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1. Rock the Drop: Recap #2

Thanks to the many authors who Rocked the Drop on Thursday! Crissa Chappell filmed this very cool drop video in Brooklyn!




And Conrad Wesselhoeft send in these pics after he dropped off a couple of books at a school and at a "Little Free Library." 




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2. Rock the Drop: Recap #1

We cannot express how grateful we are about the amount YA love that you showed today! Here are just a few screen grabs of tweeted photos. More recap to come! If you have a story you'd like to share, email us at readergirlz AT gmail and we'll post it here. THANK YOU FOR ROCKING THE DROP!




























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3. Rock the Drop TODAY!

 

Support Teen Literature Day and Operation Teen Book Drop are underway! Sending our love to YALSA, YA authors, the publishing industry, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and rgz around the world. Special thanks to our 2014, sponsors, iheartdaily and Justine Magazine!

Here's the drill:
1. Find a YA book to donate.
2. Print the bookplate below and paste it in your book.
3. Leave the book in a public place to be found.
4. Snap a pic or post a message about how you Rocked the Drop on our facebook or twitter. #rockthedrop

 
Keep up the celebration by checking out these 7 philanthropies. It is rgz' 7 year anniversary after all!
 
 
The Operation Teen Book Drop party is on, so join in! Get out there and rock the world with YA lit!
 
~the readergirlz divas

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4. Operation Teen Book Drop, 2014, Philanthropies



As we get ready to Rock the Drop on Thursday, the 17th, here's a list of seven philanthropies you might look into. Get your book ready to drop with a bookplate and think how else you might contribute to Support Teen Literature Day!

Operation Teen Book Drop, 2014 – Seven Literary Philanthropies We Love

1. Girls Write Now
Founded in 1998, Girls Write Now is the first organization in the country with a writing and mentoring model exclusively for girls. Girls Write Now provides guidance, support, and opportunities for at-risk and underserved girls from New York City’s public high schools to develop their creative, independent voices, explore careers in professional writing, and learn how to make healthy school, career and life choices.

2. First Book
A recognized leader in social enterprise, First Book has pioneered groundbreaking channels to provide new books and educational resources at deeply reduced prices — and for free — to schools and programs serving children in need.

3. 826 National
826 National is a nonprofit organization that provides strategic leadership, administration, and other resources to ensure the success of its network of eight writing and tutoring centers. Its mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

4. The Lisa Libraries
The Lisa Libraries donates new children's books and small libraries to organizations that work with kids in poor and under-served areas. It was started by author Ann M. Martin and friends to honor and memorialize children's book editor Lisa Novak. Since its founding in 1990, the Lisa Libraries has contributed over 300,000 books to nonprofit organizations across the country.

5. Room to Read
Room to Read works in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond.

6. Reading is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. It prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. RIF inspires children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice.

7. World Literacy Foundation
The World Literacy Foundation is an independent not-for-profit charitable body, founded in Australia in 2003 that acknowledges education as a basic human right, and believes that literacy unlocks the door to a life of learning.

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5. rgz Newsflash: Get Ready to Rock the Drop, April 17th, 2014


It's coming! Support Teen Literature Day is Thursday, April 17th, 2014! So we all need to get ready for Operation Teen Book Drop. Above is the banner celebrating the day and our fabulous sponsors: iheartdaily and Justine Magazine. Feel free to grab and share it!

Below is the bookplate for you to print and glue into the young adult book you choose to drop in a public gathering place to Rock the Drop on April 17th. Follow us on facebook and twitter and plan to post a pic. #rockthedrop

 
To continue the celebration of our 7 year anniversary, we thought to recommend 7 philanthropies you might support as well this season. Watch for a full write-up soon!
 
 
In the meantime, readergirlz, let's get ready to Rock the Drop!
 
LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz  


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6. 7 Things You Don't Know About Little Willow

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this month's blog series! I had a lot of fun gathering candid and heartfelt responses from authors. Lorie Ann asked me to post my own list, so here goes nothing:



7 Things You Don't Know About Me
1) I've been writing stories and songs since birth, practically.

2) I am capable of charming squirrels out of trees.
3) There is no television show I have loved more completely from start to finish than Leverage.
4) I love word play.
5) Synchronicity and causality are recurring themes in my life.
6) Chances are, I'm shorter than you.
7) I project. In more ways than one. 


So there you have it! I hope March has been lovely for all of you. Don't forget to mark your calendars for Operation Teen Book Drop 2014, which will be happening in just a few weeks on April 17th. Stay tuned to the readergirlz blog, Facebook, and Twitter to learn how you can participate and #rockthedrop!

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7. What's new with Holly Cupala



Hello, dear readergirlz, and Happy Anniversary! It's pretty exciting to see the fruition of all of the ideas and hard work of the co-founders--Justina Chen, Dia Calhoun, Janet Lee Carey, and Lorie Ann Grover--and all of the helpers along the way! I'm honored to have been a part of it.

What's new with me? After readergirlz featured TELL ME A SECRET, my second YA novel, DON'T BREATHE A WORD, came out in January 2012 from HarperCollins. Since then, I've been working hard on a third YA (in the home stretch, hopefully!) with secrets...still so many secret stories to tell!

There have been big changes for me personally, too--family up by one, a crazy move to the country, wild forages for ideas and edibles, lots of DIY projects, and...three? four?...novels brewing.

I'm inspired by all of you, readergirlz! Keep up the wonderful work.


 


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8. Cover Stories: The Black Butterfly

Shirley Reva Vernick's latest novel, The Black Butterfly, is her third for young adults, following the award-winning The Blood Lie and Remember Dippy. She's here today to share her Cover Story!

"Designing the cover for The Black Butterfly spanned several months and numerous drafts, and I think the effort really paid off. This is my third novel with Cinco Puntos Press, and while I immediately liked the initial designs for the first two books, I wasn’t crazy about the early renditions of The Black Butterfly cover. I didn’t have a specific image in mind of what I wanted, but I knew it needed to evoke a sense of eeriness and otherworldliness.

"This novel is about ghosts, haunted mansions and strange dreams, after all. The original cover versions didn’t capture that, in my opinion. The early designs were all variations of the cover on the right.

"The designer was thinking that the hands resembled a butterfly. One of the thumbs is supposed to be see-through, like a ghost. But it just didn’t work for me. The typeface of the title is meant to look like a teen’s handwriting, since Penny, the main character, is something of a writer. But I felt the typeface didn’t match the mood of the story inside.

"Then the designer suddenly 'got' it. Out went the photos of hands, and in came an illustration of…something wonderful. Something dangerous, ambiguous and compelling. Part butterfly, part phantom, part human, part mystical. I love how the dripping streaks of color could be either tears or blood—or both.

"I consider this cover to be a true collaboration among the publisher, the designer and me. While I’m not the most visually oriented person (which is how I ended up with a green house when I thought I was picking out grey paint), I do appreciate being included and heard.

"In closing, I should mention that the designer gave birth a few days after coming up with the new prototype, and she jumped into the tweaking stage just three weeks after the delivery. Talk about girl power!"

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9. Diva Delights: Seattle HOST Stephanie Guerra on DARKROOM


Darkroom: A Memoir in Black & White (The University of Alabama Press, 2012) by Lila Quintero Weaver is one of the most moving and visually stunning graphic texts I’ve seen, on par with American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. In this memoir, Lila tells the story of her family’s immigration from Argentina to the tense, roiling South of the 1960’s. She traces her experience, beginning in girlhood, as a non-white, non-black witness of some of the painful battles of the Civil Rights movement; as a new American struggling with questions of American identity and belonging; and as a young woman perceiving deep racism for the first time.

