Archive for the ‘Clean’ Category

Congratulations to my pal Kim Culbertson on winning the award for Children’s Literature–Young Adult! It was an honor to be nominated with her and Daniel Handler.

Here’s the lovely description of CLEAN in the program. (Thank you, Sari Friedman!)

Here’s us on the stage (with the wrong title on the screen).

Here’s me with my mysterious purple folder.

Here’s what was in the mysterious purple folder.

Thank you to Northern California Book Reviewers for nominating CLEAN for the award in Children’s Literature–Young Adult, and thanks for putting on such a great event. It was an honor to be among such great company.





Read Full Post »

I have so many things to be excited about right now!

CRAZY comes out SO SOON! The June 12 release date is less than a month away, and I can’t wait for you to meet Connor and Isabel. I love these characters so much, and I hope you will too.


If you live in the SF Bay Area, don’t forget about my Release Day Event at Diesel Books in Oakland (Tuesday, June 12 at 7:00 pm; 5433 College Avenue). I’ll read a little from CRAZY, do a little Q&A, then sign some books and hang out with you wonderful people.

Did I mention that CLEAN is now available in paperback? So cheap! So lightweight! Speaking of CLEAN, it was just nominated for the 2012 Northern California Book Award in Children’s Literature-YA, along with Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson. The awards ceremony is on Sunday, June 10 and is free and open the public: 1:00-4:00 pm, Koret Auditorium, SF Public Library.

Another fun event is on Wednesday, June 20 where I’ll be reading at The Business Comedy Show, which has been called “the best alternative comedy show in San Francisco” by the SF Weekly. Not sure I qualify as an alternative comedian, but my pal Bucky Sinister had enough faith to invite me so I’m trusting his judgment. Show starts at 8:00 pm @ The Dark Room Theater: 2263 Mission Street, San Francisco. It’s only $5!


Monday, June 4: Character Interview with Isabel at Good Choice Reading blog
Tuesday, June 5:
Crazy review at Blkosiner’s Book Blog
Wednesday, June 6:
Top Tens List guest post at  Shut Up! I’m Reading blog
Thursday, June 7:
Crazy review at Tangled Up In Words blog
Friday, June 8:
Connor This or That guest post at My Reading Room blog

Monday, June 11: “Turning Points” guest post on Nova Ren Suma’s writing blog, Distraction no. 99 (author of Imaginary Girls)
Monday, June 11:
Interview at A Good Addiction blog
Tuesday, June 12:
Character Tweets guest post at Paperback Treasures blog
Wednesday, June 13:
Crazy review at Good Choice Reading blog
Thursday, June 14:
This or That guest post at Ivy Reads blog
Friday, June 15: 
Word Associations guest post at Tangled Up In Words blog

Monday, June 18: Interview at Blkosiner’s Book Blog
Tuesday, June 19: Crazy review at My Reading Room blog
Wednesday, June 20: Top Tens List guest post at Rex Robot Reviews blog
Thursday, June 21: Crazy review at Shut Up! I’m Reading blog
Friday, June 22: Character This or That guest post at Zoe’s Book Reviews blog

Whew! June is going to be an exhausting but awesome month. There’s all this CRAZY stuff, plus I’m in the middle of edits for BOOK #4 and training for a half-marathon. Please bring ice cream.


Read Full Post »


I know, it’s been a very long time since I updated my site. Sorry about that! I’ve been too busy writing Book #4,  which is still untitled at this point. Titles are hard. How am I supposed to find a word or two to describe an entire world?


Read Full Post »

New CLEAN News…


If you like books and live in the Bay Area, you should probably already know about Litquake, San Francisco’s big literary festival this week. It all culminates with the Litcrawl this Saturday night, when literary revelers wander the Mission district, weaving in and out of the bars, bookstores, restaurants, coffeeshops, and  galleries that host the night’s many readings, lectures, and other bookish activities. I am sooooooooo honored to be a part of it this year, sharing a panel with awesome women at the KQED Writers’ Block event “Some Girls from the Block.

Come see me read an excerpt from CLEAN this Saturday night, October 15, at Bruno’s (2389 Mission Street, SF), at 7:15 pm (sadly for my teen fans, this event is 21 and over).

FYI: Writer’s Block is KQED’s weekly reading series featuring writers and performers of fiction, poetry, theater and whatnot. You can subscribe to their podcast via NPR or iTunes. Check out my archived readings from BEAUTIFUL and my short story HOW YOU REMEMBER HER.


In other exciting news, CLEAN was just nominated as a 2012 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!





Read Full Post »

Thank you to everyone who came out to my reading at Pegasus last Tuesday! And thanks to the boys at Pegasus for being such great hosts. I had a wonderful time and it was an honor to share CLEAN with you.

Read Full Post »

Today is the official release day for CLEAN!

First, I’d like to give a huge THANK YOU to all the incredible bloggers who have already given such amazing feedback on advance copies. YA authors would be nowhere without you.

Now, a little background into why I wrote it.

CLEAN was a story that had been writing itself in my head for a long time, probably since I was a teenager. I had always wanted to tell a story about kids in rehab. My favorite books as a teenager were Girl, Interrupted and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and I continue to be fascinated by the concept of institutionalization, not only the practical details and implications of it, but also the metaphor inherent in being locked up, especially when you’re dealing with an age group that is so driven by the desire for freedom and independence.

Like my first book BEAUTIFUL, CLEAN deals very frankly with drug and alcohol abuse. I received some criticism for this in BEAUTIFUL, and I understand that it’s difficult subject matter for a lot of people. It should be. I’d be worried if readers weren’t troubled by it. In both books, my primary goal has been to be honest, to not sugarcoat or hide anything, to tell the stories I know to be true, to tell the kinds of stories I wish I could have read as a teenager. When I was growing up, there was very little honest discussion about the kinds of things that were on my friends’ and my mind. There was the blanket command “Just Say No,” but that wasn’t enough for me, and I don’t think it’s enough for many kids. What I needed, what I’m trying to write, was the truth. I think teenagers can handle a lot more than we give them credit for.

In CLEAN, I’ve tried to explore the complexities of drug use and abuse through the experiences of five characters who, despite being very different, I think carry pieces of all of us.  It was important to me to show them as full, nuanced people, with hopes and loves and fears like everyone else—and also the disease of addiction. So often, we’re given the message that Drugs Are Bad, and by extension, people who use drugs are bad. Well, these kids aren’t bad. They’re kids, and they’re in a lot of pain. They’ve made some bad decisions and they’ve hurt people, sometimes very seriously, but they started out as we all do—with the potential to become anything. My goal is not to excuse their behavior, but to offer the reader some understanding of how people can go down such different paths. Hopefully I can offer some insight into how to avoid making some of their same mistakes.

I have seen the lives of people I love fall apart because of this disease, but I have also seen tremendous transformations, which can only be described as miracles. I have seen people who had fallen to what many of us would consider the lowest of the low, so close to death by either overdose or violence or suicide, but some glimmer of hope remained despite it all, some little voice that said “Live,” and those people fought their way back to the world of the living and now lead completely different lives. This is what I hope for the characters in CLEAN, and for readers who may be fighting their own similar demons. Despite so many things inside them being broken, despite the pain and struggle that may haunt them for the rest of their lives, I believe they–I believe we–can change. I believe that deep down we are capable of things we haven’t even dreamt of yet.

Love and hope,



Read Full Post »

CLEAN Excerpt!

You guys, CLEAN comes out in exactly TWO WEEKS! (That’s July 19, in case you’re bad with calendars). And look what I got in the mail this weekend:

To celebrate, I’m posting the first 18 pages to wet your whistle. Click HERE to read an excerpt from CLEAN.

Oh, and of course you can also pre-order it HERE



Read Full Post »

Look! It’s the Simon Pulse booth at ALA in New Orleans. It’s like I’m just hanging out next to Scott Westerfeld and Orson Scott Card, no big deal, like I totally deserve to share a shelf with them. Maybe later we’ll go get a beignet at Cafe du Monde together. Golly.

Also, my agent just informed me that she received a REAL, LIVE COPY OF CLEAN in the mail today! But I don’t have one yet!  I probably have to wait a couple days because I’m on the West Coast. The anticipation is killing me. I may have to eat more cookies….



Read Full Post »

Guess what, folks? It’s only 22 DAYS until the official release date for my new book CLEAN (July 19)! That’s almost exactly the two-year anniversary of when I started writing it. The life of a book is a funny thing. The act of writing is so far removed from publication–it’s like the book has two different birthdays. I’ve already written a whole other book and started a new one since finishing CLEAN, but now I get to go back and hang out with her like she’s getting born all over again.

Until then, there are a few exciting things I wanted to let you know about. Any day now, I’ll be posting an excerpt of CLEAN on here, so stay tuned. I’m also planning a kind of “behind-the-book” post about CLEAN, with some background info and why I wrote it. I’m also super excited about an interview I’m doing with Nova Ren Suma, author of the extraordinary new book Imaginary Girls.

And for folks in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, I would LOVE to see you at the CLEAN release party, where I’m planning on doing a reading, signing and Q&A. Here’s the info for that:

Pegasus Books

2349 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA

Tuesday, August 9th at 7:30 p.m.

And last but definitely not least, here’s the schedule of my upcoming blog tour for CLEAN. I’ll be posting links to each feature on Twitter and Facebook as they happen, but I wanted to let you know ahead of time when I’ll be visiting these amazing blogs so you can check them out:

Tour Dates: August 1-14

YA Highway

8/1: Review

8/2: Author Interview

There’s a Book

8/3: Review

8/4: ‘Teenage Garage Sale’ Post

Bibliophile Brouhaha

8/5: Review

8/6: ‘Author This or That’ Post

Amaterasu Reads

8/7: Review

8/8: Character Interview with Olivia


8/9: Review

8/10: ‘Author Book Picks’ Post

The Book Scout

8/11: Review

8/12: Author Interview

Reclusive Bibliophile

8/13: Review

8/14: ‘Character This or That’ Post

I think that’s it for now. Thanks to everyone for your support. I can’t wait to hear what you think about CLEAN!



Read Full Post »

Finally, a new blog post!

Hello hello hello! It’s been three months since my last post. I don’t really have a good excuse for you except that there’s a lot of stuff going on in life that is more interesting than sitting in front of a computer. I spend a lot of time in front of a computer, being a writer and also working in publishing. I stare at a screen all day long. Lately, I’ve become quite fond of handwriting my work-in-progress. Like using an actual PEN and PAPER! I know, it’s crazy. Somehow, it allows my brain to be a little less rigid; it turns off the obsessive editor in my head long enough to get something down that I don’t automatically want to tear apart.

You know what’s really crazy? I have written three novels. In four years. This seems preposterous to me. Whenever I meet new people and they ask me what I “do,” I still don’t know how to answer. When co-workers corner me in the elevator and ask how the writing’s going, I am in much disbelief as they are when I tell them my third book just went to the copyeditor, my second book comes out in July, I have three more loosely outlined, and I’m a pretty good way into writing my fourth. Who is this person?! Certainly not that sad and confused girl who dropped out of college. Definitely not the wandering barista who moved every year. Somehow I became a person doing what I love. Somehow I found the thing that makes me want to structure my time and be productive, the vocation that inspires me to focus and find joy in working my ass off. I am so incredibly grateful.

My second novel CLEAN comes out July 19. It has become excruciating waiting for it. Like BEAUTIFUL, I poured my heart into this one and I can’t wait to share it with you. Did I already tell you what the amazing Lisa McMann (author of the bestselling WAKE trilogy) said about it? “With deep, sympathetic characters and beautiful prose, CLEAN cuts to the heart. It’s poignant and real. I can’t stop thinking about it.” What an incredible honor!

Also coming out soon is the anthology DEAR BULLY: 70 AUTHORS TELL THEIR STORY. I know I’ve already gushed about this book enough (did I mention that all the proceeds will go to anti-bullying charities?), but I wanted to share the beautiful new cover with you:

For my Bay Areas pals, I’m the the process of finalizing plans for my book release party in early August, which will probably be at one of my favorite indie bookstores in Berkeley–stay tuned for details!

As we get closer to the release of CLEAN, also stay tuned for an excerpt from the book, as well as links to reviews and interviews. I have a little blog tour planned around the release date, which will include a lot of fun posts on some wonderful bloggers’ sites.

Thanks everyone for your support, and I can’t wait to hear what you think about CLEAN!



(P.S. And if for some reason you want to hear from me more often, friend me on Facebook. I’m there way too often.)

(P.P.S. And if you want to pre-order a copy of CLEAN so it’ll arrive at your doorstep, you can do it HERE)

(P.P.P.S. And if you’re a blogger or reviewer and would like to request an eGalley of CLEAN, go HERE)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »