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Amy Zhang

exclamation points


It’s here! It’s F I N A L L Y HERE!!!







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…


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


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

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



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).


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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HELLO. Guess what today is?


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):

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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?
(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
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?

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COVER REVEAL (and Nostalgia)!!!!


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).



*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


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
Book Depository

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

Facebook page

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Sh*t People Say to Writers

Last Sunday, my local newspaper wrote a story about me…and my writing…and stuff. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I used to be very, very secretive about writing. I never talked about it. So this week was WEIRD and awkward and generally hard for me, but on the bright side, I FINALLY get to write this post! I’ve always wanted to. 🙂

So you wrote a book?
Actually, I’ve written five novel-length works. The first one will never, ever see the light of day. I queried the second one and found my agent with it (YAY!), but it never made it past acquisitions. I also wrote a (very bad) sequel to it that clocked in around 200K (LOLZ). I wrote a standalone Norse-inspired fantasy about wolves and hot chocolate and losing your first love, which I’m planning to revise. Then I wrote this one, which sold. And I’m currently working on a few projects–
Like, a novel? Fiction or nonfiction? Wait, what are you doing? Why are you poking me?
I’m trying to edit your redundancy, but your “delete” button seems to be broken.
How many pages is your fiction novel?
OH MY–*breathes* never mind. And I don’t know. 51,000 words. Ish.
What is your book about?
(via Title To Come)
BONUS: What is your book about (old church ladies edition)
It’s about fornication and drinking and drugs and abortion and basically what your grandson/granddaughter does on weekends, except I’m not going to tell you that because I’m afraid you’ll have a literal heart attack.
Childhood, ma’am. It’s about childhood and growing up. *insert smile and innocent head-tilt*
So how much did you have to, like, pay for them to publish this book?
Actually, in traditional publishing, the publishing house gives you money for the–
What?! How much did you make?
Good question. Would you like to know how much I weigh, too?
Dude, I wish I had the time to write a book.
What? What is this time thing that you speak of?
What’s your book called?
Um, I can’t tell you right now. I went through a title change, and the new title is still confidential. Hopefully I can share soon, though!
Whatever. You just don’t want us to buy it, do you?
I actually really, really want you to buy it, because your money will trickle down to me. And I do like money an awful lot.
Okay, so can I read it now?

But you need someone to read it! What if it sucks?
Gee, that isn’t the stuff of my nightmares or anything.
Am I in your book?
Oh, honey. Would I really tell you if you were?
Can I be in your next book?
Sure. I’ll kill you brutally within the opening pages. I’ll even let you choose your own method of death. Sound good? (but if I DO put you in a book and you don’t like what you read, remember this conversation, kay? xoxoxo).
Well, can I be in the movie?
On the teensy chance that they make a movie…no.
Do you know J.K. Rowling?
Yup. We had lunch the other day.
Why did you write a book about suicide? You’re not suicidal, are you?
No, but once I wrote a fantasy about a world at war and a girl who kills people, and I’m not homicidal.

I’d like to write a novel. How does it work? Can you tell your publisher to buy my book?
Well. I can tell you that it DOESN’T work like that. First you have to write a novel and edit the unmerciful suck out of it. And after it’s nice and pretty and polished, you have to slug through the query trenches and hope you find an agent who loves it enough to sub it for you, and then you have to hope that an editor loves it enough to invest money and time and tears and sweat and passion into it.
So…YA magical realism? That’s like Twilight, isn’t it?
Why won’t you answer any of our questions? You won’t even tell us what the title is. Stop being so stuck up about it.
Eek! I don’t mean to come off that way–but I’ve never really talked about my writing with people, and this makes me feel so incredibly uncomfortable that I’ve pretty much depleted what little social ability I have. But I really can’t tell you the title!
Geez, you talk about this so often. You sound so stuck up.
But–YOU ASKED! I don’t mean to sound stuck up! But this is something I’m genuinely and overwhelmingly happy about, and I’m sorry if I’m doing something to make you misinterpret this. But I AM proud of myself, I DO love writing, and sometimes it’s hard not to smile like an idiot about it.

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East Coast Adventures (and Apologies for My Recent Incognito-ness)!



Partly because I’ve been traveling the world (read: spending forty hours in a car while my brother sang “Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall”), and partly because life is more demanding than my nonexistent significant other. But I’m back! I promise! And I will be blogging regularly! Hopefully!

So, East Coast Adventures: It was HOT. Like, please-kill-me-before-I-melt-and-drown-in-my-sweat-and-tears kind of HOT. But it was also lovely and crab cake-y, and the history nerd in me exploded from giddiness.

We drove through Baltimore (and had THE BEST crab cakes in the history of crab cakes) and walked through Washington D.C. that afternoon. Unfortunately, we arrived just after most of the museums closed and it started raining halfway through, but then:

The sun came out and painted this gorgeous
double rainbow over the Washington Memorial (the second
one is really faint). 

These plaques line the entrance to the WWII Memorial. They tell
the story of the soldiers, from hearing of the war to going to battle to
coming home. So beautiful and evocative. I stood there and cried for at least
ten minutes. People gave me weird looks.

Snapped this one while driving back to our hotel. No filter, just
a naturally breathtaking sky.

On Sunday, we went to Philadelphia and…got there just after tickets
for Independence Hall had sold out. Womp. 

The House of Congress didn’t require tickets, though, so we got to sit
in the wonderful, wonderful air conditioning and pretend to be Representatives,
where John Adams was inaugurated. This is the Senate room, where
George Washington was sworn into his second term.

And kept driving. Spent a few days in Boston for campus visits and
such, and visited Plymouth. Yes, this is THE ROCK.

