Friday, October 4, 2013

Why A.S. King Is My Long Lost Sister

Some things are a given in life. Who you are, where you're from and that you've embarrassed yourself at least once over a boy band. FYI, mine was New Kids On The Block.

Work That Tough, NKOTB!
Now when you're adopted, the details might be a little spotty. For example, I know that my mother's name is Virginia Trujillo. She lived in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1973 and my grandparents were definitely on the Catholic.

But that's where the narrative hits a crash and burn for the most. The rest is deduction.

For example, here's me in junior high.

Band Trip To Aquarena Springs
 Here's me now.

Suspicious Of Her Glasses
Not a whole lot has changed. I'm still the whitest Mexican American in America. The REACH kids in Red Bluff, CA adorned me with the nickname Wexican. Peace and love to them for one on the original scale!

I also have a lot of those annoying attributes from childhood. I beat on desks and pretend I'm the drummer from Kiss (life long aspiration). I wear backwards ball caps. My friend California Sara refers to me as the female Kevin Smith. I got respect for the Smith (holla Clerks and Red State), and I guess I dress like him sometimes minus the beard and height challenge.

The other thing is that I have a brother. See Kurt lived with my folks and me when I was in my senior year of high school. I had him imported, literally, from a group called Youth For Understanding. I thought I might land some 1980's teen comedy of a boyfriend. X-nay on that one. He comes off the plane from Belgium to Corpus Christi, Texas with his arms all wide and on the open and says, "Sister!"

Kurt First Week In U.S.
Can I tell you how not into him I was. I selfishly battled for cool points with my beyond cool new brother and my friends. The battle was futile. He spoke seven languages, sang and danced like the thin Elvis and was smart extreme. Consequently, he could date any girl I'd thought about dating since I was twelve, but I couldn't come out in 1991 small-town South Texas.

Kurt was my nemesis. Though when life hit the skids, and I ended up in a suicide watch think tank in May 1992, he was the only one who came to visit me. Not my adopted parents. Just Kurt. And even though I was a jerk supreme to him, he showed and was counted. Well sorta. I mean, I was 18 and hated the world then.

Kurt is the only family I've ever had aside from my friends, and I am grateful to have this Build Your Own Family. Sorta like Build a Bear without the awkward stuffing.

Seriously, this video exists.

Wait. So what does any of this have to do with multiple award-winning author (Michael Printz Honoree hollar!) A.S. King.

Yup, Cool Author Headshot Thingy
Well, I met with A.S. (Amy if you're sassy) in Pennsylvania to interview her for the FAT ANGIE book tour documentary At-Risk Summer. She opens the door and welcomes me to the chaos that is a new home, new central air and a laptop that has ants crawling on it. They're actually stickers but very much on the life like.

We immediately connect with some colorful language, her having a tripod because mine is on a UPS truck somewhere and the fact that she is, by far, one of the coolest gals I have ever met. Seriously, you gotta know this woman.

But I digress. So ... we do the interview (yes, video clip coming) and laugh and have game face and laugh again and make references to everything and nothing. As I like to say, not too shabby.

I decide after sharing the best burger I have EVER eaten in all of America and many countries in Europe (see photo of delicious below)
that she is my long lost sister. Even though she has other siblings, I welcome her into my tribe. Remember I haven't formally told her this, so we'll all need to keep it on the down low. Don't want her to think I'm gonna go all Single White Female and dye my hair blonde (not comb it) and wear black long sleeve Tees all the time. Although I did go through a black wardrobe phase but that was way early 1990's.

But again, I digress. Without further ado, here are my ...

Top 10 Reasons A.S. King Is My Long Lost Sister

10. We both should've been cast members of TV series Freaks And Geeks.
9. We dig Blondie and The Knack, and it will keep us in a restaurant long after closing time.
8. We both have stellar ink on our forearms.
7. We both played some hard core hoop (nuthin' but rim, kid)!
6. Our dark sense of humor can be matched by few, as Pete the waiter at ABC Brewery can attest.
5. I can say, "Sh*! just got real in the Ford Focus," and she'll totally get it.
4. We write raw, edgy and truth filled YA lit.
3. We both get why Lynda Carter is the only Wonder Woman and the power of the Lasso of Truth.
2. We both started writing to tell a story without the intention of being published because we had to write.
1. We both get why life is hard, find humor in its darkness and embrace the possibility of empowering youth through art.

We reluctantly share the CPA Award (Coolest Person Alive) via Twitter, and I'm guessing real CPA's are super pissed. #lolcpaanger

Ultimately, with all the lessons on this tour, I'm elated that I met an author who is tenacious, tender, tough and troublemaker extraordinaire. She reminded me like Cecil Castellucci did that is is okay to be all the edges that is your weird and powerful self. Thanks for the memories, A.S. King. Here's to your book release of Reality Boy this October. And to the fact that this should've been the cast photo for Freaks And Geeks!


  1. e -- this is inspiring ... and colorful. What a life you have. I think someone should make a movie about YOU!! Congratulations on all your success. It's extremely well-deserved.

  2. This blog post ROCKS. You know and I know I am due to fly out on Wednesday and I still haven't found--or looked for--my pants, so as much as I'd love to write a blog right back at you with a list of love hearts as long, we both know I can't. But know that the sisterhood is welcomed and I'd be damn proud to be part of your family. I haven't stopped talking about how cool you are since you left my house. I'm kinda overwhelmed by it. *Overwhelmed by e.E.'s coolness*

    I do think it's my duty to add a #11 to your list. #11 We both mix up names with the same first letter. Our waiter's name was Pat. But I thought it was Paul. And you thought it was Pete. Good thing we're not in charge of name-remembering.

    Anyway. You are larger than life and the minute you walked into my house, you were welcome any time.

    Thank you so much for including me in your amazing work. And for sharing so much about yourself. And for caring about the teen I was and you were. You are doing good things with your life. We only get one ride as far as I can see. And you are changing lives with yours. Stop and be proud at some point, will you?

    I do look forward to our game of HORSE.

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