Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Morale boosters

I've enjoyed two wonderful morale boosters this week. First was a marvelous luncheon sponsored by RIC's ASTAL, ( and organized by the inimitable Dr. Jean Brown.
We enjoyed a preview of author Kim Newton Fusco's ( and Peter Johnson's ( new books , heard about Beatrice Grombley's ( adventures writing simultaneous biographies of John McCain and Barak Obama, and heard a sampling from Padma Venkatraman's Climbing the Stairs.

The second was the fat file folder of thank you notes sent by the children of Sullivan School. You've gotta love kids who say they hope you write a cajillion more books and promise to read them all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Life in the Wild

I firmly believe that nonfiction books deserve time in the spotlight, so I'm going to shine my light on Pamela Turner's A Life in the Wild: George Schaller's Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts. This is an exquisitely written book. And George Schaller is a great and fascinating man who has contributed much to conservation efforts around the world.
The book won the Golden Kite, a well deserved honor!
Find out more at Pamela Turner's website:
And you can find out more about George Schaller's efforts to save our wild places at:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Writer's Salon and ASTAL

This past weekend I attended a wonderful Writers' Salon on managing your writing career.
It included talks by author/illustrator Nancy Poydar
and YA author Nancy Werlin
The outcome of the discussion is that each of us has a unique career path and that all are equally valid.
Thanks to New England SCBWI and Melissa Stewart organizing these events. There will be another Writers' Salon in June. Don't miss it!

Next Saturday, I will be at the ASTAL Luncheon at RI College. Speakers will include Kim Fusco, Beatrice Gormley, Peter Johnson, and Padma Venkatraman. For more information and to register, go to

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Newport Historical Society Signing

My illustrator, Cheryl Kirk Noll, and I will be signing copies of The Black Regiment of the American Revolution on Tuesday, April 14 from 1-3 at the Newport Historical Society Museum & Shop at Brick Market, which is located at 127 Thames St in downtown Newport (across the street from Banana Republic and next to Coldwater Creek). If you're in the neighborhood, we'd love to see you there!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Way of the Owl

I just finished reading an adult book, about "a girl and her owl." Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien really made me rethink the intelligence of our nonhuman neighbors and how we relate to them.
Humans might do better if they followed "The Way of the Owl."
Check out Stacey and Wesley's website at

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Afghan Dreams

At March Into Reading at Salve Regina University in Newport yesterday, I sat next to author/photographer Tony O'Brien. He is a photo-journalist and the head of Documentary Studies at the College of Santa Fe, so children's books aren't his normal stock in trade. But he traveled across Afghanistan, photographing children and asking them about their hopes and dreams. The result was the thought-provoking book, AFGHAN DREAMS.