Burn Baby – A Young Adult Novel by Kevin Craig

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Burn Baby is in the vault. It’s polished and covered and waiting. Release date for my latest young adult novel is December 11th. Before the cover reveal and other events coming down the pike, I thought I would sneak peek it. I mean it IS only 105 days to go before the BURN BABY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!!

Pssst. This is NOT the cover for BURN BABY. You will have to stand by to see that. (-:
Pssst. This is NOT the cover for BURN BABY. You will have to stand by to see that. (-:

I know I asked some of my readers if they would like to help out in the cover reveal, or with excerpts, interviews, what have you. I have a list. If you’re on it, you will be contacted eventually.

For me, this waiting game is the hardest part about being an author. I seem to get SO very far away from my books before they see the bookshelf. Once I’m done with everything, quite often IT’S A WRAP and I am on to the next project and the next project and the next project. Burn Baby has fallen victim to this forward marching momentum, like all the others before it. But it’s also the book I’m most proud of. It was, to my mind, a bit of an underdog. It deals with some touchy issues. I’m so glad it found a home and I really hope it gets a nice reception when that home (CURIOSITY QUILLS) pushes it out into the wide world beyond its front doors.

As mentioned, how about a short excerpt? Because it IS Thursday, after all. (-:

In this extremely short glimpse into Burn Baby the main character, Francis Fripp, is to meet the new girl for a date of sorts. Because of his baggage, he’s convinced she’s not that into him…that he will be stood up. He can’t believe that anyone would like him. Ever. Because of his social status, which is a direct result of the huge amount of scarring he received when his abusive father torched him years earlier, he is a boy of zero confidence. Rachel Higgins? She couldn’t possibly like Francis. Right?

ENJOY…

Since I have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, I head straight to the band shell. I take a seat in the bleachers facing the stage.

Probably the worst idea I ever had. I’m there in five minutes. This gives me a long time to be alone with the negative thoughts inside my head. I get to sit here and wonder if she plans on ditching me. And if she doesn’t—if she actually intends on coming—what will she wear? How will she smell? Does she always smell the same? Will we kiss? I totally can’t take this kind of pressure.

I know she isn’t coming. I feel like I’ve been here forever. What am I going to tell Trig? That I was set up? That I waited for hours in the park for a bitch who didn’t show up? That he was right?
I can’t take it. I feel like a jittery mess.

“Wouldn’t it be so awesome to star in a performance of Streetcar on this stage?” Rachel says, startling me back to reality. She walks out onto the centre of the band shell stage. Her heels clicking on the wooden stage are intoxicating. Each click holds me rapt. “Ooh. Who would you be? I would so be Blanche. Blanche Dubois is like the best character to build your acting chops on. I played her in grade eight. I was the best washed-up, lush bitch the Riverside Elementary School stage had ever seen!” She hugs herself and twirls. She’s wearing a skirt and I wonder if it was on purpose. The twirl looks perfect.

“How did you get up there?” I say from the front row of the bleachers as I shake myself and straighten up. I jump up and approach the stage. How could I have possibly thought she stood me up?

“Stage left, mah dawlink,” Rachel bellows. “Always stage left.”

She laughs and time stops for me. That’s actually a laugh I could listen to. On repeat.

That’s all for now. Just a taste. Burn Baby was written during one of the 72hr Muskoka Novel Marathon events I participated in.

I Made a Discovery – A Thing That Kills Creativity – Or Why I’m Experiencing Writer’s Block for the First Time Ever

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This is NOT writing
Portrait of the Writer as a Non-Writing Entity. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!

I think I figured it out. Finally. I was worried that I just completely lost interest in writing. That I might not be a writer, after all. I think I know what it is now. Apparently, when I have two definitive release dates for upcoming novels, I feel like I can relax. Take a break. Chill out. Quiet the pen. Check out.

WRONG. I have to get back into the swing of things. Because I have these two novels coming out, I should be writing MORE…not less. I don’t know why I took this as an excuse to stop writing. Oh, wait. Yes I do. Because I’m the laziest writer on the face of the earth. I saw an out and I took it.

