Thursday, September 21, 2017

Guest Post with K.M. Walton

Photo credit: Serge Nikolich Photography

K. M. Walton had a dream when she was a little girl. Actually she had a gazillion dreams and she spent a large amount of her childhood dreaming. Her one dream was to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a teacher. Her three younger sisters used to play students in the basement while she played teacher. She actually assigned them homework. And they did it. Believe it or not, after all that they're actually best friends.

Teaching became a reality for K.M. and she taught for twelve glorious and spectacular years, some of it in Osteen, Florida and most of it in Springfield, Pennsylvania (Hi, Osteen Elementary and ETR Middle School!!).

During her time off from teaching she founded and directed the summer day camp Camp Kindness where campers learned about kindness, empathy, and compassion. After leaving the classroom she became an instructional coach for teachers, coaching them on how to be highly effective in their teaching practice. She is a proud West Chester University graduate and Pennsylvania Writing and Literacy Project fellow.

Funny thing though, writing, it turns out, is K.M. Walton's favorite thing to do in the whole world. Even the hard parts, and there are a lot of hard parts. She says, in the end the hard work is worth it nothing compares to the thrill of knowing one of her books impacted a reader.

She frequently uses an Ernest Hemingway quote to describe what kind of writer she is: Write hard and clear about what hurts.

Her writing tries to shine a light onto the silently suffering, the marginalized. She loves when assumptions are crushed and readers "see" her characters and feel their pain. Thrilling.

Speaking of thrilling, the most important parts of her life involve her beloved family. She's madly in love with her husband (twenty-three years married and counting), is ridiculously proud of her two sons, she cherishes her mother, is friends with her countless cousins and in-laws, calls her mother-in-law a friend, loves reading (Harry Potter, The Stand, The Red Tent, The Sky is Everywhere, & The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane are some of her top reads) , going to the movies (some of her all-time favs are Empire Strikes Back, Napoleon Dynamite, & Notting Hill), she loves ice cream and chocolate, kindness and compassion, she believes in paying it forward and doing anything she can to support her family and friends.

BEHIND THE SONG is a YA anthology centered on music. Everyone has a favorite song. Music speaks to us all, it’s a universal language that has power. The power to make us feel, remember, break down barriers, open hearts and minds. It cements moments. It stirs the magic within.

Getting to work with such an incredible group of YA authors and musicians will go down in my personal history as such a thrill. Here are ten behind the scenes facts from BEHIND THE SONG!

1. Parts of Donn T’s and Suzanne Young’s short stories are based on real life. You’ll have to read their pieces to see if you can figure out what’s real and what’s fiction.

2. Anthony Breznican named some of his characters in his short story as a nod to few of his favorite authors: James Dashner and Stephen King.

3. The lovely Ellen Oh was the person who put me in contact with Ameriie so I could pitch her to write the foreword. Lucky for the project that Ameriie said yes!!

4. My “signature” at the end of my introduction was done in Word with the squiggly line.

5. I listened to the accompanying song as I edited everyone’s pieces. I highly recommend reading a piece and then listening to the song that inspired it. It heightens the experience. Trust me. For example, I defy you not to have serious feelings after reading Jonathan Maberry’s or Beth Kephart’s personal essays, followed by listening to the songs that inspired them.

6. I pitched G. Love, from G. Love and Special Sauce, after his concert at the TLA in Philly, face-to-face in his meet and greet line. He obviously said yes! I pitched Ellen Hopkins via private Facebook message, and my hands hurt from clapping when she agreed to participate in the project.

7. After my online search for permission to include the lyrics to “All the Lights Went Out” by Marcy Playground after my short story, and a series of fortunate events, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the band’s lead singer, John Wozniak and his lovely girlfriend Amanda. The whole band has been outrageously kind and enthusiastic about the book. They even dedicated a performance of the song to me during a concert in Lancaster, PA. What a thrill!

8. The designed interior pages of BEHIND THE SONG were a first for me as an author. The designer hit it out of the park.

9. My debut author group is The Apocalypsies (2012) and there are three Apocalypsies who contributed to BEHIND THE SONG: Elisa Ludwig, Tiffany Schmidt, and E.C. Myers.

10. David Arnold, James Howe, and Donn T are all performing live music at the launch event for BEHIND THE SONG. How cool is that? Oh, and if you live in the Philly area, you’re totally invited. Heck, if you feel like a road trip, you’re invited, too : ) Check out the details here.

Music takes a moment and makes it a memory. It’s a universal language that can capture love, heartbreak, loss, soul-searching, and wings spreading—all in the span of a few notes. In Behind the Song, fourteen acclaimed young adult authors and musicians share short stories and personal essays inspired by the songs, the albums, and the musicians who move them.

So turn up the volume and cue up the playlist. This is an anthology you’ll want to experience on repeat.



"A compilation of stories and essays written by authors and musicians sharing the deep influences of music that helped to shape their lives, particularly calling upon their own readers glimpses into the personal musical influences of such authors as Ellen Oh and E.C. Myers as well as a haunting essay by musician Donn T. " Kirkus

"This anthology about music hits all the right notes... The 14 entries are sparked by a diverse group of artists, such as Bob Dylan, the Killers, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, and the Eagles. Readers will recognize some of the popular authors who contributed, such as Ellen Hopkins, Ellen Oh, David Arnold, and Elisa Ludwig. The pieces are about more than just the songs and reveal personal philosophies that will resonate even with readers unfamiliar with the music."" School Library Journal

You can purchase Behind the Song at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you K.M. WALTON for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Behind the Song by K.M. Walton.


  1. I always think about wheater - is it sunny or not?

  2. The first think I think about in the morning is that I need more sleep and want to stay in bed longer

  3. The first thing I think of is what is the weather.