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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

IRC Conference Recap (w/ lots of Pics)

I'm finally getting to share some pics from the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, IL, last week! First, it was AMAZING. Like, amazing amazing. I couldn't believe how huge it was. They were using meeting rooms throughout two big hotels and then also the convention center for exhibitors to set up. And then people still stayed at even further hotels and were bussed over. I heard there were about 3000 kindergarten through college English teachers there. So cool!

This is the view outside of my hotel room. Believe it or not, this was the first time I ever stayed in a hotel on my own! No husband or kids! It was weird at first but then I got used to the giant bed and massive tv all to myself. :-)

My badge and a page in the conference line-up guide.

The one and only pic I have of me from the whole conference. I sent it to my husband at 7am the first day to see if he thought I looked okay. :-)

Then I was off to give my hour long presentation three times.

My presentations went great! PHEW!

At the end of each one I gave out a list of my favorite funny contemporary YA also. Here's a copy of my handout if anyone is interested-- Kristina's Top Ten Fave Funnies.

I also got to sign in the exhibitor hall (and check out the great booths. Okay, and buy lots of stuff for the kids).

Then at 8:30 that night I went to the Hear the Authors Read event. It was HUGE.

Tons of teachers!

I got to sit with a ton of super cool award winning authors in the front. That's Nick Bruel above.

Including this year's Newbery Medal Winner, Jack Gantos. He's HYSTERICAL.

We took turns going up to read and when it was mine I read the first chapter of Just Your Average Princess. Then we signed books until about 11pm. It was a looooong but awesome day.

Night view from my window.

The next day was an awesome luncheon for 30 Illinois authors and 300 teachers to hang out at. We each got our own table and signed more books.

After two and a half days away from the hubs and the kiddies I was really missing them. I said goodbye to Springfield late Friday afternoon and headed for home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Couple of Updates

Couple of updates: first a giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer

Just Your Average Princess

by Kristina Springer

Giveaway ends March 28, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Second: Need your Query Letter critiqued? Check out our Query Clinic over at Author2Author!

And finally, I'm off to Springfield, IL for the next few days for the IRC conference and is it bad that I'm totally looking forward to the alone time at the hotel? And looking forward to hubby getting to wrangle the four kids back here? :-)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spotlight on THE NAUGHTY LIST #3: A GOOD BOY IS HARD TO FIND by Suzanne Young

Hey Naughty List fans, great news! The third book is out! And an awesome price at only $2.99! Check it out and then read below for my interview with author Suzanne Young.

About the Book:

Tessa Crimson's the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad-turned-spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. 

But after her center-court split with her boyfriend Aiden, Tessa has had to reevaluate her role in the SOS, and her closest friendships. Now it’s the semester leading up to the state championships, and the Smitten Kittens have admitted their former nemesis Chloe Ferril to the squad. So when the cheerleaders are exposed as the SOS and humiliated by the football team, they have to wonder: Is Chloe a true kitten or a saboteur?

Now Tessa must again tease out the truth while navigating her own less than strawberry smoothie love life. Should the squad continue to catch cheating boyfriends and bring them to justice? Or have they really been using sleuthing as a romantic crutch?

Our Interview:

KRISTINA:  I've seen you say the third Naughty List book is your favorite of all three-- why?

SUZANNE: Good question. Basically, book 1 was written as a standalone, so when writing book 2, I took some pretty huge risks and plotted out through the third. Now book 3 explodes with more spying, more love-life drama, and way more ridiculous sayings. "Empire Strikes Back!" But most of all we find out what happens to Tessa and Aiden, and see if the Smitten Kittens can recover from total social destruction.

KRISTINA: Sometimes main characters are kinda based on their authors so....please tell me when you were in high school you, like Tessa, too led a cheer squad-turned-spy society dedicated to getting cheaters?? Ok, if no that, what were you like in high school?

SUZANNE: HAH! I wish I could have been as patient and peppy as Tessa in high school. No, I was more like the poor girls who ask for her help. I was in theatre, speech and debate, and okay, maybe a little bit of cheerleading. But I was no one near as talented on the court. And I certainly didn’t have a super hot, tall blond boyfriend. *sigh

KRISTINA: I loooove fun YA contemporary books and love building up my TBR pile. What are some contemp books you love?

SUZANNE: Oh, there’s so much contemporary that I just love. You HAVE to check out Trish Doller’s SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL coming this summer. And I love Daisy Whitney and Stephanie Perkins. Not to mention you and Lisa Schroeder—just to name a few.

KRISTINA: You’re so sweet (I swear I did not pay her to say that, lol). What's up next for you?

SUZANNE: I have the sequel to A NEED SO BEAUTIUL coming out this summer: A WANT SO WICKED. It’s darker, sexier, and maybe just a touch less sad than the first one. Next spring I’m really excited about my new series—THE PROGRAM—which actually has a new title… stay tuned for that. It’s about a suicide epidemic and the controversial cure that can erase all of your bad memories—only at a heavy price.

KRISTINA: So excited for the new books coming from you! And I can’t wait to read the new Naughty List book. If you want to read it too, buy it now for only $2.99 at Amazon or Smashwords.

Read more about Suzanne on her blog and follow her on twitter @suzanne_young.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Things I Am Doing Instead of Writing

I am WAY distracted this week and even though there are several books tugging at me to come back to them and write, I’m not getting anything done. 

So instead, I will show you what I’m doing this week in pictures:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Speaking at the 2012 Illinois Reading Council Conference

Next week I'll be a featured speaker at the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, IL! I'm getting super excited! Are any of my blog reader planning to attend? I'll be giving presentations from 8-9am, 9:15-10am, and 3-4pm on Thursday, March 15th in the Hilton Embassy Room; autographing from 10:30-11:30am, then reading and autographing with a bunch of other authors in the Hilton Grand Ballroom from 8:30-10:30 pm. Then on Friday, the 16th, I'll be at the Illinois Author and Illustrator Luncheon from 11:45-2:30pm. Looking forward to it!!