According to Amazon, The Kiss of Death was published by CreateSpace, a self-publishing platform. I thought you have a publisher?
I do! This is an error that Amazon, unfortunately, refuses to fix. This misinformation only affects the paperback version, though. The eBook version is labeled correctly on Amazon. I guess this just serves as another reminder that you can't believe everything you read on the Internet!
Amazon also says The Kiss of Death was published on June 18. I thought it was June 6?
It is. This is yet another entry error on the paperback version that Amazon will not fix. Apparently Amazon does not allow the publication date or publisher imprint name of a paperback book to be edited, so my publisher can't do anything about it.
I want to know what happens next to Elizabeth and Matthias! Will there be a sequel to The Kiss of Death?
Short answer: Yes! I started it for a university assignment (déjà vu, am I right?) and am developing it now. But no spoilers! My working title is The Kiss of Life, and I’m really excited to continue their story! It will be a full-length novel told in Matthias's point of view, eclipsing Death and continuing where Death left off. Life will become the "main" story, with Death serving as a prequel "teaser." Long answer: It all depends on my publisher's schedule. If all goes well, there's potential for a trilogy, with the third installment titled The Kiss of Faith.
I’d like to use The Kiss of Death in my curriculum! Are there any teaching resources available?
Yes! In addition to 22 discussion questions included at the end of the book, I’ve developed a supplementary Educator Guide linked to Common Core Curriculum national education standards. It includes vocabulary and lesson plans for 4 cross-curricular disciplines: English, History, Biology, and Art. It’s available for free download here.
Can you speak at my event?
Of course! I love giving presentations at school assemblies, book club meetings, library programs, and everything in between! Learn more about my presentation.
I really want to read The Kiss of Death! Can you send me a free book?
For some reason, people like to imagine authors swimming in an endless pile of free books! Contrary to popular belief, my publisher doesn’t provide free copies, so I’d have to go to the store and buy one, same as you. Sorry, but if I gave a free book to everyone who asked, I’d need to take on a 3rd job! (And even then, it would have to be after my student loans.) I really wish I could. If money is an issue, the next best thing I can recommend is to request the book at your local library or borrow it from a friend.
My library doesn’t have The Kiss of Death in circulation, but I still want to read it.
Ask a librarian! Most libraries have a system in place for patrons to request materials that interest them. You can also visit the library’s website to find out how to place the request for them to carry it. Some libraries even have inter-library loan, which allows patrons to check out books that belong to other member libraries through their home library! It’s a pretty great system.
You were a teenager when you became an author. What was that like?
I get asked this question a lot. Besides incredibly mind-blowing, the experience was a dream come true. It was my life goal ever since childhood. Surprisingly, the hardest part wasn’t balancing school and writing. You find the time for the thing you’re most passionate about! For me, it was people misunderstanding the process of my route to publication. Because of my age, people often didn’t take me seriously.
Finding an agent or publisher is hard enough for adults. It takes years of persistence in the face of rejection and constant belittling from naysayers. In other words, it’s a pretty uncommon thing for a teen to attempt, let alone achieve.
Due to my age, people often assumed (and sometimes still do) that I’m self-published. Driven by that assumption, they would dismiss the book as subpar without even giving it a chance, given the stigma that sometimes surrounds self-published work. No matter how many times I explained I have a publisher or mentioned it clearly online, people would walk away from the conversation believing I wasn’t able to get anyone interested in my work, so I self-published. Because the alternative is too incredulous to imagine: that a kid could have somehow secured a contract with a publisher!
My response to the disbelief? I started young! I put in my years of rejection and ignoring the naysayers. I began querying agents/publishers at age 9, and by age 18, I had landed a contract with a press based in California.
I have a lot of respect for writers who choose to self-publish. There are many good reasons to do so, as I often explain in detail when I compare and contrast different publishing routes at speaking events. But I chose the traditional publishing path because it provides a level of credibility other types of publishing do not, and that was what I valued most at the start of my author career.
How long is The Kiss of Death? Can I read it in one sitting?
Yes, you can! I personally love when I can read a book in one sitting. The Kiss of Death is the length of a short novel, known as a novella: longer than a short story but shorter than a full-length novel. Still confused? Think of classic novellas The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and my personal favorite, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every film adaptation (and even produced my own for fun)!
Can you sell books at my event?
Sorry, but unless it’s at a bookstore or other venue that stocks my books, I legally cannot sell books at speaking engagements. Better to let experienced booksellers handle that arena. If having books available for sale or signing at the event is important to you, you are welcome to order them ahead of time through your preferred bookseller or my publisher. You might want to allow extra time for shipping. I’m always happy to write a personalized inscription in any books you provide!
Is The Kiss of Death available in other formats?
Yes. In addition to paperback, you can currently find it in eBook form. The audiobook format is currently in progress.