Friday, December 31, 2010

See ya, 2010

I hope everyone who's been stuck in the snow this week has made it home (or to whatever intended destination) safely by now.

I will not be sorry to see the end of 2010. There were some good parts in there too, of course, but I know this was a tough year in many ways for a lot of people, myself included, and I suspect I am nowhere near alone in looking forward to a fresh start tomorrow. Here's hoping 2011 brings lots of good things to all of us.

If you're the resolution-making type (or even just the resolution-reading type), head on over to Through the Tollbooth where we are posting our writing resolutions for the new year.

Have fun tonight, whatever you are up to! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and all-around awesome 2011.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cynsations interview: writing across formats

Click on over to Cynsations today for Cynthia Leitich Smith's interview with me regarding writing across formats in children's publishing. She conducted a series of interviews on this topic with various authors while preparing a keynote address for a fall 2009 SCBWI-Illinois conference.

You should be reading Cynsations regularly anyway, if you aren't already! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Look, it's Argus!

I just realized I never posted the wonderful cover for Argus! Behold:


ARGUS received a lovely starred review from Publishers Weekly, which concluded: "Knudsen (Library Lion) never overplays her hand, but lets the story's laughs unfold naturally from the characters and circumstances. Her grasp of the life of the elementary school classroom is spot-on; this should become another favorite."

And here's an excerpt from the Kirkus review: "Kudos to unflappable Mrs. Henshaw, Knudsen and Wesson . . . naughty Argus will capture attention and hearts." (Mrs. Henshaw is a character in the story.)

ARGUS comes out in stores on February 22. Which is also my birthday. Yay!

In the meantime, you can get yourself a copy of the Dragon of Trelian paperback on January 11!  :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Five

1. Tonight is opening night of Iolanthe! Performances this weekend only!! You can buy tickets here. Come see me and the other ladies of the cast work some fairy magic. Also, there are Peers of Parliament and a half-fairy shepherd and a lovely young ward of chancery and a general abundance of awesomeness, set to music, with occasional dialogue.


2. I am very pleased to announce that I'll be teaching a course with Gotham Writers' Workshop in 2011! It's Children's Book Writing I, and it meets Tuesday nights, 7–10pm, January 18 through March 29. You can enroll online through the GWW website.

3. The third and final part of my blog series on sequels is up at Through the Tollbooth today. Click on over for more Q&A with Ellen Jensen Abbott, Cinda Williams Chima, Janni Lee Simner, and Jill Santopolo.

4. I'm currently scheduling school visits for the spring 2011 semester. See the School and Library Visits page on my website for more information.

5. Have you come across Hyperbole and a Half yet? It makes me happy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Visit me at the Tollbooth! Also: Iolanthe!

I'm blogging this week over at Through the Tollbooth. Come on over today for the first of three installments about the pains and pleasures of writing sequels.

Also - if you're in the NYC area, you should come see The Village Light Opera Group's production of Iolanthe this weekend! It's our 75th anniversary season and Iolanthe is one of Gilbert & Sullivan's most beloved operettas. There are fairies (I am one) and peers of Parliament and a love triangle (kind of a love pentagon, really) and beautiful music and dancing and general awesomeness of all kinds.

Performances are this weekend only:
Friday, Nov. 19th @ 8pm
Saturday, Nov. 20th @ 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, Nov. 21st @ 2pm

At our new theater:
The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University
3 Spruce Street
New York , New York 10038

You can buy tickets here.

Also, you can watch this fun promo trailer:



You can see more about the show at VLOG's Iolanthe website.

Yay!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Library Lion in Hungarian!

Got a nice surprise from the mailman this morning—the Hungarian edition of Library Lion!


How cool is that? Yay!

I was interested to see that they left Mr. McBee and Miss Merriweather's names in English. Many of the other foreign editions change the names of the characters. A friend in Israel (Hi, Sarah C.!) recently told me that in the Hebrew edition, their names are Mister Nakdi and Miss Dafni, and I know they've been changed in the Italian edition and several others. Someday I'd love to find out how the different publishers decide whether to change the names and what to change them to. It's so odd sometimes what they choose! And odd too to catch my characters walking around with new identities. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Katie Davis on the Rochester Children's Book Festival

Children's book author and all-around awesome person Katie Davis does a great kidlit podcast, and she just put up a new one about the Rochester Children's Book Festival from this past weekend. You can hear her interviewing several of the authors who attended, including ME! :)

Here is where you can go and listen:

New Podcast! Brain Burps About Books: a fly-on-the-wall at Rochester Children's Book Festival! http://t.co/SMy68a7

The festival was awesome once again, by the way, and if you were not there you should feel very sorry to have missed it. But don't worry - you can make yourself feel better by resolving right now to come next year no matter what!

As usual, I did not take nearly enough pictures, but here is one of me at my table, either about to sign or having just signed a copy of Carl the Complainer for a very nice young reader:


I am already looking forward to next year - can't wait!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

2010 Rochester Children's Book Festival!

Guess what is happening this weekend? It's the fabulous Rochester Children's Book Festival! And it will be awesome! As always! But even more so because there are wonderful new authors and illustrators coming this year in addition to those of us who, because of aforementioned awesomeness, have been coming year after year after year.

I will be reading Library Lion at 1:40pm, and the rest of the day I will be at my table signing books and talking to the nice people who come to the festival and giving out postcards and things. If you come on the early side, you might be able to score an ARGUS postcard. I'm just saying.

This Saturday, November 6
10:00am - 4:00pm
Monroe Community College Brighton Campus
1000 East Henrietta Rd.

You can see more information, including a list of all the authors and illustrators who will be there, at the festival website.

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

PEN conversation with Rebecca Stead!

Last month at the wonderful Brooklyn Book Festival, Susanna Reich moderated a discussion between me and Newbery-winning author Rebecca Stead at the PEN American Center booth. We talk about writing and ideas and editing and lots of other things; you can listen to the conversation here:

http://www.pen.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5330/prmID/1873
 
You may have to turn the volume up when I'm talking - I'm not really that quiet, but I think I had my mic clipped on too far away. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Dragon of Trelian paperback! And stuff.

The Dragon of Trelian comes out in paperback on January 11, 2011. It will have an awesome new cover, which looks like this:


In other news, here are some updates about various things:

1. This July I graduated from the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Yay! But also :( because I will miss it very much. But mostly :) because it was two years of hard work and it feels really good to have earned my degree. And I have a whole bunch of wonderful writing friends/classmates/kindred spirits who will continue to be very important to me, even if I won't get to see them quite as regularly now.

2. I am experimenting with new designs for the blog. You are looking at this experiment right now. Like it? Don't like it? Let me know what you think.

3. ARGUS comes out on February 22, 2011. February 22 happens to be my birthday. There will quite possibly be a birthday-book launch party in the works very soon. I can't wait to show you guys the cover—AndrĂ©a Wesson's artwork is perfect! But, um, I have to wait, at least a little while longer. But as soon as I'm allowed I will post the cover here.

4. Still working hard on Dragon of Trelian sequel revisions. I'm in the third draft now. Stuff is happening, there is danger and magic and intrigue and there are new characters and old characters and someone may die. That is all I am going to say at this time. The pub date will be sometime in Spring 2012.

5. I am in another Gilbert and Sullivan operetta with The Village Light Opera Group! The show is Iolanthe and we just started rehearsals and performances will be the weekend before Thanksgiving and you should all come to see it. Don't worry, I will remind you as it gets closer.

6. I have joined the crew of Through the Tollbooth, which is a fabulous group blog run by VCFA graduates. There are new posts several times a week on writing-related topics, and you should definitely stop in there and take a look!

I think that's all for now. The summer has been a little crazy, but I'm hoping the fall will prove a little less so, and will include a little more time for posting, among other things. Yeah, I know I say things like that a lot, about how I'm hoping to post more often. I know it doesn't always happen, but I remain ever optimistic about these things.  :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday!

Well, hello!

It's been three and a half months since my last post, and there's been lots going on, and I'll tell you all about it sometime soon, but for now I just want to say that you should come to the Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday! It will be awesome, and lots of authors will be there, including me at 4pm in the Target Children's Area. I'll be reading Library Lion and answering questions and things and then signing both Library Lion and The Dragon of Trelian immediately after my presentation.

All events are FREE!

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Upcoming Events

I have some book signings and events coming up, and would love to see you!

Thursday, May 27, 1:30pm: I'll be at BEA, signing Library Lion at the Candlewick Booth.

Saturday, June 5, 2-4pm: Come to the Dragon Day event at the Voracious Reader! I'll be reading and signing The Dragon of Trelian. Kate Klimo, author of the Dragon Keepers books, will be there, too!

Sunday, June 27, 11:30am: I'll be at ALA, signing Library Lion and The Dragon of Trelian. I'll also have postcards for my new picture book, ARGUS, which comes out next Spring!

You can always see an ongoing list of upcoming events in the right-hand column of this blog.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hudson Children's Book Festival!

I'll be signing books with more than ONE HUNDRED other children's book authors and illustrators at the Hudson Children's Book Festival this Saturday, May 1, from 10am to 4pm.

For more information, including a full list of the authors and illustrators who will be there, please visit the Hudson Children's Book Festival website.

I hope to see you there! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Operation Teen Book Drop


Tomorrow, on April 15, Operation Teen Book Drop will deliver 10,000 new books to teens on native reservations and tribal lands, an event that coincides with Support Teen Literature Day. This event is being coordinated by readergirlz, the Young Adult Library Services Association, GuysLitWire, and If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything, a national reading club for Native children.

How can you participate?

Visit GuysLitWire to help “rock the drop.” GuysLitWire has created a wish list of 750 books that supporters can buy from Powells.com. These purchases will be sent directly to one of two tribal school libraries, Ojo Encino Day School or Alchesay High School.

In addition, if you are a teen author, you can leave a copy of one of your books in a public place for a young reader to find. Download a bookplate at the readergirlz site to paste into your book. More than 100 YA authors have already pledged to do this in their local communities.

Teen readers and fans of YA literature are also invited to leave copies of favorite teen books in public places for other readers to find. There are bookplates for you to download at readergirlz, too.

For more information, please see the far more comprehensive posts at Cynsations, readergirlz, ALA, and GuysLitWire.

You can also watch the TBD trailer below, or click it here to view at YouTube.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Five reasons why there isn't a real Friday Five today

1. VCFA Packet 3 deadline April 19.

2. Trelian sequel revision deadline May 24.

3. Appointment with tax guy today at 3pm.

4. Spent most of the past week doing activities related to the above (mostly, sadly, #3).

5. Okay so I only have four reasons but really #1 should count twice at this point.

Bonus random #6: Since my blog didn't take up much of your time today, go over to books i done read and read this review of The Dragon of Trelian!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Five

Hooray for another week of good things! :)

1. On Sunday afternoon, a bunch of us went to see our friend Freddie perform in ImaginAerial's fabulous production "Luminarium" at the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics. Freddie was in the duo trapeze act, and the whole show was amazing and lovely. You can see a cool slideshow of photos from the performance here.



2. On Monday, I met up with Margaret and Paula at our secret writing location and DANNY STRONG from BUFFY (and, apparently, Gilmore Girls, if that's more your thing) was sitting at the table next to us! We behaved very responsibly and didn't even make any fangirl comments until he was getting up to leave. At which point he was very sweet and shook my hand and introduced himself to all of us and asked our names and it was a very nice celebrity-meeting experience all around. Yay!



3. I finally hooked up my Wii and Wii Fit this week, which was a small personal success since I'd been meaning to do this for at least a week and aside from the suspiciously unhappy sound the balance board makes when I first step onto it, I was pleased with my first day of playing around with the system. I like the balance games and the yoga stuff, so far. I also ordered myself a Super Mario Brothers game, since having the Wii can't just be all about the Wii Fit, of course.

4. On Wednesday it stopped RAINING and I finally got back outside to the park.



5. Today promises to be gorgeous and I am going to (a) be productive for a while as soon as I finish this post, (b) get outside for a nice long walk, and (c) go out to dinner and possibly a movie tonight with the boyfriend. Yay for Friday!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Random Photo of the Month

Last week I had two fabulous school visits in Newfane and Lockport, NY. I'll post more about that soon, but for now here's a quick preview of some of the cool stuff the schools did in preparation for my visit. In addition to other fun lead-in activities (like the daily trivia question contest about me and/or my books), the students in both schools did writing and art projects, including these wonderful library lions that were on display in DeSales Catholic School when I arrived to give my presentation:


The Lockport Union-Sun & Journal came to DeSales and wrote up an article about my visit. You can read it here!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thanks for the library love!

Hooray! Thanks to all the fabulous people who left comments over the past several days, I'm giving $250 to the Brooklyn Public Library. You guys are awesome! Thanks for helping out with the challenge, and for all the great comments, library-related and otherwise.

Jennifer R. Hubbard, who came up with the library-loving blog challenge idea, is compiling all the totals—stop by her blog to see how much money has been raised all together.

Thanks again, and I hope all of your own local libraries continue to be places you love to visit and support for years to come!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Library-Loving Blog Challenge!

