Jessica Day George

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Reading 2014



It's time for Auntie Jessy's Summer Reading Challenge!


But first off I want to thank all of you who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for ALTERED PERCEPTIONS!  Thanks to you, we were able to raise $110,000 for our friend Robison Wells, which will ease the burden of debt on him and his sweet family!  We even went over our goal, and were able to give that extra money to the dear Sara M. Eden, a fine historical fiction writer and gracious woman who suffers greatly from depression and rheumatoid arthritis.  So thank you all for your help, and for putting up with my constant blogging, tweeting, and talking about the campaign.

And now on to Summer Reading!

For those of you who are just joining us here on the blog, every June I challenge myself to read a gross ton of books during the summer, and then I post my results in September.  You are welcome to put your summer reading goals in the comments, and let us know your results in the fall!

This summer I'd like to read sixty books.  Will I?  Let's see!

I always say the summer reading term is from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so I'm off to a rip-roaring start with four books already under my belt:

PEYTON PLACE - Grace Metalious
MIDWINTERBLOOD - Marcus Sedgwick
THE CHAPEL WARS - Lindsey Leavitt
FARTHING - Jo Walton
WORDS OF RADIANCE - Brandon Sanderson

Admittedly, I did start reading WORDS OF RADIANCE long before Memorial Day, due to its incredible longness.

Other books I'm hoping to read this summer include THE ROSIE PROJECT, and GIDGET, just to name a couple.  I'm very curious about GIDGET.  I grew up watching the Gidget movies and the TV show starring Sally Field, about the cheerful, somewhat air-headed surfer girl and her boyfriend Moondoggy.  I just discovered this last year that it was originally a book, and based on the author's own daughter and her friends.  It sounds like a fun summer read.  As does THE ROSIE PROJECT, SEARCHING FOR SKY, MY REAL CHILDREN, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, and a number of other delightful books that I have on my Goodreads to-read shelf.  I just got back from BEA as well, and am loaded to the gills with new books . . . I feel like I'm surrounded by scrumptious chocolates of many different types, whichever shall I eat first?!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Helping a Friend

Aloha, fishes!

I have a little project that I'm involved in, and I'd like to take a minute to tell you all about it.

Some of you may know personally or have heard of Robison Wells, a fellow Utah YA author and good friend of mine.  Rob is the author of VARIANT, FEEDBACK, and BLACKOUT, all three of which are superb YA sci fi, and I highly recommend them.  You may have seen these titles on my "Best of" book lists the last three years or so.  Along with being a fine, gifted writer, Rob created the Whitney Awards for LDS authors, and I'm very proud to say that DRAGON SLIPPERS won the award for Best Novel by a New Author back in 2008!

Rob also, like many creative people, suffers from mental illness.

I have struggled with depression since high school, most seriously after the birth of our first child, and mental illness is horrible and something I would not wish on my worst enemy.  Which is why I am doing this for Rob, my friend.  Rob has depression, OCD, agoraphobia, and a panic disorder.  Yep.  I keep asking him if he offended an old Gypsy woman as a child, he's a little vague on that point.  His illnesses have greatly affected his life and the lives of his family (he and his sweet wife have three young children).  Until very recently, Rob didn't qualify for health insurance (many authors did not, as we are "self-employed") and so the bills for his medicine and therapy came entirely out of his own pocket.  Those bills have built up, and been added to student loans and delayed taxes (authors get SLAMMED with taxes).  Rob and his little family are in serious debt, which only adds to his mental burden.  None of this debt is from fancy vacations or shopping sprees.  It's most medical, and it is weighing heavily on him and his wife.

But the good news is that Rob has a lot of author friends!  And so we decided to help in the best way we could: with our writing!  We've put together an anthology and started a fundraiser on Indiegogo for Rob!  The anthology, called ALTERED PERCEPTIONS, is going to be fabulous!  It features authors such as Brandon Sanderson, Shannon Hale, Dan Wells (Rob's brother, and also a gifted writers), Brandon Mull, Bree Despain, Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver, and over a dozen more.  It will all be previously unpublished material, but the bulk of the stories will be alternate endings, cut chapters, and other goodies from our existing books!  I'm contributing the original ending of PRINCESS OF GLASS, which I ended up cutting because it, ahem, encouraged gambling.  Rob is adding a new epilogue for the VARIANT duology, which I am dying to read.  Shannon Hale is submitting a short story that is . . . horror!  No joke!  This anthology is going to be incredibly fabulous, people, incredibly.  As part of the Indiegogo campaign there will be other perks available as well.  An e-book of the anthology is just $10, a hardcover is $28, but there are also options for signed, numbered editions, library sets, and more.  You can also get a critique by one of the participating authors (not me, someone who's GOOD at critiques), have dinner with Rob, or spend a weekend at a guest house writing retreat!

We were featured in the Deseret News today:

And here, finally, is the link to the Indiegogo site with all the details, including a full list of the authors involved :

Check it out, and if you're able, please help us help Rob!

If we go over our goal, we will be setting up a fund to help other authors who have looming medical expenses.  No penny will be used to produce the book or any of the perks, 100% of the money will go to Rob or another struggling author.