Friday, February 25, 2011

A student of mine sent me this photo today, and it made me laugh so hard that I just had to post it!
Life has been crazy lately. One of my novels, Brothers, Boyfriends & Other Criminal Minds was recently adapted for a musical at the Zach Scott Theatre in Austin, and the whole experience has been wonderful and surreal. I've had such a great time watching the kids perform and make the characters come alive. Here's a clip from the show.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Presenting ... Romeo!

Oh, man it's been a long time since I've posted. Lots to catch up on.

Back in February we adopted Romeo from Austin Boxer Rescue. I've been meaning to post a photo of him for a while, but the truth is he' s not that photogenic. Every time I take his picture he winds up looking like some ferocious snaggletooth, and he's really such a lover. He's got these soft mushy jowls and a HUGE tongue and loves to give kisses. He keeps me company while I write.

My daughter Korina and I just returned from NYC. We saw Billy Elliot and In the Heights - two amazing shows. We also spent a lot of time in the East Village, shopping on St. Mark's and walking the streets of Alphabet City. I had lunch with my lovely editor, which is always a treat. But I forgot to take my camera! Which is why I don't have any photos. Oh, well, next time.

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a reader's theatre in College Station with Kathi Appelt, Jenny Moss, Varian Johnson, and Janet Fox. What a fantastic time! Here's a photo.

Kathi's husband, Ken, took a little footage from the show. Take a peek.

After the show, Kathi fed us some amazing guacamole and other goodies, and while we were eating and drinking wine, she opened her flip-cam and did a few spur-of-the-moment interviews. Take another peek.

On the book front, I'm busy working away on my WIP. (Not giving away any details yet.) Also, I was so pleased to find a nice review of The Less-Dead in ALA's GLBT Round Table Newsletter.

Here's lover boy again...

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Brand New Year

All my kids are home, and life has been crazy but fun. In fact I feel like I've been on a non-stop vacation. Last night my daughter Liz and I went out for sushi and a George Clooney fix with Up in the Air. So good. Here are some photos of our New Years Eve hike at the Barton Creek Greenbelt. And yes, Daniel dove into the frigid water.
Ed took this photo of Jonny. I'm thinking, first album cover?

And so ... The Less-Dead will be released tomorrow. I seriously need to do something like update my website and myspace page and stuff like that, but I can't seem to get my act together. There's always tomorrow. Anyway, I've got some reviews to post -- so far so good. Whew.

"In her compelling mystery, Lurie draws attention to the prejudice and hatred many gay teens face ... suspenseful and emotional." Publishers Weekly

"Lurie has wrought a compelling, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep readers riveted to the end." Kirkus

"Peppered with surprises ... Lurie's character detail are totally refreshing ... dead on." Booklist

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bakugan, Human Groove Hormone & Bromberg

Yep, that about sums it up since the last time I posted. This summer I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting my brothers in Maryland, and one of the highlights was playing with my nephew Ryan. He's got this collection of, well, little plastic balls, but when you drop them on the floor they turn into super hero Bakugans. Pretty amazing.

Next on the list is Jonny's new band, Human Groove Hormone. Isn't that a great name? They play funk/alternative/experimental and you can check out their music here. (Jonny is the good looking one in the green shirt.)

And now for a stroll down memory lane. When Ed and I first started dating he introduced me to the music of David Bromberg, and took me to a bunch of his shows in NYC. In fact, we even saw him play at Carnegie Hall. Anyway, last month Bromberg was playing at the Cactus Cafe here in Austin, so we took our son Daniel to see him. What a great show. Check out a snippet from one of his shows here. Guaranteed to crack you up.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Dylan Fontaine Video

Check out this cool book trailer I found on Teacher Tube!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Wicked Time

Just about every year I take one or two of my kids to New York to visit my parents and see the sights. This time I took Jonny and Korina - first to Maryland to visit their cousins - then to the Big Apple. We always take in a Broadway show and this time we saw Wicked. Oh my gosh, it was amazing. We had perfect seats (although there was a couple making out in front of Jonny so he was a bit distracted), and the music was outstanding.

The following night I took Jonny to The Blue Note in the Village, and we saw Dizzy Gillespie's All Star Band. We sat about two feet from the tenor sax player who was incredible.

Before the show, we watched an intense basketball game right outside The Cage on West 4th Street. It brought back memories of Dylan Fontaine, Toulouse Lautrec, and Mother F. (You'll need to read my novel The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine to understand).

I also caught up with some friends, old and new, and had a great time with my parents. They still live in the same house I grew up in. Here they are in Washington Square Park. Here's Jonny and Korina too.

On the book front, The Less-Dead is completely finished (Yay!) and I'm waiting for my ARCs to arrive. Can't wait to see it in print. The flap copy has changed a bit since my last post. Here it is:

Noah Nordstrom has been dissing the religious beliefs of his father, who hosts a popular Christian radio show and
whom Noah accuses of spreading hate. When two local gay teens are murdered, Noah’s anti-evangelism intensifies—he’s convinced that the killer is a caller on his dad’s program.Then Noah meets Will Reed, a cool guy. But when he learns that Will is gay, Noah gets a little weirded out. Especially since Will seems really into him. Noah gives Will the brush-off. Meanwhile, the killer is still at large . . . and soon Noah finds the next victim. It’s Will.Racked with guilt, Noah decides to investigate. He knows the serial killer is targeting gay teens, but only those who live in foster homes, whose deaths are not that important to society; they are the less-dead. Noah, however, is determined to prove that someone cares. With the help of Will’s journal, which he pocketed at the scene of the crime and in which the killer has written clues, Noah closes in on an opponent more dangerous than he can guess.

The fabulous DDDs did an event at Book People last week (a panel with the amazing author Sarah Bird) and we had a big turnout. Shana stole the show by talking about her Mango allergy. So funny! Check out her post here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Triple Ds, Scoobies, and the amazing Laurie Halse Anderson

Here we are outside Book People - The Delacorte Dames and Dude Society. We've been getting a bit of press lately. Check out the article Jeff Salamon wrote up in the Statesman. He mercilessly teases me in the very first paragraph, but I forgive him.

Now onto the Scooby. My son, Daniel The Health Nut, brewed me a batch of Kombucha over spring break. Yesterday it was time to harvest the Scooby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). That's the slimy mushroom thingie floating on top. I wasn't sure what to do, so I gave him a call at college.

"Hey Dan, what do I do now?"

"Okay. Pick up the Scooby and set it aside in a ceramic bowl."

"Pick up that slimy, disgusting thing with my hands?"

"Listen Mom, if you send bad vibes to the Scoobie, it's not going to work for you."

Do you see what I'm dealing with? Anyway, I was kind to the Scooby and managed to pick it up and make the kombucha. The bottles are sitting on the counter carbonating. Nice little bottles.

Now the best part. Laurie Halse Anderson was at Book People in Austin, and we got to chat a bit. She's so sweet and humble and amazing. My daughter Korina recently read Speak so I introduced her to Laurie and right away Laurie said, "Friend me on Facebook!" See what I mean? Anyway, we got a signed copy of Wintergirls and I can't wait to read it.
I'd better get back to work. I got my final revision letter on The Less-Dead, and after a couple of new scenes and some tweaking, I'll be done!

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Bud, Leo

Well, enough time has passed since my good buddy Leo went to doggie heaven so I thought I'd post his photo an say what a great friend he was. Believe it or not, this photo was taken only six months before he died of a ripe old age of sixteen. We got him at the pound when my kids were little. He'd been a stray and had every disease in the book, but we nursed him back to health. He stole food off the table and chased the cat and chewed the superhero action figures, but we loved him anyway. We miss you, Leo.

On the book front, my lovely editor sent me the flap copy for the Less-Dead. She's so much better at writing copy than I am. Here it is:

Noah Nordstrom has been getting drunk at parties, eating crackers topped with apricot-hash jelly, and dissing the religious beliefs of his father, a man who hosts a popular Christian radio show. The deaths of two local gay teens intensify Noah’s anti-Evangelical stance, since he’s convinced that the killer is a caller on his dad’s program. And he blames his father for spreading hate.

Then Noah meets Will Reed. He thinks Will is cool; he shares Will’s love of poetry and music. But after finding out that Will is gay, Noah gets a little weirded out. Especially as Will seems really into him. It’s easier to stop being Will’s friend.

The killer, though, is still at large . . . and Noah is the one who finds the next dead victim. It’s Will.

Racked with guilt for giving Will the brush-off, and for not being as tolerant as he thought he was, Noah decides to investigate the murders. He knows the serial killer is targeting gay teens, but only those who live in foster care. Their deaths are not as important to society; they are the less-dead. But Noah determines to prove that someone does care. With the help of Will’s journal, which he pocketed at the scene of the crime, and in which the killer has written clues, Noah closes in on a dangerous opponent. At the same time, Noah must confront his crisis of faith and determine what beliefs to fight for.

Do you think I'll get hate mail?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cover Art for The Less-Dead

I'm very excited about this cover. If you closely, you'll notice that the cover of the book is a book. A leather bound journal. See the stitching, the ragged pages peeking out around the edges? Mostly I love how the artist superimposed (is that the right word?) the creepy woods at dawn over the leather. So happy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Tao of Pooh

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully."It's the same thing," he said.

My son Daniel read me this little excerpt from the Tao of Pooh and it made me laugh. I thought about it yesterday when I was at Sam's excitedly buying food for lunch. I chose thick, crusty sourdough bread, goat cheese dipped in red wine (it's called The Drunken Goat), and deep purple blackberries the size of quarters. Eating this feast was definitely the most exciting part of my day.

Okay, now on to more important things. My daughter Korina is in a play at the Zach Scott Theatre in Austin. Wanda's World! (Korina is top row, second from right.) If you have middle school kids, they will love it.
Here's what it's about:
Wanda is the coolest 8th grader ever. She’s beautiful. She’s confident. And she’s the star of her own TV talk show where she gives great advice to troubled tweens. That her fantasies. In real life, Wanda has a problem of her own to face. Will the kids at her new school tease her for being different…or will she finally find a way to fit in? Find out when you ‘tune in’ to the critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway hit, WANDA’s WORLD, live on stage beginning January 31. For ages 6 and up.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Lazy, Lounging, Sleeping Till Ten (or eleven) Chowing Down and Basically Goofing Off

Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I've been doing over the holidays. I finally finished my three month long revision on The Less-Dead (yes, I'm aware some people write complete books in three months), sent the manuscript to my lovely editor, and now I'm crossing my fingers, hoping she'll call and say, "It's perfect, April. I'm sending it to copy editing." Ha.

Besides all the lounging around, my daughter Liz and I made a lofty goal to see all the 2008 Oscar contenders. So far we've seen Milk, Doubt, Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight (ugh) and Slumdog Millionaire. (So far, Slumdog is my fav.) Next two on our list are Synechdote New York and Revolutionary Road.

Our family did something completely different this year. We decided to skip the tree, the gifts, the decorations, the lights, the shopping, the stress, and just hang out together. We had a really nice time! We took walks, cooked, talked, laughed (we were all pretty silly), and generally had fun without really doing much of anything. Oh, and Jonny and his band had a gig at the Thirsty Nickel on 6th Street the day after Christmas. They were awesome.

Pretty soon it's back to work which means facing the blank page. It's scary in a way, but exhilarating too. There are so many possibilities. I've been reading some post-apocalyptic/dystopia novels, and I'm thinking about giving that genre a try. I seem to skip around a lot. So far I have a character and scene involving a poisonous mushroom. I know that sounds weird, but I can't seem to get it out of my head. But ... for now, a glass of wine and a Belgium chocolate are calling to me. Must go.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Unreal

I don't normally get political in my blog posts, but ... Yay! Obama!

So, check out my son Jonny and his new band, The Unreal. Pretty cool, huh? It's so funny because Jonny (the tall guy with lots of hair) looks like a dangerous dude, but he's a real sweetie. Anyway, they're playing tomorrow night in Denton, and they're awesome.

Jeez, I haven't posted a blog in ages. The reason? I've been using all my creative energy working on my revision of my serial killer YA novel coming out in Spring 2010. After I finish, mark my words: I am writing something light and funny - no controversial subjects, no murders.

News flash: Book People in Austin is having a very cool party on November 13th. I hear Philip Yates will be dressing up like a pirate and reading from his zany new picture book. There will be a number of panels, and yours truly will be on one of them. Should be lots of fun. Here's the invite:

A Celebration of Books for Children and Young Adults
Austin Style!

Thursday, November 13, 2008
At BookPeople – 6th & Lamar
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Readings * Panel Discussions * Door Prizes * Refreshments * Book Signing

Presented by

The Austin Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Your number one resource for published authors and illustrators of youth literature
"2005 Publishers Weekly Bookseller of the Year"

6:30 Social Time – Second Floor
Visit and enjoy refreshments

7:00 A Holiday Reading - Amphitheater
Join us in the amphitheater as author Philip Yates (in full pirate costume) reads from his latest book, A Pirates Night Before Christmas (Sterling, 2008)

7:15 Picture Book Panel Discussion – Amphitheater
Featuring: Greg Leitich Smith, Philip Yates, Don Tate, & Emma Virgan
Moderated by Brian Anderson

Middle Grade/Young Adult Panel Discussion – Second Floor by the Stairs
Featuring: Lila Guzman, Shana Burg, P.J. Hoover, Helen Hemphill, and Jo Whittemore
Moderated by Tim Crow

8:15 Young Adult Panel – Third Floor
Featuring: Jennifer Ziegler, Cynthia Leitich Smith, April Lurie, Brian Yansky, &
Varian Johnson. Moderated by Julie Lake

Friday, August 22, 2008

Slumber Party!!!
Oh, I've been such a naughty blogger. Almost a month since my last post. Well, I thought I'd catch up a little on what I've been doing this past summer. On August 3rd the lovely teen librarians of Austin - Michelle and Allison (the two girls on either end) - invited Jenny Ziegler (Astros shirt) Cynthia Leitich Smith (she's the one taking the photo and let me tell you her purple satin PJs were to die for) and yours truly (Hook 'em Horns) to the Teen Slumber Fest. We had such a blast. Teens from the area came out for a visit. We painted our nails, played Truth or Dare (Michelle took a dare and had to make kissing noises. Honestly, I didn't realize how talented she was!) and the teens did passionate readings from our books. There were prizes galore. Thank you Michelle and Allison for a great time.

I also had the pleasure of visiting Gardner Betts Juvenile Dentention Center, and speaking with a group of wonderful girls. Devo Carpenter is the founder of the award winning Second Chance Books program at Gardner Betts and let me tell you she is one awesome lady. The girls were so receptive and so into reading. Thank you Devo!

The reviews for Dylan keep dribbling in and I recently got a really nice one from VOYA. Here's a quote:

"This coming-of-age story is compulsively readable ... Lurie creates such a sympathetic and engaging character that readers cannot help but become invested. Dylan's story has it all: humor, pathos, family struggles, and great characterizations and voice."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

There's No Shangri-La

Those were the last words my father spoke to my son Daniel before Dan ventured off to a raw foodie commune on the big island of Hawaii this summer. At the time I sort of rolled my eyes, "Please Dad, give the kid a break," but it turned out my father was right. For a while Dan had a good time working the farm - milking goats, harvesting coconuts, hacking his way through the jungle - but even paradise has its price. Like disease. Poor Dan got really sick and wound up in the hospital. And since worrying seems to be what I'm good at, that's what I did. But he's home now and doing much better. Now my job is to fatten him up.

Anyway, I was thinking that the writing world is no Shangri-La either. Believe me. Oh sure, I love what I do and wouldn't choose anything else, but you do pay a price. Like I recently got a nasty review on Dylan Fontaine from PW (why are these people so mean? all I did was write a book); a not-so-nice blog comment - one I didn't post - accusing me of plagiarizing two books that I have not read; and a scolding from my mom because there are some "inappropriate" parts in Dylan. Like I said, no Shangri-La.

But on the flip side, Dylan got a really nice review from The Bulletin. Here's a quote:

"Calling to mind Hinton's classic That was Then, This is Now, this story of a guy in danger of losing his hero brother to drugs is updated in just about every way: Dylan is a well-off, hip guy from Brooklyn who knows his way around Greenwich Village, has a thing for vintage LPs, and plays a mean classical guitar ... Readers may well be inspired by Dylan to take some risks and discover their own latent powers."

Dylan also got nice reviews from Becky's Book Reviews and Edge of the Forest. Thank you Becky and Kelly!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Stellar Weekend at The Awesome Austin Writer's Workshop (aka AAWW!!)

The literary dynamic duo, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, hosted one fabulous workshop this past weekend. It's already Wednesday, but I'm still on a high.
Not only did we get great feedback on our manuscripts, but we bonded even closer as a
group. One thing I love about Austin is its amazing writing community - one huge group of friends who love, support, and encourage one another. I'm blessed to be a part of it.
A huge, hearty thanks to Cyn and Greg! Their generosity blows me away.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Much to Celebrate

June is a time for change.

Jonny graduated high school.

Korina graduated elementary school.

I typed "The End" on The Less-Dead, and Ed (my very sweet husband) likes it! (Okay, I have some tweaking to do, but still.)

Dylan got a starred review from KLIATT. Here's a quote:

[Lurie] really understands sibling relationships and family life. She writes with wit, intelligence, and compassion for her characters. This is a story about guys, primarily ... brothers; fathers and sons; lonely young men who are feeling somewhat lost. Any reader will care for each one of them. Lurie does a wonderful job of making them real. Claire Rosser, KLIATT

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine is Released! Yay!
It finally dawned of me that I should announce the release of my new novel. Release dates are so weird. It's like this big build up and then ... what? It's out there. We poor writers sitting at home in our pajamas staring at a computer screen and trying to be creative wonder if anyone cares. So, what do we do? We google. And today I found a review from Hope's Bookshelf that really made me happy. Thank you Hope!
To the left is a photo from my recent trip to Madrid to visit my daughter Liz. (She' the gorgeous girl with the sunglasses. I'm the dork wearing the sneakers.) I'm not exactly sure whose nose that is. I should find out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Two Sons

Last week I attended TLA in Dallas and had a really great time with my lovely editor, my terrific friends, some wonderful librarians, and many talented authors. After that I went to visit my son Dan (handsome but slightly ticked off looking dude on the right), who's a music major at UNT. It was a beautiful day, so we walked around town, went to a very cool used bookstore where Dan promptly handed me two of his favorite classics - Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, and A Portrait of the Artist, by James Joyce, and told me, "You MUST read these!" So, okay, I will. For dinner we ordered some really good take out Indian food and shared a bottle of organic red wine. What a great day.

Both Dan and Jonny (Jonny's the handsome and patient looking dude on the left), inspired me to write Dylan Fontaine. It's not a story about them, but it's about two brothers who love each other very much, but sometimes have trouble showing it. Anyway, what's cool is Jonny just got the MVP award for varsity basketball this year, and his number is 34. When the cover was being designed for Dylan, my editor asked what number I would like on Dylan's jersey, so ... guess what I chose? Yep. 34. She's a sweetheart.

Oh yeah, Readingjunky posted a really nice review for Dylan on It should show up on amazon soon. Thank you Readingjunky!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Road

I recently finished Cormac McCarthy's stunning post-apocalyptic novel, The Road. Wow. Basically it's about a father and son who walk through burned and ravaged America. Dark? Definitely. Depressing? Maybe. Hopeful? Absolutely. The love shared between father and son is so strong and so moving, it lifts the reader above the death and destruction they encounter. I loved it. This is the last sentence of the book, which really stayed with me: "In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery."

After The Road, I needed something a little lighter, so now I'm reading Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Susan Vreeland. As I've mentioned before, I love the Impressionists, and this book is about Renoir and how he came to paint Luncheon. Above is a closeup of my favorite part of the painting.

As for writing, my WIP is coming along nicely, and I should make my June 30th deadline. Yay. Also, I've been biting my nails, waiting for the review from Kirkus on Dylan Fontaine. I'm happy to report that Kirkus was much kinder this time around. (They annihilated Brothers.) So, here is a quote - it's not much, but hey, I'll take it: "Lurie has created a well-paced story about a teen guy who shoulders responsibility while becoming his own person."

I'm also happy to report that Dylan has been nominated for BBYA, and Brothers is a KLIATT's Editor's Choice!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

So Cool
Last night I found this awesome video on you tube. A girl named Melissa did a project for her English class on my novel, Dancing in the Streets of Brooklyn. Thank you, Melissa. I'm totally honored. Click on the link below to see it.