Win 2 more books this June!

(just comment on this post to be entered to win!)
Okay, so June is the start of Summer Reading at the library (any library go check it out to win cool prizes), and we are going BIG here at ibteens. This month, on top of having a chance to win copies of Zombie Blondes and Thief by Brian James (scroll down for this contest), you will get a chance to win How I Found the Perfect Prom Dress AND Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood. I love love loooove this series. I purchased Why I Let My Hair Grow Out based solely on the gorgeous cover and I finished it in one sitting. The sequel How I Found the Perfect Prom Dress built and improved on the first book. Morgan is a character that has really matured and grown from the start of book One, and has turned into a strong young woman who will remain one of my favorite new characters. Seriously folks, this series is a Must Read. And you know that if I find a book I love I have to give a copy away, so June is a killer month for fabulous reading.

How I Found the Perfect Prom Dress by Maryrose Wood

Check out what this sequel to WHY I LET MY HAIR GROW OUT is all about: Soon-to-be-seventeen-year-old Morgan Rawlinson, snarky Connecticut teen and half-goddess from the long-ago days of Irish lore, takes another wacky romp through the faery realm.
This time it's Colin, her own freckle-faced Irish hottie, who's under a strangely yawn-inducing spell. To save him, Morgan has to find a leprechaun. In Connecticut. And that's only the beginning!
This book has magical prom dress shopping, a rather unusual game of mini-golf, and a special guest appearance by Gene Simmons. Seriously. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did making it all up.

"I literally could not stop reading this book. It had me in its clutches from the moment I opened it and started reading the first page! I was thrilled to see the return of one of my favorite heroines...hilariously entertaining...a seriously fantastic book...." — Jocelyn Pearce, Teen Book Review

Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood

WHY I LET MY HAIR GROW OUT tells the story of Morgan, a heartbroken Connecticut girl who chops off all her hair in a fit of angst after her boyfriend dumps her on the last day of school. Her frantic parents spring into rescue mode and send her on a "let's- help-Morgan-get- over-it" vacation.
Before you can say ow, my butt hurts, Morgan is biking her way across Ireland, where a most unusual accident sends her tumbling back through time to a magic, long-ago word full of faeries and enchantments. She even meets a hunky warrior-dude named Fergus who really knows how to treat a girl who's part goddess — guess who that turns out to be? Read an exerpt from this book!


1."How did you survive being a teen?"

Friends and theater. I had a group of very close friends that I spent every spare minute with, and after school and on weekends I was always in rehearsal for some play or other. Being a teen was hard for me because my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer while I was in high school (don’t smoke, people!). He died right after I finished my first year of college, when I was 18. My family didn’t cope with it very well and the whole thing was totally out of my control, so I just tried to keep busy. Doing theater and being with friends gave me a lot of structure and support and kept me functioning in a productive way.

2. "If you could choose one fictional character to bring into real life, who would you choose?"

The Cat in the Hat, no question! I would want him to come over with Thing 1 and Thing 2 and clean my house. After totally trashing it, of course.

3. "Have you ever written something that you felt uncomfortable writing, knowing that your family and friends will probably end up reading it?"

Not when it comes to fiction. I usually only care if they find the funny parts funny! The only time I’ve ever thought “what would so-and-so think?” was when I was asked to write a personal essay for an anthology, and I wrote about a romance I’d had in real life (which had since ended). I felt like I should tell the guy involved that I’d done it, in case it got published and he stumbled across it in a bookstore somewhere. So I told him, he didn’t care, it hasn’t gotten published, and there you have it. No one but him would know it was about him anyway!

4. "What do you think are the biggest issues that teens need to be thinking about today? Do you think teens today are looking for quality in the books they read, or just to live vicariously through superficial characters?"

