Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Super Cool, "It Must Be Fate!" Story, From the IRA!!


So, of course I plastered my cheesy grinning pie face all over facebook, so everyone could see my pics from my first ARC signing at the IRA on Monday, so you knew I had to blog about it, right? I had such an incredible time and I really got in with a great group of folks! Holiday House = Amazing! They made me feel right at home and honestly, it was so hard to go back to reality on Tuesday! I met so many inspiring teachers and librarians as close as Chicago and as far away as Canada and beyond. I got to exchange books with some other authors I know and put many faces to some very famous names! Oh, and I got tons of free books!!!


Okay, best story ever! As some of you know, Rick Riordan, renowned author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, read Nightshade City--and fortunately gave it a very nice review (and yes, I sent him a very corny sputtering fan girl thank you letter)!! Well, before my signing on Monday, I got to wander around a bit. I started walking and ended up in the Scholastic booth, where they were handing out all kinds of "book swag", someone handed me a complimentary book, my first one of the day, and guess what it was?? Any guesses? The Lightning Thief by none other than Rick Riordan! Gah! What are the odds of that? The conference hall was the size of a football field, with hundreds of booths and publishers giving out hundreds of books! I couldn't have been more bowled over! To quote my own book, which I know is even cheesier than my pie face on facebook, "...fate is sometimes a remarkable thing." Of course I took it as a sign from above, and it made the start of my perfect day, even more...well, perfect! Okay, it wasn't all perfect; I totally wore the wrong shoes! Bad, bad, bad decision! I was nearly limping when the clock struck five o'clock! Luckily, I did get to sit for spell, after the IRA closed that day, we had a beautiful dinner sponsored by Holiday House in the wine cellar of the Chicago Firehouse! I got to hobnob with some brilliant educators, authors and the great folks at HH. I got home very late for a school night, went to sleep all dreamy and then turned into a pumpkin by 6am the next day! Unforgettable...



xoxo -- Hilary

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ack! Everything is Happening at Once!!!!


So it's been a crazy year so far and it's only getting crazier!

As of this weekend, Nightshade City's cover debuts, along with my new website and a book trailer! Yes, I made one! Is it super-duper and full of awesomeness? Hmmm...my husband loved it! Wait until you see the NIGHTSHADE CITY cover! Omar Ryyan is a total genius!

The Nightshade City ARC hits the mean and lean streets of Chicago on Monday! THIS MONDAY! April 25th kicks of the IRA (International Reading Association) convention. My publisher, Holiday House, will be there, along with scores more! I'll be at the HH booth (1910), sigining my ARC from 12-2pm on Monday the 26th, so please come say "hi" if you plan on attending! Al Gore will be speaking at the convention, along with several awesome authors such as David Adler, Ingrid Law, Kevin Henkes, Judy Cox, Tom Lichtenheld, Lisa Yee and many more! Ack! Such talent!

I can't believe I'll finally get to meet the Holiday House folks, along with some brilliant authors! My first question to myself when I was asked months back if I could attend, "What the heck will I wear?" ;)

So check back this weekend for some big reveals! Cover, new website and book trailer all coming your way!

xoxo -- Hilary

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WRITERS: It's All About YOU Day!


So, last week I got to have my "Big Fat Contest" and it was loads of fun! I met some new writers and hopefully connected you guys with some new ones too! In that same spirit, this post is all about YOU!

The concept is simple: Tell the blogging world who YOU are! Name, rank and serial number, soldier! All you have to do is leave a comment with your name, or pen name, whichever you prefer, a link to your blog and/or twitter and facebook, and last but not least something cool, funny or weird thing about you! Your mission, should you so choose to take it: Follow one fellow blogger who comments on this post, that's it!

Example: Clearly, you all know my blog link or you wouldn't be here! My name is Hilary Wagner (pretty sure you caught on to that too!). I'm HilaryWagner1 on twitter and HilaryWagner1 on Facebook as well. Hmmm...something cool, funny or weird about me...I have a habit of dismembering Twix bars when I eat them. I gobble the layer of chocolate on the sides first, and then I go for the layer of chocolate and caramel on top, with a goal of keeping the bottom cookie portion intact, saving it for last. I get instantly bummed if I break said cookie, while extracting the top layer, ruins my candy bar eating mojo! Okay, so that's not really cool, but clearly weird, you get the drift! Ha, ha! Here's something that I think is pretty cool. When I was little I got to present an award with Minnie Pearl. You know, the cute little granny with the tag on her hat? Her real name is Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon and she was a big star of the Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw! She was just the sweetest lady ever and calmed my little girl nerves about presenting an award in front of a few thousand people! I think that's pretty cool.

So, in summary:
Your Name:

Your Blog/Twitter/Facebook link(s):
Something cool, funny or weird about YOU!!!

And lastly: Follow one fellow blogger who comments on this post!

Oh, and keep writing!

xoxo -- Hilary

Friday, April 9, 2010

We Haz Some Good Looking Winners!!!!


Okay, it's been a crazy week, with 100+ entries for my Big Fat Contest! If I could, I'd have you ALL win, but alas, I think Marietta would drop me as a client! *sniff*

All winners were chosen at random, via the Randomizer website! So NO nepotism!

So, without further ado, our winners are...rock star drum roll please:

A 30 page critique, a query critique or 30 minute phone call from fabtastic Agent Marietta Zacker:

1. The charming, Harley May








2. The mysterious, Matthew Rush









3. The exquisite, Faith E. Hough








Winners please consider what works best for you and what stage of your writing you're in. Do you really need help with your query or are you more concerned with your writing or do you really want to get on the phone with a real live agent and get some insider info about the business and maybe some awesome writing tips? I'm excited for all of you and Marietta is too! You will love, love, love her! She is a wiz at this business, witty and just as nice as can be!

A $25.00 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or the ABA, whichever works best for you:

1. The mystifying, Ebyss





2. The darling, Margo Dill








A signed ARC of NIGHTSHADE CITY (my favorite prize):

1. The inspiring Christine Forsenca






Congrats to all the winners! Please email me off my profile with your contact info for Marietta or your address for the gift card or ARC of Nightshade City!

Marietta will contact the three critique winners and you can go from there!

This was a lot of fun and giving out prizes is a wonderful feeling, but most importantly, it's about us all getting to know each other a little better and helping each other out a little bit. I've met some amazing writers and made some great friends, just by following blogs and doing all that social networking stuff (whatever that means)! Ha, ha! Speaking of which, I try to follow everyone, so please shoot me your link if for some reason I'm NOT following you or ping me on FB and/or Twitter! We all lead busy lives, most of us with full-time jobs or families to look after or both! It's nice to have these "places" where you can stop by and give yourself a little break from the world of reality! Seriously, I don't know what I'd do without you guys!

In short, please keep blogging, writing and just being yourselves!

xoxo -- Hilary

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Big Fat 300 Follower Contest with Agent Marietta Zacker! w00t!


Contest closes at midnight on Thursday, April 8th. Winners announced on Friday the 9th!

The day has finally come! 300 brilliant, electrifying and I must say, quite fetching followers of my blog! It's been an amazing week for me and hitting the 300 follower mark is the icing on the cake! On Tuesday I received the first half of my advance for BILLYCAN: Book II of the Nightshade Chronicles! Wednesday I spoke with my editor and found out some really surprising things they're going to do to market Nightshade City! Yesterday I received the 1st pass galley, which included some of the new chapter illustrations, which are completely full of awesomeness, thanks to the astonishing illustrator Omar Ryyan! Just wait until you see the cover, which also has a special surprise on it...but can say!!! Argghh!

So, in honor of all these remarkable events my fabulous and overworked agent, Marietta Zacker of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency has graciously offered up her services to three lucky winners!!! The three winners will have their choice of how they'd like their prize doled out. Please note: This is open to all writers and illustrators!

Choices: (1) 30 page critique of your MS, (2) a query critique, (3) a 30 minute phone call to talk about your writing or illustrations!!! Yes, a real live phone call!

If you don't win one of the above prizes or you already have an agent, don't despair! I'm giving away three more prizes! Two lucky winners will each receive a $25.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble or an American Booksellers Association gift card if you have an Indie store you love dearly, choice is yours! Last but not least, one winner will receive a signed copy of the NIGHTSHADE CITY ARC! They are printing this month and hitting the streets on April 26th!! Gah!

To recap the five prizes:
3 winners will receive a critique or phone call with the inimitable Marietta Zacker!
2 winners will receive a $25.00 gift card to B&N or the ABA!
1 winner will receive a signed (by me of course) ARC of NIGHTSHADE CITY!

My rules are easy, nothing wonky:
1. If you are already a follower, simply leave a comment!
2. If you are not a follower of my blog become one through the google followers link, (you won't be disappointed, scout's honor!) and leave a comment on this post.
4. If you already have an agent, please put "Agented" in the comment, so I know to only enter you in the last 3 prizes!
5. Please enter only once!
6. The contest will run until next Friday and I will announce the lucky winners, all chosen randomly!

So, follow, comment and conquer, my pretties!

Happy Writing and Illustrating to you all!

xoxo -- Hilary