Friday, March 14, 2014

Give a book, change a life, twitter style

Okay, maybe change a life is a bit drastic, but you could at least change someone's day! 

Last week, two of my reading queens of the 5th grade class came to me and asked if the library had any books they were getting rid of. Of course, being the supportive and nosey librarian that I am, I asked why.

When they told me about a project they and a few of their fellow 5th graders were starting, my heart sang and tear threatened to spill over. They were on a mission to collect books for teens who, due to medical issues, were required to spend time, sometimes a lot of time, at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. It seems that there are a lot of books for little ones, but when it came to YA lit, not so much. They couldn’t imagine anything worse than being confined to your room and not having any good books to read.

Honestly, I’m perfectly healthy and the idea of not being able to read good YA lit is depressing. I assured them that I had just done a weed a few months before and hadn’t gotten around to donating them anywhere and they were there’s for the taking.

Now, most of the books were pulled because they were old or tattered, but a few are in decent shape. Still, their plea got me to thinking: I know writers. I know avid readers. 90% of my twitter followers are somehow related to the book industry. So I thought I would try a test to see just how powerful the social media machine can be. I’m sending out a plea of my own, to you, my literary friends. A chance to give back and maybe, just maybe, help a teen escape the confines of needles and IVs to a world that is romantic, full of adventure, or even a little more scary than their own lives.

My goal, through social media, is to collect 50 books from twitter followers. That’s it. In the next two weeks, if you have a moment to pull an already completed YA book from your shelf or dig out a duplicate from your TBR pile… you know you have them… and mail them to me, you just might make a teen’s day.

Post in the comments below with your email and I will send you my mailing address. If we hit 50… let’s go for 100… maybe, if we can collect enough books, every teen who leaves the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital will have a prized book in their possession! I’m starting it off with two books from my private collection… who’s with me?

I thank you in advance and remind you to BE FEARLESS with every moment you have!

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour Rolls On!

Today is an AWESOME day! First of all, the sun is shining and , with the exception of a few piles that were huge a week ago, the snow is gone. Yes, spring is kicking and screaming to return to the Hoosier State. It’s also an awesome day because my amazing Agency Bro, Joshua David Bellin, invited me to be part of the “My Writing Process” Blog Tour. I highly recommend you click on his name and check out his blog! Seriously, he's one of the most awesome person on the planet!

 Now that the frivolity is over, let’s get down to the nuts and volts (shout out to those who have been watching Catching Fire on a loop for the last four days) of my writing process.

1)     What am I working on?
My current WIP is a pretty big departure from It’s A Wonderful Death. To begin with, every character is alive. In Genesis I Trust is a contemporary romance that centers on Genesis, a high school junior who, when her political operative father decides she needs to take a larger interest in the family business, is yanked out of her posh private school and forced to work on the campaign trail. Along the way she reluctantly falls in love with the son of a candidate from the wrong side of the aisle. I think the plot is best summed up as Romeo and Juliet meets Scandal, sans the body count.

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think there is something a little formulaic in contemp romance. Boy and Girl meet, obstacle, must overcome to be together, happy ever after (although not always). What makes this book different is the “inside” perspective of a teen living and working the world of politics. Her actions have consequences that go beyond her love life and could have serious ramifications on a national level.

3)     Why do I write what I do?
I love YA literature. But more than that, I love working with teens. Even though I have two kids of my own, I remember what it was like to try and figure out where my place in the world was. I remember being overwhelmed by trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. If my writing helps even one person take a deep breath and carry on, then everything else is cake. YA literature doesn’t get the respect it deserves and I hope to be a small part of the wave of writers who changes that!

4) How does my writing process work?
I’m kind of manic when I write. You know how some writers have this time of day where no one disturbs them and they write XXXXX number of words a day? That is not me. I am more of a binge writer. I tune in to the writing, work for 20-30 days, pretty much ignoring everyone else around me and then produce an, albeit, crappy first draft. Many rounds of editing later, it’s ready for the light of day. Don’t get me wrong. I want to be a methodical writer, but life doesn’t always work that way. I think it just goes to show that there is no right or wrong way to finish a novel.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell… not really… me in  a nutshell… that would be a tight fit… but that’s my writing process, for better or worse. Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check out the next people on my branch of this blog tour next week. For those of you keep track, yes that is March 17th, aka St. Patrick’s day, aka I better get my corned beef out to thaw later this week!

Kristine Carlson Asselin writes contemporary Young Adult & Middle Grade fantasy. She has written fourteen nonfiction books for the school library market with Capstone Press and Abdo Publishing, the newest (Dangerous Diseases ) came out in February 2014. She is one of the co-directors of SCBWI-New England this year, and her debut Young Adult novel, Any Way You Slice It, is due from Bloomsbury Spark in late fall 2014. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. You can find out more about Kristine by checking out her website:

image.jpegJason Leclerc's first book, Momentitiousness, represents a new genre of  short stories--he calls them moments--that are tangential in space and time.  The "Novel Collection," as he calls it, is an adventure that draws on topics ranging from Arbitrage and Zombies. His poetry blog, PoetEconomist, is consumed by readers around the world and he is currently in talks regarding the adaptation of a short story from Momentitiousness onto the film screen. Learn more about this writing pioneer by visiting his website at:

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, PW and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, then published with a small press, was a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children. Visit her at