Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Writing mode

Things have been quiet here on the blog lately -- not much news to report, no trips or appearances in the last few weeks -- but that doesn't mean Nancy hasn't been busy.

In the ebb and flow of working on her next novel, there was a period where there seemed to be a bit too much ebb and not enough flow, as she kept running into difficulties, and found that she had to remove a section here or rewrite a section there. But just lately, Nancy has gotten rolling again, and the words have been pouring forth.

The activities surrounding her books are nice, and she values them, but Nancy seems at her happiest when she's in writing mode, and it's all just working...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Some love for Nancy's first-born

Blogger Kailie Lynne, guest-posting on the blog The Ramblings of a Book Addict, lists Are You Alone on Purpose?, Nancy's very first book, among her top five favorite novels ever. She hasn't read the rest of Nancy's stuff yet, so I'm thinking she's in for a treat...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Extraordinary in Top Ten for '10!

Amazon has selected Extraordinary as one of its top ten teen books for 2010. Their editors put their heads together and picked it as #7 out of all of the YA books published this year. Thus far I have resisted the temptation to use the obvious adjective to describe either Nancy or her latest book. And I will continue to resist. But you know what I'm saying.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Climbin' ol' Rocky Top

Thanks to the good graces of the University of Tennessee Center for Children's and Young Adult Literature and the Knox County Public Library, Nancy will be discussing Extraordinary and signing copies in Knoxville, Tennessee at the East Tennessee History Center at 601 S. Gay Street on Friday, October 29, at 7 p.m.

Rocky Top seems like a good place to spend the Halloween weekend. Lots of people will be wearing orange (it is the home of UT, after all), but you can go one better and show up in costume. As the song suggests, it remains to be seen whether she'll ever come down.

Friday, October 15, 2010

High Test Girls!

The High Test Girls will be back in town this weekend for their annual writing retreat. This is not only a very good thing for sub-adult readers, who will inevitably enjoy the fruits of their labors this week, but it's fun for those of us who get to pick them up at the airport and have the odd dinner with them and things.
Have I ever introduced them properly? Here's the line-up of children's literature All-Stars:

Franny Billingsley

It's going to be a very good week...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Black Mirror discussion guide

Teachers: Jennifer Richard Jacobson has put together a very well thought out, handy discussion guide for Black Mirror. It offers a lot of ripe questions that are sure to get the conversation hopping. If you aren't already teaching Black Mirror, this guide might persuade you to give it a shot.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monstrous mash-up

Nancy continues along her merry blog tour, this time on Book Crazy, where she is asked to do a mash-up in the form of bringing two fictional characters together. It's an interesting exercise. Personally, I'd like to see Jeeves working with Huck.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nancy, from the start

Dr. Jennifer Buehler of readwritethink interviews Nancy in this podcast, and they cover pretty much the whole of Nancy's writing career, eventually settling in on Impossible and Extraordinary. If you'd like to hear the story, get comfortable, settle in, and enjoy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The blog tour continues

In the next two stops on her blog tour for Extraordinary, Nancy visits the Book Smugglers to discuss the inspiration for the book, and Lesa's Book Critiques to talk about her love of essays.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Austin awes teens

OK, that subject line was bad. And it's surely been done before, sadly. Anyway, the delightful city of Austin just hosted its Teen Book Festival this past weekend, and Nancy was part of it. Betwixt panels, she gave this podcast interview along with Ellen Hopkins and Sophie Jordan. She talks about betrayal (trust me), the faerie realm, and her audience.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Touring from the sofa

Nancy has begun a blog "tour" for Extraordinary. She is writing guest posts on a series of blogs, starting with The Compulsive Reader. Not only does she get to conduct the tour from our sofa, but you can follow it from yours.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New trailer for Extraordinary

Penguin has produced a lovely new trailer for Extraordinary, containing many of the nice things that reviewers are saying about the book:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Go Blue!

This coming Saturday, 9/25, Nancy will be appearing at The Blue Bunny book (and toy) store in Dedham, MA, from 3 to 4 p.m. The store is at 577 High Street, right in Dedham Square. Nancy will be signing books, discussing books, and generally hobnobbing, so stop by if you're around.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hear that? It's Extraordinary!

Do you like to read with your eyes closed? The audio book version of Extraordinary from Brilliance Audio is now available on, and underneath the cover shot, you can click on the link and let your ears do the work.

BookPage review of Extraordinary

Norah Piehl offers a review of Extraordinary on BookPage magazine's website. I think she says it rather nicely...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Katie Davis interviews Nancy

Children's author/illustrator Katie Davis interviews Nancy for her podcast, and among other things they discuss Extraordinary, Impossible, and making coin. It's the sort of conversation you expect when friends get to talking...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Today is the official release date for Extraordinary, and it is on the shelves even as we, uh, blog and read.

Actually, we saw it on the shelf at Buckhead Books in the Atlanta airport yesterday afternoon. I spotted the store and had a notion that they might have had copies of Extraordinary and already put them out, so we had a peek. And there it was.

It was the first time we'd seen Nancy in hardcover in an airport, which mightn't seem like the biggest of milestones, but we were tickled nevertheless. So we decided to have lunch at the bookstore's cafe, and I promptly bragged about Nancy (bad habit of mine) to the hostess, who immediately grabbed a copy for herself and got Nancy to sign. And we're underway...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Extraordinary is Amazon's pick as Best Book for Young Adults!

Extraordinary has made Amazon's list of Best Books of the Month for September, and has furthermore been singled out as this month's Best Book for Young Adults! In my experience, it doesn't get much better than best.

And did I mention that Extraordinary is being released this Tuesday, September 7? Well, it is, so next week you'll have the opportunity to see what's got everyone so worked up...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Extraordinary giveaway

If you want to get your hands on a copy of Extraordinary without removing your hands from your money, you can enter the giveaway contest on Confessions of a Bookaholic. Three signed galleys are on offer.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Extraordinary: First Pages

A blogger named Misty does a "First Pages" reading from Extraordinary on her Book Rat blog. It's a nice start, but you'll have to read the rest yourselves...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nancy on Hunger Games, Casablanca, etc.

OK, I've got to give you a pretty serious spoiler alert here. Libba Bray has posted Nancy's thoughts on the Hunger Games trilogy, Casablanca, Far from the Madding Crowd, and love generally. Said thoughts gave away a very important detail that I hadn't previously known about. Not that I'm bitter, and not that I'm like a citizen of Panem who needs to be careful about what he says or anything. I'll just say that if you have not yet read Catching Fire, do not yet read this link!

If you haven't read Far from the Madding Crowd, I wouldn't sweat it too much, and if you haven't seen Casablanca, I can't help you. But if you *have* read Catching Fire, click away, and proceed to read...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Horn Book on Extraordinary

Lauren Adams gives Extraordinary a very nice review in the upcoming issue of The Horn Book Magazine:

A present-day teen's search for self collides with a magical faerie world in this suspenseful fantasy. As a privileged Rothschild daughter, Phoebe lives in the shadow of her "extraordinary" family and her brilliant, powerful mother, fearing that she is the only ordinary person among them. In middle school, Phoebe is instantly drawn to the strange new girl Mallory and offers her friendship and advice. Over the course of four years, the girls become inseparable, and late-bloomer Phoebe relies on now-gorgeous Mallory to take the lead. Interspersed "Conversation[s] with the Faerie Queen" reveal that Mallory is not what she appears, and that Phoebe is merely a cog in a desperate mission to collect an old debt for the faerie folk. Mallory's captivating brother Ryland is sent to finish the job, threatening not only vulnerable Phoebe but her family as well. As she did in Impossible (rev. 9/08), Werlin smoothly blends contemporary realism and fantasy, here basing the story on the real historical figure Mayer Rothschild and spinning his family's extraordinary success into a supernatural bargain. The faerie garden behind Ryland's bedroom door comes to life with the texture, scent, and sound of enchanted flora and fauna. Ryland's cold seduction and manipulation of Phoebe is palpably dangerous; the "glamoured" Phoebe can't recognize the predatory nature of his sexual advances. In contrast, the genuine warmth of Mallory's friendship allows some hope in spite of her terrible betrayal. Phoebe's final reckoning with the faeries tests her own inner strength; ultimately her survival depends on it-just as in the real world.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What Nancy said

Kay Em Evans has an interview with Nancy on her blog. where they discuss Impossible, Extraordinary, writing, and Nancy herself. There's even a brief mention of her next book...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Extraordinary makes ABA's autumn Indie top ten

Independent booksellers nationwide have spoken, and Extraordinary has made the Autumn 2010 Children's Indie Next List, brought to you by the American Booksellers Association. If you go to your independent bookseller, I'll bet they'll speak even more...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

There's a reason they don't call it cover *science*

Do you like a good book cover? Of course you do! Ever grabbed a book based not on a recommendation but on nothing more than the pretty picture on the front? Off the record, and just between us...yes you have. So it's hard to imagine that you won't want to read Nancy's behind-the-scenes look at one episode in the cover art process, as presented by Elizabeth Bluemle in a post called "Nancy Werlin: Anatomy of a Book Cover" on the Shelf Talker blog that she co-hosts on Publisher's Weekly.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sleek sneak peak at Extraordinary

Check it -- a two-chapter opportunity to step inside Nancy's new book, Extraordinary:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nancy in Georgia

Nancy will be appearing at the AJC Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia over the Labor Day weekend. The festival itself runs from September 3 to September 5 (more on the website), and Nancy will be speaking about "Real Issues in an Unreal World" on Saturday the 4th at 4 p.m., at the Escape at the Old Courthouse (which itself sounds like a work of fiction).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Advance review of Extraordinary

Now that the advance readers copies are out, review season for Extraordinary has begun. And Ilene Cooper gets things off to a great start with the following review in ALA's Booklist:
Phoebe, a descendant of the legendary Mayer Rothschild and his banking family, is drawn to odd fellow seventh-grader Mallory and vows to befriend her. What readers already know is that Mallory has left the faerie world at the behest of her queen to settle a score, though details of what's at stake are deliciously drawn out. The story jumps six years. Now 18, Mallory is a beauty and Phoebe is not, but the balance of power seemingly stays with Phoebe, whose family has offered both kindness and money to simplify Mallory's life. As she understands the meaning of friendship, it becomes difficult for her to draw Phoebe into a web of deception. Enter Mallory's brother, Ryland, older, more cunning, and willing to do what he must to save the faerie world. Medieval Jewish history, ethical questions, faeries, modern romance. Whew! In the hands of a less-talented author, this would be a hot mess. Happily, Werlin crafts her characters so deftly and unrolls the story so cleverly that despite some rough juxtapositions (and a final meandering conversation), readers will be under the spell till the end.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Among the best writers of the crime genre, period

I've always admired Nancy for being something of a genre-bender: she can write, and write well, and it doesn't matter what one calls it, or even necessarily what one's tastes are. Good writing is good writing.

Of course there's been a lot of praise heaped on her lately for her two recent romantic fantasies, first Impossible and now Extraordinary (the latter due out in September), but among all that, it's nice to hear a shout-out for Nancy in her erstwhile niche, crime/suspense.

Sarah Weinman, one of the most influential reviewers of crime fiction, offers her take on John Grisham's Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, for Barnes & Noble, and in that review she says of Nancy:
I should mention my favorite young adult mystery writer, Nancy Werlin. Her books offer strong plotting, multi-faceted characters and a keen eye for social issues that speak directly to her readers. At her best, as with the National Book Award nominee The Rules of Survival and Edgar-Award winner The Killer's Cousin, she's among the best writers of the crime genre, period.

See? It's not just me. If you're relatively new to Nancy's stuff, and don't mind shifting gears, you should start in on her back list...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

NJW @ ALA (in DC)

It's that time of the year, and the American Library Association is once again holding its summer convention, this time in Washington, DC.

Nancy's first formal gig will be the Penguin librarian dinner at 7 p.m. this evening (6/26), where invited librarians will meet with Nancy and other Penguin authors.

Next she'll be up bright and early to appear at the YALSA coffee klatsch in 209C at the Convention Center for a "speed dating" event at 8 a.m on Sunday, to talk to ticket holders (you can get 'em at the door).

And she has pen poised: Sunday afternoon Nancy will be signing at the Penguin booth (#2500) from 1 to 2 p.m. -- look for advance reader's copies of Extraordinary! -- and from there she will hustle in a dignified manner over to the BWI booth (#3231) for another signing from 2 to 3 p.m.

Should be greatish. Hope to see you there...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sneak peek at Extraordinary

The ARCs are out for Extraordinary, and the bloggers are already hard at work, reading and reviewing. If you can't wait until the September release to get a few tidbits, have a look at this take from The Naughty Book Kitties.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Carolinians goin' to Massachusetts in their minds

Summer has come to North Carolina, and the Charlotte Observer offers up a little article on summertime reading, with a couple of recommendations from local librarians on what its student readers might want to be reading between school years. Impossible is one of two books that they suggest for kids in Grades 11 and 12. It's going to be a good summer...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Extraordinary in audio

It's a done deal: Extraordinary will be available in audio through the publishing efforts of Brilliance Audio. Keep an eye peeled for it, and improve your commute or your workout when the time comes. Or simply enjoy the expression of your unrepentant preference for the spoken word...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Back in business!

It's been a while since I've posted anything here. Part of that was planned: Nancy and I were just now getting around to a belated honeymoon in Paris, a year and a half after the fact. But part was unplanned -- some *@##~!!*@ (I can never decide which symbols to use to adequately convey my meaning) hacked into the email account that I use to log in to this blog. They were merrily spamming my contacts with it, and Google wisely shut down my account. Really aggravating. But I'm happy to report that we're back in business, and will be communicating again soon about Nancy's writing adventures.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Et voilà!

Extraordinary is out the door! Nancy just mailed the page proofs back to Penguin, and before you know it, it will be September 7, and you'll be pulling it off the shelf at your favorite bookstore.

She's been at it for well over two years, all the while holding down a day job and being a terrific wife. She's given it a good deal of blood, sweat, and tears (only metaphorically, as far as I'm aware), and now she'd be able to relax, if only she hadn't already started on the next one.

She now has seven books out, an eighth in the pipeline, and a ninth on the way, and has given no sign of slowing down. I'm taking her on vacation soon, but I'm not for a moment naive enough to suppose that Nancy won't be writing even then...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

So so so so so so so so *so* good

You can find an enthusiastic video review of Impossible here on YA Fiction Freaks, delivered by a YAFF named Jessica. You can also find Jessica's subsequent interview with Nancy on the same site, over here. Enjoy the review and the interview, and take a spin around the site while you're there.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nancy in Peabody tomorrow night

Nancy returns to her roots tomorrow night (Monday, March 22) as she appears at the Peabody Institute Library in Peabody, Massachusetts, at 7 p.m. She'll be leading an informal conversation with readers of Impossible. Swing by if you get a chance, whether you've read it or not...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cover tease for Extraordinary

Run, Phoebe, run!

Over there on the left is the cover for Nancy's new novel Extraordinary, which will be released in September.

It's already generating a bit of chatter out there...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wait, there's more...

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but adaptation is right up there with it. Our previous post was about Impossible fan fiction, and this is about a creative trailer by Robin Henry that's available for download on a site where educators can share book trailers.

Thanks to Teresa Schauer, a South Texas librarian, who put the site together and alerted us to the trailer. If you go to the main site and look at the right pane, you can navigate to various trailers categorized by grade level (Impossible is in Upper Grades), and you can find details on every trailer in the spreadsheet in the Documents folder.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nancy at Barnes & Noble in Saugus this Thursday

This Thursday, February 18, Nancy will be making the short drive to appear at the Barnes & Noble on Route 1 in Saugus, Massachusetts.

Things get started at 7:30 p.m., so synchronize your watches. She'll be reading, signing books, and talking about her new novel, Extraordinary, which is due out this fall. It's a great opportunity to get the inside info in advance...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lasting romance (on the printed page)

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, which has people buying cards and chocolates, making dinner reservations, and planning flower deliveries. But, unlike true love, those things are fleeting. Much more permanent is a novel of love and romance. Laura Delaney lists the top ten Valentine's Day reads for kids in the Idaho Statesman. You'll doubtless not be surprised to find Impossible on the list.

We could simply reread it, but we've made dinner reservations anyway...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hard copy

It was months ago that Impossible first showed up on the New York Times bestseller list for Children's Paperbacks (The "Children's" designation always sounds odd to me, but we won't quarrel.) And it's been back several times since, on and off. At first, of course, making the list was a thrill, and more than enough reward. As time wore on, however, something was missing. When Nancy dreamt of making the list (and, trust me, dream she did), the image included the actual New York Times, that is to say the off-white, foldable, ink-smudgy hard copy that can pile up so quickly in the entryway. She did not dream in web page form. And a clipping from a hard copy makes a great memento. We like our talismans, even if it does look funny to spell the plural that way.

But one of the quirks of the hard copy form is that not every list is printed each week. The NYT publishes several lists, and one of the drawbacks of the old-fashioned form is that there are space considerations. They may print all the news that's fit for same, but that forces them to make hard choices about what is and isn't fit. And they've apparently decided that their readers don't need to see each and every list each and every week, which is as may be. The result of this for Nancy was that, given the vagaries of timing, her several irregular appearances on the list (up to eight as of this writing) somehow never managed to coincide with those weeks in which the Children's Paperback list was printed up in the hard copy.

Four months later, the stars finally aligned, and there it was! Impossible, in smudgy ink, on the very list of Nancy's fantasy! We quickly purchased a copy, and snagged another from a friend (we read our NYT online -- see previous note on entryways), and voila! We now have it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Young and In Love

Who? Us? No, no -- Nancy may look young, but I'm still not sure that we qualify. There are plenty who do qualify as young and in love in the pages of the books called out in the post of that title on the School Library Journal. The very first exemplars of the type in the article are none other than Lucy and Zach from Impossible.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's a book!

This weekend Nancy submitted the completed manuscript of Extraordinary, her new novel that's due out this fall. As is her custom, she put a whole lot of thought and work into this book, and now she's ready for some rest and relaxation.

Dickens used to get depressed after finishing a book. Nancy, not so much. Good times in our household...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The American Library Association held its midwinter conference in Boston this year, which means we just had a busy week. We were hosting various of Nancy's writer chums, Jane Kurtz had book signings for the new American Girl launch (click through to her blog for pix), and of course there were social gatherings, not the least of which was dinner with Sibert Medal winner Tanya Lee Stone, followed by a reception for her and her fellow YALSA non-fiction honorees.

At the conference itself, friends in the form of librarians, writers, and publishing folk were thick on the ground, to the extent that it was hard to get more than two feet at a time on the conference floor. Normally this would be an opportunity to scoop up advance reader copies from the publisher booths, but Nancy only got to half of the booths she'd intended to, and I got bageled on ARCs altogether.

The best part of it all was when the weather forced us to stay home and miss the awards ceremony. That meant we could stay home in our slippers and robes, watch the webcast, express ourselves freely, and be surrounded by dear friends.

It was a very good week. Hurry back, ALA!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

La théorie du moustique

Today Nancy got her copies of La théorie du moustique, the French translation of The Rules of Survival.

While the titles are wildly different -- the French translates to "The theory of the mosquito" -- one presumes that the stories are the same.

I'm hoping to test that théorie by reading the French and English side by side. The idea is to learn some French in preparation for our belated "real" honeymoon in Paris this spring.

It will be interesting when we're over there to see what sort of buzz the book is getting, in terms of shelf space and mindshare of booksellers and librarians. So far, none of Nancy's books have taken off to any great extent overseas, but there's a first time for everything...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Goodies in The Picnic Basket

Impossible was recently a featured book on Deborah Sloan's The Picnic Basket. Click through to see a series of nice rated reviews from librarians, teachers, and other readers.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Storm within the eye

You might, in a perfect world, have noticed that I've seemed lax in my blogging duties lately. There are three reasons for this:
  1. Nancy hasn't had a whole lot of book-related activities lately.
  2. The busy holidays have provided a distraction.
  3. I have, in fact, been lax. But fear not -- the latter situation has been addressed in my 2010 resolutions.
In the midst of this lull, Nancy has been writing up a storm. Well, writing and revising, if you'd prefer to characterize it that way. Her latest work in progress is coming together as we speak, and it won't be long at all before she has a final (with an asterisk) draft.