I don’t have any conference updates for this week, but we have a jam-packed calendar of local author and illustrator events! I hope a lot of our local folks will brave the rain and get out there!
BTW, there’s still time to register for the SCBWI-Houston conference on October 22, so if you are in Houston or can make the trip, sign up here.
Happy Book Birthday!
This week’s birthday celebration is for an adorable new bedtime book from another member and moderator of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Discussion Board, Sharon Chriscoe! Vroom!
RACE CAR DREAMS
From the publisher: After a day at the track of zipping and zooming, a race car is tired and ready for bed. He washes his rims, fills his tummy with oil, and chooses a book that is all about speed. All toasty and warm, he drifts off to sleep, he shifts into gear . . . and dreams of the race!
Follow the RACE CAR DREAMS blog tour, starting with this launch post on Color Me a Kidlit Writer!
SEPTEMBER 14, WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM: CHRIS BARTON, PB AUTHOR
Blue Willow Bookshop
Austin author Chris Barton will discuss and sign his newest picture book for children, WHOOSH! LONNIE JOHNSON’S SUPER-SOAKING STREAM OF INVENTIONS, with illustrations by Austin’s Don Tate. A cool idea with a big splash! You know the Super Soaker. It’s one of the top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy. A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.
SEPTEMBER 15, THURSDAY, 5:00–7:00 PM : DEANNE WAGNER WHITE, PB AUTHOR
River Oaks Bookstore
THE OTTER BY THE SEA, the first book in author/illustrator Deanne Wagner White’s Otter Chronicles series invites children to experience the day-to-day life of Baby Otter and his family. The book also acts as an educational tool because it offers fun Otter facts on the back cover and raises awareness among children about the endangered Otter species and how the ocean benefits from their presence could help with future preservation efforts.
SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY, 4:00 PM: JOY PREBLE, YA AUTHOR
Barnes and Noble Champions Forest
Local author Joy Preble will discuss her new book IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THIS as the featured author for the Banff School Book Fair. Not only will you be able to get a signed copy of IWALT, you will also help support Banff School by all your BN purchases that day!
In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging—as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder—Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.
On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders—whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her—indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma’s hope for finding the boy she’s certain is still out there . . .
SEPTEMBER 15, THURSDAY, 7:00 PM (Doors open at 6:00): COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD, PB AUTHOR
Katy Taylor High School
Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Space Station Commander, will give a talk on space travel, music, conquering fear of the unkown and his newest book, THE DARKEST DARK, with illustrations by Terry and Eric Fan.
Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem—at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark. But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is—and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.
SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY, 11:00 AM: JENNIFER MATHIEU, YA AUTHOR
Blue Willow Bookshop
Jennifer Mathieu, the local author of DEVOTED and THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, will discuss and sign her new novel for teens, AFTERWARD. When eleven-year-old Dylan Anderson is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of fifteen-year-old Ethan Jorgensen, who had gone on a bike ride four years earlier and had never been seen again. Dylan’s older sister, Caroline, can’t help but wonder what happened to her brother, who has nonverbal autism and is not adjusting well to life back home. There’s only one person who knows the truth: Ethan. But Ethan isn’t sure how he can help Caroline when he is fighting traumatic memories of his own captivity. Both Caroline and Ethan need a friend, however, and their best option just might be each other.
SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY, NOON-2:00 PM: MARIA ASHWORTH, PB AUTHOR
Altitude Trampoline Park, Katy
Step Family Day was founded in 1998 to recognize and show appreciation for the importance and value of step-parents and extended families. Maria Ashworth, author of STEP ONE, STEP TWO, STEP THREE AND FOUR and Macaroni Kid Katy are collaborating together for an ALL DAY event at Altitude Trampoline Park. There will be giveaways every 20-30 minutes from 12-2 PM (maybe longer). Free pizza, socks and drink. It will be a discounted POP for an all day jump. Children may nominate their step parent for “Step Parent of The Year” (prize awarded). All are welcome!
SEPTEMBER 18, SUNDAY, 3:00 PM (Doors open at 2:15): NATHAN HALE, AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR
Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School
Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People invites you to enjoy an afternoon with bestselling middle-grade author and illustrator Nathan Hale. Mr. Hale will make a presentation about the latest book in his Nathan Hale Hazardous Tales series, ALAMO ALL-STARS. After the presentation, he will take questions from the audience, followed by a book sale and signing*, giving fans a chance to visit with him. Books will be available for sale at the event through Blue Willow Bookshop.
SEPTEMBER 19, MONDAY, 5:00 PM: AARON BECKER, PB AUTHOR
Blue Willow Bookshop
For the first in Blue Willow Bookshop’s new series, Blue Willow Up Close, Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker will discuss and sign his newest picture book for children, RETURN. Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings and emperors, castles and canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. This time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home, as a gripping backstory is revealed that will hold readers in its thrall.
SEPTEMBER 15, THURSDAY, 6:00-9:00 PM: HOW TO FIND AN AGENT
COST: Early-Bird until September 10: $30 Members, $45 Non-Members. After September 10: $40 Members, $55 Non-Members
For those serious about publishing a novel with a traditional press, the next step after writing a polished manuscript is to find a literary agent to represent you and your work. This three-hour workshop with YA author Joy Preble will break down the often daunting and highly competitive process of seeking representation. We will examine what an agent does and doesn’t do when he or she agrees to represent your work, as well as what exactly it takes to find the perfect match between author and agent. In this workshop, we will cover the most crucial aspects of the process of finding your dream agent, from networking to research to query letters and more.
SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY: HBA-RWA 2016 STARFISH WRITERS CONFERENCE, LEAGUE CITY
South Shore Harbour Resort
COST: $40 Houston Bay Area RWA Members, $60 Non-members
Featuring USA Today Bestseller and Romantic Times Top Pick, urban fantasy author Jaye Wells. This conference features three workshops:
Delivering Your POPs and Payoffs
Light breakfast & full lunch are included. Plus Raffle baskets & door prices!
SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM: DIGGING THE WELL: BUILDING EMOTIONAL CONTENT IN OUR WORK
COST: $40 Members, $55 Non-Members
Why is it that our story ideas sing in our imaginations, but then sound flat when we move to the page? Sometimes we can chalk that discrepancy up to the ups and downs of the writing process; it’s just what happens when we move from the kernel for a story to drafting and revision, and eventually it works itself out. At other times, the gap is due to a lack of emotional content. We’ve generated characters, a setting, they’re talking to each other, they even have some problems, but we find that while we’re accruing details, we’re not accruing depth. Building emotional content isn’t about getting all of our characters on a therapist’s couch. It’s about looking at what we’ve written and finding the traces of deep desire, power play, values, and fruitful contradiction within those pages. From there, we find ways to subtly turn those traces into a source of power and purpose in our story. In this class with instructor Adrienne Perry, we’ll do this through exercises, discussion, and by lending a keen eye to our own work.