Monday, February 23, 2009

Gag Reel & Oscars Update!

The Bradford Blog Bash may be over, but we're still having fun over here at the Bradford Novels Blog!

The Bradford author video we posted last week seemed so professional and effortless, didn't it? Well, today we've got a HILARIOUS gag reel from it that proves it's a lot harder being an author than it looks. (And you didn't even have to buy the DVD to get it!)

I literally LOL every time I watch it. Enjoy these outtakes, and let us know what you think in the comments section! (BTW, the disembodied male voice in the vid belongs to Micol's fiance and cameraman, Noah, who put this collection of funny clips together.)




Also, don't forget to check out Madison's Oscar fashion roundup later today at her PrĂȘt-a-Party blog.

She also live-blogged the Oscars, so check out the play-by-play on her Twitter feed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Guest Blogger of the Day: Gwenda Bond!

I had the great fortune to get to know Gwenda Bond through our MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts; she and I were fellow Revisionistas, and learned on our first night, over several glasses of wine and chatter, that we had many friends and colleagues in the YA-verse in common.


(Here we are at graduation with the rest of our kick-a$$ class; cute, right? And ps: how SHORT am I?)


To date, she is one of my first stops when I'm looking for feedback or an opinion on industry stuff (she has also been one of the beta readers for my Deep Dark Secret Spec Project, for which I'm eternally grateful!).
Gwenda blogs about all things lit (and pop culture, and cupcakes, and pets) over at Shaken And Stirred—when she isn't hard at work on a novel that promises to take the teen book world by storm.


Blog: Shaken & Stirred


URL: http://gwendabond.typepad.com/bondgirl




Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. They are also, more and more, a central part of the YA-writing universe. When and why did you start blogging?


I should know, shouldn't I? The oldest post the editor shows on the old version of my site is in 2002. So, we'll say 2002. Anyway, who can say exactly when I started? Not me, apparently. But, wow, seven years-ish. That's a long time ago.

I do remember why I started though. It was because I was constantly e-mailing articles -- particularly New York Times articles -- to my friends, and I figured it would be less bothersome if I had a place to put them where they could nab them if they wanted, and ignore if they didn't. It was also a way to reduce the amount of e-mail I had to do. Several of my close friends started blogging around the same time, and so we could track each other's movements too. Clearly, that evolved over time. My posting got a lot less personal once strangers started reading the site, and once I discovered there was a whole burgeoning community of people writing about books (thanks to my friend Barb and the infamous Jennifer Howard Washington Post article in 2003 about how insular litblogs were), I recognized that was what I wanted to do. With room for miscellaneous posts about TV and dogs. I should also say that I discovered very quickly that litbloggers weren't insular at all. There's a real sense of community.



Completely agree! What's your favorite thing about blogging?


The sense of connection with the larger literary world I associate with it. I think I would get very lonely, writing and reading in my little corner, reaching out via e-mails to people who are also getting too many e-mails. I like talking about pretty much everything, and I like getting to know really interesting people. I like making recommendations, and drawing attention to other people saying worthwhile (or infuriating) stuff. Blogging has been a great gift to me, in terms of both discovering new books to love and in all the friends I've initially met through the site over the years. I try to give gifts back whenever I can.



What's the difference between a blog and a diary? How confessional do you like a blog to get? What sort of blog posts most appeal to you? What are some of your favorite blogs (book or otherwise) out there right now?


There are some great confessional blogs, but I mostly don't read them. Although I do ADORE reading other people's friends-locked livejournal entries. Those are more like diaries than traditional blogs, I think, and so it's a bit like getting a peek behind the curtain into someone else's real life, not just their online one. Plus, the secrecy is very appealing.

But, as I said above, the thing I like best about the blogosphere is the conversation of it, and I find the confessional sites frequently to be less about having a conversation. So they're just not my thing? This is one of the reasons I'm now addicted to Twitter. It's one big endless, flitting discussion.

The exception would be The Nervous Breakdown, where I'm a new poster. Many of the posts at this massive group blog of mainly writers are more personal essay in nature, but they're so funny/true/well done that I find it completely addictive.


Blogs I love: God. There are so, so many. I think Colleen Mondor does amazing work both on her own site, Chasing Ray, and as the mastermind behind Guys Lit Wire. Carolyn Kellogg has made the LA Times Book Blog Paper Cuts a must read. I still love About Last Night, one of the first blogs I ever discovered. Sarah Rees Brennan is hilarious. Oh, and Justine Larbalestier is so fabulous as blogging --far more thoughtful about it than I'll ever be. Betsy Bird. Cynthia Leitich Smith. And I'll stop now, because I could on and on and on and on. Clearly.



GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets?


Biggest scandal... Hmm... I honestly can't think of anything that was huge! And my secrets are very well-protected. It was probably a bit of a scandal the couple of times I got detention, given that they announced your name over the loudspeaker in first period and I was the principal's daughter. Also, during my Jim Morrison phase, pre-driver's license when I still rode to school with my mom she once said, "I pledge allegiance to The Doors" during the morning address, because we'd just been fighting about how loud I wanted to play them in the car. I have about a million stories like this.



What’s the worst thing you ever did to a friend (or vice-versa)? Are you still friends with her or him?


I'm actually a pretty good friend, I hope, and more on the dangerously loyal side. That said, I think it was probably in college. I dealt poorly with a friend's crush, once I figured out he was serious and that I didn't reciprocate. Sadly, we actually did fall out of touch after that, but neither of us handled it that well, so that's some small comfort. As far the vice versa, I refer to my high school/early college best friend as Satan. Make of that what you will.



Sounds like she'd fit right in at Bradford! And...since Bradford is all about the rumor mill: rumor has it you've got some exciting book news on the horizon, too! Anything you want to share?


Um, I recently had the good fortune to sign with Jennifer Laughran at the Andrea Brown Agency.

Oh, exciting! Can't wait to hear more good news! And thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Party Pics!



More pics to follow soon, but here's a link to MediaBistro's sponsored slideshow from last night's Bradford launch!
(The one above is yours truly with author/editor/writing instructor extraordinaire, Jill Santopolo. And if you watch the slideshow, you'll see shots of FlirtyLiz and Noah, too!)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/media-bistro/sets/72157614110394405/show/

I've been teaching young adult writing through MediaBistro for almost two years now, and have had two students sell their projects that we worked on in class. It was great to be able to celebrate my new series with students, colleagues, family, and friends. We had a fab turnout and a wonderful time toasting to all of our new Bradford friendlies!

Here's to many more ultra-extra-very Bradford releases to come!

Awesome Authors: Anita Liberty

Author Anita Liberty joins us today to discuss being bitter, the origin of blogs, and why she doesn't like to talk about her old books with her current publisher. She's got just the right amount of snark to fit in with the Bradford girls. Welcome!

A short author bio, in her own words: Anita Liberty is the author of The Center of the Universe (Yep, That Would Be Me), How to Heal the Hurt by Hating, and How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Her Life. She writes television scripts, screenplays and Facebook status updates. Her website is www.anitaliberty.com, her blog can be found at anitaliberty.blogspot.com, her friendship can be had at www.facebook.com, and her merchandise can be bought at www.cafepress.com/staybitter. Is that enough for you people? Sheesh.

Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. If you have a blog, why did you start blogging, and how did you come up with the name for your blog?
That’s so interesting, 'cause blogs are a central part of the Anita Liberty universe, too. Do you think I should call my lawyers? Or were blogs part of the Bradford Novels universe first? Which came first? The Anita Liberty chicken or the Bradford Prep egg? I have a feeling I’m not gonna win this one. I did have an actual blog, for a while, on MySpace. And then I moved out of the MySpace neighborhood and into the Facebook neighborhood and I’m still unpacking my blogs. I keep another blog on blogger.com. But I haven’t quite figured out how to, or what to, write at the moment. My blog is called ANITA LIBERTY’S BITTER BLOG. And I came up with the name—funny story—'cause my name is Anita Liberty and I’m bitter and it’s my blog.

What's your favorite thing about blogging?
I like blogging when I hit on a topic that resonates with readers. Just blogging for the blog of it actually is sort of annoying and feels like navel-gazing. Not that I don’t enjoy gazing at my own navel, but I like to find things to write about that feel fresh and interesting and aren’t just about my own little myopic view on the minutiae of my life. Although sometimes that kind of blog topic can end up getting a lot of response. For instance, the time I wrote about being unable to blog without biting my nails. It brought a lot of nailbitters out of the woodwork and we formed a spontaneous support group. Raise your stubby little fingers high and unite!

What's the difference between a blog and a diary?
Is this a trick question? The answer seems too obvious to be what you’re looking for from me. But maybe you underestimate me and my ability to answer questions in a straightforward manner. My answer to this question is that a diary is a (traditionally) private place to record your thoughts, feelings and, life events and a blog is a (traditionally) public place to record your thoughts, feelings and, life events. Although, when I used to keep a diary, I always wrote with the sense that my words might be made public one day. Like when I die and my audience has an insatiable hunger for more of my writing and Simon Pulse approaches my “estate” and begs them for the rights to publish my private journals posthumously and my “estate” says, “How much ya got?” And Simon Pulse throws opens its coffers and dumps a buttload of cash in the lap of my “estate” and I make way more money dead than I ever did alive.

What are your most recent books? What new projects are you working on now?
My most recent book is The Center of the Universe (Yup, That Would Be Me). That’s the book published by Simon Pulse. It’s my first Young Adult book. It’s sort of a “prequel” to my other two books, How to Heal the Hurt by Hating and How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Your Life. Those two were published by another publisher. But I don’t like to talk about that in front of Simon Pulse, 'cause then Simon Pulse gets all insecure and starts interrogating me about my time with the other publisher and what did it have that Simon Pulse doesn’t and then it gets to a point where nothing I say is reassuring enough for Simon Pulse and Simon Pulse would rather sulk than get over it and we end up spending the rest of the evening sitting in uncomfortable silence. (But the make-up sex is always hot.)
As to what new projects I’m currently working on . . . I’m working on some ideas I have for another book, contemplating a screenplay version of the Anita Liberty story, developing a web series, writing an hour-long television pilot, and doing rewrites on a half-hour television pilot I wrote last year that may (or may not) go into production this winter.

Contests Galore!

If you're interested in winning a copy of GoldenGirl, check out this contest that Shalonda's Blog is running. It's so easy to enter—you just have to visit some of the Bradford blogs & websites (which you were so totally going to do anyway, right?) and tell her what you liked about it/them. She's also got some ways to earn extra entries, so head on over there for all the deats.

(BTW, I'm loving her pretty new daisies layout!)

Also, don't forget the contest over at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf, which also ends next week.

AND, of course, keep commenting on Bradford Blog Bash posts to earn entries in our Grand Prize giveaway for a random commenter from ANY of the blog bash's posts, and our Slightly Less Grand Prize giveaway (which might actually be almost as grand as the Grand Prize, but is for this week's posts only). Comments through midnight on Sunday 2/22 count toward these giveaways. We'll announce the winners on Monday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Awesome Authors: Kelly Parra!

Kelly Parra is a YA writer who also maintains a fantastic and fun blog, "YA Fresh," with writer Tina Ferraro. Not only did Kelly agree to do a little Q&A for our blog bash, but she has ALSO offered a copy of her book, INVISIBLE TOUCH, as a giveaway to a randomly selected commenter on her post. So comment to enter for a chance to win!

Kelly is a Mexican-Filipino-Italian writer. Through her teen years, her nationality was many times a guessing game by new acquaintances and today she often writes her multicultural characters with the same experiences. She debuted into young adult fiction with the Latina novel GRAFFITI GIRL, a double RITA finalist. Her latest novel is the YA contemporary paranormal, INVISIBLE TOUCH published by MTV Books. Learn more about her and her books at kellyparra.com.

Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. They are also, more and more, a central part of the YA-writing universe. When and why did you start blogging?
I first started blogging a couple of years before I sold my first book. Blogs were really taking off and I wanted a connection with other writers during my struggle to publication. After selling my first YA novel, GRAFFITI GIRL, I knew many romance writers at the time but I didn't know how I would connect with other YA readers. I had always felt a blog needed to give something to readers that they would be interested in. Not just about my own YA books but about other authors, and soon YA Fresh was born. Not long after it launched, I asked my fab critique partner, Tina Ferraro, if she would like to join me and luckily she did. It's been a great couple of years!

What's your favorite thing about blogging? As someone who coordinates between a variety of different blogs, how do you stay organized?
My favorite thing about blogging is the connection with other writers and readers! It's such a blast to share your likes and dislikes, and all the book gossip with your friends. I do coordinate between group blogs and guest blogs and it can get overwhelming at times. I'm a total list person and I write down dates to try and keep me sane. :)

What are the pros and cons of running a group blog, as opposed to blogging strictly on a personal site?
One pro of running team blogs is having others to share a variety of topics with a different spin to keep readers interested. I can't really think of a con—I feel group blogs work really well if organized. Blogging on your own can be a little boring and it's hard to bring something fresh to readers.

What's the difference between a blog and a diary? How confessional do you like a blog to get? What sort of blog posts most appeal to you? What are some of your favorite blogs (book or otherwise) out there right now?
Diaries are for the writer's eyes only! A blog can be read by hundreds of readers and can reach farther beyond. On YA Fresh, we try and keep it light. Blog posts that appeal to me are background news on writers and their books. Its so fun to follow a favorite writer through their writing journey. Some of my favorite blogs are: Teenfictioncafe.blogspot.com and YAWriters.blogspot.com.
GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets?
There was always a scandal in high school—from fights to party stories, whatever topic that could keep the gossip going. I'm not sure if any of my dark secrets were whispered behind hands...nothing I can think of at the moment!

Sure, sure...So, what’s the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?
I started talking to an ex-boyfriend of one of my friends. They'd been broken up for a long time, and she told me it didn't bother her. But later down the road when I stopped talking to the guy my friend ended up back with him and admitted it had bothered her. I wish she would have told me, but then I should have just brushed him off. Friends stick around longer than dates! I run into her every once in a while and we still talk like years haven't gone by.

What are your most recent books? What new projects are you working on now?
My latest release is INVISIBLE TOUCH (MTV Books/October, 2008). The story is about a girl who sees "signs" or symbols on individuals and must piece the signs together in order to save them from unfortunate fates. TeensReadToo gave Touch the Gold Award of Excellence and bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz called it a blend of mystery, romance, and deep and dangerous secrets.

Right now, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and writing an urban fantasy that takes place in the near future. It's been an exciting and fun challenge!

Thank you for letting me join in, Micol!

Guest Blogger of the Day: The Frenetic Reader!

I'm so excited to be bringing an actual TEEN blogger to our discussion on YA book blogging! Khyrinthia and I found each other in the cyberverse as I was gearing up for the GoldenGirl launch, and she has been a staunch supporter of the series ever since. Here's what she has to say:

Name: Khy/The Frenetic Reader

Blog URL: http://freneticreader.blogspot.com/

Tell us a little bit about your blog (the content, editorial identity, purpose)

On my blog, I mostly review YA books. Occasionally I will mention the fact that zombies are 3852803 times better than unicorns, and more than occasionally I will mention my undying love for David Levithan. (I obsess over him.)

I don't blame you--David rocks. My jury is still out on the zombie/unicorn thing, however. So, how/when/why did you decide to start blogging? Is your current blog your first? If not (or, if so), how did your original blog/s evolve to your current blog-incarnation?

I started my blog back in April of 2008, but it sure doesn't feel like I've had it that long. I was extremely bored one night, and my friend had recently started her own blog, so I wanted to start one. And since I read a bazillion book blogs, I figured I'd start my own. And now, here I am. -insert festive music here-

What's your favorite thing about blogging?

Am I allowed to say everything? Because I love everything. I love finding out about new books, being able to rant about books I may or may not like, and talking to all the other awesome bloggers. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't like getting a free book every once in a while.

Yeah, me, too! What's one thing that surprised you about the blogging process?

How much motivation it takes to actually sit down and write something. The internet can be very distracting. So can Twitter. And sometimes it's hard to think of stuff to say, or write down your thoughts so that they make sense. But it's all worth it. :)

In your opinion, what constitutes a "good" (ie: interesting, readable) blog post? What sort of information are you looking to offer your readers?

Honestly, I have no clue what makes an interesting blog post. I'll read anything as long as it's in complete sentences, does not use chatspeak, and is not in one huge paragraph. Even if you write about what you ate for breakfast, I will probably at least skim your post.

As far as information that I want to offer my readers (I have readers! I like being able to say that), um....information about books? More specifically, books that should be read and obsessed over and books to be read and loved.

Hmm...my Bradfordlies and I might need to reconsider our use of chatspeak. What blogs do you read regularly?

Do I have time to list all 300 in my google reader? I read a ton of book blogs, and author blogs. I'd name favorites, but I don't want to leave anyone out. We have to be fair here, so no favorites. Though I do love all the ones I read. :D

And I just wanted to say, thanks for letting me answer your questions, Micol! Can't wait to read GoldenGirl.

Thanks for coming by, and for being as passionate about teen books as we are!

Awesome Authors: Elisabeth Wolfe

Today's Awesome Author is Elisabeth (Koller) Wolfe, one of the authors of Click! The Girl's Guide to Knowing What You Want and How to Make It Happen. She was the only cheerleader in Richmond, Virginia to be kicked off the squad for chronic lateness due to humidity hair havoc. Thankfully, Elisabeth refocused her energy and moved to New York City, where she became an attorney, started a production company, and won an Emmy Award. Check out her book website: www.clickthegirlsguide.com.

What's your favorite thing about blogging?
That people actually read our blog.

What's the difference between a blog and a diary?
I would never write something unkind on a blog, but anything goes in my diary, since it’s for my eyes only. My latest diary’s cover is a yummy faux leather chocolate brown that’s so deceptively cozy looking that it’s shocking to read the bitch sessions that comprise the first 50 pages. Getting negative thoughts out of my head and onto paper is my mental maintenance. Seeing things written down helps me gain just a bit more perspective.

Last week, I brought my diary with me to the local nail salon/hang out figuring I would let it all hang out on paper during my pedicure. It wasn’t until 10 pm that evening that it hit me. I had left my diary at the nail drying station. Panic set in. That night, I had nightmares of feet soaking acquaintances reading passages out loud and laughing hysterically. What if one of the friends I had written about was among them? What if someone stole my diary?

I was waiting outside when the salon opened the next morning. Thank goodness my diary was still there. As she handed it back to me, receptionist raised one eyebrow and said “Oh…so you’re the one who left this.” Suffice it to say that my diary will never leave my house again!

Spencer Grace Kelly, the main character in GoldenGirl, is named after her distant relative, the Princess of Monaco. What’s your favorite Grace Kelly movie, and why?
I remember seeing Rear Window and To Catch a Thief in my college film class and enjoying them both immensely. I was most impressed by Grace Kelly’s powerful presence, her beauty, and her wardrobe.

GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets?
I consulted my bff from high school and neither of us could come up with anything scandalous that I can put here. No one got much dirt on me, thankfully.

What’s the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?
I broke up with a boyfriend over the phone. Back then, breaking up on the phone was a big no no. But these days, it’s more the norm. Never spoke to the guy again, but he recently popped up on Facebook. I wonder what he’d do if I sent him a message.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Guest Blogger of the Day: The Page Flipper!

We only have three days left in the Bradford Blog Bash, and THREE amazing guest bloggers still waiting to visit with us! So for the rest of the week, we're gonna have a guest book blogger EVERY DAY! First off, The Page Flipper, AKA Chelsea, was kind enough to sit down and talk to us about why it is that she blogs about books!

Name: Chelsea
Blog url: thepageflipper.blogspot.com

Tell us a little bit about your blog (the content, editorial identity, purpose):
My blog's main purpose is to connect with readers and push my opinion on them. :) Really, I just like to help promote new YA books coming out in the market, and help readers find books they'd be interested in. I try to review a variety of different genres, to hit with everyone. I also have a YA book club, where we discuss a different book each month; it's great to be able to fully geek out about books without being laughed at. (Here's looking to you, brother!)

We would never laugh about book love—we get it! How/when/why did you decide to start blogging? Is your current blog your first?
I decided to start in late 2007 - the main reason was because my family and friends got completely sick of me rattling on about my latest read. I figured I'd start sharing my opinion with people who actually wanted to hear it! It's completely addicting. The Page Flipper is my first blog, but it's been through many transformations. It was a cocoon at first, in its little bloggish state. It grew on its own, but then I decided to put it in an incubator and created a website. That lasted for a month or so, until I missed my blogging ways, and started back up again. Now I like to think of it as a butterfly. (I do realize how corny I am, thanks.)

Not corny, poetic! So, what's your favorite thing about blogging?
I lovelovelove communicating with other readers and authors. When I first started, I didn't picture "book blogging" to be as big and as friendly of a community as it became. I love talking to other readers about books, and to authors about writing. It's been a ton of fun, and I don't plan on giving it up anytime soon.

What is one thing that surprised you about the blogging process?
Free books! I started out with just library books - I used to make weekly trips. I had no idea what ARCs were, and when I was offered a free book, I thought it was a scam. Seriously. I was also surprised by how many bloggers are out there. We could totally dominate the world.

In your opinion, what constitutes a "good" (ie: interesting, readable) blog post?
I love humor. If you add a little of that into your posts, you're golden. And casualness. If you write formally all the time, it can get boring.

What sort of information are you looking to offer your readers?
I hope to provide my (fabulous!) readers with a fun environment to learn about new books, and to be able to get to know authors in an easy, laid-back way.

What blogs do you read regularly?
Eep. So many! I love The Story Siren's blog, along with Reviewer X's. And Po(sey) Sessions! The Book Muncher. Teen Book Review. The Compulsive Reader. I could go on and on, but someone would probably bring in duct tape, and I'd like to just avoid that whole scenario.

Thanks, Micol, for interviewing me! :)

Thanks for stopping by, Chelsea!

NY Fashion Week Extra: VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY--On the Blog!

Today, the Bradford Blog Bash is thrilled to welcome guest blogger MADISON TAKAHASHI!

Yes, you read that right—Bradford Prep's #1 Fashionista has landed a primo interview, and she's sharing it with YOUYOUYOU!

You lucky darlings!

MADISON SAYS: Ooh ooh ooh, my friendlies!

If you've been following me on my blog, or checked out my student page (which, I mean—OF COURSE you ha
ve, duh), then you know what a huge fan I am of the "Violet" book series by the very very veriest author, Melissa Walker. Violet=reluctant fashion model. Melissa's books=awesome.

Me=your hero, for having scored a little one-on-one with Miss Violet herself.

Behold:


Hey, Violet! I'm so excited to be talking to you today! As you probably know, I, like, LIVE for fashion design, and can't wait to have a collection shown in a real, live fashion show. Obvs I've read all of your books, but for those poor misguided souls out there who may be unfamiliar, can you pretty please tell us about your rise to supermodel stardom?

Sure. Um, well, I got scouted at my dorky movie theater job in North Carolina. My agent, Angela Blythe, flew me up to New York, and I made a good impression on some fashion week bookers, so that started it all. Later that year—which was my senior year of high school—I moved to NYC to model full time...

Blogs are a enormo-huge part of the Bradford world. All of my friends and I keep our own blogs and we update constantly. I know you've blogged, too. When and why did you start blogging?

Blogging has been a big release for me. There's a lot of crazy pressure in the fashion world, so sometimes I just wanted to reach out into the universe and talk to my friends—and fans (I feel so douchy saying "fans"—I mean, people I don't know who are interested in me...)—about what I was experiencing. Sometimes I overshare, though. Haha.

CLEARLY the Bradfordverse is teeming with scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets?

I was never really a part of high school scandals. To be honest, I wanted to be, but no one really saw me back then. Since I've been modeling, though, I've had more than my share of scandals. I feel like I don't have many of my own secrets, but it was quite a shock to find the guy I was dating in Brazil in bed with another girl—another model even. That pretty much sucked.

Ouch. WTH, Brazil dude? Okay, moving on to happier topics...my friendlies and I are all super-extra careful about setting the privacy locks on different blog posts, depending on content. But even we slip up sometimes, with explosive results. I'm pretty sure, as per "Violet By Design," that you are familiar with Blogger's Regret Syndrome. Would you like to relive that painful experience here with us today?

Okay, but just for you, Madison. I guess the biggest thing was when I blogged about trying to lose weight, and then I talked to the press about how I hate the body standards for models. I still believe it's not healthy, and I won't stop talking about it, even though my agent got sooooo mad when I spoke up, and I didn't book many shows that season.

Ew. But yay for you for speaking out. So, what's the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?

I think blowing off my best friends Julie and Roger wasn't cool. I did that when I first moved to NYC, and I've always regretted it. It's just that the fashion world took up a lot of my time, and the rules were so different—I didn't think they'd understand what I was going through. But I should have known they'll always be by my side. We're still the best of friends. And Roger and I, well, we're working out our feelings for each other.

Well, that sounds promising—and romantical! Tell us what blogs, if any, do you read regularly?

I subscribe to iheartdaily.com, of course—love it. And also whowhatwear.com. But mostly I just stick to reading my friends' facebook updates and keeping in touch with the people I know in the
real world—that's extra important to me now.

I HEART iheartdaily! And of course, since you're in fashion I have to ask: how would you describe your personal style? Who are some of your favorite designers?

This is so funny because I really do wear t-shirts and jeans or leggings all the time when I'm not working. But my favorite t-shirts are the really soft kinds, so sometimes I do buy designer versions because they seem to get the soft slouchiness just right. My favorite brands for that style are T Alexander Wang (anything from there) and from Elizabeth and James (love their A-line and v-neck styles). And London Sole ballet flats also rule my world.

Thanks for the tips, V! And thanks for partying with us!

Awesome Authors: Terra Elan McVoy

Today's Awesome Author is Terra Elan McVoy, who wrote the upcoming debut novel Pure and is also the manager of Little Shop of Stories, an independent bookstore in Decatur, GA. She was born in Tallahassee, FL and is currently in pursuit of the perfect cupcake recipe.

Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. What's the difference between a blog and a diary?
Well a diary is usually very private. Often it has a lock and you hide it under your bed. Maybe you have some kind of trap rigged up so you can tell if someone else has read it. But a blog? That is for everyone! Even your grandma could look you up and read it!

Spencer Grace Kelly, the main character in GoldenGirl, is named after her distant relative, the Princess of Monaco. What's your favorite Grace Kelly movie, and why?

Rear Window is my favorite because she's so lovely and calm and suave in it. Plus—duh—the outfits.

GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets?
A really big scandal that happened at my high school centered around my biology teacher. We were doing our standard section on the birds and the bees, and he gave us an assignment that required us to catalog all the available contraceptives at a drugstore. Some parents complained. Our teacher was asked to apologize for giving the offending assignment but he wouldn't, and as a consequence he left the school and went to teach elsewhere. We were all very upset by this and had t-shirts made and contacted the news and staged a walk-out and were in the local paper and everything. This had nothing to do with any of my deep, dark secrets though, which fortunately I kept to myself!

What's the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?
I think probably the worst thing I ever did was to not ever forgive one friend of mine for something bad she did to me. I am still not speaking to her.

What are your most recent books? What new projects are you working on now?
My first novel, Pure, is due out in April of this year. I am working on putting together a second novel as we speak!

Spotlight on Micol at Shalonda's Blog

Just a quick note to point out that Shalonda's Blog is hosting Bradford author Micol Ostow today. Micol shares her super exciting daily schedule, which Bradford character is the most fun to write, plus what she does during her free time (other than creating delicious scandals for the Bradfordians). Check it out! http://shalondasblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/spotlight-on-micol-ostow.html

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Breaking News: New NYC Events!

Well my friendlies, you heard it HERE first: I have just confirmed dates for two brand spankin' NEW GoldenGirl events that will take place as part of the first-ever NYC Teen Author Festival.
The Festival itself will run from 3/16-3/22, and you lucky, lucky readers will have lots of opportunities to hear from many kick-a$$ young adult authors (rumor has it that Scott Westerfeld and David Levithan will be reading from some of the writing they did when they were wee young adults, themselves. I predict laughter and hijinks).
Check out the Festival Facebook group page for more general info.

Yours truly will be reading from GoldenGirl as part of the Five-Borough Read. I'll be in Staten Island (and am feeling quite proud of myself for traveling off of mainland Manhattan, thank you very much).

Come see me at:
St. George Library Center, 5 Central Avenue
4-5pm


And check it: I'll be reading with:
Kate Brian, Judy Goldschmidt, Michael Northrop, and Lynn Weingarten! Excellent authors, one and all!
(And some of my besties, in point of fact.)

BUT WAIT—there's more!
I will *also* be participating in what has been titled "The Biggest Teen Author Signing EVER" (those caps aren't even mine)!
Come get yourself an autographed copy of GoldenGirl at Books of Wonder (a totally fabu indie bookstore, btw).

From the press release:

The Biggest Teen Author Signing EVER
Sunday, 3/22, Books of Wonder, 4pm

Join over 40 authors for a signing extravaganza as they take over Books of Wonder, sign books, and converse with fans new and old. An incredible event that is sure to go down in book-signing history.

OVER FORTY amazing authors? Yowza. I have seen the lineup, and let me tell you, there are some heavy hitters on it, including: Robin Wasserman, Megan McCafferty, Coe Booth, Judy Blundell, Maureen Johnson, E. Lockhart, Cecily Von Ziegesar, and MOREMOREMORE!

Now, to go prepare my reading selection. A girl can never plan too far ahead, wouldn't you agree?

Awesome Authors: Billy Merrell

Today's another Double Feature, as we have Awesome Author Billy Merrell stopping by for a chat. He is the author of Talking in the Dark, a poetry memoir (Scholastic, 2003), and a co-editor for The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About LGBTQ and Other Identities (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2006), which received a 2006 Lambda Literary Award. He received his M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia University and is currently Web Development Coordinator for Poets.org, the award winning website of the Academy of American Poets. Visit him online at www.billymerrell.com.

Why did you start blogging, and how did you come up with the name for your blog? I started blogging in 2006 as a way to publicly participate in NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). Both an informal offshoot of National Poetry Month and a blatant ripoff of National Novel Writing Month, NaPoWriMo challenges poets to compose and post a poem a day during April. I was studying poetry at Columbia at the time and writing poems most days anyway, so why not? A blog was born. Since then, I've posted many poems and the occasional link to something that inspires me. As my poems became longer, posting single excerpts made less sense, and it's been a while since I've posted actively. Now that I think about it, maybe I'll start blogging again. Since I'm out of that long poem phase.

What's your favorite thing about blogging? It's a great way to quietly put yourself out there. To "publish"—to literally make your work public, without claiming anything about the quality. The poems I post to my blog are ones I at the time deem successful in one way or another. Which is very different from me thinking they are "good" or wanting to put them in front of readers right away. Instead, I can let the readers find the poems on their own. And it maybe means more when they do.

What's the difference between a blog and a diary? Since my day job is Web Development, I find it hard not to answer technically. A blog is a publishing format, and a diary is a specific category of journaling. My blog is nothing like a diary. It's more like an ongoing chapbook.

Spencer Grace Kelly, the main character in GoldenGirl, is named after her distant relative, the Princess of Monaco. What's your favorite Grace Kelly movie, and why?
Rear Window
(1954). Hitchcock is way scarier than all the Saw movies put together.

What's the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?
Well, there was this one time... I was friends with this guy and I didn't know I had a crush on him. I mean, I did... but I didn't know that my crush had morphed into scary crush. And then I was introduced to this guy that he liked... and even though I didn't really like the guy I ended up dating HIM as some sort of creepy way to seem desirable to the one I really liked. But it all blew up in my face. Luckily for me, and the good people of Gainesville, Florida, I met my now husband Nico Medina (also a writer!) over the course of that pyscho cycle. I can now go back to being a good person. Are we friends? Yes, according to Facebook.

What are your most recent books? What new projects are you working on now?
In 2006, I co-edited The Full Spectrum, an anthology of writing about queer experience by young writers aged 13 to 23. Poems and stories have also appeared in a number of anthologies, most recently The Best Gay Poetry 2008. In October of 2009, you should also watch out for Go Ahead, Ask Me, a book of irreverent conversation starters I wrote with my husband. I still laugh reading some of those questions. Good times. Separate from book projects, I'm hard at work preparing for National Poetry Month, which promises to be the best yet. Carry a poem in your pocket on April 30—national Poem In Your Pocket Day.

Party Favors!!!

The Bradford Blog Bash is winding down, but this week is packed with soooo much Bradfordly goodness...I just can't contain my excitement. Here are some of the highlights:
  • NOW YOU SEE HER. Our fav author, Micol, has created a special vid that explains that interactive collection of web stuffs we like to call the Bradverse. She's super cute in it—especially right after the first cutaway—AND she manages to do a great job of explaining just what all this crazy internet stuff is all about. Let us know what you think, and spread it around! (It's also available on the FlirtyGirlBooks YouTube channel, if you have trouble embedding it from Vimeo.)



  • ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE. Thanks to suggestions from Alea, Noah, and others, we've launched an official BradfordWiki!!! This is a special collection of articles about the series that's meant to be written for the fans, BY the fans. We've created a few article stubs just to get you started, but this is a place for YOU to share your Bradford knowledge with other readers! (In particular, I think Alea is interested in someone deciphering some of that unique Bradford slang...anyone out there willing to help her out?)
  • PARTY FAVORS. We've just added some fun new GoldenGirl-themed avatars/chat icons and wallpapers to the Bradford Novels downloads page. Deck out your desktop like a Fashionista, or satisfy your inner Paige (or Mads, or Spence, or Regan) by switching your chat icon.
  • THE GRAND FINALE. I know it's been a long and crowded party (thanks, authors, bloggers, and photo shoot cast & crew for giving us so many posts!) but you need to keep up your energy for a few more days! Not only do we have some really exciting posts this week, but we're planning two grand prize-ish giveaways (okay, so they're not a trip to Tahiti, but they're more than just a book). One's for a random commenter to any post from this week—multiple comments = multiple entries, natch—AND the other's for a random commenter to ANY POST FROM THE ENTIRE BLOG BASH (same rules apply). So, you're probably already entered to win one of the grand prizes!! How great is that? Now, let's get to work increasing your chances of winning by sharing your thoughts with us!

Awesome Authors: kc dyer

Today we're very lucky to have Awesome Author kc dyer with us!
Here's a short author bio, in her own words:
kc dyer is a professional liar, prevaricator, and provocateur. Her published work includes: SEEDS OF TIME (2002), SECRET OF LIGHT (2003), SHADES OF RED (2005), MS.ZEPHYR'S NOTEBOOK (2007), and A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW (2009). More in the works!
She can be found blogging at leftwriter and Darby Speaks, or hanging about her website at kcdyer.com. Facebook fanpage can (not so surprisingly) be found at kc dyer. (Darby has a fan-page, too, right HERE.) She tweets @kcdyer on Twitter. You can email her at contact@kcdyer.com.

Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. If you have a blog, why did you start blogging, and how did you come up with the name for your blog?
I've been blogging for almost three years—started in 2006. For me, it's a great way to stay connected with the people who read my books and the people in my writing world—friends, other writers and industry folks—who may not live where I do geographically.
My blog is called leftwriter. I called it that because I like to look at things from both sides, and while I blog a lot about my writing, I also blog a bit about the writing world and everything connected to it.
I blog a LOT. I ru
n the blog for the Surrey International Writers' Conference, and I contribute to other blogs all the time. I'm a regular contributor to the Children's Writers & Illustrators of BC (CWILLBC) blog. And, just recently, I've started a new blog for the main character in my new book. The book is called A Walk Through a Window, and the character's name is Darby Christopher. I thought it would be fun to let her out into the world a little before her book arrives in March, so she's got a blog, too!

What's your favorite thing about blogging?
I think my favourite thing about blogging is the connection I can have with people all around the world. I get hits on my blog from all over the world and I have a lot of fun connecting with other readers and writers on the 'Net.

What's the difference between a blog and a diary?
For some people, not much. They put their lives online for the world to see, and for them this can be a really cathartic experience. For me? Not so much. Occasionally I'll run a 'Dog Blog' post on my blog, and I talk a bit about every day things, but in general all the personal stuff is off limits. I try to be really respectful of my kids' lives and try to stay away from posting about them online. (Besides—they are bigger than I am now. I'm not crazy!)

Spencer Grace Kelly, the main character in GoldenGirl, is named after her distant relative, the Princess of Monaco. What's your favorite Grace Kelly movie, and why?
Hmmm. I think either To Catch A Thief with Cary Grant or Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart. I love those adventure stories (and the leading men . . . )

What are your most recent books?
My most recent novel is Ms. Zephyr's Notebook. It was published in 2006, and the story of Cleo and Logan is told inside the pages of a teacher's notebook. Here's the blurb from my website:
When Logan Kemp hurls himself into a rugby scrum one fall morning, he has no idea that by afternoon he'll be fighting for his life. Worse, Logan learns the only other patient on his ward is a troubled girl named Cleo who may not just be hospitalized for a broken wrist. When all he wants is his regular life back, the thought of Cleo throwing away her own leaves Logan determined to change her mind.
Cleopatra Jones wants to design the perfect life; a teenage rugby player and a few well-meaning health professionals are not going to stand in her way. But Cleo soon finds that life—and even death—can interfere with the best-laid plans.
Burdened with prejudice and pain, these teens reinforce the walls that have kept them safe in their own worlds. But the secrets in a teacher's tattered notebook show them how the word sustenance can have more than one meaning. And facing the biggest challenge of their lives,
Logan and Cleo discover something about the powerful forces of redemption and forgiveness.

My new book is coming out in March this year. It's called A Walk Through a Window, and it's a ghost story and a time travel story all wrapped up in one. Here's the blurb:
If you had a chance to step through a window to the past, would you take it?
A Walk Through a Window is the story of Darby, a young girl forced to spend the summer with grandparents she doesn't know in a place she feels she can never belong. But when a boy down the street extends a hand, it is more than friendship he offers. Together they discover a magical stone window frame that transports them to the very centre of the dramas of our past: the Underground Railroad; the coffin ships of the Irish Potato Famine; and even the Inuit as they crossed the Bering Land Bridge into North America.
Over the course of the long, very strange summer, Darby is forced to question part of own her life. And as tragedy threatens her family, that magical walk through a window offers Darby new insight into the people she has always taken for granted—and changes forever her perception of her country.

What new projects are you working on now?
Right now I'm working on two new books—the sequel to Darby's story is in the works, and I am working on a new series that's a kind of steam-punk time travel fantasy. I always like to keep things interesting!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Awesome Authors: Lauren Myracle

Micol says: Lauren Myracle has been a favorite author of mine ever since I heard her read from Rhymes with Witches at a Barnes and Noble in NYC. Her book was grabby and girlie and spooky all at once...the perfect precursor to her most recent release, Bliss, about a girl who moves from a commune to an idyllic suburb only to learn that her new picture-perfect school is, in fact, perfectly haunted.

Of course, Lauren is perhaps best known for her best-selling "Internet Girls" series, TTYL, TTFN, and L8R, G8R, which are are written completely in IM.

A Vermont College alumn who writes in innovative, media-savvy formats? Why does that sound so familiar?

Lauren is WAY busy working on her newest IM book AS WE SPEAK (which, yay!), but—OMG!—she was kind enough to shorthand a few questions for us.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Best thing about writing entirely in IM's:
oh, baby! best thing = not having to play by the rules of SCARY STANDARD ENGLISH. or maybe best thing = no setting! me hate setting! me luv dialogue! or maybe best thing = pretending to be a kid again and just being goofy? easier to be goofy in IMs then in a serious literary novel. which, uh, yeah. isn't likely to come from me anyways... ;-)

Most scandalous thing that has ever happened to you, or to a friend because of you? Bonus points if said scandal involves im/email/blogging: oh, dahlink. like i'd ever share my secrets with the whole internet world. i will happily share a friend's secrets, tho! she will go unnamed. or rather, she will go by...Mathilde, and be sure to pronounce it all Frenchy.

well. once upon a time, Mathilde had a bf that none of her bff's liked. her bff's started behaving VAIR VAIR badly, by not inviting Mathilde to events for fear she'd bring bf. at least, that's what Mathilde suspected was going on--and then one sad day, her suspicions were confirmed. she got this email, c? and it was sent to the whole group of bff's, *including* Mathilde. only, it wasn't for Mathilde's eyes, oh no it wasn't. it was full of stuff like, "oh, i just hate Bertram, don't u?" and "i don't even want to ask Mathilde to book club, cuz what if she brings B?" and "u know our party next friday? let's say we cancelled it, k? i mean, more mathilde...i feel really guilty...but I CAN'T TAKE IT IF SHE BRINGS B!!!!!"

well. so mathilde gets, reads, weeps. (i wld 2, wldn't u?) then, BAM! a 2nd email appears in her inbox saying, "M! IGNORE THE OTHER EMAIL! DO NOT READ!!!!!"

yeah, uh-huh. can u say, "2 late, u traitorous bff?" so that is the sad, sad story of Mathilde, and what can go wrong with the dangerous REPLY ALL button. +shakes finger sternly+ consider yrself warned!

Your #1 must-read blog: oh. well, um, yeah. hmmm. i know!!!!! my sister's! +puffs chest importantly+ her name is Susan Rebecca White, and she's vair vair fab, and her website (where her blog is) is susanrebeccawhite.com. and guess what?!!! +squeals and jumps around spazzerifically+ she's a writer, 2! a really awesometatiousful writer!!!! and her first novel came out, like, yesterday, and it's called Bound South, and there is intrigue! lust! hilarity! wickedness! it all goes down in the pastel-tinted South, which susan knows all about and discusses very amusingly in her blog. so that's my must-read blog, and y'all must read it 2. promise? fabulous. l8r, g8r! <3 <3 <3

Mondays with Micol: Double Feature

To celebrate the beginning of the last week of the Bradford Blog Bash, we decided to do a double feature for Mondays with Micol. So read both Q&A's and then comment on one or both to be entered in this week's giveaway.

Would you want to attend Bradford Prep?
I actually attended a private day school that was similar to Bradford in that academics were strongly emphasized and there was a LOT of pressure on students to perform. And I was always a bit of an overachiever: student council, newspaper, yearbook, lit mag, in addition to honors classes and AP track and that sort of stuff.
(Gawd, I'm making myself sound like a HUGE nerd. But there you have it. Would it help if I told you I was also a cheerleader for a brief stint? 'Cause I was.).
So I think intellectually, I would have been prepared for a place as rigorous as Bradford. Still, though, my school was very small, so as much as we had our cliques, the social life wasn't quite as cutthroat as it is at Bradford. The mean girl culture might be hard to adjust to.
All that being said—who wouldn't want to go to Bradford? The glamour! The drama! The outfits!

Which Bradford character did you think you'd hate, but end up bonding with?
I have a soft spot in my heart for poor Kaylen, who is so cripplingly insecure and transparent. I thought I would find her annoying and needy, but actually, she's lots of fun to write, and she brings out my sympathy and pity. I hope she has a chance to come into her own later on as the series evolves.

So, two questions for you, friendlies:
1. Would you want to attend Bradford Prep & why/why not?
2. Of all the scandal-mongers, frenemies, and bizznatches out there in the Brad-verse, which one do you LOVE to hate?

Tell us what you think by this Thursday at midnight EST, and you'll be entered in this week's giveaway. Since there are two Mondays with Micol questions this week, you'll get an entry for each question you comment about—that's two chances to win, just for letting us know what you think! We'll use a random number generator to select a winner, and will announce the lucky recipient in Friday's post. Good luck!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Review Roundup

Thanks to all the teen-book bloggers who've said such nice things about GoldenGirl. Finding out that people are enjoying the first book and are already looking forward to Madison's story really makes us happy. Seriously. Squeee!

Okay, perhaps that was a bit overenthusiastic, but take a look at these reviews, and you'll see why we're so giddy.

Frenetic Reader rated the first Bradford novel 8/10, saying "GoldenGirl comes highly recommended, especially if you want a light read."

Shalonda says "The Bradford Novels are sure to be instant hits! GoldenGirl, the first in the series, is full of humor, fashion, and jaw-dropping drama!" (She also says this blog is "so very." Awwwww, you're the one who's so very, Shalonda!)

Alea at Pop Culture Junkie says GoldenGirl is "a gossipy, scandalous, fashionably good time!" (And I love her idea of putting together a glossary of the girls' slang. Maybe we'll do something like that on the website.)

THANK YOU. And keep checking out the online content, especially the blogs and tweets, for new posts. It's a great way to get to know the other characters better between now and the next book.

Awesome Authors: Lynn Weingarten

In addition to being an AMAZING writer, Lynn Weingarten is one of my bestest of friendlies.
When we are not tapping away on our respective projects at a downtown coffee shop, we are generally distracting each other via IM or email. Lynn was kind enough to take some time to procrastinate with us here at the Blog Bash.

Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. If you have a blog, why did you start blogging, and how did you come up with the name for your blog?
My blog was started for me by a very, very nice friend of mine who called me one day and said, “Hey, I bought you a website today. It’s going to be your blog!” and then set the whole thing up and just showed me how to use it. The name is based on a funny made-up word one of my nieces once said.

I also have a Livejournal that I started not too long ago. I think I’ve only used it once so far, because I keep forgetting that I have it. But any day now I might actually start posting in it! That one’s just my full-name at Livejournal. I wanted to make that my public one since I keep the other one semi-anonymously.

What's your favorite thing about blogging? The fame mostly. If you go to Google and search for the phrase, “What if you stick something up your nose?” My site is the number 1 hit. I am very proud of this.

What's the difference between a blog and a diary? Diaries are for secrets! Blogs are for photographs of funny stuff you see in the supermarket and drawings of dogs standing on top of cupcakes.

Dogs and cupcakes=two of my most favoritest things. Okay, so, Spencer Grace Kelly, the main character in GoldenGirl, is named after her distant relative, the Princess of Monaco. What’s your favorite Grace Kelly movie, and why?
Rear Window, because it is the only one I’ve ever seen.

GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets?
There was always some scandalous rumor or other floating around. I remember once hearing a story about a particular girl in my grade doing some very private, very dirty stuff at a party, in the kitchen, with a big group of people watching. This very well may have been just a rumor,
but when I bumped into her in NYC just a couple years back and all I could think was OOOOOOO!

My group of friends all mostly knew all my secrets, but thankfully they were very good at keeping them.

That's what you think! ;) What’s the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?
Unless my subconscious is blocking something out, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything particularly awful to anyone. My best-friend in high school and I definitely got in a lot of random fights, including one that left us not speaking for a few months when we were 17 or so. But that was almost 13 years ago at this so I do not remember what the fight was about. We’re still close friends.

What are your most recent books? What new projects are you working on now?
My most recent (and only!) book is called Wherever Nina Lies, which was just released by Scholastic on Feb 1, 2009. It’s about a girl named Ellie who takes off on a cross-country road trip in search of her missing older sister Nina. Along for the ride (well, doing the driving) is a hot and mysterious guy named Sean who Ellie knows very little about. Lots of scandalous stuff happens along the way. Sometimes when I think about the fact that my parents are going to read certain sections of this book, I cringe.

Now I’m working on a new YA project, a picture book idea, and an article about the time I got to be in the studio audience of the Maury Povich show.

We're definitely going to want to see that article! Thanks for stopping by, Lynn!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Awesome Authors: Kristen Tracy

We have the delightful Kristen Tracy with us today for Awesome Authors. Her Q&A is pretty awesome in itself, since it involves one of the most effective (and dangerous) school pranks we've seen yet, a Carmex caper, and how to get revenge on the guy who dumps you.

Kristen lives in San Francisco, where she writes middle-grade and teen novels. She teaches at 826 Valencia and is a volunteer gardener on Alcatraz. Also, she writes quite a bit of poetry. Visit her at www.kristentracy.com

What's the difference between a blog and a diary? Hmm. Diaries don't have comment sections. Also, I think it's understood that your diary is where you go to bleed in private after some dumb guy breaks your heart and your blog is where you go to bleed all over the blogosphere (and possibly publicize what the dumb guy did).

GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets? Nobody ever discovered any of my deep dark secrets, because, emotionally speaking, I have a pretty secure vault. But my high school was always experiencing weird scandals, because my class liked playing tricks. One of the biggest involved the lockers. They were set up like dominoes around the Commons area. And one day some sophomore guys decided to knock them over. And so they pushed the front one down and they all fell. But they didn't warn everybody. Or they didn't give people enough time or something, because one girl got stuck in there and her ear got torn. Not all the way off. But I'm pretty sure there was a noticeable scar. Because after the bandages came off, she wore a lot of hoodies and hats.

What's the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him? I'm pretty good to my friends, so this is a tough question. Okay. I thought of one. In high school I had a falling out with a friend of mine. We'll call her Maple. It was a small fight. But Maple was very emotional, so it ended up becoming a rather significant spat. I liked Maple. She was sparky. Anyway, Maple and I were sharing a locker and she kicked me out. (For some reason, I couldn't get my own locker to open up on a consecutive basis, so she let me use hers. She had a top locker that was near most of my classes, so this was ideal for me). Anyway, I'm pretty sure that after I was officially kicked out of Maple's locker that I used to go back inside the locker and hide her Carmex. (She had a serious Carmex/flavored lip gel/tube Vaseline addiction.) I never took her Carmex. But I'd move it around. We're not still friends anymore. Maple moved very far away. Also, this may or may not be a true story.

What are your most recent books? What new projects are you working on now? My first middle-grade novel, Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus, is coming out this summer. (It's based on an incident where I fell underneath my school bus in grade school.) And I've got a teen novel set in Prague that I'm working on that has two best friends, a crazy person, and lots of hot dudes in it. It'll be out next year.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Awesome Authors: Kristen Kemp

Kristen Kemp has written 7 young adult novels for Scholastic, including Breakfast at Bloomingdale's, The Dating Diaries, and I Will Survive. She's a longtime freelancer for women's magazines such as Cosmo, Glamour, Self, and Seventeen. She currently writes till her fingers turn purple for CafeMom.com. She lives in Montclair, NJ with her twin girls, a baby boy, a big Swedish husband, her cat, and her new puppy.

Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. Why did you start blogging, and how did you come up with the name for your blog?
I have a few blogs, but I won't name them here because they're not cool. Well, okay. One is http://www.cafemom.com/dailybuzz/healthy_living. I do it because they pay me. The second is a labor of love, www.montclairkids.com. I would love to have a personal one eventually, too.

What's your favorite thing about blogging?
I just get to be myself and make jokes and not worry so much about technical things, like grammar. Kidding, grammar is very important, but it's not essential in blogging like it is everywhere else. Speed is more important than grammatical perfection--both is even better.

What's the difference between a blog and a diary?
Blogs are more immediate. They're more frequent. They're juicier, too.

Spencer Grace Kelly, the main character in GoldenGirl, is named after her distant relative, the Princess of Monaco. What's your favorite Grace Kelly movie, and why?
Rear Window. She's just so beautiful. I'm not actually old enough to know a lot of Grace Kelly movies. My mother, though, is a diehard fan.

GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school?
The football team was jumping off a railroad bridge once into the Ohio River. I grew up there, in Louisville, KY. I wrote a story about it for the school newspaper, and the local TV news picked up the story. We all got put on probation. It sucked.

What's the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?
I sent a hurtful email about a friend to that friend accidentally. Thank goodness she forgave me. I had to send her a voodoo doll with my name on it and take her to many nice dinners. But she's my best friend, and she did forgive me.

What are your most recent books? What new projects are you working on now? Breakfast at Bloomingdale's. I'm writing health, diet, and nutrition for a few websites, and I hope to start on a young adult book about a fairy with a short attention span and boy problems soon.

Spring Cleaning

The Bradford Blog Bash is ending its THIRD week, and we've still got a bunch of new awesome authors visiting next week. In fact, we had so many authors volunteer that we have TWO coming by over the weekend, so stop by on Saturday and Sunday for those Q&A's.

To celebrate the Blog Bash, we decided to do a little redecorating over at the Bradford Novels website this week, so check it out! Some of the new stuff includes an excerpt from GoldenGirl, a link directly to Spencer's student page (from which you can access other characters), and downloadable avatars featuring our Bradford girls. We're also working on some desktop wallpaper.

Since it's Friday, it's time to announce this week's randomly generated Mondays with Micol winner. Congratulations, Faith (who is not-so-secretly crushing on Jeremy)! We'll get your prize to you soon.

Fun on Friday: 25 Random Things about the Bradford Novels

No. 25 Mosaic

We just couldn't resist the whole 25 random things post. So here are 25 Random Things about the Bradford Novels.

1) Since Spencer Kelly is a distant relative of Princess Grace of Monaco, some of the proposed titles for the books included names of Grace Kelly movies, such as High Society, Rearranged, and The Philadelphia Story, among others.

2) Micol and her FlirtyGirl editor, Liz, have actually been friends and colleagues for many years. In fact, they worked together at Simon Pulse—the imprint that is publishing the Bradford series—back when it was launched.

3) Micol had never heard of Twitter until she began working on the Bradford series.

4) The Bradford Prep website is so realistic-looking that we have received serious queries about how to apply to the school! (And we are working on designing a fake application, just for fun.)

5) Several of the models who portray the main Bradford characters have friended their fictional likenesses on Facebook and MySpace. How many can you find?

6) Jeremy's musical tastes are inspired in part by several people in Micol's life: specifically, her brother and her fiance.

7) The school that CJ White's sister, Alexa, attended in New York City is based on LaGuardia Arts High School, which includes among its famous alums Sarah Michelle Gellar—long live Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

8) Websites that Micol uses for Bradford research include shopintuition.com, thefrock.com, iheartdaily.com, and Daily Candy Philadelphia. She loves that she gets to window shop in the name of her writing career!

9) Spencer doesn't drink coffee...but Micol is addicted to the stuff. Micol's editors frequently have to correct references to Spencer swilling lattes in between classes.

10) The ring that Tyler gives Spencer retails at Tiffany & Co. for over $700,000.

11) Trish Harlowe borrows her last name from Joel Maddon and Nicole Ritchie's daughter, who was born around the time that Micol was working on character profiles for the series.

12) The items listed as up for auction at the Hollywood Ball were strictly fictitious—if they exist, Micol didn't know it at the time.

13) Though she writes about VERY glamorous girls, Micol owns infinite pairs of yoga pants and track suits, and can usually be found wearing one of them while she writes.

14) Micol and her editors are constantly scanning online for interesting spa treatments and other fun, expensive activities for the Bradford girls to try out.

15) Although Micol has both a home office and a share in an NYC writing space, most of GoldenGirl was written in a West Village cafe: Cafe Henri on Bedford Street.

16) Blogger Toni the Tigress was modeled after snark supreme Perez Hilton.

17) Although Spencer's blog is titled All That Glitters, her favorite jewels are Majorca black pearls, which technically don't glitter.

18) Micol learned all about the Main Line area while researching for Bradford, and became hooked on the Pretty Little Liars series (also set on the ML) in the process.

19) Micol wishes fervently that Smooch was an actual shop that she could visit; the Dulce de Leche gelato sounds YUM!

20) Micol has almost as much of a crush on Jeremy as Spencer does.

21) Madison's blog, PrĂȘt-a-Party, was actually named by a GUY!

22) Although it isn't mentioned in the books, Paige's minion Kaylen Turner is totally obsessed with Harley Pasternak's Five Factor Diet.

23) Some of the Bradford-related Philly research has led editors and writers to new hair salons, clothing boutiques, and restaurants! The Philly board of tourism should thank us.

24) Although Spencer takes French in school, Micol is Puerto Rican and studied Spanish. Hence Spencer's sign-off, Besos.

25) Micol and the FlirtyGirls have already plotted out some MAJORLY scandalicious secrets for Bradford Novel #3 . . .
but they're staying secret for now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In NYC? Come Party!

As much as I LOVE a good Blog Bash, I'm thrilled to announce that the lovely people at MediaBistro (aka, the organization through which I teach my YA writing workshop) are sponsoring a Bradford Novels launch party next week!

The party will be held on Thursday, Feb. 19th, at Ferro's restaurant (50th street and Lex) from 6:30-8:30pm. We'll have snacks and drink specials (including the ultra-very "Bradford Bellini" cocktail).

Here's the link to the MediaBistro listing:
http://www.mediabistro.com/events/view_event.asp?id=11745

Please forward along to any friendlies you think might be interested in attending, but note that if you're going to stop by, you should RSVP via the MB website.

Whee! FunFunFun!

Now, to get my hands on a tiara sometime between now and next Thursday!

Guest Blogger of the Week: Little Willow

Many of you may know Little Willow through one of her many connections to the YA blog scene. Full disclosure: in addition to being one my FAVORITE web-mistresses, she is ALSO the mistress of micolostow.com. But I think that only makes her *more* awesome.

Little Willow's blog can be found at: http://slayground.livejournal.com

Tell us a little bit about your blog (the content, editorial identity, purpose):
Bildungsroman is, for the most part, dedicated to contemporary young adult novels, though I also review books for kids, tweens, and adults. In addition to book reviews, I also post interviews with authors, book-related news, and booklists based on themes, genres, or topics for various ages.

How/when/why did you decide to start blogging? Is your current blog your first? If not, how did your original blog/s evolve to your current blog-incarnation?
I've been designing websites for years, but Bildungsroman was my first blog. I contribute to other blogs and projects as well, such as readergirlz (http://www.readergirlz.com - http://readergirlz.blogspot.com), GuysLitWire (http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com), and SparkNotes SparkLife (http://community.sparknotes.com/index.php/category/books/).

Sparknotes was one of the very first GoldenGirl reviews to be published! So, what's your favorite thing about blogging?
Finding out that something I posted inspired someone, be it to pick up a book or a pen - or to put on a pair of dancing shoes!

What is one thing that surprised you about the blogging process?
Statistics tell me that many people visit my blog, but my entries do not get a lot of comments. I really like feedback and interaction.

So true. Come on out, lurkers! In your opinion, what constitutes a "good" (ie: interesting, readable) blog post? What sort of information are you looking to offer your readers?
Something inviting, intriguing, and intelligent. Honesty. Tone. Details. Positivity. Openness. Consideration.

What blogs do you read regularly?
Too many to list! The readergirlz blog as well as the individual, personal blogs run by each of the readergirlz divas and members of the postergirlz. Seven Impossible Things. The Longstockings. Christopher Golden. Sarah Miller. Maureen Johnson. All of my friends and clients. Yours, Micol!

Aw, shucks! Well, now I feel popular!

LITTLE WILLOW is an actress, singer, dancer, bookseller, writer, and webdesigner who is a fan of cats, Christopher Golden, and Duncan Sheik, among other things. She says, "I'm currently balancing my day job at the bookstore with web work while appearing in a world premiere musical that's running four days a week (and I've just been cast in another new musical!) I want for very little, other than respect, acknowledgment, and sleep."

Thanks for stopping by, Little Willow!