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.

(more Tuesday hijinks on Monday after an extended absence from the hijinks scene; it is not that I have had no hijinks, but perhaps that the spring has been altogether too hijinksical to even be reported)

tuesday hijinks, no. 9: scenes from the Rochester Teen Book Festival. I wish I could send my teenage self a time machine so I could go to this thing.

1. Cat Patrick, my co-presenter for the weekend. Forgotten is about to become my go-to recommend for teens. Ask her about the sign language troop she was in. Seriously, ask her.

2. I’d say that a handmade “Holden Caulfield thinks you’re a phony” t-shirt is just about the perfect thing to wear to a teen book festival.

3. Handmade book earrings. These Rochester Teen Book Festival attendees are seriously crafty.

4. Gran Torino. The authors were driven in classic cars to the event, and I’d really prefer to always be driven to events this way. The driver’s name I have forgotten, but he was a former shop teacher and an excellent guide. The profile belongs to James Kennedy, who travels with a tuxedo and is the shyest writer you will ever meet.

4. A.S. King & Squid. I liked the both of them immediately.

5. My answer was “A Kitten.” Melissa Walker’s answer was “Grace Kelly.” What was the question?

6. The majestic head of Terry Trueman.

7. Jack Ferraiolo will kill you with his star. (I lost mine somewhere, by the way, but that is the way with stars.)

Thanks to all the incredible volunteers at the Rochester Teen Book Festival. This event somehow concentrates all that is good about writing for teenagers into a single day. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I am photographically-challenged.

P.S. I’ll be signing bright and early at BEA tomorrow for anyone who’s around.

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.