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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: K.E. Ormsbee, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Beloved Books to Inspire 12-Year-Olds | Shared by Author K.E. Ormsbee

"These stories kept me up way past my bedtime and still hold places of honor on my bookshelf."

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2. The Water and the Wild, by K.E. Ormsbee | Book Giveaway

Enter to win an autographed copy of The Water and the Wild, by K.E. Ormsbee. Giveaway begins April 19, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 18, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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3. Celebrating two new young adult Chronicle Books: "The Revelations of Louisa May" and "The Water and the Wind"

This coming Friday and Saturday I'll be in Washington, DC, for the NCTE, signing and talking about One Thing Stolen.

But the best part of events such as these is the conversations one has with other authors and educators. With people who get books, and love them.

A few days ago, Jaime Wong, the lovely marketing coordinator for Chronicle Books/Children's, sent copies of two books by the authors with whom I'll be sharing a Friday evening meal (alongside educators and the Chronicle team).

The first, by Michaela MacColl (Always Emily, Nobody's Secret, Prisoners in the Palace), is a mystery called the Revelation of Louisa May. Michaela, who I first met in Boston last year, specializes in the "intertwining of the facts of a beloved author's real life with a suspenseful fictional tale." Here we meet the great Louisa May Alcott as a teen—her principled family struggling to make ends meet, her home a station stop for runaway slaves, and Emerson and Thoreau counted among neighbors and friends. Louisa has a lot on her hands when we first meet her, and there will be plenty of excitement ahead, as Louisa's mother leaves for a stint at paying work, a runaway is kept hidden in the house, a slave catcher comes to town, and a mystery erupts. There's a reason these Michaela books are so popular—just the right amount of history, just the right amount of maybe, and an intriguing historical lesson for teens.

The second book in my package is by the debut author K.E. Ormsbee. Called The Water and the Wild, it is graced with a most gorgeous illustrated cover by Elsa Mora. It is a charming fantasy that takes its heroine down through the roots of apple tree to another world "in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss." The language here beguiles:
Lottie, like any red-blooded girl, had been taught to get out of the way of things like speeding convertibles and masked men with guns, but she had never expected to have a run-in with a homicidal tree. More than that, and what confused Lottie the most in the split-second she had to realize that she was about to get smashed to smithereens, was that she had not seen any lightning. If she was going to be killed by a falling tree, Lottie thought in that last moment of cognizance, she wished it would have at least had the decency to get struck by lightning first. That would have been a much more dramatic way to go.

Look for both these books from Chronicle Books next April.

0 Comments on Celebrating two new young adult Chronicle Books: "The Revelations of Louisa May" and "The Water and the Wind" as of 11/17/2014 9:31:00 AM
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4. Blog Tour: The Water and the Wild

The Water and the Wild by K.E. Ormsbee

by K.E. Ormsbee, illustrated by Elsa Mora (Chronicle Books, 2015)

From the publisher:

A green apple tree grows in the heart of Thirsby Square, and tangled up in its magical roots is the story of Lottie Fiske. For as long as Lottie can remember, the only people who seem to care about her are her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things are happening on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot’s getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie is helpless, useless, powerless—until a door opens in the apple tree. Follow Lottie down through the roots to another world in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss.

WaterAndTheWild_BlogTourBanner2

I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour celebrating the release of The Water and the Wild, which includes a chance for you to win a copy of this beautiful (literally and figuratively!) book.

First, let’s hear from K.E. herself. Welcome, K.E.!

K. E. Ormsbee

Visualizing Limn: The Real-World Inspirations Behind Lottie Fiske’s World.

In The Water and the Wild, twelve-year-old Lottie Fiske travels through the roots of an apple tree into the magic-soaked world of Limn—a land filled with bustling cities, dense woods, magical yew trees, and giant spider webs. World building Limn was one of the most fun and challenging aspects of writing The Water and the Wild, and my inspiration for the look and feel of the fantasy landscape came from very real places.

