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Calling all writers!

I'm thrilled to announce I'll be a panelist at the upcoming San Francisco Writers Conference President's weekend with fellow YA authors authors C.J. Omololu (DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS) and N. H. Senzal (SHOOTING KABUL).

The theme of our talk is:

Capturing the Hearts of Teenage Readers: Crafting Young Adult Fiction


and I'll discuss my journey crafting SEA --turning a real-life event the 2004 tsunami, into a story teenagers would be interested in reading--as well as my contributions to both The Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls and my upcoming short-story contribution to the anthology TRUTH & DARE (coming May, 2011). TRUTH & DARE will be published in the UK and here in the U.S. If they ask about the #sexahmagicbooks, I'm sure I'll talk about them too. :)

Following our talk, we'll take questions and sign copies of our published works. For me, copies of SEA and Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls will be available for sale.

For schedule and registration information click here:

http://www.sfwriters.org/pages.cfm?ID=2

The schedule looks amazing! And it's filling up quickly--

Hope to see you there!

In Support of L.K. Madigan

A massive Feast of Awesome giveaway of one of my all-time favorite novels, last year's Morris winner, FLASH BURNOUT, and Lisa's new novel, THE MERMAID'S MIRROR.

Lisa released some heartbreaking news on her blog this week.
Now we are celebrating Lisa's books, hoping she knows how very much she and her stories mean to us.

Details here:

http://community.livejournal.com/debut2009/1059044.html



2011: Off to a good start...

...because my husband came home from the hospital today!!
And he looks...like he hasn't even been in the hospital.
Aside from the white wrist band on his right hand and a few lost pounds, you'd never guess he was an inpatient for 8 nights.

Eight nights.

People were asking me if this experience, his hospital stay, was like when he's gone overseas, in Indonesia or Cambodia or Africa.

Aside from the obvious fact that he's gone from home, the two circumstances were completely different. For one thing, he was close-close by and another thing he was SICK. Really sick. And I was worried. Really worried. When he's traveling abroad I worry, but in a different way.

I guess in some ways, this was easier because I got to see him a few times a day for long, IV pole strolls, but I know when he's traveling he is fine. He isn't worried. He isn't in pain. He is working.

Not my husband. But the props are right.

I can't stop thinking about a young guy on our ward who was visiting his wife all week.
I saw him in the cafeteria, alone in the lobby, with her, and then, yesterday, wiping a tear off his eye outside her room because, he said, the nurse couldn't get her line out. I'm not sure what it means, but the look on his face told me he couldn't stand the site of her in pain, so it must have been pretty bad. He said hello and commented on my daughter who I was pulling around in a red wagon and mentioned he and his wife have a 15 month old little girl at home.

A fifteen month old baby.

I don't know what his wife's condition was, but from the shaved patch on her head and the bleak expression in her eyes, I got the impression things weren't great. And she has a toddler at home? The weight of the world was on this guy's shoulders, I could tell he was trying to be strong for her, but man.

It's like, no matter what happens, there is always someone with something far worse happening, so with this, and with the trio of bad-luck items this past fall, I still feel so fortunate in general. My family is home together, most of us healthy, and D on his way to a full recovery.

That old phrase, "There before the grace of God go I," played over and over in my head this past week as we wound our way past empty children's cribs, made of metal bars, not wood. No cozy pink bedding to be found.

Yesterday, two Cambodian monks and about a dozen other Cambodian-American people D works with visited him. The monks gave him a blessing. D told me afterwards, most of the women were survivors of the Pol Pot genocide. Yet they are there, smiling at their doctor, worried about him, wishing him well.

We are blessed.

And believe me I know it.

Furthermore, weather claims no rain for a week, and the days are getting longer, and brighter.

This fills me with the kind of hope I need to feel. I like to feel.
Being disgruntled doesn't feel at all right on me.

So a proper Happy 2011 to you all.
Wishing you a year of Metta...a phrase my husband taught me that he learned from the monks. It means loving kindness.

Metta

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Dickens Said It Best...

2010.

What can I say that would adequately begin to sum you up?

I know.

You are like that guy. That fascinating guy you stare at all year long, who FINALLY asks you out and when he does, you say yes. Of course. Then you go out and its all kinds of awesome and it's perfect and then you rush home to tell everyone you know how perfect he is and how perfect the night was and he never calls you again... and later you found out he stole your wallet.

OH COME ON. I got my first book published! People like it! Some people even love it! How can your year be that bad boy?

Because. 2010 was the best of times and the worst of times. It really was.
I'll prove it.

BEST OF TIMES

1. SEA!
2. Boy learning to read! On his own! And he likes it!
3. Um. SEA!

WORST OF TIMES

1. Boy hospital
2. Me hospital
3. Husband hospital

And Husband is STILL in the hospital.
Yes. On New Year's Eve.
He's been in since the day after Christmas.
He will be fine, but this has majorly sucked. Majorly.

So 2010. I don't really know what to say to you.

Thanks for asking me out, thanks for being hot and fascinating and alluring, thanks for making a giant dream of mine come true, but 2011? I don't need the glamor, I don't need the cocked brow and the designer threads, I just want you to be nice.*

Happy New Year, everybody!


*Except for Damon. Who has the Undead Fictional Character pass

I am not a year. Therefore, I don't have to behave.
Hello all! It's that time of year to nominate our favorite YA lip-locks of 2010 for the most fabulous, most coveted, most DESIRED award in all of YA fiction: THE SMOOCHIES!

Three categories:

BEST REALISTIC:

Contemporary or historical realistic fiction. Examples of good 2010 realistic on Steph Su Reads, Contemporary Adoration: http://stephsureads.blogspot.com/2010/12/2010-book-lists-pt-4-contemporary.html

BEST OTHERWORLDLY:

This would include your sexy werewolves, your sparkly vampires, your sexah warlock, your hags, your (god-forbid) zomfolk. This category comes with a ton of sizzle.
Mundie Moms have a collage of awesome paranormal/fantasy mixed with a few fave contemps here: http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/search/label/2010%20Top%20Ten%20Reads

BEST OVERALL:

That kiss that made your spine wanna ring in the New Year?

Yeah. That one.

NOMINATE either below here in comments OR to @thesmoochies on Twitter.

To see last year's winners and Josh Berk's fantastic Award Ceremony click here:

http://seaheidi.livejournal.com/172589.html

While I love you nominating Deni and Sienna and Spider from SEA I don't think its fair to include us in the contest. :**( Sad face/sparkle tear.

Out of sheer love for my own trio, I would be forced to rig it. And Josh will only encourage instead of stop me.
And we'd be dragged off the Smoochies Award set in red velvet handcuffs. Together.
See. This would be very bad.
So go ahead and pass our votes onto St. Clair and Anna.
I INSIST.
Oops. I mean, to any other smooch you want.

Once we finish collected nominees, Berk will create a POLL from which we can all VOTE. Me included. Yeah, I'm totally voting. What you think I'm doing this as a volunteer?

Let the SMOOCHIES BEGGGIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNN...


Feel free to ask questions or leave gifties (Damon pictures?) in comments.

Dynamic Duos! BEST OF 2010-Heidi Style

Best Of lists are popping up everywhere. SEA is on a bunch of them. This makes me happy! I want to write my own list, but I don't want to JUST books, I want to include the best part about a hero, their partner in crime. Their love interest, their sidekick. Because sometimes, the best part of an individual is the thing that makes them one half of a fabulous duo.

Buckle up, buttercup. You're going to want to pay attention to these DYNAMIC DUOS!

1. BEST LITERARY SIDEKICK AND HER TRUSTY HEROINE: What would Evie be without tasey, her pink taser, from PARANORMALCY? Dead that's where. Kiersten, Tasey's inventor and a delight herself, was named a "Flying Start" by Publisher's Weekly this morning. Yay for Kiersten, Evie and the whole gang in this fun, original book.


2. BEST SCREEN BROMANCE: Sherlock Holmes and Watson from SHERLOCK HOLMES.
The movie is rollicking fun, but no couple has more chemistry than the charmingly co-dependent Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr.


3. BEST BROADWAY COUPLE:
The dynamic cast and their guitars. American Idiot! (Saw it twice. In one day. There are witnesses.)

We talked to the cast afterwards and many learned guitar just to play, "Time of Our Lives" for the oncore. Chills.

4. BEST SMALL SCREEN HALF UNDEAD NOT QUITE A COUPLE BUT WE'RE HOPING:
Sizzling dynamic between Damon & Elena. Or Damon and Katherine. Or Damon and ANYONE for that matter.


5. BEST SEXUAL TENSION En français

St. Clair and Anna in Stephanie Perkins sparkly debut ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. If you like SEA, you will adore this charming book. If you don't, I owe you an eclair. ;)


6. BEST REAL LIFE BOY SHOULD BE A FICTIONAL CHARACTER: The infamous Afghan Boy. AKA: The Bookcellar X's best boy friend and the afghan dog he shows. Seriously.
The Twitter tales never end, and the antics have made many an evening's delight on Twitter. Thanks, #AfghanBoy, you are a stranger to us. But you never fail to fascinate with your dog showing prowess and bizarre personal decisions in dating and in life.

7. BESTFRIENDMANCE: Harry Potter and Hermoine in HP7. Rarely does a movie capture those strange feelings of starting to feel something more than friendship with your Just Friend as well as the first installment of HP7 did. The bleakness and dread of this brilliant film's breath of relief was the budding tension between these long-time friends and the jealousy that ripples through Ron. I suppose the duo could also be the amulet and any of the main characters, but since that pretty much ripped off The Precious, I'll go ahead and give credit to the Friendmance between the two heroes. In a movie full of make believe, this moment was so very real. And took our breath away.


8. BEST PARTNERS/FRIENDS/LOVERS AGAINST ALL ODDS: Mockingjay's long-suffering, ever-scarred, most-beloved Katniss and Peeta.

Suzanne Collins anti-war trilogy was a phenom of 2010, with good reason. It horrified us with its ugly truth of the realities of war and a reminded us that a society who forgets the most important thing about it: its people, will cease to survive. Their bittersweet tragedy of what was left of the Peeta/Katniss romance left me a sobbing bowl of mush and landed me in the E.R. What other duo did THAT?

“Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games”
-Peeta Mellark

“Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true. Here is the place where I love you.”
-Katniss Everdeen

Thank you, 2010, for being the year my dream came true.

Thank YOU, readers & friends, for supporting my little blue book by spreading the word. For getting the story I tried to write, for loving these characters like I do.

This one is for you.

(No idea who trip hub is, but dig the serendipity.)
HAPPY HOLIDAZE!

Project For Awesome

or #p4A on Twitter.

Check it out.

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Happy Holidays all you awesome readers, you!

Thank you SO much for all your support and #sealove this year. You are the BEST. Because of your high levels of awesome, I wanted to offer something nifty just for YOU.

I've received many requests for signed, personalized copies of my novel SEA* for readers and/or gifts this holiday season. After wracking my brain on how to get my book in the hands of someone, in say, rural Alabama without road-tripping in down there (Santa hasn't brought me my Blue Bus yet, wah!) whilst avoiding the harrowing Post Office lines, I came up with an IDEA. (All in CAPS like the good ones are.)

Here it is!

Kepler's Books, a well-established independent bookstore in Menlo Park & big SEA supporters, have generously offered to sell SIGNED, PERSONALIZED & GIFT WRAPPED copies of SEA for ANYONE on your Christmas (or late Hanukkah) list within the United States. They will collect your info over the phone I will go into the store and personalize for you and voila! they will ship it to you or the receiver by Christmas! I will even put in a signed bookmark. :D

I love supporting my local independent bookstores, who, like the rest of us, are struggling to survive in this economy & I'm so happy I've figured out a way to personalize a copy of SEA for everyone & would truly appreciate the support!

To order, contact Sarah Langlais, (650) 324-4321, coordinator of this project. Be sure to tell them WHO THE BOOK IS FOR and have the shipping address ready to go for their volunteer wrapping/shipping elves.

Wishing a wonderful holiday season for you and yours!

Many Thanks & Happy Ordering!
xox,
Heidi

Did one of you make this for me? If you did, you ROCK.

Orange Popsicle Haze- Beach Retreat 2010!

Remember how last week was all about Deni?
DENIZ being the Turkish translation of SEA and generally blowing my mind with that epic coincidence? Well, I think it made Spider a wee bit jealous.

How do I know?

Well, this weekend's writers retreat in Santa Cruz, CA, was clearly ALL ABOUT SPIDER.

Before we get to him, let me introduce you to our beach house and my fellow #YATW (YA, That's Why!) critique partners, the talented Ingrid Paulson (VALKYRIE RISING/HarperTeen/2012), Martha Flynn, and Whitney Miller (both agented and surely to sell their fab YA novels soon.)

We did a lot of writing. I worked on #sexahmagicbook2, which I'm madly in new-crush love with.
The pitter-patter of flying keyboards was going day and night.
But who wants to look at pictures of writers typing on their laptops?


Hey, #YATW, say cheese!


See up there? That is our loft. With a giant flat screen TV, four Grandpa-snoozing-style easy chairs, and Vampire Diaries Season 1 on loop. Wait. Is this a writer's retreat or has Heidi ascended into heaven?


Welcome to Heidi's Cafe, may I take your order?


You know Vera is dying to slurp on that beauty.


Ocean cliffs on a misty Saturday morning...



Throwing CAUTION to the wind



Remember Sienna and Spider's cliff hangout overlooking Sunny Cove? Well. There you go.




The beginnings of sunset...in a neighborhood uncannily similar to Sienna and Spider's



This house, overlooking the cliffs? Was surprised I didn't see Spider's footprints on the sidewalk. Interestingly, our beach house was one block inland, just as I imagined Sienna's to be.



Hey Sea, remember the story your mom used to tell us? The one about the sea captain returning home to his lost love?



We just call it the Haze. It you YOU who made up the Orange Popsicle part 'cause you were so obsessed with those sticky things



Seriously, though, some of the guys swear they've seen the Haze after a bad wipeout. Or when it gets too dark, a little darker than it is now...



...they watch for the orange light hanging over the sand, lighting their way home.



Special thanks to #YATW for the rejuvenating weekend of creativity and friendship, & to Erica (The BookcellarX) for her favorite Spider quotes.

Foreign Rights Deal for SEA!!!

Thrilled to announce our first Foreign Rights deal for SEA to the beautiful country of Turkey, which means my book will be translated for Turkish readers in a year or so, with a new cover and a title perhaps like...

DENIZ.

Wait. What?! I just went to this site http://translation.babylon.com/english/to-turkish/

and typed in Sea and um. Mini happy attack. SEA in Turkish is DENIZ! Like Deni only plural and in Twitter speak?

Could life really be that cosmic?! Sometimes, yep, it sure can be.

Whatever the exact translation turns out to be, I'm so so happy about the foreign rights deal.
I traveled to Turkey with my family a few years back. Walking through the crowded outdoor market in Kusadasi was the first time I heard the Call to Prayer. Just as the travel guide suggested, we were indeed invited to join a woman selling colorful blankets for hot-hot tea in Kusadasi, and, later, after touring the ancient ruins of Ephesus...

...I sat on a camel's back. (Such a tourist, I know!)

I've searched, but can't find the picture of me on a camel. So I found a camel without me.

Also, for you International Readers out there, I'm excited to share that SEA was named one of the Best I've Read in 2010 in the excellent company of Lauren Oliver (IF I FALL), Daisy Whitney (THE MOCKINGBIRDS), Ally Condie (MATCHED), and Kody Keplinger (THE DUFF). For more of their feature and prizes check this link: http://bestiveread.blogspot.com/2010/12/bir2010-international-grand-prize.html

What are some of the best you've read in 2010?

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My cover!
seaheidi
Heidi R. Kling, Author of SEA, June 10, 2010
Heidi R. Kling/SEA June 10, 2010

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