23 Nov

Bartography Express for November 2014, featuring K.A. Holt’s Rhyme Schemer

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This month, one subscriber to my Bartography Express newsletter will win a copy of Rhyme Schemer (Chronicle), the new middle-grade novel in verse by Kari Anne Holt.

If you’re not already receiving Bartography Express, click the image below for a look. If you like what you see, click “Join” in the bottom right corner, and you’ll be in the running for the giveaway at the end of this week.

20141120 Bartography Express

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20 Nov

In which I talk with Katie Davis about gaming, writing, marketing, and 85 or so other things

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Podcast Archives - Author Katie Davis  Video Marketing for Writers

I’m a few days late to the party, thanks to my participation in the YALSA and ILF events, but I’m happy this morning to share with you this recently recorded interview I did for Katie Davis’ kidlit podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

In addition to discussing Shark Vs. Train and Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!, Katie and I talked quite a bit about my email newsletter, Bartography Express, which I wrote about earlier this year for Cynsations. And in fact, while I was listening to our interview, I was actually putting the finishing touches on this month’s edition.

The November edition includes, among other things, a Q&A with K.A. Holt and a giveaway of her new book, Rhyme Schemer. If you want to receive this issue in your very own inbox and get in the running for the giveaway, you can sign up on my home page.

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17 Nov

Goodbye, YALSA! Hello, ILF and B&N!

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There’s nothing better than a crowd of librarians and authors to remind me how lucky I am to be in this line of work, and to inspire me to keep on writing and earning my place among this bunch.

This past weekend, Austin hosted the annual YA symposium of the Young Adult Library Services Association. I participated in the Saturday evening Book Blitz — in which authors seated behind stacks of publisher-donated books get blitzed by librarians snagging their share of signed copies — as well as a Sunday-morning panel discussion including (left-to-right in Paula Gallagher’s photo above) Jonathan Auxier, Lisa Yee, Andrew Smith, moderator/organizer/wrangler Kelly Milner Halls, Bruce Coville, and Laurie Ann Thompson.

It’s going to be a full week, as I’ll also be speaking at the Indiana Library Federation’s annual conferenceShark Vs. Train is a winner of the Young Hoosier Book Award — and then reading Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! at a Barnes & Noble back here in Austin.

If you’re interested in hearing me talk for, oh, 27 minutes and 59 seconds, but won’t be making it to either of those events, I’m happy to offer a third option: this podcast interview that author Jason Henderson recorded with me last week. Enjoy!

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10 Nov

Researching, writing about, talking about and — yes — playing video games

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Recently I was struggling to remember the name of the YA novel I had read that got me all choked up at the very end, but then I realized it hadn’t been a novel at all. It had been…

…a video game.

But which video game? Ah, for that piece of information, you’ll need to check out Laurie Ann Thompson’s interview with me about how I researched and wrote Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet.

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Laurie and I also talked about our gaming experiences, including the ones that led me to dedicate the book to a childhood (and lifelong) friend of mine.

And I disclose which letter of the alphabet provided the biggest challenge. If you think you know which one it was, go see if you guessed right!

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09 Nov

Get caught up on Picture Book Month

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My post on “Why Picture Books Are Important” went up on the Picture Book Month blog this past week — but my insights are just one-ninth (at most!) of what’s been shared so far by a host of authors and illustrators.

If you haven’t stopped by yet and enjoyed what Arree Chung, Robin Preiss Glasser, Kelly Bingham, and others have had to say on the topic, what are you waiting for?

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05 Nov

A much closer look at The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

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John Roy Lynch final cover

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers is offering quite a generous preview of the picture book biography by Don Tate and me that’s coming in April 2015.

The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch is the true story of John Roy Lynch’s 10-year transformation from teenage field slave to U.S. Congressman during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Just yesterday, I got to see full-size printed pages of this book for the first time. I’ve never been more proud of anything I’ve written, and I can’t wait for you all to be able to see the whole thing.

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02 Nov

Who you’ll find in Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet

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AttackBossFaces

I absolutely love this peek at the characters that illustrator Joey Spiotto created for Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!

But, man, is it tough being a dragon.

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31 Oct

Picture Book Month starts tomorrow!

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I’m excited to be featured in Picture Book Month this year along with a host of other authors and illustrators. My spot on the calendar comes next Thursday, Nov. 6, but throughout the month the picture book champions will include:

Aaron Becker
Kelly Bingham
Sophie Blackall
Arree Chung
Anna Dewdney
Johnette Downing
Ame Dyckman
Jill Esbaum
Carolyn Flores
Lupe Ruiz-Flores
Robin Preiss Glasser
Deborah Heiligman
Marla Frazee
Stefan Jolet
Kathleen Krull
Rene Colato Lainez
Loreen Leedy
Betsy Lewin
Ted Lewin
Brian Lies
Kelly J. Light
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Alexis O’Neill
Sandra Markle
Ann Whitford Paul
Aaron Reynolds
Judy Schachner
Linda Joy Singleton
David Schwartz

We hope you’ll join us in this celebration of the print picture book and all it does for readers and families.

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30 Oct

Some things I learned from writing Shark Vs. Train and Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!

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Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014

SharkVTrain_FINAL

I’ve got a new guest-post at Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Cynsations blog on the roles my kids played (and they roles they didn’t) in the creation of my picture books Shark Vs. Train and Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet.

Here’s a smidge of what I say:

Every book is an opportunity to navigate that territory in the middle, between what we adults want and love and think we know and what those kids want and love and think they know.

Through my experiences with Shark Vs. Train and Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!, I’ve come to appreciate just how much room there is to maneuver through that middle ground.


To read the rest, please visit Cynsations

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29 Oct

Mr. Schu reveals the cover of The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

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John Roy Lynch cover tease

Over at his blog Watch. Connect. Read., librarian John Schumacher has unveiled the cover of my spring 2015 picture book biography, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers).

So please go, feast your eyes on Don Tate’s artwork, and enjoy a few words from me about the unusual journeys of our subject and our book alike.

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