Today we have a fun guest post from Me & Me author Alice Kuipers as part of the official blog tour — plus keep reading for your chance to win a copy of the book!
My Favorite Writing Spot
by Alice Kuipers
I love to talk about writing and to share the writing secrets that keep me sane—so thank you for having me here to guest post today. I wanted to let you know where I love to write because, hopefully, some of you will be writers like me who write in just the same way. I know that I used to wonder how other writers got writing done because I wondered if my own process was ‘right’. I’d look at photos of perfect office spaces, or writing desks heaving with books, and think, oh no, I don’t do it like that, maybe I’m not a real writer…
I have a laptop. Check.
But I don’t have a dedicated writing desk. I don’t have a special spot where I go to write. In the house I live in, I have an office space which does, yes, have a desk. But right now a sixteen-year-old is using that room for a bedroom. And when she’s not there, my office isn’t the only place I write.
Because the place I write isn’t a fixed spot. See, I have headphones and I have a playlist. And these are what help me to write anywhere; my favourite place to write is inside a piece of music. (Don’t get me wrong, I love cafes, black coffee, a comfortable sofa, snacks, but I don’t need these things the way I need music).
As you can see from the playlist I’m sharing with you here, I definitely don’t listen to tunes that other people might think are cool. There’s no reason or shape to the music I select. Instead, I pick and choose songs that make me feel like writing—and there’s never any sense to why those songs work for me. Before I bought into a streaming service, I would listen to one album over and over, often just one song, and by starting that song I’d fall straight back into the words I was working on.
When I started writing Me and Me, Lark Hardy, the main character, was really into music. I built various playlists that had music in that she listened to—loads of singer-songwriters, lots of music I didn’t know well myself. Every time I sat back down to work on Lark’s complicated story as she splits into two versions of herself, I would put on something Lark loved and I’d feel myself inside her head. When it came to rewriting Me and Me, I could find the artist I was playing for each section and pull myself back to what I was trying to do, while thinking about what my editors were suggesting.
I have four small children and a dog. If anything, being able to tune out the world is a more useful skill now than it was when I was eighteen and starting to write. My house can be chaos, my kids can be shouting at me, various balls are being dropped, but as soon as I open my laptop and put on music, it all vanishes.
The playlist I shared above is one I use in the most general way. I use it to start books, or write blog posts, or begin new ideas. It gets me in the mood for writing. But, I’m also working on a short book where the main character loves K-Pop. You can guess what music I put on as soon as I start writing about her!
All this to say, your favourite place to write might not look (or sound) like the favourite place of another writer. I’m slumped on the couch right now (coffee and snacks beside me, true), listening to music, and absolutely, one hundred percent in my favourite place to write.
Let me know where you love to write by finding me on Instagram or Twitter. And if you want to try one of my free online classes for writers, head over to my website: alicekuipers.com
It’s a perfect day for Lark’s dream date with Alec from school. Blue skies, clear water, a canoe on the lake. Alec even brought flowers for Lark’s birthday. Everything is just right … until they hear screams from the edge of the water.
Annabelle, a little girl Lark used to babysit, is struggling in the reeds. When Lark and Alec dive in to help her, Alec hits his head on a rock. Now Annabelle and Alec are both in trouble, and Lark can only save one of them.
With that split-second decision, Lark’s world is torn in two, leaving her to cope with the consequences of both choices. She lives two lives, two selves. But which is the right life, and which is the real Lark?
Me and Me is about how it feels to be torn in pieces, and how to make two halves whole again. This mind-bending novel from Alice Kuipers, expert chronicler of the teenage heart, explores loss and love, music and parkour, all while navigating the narrow space between fantasy and reality.
Alice Kuipers is the author of the debut novel Life on the Refrigerator Door, an award-winning Young Adult/Adult crossover published to rave reviews in 32 countries and told entirely in post-it notes written by a mother and her daughter. Named a New York Times Book for the Teen Age, Life on the Refrigerator Door has won or been short listed for numerous prizes, including the Redbridge Book Award, the Sheffield Libraries Choice Award, the Grand Prix de Viarmes, the Saskatchewan First Book Award, the Salt Lake City County Library System Reader’s Choice Award, and the Carnegie Medal.
Alice’s second novel, The Worst Thing She Ever Did (published in the US as Lost for Words), won the 2011 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile / YA Crime Book; was short listed for the White Pine Award; and was a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year selection for 2011. The Worst Thing She Ever Did has been sold in 9 territories and praised as “gorgeous, heart-ripping, important” (Voices of Young Adults).
40 Things I Want To Tell You, was published in Canada by HarperCollins in 2012. The book has been praised as “funny and totally up to date” by the Canadian Review of Materials, and “crisp and effective” by the Winnipeg Free Press. Rights have been sold in Germany, Greece, Denmark and Croatia.
The Death of Us, came out in 2014 to great reviews, and was a CLA Listed Book. It’s been described as a quick and turbulent read, The Death of Us is a brilliant coming-of-age novel with a sharpened corkscrew of a twist that will leave readers breathless.
Most recently, Alice’s YA novel, Me and Me, was published in 2017. It was described by Bif Naked as mesmerising.
Alice has a brand new chapter book series with Chronicle Press starting wit the first book: Polly Diamond and the Magic Book, an Amazon best book of the month, described by Booklist as a book that: Brings the imagination to life.
Alice is also writing a memoir about teenager Carley Allison with Kids Can Press. She has had stories produced for CBC and essays published in Bristol Review of Books and Easy Living magazine. She has blogged for Today’s Parent, and The Huffington Post.
Alice’s has two picture books with Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Violet and Victor write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book, and Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale.
Alice’s work is published in 34 countries.
Born and raised in London, England, Alice now lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with her partner, the writer Yann Martel, and their four young children.
3 Winners will receive a finished copy of ME AND ME, US Only.
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