Five Things a Few Hours Before Wednesday…

(This is my version of the Friday Five… I’ve always been a bit of a non-conformist.)

#1 –  So many of you have asked about the cover painting for Spitfire and wondered about the artist.  Her name is Gail Smith Schirmer, and she’s my mom.  Cool, huh?  Later this week, you can meet her here — I’ll be blogging about how her artwork came to be on the cover of my novel (the author doesn’t usually get a say in those things) and interviewing Mom about how she developed the cover painting, her creative process, and her creative space.  She and I will be doing two events together this weekend, which brings me to…

#2 –  On Saturday morning, I’m doing an event for kids & families at the library where I got my first library card.  The last time I was at the Lee Whedon Memorial Library was in 1988 when I had my stuff spread out over a big table, writing my high school graduation speech. Mom and I doing an author/artist event there from 11-12 Saturday morning.  How great is that?

#3 – Watch for the snowflakes!  The Robert’s Snow illustrator features begin this month, on many of your favorite blogs.  Children’s illustrators have decorated gorgeous snowflake ornaments as a fabulous auction fund-raiser for the Dana  Farber Cancer Institute.  I’ll be featuring snowflakes by  Judy Schachner, Amy Young, Sara Kahn, Cecily Lang, and Shawna Tenney in October and November. 

You can also see the real snowflakes on exhibit!

Child at Heart Gallery

48 Inn Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Open House: Saturday, October 6
Exhibit Dates: October 3 – 22

Danforth Museum of Art
123 Union Avenue
Framingham, MA 01702
Open House: Sunday, November 4
Special Sneak Preview: October 31 – November 3
Exhibit Dates: November 4 – December 2

And you can view this year’s snowflakes online here.

#4 – Nominations have opened for the Cybils!  If you read a book published in 2007 and loved it, consider nominating it for the Cybils — the Children’s & YA Bloggers’ Literature Awards.  I’m excited to be serving as a panelist for middle grade fiction this year.  Of course, middle grade is just one of the categories…

Fantasy/Science Fiction
Fiction Picture Books
Graphic Novels
Middle Grade Fiction
Non-Fiction: Middle Grade and Young Adult
Non-Fiction Picture Books
Poetry
Young Adult Fiction

Here are the rules for nominating.  All books have to have been published in 2007.

  • Only one book per category;
  • Click on a category and read the description;
  • Click on “comments” and type in the author and title;
  • Make sure your book isn’t already listed, please.

The deadline is November 21st.

#5  Children’s Literature blogger Mayra Calvani interviewed me about my middle grade historical novel Spitfire recently for BlogCritics Magazine.  Click here to read it!

And finally…  I’ve had some emails and calls from people asking where to buy Spitfire.  Here’ s the thing…. Spitfire is published by North Country Books, a small regional press that puts out about ten titles a year.  Because of that, it may take a while for it to show up in the distribution systems at some of the big chains.  If you’re looking for a copy, please ask for it at your favorite local bookstore (and encourage them to order a few extra copies, too!).  North Country Books is fantastic about quick shipping and will usually get an order to your favorite bookstore within a couple days.

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