Morning book lovers! I’m really excited to welcome debut author Lisa M Stasse to celebrate to release of her dystopian novel, The Forsaken! Make sure you read along to discover her own summer camp experience and a giveaway of her book 🙂
THE BOOK GIRL GOES TO CAMP:
Or, How Librarians Get Born
by Lisa M. Stasse
The first time I went to summer camp is the one that remains most memorable to me. I was almost ten years old, and living with my family on a farm in upstate New York. The camp was a few hours away in Ithaca, NY, which seemed like a huge deal to me at the time (in retrospect, this is pretty funny, given that Ithaca is far from being a gigantic metropolis). Anyway, because I was a super geeky book-lovin’ gal even back then, I decided it was a good idea to pack a suitcase full of books and take it with me. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I literally stuffed about 60 of my favorite books in the suitcase. I’m sure my parents were really amused, but they were already used to my eccentricities, so they didn’t say anything to me about it. They just helped me load the suitcase into the car. I was really excited to be going to the camp. It was only for 3 days, if I remember correctly, but at that age, 3 days can seem like an eternity. This was probably part of the reasoning behind bringing all those books!
Anyway, when we got to the camp, I suddenly felt nervous. You would think I’d be nervous because I was going to camp for the first time. But I remember being nervous because the camp was near a small man-made lake, and I suddenly got worried that my books would get wet! And I got worried about where I would put them too. It didn’t seem nice to the books to keep them in a suitcase, but obviously these cabins weren’t going to have bookshelves (which was a problem I had not considered). Eeks–what was going to happen to all my lovely books?? So I was like some dementedly precocious kid from a Wes Anderson movie–except I was probably more aggravating to everyone instead of endearing. (Speaking of Wes Anderson, his new movie Moonrise Kingdom–which involves a summer camp–is really awesome. Just thought I’d throw that digression in there in case you’re looking for a good movie to watch).
Anyway, so my parents left and stranded me at the camp with my suitcase of books, which they had to help me carry into the cabin, and I wasn’t sure what to do next. Some of the other girls were from "big cities" (again, probably places like Utica and Rome, NY, ’cause big cities are completely relative when you live in upstate New York) and I was intimidated by their extreme level of sophistication.
So I decided to show them my suitcase full of books. I could not have anticipated the reaction, which ranged from awe to total contempt and hatred. Suddenly, I was the center of a big, heated debate. Was it cool or crazy to bring a suitcase full of books to a 3-day summer camp? Or was it both? (In hindsight, I’d go with both, hee hee). But it was at this moment that I became "Book Girl." I could kiss goodbye to "Lisa" as a name. Book Girl was my new identity, as in "Hey, that’s Book Girl!" Even the counselors got into it. Now, this could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Obviously some kids thought I was insane, and didn’t want anything to do with me. But others realized it was pretty neat, especially when they wanted to borrow (or just take and "forget" to return) some of the books.
So I became an unofficial librarian–or guardian–of the books! And along the way I met some other great girls who became friends and who were total book geeks like me. We talked about our favorite authors and books, and most of us had big plans for writing our own books one day in the future. But what I didn’t realize is that this summer camp would set me on the path to my future career (okay, so that sounds melodramatic, and probably the events are unrelated). But I am currently a librarian at UCLA, and basically get to be Book Girl all day long. In fact, these days I am mostly Digital Book Girl, because a lot of my work involves digital library stuff for the university. Still, I sometimes think back to that day at camp. I wish I still had that awesome suitcase filled with books. But of course my house and where I work are filled with books–so now I get to be surrounded by them all day long.
More about The Forsaken:
As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
Simon & Schuster is offering two (2) copies of The Forsaken to two lucky winners!
To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
Open to US only
Ends Wednesday, August 5th, 2012
(like all of our Paranormal Summer Camp giveaways)
Lisa M. Stasse was born in New York, and has since lived in Spain, Russia, Hawaii, and North Carolina. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government and English lit, and is currently a digital librarian at UCLA. Lisa loves watching science fiction movies, cooking Spanish food, and dancing around her house to 80′s music. She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their two-year-old daughter. All three of them are learning how to surf