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 date rape, 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.




Monday, January 26, 2015

New Books! New Books!


I'm embedding Michael's tweet here because it's snowing and snow always makes me sleepy and somewhat incoherent. But here's what the PW deal looks like:



So that's the news. My 2016 and 2017 books will come from Dutton Books and I'll be working with the amazing Andrew Karre again.

Eight years ago, Andrew Karre bought my first published book, The Dust of 100 Dogs. By that time, I'd written about 8* novels over 15 years and collected 400+ rejection letters. I was too weird for adult publishers. But Andrew likes weird, and when he read D100D he wanted to publish it. I didn't really know what YA books were when this happened. I'd lived in a place where YA wasn't really booming and I was in need of a reading list. It was Andrew Karre who first uttered the words Octavian Nothing to me. I can't thank him enough for that. (*No, you will never get to read those first 7 novels. Sorry, but I'm saving you. Trust me.)

2015 will still see publication of I Crawl Through It from Little, Brown.

At this point you're guaranteed a new YA book from me every year until 2017.

Let's all just eat tacos and beat on the piñata now.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

On Road Maps

I have three days to finish page proofs, finish my business tax prep, and enjoy my kids before they go back to school. Also: make cotton candy out of root beer barrels.

But it's New Year's Day and I wanted to show you something.


These are my road maps from 2005 (when I started drawing them) to 2015.
Ten years of road maps.

The one from 2005 said things like "Find an agent" or "Finish the book."
Ten years later, there are a lot of extra roads and more concrete and achievable goals because technically, I had no control over the agent or publishing part in 2005, right? All I have control over is what I do. And writing books is what I do.

I didn't realize that this New Year tradition was 10 years old until I took down the maps from my wall to add this year's map. When I realized it, I also realized that time seems compressed. It doesn't feel like ten years...which is made even more obvious by having a kid who is nearly as tall as I am and visiting family today whose kids I remember as middle school students who are now in college.

Time flies.

2015 is going to be an excellent year. I'm going to write my brains out. I'm going to publish I CRAWL THROUGH IT, which is a book I'm very proud of. I'm going to concentrate on all these ideas I have in my head but never have the time to get on paper.

I painted my office this week. When we moved in here, I just tossed my office together because I had to go to VCFA for my first semester of teaching a few days later. It used to be the most hideous color green. Now it's brighter and it's mine. I figured I should have an office that feels like mine as I head into a new year.

I can't tell you what color it is because it's going to be in my next book.

Anyway--road maps. They always helped me concentrate on what I had to do in a year. I love drawing them even though my trees are really poorly-drawn.

I do draw nice birds, though.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fan Art Rocks.


First: When I said "I will be back with many more 2014 moments" at the end of my last post, I totally didn't mean it. Sorry about that.

But here's something I don't talk about much: letters. I get letters. I get letters from readers who say nice things, real things, honest things. It's pretty life-changing when a stranger who read your book can write you a letter and say deeply nice things.
Thank you for your letters in 2014.
They make my day.

Which brings me to fan art.
I am relatively new to fan art and being a person who can't draw, people who can draw well fascinate me. A few months ago, Ana Maia, an artist I met on Twitter, sent me these fantastic portraits of A.S. King characters. I've been meaning to share them because they pretty much blew me away.
Thank you Ana, for taking the time to draw these. I love them.


















See you all in the new year. 
Tomorrow I make applesauce and do taxes.

Also, I tweeted a preview of I CRAWL THROUGH IT tonight. Here it is. 



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 was a great year--part one

I am six months late, but I have to say I have never been voted Best Dressed in my life.

Book Riot appreciates my green boots and I love them for that.

23 year old Doc Martens for the win. 
I will be back with many more 2014 moments.


Friday, December 19, 2014

News News News

It's been a very newsy week here at Casa King.
I'm going to dole out news in little tasty morsels, though, because I don't want you to eat too much at one time. That's why I can't eat bananas anymore. I once ate too many of them and now my body just says "No thank you" which is a real bummer because I really love bananas.

ANYWAY.

This sunday the New York Times Book Review will publish a review of Glory O'Brien's History of the Future written by Rick Yancey. But you don't have to wait for Sunday.

You can read it here.

If you're not the type to click on delicious links, then here's an excerpt.
"Maybe there are writers more adept than King at capturing the outrageous and outraged voice of teenagers, but it’s difficult to think of one. Her Glory is a wondrous creation, sarcastic, witty, sensitive, insightful, the kind of girl other girls (O.K., guys too) wish they were (or, probably more likely and more often than is the case, think they are)."
Now I will go eat Mexican food.

Hey Mom! I'm in the New York Times!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Okay, six really is a magic number

I don't get it.
I just sit here and write what comes out of my head and some people seem to really dig what I do. This is really cool. And I'm not sure why, but I'm unable to process this. Even though I record these sorts of events or milestones with you--here in public--I don't really let them sink in. I'm just a lady in a room typing what comes to me.

So if you dig what I do, thank you. I really enjoy doing what I do.
We're a perfect match.

In this week's good news department, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future landed on the Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 list. That's always really sweet.

Also in this week's news was a sixth starred trade review for GLORY (I told you I'd get sick of typing that whole title) from the lovely people at The Horn Book coming in the January issue. I'll quote a tiny bit here for you.
✮ "King’s distinctive approach to fashioning a story of adolescent strife results in a book that’s not only thoroughly original but also uniquely compelling and deeply memorable."--The Horn Book
Six is a magic number because it makes a sort of constellation for a book. Because I can't quite process all of this, I can't tell you what the power of that constellation is, but I can tell you that it's a nice constellation and it keeps me humble and keeps me writing.

Since you last heard from me

I went to Arizona and to the awesome Changing Hands Bookstore and had a fantastic time, as always. I really do wish I could split in two and have half of me live in Arizona. Anyway, I took my kids with me and we had a fantastic time panning for gold, climbing the red rocks, and experiencing our first vortex.

Yes. I said vortex.

And it was real. Look:

Does this not convince you?
I can't describe what it felt like. I can't describe how it affected us. But whatever it was, it was something and I plan on visiting local vortexes in the future. (Math geek in me just cringed not changing that to vortices, but it's right, I swear to you.)

More soon. Upcoming events in the Exton, PA are and the Reading, PA area! Check my tour page!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Art & Freedom


Last night was the 65th National Book Awards. Ursula Le Guin received the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. I want you to watch her speech. I want you to listen to what she says about art. And freedom.



"Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an ebook six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books, and make the books, accepting this. Letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish and what to write."

Dear Ursula Le Guin,

I promise you I will never be deodorant. Thank you so much for the reminder.

Love, Amy


Also, Jackie Woodson won the NBA for Young People's Literature for her book BROWN GIRL DREAMING. When she won, I jumped up out of my chair so hard I shook the house.

This book is one of the most beautiful books I've read in years. Woodson's verse lifted me off my porch swing as I read it.

Jacqueline Woodson is a national treasure.

Art and freedom. Art and freedom.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quick Linkage Post

Glory is chilling out with some really great company over at the Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014. Click here to see the whole list, which is a fantastic list!

Other linkage:

A VCFA Faculty blog I wrote about encouragement is HERE.

There are a few bits of good news I cant share yet, but I figured I'd keep you updated because you're nice and I like updating nice people.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tour Picture Blog (Or: My Brain Is Jell-O)


My brain is mush. I just read and sent copy edits for 2015's I Crawl Through It to my editor today and I'm not sure I know my own name right now. But I promised you a blog, and so here I am.

First, good news!

Portuguese/Brazilian rights have been sold for five of my books. (Dreams come true!)

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ will be published in Brazil [only] by Novo Seculo Editora
EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, ASK THE PASSENGERS, REALITY BOY & GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE will be published in Brazil and world Portuguese by Editora Autentica. These should start hitting shelves in 2015-ish.

Go Brazil!

GLORY LIVES!

So it started with the launch party at Aaron's Books in Lititz, PA. I love Aaron's Books. They served tacos. And cake. They were wonderful hosts, as always, and they gave me a lovely gift and treated me like a rock star even though I'm just a simple country girl. Friends, family and supporters who pre-ordered from Aaron's or came out to join us in the fun: Thank you. By doing this, you supported my local economy. You supported a family run business that cares about people, not shareholders.

Here's Todd packing up pre-orders a few days before launch.
Note: This is a tiny back room in a real live store, not a warehouse.
Your pre-orders helped keep the lights on for human beings.
Thank you. 

So, tour pictures. I was touring with Paolo Bacigalupi who was talking about his new book, THE DOUBT FACTORY. He told such compelling stories about the history of the doubt industry. You have to read the book to understand, but it's chilling stuff. Trust me.

First stop, Santa Cruz, CA

I have no pictures of Book Shop Santa Cruz, but it was a great event. The next morning we stopped at Aptos High School and this was where my unforgettable day began.

Paolo talking about some seriously heavy stuff.
The Aptos students were great. Librarian Cheryl was so warm and welcoming.
And when I asked her where might be a good place to stop on the
way to the city to hug redwood trees, she said,
"I have a circle of redwoods up by the library. That's where we're going now."
Day = Made.

Now, excuse me while I talk about redwoods.
They are magical.
Here are more pictures than you probably want. But one just wouldn't do it.

Cheryl called this a fairy circle of redwoods. And it was exactly that.
They were amazing trees and Yes, I did hug one.
I may have kissed it, too.
Don't judge.
I love trees. 

Me and trees. Best friends forever. 

Photo Cred: Cheryl
Proof that I did hug the tree.
I can't wait to go back to the west coast and hike in forests
of these beauties. And Sequoias.
Tree love-rant over.

So after much tree loving, we went inside Cheryl's lovely Aptos HS library and signed some books.


Photo Cred: Cheryl
Gandhi FTW!

Photo Cred: Kathy/Cheryl
Here we are before we took off in a car for San Francisco.
I love Paolo's shirt.


Next stop, same day, San Francisco. After many many many years of Maggie Tokuda-Hall and I wanting to get me into Books Inc. for a visit, it finally happened. I was so excited to meet her and to be part of San Francisco's LitQuake Festival. It was a great event for all kinds of reasons.


