Still another pass or two to make on the revised manuscript you see here, but book three is more or less finished! Final title still to be announced, as well as publication date, cover reveal, and more. But I always feel a mixture of relief and joy when I get to this point. Now all that remains to be done is the fine tuning.
Christmas has come early this year. How’s that, you ask? Because I just learned that The Blood Guard has snagged one of the dozen spots on the state of Missouri’s annual Truman readers’ award list!
Titles on the list will be read over the course of the next year and voted upon by students in March of 2017. Recipients of the awards will be announced at the 2017 Missouri Association of School Librarians Spring Conference.
This marks The Blood Guard‘s fifth state reader’s award listing, and I couldn’t be more proud that so many readers are responding to the story. Whichever of us wins the award, it’s a great honor to be ranked alongside these eleven other writers I admire, and an honor to know that The Blood Guard will be read by students all across the Show Me state. What a great way to bring 2015 to a close!
I confess: When a favorite series of books or movies are between installments, I troll the internet looking for clues about what will happen next. A Star Wars fan? Then like me, you were practically moved to tears by the brief glimpse of Han Solo and Chewbacca at the end of the Force Awakens trailer. Or perhaps you also dig Jeff Kinney’s consistently hilarious Wimpy Kid series. Then you’ve known for ages that book 10 is called Old School, and that in it, Greg Heffley has to go without his beloved modern conveniences (such as iPhones, or computers, or—gasp!—blogs on author websites such as this one). Or, as I’m sure you fans of Divergent already know, the fifth and final entry, Detergent, will wash away all the complaints readers had with Allegiant, the trilogy finale. (Okay, I made up that last one.) At any rate, for you clue seekers, several things I can promise will not happen in the third Blood Guard novel: [Read more…]
Believe me when I tell you this: a librarian saved my life.*
I was eight and a sweet kid despite an exceedingly grim home life. (Too little money and too many problems—while there may be as many unhappy families as there are stories about them, suffice to say ours was a family unhappier than most.)
That was when Thomas S. Huse came into my life. He took over the school library at Palomar Elementary, as well as the school’s gifted program, and because I had been a middling member of the latter, I became a fixture in the former. Over the next few years, Mr. Huse changed my world for the better, though the long-term effects wouldn’t be clear for decades. [Read more…]
One thing to know about me is this: I read books. A lot of them. Some I buy and some are sent to me for free, but the end result is that every month ten to twenty new books turn up in the house. Which, you know, is a nice thing—a house full of unread books is a happy place.
Anyway, I thought I’d start a regular feature here in which I reveal that month’s book haul and comment on the acquisitions. And then later, perhaps I’ll comment on my reactions to what I’ve read—sort of like a mix of what some teens do on YouTube and Nick Hornby’s column at The Believer.
Here is my inaugural book haul for August: The top two titles, by Etgar Keret and Connor Franta I am reading for a memoir project I’ve been working on [Read more…]
What is the Glass Gauntlet? Is it a grueling aptitude test in which teens compete for an unbelievably large cash scholarship? Or is it a set of sinister physical competitions that rewards cheaters and punishes those who play by the rules? Or is it an armored glove made of a hard, transparent ceramic that can be used to do … something mysterious and terrifying? Could it be all of these things?
The one thing for certain is that it is the title of the second entry in the Blood Guard series—and that it was published in the United States and the United Kingdom this past August. Here’s what some of the early readers are saying: Emily at Don’t Judge. Read. writes, “I love this series and where it’s headed. I highly recommend this book, this series.” Middle-grade reading maven Greg Pattridge at Always in the Middle writes, “The action spills off the pages at the perfect moments. There’s tension, some gruesome but not too gruesome parts, and more than a few scenes [that] had me in awe, scratching my head, and saying ‘How did he come up with that one?'” And Tika at Fangirl Confessions says, “The pacing was just as fast, the characters as humorous and witty as they can be, and the battle scenes and plot twists that I love so much were done exceptionally well! The Glass Gauntlet definitely didn’t suffer from the ‘sequel blues.'”
Want a sample? Click on the cover over there to your right and listen to the opening of the audiobook. What are you waiting for?
On November 5, at eleven a.m., I will be speaking to a group of sixth graders as part of the KidsRead series at New York City’s famous Center for Fiction. The only nonprofit organization in the United States dedicated to the art and craft of fiction, the Center for Fiction is home to a ton of lectures, classes, and literary events, as well as a great bookstore. It’s all housed in the Mercantile Library building—a lending library that was founded way back in 1820 before there was a public library system. I’ll be talking about both The Blood Guard and the process of writing stories—how to get started, how to find your story, and what to do with it when it’s done. Can’t wait!
As I have mentioned below, this site is undergoing a savvy top-to-bottom redesign that will make it more beautiful! easier to navigate! more appealingly intuitive! and more all-around-useful for fans of the Blood Guard series, as well as anyone interested in other books and other stories by Carter Roy.
So what will this site feature, you may wonder? I’m glad you asked. First and foremost will be this blog, in which I will post news about The Blood Guard and The Glass Gauntlet, as well as the to-be-revealed third book in the series. The blog will also feature notices about appearances, award nominations, and anything else remotely of interest. (For example, expect biweekly photographs of my book hauls.) Second, there is a new quiz in the works—”Which Blood Guard Character Are You?”—which will narrow down, via a process of elimination, where you fall on the spectrum [Read more…]
I just received notice that The Blood Guard has popped up on the South Dakota Library Association’s annual list of finalists for their Young Adult Reading Program Award. Beginning with Teen Reads week this October, students are invited to rate the nominated titles with a score of 1 to 5. Those votes help determine the winner come next spring.
It is an honor to be counted among the dozen blisteringly good nominees for this middle-grade award, and an honor to know that The Blood Guard will be read by teens in all of the great places of the state of South Dakota.
One of the developments in publishing over the past decade is the rise of blogger reviewers—passionate readers who consume novels like water, write thoughtful reviews of these books, and are followed by other similarly passionate readers. These people are true friends to books, and I look forward to their takes on my novels even when they don’t like my work.
They also conduct interviews, and the “blog tour” has become a widespread thing in publishing. Periodically, I do such interviews, so I thought it’d be a good idea to collect them here as they appear.
The packed-with-good-stuff site Fangirlish first wrote an awesome comparison of the Blood Guard series to the TV show the Librarians. I haven’t seen the show, but as a lifelong fan of libraries and librarians, I approve. And then they had me sit down for a series of silly-but-surprisingly revealing questions about Mario Bros, favorite colors, and more. Read it here.
LitPick is a wonderful site where students review middle grade and teen literature. They were kind enough to interview me about the Blood Guard series. I talk about my early life of crime, my influences, and my advice for writers-to-be.
K.E. Carson at the Underground talked to me about the many jobs I’ve held, the difference between writing for kids and writing for adults, and my favorite (?) feedback from readers. You can read it here.
Thanks to all those who took the time to interview me!