Tag Archives: Publish-y stuff

THIS IS ALLY-WEEN

31 Oct

 

Jack-nightmare-before-christmas-32561814-499-499

 

Happy Halloween kids!

Easily my favorite holiday of the year. You can keep your overcooked dried turkeys and your relentless jingle bells. All true mischief makers know that Halloween is the best holiday of the year!

I heard from a pretty reliable source there was promise of Dum-Dums in my future.

ROOTBEER DUM DUMS!!!

download

Before we close out this month, I have a couple quick thank yous to share:

Revising/editing/publishing This Is Sarah and revising Palimpsest has really taken up a huge chunk of my writing time in these last 10 months. Poetry has certainly (until recently) taken the backseat so I’m always especially grateful when awesome mags pick up something. So many thanks to Underground Books for taking these poems from the How To Be An American Series and to Commonline Journal for accepting Marriage.

The Blue Hour – one of my favorite magazines – has a new anthology out. This is their third one and if it’s anything like the other two (and I know it will be) it will certainly be a fascinating collection. The best thing about Anthologies is that you get to discover new poets in them! Check it out if you have a chance. Blue Hour doesn’t sell on Amazon so be a gem and get it directly from the site. Then you’re supporting small presses, poetry, and non-behemoths. A win for us all!

In book news, I’ve got a few copies of This Is Sarah involved in a massive giveaway hosted by Krista and Kristen.

I wrote about it here.

So if you want to win some books, there are approximately 9 bajillion available. Enter here!

And in other Sarah news, thanks to Rosie at Eat Read Glam for the review and to Missy at MidSummer for the same.

Blog reviews are gold to a small press publisher. And FINALLY I had a blast bs-ing with Tasha Cotter, my press buddy.  Her new book, Red Carpet Day Job is forthcoming from BookFish Books.

And that’s about it for my month.

Anyway kids, have a blast tonight.

Start Some Trouble.

Fall in Love.

Do the Time Warp Again.

Play piano with a pretty little dead girl.

 

A few thoughts (and a few too many words) on publishing

28 Oct

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

THE POST IS NOT MEANT TO DISRESPECT ANY FORM OF PUBLISHING WHATSOEVER.

Just so there isn’t any confusion about what I’m about to say.

So I was invited to participate in the Indie Fall Fest by Krista and Kristen. My very cool press BookFish Books hooked me up with them and I was excited to have a chance to share my latest novel, This Is Sarah, with the world. Both Krista and Kristen have been unbelievable  – juggling a million different writers and blog posts, handling interviews and giveaways. Honestly there are 141 books being given away. This thing is huge.

So part of the procedure involved me filling out a questionaire and the first question on there said:

Which was the first Indie book that you can recall reading?

And I stopped right there because I wasn’t sure how to answer that question. And the reason was because the word “Indie” means different things to different people.

To some indie means what it has meant since bands started their own record labels in their garage in 1983. It means “Independent.”

But these days, in publishing indie can mean small press OR it can mean self-published.

Now, at this point I emailed for clarification. Because I wanted to double check and see. Did they think that I self-published This Is Sarah? Was that why I was invited? NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH SELF PUBLISHING but my press and my editors at BookFish worked really hard on this and the last thing I wanted was for people to think it was all ME. Cause honestly, this cover?

cover

Not me. So very much not me. I couldn’t even begin to figure out how to make something like that nor would I even know how to go about finding someone like the talented Anita who made the cover.

Mine would have a stick figure. And not even a good one.

And the scene in the book where Colin gets into that fist fight with Michael. This one:

 

I hang up just as Michael grabs me and pulls me out of the closet. The phone falls out of my hand, clattering to the floor. I don’t have time to balance myself, let alone get him off me, before he throws me against the wall of lockers.

Just for the record, you see this sort of shit in movies all the time―people getting thrown into walls and doors, and they just bounce right back like the whole place is padded or something. Well, the lockers sure as shit aren’t padded, and as one of the locks grinds into my lower spine, I can promise you, it hurts way more than you imagine. White hot pain shoots up to my shoulders.