Reason #1: Someone drew this. 

Photo Cred: Maggie, I think.
Reason #2: This space is gorgeous, isn't it? The art rocked.
And there were tortilla chips. (Among other things, but all I ever need is tortilla chips.)
I had such fun reading from GLORY to this crowd and then talking
about everything else alongside Paolo. He's such a pro. 

Photo Cred: Lianna
Reason #3: VCFA
Maximum respect to the VCFA crew of the Bay area!
You coming out to see me that night made my day even better and
I HUGGED REDWOODS THAT DAY. So this is huge.
Thank you! Thank you!

Reason #4: A late night seriously awesome tour of San Francisco after
I said, "I've been in the city all day and I haven't seen one hill."
The lovely Lianna and Laura said, "You want hills? We can show you hills."
Bonus: they also showed me the Golden Gate Bridge, The Castro, Haight-Ashbury and
a ton of other really groovy stuff.
Random aside: Everywhere I went in SF, they were playing music I liked.
This never happens.
Take, for example, airports. Only once in my life (That's you, Portland, OR)
has an airport played music I like.
Anyway.
After the late night tour, I crashed because I had to catch a flight to Austin the next morning.

Next stop, Austin for the Texas Teen Book Festival.

Photo Cred: Andrew Smith
That's Andrew, A very tired me, James Dashner and the epic Gayle Forman.
We had a great night, but had to get to bed early-ish so we could do the festival the next day.


I love this picture.
This is Jen Bigheart and Andrew Smith right before our lunch panel.
At our lunch panel, Drew and I talked about how we golf.
Without golf clubs.
Why we're best friends and about a trillion other things.
Jen is awesome.
Drew is awesome.
The audience was awesome.
Later that day I was on a panel with 4 amazing authors, but I don't have a picture.
Trust me. I was there.
Then there was the post-festival bar time.
Photo Cred: Julie
Said post-festival bar time was a damn fun crowd.
Here's my favorite picture from the night--me and Drew with Julie Murphy who
ROCKS OUT LOUD.

Somewhere in all of this festival day stuff I met a ton of epic readers, signed a lot of books, hugged fans, ate food, broke a tooth, called my dentist, and then went back to having a great time. (Man. My brain really is fried. I'd usually be more descriptive than this.) I highly recommend the Texas Teen Book Festival if ever you're nearby. It's well organized and powered by the best librarians on the planet and many volunteers who love reading.
So then I flew home.

I breathed for four days. I got my tooth fixed. I started the copy edits. Etc.

Last Thursday night I had an event at Children's Book World in Haverford, PA.
You all know how I feel about this bookstore, right? Heather Hebert is an independent bookselling goddess. We had a lot of fun and a huge shout out to the high school students who bused in to see me! That was AWESOME. I saw some superstars that night. Kate Walton was there, Sister Kim the mega-librarian was there (I'll be at the Little Flowers Festival in April), Jenn Hubbard was there, and Beth Kephart--who took the most amazing pictures, as usual. She has a magical camera. Let me show you.

Photo Cred: Beth
She always manages to catch me in the right light... 

Photo Cred: Beth
And whenever we get our picture taken together, we look like teenagers.
Seriously.
Beth rocks.
And if you haven't read any of her books yet, you must. GOING OVER from 2014 is brilliant, and all her
past books are equally brilliant.
Trust me.


Next stop, the Boston Book Festival.

Photo Cred: I completely forget, but thank you!
That's Scott Westerfeld (our second panel together in a week), Meg Wolitzer, and me
at the Emmanuel Church in Boston.
People who were in the crowd: WOW! That was some crowd! Thank you for coming!
Great discussion. Great Q&A and a great signing.

After the BBF event, I went to dinner with some stellar authors and then crashed for my early flight on Sunday morning.

Aaaaand we're done for a few weeks. Thank you for enduring the me me me tour post.
And thank you for all of you who came out to see me on my travels.
And thank you for all of you who read the books.
And my brain is officially fried now.

 Next up:
  • Clinton Book Shop, Clinton, NJ on Nov. 7th at 7pm. 
  • Reading Public Library, Reading, PA on Nov. 8th at 1pm.
  • Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe location, AZ on Nov. 21st at 7pm.
  • BONUS appearance: Changing Hands, Phoenix location, for a screening of e.E. Charlton-Trujillo's AT RISK SUMMER--a film that will blow you away, at 5pm on Saturday 11/22/14. I'll be there with mi hermana e.E. for Q&A after the screening. Proud to be a part of this project and its bright future pairing authors with facilities for at-risk youth. 


Placing objects in toilet may cause system failure.
As an ex-smoker I have to say: Why would anyone toss a pack of still-smokable
cigarettes down an airplane toilet?
I mean, I get tossing them. I did that a lot.
But why in the airplane?
Also:
DO NOT THROW SEVERED HANDS INTO THIS TOILET.

Remember: Badasses are kind to others. They do not shove on airplanes. They do not cause system failure in airplane toilets. They don't recline airplane seats. And they say thank you.

Thank you.