Monday, December 24, 2012

Monica Never Shuts Up

Popping my head in to say: MONICA NEVER SHUTS UP, a collection of my adult short stories, is now available for download. CLICK HERE.

There is good news and bad news. 

Bad news first:

Kobo closed down for the holidays on the 21st of December and won't be up and running again for authors until January. So, if you shop locally (YAY!) and you want to download the book for your Kobo (YAY!) you will have to wait until January (BOO!). This seems to be the case with Barnes & Noble Nook as well. Don't quote me on that. Could still happen before Christmas.

iBooks will have to wait, too. 
Just the way the cookie crumbles for all of us indie-loving readers out there. 

Good news:

If you use a device that can read Kindle files, you can download the collection now.

Indifferent news:

I ate Peanut Butter Capn' Crunch for breakfast today and that made me really happy.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The last post before the 2012 best-of post

I have to title this post like that to remind myself to do a best-of-2012 post.
I'm using you now, it seems, as a memory aid.
(Funny typo story: I accidentally wrote mammory aid up there. Ha ha.) (Yes, I know that's not how you spell mammary. But still.)

I was probably supposed to write this blog post last weekend, but I was paralyzed by the same grief you were probably paralyzed by. I haven't commented much on what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School because I wasn't sure what to say.

A kindergartener lives in my house.
My family is full of teachers.
I have been a victim of gun-related crime.
Also, I lived most of my adult life in a country where guns are illegal and it made me feel hella safe. (Compared to the feeling I get when waking up to the sound of nearby semi-automatic target practice, which I did on Saturday morning.)

I will say this to anyone who produces any sort of, "If it was me, I'd have done this" reaction. Believe me. Until you're looking down the barrel of an unexpected gun, you don't know shit about what you would do. It's very convenient to [blame the victim and] say you'd have done something differently. It's also very insulting. And base. And pretty despicable in this example. And yet, when I tuned into the Internet this week, which wasn't very often, I saw a lot of that sort of shoulda/woulda/coulda talk.

Humans, man. Sometimes they just don't know when to STFU.

Anyway. I felt wrong promoting anything. I felt wrong working. (I couldn't work, truth be told. I tried, but finally gave up last night and decided not to force it.) But I reckon there's a time to start back to life again and today seems to be it.

Before I do, I urge you: make it a lifetime goal to be kind. Life is so freaktastically short. Give love. Be the change you want to see. Act up. Hug freely. Volunteer. Jump to fewer conclusions. Judge more rarely. Be positive. Look for the best in things rather than the worst. Work toward joy.

And so, here's some random linkage.

The Well-Readheads put me in some seriously great company here in their Year in Books post over at Book Riot.

The Ask the Passengers cover story is over at the awesome Melissa Walker's B&N blog which you can reach if you click on this link. 

There was a fantastic review of Ask the Passengers in the Register Guard.

Don't miss this one. We taped "10 questions in 1 minute" with my Little, Brown BFYR peeps when I was up in NYC the other week. I took this challenge very seriously and I almost pulled it off.
Here's the link. Or click on the picture.

Where Fielding Mellish meets Peanut Butter Capn' Crunch.

In A.S. King News...

We have nothing but good things to report.
Please Don't Hate Me: Nichts ist wichtig, wenn man tot ist, also known as the German version of Please Ignore Vera Dietz, has gone into a second paperback printing. Woot.

Are you ready for a winter read from me?
I hope so.
In a few weeks, on an e-reader near you...Monica Never Shuts Up is coming your way. Twelve short stories in one sweet package.

It will be available in all e-formats. If you get a Kobo reader (which are awesome little machines) from your local independent bookstore, you can get any ebook you want for it through an independent bookstore and still support your community! I call this the badassest and bossest way to e-read.

Way way way back in the life of this blog, you may remember that my story "Monica Never Shuts Up" was nominated for Best New American Voices. It was previously published in Washington Square, the nationally-distributed literary journal from NYU. Most of the stories in the collection have been published in magazines, print journals and a few web magazines as well.

The collection is considered an adult book. Since most of my readers are 15 and up and already reading adult fiction, I'm thinking it probably won't shock people who know how I write.

If it shocks others well then, score, I say.

See you in a week or two.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

So, tomorrow I start back to work on the weird book...

Tomorrow is the day I've been waiting for. The day I get to dive 100% into Max Black again and fix it up all pretty for my genius editor. There is a lot of work. Hard hats will be required. Safety goggles. That kind of thing.

This means less blogging. It may even mean I play the the card. 

But who gives a shit? I have good news!

HOLY CRAP SOMEBODY PINCH ME.

Ask the Passengers has been seen lurking on the Kirkus Best Books of 2012 list in very good company. This makes us very happy. What a good run the book has had, eh?


In other news
A HUGE thank you to the high bidder in the YA for NJ Sandy Relief auction. Your donation to the NJ Food Bank is much appreciated. You Rock.

Also: My awesome kid got her green belt.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

On balls.

This is what NYC looks like on a very bouncy bus.

LA Times Gift Guide!  Ask the Passengers is in there! Woot.

Anyway.

Someone wrote to me this week after reading Ask the Passengers and told me I had balls. She said I could quote her, so I will.

It takes real balls to write about giving love and respecting love the way you did.
I don't know.
Does it?

I was in NYC on Tuesday being spoiled by my Little, Brown BFYR peeps and we got to talking. We talked about the idea of organized love and I mentioned that there are many organized groups who are formed for the single task of hating random strangers. You know, based on race, religion, political leanings, who they love, their basic philosophies on life. Etc.

Offshoot:
If we take it a step further, there are people who hate random stuff. I know a woman who "hates" Hot Topic. Dude. It's a store. I hear from people all the time about how they "hate" swearing. I don't allow swearing in my house, but I'll toss this out there: I'd rather my kids swear than hate. I know a guy who "hates" pick-up trucks. I asked him why. He said all pick-up truck drivers were trying to be rednecks and big and tough and scary with their big trucks. Look. WHY DO YOU CARE ABOUT THIS SHIT? Who cares? Seriously. Even if that idea is 100% true, which is can't statistically be, why are you wasting time caring about this?

Anyway:
The hating of random people is something that's just normal to us, isn't it? It's just an everyday thing.

In my mind, there are not as many or enough groups who aim to randomly love people. Just sending love and goodwill out there wanting nothing in return.

And it seems writing about it means I have balls.
Part of me doesn't get that. But part of me really gets that, too.

We live in the world of cool snark. If you have an opinion and you're putting it on the internet, then it's best to snark it up a bit to get more attention. Bitchy gets attention. And maybe it's true. Maybe snark is cool. Maybe nice guys finish last. I have no idea. Nor do I give a shit about my finishing time. It's not going to stop me from being nice.

I really do think that if we all sent love to random strangers the world would be a better place. I think respecting other people's privacy, ideas, space and lifestyles is a good thing. If writing a book about it means I have balls, then I'll take that compliment.

This week, a teacher on Twitter told me that her student said Ask the Passengers "made her think & not be so judgmental of others."

Sweet sweet words for this author.
You know, sometimes people think authors are trying to make some huge argument with their books or trying to promote some crazy idea when you know what? Most of the time, it's entirely impossible to guess what an author's real intention is.

And so, I'll give you one of my favorite Whitman poems to make my intention clearer. Or not.


When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

BY WALT WHITMAN
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.