|-1| Day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Today's the day! The Absolute Value of -1 is officially enjoying its release day.

(Of course, it's been available for sale online--and in one or two brick and mortars--for some time now. But I've been looking forward to September 1, 2010 for a long while, so we're not about to just ignore it, am I right?)

At the end of this entry, I'll announce a contest that begins right now and ends at midnight tonight. So if you're impatient, scroll down for the details.

First order of business, in our ce
lebration, though: I haven't posted the trailer in an age, so here it is.

If you like it, please nominate and vote for it at the SLJ trailer competition!

And now, on to the sappy stuff. I usually let the AE handle the sentimental strolls down memory lane, but I think this mornin
g I'll take some of it upon myself. I've been going through old e-mails. Here are a few choice excerpts from over the course of |-1|'s creation:

The AE, the day after he received my original manuscript:
I didn’t mean to read the whole thing right away, but I did, and I’d really like to talk with you about it. Suffice it to say I did not find myself humming “Jack and Diane.”

As context, consider "Jack and Diane" to be the opposite of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It was three months later before I sent the AE a closer-to-final version, with a new 30k words. My note:

This MS is by no means perfect, and there is a passage or two I am going to continue to lose sleep over (such as the last five or six words, which I think fall a little flat), but I do think it's ready for some [editorial] input.

The little novel that could made i
t to an acquisition meeting. The AE emails me a report afterward:

Good news. It went well. Lots of people read it and liked it (got some good notes, too). I’ll be making an offer.

Eventually, the sale is official and made public in the traditional way: Publishers Marketplace.

Steve Brezenoff's untitled book, about four Long Island teens whose lives unravel suddenly and dramatically (and with a fair amount of pot), to Andrew Karre at Carolrhoda, for publication Fall 2010, by Edward Necarsulmer IV at McIntosh & Otis (NA).

It was time to firm up that title. The old title, SPLINTERS, didn't stay in the running for too long. We narrowed it down to these three:

It Was Never About You

The Absolute Value of -1

One False Move

. . . before finally settling, very happily, on |-1|, obviously. With a title, it was blurb time. I had my "oh wow that would be amazing" list of hopefuls, and at the top of the list was Sara Zarr. One morning in June 2009, a moth flew into my ear. That evening, after staying far away from the internet most of the day, I got a nice little note from Ms. Zarr.

"I think you've pulled of something pretty special. Really, really good job, Steve."

It wouldn't be appropriate to paste the entire original email from Ms. Zarr, or--believe me--I would. I'd probably buy a billboard in Times Square. But moving on. The point is, I got my dream blurb, and it was cover time. The AE and I headed to Teens Know Best. Finally, more than a year after I'd sent the final draft to the AE, we had the results:

I couldn't be happier that my debut novel is officially out in the world. And now we have reached the contest!

It's a repeat contest, really, but I can't think of a better way to give out a couple of signed copies of |-1| and get the word out that it's officially released.

So here it is: Help me get the trailer out one more time. It debuted months ago, but I think it deserves to be a part of the book's release day, too. So tweet it, embed it, link it on your blog, share it on Facebook . . . however you want! But whatever you do, let me know. If you share it on Twitter, put @sbrezenoff at the end of your tweet. If you share it on Facebook, link to the absolute value of -1's official Facebook page. Or you can just let me know right here, in the comments, if that's easier. Every time you share the trailer, you'll get an entry, closing at midnight tonight, Central time.

Please, only US and Canada residents should enter, and only people 13 or over. Also, if you're offended by lots of cursing and/or drug references, please do NOT enter.


3 Responses to “|-1| Day!”
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Kurtis said...

I'm not entering but did want to say happy AVONOday. I'll celebrate by hushing a colicky baby and changing gooey diapers.

September 1, 2010 at 8:13 AM
Anonymous said...

I've heard a lot about -1 and I'm going to tweet your trailer in the hopes of winning a signed copy!

September 1, 2010 at 11:44 AM
Anonymous said...

Steve, congrats on this release!! I absolutely love the title (er, sorry about the pun). Can't wait to read the book.

--Parker P

September 2, 2010 at 3:17 PM