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Today, May 6, is GiveBIG Day in Seattle. What's that mean? It means something pretty awesome. Each year on this day, the Seattle Foundation--a large philanthropist group--will "enhance" donations given to select local charities. So, if you donate money to a group on this day, the SF will donate as well, increasing how much the group gets. Lots of very worthy groups are eligible, and each year, I give to one called Open Arms Perinatal Services. Open Arms helps babies:

openarms


Open Arms provides support to women in-need during pregnancy, birth, and the early years of childhood. These are women who don't have many resources or who may be new to this country. Open Arms helps educate them and make sure they're taking care of themselves during pregnancy. They provide doulas to assist with birth and breastfeeding and then continue checking on the babies and helping with parenting education for up to two years. Because here's the thing: having a baby is hard. That sounds like a cliche, but it's so true. If you've had one, you know. It was hard for me knowing what to do, and I had plenty of resources and support. I can't even imagine what it would've been like figuring out how to care for a new little person without the proper knowledge or even speaking the local language! Open Arms visits these families to help make sure these babies are taken care of and that their parents are able to keep taking care of them. Studies have shown this kind of intervention helps prevent child abuse/neglect and increases the likelihood of babies growing up healthy and well-adjusted. That alone is a reason to help them. But I'm going to give you another.

How about this one:



What, what, WHAT?

Here's the deal. I'm donating to Open Arms today. If you do too, there are a set of very nice rewards in your future--if we can reach certain goals. It starts by going to this page and donating. (You can also learn more about Open Arms there). If you don't have a ton of money, no problem. There's no minimum--just click the "other" box to give what you can. Whether you donate $5 or $50, it's all good. Every little bit helps, and they'll email you a tax deductible receipt. It requires a credit card, and you don't have to be in the US to contribute, so long as your card works with American websites. I've seen you guys come through before to help groups like the Red Cross, and I know lots of you will be happy to help give these babies and their mothers their best chance at life! I'll be checking in with Open Arms throughout the day to see how much money they've raised, and here's what's in store...

*If Open Arms raises $250, VA graphic artist Emma Vieceli will reveal an exclusive sketch of SYDNEY! If you're like me, you've been waiting FOREVER to see this. Sydney wasn't supposed to be revealed unless there's a Blood Promise graphic novel, but Emma's going to do it early for us!
**UPDATE** We've reached this goal! Check out Emma's amazing sketch here!

*If Open Arms raises $500, I will do a series of video Q&A's the month before the release of Silver Shadows that anyone in the world can submit questions for. Penguin Australia has graciously offered to spearhead this and will review and select submitted questions. Then, I'll answer them on video for you. For some of you, this might be like getting to a book signing!
**UPDATE** Goal met! We'll have info about this closer to release day.

*If Open Arms raises $1000, I've arranged with my publisher to be allowed to post the first chapter of Silver Shadows early. How early? Well, I'll post it TODAY if we reach our goal. Normally, it wouldn't go live for at least another month or two.
**UPDATE** Goal met! You can read the first chapter of Silver Shadows here!

Sound good? If so, then let's help some babies have happy, healthy lives! I'll keep you updated throughout the day about how we're doing. And thank you so much for being so generous. Even though there are rewards out there, it's still YOU making that donation, and I am super grateful to have so many readers who have helped with charitable endeavors time and again. Small groups like this improve lives in the community, which can later improve the world...and your big heart makes it happen. Thank you!

(Note: I'm not personally affiliated with either Open Arms or the Seattle Foundation. For any questions about the websites I've linked, payment process, etc., direct them to the pertinent groups. Thanks!)


German Shadow Kiss
Wow, it's been a longggg time without a blog entry! I had to do so much online promotion to get ready for the movie that once it came out, I took a much-deserved break and haven't spent much time here or even on social media. Lots of people are asking if there's going to be a Frostbite movie, and I honestly don't know yet. The VA movie pulled in plenty of book fans (thanks, guys!) but not so much in the way of newcomers. Without those numbers, it's hard to say if the producers and financers will be able to afford to do more. I'm told it's not impossible...but not easy either. If I hear any more news on what they're doing, I'll let you know!

We did definitely get some newcomers to the theaters, and it was great to see how many of them loved the movie (and even better, went on to read the books!). I saw a lot of these new people saying, "Wow, it was so different from what I expected, based on the title!" That's been a recurring theme since the series first came out. I've often been asked: where did that title come from, especially since half the series doesn't even take place at the academy? Here's the scoop.

