Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
It’s cracking cold outside today—the sort of cold where the snow squeaks when you walk on it—but my “How to Steal a Car Video Contest” is really heating up! Although I have no evidence to support this, I’m expecting the first entry to be posted on YouTube any day now. I’m sure there are dozens—possibly billions—of nascent filmmakers slaving over their short videos, trying to make them Academy Award worthy. In fact, I have heard from an impeccable source (my fervid imagination), that James Cameron’s grandchildren (if he has any) may be partnering with Pixar to develop a ninety-second tour de force involving CGI versions of Kelleigh and her friends.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. In my dreams. Hey, why don’t you make a video! It’s easy! It doesn’t even have to be good. You could win a bunch of signed books, or maybe fifty bucks! Check out the contest rules here.
In other news, I’ve just shipped my latest novel off to my publisher. The original title was “Shayne,” a nod to Jack Schaefer’s classic western novel, Shane. But because almost no one born after 1970 remembers that book, my wise editor suggested an alternate title: Blank Confession. Look for it next November.I’m now deep into revising my next project—a novel in which nothing happens. Oddly enough, it is shaping up to be my longest YA novel yet. Writing about nothing takes a lot more words than writing about something. Just ask Marcel Proust. Or Thomas Disch, who called Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past the “dullest and best of all books.”
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Like most writers, I am constantly seeking affirmation, therefore I read reviews of my own work. It can be a perilous undertaking. Even “good” reviews can be maddening when the writer fails to “get” the book. Or rather, when my book has failed to have the desired impact.
Responses to How to Steal a Car have been particularly interesting. Yesterday I came across a review—more of a commentary and analysis, really—that I thought was quite remarkable. The reviewer was a woman who blogs under the name “Daughter Number Three.” I don’t know who she is, but it’s possible I have met her under her “real” name, as she lives in the Twin Cities area, and seems to be deeply involved in the kidlit business.
What makes her review remarkable is…well, you should read it. Also, check out her thoughts on other authors and book artists. Blogs like hers give me renewed faith in the paperless future of book criticism.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Here’s how you can become a YouTube sensation, earn extra credit at school, get experience making videos, and maybe even win a fabulous prize!
Make a short video based on Pete Hautman’s novel How to Steal a Car.
Contest is open to individuals or groups, the crazy and the sane. It could be a class project with a cast of hundreds, or just one person looking into a cell phone camera while talking about the book.
Here are some ideas:
Act out a scene from the book.
Offer a commentary about the book.
Do a spoof, like on Saturday Night Live
A photo montage with voiceover
An interview with a character from the book
A puppet show or animation
…it’s up to you!
First Prize: Full set (all ten) of Pete Hautman’s YA books, signed and with illustrations (okay, doodles) by the author
Second Prize: $50.00 gift card to your favorite bookstore
- Video must be at least 60 seconds long, but not more than ten minutes.
- It must be posted on YouTube on or before March 15, 2010.
- It must be about the novel How to Steal a Car (not just a video about car theft).
- It must not contain anything that will get you or me in trouble (no porn, no slander, no bomb-making instructions, etc.)
- The title (How to Steal a Car) and author (Pete Hautman) of the book must be mentioned, and an image of the book cover must appear at some point in the video. This can be at the beginning, the end, or anywhere else in the video (for example, you could show a character reading the book).
When your video has been posted let Pete know via a comment on this blog, or by email: email@example.com
Links to all qualifying entries will be posted on Pete’s blog. Winner(s) will be announced on April 1, 2010.
First Prize will go to the video that Pete likes best.
Second Prize will go to the video that gets the most YouTube views by March 31, 2010. (Posting your video early and getting your friends to watch it will give you a huge advantage!)
Note: It is possible that one video could be awarded both prizes.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
A lot of authors are now doing “book trailers,” or teaser videos designed to sell books.
Some authors offer top quality, professionally produced videos—the video supporting Scott Westerfeld’s new novel Leviathan is a good example. Others, like me, just sit in front of their webcam and babble desperately. But there is a third type of “book trailer” that I particularly enjoy: The unsolicited third-party YouTube video.
These quirky videos are made by readers who like a book enough so that they are inspired to create short films. Check ‘em out:
Here is an interesting video about Invisible.
My favorite so far? A video from the Netherlands based on No Limit. I like the music (Lady GaGa).
If you've made a video based on one of my books, please let me know, and I'll post a link here on my blog!
Now, I mentioned a contest. I'm going to be offering a fabulous prize to whoever posts the best YouTube book trailer video for my most recent novel, How to Steal a Car. I'm still trying to figure out what that fabulous prize will be, and the rules of the contest, and the time frame, and how to let lots of young filmmakers know about it, and so forth. So keep an eye on this blog for more info, and start thinking about the sort of book trailer YOU would like to see for How to Steal a Car!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
I've just received the first pre-publication review of How to Steal a Car, this one from Kirkus:
"Hautman channels the cynically smart voice of a teenage sometime car thief in this sly cross between Blake Nelson’s The New Rules of High School (2003) and Peter Cameron’s Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (2007). Fifteen-year-old Kelleigh is bored. Her staid parents politely leave her alone, her two best friends talk about the same old things and she’s stuck with Moby-Dick for her summer-reading selection. So she begins stealing cars, quickly escalating from joy riding in her elderly neighbors’ Caddy to plotting the theft of a stranger’s Mercedes. Teens will identify with Kelleigh’s challenges to boundaries and attempts to see how many rules she can break before anyone in authority can be bothered to notice. Kelleigh soon decides that while “I stole a couple cars…It’s not who I am.” However, the illegal thrill causes her to realize she has outgrown her suburban–Twin Cities world, and an unrepentant ending behind stolen wheels suggests she is destined to leave it behind. A sharply observed, subversive coming-of-age tale."
Nice, huh? I love "unrepentant" and "subversive." That's what I want for the paperback jacket blurb.
Several appearances are scheduled for the coming months. Check out my website for details.