Thursday, July 28, 2011

1 - 2 - 3 Bits of Awesome

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and read my last post about James Howe blurbing my book. I've read all of your comments a few times--very kind.

Since I must be in an alternate good-news-universe or something, I have three exciting things to share.

1. The release of CRACKED has been moved up three months. *breathe* The new publication date is January 3, 2012. The reason for the move is just as exciting as the move itself. James Howe started an organization called No Name Calling Week in which schools across the nation participate in a week of no name calling--all while shining the light of acceptance on bullying. The guy is an incredible human being.

Well, CRACKED is going to be included in the next No Name Calling Week, which is January 24-28, 2012 - hence my moved up date. I'm honored to be included in such a unifying human endeavor.

If you are an educator and interested in participating in 2012s No Name Calling Week, click HERE.

2. I have an author page on the Simon & Schuster website. I answered a whole slew of cool questions so that future readers can get to know me a bit. The James Howe blurb is on there and a bunch of other cool stuff.

3. DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can now pre-order CRACKED on Amazon in hardback and Kindle editions.

*runs around room with arms flailing about*

*sits back down and pants*

I can't believe it. I just can't.

In closing, I'd like to address those reading this post who have a dream--publishing or otherwise: dig deep into the pit of your very soul when the dark swallows you, and hold tight to your dream. Roll up your sleeves, do the work you need to do, and never stop believing it will happen.

And it will happen.

This post is proof that dreams happen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some Cool News

James-freaking-Howe blurbed CRACKED. I wonder if he'd consider changing his name to James-freaking-Howe? I digress. Onto the awesome...

I'm sure you've heard of his 80+ books. THE MISFITS or TOTALLY JOE or the BUNNICULA series or the picture book series PINKY AND REX and HORACE, MORRIS BUT MOSTLY DOLORES.

Well, that guy, the guy that wrote some of the most endeared books on the planet, blurbed my book.

Here's how it all went down....

Back in the summer of 2006 I had the distinct pleasure of hearing James Howe give a presentation to a room full of language arts teachers. His talk had a heavy focus on bullying. I am, and always have been, crazed about bullying and injustice. The woman I was with *waves at Rina* encouraged me to get in the book signing line and tell him about my retired summer day camp called Camp Kindness. She said, "Be the last person in line so you can just talk to him."

I did.

He was just as awesome one-on-one and he gave me his email address so that I could send him the link to my camp. We've kept in touch all these years. When CRACKED was sold I poked around on the S & S site--you know, because I was, and continue to be, blown away that they are my publisher--and low and behold...James Howe is an S & S author too. Naturally he was the first person that popped into my mind when my editor began talk of blurbing.

My stars have been dipped in lucky because he not only said he'd blurb CRACKED, but his blurb.... Is just wow.

"In this powerful debut novel, K.M. Walton takes an unrelenting look
at the corrosive effects of bullying, sometimes coming from where
one would least expect it.  CRACKED crackles with emotional
intensity from beginning to end."
-- James Howe, bestselling author of THE MISFITS

And since this post is filled with the awesomeness that is
James-freaking-Howe, today his new book releases:
ADDIE ON THE INSIDE.
I gushed about it HERE. Get your hands on it, read it, and then have
every young person you know read it.
It says so much and you will absolutely adore Addie.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bad Taste in Boys


BAD TASTE IN BOYS by Carrie Harris. I read this book in one-freaking-day. One day. I skipped lunch and ignored my computer -- two things that never happen. It is a whirlwind of action from the beginning and it refuses to let the reader go until the end. I love books like that.

Here's the back cover copy:
Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town  . . . and stay hormonally human.

If you don't know Carrie Harris, well then remedy that immediately right HERE. She is one of the funniest, wittiest and most genuine writers in blogland. I've laughed out loud at blog post after blog post. BAD TASTE IN BOYS is filled with snark and action and zombie "ewww" moments. F U N read. If this book doesn't get picked up to be a movie then I have no faith in Hollywood. It screams MOVIE - probably because of Carrie's ability to "write her story alive" for the reader.

Great book!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Three Year Blogoversary


Three years ago, on this very day, I wrote THIS. Like anyone who arbitrarily starts a blog, I had no idea what blogging was about, and I had zero followers. I remember thinking that blog readers would "find" my blog, and so I waited.

Yeah. Ahhh, the naivety.

Then I did some research and realized I had to get out there and build my readership by visiting other blogs. So I did and I "met" a slew of the coolest damn people. People I seriously consider friends. Some I've met in person *waves at Ron Smith, Christina Lee & Bryan Bliss*and some I will hopefully meet when the Universe decides our paths should cross. There are a handful of followers that earn the badge of Earliest Followers Who Stuck With My Blog:

Carrie Harris (author of the just released and seriously awesome BAD TASTE IN BOYS)
Ron Smith
Big Plain V (Ray Veen)
Lisa & Laura Roecker (authors of the recently released and seriously fun read THE LIAR SOCIETY)

Over these three years I've been consistently blown away by the support from people I've never laid eyes on. The "Never give up's" and the "You can do it's" have never failed to lift my spirits when I needed it the most. In short, blogging and all of the wonderful people associated with it, is a wickedly cool community.

My path to publication has felt like a true community effort. I've learned heaps from the invaluable communities at Authoress and Evil Editor. While querying I've researched agents from the miraculous blogging efforts of Casey McCormick. I could go on and on and on and on.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the screen you'll see links to the people I follow. Wait, let me rephrase that to: the incredible group of bloggers I follow. There are some fine people down there. See if you can "meet" a new blogger.

Thank you to the people who've stuck with me since the beginning.

Thank you to the people who jumped in and encouraged me when I needed it.

Thank you to the occasional readers who left comments - I love comments.

Thank you to my new blog readers - I hope you stick around!

Oh heck, thank you to anyone and everyone who has ever visited this blog and read it. Here's to another three years....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stephen King On Writing


I know, I know, you already know about this book. You've read it. You've discussed it. I know.

But hear me, good blog reader, I just re-read it for the third time and have fallen in love all over again.

I thought it apropos - in light of my rekindled love - that I should remind all of you of King's genius.

Besides being an interesting, touching and funny Stephen King memoir, this book is chock-full of writing MUSTS.

Behold my top four nuggets of On Writing wisdom.

1. Passive voice blows. For instance:
The cat was walking down the street quickly. BAD, BAD, BAD.
The cat ran down the street. PRECISE = GOOD

2. King says, "I want you to understand that my basic belief about the making of stories is that they pretty much make themselves. The job of the writer is to give them a place to grow (and to transcribe them, of course). I couldn't agree more. Stories are "found things." It's my favorite part about writing - the finding part.

3. "The key to writing good dialogue is honesty," King says. I couldn't agree more. Let your characters talk. Not you. If you wouldn't dare drop the f-bomb but your character would, well then you better let him/her do it.

4. Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut and CUT. The saying "Kill your darlings" can either make one excited or ready to puke. I think I'm somewhere in the middle. Revising, and all of it's messy glory, is my second favorite part of the process (getting lost in the writing of my first draft is my absolute fav). Get rid of unnecessary words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, scenes, characters. As the creator, you should know* what your ultimate story is - everything on the page needs to feed the story - not the writer. Everything.(Oooooh, I think I just created a nugget of my own. "Everything on the page needs to feed the story - not the writer." Oooooh. Me like. Me like.)
*My agent can attest to the fact that the first novel I wrote did not adhere to this. I didn't know. And the novel was littered with stuff that just didn't matter to the ultimate story. I was feeding me, not the story.

Let's all promise - hands to heart - that we solemnly swear to feed the story and only the story, so help us God.

Perhaps I'll finally lose this damn weight.

Friday, July 8, 2011

THANK YOU, kind humans.

www.kmwalton.com launched with heaps of enthusiasm and complimentary language and I haven't been able to wipe the smile from my face.

This post is to thank everyone who tweeted, blogged, FB'd and most importantly visited my new site. The Apocalypsies are a force to be reckoned with (a really nice force). My sisters and cousins couldn't be more supportive. You fine blog readers were wonderfully kind.

Of course, the site wouldn't exist with Christina MacRae and Gregg Fair - the two talented minds behind the design and development. Those two are rock stars in my eyes.

I honestly couldn't have asked for a more exciting launch. Endless thank you's to ALL of you.

I hope you continue to visit the site!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Official Launch of kmwalton.com

I am now able to share my author website with everyone. Two key people created the site - my sister Christina MacRae designed it and Gregg Fair developed it. We began collaborating in early spring of 2011 and after months of hard work, may I get a drum roll please....




Hope you hang in my "office" for a while. Click around and enjoy yourself. And it would be cool if you told everyone you know to stop by too - thanks, blog friends.

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Also, my interview with debut MG author Tommy Greenwald is UP on the Apocalypsies blog. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


The five reasons you must read MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs

5. It's a genius concept. The author, Ransom Riggs, used real vintage photos (real creepy photos) to shape and mold the story of his main character, sixteen-year-old Jacob. And what a story it is.

4. The story. It's well crafted, believable, and, hand-to-heart, it's scary. Not bloody or gory or gross, just scary. I could only read it if my husband was lying next to me. Don't judge.

Here's the back cover copy:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.


3. The photos. They're real and they're sprinkled throughout the book. My heart would thud in my chest when I knew the next page had a photo. Again, not bloody, not gory, not gross. All about the creepy.

2. The author's name: Ransom Riggs. I've got author-name-envy in a bad way. I can't think of a cooler name and it seems to match this book perfectly.

1. And the number one reason you should read this book: the writing. It's damn good. Let me explain, Mr. Riggs knows how to pace his story because I never wanted to put this book down. He also knows how to deliver authentic dialogue - his dialogue writing kept me IN the story and never took me out. Everything felt real to me: the characters, the situations, the settings, the writing itself.

Read. This. Book.

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If all goes as planned my author website goes live TOMORROW. Yep, tomorrow. I am ecstatic. I'm jumping up and down. Jump with me, people!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Interview over on Blogger Girlz

Ella, over at The Blogger Girlz kindly asked me for an author interview, and I said, "Why certainly."

You can check it out HERE.

Thanks, Ella. You asked great questions!!

GIVEAWAY UPDATE:
Plamena guessed the beach! Portsalon in Ireland - one of my favorite beaches on the planet. Rough, rugged and breathtaking (the drive there alone is an adventure). You won't find any foofy crap, just a whole lotta beauty.

My website makes tremendous daily progress and we are close. Oh-so-close.