Feeling Groovy today

"Black Water" by the Doobie Brothers-it's been stuck in my head all morning, the same two lines--O, black water, keep on rolling/ Mississippi moon won't you keep on shining on me. Yes, I should have guessed the name by that, and I did! After I googled the words, that is.

I give you the video now, so you may listen and get the song stuck in your head. Pay it forward!

The Summer of Moonlight Secrets to Appear on Cover of Publisher's Catalog!

My editor just sent me an email with this wonderful news:

Our Marketing department was so enamored of the Moonlight Secrets cover that they have decided that it will be gracing the cover of our Spring 2010 catalog! . . . Every bookseller around the country gets a copy of our catalog and Moonlight Secrets is the first thing they will see when they pick it up.

WOW! This day just keeps getting better and better!

Here's the Cover for The Summer of Moonlight Secrets!

I'm thrilled to present to you the cover for my new book, The Summer of Moonlight Secrets. Brandon Dorman illustrated the cover. Isn't it awesome! I know that's kind of like saying, Isn't my child cute? but I can't help it! I'm awed by the magnitude of his gift. I hope you like it too!

Random Stuff on U2 and Copy Edits

U2 played Friday to more than 70,000 fans in Tampa, and I was one of them! You would not believe how close our seats were! I'll post photos later.

By the way, U2 fans, there are more than ten U2 references woven into the previous post--did you find them all?

Copy edits: French toast, French fries, but plaster of paris. Who knew?

It's a Beautiful Day! I'm going to see U2!

It's a beautiful day and I'm going to see U2--or maybe it's a beautiful day because I'm going to see U2.

Boy, am I excited! We bought our tickets as soon as Internet pre-sales opened months ago. Farthest away ticket--$75! We're talking a huge, outdoor arena in Tampa--you know, elevation so high you could get vertigo, don't get too close to the edge--look out! So the sweetest thing my husband did was take over the ticket buying. Now we have good seats. Don't ask me how much they cost.

Even so, this day in October will be out of control! I can't wait to see Bono! I'll probably have to use binoculars or look at those huge screens; some people think that's even better than the real thing because you can see their faces, but I prefer to watch the specks on stage because they are the real thing.

We don't have a GPS, so we'll use the old map. But parts of it are tiny, where the streets have no name. Guess if we get lost, we'll have to walk on. Hubby will navigate; I will follow.

I cannot wait!

Bono! I'm wearing my purple shirt!

The Comma: A Small but Mighty Foe

I've decided that I hate commas.

They don't know what they want. They're neither left nor right; they're ubiquitous. That is their power.

They used to precede the word too at the end of a sentence, but they've slacked off; the contemporary comma no longer sets off too and sometimes not even either.

Introductory phrase? Set it off with a comma! she barks. But wait! Look at the small print: introductory phrases are usually followed by a comma, if a pause is intended. Short introductory phrases don't require a comma.

She pounds her fist on the table. Subjective!

Oh no! Oh, no! Both correct!

I'm in copyedit mode. When I did this for Violet Raines, I felt like the success or failure of the book depended on if I deleted a comma or not. But I am wiser now, more experienced.

Still . . .

I hate you, Comma!

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

The revised manuscript for The Summer of Moonlight Secrets has been delivered and accepted! YAY! Tomorrow, I'll receive the copyedited printout to go through--this is going fast!

Also, I've seen the cover, and it is absolutely beautiful. I couldn't have asked for or even imagined a better cover. I spent a whole weekend looking at it. Thank you, Brandon Dorman!

On Making Book Trailers

I'm absolutely in love with some book trailers I've recently discovered. I'd love for you to see them! After the jump, I've posted some links to sites with good instructions for making your own book trailer, something I'm going to try for The Summer of Moonlight Secrets.

The first two trailers were created by Maggie Stiefvater. The amazing thing about Maggie's trailers is that she created the art, composed the music, and played the instruments for both videos. Even if there were no books to stand behind them, these trailers are pieces of art.

SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater YA novel

BALLAD by Maggie Stiefvater YA novel

SOME GIRLS ARE by Courtney Summers YA novel (attitude and mood!)

Here are a few links I found that have a lot of good information on how to use Windows Movie Maker, where to find photos, music, and even videos.

Author Jill Elizabeth Nelson gives step-by-step instructions in this easy to understand post.

Megan Crewe provides lots of information, including plenty of links for images and music.

Lynnette Bonner posted a series on how she made her book trailer. Scroll to the bottom to start from the beginning of the series.

Courtney Summers guest posted on Summer Friend and gave us the how-to.

Enjoy and good luck!

Quick Post on Fame and seeing Margaret Peterson Haddix

Okay, yesterday I said my goal was to see Wendy Mass, Tim Green, and Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Missed Wendy by fifteen minutes; nix on Tim Green, BUT . . .


Here's what happened:

All systems were going down.

"Mary!" I said to my Scholastic rep. "Where's that Starbucks?"

She shook her head. "It's a long way. Head down the hall. You'll feel like you're lost, but keep going and then you'll find it."

"Thank you," I said, scratching my arm and those little pricklies across my scalp.

I beat it down the hall, the whole while scanning everyone's tags for that special color that would mean they were an author, i.e. Wendy, Tim, or Margaret. No go.

I hoofed it down the hallway, around a turn, past the lobby. Must have been half a mile by now. I needed that cappuccino.

"Lady--please!" I grabbed a woman by her shirt collar. "Starbucks!"

Sympathy flooded her eyes. She pressed a dollar into my hand. "It's a long way from here. Keep going that way, then go up an escalator."

I strode through the hallway on my hard heels--yes, I know, that's supposed to be high heels, but since they weren't made for distance, they'd become hard heels. I walked through four seasons and a different time zone before coming upon the moving stairs that would take me to nirvana.

"Double shot cappuccino," I hollered at the barista, "and throw some ice cubes in it. I need it now!" I had her toss in a piece of banana bread because my trek had depleted my energy.

Do you know how long the walk back was? I drank my whole cappuccino and ate the bread before I could even see the exhibit hall.

But what about Margaret, you ask. Ah, yes. Halfway through my journey back, I noticed people exiting a darkened ballroom with the slide show still illuminated.

Aha! says I. Someone important is here.

Slipping through the door, I saw a line that took up the length of the ballroom. Like a thick rope, it coiled around the corner. Seeing the line people all facing one way, I deduced where the author was, but I could not tell who it was, for around the table, people clustered ten deep. And they were all taller than me.

"Who is it? Who is it?" I said, jumping up and down to see.

"Margaret Peterson Haddix!" someone answered.

Right then, at the apex of my jump, I swear I saw the top of her head, dark hair, maybe even an eyebrow.

I looked at that line, I thought about my booth, and then I resumed my journey.

Another day, Margaret.

Later, I'll post about those rowdy Scholastic Book Fair people, Joe's parking technique, and photos!

I had a great time!