Today, I’d like to share some of those inspirations and take a moment to gush about just how perfectly artist Elsa Mora captured the magic of Limn in her cover art and illustrations.

New Kemble – York, England

I’m a huge anglophile, and one of my favorite places in all of England is York. The city is rich with layer upon layer of history, as evidenced in its walls, its giant cathedral, and its winding streets. I remember first setting foot in The Shambles and feeling certain that something ancient and magical was at work there.

When I first drafted The Water and the Wild, the story actually took place in York. Over time and a number of subsequent revisions, York became New Kemble, a fictional island town off the coast of Massachusetts. But the inspiration for New Kemble remained thoroughly English. I still envision The Barmy Badger—home of Lottie’s best friend Eliot—on a street similar to The Shambles. And Lottie’s home in the boardinghouse on Thirsby Square is based on the real St. Paul’s Square in York.

St Paul's Square - Personal Photo

Iris Gate – The Biltmore Estate

When Lottie first arrives in Limn, she stays at the home of the Wilfers—an old money family with royal connections and a fair share of secrets. The Wilfer family home is called Iris Gate, and Lottie is overwhelmed by the size and grandeur of the place. When describing Iris Gate, I tried to capture the intimidation I felt upon first walking into the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Biltmore is an imposing mansion even to full-grown adults, and I was ten when my family visited. I remember gaping at the soaring ceilings, ornate decorations, and sprawling gardens. Though Iris Gate is nowhere near as extensive as the Biltmore, its architecture and landscaping were written to resemble that of the Biltmore Estate.

Biltmore Estate - Taken From Biltmore Official Website

Wisp Territory – Springtime in my childhood neighborhood

I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. The city is surrounded by rolling green hills, black fences, and horse farms. It experiences four distinct seasons, and the springtimes there are lovely. In my neighborhood, there were many dogwoods, magnolias, and Bradford pear trees. When all of those trees were in bloom, white petals would blow loose into the wind, and everywhere I turned the world seemed awash in white. I called it my Warm Winter.

I never shook those springtime images, and when I was creating Wisp Territory—home to the mysterious will o’ the wisps—I wanted to convey a similar aesthetic. The world of the wisps is, by and large, colorless. The grass, the trees, and the leaves are all white. The royal home is made entirely of glass. This wintry appearance does not vary with the seasons, and it’s my homage to the Warm Winters I experienced as a kid.

* * *

Clearly, I have some very distinct ideas about how the world of Limn looks. What I was most nervous and excited about during the publication process was seeing how an artist would render a world that had for so long existed only in my imagination. As it turns out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. When Melissa Manlove, my fabulous editor at Chronicle Books, first gave me Elsa Mora’s name, I of course went straight to Google to do some major image stalking. After only a minute, I knew I was in the best of hands.

Elsa’s papercuts are pure magic. There is so much detail, care, and whimsy in each of her creations. The cover of The Water and the Wild conveys not only the fantasticalness, but also the danger of Lottie’s journey. The way in which the characters and their natural surroundings blend so effortlessly captures my own attempt to make the world around Lottie as much a character as she is.

Inside the book, you’ll find a papercut plant accompanying each chapter heading. These illustrations reinforce the importance of the natural world throughout the book. And, you know, they just so happen to be GORGEOUS.

It’s been almost seven years since I first wrote down the image of a magical green apple tree. Now, as Lottie Fiske’s story officially hits bookshelves, I couldn’t be happier with the way that image and others came to be realized in the art and text of The Water and the Wild.

——–

If you’re anything like me, you’re dying to read more about Lottie and Limn. So! Tweet this post anyway you’d like on Twitter, and include the hashtag #dpb for a chance to win a copy! I’ll be in touch with a winner in a week.

Check out The Water and the Wild’s teacher guide here, and a sneak peek at its beginning here.

And be sure to check out tomorrow’s stop on the tour at Green Bean Teen Queen, where K.E. talks libraries!

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