Friday, September 30, 2011

Future Friday #6: Birthday

To countdown the release of The Future of Us (November 21st!), Carolyn Mackler and I will give away one autographed Advance Reader’s Copy every week. Along with the autographed copy (signed by both of us), we’ll toss in another goodie that's book-related.


For our sixth giveaway, the bonus item is Tuck Everlasting. Not only is Ms. Babbitt's novel one of our favorites, it even gets mentioned within our own novel.

We'll randomly select one person who comments on this Future Friday post to receive both prizes. There’s no need to leave your email address, but do check back on Saturday to see if you’ve won.

This week, because today is my 36th birthday (Oh, thank you!), we want to know which birthday you'd like to re-experience or pre-experience (yes, pre-experience). If you had a memorable birthday in the past and want another go at it, let us know how old you were and why you want go back. If you're curious about a birthday in the future, let us know how old you'll be and what you hope to learn.

Here are our answers:

CAROLYN: I would time-travel back to my 16th birthday. And not because it was perfect. No, it was anything but. On my 16th birthday, I was in the Bahamas with my dear friend and her mom. Her family had a time-share condo that we were staying in for the week. The night before my birthday, we went out to dinner and I ate something completely non-memorable. But when I woke up in the morning - the morning I turned 16 - I was puking. I puked and puked and puked for my entire 16th birthday. When I wasn't puking I was laying in a dark room with a cool washcloth on my head. At some point, my friend's mom brought out a chocolate cake and maybe put candles in it, but I couldn't even look at it. And that was that. I went to bed for the night. Basically I want to go back to the night before my 16th birthday and not eat that meal and not get food poisoning and then have, yes, my non-puking sweet sixteen.

JAY: I'd love to look fourteen years into the future. I assume my 50th b-day bash will be a biggie, so it'd be nice to see who shows up for the party...and see if I recognize them. (But if someone isn't there, what does that mean?) I'd also like to get a sense of what's going on career-wise at 50. Unfortunately, having spent so much time discussing the issue of future-peeking with Carolyn to write our book, I know the repercussions can totally backfire. But I still want to know!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

October Tour Dates

During the 2011 Teen Read Week, I'll be speaking and signing books across the country, flying to six different states. If you live anywhere near one of my stops, I would love to meet you!Location and time specifics are posted at the Thirteen Reasons Why Facebook page, so be sure to Like it to receive all updates. And you can always learn about my upcoming events by clicking the Speaking Schedule tab near the top of my blog.


(If one of you can see an image in the constellation above and give it a good name, I'll use that as the nickname for this tour and send you a signed paperback of Thirteen Reasons Why.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Set...

Isaiah's 9.5 months old today. Last night he took three steps toward a footstool, which made me about the proudest I've ever been of anyone (after the whole JoanMarie-giving-birth thing).

But then I grabbed the camera and he suddenly felt the pressure because he knew you'd all be watching.

So for now, there's this...

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Future Friday #5: Winner

Congratulations to Kendall Johnson for being randomly selected to win the fifth round of Future Friday giveaways! To claim your goodies, send your mailing address to EmmaNelson4Ever@aol.com. If you don't know who Emma Nelson is, you will when you start reading The Future of Us!

In this contest, the most frequently mentioned favorite show from 1996 was Boy Meets World. But Kendall's favorite shows, as seen in reruns, have two of the most memorable theme songs of the decade. (Cool Fact: both of these shows are mentioned in our book!)




See ya next Friday for another chance to win an Advanced Reader's Copy of The Future of Us!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Future Friday #5: TV

To countdown the release of The Future of Us (November 21st!), Carolyn Mackler and I will give away one autographed Advance Reader’s Copy every week. Along with the autographed copy (signed by both of us), we’ll toss in another goodie that's book-related.

For our fifth giveaway, the bonus item is Archie #624 ("Geek Face-off!" Dilton vs. Mark Zuckerberg!). Can I assume you know our book's Zuckerberg/Facebook connection? Well, there's an Archie connection, too!


We'll randomly select one person who comments on this Future Friday post to receive both prizes. There’s no need to leave your email address, but do check back on Saturday to see if you’ve won.

This week, we want to know your favorite TV show that originally aired in 1996. If you were old enough to watch TV back then, what show did you never miss? If you were too young in the mid-90s, what show would you watch if you stumbled upon a rerun today? Here's a sample prime-time TV schedule for the 1995-96 season. The sample doesn't include cable, so if your favorite show aired on cable in 1996, we still want to know!

Here are our answers:

JAY:
I'm not embarrassed to admit my answer. I'm not! (So why am I defending it before I even tell you what it is?) I never missed an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. I made fun of my friends in high school for watching it, but when they're all watching, I had to watch just to join their conversations. Within a couple episodes, I was hooked! Brandon, Brenda, and the crew were in the Class of 93 just like me. But while Steve drove a Corvette, I drove a Camaro. And I stayed a faithful viewer through their (and my) college years. Not ashamed!

CAROLYN:
1996 was a nomadic year for me. It was the year after college and I lived in a few different cities, couch-surfing much of the time. I didn't have a TV that year. If I was fortunate to crash a home with a TV I'd watch Seinfeld and Friends. It felt like such a treat!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Contests Goin' On!

Attention teens, teachers, and librarians!

Here's a quick reminder about a couple of awesome contests still going on:

Picture It @ your library
sponsored by: Young Adult Library Services Association (Teen Read Week)
object of contest: create a visual version of your favorite book's title
grand prize: e-reader pre-loaded with great teen titles
for more info: click here
to see my sample entry: click here


STAND UP instead of standing by!
sponsored by: Booksourse
object of contest: choose a character from select books and respond to either the victim or the bully in a poem, a song, or an essay
grand prize: a school or library visit from...me!
for more info:
click here


And now for some quick links to other things you may be interested in and not yet know about:

Thirteen Reasons Why Project
My Facebook fan page
Thirteen Reasons Why Facebook fan page
The Future of Us Facebook fan page

Monday, September 19, 2011

You Say Aloha & I Say Aloha

JoanMarie, Isaiah, and I recently returned from a place where it's not too difficult to find Spam-flavored macadamia nuts.


Unless you know of another Spam obsessed location, I'm obviously talking about Hawaii! It was the first time there for all three of us. Here's the airplane view of our first stop: Maui.


The five-hour flight from California required distracting Isaiah with lots of toys and plenty of walks down the aisle. Every couple of rows, someone would stick out their hand to tickle his belly and tell him how adorable he is, which made him ask for more and more walks.


The place we stayed had several pools very close to the beach. Something I found interesting were the reading preferences of the people relaxing at both bodies of water. About 80% of the pool crowd preferred ereaders. 100% of the beach crowd preferred books.


While I didn't get much reading done in Hawaii, I did spend much more time in water than I usually do. The ocean water felt nearly as perfect tempurature-wise as the pool water.


The reason we were in Hawaii, the country's 50th state and birthplace of President Obama (oh, please don't start that again), was for the beachside wedding of our good friends, Aaron and Mindy.


Also in attendance, Mindy's brother, Tyson. He loosely inspired one of my favorite characters in the much-anticipated upcoming novel, The Future of Us by What's-his-name and What's-her-name. The character he inspired, in case you've already read the book, is...um...oh, right...Tyson!


After the wedding, we went to a very fun luau.


The food was amazing and the dancing coconuts were stunning.


At the end of our trip to Maui, we took a short hike to Twin Falls. The water here was a little bit colder, and since I'm a water weenie, I held Isaiah while JoanMarie went for a swim out to the falling water. (No, that's not her topless behind me. That's a dude.)


Then we went to the airport and island-hopped over to Kona on the big island to visit some family. Here's my Aunt Ikumi, Uncle Kevin, and cousins Tai and Tomi.


Aunt Ikumi handmade JoanMarie and I a couple of absolutely beautiful leis, which we had to take off when Isaiah mistook them for teething-necklaces.


Uncle Kevin gave me my very first guitar when I was younger, a Fender Stratocaster, and his home is full of guitars and drums. My li'l drummer boy loved it!


When we went out to dinner, Isaiah could be occupied (for a little while) by handing him his latest favorite book, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.


We spent several hours at a little cove, either snorkeling or relaxing in the shade of trees. We don't have many trees on our California beaches. And the water here was even warmer than on Maui.

video

Isaiah even took his first boogie board lesson.


Fully adjusted to the new time zone, on our way back home, Isaiah was still full of energy late at night during our layover in San Francisco.

video

Aloha!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Future Friday #4: Winner

Congratulations to Emily for being randomly selected to win the fourth round of Future Friday giveaways! To claim your goodies, send your mailing address to EmmaNelson4Ever@aol.com. If you don't know who Emma Nelson is, you will when you start reading The Future of Us!

In 15 years, Emily would like to see "bicycles as plentiful as cars in the cities and green roofs on every house or building." She also wants her books to get great reviews.

We'd like to see those things come true, too!

See ya next Friday for another chance to win an Advanced Reader's Copy of The Future of Us!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Future Friday #4: Issues

To countdown the release of The Future of Us (November 21st!), Carolyn Mackler and I will give away one autographed Advance Reader’s Copy every week. Along with the autographed copy (signed by both of us), we’ll toss in another goodie that's book-related.

