Saturday, July 30, 2011

Special Alert to International Readers

Hello!

BEGIN SPECIAL ALERT FOR INTERNATIONAL READERS:

If you order a copy of JULIET IMMORTAL (from Book Depository or whatever international outlet you prefer) and would like me to send you a signed book sticker to paste inside (which is going to be pretty, I'm printing them today with a fancy red border) and an excerpt of ROMEO REDEEMED and a Juliet Immortal magnet, please send an email to stacey.jay.ya at gmail dot com on or before August 15th. I'm going to be paying to send those out myself as a thank you to my international readers--especially those who tried to order from Copperfields and couldn't due to shipping constraints.

Presently I only have addresses for Katrina and Gemma, but I think I should have more based on the emails saved in my inbox. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to hassle every one of you for an address. So if you would like an envelope to be heading your way, please do get that over to me asap.

I'm sending the first two out next week before I leave for the SCBWI conference. (Anyone going? It's my first. I'm nervous.)

END SPECIAL ALERT.

Back to work...

Stacey

Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh, California...

Let's be together forever...



The plump juicy blackberries (and ripe plum) I picked while on a walk behind my house. My HOUSE. And they're just...there. On the side of the road. Waiting to be picked.

*basks in California's awesomeness*

Happy Friday and lovely weekend to you all,

Stacey Jay

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

JULIET IMMORTAL reminder and I am probably James Patterson*

Remember!

You could win a signed hardcover of JULIET IMMORTAL. Learn how here: http://staceyjayya.blogspot.com/2011/07/win-signed-hardcover-of-juliet-immortal.html (I've already received several entries. Sorry I haven't written back to all of you yet. I will confirm that your entries were received in the next few days. I'm just busier than a cat covering up shit<--as my grandmother used to say-->and haven't gotten around to that yet.)

In other news, my super sekrit pen name got an amazing Kirkus review that I can't share. Because the pen name is super sekrit (due to contractual conflicts that arose after a change in release date and other factors that I won't discuss in detail at this point in time, but may later if I find myself in the mood and with some time to spare<--so mysterious, right? Ooooo, *waggly mystery fingers*.)

But anyway, the great review of super sekrit pen name's first young adult book really warmed my cockles. And it made me think about this industry and how nice it is that writers can branch out and essentially *become* someone else with a change in pen name and a shift in style. Sure, there will always be a few hard core people who will figure out that so-in-so is now writing as so-in-sow and blah blah blah, but on the whole, a new pen name can be a chance for a fresh start. You can't do that as an actor. Your face is always your face and once people know your face as Ms. Jay, you can't ever convince them that face belongs to Mrs. X. You know what I'm saying? (Though I have really started to miss acting all of a sudden. Maybe because I realized the other day that I haven't acted since I was pregnant with my first son, over seven years ago. That's a long time to go without doing something that was my driving passion from the ages of 9-24. Guess it just goes to show that people can change. Dramatically. Or anti-dramatically in my case.)

So anyway, I am grateful to be a writer, and to have the chance to go in new, fresh directions while continuing on in established directions.

And I share this not be mysterious or frustrating, but as a gentle reminder to support "new" authors. First of all, because new authors need your love. (Though we all need your love, what with the publishing world in such flux. So thank you for your love and the money you spend on books and the time you take to wait on requests from the library instead of illegally downloading books online.) And second of all because--who knows? That newbie might be one of your old writer favorites in disguise.

Bonne journee<--I am off to mail some things to France, because there will be a French edition of JULIET IMMORTAL, which is very exciting.

Stacey

*no, I'm not James Patterson. But next time I take a new pen name, I think I'll be a boy. Because I can do that, too. I can grow a fictional writer penis** and write manly things, and as along as I dress in drag at book signings, no one will ever know.<--Or maybe I'll just skip the book signings. I wouldn't make a very convincing man. My voice is just too high to pull that off, even if I had nice fake facial hair and a manly walk.)

**I have just used the word "penis" in two consecutive blog entries, which amuses me because I was asked to cut it from the manuscript I'm editing at the moment (which I did, because I get where Wonderful Editor is coming from, but I was sad because I think penis can be a funny word in the correct context. And a fun word in others***)

***Kind of struggling to find the balance between my YA writer persona and my adult writer persona and what is appropriate here on the blog where I have teen and adult readers. Am starting not to worry about it. Am also wondering why sex/sex jokes/sexuality/etc is considered an "edgy" or "adult" thing. I mean...sex is sex and it's not something only people over the age of 18 or 21 are doing, you know? And can't we just relax about it a little already? I don't know. On one hand, it is a serious thing, especially for teens. On the other hand, I'd like to see the interaction viewed with a little more levity. Making it such a big huge deal also creates a lot of angst and misery for a lot of people--teen and adult--when the romance or affair or whatever it is that's going down doesn't work out. Because a lot of them don't. Hm. This is a big topic. I shouldn't address it in an aside. Let me make a note to get further into this at a later date.

p.s. Apologies to my livejournal readers, but I haven't been able to get on the site in the past three days. I will cross post there again as soon as possible. (And I will also post that in depth video of the treadmill desk's construction that many of you requested as soon as I possibly can.)

