Here's a blurb:
How do you escape a hungry tiger? Why do ram-goats smell? What happens if you get too greedy? In this collection of ten retold Jamaican stories, Anansi the spider tricks, sings, and dances his way into and out of trouble.
You can find Bish at: http://bish-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/
And Donna Weaver has a new book out, HOPE'S WATCH. It sounds fantastic.
Here's a blurb:
This little offering tells the story of Elle's first days after being kidnapped during a cruise excursion and then rescued, while the Coast Guard searches for her friend Lyn, who is now lost at sea. It fits nicely between A Change of Plans and Torn Canvas (Jori's tale) which releases in April.
You can find out more at: http://
And David Powers King with his co-author Michael Jensen just sold their YA fantasy WOVEN to Scholastic to be published in Spring 2015. Go HERE to congratulate David.
I also have a winner to announce. The winner of my ASK THE EXPERT Giveaway is Tina F who picked THE ENCHANTER HEIR.
Cograts! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.
Today I’m thrilled to have debut author Rachel Searles here to share about her sci-fi MG novel THE LOST PLANET that releases tomorrow. This is a fantastic mystery and adventure story set in space. I loved learning about the planets Chase travels to and finding out with him who he really is. This is a great MG adventure story that will really appeal to boys as well as girls.
Here’s a description from Goodreads:
This is what the boy is told:
• He woke up on planet Trucon, inside a fence he shouldn't have been able to pass.
• He has an annirad blaster wound to the back of his head.
• He has no memory.
• He is now under the protection of a mysterious benefactor.
• His name is Chase Garrety.
This is what Chase Garrety knows:
• He has a message: "Guide the star."
• Time is running out.
Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for joining us.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
I always had my nose in either a book or a notebook from the time I was in first grade, and there was never a time when becoming a writer wasn’t in my overall game plan. But in college I studied political science and German, and then I moved to Munich and put off writing to just live life for a while. I went to grad school, got a great job, got married, and generally got caught up in other things until about 2010 when I realized that if I was ever going to fulfill my author dream, I needed to buckle down and actually write something. Once I got serious, it took me over two years to write and revise (and revise, and revise) this book, which sold in late 2012.
2. That’s great you came back to it and were able to sell your first book. Where did you get the idea for your story?
When I was trying to get serious with my writing, I tried a few different ideas, but I had a hard time sticking with a story for more than thirty pages, so I decided I needed to write something that was just fantastical and fun, like the big epic action movies I love. Space popped into my head as a setting where I could go nuts creating my own worlds, and the story developed organically from there.
3. That’s cool that you drew on the movies you like to watch. And I can see your story like a move. I found the world building in THE LOST PLANET fascinating. You didn’t just create the planet Trucon, but also other planets and space ships. This is a really inter-galactic adventure. Share your world building process. Did it all come from your imagination or did you have to do research in creating your world?
A lot of it came from my overactive imagination, but I definitely read up on astronomy, physics, and space travel. Some of the cultural world building elements bled over from ideas I remembered from my political science studies, or from things I’ve seen or thought about while traveling. And my ace in the hole is my husband—an actual rocket scientist—who spent ten years designing and building rockets and launching them into orbit. So he’s been a tremendous resource for all my abstract space-faring questions.
4. Yeah, that must have been so helpful to have your husband as a resource. Your story mainly has male characters—Chase, the main character searching for his identity, Parker, the boy whose home he lands on, and Maurus, the man they meet and become involved with. Was it easy writing from a boy’s POV and focusing on mainly male characters? Did you face any challenges and how did you overcome them?
For this book, it just felt natural to write it from Chase’s perspective, and once I got the plot figured out,
5. Glad I’m not alone in having to revise a lot. What tips do you have on getting a middle grade voice right, especially a boy’s voice?
When I’m trying to get inside the head of my male characters, I think of guys I know: my older brother, guy friends, my husband, my 10-year-old nephew. I think about how they would react, or what they might say in a similar situation.
6. Your agent is Joanna Volpe. She sounds like such an awesome agent. Share how she became your agent and your road to publication.
Oh, I love this story so much! I’d been querying for about six months when I saw that Joanna was offering a full manuscript critique by random drawing to people who bought her client Leigh Bardugo’s debut, SHADOW AND BONE, from Books of Wonder. I bought the book, and then won the random drawing! Offering representation certainly wasn’t part of the contest, but a month later Joanna sent me an email asking if I was available to talk on the phone. I didn’t know what to expect, so when she told me she wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if she didn’t make me an offer, I just about died on the spot. She most certainly is an incredible agent, and I feel so lucky to be able to work with her. After I signed with her, we did two rounds of light revisions together, and my book went to auction two weeks after she sent it out on submission.
7. That is about the most amazing agent story I’ve heard. And to win in a Leigh Bardugo giveaway is beyond cool. What blogs will be participating in your blog tour? How did you chose them or did you have a blog tour service set it up for you?
Blogs I’m scheduled to visit include The Midnight Garden, ReadingTeen.net, Read Now Sleep Later, Maria’s Mélange, Book Haven Extraordinaire, The Book Monsters, Book YA Review, Alice Marvels, YA Book Nerd, and Book Jems. I’m so fortunate in that Macmillan has been wonderfully supportive of this book, so they set up the blog tour for me, as well as a physical tour to bookstores and schools in California during my publication week.
8. That’s great your publisher set it up for you. I’ll have to check out these blogs. What’s your favorite social media that you use to build your writer’s platform? Why and how are you finding it helpful in reaching other writers and potential readers?
For me it was difficult to get started on Twitter, but after getting the hang of things, I have found it incredibly useful to reach both readers and writers. Just about the entire kidlit community is on Twitter! And I love the brief, instantaneous, and informal nature of it as a way to connect with people.
9. Yeah, I need to get on Twitter more. What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on revisions to the second book in the Lost Planet series and plotting out the synopsis of a third book to present to my editor. I’ve got other middle grade projects simmering on the back burner, but right now that’s about all I have time for.
Thanks for sharing all your advice. You can find Rachel at at www.rachelsearles.com, twitter.com/RachelSearles, and facebook.com/RachelSearlesAuthor.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome but the winner would get an e-book or $5.00 Amazon gift card.
Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays was started by Shannon Messenger. You can find all the other blogs participating this week HERE.
Here’s what’s coming up:
On Friday I’ll be participating in the Favorites Giveaway Hop. I’ll have lots of great choices that I loved or am looking forward to. My post will be posted on Friday afternoon.
Next Monday I’m interviewing Holly Schindler and giving away a copy of THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY. This is a contemporary middle grade story that I know you’re going to love so I jumped at the chance to be part of Holly’s blog tour.
The following Monday I’m interviewing Ryan Graudin and giving away an ARC of ALL THAT GLOWS, her fantastic YA urban fantasy set in London.
Wednesday that week I’m participating in PK Hzero’s Blog Tour with an interview and giveaway of BUTTERMAN (TIME) TRAVEL INC., a fantastic NA time travel story that I really enjoyed.
And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.
Hope to see you on Friday!