Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wait Wait This One is So Much Cooler!

Arcade Fire and Local Natives

I got some new music! I recommend you get it too.

Scary Movies?

Yesterday, I saw The Last Exorcism with my friend Nico. While I enjoyed what the film makers were trying to do with the mockumentary style story-telling, the movie left me wanting more. Specifically, more scares, more intense moments... more cohesion? I guess in the end, the big twist came out of nowhere and the story ultimately fell flat.

Nico and I left the theater a little bit confused... a little bit disappointed. Afterward, we chatted about how we longed for a good scary movie... and realized how rare they are. We tried to come up with a list of TRULY scary movies, and the list was small. My top choice is a Spanish movie called [REC]. Basic premise: zombies, a quarantined apartment building in Madrid, a camera crew... and... stir.

I also liked The Orphanage, another Spanish movie about children and ghosts and a very creepy building. Some horror movies can actually make you feel something other than scared -- and this was one of the more emotional spook movies I've seen.

But we were having a difficult time coming up with more -- I'm not into the slasher, gorefest, torture movies that had their heyday about three years ago. I don't even consider those to be scary movies... But they are what the studios think will sell tickets nowadays, I guess. I told Nico that REC is the one film in recent years that (as I watched it by myself, in my living room, in the dark) made me scream out loud, clutch at my hair, and leap off the couch in shock... We also decided that The Blair Witch Project was a truly scary movie...

I long for a truly scary movie -- a story that won't necessarily give me nightmares, but that is intense, and taut, and well-built, and makes sense. A movie that mixes a little humor in with the horror... because really, what nightmare isn't completely ridiculous on some level? I have some hope for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark... mostly because it was also produced by Guillermo Del Toro (who totally gets it). Check out the trailer here...

Can anyone think of a movie that truly frightened you recently? I need to get ready for Halloween... which is coming more quickly than we all realize... Do you have a list of recommendations or favorites?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In the Mood for Zombies

A couple friends sent me the trailer yesterday for the new Walking Dead show that premiers on AMC on Halloween. I'm so excited about this! I love zombie movies (and I don't care that others may think they've jumped the shark). But the idea of a continuing story about survivors of a zombie plague... I have no words. Wait, yes I do... HOORAY!

Check it out here...

So last night, I was looking around in my old DVD's to see if I had anything zombie themed and I came up short... I've seen Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days later too many times to care at this point. And everything streaming on Netflix just seemed lame... Who knows... Maybe this means I'm leaning towards writing my own story???

That being said, I'm also really excited about this new book coming out in a month called Zombies vs. Unicorns. Clearly you can tell which side I'm on.

Anyway, it is Thursday and the sun is finally shining... but everyone knows that doesn't stop a zombie. Watch yourself!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How I Spent The Nightmarys Release Day

Creating a book from idea to tangible product is a long, bizarre process.

Once the book is complete and is sent off to production by your editor, it is pretty much out of your hands. For The Nightmarys, this happened in fall of 2009. You have to just let it go... and then wait... and wait... and wait... And in the mean time, your editor sends you the preliminary cover art, and the final cover art, and eventually Advanced Copies of the book... Which is REALLY cool.

Then, if you're lucky, you start to hear from people who are interested in reading the book. Bloggers. Fans of other books you've written. Your best friends who want to pump up your ego... (thank you all!). This pretty much carries you along for the last few months as you continue to WAIT for the book to come out.

Last year, when The Stone Child was released, I was so overwhelmed, I didn't even know what to do with myself. There were so many ups and downs (mostly in my head) that by the release date, I felt like I was floating through life. David Levithan and I decided to share a book party at Books of Wonder (who were kind enough to host us). And it was a blast... But still, I was totally freaked out. It was surreal to finally see the book sitting on shelves around New York City.

This year, my prep for The Nightmarys release was more conceptual. I was connecting with people on line. I'd done a few events over the summer (a writing camp for kids, and a school visit) to help start getting the word out that the book was coming soon. I decided to wait for any sort of release date event - I've got some things in the works and will share as soon as they're finalized. So I decided to lay low.

I woke up, checked facebook, reminded everyone I know that the book is now available. Then I went to work and begged everyone there to go buy a copy! Ha. My friend Ethan met me for lunch to celebrate. We ate burritos and had a piece of cake. Then I met another friend in the evening for drinks and a trip to Barnes and Noble in Union Square. To my surprise, the store had quite a few copies prominently displayed! It was so fun to see it up there on the shelf. I grabbed all of them and asked the girl at the info counter if I could sign them. Before we left, I picked up a copy of Mockingjay (of course).

Down the street, I realized I forgot to take a picture in the store. So we ended up in the subway -- and he was kind enough to share the copy he bought for my modeling shot. We said goodnight and I came home.

It's weird... after such a long build-up and all the waiting... it's just another day. Which is nice in a way... Everything that comes next is unknown... and uncontrollable.

Anyway, I hope you're all able to find a copy of The Nightmarys. I'm really happy with the work we all did to make it happen. Let me know what you think!

All best (nightmarys),

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Most Important Day of the Year Has Come

That's right... after a LONG wait, The Nightmarys is finally available in stores and online today! Also, The Stone Child is being released in a beautiful paperback version from Yearling.

Get ready for the chill of fall and overcast skies by picking up copies of these books... or ask your library to stock them!

Wishing you all the best (nightmares),


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Great Site for All Things Spooky

D. M. Cunningham is a writer and blogger, and his extraordinary taste is on display at his blog

He interviews writers and artists about all things monsters and genre fiction: two of my favorite subjects in the world. Plus he has these amazing photos of Halloweens past on his most recent post. Totally just put me in the mood for fall.

If you're looking for other books like mine, he's got lots of recommendations... so head on over there and follow him... He's also on twitter. Very cool! You won't be sorry!