And...end of blog. For real.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The double standard, even in death

As most of you already know, Amy Winehouse died this weekend.

I enjoyed her music, I thought she was a talented woman who, sadly, suffered from an addiction she couldn't get under control. It's sad that she died so young. It's not funny or disgusting. She is not a waste or a slut or a skank or a whore because she was an addict. But that's been the vibe thrumming through the internet this weekend. That she was a "train wreck" and therefore somehow unworthy of compassion and her passing is nothing but a joke.

Though nowhere near as troubled as Amy Winehouse, my character Annabelle in DEAD ON THE DELTA has been called a "train wreck" by several readers. I've been shocked to see how deeply some people revile a female character simply because she is flawed and struggling. When I was creating Annabelle, I read a lot of old school mysteries--most with male protagonists--and a close relationship with the bottle is practically de rigueur for those guys. Yet I found virtually no negative/judgemental reviews of these male detectives that had anything to do with their preference for whiskey with lunch.

In a male, addiction is an acceptable flaw, one that some people actually seem to think makes a man more attractive (he's troubled, he's emotional, he needs to be saved!). And as we've seen from the loss of artists like Kurt Cobain and Heath Ledger the loss of a male musician/actor/artist to addiction/drug abuse is a tragedy.

I don't think addiction should be glamorized, but neither do I think there should be a double standard for male and female addicts. Addiction is sad and the loss of a human life is even sadder--no matter whether the addict has a penis or a vagina.

I was going to blog more about this, but I just saw that my friend Stacia Kane already did and did a more thorough job than I would have: http://www.staciakane.net/2011/07/25/self-exposure/

I'll be back tomorrow with some Juliet Immortal reminders.

Hugs to you all,

Stacey Jay

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Vlog about the Treadmill Desk

Don't tell me I don't keep my promises. I do. Here it is, some proof of that.

I give you: The Dorkiest Vlog Ever About My Treadmill Desk (filmed in my piled up garage where all the things that are too many things to fit in our new house are sitting in boxes until we make a storage area):



I have a fear of vlogging. I'm trying to overcome it. Until then, please forgive my stilted delivery and googly eyes.

But treadmill desks...cool right? I love mine. Worked there for 40 minutes today before the heat in the garage did me in.

Off to break free of my computer chains!

Stacey Jay

Monday, July 18, 2011

Win a signed hardcover of JULIET IMMORTAL

So.

I've moved. I've also survived a killer bout of food poisoning. (My advice to anyone considering eating that frozen pie that just sat in a cooler for four hours while you moved: Don't. Don't. Emphatically don't. It was horrible. I'm still weak and pathetic three days later.)

On the up side, while I was lying on the bathroom floor willing my immune system to fight the forces of evil loose inside of me, I had time to think about what would be the best way to run the contest to give away that signed hardcover of JULIET IMMORTAL. Since the release date was changed, I thought getting the word out about the new and improved, earlier, release date would be a good idea. And what better way to do that than to get my contesting people in on the word-spreading action?

(Some general disclaiming about the contest. Only U.S. and Canadian winners will receive a signed copy. This contest is open to international readers, who live in a country where the Book Depository will ship. But if an international reader wins, the copy will not be signed. I will order it from the Book Depository to be delivered straight to you. I've found that's the best way to be sure the book gets into your hands.)

How to win if you have a blog:

1. Drag this graphic onto your desktop.



2. Post it on your blog/website/etc, and link it to staceyjay.com. Then, shoot me an email with a link to where the graphic is posted with the subject line JULIET CONTEST to stacey.jay.ya at gmail dot com.

Ways to win if you don't have a blog (or do and would just like your name in the hat a second or third time):

1. Take a picture of yourself (or a friend, or your cat, I don't really care) recreating the JULIET IMMORTAL cover and tweet the pic with the hashtag #covermodels (This will also enter you to win a Random House book giveaway so double awesome for you!) You can see my version here: http://yfrog.com/kgbxohlj (See how bony my shoulder is? Food poisoning, people. Don't eff around with it.) (I will scan the hashtags and enter the tweeters to win, so no worries about emailing me.)

2. Blog/tweet/facebook etc about JULIET IMMORTAL on August 8th and 9th and email me the link/tweet/etc with the subject line JULIET CONTEST. I'll be on the road that day, driving back from a conference, so I won't be able to spend all day online being obnoxious about the book release. I need you, my dear readers, to be obnoxious for me. I believe in you. I know you can do it!

I'll draw the winner of the signed copy on August 12th, so you have until the evening of the 11th to send me all your linkage. (Please be sure to use the subject line JULIET CONTEST in your email, so that it doesn't get lost amongst my other email.)

Off to clean all the things and wash all the things and write all the things and revise all the things. (Food poisoning is also really good for getting behind on all the things.)

Best, and Happy Monday to you all,

Stacey

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Things I Swear Are Coming in the next 10-20 days

Uncle.

Moving/work has officially eaten me alive. 16 year old Stepdaughter and I lifted a 250 pound box of garage storage shelves into the van (and out of the van) yesterday--as well as making dozens of trips up the stairs at the new house. I can barely move--let alone think--today. She is fine, leading me to believe she did not lift her share. (Or I am old and weak. Probably she gave me the heavy boxes. *vows to believe this*)

BUT! I will hopefully survive this madness and here are the things I'm planning for the blog in the next 10-15 days.

1. The DEAD ON THE DELTA play list. Which is going to kick so much ass it's not even funny. (At least I think it kicks ass. I am obsessing over it. Trying to make it just perfect. I need to add a few fast songs or I would post it today.) I'm going to burn a copy and mail it to one lucky blog friend. Stay tuned for how to be that lucky blog friend.

2. Cheesy montage of me and hardcover frolicking together. Already started filming this. I think it's either going to be really funny or really stupid. Either way, you'll be able to laugh with/at me, so it's a win for you.

3. Footage of my treadmill desk in action. I've been promising this for awhile, but haven't delivered. Going to remedy that.

4. A giveaway of ONE hardcover, signed copy of JULIET IMMORTAL to a U.S. or Canadian winner. (I know a lot of you have been writing me asking for review copies, but I am all out, still don't know exactly what's going on with review copies, and the book comes out August 9th so... Yeah. I'm not being rude, I swear. I plan to forward your requests to my publicist as soon as we are in touch and begin to plot and plan. But in the meantime I want to show you my lurve. So yeah. I'm going to give one of my author copies away. The end. Stay tuned for how I'm going to do that.)

All that, and maybe some pics of my new 'hood as well!

In the meantime, take care, and know that you will be in my sleep-deprived and stress-addled thoughts.

Off to carry some more heavy things,

Stacey

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Random Musings on Jeans and other Shalllowness

Hi!

I'm moving in 6 days!

My house is not even half packed!

I have two huge edits due in September! I'm working on them a lot!

There are many children in my house! Wanting food and entertainment and summer adventure!

I don't have time to rant or muse or discuss! The blog will suffer! <--But hopefully lots of exclamation points will make this seem like a more exciting post than it is. AND MAYBE SOME CAPITAL LETTERS WILL HELP TOO!!

So, I've got a few blog posts in the works, but nothing finished and I have to finish my 20 pages of edits for the day (along with some rewriting bits) before I leave to get my hair colored at 2. (I'm VERY excited about this. To save money, I've been dying my own hair a dark red-brown for over a year. Then, about three months ago, I had to buy a different brand of hair dye because the drugstore was sold out of my brand. And--though I was dying my hair a DARKER color than it is normally--the damned stuff bleached my roots and turned them orange. So I've had orange roots and dark red-brown hair for awhile. And now I've got dark blond and gray roots and about an inch of orange and then dark brown-red on the rest of it and, anyway, it looks god awful but I haven't had the time to get it fixed. But it's finally gotten so bad I've had to make time, and I'm excited about it. Hope my new hair mistress can make something of this mess I've made. She comes highly recommended so...*fingers crossed.* It's not like it can get much worse, so...)

But this post wasn't supposed to be about hair. It was supposed to be about how weird women's jeans are, and how I can never find a pair that fits both in the butt and the waist. If it fits in the waist, it is too tight in the butt. If it fits in the butt, it's too loose in the waist and I have to wear a belt and the top feels all smash-y and blah. Then I was going to tell you about how I scored a pair of size 16 girls jeans (about the size of a woman's 4, for those who are interested) from Target on sale for 2.50 (I KNOW! Could you just die from the savings?!). I figured I'd wear them as cutoffs, but they are the perfect length to wear with sandals and look better than my grown up jeans. They have these little button things on the inside (as many kids' clothes do) and I can tighten the waist to fit and it looks so much better than wearing a belt and I'm like WHY DO WE NOT HAVE THESE WAIST TIGHTENING BITS IN GROWN UP JEANS?!

