Thursday, March 26, 2015

#TSOLG Paperback Palooza: Five Random Questions with Charlotte Bennardo

Charlotte Bennardo kicks up some Summer...

We're getting closer and closer to the THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO paperback release Author Palooza on April 19th at the Huntington Public Library!!!

Several amazing MG and young adult authors 
will be joining me to help celebrate, first in a 90-Second Read Aloud Event, and then for a hands-on writers workshop. I thought it would be nice to get to know them -- and me -- a little bit in the weeks leading up to the event. 

You may read all about the event HERE on the facebook event page, and even if you can't come to the event live, please join the event page and follow along in the fun.

So, on to the getting-to-know-them part of the festivities... 

I've asked the guest authors to share their favorite piece of writing advice (or quotes that have helped or inspired them) as well as to answer five random questions from a big list I provided. Many of their answers are quite entertaining! You'll see! 


Over the past weeks, I've been sharing their answers (and may even chime in with my own answer to the occasional question in pink ...).



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Up today, guest author Charlotte Bennardo,

co-author of the SIRENZ series and BLONDE OPS, which Publisher's Weekly called,  "...a light mystery with entertaining dialogue, an energized pace, ever shifting suspects and a glimpse into the benefits and drawbacks of art and fame..."

You can read more about Charlotte HERE and HERE.



Okay, before we get started with Charlotte's five questions, here's a clear bit of writing advice from her: 

“Be persistent and consistent!"

Voila! Only Nike's motto is shorter and more concise. 


Now on to Five Random Questions with Charlotte... 



1. What's the cruelest/funniest thing you ever did to a sibling? 

*giggles. I held my sister for ransom - 2 Ring Dings. I actually tied her up, gagged her, put her in my toy box, then locked the closet door where the toybox was. Man did I get in trouble for that! (But I got my Ring Dings....)
  
              
2.  Do you appear in any of your own books?

Part of me appears in the Sirenz series - Sharisse is blonde and tall like me, and can be snarky (ok, bitchy) like me, but I don't have her fashion sense.


3. What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

Sitting in the front row during a comedy show. When the comedian found out I was part Swedish, he asked me if I wore Viking breastplates. And proceeded to embarrass me all night long...


4. What unique skill do you possess?

I can talk like Elmo. And Carol Kane (from Scrooged). I can audition for the right price.


5. Tell us about your first kiss?

Ahh. I was 16, had a mouthful of braces, and it was a boy down the street. Holy smokes, I never knew a kiss could be like that...


So, there you have it. . . some advice and a few random things about author Charlotte Bennardo. Hope you'll check out all of her books, and if you're anywhere local, that you'll join us at the Huntington Public Library on April 19th for the reading, book signing and, if you're a tween or teen writer, the hands-on writers workshop with all these fabulous authors! 

Registration begins April 6th! 

And don't forget to order a paperback copy of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO.  You can watch the new trailer HERE

xox gae

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SUMMER turns one. . .

B&N Carle Place Long Island
Good lord but time flies.


Noting today's date for some other reason this morning,
I just realized that it's the one-year anniversary of the official release of my second novel, THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO 

which also nearly coincides with its official paperback release March 31st, 

though the paperback has already begun popping up on shelves everywhere.






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It's been a wonderful book year.


I've gotten some amazing critical reviews from the likes of the New York Times Book Review (!!!), School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, I won another Nerdy Book Club Award for best Young Adult fiction (!!! -- that's two gold statuettes on my mantle) and, most importantly, received some truly lovely and moving emails and tweets from tween and teen readers who have connected deeply with the Frankies. 





















And, why YES! Boys do love THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO!


I even have more than one photo to prove it:



I've also visited with some amazing schools and book clubs both via Skype and in person and done some really awesome events where it's hard to decide the best part: the readers or the other amazing authors I have the privilege to meet and read with!   

Like reader Francesca who was super excited to read a book with a main character named after her!




Like new pal, Alan Katz, author of the Take Me Out to the Bathtub books 
and the forthcoming, The Day the Mustache Took Over...




Seriously, I love the look on his face there. . . and the admiration is mutual. . . 


and like the extraordinary Léna Roy, Wendy Corsi Staub, Barbara Dee, Nora Raleigh Baskin and many others!




... and I must say, seeing that New York Times Book Review quote on the back of the paperback is pretty darn amazing!


I'm super hopeful with the release of the paperback this week that my book will find its way into the hands of even more readers. If you have read it and loved it, I remind you again how helpful on line reviews are to an author and to keeping their book in the public eye.

As for the coming months, my calendar is chockfull of events and appearances, including my paperback release PALOOZA & writers workshop (join the page even if you can't join us in person!) and the AUTHORS UNLIMITED BOOK FESTIVAL.




I hope you'll join me when you can, and share my titles with your friends.

With gratitude,

xox

gae






















Wednesday, March 18, 2015

#TSOLG Paperback Palooza: Five Random Questions with Henry Clark

Author Henry Clark, digging for Summer... 
pssst... notwithstanding the official 3/31 "on sale" date, the TSOLG paperback seems to be available everywhere now... so please go buy your copy, tell two friends, etc.

To celebrate the paperback release of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO on March 31st, I'm super excited to announce that I am hosting a reading and writing (!!) Author Palooza on April 29th at the Huntington Public Library.

Several other amazing kidlit, MG and young adult authors 
will be joining me for the fun and hands-on writers workshop, and I thought it would be nice to get to know them -- and me -- a little in the weeks leading up to the event. 

You may read all about the event HERE on the facebook event page, and even if you can't come to the event live, please join the event page and follow along in the fun.



So, on to the getting-to-know-them part of the festivities... 

I've asked the guest authors to share their favorite piece of writing advice (or quotes that have helped or inspired them) as well as to answer at least five random questions from a big list I provided. Many of their answers are quite entertaining! You'll see! 

So, over the next several weeks, I will share their answers (and may even chime in with my own answer to the occasional question in pink ...)




Up today, guest author and fellow Long Islander Henry Clark, author of WHAT WE FOUND IN THE SOFA AND HOW IT SAVED THE WORLD and the forthcoming 


You can read all about Henry HERE.  And you can watch his recent interview with Betsy Bird of Fuse 8 HERE!



Henry's favorite piece of writing advice: 

"Write what you want to read. If you're lucky, other readers will have similar tastes."


I love that, don't you?


Now on to Five Random Questions... (p.s. between you and me, I'm doubting any of Henry's answers are true...)


1. Do you have a nickname? 

No. (After Dr. Julius No, the villain in the eponymous James Bond thriller. It's an unfortunate nickname, in that it sometimes leads to confusion when people ask me if I have a nickname.)
  
              
2.  What's the cruelest/funniest thing you ever did to a sibling?

I'm an only child, so the sibling thing never came up. I did once, however, put an imaginary whoopee cushion on the chair of my imaginary friend. I had to make the farting noise myself, though, so it sort of backfired.


3. Worst did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. Instead, I spent thirty years working for the Nassau County Department of Parks and Rec. This has severely hampered my other goal, to become a motivational speaker.


4. Grossest thing you ever ate?

Squid in its own ink. I later felt remorse, realizing I had probably eaten a cephalopod with literary ambitions.


5. ... one thing we might see on your bucket list?

Live forever.


So, there you have it. . . some advice and a few random things about author Henry Clark you still don't actually know. No? Hope you'll check out his books, and if you're anywhere local, you'll join us at the Huntington Public Library on April 19th for the reading, book signing and, if you're a tween or teen writer, the hands-on writers workshop with all these fabulous authors! 

Registration begins April 6th! 

And don't forget to grab your copy of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO

xox gae

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

#TSOLG Paperback Palooza: Five Random Questions with Tracey Baptiste

Tracey, knee deep in Summer and sand.

To celebrate the paperback release of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO on March 31st, I'm super excited to announce that I am hosting a reading and writing (!!) Author Palooza on April 29th at the Huntington Public Library.

Several other amazing kidlit, MG and YA book authors 
will be joining me for the fun and hands-on writers workshop, and I thought it would be nice to get to know them -- and me -- a little in the weeks leading up to the event. 

You may read all about the event HERE on the facebook event page, and even if you can't come to the event live, please  join the page and follow the fun.


So, on to the getting-to-know-them part of the festivities... 

I've asked each guest author to share their favorite piece of writing advice (or quotes that have helped or inspired them) as well as to answer five random questions from a big list I provided. Many of their answers are quite entertaining! You'll see! 

So, over the next several weeks, I will share their answers (and may even chime in with my own answer -- or comment -- to the occasional question in pink ...)


Up today, guest author Tracey Baptiste, author of the forthcoming THE JUMBIES, on sale April 28th!! 



With its able and gutsy heroine, lyrical narration, and inventive twist on the classic Haitian folktale “The Magic Orange Tree,” The Jumbies will be a favorite of fans of Breadcrumbs, A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. 

Don't know what a Jumbie is? Here's a field guide. 




You can read all about Tracey HERE


I asked Tracy to share one of her favorite quotes about writing and I must say, I love it:

One of my favorite writing quotes is really about doing research, and it’s from a book I reread often, On Writing Well by William Zinsser: 

“If your mother says she loves you, find a second source.” It’s based on an old newspaper adage about double-checking facts, something that’s great to keep in mind when I write and edit nonfiction.


Now on to Five Random Questions with Tracey Baptiste... 



1. When was your first kiss? 

I’m sorry to tell you that my first real kiss was when I was 13, which is even more frightening when I think about my daughter fast approaching 13. It was at a party that I went to with my cousin (also 13) in a small village in south Trinidad. On weekends, people would throw parties and they were innocent enough that our parents would let us go for a few hours. Older kids could stay later, but my cousin and I had to leave around 10. Anyway, I started dancing with a boy, and he kissed me. I was surprised, and also trapped because the back of my shirt was caught on something. I eventually ripped away and ruined a perfectly good shirt. It wasn’t that I minded him kissing me. He and I dated for a bit after, but I was just surprised and uncomfortable, and sort of grumpy because I really liked that shirt.

              
2.  Got any nicknames? 


My mom used to call me Nat, short for Natalie, my middle name. My first name was supposed to be Natalie, but my dad was the one who went to do my birth certificate (they didn’t do them in the hospital with both parents present in Trinidad. Someone had to go to the Registrar’s office and fill out the forms) and when he did, he gave me a name similar to my two older cousins that ended in “y” and had a hyphenated “Ann.” So my real name is actually Tracey-Ann, just like my cousins Debby-Ann and Shelly-Ann. Anyway, my mother refused to call me Tracey-Ann, and called me Nat. Even when she called me by my first name she never used the Ann. When I got married, I officially dropped it.



3. What's the grossest thing you ever ate?

I must admit, I'm having a bit of a hard time, cutting and pasting Tracey's answer here. . . *holds nose* Here goes:


I think a lot of people would find blood pudding super gross, but I grew up eating it, and it’s delicious. It’s literally pig blood in pig intestines. So yeah, gross, but also a delicacy in Ireland and in Trinidad, where I grew up. I like it warm on freshly-baked bread with a little pepper sauce on it. Now I’m hungry. Thanks.

*gags* (No, seriously)


4. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Amazingly, I always wanted to be a writer. You’d think I would have gotten started sooner with my career since I never really deviated from the plan, but here we are.


5. If your superpower wasn't writing, what other superpower would you choose?

I always wished I had the power of mind control, specifically to control what people see. As a small, brown-skinned girl, I always felt intimidated, especially after I moved to the United States at the age of fifteen. I noticed very quickly that people who were brown were treated differently from people who were white, and I wished that in some situations, I could make people see me as a different person just to see how the reaction would change. 



So, there you have it. . .  a few random things about author Tracey Baptiste, including that last poignant one. 

Hope you'll check out all Tracey's books and look for her forthcoming THE JUMBIES, and if you're anywhere local, that you'll join us at the Huntington Public Library on April 19th for the reading, book signing and, if you're a tween or teen writer, the hands-on writers workshop with all these fabulous authors! 

Registration begins April 6th! 



And don't forget to preorder THE JUMBIES and a paperback copy of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO

xox gae