Monthly Archives: June 2013

Chicago bound: ALA and a few launch party photos

Next week is the ALA national conference and I am excited to be heading to Chicago for it. I’ve been absolutely humbled by how supportive the library community has been of my dark little book. It makes me teary to think about and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to attend the conference and meet so many wonderful book-loving folks in person. I will be there from Thursday to Sunday, and I will be part of a panel of Friday morning and then I will be signing Charm & Strange Friday evening in the exhibit hall.

Panel:
11:00 am: Break out: Veronica Roth and Debut Authors from the Class of 2k13
Signing:
5:30 – 7:00 pm at the Macmillan booth (also with Erica Lorraine Scheidt, author of Uses for Boys) 
 

Later, on Friday, I will be helping to host the Great YA Blogger Meetup at the M Lounge.  It’s sponsored by YA Highway, Stacked, and Chicagoland Kidlit Drinks Night. If you are at the conference, and can make any of the above events, please do stop by! I am super friendly and love to chat.

I also want to thank everyone who came to the launch party at Mrs. Dalloway’s in Berkeley last weekend. It was SO MUCH fun and I can’t believe how many people showed up. It was such a special, special event. More than anything, I was blown away by the fact that a young girl showed up who had already read the book. She had such brilliant, astute questions for me, and I loved hearing her interpretation of the events in the story. But the most memorable thing she asked was about the ending. It’s slightly spoilery, so I’ve hidden it, but she asked me:

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Did Keith want Drew to live?

To which I told her:

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Yes.

Here are some photos from that evening:

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Booklist review, a few event photos, and a reminder about Mrs. Dalloway’s…

Charm & Strange has been out now for a few days and I am so overwhelmed from the kind words and messages I’ve received from readers who’ve connected with Win’s story. It’s very special.

I also found out that the book got a wonderful review from the ALA Booklist journal! It was in their June 1st issue and will also be in the June 15th issue. It reads:
[gn_quote style=”2″]Debut author Kuehn comes out swinging with this confident, unnerving look at a damaged teen struggling with something violent inside of him. The book alternates two time frames. In the first, 16-year-old Win is a withdrawn boarding school student tortured by the “eviscerated,” “partly consumed” body of a townie in the woods just off-campus. The second story line follows Win as an anxious 10-year-old first dealing with the suffocating feral feelings that tell him he is harboring a beast. “My wolf is in me,” he says, and readers will turn each page warily, expecting a grisly transformation scene. But Kuehn is up to something far more ambitious here. Her prose butts up against important events time and again without granting us an unobstructed view. Until the end, that is, which is more shattering than most readers will be prepared for. Though there is some running in place due to the alternating time lines, Kuehn absolutely nails the voice and keeps us on constant edge regarding exactly what genre of book it is that we’re reading. – Daniel Kraus[/gn_quote]

Ah, I love that review so very much, for so many reasons. My publicist at St. Martin’s sent a photo of the actual journal page and it is so strange to see mention of the book in print. A good kind of strange.

In other news, I will be at Mrs. Dalloway’s in Berkeley this Saturday (June 15th) at 7:30. If you’re local, please stop by! There will be food and drinks and book talk and fun.

The launch party at Books Inc. on Tuesday was a blast. It was a dual party with author Corina Vacco, whose debut YA novel My Chemical Mountain just came out. So many people came! It was amazing and Maggie, Connie, and all the Books Inc. staff were so kind and supportive.  I also read from the book for the first time ever, which made me very nervous, but it went well. Here are a few pictures from the night:

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Pub day reflections

 

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Last December, in the grim, sorrowful days after Sandy Hook, I spent a week furiously reviewing pass pages (this is the final post-copyedit manuscript review) and doing what I could to make Charm & Strange the best book that I was capable of writing. When it came time to send the manuscript back to my editor, I took a moment to internally say goodbye to the story. It was a bittersweet moment, because I knew I would never work on the story again. It was finished. Forever.

Today, almost six months later, that finished book is being sent out into the world. In preparation for that, I’ve recently been asked some really smart questions that have forced me to think about what I was trying to say in writing it. I enjoy answering these questions. I’m an analytical person at heart and I can think all day. What’s more difficult for me, though, sometimes, is feeling.

I’m not sure I could answer the question of what I was feeling when I wrote Charm & Strange. But I do know what I’m feeling today. Joy. Anticipation. Fear. And more than anything, gratitude.

There are so many people who have supported and cared for this book in ways that have touched me deeply.

Thank you.

-sk

places to purchase charm & strange: Indiebound; Barnes and Noble; iTunes;  Amazon

UK release, blog tour, and other news

Another one of those surreal moments…today Charm and Strange is released in the UK! I am so honored to have had a chance to work with everyone at Egmont to make the book a British reality. It’s been a true joy.

Today also marks the beginning of a blog tour hosted by Shane of Itching for Books. The schedule for the tour is here and there will be reviews, interviews,  guest posts, and a giveaway, all posted over the next week. I am so very, very thankful to all the bloggers who have signed up to be a part of the tour. I don’t mean this just as an author; as a reader, I love that there is such a vibrant online community that is excited to talk candidly about books. It’s a community powered by passion and that’s a very cool thing.

Other news: the US publication date will be here soon (June 11). Over the next two weeks, I have three different bookstore signings/readings coming up in the Bay Area. Details can be found on the Events page. I am so looking forward to all of them, and the book can be pre-ordered through each of the wonderful bookstores:

Kepler’s

Books, Inc.

Mrs. Dalloway’s

 

More to come….soon!

-sk