Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Featured in FIRST Magazine!


I'm so happy about this one - I've written before about my love of shelter/homemaking magazines; for many years they were weekly reads for me. To this day I pick them up frequently in the grocery store, and I find the features on family cooking and the home to be very soothing, even though - or perhaps especially because - my life currently has very little room for these pursuits.

I still remember when FIRST magazine appeared on the stands - glossy, friendly, eyecatching. This week, in a feature called "7 Paperbacks We're Reading Now," FIRST editorial assistant Cassandra Zink says "I laughed from the prologue to the final page of the book, but I also found myself holding my breath when trouble frequently rolled around. It was uplifting, being reminded how strong we women are, especially when it comes to defending those we love."

Can't ask for a better endorsement than that. Thanks, FIRST!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Announcing CLAWBACK!


I am thrilled to share my brother Mike's good news! His book - which I got to read an early draft of, and can assure you is amazing - has sold and will be out for all to read in 2012. I am just overjoyed that we will be on this road together. Here's the report from PM:


Thriller
Best American Mystery and Shamus Award for Short Fiction writer Michael Wiecek's CLAWBACK, featuring a shadowy and charming corporate fixer who is forced to investigate a series of very-public killings of investors in and around Wall Street, to Josh Kendall at Viking, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Heide Lange at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

...and you can read more about Mike here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Raffle Winners

Thanks everyone who followed or posted or showed up for my little book giveaway!!

My winners are Fairie, Julie Carruth, and JessicaScott09 - I'll try to get in touch with you guys now or you can email me at sophie@sophielittlefield.com - - and don't forget to tell me who you want me to make it out to, how you want it signed and where you want it sent and whether you want it gift wrapped or not. Oh, and which book you want!!

A BAD DAY FOR SORRY

A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY

BANISHED

Hope everyone had a great weekend! xo

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Win my BOOKS!

Hey all, I'm back after a couple of months of being buried under deadlines. I woke up this morning ready to rejoin the living and decided to give some books away. I'm really new at this so I don't know if I'm going about it right but - how about this - I'll give away 3 copies of BANISHED or BAD DAY FOR PRETTY or SORRY, your choice, drawing from anyone who follows me on Twitter or Likes my new FB fan page from now until I get home from the SistersInCrime holiday party on Saturday. Or I guess if you already follow those, you could leave a comment here. I'll try real real hard not to drink so much champagne that I can't draw a name out of a hat. :)

I'll sign it to you or, if you rather, I'll send it as a holiday gift for you, signed and gift wrapped for somebody!

Soooooo, here's the links:

Sophie on Twitter

Sophie on Facebook


....P.S. if there's a better way to give stuff away please tell me. I'm going to see if Adam will let me give away an AFTERTIME arc next - very excited about that!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanks, BOOKLIST!


Just got word that BOOKLIST, the review journal of the American Library Association, will be running this review of BANISHED in December. So pleased!!

Banished.
Littlefield, Sophie (Author)
Oct 2010. 304 p. Delacorte, hardcover, $16.99. (9780385738521).
Hailey has been an outsider her whole life—at school, in town, and even in her home, where her drug dealing grandmother neglects and mistreats her. But never before has being different meant being in danger for her life. After Hailey starts registering strange feelings and compulsions, a mysterious aunt suddenly appears and explains the magnitude of the “gift” that sets her apart. Hailey is a healer and a descendent of an ancient Irish clan now living in the U.S., and her special abilities are attracting large numbers of nefarious pursuers. Some want to use her powers for ethically questionable gains. Some want to kill her. References to Irish folklore, zombies, and disastrous love affairs will appeal to paranormal fantasy fans. Littlefield, who has previously published for the adult market, reveals the details of Hailey’s gift both to Hailey and to readers in well-paced scenes that add up to an intense thriller of life-and-death proportions.
— Hollis Rudiger

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

BANISHED - in Brazil!


Did I forget to tell y'all that a Brazilian outfit is going to publish BANISHED? I did?

Ooops. Sorry. It's been a little crazy around here! That's my first foreign YA sale. Believe it or not, three separate Brazilian teens have written to ask about it already, which makes me feel kind of glow-y and pleased.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bouchercon Report - and ANTHONY award!



I have exciting news - I received an Anthony award for Best First Novel yesterday at Bouchercon for A BAD DAY FOR SORRY!!






It was incredible - everything from standing in front of 4,000,000 people (well, it felt that way anyway) and blubbering into the microphone...

accepting the award from local friend Eddie Muller (who I was so nervous about meeting several years ago that I babbled "I uh wrote uh a book")...

standing next to (hold onto your hats) *Louise Penny* as well as my friends Bryan Gruley and Hank Phillipi Ryan, all of whom are crazy talented...

everyone coming up and hugging me after (probably the best part) to Cornelia actually *crying* (oh yes she did)...

getting to share the moment with my agent, editor, *AND* publicist - yup all three of my ladies were right there with me. Thanks, Barbara and Toni and Sarah. I hope I remembered to say it.

Of course, right after Barbara tried to run off with the award....



Yikes, would you look at the time? I was going to post my pix here but I think I'll just go throw them on Facebook. (Would love it if you'd stop by - I have a new fan page!

Here's one special shot, though: my Poker Club. We got together a few years ago, five terrific crime writers and one newly-hatched wannabe (that would be me) and we had a grand old time. Still do, except that two of us have moved away...so it was a really amazing experience to have everyone back in one place.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mike's in the Year's Best!


Here's a book that's a no-brainer to pick up. Penzler's got an undisputable eye for short fiction, and one could do a heck of a lot worse than Lee Child for a guest editor. But the very best thing about this collection - at least in this humble writer's opinion - is that my very own brother Mike Wiecek has a story in it!

Here's me and Mike at the Edgars earlier this year.

His story is called "The Shipbreaker," and it first appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in the March/April '09 issue.

If you don't want to take my word for it, here's the reviews on the 2010 Year's Best:

"This collection is sure to please mystery fans as well as those who enjoy short stories"--Library Journal
"The 20 short stories in the 14th edition of this “best of” series offer a wider variety than some of its predecessors...While this volume contains relatively few household names, the quality certainly doesn’t suffer as a result."--Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"Penzler’s foreword...in favor of an eclectic mix of tales that exhibit crime in all its varieties in every corner of the world—and then some."--Kirkus Reviews

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stella's Headed for FIRST Magazine


Sarah Melnyk over at St. Martin's Press is a goddess among publicists. She's been doing an amazing job of finding readers for my Stella books, and today she bowled me over with this news: A BAD DAY FOR SORRY is going to be a December Editor's Pick in the December issue of FIRST magazine.

This is one of those sparkly dream-come-true moments for me, and not just because FIRST reaches over a million American women every month.

Back around the time my son was born (yes, that would be the boy who will be eighteen in a few weeks) I wrote for magazines. I've told this story before, but it bears repeating for any newcomers who've recently come to the campfire, especially writers. I bought myself a copy of Lisa Collier Cool's HOW TO WRITE IRRESISTIBLE QUERY LETTERS (still available - a classic that I recommend for anyone who wants to write for consumer magazines).

I had decided that I would send fifty queries before giving up. In one of those weird coincidences that litter my writing journey, I got all the way to fifty before I received a "yes" - and in another weird coincidence, it was for a parenting article for a now-defunct publication called EAST BAY KIDS. Living in Chicago at the time, I had never heard of the East Bay, the name for the suburbs east of San Francisco - but now I live there!

Anyway, I kept writing and kept querying. I wanted to make my way into the top women's magazines including Redbook and Women's Day and Family Circle...and FIRST, which at the time was a fairly new magazine, one which blended the sensible advice of its established sisters with a punchy new layout.

I never met that goal, but not for a lack of trying. Somewhere around here, I have the stacks of rejection letters from those years. I came close a few times (encouraging rejections from REDBOOK and COSMOPOLITAN), but eventually I was spending more and more time writing fiction and I put the magazine writing on the back burner, where it languishes to this day.

In 1995, if you told me that one day my name would grace the pages of FIRST, I would have been overjoyed. But to be featured there as the author of a novel? Now that's a dream come true.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What To Do With Six Bucks?

I have to warn you I totally ripped this post off from my friend Daisy. The way it started was, I was bored and exhausted the other night so instead of working like i was supposed to, I was tweeting stream-of-consciousness - really not what one's editors mean by "developing a social media presence." And I put it out there that I am obsessed with this product which I read about in Junior's Seventeen magazine:



and I said "there are worse ways to spend six bucks" 'cause we all know that a decent set of acrylics is gonna set you back fifty bucks. So then Daisy, who never sleeps, says she knows worse ways to spend six bucks and bam-bam-bam she tweeted three of them, all pure genius.

So without further ado, since Friday may well be your payday, here are three terrible ways to spend six bucks on your way to the check-cashing store/happy hour establishment:

OXO shrimp tool - $5.99

Marie-Antoinette-as-cat limited edition print, $6.00

Dog football uniform, $11.99

Okay that last one was nearly twice the price, but I think it should be included for sheer horribleness. I mean, look at that poor dog's expression. It just wants to crawl under the table and die of shame.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oooh, Pretty Booklist Ad!


I just found out that Delacorte has included BANISHED in an ad they are running in Booklist, which is the magazine of the American Library Association. See my little cover, there on the upper right? Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to get a better image. But I'm pleased as all get out - it would be amazing for BANISHED to make its way into some school libraries...