Of course teens are looking for quality. A poorly written character in a dumb or boring story is not someone you’re going to want to live vicariously through, right? To me, quality means a great story and great writing. Quality is a book you don’t want to put down. Isn’t that what everybody is looking for? As for issues — you know, I think teens are amazing. It’s a full-time job just getting through school and dealing with your friends and your crushes and your parents and figuring out who you are and what kind of future you envision for yourself. And still, so many teens find time to volunteer, fund-raise, and get involved in causes they feel passionate about. They already know that they can make a difference if they just take action, and that’s something lots of adults don’t know (or have forgotten). One thing I hope teens realize is that they’re going to live their adult lives in a world that’s different than the world today, and the change is already happening — we’re all going to have to consume a lot less energy, waste less, use our bikes to get around, stop using toxic chemicals to grow our food, and just take better care of mother earth than we’ve been doing. It’s a change that’s long overdue.

5. "How have the books you've read inspired the books you've written, if at all?"

Reading great books is what inspires me to want to write in the first place. So anytime I read something I like, it recharges my batteries and makes me want to create something just as good. Sometimes inspiration is more direct. I’ve recently completed the first draft of a new book called A BEAUTIFUL NOTHING, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” “Much Ado” has always been one of my favorite plays. I took the basic form of the plot and set the whole story in the Bronx’s Little Italy. It’s like Shakespeare with mozzarella. And baseball! The Yankees figure into the plot in a rather significant way.

6. "What is the strangest thing you have ever gotten inspiration from?"

Excellent question! A bath mat. I once wrote a ten-minute musical that was inspired by a mat on a bathroom floor. The composer was David Rodwin, whom I’d just met at the time and is now a great friend of mine. We were guest artists at a musical theater writer’s conference, and we were given the assignment to write a piece together about some random object that we found on the grounds. After we got the assignment I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth thinking, “what the heck are we going to write about?” Then I looked down at my feet, saw the mat and we were off. It ended up being this hilarious mini-opera in which a woman takes a bath mat back to the store to return it, and has a life-changing encounter with the girl behind the returns counter. The actors who performed it barely had time to learn it before they got thrown on stage. Watching them discover where it was going at the same time the audience did was one the funniest and most memorable presentations of my work I’ve ever had.

7. "Many writers say parting with a character is hard. Do you ever look back on a character and wish you had changed something about him or her?"

Well, I hope that I am always improving as a writer, and part of that is looking back at earlier work and saying, “oy, why didn’t I cut that part? Or use a fresher word choice? Or dig a little deeper there?” But that’s a good sign, I think. It means my standards are getting higher! I’ve just started writing a third book about Morgan (the heroine of WHY I LET MY HAIR GROW OUT and HOW I FOUND THE PERFECT DRESS), with the goal of putting a big definitive ending on it in case it’s the last one. That I’m finding hard to deal with! Knowing me, I’ll find a way to leave a little door open somewhere

8. "What is the one thing such as, sky diving or any other daring thing, that you would love to do but you are too afraid?"

Sea kayaking. I took up kayaking last year and I really love it, but I’m not ready yet to get out there in the wild surf! Calmer waters are my speed for now. I also love to ride my bike, but I live in New York City and I’m kind of nervous about riding in heavy traffic, so I stick to parks, trails and bike paths. Part of me would love to be one of those fearless bike commuters who bikes everywhere and dodges taxis and stuff.

9. "What was the biggest obstacle you faced in becoming an author and how did you overcome it?"

In a way, becoming an author is not that hard. Not the way playing the piano is hard. If you want to play the piano, you have to have access to a piano, and pianos are huge and expensive. Then you need lessons and music and all that, and then you have to spend hours a day practicing. To be a writer you just have to know how to read and write and have a brain and a pencil. Becoming good enough to be published is a different story. Publishing books that are successful enough so that you actually make a living at it is yet another rung of achievement. For me, publishing my first novel was the culmination of probably fifteen years of writing every different kind of thing you can imagine – plays, screenplays, musicals, magazine articles…. I’d say the biggest obstacle for me was just time, all the time it took to pull my skills together and be ready when the right opportunity came along. And the only way to overcome time is to be too stubborn to quit! Luckily, stubborn is my best quality.

10. "What do you do when you are faced with writer's block? What helps you get over it?"

Coffee, naps, and exercise. Coffee to pump up my energy. Naps to reboot my tired, logical brain and let my fresh, imaginative brain take over. Exercise does the same thing, really. It gets you out of your cranium and into your body, and lets unexpected ideas pop up freely. I don’t really believe in writer’s block. I used to do comedy improv years ago, and I know from experience: you can ALWAYS make up something out of the material at hand. It might not be very good, but that’s okay, you can just fake it until you get back in the groove. That’s far better than feeling neurotic about being blocked, or thinking that writing comes from some magic place outside of your control and the well has suddenly gone dry. Sometimes I need to work slowly for a few days, and instead of writing pages of new stuff I’ll just revise what I already have or make vague notes about what might happen later in the book. “She spills a Coke. She gets the hiccups.” It can be anything. Inevitably a new chunk of material will burst through after a few days of this kind of noodling. I consider it a kind of gestating time, while you’re subconsciously figuring out the next bit. The trick is not to worry or force it. Take naps, do exercise, spend lots of time outdoors. Keep yourself happy and interested in the world outside yourself and new ideas will flow.

Okay, that's all I've got. Thank you for your time!

You’re welcome! Please visit me online at http://www.maryrosewood.com/!


RR2 said...

I've heard so many good things about these books. I really want to read them!

The Book Muncher said...

i have been wanting to read this series for like forever. really. and i love the covers and titles!!

Anonymous said...

these books look so cute! enter me to win them please!!


Webster Twelb said...

I've never really heard of these books. I am a newbie in teen adult novels and contemporary novels. I would definitely love to read these books. Nice blog!

paperxxflowers said...

these books sound so interesting!

Breanna said...

Oh My Gosh, exciting! I've been wanting to read this series ever since I read a review of Why I Let My Hair Grow Out a while back. It sounds so good and so does the sequel. Seeing as how you read the first one in one day I'm going to definitely assume its good, lol.

Please enter me! *happy squeal*


Liviania said...

Her books have such fab covers. I like what she said about teens looking for quality. Very sensible.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I agree that teens look for quality as well. Maybe not all of them..some might find it more fun to read books that are like the TV shows they watch or something, but I love quality books. I love the real characters, the real situations, just the real real real.

I love Maryrose and would LOVE to finally get to read these two books after seeing and hearing about them for a long time. AGREED about the covers too. They are so lovely!!


Anonymous said...

ohh, I really want to read these!! Enter me please!

Grace L

Sara said...

Oh, great books! Would love to read them!
the covers are awsome!

Anonymous said...

Love these books would love to own them! I hope I win!

Anonymous said...

Heard good things about this series but I haven't gotten my hands on it yet, so please eneter me! - Ryan

Hope. said...

I've heard lots of great things about these books. I hope I win. :)


Anonymous said...

Great books


cpullum said...

First Time I have seen these !! They are cool!

Lenore said...

Awesome interview!
My library isn't well stocked, so I have to build my own :)

Cyndi said...

I've heard that these books are really good and would love to win them so I can finally read them! :D

Meredith said...

These books look good. I wonder if my local library has them...

perla said...

Hey lenore and meredith, I have a link on the blog for worldcat, it will search the libraries in your area for any book you want. If you find one you can ask your local library to send for it, even if it's from another library in or out of the state.

And I am excited for the winners to read these books, I know you will fall in love with this series like I did. I read each one in a single sitting. They are sooo good!

oh and webster twelb, you are coming into a really awesome world of books People don't give Young Adult books enough credit, anyone can read them. A good book is a good book period. I'm super rabid about the books I like and if you explore this blog a little you'll clearly see my favorites.

thanks everyone and good luck! Both contests end June 30th!

Anonymous said...

love finding new authors, and new blogs
please enter me


Khyrinthia said...

I've been wanting to read these for a while. I've heard nothing but good things.

Bunny B said...

Oooo.. cool!!! I'd love to win these! Sounds like fun! Thanks!

bunnybox9 at gmail . com

Anonymous said...

books sound interesting.
definitely going on my books to read list. hehe.


Carol said...

I really want to read these books. The covers are amazing!

The Story Siren said...

i've really been wanting to read these books! sign me up pretty please!

The Story Siren said...

i've really been wanting to read these books! sign me up pretty please!

books-a-lishious said...

These books look amazing! I really hope I win one!