Wednesday, October 24, 2012

there are no winners here

Dudes. DUDES. I am going to tell you the truth. NO ONE entered my Have a Nice Day contest. I see authors all the time offer contests that require their readers to do something a little extra to enter, but apparently I am not yet one of those kind of authors. I am going to assume you did not enter the Have a Nice Day contest for one of the following reasons:
1. You don't live near a bookstore.
2. You didn't have time to go to a bookstore.
3. Your bookstore failed to carry my wonderful new book.
4. You didn't even know I was having a contest.
5. You love me so much, you bought the book already and didn't need to enter the contest.

I'm sure there are other reasons, so because I love having contests, even though they sometimes make me feel pitiful, I am having ANOTHER contest. This time you don't have to leave your house. All you have to do is comment on this post with your name, email, and the reason you didn't enter the original contest. It can be one of the above reasons or one of your own original reasons. I'll give you another week to enter. The winner will be chosen at random from the LONG LIST of people who are going to enter this contest. I'm talking long, people! Remember, the winner receives a set of signed books: Get Well Soon and the brand new sequel, Have a Nice Day. And I'll throw in some of my buttons, too. You have until Wednesday, October 31. That's Halloween to you and me, Rusty.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Have a Nice Day! Today!

Have a Nice Day, my fourth novel and the sequel to Get Well Soon, is out in stores today! Kirkus gave it a starred review (still waiting on more reviews. Do I see stars?) and said, "Biting wit makes this quest for suburban normalcy in the face of depression and anxiety both laugh-out-loud funny and immensely intelligent." They also called it "fresh as a daisy and sharp as a tack" (love that). In honor of the release, it's time for a contest! If you'd like to win signed copies of both Get Well Soon and Have a Nice Day, all you have to do is find Have a Nice Day in the wild (you know, a book store or library) and take a picture of it. Then send the picture to me at one of these three places:
  1. email it to
  2. tweet it to @julie_halpern
  3. post it to facebook at
All who post a picture will be entered! And you get one entry for each place you post it (so three max). You have one week (I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, October 23). Good hunting!

Monday, October 15, 2012


I don't know how many times the word "Sheboygan" was said this weekend. My daughter's favorite game was to ask random strangers, "Do you think I live in Sheboygan?" And then to tell them she did not. If you live anywhere near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, I highly recommend adding the Sheboygan Children's Book Festival to your yearly list of things to do. It was so well-organized, well-attended, and in the most beautiful spaces I've ever had the pleasure of presenting in. Of course, I have no pictures of the actual presenting spaces, but, as promised, I do have pictures of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center bathroom! Behold:

This last picture is my daughter looking into a toilet. A fancy, art-filled toilet.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

See You in Sheboygan!

This weekend the Halpern/Cordell family will be appearing at the 3rd Annual Sheboygan Children's Book Festival. I'm excited! I've never been to Sheboygan, although I had a great friend in college from there. Her name was Kari Fisher. I think it may have been spelled differently, and it was definitely spelled differently than the actress. I wonder where she is now. Anywho, I'm doing author stuff all day Saturday, and Matt is doing author/illustrator stuff all day Sunday. It looks like a wonderful event with lots of other great authors and illustrators to ogle. The website has the full program guide, but if you want to see me here's where I'll be:

12:30, Saturday, October 13
Mitch Teich Talks with Five Authors of Novels for Children and Young Adults
Fictional families come in as many different shapes and sizes as real families. How and why do authors create the families they do for their characters?  Join Sarah Weeks (So B. It), Ilsa J. Bick (Ashes), Jacqueline Houtman (The Reinvention of Edison Thomas), Lisa Albert (Mercy Lily), and Julie Halpern (Have a Nice Day) in a conversation with Mitch Teich about family dynamics in novels for children and teens.

I'm really excited for this panel with a stellar crew of authors. I am also excited that it takes place at the Kohler Arts Center because the word on the street is they have crazy bathrooms!

At 1:30, I will be signing copies of all of my books (including the almost out HAVE A NICE DAY!!!) along with the other authors on the panel at the Kohler Arts Center. I'm guessing not in one of the bathrooms. Don't worry, I'll take lots of pictures.

I don't know how far away my next event is, but I'll have to scoot over to the Mead Public Library for my presentation at 2:30:
It's Your Parents' Fault with Julie Halpern
That title is a million times more hilarious due to the fact that is says, "with Julie Halpern." Like it's a TV show, and I'm the host. Here's the description:
YA Author Julie Halpern (Get Well Soon, Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, Have a Nice Day) talks about how all of the trauma of coming-of-age can turn into funny, realistic fiction.

I'll have another signing at 4:30 at the Mead Library alongside Ilsa J. Bick, Edward Hemingway, and James Kennedy. Maybe I can interview them for my TV show! Head over to husband Matt's blog to get his Sunday schedule. We hope to see a bunch of you in Sheboygan!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

I Can Write

I am writing! It's happening! I go to the library and sit at a table in a little room, and I write! Phew. I was definitely struggling a bit for a while, but finally I called my editor. Or had her call me. I think that's left over from the days of expensive long distance calls. Remember those? I don't normally do this during the initial writing process. I tend to plow through, get a few revisions in, and then I send the manuscript on in beautiful shape. But this new book has had me stuck for a while. I wouldn't say I had writer's block; I don't think I get that. I could write, but what I wrote wasn't going to magically meld itself into a cohesive story. So the call. It was incredibly helpful, and it was also really fun to hear Liz (the glorious editor of all five of my novels) respond to the ideas that I had about the book. It gave me all sorts of confidence that I didn't have just writing by myself. Is that why people work with writers groups? I'm not ready for that, but I can see now how getting some help along the way can be beneficial. Now it's just a matter of writing the dang thing. I get approximately two hours per day to work on the book; some days that is actually one hour and forty-five minutes when I write in my car as Romy's in preschool. Some days, it's less when I can't get to the library in time for my booked space. And sometimes, well, I just can't get myself into the writing mode immediately when the bell rings and I am forced to use that tiny amount of time to BE CREATIVE. It will be interesting to see how this book turns out. But who cares about this next book? Have a Nice Day comes out in ONE WEEK! I hope someone out there is excited!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Making the Drop

My Banned Books Week drops didn't look nearly as cool as George O'Connor's:

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Win a Copy of Get Well Soon and Have a Nice Day!

I started a blog post yesterday about the great posts Macmillan Kids is writing about Banned Books Week, but, man, I am having the darnedest time completing everything I want these days. So I'm giving it another go because- ta da!- today's featured banned book is Get Well Soon by ME! If you head over to MacKids' blog, you can enter to win copies of both Get Well Soon and its brand new sequel, Have a Nice Day. Now scooch! Wait, is that how you spell scooch?

And that's all the time we have, Ladies and Gentleman! Join me tomorrow when I attempt another coherent paragraph.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Sign Here

I had a wonderful time at the Anderson's Young Adult Literature Conference on Saturday. It's always fun to be on a panel with authors I've never met and to be inspired by what other authors have to say. Also, the hotel had really good cookies. And check this out:
Have a Nice Day was for sale at the conference! A total surprise, since its release date isn't until October 16. This is me signing my very first copy! Thank you to Amy Pine, who not only bought the first copy and had me sign it but just happens to already be in the acknowledgements for helping me out with high school teacher stuff.

The funny thing about signing books is that it has a bit of that signing yearbooks element for me. What the heck am I supposed to write? I used to feel the pressure to write something special in each book I signed, but I choked whenever I did that and ended up writing something really stupid like, "Have a fucking headbanging summer. Do bongs." [Note that I have never written that in a book, but Abe Betancourt actually signed my eighth grade yearbook with that sentiment, then promptly threw my brand new green pen out the bus window.] When handed Have a Nice Day, I didn't know what to do or say. After about five books, I found something semi-cute. But I still have to think about it. I have the Sheboygan Children's Book Festival coming up in a couple weeks, so I have to get ready. Something short, sweet, with a little laugh to it. Now where's that green pen?

*It's Banned Books Week! I'll be writing more about it throughout the week, but here's a thoughtful review of my own banned book, Get Well Soon, from the blog Girl to the Rescue to get you started.