News news news!
May 25, 2012 11:18 AM
I haven't blogged in forever and I am incredibly sorry for my radio silence.
The truth is, I have been very busy with my awesome day job as a senior editor at Scholastic and also writing fun books for middle-grade readers under the name Ruth Ames. I was also talking with my agent and editor a lot about possibly doing a sequel to Sea Change. And I have been asked MANY times by MANY readers about writing a sequel. And I might some day! I would love to return to the story down the road.
But in the meantime, I came up with a brand-new idea that I am so, so excited about. Here is the official announcement from Publishers Marketplace:
NYT bestselling author Aimee Friedman's THE SUMMERS, pitched as Eat, Pray, Love meets Sliding Doors, in which a girl's summer is split into two parallel universes and the reader gets to follow her on each one, as she falls in love and discovers some startling truths, to Abby McAden at Scholastic, for publication in 2014, by Faye Bender at Faye Bender Literary Agency (World).
Whoo! Commence the popping of champagne corks! I have been obsessed with the notion of parallel worlds for as long as I can remember (and to learn more about the fascinating theory, check out Briane Greene's amazing book). I have also been wanting to write a fabulous, escapist summer story with lots of traveling and unstoppable romances, so putting the two interests together made sense. Now I just have to write the whole thing! Wish me luck...
To celebrate my new book--and the start of summer (my favorite season, obviously), I'm doing an impromptu giveaway. Whoever tweets about or retweets this blog post on Twitter or shares it on Facebook will be entered into a drawing to win a signed hardcover copy of SEA CHANGE--perfect for reading on the beach or by the pool--and a bottle of sunscreen (first place). The second place winner will receive a signed paperback of SEA CHANGE. (US only). The more you post, the more time your name will be entered, so the better your odds are (like in The Hunger Games, only awesome and sans fights-to-the-death). The giveaway will run until THURSDAY, MAY 31.
SEA CHANGE PB Blog tour!
June 15, 2010 6:00 PM
I can't wait for my upcoming blog tour to celebrate the release of the SEA CHANGE paperback! I am SUCH a huge fan of all the amazing YA bloggers out there; they are so passionate about books, and such an integral part of the YA community, so this is a real honor for me. Each fantastic blog will be featuring exclusive content from me (like Q&As, a vlog, embarassing childhood photos) as well reviews, giveaways, etc. It's going to be exciting and fabulous...just like a real book tour, only you can attend from wherever you are--and while wearing your PJs! (and preferably while eating ice cream, too). The fun kicks off on June 17th at The Compulsive Reader, and goes until July 8th (my birthday!). See below for the FULL schedule, and hope to "see" you there! (and by "see," I mean hope to read all your fantastic comments!)
THE GRAND TOUR:
The Compulsive Reader June 17
Pure Imagination Blog June 21
I Was a Teenage Book Geek June 23
Word for Teens June 25
The Hiding Spot June 29
La Femme Readers July 1
Karin's Book Nook July 6
The Story Siren July 8
The First Time I Saw Paris
July 17, 2009 11:47 AM
This blog entry is adapted from a guest blog I did for the lovely author Nina Malkin on her website (www.ninamalkin.com). For Nina's blog, we were asked to write about our "First Swoon." The story of my first swoon is in, many ways, the story of how my novel FRENCH KISS came to be!
The First Time I Saw Paris
I didn't want to go. I was fourteen, it was winter break, and I was counting on hanging out with my best friend and dissecting high school thus far. Paris did not figure into those plans. My older sister had been living there since September --and had the chic new haircut and cute French boyfriend to prove it -- and had invited me to join her over the holidays. Anyone sane would have jumped at this opportunity, but I clearly wasn't in my right mind. I thought the world started and ended in New York City, my hometown.
Over the course of one magical week, that opinion would be changed forever.
But first I had to grumpily board an Air France flight, brood into my hoodie as I soared over the Atlantic (I can never sleep on planes), and sourly trudge into Charles de Gaulle Airport. My sister and her boyfriend (I resented his mere existence) were waiting for me there, and my sister handed me a paper cup of cocoa, my welcome gift. The drink was piping hot and very sweet, with a thick chocolate skin. Even through my haze of jet lag, I registered that this was probably the best hot cocoa I'd ever tasted.
That was, I think, when Paris first whispered to me, when I began to wonder if this hadn't been such a bad idea after all.
We drove to the city, and in the gray afternoon gloom, the outskirts of Paris looked ordinary and dull, no different from anywhere on earth. I dozed until we arrived at my sister's pied-a-terre, an ancient-looking apartment with chipped walls and a claw-foot bathtub. Sort of charming, I thought before passing out on her futon. When I awoke, it was nighttime, and my sister was watching me in her patient way. "Let's go out," she suggested.
And it was love at first sight.
The city was lit up on all sides, like a golden-flecked globe. The streetlamps were wrapped in white Christmas lights that twinkled through the light drizzle. There was the long, lacy Eiffel Tower, much prettier than in pictures as it shimmered from top to bottom. There was the Pont Alexandre III, a bridge festooned with gilded angels and nymphs. Even the people on the wide, windswept avenues seemed illuminated--the women in their spangly dresses and sparkling scarves knotted at their throats, the men with glowing red cigarette tips dangling from their lips, the boys with their bright, mischievous gazes. Gazes often directed at me.
Flat-chested, tongue-tied, curly-haired me, who, back in America, didn't garner very many gazes from the opposite sex, unless you counted that dorky boy in science lab. What was different here? Somehow, in my rain coat and the beret my sister had lent me, breathing in the scents of coffee and perfume that permeated the air, I felt almost...alluring. Beautiful. Maybe my sister had felt the same way when she'd met her now-boyfriend. French boys appeared bolder, more inquisitive, more willing to take a chance on girls than their American counterparts. It was an exhilarating thought.
It seemed to me that my sister and I walked the length and breadth of Paris that night, only stopping once at a café for a delicious dinner of steak frites . My sister let me sip from her glass of wine, and the drink left my cheeks flushed and my heart racing, like the side effects of a serious crush. But there was much more of the city to see, and as the week unfurled, I stood on my tiptoes to see Mona Lisa smile at me at The Louvre, I bit into flaky, buttery croissants, I bought my own filmy scarf to knot at my throat, and a little vial of perfume to spray on my wrists. And, at a whirling night-club one night, I got kissed by a navy-blue-eyed French boy, who told me I was une belle fille and I wholeheartedly believed him.
Is it possible to swoon over a city? I think so. As much I still love my native New York, and various other places I have taken sleepless flights to over the years, nothing makes my pulse race like Paris. It's a cliché, I know, crushing on this most romantic of cities, but I can't help it. Paris not only seduced me that first night, but it also opened the door onto my adulthood, onto the me I would slowly start to become. And for that reason, the city holds my heart.
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Sea Change galley give-away!
April 17, 2009 1:53 PM
I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. Now that summer is coming and I can take my laptop to Central Park and stretch out with an iced latte and sunscreen, I'll definitely be blogging more.
In the meantime, to get you in the mood for summer, and the June 1st release of my newest novel, SEA CHANGE, I'm doing an exciting galley give-away! The first ten people to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a signed galley of SEA CHANGE, a summertime love story with a splash of magic that Karin Librarian called "a beautiful novel." (http://karinlibrarian.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/sea-change-by-aimee-friedman-review/).
So start emailing, and I'll be here with my pen and stack of 10 galleys!
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A Can't Miss Event in Brooklyn!
May 6, 2008 12:11 PM
This Thursday, May 8th, at 6 p.m., I will be reading from (and signing) THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY at the Park Slope Barnes & Noble in Park Slope, Brooklyn: On 7th avenue on the corner of 6th street. Reading and signing along with me will be the fantastic teen authors Siobhan Vivian and Suzanne Weyn. Come one, come all! Hope to see you there!
March 26, 2008 12:56 PM
Some wonderful news! BREAKING UP: A FASHION HIGH GRAPHIC NOVEL was named one of the Best Books for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library. This is a huge honor, considering librarians are total heroes of mine, and are very much the gatekeepers of what teens are reading. This past weekend, a ceremony was held in the main branch of the New York Public Library, that beautiful building on 5th avenue that is famously flanked by two stone lions. It was a gorgeous early spring day, and it was magical to be in a building full of books, surrounded by fellow writers, readers, librarians, teens, friends, and family--all of whom were passionate about literature. Cookies and drinks were there for the snacking, and the author Robert Lipsyte gave a great keynote speech about getting boys to read. The only downside to the reception was that BREAKING UP's marvelous illustrator, Christine Norrie, couldn't be there, because she was sick with the flu! I missed her terribly, because without Christine's vision and talent for bringing my characters to life, there would be no BREAKING UP!
I've had readers of mine tell me that they've had trouble finding BREAKING UP in bookstores and libraries, because it's sometimes shelved in the graphic novel/manga section and other times shelved in the teen section. One surefire to always find the book is on Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com. Otherwise, sure to ASK the people who work in the bookstore or library about it. Booksellers--like librarians--are incredibly helpful, and can even order the book for you if you request it (I've done this many times with books I have been dying to read but haven't been able to dig up). I loved writing BREAKING UP, and I think you'll love reading it, too!
My John Hancock
March 26, 2008 12:53 PM
I have awful handwriting. It's so bad that sometimes I'll scribble something down and then, hours later, will not be able to decipher my own chicken scratches. It's so bad that someone once asked me, "Are you a doctor?"
In elementary school, I got straight As...except for Penmanship. Yes, my grade school gave grades for penmanship and my grade was a big fat C. "Aimee cannot write legibly." Chicken scratches. Scribbles. My teacher, my parents, everyone admonished me. The implication was that I might never succeed, given my handwriting. This was the mid-1980s, before computers became ubiquitous, before it was a given that you'd type a homework assignment. Their concern made sense, I suppose.
I was heartbroken, but as much as I tried, I couldn't make myself write any slower. Speed was the problem; I felt like I had so much to say, so many thoughts, that they spilled out on the page in a messy jumble. So no one was happier than me when my Dad brought home our first computer, a giant, blocky IBM. I plopped myself in front of it and taught myself how to type. And I am, to this day a very fast typist. My fingers fly over the keys, giddy with the freedom of both speed and legibility. At last, what I want to say comes out clearly!
That's what writing is all about, isn't it? The desire to be understood, to be read. I used to write all my stories longhand, filling up journals while I reserved the computer for school assignments. But sometime in high school, I made the switch to writing fiction on the computer, and I've never looked back. I now find it downright difficult to write fiction by hand...my laptop is pretty much surgically attached to me.
But there is, undeniably, something powerful about handwriting. Something so utterly unique, so personal. I remember getting a small thrill when I saw my boyfriend's handwriting for the first time. We'd been dating for a while, but it was like I caught a glimpse of a side of him I hadn't known. Signatures still mean something, after all, and thus far, I haven't found a Word font that can duplicate my bold, messy scrawl.
For the same reason, I love getting authors I love to sign books. It feels like a memento, like a personal connection beyond the connection you've formed by reading their words. And I love signing my own books, too. I never tire of it. I love writing a personal note on the title page, marking my name with a flourish. And if readers can't meet me in person, I always encourage them to mail me their copies of my books; I'm happy to sign them and slip them back in the mail.
I think I'll end with a quote from an author I adore, one whose signature, sadly, I'll never be able to ask for. In Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, when Bingley remarks that he has a terrible handwriting, Mr. Darcy insightfully replies:
"You really are proud of your defects in writing, because you consider them as proceeding from a rapidity of thought and carelessness of execution, which, if not estimable, you think at least highly interesting. The power of doing anything with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance."
So, maybe, like Bingley, I kind of like my bad handwriting. After all, it's as much a part of me as the color of my eyes and the books I write.
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Alloy Features THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY
February 7, 2008 2:51 PM
Alloy, the fantastic media company for all things teen (including Gossip Girl, A-List, Private, and more!) is featuring THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY on their Books We Love page! I'm a huge fan of everything Alloy does (including their adorable clothes!), so it's wonderful to be a part of their community (several of my other books have been featured on their site as well--you'll see links to them on the page).
Valentine Book Contest!
February 1, 2008 12:02 PM
For fans of my book A NOVEL IDEA -- a story of books, friendship, Brooklyn, and love gone wrong-- and other books in the fantastic Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy series, there is an exciting contest for the month of February. Just in time for Valentine's Day, Simon Pulse will give away 5 wonderful Romantic Comedy books for every day in the month of February--that's 145 chances to win! Visit Teens Read Too for details on how to enter, and be sure to spread the word! After all, how better to spend rainy, romantic February than curled up with hot cocoa and a good book? (Oh, and maybe your sweetie...but that's optional!). :)
The Year My Sister Got Lucky!
January 24, 2008 11:41 AM
My newest book. THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY, is in stores NOW! PUBLISHERS WEEKLY called it "a happy confection" and BOOKLIST called it "A funny, insightful, delightful journey." For a summary, go to the AIMEE'S BOOKS page, and be sure to visit either Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, or your local bookstore or library to pick up your own copy!