Monday, October 20, 2008

Dead People and Drummers

Well, still having fun in New England, but it's off to South Carolina tomorrow. This East Coast swing definitely has history written all over it - I'll be in the Charleston area. Can't wait!

Thanks to these schools in Mass: Millis Middle School and Milford Catholic Elementary. Had a great time. It was also great to see Gail "Irisheyz" from Library Thing - one of the very first readers of THE JOURNAL OF CURIOUS LETTERS. Thanks for hanging out with me!

Due to some scheduling blips, I ended up having lots of time to explore. I spent an entire day in Salem and an entire day in Boston. I can only imagine how many miles I walked, and my poor little feet hurt. But it was really awesome.

Here are some pictures. Sorry for my obsession with graveyards, but I was in hog heaven seeing such old cemeteries. I can't believe how creepy the tombstones were back then! Also, those Boston street performing drummers on the bottom - seriously one of the Top Ten Coolest Things I've ever witnessed. Simply amazing - I didn't want to leave them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I love New England

A big thanks to the schools I've visited so far: Greenland School, Barrington Middle School, Woodbury School, and North Salem Elementary. You guys were all awesome!

Two or three schools cancelled. The Barnes and Noble CRM told me one of the librarians said she didn't want to be "bothered by that." I wonder what that lady will think when I'm one of the biggest authors in the country? (boo yah!) I just feel bad for the kids - we always have a ton of fun at my assembly.

I have today off to drive to Massachusetts (and a school cancelled). I think I'll go to Salem first and hang out with witches.

Speaking of Salem, I was in Salem, NH last night. The one night in the history of my life that I have a book signing in Salem, NH and it's the night Sarah Palin picks to rally in the same town. Well, no offense to her, but I didn't do so bad myself! Thanks to all those who chose me over her. :-)

Graveyard, New England, Autumn. Bliss.

A real lighthouse!

My feet, glorious leaves.

America's Stonehenge. Amazing. Google it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Hampshire is Beautiful

What else can I say? It's absolutely perfect here. I might move.

The trees, the leaves changing, the cool, crisp air, the architecture, the history. Ahhhhh......

I'll try to get some pictures up this week. If you live around here, or in Massachusetts, be sure and check for a schedule of my signings this week. I'd love to meet you!

Yesterday, my editor at Delacorte (Krista Marino) sent me the initial cover for THE MAZE RUNNER (Fall 2009). I can't show it yet, because it's not finalized, but I LOVE IT!!!!!!! It's so cool, and so different from my other stuff (it's YA instead of middle grade). You guys are going to flip when you see it.

In the meantime, check out the cover for THE HUNT FOR DARK INFINITY (scroll down on the blog) coming in March 2009. You ARC winners let us know in the comments when you receive it so I can know.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The ARCs are here!

And they are beautiful little suckers. They'll be put in the mail today for those of you who won the Dashner Dude first anniversary contest. Let me know if you don't get them in the next few days.

For our newest visitors, ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy, and I just received them for Book 2 of THE 13TH REALITY. The hardback comes out in March (see countdown on the right side of the blog).

In case you missed it, check out the cover! CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The 13th Reality, Book 2: The Hunt for Dark Infinity

EDIT: For some reason when I post the cover, it looks a little fuzzy and messed up. I'll try to get a better version soon. But you get the general idea.

The letters are just white in this picture, and a couple things will change, but this is basically the cover. (Artist: Bryan Beus, firmly entrenched in my Top 20 Favorite People)

I'm very, very, very curious at your reaction. Please tell me what you think!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stupid Hurricane Ike and Other Inspiring Stories

Wow. I'm pretty sure my week in the Houston area was the most mentally draining few days I've ever had. Lots of driving, lots of traffic, lots of schools, lots of hurricane-caused scheduling changes and an event every single evening.

But it all went great.

Thanks to all the schools in the Humble, Sugar Land, Pasadena, and Pearland areas, as well as the folks at the Barbara Bush Library. And a big thanks to everyone at the different Barnes and Nobles.

I don't really know what to report exactly. So much was packed into the week that it seems like last Sunday was several months ago. Two shout-outs I really want to give are to my good friend Tami Norton and the librarian at Wessendorf Middle School, Donna Anderson. Tami graciously hosted me for a couple days, and I had a good time getting to know her family (and you, too, Sunbum!).

And then there was Donna. This lady immediately treated me like her long-lost nephew, making me feel more welcome at her school than I ever have in my life. She and her husband Bill insisted on taking me out to dinner, and we had lots of fun. If every school had a Donna Anderson, our future would be in excellent shape.

It's amazing the range of emotions I go through while out on tour. It may be hard for you to believe, but it's very grueling and is most definitely not all fun and games. Yes, I know all of you aspiring authors would LOVE to have any problems I may encounter while out and about, but you'll understand when you get there.

The biggest challenge is to make sure each young person gets my full attention at the signings. It's tempting to hurry things up, get through it, sign and get out, go to bed. But I try so hard not to. Each one of them is an individual, and this may be their only chance to meet an author face to face. I try so hard to make it a special experience for them, an inspiring few moments they'll never forget.

All in all, it's a lot of fun. And I can't tell you how rewarding it can be. Google Alerts showed me today the following blog post that gives you a good example of why every minute of hard work is worth it. The airplanes, the hotels, the driving, the traffic, the lack of sleep, the writing, revising, editing, presenting, all of it. It's all worth it when I see blogs like this and read the inevitable emails.

I hope they don't mind my sharing. Check it out: CLICK HERE.

Thanks, Chloe, and others like you, for helping me remember why I love my job so much.

Now, this post is dangerously close to Cheeseville. But for some reason I had a tough time in Houston in terms of the workload and being away from home. And I wanted to share.

This week I'm doing two days of schools in Orem, Utah with my friend and fellow author, Brandon Sanderson. We're doing an experiment to see how it goes when we both do it together. Brandon's second book in the Alcatraz series just came out from Scholastic. (And yes, he's also the dude writing the final book in the Wheel of Time series.)

If you live in the area, we'll be at the Orem Barnes and Noble on Tuesday night, from 5 to 7ish.

Have a great week!