Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cover Reveal! LORDS OF TRILLIUM - March 2014!

Hello, again! Happy soon to be Thanksgiving! Since I don't have a turkey to show off this year, I will instead show you the amazing new cover for LORDS OF TRILLIUM, the final chapter in the Nightshade Chronicles trilogy coming March 2014. Omar Rayyan, the illustrator, really outdid himself! I'm blown away by the detail, not to mention his masterful skill at animal illustration. For those of you who don't know him, he's known as the "Animal Guy" in the publishing industry. Clearly, with good reason!

For all the wonderful teachers and librarians who have requested bookmarks, they will be on their way soon! Thank you for your patience. :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Parle Vous Francais? French Release of Nightshade City!

CATACOMB CITY, NOVEMBER 1, 2013 from Albin Michel
I've always loved foreign releases of American books! To see a book you love written in another language, with a brand new cover, is just fun to see. On that note, I'm elated to show the French cover of Nightshade City, retitled Catacomb City. The book releases next month and I'm overwhelmed to see my book in another language and from the great French publisher Albin Michel. Five years ago, I never would have believed you if you told me this would happen. I didn't have an agent back then and many times I thought I never would. Long story short, if this can happen to me, it can happen to you. :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Building Characters with Depth & Detail -- Sept. 14th SCBWI IL

Click the picture for more information!

I'm going to be speaking to the IL SCBWI on Saturday, September 14th in Shiloh, IL and I'm so excited to speak to this fantastic group of writers! So if you live in downstate IL or St. Louis, maybe I'll get to say hello!

The workshop I'll be presenting deals with crafting and developing your characters and there will also be a session on writing a query letter. Perfect for writers of all levels!

I can't wait to see some old friends and make a bunch of new ones. Hope to see you there!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hey! Ho! Let's Go--to Chicago! ALA has started!

ALA welcomes our colleagues, vendors, and other attendees to Chicago for the Association’s 137th Annual Conference June 27 to July 2. From the first year Chicago played host—in 1893, during the World’s Columbian Exposition—to now, 120 years later, we remain as committed as ever to the profession.  

Hello everyone! So excited it's ALA time in the beautiful city of Chicago! Are you going? If so, let me know. I'll be there signing books at my publisher's booth (Holiday House #2220) on Sunday at 3:00PM so please come say hello! I'll be arriving early to go check out the booths as well and preview all the delicious new books I want to devour! :)

Fun Fact: This is the 137th ALA! That is a lot of books! 
Chicago first hosted it in 1893! 
That's like 120 years ago! 


Oh, and here is something to get you going for the weekend! ;)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Good News!

Can't give deets yet, but my agency sold some awesome foreign rights for the Nightshade Chronicles series! I'm so excited about it! I'll just say the country is in Europe. Way to narrow it down, I know!

Also, the new expanded version (which I'm in!) of Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series, just arrived on my doorstep. I'm so honored to write along side such amazing authors, including Rick Riordan himself! My piece is all about Hades and Nico and their badness...but are they really that bad? You be the judge!

This is fun. This is me on my panel at the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival in the UAE. You can't hear me because of the translator, but I had no idea I talked so much with my hands! ;)

In other breaking news I'll be at the ALA on Sunday the 30th (3PM Holiday House Booth) for a signing, so please come say hello if you're going to be there! I also wished my agent a happy birthday over a month in advance yesterday, so that was kind of funny and a total fail on my part. And, last but not at all least, I'm waiting on the 2nd round of edits from my editor for Lords of Trillium, the final book in the Nightshade Chronicles series, which makes me excited, but also a little weepy. It's hard to say goodbye! 

Okay, back to writer's cave. I'm working on something new--and yes, as always, it's slightly dark and creepy. ;)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Magic Tree Bookstore Children's Book Week -- Today!

I'll be at the Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, IL today, at 2PM for the Children's Book Week Authors Visit. Myself and four other children's authors will be there to talk about writing, read a little from our books, and of course, sign them! Hope to see you there and please bring the kiddos! Should be loads of fun!

"Magic Tree is delighted to welcome a roster of some of today's finest children's authors. Jerome Pohlen, Liesl Shurtliff, Amy Timberlake, Hilary Wagner and Andrea Beaty will be sharing their experiences writing both fiction and non-fiction books for children."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Home Sweet Home, but missing the UAE!

Well, I'm back from the beautiful UAE and the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, which was in a word--AMAZING! I got to meet authors and illustrators from all over the world and have made some lifelong friends. The event was fabulous, as were my talks with students at the Australian International School. What a great group of kids!

Things I learned in the UAE in no particular order:
  1. It is rich in culture and tradition.
  2. It is a wonderful melting pot of many different nations. 
  3. Caribou Coffee is even more delicious in the UAE.
  4. Camels are big sweeties (at least the one I met).
  5. Do get to know the US Coordinator, Elisabet. She is awesome on every level!
  6. Bruce Coville is hilarious.
  7. Don't order the porridge if you're expecting oatmeal.
  8. Rugby shirts are very popular.
  9. It is a mobile phone store paradise.
  10. Don't get caught in Sharjah rush hour.
  11. Do eat at the 5 Star Restaurant in Sharjah--incredible.
  12. Do have dinner in the desert by candlelight. 
  13. KFC is big there.
  14. Soda cans are smaller. 
  15. Their duty-free rocks!
  16. Sharjah Hilton is excellent!
  17. Don't expect motorists to drive at any speed other than breakneck.
  18. If you want ice in your drink, ask for it! 
  19. Learn and respect area culture and you can't go wrong.
  20. Expect the unexpected and if you ever get the chance to go--then GO! :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm taking the rats to Dubai! Well, Sharjah, to be exact!

I'm so excited, not to mention honored! At the end of April, my husband and I will be going to Sharjah, part of the United Arab Emirates, and home of the Sharjah International Book Fair, where I've been invited to present! This 10-day event now draws a total of over 800 publishers showcasing books from nearly 42 nations, and attracts over 400,000 visitors. 

I'll be speaking on panels at the fair and actually visiting local area schools, both of which I'm so excited about! Sharjah is a beautiful emirate right next door to Dubai. It's also known throughout the UAE for it's amazing cultural and artistic offerings. They have over a dozen museums, a large aquarium, art galleries galore, and of course, the amazing Sharjah International Book Fair and Children's Reading Day! 

How beautiful is this city? 
I'm so amazed I'll be walking these streets in less than a month!

And a trip to the UAE would not be complete if I didn't get to eat dinner at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai! I cannot wait!! 

Just last week, I finished Lords of Trillium, Book III of the Nightshade Chronicles. It's being poured over by my editor now, so this will be the perfect vacation before the revisions begin or possibly something I'll be working on while in flight. I'll have 17 hours. Yikes! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I Give You Cats in Exchange for Real Post!

I'm off in the dank and dark writer's cave for a while, finishing up Lords of Trillium, Book III in the Nightshade Chronicles, so instead of leaving you with an actually post made of meaningful words, I leave you with funny cat pictures. It's the least (and I mean the very least) I can do. ;)

Back in a bit....