Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Taking Risks Contest

What are you afraid of? How can your fears hold you back?

These questions become very important as you make choices about life and who you want to be in the world. Fear keeps many of us from pursuing dreams.

Super Reader Girl just posted an interview where I discuss how terrifying it was to actually pursue my dream of becoming a writer. But if I'd never taken that risk I wouldn't have any of the joy I'm experiencing now with Nightshade's publication.Last week after BEA I did something else scary. Trapeze.

The Penguin offices in SoHo overlook the Trapeze School New York. When Editor Jill pointed the school out to me and I said "wow, I'd like to try that," she said "next time you're in town we'll go!"Editor Jill keeps her promises.Trapeze is scary. You have a little bit of practice.
But up on the platform you can see all the way to the Statue of Liberty.

Fortunately Abby is up there to reassure you -when you stretch your arm outand then both arms.The hardest part is right here, when you're leaning forward, toes over the edge of the platform and your heart is pounding.And that's when you have to jump. Yes, jump. Even though your blood is shrieking "no, no, no, no, no!" fueled by millenia of survival instincts.

But if you don't jump, you can't fly.And flying is worth the risk.
You just have to believe in yourself.And if you're like Editor Jill you can even fly upside down. Go Jill!! (I couldn't quite get the upside down, but next time I will!)
And remember there are people cheering you on - here's our teacher, Evan.
If you don't leap you'll never soar. And you need to remember that it's okay to fall. Everyone ends up in the net, but that doesn't mean you won't fly again.
It's June - a new month, leading us to summer. And it's time for a new giveaway. At BEA I had the joy of meeting so many amazing readers and writers all aspiring to wonderful dreams.

The characters in Nightshade face a number of their deepest fears to overcome obstacles. To win a signed Nightshade ARC leave a comment below describing something you'd like to try but are afraid to (like trapeze!) be it bungee jumping, writing a story, climbing a mountain.

The winner will be drawn randomly on Friday!


  1. Wow Andrea I would love to try that too it looks awesome! It's so great that you went throguth with it:)

    And thanks for the awesome contest!!
    Hm..well there are two things I'd really like to try. First: to jump out of a plane lol. I just love that feeling of adrenaline! But Im scared that the rope might break and well..I die lol..

    And also..I have had two great ideas for a book..and I'm itching to write them...really..there's just something holding me back..and I haven't quite figured out what it is yet. I would really love to start writing..but I'm kinda...afraid that it won't be good....that it won't turn out the way I want it too...that other people can do SO much better than me...that I will face write's block or don't know how to go on with my story....that I won't have enough time to write everyday..and then again that I might be taking too much time you know? So many things I am afraid of in that department and I really hope to get over them soon because I really wanna start writing these (if I dare say so myself) awesome ideas lol

    Thanks for this great giveaway <3

  2. When I think of my fear its hard to pick one. If I had to choose it would be sky diving. Its something I want to do before the day I pass. The idea of free falling and being one with the sky is exhilarating and at the same deathly terrifying. I fear going into shock and perhaps just dying in the air :/ . I hope to one day share my story of facing my fear.


  3. Dang sky diving is the term lol. Well I meant sky diving of course too. I wouldnt just jump out of a plane like that hahah

  4. Great comments you guys! Sky diving is another very scary activity I'd love to try. That and hang gliding ;)

  5. Wow, awesome pics!!! I am TERRIFIED of snakes, so I think it would be cool to go to some sort of reptile exhibit to overcome that fear. I'm not sure if I would make it in the door though...

    And I would love to send out the query letter someday! Rejection is terrifying.

    Another great contest Andrea!


  6. Congratulations on conquering the trapeze...you looked like a pro!

    I really want to move away from the part of the country I've known my entire life, but the fear is so crippling I'm afraid I'll never do it. I would love to overcome that!

    And thanks for a great contest!

  7. Awesome contest!

    I've always wanted to learn how to drive a motorcycle. I'm not sure why, but I'm always a little jealous when I see other women doing it. Maybe one day...

