Pantomime giveaways!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Book Smugglers are giving away two international ARCs of Pantomime right over here.

Also, we’re having a giveaway of three copies of Pantomime on Goodreads as well!

In other writing news, I’m pushing on to the ending of the sequel to Pantomime. Getting close to having my first draft completed! It’ll need a fair amount of editing, but I have stopped to step back and reassess a few times during the draft, so I’m hoping the editing won’t be too drastic.

Final Pantomime Cover Reveal & Tour!

The final cover artwork has landed and is out in the world:

I absolutely adore the typography and the ticket stub/circus poster peeking from the top to show my name (my name!) and my title (my title!). I think it works really well and is so striking.

The cover has been making the rounds today. I’ve collected the links below.

The first unveiling was at the infamous Book Smugglers. They’re one of my favourite blogs and I’ve been following them for about 6 months. They are also running a giveaway for two ARCs of Pantomime! So please go over and enter if you’re interested in winning an advance peek at my book.

Tor.com have also unveiled the cover and put up a two chapter excerpt! This was another bit of awesome–I’ve been following their blog for years.

Cuddlebuggery put up three alternate covers for Pantomime. I dunno, what do you think about them? 😉 Did I miss out by not going to them first?

A beautiful reveal at Leo Cristea’s blog, who interviewed me for Fantasy Faction. I beamed from ear to ear when I read it.

Cover reveal at Jana’s blog The Book Goddess.

The lovely Memory, who was one of my beloved beta readers, has unveiled the cover at her blog, Stella Matutina.

Cover reveal at Sharon M Johnson’s blog!

Daphne over at Winged Reviews also reveals the cover!

Catherine at CallieachsDevoir says lovely things about the cover here.

And last but not least, Kaye over at Paper Reader shows off my cover.

If anyone else puts up a cover reveal, send a mention to @LR_Lam or drop me a line on my contact page and I’ll put the link up on this entry.

People have been saying lovely things about the cover. A huge thank you to Tom Bagshaw, a truly talented artist, my editor Amanda Rutter for the spot-on art brief, and Marc Gascoigne for the gorgeous lettering.

Goodreads now has the little cover image on it, hooray! It’s also been added to the Amanda Rutter’s Pinterest for Strange Chemistry cover art, and if you’d like to repin it and help spread the word that way, I’d be very grateful.

Hokay, link salad complete. Thank you so much to everyone who volunteered for this cover reveal and for all the sweet things you’ve said about the cover. I am a-okay if you decide to judge my book by this cover, as I think it’s one of the most beautiful book covers ever. (I am a little biased. But only a little).

Books Read in August

1. The Unwritten Volume 1 – Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity – Mike Carey (graphic novel, meta, fantasy)

2. The Unwritten Volume 2 – Inside Man – Mike Carey (graphic novel, meta, fantasy)

3. The Unwritten Volume 3 – Dead Man’s Knock  – Mike Carey (graphic novel, meta, fantasy)

4. The Unwritten Volume 4 – Leviathan – Mike Carey (graphic novel, meta, fantasy)

5. The Unwritten Volume 5 – On to Genesis – Mike Carey (graphic novel, meta, fantasy)

6. The Unwritten Volume 6 – Tommy Taylor and the War of Words – Mike Carey (graphic novel, meta, fantasy)

7. Seraphina – Rachel Hartman (fantasy, ya, dragons) <–one of my new absolute favourite books. Just extraordinary.

8. Heartsick – Chelsea Cain (horror, thriller, serial killers)

9. The Key of Gold – 23 Czech Folk Tales – Josef Budis (czech, fairy tales, translation)

10. Annabel – Kathleen Winter (intersex, contemporary fiction, canada, gender)

11. Broken – A.E. Rought (retelling, frankenstein, ya, strange chemistry)

Also read the short story “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury.

New Blurbs & Photos

I’ve had two new endorsements come through recently, both of which I was very honoured to receive:

“In PANTOMIME, Laura Lam has created a world which will take your breath away, and characters you will never want to leave. Enchanting.”
 –Lou Morgan, author of Blood and Feathers

“A lyrical, stunningly written debut novel, which set my heart racing with every lift of the trapeze. In Micah we have one of the most original – and likeable – protagonists I’ve read in a long time. An author to watch, without a doubt.”
– Amy McCulloch, author of The Oathbreaker’s Shadow 

I also found this photo of us at the Strange Chemistry launch on KatieA3′s Flickr:

Amanda Rutter (editor), Kim Curran (Shift), me, Jonathan Howard (Katya’s World)

And lastly, one of Ms Robards’ students, Caroline, sent me this photo from after my first talk at Hayward High. I have her permission to post it. They’re posing with my Kindle, which has Pantomime on it.

Back to High School: a talk at Hayward High

haywardfarmers

Yesterday, while walking around my old high school, I felt both closer and further away from the teen I used to be.

Hayward High in many ways looked the same. I remembered where all the halls were. I remembered where my locker had been. Little memories of walking between classes, of chatting with people at lunch by a certain classroom kept coming to me as I waited for my friend and now-teacher to find me. But it was different as well. The school was no longer mustard-yellow, but grey. There were bars across the front of the school, making it look like a prison.

I spoke to two AP English 12 classes yesterday, in 3rd and 6th period. I was really nervous beforehand and as the students trickled in. In some ways, I went back to my high school self at that moment – will they like me? Will they find me interesting? Will they think I’m cool?

But when I looked out at their faces, they all looked interested (well, aside from the one boy who fell asleep…). And so, awkwardly at first, I told the first class about myself. I graduated from Hayward High in 2006 before going to college up the hill at Cal State East Bay, but now I live in Scotland, so I was both local yet not.

After I told them about the book, the classroom asked me questions. They’d been asked to come up with two questions for homework, so it was like a pop quiz. But after the first few questions I actually really liked it, so that when there was a lull I wanted more questions! It was so good to hear what teens wanted to know about my book–they asked about the setting and the characters. They also got a bit off topic and kept asking me about my husband because they thought our love story was cute (because it is). I even got a room full of “awws.” They also asked a lot about the publishing world, and I told them the process and warned them against the mistakes I had made. Someone asked about writer’s block, I got the question about inspiration, or what themes and philosophies I had integrated into my work.

One girl asked me about the language tone I used as Pantomime is set in a pseudo-Victorian society. Another asked if I used “big words,” and I said that I did, I supposed. I didn’t dumb down my language at all because, as I said, “teens aren’t stupid,” to which everyone applauded. Because they’re not. These teens were so bright, so interested, and so with it. It was so inspiring. I told them that they are my target demographic. While of course I’m pleased as punch if adults read it too, my book is for them. And they really seemed to like that.

I gave them a reading from Pantomime, and in the second class a few of them put their heads down like it was storytime, but their eyes were still open. It was a totally different atmosphere to when I did a reading for adults at the launch. I was totally relaxed by that point. No knee shaking this time.

After the first talk, a group of students came up and asked to have a photo taken with me and they gave me hugs. And after the last period Briana, who asked lots of amazing questions and was so sweet, asked me for an autograph. My first autograph!

I was so nervous about answering the questions that it took me until today to realise I missed a really good opportunity to ask them questions. What sort of stuff did they like to read? Where did they find out about books? Do any of them have e-readers? The next school visit I plan to prepare some questions of my own.

I walked out of the campus the way I had countless times in high school and then met my dad. And I felt really exhilarated and privileged that these students had asked me questions and now knew about my book. And it reminded me so much about why I love teens and writing for teens. Hurray for YA!