Star-sweptWe’re at the two week countdown to the release of ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA. How exciting is that? I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book forever. Oh, wait. I have. Fourteen months now since we sent this baby to copyediting. I did, however, finally get my hands on some finished copies (yay!) and they are gorgeous. Big and fat and glossy. Everything you want in a book. Order your copy today!

“Peterfreund’s novel is riveting and intense. She pairs a wonderful landscape with a dramatic, intense plot and colorful characters. Readers will love this page-turning story and its dramatic climax.” – RT Book Reviews

Doesn’t that sound fun? I can’t tell you all how much I love this book. It’s like I’ve been keeping in a secret for a YEAR and now I can finally tell everyone!

Also, you can listen to the official Across a Star-Swept Sea playlist on Spotify here. 

starfall3

By the way, two other announcements. The $2.99 ebook sale of For Darkness Shows the Stars ends TODAY. Get your copy at your favorite e-tailer before the price goes back up. Also, “The First Star to Fall,” the prequel short story to Across a Star Swept Sea, is now free at Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, and Smashwords (in whatever format your little heart desires), so check it out.

As I enter into this world of being a “hybrid” author (i.e., both traditionally and self-published), it’s been such a learning experience. Everything about the process is so different, but most of all, timing. I wrote “The First Star to Fall” this spring and it’s been published for several months now. I finished One & Only this summer, and it’ll be out in November. It’s really very exciting, and I’m thrilled to be able to explore these new opportunities for my writing. New names, new genres, I feel like there’s so much on the horizon.

And, speaking of One & Only, you can now read the first chapter for free online at Wattpad. There will be a new chapter posted every week until the release in November.

Posted in star-swept, viv, writing life Comments Off on Book Timing and Excerpts and Goodies Galore!

I’m so excited! Today is the cover reveal for my new adult romance novel, (writing as Viv Daniels) ONE & ONLY. Over three dozen wonderful bloggers and writers are helping me reveal this spectacular cover, designed by the one and only Sarah Hansen of Okay. Creations. Scroll down for the gorgeous cover, and for detail about the book and the giveaway.

OaO-Cover

ONE & ONLY

One night they can’t forget…

Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she’s sworn to keep: the father who won’t acknowledge her, the sister who doesn’t know she exists, and the mother who’s content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets.  But when summer ends, so does their relationship — Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university.

One love they can’t ignore…

Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan’s life.  Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess’s legitimate half-sister.  Tess refuses to follow in her mother’s footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time.

…And only one chance to get things right.

 OUT NOVEMBER 8, 2013

Website: http://vivdaniels.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vivdaniels
Facebook: http://facebook.com/vivdanielsbooks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18392843-one-only
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I’ll be at the Baltimore Book Festival on Friday, September 27, 2013. Here’s where you will find me:

Maryland Romance Writers Stage

Noon: Jane Austen Panel, with Janet Mullany, Leslie Carroll, and Diana Peterfreund. This panel will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice with a discussion and readings of Jane Austen-inspired fiction.

3 PM: YA Paranormal Panel, with Brigid Kemmerer, Dawn Miller, Lea Nolan, Diana Peterfreund, and Jennifer Armentrout. Authors will talk about paranormal trends in teen fiction, why YA paranormal is so hot, and how they build paranormal worlds readers love.

I will have lots of books, and even sneak previews of Star-Swept! Come and get ’em!

Posted in Uncategorized Comments Off on Baltimore Book Festival Events

Agent Suzie Townsend (who represents NA superstar Cora Carmack, among others) recently did a Q&A with several editors and agents about the genre of New Adult. And, despite the best wishes of many aspiring writers and NA fans who wish to retrofit everything from Star Wars to The Iliad under their pet genre umbrella, it became pretty clear that, to the industry at large, New Adult is a) romance, and b) almost entirely contemporary (there were a few who expressed interest in seeing historical-set stories). But even that was delivered with a bit of a caveat:

[Priyanka Krishnan, Random House]: This is a tough question to answer. I would love to see some wonderful historical NA, something with a dash of adventure or mystery thrown into the mix. I think that could be really fun if done right. But that brings us back to the question of what “NA” really is—there’s historical fiction out there with younger protagonists and a romantic subplot. Do we call that NA?

