Monday, February 28, 2011

Launch and Readings

Can't thank everybody enough for coming out for readings at Barnes and Noble and at SCC. What a day. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

I can't believe my brother and sister-in-law drove all the way up from Ames, IA to be there. Thanks, Bill and Cathy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sarah Jamila Stevenson reviews Chasing AllieCat

Sarah Jamila Stevenson made my day with this review of Chasing AllieCat:

Besides being a blogger and reviewer, Sarah wrote a spectacular YA novel, thoughtful and funny, with depth and characters that stick with us long after the read: Latte Rebellion.

I met her at KidLitcon in the fall, and we hung out at ALA in San Diego. She's a fellow FLUX author, and it's nice to have, as she says, another author buddy with whom I had an instant connection. Thanks, Sarah!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Guest on Memphis Writes

Chasing AllieCat --Sadie, Joe, Allie, and I--are guests on Linda Jackson's blog today. She and I have become good online friends in the process. Check out the interview and review:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Best Book Event Ever

Saturday morning, I gave a book talk at Excelsior Bay Books. My friends Steve and Leslie attended, but the chief attendees were the amazing and delightful girls in the Fabulous IHMCS Book Club. Here we are in Excelsior Bay. They asked good questions, and we talked about writing and books we love. I read the prologue of Chasing AllieCat.

After the bookstore event, we all went to have lunch at Pamela's house. She's the Book Club leader, and the girls are lucky to have her! After Chinese food, and literary mysteries, we had Chasing AllieCat cake!!

It can't get much more fun than that!

Blizzard all morning

Freya and I went for a walk in the woods this morning. In the Blizzard. In howling winds. In pelting snow. With thunder rolling through the heavens above us. (Count the prepositional phrases: 8).
Still, it was wonderful to be outside. She looked like the abominable white snow creature when we got back. By the time I got my camera out, she was already melting, but you get the idea. Now she's recovering, snoozing soundly on the floor.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chasing AllieCat events

I'm a bit afraid people are getting sick of Chasing AllieCat news. I'm getting a bit self-conscious about this, but Nicole Helget once called this part of publishing a book "Shameless self-promotion" shortly after The Turtle Catcher came out (Which, by the way I could not put down, if you haven't read it yet).

It's what we have to do as authors. Sometimes it's hard. I love to do readings, but the promoting part is so hard. Frankly, I'd rather hole up and work on my next novel.

But since promotion is part of being an author, here's what's going on: I'm reading and doing a book talk at Excelsior Bay Books Saturday, Feb. 19 at 11 a.m. I get to meet a girls' book club group. Can't wait!

The official Launch Date is Thursday, Feb. 24. I'm reading and signing at noon in the Conference Center at South Central College (where I teach), where the bookstore is selling my Chasing AllieCat as of a few days ago.

That same night, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m., I'm reading and signing at the Mankato Barnes and Noble. Afterward, we're having a Launch Party at Tav on the Ave. Everybody is welcome.
I guess I'll keep you updated.

Also, I've got a KMSU Author inteview that's download-able. I haven't even had a chance to hear the whole thing yet, so I'm not sure what I'm promoting (!!!!), but here it is:
KMSU with Kara.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Interview

Here's an author interview on Children's Adventures in Publishing Blog:

Brent Hartinger is interviewed on the same page! He's another Flux author, whom I met at ALA in San Diego. We had a blast together.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

Latte Rebellion sticks with me. Asha is a character so likable and believable, that I keep wondering what she's up to now, three weeks after I finished the novel.

I picked up Sarah Jamila Stevenson's book at the ALA conference in San Diego. I started it in my hotel room before falling asleep, and I finished it on the plane ride home.

The first couple pages sucked me right in. Asha and her feisty best friend stand up for themselves against racial slurs, and their stance inspires a crazy money-making scheme to sell t-shirts with the Latte Rebellion logo as a statement of solidarity for "brown" people everywhere who don't fit easily into any categorized "group."

I loved the premise.

Then the scheme seems to fall into the less noble cause of funding the two girls' after-graduation vacation. For awhile I thought what, this book is about two suburban girls' struggle to earn money for a vacation? Why should I care?

But before that question could fully form in my head, the conflict had escalated--to racial tension, to friendship tension, to identity tension, to an educational struggle, to battle against expectations, to potential romance, to physical danger, to a very-real and deep daughter-parent confrontation, to possible expulsion-from school, and Asha's whole life is at stake. I cared deeply. And I couldn't put the book down.

Stevenson's pacing parallels the emotion of the book perfectly.

It's a coming-of-age story; it's a story of decidintg to stand for priorities, even in the face of losing friends and lifelong expectations. It's a story of coming into one's own as a girl and as a young woman.

Sarah Jamila Stevenson has created a multi-layered, complex plot, and a character we can't help but want as a friend.

I still wonder what Asha's doing. I loved this book!