Thursday, January 14, 2016

Major Tom; Throwback Thursday; Seventh Grade


Mr. King sent a text early Monday morning. It said, "Sorry to give you bad news first thing, love, but I wanted to be the one who told you. David Bowie died. I know this is devastating for you." It was. Devastating.

The usual morning routine was full of random tears, making lunches, making a cup of tea, getting the kids in the car. I put on "Oh! You Pretty Things" and drove them to school. Fitting. My older one cried at the first chord of the next track on my Bowie playlist, "Life on Mars?" and asked me to turn it off. My younger one wanted to hear "Oh! You Pretty Things" again, so I put it on again. The rest of the day was a tribute to the man. Music all day. Things I know he would have loved to listen to. Mingus, especially. Mingus is twisted and delicious.

I have musical kids. The first time I showed them this live version of "Oh! You Pretty Things" my youngest said, "Look at his teeth!" She said he looked weird. She was puzzled about how a man like that could be a musical superstar based on what she knows now about what musical superstars look like in the 21st century. She was five. Five-year-olds are as honest as rain. They can't avoid it. I said, "Does it matter what his teeth look like?" She said, "No. But what does this song even mean?"




Touché, Bowie. This is exactly what you wanted, isn't it?
You wanted listeners to ask questions.
Maybe that's why you were so important to me.
You made me think and interpret and guess and risk being wrong about all of it, and yet you made sure I was never wrong because you left your lyrics open to interpretation. As of Monday, there isn't a person on Earth who knows what David Bowie meant in all of his music. The only man who really knew is gone.

The day before Bowie's death, The New Yorker published this article about his recent album. It's entitled "The Beautiful Meaninglessness of David Bowie" and while the title sounds all wrong, the article is a fantastic exploration of Bowie's use of surrealist thought to navigate big questions.

"From the beginning, Bowie showed an interest in exploring the fragmentation of identity and meaning." 
"It was rare for Bowie to embrace clear meaning. The title of one of his most plainspoken songs, “‘Heroes,’” is suspended in a second set of quotation marks, largely to disrupt any straightforward interpretation." 
"...his songs should be about nothing, which in turn allows them to be about everything." 
"Rock and roll started as a form of enchantment and has become, in large part, another symptom of the banality of our acquisitive society. By persisting in deliberately rejecting reason, Bowie reminds us that there are plenty of reasons to do so."

These quotes, along with the many tributes to Bowie this week that recall every persona he invented and lived have changed me in some way. That last quote--about rejecting reason--really hit me in the brain.

I was the girl who took shop class in seventh grade. Short hair. Weird shoes (we called them my "Bowie Shoes" in my house.) When it was time to learn how to silkscreen in seventh grade shop, I made a screen in big letters. DAVID BOWIE. I used bright orange ink. I wore the shirt until it fell to pieces.

Seventh grade. Twelve. Weirdo. Smart. Not interested in school anymore. Interested in good music. Didn't own a Walkman yet. Still listened to cassette tapes on a Panasonic tape recorder with mono sound. The first time I heard "Oh! You Pretty Things" was on that Panasonic.

Seventh grade. The one school picture I was ashamed to see or show anyone, ever. Ever, ever, ever. Mr. King didn't see this picture until last night and I've known him nearly 30 years. What is it about this girl that had me so ashamed? Awkward. Different. Weird. Made-people-uncomfortable.

And yet when I got the news of Bowie's death, the first image that popped into my mind was the seventh grade school picture.

Why had I been ashamed of it all this time? The Bowie-inspired haircut? The weird sweater I bought at Boscov's which had a matching pair of leg warmers? The blanch of my skin? My long neck? Thirty-four years have passed since I was this girl and I'm finally proud of her for being a seventh-grade risk-taker. Here she is. Amy, age 12. Bowie fan for years. Shop class attendee--one girl among all boys. Early smoker. Music lover. Oddly gender non-conforming. Asker of big questions.





"Oh! You Pretty Things" was the main inspiration for my most recent novel, I Crawl Through It.

If you've read the book and know the song, then you probably understand why. Then again, both the book and the song are open to interpretation, which is how I like things to be. Not everyone understood Bowie for this and not everyone understands me for this, either. I get letters from readers asking for concrete, easy, linear explanations of my books. They want me to answer their questions.
I never do. I thank them for reading and writing to me, but I think personal questions that arise from experiencing art are none of my business.

David Bowie wasn't available to me to ask, "Hey Dave, what was 'Space Oddity' all about, anyway?"
But then, I never needed him to be.
His songs made sense to me in my own way. That's what art is.
I liked the way he risked everything and came out winning. I'm sure not every day of his life was grand and I know he got shit for being who he was sometimes, but that's the risk of taking risks.

I Crawl Through It is about everything and nothing. It's about Mozart and Hawkeye Pierce. Risk-takers. It's about four seniors living in abstract reality, being risk-takers. How many different types of risk-takers are there? Would you take off in a helicopter you couldn't see? I would.

I took time this week to figure out why I took risks like that seventh-grade haircut. Why did I take the risk of being the only girl in seventh grade shop class? Why did I take the risk of being a writer? Why have I used my (eventual) ability to publish books to publish weird, uncomfortable, risk-taking books?

The answer is clear today.
To me, the only way to live is on this edge. The only way to live is to enjoy being myself, even if it makes people uncomfortable.
Comfort is a state of mind.
My mind is loose and I like it that way.
Mingus. Delicious.
Mark Rothko and Grace Hartigan.
Abstract. Expressionism.
You can't hear the notes if you're too uptight about the meaning.

There are ways to mimic the minor chords in Bowie's "Changes" with words. No sound, just words, then tears. This is my life's work.

I'm not sure if this post makes sense to anyone but me, and that's a risk I'm willing to take.
I don't usually talk about popular news or culture.
But Bowie was my first love. He was my first intellectual crush. He made me less afraid of everything.
And this week, he made me less afraid of a twelve-year-old kid who used to be me-- less afraid of myself.

This is the power of meaninglessness.



Friday, December 4, 2015

Trailer! Trailer! Trailer!


 e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Jim Bailey did something amazing.

They made a trailer for I CRAWL THROUGH IT, a book I thought was completely trailer-proof. 

I was having an amazing day heading to NCTE/ALAN (More on that soon) and just when I thought things couldn't get better, the awesome Anthony Breznican interviewed me and BAM! Next thing you know the trailer was released on Entertainment Weekly with the interview....just as I was walking on stage at ALAN with Andrew Smith on Monday.

Wanna see the whole EW piece with the trailer? 
Click on this screenshot. 



Just want to see the trailer? 
Here you go.




Isn't it awesome?

If I was to recap NCTE/ALAN, we'd be here all day. I have line edits to do, you have more important things to do, too. So I'll share a few pictures.

With Andrew Smith, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo on night one.
The next day was E.'s NCTE panel on defining At-Risk and reaching At-Risk students
in the classroom. It was a brilliant panel and then later that night, E. screened her kickass
documentary At-Risk Summer and it was beyond amazing to see it on the big screen. 

I love seeing Laurie Halse Anderson. She is the awesome. 

Photo Cred: Marika-the-awesome
Saturday was a long day, but right in the middle was a great event at the St. Paul Public Library
with my brother from another mother, Andrew Smith.
Andrew's book STICK is the St. Paul READ BRAVE selection for next year.
We packed the room and, as promised, donated $250 a piece to Face to Face, which
provides help to at-risk and homeless youth in St. Paul. 

And on Monday, we were at it again at the ALAN workshop.
My favorite quote from Andrew at this event (slightly paraphrased):
"Reluctant readers aren't born, they're made."
Amen.
(Photo Cred: My social media accounts are wonky and I can't find who took this.
But thank you.)

What follow are Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award pictures. 
Look.
Sometimes this all moves too fast for me. I don't expect anyone to read my books, like them, or give two hoots about their existence. So it's always surprising and really delightful when something great happens to a book. Glory O'Brien's History of the Future won the Walden Award this year and this was a great panel (filled with my idols!) and a great day. I reckon it's nice to remember great days, so here are a few pictures. 


Photo Cred: Noah Schaffer
See, when I make a speech, I tend to look down right after I'm done. I look at my shoes and shuffle back to my seat.
When I finished this one-minute-long speech, right when this picture was taken, I'd looked up and saw the crowd standing.
I had no idea until I saw this picture that my fellow panelist-idols were also standing.
I can't thank Noah enough for capturing this moment for me. 

Photo Cred: Noah Schaffer
The Walden committee and the finalists--missing is Michael Williams, who sent
a lovely message to us all from South Africa.

This is Jim. Jim is the reason I'm a member of ALAN and he's the reason I love ALAN so much.
Jim roped me into my first ALAN conference as an attendee back in 2009. 
I met Jim in Phoenix during my very first book event. He saved me from a crazy book-banner.
True story. 
Photo Cred: The Awesome Kristin Elizabeth Clark
On my last night in Minneapolis, I watched Ellen Hopkins get picked apart by that vulture.
No I didn't.
But this picture was too weird not to share. 

While these are pictures of friends and events, the most important thing about NCTE/ALAN are the teachers who dedicate their lives to students. There is a reason this is my favorite conference of the year--and it's those teachers. Education is the most important job in the world and I am so proud to call so many hard-working teachers my friends.


In other news, I CRAWL THROUGH IT has landed on The Horn Book's best books of 2015 list, which is a huge honor, as well as BookPage's best books of 2015. And there is more news to come on that front.

Now, back to line edits and stuff like that.
It's December already.
Enjoy the holiday season in whatever way you do and I'll see you around here soon.

A



Thursday, November 19, 2015

NCTE/ALAN Schedule

Going to NCTE/ALAN? Here's where to see me and a lot of other fine humans.

Saturday 11/21: 
9:30am panel: "Empowering the Voice of the At-risk Learner" with Laurie Halse Anderson, Matt de la Peña, Meg Medina, Ellen Hopkins, E.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Carrie Gordon Watson.
11am: Signing I CRAWL THROUGH IT at Anderson's, booth #950
1:30pm: Merriam Park Library event with Andrew Smith in partnership with Addendum Books 
5pm: Free Screening of AT-RISK SUMMER at St. Anthony Main Theatre. Author reception to follow with Laurie Halse Anderson, Matt de la Peña, Meg Medina, Ellen Hopkins, Pat Zietlow Miller,  E.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Carrie Gordon Watson. (A surprise awaits for fans of I CRAWL THROUGH IT.)

Monday 11/23:
1:10pm: In conversation with Andrew Smith. 
1:30pm: Signing I CRAWL THROUGH IT
3:45pm: Signing copies of GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE
4:30pm: Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award panel with Laurie Halse Anderson, Isabel Quintero, Deborah Wiles

ALAN is my favorite conference of the year. I can't wait to see my tribe.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Box and the NYT.

Man, I am so behind.

Chasing my tail. Chasing my tail. Chasing my tail.

But then this morning, I pulled out the box. My brain is in 2017/2018 now. Projects to come.

A photo posted by A.S. King (@petrifiedbat) on

In other news, this week, The Horn Book published this piece of mine about teaching adult literacy.




...and the New York Times Book Review did a nice little piece on I CRAWL THROUGH IT along with a few other YA crossovers. Here's a snippet of that.



I'm just going to go and die happy now.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rorschach test is a good way to describe it.


"A.S. King has penned an absorbing Rorschach test of a book that, as you turn its pages, manages to read you."--Entertainment Weekly


I CRAWL THROUGH IT got an A from Entertainment Weekly. If you know my history with A's, then you know I didn't receive a lot of them after two teachers affected me greatly in 6th and 7th grade. Not entirely their fault (I own my own suitcase, but I was 12 and didn't quite know that then) but all the same, an A is a really nice thing for me. 

The review is stunning. 
It's taking a while to sink in that I was reviewed in Entertainment Weekly. 
I still feel like a lady who writes books in a small room while drinking too much herbal tea and that's about it. But there I am, in Entertainment Weekly. 

Here's the link to the entire review...thanks to my Dutton editor and longtime friend Andrew Karre, who knows how to give a compliment and make a lady spit out her herbal tea. 



I'm packing now for a long time away. Check my last posts for tour dates and times. 
I'll see you first, Oregon. 




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy Launch Day, I CRAWL THROUGH IT.


It's book launch day.

Which is always a weird day, really. Mostly I walk around trying to figure out what to wear to the launch party and end up wearing an Indiebound t-shirt and jeans anyway.

So far I: ate some Corn Flakes, drank a liter of water, and wrote a few thank you emails. Now I'm going to start packing presents in boxes and sending them to the people who helped make this book a reality.

This is a weird book. I can't lie about that. You have to drop your own need for your own real world and just let the world of the book take over. Some people can't do that and that's okay. Surrealism isn't for everyone.

Usually on launch day, I post a poem. And I will do that. But first, a few links.

So you know I read the audio for I CRAWL THROUGH IT myself, right? Here's a link to an excerpt. The final audiobook will be out soon. This excerpt is a doozy. They picked a good chapter.




Then there are interviews and articles and surprises.

Over on Caroline Leavitt's blog here. 

Over at Forever Young Adult here. 

And a lovely article on Teen Librarian Toolbox at SLJ here. 

And then a surprise lovely review over at Shelf Awareness today with a shiny star in front of it!


So okay. Poem time.

This one comes right from the book.


Your Kale/Kiwi Juice Has More Self-Esteem Than I Do

Kale/kiwi juice
just goes in one side
comes out the other
makes everything happier
the whole way through.

It never worries about
being safe or wearing
the right clothes
so no one will treat it

like it doesn’t matter.

Happy reading!

And don't forget to believe.

And oh: the theme song to this book is "The Beigeness" by Kate Tempest. Here she is. Genius.



Friday, September 18, 2015

TOUR DATES--FALL 2015

And finally I have tour dates for you.
Anything marked with a ** is not a public event, but is helpful for NAIBA, KSRA, or NCTE/ALAN members to know I'll be there.

All others are public events.
Come see me. Bring friends. We can have fun.
That seems like it should have had an exclamation point.
We can have fun!



I CRAWL THROUGH IT
Coming 9.22.15



LAUNCH PARTY
9.22.15
7pm
Aaron's Books
Main Street, Lititz, PA


Clinton Book Shop
Clinton, NJ
September 24, 2015
7pm


**NAIBA Conference
October 3, 2015


Eugene Public Library
Eugene, OR
October 7, 2015
6pm


Salt Lake City Book Festival
Salt Lake City, UT
October 10, 2015
Viridian Event Center
1:30pm


Kent District Library
Cascade Branch
Grand Rapids, MI
October 15, 2015
7pm


**Keystone State Reading Association Annual Conference
Lancaster, PA
October 23, 2015
Breakfast speaker


Children's Book World
Haverford, PA
October 27, 2015
7pm


Indian Prairie Public Library
Darien, IL
November 10, 2015
7pm


Lititz Kid & Teen Lit Festival
Lititz, PA
November 14, 2015
All day fun in America's Coolest Small Town


Addendum Books
St. Paul, MN
November 21st, 2015
1:30pm


**NCTE & ALAN Workshop
Minneapolis, MN
NCTE: Panel: Empowering the Voice of the At-Risk Learner--November 21st 9:30am
ALAN: In discussion with Andrew Smith: Nov 23, 1:10pm
Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award panel: Nov 23, TBD 



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

More Winning!

One picture and one poem won the contest for the ARCs of I CRAWL THROUGH IT.

Zach--what a poem! Thank you!

Rei (@reillyharr82) I loved the picture. I'm a sucker for pool chairs.

Send your mailing details to me wherever we connect. I'll contact you both the minute I post this.

More soon.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WIN IT!!


ME WINNING THINGS

I've won things since I was last here.

I'm very thrilled to tell you that GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE has won the New Atlantic Independent Bookseller's Association (NAIBA) Best Book of the Year in the YA category. Can't wait to shell out a ton of Indie Love at the conference in early October.

