Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Find Beauty Challenge: Last Day!

So today is the last day for the North of Beautiful Find Beauty Challenge.

Get your 90-second video essay in! Tell the world what's Truly Beautiful to you. You'll be helping children in the third world since I'm donating $10 (up to $1000) for every uploaded video to fund reconstructive surgery for kids with cleft lips.

Here's some inspiration...a Valentine sent to me from Little Willow, another song about beauty.

Hi, Y'all! Off to Texas Librarian Association

The readergirlz co-founders--Dia Calhoun, Lorie Ann Grover, and I--are off to TLA in Houston today for a whirlwind of presentations and dinners!

If you're planning on attending this conference, join us at our key events:

Wednesday, 4/1
6:30-8:30 YART Dinner

Thursday, 4/2
10:30 a.m. TT4L Discussion with Teens

2:00 p.m. readergirlz: making literacy hip and relevant for teens

3:00 p.m. Book Signing in the Author Plaza

Please join us! We'd love to see you there, TLA-ers!

Today I am thankful for my publisher, Little Brown, for sending me to TLA and hosting a dinner for me and Sara Zarr.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Grace Lin: A Work of Beauty!

Check out what my friend, Grace Lin, thinks is Truly Beautiful...her homage to happiness in honor of the Find Beauty Challenge.

ONE MORE DAY to create your 90-second video telling the world what True Beauty means to you. For every uploaded video, I'm donating $10 (up to $1,000--thanks to my in-laws!) to fund reconstructive surgeries for kids with cleft lips in the third world.

The winning video will win its creator an iPod touch... ooooooooohhhhhh!

So create your video essay now!

Twilight Mania: Forks Geocache 2.0

Okay, all you Twihards, listen up!

That geocache (high tech treasure hunt) of amazingness in Forks, Wa? The one with 10 different stops and 10 different clues? The clues you had to solve to get the final latitude and longitude coordinates to find the TREASURE BOX of amazingness? The one I blogged about here? The one with the clues printed out above?

I have confirmation from the people who placed the treasure box that I have the CORRECT coordinates.

I am now officially committed to going back to Forks, WA, to claim that cache. Heck, I have cutie pie readergirlz buttons that I want to put in the box!!

Compass Rose

To celebrate the publication of a book, I usually buy something for myself that symbolizes my story. I was so pleased to find out that Nancy Pearl has the same tradition, as I learned when I was openly ogling her ring. She told me that she had bought it for herself in honor of Book Lust. (Do other authors do this? Please tell!)

The recent months have been hectic-hard, so I haven't had the wherewithal to shop. (Not my favorite thing to do in the best of times; it's even more of a chore now.)

But one of my hipster librarian friends, Brenna Shanks, wore a compass rose pendent

to my book party for NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL. I was so taken with the piece that she very generously shared the site where she purchased it.

What do you think? Is this the piece that I need to have to celebrate NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL?

Find Beauty Challenge: The Playlist!

Little Willow and Miss Erin have unofficially declared themselves the personal mix masters for NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL.

Here's another song that Little Willow has sent to me, which is perfect for the Find Beauty Challenge.

So get yourself together there... Create a 90-second video and tell the world what's truly beautiful to you.

I have the most glorious iPod touch ready to give the winner of the Challenge.

AND my in-laws have contributed to the cause. We're giving away up to $1000 to fund reconstructive surgery on kids with cleft lips and palates in the third world.
So now you think we're ugly,
like I don't have enough to worry about.
Why do you think I'm ugly?
Which magazine did ya read so you could judge me now?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Find Beauty Challenge: Last Call!!!

Hello, peeps!

We've got just a few more days before the Find Beauty Challenge officially ends. So take 90 seconds and tell the world what you think is truly beautiful.

You might win an iPod Touch.
AND a child wins, too, because I'm donating $10 (up to $1,000) for every uploaded video to fund reconstructive surgeries on children with cleft lips in third world countries.

Set the world straight on True Beauty.
Help a kid.
90 seconds and you can change someone's world.

Watch this powerful video for proof!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

readertotz love

How sweet is this? Readertotz, the little sister organization to readergirlz, included North of Beautiful as its older sib book pick.


Today I am just so darn thankful for people who champion literature in all its forms for the very youngest readers to those with creaky knees.

Publishers Weekly: Book Covers Separated @ Birth

PW ran an interesting article about my book cover, which features the same girl as the one on Alyson Noel's Evermore.

Personally, I love both treatments, which I think serve the stories equally well. For the record, sharing the same cover girl doesn't bother me one bit.


Today I am thankful for Saho, the book designer, who did a supremely, truly beautiful job.

Big Brother at the White House

How cool is this? My spikey-haired, motorcycle riding big brother, Dave Chen,

spent some time at the White House with one of Obama's chief strategists!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Twilight: This & That Thoughts

Wow, Twihards! Thanks for all the feedback here on my blog, on Facebook, and through Tweets about my Twilight Mecca to Forks.

YAY to Jennifer who is bringing her Girl Scout troop to Forks to do the Twilight Geocache!

YAY to Gypsy Wings for returning to Seattle soon. I am *so* going to take her on the Twilight Geocache.

YAY to all of you for indulging in my geekiness.

Quick thoughts about something that's been eating at me. Has anyone else noticed that in interviews, Stephenie Meyer seems to be almost...apologizing for her writing? Like this about a much quoted, much tattooed line in her book: "I know it's cheesy." Or again when she talks about not always choosing the best words. Or that she sees herself as a storyteller more than a writer.

I just want to tell her to STOP!

I don't think I have ever heard of a best-selling male author apologize for his writing. To call a single one of his lines as "cheesy."

I don't think millions of people would be buying and quoting and wearing and tattooing her words if they didn't think those words were good.

So female authors out there: can we just make a pledge to ourselves? Whether romance writers, YA writers, horror writers--let's just be proud that we're creating!

Today I am thankful for my ever-growing community of YA authors. An amazing community.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Find Beauty Challenge: Another Beautiful Video!

The video essays for the North of Beautiful: Find Beauty Challenge are coming in!

Check this one out!

Remember to vote for your favorite video! Better yet, make your own video essay and tell the world what you think True Beauty really is. The winner gets an iPod Touch...and I'm donating $10 (up to $1000) for ever uploaded video to fund reconstructive surgery for kids with cleft lips in third world countries.

A huge shout out to my in-laws for donating $100 to the Challenge! Thank you, Bill & Robbie!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Twilight: Mecca to Forks + Geocaching (of course)

A day off of school? Precious time with a Twi-struck kiddo? What's a mom to do? Why, pack the stationwagon for a mecca to Forks, WA, to celebrate all things Twilight.

And of course, while at it, squeeze in a geocache. Yes, folks, there is a Twilight geocache, placed in Forks, WA just a few weeks ago. Now, I've done some seriously crazy-making geocaches, but this one was pretty strenuous given our time constraint: 10 stops, puzzles to solve at every single one of them, and then a final challenge...

We fortified ourselves at Sully's after the 3.5 hour drive + ferry ride. Thanks to Gypsy Wings who made her mecca to Forks earlier this year, I was armed with the inside scoop, including indulging in a Bella Burger. Did I miss a reference in the book--but why was there pineapple wedged in the burger? Was it because Bella is a little prickly? A little tart?

The geocache began at the Chamber of Commerce with Bella's truck. (The clue involved a few bolts, adding digits together, and division.)

Next, we zipped over to the hospital where Dr. Cullen had his own parking spot. (Those jaded among you might be rolling your eyes. However, just think: a book spawned all of this fandom. A book! That is worth celebrating!) I personally loved how the town has thrown itself into the characters.

And then a trip to the Swan house, followed by a quick stop at the Cullen house. (I have to admit, the Cullen house used in the movie completely captured the family. Bravo, location scout!)

