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How to Support Your Author Friends!

Of Fire and Stars will finally be out tomorrow. Eep! People often ask, “what can I do to help you as an author?” Here are a few ways to help, many of which won’t even cost you anything.

Buy the book! You can even go one step further and purchase it from your local independent bookstore. Here are some retailers where you can purchase Of Fire and Stars:

Purchase copies of the book to give as gifts (or to donate to your local library).

Request the book from your local library & talk to your librarian about it.

Leave a nice review on a retail site like Amazon. It can even just be one sentence. Quantity matters when it comes to reviews!

Recommend the book to your friends or book club. Word of mouth is everything.

Read your friend’s book in a public place.

Discourage people from pirating books (and please don’t do it yourself). Request the book at your library instead. Pirating books means that authors don’t get paid. Every sale really does matter.

Please be kind and resist the urge to rearrange shelves at bookstores. Booksellers work hard to keep everything organized. Instead, strike up a conversation with a bookseller and tell them about your friend’s book!

Friends, family, and readers have made my journey to publication possible. Thank you all so much for your support. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.

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Interview and YA Fantasy Book Giveaway!

The lovely writers behind DiversifYA interviewed me this week! I talked about my manuscript, my first kiss, and what it was like to grow up liking girls. Check out my interview and enter below to win a free AUTOGRAPHED paperback of one of the following books (your choice):

Ash by Malinda Lo

Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

The Selection by Kiera Cass

 

Enter to win here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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RT Booklovers Convention 2014 and #QueerRT14

Guess what’s happening this week? The Romantic Times (RT) Booklovers Convention!

I’ll be in New Orleans this week checking out the convention, meeting some amazing writers, and expanding my knowledge about writing and publishing, all while attempting to resist the lure of beignets.

I will be paying particular attention to anything and everything LGBTQ-related, and tweeting about it under the hashtag #QueerRT14. I’m hoping to get a few more readers and writers involved, so if you’re a reader or writer with an interest in any color of the QUILTBAG rainbow, please jump into the conversation. See you in the Big Easy!

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Reading, Writing, and Craving

Malinda Lo has been doing a fantastic series for YA Pride this month. As part of that, I am featured today as a guest blogger! Head on over to Malinda’s blog to read about how her book Ash inspired me, and why it’s important to write what you crave as a reader.

YA Pride 2013: Write the Book You Want To Read

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The Vote of a Dollar: Supporting Diversity in Literature

In light of the US government shutdown, it’s a good time to talk about votes that count. This shutdown points to a truth about living in a capitalist world: your dollar is often the most powerful vote you have—apparently sometimes even more powerful than the government. I’m pretty confident that with enough money behind it, presidential candidates could be forced to wear rubber unicorn masks during debates. Even my apolitical TV-averse butt would be on the couch for that…but I digress.

In the land of books, some readers bemoan their underrepresentation in fiction, or in the genre they want to read. Personally, I’ve always hungered for more fantasy books with queer female leads, particularly those in which the sexuality of the lead character is a non-issue. I can only name a handful of those books, and I’ve made a point of seeking them out for years. Unfortunately, even when they do get published, they often don’t sell well. Malinda Lo has some interesting statistics gathered about diversity in the YA bestsellers of 2012.

So how do we as readers change that? The answer is simple: buy books, and make sure that they aren’t all by or about straight white people. Until the dollars are where our mouths are, there’s still only going to be one slot for a LGBTQ book on a publisher’s roster in any given season. Ultimately, voting with your dollar will help any author whose work you love. The best way to make sure that author keeps writing what you love to read is to ensure they’re getting paid to do it. Now, I understand that not everyone has the capital to indulge the kind of sick hardback book hoarding that I indulge in. That’s okay! You’re less powerless than you think. Ebooks are less expensive, and better yet, libraries are FREE.

Ways you can keep authors employed and support a more diverse literary world:

Now go forth and make change!

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Peeing, Profanity, and Community: The Austin Teen Book Festival

Last Saturday morning I popped out of bed with the energy of a squirrel on crack to spend a fun-filled day at the Austin Teen Book Festival. It’s awesome to live in a city that has such a big YA book event, even if the heat tries to obliterate my will to live every summer.

Some highlights:

For those of you out there who are avid readers of YA, I encourage you to find local book events to attend. Hearing what authors have to say about their books and about the publication process is always interesting, and the panels usually end up being hilarious. YA authors have a great sense of humor and are a wonderfully supportive and fun community.

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