Friday, October 22, 2004

"The Political Dr. Suess"

Chris Barton, Austin's newest under-contract author (Charlesbridge), wrote this morning to let me know about an upcoming PBS program, "The Political Dr. Seuss."

Off to a school vist this afternoon at Mathews Elementary in Austin!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

O. Henry Middle School

What a fun visit Greg and I had this morning at O. Henry Middle School.

It was such a delight to walk into the library, all spooky for Halloween, and see such titles on display as Shattering Glass and Dead Girls Don't Write Letters by Gail Giles as well as The Afterlife by Gary Soto.

The sparkling librarian also mentioned that the Circe Du Freak series by Darren Shan was hugely popular--so much so that she was surfing amazon.co.uk to get new titles in more quickly.

Greg and I talked to an enthusiastic group about Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo as well as Rain Is Not My Indian Name. Then we lead the group in a pre-writing exercise to create a character work sheet (let's hear it for Greg the orphaned frog who can't sing but can fly and wants to find true love!). The students wrote letters to themselves from Greg the frog and volunteers read theirs aloud--thoughtful and hilarious! We were most impressed.

Quote of the day: "All the really hot frogs live in Pflugerville!"

Two Timely Titles

Some buzz....

My Teacher for President by Kay Winters, illustrated by Denise Brunkus (Dutton, 2004) just went into its third printing and is a winner this election year.

I was asked today by an Austin Public Librarian to speak, and (at three invites a day) was already booked. But along the way, I learned that Austinite Phil Yates' Ten Little Mummies, illustrated by G. Brian Karas is going into paperback reprint--no small event with a picture book--and Scholastic is planning to sell it with gauze so kids can wrap themselves up in it. Spooky, eh?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bonjour

Some interest today in a possible French language edition of Rain Is Not My Indian Name (Harper, 2001). I forwarded them onto my agent. We'll see what happens.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Rutgers

Heard many good things about this past weekend at Rutgers from Debbi Michiko Florence and Rosemary Brosnan. Looking forward to a report from Sean Petrie.

Lunch at Katz's; dinner at Hyde Park.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Rejuvination

Had a first-rate time at the Austin SCBWI conference this weekend at the Pecan Street Cafe (only whine: very lukewarm lunch).

Learned that Candlewick is every bit as magical as I'd imagined it was (as was editor Sarah Ketchersid, who recited Greg's favorite speech from Shakespeare), that Charlesbridge is growing in exciting new directions (transitional and middle grade fiction under editor Judy O'Malley), and that Roaring Brook--love, love, love the house; needs a Web site--has thrown its hat into the graphic novels trend by going for literary quality under Mark Seigel (illustrator of Sea Dogs by Lisa Wheeler and Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant). Also mucho impressed with the speech by oh-so-charming Rosemary Stimola, which among other things, made me curious about sub agents.

Best news of the day: Chris Barton sold a first book to Charlesbridge! Yahoo!

Carried on with Stephanie to Musashino's, then to the Driskill where we ran into the whole Austin Film Fest, including Page who joined us afterward at Katz's.

Key Question: when on earth did fish-net stockings come back in?

I'm so out of touch. Sigh.
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