Thursday, January 14, 2016

Interview with Author Jane Kelley by Annabelle and Eva

Today I'm thrilled to be a guest on my own blog!




Annabelle and Eva interviewed me after I had the pleasure of speaking to over 250 third, fourth, and fifth graders at Golda Meir School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their questions were very challenging.

In late October, Eva and I went to meet author Jane Kelley when she came to our school for a book talk. We asked her a few questions about herself. Here is what she said.

Q:  What do you do when your books get rejected?
A:  I'm very upset at the results. Then, I take the thing they said about my book and use the comments to make the book better. I did that many times when one of my books got rejected 10 times!

Q:  Why do you like being an author?
A:  I like doing fun research, imagining things to put in my books. For example, African gray parrots that go around and talk.

Q:  How do you think writing affects others?
A:  I think it is a way to communicate with the reader through words. It especially communicates with my daughter who inspires my stories.

Q:  What is your least favorite part of writing a story?
A:  I don't like the middle section because you always get stuck thinking of new ideas. It is unlike the beginning and the end because you always know what's going to happen.

Interviewing Jane Kelley was a great experience. We hope you consider reading her magnificent books which are filled with amazing ideas and adventures.

Thank you, Annabelle and Eva!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday the thirteenth

I am superstitious. I live with a black cat.



Before Blackberry -- b.B.b. -- I had written many novels. None were published.

B.B.b. -- I had also written half of a memoir about my experience with breast cancer. I didn't finish it. I really didn't want to spend another year of my life describing that year of chemotherapy and radiation.

B.B.b. -- My husband and I were trying to write a musical together. We fought more about characters than we ever did about our finances or taking out the trash.

B.B.b. -- Our daughter was smart and talented, but a little more socially awkward than most.

So, b.B.b., life wasn't always so good.

In 2004, we adopted a little black kitten. Our daughter named her Blackberry.

A.B.b. -- My husband and I stopped writing that musical.

A.B.b. -- Our daughter found an amazing group of friends at her new middle school. She kept those friends, and every year has added more.

A.B.b. -- I have continued to be cancer free.

A.B.b. -- In the summer of 2005, I started writing a humorous adventure story called Nature Girl. It wasn't published until 2010, but I knew I had found what I was meant to do.

My husband jokes that Blackberry changed our luck. I'm pretty rational about correlations and coincidences, but I have to wonder if he's right.

And so in this Thanksgiving month, I want to acknowledge how grateful I am for all the good things in my life. I know that I am lucky to have opportunities to share my stories, the blessings of friends, and especially our good health.


It's nice to know our black cat has our backs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Happily Ever After

It's the end of summer!

So the writers at Smack Dab In The Middle are blogging about endings.

Here's my post.  I hope you'll take the time to read it!

And I hope you all had a great summer.

Here's how mine is finishing up....



Rewriting an ending!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL

It's that time of year.

Many years have passed since I had to worry about who my teachers would be, and if any of my friends would be in my classes. But the days grow shorter. There's urgency in the air. The newspaper is filled with ads for notebooks and pencils. It's time for a fresh start.




My latest novel, THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS, takes place at that time of transition. One of my characters Lanora remarks -- "How many times do we get the chance to begin again?"

She proceeds to make terrible choices. (Something must go wrong in a book before things can go well.) But she's right about one thing. How many times do we get the chance? How many times do we seize that chance? We are made of our memories and our past connections. Can we ever really begin again?

Yes, I say. Yes we can.

Whenever I rewrite a manuscript, I'm always tempted to paste in long sections from previous drafts. I resist the effort of starting fresh, even when I know that's exactly what I need to do!

But it's time to go back to school. Time to sharpen the pencils. Time for a clean page. Time for cool breezes to clear the air. Time to begin the final rewrite for a novel I've been working on for longer than I care to admit.

So here we go!



Friday, July 31, 2015

Answering questions about THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS

I'm honored to be posting on Kirby Larson's FRIEND FRIDAY

AND

DARLENE BECK-JACOBSON's blog "Gold From The Dust"

Darlene is also hosting a give away for the novel.

Follow this link for more information about  THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS. 

Please visit both sites to find out some back story for the novel -- and also to be introduced to two wonderful novelists, Kirby and Darlene.




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mau and The Book of Dares for Lost Friends


Dear Two-legged One,

You're welcome. I have successfully inspired you to create a cat who is a cat, and not a fluffy fashion accessory. Because of my insights, Mau will take her place among literature's other masterful cats, such as The Cheshire Cat, Crookshanks, and Mr. Mistoffelees.

Mau's book will be in stores on July 14. Then everyone can admire her wisdom and her grace. There are some human characters in the book too, for those who like reading about "middle-school cruelty, the heartache of abandonment, and the supple bonds of friendship."  (from Publishers Weekly) Of course, my favorite parts were when Mau was hunting for rats near the Obelisk in Central Park.

I believe that you will be giving a reading at 7 pm on July 16th at  Community Bookstore in Brooklyn. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend. But I know that there is a cat in residence there, so all should go well.

I have arranged for 5 copies of Mau's book to be given away from Goodreads. LINK to the GOODREADS Giveaway  If you haven't joined that group of readers, you should. It's free and fun.

And so, dear Two-legged One, my work here is done. 

Sincerely, 

BLACKBERRY

The Cat


Monday, June 8, 2015

Jabberbox

This month, the middle-grade authors at Smack Dab in the Middle are blogging about what we did during the summer when we were kids.

Click this link to read my blog about Jabberbox.

And while you're there, check out the other authors.

This photograph is of the woods near the house where I grew up in Wisconsin.

Not too far from where Jabberbox was first discovered.