The Distance Between Lost and Found

Friday Five: My Books Arrived, My Books Arrived!

Yesterday, I received the first finished hardcovers for HOW IT FEELS TO FLY, as well as finished paperback editions of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND. I'm still floating from seeing my books all lined up for their Instagram photo. So that seems like a good place to start! 

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1) There really is nothing like holding the finished product of a thing you worked so, so hard on for so, so long. I had to feel the finish on the jacket, and then check out the naked spine, and flip through the pages.... And then I found one of my absolute favorite bits: the page where it says "Also by Kathryn Holmes: The Distance Between Lost and Found." (Meanwhile, inside the DISTANCE paperback: "Also by Kathryn Holmes: How It Feels to Fly.") I am officially a two-book author! Ahhh! 

(NB: HOW IT FEELS TO FLY still comes out June 14. This is just an early copy from the printer!)

2) Last night, I got to attend the debut launch party for one of my New School MFA friends, Mia Garcia. Her book, EVEN IF THE SKY FALLS, came out on Tuesday, and I can't wait to read it! It's a YA romance set in New Orleans, and the action takes place in 24 hours...with a big storm on the horizon. Congratulations, Mia! 

3) Do you like YA thrillers? You'll love Amanda Panitch's second book, NEVER MISSING, NEVER FOUND, which releases in late June. I got to read an ARC this week, and it kept me up far too late on Tuesday night. I couldn't stop turning pages until I found out how it ended! The book is about Scarlett, who was kidnapped and held hostage for several years as a child before escaping. Now a teen, she just wants a normal life and a normal summer job. But when one of her new amusement park coworkers reminds her a bit too much of the girl she was held captive with all those years ago, the past threatens to swallow Scarlett all over again. Plus, another park employee has gone missing. Is it all connected? This book is fast-paced and twisty, and I loved it. You will too. 

4) Y'all, y'all, y'all: tomorrow (tomorrow!) I get to see Gillian Anderson in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. I am SO EXCITED. 

5) I managed to make a particularly good pot of coffee this morning. Sometimes, it's the little things. *sips* 

What's good with you this week? 

~Kathryn 

It's December! If You're Holiday Book-Shopping, This Post Is For You.

I know my blogging has been sporadic at best recently, and I promise there are more book-recommendation posts coming your way soon. (Spoiler alert: I have been reading a LOT of amazing things!) However, today's post falls into the promotional camp. 

I've heard from several family friends that they're buying THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND for people for Christmas—and I am so very grateful! As a way to say thank-you, I want to send anyone who buys DISTANCE this holiday season a signed bookmark and a DISTANCE sticker. I'll also give away up to five DISTANCE water bottles. (They're awesome—I use mine all the time!) Add the swag to your holiday gift—or keep it for yourself as an "I'm an awesome gift-giver" pat on the back. No judgment here! 

To collect your book swag, all you have to do is email me through this page. Tell me how many copies you're giving away and include your mailing address. You can also tell me who you're giving the book to—I'd love to hear all about it. Then, I'll get your items in the mail in time for holiday gift-giving! 

I'll keep the window open until December 15—that way, I'll still have time to get to the post office in time for a pre-Christmas delivery. On the 15th, I'll pick the water bottle winners as well. 

So Happiest of Holidays to all who celebrate, and thank you so much for making 2015 a wonderful, book-filled year! 

~Kathryn 

What's on the Horizon for October?

I can't believe it's fall! I can't believe September's almost over! I have no idea where the time is going. But at least October is gearing up to be an excellent month. Here are a few things you should definitely have on your radar: 

I'm participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt for the second time! Just to refresh your memory, this is the giant online event where a bunch of YA authors open up their blogs for readers to get sneak peeks of upcoming books, read deleted scenes from and learn other tidbits about published books, and enter for a chance to win a WHOLE LOT OF BOOKS. I'm on Team Purple, with 19 other amazing authors. The hunt is running October 1-4, so if you're interested in participating, check back here this coming Thursday to dive in! Each blog post includes a link to the next post and a clue to help you win the grand prize. Go HERE for more info.

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The next thing you need to know for October is that the YA Buccaneers are hosting a month-long Fall Writing Bootcamp! More details will be announced on Monday, but I can tell you this: starting October 1, I'll be diving into a new project that I'm a bit nervous about, and I'd love to have other people bootcamping alongside me. Join us for writing and revising prompts, brainstorming sessions, word sprints, and much-needed writer camaraderie! More info will be HERE on Monday. 

Finally, I'm so, so excited to be talking about THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville over Columbus Day weekend, October 9-11. My panel is on Sunday, 10/11, from 2-3:30pm. I'll be sharing the stage with fellow YA authors Helene Dunbar and Will Walton, with a signing immediately afterward. If you're in the area, please stop by and say hello! It's going to be such an amazing festival, with some truly spectacular YA events. For more on the Southern Festival of Books, go HERE.

(And on a personal note, my newest nephew is supposed to be born right around that time, so there is a great possibility that my visit will also include snuggling an adorable baby! Never mind the total adorableness of my other two Nashville-based nephews...) 

It's hard to be mad about how fast the year is moving when there are such good things on the horizon. Stay tuned for more! 

~Kathryn 

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND is three months old! Let's celebrate.

I can't believe my book baby is three months old!! How time flies. 

I've been wanting to do a giveaway for a little while now, and this seems like the perfect opportunity. There's a rafflecopter below with all of the details! What will you win? I'm giving away five DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND water bottles. (They're great—I use mine all the time.) One lucky grand-prize winner will also get a signed hardcover copy of the book! There are several different ways to enter, and the contest runs through Friday, so you'll have lots of time to join in the fun. 

Now I have to get back to revising my next book! Happy reading to all! 

~Kathryn 

Tennessee Book Tour Recap!

The past week has been pretty amazing, courtesy of my first-ever book tour. What started as wanting to do a single book event in my hometown turned into school visits, signings, a bookstore appearance, and more! I spent the first half of last week in Nashville, and then headed east for events in Knoxville and Maryville (where I grew up). And let me tell you, Tennessee rolled out the welcome wagon. :) 

Here's just a little bit of what I was up to last week: 

Monday 4/13: Flew to Nashville. Spent the day with family (sister, brother, sister-in-law, nephews, and even my uncle and aunt who live in town). 

Tuesday 4/14: Visited Nashville Public Library branch to talk to a librarian contact there. Also stopped by Parnassus Books to check it out and introduce myself. (What a beautiful store! Hope I get to do an event there in the future!) 

Wednesday 4/15: My first-ever school visit! I spent the morning talking to 9th, 10th, and 11th-grade English classes at Brentwood Academy, a private school in Brentwood, TN. We talked about how a book gets written and published, how to deal with writer's block, what authors inspire me, whether my book will ever be made into a movie…and John Green. Everyone wanted to talk about John Green. :) But in all seriousness, I had so much fun and the kids asked such good questions. Plus, the school librarians put up a nice display in honor of my visit and had me sign their library copies. School visit success! 

After I was done at BA, I headed into Downtown Nashville for coffee with two cool local YA writers that I know from Twitter, Ashley Herring Blake and Jeff Zentner. These two both have debut novels coming out in 2016, and I can't wait to get my hands on copies. 

Thursday 4/16: My brother, sister-in-law, and the nephews drove me to east Tennessee, where my parents still live. After a quick rest at home, my dad and I headed into Knoxville, where I had a bookstore event at Union Ave Books with Lauren Morrill (Meant to Be Being Sloane Jacobs). Lauren and I went to high school together, and she has been such an amazing champion of my debut. I was so excited to get to share a night with her and chat about our books, our writing process, and our high school memories! Plus, Lauren brought her adorable 6-month-old along—after admiring him online all this time, it was so fun to see him in person. :) 

Friday 4/17: One of the main purposes of my visit: I spent the whole day speaking at my high school, Maryville High School in Maryville, TN! I did four presentations over the course of the day for 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-grade English classes (plus a few students from other classes who were interested in hearing from me). I was pretty nervous about talking for more than 50 minutes at a time (the school is on block scheduling, so class periods are an hour and 20 minutes total!), but when I got into the groove, it went really well. Again, the students asked amazing questions and covered some things I hadn't even thought to include in my formal presentation—so I have tweaks to make for next time. I also had the pleasure of meeting some teens who had already read my book, which was super cool. Several pointed out lines that had resonated with them, or wanted to ask about Hallie et al's life after the book ends. One girl even called herself my first super-fan. So yeah—I now have super-fans. Yay! 

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Look at all the high schoolers I got to talk to! A little bit intimidating, and a lot amazing. The top left pair was 1st period, the pair below that was 2nd period, the top right pair was 3rd period, and the bottom right was 4th period. The school was selling my book at a discount, so I got to sign a lot of copies. And a few students even stayed after for a reception in the library to chat with me further! By 4pm, I was exhausted—but thrilled with how everything went. 

Saturday 4/18: I'd wanted to sleep in on Saturday morning, but with two nephews under three in the house, that didn't happen. So, after some morning playtime and Curious George watching, it was time to head to my local book signing at Vienna Coffee House in Maryville. I was thrilled to see so many of my parents' friends—many of whom have known me since I was really little—show up to get their copies signed! I also sold copies to people who'd read it and wanted to buy more as gifts, or wanted to wait and buy it directly from my hands. So much hometown support for a debut author! I left this event feeling so grateful and happy. 

Sunday 4/19: Speaking of grateful, one of the last-minute things that came together for this trip was the Pie Party my parents' church decided to throw in my honor. Look at all that pie! I signed more books, talked about this book and my next one, and got a lot of hugs from people who—you guessed it—have known me since I was only *this* big and always knew I was going to grow up to do great things. I also ate too much pie, and completely spoiled my dinner. :) All in all, it was a lovely end to a lovely, exciting, exhilarating week. 

So there you have it! My first book tour is in the bag. And I talked to several teachers and librarians who want me to come visit them in the fall, so hopefully this will be the first of many southern book tours to come! 

Now that I'm back in NYC, it's back to the usual routine—which includes major revisions for my next book. More on that later… :)

~Kathryn 

Welcome to the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize—one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt site to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM, but there is also a red team, a gold team, a green team, an orange team, a teal team, a purple team, and a pink team. Each team will be giving away a huge selection of books! 

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Here's How It Works:

Directions: Somewhere in this post, you'll find my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team from their respective posts, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally. Anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

So Let's Get To It!

I am hosting author Colleen Houck on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! A New York Times bestselling author, Colleen is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Her first four novels, Tiger's Curse, Tiger's Quest, Tiger's Voyage, and Tiger's Destiny, were New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, Colleen worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years before switching careers to become an author. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers. 

Find out more by visiting Colleen's website! You can preorder her latest book, REAWAKENED, on Amazon HERE

About REAWAKENED: 

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

Bonus Content From Colleen: 

Hello Tiger Fans! 

I'm so excited to bring not only one fun reveal to the YA Scavenger Hunt this season, but two! This first piece is a never-before-shared sneak peek of my new book REAWAKENED, which comes out August 25th! In this scene my heroine, Lily, and my hero, Amon, are in Cairo looking for clues as to where Amon's two brothers might be buried. It's his job to awaken them so they can help him perform a ceremony to align the sun, the moon, and the stars. 

Soon we came upon a building that had been made over into a club. Techno music blasted and beautiful young people lined up, waiting their turn to get in.
“What is this?” Amon asked.
“It looks like a club. A place where people dance and celebrate,” I added.
“My people dance?”
“Well, yes. People dance all over the world.”
“Then, come, Lily. We will celebrate with them.”
“I don’t think I’m really in the mood.”
“What do you mean? What is a mood?”
“Mood is a feeling . . . like when . . . ugh, it’s too hard to explain.”
Amon peered at me in the darkness, his eyes flashing. He tilted his head, then said, “You do not enjoy dancing.”
“As a rule, no.”
He continued to focus on me, quickly discerning more than I was willing to show outwardly.
“You believe it is a poor use of your time and you are . . . embarrassed.”
He’d pretty much hit the nail on the head. It was strange to have someone pick up on every little thing I was thinking. “Quit analyzing me, Sigmund Freud. I have my reasons and you don’t need to know every little thing.”
Ignoring my statement, Amon continued to address the issue. “Lily, first, there is no possibility that your lovely, soft limbs could move in any way that would cause you shame. Second, there is enough work in the world, Nehabet. What good does it do to excel if you don’t relish in your achievements? There must be a balance. Even a king celebrates. If he did not, how could he rule effectively?
“You must allow yourself to feel . . . joy, Young Lily. You must take pleasure”—Amon pressed his lips to one of my hands and then the other—“in just being alive.”
The irony was that I’d never in my entire life felt more alive than I did the moment Amon kissed my hands. He’d kissed my forehead before, but when he touched his lips to my hands, electricity shot through me. Even though I knew his passion was more about enjoying life than about me, it was still powerful, and there was a part of me that wanted to latch on to that. “All right,” I acquiesced softly. “We’ll dance.”
The inside of the club was dark and warm, but the music was fantastic—techno funk with a wicked beat and a slightly exotic sound. Immediately, I felt out of place since most of the women wore tight little dresses, high heels, and heavy makeup. Amon was leading us to the bar when I shouted above the din, “I’m going to the restroom! I’ll be right back!”
The atmosphere was pulse-poundingly hot, but when I finally found the bathroom, it was an almost frigid contrast. Air-conditioning blew onto the women standing in front of the mirror primping and I wondered if the men’s room had the same feature or if it was specially arranged to keep the ladies happy.
After removing my clunky boots and swapping them out for sandals, I quickly changed into the skirt I’d brought and then plucked at my T-shirt, wondering what I could do to make it look more like I was going to a club than to a farmers’ market. I was standing in front of the mirror frowning, when a girl applying lipstick asked me a question in another language. I just shrugged, lifted the hem of the tee, and made a thumbs-down sign.
The girl pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows, gesturing at herself, and when I nodded hesitantly, she pulled a pair of tiny scissors from her purse. I was even more hesitant then, but she didn’t make a move until I nodded again.
With deft hands she cut the neck out of the T-shirt, making a wider neckline so the shirt slipped off one shoulder. She then took the bulk of the T-shirt hem and tied it in a knot at my back revealing an inch or so of midriff. Finally, she turned me around to gather the hem of my skirt.
I was going to protest her cutting it, but she set down the scissors and wrapped the material around my body, tucking it in at the side so that I ended up with a sarong skirt that stopped just at the knee on one side and about halfway up my thigh on the other. I’d never in my life worn anything that left me feeling so exposed.
As a parting gift, the girl handed me her lipstick and rolled some of her perfume on my wrists and neck. The scent was exotic—a light floral and musk. I freshened my lipstick and fluffed my hair, said a quick thanks, then left the bathroom to seek out Amon.
After checking my bag and taking a claim ticket, I scanned the bar. Amon wasn’t there or seated in any of the sections around the dance floor. Deciding he must have gone outside for air, I headed in the direction of the door, then stopped when I heard a ruckus coming from the dance floor that was even louder than the music.
Nudging aside enough women so I could see what was going on, I was shocked, not at seeing Amon in the middle of the crowd or his skin gleaming as if he were under a spotlight but at seeing him dance. I’d expected his style to be exotic and very different from modern dancing, but I hadn’t expected that he would be doing a male version of belly dancing.
Amon had ditched his outer shirt, so the only thing covering his taut torso was the thin white T-shirt, which clung to him so tightly it looked like the seams would burst at any moment.
He turned in a slow circle, abs undulating and pelvis rotating in a way that was sensual enough to be illegal. Amon’s dancing was like a mashup of Elvis and the Chippendales. The human sun god was a stomach-dropping, chest-popping, feet-sliding, shoulder-swaying, hip-rotating, flutter-inducing, liquid locomotive, and I was surrounded by women who couldn’t wait to buy a ticket.
As Amon turned, his eyes took in his admirers and he paused. A huge smile lit his face as he shouted out to the crowd surrounding him, “Thank you, ladies, but my Lily has come. I wish to dance with her now.”
Amon held out his hand and I stepped forward, ignoring the gasps from the women around me. One by one, they turned aside, some good-naturedly, some with jealousy obvious on their faces.
As Amon took my hands and began moving his body again, I jerked awkwardly back and forth in small movements and then leaned close to his ear. “If you think I’m doing what you did, you’re crazy!” I said.
He drew me closer and then turned in a circle, matching each step with the beat. Then he slid his hand down my arm, took hold of my hand, and turned me, too. I was surprised I didn’t miss the beat. By the time a few songs were over, I felt much more confident and was actually having fun. Amon spun me around until I collapsed against his chest, dizzy and laughing.
Eventually, the music changed to something slow. Amon seemed confused at first, and he watched with a curious expression as the other dancers paired off. A woman who’d been watching him before returned and asked him to dance. He shook his head and answered, “I am not meant for you. I am dancing with Lily.”
As she left, I took a step forward, closing the distance between us, and ran my hands slowly up his muscular arms, over his shoulders, and around his neck. After standing stiffly for a few seconds, he relaxed and pulled me tightly against him. Slowly, we began moving together. His hands, splayed on my back, moved inch by tantalizing inch downward until they reached the bare skin at my waist. Wedging me even tighter against his body, he put his forehead to mine. The side of his mouth tickled my cheek.
If I shifted just a bit, I could be kissing him. But I was too much of a coward to make the first move. His hands slid to my hips and then back up to my waist. The tension and nervous energy I felt as his electric fingertips stroked my bare skin was driving me crazy. To distract myself, I stood on tiptoe and asked, “What did you read in her thoughts?”
“Whose thoughts?” he answered in a husky voice. His eyes, a darker shade than I’d ever seen them, glittered as they searched mine. “Ah, the woman who asked me to dance. She hunts for a companion to fill her lonely nights.”
“I imagine most of the people here are looking for that.”
“Yes. But she seeks for something empty. She holds out no hope for love.”
Tilting my head at an angle to see his face better, I asked, “Do you?”
“Do I what, Nehabet?”
“Hold out hope for love.”
Amon paused. His body froze in a way that anyone who’d seen him dance would have thought impossible. He didn’t answer but instead took my hand and said, “Come, Lily. It is time to go.”
He seemed impatient as he waited for me to retrieve my bag. When we stepped outside, I wanted to take a moment to allow the night air to cool my heated skin, but he tugged me along, not giving me a moment to think. We had barely rounded the corner of the club when Amon suddenly stopped and pulled me roughly against him. Before I could even form a question, he murmured some words in Egyptian and we were sucked into a whirlwind.

The second reveal is that I can now share with you the title of book two in the REAWAKENED series. Book two will be called...

RECREATED!

If you're interested in a copy of REAWAKENED you can preorder it now on Amazon. You can also enter the rafflecopter on my website for a chance to win one of 12 prizes, including a copy of the book. Good luck!

~Colleen

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Hi! It's Kathryn again. Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Colleen, and more amazing authors! You'll need to know my favorite number: 42. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Blue Team and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

To keep going on your quest to complete Team Blue's hunt, you need to check out the next author, Lydia Kang

And finally, if you've made it this far, you deserve an extra chance to win a signed copy of my book, The Distance Between Lost and Found. Enter using the Rafflecopter below! 


I made a DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND playlist!

I’m a big believer in finding the right music to write to—and what’s perfect for one book often won’t work at all for the next. For THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND, getting my writing playlist together took a little trial and error. The book is set in East Tennessee, specifically in the Smoky Mountains, so I needed songs with a southern, bluegrass feel. But the main character, Hallie, is a singer, and her tastes drift more toward the singer-songwriter spectrum. I wanted to make sure her artistic voice was present. And finally, Hallie and her friends are on a youth group retreat when they get lost in the mountains, which meant I needed at least a couple spiritual songs mixed in. A few weeks and one carefully curated Pandora station later, I had a selection of music that never failed to get me inspired to work on the book.

Because it’s all music I love, I thought I’d celebrate THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND’s (almost) six-week birthday by sharing a curated playlist with you. These songs will give you a glimpse into my process, as well as a glimpse into Hallie’s mind and heart. As an added bonus, this playlist roughly follows the arc of the story, so if you listen while you read, you might find that certain songs line up pretty nicely with specific scenes!

Want to learn more about why I chose each song? I’ve annotated the playlist below. But be warned—there are a few light plot spoilers!

**SPOILER SPACE**

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So here we go!

1) “Elastic Heart” by Sia

Okay, I admit it—this song wasn’t around when I was first writing THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND. That said, “Elastic Heart” completely captures Hallelujah Calhoun at the start of the book: angry and angsty and ready to snap.

2) “The Weight of Lies” by The Avett Brothers

I discovered The Avett Brothers while writing DISTANCE, and this song is one of my favorites of theirs. I love the wistfulness of the singer’s voice, the sense of wishing for things to be different. As far as the book goes, Hallie is clearly suffering under the weight of all the lies people have been telling about her, and she feels like she can’t break free. 

3) “Poison and Wine” by The Civil Wars

I was obsessed with The Civil Wars while I was working on DISTANCE, and to me, this song is made for Hallie and Jonah. It’s their former closeness and their current distance, the harmony and the hurt all wrapped up together. Plus, I can imagine the two of them performing this song as a duet…

4) “When Your Mind’s Made Up” from the Once soundtrack

Hallie loves the soundtrack to Once; it's one of the albums she shared with Jonah, back when they were friends. The chorus of "When Your Mind's Made Up" pinpoints how Hallie is feeling about Jonah—and all of her former friends—during the first few chapters: "When your mind's made up / There's no point trying to change it." I also hear the storm that opens the third day in the swirling emotion as this song builds and builds. 

5) “Wash.” by Bon Iver

After Hallie and Jonah fight under the tree, she cries until she feels wrung out. This song is for those raw, tentative next moments when Hallie and Rachel start to open up to each other, as well as later that evening, when Hallie and Jonah start to figure out who they are to each other after everything that has happened. 

6) “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Sufjan Stevens

This is my favorite version of one of my favorite hymns. It’s quiet and reverent and lovely. In the imaginary movie version of DISTANCE, this song is playing while Hallie sits on the mountaintop on the morning of the fourth day, looking out over the landscape and watching the sunrise. 

7) “The Light Will Come” by Phil Wickham

The fourth day is when Hallie really starts to feel like things can change—she can change—and this song echoes that hopeful feeling. “Lift your eyes, the sun has overcome the night / Come alive…” 

8) “Locked Up” by Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson is one of Hallie’s favorite artists, so this playlist had to include her! This song represents Hallie deciding whether to trust Jonah and Rachel with her story. There are so many spot-on lyrics: “I have taken a wrong turn / When will I learn? When will I learn? / Should I show them all my scars?” 

9) “The Kiss” from The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack

The Last of the Mohicans was the first soundtrack I listened to over and over…and over. While writing DISTANCE, I kept returning to it when I needed to feel just as lost in the woods as my characters. “The Kiss” provides the perfect backdrop for Hallie, Jonah, and Rachel’s late-night soul-baring on the fourth day. 

10) “Tomorrow Is a Long Time” by Nickel Creek

The fifth day starts with a few happy surprises—not the least of which is the renewed ease between Hallie and Jonah. This song is Jonah in the creek. It's the three of them with food in their bellies. It's Hallie's feeling that anything—good things—can happen. 

11) “Everything Has Changed” by William Fitzsimmons

Pay no attention to the lyrics, aside from that critical “Everything has changed.” The song may be about a man’s relationship with his father, but the melody and William Fitzsimmons’ soft, wistful voice feel just right for Hallie’s changing, opening heart on the fifth day. 

12) “The Story” by Brandi Carlile

It’s not in the text, but I know Hallie likes Brandi Carlile. This is one of Hallie’s hiking songs on the sixth day, as she’s psyching herself up to find help and make it home. And I love the lyrics: “All of these lines across my face / Tell you the story of who I am … But these stories don’t mean anything / When you’ve got no one to tell them to…” 

13) “Where the Light Gets in” by Sennen

Pandora chose to introduce me to this song at the exact right moment: as I was writing the scene when Hallie finds the road on the sixth day. Now, I hear it in my head whenever I read that passage. The music builds and builds as Hallie walks closer and closer to rescue. 

14) “Don’t Carry It All” by The Decemberists

The seventh day! Home! Rest! Safety! When she wakes up in the hospital, Hallie finally lets go of the burdens she’s been carrying and decides to move on. (And yes, Hallie definitely listens to The Decemberists…) 

15) “Hard Times” by Eastmountainsouth

The “closing credits” song. It starts playing when Hallie and Jonah are together in the hospital, staring out the window at the mountains in the distance. "It's a song, a sigh of the weary / Hard times, hard times, come again no more / Many days you have lingered around my cabin door / Oh, hard times, come again no more."  

Fade to black. :)

7 Days of DISTANCE Wrap-Up!

I did it! I made it through book release week in one piece. And frankly, aside from the probably-to-be-expected amounts of stress, it was SO MUCH FUN. 

It was fun to spend so much time on social media chatting about my book, both with people who were excited to read it and those who actually were reading it. It was fun to go to my local Barnes & Noble and find my book on the shelf. It was fun to have so many different blog posts (and a podcast!) go live in one week—the culmination of a lot of prep work. And of course, my book launch at Books of Wonder in Manhattan on Tuesday night was SUPER FUN. 

Aside from the party itself—having so many friends and family members in one place, signing all those books, enjoying the delicious snacks—one of the coolest things about my debut week has been hearing from readers. Former coworkers, high school and college friends, distant relatives, and more have come out of the woodwork to tell me they have already finished my book, or that they've bought it and can't wait to start reading, or that they're buying it for a friend or a teen in their life. One person even said she's never read YA before, but wanted to support my writing career! Each and every message has meant so much to me. I will probably be riding this high for a good while. :D

But I promised you launch party photos! Here's a slideshow: 

Aside from a bout of nerves that hit *just* as I was supposed to start reading from my book, everything went smoothly. The audience seemed engaged during my reading and people asked excellent questions during the Q&A portion of the event. The signing was a blur—I wanted to spend so much more time chatting with everyone who walked past! When I got home and collapsed onto the couch, I was still smiling. And then my husband, sister, and I ordered pizza and got into our comfy pants—the perfect end to a pretty much perfect day. 

Thanks to ALL of you who helped make my book release week so special! This has truly been an experience I will cherish forever. :) 

~Kathryn 

7 Days of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND!

I never get tired of seeing this cover...

I never get tired of seeing this cover...

To celebrate my book, which comes out *ahem* two days from now, I thought I'd organize a mini blog tour. And since THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND takes place over seven days, it seems only fitting to have a seven-day blog-fest, as well. Thus, "7 Days of DISTANCE" was born. Today, The First Day, is all about looking back. 

I've been doing a lot of interviews and guest blog posts lately (some of which you'll get to read later this week!), and I was thinking about what I could share today that I *haven't* talked about in any of those posts. I've also been doing a lot of reflecting on my writing journey thus far—only natural on the eve of my first book being released, right? So, as a look back before I start looking forward, I thought I'd answer one of the most frequently asked questions I get about THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND: 

"How long did it take you to write your book?"

All of the writers reading this know how much of a loaded question that is. Do you mean how long between the initial idea and now? Or how long it took me to complete a draft? Or how many rounds of revision I did? What about all of those months the publisher had the book between when I finished it and its official release? So, here are a few dates: 

  • Late 2011/early 2012: I have the initial germ of the idea that will become THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND—the main character's name. 
  • May 2012: I start writing the first draft. 
  • July 2012: I finish the first draft, take a few weeks off, and then start revising. 
  • August 2012 - March 2013: I do three complete revisions, sharing the manuscript with beta readers for feedback each time. 
  • March 2013: I enter a pitch contest online and connect with my literary agent. 
  • March - April 2013: I do a quick revision with my agent. 
  • May 2013: The book goes on submission to editors and is acquired by HarperCollins. (Woohoo!) 
  • August - December 2013: I go through three rounds of revision with my editor. 
  • 2014 - Now: Copyedits, cover reveal, ARC distribution, marketing plans, and more. There is SO MUCH that goes into creating a finished book! I wrote a whole post about this busy time where it seems like I, the author, am doing practically nothing, back in fall of 2013. Read it HERE
  • February 17, 2015: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND is on shelves! 

So here we are, only two days away from that finish line. I am exhilarated and anxious—though probably more exhilarated—and overjoyed to share THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND with the world. 

And luckily, several blogs and friends have agreed to help me spread the word during this crucial first week! Here's where you'll be able to find me online during the 7 Days of DISTANCE blog tour: 

The First Day/Sunday, February 15: …it's today. You're reading it. Welcome! Enjoy! 

The Second Day/Monday, February 16: I'm joining the YA Buccaneers' blog hop to celebrate THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND! The crew is writing Love Letters to people who are important to our writing lives, and I know you want to know the recipient of my day-before-pub-date letter… (Plus, there are opportunities to win a finished hardcopy and swag!) UPDATE: The post is live HERE

The Third Day/Tuesday, February 17: Each of the Fearless Fifteeners is celebrating our book launch dates with a post describing our book in three gifs. Head over to see what three images I picked for THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND! UPDATE: The post is live HERE

The Fourth Day/Wednesday, February 18: I'm doing a podcast about THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND and the craft of writing setting over at DIY MFA. Founder Gabriela Pereira and I had a great conversation, and I hope you'll enjoy listening to it! UPDATE: The podcast is live HERE

The Fifth Day/Thursday, February 19: Lovely blogger Dana at Danasquare is hosting an excerpt from THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND, as well as a book giveaway! UPDATE: The post is live HERE

The Sixth Day/Friday, February 20: Equally lovely blogger Jen at Pop! Goes the Reader is hosting my guest post reflecting on the journey to publication. There's a giveaway here, too! UPDATE: The post is live HERE

The Seventh Day/Saturday, February 21: I'll be back here at KathrynHolmes.com, recapping debut week. Expect book launch party photos and more. UPDATE: The post is live HERE

Still with me? Want to keep up with all of these posts without having to check back here each day? I'll be using #7DaysofDISTANCE on social media, so you can follow along. 

Thank you in advance for reading, and for your support and encouragement. I feel like I'm about to jump off the cliff into the sparkling blue ocean—and I can't wait! 

~Kathryn 

I'm Throwing a Preorder Party!

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND is almost here. Seriously. I can't believe it either! 

Now that I'm in the home stretch before the book is actually on the shelves, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have taken the time to preorder a copy. Preorders matter a lot, especially for debuts. Here's why: 

  • Preorders count toward the first week's sales, helping a book get a running start. 
  • Preorders show the publisher there's interest in the book, which could lead to the book getting more marketing dollars and publicity support going forward. 
  • Preorders can encourage bookstores—especially indies—to stock a book they might not otherwise have taken a chance on. 

I'm so grateful to everyone who has preordered my book, whether you went through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite independent bookstore. Now, I want to give a little something back. 

I'm putting together a mini swag pack, including a signed TDBLAF bookmark and two awesome stickers, that I want to send to each and every one of you who preordered. Who's eligible? Anyone who preordered—and you don't even have to send me proof of purchase. Just fill out the form HERE and I'll get your swag in the mail ASAP. 

Feeling left out? There's still time to preorder and enter to get your swag! Here are just a few of the places you can find THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND available for preorder: 

AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | BOOKS OF WONDER
 BOOKS-A-MILLIONINDIEBOUND | POWELL'S  
BOOK DEPOSITORY | HARPERCOLLINS 

Again—thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart! 

~Kathryn