Which is exactly what I’ve been saying. I really think that the “new adult” romance has filled a void that existed in romance but not, necessarily, in any other genre, and that’s why it’s taken off so notably in romance.

Every single agent and editor interviewed stressed the importance of the romantic focus on the genre, and only one–the only male on the panel–seemed to find that focus problematic:

[Gordon Warnock, Foreword Literary]: Oh, yes. A million times, yes. It pains me that Amazon lists NA as a subcategory of Romance.

The problem? That’s not entirely accurate. Amazon creates categories as a reaction to customer demand. Most books classified NA are, and have always been, found under the Genre Fiction>Coming of Age category on Amazon. There is also, very recently, a “New Adult and College” subset of the Romance category in Amazon, same as there is a “historical” category or a “sports” category or etc. Amazon’s addition of NA as a category under romance is because there really wasn’t anything like that before. NA is NEW to the romance genre, and is actually really distinct in many ways from other contemporary romances, and so there wasn’t anything else to put it under.

But look at those links — see any overlap between the bestsellers that show up? I sure do. One only has to browse the NA list (romance or otherwise) at Amazon to see what is selling. And that’s romance.

Having said that, if you are writing NA without romance, and not having much luck with a lot of agents and editors, maybe Gordon is your guy, since he also writes in the article that he’s sold one without romance.

I’m not sure why writers are so resistant to the way this term has been embraced. I suspect there’s some of the old “romance is the lowest form of fiction” stuff going on, and better people than me have written extensively on that subject for decades. I also think, especially for aspiring writers, that you want to believe your genre is the hot thing, so if your space opera just happens to be about 20 year olds, then why not call it New Adult and ride that gravy train?

I am with you! I’ve been there! I seem to specialize in writing books that are not quite this genre, not quite that genre. I mean, when I wrote SSG, there was no genre for it! But from a marketing perspective, it helps to try to see where it will find its best-fit readership.

Buzzwords are buzzwords, and marketers put them on things because they think they can sell, not because they think they are necessarily true-to-definition. (See also: “nano” and “low-fat.”) One of the best bits of writing advice I ever got was from agent Lucienne Diver, who said “if your book has spaceships and ray guns in it, please don’t tell me it’s not sci-fi.” There’s academic classification of genre, and then there’s marketing, and sometimes, they don’t have a lot to do with one another.

Every time I see readers debating over the difference between “a paranormal” and “an urban fantasy” I kinda want to shake my head, because the truth of the matter is: the word “paranormal” when it comes to book genre is a shortened term for “paranormal romance” and the difference between calling something a paranormal romance and calling it an urban fantasy, for quite some time, has been whether or not they think dudes will buy it if they call it UF. If Secret Society Girl had been bought by a different publisher who made an offer on it, it would have been called YA. It was not, and it was called chick lit. Now, it DEFINITELY would have been called NA. These terms are not sacrosanct.

 

“Dystopian” has come to mean “any YA novel set in the future” even though that’s totally not what it means, and it has led to my futuristic YA sci-fis being called dystopians, even though they aren’t, technically, dystopian. I don’t really mind though, because most readers think that’s what dystopian means, so the kind of novel they are looking for is actually the kind I wrote. It’s like getting the wrong directions but ending up where you wanted to go all the same.

In the same way, “new adult” — for all intents and purposes — has come to mean contemporary romances about college aged characters, even though that was not what the term was originally coined to mean. This has only become more and more pronounced as the genre has developed.

So before you shop your doesn’t-have-romance-in-it-at-all space opera starring twenty year olds as a new adult, ask yourself if you think you will bring in more “new adult” readers (the people reading Cora Carmack and Jamie McGuire and Jessica Sorensen), than the term might drive away people who read, love, and are looking for space operas. For all that NA is a current buzzword, you want it to buzz for your readership.

