Thursday, March 28, 2013

My short creative memoir, "The Long Last Year" hit #1 in two nonfiction categories yesterday on! And it's doing very well on the overall bestseller list as well. That's a bit of a dream come true.

It's a strange feeling to have something you wrote about yourself, without those layers of fictionalization, being read by so many people. It's very flattering, but an out of body experience of sorts. I think most writers, at some point, dream of winning an award or being at the top of a bestseller list. But this story is special to me because, while it is a "creative" memoir, it really does provide an accurate view of who I was at the age of seventeen and the choices and challenges I faced that year. The very idea that people would care to read that story not only means a lot to me but makes me shake my head in disbelief and gratitude.

Thanks for support and interest, each and every one of you. A handsome portion of the proceeds for "TLLY" are going to For the Love of Learning, thanks to the generosity of my publisher, Fierce Ink Press, owned and operated by the dynamic duo of Kimberly Walsh and Colleen McKie.

Also, my heartfelt thanks to media, bloggers and social media peeps who've been so great at getting the word out for a good cause.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Putting myself forward

Fresh off winning the NL Book Award in May of last year, I was contacted by Fierce Ink Press and asked to if I'd be interested in writing for their brand new series of "Fierce Shorts." Over the past several months, they've published a series of creative nonfiction stories -- written by authors like Chad Pelley, Corey Redekop, Patti Larsen and Jamie Fitzpatrick (upcoming) and others -- focused on their own experiences as teenagers.

My contribution released on March 12 and is called "The Long Last Year" because it's all about my last, torturous year in high school. I wrote a story from the perspective of a teenager with a "normal" life, which, as anyone knows, isn't all that easy. I think, more than anything, a teenager (or any person) is looking to see where he or she fits in the world. The problem arises when one doesn't feel that they are a good fit, that they are different from everyone else. Of course, for me, the big fear was actually being the same as everyone else. I wanted to make my mark on the world -- or, really, to have it make its mark on me. But first, it meant somehow surviving the "long last year" without much a plan or a sense of where I was going in life -- tough enough in itself, until tragedy strikes.

You might be interested in this story if you're a young adult, but also a parent or teacher. Or you might simply be interested in some "nonfiction" for a change from me, since most of what I write and publish is fictional.

For more information, to read a sample, or to purchase this story ($3.99) for download, click on the text below.