Posts Tagged ‘AC Gaughen’




Recap of the New England SCBWI Conference–NESCBWI13

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Signings, Class of 2k12, Conferences, SCBWI, The Class of 2k12

Here’s my recap of the New England SCBWI Conference for the second time. I got this half done for Friday when my oldest son’s school transportation had the drivers go on strike and then my other two kids came down with strep. I decided to postpone the post and finish it over the weekend.  I saved it and and then the gremlins that live in my computer erased only the part I’d finished. *head thunk*

I arrived at the conference at around noon on Friday and did all of the standard checking-in and hugging friends things. Then it was off to the first sessions.

Friday 5/3/13



I love attending events by my Apocalypsies and Class of 2k12 siblings. So much fun!

Favorite take-aways…

*Everyone IS buying bookmarks and everyone WANTS bookmarks for swag, whether you like it or not LOL!

*Twitter is the most popular place (debut author questionnaire) to focus your social media push, but tumblr is where the teens are.

*  *  *


This session started off with some relaxation and focusing techniques. I became so relaxed I forgot to take a picture and may have almost fallen asleep at one point LOL!

Favorite take-aways…

*Are you here?

*Women are great multi-tasks but being a multi-tasker is not in your best interest. You can get stuck on the bridge between the right brain and the left brain.

*Requests (received or given) should always include the right to decline and a clear expectation of fulfillment.



Favorite take-aways…

*Be true to the work.

*Should the parent be the gate-keeper or do children effectively police their own reading material?

Saturday 5/4/13


Keynote–THE WORDS WE CHOOSE TO SAY by Sharon Creech

A HUGE fan-girl moment for me!!!! Yes, she really glows in real life. <3

Favorite take-aways…

*Find your own voice, your own rhythms–it makes you a better writer.

*Use it all (great ideas) when you’re writing. New stuff will grow. Words generate words.

*Don’t be in such a hurry to publish your story. Time may allow you to deepen it. There could be something profound under there.



I LOVE Kate! That’s all.

Best take-aways…

*Revision is finding and strengthening the heart of your story.

*You can’t revise, to bring about the heart of your story if you don’t know what the heart is.

*Writing off-draft can help you understand things.

*Trying something you’re not great at can free you up.

*Use a mentor text to guide your way.

*Make what you need to explore and fix your book. (Charts, maps, timelines and outlines)

If you want to learn more about Kate’s amazing revision tips–check out her book REAL REVISION.


Time for lunch and another amazing Keynote with author/illustrator Grace Lin


Stephanie, Megan and Kendra


Annie, Me, Jodi and Eileen

Best take-away from Grace Lin’s keynote (sorry I don’t have a picture)…

You’ll be your best self when you are yourself in you writing and art. <3


Workshop G–THE ART OF THE OUTLINE with Elisabeth Papdemetriou

Best take-aways…

*Don’t confuse learning the skill (of outlining) with the act of outlining.

*Plot and character are inseparable.

*Outlines should include every single scene in your book.

*Have your closing scene echo your opening scene.


 And I FINALLY got to meet Jo Knowles. I’ve participated in JoNoWriMo for years and Jo was one of those warm and giving authors who mentors those around her–plus I love the books she writes. Check out her latest, PEARL which won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award!



Workshop H–THE POWER OF POINT OF VIEW with Linda Urban

She is hilarious by the way.

Best take-aways…

*I believe we are living in an increasingly 1st person world. 1st person is only going to grow. Writing in 3rd person may allow you to stand out.

Saturday’s Autograph Party!!!!!


Katie chatting up the awesome Nova Ren Suma.


Sharon Creech signing for my friend’s daughter who is her BIGGEST FAN!!!!!


Of course I’m I HUGE fan too!!!!!


Jodi chatting with Jodi.


Kate Messner signing a book for the Fishkill Frogs!


Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of the MG novel ONE FOR THE MURPHYS, signing and making friends.


Greg Fishbone (Class of 2k7) and AC GaugheBrendan (Class of 2k12) hanging outIMG_5096

REVISING A CAREER: TIMING, TRUST & TEAMWORK with Brenda Reeves Sturgis, Emma Dryden and Karen Grenick

Favorite take-aways…

*Don’t quit–ever. <3


Some down time in the Sheraton while waiting for the Ballroom to open up.


The Books for Boston collection bin.

Check out some of the inspirational messages written in the books going to Boston.

Sunday 5/5/13


Sarah Lamstein, Jeannine Atkins, Padma Venkatraman and Pat Lowery Collins (Boo my picture didn’t come out!)

Favorite take-aways…

*I tried to pack Padma in my suitcase. All four authors were great, but she stole the show. LOVE her!

*When story and history collide–story always wins. (PV)

*The attitudes of the times plays a role in the story/plot. (SL)

*The reasons writers aren’t diagnosed as schizophrenic is that we listen to the voices in our head instead of conversing with them. (PV)

*Create a LOVELY FILE to put all the darlings you cut–then you will always have them. (PV)

I Intensive–ADVANCED PLOTTING with Chris Eboch

I was very busy in this small, pro-track class and you guessed it–I forgot to take a picture. *smacks own hand*

Favorite take-aways…

*If your main problem can’t be introduced early, find a way in, something that gives a hint.

*Be careful not to open too fast. Give the reader a little time to get acclimated.

*Action without context is not a good thing.

*Likable character plus a bad situation makes the best story.

*Real life drama needs to be set up correctly to be believable to the reader.

You can find our more about Chris Eboch and advanced plotting HERE.


More Apocalypsie love!!!!! And yes, I was too busy meeting Kami in person for the first time that I…didn’t take a picture. Should have gotten one of us together. Drat!

Favorite take-aways…

*Add believable traits to your characters.

*Characters with both good and bad motives and traits naturally create much desired tension.

*Books are about physical, emotional and spiritual journeys.

Kami posted some stuff on humor from another of her sessions on her blog. You can catch it HERE!



And because I always have to buy one more book LOL! Hanging with the AWESOME Padma Venkatraman, author of CLIMBING THE STAIRS. <3

Me, Padma, Jodi and Megan

And then it was time to say goodbye and drive home. NESCBWI was an amazing conference and I’m so glad I got the chance to grow. It truly had the feel of an International SCBWI Event but with the intimacy of a smaller conference. Lots of fun and I hope to be able to attend again next year too! Have any of you been to NESCBWI before? Any new authors that you’ve now got to put into your TBR pile?

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Books for Boston

Filed under: Community, Pondering, Reading, Writing for Children

Once upon a time, I was telling a friend how mad I was at another person. Just steamed. I relayed how, in light of the situation, I would no longer be sharing my magazines with said person. My friend gasped and said, “Wow! You must have been really pissed if you took away someone’s reading material.” And I had to laugh, because it was true. Even funnier, I have no idea if that person even gave a hoot, but it made me feel a whole lot better because I took away one of the things I value most in the world. Words.

But, if I flip that scenario, you’ll see that words are my gift. If you get a book from me–if I’m sharing my reading material–I’m telling you I really love you, whether you realize it or not. It’s my way of saying you matter to me.

So, today I’d like to share with you a program called BOOKS FOR BOSTON. A way for us word people to hug the hell out of Boston. My friend AC Gaughen, the author of SCARLET is a Boston girl and I’d like to share her words with you…



I hardly know where to begin. I wasn’t at the marathon, but friends were. Family. Loved ones. Everyone made it through unscathed.

The manhunt happened disturbingly close to me, but again, no one I know was hurt.

That doesn’t mean that my city has made it through unscathed. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a tremendous amount of work and healing to be done.

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what my place is in all of this. Should I donate money to the One Fund? Should I be contributing to charity auctions? Should I find a role for the non-profit I work with to play in all of this?

Those are all amazing answers, and I commend the people who want to help via those routes. But I remember being a senior in high school as the Twin Towers were hit, and I remember what it felt like to be old enough to understand and young enough to feel utterly lost, to feel all my security gone, to feel any semblance of faith in the world torn away from me.

The Boston Marathon is a family event, and the amount of small children that saw this and were impacted by this is unimaginable. By now most of us have heard about Martin Richards, an eight year old boy that died in the blasts. His family are deeply in need of support and healing, and I know the One Fund will make great strides in helping them.

But for his friends, his classmates, his community, I can only imagine what it feels like to explain this to a child. To have to talk to a child about what terror really means.

I think there’s something else I can do. And maybe it’s simplistic, and maybe it’s not, but it’s the one thing that felt like an honest, organic choice to me. And that’s books.

I can’t give the children of Boston their safety or their faith back. But I can give them a place to escape, and imagine, and dream again, because that’s what books always have been and always will be. They are a beautiful and sacred space of healing and love.

And I’m hoping you’ll help me.

I’m going to donate as many books as I can to the Boston Public Library and to Martin Richard’s school, Neighborhood House Charter School. Any books! Right now I plan to give middle grade books and younger to NHCS and YA and older to the Boston Public Library, so all books are welcome. All subjects are welcome.

If you’re an author, and would like to donate a copy of your book, please sign it and instead of your usual inscription, write a message of hope, courage, or resilience. Please don’t mention the attack, or the losses, or the scars Boston now bears.

If you’re not an author but would like to donate a book, I absolutely welcome the donation. Please do the same and write a message of hope, courage, or resilience inside the book.

Please email me at acgaughen @ and I’ll give you my address for mailing.

Maybe we can help Boston heal in a really small way. I appreciate the help, and I would really appreciate it if you pass this along.

Much love xx



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Class of 2k12 in the Spotlight-SCARLET by AC Gaughen

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, The Class of 2k12

Sometimes I get to review a book and I’m so excited to share it with you, but you have to wait weeks or months for it to hit the shelves. Not today!!!  SCARLET by AC Gaughen had it’s very happy Book Birthday yesterday.  So, once I convince you that you must read this book immediately–you can go right out and buy it. Or even have it sent to your house. Or if you just can’t wait another minute–you can click on that eBook right now. While you decide, I’ll tell you all about the book.

SCARLET by AC Gaughen

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.


Want to order SCARLET?




Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of SCARLET

OMG!!!! I loved this book. I’m going to start this review by announcing something that I NEVER expected to say (John–if you’re reading this you should close your eyes and skip ahead) ROBIN HOOD IS MY NEW BOYFRIEND!!!! There, it’s out in the open. Phew–I feel better now. I know that once you read this–you’re going to want him too–but just remember I said it first and this post is time-stamped. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be turned away empty handed–Rob’s band of Merry Men are pretty darn lovable too.

Then there’s Scarlet, who is the only one that I’ll let date my new boyfriend–because I like her that much. You are going to adore her journey as you read along. It starts with Scarlet, but you’ll find it woven through the whole story– AC Gaughen is a master of writing perfectly balanced characters. I give her my “Friday Night Lights Award” for making me find something redeemable and maybe even likable in ALMOST everyone.

Hang on, there’s more to love about this book.

Lets take a minute to examine the unique plot twists and the creative take on a story that has been done a million times.There was nothing stale about this tale. THIS IS THE ROBIN HOOD THAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED! I love when I walk away from a great book knowing that that even though the story is fiction, the characters and their journey have become real. But even though I’m girlie gushing–make no mistakes–I’m picking up my own copy to read to my three boys because they are going to love it!!! There is palm-sweating, boy-loving, action and adventure too. This book is going to capture the attention of a broad audience and deservedly so.

So proud to be in the Class of 2k12 with AC Gaughen and SCARLET. <3 What are you waiting for–GO READ SCARLET!!!!

A.C. Gaughen has been a concierge, a personal shopper, a handbag saleswoman, a wrapper (often and understandably confused with the homonym without a “w”), a call center phone-line answerer, a tour guide for the Commonwealth, a blogger, a writer of research articles like “How to Grind with a Boy”, and, most memorably, someone who couldn’t hang a shirt on a hanger correctly.  Through all of these, however, she’s also been a young adult author, and is thrilled to be publishing her debut novel, Scarlet, with Bloomsbury/Walker.

You can find out more about A. C. Gaughen and SCARLET here…

*A. C. Gaughen’s Website





*Class of 2k12

*The Apocalypsies

****Don’t forget there is still time to sign up for my contest!!!  You can win an ARC of STARTERS, a signed bookmark, swag for TOUCHING THE SURFACE and you get to see my amazing blurb from Daisy Whitney author of THE MOCKINGBIRDS and THE RIVALS.****

What’s your favorite character from the tales of Robin Hood?? Anything you’re waiting on this Wednesday?? Happy Hump Day!!!


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