Thursday, November 19, 2015

Check out my letter to my teenaged self

I recently wrote a blog post for It's an advice letter to my teenaged self  it even includes a picture from my high school annual. 

Check it out at

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Tilting House is now in three languages.

This is the photo of the Dutch version. I just got these today. It is now available in English, German, and Dutch. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I like this review. But who wouldn't?

Just got a very thorough review from WRITEKNIT. I really appreciate a reviewer that takes the time to really dig into the book--not just summarize the back cover. You can tell WRITEKNIT spent some time with my story--she got the characters, she understood the story arc. Yada yada yada.

It feels great to know I've connected so strongly with a serious reader. Because it was a pretty dang positive review. But I think that even if it wasn't positive, I still would have at least respected it.

You know?

OK, that's a lie. If the review slammed my book, I'd probably hate this person forever.

But they didn't hate it. They liked it. So I like them.

Because I'm shallow. And insecure.

I've come to terms with that.

Anyway, check out the review here.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Buy your copy of The Shadow of Seth from Kings Books

Kings Books is featured in The Shadow of Seth. So of course you should buy your copy there. Duh.

When you go, say hi to sweet pea Flaherty. He's the owner, and a character in the book. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Check out my interview on Omnimystery News

Omnimystery News just posted a nice longish interview with me. All about "The Shadow of Seth."  It features some interesting sources for book inspiration, some writing advice, and some personal confessions from my past. 

Check it out here:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good teen review from School Library Journal

LLEWELLYN, Tom. Shadow of Seth.Poisoned Pencil. Aug. 2015. Tr $10.95. ISBN9781929345182.
Gr 8 Up–When Seth’s mother is murdered and the police don’t show any interest in finding the killer, he takes the job upon himself to find the killer. The most compelling aspect of the book was Seth. His dad left him and his mom and then his mom is murdered, and he goes and tries to find his mother’s killer. This book is really powerful. He also isn’t rich, and during this hard part of his life, he finds a girl who he falls in love with, which gives him hope. It is an amazingly powerful story and I really recommend it.Tyler M., 14

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another encouraging email, posted verbatim without comment.

An email regarding BLACK STRING, from my agent, the esteemed Abigail Samoun, on May 26, 2015. 

Dear Tom,

I'm so glad I had a chance to read this revision before my trip to New York next week because I AM GOING TO PITCH THE HELL OUT OF IT. You have done an extraordinary job on this draft, Mr. Llewellyn. I'm floored. The writing is so much tighter, the narrative is so much more emotionally engaging, the plot fits together so much more logically. I started the book Saturday evening and, despite Tristan using me as a climbing structure and trying everything in his two-year-old bag of tricks to hold his mama's attention, I finished it before the long weekend was over. The attached draft just has a few line edits but overall, there was very little work to be done on it. I am just chomping at the bit to get it out to editors. Thank you for working so hard on this. I'm going to do my darnedest to find the very best home for this one. It deserves it. 



Friday, May 22, 2015

And Black String is on its way

After about three months of rewriting, my next manuscript is (hopefully) done. BLACK STRING is about two years in the making, so far.

For fans of The Tilting House, BLACK STRING is very much in that style. It's a middle reader novel, meaning it's aimed at the tween age range. It's set in Tacoma. It's full of mystery, magic, and suspense.

The main characters of BLACK STRING are:

Marcus - a seventh grade boy whose archeologist father disappeared five years earlier.
Aster - a new girl at school. She's smart, bold, but has a secret that makes her sad. Did I mention she's from Ethiopia?
Lucas - Marcus' younger brother - fearless and a bit of a brawler. He's addicted to Junior Mints.
Jannie - Marcus little sister. She's obsessed with cats and Leonardo da Vinci. She doesn't say much, but may be smarter than anyone.
McLean - the mysterious madman who moves into the tree in Marcus' front yard.

The setup:

It's been five years since Marcus' father disappeared from an archeological dig. The family has finally put itself back together. Marcus is struggling through seventh grade. At the end of one particularly lousy day, a package arrives in the mail. It's a simple ball of black string.

As soon as the string arrives, Marcus' life turns upside down. His house begins to glow. A crazy man moves into the tree in his front yard. And strange clues about his father's disappearance begin to build one one another.

Who sent the string? What's the meaning of all these bizarre events? And why would such a simple delivery cause such complete chaos?

My agent, the esteemed Abigail Samoun said a few words about this manuscript that make me both hopeful and nervous: "If we get this right, I think this could be a big breakthrough book for you." I've spent the last three months following her editing advice and hope we've gotten it right. In her most recent email, she said she hopes "to pitch it in NYC when I’m there at the beginning of June."

So tie a string and cross your fingers. I like this one. The nervous side of me says it may not go. But the hopeful side thinks it's got potential.

Friday, April 24, 2015


I'm working on a kids' novel called Black String. I've spent about three weeks doing major edits, based on the direction of my agent, the esteemed Abigail Samoun. Today when I opened the Word doc, the file was corrupted. I've been trying with no luck to restore it, rescue it, something. 

I am astonishingly frustrated. Is it time to abandon Word for Google Docs? 

Bleah. I feel pretty unmotivated right now. 

Friday, April 3, 2015


Just came back from a short vacation in Vancouver, BC. It's a wonderful city. My wife, Deb, and my four kids and I explored a lot of it. Line most of our vacations, we drove each other crazy, but had a (mostly) great time together. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Preview page for The Shadow of Seth

The good folks at Poisoned Pen Press have a preview page for The Shadow of Seth and it's lovely cover, designed by my dear friend Lance Kagey.

The book is coming out in August of this year--2015.

I didn't write the  back cover description. Publishers don't like it when you butt into that part of their business. But they did a good job here. It says:

Sixteen-year-old Seth Anomundy is a product of his environment: in this case, Tacoma, Washington. What L.A. was to Chandler, Tacoma—a working-class port city now undergoing urban renewal—is to author Tom Llewellyn.
Seth has grown up in Tacoma’s tough neighborhoods, where he’s perfectly at home in Choo-Choo’s boxing gym and Miss Irene’s soul food palace, the Shotgun Shack. With his mom working nights as a cleaner, Seth goes to high school, gets decent grades, and makes money where he can: filling in as cook at the Shotgun Shack, working as a sparring partner, and running errands for Nadel, the clock repairman. Life is hand-to-mouth, but okay—until he gets the news that his mother has been killed.
The police don’t care about the death of just another drug addict, so a bewildered Seth takes it upon himself to find the killer. On a clock delivery run, he meets a beautiful rich girl named Azura Lear, who encourages Seth and tries to help track down the killer. But instead of finding answers, Seth finds only trouble. He faces down a gang of baseball-bat-wielding high school jocks and deals with the contempt of Azura’s suspicious father. And then there’s King George—a teenage thug Seth has previously managed to avoid—who has for some reason let it be known that he wants Seth dead. Right now.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Doodle of the day

I've decided to occasionally post some doodles I can't help doing while in meetings. Been doing this stuff all my life. So here's one for today.