Friday, February 24, 2012

I’m on the Radio!

This week I was the guest on Suzanne Lieurance’s blog radio interview show, Book Bites for Kids. We talked about writing, illustrating, humor, creating characters, and The Adventures of Beanboy.

It was great fun. Thanks, Suzanne, for inviting me to be on your show!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Adventures of Beanboy

It’s finally out! My middle-grade novel, The Adventures of Beanboy, came out on Valentine’s Day.

Suzanne Lieurance, The Working Writer’s Coach, has a nice writing tip on voice, using Beanboy as the example, on her website.

The Lawrence Journal-World featured Beanboy in an article last week titled “Gas-Powered Reading.”

Here’s the description of Beanboy from my publisher:

Never underestimate the power of the bean.

Tucker MacBean has been drawing comic books almost as long as he’s been reading them. When his favorite comic has a contest for kids, he hopes he has finally found a way to fix his family—all he has to do is create the winning superhero sidekick . . . Introducing “Beanboy”—the first comic book character to truly harness the power of the bean for good. He is strong, he is relentless, he can double in size overnight (if given enough water).

With thoughtful characterizations and copious comic book illustrations, this laughout-loud novel will have readers rooting for a superhero with true heart.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Dandy of a Book!

I stayed up way too late last night (or, actually, early this morning) finishing Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains by Catriona McPherson. It was such fun. It takes place in 1926 Edinburgh. Dandy Gilver, a wealthy and spunky married woman, who, to combat the boredom of being a wealthy married woman, has started a detective agency (after successfully solving previous cases she happened to stumble upon) and goes undercover as a lady’s maid for a woman who’s convinced her husband plans to murder her.

It was very well-written and witty and just plain fun (shades of “Upstairs Downstairs” and “Downton Abbey,” and also of Rhys Bowen’s wonderful series, Her Royal Spyness) with surprises and twists and turns, and the good news is, it’s the 5th in a series, so I have more Dandy Gilver books to look forward to. I’m always so pleased when I find a previously unknown-to-me writer and series that I thoroughly enjoy.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, this website——tells more about the series.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Events

I’ve been invited to participate in a couple of cool upcoming events:

5th Annual Author Extravaganza
Saturday, June 18, 2011
11 a.m. to 1p.m.
Town Crier Bookstore
716 Commercial
Emporia, Kansas 66801

This is an amazing giant booksigning, this year featuring 37 Kansas authors, including Adam Catlin, Bev Buller, Brian Craig Miller, Carol Russell, Dennis Young, Diane McAdams Gladow, Donovan Harrison, Doris Johnson and Ray Imhoff, Douglas Armstrong, Dr. William L. Smith, Jerilynn Jones Henrikson, Katherine Pritchett, Kelley Hurst, Lenise Eddings, Linda A. Born, Lisa Waterman Gray, Max Terman, M.E. Williams, Meri Rose Shenk, Michael Halleran, Patty Bultman, Phil Brown, Reaona Hemmingway, Robert Collins, Robert Hannigan, Sally Jadlow, S.C. Dixon, Todd Hunter, Bradly Brackenbury, Marilyn Hope Lake and Denton Warn, Ken Ohm, Donald Pady, Greg Hoots, Michelle Spencer, Lisa Harkrader.

Author/Illustrator Panel
Kansas Reading Association Conference
Friday, October 21, 2011
Emporia State University
Emporia, Kansas

Other writers attending the conference include Beverly Buller, Paul Schneider, Andrea Warren, Roy Bird, Roderick Townley, and Brian Lies.

I’ll post more when I find out details about the author/illustrator panel.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Beanboy Cover Art

<—Here is the cover art for The Adventures of Beanboy. Artist Dan Santat has done an amazing job. I couldn’t ask for a better cover. It has just the right style and tone to both complement the story and entice readers to pick up the book. It will really help Beanboy stand out on a bookstore or library shelf.

I was thrilled when my publisher chose Dan to do the cover. He has written and/or illustrated tons of picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels, including The Adventures of Nanny Piggins, Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World, Guild of Geniuses, and the soon-to-be-released Sidekicks. He also created the Disney Channel television program “The Replacements.” To find out more about Dan and see some of his work, click here to visit his website (

I’m not sure when Beanboy will be out, but I’ll post the date here as soon as I find out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tortoise and Hare

I get exhausted by the frenzy of writing advice swirling about the internet on how to write more, faster, and get it out there by building a platform (whatever the heck that is), creating a brand (ditto), and sell-sell-selling. The little voice in my head keeps jumping up and down and squeaking, “But what about the writing? Doesn’t anybody care about what they’re trying to sell?”

How refreshing, then, to read “In Praise of the Tortoise, With All Due Respect to the Hare,” on Gar Anthony Haywood’s blog, Wisdom Mistaken for Lunacy, this morning. Gar, a Shamus and Anthony Award-winning crime novelist, explains the seven things he believes good writers do to get even better.

Now my little voice is jumping up and down, squeaking, “Yes! Yes! That’s what I needed to hear.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dr. Naismith’s Original Rules

Hooray! Dr. James Naismith’s original 13 rules of basketball (or basket ball, as he named it), typed by his secretary and tacked up in the gym at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he invented the game, are coming back to the University of Kansas where they belong:

The Naismith International Basketball Foundation, led by Dr. Naismith’s grandson, Ian Naismith, will use proceeds from the sale to help underprivileged kids around the world.

This Kansas history website lists the original 13 rules.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Guest Blogger

Today I have a guest blog post on creating plots that spring from character on Lynne Marie Pisano’s fabuloso writing blog, My Word Playground. Thanks for inviting me, Lynne!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Interview With. . . Moi

My friend Warren Bull has interviewed me about writing middle grade and young adult fiction. The interview is now up at the Writers Who Kill blog.

Thanks, Warren!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Those Briarwood Kids!

I visited Briarwood Elementary in Prairie Village, Kansas, earlier this week and talked to the fourth and fifth graders. They were such great kids—polite, attentive, and smart. They asked great questions and had the answers to any question I managed to throw at them. It was a fun visit.

Thank you, Mrs. Berenson, for inviting me.