When I sold the first book in 2006, it was called Kissed By Shadows. Now, the book business involves a lot more than just a story. Marketing that story is a huge factor, and people at my publishing house felt that title didn't have good marketing appeal. Also, some worried it was too similar to certain Laurell K. Hamilton titles, which were huge at the time. So, I was asked to suggest other titles...and I did. Over and over. How many titles? Well...nearly eighty. We had tons of email exchanges, and every title kept getting rejected. By the end, we were all really starting to go in some crazy directions. When someone finally suggested Vampire Academy to me, I was so exhausted by the process that I said, "Yes, go for it." Readers always remember that title, even if it doesn't fully cover what ends up happening in the series. But hey, there's A LOT going on in the series, so could one title cover it all anyway? Hard to say, and that's what the individual book titles are for.

And now you're probably wondering...what were those titles that got rejected? So glad you asked. For the first time ever, I give you all the suggested and rejected titles for the Vampire Academy series.

Now you can see why I was so exhausted by the process... :)

BLOOD ANGEL
GUARDIAN ROSE
BOND OF SPIRIT, BOND OF BLOOD
THE SPIRIT AWAKENED
BLOOD ROSE
BLOOD OF THE GUARDIAN
BLADE OF THE GUARDIAN
SHADOW DANCERS
DARK SPIRIT
GUARDIAN RISING
HALF ROYAL
HALF BLOOD
HALF BLOOD ROSE
TAINTED BLOOD
TAINTED PRINCESS
TAINTED ROSE
ROGUE PRINCESS
DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD
THE MARKED DAUGHTER
DAUGHTER OF SHADOWS
AVENGING ROSE
BLOOD DESTINY
BLOOD PRINCESS
BLOOD SISTER
SISTERS IN BLOOD
ROGUE GUARDIAN
BLOOD ACADEMY
BLOOD SECRETS
DARK ELEMENTS
SHADOW OF THE PRINCESS
THE PRINCESS' SHADOW
THE BLOOD CHOSEN
FATED BY BLOOD
HEART OF THE GUARDIAN
THE ACADEMY
LADY GUARDIAN
ROSE REBORN
ROSE ASCENDING
VAMPING
ROSE IN THE SHADOWS
LIVING WITH VAMPIRES
CONCERNING VAMPIRES
DEATH IN A BLACK DRESS
HYBRID
HYBRID ANGEL
THE SWEETEST BITE
THE SPLENDID BITE
THE RADIANT BITE
RAISED BY VAMPIRES
SHE WHO PROTECTS
HOT BLOODED NIGHTS
CONFESSIONS OF A VAMPIRE BODYGUARD
ROSE HATHAWAY, VAMPIRE BODYGUARD
A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO PROTECTING VAMPIRES
ROSE THE DHAMPIR
PLAYING WITH VAMPIRES
THICKER THAN BLOOD
VAMPIRIC VOWS
HOT AND HOT BLOODED
FANGS NOT REQUIRED
DEAD TO BITES
BITE CLUB
YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIKE VAMPIRES, BUT IT WOULDN'T HURT
A BEGINNGERS GUIDE TO GUARDING VAMPIRES
CONFESSIONS OF A VAMPIRE GUARDIAN
THE BLOODLUST RULES
ILLEGITIMATE CONFESSIONS
CONFESSIONS OF A VAMPIRE'S DAUGHTER
THE DHAMPIR CONFESSIONS
HOW TO GUARD A VAMPIRE PRINCESS
CONFESSIONS OF BLOOD AND LUST
LUST, BLOOD, AND OTHER TABOOS
LUST, BLOOD, AND OTHER INSTINCTS
SINS OF THE GUARDIAN
PRIMAL CONFESSIONS
LOST IN INSTINCT
THE TRUTH ABOUT VAMPIRE SEDUCTION
THE TRUTH ABOUT FLIRTING WITH VAMPIRES

I'm guessing some of you will look at these and think, "That never would've worked!" But I guarantee if an alternate title had been chosen, and then I told you Vampire Academy was a possibility, there'd be people saying, "That never would've worked!" :)

What would you have called it?


My Review of the Vampire Academy Movie

Win
Well, if you didn’t hear the news that came out recently, here it is again: the Vampire Academy movie’s US release date was moved up to February 7! That means, incredibly, that we Americans are only a few short days from it. I’m super excited about this and really hope you guys are too. I recently had a baby, so I wasn't able to go to the Hollywood premiere last night, but those who went are already loving it. They're not the only ones--I love it too! Yup, that's right, I got to see it in the comfort of my own home, and it is awesome. I could go on and on about what I love about it, but instead, I’m going to tackle some of the common questions I get, now that I can answer with certainty.

Is the movie a comedy?


No! I know some of the advertising really plays up the humorous side, but you have to trust me that the movie exactly matches the tone of the book: a dark, action-packed story with elements of humor and romance spliced throughout. That humor angle was played up in the ads and posters to pull in new viewers who think supernatural books/movies are dull, and it worked! We’ve seen an increase in new readers, which is awesome news. People who are worried about comedy are also worried this is “too high school.” But remember: all the angst and Russian adventure happens later in the series. This first book IS set in high school, but all the dark and serious issues are still totally there. If you watch TV, the odds are good you’ve probably seen a commercial that plays up the movie’s serious side. If not, check out these two trailers to see what I mean: Last Stand and Learn to Kill.

Is the movie true to the book?

This is the big question on everyone’s mind, and I say yes! As I watched it, I was really amazed at how many scenes they kept from the book. I expected more cutting. Some scenes go by fast (understandable with a 1:45 running time), but the moviemakers worked really hard to give at least a nod to every fan favorite scene. Here’s one of my favorites that I could watch over and over: Christian using fire magic in class.

But were changes made?

Of course. Anyone expecting a page by page translation of the book should just listen to the audio version because that’s the only way such a thing is possible. Books and movies are different mediums. You have less time in a movie, and some things that are awesome on the page aren’t so great on the screen. You also have to make sure the movie makes sense to people who’ve read the book AND to those who haven’t. That’s where a lot of adaptations go bad: they cater too much to readers only or too much to newcomers. I’m happy to say this movie hits the right balance, and all the changes made were really smart ones. There’s nothing that radically alters the main plot or characters. They make things look bigger and better and also clarify confusing issues. For me, tweaks like that are part of the adaptation process, and I actually enjoy seeing them.

How was the cast?

Um, awesome! Seriously. I’ve said from the beginning that I’ve loved the casting, and seeing them act just proved it. Every casting decision was spot on, and they were cast not just on their ability to play the character but also on how they interacted with the others. Chemistry is key in this series! Zoey IS Rose, and you’re going to have a hard time deciding which guy you love most because Danila, Dominic, and Cameron all knock it out of the park as Dimitri, Christian, and Mason. I especially love that everyone in the movie--whether they were the star or a small side role--really “got” their character. Lucy Fry, for example, read the book five times to understand Lissa. Seeing the cast bring the characters I created made me feel so emotional and reminded me why readers love those characters so much. It even made ME remember why I love those characters so much and that...gasp...maybe I want to keep writing stories about them!

Is the movie just the first book or all the books?

I’m so surprised this keeps getting asked. I can’t even fathom putting all six books into one movie. It’s just the first.

What about scenes in the trailer that appear to be radically different from the book?

I stand by my earlier statement that this is very true to the book. There are some flashbacks, dream sequences, and background scenes that were added, and seeing snippets of those is what’s confusing some people. Watch the movie. It’ll all make sense.

Are there werewolves in this?
THEY'RE PSI-HOUNDS, modeled exactly off a drawing I made for director Mark Waters.

Is there going to be a movie of Frostbite?

That depends on the success of this one! If it does well, there’ll be a sequel (and hopefully more). Part of the reason such a young cast was chosen was because everyone hopes there’ll be six more years of movies! But this one needs to do well. VA has a big following, but it’s no Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Half of those series’ fan bases could stay home, and they’d still succeed at the theater. We need our full fan base and new people at the theater to be successful, which is why the marketing team has worked so hard to pull in new viewers who don’t normally go to paranormal films.

What’s the final word?


The final word is that I’m super thrilled with the way the movie turned out, and I think you will be too. I’ve seen jaded people comment that I HAVE to say I like it, but here’s the truth: you can believe what you want, but I have a very hard time lying to you guys about things. For example, when my publishers give me covers I don’t like (yeah, it happens), I can’t bring myself to tell you I think they’re good. So, I’ll find a different positive way to spin it, like, “My publisher worked really hard on this and is so excited about it!” That’s what I’d be doing if I thought this movie was bad. Instead, I can say to you straight on that I really love it and hope you guys will as well. From cast to dialogue to breathtaking visuals, they really outdid themselves. The future of the franchise is in your hands now, so go see it! See it on opening day, and bring a bunch of friends because those opening numbers are critical. And remember, a successful first movie means we could very likely see Adrian and Eddie soon...


Shadow Kiss cover
Happy New Year!

After a very long wait, the Shadow Kiss graphic novel is out, along with a bunch of other super cool Vampire Academy books. You can read about them in this week's post and also learn how to get them and what to do if you need autographs. Once again, artist Emma Vieceli and writer Leigh Dragoon have outdone themselves. Believe it or not, I've been as impatient as you to see this graphic novel. Its publication schedule got pushed off so that it would time up nicely with the movie's release, which is smart planning but makes some of us restless! Now that it's here, though, I think it's time we do a thorough examination of...

The Top Ten Reasons You NEED the Shadow Kiss Graphic Novel
(Note: the inconsistent picture quality is the result of my crappy scanner, not the book itself, which is perfect)


10. It's Shadow Kiss, yo!
skgnmedium

No other book I've written has generated such a big fan response as this one. No other book I've written takes such abuse from fans. Seriously--you wouldn't believe how many copies show up at my signings that have been thrown at walls. Five years after its release, I still get email from people reading it for the first time who are just shocked and emotionally shaken as those who read it when it first came out. This was the game changer in the VA series, and even for me, after over twenty other books, it stands out as one of the most powerful things I've ever written. Why on earth would you NOT want to relive every excruciating moment in beautiful color?

9. Eddie Gets Some Screen Time


Er, well, he gets some page time. This is good news for those Bloodlines fans who've come to adore Eddie and for those who were disappointed that he wasn't cast for the VA movie (psst...go see it to ensure there's a second movie, which he WILL be in). Bloodlines has definitely let us explore a lot of Eddie's character, but SK gives us those early glimpses, where we really get an idea of how hardcore mini-Dimitri is and just how much things with Mason changed his life.


8. Rose and Dimitri Get Applauded for Foreplay

Physical training has been a key part of Rose and Dimitri's relationship since the first book, and those of us reading along certainly know Strigoi aren't always what's actually on their minds. The field experience skirmishes in this book give them plenty of new opportunities to get hot and heavy, and those innocent bystanders have no idea what they're endorsing.


7. Christian Makes Meatloaf

Whenever people get upset about humor in the VA movie, I always think, "Do you not remember that there's a whole scene in Shadow Kiss revolving around a vampire making bacon-wrapped meatloaf?" Honestly, I'm kind of surprised my editor originally let this stay in the book, but I'm so glad it did. This is one of my favorite scenes and has become a fan favorite too. Artist Emma Vieceli drew these panels to perfection, including both Christian's smugness and Rose's expressions reluctantly admitting he really is a good cook.


6. Dimitri Makes Hot Chocolate


The meatloaf scene was a fave of mine from the beginning, so I wasn't surprised readers loved it too. What did surprise me was how excited people got about this scene: Dimitri making hot chocolate with two packets of mix. This was just something I did in passing, but it appears to have generated a whole cult of double hot chocolate fans now, making me feel slightly guilty about having a negative impact on your nutrition. But damn, Dimitri sure looks good doing it.


5. Oh, Adrian

The Frostbite graphic novel gave us our first glimpse of Mr. Ivashkov, but much like Eddie, Adrian really doesn't get to shine until this book. He's in fine Adrian form, very much at his cockiest, full of swagger, charm, and one-liners. It's fascinating for me to go back and relive these early days with him, especially after writing all that's happened to him in Bloodlines. He's gone on one of the biggest journeys of any character, and seeing him like this compared to how he is in The Fiery Heart just knocks me over. He's so much the same...and yet simultaneously so very different.


4. The Cabin Scene!

YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!


3. Rose and Christian Kick Ass

There's a lot of big stuff that goes on in Shadow Kiss, and while most of the attention is on Rose and Dimitri, I can't help but point out how awesome Rose and Christian are in this. They're perfectly platonic, but their chemistry is just as good as the more romantic couples. Their banter hits a high point in this book, and things just go off the chart when they team up to go Strigoi hunting. Emma portrays it beautifully here, and I sincerely hope the movie franchise makes it to this book because Zoey Deutch and Dominic Sherwood nail that chemistry so precisely, it's awe-inspiring.


2. The Ending

Not just any ending. The ending heard round the world. The ending that traumatized people when they thought this was a trilogy and that I was leaving things like this (who would do that to you??). The ending that results in so many abused books. The ending I got so much outraged email about. The ending you love to hate...and love to read again.


1. Blood Promise


Wait, hold on. Why is Blood Promise the last reason you need the Shadow Kiss graphic novel? Well, here's the thing. Last I heard, there are no concrete plans to make a BP graphic novel. It's like your nightmare actually coming true--where the series really DOES end with Shadow Kiss! The first VA graphic novel sold decently, but the Frostbite graphic novel was so-so, which astounds me since I actually think that's a more action-packed book. It didn't get nearly the publicity, though, so maybe people don't even know it's out there. Regardless, if Shadow Kiss doesn't perform better, my publisher doesn't expect to be making a fourth graphic novel. I don't know about you, but I'm chomping at the bit to see Emma draw Sydney, Yeva, Abe(!), and all the others we meet in BP--not to mention Rose traipsing through the Russian countryside and battling you-know-who. So, if you're a graphic novel fan, make sure you grab this one so we can keep the series going! And if you missed Frostbite, I actually made a Top Ten for it when it came out as well that you can check out. All of the graphic novels are available for order through big booksellers like Amazon, B&N, or wherever you buy books. (Note: while superstores like Wal-Mart and Target carry my novels regularly, the graphic novels are harder to find in those all-purpose places. True bookstores may give you better odds of finding or ordering it). You can also get autographed copies from my pals at University Book Store, but be sure to read about deadlines and shipping delays in January.