And, this is why, when I finally got the opportunity to write more books about college students, after a four year hiatus, I very deliberately chose to write books where the romance was at the forefront of the story. I love romance as a genre, and I love that the genre is now open to love stories that are more familiar to me. I met Sailor Boy in college, and until now, college was not a setting where most romance characters got to meet. So I’m all for it.

Which reminds me, you should totally check out Viv’s site, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and sign up to help her reveal the One & Only cover or participate in the Blog Tour. I’m not going to be talking about her as much over here, because, as Diana, I’ll be super busy promoting Across a Star-Swept Sea, which is out next month (finally finally finally!)

Posted in new adult, viv, writing advice, writing industry, YA 4 Comments

Okay guys. My unscientific “whatdya like” post yesterday apparently got responses all over the map, so let’s try it again, but this time: WITH MATH.

I’m picking two sets of author photos here: a new one for Diana (YA and Middle Grade, because my old one, which I love, has short hair and no one recognizes me anymore), and a slightly different one (hopefully flirty and romantic) for “Viv Daniels,” my new romance pen name. These photos have not been edited so don’t worry if there’s weird lighting or I need to erase a stray bra strap or errant hair — all of that can be fixed! Please vote. (You can pick more than one.)

For Viv:

For Diana:

Please vote!

Posted in Uncategorized 5 Comments

Back from DragonCon. I made it: my voice may not have. But this is a blog, so no one will ever know.

Thursday was a crush — I met Vania of VLCPhoto early to start my massive author photo extravaganza. I’m getting several new author photos done: new photos for my middle-grade and YA novels (since my hair is so long now no one recognizes me from my old photo), and something romantic, flirty, and fun to go with my new Viv Daniels pen name. Only problem is, now I can’t decide which of the amazing pictures she took I like best. Here are a few (a few!) of the finalists:

The cool thing is I don’t have to pick just one (or two/three, as the case may be). I can have one on my website, one on my book cover, one for promo… Well, maybe not that many. I don’t want to be overwhelmed with choices. The only thing I’m definitely sure of is I want a very different look for “Viv” than for Diana, as that’s the whole purpose behind creating a different identity and brand for those books. I like to think of it as the difference between various companies one company owns. For instance, the same company owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works. But you’re not going to go shopping for a bra in Bath and Body Works, or for a cute snowman bath scrubby in Victoria’s Secret. Anyway, I digress. Photos!

Friday marked the start of DragonCon, and of my costuming craze. Sadly, I didn’t make it to many panels that I wasn’t on this year — the layout with our booth all the way across the street in the America’s Mart made traveling a long, arduous adventure. I never even got to see the artist’s galley, or a single celebrity (though apparently I was literally standing next to Natalia Tena–Tonks!– for like half an hour and didn’t know it). What I did get to see was tons and tons of cosplay. Here are some of my favorites:

Michelle and Diana Cosplay

The gorgeous and incomparable Michelle Hodkin and me after our Mortal Instruments panel. I’m copslaying as Persis from ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA. She’s a witch from Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS. Lev is the one who took this picture. Michelle’s hair is real, mine is not. How nutty is that?

Robin Sparkles

Robin Sparkles, y’all! I cannot WAIT for October.

Korra

Avatar Korra! I cannot WAIT for next week!

Winter Sansa

Avatar Korra was hanging out with Winterfell Lady Sansa. How much do I love this cloak? (I’ve decided that looking like your character already helps a lot with cosplay, and Korra and Sansa here had that going for them in a big way.) I could probably do a whole gallery just of Game of Thrones Cosplay. See below for more.

IMG_20130831_125034

Liz from ROSWELL. There was also a Maria, but I only saw her a few days later. I sent this pic to Deidre Knight, who was jealous she’d never thought of cosplaying Roswell before.

emma and Diana cosplay

Here you can see two mer-creatures: me as a siren wearing the spoils of her latest shipwreck, and Emma from The Children’s Bookstore of Baltimore as an ingenious half-naga. Isn’t she gorgeous?

Toph Cosplay

Speaking of Avatar: Toph! I love Toph, and this one was particularly good. Note the bare feet, the perfect uncoiffed hair in her blind eyes, and the STANCE. This is an AMAZING Toph. Well-done.