“What the fuck did you say to her?” Michael growls.

For a moment, everything goes blank, and I curl my hand into a fist. Michael lets me go, and I turn to walk away. But he’s not done, and now, he grabs me again by the shirt and throws me back against the locker.

More pain and then something just snaps in my head. I picture them together. I see Michael kissing Sarah, taking off her clothes. I see him whispering in her ear. In my head, everything goes white, and I swing.

My fist connects with his jaw, and his head snaps back. I swing again, even though my hand is on fire with pain, and I worry that I broke at least a few bones.

 

I might have written those words, but the scene itself was suggested by Mary and both Jen and Erin cleaned it up so it didn’t sound like crap.

This is what I’m getting at with Small Presses. They take care of you. The pick you up, dust you off, make sure you don’t sound dumb and push you out the door like a kid on her way to 2nd grade. They walk you to the bus stop, wave as you go and when you get home they’re right there waiting with cookies to hear all about your day.

And they bust their butt promoting your stuff online.

Back in 2013, I wrote a post for Pen and Muse about how my first novel was rejected by every major press in America. It was both utterly liberating and utterly humiliating to talk about. No one wants to talk about failure right?

Except maybe it isn’t failure.

I understand that my first book – a story about a girl who discovered she was the last living descendant of Shakespeare and gets swept away to a magical version of New York –  might not be a marketing department’s cup of tea. They all let me down real easy – “thanks kid, you can write but this just isn’t for us.” kind of thing. So instead it went to a small press.

And when I wrote This Is Sarah – it was just a novella – not the sort of thing a major press would be interested in especially from a nobody like me. But there again was another small press ready to talk.

Marketing a book these days is not easy. It’s an incredible amount of work – work done by both the press and by the artist. There are blog posts and facebook posts and tumblr and tweets that need to be going all day. And they can’t ALL be about your writing because then you’re one of those really annoying people on twitter that only talk about their work or their book, this unending noise of “BUY ME BUY ME BUY ME!”

Instead it has to be this suave version of “hey i’m really funny and interesting and that’s just me being me and oh, what’s that? Oh yeah, I wrote a book. No biggie. Here it is. Shrug.”

Not so easy, especially  for us (*ahem*) less than outgoing types. I was so thankful for all the extra promotion that Bookfish got me – setting up the cover release tour and book reviews and tweeting and facebooking their little hearts out when this book came out. I couldn’t have done all of that by myself. Which means those self-published people who have no press support got it even harder.

I was talking to a blogger named Rosie who read a copy of Sarah and we got talking about presses and different kinds of publishing choices and she said the following which I thought was incredibly insightful:

It’s authors like you that make me want to urge people to look past the books being pushed by big publishers occasionally and not be afraid to books published by smaller publishing companies or self-published authors…..

Before I had a Kindle I’d never even thought that their might be small pressers or authors funding their own books, which was very naive of me but on the other hand I’d only had access to what bookshops are pushing which is always big publishers.
When I heard that people self-published on Amazon, it was like discovering a whole new world and I started looking for smaller authors and I’ve discovered some amazing books. There does seem to be a bit of stigma around self-published books or small publishers, like they aren’t good enough because Harper or Penguin didn’t want them but I’ve read some bad books published by big publishers and some amazing books that are self-published or small press. The size of a publisher isn’t a reflection on quality.
I think what I like best is that authors like you are writing because you love writing, not because your publisher wants to make more money out of you. I’m fed up of reading trilogies that don’t need to be trilogies. “
This was very encouraging. This idea – that online book sellers give you access to more than what is in the store – is especially telling. I know that Amazon is a behemoth and there is the Hachette dispute but the fact is, that is where many many people get their books from. My press told me that 90% of their sales come from Amazon. So that begs the question how many readers am I missing by not being in brick and mortar bookstores?
I’m not really sure. I just know that ebooks have opened up a lot of doors for writers to get their work in the hands of readers – with or without a press. Plus the work that Katie and Kristen are doing to get people familiar with small press books makes me think we have a stronger voice after all.
Maybe we just need to all shout at once.
 
Anyway…many thanks to everyone who read, reviewed, promoted, supported or gave me a shout out when I was writing or promoting This Is Sarah.
I do write because I love it. It’s the best thing that I do. I just want to keep doing it.
Peace Love and Starbursts,
Ally

 

 

Interview with T.C. McKee – The Bone Treaty

23 Aug

bone treaty

 

Welcome kiddos!

Today I would like to introduce you to the very charming, very funny, wickedly talented T.C. McKee, author of The Bone Treaty recently released from BookFish Books.

Wanna see the cover? Of course you do!

bonecover

 

Amazing isn’t it?

You know you’re all:

give_it_to_me_stephen_colbert

 

So T.C. agreed to come over and answer silly questions for me. So take some time to get to know her and her book and then add the Bone Treaty to your to-read pile! You won’t be disappointed!

 

  1. Where do you get your ideas from? The tears of small children, right?

 

Definitely from the tears of small children. I like to add them to pomegranate martinis. Maybe it’s mixing the salt with the alcohol that just brings out my creative nature. No, seriously. I have no idea where my ideas truly come from…possibly an overactive imagination, watching people, listening to conversations, looking at the sky, daydreaming. Somehow, when I least expect it, a world, a story, a character just pops inside my head, demanding to be written. So yeah, I just do what the voices tell me to do. 

 

  1. Why did you write The Bone Treaty?

 

I would call it a personal challenge. I dabbled in writing when I was a teenager. My father used to steal my notebooks (no computers back in the day). He’d read them to try and figure me out, so needless to say he thought I was a little crazy for years. Never, ever try to figure your kid out through science fiction. Like ever! Anyway, life happened, kids happened, a real job happened, and it seemed I never had the time to write until a few years ago. One night, while the house was quiet I opened my laptop and just started writing. The Bone Treaty took on several forms before it truly resembled a story, but I just kept at it and here I am.  

 

  1. Clearly this is the first in a series – so did you plot everything in advance for the whole thing or are you making this all up as you go along and hoping for the best?

 

A little of both. I’m not a big outliner. I wish I were, but I never seem to stay on track. I like to go where the story takes me, and writing inside the lines just never works out for me. I admire authors who can lay out an entire manuscript in two pages, write it in about two months, and then go into revisions. It doesn’t work that way for me. I like things to marinate a little.

 

  1. First book you fell in love with as a kid?

 

Apart from the norm as a small child, my first YA book was Say Goodnight Gracie, by Julie Reece Deaver. It was the first time I felt emotionally attached to a book.

 

  1. If there was one thing people should know about your book before reading it what would that be?

 

The plot has so many layers that it was impossible to lay it all out in one book.

 

  1. In this cynical day and age what do you think fantasy books do for readers? What do they do for you?

 

I think they fuel imagination and we’re missing a lot of that in our youth especially. I think we also need places to go, worlds to get lost in, and characters to relate to. For me, I want to see an alternate universe, experience something amazing at the end of the day. We all need a break from reality from time to time. 

 

  1. Addie’s ability to read emotions using “color-vision” sounds amazing. If you had that talent, how would you use it?

 

I would definitely know who to avoid in public. Just think what the world would be like if we could all just avoid negative people, or meanies on the sidewalk. We could easily look at people and say, “Don’t talk to me. You’re a bad person and I know you’re a bad person because you are all red, so take your evil intentions and move over there, Mister Stranger Danger!” It would be an awesome world.

 

  1. Who would win in an arm-wrestling contest: C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkein?

 

Damn, that’s a tough one. I’m gonna say C.S. Lewis.

 

Follow up question – what’s with all the initials? C.S? J.R.R.? J.K? and now you T.C.?

