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When our children were younger, I used to love taking them in the truck with me to run errands. With so many kids, the trips were a necessity and provided rare one-on-one time with whichever child agreed to go. I loved it right up until one unfortunate ride with my youngest. Here is text from that fateful trip.
Dad, drivers have all kinds of signs don’t they?
Yes, there are road signs to tell us when to stop and how fast to go.
No, that’s not what I mean. I mean drivers have signs they give…with their hands.
Sure, they wave to each other after one lets the other in front of them. That’s a kind thing to do.
Yes, but what does this mean? (giving me the perfect one finger salute)
Where did you see that? (Spoken calmly so she wouldn’t adopt this as a favorite gesture)
That man over there did it. Did you let him in front of you?
No, that means I must have done something wrong and he was telling me about it.
What did you do?
I don’t know, maybe I cut him off or he thought I drove too close to him.
Do you use that sign?
No, honey, I don’t use that sign.
No, Mommy doesn’t use that sign.
What if Mommy does something wrong, would you do that to show her? (Once again, saluting me in the mirror)
No, we wouldnever use that sign to Mommy. It isn’t a nice sign.
Oh. So we shouldn’t use that sign?
No, we shouldn’t use that sign. (she examines her finger wonderingly)
How about we listen to the radio?
Okay! I like the radio.
(I fumble through the dial and settle on a station where the song quickly yields to a woman’s voice)
Women, do you suffer from low libido… (frantic push of the search button)
Daddy, what’s a libido?
Um, I think it’s an animal found in darkest Peru.
I’ve never heard of it in his books.
Maybe we haven’t gotten to that one yet.
Why is it low?
I don’t know, Sweety (how is this kid hearing every stinking thing? New station)
Men, listen to me. erectile disfunction is a serious problem…(FRANTIC PUSH as I fall victim to a conspiracy of the evil gods of radio)
…Er…How would you like to go to McDonalds for a chocolate milkshake?
But it’s almost lunchtime. Will it be okay with Mommy?
Baby, if all Mommy hears about from this trip is the milkshake, I’m in great shape.
For many aspiring writers, landing a contract with one of the Big 5 is the ultimate goal, a sign they’ve “made it.” But not all books belong with the big houses, some do better with the small ones. A small press offers substantial benefits with considerable opportunities. Rather than viewing them as a last resort, small presses should be given a first look.
Big Fish, Small Pond
A small press works on a different scale. The giant bestsellers that crowd store shelves generally belong to a large publisher. Those books grab the majority of resources—advertising dollars, catalog space, public relations. A debut author may have to swim upstream for many years before they gain notice. But in a small press environment, even a debut author can quickly become the big fish, the one who garners the notice, and the resources. A smaller catalog means more funds funneled into a debut. A significant launch for a small press may be considered mediocre at a big house—the author gets relegated to the midlist when compared to a stable of marquis authors. The small press then builds on the author’s success, garnering attention from industry insiders, readers, and peers they would never have received otherwise.
Embrace Agility, Reject Rigidity
A large house books their publishing catalog years in advance, coordinating schedules with multiple departments, resulting in a rigid timetable. A small press is more flexible and can often make room for a new project, especially one with a second or third book waiting in the wings. While a rigorous editorial process still follows and certain processes must remain, the fluidity of a small press team can get a book to market swiftly without sacrificing a project’s integrity. In the time it may take a large house to get a single book on shelves, a small press may release two or three in a series, thereby propelling an author’s career in half the time. Further, a small press has the capability to shift marketing and publicity strategies mid-campaign if something isn’t working. At a bigger publisher, there are policies, procedures and budgets that make shifting efforts next to impossible.
Multiple Strategies, Singular Focus
A small press is usually just that: small. They don’t utilize numerous committees and bureaucratic layers which allows for streamlined decision-making. Small press authors work closely with the entire team, receiving personal attention from high-ranking staff members. Members they know, members they trust, and members who can make immediate decisions. Authors needn’t worry their book has been sent up the chain to a committee they’ve never met, that their fate, from contract to cover art, will be handled by strangers not personally invested in the project.
More Cultivation, Less Pressure
A large house expects a quicker ascent to success. And justifiably so. With a substantial investment in advances, print runs, marketing, and distribution, they require a more immediate return on investment. Without it, an author may find the threat of being dropped hanging over their head like an anvil dangling from a frayed rope. Earn out or get out. Most small presses utilize a reduced cost production model which gives an author room to debut. The slow and steady approach provides opportunities for growth and sustainability, a solid foundation on which to build their career. A small press invests in the author, not just their book. They’re in it for the long haul.
When deciding where to submit, consider every option, large and small. A solid small press with an innovative strategy and measurable growth could one day become something bigger. In the end, choosing the right small press may be a better fit than the wrong large one.
Kendel Lynn is an editor with Henery Press (logo right), an award-winning publisher in the mystery/suspense genre. You can learn more at www.henerypress.com.
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!
I had been invited to the 18th Annual Books for a Better Life Awards Program, sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society New York City—Southern New York Chapter. I was seeing friends—Darcy Jacobs, nominee Patty Chang Anker, Katie Freeman, Julia Johnson, my Gotham editor, Lauren Marino. My husband had joined me for the evening, our sensational son had left work to see us an hour before, Jenny Powers, VP of Special Events for the Society, had put on an amazing show of truly exceptional everythings at The TimesCenter. I had a new pink dress, those famous new shoes, and Maggie Scarf, the bestselling author, was telling my husband and me a story that held us both in captive disbelief. Soon I would go down that long flight of stairs and find the fabulous Lee Woodruff in the bathroom. We would speak of pink dresses, pink scarves, the sometimes good luck of fashion.
And so I settled back into my chair at The TimesCenter simply to watch the show. To be grateful for it all. To be unencumbered, for that moment, by doubt. The first category of ten to be announced was the Motivational category. Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, a book about the students I love and the things they have taught me, sat (remarkably) alongside The Novel Cure (Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin), Saturday Night Widows (Becky Aikman), Survival Lessons (Alice Hoffman), and On These Courts (Wayne B. Drash). Meredith Vieira—gorgeous Meredith Vieira—was looking stunning up there on the stage, post Sochi, post Oscars. She was reading off the nominees, then opening an envelope, and then—and then—she called my name.
I have never been so unprepared for anything in my life. I had not, for a single second, rehearsed the possibility of the moment; winning was out of the question. I had a wide stage to cross, and by the time I reached the microphone and Meredith's outstretched arms, I had been rendered incapable of speech. I have absolutely no idea what words I finally said. I know only that I told Meredith how beautiful she really is (inside and out). I know that I struggled to find words for the beauty of my students. I know I said "son" and "husband" and "Gotham" and "dreams."
(How grateful am I to Lauren Marino, Lisa Johnson, Beth Parker, and the entire Gotham team for saying yes to this book in a seaside nano-second. And a million thanks to my agent, Amy Rennert, who has supported this book from the second it arrived in her to-be-read bin.)
Afterward, when all the winners gathered on stage for a Publishers Weekly photograph, I had an opportunity to speak with Meredith, to learn more about her upcoming new program, The Meredith Vieira Show. It is going to be wonderful because she is through-and-through wonderful. A real show, real conversations, a set that recreates her own family room, her own interests, pursued. Look for it come Labor Day.
I end this as I must end this—with prayers for those who are living with and seeking to combat multiple sclerosis, a haunting condition about which important words were spoken last night. Without organizations like the New York City—Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society—organizations that work throughout the year to raise awareness and research dollars, bring together authors and publishers, put leading lights like Meredith Vieira, Lee Woodruff, Arianna Huffington, Pamela Paul, Mark Bittman, and Richard Pine on one stage, and gather friends—hope would not loom so large.
I have never been so proud to bring an honor home.
I head to South Carolina in a few hours to serve as the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Distinguished Writer. This is the week of a lifetime.
La mostra Io sono io. Mostra di Philip Waechter sarà visitabile a Roma dal 14 marzo al 1 giugno 2014 nel Foyers del Goethe-Institut e nella Biblioteca Europea (via Savoia 13/15). Dopo Pisa, la prima personale italiana dedicata uno dei più interessanti talenti dell’illustrazione tedesca contemporanea, si sposta a Roma presentando un’ampia selezione di originali dai principali albi illustrati di Waechter e un focus sul metodo di lavoro dell’illustratore, che affianca ai disegni definitivi i bozzetti e gli story board del libro Der fliegende Jakob (Jacopo sa volare). Philip Waechter sarà a Roma per incontrare i suoi lettori in due laboratori: il 9 maggio (per classi) e il 10 maggio.
