Nova's Distractions

I'm Nova Ren Suma. I wrote the YA novels 17 & GONE and IMAGINARY GIRLS (both out now from Dutton/Penguin). My new novel, THE WALLS AROUND US, is coming March 24, 2015, from Algonquin YR. novaren.com

17&Gone

Imaginary Girls

Imaginary Girls paperback
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books:

Big news! In one week we’ll be holding the first-ever books.tumblr.com cover reveal! Check back next Monday, August 4, for the exclusive debut of the cover for Nova Ren Suma’s new YA novel The Walls Around Us. 
We’re hearing lots of great buzz about this new one from the author of Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone. It’s a ghostly story of suspense involving a young dancer and a girls’ juvenile detention center—just think of it as “Orange Is the New Black Swan.”  

YES THIS IS HAPPENING THIS IS MY BOOK WHAT!! Tumblr Books is going to reveal my new book cover next week… and oh, oh, I love this cover, I can’t wait to show you. Stay tuned August 4 for the cover of THE WALLS AROUND US!

books:

Big news! In one week we’ll be holding the first-ever books.tumblr.com cover reveal! Check back next Monday, August 4, for the exclusive debut of the cover for Nova Ren Suma’s new YA novel The Walls Around Us.

We’re hearing lots of great buzz about this new one from the author of Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone. It’s a ghostly story of suspense involving a young dancer and a girls’ juvenile detention center—just think of it as “Orange Is the New Black Swan.” 

YES THIS IS HAPPENING THIS IS MY BOOK WHAT!! Tumblr Books is going to reveal my new book cover next week… and oh, oh, I love this cover, I can’t wait to show you. Stay tuned August 4 for the cover of THE WALLS AROUND US!

Write the book you want to read, the one you cannot find.
― Carol Shields

My new YA novel 17 & GONE is on sale today!

17 & GONE is a story about the lost and the missing, a theme that’s haunted me ever since I myself was 17 years old. It’s a story that may not be what it seems. I hope you’ll want to read it!

For a peek behind-the-scenes at what went into writing this book, here’s my “Haunted at 17” confession.

And if YOU write a “Haunted at 17” blog to help me celebrate the release of the book, send me or tweet me the link! I’ll read every word and share it on Monday with the other posts. Plus, if you want, I’ll send you some 17 & GONE swag!

This book is out. In the world. As of right now. It has happened. No one can take it back from me now. 17 & GONE. I wrote it. 

This book is out. In the world. As of right now. It has happened. No one can take it back from me now. 17 & GONE. I wrote it. 

It’s the first day of March, so today is the first day I can officially say it: My new YA novel, 17 & GONE, comes out this month!

(March 21 in the US, and March 26 in Canada!)

The opening lines:


Girls go missing every day. They slip out bedroom windows and into strange cars. They leave good-bye notes or they don’t get a chance to tell anyone. They cross borders. They hitch rides, squeezing themselves into overcrowded backseats, sitting on willing laps. They curl up and crouch down, or they shove their bodies out of sunroofs and give off victory shouts. Girls make plans to go, but they also vanish without meaning to, and sometimes people confuse one for the other. Some girls go kicking and screaming and clawing out the eyes of whoever won’t let them stay. And then there are the girls who never reach where they’re going. Who disappear. Their ends are endless, their stories unknown. These girls are lost, and I’m the only one who’s seen them. 

Praise for 17 & Gone:

“Elegant, riveting, powerful, and poignant, this suspenseful, supernatural tale slips under the skin, inking out a haunting tapestry of menace and madness.” —Libba Bray, author of The Diviners and A Great and Terrible Beauty

“Suma breaks reality and twists it back together in a devastating and beautiful new form.” —Kiersten White, author of Paranormalcy and Mind Games

“Suma follows Imaginary Girls with another reality-blurring, psychologically complex mystery… . Through Lauren’s unraveling journey, readers learn firsthand what it’s like to question one’s own sanity.” Publishers Weekly

★ ”This is ingeniously crafted … [An] intimate, compelling exploration of a troubled young woman’s life.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“A truly original novel, different from anything else on the shelves… . Suma blends the real with the fantastic so seamlessly that readers will question everything.” Romantic Times Book Review

More about the book here!

