Guys, I’m so horrible! I was supposed to post the winner of the ARC of Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia on January 25th! I’m SO sorry!

But I’m happy to announce that after my very technical, “Hey, son, pick a number between 1-22!” the winner is Stephanie, who left the 22nd comment on the giveaway post.

Thank you a trillion times over to all of you who entered and said such very wonderful things about the cover.  I hope you love Frenchie’s story just as much!


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Win an ARC of Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia

I’ve been beyond excited for you guys to meet Frenchie Garcia ever since her story floated into my mind about two years ago.  She’s weird and warped and funny and tragic and all shades of an angsty teen dealing with some very real problems.  There’s still about four months to go until publication (Running Press/May 28th, 2013),

BUT . . .

I finally get to share the cover (which I absolutely LOVE and I feel like it’s a little wrong to love your own cover so much, but I can’t help it. I love, love, love it)!


I love all of the little symbols in this cover; the coffin, the swan, the skull, the tree, the fly, the roses! They really do mean SO much to the story. But I think my absolute favorite is tiny Emily Dickinson down at the bottom, right next to my name. Isn’t she lovely? Absolute favorite!

And since I just got news that ARCs are in and I should be receiving them shortly, I think it’s only fair, right, if I give one away here?  So, leave a comment about the cover, about your day, about anything really, between now and January 24th and you’ll be entered to win an ARC! Winner will be announced January 25th. Also, be sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win.

Also, in case you haven’t added it on your TBR list, you can, right here.  And you know, you can also preorder herehere, or here if you want.

Posted in Uncategorized, YA | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

The YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes is ON, again!


Sorry guys, I forgot to post the winner yesterday!

You’re the winner of a signed copy of The Downside of Being Charlie! Please contact me at jesanchez at mac dot com so I can get your information and send you your prize! Congrats!

A big thanks to all who entered!



The YAmazing race was a terrific success and is now officially over! Thanks so much to all who participated and a special thank you to those who left a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING.  I will extend this blog contest until Friday, Nov. 2nd and post the winner Saturday Nov. 3rd.

In case you don’t know, the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes is a blog hop featuring  a bunch of amazing 2012 YA and MG debut titles.  It’s super easy to participate. Just go to each stop, read carefully about the featured title, and answer some quiz questions at the end of the leg of each race for a chance to win some great prizes.  The race officially begins at noon EST on Monday, October 22nd and if you’re looking for the start line, it’s over here at the Apocalypsies site. 

Alright, so here’s what you’ll need from me:


by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Charlie is handed a crappy senior year.  Despite losing thirty pounds over the summer, he still gets called “Chunks” Grisner.  What’s worse, he has to share a locker with the biggest Lord of the Rings freak his school has ever seen.  He also can’t figure out whether Charlotte VanderKleaton, the beautiful strawberry lip-glossed new girl, likes him the way he likes her.  Oh, and then there’s his mom.  She’s disappeared—again—and his dad won’t talk about it.

Somewhere between the madness, Charlie can at least find comfort in his one and only talent that just might get him out of this life-sucking place. But will he be able to hold his head above water in the meantime?

But wait, before you go, leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING CHARLIE!

And now on to your next stop!

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Hey, look, I joined the cool kids!

Hey guys,

I’m blogging once a month over at YA Outside The Lines with a group of awesome YA authors! Head on over and take a look around. This month, we’re blogging about “Characters on the Fringe.”  Isn’t that a great subject? I LOVE characters on the fringe. You can read all about my love for the fringe here.

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Weird fish/shrimp/lobster analogies that may or may not make sense and why I’m okay if somebody hates my book

I hate shrimp. And lobster. And fish. And crab. And well, basically anything that comes from the sea.  And I have absolutely no reason for hating it.

-I’m not allergic to seafood (not really, once I got black spots on my tongue after accidentally eating shrimp, but I was fine).

-I never gorged on it as a kid and puked, thus being unable to eat it since.

-My dad wasn’t a fisherman who missed my whole childhood because he was off on a boat somewhere sailing the deep blue sea.

-I have never been attacked by a fish, pinched by a crab, or duped by a shrimp.

I just don’t like seafood. That’s all. I have no excuse. It’s just never been my thing. I can’t even watch somebody else eat it. I have to avert my eyes.

So…why am I telling you this. Because, there are books out there that are seafood. There are books out there that somebody will dip in clarified butter, relish, be thought of as the  most wonderful book ever, and yet, that very same book will cause a gag reaction in others.

Here’s what I’ve learned this past year. Sometimes my book is going to be seafood. Sometimes it’s going to be loved and sometimes it’s going to cause a gag reaction (though, wow, I hope not literally).  And, I’m actually okay with that, though I did have to become okay with that. It wasn’t automatic. Before my first negative review, I thought, Pppshaw, no problem. Not gonna let a bad review get me down, no way, not gonna get me down . . . But then, I’m not going to lie, when it happened it kind of stung. I think most of us are kidding ourselves if we think it’s not going to.  And even though the easy solution might have been not to read reviews at all, I did. So,  I had to think about how exactly I was going to feel about negative reviews. Because it’s easy to instantly be hurt/feel embarrassed/feel misunderstood/get angry when somebody doesn’t like your book, but you have to realize it’s okay. It really is. And it’s actually not personal.  Even if they say your characters are morons and they don’t understand what the hell you  were thinking when you wrote this.  This is just how some people express themselves. Unless they’ve met you personally and hung out with you long enough to determine they hate your guts, what people say in reviews can’t really be taken personally.

I know it’s hard not to take it personally, but that would be like a fish being pissed because I don’t want to feast on him.

Sorry, Fishy. I just don’t.

Or wait, not quite. More like a chef getting pissed because a customer didn’t like his dish. Yeah, let’s run with that one (this is extra fun if you picture The Muppets Swedish Chef from this point on). A chef who has worked years and years and years trying to perfect his culinary skills. Who went out and caught the fish. Who grew the herbs to season it. Who picked those herbs. Who took every care he could possibly take in preparing it. Who sharpened his knives . . . who . . . well, you get my point.  And then, after all that, put it in front of someone who hates seafood.

It’s not the chef’s fault. He just woke up that day and knew he had to prepare this fish this way and when someone asked for the chef’s special, this is what they got. And some people liked it. Some loved it. And some even got the fish on a deep and personal level in a way the chef had only dreamed of.

But some people just didn’t like the fish. And of those, some will go home, write up a review and say the fish wasn’t for them and that’s all. Others might be super pissed because  they thought they were getting chicken.  They might even write things like they wonder if the chef was jacked up on speed and wish the chef dead (I don’t really get this but hey, um, okay. Some people are extreme). The point is, there’s just no way this fish (your book) is going to be for everyone. People have different tastes.

So, I had to realize that my book might be a seafood hater’s lobster, their sushi, their shrimp po’boy sandwich. It happens. To me, to you, to every single author out there. It will probably even be served to a vegan having a very, very, bad day. It’s okay. Make peace with it. You’ll be okay.

Posted in Inspiration, Uncategorized, YA | Tagged , , | 6 Comments


I know it seems like I haven’t written a blog post in a while, but I have . . . over at these wonderful blogs.  Check them out if you have a chance, although, I warn you, it’s me overkill. 🙂  But this is the month THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING CHARLIE debuts, so I’ve been spreading the word.  Actually, tomorrow is the release date.

Wait . . . tomorrow is the release date. I feel like there should be an exclamation point at the end of that sentence. I feel like I should be shouting this, like I should write it in big, bold font, underscored and italicized and possibly in flashing neon colors.  But the truth is, in my head, it’s more like I have to say this softly to myself for it to sink in. It still doesn’t seem quite real, but it is.   It’s been a strange and long journey to get to this point. There were many times when it didn’t seem like having a book published would really happen.  So, it’s really weird to be at this point, to know Charlie will be hitting stores tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the release date.

Maybe if I say it enough, it will sink in . . .

Anyway, here’s more than you’ll ever want to read about me, about writing, my favorite books, why I write YA, what I was like as a teen, etc.  In the meantime, I’ll be here, letting it sink in. 🙂

Casey McCormick’s Literary Rambles

Teen Librarian’s Toolbox WHY YA

Teen Librarian’s Toolbox ON WRITING MY DEAR TEEN ME POST

Teen Librarian’s Toolbox INTERVIEW


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Tomorrow I will Stare at a Blank Page . . .

I just sent the first draft of book 2 to my editor.  So, I have some time to kill before I hear back from her and get editorial notes and begin rewriting and revising.  It is thrilling, in a way, to have finished this draft, and have time and freedom to work on something new.  But, I’m feeling uneasy.  Because the something new hasn’t hit me yet.

I have some ideas, but they’re not quite “it.”  And I can’t figure out if that’s because I haven’t played around with them enough, or if it’s because those ideas are kind of duds that aren’t really going to spark up no matter what.  I don’t know.  I guess I’ll see.

I don’t like this period, though. The in-between projects period.  I mean, it’s cool because there’s the possibility of what will be . . . but it also makes me uncomfortable.  I like being immersed in a project.  I like knowing my characters.  Beginnings are always hard for me.

When I was a teacher, I knew many teachers who loved the first day of school. Believe it or not, teachers get bored over summer and are pretty excited to go back to their classrooms. I must confess. I was not one of these teachers. I actually hated the first day of school.  I hated standing up in front of class after class of faces I didn’t know the names of yet, I hated going over the rules and expectations.  I hated seating charts and handing out textbooks. I hated that whole first week of settling in.

But once we got going, once I could call on them by name rather than point to them for an answer, I would finally relax.  When we were well into our short stories and novels, when I knew my student’s personalities and quirks, that’s when I loved teaching.

My daughter and son have been on Spring Break and so my writing routine has been totally screwed up.  But tomorrow they go back to school.  And tomorrow, maybe I should do something other than writing, but I want to write.  I look forward to it, even when it’s hard and I dread it, I actually look forward to driving to the book store, ordering a coffee, and sitting down to write.  So I know that’s what I’ll do tomorrow.

Except tomorrow there will be a blank page.  Tomorrow, I will stare at that blank page and get frustrated.  Probably come up with some really horrible story ideas, and some pretty horrible openings.  I’ll hang out with paper cut out characters that are strangers to me and wonder if there’s anything more to them.  I’ll leave, I’ll doubt myself, I’ll wonder if I have another story in me.  Tomorrow will be a day of seating charts and handing out textbooks. Which is necessary.

But really, I’m just waiting. . . waiting to see who shows up and what we will do next.

Posted in Everyday Writing, Uncategorized | Tagged | 8 Comments