Ritorna anche il concorso Pronto per un viaggio intorno al mondo? Carica il tuo camper e parti! che premierà i disegni più strampalati e divertenti.
Hamelin à stata invitata dal Museum of American Illustration e dal Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art - MoCCA di New York per fare parte della giuria della prima edizione del concorso Comic & Cartoon Art Annual. I migliori lavori selezionati saranno oggetto di una mostra al MoCCA Gallery presso la Society of Illustrators dal 28 maggio al 16 agosto 2014 e saranno riprodotti in un catalogo.
International Board on Books for Young People è una rete internazionale di persone, che provengono da 77 paesi e promuove la cooperazione internazionale attraverso i libri per bambini, creando ovunque per l'infanzia l'opportunità di avere accesso a libri di alto livello letterario e artistico e incoraggiando la pubblicazione e la distribuzione di libri di qualità per bambini specialmente nei Paesi in via di sviluppo. www.bibliotecasalaborsa.it/ragazzi/ibby/
Se desideri disiscriverti da questa newsletter, vai a questa pagina.
WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT READ AMBER HOUSE, IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT YOU WILL FIND NEVERWAS VERY CONFUSING.
I just clicked through to GoodReads to find evidence supporting the above statement, and promptly fell into a rabbitholeofDRAMA.
Which is why I don't spend a whole lot of time at the Thunderdome we call GoodReads.
I wrote the above right before I took my break from the interwebz. I was so disheartened by the GoodReads stuff—that A) there seemed to be so much deliberate misunderstanding going on, which B) suggested that people were using an understandable misstep on the author's part to put on their Furious Righteousness Faces rather than exercising some empathy, and worst of all, C) that the whole brouhaha was not remotely an uncommon occurrence—it was the rotten cherry on the top of my Winter Malaise sundae.
Anyway. So. Neverwas.
At the end of Amber House, heroine Sarah Parsons used the magic of the house and of her family to tweak time, saving her little brother and her long-lost aunt in the process.
But clearly, somewhere along the way, something went wrong... because history is completely different: it's the present day, but segregation is still the name of the game. Make sense?
Here's the wrinkle that'll make it especially tough for new readers: since Sarah changed history, she doesn't remember the adventure in Amber House: because for THIS version of Sarah, it never happened. And so this world, there is an American Confederacy of States, and that doesn't seem strange to her.
Some people might see this as a Con, but big, big points to the authors for having enough confidence in their readers to avoid over-explaining. Sarah works with the information that she has—which isn't always accurate—and she doesn't magically Know That Something Is Wrong. She has moments of unease and she has some dreams, both of which are exacerbated by the fact that she's finding weird messages that seem to not only be connected, but meant specifically for her. In addition to working at solving a mystery that she doesn't even know exists, she has to fight against a lifetime of memories, as well as a lifetime of social conditioning: that's a lot of balls to keep in the air.
Points for the subtle changes in the cast of characters: they're the same people, with the same core personalities, but they've lived their entire lives in a completely different world than in the first book. So of COURSE their worldviews will be different, as will their reactions to various stimuli. This was the aspect I appreciated the most, I think, because so often in stories like this, it's only the clothes or the slang that we see change. In Neverwas, we get the whole package.
We get more of Nanga, and so she moves away from being purely a personification of the Magical Negro trope. Which was much appreciated.
Relatedly, the Autism Makes You Magical thread is still here, but it's laid out in a way that I felt comfortable with: A) Sammy and Maggie were connected to the house in a much more direct way than Sarah has ever been, and B) they process things differently than Sarah does, so... pass? I'm still semi-undecided, though.
The worldbuilding was thoughtful and complex, in that we see Big Obvious Changes as well as more subtle ones, and said changes don't exist in a vacuum: the political landscape of the entire world is different.
I have completed my second novel, and have hired a well-regarded editing team to copy edit and proofread the manuscript. The work they have done on the first 82 pages is invaluable, but quite expensive. I am determined to see this through (a remaining $3500) but due to my income I'm doing the editing job in increments, and it will probably take until the summer 2015.
My problem, the novel's theme and plot are germane to the 2016 election. Would it be a mistake to query about the manuscript before it is polished, even given my time frame constraint?
Publishing moves at a glacial speed until it doesn't. By that I mean I'm selling into the FALL 2015 catalog right now, and have books set for the 2016 catalogs too.
In other words, querying for book you think has timeliness in 2016 needs to happen NOW, not next year.
Look at it this way: under the BEST of circumstances: -- you query in June of 2015, -- an agent READS it right away (not likely) -- offers immediately (very unlikely) -- your manuscript is ready to go on submission that minute (not likely either) your agent will be querying for Spring 2017. The Fall 2016 books will largely have been acquired in 2014 and the first half of 2015.
But that doesn't solve your problem (or one of them anyway) because obviously you don't want to query a manuscript you don't think is ready.
But here's the part where my jaw hit the ground: $3500 to copy edit and proof read a manuscript?? That seems stratospheric to me. I work with developmental editors and for that kind of work which is MUCH more time consuming, that's the kind of money people pay. Copyediting and proofing should be a lot less.
Let's throw it out to the commenters though. Is this price really out of whack? Let me know.
And if it is, that's good news because it means you can find someone to do it for less, which means you get done faster.
And the better news is that timeliness really only applies to non-fiction.
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Some call VisionCrest the pinnacle of religious enlightenment. Others call it a powerful cult. For seventeen years, Harlow Wintergreen has called it her life. As the adopted daughter of VisionCrest's patriarch, Harlow is expected to be perfect at all times. The other Ministry teens must see her as a paragon of integrity. The world must see her as a future leader. Despite the constant scrutiny, Harlow has managed to keep a dark and dangerous secret, even from her best friend and the boy she loves. She hears a voice in her head that seems to have a mind of its own, plaguing her with violent and bloody visions. It commands her to kill. And the urge to obey is getting harder and harder to control...
Could you describe both your pre-and-post contract revision process? What did you learn along the way? How did you feel at each stage? What advice do you have for other writers on the subject of revision?
The Violet Hour was the second novel I attempted to write, so I wasn't completely naive. I knew that a first draft was just the beginning of a very long process, but woah mama...did this book ever have it in for me!
In the beginning stages, I didn't really know what the book was about. I had this amazing main character (Harlow Wintergreen), this iconic cult-like religion (VisionCrest), and this edgy, pop-culture altiverse in which it all existed. But I didn't have a story just yet - details shmeetails.
At that time I never wrote with an outline so I meandered about the manuscript, surprised and delighted by every crazy left turn Harlow took. I've since learned my lesson on that front, but as I once said in an early draft of The Violet Hour to explain away a plot that made no sense, that is a story for another day. I would throw in wacky details because they sounded cool or seemed spooky - a mysterious necklace! a sinister voice! a Cambodian temple!
But then when I had to tie it all up with a bow at the end, I realized I had created a monster.
That puppy was going to require major revision....like, 10 drafts' worth before it went out for sale.
It was a process. One that could have been significantly shortened by a little bit of pre-planning. But I'm a hard-way learner, what can I say?
During the time that it was out on submission, I came to realize that the last third of the book just didn't feel right. At that point I had stripped the story down to the studs multiple times, torn it into shreds and put it back together until my fingers bled and my eyes crossed (okay, maybe I'm being melodramatic).
I was exhausted. I didn't even want to look at it anymore, much less tear it apart again. But once it sold (oh happy, happy day!) I knew I owed it to myself and my future readers to make the story the absolute best it could be.
So, I ripped it apart once again, this time with the expert guidance of my editor. I took things out, added new stuff in, and fixed all the things that I knew didn't work but hadn't wanted to admit before. And then I revised it, and revised it, and revised it some more.
I lost count, but I was finally finished around draft 17. And I was really proud of it. The story I wanted to tell was finally on the page, and I didn't give up before I got there.
So what did I learn from this and what advice would I give to other writers around revision?
Here it is:
Do a little pre-work. You don't have to have a detailed outline, if that doesn't work for you (it doesn't for me). But a one-page synopsis can help you think the story all the way through before you throw in a magical necklace that has no business being there.
Take breaks between drafts. My rule of thumb is at least two weeks, but more is better. Renew. Refresh. Get some perspective. Then dive back in.
If you have a lot to fix, break it down into bite-sized pieces. Do a pass through for a certain element (say, fixing a specific plot thread). Consider that a draft. Then, after a break, come back for something else. Thinking about it as a whole can be daunting - just take it one step at a time.
Give yourself the gift of time. This isn't a race. There's no prize for finishing fast, but there might be one for finishing strong.
Hang in there! Persevere! Commiserate! Most writers will tell you that revision is a big part of their process, and some will tell you they've even come to enjoy it.
Enjoy it. Seeing your manuscript improve, become even better than you imagined it could be, is one of the most gratifying parts of the process. The journey is the reward!
As a horror writer, going in, did you have a sense of how events/themes in your novel might parallel or speak to events/issues in our real world? Or did this evolve over the course of many drafts?
I didn't think about this consciously, like "I'm going to make this specific issue my real world parallel because that's what a horror book must do." That said, there are many social, political, and cultural parallels in the book - things that really intrigue me.
For example, I am curious about belief in all its forms. Religions. Cults. Science. Politics. The process of deciding that a certain thing or person holds the answers to the unanswerable is one I'll never tire of exploring.
As human beings, we are often willing to believe the most outlandish, unseeable things and simultaneously incapable of believing the clear and obvious (if there is any such thing).
What makes us think our perception is the only reality? What creates certainty in the absence of evidence? What happens when those things occur? These are the things that were always present in The Violet Hour, and became honed over the lengthy process of revision.
At a certain point I had to ask myself: okay, this is a cool story but what am I trying to say? That's when I really got down to the meat of it.
I hope the result is a rich subtext that both fascinates and frightens.
Oh, happy day! It's anthology time! This one from Harlequin Teen just last month, and the list of authors is shiny, award-winning, and long: Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire,... Read the rest of this post
It was the 1980s and the Small Press had a hero for that age of Thatcherism and bleakness. Amongst the three million unemployed was a man. An athlete. A street-fighter. A man who would not stand by while crime spread. DENIZEN ARK...Unemployed crime-fighter. But whatever happened to him?
Read the further adventures of Denizen by one of the most under rated comic artists in the UK -JOHN ERASMUS!
Superb black and white artwork that will make any wannabe comic creator weep.
Evangeline lived a long fulfilling life. Loving mother and wife, she had everything she could wish for…until a tragic car accident took it all away from her.
Awakening in a new world with the body of a young woman, Evangeline doesn’t remember anything about her life, not even her own name. Luckily she has godparents to help guide her in this new society of the dead. As she struggles to fit in, deep inside, she can sense something is missing, a part of her that she can’t recall. When a mysterious man claims he can help get her memory back if she agrees to keep their nocturnal meetings a secret, she can’t refuse. Everything about him screams trouble, but she can’t seem to stay away. Every moment spent with him makes her feel alive again.
Is she really prepared to unveil her past completely, from beginning to end? Everything is not as it seems in her new found home, and her new life may also end in tragedy.
Rest in fear, Evangeline.
I think this is the most beautifully written story I’ve ever read. Not some quick read, fluffy paranormal romance, this is a book you can settle down and not only enjoy the story, but the lovely way it is written. A new and interesting take on what happens after you die, For Better or For Worse is a captivating tale of loss and love. Don’t miss out on this one!
Ingrid is a 23-year-old French girl, college student, and dreamer. She currently resides in Paris, where she spends most of her time going to museums and the movies. Despite the romantic atmosphere in Montmartre, or even the fancy cafés in the Champs Elysées, she would easily trade it all for a nice walk in the woods with her schnauzer, Golden. She is always craving adventures, and finds that books are the cheapest way to travel to far-away lands. She is inwardly convinced that words have the power to heal the worst blisters on our hearts, or at least can make us forget about them for a little while. And sometimes, it is just enough to face another crazy day.
Everything is going to be okay. I should repeat it to myself like a broken record. Everything is going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay. Why does it seem like these words have lost all their meaning?
“I promise.” He embraces my waist to push me closer to his warm chest.
“How is it going to be okay?” I shake my head, unable to restrain my tears from rolling down my burning cheeks. “How? He’s dead!”
I bury my face into his collarbone to stifle my crying, listening to nothing else but the sound of his beating heart. I feel it pounding fast and hard, matching mine. It makes me cry even more. I don’t want him to be strong for the both of us. That, too, isn’t fair.
He puts his hand on the back of my head. “I’m so sorry.”
I curl up against him and move my head slightly to glance at the dark ocean. This sandy beach is my favorite place on earth. This is where he kissed me for the first time. This is the place that always reminds me someone truly loves me, and sometimes it’s just enough to chase the hurt. This is my haven.
At least it was, until now.
I ran to meet him here as soon as my little brother released my hand in his hospital bed. I knew he wouldn’t force me to speak, and he didn’t. He just held me close. It took the time of a wave dying in the vast ocean’s arms for me to fall down in a faint, my legs quaking like an aspen leaf. His grip was so tight he fell to his knees, too, resolute not to abandon me in my rare moment of weakness.
It feels so good to be weak. I don’t care if my face is washed with tears or if I have red rims around my eyes. I need this loss of myself. I need him and my haven.
“I’m sorry, Eve. So sorry.” He sighs, clasping me tighter against him to calm me down. “I wish I could do something, anything to relieve your pain. I hate being so helpless,” he hisses between clenched teeth. “It kills me.”
I peek up at him, trying to find a light of hope, but I see nothing. Tonight, I’m more aware than anyone that love isn’t possession. It doesn’t stand still. My world can fly away in the blink of an eye, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to fight the ruthless, cold, and brutal wind that likes to come without calling.
“I…I just want…the world to disappear,” I choke out between my sobs. The thick air is getting unbearable, harder to breathe. I press my hand against my breastbone. It hurts. It hurts too much. “I can’t live anymore, I don’t want to. Not like this. Please make it stop,” I beg him. “Just make it stop. It hurts.”
He holds my face in his hands to make sure I meet his serious gaze.
“Listen to me,” he says slowly, scanning my face as he speaks. “I’m on your side. There are times when I wish I could escape this crazy world. But you know what? It’d be a terrible mistake to switch our life off if we get the chance.”
I vaguely wipe my face with the back of my hand, lowering my gaze.
“Yes, you can be hurt and awfully bruised inside,” he continues, gently tucking a stray lock of hair behind my ear. “Sometimes you get so scared to face the day you could suffocate. But I love you.”
His last words take me by surprise. I know he does. I just didn’t expect him to say them now.
“I love you,” he says again, his voice catching ever so slightly. He strokes my face once more. “I don’t want to switch my life off… because you are my life.”
I feel paralyzed for a brief moment. It doesn’t make any sense. Who am I supposed to thank for the love he’s offering me? Are they the same odds that are against me tonight? Those who first harm me to bless me next?
I desperately love him. I do. So much. He’s always been my hero, and logically speaking, a hero is supposed to be indestructible. He’ll be here, until the end of time. I have to be sure of that. I want to be sure of that.
“He’s gone.” I shrug sadly, more tears falling out of my eyes. “He’ll never be seventeen. I’ll never get the chance to see him anymore. Never again…It’s over.” I try to put together in a wrecked breath, willing for more comfort.
“No, he’s not. He’s right here,” he says, pointing at my hammering heart. “He’s probably in a better world now.”
I instinctively look up at the starry sky with a broken smile. I hope he is. He deserves to be.
“Eve.” He tips my chin down to hold my gaze. “Maybe now is the time to share what’s in your heart, too. There’s no forever.”
I quickly shake my head.
“Don’t say that.” I take a long, ragged breath. I really don’t know how to breathe anymore. “We have time.”
The disappointed light in his eyes is his only reply.
He bends down instead, and softly puts his lips close enough to touch mine. His hands travel up my cheeks and fondle my hair as he gives me a tender kiss. These are the ones I love the most. Our breath mingles together as I forget the world around us, and just like that, the ache begins to vanish little by little.
Not entirely, but just enough for the dizziness to take over so I may abandon myself in my most secured place.
He knows I want to say those three words. I just need more time.
The Book Report with JJK is about to undergo a transformation. Instead of a once-a-week 5-8 minute show, the interviews will now be broken down to 1 minute segments that will air throughout programming! And I'll be calling in every Tuesday morning to recommend a new book and let folks know what's going on in the world of kidlit.
As always, Kids Place Live airs on channel 78 on SiriusXM!
(The full interviews will still be archived on my website: http://www.studiojjk.com/thebookreport.html)
Happy St. Patty's Day (on Monday)!!! Don't forget to wear green! And remind your students/kids/readers, the treasure isn't gold - the treasure is in BOOKS!!!! CLICK HERE for more coloring pages and be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (They don't have to be cards - I love scribbly kids art too!) Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially... my debut historical fiction mid-grade, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, available NOW in eversions! Click the cover to learn more! When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most. **A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
Celtic (Irish) legend that says fairies descended from the Tuatha De Danaan (an ancient people driven to another world by a wave of invaders).
Some of the legends say this "Otherworld" (which is what I call it in my story) is called Tir Na Noog (Tír na nÓg ), and that there, time stands still.
The Faery Magick spell words in Faery Swap are based on the four original cities of the Tuatha De Danaan, which also represent four magical items: Finias (spear), Gorias (sword), Falias (stone), murias (cauldron).
Spriggans (the rock like sprites in Faery Swap) are real (mythical) creatures from Cornish (English) faery lore.
The “anam cara” or soul bond in Faery Swap is a real ancient Irish word that means “soul friend” – “When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at the most sacred place: home.” – John O’Donahue, poet and priest
Warrior faery princes can be very stubborn. Especially when they possess your body.Fourteen-year-old Finn just wants to keep his little sister out of Child Protective Services--an epic challenge with their parentally-missing-in-action dad moving them to England, near the famous Stonehenge rocks. Warrior faery Prince Zaneyr just wants to escape his father's reckless plan to repair the Rift--a catastrophe that ripped the faery realm from Earth 4,000 years ago and set it adrift in an alternate, timeless dimension. When Zaneyr tricks Finn into swapping places, Finn becomes a bodiless soul stuck in the Otherworld, and Zaneyr uses Finn's body to fight off his father's seekers on Earth. Between them, they have two souls and only one body... and both worlds to save before the dimensional window between them slams shut.
NOTE TO TEACHERS: Check out the Virtual Author visit video and Common-Core-Aligned Teacher's Guide for Faery Swap here.
2 minute book trailer
Blog Tour Giveaway$25 Amazon Gift CardSigned Paperback of Faery SwapTwo Faery Wands ENTER TO WIN
Susan Kaye Quinnis the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction.Faery Swap is her foray into middle grade, which is her first writing love. Her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can subscribe to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!) or stop by her blog to see what she's up to.
Stephanie Smallwood is an Early Literacy Specialist Librarian (and an awesome co-worker of mine!)
Middle grade literature is the equivalent to getting a driver's license to young readers. So much practice for so long leads up to the freedom of finally being able to sit down with a book ALONE and read it. This is a critical moment for children, so much can go wrong at this point: the books can be too hard, too easy, too boring, too far from their comfort zone, too close to their comfort zone, they can fall in love with a book that a friend doesn't like, and so on. Some kids love the freedom, others are overwhelmed and unsure how to choose. So much pressure! What's a librarian/teacher/parent/caring individual to do? Exactly what we've been doing here, talking about different books so when the child that needs that book is in front of us we have something in our head to put in their hands. So, here are a few books that have been important to me, a couple that I remember from my youth, and three that are new.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry: I read this in fourth grade and remember the story sitting with me for weeks. I had already been reading lots of historical fiction, but this was the first book I read about World War II. Prior to this book, bad and scary things happened to people 'a long time ago,' but this was set in 1943, my mother was alive while events similar to these were taking place. That fact mixed with Lowry's frank style made this book a real eye-opener for me, it was the point where I began to understand that there was much more to the world than I realized and scary things didn't just happen in books.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin: I remember the exact moment I put my hands on this book, I had just started seventh grade and was learning to use the 'big' library for the junior high and high school. I still didn't know my way around it and wasn't finding much I loved, but a paperback of the Westing Game was on display. I thought it looked strange, and the description didn't really sound like something I would like, but I checked it out anyway. And loved it. I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. reading this book with a flashlight and when I finished promptly started over. I thought the mystery and the puzzles were so smart, but looking back I think it was the character of Turtle that really resonated with my 12 year-old self. Turtle wasn't perfect, her family didn't get her and she was a bit rude at times, but she still had value, and not just because she could solve a mystery. I needed Turtle that year, and I've sometimes wondered if that high school librarian didn't somehow know that and put this book in front of me.
