Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where Children's Book Authors Work

Not long ago I saw a blog that featured where fantasy writers write. Not to be outdone, I decided I should do a blog about where children's book authors write. As you can see, I frequently work with children draped around my neck. It helps with the dialogue and all that.

Shannon Hale (Princess Academy) employs the same technique. When people ask her how she manages to write with children, she says she doesn't--children are too unwieldy. She writes with a computer. Although here you can see she is clearly trying to print block letters using her baby's footprints. I love the laundry in the background. You are my hero, Shannon!

Next we have James Dashner's (The Maze Runner--which everybody loves and which I still do not have an ARC of--not that I'm hinting or anything) work space. He isn't around because he is obviously out on tour, rubbing shoulders with celebrities. What do you suppose he keeps in that backpack and why does he only have half a lamp?

This is Aprilynne Pike's (Wings) workspace--she is absent too, probably out on tour with James having mocktails with JK Rowling or something. Love the wooden floor! A lot of my house is done in tile that we picked because it matched the color of dirt. But that's just my family.

Here is James Owen's (Here, There Be Dragons) workspace. Although you can't see it very well, he is holding a sword. Personally, I think all authors should be issued swords. It would help out when dealing with editors. (Just kidding, Tim!) His wall is the coolest!

This is the lovely Lisa McMann, author of Wake. I love the fact that she has cover art from her books framed. How very authorish. I should do that. Except for then I'd have to find a place for the 300 pictures of my kids that cover the walls of my house.

Next we have P.J. Haarssma's (The Softwire ) workspace. He wins the prize for most computers. (Okay, there wasn't a contest, but there should have been.) I love the fact that he has the galaxy nearby for inspiration. Since I write teen romances perhaps I should put up a picture of Robert Pattinson or something.

Chris Gall (Dinotrux) claims that this is where he writes. I don't believe him though. I'm sure he writes down all of his award winning ideas on napkins and then sends them to his editor. Truly great minds work that way.

This is Chris Crowe (Mississippi Trial, 1955) proving that he is Super Dad. I mean, that's real dedication. Bonus points to anyone who can recognize what sort of computer he's working on.

Here is Sydney Salter Husseman.(My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters) You can tell she's a writer because her bookcase is big enough that it would kill someone if it toppled over. I have several like this at my house.

And here's another one of my author friends, Janni Simner. (Bones of Faerie--which I always end up spelling wrong because I can never remember the cool way to spell Faerie. If you pick up my book, My Fair Godmother, you might surmise that I don't know how to spell the uncool way either.) If you look closely on Janni's wall you'll see she has a certificate that proclaims she is a "Real Writer". I'm still waiting for my certificate to show up.

This lovely woman is Dotti Enderle. (Man in the Moon) You die-hard Rallison fans will realize right off that I named the hairdresser in Revenge of the Cheerleaders after Dotti. Is that a Ben and Jerry's ice cream carton on the top of her desk? If it's not, it should be. That's the sort of thing muses like to eat. I generally leave out some Almond Joys for mine.

Next we have Melissa Walker (Violet on the Runway)who is obviously trying to promote the idea that you can write in style and comfort. How cool is that chair? I want to write in that chair!

And last but not least is Heather Tomlinson (The Swan Maiden) whose cats like to help her write. I have one that does the same thing. Sometimes it's dang hard to get to the keyboard without getting cat fur in my mouth.

Note to my author friends: If you sent me a picture and I didn't put it here, drop me an email as your picture is probably lost somewhere in my computer files.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Author/Agent panel.

Okay, I know for a lot of you, the word: Agent caught your attention much more than the word: Author.

Don't worry, I'm used to it.

Anyway, on Monday, August 24th my agent, the very nice Erin Murphy, will appear with me and other cool authors at 7:00 at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona. She will answer all of your questions about the literary world and probably tell some personal tales about me and how I hoisted a stray cat on her. Which is a true story by the way, and the reason other agents are afraid to talk to me in public places.