And this. This is Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
It’s the most gorgeous library in the entire world.
This is basically heaven.



And this is Grove Street Cemetery, the first chartered burial ground
in the U.S. It makes an appearance in MEMENTO MORI, so of course
I had to go see it.

NYC. From the Staten Island Ferry.

More NYC. So pretty. I loved walking through the streets.
I did not love sweating through five thousand shirts and smelling
like an exploded duck.
But the best part of the entire trip? I GOT TO MEET MY AGENT AND EDITOR. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture with my agent, but she was lovely and fantabulous and absolutely amazing beyond words. And she assured me that I succeeded in not making a complete fool of myself. YAY!

And. HarperCollins. I. Went. To. HarperCollins.
It was AWESOME. I got to meet my publisher and the entire
Greenwillow team, and we had donuts that were like pieces of heaven
that someone had killed angels to steal and mold into these perfect
little sugary lovebundles. Except mostly I sat there and stared creepily
around the table and thought, “HOLY SH*T HOLY SH*T YOU GUYS

P.S. I’m thinking about starting a vlog. What do you guys think? Anything you want me to talk about in particular?

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Class of 2K14 Website Launch

More exciting news! I’m a part of the Class of 2K14, and today is the launch of our website! *throws confetti*

We’re a group of twenty YA and MG debut authors with books that range from historical to contemporary to sci-fi. In particular, we target booksellers, librarians, and teachers (BLTs!), and we try to get some fantabulous books in the hands of readers. There are some CRAZY amazing people in this group, guys, so make sure you keep an eye out for the books.

The website features the authors, the books, opportunities for author visits, and information for BLTs, including fortchoming discussion guides and other curricular materials (the wonderful Addie Degenhardt is making mine! It’s SO EXCITING because all of this seems so REAL now! I’m abusing exclamation points again!). There will be TONS of giveaways in coming months, including monthly ones of the Class of 2K13’s books, but for the launch, we’re giving away…a $100 gift card to the book retailer of your choice!

One. Hundred. Dollars. For. Books. You know you want it.


And make sure you also check out our Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Goodreads page!

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Part DOS:

After the phone call, I went to lunch and flailed and I’m sure other things happened, but I was drunk on happiness and honestly don’t remember very much of it. I called my agent as soon as I got home to figure out the finer points of EVERYTHING, and I finally figured out that the offer was a pre-empt, and I had to give an answer like, yesterday.
It was all a bit hectic because my phone was acting up and the connection was crappy and I was barely at home all day because of prior commitments (stupid prior commitments). Everything was happening INSANELY fast, and I was still giddy and my sanity was questionable, so I wanted a second opinion (or a number of them) on the offer before I accepted (but HOLY CRAP AN OFFER I WANT IT GIMME NAO), so I talked with my family and my agent–
(Okay, I need to take a minute and gush about how fantabulous Emily Keyes is. You guys have no idea how much of my flailing she’s had to put up with in these last few months. Emily, THANK YOU for believing in my writing and being the bestest agent a girl could ever ask for 🙂
–and the amazing Louise Fury, who all gave me wonderful advice, and at the end of the very hectic, badly-connected, most wonderfulicious phone call EVER, I accepted the deal.
(I really did this, but about 1/100000th as gracefully).
The next day, I got to talk to Virginia Duncan over email. She was lovely and enthusiastic, and the best part? GUYS. SHE SAID SHE LOVED MY BOOK. SHE SAID SHE WAS THRILLED TO BE WORKING WITH IT. AND ME.
Except I was mostly too starstruck to form intelligible responses.
And we talked about revisions and the contract and the FUTURE, and it was so wonderfully wonderful that I have honestly stared at the screen for about ten minutes trying to figure out how to describe it, except I. Cannot. Describe. My. Feelz.
So what happened after that? Why didn’t you guys get to hear my news sooner? Why all of my mysterious tweets and hints in the last four months? Something got in the way, Internet.
See, apparently being a minor causes all sorts of silly problems, like not being able to sign a contract or receiving more than a certain amount of money without court-appointed Fancyschmancy Guardians of My Estate or Something (and no one would hop on my anarchy bandwagon. I mean, no law = no messy litigation things, amirite? JUST KIDDING. Anarchy is bad, boys and girls) I…am still relatively unclear as to what happened because it was all narrated in fancy lawyer lingo. Basically I needed a lawyer and my parents needed a different lawyer, and we went to court  and I tripped in front of the judge and almost fell on my face.
And then finally, FINALLY, I could tell all of your wonderful faces my news (I think I’ve said “wonderful” about a thousand times in this post, but guys. GUYS. It was all so wonderful and you are all wonderful and cheese is wonderful). SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so, so, SO unbelievably excited that you guys will get to read my ickle-widdle-squishy baby manuscript. I loved writing it, I love the story, I love the characters, and I hope you will, too. I still haven’t completely wrapped my head around the idea that in just over a year, people will actually be able to like, HOLD IT. AND READ IT. I feel crazy-lucky that I have this opportunity, and crazy-luckier that I’ve been surrounded by absolutely INCREDIBLE people through this thing (looking at you, Mark, John, Ari, and Olivia <= BEST CPs IN THE WORLD).
So…thank you. All of you. For caring what I have to say. 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxox
(P.S. I ultimately decided not to make start another Rafflecopter giveaway, but in celebration of Part Dos, I’ve added another prize to the first giveaway. It’s a fancyschmancy wall hanging like this:
which I will make with a quote of your choice and send in addition to the two YA books of your choice and a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Writer’s Inspiration) SO GO ENTER!!!! 😀

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