Monday, January 6, 2014

Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Cal Armistead (13 Random Facts + Giveaway)

Debut author Cal Armistead lists 13 random facts about her--just enough to tell her and her husband's love story (which I find romantic)!

Cal Armistead

13 Random Facts

(Random? Yes. Interesting? Uh…I make no promises.)

1. The first book I ever wrote and sent to a publisher was called The Poor Macaroni Named Joanie. I was 9 years old. Sadly, this literary gem was not accepted for publication, and I received my first rejection as a fourth grader. (Fortunately, this did not deter me from writing!)

2. I sang lead vocals (and played a mean cowbell) with a blues band in Boston for six-and-a-half years—we even made it as finalists for the Boston Blues Challenge in 2011, just months before disbanding. 

3. I worked for thirteen (that lucky number again!) years in radio, as a copywriter, news anchor and disc jockey. I still do voice-overs for commercials and narrations. Someday I would LOVE to narrate one of my own books.

(Sidenote: Cool!)

4. My father is a retired minister. When I was 11 years old and we were Baptists, (we later became Methodists), he baptized me by immersion. One of my most vivid memories is the fisherman’s hip waders he wore under his black robe.

5. When I was little, I used to obsessively write and illustrate my own little books. I don’t have much time to create art anymore, but still love acrylic painting.

6. My favorite books as a child were Winnie-the-Pooh, The Secret Garden, and Harriet the Spy.

7. I was born in Boston and in addition to several towns in Massachusetts, have lived in Connecticut, New York, and Illinois. (And Pennsylvania, if college counts.)

8. I met my husband at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. We both remember the first time we laid eyes on each other in the choir room.

9. Even though we met in college choir and were friends, we never dated in college. It wasn’t until two years after I graduated that we re-met in Boston, the timing was right, and the sparks flew!

(Sidenote: So romantic!)

10. My husband and I still sing together, in an a cappella group we’ve sung with for ten years.

11. I went to Burning Man (festival of radical self-expression and radical self-reliance in the Nevada desert) two years in a row (2009, 2010), and vow to go back. 

12. I have participated in three sprint triathlons (half-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride, 3-mile run). My times were very average, but I felt like a superstar athlete just crossing that finish line!

13. I have always loved Eric Clapton’s music, and named my miniature Australian shepherd “Layla” after one of my favorite songs.



More about Cal!

Cal has been a writer since age 9, when she submitted her first book, The Poor Macaroni Named Joany to a publisher. Sadly, this literary gem did not make it to print. But Cal continued pursuing her lifelong passion, and wrote copiously for radio, newspapers and magazines (Cal has been published in The Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Body & Soul Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Chicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul and others). Although it took years for Cal to try her hand again at fiction writing, her first young adult novel (Being Henry David) was published by Albert Whitman & Co. on March 1, 2013. Cal holds an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine, works at an independent book store, is a voice-over actress, sings semi-professionally, and lives in a Boston suburb with her amazing husband and a dog named Layla.

Find her: Website * Twitter * Goodreads 

Take a peak on Cal's debut novel!

Being Henry David
by Cal Armistead

Published March 1st 2013 by Albert Whitman Teen

Blurb (Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything --who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or "Hank" and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

The Escapist

Head over to Oops! I Read A Book Again for debut author Kimberly Ann Miller!

Yesterday: Hafsah Laziaf (Unbreathable) and Kari Luna (The Theory of Everything)
Tomorrow: Amanda Sun (Ink) and Caela Carter (Me, Him, Them, & It)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

- 1 copy of Being Henry David + swag
- open internationally
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for posting! And what excellent timing on the heels of BHD being included in Mashable's top 11 and Buzzfeed's top 21 Best YA for 2013. (... and I'm glad you find our story romantic :-)

    1. That's awesome; congratulations to Cal!

      And yes, I do find your story romantic. Just like the love story you'll read in a book. ;)


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