What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from all 1552 Blogs)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<May 2015>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     0102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1552 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer, authors of OFF THE PAGE, on writing with a family member

We're honored to have mother-daughter writing team Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer join us to chat about the writing process for their new novel OFF THE PAGE.

What was your inspiration for writing OFF THE PAGE?

We knew that we left things hanging at the end of BETWEEN THE LINES -- what happens to Edgar?  What's it like for Oliver in the real world?  Tons of readers wrote to ask us -- but we had a very real world obstacle in our way, namely, Sammy was in college at Vassar and didn't have time to write a novel.  One day Sammy called home to say she missed writing.  Jodi said, "You write every day!"  but she meant creative writing.  Sammy suggested writing the sequel the summer after her freshman year of college -- so that's exactly what we did.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The last day we were writing, we really wanted to kill each other.  If Jodi said the sky was blue, Sammy said, "No, it's GREEN."  We were writing the little interchapters that dot the book, and they should have been easy -- but they were so, so difficult!  One of the scenes we are really proud of creating is the copyright cave -- the book plays around a lot with who owns a story and who creates it - the reader or the writer.  We like the idea that there might be a hidden spot in a story where all the author's imagination resides.  A scene we laughed a lot at when we were writing was the double date between Chris, Edgar, Jules, and Delilah.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

When we write, it's side by side in Jodi's office.  We take turns typing and we literally speak the book out loud, line by line.  For OFF THE PAGE, because we were working on a limited amount of time (Sammy's summer break) we worked for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  If you think it's hard to get along with your mother in general -- imagine spending that much time with her every single day!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Off the Pageby Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 
5/19/2015

From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and her daughter and coauthor, Samantha van Leer, comes OFF THE PAGE, a tender and appealing romantic YA novel filled with humor, adventure, and magical relationships.

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. It’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down.

Full of humor and witty commentary about life, OFF THE PAGE is a stand-alone novel as well as the companion to the authors’ bestseller Between the Lines, and is perfect for readers looking for a fairytale ending. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot are sure to appreciate this novel about love, romance, and relationships.

Purchase Off the Page at Amazon
Purchase Off the Page at IndieBound
View Off the Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

authors Jodi Picoult and  Samantha van LeerJodi Picoult is the bestselling author of of twenty-three novels and the YA novel Between The Lines (2012) co-written with her daughter Samantha van Leer, and The Storyteller (2013). Her last eight novels have debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Her highly anticipated new novel, Leaving Time, was released in the US, Canada, and Australia October 14, 2014; it will be released in the UK on 4th November.

 Samantha van Leer is a sophomore at Vassar College majoring in psychology with a minor in human development. She has four dogs: Alvin, Harvey, Dudley, and Oliver—for whom the prince in this story is named.


What did you think of our interview with Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer, authors of OFF THE PAGE? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,


Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

0 Comments on Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer, authors of OFF THE PAGE, on writing with a family member as of 5/23/2015 6:59:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Love, Home and Breadcrumbs



0 Comments on Love, Home and Breadcrumbs as of 5/23/2015 2:49:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. ‘Blue Deer’ by Barbara Bakos

How the blue deer spend their days.

0 Comments on ‘Blue Deer’ by Barbara Bakos as of 5/23/2015 1:53:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. Cartoon – Maggi

maggi

2 minute Maggi .. बच्चों को पसंद आने वाली मैगी पर अब रोक लग गई है… मम्मी पापा पूरे प्रयासों में है कि बच्चे मैगी की बजाय दाल रोटी ही खाए पर यादों से भुलाना आसान भी नही …

( फिर क्यूं तेरी यादों ने मुझे रुला दिया हो … )

The post Cartoon – Maggi appeared first on Monica Gupta.

Add a Comment
5. Mirage 2000

cartoon jet test driveयमुना एक्सप्रैस हाईवे पर मिराज 2000 की सफलता पूर्वक लैंडिंग करवाई गई… उसी पर आधारित ये कार्टून है जब लैंडिंग के दौरान गाय जाने को तैयार ही नही है

The post Mirage 2000 appeared first on Monica Gupta.

Add a Comment
6. Getting the hang of it

That brown paper background seems to work really good with black pen, a pinch of white, grey brush pen and a dash of 1 colour.

I enjoyed doing this drawing of people listening to my husband's band playing. It felt like my pen caught up the rhythm.


