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Interview: Huffington Post

Over on the Huffington Post, the Book Doctors interviewed me about Bang, pizza, and writing books that teens read.

TBD: How did you learn to become a writer?

BL: I sort of figured it out on my own, really. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to tell stories, and I was manic in my reading. I read constantly. Every chance I had, I would have my nose in a book. So I sort of absorbed a lot of the lessons and the rhythms of writing and internalized them subconsciously. Which isn’t to say that I was a great writer the first time my fingers touched the keyboard! Hell, no! I still had to practice and hone my craft, which took literally decades. But no one ever really sat me down and taught me how to start — I figured that out on my own and then just kept iterating and trying until things started to click.

Read the complete interview on HuffPo!

May ACLU Fundraiser: “Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend”

Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend coverAfter last month’s extremely dark turn, I thought maybe something a little lighter for this month… So, let’s read about a super-powered serial killer!

A hero. A villain. And a cop caught in between.

“Sometimes it feels more like they’re all involved in some kind of celestial chess match and we’re less than pawns. We’re the board. And no one cares what happens to the board.” — Capt. J. Fannon (Chicago Police Dept.)

Blending his serial killer bona fides and his love of super-hero comics, Barry Lyga presents a tale from the point of view of a Chicago cop trying to hunt a super-powered murderer. But which is more vexing: discovering the identity of the killer or uncovering the secrets behind the super-hero who’s helping out on the case?

As always, the story is $1.99 and all proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

Please buy the story and spread the word! Thanks!

Shelf Awareness Gives Bang Its Fourth Star!

I’m so happy to announce that Bang has received its fourth star, courtesy of the folks at Shelf Awareness, who say, in part:

Lyga shifts among variations on guilt, healing, gun violence and Islamophobia with ease as Sebastian struggles to cope with his complicated life. Though YA stories often absent parents from the action, Sebastian’s relationships with his estranged father and irreparably damaged mother grant an extra layer of reality. Painfully raw and accented with hope and anguish, Bang will connect solidly with older teens looking for a deep and affecting story.

Thanks, Shelf Awareness! Check out the entire review.

Bang in the New York Times!

Bang coverThe New York Times Book Review has posted its review of Bang. Needless to say, I’m stoked:

Lyga captures the heartbreak of Sebastian’s situation with sensitivity and compassion, exploring how a life can be unfairly defined by just one action, how it’s tragically easy to ignore humanity in favor of a headline, and just what communication, love and sharing the truth can do, especially when it comes to forgiving oneself.

You can read the complete review at the Times website.

April ACLU Fundraiser: Four Minutes

Thus far, the stories I’ve published in my series of ACLU fundraisers have been previously-written pieces that I’ve polished up before sending them out into the world.

This month, the story is brand-new. I finished it about a week ago.

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS STORY GO TO THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION!Four Minutes cover

The place: The suburbs.

The time: Tomorrow, maybe.

The situation: Ray is just trying to get by in the newer, greater America. With a wife and a new baby, he can’t afford to get mixed up in politics or the fight for civil liberties. But as the world shrinks and darkens around him, Ray finds that the safe harbor he’s crafted for himself and his family may not be big enough or strong enough to stand.

And then one night, there’s a knock at the door. Now there’s nowhere to hide, and soon Ray will have to make the hardest decision of his life.

With cold, relentless precision, Barry Lyga explores a future that is too close for comfort in what might be his darkest, most disturbing work to date.

“Four Minutes” may, indeed, be the most brutal thing I’ve ever written. And that’s saying something.

Give this story a chance. Buy it. Read it. Spread the word. Let’s put some more cash in the ACLU’s pocket.

You can find “Four Minutes” here: