Sep 23, 2014

It's My Second Blogiversary!

Just like last year, I'm going to keep this short because, as you've noticed by the lack of posts recently, I am even busier this time around (and also because I'm still no good at the mushy stuff). First of all, thanks to my PH book blogger friends who I haven't seen since July! I miss you guys, and I'll see you next month ;D Second, thanks to the authors and publishers who make books possible. No matter how occupied I am, I will always be yearning for words, and you are the people who make sure my needs are met. The work you do is invaluable, so please continue being awesome. And lastly, thanks to you, for still being here and dropping by my blog. I am truly grateful.

And to complete this celebration, here are two giveaways!

Sep 15, 2014

2014 Debut Authors Bash feat. Sashi Kaufman

This year, I'm glad to be part of the 2014 Debut Authors Bash, and even more glad to have Sashi Kaufman, author of The Other Way Around, on my blog! I really adored her book, and I hope that my featuring her here will help spread the word out even more. But before we get to my interview with Sashi, here's some info about her book:

Title: The Other Way Around
Author: Sashi Kaufman
Release Date: March 1st 2014
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Age Group: Young Adult
Andrew has seen a flash of his future. (Dad: unfinished PhD. Mom: unfulfilling career. Their marriage: unsuccessful.) Based on what he's seen, he's uninspired to put a foot on the well-worn path to the adulthood everyone expects of him. There must be another way around.
After a particularly disastrous Thanksgiving (his cousin wets Andrew's bed; his parents were too chicken to tell him his grandmother died), Andrew accidentally (on purpose) runs away and joins the circus. Kind of.
A guy can meet the most interesting people at the Greyhound station at dinnertime on Thanksgiving day. The Freegans are exactly the kinds of friends (living out of an ancient VW camper van, dumpster diving, dressing like clowns and busking for change) who would have Andrew's mom reaching for a third glass of Chardonnay. To Andrew, five teenagers who seem like they've found another way to grow up are a dream come true. But as the VW winds its way across the USA, the future is anything but certain.
The path of least resistance is a long, strange trip.
1. Where did you get the idea for writing The Other Way Around?
I think the idea really came from the fantasy of running away, rejecting what you’ve been told about adulthood and finding a home in an unlikely place. That and a strong connection to Andrew’s voice is what got me started on this story.

2. The Freegans in your book were really interesting. Were there people in your life who inspired you while you were writing these characters?
I’m a middle school teacher and a lot of my students want to know if they (personally) are in my book. The answer I give is that they’re all in the book. Little bits and pieces of the people I know get incorporated into characters. The Freegans themselves are pretty closely related to people I knew and loved when I was a student at Oberlin College. A lot of their beliefs and ethics and silly behaviors come right from people I lived with in a student cooperative that was Vegan and known for being pretty politically radical. Though, truth be told I was always one of the most straight-laced people living there.

3. If you were in Andrew's shoes, would you also have run away with a bunch of strangers?
Ha! Probably not. It’s really hard to say because I had a very balanced and warm home life not at all like the dysfunction and borderline neglect Andrew experiences. He may not be physically neglected but he is emotionally neglected by his parents.

4. What books do you think are similar to The Other Way Around?
Ooh that’s tough. I think I took some inspiration from writers’ whose style I admire more than similar books. A.S. King is one of my heroes -I love the way she writes adolescent voices. Also maybe Papertowns by John Green. An earlier version of this book is From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler -which was one of my favorite running away books as a kid.

5. If/when you go on a roadtrip, what kind of music do you listen to?
Embarrassing things. Old pop songs, whatever is on the radio. I’m a great appreciator of a good song but a terrible connoisseur. I know so little about music. If I choose something myself, probably bluegrass. I do love me some bluegrass music. 

About the author:
Sashi is a middle school English and science teacher who lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and daughter. She is also an amateur trash picker.