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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TA-DAH!!!!! The Indigo Notebook Cover! (This one's really it!)

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Hey everyone!

Well, my toes are finally starting to thaw out. We've had near-zero temps all week in Colorado, but today's a balmy 40 degrees. I was too wimpy to write in my trailer in the freezing cold, so I camped out at my favorite coffee shop downtown-- Cafe Ardour. It's cozy and sunny there, with plenty of Orchid Oolong tea to meet my tea-fiend needs.

So... here it is... the cover of THE INDIGO NOTEBOOK!!!

I think the designer, Marci Senders, did a really nice job with it. (She designed the infamous Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants covers). Inside the suitcase, she included a few things that I sent her-- the crystal and the photos), which is very cool. I love the indigo-colored background and how it contrasts with the red suitcase.

The Indigo Notebook
is the first in a series of three books, each a different color notebook, each taking place in a different country. My editor also sent me the covers of the next two books in the series (but I'll save those so they'll be a surprise...)

A few random things I'll include in this post-- a link to an interview with my smart, lovely editor Stephanie Lane Elliot and another link to an interview with my smart, lovely agent, Erin Murphy. (I am very lucky to be surrounded by smart, lovely women. Actually, while I'm at it, here are links to the blogs of two smart, lovely members of my writing group-- Leslie Patterson (France, History, Art) and Carrie Visintainer (travel adventures).

I get lots of questions about my agent and editor-- what they do, how we work together, etc. So here it is, from their perspective. The SCBWI interview with Stephanie gives you a good idea of how an editor and author work together to revise a manuscript. The Cynsations interview with Erin gives you a sense of what she does as an agent, her relationship with authors, and the benefits of having an agent.

Okay, I'm off to the library to check out a book of ancient Nahuatl poetry. Nahuatl was the language of the Aztecs-- they created beautiful, resonant poetry-- and the language is also spoken today in parts of Mexico. My book Star in the Forest (Spring 2010) has a little Nahuatl in it, inspired by a good friend of mine from Puebla who speaks it.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Carbondale's One Book One Middle School !

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Hey everyone!

It's a winter wonderland outside my house right now-- snow a foot deep, and the temperature a grand total of one degree. For the tough folks in the mountains of Carbondale, that's nothing, I'm sure! I had a fantastic visit there two weeks ago for their One Book One Middle School event. (What the Moon Saw was the One Book!) The brilliant librarian Nicole put this together,

with the help of energetic teacher/librarian June and other hard-working, creative people.

As I mentioned in the last post, I love Carbondale-- a small, friendly town with a stunning setting-- snow-topped mountains galore. Best of all, everyone in town was super-enthusiastic about my visit-- it made me happy! The four-hour drive was definitely worth it.

On Thursday and Friday mornings, the middle school students in the Carbondale area gathered in the auditorium of Carbondale Middle School for presentations on What the Moon Saw. (The schools were: Carbondale Middle, Community School, Ross Montessori, Waldorf, and Marble Charter).

I absolutely loved this gathering because most of the students had either read the book or were in the process of reading it. They had fabulous questions-- including some new ones that really made me think. (Like, why didn't Aunt Teresa just leave Uncle Jose, since he was such a jerk?) I felt honored that the students read the book so closely, and I was thrilled about their great response. (Big thanks to the teacher Michael who held the fickle microphone plug in the socket during my whole presentation!!)

In the afternoons, I led writing workshops in small groups, in English and Spanish. I discovered that many students are talented writers and storytellers with wonderful imaginations-- budding romance novelists, fantasy authors, comedians, actors, you name it.

I had fun talking with the teachers, too, and hearing about ways they've used the book in class and the kinds of discussion it generated. One teacher incorporated art into writing activities with What the Moon Saw. She did examples herself to share with her students, which I think is great.

Also in the afternoons, I signed books (and notebooks and shoes and jeans and T-shirts and foreheads and arms...) and chatted with the students.

Muchisimas gracias to all the kids and teachers and librarians and parents in the Carbondale area who made my visit so special!!! And huge thanks to Colorado Humanities and the Center for the Book, who paid for most of my visit-- what a great organization! If you'd like, scroll down to the next blog post to read about my elementary school visit in Carbondale on Wednesday.

A little sidenote: As you know, if you were at my visit, I was impatiently waiting for the cover art for my next book The Indigo Notebook... and I'm still waiting! Arghhh! I'll post it as soon as I get it. Some good news about The Indigo Notebook is this: they're making an audiobook for it, which will come out in Fall 2009, at the same time as the book. The audiobook of Red Glass will come out in this spring, around the same time as the Red Glass paperback.

Okay, thanks for reading and checking out the pics! (You can click on them to make them bigger).

Abrazos to all,