For our fourth giveaway, the bonus item is a DVD of The Social Network. Whereas the movie was about the founding of Facebook, our novel is about the Facebook of today, as viewed by teens before it was founded. (Confused? You won't be when you read the book!)


We'll randomly select one person who comments on this Future Friday post to receive both prizes. There’s no need to leave your email address, but do check back on Saturday to see if you’ve won.

This week, we're not asking you about the past, we want you to think about the future. At one point in The Future of Us, a character says she wouldn't want to see into the future because it might be depressing if certain things haven't changed. But let's be positive! If you could see fifteen years into the future, what issues do you hope won't be issues anymore?

Here are our answers:

CAROLYN: I'd love to see global warming being addressed more thoroughly, and a less polarized government. I'd like to see the threat of terrorism gone, and for gay marriage to be just as accepted as straight marriage. I'd like bullying to be eradicated, and the economy to be hopping and people to stop texting during conversations and - yes, I have to say it! - I'd love the real story on Brad and Angelina and that brood of kids. Who is raising them? And how do they always look so good after getting off a 10-hour flight?

JAY: In my fantasy future, the commitment to pursuing cleaner forms of energy is not an issue. We're doing it! People are healthier, the environment is safer, and we've created a ton of new jobs. I've gotta say, it's pretty nice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Publishers Weekly Starred Review!

Carolyn Mackler and I had a very fun phone conversation the other day. I hadn't checked my email in a while, so she broke the news of our first major review by reading it to me. At the conclusion of Carolyn's wonderful read-aloud from Publishers Weekly, we both finally admitted how nervously we'd been anticipating this moment.

And for the rest of the day, we kept sending each other electronic high-fives!

(Starred Review) The Future of Us
Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. Razorbill, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59514-491-1

With collaborators like these, readers expect an ingenious hook, compelling characters, and thought-provoking content, and these two top-of-their-game authors don't disappoint. It's 1996, and high school junior Emma and her neighbor Josh are BFFs until an awkward, romantic moment creates tension. Then Emma gets a new computer and an AOL CD-ROM, which somehow allow her to access her future Facebook page when she goes online. She and Josh are able to read about what their lives will be like in 15 years, but what's more, they discover that they can affect those future lives by their thoughts and actions in the present, a sobering realization with far-reaching consequences for the teenagers. Asher and Mackler's concept is fascinating--how closely today is tied to tomorrow--and the alternating voices of the two main characters keep each chapter fresh and provide distinct perspectives on the events of the story. Though readers will not necessarily be surprised by how things turn out, the enjoyment--and the underlying message--is in simply allowing the journey to unfold. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Future Friday #3: Winner

Congratulations to Small Town Shelly Brown for being randomly selected to win the third round of Future Friday giveaways! To claim your goodies, send your mailing address to EmmaNelson4Ever@aol.com. If you don't know who Emma Nelson is, you will when you start reading The Future of Us!

Ms. Small Town's personal faves published in 1996 were Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren and Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday. And because she's a great older sister, she also enjoyed reading Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse to her little sister.

See ya next Friday for another chance to win an Advanced Reader's Copy of The Future of Us!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Future Friday #3: Books

To countdown the release of The Future of Us (November 21st!), Carolyn Mackler and I will give away one autographed Advance Reader’s Copy every week. Along with the autographed copy (signed by both of us), we’ll toss in another goodie that's book-related.

For our third giveaway, the bonus item is a two-pack of disposable cameras. How are disposable cameras related to the book? I guess you'll have to read it to find out!


We'll randomly select one person who comments on this Future Friday post to receive both prizes. There’s no need to leave your email address, but do check back on Saturday to see if you’ve won.

This week, we want to know your favorite books that came out in 1996. Don't tell us the books you want to read because it'll spoil a future Future Friday. Tell us about the books (up to three) that you did read. If for some odd reason you don't remember which books came out in 1996, here's a good reminder.

And here are our answers:

JAY:
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I read this at a time when I was uncertain of what I wanted to do with my life. After finishing the book, I still had no idea, but I knew I didn't want to hitchhike to Alaska and live off the land (even if Eddie Vedder would compose the soundtrack of my life).
Frindle by Andrew Clements. Such a basic idea taken to extremes. At the time, I was trying to write manuscripts for this age group, and this book made me very jealous.

CAROLYN:
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding because I was single and living in a city and feeling like a big screw-up half the time. I totally identified with Bridget!
Loose Change by Sara Davidson. This didn't come out until 1997, but I was working as an intern at a magazine in the summer of 1996 and the advance copy came in the mail. It's about three young women in the 1960s - couldn't put it down.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Fall 2011 Children's Books

The Fall 2011 Children’s Books issue of Publishers Weekly is out! Based on the very brief descriptions given for each title, here are some upcoming (or recently released) mid-grade and teen novels that made me say, “Hmm... Interesting.”

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies. Two angels vie for the heart of a girl who may hold the power to save – or destroy – the universe. [Full Disclosure: Jocelyn Davies edited The Future of Us. But even if she didn't, I’d still want to read this!]

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer. A teen is haunted by murders committed by her estranged father.

Brooklyn Burning by Steve Brezenoff. In this love story, the genders of the two main characters are never revealed.

Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos. Nan suspects she’s a ghost after waking up the day after Halloween in a subway car with no idea how she got there.

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey. A teen raises her boyfriend from the dead, only to discover that he’s nothing like the boy she loved.

Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough. Delaney learns that her father is a fairy godmother and the gene is hereditary.

Faking Faith by Josie Bloss centers on a girl who fakes her religion to get to the boy she has a crush on.

Falling for Henry by Beverley Brenna. A teen is transported back to the days of Henry VIII’s teenage years, where she inhabits the body of Katherine of Aragon.

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. In 1996, two teens who go online find themselves on Facebook in 2011. [Full Disclosure: I am Jay Asher.]

Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer by Cecily von Ziegesar is a slasher-themed retelling of the first Gossip Girl novel.

Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera imagines 15-year-old Khalid, a boy who is being held without charge at Guantanamo Bay.

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. In this paranormal tale, Romeo and Juliet meet again – as enemies.

The Last Musketeer by Stuart Gibbs launches a series featuring a 21st-century American boy who travels to 17th-century France, where he becomes one of the Three Musketeers.

Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. A twist in time gives Emily the power to change Little Women.

Morning Star by Judith Plaxton tells of a runaway slave escaping to freedom and a contemporary girl in a town that was a terminus for the Underground Railroad.

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder. Campbell learns to believe in herself when she moves to a town known for its mystical healing powers.

The Shattering by Karen Healey. Can three teens save the next victim of a serial killer in their town?

Slayers by C.J. Hill. When dragon eggs fall into the wrong hands, the Slayers must keep them from hatching.

Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie by S.J. Adams. Two teen outcasts at school create their own religion.

Unforgettable by Loretta Ellsworth centers on a boy who is unable to forget anything.

Unison Spark by Andy Marino involves an all-knowing social network.

Villain School: Good Curses Evil by Stephanie S. Sanders. Kids whose parents are famous villains just want to be good.

You Have Seven Messages by Stewart Lewis. Luna listens to messages on her mother’s phone and begins to question her death.

You Will Call Me Drog by Sue Cowing. A boy gets a sarcastic talking puppet stuck on his hand.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Future Friday #2: Winner

Congratulations to Lori M. Lee for being randomly selected to win the second round of Future Friday giveaways! To claim your goodies, send your mailing address to EmmaNelson4Ever@aol.com. If you don't know who Emma Nelson is, you will when you start reading The Future of Us!

Lori, we truly hope your internet experiences have improved beyond the "AOL and the HORRIBLE HORRIBLE chatrooms" days.


See ya next Friday for another chance to win an Advanced Reader's Copy of The Future of Us!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Future Friday #2: First Time Online

To countdown the release of The Future of Us (November 21st!), Carolyn Mackler and I will give away one autographed Advance Reader’s Copy every week. Along with the autographed copy (signed by both of us), we’ll toss in another goodie that's book-related.

For our second giveaway, the bonus item is the June 2011 issue of MAD Magazine, featuring "The 50 Worst Things About Facebook". (#12: The charming way your boyfriend changed his status from "in a relationship" to "single" a full three hours before calling to inform you of this development.)


We'll randomly select one person who comments on this Future Friday post to receive both prizes. There’s no need to leave your email address, but do check back on Saturday to see if you’ve won.

This week, we want to know about your first online experience. When was it? What did you search for? If you can't recall those details (maybe it was too long ago, or maybe you grew up with the internet so it didn't feel significant), then we'd love to know your first favorite website.

Here are our answers:

CAROLYN: It was 1997, and I was at the public library in Ithaca, NY. My then-boyfriend's identical twin brother took me there to teach me about this thing called the Internet and how to use it. I was just attempting to write my first YA novel, so the first thing I searched for was, naturally, Judy Blume. I was amazed to discover she had a great site (still does!) with a wealth of information. I was sold. This Internet thing was amazing.

JAY: It was 1996 (oddly enough), and I was in the library at my community college. I was embarrassed that I had never been online and didn't want anyone watching me fumble around, so I sat at the most isolated computer. The first search I did was for Def Leppard, my favorite band. Pre-Google, I don't remember if I found their official site (here it is now!), but I did find an abundance of fansites. My people!