one of my very favorite book people says nice things about BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD in the Atlantic Wire

One of my very favorite book people says nice things about BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD in the Atlantic Wire

Northington sums it up: “Future New York mafia! Anya is the bad-assest heroine I’ve met in a while—on her way to being a psychopath, but a really compelling psychopath.” Godfather fans, this is your Y.A

I asked my publisher if we could put “bad-assest” on the cover.

tuesday hijinks no. 10: Printers Row Book Festival in Chicago, suitcase postmortem


1. I packed my red shoes but did not wear them. They make the photo because they go well with the ARC of Because It Is My Blood.

2. I bought the print at the festival. The verse reads:

Lady Tulip, stately dame,

From across the ocean came;

Liked this country very much,

Although she only spoke in Dutch.

This puts me in mind of a few lyrics I like from a Bright Eyes song called “Road to Joy.”

I could have been a famous singer

If I had someone else’s voice

But failure always sounded better

Let’s f*** it up, boys, make some noise.

tuesday hijinks no. 7: epigraph no. 1

The selection of an epigraph is a serious matter. Because It Is My Blood has two of them. The first, which you’ll find below, is a Stephen Crane poem, and the title of Because It Is My Blood is derived from the it:

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”

Stephen Crane is certainly not my favorite poet nor is “In the Desert” my favorite poem by a mile – nay, a marathon. On some level, I’m not even sure I LIKE this poem.* Alas, it is the poem that most suits the book, Anya in the story, and probably my frame of mind at the time I was writing. 


*My policy is not to criticize other writers online. However, Stephen Crane is long dead, so I feel I’m in the clear here. 

tuesday hijinks, no. 6: brief synopsis of Because It is My Blood, the sequel to All These Things I’ve Done, which comes out September 18, 2012. The story takes place partially in Oaxaca — isn’t Oaxaca pretty?

Because It Is My Blood

Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone, The Godfather
Since her release from Liberty Children’s Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship. But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve—and her heart—will be tested as never before.



Street Scenes from Oaxaca

We were in Oaxaca about two days, but significant days, Dec 31st and Jan 1st. Pretty much all of my walking around the city photos are from New Year’s Day. I don’t know what the atmosphere of Oaxaca is like any other time of the year but I’m sure it’s a beautiful city no matter what. Looking back at my photos of Mexico, I very nearly booked a flight to see Oaxaca for New Years AGAIN – that would have been two years in a row. I went another direction but I still feel sure I’ll visit Oaxaca again one day.

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Tuesday Hijinks, No. 4:  An interview with me about the paperback version of All These Things I’ve Done and title reveal for the second book.

Something I wanted to put in the interview but didn’t. All the titles of the books in the series add up to form a synopsis of the series. At this point, you have half the sentence: All these things I’ve done because it is my blood… etc. 

P.S. The jacket on my tumblr is – I believe – the final version; it’s a little bit different than the one on BookPage.