New York, New York *jazz hands*

The very first stop on my US tour was one of my favourite cities in the world: New York. 

Snapped in Times Square 

Snapped in Times Square 

My event there was also with one of my favourite authors in the world: Scott Westerfeld. 

Cue freak out. 

I arrived in NYC at around 6pm on Monday night after a 14-hour flight from Sydney, a two-hour stopover in LA, and then a five-hour flight to New York. When I got to my hotel, I promptly collapsed into bed without eating dinner or changing out of my flying clothes. 

I awoke at 3.30am and couldn't get back to sleep. HELLO JET LAG, MY OLD FRIEND. 

Tuesday 4th October was the official release date of Our Chemical Hearts, and I had the whole day off to recover from my jet lag, so I basically spent it in bed tweeting. It was great. 

That night, I got to meet my fantastic, amazing, unicorn of an editor, Stacey Barney, for the first time. We ate deep dish pizza and drank red wine. It was magical. 

On Wednesday, I got to meet the rest of the Penguin team who helped make my book real, but tragically I forgot to snap a picture. Needless to say, they're all dreamy human beings and I swooned at being in the same room as them. Partly because of the jet lag, but mostly because I adore them all. 

Then, that night, I had my first official US event: a joint book launch with Scott Westerfeld at Books of Wonder. 

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? 

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? 

*Internal fangirling intensifies* 

*Internal fangirling intensifies* 

We had a great chat (sans moderator!) about our books and about how influential Scott has been on my writing career and it was basically amazing. 

Signing books like a real author 

Signing books like a real author 

Part of the stellar team of humans at Putnam: Kate Meltzer, assistant editor, Lauren Donovan, publicist (who wore blue especially to match the cover!), yours truly, and Stacey Barney, editor extraordinaire

Part of the stellar team of humans at Putnam: Kate Meltzer, assistant editor, Lauren Donovan, publicist (who wore blue especially to match the cover!), yours truly, and Stacey Barney, editor extraordinaire

New York was incredible and I feel so lucky to have been able to have my US book launch in one of my favourite cities in the world, surrounded by people I greatly appreciate and admire. 

Until next time, NYC. 

Aussie Tour Recap

Five states. Five days. One epic tour. Here's how it went down:

Day 1: Perth 

I arose early on Tuesday morning for my five hour flight to Perth. Damn Australia, why you so large. I kinda miss the days of living in Europe, when flying for five hours could get you to a different continent. 

When I landed, I met up with my lovely publicist, Tina, and headed to Paper Bird books, a cute little bookshop in Fremantle, for my first ever event as a real life author. And there I saw, for the very first time, the physical manifestation of eight years of daydreaming: Our Chemical Hearts out in the wild. 

Outside the adorable Paper Bird 

Outside the adorable Paper Bird 

MY BABIES! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! 

MY BABIES! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! 

My Q&A was hosted by the fantastic A. J. Betts, author of Zac & Mia, and a fellow Queenslander from a rural town! I was amazed to find out that she's from Innisfail, which is about a three hour drive north from Townsville. 

The event was small and cozy and afterwards I signed my first purchased copies of Our Chemical Hearts and it was basically the best afternoon of my life so far. 

Holding each other's books, trying to be cool etc. 

Holding each other's books, trying to be cool etc. 

Day 2: Adelaide/Stormaggedon 

Another early morning for our three-something hour flight to Adelaide. There were whispers on social media of an intense thunderstorm headed for the Adelaide region, but my publicist and I were blissfully ignorant of the true extent of the approaching weather. Enter Stormaggedon. 

We landed in Adelaide about two hours before the wild weather began, and went to get hot chocolate at Koko Black in Rundle Mall. And that's when all hell broke loose. The storm rolled over the city, and all of South Australia lost power. For reference, that's an area three times the size of Germany. Tragically, we did not get our hot chocolate. 

Alarms were blaring from every second building. The roads were gridlocked with traffic because no lights were working. The whole city was dark and eerie. 

As we waited for news on the power in our darkened hotel lobby, we wondered if we'd have to cancel the event to be held at Dymocks. Police were telling people to stay indoors and off the roads, and we didn't want anyone to risk their safety to try and make it into the city. 

Then, an hour before the event was supposed to start, my publicist received a phone call from the bookshop: six people were already there. 

We wandered back through the darkened city to the bookstore to meet Tori and Sian, who run the YA Circle out of Dymocks in Adelaide, and the six (later ten) very dedicated readers who'd turned up despite the conditions! 

Signing by candlelight. I nearly set my hair on fire twice - after that, the candles had to be moved away from my general vicinity for my own safety.  

Signing by candlelight. I nearly set my hair on fire twice - after that, the candles had to be moved away from my general vicinity for my own safety.  

Dedicated af readers. You guys are some serious troopers! 

Dedicated af readers. You guys are some serious troopers! 

A gift from the girls at YA Circle for doing my Adelaide event. I don't think they really understand that I would pay them for this opportunity, but I took the gift regardless because, well, chocolate. 

A gift from the girls at YA Circle for doing my Adelaide event. I don't think they really understand that I would pay them for this opportunity, but I took the gift regardless because, well, chocolate. 

After the seance, Tina and I were starving, and I came to realise that I would probably die very quickly in an apocalypse because I had no idea how to acquire food. Luckily a nearby Woolworths was running on a generator and we managed to snag some Doritos and red wine for dinner. 

The glamorous life of an author on tour! 

The glamorous life of an author on tour! 

Day 3: Melbourne

We managed to escape Adelaide on time despite many early morning flights being cancelled due to the power outage the night before. 

And then it was time for my Melbourne event, which I was particularly excited about for two reasons:

1. So many of my early supporters have been Melbournians, and I was really excited to meet them in person, and 

2. Amie Kaufman said she was going to be there. 

AMIE BLOODY KAUFMAN, 1/2 of the team responsible for Illuminae. EXCUSE ME WHILE I FREAK OUT. 

The lovely Shivaun Plozza, author of Frankie, hosted the Q&A

The lovely Shivaun Plozza, author of Frankie, hosted the Q&A

Meeting the adorable @_sarahdreams, whom I love! If I die, I want the review she wrote of Our Chemical Hearts read out at my funeral. 

Meeting the adorable @_sarahdreams, whom I love! If I die, I want the review she wrote of Our Chemical Hearts read out at my funeral. 

And then this happened: 

Holy shit, both of them were there. Amie Kaufman. Jay Kristoff. Literary superstars. I CANNOT EVEN. 

Holy shit, both of them were there. Amie Kaufman. Jay Kristoff. Literary superstars. I CANNOT EVEN. 

Day 4: Brisbane 

Another day, another city, this time up to Brisbane in my home state in Queensland. It was sunny and warm and glorious and made me wonder why I ever left. 

My event that night was at Riverbend books, another cute boutique bookstore with a cafe attached. Which is basically my idea of heaven. 

They also had my face out the front. It's very strange getting out of a cab and seeing your face staring back at you. 

They also had my face out the front. It's very strange getting out of a cab and seeing your face staring back at you. 

More books in the wild! 

More books in the wild! 

Booksellers are the best. 

Booksellers are the best. 

My Q&A was hosted by the lovely Rhianna Patrick from the ABC. We had a great chat! 

Action shot. Limbs akimbo. No idea what's going on here. 

Action shot. Limbs akimbo. No idea what's going on here. 

Day 5: Sydney 

We wrapped up the tour in Sydney, my adopted hometown, and boy was it a grand finale.

The event took place in Kinokuniya, one of my favourite Sydney bookstores, and was attended by a hoard of friends, family, my agent, my Aussie editor, and readers. 

It was also hosted by Will Kostakis, who's new book The Sidekicks I just finished the day before. The Sidekicks will easily make my top three books of 2016, so I was a little nervous to meet/be interviewed by Will, who's an incredibly talented storyteller.

Stand at Kinokuniya. Awesome/terrifying in equal measure! 

Stand at Kinokuniya. Awesome/terrifying in equal measure! 

I saw Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan on this stage just a few weeks ago. MIND BLOWN. 

I saw Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan on this stage just a few weeks ago. MIND BLOWN. 

Signing for my friends and family made my heart swell. 

Signing for my friends and family made my heart swell. 

In conclusion

To every single person who came to one of my Australian book events and/or bought a copy of Our Chemical Hearts (or four, a la my sister and best friend) - THANK YOU.

Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

It may seem like a small gesture to you, but it means so much to me. It means everything! I hope you like the book, and I hope you tell your friends about it, and I hope I'm lucky enough to be supported by such incredible people for years to come.

New Author Photos!

My previous author photo was taken on a hurried afternoon in August last year, just as my book was going out on submission to editors for the first time. 

My lovely sisters did my makeup, and then the three of us traipsed off to our local park and took a few black and white snaps in which I appear very regal and like a Real Professional Author. 

Photo credit: Shanaye Sutherland, fifth year med student/one time photographer 

Photo credit: Shanaye Sutherland, fifth year med student/one time photographer 

This is the photograph that ultimately appears on the back of Our Chemical Hearts. It's special to me because my sister took it and my other sister was there and it was just the three of us, alone in a park, before I even knew if my book would sell or not. 

Alas, we only took black and white photos (because they're more regal and author-ish, duh) and I've recently had requests from media outlets for colour images, so it was time to get photographed again. I'm in Sydney and my sisters are back in Townsville, so I decided to hire a pro this time: the incredibly talented Lisa Fahey

Here are some of the new picks she took of me, in one of my favourite places in Sydney/the world: Centennial Park. 

Krystal Sutherland, international high fashion model 

Krystal Sutherland, international high fashion model 

Krystal Sutherland, woman who enjoys glancing right 

Krystal Sutherland, woman who enjoys glancing right 

Krystal Sutherland, casual reader of hardback books she totally found just lying by the lake 

Krystal Sutherland, casual reader of hardback books she totally found just lying by the lake 

Krystal Sutherland, who totally woke up like this 

Krystal Sutherland, who totally woke up like this 

Thanks to Lisa Fahey for making me look way nicer than usual! 

10 Things About Me

I've seen some other authors like Samantha Shannon and Laure Eve writing these "10 Things About Me" posts and I was like... Hey, I am a person and there are probably ten things about me. Maybe I should do a post like that. 

So here we are. What a wild ride. 

Ahead of the publication of Our Chemical Hearts, which comes out in two weeks (OMG I'm not hyperventilating you're hyperventilating), here are ten interesting things about me: 

1. I am deaf in one ear. 

If we're having a conversation and you're on my left side and my eyes are kind of glazed over and I laugh at inappropriate times, it's probably because I can't hear you. I started losing my hearing my left ear when I was fifteen thanks to a condition called Ménière's disease. It also means that I have a high pitched buzzing sound playing in that ear.

Every second. Of every day. For the rest of my life. 

People kind of freak out when I tell them that. Honestly, it's not so bad. It makes getting to sleep really easy because I just roll onto my good ear and suddenly all nighttime sounds (traffic, possums, ghosts, soul eating demons etc.) are blocked out. I can pretty much sleep anywhere because of my broken ear. 

Places like bars and loud restaurants are a struggle though, because it's exhausting trying to hear people and pick out their voices over the din. I need to be able to see people's lips moving - and I need to sit at the left end of the table if I'm to have any hope of conversation. Super frustrating sometimes, but I've learned to adapt. 

2. I've lived on three continents. 

I grew up in Australia. Then I studied in Europe. I loved studying in Europe so much that I decided to study in Asia.

Living in countries where you don't speak the language is very humbling and character building - I'm so glad I did it. 

3. I love Worcestershire sauce. 

Worcestershire sauce is kind of a tradition in my family. My grandfather loved it all his life. When he was a kid, it was the only thing that made bland wartime food taste good.

My mother caught it off him. As a joke on her wedding day, someone gave her two four litre bottles of Worcestershire sauce - with teats attached.

I was kind of weaned off it while living in Asia, but I still enjoy it on eggs. And pasta. And pizza. And toast. Okay I wasn't really weaned off it at all. 

4. I have two younger sisters who are both brilliant. 

One is going to be a fully-fledged doctor at the end of next year. The other is beginning her international science degree majoring in genetics and French. They're both also really good writers. It's kind of unfair actually. 

5. I hate the cold. 

So much so that it makes me physically angry. I have been known to shout at the weather on cold days. Honestly, nothing makes me feel closer to a total psychotic breakdown than a winter's day. I just hate it. I wasn't built for the northern hemisphere. 

6. I used to be a book thief. 

As a child, I wasn't allowed to read anything that depicted witchcraft and was therefore banned from read Harry Potter. My family were Jehovah's Witnesses (we are no longer and haven't been for a long time), and that meant no birthdays, no Christmas, no Easter, no national anthems and no magic. 

I considered this a great injustice and - curious as to what all the fuss was about - I decided to take matters into my own hands. Because I wasn't old enough to get my own library card (you had to be twelve for one of those, so mature) I had to smuggle a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone out of the library and into my bedroom.

Naturally, I fell in love. Eternal life be damned - ten-year-old me was more than willing to give it up for my next hit of J.K.Rowling. I read the series in secret for two years before my parents split and we left the religion. 

I had my first Christmas at the age of thirteen and it was freakin' awesome

7. Growing up, I wanted to be an actor. 

When I was twelve or thirteen, I decided – against my mother’s wishes – that I was going to be a child actor. I thought it was a brilliant escape plan to get out of my small, humid hometown. Look out Hollywood! I sent headshots to agencies in Melbourne and Sydney, saying I was looking for an acting agent and was available for auditions. I got a lot of phone calls asking me to come in – which was difficult because I was thousands of kilometres away.

I begged my mother to let me move to Sydney by myself so I could be in movies, but she (thankfully!) declined. 

8. Sydney is my favourite city in the world. 

In a four way tie for second place is London, New York, Paris and Edinburgh. They're all far too cold though. 

9. I once killed a cactus. 

I'm definitely not ready for children. 

10. I'm a struggling vegetarian. 

Two years ago I was one of those "I'll always eat meat" people. Then I discovered the extreme impact meat production has on the environment and it's huge contribution to climate change, and I decided to cut down on my consumption. 

It was really, really hard not to eat meat in Hong Kong (even vegetarian wontons come in pork soup. Everything has pork in it). Now that I'm back in Australia, I never prepare meat for myself at home, but I do eat it occasionally if I'm out with friends and sharing meals, or if I'm at someone's house and they've cooked for a bunch of people. 

I think it's a good balance. 

BONUS:

Since killing the cactus a few years ago, I've managed to keep mint, parsley and kale alive for a couple months now. I'm practically a card carrying adult.