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Monday, May 31, 2010

NYC Teen Author Carnival/BEA/2K10 Pictoral!

What a trip! I came home totally brimming with the wonder of meeting so many book lovers and bloggers and other authors (and my wonderful cuz, Karin, who let me stay with her) - and a few pics!

First, there was the Teen Author Carnival, organized the amazing trio of Mitali Dave, Devyn Burton, and Korianne Wey. It was incredibly well done. There were tons of authors I've been hoping to meet, and they were there! Jeri Smith-Ready, Amy Brecount White, Lauren Oliver (Story Secrets), Sarah Darer Littman, Linda Gerber, Michelle Zink, Jon Skovron, and more...plus many, many bloggers I've been dying to meet: Kristi of The Story Siren, Shelli Johannes-Wells of Market My Words, James of BookChic, Steph of Steph Su Reads, S.F. Robertson of Wastepaper Prose, Chelsea of The Page Flipper, Erica of The Book Cellar, Pam of Bookalicio.us, Laura of I'm Booking It, so many more...and...

Sharon Loves Cats! I will always be devoted to Sharon (and owe her litters and litters of adorable kitties) for being the first to read, review, and declare her love for TELL ME A SECRET:

I was on the Love & Heartbreak panel. To my right: Simone Elkeles, Kieran Scott, Susane Colasanti, and Alexandra Diaz's gorgeous hair:

To my left, Sarah Ockler, Kody Keplinger, Elizabeth Scott (Story Secrets) and Gayle Forman (hiding!), and Heidi Kling:

And amazing audience #3!

The asked such fantastic questions, and we laughed a lot about the various forms of relationships in YA. Thanks to all of you for coming!

Then we headed downstairs for signings, and I gave away a ton of my TELL ME A SECRET 2-chapter previews. (I still have a bunch to give away this month!)

But the coolest thing was that when I visited my editor earlier that day, she gave me the very first copy of the very first book (from which I did my very first reading in the TAC panel!). I was quite excited to be holding a real, live copy of my own book, which awesome blogger Reverie Book Reviews captured:

I finally got to meet fellow readergirlz diva/amazing author Elizabeth Scott in person:

Caught up with fellow readergirlz diva/YA queen Melissa Walker:

And met the incomparable Barry Lyga - as smart and funny and nice as you would expect him to be (plus he just blurbed my friend Conrad Wesselhoeft's incredible book, ADIOS, NIRVANA for 10/10):

And the very cool and nice YA author Stephanie Kuenert (kee-nert, I now know!), whose writing I love:

Bravo to Mitali, Devyn, and Korianne for putting together such an incredible event - topped off by getting to go out with a bunch of the authors from the other panels, including Courtney Scheinmel, who I now think is probably a soulmate. I was too shy to say hi to Ned Vizzini (I loved Kind of a Funny Story...hi, Ned!).

The next day (after a very exciting, top-secret meeting with...ack, I'm dying to tell you! Soon...), I headed over to BEA. I forgot to take pics there, but I did do a drive-by of the garment district. Oooh, fabric!

Then there was the wonder-ous event at Books of Wonder (my new favorite NYC haunt) with the Class of 2K10! Check them out!

Here was the blow-your-socks-off 2K10 Roster:

ALEXANDRA DIAZ - Of All the Stupid Things
KITTY KESWICK - Freaksville
JANET FOX - Faithful
BONNIE J DOERR - Island Sting
JAME RICHARDS - Three Rivers Rising
SHARI MAURER - Change of Heart
LEAH CYPESS - Mistwood
IRENE LATHAM - Leaving Gee's Bend
RHONDA HAYTER - The Witchie Worries of Abbie Adams
ERICA PERL - Vintage Veronica
DENISE JADEN - Losing Faith

I was really excited to see my old friend Swati Avasthi (see her SPLIT Story Secrets here):

And fellow Circle of Secrets gal Jennifer Hubbard and her sizzling debut (Story Secrets here):

And(!) my dear and FAITHFUL friend Janet Fox (Story Secrets here):

And I snapped an adorable shot of Mitali from the Teen Author Carnival, who has to be one of the most brilliant and book-loving gals around. I told her when it was time for letters of recommendation, there will probably be 30 authors lined up to give her one!

It was especially cool to meet Shari Maurer, Denise Jaden, and Irene Latham, who I ended up hanging out with quite a bit. And all of the women in this post should join GLOP (Gorgeous Ladies of Publishing) stat!

