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?