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Jul. 15th, 2011

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Sorry guys, but I'm giving up the Livejournal blog. From now on, I'll be doing all my blogging here.

Thanks,
Management

Jun. 3rd, 2010

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Rhombus-Remixed!

So here's a copy of My Life as a Rhombus:


And here's a copy of My Life as a Rhombus. In Korean.


This ranks pretty high on the "things I never thought would happen" list.

I love how both covers show show a girl covering her mouth with her hand, though I have no idea whether that's Sarah or Rhonda on the Korean Cover.

But my favorite, favorite, favorite part of the Korean verion, by far, is the interior art:

Here's "Congruence":



And here's "Remainders":


So just being curious...does anyone speak/read Korean?

(And FYI - my official blog address has changed. It's now http://blog.varianjohnson.com)

Mar. 12th, 2010

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The Saving Maddie Blog Tour, Day 5

For the final stop on the Saving Maddie Blog Tour, I'm hanging with Edi at Crazy Quilts. A few excerpts:
"Also, my characters feel like my children at times—I don’t want all of these bad things to happen to them. I want someone to swoop in set them on the right path (I especially felt this way about Rhonda in My Life as a Rhombus, and Madeline is practically breaking my heart right now as I work through the companion novel)."
And perhaps my favorite excerpt from the entire tour:
"As my Dad used to say—it’s not a real meal if it doesn’t have meat!"
Check out the full interview!

In general, thanks everyone for all the support for Saving Maddie. This book is special to me for a lot of reasons--my first hardcover, my first post-VCFA book, my first book from a male perspective. Honestly, the entire week has been a little overwhelming; I'm kinda looking forward to things dying down a bit next week.

But before I sign off, if y0u live in Austin, or if you live close to Austin, or if you're looking for a reason to visit Austin, please join me and my friend April Lurie for our joint book signing at the end of the month. The event will be set-up interview style--April and I will be asking each other thought-provoking / embarrassing / incriminating questions. Here are the event details:

Varian Johnson (Saving Maddie) and April Lurie (The Less-Dead) Dual Release Party
Saturday, March 27th at 2:00
Bookpeople
Austin, TX

Thanks so much guys! Next week, I promise to talk about something other than Saving Maddie...that is, if I get around to posting to the blog.

Mar. 11th, 2010

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The Saving Maddie Blog Tour, Day 4

For today's stop on the Saving Maddie Blog Tour, I'm hanging with Melissa at Book Nut, where I say things such as:
"And while Saving Maddie isn’t an autobiographical story, I very much felt like Joshua when I was a teenager—I felt like everyone was trying to force me to be this two-dimensional person. I was the smart one. The good one. I felt like few people saw the real me. But looking back on it, I’d bet that a lot of my classmates felt the same way, and perhaps I was just as guilty of seeing them in very confined ways as they were of seeing me."
Check out the full interview.

And lastly, yesterday I neglected to mention my friend Michelle Knudsen has a short story out in an anthology released this week. The collection is titled I Fooled You: Ten Stories of Tricks, Jokes, and Switcheroos. Be sure to check it out.

Mar. 10th, 2010

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The Saving Maddie Blog Tour, Day 3

Today, I'm at Gwenda Bond's Shaken and Stirred, where I'm talking about the writing process for Saving Maddie. A few excerpts:
"There was only one thing I knew when I started working on this book—that it would be from a male’s POV."
and
"There were some things I did right in the manuscript, but there were a whole bunch of things I did wrong—I interrupted the dialogue with huge chunks of description, Joshua’s parents were two-dimensional, and I apparently had an overabundant zeal for the word “breasts”..."
Check out the full interview.

FYI - my birthday / book release day was great! Thanks for all the kind thoughts and words of encouragement. And thank you so much to the people that went out and picked up a copy of Saving Maddie. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And for those of you that haven't gone out book shopping yet, here are a few other new releases to keep in mind:

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Front Page Face-Off by Jo Whittemore

It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder

Happy Hump-Day, everyone!

Mar. 9th, 2010

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The Saving Maddie Blog Tour, Day 2

For today's stop on the Saving Maddie Blog Tour, I'm at Reading in Color, where I'm talking about the Saving Maddie Playlist. Here's an excerpt:
"As this book is all about love (and lust), many of the songs on my playlist are love songs—though I wouldn’t consider them happy love songs. Like Joshua and Maddie’s relationship, my playlist is a mix of seduction and despair, love and loss."
Check out the full playlist!

Mar. 8th, 2010

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The Saving Maddie Blog Tour, Day 1

For my first stop on the Saving Maddie Blog Tour, I'm hanging with Melodye Shore in The Authors' Tent. Here are a few snippets of the interview:

"At the beginning of the novel, both Joshua and Madeline’s actions encourage others to see them in very confined, two-dimensional ways. It isn’t until we see Joshua and Madeline truly begin to interact that we start to see more of their real selves."
and
"I certainly don’t think the ethnicity of the characters is important in THIS story—the characters are Southern and religious, and that’s what I was most intent on getting across. Also, I didn’t want to manufacture a scene where the characters were commenting on their “blackness”—that just seemed silly."
Be sure to check out the full interview! And tomorrow aka release day aka my birthday, check out Reading in Color, where I'll be discussing the Saving Maddie Playlist.
 

Mar. 4th, 2010

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The Saving Maddie Blog Tour


In just a few days, my third novel, SAVING MADDIE hits stores. To celebrate, I'll be at five great blogs next week:

Monday: I'll be discussing religion, stereotypes and cover art with Melodye Shore in The Author's Tent.

Tuesday: I'll be debuting the Saving Maddie Playlist at Reading in Color with Ari. (This is also Release Day. And my birthday.)

Wednesday: I'll be at Gwenda Bond's Shaken and Stirred, where I'll be talking about my writing process for Saving Maddie. (FYI--Gwenda is also a graduate of Vermont College, and is AWESOME.)

Thursday: I'll be at Book Nut with Melissa, where I'll be answering questions like, "What's my favorite scene?"

Friday: I'll be talking to a student interviewer at Crazy Quilts.

I'll be updating my blog with direct links throughout the week. Be sure to check out all the stops! There may even be some giveaways involved.

Feb. 19th, 2010

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Kirkus, Covers, and Giveaways

So last Saturday, I saw that Saving Maddie had been reviewed by Kirkus. I waited patiently--waited for my editor to send me a copy, waited for the review to be posted on B&N (PW and SLJ are already there), waited for the issue to be available via the online journal database at my university.

On the third day, I caved and bought a one-month subscription.

But I'm so glad I did. This is arguably the best journal review I've ever received--and here's a snippet:
"Johnson avoids heavy-handed messages with nuanced characters and a realistic treatment of Joshua and Maddie's complex relationship."
In fact, here's the only "negative" thing the reviewer says:
"Unfortunately, the cover condemns this book to Girls Only."
I'd actually been thinking about this before seeing this review, after recent online discussions with Collen Mondor about After the Moment and after seeing the comments in Edi's wonderful review. I realized that during the cover design process, I was so preoccupied with the skin/lip-tone of the cover model, I didn't think about if the cover was "anti-boy". And I'm NOT saying that the cover is or isn't boy-friendly--but I am admitting that I didn't put as much thought into this as I should have, and will hopefully do better in the future.

(Although I think it was due to unusual circumstances--i.e. the Liar Controversy--that I was even consulted on this cover. And yes, for those that are interested, I have seen all the comments about "is she or isn't she black" and will respond at some point...probably after I see the final cover.)

All that being said, this is still a great review. And how am I celebrating? Well, by giving away my last ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) of Saving Maddie.



Looking at my office floor--I mean, bookshelf, I realized that I don't own ARCs of any of my previous books, which in a way is fitting. The ARC isn't for me. It's for librarians and reviewers and booklovers and people like YOU.

So if you want an advanced reader's copy of the book before the real thing hits stores on March 9th, just make a comment on my webpage blog before 12:00 Midnight CST on Tuesday, Feb 23rd (if you're reading this on Facebook, Livejournal, MySpace, etc--you'll need to go here to officially enter). Don't put your email or snail mail address in the comments--just your name--and check back on Wednesday evening to see if you won.

Good luck!

Feb. 11th, 2010

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Finally

An updated Saving Maddie page, including review blurbs, my thoughts on the book and...Chapter 1!

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