Post-Holiday Shopping Guide

Little Dhampir
The new year is almost upon us, and if you have some belated gifts to give people or just need something for yourself, then I have good news. There is A TON of Vampire Academy stuff about to come out as we get closer to the movie, and I wanted to give you a heads-up on what to look out for. In the US and probably Canada, all of this comes out December 31. For the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, it's a mix. Some comes out 12/31, and some comes out later in January. Check with your local stores. As for non-English speaking countries, I'm afraid (as usual) I don't know specific dates. International publishers don't always inform me of them, and not all countries will get these anyway. But here's what I do know about what's coming:

1. Shadow Kiss Graphic Novel

At last!

skgnmedium

Just in case reading this book the first time wasn't hard enough, now you can relive all the agony and ecstasy in beautiful, full-color pages!

ADDENDUM: Check out my latest post, featuring highlights from this graphic novel!

SKGN4


Seriously, this thing is gorgeous, and I plan on doing a post solely about it to show you some of my favorite images. You won't be disappointed. I can read the original novel without shedding a tear (I know, heartless), but this gives me chills.


2. Vampire Academy Book #1, Movie Tie-In Edition


VAMovieTieIn


Book 1 of the VA series will be released with this cover and also includes a small fold-out poster inside. This is the only book in the original VA series being released with a movie cover. You'll also still be able to find the first book without this cover, though it's probably going to be one of the redesigns.


3. Vampire Academy Six-Book Boxed Set


This is it, the big one people have been asking about for years. At long last, you can get all six books of the VA series in one handy box. This side shot shows which covers they are: the movie tie-in for book #1 and then redesigns for the other five:

boxset1


The back of the box features one of my very favorite shots that the movie cast did in a photo shoot this fall:

boxset3


Note: this boxed set contains paperback copies of the books. There have been erroneous rumors going around that they're hardcover. They aren't.


4. Vampire Academy Ultimate Guide Movie Tie-In


Book #1 isn't the only thing to get a makeover. The Ultimate Guide got one too--inside and out.

UGMovieTieIn


Along with this new cover, the guide now also has a full-color inset of pictures of both movie stills and behind-the-scenes shots. Here's one I sloppily scanned in that I love: the filming of a scene where Christian catches Lissa by surprise.

VABTSsmall



5. Vampire Academy: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Brandon T. Snider

Want even MORE behind scenes information about the movie? Well, here's your one-stop source.

moviecompanioncover


Along with a whole mess of pictures, this guide also includes all sorts of stories, bios, and other goodies about what's been happening on the road to production. I actually don't have my own copy yet, but there are a number of resourceful fan sites out there who've posted some shots if you want a taste of what's to come!


IMPORTANT BUYING INFORMATION
If you're ordering these online, it's going to be pretty easy to find the 6-book boxed set, the Shadow Kiss graphic novel, and Vampire Academy: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, simply based on their names. Because there are older versions out there of Vampire Academy Book #1 and the Ultimate Guide, confusion might set in if you want (or don't want) a movie tie-in version of one of those. Hopefully, the place you're ordering from will show you the covers or say "movie tie-in". If not, these ISBNs will tell you which is which:
-Vampire Academy, Book #1
--Movie Tie-In ISBN #: 978-1595143600
--Non-movie Paperback ISBN #: 978-1595141743 (Note: you won't get a movie cover, but you may get an old or new design depending on who you're buying from)
-Vampire Academy Ultimate Guide
--Movie Tie-In ISBN #: 978-1595147578
--Original Version ISBN #: 978-1595144515

WANT AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF THESE?
My local University Book Store is once again offering autographed versions of these, but here's the thing. I'm pregnant. Very pregnant. Currently, we are saying that if you place an order for any of these (or my other books) by Thursday, January 2, 2014, I will personalize them for you like you usual, and the store will ship them out within the next week. HOWEVER, if say, I go into labor tomorrow...well, then, I'm probably not going to be signing any orders for them this week. Hopefully my baby will stick to his due date and wait a couple more weeks, but just be advised that any signed orders you make through University Books might be delayed for reasons none of us can control. I don't say that to scare you off--just to keep you up to date! If I do have my baby this week, I probably won't be able to sign anything for the store until the end of January. If you do want to order an autographed copy from them, the information is here, and yes, they ship internationally. Here are quick links in their catalog to all the new stuff:
Vampire Academy #1 Movie Tie-In Edition
VA 6 Book Boxed Set (If you order this from them, specify if you want the box signed too. Usually I just sign the books).
Shadow Kiss Graphic novel
VA Ultimate Guide Movie Tie-In Edition
Vampire Academy: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion.

