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Elizabeth Scott

You asked, so here it is: win an ARC of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last week, so many of you mentioned the upcoming Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl as a book you wished was in stores now, so....

I'm giving away an ARC of the book!

I'm spinning this contest off one of the Simon Pulse Blogfest questions that were sent out, but that weren't picked to go up during the Blogfest. The question in question (!) was:

What is one book that you had to read for school that you absolutely hated?

My answer: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I didn't think it was EVER going to end.

So, for your chance to win, all you have to do is tell me one book you had--or have to--read for school that you couldn't (or can't) stand! Tell me about the book you loathed, the one you read thinking, "Why? WHY????" by midnight EST this Friday, October 2nd, and then I'll pick one name from the comments at random and that person will win the ARC of Beautiful Creatures!

And of course, I have a few links to share:

Agent Jessica Faust on when it's time to query

Agent Janet Reid has a list of questions you should ask agents when you're offered representation -- Her fourth question is bound to stir up some controversy, but I happen to agree with her. When I found out my first agent wanted to write--in addition to about six million other things that weren't agenting--warning bells went off in my head. I wanted an agent who was an agent, not someone who was agenting until they got a different job/book deal. Some agents do write and agent, and I know it doesn't bother a lot of people. But I personally feel more comfortable knowing my agent just wants to agent.

Ever wondered what copyedits look like? Check this out. (Be sure to click on the picture)

Editorial Ass touches on something that's close to my heart--overcoming the fear of failure

what's up with livejournal?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Does anyone know why it's taking LiveJournal hours (or recently, DAYS) to put up syndicated feeds? It's very odd to post something at 9 am yesterday and then read it this morning.

I do have a few links today and I'm warning you in advance, some of them mention me and well, you know, once in a while I can't help myself...

An article about why Banned Books Week is still needed in The Huffington Post and hey! Living Dead Girl is mentioned! Check it out.

Agent Nathan Bransford explains exactly what agents do -- great post to read if you want an agent, but don't forget to do your homework--check out the agent's deals, see if you can talk to current (or better yet, former) clients, and make sure the agent isn't doing too much--or too little. (I knew I'd signed with the wrong agent when my first agent couldn't be bothered to do or send things I asked for or about, but yet somehow found the time to spend hours online everyday updating their blog and chatting)

Someone wants to know what songs remind you of my book Love You Hate You Miss You--as I didn't listen to music when I wrote the book, I can't answer the question. But maybe you can????

okay, I can take a hint

Monday, September 28, 2009

During last week's contest, the book that was mentioned most often? Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Guess who has an ARC of that very book?

Yep, that's right. I'll be running a contest for it later in the week, so stay tuned...

Before I move on to links, I want to congratulate Briana, Helen, Meredith, and Andrea, who were the winners of last week's contest!

And here are the links:

C.L. Anderson on the roller coaster that is writing for a living

Rachel Aaron also riffs on The Rejectionist's excellent post about writing from last week (go back an entry or two and the link is there). From Rachel's post: "Cool is like salt. No one wants to eat straight salt, but even the most delicious food is bland without it (and quickly ruined gratuitous overuse)."

Ever wondered what the book editing process is like for an editor? Well, here's your chance to find out

Finally, is there anything Justin Timberlake can't do? I knew he was funny, but every time I see this commercial I laugh so hard I almost cry.

last day to win free books!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Don't forget, today is your last day to tell me what young adult novels you wish were out right now--and you could win a free book just for doing that! Go here and tell me what you wish was in bookstores now...

Moving on:

Pimp My Novel on the importance of good writing, which riffs off a post from The Rejectionist where third-graders* explain why good writing is important when it comes to keeping a reader reading

* For real! From the Rejectionist's post: "Take this fine advice from young T., a third-grader from Park Slope: "It's like when you think you are going to care about the book, but then no stuff happens, so you get bored and then you read a different book." Or wee L.: "If the people aren't doing anything cool the book is dumb." Writing Literary Fiction does not give you a special exemption from being interesting, dear author-friends. Making cool stuff happen is not! beneath! you!"

Editorial Anonymous asks readers to name conferences and writing organizations that they find helpful--definitely check the comments on this one

Agent Kristin Nelson on the importance of selling foreign publication rights--this is something I've never thought about, but it makes a lot of sense!

Finally, get ready for Readergirlz Teen Reads Week Celebration, which I'm thrilled to be part of:

don't forget to enter the contest! (and, of course, links)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't forget to let me know what young adult novels you wish were out already because you want to read them right now--because you could win a free book just for doing that!

I also have links to share:

Pimp My Novel on the importance of face time--this is something I feel strongly about, not just in terms of going out once your book is released, but if you have the ability to go and meet your agent before you sign with them, you SO should. (Trust me on this one. It's a mistake I made with my first agent, and I paid for it!) And you most definitely should go and meet your editor if it's at all possible.

Great post by agent Jessica Faust about planning your future writing income--it's a really informative post, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure that you can ever truly plan what your writing income will be. It's the kind of thing where you want to make sure you a. save as much as you can and b. pay your taxes.

Not at all writing or publishing related, but I have to share this--a little update on my favorite couple from MTV's excellent series, 16 and Pregnant

Editorial Ass loves Wednesdays???

Agent Kristin Nelson reminds everyone that agents get rejected too

links, free books--and oh yeah. Essay up at S&S (!!!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I got the most amazing email from my editor at Simon Pulse last night, telling me to go to http://authors.simonandschuster.com/. So I do, and next to the rotating set of pictures at the top of the page are a bunch of tabs--links to a tribute to E. Lynn Harris, info about Jodi Picoult, a poem by Ellen Hopkins, and the very last tab, Author Voices, says:

"An exclusive essay by Elizabeth Scott"


To be featured like this?? Well, I think the !!!! says it all.

Anyway, my essay is about my favorite teacher. (And no, it's not either one of my parents! Sorry, Mom and Dad!)

If you'd like to read it, just go here and click on Author Voices

Moving on, I've got a couple of books to give away this week and for your chance to win one, all you have to do is tell me what upcoming young adult book (or books!) you're most looking forward to reading. (Yes, really, that's it!)

Tell me what not-out-yet young adult novel or novels you're most looking forward to reading, and you could win one of these four books: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaser and Darcy Vance, She's So Money by Cherry Cheva, or Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee.

I'll take comments about what young adult novels you're most looking forward to through this Friday, September 25th, at midnight EST, and then I'll pick four names at random and each of those four people will get one of the books listed above!

I've also got some links to share:

Pimp My Novel has a nice overview about the ongoing Google Books brouhaha

Agent Kristin Nelson blogs about the size of advances and success -- "Quite simply, no amount of money can force a public to want and buy a book. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. If the publishers knew what created that ground swell to catapult a title onto bestseller lists and a million copy sell-thru, they’d do it for every book."

Agent and author Evan Marshall offers seven of his favorite tips for writing a book faster -- I should note that most of these seemed aimed at writers who use outlines

The Rejectionist, who doesn't pull any punches, on having a "quirky" book, how the number of clients per agent differs, the odds of a query landing you an agent, and how you should talk about royalty escalation clauses before you ever sign a contract

Agent Nathan Bransford on how you shouldn't ever say "this has never been done before!" in a query because it usually has -- "It isn't important that you write a novel that has never even remotely been done before. What's important is that you write it well."

radio interview

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today is radio interview day!

I'll be on KOPN today between 2-4 PM EST/3-5 CST--and there will be a giveaway of 2 audiobooks of Something, Maybe!

You can listen here: http://www.kopn.org/listen

I've also got a couple of links to share:

First up is The Intern with yet another look at editorial meetings or when is a book a book--or is what you've written better off in another genre, or as something else altogether? Check out ceci n'est pas un livre

Agent Kirstin Nelson on earning out

Great blog post about dealing with disappointment -- "Your biggest advocate is you."

Check out these email query tips


Monday, September 21, 2009

Actually, despite the ! in the title, I'm not super enthused about it being Monday. I'm mostly just really, really tired. But! You all shared so many great moments last week that I was totally cheered up, and thank YOU for that! (I have the best blog readers ever. EVER!)

