Martha Brockenbrough's DEVINE INTERVENTION has come out of the gate like gangbusters! Why, you ask?
1. First and foremost, the book is freak'n fantastic. And I don't just say that because I rep her, I say that because I read pages of this book long before I repped her, and Arthur read pages long before he signed up the book, and we both knew we were reading a completely unique, powerful, funny, brilliant voice.
(Full story on how Arthur and I discovered this book HERE)
2. Scholastic sent the book out for reviews, result: Fantastic Reviews including a Star in Kirkus---
Beneath the snark, though, runs a current of devastatingly honest writing that surprises with its occasional beauty and hits home with the keenness of its insight. link to full Kirkus Review.
Jerome’s bumbling logic and wickedly funny observations are what make Brockenbrough’s first book for teens so much fun. Underneath the occasionally risqué humor and unexpected plot twists (including the possession of multiple animals’ bodies) is an insightful story about seizing life for all it’s worth while you have the chance. link to full Publishers Weekly Review.
3. Scholastic got the word out to the press, result: A HUGE fabulous review in the LA Times which immediately caused a run on copies online and in stores. Martha and I did not know this was coming, so it was a wonderful moment when the book's film agent, ICM's Josie Friedman, found the article in her morning newspaper and immediately emailed us:
Brockenbrough is a gifted writer who finds amusement in focusing on life's minutiae and who captures the slow-mo drama with which teens experience them, such as the time when Heidi's "tongue felt like a lump of nasty cotton living in the armpit of a bum who has an apartment at the dump and not even the good kind of dump with busted car parts. The kind with fish heads ... and old transvestite wigs."...for readers who appreciate an apocryphal story line and wordsmithing, "Devine Intervention" is a little slice of heaven. link to full LA Times Review.
4. Martha decided she wanted a trailer and reached out to a good friend's daughter, result: A TRAILER like nothing you have seen before, created by a 14 year old from the Netherlands. (See above or click here)
5. Martha decided that she was not going to simply have book launches but book launch events, result: Indie Bookstore Launches that were a party!
And here I will quote Martha when I asked her how she was able to have both of her launch parties packed with buyers...
I don't know exactly how many books sold at my local event, but I made sure those were packed with fun. A friend gave me the advice to think of it as a party celebrating the people around me who helped me come this far, and that really helped me feel less sheepish about the whole thing. I had two parties with thematic food, including angel's food cake, devils food cupcakes, and custom-printed "SoulSavers" (in corndog and ambrosia flavors), and I hired a harpist to play songs I'd mentioned in the book. I also invited people to write an 11th commandment, and I gave bookstore gift certificates and other prizes. My children dressed as an angel and a devil, and I bought extra angel wings for other kids to wear around.
I knew pre-orders were important, so I partnered with a local bookshop to do a special offer. I made buttons and bookmarks that the bookstore packaged and sent with all the pre-orders. They were gracious about it and ended up selling quite a few that way—I even had to bring in 15 books from home to make sure they had enough to meet orders.
And I am going to add a few more details here.... INTERESTING, SPECIFIC DETAILS, that is what I love about Martha's writing and which comes through in everything she does to promote the book:
Martha and her friend Leslie made heaven and hell table decorations, and divided the food into heavenly and hellish categories:
SoulSavers in Ambrosia and Corndog
Cupcakes with halos and horns
Angel food cake
Meringue cookies (labeled as Baby Angel Poop-delicious!)
Red vines (labeled as Satan's Whiskers)
Cinnamon candies (labeled as red hot stipples, which Jonathan Stroud fans will recognize)
Cream puffs (angel pillows)
Yogurt covered pretzels (angel hugs)
Chocolate covered toffee popcorn (devilish delights)
And there is still so much more to come....including Martha's amazing blog/website, interviews, more bookstore events, more newspaper coverage, etc.
Plus BIG, BIG news is coming, but for now I am sworn to secrecy.