Tuesday, January 31, 2012

TOP FIVE things I learned from The Bachelor

#5 If ten girls tell you that one specific girl is bat-shiz crazy, you should believe instead that it's the ten girls who are crazy. 

#4 If you can overcome your fear of heights, and bungee jump off the bay bridge, that means you are ready to overcome your fear of relationships, and jump into love. If you can't, this means you are emotionally stunted, and you are there for the wrong reasons.

#3 Kissing in water is always sexy, unless your feet can't touch the bottom and you're arms and legs are flailing about when you go to plant one on her, and then there's that awkward moment when you realize you can't smooch and stay afloat.

#2 If you are in doubt of your feelings, strip. This will prove that you are ready to expose your innermost layers, because you are ready to expose your skin. If you can't, this means you are emotionally frigid, and there for the wrong reasons. (Side note: The worst indictment on someone is to say they are "there for the wrong reasons".)

#1 When the couple next door to me was sharing an intimate moment, I sneaked up and said, "Can I steal him for a moment? You've already had one-on-one time." ... This is not okay.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Launch Party by the Numbers: because it's a tradition

Firstly: The winner of the Everneath Prize Pack is: Tara Turner

Please email me your mailing address: brodiashton at gmail dot com

On to the post!

Hey y'all. Since it's become a defining feature on the blog, I thought I'd share a rundown of the Everneath Launch Party by the Numbers:

Number of people in attendance at the launch party- 220

Number of hours I signed for: 2.5

Number of essential items I forgot: 2 
     1- my own copy of the book to read from 2- my special red pens to sign with (I shopped for them all day. I ended up signing with a purple pen.) 

Number of times I called someone "Rachel" who's name was in fact not "Rachel": 2 (King's English has a lot of Rachel's!)

Here's one of the Rachel's introducing me. I love her.
Number of typos in my power point presentation: 2

Number of times I said the word "nipple" in my presentation: 4

Number of times my mom hoped I would say the word "nipple" in my presentation: 0

Number of bad pictures in a row my hubby took of me: 9
Open those eyes, Brodi.

No wait, try again. 

This one's my favorite. I'm so bored, I'm sleeping.

Could I BE any happier? 

I'm scared. The woman in the front row has a gun. 

Constipated? Yes, please. 

Remember that part where I tried to eat the microphone?

I'm thinking of a funny joke inside my head. 

A little to the left, raise your chin more... yep. Now I can see straight up your nostrils. 

Number of times I messed up on signing my own name: 2 (What is it that makes me forget the "r" in Brodi?)

Number of times I ripped the title page of the book when I was trying to remove the post-it note: 1

Number of times I've typed the words "thank you" in the past 48 hours: 548

Number of people I have left to thank: countless

Thank you again, everyone. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

EVERNEATH Launch Party: An Initial Recap

Hey y'all. I'm finally starting to unwind from the big launch party. I can't believe how many people showed up, and packed the art gallery next door to my local indie bookstore, the awesome King's English. 

I thought I'd just show you some wonderful pictures, taken by my friend Michelle Sallay. (Also, she is giving away a signed copy of Everneath on her blog).

First off, here are pics of the crowd from several angles. I was so overwhelmed by the support from the community, friends and family! The staffers counted over 200 in attendance. 

I did my first ever power point presentation. We were only into the second slide when I came across my first typo. 

It read:

  • I all grown up now.
Yep. I all grown up now. 

I signed books for over two hours straight. The King's English sold out of books early in the evening. Thank you so much to everyone who braved the crowds and stood in line!

My awesome family (who considers it their divine mission in life to feed the masses) made the best treats which helped make the wait more pleasant. 
photo taken by Eden Ellingson

And King's English got this awesome cake:
photo taken by Eden Ellingson
I almost hated that they had to cut into the pretty!

Here are some more pics of the event, again taken by Michelle Sallay:

This is my critique group, THE SIX minus me. They are wearing DEAD ELVISES t-shirts. From l-r: Sara Bolton, Valynne Nagamatsu, Kim Reid, Bree Despain and Emily Wing Smith. 

My sweet parents, holding my book. Doesn't my dad look great?!

Me signing.
Thank you to everyone for all of your support. People ask me how I'm handling everything, and I tell them I'm handling everything fine, until I think about all the people I have to thank. Then I become overwhelmed.

If you were at the party, what did you think?

And if you weren't, did you know you can order signed copies of EVERNEATH from The King's English?

Also, I will announce the winner of the Pre-order contest tomorrow. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

On EVERNEATH Eve, I am feeling Reflective

First things first: Check out this contest that Waterstone's in the U.K. is doing. Anyone can enter, no purchase or hoop-jumping necessary, and you could win the dress from the cover of EVERNEATH! Isn't that cool? 

Second things second: My main character Nikki gave an interview over here. That playful little minx! I didn't know she could do these things without my knowledge!

Thirdly, EVERNEATH comes out tomorrow. Tomorrow!! I know some of you have already seen it in stores (and if you have, tweet me a picture!) but it's out officially tomorrow. 

This is causing me to do something I rarely do: Reflect. I can't help it. I print up all of my rejection letters in preparation for the launch party tomorrow, and the next thing I know, I'm reflecting. 

All those people who thought my book wouldn't sell. And trust me, there is a stack of them. 

I check out the dedication in the book:

To: my dad.
A quiet man.
A fierce warrior.

And I can't help but remember there were many people in the past four years who told me he wouldn't live to see my book on shelves. 


I read over the acknowledgements page, which I'll share with you now, because there are so many people besides me who are behind this book:

Brace yourselves: this is going to be long. It takes a village to raise a novel, and this book owes its existence to one giant, crazy village.

First off, a big sloppy kiss on the cheek to the folks at DGLM, especially my agent Michael Bourret who is one half advocate, one half shrink, and the other third kindred soul. Thank you for seeing the beauty in the beastly draft that I sent you, and for talking me down from the ledge on a regular basis. And for loving tennis just as much as I do. Added kisses for Lauren Abramo and her stellar work abroad on behalf of Everneath

Next, high fives all around to the entire team at Balzer+Bray and HarperCollins. Special thanks to Sara Sargent and my editor Kristin Daly Rens, who fell in love with the story of Everneath months before it was even submitted. You taught me to never stop asking questions and digging deeper.  The Everneath came to vivid life because of you. Also thanks to the many people behind the scenes, including even more editors, copy editors, and the enthusiastic sales, design and marketing teams.

Slaps on the bums (football-team style) for my writing group The SIX (aptly named because we are all six feet tall) Bree Despain, Emily Wing Smith, Kimberly Webb Reid, Valynne Maetani Nagamatsu, and Sara Bolton. Without your brilliant critiques, endless readings of crappy drafts, and emergency runs to In-n-Out, this book would be a flaming pile of goo.

Hugs all around for friends who have helped me through the madness of trying to get a book published, either by reading early drafts or providing emotional support and chocolate: Amy Jefferies, Diane Adair, Anne Petty, Matthew J. Kirby, Alissa Owen, Raina Williams, Debbie Lambson, Jenni Elyse, Robin Weeks, Karin Brown, Amy Weech, and especially Dorien Nielson, who read the earliest version, when it was only twenty pages long and I was getting it ready to be critiqued at a conference.

Thank you to Martine Leavitt and the rest of my WIFYR 2009 workshop group for their insights. Thank you to many more blog friends, Twitter friends, real-life friends, and book bloggers who have watched my journey from the beginning, and have thrown their enthusiastic support behind this book. You know who you are!

Chest bumps to my extended families, including Frank and Kathleen, the Johnsons, the Otts, the Jacksons, the Ellingsons, and the other Johnsons, and endless nieces and nephews who also were subjected to early drafts. Special thanks to Eden Ellingson, who gave me the idea to write a book in the first place.

A noogie on the head for my sister Erin, who shouted the praises of crappy first drafts, and was ready with a pair of brass knuckles for anyone who thought differently. I'd want you on my side of any battle! Extra noogies for her husband, Dave.

A kiss on the forehead for my mom and dad, who raised me to believe I could do anything, and celebrated every step of the journey, from false starts and rejections to that magical day when I got THE CALL.  

A pinch on the cheek for my boys, Carter and Beckham, for reminding me there is life outside of my books.

Most of all, a smack on the kisser for Sam. You never let me give up. You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You are the best man I know. It’s you and me against the world. Love you.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you blog readers - lurkers and frequent commenters - for accompanying me on this journey. Today, I'm just filled with love and gratitude and I don't know how to repay everyone. I'm always searching for words, but right now there are none. 

Except THANK YOU. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kid B Packs his Essentials, and Your Chance to Win an EVERNEATH Prize Pack

Hey, yo.

Things are about to get EVER-FREAKY around here, mostly because my book comes out in 4 DAYS!! 

I am EVER-excited, and to prove this, I'm going to put "EVER" in front of every single adjective! 

Okay, just kidding. 

Sorry for the sporadic blog posting this week and last, but I've been on a cruise. Sam didn't want me to mention it until after we were back, because he was nervous that burglars religiously follow my blog, just waiting for the moment I mention that we're going out of town. 

So, for all of you religious burglars out there: BAZINGA! You've just been EVER-BAMBOOZLED. Ha HA!

When we told Kid B that he was going on a cruise, he promptly found a suitcase and packed everything his 6-year-old mind thought he would need. Here's what it looked like:

I case you can't tell from the picture, that there is a suitcase full of:

1 standard issue pencil box, filled with crayons

4 multi-colored Yoshi's

1 very angry bird (whose talents include destroying wood. Perfect for a cruise.)

1 paper punch in the shape of a tiger

1 industrial sized tape dispenser

1 roll of heavy duty packing tape (I assume for if the ship springs a leak)

The bottom is just made up of stacks of paper. Because that's the one thing you can't get everywhere. 

He zipped it all up and headed for the door. Sam had to break it to him that we weren't leaving for another 24 hours. The Yoshi's were not impressed. 

I'll tell you all about my trip later, but first I had to show you what was on my doorstep when we got home:

And I want to celebrate. Would you like to win a personalized copy, complete with autograph, from my own personal stash? Along with some EVERNEATH swag like temporary tattoos, a guitar pick necklace, and signed bookmarks?

That, my friends, is what the people-in-the-know call a PRIZE PACK!

Here's your chance to win it. All you have to do is pre-order my book, and you're entered to win! Now, I know some of you are thinking, "But if I pre-order her book, and then I win... won't the space-time continuum implode?"

Wait, that wasn't what you were thinking? Oh. Then maybe you were thinking you'd end up with two books. 

And I say... what's the problem? Double the fun! Do you have a friend who has a birthday ever? This would be perfect! How about a holiday that shows up once a year? Excellent. 

So, pre-order my book from places like Books A Million or Barnes and Noble or Indiebound or anywhere else, and then leave me a comment telling me you pre-ordered the book, and you're entered! Just make sure you include where you ordered it from, your confirmation number, your credit card number and your social security number, along with your mother's maiden name. 

Again, I jest. There's no real way for me to tell if you're lying. So, we are making a gentlemen's agreement. But just for fun's sake, tell me where you ordered it from. :) And if you already pre-ordered, EVER-thank you! And yes, that counts too. 

Okay! That's it! And again, don't forget that everyone's invited to the launch party at The King's English on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

*I should've mentioned that this contest will end on Tuesday, January 24th at midnight.*

**I also should've mentioned that it counts if you're going to buy your copy from King's English on the night of the launch. Plus, this option will also give you a warm fuzzy feeling because you supported your local indie bookstore. And we all know warm fuzzies attract a lot of luck in a random drawing. **

Monday, January 16, 2012

German book trailer for EVERNEATH (Fixed)

I'll tell you right now, blogging will be a little sporadic this week. I'm a bit in recovery mode after my revisions and resting up for the big book release, which is in nine days, which is so crazy!

But while I'm here, I thought I'd share the German book trailer for EVERNEATH. I think it has a very romantic and cool feel to it. Let me know what you think! And again, I wish I spoke German.

Okay, Okay. I get it. There's no link! Here's a link. Or better yet, here's the video. I think.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How I Tought Kid C the Similarities between a Cruise Ship and a Naked Woman

Hey ya'll! 

So, we're going on a cruise in the distant future. I've never been on one. I'm so excited because this combines my fear of enclosed spaces with my fear of the open water for an exciting cocktail of crazy. 

Sam is very excited to see what wonderful sides of my personality this experience will bring out.

I was trying to explain to Kid C what a cruise ship will be like. 

me: "We're going to stay on a boat with like hundreds of other people!"

him: "That sounds crowded."

me: "But the boat is huge!"

him: "Where will we sleep?"

me: "In our own room. Like a hotel room. But it floats!"

him: "That doesn't sound very safe."

I glanced at the television guide, which happened to be showing TITANIC. Now before you think this can't turn out well, I also noted that the movie had just started, so there was no way it could be to the scary sinking part yet. 

So I'm all, "Kid C! Get over her. You are going to see what a cruise ship loos like."

I flip the channel, and front and center on the screen is this:

 Only it didn't cut off. It panned from left to right, showing the whole enchilada, if you know what I mean. Do you know what I mean? (boobs.)

So to poor kid C, I was all, "Watch the big screen, son. This is what a cruise is!!!" Cue naked woman! "There. Does that clear the whole 'hotel... but on the water' confusion?"

I immediately shut the tv off, which was probably worse, because it resembled one of those flashes that become ingrained in your brain. 

Kid C: "Was that a naked woman?"

me: "No! It was a... boat. You saw a naked woman? That's weird."

Yes, I like to take the coward's way out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

15 More Days... Launch Parties, Revision Woes, and the need for Burned Flesh Factoids

So, I have a revision deadline for the latest version of EVERNEATH 2: It's Everneath-ier on Wednesday. 

This means I'm going through the draft right now, and coming across highlighted words. Stuff I didn't want to figure out right then, but needed to come back to later.

Sometimes I'd be in the middle of a really tense scene, or even worse, a romantic scene, and I'd turn the page only to find this:

blah blah blah... leading up to big kiss *smooch* 

Here are examples of my favorite highlighted reminders:

Blah blah blah... add description (Yeah, this one comes up about once a page)

------- word for hand thingee? -------(I don't know, could it be a glove?)

------ word for leather thing that can old a knife? ------ (Okay, obviously the word "sheath" wasn't coming to me)

------ do "concentric" circles go outward or inward?---------

what else can he do with his hand, besides run through hair?  (I ask myself this question every day. *she said as she ran her fingers through her hair)

-----need transition here: Aaaaaaannnnnnnndddddd... scene!-------------

--- note: what does burned hair smell like?-----

--- note: if you tear off sleeve, will burned flesh come with it? -------

And my personal favorite:

--- say it again, but better---

EVERNEATH comes out in 15 days. The launch party will be at The King's English bookshop in the 15th and 15th area of Salt Lake City. 

When: Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
Where: King's English 
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Treats?: Of course

Everyone is invited, so mark it down on your calendars so I don't look like an idiot up there at the microphone, speaking to an audience of Sam and my mom. 

I practiced my speech on Sam the other night. He had one thing to say:

"I'm not sure it's appropriate to talk about your hatred for faulty epidurals in your book launch speech. In fact, we could probably leave Kid C's birth story out."

Looks like it's back to the drawing board.

So, who's coming to the launch party? And who can answer the question about the burned skin? 

Friday, January 6, 2012

The TOP TEN things my kid says to me to keep me grounded

The other day, I did a TOP TEN list on Twitter, and I got a couple requests to do it as a blog post, because of all the people not on the twitter. (I'm looking at you, Dorien). 

So, since I have a book coming out in 17 days (17 DAYS!!), sometimes my head is in the clouds. Below, I present to you the TOP TEN THINGS MY KID SAYS TO ME TO KEEP ME GROUNDED:

#10 "Percy Jackson already did mythology, and he's a BOY."

#9 "Please don't show your cover to my friends. It's embarrassing."

#8 Me: "I'm going to be in Wal-Mart!" Kid C (shrugging): "I'm in Wal-Mart at least once a week."

#7 "Mom, do you know any REAL authors? Because my teacher needs one to talk to her class."

#6 "Why did you have to write a book about... LOVE?" (Followed by melodramatic gagging sounds)

#5 "Wouldn't it be cool if Nikki ate Jack's BRAINS?! (Yes, he's into Zombies)

#4 (Looking at my cover): "That's a weird looking dude." me: "Um, that's a girl." Him (turning cover upside down): "Oh. I get it." me: "???"

#3 When a friend asked him what my book was about: "Um... Monsters. And dragons. And people who eat BRAINS!" There are none of these things. 

#2 (looking at finished copy) "What, they only made it out of paper?" Tosses it onto floor. me: "Yes, they cancelled the gold leaf printing." 

And the number one thing my kid says to keep me grounded: "WHY CAN'T YOU BE MORE LIKE R.L. STINE?" 

If you're a writer, what do your kids say to you? 

If you're not a writer... whatcha up to this weekend? 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm trying to get to my To-Do list, but where am I supposed to find the sand for the Sandcastles?

Hey y'all. There is so much to talk about today! 

First off, I was interviewed by Captain Jack Sparrow over on C.J. Redwine's blog. She is truly hilarious, and you can check it out here.

Next up, the Pitch Dark Facebook Page has the first 72 pages of EVERNEATH up. So if you can't wait until January 24th to start the book, head on over! 

So, I don't know if you noticed, but EVERNEATH comes out in 19 days. 19 DAYS!! 

The other day, I came home to find this on my doorstep:

My niece, M+M, made me a paper chain countdown for the launch date. Isn't that so great? Especially for me, because I have a very hard time counting backward from such large numbers like 19.

Each chain has a quote on it from the book:

So I thought it would be fun to share these quotes as I rip off the chains each day. If you want to follow along, look for me on Facebook or Twitter.

And finally, if you have an interview/swag/giveaway request in to me on my emails, I'm trying to get to them all. Really trying. But yesterday I did four interviews, and then I got eight more requests, so I'm convinced that completing interviews only leads to more, exponentially, and it's very hard. Please be patient, and if I haven't answered you and I was supposed to answer you, send me a reminder. 

Because look at my to-do list:

I'm not sure why I have to do these things, but they are on a list, and that means I'm going to do them! Excuse me while I step outside momentarily to Trust the Universe. 

You may also do this to-do list, if you're bored. I'm particularly eager to FIND OUT HOW THINGS WORK.

With that in mind, I'm off to dismantle my computer. Wish me luck!