I wanted to take part in this picture prompt from Real Actual Hilary—aka Hilary Smith, author of Wild Awake, a 2013 book I am DYING to read, aka “INTERN,” author of the blog “INTERN spills.” She posted an unedited photo of her bookshelf and encouraged others to do the same.

This is what happens when you run out of bookshelves: You find anywhere and everywhere to stack your books. The bookshelves we have can’t contain all of our books, so I had to expand. Here are the stacks I made on the fireplace mantel in the bedroom:

The book stacks on the fireplace mantel& so high, they cover the framed photograph on the wall behind it!

(Want to see more clearly? Bigger image.)

Those stacks are as high as I can make them without the books toppling down. They’re also disorganized in that some of E’s film-school books are in there (you may be able to find which books are his)—and some of my own grad-school course books are there, too.

Not photographed: Three bookshelves and multiple other book stacks elsewhere in the apartment.

Of note in these fireplace stacks:

  • The book that made me want to become a writer when I first read it at 12 years old (Cat’s Eyeby Margaret Atwood)
  • The book from which I performed a dramatic monologue in acting class during junior high (Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte)
  • The book that still has my angsty doodles and meaningful underlines during my teenage years (The Collected Works of Anne Sexton)
  • The book that blew my mind when I was 18 (Empire of the Senseless by Kathy Acker)
  • The YA novel that blew my mind when I was aspiring to write YA (Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers)
  • The novel that led me to give up writing fiction for adults and turn to YA (Feathered by Laura Kasischke)
  • The book I borrowed from a friend and just realized I forgot to give back (Birds of America by Lorrie Moore)
  • My favorite book during my twenties (Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys)
  • One of my favorite YA novels of 2012 (Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield)
  • The book I bought in the airport and still haven’t read (The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson)
  • The book I should have read years ago because once I did I felt like it was written just for me (We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson)
  • The classic novel I hate (On the Road by Jack Kerouac)
  • The random movie that shouldn’t be on this shelf (The Lorax)

That’s my unedited bookshelf! Will you post yours?

(Originally posted on my blog)

On the outside, this happened:

I revealed the cover and plot summary for my new novel 17 & Gone—and I have a pub date: March 21, 2013!

If you are a librarian or a blogger or reviewer,you can request an ARC here, for when ARCs are available, which thankfully isn’t today.

And I need to update my websites once I get a moment.

But on the inside, I’m a strange jumble of nerves and yes excitement but more nerves, come from having something kept private for so long now being pulled up into the light. Do any other authors get this, too, or am I a complete weirdo?

I am also in the midst of a creative breakthrough that I can’t talk about yet. Partly it came from failing utterly at this writing experiment (which deserves a whole separate blog that I will get to) and also from needing to follow my heart right now. Needing to write what I want to write, and—no offense—not care what it is I think YA readers and the market and critics and anyone else might expect or want from me. 17 & Gone is very much me, it’s kind of ridiculous, and I love this book all the more for that, so I might as well fling myself off the deep end and keep going instead of wishing I could be more commercial, which is a flaw I have, like wishing I could be a flamingo when I’m actually an ostrich. I’m an ostrich, damn it!

I didn’t build this semblance of a life to try to be anyone other than who I am.

And thus ends the cryptic talk about my behind-the-scenes creative breakthrough! How many of these does a writer have to go through before it sticks?

Who do you show your writing to? On my blog today I’m revealing the few—very, very few—people who see my writing in-progress and why, for me, it’s so important to be careful who reads and to hold it close as long as you may need to.

Visit my blog for more, and tell me: Who are your writing confidantes?

There is the obvious karmic, good-energy stuff of not giving in to the dark side. It feels so much better to go to the gratitude place. And just as there is always something to feel bitter about, there is always something to feel grateful for. But there is also a practical side for writers, for all creative people, for all people, really. It can be oddly satisfying to wallow in bitterness. For about two seconds. And then you get pulled under and have to expend all this energy just swimming, keeping your head above water. Energy that would otherwise be spent creating.
Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay, Where She Went, and Sisters in Sanity, from her guest blog on the “Turning Points” blog series on distraction99.com. Read the whole inspiring post.