Monday, March 30, 2015

Announcing a Dark and Scary YA Anthology

I am super excited to be part of an amazing group of 13 young adult authors who have come together to self-publish, AMONG THE SHADOWS: 13 STORIES OF DARKNESSS AND LIGHT.

To help put this collection together we have a Kickstarter going on right now. If you are interested in giving some of your hard-earned dollars (donations start as low as $5 and go all the way up to $500) there are some great rewards that should appeal to both writers and readers alike.

You can also check out the amazing front and back covers below and squeee over all the talented authors who have contributed their short stories to the collection!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Who Killed the YA Scream Queens?

Apparently every single one of the YA Scream Queens were recently killed in a series of twisted and highly original ways. 

Which is so cool.

I mean terrible.

Can't it be both?

How about... terribly cool. And tragic. But mostly the first thing.

Which isn't to say that I did it. Even if certain people (Whitney Miller *cough cough*) are trying to point the finger at me.

If you want to find the guilty parties, then you need to find out who has a motive. Any idiot who's ever seen a few Law & Order repeats knows that.

And I don't got no motive. 

Okay, sure, I've been known to complain a few times that I wish the YA Scream Queens could maybe do a little less, well, screaming. But what can you do, it's right there in their name. Sure I might be a little sadder about their passing if they were the YA Whisper Queens, but I wouldn't kill them because of it.

But you know who would? Lisa Maxwell. I hear she's one of those people with super sensitive ears. And lately there's been some thumping sounds ringing in those same ears... sure sounds like your classic tell-tale heart scenario. Seems like maybe she should be moved to the top of the suspect list (and why you're at it, cross me right off it).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I and Love and You #PitchWars

If you are here checking out potential #PitchWars mentors, then - CONGRATS! - you are in the right place. 

If you are here because the title of this post is an Avett Brothers song and you're looking for info about them - SORRY!- you are out of luck. I just love the song and thought it made for a great intro title.

If you are here and have no idea what I'm talking about at all, but have not yet clicked away because you find this whole #Pitchwars thing intriguing - well then read on my friends!

So here's the deal with #Pitchwars. The brilliant amazing possibly super-powered Brenda Drake organizes this awesome contest that connects aspiring writers with mentors (like me!) and then we work together scrubbing and shining the aspiring author's manuscript until it is so stinking sparkly that agents will fight for the right to call it their own. For more info and to be part of the contest YOU MUST go to Brenda Drake's blog. Sound good?

Okay, so now is the part where I tell you category I'm coaching, which is... 



Yeah, I read YA. I also write YA. 

Things I look for in YA novels I read: Strong often unlikeable protagonists, complicated antagonists, kick-ass girls, romance, depth and darkness, fun, having my heart ripped out, laugh-out-loud moments, mystery, thrills, paranormal elements, realistic elements, cute puppies, and weirdness.

Your book does not need to have all of those elements. Actually, it definitely shouldn't because my head would explode and I don't think that's something any of us want to see happen.

So basically I am open to everything and I never really know what exactly will grab me. I am definitely NOT turned off by language, sex, or violence - in fact, when its a necessary part of the story, I believe its important to include these elements. But your character does not have to drop f-bombs for me to love them.

If you want a good idea of what I like to read check out my Goodreads. I try to keep this updated every few months with what I've recently read. Just glancing over the list some standouts from the past year in YA reading include: COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, WINGER, and THE 5TH WAVE, and I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN.

So that's what I'm looking for. But this is about more than me falling in love, you need to find a mentor that fits into what you need as well. To that end, let me tell you a bit about myself and my critique style.

You could say I have a strong arts backgrounds. Or you could say I have two college degrees of questionable worth. I prefer the former. Anyway, from undergrad I have a BFA in theatre and then, after several years of graduate school, I gained an MFA in film and television production.

I am represented by Alexandra Machinist of ICM. My young adult novel, ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE debuted in 2013 with HarperTeen. This past June my second novel, (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, was released also from HarperTeen. I am currently at work on my third novel, again with HarperTeen. DOWN WITH THE SHINE (that's the title for now, at least) is due to be released in early 2016.

And here are a few places you can find me online:

Twitter: @katekaryusquinn (I'll be tweeting with the #PitchWars hashtag, so make sure you're following me!)

So what kind of feedback can you expect from me? 

...Actually let me start with what you won't get from me. 

I am not big on correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other things of that nature. That's not to say that these things are not important - they are. I am just not the person to make those elements shine.

I don't expect you to write like me. Or to write your story the way that I'd write it. Instead, I want to help you write the story in your voice and style, and tell it the way you need it to be told. I will, however, occasionally throw different ideas out. In my screenwriting class ages and ages ago (see that MFA does come in handy!) my one teacher used to call the process of throwing different ideas out spitballing. Sometimes you use the spitballed idea, but mostly it just helps get your own ideas flowing.