If you want to order autographed copies of any of my othor titles, you can! Just look them up in University Book Store's regular catalog, which is linked on my ordering page. And if you have any ordering/sales question, please contact the bookstore, not me. You can email ubsmail@u.washington.edu or call (206) 634-3400 and ask for Mail Order.

If autographs don't matter, or you're worried my baby will delay your books, then definitely feel free to buy these new titles (or my old titles) through any of your favorite bookstores. The big online mail order ones (Amazon and B&N) have them, and any of your local bookstores will either carry them or easily be able to order them in a very short time period. These are also going to be showing up in big super stores (like Wal-Mart), so there may be no escaping them!

Friends in other English speaking countries: your big bookstores should be able to hook you up, so check with Indigo, Waterstones, and Dymocks or whatever other place you like to buy books.


Bloodlines
Happy Autumn, everyone!

I'm very pleased to announce that The Fiery Heart, Book #4 in the Bloodlines series, will be released in English-speaking countries next Tuesday, November 19! This has turned out to be one of my very favorite books I've written and will lead you on a rollercoaster ride of hot and romantic...and dark and shocking.  I hope you'll check out why Romantic Times Book Reviews calls it "the greatest installment yet" and says, "Readers are left with an ending so huge, the sequel can't come quickly enough."  The book is told from both Sydney and Adrian's points of view, and you can read the first two chapters here.  Also be ready for some visits from favorite characters from the original Vampire Academy series!

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you can come see me next week to get the book signed in-person.  I'll be signing in Portland, OR on November 19 and Seattle, WA on November 23.  Details are posted here on my website, and if you buy The Fiery Heart at the signing stores during the events or pre-order and pick up at the events, you can get a priority spot in the signing line.

If you live somewhere else and still want an autographed book, my local indie store will be selling and shipping them.  Information on how to order those is also on my website, and they DO ship to other countries.  Read the page for instructions, and contact them with any questions.  Note that the deadline to order a signed copy of The Fiery Heart and have it ship on release day is November 13.  You can still order it (or my other books) afterward, but it will ship later.  Those dates are listed on the selling page.

If autographs don't matter to you, then you'll be able to find The Fiery Heart at big online stores like Amazon and BN, your local independent bookstore, your local big bookstores (like B&N and Books-A-Million), or large retailers like Walmart and Target.  Bookstores that don't have it in stock should be able to order it.  Check out your US buying options: here. In Australia, Dymocks is always a good bet, as is Waterstones in the UK and Chapters in Canada. All of these stores will also do pre-orders to ensure you get a copy on release day! Wherever you buy it from, I hope you love The Fiery Heart!


German VA 1
We have all sorts of Vampire Academy movie things to share with you today, so let's get moving. First up, if you missed the amazing behind-the-scenes story and interviews that Entertainment Weekly did this week, then go check out this link right now. I got to see those stunt scenes being filmed, and they were INCREDIBLE.

MTV also posted their behind-the-scenes visit to the set, showing how much fun the cast had together. You can view those here. You have no idea how thrilled I am that everyone making the movie had such a good time with each other! They worked hard when the cameras rolled and played hard afterward. I love it.

I hope seeing this behind-the-scenes raw footage of the movie is helping convince you guys of what I, the actors, director, and screenwriter have been saying in countless interviews over the last few months: this movie really is true to the books. There are small changes here and there, but we all know that happens when you switch art forms, and believe me, compared to some other books-to-movies I've seen, the VA changes are minor. Now, I can't help you if an actor doesn't match your imagination, any more than you can change what's in my head. That's the thing with books: they're subjective. We create our own images in our minds. For a non VA example: I adore Woody Harrelson, but he wasn't who I pictured for Haymitch. I still gave Hunger Games a chance and was pleased to see they did the character justice and did a solid (identical? no) adaptation of the book. There were so many other great things going on that I got used to him and forgot my initial misgivings.

Still, some longtime VA fans are skeptics for the movie. They look at the teaser and other promo materials and say, "It makes VA look like Mean Girls! VA's not a comedy! This looks like a high school movie!" First off, I work very hard on some of Rose and Christian's one-liners, so come on--you have to acknowledge there's some humor--especially compared to other more serious supernatural series whose heroines would NEVER put ketchup on tacos or give battle cries. I love my wacky running jokes. :) Remember also that this first book IS in high school, complete with dances and note passing. The C4 and Russian countryside come later. But in all seriousness, for those worried the movie has transformed the book into a parody, I'm telling you flat out: it hasn't. There's exactly the same amount of humor in the movie as the books. There's the same amount of romance. There's the same amount of action. There's the same amount of darkness. There's the same amount of friendship. That balance I strove for in my writing made it to this adaptation.

