Wait Wait…It’s Me!

wait waitIf you follow me on social media, you may have noticed that I’ve been taking a break for June. Mostly, it’s been good–I’ve been writing more, and I’ve also had the time and energy to knock some long-standing items off my to-do list.

One of those items was “try to get on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” my favorite NPR news quiz show. I’ve been listening for years, and they always say “If you want to play on air, call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT!”

So, finally, I called. I left a rambling message about being a writer and having two little kids and listening every week while I hang their cloth diapers up to dry… and lo and behold, they called me back.

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman CoverSo if you listen to the broadcast this weekend, YES, that’s me (!!) doing the listener limerick challenge. It was exactly the mix of fun and terrifying that I had always imagined. I even got to talk a little about my books ALL FOUR STARS (about the 12-year-old restaurant critic) and THE GREAT HIBERNATION (where the adults fall asleep and the kids take over the town government).

The Great HibernationCalling the number was on my to-do list, but actually being on the show? Total bucket list item–now crossed off. Also, my voicemail is about to get upgraded. 🙂 What a week.

(The only irony is that I now have to break my own social media blackout to share the news, ha!)

PS,  If you missed the show but still want to listen, never fear, it’s online, too. It’s the 6/23/18 episode featuring David Wise.

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Summer Reading Splash this weekend!

Hello, friends! Just a quick note to say that I’m excited to be participating in the 5 Book Dive/2018 Summer Reading Splash this weekend at the AISD Performing Arts center here in Austin, Texas! This is a middle-grade book festival, geared toward grades 3-6, featuring keynote speaker Kate DiCamillo and several other incredible authors of books for kids. I’ll be on a panel about mysteries at noon and will be signing books at 2 PM. Hope to see you there!

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Great news for THE GREAT HIBERNATION

Hello, readers! I’m so pleased to report a few tidbits of happy news for me and my books.

Great Hibernation coverAccolades
My newest middle-grade novel, The Great Hibernation, has just been named a best book of the year by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC). What a huge honor, and what excellent company it’s in, too.

The Great Hibernation has also been selected for this year’s Spirit of Texas Middle School Reading List! I can’t wait to get more involved with the libraries and schools in my (not-so-)new home state as young readers dive into the story. Happy reading, my fellow Texans.
Events
memberfuse_logoSpeaking of Texas, I’ll be attending at the 2018 TXLA conference on April 3 and 4 in Dallas. You can catch me on the “What’s New With Texas Middle Grade & Young Adult Authors” panel (Tuesday, 4/3, 2:45pm) and at the Texas Author & Illustrator Speed Dating (4pm), and then I’ll be signing my Penguin Random House books at 11am on Wednesday, 4/4. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of librarians!

New additions
During the same crazy week late last year, my debut picture book deal was announced AND I had a baby. So to say that I’ve been keeping busy is kind of an understatement!

 

I hope that 2018 has been treating you well so far. My postings here are likely to be infrequent for a while, but you can always see what I’ve been cooking up on Instagram. And I strongly encourage you to check out #kidlitwomen on Twitter/Facebook this month, which is calling attention to the gender inequities in the world of children’s literature and working on solutions.

 

Cynsations guest post, and preorder winner!

20170911_094045I’m so pleased to announce that Marnie Lansdown has won the preorder contest for The Great Hibernation. Marnie works at Colorado Humanities, and has great plans for getting the class set of books into the hands of underserved readers in the Denver area. Thank you, Marnie, and thank you to EVERYONE who preordered from BookPeople! Your personalized copies, stuffed with stickers and bookmarks, are on their way out to you.

The winner of Under the Bottle Bridge by Jessica Lawson will be chosen tonight. You can still squeeze in an entry by commenting on that post if you haven’t already!

And finally, I have a guest post up today at Cynsations, the fabulous blog of Cynthia Leitich Smith, about making connections in the writing and bookselling community after moving to a new town. A lot of the advice would also apply to debut authors. I hope that it’s helpful and interesting!

