Friday, February 15, 2013

sex, violence, and carrie mesrobian--a long story

So I asked Andrew Karre, editorial director at Carolrhoda Lab, if I could participate in today's cover reveal for Carrie Mesrobian's debut Sex & Violence, and he graciously sent me the images I'm posting today.

Like this one:

You should check out what Andrew has to say on the Carolrhoda Blog (but not until you finish reading this one).

So, I have a kind of long story as to why I am blogging about this book.

A few months ago, I was talking to my agent Michael Bourret, and he mentioned that Andrew Karre had a manuscript from a writer named Carrie Mesrobian, and he thought I should read it.

So, I thought, cool.

I've known Andrew for a while now, have spoken with him over the phone on several occasions.

Andrew happens to be on my bucket list of editors--editors whom I'd want to work with no matter what. I happen to be very fortunate to have worked with a most enviable collection of editors, people I think are the very best in the business and occupy the top spots on that list: Liz Szabla, who edited my first five books and taught me so much about writing, David Gale, amazingly talented, hard-working and professional, who edited Winger (coming May 14), and the great Julie Strauss-Gabel whom I most likely drove absolutely crazy with Grasshopper Jungle.

Well, I finally got to work with Andrew Karre. I wrote a short story for an anthology he'll be publishing this fall (I'll tell you the details when I'm permitted, but there are some incredibly huge authors in this book. There are some slender ones, too).

I have one or two remaining bucket list editors, but I wouldn't want to scare them off.

I told you this would be a long story.

Okay. So my name came up about a month ago in a comment on a Facebook thread about sex in YA (imagine that!), and in this comment Andrew said something about a particular sex scene he really liked in Grasshopper Jungle (yeah... okay... so there is sex in that book, although most of it occurs between bugs). In the thread was a mention of a book by Carrie Mesrobian called Sex & Violence.

That was the book my agent told me to read.

So I contacted Carrie, and I said something like, maybe I can get Andrew to send me an ARC.

Within moments, I got a message from Andrew telling me to check my email; that ARCs of Carrie's book were not out yet.

And there it was: an electronic copy of Sex & Violence which I immediately installed on my iPad.

I think I read about 30 pages that first day. Then I sent Carrie an email in which I said something like holy shit, this book is so good I am going to make myself read it slowly--I don't want to get to the end.


So let me tell you about Sex & Violence.

This is not your raven-haired mopey girl in a big dress YA.

It is not your entwined-couple-shrouded-in-mist-who-you-KNOW-are-never-going-to-bone-because-one-of-them-isn't-even-a-fucking-human-being YA, either.

This is something you have never seen before.

And it's real.

I love this book. I was not asked to blurb it, but I had to. Unsolicited. It is one of the best books I've read in a long time.

I love the cover. Like a lake turning over, it's about what lies beneath the surface. This is what the book is about, and I found myself constantly (even to this day) wondering what's going on inside this guy? (The main character is a guy named Evan Carter; and let me say this, too: Carrie writes "guy" better than most guys I know.)

Really. This book is layered, disturbing, and completely engrossing at the same time. It's an example of some of the finest character-driven fiction I've seen in recent years, and I promise you will not be able to stop thinking about Sex & Violence for a long time after you finish reading it.

So I'm happy to be part of Carrie's cover reveal day. And I'm happy I got to be one of the first people to read this powerful book.

Sex & Violence is coming from Carolrhoda Lab on October 1, 2013.

By the way, there is only ONE editor on my Copy Editor Bucket list. And she lives in Hell's Kitchen.