A short story I published in Highlights magazine way back in 2004 has suddenly resurfaced as an Audible Audiobook! Hwah?! It’s always exciting to see my previously published poems and short stories show up in classroom workbooks, student testing–and now audiobooks (even though the statute of limitations has long run out for any sort of residual payments, dang it.) Still, it’s a joy to see these things take on a new life.
Inspired by my own book-report writing experience in which I ALWAYS over-decorated the covers, eliciting criticism from my classmates–things like “Oooh, that is SO not fair; he only got an A ’cause of his fancy-schmancy cover” (yes, we said things like “fancy-schmancy” back then)–You Can’t Judge garnered me a Highlights Author of the Month Award. I remember how surprised I was when the engraved pewter plaque was delivered to my door! Wait, let’s see if I can find it…
Here it is. A little scratched and dented but–aren’t we all? Can’t wait to see what pops up next. Maybe that Christmas poem I wrote in second grade will reemerge as a made-for-TV movie on the Hallmark Channel! Love you, Highlights! xo
You Can’t Judge a Book Report by its Cover
Posted in book cover, book report, children's book writing, children's books, children's magazine writing, Highlights for Children, humor writing, middle grade short story, middle-grade fiction, SCBWI, short story, writing
Tagged Audible, audiobooks, children's books, Highlights for Children, kidlit, SCBWI, short story, writing
No less than 61–count ’em–61 authors and illustrators took part in the children’s book festival in beautiful Warwick, New York on Saturday, October 7th, including yours truly. After spending the night at the idyllic Warwick Village Bed & Breakfast (which reminded me a little of the Dragon Fly Inn from Gilmore Girls), I met up with my fellow authors at the Railroad Green in the center of town where we were greeted with swag bags, balloons, live music, snacks galore (apple cider doughnuts!) and a huge crowd of enthusiastic readers.
Such much going on! A finger-puppet making station? Even doggy volunteers eager to be read aloud to by reluctant readers.
And what a delight meeting renowned children’s book author Jane Yolen (who penned nearly 300 books–yikes!) and her author-daughter Heidi Stemple. Great writing genes in that family! We actually met during breakfast at the B&B and within seconds we were all three laughing our heads off. My kind of peeps.
Here we are at the festival looking appropriately amiable and authorly…
And here we are when a fly the size of the Hindenburg decided to photo-bomb us…
I’m summoning a volunteer with a flyswatter to come help. (Many thanks to the many volunteers in the green T-shirts, by the way, who were super helpful–even going so far as to recharge my cell phone.)
Couldn’t leave town without a visit to Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe, which is just as charming as it sounds. I love things that start with “Ye Olde”…except maybe Ye Olde Sushi Shoppe.
Bye bye, Warwick…until next time. Back to ye olde Times Square!
Warwick Children’s Book Festival
Posted in children's book writing, children's book festival, children's books, humor writing, marketing your book, middle readers, middle-grade fiction, middle-grade humorous book, Warwick Children's Book Festival, writing, writing life
Tagged book event, children's book events, children's books, middle readers, middle-grade book, middle-grade fiction, SCBWI, tween fiction, writing
The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators sponsored a nationwide event called “The Inside Story” and I was lucky enough to be part of it at the Bank Street Bookstore on the Upper Westside of Manhattan on Saturday…
The middle initial “J” is VERY popular amongst writers.
Here I am “waiting in the wings” next to Paula J. Freedman, author of My Basmati Bat Mitzvah (note her middle initial). She’s a fun lady who used to work with my friend Linda at Scholastic, who was in the audience beaming and snapping these pix with her phone. The lovely redheaded woman (Mackenzie) was timing our presentations on her tablet. It was kinda like the Quick-Fire Challenge on “Top Chef”–only with words instead of prawns.
Now Paula is doing her thing while I munch away on popcorn. Not really. I was sucking on a Ricola cough drop. Just getting over a cold. (sniff-sniff) Hey, how’d I end up going last anyway?
My turn! (My backup dancers didn’t show.) I blabbed on and on about how it was a mystery that I wound up writing a mystery. (I still think it’s weird to be able to see faces in the audience. When I used to perform in musicals, the audience was always just a giant dark blob.) Suddenly I realized I was finished because I heard cheers and WILD applause. Well–polite clapping. Hands up, utensils down!
One of my official photographs taken by the ever-patient Primwatee Groover. We had the hardest time getting a squintless shot. Every time I smiled, my eyeballs disappeared! She’d say, “Okay, I think we finally got a good one this time…eh, nope.” I couldn’t help laughing my shiny round head off.
Then there was mingling, and book signing, and chocolate chip cookie eating, and since it’s nearly impossible to walk out of a bookstore empty-handed, I wound up buying a copy of Maryann MacDonald’s Odette’s Secrets (we share the same agent!) and Chris Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. (He’s a hoot and a really nice guy.) So, THANKS AGAIN, Bank Street Bookstore and SCBWI! Until next time…
Posted in children's book writing, Inside Story, Madhattan Mystery, SCBWI Inside Story, writing
Tagged Bank Street Bookstore, book event, bookstore event, children's book events, inside story, Madhattan Mystery, middle-grade book, middle-grade fiction, middle-grade mystery, New York City children's books, New York City fiction, SCBWI
Wanna get the juicy story behind MADHATTAN MYSTERY? I’ll be part of a fun middle-grade author panel and we’ll all be revealing the inside scoop about our novels at Bank Street Bookstore in New York City on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. I hear there are some great prizes, too!
Posted in Bank Street Books, Bank Street Bookstore, book event in New York City, Inside Story, Madhattan Mystery, middle-grade fiction, middle-grade humorous book, New York City fiction, New York City mystery, SCBWI, SCBWI Inside Story, writing, writing life
Tagged Bank Street Bookstore, book event, bookstore event, children's book events, inside story, Madhattan Mystery, middle-grade mystery, New York City children's books, NYC, SCBWI