This is an ambitious work, and it delivers on its potential. I was moved to tears multiple times as I read. Through Lila’s pencil drawings, I connected with the history of the United States and the struggle for racial equality in a new and visceral way. Undergirding the drama of the setting and period were the interweaving and conflicting mores of Argentinian and American cultural life. This memoir gave me the gift of “seeing” a vital piece of our history through another’s eyes, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Lila graciously agreed to an interview, so I’ll share her answers to some questions the book raised for me:

1. Can you tell us about the different kinds of work art and text do to tell a story in a graphic novel and your process in developing their interplay?  
I'm not the first to say it: The graphic-novel format is akin to cinema, with graphic memoir and other nonfictional treatments functioning somewhat like documentary film, wherein you get the benefit of voice-over, dialogue and visuals. Sometimes a silent scene can be quite powerful. It takes discipline to leave it untouched by words. But sometimes you need narration to segue from one scene to the next, or to explain a complex situation, enhanced through visuals. I love this interplay. Working with images increases the layers that one can offer, such as making visual puns or enriching a scene's background with details that invite the eye to linger. In Darkroom, my goals were to relate my family's immigration narrative as vividly as possible and along the way, to share some views on ethnic identity and racial conflict. It's such a boost to have illustration at my disposal for these goals. It broadens the palette. I can include a diagram or a visual analogy. I can employ ink renderings of family photos to bring faces and family history to life. 

Did you start with text and add art or the reverse? Or did you create both simultaneously?
My first draft was text-only. I needed to shake out ideas as quickly as possible and get a sense of what material belonged and didn't belong. The next two drafts included sketches and page layouts. As I got into the final version, new ideas sometimes emerged as visuals and I added whatever text they required. Back and forth like that it went through four years of work and the execution of 500+ illustrations. Whew.

2. Considering the powerful and emotional content in your book, did you experience any particular challenges or doubts during the creative process? 
 Yes! Unless you're a celebrity, you begin by wondering why the heck anyone would want to read your memoir. You're inundated with doubts about finding universal themes in your ordinary life, and once you find those themes, you're anguished about stripping away the veneer of privacy that you've always counted on for self-protection. But a memoir without emotional exposure is cold and uninviting. You have to make peace with that essential nature and do the courageous thing. Otherwise, what a lost opportunity to touch the reader!

3. Your book feels to me like one of those marvelous crossover works that is equally appealing to teens and adults. Do you have an "ideal reader" or even "ideal audience" for your book?
Thank you! Crossover is a great word for how the book has been received. During the process I tried not to write for a particular demographic sector. I simply concentrated on telling the story in my voice, including the visual aspects that make up my communication style. After the book came out, I was surprised and thrilled when librarians and high school educators latched on to it as a YA fit. It's also found its way into college classrooms, which is another fantastic outcome I didn't foresee. And some of my readers come from the older generation, I’m delighted to say. Most of them have never picked up a graphic novel, but they're drawn to personal accounts of Jim Crow and desegregation, a historical era they experienced directly or read about as it developed. A few of these older readers have hopped on board with graphic novels and that couldn’t make me happier. 



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10. 7 Things You Don't Know About Micol Ostow

http://www.micolostow.com/

7 Things You Don't Know about readergirlz diva Micol Ostow
1. I've been an avid horror reader my whole life, but it took 30 books under my belt (including ghostwriting gigs) before I was ready to try a scary story of my own. That book, Amity, releases this August! (Pre-order your copy now!)

2. I have a French Bulldog named Bridget Jones -- after the book, not the movie! You'd be surprised how many people totally forget that the book came first! Grr.

3. I can sing along to all of the songs from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode. By heart. No judgements, thanks.

4. I got my start in kidlit writing as an editor. The very first book I edited on my own was celebrity bio of Jim Carrey.

5. I recently sold a chapter book series called LOUISE TRAPEZE to Random House. The only thing more terrifying than writing horror will be trying to conquer the 5-7 year-old market!

6. The house I live in in Brooklyn is over 100 years old and thus the floors are all slanted. My daughter will grow up with no true concept of physics or gravity.

7. I ran the NYC marathon in 2003 (26.2 miles). These days, a typical run for me is 3 miles or so. And when I'm not running, I am the most sedentary creature around. Just one of the reasons I love reading so much!

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11. 7 Things You Don't Know About Sarah Miller

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller was our book pick for December 2007. Based on the real life of Annie Sullivan, Sarah Miller's debut novel received critical acclaim and lots of enthusiastic support from the readergirlz.

Now, a little over 7 years later, here are 7 fun facts Sarah shared with us about herself:
 
7 Things You Don't Know About Me

My favorite Yoga pose is dragon.

I can knit socks and crochet shawls.

I've visited Laura Ingalls Wilder's grave and slept in Lizzie Borden's bedroom.

True Grit (the one with Hailee Steinfeld) is my new favorite movie. Would you like me to recite the first ten minutes for you?

I shook hands with Rosa Parks.

I'm still afraid of the dark. (But I don't sleep with a nightlight anymore.)

The Kennedy assassination is quite possibly my next historical fascination.

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12. 7 Things You Don't Know About Ellen Emerson White


In November 2008, we selected Ellen Emerson White's novel Long May She Reign to represent that month's theme, Persistence.  If you love thoughtful stories you can really sink your teeth into and you have yet to read Ellen's series of books about Meg Powers, the daughter of the President of the United States, immediately proceed to your local library or bookstore and pick them up! Make sure to read them in order:


- The President's Daughter
- White House Autumn
- Long Live the Queen
- Long May She Reign 


While you're preparing to read (or re-read) those 4 books, here are 7 personal factoids that Ellen shared with us, to share with you: 


Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White1)  I can play the saxophone.  Prefer tenor to alto.
2)  I used to work in a factory making computers and burglar alarms, and am surprisingly good with complicated tools and machinery
3)  Can't stand seafood in any form, to the point of not even really liking those goldfish crackers
4)  I waste much too much time mired in writers' block and deep uncertainty
5)  I secretly love almost all of Shelley Long's movies
6)  I think Dispatches and The Things They Carried are possibly the two best books to come out of the Vietnam War
7)  I meant to be a lawyer and work in the Manhattan DA's office, but I guess I forgot, somewhere along the way.

Bonus: readergirlz roundtable: Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White

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13. What's New with Nikki Grimes


We featured Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes in our February 2008 issue. The book, which won the Coretta Scott King Award, shared the poetry and voices of eighteen different students.

Since her spotlight at readergirlz, Nikki has released a multitude of books, including:
A picture book biography: Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope
More novels-in-verse: A Girl Named Mister, Planet Middle School, Words With Wings
A quartet of chapter books: Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel, Rich, Almost Zero, Halfway to Perfect
Forays into visual art: 6 exhibits, several sales, one 2nd Place Ribbon
A limited edition title: Journey: Poems for the Pulpit
...and she tells us there's more on the way! Congrats, Nikki!

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14. 7 Things You Don't Know About Janet Lee Carey

With love from author and rgz co-founder Janet Lee Carey:

Happy 7th Anniversary, readergirlz!


It was an amazing privilege launching readergirlz with the dream-genius Justina Chen, the inter-dimensionally talented Lorie Ann Grover, and the multi-magical Dia Calhoun back in 2007. The founding divas hit the road in the inaugural year visiting schools and conferences, and created a unique convergent social media home reader/author connection. More talent joined the dynamic readergirlz team after the writer's siren call drew me away 2008. 

7 Things You Don’t Know About Me
1. I lived in Sweden for a year when I was four and learned to ice-skate on the Baltic Sea.
2. Spiders terrify me. I used to make my brothers suck them up with the vacuum cleaner – this made me fear vacuuming. What if the spiders crawled back out to take revenge?
3. I’m often writing in my head even while I’m shopping. This leads to small disasters like discovering I started loading someone else’s cart when I’m halfway through the store.
4. One of my books, Wenny Has Wings, became a feature film in Japan in 2008.
5. I dream of being a mermaid.
6. I try to climb a tree on my birthday each year and remember all the important things in my life starting with my first memory.
7. My cat is a dragon in disguise.

Keep updated on my books and exploits at my website or on Facebook or Goodreads.

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15. 7 Things You Don't Know About Kirby Larson

We kicked off 2008 reading HATTIE BIG SKY by Kirby Larson. 

In 2013, the sequel, HATTIE EVER AFTER, was released.

Now, in 2014, Kirby's sharing her list of...

7 Things You Don't Know About Me
1.     I have no willpower when it comes to red licorice (not Twizzlers) or Hot Tamales.
2.     By October, I will have visited 43 of the 50 states, plus the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam.
3.     Even though my dad's commanding officer offered to pay my mom $25 to name me something else (he was pulling for Lenore), my real name is Kirby.
4.     My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Steve Craig, made such a huge impact on my life that he and I are still in contact and good friends after all these years.
5.     Gym classes were not co-ed when I was in middle school and I managed to fail boys' PE.
6.     As a mom, I’m probably an 8, but as a grandma, I’m a 10+.
7.     My best book is that one that I've yet to write.
 


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16. What's New with Chris Eboch



Today, we caught up with YA author Chris Eboch. If you dig ancient myths, you should check out her books! Her most recent novel for young people is The Genie’s Gift, a lighthearted action fantasy set in the fifteenth-century Middle East, drawing on the mythology of The Arabian Nights. Here's how Chris describes the book: "A shy heroine named Anise seeks the Genie Shakayak to claim the Gift of Sweet Speech. How will she get past a vicious she-ghoul, a sorceress who turns people to stone, and mysterious sea monsters, when she can’t even speak in front of strangers?"
 
Chris's historical novels, The Well of Sacrifice (a Mayan drama) and The Eyes of Pharaoh (a mystery in ancient Egypt) continued to be embraced by teachers and young readers. Chris has also branched out into writing romantic suspense for adults under the name Kris Bock. 

Good luck with your new and future endeavors, Chris!

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17. 7 Things You Don't Know About Lisa Yee

In 2008, we chatted with author Lisa Yee in person. In May 2010, we picked her novel Absolutely Maybe for our book club discussion. Now it's 2014, and Lisa's about to reveal...

7 Things You Don't Know About Me
1. I fail at taking naps, but want to get good at them.
2. Telephone conversations make me anxious.
3. I once had a pet chicken named Herbie Gordon.
4. Last year I rode a camel in the Dubai desert.
5. I am frequently confused over, where to put commas.
6. One time, while running the spotlight for a community theater production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, I was daydreaming and left Joseph in the dark for about a minute.
7. I was never asked back to run the spotlight.

Remember, we're catching up with spotlighted authors* all month long here at readergirlz, so come early and comment often! :)

* Yes, that was intentional. You must have seen that coming.

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18. Non-fic Pick: Writing Children's Books for Dummies



Are you an aspiring writer, rgz? How about making everything just a little bit easier in the publishing pursuit with Writing Children's Books for Dummies? Author Lisa Rojany Buccieri and Peter Economy cover the basics of the art, genres, editing, illustrating, publishing and promoting. There are great sections for publicity and social media. This a tool you'll reference again and again. The new 2nd edition is up-to-date and trustworthy.

I found the prompts, tips and warnings to be really helpful.

"Warning! Beware of dumping tons of background information in successive paragraphs, known as a data dump. Character development must be more subtle and oblique, not hitting the reader over the head with gobs of information all at once."

So if you are looking to write with an aim to publishing kidlit, grab this for your reference shelf. It will be a handy guide on your journey. Read, reflect, and reach out through writing, rgz!

Writing Children's Books for Dummies
by Lisa Rojany Buccieri and Peter Economy
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2013

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

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19. What's New with Kelly Bingham


In April 2008, our book club pick was Kelly Bingham's SHARK GIRL.

Want to know what happened to protagonist Jane? Pick up the sequel, entitled FORMERLY SHARK GIRL. "I wrote the sequel because so many readers wrote to me, asking questions about the characters in SHARK GIRL," Kelly told us. "This meant a lot to me. People wanted to know more, so I wrote more!"
If you have younger siblings or baby cousins, hit the picture book section for Kelly's book Z IS FOR MOOSE. That also has a sequel: CIRCLE, SQUARE, MOOSE will be available this September.  

Kelly says, "I'm currently working on lots of new books and enjoying every minute of it!" We look forward to seeing/reading what you come up with, Kelly!

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20. What's New with Meg Cabot


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From the Desk of
Meg Cabot

Dear Readergirlz,
 
Happy Birthday! Wow, I can’t believe it’s been SEVEN years!  You’ve blown me away by all the work you’ve done promoting literacy (especially female-centric literacy) since I last chatted with you (about my YA stand-alone, How To Be Popular).

Since then, I’ve introduced readers to several new YA and adult series (including new installments in my Heather Wells mysteries series!), as well as my first series for middle grade readers, Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls.

This seems hard to believe, too, but 2015 will be the 15th anniversary of my first YAs ever, The Princess Diariesand The Mediator: Shadowland. Time sure does fly. I like to think that those series (like your site) helped do their part to spark the current surge in popularity of YA (especially female-centric YA)!

So since 2007, I’ve also been focused on giving back to my readers all around the world, not just with books, but by contributing my income from a number of anthologies to benefit organizations like Reading is Fundamental, UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), and the public libraries of New York City. I also donated all my proceeds from the novel Ransom My Heart by Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia (with a little help from me!) to Greenpeace.  You can read all about it here.

Anyway, like I said, keep up the great work, Readergirlz, and happy birthday! May you have many, many more.

Love,
Meg Cabot

Bonus: Little Willow interviewed Meg Cabot for rgz in 2008. Watch the video below, or click here!

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21. 7 Things You Might Not Know About Me: Lorie Ann Grover



Happy 7th birthday, rgz! Here are 7 Things You Might Not Know About Me:

1. I loooove rocking Doc Martins.
2. I was a fine art major, with a sculpture emphasis, at The University of Miami before I turned to publishing.
3. I love dressing retro, including wearing crinolines.
4. I once created 100 paintings for Cherry Coke's internet game, Time Tremors.
5. I usually write board books in the car.
6. Due to lupus, I love dark, rainy days.
7. I heart matcha green tea!

Oh, and here's my quote:




















Enjoy the celebration this month and share your favorite, handwritten book quotes on the rgz facebook page! xox

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

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22. 7 Things You Don't Know About Joan Holub


Joan Holub, author and co-founder of readertotz, joins us today to celebrate the readergirlz anniversary. Here are some secrets she's shared with us...


7 Things You Don't Know About Me

1. My prom dress still fits.
2. My wedding dress drowned in Hurricane Katrina.
3. I wrote a picture book about a red pencil writing a book that got 3 starred reviews.
4. I used to be an illustrator.
5. I co-write 2 tween series with Suzanne Williams, Goddess Girls and Grimmtastic Girls.
5. I can make a train choo-choo sound without moving my lips.
6. I blog with readergirlz co-founder Lorie Ann Grover at http://readertotz.blogspot.com

Want to know more secrets about your favorite authors? Keep checking the readergirlz blog all month long!

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23. What's New with Dia Calhoun

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Dia Calhoun
So much has changed since my last readergirlz update! The theme of that change? Follow the creative river of life instead of forcing it into what I think it should be. This began with a return to my true love - writing middle grade fiction - in my books After the River the Sun (2013 Atheneum) and Eva of the Farm (2012 Atheneum). Following are three more examples of following life’s river.


One:  On a solo trip to Italy, I abandoned forever my futile attempts to keep a perfect writer’s journal. (You know--those perfect journals with things pasted in them, immaculate, designed.)
Instead I began keeping a “Word Mess” - a notebook where I scrawl images, rough dashes of poems, bursts of emotions and wisps of thought. The Word Mess is full of cross-outs, arrows, and smudged erasures. A perfect swamp of disorder. What liberation! I fell in love with that most basic of writer’s tools - the pencil.

Two:  I started a blog series called 7:30 BELLS. Every Tuesday I post about what made me feel alive that week--what makes the bells ring. The discipline of have a regular “column” keeps my eyes open.  Follow the series.

Three:  On a hike with my husband, I picked up a stick dabbed with moss. “Look,” I said, “It’s a fairy wand.” He asked, “Are you really going to carry that for the entire hike?” I said, “Yes! ” Now I am making fantastic sculptures out of wood, stone, and moss. (I can use a drill press! I have a toolbox full of tools I love - chisels, gouges, rasps. Maybe one day I will sell these sculptures. Maybe not. That doesn’t matter.

Because the most powerful thing I’ve learned in the past five years is that outcome doesn’t matter- making, creating, living does. When you let go of where you think your life should lead, and follow the river instead, wonders await.

Stay tuned for what’s around the next bend. I know I am.

~ Dia


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24. 7 Things You Don't Know About Laurie Halse Anderson


PROM by Laurie Halse Anderson was our featured title in our June 2008 issue. What's new with Laurie? Here's what she shared with us:


7 Things You Don't Know About Me

1. I am writing this list in Muscat, Oman. I've had the chance to visit several American schools overseas in the last couple of years and am having a blast exploring new cultures.

2. I ran a marathon in 2011.

3. I finally got to hang out with Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower) and am happy to report that he is a super cool guy.

4. I have become obsessed with mint lemonade.

5. I want to write a fantasy, but have not yet figured out how to do it.

6. I'm working on the text for the SPEAK graphic novel that should be published in 2016.

7. I love my life.
Want to know more secrets about your favorite authors? Keep checking this blog all month long to celebrate the seven-year anniversary of readergirlz!

BONUS: Read our roundtable discussion of PROM.

BONUS: Laurie's video celebrating the 10th anniversary of SPEAK in 2009.

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25. 7 Things You Don't Know About Sarah Mlynowski

Sarah Mlynowski has hung out with the readergirlz on more than one occasion. She participated in 31 Flavorites in October 2007 (and also dropped in to say hi to Lauren Myracle during Lauren's chat). She shared the story behind the cover of her book Gimme a Call with rgz diva Melissa Walker. Little Willow met her in person when E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, and Sarah Mlynowski were promoting their book How to Be Bad. (LW adds: That was an awesome day, y'all.)


Today, Sarah's new book DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT is available everywhere. Everywhere! In honor of the rgz anniversary and in honor of the book's release, here are 7 things you didn't know about Sarah Mlynowski... until now.

 
1. I bite my nails.
2. My little sister is a reality TV show producer.
3. The only sports team I was ever on was the newcomball team at sleepaway camp. What is newcomball? It’s like volleyball, except you catch the ball before throwing it over the net. I’m not sure it’s a real sport. Maybe I shouldn’t be too excited that I won the MIP (Most Improved Player) award in 1988.
4. Gordon Kormon spoke at my school when I was in third grade. (I know that makes him sound old, but he was only 15 at the time.)
5. After Gordon’s visit I decided to write my own book, Lizzie Forshort. It’s about a girl whose name is Elizabeth but is called Lizzie...for short! My mom typed up the manuscript for me and we sent it to Bantam Books. And that’s the story of very first rejection letter.
6. My husband proposed in Queenstown, New Zealand, in 2003. We’d started dating in1994 when we were seventeen. Took him long enough.
7. My five-year old daughter is a better cook than I am. Last week she made a purée and a meatloaf. Last week I made toast and a cup of coffee.

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