Thursday, May 28, 2009

That’s My Name...You’re Wearing it Out!!!

I got an interesting e-mail this week from a composer in Los Angeles. He told me that he occasionally receives phone calls and e-mails from people who think they’re contacting me.

So why are they contacting him? Because the dude’s name is Jay Asher!

I’ve actually known about Jay Asher for a few years, ever since I tried registering and couldn’t because that Jay Asher already owned it. But he seems like a cool guy! And not only is he a composer, he’s also a published author. He wrote a book called Going Pro with Logic Pro 8.

What's his book about?

Logic Pro is arguably the number one digital audio workstation among professional musicians and composers, at home in both professional and project studios worldwide. Going Pro with Logic Pro 8 is an expert level book that addresses the needs of the professional Logic user.
So we might have slightly different target audiences.

Now Jay Asher and I are wondering if one of us should write a small check to the other one. Has anyone searching for his book stumbled upon, and also bought, my book? Or has anyone looking for my book stumbled upon, and also bought, his book?

But rather than worrying too much about that, maybe the next time I’m in L.A. we should just do a booksigning together. That would actually be kind of fun!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

13RW Going On 30: A Winner!!!

When I announced the 13RW Going On 30 contest, I said that if Thirteen Reasons Why made it onto the New York Times bestseller list for a 30th week, someone would win a bag o' goodies. Including the word "if" was important because if the book disappeared from the list immediately after I announced the contest, I would've probably felt embarrassed and you wouldn't have heard from me for at least a month.

But the book hung around for another week!!! (You can see the entire list by clicking here.)

So the winner of the goodie bag is:


Congratulations, Carise. And thank you all for entering!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Walls are Alive with the Sound of Music

Last week, JoanMarie and I went to Owen's Music...just to look. And whaddaya know! They were having a really good sale. So, we said yes.

Earlier this week, while JM was at work, I waited not-so-patiently for the truck to deliver our baby.

JM grew up with a piano in her home. Almost every time I visited her family, someone was playing the piano...usually her.

And now she's got a piano of her own!

I couldn't wait for her to get off work. And I'm totally shocked she didn't get a speeding ticket on her way home.

When she sat down to play, it was beautiful. It reminded me that she really hasn't changed much since I first met her...and that's a wonderful thing.

Here she is playing a song she wrote for me many years ago when she was in college.

When she was done, I tried playing the only song I knew. But I couldn't remember anything beyond the second chord of Chopsticks.

I suppose I'll have plenty of opportunities to learn now!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

13RW Going On 30: A Contest

According to the most recent list, Thirteen Reasons Why has been a New York Times bestseller for 29 weeks. In other's going on 30. Woo-hoo! And if it makes it to 30, one of you will win a big ol' bag o' goodies.

Here's what you'll get with this themed prize:

  • A bookbag from the San Luis Obispo library, which is where I worked when I wrote most of Thirteen Reasons Why.
  • A signed copy of my book.
  • A copy of the audiobook, signed by me and my wife. JoanMarie performs an original song, Soul Alone, at the end of the production.
  • A t-shirt from the world's coolest publisher, Razorbill.
  • A DVD of 13 Going On 30.
  • A pound of Wild Women Blend coffee (which inspired the Hairy Chest Blend in the book) from Linnaea's Café (which inspired Monet's Garden Café).
  • Fifty Fandango Bucks, in honor of the place Hannah and Clay worked one summer.
  • The Monster at the End of this Book (starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover), which is the most suspenseful book ever written.
  • An audiocassette recording of Cassette 5: Side A, with me reading as Clay and JoanMarie reading as Hannah.
  • A booklight, because you won't be able to put down The Monster at the End of this Book even if it is past your bedtime.
  • A Buffalo Tom c.d. which includes the song Larry. I listened to that song over and over while writing the final two pages.
  • Strawberry lipgloss, in honor of Clay's first kiss.

For a chance to win, all you've gotta do is leave your name in the comments section of this post between now and Saturday. Every name will go in a bag and one will be drawn at random. Come back on May 24th to find out if you've won.

Good luck!

And thank you!!!

RULES CLARIFICATION: Leaving an e-mail, MySpace, or blog address will make it much easier and quicker to contact you. But if you simply leave your name, you are still entered. Just make sure to come back on May 24th to see if you've won and we'll figure it out from there. And yes, people who live in another country can play, too!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Brazilian Edition!

I've always loved covers that prominently display a single object!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Loved It / Hated It

I’ve been hearing from a lot of new authors devastated by online reviews. And let me tell ya: Been there! It’d be one thing if the reviewers didn’t care for your style of writing or pointed out inconsistencies, but sometimes it seems so personal. And when your friends tell you not to take it personally, it’s very tempting to hang up on them or throw them outside and lock the door.

I can think of two ways to avoid negative reviews. Either write a book so lame no one wants to read it, or write something so watered-down no one can misinterpret it.

But if you aim to write something with substance, you need to come to terms with the fact that readers are human. Every person is going to experience art differently based on their points of view and life experiences. (True, some people will intentionally misrepresent your words to bolster their arguments, but I won’t even attempt to get into their heads.)

For your amusement, I’ve trolled through some online reviews of my own book to highlight the opposing ways people can read the same set of words.

Hated it: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY removes all accountability from Hannah and places it all on the other characters…

Loved it: Hannah isn't completely innocent, and she doesn't pretend to be. [S]he also points out some sticky situations she has gotten herself into - and how they backfire on her later.

Hated it: This book is trying to promote that everyone else is responsible for someone's actions.

Loved it: I think it also became important for us to know that, yes, Hannah is a victim, but she is also responsible for her own actions.

Hated it: …it is just so boring…

Loved it: It is a fast read and will keep you on the edge of your seat…

Hated it: Get out the violin. Give me a break.

Loved it: You'll cry, several times, while reading this story.

To really understand this post, go read the most glowing reviews of something you hated. You just might find yourself thinking, Did they even read the same book I did???

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Polish Edition!

Finally, Clay gets his own cover!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Near the Island of the Blue Dolphins

On Saturday, JoanMarie and I took a boat trip to the Channel Islands. I'm embarrassed to admit, but I completely forgot there were a whole bunch of islands just off the coast until I flew over them a couple months ago. (I guess I should've paid more attention during fourth grade California history.)

On our journey to Santa Cruz Island, we saw these sea lions taking a break from all that swimming.

Here's a pic of our boat after it dropped us off. (That's the California coast in the background.)

Then we began a 3.7 mile hike to Smuggler's Cove. It was odd, because even though we were on an island, it didn't feel like we were on an island. It just felt like we were hiking on some hills near a beach. But then we'd see a nearby island and remember how cool it was to be hiking on an island!

But even on an island, it's easy to get lost. (And yes, there were plenty of Lost and Gilligan's Island jokes.) Thankfully, they had really creepy signs like these to keep us on the right track.

Santa Cruz Island is part of the Channel Islands chain, which includes San Nicolas Island. In its honor, we brought a copy of Island of the Blue Dolphins to read from.

When we got back to the boat, I was feeling pretty good. Not only did I get in a good hike and visit a stunning beach, the boat was departing ten minutes early. That meant I would have plenty of time to visit Ralph's Comic Corner for Free Comic Book Day. (Yes, I did feel a tad guilty thinking about FCBD while surrounded by such beauty.)

But halfway home, the boat turned around and started following...a humpback whale!

As we continued our journey home, some other creatures of the sea decided to play with our boat.

Dolphins! It was truly magical.

And I even got to Ralph's Comic Corner with ten minutes to spare.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


So many things to celebrate this week!

Monday was my favorite new holiday. In fact, it was the first time anyone's ever celebrated it. The question is, will it be the last? (Don't answer that.)

Today, as I'm sure you already know, is Free Comic Book Day! This is the eighth annual celebration of FCBD, and if you don't know what that is (as if the name could be any more self-explanatory), check out its website. They've even included a handy store locator to help you find where you can grab your CBs for F.

I'll be spending most of FCBD with JoanMarie on a tiny island twenty miles off the coast of California. But the boat's supposed to bring us back before the local comic book store closes...with one hour to spare.

Will I make it?

UPDATE: Yes, I made it...barely. To find out why I barely made it, check back tomorrow.