Here’s the conversation I’ve been having lately with my patient editor at Bloomsbury…Kate: Can I share the cover yet? Can I please? Patient Editor: Not quite yet. It’s not done. Kate: But it looks done. And I really, really love it. Please? Patient Editor: Not yet. I promise I will email you a final version soon. Kate: Okay. (waits five minutes, emails again) How soon is soon? Isn’t it soon yet?
This all went on for some time. But guess what? Soon is here!!
ALL THE ANSWERS is my latest middle grade novel (my first book with magic!) coming from Bloomsbury in January 2015. It’s about Ava Anderson, a nervous 12-year-old who wishes life had more answers and fewer math quizzes until she finds a magic pencil that will answer any question she writes. But it’s not long before Ava and her best friend Sophie realize that magic comes with strings attached, and sometimes having all the answers is more trouble than it’s worth. The book also has goats, jazz band, an adventure course of doom, and world-famous donuts. On fire.
I’m kind of in love with this book. It’s the most personal novel I’ve written, which also makes it, in some ways, the scariest to put out into the world. But I’m excited to share it with you. And there’s going to be quite a bit of sharing going on…because Bloomsbury is sending me on a book tour this winter. I’ll be spending the last week in January in the Midwest (details & cities to come!) I hope if I’m in your part of the world, you’ll come by the bookstore to say hello.
The second week of the book tour is scheduled for the Northeast, and because community is a big theme in this novel, Bloomsbury has turned that week of their tour over to me, to dedicate to free & reduced price school visits in my own community – Northern New York and Vermont. Bloomsbury will pick up travel expenses, and local independent bookstores will handle all of the book sales. If you live nearby and would like information about those visits, please shoot me your email address and we’ll make sure you’re in the loop when that part of the tour is planned. Please do that soon if you’re interested – I’d love to have these local schools in place before everyone leaves for the summer.
Finally, because I also wanted to do something for schools and libraries that aren’t in those book tour cities, I’ll be offering a dedicated week of Skype writing workshops for schools and libraries. This 25-minute virtual workshop, WRITING WITH A MAGIC PENCIL, will walk kids through the research, planning, and revision phases of my writing process for ALL THE ANSWERS. I’ll share my writer’s notebook, research notes, outlines, character sketches, and marked-up manuscripts with students to show how a book evolves from a scribbled idea to a finished novel. Students will also brainstorm their own “wish-gone-wrong” story ideas and be provided with brainstorming/planning tools that teachers may use to follow up with more writing after the visit.
These virtual writing workshops will be FREE with your school or library’s pre-order of 30 or more signed copies of ALL THE ANSWERS from The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, NY. These may be student/staff purchases, books ordered for the kids via your school or PTA, or any combination of those. All orders will need to be sent with payment to The Bookstore Plus by January 23rd in order to schedule your free Skype writing workshop. The bookstore offers free shipping for US orders over $50 and will send books to your school. There will be a limited number of spaces available for this writing workshop tour, and I’ll fill them on a first-come, first served basis until my schedule for the week is full.
This workshop is especially designed for teachers/librarians who may also want to use ALL THE ANSWERS as a grade-level, parent-student book club, or all-school read. If this is of interest to you, please email me (kmessner at kate messner dot com) so that I can request that you be sent an advance reader copy of the book to preview it over the summer.
Just as soon as advance reader copies are available, I’ll draw a name from today’s blog comments to receive the first ARC, hot off the presses. I’ll take entries until the day the ARCs are printed and ready to go. To enter the drawing, just answer this question:
If you had a magic pencil with all the answers, what question would you ask?