  8. For me: traveling the world all by my lonesome. But I'm trying to make that happen!

    - Rebecca

  9. I would love to kayak down rapids. I think that is something I could overcome where as sky diving and bungee I don't think I could overcome. Great contest! Laura

  10. That looks so much fun! I'm actually such an adrenaline junkie, so one of these days I will go skydiving, hang-gliding, bungee jumping, etc. Something I really want to do though is travel to France, Italy, Spain, but I'm scared that it'll never happen and it's just wishful thinking. I'm also terrified of living on my own and leaving my family behind, but I know eventually I'll have to. Thank you for the contest! :D

  11. Can you believe I teared up when I saw that first picture of you flying through the air? You look so beautiful!

    Okay...something I'm scared of trying. I've come to think of fear as a kind of challenge. In two years we are moving to Japan for 1-2 years. Terrifying. I don't speak Japanese--wait! That's it! I'm scared of learning a new language, even though I really, really want to (and need to to survive in Japan). I'm not sure why...Now you've started me on an inner quest! And hopefully, by this time next year, I'll be able to say more that arigatou and aishiteru.

  12. That looked amazing! I've been working really hard on doing things I'm afraid of. A HUGE one is that I'm terrified of flying (in a plane). For my brother's birthday I got him a gift certificate from a guy we clean for, who owns a small plane. He said he'd take him up any time. My brother wants me to go with him and I'm really scared. Not sure if I will or won't.

  13. I would LOVE to try surfing. But, I'm scared of drowning so I don't. But, I LOVE water and would love to learn.

  14. exploringliza - you are so sweet!

    Uprob - I would also love to try surfing, but I'm scared of sharks...and drowing!

    I love all the posts about traveling :)

  15. Wow! So, so cool! Looks like you had so much fun!

    I’d love to go scuba diving. Probably doesn’t sound scary to most but deep water makes me panic. I’d love to experience the beauty firsthand if I could get over the whole fear of drowning and fear of sharks thing :)

  16. Andrea! That is so awesome. I'm so glad you did and shared the photos with us. Editor Jill is pretty fearsome, as well. Was it harder to jump off the platform or to let go and fall?
    I never knew they had trapeze centers, but that is one way to experience flying that I would dare.

  17. Honestly, there's nothing that I'd like to do that I'm scared to try...I've been working on my fear of falling by getting on a trampoline every day. Bungee jumping or jumping out of a plane have never appealed to me.

    The one thing that I was terrified to do and did anyway was apply to write for an online writer's "magazine". It wasn't so much the possibility of rejection, as the possibility of acceptance.

    Ironically, they accepted my application. LOL =D

    Nightshade looks AWESOME, by the way, and I applaud your sheer guts in doing trapeze. Seriously, I would not have been able to do that.

  18. I'd love to try skydiving as I've seen the videos and it looks AWESOME! Tho then every time I hear one of those stories that a skydiver misses their landing and instead die in a mass of rocks. That is definitely enough to stear me away from actually skydiving:(


  19. This is silly...but I'd love to be able to hold a monkey.

    I am deathly afraid of monkeys. It all started when I watched "The Wizard of Oz"--my hatred grew as I watched "Congo" and "Outbreak." (Flying monkeys, mean monkeys, diseased monkeys--Hollywood loves to hate monkeys.) Anyway, I'd love to be able to get over my fear and hold one. Silly, but true. :P


  20. I think I'd have to put trapeze on my list. That looked amazing (and scary). Go, you! :)

  21. Great post! A while ago I faced my fear of roller coasters/heights by riding the Drop Zone at King's Dominion. I'm still afraid of heights and roller coasters, but with a little motivation I can ride them!

    Now, what would I like to do to face another fear? Well, I'm afraid of the pit at concerts. I tried to go to see my favorite band ever, Rise Against, in the pit, and I'm pretty sure I had a panic attack and had to get out. I'd love to face that fear and see Rise Against in the pit. I've regretted wimping out ever since I started walking towards the back of the venue.

    I also conquered my fear of showing people my writing, and luckily everyone seems to enjoy it so far.

    Jessica Secret

  22. What a great post! I have fear of heights, but how I wish I could do something like trapeze. The pictures are beautiful!:)
    Please enter me in the contest, if it is international.
    Thank you!

