It’s time again to round up random cyberspace sightings of some of our Online Author Visits members:
Deb Lund blogged some insightful advice for any writer trying to add obstacles for characters and remove them from his or her writing life.
|A selection from Deb Lund’s Fiction Magic: Card Tips & Tricks for Writers
Here’s a terrific article on how David Patneaude became a writer.
Dia Calhoun welcomed Winter Solstice on her blog.
Patrick Jennings has a Wikipedia page!
The Olive and Max magazine series by Clare Hodgson Meeker was recently released in an ebook format. Read all about it at Clare’s website.
Writing for the SCBWI Team Blog, Martha Brockenbrough filed a great preconference interview with fellow children’s author Kate Messner.
Click through for a peek at some fun images from Trudi Trueit’s launch party for her latest novel.
|Trudi Trueit reads from The Sister Solution during its launch.
This is an exciting find: Just this week, Laurie Ann Thompson’s Be a Changemaker won a 2015 Gelett Burgess Award! All the winning books must “stimulate the child’s imagination, as well as inspire them creatively.” Congratulations, Laurie!
Did you know that Lisa L. Owens is also a long-time editor? Here’s an interview she did with Copyediting about why she specializes in children’s publishing.
Check out this video from the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra’s holiday concert. Can you spot Dori Hillestad Butler playing with the group?
That’s a wrap for this month’s OAV author-stalking fun. We’ll be back with more tidbits in the new year!
Santa’s here standing outside our castle drawbridge! He says he brought gifts. Let him in? What?
The three little knights in The Knights Before Christmas
think it might be smarter to guard their castle against this would-be invader instead. Not to be thwarted, the jolly red-and-white Santa and his reindeers (or are they dragons?) catapult gifts over the castle walls. Long siege short, this back-and-forth battle of wits and determination ends with both knights and Santa believing they’ve triumphed. A satisfying ending for both sides.
The idea for my new Christmas picture book, illustrated by Scott Magoon, sprang from my confusion over something that didn’t make sense to me as a kid: My parents locked our doors. They set the alarm. They protected our home from interlopers 364 days a year. Yet on Christmas Eve, we all went to bed hoping that Santa would “invade” our house while we slept.
This was a hard concept for me as a thinking kid. On one hand, I could hardly wait for Santa to deliver his bounty. (What kid doesn’t
want presents?) On the other hand, was it really a good idea to let this mysterious, magical guy into our house in the middle of the night?
Now that I’m grown-up, I’m glad my kid-self questioned this whole “Santa situation” because it’s one of those niggling childhood confusions that motivated me to write. November was Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo), and I posted on Tara Lazar’s blog about three ways I get book ideas. Here’s a fourth way: I think up schemes to deal with things in the world that confused me when I was a kid. If I can use a comedic eye to re-work those confusing moments into situations that make me laugh, I have the kernel of a story.
I figure kids nowadays have the same questions and about things in their world — including some aspects of Christmas. I hope they’ll take comfort in knowing that they are not alone in their confusion — that there are three little knights out there in a castle somewhere, who questioned that whole Santa situation, and were catapulted into action to make sense out of it all!
As you and your kids welcome friends and family into your heart and castle this holiday season, I hope you all find time to laugh together. Happy holidays, everyone!
I’m giving away one autographed copy of The Knights Before Christmas. Comment to enter for a chance to win. One winner chosen December 7.
is the author of a stack of children’s books for children that is as tall as she is, including the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing
, The Knights Before Christmas
, and Mighty Dads
, a New York Times
bestseller. Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams co-author three series: Goddess Girls
(ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls
(for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training
(ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books). Joan’s 2016 books include the board book, This Little President
, and the chapter book, What Was Woodstock?