No puppy videos today, people: I’ve got bona fide news! I have two new books to announce, one here and one overseas.
1) Hier Kommt Shieflage
My first YA novel, Gentlemen, is heading to Germany, and like most sensible travelers, it will be dressed all in black. It will be published by my very awesome German publisher, Loewe Verlag, on June 17th under the title SCHIEFLAGE. That means imbalance, with an intriguing undertone of damage thrown in, and yeah, that seems about right for my deeply troubling debut.
2) Get Surrounded by Sharks next summer
And next up in good old English (though thankfully not Old English) my latest survival story from Scholastic will surface in Summer ’14. Here’s the official announcement from Publishers Marketplace:
Children’s: Young Adult
TRAPPED author Michael Northrop’s SURROUNDED BY SHARKS, in which a 13-year-old boy finds himself clinging to life—and a discarded water cooler bottle—in the warm waters off Key West, only to realize he is far from alone out there, again to Anamika Bhatnagar at Scholastic, by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger (World).
This one was a blast to write. I mean think about it: Most authors only get to write fin once, at the end—and only if they’re French. I got to write it like 45 times. I’m also a huge shark nerd and shameless Shark Week addict. Since this one is sort of a middle grade/YA hybrid, I got to shoehorn quite a bit of interesting shark science into it. I also got to write a book that treats sharks realistically (and not as, say, human-seeking missiles), but still allows them to be utterly terrifying, by taking the main character out of his environment and dropping him in theirs.
Anyway, exciting times here at Michael Northrop World HQ! And . . .
Every once in a while, someone will make a new trailer for one of my books. Whether it’s for a school assignment, their own blog, or just because they really liked the book, it’s always very cool to stumble across one. Here’s a brand-new trailer by Harrison Bailey for my first book, Gentlemen:
Excellent, right? And it follows the first rule of cinema: Tented fingers are always suspicious. And here are two(!) from KMthelibrarian. They’re a little older but, of course, there is no expiration date on awesome. This first one is also for Gentlemen.
The vibe is perfect. As I probably told you (over and over again) at the time, The New York Times called my first book “creepy,” which makes it, like, official. These trailers clearly got the memo. And here’s one more from KM, a mysterious force for truth, justice, and book trailers on the internet. This one is a classic for Trapped:
“And it just . . . kept . . . snowing.” So good! Anyway, that’s all for now. But I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more. Hopefully, they’ll start popping up for Rotten soon! In the meantime, you can always check out the amazing ones listed under “trailers, cartoons & games” over in the sidebar——>>>>
In the midst of allergies, a birthday, and other great indignities of nature, I did have some good news this week. ROTTEN, my tale of a not-too-naughty Rottie, is in the June issue of Cesar’s Way magazine! It’s one of three books listed as “Rainy Day Reading for the Kids” on page 56. I’m a big Cesar Millan fan, and he’s mentioned a few times in the book, so I think this is extremely cool. Not a bad birthday present, all things considered. Here’s a picture:
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books snoops my dog book for its May issue and calls ROTTEN “keen,” “sharply observed,” and “enjoyable.” The BCCB also singles out the “arresting cover” and calls my third YA “a testosterone-rich dog story, a book just right for animal-loving Chris Lynch fans.” Sweeeet! The full review will be available on 5/1. In the meantime, stay laaaaid back, people.
In case you’re wondering where all these references come from
(but, uh, probably not for my youngest readers).
The news has been horrible this week, and I have probably been watching too much of it. To clear my head a little, I took a long walk in Ditmas Park today. Here are some of the highlights from my ‘hood.
Like everyone else, I’ve been thinking about what happened at the Boston Marathon a lot over the past few days. It was obviously stupid and senseless, and it makes my both sad and angry. I also think whoever the scumbags are who did it, they picked the wrong city. Here are four reasons:
1) The people of Boston are tough as hockey pucks. Have you ever been there in January? Also, they’re Red Sox fans.
2) They’re wicked smaht. They have to be just to navigate the streets, which are basically 300-year-old cowpaths that got paved at some point. The point being: They will catch whoever did this.
3) Ben Affleck is going to make them into the biggest, least likable troglodytes in cinematic history when he eventually makes a movie about this.
4) Boston’s the wrong city because there is no right city for this kind of stupid, barbaric act.
Anyway, that’s my take. Here’s Stephen Colbert on the subject:
And here’s an amazing video of Yankees fans singing along to Fenway anthem “Sweet Caroline”:
Launch week is over, though I still have these delightful dark circles under my eyes to remember it by. (“They’re so dramatic!” said no one ever.) The final recap of the extended launch festivities: events at McNally Jackson, Books of Wonder, Scholastic, Seward Park Educational Campus, and two different branches of the New York Public Library, along with half a dozen interviews and guest posts on various blogs and one morning of intense, questionable tweeting.
I will remain ever-active online, like some sort of shut-in superhero, but my next live event isn’t until May 4 in Hudson, NY. Here’s all the info in the form of a large, whale-bestrewn poster.
I have a soft spot for the Hudson Children’s Book Festival because A) I’m surprisingly doughy and B) it was the first event I went to as an author. My first book came out in April 2009, and I attended the first HCBF in May of that year. I’ve been to all but one of them since and have had a fantastic experience each time. After that, I’ll be at and around the massive, mildly disorienting Book Expo of America from May 29 to June 1. My experiences there have been more, shall we say, mixed, but it’s right here in NYC, and I get a good deal on the pass through the Author’s Guild. Plus, I’m sure the global leaders of the publishing industry will enjoy my oversized Rottweiler-head t-shirt.
My new YA novel is out today. Finally. I am excited and stessed, hopeful and maybe a little nervous. Basically, I am conflicted as usual. The reviews have been good—excellent, even—and I have been knocking myself out doing guest blogs, interviews, and events. And now, well, it’s not that it’s entirely out of my hands. It’s just that it’s in other people’s hands, too. At least, you know, I hope it is.
A quick word about availability: The book is everywhere. I’ve heard from many amazing independent bookstores that are stocking it. It is in every(!) single(!!) Barnes & Noble and available online in every major format. And I’ll be entirely honest: This is because my last YA has done quite well. I am grateful for that, but that’s also where some of those nerves creep in. What if this book doesn’t do as well? Is this my shot?
I’m trying not to think too much about that. I love this book. I put a tremendous amount of work into it, and it is very personal to me. We always had rescue dogs when I was growing up, and it was important to me to get that right. Whether or not I did is up to each individual reader. I hope there are more than like three of them, but again: out of my hands.
Here’s the last thing I hope. Just one more thing, and then it’s off to Twitter to lose a bunch of followers with a day’s worth of incessant book flogging. I hope that, if you read the book, you enjoy it. I hope you laugh a few times. I don’t even care if it’s at the right parts.
My new YA novel officially comes out on April 1st. Today is March 28th. Do you see how tantalizingly close those two dates are? Close enough, in fact, that the book is already out in many places. Amazon and Barnes & Noble have started shipping it, and there have been numerous sightings of ROTTEN in the wild. I signed a stack of them at Books of Wonder on Sunday, and here’s a shot from ever-awesome Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY.
So when people ask me if my book is out yet, I say, “Kind of?” That is confusing, and I am conflicted enough already! But in a few
short excruciatingly long days, ROTTEN will officially be published. It’s not like I expect confetti to drop from the roof of the world or anyone to hand me one of those oversized novelty checks (haha! Can you imagine? It would say “You already spent it, Michael”). It’s just that I’ll be able to stop saying “kind of” and to spend a solid day tweeting things like “You want the woof? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE WOOF!” Man, if I don’t sell at least three books and lose at least 80 followers on Twitter on Monday, I’m not even trying.
In the meantime, I’m doing my best to stay busy: freelancing, ghostwriting, one dogzillion guest blogs and interviews… Last night I spent an hour picking out a toy for a photo shoot. Well, this one blog asked me for a photo, anyway. Whatever, I got a “Darth Maul Ultimate FX Lightsaber,” and yes that is a business expense. See you on the 1st, people! I can’t frickin’ wait!