I’ve Got a Movie Deal!

Hey everyone!

It’s true!

Disney has optioned Awkward for a made-for-TV movie!

Here’s the fancy press release with all the details:

For Immediate Release                   

Disney Channel Options Awkward by Kensington Author Marni Bates

Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY – October 23, 2012 – The Gersh Agency in Los Angeles today announced that The Disney Channel has optioned the teen novelAwkward by Marni Bates to be made into a television movie. Awkward is published by Kensington Books’ KTeen imprint in New York.

Awkward is a romantic teen comedy featuring a girl whose embarrassing moment is captured by her high school classmates and goes viral on YouTube. Suddenly dubbed “America’s Most Awkward Girl”, Mackenzie Wellesley soon finds herself dodging both the paparazzi and the popular girls at school, even as America’s hottest boy rock band, ReadySet, transforms her moment of humiliation into a hit music video! But when Mackenzie’s rise in notoriety only pushes her farther away from the guy she’s falling for, she’ll find out just how steep the price of fame can be…

“Marni Bates brings a youthful breath of fresh air to young adult novels with her delightfully humorous, yet authentic portrait of high school life. We know Disney viewers will be as charmed as her legions of readers,” said Alicia Condon, Editorial Director, Kensington Publishing.

Marni Bates recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College and has four YA novels under contract with Kensington Books’ KTeen imprint: Awkward and Decked with Holly are currently available, with Invisible and Notable coming in 2013. She also has penned a nonfiction teen book with HCI called Marni.

Brandy Rivers of The Gersh Agency in Los Angeles who brokered the deal said, “Marni is hands down one the greatest new voices in YA and we are thrilled that this is going to be a fabulous new movie for the Disney Channel!”

###

About Marni Bates
Marni Bates is the author of four young adult books for Kensington Books KTeen line of teen novels. She also penned an autobiography entitled Marni. She grew up in Ashland, Oregon and currently lives in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found rollerblading, drinking frappuccinos with extra whip, reading romance novels, and watching copious amounts of TV—strictly for artistic inspiration, of course.

About The Disney Channel
The Disney Channel is a cable and satellite television network owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of the Walt Disney Company headquartered in Burbank, California. The channel specializes in television programming for children through original children’s television series and movies, as well as third-party programming.

About Kensington Books
Kensington Publishing Corporation is the last remaining independent U.S. publisher of hardcover, trade and mass market paperback books. Headquartered in New York, NY, KTeen is their young adult imprint.
 
For more information contact:

Brandy Rivers
The Gersh Agency
310-205-5818
brivers@gershla.com

Karen Auerbach
Director of Publicity Kensington Books
(212) 407-1551
kauerbach@kensingtonbooks.com

Laurie McLean
Larsen Pomada Literary Agents
650-747-0796
laurie@agentsavant.com

So as you may be able to guess I’m completely geeking out right now. I mean, this is kind of…well, one of the biggest things that has ever happened to me.
Which is why yesterday I pulled on my Disney boxers and marched right over to the Hollywood sign.
I needed to remove myself from temptation because it’s hard keeping secrets from you!
I can’t express how excited I am about this movie deal. And how grateful I am to have so many wonderful people cheering me on through this process. I need to give one ridiculously large thank you to my agents, Laurie McLean and Brandy Rivers, who made this happen. They’re both completely composed of awesome!
I also need to thank, well, you!
Thank you for enjoying my books! Thank you for wanting me to write more of them! Thank you for telling me that you think it would make a great movie! (Fun fact: whenever I received that comment I would happy dance and consider trying to forward it to a Hollywood executive. Probably a good thing that I didn’t…)
Thank you for all of your wonderful words of encouragement!
I can’t properly express just how much it means to me. I’m at a complete loss for words.
So how do I plan on celebrating this awesome news?
With massive quantities of Starbucks and a new YouTube book trailer for Decked with Holly, of course! And this one will also be a stop-motion animation completely created by yours truly. To see the book trailer I recently edited click:
So keep checking in to see the final project! I’m hoping to have it finished soon.
Thanks again, everyone!
Sincerely,
Marni

All I want for my birthday is you . . . to vote!

Hey everyone,

I am getting older.

Now before you instantly click out of this blog post, hear me out. Or read me out.

Okay, still with me?

My birthday is November 1st and I will be turning a whopping 23 years old.

And for some reason this one has got its claws in me because 23 comes with expectations . . . like that I stop buying SpongeBob Kraft Mac & Cheese from the supermarket. To be fair, 22 also came with its fair share of expectations and I managed to ignore most of them quite effectively.

But I digress.

Usually around my birthday I think about all the things I meant to accomplish and didn’t. Y’know, stuff like, write a novel in three weeks.

Because how cool would that be!

(For all you NaNoWriMo-ers out there . . . it’s not going to happen for me. Just . . . no)

And then I start thinking about all the causes I believe in and should have done more to support. Planned Parenthood. The Trevor Project. Marriage Equality.

That’s when a nice layer of guilt settles in.

So I’ve decided to try something new: I’m asking all of you to grant me a very simple birthday wish.

Vote.

Please, please vote.

Pretty please? With a cherry on top? And then some whipped cream because that sounds delicious.

I don’t even care who you vote for–okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. I care because I spend a large percentage of my time worrying about equality in this country. Or y’know, the lack of equality. Then again seeing how women still don’t have equal pay I don’t understand how people can afford to be apathetic. Oh, and when a certain group of politicians believe they know what is best for my body and are taking steps to eliminate my choices…

But even though I disagree fundamentally with Romney/Ryan, I hope you vote.

And if you’re not old enough to vote yet . . . please bug people.

I mean it.

You have my full permission to say: sorry, Marni Bates told me to annoy you about this!

Go talk to your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, friends, classmates . . .  and ask them what issues matter most to them.

Ask them to consider your future.

I’ve noticed that with family members puppy dog eyes can go a long way.

And here’s the truth: some people don’t want to think about what it is at stake for our country. It’s easier not to care when the problems feel so big.

But I will never forget the way my older brother laughed at me in elementary school when I told him I wanted to be a marine biologist. He said that female marine biologists didn’t earn nearly as much as their male counterparts. I remember glaring at him and calling him a jerk and a liar. I said that we lived in America!

Then I looked it up . . . and I was heartbroken. I was absolutely crushed. I felt betrayed by my own country. And I felt so achingly powerless. I never did become a marine biologist, but that was the day I became a feminist. That day I decided that I was going to be part of the fight for equal pay for equal work.

My brother still calls me naive, but I do believe in this country. And I think it can be better.

Voting is the way to make that happen.

Fun fact: these people think so too.

So if you don’t want to think about it–tough luck. Because I don’t believe any of us really have that luxury. Not when equality and basic human rights are at stake.

Not when a portion of the government wants to legislate on love. Not when politicians are trying to tell women who have been raped that if it wasn’t forcibly done . . . well, it just wasn’t legitimate then.

That’s when I don’t care if you don’t like the choices for president. That’s when I don’t want to hear a lame excuse about how one vote doesn’t matter.

This is your chance to be heard. It’s a chance to make other people hear you.

A way to stand up for something that you believe in.

So if you want to give me the very best kind of birthday present, please encourage people to exercise their hard-fought right to vote.

I also wouldn’t say no to a Starbucks gift card. Or maybe a new pair of headphones.

*Waves to mom as she reads this blog entry*

Phew, okay. I’m feeling a little bit better about turning 23 now.

Sincerely,

Marni

P.S. Logan wants me to tell you that he thinks voting is sexy. So there you have it.

Pub Day on Deck!

Hey everyone!

I had such a great pub day for Decked with Holly! It started with this:

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me! I especially love that Holly’s expression while swooning over Matt Bomer matches my face when I watch White Collar. Huge fan!

Such a lovely way to begin the day!

And then I scurried over to check out two super fun blog posts I did for the release of Decked with Holly.

At Teatime Romance my super awesome RWA buddy Lisa interviewed me about (what else?) romance!

You can read it here!

Then I headed over to the amazing Bookalicious Pam’s blog where she got me to spill all my embarrassing Decked with Holly secrets, including pictures of my Secret Journal of Shame.

The best part?

You can win a free copy of Decked with Holly here!

After happy dancing around my apartment, I decided to celebrate the release like, y’know, a classy writer.

Which meant that I put on mascara, lip gloss, heels, and I rode the bus for about an hour to get to the nearest Barnes & Noble.

Marni Life Lesson #31: Do not wear heels unless absolutely necessary. Especially when you know they will just give you blisters.

But I totally forgot about the shoes when I saw my books on the shelf.

So many people helped me make this dream come true. I can’t express how grateful I am for all the support and encouragement!

There are definitely some perks that come with being an author on pub day. The biggest is that you can act like a crazy person and nobody kicks you out for it.

My friend Gwyn and I kind of took advantage of this.

It started out innocently enough…

THIS BOOK HAS BEEN MARKED UP IN PEN…by the author.

Then I may have done a little light reading.

“And then Santa says…”

That’s when it descended into something else entirely.

“Hi! I’m Marni and I’ll be your author for the evening. Can I interest you in some humorous YA books with a very wry undertone?”

And then I thought: this would be a perfect time to bust out some of my rollerblading moves.

In a bookstore.

Without rollerblades.

Ohh yeahhh…

Now is a good time to mention that I haven’t used any of these rollerblading moves in a pretty long time. So while I was thrilled that we were positioning the books within the triangle of blank space created by my body…I couldn’t hold the position for all that long.

“I’m doing it! Take the picture! TAKE THE PICTURE!”

And when I failed…well, let’s just say I managed to trip all over myself.

“Author down in the YA section! I repeat: AUTHOR DOWN!”

Gwyn and I doubled over laughing, which might explain why nobody went anywhere near us.

Note the complete lack of strangers in the background. That’s because of us.

Then I decked Gwyn with awkwardness! And puns. Lots of puns.

It was an absolutely wonderful day but in a lot of ways the fun is only just starting.

Because now I get to hear what YOU think of the book!

Speaking of which, one super cool way to tell an author what you think of their work is to write a review.

But I know that can be time consuming/intimidating so if you want a super easy way to encourage an author…

“Like” them.

I’m not even kidding.

We notice things like how many “likes” our books have on Amazon and Goodreads.

They Like Me . . . They Like Me Not.

It may seem silly but even doing something that small can have a big impact for an author.

So…if you want to “like” me and/or my books (I’m guessing you probably like me a little already or you wouldn’t still be reading this blog post) it would be awesome if you took a few seconds to let others know!

It’s a little embarrassing to admit but every time someone says something nice, this happens inside me:

So thank you!

~Marni

DECKED WITH HOLLY!

Hey everyone!

The spin-off sequel to Awkward comes out on Tuesday, September 25th.

Also known as this Tuesday! Also known as tomorrow!

*flails arms in excitement*

It doesn’t feel real yet.

In fact, it feels decidedly unreal. And I know I should be more familiar with the concept by this point. I wrote a book, sent it to my editor, banged my head against a wall a few thousand times and voila! It hits the shelves!

(Not an accurate depiction of the writing/publishing process. Obviously. Since I left out roasting marshmallows over candles at 2am when I get stuck. Oh, and my unbelievably awesome support group. Y’all know how much I depend on you!)

But it still amazes me to think of my book, sitting on bookshelves, waiting for super awesome people to read it!

Especially because this book holds a very special place in my heart. Which is not to say that I love my other books less (Oh wow, I have a whole lot more sympathy for my mom now. Having her children demand to know which one of us she would save from a burning house first must have been obnoxious. Hint: it would be me) but this one is extra special.

So I’m giving a behind-the-scenes sneak peek:

I was packing for my flight back to Oregon after spending the past three weeks in my cousin’s little apartment near Rice University in Houston, Texas–when I got The Call.

Marni doesn’t quite know how to blend in Texas.

Honestly, if I was in the middle of a mugging and my super agent Laurie McLean rang me up, I’d probably give the muggers the can you hold this for a moment finger and answer the phone.

Um, I think it’s pretty obvious from the photo why I believe she has super powers…

As it was, this particular situation was a lot less dramatic. Even if I did suspect that the humidity in Houston was trying to smother me.

“Hi Marni, I just got a call from KTeen” SuperAgent Laurie said and I instantly brace myself for the news that every copy of Awkward has been destroyed in a freak natural disaster.

“Uh huh…”

“They want to know if you would be willing to write a spin-off holiday novella.”

At this point in the conversation, I distinctly remember happy dancing like a demented chicken and squawking, “YES! Yes! I’ve never written a novella before but I am in!”

“Great. I will email you everything they just sent me and then . . . oh hang on. They want a spin-off novel.”

The demented chicken dance stopped. Probably because it felt like my heart was no longer functioning properly and all that blood was going straight to my head.

“Uh . . . wow! Okay. I mean . . . wow. I can do that. I’ll just set it after Invisible and then–”

“Actually, they want it released between Awkward and Invisible.”

This is when I started pressing buttons on my phone, convinced that I had misheard her and that my crappy cell phone was to blame.

“But I’ve already written Invisible,” I blurted out.

I could practically feel Laurie smiling patiently on the other side of the phone. “I know. That’s why they want this to be a spin-off.”

“Right. Spin-off.” I mumbled. “Um . . . who do you think I should . . . spin . . . off?”

“It could be anyone.” Laurie pointed out. “Maybe one of the rockstars?”

“But they’re guys!

Laurie waited patiently for me to make my point.

“I’ve never written from a male point of view before! I definitely can’t write a whole novel that way!”

“It’s just an idea, Marni. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”

One of my SuperAgent’s most impressive powers is the ability to make me believe that I can do anything. I don’t know how she pulls it off, but when I’m on the phone with her I am willing to agree to just about anything

And four minutes later I was calling my mom and freaking out.

“I don’t know what I just agreed to do!” I confessed sheepishly. “They asked the Jewish girl to write a holiday novel?! Do you think I should tell them this? Because I refuse to write a Christmas miracle. And no way is Hanukkah Harry coming down a chimney to save the day! Do you hear me, Mom? THERE WILL BE NO HANUKKAH HARRY!

I made this point–rather loudly, I admit–in the airport and found myself on the receiving end of a more than a few funny looks.

Looking back, I’m just lucky that airport security didn’t consider this un-American sentiment and try to interrogate me about it.

Okay, I’m lucky for a whole host of reasons. I’m eternally grateful to KTeen for allowing me to write Decked with Holly the way I felt the story needed to be told: with two alternating point of views and no Hanukkah Harrys.

And to my SuperAgent, friends and family members who tolerated my Christmas in July tactic.

A special shout-out to my mom who must have stumbled upon me listening to the Pomplamoose version of Always in the Season three hundred times.

This book may have scared me at first but it was an absolute pleasure to write.

I fell completely in love with a certain rockstar drummer and enjoyed every second I spent in his head. I don’t want to spoil the ending but he does something that made me go all melty inside.

I want to discuss it with people soo badly!

So if you want to buy a copy of Decked with Holly you can do so quite easily here:

Decked with Holly!

And if you also want to click the “like” button, I know for a fact that the author will do a demented chicken dance.

You also might want to read Awkward (if you haven’t already) because it will make Decked with Holly even more exciting for you. That said, I promise you don’t have to read Awkward to completely understand what is happening to Holly and Nick.

Then again, with the awesome discount price of $2.99 for Awkward now is a really good time to get it.

Awkward!

Awkward is clearly still on my mind…

Anyhow, once you read the books I sincerely hope you will tweet me with your thoughts. I absolutely love hearing from people! Oh, and whenever I get fan art I call up every single member of my family and I brag about it to them.

One time someone messaged me that I was tied as her favorite with Justin Bieber and I geeked out.

Watch out, Biebs. I’m stealing your fan base!

My point is that I really do love to hear from you so I hope you’ll consider tweeting me at:

Twitter!

Or you can message me using my Facebook fan page:

Facebook!

I will absolutely see your messages in these places!

And if you feel like leaving comments on Goodreads, I probably will be too confused to respond but I will do my happy dance.

I have even bigger news coming your way soon so . . . I should probably stop writing before I give it all away.

Sincerely,

Marni

Best Day of My Life!

Hey everyone!

I finally got myself a blog! Well, I guess technically I already had a blog. But with this one I can add photos and do all sorts of fun stuff that my blog at LouderThanWordsBooks didn’t want to let me do. For those of you who read the latest in my life on that site: have no fear for I shall be updating it with the posts I have here. You just may be left without the photos. Which means that you should all travel over here and join me at the blog that is sure to be full of all sorts of fun and excitement.

So due to my blog related frustrations lots of exciting things have happened to me that I didn’t post. Stuff like getting to see Tamora Pierce in Portland!

Okay, so I have been hooked on her books since elementary school and I was a little concerned that I’d see her and think, oh, you were so much cooler in my head (insert sad sound effect here).
 
But I was not disappointed in the least. Turns out Tamora Pierce is even funnier in person than I had hoped to imagine. Hooray! She gave really entertaining tips to writers. My personal favorite was when she admitted to using multiple baby books to help name her characters and then suggested that people create their own fake covers for them. I’m sure if I started carrying around a baby naming book with me at Lewis & Clark College my friends would sit me down for a very serious conversation. Awkward.
So after listening to Tamora Pierce discuss fantasy I got to test out life as a zombie! That’s right: a zombie. I happened to be downtown on the day that Portland was taken over by the undead (commonly known as the Zombie Walk). I didn’t plan on joining in but much to my surprise I recognized a handful of them and before I knew it my face was covered in blood and I was groaning in pain and limping like  . . . a zombie.
Clearly I was ferocious.

Never try to keep a zombie away from her soy mocha frappachino! The baristas at Starbucks were totally cool about serving a member of the undead too. They just nodded and asked how my essay had turned out and what I had to work on that week.

Now jumping on the fast forward button of everything you have missed . . . I just turned 21!

And no I did not go to a drinking establishment the second I became of age to legally consume alcohol in the U.S. It seems sort of silly to go over the top with the drinking for your 21st birthday. Isn’t that essentially saying, I am so excited to drink anywhere I want that I’ll chug it down until I never want to do it again! Woohoo!

Not really my style.

Actually, I spent my birthday weekend curled up in bed with a bag of homemade cookies my cousin sent me and a romance novel from my mom. Best. Birthday. Ever.

And then the next weekend I went out for a lovely night on the town with some friends.

Does it look like I tried to apply lip gloss on a moving subway car? Because that’s what I did.
So with the excitement of authors, zombies and a girly drink called a Mackenzie Rose (I ordered it because the first name is that of my protagonist and my middle name is Rose. It seemed meant to be!) you’d think I’d be ready to wind down this blog post.
But wait! The best is yet to come!
I have a 3 BOOK DEAL WITH KENSINGTON (TEEN)!!!!!!!!
I get to work with the fantastically wonderful editor Megan Records and my novel AWKWARD will be released Spring of 2012. In the meantime I am working on the sequel and trying to concentrate on schoolwork. Can I just say that it’s really hard to focus on writing essays for English classes when all you can think about is how the dream you have wished upon way too many stars (And birthday cakes. And clocks at 11:11) is FINALLY COMING TRUE!
Erg, James Fenimore Cooper why must you taunt me so!

Anyhow, I want to take a moment to thank you. I’m guessing that if you are reading this it is because you want to know what is going on in my life/ care about me. And I really appreciate the support. Writing, confronting the blank page, is never easy even on the best of days. Knowing that people believe in me takes a lot of the scariness out of what I do.

And on that note I should get back to studying!

Much love,

Marni