Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Flux to Publish My Debut YA Novel!!

It happened. It really happened.

I am thrilled to announce my debut novel, a Young Adult mystery titled THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR, will be published by Flux in Fall 2013.
Here’s the official Publishers Marketplace announcement:

Dawn Klehr's THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR, about a girl questioning her sexual orientation while she tries to solve her beloved high school teacher's murder, and her best friend who, when not directing the high school film, attempts to direct the lives of the girl and everyone else around him --until he goes too far, to Brian Farrey at Flux, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2013, by Jessica Sinsheimer at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency (World English).
This is a dream come true and I couldn’t be more excited. Huge thanks to my agent, Jessica Sinsheimer, who loves this story and the characters as much as I do. She’s been with me since the very beginning and I’m so lucky to have her! And a big thank you to my new editor, Brian Farrey, at Flux. He is such a talent, both as an editor and author, and I can only hope some of it will rub off on me.

The path to publication is never easy and I have so many people in my life who have been there for me. My husband and son (Lance and Leo) are my rocks and both have the amazing skill of knowing when to let me write and when to bring me back into the real world. My mom, sisters, and in-laws have also been incredibly supportive and my friends are still hanging with me, even though I tend to drop off the planet for weeks – or months – at a time.
And, of course, my writing pals have kept me sane through it all – especially the incredibly gifted Sara Biren and Tanya Byrne, and all my new friends from MNYA Writers.

My heart is so full. I can’t wait to bring THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR into the world so you all can read it!    

Friday, September 21, 2012

How Do You Take Your Horror?

Today is Stephen King’s birthday, and to honor the occasion I thought my blog topic this week should be horror.

So how do you take yours? Blood, guts, and chainsaws?

I like mine with a psychological element. No slasher films here. And really, that’s what most of King’s work is – psychological horror, especially my favorites like Carrie, IT, The Shining, and Bag of Bones. I get chills just thinking about them.

Horror, thriller, aestheticized violence. Whatever you call it, we can’t seem to get enough. It’s huge right now – in novels, TV, and the influx of movies ready to be released for Halloween. And for some, the more gruesome the better.  

Recently, a friend of mine was asking for book recommendations for her daughter.  I asked what she liked and the sixteen-year-old said, “Murder.” But when her mom gave her a look of concern and shock, the girl quickly amended her answer. “I mean mystery,” she said.

Yes, from Dexter to American Horror Story; I Hunt Killers to Anna Dressed in Blood; even, Revenge and Pretty Little Liars. We love to be scared. So at the kickoff of the spookiest season of the year, I plan to get my creep on.  

On the nightstand:

 Lisey’s Story, Stephen King

The Diviners, Libba Bray

Carnival of Souls, Melissa Marr

Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn

On the DVR:

666 Park Avenue

Walking Dead


I may even get out to a spooky movie or two. I’m intrigued by the House at the End of the Street. Yes, bring on the monsters and murderers… tis the season.  And Happy Birthday, Stephen King!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Don’t Be a Dream Squasher

About a year ago, my eighteen-year-old niece accused me of being a dream squasher. I still cringe thinking about it. See, one Sunday, I was sitting around talking to my sisters about my other niece’s rigorous dance practice. At the time, the poor little thing was only ten years old and she was practicing around the clock. I was worried about her studies and friends and, well, her quality of life.

I made the mistake of saying, “That’s the trouble, these activities are so all-consuming now that kids are missing out on being kids. Plus, the chances of them going on to a professional level is virtually nil.”

The eighteen-year-old looked at me in disgust and hissed, “Dream Squasher!” Then, she looked to our little dancer and said, “Don’t worry, I believe in you.”

My heart dropped.

“You’re right, you’re right,” I immediately told my niece. Typically, I’m not so quick to recognize my gaffes, but her words were like a smack across the face.

Though I might think that today’s sports and activities are out of control, who am I to say whether that time is well spent? Who am I to question a young person’s passion? Who am I to go around squashing dreams?

What’s even crazier is that I should know better. I am a grown woman still chasing mine. In fact, I have spent more time, tears, and effort on becoming a published author than I have on anything else in my life. Now, a dream squasher could easily look at that and give me the horrifying statistics on the number of writers who actually make it to publication. A dream squasher could point out all the time I’m taking away from my friends and family in this pursuit. A dream squasher could question, is it worth it?

If I’m being honest, I’d say, “Hell, yes!” It is worth it – even without a publishing contract, even though I sometimes spend more time in my head than I do in the real world, even though it is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

It is worth it.

That’s what I plan to remember and I vow never be a dream squasher again.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Books of Summer

Today marks the end of the first week of school for most of us in the Twin Cities. And for me, it also marks the end of my most productive reading season. This summer, I’ve read at least two dozen books – possibly more. I’ve lost count.  And that doesn’t include the manuscripts from my writing critique partners that I dive into each week.

Reading, without a doubt, has been one of the highlights of my summer.

For the past four years or so, my book list has primarily focused on young adult literature – my absolute favorite to both read and write. This summer, however, it was a bit more diverse. I read some mystery, like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – which might be my number one novel of the summer. I read adult paranormal, like A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I lost myself in fun summer stories like Elin Hilderbrand’s Barefoot and Nantucket Nights. I even tried some self-published novels including Colleen’s Hoover’s Slammed and Tammara Webber’s Easy – and they both impressed and captivated me.  I also became utterly fascinated with the erotic romance genre and found amazing stories in the middle of some very hot sex (more on that in another blog). And finally, I fell in love with YA all over again with these incredible books:

·         I Hunt Killers, Barry Lyga

·         Everybody Sees the Ants, A.S. King

·         Stolen, Lucy Christopher

·         The List, Siobhan Vivian

·         Forget You, Jennifer Echols

·         Divergent, Veronica Roth

I know as the leaves begin to change and work demands and kids’ activities start to ramp up, my reading will slow down a bit. But I hope the diversity in my book choices does not. This year, I’d like to read more literary fiction, history, horror, and a good biography or two.  Right now, I feel so full of intriguing stories, amazing characters, impressive plot lines and wonderful words that I can barely contain myself.

And I hope all of this will lead to my most productive writing season ever.