Thursday, March 13, 2008

They Left Out Bomb-Throwing Anarchist

As those of you who read this blog know, I've been a bit obsessed with the Possible Third Book. I write it, rewrite it, try to make it shorter and end up adding new scenes. I live in a world of tiers, indies, and drogs. And to what end? Beats heck out of me.

But other things are going in in my professional life. So I figured I'd bring you up to date.

For starters, Life As We Knew It is now nominated in fifteen different states (plus one city in England) for young reader awards. I slipped Pennsylvania onto the list a week or so ago, when no one was looking. Last night I was informed that LAWKI had been nominated in the state of Washington as well.

Just think. At this very moment, all across America, students are tossing copies of Life As We Knew It across the room and saying in disgust, "Well I'm certainly not voting for that one."

When it's in paperback, they'll be able to toss it across two rooms.

I've cut down on my obsessive googling of LAWKI and am gearing up for obsessive googling of the dead and the gone instead. So far there isn't that much to google, but I can usually find one new item if I search hard enough. A couple of nights ago, I located the following link:

I checked their discussion guide questions for books written by other people, and was somewhat relieved to find they go with a boilerplate. Otherwise the third of these questions would be a little worrisome:

How do characters change or learn throughout the dead and the gone? What events caused these changes? Have you or someone you know experienced the same thing?

However, I was saddened when I discovered they suggested the following question for all their other books as well:

How does the dead and the gone reveal Susan Beth Pfeffer's own perspectives about people and the world? For a lively discussion, describe why you think Susan Beth Pfeffer is liberal or conservative.

I'd love to witness one of those lively discussions. Especially if it involves the tossing of copies of the dead and the gone.

Also last night, Harcourt forwarded an e-mail invitation for me to speak at a luncheon in Maine for independent bookstore owners (have I mentioned lately how much I love independent bookstore owners? They really supported LAWKI and I am immensely grateful to them). Here's my favorite part of the invite:

Since The Dead and the Gone is so very New York City, I think having her in Maine could help expand the book’s market penetration, and lay the groundwork for volume 3.

Ha! Poor Old Harcourt! Refusing to even think about a P3B when groundwork is being laid for it! With a title too- volume 3.

Of course, once my editor gets her overworked little hands on P3B, she may well toss it across a room or two. Maybe even three, in honor of its title.

Speaking of P3B, I managed to delete a ten page scene this morning, thus reducing it to a svelte 332 pages. Alas, there's a whole new scene just yearning to be written.

I hope my editor is working on her throwing motion. The Book Tossing Olympic tryouts are just a couple of months away, and there's no shortage in competition, thanks, in no small part, to me.

ETA:Here's a book trailer for LAWKI in case anyone is interested (well, I know I was):


Anonymous said...

I thought people only throw books across the room when the pet dies. Doesn't that mean LAWKI is safe?

(Then again, the survival of the beloved family pet didn't save it from the YA Agony Awards, so what do I know? :-))

Anonymous said...

"Laying the groundwork for volume 3."

It's like poetry. A song.

This is good. Excellent.

Anonymous said...

I know that everyone says 'google' no matter what search engine they use, but I continue to use Yahoo! and prefer it -- and don't know if you've seen this lovely review of The Dead and the Gone by emilyreads?

And this is an adult reader. Makes sense to me. Here's the link:

and if you haven't done a Yahoo! search, I recommend it. (Sorry if you've mentioned emilyreads and I missed it).

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi to Janni, Anonymous, and Anonymous-

My cat Emily, who is definitely going through a Let's Sit On The Can Opener's Lap While She's At The Computer stage, seems to think that all books should be thrown across a room if they take up precious lap space.

Whoo whoo- the cat in LAWKI is named Horton. Movie tie-in possibilities abound!

And thank you both Anonymi for your poetry comments and suggestions. Then again, for all I know you're the same person, which would explain the poetry comments and suggestions.

I google, I yahoo, I livesearch. I go anywhere that my name might be mentioned. I love 'em all, although I admit to a slight preference for Google. But anyplace that satisfies my insatiable ego is fine by me.

Anonymous said...

Total liberal-- just reading the first 20 pages of Life As We Knew It gave it away completely; it's not classy.