My AWKWARD Pubversary is Here!!!!! Oh, and Happy New Year!

Hey everyone,

So here’s a fun author fact: a book’s official release date is often referred to as “pub day.”

This is not because authors tend to go straight to the nearest bar and order way too many cocktails while they brace themselves for reviews. Although I admit that idea has some merit. But most of us wake up on pub day and sprint to the nearest Barnes & Noble so we can find our books on the shelf.

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“Hellooo!!!!!”

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(My pub day for DECKED WITH HOLLY. No drinking was involved in the making of these photos.) 

But to the best of my knowledge there isn’t an industry term for the one year anniversary of  a book.

Until now!

Because tomorrow marks my AWKWARD pubversary!!!

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That’s right: exactly one year ago I was a college student freaking out over her debut novel.   One year ago maybe five people (excluding my relatives) had read AWKWARD. 

One year ago I feared my debut would look a lot like this:

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Or this…

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Honestly, I think if you’re not afraid of getting this response there might be something wrong with you.

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(Nervous author in the Serengeti. My resolution was to avoid being eaten by a lion.)

And now that I look back over everything that has happened this year…I’m kind of speechless.

Here are just some of the highlights:

AWKWARD was published!

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I laughed really hard when I saw this in my own hometown.

I met Ellen DeGeneres!

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My mom opened a fabulous quilt store in Ashland, Oregon called Sew Creative. And she drafted asked me to be a bobbin in the 4th of July parade for her.

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I created some pretty awesome art projects at Southern Oregon University.

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“Now who could have done that, I wonder?”

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I was going for a Statue of Liberty meets Starbucks meets heavily-caffeinated Marni look. I think it worked…

I failed to get my driver’s license…

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“I swear, I wasn’t driving over the speed limit!”

I graduated from Lewis & Clark college!

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Certified college graduate and everything!

I went to the Romance Writers of America conference!

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Jackpot!

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I also got to hang out with all of these incredibly talented authors!

My short story EPIC REVENGE was published in the Magical Mayhem anthology!

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I found out that Disney wants to option AWKWARD as a made-for-TV movie!

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DECKED WITH HOLLY was published and I seriously improved at making book trailers!

AWKWARD is going to be translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian!

(I don’t have a picture for this, but I am super excited)

And I finished writing my first draft of Chelsea’s book, NOTABLE! I’m almost finished with my first round of editing too. So that feels pretty darn great.

Honestly, this has been the most amazing year for me. And the best part has definitely been you! The love and support I have received is just…incredible.

So thank you for the best pubversary a writer could ever wish to receive!

As a sort of pubversary present you can win a copy of DECKED WITH HOLLY from the lovely Kathy at her blog I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

Giveaway here!

She also asks me some fabulous interview questions that I hope you will all enjoy!

And don’t forget to check out all the other stops in my DECKED WITH HOLLY blog tour for even more chances to win!

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Tour Schedule
Week One:
Dec. 31, 2012 – Kathy @ I Am A Reader Not A Writer – Author Interview
Jan. 1, 2013 – Karielle @ Books a la Mode – Guest Post – Author Top Ten
Jan. 2, 2013 – Krystal @ Live to Read – Review
Jan. 3, 2013 – Aeicha @ Word Spelunking – Guest Post
Jan. 4, 2013 – JennRenee @ JennRenee Read – Review
Week Two:
Jan. 7, 2013 – Tara @ Hobbitsies – Guest Post
Jan. 8, 2013 – Kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best – Review
Jan. 9, 2013 – Hannah @ The Girl in a Cafe – Author Interview
Jan. 10, 2013 – Emilie @ Emilie’s Book World – Review
Jan. 11, 2013 – Rachel @ Parajunkee – Guest Post
And on that note, I hope everyone has an extraordinarily awesome New Years!
Much love,
Marni

 

 

 

INVISIBLE has left the laptop!

Hey everyone!

As many of you may have heard, I’ve been working away recently on finishing up my edits for Invisible (aka the non-spinoff sequel to Awkward).

Now editing is not my favorite part of the editing process. Usually I stare at my laptop and say:

 

And of course that inevitably turns into this…

 

 

Why must paragraphs be so sneaky?

 

Luckily, I have a fantastic editor, Alicia Condon, who gives brilliant suggestions. And with her help, I think I successfully pulled off some book-related karate.

 

This is the extent of my actual karate skills.

But it’s over now. For real, folks. I’M DONE EDITING INVISIBLE!

 

This is an accurate depiction of my Starbucks victory dance. 

How did I celebrate? By meeting up for more coffee with romance authors extraordinaire, Maisey Yates and Lisa Hendrix!

Which is kind of incredible considering that Maisey was the very first person I met at the RWA.

Maisey Yates: Made of Awesome.

At the time, I wasn’t exactly acting cool though. In fact, I’m still not entirely certain I was coherent. Probably because every fiber of my being was doing this:

So I was pretty thrilled to see her again, under slightly less intense conditions. And I’m so glad Lisa was able to join us!

Lisa Hendrix: Supernaturally Awesome.

It felt like a mini-RWA conference! Especially when we roped our Applebee’s waitress into a discussion of Fifty Shades of Grey.

It was a night of great hilarity that nearly didn’t end because I can’t give directions to save my life. Seriously. Maisey threatened to shank me and I still couldn’t produce a single street name. I just kept gesturing vaguely to my left and saying, “I think it’s that direction. Maybe.”

So if a young female character ends up abandoned by the side of the road in Maisey’s next book, we will know what inspired that particular scene.

 

And now I’m feeling all inspired to get back to writing. Well, maybe after I watch a few episodes of Veronica Mars

~Marni

 

 

P.S. If you haven’t already seen it, you should totally check out my book trailer for Decked with Holly! 

Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve Got Something Special for YOU!

Hey everyone!

I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This year I spent mine at home, getting thoroughly stuffed on turkey, and playing board games with my family.

Oh, and I watched this clip from the West Wing. Because it’s just not Thanksgiving for me without President Bartlet.

And yes, I also considered all the things in my life that I’m grateful for–including elastic waistbands for post pumpkin-pie time.

I’m incredibly blessed with amazing friends and family. My fridge is always stocked with food, unless I’ve gone on a late night rampage and consumed everything in sight. And I have the world’s best roommate who kindly overlooks my less endearing quirks and makes sure that creepy old men don’t try to get fresh with me.

It’s greatly appreciated.

 

She also generously overlooks when my post workout dance breaks turn into this… *Snickers*

To be honest, I feel grateful every single day that this is my life. I mean, I get to write novels for a living. I get to fall in love with fictional characters and then share them with other people! I get to spend hours doodling in journals and that technically counts as work!

 

This is how I feel inside almost every day.

So I’d like to give a big thank you for everyone who made this dream job possible!

I’m especially grateful for my super-agent Laurie McLean and her colleague Pam van Hylckama Vlieg.

They are just…the best.

And I’m grateful for romance writers, for crime-fighters, for readers, for tweeters, for librarians and…antiquarians.

This is how I feel whenever someone “likes” my books on Amazon.

And in the spirit of giving, I am sharing my homemade book trailer for Decked with Holly, my spin-off holiday sequel to Awkward. Now we can finally start getting excited for the holiday season!

I hope everyone likes it!

Happy Reading!

~Marni

Secret Travel Plans and Upcoming Events Revealed!

Hey everyone,

I’m back in Oregon for Thanksgiving!

*Happy dances*

Normally, I like to keep everyone apprised of my travel plans before I hop on airplanes, but not this time.

Why you ask?

Because I’m here as a Thanksgiving/birthday surprise for my mom.

Although, apparently what she really wants for her birthday is a new trash can. I’m not kidding. And when I pointed out that the last time I checked never is the right year for a birthday trash can, she insisted that she doesn’t want just any old garbage bearing receptacle.

Oh no, she wants an enormous green one that’s up to Ashland code with a lid that actually closes properly.

“Sounds like rubbish to me!”

Still, when I jumped out from behind a white pillar to surprise her at the airport, her expression was priceless. I was pretty amazed myself…that my family managed to keep it a secret.

I may be the only blogger in the family but none of us are particularly good at keeping secrets.

Which is why I will reveal all my plans right now:

I’m going to be in Ashland until November 26th and then my aunt and I will be driving up to Portland. This is the point where an accurate Magic 8 Ball would insist that I should try again later because it cannot predict now.

One of the best parts of my job is the travel flexibility. I can pretty much work wherever I can get a steady supply of coffee and Internet access. So I’m not sure when exactly I will be returning to LA.

To be honest, part of the reason my travel plans are so open right now is because I’ve got a serious case of tunnel vision going on.

I have a week to turn in the (hopefully) last round of edits for Invisible.

“Damn you, evil paragraph! Why must you ruin everything? WHY?!” 

And the only other thing my mom requested for her birthday–besides the trashcan–was a copy of Notable. I thought that I might be able to appease her by printing out the 2/3rds of it which I’ve edited but…she’s finished it already.

And now she keeps not-so subtly dropping hints that she wants to read more.

Today as we walked together to her fabulous quilt store, Sew Creative, she sighed and said, “This weather is great for quilting. Or reading.”

When I merely nodded, her smile widened devilishly.

“Hint hint.”

Yeah…so no pressure there.

I also have a short story for an anthology that needs to be edited (More on that later! I’m so excited for it!) and I’m organizing two panel proposals for the Romance Writers of America conference this year.

And I have a super exciting Decked with Holly project that I’m hoping to reveal on Thanksgiving!

So stay tuned for that explosion of awesomeness.

It’s times like this when I laugh really hard when my siblings suggest that I get a real job.

Okay, so maybe I respond more like this:

But if everything goes according to plan, most of the pressure should be off in a week or two.

And in the meantime, I get to enjoy a family Thanksgiving in my hometown. I get to go for walks and see trees with actual leaves that are actually changing color. I’ve also found time to snuggle with our dog Rascal and to read romance novels in the hot tub.

So despite the time crunch, I’m enjoying the holiday season to the fullest!

Now I better get back to work.

Happy reading, everyone!

~Marni

I need to learn “AWKWARD” in Portuguese (and other big news)!!!

Hey everyone!

Yesterday I woke up to a stunningly awesome email sitting in my inbox from my awesome KTeen editor, Alicia Condon.

Here was the subject line:

3 Brazilian Rights Sale – Marni Bates

Now, maybe I’ve been reading too many romance novels lately, because I completely misinterpreted what this meant.

At first I thought maybe Kensington sold some books about Brazilian billionaires for another author and wanted to let me know about it.

And then I thought that since they included my name, maybe they wanted to hire me to write books about Brazilian billionaires! (All Brazilians are super wealthy in romance novels. And they wear very, very expensive ties that become disheveled after they rake their hands through their thick, dark hair.)

And yes, I would have a whole lot of fun writing three steamy books about very rich Brazilian men! Except, it’s not exactly what I had in mind for my next project…

Anyhow, I rubbed my eyes and decided that maybe instead of obsessing over the subject line I should do something bold like, oh, I dunno, read the email.

Which is how I found out that Awkward, Decked with Holly, and Invisible are all going to be translated into Portuguese!!!!

I am absolutely thrilled to be translated. It almost makes me want to learn Portuguese. The only thing stopping me is the fact that I’m terrible at learning other languages.

Trust me, the last thing Brazilians want is for me to mangle their beautiful language.

I want to give Brazil a big hug too.

But with some help from Google translate, I’d like to say:

Obrigado por ler meus livros, Brasil!

That’s not all either!

Because today I got another email…

Awkward is going to be translated into Spanish!!!!

Gracias por leer mis libros, España!!!!

I seriously can’t express how excited I am about all of this. So I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone involved in making this happen.

Feliz Leitura!

¡Feliz lectura!

Happy Reading!

~Marni

Two Weeks of Awesome!!!

Okay, so I know my birthday is kinda old news now, but I have lots of fun pictures to share! So here’s what happened:

*Opening scene*

Marni wakes up to Birthday Banquet of AWESOME!

 

Anytime I can light my breakfast on fire, I’m pretty darn happy.

Then I spoke to family members and friends and felt very loved. Thanks everyone for all the well-wishes!

And then Gwyn and I went to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena where we proceeded to crack each other up for hours.

I pretended that was Chelsea Halloway. This is the closest I managed.

 

Yeah…something tells me Chelsea would be rolling her eyes.

We thought this guy had the most flair:

 

“Does this armor make me look fat?”

This guy had the most anger management issues:

“How could you not say, SPOILER ALERT!?”

This guy was the swooniest:

Um, hellooo Mr. Darcy!

Then we created this brilliant still-life piece entitled, The Gambling Lobster.

 

But I think the highlight had to be when we saw a statue and simultaneously burst out laughing because he was totally doing Psy’s Gangnam Style dance.

For anyone unfamiliar with this reference (*cough* Mom) you can watch the music video here: 

For everyone else…enjoy!

 

We even got the security guard to start singing with us.

Then I had a birthday cocktail after reminding Gwyn’s older brother again that 23 is past the legal drinking age.

 

One sushi dinner later, and Gwyn and I were watching Pitch Perfect in a practically empty theater.

Definitely the right note to end the day on.

But the best part about living with a best friend and loving your job is that every day kind of feels like it could be a birthday.

 

And I definitely got my birthday wish when the election results came in. *Releases huge sigh of relief*

Oh, and I got to see an advanced showing of the last Twilight movie when I went to The Ellen DeGeneres show.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it into the studio audience. But I’ll get another chance for that in March. I can hardly wait!

And today I got some AMAZINGLY AWESOME news that I can’t wait to share with everyone! But I don’t think I’m allowed to share it quite yet. Since I have a hard time keeping secrets to myself, Gwyn and her older brother Owen made me keep editing while they read some pretty darn good books…

This one might by my favorite picture of them all:

It was a lovely, lazy afternoon… until they decided to drag me up a fricking mountain.

Gwyn just shook her head in disbelief and said, “you wanted to go!”

And since she is cooking my dinner, I plan to smile and nod…while I whimper in pain.

Still, the view of LA at sunset is completely worth the blisters. A great time was had by all.

 

I hope you enjoyed all the photos! Keep checking in for that AMAZINGLY AWESOME news I’ve promised to share!

Happy Reading!

~Marni

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