0 Comments on Getting the hang of it as of 5/23/2015 4:13:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. Coe on Kundera

       With Milan Kundera's most recent work of fiction, The Festival of Insignificance, due out in English shortly -- see the Faber publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- Jonathan Coe considers How important is Milan Kundera today ? in The Guardian.
       Interesting that he doesn't bring up Kundera's language-switch -- from Czech to French (this, like his other recent novels was written in French; the popular stuff was written in Czech).
       I haven't seen this one, but he still seems a significant author -- and, of course, still has acolytes (Adam Thirlwell et al.).

       Only two of his books are under review at the complete review -- The Curtain and Identity -- along with François Ricard's Kundera-study, Agnès's Final Afternoon

Add a Comment
8. S.E. Green, author of KILLER WITHIN, on finding your voice

KILLER WITHIN is the sequel to KILLER INSTINCT, and we're thrilled to have author S.E. Green join us chat about writing.

S.E., what did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

Writing both KILLER INSTINCT and KILLER WITHIN taught me how to be me. How to take
chances and write how I truly want to write--raw and gritty and dark.


Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I tried writing adult novels and my critique partners kept telling me I had a young voice and I should write YA. One day I finally listened and tried and you know what? They were right! I knew within two pages that I had found my voice!

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I'm a morning writer. I type at a stand up desk in my kitchen--close to the coffee.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Don't be afraid to take chances. Write every day, even if you end up deleting it. And join a writer's group--it's great for networking and learning the craft.

What are you working on now?

A YA suspense involving a satanic cult.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Killer Withinby S.E. Green
Hardcover
Simon PulseReleased 
5/19/2015

In the heart-pounding sequel to the “zippy, gripping psychological drama” (Kirkus Reviews) Killer Instinct, teen vigilante Lane must face the secrets and unexpected consequences that arise in the wake of her first kill.

It’s been three months since Lane made her first kill—the sadistic Decapitator—and now she feels both closer and more alienated than ever from her united, grieving family. Haunted by conflicting memories of her mother, Lane resumes her role as the vigilante Masked Savior out of a feeling of obligation—but her heart just isn’t in it anymore. Now that Lane has felt the rush of deeper, darker thrills, a growing part of her wants to revisit its seductive power, and she’s not sure how long she can resist.

Meanwhile, the Masked Savior has inspired its own fan site, where groupies gather online to praise, document, and debate each delivered act of justice. But one of Lane’s secret admirers is becoming a cunning copycat, exacting “justice” on defenseless innocents, increasing the violence with each attack.

Someone is watching Lane, edging closer to making contact. Someone who knows her darkest secrets. Will Lane be able to stop the copycat and keep her identity protected? Or will she give in to the thrills that tempt her?

Purchase Killer Within at Amazon
Purchase Killer Within at IndieBound
View Killer Within on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shannon Greenland, or S. E. Green, is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists.

 Shannon is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America, and Mystery Writers of America. She has participated in and served as a guest speaker at festivals and conferences around the country to include but not limited to the LA Times Book Festival, American Library Association, Book Expo of America, Bouchercon, Romance Writers of America, RT Book Convention, Young Adult Keller Book Festival, Southern Festival of Books, and many more.

Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor.


What did you think of our interview with S.E. Green, author of KILLER WITHIN? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,


Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

0 Comments on S.E. Green, author of KILLER WITHIN, on finding your voice as of 5/23/2015 6:59:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. A Conference That Can Really Make a Difference

What: NF 4 NF Nonfiction for New Folks Writer’s Conference
When: September 17 – 20, 2015
Where: Rosenberg, Texas

If you are looking for a writing conference that focuses solely on nonfiction, is sure to boost your writing to the next level, and will connect you with dozens of other like-minded writers, then you've found it. Nonfiction 4 New Folks is the creation of author Pat Miller who knows what a writer needs - encouraging mentors, an intimate setting so you don't get lost in the crowd, and tons of useful information.

There is an awesome faculty line-up -- Melissa Stewart, Candace Fleming, Karen Blumenthal, and Nancy Sanders. and I will be there too!

The conference is limited to just 40 attendees so there will be a lot of opportunities to ask questions and get the help you need.

The schedule is jam-packed with opportunity to hone your craft and learn all about writing nonfiction. I’ll be talking about research techniques and how to write for magazines.

Sign up now and get a manuscript critique. Slots are filling up fast!




CLICK HERE to register today!

0 Comments on A Conference That Can Really Make a Difference as of 5/22/2015 8:55:00 PM
Add a Comment
10. Emotional Wounds Thesaurus Entry: A Parent’s Abandonment

When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound. This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge.

Characters, like real people, are unique, and will respond to wounding events differently. The vast array of possible emotional wounds combined with each character’s personality gives you many options in terms of how your character will turn out. With the right amount of exploration, you should be able to come up with a character whose past appropriately affects her present, resulting in a realistic character that will ring true with readers. Understanding what wounds a protagonist bears will also help you plot out her arc, creating a compelling journey of change that will satisfy readers.

A Parent’s Abandonment

6822334653_0b90b56cbe_zExamples:

  • Being abandoned as an infant (on a doorstep, in a dumpster, on the side of the road, etc.)
  • One’s parents dying during a child’s formative years
  • A parent giving up his/her rights and turning the child over to the state
  • Being left with relatives for long periods of time with little communication from one’s parent
  • Being left alone as a young child to fend for oneself
  • Having a parent who frequently leaves for long periods of time without warning or apology
  • Being subjected to a life of foster care when one’s parent is imprisoned
  • Living with a parent who suffers from mental illness or another disability that renders them unable to adequately care for others

Basic Needs That May Be Compromised By This Wound: love and belonging, safety and security, physiological needs

Lies That May Be Embraced As a Result of This Wound:

  • No one wants to be with me.
  • I need to push others away before they have a chance to leave me.
  • There’s something wrong with me; that’s why people leave me.
  • It’s only a matter of time until he leaves me.
  • People are inherently unreliable.
  • I’d rather be alone than be rejected again.
  • I can’t trust anyone but myself.

Positive Attributes That May Result: cautious, empathetic, loyal, kind, protective

Negative Traits That May Result: apathetic, callous, cynical, humorless, insecure, inhibited, manipulative, needy, oversensitive, rebellious, resentful, subservient, withdrawn,

Resulting Fears:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Fear that there’s something wrong with oneself that makes it impossible to be loved
  • Fear of “normal” relationships where abandonment isn’t a possibility (due to abandonment being one’s norm)
  • Fear of inadvertently driving others away
  • Fear of never being truly loved and accepted

Possible Habits That May Emerge:

  • Distrusting authority figures
  • Maintaining shallow relationships
  • Abandoning others before they can abandon the victim
  • Sabotaging budding relationships
  • Engaging in unhealthy relationships out of a need for love
  • Difficulty setting healthy boundaries
  • Becoming clingy and needy
  • Becoming possessive of others
  • Becoming obsessed or paranoid; demanding frequent proof of someone’s love
  • Frequently transitioning out of situations where relationships are being formed (jobs, schools, churches, neighborhoods, etc.)
  • Isolating oneself; becoming a loner
  • Not committing to anything
  • Not following through on responsibilities
  • Becoming fiercely independent
  • Pursuing people who aren’t likely to return one’s affections

TIP: If you need help understanding the impact of these factors, please read our introductory post on the Emotional Wound Thesaurus

*Photo Credit: Rega Photography @ Creative Commons

The post Emotional Wounds Thesaurus Entry: A Parent’s Abandonment appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.

0 Comments on Emotional Wounds Thesaurus Entry: A Parent’s Abandonment as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
11. Daily Mail Must Apologize to J.K. Rowling

A British court has ordered the publisher of the Daily Mail to apologize to J.K. Rowling for alleging that she made up a “sob story” from her days as a single mother.

The article, “How JK Rowling’s sob story about her single mother past surprised and confused the church members who cared for her”, was published by the Daily Mail in response to an article that she wrote an article for the single parent charity Gingerbread’s website about her experience. The Huffington Post UK has more about the defamatory article:

…the article alleged Rowling “had given a knowingly false account” and “falsely and inexcusably accused her fellow churchgoers of behaving in a bigoted, unchristian manner towards her, of stigmatising her and cruelly taunting her for being a single mother”.

The court found that article to be defamatory and ordered Associated Newspapers Ltd to pay damages to Rowling, which she plans to donate to charity.

Add a Comment
12. Two minutes …

Two minutes…

क्या 2 मिनट … दो मिनट … अरे जनाब … क्या बात कर रहे हैं …. 2 मिनट आज के समय में दो मिनट यानि की 2 घंटे के बराबर होता है और आप इतनी आसानी से कह रहे हैं दो मिनट. जैसे 2 रुपए की कीमत 100 रुपए के बराबर हो गई है ठीक वैसे ही दो मिनट अब दो घंटे के बराबर हो गए हैं.. तेज और तेज, फटाफट , जल्दी, रफ्तार, non stop और Quicker के जमाने में आप बात कर रहे हैं 2 मिनट की बहुत नाईंसाफी है ये.

क्या आप मेरी बात से सहमत नही हैं… तो बताईए जब आप नेट चलाते है और दस सैंकिंड भी अगर खुलने में लेट हो जाए तो क्या हाल होता है और किसी को फोन करें और चार पांच bell  चली जाए और वहां से रिस्पांस न मिले तो क्या हाल होता है आपका… WhatsApp  सैंकिंड  में न खुले तो आप नेट वर्क को दोष देने लगते हैं कि नही और … और….  और…  अगर सडक पर red light  पर एक  मिनट रुकना पडे तो क्या हाल होता है आपका आपसे बेहतर कौन जान सकता है तभी तो मैं कह रही हूं कि आज 2 मिनट का जमाना नही रहा Fast- Faster – fastest का जमाना है यानि बुलेट का जमाना है बस चलाओ और सीधा धांय …

दो मिनट का जमाना नही रहा अब … अब जमाना है सुनामी .. भूकम्प ( ओह ये तो कुछ ज्यादा ही हो गया … वैसे मेरा आशय  तो आपको समझ आ ही गया होगा … है ना  :)

 

 

The post Two minutes … appeared first on Monica Gupta.

Add a Comment
13. A Crazy Fairy Tale, some Rhythm and Movement, a cute Penguin, and Messy Pasta - all from Scholastic


A Crazy Fairy Tale…

Little Red Riding Hood Not Quite by Yvonne Morrison, illus. Donovan Bixley, Scholastic NZ

If you liked the previous Children’s Choice Award-winning story from this pair – The Three Bears Sort Of – you’ll like this one. 
It’s the same format, with a long-suffering parent trying to read the fairy tale to a precocious child. The interruptions and discussions are very funny – and extremely logical, when you think about it. The old fairy tales certainly weren’t renowned for being logical…Donovan Bixley’s bright and cheeky illustrations are done in mixed media, hand drawn and digitally painted. They convey the two layers of the narration with gusto. Probably best for older children, maybe about 6 to 8, who know the original story and can enjoy the input from the child listener.



ISBN 978 1 77543 263 0 $15.99 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Rustle Up a Rhythmby Rosalind Malam, illus. Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson, Scholastic New Zealand

Packed with action and noise, this will be great fun to read aloud to either a group or an individual child. Written from the point of view of a small boy, the rhyming text zips us through the day with his family, using such verses as: “Bibble, bibble, bubble, hums my egg from the pot, and the bread in the toaster goes click – click – pop!” Onomatopoeia is featured all the way through the story, right up to bedtime. The illustrations are friendly, expansive and colourful, happily integrating the “noise” words into the flow of daily events. Pre-schoolers in particular will love identifying and saying the words, at the same time associating sounds with events or objects familiar to them. I imagine this book will be very useful for reading and language sessions in pre-school centres and early entrant classes.

ISBN 978 1 77543 148 0 $19.00 Pb

Little Hoiho by Stephanie Thatcher, Scholastic NZ

Stephanie’s first picture book The Great Galloping Galoot was published by Scholastic NZ in 2012. It’s a jolly, bouncing story – fans will find this second book is quite different in tone but just as satisfying. On her first foray out of the nest, a little penguin finds that not all birds are the same. Kotuku struts on beautiful long legs, Toroa flies on big wings, Tui can sing. Little Hoihoi can’t do any of these things. Of course, as soon as she falls into the water she finds there is something she can do much better than the other birds… The pencil illustrations are a delight with their gentle watercolours, uncluttered scenes and good use of white space. Little Hoihoi’s expressive face takes centre-stage and delicately conveys her emotions. The book includes a small amount of information about yellow-eyed penguins, but its true value will be as a group read-aloud to children of around 3 to 7.

ISBN 978 1 77543 249 4 RRP $19 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Piggy Pasta and More Food With Attitude by Rebecca Woolfall and Suzi Tait-Bradly with feature photography by Vicki Leopold, Scholastic New Zealand
The picture on the cover is of some extremely pink (ie. beetroot-coloured) pasta which certainly draws the eye to the book… Once you get past the pasta pig face, you’ll find an alphabetically arranged collection of interesting recipes ranging from Dirt Pudding and Incy Wincy Chocolate Spiders to Rowdy Rice Saladand Witchy Poo Fingers. Each recipe is coded to indicate what types of meal it can be - there’s certainly a wide range of dishes covered. The authors are the founders of the Auckland-based LittleCooks cooking classes for kids (www.littlecooks.co.nz), so they know what’s likely to appeal to young appetites.

I studied the recipes and reached a few conclusions. Firstly, kids will love eating most of them and will especially love making them with a (very) patient parent to assist. Secondly, the recipes will probably be more successful with older children than with littlies – some procedures are quite fiddly and time-consuming. Scholastic recommends the book for ages 8+. Thirdly, what you see in the busy, bright illustrations is not necessarily what you get. Toys, props and fancy backgrounds have been used in the photos to create a fabulous picture – so if you want to replicate the presentation of some of the dishes, you’ll have to do a shopping trip to the toy shop first…

ISBN 978 1 77543 216 6 $19.00 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

0 Comments on A Crazy Fairy Tale, some Rhythm and Movement, a cute Penguin, and Messy Pasta - all from Scholastic as of 5/22/2015 5:53:00 PM
Add a Comment
14. Grange Hill's Benny Green Dies Aged 50

Grange Hill's Benny Green Dies Aged 50

Tributes have been paid to Grange Hill actor Terry Sue-Patt, who was found dead at his home aged 50.
He was best known for playing Benny Green in the popular BBC show about pupils at a fictional comprehensive school in north London

Sue-Patt played football-loving Benny from 1978 to 1982, and was the first pupil to be shown in the debut episode.

He was given the role after a talent scout spotted him playing football in a park in London.
Sue-Patt - who became a graffiti artist in later life - was found dead at his home in Walthamstow, northeast London, on Friday.

Police are not treating his death as suspicious.

Fellow Grange Hill actors left messages of condolence on social media.

Erkan Mustafa, who played Roland, tweeted: "Still cant believe it. Called your phone to hear your voice."
Lee Macdonald, 46, who starred as Zammo Maguire, wrote: "R.I.P Terry Sue-Patt the memories of our times together will never be forgotten! Love you FOREVER Xxxxxxxxxxxx."

He shared a recent picture of himself with Sue-Patt and a group of friends from their Grange Hill days on a night out together.

Sue-Patt also enjoyed success in 1989 football hooligan film The Firm, starring Gary Oldman.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman told Sky News: "Police were alerted at 12.42 on Friday, 22 May, to concerns for the welfare of a man in Walthamstow.

"At 13.44, officers forced entry to a flat in Northcote Road, E17 and found the body of a man, aged in his 50s, inside the flat. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Next of kin have been informed. At this early stage, the death is not believed to be suspicious."

Tempus fugit

Add a Comment
15. Ask Your Library to Order Maggie on Audiobook!

0 Comments on Ask Your Library to Order Maggie on Audiobook! as of 5/22/2015 7:13:00 PM
Add a Comment
16. First Look: Fox’s ‘Golan the Insatiable’

The new primetime series produced by Augenblick Studios will debut on May 31st.

0 Comments on First Look: Fox’s ‘Golan the Insatiable’ as of 5/22/2015 8:57:00 PM
Add a Comment
17. Ransmayr revival ?

       In the 1990s three works by Christoph Ransmayr came out in English -- all in John E. Woods' translation, which already says something -- but Grove Press notoriously overpaid for The Last World (it actually still sputters on in print just fine for a literary title, but it never came anywhere close to the advance-justifying blockbuster-sales-level) and even if that wasn't the last of the three, that seemed to signal a close to death-knell for the author in English. He shared the Aristeion Prize with Salman Rushdie in 1996 (the year before the prize went to future Nobel laureate Herta Müller; the year after, to Antonio Tabucchi, for his Sostiene Pereira ...), but, despite solid reviews, little more was heard from him in English.
       It shouldn't surprise that now, with a new title finally due out -- Atlas of an Anxious Man -- it's Seagull Books that is trying to bring him back to US/UK-attention; see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- taking the kind of risks/challenges that none of the big US/UK houses seem to be willing to any longer (when it comes to literature in translation).
       Meanwhile, it's just out in French -- and in L'Express Jérôme Dupuis says: let's face it, "Christoph Ransmayr est un très grand écrivain".

Add a Comment
18. Six things you need to do before the writing workshop year ends.

Next week, I will have to tear off the month of May from my office calendar and face June. This is always a rather terrifying moment for me - less than four weeks till the end of school...

Add a Comment
19. Review for Anthony Ant Goes To Egypt by Julie Bettendorf


Anthony Ant Goes To Egypt




Summary:
Anthony Ant knows how to travel in style—since he’s so small, he can go just about anywhere, unnoticed! This time, he curls up in a suitcase and gets out in Egypt, ready for the fabulous adventure of a lifetime. Anthony Ant is in Cairo, Egypt…and luckily he meets an expert tour guide, Babu Beetle. Together they explore Egypt’s history, culture, and food, with adventures including a camel ride, and a visit to the famous pyramids…and more! The second book in the Anthony Ant series continues to introduce kids to the excitement of world travel, with an enjoyable companion who is ready to share his experiences.





Author Bio:
Julie Bettendorf is a world traveler with a background in history and a degree in archaeology. Through her series of children's travel books, she shares the wonderful world of travel with children and her parents, as Anthony Ant teaches kids about other cultures, customs, and traditions. She has currently published the second book in the Anthony Ant series, and is in the process of publishing her first work of adult historical fiction, entitled "Luxor: Book of Past Lives." When Julie is not traveling with her daughter Erin, and son Max, she lives in Portland, Oregon.

Please visit Anthony's website http://www.anthonystravels.com/ for more information about Anthony's books.


Review:
Anthony Ant Goes To Egypt is a delightful tale of an ant who travels to Egypt for a vacation. Once there he learns about Cairo, Egypt's capital. He also learns about the kinds of foods that are eaten in Egypt, like pita bread. At a cafe, Anthony meets a beetle named Babu who shows him all around Egypt. They ride a camel, see a pyramid and some statues. They also go to a bazaar to see what is for sale. Babu recommends going to the museum, which ends up being a special trip the pair will treasure for ever. 

This story has colorful illustrations that will capture the reader's eye. The reader will also learn about Egypt's history and culture. This 31 page picture book, written in rhyme, will delight children from 5-10 years of age.  Many readers will look forward to Anthony Ant's next adventure. 

0 Comments on Review for Anthony Ant Goes To Egypt by Julie Bettendorf as of 5/22/2015 7:29:00 PM
Add a Comment
20. Off the Page, by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer | Book Review

Fantasy meets reality in Off the Page, a romantic comedy written for the young adult audience by New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and her daughter and coauthor, Samantha van Leer.

Add a Comment
21. New York Poetry Festival Featured On Kickstarter

The Poetry Society of New York, the producers behind the 5th annual New York City Poetry Festival, have raised more than $12,000 on Kickstarter.

The funds will be used to cover the costs of hosting this year’s event. We’ve embedded a video about the project above.

Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: “This year we will welcome back more than 75 New York City poetry groups, including venerable institutions, upstarts, small presses, local reading series, literary journals, high school poetry teams, and more to The Festival’s three stages. If year’s past are any indication, over 250 poets will present, and we’ve already booked some incredible headliners: Nick Flynn, Patricia Spears Jones, David Matlin, and Fran Quinn!”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

Add a Comment
22. Two Happy Birthdays To Two Wonderful Writers

Today, May 23, is the birthday of Sean Williams, Aussie speculative fiction writer:

Publicity pic, seanwilliams.com

and the wonderful British children's/YA novelist Susan Cooper:

Profile pic from Goodreads


Both of them are massive bestsellers and both deserve it!

I must admit, I discovered Susan Cooper a long time before I had heard of Sean Williams. I stumbled on the first couple of novels in a series that became known as The Dark Is Rising, based on the title of the second book in the series, in which the young hero, Will Stanton, the seventh son of a seventh son, finds out on his eleventh birthday that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to fight for the Light against the Dark, at the side of a Professor Merriman Lyon (yeah, he's Merlin). The sheer power and beauty of this novel has made it a classic. The author was already living in the US when she wrote it, but it's very British, based on the Buckinghamshire she remembered. Unfortunately, someone decided to make a dreadful movie out of it and I wasted a whole morning and $17 on seeing it. When it came out on DVD I refused to buy it even discounted.  But the book and the series were amazing and you wouldn't think she could continue to write wonderful books, but she has - The Boggart(a Canadian family bring home a desk from a Scottish castle and there's a boggart asleep in a drawer, poor thing!), King Of Shadows(American boy actor finds himself in Shakespeare's London), most recently Ghost Hawk, set in the part of the US where the author now lives, historical fiction and fantasy combined in a gorgeous story.

I remember writing her a fan letter, back in the days when you could do that by looking through a book of modern children's writers, which had postal addresses, and getting a reply. But when she came out here for a library conference in Hobart, I found myself tongue-tied, like the other teacher-librarians there - a bunch of fan-girls we all were!

I have  read and loved some of Sean Williams' short speculative fiction over the years, but more recently, I've had a chance to read his Trouble-Twisters series for children, written with Garth Nix, and great fun they are too, with children who have special powers that aren't always convenient. It's interesting to see how many SF writers have become very good children's and YA novelists in recent years. Sean Williams is an international bestseller who, like many other Australian writers, doesn't mind writing for local small press, which has published entire books of his short fiction over the years, and he had a story in an early issue of ASIM. 

Anyway, happy birthday, Sean and Susan! May your pens never dry up!


0 Comments on Two Happy Birthdays To Two Wonderful Writers as of 5/23/2015 8:49:00 AM
Add a Comment
23. Three Day Weekend

For those who work, a three day weekend
Feels like a reward,
The culmination of a goal
That they’ve been working toward.

It’s just one extra day and yet,
It feels like so much more,
A chance to catch up on the things
On workdays, they’d ignore.

But even for the unemployed
And, too, retirees,
A holiday on Monday
Somehow really seems to please.

So happy weekend, one and all;
Enjoy this little break.
Forgetting why the day is free, though,
Would be a mistake.

0 Comments on Three Day Weekend as of 5/22/2015 11:37:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. Mural Installation ...Problems!


You are probably wondering why I haven't posted to tell you about how it all went at Castleford Library, since I said back at the beginning of the month that the installation was imminent. Well, there was some major problem with the person who was booked to do the installation (remember, the mural has been printed onto a wallpaper, which needs sticking up around the room). He just disappeared off the radar for a while, so it was all a bit concerning.


Anyway, whatever it was all about, the library has told me that things are now back on track and we have a new installation slot of June 3rd - 5th. Phew. 


We also now have a date booked for the Grand Opening Ceremony: June 26th (incorporating a comfortable buffer-time from installation, just in case!). We will be inviting all the children who worked on the mural drawings to come back to the library and see the result. There will be local dignitaries, funding bodies, the press and, of course, Yours Truly. I am going to be running a couple of short workshops for the children too, to help to really make the day memorable for them, like we did last time:


Can't wait to see it!

0 Comments on Mural Installation ...Problems! as of 5/23/2015 5:47:00 AM
Add a Comment
25. All About Jungle Book

So the show we weren't even planning on doing--ended up being our favorite this year!


In fact, so few people were signed up to audition for Jungle Book that there was a lot of talk about it being canceled. A lot of kids simply weren't excited about the show. It was not the Disney version but an unimpressive homegrown effort which some of us had seen performed a few years ago. Even though we were told that the script and songs had been strengthened, it was hard to imagine that it could be improved THAT much. So a lot of regulars were simply planning a break. 

Then they announced the directing team--a group of really strong, positive, talented, encouraging and well-liked individuals--and that got everybody re-thinking. And then all these new families signed up, and what a shame it would be if the show they were signing up for was CANCELED! The re-thinking continued...and on audition day, we had enough kids signed up--although it would be a very small, very young cast.

So we weren't surprised to see Bantam16's name at the top of the cast list--he would be playing Older Mowgli, in the second act. Then Younger Mowgli's name was listed...and then Bagheera, the black panther had next-nearest-the-top billing. To our shock and delight, Chicklet12's name was listed there! What?! Further down, we found Bantam10's name with the other Monkeys--an energetic group for sure. No surprise there!

But Bagheera? Chicket? A 12-year-old? Could she pull it off? Could she convey the authority, the gravitas, the parental concern for Mowgli, the prophetic vision for his life? Especially with the obstacle of Baloo the Bear, played by an older teenage boy, always trying to get Bagheera to lighten up? 

And could she memorize all those lines?? This role was intense!

[Warning: Super-proud mommy moments ahead] 

But she did it! She totally pulled it off. She seemed years older on stage. She bossed Baloo around and earnestly exhorted the Younger Mowgli. She and the Older Mowgli had a showdown of wills in Act Two, and she and her brother argued vehemently, passionately and most convincingly. By the final performance, you could hear a new maturity in her voice. You could observe great confidence in her movements, which had an elegance and a nobility that suited a black panther. She gave a performance which was excellent in itself, but especially so because most people would never have guessed she was only 12! She was amazing.

Click to zoom in for a good look at her metallic false lashes! Photo credit:  Dave Fricke
B16 was equally as solid. Not only was he totally a good sport about wearing nothing but a red velvet diaper and a spray tan onstage, but he worked hard to identify with his character, and his analysis was even quoted in the newspaper:  "A fun thing about playing him is that he is trying to fit in somewhere: he doesn't know if he belongs in the jungle or the village. It relates to teenagers' lives as they try to fit into cliques. I get into [the singing] and I feel the emotions." And he made the audience feel the emotions too. His duet with Anjali, the village girl, was possibly the most beautiful moment of the show. Our Anjali completely lost her voice for one of our performances, so the directors asked B16 to change the pronouns and sing her verse as well as his own, and they recognized him with a Best Actor award at our strike party for his directability--the way he was able to take all their notes and implement them, even when all 4 of them threw something like that at him an hour before show time!

Photo by Papa Rooster
B10 also did us proud! I knew something was up when he came home after a couple rehearsals and announced that this was probably going to be his new favorite show. He had never changed his favorite show before--it has always been the first one he did (Aladdin)--and the reason he gave was that he LOVED his part! Then I heard from his brother and sister that he was really, really good at being a Monkey. Huh, I thought.

At the first dress rehearsal, I understood. B10, you may know, has SO. MUCH. ENERGY. And this role was perfect for him. He was over-the-top in every move he made. If the Monkeys had a step in their dance, B10 turned it in to a leap. If they spun around, he jumped high in the air as he spun. (I asked the choreographer if she cared if he was the spastic monkey of the group and she said she loved it!) These Monkey were screamers (kind of a high hooting scream that really did sound monkey-like), and he loved screaming most often and most loudly. He was constantly in movement onstage, pushing and getting pushed around, often rolling underfoot of others onstage, surprisingly never getting hurt or tripping someone. He did something new every time, always in character. He was just so much fun to watch! (And he told everyone that he had enjoyed it because "I just got to be myself!")

Photo by Papa Rooster
But there was something about this show. It just seemed God's hand was on it! Here's what I wrote on our theater group's Facebook page, on the morning of our final performance:

Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. (Ephesians 3:20)

Is anybody else just basking in the GENEROSITY of God today? I think a lot of us had low expectations for this show--we barely had enough people to pull it off! Remember it almost got canceled?? Then God sent us all these new families, and a great directing team, and who knew what the final product would look like, but hey, at least our kids were having fun, right?

I got to watch the show last night, and I was blown away by how good it was! I saw so many courageous choices by very young, very new actors, and by those who've never had lines or a lead before. I saw expressive and committed dancing and singing. I saw a really good story unfold, beautifully and believably. I give our directing team so much credit, but ultimately they can't take it beyond what each member of the cast is willing to put out there, and that's what took the show a step beyond what I could have imagined! Each cast member was focused and committed to every word, every step, every gesture. There was an intensity to the performance that I didn't expect with such a young and relatively inexperienced cast!*

[*Found out later that over half our cast members had never been in a Spotlight show before or had only been in one; 25% of our cast were 8- and 9-year-olds. Over half of the leads had never had a leading role before.)

I have to believe that it was God's mighty power at work within each of our kids that enabled them to push beyond their comfort zone with such courage. I believe God's power was at work to pull in all the new parents and make them part of things so readily! Thinking back to the prayers we prayed on Friday nights during rehearsals, God has answered so many of them--so generously. Why do we so often think of God as withholding? He loves to answer our prayers above and beyond what we can think to ask! Thank you, Lord!

I do wonder about the effect of our Friday night prayer times, which I felt strongly led by God to start this session. If our family isn't back in Kenosha in the fall (since I might end up on a directing team in another area), I hope and believe it will continue! There was just something special about this show, something beyond human relationships. God was at work, and I'm so excited to see what He will continue to do in Spotlight Kenosha!


Mowgli and Anjali play jumprope with the monkeys! (Photo credit:  Papa )

Indignant and upset with his sister Bagheera (Photo credit:  Papa R)
Solo time
(Photo credit:  Papa R)

0 Comments on All About Jungle Book as of 5/22/2015 5:39:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts