Gay YA, Pride Must Be A Place, Writing Life, YA Lit

Pride Must Be A Place to be Published

My 2015 Young Adult Novel, PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE, has found a home! It will be released on FEBRUARY 6th, 2018 by MUSEITUP Publishing. This is the publisher that published my very first novel, SUMMER ON FIRE.

 

PRIDE

Pride (#PMBAP) began life as my 2015 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. I once wrote a blog post about it and how it was originally to be wrapped up with Lorraine Segato and how that plan changed as the novel awakened during the 72 hour marathon writing weekend in which it was born. The rest of the novel was written a couple weeks after the marathon when my partner and I went up to his sister’s cottage for the week. I would write a chapter, send it to my Kindle app and he would read it while I went on to the next chapter. And we took long walks while discussing what would happen next. It was a great week of writing and editing. I was so connected to the story this way. And it turns out he’s a great editor and story-talker. We worked well together. By the end of that week, the first draft of #PMBAP was completely finished.

Prior to writing the novel, I emailed Lorraine Segato of Parachute Club regarding the lyrics of their hit song, RISE UP. I felt the need to check on the possibility of using some of the lyrics even prior to writing…because I felt them to be an important part of the story. To my surprise, the generous Segato actually phoned me and we discussed possibilities for the novel—AS CHANCE WOULD HAVE IT, literally as I made my way to Huntsville to write the novel–I pulled into a Tim Hortons about halfway to Huntsville in order to talk to her. Her feedback was so helpful…I incorporated some of her suggestions into the story. Unfortunately, I think her feedback is what started the move away from her jumping into the story around the midway point. She helped to show what she would or wouldn’t say in the scenes I envisioned. I began to adjust and change in my head. Eventually, I thought maybe I was reaching too far and that their iconic song was enough. I’m hoping now that they will grant me the permission I sought out at the time. It’s been a couple of years. Those lyrics, used sparsely, but at integral parts of the story, will be sadly missed if not there. Fingers crossed.

I will be following up with more on this publication as details are made known to me. It’s early days. The contract has been signed and the publication is slated for February, 2018. Once the cover is revealed to me, I look forward to sharing it here! So thrilled to have this one see the light of day. I certainly hope you like it!

 

 

 

 

Allison Baggio, Authors for Indies, Authors4Indies, Avid Reader, Book Recs, Books, Bookstores, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Linda Hutsell-Manning, Plum Johnson, Sandra Bradley, Sarah Henstra, The Avid Reader, Wayne Johnston, Wesley King

Participating in Authors For Indies! Find Me at The Avid Reader Magazines & Books in Cobourg!

I will be participating in this year’s AUTHORS FOR INDIES celebrations! This means I get to be a bookseller for a spell. (-:

Excuse me while I run and put a little something on my bucket list…

check

There we go! Item #34…covered!

What is Authors for Indies, you may be asking? And why do I get to be a bookseller, you may also be asking? Here’s a bit of a rundown…

Authors for Indies is a way for all of us to celebrate our local independent bookstores. Saturday May 2nd is Canadian Authors for Indies day. I don’t know about you, but I grew up in bookstores. It was nothing to wile away a few hours sniffing books, caressing pages, reading jacket covers and taking home prized possessions.

Authors across this great nation of ours will be volunteering as GUEST BOOK SELLERS at independent bookstores throughout the day on May 2nd. Which is why I will be a bookseller. I will be at THE AVID READER MAGAZINES & BOOKS book shop in Cobourg, Ontario. And I will be there to recommend my TOP 5 books! And I will also have a few of my own books available for purchase through the store.

Half Dead & Fully Broken and Burn Baby Burn Baby...
Half Dead & Fully Broken and Burn Baby Burn Baby…

If you’re in the Cobourg, Ontario area on Saturday May 2nd…come on in and say hi! I’ll let you know my top five pics for the day. There will be a few other authors joining the Avid Reader team for the day as well…

IMG_20150406_171144Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Wayne Johnston, Plum Johnson, Linda Hutsell-Manning, Sandra Bradley, Wesley King, and Allison Baggio! And…just added… Sarah Henstra.

If you’re not in the Cobourg area, find the closest bookstore in your area (through the extensive list of participating bookstores on the Authors for Indies website) and head on down to it to meet your favourite authors. And bring your friends and family. Bookstores have long been a meeting place for the communities of this country. Show your appreciation on May 2nd by stopping by and joining in on the celebration.

Follow AUTHORS FOR INDIES ON TWITTER: @Authors4indies

Like THE AVID READER MAGAZINES AND BOOKS on Facebook

To spread the word about this amazing day on social media, don’t forget to use the hashtag #Authors4Indies

Mark the day on your calendar…and hit an independent bookstore that day. And say thank you! For the words, for the pages, for the community and for the adventures!

Books, Canada, Canadian, Canadiana, Coming of Age, Fiction, GoodReads, Gordon Lightfoot, Kevin Craig, Musa, Musa Publishing, Novels, Queen Street, Setting, The Beach, The Beaches, Toronto

Set in Toronto. Set in Canada. Are These Viable Settings for Novels?

If you’re Canadian have you ever felt the shame that goes along with it? Don’t lie. It’s there. We are the country ashamed of its culture. We are the country struggling to define its culture. We are the country used to depict American cities in movies because it’s more budget friendly. We are the country that is painstakingly removed from said movies one Toronto Star box at a time. Oops…don’t get that Tim Horton’s in the shot…this is New York, people. Remove all traces of Canada.

But sometimes…sometimes Toronto IS the best place to set a thing. Think of Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. That was a delightful tour-de-force of a movie that would not have been the same in any other setting in the world. Toronto was a perfect match for Pilgrim. I’ll never forget being at the Scotiabank Theatre during the opening credits of Scott Pilgrim. The crowd went wild. That was US on that screen. Toronto. For once it was okay to be from this amazing city that seemed to require secretive measures whenever it appeared on the big screen. Toronto was a dirty little secret in Hollywood. And we all sensed it…until Scott Pilgrim.

Scott_Pilgrim_vs._the_World_teaser

Yes, Scott Pilgrim wasn’t the first movie openly set in Toronto. And it won’t be the last. It did seem like a line in the sand, though. Scott Pilgrim definitely brought out our cool side. We could do this. Toronto can be a cool setting. It is a viable world city. We need to change our perceptions.

When I started writing my 2nd published novel, I knew instinctively that the perfect setting for my bohemian 1970s family on the brink of destruction was The Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto. I love my city. I love it hard. Sebastian Nelson, the narrator of Sebastian’s Poet, had to be from Toronto. Had to be from The Beaches. And no, I won’t call it The Beach. It’s The Beaches. It will always be The Beaches.

For my first novel, I intentionally avoided naming the setting. I was afraid that agents wouldn’t look at a novel that dared to mention Canada. This comes from somewhere. I didn’t dream up this self-loathing of place on my own. As Canadians, I sometimes feel we are conditioned to take the back seat. The sad part is, I think it’s mostly ourselves relegating ourselves to this stature. We have blurred lines where our nationalism is concerned. We grow up on American TV and music. We occasionally shun our own programming. We say, “That show’s Canadian” with disdain before quickly changing the channel.

I LOVE America. This is not an anti-America rant. I just wish we were comfortable enough in our own skins to not only be proud to be Canadians, but to salute our homeland in our creative endeavours. My go-to instinct, when embarking on fiction, was to never speak of Canada in my writings. I’m so glad I ignored this instinct when I created Sebastian’s Poet. Sebastian needed to be from the Queen Street East neighbourhood. He needed to know the yumminess that is THE GOOF. He needed the Eaton Centre windows at Christmas in the 70s. He needed to know Cirone’s Grocery, the TTC. He NEEDED GORDON LIGHTFOOT!

Some stories just require Canadiana in order for them to be told. Sometimes, the only place in the world where a story belongs is in Toronto. We set a tourism record here in Toronto for 2014. 14.3 million visitors. It’s time to show our streets in movies and literature. It’s time to stop being ‘New York’. We can do this. We can be ourselves. We’re good enough. We are a viable setting.

15725603My Toronto set novel, Sebastian’s Poet, is the story of a boy growing up with a bohemian father on a path of destruction in the 1970s and the folksinger who tries to rescue him from the chaos.

From Amazon:

Sebastian Nelson is a boy in search of a family. Abandoned by his mother, Sebastian is left with a broken father who doesn’t even seem present when he does show up. Forced to be the main caregiver of his younger brother, Renee, and lost in a sea of indifference, Sebastian only wants to experience the love a real, stable family could afford him.

One morning he discovers the famous folksinger, Teal Landen, asleep on the sofa. Teal’s nurturing nature brings an immediate sense of security into Sebastian’s tumultuous life. But a dark secret looms between Teal and Sebastian’s father of a hidden past. Sebastian is driven to discover their secret, but also he’s aware of how tenuous their hold on Teal really is. He doesn’t want to lose the feeling of home Teal’s presence has brought him.

If Sebastian pushes too hard, he could lose Teal forever. He could be destined to raise his younger brother alone, while witnessing the total decline of his emotionally devastated father. If Sebastian is abandoned by the only healthy influence in his otherwise shaky existence, he will also be forever in the dark about the secret that will reveal so much about his fractured family.

LOOK INSIDE and 1-CLICK Sebastian’s Poet today at Amazon, now on sale for $2.67.

Check out the Amazing Reviews garnered by Sebastian’s Poet on GOODREADS!

Book Recs, Book Review, Book Reviews, Books, Curiosity Quills, Curiosity Quills Press, Kevin Craig, Net Galley, Reviews, Teen Fiction, YA, YA Reviews, Yalit, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Net Galley – Request Burn Baby Burn Baby Now!

My publisher has offered Burn Baby Burn Baby up on Net Galley…for a limited time. If you’re a book blogger-book tuber-book reviewer, you can now request a copy for review consideration on the popular site.

NetGalleySimply click on the green REQUEST button and await approval.

I’ve been a member on Net Galley for a couple of years now. I have always loved getting ARCs for review from the site. I was not aware that they also carry recently published titles. Now I know. I put in a few requests myself. (-:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO NET GALLEY! If you’re already on Net Galley, you will simply need to sign in and request the title. You will find Burn Baby Burn Baby in the TEENS & YA category.

Happy Reading!

Some recent praise for Burn Baby Burn Baby:

“I’m putting this book right up there alongside Laurie Halse Anderson’s TWISTED, and John Green’s LOOKING FOR ALASKA.”

“I was unable to put it down and ended up reading the whole book in one sitting.”

“BURN BABY, BURN BABY pulls you in from the opening pages and doesn’t let go.”

“This should be a movie.”

“Francis was right. It reads like a movie, and I hope Hollywood is paying attention. With so many other fine YA books going to the movies, I hope we get to see one or more of Kevin’s works up on the big screen, big as life.”

“I loved the relationship between Francis and Rachel. It reminded me of Eleanor and Park. They seem to be such opposites at first, but as you read, you’ll understand their attraction is much deeper than their affinity for Shakespeare in the park (a section I absolutely loved!).”

“Kevin Craig takes this story to places I never expected and touched my heart. Kevin blended bullying with a story and characters that we care about and feel for and the book hit all the marks without preaching. I highly recommend this book, especially to fellow young adult book lovers; however, I think non YA readers can truly appreciate this story as well.”

“This book blew me away. Blew. Me. Away.”

“There are few books I like reading more than once, but this is going on to that list.”

“My emotions were all over the map on this book: I went from happiness, to anger, to frustrated, to horror with every page I turned. I could easily picture this novel as a movie, as Francis was quite often doing, and I feel that I actually knew a few of these kids when they attended my high school back in the day. “

You can purchase a copy of Burn Baby Burn Baby at any Amazon worldwide, at Barnes & Noble, at Chapters, at Kobo, and, most places books are sold.