 

Great hopes for THE GREAT HIBERNATION

Great Hibernation coverWell, friends, the day is here. My fourth novel, The Great Hibernation, is out in the world. This is definitely my weirdest book, and in some ways, also my most personal. Writing it was a long journey that spanned 2013—before I was a published author at all!—until very late 2015 (two days before I gave birth to my first kiddo). The editorial process, by contrast, was a fairly short one (at least by publishing standards), from selling it to Wendy Lamb Books in early 2016 to seeing on the shelves now in 2017.

When you start writing a novel, you often have no idea if or when it will ever reach readers. I certainly couldn’t have anticipated this story entering the world in the midst of the political and natural strife so many of us are now facing. And in a way, it feels weird to be celebrating something joyous like a new book release when so much around us feels like it’s falling apart.

But at the same time, if we let all joy be swallowed up by darkness, the darkness wins. That’s something that I refused to let happen to my characters in The Great Hibernation—even though a series of sinister, stressful things happen to them over the course of the book, those challenges never quite destroy their creative spirits. In fact, they inspire my main character, Jean Huddy, to grow braver and louder than she ever thought she could be.

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Jean Huddy, in Rebecca Green‘s beautiful illustration, taking on the patriarchy of St. Polonius-on-the-Fjord

So perhaps the fictional town of St. Polonius-on-the-Fjord (my quirky setting for The Great Hibernation) will, for a few hours, serve as a refuge for readers who need it. Perhaps the humor in the story will help them forget their troubles for a bit. And then, when the time comes for them to stand up and take the next steps in their fight—for justice, for recovery, for whatever their own challenge is—perhaps my characters’ journey will lend them a little extra strength, too.

Happy reading, and stay awake.

-Tara

Need a copy of The Great Hibernation? Just hop into your car, truck, or snowplow and head to…

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 BookPeople (signed copies) * Your local independent bookstore * Penguin Random House * Powell’s * BAM * B&N * Amazon *  Indigo (Canada)* Book Depository (International)

 

Need to find me over the next month? 

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Meet me at one of my booktore events (NYC; Westchester; Boston; Arlington/DC;  Boulder, CO; Austin, TX)…snowshoes, hopefully, not required

 

Want to know more about The Great Hibernation?


What would happen if every grown-up in town fell asleep and the kids were left in charge? A great pick for fans of A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff and Greenglass House by Kate Milford, or any reader seeking a quirky mystery with a big helping of silliness.
 
The most important tradition in tiny St. Polonius is the annual Tasting of the Sacred Bear Liver. Each citizen over twelve must eat one bite of liver to prevent the recurrence of the Great Hibernation, when the town founders fell asleep for months.

This year is Jean Huddy’s first time to taste the liver. It doesn’t go well.

A few hours later, all the adults fall into a sleep from which they cannot be woken, and the kids are left to run things. At first, they have a blast. But then the town bullies take over the mayor’s office and the police force, and pretty soon Jean begins to suspect that this “hibernation” was actually engineered by someone in town.

Courage, teamwork, and scientific smarts unlock an unusual mystery in this delightful and funny story about one girl who inspires the kids around her to join together to save their home.

 

Want to read some nice things people have said about The Great Hibernation?

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“Memorably humorous…Lighthearted enough to entice readers with the silly premise and whimsical illustrations sprinkled throughout, this middle grade book nonetheless explores some rather important political ideas about individuality and the need for a balance of powers in governance. A strong selection for most middle grade shelves.”
–
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Quirky without being over-the-top, Dairman’s novel is a funny, wintry romp that explores just what might happen if kids were in charge.”
-BOOKLIST

“[A] whimsical mystery…The fast-paced plot belies the sleepy small-town setting, and it’s refreshing to see a cast of characters who genuinely love their village and their families, whatever their quirks, instead of yearning to escape them.”
-BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS (BCCB) 

“Definitely will not induce drowsiness. Utterly original.”
—ADAM REX
author of The True Meaning of Smekday and the Cold Cereal Saga

“Imagine Lord of the Flies as a comedy set in snowy terrain and you have The Great Hibernation: a hilarious, whip-smart page-turner you don’t want to miss.”
—JENNIFER CHAMBLISS BERTMAN
New York Times bestselling author of Book Scavenger and The Unbreakable Code

 

Preorder contest & tour dates for THE GREAT HIBERNATION!

