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Debut Week Madness: Stephanie Kuehn’s first ever Charm & Strange Event at Kepler’s Bookstore!

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OMG people, I can’t believe it–only one more day until CHARM & STRANGE is out in the world!!!

I feel so lucky to have met Stephanie early on in my writing career–first online, then in person–and I cannot tell you HOW LONG I’ve been waiting for CHARM & STRANGE to debut. I feel like I’ve been reading snips of it FOREVER; amazing snips that made me want to devour the story in one, big, wolfish bite. *CHOMP*

charm and strange cover kuehn

For those of you who are totally unfamiliar with Steph’s work, you’re in for a real treat. Steph is fascinated with the mind–in fact, she’s getting her PhD in psychology right now–and that fascination translates into some of the most complex and flawed YA characters I’ve ever had the good fortune to read. Plus, Stephanie herself is just an amazing person–SuperIntelligent, funny, practical, warm…AND awesomely random enough to bust out WHAM! medleys on crowded Santa Monica boardwalks at the drop of a hat.

Given all that, you can imagine my excitement at being a part of Steph’s very first event for Charm & Strange at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park (near the San Francisco Bay Area). We were joined by panelists Shannon Messenger, S.J.Kincaid and moderator Kirsten Hubbard.

First, we all met beforehand at Cafe Borrone for some sun and delicious food (and COOKIES, YUMMMM!) That’s Stephanie on the far right:

Cafe Borrone Stephanie Kuehn

Then, we headed next door to Kepler’s, where we posed with our respective books (that’s Steph with Charm & Strange on the far left):

Keplers Bookstore Charm & Strange

One of the first things we did on the panel was play Two Truths and a Lie, and here were Stephanie’s (animal themed) answers:

1. Stephanie was once convinced by a friend that ducks have four legs.
2. One time, Stephanie put money into a vending machine, and a kitten came out.
3. Stephanie was once a member of a band called Kitten Breath.

(So….which one do YOU think is a lie?)

Next, we answered questions from our lovely moderator, Kirsten, where Stephanie explained how she was drawn to YA because she remembered being a teen and feeling & thinking certain ways, and wondering if she was totally alone in her thoughts or if anyone else out there experienced and felt the same things that she did. She also mentioned that she reads a lot in the genre, particularly darker stories. She had the good fortune to meet her current agent, Michael Bourret, at the SCBWI conference before signing with him, where she found herself very impressed by a panel he did with editor Julia Strauss-Gabel.

Kepler's bookstore panel 3

Kepler's Stephanie Kuehn

Then, after chucking candy at random into the crowd (note: when attending YA events, consider wearing a hard hat), we all signed books, and I got to nab my very own copy of Charm & Strange, WOOT WOOT!

Kepler's Stephanie Kuehn & Debra Driza

Grab your own copy starting on Tuesday, June 11th, at an indie or chain bookstore near you!

Barnes & Noble

(A huge thank you to Kepler’s Books and Shannon Messenger for putting this wonderful event together!)

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