. But for some reason, I'm really good at fight scenes, especially if battle tactics are involved. Maybe it's the years spent married to a ninja? They talk about that kind of thing all the time. Either that, or it's one way for me to let my inner Hulk out without harming the populace or going all green and bulgy.

That must be it. Fight scenes are my way to save the populace. And my complexion.

What about you? Ever written a fight scene? Like to read them or hate it? Any fight sceney pet peeves?

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Winter Vacation

Welcome to 2011! I'm a little excited about this, because now it feels like my book is going to debut SOON. Which of course it isn't, but at least we're in the right year now. :)

The Harris Herd had a really nice winter break. We didn't go anywhere unless you count Toledo (which I don't--I lived in Toledo for a while so I'm allowed to say that). But we did some fun things. Like...
  • I finally convinced my seven year old that I'm cool. I taught him how to say, "Monkeys might fly out my butt" in German. I don't speak German, mind you. I just collect funny sentences in foreign languages.
  • One of my daughters made up the most awesome song. One of the lines was, "I love vacation more than you; no wait--I love you more than vacation."
  • I played a board game that required me to spin around screaming, "I am the eye of the hurricane! FEAR ME!" I rather enjoyed it.
  • For Christmas, I got a pair of red velvet werewolf heels and a zombie tote bag that says, "Dead friends" on it. I LOVE MY HUSBAND. HE IS THE SHIZ.
  • We spent New Years with my closest friend and her husband, who I have affectionately nicknamed The Electric Lovitz. We stayed at their house and talked nonsense and laughed like idiots. (Okay, maybe that last part was just me.) It was TOO FUN. Like, as fun as the year that we went out for New Years and partied with Warrant.

But now it's back to writing, which I'm rather excited about. I have LOTS of fun stuff up my sleeve, some of which I hope to be able to share with you soon.

So that's what I did over my winter vacation. How about you?
 


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