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When most people think about the Wild West, their head is filled with images of revenge, cowboys, saloons and first-shoot gunfights  However, the West can also be unbearably hot... especially, in the summer months.  Erin Bowman took the heat --- and blessed the air-conditoning --- to conduct reseach for her latest novel, VENGEANCE ROAD (September 1). Learn more about the book, Erin's sweat-soaked research, and her writing playlist below!  
Do you have one thing that everyone associates you with? Maybe its leopard print, and people buy you key chains, t-shirts and stuffed animals covered with the pattern on a regular basis. Or it's honey mustard, and your social media channels are flooded with condiment-related posts. Well, for Pat Schmatz --- at least at the time she was writing her book, LIZARD RADIO --- that thing was lizards. Read her post below to learn how one little lizard doodle turned into a full blown obsession and, eventually, an entire book!  
The creek of someone's footsteps on the stairs when no one else is home; the moving shadow blanketing a corner of your room;  the phone with only heavy breathing on the other end --- these are all signs that you may have a haunting on your hands.  Tark and Okiku --- the protagnists of THE SUFFERING by Rin Chupeco (out today!) --- could help you rid your house of evil, as long as they're not out on their own ghost hunting adventures, of course. Below, Rin shares some places that Tark and Okiku would love to check out. Are you ready for a ghost hunt?
At Teenreads, we usually publish guest blog posts around the time that an author's book comes out. That way, if the post makes you want to read the author's new book, you don't have to wait around for a month...or two...or three...before it hits the shelves. At the same time, though, sometimes it's fun to learn about a book before it's release date --- especially when it's almost a year in advance. It's like being invitied to a private party!  With this in mind, we're so excited to be the first people to REVEAL the cover, about the book copy and an excerpt for Ann Stampler's (WHERE IT BEGAN and AFTERPARTY) newest book, HOW  TO DISAPPEAR. Read Ann's post below, learn all sorts of brand new info about the book, AND enter to win a copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR, AFTERPARTY and WHERE IT BEGAN in a special AFTERPARTY tote bag. You want to win? Tweet #HowToDisappearReveal to @teenreads on Twitter by Friday at noon and we'll tell you if you've won!
Every writer has a different planning process --- some write outlines and some come up with a plot off the cuff, some go on huge researching trips and others look things up as they go along. And others still --- like Hannah Moskowitz, author of A HISTORY OF GLITTER AND BLOOD --- let music be their guides. Below, she tells us how playlists help her write her books, and she even shares the songs that brought A HISTORY OF GLITTER AND BLOOD from concept to finished novel!
On June 18th, 2010, magic happened: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter officially opened in Orlando, Florida. Potterheads from around the world flocked to the streets of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, carefully recreated from the movie sets we know and love. At Ollivanders, you can buy your own wand; in Honeydukes, you can brave a taste of Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans; and at the Hog's Head, you can relax with a mug of Butterbeer, hot or cold to your liking. Teenreads intern Maya was fortunate enough to visit this spell-binding theme park, and in this blog post shares the deep meaningfulness of her enchanting trip.
Emily-Anne Rigal knows a thing or two about bullies; she was so bullied so badly as a child that she transferred schools...where she then became a bully. Luckily, she soon learned that when people feel good about themselves --- flaws and all --- they want others to feel the same. Since her personal experience with both sides of bullying, Emily-Anne went on to create an incredibly popular YouTube channel imparting her message and now, together with Jeanne Demers, she's turned it into a book! Read our Q & A with Emily-Anne below to learn more about her personal story, her book and how you can start loving your flaws, too. 
Teenreads intern Sydney was given the chance to explore Central Park in a different way: through the lens of children's literature. Thanks to a tour from e.t.c. (events--tailor-made and customized), she visited famous landmarks and sites in and around the park, learning just how connected literature and location truly are. Below, she shares what she learned about kids' books from a guided stroll through the park.
First person narratives are rampant in YA fiction, and it makes sense --- they're personal, they're immediate, they let readers delve into the thoughts and emotions of characters. However, Heather Reid, author of PRETTY DARK NOTHING and its sequel, PRETTY DARK SACRIFICE, goes against the grain --- she writes from the third person point of view. In this blog post, she explains the reasons behind this less-than-traditional choice. See what they are, below! 
"Worldbuilding," just as the name implies, refers to the process of creating a fictitional world. Every author crafting a work of science-fiction, fantasy or otherwise alternate-reality must worldbuild, an endeavor both enjoyable and frustratingly hard. In this guest post, author Anne Boles Levy discusses the challenges and rewards of the worldbuilding process, and how she created an entirely new planet even before writing a single word of her new novel, THE TEMPLE OF DOUBT.