An Interview with Tori Rigby, Author of Because I Love You

Blaze Publishing’s forthcoming YA title Because I Love You looked so interesting to me that I had to ask Tori Rigby if she would be willing to answer a few questions for my blog. Read the introduction and you’ll see what I mean:   Eight weeks after sixteen-year-old Andie Hamilton gives her virginity to her best friend, “the stick” says she’s pregnant.  Her friends treat her like she’s carrying the plague, her classmates torture and ridicule her, and the boy she thought loved her doesn’t even care. Afraid to experience the next seven months alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, Neil…

#AWP16

This is the first day after the AWP conference in Los Angeles. I don’t know what to think right now. I may never know what to think. But I’ll tell you this thing that happened: On my way back from a chat with Francesca Lia Block, I shook hands with Malcolm Margolin while nearby Daniel Jose Older stood talking with Walter Mosley. I was in a dreamscape. Famous writer Disneyland. A Pantheon of brilliant people just walking around with their heads on their necks like whatever. It kind of freaked me out. That’s what I’m thinking about today.

Cover Reveal: Without Benefits

 As a high school teacher, I am often looking out for books that will interest my students for our free reading days. Rest Publications is an indie press that never disappoints. I am a huge fan of their fairy tale retellings and fantasy, and am excited to announce a forthcoming contemporary title Without Benefits that Reuts is releasing in May. I am particular fan of Reuts’ covers. It’s pretty cool having the inside scoop on the latest beautiful design. Here’s a bit about the book: Emma will always be a New Yorker at heart, even though she has a perfect…

Cover Reveal: 27 Days to Midnight

I am truly honored to announce the cover reveal of 27 Days to Midnight, a new YA Steampunk novel from Giant Squid Books. Check it out on GoodReads here and enter to win the giveaway! Here is what 27 Days to Midnight is about: Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die…except her. Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father…

Author Spotlight: Cait Spivey, author of From Under the Mountain

One of the books I’ve most enjoyed reading so far this year has been the epic fantasy adventure From Under the Mountain by Cait Spivey, released through Reuts Publications. The story is based in a mind-blowing, fantastic world meticulously built by Spivey as a young woman finds herself, after the death of her tyrannical royal family, at the head of an empire. The novel is sometimes reminiscent in the best possible way of Game of Thrones in its scope and intrigue. There is magic and intrigue and complex human relationships in a world where sexual orientation doesn’t raise eyebrows, but…

Maxwell Perkins Is My Homeboy

Maxwell Perkins was literary editor to Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe. Perkins was responsible for helping forth such classics as The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, The Great Gatsby and many more American works that we take for granted as integral to the literary heritage of our country. Maxwell Perkins is perhaps most famous for teasing out the best possible work from recalcitrant, alcoholic, undisciplined writers. I picture him at his desk, so handsome and sure. So knowledgeable and intelligent. You can do this work, he says. I believe in you. What a powerful talisman is a…

A Great Yes: Geminid Press

When I was in grade school, I took the short bus once a week to a special day class for gifted children. The program was called MGM for Mentally Gifted Minors, and our MGM teacher was an evangelical woman named Mrs. Sturtevant who really hated my ideas. My nine-year-old Mentally Gifted Minor brain intuited the deliciously thin ice Mrs. Sturtevant’s sense of the appropriate skated upon. I broke through it during our art unit when we fashioned paper mache masks to go with creative stories we had written. The other children gooped strips of newspaper and flour glue into the…

I Pretended to Be a Guy to Get Published

I attended a private Catholic high school for girls, across the street from a private Catholic high school for boys. Students were allowed to take classes at both schools. My mother taught on the girl side, my dad on the boy side. The boy side’s English department ran an annual writing contest. Winners got award and publication in the school literary magazine. It was a project of the boy side teachers, therefore only boys could submit work for consideration. The girl side had no such thing going on. I thought this was bullshit. I wrote a story called “Pretty Red Lights”…

Patti Smith on Youth and Friendship

The Patti Smith on Youth and Friendship podcast from the New York Public Library kept me company today while I chipped away at an enormous domestic chore that my husband and I have been working on for weeks. In this 2010 interview Patti Smith discusses her education, her early days in New York City, and her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe. That was the year her memoir Just Kids was released. It’s a brilliant conversation but has left me feeling skinned and with a headache. Readers have begun to officially follow my blog now with this impulsive crashing into September I’ve done, vowing…

A Great Yes: Brackish Vol. 2

I sat on a shiny orange bedspread in one of the cheapest motels in Santa Cruz and sent a poetry submission to the publisher and editor whose opinion I cared about most in the world.  This wasn’t a piece sent with the armored professionalism  of most of my literary submissions. This was a flinging of my work at the feet of someone I deeply admired, and who just happened to be sitting on an identical faux-Southwestern style bedspread in the room on the other side of the wall. Evan Hartzell is a Los Angeles-based artist and musician who publishes the art and literary…