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes: This book is perfect in it's simplicity. Nothing huge, nothing overwhelming, but lots of things that kids this age think about. Is there something wrong with me? Is my teacher mad at me? Why is that other kid so mean? Henkes nails the average fears of children entering the big world of school and gives them the respect they deserve.
Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (series) by Maryrose Wood: I have been telling nearly everyone I know that they need to read these books. I haven't quite gotten to the point of putting them in people's hands and standing over them tapping my foot while they read them, but close. Full of smart wit, these books are generally described as a cross between Jane Eyre and Lemony Snicket, but I think they are in a class by themselves. Icing on the cake? 'Incorrigible' is just the beginning of the interesting vocabulary.
Wildwood by Colin Meloy -- Oh how I wish Wildwood had existed when I was ten and desperate to devour longer and more complicated books that were at my interest level! This is a story that a child can completely lose themselves in, the world-building is incredibly detailed and the illustrations (by Carson Ellis) lend just enough. This book is certainly not for everyone, it is long and slowly paced, but is ideal for the reader that wants to really get in to a fantasy.
Champagne, catching up, sharing publishing news, writers, illustrators …. at The Hughenden Hotel in Sydney.
Why? To spread the news of ROOM TO READ – educating the children of the developing world.
How many kids, has Room to Read helped? 9 million children and growing!
The brilliant Jennie Orchard heads the writer ambassador program for ROOM TO READ – and writer ambassadors came – award winning author Emily McGuire, best selling children’s author Belinda Murrell, Country Saga author Pamela Cook, Sarah Davis award winning ….. Susanne Gervay …. and we were there to discuss how to reach everyone with the message of Room to Read.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Clare Greenough?
[Clare] I prefer to rise early. There is still a great deal of work to be done at Trehearth House after so many years of neglect. I also like to stay a step ahead of the twins, and make certain they do some lessons, at least. I lure them along with topics they enjoy and the promise of a ride on their ponies afterward. In the afternoons, I sometimes visit neighbors, ride or walk. Over dinner, we talk as a family about our day. I love to hear the progress Jamie has made around the estate. Tamson and Tegan often have…fascinating exploits to share as well. Then the twins are off to bed. And since marrying, I have discovered that nights have a magic all their own.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Jamie?
[Clare] alluring infuriating beloved
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about him?
[Clare] His failure to pay attention to his sisters.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?
[Clare] I wish that during my mother’s last illness, I had fought even harder against my cousin Simon’s refusal to help.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Clare] My self-possession.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.
[Clare] I can see that you place great value on economy in language. I will do my best. True partnership with Jamie; a happy family.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
[Clare] It was indeed kind of you to invite me for a visit.
THE BRIDE INSISTS BY JANE ASHFORD – IN STORES MARCH 2014
She Thinks She’s Bought a Compliant Husband
Although Clare Greenough has inherited an unexpected fortune, her money is in the hands of a trustee until she marries—everyone knows a woman is incapable of managing funds. What she needs is an easygoing husband, right away…
They’re Both in for a Shock
She makes a deal with impetuous young James Boleigh, seventh Baron Trehearth: they will marry, Clare will get control of her money, and Jamie will get the funds he desperately needs to restore his lands. To stave off ruin, Jamie agrees, believing Clare will soon become a proper, submissive wife. But to expect a serene, passionless marriage was only their first mistake…
“Ashford captures the reader’s interest with her keen knowledge of the era and her deft writing. … a charming plot and just the right amount of sensuality.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight was part of what led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. She has written historical and contemporary romances, and her books have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. Born in Ohio, she now lives in LA. For more information, please visit http://janeashford.com/.