BRAND NEW BOOK DEAL! DIAL EM FOR MURDER!

Hey lovelies!

I have some incredibly happy news to share with all of you today. My new YA book, DIAL EM FOR MURDER, is going to be published by Merit Press!!!!!

I have an official press announcement in Publisher’s Marketplace and everything!

Children’s: Young Adult
Marni Bates’s DIAL EM FOR MURDER, humor and mayhem ensue when a teen girl gets caught up in the death of a hi-tech hitman and must try to stay one step ahead of the killers lurking in the shadows of an exclusive prep school, to Jacquelyn Mitchard at Merit Press, for publication in summer 2016, by Shannon Hassan at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (NA). Rights also sold to Mora in Hungary, by Lex Copyright Office. Foreign: Taryn Fagerness Agency

Now I could technically end this blog post right here (okay, not right here. At the very least I need a few celebratory gifs, of course!) but Emmy wants me to share more of her story with you. So here is a small behind-the-scenes look at this project.

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The beginning threads of DIAL EM FOR MURDER began tugging at me shortly after I finished writing AWKWARD. I couldn’t get Emmy out of my head. For years. And I can honestly say that writing the ending to DIAL EM FOR MURDER was the first time I’ve ever done the Happy Dance of Author Joy in Starbucks, gone out for celebratory ice cream, and wanted to start working on the sequel before I’d even finished eating my cone. It was my passion project. My obsession.

It still is.

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This book taught me about blind faith and unconditional love and self-doubt and conviction. I think it takes a certain amount of all the above to be a creative person. You have to be willing to break your own heart with every rejection. Willing to believe, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that someone else will love this beautifully maddening creation as much as you do. You have to  acknowledge all those doubting voices in your head, but not let them paralyze you. And you have to love the project so damn much that you know writing it was the only option.

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At least that’s how I see it.

Words can’t express how excited I am to work with Jacquelyn Mitchard at Merit Press. I can’t wait to share this story with all my fans. And yes, it will be translated for my Hungarian readers! Thank goodness! I dropped some hints about the boys in Emmy’s life during my recent adventures abroad. Because my fans are very sneaky. And they fill my heart with so much joy that I suddenly can’t keep a secret…

My agent Shannon Hassan worked tirelessly on this project with me. I can’t thank her enough. Truly. She’s absolutely amazing.

My friends and family helped me battle the self-doubt monsters. They cheered me on every step of the way. You know who you are. You know that I love you. A special thanks to my housemates who witnessed the full glory of a Marni-can’t-sleep-because-her-characters-are-scaring-her adventure. I’m pretty sure that handy man will never forget it either…

*smiles innocently*

And I’d also like to thank my fans. You know that part about unconditional love? Well, your letters/messages/pictures/drawings/muffins/general awesomeness made me smile on days when the doubt monsters were winning. Your passion and enthusiasm inspire me daily. I love each and every one of you.

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Now I think it might be celebration time!

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(This one is for you, Tija!)

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*continues geeking out*

Awkwardly yours,

Marni

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The Craziest Thing (By Far) I’ve Ever Done…

Hey everyone!

So the craziest part of being an (almost) adult is probably doing the things you always said you were going to do, but never thought would actually happen. Or if you did think they would happen, you always pictured a much more mature version of yourself doing them.

Not, y’know…you.

Case in point: Traveling the world with a single backpack.

For two months.

Alone.

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Did I mention that I was doing this alone? Because yeah. Alone. It’ll be me, my laptop (Amelia Airheart), and my loaner backpack (Victor Hugo).

Yes, I name inanimate objects. If I ever find myself stuck on an island like Tom Hanks in Castaway, I will have have a billion Wilsons to keep me company.

So here is the game plan:

May 31st–Fly out of Portland, Oregon.

June 2nd–HOORAY! LAND IN BUDAPEST!

June 4-7–BOOK WEEK IN BUDAPEST! (Meet fans! Geek out like whoa!)

June 8-10–Stay in Budapest, but take some fun day trips.

June 9–Day trip to Győr. (Hopefully do a signing/meet fans!)

June 10–Day trip to either Tatabánya or Gödöllő. (Feel free to tell me which one I should pick in the comments section!)

June 11–Train to Debrecen. (Hopefully do a signing/meet fans!)

June 13–Bus to Oradea. (A signing is in the process of being booked! Huzzah! Can’t wait to meet my fans!)

June 14–Train to Cluj-Naopka. (Do a signing? Meet fans? Convince my fans to check out Hoia Bacu forest with me so that I’m not abducted by aliens?)

June 17–Train to Sighişoara! Visit the foritified churches with my fans? See Vlad the Impaler’s birthplace. 

June 19–Train to Brasov. (Do a signing? Meet fans? Visit Bran castle! Hike the Seven Ladders Canyon with fans who won’t let me quit after four ladders…)

June 22–Train to Sinaia. Visit Peles castle and Sinaia Monastery!

June 24–Bus to Bucharest! (Another signing, perhaps? Meet more fans?)

June 28–Fly to Istanbul. (I’m so excited to stay with an awesome Hungarian blogger!)

July 3– Um…

I.

Have.

No.

Clue.

(Hang out on a Greek island, maybe? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!)

July 16–Fly from Athens to Rome!

July 20–Fly from Rome to New York City!

July 22–HELLO ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA CONFERENCE!

July 26–Fly from New York City to Portland, Oregon.

Sleep for an eternity.

That’s the plan, guys. That’s all I’ve got right now. I might even show up in Budapest with a bunch of it still unplanned.

Now I have been thinking of trying something that could be crazy or incredibly cool!

See, throughout this trip process, I’ve pretty much let my fans pick my destinations. The original plan was to visit Croatia, not Romania! So what if we took it a few steps further…

If a fan wants to meet up with me for breakfast, lunch, dinner, sightseeing, etc….I’m game. I will post every step of my journey and leave the rest up to them. But they should consider this an open invitation to hang out. I hope by posting everything on my Facebook author page right here, I’ll be able to interact with my fans in a very real, meaningful way.

Obviously, I’m going to use my best judgment with this. If I ever start feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, I’ll have to cut the experiment short, or at the very least, restructure it with more ground rules. But I’m willing to give it a chance!

I think the trip will be even more awesome if my readers go on mini-adventures with me!

I can hardly wait to see everyone!

Awkwardly yours,

Marni

P.S. No readings/signings/school visits have been booked yet for Romania. So if my fans would like to contact libraries/bookstores/schools about setting up an event, that would be great!

Szia mindenki!

Tehát a legőrültebb része, hogy egy (majdnem) felnőtt Valószínűleg csinál a dolog, amit mindig azt mondta, hogy ezt fogja csinálni, de soha nem gondoltam volna ténylegesen meg is történik. Vagy ha nem hiszem, hogy meg fog történni, hogy mindig a képen egy sokkal érettebb változata magad csinál velük.

Nem, tudod … te.

Példa erre: Utazás a világ egyetlen hátizsák.

A két hónap. Egyedül.

Mondtam már, hogy én ezt egyedül? Mert igen. Egyedül. Ez lesz velem, én laptop (Amelia Airheart), és az én loaner hátizsák (Victor Hugo).

Igen, nevezze élettelen tárgyak. Ha valaha találom magam megragadt egy szigeten, mint Tom Hanks a Castaway én lesz egy milliárd Wilson, hogy engem cég.

Tehát itt van a játék tervet:

Május 31. – kirepülnek a Portland, Oregon.

Június 2 – Hurrá! LAND Budapesten!

Június 04-07 – KÖNYV héten Budapesten! (Meet rajongók! Geek ki, mint a hé!)

Június 08-10 -, akik Budapesten, de némi szórakoztató kirándulások.

Június 9. – Day kirándulás Győr. (Remélhetőleg nem egy aláírási / megfeleljen rajongók!)

Június 10 – Napos kirándulás vagy Tatabánya vagy Gödöllő. (Nyugodtan mondja meg, melyik kéne felvenni a hozzászólások részben!)

Június 11. – A vonat Debrecenbe. (Remélhetőleg nem egy aláírási / megfeleljen rajongók!)

Június 13. – Bus Nagyváradra. (A aláírása folyamatban van a elkönyvelik! Huzzah! Alig várom, hogy megfeleljen a rajongók!)

Június 14 – Vonat Cluj-Naopka. (Van egy aláírási? Találkozz rajongók? Meggyőzni a rajongók, hogy nézd meg Hoia Bacu erdő velem, hogy nem vagyok elrabolták az idegenek?)

Június 17 – Vonat Segesvár! Látogasson el a foritified egyházak a rajongókkal? Lásd Drakulát szülőháza.

Június 19 – Vonat Brasov. (Van egy aláírási? Találkozz rajongók? Látogatás Bran kastélyt! Kirándulás a hét létrák Canyon rajongók, akik nem engedik, hogy kilép, miután négy létrák …)

Június 22 – Vonat Sinaia. Látogassa Peles kastély és a Sinaia-kolostor!

Június 24. – Bus Bukarestbe! (Egy másik aláíró, talán? Találkozz több rajongó?)

Június 28. – Fly Isztambulba. (Olyan izgatott vagyok, hogy maradjon egy fantasztikus magyar blogger!)

Július 3– Um …

I.

Van.

Nem.

Nyom.

(Tarts ki egy görög szigeten, talán? Nyugodtan hagyja javaslataikat a magyarázat!)

Július 16. – Repüljön Athén Rómába!

Július 20. – Fly Rómából New York City!

Július 22 – HELLO Romance Writers of America KONFERENCIA!

Július 26. – Repüljön New York City to Portland, Oregon.

Aludni egy örökkévalóság.

Ez a terv, srácok. Ez minden, amim van most. Talán még megjelenni Budapesten, egy csomó még mindig nem tervezett.

Most már gondoltam próbál valami, hogy lehet őrült, vagy hihetetlenül jó!

Lásd, ez alatt a kirándulás folyamat, amit nagyjából hagyja a rajongóim vegye a célpontok. Az eredeti terv az volt, hogy látogassa meg Horvátországban, Romániában nem! Tehát mi lenne, ha elvitte néhány lépést …

Ha egy rajongó szeretne találkozni velem a reggeli, ebéd, vacsora, városnézés, stb …. Én játékot. Én is hozzászólok minden lépését az utam, és a többit hagyja az ő dolguk. De érdemes ezt a nyílt felhívás lógni. Remélem, a kiküldetés mindent az én Facebook szerző oldalhoz itt leszek képes kapcsolatba lépni a rajongók nagyon is valós, értelmes módon.

Nyilvánvaló, hogy fogom használni a legjobb belátása ezzel. Ha én valaha is indul érzés kellemetlen vagy veszélyes, nekem kell vágni a kísérletet, vagy legalábbis, átszervezését, több alapszabályokat. De nem vagyok hajlandó adni neki egy esélyt!

Azt hiszem, az utazás lesz még fantasztikusabb, ha olvasóim menni mini-kalandok velem!

Már alig várom, hogy mindenki!

Ügyetlenül tiéd,

Marni

P.S. Nem Olvasás / dedikálások / iskolai látogatások került lefoglalásra még a Romániában. Tehát, ha a rajongóim Szeretném felvenni a kapcsolatot a könyvtárak / könyvesboltok / iskolák beállításával kapcsolatos esemény, az nagyon jó lenne!

Marni on the Move!!!

Hey everyone!

I have some news. Big news. Enormous oh-my-god-what-am-I-getting-myself-into-right-now news!

I’m heading off to Europe on June 1st!

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Specifically, I’m going to a book festival in Budapest, Hungary (!!!) where I will get to meet my incredible Hungarian fans (!!!) and totally geek out over all the awesomeness (!!!). I’m still working out the details–and will be for the next few months–but I’m already trembling with excitement.

Okay, and some of that shaking is nervous energy. Because I’m not just going to Budapest. I’m going to be–wait for it–backpacking through Romania, flying to Istanbul, and then adventuring to Greece.

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And then I will spend five days in Rome before flying to New York City.

Why am I not flying directly back to Portland? Funny, you should ask…I’m going to be in NYC for the Romance Writers of America Conference from July 22-25th, 2015.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about taking such a huge international trip all by myself. I mean, I have trouble using the cork-opener thingies. My upper body strength? Zip. Nada. Nonexistent. But soon, I’ll be carting around everything on my back and trust me, that’s scary!

But I also think I’m ready to scare myself. To challenge myself. To see what I’m capable of with only a backpack and a whole lot of enthusiasm.

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Enthusiasm has never been a problem for me…

I would also like to give an enormous thank you to my Hungarian publisher for flying me out to Budapest. This trip wouldn’t be possible without them. I’d still be staring wistfully at pictures of Hungary in Portland instead of gleefully cataloging everything in my closet and evaluating the travel worthiness of each item. I’m an incredibly lucky girl.

If I had told High School Marni that one day she would be traveling to Budapest to meet her fans…she wouldn’t have believed me. It feels too good to be true. This trip is composed entirely out of my wildest dreams.

I can’t wait to share this adventure with you!

All my love,

Marni

How Did I Get Here?

Hey everyone,

I still can’t believe this is my life.

That’s not a joke or an exaggeration. It stuns me nearly every single day that I get to live out my wildest fantasy–one I was too afraid to even name for most of high school. And every day brings something ridiculously wonderful into my life. A message on my Facebook author page from someone who enjoyed reading Awkward and can’t wait to buy Invisible. A tweet from an author whose work I admire. An email from my fantastic Hungarian publisher. Maybe it will be as simple as reading a line in my new work in progress which cracks me up.

I still find myself trying to understand how I could have gotten here.

My older brother recently reminded me that when I was in elementary school he predicted that I’d be a trash collector. He told me that waste disposal was the logical occupation for someone with dog-poop brown eyes and a lack of common sense. “Hey someone has to do it,” he reasoned. “And that someone is definitely going to be you.”

I remember being terrified that he’d be right.

And now here I am proudly holding this!

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My Hungarian publisher renamed Awkward: Help, I’ve become a YouTube Star!

I love it so much!

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My best imitation of the Mackenzie yell.

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Signed and everything! It doesn’t get any more official!

If you’re curious about my experience with my Hungarian publisher, you should definitely check out the video I made about it!

It doesn’t feel real to me.

My third novel (Invisible) will be released in just under two weeks.

There aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to capture how I feel about that.

And I know that there is someone very important I need to thank for all of this: you! 

Yep.

You.

You are the reason I’m not hauling trash off to landfills right now. You are the reason I will be leading a panel at the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta. You are the reason I will be celebrating my 24th birthday in Las Vegas with a whole bunch of sensational YA authors!

Maybe that’s the hardest part for me to believe. Somehow I found a group of people–intelligent, passionate, unashamedly geeky people–who have supported me throughout this process. Who believe in me even when I don’t.

Remember that scene in The Sound of Music where Maria turns to Captain von Trapp and sings, “For here you are, standing there, loving me–whether or not you should. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good”?

You guys make me feel like Julie Freaking Andrews.

I think vlog Marni might say it best, so I’ll let her take it from here!

All my love,

Marni