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Burn Baby Burn Baby In the Margins Kevin Craig Writing Life

Burn Baby Burn Baby Makes the IN THE MARGINS BOOK AWARDS LIST!

I think the absolute most important thing about writing is to have a reason for writing, to have a goal. When it comes to novel writing, my goal from the very beginning has been to put books that may make a difference into the hands of troubled and marginalized teens. I always imagine myself writing the book that would have saved me when I was a teenager. I know that probably sounds naive and whimsical and fanciful, but there you have it. My goal as a novelist. Save people from themselves. Save teens from the dark ugly underbelly of the world. No biggie, right?

When I recently received notification from LIBRARY SERVICES FOR YOUTH IN CUSTODY that my novel BURN BABY BURN BABY had made their 2016 IN THE MARGINS BOOK AWARDS LIST I was beyond elated. It felt like someone was listening to my goal, to my reason for putting words down on paper. The burden I feel to write books that would have been a lifesaver in my own life is, at times, overwhelming. I’m always afraid that I’m not doing a good enough job…that I’m missing the mark on what it is I’m aspiring to do. Just having this book on this list is a game changer for me. It’s the affirmation I needed all along. I’m doing something right.

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Burn Baby Burn Baby – Part of the 2016 IN THE MARGINS BOOK AWARDS LIST

It’s incredibly difficult to write a young adult ISSUE book and stay away from coming off as too preachy and message oriented. There’s a degree of finesse in simply telling a good story when it involves the difficult social issues facing teens today. You don’t want to beat your readers over the head with advice and messages. You just want to entertain them. What this List recognition does for me is that it tells me I might have struck the proper balance. In this book, anyway. I’m extremely grateful to be included in such a remarkable list. That it comes from an organization that works specifically with troubled youth makes it all the more amazing to me. I’m somehow reaching my target audience.

My profound appreciation and gratitude goes out to the entire committee responsible for assembling the 2016 IN THE MARGINS Book Awards List:

The 2016 Committee members are:

  • Sabrina Carnesi, School Librarian, Crittenden Middle School, VA
  • Amy Cheney, District Library Manager, Oakland Unified School District, CA
  • Dale Clark, Teacher-Librarian, Fraser Park Secondary, Burnaby Youth Custody Services, Burnaby, BC, Canada
  • Joe Coyle, Project Coordinator, Mix IT Up!, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Marvin DeBose Sr., Library Supervisor, Free Library of Philadelphia, PA
  • Lisa Goldstein, Division Manager, Central Youth Wing, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
  • Sian Marshall, Head of Teen Services, Oxford Public Library, Oxford Michigan
  • Maggie Novario, Teen Librarian, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, WA
  • Kerry Sutherland, Youth Services Librarian, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH

In the Margins is committed to promoting and highlighting diverse books and voices that have been in the margins. ITM strives to find the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody – or a cycle of all three.   

Here’s the synopsis of Burn Baby Burn Baby:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago.

Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.

The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars.

If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions.

Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted.

Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

Burn Baby is a book about bullying as much as it’s a book about a teen overcoming a traumatic event in his past and making amends with himself and his identity. It’s about the main character, Francis Fripp, finally seeing value in himself and breaking through to become more than the sum of his trauma and the resulting scars attributed to it.

You can order BURN BABY BURN BABY through any bookstore. You can also purchase it online through the following links:

AMAZON.COM

BARNES AND NOBLE

CHAPTERS INDIGO

BOOK DEPOSITORY

BURN BABY BURN BABY is published by Curiosity Quills Press in the United States.

You can read the full 2016 OFFICIAL IN THE MARGINS BOOK AWARDS LIST HERE.

You can read reviews for Burn Baby at GOODREADS

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Burn Baby Burn Baby Half Dead And Fully Broken Kevin Craig Sebastian's Poet Summer on Fire The Reasons

5 Guys In Between Days – Boys Don’t Cry

After yesterday’s debacle here, I think I’m going to review a few of my characters. I really feel yesterday’s blog post was a train wreck. I started and restarted it too many times to count. In honesty, it took me three days of trying. In the end, I just said the hell with it and settled on the latest sloppy version.

Today, I thought I would introduce you to 5 of my characters. These introductions should serve as a way of displaying the kind of fiction I write. I will have one from each of my five published novels…each broken, and each irrevocably hopeful.

There are several soundtracks to my life. The one that runs the deepest, I have to admit, is all The Cure. They have been my favourite obsession since about 1980. Contrary to what those on the outside of The Cure universe believe, I have always found their lyrics to be inspiring and uplifting. Robert Smith chose to dip into the morass of ennui and sadness as a way to dredge those feelings up into the light.

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“Happy the man with the face that smiles” ~ Robert Smith of The Cure

I always feel better after listening to The Cure. They always had something for every mood and every moment. From the angsty relationship themed Boys Don’t Cry, to the manic chasing train driven punk wig-out of 10:15 Saturday Night, to the zany spirited uplifting Mint Car.

The sun is up
I’m so happy I could scream!
And there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather be
Than here with you
It’s perfect
It’s all I ever wanted
I almost can’t believe that it’s for real

I really don’t think it gets any better than this
Vanilla smile
And a gorgeous strawberry kiss!
Birds sing we swing
Clouds drift by and everything is like a dream
It’s everything I wished

Those are not Gothic kill-me now depressed angst-driven suicidal lyrics. The Cure might be one of the most misunderstood bands of their time. There were times in my life when they were the place from which I derived my joy. When you struggle with issues, you sometimes need to trick yourself out of your bed in the morning. When I was a teenager, The Cure were there to dig me up out of my pain. They’re the happiest band I know. And all I ever heard in the media about them were slit-my-wrist jokes about how sorrowful and depressed their stuff was. So not the case. Many things saved me, but nothing ever saved teen me like The Cure saved me.

Oh wait! 5 Characters. Right! I’m so easily distracted these days.

  1. ZACH CARSON – summeronfire SUMMER ON FIRE – Zach appears in my first novel, Summer on Fire. He is the friend who outwardly appears to be the most together. But he is also, in a way, the weakest link. Picture Wil Wheaton’s Gordie Lachance. He’s the hero of the story, but he is nothing like the hero of the story. Everybody knows the guy you want to be when you watch the movie Stand By Me is Chris Chambers…the coolest of the cool (played by River Phoenix). Even though Chris later dies, he’s the ultimate hero of that story. My Chris Chambers in this story is Jeff Barsell. I’m referencing Stand By Me here because it is mentioned in quite a few of the reviews for this book. Zach was broken in the most subtle way of all of my main characters. He wants to please everyone and he struggles with his moral compass. He wants to do the right thing but he also wants to remain loyal to his friends. Jeff Barsell is the real broken hero of this story. Jeff has a brother who bullies him and a father who beats him. He adores his mother. He knows that the trouble he’s gotten himself into could finish the job of breaking her…a job his father has been chiseling away at for years. When the boys accidentally set a barn on fire, the stage is set for a much darker revelation. The house beside the barn goes up in flames…and with it, the body of the old man who lived there. From there, we get to see the mettle of these three boys as they attempt to wiggle out of their predicament.
  2. SEBASTIAN NELSON –  Sebastian's Poet SEBASTIAN’S POET – Sebastian Nelson is perhaps my favourite of all the characters I’ve ever created. He’s a boy who is forced to grow up at an all too young age. When folksinger Teal Landen appears on the couch one morning after a bohemian party at Sebby’s place, he quickly forms a bond with the boy. Sebastian comes from a broken family. He’s left with his mentally ill father after his mother takes off to her homeland of Montreal. With a father who can’t even look after himself–a father who is silently dealing with deep dark issues that threaten to kill him–Sebastian becomes the number one caregiver to his younger brother Renee. Teal becomes his saviour, but the distance between them is vast as Teal attempts to hide a truth from the young boy who worships him. This one takes place in The Beaches in Toronto…in the 1970s. It’s all Leonard Cohen meets James at 15. Sebastian is abused, neglected, and without a childhood to speak of. He is someone who should not be able to get up…but getting up is all he ever wants to do.
  3. TOBIAS REASON –  The+Reasons THE REASONS – Reason is the family name of the narrators in this one. The narration flips from chapter to chapter, from Tobias Reason to Maggie Reason. This is an entirely broken family. Maggie is insane. Her secret is so completely buried, she herself doesn’t even know what it is. But when she tosses her newly inherited house at Tobias, just to get rid of it, Tobias discovers the deepest darkest thing about a family so broken they might never be saved. Tobias’s older sister dies in chapter one…and on the surface this may appear to be the thing that breaks Maggie. But all along, there are hints that she was broken long before Deja died on her road-trip to the mountains she would never see. Maggie has no time for her youngest daughter, Annabel…so it falls to Tobias to raise her. But Annabel may in fact hold the key to everything that is broken. Tobias is abused, neglected, and without a childhood to speak of. But he is a character on a mission…he wants to save his mother, and in the process he wants to save his family. He will do anything to make this happen.
  4. FRANCIS FRIPP – burn-baby-burn-1000.jpeg BURN BABY BURN BABY – Francis Fripp’s last name is a nod to mention—He has the last name Fripp as an homage of sorts to Grady Tripp from Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys. This novel marks the onward march of my own courage. I wanted to go deeper with this one, explore the darkness that teens experience on a deeper level. Francis is bullied relentlessly at school. His tormentor, Brandon Hayley, won’t be happy until he sees Francis completely destroyed. But Francis was broken before Brandon ever got to him. Francis was mutilated by his abusive father, who burned half of Francis’s body in a murderous rage. As broken as Francis is–both inwardly and outwardly–he has a deep love of life. You can just glimpse it if you look past the angst and turmoil he lives with every day. He loves his little brothers Paul and Simon like mad. Sure, he calls them, collectively, Paul Simon…but he does this in love. He sees only his burns when he tries to assemble a picture of who he is as a person. But the new girl at school might see more than that. It’s up to Francis to allow her to do so. His walls are so high, he doesn’t know how to take them down. Francis is abused, neglected, and without a childhood to speak of. But Francis wants to soar. And his unflinching champion, Trig, will do anything to see that he does so.
  5. CARTER COLBY – cover2500 HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN – Carter is a twin. He’s the loser mentally unstable half of the Colby twins. His brother, inexplicably, is the popular All-American boy. But in chapter one, Marcus Colby dies in a motorcycle accident on the way to school.Carter was a passenger on the bike and becomes even more screwed up when he has to survive such a traumatic experience. Losing his twin is the beginning of the horror, but he quickly learns that sharing a face with the most popular dead boy in school is not an easy task. People who never saw him when Marcus was alive now don’t want to see him. Marcus becomes dead Marcus in this story…as he begins to visit Carter on a regular basis. He has unfinished work and he needs Carter’s help to see it through. The ghost of Marcus is just as fabulous and put together as the living Marcus was. While Carter attempts to pick himself up from the wreck of his life, he works with Marcus to help make things right. He also unexpectedly falls in love with Marcus’s girlfriend, Melanie, and forms an unexpected friendship with the school jock, Justin Dewar, who also happens to be the victim from the truck involved in the accident that killed Marcus. Carter is broken, but in different ways than usual. He has no self-esteem. He lives in the shadow of greatness and can’t manage to get out from under it. He hates himself. But he finds hope in Melanie…and in the possibility of being made more whole.

I brought up THE CURE at the beginning of this post because I wanted to draw a similarity between their music and my novels. On the surface, all of my stuff is morose, sad, broken, depressed, angsty, and filled with ennui. But it’s also, like The Cure, filled with hope and joy. Or, at least, I hope it is. I always make an effort to put a little sunshine in my work. Because all things broken are not ONLY broken. My favourite quote, which is also the epigraph in my novel Sebastian’s Poet, alludes to this. From Leonard Cohen’s ANTHEM…

THERE IS A CRACK IN EVERYTHING…THAT’S HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN.

In all ugliness, there is beauty. In all sadness, there is joy. This is what I attempt to write in my novels. I love to see the crack…because without it the beauty would not get in.

CLICK ON THE NAMES BELOW TO VISIT THE AMAZON PAGE FOR ITS RELATED NOVEL:

  1. Zach Carson
  2. Sebastian Nelson
  3. Tobias Reason
  4. Francis Fripp
  5. Carter Colby

Get HAPPY:

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Burn Baby Burn Baby Kevin Craig

Trig Speaks Up! Bonus Burn Baby Burn Baby Material!

BURN BABY BURN BABY has been out for almost a year now! During last year’s blog tour I wrote this post AS Trig… The narrator’s best friend. Here it is copied in full here. TRIG SPEAKS!

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Hey. Trig here. I’m the best friend guy from Burn Baby Burn Baby. First off, my actual name is Zach Triggs. I just read Francis’s story. He only used my real name, like, one frigging time in the entire story. I know it wasn’t my story, or anything…but still. Holy. I guess it’s okay though, considering even the teachers call me Trig. My real name doesn’t even register. Okay, so he’s off the hook.

I’m not here to complain about that. I just…I have so many feels about what I just read. Francis is my boy, dude. I would kill for him. Like, literally kill you dead kill for him. And not just because of what his brutal non-human ‘rent did to him, either. We were tight long before his father went psycho and set him on fire. Seeing him go through that shit, though…it changed me.

Truth? I sometimes think about those days, back when he lived in the hospital going through all those grafts and operations, and I just sit and bawl like a baby.

I never tell Francis about that, though. Hell, I don’t even tell my girl about those times. Georgia and I are soul mates. We’re together forever, but I try not to talk to her about France. I just have a never let them see you cry life policy. It’s hard sometimes, when I think of the hell my boy Francis has been through. So I save my crying for when I’m home alone.

Everything Francis talked about in his story was the truth. Man, he laid out his heart. He goes on and on–and on and on–about how he’s gonna take me with him to the Oscars when he goes to accept his first award for Best Director. But for real, maybe he could write the stories that get made into movies. With a little practice, you never know…I might get to go to the Oscars one day for real.

What I really wanted to say is that Francis was way too hard on himself in his story. When you read it, try to remember that in real life we don’t see all the emo stuff. His inner dialogue is clearly pretty heavy. I didn’t know he was so negative, to tell you the truth. In real life he’s more guarded about the stuff that hurts him. It kind of tears my heart open to know he’s in such turmoil all the time. He really should cut himself some slack. He’s a way cool dude. I love him like a brother.

Oh. Speaking of brothers. Please don’t think Francis is a douchenozzle for all the stuff he said about Paul Simon. I think he really comes off kind of bad there. But I can tell you firsthand, those boys are the sun for him. He loves them like mad crazy. You remember the part in the story where he made a mental note to pick up glow in the dark stars for Paul and Simon? Yeah. We spent a day looking for those damn things. A day! I told him we should just take the ones from his ceiling and put them on their ceiling. Dude, I thought he was going to cry. Apparently Seventeen-year-old boys still need the universe above them while they fall asleep at night.  He is such a little boy.

Before I go, just two more things. Number one…I am not an Anger Management poster child. I don’t know what Francis was talking about. I’m not this ready-to-blow-volcano-of-hostility. If anything, you can just consider me passionate. Yeah, passionate…I’d be happy with that. Number two…the Shakespeare stuff. I’m guessing you probably want to know how I feel about that? It really hurt my feelings. A lot. You know a guy your whole life and you think you know everything about him until he starts quoting every damn word Shakespeare ever wrote. I was like, what the hell? But I guess I’m over it. So we don’t tell each other everything. Maybe he’ll keep writing his story and I’ll find out the things he doesn’t tell me about that way.

Anyway, Francis. He’s my best friend. My boy. If you haven’t checked out Burn Baby Burn Baby yet, you should. Not like I’ll beat the crap out of you if you don’t or anything. Like I said, I’m not as hostile as he makes me out to be. He’s just a great guy. I think you’ll like what he has to say.

Trig, out.

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You can visit my author page on Amazon to read the first couple chapters of BURN BABY BURN BABY! Download it today! Or order the paperback wherever books are sold.

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Book Giveaway Burn Baby Burn Baby Contest Giveaway GoodReads Half Dead And Fully Broken Instagram Novel Novels Paperback Win Writers Writing Writing Advice Writing Life Writing Tips YA YA Lit YA Reviews Young Adult Young Adult Fiction

A Sure-Fire List to Help Motivate Your Inner Writer Into Actually Writing! Follow This List Carefully and You Will Be Writing Again!

Have I done a list lately? I should keep a list of the lists I list. Or is that list the lists I keep?

In a writing slump? Finding it hard to finish that Great Canadian (American, Armenian or otherwise) Novel? Trying to dedicate more time to writing this year because you’re one of those people who makes New Year Resolutions? Follow this list to a tee and you should find yourself back on the writing wagon. If you’re already on the writing wagon and you follow this list, you will find yourself even more connected to your writing. My point? Follow this list and you will write more.

The questionnaire
Do not skip items on this list. Follow it closely, or there is no hope for you. If you falter, you might go gently into the night and get lost forever in the vast vacuous land of NOT WRITING. Proceed with caution and a willingness to adapt yourself to the points made on the upcoming list you are about to read…

How to Write When You’re Not Feeling Writerly (OR When You’re Feeling Stabby and Murderous Towards Words, How Do You Embrace Them and Make Them Work in Your Favour…Even Though You Hate Them)


  1. Turn OFF the social media and Click the wifi to OFF. I know it’s impossible to imagine, but these things are distractions…killers of the imagination, even while they are stimulating it. If you follow this first item in this list, you will significantly increase your outflow of words. The increase could quite possibly be tenfold.
  2. See the first item in this list. Quite frankly, if you got this far in the list you aren’t following the steps properly.
  3. ARE YOU STILL HERE. Stop reading this. Turn off the internet and write.
  4. Don’t make me yell at you. SIT. WRITE. Open only one window…whatever program it is you use to write with.
  5. I’m gonna keep this list short and to the point. Only 5 items. Item 5 is CLOSE THIS WINDOW. SIT. WRITE. <<This advice works if you’re a beginner writer, or if you’re someone like that up-and-comer Stephen King…who has a couple books under his belt.

If you’re still here, clearly you’re not heeding my warnings. If you’d rather read than write, click on the image below to get yourself over to GOODREADS to enter to win a paperback copy of my latest novel, BURN BABY BURN BABY. The contest ends JANUARY 11, 2015!

goodreads

If you’re on INSTAGRAM, follow the steps in the picture below to win a paperback copy of BURN BABY BURN BABY in the INSTAGRAM contest! The easiest way to enter this one would be to go to Instagram and repost this image from my account. Instagram is sometimes tricky with resizing, etc.

Follow the Directions in this image to enter to win a paperback of Burn Baby Burn Baby on Instagram!
Follow the Directions in this image to enter to win a paperback of Burn Baby Burn Baby on Instagram!

Okay…now there is still a chance for you. Turn it all off. SIT. WRITE. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. No magical equation. No tricks or gimmicks. To write more all you need to do is write more. One word in front of the other without the everyday distractions that weigh you down and mess with your creativity and drive. SIT. WRITE.

Categories
1980s Amazon Best Young Adult Novel Best Young Adult Novel Award Burn Baby Burn Baby Curiosity Quills Curiosity Quills Press Fiction Half Dead And Fully Broken Kevin Craig Music YA Young Adult Young Adult Fiction

Tones On Tail – The Music of Burn Baby Burn Baby…

I like to namedrop. I do, I do. Coming from a punkrock background, I often slip little mentions of gems from my youth into the pages of my young adult fiction. Burn Baby Burn Baby is no exception.

In Chapter 17, I drop a doozy. The two main characters, Trig and Francis, are at odds. Francis drops by Trig’s place to test the waters. Trig pretty much ignores him while loud music throbs from behind the safety of his headphoned-cone-of-silence. When Francis hears the music blaring out of them, he gauges that Trig’s anger must be pretty intense.

‘He’s got those massive headphones of his on and I can hear the music blaring from them. Trig’s aggressive anger management therapy in action. He’s listening to Tool. Not the best sign, but it could be worse.’

After a few minutes of waiting for Trig to show signs of softening, Francis resigns himself to the fact that he may have to be patient.

‘Nothing. Page. Page. Page. His feet are kicking wildly now. The song pounding the crap out of his ears now is a Megadeth ditty. I know the scary clowns are about to enter. This is a sign. He’s actually good at wordless communication.’

But as the music softens, Francis hears TONES ON TAIL rise up out of Trig’s headphones. He knows Trig is coming ’round!

‘I grab a pencil from the top drawer of his desk and start doodling on his desk blotter. After a smoking cat, a gnarled caterpillar on a mushroom, and a pretty pin-up girl who vaguely resembles Rachel, I assess the situation. Tones on Tail are a little less violent. Kind of dance, even, so I think he’s opening up.

“I can’t believe this crap was made before we were even born,” he says. “Can you dig that? Like decades before we were born.”

He’s not looking at me yet, but at least he’s speaking. The fact he’s shouting is kind of funny, but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. What an idiot.

No point talking back. He wouldn’t be able to hear me with those things on.

“I mean, just listen to this, Francis,” he yells before he takes the headphones off, turns to face me and tosses them in my direction. It’s almost like I can see the thin trail of music floating out behind them, it’s so loud. “Listen to this and tell me it doesn’t sound like it could be on the radio today.”

I plug in and I can immediately feel the music in my belly. Big bass. Totally Bauhaus stuff. I don’t care who they call themselves, the roots are right there in Technicolor. That’s Bauhaus telling me to GO. He’s right, though. It’s awesome. Still.

“Shit, man,” I say. “That’s still great stuff. The one good thing your dad passed down.” I pop the earphones off and toss them back.’

Why do I do this? Because even though I place all my fiction in a present day contemporary setting, I am firmly ensconced in the 80s. The formative years of my musical listening experiences were the 70s and 80s. I like to drop breadcrumbs of the past into the present. Perhaps a reader will search out the crumb and become an appreciator of musical geniuses past. (-:

In this instance, however, I’m just gonna go ahead and share GO by TONES ON TAIL here. For your musical listening pleasure…

Burn Baby Burn Baby is getting some wonderful reviews. You can see a few of them at GOODREADS.

You can click on the book cover below to go to AMAZON, where Burn Baby Burn Baby is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. You can also pick it up as a Nook or Kobo, if you’re so inclined.

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My 5th novel, HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN hits the street January 19th, 2015. But you can pre-order at AMAZON today! Click on the book cover below to go to Amazon…

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Burn Baby Burn Baby Half Dead And Fully Broken Kevin Craig

Updates. Giveaways. Future Plans. And Stuff.

Okay, so Burn Baby Burn Baby has hit the streets. Have you picked up your copy yet? It’s getting amazing reviews, for which I am forever grateful. I thought I’d link directly to a couple of them here:

TMBA CORBETT WRITES

A CREATIVE MIND

LORI TWINING

JENNIFER GREENLEAF

SHELF LIFE

HER BOOK THOUGHTS!

Some amazing praise! Truly amazing…

There are currently TWO paperback giveaways happening for Burn Baby Burn Baby.

One of the giveaways is happening on Goodreads and you can go to the link by clicking on the image below. Then click the ENTER TO WIN button:

ggbbbbIf you’d like to enter the Twitter Burn Baby Burn Baby paperback giveaway, it’s a bit more complicated. (-: But your chances will be better.

Here’s a link to my tweet explaining it:

twitbbbb

Basically, you just have to tweet that you want to win a copy, but there are links/hashtags involved.

If you enter either contest, good luck!

You can purchase your copy of BURN BABY BURN BABY at AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CA, BARNES & NOBLE, or, KOBO.

You have probably also heard by now that the HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN cover has been revealed. You can pre-order this title from Amazon. Click on the cover below to visit the Amazon link and read more about the book!

wpid-cover2500.jpg

I linked to the Amazon.com page, but Half Dead & Fully Broken is also available at Amazon.ca for pre-order.

As for future plans? I am currently attempting to complete 3 novels. They are…

THAT’S ME IN THE CORNER – This is my 2011 Muskoka Novel Marathon BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD awarded novel. It’s about a wallflower, his girlfriend, and his gay best friend. They all travel to Kenya for the summer holidays, at first reluctantly but then with much excitement. I’m on the homestretch with this one. (-:

ALIVE & KICKING – This is BOOK #2 of the Carter Colby Series. Carter is the main character in HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN. In Alive & Kicking, he’s at it again. He’s talking to the dead and attempting to stay out of trouble.

THE BOOK OF YOUR DREAMS – This is my 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. My first attempt at Horror. Of course, it’s YA horror. (-: It’s getting there. It’s extremely fun to write. It takes place in a bookstore that’s not really there, run by a man who was killed 100 years earlier by a mod of villagers after it was discovered that he was collecting bodies in the cellar of his knick-knack emporium. Oh, the fun! (-:

My ‘STUFF’ for this post? I’m infatuated with a purchase I made over the weekend. I recently wrote a post about my switch from laptop to tablet for my writing. Well, yesterday I grabbed up this baby:

10370818_10152473344962021_3916931170477534674_nIt’s a Bluetooth keyboard for my tablet writing. This means the part of the screen that was eaten up with the onscreen keyboard is now gone. And, it’s an actual KEYS keyboard. I think I have found my perfect writing set-up!

Let’s see…I did Updates, Giveaways, Future Plans and…stuff. Covered it! (-=

Thanks to ALL the bloggers who took (and are taking) part in my Blog Tour! You’re doing (have done) an incredible job! Love and Light to each and every one of you!

I’ll leave you with this amazing pic created on an app by my friend and fellow writer Mel E. Cober!

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Now, back to writing…

 

Categories
Burn Baby Burn Baby Kevin Craig YA YA Reviews Young Adult Fiction

Bullies, Bullying and Bullied – The Real Bs Behind Burn Baby Burn Baby

WallpaperWhen I started writing Burn Baby Burn Baby I knew it would be a difficult journey. Not the writing part. I knew the writing would flow like water. The story had percolated in my head for a couple weeks prior to the Muskoka Novel Marathon, where I wrote the novel over the course of a long weekend. The story had wheels. I would just have to drive it home.

jst_burn_baby_burn_1000 The difficult journey was going to be the revisiting of the whole bully thing. I still flinch when I remember high school. Though it’s decades in my past, I just have to turn my thoughts to it for a second to conjure those sick-in-the-belly feelings. Waking up in the morning and thinking, ‘I can’t do this again.’ I had to be out of my mind to spend an entire weekend inside that bullied mindset in order to write Francis Fripp’s story!

wrapBut I did it. I had to. We are living in a world of TELL these days. With social media, we have the dangers of cyber bullying…but we also have the tools to shed light on the bullying, to stop it. SPEAK. In my day that really wasn’t an option. We suffered our bullies in silence. We ate our lunch in the bathroom stalls. We loitered near the office when we had free time, hoping the distance from the principal’s desk created a safe enough bully-free zone.

jst_burn_baby_burn_1000 I know it still exists. I know there are still people suffering at the hands of bullies. Adults and teens alike…thanks to the phenomenon of workplace bullying. But I think it’s getting better. I hope it’s getting better.

jst_burn_baby_burn_1000When I set out to write Francis’s story, I purposely steered away from the clique situation. I’m too long out of high school for that. Nowadays I see teens of different cliques hanging out together. I no longer understand that social situation. I was a punkrocker in the early eighties. The lines were firmly drawn in the sand. The punks cliqued, the sportos cliqued, the rockers/skids cliqued, the preppies cliqued. If you belonged to one of these cliques, you did not talk to people from other cliques.

jst_burn_baby_burn_1000For this reason, poor Francis needed to have a visually noticeable reason to attract a bully’s attention. I gave him horrendous scars courtesy of an abusive father. He became a burn victim struggling to fit in in a world where beauty has become a social epidemic. Sadly, those living with scars and handicaps do become victims of bullies. As hard as it is to fathom. Bullies look for weaknesses. Physical ones make their jobs less difficult.

jst_burn_baby_burn_1000In short, I created a character who was perfectly set up to be bullied. Then I moved in for the kill. I recalled my bullies, I amalgamated them into one horrendous beast with no social graces, and I set him on Francis. Why? Because I wanted to talk about bullying. I wanted to take the reader into the mind of one who is suffering at the hands of his abuser. I certainly didn’t want to beat anyone over the head with a lesson on anti-bullying. I just wanted to tell a story…and I hoped the story would somehow get the point across that the days of bullying are due to end. If we who were bullied speak up against it, we might start a dialogue that will rumble through social media and strike a chord.

jst_burn_baby_burn_1000Francis Fripp is not alone. I loved writing his story. I also had a very difficult time revisiting those feelings. But it was worth it. I hope I managed to create a likeable character…one that invokes not only your sympathy, but one who conjures a symbol of strength. Because Francis is a victim, but he’s also just a boy…trying to love and be loved, trying to navigate the complicated terrain of high school. He just happens to live with visible scars…but we all carry scars. They don’t need to be visible to be there. We’re all vulnerable and we’re all capable of great acts of heroism. I hope you find something to relate to in Francis’s story. What would I like readers to take away from it besides the obvious BULLYING IS BAD message? That none of us are ONE thing. We are not defined by one aspect of our person. Everybody has a story. What you see when you look at a person is just a tiny glittering spark of sun-caught ice breaking the surface. Most of who we are is under the surface. We are, each of us, icebergs waiting to be discovered.

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BUY YOUR COPY TODAY. WHEREVER PAPERBACKS OR EBOOKS ARE SOLD.

ADVANCED PRAISE FOR BURN BABY BURN BABY:

“Kevin Craig’s books just keep getting better & better. A must read.”

“I read this book in one evening, while sitting in my rocking chair, wrapped in a fleecy blanket, chewing on my fingernails (especially during the last seven chapters or so). Actually, I believe this is the ONLY book I’ve read during 2014 (out of 83 books so far), that I have stayed up past my bedtime to finish reading it. It was that good.”

“As you can see, I highly recommend this book for those who love YA books – I’ve been a YA reader for years and, if I don’t like a book, I’m not afraid to say so. This book ranks five stars on my list.”

“Wow! I really loved this book.”

“The characters are perfect this author knows how to write characters that are realistic yet likable! You will quickly fall for Frances the main guy of the story. The entire cast was great! I used Cast cause it played out like a TV show in my head when I read it.”

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Burn Baby Burn Baby

Happy Book Birthday to BURN BABY BURN BABY!

Today is the day! Burn Baby Burn Baby has been released!

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BURN BABY BURN BABY

Here’s where I ask for YOUR help! Help me get the word out about this book. Go to your social media networks and spread the word. 🙂 I will call you the BURN BABY ARMY…and it will be good! 🙂

If it’s not in your local bookstore, ask for it. Ask for it. And ask for it again.

Here’s some BUY links for those interested in picking up their copy!

AMAZON.COM KINDLE VERSION

AMAZON.COM PAPERBACK VERSION

AMAZON.CA KINDLE VERSION

AMAZON ITALY KINDLE VERSION

AMAZON FRANCE KINDLE VERSION

AMAZON UK KINDLE VERSION

AMAZON GERMANY KINDLE VERSION

BARNES AND NOBLE PAPERBACK VERSION

SYNOPSIS FROM AMAZON:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley-the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby. The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

ADD BURN BABY BURN BABY TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF! (AND CHECK OUT THE AMAZING REVIEWS WHILE YOU’RE THERE!

I hope you’ll help me celebrate the book-birthday release of Burn Baby Burn Baby. Any mention you make will help me. Thanks to my agent Stacey Donaghy for finding a home for Burn Baby Burn Baby. And thanks to my publisher, CURIOSITY QUILLS PRESS for being that home!

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Burn Baby Burn Baby Kevin Craig

Burn Baby Burn Baby Blog Tour Begins! Novel #4 Releases Dec 11th!

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This is the week! BURN BABY BURN BABY releases this coming Thursday. Beginning today, there is a blog tour for my latest novel. Please consider visiting the tour hosts from December 8th to December 19th. There will be excerpts of the novel, reviews of the novel, book spotlights, and…bonus material! Some of the guest blog posts will be written by characters from the novel.

Here’s the complete tour schedule:

12.08.14: TMBA Corbett Tries to Write – Review
12.08.14: So I am a Reader – Review
12.08.14: The Caffeinated Booknerd – Excerpt
12.08.14: Katie Teller at Katie’s Stories – Guest Post
12.09.14: A Creative Mind – Review
12.09.14: Kayl’s Krazy Obsession – Excerpt
12.09.14: Ink of Blood – Guest Post
12.10.14: Twining Lvtwriter – Review
12.10.14: Jennifer Greenleaf: Author & Artist – Review
12.10.14: Coffee&Books – Excerpt
12.10.14: Coffee Books & Art  – Guest Post
12.11.14: Shelf Life – Review
12.11.14: M&EM Read YA – Excerpt
12.11.14: Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog – Guest Post
12.12.14: Little Whimsy Books – Review
12.12.14: Her Book Thoughts! – Review
12.12.14: A Dream Within A Dream – Excerpt
12.12.14: Love, laugh, and read – Guest Post

12.15.14: Seinda – Review
12.15.14: Revenge of the Feels – Excerpt
12.15.14: Collette Yvonne – Book Spotlight
12.16.14: Cheryl – Review
12.16.14: Mimi Jones-Taylor – Review
12.16.14: Mallory Heart Reviews – Excerpt
12.17.14: JeanzBookReadNReview – Excerpt
12.18.14: Pages To Explore – Review
12.18.14: Book Sense – Review
12.18.14: G. Donald Cribbs – Excerpt
12.19.14: LostBrainCell’s Bookish Blog – Excerpt
12.19.14: Dale Long – Interview

PACK YOUR BAGS…WE’RE HEADING OUT! Let the tour begin!

About Burn Baby, Burn Baby:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago.

Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.

The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars.

If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions.

Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted.

Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

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Click this cover to be taken to AMAZON.COM!

Don’t forget to add Burn Baby Burn Baby to your Goodreads shelf!

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Burn Baby Burn Baby

BURN BABY BURN BABY – The Blog Tour AND Review Requests!

Burn Baby, Burn Baby Blog Tour Sign Up

My publisher, Curiosity Quills, is now taking sign-ups for the Burn Baby, Burn Baby Blog Tour! If you’re a book-blogger, you can sign up to be a part of the tour at the link below (click on the pic):

btBURN BABY, BURN BABY is scheduled for release December 11, 2014. You can PRE-ORDER a copy today at AMAZON for only $4.47 by clicking on the book cover below:

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The tour is scheduled for December 8th – 19th, 2014; excluding weekends. Tour hosts will be provided with a press kit, containing the cover, book description, author bio, author picture, and any relevant links. We’re interested in finding hosts for interviews, reviews, excerpt posts, guest posts and book spotlight posts. If you’re interested in reviewing this title, please let us know your preferred digital format – .mobi (Kindle), .epub (nook) or .pdf (most other eReaders)

So go to the link today and fill out the form. I’d love to have you on board!