I’m over the moon that two of my favourite manuscripts that I have ever written are being published (Burn Baby AND Half Dead & Fully Broken), but this feat should not slow me down. I need momentum now more than ever. I was actually feeling like I might not be a writer after all…how does one get to that place?!

Burn Baby hits bookstore shelves on December 11th. A cover reveal, among other things, will take place along the way to this release date. I’m extremely excited about this book and can’t wait to share it.

My author page at Curiosity Quills, the publisher of both upcoming young adult novels: CURIOSITY QUILLS

If you will excuse me, I have some writing to do. I’ve been sleeping for several months now. Resting on my laurels, you might say. Oh Christ! Might say? That actually nails it. I can’t believe I fell into that trap. The funny thing is, I even participated in the 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon in this fog of I-no-longer-have-to-write-because-I-have-two-books-coming-out. What a sad attempt at writing THAT was. I should have a professional ass-kicker on hire for those times I get so lazy I don’t even look at my laptop for days.Time to catch a fire. It’s back to the writing grindstone for me.

 

 

I thought I would share the premise of BURN BABY while I’m here:

 

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.

The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

 

LISTED – Why I’m NOT Pouring Water Over My Head, Icy or Otherwise

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I have been challenged 3 times now to take the ice-water thingy for ALS. JUST. NO.

1. Water is THE most precious commodity in the world. People die without it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

2. Why the fuck would I want to pour water over my head? Icy or otherwise.

3. I don’t like gimmicks. So, sue me. I just know there are charities out there trying to figure out a gimmick that will get them to go viral…because they want what ALS is getting. Gimmicks diminish. Sure, ones like this might be good for charity business…but not everyone who is having fun with water is donating. There are so many videos out there where ALS is hardly mentioned, not mentioned or mentioned in passing. For some, the ice-water challenge is just a fun moment of pouring ice-water over themselves and challenging friends to do the same.

4. I’m a curmudgeon. Plain and simple. And did I mention I don’t like gimmicks.

5. Charlie Sheen is a man I mostly abhor on a molecular level, but I love his video for this. He rains cold hard cash down on himself. Cash he later donated to ALS. ALS needs cash, not the across-the-board abhorrent waste of water that has flooded the internet these past weeks. Thank you, Charlie!

6. I know some are dropping the water and the cash. That’s good…they at least get that the challenge was a total fail in that one was to do one or the other. I’m glad that ALS got an influx of cash…and I’m glad some have figured out they can do both. But I’m not wasting the water. You can’t make me.

7. I did my part. Challenge accepted!

als

8. Please donate to ALS. In Canada. In USA. I challenge EVERYONE to donate. I won’t be calling out any specific names. If you’re reading this, consider yourself challenged.

9. Please, for the love of all things holy, STOP WASTING WATER!!!

10. Now that the conversation has started, as far as charities go, please donate to your favourite charities THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. Don’t wait for the next gimmick to come down the pike.

Meet the man behind the Ice Bucket Challenge:

The Last Ice Bucket Challenge You Need To See — And You Really Should See It

 

Goodnight, Dear Robin…

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Robin Williams - July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014
Robin Williams – July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

 

Love is a wondrous thing. To feel love for someone you will never ever meet in person is a strange and powerful phenomenon. A lot of us are waking up today to a new reality, one in which Robin Williams commits suicide.

It is an exquisitely intolerable reality.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I just want to scream. I want to start screaming and I don’t want to stop. I lost a dear sweet friend. One who made my life more tolerable at times, less dire. I lost a friend who could, with just a few well-timed words, bring me up from the darkness and make my day a little brighter.

And I never ever did anything in return for this friend. It was a one-sided relationship. He gave and he gave and he gave.

I can’t even begin to imagine how Robin’s family and loved ones are feeling today. Their loss must be so excruciatingly painful.

robin-williams-2009-billboard-650

Wasn’t it always an extraordinary thing to see that man smile.

RobinWilliams

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. ~ Dylan Thomas

95

And he did. He gave all of us his extraordinary life. Goodnight, sweet Robin. I love you dearly. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

LIST OF SUICIDE CRISIS LINES – PLEASE DO NOT BE AFRAID TO MAKE THE CALL. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU MATTER.