We braved the perfect vampire conditions of rain and wind to make it to Jacob's stomping grounds where we claimed the last clue: counting those orange balls above the water.

Bummer! After all that, we were skunked by the final coordinates. We tromped around in the mud and muck in prime Twilight woods for half an hour before we gave up. The ferry was calling and we had to run...despite the readergirlz buttons we were going to drop into the cache. With the movie coming out in November, there will be a next time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Twilight Mania: The Geocache

With all the Twilight DVD mania going around, my sis who's on spring break and I are taking the newest Twiharder in the family to Forks, WA tomorrow, bright and early. Even better, there's a Twilight GEOCACHE that we're going to find.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sending Love to Book Chic!

How amazing is this... Book Chic made a vlog for Seven Book Babes. Not only did he wear the Girl Overboard / Burton Snowboards T-shirt that I had sent him many moons ago, but he talked about two fun inside stories nested within NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL. Talk about super astute reader. He truly is Mr. YA Book CSI.

Find Beauty Challenge: The Janet + Molly Show!

Check out what two of my critique group partners have to say about True Beauty: Janet Carey and Molly Blaisdell. I love these women. I love what they have to say.

Pull your video essay together for the Find Beauty Challenge. Your 90 seconds can change a kid's life! I'm donating $10 (up to $1,000) for every uploaded video to fund reconstructive work on kids with cleft palates in third world countries.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh, Beauuuutiful: The Official Ad!

Look at what Little, Brown Books put together in this week's issue of School Library Journal:

This spot of beauty was most welcome on a day that included a visit from pest control (sigh) and one to a dentist (grimace).

Isn't the ad purty?

Find Beauty Challenge: Beautiful Statement

Here's another submission to the Find Beauty Challenge, shot at my North of Beautiful book launch.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Find Beauty Challenge: Miss Erin

When I think of True North, I think of Miss Erin. Just listen to what she and her friends have to say about Beauty for the Find Beauty Challenge.

You've got until March 31 to create your own video essay about True Beauty. So challenge yourself! Tell the world exactly what you think.

Operation Teen Book Drop: Press Release

For more information contact:

Sara Easterly, Publicist for readergirlz

Sara Easterly & Friends




Despite economic downturn, generous publishers have donated
thousands of young-adult books for readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and YALSA
to deliver to teens in America’s top pediatric hospitals

March 17, 2009 (Seattle, Wash.)Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive 8,000 young-adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels next week as readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) celebrate the third annual Support Teen Lit Day on April 16.

In its second year, “Operation TBD” (short for Teen Book Drop), puts free books donated by 18 book publishers into the hands of many teens most in need of escape, inspiration and a sense of personal accomplishment. Books with exceptional characters and fabulous stories can provide just that for teens and their families dealing with difficult, long-term hospital stays.

At a time when philanthropic giving is down, readergirlz co-founders have been inspired by overwhelming industry support for Operation TBD. “readergirlz is always looking for innovative ways to connect teens with literature, “ said Dia Calhoun, co-founder of readergirlz and acclaimed young-adult author. “We’re honored that publishers have supported this goal by giving so liberally this year.”

Operation TBD also aims to encourage all teens to choose reading for pleasure as a leisure activity, over other entertainment options. Inciting the broader teen community to participate in Operation TBD in its drive to spur reading on a national scale, readergirlz has launched a trailer on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/readergirlz) inviting teens and YA authors to leave a book in a public place on April 16. When visiting www.readergirlz.com, participants can download bookplates to insert into the books they’ll leave behind, which explain the surprise to the recipient and tell them to read and enjoy.

This event is such a special one because it not only raises awareness about teen literature, but it also truly helps those teens most in need. Teens facing illnesses will be able to find an age- appropriate new book to read while in the hospital — teen books matter and not just any old book will do,” said Sarah Cornish Debraski, YALSA president. “Our thanks to the publishers, readergirlz, and Guys Lit Wire. It’s wonderful to unite with these organizations to forward this cause.”

Participating book publishers who have donated books or audiobooks include Abrams Books, Bloomsbury/Walker Books, Candlewick Press, Full Cast Audio, Hachette Book Group, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hyperion, Milkweed, Mirrorstone Books, Orca Book Publishers, Peachtree Books, Perseus Book Group/Running Press, Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Soft Skull Press & Red Rattle Books, TOKYOPOP and Tor/Forge/Starscape/Tor Teen.

“Putting the right book into the hands of a teen can turn that teen into a reader for life, “ said Suzanne Murphy, VP and Group Publisher, Scholastic Trade Book Publishing. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to help Operation TBD show teens firsthand just how much fun reading can be.”

Pediatric hospitals that have signed up to receive books include Phoenix Children's Hospital (Phoenix, Ariz.), Rady's Children's Hospital (San Diego, Calif.), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children's Hospital and Research Center (Oakland, Calif.), All Children's Hospital (St. Petersburg, FL), Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Ill.), UM C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (Kansas City, MO), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center (Tacoma, Wash.) and Seattle Children's Hospital.

“Our teen patients here at Seattle Children’s loved the books donated through the Operation Teen Book Drop last year,” said Kim Korte, Child Life Manager, Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Books are a wonderful avenue for our patients to be distracted from the pain and stress of hospitalization. We are always in need of books and greatly appreciate the generosity of the publishers who donated.”

Everyone who participates in Operation TBD is invited to celebrate at the TBD Post-Op Party on April 16 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on the readergirlz blog: http://readergirlz.blogspot.com.

About Support Teen Literature Day

For the third consecutive year, Support Teen Literature Day will be celebrated April 16, 2009 in conjunction with ALA’s National Library Week. Librarians all across the country are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day by hosting events in their library. The purpose of this new celebration is to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens. Support Teen Literature Day also seeks to showcase award-winning authors and books in the genre as well as highlight librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.

About the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390, or email, yalsa@ala.org.

About readergirlz

readergirlz is the foremost online book community for teen girls, led by five critically acclaimed YA authors—Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Holly Cupala (A Light That Never Goes Out) Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Justina Chen Headley (North of Beautiful), and Melissa Walker (the Violet series). readergirlz is the recipient of a 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award.

To promote teen literacy and leadership in girls, readergirlz features a different YA novel and corresponding community service project every month. For more information about readergirlz, please visit www.readergirlz.com and http://readergirlz.blogspot.com, or contact divas@readergirlz.com.

About Guys Lit Wire Guys Lit Wire brings literary news and reviews to the attention of teenage boys and the people who care about them. Working to combat the perception that teen boys aren’t as well read as teen girls, the organization seeks out literature uniquely targeted toward teen male readers in hopes of bringing attention of good books to guys who might have missed them.

Ó2009 readergirlz


Find Beauty Challenge: My Editor

My editor, Alvina Ling, is Pure and True Beauty. Need proof? Just watch her submission to the Find Beauty Challenge.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Operation TBD: The Contest!

Dear readergirlz, the time has come for a contest! Actually, five weeks of contests!

Here's the deal: each week from now until Support Teen Literature Day on April 16th, we'll be awarding a package of books to one winner. To enter, you just comment at the readergirlz blog (comments on older posts count - a point for each comment!) and get an extra ten points for taking up the week's challenge. Get ten more any time by becoming one of our blog followers!

Report your post at the readergirlz blog with the URL (and get eleven points!). We'll keep track of the comments and urls and award the winners each week. Books! Prizes! And you'll be supporting teen lit and hospitalized teens across the country.

This week's challenge:

Post the Operation TBD trailer on your blog (trailer below). Spread the word about Operation TBD!

Remember, for your posts to count toward the contest, you must post at the readergirlz blog. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Twitter Mosaic

Saw this over at the readergirlz blog and had to make my own. Thank you, Twitter followers!

Get your twitter mosaic here.

Today, I'm so thankful for the fun, little things that bring joy. Like Twitter Mosaic.