Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Yes, My Book Was "Compromised." No, This Is Not a Hoax

My latest book, How to Lead a Life of Crime, came out on Thursday (2/21). It is, in my opinion, the best thing I’ve ever written. I put two years of my life—and every ounce of my energy—into the novel.

So imagine my horror, when I realized errors had been introduced to the hardcover edition by someone other than myself. They aren’t little errors, either. (See my post below for more information.)

Despite the damage, I'm still extremely proud of How to Lead a Life of Crime. And reviewers—readers, bloggers, and the professional press—seem to agree that it's a darn good read.

Here are a just a few . . .

Forever YA (Warning: This review is R rated—and absolutely hilarious.)
Miss Literati
RT Book Reviews
Books With Bite

There are plenty of other reviews out there at this point. (Including great reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Voya.) I'll be posting them here as I find them.

I'm not going to let this get me down. (Though I did spend a few days licking my wounds.) But How to Lead a Life of Crime is all about survival. And its heroes have much bigger problems to face than a "compromised" book. So I'm going to forge ahead. (And kick a little butt if I get the chance.)

After my unpleasant discovery, a good friend of mine joked, “you say compromised, I say collector’s edition.” (But then again, you’d expect that kind of optimism from someone named Sunny.) It's totally nuts, but in order to save what's left of my sanity, that's how I'm going to refer to the hardcover edition from now on.

I have ten copies of the "collector's edition" of How to Lead a Life of Crime sitting in my office. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to give them all away.

Something Terrible Happened to My Book

Thank you all for imagining the best. Unfortunately, the news regarding How to Lead a Life of Crime (which came out on 2/21) was not good.

Here's the scoop. Please spread the word.

As with all things related to How to Lead a Life of Crime, the website is intended for older teens and adults.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Things Got Really "Interesting" Last Week

Hey everyone. Sorry I haven't been around lately. Something rather strange happened last week. I can't discuss it right now, but it had to do with my latest novel, How to Lead a Life of Crime. I'll be back at Bank St. Irregular in a couple of days with an explanation. You might want to check back around the middle of this week. 'Cause you're not going to BELIEVE what I have to tell you.

In the meantime, please enjoy these delightful Darkness Dwellers links!

My interview with the amazing New Moon Girls.

My interview with The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia.

This one's cool--and interview with a reader at YA Romantics.

A review at An Avid Reader's Musings.

If I missed a link from my blog tour, please let me know!!!!

And here is ONE OF THE FIRST How to Lead a Life of Crime links, my Valentine's Day guest post at Bookshelf Sophisticate! Very exciting, indeed!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Princes in the Tower and the King Under the Car Park

If you've read The Darkness Dwellers, you may have spotted a reference to the two boys known as the "Princes in the Tower." When their father, King Edward IV, died in 1470, the princes were heirs to the throne of England. The eldest, Edward V, was 12 years old. His brother was 9. The princes were moved to the infamous Tower of London by their uncle Richard. Richard claimed he was only trying to protect the boys. Then he took the throne for himself. The princes were never seen again.

Rumors flew, but no one was ever able to prove that Richard III murdered his nephews. Two hundred years later, a pair of little skeletons were discovered buried in a wooden box not far from the White Tower. A witness claimed that the bones had "pieces of rag and velvet about them."

We don't know for certain that the skeletons belonged to the princes. But it's safe to say that the boys never received a proper burial.

Fortunately, karma caught up with Richard III. He held the throne for only two years before he was killed during the Battle of Bosworth Field. (He was the last Plantagenet, in case you were wondering.) For over 500 years, the location of Richard's final resting place was forgotten. Now his bones have finally been discovered--under a parking lot in Leicester.

Somewhere, I imagine two little boys are laughing their butts off.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I'm Not the Only One Who Thinks Pigeons are Beautiful

I'll take a pigeon over a swan any day. (If for no other reason than that pigeons are far less bloodthirsty.)

Check out these gorgeous (some might say bizarre-looking) birds (and the accompanying article from the New York Times).

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Come See Me Tomorrow!

Or come for Michael Buckley, Rebecca Stead . . . or Harriet herself!

And for your reading pleasure, a few links to Darkness Dwellers Reviews!

A review from In Bed With Books.

A review from Biblio File.

A review from Anna Reads.

A review and interview with Book Chic Club.

I THINK I'm up to date on my list, but my list has proven to be a bit tricky. So if for some reason, I've missed a blog, please let me know!

And the Winners Are . . .

Okay, no one even came close to guessing where I REALLY went (Chicago). But I'm flattered that you guys think I live a life of adventure. (Though I guess in some ways I do.)

So the two winners were chosen because they made me smile . . .

From GR:

On the surface, they reported that Kirsten Miller was off to another book signing. Since two days later, she would be at the Bank Street book signing this explanation was perfectly acceptable to her millions of fans, the critics, perhaps even believable to anyone over the age of sixteen. But if the more observant child were to see Kirsten as she sat in her seat, waiting impatiently for the flight attendant to finish a speech about cushions and flotation devices, she would find the trace of a nervous smile upon the author's face or an eye searching the people around her like a spy looking for clues. Finally, they would notice the simple note clutched firmly in her right hand. The note had been read and reread a hundred times after she left her family at the security checkpoint. It had been studied down to every vowel and now, as she waited and finally heard the engines explode to life, she glanced at it once again. It read: Your attendance is required. It was signed with the initials: K.S.

She turned the note over and saw the decorative "i" etched in dark bold ink. The plane ticket had been folded in the middle of the note. It was a ticket to a country no one had ever heard of before Kirsten had mentioned it in her first Kiki Strike novel years before.

"That's a funny bit of penmanship," the old lady sitting next to her remarked.

Kirsten squeezed the note into a ball and straightened up in her seat. She nodded at the old lady, offering a polite shrug (It is always proper to be polite to your elders, even when they are being nosy).

"I like calligraphy," the old lady continued, "but Oona is the best at it."

Kirsten swallowed and stared. "Betty?"

"Kiki wanted to make sure you were well-protected," Betty nodded, glancing out the window. They had just reached the runway.

"Protected?" Kirsten looked around her. What would an author need to be protected from? A mutant bookworm?

"Sidonia is NOT happy. With your last book, Kiki is more famous than Katniss Everdeen!" Betty tightened her seatbelt. "Did you know that Sidonia wants to play Kiki in the movie? Of course she is going by the name Veronica Golden because..."

"Veronica?" Kirsten cut her off. She had just read over the girl's portfolio a day before. An up and coming actress, called the top ten faces of 2013 by Entertainment Weekly. She had just been nominated for an Academy Award! Max Tarrant, the director of the Kiki Strike movie, had said the girl was the first in line for the lead. Was Veronica really Sidonia? She looked nothing like her, but of course she wouldn't, would she?

A flight attendant walked by them to check on the luggage compartments.

"Don't worry, dear," Betty said in an old lady voice, patting Kirsten on the knee. "Kiki will fill you in, but you've got your work cut out for you this time." The flight attendant passed them by and Betty laughed.

"What's so funny?" Kirsten whispered.

"I just remembered something," Betty shook her head.


"Elf," Betty smirked. "Kiki hates being called an elf. We tease her about it ALL the time."

The plane rumbled and took off, lifting and soaring into the clear blue sky. Six hours until their destination.

Six hours until a new adventure began...

And from CY (because I'm from NC, and it IS a very mysterious place!):

Hi there Kirsten,

It’s me, your travel agent and I’m positively ecstatic that you’ve decided to soar again! Don’t you just adore it? Watching the clouds roll by your window like fluffed up cotton candy floating by, seeing the buildings and civilization turn into tiny midgets like symbols on a map, aaah… it’s the life. Now, back to ground level. Where are you going? Counting the possibilities is like counting stars on a cloudy night sky. After hours of pondering, scratching my head, eating cookies, researching places, and eating more cookies, I have come to a somewhat logical solution. You must be travelling to the lush, beautiful, yet still mysterious North Carolina.

The place where beauty meets the skyline and beyond, North Carolina is truly a marvelous place. It’s where nature spins her magic in her spinning wheel and leaves a few strands behind. The proof lies in the forests and forests of wilderness where life and beauty have been stirred together to form one scrumptious piece of eye candy. N.C is also a glowing place in the winter. The temperatures there are mild and toned down on the chill factor, although if you’re a huge fan of snow, it does snow there from time to time! Lastly, despite it’s enthralling beauty and friendly people, North Carolina has a mysterious vibe to it. Many haunted stories

have originated there, and what is the truth about these dark tales? The thing that got me though, was the Brown mountain lights. Found from time to time in the Brown mountains, it was described as this: “… mysterious ghost lights seen just above the horizon every night, red in colour with a pronounced circular shape. “I sense a spooky mystery!

Now that’s it from me for now, and as I always say, “Travel is the apple to the pie and the spice to your life! “ Enjoy your trip and Bon voyage!

Happy traveling,

Your agent J