Snowfale Dazzle Night in Mapleton with Freya!

Freya and I have been invited to sign books at the Library in Mapleton at the Snowflake Dazzle evening event. I LOVE this event on Christmasy Main Street, Mapleton.

November 30

5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Freya will be happy to meet and greet everyone, and I’ll have books for sale and signing, including Woof and Wag; Bringing Home a Dog  and Beauty Missing, Hair Hissing: Medusa Tells All.  I also have some copies of Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged, and Chasing AllieCat.

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Slider’s Son! And is anyone else sick of paranormal…?

Slider’s Son will be published September 2017.is

I wish my agent George Nicholson were alive to see this happen. He “loved” this manuscript when he read it, and that meant the world to me since he never used that term with my other novels, although he certainly championed them.

I’m getting my ducks in a row–wait, no, I’m not getting them in a row yet, but I’m herding them toward rows–for publication in ten months. That means setting up some book events and making myself available for young writers’ conferences and book fairs, libraries, schools, and, and, and…and it means lots of work, which is exciting work and fun work. I love doing book events.

However, it also means lots of social media time and online promotion. THAT I’m not such a big fan of. But I’ll do it. I’m delighted that North Star Press promotes its own authors’ events. That gives me great hope. I’m excited to publish this book with them.

The BEST news right now is that I found out last week that I will be receiving a Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Grant (PLRAG) Mid-Career Artist Grant to help promote this book!  I’m excited. And GRATEFUL!

Okay, besides the excitement,  I sat down to write here because I just followed a thread of a YA book promotional publicity group, thinking ahead to that social media aspect of publication. EVERY, and I mean EVERY book in the top thread was paranormal romance, time travel, or dystopian. A few dozen books down, I found one realistic-fiction romance book. Is anybody else sick of paranormal romance and dystopia? I really do love historical fiction. That’s what I love to read, and that’s why I wanted to write Slider’s Son, based on true stories, but set in the 1930s. I’m following my own passion, and it’s not the trend right now, but that’s okay!

Okay, that’s my vent for the night. In spite of the vent, I really am EXCITED to have Slider’s Son out in the world!

Chasing AllieCat Film and events

untitled copyThe short film of Chasing AllieCat (see “New Projects”) will be ready sometime early next summer/late spring.

One of the cool things about the filming of  my story Chasing AllieCat is a small resurgence in the popularity of the novel. It sold out entirely from the publisher’s warehouse. When FLUX was sold to another overseeing publishing house, Chasing AllieCat went out of print.

 

Steph Borklund (her arm is visible in the second photo here) is working on editing the rough cut of the film. The last version I’ve seen is amazing. Gave me chills, even though I wrote the screenplay! She’s made some terrific edits, and has been kind and gracious enough to ask me if I’m okay with some of them that change the screenplay language. Like ALL edits, no like MOST edits, it’s hard to let go of  a writer’s “darlings,” but they make the story tighter, better, clearer. SO grateful Steph is doing this film!

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So now, the only way to get a copy is through used books–Amazon or B&N online. I have to buy books that way when I go do an author event about Chasing AllieCat! 

13051780_1249792608383865_1080295417738133882_nIn the meantime, I’m doing a few book clubs again: I visited a book club on Monday what was a pure delight. The women who had all read the novel had wonderful questions. We had a great discussion, and they plan to ask me back when Slider’s Son comes out.

I’m scheduled for another book club in late October, and just got book copies to that group yesterday. YAY!

And, here’s another delight: I’ve been asked to speak in my colleague’s creative writing class about the transferrence from novel to screen play. That’s coming up this Wednesday.

steph&Becky bikes shopHere’s Steph and me. We were consulting about how to get a shot we wanted inside the bike shop.

November: I’m going to Citizen Jane Film Festival at Stephens’ College. I’ll just be a visitor this year, but I am going to speak to the creative writing class there about collaboration with Steph on the screenplay, and about moving a story from prose to screenplay. All this is exciting!!

 

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Deep Valley Book Festival

Deep Valley Book Festival–Betsy-Tacy Society Calendar of Events.

The Deep Valley Homecoming is coming up at the end of June. Author Melissa Wiley (whom I met at ALA in San Diego a couple years ago) will be a featured speaker. This will be fun. Check the above calendar. Book Festival/Book Fair is Sunday at Sibley Park. I’ll be selling Chasing AllieCat, Beauty Missing, Hair Hissing: Medusa Tells All, and Girl Meets Boy Because There are Two Sides to Every Story.

BTS_DeepValleyBookFestivalPRESS

 

Mankato Elementary Schools

I got to visit two District 77 Elementary schools in December: Roosevelt and Kennedy. It’s so much fun to be in a gym full of excited faces and open minds and talk about going for it. Going for your dreams, being realistic, not being afraid to make mistakes, not needing to be perfect but to try. To do something if you want it.

I went out on a limb with a message I’ve never given to a school group before: I told the kids it was a secret. When I was little, I was taught that if you were good and believed enough, and asked God, (whether you’re Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or whatever), God would give you the desires of your heart. So I thought if I kept doing the right thing, that would happen. I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME it doesn’t work like that. If you want something, nobody is going to GIVE it to you. You have to go out and work your tail off to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

That was my message, and the huge groups of kids were pin-drop quiet. I was happy with how these presentations went.

The Roosevelt 5th grade also invited me to talk to both sections. I showed them a brief powerpoint, explaining how I had “prarie-dogged” my way to writing my latest published novel, Chasing AllieCat.

Fun times.

April 10? What? And St. Peter 8th Grade

Had a terrific visit last week with the St. Peter 8th grade English classes. The students were wonderful listeners and had great questions. They had all read Chasing AllieCat, so it was much, much fun to get to talk with them! Thanks, Ms. Hughes!

Time is flying past!
It’s April 10 already! And look at the ground! Freya’s happy–she was crazy this morning, playing “Grab Mom’s warm stuff and run.” (Question of the day: How many exclamation marks can one writer use in one short blog post?)

 Time is flying! I’m not keeping up with my days…I put out fires at school, work on the details we need to iron out for our trip to South Africa, try to keep up grading and reading ahead of the students, and try to squeeze in a little writing and a little cycling.

South Africa approaches, and it’s getting more and more exciting as it does. Will keep you posted…might have more news by the end of the week! (There–I had to end with another exclamation point, of course).

Clive–Crestview and Indian Hills

I just spent two SPECTACULAR days in Clive, Iowa. I visited CRESTVIEW ELEMENTARY and INDIAN HILLS JUNIOR HIGH. The kids were wonderful, and we had so much fun talking about writing, dogs (Freya got to go with me!), and bikes.

I have to get ready for another school day at South Central College, so I don’t have time to write much, but I’ll post more as soon as I have some pictures. I had a TERRIFIC time. So did Freya, but she’s pretty tired right now!

Thanks, Clive students. You ROCK!