 

Two reasons. First, when I started writing again I was scared of people knowing who I really was. I mean, what if all those people from high school buy my book and hate it. I have to see them in the grocery store. But then later I realized I didn’t really care about that. I was writing for the love of writing. I want people to love my book, and all the books I’m working on to come, but if they don’t I still love writing, so it’s okay now. Second, I’ve always kind of secretly hated my first name. No offense to any Tammy’s that might be reading the blog. I just never felt like it fit me very well. I cringe when I hear it. My husband calls me Boo, Babe, or Tam. I can live with those. I wonder if I should have put Boo Mckee on the front of my book. Ha!

 

Nice, right! I told you she was funny.

You can stalk  er….get to know TC on her website or on twitter! And remember The Bone Treaty is out now!

 

Mckee

Hiddles, Links, Books and Rowling (oh my!)

31 Jul

 

That’s Hiddles making a little heart for no other reason than the fact that in the universe there is Hiddles making a little heart. And there it is. Don’t you feel better now?

So…here we are – now nearly a month since This Is Sarah was released into the world. Some reviews are coming in and that’s always nice and always appreciated because it helps spread the word. Speaking of, I was talking to my friend Rita about this. She had a podcast coming up for Book Riot (you can listen to the whole thing here) and she was curious about my opinion on how Goodreads is used – mainly do authors want “bad” reviews or is it just better to say nothing?

My answer? Bring on the bad reviews.

First off, everyone gets bad reviews. It happens, and you’ll be sad for a while and then you’ll get over it. Then it will happen again and eventually you won’t care.

But the important part of this is that a review is an OPINION which means that all the reviewer is saying is “I don’t like XYZ” and another reader might see that and say, “Well, gee, I LOVE XYZ” and buy your book. See how that works?

That said, the one thing you never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever do is respond to a review – good or bad, really, but especially bad. We’ve all heard about explosions when authors behave badly.

But the flip side of that coin is that sometimes, readers behave badly. I’ve experienced this too – one reader rated my book one star before it was out…and I know who had ARCS via my publisher and she wasn’t one of them. Instead of responding, I ignored it and it went away. Am I lucky? Maybe. Would it be the end of the world if it had stayed? No.

The message here is this:

Readers – review the book, not the author.

Authors – hush up. Goodreads is a place for readers. Let them be.

Moving along – I have some linky things.

First off, is a recording that John Grochalski did of his poetry reading at Hemingways this past June for the release of Starting With the Last Name Grochalski. It was a great reading – a fun night of poetry and laughs and friends that ended with a mad dash through a Pittsburgh downpour. It was such a good night someone should write a poem about it.

Secondly, I got a little surprise in the mail yesterday – an ARC of Hagridden by Samuel Snoek-Brown.

10472640_525123477588248_3209213702309492677_n

I forgot to take a picture of MY copy so you’ll have to settle for the cover from Sam’s site.

Sam was awesome and interviewed me for my release of This Is Sarah and I can’t wait to return the favor during this blog tour. I read the first chapter when it arrived and guys, this is the real deal. I’m so excited.

Next up I’ve got some linky stuff to share:

 

 

  • Also, This Is Sarah was entered into a Book Cover contest. Anita, at Race-Point really did a stellar job so if you have a moment to vote here, you can help her win! It would be much deserved!
  • Many thanks to Clockwise Cat for giving these poems a home.
  • And to Stephen at Dead Snakes for these.
  • I’m going to have a piece out about this on Saturday’s Forked Road – but August 9th is the This Is Poetry party in Illinois so if you’re in the neighborhood, you should check it out. This is Poetry was started by Michele McDannold as a tumblr and has now morphed into their very first book:

10410476_665293546898703_5842176695640088183_n

Cool, right? I’m all:

 

And that’s about it from me.

EXCEPT today is JK Rowling’s birthday so to celebrate here’s the amazing new covers that everyone outside North America gets to enjoy!

My favorite new cover is Prisoners of Azkaban:

Azkaban cover

It’s my favorite mainly because it depicts what I think is the best scene in the ENTIRE series – the moment Harry realizes that it was the time-traveled version of himself that saves him from the dementors. It’s very “You are the One You were Waiting For” and it’s fantastic.

Okay that’s it. As of Monday it’s back to novel-writing. I’m looking at you Palimpsest.

Bye kids. Play nice while I’m gone.

Peace, love and starbursts,

Ally

And we’re finished….

14 Jul

cover

After two weeks of madness, the blog tour for This Is Sarah is officially over! Phew. I had a really great time, answered some fantastic questions and even told a lie or two.

So without further ado, here’s a quick recap and thank you to all the blogger who took a little time out to help me spread the word about This Is Sarah. I posted earlier, covering the first half so picking up where we left off….

Thanks to Cynthia, Lee at Rally the Readers, Jen McConnel, Tracy at Fresh Coffee, Jay Scott, Meradeth Houston at Write Stuff,and Danielle at Consuming Worlds who were all kind enough to include an excerpt from the book from either Colin or Claire’s point of view.

Next up were deleted scenes: Thanks to Judith at the Cozy Corner  and Erin Alberts for including one from Claire’s point of view. The excerpt was a section from Claire’s journal about quitting the band after Sarah’s disappearance. Jesse at Pretty in Fiction and Mary Waibel both shared a medication journal from Colin highlighting his nervous breakdown and finally, Denee at Novel Reveries shared a post from Sarah’s journal, where we get to see her reaction to Colin’s confession that he’s in love with her.

Then I headed over to Enna’s blog to talk about writing, inspiration and why I wrote about loss. Next up was Crystal’s blog where we played a little truth or lie game. I was asked to give three statements, two truths and one lie and the readers had to guess the lie in order to win a copy of This Is Sarah. It was a lot of fun. Since the winner was already picked here were my three:

1. Ally fell off a waterfall in high school and cracked her skull open.

2. She was kicked out of the country of Monaco when she was 16 for “trespassing.”

3. She’s stepped foot on nearly every continent in the world.

Those of you know know me in real life know that regrettably, the lie is #3 but I’m working on changing that.

Next up was an interview at Hiver et Cafe where we talked about research, free time and my desert island book choice (Salinger, baby. Salinger). Speaking of Salinger I also blabbed on about him at the Daily Mayo.

Then I headed over to Bibliophia, Please. When Kayla agreed to be part of the book tour she asked me to write about the research that I did. So I wrote a post about missing kids. It wasn’t easy research and it wasn’t an easy post but there are links at the bottom of the post where you can help out in the search for missing children. 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day. 100 of those are kids who have been abducted. 2,300 families left wondering. If you have the means to help out please do.

And finally, I was thrilled to be interviewed by Sam Snoek-Brown, author of Box Cutters and the soon to be released Hagridden. Sam and I talked about my feelings about the YA label which has gotten a bit of backlash lately, why my writing style is so sparse (i.e., I suck at florish) and what the hell is up with my obsession with Antarctica, already? Answer: This Man

Scott

 

And I think that just about wraps it up. It’s been a fantastic tour and I can’t thank the bloggers enough for taking the time to share This Is Sarah. It’s still on sale on amazon for $0.99 if you’re an ebook reader. You gotta pony up more for the paperback. That’s just the way the world works.

In other news, I unexpectedly wound up spending the weekend with my entire immediate family, including both sisters and my nephew who all live far away and while the reason we were all together was, let’s just say not ideal, seeing them was amazing.

malinenkos

Like they say, the secret to having it all… is knowing you already do.

And I do, thanks to those guys up there.

Peace Love and Starbursts,

Ally

Oh man, it’s time, isn’t it? The book is here!

7 Jul

cover

So today’s the day.

THIS IS SARAH, my first YA book (and second novel) is unleashed on the world.

This is craziness.

Many many many many (million more) thanks to the wonderful folks at BookFish who loved this story (even back when it wasn’t even a novel) and were willing to take a chance on Colin and Claire. It meant the world to me that they gave me the room and the time to turn this story into what it is now.

Especially thanks to Mary and Jenn and Erin who busted their asses editing this thing and putting up with my indecision and my constant emails and all my other horrible writer insecurity.

And to Tammy who listened to my insanity right up to and including today! You really know how to keep a girl sane.

And thanks also to Anita, who made a cover that made me swoon, with a picture that tells it’s own story.

Most of all, thanks to all of YOU. You know who you are.

Finally……

……

…..

……

…..

tumblr_lvuzmdsWRc1qb064c

…..

…..

…..

…….i hope you like the book. I really really do.

You can buy the ebook or the print on Amazon.

I love you guys.

 

Peace, love and starbursts,

Ally

This is Me (with This is Sarah) Trying to Be Less Annoying

30 Jun

cover_WRAP_web

Okay so in an effort not to have a million individual posts here and facebook and tumblr and  twitter and thus irritate everyone that I know, I just wanted to set a little bit of space aside to thank all the bloggers who, in just the last few days, have rallied around This Is Sarah and helped me get the word out.

So first off, thanks to Katie for hosting me on her blog where I had a chance to talk about my favorite parts of writing (the beginning) vs my least favorite parts (the end with all the never ending editing!) and she was also kind enough to include a excerpt. Thanks Katie!

Next up was Sami on tumblr with an interview. Sami asked about the writing process and how long it takes to edit a book and I stopped to do the math and realized I re-wrote This Is Sarah about 23 times from when it started as a short story to now. That sort of gave me a headache.

Much thanks to Mary at BookHounds for including this excerpt from Claire’s POV and to Becky at BarmyBookBlog for giving us one from Colin’s POV. Heather also included a excerpt and so did Lee at Rally the Readers.

And finally thanks to Melissa for not only including an excerpt but for also posting my thoughts on what getting up at 5 am to write can really mean (short answer: exhaustion AND productivity). And finally Annie at Just One More Chapter has a bit I wrote from the perspective of Claire that is not in the novel.

It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal but these bloggers not only have tons of requests for reviews and posts but they also have lives so it really means a lot to someone like me that I get a little help in spreading the word.

Thank you bloggers. You rock.

On the otherside of the writing spectrum, I wanted to thank Blue Hour Press, who have always been wonderful for taking these How To Be An American poems and to The CommonLine for taking this poem Take Off.

 

So the tour is going on till July 11th and if anyone else wants to join me, please drop me an email or contact BookFish. Also if you’re interested in reviewing we’re happy to hear your thoughts.

 

Phew, that’s everything. How about we clean the palate with a little Bukowski?

War and Peace by Charles Bukowski

to experience

real agony

is

something

hard

to write about,

impossible

to understand

while it

grips you;

you’re

frightened

out of

your

wits,

can’t sit

still,

move

or even

go

decently

insane.

 

and then

when your

composure

finally

returns

and you are

able to

evaluate

the

experience

it’s almost as

if it

had happened

to

somebody

else

 

because

look at

you

now:

 

calm

detached

 

say

 

cleaning your

fingernails

 

looking through

a

drawer

for

stamps

 

applying

polish

to your

shoes

or

paying the

electric

bill.

 

life is

and is not

a

gentle

bore.

 

Little Surprises Around Every Corner But Nothing Dangerous, or We’ve Got a Delay

27 Jun

cover

 

So….

if you check your calendar today is in fact June 27th which was in fact the day that I’ve been saying THIS IS SARAH is going to be out and available for purchase…

BUT…

we’ve hit a little hiccup. Nothing major, nothing terrible but a small delay that has pushed back publication just a bit.

So the book will be out SOON but not today. That said we’re still having the blog tour so, my lovelies, any help you can offer with retweeting and reposting stuff is always always always appreciated.

The folks at BookFish Books (I’m looking at you Tammy, Mary, Jen and Erin) have been absolutely wonderful and I truly could not have asked for a better editing/publishing/listening to me blather about stupid stuff sort of experience.

So just a bit of a wait.

We’re thinking the same thing aren’t we….

wonka

 

In the meantime, I have been awfully remiss regarding linky things so here we go:

1. There is a really fantastic comic called MixTape by Brad Abraham that you should all be reading. I wrote a little thing about it here. It’s wonderfully written, funny, sad, and heartbreaking all at once. And it’s got a killer soundtrack. Also you know how people tell you to follow people on twitter and they’re the creative type so you do thinking “well this should be interesting” but all they do is tweet about how you should buy their book? I hate that. You hate that, too. And that’s why you should follow Brad on twitter because he’s NOT LIKE THAT and he’s freaking funny and real and he’s one of those people that uses twitter right. You won’t be sorry.

2. Alison  Ross just put out the newest issue of Clockwise Cats and it’s HUGE AND AMAZING. You can read the whole thing here. I’ve got a How To Be An American poem in there and another about the fact that every time a guy gives up his seat for me on the subway, I think that he thinks I’m pregnant. You have no idea what this can do to a girl’s psyche.  Honest.

3. The June writing prompt for The Forked Road blog was to describe the sensation of drowning. Ugh, I know, right? Possibly the worst way to die ever. So I did it and most of the piece is actually written from the point of view of the river, which I admit, is sort of cheating.  It’s called The River Fell In Love.

4. My buddy Jason Baldinger has a new book of poetry out. It’s really great and you should read it. I need to write a review (I suck for not doing that yet). Also you should definitely read this if you’re one of those people who think poetry is “dry, boring and something I’ll never understand.” Mr. Baldinger will learn ya something different.

5. My friend Sam Snoek-Brown has a book coming out this fall called Hagridden. I got a chance to read an excerpt and honestly guys, he’s the real deal. You should also check out his blog cause he’s always posting really cool insightful stuff about writing and publishing and life in general. If you’re on the Book of Face, you can like his page here and get all the goods.  Our paths crossed via Jersey Devil Press, which reminds me, Eirik still needs some lungs. Jersey Devil Press did a special issue for Eirik and Monica– just to let them know they’re loved – but there’s still so much ground to cover. If you’ve got any spare change, pony up for a good cause. Check under the couch cushions if you can. If you can’t, then just send some good juju out into the universe, okay?

6. Also John Grochalski who you all thought was JUST a fantastic poet is actually also a fantastic novelist. His novel is called The Librarian and it’s a wry, biting, booze-soaked ride when you’re riding shotgun with Rand Wyndam. Read it. You’ll laugh. I promise. Also, rumor has it he’s got a new book of poetry in the works from Coleridge Street Books. Jot that one down. You won’t be sorry.  He’s on  twitter but he never tweets so let’s all follow him so he feels awkward about it and is forced to participate in social media.

So that’s about it.

Again, thanks for all fracking support lately. It’s meant more than you guys even know. Trust me.

And soon This Is Sarah will be out. Really soon. Even sooner than soon.

 

spaceballs

 

Peace, Love and Starbursts,

Ally

THIS IS SARAH – Teaser Thursday

26 Jun

 

 

This Is Sarah banner (6)Hi all.

Teaser Thursday really doesn’t have the same ring to it as Teaser Tuesday but oh well.

So we’re up to another Claire chapter. This also might be considered a little bit of a cheat since I posted an earlier version of this exact section months ago but whatever. It’s changed. That’s all that matters.

They found her red Chuck Taylor sneakers five miles from where her car was, deep in the woods.

One was unlaced, as if she had undone it and slipped her foot out of it right there under that canopy of trees.

The other was still tied.

Snow filled them like little red candies covered in sugar.

In the police station, in that evidence bag, they seemed so small, as the snow slowly melted off them, staining the fabric and dripping into the bottom of the bag. I couldn’t imagine them fitting Sarah’s feet. I couldn’t imagine them fitting my own.

Sarah’s empty shoes.

I thought about how they’d never be worn again. How she would never slide her foot inside, how her fingers would never tug those laces and loop them closed.

Her room back home was filled with things that would go unused. They’d just sit there, waiting for Sarah to come home, collecting dust.

All the things Sarah left behind.

When I saw the shoes, sitting in the police station, a noise escaped me. Not quite a sob, but a cry—a shock of disbelief—and my hope retreated as I realized I was now one of those things. Like her clothes, her jewelry, her records or her shoes.

I was just another thing Sarah left behind.

 

Okay so apparently there is only one day left till this book is out which is sort of insane. If you haven’t added it to your Goodreads list, you can do so here and also try your luck at winning a free copy from my publisher.

 

Peace, Love and Starbursts,

Ally

This Is Sarah – Teaser Wednesday

25 Jun

This Is Sarah banner (6)

 

Good Wednesday Morning.

I promised drugs last time didn’t I? Relax, it’s just pot. This segment of the novel is a part of a Colin chapter. He’s been dragged out of the house by friends so he can start acting like a human being. They’re all at the lake getting stoned. Happy reading!

 

I took out my phone.

Hi. This is Sarah. You know what to do!”

“Hey Baby. It’s, um…late. Friday night. I’m at the lake with Ben, Slade and Rich. Remember the first time we came out here? Remember how cold the water was? God, we were little then, only in middle school. I liked you even then, Sarah. Man, I was pathetic. It’s amazing you even agreed to date me.” I laughed at the memory and then choked on the smoke as I took another hit. “Remember that summer when we all went skinny dipping? Shit, we were so stoned.” I pulled on the joint and sat down at the edge of the dock.

“That was fun, Sarah. We always had fun together. I think that’s the part I miss the most. I’m out here right now and it just feels forced, like I’m trying to fool myself back into my life. Like if I do the stuff I used to do then it will start my life again. But it isn’t my life anymore. Does that make sense?”

In the distance an owl hooted and Ben’s honking laugh ripped through the quiet. Someone called my name. A girl down on the beach squealed and laughed. Somewhere water splashed.

“Colin!” Marie called again, her voice all sing-songy.

“Those were good times, weren’t they Sarah? Too good, almost like a dream. I guess that’s why when people said you ran away it made me so nuts. Why would you leave this? Why would you even want to? Shit, I’m leaving at the end of August and I can barely believe it. Fucking college.”

“Colin, you fuckface. Get over here with that joint.”

Slade shouted this loud enough to send the birds on the other side of the lake flapping into hysteria. I watched them cut across the night sky. For as fucking loud as he was, it’s amazing we all didn’t get busted by the cops.

“Sarah…” I swallowed, my throat suddenly bone dry. “My shrink, she says I need to let you go or I’ll never get better.  I’m scared because sometimes, like right now, sitting on this fucking dock, watching the lake and how fucking beautiful it all is…at times like these I think she’s right. I’m not really living my life. Then I come undone with fucking guilt because why should I live my life? Right, Sarah? If you don’t get to…”

The clouds cleared and up above the stars winked on, one by one, as if someone flipped a switch.

“I’m afraid if I don’t keep this tight fucking grip on you, on everything you meant to me, that you’ll leave me again. I’m so afraid of that happening because the first time I lost you…it hurt too much. I don’t think I can handle losing you all over again.”

“COLIN!”

“I have to go Sarah,” I stubbed the joint out on the edge of the dock and struggled to stand. “Fuck, Sarah, I have to go. You understand? I think my shrink might be right. I think…Fuck. I think I have to stop leaving these messages because I think it’s fucking me up. I’m so sorry, Sarah. I love you, Baby. I never wanted to lose you. Ever.”

I hung up the phone and joined them. Marie came over, squeezed my arm. She smiled at me and I wanted to smile back, but I suddenly forgot how. The smell of the woods and the lake water was thick in the warm air. The sound of my friend’s laughter floated towards me on a breeze―like a language I used to speak but no longer knew.

“Wanna take that walk, Col?” Marie asked her eyes all wide and outlined in black.

My answer lodged in my throat. It was right there. And it was the truth. I opened my mouth, but I don’t know if it was the pot or just me, but nothing came out.

 

Okay so only a few more days (hopefully!) before the release of THIS IS SARAH. You can still toss your hat in the ring for a free copy here.

Till next time.

Peace, Love and Starbursts,

Ally

%d bloggers like this: