Monday, September 28, 2009

With only a month to go until Buck Fever is released, I am beyond excited to be posting the book trailer for this novel today.

A HUGE thank you to Madison at M2 Productions for putting this together for me. She is amazing! And wonderful to work with.

Hope you all like the Buck Fever preview! I'd love to hear what you think.

video

Monday, September 21, 2009

What Is On Your Desk?

What is on your desk and what does this say about you? The other day I was chiseling characters in my mind. As I stared at my desk, wondering what objects say about the characters that possess them, a familiar phrase from an often-heard commercial popped into my head: “What’s in your wallet?” My imagination tweaked this into “What’s on your desk?” Want to know what is on mine at this moment?

1.A Starbucks vente chai latte. Fuel for my writing engine.

2.A large bottle of water. Chai is tasty, but not all that healthy or hydrating.

3. My laptop, with a passed out Siamese cat lounging beside it.

4. An electronic mouse—for the computer, not the cat.

5. A datebook with lots of “to do” stuff scribbled in the squares, which is freaking me out. Memo to me: Move the datebook out of sight.

6. A scented candle that isn’t lit. Not yet, anyway. Where did I put those matches?

7. Multiple scraps of paper with random notes.

8. A telephone that I will glare at if it interrupts me, unless the call is from someone I like or am expecting.

9. A pocket watch that belonged to my great grandfather and requires winding every eight hours or so. There’s something ready, set, go about winding a watch at the start of the workday.

10.Books that I hope are filling the room with inspiration the way that the candle will fill the space with a harvest sent. Once I find those matches.

What’s on your desk? And what does it say about you? But maybe as important is: What’s on your character’s desk and what do these things say about him or her? What's in his or her wallet, closet, or junk drawer? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hurray for Grandparents! Hurray for GRAND Magazine!

Have you heard of GRAND magazine? I hadn’t until about six months ago, but what a great concept. GRAND is a magazine geared toward providing information and inspiration to grandparents of all ages and in all stages of life. In GRAND Magazine and through GRANDmagazine.com, the joys and challenges of relationships with grandchildren are celebrated. How cool is that?

I think grandparents are incredibly special and wonderful and just plain fabulous. I love seeing grandparents interacting with their grandchildren. Some of the best times of my kitten-hood were spent with my grandparents. I adored each them. My grandfather Chapman, in particular, taught me the value of first drafts. He always wrote rough copies of his correspondences prior to the final versions. I remember watching him at his big, clunky desk and being absolutely fascinated with what he was doing. I swear he had something to do with me becoming a writer.

That’s why I think it’s really great that there is a magazine that recognizes the important role that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren. And that’s why I am honored to have Dog Gone and Buck Fever highlighted in GRANDS this week. Thank you, GRANDS.

http://grandmagazine.com/article.asp?id=202

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to IN THE PATH OF FALLING OBJECTS!

In my last blog post, I wrote about what draws people to books. So it’s perfect timing that this is the week that In the Path of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith, author of Ghost Medicine, makes its debut. Very exciting! Because the premise of In the Path of Falling Objects is guaranteed to snag, grab hold, and not let go of readers until they reach the end if this young adult novel. Yes, this is a story ripe with page turning suspense and tension.

I really don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but I will mention that the story takes place in a desert. Now, I am a New York and New Jersey girl. I know zip about traipsing around in such arid places. In fact, the closest I’ve ever come to a desert is flying over it (I’m guessing this doesn’t count). Regardless, Andrew’s novel put me smack in the middle of a desert. And by the time I read the last page, I was ready to get out of it—but in a good way. In the way that I always feel when a wonderful writer has deposited me into a setting and made her feel, taste, and smell all that is going on, for better and for worse.

And that’s just one aspect of this novel. So, if you're up for an adventure in a desert that includes a crazy man, a desperate girl, and two boys who hitch a ride with them, then get yourself a copy of In the Path of Falling Objects and buckle up for a thrilling read. You won’t be sorry.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What Draws You to a Book?

It's Labor Day weekend and perhaps you've got a bit of time to read. So, what draws you to a book? The premise? The buzz about it? The author or his/her previous work? The cover art, or art in general if it’s a picture book? Maybe the blurb or author endorsement, if there is one, ignites your interest. Or, maybe the story synopsis or the text on the book jacket grabs you. I sometimes consider what brings readers to books as I write, read, and shop for my next great novel (three of my favorite pastimes, by the way).

Right now I’m reading The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. There is no question that the premise of this young adult novel hooked me. A contemporary American teenage girl is reincarnated from a famed female pirate. And get this, not only does she clearly recall her life as this seventeenth century buccaneer, but she also recalls each of the one hundred lives she led as a dog between dying as a pirate and being born human again (the dog lives are attributed to an unfortunate curse). Add to all of this that the modern teenager is intent on finding the treasure that she buried as a pirate. Well, of course! Now, tell me this premise doesn’t make you want to pick up this book. Seriously.

On the other hand, when I read the premise for The Hunger Games, a year ago, I wasn’t as enthused. But over the months, the buzz got to me. By the time I was halfway through this past summer, I had to read the book to see what all the fuss was about. And I loved this fast paced, exciting novel. So, hurray for the buzz which, apparently, can indeed be trusted.

In general, I’m pulled in by the text on the book jacket. Sure, the art is likely to grab my attention and might even entice me to pick up the book. The cover illustration for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo, for example, instantly caught my eye. But artwork won’t make me want to read the book unless the jacket copy convinces me that the story is going to deliver.

So, enough about me. How about you? What pulls you to a book, makes it irresistible? And, by the way, dipping it in chocolate does not count.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to The Sweetheart of Prosper County!

Break out the cake, light the candles, and toast the newest addition to the world of books! Today is the birthday (book release) of Jill S. Alexander’s wonderful young adult novel, The Sweetheart of Prosper County!

In this warm and funny story, 15-year-old Austin Gray is tired of watching the parade pass her by. She is determined to get herself into it and onto the hood of a shiny pickup truck, determined to wave to the crowd and prove that she’s got what it takes to be the Sweetheart of Prosper County. No matter what the obstacles. How's that for a great hook?

School Library Journal, gave The Sweetheart of Prosper County a starred Review and said “A refreshing picture of teen angst, with realistic dialogue and memorable characters.”

Booklist said: “First-time novelist Alexander offers a delightful, funny story about teenagers living in a West Texas farming community…Austin’s year of added responsibility and independence make for a substantive, enjoyable coming-of-age novel that will speak to rural and urban readers alike.”

You can read more about Jill and her fabulous debut novel at www.jillsalexander.com. And, to read more about The Sweetheart of Prosper County, check out these blog reviews:

http://stephsureads.blogspot.com/2009/08/review-sweetheart-of-prosper-county-by

and

http://aleapopculture.blogspot.com/2009/08/sweetheart-of-prosper-county-by-jill-s.

Happy reading!!!! And yes, happy it will be!