I volunteered in the school library when my kids were little. This was long before I had a publishing contract, but I was writing, and I remember thinking how cool it would be to see a book of mine on the shelves some day...

oh and P.S. - aren't these covers gorgeous? I can't tell if it's bragging to say that my publisher kicks cover ass. If it is, I apologize, but wow have they got some talent over there. I especially love the FALLEN and TORMENT covers. They're just so....Evanescence. (I listened to a fair amount of Evanescence while I was writing BANISHED).


Have you seen the TORMENT book trailer? I don't care what your stance on trailers is, it's hard not to be captivated by that one.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Discount Noir!! ...'cause i heart WalMart

You guys know Patti Abbott, right? Wait, a few of you aren't raising your hands. Let me introduce you - Patti's a friend of mine who writes great dark, gritty short fiction (you'll love her, Mysti) and an amazing blog that is so much more than a, y'know, blog in the sense that *this* thing is a blog....blah blah blah, just take a look and see what I mean. Patti is SMART.

Anyway she and Steve Weddle, who appears to be really cool so far though our friendship is still in the "virtual" stage, have put together this anthology with a great hook: it's all about WalMart. Yeah, every story is set in or includes a reference to WalMart. It's a fact that every single one of my books so far contains a reference to WalMart - that should prove the depth of my relationship with the place. It's a complicated relationship, probably a little unstable...the rest of my family HATES the place and won't shop there, on moral grounds, but to me, merely the memory of the smell (Milk Duds, calico sizing and old popcorn) is enough to make me feel, well, happy and optimistic. WalMart, in my scrappy childhood, was my mecca, my place of plenty.

Anyway, enough about me, this post is supposed to be about Patti, Steve, and the book, which will be released by Untreed Reads.

Untreed Reads is very happy to announce that thanks to our partnership with Stacia J.N. Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency, Untreed Reads will be the ebook publisher for a new short mystery anthology tentatively titled Discount Noir. The anthology consists of super short/flash murder and mayhem centered around a very Wal-Mart/Target-esque backdrop.

The anthology contains works by: Patricia Abbott, Sophie Littlefield, Kieran Shea, Chad Eagleton, Ed Gorman, Cormac Brown, Fleur Bradley, Alan Griffiths, Laura Benedict, Garnett Elliot, Eric Beetner, Jack Bates, Bill Crider, Loren Eaton, John DuMond, John McFetridge, Toni McGee Causey, Jeff Vande Zande, James Reasoner, Kyle Minor, Randy Rohn, Todd Mason, Byron Quertermous, Sandra Scoppettone, Stephen D. Rogers, Steve Weddle, Evan Lewis, Daniel B. O’Shea, Sandra Seamans, Albert Tucher, Donna Moore, John Weagly, Keith Rawson, Gerald So, Dave Zeltserman, Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen, Jay Stringer, Anne Frasier, Kathleen A. Ryan, Eric Peterson, Chris Grabenstein and J.T. Ellison. The anthology was edited by Patricia Abbott and Steve Weddle.

Look for this title to be released in late September/early October.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

BANISHED - one month away!


My first young adult novel, BANISHED, comes out one month from today. I love this book and I can't wait to have it in the hands of readers - but perhaps because it's very close to my heart, I'm also a little nervous.

Anyone who knows me knows that my world revolves around my kids. At 15 and 17, they are right smack in the target age range for my book - but they haven't read it. I understand why - I was the same way when my own dad published book after book as I was growing up. I needed him to be my Dad, not an author, not a pundit (he wrote books about legal history) - and I didn't want to "go looking" for him between the lines of the text. That may not be an adequate explanation - it's something I feel, rather than something I can enunciate. Anyway, it doesn't bother me a bit that my kids - while they are excited and happy for me - don't feel the need to open the cover.

As for any other readers out there - that's a different story. I want you to love the cover (I do). I want you to be intrigued by the first line ("Waking up hurt.") I want you to care about the characters and what happens to them. I hope you find a sentence or two that makes you go "oh!"

I'm going to be pretty busy this fall with a couple of deadlines and family stuff, and so I haven't been able to do as many appearances and signings as I would like to. All I can do is stand at the door, like the parent of a kindergardner that I once was, and watch my little bundle toddle out into the world - full of hopes and best wishes and maybe a prayer or two.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lovely Review from Crimespree


This one is special indeed, because the members of the Crimespree gang feel like old friends (that's Ruth and Jon Jordan in the picture)...


A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY
Sophie Littlefield
June, 2010
Minotaur Books

Stella Hardesty is back, and in a big way. Sophie Littlefield’s debut novel A BAD DAY FOR SORRY garnered much buzz and every possible award nomination. A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY FIRMLY establishes her as a new brand of writer. Stella is a new and unique female protagonist. Her small town setting and day job running a sewing store on main street may suggest cozy but her hard-boiled attitude towards any human who’d lay a hand on another makes this series one that keeps the reader turning pages.