I will never tell you that your story sucks. Or you suck. That doesn't mean I'll only have positive things to say, ooohhhh trust me I will point out what is not working for me. But I also always make a point of talking about the things that are working oh so very well. Personally, I find the odd "YAY!!" "HEE HEE HEE!" or "LOVE LOVE LOVE!" comments can make an otherwise tough critique go down a lot easier.

Finally, do not expect only a line or two of notes for feedback. As you may have guessed from this blog post, I can be a little long winded at times. And yes, sometimes I do go on and on and on and... Okay, I'll stop now. The point is, I tend it give pretty long critiques with lots and lots and lots of thoughts.  

You can also check out the critiques I did on Brenda Drake's blog in July for an idea of how I work. 

Okay, that's almost it from me except for one more thing... I am currently running a giveaway on Goodreads for a hardcover copy of my book (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME. If you're interested, you can enter below:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

(Don't You) Forget About Me

by Kate Karyus Quinn

Giveaway ends August 19, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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Thursday, July 10, 2014


I am so excited to announce that I get to be a part of Brenda Drake's wonderful Pitch Wars contest as a mentor! If you don't know what Pitch Wars is, you can learn all about it on Brenda's blog.

And for those who are gearing up their Pitch Wars submissions and starting to scope out the mentors, then you can get a taste of my feedback methods by checking out a first page crit and query critique I did just today, again through the wonderful and amazing (and tireless) Brenda Drake.    

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


As of June 10th, (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME is officially out in bookstores and available for purchase! For all the details, including trade reviews and buy links, I have all of that on the books page of my website.

In fun book stuff, DYFAM has been around the internets over the past week with some really great posts such as...

DYFAM was featured on the Barnes and Noble blog post, "5 Reasons June is an Amazing Month for YA."

We all know that the title of DYFAM is also a song from the movie, that some of you may have heard of, called, "The Breakfast Club". So on the Savvy Reader blog I did a little post comparing and contrasting this awesome movie and my book. 

I also have a blog post you can check out over at Epic Reads where I make a playlist mixtape for DYFAM.

And finally, if you are interested in DYFAM but not quite ready to buy, you can check out the sample below!

Friday, May 30, 2014


Right now and until June 9th the ebook for ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE can be found for the low low low price of only $1.99 for either your Kindle or your Nook. How cool is that?

Also, my next book (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME releases on June 10th! I honestly do not know where the time has gone between this time last year and now - it just sort of flew by. If you want to know more about DYFAM, check out Goodreads or you can also find snippets from some of the trade reviews that have started to roll in on my website.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Back in January I did my 2013 wrapup. Yes, in January. I was a little behind. Nevermind. That's not the point here. The point is that one of the 'hug these pages and praise the book gods for delivering it to me' very most favorite books of 2013 was Mindy McGinnis's NOT A DROP TO DRINK. So, of course, I have been anxious to get my hands on the companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST. And since I know people, and Mindy McGinnis is one of those people, an advanced copy was sent directly to my doorstep.

So here's the deal with IN A HANDFUL OF DUST. First of all, if you haven't yet read NOT A DROP TO DRINK, this is normally the part where I'd tell you to go away and read it now and not come back until you finished it. And while I do think you should read DRINK (really you seriously should), you don't have to read it to understand DUST.

Unlike most trilogies and duologies and books that are serial in nature, the events in DRINK and DUST are self-contained. You could pick up one book and read it without any knowledge of the other and enjoy the heck out of it. BUT (and this is the fun part) if you read both books, then you get to fall in love with the characters, (and you will fall in love with the characters) and then when you meet them again in the next book, it will be like seeing old friends again. One of those old friends (my favorite character, Lynn) carries a gun, but she won't shoot you cause you're friends now. Well... she probably won't shoot you.

Personally, those are my favorite types of books, where the characters seem so real you feel like they could step off the page and possibly shoot you. And when you finish the book, you want to find out what their next adventure will be and where it will take them.

So, like I said, whether you've gotten around to reading DRINK (which again, you should) or not (yet anyway), you definitely want to get your hands on IN A HANDFUL OF DUST. And lucky you, I am giving away my copy! Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter!

BUT WAIT! That's not all! Act now by going to Mindy McGinnis's blog and you can have a chance to also win my next book: (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME.

I know, you are wondering: What are all these book giveaway shenanigans? Well, Mindy and I are both members of the Class of 2K13 and although 2013 is behind us, we are still excited to celebrate each others new books coming out in 2014! Instead of throwing confetti in the air which is messy and needs to be vacuumed up and if it gets in your mouth yuck... what was I saying? Wait, I got it. Instead of confetti we are doing this giveaway! So yay for us not having to clean up confetti and yay for you getting to win books! It's a win/win because we are giving away two books AND because everybody wins... Well, except for the people who enter the giveaway and don't win books, for them its more of a, "Try again next time!"

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

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