Jacqueline Woodson reads from Brown Girl Dreaming

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He Made This Screen by Marianne Moore

not of silver nor of coral,
but of weatherbeaten laurel.

Here, he introduced a sea
uniform like tapestry;

here, a fig-tree; there, a face;
there, a dragon circling space—

designating here, a bower;
there, a pointed passion-flower.

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Interview with Autumn Grace, author of Midlight

Today we have an interview with Autumn Grace, the author of NightLark’s most recent release, the YA SciFi novel, Midlight.

Her bio: Autumn Grace grew up in New England with her mom, older brother, younger sister, and her identical twin. Her aim is to bring diverse characters outside of genres they have identified with to promote equality and acceptance. She’s drawn to retro-futuristic concepts and is obsessed with robots and aliens. Autumns headshot

Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?

One of my most admired authors would have to be Veronica Roth. Despite writing from a dark place, she manages to add such heart and hope to worlds that so desperately lack it. A major theme in Midlight is duality because things like hope can’t truly be experienced until despair is honestly felt. This raises the stakes of the struggles faced and sets the chance of character development up beautifully. Veronica Roth has influenced my writing by letting me realize that it’s okay to write heavy, meaningful, stories about young adults for young adults, and it’s okay to touch on seemingly sensitive subjects in an effort to tell the truest version of your story.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think that every great story has the perfect blend of genuine characters, honest struggles, and tells a truth about humanity from a new and clever angle. I love to see characters being pushed to grow and stepping up whether they’re comfortable doing so or not, but I also like seeing characters retreat to their old ways because it reminds me that sometimes people can do just what we expected, but hoped wouldn’t be the case. Depth to platonic and romantic relationships are also vital when writing a good story.

Bain and Argon’s relationship is quite complex. How would you describe their dynamic?

I would describe Bain and Argon’s relationship dynamic like day and night. They can’t exist without the other, and, at first glance, it seems like they can’t exist together. But there are times when night and day exist together and not at all, creating something far deeper than the two. Bain and Argon complete each other where the other lacks.

What kind of research did you have to do for the book?

I had to do a lot of research on the functions of the brain along with how radiation affects the human body and the environment.

What are your writing habits like?

I usually like to wake up early to write. When I’m in the process of writing the first draft, I like to write a chapter a day; following a basic outline I’ve written, this can change depending on the length. Sometimes it’s two or three chapters, and other days I don’t write anything. If I’m not drinking coffee while I write, then I’m drinking peppermint tea. And if I write at night, I usually like to listen to music.

What makes Midlight stand out from other YA SciFi titles?

Midlight stands out from other YA science fiction titles because, before anything else, it’s essentially a “love story of friends” between two boys that were never supposed to be together, but for some reason, try to make it work anyway. Bain’s main objective isn’t dependent on the outcome of the story, and at any chance he gets, he steers away from being the typical hero developing the plot further. He doesn’t care about the outer workings around him, whether it’s a crisis he caused or a crisis he’s being dragged into, all he cares about is keeping Argon safe and whatever means he has to take to ensure that he is. It’s a story about the vulnerability it takes to open up to the person you care about most and the honesty it takes to face yourself in your truest form.

Midlight ebook cover

Midlight is now available at Amazon and
other ebook retailers.

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H.G. Wells Quotes

Quick Bio Bit from Wikipedia: “Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946), usually referred to as H. G. Wells, was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, including even a book on war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a ‘father of science fiction’, along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.”

“Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the early twentieth century than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible. And as certainly they did not see it. They did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands.”

“We all have our time machines, don’t we. Those that take us back are memories…And those that carry us forward, are dreams.”

“Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.”

“The man who raises a fist has run out of ideas.”

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

“Sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you’ve been and remember the person you were meant to be. The person you want to be. The person you are.”

“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.”

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New Release: Midlight by Autumn Grace

We are pleased to announce that Autumn Grace’s debut novel, Midlight, is now available at Amazon and other places ebooks are sold.

MIDLIGHT by Autumn Grace

If the daylight doesn’t kill you, the diurnal ones will. But when death is the one requirement to be transitioned into a mechanized Hybrid, why spend another night lost in the dark?

Deadly radiation has forced the population to become nocturnal in an effort to avoid the mutilating effects of daylight. While this helped for a time, rogue groups began neglecting these practices, increasing the death rate and the need to finalize a procedure to bring the dead back to life. This controversial advancement became means for prosperity to President Umber as he took over the growing city of Umber Heights.

Five years ago, Bain woke up on the side of the road with no prior memories. After three years of serving as a brutal Corsair for Ailand’s ruthless leader, Beckett, Bain cuts ties with his current life. He must revisit his estranged friend in his safe coastal town with the proposal to join him in Umber Heights, the only place Beckett and Umber’s feud prohibits Beckett from entering. Bain and Argon struggle to get their relationship back, cautiously diving deeper into their romantic feelings while trying to balance conflicting personalities and Bain’s lack of readiness to open up.

Now in Heights seemingly for good, Bain must determine if the lines of right and wrong really do gray when it comes to protecting human life over man-made creation.

Available now on Amazon

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Jonathan Franzen Interview: Books Made Me Survive

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A Song Of Swords By Gilbert Keith Chesterton

“A drove of cattle came into a village called Swords; and was stopped by the rioters.”–Daily Paper.

In the place called Swords on the Irish road
It is told for a new renown
How we held the horns of the cattle, and how
We will hold the horns of the devils now
Ere the lord of hell with the horn on his brow
Is crowned in Dublin town.

Light in the East and light in the West,
And light on the cruel lords,
On the souls that suddenly all men knew,
And the green flag flew and the red flag flew,
And many a wheel of the world stopped, too,
When the cattle were stopped at Swords.

Be they sinners or less than saints
That smite in the street for rage,
We know where the shame shines bright; we know
You that they smite at, you their foe,
Lords of the lawless wage and low,
This is your lawful wage.

You pinched a child to a torture price
That you dared not name in words;
So black a jest was the silver bit
That your own speech shook for the shame of it,
And the coward was plain as a cow they hit
When the cattle have strayed at Swords.

The wheel of the torrent of wives went round
To break men’s brotherhood;
You gave the good Irish blood to grease
The clubs of your country’s enemies;
you saw the brave man beat to the knees:
And you saw that it was good.

The rope of the rich is long and long–
The longest of hangmen’s cords;
But the kings and crowds are holding their breath,
In a giant shadow o’er all beneath
Where God stands holding the scales of Death
Between the cattle and Swords.

Haply the lords that hire and lend
The lowest of all men’s lords,
Who sell their kind like kine at a fair,
Will find no head of their cattle there;
But faces of men where cattle were:
Faces of men–and Swords.

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