Monthly Archives: January 2010

When a book title goes back to the drawing board

If you’re not an author, it may surprise you to know that sometimes, the title a writer originally gives a book doesn’t always stay the title of that book.  A lot of people chime in along the way, from agents and editors, to the sales reps who will ultimately be making sure that your book […]

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Skyping with 6th Graders

Have I mentioned how much I love the way Skype allows me to teach my own 7th grade students all day and still have time for a virtual author visit with kids halfway across the country before I make dinner? Today’s crew of 6th graders, Mrs. Duff’s class in Oelwein, Iowa, read The Brilliant Fall of  Gianna […]

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Many things on a Monday…

1. We spent Saturday skiing with friends at Whiteface Mountain on what I’m convinced was the best ski day of the year so far. It was sunny and beautiful and full of fresh air. Just perfect. 2. My students spent last week brainstorming and pulling together some quick fundraisers for Doctors Without Borders’ earthquake relief […]

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An Invitation for Northern NY Friends

I’m giving a lecture tomorrow night as part of a new series of talks at the Alice T. Miner Museum in Chazy. The concept, which I found irresistible, is to have two half-hour lectures presented on unrelated topics, followed by a joint Q and A session in which the audience can ask whatever they want […]

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Real authors don’t plan…or do they? An open letter to Tyler

Dear Tyler, So I heard a rumor today.  Is it true that you told your teacher that real authors don’t use story webs or outlines or plan their writing?  That real authors just write whatever comes into their heads and if they need to outline or do any prep work, they’re not real writers? Hmm. […]

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This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I finished reading Susan Beth Pfeffer’s THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN tonight.  Now I am in no mood to sleep and will likely be awake in bed plotting ways to store canned goods in my basement.  I should know by now not to read post-apocalyptic fiction on school nights, but no…I’m a sucker for a […]

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How They Got Here: 2009 Debut Author Rhonda Stapleton

Rhonda Stapleton’s debut YA novel STUPID CUPID is out now…and she’s here to join us with some questions about how 2009 came to be her big year! From the author’s website… Felicity Walker believes in true love. That’s why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid’s Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, […]

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Cheers for ALA Youth Media Winners!

There was much cheering in the Messner house this morning, once we finally figured out how to get the live feed of the ALA Youth Media Awards announcements from Boston.  So happy for all of the winners, but particularly some friends whose books we loved… Tanya Lee Stone’s brave and brilliant ALMOST ASTRONAUTS won the […]

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Home from ALA Midwinter

It was so wonderful to see book-loving friends who were there, and my whole family loved ogling all the new books coming out in 2010. So many amazing titles on the way – it’s a very good time to be a reader! The amazing, overwhelmingly large exhibit hall Not all of my writer-friends could make […]

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Title Question, Just for Friends

There’s some discussion swirling around the title for my next middle grade novel, about a figure skater from a small-town maple farm who earns a scholarship to train with the elite in Lake Placid.  The original title is SUGAR ON SNOW, which I have always liked, but I’m also open-minded, since some folks at the publisher […]

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