Save the Date: CONTRIBUTE Book Launch Party on July 15, 2017

 
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CONTRIBUTE, the sequel to CONSIDER, officially releases on July 11th. Finally!

Locals, come celebrate with me at the CONTRIBUTE Book Launch Party on Saturday, July 15, 2017 from 2-4pm at Barnes and Noble in Dartmouth, MA. Open to the public. Click here to RSVP on the Facebook invite page!

This is also a Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School Book Fair day. B&N will donate a portion of any store sales to support GNBVT school library and summer reading program. Just mention it at the register!

GNBVT students will be running the following events:

1-2 pm Face painting and crafts

2-4 pm CONTRIBUTE Book launch party: Q&A, Book series secrets, and book signing. And free cake, of course!

Consider and Contribute books will be available for purchase at the event. Hope you'll come out and bring a friend!

 

My Trip to Seattle: The 2017 Philip K. Dick Award Ceremony at Norwescon

 
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(pic left to right) Winner of the 2017 Philip K. Dick award Claudia Casper, Finalist Matt Hill, Finalist Kristy Acevedo, Special Citation Susan diRende. Not in attendance were Finalist Eleanor Arnason and Finalist by Yoss, translated by David Frye.

(pic left to right) Winner of the 2017 Philip K. Dick award Claudia Casper, Finalist Matt Hill, Finalist Kristy Acevedo, Special Citation Susan diRende. Not in attendance were Finalist Eleanor Arnason and Finalist by Yoss, translated by David Frye.

What a whirlwind the last few days have been! I was honored to attend the 2017 Philip K. Dick award ceremony at Norwescon in SeaTac, Washington as one of six finalists on the ballot. Consider was the only young adult novel and the only book in a series nominated this year.

The award celebrates the distinguished, original science fiction paperback since much of Philip K. Dick's work appeared in mass market.  Even if you haven't read a lot of science fiction, you'll probably recognize some of his works that have been turned into films, including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Next (2007), and The Adjustment Bureau (2011), and The Man in the High Castle (2015 Amazon Prime).

I had a wonderful time bonding with the nominees. Here's the only pic I have of us together, and it's a goofy pic of us fake arguing--well, except for Claudia. She had a lot to celebrate as this year's winner!

2017 Philip K. Dick awards at Norwescon in Seattle. Didn't win but had a blast! ⭐

A post shared by Kristy Acevedo (@kristyacevedo) on Apr 14, 2017 at 9:29pm PDT

You can watch the video of the ceremony on YouTube, including readings from the works. I read an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Consider.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAtLrF36_lMAfter the awards, I explored Norwescon, spoke on panels, and attended their book signing before sightseeing in Seattle. I still managed to squeeze in writing time during the mornings. The East Coast/West Coast time difference worked in my favor. I couldn't sleep past 5 am.

Early morning in Seattle. 💙#amwriting #nwc40 #AprWritingChallengeA post shared by Kristy Acevedo (@kristyacevedo) on Apr 15, 2017 at 8:10am PDT

And while everyone else slept in, I took selfies with the Daleks at breakfast.

Breakfast at @Norwescon and had to take selfies with the Daleks. #DrWho #nwc40

A post shared by Kristy Acevedo (@kristyacevedo) on Apr 15, 2017 at 6:49am PDT

Seattle has always been on my must-visit-someday list, so the location of the convention was an added blessing. I  explored as much of Seattle as I had time for, including the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture, and Pike Place Market.

When in Seattle...A post shared by Kristy Acevedo (@kristyacevedo) on Apr 17, 2017 at 7:01am PDT

The Museum of Pop Culture was my absolute favorite since they had a special Star Trek exhibit. I could've spent the day in there. (click pic to see 10 photos)

More pics from today's #StarTrek exhibit in Seattle. So amazing!

A post shared by Kristy Acevedo (@kristyacevedo) on Apr 16, 2017 at 7:18pm PDT

There were so many other fandoms and artifacts that I can't possibly show all the pics. However, for the Buffy fans out there... (click pic to see 3 photos)

OMG. #BuffyA post shared by Kristy Acevedo (@kristyacevedo) on Apr 16, 2017 at 7:25pm PDT

At the Pike Place Market, I bought myself a Philip K. Dick book at LampLight books, as a souvenir.  It was a great way to commemorate my first visit to the West Coast.

Bought myself a PKD souvenir from a used bookstore in Pike Place Market. Good reading for the plane. #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #sciencefiction

A post shared by Kristy Acevedo (@kristyacevedo) on Apr 17, 2017 at 8:25pm PDT

 

Book an Author Visit with Me

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I've been getting lots of inquiries about author visits. So exciting!

As a high school English teacher for almost two decades, I love talking to people about books and writing. I'm in the process of printing my full author visit brochure, so in the meantime, here is a chart of my author visit offerings and fees to answer any questions. Click here for info and pricing chart. Thanks! (Note to Southeastern MA & RI schools, libraries, and book clubs, please email me for special local pricing discounts.)

A CONSIDER Book Launch Party Huge Thank You!

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This is a tremendous and much appreciated THANK YOU!

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My debut book launch party for Consider on April 23, 2016 at Barnes & Noble in Dartmouth, Massachusetts was a phenomenal success thanks to the huge local outpouring of support. We sold out of 130 books. Yes, you heard that right. Then people placed more orders. Rumor has it the store has ordered 45 more copies.  The line snaked around the store for 90 minutes. I have no idea how many books I actually signed because some people pre-ordered and brought those copies with them. Family, friends, colleagues, students, locals, strangers. People I haven't seen since elementary school. Old high school friends. Readers. Non-readers.I am completely overwhelmed and still in shock.

The whole experience is surreal. When I look at photos, it all seems like a fabulous, unbelievable dream. Well, it was! Not to mention all the local media attention--Fun 107 & WBSM radio, and newspapers, including this amazing Standard Times review by Lauren Daly.  I am feeling the local love. Many wonderful people--family, friends, colleagues, librarians, book sellers, and students who I taught over the past fifteen years, pitched in and donated items, time, and talent to help pull off the event.Thank you to all who came out to show your support. Thank you to all those who couldn't come and messaged me with more support. You have no idea what it means to have the community behind me and my debut book as I start on an unpredictable publishing journey and a new phase in my creative life.I am so grateful to have good people in my life.

 I'd like to share with you my most touching moment of the day. In order to fully appreciate the scope of this moment, first read my blog post about my "big sister" from the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization when I was a child. Okay. *deep breath* So a family approached the table and handed me a book to sign. As I signed my name, the father put his hands on his son's shoulders said, "This is Sid's grandson." Then he broke down crying. My brain didn't comprehend at first. Then I looked at the father's face. It was my Big Sister's adult son, maybe around 15 years older than I am. The last time I remember seeing him was when I was twelve. He added, "He never got to meet his grandmother. She died before he was born."

I experienced a complete, full circle moment. Here was the grandson of my childhood mentor, a phenomenal woman who fostered my love of books and brought me to the library for years.  And here I was, handing her grandson a signed copy of my first young adult book.  I felt the loss of her and the love of her and the love of her family all in one moment. Oh, the tears.

There's more. Her son explained that they didn't know about the book signing until that day. A newspaper that they don't subscribe to mysteriously appeared in their mailbox and fell open to my book launch article. You don't need explanations for serendipitous moments like that. As I slid my book over to her grandson, I knew that someday when he reads it, she'll be reading along with him.

It was a truly remarkable life moment to top off a wonderful dream. I feel blessed and truly honored. Thank you for sharing this day with me.

CONSIDER Chapter 1 Free Preview (part 2)!

 
 

I hope you've enjoyed what you've read so far of Chapter 1. (If you haven't read the first part of the chapter yet, click here.)

HERE'S THE REST OF CHAPTER 1. Enjoy!

(Chapter 1 continued)

If I could take the idea of technology and somehow turn it into a living thing, it would look like this thing. The size of a doorway, it glows a deep electric blue, the center shimmering like a metallic, moving liquid. Like something has punched a hole into the fabric of the universe.

“No one knows what’s going on,” Rita reports from my phone. I hadn’t realized she was still talking, and she’s not an easy person to ignore. “Eyewitness reports rolling in. They’ve appeared all over the world."

“We’re near one now,” I manage to say. It takes more effort than I expect to speak. “I think the train stopped”—I take a breath—”since it’s close to the tracks.”

“No way.” She pauses. “Take a picture.”

“I’ll call you back.” I hang up without listening for her response. My heart and lungs compete in a death match for my attention. I relay the jumbled information to Dominick and other passengers. Most people aren’t bothering to listen; faces are glued to phones and thumbs are doing the communicating.

An MBTA conductor’s voice booms over the crackling loud speaker: “We’ve been advised to stop travel at this time. Please remain calm and exit the train when the doors open. Alternative transportation will be provided shortly.”

One lady weeps. Another blesses herself with the sign of the cross and kisses a gold crucifix dangling from her necklace. She grips it so hard I’m afraid it’s going to puncture her palm. Others stare out the window at the oval phenomenon hovering near the tracks in front of the train. Some hold up their phones to capture it on video.

My stomach churns like an angry ocean. I step away from the windows and take in a deep breath for a count of five, hold it for a count of two, and let it out slowly in another five like I’ve been trained to do when my anxiety escalates. I repeat the ritual, but it’s not designed for actual moments of terror. Dominick notices and squeezes my hand. My prescription beckons me from my purse, but two pills in one night is already pushing it.

A woman around my mother’s age bursts into a fit of angry tears. Her traveling companion rubs her shoulders. I try not to stare.

Police officers, firefighters, and ambulances arrive and form a barrier around the supernatural occurrence. An army of city buses charges over the dark horizon and lines up in an abandoned lot to carry us to our destinations. My escape route from the mass of bodies surrounding me.

“Holy crap,” another teenager says, holding the visor of his Red Sox hat. “Holy crap.“

“Open the goddamn door,” the old man in the corduroy coat yells. “Let us out of here!”

My feelings exactly. I focus on breathing again and visualize my safe space. Island. Hammock. Book to read. Dominick catches me rocking back and forth. I stop and feign coolness even though I’m ready to ignite.

“Are we gonna die?” a little boy asks his dad. The father lifts him onto his shoulders and says firmly, “Not on my watch.”

I catch Dominick staring at the boy and the father. It must be hard for him. I squeeze his hand again, and my own worries sink from the surface.

Two high-pitched beeps fill the train before the automatic doors open. People file out in clusters. I’m not sure if we are being rescued or trading one bad situation for something worse. It seems wrong to leave the train in the middle of the tracks.

We have to pass the thing in order to cross the tracks and reach the buses. As we approach, no one talks. The danger creates a type of reverent silence.

What if I accidentally fall inside? What if it’s a black hole and it swallows us all? What if it’s an alien-powered vacuum cleaner and we’re the dirt?

Up close, other colors swirl inside of it, embers of green, silver, and a bright darkness. My eyes can’t seem to focus on the depth. It’s like watching a 3D movie without the glasses. Except instead of the 3D images projecting forward, the colors are falling inward. Like an enormous, ridiculous, technological bellybutton.

The crowd fades into the periphery, and I forget about my own safety. The blue glow illuminates Dominick and me. Maybe it’s the medication talking, but it’s like I’ve walked onto the set of a great sci-fi moment, and my brain can’t figure out if this is supposed to be scary or amazing.

It’s both.

“This is like something outta Stephen King” he says.

Doctor Who. It has a happier ending,” I joke back nervously. My pill has definitely kicked in. Like a warm invisible blanket has wrapped around my organs.

The crowd inches forward since no one wants to pass it. People continue to hold up their cell phones and take videos. The cops try to herd us over to the buses. Dominick squeezes my hand tighter. It keeps me grounded.

Then Something pushes through the blue fire in the oval.

The cops draw their weapons. Some people scream and run. I don’t. Dominick pulls my hand to move, but I pull back. I’d like to credit my compulsion to stay on curiosity or stubbornness, but more likely it’s the result of my meds dulling my reaction time.

The Something looks like a transparent human in a gray uniform. I can’t take my eyes off it.

“Hello,” it announces to the crowd. “We’ve come to save you.”

First contact. Binge-watching thousands of hours of sci-fi shows has trained me for this moment. I want to say, “Greetings from Earth, live long and prosper,” or stick my pointer finger out at it and ask, “Phone home?” but my stomach has swallowed my voice, a first for me.

“Freeze!” yell several cops at once. “Hands up!”

It reaches into its translucent coat pocket. And they open fire.

Dominick forces me to the ground and lays his body on mine. I watch over his shoulder as the bullets pass right through the ghostly figure. The transparency gradually fills in, gaining weight and dimension, yet the bullets still have no effect on its now opaque body. It’s the most advanced holographic image I have ever seen. More like an actual person than a projection of light.

The cops realize their error and cease fire. They shout at everyone to evacuate to the buses immediately for our own safety. Dominick pulls me up from the ground and straightens his glasses. I know I should leave, but my brain still wants to know what’s going on. Ambiguity breeds anxiety.

The androgynous hologram holds out one hand like a mime and reveals a slip of paper the size of a sticky note. Everyone stops to watch. It’s not a trick; we aren’t under a type of mind control or magical spell. Our instincts simply recognize the moment as one for history, regardless of the consequences.

The paper unfolds to form a three-dimensional image of Earth. The hologram sets it on its palm, and the paper Earth begins to rotate. Then in a calm, emotionless voice, it announces:

“We are humans from a parallel future in the year 2359. We are here to save you. In six of your calendar months, a comet will destroy your planet. This is your known destruction; there is no way to prevent it."

The paper Earth silently ignites into a fireball, and then all traces of it vanish before our eyes. “We have opened five hundred vertexes across your planet to send you to our time and dimension. We have enough space to accommodate all who wish to join us. Simply walk through one person at a time. It is your individual choice. Please bring minimal personal items. You will be given all the resources needed to live here.

“We apologize for using images as representatives, but we can only carry physical beings in one direction. Our images are equipped to answer your questions using our standard database responses available in multiple human languages.

“This automatic message will repeat once a day at each vertex location. You have approximately four thousand three hundred ninety-four hours to decide. The vertexes will remain open until then.

“Consider. Save your people. Save yourself before it is too late.”

The crowd stands like a dangling participle, confused, pointless. Sweat beads down my spine, and my pulse pounds behind my eardrums. Everything around me seems muffled, slow.

A bearded man from the horde breaks the silence and shouts at the hologram, “Who are you?”

I can’t believe he asked that question. Wasn’t he paying attention?

The hologram responds, “We are humans like you.”

“Humans, my ass. This is alien invasion shit.”

The hologram responds, “We do not understand.”

The crowd laughs uneasily. “They’re not as smart as they think,” a woman whispers to Dominick and me.

I can’t laugh with them. A question burns inside my head, but my mouth battles with my mind for freedom and words. I take a deep breath and let loose. “Why should we believe you?” I yell out over the crowd.

The hologram responds, “You have no other options.”

                 (End of Chapter 1)

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Excerpted from CONSIDER by Kristy Acevedo. Copyright ©2016 by Kristy Acevedo. Excerpted by permission of Jolly Fish Press, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.CONSIDER hits shelves April 19, 2016. Please add it to your Goodreads!

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