In celebration of Season Cinco, here is some Tim and Eric fan art!
Archive for March, 2010
I’m sure more people read the Blue Rose Girls blog than visit my website, but if you don’t check in regularly like I do, my editor Connie Hsu posted there with her thoughts on the process of making Happyface with me. See the story from the editor’s side!
And check out BRG in general for lots of behind-the-scenes info from artists, writers and editors at Little, Brown. Always something interesting going on!
I had my very first book launch party this past Saturday! Once again, I stressed for about a week over something that ended up being a lot of fun and I missed when it was over.
My editor Connie and her boss Alvina came in to Connecticut from New York for the event, and we had dinner beforehand at CafÃ© Allegre, across the street from RJ Juliaâ€™s. They start serving dinner at 5:30pm, and they asked me to be at the store at 6:30, so we had to rush a bit for dinner. There was ample time for talk and luckily the staff were very accommodating in getting us food and check in short time! Because two people had to cancel on the dinner, it ended up being me and a table of 7 girls. â€œHow many of those were ex-girlfriends?â€ Alvina had asked. Only 2!
The weather that night was torrential. The rain was pouring, it was cold, thundering, and the wind blew my umbrella inside-out! At the time it was a big distraction but I think it adds a neat touch to the memories Iâ€™ll have of the night. Some of the nearby streets had branches and small trees collapse on them and people had to find alternate routes to the event.
When we got to RJâ€™s, I went upstairs with Connie and Alvina and a few friends and signed some pre-ordered books, paced around a bit and got nervous. I came downstairs when they were ready for me, and as I was having my mic placed, I listened in on Connie and the event coordinator Trish say some really nice words. And then I went up!
There was a good turn-out, considering the bad weather. There were 70 RSVPs, and I wasnâ€™t expecting that many people to show up, so the 40 or so that were there filled the room and gave me ample audience to work with! Trish had asked me how long I plan to speak. Seeing as I had little prepared aside from â€œtalk about the experience of making Happyface,â€ I guesstimated Iâ€™d have about 10-15 minutes. Trish said usually authors go a little longer, but to just give her a queue when Iâ€™m ready to sign. When I started talking, I lost track of time completely. I was told I went for about 30 minutes. I hit all the points I wanted to make and found myself carrying on about a few things I hadnâ€™t planned on talking about, but I got laughs in the right places and there were some good questions afterward, so I think I did okay. My grandmother said I looked a little nervous because I fiddled with my water bottle, but there was nowhere good to put it down! Oh well, Iâ€™ll be aware of it next time.
After my speech, I sat down at the front of the store at a yellow â€œhappyfaceâ€ inspired table. Everyone was lined up and I started signing! There were a lot of people I hadnâ€™t seen in ages there so it was hard to resist putting down my signing pen to start talking. Trish kept me on my toes though! When everyone was out, I got to pick out a book from the store to take home, free of charge! (I chose â€œStitchesâ€ by David Small.)
My grandparents live nearby, so knowing family and friends were coming out, they invited anyone who wanted to come over for coffee and donuts. I was surprised at the number of people who came over, including Connie and Alvina, who got to meet a lot of my friends and family.
In all, it was a great experience, and I thank everyone who came out, and of course Connie and Alvina for making that long trek out in the pouring rain to support me and thanks to RJ Juliaâ€™s for being very comforting and organized and making me feel very welcome! And not just as a CT native but as a first time author! I hope to do more there in the future!
Had an urge to draw and this picture has been floating around in my head for days! Glad to finally put it on paper. Make sure to click and view it full size.
So, as Iâ€™m sure everyone in the entire universe is aware, this week saw the release of my first YA novel HAPPYFACE! Look above! Yes, there he sits on a shelf at Barnes & Noble! You would do well to purchase a copy!
I did a TV appearance on Wednesday for â€œConnecticut Style,â€ kind of a â€œViewâ€ for Connecticut that airs on WTNH after the news at noon. I wasnâ€™t sure what to expect â€“ it turns out you canâ€™t ramble on about the intricacies of your novel and instead need answers that fit in a five second space. Next time Iâ€™ll be better prepared, but everyone has been very kind about my appearance nonetheless.
Reviews so far for HAPPYFACE have been very positive, even getting two starred reviews so far, one from Publisherâ€™s Weekly and one from Kirkus!
Publisherâ€™s weekly states â€œThe illustrations range from comics to more fleshed-out drawings. Just like Happyfaceâ€™s writing, they can be whimsical, thoughtful, boyishly sarcastic, off-the-cuff, or achingly beautiful. The best exhibit hints of all of the above.â€
The Kirkus review reads â€œMoving easily between cartoons and painterly black-and-white illustration, this epistolary novel of a young teenâ€™s reinvention of self is subtle and effective . . .Though the catalyst for his metamorphosis is so understated that itâ€™s possible some may miss it altogether and be a bit puzzled later in the story, this is a minor detail in an otherwise engaging and absolutely heartfelt tale.â€
The Romantic Times Book Reviews gives Happyface four stars and says â€œThe classic nerd-becomes-cool-and-then-everything-falls-apart story meets some awesome journal sketches and a few really unexpected plot twists. An easy, fun read that tackles some tough subjects.â€
School Library Journal says â€œEmond tells the story via the teenâ€™s illustrated journal, authentically capturing his up-and-down emotions. The pencil-and-ink sketches, comics, and doodles, paired with a disastrously small handwriting font, lend an intimate stream-of-consciousness feel to a story by turns funny, wrenching, quirky, and redemptive.”
Ignore the part about the font. Itâ€™s inaccurate. The rest I stand by. :)
This coming Saturday Iâ€™ll be having my first book release party at RJ Juliaâ€™s in Madison, CT. If youâ€™re in the area, stop by and have a Happyface cupcake and listen to me talk!