I will be at Mashpee High School on May 8th, 2015 with the following fabulous (if not a tad weird) authors. We will also appear at the Sandwich library in the evening from 6-8pm for a panel – ask us questions, eat food, and get books signed!
Bio: Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press.
Trisha Leaver’s Books:
BIO: I write young adult literature that’s part fantasy/science fiction, part romance, part mystery. My most recent projects are contemporaries, but they also contain history. Mostly I enjoy writing whatever my characters suggest, and I hope you enjoy reading about them in whatever genre mix they’ve chosen to have their hearts broken, their certainties challenged, and their lives changed forever.
Jen Brooks’ Book
BIO: Born into an Italian-Irish family (hence the short temper and the freckles), Lori grew up on the Jersey Shore and now makes her home outside of Boston in a place close enough to the ocean that on the right day, she can smell the sea from her back deck, and yet it still takes an hour to get to the beach.
With a journalism degree from Lehigh University, she worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before embracing her love of fictional people. As a young girl, Lori would make a tent with her bed sheet and clasp a flashlight in one hand and a book in the other. She’d read into the wee hours, way past her bedtime. Today, she not only reads past her bedtime, she writes too. (And waking up tired has never felt so good.)
Like Julia Child, her idol and fellow Massachusetts resident who also found success in a second career, Lori shares a love of traveling, cooking, and eating great food—the weirder, the better—with her husband.
When not writing or reading (preferably from a sandy locale), Lori can be found chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find her at @loriagoldstein.
Lori Goldstein’s Book
BIO: Sure, I could give you my business resume (and my formal bio and media kit are below if you just want to skip there), but where’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable for all of us if I told you a few random things about, well, me? Thought so. Here ya go:
1. My college boyfriend wanted to go to Europe with me the summer after graduation. Then he broke up with me (don’t worry- we’re now friends on Facebook). I decided to get revenge on him by one-upping his trip plans, so I saved for a loooong time until I could finance a solo round-the-world trip that took me to forty-three countries over ten months on approximately $23 a day (free advice: do not try to save money by sleeping in an ATM kiosk during Spain’s annual Running of the Bulls). My favorites were Nepal and Prague. Somewhere in here is a lesson about revenge and boys, but who cares, because NEPAL!!!!!
2. I met my husband on the highway. Literally. He passed my car and I made a face at him (I was with my BFF and we sometimes- fine, often- did silly stuff like make faces at total strangers). Then HE made a face back at me the next time we passed, which was both nerdy and cool. I happen to like nerdy and cool. So I wrote my BFF’s cell phone number (because this was the Dark Ages and I didn’t own a cell phone yet) on a piece of paper and held it up to the window. He called. We married. There was some dating in between.
3. My twin boys are soooo identical that they won second place in the Most Identical contest at the International Twin Festival. You should definitely check out the International Twin Festival sometime. Best people watching around.
4. I also have a daughter. Despite having won no medals, she’s more of a diva than both boys combined. I completely applaud this. Until she’s a teenager and then I am in So. Much. Trouble.
5. For a bunch of years I worked as a publicist for 20th Century Fox. It was super tough work. I “had to” walk the red carpet alongside George Clooney, hang in a hotel room with a shirtless Mark Wahlberg (so what if his wife was there too) and sleep in Oprah’s hotel room at The Four Seasons (she’d checked out early and, I mean, we’d already paid for the room, so…).
6. Many, many, MANY years ago (when the longest thing I’d written was a grocery list) a psychic told me I would write a book with a purple cover and live in a big white house by the water. Imagine my surprise when I first laid eyes on the cover Simon & Schuster designed for AT YOUR SERVICE. Beach house, here I come!
7. I have a teeny tiny, make that HUGE, thing for hedgehogs.
Still can’t get enough of me? I believe I hear my children snorting. Anyhoo… you can visit FUN STUFF for an interview, a list of online musings, and links to my blog(s).
Jen Malone’s Books
BIO: Young Adult novelist, K.R. (Kate) Conway, has been a professional journalist since 1999. She is also an editor, graphic designer, and critique partner for other writers. She was named “Writer in Residence” of the award winning Sturgis West high school in Massachusetts. She is also a member of the SCBWI.
Her debut, self-pubbed novels Undertow and Stormfront frequent the Amazon bestseller lists and were added to high school summer reading lists and teen book clubs. The series has spawned fan fiction, won top-pick awards from reviewers and librarians, and drawn reluctant readers into a twisted tale of murder and mayhem set on Cape Cod.
Conway, who holds a BA in dangerous weirdos (forensic psych) from Mount Holyoke College, also drives a 16-ton school bus filled with her iPod-toting target audience simply because she likes the torture. She lives on Cape Cod with two opinionated kids, a fishing-obsessed husband, and an assortment of mismatched pets. Her website offers a peek into her twisted psyche: http://www.capecodscribe.com
K.R. Conway’s Books
#1: I love to play hide and seek with my kids, but due to my warped nature, it has been renamed “Dark House” as I turn off all the lights and hide in the shadows. I try not to laugh as I listen to my kids try and nervously convince one another to “go find Ma!” The game involves loads of screaming – I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t called the cops.
#2. I hate soda. Actually, anything “fizzy” in general is horrid. I once mistook my friend’s Sprite as water and chugged a few mouthfuls. I freaked out, howling that I was going to die. My friend wanted to die as well, probably because we were in the movies at the time and the cute boys behind us thought we were on crack.
#3. I can roller skate, but I can’t rollerblade. Okay, that’s not entirely true – I CAN rollerblade, I just can’t stop. At all. No seriously, there is a tennis court fence at my alma mater with a permanent indent of my screaming face pressed into it.
#4. My teenaged daughter, after reading CRUEL SUMMER, said to me with an accusing finger, “Ya know, Ma. You do realize that I’m going to base on my future relationships on YOUR books!” I simply replied, “Honey, I write fiction and my stuff is a TOTAL fantasy.”
#5. I tend to juggle too many things at once – literally. I once tried to carry a crockpot full of sweet and sour meatballs up my second floor stairs and slipped. Do you have any idea what a white stairwell looks like after dousing it in red, spicy sauce? Two words: Crime Scene.
#6. I’ve been a journalist for, like, ever. Grabbed right out of college to work for the magazines and newspapers, I was often given the craziest assignment, including freezing my a** off at the Hyannis docks to interview the Frostbite Fleet. I’m pretty sure that young = sucker in the eyes of my editors.
#7. My upbringing consisted of crazy inventions (my father) and crazier characters (my mother). While most kids listened to their mom read them Judy Blume and the Box Car Children, I listened to my mother practice lines for whatever upcoming play she was in. Her version of a drunken Virginia Woolf was quite, uh, colorful. My dad even played with my dollhouse with me, though he did make my dinosaurs rip the people though the windows and eat them . . . it was awesome. No wonder Jurassic Park was one of my favorite novels in high school.
#8. My Undertow Series of books contains little shout-outs to my beloved Cape Cod, with a few lines here and there that only the natives will catch fully. It was a blast to do it – like Carol Burnett, who’d tug her ear to let her kids know she was headed home soon.
#9. I was born and raised on Cape Cod and if there was ever a place where everyone knows everyone, it’s the Cape. I love that about the area, though you have to be careful of gossip as it flies faster that ET’s ship and everybody knows everybody.
#10. It is my hope to someday be a hybrid author, with Undertow in my indie pocket, and one of my WIPs in the hands of a great agent with a killer sense of humor. I mean, seriously, whoever reps me better be able to laugh because my life is one wild ride to Nutville.
AND LASTLY . . . I drive a 16 ton school bus during the school year, with a mini Toothless stuck to the dash (he is my guard-dragon – don’t screw with him). Undeniable proof that I am far from normal. Run. Run now.
Tonight I attended the Sturgis East and West’s Coffee House at the West building and let me say that I was FLOORED by the level of talent and raw courage I saw over the three hours of performances. Music, art, photography, poetry, speeches – just off-the-wall pure talent.
And I’m not sugar coating stuff here, people. I’m not doing the whole, “Oh that was lovely, we are all winners here” crap. Nope, I’m giving it to ya straight: these kids would mop the floor with America’s Got Talent.
I saw so many, many brilliant displays of talent, from a young poet who was destined to be a cross between Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Bronte, to a fierce musician who lived within the lyrics as he played, to the next song-crushing Julie Andrews. I even ended up singing to my radio on the way home, and though it wasn’t pretty, I did it because I was INSPIRED by the storytelling of the students I saw tonight.
I’m writing now because those teens lit my imagination on fire.
As I sat watching them, I wondered if they realized how truly gifted they are? Do they know that what they did tonight is not innate to us all, but a gift graced by fate and God? Will they use their gifts throughout their lives, or will they only look back on high school and recall how they, at one time, could shred a guitar or slam a poem?
My advice to those I saw perform tonight is this: Life is short. If you have a gift, hold it tight and burn it brightly and share it, always, with others. Don’t just leave it behind to gain dust and shadows in your past. Remember this night as the night a packed crowd screamed for you and that you connected YOUR story with them. That is your legacy and donation to the world: to forever maintain your gifts.
I will be there, at the next Coffee House, and I can’t wait to see more!
My keynote address for the evening is below, at the request of several audience members. I promised to repost it, so here it is:
I was raised in a house of storytellers, from a mother who was both a playwright and actress, to a father, whose tall tales and childhood rehashings were legendary. I could lie on my bed and watch the dust drift through a sunbeam and within my mind, I was transported to a world where stardust became its own seductive drug. A place where mirrors were doorways and adults had disappeared from the world.
My imagination was my getaway, because most of my childhood was spent staring at the walls of a hospital room. My body became a battleground for modern medicine. A thousand wars, never fully won nor entirely lost.
Like so many of the other kids on that same 8th floor, I was a prisoner, but no one could confine my ability to dream. We – all of us – were in some way or another, silent storytellers.
We were loners, but allies. Friends, but strangers.
I became that kid who lost herself to the view out the window and who appeared to never fully pay attention, but that’s where they were wrong. I was always listening, always watching. I was forever writing a story in my head, an endless loop of escape that kept me sane.
That is our gift – our undeniable right as people. Our imagination is uncagable and a powerful rebellion that answers only to our own heart.
Tonight, we celebrate the right to be storytellers in all forms, without restrictions or denials. We celebrate that which is ours by birthright and lives only within us, until we choose to share it with the world.
For some of us, it is like streaking down Main Street, howling in the adrenaline rush and the ability to shake our fellow man from the daily grind. For others, it is a quiet but forceful statement of purpose and belief that roots the audience to the ground. And for some of us, storytelling, whether through writing, poetry, music, dance, art, photography or the stage, is a chance to reach out to another soul and make a connection.
Tonight we let our stories free, and because there are those in the world who are unable to voice their own stories, we will speak for them. All the proceeds from tonight’s Coffee House will go towards programs that fight back against human trafficking in all its malicious, hateful forms. Such fundraising efforts will continue throughout the year, so remember to give whatever you can, for there are some souls who have yet to find the freedom to tell their story.
As we kick off the first Sturgis Coffee House of 2015 and enjoy a night of storytelling in all its beautiful forms, I’d like us all to remember the wise words of Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus:
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”