Welcome to my official website! You can check the latest News below, read more about my novel, SALT & STORM (Little, Brown, September 23, 2014), or find out more about me. Thanks for visiting! 

**For ARCs and galleys of SALT & STORM: please contact Little, Brown's promotional team at publicity@lbyr.com.**

Happy Release Day to PLUS ONE!

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It's finally here! PLUS ONE, the cool, slick, action-packed, romantic alternate history hits bookshelves today! It's written by my friend Elizabeth Fama, who, aside from being a wonderful voice in the YA world, is just an all-around kind, funny, and generous person. I actually haven't read PLUS ONE yet, so I'm just as excited as all the other rabid fans, and I can't wait to pick up my copy today!

So, if you like your YA smart, complex, and richly-imagined, check out PLUS ONE!

SALT & STORM is an Indies Introduce New Titles Pick!

I am so honored that the American Booksellers Association chose SALT & STORM as one of the ten best children's debuts for Summer/Fall 2014! There is lots of fun information about the program and other fantastic winners (as well as a description of SALT & STORM that uses the words "achingly beautiful" *blush*) at their website here!

I actually got the phone call from one of the judges yesterday, but I'm still in a post-trip-to-Hong-Kong jet-lagged haze, so it went (as all my most important phone calls do) comically wrong.

First I picked up the phone thinking it was a confirmation for a doctor's appointment (no, I don't know why, because the area codes are not even remotely similar), so instead of talking (LIKE A NORMAL PERSON), I held up the phone for a significantly long time before the very small rational part of my brain said, "This is an actual phone call and you will need to speak."

Then the sweetest indie bookseller in the world explained to me that SALT & STORM had been selected as part of the Indies Introduce New Voices program, and I was just alert enough that I could understand this was AWESOME and REALLY COOL and I should be REALLY, REALLY HAPPY ABOUT IT, but my poor zombie brain was unable to retain any actual pertinent information, so that when I hung up my phone and Dave asked me what that was all about, I was able to tell him that something good happened with SALT & STORM and it would be on the Internet tomorrow.

Dave: You aren't sure?
Me: Well. She explained it all to me really well but my brain isn't working right now and I can't remember what she said and I wanted to keep asking questions but then I was worried she'd think I was weird and then I was going to tell her I'm super jet lagged and to repeat herself but then I thought I should just say thank you and try to Google it later.
Dave: *long look* That was probably a good call.

So, now that I am properly awake,* thank you again ABA and all you wonderful independent bookstores out there! I couldn't be more thrilled!

 

*Like, 80%.

Leechblock: The Whip-Wielding Taskmaster for Your Daily Life

With Book Two's first-draft deadline swiftly approaching, I've been working harder than ever to get my daily writing in and my daily distractions down. That means cutting back on Facebook, Twitter, and all the other delightful corners of the Internet that always seem more fun and fruitful than actually, like, working.

The best weapon I have against that is my go-to automatic page blocker: Leechblock.

Oh, Leechblock. How I simultaneously love and loathe you...

It's an add-on for the Firefox browser that allows you to list certain websites (like Facebook) that you'd like to restrict access to (say, allowing yourself no more than ten minutes per hour from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday).

It's a snap to set up, edit, and (should it prove too much for you, you weak-willed person) turn off, and it is probably one of the most useful tools I have to keep me on schedule.

Try to go on to one of your restricted pages, and you get rewarded with this subtle but firm reminder to get back to work:

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Even though my Pavlovian response is to scream at the screen, "LEECHBLOCK YOU DON'T TELL ME I CAN'T GO ON TWITTER I DECIDE WHEN I CAN GO ON TWITTER," usually I'm pretty happy that I'm not just spending my day cycling through an endless stream of distraction. Day --> saved.

Check out Leechblock here!

 

Make an Origami Boat, Feel Good About the World

Stressed? Life got you down?

Over here in Chicago, we're dealing with the third snowiest winter on record, and in between scraping off new layers of ice on our car and teaching our dog not to pull on the leash every time she discovers a new ice patch, things have been a little...blah.

That's why I try to take every opportunity I can to watch one of Leyla Torres' lovely little origami videos. Hate folding paper? Watch it anyway, and let Torres' Colombian accent soothe away all your worries and fears as she whispers to you about mountain folds. Better than therapy and only takes five minutes.

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's some free stuff

Hello book lovers! I am thrilled to announce that today I'm participating in not one BUT TWO great giveaways!

First, check out A Game of Tomes to read about (and enter to win!) my favorite YA fantasy novel

And then, visit the just-launching Fall Fourteeners blog to find out more about 14 fabulous YA novels debuting this fall! At Fall Fourteeners, we're giving away one of the best prizes I've ever seen: a Kindle Paperwhite that comes fully-loaded with our favorite YA novels! I am actually legitimately bummed that I'm not eligible for this because, c'mon, an e-reader AND a curated list of fantastic books?! Not too shabby.

The giveaways will run for a few more days but get your entry in early and GOOD LUCK!

DIY Celtic Heart Knot (like on the cover of SALT & STORM!)

One of my favorite details in my cover is the gorgeous, evocative Celtic heart rope knot. It's so beautiful, and I love how much it symbolizes Avery's life and struggles.