I came across this challenge on Janet Fox's blog, and it all started with Jennifer R. Hubbard (view her original library-loving challenge post here). The deal is, for every commenter in response to this post between now and midnight on Saturday, March 27, I will donate $1.00 to my local library: Brooklyn Public Library.

Your comments don't even have to be clever—you can say, "I love libraries!" or "Unicorns are pretty!" or whatever you like. (Just, you know, keep it clean, people. I write books for kids, remember.) And if you are moved to make a flat-fee donation to your own local library or to start your own challenge, please do! And let me know that in the comments, also.

Some rules: only $1.00 per individual commenter, so if one person comments 50 times, that's still just $1.00. And I'm going to say for now that I'll donate up to $250 ... but if the comments actually reach that high, keep posting—I may be inspired by your enthusiasm to donate more. I do love the library, and I make very good use of my local branch of the BPL. Let's see how much of my hard-earned money you can get me to give away! :)

You can do even more by spreading the word ... please link to this post, tweet about it, and send your friends here so they can comment and raise more money.

For a complete list of participating bloggers (and to visit other sites where you can help libraries just by leaving a comment!) visit the writerjenn blog at http://writerjenn.livejournal.com/.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Five

I've been a fan of other people's "Friday Five" lists on other blogs, and thought I'd try doing a little Friday Five of my own. I like a little structure/routine but not too much, so this will be the kind of feature that involves talking about five things in some kind of context that will vary from week to week and won't really have any limitations/requirements beyond that basic set-up. Sort of like the structure of beginning readers, where you've got a basic format you've got to stick to, but the variety of content you can play with inside that structure is wide open. (See how I tied it into children's book writing, there?)

Anyway. Thought I'd start with a nice happy one:

FIVE GOOD THINGS THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK

1. I met up with two nice writer friends for a writing date on Monday. They've been meeting up with each other for some time, and have often invited me to join them, but it kept not working out for me for various reasons. This time it worked out, finally (partly due to a looming deadline that made me feel a writing date was particularly necessary and partly due to my shiny new laptop and my desire to take it out for a spin) and it was great. We had coffee, discussed a plot problem one of us was struggling with, and sat and wrote and got a lot done. We agreed on a regular Monday writing time and place and will continue to meet up every week. I feel very good about this.

2. I picked up the Girl Scout cookies I'd ordered from my friend Jen's daughter. OMG they are very delicious. Yay for Thin Mints! And yay for Jen's husband who very nicely brought the cookies into work with him so I could stop by and pick them up.

3. I took a lovely long walk in Prospect Park on Tuesday afternoon, enjoying the beautiful weather and listening to Neil Patrick Harris reading Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins.

4. Yesterday I went out to NJ to visit one of my best friends who I don't get to see often enough. We had lunch and I got to see her beautiful new house and her parents and her kids and we went shopping and caught up on a lot of things and it was great.

5. Late Wednesday night I bought a super-cheap leather jacket on eBay. This was my second-ever eBay purchase (the first being a Buy-It-Now purchase of the CD single of Baltimora's "Tarzan Boy" in 2004—no, seriously) and I have already won another auction since then for something else and I'm a little concerned about how fun it suddenly seems to shop on eBay. But that's not the good part—the good part is that the leather jacket is to wear while riding on the back of my boyfriend's motorcycle, because it is no longer winter, really, and I am very excited to go for my first ride of the year. Hopefully this weekend (hint, hint, boyfriend, if you are reading this).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NYC Teen Author Festival!

The 2010 NYC Teen Author Festival is happening NEXT WEEK!


I'll be signing The Dragon of Trelian at the HUGE multi-author signing at Books of Wonder on Sunday, March 21. The signing runs from 2:00 to 5:45pm, but because there are so many (70!!!!) authors, we're signing in shifts. I'll be there from 2:45 to 3:30pm.

Here's a full list of all the events, which begin on Monday, March 15!

2010 NYC Teen Author Festival

Monday, 3/15 (NYPL, Tompkins Square Branch, 331 East 10th Street, 6pm):

First Draft to Final Draft – Talking About the Writing Process
featuring:
Gayle Forman
Daphne Grab
Carolyn Mackler
Sarah Mlynowski
Blake Nelson
Marie Rutkoski
Eliot Schrefer
Natalie Standiford

Tuesday, 3/16 (Barnes & Noble Tribeca, 97 Warren Street, 7pm):

Getting Inside the Mind of a Teen Boy
featuring:
Nick Burd
Matt de la Pena
Gordon Korman
David Levithan
Barry Lyga
Michael Northrop
Jon Skovron
Jake Wizner

Wednesday, 3/17 (South Court, 42nd Street NYPL, 6pm):

The Treasure Map to Going Bovine with Will Grayson(s)
(or, an evening of readers’ theater)
featuring:
Libba Bray
John Green
David Levithan
E. Lockhart

Thursday, 3/18 (Five Borough Read, 10am):

Authors read to high school students and the public in libraries across the city.

