Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Tour Info--The Return of SUMMER LOVIN!!!

In just a few weeks, on May 14th to be exact, GOLDEN will hit the shelves and I will hit the road for the second annual SUMMER LOVIN TOUR! I could not be more excited about this tour, as I will be joining Kimberly Derting, Morgan Matson, Shannon Messenger, Sarah Ockler, and Suzanne Young for what promises to be a good time!

I hope we're coming to a bookstore near you, and I hope you'll come out to see us when we do!


May 15th at 7:00PM
Once Upon a Time Bookstore
2207 Honolulu Avenue
Montrose Shopping Park
Montrose, CA 91020
May 16th at 5:00PM
Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop
1030 Bonita Avenue
La Verne, CA 91750
May 17th at 7:30PM
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
May 18th at 3:00PM
Event with Whale of a Tale Bookstore
*held at a local library, location TK
May 20th at 7:00PM
University Bookstore
4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
May 23 at 6:00PM
Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 South McClintock Drive
Tempe, AZ 85283
May 24 at 4:30PM
Panel at the Phoenix Comic-con
Phoenix Convention Center
100 North 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Monday, April 1, 2013

A GOLDEN Behind-the-scenes Sneak Peek

Today, a month out from the release date of GOLDEN, I'm equal parts nervous, and excited, and hopeful that it's a story people will read and love. It's a story that's near and dear to my heart, in large part because the setting is based on my hometown, Mammoth Lakes, CA.
When I wrote MOONGLASS, I had just moved into a little beach cottage, where I fell in love with every little detail and nuance of the beach. While I was writing IN HONOR, I took a road trip to Sedona, where I went on a sunrise vortex tour, swam in the creek Rusty and Honor took a dip in, and spent one heck of a Dime Beer Night at the Museum Club, which inspired the country bar they visit.

But writing GOLDEN was different. I wasn't writing about a place that was all new and fresh to me, or a place I'd never visited. I was writing about a place where my friends and I spent too many nights to count driving endless loops around our little town hoping it'd somehow get bigger; where we spent our summer days hiking trails and daring each other to jump into the freezing lakes, and where I spent many a winter night looking up at the stars from my bedroom window that perfectly framed Orion against the black sky. 

When I was writing this book, I was writing about home.

In the fall of 2012, while I was working on it, I decided to take a trip home, and drive the roads I drove as a teenager, and find all the old spots I wasn't sure I'd remember how to get to, because it seemed important for this story. And it was. The places I remembered, and the way I saw them through old and new eyes all found their way into Parker and Julianna's story. So today, I thought it'd be fun to give you a personal, behind-the-scenes tour of the place I called home as a "young adult."

Mammoth High School
This is the front of my high school, and an image that instantly conjures up for me all the complicated feelings of being seventeen. It hasn't changed AT ALL since I was there!

I said the hallways felt small. There were three in my high school, and this is "Senior Hall." It's the place Parker, Kat, and Trevor share a few scenes, and it too looks exactly like I remember it, except for the "Class of" year on the lockers, of course.
 "Summit Lake"

Summit Lake is beautiful, and has a tragic history in GOLDEN, and in real life, Convict Lake does too.  It's a still, quiet, hourglass-shaped lake, just outside of my hometown, and was the perfect place to use as the site of Shane and Julianna's tragedy.
"The Grove"

These are some of the carved up aspen trees that border the creek spot where we all used to um... convene. On weekends. At night. Sometimes with questionably acquired beverages. It had a name amongst us local kids, which I will not reveal here, but in GOLDEN I called it "The Grove".
"McCloud Lake"

There is a scene in GOLDEN where Parker visits a place Julianna wrote about, only to find it totally different from how it was described in her journal. "McCloud Lake" is, in reality, "McCleod," and it does indeed have a whole swath of bleached-white, skeleton trees at the base of its trail. They're so eerie, and I thought were perfect to show how much things had changed in the 10 years between Parker and Julianna visiting them.

This is actually McCleod Lake, which I used to walk the half-mile trail to with nothing but a notebook and a blue pen--always blue, because I thought black seemed too somber. I went there to think, and to write. It was a place I thought of as my own, peaceful and quiet as I often found it, and so it worked its way into the story as that same kind of place for Julianna.
The Road To Freedom and Discovery (AKA Highway 395)

I took this shot on my way into town, but this what you'd see on your way out of town too, and that's how I envisioned Parker seeing it--a wide open road and a big, huge sky full of possibility.  I can say from experience that she couldn't have been more right.
I don't really believe in the saying "You can't go home again." I did, while I was writing this book, and I do every time I look at these pictures.  GOLDEN is a story that is close to my heart for many, many reasons, but I think the biggest ones are right here. It's the book of my home, and of what I remember of being a teenager.