Google+ Reading Teen: Skylark Guest Post and Giveaway!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Skylark Guest Post and Giveaway!

Meagan Spooner

  • Skylark (Skylark 1)
Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

She is the author of SKYLARK, coming out August 1 from Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Books. She is also the co-author of THESE BROKEN STARS, forthcoming from Disney-Hyperion in Fall 2013. 


A Day in the Life of an Almost-Published Author
by Meagan Spooner

I think there’s a tendency to think that the life of a published author is all glamour—full of rooftop parties and publisher dinners, book signings and phone calls with film studios, fan mail and conference panels. And while it’s true that I have done all those things, in reality, those are the exceptions, not the rule. A lot of it is sitting at your messy desk in your pajamas tearing your hair out because you just need five minutes to finish this draft and your email/family/friends/cat/insert-distraction-here won’t leave you alone. So, I thought I’d dispel the magic just a little, and outline a typical day in the life of a soon-to- be-published writer.

4:25 AM — Dream that Super Agent Man has called to tell you that you’re on the List. Instantly realize you’re dreaming, and wake up. Cat protests—it is not waking time yet and he needs his beauty sleep.

4:27 AM — Glare at your subconscious. Go back to sleep.

6:15 AM — Wake to the sudden memory of that email you forgot to write to Beautiful Book Blogger and race to the computer to stumble through an apology and send the info.

6:30 AM — Start working with Australia time zone-based co-author. Get brain into gear, draft frantically on other series.

7-ish AM — Stuff an English muffin into your mouth. Add peanut butter straight from the jar. Pretend this is Nutrition and not a desperate cry for help. Make tea. Feed cat.

8:10 AM — Receive email from Beautiful Book Blogger saying that, in fact, you have emailed the wrong person. Because you did it when you were half-asleep.

9:00 AM —Send Australian co-author to bed, return to your emails. Tell cat you will play with him when you finish clearing your inbox.

10:00 AM — Work on emails. You’ve got things to address from eight or nine bloggers. Avoid
overwhelmedness by making more tea.

11:00 AM — Work on emails. Pause to add a few names to the invite list for your next event. Send email to venue confirming just one more time that everything’s set.

11:30 AM — Work on emails. Pause again because someone on Goodreads/Twitter/blogosphere/the moon has surfaced saying nice things about your book. Remember why you’re doing this. Return to your emails feeling totally awesome.

12:12 PM — Phone call from Super Agent Man. You are reminded for an intensely exciting moment about your dream—then you remember that your book isn’t even out yet. Pick up, cautious. Learn about a new book deal in Exotic Foreign Land. Cheer.

12:45 PM — Everything is totally sweet. Twitter loves your book, Exotic Foreign Land loves your book, Super Agent Man loves your book—AND you’ve just cleared out your inbox, finally. Clearly, you’re a rock star. What can go wrong? Sit down to work on Book Draft Number Awesome. Occasionally throw mouse for cat.

12:47 PM — A well-meaning friend alerts you to a site offering your book illegally as a free download. Put on your brave face, tell friend that yeah, it happens, and it sucks, but there’s not too much you can do. Secretly eye the “#of times this has been downloaded” number and sulk.

12:51 PM — Someone on Goodreads looking to build their “read” pile adds thirty one-star reviews of random books. Yours is one of them. Put your brave face back on. It’s fine. It’s just a random review, it doesn’t matter. Cat sits on lap.

12:52 PM — Email from Super Agent Man. Turns out Exotic Foreign Land has to change your
protagonist’s name, which is also going to change your book’s title. Brave face. BRAVE FACE.

12:55 PM — Well-meaning family member sends you an article about how [Insert Your Chosen Genre Here] is dead and all books fitting that description are doomed. You’re not a rock star. You’re the book equivalent of a sad man with a keyboard living in his parents’ basement. Go into
kitchen, stuff your formerly brave face with cake.

1:30 PM — Return to computer feeling slightly sick from cake, but slightly more in control of your brain. Realize there’s nothing you can do about any of this stuff. Turn off internet. Actually work for an hour. Cat sleeps in cat bed beside monitor. Very soothing.

2:30 PM — Phone call from events coordinator at Awesome Indie Bookstore. They want to feature you in a YA panel and host a signing. Maybe you’re a little bit of a rock star after all.

3:08 PM — Email from 8th grader in Alabama whose teacher loaned her the ARC she got from a
conference. She loves it. You’re her new favorite author.

3:28 PM — Writer Friend IMs to check in, talk about the day’s blunders and missteps, laughs about the illegal download and lists eight links where her book is up illegally. She’s a rock star too, you see.

4:45 PM — Mom calls. She’s making salmon tonight. It’s your favorite.

6:30 PM — Leave the house for the first time all day, spend the evening with your family. They ask, as they always do, “How is the book thing going?” You think about it. You say, “It’s going pretty well. Yeah, I actually think it’s going really well.”

9:30 PM — Get home. Feed cat. Fall asleep on couch.

10:17 PM — Transfer to bed. Cat comes with, falls asleep on you, purrs.

11:59 PM — Wake abruptly, remember you were supposed to email a book blogger about your blog tour. Consider moving, but you left your phone on the couch. Decide it can wait until morning.

Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power, life.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.

Lark did not expect to become the City's power supply.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she's ever known...or face a fate more unimaginable than death.

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  1. Love your day! Sounds a lot like a book bloggers day except substitute author for blogger and reading instead of writing. That inbox just never gets empty! That's why I like to work in the middle of the night!


    1. I'm not surprised that it aligns so closely with a book blogger's day! A lot of email and administrivia that gets in the way of the actual writing/reading. I'm the same way--except that I get the most done in the hours between 6-9 AM, when most people are sleeping and/or commuting to work/school. :P

    2. Exactly! I was thinking it sounded like a day in blogging too w/reading AND a dog instead of a cat. Glad I'm not the only one. But my productive time is from about 9pm-1am. when the rest of the "normal"people are sleeping b/c we have to get up and go to day job by 7am. to foster as much brain development as possible each day in teens at school whether they like it or not! LOL!

  2. i would really love to read this book

  3. Haha, I was reading the day in a life and it sounds an awful lot like my day xD I keep getting up at stupid o'clock because I forgot to email someone for work, or an author, or a publisher, or I forgot to reply to one of the millions of tours I've signed up to do xD

    Luckily, my dad understands why I have a half an hour lie-in in the morning... xD

    But yeah. Sounds a lot like a book bloggers day xD

    1. STUPID O'CLOCK. Yes. Yeeees. In fact, I originally started this post by writing "Stupid O'Clock" instead of "4:25 AM." I actually lived in Australia while I was querying, and I was constantly waking up at 2-3 AM to check my email because that was when business hours were for the U.S. agencies. XD

  4. Great post!! That sounds like a very exhausting typical day!! In the end I am sure it's all worth it though!!! Your book sounds really awesome and I can't wait to read it!!

    1. Oh, thank you so much! I hope you like it!

      And yeah--definitely exhausting! But definitely worth it, too. There are a lot of ups and downs, and that can be emotionally exhausting all by itself. But the awesome thing is being a part of such a supportive community of writers, readers, and bloggers. :D

  5. Loved this day in the life! If your book is half as entertaining as this guest post, I must read it.

    PS - What a patient kitty you have!

    1. Hah, I'm glad you found it entertaining! And I hope the book is as entertaining for you. ;)

      And oh man, do I have the best kitty ever. He's the best at keeping me company while I'm working, and has a bed right beside my monitor. See:

    2. That's very cute, with his poor little head hanging out of the bed!

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  7. Hehe your day sounds interesting :P And now I want salmon, so I'm a little sad because I won't get it. Anyway, enjoyed the book, even though I stayed up way to late to finish it!

    1. Oh yay, I'm glad you ended up enjoying it! Making people stay up past their bedtimes reading is one of my highest aspirations, so you've made my day. ;)

  8. You know what's funny about entering giveaways, is that it's the only time I ever miss having had Facebook. I deleted my Facebook in... May, I think? And I haven't really regretted it, TBQH, because it was better for me that I deleted it in the end. Still... when entering giveaways... I kind of regret it. Just a liiitle bit. ;P Especially when it's a book like SKYLARK, which I can't read. :)

    1. Which I can't *wait to read. Duh I can't read it yet. >_< I need sleep.

    2. Oh, hee! I was all "Oh no! Why can't she read it? HOW CAN I FIX THIS?" :P Don't worry--there are going to be over a dozen copies of SKYLARK available for giveaways over the next month, so there will be SO MANY CHANCES to win, if you don't win this one. I hope you'll enter those too! :D

  9. What a honor it would be to have a signed copy of Skylark. I been wanting to read it so to win this would be so great. Thanks for the chance. ;-)

    1. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! But I'm also hoping to set up an arrangement with an indie store soon whereby orders can be placed through them, and I'll stop in once a month or so to sign, for those who specifically want signed copies. :D I hope you enjoy!

  10. This made me laugh out loud! Thanks for sharing your ups and downs. I would love to read this book!

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