WELCOME HOME Pre-order Giveaway: Open Internationally!

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Oh my goodness! Welcome Home is almost here!

It’s been a really lovely ride so far, and a huge thank you goes out to the team at Flux and all the wonderful contributors who have been pushing this little book out there. The anthology was recently featured by Bustle and Barnes & Noble in some lovely lists, and the reviews coming in from places like Kirkus, School Library Journal, and VOYA have totally warmed my heart.

“Authors across a variety of genres share stories that range from the fantastical to gritty, but all will touch readers hearts (and cause a few to shed some tears).” – School Library Journal

“This volume earns a place in every YA library and it is up to YA librarians to put it into the hands of teens who need it most.” – VOYA

To celebrate the upcoming release, I’ve put together a little pre-order campaign to get some swag, including some limited SIGNED swag, into your hands. And yes, it’s all international, because mailing paper and postcards is something I can totally do. I learned my lesson (glares at the necklaces I made for Inked).

So! Here we go! Swag, all artfully photographed on pieces of my furniture.

THE FIRST ONE-HUNDRED

It’s not too wild to hope for 100 pre-orders, is it? Cause that’s what I’m shooting for here. A boy can dream, you guys.

The first 100 pre-order-ers will get a bundle of signed postcards, autographed by Young Adult rockstars Adi Alsaid, Courtney C. Stevens, Dave Connis, Kate Watson, and Shannon M. Parker. These beauties were designed by author and artist Ashley Poston.

postcard set

They are currently on their way to the respective authors to be signed and mailed back.  You’ll also get a signed bookmark (seen below) from me!

I’ll keep this option up as long as it’s available, so if you see it here… guess what! I’ve still got signed sets to send.

EVERYONE

If we miraculously break that one-hundred number, don’t worry! I’ve still got prizes to send out.

After those one-hundred signed postcard bundles are gone, everyone after that will receive one unsigned card of their choosing as well as a signed bookmark, pictured below.

signed bookmarks

Look how FUNCTIONAL that bookmark is! My goodness. The ottoman that these bookmarks were photographed on will not be included, sorry.

Now! How do you dish that you pre-ordered?

LET ME KNOW

Let me know you pre-ordered by sending your proof right to me! I’m at ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com. Forwarding a receipt or a photo of your pre-order at a favorite local bookstore is just fine. You can order WELCOME HOME wherever books are sold, and here are a few links for you:

And that’s it!

Your Story is Welcome, An Adoption Short Story Microsite

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A big part of why I wanted Welcome Home to happen was the lack of adoption stories floating around for kids. I wanted teenagers to see themselves in the stories they’re reading. In all ways. Happy stories, sad stories, stories that’ll make them angry.

And I also wanted to encourage them to tell stories themselves.

So, as a part of Welcome Home, I’m launching Your Story Is Welcome.

What is it?

So, Your Story Is Welcome is a microsite tied into the book. And yes. I know. I did book marketing for years. I know microsites for books are generally a bad idea. But this isn’t just about the book.

It’s about the kids the book is written for.

Here, I’m encouraging young writers and guest authors to pen their own adoption-centered short stories, and send them on over to be published on the website.

How Will it Work?

Writers can send over their short stories, and if the story is accepted (I can’t take everything!), I’ll commission a piece of artwork for the story. I’ll also be tapping guest editors for each short. You might get an editor at a big publishing house, you might get an author you love, you might get a literary agent. It’ll be a fun surprise.

I have some wonderful volunteers lined up and ready to play along, including Adi Alsaid, Sangu Mandanna, Nic Stone, and Dave Connis. Want to be a guest editor? Let me know.

The stories will be published on the microsite, and hopefully, they’ll get shared around a bit due to the joys of Tumblr. If you’re wondering who owns the story after it’s published on the website… the answer is you. Do whatever you want with the story after. Please. I don’t want the rights to anything.

Guidelines & How to Submit

Short stories should be around 2,000 words or less, and centered around adoption. They can be entirely fictional or based on personal experience. You can send your story in right to me at ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com, and tell me a little about yourself. Simple as that. You’ll hear back pretty quickly.

Are you a teacher, foster parent, librarian, adoptive parent, youth center worker, etc. who knows someone that might want to participate? Do you want some flyers and postcards to share? Please email me (ericsmithrocks at gmail dot com) with your address, and I will send you a bundle of free postcards in the mail to giveaway to students and colleagues.

The postcards are lovely with gorgeous quotes on the front, and the flyers are short one-sheets that will explain how to send in a story. Thanks to Ashley Poston for designing these. Please buy all her books, past and future.

How to Download Flyers & Postcards

You can download the flyer here, and save the images from the postcards below, if you just want to print them out yourself to hang around or pass out. That’s fine too, of course!

Note, that these files are BIG, so these are going to load up pretty giant on your screen when you open them.

Questions?

I’m here to answer them. Email away. Thank you! Read more

Deals: Brave Enough by Kati Gardner Acquired by Flux

kati and flux

I’m so happy this day is finally here.

When Kati Gardner pitched me her novel, I inhaled it immediately. After I turned off my iPad and stopped crying, I was moved to take on Kati as an author and represent her work not just because her novel was a stirring contemporary read, but because I think it’s important for someone like Kati to be able to tell a story like this one.

Kati’s debut, BRAVE ENOUGH, is about a teen ballerina who loses a leg to cancer… and Kati herself is an amputee and a cancer survivor. The world is full of books with characters living with disabilities and disease, written by people who have never experienced the truth of their fiction.

That needs to change.

Kati’s done sensitivity reading for a number of writers over the past year or so, and at now she gets to tell her own story.

I’m thrilled to say that BRAVE ENOUGH will be published by Flux in the Spring of 2018.

In BRAVE ENOUGH, readers meet Cason, a ballerina pushing herself to the limit, with the opportunity of a lifetime on the line… a scholarship and the chance to join one of the most prestigious ballet troupes in the country. And then there’s Davis, a recovering drug addict, volunteering in his old oncology unit, with the same people who saved him from the cancer that drove him to drugs three years ago.

The two of them collide when Cason is hospitalized, setting them on a path of physical and emotional recovery, as they navigate their new relationship and get ready to attend cancer camp together.

It reads like a mashup of Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, Bunheads by Sophie Flack, Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and I can’t wait for you to read it. 

Here’s the blip from Publisher’s Weekly Children’s Bookshelf:

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Be sure to send Kati all the congrats on Twitter, and wish her and her editor (hi McKelle!) well.

Kati, I’m so proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished. It has been such an honor getting this book out there, and I can’t wait for whatever you do next.

The Girl and the Grove: New Title & Pub Date!

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Remember that little book I announced last month? The Dryad of Fairmount Park?

It has a publication date and a new title.

THE GIRL AND THE GROVE will be out with Flux on May 8th, 2018!

Me and the team at Flux all agreed that the original title didn’t quite sound Young Adult, and the story isn’t entirely about the magic. It’s more about the character’s journey as she wrestles with identity. So I really love this new title. Thank you to Flux’s Mari Kesselring and Megan Naidl and my agent Dawn for the brainstorming session. I’m so happy with the result.

It’s a solid year away, but for now, you can add it to your Goodreads here (thanks Shveta!).

Book News: The Dryad of Fairmount Park, To Be Published Spring 2018

novel aesthetics

That bundle of images is from a #NovelAesthetics I tweeted last year.

And now that book is actually happening.

Before I moved away from Philadelphia, I spent every other weekend holed up with my YA writing group (hi Randy, Lauren, Katherine, and Julie, I miss all of you terribly), fussing over a book that was challenging the hell out of me.

Much like the drive to curate my adoption-themed anthology Welcome Home, I wanted to write a novel for adopted kids. Teens who were wrestling with finding a sense of identity, the way I did when I was younger. I wanted there to be magic, friendship, a diverse cast of characters. I wanted to talk about how we treat the world around us, and how it reflects on how we treat one another.

I wanted a lot.

I affectionately referred to this book as “The Nena Book” whenever I talked about it, as my wife pushed me to try and write this. To talk about transracial adoptees (like me), and to write a story that was incredibly close and personal to me.

It was absolutely the book of my heart. And now, it’ll be published by Flux in the Spring of 2018. Read more