Release Party

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The release celebration and reading of The Absolute Value of -1 was last Thursday, September 23. It went well! Here is some photo evidence that it occurred, thanks to Jodi.

At the reading, I read one chapter from each major narrator (reading Lily was way more difficult than I thought it would be, by the way. When it came time to start reading Noah, with all his ridiculousness, it was a huge relief), then answered a few excellent questions. My wife's grandparents sat right in the front row, and did not flinch at the dozens of F bombs dropping from the lectern. So yay!

There were also black-and-white cookies, that New York dessert staple, and a box of red wine, which apparently some people didn't notice. More for me! Kidding. I only had like ten cups. Kidding again! I only had one.

The turn-out was excellent, and I hope I can do another event at Magers & Quinn soon. They're great. I do wish I'd taken a photo from the lectern, but next time I'll remember. Oh, and M&Q video'd the thing, and the sound might be very low, but we'll see. More to follow if it's at all watch-worthy.

Anyway, big thanks to everyone who showed up! Good lookin' out.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I did not invent the word, so don't give me a hard time about it. However, if you do want to give me a hard time about it, the best time would be during my Twitterview.

Please join me -- @sbrezenoff -- at 1 pm central time Wednesday, September 22. Ask me anything; just use the hashtag #absolutevalue, and I'll see it and reply. It will be so freaking fun.

Until then, peruse my responses to Minnesota Reads' "6 questions we hardly ever ask." I bet you can't guess my ultimate Jeopardy! categories.


Friday, September 17, 2010

It's been a good press week for THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1. Here's the rundown!

I was interviewed by Jessica at A Fanatic's Book Blog. She asked some excellent questions, so it's a pretty interesting interview, if I do say so myself! All credit to Jessica, naturally.

Next, the latest Booklist includes a review of |-1|. I can't link to it, because their website requires a subscription, but I found the full text on the Hennepin County Library website, so I grabbed a screenshot and here it is!

And finally--seriously, "last but not least" was invented for this--|-1| was called Young Adult Book of the Year by local lifestyle glossy magazine METRO. Please read the whole list, because it's an excellent list, and my book and I are in some pretty impressive company, not the least of which is Forever Young Adult! You'll no doubt recall that their review of |-1| was jaw-droppingly awesome. Well, METRO thought so too, and they featured that excellent blog right in conjunction with |-1|. So cool.

Reminder: The official launch party and reading is less than a week away now. The details! Please come, and yes, I will be cussing. At least a little bit. Twitter told me it's okay.

Past tensed!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I still need to pick a winner for the release day giveaway, I know. The good news is that most of the people that helped spread the love by sharing that post and the trailer for The Absolute Value of -1 totally already have the book. So, if you entered, there's a really good chance you won. I'll announce, um, let's see . . . really soon?

In other news, the inimitable Josh Berk has MasterBerked |-1|. There's also a fine rap. Embedded!

And finally, Mindi Scott, author of Freefall--which will be out October 5 and I hear is great but I haven't read yet and want to--interviewed me for her Magic 8 series. Linked!

Apparently, I'm feeling my Strong Bad this morning. Techno'd!

|-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.