Announcement Day #2: New Title!

I imagine this bear dancing to "Guten Tag" by Wir Sind Helden, because what other song do I listen to while doing Ask-Again-Later-related things? (Answer: None. Maybe Flagpole Sitta.)
Hey everyone! It's Announcement Day #2! (Announcement Day #1 being my last post, to say Ask Again Later isn't coming out until early 2015; Announcement Day #3, a.k.a. Cover Reveal Day, isn't going to happen anytime in the near future. Sorry, guys.) 

So there's this thing that happens sometimes with books. Your book has a title you really love, and it sells with that title, and everything is sunshine and rainbows--but then something happens. Usually it's out of your control. Maybe your editor doesn't like your title. Maybe booksellers don't like your title. Maybe another book is going to come out with that exact same title, from the same publishing house, but a year earlier. (No more title buddies, Liz. :( ) 

So this thing happens, and your book needs a new name. Something that really tells you what the book is about while keeping the spirit of the story in tact. That was a particularly difficult task when it came to Ask Again Later, since it has a bit of everything--mystery, humor, romance, thriller, horror--but I think, with the help of my amazing agent and editor, we managed it.

Guys, I really like this new title. (And I loved it with my mock-up cover.) I like what it stands for. I like where it comes from. And I like what it will hopefully mean to the people who read the book. So, without further ado, the new name of Ask Again Later is.....


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Is it a spoiler? Is it not a spoiler?! You'll have to wait until 2015 to find out! Made You Up encompasses the book much better than Ask Again Later did, and I think it will do a great job of enticing readers. (Yes? No? Is it enticing you? Let me know in the comments.)

Click here to add MADE YOU UP on Goodreads. (You know you want to find out what Alex is making up...)

You can also sign up for my newsletter to be notified whenever big news is coming up.

When I have any more information about the book--summary, preorder links, etc--I'll put it up here on the site and tweet about it at @ChessieZappia.

Now, excuse me while I go change fifty different website bios.

Things!

I'm pulling myself out of the blogging grave because NEWS. So let's dust off the dirt and bugs and Beetlejuice this thing.

Around this time last year, my first book sold to HarperCollins, to be published in 2014. I am still stoked about this, for the obvious reasons. 

However, I have come to you today to announce that the release date for Ask Again Later has been pushed back to early 2015. 

Naturally, I was a little disappointed at first. Waiting another six months? It seemed like a lifetime. But I promise, the change is for good reason. I'm very excited about all the extra marketing and promotion opportunities this gives me. (And the breathing room! Is it almost 2014 already?)

BUT, that's not the only thing happening. What I can say is that I've seen the first mock up of AAL's cover, and I am already flipping my shit over how beautiful it is. It's still being worked on, and already I know I'm going to love the final product.

What I can't say is when I'll be able to show it to the world. (Definitely sometime in 2014. Vague enough?)

Also, there may well be more news in the near future...so stick around! 

The Next Big Thing

Thanks to Amy Zhang, I've been tagged for the Next Big Thing meme! I've already answered some of these questions about Ask Again Later in various interviews (you can find them here), but I haven't answered others, so here we go!

1. What is the working title of your next book?

Well. Ask Again Later, obviously, which comes from the Magic 8-Ball answer. The main character in AAL, Alex, uses a Magic 8-Ball to answer some deep and pressing life questions. (And also, on occasion, to try to tell the difference between reality and delusion. You can imagine how well that works out.)

2. Where did your idea for the book come from?

The idea for AAL came from a lot of places. It's 50% my interest in mental illnesses, 20% my love of urban legends, 20% nostalgia, 10% my obsession with creepy things, and 100% the need to write a story that could live up to the two main characters, Alex and Miles.

3. In what genre does your book fall?

Ask Again Later is YA contemporary. Alex does have paranoid schizophrenia, which makes her an extremely unreliable narrator and occasionally puts her in some creepy situations, but it isn't thriller or paranormal like some other books that involve mental illness. It is 100% contemp.

4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in the movie rendition?

I honestly have no idea. Okay, well, I do have a teacher in Ask Again Later that I based partially on R. Lee Ermey, so that would be amazing. And I always imagined one of the secondary characters being played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (though he's probably too old now). But for Alex and Miles, I have no clue. The only defining feature of Alex is her hair, so it wouldn't really matter what she looked like. Miles is exactly the opposite: he has such specific features that it's hard to find an actor that looks like him. (And let's not even get into acting talent. There are too many good actors.)

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Ask Again Later, taken from Goodreads, as written by my wonderful agent: "ASK AGAIN LATER is about the ultimate unreliable narrator, a schizophrenic teenage girl unable to tell the difference between reality and delusion who discovers -- thanks to her Magic 8-Ball, her little sister, and a boy she thought was imaginary -- that sometimes there really is someone out to get you."

6. Who is publishing your book?

Ask Again Later is being published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins in Fall of 2014 (a year from now! whoo!) but no specific date has been set yet. Stay tuned!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I have no idea! I wrote the first draft of AAL, which looks absolutely nothing like the story right now, when I was in fifth grade. I've rewritten it at least eight times since then. So I have no idea how long it took me to write it. Probably a month or two for the last draft that became the story it is today.

8. What other books would you compare to your story within your genre?

I've had AAL compared to Liar by Justine Larbalestier and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Ask Again Later was mostly inspired by the characters. I know that maybe sounds weird, because usually the plot or premise comes first and the characters develop afterwards, but Alex and Miles always existed independently of their story, and I had to build that around them. It was also inspired by this song, which (I think) will give you the feel of the book in three and a half minutes. (Also: German!)

10. What else about this book might pique the reader's interest?

Did I mention that Ask Again Later has German things? Like Miles. Miles is German. But only when he's happy. (Am I the only one that gets intrigued when Germany is involved?) Also, I do artwork for it (although basically none is actually of things that happen in the book. So no spoilers! Yayyyy!). It also involves: an unreliable narrator; urban legends; historical references; geniuses; and a nod to We Didn't Start the Fire.

You can check out Ask Again Later on Goodreads, and my author page over on Facebook. I'll end this with an open call--if you want to do a Next Big Thing post, here's your chance! You are officially tagged!
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