It’s only mid-January, but the list of events for writers and illustrators in the Greater Houston Area is already getting huge. I’ve added something for 2017 on that page, cover images for books written by local authors. More will be added as events continue to be announced. Please hop over and check out our local, world-class talent!
Happy Book Birthday!
I have a great variety of book launch celebrations today: one MG supernatural rom-com, a nonfiction, a YA fantasy, and a YA contemporary. The first of these is the last in a series from prolific MG/tween author Anna Staniszewski, who I “met” years ago on the SCBWI Discussion Board. One is by a local author from one of my former writing groups, the Houston YA/MG Writers. Unfortunately, we’ve disbanded but still keep in touch via listserv. Another YA/MG Writers member Gordan Rottman has a new sequel out for his YA novel THE HARDEST RIDE which features 16-year-old Marta. The new book, RIDE HARDER, continues new-adult Marta’s adventure with her fiancee as they confront all of the dangers Texas in the late 1880s.
Published by Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky
Lena is more than ready to spend a quiet winter break with her mom out in Arizona, even if that means saying a temporary good-bye to her boyfriend, Marcus. What she doesn’t count on? A major power outage—of the supernatural kind. Out of nowhere, Lena’s soul-collecting powers disappear, as do Marcus’s matchmaking powers, only to reappear elsewhere.
Now school-loudmouth Connie Reynolds is making people fall in love left and right, and Marcus’s sister is having visions… If Lena and Marcus can’t figure out how to set things right, it might just be the end of the world as they know it.
The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt
Photos by Tom Uhlman
In July of 2015 a robotic spacecraft reached Pluto after a nine-and-half-year journey. New Horizons is the first spacecraft mission to Pluto and revealed its five moons as never before seen. Images from the mission show a reddish surface covered in ice-water mountains, moving glaciers, and hints of possible ice volcanoes and an underground ocean. Pluto is geologically alive and changing!
This addition to the Scientists in the Field series goes where no person or spacecraft has ever gone before. Follow along with the team of scientists as they build New Horizons, fly it across the solar system, and make new discoveries about a world three billion miles away.
Published by Cedar Fort Publishing
Some borders aren’t meant to be crossed.
Eliinka has been able to hide her deepest secret… until now. Her only choice is to make a perilous crossing to a foreign land where she’ll discover the truth about a powerful legend and the hope for peace after centuries of conflict.
Immerse yourself in this enchanting fantasy world and take heart in Eliinka’s journey of sacrifice, romance, and intrigue.
HALF THE DISTANCE
Written by Stan Marshall
Published by The Hartwood Publishing Group
When seventeen-year-old Todd Nelson—preacher’s kid, football player, and all-around good guy—moves from big city Houston to a small Texas town, he must leave everything he loves behind—his teammates, good friends, and his cheerleader girlfriend. As with every other teenager in the world, he didn’t have much say in the matter. His dad even had the nerve to say, “I think this move will be good for all of us.”
In what universe?
For Todd, adjustment to a new school in a new town is hard enough, but just as his football skills begin to gain him acceptance in the new school, the roof caves in. He is blamed for his new team’s loss in the championship game. With high school football ranking two notches above God and country in rural Texas, Todd becomes a pariah, not only to his schoolmates but to the whole town.
As his life continues to deteriorate, he focuses on the injustice of being held responsible for something he doesn’t think is his fault. He’s always tried to do the right thing, and look where that got him—paying for a mistake someone else made. If the devil was looking to make a deal, Todd was just about ready to sign on the dotted line.
Todd finds himself battling not only against flesh and blood, but his own inner demons as well. Can he find the courage to fight when his whole world is being ripped apart? And is courage alone enough?
Local Author Events
JANUARY 11, WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM: NEAL SCHUSTERMAN, MG AUTHOR
COST: FREE In order to go through the signing line and meet Neal Shusterman for book personalization, please purchase SCYTHE from Blue Willow Bookshop.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe a role that neither wants. These teens must master the art of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
JANUARY 11-16: TEXAS WRITING RETREAT, NAVASOTA, TX
This retreat will feature classes and lectures by authors John Grogan (writer of MARLEY AND ME) and author of adult crime novels, Joe Clifford. Kimberly & Cameron Literary Agent, freelance editor, and former acquisitions editor, Elizabeth Kracht will also be attending.
JANUARY 14, SATURDAY: WEST HOUSTON RWA WORKSHOP: OLIVIA DRAKE
Memorial Drive Christian Church, 11750 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX
COST: Non-members may attend two meetings prior to joining RWA
Make Them Laugh, Make Them Cry: Writing Effective Emotion: Every good novel grabs the reader’s heart and never lets go. Learn how to use emotion to enhance your plot, to drive character motivation, and to force your character to face his/her deepest flaw.
At 8:30 prior to this meeting, there will be a PRO program (for unpublished or writers who haven’t met Published Author Network criteria) with Rachel Osborne, Tips on Setting Goals and Sticking to Them.
JANUARY 17, TUESDAY, 7:15 PM: HOUSTON BAY AREA ROMANCE WRITERS: JULIE GLOVER
Young Adult author Julie Glover discusses Using Grammar to Enhance Your Voice.
For more conference information, visit the main conference pages. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly updates, please use the Subscribe to Updates form on the sidebars!
FEBRUARY 16-18: DESERT NIGHTS, RISING STARS, PHOENIX, AZ
EDITOR: Cheryl Klein/Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic
AGENT: Emma Patterson/Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents
FEBRUARY 18: BOOK COVERS CATCH THE ART DIRECTOR’S EYE, SALT LAKE CITY, UT
ART DIRECTOR: Nicki Carmack/Peachtree
MAY 12-13: LAKEFLY WRITERS CONFERENCE, OSH KOSH, WI
AGENT: Jill Swenson/Swenson Book Development LLC
MAY 20-21: WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS WORKING CONFERENCE, AUSTIN, TX
EDITORS: Kendra Levin/Penguin Random House; Melissa Manlove/Chronicle Books
AGENTS: Linda Camacho/Prospect Literary Agency; Stefanie Von Borstel/Full Circle Literary
ART DIRECTOR: Guiseppe Castellano/Penguin Random House
JUNE 12-16: WRITING & ILLUSTRATING FOR YOUNG READERS, SANDY, UT
EDITORS: Emily Feinberg/Roaring Brook Press; Emma D. Dryden/drydenbks
AGENTS: Ben Grange/JABberwocky; Amy Jameson/A+B Works; Michelle Witte/Mansion Street Literary Management; Stephen Fraser/The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
JULY 20-22: MIDWEST WRITERS WORKSHOP, MUNCIE, IN
AGENTS: Roseanne Wells/Jennifer De Chiara Literary; Jessica Sinsheimer/Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency; Monica Odom/Bradford Literary Agency; Brooks Sherman/The Bent Agency; Jennifer Laughran/Andrea Brown Literary Agency; Eric Smith/P.S. Literary
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