Christian Heidicker

Congrats Christian!

Congrats to Christian McKay Heidicker on his latest deal with Simon & Schuster! From Publishers Weekly:

unnamed.jpgChristian Trimmer at Simon & Schuster has acquired Christian McKay Heidicker‘s YA novel Throw Your Arm Across Your Eyes and Scream. Pitched as Pleasantville meets Cloverfield, the novel follows 15-year-old Phoebe, daughter of the woman who was carried to the top of the Empire State Building by King Kong, in a world where the horrors of 1940s and 50s sci-fi movies are everyday occurrences. Publication is planned for summer 2018; John M. Cusick of Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management brokered the deal for world rights.

You can find Christian online at http://www.cmheidicker.com/ and https://twitter.com/cmheidicker 

Get his debut CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound, and check it out on Goodreads.

“A plugged-in young adult comedy about the pain of unplugging… perfect for teen gamers and readers who are fans of Jesse Andrews and John Green.” (School Library Journal)

“Heidicker’s debut crackles with twitchy energy… this is a fun, absurdist romp through gaming culture, populated by zany characters and a quest narrative worthy of its own game.” (Booklist)

Heidicker’s CURE a Most-Anticipated YA

So excited to see Christian Heidicker’s CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE on Barnes & Noble’s 26 Most Anticipated June Young Adult Books!

CURE Final CoverLiterally minutes after a real (!) live (!) girl (!!) agrees to let him take her on his very first date, screen-addicted Jaxon’s dad and stepmom drag him off to video game rehab. There, he must earn one million points over the course of four days in order to win his freedom in time to go on his date—which will require interfacing not with pixels but with actual humans.

“A plugged-in young adult comedy about the pain of unplugging… perfect for teen gamers and readers who are fans of Jesse Andrews and John Green.” (School Library Journal)

“Heidicker’s debut crackles with twitchy energy… this is a fun, absurdist romp through gaming culture, populated by zany characters and a quest narrative worthy of its own game.” (Booklist)

Pre-Order out CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE at Amazon, Indiebound, and Barnes & Noble, and check it out on Goodreads.

You can find Christian on twitter, too.

Christian Heidicker, Hannah Moskowitz, and Kat Helgeson on HuffPo’s YA Trends List

So cool to see Christian Heidicker’s CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE and Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson’s GENA/FINN on Huffington Post’s YA Book Trends list. Check it out…

5 Exciting YA Book Trends to Look for in 2016

CURE Final CoverGenaFinn_Cover

Check out CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE (Simon & Schuster, June 2016) on Goodreads, or preorder at Amazon and IndieBound.

And GENA/FINN (Chronicle Books, April 2016)! Goodreads, Amazon, B&N.

MANIC PIXEL SCAVENGER HUNT WINNERS (AND FER REALS COVER REVEAL)!

Today we announce the winers of the #manicpixel scavenger hunt and #CureFortheCommonUniverse cover reveal giveaway! And now here’s Christian…

Welcome back, scavengers! Glad you survived that crazy, pixelated city.

It would be exhaustive to list everything discovered on the CURE cover, so I’ll just name the top ten things I didn’t even know were on there (and a few that made me chuckle):

  1. “Six barber-pole swords”
  2. “A man reading a love letter written with invisible ink”
  3. “A lucha libre parade float falling in the street” alternately “Just the sweetest, fattest, blue-haired little baby chubbo that better end up on a t-shirt or I’m going to scream and cry at the same time. Scry? Cream? Hmmmm.”
  4. “A camouflage helicopter blasting David Bowie music (obviously)” alternately “the Quad City DJs copter blasting tunes to the neighborhood”
  5. “1/10 of a robo-squid”
  6. “The bottom of someone’s leg, wearing a purple-striped sock. This person must be a giant.”
  7. “Two happy green tripods talking about the upcoming presidential election (they’re both rooting for Trump).” alternately “A couple of gleeps having a sweet convo”
  8. “A rather muscular wrestler standing under a purple umbrella with his favorite child (everyone has a favorite).”
  9. “A potted succulent on a balcony.”
  10. “That yellow dog head is totally licking its own eyeball.” alternately “A dog-head sculpture. Maybe it’s a vehicle… If people ride in these, do they stick their heads out the window?”

And, of course, they can all by seen now, by you, in full, on the no-longer-pixelated CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE cover:

CURE Final Cover

Add on Goodreads.

Preorder on Amazon this weekend.

This eye candy of a book was pitched by John Cusick, bought by Simon & Schuster Teen, edited by Christian Trimmer, and designed by Greg Stadnyk with art by eboy. I feel obscenely lucky to work with such talented people and to have such a jaw-dropping luscious cover. I only hope the words inside live up to it.

As my friend Korey Hunt, who actually came up with the idea for a story about a video game rehab in the first place . . . MISCHIEF SCAVENGED.

But that’s not why you’re here.

You’re here to see if you won one of our five elite prizes, which, to remind you, look like this:

Prizes day 3 image

Ooh, look! The cover isn’t blacked out anymore!

Our five Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt winners are . . .

  1. Krys McCintyre
  2. Yamille Mendez
  3. Annette Weed
  4. Alicia Van Noy Call
  5. Tim Campbell

The Cotton Floozy will get stitching and Simon & Schuster will get printing and we’ll hopefully have your stuff out to you by December.

Thank you for hunting. I hope you enjoy the inside of the book as much as I enjoy the outside.

See you in June,

Christian McKay Heidicker

P.S! Thanks to all of the bloggers who participated: Christian Trimmer, John Cusick, Elana Johnson, Jennifer Bardsley, Valynne Maetani (friend and agent-getter), Brooke Lark (who designed my website and shot the prizes!), Carol Lynch Williams (who taught me a thing or eight about writing), and finally, Marie Davis Brian, The Cotton Floozy, who made the embroidery-posing-as-cross-stitch that elicited just as much drool as the cover, and whose company I misspelled several times throughout the blog because I’m not accustomed to using the word floozy.

Editor’s note: Both spellings (floozy and floosy) are acceptable, but there’s only one acceptable place to order top quality embroideries: http://www.cottonfloozy.com

CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE Cover Reveal and Giveaway Starts Today!

Today the #CureForTheCommonUniverse Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway continues! Take it away Christian…

WELCOME TO THE MANIC PIXEL SCAVENGER HUNT!

LET’S GET SCAVENGING!

This is it, folks. This is your chance to easily win the CURE prize package:

Day 2 Central Image

An ARC of Cure for the Common Universe and an embroidery of ‘Nobody Puts Princess in a Castle’ from The Cotton Floozy!

Oo. Aah.

For a chance to win, just participate in the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt.

Oh, look, here’s a pixel now!

HiRezPixel

What do you see?

Write down your findings from this and the other pixels at any or all of the other blogs (listed below) and email them to me at cmheidicker@gmail.com or message them to C.M. Heidicker on Facebook.

For every three things you send, I’ll put your name in the hat (or my jeans pocket) again and again and again, and then I’ll draw five names out of the hat (pocket) and send prize packages to those people.

Go! Get started! Win it! Win it all!

Valynne Maetani

Carol Lynch Williams

Elana Johnson

Christian Trimmer

John Cusick

Brooke Lark

Brooke Kelly

The Cotton Floosy

#cureforthecommonuniverse #manicpixel

(I hope you’ll take some time to explore the amazing blogs.)

(I also hope this means that more than just my mom will participate.)

Tune in tomorrow to find out if you’ve won!

Happy Scavenging!

Go check out the book on Goodreads!

Prepare to be cured June 2016.

CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE Cover Reveal and Scavenger Hunt!

Today client-extraordinaire and brilliant author Christian Heidicker takes over the blog for this awesome cover reveal scavenger hunt and giveaway. Take it away Christian…!

Blog Header Day 1

Hello, everyone. My name is Christian McKay Heidicker.

WELCOME TO THE CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE COVER REVEAL AND SCAVENGER HUNT!

Whew. That’s a mouthful. Let’s try . . .

MANIC PIXEL SCAVENGER HUNT!

There. Better.

You may be asking yourself, where’s the cover? I came here to see a cover.

Okay, first, have I told you how nice your hair is looking today?

And second, the cover isn’t here.

CURE’s cover art is a little intense to take in all at once, so for everyone’s safety, I’ve divided it into nine pieces (er, pixels) and spread them across the internet.

WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO US?

To make a scavenger hunt, of course. What’s the use of a book about a kid going to video game rehab if there isn’t some gaming first?!

Also, this will be your chance to take in all of the juicy (potentially scandalous) details of the cover before it’s fully revealed.

The art is reminiscent of books like I Spy or Where’s Waldo, so this scavenger hunt will work just like that . . . except instead of finding a cats eye marble or some seemingly friendless chump in a red and white striped sweater, you’ll receive ACTUAL PRIZES.

ACTUAL PRIZES!

Day 1 Central Image

Five lucky winners will receive a signed ARC (advanced reading copy) of CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE (cover obscured for obvious reasons) AND an embroidery of one of the phrases from the book, hand stitched by the extremely talented Cotton Floozy.

GAH! I WANT THAT. HOW DO I WIN?

For every three things you discover hidden in the nine pixels and email to cmheidicker@gmail.com or message to C.M. Heidicker on Facebook, I’ll enter your name again . . . and again . . . and again. (There’s a lotta stuff on that cover.)

EXAMPLE:

Subject: Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt

Dearest Christian,

I found:

  1. A puppy made of garlic cloves
  2. A bottomless bowl of undercooked breadsticks
  3. A Christmas tree wearing lipstick
  4. Amelia Earheart’s monocle
  5. A bottomless bowl of overcooked breadsticks
  6. A Who*

*(Objects not actually on cover, but no less interesting than what’s really on there.)

THAT’S IT!

So, no, the cover is not here. But fear not! Tomorrow, I’ll be posting their whereabouts on this blog and at www.cmheidicker.com. (You can also follow them with #cureforthecommonuniverse and #manicpixel.)

Tomorrow, the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt begins!

In the meantime, go check out the book on Goodreads!

Again, the cover is exquisitely complex, and in my personal opinion, AMAZING. It was designed by Greg Stadnyk with art by eboy (that of Miley Cyrus fame).

Prepare to be cured, June 2016.

Congrats to Christian Heidicker on His Debut Deal!

A big power-up high five to Christian Heidicker, whose debut y.a. just sold to Simon & Schuster! From Publishers Weekly:

29145-1Christian Trimmer at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers has bought debut author Christian Heidicker‘s YA novel, Miles in the Infinite Sandbox. Told in “censored” blog posts, the novel follows basement-dweller Miles after he is sent to video game rehab, and touches on issues of pop culture, sexism, and human connection. Publication is slated for summer 2016; John M. Cusick at Greenhouse Literary brokered the deal for world rights.

(You read that right. Christian’s editor is also named Christian. No, that’s not going to get confusing at all.)

When and how did you start writing?

Christian: I was cleaning a deep fat fryer. It was one of those crappy fast food jobs you get in college so you can afford to buy crappy fast food.

While the charred gloop of a thousand dead French fries splatted out into the bucket, images kept popping into my head of a small girl wandering into a forest with a plastic crown and a stuffed gorilla. I had to keep snapping off my rubber gloves to scribble notes on a pizza order sheet. Hold on to your crappy jobs, kids. They can inspire miracles.

IMG_3692Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? Who were your childhood storytelling heroes?

Matilda is the first book I can remember finishing and then starting right back over again. I loved Matilda’s power over her teachers and parents. Being an only child with a New Age mother who healed my cuts with white light instead of Band-Aids, I’d always had a problem with authority figures. In fact, who are you? Why are you asking me these questions?

My childhood storytelling heroes were C.S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, A.A.

Milne, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, and Brian Jacques . . . But everyone knows about them. You’re here for the goods. The work that turned me into a storyteller has to be Jim Henson’s Storyteller. The Soldier and Death episode specifically. Oh, look! It’s on YouTube! You lucky devils: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvsnV0yNddc If you don’t like the crappy eighties special effects, don’t tell me.

Was it hard to get an agent? Can you talk us through the process?

Someone else got my agent for me. Valynne E. Maetani* and I co-wrote a book about kids that used to eat brains together. (Not really though, it was hamburger.) We worked really hard on it, and when we were finished, Valynne threw on a Safari hat, grabbed a harpoon, and set off into the publishing wilderness. Eight days later, she returned bloodied and sweaty and covered in bruises. She had a lavender sack slung over her shoulder with a man-sized object struggling and screaming inside.

“I have good news,” she said, and poured John M. Cusick out onto the floor.

I highly recommend this approach.

10689931_10152987842073888_9040703992534659725_nDescribe your writing day. Where do you write? How do you organize your time? Where do you look for inspiration?

I wake up between the hours of 7 and 11 a.m. (That’s not a joke.) I don’t care where I write so long as I’m standing. People may give me funny looks at coffee shops, but I feel like hell if I sit for too long, and how else am I supposed to break into interpretive dance if I’m super excited about an idea?

When it comes to organizing time, I’m my own Nurse Ratched. I don’t let myself do things like eat or read or go out on the town until I finish an assignment or a chapter. Right now, I’m eyeballing a cup of tea and a book on the history of Scientology.

I pull inspiration from EVERYWHERE. I believe in the Ray Bradbury reading diet. I read picture books, comic books, books on science and history, the news, classics, music lyrics, anything. Lately, however, I’ve found that just listening to how people speak is crazy valuable.

The other day, I was putting on a puppet play for kindergartners. One of the little girls raised her hand and said, “I don’t know what’s a puppet.” I couldn’t make up that kind of cuteness if I tried.

Can you tell us about your next book?

It’s about a kid who’s committed to video game rehab. Or, if you want to get more specific, it’s about a kid who gets the first date of his life only to be committed to video game rehab where he must earn one million points by learning real-life skills in order to be released and make it back to his date.

Are there any tips you could give aspiring writers who are looking to get published?

YES. Read outside of your genre. The most famous creators out there bring something new to the table. Just look at sci-fi and fantasy.

J.R.R. Tolkien studied language. J.K. Rowling studied mysteries.

George R.R. Martin studied world history. George Lucas studied Akira Kurasawa films. C.S. Lewis studied theology. Of course you should read a bit in your genre to get a feel for what’s out there . . . but I’d like to see the Young Adult romance by someone who studied corn pollination or something . . .

1958461_10152470253823888_2118769219_nCan you describe three aspects of writing craft that have been most important as you’ve developed as an author?

1.     Learn how to finish things. You learn more by finishing and sharing your stuff than by doing anything else. (I’m hoping to reach Nirvana at the end of this questionnaire.) If someone can look at one your work as a whole, they can point out your weaknesses and strengths. Keep a tough skin and pay attention to how they really feel about it.

2.     Give yourself permission to completely screw it up the first

time. It’s super intimidating to approach a blank page, difficult chapter, or even a questionnaire. I’ve found that if I remind myself no one’s going to read the first draft, I can take big sloppy risks and throw in whatever jaunty crabjectives I spoon like.

3.     Start working on the next thing. Writing stings. Sharing

writing stings. Having that writing rejected over and over and over* again stings. BUT if you start working on a new project as soon as the first one is finished, then you won’t think about that poor first manuscript being blown to smithereens and tumbling down to the earth as a papery carcass. Also, you can mentally tell whoever rejected it that you’ve got something WAY better on the way. In fact, I think I’ll go start another questionnaire right now.

*and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over

This is a tricky question because I think the most brilliant writers were kind of . . . well, a-holes. Salinger was a hermit. Truman Capote was in love with himself. Roald Dahl hit his wife apparently. I’m not feeding that guy dinner. So here’s my list of people whose writing I greatly admire and would actually like to hang out with:

The Living:

Toni Morrison

Alan Moore (tolerably grumpy)

Ursula K. LeGuin

Kate DiCamillo

Sherman Alexie

And FINE, Neil Gaiman, you can come. (Ug. I feel like I’m inviting the prom king that everyone’s in love with. Although . . . he is pretty handsome. Er, good at writing.)

The Dead:

Maurice Sendak (charmingly grumpy)

Ray Bradbury

David Foster Wallace

Joseph Campbell

John Steinbeck

Kurt Vonnegut

(Whoa there, all white men.)

A character I wish I’d invented?! Ooh, that’s a good question.

Matilda, The Storyteller, and Swamp Thing all jump to mind . . . But then I wouldn’t have been able to experience them as a reader. So I’ll say . . . L. Ron Hubbard. Imagine a character who could brainwash tens of thousands with a simple sci-fi story . . . WHAT? That guy’s real? I still wish I invented him.

* Valynne’s amazing debut, INK AND ASHES, is coming from Tu Books in Spring 2015. Watch for it! Also Valynne is amazing and you should follow her and check out her websites. Add INK AND ASHES on Goodreads. – JMC