NEW STOLEN NIGHTS PUB DATE! oh and my top 20

Yahoo! Jan 29th!! I got the word today that Stolen Nights will be released even earlier than we expected. Wahoo!

I made a list of my favorite top 20 middle grade and YA books ever to send to my writer’s group. With all this NPR stuff, I thought, I should do this too! So here it is.

Rebecca Maizel’s TOP 20 Children’s and YA reading list. This is in no particular order. Mainly because I am lazy.

1. John Green – Looking For Alaska – YA – (Realistic) 
2. Lisa Yee – Milicent Min Girl Genius – MG – (Realistic) 
3. Natalie Babbit – Tuck Everlasting – MG – (Fantasy) 
4. AM Jenkins – Beating Heart – (Prose/poetry – Fantasy) 
5. – Sherman Alexie – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian – YA – (Realistic) 
6. JK Rowling –  Harry Potter 1-7 – MG/YA – (Fantasy) 
7. Notes From A Liar And Her Dog – Gennifer Choldenko – MG – (Realistic) 
8. Laurie Halse Anderson – Speak – YA – (Realistic) 
9. Tanya Lee Stone  – A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl  – YA – (Prose poetry/Realistic)
10. Karen Hesse – The Music of Dolphins – young MG  (Realistic)
11. Courtney Summers – Some Girls Are – YA (Realistic)
12. Jandy Nelson – The Sky Is Everywhere – YA (Realistic)
13. Ellen Kushner – The Privilege of the Sword – YA (fantasy)
14. Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman – Why We Broke Up – YA (realistic) 
15. Lynda Mullaly Hunt – One For the Murphys – MG (realistic) 
 
16. Martha Brooks – Mistik Lake – YA (realistic, alternating points of view)
17. Jennifer Hubbard – The Secret Year – YA – (Realistic, epistolary)
18. Franny Billingsley – Chime – YA – (Fantasy)
19. E. Lockhart – The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – (Realistic)
20. Kristin Cashore – Graceling – (Fantasy..generally awesome)
oh!
21. Carrie Ryan -The Forest of Hands and Teeth – (Dystopian/fantasy?)

My Kinda Book/GIVEAWAY!

Two!

That’s what today is all about. Two things you should do. The first! I am sorry about no vlog. I have moved, gotten my appendix out, found out about fleas in my living space (which could be the most disgusting experience ever), a window treatment fell on my head, and then my desk collapsed into million pieces. None of this is in any particular order of course but there you have it. Then again, the apology about the vlog assumes you all want to actually SEE me, which might not even be the case. ANYWAY.

If you haven’t checked out UK Macmillan’s site – My Kinda Book, then you’re missing out on all kinds of extra content. Do you want to see my TOP TEN HIGH SCHOOL MISFITS? How about My Stolen Night Playlist?

http://www.mykindabook.com/Books/Stolen-Night

Onto NUMBER TWO.

Do you want to read Stolen Night?

Do you live in the UK?

If you answered yes to these two questions, you can win!

I am giving away TWO copies of STOLEN NIGHT! That’s right. You read this right. TWO!

Just follow the instructions below! Good luck.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Appendix and the UK release

So Monday night I complained of a stomach ache that got worse as time went on. It got to the point where my sister had to take me to the ER. I stayed overnight and eventually found out – my appendix had to go. Clear liquid diet and two days later, I’m home and probably shouldn’t be writing this as I am on some pain killers. BUT HEY. IT IS MY BOOK RELEASE!

Happy book birthday to me!!! That is if you live in the UK. You should be able to pick up Stolen Night at any WH Smith, Waterstones, or on Amazon! I was going to post a vlog but then I decided no one needed to see me all weird from my surgery. So I ask you – do you want to win a copy of Stolen Night? My amazing friend Heidi over at http://www.thereadiacs.com/ is doing a book giveaway!

http://www.thereadiacs.com/

Click on that link and enter!!

I am off to drink more chicken broth!

