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

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