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Flirtin’ with the MonsterLife was goodbefore Imetthe monsterAfter,lifewas great,Atleastfor a little while.~Crank
Did You EverWhen you were little, endureyour parents’ warnings, then waitfor them to leave the room,pry loose protective coversand consider inserting some metalobject into an electrical outlet?Did you wonder if for onceyou might light up the room~Burned
Q: What does she think about you writing books about her life? A: First of all, the books are not only about her life. They are about my life, and the lives of our family members. The truth is, I started Crank as a kind of personal journey, to try and understand what had just happened to six years of my life… and what had happened to my beautiful daughter, no longer so beautiful. I didn’t start it looking for publication, let alone expecting the book to become the phenom it has. But the story inside is universal. Addiction, of one kind or another, touches almost everyone. As I wrote, I understood the importance of the story. Now that she’s clean, my daughter understands its importance, too.
Without WarningSometimesyou’re travelinga highway, the only roadyou’ve ever known,and wham! A semicomes from nowhereand rolls right over you.Sometimesyou don’t wake up.But if you happento, you know thingswill never bethe same.Sometimesthat’s notso bad.~Impulse
RaeanneMirror, MirrorWhen I look into amirror,it is her face I see.Her right is my left, doublemoles, dimple and all.unblemished.We are exactopposites,Kaeleigh and me.Mirror-image identicaltwins. One egg, one sperm,one zygote, divided,sharing one completeset of genetic markers.~Identical
Walking with the Monster Life was radical right after I met the monster. Later, life became harder, complicated.~Glass
Eden I Am Less Than a Ghost I am a corpse, sleepwalking the streets of Las Vegas. Sometimes I think I should just head on out into the desert, lay down on a soft mattress of sand, close my eyes against the diamond sun and circling black wings. And wait. ~Tricks
We Hear That life was good before she met the monster, but those page flips went down before our collective cognition. Kristina wrote that chapter of her history before we were even whispers in her womb.~Fallout
Pattyn Scarlet Von StrattenSome ThingsYou can’t take back, nomatter how much you wishyou could. No matter howhard you pray tosomeall-powerful miracle maker.Some supposed God of Love.~Smoke
Cara Sierra SykesPerfect?Howdo you define a word withoutconcrete meaning? To eachhis own, the saying goes, sowhypush to attain an idealstate of being that no tworandom people will agree iswhereyou want to be? Faultless.~Perfect
TiltShould the sun beatsummer too fiercelythrough your afternoonwindow, you can slantthe blinds to temperheat and scatter light,sifting shadows this wayand that with a leanof slats. And if candorstrikes too forcefully,step back, draw carefulbreath and consider the angleyour words must takebefore you openyour mouth, let them leakout. Because once you tilt the truth,it becomes a lie.~Tilt
"Crank began as a personal exploration of the “why’s” behind my daughter’s decisions, and what part I might have played in them.By writing the story from “my daughter’s” perspective, I learned a lot, both about her, and about myself. But I also learned a lot about the nature of addiction, and the physiology of this particular substance.For those struggling with similar addictions, there is help, but the road to recovery is not easy. The addict has to want to get well. Rehabilitation cannot be forced." ~Ellen Hopkins
"Born: March 26, 1955 in Long Beach, CA. I was adopted at birth by an older couple. Albert C. Wagner was 72 at the time; Valeria was 42. To put that into perspective, he was born in 1883 and she was born in 1912. Grew up: in Palm Springs, CA, in a neighborhood with movie stars and entertainment icons, including Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Kirk Douglas and Arnold Palmer. We were, however, the “poor rich.” My father made his money in the steel industry in WWII. I remember the day he had actually earned his million. As a poor immigrant child who was most definitely a self-made man with a 6th grade education, he couldn’t have been prouder.Started writing: From the time I knew how to put words on paper. I’ve always been writing something (especially poetry) ever since, although I didn’t start writing for money until around 1992.Published: my first poem, a brilliant haiku (I’m pretty sure there were trees and springtime in it), when I was nine. I was always encouraged by my English teachers to write, and won pretty much every creative writing contest I ever entered all the way through high school.Children: Had my first child, Jason, when I was just 21. He was born in 1976. Cristal followed two years later.Divorced: When Cristal was still a baby in diapers. My ex moved to Albuquerque. I’m not going to disclose names. He should be allowed a sense of privacy.Rebound relationship: Met my daughter, Kelly’s, father on the rebound. He was very much a not-nice man. The relationship was physically abusive and lasted far longer than it should have.When I finally found the courage to make a break, he kidnapped Kelly against court orders and hid her for almost three years. Finally, his own grandmother helped us get her back. That’s a long story, too long to tell here. Maybe I’ll blog it one day.The real story: behind Crank took place between the years 1995 and 2001. “Hunter,” aka Orion, was born in 1996. We took guardianship of him when he was just a baby and adopted him when he was not quite four years old. He is the light of our lives (as well as the biggest pain!) and a true gift. He knows the whole story, of course, but considers us his parents, and we consider him our son.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration for your stories? Are they all based on real life experiences? A: The Kristina books are based on my family’s real life experiences. The others are totally fiction, although there are threads of real people/situations in them. Inspiration comes from many places. Friends. Family. In the news. And yes, sometimes from readers.