New Stolen Nights Cover! (US!)

Voila! The new Stolen Nights cover! This is the US version which comes out early next year. I know…I know…you hate me for it taking so long. I have attempted a vlog like 900 times and will explain it ALL when I upload it.

I LOVE this cover. And when you read the book you’ll see it’s relevance.  I’m sorry this book has taken so long. Believe me, no one would like this book to come out sooner than me. Don’t give up on me yet! You’ll love it. Okay, I hope you’ll love it.

One more thing, I thought I would share that is 100% unrelated. London’s National Portrait Gallery has a writing contest going on. I highly recommend you check it out if you live in London. But the cool thing is, if you don’t live in London you can still enter. It’s called the Imagined Lives exhibit. 
Basically, you look at these portraits and you make up a story of 300 words about the life of the sitter of the portrait. Personally, I think it’s pretty cool. I always look at paintings and try to imagine who was where and why it was painted in the first place. I thought I would share the one I wrote in the hopes it will inspire you to try to write on too. 

At one time people believed this to be Mary Queen of Scots but apparently as time would reveal, it is not. So here is what I submitted:

Unknown woman, formerly known as Mary, Queen of Scots
by Unknown artist
circa 1570

Leave your heart with the mountains. Leave it tucked away with the ticking clock.
“Too bad, not a boy,” they said with a tisk of their tongues against their lips.
Too bad? Too bad you were in love with her the moment they placed her in your arms.
You will come back? She asked you two years after you faked her death.
Always she asks those four words.
You will come back?
 Not quite a question, not quite a statement but those four words chained you to your story. You would not allow your daughter a life of a bowed head and shut mouth.
So you hid her in those mountains. Hid her from the men who would have destroyed her.  
“A boy!” They demanded. They demand it of you now. As your husband the King plans his wars, they demand that you give birth to a boy. How could they dismiss her so? Did they not see her golden hair? She had her mother’s small mouth. Her mother’s delicate hands.
You will come back?
 You will. Until then, you will count the hours until these men turn their backs. Until they stop watching their queen. Their lady. And when they do, when the King is bored with you and believes you to be a lost cause, nothing but a slave to the death of a baby you only fooled him into believing is dead, you will come back.
Oh yes. You will escape. To stay.
To live. 

NOW YOU DO IT.

Jet Lag and Mick Jagger!

I am back in the States, which is equal parts awesome and equal parts jet lag. Yesterday I felt like I was 10 minutes behind in every conversation I was having. It was weird. I was weird. I was Air Franced.

Anyway. What an incredible trip. I wish I could explain every little detail but that would be boring so I am going to tell you about the highlights.

In week two of my England trip, I went to Hathersage, to Lenah country. I always go whenever I am in England to remind myself why I chose the setting and why it means so much to me. Check out these photos. These are exactly why I picked Hathersage. Epic and beautiful.

Amazing, right? Well, it is to me anyway. After Hathersage, where my mom lit her napkin on fire and we laughed for two days about it, we headed up to the lakes. It rained and we were bored. BUT then we went to Paris. Oh…Paris.

I met my French editor, translator, press person, and two amazing bloggers. I felt so happy, so humbled, and so lucky. They were funny, talkative, and all of them dressed incredibly well. ALSO, I hugged all of them, which I read in Rick Steves (after the fact, DAMN IT)  is kind of aggressive in France. I didn’t know this. In America, we hug. So I hugged them goodbye. Damn it. I hope they weren’t offended. I was just so excited to MEET THEM.

I cannot wait to see the sequel published in French. It comes out, from what I heard, in France in October! Here are the links to the two bloggers I met. They have fantastic YA blogs and it’s interesting to see what book bloggers are doing/posting in other cultures.

http://oiseausecret.canalblog.com/
http://actuya.fr/

Basically I fell in love with Paris. But really, the reason I am posting at all is to tell you I saw Mick Jagger. I did not meet him or even speak to him. Two minutes after my editor left, Mick Jagger walked in the room. If I had her number, I would have called her and we could have been amazed together. Then again, I was recovering from food poisoning so I could have hallucinated Mick Jagger. He is somewhere in my subconscious and I could have simply wished him into existence in my dehydrated state. BUT my mother was there and SHE saw him so unless we had a collective hallucination, Mick Jagger sat two tables from us in a blue cardigan.

Okay. That is all for now. Giveaways are coming for those of you in the UK!!!

Aint No Party Like a Hathersage Party ‘Cause a Hathersage Party Don’t Stop!

Tonight I met the hottest bartender in Derbyshire. He smiled at me and delivered my pasta but that was the end of our love affair.

So where have I been? How did I get to Derbyshire? I left London went to Oxford, where I happened upon a set location from Harry Potter!

Looks familiar, yes? It’s the tree where Draco is turned into a ferret in Order of the Phoenix. This was shot in New College (I believe), in the cloisters.

Telling you the play by play of my trip would be tedious but here are the TOP THREE ODDITIES THAT HAVE OCCURED while in Oxford, Cotswolds, and Derbyshire (where I set Infinite Days).

TOP THREE OF MIDDLE ENGLAND:

1. Stopping in the middle of the road because a man was herding a bunch of sheep that had gotten lost on the way to Stanage Edge (google it).

2. Buying approximately 2 tons of Haddon Hall tea. The tea blend is RIDICULOUS.

3. My mom setting her napkin on fire last night at dinner. Best quote in reaction to the “fire”:
Concierge: “Well, at least it wasn’t the table.”

Yea…go Mom. And the last picture I will leave you with is one of Hathersage, England, where I set Infinite Days. You won’t see as much of Hathersage in Stolen Night but not to worry! More in Book 3!

Tea, Crumpets, and Judi Dench!

Oh yes. London. I have been here since Monday and I’m 90% sure I gained 10 lbs. The food here is ridiculous. I am here in the UK for 2 weeks before heading to Paris! On my personal Facebook page I have been posting a TOP 3 for every day I have been here. I thought I would share them here. Why not? Oh and apparently Kim Kardashian (who my Mom insists on calling Kardacian) was at my hotel. Which obviously means I’m the coolest.

Day 1:
Things I have learned in London so far:
1. The eye candy here is RIDICULOUS. So so many beautiful men!
2. The El Pirata tapas restaurant in Mayfair has amazing food.
3. Looking right happens much more often than looking left. Do with this information what you will.

Day Two has come to a close and here is what I have learned today:

1. Jersey Boys is a REDONKULOUSLY good show. Run. RUN to a theatre and see it. (Mom cried)
2. Yes, I WILL take roasted tomatoes every morning for breakfast.
3. The London cabbies are losing their minds because of how much the traffic sucks. Apparently the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics are making the local traffic bonkers.

The end of Day Three and here is what I have learned:
1. Judi Dench is way awesome in person. Even when looking at her from inside a cab.
2. Dinner at the Dean Street Townhouse was RIDICULOUSLY good. Cheese and onion tart? AKA Roll yourself back to your hotel tart? I think so.
3. My UK editor is amazing, easy to talk to, and gorgeous. I felt like Greedo.

In book news. I have made Stolen Night and Infinite Days essential oils! I made them at the fantastic Fragrance Shop in NYC. I am going to do some giveaways for the UK release  (July 5!!) in a month or so. When I get back to the states from this incredible trip, I’ll give those away along with an ARC!

More on the giveaways later…VIVA LONDON!

So, I made this vlog, uploaded it to imovie and then subsequently got my butt handed to me. I am not technologically savvy. I thought I was. But I have been handed my hat. So I must post this via words.

Why, oh why, Rebecca, did Stolen Night take so long? Blarg. I get e-mailed that a lot. Probably once a day. So I thought I would set the “record” straight, so to speak..err, type. The truth? I needed to find the right story. I think when I first started the sequel, I believed that I needed to continue the story of Infinite Days. So the book sort of read like Infinite Days extended like 200 pages. Odd, considering the ending but remember, there are other characters in ID than just Lenah. 🙂 Anyway, so I went back to the drawing board. Finally, FINALLY, I found a place where I was happy with the book, my editor was happy with the book, and I could move on with the series.

Here’s the thing. When you write a novel, you generally

This has been quite an eventful weekend.

1. We were supposed to get a storm in Rhode Island that ended up being a few flakes and some wind. Nonetheless, I stayed at my parent’s house because on occasion they need help with the shoveling. See, last time they said a storm was coming in RI they said we were to get 3-5 inches. We got a foot. They predicted the same this time and we got nothin’ ANYWAY – I was there. Sooooo, I’m watching a movie and hear my parent’s old dog Cocoa crying on the stairs. She’s old and has collapsed on the stairs because she can’t make it up. I start running (yes…this is when you should be saying to yourself, RUNNING?) to the stairs. The dog is crying, I am mortified and so as I am half way down the staircase when my right foot goes out from under me and instead of falling forward down the stairs and onto Cocoa, I fell backward and directly onto my butt. A straight shot down.

And a heard a crack.

Here are the stairs:

2. I called a doctor and said – “I have broken my butt.” He said, “Do you need the ER?” I said, “I have broken my butt.”

3. He prescribed me a pain killer. I proceed to puke all night last night.

4. I wake up to find out Whitney Houston died and I’m totally bummed about it. But then some savvy person on Facebook posted that a handful of Marines also died, so then I was conflicted. And then I felt guilty. And then I decided I felt equally as bad.

Needless to say I will be watching the Grammys while laying down and finishing my line edits for Stolen Night. I will also not be kickboxing because one cannot kickbox with a broken butt. Sigh. Why did I post this?

Hold onto the banisters kids. That’s what they are there for.

Covers…rambling

I’ve been meaning to post forever. Really. The truth is that if I don’t have anything to report, I try to refrain from writing meaningless things that would bore you. I have some news. Not much, but some. Things are progressing with Stolen Night and it is due out in the summer/fall. It depends where YOU live. My wonderful editor in the UK sent me the cover of Stolen Night and I saw it on Amazon so I think I can share with you here. 
Somehow this blog became center formatted. I’m just going to go with it. 

(Now the formatting is back to normal. This is exhausting).

Personally, I think it’s one of the most incredible covers I’ve seen. It perfectly depicts the tone of this sequel. You know, sequels are tricky. While I’ve been writing this sequel I’ve been pursuing a second masters, an MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. It’s a low residency program, meaning, you live at home and go there 2x a year for residencies. Between residencies you work one on one with an advisor. These advisors are not just any old writers either. I worked with, in order: AM Jenkins – Printz winner – (Damage), Sharon Darrow (Trash, Painters of Lexiville), Franny Billingsley – NBA Finalist – (Chime) – Sarah Ellis – (Odd Man Out). Yea…you get my point. Amazing.

And it’s hard. And complicated, and you think you might die. But you do it because you will not quit. No you won’t.

So during all of this amazingness, I was working on my sequel. I learned an enormous amount. I know that seems rather general, and it is. But what can I say? Okay, I learned about the balance of scene and summary, focalization, objective correlative, etc, etc. You can call these terms whatever you want but the purpose of an MFA as far as I am concerned is to deepen your understanding of the English language while honing the craft of creative writing. If that’s the purpose, then I have never felt more prepared to dive back into my work.

Also, there is a themed party every residency. There was an 80s party during the summer and I thought I would share this gem with you:

YES that is a Pacman photo background. I was an 80s aerobics instructor and Kristin was…well, 80s. You might recognize her from my near delirious video giveaway last year. I never would have met her without VCFA. So what is the point of this rambling post? Stolen Night IS coming, I am now an MFA, and I will have more news for you soon. Giveaways are coming! Trailers are coming! 

But in the mean time, I will keep working and updating more (I promise).