Sunday, April 3, 2016

Farewell, Scathing Jellyfish!

So, Scathing Jellyfish is coming to an end.

I will never blog again.

Just kidding, I'm moving to Wordpress:D Because it's better. And you can make pictures any size you want instead of just minuscule / still rather small / too-large-too-fit-your-template.

But I'm kind of sad anyway, because this blog has been here for what feels like forever. Does anyone remember the self-made header way back in 2011? With General Malaise? Before agents and book deals and all that? I will leave the blog here, but all new updates will be on my website's blog, which just got the SNAZZIEST of redesigns, courtesy of the awesome IPopColor. It would be cool to see all of you there, too.

(The posts and comments have all been carried over, but it's kind of a mess as far as formatting goes, so don't mind those. I'll continue my irregular posting of adventures, though, for sure.)

So . . .

Bye, Scathing Jellyfish!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Would you survive the Palace? - QUIZ

OH MAH WRRD, look at those non-existant photo edit skillz.

Here's a short quiz to see if you would survive the palace in A Drop of Night. I got, "Sorry, you're dead," which is very realistic. 😄 I would not survive any of my books. What did you get! Tell us in the comments!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A DROP OF NIGHT - Book Birthday!

*dashes onto blog* It's here!

A Drop of Night took three very lengthy years to write, and if you read it you'll probably be like "Uh, why did this popcorn-y book take three very lengthy years? It's not Proust." To which I would say:

It was just a different sort of project for me, I think. It was written and re-written and re-written again during a pretty weird time, aka the last rage-y bit of my teenage life and the beginning of college. I'm proud of the book, though. I'm glad I wrote it.

Some things! (I will update and add to this as the week progresses.)

- Buzzfeed picked A Drop of Night as one of its books to read for Spring 2016.

- Epic Reads has it on their list of most anticipated books for March 2016 and it's gotten some nice reviews.

- On Adventures in YA Publishing I answer the question "What is your favorite thing about the book?" (They're also running a giveaway for a hardcover.)

And here is an interview I did with them where I talk about how long the book took to write, and what my writing rituals are, and what my next book will be.

- Since I don't think I'll be going to the US this year unless I absolutely must, if anyone sees A Drop of Night at a bookstore and has a moment to tweet me a picture that would be amazing. :)

Also, acknowledgements - the acknowledgement post I wrote for The Whatnot still applies 100%, but since this book was much more circuitous to write than TW: thank you so much to my agent Sara and my editor Virginia for being the best, and for reading the manuscript way too many times, and for not firing me. Thank you Lois for being a brilliant copyeditor. Thank you Gina, Katie, Sylvie, Martha, Tim, Paul for designing the fantastic cover, the HC International people who are great and organized the readings in Zürich. In short, thank you everyone at Greenwillow and HarperCollins who do so many things for so many books. I'm really, really grateful to be published by you.

Thanks also to my dear family and friends, especially the three friends to whom this book is dedicated.

And that's it! I have a lot of other thoughts, but they don't really matter at this point, so OFF YOU GO Weird YA Thing, and I hope you find your crowd. And of course I hope you - dear blog readers - like it, and leaving reviews absolutely anywhere is the best thing ever, and awesome, and thank you, too, because obviously you are the main factor in this whole book-writing shenanigan. :) Thanks a ton for reading.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Drop of Night - Zürich reading!

See the Oranges of Doom in the background? If you're one of the six people who read the earliest drafts of the book, youuuuu ... have probably forgotten by now about Oranges of Doom. But they were there. Causing doom.

(There is only one orange in the new version. P. 35, historical flashback: "We continued to chatter mercilessly. We would not cease. And after a while Mama began to weep, putting her hands to her ears, and the orange lay on the table, a knobbly spiral of peel, the rich flesh within hacked to bits.")

YOU GUYS. I'm doing one reading for A Drop of Night, in the most excellent English Bookshop in Zürich. I know most of you who read this blog are not in Switzerland, but if you are, come, please, oh, please? It would be awesome to see some familiar faces there. Solo readings are usually terrifying, unless you adore being the center of attention, which ... I don't. So if cool book friends are there it's just better, ya know? :)

Also, if you guys are Zürichers you may have heard that an absolute breach of human rights is happening and The Bookshop is moving into the upper floors of the German bookstore and being replaced by a Zara. *burns everything* This will be in May I think? I mean, they're not closing, so that's cool, but it still feels sad, because nobody needs Zara and everybody needs books. They're such a great bookstore, and I'm happy I get to do one more event in their current location.

The reading is on April 2nd, 2016, at 18:30 (6:30 PM) at The Bookshop Orell Füssli on the Bahnhofstrasse. If you came you would be awesome, and I will sign books and answer questions and such-like.

Some more things:

- I got finished copies! They're hyootiful and shiny. Greenwillow makes the loveliest books. Here are some more pictures.

Foil type! 🎶"How they shimmer, how they glimmer, those butterflies."🎶
This is the back cover. A questionnaire our heroine Anouk fills out pre-palace expedition:

- I also sent off my next manuscript! IT'S SO LONG. I've reverted into full-on shivering-in-corners until I hear back from my editor, and I fear I'm going to have to cut 40,000 words and I'm already fortifying myself for this, but wherrrrrre will I cut them?

Dat apple.
- Here's a song I've been listening to on repeat since the beginning of time, aka, January. It's very relaxing, and slightly melancholy, and apparently about the 1940's movie industry in Sedona, Arizona.

Good, no? Hope everyone's well! :) Bye!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A DROP OF NIGHT - early reviews!

A Drop of Night is getting its first revieeeeews! And they don't hate it! Look:

Bizarre and hugely suspenseful . . . Bachmann keeps the pages turning with this thriller . . . The peculiar circumstances add to the strange atmosphere and also to the suspense, lending the book an appealing, otherworldly quality. Kirkus

A fast-paced thrill-ride . . . Chilling . . . The suspense begins from the first page. I Know What You Did Last Summer meets Frankenstein. —YA Books Central

Smooth writing, an engaging plot, and only wisps of romance place this work’s focus squarely on two headstrong and rebellious girls . . . For readers who like strong characters in a unique setting and prefer their horror with a streak of science fiction. School Library Journal

Bachmann’s writing is as polished as in his earlier books—the violence is fittingly gruesome, the decadent and mazelike palace is gorgeously described, and Anouk has an engagingly snarky narrative voice. Publishers Weekly

In the same review, Publishers Weekly also felt the book was pulpy and got lost among the frantic action, but thank you PW for giving us the nice pull-quote anyway! You're cool. :)

Anyway, since I'm feeling relieved, and like even if this book is weird, it's at least excitingly weird, here's a handy list of things about A Drop of Night to perhaps whet your appetite for March 2016.

Things A Drop of Night has:

- A spiky, sometimes mean, usually smart, possibly traumatized, but hopefully eventually understandable main character named Anouk van Roijer Peerenboom.

- Lots of running in the dark through a huge, subterranean palace where every room is different and might kill you. Also, a goodly dollop of fighting against terrible things. And three gallons of Mysterious Happenings.

- Elements of paranormal / sci-fi / history / thriller. But it's not a mash-up, in the sense that those elements aren't all squished together in the same scenes.

- Flashbacks to 1780's France, but a narrative set in ze now.

- You probably won't be able to figure out the ending in advance. There are clues, though. (If you *do* guess the ending in advance, I feel like there should be a refund or something.)


Things A Drop of Night doesn't have:

- A historically and archeologically accurate premise that could totally happen in a pinch. (Aka, there *were* underground palaces built during the French Revolution, and science just hasn't caught up. Because alas. . . no.)

- Tons of gore and bloodshed. It looks like a horror book, but I don't think it is entirely. At least, I didn't write it with the intent of it being horrifying. I think it's creepy, and dark, but it's more action than horror. Horror makes me think of broken bones and severed limbs and there's the absolute minimum of that because ew.

- A cliffhanger ending. NOT THIS TIME. There will never-ever-ever be a sequel to this slice of weirdness.

- Romance. There's the tiniest bit of arm-touching and panick-hugging, but all the characters spend most of the book in great peril, so basically: 

And that's that! I have plans to do some videos on the characters and setting, and we've recorded a popsong (or three) for the book, and those giveaways I talked about ages ago and still haven't gotten around to will also happen soon-ish. I just survived a massively important college test which may get a blog post all to itself (but maybe not because if someone from school reads it they could be mad), so now I'm catching up.

In other news, I've gone back to work on the middle grade standalone, and it's soooo close to done. I'm hoping to have a draft done ASAP to send to Editor. It's like the jollier older sibling of The Peculiar, but still a little dark, but hopefully warmer and fuzzier, but also kind of melancholy because sad things happened while it was being written. And it has monsters. And an ocean made out of wooden waves.

Anyway, more soon, and happy 2016 to you! :)