Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Signing and Reading at Barnes and Noble

This Saturday I have a book signing at Barnes and Noble. The book signing starts at 12:30 and I'm not sure yet when the book readings will be. I'm doing this in conjunction with my kids' school fund raiser and book fair. They'll also have face painting, bookmark making, and teachers will be reading their favorite books.

I actually didn't volunteer to do this until just last week. My husband kept telling me to offer to do a signing/reading at the book fair, but I'm really bad at promoting myself. I feel uncomfortable doing it. Plus it's a little scary. (What if they don't like my books?) So I kept putting it off. Finally last week I talked myself in to telling the PTA president that I was a published author and offered to do a signing or book reading at the book fair. She was excited about the idea and Barnes and Noble managed to order my books and get them there already, so on Saturday I will be there.

Because I was so late in volunteering, they already have a pretty full schedule of the teachers reading books, so they're just going to stick me in when they have time. I'll have my husband read with me. It's better that way because I'm not very good at doing voices and this book requires two different voices--Musk Ox and Zebra. When I read it by myself, I read Musk Ox in my normal voice and then change voices for Zebra, but I think my Zebra ends up sounding annoying more than anything else. So it'll be good to have my husband with me. He does a good job at reading--lots of expression, lots of fun.

If you're interested, the Barnes and Noble I'll be reading at is in Fairfax, VA. The address is 12193 Fair Lakes Promenade. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Musk Ox Counts is Released!

Okay, so I'm a little late in writing this, but on September 3, my second book, Musk Ox Counts, was released! Yay! It's fun and exciting, but it's also a little scary sending my baby out into the world. What if people don't like it?

If you're interested, you can buy the book on, or Or you could go to your local bookstore and see if they carry it. If they don't, you can tell them that they should. You also should be able to order it from them. It's nice when people buy my book through an actual bookstore because then the bookstore is more likely to carry it in their store and people are more likely to see it when they aren't actually looking for it. But then, it's also nice when people buy it online as well. I'm not picky. :-)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Starred Review for Musk Ox Counts!

A few days ago, my editor sent me a very exciting email telling me that Publishers Weekly had given my upcoming book, Musk Ox Counts, a starred review. This was exciting for me, in part, because it's my very first starred review. As my agent told me, it's not an issue if you don't get a starred review--most books don't--but getting one is a big deal. More librarians and other booksellers take notice if you get a starred review.

(For those who don't know, Publishers Weekly is a weekly trade news magazine aimed at publishers, librarians, booksellers, and literary agents. Also, you can only get one star. It's not like other reviews where one star is bad and four or five stars is good. Here, one star is as good as you can get.)

And just a reminder--Musk Ox Counts comes out September 3. So go ahead and preorder if you haven't. It's a great book. Just ask my mom. (She's not biased at all.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Advanced Reader's Edition of Musk Ox Counts

About a week ago, I received my advanced reader's edition of Musk Ox Counts. This is a soft cover edition of the book that is used to get stores and reviewers and others interested in it. (At least I think that's what it's for.) This isn't the first time that I've seen the book--I've seen it in electronic form and I have a copy of the first proofs (basically just loose pages of the book)--but it's the first time I've seen it in actual book form. And it's so much fun! There's just something about being able to hold it and turn the pages and read it like an actual book. And I was excited because there's a hole in the cover. I had suspected there was before, but I didn't know for certain until I saw this.

Also exciting, you can preorder my book online now! Amazon has it here. Barnes and Noble has it here. Indiebound has it listed here, although they don't have a picture of the cover yet. So go and preorder your copy today.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Launches and Exciting News

So, first the exciting news. A is for Musk Ox is on the Winter 2012-2013 Kids' Indie Next List--"Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers." It's #10 on the list!!

Now, on to my book launches--they were great! My first book launch was in my mom's classroom at East Elementary. It was fun to do it there because that's where I went to school and that's where my kids are going to school now and that's where my mom teaches. My middle child is in her class and she invited my oldest child's class to come be part of it. We also invited some family friends to come as well. And a reporter and photographer came. Here is the link to the article. It was on the front page of the newspaper the next day.

