Thanks so much for visiting HipWriterMama, my blog about children's books, authors and readergirlz!

It's time for a change. I've decided to focus my attention on my writing blog, www.vivianleemahoney.com. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A NOVEL GIFT: First Book and readergirlz

BREAKING NEWS! readergirlz and First Book are partnering to give away more than 125,000 brand-new books to low-income teen readers.

They’re great books, too, donated by generous publishers. Among the three dozen choices are P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast’s HOUSE OF NIGHT series and Alyson Noël’s SHADOWLAND.

We need your help getting the word out about the A Novel Gift campaign. Right now! Right now! As in, now!

Let's get organizations serving these teens registered with First Book so they can be matched with inventory during the holidays.

Here’s what we need you to do: Post to Facebook and tweet your beak off about these books using the hashtag #novelgift.

Here’s a tinyurl link to their registration page: http://tinyurl.com/2a5mwpj.

Or you can link to this readergirlz blog post: http://readergirlz.blogspot.com/2010/11/novel-gift-over-125000-free-books-to.html

Then, get in touch with every group you can think of that works with young adults–schools, after-school programs, church youth groups, community centers, etc.—and let them know that these books are available now.

The five-minute online registration these groups can use is here:

First Book is also eager to answer questions, either by email to help@firstbook.org, or by phone at 866-READ-NOW or 866-732-3669.

If you participate, please drop us a note at readergirlz@gmail.com to be included in our blog roll of thanks to run December 31.

Be a part of A Novel Gift! OK, go!
Thank you,
from First Book and the readergirlz teams.

Monday, October 18, 2010

readergirlz news

From the readergirlz blog:

Hey rgz,

As we get ready to celebrate Teen Read Week together, we also wanted to celebrate rgz upcoming new format.

This October is our last feature as you know it. So be sure to share the love with Laini in these remaining weeks.

So what's up? Well, how about the realization that we ALL read way more than one book a month, right? And the postergirlz pick such awesome recommends. How about this:

* the divas choose a theme a month
* you nominate songs for that theme, and Little Willow will build the playlist
* we'll have a community service spotlight for the theme
* the postergirlz'll nominate the very best YA books for the theme, new releases or old
* one book will be featured EVERY Monday

*squeeeeee* Our Author Liaison diva, Micol Ostow, will be outreaching to each weekly feature for a guest blog post and will invite them to hang with us in the comments. If the author is under deadline and can't make it over, we'll still have a post and be able to chat it up, share the love, leave questions, and so on.

The readergirlz website will continue to hang with a final issue, hence that playlist you all helped build. And the fabbity archives will remain available for your book clubs and libraries.

Feel free to spread the news and be ready for quick changing content of the very best in the children's lit industry. Of course we'll still have Cover Stories and Story Secrets and other posts of awesome that the divas bring to the table. The rgz SALON and Street Team will also continue with their posts, along with reports from our rgz HOSTS across the country.

You know we are always looking for great ways to further teen literacy and social service. Watch for this changeover on November 1. So, what do you think?

Enjoy Teen Read Week, and always, always, always: Read, Reflect, and Reach Out!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

readergirlz chat with Maureen Johnson tonight! 6pm PST/9pm EST

Fresh from readergirlz...

Join readergirlz and me for a Twitter chat tonight with Suite Scarlett and Scarlett Fever author Mareen Johnson!
***sounds of cheering***
It all starts at 6pm PST/9pm EST - search for the #rgz discussion and follow @readergirlz and @maureenjohnson.

Don't have a Twitter account? It's fast and easy to set one up!

At http://twitter.com/, just click on the yellow "Give it a try" button to get started. All you will need is your name, a unique user name, and an email address. Add a password, and you're now on Twitter!

Search for readergirlz to begin following us and our tweets.

If you want others to see your posts ("tweets") during the chat, make sure the "Protect my tweets" box is not checked on the Accounts tab. If you want to get fancy, you can add a picture and customize your page in the Design tab.

Protect your privacy! No one can see your email address on twitter, but it's a good idea to choose a user name that doesn't give away your real name or location (especially if you are not an adult).

