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1. A Narwhal!

A Narwhal!

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2. PubCrawl Podcast: Publishing 101 Contracts & Clauses

This week Kelly and JJ talk about CONTRACTS. Yes, contracts. No, it’s not boring, we promise. Also, how Ernest Hemingway can help you write middle grade and how everything is still Hamilton. EVERYTHING WILL ALWAYS BE HAMILTON.

Subscribe to us on iTunes, or use this feed to subscribe through your podcast service of choice!

Show Notes

We haven’t written a ton on the subject of contracts here at PubCrawl, but here is a post by alumni Joanna Volpe and Jordan Hamessley-London:

TL;DR (or TL;DL for Too Long, Didn’t Listen), the three most important clauses to which you should pay attention in your contract are:

  • Rights of Termination
  • Delivery
  • Option/Non-Compete

Creative Endeavors

JJ is still working on her middle grade novel and is reading Ernest Hemingway for research. Not because her middle grade is about bullfighting and notions of masculinity, but because from a craft perspective, no one does spare yet emotionally resonant better than Hemingway.

Books Discussed This Week

Off-Menu Recommendations

That’s it for this week! Next week, we will be talking about how to take a story FROM BRAIN TO BOOK: A Look Into the Behind-the-Scenes Publishing Process. As always, if you have any questions or comments, sound off in the comments, or ask us on Tumblr!

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3. Art during breakfast

Early mornings can be great. At least, when you're a morning person, like I am. I love going for an early morning run while watching the world around me waking up, write up a blogpost or squeeze in a quick drawing during breakfast.

I don't even really think about the subject I draw at the breakfast table. Usually it's just what's right in fron of me.

Sometimes it's my husband, checking his email after he made us coffee...

... a selfie in the reflection of the espresso machine

...or again my husband, procrastinating on starting the work day by practicing a little bit of mandoline.

A great way to practice quick drawings, and people-drawing skills. But sometimes it's also a quick scribble or a sloppy sketch of my breakfast:

When is your best time of the day?

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4. J.K. Rowling to talk about her (Robert Galbraith’s) New Novel

J.K. Rowling tweeted this morning (surprise, surprise) that she would be talking with NPR about her Robert Galbraith’s new novel, Career of Evil. The radio segment is to air on November 2, as a part of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour and NPR’s new Book Club.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 8.46.38 AM

Crime Vault also seems to be offering fans the opportunity to become a detective, in honor of Cormoran Strike. J.K. Rowling retweeted the “18 Denmark Street” sign that invited fans to use the hashtag #makemeadetective.

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And another little note from our favorite author, this morning:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 8.46.46 AM

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5. The latest Jessica Jones teaser hints at Kilgrave’s menace

Hey, what do you know? We finally get a Jessica Jones teaser that shows Krysten Ritter’s face. Additionally, it sounds like we can now confirm that David Tennant’s Kilgrave/Purple Man will be British. That’s a nice a sigh of relief really, given that his efforts at an American accent were pretty uneven on Gracepoint, I’m […]

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6. Adventures in Amazing Audiobooks

For me, the bright spot of every winter happens after the Midwinter conference, when YALSA releases its list of Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults. This list is compiled by the Amazing Audiobooks Committee, which listens to many hundreds of hours of audiobooks and engages in spirited debates in order to select the very best titles for the list. This committee is composed of nine voting members and one incredible administrative assistant. In 2016, the committee will undergo some exciting changes, as it will be transitioning into a virtual committee. This means that committee members will not be required to meet during the Annual and Midwinter meetings but will instead conduct their business in an online environment. Hopefully, this change will make it possible for more people to participate in this dynamic group.

As the committee chair, I am often asked how our committee works. How do we receive titles? How do we share our votes and our reviews? How do we decide what titles are the very best?

As far as titles are concerned, we seek out and receive regular submissions of CDs, MP3s, and digital downloads from various audiobook publishing houses. We also actively seek out suggestions from our members and the public. In fact, if you’d like to suggest a title, please do! The form is here.

Our committee typically considers between 350 and 400 titles a year. That’s a lot of listening! In order to get through all of these titles, we ask that each member commit to an average of 2 hours a day of listening. In addition to listening, we also write reviews and discuss the merits of the titles with our fellow members. We maintain a robust set of spreadsheets, where we list our assignments, voting history, and nomination details. We share our evaluations on ALA Connect, where we are able to carry on discussions about the audios that we’re considering. We also have occasional online meetings and information sessions.

