Book News: Welcome Home, An Anthology, To Be Published Fall 2017

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Growing up, I could never find stories about adopted kids.

I always sought out other adoptees, to hear their stories, and as a teenager, wrestled with identity a lot. When people asked where I was from, I made things up. When kids poked fun at me for being adopted (that does happen), I got in fights. As an escape, I read. I read voraciously. And I wish that a some point, in all those pages, that I had been able to see stories about people like me.

“Aw, come on champ. Even Superman is adopted.”

Okay, adopted kids hear that all the time. But adoptees can’t fly away from their problems. There’s no fortress of solitude to retreat to, and even if there was, being alone, feeling alone, is one of the biggest problems in the first place.

Which is why I’m really thrilled to be announcing my Young Adult anthology, Welcome Home. 

Welcome Home collects genre-spanning short stories centered around the theme of adoption, with tales about foster care, searching for birth parents, group homes, adopted siblings, struggling adoptive parents, and more by a number of amazing authors.

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The list includes Adi AlsaidDave ConnisHelene Dunbar, Kate LethLauren Gibaldi, Libby CudmoreMatthew Quinn Martin, Mindy McGinnisShannon ParkerRandy Ribay, Nic Stone, and many, many more we’re going to reveal over the coming months. Note the question marks.

There are even a few debut voices in the mix, including Hello Giggles staff contributor Sammy Nickalls.

The book will be out with Jolly Fish Press in the Fall of 2017. We’ll be donating the book’s royalties to organizations that work with adoptees and foster kids, and I can’t wait to share those plans when we’ve got them ironed out, as well as other fun announcements with the book, from covers to contributors.

And speaking of.

You might have noticed those question marks in the image up above. Are YOU someone with a close tie to adoption, and possibly interested in writing a story? Let’s talk. I’m still looking for stories, particularly from diverse voices. No, you don’t have to be published before, we have some exciting debut voices we’ll announce very soon. You can find my contact info here.

Want to keep updated on pre-orders, giveaways, and all of that? You can add Welcome Home on Goodreads. Please do!

Now, some thank yous.

When it comes to my writing and literary agent life, my wife pushes me. She does it all the time. Pushes me to try things that are difficult, to work outside my comfort zone. To tackle serious ideas. Growing up, I shied away from all that, but since meeting Kristina, I’ve really started to try harder. Welcome Home is one of the first projects to come out of that. Thank you, Nena.

Thanks to all the authors who jumped in to play along with this, and took a chance writing short stories for a project that might have never happened. It’s a hard thing, putting together an anthology (there will be a blog post on this down the line). It’s a passion project, and you never know if it’ll get picked up.

And the YA community as a whole. I literally emailed over one hundred of you. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, making introductions.

And my superstar agent, Dawn Frederick, thank you for reading my long rambling emails about this thing, and letting me prattle to you on the phone about it. I’m not sure how you deal with me. You’re a saint. And McKelle George at Jollyfish, for taking this labor of love on.

And Mom and Dad?

Thank you for bringing me home.

Stay tuned. <3

Jolly Fish Press: Twitter (@JollyFishPress), Facebook (facebook.com/JollyFishPress)

Welcome Home: On Goodreads (goodreads.com/book/show/28902446-welcome-home)

This Week in Recommended Reading: 1/28

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Every week, I give away free books to my students at Peirce College, where I teach freshman composition. I pick these books up for $1 or so at used bookshops, flea markets, sidewalk sales and the like, in an attempt to find fun books my students will enjoy. To try and inspire them to read more. 

For a little more info on why I do this, check out the first post here.

Last week was an online-only version of the class, but this week, we’re back in action… with books to giveaway in person! Here are the books I dished out this week and why.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer: You know, everyone should own a big beautiful chunky hardcover in their library, and this one, as well as The Art of Fielding, are pretty gorgeous. Also, Meg Wolitzer is wonderful. I adored Belzhar. 

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: I’ve actually never read this one, but hey, everyone loves it. So here it is in the roundup.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford: This is the… okay, I don’t even know how many times I’ve dished out Jamie Ford’s beautiful wonderful book. But this is definitely in the double digits at this point.

Little Children by Tom Perrotta: Man, do I love Perrotta. Dishing out this book gave me a chance to gush about Election and his other novels, as well as talk about the books-to-movies. I think it’s amazing that all of his books that have been developed to film have been done so, SO well.

INKED: One Year Anniversary Blog Tour & Kindle Giveaway

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Oh snap! INKED turns ONE this week!

Where did the time go, you guys? Where?! It seems like just yesterday I was having crippling anxiety attacks over the book coming out, and now here we are, one year later, with the sequel due out in May. My goodness.

To celebrate, I nudged the lovely crew at YA Bound Blog Tours to put together a lil’ one year anniversary blog tour this week. You’ll see a bundle of reviews, interviews, and guest posts across a bundle of book blogs through the week. You can see a roundup of the spots here on their website.

Big thank you to everyone playing along, and to Sara for putting it together.

And as a big ol’ thank you to the amazingly talented authors under the Bloomsbury Spark blanket, I’m giving away a Kindle with a ton of YA books on it. Winners will win copies of these TEN BOOKS:

And FIVE MORE Bloomsbury Spark titles of YOUR CHOICE. You can check out the entire Bloomsbury Spark catalog here on Bloomsbury’s website. Lots of amazing books to choose from, by authors I looooove. And those books with stars? Those are pre-orders! They aren’t even out yet.

You can enter via the Rafflecopter below, by following any of these authors, my AMAZING editor, or my publisher on the ol’ Twitter. You can also like my Facebook page, or the Bloomsbury Spark imprint’s FB page.

Good luck! And thanks for an amazing year.

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This Week in Recommended Reading: 1/14

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Every week, I give away free books to my students at Peirce College, where I teach freshman composition. I pick these books up for $1 or so at used bookshops, flea markets, sidewalk sales and the like, in an attempt to find fun books my students will enjoy. To try and inspire them to read more. 

For a little more info on why I do this, check out the first post here.

New Year, new books! The semester started this week, and I’m back dishing out reads to my awesome students. Here are the books I dished out this week and why.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert: Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love helped me during a rough patch in my life a few years back, and I love talking to students about the power writing can have. Dishing out her latest novel gives me that excuse. Plus come on, it’s Elizabeth Gilbert. Love her.

Landry Park by Bethany Hagen: When you market a book as Downton Abbey meets The Selection, I basically need to have it. It’s the first class of a new semester, and since YA is a big part of my life, I brought this one (and the following one in) to talk about it a bit more.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver: So why not kick off that convo with one of YA’s rockstars? I heart Lauren Oliver, and was happy to introduce her to some new readers.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: You know, I’ve never given away Celeste’s book in any of my classes… I give it away all the time at home. It’s a book I buy again and again, but whenever a friend comes over and says they haven’t read anything good lately… BAM. TAKE THIS BOOK. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve bought this one.