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After these messages, we’ll be right back.

Sorry, no new post today.

I know! I know! Eat some ice cream to stave off the crippling disappointment.  I’m on lockdown until Book 2 in my middle grade series is acceptable for human consumption. No tweets. No blogs. No nothing.  Will return soon with the promised award presentations. Stay frosty!

Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 7:28 am  Comments Off on After these messages, we’ll be right back.  

Winners!

First of all, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for helping me spread the word about WITH OR WITHOUT YOU.  I’m very pleased with the response and I’m incredibly glad the winners were chosen randomly as, if was totally up to merit, I wouldn’t be able to decide because you are all quite clearly awesome.

The Random Number Generator (whom I’ve named Bubba) has spoken.  The following winners will be contacted via Direct Message.  (Or you can write me on the Contact page to claim your prize.)  All prizes also include a signed copy of WITH OR WITHOUT YOU. Congratulations to everyone!

FOR WRITERS

The winner of 1st prize—a full manuscript critique of up to 60,000 words—is:

Justin Olson @Olsonwrites

 

The winner of 2nd prize—a critique of the first 50 pages of your manuscript—is:

Mandie Baxter @MandieBaxter

 

The winner of 3rd prize—a critique of the first 10 pages of your manuscript and your query letter—is:

Vivian Lee Mahoney @VLeeMahoney

 

FOR READERS

 

The winner of 1st prize—the collection of signed YA hardcovers—is:

Laura Stewart  @lalalalaurajane

The winner of 2nd prize—the collection of signed YA paperbacks—is:

Adam @RoofBeamReader

The winner of 3rd prize—a $25 gift card to the book retailer of your choice—is:

Cheyenne Schenck @TheCheyShow

Now, before you all unfollow me en masse, let me just say:  I’ve got another book coming out next year. And who knows if a very similar contest will emerge to celebrate the release of that book as well.  Might be worth keeping me on your follow list (even if it means an endless torrent of DOCTOR WHO fanboy slobber) for the next giveaway…

 

Published in: on June 8, 2011 at 11:54 am  Comments (2)  

The Final Push

This is it!  At 11:59 pm this evening, I’ll be closing off entries for the Contest.  You have until then to tweet your heart out for a chance to win fabulous prizes such as a manuscript critique or signed first edition books from today’s hottest YA authors.

At some time on Tuesday, I’ll fire up Ye Olde Random Number Generator (seen below) and randomly select six winners from all the entries.  I’ll post the names/Twitter IDs of the winners on Wednesday (and contact them via DM) and then the fun begins! (In other words, everyone who followed me solely to win swiftly unfollows me and I’m left friendless and alone once more…. *sniff*….)

Ye Olde Random Number Generator (steam powered)

Coming later this week… Some of you may recall I was involved in a Bet.  Some of you may recall I won said Bet.  Some of you recall that I announced there would be glitter and prizes for the stories generated by the Bet.  Well, the inaugural Brian Awards will be announced this week, complete with star studded gala.  Stop back to see who’s wearing what, who was nominated, and who wins!

 

Published in: on June 6, 2011 at 7:28 am  Comments (1)  

An anniversary

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the first diagnosis of AIDS in the United States. The disease had been killing silently around the world since at least 1978 (much evidence suggests it had been around longer but the pieces of the puzzle started coming together in ’78).

Of course, at the time, they didn’t have a word for it.  The words “gay cancer” were floated around.  Later, the grotestque ‘gay-related immune deficiency’ (GRID) popped up. The more accurate, and less vilifying, AIDS was coined in 1982. By then, it had become an epidemic, owing largely to extreme denial on the part of the Reagan administration and the reluctance to acknowledge that a problem even existed.

This was homophobia at its ugliest.  The mere perception that the disease was exclusive to homosexuals made the people who could have done something about it ambivalent at best. (If you’re interested in learning more about the history of AIDS, I highly recommend Randy Schilts’ excellent AND THE BAND PLAYED ON.)

Back in the ‘80s, everyone was scared because nothing was known about HIV.  Today, we know it can—and does—affect anyone.  But sometimes it seems that, 30 years on, we’re still as much in the dark now as we were when this was just a condition whispered about with a mixture of fear and shame. Advances in the treatment of HIV and AIDS have fostered complacency in many.  A lack of strong education on the dangers of HIV—supported by those who still live with the idea that it’s strictly a “gay disease”—have seen a return of reckless sexual practices that endanger thousands of men and women—gay and straight—every day.

The shadow of HIV/AIDS hovers over WITH OR WITHOUT YOU. To be clear, it’s not a book about HIV/AIDS. I consider it a book about acceptance, belonging, and love.  These are all concerns of anyone living with HIV/AIDS. These are concerns we all face.   Almost daily, I remind myself to reflect on this often overlooked intersection.

There’s still much to learn.  There’s still much to say. And I can’t escape the feeling that the most important fact that needs to endure is: This is not over and it does affect you.

 

Published in: on June 5, 2011 at 8:29 am  Comments Off on An anniversary