Bites

Pub Date: February 1, 2012.

Author Website

Have you ever had an extraordinary day?

Max hadn’t. Until one winter day when he met a girl.

THE LIBERATION OF MAX MCTRUE takes place in a single day. The classic Boy Meets Girl story. Well, sort of: Boy meets homeschooled girl. Boy ditches school. Boy finds his future. And there’s an ice cream truck. And archery. It’s a bit like what would happen if Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Alchemist had a kid, well…a kid who was a YA eBook novella. You get the idea.

Max took a day off and found his life.

Who changed your life today? (eBook blurb)

THE LIBERATION OF MAX MCTRUE isn’t anything spectacular. It isn’t a story about Max fighting demons or werewolves or anything otherworldly or otherwise undead. He hasn’t set out to save anyone and, really, the only person that needs saving is himself. From the world created around him that, up until he meets Clara Jane, he’s quite content in. Max is someone that doesn’t have a plan. His plan is to follow others plans for him: where to meet, which schools to apply to, which sports to play, which jobs to chase. But then Clara Jane comes in and rattles his brain even more than his best friend Emerson ever could and for a flash of a second he hates her for it. Then he hates himself for not realizing it sooner.
People aren’t the biggest fans of change. Add in fear of the unknown and zombies are born; those that in one place their entire lives, whether it’s actually because of fear or they’re simply content and lacking desire, they end up existing in the lives created for them by other people. Max was no exception and even when Clara Jane came into his life for just that short school day, he fought the change. He made excuses for why it had to be this way. He lashed out. He accused. He hurt. And then he was finally free.
Told in a voice that makes me want to wrap the words around me like a blankie, it pulls you into Max’s life. It gives you an idea of where he’s coming from. It shows you glimpses of the people that rule his life. And then it shows him changing. It’s not an easy change but Max makes it. He doesn’t make it until the last possible second, where, as the reader, you might be thinking that he won’t do it. But Max doesn’t disappoint. All it took was a girl.
This isn’t a story about love at first site. It’s about intrigue and the will to chase something different. To break from the norm, and from the norm that other people have thrust onto you, and do something completely different and see whether the shoe fits or not. It’ll make you re-evaluate where you stand in your own little world. It’ll make you open your eyes to the people around you, even those that may pass in and out of your life in a flash. Because they can still leave a lasting impression.
THE LIBERATION OF MAX MCTRUE has a butterfly effect not just for Max but for the reader. Sometimes you just need to get slapped in the face with a branch before you see the forest for the trees. And that’s exactly what it does. Your life will be one step closer to complete after reading this.


Ban Factor: Medium – Other than the swears it’s pretty innocuous. The banners would need to actually read this one to find something.

Kim Culbertson technically writes for teenagers, but some grown-ups like her work. Sourcebooks Fire published her award winning first YA novel Songs for a Teenage Nomad (2010, originally Hip Pocket Press, 2007) and her second YA novel Instructions for a Broken Heart (2011) which was named a Booklist Top Ten Romance Title for Youth: 2011. Kim’s short fiction has appeared in Cicada, Canary, and The Smoking Poet. When she’s not writing for teens, she’s teaching them. She’s a college advisor and teaches creative writing and English at Forest Charter School in Northern California. Kim wrote The Liberation of Max McTrue for her students who, over the years, have taught her much more than she has taught them.

I mentioned something about a writing contest, didn’t I? Well, Kim and Figment.com have teamed up to put together an awesome writing contest where you can get the chance to win a copy of THE LIBERATION OF MAX MCTRUE and a manuscript critique from Kim herself! How tempting is that? Just don’t be fooled by the idea of writing flash fiction. Just because it’s shorter doesn’t mean it’s easier. Here are the details –
The Liberation of Max McTrue Contest
Brought to you by Figment.com and Kim Culbertson

Kim Culbertson is joining Figment for a whirlwind weekend of Flash Fiction to celebrate her new ebook, The Liberation of Max McTrue!

Enter the Max McTrue Flash Fiction Contest!
There will be a Total of three prizes: Each winner gets a free download of The Liberation of Max McTrue as well as a custom-made “beautiful things” journal. The first place winner will also receive a 30 minute manuscript review by Kim Culbertson.

All you have to do is write a super short story under 500 words that follows one of the four prompts below. Submit your entry between 11:00am on February 3rd, 2012 and 11:59pm on February 5th, 2012. The Figment editorial staff will choose the top ten entries as finalists, and Kim will choose the winners from those finalists.

The Prompts:
(1) Write a story set against the backdrop of a scavenger hunt.
(2) Write a story confined to the periods of a school day. The character can be in school or out of school.
(3) Write a story in which a character is deeply afraid of something.
(4) Come up with a totally ordinary character and then set him/her up to have an extraordinary day.

How to enter:

  • Go to www.figment.com and sign up.
  • Once you have received your confirmation email, go to your Figment profile page, click “My Writing,” and “Create Something New.”
  • Before you start writing, read the full rules on the Max McTrue contest page, which you’ll be able to find under the “Contest” tab on Figment on February 3rd, 2012.
  • Write an original story, under 500 words, that follows one of the four prompts above.
  • Go to the “Details” tab of your story, and put maxmctrue in the “Tags” section.
  • Wait the 2 hours it sometimes takes to see your story appear on the contest page.

Comments are closed.