Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Happy 1-Year Anniversary to THE S-WORD! Here's a giveaway!!!

Hey darlings! In celebration of THE S-WORD's one year anniversary (WHAT?! It's been a YEAR?!) I'm giving away ARCs of two YA novels that deal with the incredibly important issues of bullying and suicide.



Entering is so easy! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and RT this tweet. THAT'S IT! This contest is U.S. only, and if you're already following me, you're already one step ahead of the game!


And thank you to everyone for making THE S-WORD's first year so amazing!!!



<3

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Diversify Your Shelves!

Hello darlings! Today I get to reveal part three of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, a project that’s near and dear to my heart! Part three is called “Diversify Your Shelves,” and it’s all about taking a personal approach to promoting diversity in literature.

What, exactly, does that mean? Is this maybe something we’ll do for a week and then go back to buying books by old white guys?

Well, no. “Diversify Your Shelves” is a continual celebration of fabulous diverse literature, by fabulous diverse authors. Checking out what books we have on our shelves, and seeing how we might diversify them, is just a jumping off point.

There's also going to be a “Diversify Your Shelves” chat on Saturday, May 3rd at 2PM EST to discuss our favorite diverse books and authors! Use the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag to join in!

But wait! Why is this so important?

Well, there are lots of people blogging about this more eloquently than I, like here, here, here, and here, but some of my biggest reasons are:

Because, at every conference I or my writer friends attend, there are kids asking why they can’t find books with characters who look like them, either on the cover or in the pages.

Because the same thing happens at book signings, except there the kids are saying they’ve always wanted to get into writing, but don’t think they’ll be successful because they’re people of color.

Because queer kids are still killing themselves over being different (or being told that they’re different) and the greater representation they have in books, the less alone they’ll feel.

Because awesome genres like YA wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t moved away from the old, white dude model of literature and started reading stories written by ladies. Diversify Your Shelves is a continuation of that principle—hearing all stories from all voices.

Because it’s 2014, but we still keep seeing all-white panels at book festivals, or even all-white male panels (in genres vastly dominated by women!) and that’s kind of insane to me. Diversity shouldn’t be the exception. It should be the norm.

And because, at the end of the day, when I look at my shelves, I think:

I can be better.

I can do more.

And I’d love for you to join me.

So, without further ado . . .

Let’s Diversify Our Shelves!
           
Here’s how it works: this weekend, May 3rd and 4th, we’re all going to head out to our local bookstores* to pick up books by fabulous diverse authors. (Need recommendations? Check out the May 3rd #WeNeedDiverseBooks chat!) Then, once you’ve returned home, snap a photo of your new diverse book(s)** and post it as a comment below! And if you want to get really creative, you can take Before and After photos of your bookshelves: Before, when they weren't too diversified, and After, when you've added in books by fabulous  PoC authors, queer authors, and authors with disabilities! Woot! 

This Monday, May 5th, one lucky winner is going to win FIVE BOOKS OF THEIR CHOOSING out of the choices below!!! And every week throughout the spring, a new winner will be chosen to receive two fabulous diverse books! Woot!

But wait, it doesn’t stop there. Remember when I said “Diversify Your Shelves” was a continual celebration? That means any time you buy a book from a diverse author, or featuring a diverse character, snap a picture of that book and post it to Twitter with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag! We’ll retweet you, and help spread the word about what diverse books people are buying! And by participating in the “Diversify Your Shelves” movement, you’ll be showing publishers the kinds of books you want them to buy, showing conference organizers which authors you want to see on panels, and helping tweens and teens find representation in books! Which, really, is the awesomest prize of all!


REMEMBER: THE WINNER OF THE PRIZE PACK WILL BE CHOSEN MAY 5TH!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UPDATE: OneFour KidLit is offering their own "Diversify Your Shelves" giveaway HERE!!

*Obviously, not everyone has the money to “Diversify Their Shelves” at this particular moment. That’s okay! Because stopping by the library and having them order a book by a diverse author, or even sending them an email about your interest in diverse books, can make a big difference in the “Diversify Your Shelves” movement! You can even snap a photo of a certain section in your local library, and then snap another one after they’ve ordered more diverse books for you! That way, you’ll not only be diversifying your own shelf, but you’ll be diversifying the shelves for your entire neighborhood! Go, you!

**Don’t worry, e-book lovers! You can totally enter the contest too. Just snap a photo of your reading device with the book’s cover showing (or a screenshot of the purchase), and you’re good to go!

Friday, May 2, 2014

THE FEARLESS Blog Tour Stop #9: Playlist by Emma Pass!

Hey Lovelies! Today's the ninth stop on the Blog Tour for Emma Pass' THE FEARLESS, the thrilling post-apocalyptic sequel to ACID! And we're talking all about playlists! Music is such an inspiration for me when writing, so I absolutely loved hearing about Emma's process for choosing her perfect songs. Check out the playlist below, and don't forget to pick up your copy of THE FEARLESS!


THE FEARLESS:

A post-apocalyptic thriller for young adults, out now from Corgi/Random House Children's Publishers (UK) and early 2015 from Delacorte (US).

The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect – anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.

Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother – and when Jori is snatched by the Fearless, Cass must risk everything to get him back.


THE FEARLESS Soundtrack:


These days, I always make soundtracks for my books. A big reason for this is that I see my stories like films in my head as I write, and music helps make those images more vivid, transporting me into the book's world and shutting the real world out for a while.

I usually construct these playlists as I write my first draft, searching iTunes and the internet as well as my own personal music collection for tunes that fit the story. By the time the first draft is done, so is the playlist, and then I play it on repeat the whole time I'm working my way through revisions.

Here is the playlist for THE FEARLESS:

Biffy Clyro – Many of Horror

Ludovico Einaudi – I Due Fiumi

Mumford and Sons – I Gave You All

Paramore – Playing God

Erik Satie – Gnossienne no. 1 (Lent)

Mumford and Sons – Awake My Soul

Dustin O'Halloran – Fragile No. 4

Message to Bears – Running Through Woodland

The Temper Trap – Soldier On

Fleet Foxes – Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

Miike Snow – Silvia

Ludovico Einaudi – La Nescita Delle Cose Segrete

When I was writing ACID, I made a soundtrack that featured a lot of electronic music to reflect the book's futuristic setting (you can view that soundtrack here). But for THE FEARLESS, with a couple of exceptions, I chose gentler, more acoustic tracks. While ACID is high-tech, THE FEARLESS is low and even no-tech, set in the near-future and imagining what life would be like after society in the UK (and across the world) has collapsed after an invasion of psychotic super-soldiers. Survivors of the Invasion have had to go back to basics, trading and scavenging goods to survive.

How about you? Do you make book sountracks? What's on them?



Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. Her debut novel, ACID, is out now from Corgi/Random House in the UK, and from Delacorte in the US.  It won the 2014 North East Teenage Book Award, was shortlisted for the Doncaster Book Award, nominated for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal and has been longlisted for the 2014 Branford Boase Award and a Silver Inky Award in Australia. Her second novel, THE FEARLESS, is also out now in the UK from Corgi/Random House and will be published in the US in early 2015 by Delacorte. By day, she works as a library assistant and lives with her husband and crazy greyhound G-Dog in the North East Midlands.