7.28.2011

TEMPORARY HIATUS

so i've never done this before, ever, in the year and a half that i've been blogging, but i think it's finally time for me to take a real break.

that's right, dear friends. i'm going to take the month of August off. i'm getting a new set of edits for book 2 and i plan on holing up in a cave to focus my energy on writing. i won't be completely cut-off from the internet (you'll very likely be able to find me on twitter), and i might pop in occasionally when there's an announcement to be made, but i won't be blogging regularly. (though let's be honest, i've been a bad blogger these past couple of weeks, haven't i?)

there are so many things happening! and it's making it hard for me to balance everything as i'd like. i've been traveling a lot, and i will be traveling a lot all through the end of this year. a lot of it is book-related, but some of it is also personal-related, in that my friends and i can always be found exploring new cities when time and wallets permit. but the thing about traveling is that it takes up a lot of time. also energy. i came back from comiccon, for example, feeling like someone had paid a giraffe to kick me in the eye, punch me in the shins, and insult my entire extended family.

this is an interesting time for me, a time that comes with a lot of transitions and new experiences and millions of things to learn and understand and prioritize. i'm busier than i've ever been and i'm loving every moment, but i'm getting a bit tired, and i think i have to shift priorities for a short while.

so this is not goodbye! it's merely an emotional hand-wave and a promise that i will see you soon, but not every day as i'd have liked.


what about you? do you ever feel like you need to take a break?

so many hearts, my friends.

<3 <3 <3



7.20.2011

A COUPLE OF THINGS

heyyyyyy guys!

i've been a bit out of the blogging-world this week, and i'm not sure why. probably because i've been reading too much and too late into the night and it's made me too tired to blog. it is shameful, this book-gluttony. shameful! and yet, i'm not ashamed at all. he he

BUT, not to worry. i promise we will be back to our normal programming shortly. in the interim, here are some Things To Know!

1. COMIC-CON. i'm going to be on the panel "What's Hot in Young Adult Fiction: Sit Down with the Writers We Can't Stop Talking About"on Sunday, 10:00-11:00am. Room 23ABC

It's going to be hosted by Nathan Bransford (Jacob Wonderbar Cosmic Space Kapow), and features other awesome author-panelists Andrea Cremer (Nightshade series), Amanda Hocking (Hollowland), Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss), Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), and Kiersten White (Paranormalcy).

We're doing an autographing session afterward from 11:30am - 12:30pm in room AA4, where i'll be signing ARCs of SHATTER ME. (for you! to take! TAKE THEM ALL! buahaha)

i won't be getting into the convention until around noon on Saturday (i'm running another 5k that morning and literally jumping into the car in my gym clothes), so i'll probably be wandering the floor a bit in the afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday.

if you're going to be around either Saturday or Sunday, let me know! i'd love to say hi!


2. QUESTIONS.
if you have any writing-related questions, feel free to leave them in the comments (or shoot me an email) and i'd be happy to answer them on the blog.

3. DUN DUN DUN. i'm probably going to be diving into an edit cave of isolation in August (to work on polishing and plumping Book 2), and i'm thinking it might make me a little bad with the blogging. SO. would you guys be interested in doing guest posts?


HEARTS!


<3

7.18.2011

JUST A REMINDER


this is your dream.

happy monday, dear friends! <3


7.15.2011

SHATTER ME COVER REVEAL, A FEW THOUGHTS

hey guys!

first, i just wanted to say thank you so, so so much for all the tweets and messages and blog posts and crazy-incredible mind-blowing support and enthusiasm from yesterday's cover reveal. it means more to me than you could know. i never realized that sharing a cover could be so nerve-wracking, but really, it's kind of like you're sharing your book's face with the world for the first time and hoping people won't tell you your child is ugly. i spent most of yesterday holding my breath. 

thank you for making it easier for me. <3

second, i wanted to share the cover on my blog yesterday, but the awesome people at MTV had a 24-hr exclusive on it (full article here), so i had to wait until now. but here it is, the final cover of SHATTER ME:

click to enlarge


and i love it.

the raw and uneven strike-outs in both the tagline and the title text, the lights and darks in the background, the fact that she's gripping her dress so you can't see her hands, and even (and i'd say especially) the very dress she's wearing are all so, so critical to the story and i'm unbelievably grateful to both Harper, for working so tirelessly to make this right, and to our incredible photographer, Aurora Crowley, whose light-painting techniques are UNREAL in their beauty.

SHATTER ME is a story about hope, about love, about looking within ourselves and finding both light and dark, strength and weakness, and struggling to be more than the labels pressed upon us by society. it's about a girl trying to find herself in a world trying to tell her who to be. and i really think this cover conveys so much about Juliette's fight to be stronger than she's ever been before.

i'm so excited to share her story with you.

thank you thank you thank you for all of your support throughout this journey. you guys have been incredible and you keep me sane.

happy friday, dear friends. i can't wait for you to share all of your book covers with me.

<3

7.13.2011

SHATTER ME COVER REVEAL: ANNOUNCEMENT

hey guys!! just wanted to give you a quick heads up:

tomorrow, July 14th, at 9am EST, we're doing the SHATTER ME cover reveal on MTV's Hollywood Crush

STAY TUNED. :D :D











squeeeeeaaaak.



7.11.2011

THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT





7.10.2011

THE ONLY STORY YOU KNEW HOW TO TELL

sometimes a book isn't a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.
sometimes it's the only story you knew how to tell.

and that's okay.

happy monday, my friends.
write on.


<3

7.08.2011

IT'S SO NICE TO FINALLY MEET YOU

there aren't many people who understand what it's like to be a writer. 

how do you even explain it? how do you explain that words -- while incredibly practical -- are used by you as far more than a medium for delivering information and asking for a diet coke? how do you describe what it's like to look at a stranger and feel inspired to sketch them into a story? that you wake up in the morning and ideas are spilling into your hands, falling into your pockets, mixed into your morning cereal? that you listen to the wind, the rain, the roar of a thunderstorm not because you're wondering about the weather but because you're trying to find the perfect words to describe it?

writing -- as a whole -- is an incredibly solitary pursuit. and yet i find it fascinating that most of us still crave companionship, commiseration, someone with whom to share this journey. it helps to have someone to talk to -- someone who isn't straining for a smile while staring at the clock on the wall, wondering when we'll stop talking about our query letter long enough for them to catch the last 15 minutes of their favorite show. sometimes we need someone to tell us that we're going to be okay, that this climb up Mount Everest has been done before, that the rejection frostbitten into our extremities will heal and we will be whole again one day. sometimes, we just need a friend to hold our imaginary hand as we sob our inbox woes all over their e-shoulder.

and that's okay.

i know that most of you who read this blog are fully aware of the industry and your place in it. you have crit groups and beta readers and writer-friends and blogs and tooters and facebooks -- you're 200 steps ahead of the competition. but i also know that some of you who read this blog (and many other blogs, i'm sure) are silent lurkers, quiet friends who never comment, who never blog, who are wondering why i keep talking about a tooter when you're pretty sure you heard something about justin bieber calling it a twitter. you're silently soaking up information whenever you get a chance, reading on lunch breaks and during traffic jams and looking for help but perhaps to shy to reach out. maybe you're scared?

i ask this because i've been there.

when i first started learning about the industry, i was insanely overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. i even remember being amazed (and so impressed!) by the people who left comments on blog posts. they seemed so sure and confident! they made jokes and said witty things and oh how nice it would be, i thought, to one day comment on a blog post without freaking the hell out and, quite possibly, peeing my pants in the process. i remember reading agent and editor blogs and sneaking peeks at twitter feeds and being utterly astounded by the friendships and relationships i was sure i'd never be a part of. it seemed like everyone was friends with everyone and i didn't have a clue how to reach out and say hello without feeling like an idiot. until one day i decided to shrug a lot and take the first step. i set up a blog. i started talking to people. i tweeted on the twitter. and the people? they turned out to be some of the best i've ever met, internet or otherwise.

so if you have writer-friends and are already a part of this community? i hope you never leave. i hope you stay and build life-long relationships and benefit from the brilliance of having such a tight community of writers -- at every stage in this journey -- for as long as forever.

but if you don't? if you're still feeling shy, and maybe you're a little scared?
i hope you won't be.

this is me, officially introducing myself. my name is Tahereh and i write books. i've got lots of brothers. i live in southern california. i'm a big fan of pie. i almost never wear matching socks, but that's mostly because i'm no good at doing laundry.

what about you? i'd love it if you introduced yourself, too. 
let's say hi to one another.

<3

7.06.2011

LOOKING FOR PLOTS IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES

Anonymous asked...
Do you have any suggestions about plot? How do you know when you have a plot? What do you do when you've finished a book, only to realize it is plot-less, besides, you know, banging your head against the desk and weeping as you finish all of the chocolate in your apartment?

plot is a tricky thing. but mostly it's tricky because you first have to understand what it is. everyone talks about plot like it's this Thing that all books must have lest you be cast off into the desert of broken tricycles and removed appendixes and used bandaids. (and it's true -- plot is crucial; without it, you have no real story.) but what is plot? what is it really? for me, the first step in overcoming an obstacle has always been to understand it in its entirety -- because only once you truly understand the mechanics of an issue can you deconstruct it piece by piece.

let's start with the dictionary.

plot

  [plot]  Show IPA noun, verb, plot·ted, plot·ting.
noun
1.
a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose,especially a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose: a plot tooverthrow the government.
2.
Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of aliterary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.
3.
a small piece or area of ground: a garden plot; burial plot.

i think it's safe to say that the definition we're most concerned with is #2. "the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work."

in other words: what's the point of your book?

if you're telling a story about a girl and her friends in high school, it's not enough for her to simply go through the motions of getting up, going to class, taking tests and passing out at night. there has to be a bigger purpose. she's in high school, and sure, she'll go through the motions, but then there has to be some kind of inciting incident. something that shakes the foundation of everything that's been okay and normal for her. BAM, her parents die. BAM, she's abducted by aliens. BAM, her best friend is actually a were-lemur. right? something has to happen.

and then there has to be a point. there has to be a plot.

so this typical high school girl wakes up one typical tuesday morning to drink her typical glass of OJ and is driving her typical sedan to school expecting another typical day like all the rest when OMG OMG OMG ENTER INCITING INCIDENT. something pivotal happens. she crashes into an alien spaceship. she hits a tree and dies and becomes a ghost. she's running late for class and realizes she can make all the traffic lights turn green with nothing but her mind. 

BAM.

that's when the protag is catapulted into some kind of Mission that she hopes to accomplish by the end of the book. sometimes that Mission is saving the world. sometimes it's about discovering how to put the pieces of her life back together after losing a loved one. sometimes it's a fun story about scheming to win the boy of her dreams and sometimes it a sad story about starcrossed lovers who have to fight to be together. there are a million trillion zillion ways to develop a plot. 

but you have to have a point.
every story has to have a purpose.

you should be able to ask yourself What does my main character want? and What is he/she trying to accomplish? and How is he/she going to accomplish this goal? and then be able to answer all of these questions in one or two sentences. if you can do that, you're okay. you're on the right track. otherwise you're going to have to dig a little deeper to discover what story it is, exactly, that you're trying to tell.

<3

7.05.2011

HOW DO YOU WORK?

HAPPY DAY-AFTER-4TH-OF-JULY, GUYS!

did you have a good holiday? i ran a 5k yesterday and now my body is very pissed off and mildly offended and currently we are not speaking to each other. it makes movement very difficult. i say "RIGHT LEG FORWARD!" and my body says "you can go to hell you masochistic wildebeest" and we go on like that for a while.

ANYWHO! i have been thinking about things, things like working and writing and mulling over ideas and etc etc, and i was wondering:

how do you work?

i'm the kind of person who needs absolute, absolute, absolute silence when i write. i can't work in coffee shops or other public places. i don't even work well with another person in the room. i like to be holed up in a corner with nothing but my keyboard and my imagination. (and pots and pots of tea.) i get very little done otherwise.

but what about you? we all work so differently, and the beauty of this business is that there's no wrong way to do it. so i'm curious.

where and how do you get your best work done?

curious, my friends.

curious.

HEARTS

7.01.2011

SHATTER ME ARC WINNERS 2.0

OKAY GUYS.

thank you so much for being patient with me. i had to calculate the 360+ entries and it involved maths and numbers and calculators and counting on more than 10 fingers and LET ME TELL YOU. it was quite an ordeal. the maths become very difficult for me when i run out of fingers.

SO.

thank you all so, so, so so much for all of your enthusiasm in entering this contest. i can't even tell you how much it means to me. and, as always, i really, truly wish i could give an ARC to each and every one of you, but... alas, i cannot. BUT! i will be getting a second set of ARCs (with cover art!) so not to worry. there will be more ARC contests in our future. promises.

now. 
without further ado... our two winners are:


and


CONGRATULATIONS, GUYS! :D :D 
if you would please email me your mailing addresses at 
thmafi at gmail dot com, i'll send those right out!

thank you all for entering! and again, don't worry!
SO MANY MORE EXCITING THINGS TO COME.

really.

july is going to be spectacular.

also here is a baby sloth:


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