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?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Like a Train

Hello.
This post will be mostly pictures. I've been around.
The first half of the year was dominated by writing books. This is a good thing.
There are secrets. You will know about them soon.

But then I got to go places.
Here's a picture of going places.




In April I went to Children's Book World in Haverford, PA and appeared with these two radically awesome ladies. Libba has her Charlie's Angels pose down. I do not. Gayle and I may actually be robbing someone here.



And then The 10th Annual Rochester Teen Book Festival. You know how I feel about Rochester. Love love love love. Here's Terry Truman, me, and Zac-awesome-Brewer. As always, the craic was mighty and the humans were wonderful. 


More Rochester...the epic VW pickup truck. And there's MT Anderson just hanging out like he grew there. 


And then there was this beautiful cover for the Portuguese translation of Ask the Passengers.
It's June, so that means it's coming out soon if it hasn't already.
Go Brazil! 


And then I went to Book Expo America and right before I had to make the keynote speech at the School Library Journal Day of Dialog, I found my friend Rita Williams Garcia. I love Rita. Like, I love love love Rita. 



And this picture of me giving the speech thanks to Paula Willey. It's funny. I was nervous the day before, but on the day, I was feeling just fine. I was so honored to be able to talk to an audience about womanhood and feminism and books. All going well, the speech should be published somewhere someday this year. I'll link it when it happens. Big room. Big screen. And yes, all those pictures are of me. 



And this picture of the next day on the BEA floor signing ARCs of I Crawl Through It thanks to the best agent ever, Michael Bourret. That was a good day. Later, I got to thank Indie booksellers during the ABA award luncheon when I was so honored to receive a 2015 Indies Choice Honor Award. I forgot to write remarks, so I winged it and mentioned lettuce. If you know my connection to indie booksellers, then you know what it has to do with lettuce. If not, ask me one day during a Q&A.


And this. The train home. A barn. The sunset. 



And this picture thanks to Beth Kephart's camera and Ruth's eye...at the Moravian Writer's Conference last weekend. Talking with Beth on stage was so much fun. Authentic love we have for what we do, for each other, and for readers and writers. 




That's all I have for now. A me me me post about where I've been.
If you really want to keep up with me, I'm on Instagram as @petrifiedbat, Twitter as @AS_King and Facebook ---> click the links over there.

Now, back to writing and traveling. Next week? I go to NYC to record the audiobook of I CRAWL THROUGH IT. After that, some research travel south of the border.

xo

Monday, May 11, 2015

THE NOVL BOX


I've been places. I haven't uploaded pictures from my phone yet because 2015 is the year of not having time. It's okay, because time is being eaten by writing and nothing is better than writing. Not even a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Not even Utz cheese balls.

Anyway. I'm not here to update you on where I've been, though I will say I got to see Jimi Hendrix's grave and that means I have now paid my respects to both of my biggest musical influences.

I'm here to give you a heads up in case you don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

I am curating the May NOVL Box.

You want to win one of these boxes.

Just click on the image to enter. Or go here:

http://thenovl.com/post/117862415314/whats-a-novlbox-its-a-package-full-of


More soon when I have time.



Sunday, April 12, 2015

A month later...

I'm dropping in to say thank you for your patience.
I'm writing a secret book.
I should have posted this card last month so you knew.




I'll be back soon.
Seattle area fans: go to my website for info about my visit to your lovely city at the end of April.
I have a list of news but I don't remember it all. But good things have happened and that's always nice.

I've written the Writer's Middle Finger Part Eight and will post it soon.

But for now: secret book.

Shhhh. Don't tell anyone.

(Also: I joined Instagram. I'm @petrifiedbat. I know. I'm a million years late.)

Instagram

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Birthday Week--Fan Art Rocks

So yesterday was my birthday. It was nice and I had a cool night with my family and we ate Mexican food and I was so full I never got to eat the cake in my fridge, so today after dinner I get to celebrate again. Two birthdays FTW!

But this week, something really cool happened.

Paul at the ALAN workshop, 2013.
(I swear I have a selfie of us from 2010
but I can't find it.)
I've known Paul Hankins for years through ALAN, RawInk, and social media. Paul teaches English in Indiana and he's a special kind of teacher. He refers to himself as "lead reader" of room 407 (I love that so much) and he has a passion for YA literature that goes all the way into his bones. He's also one hell of a writer.

Since I CRAWL THROUGH IT advance copies have arrived, the next step is my amazing publishing team sending those ARCs to people who request them, or people who require them and all that stuff. I am very grateful for these mailings.

So, Paul received a copy of the ARC from Little, Brown and as he does, he mentioned on Facebook that he was reading it. There is a line in the book about eighty nine cents. There are poems in the book, too--some with repeating titles. So when Paul told me he would give me his .89 (get it? two cents...eighty nine cents? Paul is funny.) when he was done, I said I'd write a poem called "How to Know if Your .89 Is Real." But then he beat me to it.

Five times.

These are gorgeous poems. I wanted to share them, so I'm linking all five below.

How to Know if Your .89 Is Real: Number 1

How to Know if Your .89 Is Real: Number 2

How to Know if Your .89 Is Real: 3

How to Know if Your .89 Is Real: FOR Ways

How to Know if Your .89 Is Real: Channel 5


I can't tell you how humbling and cool it is to read poems that were inspired by this crazy book I wrote that I never thought I'd publish. It's pretty amazing to wake up every morning this week and find a new poem waiting for me.

Thank you for the beautiful poems, Paul! I can't wait to thank you in person in Minneapolis this November!

xo
Amy

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ARCs, teen advocacy, and I'm forgetting something

The UPS man brought me a lovely package today:


It's an ARC! It's an ARC!

And I love it and will sleep with it under my pillow tonight because that's how I roll.

There's a new blog in town called Hippodilly Circus--the brainchild of Christine Lively who is a fantastic woman, teacher, and teen advocate. Obviously, we get along pretty well because we have a lot in common.

(interrupting myself to say: isn't the Internet awesome? I've never met Christine in person, but I consider her an ally, a friend, and a complete badass.)

Anyway, I wanted to write some posts for Hippodilly Circus because I believe so strongly in its aim.

So here's the first of many.





It's still winter here. It's ice-storming like crazy right now. More snow due later this week. I don't care as long as I can hug this ARC of I Crawl Through It a lot and write some words on a secret project.

I know there was other stuff to tell you but I completely forget it all.

Carry on.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Watch this.

My friend e.E. Charlton-Trujillo shared this with me today.
I had to share it with you.




I've been writing this book. It made me see that not only was the literature I read in school all male and all white (which I already knew when I was reading it back then) but the art we learned about was all male, too. Even though the majority of my art teachers were women. Weird, right?

It also made me realize that the white girls I read about in books (books I read for fun--not those assigned all-male books) weren't like me. Just because we had the same skin color didn't mean we were the same and had the same ideas or wants or needs. I guess I was weird. (That's what everyone wrote in my yearbook, for sure.) Or...I guess I was made to think I was weird because I never met myself in a book.

Anyway.
Editing.
Deadline.
Seeya.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The I CRAWL THROUGH IT post


Coming 9.22.15

I CRAWL THROUGH IT


 
Our big explosion is coming any day now.
Can’t you hear the ticking?

 
Four accomplished teenagers are on the verge of explosion. The anxieties they face at every turn have nearly pushed them to the point of surrender: senseless high-stakes testing, the lingering damage of trauma, the buried grief and guilt of tragic loss. They are desperate to cope—but no one is listening.

So they will lie. They will split in two. They will turn inside out. They will build an invisible helicopter to fly themselves far away from the pressure…but nothing releases the pressure. Because, as they discover, the only way to truly escape their world is to face it.

The genius of acclaimed author A.S. King reaches new heights in this groundbreaking work of surrealist fiction; it will mesmerize readers with its deeply affecting exploration of how we crawl through traumatic experience—and find the way out.

Friday, February 6, 2015

I CRAWL THROUGH IT Cover reveal & random tidbits of news

Hello.

Today is Bob Marley's birthday. He would have been 70 today. If you know me, then you know that I celebrate this day every year. May you be positive to every person you meet today. May you never believe that money makes you rich.





I am writing to you from the cave. I drew the cave on my Amy Road Map 2015 as pictured a few posts ago. I've been writing a book and I'm getting very near the end. Life is good in the cave.

News has come in the last week.

First, I got a letter that said that the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association had chosen me as their 2015 Outstanding Pennsylvania Author. This is fantastic and humbling and lovely because I have set every book I've published in Pennsylvania. Thank you PSLA! I can't wait to see you all on May 1st at your conference and thank you in person.


Small Glory news from ALA--she made the Best Fiction for Young Adults list.

Also, in a fantastic stroke of luck, she was listed on the Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks list. A huge shout out to Christine Lakin for her unbelievable performance.


Cover reveal for I Crawl Through It happened yesterday over on The Novl.

I Crawl Through It is coming 9.22.15 and it's a surrealist novel so saddle up and get ready for a mind-bending read. I'm not sure what else to say except that I love this cover. It encapsulates the book's themes well and it's as weird as the book is. Come back tomorrow for a description of the book.




Back to the cave work now.
By the time you hear from me again, I will have finished the book I'm working on.
This is positive.

I'll leave you with this.





Saturday, January 31, 2015

Glory in all her glory.

It's ALA midwinter weekend and while I am dug deep into writing a book, Glory gets to go out and have all the fun hanging out with the awesome librarians.

My lovely editor sent this picture to me this morning.





Today I will install a ceiling fan and write 2000 words. 
Not in that order.
The fan is the reward for the words.