Now in paperback

Books have chapters, and lives have chapters, and the lives of books have, well, chapters. I know that’s awkward circular logic, but I’m going with it. Because that’s exactly what it feels like today, the day my debut novel “The Beginning of After” is released in paperback.

I wanted to sit down and compose some meaningful thoughts about this occasion. At first, the only notion I came up with was that I’m just grateful the new edition will carry my book into the hands of more readers. After yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, my head’s been swirling with many of the same thoughts that originally drew me to a story about tragedy, survival, strength and hope, and the bonds we share in spite of, or perhaps because of, the very very bad things that can happen to any of us in this life. But I don’t feel able to articulate anything further, because I’m still messed up about these events, as I imagine we all are.

However, I’ve been blogging for over two years now, and my archives are full of some interesting posts I’ve written about TBOA. I’m going to use this book re-birthday as an excuse to share them again, as well as some other links I’d love for readers to be aware of.

In Praise of “Standalone” Novels
My response to the frequent inquiry about whether or not there will be a TBOA sequel.

“The Beginning of After” Blog Tour
The Before and After of nine game-changing events in my own life. I hope all these links still work. I love these posts and still can’t believe how personal I got. Yikes!

YA Fiction and the “Death Cliche”
Some thoughts.

About that cover
An element of the book’s success so far is due to this gorgeous, eye-catching cover. I was not always a fan. Read on.

Also, if you check out the Facebook page for “The Beginning of After,” you’ll see a photo album of guys who readers tell me they picture as David. It’s fun and delicious. Feel free to suggest your own!

I recently created this YouTube playlist of all the songs I listened to while brainstorming and writing the book. Each one inspired me in a different way. When I hear this music, it’s like hanging out with Laurel again.

And finally, I need to share this book trailer my awesome friend author Phoebe North created. Because it’s beautiful, and it makes me verklempt.

“The Beginning of After” by Jennifer Castle – Book Trailer from Jennifer Castle on Vimeo.

Thinking of all those Afters in Boston today, sending warmth and light northward.

Two months to pub date is a great excuse for a giveaway

When you’re in the throes of finishing a book and your publisher have given you a release date that feels about ten lifetimes away, it’s hard to imagine that yes, at some point, this thing you have written will be a shiny bound thing that sits on a bookstore shelf. I’ve said and typed the date “June 4, 2013″ so often that it has stopped feeling actual. But time has a way of zooming and hey, now. Look. That iconic-to-me calendar day, when YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE is officially published, is TWO MONTHS AWAY. That’s like, a mere 8 episodes of “Smash.”

As such, I’m in a generous, celebratory mood, and have put together this fabulous prize pack of a signed (and dedicated if requested) ARC of YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE, a signed (and dedicated if requested) paperback of THE BEGINNING OF AFTER — the lighter, floppier version of my first novel that comes out on April 16 — plus a handful of bookmarks for both books, because why the hell not.

Beginning of After and You Look Different in Real Life giveaway prize pack

*waves spokesmodel arms*

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post about your favorite documentary or reality TV show. Extra entries for following me on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway. I will make this giveaway open internationally, and it will run until midnight on April 16.

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