Thursday, December 31, 2009

New writing

I just found out that I'll be writing two new titles for Capstone Press this spring. The Sun and The Stars - for their Fact Finders set, geared for 3-5 grade. First deadline is mid-February, can't wait to get started on my research!

Any space experts out there? I'm looking for very current, up-to-date, "new" findings about my subjects. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Looking forward to 2010

I got a great email today. It sounds like I may have a couple of new work-for-hire projects this spring, if I'm interested. Well, ah...yes! That new laptop that Santa has under the tree for me is going to get a work out!

I also found out that a project that I completed in October 2008 is set for a fall 2010 publication date.

I'm feeling like I better get the novel finished and submitted while the iron is still hot. No more "imposter" here, I'm a real author! (She said, crossing her fingers behind her back...)

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Revision is an interesting process. Thankfully, I have wonderful and insightful comments from my critique group, but I'm revising faster than they can read at this point.

I think I like the revision process. It's kind of fun going back and adding in clues and personality traits to characters.

And, I'm on a big roll. I'm about halfway through the manuscript. Which only means that I'll have a 2nd draft, not a final draft. But, it might be ready for some beta readers...Get ready.

Monday, November 30, 2009

First Draft finished!

I have officially finished the first draft of my first novel. It clocks in at just over 49K words, which translates to about 150 pages double spaced. I've never written any one work this long.

I've already started the revision process. I'm hoping to have it somewhat ready for my beta readers in early January.

If nothing ever happens with it, I'm still excited. I love the story, and I actually finished it. Now I just need to come up with a catchy title...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Earth Signs

I heard from my editor at Capstone yesterday. My first work-for-hire book will be available in January! It's called "Taurus, Virgo, & Capricorn: All About the Earth Signs."

She reports that the set looks great and just went out to print. Whoo-hoo! I can't wait to see it!

I would never have guessed that my first book would be one on astrology for pre-teens, but there you go!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To Find a Wonder

My friend Jennifer Carson is preparing to release her first novel. A middle grade entitled "To Find A Wonder," the book is set to be launched on November 14 at Wingdoodle in Warner, NH.

See the book trailer here. For information about the launch party, check out Jen's website.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


It's Columbus Day weekend. A year ago I was finishing up my first work-for-hire project for Capstone Press about the discovery of America. Alas, that project isn't set to see the light of day anytime soon. Maybe someday, but I'm not holding my breath. My astrology project is supposed to be coming out this winter - I am holding my breath for that one. It so close, but I won't believe it until I'm holding it in my hot little hands.

Who would have thought that I'd have over 31K words done on the floundering novel that started out as a short story three years ago? Even though my progress is slow, I feel certain that I'll finish it.

I can only imagine where it will stand a year from now - hopefully on some editor's desk?

I've got to push forward and finish this first draft. I've got some ideas for the revision process, but got to get the first draft done!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The writing process

It's interesting how the story takes on a life of its own sometimes...

So, I thought one particular character was the villain (i.e., antagonist). It turns out that the real villain is someone I thought was just a minor character. Hmm.

The guy I thought was the villain is just a bully. Still not a nice guy, but all the same he's not the guy causing harm to my main characters.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Plotting Class

I'm taking my first online class! It started yesterday...

It's through the Roses Colored Glasses Website, and I'm very excited about working through my plot with the class.

Check out their website at

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Word Count

I know it's slow (but steady!), but I hit 25K words on 9/6/09! Halfway to 50K!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Earth Signs out in 2010

Slated for release in January 2010, Kristine Carlson Asselin's first book is entitled Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn: All About the Earth Signs, from Capstone Press. Do your friends call you practical and loyal? Chances are you just might be a Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn. Get all the info you need about these earthy signs. From fashion trends to career matches, you'll find out just what keeps these Earth Signs grounded.

Kris is currently working on her first young adult novel about a teenage girl trying to win a local golf tournament and the heart of her best friend (and fiercest competition).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Short Synopsis #23 (and counting)

Kate’s been living the sweet life. Her parents own the local golf course, and she gets to play as much golf as she wants all summer long with her best friend Scott. Life can’t get any better, can it? Lately, though, hanging out with Scott has been making Kate’s stomach flutter. And the only problem with that is it’s harder to hold onto the golf club when he’s looking at her – and he always seems to be looking at her.

When Kate finds out that the business is in trouble, she thinks that her status as the only girl to qualify for the State Junior Championship might draw the crowds back to Willow Bend Country Club. Home course advantage should give her the edge she needs to make the cut. But before the tournament can take place, the golf course is vandalized and Scott is accused of the crime.

Can Kate help stop the real vandal from causing more damage before the tournament committee makes the decision to relocate? Or will he drive a wedge (or putter) through the heart of first love?

Friday, August 21, 2009

How's this...

Incorporating suggestions from several people I like and trust...careful, you'll be editing the whole thing soon enough...

Kate loves everything about life on the golf course. Unless her nerves trip her up, she's a better player than most of the boys she knows. When she finds out the tournament to qualify for the State Championship will be at Willow Bend Country Club, she’s psyched; home course advantage should give her a fighting chance. But even at Willow Bend, being the only girl in the field means enduring the taunts and stares of brainless boys. Even the ones who are your friends can be idiots sometimes.

When a rash of vandalism threatens to move the Qualifier to a different course and the boy she loves is accused of the crime, it is up to Kate to discover the real vandal before more damage is done. Can she beat him at his own game and still play her best to get to the States? Or will he drive a wedge (or putter) through the heart of first love?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another effort

If Kate can make it to the State Junior Golf Championship, she thinks the resulting publicity might save the family business; a small golf course in central Massachusetts. When she finds out the tournament to qualify for the States will be at Willow Bend, she’s psyched; home course advantage should give her a fighting chance. But even at home, being the only girl in the field means enduring the taunts and stares of brainless boys. Even the ones who are your friends can be idiots sometimes.

When a grudge held by a rival player threatens to move the Qualifier to a different course and the boy she loves is accused of the crime, it is up to Kate to discover the real vandal before more damage is done. Can she beat him at his own game and still play her best to get to the States? Or will he drive a wedge (or putter) through the heart of first love?

New "hook" paragraph

This exercise is helping me refine my plot. It's hard work narrowing down the plot to just two paragraphs. Try this on for size...

If Kate can qualify for the State Junior Golf Championship, the resulting publicity could mean the difference between success and bankruptcy for Willow Bend Country Club, the small course her family owns. The announcement that Willow Bend will host the qualifying tournament for the States gives Kate the home course advantage that her confidence needs. But even at home, being the only girl in the field means enduring the taunts and stares of brainless boys. Even the ones who are your friends can be idiots sometimes.

When a grudge held by a rival player threatens to have the Qualifier moved to a different golf course and the boy she loves is accused of a crime, it is up to Kate to discover the real vandal before more damage is done. Can she beat him at his own game and still play her best to get to the States? Or will he drive a wedge (or putter) through the heart of first love?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Earth Signs

I'm so excited! I got the preliminary layout for Taurus, Virgo, & Capricorn: All About the Earth Signs from my editor last night! It looks amazing!

My name is right on the cover!!

As a work-for-hire project, there were a few changes made by the publisher. But, I'm very happy with the outcome. My first published book!! Well, almost published anyway...

I'm not sure when it will be out "for real", but I'll be sure to post as soon as I know.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Young Adult?

I spent some time at Barnes and Noble in Nashua yesterday writing in their cafe. After I finished what I was working on, I decided to cruise the YA titles on the shelves. I was expecting to get some inspiration...and I did, sort of.

While there are a lot of great novels on the shelf, there are a lot of really cheesy stuff, too. Lots of dead girls, lots of vampires, etc. And while I like a good vampire book as much as the next person, I discovered I really think there's a place for my little story amongst all those others. There wasn't a lot of 'girls in sports' titles - like zero.

I've been working on my 'hook' sentence. In a nutshell, right now it's:

"Kate struggles as the only girl in her area who plays competitive golf. More than anything, she wants to win the State Championship and prove that she has what it takes to play with the boys. When the boy she loves is framed for vandalizing the golf course her parents own, it's up to Kate to prove his innocence and save the business in the process."

I'm still not 100% sure how proving his innocence saves the business, but I'm working on it! There's also a bad guy, a couple of interesting characters, and hopefully a nice little romance.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Plot and Structure

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell and Writing the Breakout Novel: A Workbook by Donald Maass are the two newest additions to my library. I've been reading the Bell book and getting some ideas.

I really need to decide what my character, Kate, wants more: to be the first girl to win the Mass State Junior Golf Championship, or to get the boy. Does she win the tournament on the way to getting the boy? or Vice Versa? Or does she want both, but only get one or the other? Or, neither?

Hopefully the plotting book will help me make some decisions.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Novel update

Those of you keeping track of my sidebar will notice that my word count has just dropped significantly. :(

I just made a major decision to chop chop chop a pretty big chunk of what I've already written. I'd made the plot too big, and have decided to simplify my characters lives a bit. I've also come to accept that writing a YA novel means more than 35K words. More like 50K +

Back the drawing board. Now, where did I leave that board?

Anyone have any teen angst I can borrow?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Reading, critically

Now that I've really been studying the craft of fiction writing, I'm starting to notice "vehicles" that authors used in their writing, not to mention errors and sloppy writing. I hope this doesn't start to ruin my favorite books for me!

I've read two very different books this week: The Physick book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The first is half historical fantasy-fiction, and half modern day romance/mystery. If you like any of these genres, go and pick up this book. It would make a great beach read, even though I read it on my couch.

Connie Goodwin is a graduate student at Harvard in 1991. In the process of cleaning out her grandmother's antique house in Marblehead, she stumbles upon a discovery that not only changes her life, but how she understands the world. It has romance, witches, and lots of librarians ;).

The second book is more serious. A Young Adult (YA) written in the first person, Thirteen Reasons Why chronicles the life story of a young woman who committed suicide through the cassette tapes she leaves behind. One of the recipients of these tapes, Clay, doesn't know why Hannah blames him as one of the thirteen reasons for her suicide until he hears the part of the tape about himself. I highly recommend this for the original style, as well as the content. Should be required reading for High School students.

Now, on to my book club book...;) Or better yet, my own book! I'll say that I'm trying to read for research...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Update

Not much writing happening in my house lately.

I've been contemplating how to plot. Today, I started toying with Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method ( So far, it's helping enormously (but I'm only really on step 1). Part of me hates to detour from actual writing time, but I think taking the time to think about the overall story, and individual character story lines, is going to be helpful to me. Considering that I've been avoiding the story altogether this summer, I guess any attention the story gets is positive.

I've also come to the conclusion that I need a more substantial conflict and that it needs to rear it's head earlier in the text of the story.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Charlotte Cauldron and the Prince of Nevermore

One of my favorite things to do is read. I love books. I've often had the feeling that I've fallen into a book and actually spend time with my favorite characters. Now that my daughter is old enough to share my passion for great characters and stories, we've been reading a lot of middle grade fiction (she's not quite at the reading level to read them herself).

As it happens, a friend's husband is an author. And, as I aspire to someday publish my own work, it's very exciting to know a published author!

John Lance has written a very clever adventure story. Charlotte Cauldron loves her hero Prince Peter and his friends so much that she actually falls into their story, and of course, she saves the day! Who wouldn't love to do that!?! A female heroine who saves the day, a wonderfully evil bad guy, and K's favorite character - a will o' wisp named Frizzleroot: a perfect recipe for a really cool adventure! I also loved a couple of cool inside jokes related to character names and places!

John's book is published by Sam's Dot Publishing and is available at

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rewriting already

My wonderful critique group has given me some hard-to-hear feedback about my pov (point of view) and voice.

I'm working in third person, and while I feel comfortable with that, I want to get closer. So, I'm researching and experimenting with "Close third pov" -- more details, more senses, more showing instead of telling. Which I knew, but need to be better at doing!

Thank you, ladies! My new versions of Chapter 1 & 2 (and now, 3) are much better, and I couldn't have gotten there without you! I'm sure they still need heavy editing, but the story is really starting to shape up. If only I knew how it ended...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Update on first book

I'm over 20K on my novel, but that's not the cool news...

My editor for the astrology book I worked on earlier in the spring asked for an author bio and a head shot! I'm feeling like a real author here, though I won't start practicing my autograph just yet...I want to see it in print first!

See below for my "official" head shot. Here's my author bio...

Kristine Carlson Asselin is a Sagittarius from X, where she lives with her daughter (a Capricorn) and husband (a Libra). As teens, she and her friends rarely passed up a chance to read their horoscopes and compare notes about potential futures. While technically a Fire Sign, she always felt that her fate was more in line with the Earth Signs!

Kristine’s work has appeared in a variety of publications including Golfer Girl Magazine, Fandangle Magazine, and Storybox Library Online. This is her second project for Capstone Press.

I didn't want to post my state on the site, suffice it to say that I don't live in X.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Novel update

Hey all -

I'm almost to 18,000 words - I'm aiming for 30K, but I'm still not entirely sure what my word count should be.

I'd had some great suggestions from friends and crit partners -- this will certainly be a group effort if (ahem, when) it gets finished.

This is the book trailer from a great writer's resource that I subscribe to! Check it out!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Writing and re-writing

I'm actively working on the novel for the first time in a very long time. I've got almost 12,000 words written. I've also joined a critique group made up of wonderful women I met at SCBWI. I'm hoping to have a complete first draft of the book by the end of the summer. If only I knew how it ends...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Music and Writing

I've been trying to think about my main character. She's a 15 year old girl - a bit insecure emotionally, but with a strong drive to succeed. She wants to win the big golf tournament, but complicating the issue is her confusion about her feelings toward the boy in the story - who also happens to be her primary competition.

I'm trying to get into the character's head by listening to music I think she'd like - Taylor Swift and Evanescence are her two current favorites. Any other suggestions?

Monday, April 27, 2009

SCBWI - NE Wrap Up

I went into the conference thinking my focus was shifting to non-fiction. And it is. A bit.

On the other hand, I got some positive feedback about my "novel" (why do I insist on putting that word in quotes?). I LOVE Sarah Aronson (author of YA novel Head Case)! She put together an incredible workshop about "great beginnings." She gave the participants very detailed critiques on our first 1000 words. My brain is swimming with ideas for moving forward with my "novel" - which might now, incidently, be in the "tween" category.

But, I also got some good feedback for one of my picture book manuscripts. I feel like I can make some fairly minor changes and submit it.

I'm trying not to be paralyzed trying to figure out where to start!

Monday, April 6, 2009

SCBWI - New England

I'm looking forward to the conference in April -- I'm a "handler" this year! I'm excited for my first opportunity to volunteer for the conference. I'll be introducing several esteemed presenters, including Linda Urban who wrote A Cooked Kind of Perfect!

I'm really looking forward to having my work professionally critiqued this year - I've made some changes to Pasta Petunia and am anxious to get some feedback!

I feel like I'm less of an imposter this year, so I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Well, the quiz and celebrity bios got finished! I ended up spotlighting Robert Pattinson for Taurus, Beyonce for Virgo, and Michelle Obama for Capricorn. My quiz had 16 questions.

The completed first draft was submitted on Friday - yeah! I hope my editor likes it! I can't wait to hear her feedback!

I'm sure there will be some changes - I already know of a few that I'd like to make. Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Astrology update

So I'm stuck on the quiz and the celebrity bios. These are things that should be easy, aren't they? I think I'm almost ready to send what I've got to my editor -- I'm feeling like I may need some professional help (well, obviously, but that's another story) on those items.

I've got a couple of hours at the library tomorrow night, and then, we'll see where it's at. I've got some trusted readers looking at my latest draft right now (you know who you are - Thank You).

If you know of a teen celebrity (or athlete) who happens to be a Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn that you'd like to read more about - by all means, let me know! All kidding aside, I do have a list of 12-14 in each sign - I just have to pick one in each to spotlight.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Earth Signs

Who knew that the signs were broken up and grouped by element? Anyone? I didn't. But, now I do!

Honestly there's a lot more to astrology than I thought. It's very interesting. There's less research with this book, but there's more intuitive/creative stuff with this one. I'm writing in a more conversational style, thinking about sidebars and graphics.

I'm having a blast researching which stars are Tauruses, Virgos, and Capricorns! I'm trying to think like a 12 year old girl - which stars will they want to see listed!?!

I may be presenting at the local elementary school for author/illustrator month. I'm excited about the chance to read to my daughter's kindergarten class! I'll be reading one of my picture book manuscripts, not the astrology book!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Good News!

I've been offered another opportunity to write for Capstone! I'm so excited! I was a bit nervous that the reason the other book was pulled was because of something sub par about my writing, but apparently these things happen. Hopefully that book will see the light of day at some point.

In the meantime, I've been offered a chance to work on a new project. It's a book about astrology for middle grade girls. My focus is on the Earth signs -- Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Not sure yet where my research will take me, and I'm waiting to read the sample books.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bad News

I just heard from my editor at Capstone. Unfortunately, the Racing for History series has been pulled from their list indefinitely. They hope to bring the set back on a future list, but for now, my book - which was part of that series - is on hold.

I had a great experience writing this book, as most of you know! I'm hoping to have another chance to work with Capstone.

In the meantime, just keep swimming, right? I'm going to the NESCBWI conference in April (New England Society for Children's Book Writing and Illustrating), and I have a critique lined up for a picture book that I'm working on.

Oh well.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Golfer Girl Magazine available

Some of you have asked me where you can get Golfer Girl magazine. I just heard from the editor (Claude Hooton), who says:

Unfortunately, we have had difficulty with getting distribution at the news stands due to our small size. We do sell individual copies of the magazine for the cover price + $1.85 shipping."

So, if you're really interested in checking it out (thanks, Gary for checking out THREE news stands for me!!!) - you can get it directly from them.

Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement! I'm trying to figure out a way to post the story somewhere so people can read it online. I'll keep you updated!


Friday, January 30, 2009

Golfer Girl hits newstands!

Not sure if it's actually ON news stands (what is a news stand these days, anyway?) - but I just got my copies of Golfer Girl. The Knight in Tan Khakis is featured! It's so cool to see my work in print! It looks great - I'm very happy with the way it was formatted!

If anyone has a chance to see it, I'd love to hear your feedback!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Golfer Girl

I heard from the editor of Golfer Girl last week - the new issue is being mailed out this week! I can't wait to see my story in print!