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Amy Zhang

2014 debuts

RELEASE DAY!!!

It’s here! It’s F I N A L L Y HERE!!!

IT’S RELEASE DAY!!! IT’S FALLING INTO PLACE’S RELEASE DAY AND

AND

EVERYTHING IS

FALLING

INTO

PLACE.

Okay. Deep breaths. So, mostly I wanted to write this to thank you–yes, YOU–for being here. For reading this blog back when fifteen-year old Amy had just found her fabulous agent, when she really had no understanding of the publishing industry or of how completely it would change her life. For sticking with me through the angst and rejections and general whining. Or for visiting for the first time, maybe laughing at the .gif choices. Or for falling (FALLING!) somewhere in between. You–YOU–are wonderful. It’s very late, and this is going to be a brief post because I have an early class tomorrow (BECAUSE I AM A SILLY, SILLY PERSON), but thank you. Thank you so, SO much. Editors, agents, publicists. Marketing directors, editorial team, rights. Booksellers, librarians, bloggers, critics, readers. Everyone who saw this book at the beginning and took a risk on it. Everyone who spread the word, who took the time to read it and like it and tell others about it. I can’t thank you enough, but let me try…

WITH A GIVEAWAY!!!

Look! Look! Look! Please ignore my dirty dorm floor!

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Defaced/annotated copies! #100DaysofFiP! SWAG!!!

FIRST PRIZE: Annotated and defaced copy of FALLING INTO PLACE, complete set of #100DaysofFiP, swag.

SECOND PRIZE: Defaced copy of FALLING INTO PLACE, swag.

THIRD PRIZE: Defaced copy of FALLING INTO PLACE.

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below! And once again, thank you. So much. xoxoxoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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BEA Recap!

My belated BEA recap! I have finally gotten over my BEA hangover and I’ve done that graduating thing and and now AMY IS A FREE ELF.

Okay, so on Thursday morning, I started and finished packing and didn’t forget anything but my blazer, and this was probably the most impressive thing I’ve ever done. Seriously, if I have ever truly deserved a sticker, it would be for this. Around noon, our driver (WE HAD A DRIVER. Like, he wore a SUIT and everything) showed up. He tried to take my suitcase. I thought he was trying to shake my hand, so I kind of forcibly grabbed his fist, and then I was like “Oh god why I am so bad at being human HELP.” Anyway. We got on the plane. I read Kresley Cole’s ENDLESS KNIGHT and developed a crush on Death.

That night, I went to the YA Author and Blogger Party, which was SO MUCH FUN. I got to meet so many Twitter friends, and some pretty amazing people I hadn’t previously known. Also, THERE WERE CUPCAKES WITH COOKIE DOUGH INSIDE. INSIDE THE CUPCAKES. COOKIE DOUGH. Eventually, I made it back to my hotel, which had easily the best showers I’d ever had pleasure of falling in (I’d had this genius idea of wearing five-inch wedges and couldn’t feel my feet. Don’t laugh).

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The view from our hotel. Not half bad, right?

 

And the next morning: BEA! JAVITS! I met with my fabulous publicist and the Harper crew for breakfast, which I forgot to eat because a) Jason Segel is hot and just OMG, b) Carl Hiassen was hilarious, c) Mem Fox is quite literally the coolest person ever, and d) Jeff Kinney is pretty freaking awesome.

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Jason Segel speaking at the Children’s Breakfast.

 

Then I got to watch the Harper galley drop, which was crazy. Watching people take FALLING was just so surreal–like, it actually exists outside of the word doc on my computer? What? Also, SO MANY BOOKS.

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FALLING on the slideshow thingy at the HarperCollins booth

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 Harper galley drop!

 

Then I headed over to one of  the green rooms to get ready for my panel with Becca Fitzpatrick, Amanda Maciel, and Kresley Cole, and moderated by the lovely Aubrey Parks-Fried from Epic Reads. I was nervous and starstruck, my palms were sweating swimming pools, and it’s really a testament to how nice they all are that they didn’t pull away or grimace or anything when I shook their hands. Jason Segel stopped by for a bit in the beginning. See how nonchalant I sounded there? That’s how nonchalant I was when I looked up and saw him standing in the back.

…wait, no, actually I forgot the English language. Whatever.

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Left to right: Aubry Parks-Fried, me, Amanda Maciel, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Kresley Cole. Look, you can practically see my swimming pool palms in the picture!

