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Musings about life, writing and children's books.
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1. Six Interviews on a Friday

Here are the final six WBBT interviews. If you haven’t had a chance to read them, please be sure to make some time. There is a wealth of information you can learn on writing craft.

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2. WBBT Interview: Chemistry, Persistence and Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa

I’ve posted Julie Kagawa’s WBBT interview over at my new HipWriterMama blog. It seems so selfish not to share it with all of you, so here’s the introduction to Julie’s interview. For more info about Julie’s writing tips and process, go here.

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3. WBBT Interview: Finding Time to be Good Enough with Paula Yoo

I’ve posted Paula Yoo’s WBBT interview over at my new HipWriterMama blog. It seems so selfish not to share it with all of you, so here’s the introduction to Paula’s interview. For more info about Paula’s writing tips and process, go here.

Thank you!I first heard about Paula Yoo when her book, GOOD ENOUGH, was the featured title for readergirlz in September 2008. Here's thereadergirlz & postergirlz roundtable discussion of Good Enough...you can see my opinion on academic pressure for teens. So far, I've read a handful of YA books that resonate completely with me, in terms of my own teenage experiences. GOOD ENOUGH is one of them.

Paula is MULTI-TALENTED and keeps herself busy. Not only is she a children's book writer, Paula is also a tv writer (currently Co-Producer for the Eureka series on The SyFy Channel and may I also add, has writing credits to NBC’s The West Wing!!!) and a professional classical and alternative rock violinist. And may I repeat, Paula writes books!

How does she find the time to write books? Well my pretties, read further and you'll discover Paula's secrets. Kick back and hold on. This is good stuff.

You know the drill. It’s time to go over to my new HipWriterMama blog — www.hipwritermama.com — for the rest of Paula Yoo’s WBBT interview. You’ll be glad you did. See you there!

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4. 2010 WBBT: Writing, Humor, and the Emotional Truth with Allen Zadoff

5. WBBT Interview: Opening up Worlds with R.J. Anderson

When I first read FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER by Canadian writer R.J. Anderson, I was expecting the typical faery story. Instead, I found a whole new world to explore. What a joy!

R.J. Anderson, known to her friends and family as Rebecca, wrote a wonderful, imaginative series which will engage MG readers. Rebecca takes age-old myths of powerful faeries and makes them work to find their strengths, while the weak are capable of far more than we ever would give them credit for in real life. Doesn't this sound like a story you'd like to read?

Oddly enough, we need to wait for Rebecca's faery books. R.J. Anderson is a bestselling fantasy author in the UK. Rebecca's debut book, KNIFE ( aka FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER in the US), was a nominee for the 2010 Carnegie Medal of Literature. It hardly seems fair we need to wait for these books to make their way to the United States. Currently, FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER (Book 1) and WAYFARER (Book 2) are available in the US. Book 3, ARROW, will be released in the UK January 2011, with no set US release date. Sigh.

Lest you think all Rebecca writes is about faeries, just wait. ULTRAVIOLET, her YA paranormal thriller, will be out next year (Orchard Books UK, Carolrhoda Lab US, Summer/Fall of 2011). This is a far cry from the faery world...

Curious about the author behind these worlds? Please welcome R.J. Anderson...

HWM: When did you realize you wanted to write children’s (MG/YA)books?
R.J. Anderson: I was reading adult books by the time I was twelve, and found a lot to enjoy in those “grown-up” SF, fantasy, historical and mystery novels. But even so it seemed like the books I kept coming back to again and again were those I’d discovered in my childhood and early teens. So when a smart editor friend suggested that I stop trying to sell my debut novel as an adult fantasy and start pitching it to children’s editors instead, it didn’t take me long to realize that she was right. Once I looked at what was happening in the MG and YA genres post-Harry Potter, I discovered a huge range of creative possibilities there -- a lot more so in some respects than the adult fantasy & SF market. And I realized that writing for young, passionate readers like my own childhood self was the greatest joy and privilege I could wish for.

HWM: How long did it take before you signed with your agent and how did you know he/she was the right one?
R.J. Anderson: I completed my first novel-length manuscript in 1989, and my second (which became my debut) in 1993. During that time and in the years that followed I sent out feelers to one or two agents, but was really trying to get the attention of an editor first. Fortunately one of those editors (the smart editor friend I mentioned above) was kind enough to refer me to an agent she knew, and that agent -- who liked my book but didn’t love it enough to represent -- referred me to another agent, Josh Adams of Adams Literary, who loved my book and contacted me promptly to offer representation. I had a few fulls out with other agents at the time, but once I’d looked into Adams Literary’s reputation and talked to Josh

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6. WBBT 2010 Interview Schedule


It's time for the WBBT! Interviews start Monday, December 6th. Colleen Mondor of Chasing Ray will update the schedule daily with quotes and direct urls right here.

Check out the fantastic schedule... I'm hosting R.J. Anderson's interview tomorrow over at my new HipWriterMama blog! See you there!

Elizabeth Hand at Chasing Ray
Maya Gold at Bildungsroman
L.K. Madigan at Writing & Ruminating
Paolo Bacigalupi at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
R.J. Anderson at HipWriterMama

B.A. Binns at The Happy Nappy Bookseller
Daisy Whitney at Bildungsroman
Adam Gidwitz at Fuse Number 8
Salley Mavor at Seven Impossible Things
Josh Berk at Finding Wonderland

Andrea Seigel at Shaken & Stirred
Adele Griffin at Bildungsroman
Susan Campbell Bartoletti at Chasing Ray
Charles Benoit at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Sarah MacLean at Writing & Ruminating
Allen Zadoff at HipWriterMama

Kathi Appelt at Shelf Elf
Heidi Ayarbe at The Happy Nappy Bookseller
Julia DeVillers & Jennifer Roy at Bildungsroman
LeUyen Pham at Finding Wonderland

Marilyn Singer at Writing and Ruminating
Jennifer Donnelly at Shelf Elf
Ted Chiang at Shaken & Stirred
Sofia Quintero at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Maria Snyder at Finding Wonderland

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7. A NOVEL GIFT: First Book and readergirlz

BREAKING NEWS! readergirlz and First Book are partnering to give away more than 125,000 brand-new books to low-income teen readers.

They’re great books, too, donated by generous publishers. Among the three dozen choices are P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast’s HOUSE OF NIGHT series and Alyson Noël’s SHADOWLAND.

We need your help getting the word out about the A Novel Gift campaign. Right now! Right now! As in, now!

Let's get organizations serving these teens registered with First Book so they can be matched with inventory during the holidays.

Here’s what we need you to do: Post to Facebook and tweet your beak off about these books using the hashtag #novelgift.

Here’s a tinyurl link to their registration page: http://tinyurl.com/2a5mwpj.

Or you can link to this readergirlz blog post: http://readergirlz.blogspot.com/2010/11/novel-gift-over-125000-free-books-to.html

Then, get in touch with every group you can think of that works with young adults–schools, after-school programs, church youth groups, community centers, etc.—and let them know that these books are available now.

The five-minute online registration these groups can use is here:

First Book is also eager to answer questions, either by email to [email protected], or by phone at 866-READ-NOW or 866-732-3669.

If you participate, please drop us a note at [email protected] to be included in our blog roll of thanks to run December 31.

Be a part of A Novel Gift! OK, go!
Thank you,
from First Book and the readergirlz teams.

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8. Book Giveaway: HARMONIC FEEDBACK by Tara Kelly

Want a chance to win a copy of HARMONIC FEEDBACK by Tara Kelly? NOTE: This is a YA book. Subject matter is appropriate for older teens.

Go over to my writing blog and check out this post. All you have to do is go back to your teen years and tell me about your favorite song. What memory does it bring back for you? Any help you can offer to spread the word (via your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is greatly appreciated. Deadline for this giveaway is November 26th, the day after Thanksgiving. Good luck!

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9. readergirlz news

From the readergirlz blog:

Hey rgz,

As we get ready to celebrate Teen Read Week together, we also wanted to celebrate rgz upcoming new format.

This October is our last feature as you know it. So be sure to share the love with Laini in these remaining weeks.

So what's up? Well, how about the realization that we ALL read way more than one book a month, right? And the postergirlz pick such awesome recommends. How about this:

* the divas choose a theme a month
* you nominate songs for that theme, and Little Willow will build the playlist
* we'll have a community service spotlight for the theme
* the postergirlz'll nominate the very best YA books for the theme, new releases or old
* one book will be featured EVERY Monday

*squeeeeee* Our Author Liaison diva, Micol Ostow, will be outreaching to each weekly feature for a guest blog post and will invite them to hang with us in the comments. If the author is under deadline and can't make it over, we'll still have a post and be able to chat it up, share the love, leave questions, and so on.

The readergirlz website will continue to hang with a final issue, hence that playlist you all helped build. And the fabbity archives will remain available for your book clubs and libraries.

Feel free to spread the news and be ready for quick changing content of the very best in the children's lit industry. Of course we'll still have Cover Stories and Story Secrets and other posts of awesome that the divas bring to the table. The rgz SALON and Street Team will also continue with their posts, along with reports from our rgz HOSTS across the country.

You know we are always looking for great ways to further teen literacy and social service. Watch for this changeover on November 1. So, what do you think?

Enjoy Teen Read Week, and always, always, always: Read, Reflect, and Reach Out!

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10. readergirlz chat with Maureen Johnson tonight! 6pm PST/9pm EST

Fresh from readergirlz...

Join readergirlz and me for a Twitter chat tonight with Suite Scarlett and Scarlett Fever author Mareen Johnson!
***sounds of cheering***
It all starts at 6pm PST/9pm EST - search for the #rgz discussion and follow @readergirlz and @maureenjohnson.

Don't have a Twitter account? It's fast and easy to set one up!

At http://twitter.com/, just click on the yellow "Give it a try" button to get started. All you will need is your name, a
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11. BREAKING WAVES ebook: 100% of Proceeds go to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund

Kelly Fineman, one of my blogging/writing pals, shares some great news:

Guys! Guess what! It's September 15th, and that means that it's the release day for BREAKING WAVES: An Esoteric Collection to Benefit the Gulf Oil Spill Relief Fund, edited by Tiffany Trent and Phyllis Irene Radford, now available from Book View Café. The collection includes 34 stories, essays and poems, opening with "In England in the Fifties", a poem by Ursula K. Le Guin, and closing with "Troubled Water", a poem by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman.

Yes, you read that right. I can assure you that when I first learned that my poem would be the closing bookend to a collection of works that opens with a poem by Ursula Le Guin, I was torn between swooning and an desire to caper about with glee. (Capering eventually won out.)

The collection includes works by fabulous authors including noted scientists and award-winning fantasy authors, including Tiffany Trent, author of the Hallowmere series and forthcoming novels. Also in this book (just before my poem, in fact) is Patrick Samphire, who is married to my long-time LJ friend, Stephanie Burgis, author of A Most Improper Magick (aka Kat, Incorrigible). You can check out the full, fabulous Table of Contents online.

Congrats, Kelly!

BREAKING WAVES sells for $4.99 US from Book View Café. You can purchase the anthology as an epub, pdf, mobi or prc HERE. 100% of the proceeds go to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.

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12. Book Giveaway on new HipWriterMama blog!!!

Want a chance to win a copy of Holly Cupala's TELL ME A SECRET? Go over here and leave a comment... Good luck!!

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13. It's Time to Move...

I've decided to take advantage of a slow summer and move the HipWriterMama blog over to www.hipwritermama.com. I hope you'll join me over there! Everything is transferred over to the new blog, except for my blogroll. Hopefully, that will be up and running pretty soon.

Hope you're all enjoying your summer!

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14. Holly Cupala, TELL ME A SECRET Blog Tour and Prizes!

I'm so happy to welcome readergirlz diva and debut author Holly Cupala (TELL ME A SECRET) to my blog. I've known Holly for a couple years now, through blogging and readergirlz, but didn't have a chance to meet her until the 2010 Midwinter ALA Tweetup.

Holly is such a bundle of energy, with true joy and enthusiasm. People gathered around her, wanting to find out more about TELL ME A SECRET. And there's good reason...Holly's book is raw emotion. It's haunting and beautiful. It's devastating knowing the place where Holly had to dig to write this novel, yet through it all, we see hope and a reason to go on.

Go and read TELL ME A SECRET. You won't be able to put it down.

HWM: When did you realize you wanted to write YA?
HOLLY: Quite possibly the day I began writing my first teen romance, Stolen Love. Of course, that was when I was 13 and had not yet experienced teen romance, but that did not matter. What mattered was the line of girls in my class who waited to read it page by page… But art sort of began imitating life. After I actually experienced teen romance, heartbroken poetry and short stories followed…then hopes of writing the Great American Novel (while secretly writing an epic 1600-word rhyming picture book saga). At some point I realized I was completely off track, finished my M.A. (I was studying world lit), and joined SCBWI. For several years I spent time learning the craft of writing, then a painful event in my life inspired the story.

HWM: You won the SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grant in 2006. How did this change your writing life?
HOLLY: It was a beacon of hope! As writers, we spend so much time trying to g

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15. July is All About Courage at readergirlz: The Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter

From the readergirlz blog:

We are thrilled to welcome Ally Carter to readergirlz. Her fantastic Gallagher Girls novels, specifically the newly released fourth, Only the Good Spy Young, is our July pick! Check out our interview with Ally, book party ideas themed around her book, and our Reach Out project idea--as well as the awesome soundtrack Ally has chosen for the book--on readergirlz.com.

Here's a little about Only the Good Spy Young:
When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn't know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. Now the danger follows her everywhere and even Cammie "The Chameleon" can't hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers - or even her own heart.

The Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie's future may lie deep in the past...
And the buzz...
  • Inclusion on the ALA Teens Top 10
  • Georgia Peach Book Award
  • Texas Lone Star Reading List
  • Amelia Bloomer Book Award
  • Romance Writers of America Rita Award Finalist
We are super excited to have the amazing Ally Carter with us this month! Join us all month right here on the blog for discussions and mark your calendars a LIVE #rgz twitter chat on Wednesday, July 14th at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Happy July, readergirlz!

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16. Here's to the Crazy Ones: Think Different

Thought you'd appreciate this video. Yes, it's a marketing ad. It's simply genius.

Watch it and be inspired.

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17. Sign Up for WriteOnCon!!

It's July 1st! Start of your month off right and go run...er...stay at your computer, click on a couple links and register for WriteOnCon, the FREE on-line writing conference that's making a splash this summer.

Remember, it's all about PAYING IT FORWARD.

Here are the blogs of the founding members:

You've got to check out their latest video. Very amusing:

Thank you, WriteOnCon, for paying it forward and making it possible for writers to attend a conference from the comfort of their own home.

And after you register, come and friend me on the WriteOnCon board! I figured I'd use my own name so people wouldn't get confused: vivianleemahoney

See you there!

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18. Author Spotlight with Holly Cupala and TELL ME A SECRET

I'm so pleased to welcome Holly Cupala, one of the readergirlz, to my blog. Holly's debut novel, TELL ME A SECRET, will be out next Tuesday! TELL ME A SECRET "illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her future."

There's nothing like exploring the darkness within our characters and even ourselves. It can be downright scary and overwhelming. Holly shares a devastating loss to shed some light on how far writers can go when writing about dark topics.

Holly: When I started writing TELL ME A SECRET, I was way out of my depth.

Up to that point, I’d written a stackful of unpublishable picture books, some magazine articles, a Chicken Soup story, and I’d just begun a middle grade novel. Our first daughter would be born any minute, and life seemed good.

Then everything changed in one missed beat of the heart.

After our loss, I couldn’t see the point of writing anymore. There was no meaning in it, no solace. In the dark hours, a story would flutter across my mind, only to be engulfed in grief. Then a friend, Justina Chen, took me out to lunch at a writing conference and asked, “Are you thinking of writing about Ezri?”

Moments later, the story literally landed in my lap—like nothing I had ever imagined before. It would be oh so difficult, so real, so terrifying. And yet, I need to write it.

For months, I only wrote notes, terrified of putting words to the page. I had no idea how to do this, how to write from the heart, how to delve into sadness and difficult relationships and somehow break through to hope and even healing.

And yet, I needed to write it—one word at a time.

At first, I stopped myself at every sentence. Too trite, too cliché, too empty. There weren’t words to dig deeper. I recounted my own stories, trying to get at the truth of my character’s, and beat myself with doubt and unworthiness all along the way.

And somewhere—I’m not quite sure where—it transformed, from my story to her story. Perhaps it was when our second daughter was born, happy and ready for life. The characters came into their own. At the same time, I felt a lightness and a purpose—I’d needed to write the story to get through my own loss, and now I needed to let the characters go where they were supposed to go.

It meant the story taking a different turn than I’d first thought. And that became the road to hope that I’d envisioned from the start.

Looking back, I see the necessity of seeking truth over seeking darkness, of outrunning one’s own writing demons in order to be honest in storytelling. Of living life. There’s the layer of ourselves, and there’s the layer underneath.

Writers, dig deeper to find it.

Thank you so much, Holly, for sharing this with us.

Holly's book, TELL ME A SECRET, is out next week. Click here for a sample read from TELL ME A SECRET. You are going to want to read more.

In case you didn't know, Holly organized a virtual book tour celebrating her book

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19. readergirlz chat TONIGHT! John Green, Paper Towns and Spontaneity

Tonight. June 16th. 6pm PST/9pm EST.

If you've never used Twitter before, here's how to do it in three easy steps:

1. First, create a Twitter account if you don’t have one already. It’s easy and free, and all you need is an e-mail address.

2. Log onto Twitter at 6 p.m. Pacific, 9 p.m. Eastern TODAY!!

3. Type @realjohngreen plus your question, followed by #rgz. This asks John your question and funnels it into the readergirlz chat stream.

To follow along the chat, go here (the #rgz Twitter stream).

Going forward, you’ll be able to follow rgz and lots of your favorite authors on Twitter. You can find us and everyone we follow here: @readergirlz

I'll be checking in the chat stream under @vleemahoney.

Please stop by! You know you want to.

See you there!

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20. Come Visit My New Writing Blog

Well, it's official. I've decided to move my writing related posts over to www.vivianleemahoney.com. Please stop by for writing inspiration and tales of my writing progress.

I'll keep HipWriterMama for book discussions, author interviews and readergirlz related information.

Enjoy your day!

3 Comments on Come Visit My New Writing Blog, last added: 6/8/2010
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21. June, readergirlz and Paper Towns by John Green!

We are thrilled to welcome John Green to readergirlz. His fantastic novel Paper Towns is our June pick! Check out our interview with John, book party ideas themed around his book, and our Reach Out project idea--as well as the awesome soundtrack John has chosen for the book--on readergirlz.com.

Here's a little about Paper Towns:
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life -- dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge -- he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Quentin arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Quentin soon learns that there are clues -- and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Quentin sees of the girl he thought he knew.
And the buzz...

2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel
New York Times Bestseller

"Green's prose is astounding -- from hilarious, hyperintellectual trash talk and shtick, to complex philosophizing, to devastating observation and truths. He nails it -- exactly how a thing feels, looks, affects -- page after page." - School Library Journal, starred review

"Deliciously intelligent dialogue and plenty of mind-twisting insights." - VOYA

"[Green is] clever and wonderfully witty... he's a superb stylist, with a voice perfectly matched to his amusing, illuminating material." - Booklist, starred review

We are so excited to have the awesome John Green with us this month! Join us all month at the readergirlz blog for discussions and mark your calendars a LIVE chat on Wednesday, June 16th at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Happy June, readergirlz!

2 Comments on June, readergirlz and Paper Towns by John Green!, last added: 6/4/2010
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22. Writing Confession: It's in the Details

Details are really important to me.

I've interrupted writing sprees to research the little things, all to construct realistic scenes of places I've never seen, traditions I've never practiced, clothing and accessories I've never worn. Some people may think it's a time waster, but I believe these details will help me create a believable setting for my manuscript. This may seem inconsequential in the big scheme of things, when we need to focus on dialogue, plot and character arc, not to mention writing a unique story that will appeal to agents, publishers and readers.

Oh, the pressure!

But, let us not forget the details. You will add life to your pages, you will set your story apart from the masses, if you remember to capture the details.

6 Comments on Writing Confession: It's in the Details, last added: 6/3/2010
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23. June, Writing and Transitions

Today is June 1st and it's the first day of my new writing program. Thank you, Kaz Mahoney (no relation), for organizing this "writing group". School ends in 17 days and I need to implement structure right now, if I want to survive the summer fun and still get my writing done.

So, if any of you would like to join me, please come over to my new writing blog at www.vivianleemahoney.com. I'll be detailing my daily efforts and supplying inspiration. We can work through our challenges and cheer each other on.

Who is with me?

13 Comments on June, Writing and Transitions, last added: 6/2/2010
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24. Writing Past Chaos

This pretty much sums up my writing these past couple weeks...


But, it's all coming together and I'm finally making progress.

How are you doing?

11 Comments on Writing Past Chaos, last added: 5/30/2010
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25. LEMONADE MOUTH by Mark Peter Hughes: New Disney Channel Movie!

This is cool. Just found out The Disney Channel will be making a movie based on LEMONADE MOUTH by Mark Peter Hughes. Check out Mark's great video.

If you'd like to find out more about Mark and his books, check out his WBBT interview.

Congratulations, Mark!

3 Comments on LEMONADE MOUTH by Mark Peter Hughes: New Disney Channel Movie!, last added: 5/28/2010
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