Monday, May 15, 2017

"GOD'S BONES! MAGNIFICENT"




                            CHASING AUGUSTUS by Kimberly Newton Fusco

Kirkus StarCHASING AUGUSTUS

KIRKUS REVIEW

Could Rosie’s life be much worse?
While still a baby, she was abandoned by her emotionally distant mother to the care of Rosie’s father, so she could “make something of herself.” He and her “big lug” of a dog, Augustus, were all a girl could need. But a year ago, her father suffered a disabling stroke, and her mother returned home just long enough to give her dog away. In the far-from-tender care of her grumpy, bewildered, but loving paternal grandfather—and under the threat of being taken away by her mother—Rosie has spent the past year desperately searching for her dog, thinking of little else. Her gripping, animated narrative—she’s given to employing medieval-style curses she and her papa have invented—is spun out across a dismal landscape of struggling but colorful and richly developed (though mostly default white) characters. There’s Phillippe, neglected by his mentally unstable mother, constantly hiding within a giant overcoat, and now in Mrs. Salvatore’s loud but tender foster care; Cynthia, another neglected child, who can rarely stop talking; a mute, outsider woman, Swanson, who has an undeservedly fearsome reputation; and Mr. Peterson, a teacher who could make all the difference if Rosie would let him. Ultimately, it’s Rosie’s heart and determined spirit that see her through to a hopeful, well-deserved resolution.
God’s bones! Magnificent. (Fiction. 10-14)

Friday, March 3, 2017

A new draft begins



 






With CHASING AUGUSTUS set for publication in September, I have begun writing the first draft of a new novel.  Each time I begin again I have to remind myself how difficult it is to create something out of nothing.
 
I love these wise words by the novelist Octavia Butler:
 
"First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice."
 
I agree.  An amazing amount of work can get done, one day at a time.

I tell students in the classes I visit that if you write a page a day, you can write an entire novel in a year.

Now, back to work!

 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

This dog!






Reason #157 Why An Author Should Love a Dog:

Because when the words aren't working and the sentences aren't flowing, and you wonder why you ever wanted to be a writer in the first place, your dog gently wags her tail and looks at you with those soft doe eyes and tells you:


Oh, Kim, this is so hard, BUT YOU CAN DO IT!

And then you begin again.  

Because you love a dog.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

My Favorite Room




    This is the spot in my home where I love to read.  I usually read several books at once, and our family room, with comfy couches, a crackling woodstove, and blankets woven from our sheep wool, is the perfect reading spot.
     When I visit schools I am almost always asked to list my favorite books, so I've been keeping a list for more than a decade. Here are my top books of 2016! (I already have many for 2017, but I'll have to wait to add them to my list...)


              The Girl Who Drank the Moon
                    by Kelly Barnhill (middle grade)
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (middle grade)
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit (young adult)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (adult)
The Underground Railroad by Coleson Whitehead (adult)
Middle Passage by Charles Johnson (adult)
 
I also try and read several classics a year, and this year my favorite was a reread of:
 
 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
 

And for my writing friends, my favorite writing book of the year was:

  The Way of the Writer by Charles Johnson.








Monday, January 2, 2017

A Year of Gratitude



When you are writing a novel about a girl and her dog, you need to do a lot of research!  Happy New Year everyone.  Let's make it a year of love and peace and kindness.