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Delirium, from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. This poor girl carried that shark EVERYWHERE. People were using her as a location mapper. “I’m about ten feet north of the one with the shark.” It was hilarious. But awesome.

Guynan

Guinan from Star Trek: The Next Generation (Whoopie Goldberg’s character). How much did she rock this outfit? I love it!

Galaxy Cosplay

Galaxy Cosplay. Not a character, per se, but still lovely. I would wear the heck out of this dress, for reals, And the shoes! (I think her friend was Hawkeye, but she was really such a standout!)

Irene Adler Cosplay

Me: What a gorgeous dress!
Her: Thank you.
Me: Are you… dressed up as anyone in particular?
Her: (whipping out her riding crop) I’m Irene Adler from Sherlock.
Me: OF COURSE YOU ARE.

And a beautiful one, too. Speaking of surpassing beauty:

Mina and Dracula

Here are Mari Mancusi and her husband cosplaying Mina and Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. They were STOPPING TRAFFIC in the Hyatt. Bram here had those shades that sat on the bridge of his nose, Mina’s dress was something you just wanted to stare at for days. It was breathtaking.

Mari, Leanna, Jacob

Here’s Mari and hubs with Leanna Renee Hieber, wearing what she does on your average Tuesday. How well she fits in! And while we’re doing the Victorian thing:

Steampunk Ravenclaw

How I wish this photo did justice to the Steampunk Rowenna Ravenclaw! The feathered bodice and trim on the skirt. The clockwork diadem! It’s fantastic.

And now, onto the Game of Thrones portion of our evening. I took a LOT of Game of Thrones pictures, y’all. Remember what I said about it helping to LOOK like your character? Well, check out Littlefinger here:

GOT cosplay

He’s got the smile down pat. All the costumes are amazing — can you see the detail on Cersei’s wig? And Varys’s robe ties just right.

Game of Thrones Cosplay

How awesome is this idea? Decorating her wheelchair to be the iron throne? I heart it!

Renly Cosplay

Me: Lord Renly! Can I take your picture?
Him: King Renly.

Love.

hodor

I’m not entirely sure what this kid is doing watching Game of Thrones, but I can’t argue with results. I asked if I could take his picture. I bet you can guess what he said. “Hodor.” And check out Hodor’s little Bran-doll on his shoulder. Hodor!

brienne cosplay

I followed this Lady Brienne of Tarth down an escalator, then asked to take her picture and started praising her wonderful costume. Little did i realize that standing right behind me was the Kingslayer (sorry for the blurry photo, the costumes were jawdroppingly good):

jamie and brienne

And he was TOTALLY in character, too. So unamused to have me not notice him at first. Poor Jamie! (I always have a soft spot for Jamies, even murdering, incestuous ones…)

But without a doubt, my favorite cosplay of the con was the Young Wolf, The King in the North, Robb Stark himself:

Robb Stark

OMG, so cute. And I’m not just saying that because Robb is my mental image for the hero I’m writing for Viv’s new holiday romance. Just…. awww…

As we were taking this picture, some dude walked by and said, “Hey, Robb, how was the wedding?”

Robb cosplayer: NOT. GOOD.

Hence the hilarity in the photo.

Okay, y’all, one more. And this one is good, because it wasn’t on my phone taken by me under those awful con lights. Vania did some cosplay photos of Persis:

And oh, I went to a bunch of panels, too. Details to come. 🙂

Posted in costumes, dragoncon, fabulosity, other writers, star-swept, vainglory 3 Comments

One of the most glorious moments for a writer is when a reader truly gets what the writer was trying to do. That moment is made all the sweeter when the reader is a reviewer for the notoriously cranky reviewing outlet, Kirkus.

Posted in its entirety (which may say it all):

 

ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA
Author: Diana Peterfreund

Peterfreund follows up her post-apocalyptic version of Persuasion (For Darkness Shows the Stars, 2012)with a gender-flipped Scarlet Pimpernel.

On a Pacific island in a high-tech future, 16-year-old Persis Blake seems the epitome of a lady: beautiful, charming, stylish…shallow and stupid. The Wild Poppy, her alter ego, is clever, courageous and noble, crossing the sea to rescue aristos imprisoned by the tyrannical revolution. Dashing young medic Justen Helo claims to have turned against the revolution that betrayed his family’s legacy—but can Persis trust him with her secret? Beneath the science-fiction veneer, the plot follows its source almost beat for beat, sacrificing some swashbuckling and suspense for lush scene-setting, secondary character development and a large dose of teen angst. The interplay between appearance and reality runs throughout: If the Poppy is a master of deception, every other player also wears masks, and everyone fails to look beneath the surface. Most, interestingly, are female, and while the different paths available for women to pursue heroism (and villainy) are subtly examined, the portrayal of their friendships shines. The narrative also raises thoughtful questions about class and gender bias, but it ultimately shrugs off the ramifications; feudalism is fine if the lords are nice enough, and though everybody rails against sexism, no one actively bothers to challenge it. While this title stands alone, cameos from the previous tale will please fans.

A good bet for readers looking for strong female protagonists, characters of color or just an enjoyable romantic adventure with a science-fiction spin—especially if they haven’t read the original. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

That last line might be my favorite. 🙂

I also so love the way readers seem to be responding to the portrayal of friendship in this book. Whether it’s Amy and her Diggirls, Astrid and Phil, Elliot and Dee, Persis and Isla and Andrine, and–now–Gillian and Savannah (the heroine and her BFF of my new manuscript, Omega City) the many facets and complexities of female friendships is a favorite topic of mine.

I could probably talk about this forever, but I’ll save it for another post. Now, I’ll just go off and grin.

Posted in star-swept 2 Comments

5. The newsletter is the first place to see exciting new announcements
about 
upcoming books.

4. I have a LOT of upcoming books. You guys have no idea.

3. Starting with: I have a really huge announcement to make this week, and you’ll
only see it if you join the newsletter.

2. And if you’re a book blogger, a fan of the Secret Society Girl series or “new adult”
novels (or both!) you definitely want to tune in to access the freebies!

1. And that’s just this week. September marks the start of the Countdown to Star-Swept giveaway extravaganza.

So, what are you waiting for? You can sign up in the form at the top of my website or by clicking this link.

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In the wake of the release of Austenland (a movie based on the book by Shannon Hale), the Barnes & Noble blog covered their favorite Jane Austen updates, including one by yours truly.

Four years ago, Elliott North rejected the proposal of Kai, the man she loves, to join him in going off to seek his fortune. Now, he’s returned to her estate, successful beyond her wildest imagining and holding a serious grudge. Sound familiar? Peterfreund has taken Persuasion and retold it as a dystopic YA romance, in which Elliott North (Austen’s Anne Elliott) is part of an elitist clan of Luddites, the anti-technology class that rose to power in the wake of a societal collapse spurred on by an overreliance on genetic manipulation. That crisis led to the offspring of all modified people to become mentally “reduced,” unable to fend for themselves without the help of Luddites. Kai is what’s called a “Post,” the healthy offspring of Reduced grandparents, and he seeks a future of equality with the Luddites. Peterfreund’s wildly inventive premise is fully realized, and it’s fun to watch the way her story follows or alters the lines of Austen’s timeless original.

Read the whole article for their other recommendations, including one I’ll be all over come October!

Posted in Austen 2 Comments

Under My HatGreat news! Under My Hat: Tales From the Cauldron has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award for best anthology! This is the book that begins with my short story, “Stray Magic” and includes… oh, a few other people. Holly Black. Neil Gaiman. Garth Nix. Peter. S Beagle. Jim Butcher. Jane Yolen… You know, folks. It’s edited by anthologist par excellence, Jonathan Strahan.

Starting an anthology is a pretty big deal, and starting one with this magnitude of talent — well, I was speechless when I saw the TOC and realized Jonathan had put me first.

I’m so honored to be a part of this collection, and I’m so excited that it’s up for an award. Now… how does one get a late-breaking membership to Brighton?

Posted in anthologies, short stories Comments Off on UNDER MY HAT: World Fantasy Award Nominee