Wanna meet me? Wanna win one of my books? Come on down to #teenfest in Calgary this Saturday, Sept 26, from 11-5 on Prince's Island Park and visit the Reality Is Optional booth. If you win on of our wacky writing and art games you get a book and other "fabulous" prizes. Also, every competitor gets a Reality Is Optional pin. What is Reality Is Optional? Click and find out. Want to know more about my books? Look up and click.
My new novel, Stupid, is coming along. I've been working on edits from the reader's report that, due to my unfortunate choice of title, came back at me as the "Stupid Reader's Report". Yeah, the whole novel has been one big accidental joke after another.
I have a week to get it done. I'm almost 1000 words over my maximum count. And I have a bunch of other things also due this week. Not to mention I have to write a twenty minute play in two and a half hours this week as part of the 4play YYC festival. Come on out if you're interested in seeing it. It's going to be amazing.
Suffice to say, I feel like I'm drowning. But I'm also living my dream. Being a writer - if not totally making a living at it. (That would require some big time, best selling type novels and I'm getting to those). Right now I'm really happy to write for kids who need a good novel geared to their reading level. One that doesn't talk down, or try to teach them stupid stuff. One that exists in the real world. I wish they had these kinds of books when I was a teen - instead of those "drugs are bad" after school specials that they passed off as Hi/Lo reading.
I'm not panicking yet though. Deep breathing and moving forward is keeping me going. I'm looking for places in the manuscript to tighten my writing. Taking out all those unnecessary words like that and just I seem to always over use. I'm looking for repetitive phrases where I didn't trust my reader to get it the first time. I'm taking out exposition and putting in dialogue. Tight dialogue.
Tomorrow I start my read through of the book as well as squeezing in reading time with other books like Girl Fight by Faye Harnest too. I vowed this summer to read more, and I have. A bunch of good books including one with poetry (try not to fall over dead at that statement). This will be my second time reading Girl Fight, it's that good. But I'll fill you all my reading come November when I'm writer in residence for Open Book Toronto. You'll love me there. I'll actually be blogging every day instead of this sporadic stuff I manage here. I'm looking forward to it. So I hope you'll join me.
Until then - back to my Stupid book. See, I told you it was an unfortunate title.
I've gone through so much working on Boiled Cat. I've had learn a lot, worked like I've never worked before, and done things I didn't think I had the ability to accomplish. But it's been worth it. I've never had as much fun as I've had this past half year. From building the HUGE www.boiledcat.com site - to learning how to create a Kindle e-book I've really grown as a writer.
I had two books come out this spring - both I'm super proud of. Touch is one of the best books I've written to date. It's about a hacker who, in the first chapter, takes down the schools system with a cute electronic sheep hack. Boiled Cat came out shortly after. It's about a punk rock singer trying to run from his past but learning that to keep the family he's worked so hard to get - he has to stand and fight. Both very different books, but similar in that they both have strong male teen characters and have a lower level of reading. I always try to make my books accessible by youth who have difficulty reading. After all I did when I was a teen and dyslexia isn't something you can concentrate your way out of.
Anyway, I hope my books go over well. But really, I write what I want to read. That way, at least I enjoy the results.
Have a non-reader on your Christmas list? Not a problem. Lorimer SideStreets has a whole list of books for that kid who has trouble reading, doesn't like reading, or just doesn't have the time. These short books with great stories and low vocabulary make reading easy and fun.
I have published three books through them - Schizo, Hook Up, and coming out this spring - Touch. Also coming out this spring Boiled Cat - a self published punk rock book with low vocabulary and a great interactive website.
Books, they could be the solution you were looking for.
Writer, Teacher, Mutant. What more could you want?