Radical News!

Happy fall, friends!

First, the news with immediate gratification potential — for the month of November, the e-book of Personal Effects is on sale for $1.99.   So, if you've been meaning to read Personal Effects, but haven't yet picked up a copy, now is the time to buy.

Second, I can finally share information about my next novel!  I don't have a cover image to share yet, but the book is called Radical, and it will be published by Candlewick Press next fall, 2016!

A lot of people have asked for hints about what Radical is about. For about a year, I've been saying that it’s a story about family, identity, survival, and guns, not necessarily in that order. Now I can share a little more:

Bex is determined to survive, whatever the crisis, whatever it takes—she knows exactly what to pack, she can shoot any gun, and she’s got plans to drag her family to safety by force, if necessary. So she’s intrigued when she discovers Clearview, a group that takes survival just as seriously as she does. So what if some people think they’re wackos? There’s nothing crazy about being prepared.

But Bex isn’t prepared for meeting Lucy, who complicates all of her careful plans. As secrets at Clearview begin to mount and the pieces of Bex’s life become more difficult to juggle, Bex has to figure out where her loyalties really lie— and what it’ll really take to survive.

And while I don't have a cover image to share yet, I can share these photos from some of my research for Radical.

Radical Post Pics

In the coming months, I'm sure I'll be talking more about Radical, especially the evolution of Bex's character and the research challenges of finding my way into her story.  But the above pictures came from a very important day when I first held a gun, first shot a gun, and really started to understand the sound and smell and feel of Bex's world.

{And yes, this is the book that spawned my “In Our Own Words” post}.

When I have a definitive on-sale date, or a cover, I will update Radical's page. (Well, and share both wide and far). But for now know that Radical is a labor of love, the culmination of more than four year's work, and too many drafts and tears to count. In the next year I'm sure I'll give more insights into the false starts, wrong turns, and treacherous terrain of this, my second novel.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also post an update of links to my recent posts at The Pirate Tree (since I'm really bad at remembering to cross post).  In August I reviewed Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed, a novel about high school senior Naila, whose conservative immigrant parents become convinced that she has strayed too far from her family's expectations and cultural roots, with devastating results. In September I posted an interview with author Pat Schmatz about her newest novel Lizard Radio — “In a futuristic society run by a controlling Gov, fifteen-year-old Kivali — a bender teen in a gender-rigid society — has struggled to find her place. With adulthood approaching, she will have serious choices to make, choices that are almost entirely about belief.” And in October I posted a review of Honor Girl, a wonderful graphic memoir by Maggie Thrash about a summer of sexual awakening against the backdrop of a conservative, southern summer camp.

Finally, I have updated the pages for the anthologies Things I'll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves and Violent Ends with the latest published reviews and links.  And as 2016 appears on the horizon, I've started to update my news and events page.

2014 and 2015 were quiet, hibernate-and-work years, largely due to the challenges posed by Radical.  But I hope 2016 will see me on the road a little bit more, and more active here and on social media.  And, after the last few years submerged in Radical and juggling that, my day job, and anthology obligations, I am finally beginning to work on something new. A wonderful time! I hope you are feeling creative and inspired, too!

By E.M. Kokie

Author of young adult fiction, including PERSONAL EFFECTS (Candlewick, 2012) and RADICAL (Candlewick Press, Fall 2016). Often opinionated. Sometimes Sarcastic.

Comments (1)