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THE LONELY ONES Gets a Star!

This morning I woke up to find a missed call, a text, and several e-mails from my publishing team. I quickly opened the first thing I could... and any sleepiness I was still feeling immediately diminished when I saw the words, "The Lonely Ones Review" in the subject line. Thank you for making my entire day, week, month Kirkus! And thank you to my team and my readers. I've said it many times before and I'll keep saying it; none of this would be happening without you. 
THE LONELY ONES [STARRED REVIEW!]
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Review Issue Date: February 1, 2016
Online Publish Date: January 20, 2016
Publisher:Philomel
Pages: 240
Price ( Hardcover ): $16.99
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-399-17289-2
Category: Fiction
Still reeling from the effects of the recession that has thrown her family into financial turmoil and the loss of her best friend, who moved away, high school student Fain Frederick seeks solace in the only place she can find it: her own imagination. Whether she is writing or embarking on nightly adventures with magical creatures, Fain's rich imaginary life, much like Max's in Where the Wild Things Are, provides the elusive comfort she craves but cannot find in reality. It's only when the unexpected possibility of a new friendship (or perhaps even love) presents itself that Fain dares to consider abandoning her imaginary life for one in the here and now. Spare and poignant, every word of this haunting and elegant novel in verse feels painstakingly selected. It is the perfect medium for Fain to share her story. Readers will hold their breath as the vulnerable and endearing Fain navigates the treacherous minefields of both teen relationships and familial bonds in search of love and a sense of belonging. Like footprints, each poem reflects a step along Fain's journey. There is no excess here. There are no distractions. Fain's story is simply a brilliantly crafted coming-of-age novel that will appeal to the hearts and minds of all readers who have ever felt alone. (Fiction. 12 & up)

First Foreign Rights Sale

This week was particularly exciting, because not only did I finish my first semester of grad school and survive it, but I also accepted an offer from Ravensburger to publish SOME QUIET PLACE in Germany!

It's set to be a lead title in their spring 2017 lineup. I'm ridiculously ecstatic about meeting new readers and eternally thankful that my writing journey continues in such an exciting and humbling way.

Looks like I'll have to brush up on - or, you know, actually learn - some German...

Danke, my amazing friends and readers. 

THE LONELY ONES Cover Reveal

It's the big day! I'm finally able to the reveal cover of THE LONELY ONES. Coming out April 26th, 2016 from Philomel Books. I can't wait to share this story with you guys.

Enter the giveaway

to win a signed ARC!

Fain hasn’t always been lonely. Her family used to be close; she used to have good friends. But as circumstances—and people—changed, Fain was left behind. That’s when the monsters appeared.
While her parents argue and her peers and siblings either pick on or simply ignore her, Fain spends time in a world of her own making. During the day, she crafts stories of fantastical adventures, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life alongside a legion of imaginary creatures, with Fain as their queen.
In time, Fain begins to see possibilities and friendships emerge in her day-to-day, but when she is let down by the one relationship she thought she could trust, Fain must decide: remain queen of the imaginary creatures, or risk opening herself up to the fragile connections that can only be formed in the real world?
Told in lyrical free verse, The Lonely Ones reminds us of the need for imaginative play and the power of true friendship.

So what do you think? Also, don't forget to

add it to your Goodreads shelves

. It's also

available for pre-order

, and there may or may not be an except on the Amazon page... Happy Monday, everyone! 

BENJAMIN

You know that moment when you log onto Pinterest, and you tell yourself it'll be quick? Just a few minutes and then you'll be done. Twenty minutes, tops. And then you blink and realize that you've been pinning and scrolling for over an hour? 

Yeah, I can finally call all that time research.

ne day, a while ago, I stopped on an image. I can't find it now, but there was something simple and striking about it. There was a boy standing on Earth, gazing up at the moon. There was no caption to go along with it, but it sparked something inside me. I started writing. 

And those few sentences turned into something amazing.

Liza Kaplan at Philomel has acquired Benjamin, a middle-grade novel in verse by Kelsey Sutton. Benjamin lives on the moon, keeping watch over the world below but caring nothing for the lives he observes... until he discovers Sam, a girl who makes him long for more. Publication is planned for summer 2017, to follow the 2016 publication of Sutton's The Lonely Ones; Beth Miller at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.

Squee! Can't wait to share this story with you, my wonderful readers!

I Have Another Book Coming Out!

You may remember when I made

the announcement

for

THE LONELY ONES

, which is coming out in 2016. It felt bittersweet, because while I was ecstatic that my writing journey would continue, a year and a half is such a long time to wait to share another story with my readers. I honestly didn't expect to have a release for 2015. 

Which is why I'm so excited to write this post.

Almost two years ago, I wrote a book. It was young adult, and it was about a character that I absolutely loved. This girl was in my head so strongly that I wrote her story in just a month or two. After a few rounds of revisions, my agent sent it out on submission. And while editors had positive feedback and kind things to say about it, we couldn't find a home for this girl. 

So, after some long weeks and difficult rejections, we decided to give up on her. 

Until a couple months ago. I was sitting at home, browsing some old files on my laptop. I came across the manuscript and felt compelled to open it. A few hours later, I'd reread the entire thing. And I loved it just as much as I had the first time. For a writer, this is pretty big. I e-mailed Beth and asked if she had any ideas for bringing the girl back to life. She did.

Which is why I'm able to make this announcement. It's been two years in the making, but it just goes to show that even if you don't reach a goal or a dream right away, it can eventually happen if you don't completely let it go. 

Digital: YA

Author of SOME QUIET PLACE and the forthcoming THE LONELY ONES Kelsey Sutton’s GARDENIA, a novel of suspense in which a young woman, cursed with the power to see how long everyone has left to live, must solve her best friend’s murder before she too becomes a victim, to Randall Klein at Diversion, by Beth Miller at Writers House (World English).

I can't wait for you guys to meet Ivy and read

her story

.

My Middle Grade Debut

I am so ecstatic to make this announcement. This is such a special book. Not only because it is told in verse, which is a first for me. And not only because it is my middle grade debut. It's because of the subject matter itself. My editor put it perfectly in one of her e-mails:

"There are many children/teens that suffer from diagnosable ailments (among them, clinical depression or Asperger’s), which we see reflected in the children’s marketplace. But loneliness is something different. To me, loneliness is a symptom of something far deeper and more complex: feeling other, feeling less than, and feeling disconnected from those around you. While not always easily treated or palpable, the effects of loneliness are often equally devastating and traumatic. THE LONELY ONES feels at once timeless and so relevant to me for this reason—advocating for connection, kindness, compassion."

Liza had already bowled me over with her enthusiasm, but when I read that, I just knew she was the one to work with. As of right now the book won't be released until early 2016, which feels like an agonizingly long wait, but I have a feeling it'll go by faster than we think. Here is the PM announcement to hold you over until then!

Children's: Middle Grade
Kelsey Sutton's THE LONELY ONES, a novel in verse in which lonely thirteen-year-old Fain, who is queen to a legion of imaginary creatures, struggles to connect to those around her until a boy from school and an equally lonely next-door neighbor show her the value of making friends in the real world, to Liza Kaplan at Philomel, by Beth Miller at Writers House (World).

I'll post updates here when I have them! And now I'm off to go dance some more. Have a great week, everyone!

Cover Reveal and International Giveaway for WHERE SILENCE GATHERS

It's that time again. I have finally been given the go-ahead to show you all the cover for my next novel, WHERE SILENCE GATHERS. I love it just as much as the first, and I am so excited to hear the reactions.

And even though you're probably not reading this, because you're already too busy staring at this gorgeous thing, I want to thank everyone for making my first book such a success that my publisher wanted another one. Without your enthusiasm I honestly wouldn't have been able to continue this amazing journey. So, without further ado, here it is:


Summary:

In this companion novel to the critically acclaimed Some Quiet Place, Alex must choose between Revenge and Forgiveness.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandra Tate sits outside Nate Foster’s house, clutching a gun. After serving ten years for the drunk driving accident that killed Alex’s family, Nate has been released from prison. Every night, Alex waits out of sight, building up the courage to exact her own justice. There’s just one problem: Forgiveness. Alex has been able to see personified Emotions for as long as she can remember, and Revenge is her best friend. But when Forgiveness suddenly appears, he offers Alex a choice—getting even or moving on. It’s impossible to decide when Revenge whispers in one ear . . . and Forgiveness whispers in the other.
 
Enter to win a pre-order of WHERE SILENCE GATHERS!
(This giveaway is international.)
 

And, just because I adore looking at them together...

 
Also see the cover at:
 

SOME QUIET PLACE Blog Tour and Audio News

The blog tour for SOME QUIET PLACE begins in just a few days - a little over two days, to be precise - and it's going to be slightly different from other blog tours. There will be a few interviews, yes, but the majority of the posts will be profiles on the Emotions and Elements seen within the pages of the story rather than guest posts or reviews. I think it's going to be fun and hopefully interesting for you to meet some of these characters. If you want to follow along, here are the dates and the sites, along with the character being talked about:

July 5th - Joy at Who R U Blog
July 11th - Guilt at Falling 4 YA
July 30th - Disbelief at Leanna

Also, good news! SOME QUIET PLACE is going to be an audio book. I don't know anything about who's reading it yet, but I can tell you that the company is Audible. It's very exciting and surreal to think that people can listen to my words like this, and I can't wait to tell you more.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Publisher's Weekly on SOME QUIET PLACE

Now that we're getting closer to the official release date for the book, trade reviews are starting to come in. It's always nerve-wracking, wondering whether or not the big names will give it a thumb's up, like Kirkus or Publisher's Weekly.  Thankfully, the feedback so far has been fabulous! See what PW had to say:
Sutton sets a high bar in her YA debut, challenging readers to empathize with a protagonist who has no emotions. Elizabeth Caldwell’s best friend is dying of cancer, one of the cutest boys in school loves her, and her alcoholic father beats her—but Elizabeth doesn’t care about any of it. Her only meaningful interactions are with the Emotions, immortal personifications of the feelings she can’t experience. With them, she does not have to pretend, as she must when she tries to muster believable social responses. The only Emotion who hasn’t given up on her is beautiful, passionate Fear. He’s not above tormenting her with graphic hallucinations, but he’s also intent on uncovering the mystery behind her coldness. Then the quest turns from a private parlor game into a matter of life or death for Elizabeth. Sutton’s plot unfolds slowly, and some scenes may unsettle more sensitive readers—neither Fear nor Elizabeth’s father pulls his punches—but most teens will find this a haunting and fresh psychological thriller. Ages 13–up. Agent: Beth Miller, Writers House. (July)
See the review on Publisher's Weekly website. And now I'm off to dance and eat cheese.

Starred Kirkus Review

Yes, you read that right. I keep rereading it, too, convinced that it must be wishful thinking or I'm still sleeping. But there are several bruises on my arm from all the pinching (okay, not really), and this is still real! If you haven't heard of Kirkus before, all you need to know is that they are considered one of the toughest book critics out there. I would have counted myself lucky if they'd given

Some Quiet Place

an "eh". But it was more than that. So much more that I've been dancing and hearing birdsong for the past week. 

Without further ado, the review:

SOME QUIET PLACE [STARRED REVIEW!] 

Author: Kelsey Sutton

Review Issue Date:

May 15, 2013

Online Publish Date:

May 2, 2013

Publisher: 

Flux

Pages

: 360

Price ( Paperback ):

$9.99

Publication Date:

July 8, 2013

ISBN ( Paperback ):

978-0-7387-3643-3

Category

: Fiction

Haunting, chilling and achingly romantic, Sutton’s debut novel for teens will keep readers up until the wee hours, unable to tear themselves away from this strange and beautifully crafted story.

Elizabeth Caldwell can’t feel emotions, yet she sees them everywhere, human in appearance, standing alongside their “summons.” Guilt and Worry flank the mother of a dying friend. Resentment grips the shoulder of her bruised and battered mother. Elizabeth can see them, acknowledge their power and even speak to them, but ever since the night of a terrible car accident when she was 4, the only sensation Elizabeth is capable of mustering is a numb nothingness. The only emotion that still bothers to come calling is Fear, a menacing and surprisingly seductive suitor who seems as determined as Elizabeth to uncover the truth behind who and what she truly is—no matter what the cost. Elizabeth may not be able to feel, but her novel-long dance with Fear is as sexy and intense as any couple’s in recent memory. This is a testament to Elizabeth’s brilliantly crafted narrative voice. Reminiscent of Death in Markus Zusak’s

The Book Thief

, she shares her story with the cold, detachment of the emotionless yet still manages to convey the urgent and desperate nature of her search for the truth.

Chills and goose bumps of the very best kind accompany this haunting, memorable achievement.

(Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

The Companion

Big news! Exciting news! World-shaking news!

Sorry about all the obnoxious exclamations points, I'm just so excited to finally tell you guys! (You probably can't tell...) But the announcement will be posted on Publishers Marketplace tomorrow, making it official. To summarize... it isn't over! If - once it's on shelves and you've had a chance to read it - you find yourself wanting more of the SOME QUIET PLACE world, guess what? It's happening.

Children's: Young Adult:

Kelsey Sutton’s follow-up to SOME QUIET PLACE (Flux, July, 2013), set in the same world of personified emotions, in which a girl wanting revenge on the man responsible for the death of her family is influenced by both Forgiveness and Revenge and must ultimately choose which path to take, again to Brian Farrey at Flux, for publication in July, 2014, by Beth Miller at Writers House (NA).

As you have probably figured out, it isn't a sequel. Elizabeth's story is finished - at least on paper - and this will be an entirely new story, with new characters and new plots and new places. Although I will tell you this: there might be some familiar faces making an appearance within the pages.

I can't wait for you guys to read this one!

Add it to Goodreads.

Some Quiet Place Cover Reveal

Laying eyes on your first book cover is an incredible feeling. I can't even describe it. Basically, I've been staring at it constantly ever since it first landed in my inbox.

You're probably not even reading this; you're just stopping by to get a glimpse of this thing. And, people, it is gorgeous, eerie, and maybe a little strange. I love how much relevance it has to the story, as well. The farmland in the background, the town, the stormy sky, the leaves, the way the girl is vanishing. The point is, I am in love. Hope you adore it as much as I do. Okay, you know what? I'll shut up now. 

Without further ado, behold, Some Quiet Place in all its glorious reality:



Summary: 

Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel.  Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.

And then there are Elizabeth's cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past. 

But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth.  Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself.  And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.

Also, Mod Podge Bookshelf is hosting a pre-order giveaway! Don't forget to put your name in the hat!

So... what do you think?

The Book Deal

Children's: Young Adult:

Kelsey Sutton's SOME QUIET PLACE, about a teen girl searching for a link between a shadowy stalker and the childhood tragedy that left her with the ability to see emotions as living beings but also rendered her unable to feel them, to Brian Farrey-Latz at Flux, by Beth Miller at Writers House (NA).

If you could see my face right now, you might be frightened. I've got a wild-eyed, crazy-hair thing going on. I'm so excited right now that I'm not capable of typing up a coherent blog post, so I'll just leave it at this for now! And the words of my friend Bailey when I told her about the deal: "Flux. I like the sound of that. It has an x in it. Neat."

It is neat, Bails. It is.

More later. Also, look for a celebratory giveaway soon!

It's Official

I'm so excited to tell you guys, and I'll admit, I've daydreamed about writing this post, being able to say the words. Well, here goes. Yesterday I signed with Beth Miller at Writers House.

Kelsey pauses for a moment to breathe evenly and not embarrass herself.

I think it will take a while for this to sink in, but I'm very, very excited to work with Beth. She's passionate about my work and I have confidence in her skills and abilities. As to confidence in my skills and abilities, well, I'm working on that.

So, the story. The first time I heard from Beth, I'd actually queried the agent she's an assistant to, Robin Rue. (For a project that I really had no business querying for, but that's another post for another day.) Anyway, Beth found my query in the slush pile and rescued me. She was interested in seeing some pages. I sent them to her, trying to retain my overzealous joy, and she then responded with a request to see the manuscript. Beth got back to me rather quickly with a pass. She explained to me her reasons for doing this and expressed interest in seeing more work when I had something.

Time went by. I edited the manuscript over and over again and worked on my writing overall. I then contacted Beth again, who said she'd be happy to take another look. I waited, and, again, she quickly responded with a pass. The reason was simple this time: she just didn't love the book. Which, oddly enough, really excited me. Here was an agent who wanted to feel as passionate about the work as the author.

So, finally, I left that manuscript behind. Or just stuck in in a drawer somewhere. The symbolism wasn't significant. I began work on a new novel. It took me about one, two months to finish the first draft. I then edited the crap out of it and had some of my betas help me out. It didn't take me long. I sent Beth a third query and, again, she was willing to take a look.

Beth got back to me within days stating that she loved the manuscript... but she was wondering if I'd be willing to make some changes. I tried to keep my cool as I told her, yes, I would be willing. (I think I might have failed at the cool aspect of it.) I edited again and again and sent it back within two weeks.

Days later, I got The Call. (Another blog post I'll have to do.)

Beth sent me a contract, which I read, signed, and sent back, making it all official. I keep pinching myself, thinking maybe it's a dream. But, nope, the pain reaffirms this is real and it's happening.

Now, since I'm very new at this, and there's only so much research I can do, I only have a vague idea of what comes next. I'm doing more edits on this novel, and I imagine Beth will begin submitting once we've deemed the novel shiny and flawless. From what other authors have said, being on submission sucks. And since I'm not a patient person, I realize this will be a difficult time for me. There's no guarantee someone will love the manuscript as much as Beth and I, and there's especially no guarantee any of it will be easy.

I'm looking forward to the challenge.