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girl at sea
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I am feeling the season today! Maybe this is because I have something very exciting to share with you! News, and a chance for you to win the BEST GIFT OF 2006!

Also, I just had such a festive night reading with Coe Booth, E. Lockhart, John Green, and David Levithan. Well, until the fight broke out, that is.

It really did start out well. We were at Books of Wonder, New York’s premier children’s bookstore (in fact, the one on which the bookstore in You’ve Got Mail is based). The five of us were sitting behind our tables, answering some questions. Then, one of the audience members made a little joke about John Green.

You see, his new book, An Abundance of Katherines, is about a boy who gets dumped by 19 girls named Katherine. This audience member was making light of the fact that John Green had so much experience being dumped. John was smiling at first, but then, his expression changed. Something inside of him seemed to break.

“You people,” he growled. “You think it’s easy to write a book? We’ll take all of you on! Authors against the audience! I’ve wanted to do this for years!”

David, Coe and I stared at him. But E. Lockhart got this gleam in her eye.

“I’m up for it,” she said. “Come on!”

And before any of us knew what was happening, she started lobbing copies of The Boy Book into the audience like Chinese stars. She took down three readers in the front row.

Much to my surprise, the audience seemed just as ready for this. A fourth reader managed to defend herself with a paperback copy of The Boyfriend List, which deflected its sequel easily.

“Drat!” she yelled. “They’re using our own words against us!”

David Levithan was looking around in disbelief when a copy of Boy Meets Boy got him in the shoulder. In one graceful motion, he stood and flipped over the table to give us some protection. Coe Booth wisely dropped at once. I was the only one who hadn’t moved. I still sat in my chair, until a copy of Devilish got me in the head and knocked me out of it.

“Author down!” E. Lockhart yelled.

“I’m fine,” I mumbled. “It wasn’t my longest book. It they had got me with The Bermudez Triangle, I’d have been a goner.”

“You’ll pay for that!” John Green screamed. He ripped off his shirt and started making some kind of literary war whoop*. He grabbed for the stack of An Abundance of Katherines that had been piled in front of him and started winging them in all directions.

“I won the Printz, you #%$^#%$&^#%^&s!” he screamed.

David Levithan was quickly drawing up a map of the room with his signing Sharpie.

“They’ve got us backed in to a corner,” he said. “We need to clear a path over to the paperback classics. From there, we can cut through picture books and get to the Cupcake Café. Then we’ll have them right where we want them.”

Just then, a copy of Looking for Alaska caught John Green unawares, knocking off his glasses.

“They’ve blinded me!” he said. “The @^&#*$^%&*#^$&*^#&s!”

Coe caught him as he fell. He curled into a fetal position.

At this point, books of all shapes, genres, and bindings were flying in our direction. David stood to fight, but was pummeled with copies of the countless anthologies he’s worked on, his co-written books, and his novels. He dropped to the ground, struck down by a copy of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.

“Leave me,” he said weakly. “Save yourselves.”

“Never!” E. Lockhart said. “No one gets left behind!”

And with that, she was taken down with a copy of Fly on the Wall.


This is when I really got into it. I clawed for some 13 Little Blue Envelopes paperbacks and started hurling them back as best I could. I tried my best, but my efforts were producing no effect. The paperbacks, even though they contained 12 pages of extras, were too light to cause any real damage. Some of the audience members had broken into the storeroom, and they were coming at us with all of our backlist titles. I dove to the ground as a flurry of Key to the Golden Firebird hardbacks came my way.

“We can’t win,” I said. “They’ve got us.”

“My glasses!” John cried.

“Go!” David said again, his voice fading. “You can still get out. You can write another book.”

E. Lockhart was unmoving.

“Oh, they’ve made me mad now,” Coe said. “They can’t get me. Tyrell is my first book!”

She stood tall and started driving them back with every copy of Tyrell she had. The audience had nothing to fight back with. Slowly, book by book, Coe drove them back, punctuating each throw with a word.

“That. Is. What. You. Get! I. Didn’t. Get. Published. To. Deal. With. This!”

“We’re winning,” I said, as they retreated back into middle grade fiction. “We’re winning!”

E. Lockhart moaned and pulled herself upright.

“Get them, Coe!” she said.

John had found his glasses. They were broken, and they sat lopsided on his face.

“My glasses,” he said.

“Wait!” a voice came from the other side. “Wait! I’m just a fan! I just wanted you to sign my book! I’m a fan!”

John peered over the top of the table.

“Really?” he said. “Oh. No problem!”

And it was over as soon as it started. We all signed, except for David, who was unconscious. We propped him up in his chair and put a copy of Wide Awake in his hands.

. . .

Okay. Fine. None of that happened. I was just shamelessly plugging all of those books.

We read, and then we did a mash-up of all five our books, and then we answered questions and signed. But it could have. The potential was there.

This was really just a ruse to get you all hot and bothered for the amazing thing I am about to lay on you now. Here it is, the cover of GIRL AT SEA!


You can’t get your hands on this until June 7th . . . unless you win my holiday contest. Oh yes. You could win a RARE GALLEY of the book, signed by me, to put under your Christmas tree/Hanukah bush/rubber plant of joy. NO ONE ELSE WILL HAVE THIS! YOU WILL BE THE BEST GIFT-GIVER!

Check back here tomorrow for details. TOMORROW! That’s when the festivities begin!

* a noise somewhere between the grinding of a crayon in an electric pencil sharpener and the manly smack of a New York Review of Books being slapped down on a table. not overly loud. it is a brainy noise.


Blogger John Green said...

i think you have just rendered my summary of the evening irrelevant.

I sent you a myspace message.

Also, how did you get blogger to work? I've been trying to post all day.

10:19 PM  
Blogger coe booth said...

Hysterical, Maureen. You are too funny!!! (Nothing wrong with shameless plugs!)

Love the new book cover, too!!!

10:28 PM  
Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

You think the five of you up at the table had it bad. Cassie Clare and I barely made it out alive. And I woke up this morning with a huge Tyrell-shaped bruise on my forehead!

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was hilarious, love the use of shameless plugs.

The Girl At Sea cover looks a lot like the one for 13lbe, if that's any hint to the plot--I'll be reading it this summer! And here's to hoping the girl on the cover matches the girl described in the book this time! (LOVE 13lbe--but the cover does it no justice.)

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I sound like such a badass!
I have a guacamole hangover


4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seriouly think that you should write a sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I read it 4 times already!

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you please put your email out on the next blog my computer refuses to work with the links.

Huge Fan!

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally think you should make 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Key to The Golden Firebird, and Develish into movies! You should direct it too!

9:44 AM  
Blogger Jordan Sonnenblick said...

Really funny post! I was already sad that I'd missed the event (I was doing a school visit in Pennsylvania), and your blog entry just completed the devastation . . .

Sigh. Would'a been fun. And I throw a mean hardcover, too. Just last week I took out three Ninjas (and a brick wall) with a copy of _Octavian Nothing_.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

I just laughed so hard that I woke up my cat.

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the idea that The Bermudez Triangle isn't as popular as the other tree. I mean, three. It isn't my fault that the cover looks kind of like a tree, with hearts, of course. Heh.

Anyway, very funny as always, Maureen.

P.S. I love You've Got Mail. It is one of my favorite movies, and persists in being one of my favorite movies, although I've seen it so many times that I should be sick of it by now.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Made my day :)

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you nice sharing

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I think that Book Battle was more epic than the Clone Wars. Congratulations on making it out alive. :P

9:28 PM  

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