Vote For The Teen Choice Awards – Too Shattered Nominated!

I just found out that Too Shattered For Mending has been nominated for the 2018 Teen Choice awards because of its starred reviews. This is the book equivalent of the top-200 Billboard songs at the end of the year. Voting starts now and goes through the start of February. If you liked the book, please vote. Also, please share this link with your friends on Facebook and Instagram. I need teens to help promote. Would anyone mind helping me spread the word?
Click here to vote!

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Too Shattered For Mending – Book Trailer #2

This is the second installment of four book trailers for my new novel, each featuring a different character from the book.

Trailer #2 features Big, Little’s grandfather.

Click here to view the trailer.

Actor: Nate Skortman

Music: Caleb Etheridge

Script/Voiceover: Pedro Casapardo

Cinematography/Editing: Caleb Rexius

Book Trailer #1 For TOO SHATTERED FOR MENDING

We’ve decided to release four book trailers for my new novel, each trailer featuring a different character from the book.

Trailer #1 features Rowan, JT’s girlfriend and also the girl that Little (the main character) is in love with.

Click here to view the trailer.

Actress: Chloe Carnagey

Music: Caleb Etheridge

Script/Voiceover: Pedro Casapardo

Cinematography/Editing: Caleb Rexius

Release Readings For Too Shattered

Book release week for my new novel Too Shattered For Mending (Knopf, Random House):

  • Reading at Tsunami Books, Eugene, Oregon, September 13th, 7 PM.
  • Visiting Rogers High School, Spokane, Washington, September 15th, all day.
  • Reading at Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, Washington, September 15th, 7 PM.

Look for copies of the novel at your local independent bookstore, or order online by clicking one of these links:

Write What You Don’t Know.

Teachers and professors tell young writers, “Write what you know.” And there’s a certain truth to that idea. If I try to write about a cricket match, but I don’t know anything about the game, have never played it, have never watched it, don’t know the rules, and am not sure I can name 5 countries where the sport is played, I’m not going to write an excellent scene that includes the sport.

In the same way, being a high school teacher and having a teenager myself, I recognize when “young adult” authors clearly don’t know much about teenagers and are too far removed from the personal experience to do the subject justice. Their “teenagers” – for example – never swear or only think & act in culturally competent ways.

So writing what you know is a good piece of advice. Or maybe it’s not…

Recently, an editor told me that I couldn’t have a Latino narrator in one of my stories because I wasn’t “Mexican enough.” That’s a strange thing to say in any context, but especially odd since my grandmother is Mexican and I do speak and read Spanish. But apparently – in that editor’s eyes – this piece of fiction was an example of me trying to write what I didn’t know.

I recognize that politically correct mores have permeated everything in our culture – and I’m sure that this particular editor is simply a politically correct conservative – but her command (her imperative?) made me think of the idea on a larger scale.

Should Margaret Atwood not have written the science fiction novel within The Blind Assassin?

Should Cormac McCarthy not have written John Grady’s Mexican prison scenes simply because McCarthy had never been incarcerated?

Should Toni Morrison not have any Caucasian characters or narrators in any of her novels or stories?

Again, I could go on and on.

And where would this idea stop? What would be its limit? Why would we allow for this type of censorship of creative possibilities?

So – to keep this piece short – I’d say that instead of the old “write what you know” adage, I’d say it’s fine (and good) to write what you don’t know as long as you’re willing to learn about it.

With encyclopedias, empathy, books, neighbors, friends, coffee shops, Youtube, relatives, films, traveling, and curiosity as basic starting points, what can we not learn? What can we not write about?

Teenagers In Real Life (irl) – A Very Short Story

This actually happened:

Two seniors walked into the school courtyard yesterday. They were both holding their phones out in front of them.

Senior 1 said, “Who’s your best friend?”

Senior 2 said, “I’m not sure. Lemme check…” Then he looked at his phone. “Oh, it’s you!”

“Wait, what?” Senior 1 tilted his head his head to the side. “That’s not right.”

“No, it is. Look, you’re my best friend. It says so right here.” He tilted his phone’s screen so his friend could see it.

“Nope,” Senior 1 said. “See this?” Now he held his phone up to his friend’s face. “You’re not my best friend. It says so right here.”

Book Giveaway (10 Free Hardbacks) + A Mad-Libs Summary

Knopf, Random House, and the book blog Me, My Shelf, and I are teaming up to give away 10 free hardback copies of This Is The Part Where You laugh.

Click here to see a Mad-Libs style summary of the book and to enter your name in the giveaway.