With Valentine's Day coming up, I decided to try making some of my own Celtic heart knots to hang up as decoration, and I thought I'd share this DIY with you! These knots make beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and charms to hang on your bulletin board or wall. Enjoy!

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1. Start with a piece of rope or yarn. Plain white cotton rope works best, but you can also use shoelaces, hoodie strings, or, for teeny-tiny knots, embroidery floss. Somewhere in the depths of my apartment I have some pretty white cord, but after searching for 20 minutes and coming up empty, I went with some pretty white yarn.

2. Keep most of the slack on the right end of the string; this is the end that will do the tying. The left end of the string will pretty much stay in the same place. Tie a simple overhand knot (this is the kind of knot you make when tying your shoelaces. Hey, you just learned something new!).

3. Take the right end of the string and weave it under the middle cross string.

4. Now take that same end and weave it under the first loop and over everything else.

5. Take the end and weave it under the top two loops.

6. Take that end and weave it over the last loop.

7. Carefully pull the two ends of the rope and begin to shape it into a heart. This works best if you find the point first, hold the point between your thumb and forefinger, and then gently pull the ends of the string. At this point, if you want a slightly looser weave on the knot, you're done! Otherwise...

8. ...Continue to pull the ends of the string for a tighter, smaller knot.

 

And that's it! I hope you enjoy making a Celtic heart knot! I'd love to see pictures of your creation, so after you're done, tweet or email me a photo!

Edits In and Time to Party!

Abby says: EDITS IN YAAAAYYYY!!!! 

Abby says: EDITS IN YAAAAYYYY!!!! 

SALT & STORM is off to copy edits! Confetti storm! 

I've been working like crazy getting my edits in all summer, and it's been stressful, frustrating, amazing, and fun (usually all at once). I am immensely proud of this little novel, and I'm so grateful to my amazing editor, Bethany, for her questions, comments, and encouragements.

Sooo, what now??? Actually, I'm not sure! For the first time in a long time, SALT & STORM is no longer occupying a big part of my brain, and I get to dust off my "Things To Do" checklist from earlier in the summer, a list which includes such gems as:

  • build a DIY dog bed for Abby
  • finish Abby's Halloween costume
  • bake an apple cider doughnut cake
  • update the chalkboard wall
  • finish my summer reading
  • nap. DEAR GOD, nap. 

It's going to be an exciting fall!

Also on the list: now that I have more free time, I'm going to be sharing more about me, my writing, and the world of SALT & STORM here on the blog. I have big ideas: some author interviews, maybe a few giveaways, a write-a-long or two. And I'd like to share with you some of the things in my life that I love, outside of books. 

Let's get started with a fall favorite in my house: DIY pumpkin-spice latte. Because I am, actually, the luckiest girl in the world, Dave (aka "the husband") kept me in PSLs throughout the edits crunch. Here's the recipe we use, from the kitchn , and enjoy!:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes 1 to 2 servings

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin OR 1 teaspoon Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee
Whipped cream, to garnish

In a saucepan whisk together milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming.  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy.  If you don't have a blender, don't worry about it — just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs.  Add the espresso on top.

Top with whipped cream, if desired, and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

happiness

Now On Goodreads

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While I was wondering how a book gets its own Goodreads page, it turns out some little elves made a page for SALT & STORM! I still have no idea how this happened, but I'm delighted nonetheless.

If you're a Goodreads user, check out my page! If you're not a Goodreads user, check out Goodreads first, delight in all the bookish joy and happiness, and then go visit my page.

I also have a fancy-schmancy author's page that looks pretty (to, I hope, you) and confusing (to me), and has no more information about me than is on this website, except (SPOILER ALERT) my hometown.* 

Side note: the fact that there are real people out there, clicking on my title, pretty much just boggles my mind. If you are/were one of those people, hello! Thanks for visiting and I hope you'll enjoy SALT & STORM next September! 

 

*This was a real question on the author's questionnaire thing that Goodreads had me fill out and it is also, for some reason, the very first thing that shows up on my profile. I guess people really like hometowns? 

It's Official!

look! I managed to match my shirt to the announcement! 

look! I managed to match my shirt to the announcement! 

After months of keeping secrets , I'm thrilled to finally share the news that my first novel, SALT & STORM, will be published by Little, Brown in September 2014!  

Here's the announcement:

Kendall Kulper's debut SALT & STORM, set in a late 1800's whaling community, a sixteen-year-old descendent of the island witch learns she will be murdered but with the help of a tattooed harpoon boy, she must prevent her own death and discover the secrets of her family's magic -- not realizing what she'll have to sacrifice in return, to Bethany Strout at Little, Brown Children's, in a pre-empt, in a 2-book deal, for publication in Fall 2014, by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger (World). Also acquired by Rebecca Frazer at Orchard Books for simultaneous publication in the UK & Commonwealth.

Huge thanks to my agent extraordinaire, Sara Crowe, for finding my manuscript the perfect home and for being the best advocate of my work. I'm so excited to be a part of the Little, Brown family and to start my writing career in such a great place.

I'll be updating this space with more about SALT & STORM, so please check back soon! In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter (@Kendall_Kulper) for the latest.