Monday, February 4, 2013

Tucson Festival of Books Author Spotlight: A. S. King

Some authors find their groove and stay there--think Meyer (vampires), Rowling (wizards) or Paolini (dragons).  If you like their stuff you are set, unless they crash and burn after a few books!  A. S. King is definitely "groovy", but don't try to pin her down.  Since I can't reduce her books to one word, I will have to try two:  reincarnation and pirates, death and justice, bullying and Vietnam, and sexuality and fear.  And by all accounts, her new book coming out in October 2013, Reality Boy, is about reality tv show child stars and runaways.  Okay, I'm cheating a bit there but you get the idea!  What she lacks in consistency, however, she more than makes up for in ingenuity, and that is a rare talent indeed.

Her latest book is called Ask the Passengers, and it is fantastic!  The central character is Astrid Jones, a brainy, wordy senior in high school whose favorite hobby is lying on the backyard picnic table, sending her love to the airplane passengers overhead.  That is when she isn't having philosophical conversations with Socrates, aka Frank, about life, love, and truth.  I said this book is about sexuality and fear, but it is also about questions and gossip and labels and families and magic and small towns and addiction.  Even if you are not Q-for-Questioning in the spectrum of LGBTQ, you will recognize her search to define herself on her own terms as the universal dilemna that it is.  And if you happen to see A. S. King at the TFOB, ask her how she manages to be so groovy yet "grooveless"!   

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