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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Interview on YA Highway!

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Hello everyone!

Here I am going through my long to-do list, getting ready for the Star in the Forest release party (this Friday!)

I'm really excited today that the fabulous blog YA Highway is featuring an interview with me. This blog is right up my alley-- combines writing for teens with traveling the world. It's written by a bunch of young women-- "nomadic novelists"-- one of whom is Kirsten Hubbard, who interviewed me. Her book Like Mandarin will come out next spring with my same publisher-- Delacorte. (We have LOTS in common, we've discovered...)

She has another book in the works, featuring travelers in Central America-- definitely my cup of tea. Can't wait to read both books!

I love reading novels about traveling-- and I did as a teen, too. It's one thing that inspired me to live abroad and fill my life with travel. It makes me happy to think of these other YA writers creating more travel adventure stories-- the world needs more of them!

Thanks for reading, and hope to see you Fort Collinites on Friday! Oh, and some people have been asking whether I'll be doing a Maryland area reading soon... and the answer is YES! I just got confirmation for a reading at the Ellicott City Barnes and Noble on Saturday, May 22, at 2 pm. Looking forward to going back to my old stomping grounds...

Have a great week!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Magic Place

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Hi everyone!

I had a sunny, windy morning walking around Old Town with Ian and Lil Dude-- we did some impulse shopping at the indoor local farmers/artisans market-- got a yummy spice made of crushed chiles, cacao beans, and pumpkin-seeds-- and a marinade made of smoked green tea leaves-- totally unnecessary purchases, but they smell nice... and of course, we topped it off with a bunch of tamales-- Lil Dude had three, and wanted a fourth, but we thought he might explode if he had one more (he only weighs 30 pounds! he probably ate 20% of his weight in tamales today...)

We stopped by Swampgas and Gossamer, or, what Lil Dude and I refer to as The Magic Place. My friend Les -- an artist and welder and all-around creative soul-- designed this place with no other goal than to create a sense of wonder in people who wander in. It's full of breath-taking sculptures and machines that incorporate enchanting things like blowy milkweed seeds. It's the kind of place you don't want to take photos in since the whole point is to just be present in the midst of all this magic. Here are some pics that remind me of his stuff:

(He actually has a kind of merry-go-round structure on the roof of his house,
which I spun around in one glorious afternoon a few weeks ago.)

Ian informed me that Les's art has steampunk elements (a term I wasn't familiar with until I wiki'd it) -- although I don't think Les would consider his art part of any particular category. It's a marvelous adventure wandering his place-- it feels like walking onto a Tim Burton set in some ways (like that factory in Edward Scissorhands). Les is also writing a children's book, which, although I haven't read yet, I imagine it might have some things in common with this mesmerizing book (because of the fantastical inventions) :
It is such a joy talking to Les-- he reminds me that the beauty of being a creator is in the process, not the product. It's all about being present and finding wonder in every moment. So, so important to remember!

On to other things... here's a guest post I wrote about strong female protagonists for Melissa Taylor's Imagination Soup Blog, which is a fantastic resource for parents-- I've really enjoyed reading it myself. Melissa (who is Colorado Parents Magazine Book Review Editor-at-Large also wrote a great review of Star in the Forest, which you can read here. Here's a blurb from her review:

Star in the Forest
is a good introduction to the situation of Mexican children illegally in the U.S., who are fearful and sometimes separated from their family members. We learn that friendship comes from the most unlikely of friends, even someone like Crystal who despite her lies, is a loyal friend. And, we find that Zitlally’s love for her father helps her do courageous things.

She suggests that parents to read this book with their child or choose it for a parent-child book club because there is so much to discuss. She actually gives some book extension activities and discussion questions at the end. She also is holding a contest-- you can win a free copy of Star in the Forest (just scroll down to the end of the review and follow the link.) The deadline is April 6, so enter now!

A quick update on what the heck I've been doing with my time (which slips through my fingers at a maddeningly swift pace): hangin with my "mentee"-- eighth grader Bessana who was "shadowing" me as part of a school project (!), going over page proofs for The Ruby Notebook, going over jacket copy for The Queen of Water, reading and critiquing friends' writing, working more on the beginnings of The Jade Notebook, doing and planning school visits (Newton Middle in Denver was the latest) ... and last but not least, getting ready for the release party for Star in the Forest! Fort Collinites, I hope you all can come-- this Fri at 7 pm at Everyday Joe's! I think it's gonna be lots of fun!!

Much love,


Friday, March 19, 2010

Red Glass Art!

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Hey guys,

Well, this weekend is the first of spring, and there are a few inches of snow on the ground... just in time for our Lil Dude's 3rd birthday party tomorrow at the Farm. When I planned it a couple months ago, I deluded myself into thinking that surely, spring would have come by March 20... Yet somehow, even from beneath the snow, those bits of tree pollen are managing to find their way into my allergic, red, puffy eyes. Not to complain... but man oh man, do my eyes itch right now. I always forget about this nasty side effect of springtime (even when it still looks more like wintertime out my window.)

So, on a nicer note, here are some very cool art projects done by an English class at one of the schools I visited in south Texas a couple weeks ago. It's so fun to see how readers envision characters, and what quotes from the book stand out to them. Some of these students should be graphic designers, I'm convinced-- I'd trust them to design my covers any day. I think their assignment was to make a movie poster for Red Glass (imagining it's been made into a movie... ahhh, if only...)

Love the colors in this one!


Oooh-- look at the blossoms-- and what a striking image of Sophie...

Angel looks so cute in this one...

Awww... how sweet!

Check out her Red Glass mobile!!

Close-ups of the dangling thingies on the mobile!

Heeheehee... love the image of Pablo as a chick hatching from an egg!

Thanks so much for reading!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

South Texas School Visits!

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Hey everyone!

I spent a lovely morning in my trailer writing about The Jade Notebook and doing some interesting sea-turtle-related research for it. It feels good to get back to this book after time away from it traveling and working on other manuscripts (The Queen of Water and The Ruby Notebook).

So, as promised, here are pics from my super-fun school visits in south Texas last week! I *love* doing author visits when the students are this enthusiastic! Thank you for an amazing visit, guys!

Check out the looooong autographing line... I need to learn to sign books faster... but at least everyone was patient!

Look at the pretty Oaxacan shawl they gave me! Love the color-- makes me think of sunsets and mangos and melons and tropical flowers...

Here I am with Lucy and Ann, two of the librarians who orchestrated my visit-- we had fun in the evenings going out to eat yummy Tex-Mex food... one night a few of us went to South Padre Island for seafood and a walk along the beach... heavenly!

We had great food for lunches, too-- here we are at a Texas Barbeque place-- check out the drinks -- an entire pitcher per person to drink out of... isn't there some saying about how BIG everything is in Texas? ;)

The whole school district community gave me an enthusiastic welcome-- not just teachers and librarians and students, but the entire wonderful staff! Here I am with Cristobal, who's a fan of Oaxaca, like me...

Here I am with the awesome library folks at Biblioteca de las Americas... just after they spoiled me rotten with flowers and a fruit basket complete with Goobers!

Here's Luci Wiley-- English teacher and librarian extraordinaire... love the shirt! ;)

So many cool librarians with their cool T-shirts...

I even got to do a writing workshop with some teachers after school one day... loads of fun, lots of laughing! This is such a close-knit, warm community.

I loved all the small, thoughtful touches, like how one school played romantic Mexican songs as I signed books, and arranged these white flower blossoms (from the book!) by the autograph sign!

Interestingly, my first contact with this wonderful school district was Minnie Vasquez, of Athena's YA Blog (which is fabulous-- you should check it out!)-- she's a teacher there (and a creative writer herself.)

In the next post I'll show you pics of some cool art projects the students did, inspired by Red Glass! Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Welcome to the World, STAR!!!

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Good morning! And a good, good morning it is... this is the first morning it's felt like spring here, sunshine streaming through the windows and a distinct lack of snow on the ground and birds actually singing outside. A perfect morning for Star in the Forest to come into the wide world!

The book actually opens in springtime, and covers the months of March, April, May, and June in Colorado-- it's definitely a springtime book, with daffodils and tulips and mud-lusciousness. It's a short book, too, only about 150 pgs, complete with illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. It's my first book for younger readers (ages 8 and up)-- I'm excited to widen my audience and meet younger readers.

Here's the beginning of an article about my inspiration for Star that I wrote for BookPage:

Behind the Book: Crossing borders to find the heart of a story
Column by Laura Resau

I came across the bones of my book Star in the Forest on the outskirts of a small town in southern Mexico. One day, a decade ago, I was taking my daily walk down a dirt road lined with shacks made of corrugated metal and plastic tarp and salvaged wood scraps. I strolled past smoldering piles of trash and leaped over trickles of raw sewage, giving wide berth to occasional packs of scrawny dogs. You should know that I loved these walks ...

You can read the rest of the article here.

Other news: A few days ago, I got back from an *amazing* trip to south Texas! I'm so excited to tell you about it and post pics... I'm trying to get organized now, but I'll do that post soon. Check back a little later this week. ;) And be sure to check my events page for upcoming book release events in Michigan and Colorado.

Thanks for reading!