On Wednesday, I headed to HarperMedia Studio, where I was interviewed for a video by my editor! They matted me up and chatted sci-fi and books and were quite patient with my lack of media savvy. The final product will soon be available at my HarperTeen site.

I loved meeting all of you and celebrating successes and YA admiration. That was the best part!

Tomorrow: Lots of TELL ME A SECRET happenings all throughout launch month...

Story Secrets: ETERNAL winner

Thanks to everyone who helped me welcome author Cynthia Leitich Smith last week to discuss ETERNAL, now available in paperback and which debuted on the NYT bestseller list!

If you haven't already, check out Cynthia's amazing industry blog for Children's and YA at Cynsations and drop her a line.

And now for the ETERNAL winner...

One copy of ETERNAL goes to...


Congratulations, YA Vampire Books!

Plus we're gearing up for an entire month of secrets for the TELL ME A SECRET launch in June...come back tomorrow for more details!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Story Secrets: DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS by C.J. Omololu + Giveaway!

It's very exciting (and I do feel a bit secretive) to be talking with DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS author C.J. Omololu (known in the blogosphere as Cynjay, or Cythia). DLS was a Borders Original Voices selection and has been garnering lots of buzz. PLUS we have a copy to give away!

When Cyn and I realized, along with Jenn Hubbard, that we all had secrets to share in our 2010 debuts, we formed the Circle of Secrets...

So I'm very excited to get to chat with Cyn about her own novel secrets - welcome, Cyn!


In DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, a girl finds her mother dead in their hoarded home. As she’s spent her entire life trying to keep the hoarding a secret, she has to decide how far she’ll go to keep the secrets safe. The book takes place over less than 24 hours, and leads her to the only logical conclusion in the end. Despite how dark it sounds, I like to think of it as a hopeful story, of one girl who finally stands up and takes charge. And there’s a little romance, just because.

Holly: Hoarding is such a fascinating topic - what sparked the idea for DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS?

I was on an airplane, which is the only place I usually get to read “girl” magazines. I read an article about hoarding in Marie Claire and thought that it would make an interesting story. I’ve known some hoarders in my life, although I didn’t grow up like Lucy did, so it was fairly easy to picture the setting. I ended up doing some research with the woman that was featured in the story purely by accident. It wasn’t until later that I realized that my original inspiration came from her.

Holly: I have a neighbor who is a hoarder, and I always wonder what it must be like for her. How did you get into Lucy's head and portray the story so vividly?

I got really involved in the hoarding community. Three women from the website Children of Hoarders helped me immensely and I learned everything I could about the disorder. Shortly after I turned in my final draft to the publisher, A&E started running their hit series Hoarders, so now the subject is much more at the forefront.

Holly: In a way, it's good timing that hoarding is now more in the public consciousness, even though it can take years to write a novel. How long did it take you to write, and did it evolve as you revised?

The first draft only took three months, which is pretty short for me. I revised with my agent and then with my editor, but the editorial revisions were really pretty minor. The biggest evolution came about the ending. I was originally going to end the story completely differently, but one of my hoarding “experts” suggested the book end the way it does now. Basically, she insisted. I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but at first I was horrified and said no. It took all three of my experts to finally convince me that this was the only possible way that Lucy’s story could end. Luckily, my publisher was on board with it.

Holly: Have your own experiences helped you tell Lucy's story?

I didn’t start writing until a few years ago and originally I felt like I’d wasted a lot of time. Now though, I think that if I’d started writing earlier, I wouldn’t have had much to say. I’ve spent decades listening and learning about people from all walks of life and I think that helps me to visualize my story as I write. I’ve done a lot of things in my life – I’ve stayed in Scotland, Australia, Texas and San Francisco, ridden motorcycles, had about a million roommates and dated a lot of boys in bands ;) all before I finally settled down, got married and had kids. I’m one of those writers who sees a movie in my head and just basically transcribes what is happening. Writing to me is more like acting, except I act everything out inside rather than on a stage. My biggest fear is that one day the movie in my head will go dark, but so far, so good.

Holly: That's exactly how I see stories! Like a movie - I even say the lines as I'm writing (until now, I thought that was pretty odd...maybe it still is!). So are there any secrets you're willing to share?

Um…writing secrets or regular secrets? I have a tattoo that most people never see, and if the next book sells I’m going to get another one. I don’t recommend anyone get a tattoo before the age of 35. Not for any reason other than something you pick when you’re 20 will undoubtedly look stupid by the time you’re 40. Take my word on that one.

Holly: What’s up next for you?

I’m in love with my next project which is completely different from DLS. I always said I’d never write a paranormal and I’d never write a series. Turns out, you should never say never...


Thank you, Cyn!


Cyn has generously offered a copy of DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS to one lucky commenter! Just leave a comment below telling us a) why you'd love to read DLS, b) if you've ever hidden something important from your friends, or c) what you'd do if you had to choose between revealing a terrible secret and saving someone you love.

As usual, the contest closes on Monday at 5pm PST. Be sure to include a way to contact you, and good luck!

Check out this cool book trailer:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NYC Flash

I'm still in NYC today, doing some very exciting and secret stuff at Harper Media Studios... (wish me luck!)

A huge Thank You(!) to everyone who came out to the Teen Author Carnival, BEA, and Books of Wonder - your support for me and TELL ME A SECRET is breathtaking and incredible and I am full of gratitude.

We'll announce the winner of Cynthia Leitich Smith's ETERNAL on Monday...

Safe travels, everybody!

(photo by joiseyshowaa)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TELL ME A SECRET giveaway - last chance!

That's right, comment on today's post or any Tuesday post in May for a chance to win...

2-chapter Sneak preview TELL ME A SECRET booklet
Magnets (handmade by me!)
Music that inspired TMAS (Splashdown! Universal Hall Pass! Symbion Project!)

(At left, cute new button designed by sweetheart)


An advance copy of TELL ME A SECRET!


Ok, so now that the contest stuff is over, I have a few updates:

Cynthia posted an amazing review of TMAS, 5 of 5 stars - thank you, Cynthia!

S.F. Robertson is still running her very cool author insights series, in which she kindly asked me to participate! (Thank you, S.F.!)

Jennifer Wolf read the first two chapters of TMAS and said, "These chapters sucked me in, intrigued me, and in short did all of the things that first pages should." She wrote more about intriguing beginnings here. (Thank you, Jennifer!)


Next week: big news for TMAS, and winners announced! Plus more chances to win the book and other swag throughout June...

Monday, May 24, 2010

NYC: Teen Author Carnival, BEA, and Books of Wonder!

I'm in NYC right now! Here's what's up:

Monday, May 24th, 5-8pm, Jefferson Market Branch Library
425 Avenue of the Americas (at 10th St.)
New York, NY 10011-8454

Devyn Burton, Mitali Dave, and Korianne Wey have put together a most incredible event, with 25 amazing YA authors - including Melissa Walker, Elizabeth Scott, Lauren Oliver, and me!

I'll have lots of sneak previews and swag...

Tuesday, May 25th, all day

Jacob K. Javitz Center

I'll be at BEA all day tomorrow - rumor has it there will be ARCs of TELL ME A SECRET, and I will be armed and dangerous with a Sharpie!

YA Author Book Bash, featuring the Class of 2k10, 6pm
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

The Class and other YA authors will read, sign, and promote book mayhem, and I'll have more TMAS goodies with me!


And don't forget...we're giving away tons of prizes, swag, and one ARC of TELL ME A SECRET this month right here on the blog - all you have to do is comment on any Tuesday post in May for chances to win! (Following is super nice but not required - and please include a way to contact you.) Prize winners will be announced in June!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One month until TELL ME A SECRET!


Want to count down with me...?

Friday, May 21, 2010

DIY Friday: BEA fashion show

Ok, so I am not a shopping girl - I'd rather be home writing in my jeans...but a girl has to get dressed to go to BEA, right?

So I documented the experience. There's the Cat Girl dress (funny, I didn't notice the cats until I put it on):

Green dress...maybe?

Grey...off-the-shoulder action...hmmm...

This has potential:

Oooh, I like this one:

Are you going to BEA? What do people wear to these things?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Story Secrets: ETERNAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith + Giveaway!

I'm very excited to welcome author Cynthia Leitich Smith to the blog today to chat about ETERNAL, now available in paperback and which debuted on the NYT bestseller list! Congrats, Cynthia!

Cynthia is not only a popular and beloved YA author, but she is a champion of literature. She runs a fabulous industry blog for Children's and YA at Cynsations - definitely worth a few hours of fascination!

Welcome, Cynthia!


ETERNAL (Candlewick 2009, 2010) is the story of shy, quiet Miranda, who dreams of being an actress but withers on stage, and Zachary, the guardian angel whose job it is to watch over her. When Miranda’s life is in danger, Zachary breaks the rules and shows himself, unintentionally triggering events that result in a far worse fate for “his girl,” becoming “adopted” by the vampire king.

This Gothic fantasy novel is two parts love story and one part political thriller. It takes place in a multi-creature verse that includes not only angels and vampires, but also various kinds of shape-shifters.

I love to hear the stories behind the story – from where did the idea for ETERNAL come?

ETERNAL is part of a larger series, which debuted with TANTALIZE (Candlewick, 2007, 2008), and the two casts will crossover in BLESSED, which picks up where TANTALIZE leaves off.

The books are largely inspired by Bram Stoker’s DRACULA and Joss Whedon’s “Buffy: the Vampire Slayer” and incorporate a number of classic themes, including gender-power dynamics.

As for the idea of ETERNAL specifically, I wanted to show a different part of my fictional world than readers met in TANTALIZE, which deals with more everyday characters—high school students, their vice principal, restaurant workers, university professors, a wedding planner, etc. So in ETERNAL, we go to the hierarchy on both sides—the vampire royalty and the angels who fight on the side of “the Big Boss.”

As a character, Miranda came to me fairly easily, and in some ways reflects my own inner teen. I too longed to be involved in school theater and was somewhat (albeit unintentionally) overshadowed by a darling and dynamic best friend. Miranda also probably has the strongest arc—most growth and change—of any of my characters to date.

Zachary was more problematic. He started off as a completely different character, an elf named Topher. But he skewed too innocent, which gave the book a “younger” feeling than its age 14+ market niche.

My editorial team suggested trying an angel instead—one with a sword, they said. That resonated with me, and so I started completely over.

Looking back, it was one of the best suggestions I’ve ever had. Zachary is one of my most popular characters and will be appearing in future books.

Have any favorite books have inspired you and your writing?

All of my life, I’ve been an avid reader. I was extraordinarily shy as a young child, an only child, and my family was on a tight budget. Library books were among my best and most reliable friends. So, definitely reading—the conversation of books over time--has had a huge influence on me.

When it came time for me to write fantasy, I really did my homework. I studied the preceding Gothic YAs, like BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause and THIRSTY by M.T. Anderson.

I poured through the classic literature—not only DRACULA, but all the way back to the short story writers who influenced Stoker.

And I took a look at the mythologies surrounding vampires and shape-shifters from around the world, the role of angels or other messengers in various faith traditions, and so on.

The idea is to pay tribute, to honor what has come before, and put in the thought and care necessary to in some small way advance the body of literature, to make a fresh contribution.

Beyond that, I’m highly inspired by places. All of my books and most of my short stories are set in places that I’ve lived. It’s not that writers can’t do the research necessary to employ whatever setting they choose, it’s simply that, for me, this is how story comes.

For example, there’s a scene in ETERNAL where Zachary gets turned around on the El and ends up in Chinatown. I flew to Chicago in February and took every step he took. I gobbled down the “same” egg roll. I caught the “same” cab.

Everyone loves to hear about writing process - what is yours?

I do something that absolutely horrifies a lot of beginning writers. I draft out the whole novel, print it, read it, delete the file, and then throw the draft away.

The purpose of the rough draft, at least for me, is simply to explore. I get to know the characters and world. The exercise greatly informs future drafts, but its initial result is usually fairly shaky, nothing I’d want to build the final book on.

Do you talk with anyone about your ideas as you are writing, or do you keep them top secret?

I sometimes brainstorm with my very cute husband and sometimes co-author, Greg Leitich Smith. (We published a recent short story together, “The Wrath of Dawn,” which appeared in GEEKTASTIC: STORIES FROM THE NERD HERD, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown, 2009)). He’s also my first reader.

But I’m not the type to publicly discuss the details of my works in progress; they’re pretty changeable anyway.

Have your ETERNAL characters been inspired by anyone you know?

Occasionally, a character will emerge who’s something of a composite of a number of folks I’ve known. Nora from ETERNAL is someone like that. She’s an older lady—the chef at the castle, nurturing, likes to treat trouble with a hot meal, and is always willing to listen. She’s a tribute of sorts to my grandmothers and aunties.

Beyond that, ETERNAL is very much a story about redemption and second chances. I think that’s something we can all relate to.


I love stories about redemption - they capture my heart like no other. Thank you, Cynthia!

We have one copy of ETERNAL to give to a lucky commenter - just leave a comment below about a) why you'd love to read ETERNAL, b) whether you believe in angels, or c) if you were to write an urban fantasy, where it would take place!

Since I'll be in NYC next week for TAC, BEA, and BoW, the contest CLOSES NEXT FRIDAY at 5pm PST, please leave a way to contact you.

Readers, check out the cool ETERNAL trailer:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Story Secrets: FAITHFUL winner

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to give an enthusiastic cheer for my faraway friend and fellow 2K10 debut author, Janet Fox!

Janet's beautiful historical novel sweeps through the wilds of Yellowstone and is sure to capture you. And...we have one copy to give away!

The prize goes to...

*****Mrs. DeRaps!******

Congratulations, Mrs. DeRaps! And thanks to everyone for stopping by and supporting Janet and me. :)

Story Secrets readers, our secrets on Thursday will come from a different time, different place, and even different genre - get ready to welcome Cynthia Leitich Smith, who is stopping by to discuss ETERNAL...

rgz LIVE! chat tonight with Lisa Yee

Join us tonight at the readergirlz blog for a live chat with Lisa Yee, author of ABSOLUTELY MAYBE! It's sure to be hilarious, maybe even with a guest appearance from Peepy.

It all starts at 6pm PST/9pm EST. See you there!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

She loved it! + more chances to win TELL ME A SECRET!

The biggest news this week is that I'm going to NYC next week for the Teen Author Carnival, BEA, and the 2k10 event at Books of Wonder! (schedule here)

Are you dying to know about my exhilirating and tragic high school love affair, the one that made me abandon teen romance and instead write dark short stories and poetry? You're in luck - the very lovely Mitali from Alley of Books, and co-planner of the Teen Author Carnival, invited me to speak on the My Teenage Love panel at the TAC. (I think I might still have some of those love notes...)

And...Mitali (@AlleyofBooks) loved the book! She sent me a screen shot of her tweets (used with permission):


Speaking of BEA, Dark Faerie Tales just interviewed me about the trip. Thank you, Angela!

Oooh, and guess what just arrived: TMAS sneak previews!

Woohoo! I'll have armloads with me at the events in NYC.

There are plenty of chances to win sneak previews, swag, and one advance copy of TELL ME A SECRET this month by commenting on any Tuesday post in May! Pass it on!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Teen Author Carnival, BEA, and Books of Wonder!

Next week, we're taking our secrets on the road - at least to the airport, to hop a flight to NYC for several awesome events!

Monday, May 24th, 5-8pm, Jefferson Market Branch Library
425 Avenue of the Americas (at 10th St.)
New York, NY 10011-8454

Devyn Burton, Mitali Dave, and Korianne Wey have put together a most incredible event, with 25 amazing YA authors - including Melissa Walker, Elizabeth Scott, Lauren Oliver, and me!

Tuesday, May 25th, all day
Jacob K. Javitz Center

I'll be at BEA all day Tuesday - rumor has it there will be ARCs of TELL ME A SECRET, and I will be armed and dangerous with a Sharpie!

YA Author Book Bash, featuring the Class of 2k10, 6pm
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

The Class and other YA authors will read, sign, and promote book mayhem!


I'll be carrying armloads of TELL ME A SECRET preview booklets, bookmarks, music, handmade magnets (made by me!) and more!

And don't forget...we're giving away tons of prizes, swag, and one ARC of TELL ME A SECRET this month - all you have to do is comment on any Tuesday post in May for chances to win! (Following is super nice but not required - and please include a way to contact you.) Prize winners will be announced in June!

Friday, May 14, 2010

DIY Friday: rainbow bookshelf

I just think this looks really cool:

Someday...when the husband is out of town...he just might come home to the happy hues of beloved books...

Would you organize your books by color?

(Photo by chotda, see the artist's photostream here.)

And here's another friend, Jaime Temairik, who rainbows her books. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Story Secrets: FAITHFUL by Janet Fox + Giveaway!

A warm welcome to my faraway friend and fellow 2K10 debut author, Janet Fox!

Even though Janet and I have not met in person (not yet - but there's BEA right around the corner!), we have become fast friends. And I am very excited to introduce you to FAITHFUL, which releases today! And we have a copy to give away!

Welcome, Janet!


FAITHFUL is my debut novel. It’s YA historical fiction set in 1904, with romance and mystery and a unique setting – Yellowstone National Park. I’m most excited about the way that the setting, with its deadly yet spectacular hot springs, geysers, and animals, acts as a metaphor for the novel and the experiences of my protagonist, Maggie Bennet.

FAITHFUL is such a romantic story, and also a family story. Did it come from life?

My husband and I met and fell in love in the mountains of Montana not far from Yellowstone. Years later, when I began writing and shortly after my mom died, I began to think about what Yellowstone meant to me, and Maggie and her story were born.

Jeff and I were on a hike, and I stopped as said, “What if I wrote….?” And that he let me talk through the first ideas for the story. What a guy. No wonder it’s a romance!

Did the writing of FAITHFUL take you anywhere unexpected?

Oh, yes. It helped me come to terms with my mother’s untimely death. And writing and revising the novel helped shape me as a writer. The years I spent shaping FAITHFUL also shaped me.

What can you tell us about your writing process?

It took me almost two years to write FAITHFUL – but then, it was my first novel. I went through any number of drafts, and the story evolved but didn’t change much. The most profound change came after a generous critique by an agent, after which I wrote the draft that caught the eye of Alyssa Eisner Henkin, the agent who signed me in January, 2006. She guided me through even more revisions until we reached what she deemed a publishable work.

I’m all about digging deeper to find truth – how have your life experiences helped you get to the heart of your story?

Oh, I love this question! I’m a grad student right now at Vermont College, and we are all about digging deeper. It’s become my life goal, to dig as deep as I can. I’m not sure I’m there yet. You know, we all have these layers of protection – what we surround ourselves with day in and out to keep from feeling pain. An artist’s job is to peel away the layers and expose the raw interiors. My mother’s death was critical to my emergence as an artist. I’m still trying to protect myself from that pain; we’ll see if I can let it go – I hope so!

Any secrets you might be willing to share?

Hmm. Read FAITHFUL. It’s all there. If you look, you’ll find it.


Wonderful, Janet - thank you!

Here's the FAITHFUL trailer:


We have one copy of FAITHFUL to give to a lucky commenter - just leave a comment below about a) why you'd love to read FAITHFUL, b) some wild romantic thing that has happened to you, or c) an adventure you would love to have! Contest closes on Monday at 5pm PST, please leave a way to contact you.

And if you're following Janet on her FAITHFUL tour, don't forget to visit her next stop at The Book Butterfly. Happy reading and writing!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Absolutely Maybe Roundtable

Since Lisa Yee's ABSOLUTELY MAYBE is the featured read over at readergirlz this month, I got together with Little Willow and HipWriterMama to discuss Maybe's journey, crazy names, taco trucks, and best friends. Here's a sneak peek of our discussion:

Little Willow: Maybe's full name is Maybelline Mary Katherine Mary Ann Chestnut, "named for two Miss Americas and her mother Chessy's favorite brand of mascara." Do you think her name suited her?

HipWriterMama: The name tells us so much about Maybe's mother, Chessy, and her dreams for her daughter. Does it suit Maybe? Not in the beginning. But, as the story develops, Maybe starts to grow into her name and develops poise and optimism.
Little Willow: The saying for the mascara brand Maybelline is: "Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline." I suppose you could say about our protagonist, "Maybe, she's born with it. Maybe, she's Maybelline." If you had her name, what would you go by?
Holly Cupala: I think Maybe is a perfect name, very much suited to her character and dilemma. Me...I think I might have gone by May, though perhaps that's prejudice because I have a character named May (next book). Other variations: Bella, Lina... Lina is pretty, too. Although Maybe is infused with possibilities - and hope.

HWM: At first, I wasn't sure about the name Maybe, but it speaks volumes on what Maybe thought of herself. I'm with Holly...Lina is a pretty name.
Little Willow: I like the sound of Lina. I've known some Lenas and Melinas, but never a Lina. I think that Maybe's nickname fits her well. What name do you think her mom would have given a son?
HWM: Tough question, LW! Maybe a combination of some designer or actor names?

Little Willow: James Dean Rock Hudson Chesnut, perhaps?
Holly Cupala: Ha, Little Willow - I was going to say Dylan James Dean Hilton!

Little Willow: Maybe is not the only person with an interesting name in this book; there's also Hollywood and Thammasat Tantipinichwong Schneider, also known as Tad. Out of all of Maybe's friends, who was your favorite? Why?

Read the rest at Little Willow's blog!