Hey, all. This is probably the longest I’ve gone without blogging, for which you have my abject apologies. Travel makes the internets hard.

As I’ve said, I’m on a research tour for Leviathan, checking out all the European locations for the novel and, of course, the Zeppelin hangars of Friedrichshafen, Germany. (We’re not there yet, but you’ll be seeing those in later posts.)

My first trick was seeing the Alps from above, straight from the plane on the way to Rome:

Awesome mountains. I’m so glad I set part of Leviathan here.

In Rome, I finished the Uglies Guide. (Look for that this fall.)

Then we flew to London for a mini-tour of England. Thanks to everyone who warmly welcomed us there, and asked such interesting questions. My favorite: “Did writing Uglies make you see people differently?” Still mulling that one.

Right now, Justine, Holly Black, Maureen Johnson, Cassandra Clare, and I are all ensconced in a 17th-century tower in Bologna, Italy. We’re attending the annual Children’s Book Fair here, where publishers from many lands come to sell and buy translation rights for teen and kid books.

So far I’ve met with publishers from France, Israel, Holland, Germany, Australia, and the UK, some by chance and some by design. Brazil and Thailand are tomorrow. It’s a great way to meet a lot of the far-flung publishing world, and to find out weird stuff about how teens in different places read. Here are a few factoids:

Germany loves fantasy. The magicker the better, so say the Germans.
Holland doesn’t like fantasy or science fiction, but Maureen Johnson rules there.
Manga is so huge in Italy that there’s a teen imprint named after a manga character.
Ugies is a monster hit in France.

Another cool thing about Bologna is seeing all the art. One of my favorite traditions is the huge bulletin board where hopeful young illustrators pin up their work for publishers to look at:


This photo shows just a tiny fraction of the art here, of course. There are any huge aircraft-hangar sized spaces fool of books and art. It’s an awesome display of creativity.

Less uplifting is the vast Hall of Agents, where agents sit at tiny desks pitching books to possible buyers all day long. My hats off to those who toil in the mighty foreign rights mines:


Anyway, enough of the business end of things. On Friday, the research tour moves into the Tyrolean mountains, and a week later into the Zeppelin hangars of Friedrichshafen!

Pictures will be posted.

138 thoughts on “Alp-tastic

  1. hi guys! well at least you get a spring break. i get a spring day. yep. that’s what i’m gonna call it from now on. ok so today was just plain funny. in band my teacher was reading the announcements and he read the part about a day of silence and he was like Maddi you need to go to that. (she always talks. but she’s hilarious. and he was just kidding.) and then she said something and then they got on the topic of sign language. and then he starts waving his hands and pretending to do sign language. and then he flipped her off well it was the thing where you take your right arm and put it up and then your left arm and put it inside your right arm and then push your right arm up…. if that makes any sense at all. lol. and he did it like 5 times. but it was soooooo hilarious. i laughed so hard i cried. and then in spanish my teacher gave us an easy day of just 2 wkshts and she told us stories about when she was younger and traveling…. also very funny.

    and i started my first official job today. see my family owns a business and my parents figured out that if i start working now and put like $500 in this tax free account once a year then i’ll have 2.5 million when i’m 50 to retire. yeppers. pretty exciting.

  2. hey guys!!!
    totaly xited for the uglies guide!!!! that sux that u only get a spring day or something kay-wa. my spring break doesn’t start for another week and a half, or something. well it starts on the 19th so i think thats a week and a half but i dont feel like counting. πŸ™

    me and my friends are starting a book club at school for uglies cause we’re all OCD about it and stuff, lol. idk exactly what we’ll do there. i think we’re gonna read the series, cause me and my friend jess r the only ones in the club (so far) that have read the series. we came up with the idea a few days ago. it opens in like, a week if mrs. bachman will let us use her room (which i’m sure she will cause she rocks) and plus u get tons of extra points for starting a club. but i’m totally phsyced for that. and stuff…..yeah, just thought u guys should no i guess πŸ™‚

  3. Wow, I got my Spring Break two weeks ago…BUT I HAVE A TOTALLY FAWESOME IDEA FOR A NEW STORY!!!!! Sorry had to get that out of my system before I go into a writing coma…

  4. Aloha! So i have a ……. question. You see, when i went to my friends house, there where these guys that live on her street that are…..cute….but there older, like 17 and 15. And so we were outside one night and was talking to the 17 yearold and he was talking to us and at first i felt uncomfertable but then i started acting like me. Being crazy and silly and talking a lot and laughing and at one point he said ‘Wow, your really hyper.” and i was kindo wanting to say “No, i always act like this!” but i didnt i just laughed. so at thew end of the night at like 12:30 we had to go inside so when he left……he smeemed in a hurry…..

    At school the next day i asked my friend to ask him what he thought of me. i was curious, and have a bad vibe about what he thought and i wanted to to no. So my friend told her neightbor (who is her friend) to ask him. So they were all at side when she said “What did you think of her?” and he said……and this is what made me writw this….. “She was annoying” and “i would never hang out with her, cause shes 13.”

    Ok, its one thing that u didnt like me…..i mean, hey, i dont like a lot of people. But to be stupid enough to saw it to my best friends face…..that annoys the crap out of me. He could have lied, that would make me happy, but to know that when i make a first impression on people and they say ur annoying AND ur just some little kid. Well, your messed up.

    I hope he ruins his nice little car!!!! Is was nice…..

  5. Oh, the question was…..

    What would you do if someone told your best friend that? Even if there just being ‘guys’.

  6. Bran-la. Here’s the deal. It would have made you feel the same, if not worse, if he lied and said you were cool even though you are 13 and you found out it was a lie. If somebody isn’t going to except you for just being you then that person just isn’t worth it. I hardly think that “just being a guy” is an excuse. I’m a pretty hyper person too but ther are a lot of guys that are my friennds and stuff anyway. You probly don’t rub everyone that way so I would say that you just have to accept that this guy and you just clash and move on.
    Does it really matter whether he said it to your friend or some random person? Either way he was just saying what he thought.

  7. sorry for the spastic moment
    that is creepy having someone lurk around ur house u better b careful.
    I have and love to play the sims2 so fun-making
    u guys best enjoy ur spring break mine is over =( i dont have a day off for like 6 weeks!!!!!! not fair.

  8. YAY!!! For Erica-wa! *throwa confetti*
    Dude, Bran-la don’t let it bug you, you just have to let it go and forget about it. Sometimes some people are just like that and well if they are you just have to deal with it, you know? Just don’t let it get to you.

  9. and Bran-la, I sorrees… but 17 year olds tend to be all holier-than-thou and think they are so cool because they’re older.
    (I is 15.)

    stick to 13-year olds and the such, is my advice.
    and poo on that dude.
    *slips on cool-cat sunglasses*

  10. thats pretty suckish bran-la. but dont let it bug you. it was just some 17-year-old guy that you’ll probrably never confront again. or atleast not for a while. i dont no u, but he’s probrably missin out! πŸ˜› πŸ™‚

  11. Haha, thanks you guys! I havent thought about that moment all day, in fact when i wrote this last night, ever since i havent thought about it. and yeah, i can see how being 13 can be an issue with the olders ones. i mean, i dont hang out with 7 year olds or anything…….
    And yeah he did miss out on somethings! But im happy with who i am. I hate boring old “what did you do today” “nothing” people, i mean, whats the point in life? I mean seriously? Obviously its not to be all dull and look down on life. i lov being goofy and silly and having fun. And even when that dude totally bumbed my mood, i had to take my head, place it an inch from the wall, and smack my hand agianest the back. Resulting in, the face plant. And you know what, i got over it, but im still a little sore…..
    I hate how i make big deals out of things sometimes. Got. to. Stop. Doing. that.!!!

    I know i havent got on in a while in talk but my freakin teacher decided to give us home work stacks the size of mt. Everst so until i can unbury myself, i will be randomly commenting.

  12. Hmmm…I wrote a poem…
    Here it is:
    I was just another face in the crowd,
    but I chose to stand out,
    I chose to succeed,
    I chose to jump up and shout.
    To the sky?
    Who cares? I just needed to SCREAM!
    To get out of the routine of things,
    To change something for once,
    To have caused a domino effect.
    Pretty soon, other people will stand for what’s right.
    It’s the perfect chaos, don’t you think?
    I chose to set free the spirit inside of me.
    I chose,
    chose to live!

  13. Ok, i put it on, hope thats ok with you, if not, i can always delete it!!! Oh and i credited you by saying “from T&Z” cause i didnt want my friends bugging me about who tally and zane were so there gonna have to deal with the initial!!!

  14. TZ that is freaking FAWESOME! i loves it. so inspirational! mah fave you wrote so far!

    ok so i just got done with dance practice and i’m PUMPED! so very PUMPED!! we finished our dance today and omg it’s amazing! it’s to the song “I Want It All” by Queen heres the link if ya wanna listen: and like the ending is so fawesome we like are in this tight little group and then the front row throws their arm out like to grab something and then steps back in the tight group and contracts with their wrists crossed and head down and then my row does it, and then the last row and it’s to the “I WANT IT!” at the end of the song. and then we walk with attitude to our fianl spots and pose with like our hands on our hips like “yeah you wanna mess with me?” lol “bring it.” it’s fawesome. can yous tell, i’se a bits excited!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ …sorrys if somes of that didn’t make sense.

  15. woo-hoo
    i got a new book
    its been a week i thought i would die
    its good too “bloodtide”by melvin burgess(id hate if i had the name melvin)
    but its a PULSE book too
    whoo im hy-per

  16. Bran-la u no wat about ur question on the 20th of april i am going 2 b 17 (yeah me!!!) anyway i would sooooo hang with u because u sound like u like having a blast like all my friends. tell the guy that he might as well live under a rock(nice u) or tell him that he is a waste of life that cant function in normal society (mean u) and i dont mind if u want to tell him that ur 17 yr olod friend sends that message personally! sorry just venting 4 u =)

  17. Bran-la- do you know Kate Brian’s e-mail address? pleaseeeee say you do. i’se trying to enter this contest thing on her site and it won’t let me. so. very. confuzzled.

  18. Aww, you guys rock! I’ve got tons more, but I can’t really put them up, cuz I’m working on getting them published, it’s not that I don’t trust you guys, its just all this legal crap…Wow, me is sooooooo excited!

  19. Bran-la,
    Well, (even though I have come to the conclusion that no matter how cute they are all guys are idiots…which I kinda already knew) that was pretty stupid of him.
    Seriously, he should of known they would tell you.
    Sounds like beef jerky (yeah, that’s a weird sentence…huh.)
    I’d probably pretend that they never told me and just act normal…not like Ò€œnormalÒ€, but like you know…like we act on here with all of our randomness.
    You know you’re not annoying, he’s just being dumb. (which proves my conclusion, stated above.)
    I have to wait 3 more years to be able to drive…much longer for a car, lucky.
    Though, you had to wait as long as me…you’ve just lived longer.
    this is a place for venting…it helps…a lot
    haha that’s funny, we use Scott-la’s board to post about our girly problems.
    What torture we put him through.
    Seriously, i couldn’t stand the kids in my tech class.
    They would give me weird stares because they’re all freaking depressed or something so they thought it was weird to talk fast and laugh and have fun even when I cut myself with the freaking saw (which is my life in a nutshell.)
    So while they were talking to each other about their boring lives and talking about their babies (what in world has happened to this world? 7th grade people!!! 7th GRADE!!!!!!) I was annoying them with my oddness and insanely k@@k@@ laughter, inside jokes, and pointing out that it really isn’t funny to smoke (to which they ignored.)
    You should start a fanlib account for your poems, they’re really good.
    What kind of dance do you take?
    My dance routine is very crappy
    oh well
    It’s really weird…like on here, we all like the same kinds of things but there are even adults…creeptacular
    ask your library about publishing
    my friend entered a contest at a library and got her poem published.
    Erm, sorry this is so long…

  20. Softball has started!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let the running and batting begin!!!! I am on my aunts team

    I love Superman/Tom Welling!!!!

  21. that’s fool Reagan! i play on the girls softball association-(fast pitch), for my parents business. and then in the fall i play on the school team. it’s pretty freaking fawesome. can’t wait to start hitting. i can wait to start running however. hehe.

  22. I start softball on saturday too! And I’ll look into the fanlib and library thing too, thanks! And you didn’t think I was one of the adults did you? Cuz I’m not…not even close, but I’ll be graduating jr high this year,lol…

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