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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Slider’s Son to be published in 2017!

Slider’s Son to be published in 2017!  North Star Press!

A murder! Grant O’Grady and his buddies smell something while playing baseball…It’s Big Joe’s body hidden in Grant’s best friend’s basement… Who? How? Why? The story unfolds…

Set in the late 1930s in North Dakota, Slider’s Son is the story of a boy named Grant who wants nothing more than to be a major league pitcher. Grant and his sheriff father discover Big Joe’s murder, and the story that unravels, leading up to the murder, causes all sorts of problems.

Grant and his buddies like to take a few risks. They sneak coal from the coal train passing through town to help heat their families’ homes during the Great Depression. Will they get caught? Or hurt?  One night, they climb the water tower for a thrill. Frank slips…and dangles. Another risky escapade could lead to crushing Grant’s dream of being a pitcher, forever. And who killed Big Joe, after all? Along the way, Grant has to help fight the prejudice of the 1930s toward his best friend (and catcher) who is half Mandan Indian.

This book has been done for a a couple years. It’s the first book I’ve written that my former agent, George Nicholson (RIP, my friend), said he loved.  At the time, George asked me to get some Native people’s endorsement that the book isn’t offensive in the world of Native Literature for young readers. I don’t think we’ll have a problem. I’m not trying to usurp anybody’s voice. I’m not pretending that I know how to write from a Native perspective. I just have a character whose best friend happens to be Native.

In the process of responding to my agent’s request, the Mandan Historic Village in Mitchell, SD, asked if they could keep a manuscript in their archives! YayI guess that’s a stamp of approval.

Grant’s idol is the late great “Rapid Robert” the “Heater from Van Meter” Bob Feller. The Bob Feller Museum in Van Meter Iowa asked me to come do a book event there. I look forward to that day!

FINALLY, this book will be out in the world in 2017, thanks to North Star Press! WhooHOO!! I’ll keep posting as I have more information.

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

 

AASL



At the FLUX booth at AASL (American Association of School Librarians) this past Friday. So much going on, I can’t quite get it all posted and do everything else I’m supposed to be doing (including WRITING!!). Here I am with Marissa and Bethany (in the back), from FLUX, and fellow FLUX author Lisa Albert, and with Steven Pomije from FLUX. Maggie Stiefvater came a bit later (see the FLUX blog post).

Davenport B&N Tomorrow, and Girl Meets Boy Anthology, January 2012

We got the cover! This week, Kelly Milner Halls sent the cover to all of us whose stories are in this anthology. Pretty cute, huh? It contains some pretty heavy subject matter, I’ll tell you that much. The cover may somewhat imply the weight of the stories within…

I’m honored to be in the company of the authors in this book. I’m excited that it’s actually in the works and will be in bookstores in January. My story is called “Mars at Night,” and the main character is an Iowa farm girl. Go figure. The catch, however, is that she’s in love with the only Muslim in her high school. And her beloved pig farm is in danger…
Closer to home, and closer to the moment, TOMORROW, I’m signing Chasing AllieCat in Davenport, Iowa, at the big Barnes and Noble