Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Last Tuesday, I met with 15 high school students at our local library to help them with writing a graphic novel memoir. I taught them how to use my favorite 9 Point Plot process (click the link on the right side of this blog if you want to see what that is all about) using THE CAT IN THE HAT as the example.
It worked surprisingly well and the kids were great. I'm hoping to go back and help them again when they are further along in their writing this summer.
On Saturday, I went to the SCBWI meeting here in Northern California to talk about the writing journey with friend and fellow author Heidi Kling.
I got to meet a lot of wonderful writers, including blogger Samantha Hagar who wrote up a wonderful post on her blog about the event (and took a darn nice photo). No, I didn't pay her to say such nice things, but maybe I should start.
Last night, I was invited to a mother/daughter book club (oh, how I love book clubs) in Oakland. Unfortunately I always forget to take my camera and I'm not techie enough to figure out how to get photos off my phone, so there are no pictures. Not only did Dana, Emily, Celia and Mia (and their moms) read the book and ask amazing questions, but we had ribs, corn on the cob and carmel apples to celebrate Dana getting her braces off that day. Any book club with awesome food is okay by me. The kids requested no more vampire books (I'll see what I can do) and the moms requested that not all parents in YA be dead/abusive/absent. Again, I'm working on that. I have made a conscious effort not to kill off any parents in my next book. Can't promise anything for the book after that.
On this date: In 1613, the original Globe theater burned down.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Now it's time for a completely unscientific and self-serving poll. If you were in a bookstore and saw the following titles in the YA paranormal romance section, without knowing anything about the book, which one would you pick up?
Echoes of Eternity
On this date: In 1965 Mr. Tambourine Man is released by The Byrds and the folk-rock revolution begins.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I have my very own hard copy of her debut YA novel SHADOWED SUMMER, but it has just come out in paperback this week, so if you aren't lucky enough to already own one, you can now run out and get a copy. Also, look for her newest work, THE VESPERTINE, due out in Spring of 2011.
On first glance, a book about a teenaged girl trapped in the disaster that is her mother's hoarding, and a book about a girl haunted by a frustrated ghost don't seem to have much in common. But beneath the stacks of National Geographics and a borrowed heirloom witchboard, DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS and SHADOWED SUMMER have the same heart.
They're books about that moment when you realize that your parents had entire lives before you existed. That they have inner lives you can never know. And, shockingly, that know one will ever know *your* whole story, either.
The protagonists explore those shadow histories from the edges- in Lucy's case, in DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, she gets her glimpses from sorting through the hoarded, compacted belongings her mother has amassed over the years. Each box contains a memory, a slip of evidence, a hint of the life that made that object important (or unimportant) enough to keep.
For Iris in SHADOWED SUMMER, she dodges around the father who has the answers and won't share them, and picks through other people's stories instead. She asks the living and the dead alike, getting a shattered image of the past that she'll never be able to repair completely. But, like Lucy, Iris eventually discovers that the secrets and lies around you often lead to your own door.
On the surface, these books have nothing in common. But I find it fascinating that beneath the covers, they share their secrets- and just might reveal some of yours, too.
by Saundra Mitchell
In paperback June 8, 2010
Thanks so much to Saundra for dropping by the blog!
On this date: In 1942, Anne Frank received her diary.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
That said, the very last segment was on Jake from Northern California (right near me). I totally felt for this kid when the episode first aired, and the update left me cheering. The fact that he is writing a memoir and wants to be a writer is fantastic. Go Jake!
You can view the entire episode online at the Hoarder's website.
On this date: In 1956 Rock and Roll was banned in Santa Cruz, CA.