Why so quiet? Here’s the thing: So much about writing is hush-hush. You can’t always disclose the title, topic, or finer details of books until they hit the press’s catalogue. This is pretty much always the case for books in literacy programs. The educational market is highly competitive and no publisher wants their competition to know what they’re cooking up. When it comes to confidentiality, I tend to err on the side of caution and assume I shouldn’t say too much.
For submissions in trade (books that are sold in bookstores, as opposed to those sold exclusively to schools), it’s not always smart to tell the world what you’re working on—at least, not in too much detail—before it is in production and the pages are being set. Even then, it’s all about strategically worded teasers and working to get that social media and word-of-mouth buzz happening.
So, that’s why I’m being strangely silent, even though it’s been a crazy-productive year so far, with lots on the go. I’d love to announce I have a new trade book coming out soon, but alas, it’s going to be a while.
As a special note for those of you in Canada: Make your voice heard. Vote on October 19!Read More »
I’m half-way through writing my 20th book. YES! Since January, I’ve been blessed with four book contracts. They are all for educational publishers, so these books will be sold directly to schools, not bookstores (sorry!). I love knowing that kids in elementary schools across Canada and around the world will be reading and learning from these books. Some are nonfiction descriptive texts based on earth science topics. One is a social justice title that encourages kids to get involved and make a difference.
I had the great fortune of interviewing two 11-year-old kids, a nonprofit group founder, and a First Nations elder. Interviewing is a little nerve-wracking, challenging to set up, and downright hard to do. But the more I try it, the more I see its value. Speaking one-on-one with an expert is an honour. The information, the facts, and the personal stories people share are often moving, powerful, and inspiring. I can research ’til the cows come home, but including a quotation from an expert is like unearthing a nugget of GOLD.
I also absolutely love the way individual voices come through, adding truth and dimension to the manuscript. Young and old, from here or from afar, the individual voices in this particular project help show the power of people — including kids — in making a difference and changing the world to make it better for all.
And so, yes, I’m half-way through writing my 20th book. It feels GOOD! I always hoped I’d reach that magic number of 20, and here I am. I’d like to line up a trade book deal some time soon — that’s for the kind of book you can buy in a bookstore. In the meantime, the pickings have been mighty fine in the educational sphere.
And that means one happy writer!Read More »