The book starts with both a twister and a twist. Stella’s new found relationship with Sheriff “Goat” Brown is about to get even more complicated as a third individual adds even more baggage to a pair we’re already cheering on. But it’s the unearthing of a body as a result of the tornado that propels this story forward. A woman’s body has been found and the main suspect is someone Stella has dealt with in the past.

Can she prove that Neb Donovan did not commit this cold case of a murder?

It’s a joy when a new writer holds you’re attention from beginning to end. It’s a treat when she has something so new to say.

A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY; entertainment, the mystery way.

- Ruth Jordan

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Day Off

I'm not very good at leisure.

This was true even before I started writing all the time. I've never been able to sit still for long, and I'm perplexed by the notion of relaxing in a lawn chair or on a beach or hammock or couch. I'm fidgety and distractible and I just need to get up and do stuff.

But lately I've been working a little too hard and coming a little bit uncomfortably close to burnout. It was time to step away from the keyboard, and luckily it was also time, today, for one of my very favorite traditions - the summer's-end Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk trip we've been taking for over a decade.

The first time we did this, Junior was too little to ride any but the baby rides and we had to watch T-wa like a hawk around the water because, at six, he was more enthusiastic than cautious. Today, T-wa - still more enthusiastic than cautious - drove us all down to Santa Cruz and Sal, officially taller than me at 5' 9.5", was plenty big enough for all the rides. Beloved Auntie K came along, so poor T-wa had to deal with three adults backseat driving.

One of us thinks it's warm enough to swim - one of us doesn't

Some things haven't changed at all. T-wa still has to get in the water first thing, even though it was cold enough that I was wearing mittens on the beach. (I've learned, after all these years, to pack tons of layers.) Everyone is allowed to eat all the junk food they want and the evening must end with fried cheese, more a curiosity than a delicacy, even though everyone is required to take at least a nibble (even Auntie K, who was feeling very nauseous after all those rides). Speaking of rides, I go on every single one and so does Junior. She and I have iron constitutions for this sort of thing. Everyone else gets queasy on the spinny ones, while we just wish they would go faster and last longer and do more upside-down scary stuff.

The sky was blue enough to break your heart, the tide pools and distant mountains gorgeous enough to more than make up for all the ticky-tacky, and the sand got in my lip gloss and shoes and hair. The kids said "thank you" and "I love you" a lot. Everyone but the driver fell asleep on the way home.

Auntie K and Junior in the bumper cars

I'll be a new person, a renewed writer, tomorrow when I get back to the task. It may take me a few paragraphs to transition back to the desolate torment in which I left my characters, and I'll take a break when the kids finally stumble out of bed to make chocolate chip pancakes.

I ought to do this more often.

Here's the thing. No one - not even people who love their jobs, cry with happiness because they get to do what they love, live and breathe words as though they were oxygen - no one can do it all the time without coming up for air. Sometimes, I come a little too close for comfort. Other than my kids, I forget to pay attention to life beyond the book. And that's a mistake.

Cleave too close and you stop surprising yourself. Forget to breathe and you'll forget to question, poke, upend, and U-turn as well. Get too enmeshed and you might as well turn in your membership card, 'cause you ain't gonna be writing anything worth reading.

I often take pot shots at people who make the opposite mistake - the ones who never make time for the chair. Now, humbly, I admit that the opposite problem is still a problem. And I pledge to try a little harder to do better. Because life is rich, and I almost missed it. Those garlic fries were worth every greasy bite. Hanging upside down a hundred feet up, screaming all the while, was splendid. And seeing my sister helping my kids grow up...well, yeah, a little teary here. Thanks, Big Guy...it was a good day.

Auntie K, Bob, T-wa and Junior considering what to nosh on first

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A New Deal and an Upbeat Publishing Tale

I'm thrilled and delighted and just plain excited to tell you that I've signed on to do two more young adult books for Delacorte. These will follow BANISHED (October '10) and UNFORSAKEN (October '11), probably in fall '12 and '13. I don't know what they're going to be about yet, and that's actually kind of exciting. There's something sparkly and wonderful about a book that's still just a little thought-cloud, a sense of possibility that's both exhilarating and inspiring.

This deal means even more to me because BANISHED went through a lot of rewriting and revising before we all agreed it was ready. I will be honest with you: I had a lot to learn about writing for young adults when I turned in that first book. When BANISHED comes out in a couple of months, it will be a very different story from what it used to be, and far better: tighter, more focused, more suspenseful, and more compelling.

My wonderful editor, Stephanie Elliott, worked really hard with me through several revisions and I credit her with fixing what was frankly a problematic book. At any point, she could have (and was probably tempted to!) thrown her hands up in despair and pitched the whole project; instead she kept coming back and trying again.

I kind of shiver and feel faint when I think of what might have happened without her help. I shed more than a few tears over this book; I had days when I doubted my ability to make it work. But I didn't give up and neither did Stephanie and neither did Barbara, who was always ready to talk through the latest edits. I am really big on thinking of my books as team projects and it's never been more true than with BANISHED.

The fact that we went on to do a second book together and now look forward to two more is, i think, one of my proudest milestones on my writing journey. It's just one more example of what is, in the end, a simple formula for writing success:

work passionately + love your job + listen to smart people + don't give up = published book you can be proud of

Here's the deal report from Publisher's Marketplace:

Children's: Young Adult
Sophie Littlefield's next two untitled paranormal young adult novels, following her zombie novels BANISHED and UNFORSAKEN, to Stephanie Elliott at Delacorte, in a two-book deal, by Barbara Poelle at Irene Goodman Agency (NA).

RWA Was a Blast (No Thanks to the Mouse)

I got back from Orlando last Tuesday night, but it's taken me a while to get myself sorted out. I think it was the heat. No, the humidity. "It's not the heat, it's the humidity" - a midwesterner's most beloved commentary on summer weather, which is lost on us Californians...

Anyway, I had a great time with my SFRWA friends and also the ones I only get to see at conferences. We got in halfway through the Literacy Signing and hit the ground running and didn't stop. Because I'm now writing for three houses, I had lots of events to attend, which is both pinch-me-please wonderful and a little intimidating. Luckily I had roommates (and friends in a second room that we sort of treated like our own, wandering back and forth all hours of the day and night) to lend me jewelry and critique my makeup and take compromising photos of me (tattoo sleeve and naughty net gloves, anyone?) and bum drink tickets off.

Our hotel made me grumpy. I know it's my issue that bunking in a gated plot of land where you can't escape terrible overpriced food and weirdly-costumed "cast members" and bizarre souvenirs (a mouse-ear colander? really?) makes my skin crawl, but the refusal to vaccuum our floor or bring us towels or give us directions was just plain rude. And the front desk person who made my friend sad? I poxed her, but good.

Enough of that! One of my favorite parts is always cheering for our chapter members who are nominated for Golden Hearts and Ritas. This year Carolyn Jewel was up for two Ritas, and both Grace Chow and Elisa Beatty were up for Golden Hearts. Elisa won!

Here I am with two of my roommates, Juliet Blackwell and Lisa Hughey. We were on our way to the Awards dinner on Saturday. This is the only picture I have with any Disney scenery in the background...probably because I was usually scowling whenever I had to confront MouseWorld. "Have a magical day," indeed. Aw, heck, I'll keep my bitter core to myself...
Me and my agent, Barbara Poelle. We always have more fun together than we're supposed to. I think it's in the AAR bylaws or something.
Here I am with Tawny Weber at the PASIC party. I was a cross-eyed mess by the time I got there after a long schmoozey evening - the only networking I did was to jump in front of a nice lady at the dessert table and take the brownie she had her eye on - but Tawny's the kind of person who can make you feel calm and happy even when you thought you were down to your last nerve.

Here's Susanna Einstein with my friends Rachael Herron and Adrienne Miller. Susanna is Rachael's agent, and she's really smart - I learn stuff every time I talk to her.


Here I am at the Literacy Signing with Carrie Lofty. One fun thing I didn't realize when I did my first signing is that you get to see the same people from time to time, which lends a nice element of stability to an otherwise chaotic and slightly nerve-wracking event. Carrie's funny and smart and fun, and so is my regular Saint Martin's Press signing buddy, Sheila Roberts. (Yeah, I know that "Littlefield" and "Roberts" aren't exactly in alphabetical order...but we like it that way.)

Here's my pal Alex Sokoloff and new friend Louisa Edwards at the St. Martin's signing.


My PensFatales friends - my local gals - my dear ones - aren't they all beautiful?!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Crimespree Nomination

Came back from RWA (will post pix soon) in Orlando to discover some very nice news indeed - A BAD DAY FOR SORRY has been nominated for a Crimespree award!

Big thanks to all the folks over at Crimespree who've been so sweet to me since I was a beginning beginner, long before I ever had a publishing contract. They're good people and they knock themselves out to support authors, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Here's the full list. It's especially fun to be up with my friend Jamie Freveletti along with a nice showing from my publisher, St. Martin's/Minotaur.


Favorite Book of 2009:
• Bury Me Deep, by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
• Tower, by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman (Busted Flush Press)
• Trust No One, by Gregg Hurwitz (St. Martin’s Press)
• The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, by Charlie Huston (Ballantine Books)
• The Amateurs, Marcus Sakey (Dutton)

Favorite First Book 2009:
• The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley (Delacorte)
• Running from the Devil, by Jamie Freveletti (Morrow)
• Even, by Andrew Grant (Minotaur)
• A Bad Day for Sorry, by Sophie Littlefield (Minotaur)
• The Ghosts of Belfast, by Stuart Neville (Soho Crime)

Best Book in an Ongoing Series for 2009:
• The Silent Hour, by Michael Koryta (Minotaur)
• Shatter, by Michael Robotham (Doubleday)
• The Shanghai Moon, by S.J. Rozan (Minotaur)
• Walking Dead, by Greg Rucka (Bantam)
• Truth, by Peter Temple (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fight Breast Cancer, Support Jen, Win Cool Stuff



My friend Jennifer Haymore won't be going to RWA National this year. I'm going to miss her - and I'm going to write more on the subject on MurderSheWrites in a couple of weeks, along with my conference report - but for now I just wanted to let everyone know about a raffle that her publisher and agent are doing. I think they're all a total class act since all the proceeds are going to fight breast cancer, but you can win some pretty fantastic prizes too - like a full manuscript review by our agent Barbara Poelle - yes, the whole darn thing - as well as an editorial review, books, and a chance to appear in one of Jen's upcoming novels.

Here's the whole press release:

Forever Books to Raise Money for Breast Cancer in Honor of Author Jennifer Haymore

July 26- Forever Books will hold a raffle at the Romance Writers of America National Convention later this week to raise money for BreastCancer.Org in support of author Jennifer Haymore.

Haymore, author of the forthcoming A Season of Seduction, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer earlier this year. After undergoing a successful surgery, Haymore is responding well to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She has been able to continue writing through her treatments but she’s had to make other adjustments, including missing this year’s Romance Writers of America National Convention.

Haymore’s publisher, Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, is passionate about supporting their author through the disease. Because Haymore is unable to attend the RWA convention, Forever has decided to hold a raffle to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness. 100% of the proceeds will go to www.breastcancer.org , a non-profit organization selected by Haymore, which is dedicated to providing information and community to those touched by this disease.

“Between my family, friends and fans, I have an incredible support system," said Haymore. "However, I know not everyone affected by the disease is as lucky as I am to be surrounded by such love and support, which is why I chose to support BreastCancer.org. The organization has been an invaluable resource, connecting me to others who can relate to my experience.”

The raffle at RWA will consist of four prizes: an editor critique, an agent critique, a character name in one of Haymore’s upcoming books, and a collection of books signed by bestselling romance authors. Tickets will cost $3 for one ticket, or $5 for two, and will be sold throughout the conference. The prize drawing will be held on Saturday, July 30 during the Grand Central Publishing Book Signing (Disney Swan hotel, Southern hemisphere, Salon 1). The drawing will be held at approximately 4:15.

###

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jamie Brings It Home

I'm just back from Thrillerfest in New York City. It was especially exciting because my pal Jamie Freveletti won Best First Novel for her book RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL. I'm incredibly excited for her, but I have to admit that my favorite part of the event was helping her figure out which shoes to wear to the awards dinner:



This may make me seem a little superficial, but hang in there with me for a minute: Jamie was one of three women to walk away with top awards, and I think that's something to celebrate. I'm happy to see the women of the thriller writing community winning big - especially in a year when some of the Lists with a capital 'L' were a little thin on ladies. (NOT all the Lists, so don't get your panties in a bunch.) So heck yeah it seemed like an occasion for sassy silver shoes. Oh, and a great dress. Here's Jamie with our agent Barbara Poelle and me:



Here are the rest of the winners:

Best Hard Cover Novel:
THE NEIGHBOR, Lisa Gardner

Best Paperback Original Novel:
THE COLDEST MILE, Tom Piccirilli

Best First Novel:
RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL, Jamie Freveletti

Best Short Story:
A STAB IN THE HEART, Twist Phelan


Meanwhile, Stella's been spotted in the wild, and people have been sending me pictures from all over the country. Thank you to Chantelle Osman for this sighting down in Phoenix:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stella's in PEOPLE!!

There are key moments in a writing career that make you go "Holy S@#T, I think it's really happening."

I've been really blessed by a number of these this year. And here's today's....look down at the bottom of the page near the middle...if you're having trouble seeing it, just go pick up the July 4 issue of People Magazine! :)

And We Have a WINNER!!

Congratulations to Josin L. McQuein! ARCLIGHT, a YA sci-fi, is the winner of the manuscript review by Barbara Poelle! I will be working out the details with Josin via email, but I would like to congratulate her for a riveting first chapter. ARCLIGHT impressed both me and my guest judge with its pacing, intriguing premise, and voice.

I have winners for my raffle prizes, too!! I drew these at random from all the contest entrants:

The winner of the signed copy of A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY is Grace Topping.

The winner of the Stella Hardesty OPI nail polish sampler is Karen Duxbury.

Grace and Karen, please email me at sophie@sophielittlefield.com with your snail mail address so i can mail your prize to you!

Thank you all again for participating in my contest. Let me know if you found it fun and/or useful, and I'll see if I can talk Barbara into doing another one next year! Best wishes to everyone with your writing and querying this summer.

-Sophie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Contest Closed...Semifinalists Announced!

...and so concludes Week Three of our contest, with lots more amazing entries! The judges had a hard time narrowing the choice down to a couple of finalists, and in the end were surprised to find that they chose two entries in the genre - YA Sci-Fi. They are:

Ellen Goodlet, ORIGINS, YA Sci-Fi
Kat, INSTINCT, YA Sci-Fi

Now it's time for the semi-finalists from all three weeks to send their chapters and, if they like, a query letter and/or synopsis. Please send to sophie @ sophielittlefield.com. These will all be read by me, and I reserve the right to get second opinions from my panel of judges :) - - but I must say I'm very much looking forward to reading these.

I will announce our winner next week, on Wednesday June 23rd. I'll announce the raffle winners then too - the winners of the Stella's favorite OPI as well as a copy of A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY (which, incidentally, is getting some very nice reviews - check my web site!)

I'd like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who entered. I sent out over 200 queries before signing with Barbara, so I know exactly what it's like to sweat over a query letter and fine-tune a first page until it feels like it's written on the back of your eyeballs. I salute your bravery, your perseverance, and your fortitude, and I lift a virtual glass in your honor.

- Sophie

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Contest Week Three

Week two is over and we had some incredible entries, and I'll get to our semifinalists in just a second, but first I just have to share some crazy good news: A BAD DAY FOR SORRY was nominated for an Anthony Award and a Macavity Award!

Also, my new book, A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY, was released yesterday. Happy dance!

I want to say a giant kudos to all of you who entered. We're all book people here, and we understand the joys and frustrations in getting the words polished and ready to send. There were many wonderful entries again this week.

Here are this week's semifinalists:

Gayle Feyrer, FLOATS THE DARK SHADOW (Historical Mystery)

B. Light, THE COLLECTED (YA Paranormal)

And now we're on to Week Three. If you did not final, you are welcome to enter again this week with a different manuscript. Semifinalists will be chosen next Wednesday, June 16. Submit your title, genre, and first five lines to be considered for a manuscript critique by agent Barbara Poelle. Complete rules, and other prizes, listed here.

Thank you so much for sharing your work!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Contest Week Two

Week One of the contest has come to an end, and here are the first two semifinalists:

Josin L. McQuein, ARCLIGHT (dark YA fantasy)

Pat Remick, MURDER MOST MUNICIPAL (Traditional/Cozy Mystery)

The semifinalists will be contacted individually on Wednesday, June 16 with instructions on how to send their pages to Sophie for final round judging.

There were so many wonderful entries! The judges would have loved to keep reading many of them. And Daisy, they said that if you have the synopsis/query/30 pages, they'd put you in the semifinals too - apparently you had them at "Larry didn't have tentacles"...

On to Week Two! If you did not final, you are welcome to enter again this week with a different manuscript. Otherwise, please continue to spread the word. The rules are exactly the same as week one. More semifinalists will be chosen next Wednesday, June 9. Just submit your title, genre, and first five lines to be considered for a manuscript critique by agent Barbara Poelle. Complete rules, and other prizes, listed here.

Thank you so much for sharing your work!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CONTEST!

WIN a manuscript critique by agent Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency!

WIN a signed copy of A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY!

WIN Stella’s favorite OPI Nail Polish in “Charged Up Cherry,” “Yes…I Can-Can!” and “I Don’t Do Dishes”!

Are you looking for a literary agent? Need a professional evaluation of your work in process?

Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency will read and critique one winner’s synopsis, query letter, and first thirty pages.

How it works:


• Click “Leave a Comment” below and post the title, genre, and first five sentences of your fiction manuscript in your comment. Email entries will not be accepted; all entries must be made in the comments section of this blog.


• Semifinalists will be selected for each of three weeks. The semifinalists for round one will be posted on the blog on June 2. Round Two will begin on June 2 and semifinalists will be posted on June 9, and Round Three will begin on June 9 and semifinalists will be posted on June 16.
The semifinalists will be invited to send their first chapter and/or synopsis to Sophie.


• One overall winner will be selected on or before June 23. That winner will be invited to send his/her synopsis, query letter, and first thirty pages to Barbara Poelle, who will read it for possible representation.


• If you aren’t a writer but would like to win the signed book or the nail polish sampler, just sign up for my newsletter any time before June 8.

• Questions? Feel free to go to the contact page and send them in. I will respond as quickly as possible.

Example:
Title: A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY
Genre: Mystery
First 5 sentences:
 “This’ll put hair on your chest,” Sheriff Goat Jones said, handing Stella a little spice jar. His legs were so long that his knees brushed against hers under the old pine table, causing a feathery quiver to flutter through her body.

“Hot….pepper flakes,” Stella Hardesty read, squinting at the label, as she accepted the uncapped jar. Her reading glasses were home on the bedside table. She wasn’t planning on needing them tonight.


The fine print:
You must be 18 years of age or older to enter this contest; no purchase necessary; void where prohibited. Judging is subjective, and judges’ names will not be revealed. By entering this contest, you agree to be added to my newsletter list, which is sent out to subscribers quarterly. Personal information and email addresses are kept private and never shared. The semifinalists and winner’s names will be posted on this blog.


Friday, May 21, 2010

She May Have a Gun But Stella's Still a Gal

Next week the paperback version of A BAD DAY FOR SORRY will be out, followed a couple of weeks later by the release of A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY. And to celebrate, I am having a really fun contest. (I'll post details next Wednesday.) The big prize is geared for aspiring authors and just might feature a manuscript review by a certain crazy-good agent...

but there are a couple of other prizes I threw in for fun. One's a signed copy of PRETTY. The other one is really girly. (Guys, hint - if you want to enter, I can guarantee you that a lot of ladies would love to receive this.) It's a collection of OPI nail polish in Stella's three favorite shades.

Yeah, I know Stella's not real, but she lives in my head and over the last few years I have gotten to know her pretty damn well and I can say with authority that she loves OPI. I mean, who wouldn't? It's got the weirdest/greatest shade names in the business, and it stays on better than any other brand.

(Stella's also a big fan of White Diamonds and I guess I could have offered that as a prize, but I gave a little bitty bottle of it to my first publicist and she reported that her boyfriend thought it was the Worst Smell Ever.)

Anyway, what shades does Stella love?

Well, of course her all-time favorite is "I Don't Do Dishes," a rich red.
Sometimes she wears "Charged Up Cherry," which is a hot coral pink.
And on the cover of A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY, I am pretty sure she is wearing "Yes...I Can-Can!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Joy Needs Our Help!!



I'm not really big on asking for help, but something has happened recently to change that.

I didn't know about the national bone marrow registry until my dear friend Joy found out that she needed a transplant to save her life. Now I am trying to spread the word so that she and others have a chance to receive the help they need.

My husband and I met Joy more than twenty years ago, when they were first-year MBA students. I have many memories of the three of us combating the grad school hardships - endless studying, East Coast winters, being broke - with bad wine and good conversation. We stayed in touch through the years, and we are proud of how "our" Joy combined an impressive career with a life full of love, fun, and adventure. About two years ago, Joy had breast cancer, which she got through quite well with a lumpectomy, chemo & radiation. Unfortunately, she has now developed leukemia as a complication from the chemo treatments. This is a very rare complication, occurring in <1% of patients. Her only hope is a bone marrow transplant (which they currently do through donor blood -- not bone marrow -- meaning it is much less onerous on the donor that it has been in the past. If matched, you're asked to give blood several days in a row. That's it!)

Since Joy doesn't have any brothers & sisters, she has to go through the national registry. There is no match in the database at present. The chances of any given person being a match for Joy are 1:10,000 -- so there is a lot of work to do to get the word out.

We are not asking for money - we are hoping that you will consider signing up to be a possible donor. The process takes only a few minutes (We know, we did it ourselves.)

The first step in the process is to log onto the ‘Be the Match’ site. After completing the qualifying questions (toward the end of the process), enter JJ1605 into the field labeled “Promo Code”. When you complete this process, a donor testing kit will be sent to you. Once it arrives, you will simply need to swab your cheek and send it to the donor matching center. If you are identified as a potential match, you will be further tested and, ultimately, asked to give blood (NOT bone marrow) for a few days in a row (it is much the same as giving blood to the Red Cross).

For more information, please contact Kate Farley at kfarley01@comcast.net or Mitch Toub at MToub3@verizon.net.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Best First Mystery....Reviewers Choice Award from RT


I kind of forgot to post this here, which is kind of embarrassing considering how big a deal it was to me and how much hopping up and down and screaming I did. RTBookReviews chose A BAD DAY FOR SORRY as the Best First Mystery novel of 2009. You can see the list of mystery-genre winners here. I have a beautiful crystal award to show for it, and - being a quite terrible photographer, a couple of photos that don't do it justice.





In other news, my finished copy of PRETTY arrived! Yay! Here's Junior and my sister, clearly absolutely *enthralled*: