And the Winner of the Big Contest is...
Let me just say, this has been a TOUGH contest to judge. Who knew I had such talented Minions??
Also, Merry Samhain/Happy Halloween!!! Be safe tonight. For those of you who are curious, I'm donning my wench garb tonight (any excuse to wear a corset in public). Have fun!
Huzzah! We have winners!!
In 1st place, for the Grand Prize, Em
with one of my favorite scenes from NINTH GRADE SLAYS:
In 2nd place, 1st prize, Stephanie Vargo
with a rendition of Otis driving off into the sunrise, like some kind of vampire cowboy at the end of EIGHTH GRADE BITES:
And in 3rd place, 2nd prize, Samantha Villa
with a very tense scene from EIGHTH GRADE BITES:
Fangtastic congrats to the winners, and thank you all for entering - as I said, it was enormously hard to settle on just three. Great job, Minions!
I cannot express to you, my Minions, how important it is that you remember those two words. It doesn't matter if you're 9 or 90. It can be a daily struggle to remember who you are and to continue to be that wonderful person, to be yourself. I grew up in a very small town, and though I was told to be myself, I was shown something else - that it wasn't okay to dye my hair funky colors, that it wasn't okay to dress this way or that, or talk like this or like certain things. I was taught that standing out was bad, that I'd better get in line with the other ants and keep my mouth shut.
Only one problem: I didn't listen. And neither should any of you.
I'm blessed now to be surrounded by people who embrace my oddities, and so sometimes it can be jarring when I'm met with the same intolerance that I experienced growing up. It shocks me that people could find me so offending, especially when I work so hard to be a good childrens author, to produce books that are exciting, funny, quirky, and clean - cleaner than many books you'll find on the shelf. I work enormously hard to be a good person, so it really bothers me when people can't seem to get past what color my bangs are this week.
Why does it matter? Why does it matter if I look this way or that, if I talk this way or that? It's not like I'm intentionally being disrespectful. I don't swear in front of my Minions (though, when Auntie Heather drops something on her toe, oh, does she swear). I don't tell them they should go get tattoos that afternoon or rob a bank or jump off a bridge. I encourage them to read. I tell them to go to college. I talk to them, and ask them questions, because I care.
I'm just being myself - something that I urge my Minions to be.
Some days are harder than others. But I will never change. Because it takes a lot of strength to stand up and show the world that yes, you're weird, and proud of it.
I know I am.
Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig
You'll all be happy to know that Auntie Heather has survived her trek across the midwest and is once again safe and sound at her spiderweb covered desk (yes, really), mulling over the mountain of work that awaits her. *le sigh*
But! I had a fangtastic time in Connersville, Indiana. What a cool little town! The Minions there rocked
, and the town had so much delicious architecture and history...very cool. A few Minions tried to drag Auntie Heather into a pitch black haunted corn maze, but Auntie Hetaher resisted. You see, Minions, when you are ancient (as Auntie Heather is), often you need glasses and have no depth perception. I wasn't worried so much about Scary Things jumping out at me (Auntie Heather eats Scary Things for breakfast), but rather I was concerned that I might twist my ankle. So alas, no tromping around in dark, spooky (ultra cool) cornfields for me. I had a blast, though. That is one neat place.
I see you Minions were busy while I was gone! Well, I brought you a pressie. So...stay tuned to my blog this week, as I'm about to gift you with something bloody fangtastic. Promise.
Travelling with Auntie Heather
It's kinda like this
Anyhoo, I'll be leaving town tomorrow for another event! First, I'm visiting Connersville Middle School in Connersville, Indiana - and after that, there's a public event there that you won't want to miss! ON FRIDAY I'll be doing a bonfire book talk and signing at Ecklund's Crazy Acres
. They have a SIX ACRE haunted corn maze! So come on out, grab some cider, take a wagon ride, go through that amazing maze, grab a pumpkin, and hang out with me. The time listed is technically 8pm, but I'll be there at 6pm and hang out for a few hours. Books, of course, will be available for purchase in the gift shop - but you don't have to buy a book to come see me. I just want to meet Minions. :)=
So...I'm packing today and out of here tomorrow. Behave, my Minion Horde...or at least don't do anything Auntie Heather wouldn't do.
Two Big Hunks of Bloody Good News
Okay, so I've held off on blogging until I could share what I did today. But first...School Library Journal gave NINTH GRADE SLAYS a yummy lil review today!
School Library Journal
BREWER, Heather. Ninth Grade Slays. Bk. 2. 278p. (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Series). Dutton. 2008. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-525-47892-8. LC number unavailable.
Gr 6-9 Vladimir Tod wants be popular like his friend Henry and cool and carefree like Henry's cousin Joss. He would so enjoy putting bullies Tom and Bill, who have been tormenting him for years, in their place. And, of course, he longs to tell Meredith about his feelings for her. All of this should really be a piece a cake for him. He is, after all, the only vampire "living" in Bathory, and he possesses extraordinary powers. Unfortunately, luck does not seem to run his way. What is working for him is the opportunity to go to Siberia with his Uncle Otis to be trained by Vikas, one of the oldest vampires around. Vikas sharpens Vlad's skills, especially in the area of mind control, and educates him on vampire history, language, and culture. Vlad also learns about the prophecy regarding the Pravus, a powerful vampire born from a human mother who will not only rule over all of vampirekind but also enslave the entire human race. Upon his return to Bathory, he is pursued by a vampire slayer and attacked by another one. Could Vlad, whom readers have come to love, possibly be this evil Pravus? Brewer does an excellent job keeping readers on their toes with an intense plot full of many twists and turns. Her writing style is original, witty, and on target. It has a different intensity than series like Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" (Little, Brown) or Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy" (Penguin), but teens will eat up this installment and be ready to sink their teeth into the sequel.
–Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Yay! How fangtastic is that review?? Me likey. :)=
Okay, back to today. Today, my Minions, I spent all day (from roughly 10am to 3pm) with a film crew. Yes...a film crew. It seems that your Auntie Heather is going to be on the Scholastic Author Video for NINTH GRADE SLAYS! Watch for that looping at your book fairs starting in the Spring.
It was such a cool experience. The crew was made up of amazing, fun people. We shot footage at a cemetery, at a church, and yes, inside my home. And I can't wait for you to see it! It was a blast to do...but now I'm very, very tired. So off to couch with me. I must veg.
Edited to add: To find out more about Scholastic's Author Videos, check this out: http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/books/videos_all.asp
Things That Auntie Heather Has Witnessed in Texas So Far
1. The pilot was the spitting image of that "Dude! You gotta get a Dell!" guy.
2. I saw a roadblock. Like an actual, cop cars blocking the road with lights on roadblock.
3. A church had a neon sign which read "REPENT!"
4. Y'know those signs on the highway that usually tell you when construction will be going on? I saw one that read "Needs New Batteries".
And so my TX adventure begins...
By the by, if you're in the area, come see me tonight
NINTH GRADE SLAYS Paperback News!
I have good news for all you Minions who are waiting for the paperback of NINTH GRADE SLAYS to be released. Up until today, the release date was March 5, 2009 - but I just got word from my editor that it's been moved up to January 21, 2009!!! Plus, Amazon is known for shipping early, so you might wanna pre-order it now
As for Auntie Heather...I've got an appointment with a certain half-vampire/half-human...
The Ramblings of Auntie Heather -or- It's Quiet...Too Quiet
Auntie Heather's house is sooooooooooo quiet today, Minions. It's not even that full kind of quiet, where you can hear birds chirping in the distance or a car drive by. It's just dead, dead quiet. And I'm kinda digging it. Normally, I'd crank up the stereo or (more likely) pop my iPod buds in. But today...I'm enjoying the silence, which has its own song.
I'm also returning emails, mulling over a scene I want to write today for ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS (ooooh, such a cool scene - full of jealousy, vengeance, and high school pettiness), and celebrating a bit, because I got word yesterday that my ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) for TENTH GRADE BLEEDS shipped out on Tuesday, so I should have them any day now. I'll likely spend the majority of the day with my face pressed up against the window, watching for the FedEx truck. And if think I'm joking, just ask my FedEx guy. I suspect that's why he doesn't seem to like me much, because I creep him out (what's creepier than a woman with funky hair in her pajamas smashing her face against the glass every time you drive up?). The UPS guy likes me, though - he takes the time to chat and, how cool is this? His daughter is a Minion!!! So...a big shout-out to UPS guy's daughter. Whatever your name is. :)
Anyhoo, once I get ARCs I can start formulating cool contest plans for the future...
And yes, I said jammies. Auntie Heather is in writing mode, and I've found the best way to nudge my muse is to wear jammies all day. No worries - I don't leave the house in my jammies. That would be blasphemy.
Also yesterday, I got a peak at the cover for the paperback of NINTH GRADE SLAYS (which you should pre-order now
- if not for yourself, as a gift for a friend...because what better way to show someone you care than by reminding them that their life can't possibly suck as bad as Vlad's?). Puffin is doing something neat to the back cover of NGS, so watch for it come March '09. As for TENTH GRADE BLEEDS...still no idea when it'll be available for pre-order.
Okay, I think I can sense my muse grumbling over a pot of coffee, so maybe it's time to begin my day...
I Found Him (also, come hang with me in Texas)
DUDE. Minions. I found him.
I get asked all the time who I would like to portray Vlad if a movie is ever made, and until now, I've always said that I'd like an unknown. But today I found him. His name is Alex Evans
, and he could so be Vlad.
Now if I can only line up Ryan Reynolds to play Otis and Gary Oldman to portray Vikas, I'll be in business...
In other news, Auntie Heather is going to Texas!!! You should come see me - I'll be at the Euless Public Library (which is a Dallas suburb) on October 13th at 6pm. Here's the contact info: 201 North Ector Drive, Euless, TX 76039 Phone: 817.685.1493 Barnes & Noble is going to be there with books for purchase and I'll have all sorts of goodies, so you don't wanna miss this. Mark your calendars!
Any Minions in Illinois?
Come hang out with me tonight!!!Friday - October 3, 2008 - 6pm
Appearance & Signing
6601 North Illinois Street
Fairview Heights, IL 62208
Haiku Winner Announced!!
And the winner of the Haiku Contest here on Bleeding Ink is....
Jewel, you can drop me a line with your mailing address and I'll get your prize to you. And now....the winning haiku....Oh, Vladimir Tod,
How the bullies pick on you.
Why don't you bite them?
Fangs for entering, Minions!
What People Are Saying About 'Eighth Grade Bites'
"A spooky mystery that's funny, gruesome, heartwarming, spellbinding,
sad, joyous, surprising and topped off with a tasty blend of blood and
chocolate. Yum. What more could you ask for?" ~D.J. MacHale,
New York Times-bestselling author of PENDRAGON: JOURNAL OF AN ADVENTURE
THROUGH TIME AND SPACE
"'Eighth grade Bites' had me on the edge of my seat. It's a
great piece of fiction. It drops you right into the action, grabs
you by the throat (pun intended), and won't let go. Vladimir Tod
is a truly sympathetic character cursed with an existence not of
his own doing, but doing his best to do the right thing. It's part
'Goosebumps' mixed with 'Harry Potter' and a dash – no, a heaping
tablespoon – of Stephen King. If you're in eighth grade, or
a vampire, or an eighth grade vampire, 'Eighth Grade Bites' is a
definite must read!"~Butch Hartman, creator of Nickelodeon's
THE FAIRLY ODD PARENTS and DANNY PHANTOM
"Eighth Grade Bites is a terrific vampire tale told with a
sharp, middle-school grin. It definitely does not bite!" ~Christopher
Moore, author of BLOODSUCKING FIENDS and A DIRTY JOB
"Eighth Grade Bites is a delightful novel filled with dark,
biting humor that will appeal to everyone who ever felt they were
different. A deft hand at depicting the angst of teen years, Heather
Brewer does a wonderful job blending vampire legend with the modern
day horror that strikes fear in the heart of so many: the eighth
grade."~Katie MacAlister, New York Times-bestselling author
of EVEN VAMPIRES GET THE BLUES
"Heather Brewer has invented the most endearing of vampires
in Vlad, an eighth grader juggling the woes of adolescence with the
decidedly unique difficulties of being a vampire. She perfectly captures
the humor and angst of eighth grade, mixed with a nail-biting adventure.
Utterly charming and irresistible!" ~Liza Conrad, author of
HIGH SCHOOL BITES: THE LUCY CHRONICLES
"This book will fool you. Just when you think you've identified
it as a story lit by the cheery glow of a slightly scary jack-o-lantern,
it becomes something else -- a tale told by the flickering light
of a dying campfire late at night. And the shadows are very dark
indeed. A surprising mix of humor and horror." ~Douglas
Rees, author of VAMPIRE HIGH
"Fresh and fast-paced, with just the right brew of chills and
laughs. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens when
Vlad hits Grade Nine." ~Nancy Baker, author of KISS OF THE
"A fabulous book from a gifted storyteller! I never wanted
it to end." ~Gena Showalter, author of OH MY GOTH