And if that wasn't cool enough, GLORY got word that she won the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award from ALAN. And I sure can't wait for the ALAN conference this year to shell out huge Teacher Love. I missed you all last year!

I'm humbled, grateful and stoked. All at the same time.

So now, you should win things, too.


YOU WINNING THINGS

I have two Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of I Crawl Through It to give away.

You have until Monday 9-7-15 at 11:59pm EDT.

There are two ways to do this. 

Challenge #1: Take a picture of yourself crawling through something weird. (Thanks to @OPSMrWiegert on Twitter for this idea.) Post it to me (@AS_King) on Twitter. If you remember, please use the hashtag #icrawlthroughit but if you forget and you just post it to me, that's okay, too. 

This one is a Twitter contest. (If you choose the picture challenge. Keep reading if you don't choose the picture challenge.) If you're not on Twitter, leave me a comment below and let me know where I can see your entry.

Example: 
Here's me crawling through a large pretzel. 

Amy crawling through a giant pretzel. 

I crawled through it instead, see?

Challenge #2: If you're shy or generally not into posting pictures of yourself you have another choice. You can write me a poem. The title must be: 

"How To Tell If Your ___________ Is Real"

You fill in the blank and write me a poem. 

No word count here. You can go as short as you'd like. But please, nothing over 30 lines. 

Example from I CRAWL THROUGH IT:

How To Tell If Your Bed Is Real 

Your bed is real if you are safe inside of it.
Your bed is real if you are safe outside of it. 


That's the shortest poem in the book. So don't feel you need to go that short.
Post your poem in the comment section, please.

If anything here is confusing, let me know in the comments. I wrote this while rushing out the door.

Adding: This contest is international! I lived abroad a long time. I get it. :)

Good luck!




Saturday, August 15, 2015

Catching Up

Deadlines deadlines deadlines. 

This is a lazy post. Mostly pictures. 
But I had such an amazing time in Kansas City, I wanted to share.

First, in I CRAWL THROUGH IT review news, The Horn Book gave the book a lovely star. That's five. Feeling very lucky and grateful. 
[an] ambitious and affecting work, which suggests that the personal tragedies and trauma we internalize change the ways we see and operate in the world.--The Horn Book

Also, keep checking in. This week, I'll run a contest to win an ARC of the book!

Now, to Kansas.
I'd never been there before. I loved it. We will now rely on captions.


The lovely people at Johnson County Library put me up in a really cool room.
Waking up to that airplane every morning was awesome.
Please excuse my dirty laundry. 

This is a (not real) bat in a jar full of (not real) beer. As you can see, there were several of them.
(If you haven't read GLORY O'BRIEN yet, you are confused, I'm sure.)
My time with the teen group at the library was AMAZING. Not only did they decorate the room with cool stuff like this,
but they asked the best questions and had the best conversations.
I LOVE THESE TWO PEOPLE SO MUCH.
These were my two interviewers during the teen section of the program.
Smart, resilient, funny, warm, and just completely wonderful people.  

Calling all Johnson County librarians:
THANK YOU FOR THE AWESOME TIME!
You guys rock and I can't wait to come back. 

Random thought upon seeing this in the hotel hallway:
Yes. If all cities used such impeccable grammar then the world would be a better place. 

Sunset over the clouds. 

Other random happenings. 
My friend Joe McGee launched his first book this week! 
Go buy PEANUT BUTTER AND BRAINS! It's wonderful. 


Epic reading at Let's Play Books in Emmaus, PA. 

 And I don't know how else to say this, but.
WTF is this?
Does one need to be a boy to want to learn how to make a rocket?
Practical jokes? Girls love those.
Books for boys? I'll just stop here.
Color me bummed out that the world still does this. 

On a lighter note, this is a real sign.
Still juggling books over here. 
I'll be back next week, as promised, to post a contest to win an ARC of I CRAWL THOUGHT IT.

Toodles. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What a week!

I've been running behind in telling you things. 

For example: I found out on the 22nd of July that Glory O'Brien's History of the Future was a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award, which is given by ALAN, an organization I support with vigor. 

So then, before I got to tell you that news, I found out yesterday that Glory O'Brien's History of the Future actually won the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award. I'm humbled and grateful and all sorts of honored. I love every other book on that finalist list and it's just amazing to be able to accept this award in November at the ALAN Workshop in Minneapolis. You can see the full press release here. 

Today, Shelf Awareness reviewed I Crawl Through It. Here's a quote:
"Master of contemporary surrealist fiction A.S. King offers a smart and wholly original new YA novel."
Now you're all filled in on that kind of news. It's picture time. 

So. 
This week. 
Was. 
Phenomenal. 

Here's why. I went up to NYC to record the audiobook for I Crawl Through It. 
I'll be honest with you. (Like I'm ever not honest with you.) I was a little nervous about this. I mean, I'm not an actor. I've listened to enough audiobooks to know that professional actors do this job very, very well. How would I manage this job? Especially reading a book about an invisible helicopter and a walking digestive system? 


Hachette moved last fall and this was my first time to the new digs.
The office is across the street from Radio City Music Hall, which looks so boss at night.

I got to the sound booth Monday morning and they set me up with the manuscript on the iPad and I just went for it. Because that's what you do, right? You just go for it. I was nervous enough for the first few chapters, but I know the book well because I wrote it and I seemed to feel at home. So I just kept reading. 

Obligatory picture of this sign. 
By the time lunch came around, I felt okay about it. Chrissy and Charles (the producer/director and sound engineer/genius/I never asked his real title so I feel stupid now) said I was doing great. And I believed them because that's what you do, right? You believe them. I ate lunch. We went back to the booth and I kept reading. 

This was my booth for two days. It was fascinating.
I learned things like: after lunch, this microphone picks up digestive noises I can't even hear.
True story. 
Only when day one was over did I start to doubt myself. This is what we do, I guess. We doubt ourselves. I was tired. (Exhausted. I'd read like 160 pages in one day.) My throat was sore. I went back to my hotel room and chilled out which was good because it was a hot day in New York City. 


That's Chrissy and Charles. They are so boss. 
On day two, I leveled with Chrissy and Charles. I said, "Look. Are you sure I'm doing all right? This wasn't a huge mistake?" They said that I was a natural. This was a good answer. We started recording again. Chapters flew by. I only swore under my breath maybe 100 times before repeating a sentence. Or 100 sentences--trying to pronounce Thuja Orientalis and things like that. 

Photo cred: Mitch from Hachette Audio.
This is me with earphone hair.
Which reminds me: hearing myself talk as I talked took a while to get used to.
Note: I talk better if I can use my right hand.
In the end, I finished the recording and when I came out of my little booth, Chrissy was playing "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige and I sang a little and felt great relief. If my throat hadn't been so sore, I'd have really gone off on this track because it's my theme song. 
Here. Enjoy Mary doing it herself. 
(No seriously. Watch this. It will improve your day. I promise.)



While I think I did well, I won't really know until I hear it and because I might not ever listen to it, I may never know. I trust that the post-production will put a shine on the surrealist parts and Chrissy has some great ideas for those, so yay for brainy people like Chrissy and Charles. 

Stats: 
Amount of honey ingested in three days: half a bottle. 
Amount of times I doubted myself: many.
Amount of joy I felt when I finally stopped doubting myself: Very much joy. 
Amount of falafel I ate in NYC: two nights' worth.

I NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT KANSAS:

I am coming to Kansas City next weekend! 
Saturday, August 8th, I'll be at the Shawnee Branch from 2-3pm to talk books and writing and all that stuff. Come see me! I hear only amazing things about these events!
Teens/Student readers in the area: contact the library to find out about an earlier program that day just for you. 

YOU CAN WIN LUNCH WITH ME AND SUPPORT A GREAT LIBRARY.



RANDOM PICTURES FROM LATELY:


This was made for me.

THIS IS HOW THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD BE.
Free period stuff AND great grammar. 

And now I'm out of things. 
When it rains it pours and this week it poured. 

Now back to work. In my hat. 


Friday, July 10, 2015

Cool Packages & a Star. Tacos!

This week, I got two very very cool packages.
I expected neither of them. Those are the best kind of cool packages, I reckon.

First it was a package from Brazil.

That's Ask the Passengers in Portuguese.
And it's one awesome looking book.
Also: that's me right after I wake up. 
The second package was from Korea.

I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS BOOK IS.
It's Reality Boy in Korean.
It's a stunning cover--so hard to tell even from this image. 



Yes. I am wearing that hat every day while I revise the 2016 book. I wore a lab coat all last year when I revised I CRAWL THROUGH it. I am 100% comfortable admitting this to you. I don't care if you think I'm weird.

Review News

I can't share it yet, but Booklist  gave I CRAWL THROUGH IT a really lovely review with a shiny star attached! That's three for this novel and I'm just thrilled with three. It's a magic number.

Best line ever

Tonight I was at Aaron's Books, my local Independent bookstore, celebrating their 10th anniversary and they asked me to sign books and set me up at a table and this was where I heard the best thing so far in my career.

"Are you, like, manning an A.S. King book table?"

Some days are just surreal, y'all.

I wrote a blog post over at Hippodilly Circus

You should check it out. It's about listening and how it can help us all treat each other better.  After that, you should read the rest of the blog because it's awesome.


That's all I got.
Back to the cave in my hat.




Friday, July 3, 2015

I KNEW I forgot to tell you something.

I forgot to tell you about the secret.

This was the secret:

I'm so excited to be working with Cheryl on this project.

But for now, onto the other project for a few weeks. Juggling, juggling, juggling.

Happy summer!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

T-shirts and Aprons and Kirkus.

Hello again.

I just came back from here.



Here was very nice.

But now I'm back to work and before I disappear for a month or so into the revision cave, I wanted to share a few things with you.

First, if ever you wanted to buy something from the A.S. King book apparel store now is the time to do it. Printfection will be closing the store on July 31st. That gives you a few weeks to choose between the Ken Dietz Face Your Shit Flowchart apron or the Send Love, It Helps t-shirt among many other cool things. Just click on the image below and go for it.



In other news, Kirkus Reviews weighed in on I Crawl Through It and said nice things. 

"A meditation on grief, guilt, and survival…. Readers [will be] rewarded with the self-actualization of finely wrought characters…. Absolutely worthwhile.”--Kirkus Reviews

I think I'm forgetting something.
But I always think I'm forgetting something.
If I really am, I'll be back.

Happy swimming!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Seeing Stars


I don't take nice reviews for granted.
If you know me or have heard me talk about reviews I get a bit shy about it. I never know how anyone will react to a certain book and I try not to think about reviews--ever. It's the healthier option for me. It's not that I don't appreciate reviews or reviewers. The opposite is true, really. I can't write a review to save my life, so I appreciate those who can.

Anyway.

I CRAWL THROUGH IT seems so far away to me that I was surprised to get review news this week. Good review news.
Twice.


On Monday I got word that Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review saying:

"It’s bizarre, compelling, and not like anything else."

On Wednesday I got word that School Library Journal gave the book a starred review and said:

"An ambitious, haunting work of art."


I'm humbled and thrilled.
This is a book that I've wanted to write for a lifetime.

On top of that, my friend and brilliant author Beth Kephart read an ARC I gave her a few weeks ago and she blogged about it here. Beth's newest book, ONE THING STOLEN blew me away and I'm urging you to buy it and find out why.

Only three more months until I CRAWL THROUGH IT comes to bookstores near you. My local independent bookstore, Aaron's Books, is taking pre-orders now for a 15% discount. When you shop at Aaron's Books, you support my community, so it's pretty cool for me if you pre-order from Aaron's. Also, your books will be signed and personalized (if you want) and Aaron's will ship them to you.

But wait! There's more. The official launch of the book will take place at Aaron's Books on September 22, 2015 at 7pm. If you're nearby or plan on being nearby at that time, you can still get the 15% discount AND RSVP for the launch at this one handy link.

Summer is upon us.
For now, I will disappear back into revisions and writing and researching and even a little resting.

I'm reading: Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. I last read it in 1992 and it's amazing.
What are you reading?