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Posts Tagged ‘Young Adult’

Random Things or Summertime Sadness!

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

A year and a half ago, a few days before Christmas, my father died. It was awful. It is awful. I struggle with that loss. Maybe this isn’t the greatest way to start this post? Oh, well! Onward. In my book One of the Guys, Toni Valentine’s father has died and she too struggles with it. It sucks.

Death tends to force reflection and lesson-learning, so here are a few observations about grief and death and horrible stuff like that:

  1. Happy moments feel sad. Yep. This is a thing. As my kids grow, I often think, “Man, my dad’s missing this.” There I am, in the middle of a July 4th celebration, sun bright, sprinkler on, laughter all around me, feeling sad. Gross, right? It’s okay though. The sadness mixes with the happy stuff; it doesn’t overwrite it. Eventually I think we all get to a point where sadness tries to slither into everything because we’ve lost something, tinting moments with her blue shade, and we learn to accept her presence and even say, “Fine. Come on in, Sadness. It’s a beautiful day today. Have a seat. Be quiet. I want to hear the laughter.”
  2. No one knows what to say…that’s okay. Yeah, we don’t know what to say. It’s weird, right? Shouldn’t we have that figured out by now? Death isn’t, like, new. What do you say to someone when they’ve experienced huge and awful loss? The reason we don’t know what to say or do is because there’s nothing we can say or do that will make it better. We’ve got to sit in the pain. Personally, I felt like acknowledgement was enough. Like, don’t pretend it didn’t happen, don’t avoid it, don’t pretend everything’s fine. Don’t act like someone should get it over it, no matter how much time has passed. I mean, it would be cool if there was a magic spell to make it feel better. One word, one flick of the wand, something. There isn’t. Acknowledgement is the best thing — for me. It could be different for someone else, but I like a simple, “I see your pain. I’m sorry.”
  3. My dad will miss my next book. I’ve been working on a new book for some time now and when I’m finished (I think I can, I think I can) he’s going to miss it. This sucks. I hate it.
  4. Life goes on, but nothing remains the same, including you. Death changes the living, you know. Sigh.

There you go, folks! A super duper happy-go-lucky post for the summer! I think it’s important to remember that even during these bright summer days, don’t feel ashamed if you have Sadness inviting herself over, for whatever reason, as long as she doesn’t overwrite all the good stuff…because the good stuff, it’s still there, bobbing to the surface, always.

If you want to read more, please check out
https://www.spencerhillpress.com/lisa-aldin/ .

RANDOM THINGS OR A WITCHY WRITER?

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Hi everyone, and thanks to Spencer Hill Press for inviting me to write a post for their Random Things blog! My name is Jennifer Murgia, and I write Young Adult thrillers. My Spencer Hill Press titles are FOREST OF WHISPERS and its sequel, CASTLE OF SIGHS—17th century Bavarian witch thrillers! The duology begins with the tale of Rune, a girl raised in the Black Forest of Germany, who, upon her sixteenth birthday, hears the whispers of her long-dead mother who seeks vengeance on those who burned her at the stake. It’s chock-full of mystery, bloodshed, the plague, imprisonment, and, of course, witchcraft!

Random things you might not know about me:
1. In 2012, I co-founded a teen book festival. YA FEST PA is held annually in Easton, PA at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Area Public Library. Coordinating this spectacular event takes a good 8 months out of the year, and what started off as a small, homegrown book festival has become the only YA book festival in the Lehigh Valley, one of the largest on the east coast, and draws Young Adult authors from around the world! If you’re looking to visit Pennsylvania this coming August, then set aside a few hours to drop in on YA FEST 2019! Our line-up of amazing attendees can be found here: www.yafestpa.com
2. Creative people are notoriously scattered, right? I am. My closets are shameful. But when it comes to keeping track of my life there’s no better place than on paper. I admit, I’m a fanatical planner and list keeper. I must leave dozens of To Do lists around my house and (no lie) keep 2 planners and a calendar up-to-date each day. From family appointments, grocery lists, things to remember, and upcoming book releases (and a festival to plan!) I have to keep track of things! My favorite is the Bullet Keeper.
3. I collect antique jewelry. Most have been passed down in my family, but I love finding new pieces and wondering what secrets they keep!
4. I have one itty bitty tiny tattoo—of an ampersand on my right inner arm. I’ve always wanted a tattoo but firmly believe that if you’re going to be inked, it should mean something. When I first began my publishing journey, I naturally looked forward to what the future held in store for me. I wanted to finish my book. Get it published. See it on a shelf. I wanted a wonderful agent to represent me. I think it’s human nature to always “want more” and to strive for your dreams. That’s when I knew the ampersand (“AND” symbol) fit me in more ways than one. It’s a reminder that there IS more waiting for me. That it’s ok to never be satisfied and to stretch my creative capabilities in search of happiness. There is always a next chapter waiting to be written. I wanted the tattoo in a spot where I would see it every day and it is, facing me, not outward for anyone else. It’s a reminder of who I am and who I want to be.

