Monday, March 4, 2013

Welcome Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan speaking the Truth!

Today I've got the co-writing team of Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan on the blog. They wrote the fantastic post-apocalyptic novel WASTELAND which is out on March 25, 2013.

Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants—hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.
 Seriously, how cool does this sound? It's like a post-apocalyptic western with it's own teenage Clint Eastwood type character who is complex and fascinating and a strong girl protagonist who is courageous and smart. So we're really excited to have Susan and Laurence on the blog today with their truths!

TRUTH: if you could go back in time what would be the one thing you would want to tell your 13 or 15 year old self and why?

Susan Kim

Ughhh… I can’t limit it to just one!

One reason is that I’ve thought about this a lot over the years. When I was 14, I was obsessed with the idea of being able to communicate with myself at a later age. I remember writing my older self a long letter, partly because I was convinced there was no way I could possibly remember what it felt like to be young. Growing up worried me because I was scared it meant transforming into some completely foreign animal, one that looked and spoke and acted differently and cared only about weird/ impenetrable/pointless things. So I would have been definitely interested to have been able to hear what my older self had to say… I might have ever listened!
1.     It’s okay to be bored. Boredom sucks, but you know what? It is so unpleasant that it eventually forces you to figure out what it is you really want to do (as opposed to what others want you to do.) I started writing stories and plays because it was summer, my friends were away, and I was bored out of my skull. I liked writing, but most important, it was something I came up with myself. No one ever told me to write, and I think that’s one reason why I kept doing it.

2.     Don’t care what others think. Honestly. This goes not only for your enemies, but your friends, siblings, teachers, and parents. If you want to become an actor, then yes, try out for the school play even though you don’t think you have a shot and your best friend thinks it’s uncool and you secretly think the drama teacher hates you and always casts the same kids anyway. Keep in mind that 99% of what people say about you isn’t really about you at all, but their own hopes, fears, and insecurities… so don’t take it so seriously. (This sounds weird but I swear it’s true.)

3.     You’re not alone. When I was 14, I didn’t wonder how many people felt the same way I did; it literally didn’t even cross my mind that this was a possibility at all. To me, everyone was exactly who they appeared to be on the surface: cool or uncool, confident or shy, happy or sad. It stunned me to realize later, that, of course, everyone is a lot more complex than that underneath. You can be a good girl and reasonably nice person living one life on the surface and yet feel really different and powerful things on the inside: insecurity, hope, confusion, ambivalence, love, idealism, despair. If I knew that others not only understood but maybe even felt the same way, it would have made a huge difference to me.
And last but not least:
4. You’re not fat, so stop obsessing about it.
5. Everything bad leads to something else. Okay, it’s not always something better, but it’s often something you weren’t expecting at all. Don’t assume you know everything. 
6. Don’t take everything so personally. The boy you secretly love isn’t asking you out not because you’re fat or ugly but because he is, in fact, gay. The two of you will stay friends and years later, you’ll both laugh about it.
TRUTH: if you could go back in time what would be the one thing you would want to tell your 13 or 15 year old self and why?

Laurence Klavan
Admit to yourself what you want.
Tell other people how you feel.
Don't worry so much about being liked.
Do more than you don't do.
Enter into the salary investment program at your job--the first year they make it available.
And don't ever go
--> to see the movie, "Cloud Atlas.

 OK to celebrate having Susan and Laurence on the blog, HarperTeen has provided us with a copy of their ARC to giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered! That's it!! 


  1. Ooh, I want this ARC. I am using my super human mojo powers as I write this comment to ensure that I win. Did it work? :)

  2. This is so right up my alley! I <3 post-apocs! And I <3 strong girl protags!

  3. Post-apocalyptic western? Yes please, that sounds fabulous!

  4. Great cover! Looks awesome, and the idea sounds like something that could generate a lot of great stories.

  5. This book sounds awesome! I want an ARC! Do I get to enter? :)

  6. Ummm..shyea!!! This sounds bloody epic :)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  7. I love the advice. I'd probably tell myself not to get too caught up on things that aren't going to matter in the future.

    I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  8. Wow, this book sounds awesome!

  9. I want to read this book so bad! I can't wait until it comes out.

  10. Congratulations the winner is Scott pilgrim!! woot!!