Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Times They Are (Not) A-Changin'

I am pleased to report The Times of Trenton, New Jersey had an editorial about the Allentown High School "One School One Book" program, where they are reading Life As We Knew It.

I'm not, however, pleased to report that I've heard (from a genuine eyewitness) that there were no ARCs of This World We Live In available at NCTE last week. Apparently they didn't get printed in time.

I know the ARCs exist (at least in very small numbers) because I was sent a sixth one. A good thing too, since Joyce took ARC #5 home with her. My mother will get the newly arrived #6.

But the Bolivian hat is getting more and more crowded, and I'm getting more and more impatient. I do understand that this endless wait for the ARCs is more irritating to me than to you, but nonetheless I've put up a poll on the subject.

Feel free to editorialize!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rumor Has It The ARCs Are In The Mail

My editor emailed me about something else and said they were.

At this point, I'll believe it when I see it.

Of course, what I should be seeing is the dust cloth in my hand. I haven't begun to clean the apartment, and Joyce and Lew will be here in less than 24 hours (some of which, Scooter permitting, I intend to sleep through).

If the ARCs show up tonight along with my UPS person, I'll scurry back here and make the official announcement. Were I you, I wouldn't hold my breath. Then again, you're probably not holding your breath waiting for me to start dusting, and I absolutely swear as soon as I publish this post, the cleaning will begin.

Or maybe in a couple of minutes. But it will begin. And end. Really it will.

But before I begin the cleaning, let me wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and tell you, in case you didn't know, that I am thankful for each and every one of you. There's no way I can express how grateful I am to you for the interest and the caring you've shared with me over the past few years.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This will be the world's quickest ARC report since I'm running off to NYC in a minute to see my goddaughter who's there on vacation.

I used the Star-Ledger article as an opening to whine and kvetch about the lack of ARCs in my life.

The very nice Harcourt person who responded said she'd ask another very nice Harcourt person what was happening with them.

And that is the beginning, middle and end of the report.

In case I don't have anything more fascinating to tell you between today and Thursday, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. My friends Joyce and Lew are coming up and we're grabbing my mother and taking her out for a fancy restaurant Thanksgiving luncheon.

Food, family, friends and no aggravation. I hope your holiday is as wonderful as mine promises to be!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Time Consuming Being Semi-Famous

It's probably even more time consuming being rich and semi-famous, but that's not likely in my lifetime.

As you know, Google and I have an intimate relationship, but sometimes it forgets to tell me things. This morning, for reasons I will never fathom, I decided to check Google News for mentions of me, and by golly, there was one.

Fresh off the pages of the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger, an article about Allentown High School using Life As We Knew It for their One School One Book.

Ordinarily, such a discovery would be exciting, but not necessarily time consuming. Only I live just close enough to Newark that I could buy actual copies of the Star-Ledger, if I was willing to devote two to three hours to the search.

Of course I was willing. I ate breakfast, hopped in my car, and drove to the glorious Garden State. I found the Star-Ledgers in the fifth place I stopped at (let's hear it for ShopRite. Hip hip hooray!). I bought three, one for me, one for my mother, and one for Harcourt, just in case they'd like one.

I now know of five states that have schools that have used LAWKI for One School One Book, and yes, I can name them- New Jersey, Florida, Texas, California, and Massachusetts. It's a good thing not all of them have had newspaper articles about their schools. I'd hate to drive to California on a whim.

If you're in the mood, read all the nasty comments (and the one nice one) that follow the article. My favorite is Comment #10, that refers to Life As We Knew It as third rate. My guess is she never read LAWKI. If she did, she'd probably think it was fifth rate!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Long And The Shorter Of It

Well, the ARCs definitely exist. I was sent a package with five of them (and a good thing I kept two). That's the front and the back up above. One of the ones I kept is my very own copy.

In fact, when they arrived Tuesday night (my UPS guy comes after 6 PM, which makes every day suspensefilled), I read it from beginning to end. Have I mentioned how fabulous the ending is? I would relay to you my emotional response, but I don't want to spoiler anything.

The other three copies went (in case you were curious) to my friends Janet (to whom The Dead And The Gone is dedicated) and Christy (who was the first person to hear the fabulous ending) and my cousin Ellen. Copy number five I'll give to my mother, who seems to be insistent on getting one.

I've been promised a lot more than five copies, and my guess is the package was sent to me because I've been whining and kvetching about these ARCs for more than a month now. At some point, I'll either get the box(es) with more ARCs, which I will then send to the people whose names get pulled out of the Bolivian hat, or I'll really whine and kvetch. I would do so now, but everybody I'd be whining/kvetching to is at NCTE right now, handing out ARCs of This World We Live In to anyone who is interested (which could be no one, for all I know). I may do some whining/kvetching on Monday, but with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, no one may be around to ignore me. Or maybe the UPS guy will bring the box(es) this evening. I live in constant hope.