Thank you, Spencer Hill Press for featuring me on your blog! Visit my website at www.jennifermurgia.com for more info on my books!

New City, New Books

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Hello everyone! I’m Beaufort’s newest intern, writing under the pen name Phoebe Beauffay (Friends fans?) A little about me is that I’m an English major who loves stories in all forms and of all genres. I attend university in Nashville, TN, but I’m here for the semester. Not only am I new to Beaufort, but I am entirely new to NYC. Prior to my move here, I had never been. I’m more thrilled to be here than I can say!

I think most people who consider themselves to be avid readers would agree that sometimes we get reader’s block. My own reader’s block has been going on for far too long. I’m ready to pull out my reading list, my bookmarks, sign up for a library card, and get to work. Moving here has given me a spark to read that I haven’t felt in a while. How could it not? I’m surrounded by countless books and fellow book lovers here at Beaufort. I pass a public library to and from Beaufort each time I’m here. Readers are everywhere: on the subway, in coffee shops, in any of NYC’s abundant book stores. I’m planning an entire day to visit The Strand alone (pictured).

My reading list is ever-growing with no end in sight. It also refuses to be limited to one genre; it has a little bit of everything, which is exactly what I am looking for here in NYC. Here are a few of the books I intend to read on the subway and in coffee shops to cure my reader’s block:

Great Food Jobs 2 by Irena Chalmers

A Beaufort title I’m quite excited about! I love food and books. I love learning about the food industry and different careers. It’s full of insight on a world that I’m ready to learn all about.

North of the Tension Line by J.F. Riordan

Another Beaufort title, one that immediately reminded me of home. This story is set in Ephraim, Wisconsin. While I live in NYC and attend college in Nashville, Wisconsin is where I grew up. It’s rare for me to be able to read about home (New Yorkers are a lucky bunch in that department). I love that the story explores small town life.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I have so much admiration for the former first lady, and I cannot wait to hear her story in her own words. Autobiographies are newer to my list than other genres, but I believe this could be the read to get me going on them.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This one has been on my list for the last few months, and I’ve heard only good things about it. Stories about slightly awkward protagonists and friendship full of warmth and heart have a special place in mine.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

This is another one that has been on my list for a while (I blame the reader’s block). Psychological thrillers and mysteries are some of my favorites, and I’m a big fan of Gillian Flynn ever since Gone Girl. Looking forward to finally checking this one off the list.

Happy reading!

Phoebe Beauffay

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

RANDOM THINGS OR SMALL TOWNS & SECRETS

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

I’m excited to be on the blog today, talking a little about myself. My name is Sarah Guillory, and I wrote Reclaimed, a book about small towns and secrets.

 

Random Things about Me:

  1. I’m a runner. I run six days a week, and I’ve run nine marathons (I do a marathon every other year, as it’s a pretty big time commitment and I need lower-mileage years for both my brain and my body to just love running, without any goals to chase down). And I love running. Like writing, some people say they enjoy having written or having run rather than the actually process, but when I’m running, I enjoy the movement, slipping undetected through that pre-dawn stillness, racing my past self, letting my mind and body wander. Jenna, my main character in Reclaimed, also loves running, but she wasn’t always a runner, and she isn’t a runner because I am. It took me a while to discover that Jenna loves running (at least two false starts and one early draft), and she loves it because it’s her way to escape, the forward momentum that she hopes will take her out of her small town and away from her alcoholic mother. I run less as an escape and more as an act of living in the present, of loving where I live (I’m from a small town and live in a small town and just in general really love small towns), and, as I age, even as an act of defiance.
  2. I’m a dog lover. Ridiculously so. I currently have two dogs, a bloodhound who is a year and a half and a six-month-old lab mix my husband rescued from the woods when he was a sick and starving weeks-old puppy. I wasn’t always a dog lover. I’ve enjoyed dogs in the past, but it wasn’t until my first bloodhound that I fell in love, and now I’m kind of stupid about it. But they make me happy (most days, though the lab mix is loving getting up at 2:30 AM right now) and keep me sane and humble and are quite nice writing companions. It’s weird that Reclaimed didn’t have a dog in it, but my last two manuscripts do. And the dog will always live.
  3. I’m a teacher. And I love it. There are very few professions where you can talk books all day, and I’m lucky enough to find one. I’m even luckier that I get paid to try and make readers out of other people. And that’s sort of my mission. I hope that each year every single one of my students encounters a book that turns them onto reading. If it’s not one I’ve assigned, I hope it’s one I’ve recommended or mentioned or have on my shelf in the back of my room. I believe that reading makes us better people, provides a better-quality life, shows us who we are as well as places we’ve never seen and people we will never be. It challenges us and reveals us, entertains us and sustains us, and I became a teacher because I wanted to pass my passion for books onto others. I’m not always successful, but I am always unabashedly enthusiastic. And if the words I write can do for other readers what stories have done in my life, then all the better.

 

Thanks for reading! You can always find me online at www.sarahguillory.com or on Twitter and Instagram @sguillory262.