Silly Games

Review Mania (aka, Get Some Lois Swag)

Several people have asked how to get their hands on Lois Lane swag if they can’t make it to events this fall and I’ve come up with a way (actually, I stole this idea from the fabulous Megan Shepherd who did something similar with her bookmarks). Anyway, read on if you are one of these interested parties…

You may perhaps wonder why authors are always asking people to leave Amazon reviews — well, in part it’s because the number of reviews can be a factor in what kinds of promotions a book is eligible for there (and promotions are good, because they help a book get to new readers, etc). Not to mention, lots of people go consult Amazon before they buy a book, whether they ultimately purchase there or from their local indie or elsewhere. (I’m all about supporting your indie!)

Why are you telling us this, you ask? Wellll, there are a lot of you who have kindly reviewed Fallout on your blogs or Goodreads or Tumblr, but maybe not yet cross-posted those reviews to retail sites like Amazon and/or B&N (where the book could use some more reviews). So, here’s a little contest (or not so much a contest as an easy way to score some swag) to encourage you to review the book at Amazon too: The first 20 people to add a review on Amazon and send me a link to it along with your mailing address (US only, sorry! the postage is coming out of my pocket) will get swag mail with at least one sticker and bookmark. You can even state your sticker preference for the Fallout or Double Down cover. Some lucky people will also get a What Would Lois Lane Do? wristband. Let’s say this goes for the next two weeks, but it’s first come first serve so don’t delay if you want stuff. Examples of the things you will receive:

Here’s the link to Fallout’s Amazon page, and here’s the contact page where you can send me the link to your review and your mailing address. Can’t participate for whatever reason? Perfectly fine! There will be other opportunities to get swaggy things at some point. And let’s go on and say that everyone who does this will be entered into a drawing to win an advance copy of Double Down too.

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YA Scavenger Hunt: The Game is Afoot!

Welcome to this stop on the YA Scavenger Hunt extravaganza!

(I'm Gwenda Bond, and my stop is being hosted by Rachel Harris. There you can find an extra for THE WOKEN GODS, a glimpse of the Awakening in London called "Arawn and the Wild Hunt Visit the West End." As some of you know, I hardly ever write short things, so I hope you like it.)

If you're new to the hunt, this tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Team redGo to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all three! (Go for all. These are pretty amazing prize packages we're talking about here.) I'm a part of the RED TEAM–but there are also red and gold team contests with a chance to win a whole different set of signed books.

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt and see links to all the authors participating, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage. (An extra round of *applause* for organizers extraordinaire Colleen Houck and Beth Revis.)



Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Oct. 6 at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


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The one and only Liz Burns has a great post about swearing off YA because all the past year's articles waxing on its darkness or inappropriateness are just too convincing not to. (Hilarious; go read it.)


While I was writing up my April Fool's contribution in this vein, I kept getting mad! And so it was not funny, but ranty. Because those articles are crazy-making. Instead I just bring you two examples of foolish opening statements, which are remarkably similar and incredibly dumb, both from NYT articles in the last year:

"A literary novelist writing a genre novel is like an intellectual dating a porn star." – from Glen Duncan's ill-considered review of Colson Whitehead's Zone One (really, no one said it better than Charlie Jane).

And from this past week:

"The only thing more embarrassing than catching a guy on the plane looking at pornography on his computer is seeing a guy on the plane reading “The Hunger Games.” Or a Twilight book. Or Harry Potter." – from Joel Stein's screed–which I admit I didn't read past the headline and first paragraph of–about how adults shouldn't read YA.

So, no fooling…can we have a moratorium on opening your piece about some part of the literary world you think is downmarket* with a pornography reference to make it clear you really aren't being serious, but just baiting everyone? Also, NYT editors**, perhaps suggest a rethink when the next one of these comes in? It's getting a little obvious.

*In a perfect world, the people who write about these things would, I dunno, respect them at a minimum, but our world shall never be perfect.

**Kudos to Pamela Paul, by the way, for majorly improving kidlit coverage in the Times since she took over. Even the Stein piece was surrounded by far more sensible ones, which is progress.

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#Topper Party

Topper3So TCM had a mini-Cary Grant marathon the other day, and one of the films included was Topper (which is also available on DVD, of course). Justine and I were bandying our love for it around with Ari, who had set up a timer but never seen it… And then Justine had the marvelous idea of live tweeting a simultaneous watch party from our respective corners of the world.

I'm stealing Scott's post about the relevant details, because lazy! but also busy! Here goes:

Next week I’m going to be live-tweeting an old movie with various friends around the world (namely, @justinelavaworm, @readingincolor, and @gwenda (ed. note from G–@scottwesterfeld is the other relevant twitter handle, of course). In other words, we’ll all be putting the DVD in at the same time, watching it in sync, and tweeting VERY witty things. Or just crapping on about Cary Grant’s amazing car, more likely. Why are we doing this? Because it seemed like fun, and @readingincolor hadn’t seen it yet.

The movie is called Topper, and is a screwball comedy about dying in a car accident and then messing with your banker as a ghost. (Seriously. People laughed at some weird stuff back then.)

If you’re on the twitter machine, please feel free to join in.

Time: 8:30PM US EST
Date: Tuesday Dec 27
(Sydney Time: 12:30PM Wed Dec 28)
Hashtag: #Topper

Join in if you like. It should be fun. After all, what is twitter for if not live tweeting old movies?

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On Cleanliness

No, I'm not about to go biblical on y'all, but when I was fishing for a topic over on twitter, Paolo suggested: "How often should the average writer shower?"

This isn't going to go Dear Aunt G, though it certainly could. There are strong opinions.

First off, we're going to have to leave this whole "average" business out of things. Let's just get that out of the way now. Writers are too neurotic to get cozy with that word. "Me? I'm not *average*?" Or, ten minutes later, "I'm not even average. I'm below average. I can't even see average from here." And that leaves aside if we're talking about some mean of age/sex/race/etc. Which we aren't.

So, then we're left with just: How often should a writer shower? Scalzi proposed that if Paolo had to ask, he probably ought to go ahead and do it. This is true. If you're wondering, Do I need a shower?* The answer is almost certainly yes.

But, in my experience, it's the writers who don't wonder about this that truly need the guidance. In our house: I'm saying every one to two days. In your house: I don't care so much.

At any rate, Mr. Rowe (and Paolo and Catherine) can pretend it's about conservation all they want, but I know the truth of the freelance cave. It's the same impulse that leads people to grow beards until they finish a book, or to build elaborate sink pyramids. To order wingzone when the missus is out of town.

On a more serious note: Not completely losing touch with reality, even when you work at home, is important. Bathing regularly is part of that.

Hey, I made an entry. Now I'll just go hug my Lush bath products.

*I, personally, shower daily. At least.

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Travel Day

We are off to the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts* (ICFA, aka science fiction spring break), where the sun shines brighter. I'm on a panel tomorrow, I believe, but don't have the schedule handy to nab the title and other participants at the moment. It's at 10:30 tomorrow morning; this happens to be opposite Christopher's reading–with Mike Allen and co-guest of honor Terry Bisson. If I were you, and not me, I'd go to the reading. But I'm sure the panel will be fun too.

Other than that, I will be by the pool or pool bar, as it were.

Airplane reading: Finishing up a book for review and then The Tiger's Wife.

p.s. I participated in the latest Mind Meld, posted today, about ideal SF television shows. I clearly decided to interpret SF as spec fic instead of science fiction, in this context, but only so I could give out some fantasy show love too.

*Where C and I were introduced by Kelly Link, lo ten years or so ago.

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