Apocalyptic fiction is one of my favorite genres, and Apocalipstick is one I certainly plan to check out!
Apocalipstick by Lisa Acerbo
Jenna should be having the time of her life at college. Instead, her only desire is survival. She lives in a world gone insane after a virus kills most of the population. Being alive after the apocalypse is bad, but when the undead return, hungry for humans, times turn darker. For Jenna and a small group of survivors, the goal is to reach the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human. Will this new utopia last?
“Apocalipstick is geared for older teens and college-aged audiences as it is set in a stark and violent post-apocalyptic world. Some of the scenes when Jenna battles the undead could be considered intense, but I hope people of all ages can enjoy the book.” –Lisa Acerbo
“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes…” ran through Jenna’s mind, another remnant of her former life. Now the graveyard was the safest place. Evil openly roamed the streets and it was coming for her.
Jenna blinked the sweat out of her eyes and took a deep breath. She swayed with exhaustion. Angels, symbols of all things God and good, adornments of the dead, swam in and out of Jenna’s clouded vision. She placed a scarred hand on the peaceful, cold stone markers, embellished with the names of forgotten loved ones. Nowadays, loved ones wanted to come back from the grave and claw your face off, devour your insides.
Jenna wanted to lie down and give up. She was tired and had lost everyone she knew. Hair lank and greasy, mud splattered clothing, old and mismatched. Instead of admitting defeat, she forced herself to stay alert, pushing matted, raven hair out of her eyes with a dirty hand. Jenna could not remember a time in her recent history where she felt clean or had a moment in which she was not fighting to stay alive. Looking around the darkened landscape, she wanted to live. She shoved to her feet once again.
Book Buy Links
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/apocalipstick-lisa-acerbo/1116538083?ean=9781629290188
Eternal Press: http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781629290171
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and two horses. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education–she’s working towards an EdD.
Rambles on Revision
On November 22, I attended the National Council of Teachers of English Conference in Boston and participated in a workshop titled Reinventing Revision. The amazing authors and presenters included Elizabeth Eulberg, Anne Urso, Gae Polisner, Hilary T. Smith, Geoff Herbach, Lisa McMann, Aaron Hartzler, and Andrea Cremer. They all discussed the positive nature of revision. Most said it was a critical part of completing a novel and creating the best possible story. If you have not guessed, I am a high school English teacher. I love my profession and my students, but, unfortunately, many of them do not appreciate the act of writing, let alone revision. This makes me sad. (I want to put an unhappy emoticon here.)
Recently, one of my students asked me if I read in my spare time. I told him how I completed two excellent Stephen King books – Joyland and Doctor Sleep. These stories reminded me why I enjoy not only teaching others about literature and writing but also practicing the craft myself. Even though I know I could never come close to King’s level of mastery, reading great stories makes me want to become a better writer. This is what I want for my students too.
I often tell them something I learned from Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing. The only way to improve the craft is to read, write, and then repeat the process. Read. Write. Repeat. As a writer, I follow the writing process. I brainstorm, outline, draft, revise and edit. I want my students to attempt the same. You can image how much my students love me when I tell them this. It is hard enough to get them to read an entire novel or write more than a single draft. Telling them to repeat and revise could cause a classroom rebellion.
My students often do not see the value of revision and I struggle with how to show them its worthiness. Some of my students work intensely the night before their essay is due, spending many late hours and part of the morning rushing to put their ideas down with some coherence. For many students one draft is enough.
At some point in my early educational career, I might have agreed with them. In college, I could crank out a five-page paper for class the night before and get a decent grade, but that all changed when I wanted to become a better writer. When I wrote Apocalipstick, my first novel, and submitted it for consideration to Eternal Press, I thought, for the most part, I was done. I had revised the manuscript previous to submission. My daughter had read it numerous times, laughing at my errors, gleefully pointing out my mistakes, and finally making me promise to find someone else to read it.
I was wrong about being done. Even after submitting it to Eternal Press, the revision process had just commenced. I never considered that it would be after the book was accepted for publication that I would revise in such depth. I am glad I did and, at times, still wish I had the chance to do more revision.
After an editor had looked at the copy, my once fluent prose seemed choppy, my witty sentences contrived, my vocabulary stunted. I was flummoxed. I spent such a long time getting the manuscript ready for submission that to see the need for additional changes was hard.
It was also liberating. I had the chance to make the book even better. Thanks to the hard work of an editor, I was able to make my dialogue more life-like, describe my characters with additional details, and bring the story to life for my reader (I hope).
While I am happy with the final product and love the way Apocalipstick turned out, there are still things in the book I wish I could change. I cringe every time I read certain paragraphs or see a comma where a semi-colon should have been. There is always more to do. That is the joy of revision. There are endless possibilities when writing, and through revising an author finds a way to show some of these. While it is important to stop revising at some point and say “I’m done,” it is also liberating to know there is a chance to make a manuscript or essay better. I want to show my students how to take their paper to the next level through revision even if they never end up loving writing as much as I do.
A big thank you to Lisa for sharing her insight into and experience with the painstaking process of revision!
Lisa is giving away a print copy of her book and a $20 Amazon gift card to two lucky winners! Open worldwide, must be 18 and over to enter. Giveaway Ends 12/17/13
Link to follow the Tour: