Coming Up for Air

Huge apologies! I last wrote about having so much neat stuff on the go, and, well — hush-hush — and all that. Then I did a long disappearing act and didn’t blog for months. Sorry. Really.

I landed a one-year, full-time contract at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in October. It’s very exciting and I’m working with great people. Everyone there is incredibly smart and cool and there are chalkboards EVERYWHERE! I really do mean everywhere. In fact, only the washrooms don’t have chalkboards.

So, yeah, the rumours are true; I have a bunch of books coming out. (It feels so great to say that!) Exploring Caves was published in December with Nelson Cengage Learning in Australia. It’s part of a literacy series and meant for students in grade 5. This is a book I wrote last winter, so it’s really fun to see it now. I was delighted to pass on copies to my nephews and hope they like it. Also with Cengage, and available to schools soon, is The Power of Wind, which I wrote last spring. My third title with the same publishing house — written six months ago — is called Exploding Volcanoes. And these last two should be coming out imminently. I’m told these titles are being advertised in their catalogue so it’s OK to blab about them. (See Hush-Hush blog.) The neat thing about these literacy program books — from my view — is that my contracts are royalty-based. That means the more books schools buy, the better it is for me. Most contracts for educational books are flat-fee arrangements, so this seems extra sweet. I will cross my fingers that schools check them out. As always, it is heartwarming to imagine kids curled up in their favourite reading chair, learning about these neat topics. And, even more important, becoming better readers!

It was a lot of fun writing these books. I learned a whole lot and I tried my hand at a short fictional piece in The Power of Wind. It’s from the point of view of a boy whose family experiences Hurricane Juan. This hurricane hit Halifax in 2003 when I lived there and so I experienced it first-hand. In fact, lots of details in the fictionalized account were real things that happened, including the water dripping through the windows in my house. Scary stuff.

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