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READ LIKE A WRITER, a teaching blog

GOURMET YA LIT, Part III

This is the third blog article in a series about the importance of food in YA literature.

SACRIFICE, COMMUNION, & FELLOWSHIP

In NO SURRENDER SOLDIER (Merit Press, Jan. 2014) food is significant both literally and symbolically. In Guam, 98 percent of people are Roman Catholic. As a result, Guamanians host huge fiestas, many celebrating villages’ patron saints.  Read More 

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GOURMET YA LIT, Part II

GOURMET YA LIT, Part II

This is the second blog article in a series about food in young adult literature in celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada (Oct. 14) and the U.S. (Nov. 28). In today’s article I have asked Beth Fehlbaum to talk about food in BIG FAT DISASTER, Merit Press, March 2014. I’ll  Read More 

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GOURMET YA LIT

GOURMET YA LIT

In celebration of Thanksgiving, the annual big pig-out feast, in Canada (Oct. 14) and the U.S. (Nov. 28) I’m running a series of articles about food in young adult (YA) literature. In today’s article I’ve asked Kim Askew & Amy Helmes, co-authors of ANYONE BUT YOU (Merit Press, Jan. 18, 2014) and Suzanne Kamata, author of GADGET GIRL: THE ART OF BEING INVISIBLE (GemmaMedia, 2013) to tell you why food is important, and prevalent, in their stories. (*Ed. note: The authors wrote the articles but I edited their articles into third person.)

ANYONE BUT YOU is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet in Chicago Italian restaurants. Mmm…pizza, anyone? To get a taste of how cleverly creative Kamata plays with food and cooking utensils, here’s a quote from GADGET GIRL: “Luckily, Gadget Girl has brought along her crème brȗlée torch. She’s been planning on using it to make a surprise dessert for Chaz’s victory dinner, but she whips it out early to melt the golem.”

Warning: You might want to wear a bib in case you drool while reading.

ANYONE BUT YOU by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

The inspiration for Askew and Helmes’ third Twisted Lit novel, ANYONE BUT YOU, was the Montague and Capulet animosity in Romeo and Juliet. Why did the families despise each other in the first place? The authors’ re-imagined saga revolves around a bitter rivalry between two family-owned Italian restaurants in Chicago, and the mystery of how their feud began. Naturally, Askew and Helmes were influenced by the ongoing debate over who makes the best Chicago deep-dish pies: Gino’s East? Giordano’s? Lou Malnati’s? Pizzeria Uno? (Uh...they’re opting not to weigh in with a verdict on that, lest any diehards out there come after them with pizza-cutters!) The star-crossed lovers, Roman and Gigi, find forbidden love against the backdrop of homemade pasta and pizza dough. Going back in time—1933, to be exact—to explore the imagined history of their families’ epic impasse gave the authors an opportunity to tell the fascinating history of pizza in America. The dish wasn’t always standard fare in the States, but like the works of Shakespeare, it’s become a classic readers would be quite reluctant to live without.

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Interview with Jacquelyn Mitchard, editor- in-chief of Merit Press

By Christine Kohler

This article is cross-posted on Uncommon YA as part of its “Behind the Scenes in Publishing/One Thing That Sold My Book” series. I interviewed Jacquelyn Mitchard, the editor who acquired my debut novel NO SURRENDER SOLDIER, tbr January 18, 2014, by Merit Press (Adams Media/ F+W Media).

CK: Merit Press is a relatively  Read More 

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WAR LITERATURE

"War is a terrible thing, and many return with wounds invisible to the eye." -- Terry Pratchett, DODGER (HarperCollins, 2012)

This is true of all my characters in NO SURRENDER SOLDIER. The after-effects of war on people's lives are like contracting a genetic disease, even passing it down to future generations.

PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY ARTICLE

Men  Read More 

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I REPORTED ON THE INCINERATION OF CHEMICAL MUNITIONS

Chemical weapons incineration plant on Johnston Atoll

This is a reprint from Corina Vacco’s blog on 8/10/13. Corina’s novel MY CHEMICAL MOUNTAIN is a Delacorte winner for a first YA novel. You can read my reviews of MY CHEMICAL MOUNTAIN on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
Here’s my article:

In 1990  Read More 

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BEHIND THE SCENES: MY PATH TO PUBLICATION F0R NO SURRENDER SOLDIER

This article is cross-posted on Beth Fehlbaum’s blog.

Every author’s journey to publication is different. Someone close to me once said, “No one cares where you’ve been or what you’ve done.” That’s true in many cases. There should be a take-away value for  Read More 

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AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW ABOUT NO SURRENDER SOLDIER

NO SURRENDER SOLDIER, Merit Press/Adams Media, Jan. 18, 2014

This blog article is a reprint of an interview Beth Fehlbaum did of me and posted July 31, 2013.

What's your book about?

In NO SURRENDER SOLDIER, it’s 1972 and a 15-year-old Chamorro boy, Kiko, discovers that his mother had been raped by a Japanese soldier during the WWII Japanese occupation of Guam. What he doesn’ Read More 

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WRITING ABOUT RAPE IN YA

Beth Fehlbaum, author of BIG FAT DISASTER (Merit Press, tbr March 2014) asked me to write an article about “Talking About the Tough Stuff: Controversial Content” for Uncommon YA (July 19, 2013).

When you read the article, reprinted here, I thought  Read More 
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PROLOGUES: Reasons Against and For in Children's Lit

An editor leading a retreat told us there is no good reason for a prologue, to just begin the story at Chapter 1. Yet, authors do use prologues successfully in adult and children’s literature, fiction and nonfiction. As I was preparing to write this article on prologues I opened my e-mail box to this  Read More 
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