19 February 2018

Finding joy amid the grief

Hello friends and readers. I've been away from the blog for a while, and before I jump back into my usual bookish news, I thought I'd let you know what's been going on. It's not a happy story, I'm afraid. 

My husband, Rich, passed away suddenly at the end of November. We had been happily married for 21 years, dated for three years before we got married, and were friends for ten years before that. It has been hard to imagine life without him, and to in fact be living it. He was such a huge presence—full of life and love and energy. He was so eagerly looking forward to what was ahead for our family, in his work and my writing, everything that our children, Sebastian and Anna, would do in their lives, and everything we would do together. His obituary was the hardest thing I've ever had to write, but made me realize how fortunate I was to have had him in my life, for our children to have had him as their father. I think he would've been surprised to see how much he'd accomplished in his short life, and how well he was loved. We miss him terribly, but we are trying our best to keep doing what made us happy, what made him proud, and what he would've loved doing with us.

I'm finding joy in my children... my son Sebastian is a musician (vocal and guitar) and he continues to perform and audition for colleges and share his music. My daughter is a dancer, and has immersed herself in that art, both performing and doing choreography. 

I'm finding joy in the books of friends... seeing my critique partner Joy McCullough's historical novel in verse, BLOOD WATER PAINT, approach its release date with rave reviews is a source of considerable happiness. I am uplifted by all the bookish good news of so many friends. 

I'm finding joy in seeing my own books make their way in the world. HOW TO DISAPPEAR is featured in Scholastic Book Fairs this season, and many of those readers are finding their way to the special Instagram I set up for the main character, Vicurious. It's been lovely to connect with them. The book has also been translated into Polish, Italian and French so far... and it's fun to see readers sharing pictures of the foreign covers. 

Many wonderful friends from the YA community have reached out to me, to share their condolences and offer help, and I'm so grateful for that. I do feel surrounded by love and support. It's a tremendous help. 

I hope to be writing again soon. I had started working on a new book before Rich died, and that story is changing a bit, but I'm excited to dive back into it. I know who it will be dedicated to, and that motivates me. 

Thank you all for being here. You are a source of joy for me, and I'm grateful to have you.

08 November 2017

Goodreads Giveaway!

Want to win a copy of How to Disappear? I'm giving away three hardcover copies on Goodreads. Open internationally. Enter by December 8! 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat

How to Disappear

by Sharon Huss Roat

Giveaway ends December 08, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

16 October 2017

Bringing Vicurious to Life (IRL!)

During the process of writing How to Disappear, I spent a lot of time on Instagram checking the same hashtags that the main character, Vicky, explores in the novel. As Vicurious, she reaches out to followers who feel #invisbile and #ignored, who have #socialanxiety and #depression and just want to be #seen. 

To connect with readers and let them know they are #notalone, I decided to bring Vicurious to life by creating a real Instagram for her. Below is a visual of a few of the Vicurious posts I’ve created so far. It took a while to find my model, make a wig and put together the costume, do some photo shoots, and then learn Photoshop well enough to create some images of Vicurious living vicariously! So, I started with some text posts, like the one which references Vicky’s “Terror List.” Then I ventured into current events to throw her into some exciting events.  

Next up… I’d love to get readers more involved in the content, providing suggestions of places and events they want Vicurious to visit, and even their own photos. I’ll also use the Vicurious account to post fan art and graphics, and hopefully become a place where people with social anxiety can find their people and make new friends. 

Visit her @vicurious on Instagram!

03 October 2017

YA Scavenger Hunt... and please also visit #PubForPR to help raise money for Puerto Rico hurricane relief!

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt, a bi-annual event first organized by author Colleen Houck to connect readers and authors... and give away some awesome prizes! 

Add up the clues (each author's favorite number) and you can enter to win ALL 20 BOOKS by the authors on my team! The contest begins on Tuesday, October 3rd at noon Pacific Time and ends on Sunday, October 8th at noon PST.

There are SEVEN contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am part of the ORANGE TEAM, but there are also RED, BLUE, GREEN, GOLD, PINK, and PURPLE teams, each with 20 authors and each offering a chance to win a whole different set of books! 

Go here to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs.


Directions: Below, you'll find my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the ORANGE TEAM, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, Oct. 8, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Meet Author Heather Ezell!

A Southern California native, Heather Ezell was evacuated for a fire at the age of three and subsequently grew up with an obsessive fear of wildfires. She has been chasing reprieve from California's heat ever since—from the Rocky Mountains to Interior Alaska. Heather graduated from Colorado College with a degree in English literature and creative writing, and she currently lives in the Pacific Northwest where she writes, practices amateur ballet in the forest, and obsesses over the weather.

Visit Heather's website here, and when you read about her book you're going to want to pre-order a copy (it comes out in March 2018). 


Check out Heather's upcoming book, Nothing Left to Burn!

The autumn morning after sixteen-year-old Audrey Harper loses her virginity, she wakes to a loud, persistent knocking at her front door. Waiting for her are two firemen, there to let her know that the moment she's been dreading has arrived: the enormous wildfire sweeping through Orange County, California, is now dangerously close to her idyllic gated community of Coto de Caza, and it's time to evacuate. 

Over the course of the next twenty-four hours, as Audrey wrestles with the possibility of losing her family home, she also recalls her early, easy summer days with Brooks, the charming, passionate, but troubled volunteer firefighter who enchants Audrey--and who is just as enthralled by her. But as secrets from Brooks's dark past come to light, Audrey can't help but wonder if there's danger in the pull she feels--both toward this boy, and toward the fire burning in the distance.

Heather's BONUS CONTENT is super cool... but I'll let her explain it. 

While I often say that NOTHING LEFT TO BURN is a rewrite of the novel I wrote when I was thirteen, that’s not entirely true," says Heather. "I worked from word zero countless times and completely upheaved the story in endless ways. But one small scene from my oh-so-hysterically-titled A FEAR OF TEARS did survive nearly intact!”

And here they are... the 2008 draft and the scene it ultimately became in the final version:

For a chance win Heather's book, and mine, and a whole bunch more, you need to know that my favorite number is 22. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the ORANGE TEAM and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


I'm hosting a bonus giveaway right here, right now! Enter the Rafflecopter to win signed copies of my HarperTeen novels, BETWEEN THE NOTES and HOW TO DISAPPEAR, and some bookmarks! As part of this giveaway, I'm asking participants to leave a message of kindness below for those who feel #unseen and #ignored. I am sharing some excerpts on Twitter. So, even if you don't enter the giveaway, I invite you to leave a comment of kindness!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Phew! Thanks for sticking with me through the very long post! Now it's time to...


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to hop on over to Leah and Kate Rooper's blog!

02 October 2017

#PubforPR - Help us raise money for Puerto Rico hurricane relief, Auction open through Oct. 5th

Members of the publishing community have come together to raise money for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. There are many wonderful items and services up for auction—for writers, readers, teachers and librarians—including manuscript and query critiques, writing retreats, book bundles, Skype visits and more. Visit the PubforPR website for more information!

ALL of the money raised will go directly to these two organizations:

Unidos por Puerto Rico (United for Puerto Rico) is an initiative funded by Puerto Rico’s First Lady, Beatriz Rosselló, to assist Puerto Rico in its relief efforts for the victims of hurricanes Irma and María.

ConPRmetidos is a Puerto Rican organization dedicated to developing Puerto Rican communities and industries across the globe through the assistance of Puerto Ricans abroad. They have created a relief fund to help Puerto Rico with hurricanes Irma and María.

My donation to the auction is featured in this book bundle of contemporary YA novels. Go here to bid, and thank you so much for supporting this cause.

22 September 2017

Two book festivals this weekend (Sept. 23-24)!!!

I'll be at Barnes & Noble Christiana Mall on Saturday, and Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Sunday.

Saturday's B-Fest is full of events for teens, including an author panel I'll be on at 3 p.m. AND, if you mention the Delaware Festival of Words, a portion of proceeds from your purchase will go to the festival. So please come by and help us raise funds for our 2018 event.

And on Sunday, I'll be joining a YA author panel for a fun game of "Whose Book Is It Anyway?" at the Baltimore Book Festival, on the Inner Harbor. Book signing to follow! 

13 September 2017

San Francisco, here I come!

I leave for San Francisco today, and I'll be with Jessica Taylor at Linden Tree Books on Sunday, September 17. We'd love to see you there!