    Giada M.

    fabgiada @ gmail.com

  23. I'd kind of like to go up in a hot air balloon even though I have a healthy respect for heights. I just always thought it would be kind of cool.


  24. I'd like to skydive. It seems so fun, I just don't know if I could do it...

  25. One of my biggest fears, but also biggest dreams is auditioning for a tv show/movie. Writing is easy for me and something that I've always enjoyed doing, but my dream has always been to be on screen.

    To not be afraid of the people watching and critiquing me as I do my performance.

  26. I would love to be able to sing onstage and not pee my pants with the effort of remaining calm...


  27. Wowzers! I was feeling like my fear is to have a job with no health insurance....and there you are, hanging by a thread!!

    Well done, you!

    I would love to be more adventurous in terms of travel...like go some place really wild...


  28. I've climbed a mountain before, so damn scary. I almost thought I could've died. But I wonder what I'd want to do. Maybe skydive because it seems awesome.

    Either way, what you did was awesome and I'd like to do that :D

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  29. i would love to audition for a local theatre but am afraid i would be laughed off the stage. the trapeze thing looks AWESOME!

  30. Auditioning and performing are great picks! It's so frightening to really put yourself out there - but also can be wonderful :)

  31. Wow, thats crazy! *virtual high-five*
    You rocked it, girly! :)

    Anyway, something I'd like to try someday is to go hang gliding. I imagine the view to be beautiful. It's too bad I'm terrified of heights!
    Someday, though... sometime soon...

    Thanks for this contest! NIGHTSHADE = awesome!

    Love, Hannah

  32. Aw, thanks for this!
    You looked awesome in those pictures, and I'm so proud of you for overcoming your fear. I would love to scuba dive someday. I've always been afraid of large bodies of water, and scuba diving looks too fun. Something I'll never forget for sure.
    -Caitlin Gillbert

  33. I am scared of bowling! The shoes, the balls... What if I get my fingers stuck?! Or a weird fungus? I could kill someone with the ball. And you need to know math. No thanks... I think I would rather try the trapeze ;)

  34. Wow, Andrea! That is awesome! I'd love to be able to try out trapeze someday...though I will probably be terrified as well! I have no desire to skydive. I'll say for me, trapeze and zipline (but only in some jungley place - not over a city like they had in SF recently).

    Thanks so much for linking to my interview!! :) I'll add the link to your contest.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. I love to try ziplining i didn't get the chance oh sigh because rock climbing at my school was well a bit risky and walls were unstable i love heights but i just couldn't lol. I like to try scuba divng but terrified the sharks might make me into california roll sushi.
    Thank you so much for the contest :p

  37. Wow, the trapeze looks like so much fun! It's awesome that you got up there to try that out.
    I'm terrified of traveling (well, flying) by myself, but I desperately want to go visit my best friend in Australia where he's been living for the past three years. I'm determined to work up the courage and go visit soon =)
    Thanks for the contest!

  38. Oh my goodness, this list could be long as I'm afraid of lots of things and I'm not really a big risk taker. I'm scared silly of heights and would LOVE to go on the rollercoasters as I hear people scream and laugh and wish I could join in!

    Thank you for the contest, STILL trying to get my hands on your book! lynsey(AT)narrativelyspeaking(DOT)com

  39. So awesome! GO YOU!!! Okay, there's one to add to my list - I think I'd be too terrified to try trapeze. Things like that and bunjee jumping, sky diving, etc. I'd be freaking out that the rope or something would break. I also have a fear of spiders. What I'd like to do (yes 'like to' despite every nerve in my body trying to drag me off to the psych ward right now) is hold a big spider, touch it.. Actually touch those furry black critters like I would any other adorable little pet or bug. Hey, I'm call with the ladbugs! Spiders? We have work to do. I really want to overcome that fear!

    Thank you SO much for the freaking awesome contest. Now may I please have MY copy of Nightshade??! Oh right... don't get territorial until I have blackmail material on you *shifty look*


  40. Oh.. if I actually AM lucky enough to win, I may have limited internet after Friday because I'm moving but I will be checking in every few days! :)

  41. I'm terrified of trying to go underwater. But I'm so fascinated with the beauty of whats under the water. I would love to try scuba diving. But I'm terrified of it. I have bad experience with water.

  42. I'm pretty sure all the scuba and ocean related fears made me dream about sharks last night! I'm so scared of sharks!!

  43. :D
    Please enter me if it's international!

    One thing I'd love to try but scares me is free falling -or parachuting. Looks really exciting, but I'm slightly afraid of heights!

  44. I'm totally scared of scuba diving - but I want to do it! I just don't know if I could breath through a moutpiece. I can hardly snorkel. And wow, I can't believe you did the trapeze! That's so awesome!

    I sure I hope I win... I really want this book! :-)

  45. I'm terrified of flying creepy crawlies. I'd like to get up the courage to swat it away when it's FLYING near me, but the thought of hurting it makes me squeamish. I can hear its pain filled cries "No! I was just flying! Don't hit me, I'm innoceeeennntt!"


  46. Hmmmm...things that scare me...a hot air balloon ride...only because at the last race, I saw one catch on fire...before it went up. Yeah, I won't be doing that any time soon.

  47. Wow, I think I may have said something else, but after looking at your pictures I think I'd have to say trapeze! That looks absolutely terrifying but exhilarating at the same time! When I was young I had no fear, I would do anything, but now I'm much more afraid to try things. I'd like to get some of that fearlessness back!

    I can't wait to read this book!!

  48. It looks like you had tons of fun.

    Something I'd like to try is skydiving. I'm afraid of heights and I always thought if I could conquer it,I would do it by skydiving. Hasn't happened yet and I don't see it happening anytime soon but I'm sure I'll get the nerve to try someday.

  49. A hot air balloon on fire?! Yikes. That would put me off trying it too.

    Andye: Trapeze is awesome!! You should try it :)

    Liyana - Ugh! I am also afraid of creepy crawlies. Icky!!! :(

    For all the international commenters - yes this contest is open to you too :)

  50. I'm terrified of swimming. I almost drowned once in our outdoor pool and ever since then, I stayed away from it. I love oceans and rivers but its just the pool that scares me, brings back bad memories. so yeah, i would loved to overcome my fear of swimming pools.

    thanks for the awsome contest! october seems so far away, I hope I win.

  51. I want to try scuba diving, but I'm absolutely terrified of the tank running out of oxygen and dying.


  52. Hey darlin'. That looks so totally cool, and right up my alley. I LOVE roller coasters and bungies. My only phobia, sharks. I can't even make myself swim in a pool in the dark. O_O

    I linked your contest on my blog. :p

  53. I'd love to go scuba diving, but (like Lisa above), I have a horrible fear of sharks, even though I know the risks of an actual shark attack are extremely low. I do love to swim, so I think scuba diving would be something that I'd enjoy, but Jaws music starts playing in my head every time I think about it!

  54. Well .. my biggest fear is zombies (Yes. Zombies), but until the apocalypse happens, I have to go for another fear.

    I'd have to say .. speak in a room full of thousands of people. It might not sound scary to some people, but I have social anxiety, so it's TERRIFYING for me. I used to have severe panic attacks before class presentations in high school and embarrassingly, I used that to my advantage to get out of a lot of them.

  55. Looks like lots of us are afraid of sharks!

  56. By biggest fear may sound pretty silly next to the sharks, but it's huge for me! Going back to college! As a 30 something mom in a dead-end job, I've found myself considering a career change and that means going back to school. Mostly, I am terrified that the financial changes will, initially be too much for our family to handle. I'm the major income, so to loose that would make like very hard.

    Secondly, I'm 30something! What if I can't learn like I used to? What if I choose the wrong path? What if there are no jobs when I'm done??


  57. Kate - That's a completely understandable fear. Putting my teacher hat on for a moment, let me say that I've had over-30 students as a college professor and they learn just fine :)

  58. The biggest fear I have is being afraid of heights. I'd like to be able to go on a Ferris Wheel or maybe ride a roller coaster some day.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  59. I am terrified of never achieving my dreams of being a published author. I am terrified that I will get complacent in my life and just go with the rush of things. I think it's important to realize our dreams and I support everyone who is trying. It's amazing to face the fears!

