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Amy Zhang

Falling Into Place


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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It’s here and it’s BEAUTIFUL! I have bookmarks, bookplates, and postcards designed by the wonderful and crazy-talented Amber at Me, Myshelf, and I. What do you guys think?




I, for one, am in love. If you’d like a signed bookmark or postcard (or both!), fill out the form below! And–still not counting–in forty-two days, you can buy the actual book! WHAT.

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#100DaysofFiP Week 2

There are only 86 days until FALLING INTO PLACE is out in the world! What?! Week 2 pictures of #100daysofFiP are below. Day 92 might be my favorite this week–it’s also one of my favorite lines in the book. What about you? Which ones do you guys like?


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92 days: “And my heart will beat for someone who deserves it.”

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91 days: “And then there is Matthew Derringer, who is just the slightest bit disappointed, because he has already ordered flowers for the funeral.”

  photo 3 (5)

 90 days: “Wednesdays were important to them. Wednesdays were theirs.” (HINT HINT)

  photo 4 (3)

 89 days: “Suddenly, the trees ended…”

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 88 days: “When she threw her head back, she could see the sky bending away from her, and it seemed closer than usual.”

photo 2 (2)

 87 days: “Death, unfortunately, is not in the business of lending wings.”

  photo 2 (3)

86 days: “Our breaths carry our dandelion wishes higher, higher, until they become the clouds we watch.”

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#100DaysofFiP Week 1

Week 1 of #100daysofFiP is complete! This week’s pictures are below, along with daily excerpts from FALLING INTO PLACE. Are you following? You can follow me on Instagram @amyzhangbooks for daily updates. I also usually post to my FALLING INTO PLACE Pinterest board and to Twitter.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments! xoxo


photo 1 (1)

100 days: “She is human and bound by the same laws of nature–gravity, in particular–as everyone else. Try as she might, she will never grow wings.”

 photo 2

99 days: “He…just looks at it all, the final diary of a dying girl.”

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98 days: “[We dreamed] until our dreams came true.”

photo 3

97 days: “Today, I wear a pink sequined dress. I have the hair of her favorite doll and a pair of shoes she’s designing herself.

photo 4

96 days: She walked in time to some indie singer, who called her beautiful and stronger, stronger, stronger.

photo 2 (1)

95 days: “Within the walls of Meridian High School there is a hush like smoke, like smog.


photo 4 (2)

94 days: “And suddenly it’s very clear to her that every action is an interaction, and everything she has ever done has led to something else.”

photo 3 (3)

93 days: “Soon, we will get bored and put the chalk away, but right now, we are happy. We draw. We sing.”

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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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I’m Feeling Lucky

Last year at this time, I was waiting to announce my book deal. FALLING INTO PLACE was in between titles. I was euphoric every time I thought about the fact that my baby book was going to be a real book, a book that sat on bookshelves, a book that people would hold and read and maybe even love. I was working off the sleep deck that resulted from getting up at ungodly hours every morning to write. My hair was twenty-four inches long. I was getting ready to take what would hopefully be my last SAT (it wasn’t).

Two years ago at this time, my agent and I were just getting ready to submit my YA fantasy, WILDFLOWER. Remember WILDFLOWER? I was halfway through high school. I was just starting to get to know my critique group. I was working on another fantasy about a nameless girl and a lost boy and wolves. Somewhere, jotted down in one of my idea folders, was a line about a girl who explained her suicide in terms of Newton’s laws of motion.

Three years ago at this time, I had just finished drafting my query. I was going to send my first one on the last day that I was fourteen. I had just finished freshman year, and it hadn’t been as horrible as everyone made it out to be. I still didn’t like Wisconsin. It was getting too hot too quickly, and the world smelled like cow manure. I closed myself in my closet every day to write. Maybe because I wasn’t distracted there. Maybe because in the dark, I could pretend I was somewhere else.

Four years ago at this time, I had just finished my first manuscript. It was about five kids who saved the world from villains based off of kids in school I didn’t like. It was bad. More importantly, I had learned to acknowledge that it was bad. And more important still—I had decided not to give up. I was going to keep writing.

Five years ago at this time, I was clueless. I didn’t know that I was about to move to Wisconsin, didn’t know that the move would make me so determined to be miserable. I thought I would grow up and go into the math or science field. Maybe both. All I knew about writing was that I wasn’t good at it. When we got our final report cards that year, one of my friends looked over and was surprised. “I can’t believe you scored higher than me in English,” she said. “I’m better at the, you know, creative stuff. And you’re better at math and stuff.”

I’ve been reflecting on all of that a lot this week. I’ve seen a few reviews of FALLING already. I’ve seen Waiting on Wednesdays. I’ve seen that people are looking forward to reading it, and it blows me away. It doesn’t seem real—ever. I say I can’t even a lot, too much, because I. Cannot. Even. I can’t wrap my mind around how freaking lucky I feel. I can’t comprehend any of it—I see those snapshots of my life above and I can’t entirely connect them. Like. What happened? How?

This year, right now, I’m packing for BEA. I’m getting ready for my panel. I have pens for my signing. I’m filling out my housing information for college. I’m graduating on Sunday. I’m terrified to leave. I miss my friends already. Sometimes I hold my ARC while I watch a movie or sit around, and I flip through it and look at my name and think, holy. Freaking. Crap. I still have doubts, I still have secrets, I am still incoherent on a regular basis.

I am very happy. I like who I am. They say that doesn’t happen a lot in high school—maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t, but either way, I’m lucky.

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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.


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


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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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Countdowns and Love Lists

Today is March 9th. Which means that there are:

6 months
184 days
4, 416 hours
264,960 seconds

…until FALLING INTO PLACE comes out and my head explodes. Wow. Like, I see the numbers and I have a vague concept that months/days/hours/seconds are divisions of time or something, but I can’t actually wrap my head around the idea that this thing I made in my head is going to be…bound? On shelves? Available for purchase? In SIX MONTHS?!

I am terrified and excited and happy beyond words, and to celebrate, I’m going to do a love list, which is a non-exhaustive list of the things you love about a manuscript (inspired by my wonderful CP Mark O’Brien, who was inspired KK Hendin, who was inspired by Rachel, who was inspired by Stephanie Perkins). 

chalk drawings on the roof
scenic towers
jumping off the swings
a 1967 Ford Falcon
being wrong
being right
bouncy balls
wire crowns
twenty-three missed calls
running through the rain
second chances
seven days
fifty-eight minutes
F = ma
green sweaters
flute players
black eyes
the sky
matching friendship rings
cause and effect
Fears Quote
Scenic tower, where Liz once made wishes on sunshine.
Hide and seek behind the old brown couch
beyond the sky...
the cover
the interior
(for more pictures, visit my Pinterest board for FALLING)

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