November 10, 2014

Events and Interviews and Updates

It's November already. Where did the time go? I feel like this whole fall was one big blur, probably because lots of stuff went down! Here's a rundown of all of it as well as an update on what events I'll be doing very soon. As well as a pic of my front yard decorated out for Halloween.



October

I turned in a very rough draft of my next novel, Smash & Grab! So excited about this one--bank heists and romance and adventure! 

I did 4 library visits in 4 days and this happened:


I'm fine, the car wasn't, but she's all fixed up now and running great!
  

I went to the Tampa Bay Festival of Reading and met these two authors--still can't quiet believe it.

Yep, that's right, RL Stine and Debbie Macomber!




I went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a ginormous writer's retreat with so many talented ladies, my head's still swimming (plus one surprise guest: Maggie Stiefvater!!!). 


Maggie's awesome car. 


It is weird and awesome to eat dinner and hang in the hot tub with authors I fan girl over myself! Here's the down low on what happens at this sort of thing--since I know when I heard about authors going on these that's all I wanted to know! 





  • You share a room with another author(s)--sometimes you already know them, sometimes you don't. Last time I did my sleepover time with the amazing EK Johnston, and this retreat I was with my buddy, Amy Tintera--so both times I won the roommate jackpot!  

  • Lots of writing happens during the day, but nighttime is CRAZY time. There is dancing (not me though 'cause you know I can't dance), hot tubbing, laughing, talking, and general hilarity. 
  • We share our goals, hopes, fears, and dreams. This is the part I love the best, the moments when I remember that I'm not the only one who's scared/elated/worried/excited about various stages of this whole publishing thing.

  • Everyone pitches in. We share meal time prep and clean up duties. The food is always good and the company even better.
  • You spend a lot of time hoping everyone will think you are cool/smart/fun because everyone else is so cool/smart/funny. 
  • You realize that all these people you look up to feel the exact same way about their careers and their writing as you do, that you are just an earlier, less well known version of them which is inspiring because if they can do it maybe you can too!
The back of our huge retreat house!


It was a twelve hour drive there and back, one I made with Christina Farley and Vivi Barnes. Still patting ourselves on the back for multitasking and making these two school visit videos while we drove.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw0QWBnNK6Y&list=UUjFfy7vYdnnN7w7jX25r24g

Our "we are so overtired we're giddy" video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj22kaFoOe8&list=UUjFfy7vYdnnN7w7jX25r24g


November

This month things are going to slow down some, but not right away. Here's what's happening:

1. I will be in the Pasco section of the Tampa Tribune this Friday. I was interviewed by the very witty and wonderful Ernest Hooper about my writing and my journey to getting published.

2. I'll be heading over to New Orleans this weekend for the Nola Book Festival where I get to do a presentation at 4 pm with Lauren Kate, yep that Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen series and more recently Teardrop and Waterfall! So excited about this (and the possibility of sneaking away at some point for some beignets and bananas foster. Sugar high? YES PLEASE). Find out more about the festival herehttp://nolabookfest.org/

3. I'll fly from New Orleans directly to Orlando to do a library event at the Alafaya Branch with the YA Chicks, Christina Farley and Vivi Barnes as well as Jenny Sanchez. We'll be there talking writing from 2-4 pm.

4. I'll be at the Barnes and Noble at Wiregrass Mall on November 22, from 3-5 pm signing books and hanging out.

5. On a personal note, I'll be headed to the Space Coast Marathon with the family at the end of the month to watch my husband run....while I watch...and eat a bagel. But I will be doing my first 5k in a while on Thanksgiving Day. Gotta try to combat the writer twenty (pounds that come with deadline stress and general angst). Wish me luck! I'm actually out of breath just thinking about it.

That's all for now. Hope to see some of you at one or more of the events above.



November 3, 2014

International Thriller Writers 1000 Thriller Giveaway!!!




Have you heard about the completely awesome giveaway going on courtesy of the International Thriller Writers and The Big Thrill? It has to be one of the coolest, biggest, and most thrilling giveaways I've ever seen (see what I did right there?)! Anyway, if you like thrillers you should hot foot it over here and enter to win. Each winner will receive a new thriller every week for an entire year. Yep,  you heard me right AN ENTIRE YEAR'S WORTH OF THRILLERS!!!

The contest is going on now, so what are you waiting for? ENTER!

September 29, 2014

Young Adult Book Bash--Tonight!!



Hey there Orlando peeps and all those living remotely close: I'll be at Bookmarkit tonight for the Young Adult Book Bash from 7-9 pm. Join me, Christina Farley, Christina Benjamin, and Jaimie Engle as we talk about our books, publishing, and everything in between. And did I mention that there would be giveaways? Well, there will be! For more information or to register for this event, head here. Hope to see you there!

September 22, 2014

Upcoming Events: Bookmarkit and Tampa Necronomicon

For the last few weeks I've been holed up drafting my next novel hard core, but I'll be taking a few brief breaks to come out of my writer cave. So if you happen to be at one of the events listed below and you notice that I'm talking waaaaay too fast and acting like a kid after they've downed five giant pixie sticks know that it's because I have barely left my house for a looooong time! Here's where I'll be:




Bookmarkit:

September 29, 2014, 7-9pm

Come see me, Christina Farley, Christina Benjamin, and Jaimie M. Engle talk about our books. There will be giveaways, books, and lots of fun. Register for this event here.






Tampa Necronomicon:

October 3-5, Various times

I'll be attending the con and participating on several panels over my birthday weekend! Can't think of a more fun way to celebrate. Take a look at the full panel schedule here. You get bonus points if you spot me between panels when I will furiously be drafting this book, trying to meet my deadline. 

September 8, 2014

Book Launch Recap






This past weekend we celebrated ASTRAY's release with a launch event. I wanted to do something a little outside the box this time and so we held it at a bowling alley as a nod to one of my favorite scenes in the book. Instead of doing a reading and holding a discussion about ASTRAY I decided to basically have a party. I did have books for sale, but we also had bowling, pool tables, shuffle board and such which made the whole event feel very relaxed and low key. By far it was my favorite event that I've planned for one of my books. I loved that I got to chat with everyone, that they could bring their families, and that we could all enjoy food, fun, and time spent together without things getting too formal. For any fellow authors here's what I did to plan for the event:

1. Picking a Venue: Having the signing some place fun with lots to do drew in a bigger crowd for sure. There was an expense involved, but the place I booked gave me a discount since I would be advertising the event locally. 
2. Design an eye catching invitation
3. Involve your local bookstore. Having Inkwood sell my books allowed me to focus on signing and having fun. They also helped to advertise the event in their store and through media outlets that they work with.
4. Advertise locally and online as much as you can. I contacted every local newspaper and went in to personally hand out invites to librarians at local libraries (which didn't generate a lot of attendees for the launch, but did garner interest in future visits with the library). I also did a Facebook events page and tweeted about the launch over the month or so before.
5. Cut expenses where you can. I made all the cupcakes we served which took lots of time/labor, but saved me on food expense.




Now that I've told you what I did that I think worked, here's what I'd do differently next time...

1. Send invites to local school teachers and media specialists and tie in their attendance to a giveaway. Next time I plan to get a class set of my book together and give it away to a teacher/media specialist that attends (hold a drawing). I've also thought about giving away a YA library of books from fellow author friends along with mine.

2. Have an agenda. I kept things loose this time, but next I would probably make an agenda at least for me of how the party will go, but probably I might put it on a cute poster board too so people know what to expect from the time.

3. Try to tie in the launch to a community event to draw in more attendees.


Overall the day was wonderful and I was both pleased and touched to have so many fellow writer friends attend as well as readers who were fans of GATED! Here's some extra pics of all the fun:










August 28, 2014

ASTRAY Blog Tour and Other Online Places I've Been.



ASTRAY is currently on a blog tour! There will be reviews, playlists and more. AND I've been visiting some other blogs as well to reveal plot secrets, talk writing, and such. Want to see where I'm going and where I've been? Here's the complete list:


The ASTRAY Blog Tour


Me, My Shelf, and I Up now.
A Dream Within a Dream Up now.
Candace's Book Blog  Up now.
Stories & Sweeties 8/29
The Children's Book Review 8/31
Evie Bookish 9/2
The Hiding Spot 8/29
Christy's Book Addiction 9/3
Live to Read 9/4
Confessions of a Readaholic 9/5
Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club 9/8
Bundle of Books 9/15
Happy Indulgence Books 9/25

Bonus Posts:


Janice Hardy's Fiction University  "Learning to be an Unapolgetic Planster"

YA Insiders Series Behind the scenes secrets from ASTRAY






August 26, 2014

Happy Book Birthday for ASTRAY!

Every time I think about it I have to pinch myself. I still can't believe that as of today I have not one, but TWO books out in the world with a third in the works!!! A few years ago I would've fell over if someone told me this would all happen. I mean I hoped, but...wow. Just wow. So how does a girl celebrate the release of her latest book? Um, well. It's not as glamorous as you might think. Turns out my way of celebrating tends to involve writing or revising the next book. Currently I'm in the midst of drafting my next novel, a standalone called SMASH AND GRAB. The deadline is looming and so I have a pretty strict schedule to keep in order to meet it. That said, I do have a few special things planned:


 1. ASTRAY's Book Launch

I really want this to feel like a party and so I've decided to hold it at a bowling alley, rent out the billiards room and spend the day talking to my writer/blogger friends, meeting local readers, and generally stuffing my face with a cupcake or two while signing books and playing pool. Why a bowling alley? Well, in the book my main character, Lyla, goes on a special date with her guy, Cody, and that's where they go. It was one of my more favorite scenes to write and so when I thought about where to hold the party, Splitsville Lanes was the logical choice. If you are anywhere near Tampa on September 7 from 2-4pm I hope you'll join me there! Inkwood Books will be providing the books so if you'd like to make sure you get a signed copy that day, I'd recommend pre-ordering through them here: http://www.inkwoodbooks.com/book/9780449816028



 2. Family Vacation with Mickey! 






Three days after the launch event the husband and I are surprising our kids with a trip to Disney. We're picking them up from school and driving to Orlando under the guise of meeting some friends for dinner. Once we're there, we'll stop by the hotel with the idea of playing video games in its arcade while we wait to meet said friends. But while we're there, we'll say something about how cool it would be to ditch school/work and just spend the night at the hotel and go to Disney. When they agree we're presenting them with their Magic Bands and our plans to stay for five days!







 I'm so excited about this that I am constantly in danger of spilling the beans(which speaking of, if you come to the launch, please don't mention this!). AND to top it all off, we've gotten year passes, so this will be the kick off to a year of visiting the parks! I am not afraid to admit that I am a big Disney fan. That's right. The writer of 2 creepy cult books has a love affair with the Mouse!





3. Goodreads Giveaway: 3 Signed Copies of ASTRAY!

I'm giving away 3 signed copies of ASTRAY right now. Go on check it out!





Goodreads Book Giveaway

Astray by Amy Christine Parker

Astray

by Amy Christine Parker

Giveaway ends September 07, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

August 16, 2014

ASTRAY Giveaway!

Interested in winning a free signed copy of ASTRAY? I'm giving away 3 on Goodreads right now!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Astray by Amy Christine Parker

Astray

by Amy Christine Parker

Giveaway ends September 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

August 12, 2014

I Have Big News!!!





I've been trying like mad to keep my lips sealed about this, but thankfully as of today I can scream it from the rooftops. I HAVE ANOTHER BOOK DEAL!!! I couldn't be more excited to work with my amazing editor, Chelsea Eberly, and the Random House Children's staff again. I still pinch myself regularly when I think about being a Random House author since so many of my favorite authors are with them! Here is the Publisher's Marketplace announcement.

Children's: Young Adult
GATED author Amy Christine Parker's SMASH & GRAB, about a girl whose family has lost everything, so she masterminds a daring bank heist full of twists and turns, only to be surprised when another thief steals her heart, to Chelsea Eberly at Random House Children's, by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency (World).

Now I'm off to finish WRITING THIS. 

July 28, 2014

Upcoming Events!

It's already almost August, can you believe it? Just a little less than a month from now ASTRAY will be out in the world!!! Which means it's time for me to get out there and start talking about it. So, here's a little run down of where I'll be in this month. Join me if you can, each event sounds like so much fun!

First up there's....

This poster is amazing, right? JD Netto designed it specifically for the event. I am so excited to hang out with these talented authors and talk books, writing, and everything else! Join us if you can, there will be swag giveaways and much more!


Then I will be hightailing it home to Wesley Chapel to be a part of this series....


At The Shops at Wiregrass Barnes and Noble, August 3, 2014 from 1-4pm. I'll be hanging out in honor of one of the great YA thriller writers, James Patterson, talking about his books, my books, and writing thrillers for teens. There will be special discounts, fun, and games, so join us!



And in exactly 29 days ASTRAY, the sequel to GATED, will be on bookshelves everywhere!!! In order to celebrate, I'll be throwing a launch party extravaganza on September 7, 2014 at Splitsville Luxury Lanes in Channelside in Tampa from 2-4pm. 



In honor of a key scene in the book there will be bowling, billiards, and food as well as giveaways and swag. I hope you'll come help me celebrate if you're in the neighborhood...or if you're willing to drive a little bit...or a lot! 


June 17, 2014

German Cover for GATED






Look what I just found. The German cover for GATED! Isn't it a beauty? It comes out there in September this year and I couldn't be more excited. Here's why:

1. My mother's family is German. My grandmother's maiden name is Hoff and her parents immigrated from Germany to the US. It's nice to have my book releasing in a country where I have roots.

2. My first ever trip over seas was to Germany. My husband and I took an impromptu trip to Germany when we were newly married because we found a great airline deal....probably because it was February and not many people want to tour in the dead of winter. But even with sleet our first day and some fights over my serious lack of map reading skills, we had such a brilliant time exploring the Romantic Road, Rheinfels Castle, and Rotenburg. What I remember most was the beauty of each destination, the kindness of the people, and the food--yum.

In short I couldn't be more pleased about sharing GATED with the readers in Germany.

June 9, 2014

Spreecast with Crossroad Reviews/GATED Giveaways




This past weekend I had the pleasure of doing a spreecast for Crossroad Reviews with three other very talented and amazing authors: Jamie Ayres, Leila Howland, and Lindsay Cummings. I'm not sure what was more fun, answering viewer questions myself or listening to the Q&A's the other authors gave. Here is the link to the cast in case you're interested and the link to the giveaway going on at the Crossroads Reviews website.




Speaking of giveaways, there is a GATED giveaway going on right now run by the very sweet, very wonderful sister bloggers: Morgan and Fallon with Seeing Double in Neverland. If you want to read GATED and don't have a copy, you should go check it out!


May 27, 2014

GATED Paperback Party!!!



Ever since I saw GATED's very creepy/cool new cover for the paperback, I've been jones-ing to be able to see it on shelves. Well as of today the wait is over! Paperback GATED is strutting it's stuff and looking mighty fine (if I do say so myself) in it's new blue and yellow jacket on bookstore shelves near you as well as all over the place online. I'm so excited about this redesign AND the sneak peak into ASTRAY in the very back of the book. Here's where you can find a copy...












April 29, 2014

My Writing Process (Blog Hop) and Pics from the Past Two Months

The last two months have been a whirlwind of awesome I am only just now recovering from. I think out of all the time I've been a published author (which isn't even a year yet), this spring has been when it's hit me most that it's legit. I got to attend my first two book festivals, the UCF Book Festival and the Southern Kentucky Book Festival, and I got to go on a week long tour with Jessica Brody, Jessica Khoury, Anna Banks, and Christina Farley. So many good memories to revisit! Here's a few of my favorites:
This is Grace who was waiting to say hi when I arrived at my signing table in Kentucky. She gushed about Gated and basically made me smile like a loon because I was so excited that she was excited!


Me with Lauren Morrill and Jenny Hubbard, two of my fellow RH authors. They are both super sweet and wickedly talented. How did I ever end up in this group?!!


Me with Christina Farley, Anna Banks, Jessica Brody, and Jessica Khoury, my fellow YA Chicks on tour. SO much fun!


Barnes and Noble Signing w/top row: Jamie Ayres, Jessica Porter, Eliza Tilton, (bottom row: Melissa Landers, Lynne Matson, and Krystal Wade.


I could bombard you with even more pics, but since the main focus of this post is to take part in the writing process blog hop that a bunch of other middle grade and young adult authors are participating in, I'm going to get right to it. I was tapped by the lovely and talented, Kristen Simmons, author of ARTICLE FIVE, BREAKING POINT, and THREE to answer some questions about my writing process after we hung out at the UCF Festival together. (You can see her post on her writing process here)



So here goes:

  1. What am I working on?
I am currently working on a novel about a girl who has been abducted by a serial killer couple who use her as bait to lure in other girls they plan to torture and then murder...light-hearted stuff, right? The story focuses on the last victim she's helped kidnap and the bond she forges with her. Can she watch this girl die or will she try to stop it this time? 


     2.How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like to think that my work balances a healthy dose of horror and suspense with the psychological ramifications of being in awful situations where you are confronted by humans capable of extreme evil.I hope that I create villians who feel like fully formed people with both good and bad elements to them. I want you to both hate them and be drawn in by them. My work is solidly contemporary, but one of my goals is to make readers see that many themes presented in horror, sci fi, and/or dystopia exist in contemporary stories as well.

     3. How does your writing process work?

I am a total plantser--no, I didn't misspell that. It's a hybrid between plotter and pantser. Basically I try very hard to plot out the book beforehand by doing character studies, story boards, etc. BUT then I start writing and most of what I thought would happen goes out the window and I fly by the seat of my pants or by the ink from my pen. Still, I do it because I think it's necessary for me to get fully into the story. I write longhand first in composition notebooks ( I used to use legal pads, but the notebooks are more portable and fit in my purse). Then I revise as I type those pages in. Once the whole WIP is typed in I print out the whole draft and revise yet again. I write slow and I can't do a sloppy first draft no matter what. I need to revise as I go. It's how I roll. I am definitely the tortoise writing wise and not the hare. You can see a detailed version of my writing process on my YA Rebels Vlog here or here.


And now I'm going to tap Krystal Wade to pick up the blog hop from here. It seemed fitting since she's got a deliciously creepy book coming out very soon called CHARMING that I can't wait to read. Check out the cover, awesome, right? Besides, she has chickens and is seriously fun to hang out with. 'nough said.












April 21, 2014

Kentucky Here I Come!!!





If you live anywhere near Bowling Green you can come see me at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival this weekend. AND there will be a whole bunch of other YA authors there including Jessica Brody, Julie Kagawa, Jessica Khoury, Jenny Hubbard, Melissa Landers, Shannon Messenger, Lauren Morill, Katie McGarry, CJ Redwine, and TONS more!!!! Check out the scheduled programs and panels here. 

I will be doing a panel called First Books for YA Authors at 1pm in the auditorium. There will be three other awesome panels as well that you won't want to miss! Plus there's a huge signing space where we will all be signing books. Come see us!!



March 31, 2014

University of Central Florida Book Festival Is Happening This Week!!




This Saturday, April 5, 2014 I'll be at the UCF Book Festival in Orlando with lots of amazing authors. If you are in the Orlando area I hope you'll head over to the CFE arena and check out all of the activities and panels.

I'll be doing a panel that I'm so excited about with Christy Farley and Kristen Simmons called "Saving the World with Young Adult Authors" at 10am. You can check out where and how to get there in the festival program. It should be awesome as these lovely ladies are two of my favorite people to hang out with!

You should come hang out with us too. Hope to see you there.

March 4, 2014

School Festivals, Author Tours and Book Fests, Whew!!

I am less than twenty four hours from leaving for my first high school literacy festival and I figured that since it is the kick off to LOTS of appearances, it might be good to do a quick post on where I'll be the next two months, so here goes:

March 6-7: 

Riverdale High School Literacy Festival: I will be visiting students and meeting other YA authors and I couldn't be more excited!
March 7: 

Barnes and Noble Author Signing w/ Melissa Landers and Lynne Matson at 3pm at the Fort Meyers Barnes and Noble

March 11: 

YA Chicks Kickin' It tour starts with a bang: two high school visits followed by a five author/one agent panel presentation on young adult books and publishing at Saint Leo University, 7pm in TECO Hall (this is an open to the public event). Authors joining me: Christina Farley, Anna Banks, Jessica Brody, Jessica Khoury, and Lucienne Diver (agent/author--which means I guess SIX author and one agent since she's both!)

March 12: 

Two more YA Chicks school visits followed by a Book Signing at Inkwood Books in Tampa at 7pm--open to the public. Participating authors: Christina Farley, Anna Banks, Jessica Brody, Jessica Khoury

March 14: 

Author Signing w/ Bookmark It Books in Orlando, 5-7pm--open to the public. Participating authors: Christina Farley, Anna Banks, Jessica Brody, Jessica Khoury

March 15:

  SCBWI Writer's Unleashed Event at the Downtown Orlando Library 9am-12:30pm.

April 4-5: 

University of Central Florida Book Festival

10am Panel: Saving the World With Young Adult Authors. I'll be joined by Kristen Simmons and Christina Farley. Followed by a book signing directly afterwards.

April 25-26: 

Southern Kentucky Festival of Books

 1pm Panel: First Books by YA Authors, in the auditorium. I'll be joined by authors: Courtney Stevens, Elizabeth Fama, Sarah Combs, and M.G. Buehrlen.
I will be signing books as well, more information to come.

If you are anywhere near any of the open to the public events, I would love to meet you!



February 17, 2014

New Covers!!!!

I wanted to share my lovely new covers for the GATED paperback and my next book, ASTRAY, here in case you haven't seen them floating around the web just yet. Aren't they beautiful?! I must admit I keep drooling over them every chance I get! A HUGE thank you to the Random House peeps responsible for all this awesomeness!!




January 16, 2014

A Case Of Mistaken Identity

My name is pretty common: Amy Christine Parker. There are lots of Amy Parkers out there, and more than a few Amy Christine Parkers. Sometimes this commonality can cause problems though--like this week for instance. Apparently very recently another Amy Parker threw her thing down and wrote something controversial--at least for some people-- about vaccinations and people are getting us mixed up and coming for me with either undeserved praise or pitchforks. So I figured I'd clear a few things up/tell you what I've learned:


1. There are many, many Amy Parkers out there. More than three of us are writers, probably there are many more than that. It's the curse of having such a common name. I'd switch to my maiden name if I thought it'd help, but unfortunately it is common too: Williams. I thought about using a pen name, but I'm absent minded enough that I would probably never answer to it when called and repeatedly flub signings because I'd forget to use my pen name. My brain is too whirly swirly all the time to mess with pen names right now. Maybe in a few years when I've got a better handle on this whole authoring thing, or if my career crashes and  burns and I need to rise from the ashes anonymously.


2. I don't have a public opinion about vaccinations right now. I don't feel like I've done my due research on the subject and so can not weigh in intelligently at this time.


3. It is disconcerting to get weird hate DM's and such. I'm sure the other Amy feels the same. It is a good reminder for me to always be kind, even when I disagree vehemently with someone.


And that is all.


Of course, if you've stumbled here looking for the other Amy and found me instead, welcome!


Are you a reader?


If so, have I got the book for you....



January 9, 2014

YABC Book Awards!

I'm so excited that Gated was nominated as a contender for Best Teen Horror/Thriller Book for 2013 by Young Adult Books Central! I couldn't be in better company, especially since I'm nominated right alongside an amazingly talented fellow Lucky 13-er and our debut group as a whole is represented in almost every other category! If you love books and have a few favorites from this year, go see if they're nominated and vote for them, it's one of the best ways to show an author how much you liked their book. Okay, now I'm off to do cartwheels and back flips and such because this is all just way too exciting. (yeah, I'm lying--I'm over forty and in terrible shape, BUT my kids will totally be doing them for me, I swear.)

January 1, 2014

The Lucky 13's New Year's Bash Giveaway!







Want a copy of Gated or another of the awesome books that debuted this year from The Lucky 13s? Then you should hustle over to our New Year's Bash Facebook page and enter to win. It's super easy, just like the Facebook page of the author(s) whose book you'd like to win and viola, you're entered. Cool way to start the year, right?