Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Writers Like Us - Sashi Kaufman

I had to come out of blogging hiatus when Sashi Kaufman agreed to do Writers Like Us. Her book THE OTHER WAY AROUND comes out next week with Carolrhoda Lab.

Reasons why Sashi Kaufman is awesome:
1) I got to read THE OTHER WAY AROUND a little early (agency sister and ARC beggar perks!) and THE OTHER WAY AROUND is my favorite 2014 contemporary. It's about a boy who runs away from home to hit the road with a group of vegan, trash-picking street performers. I loved not only the road trip story, but the organic and rich alternative life Andrew tumbles into. It was a lovely, and unique, way to rebel against his uptight, by-the-books mother. I'm most likely going to start threatening people to read this one!
2) Sashi is an all-around awesome person and gives some pretty awesome answers below.
3) She also brought along a copy to giveaway in the Rafflecopter below!

So, without further adieu...

Sashi on Writing
  • I've written 4 books, and 1 has seen the light of day….so far.
  • My favorite type of scene to write is a scene where a lot is happening both action-wise and also emotionally. I like when character is revealed through action.
  • No matter how long I've been writing, I still have issues with pacing in the last third of a book.
  • The book I wished I wrote is On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

Sashi on Getting Published
  • If my agent really knew how crazy I was, she would find out not much that isn’t already apparent. I don’t really have a “social face” I save for my agent. I’m glad she’s the kind of person who’s accepting of who I really am.
  • When I was querying, I felt excited and unnaturally anxious about my inbox.
  • The biggest mistake I ever made while on submission was rewriting a book in the first person. I never believed in it that way and ultimately the editor who made the request passed. 
  • The craziest thought I've ever had while being published is that everyone else knows what they’re doing. I’m often plagued by the idea that I’ve missed some really important publishing meeting or class and as a result I’m destined to fail –whatever that means.
  • When I got "The Call," my first thought was not really a word –more like a primal muppet cry. I’ll try and put it into letters AWOOOGAHOWAAGA!!!
  • When I saw my book sale in Publishers Marketplace, I brought back some dance moves from my junior high era. They weren’t even cool then.

Sashi on Life Outside Writing
  • If I weren't a writer, I'd probably be ...well I am a middle school science and English teacher and that’s a pretty cool job. But for something totally different, I’d probably pick neuroscientist.
  • Secretly, I'm terrified of that thing in Star Wars that tried to suck Luke and Han Solo into the pit and slowly digest them over the course of thousands of years. So I guess being slowly digested for thousands of years. 
  • My secret boyfriend is Clive Owen.
  • Sometimes, when no one is around, I talk to myself in accents. Sometimes I do it in front of people too –my students can attest to that.

Sashi is a middle school English and science teacher who lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and daughter. Her debut YA novel The Other Way Around is launching on March 1st. She is also an amateur trash picker.


Andrew West goes to an all-girls school and he still can’t get a date. If that’s not bad enough, his Mom is the headmaster. Everyone seems to have the wrong idea about Andrew. His teachers think he’s a good student who doesn’t apply himself -he really is trying. The kids at his old school thought he was a goth. His cousin Barry thinks he’s gay.

When his Thanksgiving break goes tragically awry he decides to run away. He catches a ride with a strange group of older teenagers. The Freegans are street performers and dumpster divers. As Andrew travels the country with his new friends he leaves behind the expectations of others and discovers what he expects of himself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more Writers Like Us? Check out the entire series, including interviews with A.S. King, Sara Zarr, Jennifer E. Smith, Kristin Halbrook, Tara Lynn Childs, Robin Benway, Katie McGarry, Trish Doller, and many, many more.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Channing Tatum Says You Should Be Writing

I'm taking a little hiatus from blogging. Of course, I'll pop in to do the occasional What's Up Wednesday and I'm committed to my monthly Currently Reading posts.

Never fear! The agent and writer interviews are still available, and I'm sure I'll pick these series back up.

So I'm still here, just slowing down.


Because Channing says it best.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Currently Reading - February 2014

Happy February!! <3

Where in the heck did January go? Does anyone else feel like they blinked and missed it?! The funny thing is that I feel like I've been crazy busy, and still managed to blow through all of my January reading, plus a whole lot more. Here were a few of my favorites.

I went to ALAMW, which was amazing. While the conferences and meetings were for librarians and educators only, the exhibit hall was open to the public. I tagged along with my best blogging friends and they showed me the ropes on how to navigate the showroom floor and network with other bloggers. Plus, there were books. Lots and lots of books.

I was super excited to find agency brother Robert Lettrick's FRENZY at the Disney Hyperion booth (I even scored an ARC) and agency sister Sashi Kaufman's THE OTHER WAY AROUND at the Lerner booth (unfortunately, no ARC but I did score a rad bookmark!).

Clan MacLeod also celebrated agency sister Jodi Meadows' INFINITE, the thrilling conclusions to the INCARNATE trilogy! (I always wanted to type something super promo-y like that!). To show my support and through the powers of Photoshop, Robert gave me a feather face! You can see all our pictures on Sashi's blog here.

So for this month, the plan is to start tackling my pile of ALAMW ARCs, which include...

Hope you have a fantastic February! What are you reading?

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Valerie has read 1 book toward her goal of 55 books.
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