WHY AM I ME? Scholastic Press, Fall 2017
When I was little, I was captivated by the question of why I was me and not someone else. Did anyone else wonder about this? I hope so, because I wrote a picture book about it!
I’m super excited to show everyone a sneak peek of WHY AM I ME? brought to life with illustrations by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. It will officially hit the shelves in September (although you can pre-order it now). Until then, enjoy this gorgeous cover!
I’m so pleased to be included in the Writers’ League of Texas Meet the Members series! In this interview I talk about my fantasy coffee date and where I think writing will take me in the future (hint: Georgetown Public Library). Here’s a taste of what I have to say . . .
When I’m in a library, I feel like I’m in a place where anything is possible, where magic can happen and the people around me are fellow believers in the wonder of the world and the power of language. It’s my favorite place to be!
Want more? Read on . . .
It’s that time of year, y’all! November 5-6 is the Texas Book Festival. I’ll be signing books at 12pm on Saturday the 5th at the Writers’ League of Texas booth. The booth is located in Tent 1.
Come on by!
Summer is for reading! And for road trips! Put them both together and you get the Scholastic Summer Reading Road Trip.
The Scholastic Reading RV will be cruising through Texas and making several stops along the way. I’ll be joining them for the following events in Austin and Dallas:
* July 10 – BookPeople 2-4p I’ll be there along with Varian Johnson & Jennifer Ziegler.
* July 12 – Half Price Books (5803 E. Northwest Hwy. Dallas) 4-6p Come see Jennifer Ziegler, Eric Barclay, and me!
There will be costume characters, giveaways, a photo booth station and lots of fun activities — all to celebrate summer reading. I hope you and your kiddos can join us!
I’m pleased to be featured on the Austin Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) website this month. I’ve been a member of this international professional organization for over ten years. As a child, I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but had no clue what that actually meant. SCBWI gave me more than a clue—it gave me practical skills, valuable information, and wonderful friends.
Here’s a taste of what I have to say in the interview:
Your work is like a gift for your readers. When they open it, what do you hope they find?
That’s easy! When readers open my books, I hope they find themselves. I hope they see their own story reflected in its pages. Maybe the details are different (I doubt anyone has actually fallen through a hole in their schedule), but the message and the meaning they discover are ones they recognize from their own life.
Want more? Keep reading . . .
I’m so excited to be interviewed on Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog today! I answer a few questions about writing, moodling, and the radical act of doing nothing. Check it out and be sure and sign up for the giveaway!
Here’s an excerpt:
As a fantasy writer, going in, did you have a sense of how events/themes in your novel might parallel or speak to events/issues in our real world? Or did this evolve over the course of many drafts?
From the beginning, I knew THE LOST TRACK OF TIME was intimately connected to real-world issues. When I started writing it, I was working for an internet startup. I was constantly on the clock, from morning until night and over the weekends, trying to make the company a success. Everyone was fighting for more time—but no matter what we did, there was never enough. And what time we did have, had to be spent Constantly! Achieving! Results!
If You Want to Write
Not surprisingly, THE LOST TRACK OF TIME is about a girl who likes to do nothing. Doing nothing seemed to me like a radical and counter-cultural act. I’m not talking about the nothing where you lie around flipping through TV channels because you’re too exhausted to engage in life.
I’m talking about moodling.
I learned about moodling from Brenda Ueland in her book, If You Want to Write. She writes:
“The imagination needs moodling–long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”
I agree. When you moodle, you’re quiet, still, and (horrors!) unproductive. You let your mind wander until it becomes calm and curious and open. It’s a space of quiet contemplation and intense creativity.
Want to read more? Check out the full interview here.
I’m excited to announce that THE LOST TRACK OF TIME will be available in Spanish on December 31! May I present . . . EL REINO DE LAS POSIBILIDADES!
My Spanish publisher, Ediciones Urano, has offices in Spain and Latin America, which means kids in many Spanish-speaking countries (!!) will get to read my book. I’ll never get over how happy that makes me.
I’ve gotten emails from a few readers in Spain, so I believe it’s already available there, but if you want to get a copy here in the States, you can preorder it from all the major booksellers (Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes).
I’m excited to announce that THE LOST TRACK OF TIME has been awarded a gold medal from the National Parenting Publications Awards! NAPPA is one of the longest running and most respected awards programs in the country. For 25 years, they have been celebrated as the “go-to” source for parents and professionals seeking the best products for their children and families.
I’m pleased and delighted to be included alongside many other absolutely wonderful books!
I started writing THE LOST TRACK OF TIME while on a meditation retreat. Each morning I sat in silence, connecting to my breath, until I uncovered the quiet in my own mind. I spent the evenings writing and eventually the sitting and the writing cleared a path through all my nagging doubts and a story began to emerge — a story about a girl, pressed for time, who discovers the Realm of Possibility.
Over the years I’ve kept up my meditation and my writing practice. Both have taught me how to work with the noise in my mind and to connect with the silence there as well.
This November, I’ll be offering a meditation class on Sunday afternoons at The Writing Barn in Austin. I want to teach and encourage others to “write from the quiet.” The class will take place over four weeks to allow participants the opportunity to develop (or deepen) their own meditation practice. Here are the details:
When: Four Sunday afternoons in November – 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, and 11/22
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Where: The Writing Barn
10202 Wommack Rd, Austin, TX 78748
Check out The Writing Barn’s website to sign up or learn more. . .
I’m looking forward to my upcoming visit with the Tween Book Club at the Round Rock Public Library! If you’re a tween and are now (or would like to be) an expert moodler, please come to the library on September 10 at 4:30. The Realm of Possibility is in danger, and your moodling skills are desperately needed! (If you don’t know what moodling is, I suggest you check out a copy of The Lost Track of Time or read the Fun Facts on my About page . . .)
For a bit more information about the event, visit the Round Rock Library webpage.
Hope to see you on the 10th!