distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

This Is the Week Your Book Comes Out: A Haunting Blog Series, a Giveaway, a Frenzied Whisper in Your (My) Head

This Is the Week Your Book Comes Out: A Haunting Blog Series, a Giveaway, a Frenzied Whisper in Your (My) Head

It’s bright and early on a Monday morning and I can hear this low little whisper in the back cobwebbed corner of my brain. Psst, it goes, trying to get my undistracted attention. This is the week your book comes out.

The voice isn’t taunting me as some voices do: This is the week my book comes out!

17 & Gone comes out on Thursday.

THIS Thursday! March 21. I can see the date on my calendar!

Since this is the 17 & Gone release week, I wanted to do something to mark the moment. To celebrate. And what is one thing I like doing, as many of my blog readers will attest to? Running a little blog series and inviting guest authors to take part.

17 & Gone is the story of Lauren, a girl haunted by a host of missing girls. All she knows is the girls are all 17—like she is—and they’re all gone without a trace. It’s this haunting that consumes Lauren and propels the story, as she races to find out why these lost girls are contacting her, and if this means she could be next.

In keeping with the idea of hauntings, I’ve asked some YA authors I know to share posts answering this question:

What haunted YOU when you were 17?

Starting today, I’ll be featuring some of these posts here on my blog—and some of the authors will be responding to this question on their own blogs. I’ll be sure to share those links here, too! And of course I’ll reveal my own disturbed psyche when I was 17, because how could I ask other authors to if I won’t? (To make sure I was being true to my 17-year-old self, I even dug out my old typewritten poems and stories from that year… they are… gutting, embarrassing, and more revealing than I ever imagined.) A peek:

(An untitled poem I wrote about a boy who didn’t deserve a poem, circa 1992.)
(An untitled poem I wrote about a boy who didn’t deserve a poem, circa 1992.)

I also want to open the question up to you, if you feel inspired to reveal what haunted (obsessed, bothered, consumed) you when you were 17. 

And by “you,” I mean everyone and anyone—my writer friends and my other creative friends. I mean readers and book bloggers and people who’ve lived through that year of being 17, which is probably most of you, and who see this post and think you may want to respond to the question. What haunted YOU at 17? If you write a response to this prompt, share the link with me by commenting here or by tweeting at me and I’ll include it in my round-up of all the posts later this week. And in thanks, I’ll also send you some 17 & Gone swag if you’d like some!

The first post in the series will be up today, and it’s by an author who sure knows how to unsettle her readers: Libba Bray. She’s away in Italy this week (my breath caught as I typed those words! Away in Italy!), but she kindly gave me this post before she left so I could share it with you for 17 & Gone’s release. Thank you so much, Libba!

And thank you in advance to all the other generous YA authors who will be taking part in revealing pieces of their haunted pasts.


Okay, I won’t. Do you want to win a signed hardcover of 17 & Gone, some swag, and a hardcover of Imaginary Girls to keep it company? Every commenter on the “Haunted at 17” guest posts here on this site this week will be entered to win.

…And you can also enter by filling out this entry form.

The giveaway is international. The giveaway opens right now, this second, and closes 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 28. I’ll pick two winners from among the commenters and the form entries.

 17&Gone_thumbMORE 17 & GONE NEWS:

  • If you’ll be in New York City for the NYC Teen Author Festival, come see me and get a signed copy of the book! Full schedule here—look out for me on Friday, March 22 at the Union Square Barnes & Noble or Saturday, March 23 at McNally Jackson or Sunday, March 24 at Books of Wonder!
  • The YA blog WORD for Teens has interviewed me about 17 & Gone. Here’s what I think about blogging as an author, why boy characters are so tricky for me to name, and moving to Mars (random, but I really do think about it).
  • I shared the places where I wrote 17 & Gone—with photos!—including a cluttered corner of my apartment, two artist colonies, my favorite café, and my beautiful writing space overlooking lower Broadway. Check out my In Search of the Write Space post on Meagan Spooner’s site, and be sure to enter the giveaway… I think you have just one day left to enter!
  • I’m touched and honored to say that Courtney Summers is holding a giveaway for 17 & Gone right now—she’s been so kind and supportive, which means extra-much to me because I admire her like whoa! She’s giving away 17 & Gone (along with an ARC of the anthology Defy the Dark). Enter her Facebook giveaway.
  • If you’ve pre-ordered 17 & Gone or plan to buy it this week (thank you so much for your support! it means the world to me!) and can’t be in New York City to get it signed, I have a way to sign your book from afar. Leave a comment on this photo on my Facebook author page and I may just mail you a signed and personalized bookplate.


What haunted Libba Bray when she was 17?

10 responses to “This Is the Week Your Book Comes Out: A Haunting Blog Series, a Giveaway, a Frenzied Whisper in Your (My) Head”

  1. This is an awesome way of celebrating the release of your book!! Thank you so much – it will be so cool to see what other authors were caught up in at 17.

    That is one dark poem – and you’re right, he doesn’t deserve the beautiful, emotional, dark lines you wrote, but I’m so happy you shared it with us. It’s beautiful and disturbing and sadly defines a lot of relationships.

    At 17 I seriously was just totally focused on my schoolwork and APs and stuff – and going to the movies:))

    Thank you and congrats on your book!! It sounds incredible:)

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  2. How is it possible that I love you even more?
    My wish for you? Many many more pub dates to come and far fewer poems wasted on boys that don’t deserve them 😉

  3. When I was 17 I was obsessed with college and starting over. My birthday is in October so my 17th year was both the end of my childhood and the beginning of adulthood.

    First I was consumed with the realization that everything was about to change. I wouldn’t be seeing my best friend every day in school. We wouldn’t even be in the same state anymore! I would be on my own for the first time ever. While some of my friends were focusing on their babies (I think my generation started the whole teen parent trend. Something I still don’t understand), and others on their instant careers, I focused on what lie ahead. When I finally got to school it was hard to balance staying in touch with my old friends and making new ones. As it turned out I ended up losing a lot of my old friends because our lives were completely different and the friendships just weren’t strong enough to hold.

    But it was a time when everything was new and anything was possible. No rules, no parents, no specific path. And it was glorious. Who knew you could go to the movies after 10pm or that your roommate would be completely ok having sex in front of you (and that one super awkward time in front of your mom) or that people are stupid enough to launch bottle rockets down the garbage shoot?

    17 was focused on new experiences and learning how to maintain my own morals.

  4. AP exams haunted me when I was 17. I had way too many extracurricular activities and advanced courses, and I was a mess of nerves and anxiety. I really wish that I had slowed down a bit during high school and had more of a social life. When I read YAs set in high school, I often wonder if those experiences are typical of high school students, because I honestly have no idea what happened beyond the stack of textbooks that blocked my view.

    I can’t wait to read 17 & Gone! It sounds fantastic! Congratulations on the release. 🙂

  5. I absolutely hated the daunting aspect of going to college when I was 17. It was so overwhelming. Oh and Spiders of course!

  6. Oh gosh, 17. It really wasn’t that long ago (5 years), but it feels like much longer. I think at 17 I was completely obsessed with college and the future and what I was going to do and where I was going to go. It wasn’t that I didn’t know where I was going to school. (I only applied to one place, crazy I know.) But I had no idea what I was going to major in.

    Also, I kind of had a crus on my best friend’s boyfriend, which was not so good. Thankfully, I kept that tidbit under wraps.

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