And congrats go out to Fuzzy, who won the ARC of Leviathan!

In other news, I recently did a radio interview with KOPN, and you'll be able to hear my interview on the 22nd, or TOMORROW (yay!), between 2-4 PM EST, or 3-5 CT--and there will be a giveaway of two audiobooks of Something, Maybe--so make sure you tune in! You can listen here.

Now on to the links:

Interesting blog post about becoming an atheist of the muse

Nathan Bransford asked people when they write, and as you can guess, he got tons of responses, which makes for fun reading -- I think I admire people who get up at 3 or 4 AM to write before going to work all day. That is some hardcore dedication!

If you read only one link today, make it this one--Ellen Hopkins was supposed to visit Oklahoma and speak to students at a middle school. When a parent went into the school and demanded that Ellen's books Crank and Glass be pulled from the school's library, not only were the books pulled for review, but the school district's superintendent CANCELED HER VISIT. There are so many levels of wrong going on here I don't even know where to start.

I think Ellen herself says it best:"However, I can see a parent's concern. So fine. Don't let YOUR child read them. However, NO ONE PERSON should be able to tell other people what their children can or can't read. I have received thousands of messages from readers (and yes, many are middle grade), thanking me for: turning them away from drugs; insight into their parents'/other family members' addictions; allowing them to live vicariously through my characters, so they don't actually have to experience those things; literally saving their lives. Who has the right to keep books that do these things off the shelves? And the bigger question, who has the right to keep ANY books off the shelves? Who gets to decide? One parent and a misguided school superintendent?""

Fascinating--and to be frank, slightly worrying--blog post by Daniel Menaker (former Editor-in-Chief at Random House) on working in publishing, and the state of the industry itself

I'm not normally a book trailer watcher, but the one for Melissa De La Cruz's new novel? WOW. (Let's face it, for a book trailer to make EW, it's gotta be awesome!)

The Intern wants you to remember that sometimes you might want to update your cover letter

Lynn Viehl on hurry up and wait -- "Working in a hurry up and wait atmosphere can be frustrating and stressful if you’re on the wait end of the equation. It certainly does nothing good for the ego to be treated as if your time has no value."

Justine Musk delivers, as always, an excellent column for Storytellers Unplugged, this one about facing the anxiety of writing -- I especially love this part:"Writing fiction is serious business. It demands nothing less than everything you’ve got to give: your blood, sweat, heart and soul; your time; your ego. You expose yourself in your work and again when you show your work. It deserves to be taken seriously, and yet somehow we have to find a way to treat it lightly, hold it lightly, so it doesn’t slip away from us."

Former editor and now agent Betsy Lerner talks about editors and books that got away--the one about the editor who passed on Prep...ouch!

So, say you get your first ever check from a publisher. Time to put it in the bank and pay bills, right? Wrong. You have to pay taxes. Check out this great blog post by Rachel Aaron about something that far too many writers don't think about: the IRS (There are also some great links in the post)

Nicola Morgan on writing habits and why you sometimes need to break them

Friday, September 18, 2009

This month is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.

Ovarian cancer is the 5th most likely cause of cancer-related death in women, and yet there remains no specific test that can accurately determine if a woman has ovarian cancer.

Please consider participating in the Break the Silence program, which aims to find a way to earlier diagnosis, and offers information to help women talk to their doctor about any symptoms they may have.

what, only Wed?? let's CONTEST it up!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wow, this has this been a long week. I can't believe it's only Wednesday. Actually, all of September seems to be just crawwwwwwwwwling by. So today I think it's time for some fun, and yep, that means:


I've got an ARC of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan--and I'm ready to give it away!

For your chance to win, all you have to do is this:

Tell me the *best* thing that's happened to you lately.

Yes, that's all you have to do! I could use some cheer and so I figure why not hear about yours--I know it'll make me smile!

Leave your comment about the best thing that's happened to you lately by this Friday, September 18th at midnight EST, and then I'll pick one name at random and that person will get the ARC of Leviathan! (Please note this contest is only open to US residents only)

new week, new links, new flu (!!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

The flu has hit here--my husband has it, and let me tell you, he is so SO cranky when he's sick. Everything is too hot or too cold or too bright and he either wants to be left TOTALLY ALONE or he wants me to sit with him and I love him--I mean, hi, 18 years together--but he is driving me crazy. Especially yesterday when I had to go to the store to by red Jello because he didn't want ANY OTHER KIND.

Anyway, so that's life here, and it naturally means I missed the VMAs last night though I caught up on all the gossip. (I swear, what did we all do before ONTD????) But! I did not see the New Moon trailer--is it up anywhere?? (I tried a few of the gossip blog links, but none of them worked.)

Moving on, I've got a bunch of links:

Pimp My Novel answers questions about publisher sales divisions, sales reps, beststeller numbers and more

Saundra Mitchell's poignant and funny post about being a debut author

The Intern on what is NOT a book promotion plan

Been wondering what exactly Steampunk is? Check out this FAQ

The Writing Life on starting over--or starting something new

Nicola Morgan on overwriting

I'm interview over at The BookKids! Blog as part of their series for Banned Book Week (Other authors interviewed include Brent Hartinger and Nancy Garden, with more to come!)

This is the last week for everyone under 18 to vote for their favorite books in the Teen's Top Ten--so if you haven't voted, make sure you do! (And, of course, if you wanted to vote for Living Dead Girl, I wouldn't mind!)

maybe it's all the ads but...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm ridiculously excited about The Vampire Diaries premiere tonight. Maybe it's the seventy zillion ads I've seen everywhere (I'm surprised the CW hasn't tried to find a way to send ads into people's dreams) but I think it also has something to do with this or, should I say him, because Ian Somerhalder! Also, new Supernatural so awesome tv night yay!

But don't worry, this post isn't *all* about tv. I have substance! Or rather, I have links (!):

The Horn Book takes a look at the growing page count of young adult novels--in ten years, the average young adult novels has gained over 100 pages! (I knew ya novels had gotten longer, but 100 pages??? That's a lot.)

The Intern on what makes people buy books

Pimp My Novel answers questions

What's an embargoed book?

Agent Rachelle Gardner talks more about advances

Coming Soon to Simon Pulse:

living dead girl now out in paperback! plus the usual :-)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I'm thrilled to say Living Dead Girl is now officially out in paperback--and for only $8.99! (And with a gorgeous new cover* to boot!) You can pick it up at your favorite local bookstore, or you can order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Millon, Books Inc., and Borders. (!!!)

I also come bearing links:

Pimp My Novel on A Day In the Life -- fascinating look into the world of the sales offices of publishing houses

Publishers Weekly has a blog entry from Rose Fox on how NOT to get published

Agent Rachelle Gardner on why quitting your day job to write isn't always the best idea--nice breakdown on advances and how they are paid, as well as info about agent commission and taxes.

The Rejectionist is talking about rejection--"Darling author-friends, we are NOT by any means telling you not to write. We are offering you a sort of tough-love approach, a refusal to delude you with promises of puppies and unicorns. Persistence does not always pay off with laurels upon which to rest. We could practice swimming sixteen hours a day for the next ten years, and we still won't be going to the Olympics; sew dresses until our fingers fall off, and no one will be inviting us to fashion week; and, let's face it, all of us could write every hour of every day for the rest of our lives and ain't none of us going to come up with Lolita. Brush your little selves off and keep your chins up. We know it's hard because we've been there, and are in fact hanging out there, making occasional embittered comments about the "immature style" of people younger than us who are cranking out critically acclaimed novels that are, like, soooo much dumber than the book we are totally going to write as soon as we finish looking at this one last fashion blog." (In case you can't tell, I heart The Rejectionist)

*I wasn't kidding about the cover:

contest winner and weekend yay!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I know a lot of you have been waiting to find out who the Alyson Noel contest winner is, and congrats go out to Tatyana, who wins her choice of four Alyson Noel books!

In other news, I've been pretty stressed lately and kinda sad but then, on Friday night, my husband (who is AWESOME) surprised me with tickets to see Britney Spears, who long-time readers will know I LOVE. (No, seriously. I really do think she's fabulous. You can tell me she doesn't sing live and whatever and I know you are right. But I still heart her.)

Anyway! So he takes me down to North Carolina on Saturday, and it turns out we have seats RIGHT BY THE STAGE for the show. And I do mean right by the stage:

So yeah, amazing seats, and more proof that my husband (who does not like Britney Spears) is the best husband ever. (EVER!)

And so we go and I'm all ready for 90 minutes of scripted awesomeness--and it begins and I get to see stuff like this:

But....the show ended up being nothing like any Britney show I've ever seen. For starters, she was on for two hours, in part I think, because she clearly had problems with her contacts as one point and spent about the last third of the show in her glasses (totally adorable in them, btw)

(sorry the picture isn't better--my husband took them all with his phone, but there's a great ones of Brit in her glasses here)

But the biggest surprise? The one that made Entertainment Weekly?

Britney sang. (Yes, really!) She did a cover of Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know, and WHOA. Everyone was dead silent at first because Britney doesn't just break from her set and do covers. Or sing. But she did! There's footage all over, but this is my fave clip because the sound quality is pretty good)

So yeah, good weekend. And my husband totally WINS AT EVERYTHING.

Simon Pulse Blogfest is coming...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

This year's Simon Pulse Blogfest hasn't started yet, but it will soon--YAY!

In other news, I decided to clean out my fridge (why yes, I am having trouble writing--what on earth gave it away???) and let me tell you, I should have left it alone. I like to think I know what's in there but here's the thing--I don't. Or at least I somehow managed to forget the cucumber my husband had cut and wrapped up for later use that had turned into--well, let's just say it was unpleasant and leave it at that. So I guess I need to be more vigilant about the fridge.

Or never look too closely in it again.

I may go for that second option.

And, of course, I come bearing links:

Lev Grossman wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal about how good novels don't have to be hard. It got so much reaction (mostly negative) that he wrote a follow-up piece which appears here.

I especially enjoyed reading what he had to say about Stephenie Meyer, who I am so, so tired of seeing maligned. "Obviously there are a lot of things the Twilight books do, and don’t do, that you can point to and say, good books do/don't do those things, therefore the Twilight books are ass. But -- hear me out -- millions of people love them. All those millions of people might be idiots or have bad taste. But I think it’s kinda intellectually lazy to say that. Meyer is doing something very very well, or at least giving people something they really really want, and I don’t think we have a good critical vocabulary yet for talking about what that something is. But I'm interested in it.

To which I say he--and you--and I--absolutely should be interested. Why? Well, in simple terms, she sells a lot of books. A LOT. And that DOES mean something, even if you don't want it to.

And second, for every single time a popular author like her is put down or dismissed, another new or midlist author gets a book deal thanks to all the books she's sold, which gives publishers money to take chances.

So even though she'll never read this, thank you Stephenie, for all the books you've written--not just for all the enjoyment they've provided for millions (and I do mean *millions*) of people, but because of how they've proven that young adult novels can and do reach all kinds of readers. (And because you make it possible for writers like me to be published!)

Moving on, here's a publishing situation I've never heard of--and neither had the author!

Author Devon Monk on Five Easy Steps

Dealing with book piracy

What makes a successful writer?

Super cute--and interesting--blog post about how and where some YA writers work

Yes, covers DO makes a difference

YA Powerhouse Ellen Hopkins on Writing Righteous -- "More worrisome is the idea that an author who writes swear words is not a good role model, or is somehow a bad influence on their readers. First of all, today's teens don't live in a vacuum. They want books that speak to their own experience. A YA author has no business jumping up on a pedestal, hollering, "Look at me. This is how you want to be. No, not like that. Like me!" Didacticism has no place in YA, or IMHO any children's literature."

Alyson Noel interview and giveaway!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Alyson Noel is here (yay!!) and is going to be answering a whole bunch of great questions! The first batch are from readers:

Robby asks:

Do you have another adult book brewing?

In my head, yes! I had so much fun writing FLY ME TO THE MOON I’d love to do another adult book someday. But for now, I’m keeping pretty busy with THE IMMORTALS series and its middle grade spinoff, so it looks like it’s going to have to wait.

What's your favorite thing about being a writer?

The readers! I am gobsmacked on a daily basis by the kindness and generosity of my readers. Their letters, e-mails, artwork, bulletin board posts, Facebook messages, etc—never fail to make my day!

Melissa D asks:

Why did you decide to go from writing realistic fiction to paranormal fiction? What drew you/influenced you to the paranormal side of writing?

Grief was the trigger. Ever since I was a kid I’d always loved anything and everything involving the supernatural—seriously, Casper The Friendly Ghost was my favorite cartoon! But it wasn’t until a few years ago, when I lost three people I loved in five months and then nearly lost my husband to leukemia, that I really started to explore the big questions of life and death, mortality and immortality, and Ever and Damen’s story was just sort of born from there.

Do you have a particular place that you have to write, or a particular way ( in silence, to music, etc)?

While I can write on the road if I have to, I really prefer to write at home. I have a little home office/work out room where I pretty much spend all of my time. And I definitely like to listen to music—it really inspires me. So I make playlists for all of my books, clamp on my headphones, and go!

Tiffany Cunha asks:

Have your personal experiences affected your writing?

Definitely. Though the characters are rarely based on me, their experiences often echo my own. In high school, I was a lot like the main character, Alex, in FAKING 19, lost and directionless, blowing it in a big way. Like Rio in ART GEEKS AND PROM QUEENS, I know what it’s like to be the new girl in school and be hated by all the other girls. Like Echo in SAVING ZOE and Ever in THE IMMORTALS series, I know what it’s like to be mired in grief so deep and dark you’re not sure if you’ll ever get to see the light again. Like Hailey in FLY ME TO THE MOON, I was a NYC based flight attendant for just over a decade. And like Colby in CRUEL SUMMER, I spent seven years living in Mykonos, Greece. So yes, I pretty much rob from my own life on a regular basis!

How do you get started writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it)?

The inspiration itself is sort of a random thing that can come from anywhere, though more often than not, it’s something in my own life that sparks it. But once it does, I take the idea and play the “What if?” game. For example, with the IMMORTALS it was the grief of losing my loved ones that sparked the initial idea of a girl struggling to overcome a tragic loss. And in my attempt to find my way out of it, to make sense of what happened, I started thinking about its opposite—immortality—and what that might be like, what it might look like, and how it might affect us as individuals and as a society. I started reading books about alchemy, metaphysics, psychics, Eastern philosophy, etc., all of which gave me the basis for my story, and then I cast the characters and took it from there.

What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

The same advice the brilliant Robert Mckee (author of STORY) gave me.

When you get stuck in your story and don’t know where to take it next, it’s because you don’t know enough about your characters, your world, and/or the message you’re trying to convey. So, just take a step back and research your world a bit further, asking: who are these people you’re writing about? What drives them? How do they plan to get what they want versus how they will actually end up getting what they want? This method has never once failed me—knock wood!

rachelhestondavis asks:

When you first broke into publishing, did you get overwhelmed by all the marketing and networking you had to do? How did you handle it?

Nope! And you know why? Because I had no idea that I was supposed to market and network—in short, I had no idea what I was doing! Seriously. I was so green and naïve back then, I just cringe when I think about it. Sure I had a website, I knew that much, but that was pretty much the extent of my efforts. My debut novel, FAKING 19, was published in March 2005 and I didn’t even have a blog until sometime around June 2006. I also didn’t join any writing organizations until my third book, LAGUNA COVE, was already on bookstore shelves. But, in a way, that’s okay. There is only so much an author can do to connect and promote, and I really feel that the absolute best promotion we can ever do is to write the next book. Of course you should blog and Twitter if you like, you can even Face Book to your heart’s content, but don’t let it get in the way of the writing, because at the end of the day, The Next Book is all your readers (and publisher!) really want from you anyway!

