Diana Renn

Mysteries that Matter


Looking for a little extra something to slip into a beach bag this summer? 

How about a sleek, slim, PAPERBACK copy of Tokyo Heist?

To celebrate the paperback release today, I’m giving away three signed copies on GoodReads. This handy widget will take you right there to enter! Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn

Tokyo Heist

by Diana Renn

Giveaway ends July 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Here’s some news . . . I’ve taken on a new job as of this month, exchanging my writing hat for an editing hat! (I like to change hats every once in awhile. Even though hats make my hair look terrible, and really I don’t look good in any hats at all).

Anyway. I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined the awesome team at YARN (Young Adult Review Network) as their new Fiction Editor. YARN is an award-winning online magazine dedicated to short-form writing for young adults. YARN features short stories, poems, and essays, publishing teen writers alongside emerging and established authors.

My friend and fellow YA novelist Kathryn Burak (author of the Edgar-nominated Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things) has also just joined, as the new Poetry Editor. You can read the news item about us here.

I first discovered YARN a couple of years ago when I was looking for markets for short YA fiction. There weren’t that many. YARN, founded by Kerri Majors, was among the first to emerge online. A few more YA magazines have come out recently, but there are still not as many publications as there are for adult short fiction. And with an Innovations in Reading Award from the National Book Foundation, YARN has quickly established itself as a leader in this publishing sector. As both a reader and a former contributor to this magazine, I’m thrilled and honored to be part of this dynamic team.

I’m enjoying this dip back into short fiction, too. I’ve written and read short stories for as long as I can remember. Short stories taught me to become a writer. Writing stories for literary magazines in college and after taught me a lot about storytelling, as well as working with editors. I still love the satisfaction I get from reading — or writing — a story in compressed form. I love how great stories stand up to rereading and can offer fresh insights each time. I love the tiny windows into other people’s experiences that short stories can give us. And I believe we need MORE short stories for YA readers.

It’s also fun to wear the editing hat again. I worked as an editor for many years, in educational publishing, before focusing on writing novels. Editing involves a different kind of creative process; I can almost feel different muscles in my brain working. And getting involved with an innovative, energetic magazine, with some freedom to develop my own ideas, is a wonderful opportunity.

What’s your yarn? We’re looking for great YA stories, so if you have one up your sleeve and are interested in submitting, please do! You can read about YARN’s submission guidelines here. (Please submit through the YARN website).

And finally, if you’re going to the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference in Boston next week — or even if you’re just in the area — you’re welcome to come hang out with me and my fellow YARN editors, Kerri Majors and Kathryn Burak! We’ll be at the YA Publishing Cocktail Party, sponsored by Paper Lantern Lit, along with folks from Figment, Sucker Literary Magazine, and other YA-themed publications. YARN will be running a cool contest too, with copies of Tokyo Heist and Emily’s Dress among the prizes. We’re still nailing down some details, so check the YARN website or Twitter feed (@YAReviewNet) for more info in the coming days!

The cocktail party is free, but RSVP is required. Click here for details and the RSVP info. (Also, attendees must be 21+ — sorry!!) Would love to see you there!

Whew — dusty here! (cough, cough). Have I really not updated this blog since January 15? Are those cobwebs over there? Did I leave milk sitting in the fridge? Is that a carcass in the corner? Gah.

I’ve just resurfaced after finishing a draft of my next novel — more on that later — which has taken all my writing time lately. Now that it’s handed in, I’ll be back on the blog, doing some much-needed housekeeping and updating.

But first, just briefly: I’m in Seattle this week, visiting family, and making only ONE book store stop. Tomorrow I’ll be dropping by Seattle Mystery Bookshop around 1:00 to sign stock. It’s not a reading or an  author talk. But unless there’s a gag order I’m unaware of, I will totally talk to you! So if you’re in the area, do come by; I’d love to meet you.

And if you’re in need of a signed hardcover of Tokyo Heist, this fabulous bookstore is THE place to get them. They’ll have some on hand.

More to come!

I am THRILLED to announce some major news today!

NEWS ITEM #1: Book deal!
Viking/Penguin will publish my next two books!

Both are YA, both are mysteries, both involve globetrotting teens!

Here’s the official announcement as it appeared in Publisher’s Marketplace. (Please substitute “Ecuador” for “El Salvador”; that’s an error).

Diana Renn’s LATITUDE ZERO, about a children’s TV show host and avid bicyclist who travels to El Salvador to unravel the mysterious death of a fellow young cyclist, and BLUE VOYAGE, about a teen girl spending the summer in Turkey who gets entangled with an international gang of antiquities smugglers, to Leila Sales at Viking Children’s, for publication in 2014 and 2015, by Kirby Kim at William Morris Endeavor.

If you liked the blend of mystery, action, and international intrigue in TOKYO HEIST, you’ll find more of that in the next two books, though with very different sleuths, settings, and storylines.

I’m beyond thrilled that I’ll get to keep working with my talented editor, Leila Sales, and the wonderful people at Viking/Penguin! I thought publishing one novel was a dream come true, so I’m now officially in the territory of “beyond wildest dream.” I’m deeply grateful to my whole publishing team, including my agent, for making this possible and for believing in my work.

I’m particularly grateful to readers who’ve enjoyed my first book, bloggers who’ve gotten behind it and helped spread the word, people who’ve come out to my bookstore/library/school events these past few months, and anyone who’s bought or borrowed TOKYO HEIST and taken a chance on a debut writer. I remember when I first decided to risk leaving teaching and dialing down my freelance work in educational publishing, and just focus on finishing and selling the book. It felt like flinging myself on a trapeze, with no safety net below. But there is a net, I’ve discovered. It’s readers. THANK YOU!

Thank you, amazing steadfast writing group and critique partners — you know who you are — for helping me make sense of my ideas and find the right stories to tell. 

And, while I’m gushing, I have to say, I’m feeling especially grateful to my husband and family for being the most integral part of my net, and so supportive of my career. Getting books written and out into the world is a team effort, and I’m blessed on the home front.

OK – ready for the next thing?

NEWS ITEM #2: A movie deal!!

I’ve been sitting on this incredible news for awhile, but today I am signing papers, so can finally share that the production company Anonymous Content has purchased the movie option for Tokyo Heist!

I’ll have more info to share on this later, so stay tuned!

I’ve been having a wonderful time meeting readers this month at some bookstore and library events!

I had an especially great time two nights ago at the Cambridge Public Library, meeting with a wonderful book group. About ten kids and their parents meet monthly to discuss a book they all vote on. This month they read TOKYO HEIST, and invited me to join them for pizza and discussion.We talked about suspects and red herrings, the role of parents in YA mysteries, art in novels, and lots of other things. I also learned many new uses for chocolate Pocky. (Hey, did you know you can write and draw with this stuff? One young artist created a couple of masterpieces during our discussion!)

Here are some events coming up soon; if you’re in the Boston area, please come to one or spread the word!

This weekend I’ll be kicking off Teen Read Week with Gina Damico (author of the screamingly funny books Croak and Scorch). What do a budding manga artist and a budding grim reaper have in common? Find out what links our books (there’s a link! really!) at the Belmont Public Library this Saturday, October 13, at 3:00. (And if you’re far away, you can read my recent interview with Gina on the Sleuths Spies & Alibis blog).

Next week more Teen Read Week fun continues with YA fantasy author Erin Cashman (The Exceptionals). We’ll launch a Meet the Author series at Firefly Moon, a unique and very cool gift shop and art gallery in Arlington, MA.

I’ll also be appearing at the Boston Teen Author Festival on October 28, with 14 other YA authors. You guys, this is huge! The festival is hosted by Emerson College and is presented in conjunction with the Boston Book Festival. If you are NOT an Emerson student, you do have to register by October 24, but it is FREE and EASY. Here’s the registration link.

Visit my Events page for more details and more fall events.

Not in the Boston area? Join me on Twitter tonight! It’s the 12th of the month, which means it’s time for the monthly Apocalypsies Twitter chat. The topic this month is MYSTERIES & THRILLERS. My favorite! I’ll be hosting, along with fellow Apocalypsie A.C. Gaughen (author of Scarlet). We have four spotlight authors to introduce you to, and giveaways galore. Follow hashtag #2012debuts and join us at 9:00 PM EST!

(Hey – what happens when you give Pocky sticks to members of the Apocalypsies? APOCKYLYPSIES.)
OK I’m done.

Some wonderful bloggers have invited me to interview and guest post lately, so I thought I’d share a couple of recent links! I should note, I’m not on a formal blog tour, which can be fast-paced and involve many stops. I’d call this more of a “blog cruise.” Leisurely, with time to write meaty answers and lengthy guest posts. I’m enjoying getting to know some bloggers, scoping out their reviews . . . and adding more titles to my TBR pile! (oh no . . . .)

So I visited Katie over at One Page at a Time, where TOKYO HEIST was featured this month for the 2012 Multi-Cultural Book Challenge. I wrote a guest post there, about the multicultural angle in this novel. (And there are three more days left of a TOKYO HEIST giveaway there! Go enter!)

Yesterday I did an interview at Picture Me Reading. I was asked some really interesting questions about the background of the book, and had a lot of fun answering them. I loved discovering this blog, by the way . . . the blogger includes her own art in her book reviews. Here’s her comic-style review on TOKYO HEIST from a few weeks ago!

And, coming up . . . a live event!

Are you in the Boston area? Know people who are?
Interested in strong girls in fiction?

 I’ll be speaking at an event called “Fight Like a Girl,” sponsored by Boston GLOW, on Tuesday, September, 18, in Boston. The event has two panels, one for middle grade authors (at 5:00) and one for YA authors (at 7:00). Click here for the event page with details and RSVP info. There will be lively discussion (no fighting, I promise), book signing, swag bag giveaways, and snacks. (Snacks!) I can’t wait — and I’m so honored to be appearing with the fantastic line-up of authors!