Friday, August 27, 2010

Bigtime Mockingjay Spoiler--Don't read unless you are done and want to discuss

Here are my thoughts.

While I love the characters in the HG trilogy at face value (I am firmly Team Peeta, BTW--he is my dream man) I think the true reason for the trilogy's popularity goes beyond even the great plot, characters, writing, etc.

It is the underlying theme, the basic sensitive, gentle and thoughtful nature of the author (who I met in person yesterday-swooooooon) that informs her ferocious story-telling skills. Suzanne Collins has something she wants to tell us. And her characters are more than just people. They are symbols.

Katniss is all of us--unsure, wanting to do good, but often mislead and used as a pawn in other people's agendas.

Snow, of course is just plain old base evil.

Gale--and this is controversial but I think after you've read the entire MG book you'll see my point. Gale is an example of how outrage, deprivation and abuse can make you a killer. Gale has become everything Katniss has tried to avoid. Gale is in transition to the point where he can become as bad as Coin, someone who might have started off as well-intentioned but lost sight of her moral compass. And this is what Katniss has always feared. And this is why things end so bad with Gale--no kissy-kissy. No closure. Katniss fears what Gale has become. What she might have become--if not for one person.

Which brings me to Peeta. Peeta is hope, beauty in the midst of chaos, love, everything that is good, that can still prevail even in the worst of circumstances. This is why when Peeta briefly turns bad it kills us (and Katniss) so much. Prim represents the same thing, but she is not as strong as Peeta. He is strength and beauty combined. SO in the end--Katniss had to choose Peeta. How could she not? He represents the hopeful future for humanity (and for her). Oh--and Haymitch. He's what you get when you are like Peeta, but without the hope. And Haymitch is whom Katniss might have become if she'd not found Peeta to remind her of why life is still worth living, even after you've survived the Hunger Games .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mockingjay Day in Millerton, NY

I picked up my copy of Mockingjay on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 2PM at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY, the town I am summering in. By 2AM of Aug 25th I was finished having read it in one long marathon interrupted only three times (of course not counting human necessities) 1) when I went to Winter Sun and purchased my awesome tomato red Baggalini purse, which I will always think of as my Mockingjay bag. 2) when I made dinner (can't remember what) and 3)when I watched my new favorite show Covert Affairs with my new favorite hottie Chris Gorham (you know I must like him if I put down MOCKINGJAY).

Yeah--so you won't get any spoilers from me. I'm going to wait until a reasonable amount of time goes by until I discuss.

I do want to discuss the great opportunity I had to meet and get my book stamped by Suzanne Collins at Oblong Books at the Millerton Branch. But first I want to thank the local hero, Suzanna Hermanns, proprietor of Oblong Books (@oblongirl ), for organizing this terrific and well-planned event.

By all reports, Ms. Collins was kind, patient and very lovely. I told her that as a writer, she is a great inspiration to me. She was so warm. I respected this amazing woman before, now I feel like--I don't know--awed even more. She read from both Catching Fire and Mockingjay, and her lovely voice gave me chills. I just don't know what else to say.

Afterward, I went for milkshakes with the lovely Jules Dominguez a local YA writer and the brand new resident of Rhinebeck, the awesome Jennifer Laughran (@literaticat), who also now works for Oblong Books (Rhinebeck branch). What fun. With the sun setting behind us as we laughed and slurped our really REALLY thick milkshakes--I was so happy to have found this little pocket of YA heaven right in Dutchess County.

I should tell you--I have had the amazing experience of meeting and getting to know Jennifer this summer and she is FUN. And smart--and she seems to know me way too well already. (enough to finish my sentences and laugh at me. Am I that transparent? yeah--I am) Okay--she is not my agent--that would be Victoria Marini who I have yet to meet, but I am happy to call her a friend. So I feel extra lucky. And it was so great to get to know Jules who I've *known* on Twitter for quite some time.

So--it was a great evening, all in all. I had time to reflect on the way back, driving past the rolling golden hills of the gorgeous Hudson Valley, the sun low in the sky, Suzanne Collin's mesmerizing voice still in my ears, about just what a great summer it's been.

All I can say is, wow. And thank you Suzanna(@oblongirl) for working so hard to make this happen.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Mockingjay Countdown

Mockingjay comes out this Tuesday, August 24th and along with it, for me, comes the thrill of finally knowing the outcome of Katniss' adventure combined with the struggle to slow it down and SAVOR the book and the writing. It's like having the world's most delicious meal plunked down in front of you when you are ravenous.

So, I just wanted to share that I am unbelievably fortunate to have purchased my book and a ticket to get it stamped IN PERSON by Suzanne Collins herself on Thursday, Aug 26 at Oblong Books in Millerton, NY. I know, don't hate me. Call Oblong Books and get your own ticket! (I get to pick up the book in Rhinebeck, NY on the 24th---YAY). The question being, will I be able to stall finishing the book until then? I don't know--it's usually a struggle of heroic proportions to keep from gobbling down a hundred pages at a clip.

I will try.

So what are your thoughts on the impending release? Has it defined your summer as it's defined mine? Who's re-read the previous two. Who doesn't understand what the fuss is about?

Let's hear it!

Oh--and LISTEN to the first chapter as read by Ms .Collins herself on's FB page!/

Monday, August 9, 2010

Exciting News!

I've just signed with agent Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider for my young adult paranormal LIFE AND BETH, and I am OVER THE MOON. Victoria is smart, enthusiastic and seems to do her homework big time. I think after all this time, I HAVE THE RIGHT AGENT FOR ME.


It's been a long strange trip, and of course, it's far from over, but this is an important milestone. I can safely say that past experience has enabled me to recognize someone who is professional, proactive and dedicated.

So--YAY! and thanks to my hardworking, patient critique-mates and beta readers who put up with me, my endless drafts, my doubting, my anxiousness and my goofball sense of humor. (oh--and my own skin-stripping crits) Seriously. None of this could be happening without all of you--and you ALL know who you are.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kate Milford's amazing reader encounter

I really just had to share this. I love Kate and I just love thinking about how great this experience was for her and her little circle of Boneshaker Fans! Hey girls and guys!!! You are some awesome kids!