  60. Cindy - Great comment! Keep at the publishing dream; you'll get there :)

  61. Right now, I'm terrified that I won't be able to study oversea (Asian here), thus also making my dream to be a full time novelist further from me. :( I wantttttt to go to US or UK, Australia and Canada are pretty great too. :/ My local publishers aren't focused on english fiction novels. sigh.

  62. I've always wanted to learn to surf, but I'm not a great swimmer. I can swim enough to save myself, but if I can jump in and not reach the bottom, I freak out.

  63. My husband and I went to Six Flags and we went on a rollercoaster where the seat would jerk back and forth during the ride. You could say, I did NOT like that. I think my biggest fear was realized that day--- an out of control rollercoaster! However, I do love rollercoasters. I just went on a ton last week at DisneyWorld and want to go on them again!

    My other biggest fear is not becoming published. I feel like I am not spending enough time (is there even enough time?), that I am not good enough, blah blah blah. I sometimes wonder if I should go back to school, or get a high paying time consuming job, and then I know what I want. I have to keep trying. I have to keep writing. So I started a local critique group. I am talking to writers and listening to their advice and journey. I am WRITING (and editing). Oh, and then there is reading.

    I have realized, facing my fear isn't as bad as I sometimes think. I just need to keep moving forward.

    Except on that rollercoaster. I am not moving anywhere need that thing, but I will try almost anything at least once.

  64. I'd like to try sky diving, but I'm terrified of both heights and flying. Oh, yeah, and falling. Maybe bungee jumping would be a little more realistic. But trapeze sounds fun too!

  65. I swear I was only gone a few minutes. Yay for new comments!! Thanks so much you guys for sharing your fears - they will be conquered!!

    Natasha - I would have totally freaked out on that rollercoaster. The seat moved?! Ack!

  66. I'd love to try sky diving some day. I've paraglided off a mountain, but not sky diving... yet :)

    blackdiamond508 at aol dot com

  67. I'd like to try living overseas, like in Korea or Japan to teach English. It'd be a huge culture shock but a really cool experience :)


  68. ^^ Love to visit S Korea or Japan but I'd get embarrassed that I can't speak their language. And that is why I have a fear of embarrassment :/ Oh no, it couldn't be a fear of heights or something more "normal", it has to be embarrassment...

  69. I'd have to say Sky Diving.
    I've always wanted to try, but im WAY to scared.

  70. I get really bad stage fright. Whenever I see authors reading their own work I realize that I may have to one day too. Eep!

    Thanks for the contest!

  71. I'd like to go rock climbing, but I'm scared of heights. Deathly afraid DX


  72. I'd like to try sky diving.


  73. WHOOOOOOOOO Congrats!!!! That's some serious amazingness there. I totally love that you compared it to writing, too!!

    Since I'm not afraid to write a book and totally blow YA word counts out of the water (as I've just discovered)...I would say that I am SO afraid to hold a snake!

    When you go to reptile parks here in Australia, there is always opportunities to hold the HUGE pythons. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like snakes a lot better than I like spiders. But won't they try and choke you? Or bite you?


    So yeah, there's my deep dark fear because I'm so wanting a copy of Nightshade :P The things people will do with motivation...perhaps I'll go and hold a snake one day if someone rewarded me with a whole box of YA books on the other side!!! :P :D

  74. whooooops, my email is deltree192@live.com.au

    Emma :)

  75. One thing I'd love to try is kayaking through rapids! That would be so much fun! And scary because if I'm not careful, my kayak might overturn and I dread to the outcome!

    kate.readthisbook [at] gmail [dot] com

  76. Oooh, that does not look like fun! Geez, I would probably be scared to death!

    Something that I would like to try to do is go on a rollercoaster. I get like sick if I go on some rides, but I think I'm too afraid to go on a rollercoaster. I hate the feeling you get in your stomach when you drop, and most rides have a drop. And it stinks because I'm always the person to get left out while my friend's are having fun. So maybe I'll do it one day...

    Thanks for this awesome contest!


  77. I'm not entering, just saying: Andrea, you GO girl! Good job on trying the the things you're scared of!