Manhattan:
Countee Cullen Branch, NYPL, 104 W 136th St
Donna Freitas
Eliot Schrefer
Rachel Vail
Lynn Weingarten
Ebony Wilkins

Jefferson Market Branch, NYPL, 425 6th Ave
Gabe Guarente
Carla Jablonksi
Kristen Kemp
Barry Lyga
Samantha Schutz

Muhlenburg Branch, NYPL, 209 W 23rd St
Alice Hoffman
Emma McLaughlin
Lauren McLaughlin
Courtney Sheinmel
Jennifer Smith

Grand Central Branch, NYPL, 135 East 46th Street (between Lexington & Third Aves.)
Angie Frazier
Aimee Friedman
Robin MacCready
Sarah Maclean
Amanda Marrone

Seward Park Branch, NYPL, 192 East Broadway
Cathleen Bell
Susane Colasanti
Matt De La Pena
Gayle Forman
Daphne Grab

Yorkville Branch, NYPL,, 222 East 79th St
Micol Ostow
Robin Palmer
Shani Petroff
Robyn Schneider
Abby Sher
Jake Wizner
Michelle Zink

Brooklyn:
Central Branch, Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Auditorim, 10 Grand Army Plaza
Emily Horner
Melissa Kantor
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Matthue Roth
Siobhan Vivian
Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Melissa Walker
Robin Wasserman

Bronx:
Bronx Library Center, NYPL, 310 East Kingsbridge Road
Coe Booth
Sarah Darer Littman
Neesha Meminger
Maryrose Wood

Queens:
Broadway Branch, QPL, 40-20 Broadway, Long Island City
Jessica Blank
Sarah Burningham
Heather Duffy-Stone
Marianne Mancusi
Elizabeth Scott

Staten Island:
West New Brighton Branch, NYPL, 976 Castleon Avenue
Elizabeth Eulberg
David Levithan
Michael Northrop
Kieran Scott

Thursday Evening, 3/18 (Books of Wonder, 18 W 18th St, 6-8pm):
Sourcebooks Fire Launch Party
featuring authors Lisa Brown, Anne Eliot Crompton, Helen Ellis, Adele Griffin,

AND

the rocking tunes of Tiger Beat! (with Libba Bray, Dan Ehrenhaft, Barnabas Miller, and Natalie Standiford)

Friday, 3/19 (South Court, 42nd Street, 2-5 and 6-8:30)
NYC Teen Author Festival Symposium

Afternoon
2:00 Introduction
2:10 – 3:00: Using Genre to Tell the True Story of Adolescence
featuring:
Judy Blundell
Sarah Beth Durst
Lauren McLaughlin
Diana Peterfreund
Sara Shepard
Maggie Stiefvater
Robin Wasserman

3:00 – 3:30: Making a First Impression – 2010 Debut Authors
featuring:
Angie Frazier
Emily Horner
Alyssa Sheinmel
Ebony Wilkins

3:30 - 4:15: Grief, Loss, and the YA Novel
featuring:
Alexandra Bullen
Heather Duffy-Stone
Donna Freitas
Alice Hoffman
Sarah Darer Littman
Lisa Ann Sandell
Samantha Schutz

4:15 – 5: The Boy You Can’t Have
featuring:
Susane Colasanti
Elizabeth Eulberg
Robin Palmer
Elizabeth Scott
Melissa Walker
Maryrose Wood

5-6: Break

Evening
6:00 – A Tribute to Regina Hayes
featuring:
Sarah Dessen
Joy Peskin
Jacqueline Woodson

6:45 – 8:30: What it Feels Like for a Girl – Writing in a Teen Girl’s Voice
featuring:
Jessica Blank
Eireann Corrigan
Sarah Dessen
Jenny Han
Terra Elan McVoy
Siobhan Vivian
Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Jacqueline Woodson

Saturday, 3/20 (Bartos Forum, 42nd Street, 1pm):
Stuff for the Teen Age Event

Come check out Stuff for the Teen Age, The New York Public Library’s list of the hottest books, movies, music, and video games from 2009. Talk with your favorite authors. Rock out to your favorite songs. Have fun. Hear a very special presentation from keynote speaker, Libba Bray, the author of Going Bovine.

