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!!!
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?
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.
Current Government Guidelines for the Living Impaired
By Danica Parker-Pierce
Contributor to the Stephen E. King High School Newspaper
As civil rights groups across the United States continue to file lawsuits in both state and federal courts, the staff of the school newspaper decided it was time to review the rights which have been temporarily bestowed to the “living impaired” or zombies as most students still call them.
However, one of the first things to remember is that if you see a zombie that is not accompanied by a caretaker, you should immediately call 9999 and report the sighting to the zombie hotline.
For the first few months following the zombie outbreak, there were no laws covering this problem and the undead could be disposed of on sight without fear of reprisal. However, with the advent of medicine and technology (specifically the development of Mortiphalin), that has changed.
The main thing to remember is that it is no longer lawful to “dispatch” an undead person. This was done by destroying the brain of the zombie.
According to the new mandate set forth by the federal government, until these legal matters can be settled, the living-impaired have most of the same rights as all Americans. (Technically, they even have the right to vote, but as they can barely hold a pencil, let alone mark a ballot, that issue is really not an issue at this point.)
However, not only is “killing” a zombie against the law, it is also illegal to abuse one. This latest ruling came down after it was discovered that zombies were being used in club boxing matches and even being used as piñatas in backyard parties.
As the number of living-impaired loved ones being cared by family members rises, it becomes more and more likely that they will eventually become a normal part of everyday life. Or at least as far as the word “normal” can be used when referring to zombies.
The above article was provided to me by Curiosity Quills author STAN SWANSON. It appears in the Stephen E. King high school newspaper. The newspaper, and the school, can be found in the new Curiosity Quills book HORROR HIGH SCHOOL: RETURN OF THE LOVING DEAD.
The first book in the young adult Horror High School series, Return of the Loving Dead (by Araminta Star Matthews and Stan Swanson), is now available through Amazon or your favorite bookstore. You can also visit the official Horror High School blog at http://horrorhighschool.com/
Bio: Stan Swanson is coauthor of Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead along with Araminta Star Matthews. Published by Curiosity Quills Press, Return of the Loving Dead is the first book in a new series about zombies, teen romance, the mystical occult, and the nature of true love.
Bio: Araminta Star Matthews is an author, educator, and instructional designer in Central Maine. Born a ginger to a pair of geek parents (one, a lover of all things Stephen King, the other a tabletop gamer and Tolkein-fan), Araminta has always been a bit of an odd duck. Her books typically feature strong, young women who are brilliant, clever, funny, and weird. Her books include Blind Hunger, Write of the Living Dead, Before Black Mask, Before Weird Tales, and The Warehouse. Her notable shorter works include “Bark of the Covenant,” in One Night Stands, “The All-Consuming Hunger of Love” in Dark Moon Digest, “Under My Skin” in Zombies Need Love, Too, and “Every Time a Bell Rings,” in Slices of Flesh. She lives in Central Maine with her miraculous dogs, Devo the whippet and Crivens the Jack-Chi, and her partner, Abner Goodwin.
Much thanks to Stan Swanson for stopping by today. And congratulations to him and Araminta Star Matthews on the release of the first book in the Horror High School series. I wish them the best of luck with their series!
- Dream up an idea that is bigger than the spot in your brain that contains it.
- Transfer the idea from your brain to your heart.
- Knead idea with the milkblood of your heart.
- Push the idea out of your heart and into the highways and byways of your veins.
- Allow the idea to float through your body for as long as you can contain the excitement.
- When exhausted from the anticipation of giving birth to the idea, allow it to float to the ends of your arms and down into your fingers.
- Send the idea through the ends of your finger tips down into your keyboard.
- Watch the idea come to life on the computer screen in front of you.
- Be amazed! You are creator.
- Once idea has been fully purged, type THE END into the same keyboard you allowed the idea to escape into.
- Sit back and be well pleased with yourself.
Enjoy some SHADOW STABBING from Cake. (-:
Let’s break it down, shall we?
She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee, her dress has got a tear
She waltzes on her way to Mass and whistles on the stair
And underneath her wimple she has curlers in her hair
I even heard her singing in the abbey
She’s always late for chapel, but her penitence is real
She’s always late for everything, except for every meal
I hate to have to say it, but I very firmly feel Maria’s not an asset to the abbey
I’d like to say a word in her behalf
Maria makes me laugh
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find the word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!