Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Five -- Kristen-Paige Madonia

I'm very excited about this week's Friday Five!  Kristen-Paige Madonia is an award-winning writer, a creative writing teacher and has published several pieces of short fiction, but FINGERPRINTS OF YOU (published by Simon and Schuster on August 7th)  is her first novel.  She is a sister Apocalypsies author, and I'm delighted to have her on the blog today.


1.  What is your most treasured possession?

My photo albums from my childhood - I still keep them at my father’s home where I grew up, but whenever I’m there I always make time to sift through them. There’s one set in particular, a group of scrapbooks that my mother put together as a gift when I graduated from high school, that are especially important to me.

2.  What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having Fingerprints of You published is by far my greatest achievement so far. I began the novel in 2008 and sold it to Simon & Schuster BFYR in 2010, and to know that it exists in the world, to be able to talk with readers about the book, well there’s just nothing like it.

3.  If you could edit your past, what would you change?

In terms of my writing life, if I could give my younger self a piece of advice, I would suggest worrying less about what’s to come and focusing more on the now. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the rejections and by wanting the successes to happen more quickly, to always be looking at what comes next versus enjoying what’s happening in the present. I’d slow down, celebrate the small successes more often, and worry less about the things I still hope to achieve. Less stress and more celebrating starting back when I first got into grad school for creative writing, that’s how I’d edit the past.

4.  What one word do you think describes you best?

Stubborn. I’m a Taurus, and while I’m not argumentative, I never give up on something once I’ve set my mind to it. I think being stubborn is a job requirement for being a writer. Truly successful authors have an element of raw talent, of course, but you also have to be persistent in studying the craft. And relentless in terms of sticking with it. So many people will tell you “no” during the process of publishing short stories, of looking for an agent, and of finding the right editor, but if you’re stubborn enough you’ll eventually find the person that tells you “yes”.

5.  Who are your writing heroes?

This is an easy one – Judy Blume. One-hundred percent. Not only is she an incredible author, she’s revolutionized the writing world in terms of her fight against censorship. As one of the country’s most prolific and most frequently banned authors, I’ve always been in awe of her dedication to advocating the first amendment. I love her books, no questions asked, but more importantly I love her passion for the art of writing and the importance of freedom of speech. She’s written more books than I can count, and just this year she co-wrote her first screenplay based on her novel Tiger Eyes. She works vigorously on her art form but makes time to contribute to a wide variety of organizations such as the Author’s Guild, SCBWI, and the National Coalition Against Censorship. I hope one day I can give back to the literary community in the same way she has, not only through my creative work, but through my involvement organizations such as the ones that she supports.


Seventeen year old Lemon Williams has spent her life buried in the shadow of her free-spirited mother, Stella, and Lemon’s childhood has been spent on the move – dodging disasters and mastering the art of packing up apartments, of being the new kid, and of leaving the past behind. But when Lemon begins her senior year at another new school, she realizes she’s taken an inescapable part of their last life with them: She’s pregnant. In an attempt to fill in the gaps of her history and to avoid repeating Stella’s mistakes, she decides she must set things right by going in search of her father, a man she’s never met. As new life grows inside her, Lemon boards a Greyhound bus and heads west to San Francisco in hopes of freeing herself from her childhood mishaps and discovering the true meaning of family.

You can order FINGERPRINTS OF YOU here!


You can find Kristen-Paige on her website.
And on Twitter.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Upcoming Events!

On Sunday, August 26, I will be speaking with a panel of YA authors (Veronica Rossi, UNDER THE NEVER SKY, Talia Vance, SILVER and Corrine Jackson, IF I LIE)  for the Palo Alto Litquake festival.   We will be talking about genre and writing and answering questions.  Books will be for sale courtesy of Books, Inc. (including early copies of SILVER and IF I LIE!)  Stop by and like the Facebook page for updates of the event.  Our panel is from 4 to 5 pm, but there are a lot of great events, so come early and enjoy!

The four of us will be speaking again on September 29 at 2pm at Bay Books in San Ramon.  This event will be relaxed and intimate - a real chance to get to know us better!

On October 25 and 26, I will be speaking with the YA Muses (Veronica Rossi, Talia Vance, Bret Ballou and Donna Cooner, author of SKINNY) at the Your Best Book workshop in Charlotte, NC.  We hope to do a bookstore event in Charlotte, too, so stay tuned!

On Saturday, November 3, I will be with some of my Class of 2k12 siblings - J. Anderson Coats (THE WICKED AND THE JUST), AC Gaughen (SCARLET), Lynne Kelly (CHAINED) and Jennifer Shaw Wolf (BREAKING BEAUTIFUL) at the YALSA Literature Symposium in St. Paul, talking about The Next Big Thing in Author Visits.  Can't wait to mingle with some of my favorite people - librarians.

On November 15, I will be at Book Passage in Corte Madera, launching the anthology DEAR TEEN ME with authors E. Kristin Anderson, Marke Bieschke, Stacey Jay, Mike Jung, Katherine Longshore, Erika Stalder and Mariko Tamaki.  We will be speaking briefly about our essays and our other books.

Hope to see you soon!