Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bologna 2012: Part Tu

Ok! Onward in the adventure. None of you fruitloops guessed which author I met. Even though I practically GAVE IT AWAY.

Fruitloops the lot o' ya.

I kid, of course you're not fruitloops. You're more like...  cheerios. :) Awesome cheerios.

I'll tell you at the end. Of this post.

So. After Breakfast with Kristin and Smuggling of Mothers into Fairs, we met up with Anita Mumm of Nelson Literary, who was super nice. Anita took us to my meeting with the Brazilian publisher of The Peculiar. Who was also super nice. Brazilian Publisher asked how I came to write the book, and what kinds of things I like to read, and why I was so young. (I think I was born that way, but it's a valid question.)
This photo doesn't capture any exciting-ness or sparkles either. I'm all like "Shyeaaah, " and Anita's all like "Shyeaaah." BUT! You asked for pictures. So I comply.
After the meeting Anita took us to the HarperCollins booth in one of the vast, vaaaaaast halls.

And guess what was there...

Guess.

Keep guessing.

And you'll just have to continue guessing because I'm mean I don't want to actually show you yet. It's too exciting. Toooo exciting to be put into this post. I decided to make a separate post about it, with the cover reveal, and pictures of my awesome shiny ARCs, and stuff.

The cover has actually been floating around the internets for several weeks now, so it's not really going to be a surprising reveal. But you can gasp and pretend to be surprised anyway, ok?

Suffice it to say that HC had a big ol' poster of my book right there on their booth, and total random strangers stopped to admire it, and some of them even flicked out notepads to write down SECRET-AND-HOPEFULLY-FLATTERING-THINGS about it.

Anyway, after much freaking out over that, we stopped our wanderings to have lunch at one of the fair's bright red food-courts. The line was SO LONG. And you had to pay right away, without actually knowing what you want, so where's the thinking there? Foolishness! We ended up being shoved some gooky sandwiches with wilt-y lettuce, that I'm sure were not anything like what we ordered. But dare you say anything when hordes of starving book people are waiting behind you? 

NO. You dare not.

...

Then we found a feather.

It was a black feather.

Proof? I give it to you:

 






 <----- feather
If you've read The Peculiar, and you probably haven't, you'll know that black feathers are a little bit important in ze book. So when Mom and I saw this lonely little black feather on the floor we were like, "WHAT DOES IT MEAN???"

...

Then I fell asleep.

I'm not kidding. At all.

You may well be thinking, "STEFAN WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? YOU GO TO BIG BOOK FAIR! YOU FALL ASLEEP! THIS IS BAD! BAD, BAD, BAD!!!"

You need to calm down.

But seriously, I KNOW! What's up with that? Sleeping at the biggest children's book fair in the world... is lame. It seemed very logical at the time, though. We had been walking around for hours, and found a bench, and since Mom was occupied reading the thirty-four pounds of publisher's catalogs she had filched from various stands, I went to sleep!

When I woke up, it was almost time for the HarperCollins meeting.

So I was like, "Fare thee well, Motherrr!" and scurried up the agent's center to loiter around until Kristin was done with her meetings. It was kind of awkward, this loitering. Everyone no doubt thought I was one of those writers who leap from behind potted palms and TACKLE unsuspecting agents, and demand that the unsuspecting agent represent my Work of Genius® right NOW. 
This is how the agent centre looks. Lotsa, lotsa agents and potted palms, muahahaha.
But I survived, and Kristin took me to the HarperCollins booth where we were meeting the sub-rights people, who are doing a grand job of selling the book to exotic countries. The sub-rights people were just as super nice as all the super nice people I had met previously.

And now for the big news that you've all been dying to hear. Right? Dying?

The author I met... was... Marie Lu. Of Legend fame. She was also super nice. I have her book - her shiny, shiny book - sitting somewhere among my teetering to-read piles. So all I could say was, "AH OWN YOUR BOOK! But I haven't actually read it yet." 

Very smooth.


Anyway. The fair was terrifantasticallamazingwithicecream, and I'm very grateful that HarperCollins allowed me to go, and that all the people I met there were so cool and welcoming.

I don't know if I was expecting to meet a bunch of ogres or something. Hmm. But the whole thing was definitely the best possible introduction to Book World I could have hoped for.

Let's wrap things up with a random picture:
Bologna by night.


The end! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bologna 2012: Part One

AH. OH. *jumps around*

I'm back from Bologna, and it was... just like... ahhhhhEEEEEgibegigalloo.

Like that.

I thought maybe once I got back and had a few days to think about the whole thing, it might be easier to mush it into a blogish-type shape, but the whole thing is still kind of a jolly haze of exciting-ness and sparkles, and exciting-ness and sparkles are notoriously difficult to mush into bloggish-type shapes. Complicating matters, I took hardly any pictures, and neither did my mom.

Whenever we did take pictures, the haze of exciting-ness and sparkles didn't show up at all.

To the camera, the whole thing looked like this:

Do you see the sparkles? The exciting-ness, then? Surely you see the exciting-ness. NO?!? Perhaps you need spectacles.

But seriously, it's difficult to describe properly. It was huge. It was busy. There were books everywhere. We got lost in five minutes flat. And there were usually a lot more people running around than are shown in that picture up there. I suppose that was a quiet, distant corner of the fair that was simply too far away for many people to bother trekking to. Ooh, dangling preposition. There were lots of people!

So since I can't describe it, let me just recount the whole adventure beat for beat. Ok? Ok.

We left bright-n-early Monday morning on the train Z├╝rich --> Milano. My travel book this time was The Wise Man's Fear.

(It has faerys in it. DID YOU KNOW THIS??? ME NEITHER. O_O)

And in point of fact, my travel book is still The Wise Man's Fear, because that thing is like 1,200 pages of small type and pretty much nothing happens after page 642.

We got out at Milan's ginormous train station and came to the conclusion that our train had arrived ten minutes late and our connecting train to Bologna had totally LEFT WITHOUT US. >:(

The gall. 
 
We met a Greek man who was also very shocked and distressed over the behavior of that train. He said some rather disparaging things about Italy, and trains, and about Greece as well, and then he went to Rome.

We went to Bologna, hiked across the street to our hotel, accomplished the vast fete of raising our finger to the elevator button, and somehow managed to drag our exhausted selves into our hotel room after surviving the ordeal of sitting around for six hours doing nothing.

We are tough cookies.

We then found a loud little restaurant and ate Italian food to blasting dance-pop. We had tortellini and bruschetta, salad that had no dressing (glerb) and some startlingly yellow vanilla gelato. There was also a plate of meat somewhere in there. Just meat. With nothing else. Nothing. NOTHING! Not even parsley. It was kind of ew.

During dinner, I whined to my mom about everything that might go wrong the next day.

"Mommmmm, what if I don't LIKE Book World. Huh, Mom? Huh?! Or, more importantly, what if Book World doesn't like meeeeeeehehehehe..." *weeps* *gnashes teeth*

And Mom was like, "Chillax, kiddo." Not really, but you get the picture.

And then we wandered around the town a little bit, and wandered back to the hotel, and I fell dead-asleep.

Next morning we had a meeting with Kristin Nelson, who is a terribly important literary agent. She took us to breakfast at The Carlton. Poshness. I didn't get any pictures, but it was all marble-y and red-carpet-y and baroque-y. And in case you were wondering, Kristin is super nice and not frightening at all.

We talked about books, and writers, and the silliness of THINGS, and then she suggested we smuggle my Mom into the fair!

So we smuggled my Mom into the fair.

Remember that last post? The one where I was like, "THEY WILL KICK US OUT IF WE DO NOT LOOK LIKE PROFESSIONAL OPERATORS IN TRI-CORN HATS, THEY WILL." 

Lies, I tell you. Lies. You can totally smuggle people into the fair, tri-corn hats or no tri-corn hat, and no one will care! Though I suspect even if someone had cared, Kristin would have chased them away. So perhaps you shouldn't risk it unless you have a super-cool lit agent on your side.

And... um... this post is getting really long. And nothing of consequence has even happened yet. Sorrehhh. I'll type the rest up tomorrow. The interesting parts. The parts where I meet various book people, and see the most exciting thing ever. I also meet my first real-live-author! Guess who it was.

Guess.

Guess, guess, guess.

I'll give you a hint: He/she debuted in 2011 with a big ol' YA dystopian.

You totally know who it is now, right? Yar. xD

Monday, March 19, 2012

Balony

I'm going to Bologna.

In like... five minutes.

Because there's a ginormous children's book fair there and HarperCollins GAVE ME A TICKET! That's why. Thank you, HarperCollins.

I know, I know, this is a very anti-climactic way to say things, and you are no doubt clutching your screen in shock, and shaking it, and screaming, "Whaaaah haven't you been gibbering excitedly about this for the last twelve POSTS???" 

Because, see, I wanted to announce it in style, with a vlog, and firecrackers, and freaking out.

But there was no time. :'(

So off I go, plunging into Book World without any firecrackers at all, though there'll be plenty of freaking out I can assure you. I'm alternating between being ridiculously excited and being a little bit nervous. It's kind of surreal, this thought of stepping from the Book World I know thus far, which has been made up entirely of emails and phone calls, to real-life PLACES full of flesh-and-blood PEOPLE who all seem terribly important.

I'm going to meet Kristin Nelson and HarperCollinsisisisis sub-rights people. I'm going to put on my best professional face and see if I can trick everyone into thinking I'm a serious author, and not some random teenager who must be KICKED OUT.

Because you'll notice the fair's website says  that it "is rigorously reserved to professional operators," and of course this means that they kick people out on their be-HINDS if they don't look like professional operators. I don't actually know how professional operators look, but it involves wearing tri-corn hats, surely. In which case, I AM PREPARED.

I joke. Up there? Joke.

So! If I can hold up this daring ruse for long enough, I will take many surreptitious pictures and make a big long post about my perilous adventure... later.

Bye!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trailer Tuesday #6: Lockout

I don't much like Sci-fi. Whenever someone asks me, I'll be like, "Ehmmmm, no. Fantasy." But if I actually think about it, I like do sci-fi. I like spaceships, and bunker complexes, and those huge thick doors that always close with resounding booms just as wicked monsters are coming, or the world is exploding, or someone's arm is stuck.

I guess I just don't like Star Wars that much. I do, however, remember the much-maligned Event Horizon as being the scariest movie I've ever seen. So it depends... on... something.

At any rate, I stumbled across the Lockout trailer and was like, "This'll be dumbbbbb." *watches* "This looks kinda cooooo."

Here it is:

Screenshot leaves meh speechless. Really. I have nothing to say to it.

I think the movie's premise is really interesting. A maximum security prison IN SPACE is overrun by its psycho inmates. No one cares, except that the president's daughter is on-board, totally INTERVIEWING SAID PSYCHO INMATES. Enter hero, guns, and one-liners.

The middle part of the trailer gets kinda corny with voice-overs and... presidents. The last part gets back on track with action and explosions and Irish-jig-singing psychos.

So we'll see. It could be entertaining and silly. Or it could be just silly. Either way it has been added it to the long list of movies I really, really, really want to maybe watch someday.

In other news, THE PECULIAR is going to be published in other countries! Ahhhhhhh...  

(That was a Shout of Joy, for those of you who are illiterate.)

HarperCollins's brilliant people started sending the manuscript into the wild blue yonder, and Poland and Brazil bought foreign rights! Like, really fast.

So it's going to be translated into languages I do not understand, and someday I will be able to read it in those languages and be like, "Hsdkjghadfgvbkfjdhgnd-oooh-I WROTE THAT."

This is awesome.

Poland is awesome, and Brazil is awesome, and HC is awesome, and they all pretty much make up for a week that has been borderline lame. *glares at heap of music that really ought to be practiced once or twice before national competition*

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ascona

Ascona, and ze laggo.
Ahh, I fairly-well died from lack of internetz, but Ascona was lovely, and sunny, and palm tree-y, and I ate pasta sauce straight from the jar, and found a pair of neon green plastic sunglasses that look, strictly speaking, terrible, but I'm going to wear them anyway.

I also read The Fault in Our Stars. It was my travel book.

I'd heard a TON of glowing things about it. Everyone was basically like, "Oh, you shall CRY in PUBLIC," which I doubted, but I wasn't averse to the idea should the book really be that good, and so I bought it, and I packed it, and was really pumped to read it, because sad books are awesome, and... annnnd... It didn't really do anything for me.

Now you're probably thinking, "Stefan, you cold-hearted blighter. This book is about teenagers! Dying! Of CANCER!!!"

Yes, thank you, I realized that while reading. (Thumbs up for coherency skillzzzz.) But somehow the whole book seemed to go like this:

Girl Dying Of Cancer: *says something snarky*
Boy With One Leg: *is totally OK with all the snark, and is in fact smitten by it, and even though you'd think Snarky Dying Girl would not be particularly interesting to a one-legged teenager who, like all one-legged teenagers, is preternaturally cool and charismatic, Boy-With-One-Leg pursues her and whisks her off to AMSTERDAM.
At which point, Author: *says something deep about the universe, or breakfast eggs, or... cancer.*

I dunno. I was seriously expecting to love it, be moved by it, or at least marvel at the author's subtlety and skill. But a lot of things didn't work for me. I think most of them had to do with the supposedly 'teenage' characters. Yeah, they have cancer, and cancer is sad and horrible, and perhaps very maturing, but I was recently introduced to a girl who is still bald from her chemo treatments, and for some reason she didn't sound at all like a thirty-something youtuber. She was just a teenager. And I'm fairly certain her doctors and flight attendants never gave her bottles of champagne either.

The rest of the world seems to be squarely in the 'CRY in PUBLIC' group, and I think that's way admirable if a book can do that for people. I'm just saying it didn't do that for me.

But whatever. Below are some pictures of our two-day-advenshaaaah, stolen from my Mom's camera.

They all have that annoying orange date in the corner, and I'm too lazy have no idea how to get rid of them, SO IGNORE IT, pleeeease?

Fair Switzerland, through the train window. Aka, the usual spread of idyllic mountains, and lakes, and fields full of cows and clocks and chocolate.
       And then, in one fell swoop. Ka-POW! 

Palm trees!

And pasta!














And decapitated people in SHORT DRESSES!
 At least, I think that's what that represents. I'm open to other interpretations, though.

That's all I got. Thing's are vedy, vedy busy for me this week, and month, and though I have lots to talk about, I have no time to type them into coherent blog posts, so later on, hopefully, definitely, yes?

Awesome.