The Christmas countdown continues with day six of the Lakewater Press holiday blog hop.
Since the beginning of December we’ve been sharing holiday interviews with our authors and Lakewater Press staff.
It’s an opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, as well as giving our readers a peek behind the scenes–or pages.
Perhaps you’ll even find a new blog to follow, or your next favorite book.
Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for our holiday giveaway.
Today’s interviewee: Mia Kerick, a YA author of LGBTQ fiction.
Hello everyone: I’m looking forward to the Lakewater Press release of All Boy in October 2018.
I can hardly wait! (Not particularly patient here.) I LOVE my characters Jayden and Callie. Their story needs to be told.
Your blog (url): I have recently created a new YA blog: www.miakerickya.com
I had so much fun putting it together – I used a “diverse people” theme, which runs throughout the blog. Check out all of the tiny adorable people illustrations on each page—they are EVERYWHERE!
I made all of the designs on canva.com myself. (Creating this blog was kind of like playing with paper dolls, which was something I loved as a kid and possibly would still enjoy as an adult.)
Where do you live? I live in Gilford, New Hampshire (USA). It’s a small town and is very rural—no malls or tall buildings, and not even a Starbucks or Panera. But there are plenty of hiking paths… which I stay away from during hunting season.
What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? Chances are pretty good that we’ll have a White Christmas.
In fact, I can remember plenty of white Thanksgivings and one surprisingly white Halloween. Snow starts early in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
Do you have any favorite holiday traditions? We end up running around to visit relatives for all of the holidays in search of good meals, since it’s commonly known that I can’t cook.
We go to my in-laws’ house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My sister’s house for Thanksgiving and Easter.
But I love it when all four of my kids come home and we all hang out together.
I pick the first day of their Holiday Break that we all can be in the same place at the same time -more challenging that you may realize with four kids ranging from high school to college to law school – to decorate a tree that we grew in the back yard, and my husband chopped down and stood in our living room.
Most of the ornaments we have were purchased for my kids… by me… and reflect their changing interests.
I still buy them each one every year that reminds me of what they like or are currently involved in.
Once decorated, our Christmas tree ends up looking like the Land of Broken and Misfit Toys, because over the years the ornaments have been dropped and broken by little hands. Lots of dancer ornaments with missing limbs – when dropped, extended resin arms and legs snap off easily – hang on our tree.
We have a Ronald McDonald ornament, that reflects my son’s three-year-old’s obsession with the hamburger clown, which sports a huge crack across his bright red waist band and more headless puppy dog ornaments than you can count. We never throw the damaged ones away, though, because the memories are priceless.
I treasure this annual event as it brings us together and allows us to celebrate ways we’ve grown and changed and in some cases, stayed the same.
Egg nog: Yes or No? Yes, but I mix it with skim milk to cut down on the calories. And I refuse to think about raw eggs while I’m drinking it. Not my thing…
And sometimes I mix it with rum. He he…
Are you an artistic gift wrapper or a basic “paper & tape” warrior? I am the Gift Bag Queen.
Do you have any special holiday memories that include books? Are there any specific titles you remember? I actually made tiny book ornaments for each of my four kids’ first Christmas’, in which I described their first Christmases from morning til night, complete with pictures.
When the (now young adult) kids find them each year in the big red holiday bin, they rush to show them to me, and I gush over what adorable babies they were.
Truthfully, I still think Ali, Demi, Sisi, and Chris are pretty cute. And they’ll always be my babies.
What is your earliest book-related memory? I would have to say the first book I remember having a major impact on me was Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. I sympathized with the desperate predicament of the lost baby bird looking for his mom. It affected me, probably too much.
However, we need a new version of this book that takes adoption and non-conventional families into account, don’t you think?
Do you write/work during the holidays? I write and work when I am motivated and when it is necessary, for example, if I have a deadline. But I’m sure to spend “quality” and “quantity” time with Mr. Mia and the kids whenever they’re around. I’m kind of sentimental that way.
Can you share what you’re working on now? I am in the editing process for a YA LGBTQ novel, My Crunchy Life, which will release next summer from Harmony Ink Press, as well as another YA book with a new publisher who hasn’t announced me yet so I can’t spill the details, although I really want to. LOL.
I look forward to starting the editing process with Lakewater Press for All Boy, which will release in October of 2018 on National Coming Out Day.
I have also started a new YA LGBTQ novel called Dead Sea, but editing and promotion for other books keeps pulling me away.
Here’s a little sample from Chapter 3:
Kyle: I usually only remember the dreams I have about Grandpa. I can’t call them nightmares—I’m not prone to that kind of thing. They’re detailed dreams—lifelike, I guess. Ones that wake me up—cold, but also sweaty—and make me think about shit I usually ignore. Like what’s right and what’s wrong… and why I do the twisted crap I do. But I remember last night’s dream, probably because I couldn’t get back to sleep after it shook me awake. And it wasn’t a nightmare, either. Last night’s dream had nothing to do with Grandpa, but it got to me somewhere way down deep—like a punch in the gut.
It started with David’s eyes. And what’s most messed-up is that we weren’t drowning in the ocean when the dream started, so I wasn’t gawking at him like he was the last living being I’d ever feast my eyes on. We were at school, in the lunchroom. I been there a thousand times, but this time was different. Maybe it was different because I wasn’t working somebody over for lunch money or sweet talking the lunch ladies to see what they’d fork over for free. I was sitting in the back corner by the window, across the table from David Dubinsky, eating tacos. And though tacos are a personal favorite, they’re not what is memorable about the dream either. It’s his eyes I remember.
When I first looked at them, they were blue and wide. I wanted so bad for them to seem thankful, because, shit, I saved his ass. But his gaze was blank. Soon his eyes grew narrow and dark and pissed-off, though, like how he looked when he first saw me in the ocean on Saturday afternoon, and got the picture that I wasn’t going to leave him there to drown. I wanted to know why he looked so mad—and if it was me he was mad at—but we were eating, not talking, and I got that I had to figure it out without asking questions. But before I could come up with a reason, his eyes turned blue again… I watched them morph from black to gray to dark green to blue. And I waited for the emptiness to seep back in, but it didn’t. I just saw pain in his eyes, and I hated it. I felt guilty, like I was the one who hurt him—and knowing me the way I do, I probably did. Still, I couldn’t look away. His gaze trapped me, which sounds completely nuts, especially for a guy like me, the king of assholes, but there it is.
What are your goals for 2018? Okay, I’m going to be honest… I want one of my books to win an award. I love the books I have written that are releasing in 2018. I think they are some of my best. I’ve accomplished this goal in the past with lesser known literary awards—but I want a big one this year. Is that too much to ask for?
And I want to continue to #RESIST… I hate to be political, but then, no I don’t. As a liberal Democrat, I want ALL of the HUMAN RIGHTS. For EVERYBODY.
Links to all the Lakewater Press participating blogs: