My Helen Hamilton

May 31, 2012

I was on a jumbo jet, having very nearly missed my flight back to the States.  My husband and I had just done a mad-dash through Heathrow Airport (I was in heeled boots, no less) and we were the last two people to board.  Sweating, panting, and grimacing at the chorus of consumptive coughs all around me, I looked a few rows over and saw this face staring at me from the back of a magazine.

I nudged my husband, pointed to the full page ad and said, "Helen."  He agreed.  But something about it bothered me, even though I knew it was right.  She was wearing too much make up and her hair was done and, well, she was too fierce.  She was GODDESS Helen, not STARCROSSED Helen.  So I looked up the model, and I found this shot of her with no makeup on and her hair undone.

And I though, "yeah".  She's wary, even hiding something.  She does just about everything she can to downplay her looks and fit in a little better.  She's even hunching her shoulders a bit to hide how tall she is.  This is Helen when she is still unsure of herself, and this is the Helen that I originally imagined.  Shy.  Guarded.  The "fierce" part comes later, from a lot of suffering and fighting.

Just like it does for the rest of us.  :)

Josie

And the winners of my last 3 DREAMLESS ARCs are...

May 26, 2012

Clarissa Chong

Becky Johnson

Esther Tomaszewski

Congratulations you three! Please send me your mailing addresses and I will send those out to you ASAP.

Thank you all so much for participating.  If it's any consolation to those of you who didn't win... DREAMLESS is out in stores NOW!!!!!!!!!!

I went to my local B&N store at The Grove yesterday and they were just putting DREAMLESS up on the shelves, so you may not have to wait until Tuesday to get it.  Call first just to make sure, but I think that a lot of stores put it out early because of Memorial weekend.

I asked you all to post your choice for a theme song for my book, and I got a ton of responses.  I saw a vote for just about every love song ever written, both past and present. From Joe Cocker to Florence and the Machine to ABBA, you all had such amazing suggestion. Some of you even posted lyrics and links to song I may not have heard, so of course I had to check them out.  Even when I was supposed to be working.  My argument is that I am sort of working if it's for my blog, right?  Let me just say, that I spent way too much time listening to music because of this contest.

Although there were a ton of really unique choices, there was one song that I'm pretty sure came up more than any other-- Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up".  This was your un-official choice for the theme song.  For now anyway, because I'm sure if we wait a few months or so you'll all may have different suggestions.  Maybe we'll do this again next year before GODDESS comes out?

Anyway, thank you all for chiming in!!

xxxo

Josie

Photos v. Imagination

May 24, 2012

I was always against posting pictures of my characters. I even fought my poor US editor about putting Helen’s face on the cover of my books. I argued that no two people have the same definition for the most beautiful face in the world, and that putting pictures of a girl on the cover would actually be detrimental to the book and to young women. What if a young woman picks up the book, looks at the cover, and says to herself, “well, I look nothing like her. I’m not white, or blonde, and I don’t have her eyes. Does that mean I’m not beautiful?”

No. It really doesn’t.

So I put up quite a stink. And, since Harper Teen just wants to make me happy, they let me have my way. And then they showed me the cover for DREAMLESS and I could see the model’s face. I fussed and fretted and told them to put her face (as lovely as it was) in shadow. And they let me have my way again. Thanks, Babs!

Then I got amnesia. Maybe I was kicked in the head by donkey and my husband decided not to mention it to me for nefarious “it’s your turn to clean the litter box” reasons, but somewhere along the way, I forgot why I fought having a face on the cover—and why I’ve decided to wait on going forward with any talk of a film until all three books are out. For whatever reason, I changed my mind and decided that posting pictures of my idea of the cast would be a great way to lead into the release of DREAMLESS. But sadly, I’m sensing that some of you, my dear StarHearts, are disappointed because my choices don’t match up to the images that you have in your heads.

Sometimes a picture isn’t worth thousand words.

Books are just words. There are no special effects or booming soundtracks. But books are awesome. They are awesome because they live inside our heads and inside our hearts. When we read we build worlds inside of ourselves, and every aspect of that world is so personal, and (if the book really touches us) every aspect of it is so intensely precious that we HATE it when someone comes along and messes with our beautiful world in any way. Even, and maybe more so, when the author comes along and tell us something different than what we expected.

Let me say this now. I’m not necessarily right about my interpretation. But you are. Your vision of the cast of characters is right, and there is nothing that I can post that will ever change that. Your cast is the right cast. Your vision of Helen’s bedroom is right. Your impression of the News Store is right. Your STARCROSSED is the right STARCROSSED—always and forever—because I wrote these books for you.

And if me posting pictures is ruining anyone’s experience, I’ll stop. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  Should I keep posting, or not?

We’ll go from there. :)

Josie

One week to go...!!!

May 22, 2012

... before the release of DREAMLESS!!! I still can't sleep to save my life. Talk about art imitating life. I'm anxious, nervous, edgy, antsy, you name it, I'm feeling it. I guess that means I'm not sleeping until next week. My husband is threatening to slip me a Mickey.  :D

I wanted to remind you all about the ARC giveaway going on now. I'm giving away my last 3 ARCs of DREAMLESS. The deadline is Friday. Scroll down to read more about it.

Also, be sure and check out my blog tour starting today. It kicks off with a wonderful review from Hypable.

Check out Mundie Moms site for details on upcoming stops.

That's all for now. Big hugs to all!

Josie

My Starcrossed Characters

May 18, 2012

Most of you have already told me, and showed me who you picture the Stacrossed characters to be. Now it’s my turn. If my series were ever to be made into films, something that I’m reluctant to let happen until all 3 books are out, I have a pretty good idea as to what Helen and Lucas would look like.

So… starting Monday on my Facebook Page I will be revealing my choices one by one, until the 29th of May, when I will reveal my Helen.

Stay tuned!

Final DREAMLESS ARC Giveaway!

May 11, 2012

Is this mike on?  *tap tap*

Hidy-ho, StarHearts!  I know I’ve been MIA, but I have such a good excuse.  I’ve been out meeting some of you!  I took my show on the road there for a bit.  Most recently I was in Ontario, California for a way-more-fun-than-is-healthy-for-stay-at-home-writers panel with Jay Asher, Alexandra Monir, and Anna Carey.  (For like 5 minutes Tahereh Mafi was there as well but she had to judge a spelling bee so she couldn’t stay.  It was great to meet her, though, even if she couldn’t hang for long.)

And the fun doesn’t stop there.  I'll be in Nantucket June 15-17.  I’ll be there for the Nantucket Book Festival, pimping some hardbacks.  (Oooh that sounds way dirtier than I thought it would!)  There are more appearances being worked out and will post them on my website as soon as I get all the details.

Anyway!  The whole point of this rambling, half-incoherent post is that I’ve been wicked busy.  But that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you.

I’m giving away the last of my ARC’s before the book comes out.  3 of them!  We’re going to have ourselves a regular bonanza!  And of course, I have a doozy of a question for you.

Q: If you had to pick a theme song for the STARCROSSED series, which one would it be?

Be sure and leave me your answer as a comment.

The 3 winners will receive a signed ARC of DREAMLESS...

... along with signed DREAMLESS bookplates.

In order to enter the giveaway simply do the following:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline to enter is Friday, May 25th.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, May 27th.

Thank you and good luck to all!! :)

Josie

Last Chance To Win A DREAMLESS ARC

May 10, 2012

I have three ARCs of DREAMLESS left. So, for my final DREAMLESS giveaway, I'm giving them all alway!

I'll post the details tomorrow.

And The Winner of the Dreamless ARC is...

May 3, 2012

Rebecca Hipworth

Congratulations, Rebecca!

Please send me your mailing address and I will send the ARC out to you ASAP.  :)

As for the question, I asked you all what you would do if you found out that your best friend's significant other was cheating on him/her-- would you tell?  And most of you said that you would.  But I was a bit surprised (as always) that there were quite a few of you that said you would stay out of it.

I would NEVER be able to keep my mouth shut about something like that, even if it caused problems with my relationship with my friend.  Even if I tried to keep it a secret because that was the best possible thing for my friend, I'm pretty sure it would just slip out.  We'd be going to see and movie and I'd be all, "Hey (best friend).  Pass the popcorn.  And your man is a dirty lying whore."  I just don't think I'd be able to keep my big mouth shut.  It's a problem being half Irish, half Italian.  You end up saying whatever the hell you're thinking and sometimes it gets messy.

As always, this question is something that may come up in my next book.  Keep in mind that all of these questions I'm asking you are research for me.  I'm really interested in what you all have to say and I want to know why you think the way you do.  Finding out how and why people think the way they do helps me add layers to my characters, so I value all of your input.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me sort through some sticky moral issues, and I'll be back again soon with another question and more stuff to give away soon.

Big Hug!

Josie

Official Dreamless UK Cover Reveal!

May 2, 2012

And it's animated!!!

CLICK HERE to view it.

xxxo

Josie

Ontario California Teen Book Festival

May 1, 2012

I will be at the 2nd annual Teen Book Festival in Ontario, California, THIS SATURDAY May 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. I would love to see all of my Southern California StarHearts there! ♥

Jay Asher, Anna Carey, and Alexandra Monir will also be there.

It will be tons of fun!

For information call: 909-395-2225.

Last Call!

May 1, 2012

The deadline to enter the DREAMLESS ARC giveaway is tomorrow.

Don't miss out!

xxxo

Josie