Upside-Down Magic is a middle-grade series I co-write with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski. Here is the trailer for the Disney Channel movie based on our books! It launches on the Channel July 31, 2020, and will be available on demand right after that.
My new book for elementary-aged readers came out this past week. Invisible Inkling: The Whoopie Pie War is the third book in the Invisible Inkling series. The return of the killer unicorn head, 15 ways to make pumpkin ice cream, pygmy hedgehogs, romance, a league of supervillains, moderate violence. What more could you want? Oh! Pictures by Harry Bliss. It's got those, too.
I am recently returned from teaching at Hamline's MFAC -- an MFA program in writing for children. It's a low-residency program, which means there are intensives in July and January, and the rest of the time the students work directly with an advisor on their creative and critical work. There are only a couple programs like it in country, specializing in writing for kids, so if you're interested I recommend you check it out.
This was my second residency, and one of my favorite things about teaching there is that I get to attend my colleagues' lectures on the craft of writing. Oh, hearing Franny Billingsly explain how to develop a character, or Anne Ursu talk about "staging" a novel, or Gary Schmidt talk about point of view -- all in a day's work.
I did a lecture this time called Self Editing: Better Living Through Technology, which was about using Final Draft, Scrivener and the Track Changes function of Word.
The other big thing that's going on with me right now is I am judging the National Book Awards, young people's literature category. There are five judges total, and the long list of top ten books is announced on September 12, 2013. So I am reading reading reading. Here is a link to Up All Night Reading, the National Book Foundation's online exhibition of the YPL category winners and finalists, organized by year. It is very fun reading and has loads of essays about the books and tidbits about their authors.
Hope you are doing some amazing summer reading, too!
WATER IN THE PARK!
Hello from vacation. I have been working and working on my new YA book, which has gone through 48 titles. Well, not 48. But A LOT. I have no idea what the title is. But I finished a draft. I finished eight drafts. Then I gave it to writer pals Sarah Mlynowski and Robin Wasserman and they told me all the things I needed to do to FIX THE BOOK. Which is a holy huge amount.
So I am cavorting by the seashore for a week while I absorb all the feedback, and then when Sept is up and running, I will be too.
Now. COME SEE ME! If you're over 21 and you live in NYC.
Sept 20, come out and see me at the First Brooklyn Fundraiser, together with Michael Northrup, Gayle Forman and Matt de la Pena. We are chatting (a panel on realistic teen fiction), there will be beer and cupcakes, and the money all goes to First Book. It's in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Get tickets here: http://wordbrooklyn.com/event/first-book-brooklyn-fundraiser
First Book-Brooklyn is an organization that provides books to children in need in Brooklyn communities.
Tickets are $10 each, and include one raffle ticket for fabulous prizes including signed books and goodies from local vendors.
Beer and cupcakes will be lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery and Robicelli's, so this event is 21+. All ticket proceeds will go towards funding First Book here in Brooklyn!
If you like my books for younger readers, or if you KNOW a younger reader who needs a book for a present -- the department of self-aggrandization wants me to tell you about Invisible Inkling: Dangerous Pumpkins. It's a Halloween book. It has killer unicorns, loads of candy, crazy ice cream flavors, a deeply neurotic hero and a wisecracking invisible sidekick.
Perfect for boys ages 7-10. Preview it here.
Here's a guest-blog post I did on the IRA Engage website about the writing process on Invisible Inkling & Dangerous Pumpkins, plus my school visits in elementary schools.