Here are the details:

Time: Monday, August 24, 2009 7:00 p.m.
Location: Changing Hands Bookstore

Explore the writing, marketing, and publishing process involved in creating first-rate children’s literature with authors J. S. Lewis (The Fall of the Templar), Janette Rallison (Just One Wish), author-illustrator Chris Gall (Dinotrux) and illustrator Amanda Shepherd (Such A Silly Baby!). Joining them is literary agent Erin Murphy, who is not taking unsolicited work but will answer questions.

Changing Hands
6428 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85283
McClintock at Guadalupe

Monday, August 10, 2009

Just One Wish give-away

I just realized that I never did a give-away for Just One Wish that came out in March. Or if I did do one, I've forgotten, and I'm too lazy to look back in my blog and check.

In the book, seventeen year-old Annika wants to find her little brother's idol--the actor who plays Teen Robin Hood--and convince him to visit her brother before her brother goes in for surgery.

My question for you is: If you were going in for a risky surgery and could have any person alive come and visit you beforehand, who would you choose?

Here is a picture of me holding your lovely gift should you win this contest.

But wait, there's more! One of my writer friends said she always gives away a tie-in from her book, so I thought about objects used in this book (snakes, Winnebagos, stolen shorts, hair nets) and I decided to give away some stolen shorts!

Okay, just kidding. I am not about to steal anybody's shorts. Instead I'm including a lovely set of four hair nets. There used to be five but I took one out to model it for you. Then I decided I looked hideous in hair a hair net and did I really want that picture floating around the Internet forever? So here is one of my youngest fans modeling it for you:

So go ahead and leave a comment. Just One Wish is funny, romantic, thought provoking,and completely fat free!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Shakira was right, the hips don’t lie.

And unfortunately lately they’ve been telling me that they don’t fit into my jeans anymore. Probably because I’ve had an indulgent summer with conferences and retreats where chocolate always floated around within arm’s reach.

So last week I decided to turn over a new leaf. (A lettuce leaf, if you want to be exact.) I and my family were going to eat more vegetables. Along with the other groceries, last Saturday I bought a squash, two heads of celery, two heads of lettuce, two heads of cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, and tomatoes.

I am all about good intentions.

By the end of the week we’d managed to eat the squash and some of the lettuce and tomatoes. But I was not going to waste the stuff. I wasn’t going to let it wilt in my refrigerator. So on Friday for dinner we had cauliflower, asparagus, and a salad.
My children came to the table with a marked lack of enthusiasm. “What’s for dinner?” younger son asked.

“This,” I said waving my hand over three bowls of vegetables.

“These are side dishes,” middle daughter said. “You’re not supposed to have them as the main course.”

“Well, tonight we are,” I said.

Oldest son headed to the refrigerator, trying to circumvent my meal. “Get over here,” I told him. “You’re eating healthy tonight.”

“I’m not hungry,” he said, going into the family room.

“Sit anyway.” While I went and tried to pry him off the couch, little sister sat down and ate all of the hard boiled eggs from the salad.

“No fair!” younger son yelled pointing at his sister. “She took the only real food!”

Middle sister picked the melted cheese off of the cauliflower and then pronounced that she only liked the cauliflower stems.

Younger son went into a litany of his sufferings. “No white bread or sugar cereal, and now this. Do you know what my friends at school said when I told them we only had basic cable? They said, ‘Well, what about the TV in your bedroom?’” He then glared at me because he doesn’t have a TV in his room.

At the end of dinner, we had lots of leftovers and the children probably all had cold cereal as soon as I left to go exercise.

But all of my hard work did pay off. The next day middle daughter came up to me and loving told me that I was very skinny. “You don’t need to buy more vegetables,”
she added.

Well, that’s probably the fastest diet in history.

No matter, this week I bought artichoke hearts, tomatoes, celery, avocados, lettuce, spinach, onions, potatoes, and a few other things that I’m not sure what actually are—but they look healthy. They still have dirt clinging to them and what not. We will eat veggies throughout the week, and if not, we’ll eat them all on Friday.