Archive for October, 2009

A Couple of Upcoming Appearances

Posted in Appearances, Plugs, Powerless, YA Books on October 30, 2009 by Matt

Powerless is out in stores so now’s the time to get and talk to folks!  (I’m working on my folksy twang)

Here are a few upcoming events I’ll be playing a part in:

November 4 Teen Author Reading Night (6-7:30, Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425 6th Ave, at 10th St.)

Matthew Cody, Powerless
Matt de la Pena, We Were Here
Tom Dolby, Secret Society
Barry Lyga, Goth Girl Rising
Marianne Mancusi, Boys That Bite
Courtney Sheinmel, Positively
Robin Wasserman, Crashed
Maryrose Wood, What I Wore to Save the World

I’m absolutely thrilled to be in this company!  Come on by and hear a whole slew of terrific writers reading from their works!

 

November 8 at 1pmThalia Kids Book Club at Symphony Space.  I’ll be interviewing Scott Westerfeld about his new book Leviathan!

From Symphony Space’s Website:

The New York Times bestselling author of Uglies discusses his latest series—which takes readers on a fantastical adventure around the world, set in an alternate-history World War I, complete with living airships—with Matthew Cody (Powerless) and middle graders and teens ages 12 and up. The event includes a conversation with the audience, a creative writing project, and a book signing.

I can’t wait to talk to Scott about this book, which is mind-blowingly good.  I’ll be sticking around for the signing as well with copies of Powerless on hand.  Get your tickets here!

 

The Powerless Top Ten . . . er, Nine! #3

Posted in Favorites, Powerless, Writing, YA Books on October 30, 2009 by Matt

Number 3: Peter Pan

 

Pan

 

Confession time.  I was scared of Peter Pan.  Sure I loved pirates.  Tinkerbell was cute.  The crocodile was cool.  But flying boys hovering outside of windows at night?  Scarrry!

I used to avoid looking out my second story bedroom window for fear that I’d see a mischievous grin smiling back at me (the werewolves were all down on the ground, so I was safe from them).

Today I’ve grown to love the original story – so full of unexplainable magic, child‘s magic – and I even love Peter.  But back then the image of a kid hovering outside, in the dark, well, it was spooky even before Stephen King got a hold of it for Salem’s Lot.

I’ve written about Pan in short stories and a bit of it made its way into Powerless.  There are themes in that book that keep coming back in my work – one way or another.

If you think happy thoughts, you can fly.

You Can Fly.

 

The Big Day and an Awesome Gift

Posted in Plugs, Powerless, YA Books on October 27, 2009 by Matt

Funny, the day your first book arrives on the shelves several things DO NOT happen:

  • You do not get an envelope marked “Publication Vacation” and filled with plane tickets and cash.
  • You do not get called “m’lord” by passerbys and lesser-thans.
  • Swelling Music does not play as you enter book stores.

Several things DO happen, however:

  • You get lots of very nice well-wishes from friends and professionals and friendly professionals.
  • You get to see your book on bookshelves.
  • You get to take care of your sick child, clean runny noses and take temperatures like usual and make them feel better and that’s actually pretty swell.

And if you’re really lucky your world’s best wife and brilliant best friend conspire to create this illustration from your book’s prologue:

72powerlessfinal

Intrigued by the picture?  Well, lucky you the book’s on sale! Get thee to a bookery!

The artists (best friend’s) name is Kristopher Pollard and he’s a freelancer based out of the midwest.  If you like what you see contact him at kpollyart@yahoo.com for a look at his online portfolio.  It’s worth it!

The Powerless Top Ten . . . er, Nine! #4

Posted in Comics, Favorites, Powerless, YA Books on October 26, 2009 by Matt

Number 4: The Teen Titans

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It should come as no surprise to anyone that I love team books.  Solo heroes and dark knights are just fine and dandy but give me a slightly dysfunctional “family” of superheroes and I am in geek heaven.  And when I was a kid, there was no better team book than the Teen Titans.

Sure, there were (and, of course, still are) the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.  The Avengers and the Justice League.  But the Teen Titans were the coolest of the cool. Take a group made up of all the teenage sidekicks – Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl (plus a few oddballs like a green shape-changing boy and a witch) and pit them against the baddest adult baddies in the DC Universe, and you’ve made a book especially for me.  It was a soap opera in spandex and capes, and I loved it.

Truth is, I’m still a fan, and imagine my thrill when I found out that Powerless ads will be appearing in Teen Titans comics this November!  The little kid, heck, the adult in me is hopping with joy.  Get yours as soon as you can because I’m snatching up as many as I can for the scrapbook.

Powerless Featured on the Magic Shelf!

Posted in Plugs, Powerless on October 24, 2009 by Matt

I was absolutely thrilled to see that Powerless is featured this week on Borders Books Magic Shelf. It’s right there on the Upcoming Releases page, sharing shelf space with Barbara Kingsolver and the movie Up!

I’m really very thankful for all the enthusiasm Borders is showing my little book and I can’t wait to see it in stores this Tuesday.

UPDATE: Today’s the pub date and Powerless is still up on the Magic Shelf! (just not on upcoming releases, because that would be just odd).  It’s now on the Staff Recommended Shelf AND it’s on the Kid’s Front Page! How cool is that!

The Powerless Top Ten . . . er, Nine! #5

Posted in Favorites, Plugs, Powerless, Writing, YA Books on October 24, 2009 by Matt

Number 5:  My Old Neighborhood

This one is a bit different, I know.  Up until now this list has been about some of my favorite pieces of fiction as a kid – movies, books, comics – and how they might have influenced Powerless.  But my old neighborhood was certainly not fiction (it wasn’t, right?).

I grew up in a pretty standard middle-class suburb, but we were on the outskirts – on the suburban frontier, if you will.  There were about ten houses scattered over a tangle of streets and cul-de-sacs, bordering a wilderness of still-undeveloped woods and farmers’ fields.  If you followed the creek behind my house for ten minutes you’d reach the lake and rickety old bridge.

It was the perfect place for an imaginative kid to have adventures.  Of course, like any good parents, my mom and dad divided up the place into boundaries – “You can follow the creek as far as the bridge, but don’t play on it and don’t cross it to the lake.  You can play in the woods behind the house but don’t go into the corn field and stay far away from the abandoned (and probably haunted) old barn beyond.”

Needless to say, I spent most of my days swimming in the lake and exploring that old barn looking for ghosts, and I’m lucky that I didn’t end up with any broken bones or worse.  But when I look back on my childhood those are the fondest memories I have.  (I’m a dad now, myself, and I’ll be setting my own boundaries soon.  But my angel of a boy can be trusted to obey, right Will?  Right?)

My world was pretty small – just a few acres when all is said and done – but it was full of excitement and mystery.  And truth be told, I miss it little.

Powerless Top Ten . . . er, Nine! #6

Posted in Favorites, Powerless, Uncategorized, Writing, YA Books on October 22, 2009 by Matt

Number 6: The Hobbit

hobbit-book-cover

This one shouldn’t take much explanation.  The Hobbit is a classic, but it holds a special place in my heart because of its hero, Bilbo Baggins.  The awkward, not-particularly-brave-and-certainly-not-fearsome burglar.  Around the time that I discovered The Hobbit (thanks to a swell middle-school librarian) I was dealing with my own issues of feeling a bit less-than.  Middle School can be a rough place for the best looking and most socially graceful of us, and I was certainly not either of those things.  So it was a wonderful surprise when I found this book where the unlikeliest of heroes escaped the goblins, rescued his friends from the spiders and outwitted a dragon.

There was nothing particularly special about Bilbo.  He had a bit of luck on his side, and a few powerful friends to be sure, but what made this little hobbit really remarkable was a rather unremarkable trait – persistence.  The little guy just never gave up, despite his grumbling and in the face of terrifying odds he just kept slogging through it all.  He put his head down,  one foot in front of the other and tried his best to be clever.

And in the end (small spoiler warning, here, folks) he won.