As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month I am hosting a Facebook giveaway of a signed and annotated copy of WHAT HAPPENS NEXT (plus 10 bookmarkers) along with a signed paperback of Kristina McBride’s THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES. You can enter the giveaway by clicking here!

What Happens Next   The Tension of Opposites

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Publishers Weekly Cameo!

The Good Girls & Bad Boys in YA Contemporary Panel got a little shout-out from Publishers Weekly this past week! The title of the piece is called “Good Handwriting” and here’s the link! 

“YA authors (l.) Colleen Clayton (What Happens Next, Little, Brown/Poppy), (r.) Kristina McBride (One Moment, Egmont USA), Tiffany Schmidt (Send Me A Sign, Walker), and Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits, Harlequin Teen) visited Cover to Cover Books in Columbus, Ohio, for a panel discussion and signing called “Good Girls and Bad Boys in YA.” The four also signed the store’s author wall, which has been at the current location for 16 years. The original wall, now in storage, had been in the shop’s previous space since 1981.”  —(Publishers Weekly, March 21, 2013)

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Reader’s Guide

At the request of several teachers and book clubs I have FINALLY put together a reader’s guide for WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. It contains author insights (common questions answered) along with examination of some literary elements of the text.  I’ve also included a Further Reading section if you’d like to check out some of the scholarly articles that I read while writing the book. It closes with 10 open-ended questions that one might present to a classroom or book club in order to facilitate a meaningful discussion of the book.

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Best Panel EVER

Hey, everyone! I participated in a wonderful panel and signing last week at Cover to Cover Children’s Bookstore in Columbus, Ohio! Tiffany Schmidt, Kristina McBride, Katie McGarry and I had an amazing discussion with audience members and I learned so much about these lovely ladies and their books. The theme was “Good Girls and Bad Boys in YA Contemporary” and it was a blast. Here are some photos from the event:

Lunch with the girls! And look who stopped by to support us. YA Authors Scott Tracey, Leah Clifford, and Jody Casella!

Me, Kristina, Tiffany and Katie in front of the Author Wall of Fame at Cover to Cover!

Lunch with the girls! Look who stopped by to support us: YA Authors Scott Tracey, Leah Clifford, and Jody Casella!

Lunch at Aladdin’s! (Look who stopped by to support us: YA Authors Scott Tracey, Leah Clifford, and Jody Casella!)

Tiffany's first trip to Ohio! We took her to "the happening" neighborhood of Columbus (The Short North) for after-panel ice-cream!

The lovely Tiffany Schmidt’s first trip to Ohio! Went to the hotspot neighborhood of The Short North for after-panel ice-cream at Jeni’s!


I got the triple scoop sampler: Absinthe and Meringue, Goat Cheese and Cherries, and Riesling Poached Pear. So. Freaking. Good.

Tiffany and me enjoying some Jeni’s! I got the triple scoop sampler: Absinthe and Meringue, Goat Cheese and Cherries, Riesling Poached Pear.  So. Freaking. Good.  :)




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Good Girls and “Bad” Boys in YA Contemporary—Author Panel and Signing!

 Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1) Send Me a Sign  One Moment What Happens Next

Saturday, March 9th 1-3pm


“Good Girls and Bad Boys in YA Contemporary” Author panel discussion and signing with Colleen Clayton (WHAT HAPPENS NEXT), Kristina McBride (ONE MOMENT), Katie McGarry (PUSHING THE LIMITS) and Tiffany Schmidt (SEND ME A SIGN).


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Saturday, February 2nd, 1pm-4pm, BARNES & NOBLE   in Youngstown, Ohio


Local Author Signing with Colleen Clayton (WHAT HAPPENS NEXT), Scott Tracey (WITCH EYES series), Leah Clifford (A TOUCH series), Lisa and Laura Roecker (THE LIAR SOCIETY series). Simultaneous bookfair to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mahoning Valley.

To RSVP, join the Facebook page for this event!


Saturday, March 9th, 1-3pm, COVER TO COVER BOOKSTORE in Columbus, Ohio


“Good Girls and Bad Boys in YA Contemporary” Author signing and panel discussion with Colleen Clayton (WHAT HAPPENS NEXT), Kristina McBride (ONE MOMENT), Katie McGarry (PUSHING THE LIMITS) and Tiffany Schmidt (SEND ME A SIGN). Facebook Page RSVP

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YA read:

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)

Adult read:


Theater Movie:
BRAVE (Disney-Pixar)

Rental Movie



Favorite Song:

“Somebody That I Used To Know” (Gotye)

Favorite Musical Discovery:


Favorite TV Show:





Favorite TV Show Character:

Dowager Countess Violet Grantham


Favorite TV Show Moment:
When Michonne skewered The Governor’s daughter on THE WALKING DEAD

Favorite YouTube Video:
“Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation”


Favorite Moment of 2012:
Opening the email that said WHAT HAPPENS NEXT earned a Kirkus star



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Hi, everyone! To celebrate the holiday season, I’m going to repost a blog entry that I wrote a while back and then hold an awesome giveaway!

The original post was part of a YAHighway Roadtrip Wednesday prompt that asked:

What would be the ideal holiday present for your main YA character?