When we first receive a title, it is assigned to a single committee member. That first listener decides whether the title is good enough for further consideration. If it is, it is assigned to five more members. All nominated titles will be listened to by six committee members, all of whom will participate in the year-end discussions in order to decide whether that title is good enough for the final list.

Beyond these nuts-and-bolts details, one question remains--What is it really like to be a member? Debi Shultz and Charlene Hsu Gross, both new members to the committee, share their thoughts:


As a lifelong lover of audiobooks, I thought this committee would be fascinating to join. I have not been disappointed.  I have learned so much about evaluating the production of an audiobook and discerning that almost undecipherable element of “amazing.” After many months of experience and gaining insight from other committee members’ evaluations, I gained some confidence and can now usually tell within the first 15 minutes if the title is going to be a yes, maybe, or no. I find that maybe votes are the hardest because there are lots of positive aspects to the production and content, but they might lack that obvious mark of a “yes!”  This is when a second listener helps to confirm the pieces that make the decision to go forward with a title or to leave it behind.

I’m really looking forward to our final discussions in January when we work toward delivering a list that is the absolute best we can offer and celebrate the wonder of listening to good books for young adults.


I have been a HUGE fan of audiobooks since the early 1980s when I drove 300 miles every weekend for a job in another state. Audiobooks kept me entertained, engaged and awake while they allowed me to keep up on some of my favorite authors and genres. Since then audiobooks have come a long way from simply being read-alouds to now becoming performances.  Multiple voices, multiple narrators, music, and sound effects are fairly commonplace and serve to not only support the text but also often enhance the story.

Since becoming a member of the Amazing Audiobook committee I have been listening to a wide variety of YA genres.  Books I wouldn’t read in print I find I will listen to (and enjoy) on audio.  My listening habits now go beyond just when I’m driving and include listening while I get ready for work, as I do routine cleaning, when I’m knitting or sewing, and of course when I’m outside gardening. My work on the committee has also fine-tuned my ears.  I now listen critically for uniqueness of voices, quality of speech, wet mouth sounds, p-pops, and audible breaths I had always considered myself a fan of audiobooks but since joining the Amazing Audiobook committee, my fan status has changed to that of an addict.

Sarah again:

I think that Debi says it best, and most of our members would heartily agree: “While my work with Amazing Audiobooks is intense and often time-consuming, I love being part of this group.” We hope that if you’re thinking about volunteering for YALSA, you consider joining us and helping to create the next list of crazy good audiobooks. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

To learn more about participating on a YALSA committee, visit the FAQ on the web site.  To learn about volunteer opportunities other than committee work, visit the Get Involved page on the web site.

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7. We Need Diverse Books

Gina organizes the book fair at our daughters' school. Moved by the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement, she curated a list of books & we'll plaster town with this art!

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8. My tweets

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9. Platypus Police Squad Movie!

Variety just broke the news on the Platypus Police Squad movie!
That's right, MOVIE! I'm pinching myself!
I am BEYOND thrilled to be working with Walden Media, the studio behind the Narnia films and the upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl's The B.F.G., to bring these monotreme detectives to the silver screen. And with the talented Jon Saunders and Ross Evans penning the script and Saunders directing, Zengo and O'Malley are in very capable hands! 

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10. Halloween Activities

halloweenHalloween Activities on the STACKS!

The spookiest day of the year is coming on October 31. Here are a few Halloween activities and links to get you ready. If you need costume ideas, we got ‘em; scary books, we got ‘em. We even have a Personality Quiz to find out what monster you are most like!

This just in . . . these Halloween Would You Rather questions from PurpleWizard50:

Would you rather . . . .

  1. Dress up as a pink princess OR a yellow bumblebee?
  2. Get one small yummy candy bar OR a giant bar of yucky candy?
  3. Turn into a werewolf OR a vampire?
  4. Eat 2000 candy bars in a minute OR eat 30 old pieces of licorice in one minute?
  5. Meet a mummy OR Frankenstein?

If you have ideas for blog posts, go to the STACK Back Message Board and submit them! Have a safe and fun Halloween!