So if it's all in there, why are the ads showing more of the movie's humor than its other parts? Because not everyone likes vampire stories. Crazy, right? If they did, they'd all be here reading this post. A lot of people do, however, like Mark and Daniel Waters's history with dark humor (as well they should), and so the movie's marketing team is highlighting that part of VA in the advertising. You see, there are people who would never see a vampire movie but will give snarky humor a chance. In some ways, that's why Twilight was the megahit it was. People who'd never read anything paranormal gave it a try because romance lovers were so hooked by the compelling love story that they were like, "Hey, I can live with vampires for the sake of this romance!" Likewise, the VA marketing team's hope is that people who normally say, "Blah, yuck, vampire stories are sappy and boring and overdone" will see some of this quirky, edgy marketing and be like, "Okay, I don't usually do vampires, but I love stories with attitude." And we all know VA has attitude.

Don't believe me about this marketing thing? Read this awesome io9 recap of the VA panel at NYCC today. This journalist wasn't initially sold on another vampire movie...but then changed her mind after seeing some of the movie's funnier clips.

And here's a truth people don't talk about: for VA to be successful and hopefully have sequels, it needs both its current fans and some new ones to come out and see it in the theaters. It's no secret that a lot of recent young adult books-to-movies haven't done well (including ones with MUCH bigger fan bases than VA), and it's because they haven't pulled in the audiences they needed to survive. The VA marketing team is trying to change this by showing new people, "Hey, you think you've seen every kind of vampire story out there? Guess again." And it's actually working. I've had other people tell me they read the books after seeing the teaser trailer and then say, "The books were different from what I expected, but I LOVED them! And now I can't wait for the movie."

That's what we need if we want to see Adrian cast for a Frostbite movie, guys. And we need you--our longtime fans and readers of the series--to have faith and hang in there as the movie team works its marketing magic to make the VA Family bigger. I love you guys for supporting the series for so long--you're what's even made a movie possible. And now I need you around to teach these new people what's what in the VA world!

And on that note, I think I can close with this eye-catching poster just revealed on Yahoo Movies yesterday. See what I'm saying? Does this say ordinary, sappy, vampires-gazing-longingly-at-each-other to you?

vaposter2small


Japanese Vampire Academy
I can't believe it's been a little less than a month since I blogged! A mega workload and pregnancy are keeping me off the blog these days, but don't worry, when I do come back here, I more than make up for it with news. So sit back because we've got a lot to cover!

Entertainment Tonight's behind-the-scenes look at the VA movie!
You heard the rumors over the weekend, and it's true. Tomorrow (October 8 in the US), ET is airing their behind-the-scene footage from when they visited the Vampire Academy movie set in July. They were there at the same time as me, and I know for a fact they saw some AMAZING stuff. So get ready, because this is going to be awesome! ET airs at 7:30pm in most Eastern time zone states. Here in Seattle, it airs at 7pm Pacific Time. This handy guide on their website will help you find your local time and TV channel. If you can't watch it or don't live in the US, no worries at all! ET almost always posts their stories on their websites after they air, so you'll able to watch it online later. (Note: There was a date change, and ET moved it from 10/7 to 10/8).


The Fiery Heart first trailer!
If you're a fan of the Bloodlines series, get ready because the first of six TFH book trailers goes online tonight! Here are a few time zones to help you find it when it'll be up:
FHTrailer

If your time zone isn't listed, use this converter to figure it out. And to reiterate what always comes up, these are BOOK TRAILERS that the folks at Penguin Australia put together. There's no movie of the Bloodlines series coming. These are just fun little productions to tease you about what's coming out in the book.

Vampire Academy at New York Comic Con!
If you've got tickets to this Friday at NYCC, good news for you! You can stop by and see some of the VA cast talking about the movie. FINALLY, get those burning questions answered. The panel is at 11am on Friday, and tickets are sold out for that day if you don't have them already, I'm afraid. I don't have a confirmed list of who's on the panel (it won't be me - I'm staying on the West Coast and can't wait to hear how it goes!), but I've heard Zoey Deutch (Rose) will be one of the panelists. Also at NYCC will be the fabulous Emma Vieceli, VA graphic novel artist. She has panels and signings on both Friday and Saturday. Look up her schedule on their website, and stop by and see her! Maybe she'll show you some sneak peeks of Shadow Kiss art!
***ADDENDUM: There are conflicting times going around, one saying that the VA panel is Thursday at NYCC. However, it is DEFINITELY on Friday at 11am.

My Signings
I'll only have two appearances for the The Fiery Heart, both in the Pacific Northwest. If you live near Seattle or Portland, OR, I hope you'll come see me to get books signed and find out the scoop on future books and the movie! Times and stats are here on my calendar. I'd love to visit more places, but I have a feeling those two signings will already be exhausting at seven-months-pregnant, so I'm staying close to home! Don't worry, though. If you still want an autographed copy of The Fiery Heart or of any of my other books, my local store will ship you one, and I'll even make it out to you. The information and deadlines are here on my website, and yes, they ship internationally!


Cover Coverage

Vampire Academy Crop
I've been getting some questions about a VA cover that's shown up on Amazon, so I thought I'd address that and some other relevant info for you guys. Here's the cover I'm talking about, which is what shows up when you view the first book, Vampire Academy:

NewVACover


Here's what's going on. This winter, my American publisher is going to be re-releasing the Vampire Academy series with different covers. Starting around November, new paperback printings of the VA series will have covers like the one you see above. That's the first book. Each of the other books will have a new cover with the same pattern, so Frostbite will be blue with a background image of those two people from the former cover design covered by the VA logo. Now, it's important to note that this will not be happening overnight. It's not like on November 1, all VA books will have these new covers. However, it does mean they will become more and more frequent in stores and online, and these old covers may become harder to find:

VAseries


Again, it won't be an all or nothing replacement right away. You'll probably find both versions in stores for a while, and it's hard to say what you'll get when you order online as inventories shift.

As you process that, here's something else that'll be happening. At the end of December, another new set of VA books will be coming out with--you guessed it--movie tie-in covers. I don't have any previews of these, but you can assume there'll be some awesome pictures of the cast. These will be out along with the redesigned ones in stores (that's the first pic I posted), but I can't guarantee where you'll get what. So, one store may have redesigns, movie tie-ins, and old ones. One store may only have redesigns. Another may only have movie tie-ins. There'll be lots of options!

What does this mean for you? It means plan accordingly! If you like the old cover or need to complete your set, now is the time to get on that and buy them while they're still available. If you like the new redesigned style with the VA logo, hold off until this winter to stock up in November (or ask for them for Christmas!). And if you want movie covers, ask for gift cards for Christmas so that you can then buy the movie ones in late December or in January. Something cool to know is that when the movie versions come out, there'll also be a boxed set of books 1-6 released and a book about the making-of the movie. The Bloodlines series will not be affected by any of this.

For those in other countries, covers are always at the discretion of your publishers, so I can't say for sure what's going on. I'm pretty sure the English-speaking countries (especially Canada, the UK, and Australia) will get movie covers around the same time the US does, but I've heard nothing of redesigns. If you're in a country that doesn't print my books in your language and instead relies on imports of American books, you'll probably be seeing a mix of covers.

So, lots of exciting things are coming! I'll keep you posted and put up images of all the covers as soon as I'm able to (and have seen them myself). And regardless of what covers you see, remember the most important thing of all: the books themselves aren't changing on the inside! The story will stay the same. :)


Little Dhampir
If you weren't avidly watching social media this week, it's possible you might've missed the Vampire Academy teaser trailer. That's right. After years of fanmade trailers on YouTube, I'm happy to finally give you this:




Amazing, huh? That is A LOT packed into only a little over a minute, and we still haven't really seen any full scenes or dialogue. But don't worry--I'm sure those will come! They just have to build us up. If you questions about the trailer, here are some links that might help you out! Over the last couple of days, I've been asked all sorts of things, from what certain scenes in the trailer are to how true it is to the book to--of course--when will we see more?! So watch it a few more times, then check out this great links.

Trailer Interview with Kozlovsky Brazil - In which I talk about all the things this amazing trailer had to do, costumes, my reactions to favorite scenes, and more!

Trailer Interview with Dhampir Life
- In which I talk about some of the darker characters, the desk scene (c'mon guys, freeze it and it should be clear who is--or, rather, ISN'T--in there), and actor chemistry.

Transcript of Today's Twitter Q&A - I took over the Official VA Movie handle and answered lots of fan movie questions about character hair, soundtrack, premiere, and more!


*ATTENTION:
PLEASE! Mark all spoilers in your comments.

*If you have questions about books, release dates, tour dates, or anything else, please check my website instead of leaving the question in comments or using LJ mail. You're more likely to find an answer!.*



I have red hair and subsist entirely on Kona coffee.

Other crucial information--such as my books, background, and appearances--can be found by clicking the links below.

Please note: I am HOPELESSLY behind in responding to e-mails and LJ comments right now. Be patient as I catch up!

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