Archive for August, 2012

music to get excited about right now

So many of my favorite bands have new albums coming out this July/August/September that I am worried I’ll lose track of which ones I want to buy and on what dates. Is there something like Goodreads for music, so I can know when the bands that I love have new music?

In the absence of a Goodreads-for-music website, I’m going to try to compile a list here. Am I forgetting anyone important?

Bloc Party – Four
released August 21
Purchase on iTunes

Van She – Idea of Happiness
released August 21
Purchase on iTunes

Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t
expected September 4
Preorder on iTunes

Cat Power – Sun
expected September 4
Preorder on iTunes
Stream the full album on NPR

Maximo Park – The National Health
released July 3
Purchase on iTunes

Matchbox Twenty – North
expected September 4
Preorder on iTunes
Stream the full album on iTunes

Passion Pit – Gossamer
released July 23
Purchase on iTunes

I am telling you: that’s a LOT of favorite bands to have albums coming out over the course of only two months! No wonder I feel overwhelmed!

Are there any other new albums that I should be getting excited about right now?

She’s from Birmingham (bam a lam), way down in Alabam (bam a lam)

In October, I’m going to Birmingham, Alabama, for their annual SCBWI conference. Birmingham! I have never been there before. I haven’t spent much time at all in the South, actually. My dad is from Louisville, so I’ve been there many times, but that’s about it.

What shall I see/do/eat while I’m in Birmingham? I’d love your recommendations. Most of my associations with that city come from Ramjam:

This is going to be my third SCBWI conference of 2012. I also did New Jersey and Oregon. (I’d never been to Oregon before that, either. SCBWI is an excellent way to explore the country.) I like doing SCBWI conferences because it’s a chance to meet other writers and editors. But I try not to say yes to too many of them because all the time I spend critiquing manuscripts, traveling, and working is time that I then can’t spend actually writing. So I try not to commit to too many writers conferences each year. I think three or four is a pretty good number.

At the Birmingham conference I’m going to be doing individual manuscript critiques, and I’m going to be running two workshops: one on humor writing (a variation on the humor-writing workshop that I did in Oregon this spring), and one on overdone tropes in kids books. I’m trying to get all my notes in order now so my presentations will be ready by October. So if you have any suggestions for commonly-used kids book tropes, please send them my way! Don’t worry, guys– I’ve already got “vampires” on my list.


The thing about life is that people always want to know what you’re going to do next. They are sort of interested in what you have done, and maybe slightly more interested in what you are doing right now, but primarily they are interested in what you will do at some point in the future.

Thus, as soon as it’s January, people ask, “What are your plans for this summer?” And as soon as you’re a junior in high school, people ask, “Where are you looking for college?” And as soon as you get engaged, people ask, “When is the wedding?”

For authors, what this means is that people always want to know about the book you’re going to write next. Even if your last book just came out yesterday– even if it hasn’t even come out yet at all, sometimes– people want to know what you’re going to do next. Sometimes this can be a stressful conversation for me, because I don’t always know what comes next.

But today I do! And I can tell you about it, too!

So, with that long prelude, it is now with great joy, and great excitement, that I announce my third YA novel: My Suicide Playlist.

Here is the deal announcement from Publishers Weekly:

FSG Books for Young Readers’ Joy Peskin acquired North American rights to Leila Sales’s YA novel, My Suicide Playlist. Stephen Barbara at Foundry Literary + Media represented Sales, who, in addition to being an author (Mostly Good Girls and Past Perfect), works as an associate editor at Viking Children’s Books. In the novel she follows a 16-year-old named Elise Dembowski, who stumbles on an underground dance club in her town and gains entry to a world of late-night dance parties until, as Barbara explained, “her ordinary life threatens to intrude.” The novel is slated for fall 2013.

Fall 2013, guys! That means we only have like 13 months to wait!

That also means that my revisions are due in approximately one week. So, if you were wondering, that is what I am going to do next: I am going to REVISE.

Since the publication date is so far from now, I can’t show you a cover image, because there isn’t one. I can’t tell you exactly what date the book will pub, because we don’t know yet. I can’t even guarantee that My Suicide Playlist will be the title, because sometimes titles change.

But I can share with you the first two lines of the book. Are you ready?

You think it’s so easy to change yourself.
You think it’s so easy but it’s not.

What do you think comes next?