This week I get to tour one of my closest writer friends, Laurie Stolarz. Laurie and I live super close to each other and when we first met through the GCC, we discovered this fun fact. So we've done a bunch of signings and school visits together and we always have a blast. We are kind of the yin and yang of the writing community, or for those of you who are familiar with the old Highlights comic strip, Goofus and Gallant. I am most definitely Goofus and Laurie is Gallant. We typically discuss our different methods of writing and working during our store and school visits. Laurie explains her writing process, her detailed outlining, strict word/page count deadlines each week and how she organizes and streamlines the entire process. Then I go on to say how I procrastinate, am totally disorganized, never outline, and go on binge writing sessions after struggling with major writer's block. This may be why Laurie has a thousand books out (or on their way out) and I have two (almost three).
Anyway, I love Laurie to death and I think she's an awesome writer and she's so completely dedicated to her readers and fans. I'm so blown away by how far people come to meet her, and if they have been to more than one of her signings, she almost always remembers them.
Here we are at one of our super fun and spooky signings (I think it was on a Friday the 13th).
DEADLY LITTLE GAMES
Disney/Hyperion Books for Children
Synopsis: High school juniors Camelia and Ben have discovered a powerful bond: they both possess the power of psychometry, the ability to see the future through touch. For Ben, the gift is a frightening liability. When he senses a strong threat or betrayal, he risks losing control. Camelia’s gift is more mysterious. When she works with clay, her hands sculpt messages her mind doesn’t yet comprehend. Before either one has a chance to fully grasp their abilities, a new danger surfaces, but this time, Camelia is not the target. Adam, a familiar face from Ben’s past, is drawn into a puzzle he can’t solve. . . and his life is on the line. As the clues pile up, Camelia must decide whether to help him and risk losing Ben or do nothing and suffer the consequences. But in these games,who can be trusted?
From DEADLY LITTLE GAMES:
With only a few minutes of class remaining, I close my eyes again, still picturing Adam’s mouth. I try to imagine what he would say if he knew what I was doing. Would he suspect that I was interested in him? Would he think it was weird that I remember so much detail about the moment that night inside his car? Would he tell Ben what I was up to? I take a deep breath and try my best to focus on the answers. But the only words that flash across my mind, the ones I can’t seem to shake, don’t even address the questions at all. “You deserve to die,” I whisper, suddenly realizing that I’ve said the words aloud.
Check out the book trailers:
DEADLY LITTLE SECRET: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fzMpVMy2fQ
DEADLY LITTLE LIES: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Qk0VG2Nz0
TOUCH SERIES CONTEST
From the author: “In celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE GAMES, I’ve launched a very exciting contest. You will need to read a copy of DEADLY LITTLE GAMES to enter. Prizes include having a minor character in DEADLY LITTLE VOICES, the fourth book in the TOUCH series, named after him or her, or a phone call from me. OFFICIAL RULES for this contest are on my website, under NEWS. ALL ENTRANTS MUST SIGN A RELEASE FORM, DOWNLOADABLE FROM WWW.LAURIESTOLARZ.COM/NEWS.html. Sign up for my e-Newsletter for updates on contest, book, and appearance info: http://www.lauriestolarz.com/newsletter.html.”
Praise for the TOUCH series:
DEADLY LITTLE SECRET
Texas Tayshas List, 2010
Reluctant Reader Quick Pick Nominee, 2010, American Library Association
Teens@Random, Favorite Book of 2009
"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews
"An engaging, eerie tale about the darker side of relationships - when it becomes a matter of life and death to know who your friends are." - KLIATT
“The book was full of shocking surprises and revelations, earning the book five stars. This is a must-read for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery because it won't disappoint.” – Teens Read Too
DEADLY LITTLE LIES
Reluctant Reader Quick Pick Nominee, 2011, American Library Association
Gold Star Award, TeensReadToo.com, 2009
Children’s Book Council’s 2010 Teen Choice Book of the Year Nominee
"Laurie Faria Stolarz is a master creator of suspense and romance. Her words cause the heart to pound, the palms to sweat, the spine to shiver, and the stomach to flutter. The trepidation born from the anonymous threats will make the pages fly, and the palpable tension between Camelia and Ben as they attempt to ignore their hearts causes the fire to burn hotter. Stolarz brings back the colorful characters who provided the mood-lightening bits of humor in DEADLY LITTLE SECRET...She also emphasizes the importance of solid friendships to help teens deal with the gut-wrenching experience of witnessing parents fight and tear their lives apart." - TeenReads.com
"...the perfect book for readers who enjoy series, who like a mystery with a splash of romance, and who live for books that send a shiver down their spines. Stolarz does an excellent job of creating likeable and multifaceted characters: Camelia has a girl-next-door quality and her friends are vibrant. The elements of psychometry will most likely drive readers to investigate more on this unusual ability." - ALAN's Picks
Author Bio: Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series, which has sold nearly 750,000 copies worldwide. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at www.lauriestolarz.com.
Laurie’s Guilty Pleasures
Favorite snack: Popcorn with soy butter, salt, and garlic powder.
Touristy Trip: Paris (lived there), the south of France (been there), Stockholm (almost went there and want to go), Maui (really want to go).
Fashion addiction (at the moment): Gap Long & Lean jeans, Ugg crochet boots (not Cardy, just the regular knit), Michael Stars tops.
Dessert: Dark chocolate in almost any form - the darker the better.
Fast food: French fries at least once every couple of months (even better when dipped in vegan tartar sauce).
Beauty Binge: Aveda haircare products, which includes indulging in high-and/or-low-lights every eight weeks. Also, Caudalie skincare, Ineke perfume (Field Notes from Paris), Revitalash mascara, and Buxom Lips from Bare Escentuals.
Late-Night TV: The Hills (so sad it's over), The City, Real Housewives of (wherever), and The Real World.
Chick Flick: Never Been Kissed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Juno, Green Card, Once, The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, Thelma & Louise, Mean Girls, Moonstruck, Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, and anything with John Cusack.
Nightlife: Pilates in front of the TV (a regular occurrence), answering e-mail (also regular), and dinner and/or a movie out with friends (happens far too rarely).
Cheap Thrill: Window-shopping, tabloid magazines, buying a new lip gloss, a tall cup of coffee from Peet's or Starbucks.
Ultimate Splurge: Giuliano’s Day Spa for a massage and soft-pack wrap treatment, oxygen facials, and spray-tanning (in summer only).
Other Random Info
Favorite Quote: Perseverance is key.
Favorite cuisine: Indian food – onion chutney, curried vegetables, and kashmir bread. I also love cheeseless pizza from Bertucci's.
Interests: Vegetarian cooking, holistic nutrition, aromatherapy.
Favorite Music: Fergie, James Blunt, Gavin Rossdale, Tori Amos, Sting, Sarah MacLachlin, Gwen Stefani, Black-eyed Peas.
Hobbies: Walking, napping, cooking, shopping, interior decorating.
My interview with Ms. Laurie Stolarz:
My second novel, THE LOST SISTER, deals with revenge and the repercussions of what happens when a hazing incident goes too far.
1. First topic: Revenge. What is your experience with it? Have you ever sought revenge? As the old adage goes, do you think that living well is the best revenge? I don’t believe in seeking revenge. I believe in karma. If you throw negative energy out there, it’ll come back to you.
2. Cliques and mean girls are everywhere. At book signings I've had everyone from 12 year old girls to 45 year old women tell me they still encounter them. Do you? How has it changed since you were a teen? I’m not sure it has changed. Mean girls are still out there and thriving. They prey on people’s insecurities, including their own, and, yes, I agree they come in all ages.
3. I have a "Writing Music" playlist on my iPod. What would be on yours? What one song or artist captures the essence of your book? I actually had a contest going last year that involved this very question. You can see the winning playlists here:
DEADLY LITTLE SECRET and DEADLY LITTLE LIES: http://www.lauriestolarz.com/novels/the_touch_series.html
4. What do you tell people is your favorite book/author? Now what is your "real" favorite book/author. (i.e. I tell people Pale Fire by Nabokov is my fave, but right now I'm really into Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.) I tell people it’s The Awakening by Kate Chopin, but I just finished Still Missing by Chevy Stevens and loved it.
5. If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be and why? Someone who just spent an obscene amount of money on a fully loaded spa day at Canyon Ranch.
6. As a publicist, I know that it's important for every novel to have journalistic hook. For The Lost Sister, it's mean girls, bullies, and hazing. What's yours? Forbidden love, supernatural powers, and the fine line between sanity and insanity.
7. Just because it hasn't been asked yet, favorite 1980's movie? Pretty in Pink. Seriously, that last scene where Ducky shows up at the prom…it still gets me every time.
8. Why should I choose your book for my book club? Because it’s got it all: suspense, drama, forbidden love, character growth, and humor.
9. I'm a huge and fabulously powerful movie producer and you have 30 seconds (an elevator pitch) to sell me on why your book is great and should be made into a movie. Go!
Camelia and Ben both possess the power of psychometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. For Ben, the gift is a liability. When he senses a threat, he risks losing control and hurting people. Camelia's gift is more mysterious. When she works with clay, her hands sculpt messages her mind doesn't comprehend. Before either teen has a chance to grasp these abilities, Camelia’s drawn into a puzzle that she can’t solve. And in games like these, who can be trusted?