Friday, October 1, 2010

And introducing at last... Before the Split Blog Tour and Charity Auction

It is October, my favorite month of the year. Paradoxical as it sounds, fall makes me feel like the world is shaking off the thick humidity of summer and starting new.  Maybe it’s because the cool air clears my head, lifts my spirits and hones my energy.  I’ve always associated October with crispness – crisp air, crisp leaves on the ground, and apple crisps.  It was only after working at the domestic violence legal clinic that I started to associate it with something else:  National Domestic Violence Awareness month -- something that actually lifts my spirits as well.

We know that abuse is horrible and the statistics are overwhelming. The CDC estimates that one in four teens are abused by an intimate partner and UC Davis estimates that boys who grew up witnessing abuse are four times more likely to become abusers.  All year long that can make us feel powerless.  But I think that this is the month when we turn our attention to these disturbing statistics with the hope that by increasing awareness, more people will speak out.  More people will get help.  And more people will help in return.

So… the Before the Split Tour Begins.

To honor National Domestic Violence Awareness month, you’ll find me touring
Split. The fabulous Kari Olson at Teen Book Scene, who is coordinating the tour, has lined up twenty-six stops.  Through interviews and posts, I’ll give you a look inside the novel-making process, both by talking about writing as a craft and by giving you a peek at cut scenes (those scenes that didn’t make into the novel), draft versus the final product, and even a mini-scene from Christian’s point of view.  Read an interview with Jace (I’m told the questions will be hard), watch a vlog, and enter the Create Your Own Cover contest. You can follow me! 

About Split

My debut novel,
Split, is narrated by Jace Witherspoon, a sixteen year old boy, who drives practically non-stop 19 hours from Chicago to Albuquerque on the night he finally hits his father back.  He hasn’t seen or heard from his brother, Christian, in five long years but Jace shows up, unannounced, on Christian’s doorstep with nothing more than a few bucks in his pocket, the latest bruises that dear-old-dad gave him, and a secret. 

is about what happens after.  After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split.

I chose “after” because I always wondered what happened to the survivors I worked with after they left the legal clinic, with their orders of protection in hand.  I chose “after” because I believe that leaving is the first step. And I chose “after” because I think that what you do after you are free from abuse helps determine who you become – stronger or weaker, better or worse.

But there’s also the story of “before.” 
The Family Violence Prevention Fund’s initiatives focus strongly on the “before” and on preventing abuse.  In addition to many other programs, they have these great campaigns like Coaching Boys into Men that give a good role model or Lessons from Literature and Start Strong to support teens and families.  These initiatives focus on what we really want to achieve – stop the violence before it starts and interrupt the intergenerational pattern of abuse.

About  “Before the Split” Blog Tour & Auction for Family Violence Prevention Fund

After reading
Split, some bloggers, teens, and bookclubs I spoke with wanted to do more about domestic violence and I do, too.
You want to help, too?  Well you can. 
Blog Tour
Yep, follow the tour and comment on the posts.  Comment because you want to chat.  Comment because you have something to say.  But most of all, comment because I’ll donate $1/ for every comment to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, with a goal and cap of $250. If your comments reach that goal, I’ll double my donation.

But the fundraising effort doesn’t stop there.  Oh, no.  Excess is my middle name.  (Actually, I don’t have a middle name, but that’s not important now.  I’ll take that up that with my parents.  And therapist). 

Over 40 authors, editors and agents have donated fabulous items, including:  personalized, signed copies of books by seriously awesome author, memberships to or to Children’s Literature Network, and even items you can’t buy anywhere:  critiques of your manuscripts and querries. 

Ihe items will be waiting for your bids all month long.  Bidding will close on November 1, the last day of the tour, and then we’ll tally and total. 

Follow the Before the Split tour.  Have fun.  Get stuff you want.  And, while you’re at it, make a difference.


  1. "Split" covers a serious topic that has plagued our society.It is unfortunate that so many youg individuals have to watch helplessly domestic violence and like the young hero of the nook are afraid of becoming an abuser even if they hated the violkence. Job well done by the author.

  2. Fantastic website, Swati, and great idea! I wish you big, enthusiastic audiences at your readings!

  3. Congratulations on your first published book. Wish you luck! You're a creative writing teacher so, I would be fortunate to have your view and tips for my writing.

  4. Thank you for this. I really want to read your book!

  5. Thanks anonymous! Would love to have you read it.