Monday, April 28, 2008

Book Launch Week! How it all started...

Happy Monday and welcome to another Buzz Girl book launch week! OMG...and this time, it's me! LOL!!

Can I just tell you that I've been waiting for this moment nearly all of my life, I think? At least since I sold on March 17, 2006. It's been a long wait, but I'm super-psyched to say that my first two books, and the first two of the SORORITY 101 series from Puffin Speak Books launches THIS THURSDAY, May 1st!!!

More on that later...

I've had a lot of people asking me lately about how I got started...when did I know I wanted to write...and how did I know what genre to write? It's a real easy answer: I think I was born to write.

When I was five or six years old, I used to write "stories" (okay, they were like three sentences long) and would "illustrate" them and then I would hold auctions for my family to see who would buy the stories. Little did I know that this is very much like the publishing industry is for real. Seriously! But, I wrote all the time. And then, when I was about fifteen, I fell in love with the First Love by Silhouette books that came out each month.

I loved these books. They were about teenagers finding their first love and they totally spoke to me. So much, that I wrote one of my own. Yes. The first "full" manuscript I wrote was entitled CHEER FOR LOVE and it was loosely based on my best friend and her boyfriend. It's a total of 58 pages and there's not a whole heck of a lot of tension or conflict...but it's not the worst thing ever written. I still have it. In a box. A very dusty box.

I typed it on my brother's Royal typewriter, so there are a lot of mistakes and a lot of X'd out words. But, for the most part, the grammar's not bad, the format is good (with the exception of it being single-spaced), and the POV is clear. embarrassing as it may be, why don't you take a look?


The sun snuck into Melissa Lewis’s room as she was awakening from a sound sleep. She squinted, and began to come to the reality that Christmas vacation had actually started. She glanced over at the clock that read 9:43. Stepping out from the warm covers, Melissa quickly jerked her cover-up over her University of Alabama night shirt. Her blond hair was cut in laers around her slim face. Her green eyes, big and beautiful, were her best feature, not to mention her dazzeling smile, which you never saw her without.

Slipping out into the carpet-covered hall, she felt a draft of cold Decelber morning approaching her.

“Is that you sweetheart?” the voice of Sue Lewis said to her daughter. Sue was a medium-sized woman with short ultra blonde hair.

“Yes, Momma. It sure is cold for the south!”

“Your father is going to build a fire as soon as he gets some wood,” her mother announced.

“Good.” Melissa though all of a sudden about the day that was ahead of her. “Momma, you know that we have a basketball tournament tonight in AAllensville. We’ve got to be at the school to catch the bus at 5:30.”

“Oh, really. How do you plan to get up there? Your father and I have been invited to a party at the Ferguson’s house tonight and we can’t be late,” Mrs. Lewis said with concern.
“Don’t worry Momma, Jessica got her license the other day and her mother is letting her take her car up to the school and park it until we get back.”

“Jessie got her license?” The voice of John Lewis interrupted. “Well I’m oroud of her!” John Lewis, a sturdy man in his early 40’s, carried in wood that would soon have the house warming up.

The buzzing of the telephone interrupted Melissa’s thoughts. She reached over the counter and snatched the phone off the wall.

“Hiya!” The voice was that of Jessica Kellee. She and Melissa had been friends ever since kindergarten.

“Hi yourself, what happening?” Melissa inquired.

“Well, I was just making sure that we are wearing the red, white, and blue sweater outfit tonight.” Jessica, Melissa, and their other best friend, Leigh Henderson, wer all cheerleaders at Homewood High School, and tonight was their first basketball game. “I wasn’t sure it it was that one or the all red one,” Jessica continues.

“It is the sweater,” Melissa said, very sure of herself.

“Okay,” Jessica said. “I’ll see ya then.”

Melissa hung the phone on the wall to rest once again. She walked back to her room and turned on the radio. She got her uniform out and laid it out on the bed. She really admired the sharp looking Patriot uniform that she and the other 7 girls that won the title of cheerleader had picked out. It was a V-neck short sleeved knit sweater with a red skirt that had pleats of white and blue. On the right side of the uniform, the initials “HHS” were printed clearly.

Melissa traveled down the hall to the bathroom. She once again picked up the brush and stroked it through her shoulder length hair. Leaning over the sink, she splashed the refreshingly cold water on her face. She towel dried her face and dabbed on some mascara on her black lashes.

After she got dress and had put her shoes on, she leaned back on the couch and stared at the television. There, she saw an advertisement for a men’s colone. The man in the ad was very nice looking. Melissa found herself thinking of all the handsome basketball players that would be riding the bus. There was James Finnigan, a junior, and Richard Simpson, also a junior. Melissa had gone to the movies with him a couple of times. But the best-looking of all had to be, without a doubt, Robbie Barrington, a senior, and also the “star” player of the whole Patriot team. Melissa had admired him from afar since she started Homewood as a freshman. Now as a sophomore and also a Varsity cheerleader, maybe he would notice her. She decided to herself, “This is the year that I’m going to have a boyfriend!”

Okay...aside from the really bad sexual innuendos about Mr. Lewis and the wood, it's not half bad, eh? I was've got to cut me some slack. LOL! But what I find really cool about this is the first thing I wrote seriously was a young adult book. I spent five years writing chick lit and romance manuscripts (which I loved doing), when I should have been writing young adult.

Around March 2005, a fellow writer friend, Liz Maverick, said to me, "Why don't you try writing a YA book?" I listened to her and not only wrote one, but two. And one of them landed me my fabulous literary agent. Because of her great reputation in the industry, the editors from Puffin Speak Books approached her to see if she had an author who could write a proposal for a sorority series for them. They really wanted a positive take on sororities and sisterhood. My agent knew I had it in me. And on March 17, 2006, we sold my proposal to the SORORITY 101 series.

And those books will be available on May 1st! Only three more days! This week!!!!! I never thought it would get here. But I'm totally jazzed!

BOTH of my books will be available on May 1st: SORORITY 101: ZETA OR OMEGA? and SORORITY 101: THE NEW SISTERS, both under the name Kate Harmon. I can tell you, without a doubt, that they're both a LOT better than CHEER FOR LOVE. = )

I hope you'll pick up the books and enjoy reading them! I'd love to hear what you think. And, if you would be so kind, I would be ever so appreciative if you leave a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

This has been quite a journey to this point and I couldn't have done it without the support of so many amazing people...especially the fantastic Buzz Girls!

Marley = )

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Out May 1, 2008, Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Out May 1, 2008, Puffin Books)
GHOST HUNTRESS Series (Begins May 2009, Houghton Mifflin)


Anonymous said...

i can't wait to read these books they're gonna rock!

TinaFerraro said...

Okay, warning, this is going to be a "huggy" post in that there's lots of love!

I loved First Love from Silhouette, too, I loved reading your first book chapter just now, and I loved getting a pre-read on ZETA OR OMEGA! Most of all, I love that it's your launch week, and am going to love all the raves and that I know you and your books are going to get.


TinaFerraro said...

Hey, that post was so full of love, but it was missing a word!

"...and am going to lose all the raves and CHEERS that I know you and your books are going to get."

Done now...

Marley Gibson said...

Awwwwwwwwwww...thanks sooooooo much, Tina!!! You're the best! Thanks for the raves, cheers, and hugs! = )

Wendy Toliver said...

I'm so excited to see your books on the shelf and buy my very own copies! I was one of the lucky ones who got to read them in their manuscript form, and I can tell you people of the universe that you should totally read them. :)

CHEER FOR LOVE sounds so cute, and for what it's worth, the wood part totally slipped by me as being sexual in any way, LOL.

Marley Gibson said...

Thanks sooooo much for all of your help, Wendy! You're a great CP!

LOL on the wood reference. I think it was because I was reading it out loud. :::EEEEG:::

Emily Marshall said...

Yay for release week! And I loved the excerpt from CHEER FOR LOVE. It's fun to see people's first attempts at writing novels.

Maria Geraci said...

Woo hoo! Congratulations, Marley! It's finally time! I LOVE your except from Cheer for Love. It's adorable! I especially like that your heroine is named Melissa:)

Me said...

Congrats, Marley!!! It has been a looong wait, but so worth it! Can't wait to see Sorority 101s on the shelves--I just know they're gonna be big hits. And the first attempt excerpt was way cute. I don't know if I would have the courage to post any of mine. =)

bevrosenbaum said...

Yay, Marley! Can't wait to see them in the stores! Your covers are totally awesome!

Marley Gibson said...

Thanks Emily, Tera, Maria and Bev! Thanks for sharing in the excitement.

And sooooooon Tera's book will be out on the shelf! Eeee!!! Can't wait to get my Amazon pre-order on THAT!

Kristen Painter said...

I gave you a shout out on my blog!

stephhale said...

Congrats, Marley. It will be so fun sharing the "H" shelf with you! :)

ps-Cheer for Love is such a cute title.

Anonymous said...

So excited that release week is finally here! I am so happy for you and proud of you . . . can't wait to celebrate . . .

Marley Gibson said...

Thanks for the shout out, Kristen! I'm in good company, Steph...although I'll be moving to the G's next year! And hugs, Jessica! See you on Friday. = )

Anonymous said...

Mega congratulations on the Sorority books finally hitting the shelves, Marley! Here's hoping they go straight to the Bestseller list :)


The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

That's so exciting, Marley! Will you be signing at National? Hope so, so I can get you to sign them for me! :-)

Marley Gibson said...

Thanks to Leigh and Christina! And yes...I am signed up for the literacy signing at Nationals. I asked that they put me under "Gibson" and not "Harmon" so people will know how to find me. Plus, I get to sit by Rachel Gibson and embarrassingly gush all over her. LOL!!

= )

Tasha said...

Congratulations!!! I can't wait to read both of your books. They both sound so good.

Kwana said...

Marley, I'm so happy for you, but you already know that. I just loved Cheer for Love. I almost fell off my chair with Mr. Lewis getting wood!!
You make me smile without even trying. I'm so glad you're my friend.

Heather Davis said...

Yay, Marley! I am so proud of you. Congratulations on your debut.