Apr 22, 2014

Anna's Memory For Dear Teen Me

Anna wrote a memory for Dear Teen Me. You can read it here. There were also two photos of her when she was a teenager.

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Apr 17, 2014

Behind the Book: Learning Not to Drown

Anna wrote a piece for Pulseit about memories. Read it here!

Where I grew up, there was both a swamp and a lake. I remember the lake as being icy cold, but everyone spent the summers swimming there anyway.
The swamp was across town in a low area that every spring would become a small pond of thick mud and sharp reeds that smelt like rot. When it was wet, I was afraid of going near it. I was sure I’d get sucked in, and I’d slowly die as I inhaled breath after breath of silty water.
But by the end of summer the swamp became the perfect place to explore.
One year I was playing war with a group of boys I babysat and their neighbors. We were running through the dry swamp with our squirt guns. It was hot and humid, and the lowest areas of the ground were still thick with algae and mosquito-filled mud, but we raced through the growth and the muck and didn’t care that our clothes got dirty and our shoes turned brown and swishy. It was war, and we needed to shoot the enemy with as many rounds of water as possible.
I crawled out of the undergrowth looking for the boys, getting shot squarely in the face by the enemy as I did so. Before I could shoot him back, I heard the scream of one of my boys.
Tearing through the thicket, I found the younger brother in a thick cave of branches, still screaming, pointing at a long, dirty bone.
I nudged it with my toe until it flipped over. The youngest boy suggested it was a human bone. It was long enough. The shape was right. One of them plucked the bandana off his head and we used that to pick it up and pass it around, the buzz of mosquitos filling the silence. There were scrape marks, and we debated, then decided it was a bear that had been chewing on it. The bone was tossed down and we ran to the kids’ house.  
We didn’t play much in the swamp after that. We blamed the bugs, or the possibility of bears. But we all knew it was because of the bone. It was human enough for us to believe it was, but not enough human for any of us to tell an adult. I may very well have told one of my brothers. I have a vague recollection of the two of us crouching in the small cave of bushes, gazing at the bone, and him dismissing it as a dog treat and me as an idiot.
I’m not 100 percent sure if it all happened, and if I were to ask my brother, he may or may not remember. That’s the tricky thing about memories: they don’t come as a complete story, they implant in each person’s head differently and can flee at any given moment. I know for sure there was a swamp and I know for sure there was a lake. And I know they both had a profound effect on my childhood.
When I was writing Learning Not to Drown I knew the lake was not just a setting—it was a character. It was complex, not just the lake that I spent lazy summer days swimming in, but also the swamp that I became so terrified of.
In the same way I combined the lake and swamp into one, I took my own memories of having an incarcerated brother and mixed them up with my imagination and with stories I had heard from many different sources—friends with incarcerated family members, people with loved ones who had addiction problems, and strangers who wrote their stories on message boards. I ground it all up until it no longer represented any one person but a multitude that came together to create Clare, Luke, and Peter.  

Apr 16, 2014

The Blackout Show Online Podcast #3

The Blackout Show Online has posted their 3rd podcast and you can listen to it now. In it they discuss Linkin Park's upcoming album, The Hunting Party and Anna's book, Learning Not to Drown.

Joe and Heidi at Sebago X Linkin Park event

Earlier this year Linkin Park worked with Sebago to create a pair of boots for benefit of Hurricane Sandy relief. In the photo below you can see Joe and Heidi behind Mike.

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Credit: Pblcty

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Photos

On April 13 Anna was at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Here are some photos collected from various sources. Thanks again Katie for helping me get these together.

theblackoutshowonline1 theblackoutshowonline2

How cute are all these dresses she's been wearing? I love her style. :)


More Photos from Learning Not To Drown Events (+Anna's brother)

Private Party (+14):

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Party hosted by Lisa Ling (+5):

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Book Court Signing (+1):

video: http://instagram.com/p/mabzV4G5Kj/

Also, thank you to Crazygirl and Katie for the emails that helped me put all this together. :)

NOTE: In the photo below from the release party hosted by Lisa Ling, Anna is with her brother George. 

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He posted this photo to his instagram and said this:
"How great is this? My sisters book released yesterday. I was a lucky to preview it prerelease and I completely enjoyed it. Pick it up! Learning Not to Drown."

He is a personal trainer (check out his profile) and you can follow him on twitter.

Movie Screening for The Mall

Joe's movie had it's first screening at Paramount Studios on the 14th. Heidi posted this photo on instagram:

"So proud of @mrjoehahn very first feature film screening at paramount studios."

Apr 11, 2014

The Blackout Show Online Podcast #3

The Blackout Show Online's 3rd podcast is happening on April 16th and during it they will be talking about Anna, so you should definitely check it out. You can find the more info and add it to your facebook events here.

Fashion By The Book - Learning Not to Drown

I thought this was neat! Fashion By the Book put together an outfit inspired by Learning Not to Drown. You can check out the how much each piece is over at Polyvore.

The Hunting Party - 6/17/14

In case you haven't heard the exciting news, Linkin Park have announced the name and release date of their upcoming album. The album is called The Hunting Party and will be released on June 17th!!! Whoohoo!

Linkin Park Fan Corner is hosting a listening party. Get the details here!

Apr 4, 2014

Learning Not to Drown Launch Party

Looks like there was a private launch party tonight for Anna and her book. Check out some pictures below.

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Credits: Instagram and Twitter

Freshman Fifteens Interview With Anna

Stacy Lee from Freshman Fifteens interview Anna about Learning Not To Drown. Check it out here!

"When I started working on Learning Not to Drown, I knew I wanted to write about the reality of growing up with a sibling in prison. Addiction, family secrets and betrayal were all an important part of Clare’s story and are issues that many people with incarcerated family members deal with on a daily basis. They all exist together in her story, so I can’t say that one speaks to me more than the others."

You can also enter to win a signed copy at the end of the interview.