December 16, 2008

home sweet home

greetings from susina bakery, friends.

I'm ensconced in the corner of the bakery, with my back to the window looking in. I've been here for about two hours and every time I look up from this screen, more tables are full. I have my headphones in, you see, with the same playlist on repeat, so unless I choose to look up, I am lost in my own world. I LOVE the playlist I'm listening to, so much that it doesn't matter that I've heard every song on it about a billion times, so much that many of its songs will make some sort of appearance in book 2 -- and these aren't gratuitous inclusions, I swear, since music plays an even bigger role in this book than it did in In Your Room. But I won't say more on that until I'm done.

Want to know something strange? I didn't listen to this mix at all while I was away on book tour. I tried a couple of times, but maybe it was just that my head was in a different space, or that I was physically in a different place, but for some reason, I didn't want to listen to it. I've come to associate these songs, the mood they collectively evoke, with writing. And I guess if I'm not writing, they are better saved for multiple listens when I am, like now.

It feels good to be writing again, to be back, inspired. But, I've also learned that part of getting back into the flow again entails lower expectations for the first few days back. I've lowered my daily word expectation, and am allowing myself to get my head back into the mindset of my characters. And now, after about a day and a half, it's starting to work. I'm back in their heads, reminded of how they're feeling -- and what they face.

I also came back with some ideas for books 3 and 4, and even felt compelled to start writing one of them yesterday. It's a good lesson: sometimes you need to really step away to come back refreshed and inspired.

I had SO much more to say, but my friend just got here for a tea break so will just have to post my thoughts on the latest episode of Gossip Girl later. Hint: it was AMAZING.
x J

December 9, 2008

Old Times Anew

Greetings from snowy Montreal,

I've been a remiss blogger of late, and have some news to report. I went MIA for a bit while writing book 2, but have come up for air while I'm on book tour in my hometown of Montreal.

I got here yesterday and had my first reading of the week at my old high school, Bialik. It was the first time I had been back since I graduated a million years ago, mainly because I left Montreal soon after graduating. It was so much fun visiting the exact same building and seeing some of my favorite teachers who are still there. While there have been some renovations, like a whole new floor added to the top, the school still has the same warm, inviting feeling it had all those years ago, and a lot of that is because of the kind of caring and involved teachers who work there. The only major difference I could detect was that now the students wear uniforms. Oh, how I wish we wore uniforms back in my day. It's a strange thing to have wished for, but there was nothing like the agony of deciding what to wear everyday, and of course, making sure you didn't perform the cardinal sin (or the Jewish equivalent since it is a Jewish day school, after all) of wearing the same thing twice in a week.

I was really impressed with the students, too. They were so enthusiastic and engaged, and they asked great questions.
Here are a few pics from the presentation:

I have a few more readings lined up this week, and tomorrow I'm being interviewed by Dave Bronstetter for his great radio show, All in a Weekend, that airs on CBC Radio 1 (88.5 for those of you in Montreal) on Saturday morning. Stay tuned for the link!

For those of you in the Montreal area, I will be reading at Babar En Ville on Thursday, December 11 at 4pm. (1235A Greene Ave. Call 514-931-0606.) If you're there, come say hello!

I had a lovely meeting at the Jewish Public Library today. I was so impressed with their programming, and the care they put into selecting their books and events. Stay tuned for a future reading there on one of my next visits!

In other news, I had an amazing event at the Archer School for Girls in LA in November, and another fun reading with Jay Asher at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. For those of you who haven't yet read Jay's book, Thirteen Reasons Why, which is STILL on the NYT bestsellers list, I urge you to do so immediately! He nails both compelling characters and suspense in seemingly effortless fashion.

I would tell you more about the reading, but Jay and fellow YA author Paula Yoo who was there, described it in such great detail that I'm not even going to bother outdoing them, so check out Paula's blog, here and Jay's here. I'm actually reading Paula's debut YA novel, Good Enough, now, and I'm LOVING it. She has such a literary style that is also relatable and funny, and I can't wait to have more time to finish it. But that's what plane rides are for, if I don't finish before then. I will have a full report when I'm done, but I'm far enough into the book to wholeheartedly recommend it.

I'll leave you with a couple of pics from the Vroman's reading...
pre-reading chat with Jay, the master presenter

this is me reading at my very first podium. woo hoo!I'll check back in soon, but before I go, I want to say thank you to all you readers out there who have been sending the most encouraging and flattering emails about the book. I've said this before, but one of the best things about having a book out is hearing from people like you.

More later....

November 21, 2008

Reading Monday night!

I've been remiss in updating you all on various exciting things, but this is primarily because I've been buried in book 2 and writing away like crazy. I've been doing the national novel writing month (Nanowrimo) competition with fellow YA novelist, Paula Yoo, author of the fabulous Good Enough.
The goal is to write a 50,000 word draft in November. While we're not trying to accomplish that goal per se, we've formed a buddy system and have been keeping each other on track as we push through our respective second YA novels. Paula live blogged about our writing session together yesterday, here.

But, I have other news!

This coming Monday night, November 24 at 6:30PM I will be doing my very first reading with the wonderful Jay Asher, acclaimed author of the NYT bestselling YA novel, Thirteen Reasons Why.

We will be reading at Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
Tel: 626-449-5320
and you can find out all the information here.

If you're in the area, please come and introduce yourself!

I will post more updates soon, including information about my upcoming book events in Montreal in December, so stay tuned.

x Jordanna

November 2, 2008

exciting times

I should be in my office, at my desk, working on my book, but instead I'm on my couch watching the news. I'm a Canadian citizen so I can't vote in the US, but this is a time when I really wish I could. Instead, I'm addicted to the news. And on election day, instead of voting, I'll be phone banking for Obama here, at 30Barack, an impressive community of phone banks in LA organized by my friend Aditya. They made over 17,000 calls yesterday alone from under 300 people.

In other news, Rocky and I went for a lovely hike this morning in Runyan Canyon with a friend. It rained last night for the first time in a while, so the air was fresh and clean. Speaking of Rocky, he got skunked in our backyard at 1:30am the other night. We had just come back from the premiere of the film DOUBT, which our friend had produced. Side note: we had seen the play before, also excellent, but the movie was even better. Anyway, once Rocky got sprayed we quickly sprang into action and sequestered him in the front patio area while we figured out the next step. Alex got on the computer, and within minutes had the answer. Tomato juice you might be guessing? That's what I thought, but no. That only masks the smell. A hydrogen peroxide concoction was the solution. Alex went out and bought the ingredients and by 2am, we were both plastic-gloved and applying the mixture to his fur. The thing about Rocky is that if you're touching him at all, he'll take it, and will generally accept all forms of grooming and inspection in exchange for human affection. We were thinking it would be a good start and we'd figure out a better solution in the morning. But the most amazing thing happened: it worked. It got out the stench, and after a round of towel drying, Rocky was once again house-ready and he didn't have to face a night of sleeping outside (the horror, of horrors -- for me, anyway).

I've been getting the sweetest, most flattering emails from readers who loved the book. It's been so great hearing from you all. Thank you for the support and encouragement.

I wrote a guest blog on writing the book from two points of view as part of being author of the month for Harmony Book Reviews. You can read it here.

The Compulsive Reader, who has also featured me as author of the month, posted a playlist of songs that inspired me and/or are featured in the book here. But, here it is again:
1. Such Great Heights (The Postal Service)
2. Together (The Raconteurs)
3. Digital Love (Daft Punk)
4. Reckoner (Radiohead)
5. Synchronicity (The Police)
6. Breathe me (Sia)
7. I Feel it All (Feist)
8. Brand New Colony (The Postal Service)
9. Hide and Seek (Imogen Heap)
10. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) (The Arcade Fire)
11. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
12. The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades (Sufjan Stevens)
13. No One (Alicia Keys)
14. Yellow (Coldplay)

Okay, I must get back to the news...I mean work, of course!

October 26, 2008

book trailer, take 2

To make it easy, here's the youtube book trailer The Compulsive Reader was inspired to make:

I love it!

book party, book trailer, book giveaway and more, oh my.

On Thursday night, my generous friend, Peter, and the fabulous indie book store, Book Soup, hosted a book launch party for me at Peter's house. It was such a great night, and I felt so lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive friends. I loved seeing people from different parts of my life together in one room. It was also great to see some of my fellow LA-based YA authors, whom I know as a result of a fabulous group called the LAYAS (Los Angeles Young Adult Authors). Paula Yoo, the author of the acclaimed debut YA novel, Good Enough, blogged about the party here.

Here are a few snapshots of the night:
this is me with my husband, Alex:

friends Sean and Miranda with their signed copies
group shot, including one of my teen readers
More friends showing their support
Aliza & Thomas. Aliza is like my sister, only we're not related.
hubby Alex with friends Melissa & Alex
As you can see, it was a most excellent night, and I've been in the happiest mood since. Having a book out really is just like having a birthday, and I do love birthdays.

In other exciting news, The Compulsive Reader had the greatest surprise for me last week. In addition to posting a Q&A with me, she also made a book trailer for In Your Room. An actual video, with the most appropriate song she could have chosen, too ("Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service, featured in the book.) Can you believe it? I was so impressed and flattered. You can check out the interview and video here.

As the featured author this month for Harmony Book Reviews, we're doing a giveaway of a signed copy of In Your Room through her site, here.

I had a lovely afternoon yesterday with Jay Asher, author of the gripping Thirteen Reasons Why, to plan the reading we're doing together at Vroman's on November 24. You can find out all the info for the event here. He showed me the new, re-released hard cover of his book, with some really cool added features. I'm really excited about our reading, and hope you can make it.

Alright. It looks like it's that time. Off to watch some Sunday night television.


October 21, 2008

This and That

Good afternoon!
I'm sitting on my patio, taking a break, in a spot that just a few weeks ago would have been fully, rather than partially, in the blazing sun at this hour. Sometimes, the position of the sun is the only way you know the seasons are changing in LA. There's a really cool thing outside at the Griffith Observatory. They have sunset and moonset lines engraved in the cement so that you know where the sun and moon are going to set in the sky, depending on the time of year (for those of you who've already read the book, you know what I'm talking about).

Thank you to Harmony Book Reviews for this fantastic review and for featuring me as the author of the month! Stay tuned for more...

Thank you to Book Chic for featuring me as the Fresh New Voice of YA. If you're interested, check out the guest blog and interview I did.

I'm having a little book party on Thursday, so I have to go out and do a few things for that, but before I do, check out this cool new book, Who By Fire, that I read about today in Seventeen Magazine, here. Doesn't it sound great? I can't wait to get a copy.


October 20, 2008

the monday warm-up

Good Monday morning to you, readers!
I hope it's the start of a great week for all of us. I had a lovely tour of some book stores on Friday. A confession: I was a little apprehensive about doing this exercise. I know it's a rite of passage and all, but I also know that books can take a while to ship and that they may not even be on shelves right away. Thankfully this did not happen and our little tour was so much fun, especially since we had a surprise addition to our merry expedition, my other good friend, J.
some pictures of the adventure, for your viewing pleasure: at Portrait of a Bookstore
and look! The lovely folks at B&N at the Grove put my signed books in prime viewing position. Side note: the Grove makes an appearance in the book, too.Now, what's this warm-up all about, you ask? It's a way for to me to sit down at my desk, get all my things and thoughts in order before I dive in to book 2 for a few hours. Today, these "things" included:
1. checking email.
2. drinking tea
3. checking email again.
4. lighting candle
5. moving things around on desk.
6. brushing dog's teeth. okay, before you start mocking me, which I fully deserve, you would brush his teeth, too if YOUR dog tried to eat what MY dog tried to eat this morning. Note: it's a special tooth brush for dogs, not a recycled human toothbrush, with special "poultry" flavored dog toothpaste. yum. see for yourself:
I can't really beat that on my list. Suffice it to say that Rocky and I are both much happier after said teeth brushing (he actually likes it). I'm now at my desk, and he in his usual resting position on the couch next to me, awaiting his next beauty regimen.
In the meantime, I'm going to get to work, now adequately warmed-up.
Thanks for stopping by!

October 17, 2008

the day after

Yesterday was a brilliant day. I woke up to so many great emails that kept pouring in throughout the day, and are still streaming in. Thank you to everybody for all your support! And it's been great hearing from eager readers who've already got their copies.
I wrote about the path to publication day here, as a guest blogger for The Compulsive Reader. I'm so grateful to all you book bloggers who've become fans of the book. You guys are amazing!

I have a guest blog appearing today on Book Chic's blog. I'll post it when it's up.

In a few minutes I'm heading out with my good friend R. to sign some books at some local indie book stores around LA. First, we're going to Portrait of a Bookstore. I love this adorable store, nestled among fruit trees and an outdoor cafe. How perfect is that? I used to escape here to read and write when I was at my old job during lunch sometimes. Then we're going to Book Soup. Book Soup is the first book store I went to in LA. It has the most amazing intimate feel, like you're always about to discover the best book. We'll finish up our tour at the Grove, featured in the book. They have a B&N and I gotta see if it's there!

I have to go get dressed before R. gets here. See? I do get out of PJs sometimes. But I'll leave you with this: I came home yesterday afternoon to the best gift from my husband. To celebrate my book launch he bought me a potted lemon tree. Not only that, it grows Meyer lemons!! My absolute favorite kind (a cross between lemons and oranges. tip: amazing freshly squeezed mixed with sparkling water. delight!). It's also symbolic, you know, the fruit bearing tree, like creativity...ok...I'll stop now.

Happy Friday everyone!

October 15, 2008

The Warm-Up

hello readers:

I'm back.
I'm sitting on my couch with my favorite fancy tea (green tea blend called The du Hammam), just brewed, within arm's reach, and my dog, Rocky, also within arm's reach.

I decided to start my day with a post, to, you know, get the juices flowing so to speak. My book comes out tomorrow and I'm a bundle of nerves. I also have to write my very first guest blog post today. So, you see, this post is a warm-up for the following:

1. acknowledging the day has started and must.get.out.of.pajamas (ok. maybe not right away. But before leaving the house. who knows? that could be never. side note: I've waited many years for this so-called luxury of living in your PJs)
2. pay bills. TODAY. must avoid late fees!
pause. ok, back. had to put music on surround sound. this talk of bills is stressful! Nothing like some Broken Social Scene to bring tranquility to the day.
3. write more pages of new book. ok, this really should have been numero uno on the list, but who's counting? If a girl can't hide on her blog, where can she hide?
4. write a fabulous guest blog for the compulsive reader, to be featured tomorrow.
5. errands. I'm the worst with errands. the worst.

Ok, that list is long enough. You know what I want to do soon? Visit the Los Angeles Zoo. I've never been, and I think it's time. This non-sequitur brought to you by Jordanna's brain.

Oh, I forgot to mention. For those of you who've read my bio on my website, you know I want to get another cat eventually. Well, one showed up in our driveway a few weeks ago and has been happily living there ever since. We call him Scraps. He's kind of filthy and loves nothing more than to sleep on greasy oil stains under the car, but I love him anyway. Even if I have to scrub down after cuddling him, or disinfect my clothes (I had grease tracks all over my white sweatpants after letting him sit on me), or clean up his poop droppings in the middle of our walk way. Ok, that part is kinda gross, and I don't really enjoy it, but, the scrappy old guy is worth it.
And, Rocky, former cat-terrorizer, has been reformed and even kisses Scraps on occasion.
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks. See for yourself:

I'm fully warmed-up now, friends. Thanks for the help and perhaps you will be hearing from me again tomorrow, publication day!!
Until then, enjoy your day whether in PJs or real clothes.

October 2, 2008

early mornings

I woke up before the sun today.
This never happens to me.
Just wanted to share.
In more exciting news, the fabulous Story Siren has posted an interview today, as promised, avec moi, right here. So, for the curious, go on over and check it out.

While we're on the topic of book bloggers, here are a couple of links to some other reviews that have come in over the wires in the lead up to the big release. woo hoo!
I'm so grateful to all you book lovers out there for your interest in my book. So, without further ado, here they are:
Book Chic
The Compulsive Reader
The Book Girl
Reading Keeps You Sane
The Page Flipper
Book Junkee

The sun is up and shining.
I'm listening to "Ghost Under Rock" by Ra Ra Riot for the millionth time this week.
And I leave you with this, my boy Rocky next to the beautiful plant my mom sent us for Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year). I made him wear that pink ribbon all day and he got all sorts of compliments when we went out for a smoothie break. doesn't he look pretty??!!

Happy Thursday people!
x J

October 1, 2008

A new review is IN!

It's October today, readers.

While I might be stating the obvious, I definitely needed to check the calendar because it's going to be 100 degrees today in Los Angeles. That's right. ONE HUNDRED DEGREES. I mean, what is that? In October? I guess I should be kind of used to it by now, but I guess you can take the girl out of Canada, but you can't take Canada out of the girl. All this to say that I miss the leaves changing and the brisk, chill in the air that "should" come with October.

Alas, you don't hear many complaints from me in deep winter when my mother tells me it's minus thirty degrees in Montreal (ok, that's celcius, but doesn't it sound more dramatic that way?) and it's a comfortable seventy or so here in these parts. Therein lies the trade-off.

But I digrees. I woke up today to find the most delightful review of my book from The Story Siren! What a great way to wake up and start the day (and give me that extra little motivation to get right to work on book 2, aka, the work-in-progress.)

You can read the review here, but here's a little excerpt to whet your appetite:
I can’t really pinpoint one thing that made me like the story so much, I think maybe it was a combination of the characters and just the whole premise of the novel itself, but I just picked it up and I just had to know.... are these two ever going to get together!

And believe me, you’ll want to know too!

My only complaint..... I want more!

Visit The Story Siren again tomorrow for an interview with me!
Thanks for stopping by,

September 30, 2008

Two weeks and two days PLUS blog tour schedule

Ok folks, I'm back with some news.
My book will officially be in stores in two weeks and two days. That's October 16 for those who don't feel like checking a calendar.
For those of you in the Los Angeles area, I will be doing a reading with the fabulous and talented Jay Asher, NYT bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, on Monday, November 24, 2008 at 6:30pm at the wonderful Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena.
Please come! It will be my very first reading ever.

I also have a few school visits in the works, so if you're interested in having me speak at YOUR school, let me know.

In other news, my blog tour is about to start. Won't you come along for the ride with me?
here's the schedule:

-I'm the "Fresh New Voice of YA" on Book Chic's blog for the month of October. Please check it out!
-Visit The Story Siren on October 2 for an interview with me.
-I'm the featured "Author of the month" at Harmony Book Reviews for October
-The Compulsive Reader has selected IN YOUR ROOM as the "Book of the Month." Check out her blog every Thursday throughout October for features about the book. She also blogged about my new website today, here.
-Come read my guest blog for Another Book Read on October 24.
-I'll be stopping by The Page Flipper on October 29 for another guest blog.
-The Book Girl Reviews will be posting an interview with me in October.
-I will be the "Featured Author of the Month" for November for The Ultimate YA Reading Group.

Stay tuned for more reviews, blog visits and more!

September 8, 2008

The VMAs

Dear readers:
I wanted to share some very important news with you. Last night I attended the MTV Video Music Awards on the Paramount lot. Now, what is exciting about this news is not that we got invited at the last minute and jumped at the chance to put on something other than sweatpants and roll ourselves down the hill to the event. No, as exciting as that was, what was even more thrilling was that I actually knew practically every band and performer there. I kid you not. This is a minor miracle for those who knew me when I was young and would freeze when anyone asked me the dreaded question: who's your favorite band? I simply did not have an answer. Um...the Beatles? Elton John? (note: those were the eight tracks on rotation in our yellow Volvo circa...circa who cares. a long time ago.)
I could blame this on the fact that my mother was (and still is) a concert pianist and we pretty much only had classical music playing (except on road trips in the yellow Volvo), but friends, that's not even it because I couldn't really identify the great works of the classical masters back then, either. Let's just say I was tone deaf for a while but have luckily made up for that over the years and now don't know what I would do without music. I still freeze when asked who my favorite band is (or author, book, movie, fill-in-the-blank) but that's just because there are too many to choose from.
But I digress.
Back to the VMAs. And my observations from the outdoor "B Tank," where all the non-celebrities gathered to watch the festivities unfold on the myriad LCD screens within the roped-off perimeter:
1. much easier to see LCD screens once the sun has set and is no longer shining in your eyes.
2. sequins = the new black
3. Britney might just be on the verge of another comeback, friends. (And I'm rooting for her.)
4. Hayley, the lead singer of Paramore, is looking like a true rocker. Well done.
5. Russel Brand is A-OK.
6. No lines whatsoever for food and drink all night. And no shortage. Who says there's a recession?
7. Slim suits PLUS ankle-length pants PLUS shiny shoes = the new hip way to still be a suit.
8. One-side of head shaved down to a leopard print on skull CAN look good, if only for one night.
9. Note to Kanye: next time perform one of your hits to end the show, not something new.
10. Rihanna rules. Seriously.
11. People were bused in to the event. How does that happen? Where do they come from?
12. The Jonas Brothers have a way with the ladies. As if you didn't know that already. (note: a mass of fans streamed their way down the streets of the Paramount lot, like speed walkers released from the starting line, to make their way to the Jonas Bros. live outdoor performance.)
13. Sweet Pea from Project Runway Season 4 was in attendance in the B Tank in a long, jersey-knit red dress, tattoos-a-showing.

I could keep going all day, but I must get back to my other writing. But I leave you with this:
soundtrack of the morning -- Coming to Terms by Carolina Liar.
current song: Last Night. Which is appropriate given this post.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

September 6, 2008

My website has launched!

hello readers,

I am happy to announce the launch of my new website:

I would love to hear what you think!

In other news, IN YOUR ROOM will be in stores in just six short weeks, on October 16th. Stay tuned for information about my upcoming blog tour.

And please come back as I get this blog underway. I promise it will be more interesting in the future.