Sunday afternoon:

Books of Wonder Signing (18 W 18th St, 2-5:45)

NOTE: Because of the number of authors, signings will be in shifts. Below is the approximate schedule, which is subject to change

2:00-2:45
Alma Alexander
Nora Baskin
Cathleen Davitt Bell
Judy Blundell
Libba Bray
Coe Booth
Elise Broach
Alexandra Bullen
Nick Burd
Sarah Burningham
Susane Colasanti
Matt De La Pena
Violet Haberdasher
Maggie Stiefvater
Robin Wasserman

2:45-3:30
Tom Dolby
Heather Duffy-Stone
Sarah Beth Durst
Elizabeth Eulberg
Gayle Forman
Aimee Friedman
Jenny Han
Alice Hoffman
Carla Jablonksi
Melissa Kantor
Kristen Kemp
Michelle Knudsen
Peter Lerangis
David Levithan

3:30-4:15
Sarah Darer Littman
Barry Lyga
Robin MacCready
Carolyn Mackler
Sarah Maclean
Marianne Mancusi
Amanda Marrone
Wendy Mass
Lauren McLaughlin
Neesha Meminger
Sarah Mlynowski
Michael Northrop
Robin Palmer

4:15-5:00
Diana Peterfreund
Shani Petroff
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Matthue Roth
Marie Rutkoski
Lisa Ann Sandell
Samantha Schutz
Elizabeth Scott
Kieran Scott
Courtney Sheinmel
Sara Shepard
Abby Sher
Jon Skovron

5:00-5:45
Jennifer Smith
Natalie Standiford
Rachel Vail
David Van Etten
Siobhan Vivian
Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Melissa Walker
Suzanne Weyn
Lynn Weingarten
Martin Wilson
Jake Wizner
Maryrose Wood
Michelle Zink

BONUS EVENTS:

Also keep in mind…
Before the Festival:

March 11: Blake Nelson and the Care Bears on Fire at Barnes & Noble, Union Square, 33 E 17th St, 7pm, for a night of reading and rock

After the Festival:

April 14: The Next Teen Author Reading Night, 6-7:30 at the Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425 6th Ave, at 10th St.

Helen Ellis, The Turning
David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, Dedication
Sarah Mlynowski, Gimme a Call
Marie Rutkoski, The Celestial Globe
Elizabeth Scott, The Unwritten Rule
Rachel Vail, Brilliant
Adrienne Maria Vrettos, The Exile of Gigi Lane

For another look at the schedule, including any last-minute updates, click here.

Unrelated final note: I'm grateful to Kristin Cashore for linking to one of the best songs from the Buffy musical on her blog today. I love Buffy, and it was nice to have an excuse to listen to a bit of the musical today. I think I might be up for a full rewatching sometime soon. And btw, if you haven't yet read Kristin's Graceling, you should. Maybe you can buy a copy at Books of Wonder on March 21!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I FOOLED YOU release day!

Hooray! I Fooled You is out in the world today! It's a middle grade anthology from Candlewick Press and contains my very first published short story ever, "The Bridge to Highlandsville." Stop by your favorite real-world store or order a copy through Indiebound.org!

You can see more info about the book in my 2/26 blog post.

Also out in the world today is the YA novel Saving Maddie, by my friend and fellow VCFA'er Varian Johnson! Visit his blog to follow along with the Saving Maddie blog tour and find out more about the book and the author.

Edited to add: just realized today is ALSO the release day for The Sky Is Everywhere, the debut novel from Jandy Nelson, also a VCFA'er! Yay!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Random Photo of the Month

My cat, Cleo: paperweight/literary critic. This was taken November 29, 2008, when I was going over near-final pages for The Dragon of Trelian. The photos I took of her "helping" with my work always make me smile.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Fooled You!

This week I got my author copies in the mail for I FOOLED YOU—a middle-grade anthology edited by Johanna Hurwitz and containing short stories by Johanna herself, David A. Adler, Eve B. Feldman, Douglas Florian, Matthew Holm, Ellen Klages, Carmela A. Martino, Megan McDonald, Barbara Ann Porte, and yours truly. Mine is called "The Bridge to Highlandsville," and is actually my first-ever published short story, which is very exciting to me.

Also very exciting: look what Kirkus had to say(!):

"...Hurwitz has asked a group of ten writers to create stories that include the line, 'I fooled you,' a concept that, she reminds readers, is a common feature of most folk and fairy tales. Matthew Holm provides a funny, nearly wordless graphic tale. The final two stories, a new take on the troll guarding a bridge by Michelle Knudsen and a story with a satisfying surprise ending by Ellen Klages, are the best. Douglas Florian contributes a bouncy poem, and stories by Johanna Hurwitz and Eve B. Feldman offer gentle messages about the sometimes-questionable behavior of middle-grade students."

The book releases in hardcover and paperback on March 9, 2010. Visit Indiebound.org to order a copy from your favorite independent bookstore.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Library Lion in Hebrew!

This week I received a copy of the Hebrew edition of Library Lion—so cool!


Library Lion is becoming quite the world traveler—he's already been published in the following countries/languages:

• United Kingdom
• Australia
• Japan
• Korea
• Taiwan (Complex Chinese)
• Italian
• U.S. Spanish-language edition
• France
• Spain (Spanish)
• Spain (Catalan)
• Holland (Dutch)
• Finland
• Slovenia
• Turkish

Looking forward to seeing where he'll turn up next! :)

In other good news, I'm excited to share that The Dragon of Trelian was selected as one of 20 titles on VOYA's Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers booklist! You can see the full list here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Scott Magoon!

I am VERY EXCITED to announce that the wonderful Scott Magoon will be illustrating my upcoming picture book BIG MEAN MIKE!

That is all. I just wanted to share. :)

p.s. "Upcoming" in the publishing world is of course not meant to imply "soon to be appearing" in any kind of normal-world-time sense. MIKE is currently tentatively scheduled for Fall 2012. But that is okay, because in the meantime there will be THE DRAGON OF TRELIAN PAPERBACK (this fall!) and ARGUS (2011, illustrated by Andréa Wesson!) and THE DRAGON OF TRELIAN SEQUEL (which will one day have a real title!).

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Random Photo of the Month

This afternoon I happened across this very fun photo of me, Lev Grossman, and Maura Madden at a Word Bookstore event this past December. AMAZINGLY, we just happen to be standing in a row reading one another's books. What are the odds? ;)



It was a nice reminder of a lovely afternoon at the store, meeting great authors and enjoying the hospitality of the wonderful folks at Word. For more photos from this and other events, see Word Brooklyn's Photostream on Flickr.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Newbery Blueberry!

How cool is this? The students of Solomon Schechter Day School in New Milford picked The Dragon of Trelian as their "Newbery Blueberry" mock-Newbery award winner!

Students Pick Own Winning Books

Thank you, student voters! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 2010 Reentry

Got back Wednesday from the winter residency at VCFA, and it was as expected—awesome and inspiring and exhausting and happy and sad and wonderful. Ten days of lectures, workshops, readings, and events, with dear old friends and many new friends and brilliant writers and teachers. There was a moving memorial for Norma Fox Mazer, which I was honored to have the chance to attend. There were fabulous conversations over meals and hilarious late-night games of Exquisite Corpse (or Picture Telephone, as most of us called it) and also a kick-ass party thrown by my class (the Thunder Badgers) for the graduating class (the Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines) which involved a Wild West theme and much dancing and fun and cowboy hats.

My cowgirl attire (note the awesome belt, borrowed from Nice Boyfriend):

There were also fun cowboy-themed items:

And cowboy-themed foods:

Also there was dancing and game-playing and a piñata shaped like a boot. Much fun was had by all!

During the rez we were also assigned our advisors for the next semester, and I am SO EXCITED to be working with the fabulous Margaret Bechard. This will be my final semester, which makes me more than a little sad, although at the end I will have an MFA, which will (I hope) help alleviate some of the pain of VCFA withdrawal. And of course, the VCFA community embraces alumni and keeps them involved, and so I know I won't really be saying good-bye to VCFA, just moving on to a new relationship with it. But still, I will miss being a student and going to residencies and all the rest. But it's too early for all that, really! Fourth semester is only just starting, and I have another six months before I have to think about graduating. So I will not think about that just now at all.

Another fun thing happened at rez, which is that I finished my first knitting project! It was a scarf. I am very proud. Many thanks to Madeleine, who got me started over New Year's and donated yarn and knitting needles and taught me how to knit and purl, and to the nice knitter/writers (like Sarah and Linden) at VCFA who helped me when I got stuck, and to knitter/writer/awesome VCFA faculty member Rita Williams-Garcia, who showed me how to cast off at the airport while we were waiting for our flight back to NYC. I am excited to start a new project, although I will have to figure out how to knit in the presence of my cat, who will no doubt want to involve herself with the yarn in highly disruptive ways.

And that is all for now. I have ridiculous amounts of things to do, writing and otherwise, and should get to work. Wednesday was all about getting home and seeing my boyfriend and my cat, and yesterday was all about cleaning up my apartment and trying to get oriented, and now I need to be all about the writing for a while. And then hopefully maybe soon I can think about some other things, like my apartment-fixing-up plans. I was briefly daydreaming today about hiring an interior designer to help me make the most of the space I've got and give me painting and decorating advice. This will probably not happen, as I imagine interior designers are expensive and so are new furnishings and as you may remember I was hoping to NOT spend money like a crazy person this year. But it's fun to think about anyway.

OH! Almost forgot to say I am SO HAPPY for my friend Rebecca Stead who WON THE NEWBERY!!!! Congratulations to her and to all the other award winners. YAY! :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 is going to be OK

Just finished my second cup of coffee, which means it is time to get up from the computer and go do things. Mostly today's things will be about packing and getting ready for rez and getting my cat ready to spend ten days at my boyfriend's apartment while I am gone. There are things I wanted to get done before I go that will not get done, and I am deciding to be ok about this.

I think I want to make Deciding to Be Ok about Things my goal for 2010. I spend way too much time worrying about everything (and I mean seriously, EVERYTHING), and while there are some small number of things actually worth worrying about (e.g., health and well-being of friends and family), many of the things I worry about are just not worth it. Some things can just be ok. For example, it is ok that I didn't get all the reading done that I would have liked to do for the residency. It is ok that my apartment is a mess, and that my friend Kristin will see it this way when she comes over to water my plants next week. It is ok that I do not have my whole life figured out, and that I have big questions about lots of significant life things, and that I do not have a five-year plan or a fully updated checkbook register or a functional exercise regimen.

Which is not to say I'm not going to set goals for the coming year or anything like that. Actually the whole point is to direct my energy toward what matters, instead of wasting it on things that don't. I'm going to finish my Trelian sequel by March 1, which is my new deadline and which CANNOT be missed if I want the book to come out when it's supposed to. I'm going to finish the first draft of another novel that I'm working on, hopefully by July. I'm going to fix up my apartment, and paint and get curtains, and I'm going to cook more and try not to spend money like a crazy person. I'm going to exercise more, but it's going to be ok if that takes the form of long walks listening to audiobooks instead of my former ideal of going for runs and rejoining the gym.

I read David Small's Stitches last night (some of the reading for rez that I *did* finish) and by the end I was feeling pretty silly about some of the things in my life that upset me. Seriously, my life is pretty ok, more than ok, and some people have Real Problems and sometimes it helps to remember that and try to put things in perspective. Not that my life is all candy and roses by any means, and of course some things are going to get me down, but there are also many things in my life that I need to remember to be grateful for on a regular basis.

Anyway. I should get up and go do things now, for real. Need to pick up a package at the post office and stop at the bank for laundry and vending machine quarters for school, and pack and pack and transfer files to my laptop and update my iPod and everything else. I doubt I will post anything while I'm away, but if you're interested in getting a glimpse of the goings-on at the residency, VCFA alum Tami Brown will be posting at Through the Tollbooth, and Cynthia Leitich Smith will be tweeting VCFA faculty quotes on her Twitter page.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dr. Horrible Killed My Bedtime

Nearly 3am, spent 8 hours in the car today on the way back from snowy New Year's fun in Maine, really tired, should have been asleep a long time ago, but stayed up watching and rewatching Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Selected scenes are replaying behind me even now. The problem was that I had just rewatched the final episode of Firefly and couldn't go to bed on the sad feelings of no-more-Firefly-ness, and I had Dr. Horrible from Netflix and thought, I'll just take a look. Yes, I know I'm late to the game on this one, but whatever, you're just jealous that you can't go back and experience Dr. Horrible for the first time again like I did tonight.

Oh, Joss Whedon. I wish I had one teeny fraction of your amazingness. You and your crack team of creative types and Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion and all the rest. You make me want to write more things and try really hard to make them awesome.

OK. I have a crazy week ahead before I leave for my second-to-last VCFA residency on Sunday and must try to get to bed so I can get up and get lots and lots of things done tomorrow. Just had to share my Dr. Horrible love before turning in. Oh, man.