Thursday, August 30, 2007

An Interesting Morning

This morning my 10-year-old daughter left for school without her homework, so I figured I'd be a good sport and bring it to her. I didn't have to look in a mirror to know I had that just-rolled-out-of-bed look. But since I'm not vain (ha, ha) I quickly threw on some gym clothes from a heaping pile in my closet and hopped in the car.

5 minutes later I was in the school office, and the lovely lady behind the desk assured me that Korina would soon have her homework. Mission accomplished, I needed to high-tail it out of there before anyone else saw me. But then she began telling me that her 14-year-old daughter read Brothers twice over the summer and loved it!

I was flattered, and stunned. At Korina's school I'm not a writer, I'm just one of the moms. Anyway, we talked for a while and I told her I'd be happy to sign her daughter's book. Afterward I was feeling pretty good about life in general, but when I got to my car I looked down and saw a large, neon-orange tomato sauce stain in the center of my T-shirt. Nice. Oh well ...

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Philadelphia Inquirer Reviews Brothers

So, so happy with this review. View here

Embracing Austin

It's kind of funny, after our vacation in NYC I realized just how crowded, congested and well, dirty, New York can be. So I decided to stop lamenting the fact that I live in Texas and really embrace Austin. Even the heat, which is no easy thing. My family and I went hiking and swimming at the Barton Creek greenbelt, visited the Blanton Art Museum, went shopping on South Congress, and saw Bob Schneider at Antone's. We had a fabulous time!

I also spoke to adults, yes adults, at the August SCBWI meeting, which I think went well. At least I hope it did. The topic was Turning Fact to Fiction, and instead of blabbing about how I wrote my books from true life experiences I had the group do some writing exercises. Ha, ha. First, they had to list three little-know facts about themselves. (One woman volunteered that she had once set off a roman candle in her kitchen.) Next, they had to list three of their darkest life experiences. And last, I posed a thought provoking question: who is your personal censor? I got some interesting responses.

I also updated my website - actually revamped the whole thing - and even though I wanted to shoot myself during the process, it's ultimately rewarding to be my own webmaster. And now, today is the first day of school! I'm free again! Back to work.

Oh, almost forgot. Saturday I had a book signing at B&N in Round Rock and had the honor of meeting one of my myspace friends - a very nice, very sweet teenage girl from Georgetown who enjoyed my books! Afterward, Korina and I had lunch with Cyn and Greg. It turned out to be a really nice day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Great Time at Gardner Betts

Last week I had the privilege of speaking to about 75 teens at the Gardner Betts Juvenile Detention Center. The kids - ages 12-17 - have a lot of time to read without the distraction of TV and video games and they were a great audience. One boy said, "My friend was dissing me for reading your book because it's pink, but I told him 'I don't care! It's about the mob and I like it!'" Another boy said, "Dude, just take off the cover. That's what I did." Devo Carpenter is the librarian who created this award winning program called 2nd chance Books and she is my new hero. The kids have great books to read because of her. Check out their website.

I guess I haven't posted my recent review from VOYA. It's a good one! Yay! "Lurie's first person narrator makes this novel come alive. April is bright and insightful. 'I was the oddball, the embarrassing question mark in our family.' Readers will identify with her situation. 'After all, I needed someone to rescue me from my boring life.' Start to finish it is April's story, one that most girls in junior high and high school will enjoy."