Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Year, New Books Day 18 (Part 2): Kristine Asselin + Any Way You Slice It

Welcome to New Year, New Books Day 18! Today I'm featuring a children's book author, and soon to be YA author! She's got an awesome blog post and giveaway you REALLY DO NOT WANT TO MISS!

2) Kristine Asselin
-author of Any Way You Slice It (Fall 2014)
Love this gif. Classic.

Kristine's here on my blog today to give all you aspiring writers out there some valuable advice about the entire writing process. She also discusses her own journey, and her upcoming release, Any Way You Slice It.

Title: Any Way You Slice It
Author: Kristine Asselin
Shelves: Young Adult
Publication Date: Fall 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark


Summary from Goodreads: Pitched as MYSTIC PIZZA meets THE CUTTING EDGE, in which the pizza business is all a fifteen-year-old knows until a chance meeting with a hockey player and a lucky shot opens her up to a new world on the ice, far away from the responsibilities and pressures of the family restaurant.

Introducing Kristine Asselin

Kristine Carlson Asselin is a writer of contemporary YA, MG fantasy and nonfiction for the school library market. She's the director of the SCBWI-New England regional conference in Springfield, MA in May 2014. Her debut YA—ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT—is due from Bloomsbury Spark in fall 2014. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Connect with Kristine through social media. Twitter: @KristineAsselin, website:, Facebook:

A huge thank you to Jayne for having me as part of the New Year, New Books event on her blog. She’s asked me to talk a bit about writing ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT, my YA debut coming from Bloomsbury Spark in fall 2014.

I’ve been writing children’s books with the hopes of publication for more than ten years, honing my skills, working on different styles and genres, and gradually working toward publication. I’ve published fourteen nonfiction books for elementary grades on a work-for-hire basis (basically on a project by project, no-royalties, contract-basis). And in the spring of 2013, my first picture book was published by small press 4RV Publishing. During all these small steps forward, I’ve steadily worked on my longer fiction.

In the spring of 2013, I connected with Meredith Rich from Bloomsbury Spark. She liked my writing style, but the novel we connected over wasn’t quite right. Hoping to keep her interest, and hoping I could “get it right,” I took the themes she liked from the original book, and incorporated the things that were missing.
We pitched the new project as “MYSTIC PIZZA meets THE CUTTING EDGE” – in which the pizza business is all a fifteen-year-old knows until a chance meeting with a hockey player and a lucky shot opens her up to a new world on the ice, far away from the responsibilities and pressures of the family restaurant.

The pitch to Meredith included a longer synopsis (like a query blurb), but the book itself wasn’t written. The day she told me they loved the pitch and wanted to move forward was one of the most exciting days of my life and the most terrifying. I had a book deal! They knew they liked my writing from the first project, which was a confidence boost. But now I had to write the actual book.

What do you do when you have to write a novel fast? Why you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) of course. I’d never done NaNo before, but having a deadline from a publisher is an amazing motivator. I wrote 50K words in a month.

I loved participating in NaNo. Writing everyday on a schedule, being free to get to know your characters without your inner editor kicking in, exploring different scenes…NaNo was awesome. The aftermath came crashing down on me a bit, as anyone with kids will tell you December is a hard month to get writing done.All I managed to do in December is revise the first few chapters and the synopsis. I’m disappointed that the rest of the book isn’t as polished as the first few chapters, BUT…the bones are there.

It’s so exciting to have a draft of a book that didn’t exist a few months ago—it’s exhilarating, it’s gratifying, and it’s terrifying! I’ll be revising this spring and working with Meredith on polishing.
I’m so excited about my new characters—my strong-willed, defiant MC who loves her family but feels stifled by the family business, and my dark-haired, dark-eyed hockey boy/love interest who’s trying to keep a losing team together. It’s a story about a girl trying to find herself, and about an underdog team you want to root for. Come to think of it, another pitch for this book could have been BAD NEWS BEARS meets CHICKS WITH STICKS.

I’ll be in my revision cave for a few months, but I can’t wait to share the book with everyone—it’s already listed on Goodreads, so you can add it to your TBR list:

As part of New Year, New Books, I’m excited to be giving away two query critiques—just follow the instructions for Jayne’s prize packages. My experience with queries comes from both from my own querying (successfully querying and signing with three different agents) and from critiquing others over the years.

Kristine is giving away 2 QUERY CRITIQUES!! All you have to do is read the post and enter below!
OH, and there will be 2 WINNERS!

Rules of Entry:
1) OPEN INTERNATIONALLY- therefore, if you are from outer space, sadly, you cannot enter.
2) No cheating with your entries, I always check
3) The winners have 48 hours to respond to my email, or else I will be forced to pick a new winner.
4) The queries will be sent out at the author's discretion.
5) Please actually take the time to read this post with Kristine. Authors are crazy busy, and deserve as much love as you can give them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Grand Prize Giveaway***
2 Surprise 2014 ARCs + swag
Yep, these will be from my own shelf. Yep, this giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. Yep, it is a surprise and I am not telling you what the ARCs will be but here's an idea of what MIGHT be in it:

Any of these books are fair game! But in the end, the winner will only get 2. And I promise that the surprise ARCs will be good:)

Here are the rules of entry:
2) The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email. If not, I will have to pick a new winner. 
3) The prize will be sent out at my discretion, so I might take me a little longer than a week to get it to you.
4) In order to earn the maximum amount of entries, you can comment on EVERY SINGLE DAY of New Year, New Books!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting another giveaway! Some many books I need to check out this year:-D

  2. Great post! As usual, Kris, I'm amazed at how many balls you keep up in the air! I can't wait to read ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT! Woot!

  3. Congratulations on the upcoming book, Kristine. Can't wait to read it!

  4. I'll clear room on my bookshelf for it!

  5. Can't wait to get more info on this one!

  6. This is the first I've heard of this book, but I'll be sure to keep an eye on it!

  7. Thanks for all the good wishes--I can't wait to share the book with everyone!

  8. This isn't the type of book that I would normally go for, but I am trying hard to expand my horizons, and my horizons are interested in this one!

  9. This isn't my kind of book, but the interview was very fun to read! Honestly, I got distracted when I saw my name! Haha. Well.. not totally my name, but you know what I mean ^_^ "Meredith" isn't a name you stumble across often!

    Sadly, I don't have any queries ready, but this is an awesome giveaway and congrats in advance to whoever wins!

  10. This book sounds super interesting and the giveaway is great! Thanks so much!

  11. I loved this interview! Fantastic post!! :)

  12. Thanks so much for the giveaways! Love your post.

  13. Thanks so much for the post and the great giveaways!

  14. I hadn't heard of this book before. It sounds interesting, though I'm not sure if it would be a book that would interest me, but. :)