To join the Maureen Johnson chat:

Click on the "Home" page and enter #rgz in the Search box. Our chat will come up, and you can jump right in! Be sure to include #rgz in your chat posts so that everyone else can see them and respond.

We'll see you there tonight!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BREAKING WAVES ebook: 100% of Proceeds go to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund

Kelly Fineman, one of my blogging/writing pals, shares some great news:
Guys! Guess what! It's September 15th, and that means that it's the release day for BREAKING WAVES: An Esoteric Collection to Benefit the Gulf Oil Spill Relief Fund, edited by Tiffany Trent and Phyllis Irene Radford, now available from Book View Café. The collection includes 34 stories, essays and poems, opening with "In England in the Fifties", a poem by Ursula K. Le Guin, and closing with "Troubled Water", a poem by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman.

Yes, you read that right. I can assure you that when I first learned that my poem would be the closing bookend to a collection of works that opens with a poem by Ursula Le Guin, I was torn between swooning and an desire to caper about with glee. (Capering eventually won out.)

The collection includes works by fabulous authors including noted scientists and award-winning fantasy authors, including Tiffany Trent, author of the Hallowmere series and forthcoming novels. Also in this book (just before my poem, in fact) is Patrick Samphire, who is married to my long-time LJ friend, Stephanie Burgis, author of A Most Improper Magick (aka Kat, Incorrigible). You can check out the full, fabulous Table of Contents online.

Congrats, Kelly!

BREAKING WAVES sells for $4.99 US from Book View Café. You can purchase the anthology as an epub, pdf, mobi or prc HERE. 100% of the proceeds go to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Holly Cupala, TELL ME A SECRET Blog Tour and Prizes!

I'm so happy to welcome readergirlz diva and debut author Holly Cupala (TELL ME A SECRET) to my blog. I've known Holly for a couple years now, through blogging and readergirlz, but didn't have a chance to meet her until the 2010 Midwinter ALA Tweetup.

Holly is such a bundle of energy, with true joy and enthusiasm. People gathered around her, wanting to find out more about TELL ME A SECRET. And there's good reason...Holly's book is raw emotion. It's haunting and beautiful. It's devastating knowing the place where Holly had to dig to write this novel, yet through it all, we see hope and a reason to go on.

Go and read TELL ME A SECRET. You won't be able to put it down.

HWM: When did you realize you wanted to write YA?
HOLLY: Quite possibly the day I began writing my first teen romance, Stolen Love. Of course, that was when I was 13 and had not yet experienced teen romance, but that did not matter. What mattered was the line of girls in my class who waited to read it page by page… But art sort of began imitating life. After I actually experienced teen romance, heartbroken poetry and short stories followed…then hopes of writing the Great American Novel (while secretly writing an epic 1600-word rhyming picture book saga). At some point I realized I was completely off track, finished my M.A. (I was studying world lit), and joined SCBWI. For several years I spent time learning the craft of writing, then a painful event in my life inspired the story.

HWM: You won the SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grant in 2006. How did this change your writing life?
HOLLY: It was a beacon of hope! As writers, we spend so much time trying to get the story out on the page and having no idea where it might lead. The grant helped me keep going, and it was terrific motivation to finish the story because suddenly everyone wanted to see it. I’m very grateful to SCBWI for opening so many doors.

HWM: How long did it take before you signed with your agent and how did you know he was the right one?
HOLLY: I’d sent the manuscript to a select few agents in the summer and fall, but I really began actively seeking an agent in January—something about everyone having clear desks! I ended up with five or six agents looking at the full, and I met my agent, Edward Necarsulmer, Children’s Director at McIntosh and Otis, at an SCBWI event. There was another agent offer on the table as well, but he was just so passionate about the manuscript, and I really felt he would go the extra mile. He’s turned out to be a fantastic agent!

HWM: Do you write full-time or do you have a real world job?
HOLLY: Right now I am full time, but I’ve been a freelance graphic designer and writer and volunteer with readergirlz! My work hours happen to coincide with preschool (and soon kindergarten) hours. :-)

HWM: When did you know you had the right ending for TELL ME A SECRET?
HOLLY: Oooh, good question. The ending was quite possibly the most difficult part to write. I knew the second-to-last chapter would have the final knock-down-drag-out with the primary antagonist, and that there would be some significant secrets revealed that would shed light on the entire story. The first draft, I skipped it! The second, I muddled through and kept peeling back the layers until I felt like I’d hit on something true. My writing group (the wonderful Janet Lee Carey, Justina Chen, Molly Blaisdell, Peggy King Anderson, Katherine Bond, and Judy Bodmer) were also a tremendous source of help

HWM: Which character is most like you?
HOLLY: Every one, at least a little bit! I used to identify the most with Miranda, but then I realized the character most like me, at heart, is probably Nik. At least, I hope.

HWM: Who was the toughest character to write about?
HOLLY: I think maybe Miranda’s mom. I didn’t really understand who she was until I realized she had a secret, too, one that was driving her in ways she doesn’t even realize. Once I understood her, I could see why her behavior could be so caustic, and yet she was dealing with a mountain of internal shame.

HWM: Do you outline or free form?
HOLLY: I have a rough movie trailer in my head, and a big, free-form, crazy document where I record notes for the novel. I write a lot of notes! But I’m far too lazy to outline.

HWM: What is your writing process or ritual?
Procrastinate…tea, Earl Grey, hot…candy…Twitter…ack! Only two hours left! I’m trying to get better. A timer is great for this. I joke that TMAS took four years, the second took four months, and I hope the third takes four weeks….wait, I really do hope that!

HWM: What project(s) are you working on now?
I’m about to start editor revisions on my second YA, STREET CREED (tentative title, slated for Fall 2011), about a suburban girl with secrets who runs away from home to live on the streets of Seattle, in search of a boy called Creed. It’s gritty and romantic, ultimately about what it means to love. And I’m avoiding writing that third novel. (Four weeks? Please, four weeks?)

HWM: Your husband creates awesome videos (check out the "Parent Trap style" video below) and designed your website. What were the challenging aspects of working together (if any) so both of your creative visions shone through?
HOLLY: He does do awesome work! And luckily, we work really well together. He’s totally my secret weapon.

HWM: What has been the biggest surprise of your writing career?
HOLLY: Writing YA. Before, I was writing nice stories to impress people and not reveal too much. It took a major life event to strip all of that away…and suddenly, there was the story. It was tantalizing and terrifying. I’m amazed and grateful at the reader response.

HWM: Are there any genres you'd like to try writing?
HOLLY: I have a couple of other projects on the backburner…a fantasy, and maybe even an end-of-the-world thriller. Who knows, anything could happen!

HWM: What was the best writing advice anyone ever gave you?
HOLLY: Write through the bad stuff, Randy Powell and Kirby Larson. Your first draft can be sixty pages, Karen Cushman. First drafts are like hacking through a jungle with a machete, Laini Taylor. Find the dozen or so emotional anchor scenes in a story and write from there, Nikki Grimes. What can I contribute? Mitali Perkins.

HWM: What makes you laugh?
HOLLY: Heartfelt silliness…as you may have noticed on this blog tour! :-)

Thank you so much, Holly!

TELL ME A SECRET Tour Contest Entry Rules

• Leave comments at any official tour stop or Holly’s blog (www.hollycupala.com) throughout the tour! Each comment counts as an entry (one comment per post*).
• Tweet about the tour (@hollycupala) and tell us what you think!
• Post about the tour, then leave a comment at my blog with a link.

Each week's prizes will be announced at Holly’s blog the following week - check back to see if you've won and contact Holly at the contact link at www.hollycupala.com (prizes will be held for 2 weeks).


Where You Can Find Holly:

Friday, July 2, 2010

July is All About Courage at readergirlz: The Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter

From the readergirlz blog:
We are thrilled to welcome Ally Carter to readergirlz. Her fantastic Gallagher Girls novels, specifically the newly released fourth, Only the Good Spy Young, is our July pick! Check out our interview with Ally, book party ideas themed around her book, and our Reach Out project idea--as well as the awesome soundtrack Ally has chosen for the book--on readergirlz.com.

Here's a little about Only the Good Spy Young:
When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn't know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. Now the danger follows her everywhere and even Cammie "The Chameleon" can't hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers - or even her own heart.

The Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie's future may lie deep in the past...
And the buzz...
  • Inclusion on the ALA Teens Top 10
  • Georgia Peach Book Award
  • Texas Lone Star Reading List
  • Amelia Bloomer Book Award
  • Romance Writers of America Rita Award Finalist
We are super excited to have the amazing Ally Carter with us this month! Join us all month right here on the blog for discussions and mark your calendars a LIVE #rgz twitter chat on Wednesday, July 14th at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Happy July, readergirlz!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Here's to the Crazy Ones: Think Different

Thought you'd appreciate this video. Yes, it's a marketing ad. It's simply genius.

Watch it and be inspired.

Sign Up for WriteOnCon!!

It's July 1st! Start of your month off right and go run...er...stay at your computer, click on a couple links and register for WriteOnCon, the FREE on-line writing conference that's making a splash this summer.

Remember, it's all about PAYING IT FORWARD.

Here are the blogs of the founding members:

You've got to check out their latest video. Very amusing:

Thank you, WriteOnCon, for paying it forward and making it possible for writers to attend a conference from the comfort of their own home.

And after you register, come and friend me on the WriteOnCon board! I figured I'd use my own name so people wouldn't get confused: vivianleemahoney

See you there!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Author Spotlight with Holly Cupala and TELL ME A SECRET

I'm so pleased to welcome Holly Cupala, one of the readergirlz, to my blog. Holly's debut novel, TELL ME A SECRET, will be out next Tuesday! TELL ME A SECRET "illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her future."

There's nothing like exploring the darkness within our characters and even ourselves. It can be downright scary and overwhelming. Holly shares a devastating loss to shed some light on how far writers can go when writing about dark topics.

Holly: When I started writing TELL ME A SECRET, I was way out of my depth.

Up to that point, I’d written a stackful of unpublishable picture books, some magazine articles, a Chicken Soup story, and I’d just begun a middle grade novel. Our first daughter would be born any minute, and life seemed good.

Then everything changed in one missed beat of the heart.

After our loss, I couldn’t see the point of writing anymore. There was no meaning in it, no solace. In the dark hours, a story would flutter across my mind, only to be engulfed in grief. Then a friend, Justina Chen, took me out to lunch at a writing conference and asked, “Are you thinking of writing about Ezri?”

Moments later, the story literally landed in my lap—like nothing I had ever imagined before. It would be oh so difficult, so real, so terrifying. And yet, I need to write it.

For months, I only wrote notes, terrified of putting words to the page. I had no idea how to do this, how to write from the heart, how to delve into sadness and difficult relationships and somehow break through to hope and even healing.

And yet, I needed to write it—one word at a time.

At first, I stopped myself at every sentence. Too trite, too cliché, too empty. There weren’t words to dig deeper. I recounted my own stories, trying to get at the truth of my character’s, and beat myself with doubt and unworthiness all along the way.

And somewhere—I’m not quite sure where—it transformed, from my story to her story. Perhaps it was when our second daughter was born, happy and ready for life. The characters came into their own. At the same time, I felt a lightness and a purpose—I’d needed to write the story to get through my own loss, and now I needed to let the characters go where they were supposed to go.

It meant the story taking a different turn than I’d first thought. And that became the road to hope that I’d envisioned from the start.

Looking back, I see the necessity of seeking truth over seeking darkness, of outrunning one’s own writing demons in order to be honest in storytelling. Of living life. There’s the layer of ourselves, and there’s the layer underneath.

Writers, dig deeper to find it.

Thank you so much, Holly, for sharing this with us.

Holly's book, TELL ME A SECRET, is out next week. Click here for a sample read from TELL ME A SECRET. You are going to want to read more.

In case you didn't know, Holly organized a virtual book tour celebrating her book. She is giving away lots of prizes, so follow her on the tour! Holly will be back on July 13th (will cross-post on my writing blog).

I'm putting together interview questions for Holly. If you'd like a chance to ask Holly a question, please go HERE and fill out the form at the end of the post.

How will you reach for the truth in your manuscripts?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

readergirlz chat TONIGHT! John Green, Paper Towns and Spontaneity

Tonight. June 16th. 6pm PST/9pm EST.

If you've never used Twitter before, here's how to do it in three easy steps:

1. First, create a Twitter account if you don’t have one already. It’s easy and free, and all you need is an e-mail address.

2. Log onto Twitter at 6 p.m. Pacific, 9 p.m. Eastern TODAY!!

3. Type @realjohngreen plus your question, followed by #rgz. This asks John your question and funnels it into the readergirlz chat stream.

To follow along the chat, go here (the #rgz Twitter stream).

Going forward, you’ll be able to follow rgz and lots of your favorite authors on Twitter. You can find us and everyone we follow here: @readergirlz

I'll be checking in the chat stream under @vleemahoney.

Please stop by! You know you want to.

See you there!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Come Visit My New Writing Blog

Well, it's official. I've decided to move my writing related posts over to www.vivianleemahoney.com. Please stop by for writing inspiration and tales of my writing progress.

I'll keep HipWriterMama for book discussions, author interviews and readergirlz related information.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June, readergirlz and Paper Towns by John Green!

We are thrilled to welcome John Green to readergirlz. His fantastic novel Paper Towns is our June pick! Check out our interview with John, book party ideas themed around his book, and our Reach Out project idea--as well as the awesome soundtrack John has chosen for the book--on readergirlz.com.

Here's a little about Paper Towns:
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life -- dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge -- he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Quentin arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Quentin soon learns that there are clues -- and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Quentin sees of the girl he thought he knew.
And the buzz...

2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel
New York Times Bestseller

"Green's prose is astounding -- from hilarious, hyperintellectual trash talk and shtick, to complex philosophizing, to devastating observation and truths. He nails it -- exactly how a thing feels, looks, affects -- page after page." - School Library Journal, starred review

"Deliciously intelligent dialogue and plenty of mind-twisting insights." - VOYA

"[Green is] clever and wonderfully witty... he's a superb stylist, with a voice perfectly matched to his amusing, illuminating material." - Booklist, starred review

We are so excited to have the awesome John Green with us this month! Join us all month at the readergirlz blog for discussions and mark your calendars a LIVE chat on Wednesday, June 16th at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Happy June, readergirlz!

Writing Confession: It's in the Details

Details are really important to me.

I've interrupted writing sprees to research the little things, all to construct realistic scenes of places I've never seen, traditions I've never practiced, clothing and accessories I've never worn. Some people may think it's a time waster, but I believe these details will help me create a believable setting for my manuscript. This may seem inconsequential in the big scheme of things, when we need to focus on dialogue, plot and character arc, not to mention writing a unique story that will appeal to agents, publishers and readers.

Oh, the pressure!

But, let us not forget the details. You will add life to your pages, you will set your story apart from the masses, if you remember to capture the details.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June, Writing and Transitions

Today is June 1st and it's the first day of my new writing program. Thank you, Kaz Mahoney (no relation), for organizing this "writing group". School ends in 17 days. I need to implement structure right now, if I want to survive the summer fun and still get my writing done.

So, if any of you would like to join me, please come over to my new writing blog at www.vivianleemahoney.com. I'll be detailing my daily efforts and supplying inspiration. We can work through our challenges and cheer each other on.

Who is with me?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Writing Past Chaos

This pretty much sums up my writing these past couple weeks...


But, it's all coming together and I'm finally making progress.

How are you doing?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LEMONADE MOUTH by Mark Peter Hughes: New Disney Channel Movie!

This is cool. Just found out The Disney Channel will be making a movie based on LEMONADE MOUTH by Mark Peter Hughes. Check out Mark's great video.

If you'd like to find out more about Mark and his books, check out his WBBT interview.

Congratulations, Mark!