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11. Book Trailer: Uh-Oh! by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Patrice Barton

From the team behind Mine! (Knopf, 2011)
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Check out the book trailer for Uh-Oh! by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Patrice Barton (Knopf, 2015). From the promotional copy:

A charming summer story that's just right for toddlers, from the team behind the critically acclaimed picture book "Mine."

What does a toddler say when she drops her sunglasses in the sand? "Uh-Oh."

What does she say when a seagull lands on her sandcastle? "Uh-Oh."

What does she say when she finds a crab in her pail? "Uh-Oh."

And what does she say when a BIG wave is coming? That's the biggest "Uh-Oh" of all.

This nearly wordless story of toddler adventure perfectly captures the dynamics between the youngest friends and the sheer pleasure of that favorite toddler word: Uh-Oh.

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12. Telemental health: Are we there yet?

An unacceptably large proportion of mentally ill individuals do not receive any care. Reasons vary but include the dearth of providers, the cost of treatment and stigma. Telemental health, which uses digital technology for the remote delivery of mental health services, may help toward finding a solution.

The post Telemental health: Are we there yet? appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Fall Is Off To A Bang!

I'm finally back to blogging after a long visit with my family and other busy things going on in this writer's life.

I must say, this fall is starting out with a bang! While visiting my family in Virginia, my mom, sis and I had two very successful book signings. To be honest, I wasn't expecting either function to be much, however the event that I was sure I'd be lucky to sell one book at, ended up being one of my most successful. It sure is fun talking to people about our books but when someone comes up to you and wants to buy one of each, well I must admit, it's a terrific feeling and big boost to the ego!

This happened not once but two or three times during these book signings. Amazing! At least to me it was.

I also just attended another successful book signing here in Louisiana at the Denham Springs Fall Festival. It was chilly, windy and I was suffering from a rotten cold, but who cares when people are buying your creations! I paid for it the next day but it was still well worth it.

Last night I had another book signing at La Divina Italian Cafe. Why there, you ask? Because the owner of that very unique and lovely cafe is doing her part in supporting the community and our local authors. Each Wednesday night she has kids night and features a different author. We read our stories to the kids, sometimes play games and have all kinds of fun. It really is a great thing this cafe is doing and we just wish more local businesses would follow suit!

The picture below is of two little cutie pies and friends, Elliot & Julia at La Divina last night. We sure had fun!

Up next on October 24 & 25 is the Poche Plantation Arts and Crafts festival which I'm really excited about.

How about you other authors out there. What's your fall looking like?

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14. What?!? When!?!: Special Disney “Moana” Edition

Disney Animation Studios has regained their glamour of Walt’s era, where every new Disney animated feature is eagerly awaited and anticipated. And speculated. Whispers are heard from Emeryville and Burbank regarding any future films, and even a simple title card can set fans imaginations churning. Such is the case with  “Moana”, the next “princess” animated film […]

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15. Platypus Police Squad

In 1997 I gave this fourteen-year-old kid advice about RISD and art school, and now he's set to direct and cowrite a movie based on my book series for a major Hollywood studio. 
As many of you may know, I spent many years working at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp starting in my late teens. One of my nearest and dearest friends that I worked with there was Ali Baghai. When camp wasn't in session, I often found myself at his house, just outside of Boston. The Baghai house was just one of those households where everyone collected. Ali's mother, Jane, just reveled in having her sons and all of their friends under one roof at the same time. She was a remarkable woman who always made you feel so loved—Wendy to our Lost Boys. It was at one of these get-togethers that I met this red-headed kid named Jon Saunders. Jon was Ali's younger-brother Jeff's friend. Jon and Jeff were (and are) both artists, and in-between games of Goldeneye on N64, I'd share my experiences at Rhode Island School of Design. I was a sophomore at the time.
(Another friend that I made at the Baghai house in those days was Chris Zengo, who grew up to be a Massachusetts State Trooper, and the namesake for a certain platypus detective.)
Jon would later attend RISD, along with Jeff, and during their time there, I was a frequent guest lecturer for my former professors. We'd catch up whenever I was in Providence. I even won an alumni award the year that Jon graduated in 2005. So I got to see him grab his diploma from the stage. 
Jon moved to L.A. after graduation, and I found myself there often. Punk Farm had just been picked up for development and I was hitting the streets, meeting with just about every development executive in town that would make time for me. I crashed on Jon's couch in those days and shared folders filled with samples of this Lunch Lady project I had brewing. 
Jon moved forward with some amazing animation projects over the ensuing years, and I kept plugging along with my books. We kept in touch, but as it goes when you start having kids—I got insanely busy. I named the corrupt mayor in Platypus Police Squad after Jon to thank him for those weeks of couch surfing. 
Jon called me up last winter. His career was picking up steam, and was I doing anything with Platypus Police Squad? I was, in fact, readying something. We put our heads together, along with his brilliant writing partner, Ross Evans. Walden Media was quickly on board, and we now have a movie in development! Jon and Ross really get what I have been doing in the Platypus Police Squad books, and I could not have found a better pair to shepherd this project along from page to screen. 
Jane Baghai is no longer with us, but I can only begin to imagine how tickled she'd be by all of this. If she was here, I know she'd instantly produce a photograph of a gang of kids sitting on her couch playing Nintendo in 1997. I miss Jane terribly, she was a very special woman—and I will forever be grateful to her for opening her doors to me. 
The photo on the left is of Jane and Ali Baghai and I at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in 1997. On the right, that's Jon Saunders, Ross Evans and I on our first creative meeting for the film adaptation of Platypus Police Squad back in February.

Check out the animation that Jon Saunders directed for Nike. It currently has more than 88 million views!! 

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16. Congratulations Lisa Yee!

I'm so excited for my pal Lisa Yee! She is a superhero herself, but she has been given the keys to all of the female superheroes of the DC universe! Check out her news!

The Super Hero Girls are in high school, as if that's not stress and confusion unto itself! Here's more info on what else is going on with this . . . http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/…/dc-mattel-unveil-super-h…

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17. रैली लीला


रैली ( मोनिका गुप्ता) रैली ( मोनिका गुप्ता)


रैली लीला

रैली का रौला .. रैली लीला है या राम लीला  या महाभारत अबकी बार  बहुत जल्दी शुरु हो गई है  कही आग उगलते नश्तर की तरह चुभते नेताओ के  बयान,  कही अठ्ठाहस करती राक्षसी और पिशाच जैसी हंसी, कही जंगल राज की बात तो कही धृर्त् राष्ट्र की तरह आखॆ बंद किए बैठी कानून व्यव्स्था, तो कही नेता और मीडिया के चक्रव्यूह मे फसंती जनता …

आज के संदर्भ में यक्ष प्रश्न

आज के समय में किसे सुधरना चाहिए
नेता को ( भडकाऊ भाषणों से)
न्यूज चैनलों को (बेसिर पैर की बातों को तूल देने पर )
या जनता को कि जो ये हो रहा है होता रहेगा इसलिए अपना मन खराब न करे…
है कोई जवाब ???

24 घंटे के खबरिया चैनल, एक एक घंटे की बहस और बहस के अंत में बोलेगें कि समय नही है समय खत्म हो रहा है अरे !!!… जब इतना समय लगाया है तो कुछ समय और देकर कम से कम किसी निष्कर्ष पर तो पहुंचों.. हर रोज यही ड्रामा चलता है … दर्शकों को अधर मे छोड कर क्या दिखाना चाह्ते हो अगर, वाकई आप अपने उठाए मुद्दों के प्रति गम्भीर हैं तो हटाओ विज्ञापन जो बहस के दौरान बार बार दिखाते हो … मत लो ब्रेक… लगातार दिखाओ बहस !! पर नही !! ये न होगा आपसे !! बस दिखावा ही करो कि आप जैसा जागरुक और सजग चैनल कोई दूसरा हो ही नही सकता…!!! हुह !!

भेजा फ्राय !!!


The post रैली लीला appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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18. Interview with Michael D' Ambrosio for Princess Pain

Come and join me as I talk with author Michael D' Ambrosio about his book Princess Pain on Stories From Unknown Authors http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 1pm EST today.

Marina is a cold-hearted courier of contraband who likes to play rough. Her life as a loner is just fine until the delivery of a flash drive with stolen weapons technology ends her alias and makes her the target of a power-hungry militia leader who wants her alive, and his sultry assassin lover who wants her dead. The action-filled chase across the sector with two unlikely allies melts the ice off her heart and leads her to a secret that changes everything she ever stood for. Nothing is easy with Marina as she drives everyone crazy with her anger-driven arrogance and stubbornness, including Britt, the militia captain, who falls in love with her.