Sarah Christine asks:

What was the first book you remembering reading?

HORTON HATCHES THE EGG by Dr. Seuss. My mom taught me how to read it at age four and I still have that original copy!

What was the first thing you’ve ever wrote?

In seventh grade I wrote a poem about my parent’s divorce. It really helped me process my feelings. Seems I’m often inspired by grief!

Paradox asks:

Do you plan on writing more supernatural books after The Immortals?

Well, I’m starting a middle grade spin off of THE IMMORTALS that’ll be released in Fall 2010, about Riley’s (Ever’s ghostly sister) adventures in the after life—and I have lots more ideas for more books after that, so hopefully, yes!

How long does it take you to write a book?

My first book, FAKING 19, took me 15 years to complete. I wish I was joking but I’m not. Since then, I’ve narrowed it down to a few months!

And now for some more questions (isn't Alyson AWESOME for answering all of these??):

How did your first novel, Faking 19, change from the first draft to the final/ready-to-go-to-press version?

It changed in big, huge, tremendous ways! Since it was the first book I ever wrote, I was facing a pretty big learning curve. And what originally began as a short story in a writing class I took long ago was ultimately expanded into a novel that I sent out to a slew of publishers (yes, on my own, unagented, I told you I was green!), only to get a slew of rejections. But, fortunately, they were the good kind of rejections—the kind that essentially said: great voice, structure needs work, would love to see again if you revise. So, I enrolled in some online writing classes where I was eventually lead to my then agent who basically echoed what those publishers said, I had a story about a girl that just meandered and never really went anywhere. But he also recommended I read STORY by Robert Mckee. So I did. I read it over the weekend, and spent the next three weeks applying everything I’d learned to my manuscript—which basically meant I gave it the structure it was poorly lacking. The agent read it again, signed me, and eventually got me a two-book deal with St. Martin’s Press and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

Following up on that, how do you revise your novels?

Constantly and consistently—I’m always revising! I revise as I go, I revise each act as I finish it (I use the screenplay method and write in Acts), and then, once it’s finished, I revise it again and again and again before I hand it in to my editor.

Are you a "planner" or "pantser" when your write--or does it depend on the book? How many days a week do you usually write?

I’m a little of both. I always start with a light outline, listing all the major turning points along the way, but while the destination rarely changes, the journey has been known to take a few twists and turns along the way. I write pretty much every day, seven days a week. I have pretty tight, back-to-back deadlines, and so I try to keep to a consistent daily word count in order to meet them.

What's the easiest part of writing for you? The hardest?

The easiest part is coming up with the ideas. The hardest part is the writing. Trying to put on the page what you see in your head is no easy feat!

Any hints you want to drop about Shadowland, which is coming this November?

Straight from the back cover:
She always believed he was her destiny—but what if fate has other plans?
Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives—and fought off the world’s darkest enemies—so they could be together forever. But just as their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon Damen…one that could destroy everything. Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death—plunging Damen into a bleak afterlife in the Shadowland, an eternal abyss for lost souls. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick—and gets help from an unexpected source…Jude Knight.
Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She’s always believed Damen to be her soul mate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them from the darkness inhabiting his soul, Ever’s connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before…

OOOOH! Sounds awesome! Thank you, Alyson!

But wait--there's more....

Alyson has a trivia question for YOU. Email me the correct answer at elizabeth at elizabethwrites dot com or send it to me using the contact page by this Friday, September 4th at midnight EST and you'll be entered into a drawing to win not one, not two, but FOUR Alyson Noel titles of your choice (including a pre-order for Shadowland, if you want!) Please note this contest is only open to those with a United States mailing address, and that the winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

Here's the question:

In EVERMORE, what are the names of the three horses Ever bet on when she went to the racetrack with Damen?

Remember, you've got until midnight EST on Friday, September 4th, to email me the correct answer, and then one lucky person will win FOUR of Alyson's books!

Isn't Alyson amazing? Be sure to stop by her blog, facebook, myspace or twitter page and tell her so!!