Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between them.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

GREG ILES Giveaway! Sharing my book!

Tomorrow will be somebody's lucky day.

I have an "extra" ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy- Thank you to the publisher, William Morrow) of NATCHEZ BURNING. Greg Iles's new book is a big, bold page-turner. 

I won't even tell you how many pages, but I will say I was never a bit bored. 



Coming to everybody, everywhere at the end of April. 
But I'm willing to pass this copy to one lucky winner. Only a couple of my underlinings and I'm pretty sure I removed all my stickie notes.

Let's do this quickly, folks.
Leave a comment, here or on Facebook. Or answer my Tweet.
I'll draw a winner on MONDAY MORNING, April 14.
That's tomorrow.

You know you want to say you read it first, right?
Leave me a way to get in touch, or check back on my blog and Facebook post tomorrow. If the winner isn't readily available, I'll go on to the next. 
(I want to mail this ASAP.)


Food for thought this morning, a Shelby Foote quote, spoken by Dr. Cage (p. 310):

"Old Shelby said something interesting about facts: 'People make a grievous error thinking that a list of facts is the truth. Facts are just the bare bones out of which truth is made.'"


Friday, April 11, 2014

Hanging with a bunch of famous people.

I love hanging out with kids' books authors.
Seriously. They are the best.
Today I got to meet some of my Facebook, email, Twitter friends IN PERSON!

Danette Haworth, for example. We meet on Facebook at all hours.
Little did she know, I'm a big fan of her books. I can prove it! Way back when, I followed her blog:
http://www.summerfriend.blogspot.com

I read her first book in 2008. I've read others. I love them.
See?
http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2008/12/what-im-reading-now.html

Lisa Graff and I crossed actual paths in 2008 at the fabulous SCBWI Maryland event.  And I was delighted to actually meet Lynda Mulally Hunt today. The list goes on and on. I am honored to be hanging out with these fun, creative, smart folks.

If you happen to be hanging out near PALM BEACH FLORIDA tomorrow, please check out the APRIL IS FOR AUTHORS schedule and pop in to say hello to all of us.
http://www.aprilisforauthors.org

Here we are!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A SNICKER OF MAGIC

When Scholastic sent a review copy of this, I knew I'd love it. 
That cover! That title!



And then I opened the book and fell inside.

Such a terrific book.
My review from the Christian Science Monitor. 

If you don't believe me, check out what the  
New York Times Book Review said.

I mean, that's some serious praise going on.


In a recent discussion among some kids' book writers I know, the topic of 
MAGICAL REALISM popped up.
Check out this very clear, cut-to-the-chase explanation from Kimberley G. Little, who knows what she's talking about.
See that list of books at the end of the blogpost? Yep, Snicker of Magic, right there. A perfect example.


CLICK HERE for a look at Natalie's own blog. 

Natalie's done a ton of interviews for other blogs. This is one of my favorite. And not just because of the ice cream...
http://www.foodiebibliophile.com/2014/02/author-interview-natalie-lloyd.html


So, what do you think? Does a "snicker" of magic make for magical realism? Does a cover like this and a great title tempt you, or do you open right up to page one and jump in?






















Monday, April 7, 2014

Growing an Evergreen



Random Notes from a recent workshop with JOYCE SWEENEY.
(Some paraphrasing going on here.)





An "evergreen" book is one that stands the test of time. 
It doesn't have to be a best seller, an overnight commercial success, a hot book.

BUT

"You must entertain children for a very long time."

Have a moment (or more!) in the book where the character can be special.
These touches should be positive, places the character is at her best, true to himself.

My editor calls these AHA! moments.
The things kids write to you and say "That was my favorite part."
The things they go back and reread.

True, sacred, transcendent, luminous moments.

(Ah, if it were all so easy, right?)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happy School Library Month

When I was asked, along with a lot of writers, to share something from my early memories of my school library, truthfully I couldn't remember just one. I can't remember NOT having a library in my life. School, public, college.
I hang out in libraries like some of my friends do at Starbucks!


So instead, I thought about why I became a librarian. 5th grade.
Hill Demonstration School, Cleveland, MS.
Mr. D.T. Oakes asked me to be the librarian. Which meant I got to check out all the newest books, first. And then decide which of my friends would be next.
I liked the power.
But truly, I loved to read.


Here's a link to all the authors from this year's School Library Month tributes:
https://projeqt.com/aasl/school-library-month-2014/110/l


My grandmother was one of our town library's founding fathers. Mothers. (You know what I mean.)
There's a plaque in the Bolivar County Library.
Makes me very proud to see that each time I visit!


One of my best book moments was talking about GLORY BE in the Founders Room at the Bolivar County Library.

(You can read about it HERE.)

Do something nice for your local school library this month!
Sadly, so many of them are disappearing, losing support, and losing professional librarians.

Can you even imagine a school without a library?



Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Thing I (still) Love...

Today I noticed a spatter of coral peeking out in my garden.
My amaryllis, the one an un-named superhero karate-chopped a while ago, is blooming again.


The emergency work I did, dividing it and babying it and making sure it survived, worked!
It also bloomed last year, but quite honestly, a friendly dog visitor decided it was tempting and chopped away at the foliage, so I didn't have much hope for it returning this spring.

*I love dogs and superheros as much as flowers, so I didn't over-worry about it.

TWO blooms, and counting!






You may read my tale of Superhero and Flower in combat, if you missed it previously, RIGHT HERE.

Friday, March 28, 2014

STILL WRITING by Dani Shapiro

Do you collect every inspirational writing book, every craft book, every This is How to Do It book about creating novels?

I almost do.

  


This is a new one I may have to add to my collection. My friend Barbara O'Connor first mentioned Dani Shapiro's book, and of course I reserved it that very day from my library. Weeks ago. It finally arrived.
I checked it out yesterday and opened it right up. Already I love it.




I love the idea of writers as eavesdroppers, always have. Eudora Welty's quote about "Now talk!" cracks me up.  The one about listening to grown people, how she would sit between two people in the car as they set off for a Sunday afternoon ride and say, "Now talk."

I always assumed it was mostly Southerners who loved to eavesdrop. (And Southern writers most of all!)

And here's Dani Shapiro, raised in New Jersey, talking about that very thing:

"...I spent my childhood straining to hear. With no siblings to distract me, I had plenty of time, and eavesdropped and snooped in every way I could devise. I lurked outside doorways, crouched on staircase landings. I fiddled with the intercom system in our house, attempting to tune in to rooms where one or both of my parents might be... I didn't know that this spying was the beginning of my literary education. That the need to know, to discover, to peel away the surface was a training ground for who and what I would grow up to become."

Shapiro also has a lot to say about modern-day distractions. The internet, of course.
So now I'll take her advice, move away from my computer, and read, then write.




Monday, March 24, 2014

Character Names

You know how much I love collecting names, right?

I tell the kids at my School Visits that I have an entire notebook filled with potential character names. And I'm always looking for more.



Serenity!

(Her friend's name was Story.)






And Gertie! I love Gertie!


My latest link, just discovered? 
http://nameberry.com/blog/the-next-baby-name-style-wave

The hot new names. 
Except guess what's on the New Baby Name Style Wave---
GLORY.
Yep, an old name making a comeback. 
(I won't hold my breath waiting for Augusta...)



Here are a few previous posts on The Name Thing.
Yes, I do obsess...

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2013/09/whats-in-name.html

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2008/05/naming-names.html

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-name-game-again.html





Friday, March 21, 2014

Writing Advice via Meg Cabot



While I was googling Meg Cabot to get a link to share, I happened upon this very basic How To Write a Book blogpost. 
From ages ago, in website years. 
But most of her tips hold up quite well!
And she's funny, of course.
For example:

But one thing you should NOT do is say to a writer, “I don't know how you find the time to write. I just have too many friends and social engagements ever to get around to it.” Because that is basically calling the writer a giant loser with no friends.
Please don't do this. Thank you.
10. If you have made the time to sit down and complete your novel, you are 100% ahead of most people out there. Pat yourself on the back.


Interestingly, oddly, one bit of advice is to know the ending of your story before you start to write it. I think that's good advice. Generally.
Though of course, whether you like it or not, that ending may change along the way. Sorry to tell you that.

(And thanks to Joyce and Carol, two Facebook writer friends, for sharing this great quote.)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Novel in Your Closet?

For all those wonderful aspiring writers who ask me How Can I Get Started?
Check out this post by Mary Jakcsch, and others.
This is pretty much it, in a nutshell.

The first draft is the fastest, and invariably the most important. In the first draft, I write for myself, and always with the door closed. No one ever sees those words.
The first draft is me getting out of my own way. In this draft I write as fast as I can without stopping. If there’s divine inspiration in writing, this is where I find it.
The next draft is revision. I usually spend longer here than I do on the first. This is where I’m massaging my meaning and making things flow for the reader.
The final draft is a polish, where I make my words sing in their intended key.
In the first draft I get it said, in the second I say what I mean, in the third I say it well.


Except I'd have to add, the next DRAFTS ARE REVISION.
I've never known a writer who could revise in one draft. Or three, for that matter.
Come to think of it, I've never known one who could get that first draft down in one quick writing. 

Here's the link:
http://writetodone.com/how-to-start-novel/
There are some really great ideas from the likes of Elizabeth George et al. in that blogpost. Go ahead, click on over.

And I'm totally stealing the picture.




Good luck!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Excellent WRITING TIPS for all

While searching for something else, I found this.
Often that happens, doesn't it?

I wish I knew who said it first, but I'll share here.
I'm taking this excellent advice myself. If anyone can give credit to the original writer, please do. Don't want to steal someone else's words, but it's good advice.








THINGS TO CUT



Adjectives if 2 or 3, make 1 or 2
 

“Magic 2”: If a big paragraph, delete 2 sentences. Each sentence, delete 2 words. Short sentences, delete 2 syllables



Beginnings of each chapter!



People rarely use names in conversation. Leave them out!
(I never use names in conversation. Well, hardly ever. And it bugs me when they're used repeatedly in dialog. Read it aloud and you'll see how awkward they sound!)

Cliches and junk words (“well, just, even”).

Thursday, March 6, 2014

THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt

At last.
I finished this book.
I can't tell you how many pages I read-- although of course I could look it up-- because I read it on my Kindle app.

I will say that it was long. Very long.

Or as Stephen King cautions: Don't drop it on your foot.

Not truly long in a bad way long.
Yes, I agree with MANY others who've said it needed tighter editing.
But reading it as an ebook meant I could speed through the draggy parts.

Pity the poor friends who listened to it. Every single word. Then I may have cried Foul!
My friends who listened mostly thought it was overwritten and under-edited.
I kind of agree but did love (or at least like a lot) so much of the book.




One of the best reviews I've seen comes from Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times book editor. Best of the year, she says!
Here's a bit of her review that I particularly agree with:


"Tartt's description of the blast's aftermath and of the night Theo spends alone in his family's apartment, frantically trying to find out what happened to his mother, is a shattering tour de force."

(Click here to read all that review. Go ahead and read it if you have finished The Goldfinch. Because if you're one who doesn't like to know a thing about a story in advance, there are some spoilers.)

I also adore this review from the New York Times, written by none other than STEPHEN KING.
Many parts make me smile, but especially this:
"To write a novel this large and dense is equivalent to sailing from America to Ireland in a rowboat, a job both lonely and exhausting."

 I was a Donna Tartt fan from her first book, which I totally enjoyed. The second, not so much, but I read it. And I eagerly awaited The Goldfinch. I really was taken by her narrator Theo's thoughts on what art means. I loved the scenes that sped along, the "museum scene" quoted above, for example.
(Right now I can't think of other examples. Maybe that means there weren't any...)

I so wanted to go to the Frick to see the exhibit. Alas, my travel plans were thwarted by the weather.
You can click here to go to the museum's site. Be sure to listen to the audio. Fascinating.


A few thoughts from friends who've read the book:

At several points just when I thought it was really slow and boring, something happened to engage my interest again.  And so it went as I read on my Kindle.  Then today I got to the end.  And while I wanted it to end in an engaging manner, instead it ended in a dull, boring, preachy manner.
People who complain about the fact that it is 770 pages obviously have never read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I never feel those are slow and boring, even though some are over 1000 pages.

And this, from a cyber reading buddy who listened:
I actually listened to it on audible - yes all 32 1/2 hours. 
It's been a month since I finished Goldfinch and it's still lingering in my mind.

From my writer friend who reads a lot. Thoughtfully reads.
I was so taken by Boris and have seen many comments that he will live on. 
I loved the many many sub climaxes, the sinister plunges & over all plotting. It did, suddenly, become a thriller.


So there you have it! Maybe more than you ever cared to know. Feel free to comment. I'd love to hear what others think. 

Read on!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

World Read Aloud Day


It's not to late to plan your Read Aloud Day. 
(Check that link for lots of goodies.)

Wednesday, March 5th-  
All sorts of fun happenings! 



I've followed a few bloggers who've participated in this annual event.
http://www.busylibrarian.com/2014/02/wrad14-blogging-challenge-week-2.html

Okay, maybe it's my librarian humor. But that post cracks me up. Love the kids' reasons for enjoying being read to. Relaxing, restful to the eyes. I couldn't agree more, Mr. Winner and students!

Though it's probably too late to find an author to read with, mark this site for next year. I'll bet Kate Messner creates her list again.

http://www.katemessner.com/skype-with-an-author-on-world-read-aloud-day-2014/

My friend Aimee Reid's blog is all about reading with your family, with your classroom, with a friend.
Here's my 2-cents worth on the topic.

http://www.aimeereidbooks.com/augusta-scattergood-on-spinning-yarns-and-freedom-summer/







(Could this be a younger me, beautifully depicted, reading aloud? Or maybe it's Glory reading her own story! Thanks again to my friends in Pelahatchie, MS, for last year's great visit.)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Plotting, one approach

 Yesterday while driving, I heard a great interview with one of my favorite writers, Laura Lippman.
I'm still waiting for AFTER I'M GONE from my library reserve. I may have to break down and buy my own copy. 
As soon as I finish The Goldfinch. (more to come on that book!)



You still might be able to catch the Lippman interview on the Bob Edwards show. 
There's this, from his website:

Monday, February 24, 2014:  Laura Lippman wrote her first seven books while working fulltime as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. She left journalism in 2001, but kept a deadline driven writing style, publishing a book nearly every year. The latest, After I’m Gone, revolves around a cold case investigation into the disappearance of Felix Brewer.


Although I've long been a fan, I actually met her at my one and only  
Writers in Paradise conference.
As we sat in a big circle, she talked plotting.

She calls her method the "distant shore school of plot." She always knows what's happening across the water, at the end. She knows the one big secret, but we (her readers) don't and even the protagonist doesn't. Although she knows the ending, she's also a fan of what she calls "Landmine Fiction" (don't you love that?). The zingers that go off along the way to that distant shore.

Here's an earlier NPR interview:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=8983711
(You can actually listen from that link.)

More on her plotting:
If you think about a book as a journey you're going to take across water, and you're standing on one shore, and you can see the other side, and so you set out and you think you know where you're going, you can see it, but the water itself may surprise you. The currents may run more swiftly than you expect, or it may be shallow, you may run aground, and then as you get closer to the other side, it turns out that some of the things you thought you saw and you thought you knew are different.
You thought you saw a horse, and it turns out it was a dog, something like that, and so while you have a sense of where you're going, you are prepared to be surprised and to have the journey be quite different from what you thought it might be when you set out.

That process can be true of drafts 1-3, with discoveries still occurring. I believe very strongly in what I call the organic solution, revelations based on what the story has revealed so far. 

Much of the above is from this interview. 
(But oh how I wish bloggers/ websites/ whatever would not make their background black... )

http://www.spinetinglermag.com/Laura_Lippman_Interview.htm

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Blog

I'm sorry. I can't resist. Remembering I was inspired to blog by a Media Bistro workshop, I kind of sort of remembered it as being in February. So I just checked.

Yep. 2/22/ 2008. 
Whoa, I've been doing this for all those years? And a few of you are still listening? This is my 927th post and you're still here?

There must be thousands of bloggers who focus on writing and books and The South and food and-- well, you name it, there's a blog for it. 
So, if you're reading mine, a huge THANK YOU.

Here's that very first post, just for fun.







So how hard can this be. Write a little about what I read. Discuss the pros and cons of (mostly free) book reviewing I do. Pull my hair out online about how hard it is to write, how under appreciated writing is as a job choice. Post pictures of me with new very short haircut, my dog going for a run (ha, ok an amble) on the beach, my latest failure in the kitchen. Let the games begin!

For starters, I'm reading The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. I just heard her read a chapter at the Writers in Paradise conference and bought the book on the spot. I'm a big fan. My knitting experience ended with the blanket my grandmother taught me to knit when I was nine years old, but the way Hood tells the stories of the women who gather to share and knit and care for each other is remarkable. I'd saved the book to read on my flight from Tampa to Newark yesterday but I can't stop reading it and worry that there will be no book to read on the trip back to Florida. I can't face a plane trip without a book.

OK, blogging is fun. Just like writing the long emails to my friends and family that they pretend to read but really skim and often ignore. Except for Leslie and Kate, who always read and always answer quickly. Thanks, guys!

_________________________________________________________________________________


If anybody's still reading, here are a few of my most viewed posts, over the years.

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-heck-is-historical-about-it-anyway.html

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2013/11/first-edition-first-printing.html

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2013/10/counting-by-7s-pov.html

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2013/09/horrendous-book-titles.html

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2013/07/repeat-after-me-s-s-s-s-s.html
(about using dialog tags other than said. Hoo Boy did that raise a ruckus!)

http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2011/07/another-pinch-me-moment.html


Monday, February 17, 2014

Hello, Como!

What a great week I had visiting north Mississippi.
Yes, it was cold (though, thankfully, I missed most of the ice and snow). But I saw old friends, ate well --too well-- and had some amazing experiences.

Here we are in pictures and links!



GLORY BE was picked as an ALL COMO READS book,
which meant I got to be a part of the remarkable programming to commemorate  
Freedom Summer, 1964, in Panola County, Mississippi.

Luckily, I got to town the day before my talk and was able to attend the panel of former civil rights workers from the county. They'd registered voters in 1964 and were back to talk about their experiences. Quite an evening that left me and their audience thinking hard.




Two of the civil rights workers chatting with my host and brother-in-law. Note the photography exhibit that lined the walls of the Como Library.







The program ended with this fabulous professional musician leading us in Freedom Songs.




















To share the week properly, I first should go back to this summer, when librarian Alice Pierotti helped me and NPR's Back Seat Book Club out, big time. When I was invited to be inteviewed for that amazing show, the producer asked if I knew any kid readers she could include in the broadcast. Yikes!
It was summer, all my school connections were unavailable. But I remembered one super librarian who'd loved GLORY BE. Alice didn't hesitate. She organized a group of Como Braniac kids, planned a listening party, and has continued to support my book.

Thanks, Alice!







Fast forward to February, 2014.

And here I am with two of the original Como Braniacs!

A local school librarian and several teachers came. Some brought their students. I loved it when one budding author told me they had a club at school and read lots of books and did all sorts of other fun things. "Some of the kids think we're nerds," she said. "We are and we don't care what they think."
She plans to be a writer. Probably soon!

I loved these kids and their questions.

It was all overseen by this talented young man and his cameras. He was everywhere! Doing everything!


Another favorite moment of the evening was chatting with this young teacher. Anda Weaver's entire class had read GLORY BE. My only disappointment was that there wasn't time for me to visit her school. I am going to try very hard to get back and thank those kids for reading.





Another enthusiastic teacher with lots of questions about writing. 
I predict we'll hear more from Precious Pirage!



My talk was about how authors' choose their characters, how they develop and refine them, often starting with real people.

It was really an excuse to use some pictures I love.
And share a few stories about writing GLORY BE.


Football Letterman, 1964.

Majorettes! Jesslyn's summer goal= Twirl a Fire Baton!


One of my favorite librarians, 1960s. Part of the "Delta Mafia" of librarians who stood up for their librarians and their library patrons. Miss Bloom followed in their footsteps.


If you're still reading, thanks. Since you're probably on blog overload, I'll save some of my pictures from the rest of the week. But truly, there's nothing like going home.


















Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

My quote for the day:

"Always take your heart to work."
                                                           (Meryl Streep)


                                                            (Me.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

OPHELIA and the MARVELOUS BOY- Giveaway!



To cheer up my frozen, snowed-in, chilly friends, I'm sending a little ray of Valentine sunshine your way and giving away my copy (Thanks, Knopf) of this brand new middle-grade novel.







Here's my review in the Christian Science Monitor.
http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Book-Reviews/2014/0131/Ophelia-and-the-Marvelous-Boy

 Here's a little piece they published about the book and the story.
http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2014/0210/Hans-Christian-Andersen-s-The-Snow-Queen-inspires-Disney-and-a-children-s-author-video

And also, a great interview with author Karen Foxlee.
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/interviews/article/60577-q-a-with-karen-foxlee.html

All you have to do is comment (by 2/20/14), here or on my Facebook posting of this link.
You can also share via Twitter and tag me: @ARScattergood.
Sorry, I can only mail to U.S. addresses.

Let's give this a week. Surely by then Spring will have sprung?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thank you, Grady Elementary!

One of the joys of having your book on the state reading list for your own state is that you get to visit nearby schools and hear what they think. And of course, we all know that kids LOVE to tell the truth.

Tampa's GRADY ELEMENTARY was my most recent stop. Despite the rainy weather, I was welcomed in a BIG way! Check out the sign as I drove into the school.




All the teachers and the librarian were so enthusiastic and their students were delightful.
A huge image of my cover art adorned the library.



4th grade teachers Melinda Dickens and Charlene Ritter truly made my day. The projects were fabulous!

Here are a few FLOATS, based on the Sunshine Reader list books. They'd had their own book parade! (It's all about Gasparilla in Tampa.)







4th grade kids made Lap Books, fully illustrated.





Tons of great stuff in these projects, including a letter to the EDITOR standing up for something they believed in.
Check this one!


"Naps help our health and give us energy to do our work."
Smart thinking.


And the fun continued today when I opened a folder full of letters, thanking me for sharing my book's journey with them.

Must share a few of these detailed, thoughtful notes. I'm still smiling.
(Some great advice, too...)

"Keep revising and work hard."
Okay!

"I think it's really cool that you and your editor revised together. 
I think my hand would fall off."
Yep, mine almost did.

"Now I know what Mrs. Ritter means by 'Our writing is never done!'"
Listen to your teachers, kids!

"As soon as your new book comes out I will surely be reading your newest master piece."

"Someday when I grow up I might write an autobiography and it might have your presentation in it."

"I loved your book. I'm pretty sure it was the BEST book I ever read."
Hey- I'll take Pretty Sure any day!


"I understood you like to read. I am a reading maniac as well. Now if you will excuse me, I have to do some reading myself."

On that note, I'm off to follow Jake's example and do a little reading myself.

Have a great week, teachers and librarians, and thanks for the amazing work you do to make kids so enthusiastic about books.




Thursday, February 6, 2014

Creating Characters

 Advice on making a character more likeable:

They are kind when it counts.  Not always, and maybe not mostly, but when it is important, the hero will do something kind.  If nothing else he will adopt a dog, a common fictional device to salvage otherwise irredeemable heroes, which is called the Adopt A Dog Technique.

(Maybe that's what I need for my new manuscript-to-be. The ole' Adopt a Dog Technique...)

From a template to Write Your Novel:
http://www.authormagazine.org/articles/thayer_james_2009_12_16.htm



If you're contemplating characters, try this post I wrote a while back:
http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2012/08/characters-we-love-to-hate.html
 

Can you tell I've been thinking about CHARACTERS a lot? 
Can't wait to share my inspiration for Glory, Jesslyn, Robbie, Miss Bloom, et al, at the COMO LIBRARY tomorrow!
 

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Como Mississippi Library Friday, Feb 7, at 4:30



How Writers Choose Their Characters or More Precisely How Characters Choose Their Writers, Authors talk and booksigning with Augusta Scattergood

I'm totally excited about this event. These are the great kids and their equally great librarian who jumped into action when the NPR BackSeat Book Club people called.


Here's a little from librarian Alice Pierotti's press release about Como Reads:


EMILY J. POINTER PUBLIC LIBRARY ANNOUNCES 2014 COMO READS
Inspiring our community to pick up a good book . . . attend a program, talk about the book with a

neighbor, create a community of readers! 


Como, Miss., Jan. 24, 2014- Emily J. Pointer Public Library, a branch of the 5 county, 13-branch First Regional Library, announces its second annual community read! This year’s book selection is Glory Be, by Mississippi native Augusta Scattergood. 2014 Como Reads will culminate in a week’s worth (Feb 1-7, 2014) of programming exploring the book and a main theme of the book civil rights in smalltown Mississippi, circa 1964. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sharing the Fun

Last week I visited two great schools, full of enthusiastic readers. Both local, which is my favorite thing to do this wintry season.

Do you know what a charming little place DUNEDIN, Florida is?  

(I've spent days wandering around Dunedin, visualizing a different, fictitious place for my next book. Hint: Dunedin and Destiny are a bit alike!)
 
When the librarian at Curtis Fundamental School in Dunedin contacted me way last summer inviting me to visit, her email was the very first I received after GLORY BE was selected for the Sunshine Readers list. 

Who could resist an invitation with sentences like these:
Thank you for providing us with your historically accurate, beautifully written narrative about family and community support systems, and a very timely teaching tool! I know our students at Curtis would gain valuable knowledge and insight about the historical fiction writing process.

Of course I said yes. And now I have a new friend of my very favorite sort. Librarians who love books.

 Her school has won the Battle of the Books trophy! Two years running!


I came home with flowers, Bridge Mix, and neat bookmarks, and I signed a big stack of books.



(Jennifer, a teacher with a whole bunch of stickies in her copy of Glory Be. Actually, many of the teachers, volunteers and especially librarian Jan Hager had read and prepared the students so well. Thank you Curtis Fundamental School!)


An Aside:Dunedin has a whole lot of Little Free Libraries. 
I need to go back to see them. 
Here's the link. 

There's also a beautiful public library. Some of the Dunedin librarians came to visit and gave me this eye-catching necklace- It's a bookshelf!
Can't wait to wear it on my next school visit.






Earlier in the week I got to spend a little time with another Pinellas County school. Sutherland Elementary in Palm Harbor. Librarian Jackie Keller invited the special kids who'd read all the Battle of the Books books to a pizza party. 
Wow. Impressive!








I shared my GLORY BE stickers. 
These two turned theirs into a tiny book. 
I loved hanging out with these clever kids!
(and the Godiva chocolate was nice, too...)