Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BEA, Cat Yodeling, and WHEN YOU REACH ME

I'll be signing The Dragon of Trelian at BEA this Saturday, May 30, at the Candlewick Booth from 3 to 4 p.m. If you're going to be at BEA, I hope you will come by!

Also BEA-related: I will be attending the BEA edition of Betsy Bird's Kidlit Drinks Night on Friday evening. Looking forward to seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones, too!

Been catching up on some blog reading today (because I have a ridiculous amount of stuff to get done, and so of course blog reading seemed very important suddenly) and very much enjoyed the cat yodeling video posted by Jo Knowles, which she heard about from Eric Luper.

Speaking of blog reading AND of Betsy Bird... my friend Rebecca Stead has a wonderful book coming out July 14 called WHEN YOU REACH ME. If you have not been fortunate enough to get your hands on an advance copy, you should run out and buy her book as soon as it comes out. Betsy did a lovely interview with Rebecca recently, which you can read here.

And speaking of interviews... I'm currently answering lots of interview questions for my blog tour June 1–3. I'll post links to those interviews when they go up next week.

OK - back to work with me. Also today I need to return some library books and go visit my poor kitty at the hospital, who had to be operated on because she ate a very long piece of string. :(

Monday, May 18, 2009

Interview at dulemba.com!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba posted an interview with me on her blog today! You can see it here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dragon of Trelian Update

I had a wonderful time at the First Annual Hudson Children's Book Festival yesterday. It was lovely to see so many author and illustrator friends and to make some nice new ones. Thanks to everyone who came out for the event and bought books and chatted with authors and illustrators and listened to stories and attended panels and participated in activities!

When you run into author friends you haven't seen since the last conference or festival, two questions often come up:

(1) How's the new book doing?
(2) What are you working on now?

It's been just over a month since The Dragon of Trelian came out, and I'm really happy about its reception so far. I still need to add a lot of this information to the book page on my website, but here's a roundup of some of the responses to the book...

First, I am so excited to say that The Dragon of Trelian has been selected for The Summer 2009 Children's Indie Next List!

It has also received nice reviews from some of the print journals. Here are excerpts:

“Appealing characterization” and “charmingly honest portrayals of family life, the dizzying heartbreak of first romance, the insecurities of loneliness and the rewards of scholarship....[T]he narrative moves at a brisk clip to a satisfying conclusion, with a broad hint of sequels. A promising start.” —Kirkus

“Calen and Meg’s easygoing, entirely believable friendship is the core of this adventurous first novel. Meg is gutsy and impulsive, while Calen is thoughtful and steadfast; and they make an appealing duo....[A] solid addition to the fantasy genre.” —Booklist

“[T]his strong debut novel should find a welcoming audience among Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale fans.” —Horn Book

Readers have been saying absolutely lovely things about it on Goodreads and LibraryThing. I can't tell you how good that makes me feel, to know that people are reading and liking my novel!

Several bloggers have also posted reviews, including:

Janet Fox at Through the Wardrobe
Marcus at The Rad Librarian
Greg Leitich Smith at GregLSBlog
Sheila Ruth at Wands and Worlds

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to write a review and put it up to share with other readers. I'm not usually comfortable responding directly to reviewers; the etiquette rules are fuzzy on this, I think. As far as I know, it is rarely if ever considered appropriate for authors to respond to print reviews, but some authors do seem to feel okay about responding to online reviews. I still feel odd about that, though, so I wanted to say a general and public thank-you here, to all of you. The first few months after publication can be a very weird and scary time for an author—the book is out there, in the world, on its own...people are reading it(!), or maybe they're not(!!).... Hearing back from readers is so important, and of course it's especially wonderful to hear positive things! :) So thank you again, and I hope to hear back from more of you, either via email or blog comments or through the reviews you post in public forums.

(Incidentally, I'd be very interested to hear other opinions on the responding-to-reviews issue. Are the rules changing? Were they never rules in the first place?)

I'm also participating in a blog tour June 1–3 with KidzBookBuzz.com; stay tuned for more links and information about that!

As for that other question, the what-are-you-working-on-now one...the answer is a sequel to The Dragon of Trelian as well as another, completely unrelated YA novel. And more picture books. Always more picture books! :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hudson Children's Book Festival

I am a bad, bad blogger lately, and have not posted a thing since last month. Even now, I am only popping up here for a second to say that if you're in the Hudson, NY area, you should come to the Hudson Children's Book Festival tomorrow! The event takes place from 10am to 4pm at the Hudson Middle School, and more than 50 authors will be in attendance!

You can find details here: