Scholastic Fairs, new FAQ, & more!

Greetings, friends! I have a few updates that I’d love to share with you.

imgresIf you follow me on social media, then you might have noticed me celebrating an authorly milestone last week. All Four Stars has been picked  up by the Scholastic Book Fair! Gladys and her adventures will now be accessible to a whole new slew of elementary-school readers. I was a huuuge book fair fan in my own childhood, and it’s a great honor to have one of my books included now.

Also recently shared on social media: the cover for The Stars of Summer in Czech. I just love what Albatros and cover artist Eva Chupíková have done to bring Gladys (and her quest for NYC’s best hot dog) to life!

If you’ve been poking around my website, you’ve probably noticed a few changes. For one, The Great Hibernation is now featured on the Books page and the homepage, as well as in my new website header designed by the wonderful Kristin Rae.

Also, as of today I have a brand new FAQ section AND downloadable video on my About Me page, perfect for kids who are doing a book report on one of my books. (Yes, kids now regularly e-mail me asking for info they can include in their book reports. I pinch myself every time.)
And, speaking of changes, at the end of January my family moved 1,000 miles from Colorado down to Austin, Texas. While we were brokenhearted to leave friends, family, and the mountains behind, the Austin kidlit community has been so welcoming. And actually, it’s kinda pretty  here, too. 🙂


There’s a Monster Inside Me!

Or, well, there was in December of 2009. Andy and I had just returned from the first leg of our round-the-world trip, but little did we know that I was carrying an extra-special souvenir from Central America…in my scalp.

I’d tell you more, but why read when you can watch? 🙂 That’s right–tonight at 9 p.m. eastern, you can watch the whole, disgusting story of my parasitic infestation with botfly larvae unfold on the Animal Planet “docu-horror” show Monsters Inside Me. There’s even a three-minute preview of our segment online!

We taped our interviews a few months ago, and in a fun twist, my sister Brooke (who is an actress in New York) was hired to “play” me in the reenactments. (The actor who plays Andy is a stranger to us, but has come to be known as “Andy 2.0” around the house.)

Here’s hoping you enjoy our national television debut–and if you have any questions about the whole process, feel free to post a comment, and I’ll answer as best I can.

Fall is here!

Here are a few things I love about fall:

  • candy corn
  • pumpkin and squash dishes
  • hot chocolate
  • stews

Oops, those were all food. Well, I also like the pretty leaf colors and that it’s getting chilly enough to wear jeans and hoodies again. And the fact that fall leads up to Thanksgiving, my birthday, Hanukkah/Christmas, snow, and finally, when it’s cold enough, adult footie pajamas!:)

Fall is the one season I have yet to experience in Colorado, but I have high hopes. It felt like summer lasted about nine months this year, and honestly, by the end of August, I was really over it. In fact, I started drinking hot chocolate about three weeks ago, even though I had to sit directly in front of my fan while I was doing it. But now fall is legitimately here, and the weather even seems to be cooperating and dropping by a degree or two each day.

So, what else have I been doing, other than not updating this blog much? Well, I received my editorial letter a couple of weeks ago, and since then have been hard at work trying to make Gladys Gatsby more awesome. Mostly this has involved shaking up the story’s timeline and adding bunches of new scenes that delve more into the personalities of secondary characters. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also undeniably fun to dig even deeper into the world I’ve created. I know my characters well enough at this point that I can stick them into just about any sort of situation and understand how they’d react; I guess that’s a perk of working on the same story for 5+ years. 🙂

It also helps to have an assistant to keep your manuscript pages warm when you’re not working on them. Or even sometimes when you are.

I’ve also been blogging over at EMU’s Debuts, helping to launch several of my Erin Murphy Literary Agency co-clients’ books into the world! For Jeanne Ryan’s debut, Nerve, we all taped kidlit-related video dares, and mine apparently scored me a few fans for life (yes!) and made a few other people sick to their stomachs (oops). In case you missed it and enjoy watching people read with their mouths full, here it is:

Happy fall, y’all!

In which I direct you elsewhere.

As you’ve probably guessed from the lack of recent posts, I’ve been a little swamped lately–with writing, with work, with Downton Abbey (yes, my priorities are in order). But Downton‘s wrapped up now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with my revisions, and I hope to have some more material to share here on the blog next week.

In the meantime, here are a few goodies to keep you occupied!

1. How writing a novel is like falling in love, Jane Austen-style: From blind Lydia-Wickham love, to Elizabeth-Darcy hate, to Elizabeth-Darcy true love, this clever blog post by Beth Revis is spot-on about both the writing/revising process and Pride & Prejudice. What’s not to love?

2. Fair Coin is coming! I’m counting the days until E.C. Myers‘s debut YA sci-fi novel, Fair Coin drops (it’s coming in early March), but if you click “like” on the Pyr Young Adult page on Facebook, you can read the first three chapters now! I did this last week, and it left me chomping at the bit for the full story of Ephraim and the coin that makes his wishes come true…with freaky, dire consequences, of course. 😉

You want more, you say? Well, here’s the book trailer! (What’s a book trailer, you ask? It’s like a movie trailer, but for a…oh, you can figure this one out, can’t you?)


3. And one more video, just for fun…

“Magic. Duh.”