Monday, December 31, 2012

Most memorable books, films, and music (2012)

Here's a list of some of the books, films, and music that made an impact on me in 2012. I've avoided compiling a Top Ten or Best Five type of list. As with most years, I read, listened and watched a lot of stuff, and trying to select then rank them all is time-consuming and of little interest to anyone but me.

Nor is this a "Best of" kind of list. Instead, I decided to compile a quick list of art that - though perhaps more flawed than other books, films, and/or music -  were highly entertaining and, for whatever reason, left an impression on me.


Prometheus was a flawed but highly ambitious movie. Yes, they should have simply run to the side to avoid the spaceship about to roll over them. But if you can ignore these flaws, it was a bodacious and highly-envisioned movie.

Looper was such a rollicking ride that you really only noticed the plot-holes afterward. Still, it was a time-traveling movie, and you almost have to cast aside logic with the time-traveling genre because otherwise, as noted in the movie, "it will fry your brain." A transportive movie that had one of the best endings in movie history.


Evil and dark, yet clinical and factual at the same time, People Who Eat Darkness shone light to the underbelly of Japanese society and culture.

Evocative, pitch-perfect language, Ivey's wonderful The Snow Child was not so much a book you read as a world you experienced. 


Monsters Calling Home is the group I discovered before they hit it big with a performance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. They've recently changed their name to River Run North, but they will always be Monsters Calling Home to me. Their music is unreal, their lyrics bone-shattering, their uncompromising artistic vision inspiring. I thanked them in my Acknowledgements of my upcoming The Prey.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New covers!

Hi everyone, 

This news has been out of awhile now, but I thought I'd post about it on my blog. The cover for the sequel to The Hunt, titled The Prey, is out now (the actual book comes out in January, 2013). Check it out below, I think it's awesome.

The art team at St. Martin's Press is pretty amazing, I have to say. They've also done a really great design for the paperback edition of The Hunt which releases in December, 2012. Check it, peeps:

I'm really digging how the two books will look side to side. Book 3 of the trilogy will no doubt have the same design template, and they are going to look truly incredible side by side by side to one another. I'm still working on titles for Book 3, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a four-letter word, don't you?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who would you cast as Gene in a movie?

Sorry for being the worst ever blogger - I can't believe so much time has passed without a post. Truth is, I've been really busy going through the proof-edits for The Prey and writing the still untitled Book 3. I'll try to do better with this blog in August!

Anyway, if The Hunt was made into a movie, who would you cast as Gene? A few months ago, I did my dream cast list over at the awesome Wondrous Reads blog - take a look at my list and tell me if you agree with my choices.

Justine Magazine wrote a piece in their upcoming August/September print issue about who they would cast in popular YA novels. Want to guess who they'd cast as Gene?

Yes, that's right: Josh Hutcherson, otherwise known as Peeta of the Hunger Games. They were looking for the strong & silent type, and Hutcherson seems to fit the bill for them. What do you think of their choice? Who would you cast as Peeta?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Favorite blog review so far

Hard to believe it's been three weeks since publication day! There's been lots of blog reviews, including a few that have been absolute gems. Here is a small sampling. They are all intelligent, articulate, and demonstrate a deep level of understanding of The Hunt.

The Book Zone Review and Teen Librarian.

There is also a really delightful video review compiled by some students in the UK. I love it! Check it out!

But this last one has to be my favorite review. I think every author loves it when a reader/reviewer just "gets" your novel, who understands the very nuances of the book that other less discerning readers fail to grasp. Anyway, I don't know who this self-described ski-loving, vegetarian Sci-fi nerd from Australia is, but she totally gets my book. (And I also really like the comment from Novels on the Run). Anyway, whoever you are - thanks so much!

One last tidbit of Hunt-related stuff: my Aussie publisher sent me photos of a bookstore (Dymocks) in Australia (see below). They've done such a great job showcasing my book in the store and front window display. Makes me really want to hop on the next plane and visit!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's publication day for The Hunt!!!!

I have been absolutely terrible with keeping this blog updated, but I've been really busy working on revisions for Book 2 for the past couple of months . Also, the past two weeks, I've been writing up guest blogs for fantastic blog tours both my US and UK publishers have set up for me. So I've been a little busy.

But not too busy to say: IT'S PUBLICATION DAY!!!

And have you seen my US trailer? It just came out, and it's pretty awesome.

Monday, March 19, 2012

On the lighter side...

Here's an amusing image that was sent me sometime ago. I think it captures quite well an aspect of The Hunt. I had a good chuckle over it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

THE HUNT website, widget, and Shelf Awareness piece

Some exciting developments as we move towards publication date!

First, Macmillan has put together an incredible dedicated website for THE HUNT. It's chock-full of all kinds of tidbits of information regarding the book. There's also information about how enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book, links to the Facebook page, and all kinds of other goodies. Check it out, especially if you want to read the first 80 pages for free!

Second, Shelf Awareness did a great piece on THE HUNT for their monthly Maximum Shelf issue (in which they focus on an  upcoming title they love). This wonderful spread includes a nice review of THE HUNT, an author interview, and a piece by the St. Martin's marketing department about the history and marketing of THE HUNT. Best part about this nice spread is an interview the awesome New York Times Bestselling author Alyson Noël and I conducted with one another. I've got to tell you, it was so fun to engage with Alyson, and you'll learn lots about our world-building techniques, writing habits, and sources of inspiration. A fun read!

And lest I forget, there's now a widget for THE HUNT (see side margin on right - it's a little cut off as currently displayed). Feel free to use it to your heart's content!

Friday, March 2, 2012

UK trailer for THE HUNT and Facebook page

Check out the UK trailer for THE HUNT:

And for my UK friends, THE HUNT now has a Facebook page! Check it out for all kinds of awesome extra goodies!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Are you ready to join the hunt for THE HUNT!

Not just one, but two chances to win an ARC for THE HUNT.

The first giveaway is from St. Martin's Press. They're giving away 50 ARCs in their sweepstakes. Enter before February 6, 2012, for your shot at an ARC.

The second giveaway is from The giveaway runs until February 29, 2012, and they're giving away 100 ARCs.

Good hunting, y'all!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A new cover for THE HUNT!

I've got some news! The awesome team at St. Martin's has given The Hunt cover a facelift! The new, rejigged cover conveys a stronger sense of action and, in my humble opinion, totally rocks! The ARCs (want one? Ask!) will retain the original cover, but the hardcover coming out in May will be graced with this new design. Behold the makeover:

Friday, January 13, 2012

On writing Book Two of a trilogy

The Hunt Book 2 (still untitled) was emailed to my agent today. She'll take a look at it, offer her thoughts, I'll work on it some more before sending it to my editor. Sometime later, the editorial letter will arrive, more changes will be made, more edit notes will follow that, and the back and forth will continue a few more rounds.

In other words, I'm months away from being completely done.

Still, I feel a huge sense of achievement. Hundreds of days, thousands of hours later, after much hair-pulling, frustration, elation, writing blocks, breakthroughs, revelations, I have at last reached a very significant milestone. It may not be the FINISH LINE, but it is a finish of sorts. And so I celebrated tonight with some cold sake.

(Sadly, the Barnes & Noble store where I did a lot of my writing did not live to see the publication of The Hunt II, or even The Hunt, for that matter. Two weeks ago, it closed down. [Cue violin music]).

I started writing Book 2 with quite a bit of trepidation. Caragh M. O'Brien, author of the Birthmarked series, blogged about her experience, and it appears to be an almost universal truth that Book 2 of a trilogy pwns you. It's hard. Way harder than writing Book One.

You can get caught in a rut, a pressurized-rut with a ticking clock. It can bog you down, sap away your joy for writing, siphon away you creative juices until writing becomes a chore and a burden and a contractual obligation and a cubicle job.

There's some really great advice out there for authors tackling the second book of a trilogy. Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all elixir to the challenges and difficulties, and so you'll still need to find your own way. For myself, I came up with a simple test - a single word, really - that helped me stay on (or get back on) the right path: enjoyment. Was I enjoying the process of writing Book Two? Because if I was not enjoying writing Book Two, there was little chance anyone was going to enjoy reading it.

And so: whenever I lost my way, all I had to do was pull back and wonder what path got my heart pumping faster, my brain synapses firing away. In short, what made writing feel like a creative process and not a duplicative or reductive or even deductive process. A simple enough methodology, but one, I think, which did wonders for me. Book Two became more than just another book to write, more than merely a spillover of goodies from Book One, or the table setter for Book Three.

And I guess that's why they call it creative writing. (cue Elton John).