Friday, October 25, 2013

"Writers betray people."

Last week, I had the honor of meeting Justin Torres, the bestselling author of WE THE ANIMALS.  If you haven't read it, you're missing out.  In short, it's a haunting coming-of-age story about family, betrayal, and sexuality that packs one hell of a punch in a whopping 125 pages.

The book.
The signed book.  It's OK to be jealous.

Though WE THE ANIMALS is fiction, Torres admits that it's thematically autobiographical.  Hence, one of the most interesting conversations we had involved his family's reaction to the book.  He said it was tough.  When the book was first coming out, he spent a lot of time worried about what they'd think when they recognized themselves in the characters.

"Writers betray people," he said.

As someone who frequently writes from personal experience, that comment really stuck with me.  He went on to say that he doesn't know if it's right.  If it's worth it.

At any rate, it got me thinking.

P.S.  Justin Torres disapproves of the blogosphere.  Oh well :)

(left to right) Me with phenomenal writers Tom Chester, Noa Nir, Meagan Smith, and Justin Torres

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Today we're celebrating the release of Theresa Paolo's (NEVER) AGAIN, a contemporary young adult romance.  Check out Theresa's blog and find (NEVER) AGAIN on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

In honor of (NEVER) AGAIN, I'm going to talk about what I've sworn never to do again, only to break the promise to myself.  What is it?  Straighten my hair.

I have hair that I like to call the Bellatrix Lestrange look:  it's curly and crazy, just like hers, and if I dare to brush out the curls, I get a lion's mane of a mess.  So I frequently attempt to tame it with a straightener.  However, every single time I do it, I tell myself that it's the last time.  Why?

Several reasons.  For one, it's not good for my hair.  I have problematic hair to begin with--thin, frizzy, fragile.  Then there's the fact that my hair just does't look all that good when I straighten it.  Sometimes it does--if someone else does it.  But when I do it, I'm impatient, and usually, it just looks stringy, almost matted, and it loses its luster.  But I keep doing it anyway.  I get frustrated with the curls and, as though to punish my hair for misbehavior, I press it between two burning plates till it's so hot I can't touch it.  Yeah, not good.

I've done it to punish my curls.  I've also done it for boys who've said they prefer my hair straight.  (The wo  Now, looking back, I shouldn't have cared what they thought.  I prefer my hair curly, and that's what matters.  So, never again will I straighten my hair.

Yeah, right.

Me and my curly hair!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Book Recommendation

Personally, October is my favorite month.  We've finally hit Fall, which means bonfires, hayrides, s'mores, and all the wonderful spooks that come out of hiding.  It's also great time to brew a mug of hot cocoa and sit outside with a good book!

For a good October/Halloween read, I recommend THIS DARK ENDEAVOR, by Kenneth Oppel.

The purest intentions can stir up the darkest obsessions. 
In this prequel to Mary Shelley's gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor's twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry on a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life. Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn. 
Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science, and love - and how much he is willing to sacrifice.

Ever since reading the Matt Cruse series, Kenneth Oppel has been one of my favorite authors.  THIS DARK ENDEAVOR doesn't disappoint.  It's a page-turner that makes the Frankenstein story a lot of fun, yet doesn't lose any of its signature darkness.  Even if you're not a Frankenstein fan, I highly recommend it!

Find it here on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.