July 25, 2006

Three B's: Barnholdt, BAD CAT BOO, and B4B

OMG the typos, even for me were out of control. FINALLY In St. Louis after missed connections and airport delays and looked at all the typos and OH WOW AM I ASHAMED OF THIS ENTRY! SHAME! SHAME!

B1--- 3 Questions with Lauren Barnholdt

How lucky is it that Lauren's last name starts with a B, thematically speaking? So lucky. She's the author of Reality Chick, the story of sweet and normal Ally Cavanaugh -- one of five freshpeople shacking up on In the House, a reality show filmed on her college campus. As if school isn't panic-inducing enough...

Sarah Mlynowski, author of Milkrun and As Seen on TV calls Lauren, "Hilarious... a fresh new voice in teen fiction." I bet she's SICK of hearing this, but I DO think it's worth noting that Lauren is only 26 years old---pretty young to have her first book out. I tend to tell people in their twenties who ask me about the BUSINESS part of a writing career that I spent my twenties alternately learning how to mix a decent cocktail and writing TERRIBLE short stories and I didn't make a serious run at writing a book to PUBLISH until I was in my thirties. Maybe I should eat those FIND YOUR VOICE words with no Green Goddess dressing. Having her first book out at 26...She's done something remarkable, I think, plus she gives SUCH good interview:

JJ: Tell us about the time you tried out for THE REAL WORLD?

LB: Oh, God. Yes, I tried out for THE REAL WORLD. It wasn't just me! There were literally hundreds of people in line for the audition, so I'm not the only dork. Trying out for REAL WORLD was fun, and was the inspiration for Ally's audition scene in REALITY CHICK. A lot of what happens to Ally during that scene actually happened to me. (I won't tell you what, except that it's entirely possible that I, like Ally, also made an inappropriate comment to the casting director. Which is probably why I'm now a writer and not a reality tv star...)

JJ: What do you think of your cover and how does it compare to the cover you imagined when you were writing the book?


LB: I LOVE my cover. It's weird, but I never had an actual picture in my head of what my cover would look like. I'm hopelessly unartistic when it comes to stuff like that. Plus I was trying not to get an actual picture in my head, because I knew it would probably turn out to be nothing like I imagined. (Kind of like going on blind dates -- the guys never look like what you thought they would.)

The day my editor emailed me the cover, I was almost afraid to open it. I was all set to hate it. And when I saw it, I thought it was perfect. I couldn't stop looking at it. I hope I'm as lucky with all my covers!

JJ: A lot of writers read this blog -- how did you find an agent and sell that first book?

rejected by every single publishing house in New York (and some publishing houses in Boston, Chicago, etc.).

My then-agent was so-so about my work, and there was a really small period
of time (like maybe fifteen minutes) where I wanted to give up.
I told my friend that I couldn't do it anymore, that I couldn't
imagine writing ANOTHER whole book, and besides, WHY WASN'T ANYONE

He tried to calm me down, but I just laughed maniacally and
read him my latest batch of rejection letters.

"See!" I said gleefully. "My character's emotional journey is thin!"
Then, a few weeks later, while moving files to a new computer, I found a
few pages of a book idea I had written a while ago. It was about a girl
with a long-distance boyfriend that goes on a reality TV show that
broadcasts her first semester of college. For some ridiculous reason, I
started writing it. Two months later, I left my previous agent and
signed with my current agent, Nadia Cornier. Three weeks later, I had a two-book deal with Simon
and Schuster.

All this stuff happened over a period of four years -- writing the first book, querying agents, writing the second book, etc. Writing is HARD, not giving up is HARD. But it's all part of the process, and you just have to do it.


B2 -- Remember BOO THE DEVILCAT? I am not going to LINK because I am SHORT ON TIME -- must catch a flight---and he's in the entry RIGHT below this one. I think we all have opposable thumbs here and are capabe of scrolling down, except for Boo herself, and it's pretty dern clear that Boo can use the Forces of Darkness to scroll. Well. I posted Boo's photo and Boo was NOT pleased. Boo felt that the picture I posted did NT realy capture the TRUE BOONESS. SO. I agreed to give it another shot.

Say 1 2 3 Betty and HIT THIS to see Boo's second try...I'm not going to SPOIL it by trying to describe it. Let's just say, Brace Yourself, Bridget.

B3 (or B4, really...) Lastly but CERTAINLY not leastly. I have some B4B Winners from you, Courtesy of The Bloggess who pens Her Green Figs. Next month, remember, B4B will be over at The Zero Boss. THUS SAGT HER FIGLINESS:

Somewhere, sometime, I remember reading that Faulkner said *there's
something about jumping a fence that makes you feel good* (if I were a
responsible librarian or English teacher I'd go look this up, but I am
not a responsible anything). As these stories demonstrate, crossing
boundaries feels good because you get out of BETWEEN. In between, we
are uncomfortable, unsure, and undecided. Sometimes we are just "un."
Aimee calls these "dull gray moment[s]" in her submission and we've
all been there, though we may not all be so equipped to define
"between." What each of this month's winners has in common, and has in
common with Between, Georgia, is that it defines "between," in part by
looking at the two sides of the fence, and in part by saying how
pointy the fence feels beneath them.

And so, my selections for this month's winners are:

1) Hypergraffiti

2) but i digress...

3) Keepin' the Faith

Congratulations to the winners, the finalists, and the entrants!


Posted by joshilyn at July 25, 2006 7:45 AM

Cool interview! The book sounds good.

BIG congrats to the B4B winners! I'm sad that the contest is moving, even if moving means it's going home.

Boo - Gaaaahhhhhh!

Posted by: DebR at July 25, 2006 9:50 AM

Oh well... at least I got quoted in the Blogess's announcement. Congratulations to the winners! And Boo -- aaaaaaaaaaa!

Posted by: Aimee at July 25, 2006 10:49 AM


Posted by: poopie at July 25, 2006 11:41 AM

Thanks and um...wow! I'm shocked to see myself still up there, and very pleased that the winner I would have picked is, indeed, the winner!

Posted by: Melessa at July 25, 2006 1:51 PM

HI Joshilyn,

We really enjoy the reading and meeting you at the book signing. When one ventures into Jackson it should be a special occasion and it was we got to meet you and Tiff. Thanks lots and will look forward to the next time you are in the area.

Ol Bob

Posted by: Bob at July 25, 2006 2:15 PM

I'm sure the girl human will want that book. And why are you all going on about Boo? He's nothing compared to moi!

Posted by: Miss China Paws at July 25, 2006 5:58 PM

Hi, Lauren (waving)

IIRC, Lauren is also writing or has written a book on writing YA fiction. V. cool.

When I saw the last pic of Boo, I thought, if I were that woman, I don't think I'd want that anywhere near my face. Now I think, look at those hypnotic eyes. If only she'd use her powers for good. ;+)

Congrats to the B4B winners!!! Good stuff.

Posted by: ZaZa at July 26, 2006 12:53 AM

This was an awesome B4B month, and it's so sad that it won't be here anymore! Now I have yet another blog to check out, because I'll have to keep up with that contest. But no way will I be leaving this one.
I've hooked two more people on your books, Joshilyn. I have a friend that is practically frothing at the mouth to read Between, because she just finished gIA. I told her she has to wait, because my loaner copy is out and there is NO WAY IN HELL that she's getting my signed copy. Well, she pissed and moaned and then decided that she's not waiting for me, she's going to buy it herself! Yay!!
And really, that cat is just too freakin scary. YIKES!!

Posted by: dee at July 26, 2006 2:15 PM

I heart Boo. I bet she'd fix my mouse problem. Boo, want to take a vacation in Kansas City? All the mousies you can eat....

Posted by: Amy-Go at July 26, 2006 4:48 PM

Great interview!! Funky cover!

Read all the winning entries, and wowzers is all I can summon up for a word to describe the high calibre of writing and interest skills!!

Does anyone "know" how to get their designs for book-covers, to submit to a publishing house to puruse? I've been surfing the net for a year, and there seems to be no such thing!

When Patzi Raven bought my design for her currently-being-finished 5th novel; even she had mentioned she had never "met" a book-cover designer before! lol Any thoughts/ideas would be most appreciated. I can also design CD/DVD covers.

I frequently post designs(practicing techniques) on my blog; and on my blog is a link to a site where many are in albums(100+)

I am a certified Graphic Design and Desktop Publisher; but, there seems to be no market for my "skills" and that's a big whah whah from way over here!! Guess I'm feeling that "never giving up is hard" part, huh? lol One design in a year, does not a living, make....


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Posted by: Laura at July 27, 2006 5:38 PM

Woo-hoo! I'm so excited. Regular readers of my blog will know I've been crusing down a canal in England and out of internet range for a few days so I am THRILLED to be a B4B winner, especially considering how awesome the prize is this month!! Thanks so much!!!!

Posted by: TrudyJ at July 28, 2006 3:25 PM