21 February 2014

First Line Fridays: Sashi Kaufman

Welcome back to first line Friday!

Each Friday, I invite a guest author to share the opening line from his or her upcoming release and a favorite book.

Today's guest is Sashi Kaufman, the author of THE OTHER WAY AROUND coming MARCH 1 from Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Books.

Sashi is a middle school English and science teacher who lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and daughter. She is also an amateur trash picker. She loves Maine and believes that ice cream is a vitamin.

(who doesn't?)

Her debut novel, THE OTHER WAY AROUND, was an ALA Booklist starred review. They wrote, 

"Often frank, other times startling, always filled with the familiar wanderlust 
most every teen experiences, this book has wheels.

That's a freakin' fabulous review, right? Here's the blurb:

Andrew West goes to an all-girls school and he still can’t get a date. If that’s not bad enough, his Mom is the headmaster. Everyone seems to have the wrong idea about Andrew. His teachers think he’s a good student who doesn’t apply himself -he really is trying. The kids at his old school thought he was a goth. His cousin Barry thinks he’s gay.

When his Thanksgiving break goes tragically awry he decides to run away. He catches a ride with a strange group of older teenagers. The Freegans are street performers and dumpster divers. As Andrew travels the country with his new friends he leaves behind the expectations of others and discovers what he expects of himself.

Sounds awesome! Let's get started:

What are the opening lines of your book?
“When do girls fart? I know guys let it fly basically all the time. Any time it’s funny, when they feel like it, as a weapon, to clear a room. But girls don’t seem to do this. In fact, if anything, girls seem a lot more attuned to avoiding anything that smells bad.”

I've read a lot of first lines, but these had me smiling.  Especially as the mom of two boys...

Where these lines set from the first draft? And if not, how many times do you think you've changed them?
I’m pretty sure these have always been the first lines of my book. 

Why do you think this opening is perfect for your novel?
My main character starts out as one of a handful of boys at an all-girls school. This seemed like the perfect way to introduce something he might be thinking about in that situation. Plus I feel like it gives you a sense of his voice and his role as the consummate observer.

Give us your favorite opening line(s) from a favorite book, and tell us why you love them:
“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch.” 

This is the opening line to John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. This book is one of my favorites and it’s also another road trip novel –one of the best in that sub-genre. I think the urge to “be someplace else” is one that many adolescents can relate to!

Oh, I love that! This is from one Steinbeck I haven't read... though, after The Grapes of Wrath, I'm always a little hesitant to start a Steinbeck. Luckily. East of Eden mostly cured me of that.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Sashi! And good luck with your release next week!

Be sure you head over to Twitter and follow Sashi @sashikaufman
Head on over to Goodreads and give THE OTHER WAY AROUND some Goodreads Love

And don't forget to pre-order The Other Way Around (Fiction - Young Adult)

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