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The Compulsive Reader: Guest Blog from Nova Ren Suma!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Guest Blog from Nova Ren Suma!

I'm super excited to be the first stop on Nova Ren Suma's blog tour to celebrate the release of her YA debut, Imaginary Girls, which came out last Tuesday! Her tour will consist of a series of secrets about the book, so without further ado...
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Now that Imaginary Girls is undeniably real and out in the world, I think it’s time to spill a few secrets about the book, like what surprising things inspired pieces of the story, the true events that found their way into the novel, and more. As the cover says, “Secrets never stay below the surface.” Here’s one bubbling up now…

Secret #1: Imaginary Girls wasn’t supposed to be the title. I changed it at the last second when querying agents… and decided to keep it.

The original title of the book was Mythical Creatures, which came from a short story I wrote about two sisters named Ruby and Chloe, the same two sisters who’d go on to take over the novel and, with it, my life for a few years. I never meant the title Mythical Creatures literally—there were no actual unicorns or werewolves in the story—but I wanted to play with the idea of what made something, or someone, into a legend in a small town. There’s actually a line in the first chapter of the book that’s a lot like one from the old short story, too, and it speaks to the title:

“If anyone was a mythical creature here, it was Ruby, the one we all looked to and listened for, the one the boys loved and fought to be with, who couldn’t be captured or caged.”

I was pretty attached to that title. So why’d I go and change it? When I was putting together my email queries for literary agents and typing “Mythical Creatures – YA novel query” into the subject line, I had a sudden wave of doubt. Agents might see that and think this was a fantasy novel, and it’s not. What if they rejected me based on title alone? So, at the very last second, I changed the title to one of the top contenders on my list of other possibles: Imaginary Girls. Even so, I messed up some of the queries and a couple agents got an email from me saying “Mythical Creatures – YA novel query,” and when they replied asking for pages I sent back a manuscript with the new title in place.

(I should add: Soon after those queries, I saw the beyond-gorgeous cover for a book called Beautiful Creatures—and felt a rush of relief that I’d changed my title when I did.)

So that’s how I happened upon my title Imaginary Girls, in a panic, and at the last second, and yet now I can’t imagine this book being called anything else.
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Thanks, Nova!

Definitely check out Nova's website and follow her on Twitter to learn more about this awesome book!

Also, here is the really cool trailer:



And if you are curious about the book, read an except!

Imaginary Girls


Thanks to the generosity of Penguin, I have one signed copy of Imaginary Girls to give away! Just comment below and tell me why you want to read this book, and I'll enter you to win! This contest will end July 6th, and is open to US residents!

50 comments:

Bekka said...

I just read this, having checked it out from the library. I saw the librarian cataloging it, and snatched it from the shelves as soon as she put it out. I absolutely fell in love with the entire book: the covers, the characters, the setting, the story line, and the writing especially. Imaginary Girls is unlike anything I've read before!

Jessica said...

A. this book has a gorgeous cover, but B. the relationship these two sisters have...and how it changes is just fascinating.

TheJay2xA said...

I'm really anticipating for this book really! I've heard lots of good things about this book and I really can't miss to read it.

fallendream03 AT gmail.com

Claire Castagnera said...

I'm so interested in this book because of the fact that it has paranormal elements, but isn't really classified as a fantasy book. That sounds just like my cup of tea!

Maggie Desmond-O'Brien said...

I saw Libba Bray describe this book as Shirley Jacksonesque on Twitter, and that is ALWAYS enough to sell a book for me! =) I love the original title, by the way, but I agree it would have been confusing with the release of Beautiful Creatures.

Thanks for the giveaway!

mdesmondobrien(at)yahoo(dot)com

Amy @ bookgoonie said...

1) The cover is gorgeous. 2) It sounds dark, mysterious and different than a lot of what I've been reading.

Enjoyed the post & Thanks for the giveaway
bookgoonie at yahoo.com

Jonathon Arntson said...

I want to read IMAGINARY GIRLS for two reasons. 1. I am not a big fan of paranormal, but I think IG is a title that could bridge the gap for me. 2. I need the cover because I want the lighter shade of blue as my new bedroom wall color and I need to take the book to the paint store.

Mickey @ imabookshark said...

I want to read this book because it sounds unique and fantastic!! Plus, the author has been supportive of same-sex marriage in NY, and I always appreciate that :o)

imabookshark AT yahoo DOT com

Thanks!
Mickey @ imabookshark.blogspot.com

taniadakka said...

As a follower of @novaren on Twitter, I sort of watched Imaginary Girls be born. I love the concept of the book as I have never had a sister and I look forward to getting my mits on a copy! Congrats, Nova Ren Suma!

Cam said...

I have wanted to read IMAGINARY GIRLS ever since I heard the title and saw the amazing cover. And the since I have a wonderful older sister, I can't wait to meet Ruby.

Tiffany Drew said...

I agree, LOVE the cover! It definitely caught my eye. I want to read this because it looks AMAZING! I have been waiting months to read it.

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

FloeticFlo said...

I want to read this book because I've heard lots of tgreat things about it!

TweetyB99 at aol dot com

Nicole Zoltack said...

The cover is just amazing, and I loved the sample I read. I would so love to win this book.

ashelynn hetland said...

I like that it was once named "Magical Creatures." I like "Imaginary Girls" better, though. ;)

Such an intriguing book; can't wait to read.

Andrea said...

Nice post. This book looks so good! I want it b/c the cover is gorgeous & I want to know what secret won't stay below the surface.
Thanks!
andreat78@yahoo.c

Jessi said...

Great title story! :-) This book was a fantastic read. The story was so intriguing that I found I really couldn't put it down.

I would love to own a copy! Thanks for the giveaway!

readinginthecorner11 (at) gmail (dot) com

Yolande said...

I heard about this book and thought it sounded like something I'd enjoy! I put it on my "to be read list" and I also follow Nova Ren Suma on twitter. I also fell in love with the cover. If I don't win the book through this contest, I plan to buy it. Thank you!

My twitter is @hominidrunner. If I win, please contact me there. Thanks!

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

I've been intrigued by this novel since I first read the synopsis -- then when I saw that GORGEOUS cover and I was hooked! That sentence from the first chapter is so beautiful, and I'm definitely interested in the idea of what makes something legendary. Great post! Thank you for the giveaway!

Casey
thebookishtypereviews AT gmail DOT com

rhetoricians said...

I have been hoping to read this book since it first was queried and I've been following it like a hawk, but I just started graduate school to be a middle school librarian, and can't afford to buy any books right now. :( However I love YA and try to stay on top of it for the kids I will be a librarian for, as well as for myself!, and so I'd love to be entered to win. girlwiththebubblegun(at)gmail.com

Jessica said...

I already wanted to read this book by all the descriptions I've heard, and that excerpt just pushed me over the edge :) Good luck, all!

jessicaborash at gmail

Rachel said...

I've heard a lot of great things about this book and am looking forward to reading it!

Clementine Bojangles said...

I love stories about sisters, and between that and the book's gorgeous cover, I am dying to read this.

Katy said...

At the risk of being redundant, I love the cover as well! And I just read Kate Messner's blog post about IMAGINARY GIRLS, then I saw your tweet, and knew I needed to click right over to read your blog entry.

Sarah said...

I couldn't wait for his book to come out and it finally has! The cover is absolutely GORGEOUS! I can't wait to snag a copy! The mystery of it too makes it sound even more enticing!

kristina shields said...

Thx for the giveawy! It sounds like a really great read.

spicedice45@gmail.com

Alice Smith said...

As a sister and lover of really great mysteries, I am so excited to read this book. I'd love to be entered in the contest. Thanks so much!

snarklish@gmail.com

Sylvia said...

Honestly, at first, it was definitely the cover that got me intrigued with this book. But then I read the synopsis and WOW. It was so mysterious and just oh-so-unique I knew I had to read it! So thank you so much for this contest! I really hope I win:)

sylvia_uy4(at)yahoo(dot)com

callalily95 said...

I've only heard positive things about this book, and it has a gorgeous color. Color me excited! I can't wait to read Imaginary Girls.

adris [dot] lorenzato [at] gmail [dot] com

Teddycavy said...

Well, first of all, the cover is amazing. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but that's what first draws me to books. Also, there aren't many YA books out there right now that deal with sibling relationships, and that realy is what makes me want to read this.

FloeticFlo said...

I've heard lots of good things about it!

TweetyB99 at aol dot com

Patty Blount said...

I want to read it for so many reasons, mostly because I've been following Nova Ren on Twitter and have to support a fellow author ! Also, the cover is among the most beautiful covers I've ever seen. I agree; I can't imagine the title as anything else. And finally, I read the free chapters posted some tie back and got hooked!

Dani. said...

I want to read this because I loved Dani Noir, and the cover is amazing!

lightningstreak123[at]comcast[dot]net

Locket Stories said...

I would love to win this book, because I sort of love it. It was amazing and just so intoxicating.

locketstories(at)gmail(dot)com

dani_nguyen said...

This book sounds so interesting & I looove the cover! Have heard many good things & can't wait to read it!

Thanks for the giveaway!
daniellesaunders1984(at)hotmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in Imaginary Girls because Gayle Forman endorsed it on her blog. (extemter at hotmail dot com)

Kristina said...

I have requested this at my local library. I can't wait to read this because I have a sister that I love to death and she's also my twin, so we are almost joined at the hip because we are so close. :) My sister wants to read this a lot to. The cover is amazingly beautiful.

Anna said...

I've actually already read this book, but it was just so amazing I really really really want a signed copy!!! <3

peachandblue2@aol.com

neonorange said...

I cannot WAIT to read this! i love the cover and everyone i know is looking forward to it, too. :]

Aydrea said...

I want to read this book because it sounds awesome & I have heard great things about it. Also the cover is gorgeous and I love books about sisters.

Thanks for the giveaway!
danceislove27(at)gmail(dot)com

sunnynikki said...

The cover is reason enough to want to read it but then I read the sample and I'm hooked. I have to know what happened.

ferretvamp14 said...

I think the awesome title and cover are enough reasont o pick this one up. Plus I have heard great things!
ferretvamp14[at]live[dot]com

Veronica Bartles said...

I just read the sample chapters, and I can't wait to read the rest!

i(dot)am(underscore)supermom(at)yahoo(dot)com

iLuvReadingTooMuch said...

I really wanna read this 'cause it sounds so suspenseful and I want, no scratch that, NEED to find out what happens! It sounds like a very deadly paranormal book...and the cover's gorgeous!

Thanks so much for the giveaway! :D

iliveforreading[at]hotmail[dot]com

Kris Summers said...

I want to read this book because I love the concept. It has the idea of what makes someone a legend; it's not about legends, like so many books out there today. Plus, there's that gorgeous cover!!

Kris S

Renée said...

I really liked what Nova said about being a legend in a small town -- that added an element to it that I didn't pick up on from the jacket cover. Also, THE COVER!?!! As soon as I saw it on-line, I knew that I had read this novel.

renee8mc AT gmail DOT com

Nova said...

I just wanted to thank Tirzah for hosting me on my blog tour for IG. Thank you so much!

And thank you to everyone who read and commented on this post—and who entered the contest. Good luck!

JP said...

I'd love to read this book because 1) Nova is awesome 2) The cover is amazing and 3) Regardless of the cover, the synopsis is just WOW.

JP said...

Forgot to put my email, sorry! juanpablo.m.sullivan(at)gmail.com

Ronyka7 said...

I have read so many good revies about this book plus the book cover is beautiful.
thanks.

flaka.077 at gmail dot com

twizzlerowl said...

i havent seen the winner yet! have i been missing it?

plz email icklefruit@yahoo.com