Scar Girl

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Scar Girl Book Birthday and Song

After a wait of two years, Scar Girl, sequel to The Scar Boys, arrives in bookstores everywhere and online Tuesday, March 1. To celebrate, I’m making one of the songs from the book available as a free download.

Scar Girl features six different songs. All but one of the six are songs I had written years ago. (The lyrics to one of the songs — “That’s Not My Leg” — were written specifically for Scar Girl. I have yet to write any music for those lyrics. Hey…maybe I should have a contest to see who can write the best music. Hmmm…)

KrisCharlieOceanAnyway, regarding the song I’m making available here… In 2008, when I found out my wife, Kristen (pictured on the right), was pregnant with our first son, Charlie (also pictured on the right), I didn’t have any overt, outward reaction. I’m not now and have never been the kind of guy to jump up and down with excitement. (They would never pick me for The Price Is Right.) While I was really and truly ecstatic, I didn’t know how to show it.

So I grabbed my guitar, went into another room, and wrote this song. It pretty much explains how I felt. It’s been adapted here for Cheyenne’s character, and yes, you can consider this something of a spoiler. (But no worries, this happens very early in the book.) I’ll say no more.

StephanieThe track, Lullaby, features the vocal talents of my friend Stephanie Coleman. (Stephanie, pictured on the left, is going to sing this live with me at the Scar Girl launch party at Tattered Cover in Littleton, CO on March 8.) The song was recorded in my living room using Garage Band and some cheap mics.

Right click this link to download the song: Lullaby

Post a note here to let me know what you think, and enjoy!

28 Days…

ScarGirl Final Cropped

After promoting and talking about The Scar Boys for two years — and thank you to everyone who supported that book! — it’s time to turn the literary page. Scar Girl, the sequel to The Scar Boys, publishes March 1, four weeks from today. Events are being planned, reviews are being written, hoopla will abound.

Stay tuned…

How anxiety can lead to a two-book deal…

Time for truth telling.

I have had high anxiety that, as an author, I would be a one-note song. That the Scar Boys and Scar Girl — which are really one long, quasi-autobiographical story — were the only good things I would ever write.

As my agent shopped a new manuscript (tentatively called House of Stone) — unconnected to The Scar Boys or to music or to the 1980s, and not drawn from personal experience — I watched as one editor after another rejected the book.

“It’s too adult to publish as YA.”
“It’s too young to publish as adult.”
“The third person narrative and ensemble cast won’t connect with readers.”
“You’re a loser and you should die.” Okay, no one actually said that, but I think maybe that’s what they meant, right? There’s nothing like rejection to breed self doubt.

But writing is nothing if not an exercise in perseverance. I decided not to edit the manuscript based on the rejections I was receiving (as some confidants were advising). I guess I just believed in the book enough to hope it would find a home.

My patience paid off. I’m thrilled to say that I accepted an offer from Cindy Loh, editor extraordinaire and publisher at Bloomsbury Kids, to publish House of Stone. You can see the announcement, here.

Scar Girl will publish in Spring 2016 (from my other new publisher, Lerner), House of Stone in spring 2017 from Bloomsbury, and the book to be named later, well, later.

Much more to come about all of this, but for now, while I still have plenty of anxiety, I am one insanely, incredibly happy, and very lucky dude.

Thank you Bloomsbury!!!!!!