It’s been a while since I’ve posted a newsy update, and there’s a lot going on. Here’s my catch-up-lots-of-things-happening update for December…
OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW was on the NY Times Notable Children’s Books of 2011 list and has gone into a second printing. In the mean time, the book has become a little harder to find in stores and online, but if you’re looking for copies for the holidays, some little indie bookseller birds have told me that Books, Inc., The Bookstore Plus, and Flying Pig Bookstore all have a few copies left – and they ship!
Advance reader copies of EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury – March ’12) started going out at NCTE in November, and some lovely readers have started sharing reviews on GoodReads. You can see some reviews and enter to win a copy of the book here.
MARTY MCGUIRE DIGS WORMS will be out April 1st. It’s the second title in my MARTY MCGUIRE series with Scholastic.
Marty #2 will be out just in time for Earth Day, which I suspect will lead to some terrifically fun classroom activities surrounding this new story. In the mean time, I’m running a “Tell a Friend About Marty and Win Great Stuff” contest here. You can enter through January 14th.
Not long after Marty returns, my Scholastic mystery series debuts, with CAPTURE THE FLAG in June. I’m told the cover is almost-almost-final, so I should be able to share soon.
And finally… (In my old field of journalism, this is what they call burying the lead) I have a big, big change coming up in two weeks. For a long time, people have been asking me, “So when are you going to leave teaching?” And my answer was always the same: “I’m going to keep doing both – teaching and writing – as long as I can keep everything in balance.”
But my writing life has taken off in a way that I never could have imagined – never could have dreamed about when I was that kid with a stack of notebooks in my closet. And by last spring, it was pretty apparent that I was getting to that place where I couldn’t do it all any more — teaching, writing, and being a wife and mom — and keep things in balance. So when the New Year begins…I’ll be starting it as a full-time writer. Leaving my classroom wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s made easier by the fact that I’ll still be able to do so much teaching and reading and writing with kids through my author visits and writing workshops. And our district has a high school English teacher whose position was never filled when she went on maternity leave in the fall, so when she returns second semester, she’ll be working with my students, and I know they’ll be in great hands.
The transition feels a little scary but mostly exciting. It means I’ll have more time to work on the books I have under contract, as well as some exciting new projects that I’ll be able to talk about soon. I’ll be able to say yes to more Skype visits and more in-person author visits that I’ve had to turn down in the past. I’ll be able to write during daylight hours (instead of the wee hours of the morning!) and then pick my own kids up from school at the end of their day, which I’m looking forward to most of all.
Aside from the occasional book recommendation, this blog is likely to be pretty quiet these last weeks of December as I clean out file cabinets and make plans, read books and hug kids, decorate the tree and bake cookies. Look for me in January, with some thoughts on new projects, new schedules, writing, and revising. And in the mean time, have a wonderful holiday season!