Original Post from December 15, 2011:

I was so glad to see this prompt today!  It has two things going for it in my opinion.  One, it’s filled with holiday cheer and two, it gives me the opportunity to introduce you to my amazing main character, Cassidy Murphy!  As some of you know, Cassidy (who prefers to go by “Sid”) lives in Lakewood, Ohio , a working/middle-class suburb of Cleveland.  Sid’s family is not rich, in fact, her single mom really struggles to make ends meet sometimes.  So anything outrageously expensive (a new car, a trip to Tahiti…) is very unlikely to end up under her Christmas tree.  Also, Sid’s no diva, and while she does have a feminine side at times, she’s kind of a cynical tomboy most days (Think Juno!). So any and all gifts in the “frilly girly” arena (jewelry, a designer handbag, a spa certificate) are likely to make her eyes roll.  What Sid could use and what would be feasible for her family to buy would probably cost no more than a 100 bucks and would be something that she could really make use of on a daily basis.  So, I picked these fabulous boots out for her at Macy’s!  Why these boots?  Well, lots of reasons.  They are cold weather boots which are perfect for surviving freezing, wet, sloppy Cleveland weather.  They are super cute ( yeah, she’s cynical and tomboyish but she does have some taste and style standards). And the boots are to-the-knee tall which is a definite must because Sid Murphy is a  tall girl. And not the willowy, waify, catwalk model tall. Girlfriend is all curves.  (Think the lovely Christina Hendricks. Only in high school.  And with curls, lots and lots of red curls!)  Also, on a less glamorous note, the price is right and the boots are on sale.  Sid’s mom works hard and Sid knows it, she appreciates it, and she would be thrilled to death to  get these boots on Christmas morning.  So, there you have it.  Sid’s perfect present: some really nice boots from Macy’s.  I hope you enjoyed this post and meeting my main character, Sid!  She can’t wait to meet you too!

Now. Moving on…

I thought I’d add a little something to Sid’s holiday cheer this year and give readers the opportunity to pretend to buy a “virtual present” for her. The catch: It has to a present that Corey Livingston, her hot, adorable main squeeze would pick out for her.


  • In the comments of this post you must come up with the best, most thoughtful gift for Corey to give Sid on Christmas. A gift that will knock her socks off and make her swoon right through the new year!
  • Follow me on Twitter @ColleenYA and post your twitter handle into the comment
  • One entry per person
  • Deadline: Christmas Day, 2012, noon
  • Open Internationally

And here’s the best part: THE PRIZE PACK!

Best answer wins Three Contemporary YA Titles by Little, Brown Authors! A signed copy of WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, an ARC of TRUTH OR DARE by Jacqueline Green (May 2013), and an ARC of FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick (August 2013).

What Happens NextTruth or Dare (Truth or Dare, #1)Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

So get started my friends! Use your imagination and pick a lovely present for Corey to give Sid on Christmas!

XOXO, Colleen

P.S. I approve each comment individually so you may have to wait a few hours to see it appear in the comments section. Don’t worry though, it will show up shortly!

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December Updates!

Hey, everyone! WHAT HAPPENS NEXT has been out for a couple of months now! It has been a wonderful period of my life as a writer. My launch party was AMAZING (thank you Rosemary D’Apolito, Kelly Bancroft, and The McDonough Museum of Art for making that possible…) and the readings that I’ve done have been awesome. I have met a lot of very lovely people.


The reviews are out and I’m happy to report that the book has been well-received. My latest review from VOYA calls WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: “By turn, heartbreaking, comic, and intensely truthful, Sid’s story is a small gem of a book. Vivid, believable characters, authentic narrative voice, and a page-turning storyline will reward readers who want to know what happens next…this exceptional novel is an essential acquisition for all libraries serving teens.”

But now it is time to get to work on my second story (working title  GETTING TO THE POINT.) I’ve talked about the story several times while out on the road so I’m comfortable at this point giving the teaser. Take Kristen Stewart’s ADVENTURELAND, add an episode of HOARDERS, sprinkle in a young Heath Ledger-looking biker boy and stirrrr….  Hopefully things will go well with this manuscript and you’ll get to read it in book form someday!


So, I’m going to wrap up by saying THANK YOU for supporting me over the past few months and also have a safe and happy Christmas and Hanukkah.

Love, Colleen

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The YAmazing Race!

Hello, there! Welcome to my leg of the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes, a week long blog hop contest with over 50 debut authors! You can win all kinds of fabulous book swag! Detailed instructions can be found here:

I’m running a simultaneous contest on this website as well! To enter: visit my playlist tab and peruse the song titles to my WHAT HAPPENS NEXT playlist. Then follow me on twitter @ColleenYA  and tweet me a title to one of the songs with a message as to why you like it. Most fabulous answer wins…I’m the judge! You can win a signed hardback copy of WHAT HAPPENS NEXT along with 10 signed bookmarks. :)

Here’s what you need to know about my book:



How can you talk about something that you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (on the bottom of the pyramid, but still…) and a straight-A student, with two of the best friends a girl could ask for.

When Sid finds herself on a ski lift with hunky local college guy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled. “Come to a party with me,” he tells her, but Dax isn’t what he seems. He takes everything from Sid-including a lock of her perfect red curls-and she can’t remember any of it.

After the ski trip, Sid is an insomniac and an obsessive late-night runner, unable to relate to her old friends.

Caught in a downward spiral, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey–slacker, baker, total dreamboat–Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if only she could shake the nightmares, everything would be perfect…

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s debut is a stunning story of moving on after the unthinkable happens.

What the critics are saying

“Equal parts endearing spunk and heartbreaking vulnerability, Sid Murphy is a character who feels more like family by story’s end. The story-and even more importantly, Sid herself-will stay with readers long after the final page is turned. Kudos to Clayton for crafting a powerful, moving debut.” (Kirkus, starred review)

“Layering first love over trauma reveals a true struggle between moments of hope and despair that feels realistic for a young survivor, and Sid is a strong-voiced, sympathetic narrator who is easy to root for.” (The Horn Book )

“Girls will see themselves or someone they know in this thought-provoking story as it gets passed from friend to friend.” (School Library Journal)

Link to Dan Haring’s site to continue on with the race. Thanks for stopping by!

XO/YA Colleen

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