 

 

So, a few microphone issues aside, the panel was really laid back and a lot of fun. Especially after I remembered the how to say words. Honestly, I’m still trying to convince myself that it actually happened. There were, like, people there. And they, like, listened to me say things. Hopefully I didn’t sound too much like an idiot?

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Post-panel pic with these lovely ladies. My face says “normal” but my eyes say “FANGIRLING SO HARD.”

 

After that, we got lunch and headed over to my signing. The week before BEA, I kept having this nightmare during which I’d get to my signing table and wait and wait and…tumbleweeds. No one. That didn’t happen at the actual signing (THANK GOD).  The line was actually already forming when I headed over to the Green Room a bit early, so, I mean–like, there was a line, so it already exceeded my expectations. It was crazy and so much fun (apologies to anyone who got one of the loopy scribble copies…oops). I was so freaking nervous and it turned out to be so much freaking fun.

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* loopy scribble*

I got to walk the floor with my agent for a while after that, which was amazing because I had been lusting over BEA for years. I would stalk the hashtag every May, and now I was HERE. I got ARCs and met people and I didn’t even trip once. Later, we headed to the ABA lounge for the Indies Introduce reception and met with some booksellers, many of whom seemed genuinely excited for FALLING, which blew my mind. These were the people who would actually put the book into the hands of readers. It’s a hard concept to wrap your head around–I definitely haven’t managed it yet.

 

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ARCs at the ABA lounge. Also my face.

And then my editor took me to see an early screening of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS! It was so, SO good. They gave us special tissue packets and I sobbed audibly into them. John Green, Nat Wolff, Josh Boone, Elizabeth Gabler, and a few of the screenwriters (I think?) stopped by afterwards to do a Q&A, and I alternated my crazy OH-MY-GOD-IS-THIS-REAL-LIFE stare between John and Nat (we are on a first name basis now because I’m pretty sure we made eye contact. EYE. CONTACT).

SO YEAH. THAT HAPPENED.

Basically it was the greatest two days of my life and I still have not recovered from my FEELS. Okay? Okay. Now go get your tickets for the movie. GO. NOW.

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Bonus: that graduation thing

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#100daysofFiP

HELLO. Guess what today is?

TODAY MARKS EXACTLY ONE HUNDRED DAYS UNTIL FALLING INTO PLACE COMES OUT!!! *CONFETTI*

Woohoo! To celebrate, I’ve decided to do a FALLING INTO PLACE photo project. Basically, what’ll happen is this: every day, I’ll post a picture and a line from FALLING INTO PLACE on Instagram with the hashtag #100daysofFiP. I’ll recap the week every Sunday. I’ll also be cross-posting on Twitter, Facebook, etc. So if you want a sneak peek of FALLING, follow along! It’ll be fun. I promise.

Without further ado…here’s the link to today’s picture and sentence(s): http://instagram.com/p/ot5CEhOleO/

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#MyWritingProcess Blog Tour

Hi everyone! WOOOT NEW WEBSITE!!! What do you guys think? Isn’t Tessa Elwood BRILLIANT?

So the lovely Chessie Zappia tagged me for the #MyWritingProcess blog tour, and I was supposed to post this yesterday but I forgot because I am TERRIBLE. But…um, better late than never? Right?

What am I working on?

…to be totally honest, I’m mostly working on graduating right now. I haven’t really gotten the chance to just sit down and write in SO FREAKING LONG, and I get all crabby when I don’t get to write, so basically I’m constantly raging these days. But I’m working on yet another outline/draft of THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD ENDS, my contemporary WIP about a girl and a boy who make a bet over whether people in general get miracles or apocalypses. I’m also worldbuilding STORYWEAVER, a fantasy set in a castle that sits at the top of a waterfall, in a ridonculously pretty notebook. And still brainstorming MEMENTO MORI, a contemp about a girl with HIV who kidnaps her grandma and takes a road trip with her best friend. And counting down the days to FALLING INTO PLACE’s release, of course (112 DAYS. NOBODY PANIC).