The launch went well. There were flowers and balloons and a giant cake with my book cover on it. My mom even ordered personalized napkins. The kids got to throw confetti at me. Then my husband and I read the book to the kids. He read the part of Zebra and I was Musk Ox. It's fun to read with my husband. He does a really good job of reading to children--lots of expression and expressions. Then we had cake. After that, the kids left for the day and I got to talk to the others who had come for the celebration.

The second book launch was at Braun Books. It's on 25 N. Main Street in Cedar City, UT. Megan, the owner of the bookstore, bought 25 copies of the book and we sold all of them, so that was really good. Plus there was a yummy launch punch that she makes special just for launch parties, and a bacon jam that she has at all the events in the bookstore. It was an interesting jam. I didn't care for it, but my husband liked it.

The only problem I had with the launch parties is that I'm shy and I dislike being the center of attention--I never know how to act and I feel silly. Maybe I'll get over that after a few of these. I did like signing books however. That was fun. I hope I get to do more of it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Reprints! And book launch! And other fun stuff!

Some exciting news from my publisher--they decided to print 7,500 more copies of A is for Musk Ox! That will make for a total of 17,500 books that will be printed. Wow.

Also, some more exciting news--Scholastic Book Fairs will be joining the hard cover print of the 7500 books! My editor said they're crazy about the book. Which is just awesome!

And even more fun news--my book is coming out on Tuesday!!! I'm so excited!!! And that means I get to have a book launch! I'm actually doing two. My mom is doing one at the school with her kids. She's a second grade teacher and my son is in her class. She's going to invite another third grade class with my other son in it. So we'll have a coloring contest and cake and do some fun things with the kids and we've also invited some friends to come to that. And then my second book launch will be at Braun Books from 6:30-8:00. Braun Books is in Cedar City, UT on 25 North Main Street. If you happen to be in the area, please stop by!

And in non-book-related, exciting news, my brother was just married on Thursday. (That way their wedding date could be 10-11-12.) And I've been busy making decorations. I didn't realize just how long it would take to make 70 tissue paper flowers. Also, I'm the new cubmaster for my son's boy scouts, so I've been going a little crazy trying to figure out what I'm doing and getting pack meeting planned. So, lots of fun and exciting things have been going on around here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Novel Workshop

Right now I'm in the middle of writing a Young Adult novel. I've been struggling with this so I decided I could use some extra help and I decided to attend a Young Adult/middle grade novel writing workshop that was held in my town. Brodi Ashton, the author of Everneath, and Lindsey Leavitt, author of the Princess for Hire series and Sean Griswold's Head were the authors that came to teach us about writing a novel. The workshop was good and I learned a lot of good things and was able to network with some other aspiring authors.

A few of the things I learned:

~The observations a character makes should say as much about the character that makes them as about the person they are observing. Different people notice different things about others. One person might look at a child and say that that child is funny and energetic and has bright, blue eyes. Another person might look at that same child and call them smart-mouthed and crazy and notice their dirty shirt. The observations made say as much or more about the person making them as they do the child himself. Even though nothing was said about the people observing the child, you can probably make some assumptions about them just by the things they noticed and the way they expressed those things.

~One good idea, I thought, was to go through your manuscript and highlight the dialogue in different colors for each character. That way you can make sure that what they say and how they say it is consistent with who they are.

~This is a website that has world building questions on it, for those setting their novel in a fantasy world. (And I am.) They're good things to think about when building a world. And, as was pointed out, you can also use them even if your novel isn't set in a fantasy world. Even if the novel is set in the real world, you still need to know the answers to those same questions.

~Probably one of the most helpful things was just the reminder that most people's rough drafts aren't very good. I was getting frustrated that mine seemed to have so many problems, so it was good to hear published novelists say that their earliest drafts have lots of holes and problems in them too. There is hope for mine--it's just going to take a lot of work. But that I can handle. I can work hard. Especially when it's something I enjoy doing so much.