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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Please Welcome Derek Clendening + A Chance to Win a KINDLE FIRE!

Please join me in welcoming author Derek Clendening to the blog today! He's on tour promoting his work, and I'm thrilled to be hosting today's tour stop! Every comment on this post is an entry to win a KINDLE FIRE. What's not to like?

Take it away Derek!

Jo Godwin said “A truly great library contains something in it to offend
everyone.” I agree. But I feel the same way about fiction. Even the light-hearted
fiction we read for fun can stand to push a few boundaries. In fact, I relish that type of book as long as boundaries aren’t pushed just for shock value.

My young adult novel The Vampire Way pushes several boundaries. Would someone be offended? There’s always the possibility but I hope readers and their parents will see the method behind my madness. The novel deals with some serious issues for teens and does so in a fairly frank manner. I would like to think I trust a young reader’s intelligence in being able to handle those issues while
enjoying fiction.

What place does such a book have in a library? I hope it’s a fairly secure one. As a library professional by day, I believe in the freedom to read and that very few topics are off limits. And again, I draw the same parallel with fiction. Topics considered to be taboo by some should be open for exploration by curious and
inquisitive minds. That’s how I feel, at least.

As you can probably tell, the library has influenced my life significantly. Having lived in the same town my whole life, I have numerous childhood memories in the very library that has been my workplace since high school. To me, the library is a central place and should be significant for all members of a community. Good libraries strive to keep up with the curve and know how to
remain relevant in an increasingly electronic society.

In The Vampire Way, two central characters work as pages at the Fort Erie Public Library, just as I had as a teenager. The library influences them just as it did me. But it’s more than that. It can serve as an anchor for a smaller community and I hope that it helps to create a believable small town atmosphere in the novel.

As for boundary-pushing, I hope it’s okay to consider real life trials and tragedies such as death, teen alcoholism, teen suicide, teen pregnancy and eating disorders in young people. As a man influenced by his library, and who supports the freedom to read, I hope that the topics explored in The Vampire Way will enlighten young readers about the reality of these things in their lives.

Buy The Vampire Way
Check out Derek's blog

To enter to win a Kindle Fire, leave your name and e-mail address in the comment
form below. You can enter once per blog stop. Visit each blog stop to increase your odds of winning. If I crack the Kindle Top 100, I will give away another Kindle Fire. E-mail me for the tour newsletter including a full listing of tour stops at derek (dot) r (dot) clendening (at)gmail (dot) com.
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