Assault Rifles Need to Go

APTOPIX School Shooting Florida

I’m rarely one to post anything like this on my author page, but I have kids. I have a teenager in high school. And MY READERS are teens and parents. And yes, I fully believe in the right to bear REASONABLE arms, but not assault rifles.  And I know what it’s like to see the police, with dogs and riot gear, swarming the area of my daughter’s school because there was a kid hiding nearby with a gun.

So, don’t tell me I don’t know. I KNOW – we were just lucky on that day several years ago that the rifle turned out to be a pellet gun. Because of the way this country’s gun laws are set-up, it could’ve easily been an AR-15. After all, in the good ol’ USA, you can shoot before you can drink.

This blog post is from a Army Veteran and I think it’s the best op-ed to date I’ve seen regarding the AR-15s. God bless those who lost their lives in Parkland this week. Let their murders not go in vain.



America, can we talk? Let’s just cut the shit for once and actually talk about what’s going on without blustering and pretending we’re actually doing a good job at adulting as a country right now. We’re not. We’re really screwing this whole society thing up, and we have to do better. We don’t have a choice. People are dying. At this rate, it’s not if your kids, or mine, are involved in a school shooting, it’s when. One of these happens every 60 hours on average in the US. If you think it can’t affect you, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. So let’s talk.

I’ll start. I’m an Army veteran. I like M-4’s, which are, for all practical purposes, an AR-15, just with a few extra features that people almost never use anyway. I’d say at least 70% of my formal weapons training is on that exact rifle, with the other 30% being split between various and sundry machineguns and grenade launchers. My experience is pretty representative of soldiers of my era. Most of us are really good with an M-4, and most of us like it at least reasonably well, because it is an objectively good rifle. I was good with an M-4, really good. I earned the Expert badge every time I went to the range, starting in Basic Training. This isn’t uncommon. I can name dozens of other soldiers/veterans I know personally who can say the exact same thing. This rifle is surprisingly easy to use, completely idiot-proof really, has next to no recoil, comes apart and cleans up like a dream, and is light to carry around. I’m probably more accurate with it than I would be with pretty much any other weapon in existence. I like this rifle a lot. I like marksmanship as a sport. When I was in the military, I enjoyed combining these two things as often as they’d let me . . . READ MORE via “Fuck you, I like guns.”

Daybreaker is Coming!


While I had hoped to get Daybreaker out in January, life got in the way.

The book (which includes character art, a four-chapter epilogue, and a 5,000 word bonus scene as well as a 20 page glossary) will be coming out in late February, early March (I am simply waiting on a date from Titcombs Bookshop, which ALWAYS carries signed stock on the shelves).

So, hang in there – I’ve been told by my Beta team that this particular book is worth the wait and a few are calling it their favorite installment of the entire series. I’m crossing my fingers that you will love it just as much as they do.

It’s time to bid Eila and her crew a fond farewell in one wild, final ride.

Wanna get on the list to snag a signed copy the day the books come out? Call Titcombs and get on their waitlist! The store is here:

Teen Writing Class for February


This free winter program is open to all talented writers ages 12-18 at the Cape Cod Writers Center’s Young Writers Workshop.

Held from February 19-23 at the Osterville Public Library for five mornings, writers from grades 7-12 from Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts will have a fun and exciting opportunity to improve their writing. Popular author K.R. Conway* and teacher Jeff Carter* will help students advance their literary skills in fiction and nonfiction.

During the sessions, students will form friendships with writers from other schools, receive individual help for their work and learn what it takes to be published today

The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 12, 2018.
The Cape Cod Writers Center will notify students of their acceptance soon after their application is received. they have submitted their application.

To get your application:

Visit our website at and download our application OR email us at for an application.

*Students may request an instructor based on writing needs and storytelling style.

Writing Tips from the Trenches

Writing Tips from the Trenches

Recently, I was asked how I write my characters and what is the trick I use that makes them “live beyond the book.”

Honestly, I kinda got stumped when the question was asked of me.

At first I wanted to blurt out, “Uh, I’ve no clue” and to be fair, that’s true – I don’t know why I hear them speak so clearly, or why I see them move in my mind. I’ve always been a vivid daydreamer – I literally won’t see reality in front of me anymore. Instead, I see what my imagination is sending me and the effect is so absolute, that I am no longer in the present. It’s so extreme that daydreaming, for me, is just as good as watching a movie or reading a book. I can live in my imagination as if I’ve stepped between dimensions.

The same thing happens when I’m writing – I no longer feel the keys under my touch, nor see the screen. When I’m writing, I’m in another world and it plays like a film strip across my field of vision. In this new reality, I am both the actor and the director.

I think that’s the key to being a character writer – you must be BOTH the director and the actor. You have to live, intimately, in the skin of the character, while at the same time, dictating the world and the way the camera swings and pans. You have to “body-hop” from one character to another. You have to know when to zoom in on the smallest detail and when to pan-out on a grand scale. For me, such “intense” character writing is not always possible in the first pass of any given scene. I mean, yeah – I’m nuts – but I’m not quite crazy enough to flow between multiple characters and their quirks at the drop of a hat or the strike of a key. Someone once called the way I write as “method writing” not unlike “method acting” which, I guess, is true (and kinda scary).

So how do I do it? How do I write real characters, maintain their voice, and then have them all arguing in a given scene while maintaining their own distinct personalities?

Easy – I read through that chapter over and over FOR EACH character.

Even if a character only has a few lines in a given scene, I still must know what they are doing in the back of my head. More importantly, when I write for a character, I literally feel the clothes they are wearing against my own skin – I see the world through their point of view and how the waistband of a worn pair of jeans rubs against a hip differently than a new pair. I FEEL the sole of a sneaker bend to the flexing of a foot twisting around a desk leg, and I can hear the sound of a metal hanger clang when a heavy jacket is pulled from the closet. I feel the tentative touch of a hand trailing the line of a v-neck collar, and how a fingertip dips and rides the collar bone under a lover’s skin with every breath.

I LIVE inside the character.

I immerse every sense I have into every moment or every scene of every character.

At the end of the day, I know I’m striving to create an intimate affair between the person holding the book and the characters spilling across the pages. If I’ve done my job, then the reader is no longer reading – they are living inside the story, just as I live inside my daydreams. The reader is forgetting her life, and the demands of the typical day and the worries that plague her reality, drift away. If I’ve done my job, if my characters are living, breathing, realities, then the reader escapes entirely into MY world. And if I’ve done a really good job, then the reader won’t be able to put the book down, and if they do, they daydream of my characters in the real world.

I don’t know how else to write. I don’t know how else to live.

Bleed onto the page, my fellow writers. Drown in the characters and the world you create. Give yourself no excuses for poor writing or shitty lines. Vow to bring only real characters to life and make them work hard for the love of the reader. Make them unforgettable, re-readable, and living in the dreams and nightmares of book addicts. Demand nothing less, of your own imagination and of the words on the page.

Write on and write fierce. 

First born child, Eila Low, was named after character Eila Walker by her Las Vegas parents, Bethany and Adam. Rock on, E! Show the world your fearless side!


Irish fan, Siobhan, rocks her 3rd Undertow inspired tattoo!







Daybreaker cover is here!

Undertow, Book 5, is the final book in the Undertow series. It will debut in January 2018 and include a full glossary of characters, creatures, places, etc.

To hold you over, here is the Daybreaker cover :)


Titcomb’s Bookshop the Brave

      Back in 2013, before Undertow officially launched, I wandered into Titcomb’s Bookshop in Sandwich Massachusetts and happened to come face-to-face with owner Vicky Titcomb. I was hoping the fabulous, barn-like bookshop would take a chance on me – a self-pubbed weirdo from the Cape who wrote one YA novel on a sleep-deprived whim. At the time, Undertow wasn’t even out yet and barely had any reviews. I had only just sent ARCs to the Cape Cod Times and Barnstable Patriot editor, Kat Szmit (more folks, who I can never thank enough for their enthusiasm over the series and the fabulous publicity they’ve thrown its way over the years).

      For whatever reason, Vicky said she’d take a few of my Undertow books on consignment that day. I don’t think either one of us could’ve ever guessed how popular that insane little book (based on Lia Farrow‘s house) would become. God love her, Vicky Titcomb took a chance on me and helped launch my career as a teen novelist. For this, I am endlessly grateful.

     This coming weekend, I am signing the Undertow series at the little bookshop that started it all. While I know everyone has super busy lives, I’d ask you to please come say “HI,” grab some books or toys (OMG, the toys at Titcomb’s are EPIC), and show your support of Vicky and her crew and their wonderful, quirky little bookshop on Rte 6A.

Celebrating Indie Authors at YABC


Dying for some great Young Adult books? Look no further than the Around the World in 30 Days project happening at Young Adult Books Central!

In the course of one month, YABC will features dozens of indie YA authors and their books. What’s even cooler is that these books often fly under the radar, unable to compete with the traditionally published “big houes” books. These are the “little guys” and let’s face it: don’t we all want to root for the little guy??

When you buy an indie book, you are directly supporting the author. It doesn’t filter through a major publishing contract with many mouths to feed, but often goes right into the hands of just one, faithful writer (who is often tucked into a coffee shop somewhere, writing on a lunch break from full time job).

So cheer for the little guy, check out these titles, and enter to win a MASSIVE haul of paperback books! The writing within these pages is brilliant and the stories are grand, yet they are the underdogs in the publishing world. It’s time to let them SHINE!



What is
YABC is your first stop for all things book-related! Founded in 1998 by (now author) Kimberly Pauley as a basic stopover for people looking for information on young adult books, YABC has since evolved into one of the largest professional book recommendation sites targeted towards tween and teen readers. You can read book reviews by our staff or write your own! Join discussions about your favorite books and enter to win more in our monthly giveaways. Keep up with all the latest book-related goodies on our blog and interact with authors in our Twitter chats. 

Cover Reveal! Any Way You Slice It

I am BEYOND excited to announce our newest author in the Wicked Whale line-up: Kristine Carlson Asselin. Her book, Any Way You Slice It comes out November 15, 2017!  

Check out the details below!

Add her to your GOODREADS List by clicking HERE.

Penelope Spaulding just can’t catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents’ plans for her future, it’s hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away…

Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations.

The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…and Jake’s not half bad either. But she knows it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.

She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.

With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kristine Carlson Asselin’s debut YA novel ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT (Wicked Whale Publishing) will debut November 15, 2017.

THE ART OF THE SWAP (Simon and Schuster), co-authored with Jen Malone, is scheduled to come out in spring 2018.

She has also published sixteen nonfiction books with both Capstone Press and Abdo Publishing for the school library market. She tweets at @KristineAsselin as well as her alter ego @QueryGodmother, where she tweets query tips and suggestions.

She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Find out more about Kristine at or


ELEVEN DAYS until Eila and the crew are back in action! Have you missed them? Wanna sneak peek? The prologue is HERE! Are you a reviewer? You can request an ARC HERE.

New characters! New twists! New love affairs! A heart-stopping bad-dude and a fanged kidnapper with a donut truck! Blood bombs, flying desks, dangerous booze, smokable tea, and a chick dressed like a hooker in a dumpster. This is the UNDERTOW series – did you expect anything less?!?!?

Pre-orders for the Kindle version are up on Amazon, but if you want a SIGNED print copy the day it drops (September 30th) your options are limited:

A: come to the launch party (JUST DO IT!).
B: Go to Titcombs Bookshop in East Sandwich (they are the ONLY bookstore that will have them ON THE SHELVES that day and I HIGHLY suggest calling them to pre-order the book).



PARTY (win lots of stuff!)!!!

Kate Conway

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