Thursday, February 28, 2013

Alice in Everville Blog Tour, Day 2

For Day 2 of the blog tour, I was interviewed by Misty at The Book Rat, and she asked some great and unique questions.  Also, I think she loves pumpkin pie as much as I do!  You can read the interview, and of course enter the giveaways, here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Alice in Everville Blog Tour, Day 1!

So because of my job and because I'm on California time, it will be late, but I will be posting a daily update on the blog tour here!  If you're still awake, you can head over to My Life With Books and read a review and enter to win an ARC of the book or a 20.00 amazon card!  Jen, the blogger behind My Life With Books, also organized the blog tour, so I have to offer her a huge thanks!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Alice in Everville is Coming...Very Soon!

Today's date is February 20th, and about halfway through the day I realized that means Alice in Everville's official release is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!  (The book is releasing on March 19th.)  But in fact it feels like AiE is coming even sooner...because the blog tour is beginning on FEBRUARY 27TH!!  That's right, just seven days from now!  This makes me feel kind of

and kind of

...but mostly the former!  So stay tuned for lots of updates on the AiE blog tour, where you can win copies of the novel and an amazon gift card too!

I also wanted to remind everyone that I'm giving away a copy of Alice in Everville every two weeks on goodreads through the end of March.  You can enter the current giveaway here!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Who the Heck Is Sylvie Plate?!

In my book Alice in Everville, a poet named Sylvie Plate plays a very important role in the plot, and while she doesn't actually appear in the story, we do get to read "her" poems between chapters.  Most readers will probably recognize Sylvie Plate as a reference to the famous poet Sylvia Plath, and some people may wonder why I didn't just use the real Sylvia in my story.  Well...I'm going to tell ya!

The first part of it is completely nonsensical: I actually had a dream in which a girl--sort of me, sort of not, in that way dreams are--believed she'd found a secret code in the poems of "Sylvie Plate."  Yes, the name in the dream was Sylvie Plate, not Sylvia Plath.  I couldn't get the dream out of my head, and from that one strange name, I came up with the idea of a book set in this slightly surreal world where everything has a different name.  So, in Alice in Everville there's a Never 22 instead of a Forever 21, a Flowering-Vale department store instead of a Bloomingdale's, and many more...

But more than that, I needed to create a fictionalized poet for my story to work.  The real Sylvia Plath, of course, did not leave any kind of coded message in her poems (as far as we know!).  By creating a fictional poet, I was also able to write my own poems that followed the "code" and insert them into the story, and I was able to explore themes in these poems that also occur elsewhere in the story.

One reason I wanted to address this topic is...while I tried to make the poems in Alice in Everville as good as possible while still adhering to the code, I realize that my poems are absolutely positively not even in the same league, or universe, as Sylvia Plath's work!  So if you don't like the poems in my novel, please don't write off Sylvia Plath's poetry as well.  Just to prove it to you, here is one of Sylvia's earliest published poems, written while she was in college.  Yup, she was a genius, and definitely an inspiring figure while I was writing Alice in Everville!

Mad Girl's Love Song
"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


So I was at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, browsing through magazines like...

When I just happened to see a copy of Romantic Times Book Reviews and decided to leaf through it....

I turned straight to the Teen Scene on page 42...

And lo and behold, OMG, there was a review of ALICE IN EVERVILLE!  The reviewer gave it four stars and called it a "treat" and other things I can't quote at the moment, since I'm so broke I didn't even buy a copy of the magazine!

Okay, so that's not exactly how it happened...actually, my fellow Pendrell author DJ deSmyter told me about the review and that I could find the magazine at B&N, and I'm so grateful, because otherwise I might never have seen it!  But anyway...ALICE IN EVERVILLE got its first review in a major publication, and it was a positive one!  Squee!