Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Great Battle

Adam Selzer and I have long had a challenge: we both had books out on November 8, and whoever's book  sold the fewest copies upon launch had to mow to the other guy's lawn.

I think Adam is winning so far, though my book got a lot more critical attention than his. So it's SORT of a draw, but probably more accurate to say that he's winning so far (going strictly by Amazon rankings and store availability).

Either way, though, the subject is kind of moot, since neither of us actually has a lawn.

School library journal has put out their review of Sparks, btw:

ADAMS, S. J. Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie. 258p. Flux. Nov. 2011. pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-0-7387-2676-2. LC number unavailable. 

Gr 8 Up
–Debbie, a junior, has been in love with her best friend, Lisa, for five years. In fact, she has created an entire set of interests and religious beliefs as a way of remaining by her side. But when Lisa suddenly gets a boyfriend, Debbie realizes that she needs to figure out who she really is and what she really wants. With the help of two unlikely sidekicks, she sets off on a quest of hilarious adventures where she receives her first kiss, makes some great new friends, and figures out how she wants her life to look from then on out. A funny and quirky coming-of-age novel, this book will appeal to teenagers who are a little bit on the outside looking to find their places in the world.
–Sharon Senser McKellar, Oakland Public Library, CA

There's also a blog review up here:
"S.J. Adams’s descriptions are so vivid and precise it feels like you’re reading in Technicolor."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

SPARKS giveaway!

SPARKS hit shelves all over today. Enter the HOLY QUEST giveaway! 

In the book, Emma and Tim go on Holy Quests for their made-up religion, Bluedaism. Some goals on their "holy quest checklist" include: 

"Find someone in Des Moines with a Scottish accent" 
"kick old ladies' butts at Bingo" 
"shake hands with someone who has the same name as a former US president" 
"pee in the 18th hole at the golf course" 
"plant a pressed ham at the governor's mansion"
"convince a guy with a bad combover to shave his head"
"touch something from ancient Rome"
"find a guy in a suit and tie at George the Chili King"

Suggest a new holy quest goal of your own to us at and be entered in a contest for one of five free copies! Bonus points if you actually complete the goal!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Beat Up Adam Selzer

Just a few days until Adam Selzer and I have our new books out out.

He is not taking it well. He is rocking back and forth, obsessively checking Google Blogs and and his Google alerts, eating so much candy that I think he'll probably need insulin, and pacing back and forth (more so than usual). I'd say he's done at least a half marathon just inside of HQ today alone. By the end of the week he'll have paced so much he could have made it to Carbondale.

If, you know, he had any reason to go to Carbondale.

So, I did what my contract as Smart Aleck Staff manager says I'm to do:

I beat him. I beat him up but GOOD.

You see, in all this "anti bullying" stuff we're doing in YA lit these days, no one's really telling the bully's side of the story, except for the usual bunkum about them being scared and alone deep down. Well, sometimes, I'M a bully, and it's not because I'm scared and alone deep down, it's because Adam Selzer is driving me nuts and needs the snot beaten out of him.

He's on the couch now, with a steak over his eye. A minute ago he said, "Thanks, Sij. I needed that."

"You'd better believe you did," I said.

"Your book is going to outsell mine," he said. "I concede."

"Hey," I said, as I poured him a ginger ale. "Mine's in paperback. Easier sell. And it's got good trade reviews."

"I don't have BAD trade reviews," he said. "I just don't have any for this book yet. I did get that one on goodreads that you told me about."

Adam doesn't go on goodreads. It's blocked at HQ. But I saw one review for his new book, and it was a rave. Really, a rave. But reviews from goodreads, blogs, and trades don't really sell books, anyway. Not really. Last year Adam was on AM radio, and after 60 seconds of talking he'd had more than 10x as many web page hits as he got from all the bloggers talking about I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It combined.  He didn't get many from being on NPR last weekend, though.

He's got about half an hour before he has to go out and do a couple of ghost tours now, so that'll get him out of HQ for a while. Long enough for me to hide the candy, though. On Tuesday morning, the two of us will probably trek around to the many indie book stores in Chicagoland to see if our books are on the shelves. And I'll probably end up beating him up again at the end of the day. You should have seen how bruised he was the day that Smart Aleck's Guide came out.
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