Thursday, June 20, 2013

ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE has been Fauxtographed!


Oh, there's also some (fake) blood and a pig's heart. I guess some people might be bothered by that too, in which case - look away.


You guys!!!! The week since the launch of ALP has been crazy and wonderful and crazy! To everyone who has tweeted about the book, review it, or interviewed me - THANK YOU a million times thank you!!!!!!!

I also had a book launch party (at local children's bookstore B Is For Books) that was such fun and gained me some nice real-life experience in the art of book signing and reading aloud from my own book (both more complicated than they seem considering that I've been signing my own name and reading books for the better part of three decades!)!!!!!!!!!

I have also been super busy with revisions for my next book and planning for ALA, which has made it difficult for me to process all this really amazing, but also a bit overwhelming stuff!

But last night I had a moment clarity, courtesy of Margot Wood - the one and only fauxtographer - when she posted a pic on her blog inspired by ALP and Hannibal (the new TV show that I need to begin watching NOW!)!!!! 

So the first thing you need to know about The Real Fauxtographer blog is that I first discovered it only a few months ago and it was love at first sight. And of course, I couldn't help but think how great it would be to have a picture inspired by ALP on the blog. It's possible I crossed my fingers and made a wish that it would happen. 

I know this sounds like crazy fangirling, but I just fell in love with her idea of taking one photo to capture the spirit and essence of a book. To me, it was totally brilliant. 

Now I know some of you are thinking, "Um, Kate, that's sort of what a cover does too." And yeah, I know that, but I see the fauxtographs as being like an alternate cover, sort of a cover song... for a cover on a book if you will. 

Sounds crazy, yes, but think about it. 

What a great cover song does is makes you hear the song as if listening to it for the first time BUT at the same time it's familiar. You have the comfort of something old, combined with an innovative new take that feels fresh and exciting. What's not to love?  

So, after the crazy insanity of the past few weeks, seeing that fauxto brought things into focus for me. It was gross and gorgeous and horrible and just really fan-fucking-tastic. 

I love love love love love it. 

I constantly surround myself with words (seriously I had a Microsoft Word dream the other day). I believe in the power of words and love the experience of playing with langauge (If told I was fated to die by drowning, I'd ask the powers-that-be to at least have it be in a bowl of alphabet soup). But last night the power of a single evocative image was the only thing that could've broken through all the buzz and chatter inside my head.

This fauxto did that and then some.  

Another Little Piece, originally uploaded by margotwood.
Well, what do you think? Pretty amazing, right?

I urge everyone reading this to visit Margot's blog --  if you haven't already -- and check out ALL of her awesome fauxtos. And while you're there make sure to read the story behind the ALP photo... especially if you're looking at that pic and wondering, "Is that heart real?" 

Monday, June 10, 2013


You guys, it's here. ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE is officially on bookshelves TODAY!

How crazy is that?

Well, it's not really that crazy, since this has been nearly two years in the making and I've had this day set as my release for over a year giving me tons of time to plan. AND YET...

It still feels totally crazy.

Or maybe that's just me.

Anyway, the crazy is making it difficult for me to focus so let me just give you this to look at for a minute (Pssstt, it's the ALP trailer!):

AND finally, don't forget that all week you can see me competing against Eve Silver, author of RUSH, in the YA Author Smackdown! You can enter to win prizes and watch vlogs that Eve and I put together that make us look like total bad asses. More details here

Oh! Actually, one more thing. I am also talking ALP with Mindy McGinnis (author of NOT A DROP TO DRINK) today on her blog. Check it out and while you're there make sure that you enter to win a copy of ALP and some ALP-related swag.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Behind the Scenes of the ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE Trailer

The trailer for ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE is here!

I can't wait for everyone to see it! I really love watching book trailers and am always curious about how they were made and the decision-making process for distilling thousands of words into a few short minutes of visuals. If anyone else out there reading this is also curious about the behind the scenes, then you are in luck, because I am spilling everything about the making of the ALP trailer.

One of the reasons I am so excited to share the trailer is because it was a project that my husband, Andrew (you can "like" his film and video company Boulevard Productions on facebook), and I worked on together. 

This wasn't our first time working together, though. My husband and I actually met in Southern California where we were both working towards our MFA's in Film and Television production. Although we are only two days apart age wise (Yes, really! His bday is March 17th and mine is March 19th) he was a year ahead of me in school and ended up being the teacher's assistant for one of my classes. One of our first big projects was shooting a short screenplay (like 3 pages short) that I'd written to be shot on actual film (instead of the crappy camcorders we'd been using up to that point). 

I was more than a little freaked out by this, since I was struggling a bit with all the technical blah blah blah in cinematography class. And then Andy announced to the class that if anyone needed a DP (director of photography), he was available.

I took him up on that offer, and now only [information redacted] years later, here we are married with two kids and once again working together on a little film project.

Anyway, since I always enjoy when the curtain is peeled back a bit to reveal the creative process, I thought that I would put together a blog post about what went into making the trailer.

Or, I guess I should say - the trailers. Because technically we sort of made two. And that was my fault.

It all started with me having a brilliant idea. Now sometimes my brilliant ideas pan out and sometimes they don't, but the one constant is that they always end up being a whole hell of a lot more work than I'd anticipated.

This time my brilliant idea was stop motion animation. Brilliant, right? Who doesn't like stop motion? And to add to that I was going to do stop motion with paper chain dolls. You know kind of like these: 

Except I wanted them to be spooky and cool and have a sort of sugar skull/day of the dead look. I cannot draw to save my life, so it was time to find some talent. Luckily, my very own sister, Nicole, is an amazing artist and was kind enough to offer to help me out with my crazy idea.

So one Saturday afternoon, I dropped the kids off at my mom's house and we turned our dining room table into a mini movie studio. 

My sister Nicole is drawing at the table while I helpfully stand over her and offer suggestions.

You can't see it in the pic, but we laid kraft paper out on the table for the background, and then put the camera up on some chairs and pointed it down at the table. Then it was time to get the paper dolls moving.

Actually, let me back up. First Nikki had to cut out all the paper dolls. And there were a lot of them. Here are some after pics of the dolls:


Then we started moving everything in tiny little increments, moving our hands in and out of the frame, so the dolls appeared to be moving on their own. All together, making the dolls and shooting them took about four hours. And during that time I discovered that I was not a huge fan of stop motion. It is a tedious process that requires just a bit more patience than I have to give. So lesson learned there.

But with the stop motion out of the way, everything else was going to be smooth sailing, right? Well... at first it was. 

I found a great song that I was able to license from a site called by an artist named Fisher and I was pretty sure it was going to be perfect. Then my husband, Andy (who had also done all the camera work on the shoot - not sure if I made that clear earlier), started editing. Two days later he had an early cut. I watched it and was... 


Yeah. In my head it was so very perfect, but on the screen it was just... okay. The dolls and stop-motion were definitely cool, but thirty seconds into the video the novelty wore off and I was bored. Instead of building, the video was just sort of flat.

Okay, now you're curious, right? Want to see the ALP trailer take 1? Well, here it is:

So, that was take one. Remember this is just a rough first edit, but you can get the basic idea.

It was back to the drawing board... except I didn't want to throw out ALL the stop-motion stuff that we'd done because some of it was very cool. 

That's when Andy stepped in with an idea to save everything. From the beginning, when I'd first told him about my brilliant idea, he wanted to shoot some live-action stuff with it to break up all the stop-motion. I was against it, because the stop-motion was going to be so totally and completely awesome all by itself. 

So, yeah, we ended up doing what Andy had suggested from the start and that is when things FINALLY started to click. 

Andy also suggested taking our inspiration from the beautiful cover (look it's over there ----> in the sidebar!) and start with a shot where we only see the back of a girl and then slowly slowly slowly close in on here. I was on board - except that now we needed an actress. Luckily, I have a bunch of friends from my theatre major days at Niagara University and they were able to recommend someone completely perfect for the part: Jenny Kulwicki. 

Jenny agreed to come out on a horribly freezing day in the middle of March. She let me cover her with fake blood. AND she is an amazing actress too. So, basically that was just about the easiest and most successful casting I've ever done.

Here's Jenny and me in between shots, wearing over-sized ski-jackets
to keep from freezing, while I re-apply the fake blood.
With the live-action stuff shot, it was time to edit once more. As much as I loved the song from triplescoopmusic, I felt that I needed more atmosphere and less lyrics. This time I searched for music in a more basic stock music site, because I was looking for simpler background mood music and sound effects. After some searching I found a few things I liked, and passed them along to Andy. He put it together with the stop-motion, the live-motion, and some new graphics. And this time when he showed it to me - I loved it!

Okay, well, I had a few small suggestions. (Sample: "So last night when I was trying to fall asleep, I was thinking of that one shot and how it's not really working for me. Could we put something else there? Yeah, this is why it's great to be married to your editor.)

Eventually, we got it exactly where we wanted it to be and TA-DA that is the trailer that premiered today!

Anyway, I am super proud of how it all turned out and so amazed and incredibly grateful for all the hard work that so many people were willing to put into it! I hope that everyone enjoys it and gets super-excited to read ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One Week and Counting!

Okay, so this is supposed to be my usual blog chain post, but to be honest my brain is a little bit fractured at the moment between preparing for the launch of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE and working on my second set of revisions for my next book. 

However, this weeks question from Katrina is a good one:

Have you ever written a summer fling? Or are all your fictional relationships the deep, forever kind? If you did write one, how would it begin (the meet cute)? Where would it be set? Give us a few paragraphs sample.

Due to the whole fractured brain thing, I cannot do this question justice right now. However, I do have a recommendation for a great book that is about a summer fling, but also a really deep and wonderful and slightly painful read. It is YA Contemporary that came out a few years ago called TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler. If you have not read it, I highly recommend finding some time this summer to be at the beach with this book.

As always, Sandra is next in line on the blog chain, so head on over there and give her some love.

I also have quite a bit of ALP (this is the official - according to me anyway - abbreviation for ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE and every time I type it, I think how fun it would be if the rallying cry for this book became #yodelayheehoo. Yes, this is probably funny - and makes sense -only to me, but it makes me smile so - win.) news and updates.

#1. You can read an excerpt (about 80 pages worth!) on the Epic Reads website.

#2. Epic Reads has also put together some really creepy cool quote images for ALP (#yodelayheehoo) that your eyes can enjoy by following this link

#3. Wishing there was a way that you could enter to win a free copy of ALP (#yodelayheehoo. Yep, I am trying to make this a thing cause it would be so fetch.)? Well you are in luck. The amazing Wendy Darling of The Midnight Garden has teamed up with Epic Reads to give away 10 ARCS of ALP! Click the image below for the link.

#4. And finally in case you don't win one of those ARCS OR if you prefer you book in the more durable and classic hardcover format, then check this out:

This is the jacket-less front cover of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE and I am in love with it. I actually prefer to read my hardcovers with the slippery paper jackets removed, so to have a book that looks so gorgeous stripped naked just makes me squeee with glee. 

Isn't it pretty? (Hint: the correct answer is yes. Yodelayheehoo will also be accepted.)

These will be available for purchase on June 11th, OR you can try to win one starting next week when the YA Author Showdown between myself and Eve Silver begins. You can read more about that here.

So, I think that is all the updates I have for now, but stay tuned because I still have the trailer reveal for ALP coming very very soon.