And I was going to say that we should start lobbying for waist tightening bits in grown up clothes.

But instead I talked about hair for a paragraph and killed the focus of this blog.

Failure. I can has. Sorry.

Hoping to be back in a day or two with a DEAD ON THE DELTA play list. I've got some amazing songs on there so far. Just need a few more to make the ultimate killer-fairy inspired mix. (Once again, please do support DEAD ON THE DELTA by posting a review on amazon, Barnes and Noble, or goodreads if you can. Word of mouth does help sell books and I would so appreciate your support. So would Annabelle, who is going to be in big trouble at the end of book 2 and will need a 3rd book to get out of it.)

I may also have some very exciting GRAPHIC LIVE IMAGES! of me walking with my first hardcover on the beach. Or dancing with it through the vineyards. Or running through a flower-strewn field. Or something. Something graphic. And live. And maybe I'll give a copy away. Maybe...

So many apologies for this ramble. Off to work.

Sincerely,

Stacey Jay

Friday, July 1, 2011

I know what boys like

Is there anything harder than 7th and 8th grade? Anything?

God.

*memories of 7th grade ooze past mind's eyes like rotted monsters dripping puss*

*full body shudder* *tongue cramp* *slight gag* *more shuddering*

Seriously, I wouldn't take a million dollars to go back to Junior High. The world is just so overwhelming at 12-14. Your body is changing (or recently changed), all the gender stereotyping and the pressure to fit your "gender role" stuff is really gathering momentum, the peer group is hell (because everyone is just as insecure as you are, even if they pretend they're not), and you have no idea how to be the person you want to be. Half the time you don't even know what you want, or if you do, you decide it's not what you want as soon as you get it.

I hated junior high. I hated how hard it was to overcome my nerdy girl image. I hated it when boys looked at me like I didn't have a brain above the boobs, and I hated it when they didn't notice the boobs beneath my "most likely to succeed" brain. I wanted a boyfriend, but I was terrified to speak to the male of the species most of the time--I didn't have brothers, I'm sure that would have demystified menfolk a great deal. I was sure everything I said and did was stupid and that most people I passed in the hall thought I was a disgusting, sad joke. (Whoo-hoo for awesome self esteem!!! But I think this is the norm in junior high, rather than the exception. I don't know many people who feel they had it all together at that age.)

I remember it all vividly, and I know I never would have been able to take the advice I gave my newly 13 year old stepdaughter today.

She wanted to talk about boys. About what makes them like you. About how to get attention and keep it and whether or not "being mean to them" or "acting really grossed out and laughing even when they're not funny" might be good tactics to employ. I told her I wouldn't advise being mean to anyone, that I think the best way to get boys to like you is to like yourself, be confident, and be nice to them. Listen to them, show interest in things that interest them that also interest you, treat them with compassion and understand that most of them are as nervous about girls as you are about boys.

And maybe then they'll only fart on you half as much as they do now...

Because really. 13 and 14 year old boys? Babies. They're thinking about video games, not how to get a girl. And if they are thinking about girls, most of them are thinking about sex, not romance. It is the VERY rare boy under 15 or 16 who has the capacity to have a "relationship."

I'll take that a step further and say its the very rare boy under the age of 21 who's ready for a relationship. I dated a LOT of boys. And they were fun and they had feelings and dreams and affectionate leanings, but most of them were not ready for happily ever after. I certainly wasn't. We were experimenting, practicing, learning how to play the game of love and then learning how to stop playing and get real with each other. It takes a LONG time. It's not easy, even when you start out on the right foot. And learning to be a mean girl or approaching boys as beings who must be humored and deceived are not the ways, young grasshopper. (Also, as a mom of boys, I just shudder to think of them being either humored or manipulated. They are people. Stinkier, hairier people, but people.)

So I gave the cheesy advice. I watched the slight eye roll. I calmly assured her that I do know what I'm talking about and that I *do* know what boys like. At least the kind of boys I'd like for her to learn with. Nice boys. (Let's hear it for nice boys, shall we? *claps for nice boys* )

In unrelated news, the sweet-as-they-come Bookish Brunette interviewed me on her blog today and is hosting a giveaway of all 3 Megan Berry paperbacks (the two full length and the novella). Go read and post a comment to win:

http://bookish-brunette.blogspot.com/2011/07/zombie-craze-interview-giveaway-with.html

Also, if you've read DEAD ON THE DELTA and enjoyed it, please consider posting a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com or all three. Sales of this book will determine the fate of the series and I would so dearly love to write a book 3 and 4 for you. I have so man shiny, dreadful, wonderful ideas...

All best and happy weekend,

Stacey Jay