Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I got to visit a couple of schools (go Liberty and Lakeside Middles!) and a bookfair at Barnes & Noble with the Liberty Middle folks. This was my first bookfair and I had a great time. The organizer, Sharon, (that's her in the red stripes) was awesome and took great care of me and the book. And of course, my hubby was there to fetch me hot tea and take pictures.
The school visits were as fabulous as ever. I just love coming out to talk to folks. They ask the coolest questions, and even give me ideas for the books. I've got a bunch more next year and I can't wait. (School visits, not ideas, but I have those, too I guess)
Lots of friends saw the book on the shelves while Christmas shopping, so have a new set of "Shifter on the Shelves" photos or my growing collection. I'm still not sure exactly what I'm going to do with them, but I'm determined to find something creative. I'm thinking a cool poster of some type.
Oh! Did I tell you that Shifter 2 is done? It is! (major happy dance) It's in the Land of the Copy Editors right now, and I'll see it again for edits come January, but it's finally finished. It was tough, but the end result turned out pretty cool, so I hope everyone will be happy with it. (Though my friend Dee Dee insists I'm too mean to Nya, bwahaha)
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I have a good excuse, really. I was hard at work on Shifter 2, (which is done, yay!), then there was Thanksgiving, and then I got sick for two whole weeks! Then there was Christmas, and I went away for a much needed vacation after all those deadlines and being sick and all.
But I'm back! So where was I on vacation? I'll give you a hint...
Yep, Disney World!
We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, and had a very talented towel artist taking care of our room. Not only did that Mickey Ears greet us when we got there, but the next day, we found this cutie. And even a fun fan thing that held our toothbrushes in the bathroom. (I didn't take a photo of that though)
We had a great time, and now I have the urge to watch the movies for every ride I went on. So I sense a big lazy movie day in my future. But since I'm not starting on Shifter 3 until January, I can veg out for a while longer.
I did find the most amazing store ever though. In Downtown Disney, there's a store called Little Miss Match, that sells the funkiest socks. (Did I ever tell ya'll I adore funky socks?) They come in "pairs" of three, and are different patterns that go together, even though they don't officially match. You can wear the blue and yellow and green stripes with the pink and blue and green stripes one day, then the orange and green and blue stripes another. They rock. There's even TOE SOCKS!
Did I go crazy? Oh yeah. I need at least an extra sock drawer now, if not two.
As soon as I get unpacked and squared away I'll update everyone on the fun things I've been doing and the great bookstores and schools I've visited (in between being sick and being a world traveler and all). And maybe even a sneak peek or two at some of Shifter 2. We have a title now, so hopefully soon I'll have a cover as well to show everyone.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009, 2pm
4475 Roswell Rd. - Ave E Cobb
Saturday, November 14, 2009, 1-3pm
Hall Book Exchange
1854 Thompson Bridge Rd.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Yet oddly, I can ignore my phone. Hmmm...
Maybe it's a writer thing. Can't ignore the words.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The weekend was loads of fun. There's great creative energy when a bunch of writers get together, and it's wonderful knowing you could sit down at the table with anyone hanging out in the lounge area and strike up a conversation. Everyone had at least one thing in common: we love fantasy. Just about everyone also had writing in common too. Groups would form and mix and merge as people came in and out of conversations. I tell ya, writers are about the nicest bunch of folks you'll meet.
I met some wonderful folks (one of whom won the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, grats Kij Johnson!) and learned a few things about writing to boot. (I'll talk about that on The Other Side of the Story) this week. I was also there when a good friend got some fantastic news. (Hint: it involves an agent!)
Halloween night was also a lot of fun, even if I did have to take a nap before hand. I stayed on East Coast time the whole weekend, so I was three hours ahead of everyone the entire convention. That wasn't so bad except for meals, so I was starving by the time breakfast rolled around. There were some great costumes, and doofy me forgot my camera. (Really, I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached!) I'm kicking myself now, because fellow NLA'er Gail Carriger had her book launch party that night, and since she writes steam punk, everyone was dressed in Victorian garb for a high tea party. They looked awesome!
All in all a great time, though it is good to be home.
Friday, October 30, 2009
They also gave us a bag o'swag upon check-in.
About 13 books, a bunch of magazines and a calendar. You can't go wrong there. One is even the second book of a series I just bought, so that'll save me a trip t the bookstore. (Okay, who am I kidding? Me, skip a chance to go to a bookstore? Never.)
More photos and tales throughout the weekend!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
They'll be a Halloween party Saturday night, and I have the coolest ghost costume all ready. Don't you just love the wispyness of the cape?
I'll take pictures while I'm there and tell you all about it when I get back. Until then, have a Happy Halloween everyone!
Oh, hey, for funsies, post your favorite Halloween candy. Let's see how they stack up, shall we?
My favorite: those orange and black red hots in the tiny little packages. They taste better than any other red hot you can get at any other time.
Friday, October 23, 2009
So a big thanks to all the Dawgs for giving me such a warm, welcome, and an extra dose of thanks to Media Director, Lisa Perkins, for inviting me and putting the whole shebang together. It was my first school visit and I couldn't have asked for a better group to use as guinea pigs. I may have even had more fun than they did.
I did a two-day visit this time, and came back back the next day to sign books. I noticed there was a remarkably high number of J-names at Otwell, which I highly approved of. J-named folks are awesome. (okay, everyone there was awesome, but I can have some letter pride once in a while, right?)
I'll be at a bunch more schools over the next few months and can't wait! I'm definitely going to have to stick up on more pencils though.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Last Wednesday, I did my very first book store signing at the Alpharetta, GA Barnes & Noble, and it went great. B&N folks Suzanne and Keith were so nice and helpful, and really made me feel welcome. I'll admit, I was pretty nervous at first, but with so many friends and smiling faces looking back at me, it was hard to stay nervous for long.
Then on Saturday, I zipped down to Fox Tale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA for a young writer's workshop. Owners Ellen and Karen were great (Didn't get to meet Jackey) and the store is adorable (so is Woodstock). I got to do a writer's workshop this event and work with teens and tweens this time around (and a few adults who snuck in), and it was fun helping them develop their stories and answer questions about writing and publishing. I hope you'll see me back there before too long.
I've got a week or so off before I'm back at the next event, an all-day school visit at Otwell Middle School. I'm really looking forward to it!
I'll continue to keep you posted on what's going on, even if I have to stop and catch my breath first!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009, 1pm
FoxTale Book Shoppe
105 E. Main Street, #138
PS. Last night's event was a blast, and I'll have the rundown on that later!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The Shifter comes out today! The Shifter comes out today!
-happy dance, followed by squeals of joy, followed by more happy dancing-
I won't get all mushy on you guys, but this is a great day for me. A lifelong dream has come true, and it's cool that I get to share it with so many wonderful folks. (Okay, I got a little mushy).
Also, a reminder that I'll be at the Alpharetta, GA Barnes & Noble tomorrow at 7pm. I'll also be at Fox Tale Books in Woodtsock, GA on Saturday, the 10th, at 1pm, doing a young writers workshop. Come on by, because if no one shows up, I'll be really bored. (to say nothing of the embarrassment!)
And now for some shameless self serving requests...
If ya'll are so inclined, please tell folks about the book (and the book signings). Blogs, lunchtime chat, office gossip, twitter, anything to get the word out there. I'd really appreciate it.
Let the celebrating begin!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 7pm
Barnes & Noble
7660 Northpoint Parkway #200
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Today is the official release date for the UK version, known across the pond as The Pain Merchants. As you can imagine, I'm pretty excited and will be for the next week as books start popping up in bookstores on two continents. (That's so much fun to say!)
Although the official release date for The Shifter isn't until the 6th, a friend did spot it on the shelf at her local bookstore, so you might find it if you happen to be near a bookstore.
I just want to run from bookstore to bookstore to see them.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
SIBA puts authors and independent booksellers together so they know what books are out there and how to tell their customers about them. A huge thanks to all the SIBA folks for inviting me to this terrific event. My day in a nutshell was like this:
6am: Get up, shower, get dressed, drive the 2.5 hours to Greenville, SC. The hubby went with me, so it was a fun trip there.
10am: Arrive early, drive around for something to do to kill time. Checked out the local Barnes & Noble to see if my fellow B&B Babe Amy Huntley's book "The Everafter" was in the stores yet (It wasn't, but it releases today, so go check it out).
10:45am: Arrive at event. Try to find registration desk and where I'm supposed to go for the meet and greet brunch. Wish I'd skipped the driving around part and arrived earlier.
11am: Found brunch and got there on time after all. Met nice authors, Beth Hoffman, Gigi Amateau, and Beverly Barton. (Also snagged their books later so I'm looking forward to reading them). Ate some yummy pot roast and cheesecake.
12pm: Went to a Moveable Feast. This was fun, and a little like speed dating (I think, as I've never actually done speed dating). 21 tables will booksellers were set up, and we (the authors) were the entertainment. We each got a table number, sat down, and talked about our books for ten minutes. Then we went to the next table in line and did it again. For two hours. (Future writers out there...this is a great way to practice boiling down your story to a few quick sentences when you get ready to query/pitch. Make your friends randomly stop you and pitch your book) Everyone was so nice and asked lots of great questions. Even better, most of them were pretty excited about the book (Yay!)
2pm: Book signing! They sat us down in a big room with a stack of our books next to us, and the booksellers came in and took home the books they were interested in. I had a huge stack of books and I wish I'd had the clarity of mind to take a photo of the Wall-O-Books, but I was too excited. I only had four books left at the end (out of 100, I think) so I feel it was a great success. Here's me and my SIBA helper Jim Veatch. He made sure the dust jackets were on the page I needed to sign, which was a HUGE help when you have a bunch of people waiting on you and have to flip through pages every book.
3pm: Drive home. We did take one detour to go see the Georgia Guiding Stones, which are pretty funky and I'll talk about them later this week. The hubby took the photos and I need to get them off his camera.
7pm: Got home. Made food, curled up and watched TV until bed.
Ah, such is the exciting life of an author.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"To participate, readers (called hunters) simply read a participating book, complete the author trivia challenge, and turn it in to you (librarians). If they get 8 out of 10 answers correct, you get to enter them in the monthly contest. Easy, right?
Every month, I’ll choose one lucky hunter as the winner. The winning hunter will receive a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card (good in stores or online) to use for whatever their heart desires. Even better, when they win, YOU win too… a library prize tote filled with more terrific Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM books for your library collection." --(from her website)
I had fun picking things to hunt for, so I hope ya'll have fun hunting them down.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
They're kinda neat, aren't they?
Hopefully they won't take over the yard. Or the neighborhood, venturing out into the land, claiming patches of grass for themselves...
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This is my first trade show, andI'm a little nervous, but in an excited way. I think it'l be a great warmup for my first book singing a week later (ya'll are coming, right?) I can always talk about books, so at least I won't have to worry about being stuck for conversation!
Friday, September 18, 2009
She's also giving away the ARC I gave her for review, so pop on over and stay awhile. Tons of good stuff on the blog to explore.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Major excitement day for sure. I just got final books for The Shifter in all their dust-jacketed hardcover glory. Don't they look beautiful?
Although you can't see it in the photo, the dust jackets are a lovely matt finish, with the yellow name spot varnished so it shines. (Can you tell I have a background in printing and graphic design?) The yellow and black on the spine is really eye catching and just jumps right out at you.
Just think...in three more weeks, I'll get to see these guys on actual bookstore shelves instead of the bookshelf in my office.
Color me all kinds of happy.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I've been wanting one for a while, so I finally broke down and got one. I think it'll be great to have for events so I can share fun things with everyone (like upcoming book signings and World Fantasy next month).
I find it ironic that I can't take a picture of it to show you, but it's tiny and adorable, and brushed metallic pink. Better yet...it matches my laptop perfectly! Oh wait! (Googles the name of her camera)...Here it is!
Of course this also means you might be subjected to random photos as I figure out how to use it and how to transfer photos to my computer.
Ya'll like cats, right?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I can't remember a time when I didn't write, and when I didn't want to be a writer. Friends dreamed of singing on stage, being a movie star, flying to the moon, but I imagined seeing my name on a shelf with all my favorite authors.
In 27 days, that dream comes true.
It's still hard to believe it's real, even though I've seen the pages, read the ARC, talked to the folks at Barnes & Noble and had them tell me they have the posters for my book singing all ready. I've never been a gal for tears, but I might cry when I see my book on the shelves. I know for sure I'll squeal, grab one, hold it to my chest and jump up and down while giggling like a madwoman. My husband should probably hide in the corner and pretend not to know me, but I know he won't. He'll stand there and smile and let me be a lunatic. (There's a strong possibility he'll take pictures, so you'll see for yourselves how silly I can be)
I'm guessing a lot of you out there have this same dream. Some of you may have even had moments when you thought of giving it up. I know I did, but I always fought through it and went back to write, because I could never give that part up.
I'm living proof that dreams do come true. If I can do it, you can do it. Whatever your dream may be.
Monday, September 7, 2009
I went to Ally Carter's book signing, as I took my place in the crowd, a woman walks up to me and asks, "Are you Janice Hardy?"
That's right, I was recognized. By a FAN! (insert excited squeal and happy dancing)
That's me, Nicole, and her daughter at Barnes & Noble.
This was a first for me, and I think Nicole must have attended the Gallagher Academy herself to have recognized me at all from my photo on my website. How she picked me out of a crowd I have no idea, but it's a thrill I'll keep with me always. I'm still smiling over it.
She was really nice and I had a great time talking with her. She promised to come back for my book signing next month, which is great. It'll be my first one, so knowing I'll have at least one friendly face in the crowd will help take some of the scary out of it. I also got to talk to some of the folks at B&N, and everyone was so friendly I think the signing is going to go just fine and be as much fun as Ally and Lauren's was. (I hope!)
Of course, hearing Ally Carter and Lauren Myracle speak was awesome too. I've read all of Ally's stuff, but I just bought Lauren's book, Bliss, and I'm looking forward to reading it.
Me and Ally Carter. (more excited squeals). She was as nice and funny as she sounds on her blog.
What a great day. Thanks, Nicole, for giving me a fantastic memory.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The festival is spread out over several blocks, so there are great events mixed with music and even shopping. There's also a fantastic children's bookstore there, too. With stages set up for adults, teens, and kids, there's something for everyone -- I have several events I'm looking forward to myself, and I'm not even embarrassed that most of them are on the teen stage!
Last year, I attended a session by author Sara Shepherd and was so hooked by her reading from her Pretty Little Liars series I just had to buy the book. (Cryptic threats from a dead girl? I'm so there) And the of course rest of them after that! There are a bunch of names I don't recognize on the schedule, so I'm looking forward to discovering a new book or series this year too. The hardest part will be lugging it all home.
Now, where did I put that backpack...
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
There's a new contest starting today over at The Other Side of the Story (my writing blog), so if you want another chance to win a signed ARC of The Shifter or The Pain Merchants, stop on by.
Monday, August 24, 2009
From Krista Ashe
Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?
He heard the referee calling fowls
A kindergarten teacher was telling her class the story of Chicken Little.
"So Chicken Little went up to the farmer, shouting 'The sky is falling! The sky is falling!'" The teacher paused and then asked the class, "And what do you think the farmer said?"
One little girl raised her hand. "I bet he said 'Holy Cow! A talking chicken!'"
*Note: edited for my younger readers
From Reggie Writes
Q. Why Couldn't The Chicken Find Her Eggs?
A. Because She Mislaid Them.
From Kat Bryan
A pair of chickens walk up to the circulation desk at a public library and say, 'Buk Buk BUK.' The librarian decides that the chickens desire three books, and gives it to them...and the chickens leave shortly thereafter. Around midday, the two chickens return to the circulation desk quite vexed and say,' Buk Buk BuKKOOK!' The librarian decides that the chickens desire another three books and gives it to them. The chickens leave as before. The two chickens return to the library in the early afternoon, approach the librarian, looking very annoyed and say, 'Buk Buk Buk Buk Bukkooook!' The librarian is now a little suspicious of these chickens. She gives them what they request, and decides to follow them. She followed them out of the library, out of the town, and to a park. At this point, she hid behind a tree, not wanting to be seen. She saw the two chickens throwing the books at a frog in a pond, to which the frog was saying, "Rrredit Rrredit Rrredit..."
Most Submitted Joke:
Q: Why do chicken coops have two doors?
A: Because if they had four door, they'd be a chicken sedan.
Winners, send me your e-mail addresses so I can contact you about mailing your prizes out. I'll keep the comments private if you want to post them, or you can just e-mail me through the website. If you have a preference on the US or UK version, just let me know. (I know some folks like one title over the other, but the story is the same). And since they'll be signed, if there's anything in particular you want me to write, let me know. I guess that goes for the T-shirt winners too if they want! There's got to be a permanent marker around here somewhere. (If you don't mention wanting them signed I'll just send them as is)
Congratulations to the winners!
I'll do two more contests before the book comes out on October 6, so you still have chances to win a signed ARC. Keep an eye out for the next one in about two weeks. I"ll be doing that one on The Other Side of the Story blog for my writer readers, so that contest will be related to that blog in a fun and silly way. (and regular readers there can already guess what it's going to be!)
Thanks to all who entered and made the last week filled with laughter.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Today is the last day to enter your chicken jokes to win a signed ARC of The Shifter. Or one of The Pain Merchants if you prefer, as I just got a stack of those from my UK editor. (saying that never gets old).
Just to recap, to enter, simply post your best chicken joke in the comments section. (In any of the chicken context posts). Comments are private right now, so you won't see it appear, but I'll get them. If you have any troubles, you can always e-mail me the joke. Just go to my website and click on the e-mail link at the top of the page. Either way works.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I'm still getting jokes daily, so I know the site is working, but I'm not sure why some can't post.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
If you've been to my website, you've noticed I love chickens. I can't say why, I just find them hysterically adorable. So for the next ten days, send me your very best chicken jokes. The joke that makes me snarf something out my nose from laughing so hard wins a signed ARC (advance reading copy) of The Shifter.
To enter, just post in the comments section. While this contest in underway, I'll have moderation turned on so I can screen what comes in. So if you post something non-joke related, it won't post immediately like usual. I'll approve all comments and let through the ones that aren't for the contest. You have until August 23rd to enter.
On August 24, 2009, I'll post the winner, and maybe a few runner's up if we get some great jokes. I'll round up something fun as prizes for those. I think I have some Shifter T-shirts that are fun around here somewhere.
While "why did the chicken cross the road?" jokes are likely going to be popular, I've heard a lot of them, so be warned that you might have to dig a little deeper to find the funny with those. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that those might be tougher to achieve full snarfability.
Who can enter: Everyone.
How do you enter: Post your best chicken hoke in the comments section of this post.
How many times can you enter: One entry per person, please.
Contest start date: Right now!
Contest end date: August 23, 2009.
Winner announced: August 24, 2009.
How do you get your prize: Winners will need to send me their address so I can ship them their book.
And that's it.
May the best joke win.
EDIT: I've just be informed that someone was having trouble logging into the comments section. So if you happen to have had this problem, you can always e-mail me the joke. Just go to my website and click on the e-mail link at the top of the page.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This has let me catch up on stuff I've been meaning to do, like finalize everything for my first official contest (check back tomorrow!) and get some business cards and bookmarks done. It's also let me dig into the stack of books that's been growing on my shelf.
I buy a lot of books. Actually, make that A LOT of books. When I hit 20 on my To Read shelf, I stop until I get back to single digits, then go shopping again. There's always something I've been dying to read (Right now it's Sacred Scar by Kathleen Duey, and all the bookstores near me are SOLD OUT!!!) so I can't go into a bookstore without walking out with an armful. Sometimes I jump ahead in the list, but I try really hard to read the next up in the stack.
Currently, it's The Book Thief, which is pretty funky so far. Very interesting writing style and narrator. It's more literary than I usually read, but I like to broaden my scope every now and then.
Chat with ya'll tomorrow about the contest! Hint: Start thinking funny.
Friday, August 7, 2009
I've never had anyone ask me to sign anything that wasn't a yearbook or a legal document. I had no clue what to write. What's worse, my family lovingly teases me that with my handwriting, I should have been a doctor, so my signature isn't even very pretty.
I stared at her like a deer in headlights, my mind blank as the page, and then we laughed about it. In the end I wrote, "To my friend, Amy, happy birthday" but it did start me thinking.
I'm going to run into this again at some point.
I have several events scheduled around when The Shifter comes out in October. As exciting as they are, the odds of someone wanting me to sign a book are high enough to worry about it. I'm going to have to practice my signature so they don't feel like a two year old scribbled in their book. I'm going to need a signing pen with a signature color or puffy troll eraser or something fun. I'm going to have to come up with a catchy line if they don't have something specific they'd like me to write. I'm going to have to be clever.
No one warns you about this part of being a writer. There should really be a memo.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Picture this...Artichoke hearts, Gorgonzola cheese, and scallions, all whipped up into a delicious dip and plopped down on these puffy little crackers he made.
The were so good.
The crackers just melted in your mouth like crisp little wafers. The artichoke had the perfect tang, and the cheese just smoothed it all over. My mouth is watering just writing this post.
I could have eaten an entire kitchen full of them. I may have to find a way to convince him to make these every single night. If it's possible to live off these things, I might attempt it.
I'm so glad we have more friends coming over for dinner Friday night.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Right now, there's something HUGE with lots of legs stuck to that window. I think it might be this:
I'm not the most squeamish person, but that's one creepy little bugger. I'm really glad it's too hot to have the windows open today. Cause that thing might be capable of chewing through the screens to come get me.
So if you see a giant, multi-legged winged monster in a future book of mine, you'll know where it came from.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Now, this isn't the first time I've woken up with cat toys (or cats) in my bed, nor is it the first time I've had this particular stuffed fox flung at me at high speeds. The last time, Puck landed it in my bowl of spaghetti. I was able to grab it before he did and wash it off before he dragged sauce all over the house.
Puck really loves his fox. And his favorite way of playing with it, is to grab it by its tail and fling it as high as he can, then leap for it with every ounce of his furry little body. Usually, this evokes responses like:
"Aw, he's so cute when he does that!"
"Man, he got some good height on that one."
"At least he missed the lamp."
At 5:46am, all he gets are screams. Not that he cares. He just grabs the fox by the tail and flings it out the bedroom door. I've gotten really good at ignoring the sounds of things falling over.
It's a good thing he's so cute.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 7pm
Barnes & Noble
Saturday, October 10, 2009, 1pm
Fox Tale Book Shoppe
105 E. Main Street, #138
Saturday, November 7, 2009, 2pm
4475 Roswell Rd. - Ave E Cobb
Saturday, November 14, 2009, 1-3pm
Hall Book Exchange
1854 Thompson Bridge Rd.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
And if you happen to see cool Shifter stuff while there, take a photo and send it my way. I get so excited when I see those things.
Wish I could be there, but alas, maybe next year.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
And here's the full jacket all spread out. (They took that back cover copy from my website! For some weird reason I find that really cool.)
As I mentioned last week, the cover process for the UK version went a little differently than the US one. I wasn't included, except for one tiny little detail. My lovely UK editor said the design team wanted to do something iconic, and asked if the Healer's League had a logo. I said no, but told her I could whip something up if she'd like.
I gave her five simple black and white logo designs. Nothing fancy, as I knew her art department would work their magic and make it look all nifty cool. For funsies, here they are:
It's easy to see which one they went with, and how the others influenced their final design. They took this basic line art and turned it into a gold and enameled-looking image. To make the cover fit the story, I added a line that described the Healer's League pin into the story.
The two covers have a lot of similarities, such as the idea of the hands, the swirly stars and the blue (which is the color of the magic metal, pynvium, in the book). But they're also quite different. The Pain Merchants has an edgier look, and I love how the font style captures the Byzantine feel I based the architecture of the world on. You see some of that in The Shifter cover with the city along the bottom. I think they're both great, though my husband likes the UK version better--I wonder if he's secretly British?
Here they are side by side for easy comparison:
I find it fascinating how the same story is represented in two different cultures.
For another look at covers across the pond, my agent did a post a while back.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Every author will have their own experience, as this varies, not only between houses but between authors. Since I'm a graphic designer by trade, the cover was very important to me and I wanted to be involved in the process. I made sure to tell my agent and my editor, and my editor was gracious enough to include me from the get go.
An illustrator was chosen and sketches were made. We made comments, suggested changes, and more sketches were made. When we got one we liked, the artist created on the final art, complete with title text.
Alas, sales nixed it.
We went back and tried a new approach. This time, the artist just did pencil sketches. I wish I could show you the sketches, but alas, that whole legality thing.
Sales nixed it again.
Then someone on the Balzer & Bray staff (I don't know who, but I'm still grateful for them) did a clip art mock up and sent it to my editor. My editor sent it to me and my agent and asked, "What do you think?"
Well, I went nuts. I just LOVED the idea and the look. The original title is used at this point, as we hadn't changed it yet. We made sure sales loved it to before we went any further. Luckily, they did. My editor changed illustrators and we started over, giving them this new concept to play with. He sent us this sketch:
We loved it, we're totally thrilled, made a few suggestions again (some involving the hands, and I wanted a more Byzantine look to the buildings), and sent it off. During this time, the title change was finally approved, so the color version reflected that.
You could have heard my excited squeal a mile away. I could NOT stop giggling over this cover. I think it totally rocks. You'll notice the "the" is missing from this version, which was added to the title after. We made a few minor tweaks (like adding some purple to the swirly stuff) and the final cover is...
And that's how I got a cover.
I'm incredibly lucky to have been included in the process, as a lot of authors have no say and don't even see their cover until it's done. That's actually how it went with the UK cover (which I'll post about soon). Nothing wrong with that, especially since those Brits like their covers differently than us Yankees do, so my design experience wouldn't have been much help. (And I did get to do one small thing, which I spill in that post). This just goes to show that even the same author and the same book can have different experiences depending on the house.
And both of mine were fabulous experiences.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
In other news...
I got my very first blog review, which is such a thrill. The folks over at A Million Words said nice things, so, thanks guys!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
My wonderful agent sent me this great photo of "The Shifter" displayed in bright and shiny color at Book Expo America. (Doesn't it look like a movie poster all done up like that?)
Do you think they'd let me keep that when they'd re done? Nah, me neither.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Super Spy Writer Ally Carter spotted a display copy of "The Shifter" on the shelves at the International Reading Association Conference today. The fact that she's my favorite YA author makes this about the coolest thing to happen to me all month. I know you can't actually see her, just her hand, but trust me. That's Ally Carter's hand. Holding my book.
I'm all aflutter.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Hard to believe "The Shifter" will be out in just five short months. It's been an exciting ride so far, and I expect the next few months will only get wilder. I'll be updating everyone on what's going on with the book, letting you know where I might be popping in for a visit, and anything cool that happens along the way.
Right now, I'm busy at work doing the final draft of Shifter 2. Feels weird to be almost done with the second before the first is even out!
I'm also working on the U.K. version of the book, which comes out on October 6th as well. I'll share cover art when I can. (They do a totally different cover over there. Even a different name! "The Pain Merchants.")
I'll also be announcing some fun contests and things as we get closer to release, so peek back from time to time and see what's going on.
Let the countdown begin!
Saturday, October 23, 2010, 2pm
Hall Book Exchange
1854 Thompson Bridge Rd.
September 6, 2009
Awesome review by Attackfish. Thanks so much!
July 14, 2009
The gang over at Teens Read and Write have nice things to say about The Shifter. Thanks guys!
July 11, 2009
Check out Real Toads to hear what they said about The Shifter. Thanks!
June 11, 2009
Oleander said nice things on Shelfari. Thanks!
June 1, 2009
The folks over at A Million Words said nice things, so, thanks guys!
September 19, 2009
Great questions over at YA Highway.
April 12, 2009
They're talking about me over at Tall Tales & Short Stories!
SALES & BOOKS
February 13, 2009
Foreign Rights: UK Children's
Janice Hardy's fantasy debut THE PAIN MERCHANTS, about a teenage war orphan who discovers an uncanny ability to heal by drawing pain from others, and becomes a pawn in a political game when her skill attracts the attention of the two most powerful groups in the city to Stella Paskins at Harper Children's UK, by Balzer & Bray, on behalf of Kristin Nelson at the Nelson Literary Agency.
June 26, 2008