Monday, January 26, 2015

2013 Top Ten: I Have Been Tragically Amiss!

While preparing The Mod Podge Bookshelf for the year's end, and therefor comprising the Top Ten list we all know and love, I realized I never completed the 2013 edition! 

So here, for records and understandings and well-meant plans gone awry, is my 2013 Top Ten SEVEN!


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente


This is the one I keep recommending to anyone and everyone. The sort of children's book that is meant for one and all to utterly consume.

The School For Good and Evil by Soman Chanini


A male wrote a feminist fairytale that includes princes, princesses and witches; true love, philosophy on what it is and isn't to be good and evil, rotting dorms and pink frilly frocks; commentary on inner and outer beauty and a very climactic, very emotional conclusion, written for young readers, and pulled it off! 

Can you ask for a better reason to love a book?

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke


A Lust-List favorite, this one is so brilliantly different from anything else on the shelves of YA right now while still appealing to fans of the paranormal romance genre. Pick it up and devour!

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion


I read this like a devotional and it helped more than anything.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman


Because this should be the New Adult book standard every other NA is held to.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker


This one is almost an adult counter-part to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea up there! Different from anything else in the adult aisles, I think the crossover potential is being seriously overlooked. 


Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma


This is an utterly fantastic story, a borderline between real and imagination that will absolutely immerse you beneath the mysterious surface of Olive.

You can find my Top Three favorite 

reads of 2014 HERE!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Spotlight: Writing Great Books for Young Adults

Praise for Writing Great Books for Young Adults

“Written from the perspective of an industry insider, the book shows budding authors how to edit their work with fresh eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Brooks offers writers who are serious about attracting teen readers solid guidance through the creation process of writing YA fiction.” —Library Journal

“Brooks fills her book with clear examples that illustrate her points… If you’re looking for an A to Z guide on writing and publishing YA fiction, Regina Brooks’s how-to is the place to go.” —Writer Magazine

Break into the young adult market with this indispensable guide! 

With an 87 percent increase in the number of young adult titles published in the last two years, the young adult market is one of the healthiest segments in the industry. Despite this fact, surprisingly little has been written to help authors hone their craft and truly connect with the young adult audience.

Writing Great Books for Young Adults gives writers all the advice they need to tap into this incredible and innovative market. Literary agent Regina L. Brooks shows writers how listening to young adults will help them create characters their audience can identify with.

Topics covered include meeting your protagonistengaging your readers,, trying on points of view, and many more.

About the Author: 

Regina L. Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and has been developing award-winning authors and books for over a decade. She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Poets and WritersEssenceWriter’s Digest, and Sister2SisterForbes, Media Bistro, Ebony, and Jet. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Regina: 


Friday, January 16, 2015

Interview with Lauren Oliver, author of Rooms

The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition ofThe Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

Lauren's Bio

Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA novels Before I Fall, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. Lauren's first adult novel, Rooms, will be published in September 2014. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit. You can visit her online at

Interview with Lauren Oliver

GC:How do you name your characters?

LO: The main characters usually just introduce themselves to me. It's the funniest thing--I can't think of where they come from; they just pop into my head, often with random names (Bishop, anyone??). For the ancillary characters, I use a tried and true writer's naming websites!  

GC: Did you find your process had to change writing Rooms for an adult-target audience when you previously wrote for children and young adults?

LO: The process, methodologically speaking, is the same for every book. I write my way in, trying to get a sense of the world and its characters, and then I take a step back and try to figure out the narrative--what the book is, what the major tensions are, what I'm trying to say. On a deeper level, every novel is different, presents different challenges, and offers different opportunities. 

GC: You've written a standalone young adult novel, a series for YA readers, two middle grade novels and now ROOMS! Is a picture book in your future?

LO: Ha! Never say never. :) But for the moment, I have a full slate of more YA, more middle grade, and hopefully more adult novels! So I'm very happy.