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I think what sets FALLING INTO PLACE apart at first glance is the narrator. Writing through an imaginary narrator is the coolest–it opens up so many possibilities. Time isn’t strict, order is up for interpretation.  It’s was so fun and so freeing to write, and I think it’ll make for a very different reading experience as well. But beyond that, I think what sets FALLING apart are the characters. I know I’m biased, but I really do love these characters, and I also understand how damn unlikable they are at times. I wrote a book about bitches, guys. They aren’t the best people in the world. They just aren’t, but I wanted to make sure that they were people that readers could cheer for regardless. I hope I succeeded.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I have something to say about it. FALLING INTO PLACE is about high school and bullying and good friends and bad friends and everything you overhear in the hallway. It’s everything I wanted to say during high school and didn’t. THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD ENDS is about equality and slut-shaming and victim-blaming…um, everything I wanted to say during high school and didn’t (also, for this one, I have this Paper of Rage titled “I Need to Write This Book Because,” and it’s covered in all-caps and venting). STORYWEAVER, on the other hand, just intoxicates me. I love worldbuilding. I’m making up the religion for the world right now, writing myths and variations and children’s bedtime stories, and it’s, like–I get drunk off that stuff. I love it.

How does my writing process work?

I usually start with a blank sheet of paper. I write a one-sentence summary of the idea, usually. And then I start drawing arrows–the characters appear, the plot develops, lines of dialogue start popping into my head. From there, I start making an outline. I usually make chapter-by-chapter outlines…until I get to halfway-ish point of the book. That’s where I start getting lazy and impatient to actually WRITE. So I do.

And it’s that easy. The words always flow and the characters behave and it just works.

LOL JK IT’S NEVER LIKE THAT.

There’s a lot of coffee. A lot of chocolate. Usually some tears. Usually some throwing of nearby objects and pouting. Writing is damn hard. It’s also completely worth it.

I draft using Microsoft Word 2000. It still has the little paper clip dude. I have 2013, but I rarely use it. For STORYWEAVER, I’ve been using Scrivener. I make a schedule. I do my best to stick to it. I give myself stickers when I reach goals. When I revise, I always start with a blank document. And then I revise again. And again. It goes to critique partners. I revise. It goes to my agent. I revise. And then it starts all over again.

Next week on the blog tour:

Stephanie DiazTwenty-one-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her debut novel when she should’ve been making short films and listening to class lectures at San Diego State University. When she isn’t lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows. Visit her online at www.stephaniediazbooks.com.

 

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Updates and Unicorns*

This morning, my mom asked me why I hadn’t updated my blog in a while, to which I responded, “YOU READ MY BLOG?!” But okay, she was right. I haven’t updated in a while because ALL THE THINGS have been happening. Like:

My ARCs arrived! And I hugged them! And I took a billion and a half pictures of them! And I took selfies with them! And I cuddled them while I slept acted like a totally normal human being with them!

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This is my name on a thing I wrote (I WROTE THAT THING IN THE PICTURE. LIKE I MADE THAT IN MY HEAD).
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This is the spine on a thing I wrote (and also a viking rune, because vikings are cool)
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This is the FREAKING GORGEOUS cover of a thing I wrote
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This is a thing I wrote on my ACTUAL, PHYSICAL BOOKSHELF
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This is my face and a thing I wrote. See those fingers?
I TYPED THAT BOOK WITH THOSE FINGERS.
(Yeah, I know I have toe thumbs. Don’t stare. They’re self-conscious).
Okay, time to get serious. I am so, SO happy and proud to announce (belatedly) that FALLING INTO PLACE was chosen as one of the ten titles featured in the Indies Introduce New Voices program! Here’s what they had to say about FALLING:
“In Falling Into Place, Zhang has composed such a fascinating and captivating investigation of character and humanity that readers will find themselves actively rooting for Liz, desperate for her to realize in time that taking herself out of life is never the answer.” —Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Books
UM. WOW. *DIES*
I’m also beyond excited to share that I’ll be doing a panel at BEA this year with Becca Fitzpatrick, Amanda Maciel, and Kresley Cole. It’s called “It’s Not Easy Being Teen,” which is basically the most accurate statement ever. It’ll be on Friday, May 30th from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., so if any of you are coming to BEA, be sure to stop by! I’ll also be signing afterwards.
Here’s the description of the event from the BEA website:
How do you believably and authentically get into the mindset of a teen? It’s simple to skew a voice too young or too old, or to underestimate the breadth of a high schooler’s experience. These authors will talk what it takes to portray teens truthfully and the challenges they have faced both on and off the page. Listen in and meet: Amy Zhang (Falling Into Place), Kresley Cole, (Dead of Winter), Becca Fitzpatrick, (Black Ice), Amanda Maciel, (Tease).
*Yeah, okay, so there weren’t actually any unicorns in this post. Sorry. Bait-and-switch or whatever, amirite?
……..
OKAY FINE.

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COVER REVEAL (and Nostalgia)!!!!

MY COVER! IT’S MY COVER! ALSO A GIVEAWAY! AND MY COVER! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

http://www.yahighway.com/2014/02/cover-reveal-and-giveaway-falling-into.html?m=1

HUGE thanks to the wonderful people at YA Highway, who not only hosted my cover reveal, but managed to put it together in, like, two freaking hours. If that’s not a superpower, I don’t know what is. And also to the amazing, AMAZING team at Greenwillow who designed this breathtaking cover. Can we just sit here for a minute and marvel at how amazeballs they are? Because HOLY CRAP THAT COVER.

AND ALSO ginormous thanks to my agent, who played fairy godmother/therapist/shoulder-to-whine-on/superhero/buttsaver this week (and every other week).

NOW GO LOOK AT THAT COVER. GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!!!!!!







AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IT’S SO PRETTY I’M GONNA DIE!!!!!

*deep breaths*

Seriously, though. I love everything about it. I love the physics equations in the background, even though I’ve spent the last few weeks staring at them and realizing that I forgot everything I learned in physics. I love the car falling and the road and the words. I love my name (DO YOU SEE MY NAME IN THE CORNER THERE BECAUSE OH MY GOD MY NAME IS ON A BOOK). And I love love love love LOVE the hand, because it’s THE IMAGINARY FRIEND’S HAND!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!

Okay. Okay. So it’s actually kind of funny that I’m having my reveal today, because it’s exactly one day after the anniversary of my book. That’s right. FALLING INTO PLACE sold on February 28, 2013. And in another one hundred and ninety-three days (that’s ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-THREE, 19FREAKING3) days, you’ll be able to go to your bookstore and, like, TOUCH IT. AND HOLD IT. AND READ IT.

*brain implodes*

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The life-changing, panic-inducing, holy-hell-it’s-happening text from my agent.

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Shameless Self-Promotion

HELLOOOO, INTERNET.

Yes, it’s true–I am actually alive. I am actually blogging. I am (hopefully) here to stay this time. Because I’ve missed you, Internet.

(I just realized that this is my first post of 2014. *stares at calendar* *smacks self*)

Anyway, I’m going to try really super incredibly terribly hard to get back on a blogging schedule, but for today, I thought I’d compile a handy-dandy Here’s-What-Amy-Has-Been-Doing-Instead-of-Blogging guide (also known as shameless self-promotion, but shhhhhhh).

I’ve done some new interviews and guest posts!

Sometimes Books Don’t Sell
Interview at Brooke Reviews
Interview at Rachel Russell Books

I have purchase links!

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Book Depository
HarperCollins
Books-A-Million

I have stuff for you to like/add/follow!

Facebook page
Goodreads

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2013 Recap

Are we absolutely sure that there were 365 days in 2013? Maybe we skipped a month? I demand a recount. I don’t want this year to end.

It has been a CRAZY AMAZING year. I can’t believe how much has changed since this time last year. I have new interests! I have new friends! I have a friggin’ BOOK DEAL with my dream publisher!!! And so first off, I want to thank all of the people without whom my year would have been very, very different: my editor and the rest the team at Greenwillow, my AMAZING agent, my critique partners, friends, family. Thank you, THANK YOU for indulging all of my writing neuroses (and all other neuroses).

The highlight of my year was probably that “Call me, I have good news” text I got from my agent back in February, but some other ones include meeting my agent and editor without looking too idiotic, seeing my cover and bursting into tears in the middle of class (it is SO BEAUTIFUL. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to share it with you guys), deciding to go to BEA with one of my critique partners, joining the Class of 2K14 and getting to know so many wonderful ladies, and the crabcakes from G&M Restaurant and Lounge in Baltimore.

I think the best book I read this year has to be Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It’s a fantastic example of so many things–characterization, POV, voice. It made me laugh and cry and stay up until 3:00 a.m, and I don’t regret a minute of it. I also loved Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen.

As for 2014…okay, I admit it–I’m terrified. Some of the most fundamental aspects of my life are going to change next year. Most likely, I’ll move halfway across the country. I’ll be on my own for the first time in my life. I’ll have a book on shelves. But here’s the thing–my life changes every year. It changes every day. And change is always terrifying, but I guess all you can do is roll out of bed and put on pants anyway, right? (Ew, pants.)

And lastly, some resolutions: I didn’t complete any manuscripts this year, but I started a few and I’m almost done with one. For 2014, I hope to write and revise three novels: MEMENTO MORI, THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD ENDS, and THE STORYWEAVER. I hope to learn more about publicity and marketing. I hope to keep up this blog. I hope to not go completely insane.

Bring it on, 2014.

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