Saturday, July 4, 2015

Where I've Been: So Many Places, So Many Things!

Dear readers,

I have been away for so long, I don't know where to begin filling in the story!  I've fulfilled a life long dream:

I've traveled to London...


...and Florence for a research trip!

And I've spent two weeks on a writing retreat in Southern Italy!

In short, it's been busy, busy, busy and wonderful.  But new things are up ahead:

Comic Con!  I'll be in San Diego next week for the greatest pop culture and comic book convention of all time.  Come see me at Tired Girl Press, Table O-12 in small press.  I'll also have a panel on Sunday for middle grade books!  Details to follow in another post.

Hope your summer is shaping up to be as adventurous as my Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meet the Author - Teen Book Fest - Saturday 3/21/15 - Ontario, California

Colony High Branch Library
3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, California  91761
9:30am - 5:00pm

Hey gang, come on out and join me, and a plethora of amazing YA authors for an amazing time this Saturday:  Jessica Brody, Anna Carey, Cecil Castellucci, Debra Driza, Katie Finn, Maurene Goo, Claudia Gray, Aaron Hartzler, Jessica Khoury, Melissa Landers, Shannon Messenger, Lauren Miller, Elizabeth Ross, Mary Elizabeth Summer and Kasie West!  I'll be on two panels,"DIfferent Worlds: When You are Other" and "Hidden Lives:  Escaping Your Past," plus Author Speed Dating for some fun face-to-face time with you.  Come out and play

Friday, March 13, 2015


The novel formerly known as Drosselmeyer.  In stores October 13, 2015.  Squee!

It's middle grade historical fantasy, with a fantastic cover by the amazing Sarah Watts, and some great art goodies on the inside, as well.  I can't wait to share it with you!
(What do you think of the new title?)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Meet the Author: A few things

It's been a while since I've done my blogging duty.  I've been writing and rewriting and rewriting my latest novel.  The good news is, it's done now.  I'll be posting more about it soon.

I've also been out and about doing things.  Great things, and then every day sort of normal things (like loads of laundry and last minute grocery trips).  There will be more soon about those things, too (the great ones, at least).

For now, I just want to let you know about three events I've got coming up later this month and next:

new SCIBA logo wee

  February 21, 2015 - SCIBA Children's Literacy Day - Long Beach, CA

If you're a Southern California Independent Bookseller, I hope I'll see you at this year's Literacy Day!  I'm on the "We Need Diverse Books" panel at 2:15pm with Ayize Jama-EverettCynthia Kadohata,  and Stacey Lee.  I hope to see you there!

    March 21, 2015 - Ontario Library Teen Book Fest - Ontario, CA

    Join me and fifteen of your other favorite California authors at the fifth annual Teen Book Fest in Ontario!  I've got two panels, "Different Worlds" in the morning and "Hidden Lives" in the afternoon.  It is going to be amazing.  Come join the awesome!

    HomeMarch 27 - 29, 2015 - AnomalyCon - Denver, CO
    A steampunk and alternate history convention?  What?!  Count me in!  If you're in the Denver area, or can get there, this promises to be an incredibly rich event.  I'm on six (!) panels throughout the weekend, discussing everything from gender and diversity to character building and romance!  If you're at AnomalyCon, look for me and say hello!

    There!  A lot of good stuff on the horizon.  I've got some amazing pictures coming up from my chat with Lt.Col Robert Friend, Tuskegee Airman and all around wonder man.  He's amazing and I can't wait to tell you all about him!

    Now, back to doing laundry.  Have a great week everyone!

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Meet the Author: Museum of History and Art, Ontario, CA

    Museum Logo Diamond

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 5:30 to 7:00 PM
    Museum of History and Art, 225 South Euclid Avenue, Ontario, California 91762

    If you live in Southern California and want to do something awesome, come out to the Museum of History an Art in Ontario for Pioneers in Flight:  Breaking Barriers.  I'll be speaking along with a very special guest-- Tukeegee Airman Lt. Co. Robert J. Friend!  It's going to be amazing, guys.  I'm giddy just thinking about it!

    It's all part of a program on African Americans in Flight.  Check out their calendar for a writing workshop and other aviation-related events!

     Reservations are required.  Just call 909/395-2510.  Hope to see you there!

    And yes, that's Ontario, California.  Not Canada.  Maybe next time!

    Sunday, November 30, 2014

    Where I've Been: The National Book Awards!

    I hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving.  I know I have plenty to be grateful for this year. Spending time with friends and family was a good reminder of the bounty in my life.

    One of the things I'm grateful for is my time as a judge in the National Book Awards.  A couple of weeks ago, I flew to New York to meet my fellow judges in the Young People's Literature category face to face.

    We had a fantastic lunch at Gramercy Tavern, and a lively discussion about all of the books we read. By the end of the meal, we had our winner in hand.  We adjourned to dress for the awards ceremony and the big announcement!

    Me, David Shallenberger, Sharon Draper, Starr LaTronica and Rebecca Stead.
    I think I'm the only pop of color in all of Manhattan.

    I have to say, it was incredibly exciting.  I felt like I was getting ready for the Ultimate Prom in the Land of Books!  Everyone at the ceremony was a lit lover, like myself.  I felt the same sense of camaraderie I get at Comic Con, albeit better dressed and colder.  It was 32 degrees when I stepped out in my sleeveless silver dress.  Funny thing is, I wasn't cold at all.  (And not just because of my coat.  Excitement does amazing things-- it keeps you warm, and enables you to walk in high heels on hard pavement.)

    Note the wrist corsage.  Judges get flowers-- just like a prom!

    Ursula Le Guin blew minds with her fiery speech (As evidenced around 3:57, I love that woman! ). Neil Gaiman hugged me-- twice!  (I'm a big nerdy fan, so that's more awesome than I can say.)  And then our gracious chairperson, Sharon Draper, mounted the stage and spoke eloquently of our experience, our process, and our final decision.

    The divine Ms. Sharon Draper with finalist Eliot Schrefer,
    author of the fabulous short-listed Threatened.

    As you likely know by now, the winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature went to Jacqueline Woodson for her moving, deeply felt memoir in verse Brown Girl Dreaming.  You can see her acceptance speech here.

    I heartily recommend you pick up a copy.  Regardless of your background, you will find yourself somewhere in those pages.  It's just that good.

    Me and Jacqueline Woodson.  Shining with joy!
    You may have also heard about some controversial comments made at the event.  Jacqueline has addressed them eloquently in an Op Ed in the New York Times.  I won't try to add to what she has to say.  What I will do is tell you we had a wonderful evening, my fellow judges, my wonderful editor (the perfect date!) and I.  The finalists seemed to have a good time, too.  And rumor has it Jacqueline danced the night away knowing she had earned her place of honor with hard work, honesty of voice, and achingly beautiful prose.

    Thank you to the National Book Foundation for an amazing experience.  It was a honor, a struggle (there were a lot of books), a pleasure and the start of some new friendship.  In the Land of Books, that means great things are coming, for writer and reader alike.