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Friday, May 28, 2010

InkPop -- live blogging tonight!

I'll be answering questions today -- and live starting at 5 PM tonight, at Inkpop.com - come on by and ask away!

Here's the link:


In between prepping for this (so exciting!) and finishing my unpacking from Spain, I will be down/uploading some pictures from the trip... so come back later no matter what! This one is a start: it was my lunch in Girona with a new friend named Tania -- tea and cava (which is the lovely Spanish version of Champagne). The two major food groups! Lunch of champions!

Let's talk later...

Rachel Vail

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BRILLIANT comes out today!

... and here I am, in Spain!

It's really wonderful here. My husband and I are having a terrific time. I will post some pictures of Spain, when I get back, and I'll be signing BRILLIANT at BEA in NYC on Thursday -- so there will be plenty of celebrating to do then, for sure!

But I have to admit, it feels weird to be out of the country, and not visit my local bookstores to see my new book on the shelf. I hadn't even realized this was my Pub Day ritual until just now!

I guess I always just pop in on Pub Day to my local bookstores (how lucky am I to be able to use the phrase "local bookstore" in both plural and first-person possessive? A moment of thanks for that!!!)

The day each of my books comes out, I visit -- to check, to loiter, wondering if a random stranger will stop in front of my brand-spanking new book and pick it up. This actually happened, once, and I was unable to even approach the person to say, "that's my new book!" I just stood there, behind her, shaking. I guess she could feel me there; she turned around, looked alarmed -- or perhaps concerned? -- and put my book down to hurry away. I like to think she was going for medical assistance for me. Rather than just bolting the weirdo. She probably came back and bought the book. Later. Right?

But anyway, since then, I try to play it safe by going with a friend. It's more celebratory that way, anyway. Also I am less likely to scare off innocents if my friend is saying, "your new book!"

But here I am, in Spain! I can't go visit any of MY local bookstoreS today at all.

Can you?

Wait. that's a good idea. Will somebody go for me? Take a picture of BRILLIANT if you see it on the shelf (or get it in your hands?) and post it here for me?

That would be so cool. In fact, I will send free signed bookplates to any and all who post a picture with BRILLIANT this week.


Rachel Vail

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just over a week until BRILLIANT comes out!

... and here is my first review, from Kirkus!

This final book in the Avery sisters trilogy (preceded by Lucky, 2008, and Gorgeous, 2009) centers on introverted Quinn, the oldest and most responsible of the three. On the surface, Quinn is dealing well with her family’s losing their home and many of their possessions, but her first-person narration shows a fair amount of inner turmoil. Not entirely sure of how to deal with the feelings no one expects her to have, Quinn engages in reckless boy-kissing and party-going. The only boy she’s really interested in kissing, however, is her piano teacher, college student Oliver. Her insecurities about herself and her future lead her to make poor but understandable choices about her friendships and romances. Quinn’s intelligence, which she expresses while still sounding authentic and often funny, allows for full exploration of her mixed feelings. Her calm nature also plays well against the personalities of her high-strung sisters. Vail ends this trilogy on a high note, one that should especially resonate with teens whose lives have changed with the economy. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Hooray for ending on a high note! My mom the soprano will be so proud.

Meanwhile, though the book is not yet in stores, a wonderful and very generous young woman named Julia is about to read BRILLIANT, because she was the winning bidder in the auction to raise money to send down to Nashville, apres le deluge. Don't tell her, but I will be including some extra goodies in the package I'm sending out tomorrow, to thank her for her generosity...

It's been such a crazy month, and I leave for Spain on Wednesday -- but when I get back, I think we will have to do some give-aways and contests, to celebrate: craziness, and spring, and books, and romance, and pretty shoes, and conquering worries... and whatever else you want to suggest. I am always up for celebrating. Whatcha got?

Rachel Vail

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Q & A with Rachel Vail

Posted using ShareThis


Is the positioning of the traffic light purposeful or just unfortunate?

Get the Inside Story!

Just spotted this, from HarperTeen! A free look inside BRILLIANT, 12 days before it's available in stores:

Browse inside BRILLIANT, the final book in Rachel Vail's critically acclaimed series, which includes LUCKY and GORGEOUS: http://bit.ly/amc8Az

It's Children's Book Week

Happy Children's Book Week!

Sorry I didn't get you a card. The time got away from me. Also, I didn't realize that's what this was until I just got an email about it from Amazon. I thought it was just week 2 of Stay Home From School with a Cold and Your Mom Week.

But apparently it is also Children's Book Week so, in celebration, here is a link to order a SIGNED, PERSONALIZED copy of JUSTIN CASE: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters

And coming very soon... lots of news about BRILLIANT which will be published on May 25th! Look for quizzes, contests, signed book options, etc!

In other news, one of my best friends in the whole world is moving very far away, very soon. Has that ever happened to you? Any advice on how to make the parting less wrenching and/or the staying close (despite the distance) more easy? I'd really appreciate it...

Thanks in advance....

Rachel Vail

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

silver linings


My little guy is still home sick, and the sky is whitish gray and I still feel a bit lost in the thicket of my current book...


I just spent half an hour talking to a very lovely and generous interviewer about JUSTIN.

First of all, just talking about Justin makes me smile. I love that boy so much! He is so much stronger, sweeter, funnier, and braver than he realizes.

But on top of that, I remembered, during the conversation, what I have learned from Justin -- that being brave doesn't mean being fearless, but rather doing what you need to do despite being scared.

So -- armed with that, I feel much more ready to face this day. I just got my son settled in his bed surrounded by his books, stuffties, and knights. I opened a window to smell the lovely May rain, to enjoy it instead of curse it. And now I will dive back in to my current book, draft nine (nineteen?)... and I will pretend to be brave until I actually am.

How about you? Any big plans for today?

Rachel Vail

Monday, May 10, 2010

In Other News...

My other son is home sick today. What is the deal here, guys? I am not even Fun Mom these days. You guys should really take a sick day when I am Fun Mom; we could do good stuff.

I am not Fun Mom primarily because my current book is in pieces all over the place.

Did you ever build something, like out of Legos or little sticks or scraps of paper or Q-Tips? Or, like, make a diorama? I am not talking to those of you who are artistic, now. I am not talking to those of you who think building with Lego is easy or who think "OOO! A Diorama! That's so much fun!" Because I am not feeling friendly toward you people today.

Sorry. I warned you. I am Grouchy Girl today.

I am talking to those of us who come up with creative combinations of swear-words at just the thought of gluing one thing to another thing.

Usually gluing words to other words (metaphorically) is what I like to do. It's how I think and how I amuse myself and also how I avoid working out, or, honestly, working at some more dangerous job.

But days like today, I realize I have sentence fragments stuck in my hair, and to the bottoms of my socks. The story I knew so well before I started writing it -- and last week, as I thought I was almost done writing it - has suddenly shattered into tiny shards. It is like every diorama I ever made and then, horribly, picked up off the table and watched collapse utterly. It is like every Lego structure I've ever touched -- the pieces by now just repel one another when I get close. I was writing the climactic scene of this book and the whole darn thing collapsed right in front of my eyes. It is all around me now, rising like floodwaters.

This is part of the process.

This is just part of the process.

It is not the most fun part, or the most glamorous part. That is for darned sure.

But it is the part during which I remind myself that writing something worth someone's time to read often means taking something pretty good and smashing it against the wall. And then, after a few minutes of despair and panic, taking a breath and painstakingly, lovingly, creating out of the shards and the new parts, something better.

It is also the part during which I clean out my closet, growl at innocents, and eat dark chocolate with almonds in it for breakfast and then also for lunch. Also I get very creative with swearing. But only inside my head.

How's your day going?

Rachel Vail

Mother's Day!

Did you have a good Mother's Day? I did. Thanks to my wonderful guys, and my terrific Mom! But instead of telling you all about my chocolate-rich day, I'd rather let Justin tell about the way he celebrated...

So here is what happened yesterday in JUSTIN CASE: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters

May 9, Sunday

It isn't stealing if you pay.

That's what I told Elizabeth, but she isn't sure. I am not 100% sure either, but I am, like, 87-89% sure we didn't steal those flowers from Mrs. Edmundson's yard. Because we left her $3.47 in pennies from our combined penny collections right where the flowers used to be.

How else were two kids who can't drive ad don't have permission to walk into town supposed to get flowers for their mother on Mother's Day? (I gave 174 pennies, because I am older so I wanted to give extra.)

I wanted also to give Mom something that would last, so I took the bear down from my shelf, the one I painted at Noah's party that is my best work of art ever. I love it more than any of my other paint-on-pottery. I wrapped it up in wrapping paper. It is not a cube or a box; it is bear-shape, so the wrapping job was extremely difficult and took a very lot of tape.

I will miss having that bear on my own shelf but as much as I love that thing, I love my mom infinity times more.

So it is worth it.

I think.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My son is home sick from school today

... so he has volunteered to guest-blog. Here he is!

As a guest blogger, I thought I should address a topic that has some connection to what is usually discussed on this blog. Instead I will talk about staying home from school, which I am currently engaged in.

When I actually go to school, it is very early in the morning. Too few of my classes are interesting (luckily I have the best Global Studies teacher ever, named Ms. Termini – if you’ve read JUSTIN CASE, you’ll know why that’s funny) and then when I get home, I have too little time with my family in between homework and eating. Eventually I go to sleep. I complain about this whole process a lot.

And yet on a day like today, when I am actually not allowed to go to school, because of various medical conditions, there is nowhere I would rather be than in school. Part of this, of course, is that were I in school, I would not be having these medical conditions, which would be nice. Another part is that today (and yesterday, when I was sick as well) exciting developments, such as casting, are happening to a play that I wrote. But the key factor, in my opinion, is that I am not allowed to go. Most mornings, it takes an immense amount of willpower to get out of bed (“an immense amount” is a fun phrase to say, as is “fun phrase”), but if somebody told me right now that I could go to school, I would jump on the bus still in my boxers. Which would not be good for my internal organs or my boxers.

So staying home sick, while not particularly enjoyable, is certainly thought-provoking.



Seis de Mayo

From JUSTIN CASE: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters

May 6, Thursday

Today is Seis de Mayo.

That is not a holiday anywhere, apparently. So we didn't dance around any clothing at all.

I, on the other hand, am planning to dance around vast piles of clothing. You?

Rachel Vail

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

from JUSTIN CASE: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters


May 5, Wednesday

Today is Cinco de Mayo. That is a Mexican holiday.

So we had an assembly and did a dance around a hat.

Do you have big plans for today?

I am going to write, then write some more, make some tea, write, dance around a hat, write some more, and watch an episode of 24: Season One.

Plus maybe an assembly. Because, really, what could be better than an assembly? Especially if you are wearing shorts, and the seats itch.

Rachel Vail

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Sneak Peeks from Matt Cordell!


These are SO CUTE!

(And I think the one with the plane should be captioned: The real reason planes can fly.)

Thanks for sharing, Matt!

I would totally share this absolutely delicious banana bread, in return, but it is so hard to post.

Rachel Vail

Want a signed book?

If you want a copy of JUSTIN CASE: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters -- but you want it signed and personalized... no problem!

I live across the street from the wonderful Bank Street Bookstore. Follow the link here to order JUSTIN (or any of my other books) and indicate that you want them signed. I'll pop over and inscribe the books before they get sent out to you! No more mailing envelopes or bother.

And they're even offering a discount. Have I mentioned how much I love independent booksellers?

Here's the link:

Rachel Vail