Two other pieces of sort of news. I bought a printer today that can actually scan. The last one couldn't, even though it claimed it could, and then it stopped feeding paper, and it really got upset when I pounded it with my fists. The new one is black and chic and at least it scans. I'll find out if it prints some other time.

And Amazon has changed the date on when TW will be published. No more April 1. Now it's March 31. I see this as good news/bad news. The good news is I won't have to listen to any more April Fool's Day jokes. The bad news is the counter on the right side of the blog, which took me a long time to set up, is now officially wrong.

Hmm...Maybe I should pound on it. Worse comes to worst, it would just ignore me!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The End Of The World Comes To Taiwan

I've been sitting around much of this evening, staring out the window, willing the UPS truck to arrive and bring me advance reading copies of This World We Live In (not that I know they're coming by UPS, but when I stared out the window watching the FedEx truck, it didn't bring me any) and reading What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell, because it's due back at the library on Monday, and it's just the kind of book to read when one is staring out the window, willing the UPS truck to arrive.

What a sentence. I feel like it should then go, "When suddenly a shot rang out."

Instead, I rang out to the computer to check emails and the suchlike, and found one from my agent's office, telling me we've sold the Taiwanese rights (Complex Chinese for those who understand such things, a group of people that does not include me) to Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and the aforementioned This World We Live In (have I mentioned lately that my father was a lawyer) to Sharp Point Press.

Not only am I absolutely delighted, but I'm also convinced the ARCs for the Taiwanese version of TW will arrive sooner than the American ones.

All right. It's back to Malcolm Gladwell and window staring. If there's any movement on the ARC front, I'll certainly let you know!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Last Chance At The Bolivian Hat

Scooter and I are both totally exhausted from my trip to Lake Placid to see Skate America. He has the nap thing all worked out though, while I'm playing catch up with emails and laundry and mini-mother-crises.

One of the emails I got said the advance reading copies for This World We Live In actually do exist and my batch was sent to me on Friday. I should expect them sometime this week.

So if there's anyone out there who hasn't gotten around to emailing me at a chance at an ARC, do it now using the link on the right. Once the ARCs arrive, I'll be pulling the names out of the Bolivian hat. My guess is I'll be mailing the copies out early next week (maybe Friday this week if the ARCs come soon enough).

I think Scooter has the right idea. Why should cats have a monopoly on catnaps!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Passing Along Two Requests And Stating One Thank You

I received emails yesterday that I'm using my blog to pass along.

The first came from a business associate whose brother is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Here's what she says about it:

We urgently need to increase the size of the bone marrow registries. To be a donor, you need to be between the ages of 18 and 60 (and not have had chemotherapy).

If you can’t be a donor yourself, please urge others to register; we need big numbers to make an appreciable difference. Though the odds are long to help my brother now, you could potentially save someone’s life now or in the future.

Two ways to do so: 1. The best (fastest) is to get tested in person. It just involves an oral swab and some paperwork, not even blood. If you live in the NY area, see attached for area donor drives in Manhattan, on Long Island and in Westchester. All are at no cost. And if you go the Gift of Life web site (see below) you can find list of drives elsewhere around the country.

2. Arrange to get tested on line, by asking for a kit to be mailed to you. Do so through Gift of Life, a U.S. based Jewish registry, who’ll take everyone—but my brother is more likely to find a match with someone who’s Jewish. If you use this method, please hurry—to allow time for mailing and for analyzing your sample. To register with them, go to:, click on “Register NOW as a Donor” and use the code SAVEALAN when prompted. Instructions for collecting the sample and mailing it back will be included with the kit. They will contact you now or in the future if you are a match for my brother -- or one of the many people needing transplants whose lives you could potentially save.

The second email has to do with an online literary magazine for yuong adult readers that is looking for submissions:

Kerri Majors, along with Shannon Marshall and Colleen Oakley, have founded YARN or the Young Adult Review Network. This online based literary magazine's goal is to publish the highest quality creative writing for young adult readers, ages 14-18, and those in other age groups who enjoy young adult lit. Published quarterly, YARN will feature short fiction and creative essays, poetry, and an author interview. Our interactive sections will allow for discussions about published work, as well as reviews of recent YA books. We seek to discover new teen writers, and publish them alongside established writers of the YA genre.

YARN, a new online literary magazine for Young Adult readers, is seeking fiction, poetry, and essays for its debut issue. Writing should be of special interest to 14-18 year old readers, but can be written by writers of any age or background. Submissions by teens are especially encouraged. YARN’s mission is to publish the highest quality creative writing for everyone who enjoys young adult lit. Published quarterly, YARN will feature short fiction and creative essays, poetry, and an author interview. Our interactive sections will allow for comments on stories, as well as reviews of recent YA books. We distinguish ourselves from other teen lit mags by seeking to discover new teen writers, and publish them alongside established writers of the YA genre. Issue 1 will go live in Winter 2010, but a little taste of our site is currently available at (where you can also find our submission guidelines).

On a personal note, while the ARCS have not yet arrived, my royalty check did (and will go in the bank before I go to Lake Placid later this morning). I'm delighted to announce that Life As We Knew It has passed the 100,000 paperback sales number (and thus its royalty rate has gone from 6 to 7%). My thanks to all of you who have helped make LAWKI and the dead and the gone successes beyond my wildest dreams.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Noah Waited Less Time For His Ark

I have to admit I like the search button over on the right. I typed in "growl grump," and found I'd growl grumped a mere twice, in all the semi-many years I've written this blog.

So here's one more time: Growl grump growl growl grump.

I remain, in case you couldn't tell, ARCless. No lovely exciting This World We Live In advance reading copies cluttering my doorstep.

I was originally told they'd be out Columbus Day. It is now Veteran's Day. In the amount of time it's taken to discover America and fight two world wars, they haven't been able to print the ARCs (or if they have, they haven't gotten them to me or let me know they exist).

Hold on- I feel some more growl grumps coming this way.

It had been my not irrational hope to get as many mailed out as I could before going to Lake Placid for Skate America. Which I'll be doing in 48 hours. I'd hoped to give an ARC to my friend Janet (to whom the dead and the gone is dedicated) and one to my friend Pam, because I could hardly give one to Janet and not give Pam one, and maybe even drop one off at my mother's, since I'll be stopping there Thursday to change her channel to 162 (she's having problems getting the remote control that high), and, oh I don't know, keep one for myself to paw at and admire.

My guess is I won't be getting any today, because it is a national holiday. Maybe they'll show up tomorrow and I'll just store them until Monday, when I'll pull names out of the Bolivian hat.

Or maybe they'll never come. Maybe my entire career is over and nobody's bothered to tell me.

We will not discuss how my weight keeps going up and my royalty check has yet to arrive and how Scooter has demolished my shower curtain and I'm going to have company who might not find that quite as amusing as I do.

I know I'll feel better if I actually get something done, and I have a lot to do, since I'll be meeting Janet and her husband at the Hideous Mall In Nyack tomorrow at noon, for lunch and a movie (Coco Before Chanel), and then I'll take Janet home with me, stopping off at my mother's to change her channel, and then Friday morning Janet and Pam and I will get a nice early start to Lake Placid. So it would behoove me to stop whining and start cleaning and shopping and packing.

Growl growl grump.

Anyway, if there's someone out there still wanting a chance at an ARC, feel free to email. The hat remains open, apparently indefinitely.

If you need me, I'll be shopping for an unripped shower curtain!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Dead And The Gone Is Now Available (Nearly Almost) On Kindle

Happy Monday Morning!

Out of the many zillions of books that exist out there, The Dead And The Gone is one of a mere over 360,000 books available to be kindleized.

Of course over 360,000 could mean zillions. It could even mean many zillions.

But I don't care. I'm pleased that d&g joined its best buddy, Life As We Knew It, in the ranks of the Kindle elite.

ETA: Okay, I just read the small print and d&g won't be available on Kindle until Jan. 18, the same day as the paperback comes out.

Well, I'm still excited to know that it will be kindleable in the foreseeable future.

ETA(2): For such a little entry, I've edited this thing over 360,000 times. This time is to mention that I added a new gizmo to the right side of the blog (it's down there somewhere). It's a search this blog thingy, which, my guess is, will be of more use to me than anyone else, but what the hey- blogspot offered it and I took them up on the offer.

ETA(3): I've been feeling cranky all day, but I just reserved the room for my mother's 100th birthday party in Sept. 2011. Now I'm in full party planning mode and feeling much jollier!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bolivian Hat Update (Or Lack Thereof)

Before I forget- stupid stupid stupid Giants.

That's to indicate how well rounded I am. And polite. Because compared to what people are going to be saying on sports radio stations tomorrow, I'm being extraordinarily compassionate.

And to continue with this well rounded theme, my tee shirt wardrobe has increased by one. I am now the proud possessor of an extremely handsome 27th World Series Champion NY Yankee tee shirt. I looked at every style available at Modell's before finding the one I really liked (as opposed to willing to settle for in the heat of the moment).

I bet I won't be buying a Giants Super Bowl Champions tee shirt on Feb. 8.

Back to the Bolivian hat. I got an email this evening asking if Scooter and I had done the drawing yet. The answer is no.

I did write out all the email addresses so I can put them in the hat, which I'll do when the This World We Live In ARCs arrive. That could be tomorrow, or Tuesday or a week from now or when the Giants actually win a game again. Okay, that may never happen, but the ARCs pretty much have to, because Harcourt wants to give them away at the NCTE conference and the NCTE conference starts Nov. 19. Which isn't to say I'll get my ARCs before Nov. 19. Just that the ARCs will most likely exist by then.

Stupid Giants.

When the ARCs arrive, I'll blog here and at thirdmoonbook and announce that the ARCs are here and I'll be drawing out the names. Or maybe I'll draw out the names and blog that I've done it (that makes more sense, which is more than can be said for the stupid Giants' stupid play calling).

Either way, and Giants notwithstanding, when I've drawn out the names, I'll email the people whose email addresses I've pulled out, and ask them to send me their mailing addresses. I've already bought the mailing envelopes, and I'm sure Scooter will be a great help when it comes to addressing and packing.

Meantime, if you haven't emailed me to be put in the hat, and you still want to, go ahead and do it. And I remain cautiously optimistic that after I've sent off the first batch of ARCs, I'll locate a few more for you. Although my mother has said she wants one.

At least she doesn't want my beautiful NY Yankees 27th Championship tee shirt!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yankees Win! Theeeeeee Yankees Win!!!!!

It's hard to imitate a radio broadcaster in a blog. But that's what Yankee broadcaster John Sterling sounded like last night.

I know because I was listening to the radio version of the game while watching it on TV. One great advantage was the radio broadcast was a couple of seconds ahead of the TV one, so I knew what was going to happen before it did.

Those of us who like to know the future are very grateful for any such advantages.

Meanwhile, the Yankees owe their victory to me (and I'll expect a ring). I bought a roasted chicken and prepackaged salad at Hannafords last Thursday, and discovered that the days I ate it for lunch or dinner (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday), the Yankees won. Monday, I didn't eat it, and they lost.

So I skipped Tuesday and ate it for supper last night, and the rest is history.

Scooter feels somewhat responsible also, since he's named for Yankee great Phil Rizzuto (all Yankees are referred to as Yankee great, except for a handful who didn't turn out so well). If I were the kind of person who did this sort of thing, I'd buy a little Yankee cap and put it on him just for a photo. But Scooter's great good fortune continues, since I don't do that sort of thing.

I was up until 1 AM celebrating, and Scooter took it quite well when I threw him off the bed at 6:30 (when he thought it was time for the morning Purr On The Neck ritual). He actually let me sleep until 7:30, for which I am very grateful.

I'm also very grateful the Series didn't go for seven games. My nerves couldn't have taken it.

On a totally different subject, I'm pleased to report people who live in Missouri don't have to worry so much about earthquakes. Having killed off most of the state in Life As We Knew It, I'm glad to see my powers don't extend quite that much.

Speaking of powers, I don't have the power to make the ARCS for This World We Live In appear at my doorstop (or anyplace else for that matter). If they come before Wednesday, I'll try my darndest to get as many of them to the Bolivian Hat winners as I can before going to Skate America that Friday. If they show up later, then they won't get sent off until Evan Lysacek has landed his final triple axel there.

Ooh ooh, the doorbell just rang. That's my friend Hilarie. She's driving through my part of NY on her way to PA to a Highlights Foundation Writing Non-Fiction For Children Workshop, being given by Barbara Kerley, and we're having lunch.

I may not be able to predict the future, but I can predict I won't be ordering roasted chicken!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

If You'd Like A Chance At A This World We Live In ARC

There's been a delay in the printing of the ARCs for This World We Live In, and most likely I won't be getting my copies until next week.

My original plan had been to suggest people email me after the copies had arrived, but I've gotten impatient, so I'm switching the order. I think I'll have a couple of dozen copies to distribute, maybe a few more, and I'll send them out just about as soon as I get them. If I get more, right away or later on, I'll keep on sending.

Here's the deal. Most likely more than two dozen people are going to ask for an ARC. If there are more requests than ARCs, I'll use a lottery, as I have in the past for ARCs of The Dead And The Gone (I didn't know any of you when I got my ARCs for Life As We Knew It).

If you want to be in the drawing, then email me, either using the email address at this blog or at the other (but not both). Leaving a comment won't do it, because what I do is copy everyone's email address and put them in the Bolivian hat (currently residing on the bathroom wall) and pull out names.

If yours is one I pull out, I'll email you back and ask for your name and address. So you don't have to include them in your Bolivian hat email.

Some of you have already emailed your request. I've kept all those emails in a special folder, so you don't have to email me again.

I think when I get an email request I'll email back saying "Thank you," just so you'll know your email arrived.

Oh, I pay for the envelopes and postage and all that. So don't worry about it.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment. But again, if you want a chance at an ARC, a comment won't do it. I'd tell you what would, but I've used the word email so many times in this blog entry, I'm tired of typing it!

Posted by Susan Beth Pfeffer at 11:17 AM