Great Hibernation coverIt’s hard to believe that my fourth novel, The Great Hibernation, will be on bookshelves next month! I’m so excited for readers to meet Jean, Isara, Rambo the sheep, and the rest of the gang tasked with saving the tiny town of St. Polonius-on-the-Fjord from a mysterious hibernation…and some dastardly political moves, too.

Are you hoping to score a signed copy? And maybe some neat Hibernation swag? You’re in luck! You can either come see me in person on my fall tour, OR preorder a signed, personalized book through my local indie bookstore, BookPeople (and be entered to win an awesome grand prize). Details below!

The Great Hibernation fall book tour

Books of Wonder – New York, NY
Sunday, September 17, 4 pm
Middle-grade panel and launch party! (with Jessica Lawson, Tracey Baptiste,  & Alison Cherry)

The Voracious Reader  – Larchmont, NY
Monday, September 18, 6:30 pm
Science & magic! A middle grade event with Sarah Albee, & Corey Ann Haydu

Trident Booksellers & Cafe
 – 
Boston, MA
Tuesday, September 19, 6:30 pm
Super middle-grade panel! (with Debbi Michiko Florence, Ammi-Joan Paquette, Jen Malone, & Katie Slivensky, moderated by Dana Alison Levy)

One More Page Books
 – Arlington, VA
Saturday, September 23, 3pm
Kidlit panel! (with Tracey Baptiste, Caroline Carlson, & Jessica Lawson, moderated by Madelyn Rosenberg)

Boulder Book Store – Boulder, CO
Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 pm
Middle-grade book launch party! (with Jeannie Mobley & Melanie Crowder)

BookPeople – Austin, TX
Sunday, October 8, 2 pm
A Triple Launch Party! (with Christina Soontornvat & Jeannie Mobley)

 

Preorder campaign!

Can’t make it to one of my events? Never fear–I’m teaming up with BookPeople for an awesome preorder campaign! Just follow the instructions on this page and you can order as many signed, personalized copies as you like; all will come with an exclusive Great Hibernation bookmark and sticker. And as an added bonus, anyone who preorders from BookPeople will be entered to win this amazing Grand Prize Pack!

-Spike, the stuffed narwhal (a key character in The Great Hibernation)61dp4WwNJYL._SL1500_

-A free 30-minute Skype visit with the author, during which you can ask me anything about my books (great for classrooms, book clubs, or just one-on-one chatting!)

AND

-A book club or classroom set of hardcovers of The Great Hibernation!

 

Good luck, and hope to see you and/or sign books for you this fall!

 

TLA conference this week!

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Swag!

Hello, friends. This week I’ll be journeying down to San Antonio to attend the Texas Library Association conference (aka TLA, or TXLA). It’s my first big conference, and I’m excited to meet librarians, attend panels full of fellow authors, and generally bask in literary wonderfulness for a few days.

If you’ll be attending and would like to catch me, here are my scheduled events:

Wednesday, April 19:
4:00-5:00PM / Room 007A – Speed Dating at the Texas Author and Illustrator Meet and Greet (CPE#3507: SBEC 1.0)
6:00-6:45PM / Signing at Overlooked Books Booth #1917
Thursday, April 20:
3:00-4:00PM / Signing at Overlooked Books Booth #1917

My published books (All Four Stars, etc.) will be available for purchase from Overlooked Books at the conference, and I’ll be giving out my beautiful new bookmarks for The Great Hibernation (coming 9/12/17) and showing off an ARC if you’d like a sneak peek. Hope to see you there!