Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Pre-order The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith

 My latest book is officially available for pre-order. Early reviews are awesome! Order it today and put a picture of it under your Christmas tree. It comes to bookstores on January 2, 2024. 

Support my local Tacoma bookstore and buy it from Kings Books.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Just received the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of THE FIVE IMPOSSIBLE TASKS OF EDEN SMITH

Deb and I came back from Philly and saw a package waiting on the porch. It was from Holiday House. Inside were two Advanced Reader Copies of THE FIVE IMPOSSIBLE TASKS OF EDEN SMITH. Eden stared back at me from the cover, courtesy of the beautiful illustration by Irwin Madrid. 

If you want to pre-order, you can do so RIGHT HERE.

The hardcover version comes out from Holiday House in January 2024, distributed by Penguin Random House. 

Big shout out to my HH editor, the amazing Kelly Loughman and to my agent, the esteemed Abigail Samoun.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Just accepted an offer for my next book.

 I'm excited. So excited that later on in this blog post, I actually use two exclamation points.

This book is by far the biggest, most ambitious thing I've ever written. After three entire years of writing and editing, many months of pitching, and one final month of negotiation, my agent, the esteemed Abigal Samoun of Red Fox Literary, has accepted an offer from my dear friends at Holiday House. The offer is for my next book, which has a working title of...

The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith

That title definitely may change along the way, but it will likely be something close-ish to that.

The likely publication date is fall of 2022, which is an entire year from now. That may sound like a long way off, but by publishing-standards is actually pretty speedy. Lots of stars need to align to get a book edited, illustrated, designed, marketed, reviewed, and distributed. I'm fine with that schedule.

Holiday House published my last middle-grade novel, The Bottle Imp of Bright House. That means I get to work with one of my favorite editors, Kelly Loughman. Kelly is smart, demanding, and delightful. I like that combo in an editor.

The elevator pitch for this book is basically this:

Eden Smith, a young teen girl, loses both her parents when a meteor crushes them while visiting the conservatory at Wright Park in Tacoma. After years in foster care, her grandfather is finally located and she moves in with him. But her grandfather, Vulcan Smith, lives in an old folks home for master metalworkers, The Guild Hall of Smiths. Eden is the only child in the place. And Vulcan, a legendary master smith, has just been stripped of his standing and imprisoned in a basement room. The only way Eden can restore her grandfather to his former glory is to complete the Five Impossible Tasks. But surviving them may be the hardest task of all!!

There's lots of adventure, lots of fascinating elderly characters, a few mechanical birds, lots of smithing, and many servings of pudding. 

Add it to your 2022 Christmas shopping list now!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

A few sample goodreads reviews of A is for Apple, Unless...

I'm always a bit terrified of reading reviews of my own books. I've generally gotten strong reviews, with a few daggers to the heart here and there. Here is a sample of the mostly great (and one not-so-great) reader reviews from goodreads:

I obviously enjoyed the "funniest book I've ever read comment." I like knowing "kids will love this one," because I write for kids, not for their parents. But I also liked the negative review, because it shows who my audience is NOT. Mama Bearian is clearly not my sweet spot. She is probably a nice mama bear, and clearly cares for her kids. But I do like to believe that her bear cubs would probably find this book to be hilarious.

My own dear old mother was also very careful of the media I consumed, but really only when it came to movies and TV. She pretty much let me read whatever I wanted, because she believed reading itself was good for me. I'm grateful for that. Thanks, Mom.

Oh, and you have to love any review that uses the word abecedarian.