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Happy Children's Book Week, all! I'm a little late to the party, but then for me every week is children's book week.
All the same, I thought I should point you to this cool event over at Mother Daughter Book Reviews: a kid lit giveaway connecting to all kinds of other blogs, with great prizes.
It's like a giant virtual book party where you can win stuff--now what's better than that, right?
Read on, YA Sleutheri... And consider making it a children's book this week.
For Juvenile, The Quick Fix
by Jack D. Ferraiolo won the prize; for YA, Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein.
I read most of the nominees in both categories (didn't make it through all--drat!), and have to say this was the strongest year in nominees I've seen. So big kudos to the winners and the nominees
Let's all have some cake...
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All that talk about summer fun and reading got me inspired to do one last giveaway of Double Vision over at Goodreads. So enter if you dare, over here, or at the nifty widget to the right.
Happy reading, all!
I'm Fleur, and I have summer fever. Don't tell anyone...
I'm well (most well, really) past the age of going to school, yet at this time of year, I feel like a distracted sixth-grader. I'm ready for summer fun: running through the sprinklers, being lazy for no reason, eating ice cream--it happens every year around this time. Just like in August, when I feel like buying new notebooks and pencils. Odd, no?
I'm also looking forward to lots and lots of summer reading. And I'm hoping you'll give me some recommendations.
What's the best book you've read lately?
Of course, it isn't me having these insightful thoughts--I'm still down in ol' Mississippi. I watched the terrible events in Boston unfold on the news, like most everyone else.
But author friend Diana Renn (of the great YA mystery Tokyo Heist) who lives in the Boston area wrote a great post on the subject over at Sleuths, Spies and Alibis. Go read it.
I've been listening to Eric Hutchinson a lot while writing, and thought I'd share it with you for some inspiration. In case you could use some.
When I went to look for his music videos on Youtube, I was surprised to find there were very few. Why is this guy not more famous? Odd...
Anyway, happy Monday!
I went to this festival last year
, and had such a blast. It's in Hattiesburg, MS--hope to see you there! I'll be signing Double Vision
at the USM Barnes & Noble.
And they're actually letting me host a session on reluctant readers on Friday, so come say hi if you're attending...
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I've been a bit quiet here; working on the first draft of Linc's third adventure has me a little occupied (enjoyably so, I must add). I do still enjoy reading other blogs, and checking out funny cat pictures and other Facebook distractions....
Yesterday, Murderati announced it's wrapping up the blog
. Blogs come and go, but this one has been around a while (7 years, I believe), and one I followed. So it'll be weird to watch it go. It did get me thinking--and this has been brought up elsewhere before...
Are blogs a dying art? I use the term art loosely here, but you get my point. Are Facebook, Twitter, etc. taking over as places to have a conversation? Murderati cited this changing marketplace, because of course these writers started the blog to gain an audience to sell books to.
Do you read a lot of blogs anymore? You're here, so at least your reading this one, but have your habits changed with this changing web-o-sphere?
And here it is! Very cool, right?
I owe all my thanks to the amazing people at Foundry (my agency) and Seuil (the French publisher), and of course Harper Children's, since there wouldn't be much to translate without them. So merci beaucoup. It's so exciting to know that Linc's Paris adventure will be available in French this June...
The title means "beware of your double." I won't subject to any of my high school French, since it largely involves me ordering dinner or finding the bathroom. But I wanted to share this great cover with you, since you've stuck around this long.
Should we have gender-specific books, or is it all just nonsense?
Check out my post over at Sleuths, Spies and Alibis
on what I learned when marketing Double Vision
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Author friend Patti runs a flash fiction challenge every so often, which is loads of fun. I had to bow out (I'm knee-high in writing Linc's third adventure), but I'm looking forward to reading all the short stories everyone else came up with.
The theme was a white van... Check out the stories here at Patti's blog
This is one of my favorite Marvin Gaye songs. I used to sing it when riding my bike to school :-)
When I went to find it on Youtube, there were oodles of cover versions, but no one owned it like the man himself. Sometimes, you just gotta know when to leave it to the master, right?
Happy Monday, all...
After reading TAKEN last year, I discovered I really like Robert Crais' books. I'm a little late to the fan party, I know--the man has written a good bookshelf full of mysteries.
So I picked up his recent release, SUSPECT. The book opens with a chapter written from a military K-9 dog's perspective; I was choked up by page ten... As a writer, it left me in awe. Don't we all wish we could write that powerful of a story?
How about you, readers and writers? Which author do you admire?
Well, not here, but over at Sleuths Spies and Alibis, where I hang out with my fellow middle-grade and YA mystery writers.
Go check it out, and let me know what you think!
In my quest to be a better reader and review more books, I (of course) immediately hit a snag. The book I just finished reading? I didn't like it...
And it wasn't an 'it was okay, just not the best' kind of dislike--I really, really didn't like it. The only reason I finished it was because I bought it, and thought I should finish. Like when you buy those store-brand ginger snaps, and you eat them in spite of their sucky-ness.
I decided not to review the book, since it could be just me. And as an author, I know how much those bad reviews can sting.
How about you, YA Sleutheri? Do you review books you don't like?
As a newbie author, you learn a few things along the way.
Okay, so you learn a lot of things. Like how fun it is to meet new readers at a book signing. How you have to introduce yourself to Barnes and Noble customers, because no one will find you if you stay at your table, hidden behind the Nook display. How perfect strangers, in person or just on Twitter, can be so supportive of you and your book, even though they barely know you. People can be pretty awesome.
The hard part about being a debut is asking for that awesomeness. Asking people for help, that is. To come see you at a book signing, so you don't look so sad. And to review your book if they like it. Having my own book to sell made me realize that I haven't always been such a good reader. Because as an author, you're a reader first, and I've read a boatload of books. But how many have I actually reviewed at various outlets? Not many...
And thank you, awesome readers who've supported me so far. You inspire me to be a better reader myself.
...Come see me at Barnes and Noble
I'm signing Double Vision
at 2 p.m. and would love to see a friendly face.
Hope to see you there!
One of the coolest things about writing for kids is when I get to hear from those kids themselves. You'd think that happens very often, but you'd be surprised. Since I'm still new at the author gig, I mostly talk to librarians, teachers, parents, grandparents--those people who will be buying books for the tweens in their life.
So it was cool to hear from a friend who bought the book for his son, but then he told me his teacher wouldn't let him read it for his required mystery book. Since Double Vision
is a thriller. This kid ended up reading the book anyway once the assignment was finished (my readers are cool that way). Not that I disagree with the teacher--there are certainly many middle-grade books that are stronger mysteries--but it did make wonder...
What makes a mystery, and what makes a thriller? Is it the puzzle versus the chase?
I do think Double Vision
is more of a thriller, so the teacher was right. But isn't it also a mystery? There's a puzzle and a whodunit to solve...
What do you think makes each category? Or is it all just nonsense, this labeling?
Friday's events in Connecticut left me (and I imagine anyone) pretty shaken. However, since there's enough heartbreak on the news right now, I won't add to that here.
But that tragedy did remind me how great teachers and educators can be, and how many teachers have impacted me as a kid, and as I have my own kiddos now, into adulthood. Like my first grade teacher Mieke, who was smart, fair, kind, and just plain cool. My Latin teacher, who could always see the humor in my terrible Latin translations (I would come up with whole new stories that were totally not in the text). The great teacher at my kids' Colorado school, always ready to give a hug or a high-five.
Or the media specialist (that's a fancy word for librarian) I spoke to at a local convention earlier this month. The kids at her school come from poor families, where there's no book in the house for her K-4 classes to read. But that doesn't stop this awesome lady from encouraging her kids to read: she tells them to read cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, whatever they can get their hands on. She told me one kid brought in the label off a pillow because it had a word from his spelling list on it. Humbling stuff.
It takes a special person to be a teacher.
How about you? who was your favorite teacher?
I'm always a sucker for classics, particularly around the holidays. So here's a Nat King Cole one.
Happy holidays, and I'll see you in 2013!
I heard this song a few weeks ago, by Gary Clark Jr. It's pretty good, but I instantly recognized several of his influences: Lenny Kravitz, Jimmy Hendrix, to name but a few. It's so obvious, I'm sure Mr. Clark is aware.
Which made me think of writers, and my own writing. Am I influenced, like this guy, by others whose craft I admire?
How about you, fellow writers? Have others ever told you that your writing is like someone else's?
I know, this is sort of old news, but I've been a bit slow joining the new year. Blame it on the leftover snacks in the fridge.
But then I got some good news: Seattle Mystery Bookshop's Amber listed Double Vision as one of the best middle-grade mysteries of 2012
. And I got fanmail (how cool is that?) from an awesome 7th grader who chose to do his English project on the book. So I'm honored, and inspired to get to work.
Now all I need is some New Year's resolutions....
How 'bout you? Any plans for lucky 2013?
January means organizing and planning for me, which also means making travel plans. I have a few things still in the works, but spring is mostly sorted.
In case you're interested, here's where you can find me until April
Now I'm deciding for the rest of the year... So I was hoping you'd inspire me, tell me if you're traveling (for writing or not), and what your plans are for 2013.
Are you staying around your own neighborhood, or are you venturing out?
It's Edgar nominee time! Here is the full list of nominees; I've pasted the YA and MG ones below.
As in previous years, I'm planning to read all before the awards announcement May 2, and will let you know my predictions. It's fun, so join in if you like....
Fake Mustache: Or, How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind by Tom Angleberger (Abrams – Amulet Books)
13 Hangmen by Art Corriveau (Abrams – Amulet Books)
The Quick Fix by Jack D. Ferraiolo (Abrams – Amulet Books)
Spy School by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dial Books for Young Readers)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things by Kathryn Burak (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Roaring Brook Press)
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George (Penguin Young Readers Group – Viking)
Crusher by Niall Leonard (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte BFYR)
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dutton Children’s Books)
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Disney Publishing Worldwide - Hyperion)
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Apologies for the blog silence--I've been a bit under the weather. On the upside, I'm all caught up on Justified, and I started writing the third book in the Double Vision series. Exciting!
Oddly, I gained a ton of Twitter followers while I was away, so perhaps I should shut up more often.
On the topic of silence, I thought I'd share this short silent film by the Disney people called Paperman. When I first saw it as a preview to some other movie I was about to see, I loved it, and you could hear a pin drop in the theater. I think it's up for an Oscar, so fingers crossed.