Thursday, August 21, 2014

BOOK BLITZ - DELETED SCENE & GIVEAWAY: Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie

Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie
Published by:
 Evernight Teen
Publication date: July 25th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon l B&N

“My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn’t been laid yet. I couldn’t go into the slammer before that happened.” Hutch McQueen.

Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.

Outtake 2

394 Words

Sometimes when I have to cut scenes, its like chopping a piece of myself out, but when I go back and read how Ive incorporated the same information, but differently, Im always pleased. The decision to take out something is hard, but Ive learned to let my instincts lead the way.

Heres a scene between Father Tim Kerry and his friend, Mac, the sheriff. Father Kerrys trying to keep Hutch, the kid he believes is worth saving, from going to jail. The only way to do that is to convince Mac to put the boy back into the special Intervention Program. Father Kerrys in the sheriffs office. He and the sheriff, Mac, are good friends. Father Kerry speaks first.

“I want Hutch back.
Mac shook his head and took off his glasses. Youre are one pushy—”
“Remember youre talking to a priest, Mac.
“I cant—“
“Sure you can. You the boss, remember?
Mac leaned back in his chair, making the springs complain under him. What I got from the police report is theres nobody to take responsibility for him if I let him out.Mac set his glasses back on the end of his nose and peered over the top.
“Theres me.
“Damn it, Tim.Mac slammed his hands on his desk and pushed himself up. He paced to the window and back. On his third turn he stopped and stood looking down at the priest. Give me one good reason this kid gets another chance when the others didnt.
Father Kerry stood to look Mac in the eye. Because if someone hadnt given me that last chance Id be up at Attica.
Mac returned to the window as if there was an answer outside waiting for him. When he turned back to face the priest, he said, Once more. Thats it. If he doesnt stay clean this time, I wont do anything to help him. Are we clear?

In the final version, this scene never happened, but when Hutch is in the courtroom, I knew it had taken place, and I wrote the new scene with the old one in mind. All the reader knows is somehow Hutch is given this second chance, and thats all that Hutch knows, too. Im the only one who knows how it happened, at least until later. Thats one of the privileges of being the writer.

Author Bio:
In my other life--the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers--I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. Go ahead. Pat me on the back.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.

I've just set out my perfect life. Day after day after day.

Author Links: Website l Twitter l Goodreads
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