My desire to write thrilling science-fiction came about in the late 90's as a result of many of my adventures around the world. Some form my military background and others from my civilian job and a few from my personal travels. Real life experiences fuel my stories and give them that "little extra" with a touch of fantasy and romance that we all crave when we read to escape reality with a feel good sensation. The Fractured Time Trilogy and Space Frontiers Series are great for ages 12 and up. Night Creeps 1 and 2 are strictly adult sci-fi/horror while the futuristic action Pain Series with Princess Pain is recommended for age 14 and up due to the violence. 

In addition to novels, I have taken up screenwriting to adapt those novels to film. When I'm not writing, I'm participating in conventions across the county and possibly Europe in the near future. See my website at www.fracturedtime.com for more information on all my projects including the latest.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: BlackWyrm (February 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613181574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613181577

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19. #BGHB15 #HBAS15


Roger and Richard; photo by Elissa Gershowitz.

The Horn Book gang–Sharks AND Jets–has been busy posting photos and Tweets and quotes and stuff from our very successful Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards/Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium events of last weekend. We will be publishing coverage in the January/February issue of the Magazine, and look for a fabulous cover by Marla Frazee, who gives us a little more of the Farmer and the Clown story. (And, yes, for those who asked, Susan Cooper’s inspiring speech will be in the issue.) Thank you to all who made the events a success–HB and Boston Globe and Simmons staff, our judges, our speakers, and our attendees, who kept the conversation lively. Cathie, Katrina, and I have already started planning next year’s program (if saying “let’s pick a date” counts as planning). The BGHB 2016 judges–Betsy Bird, Roxanne Hsu Feldman, and chair Joanna Rudge Long are already at it. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the awards so we hope to make the weekend extra-special.

The post #BGHB15 #HBAS15 appeared first on The Horn Book.

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Jonathan Bentley has written and illustrated a playful picture book about a toddler who wishes to be big, like his older brother. The boy imagines what it might be like to have "big legs like a giraffe," "big hands like a gorilla," and a "big mouth like a crocodile," and finds that there are advantages to being little.

The images of the large animals are both dramatic and comic. The pictures, created with “watercolors, pencils, and scanned textures” are loose and lively. This is a fast, fun read aloud.

Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:

Age Range:
3 - 7 

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21. The Hole in the Wall Gang and The Sister's Wish

Earlier this week, I had the chance to reconnect with my old friend Amy, who I know from The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Amy is incredible, and not just because she got her entire family to dress as my characters and planned the school visit as head of the PTO. I know Amy because her younger brother, Craig, was one of my campers back in the day. Craig was just an incredible kid. When Paul Newman founded the camp, he stated that he wanted to create a space to "let kids kick back, relax and raise a little hell." Craig personified that mantra in the most beautiful way possible. He had a quick wit and a warrior's heart. Craig began his battle with cancer at age four and lived with it until he passed in his early twenties. 
Grief can weigh us down, and then there are people like Amy who use grief for a greater good. She, along with her sister, Beth, founded The Sister's Wish. The mission of this non-profit is so admirable—grant wishes for young adults aged 18-30 who are living with terminal and chronic illnesses. They do this on their own and throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 
I know Craig would be so proud of his sisters. It was magical to see his mischievous spirit living on in his nephew and nieces.

Learn more about The Sister's Wish via their Facebook page or on their website here: http://www.thesisterswish.org/

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22. ‘Giant Robots From Outer Space,’ A Supinfocom Student Film

In the 1950s, earth is invaded by a mechanical menace. Love emerges between a man, a woman, and a giant robot from outer space.

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23. Lakes, ponds and puddles

Preparing to go to the Lakes International Comic festival, 16-18 October. See you there

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24. Webster's Bedtime - a bookwrap

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25. NYCC ’15: Archie signings and Jughead Triumphant

JUGHEAD #1 Cover by Erica Henderson Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Howard the Duck) and rising star artist Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl). NYCC variant cover edition of JUGHEAD #1 by Francesco Francavilla. Limited to 1000 copies, this convention exclusive cover will be available for $10 at the Archie Comics Booth #1836 while supplies last!   Archie […]

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