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Kalifornia Blu Paperback – May 23, 2013


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About the Author

Kendell Shaffer grew up in Baltimore, the daughter of two ballet dancers. She moved to the Big Apple for college where she attended Tisch School of the Arts film school at New York University. After college, she moved on to Los Angeles where she produces and writes for television. Now a resident of Venice Beach, Kendell teaches screenwriting to teens at high schools throughout Los Angeles for the Writer's Guild Foundation. In addition to spending time with her family, she co-founded Garage Band Venice, a musical jam where kids learn to play music together in individual bands. She raises bees on her rooftop and plays the drums in her living room. Please visit Kendell at http://www.kendellshaffer.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: WriteSpa; 1 edition (May 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193998002X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939980021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,636,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kendell Shaffer has had a multifaceted career in entertainment, most recently working in VFX (visual effects) on 'Knight and Day,' a 20th Century Fox film. During the shoot she traveled with the film to Boston, Salzburg, Austria and Seville, Spain.

In 2007 she joined the WGA when she sold a TV pilot, 'Downtown' to ABC Studios and a TV movie, 'Team Julia' to Lifetime Television, both of which she wrote with her writing partner, Jefferson Eliot. In 2009, Kendell and Jefferson turned their TV pilot, 'Affairs of State' about interns on Capitol Hill, into a stage play, which was performed at Electric Lodge to sold-out houses.

She has been teaching screenwriting for the Writer's Guild Foundation in their High School Screen Writing workshop, bringing screenwriting into inner city schools throughout Los Angeles. Her work with teens inspired her to write a YA novel, KALIFORNIA BLU, which she has just finished. It is the first of a series set in Venice, California.

She currently teaches writing workshops to teens and tweens through her own organization, Write This Way.

Kendell has been Associate Producer on the movie 'Sirens' for Showtime; 'King of the World' for ABC; 'Nash Bridges,' 'Orleans,' and 'Texarkana' for CBS. She's worked as Graphics Supervisor on 'CSI:NY,' and Visual Effects Supervisor on 'VR.5,' 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,' and 'Titanic,' the CBS mini-series. She put in her time with Roger Corman in the art department on four Concorde-New Horizon movies, and was set decorator for various music videos and commercials. She is a voting member of the Writer's Guild Guild, Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and an annual judge the Scriptwriters Network Screenwriting Competition.

Currently she can be found at Jasperlark.com where she is partners with Jefferson Eliot in their Design + Writing business.

In addition to spending time with her family, she is co-founder of Garage Band Venice, a musical jam where kids learn to play music together in individual bands.

Kendell is a graduate of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. She is a former dancer and grew up in Baltimore, the daughter of two ballet dancers. She plays the drums and raises bees on her roof.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
69%
4 star
27%
3 star
0%
2 star
4%
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0%
See all 26 customer reviews
Great characters, believable and fresh.
Jehan Agrama
It has a universal appeal - girls and boys, young and old, this book is for you.
John Alden
The plot is great, and it has an awesome ending.
Jsalz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heather L. Alexander on July 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was given this book in return for an honest review. Kalifornia Blu is a teenage /skateboarder, whose mother was a star and is trying to make a comeback, and in doing so leaves Kali alone most of the time. Kali is a girl in desperate need of attention and is always pushing the boundaries. After getting in trouble, she's bailed out by mommy's people and ends up in a program through high school that simulates the LAPD. Unhappy with the situation, but not wanting to go to juvi or ask her mother for help, she resigns herself to the class. In the process of the story, she makes friends with her teenaged attorney, an ex gangmember, and a young girl in desperate need of help. With mommy dearest gone, her absentee father is now her caretaker and he actually seems to care. She finds that he is in a program where he mentors kids, one of those kids becomes in need of Kali's help, with her and her other pals, they have to go save a young girl. Kali is changing and doesn't even see it, she is becoming the person she would have been if someone had cared for her. Can Kali get over her bitterness towards everyone and actually have a real relationship with someone? This is not the kind of book I normally read but I enjoyed it. I liked watching Kali change and become a better person, she's fiercely loyal to those she cares about and in desperate need of someone to really care for her. Her character could represent so many kids out there today that it's scary. If you are looking for a book with a message, a bit of romance, action and realism, this is a great book to check out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The guy on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I love Kendell Shaffer's skill with the language and the momentum in her storytelling. What impresses me most is the way she observes behavior. Shaffer has a great touch for drawing moments that simultaneously define character and advance narrative. It is a technique I have seen often in Anne Tyler and Elmore Leonard, and Shaffer is quite deft at using it. I could rave on but I'll add just one more note. I believe music is about "the feeling" and I'm pretty the same is true for storytelling. "Kalifornia Blu" has it. If the marketplace has any brains it will embrace the book enthusiastically!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By calmrichard on June 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Sweet to see a Young Adult book that deals with themes of alienation of youth from the adult word of divorce, drugs, crime, inability to connect with peers. Some frank topics with some adult language, but truly appropriate for young readers.

Cleverly written in a first person voice similar to that of Holden Caulfield but Kal has her individual voice and often tries to censor herself if she wants to say things too sweet or too cynical. ('Boyfriend' Dakota, 'doesn't expect me to love him or crap like that.") An insecure teen behind a strong façade. And it is not so fussy a voice that the prose becomes encumbered.

The specifics really put the reader on the scene--the boardwalk of Venice, Caifornial is espec a good starter in the novel. Clearly sets the scene for this unusual skateboarder daughter of a rock star. Later terrific specifics set scene of dad's apartment, things that make her believe she's getting to know dad for the first time.

Cute beginnings with young lawyer/future love interest, Penn. 'I told you to lose the medal.' 'I took out my nipple rings.' Daring for YA readers but not censor-able by parents.

Nice running device throughout of not-looking-back, from first chase and arrest (get caught looking back) until the final paragraph of being okay to look back, seeing twinkle of affection in dad's eye.

For those readers who like chase scenes, the chase from the porn set, the skitching (holding onto a fast-moving car while on a skateboard) behind an SUV with dad following in limo, and a few others are dazzling.

Sex scenes are few (they have to be included in a modern depiction of teens) but the 'messing around' with boyfriend Dakota was handled sensitively.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By An English learner on June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I often read English children's books and teens novels to learn new words. Recently I finished reading "Kalifornia Blu", and it became one of my favorite books!

At first, the main character, Kalifornia(a.k.a. Kali) looked like one of troublesome children of celebrities because of her behavior, like skateboading in the park at 3 a.m. and getting arrested. But after reading the book further, I started to like Kali. I like her bravery, fairness and strong sense of justice. She was a very independent person for her age, even though she sometimes seemed to be too reckless ( she did skitching on the heavy traffic road to rescue one of her classmates. ) I was moved by how much she had wanted a caring parent and friends. She didn't want to admit her loneliness maybe because of her father's long time absence. However, when she talked back to her father, every word she said to him sounded like "I need your love!" to me.

The book describes Venice so vividly. I will walk around there with the book and have a lot of fun. Thank you, Kendell!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Superfast Reader on June 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Set in the meticulously and passionately described LA town of Venice Beach, Kalifornia Blu has attitude and the plot to back it up. Kal has always been a wild child, the daughter of an aging rock star who's basically given up on being a mom, leaving Kal alone in a luxury apartment and tended by lawyers. When Kal is caught skateboarding at 3 a.m., the judge sentences her to an immediate transfer into a program for wannabe cops. She has to wear a junior police uniform and everything. Despite her desire to be anywhere else, she can't help but get involved in the lives of her fellow students, and her unique talents may make her the only person who can really help her ex-gang member classmate before it's too late. Kendell Shaffer writes the hell out of the story, giving Kal a voice that is funny, wise, foolish, tough, and vulnerable all at once.
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