Archive for May, 2009

Iowa Magic…

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

So so so much to say and share, and no time, as I’m racing a deadline…

But I *do* need to quickly tell you some bits of news– both happy and sad.

The happy news is that Any Which Wall is out today!  TODAY!  Yes, my magic-in-the-Iowa-cornfields book is available at a bookstore  near you THIS MINUTE, and I’d be so happy and honored if you’d consider getting your hot little hands on a copy!

But I know money is tight right now, so I wanted to mention that there are all sorts of nice things you can do, to help me launch this book, besides buying it.

You can take a moment today, and  blog about it, or Twitter it, or become a fan on Facebook!  You can add it to your Goodreads, or put it on your  Wishlist.  All of these things are a great help to me!  Once you’ve read the book, you can review it somewhere online…

And of course, you can go to the library and request it, or ask about it at your child’s school library! That’s my favorite thought in the world– that all my friends would demand it at their local library!  I was such a liberry kid myself, and there is a wonderful  librarian in the book, a nutty lovely woman named Lily, who wears forks in her hair and drives a classic car!

Oh, and if you live in Atlanta, you can come and celebrate with me, and help me launch the book, at Little Shop of Stories, on June 1! I’d love to see you, and it’ll be a ton of fun.

But even if you don’t do any of that…  the simple fact that you’re reading this blog post means that you’re part of my community, and so I thank you for your support.  For me, a stay-at-home-mommy, the simple fact of having this vast network of people at my fingertips is a miracle. A sane-maker.  Thanks for being part of that community!  My book could not exist without you. Truly.

So… that’s the happy bit.

And now the sad…

I was supposed to be in NY this week. I was planning to be at BEA, and to spend my days visiting bookstores in NY, harassing nice booksellers, and signing stock, then flying off to dinner and drinks with fabulous writerly publishy friends.

I’m not.

Instead, I’m in an equally wonderful place– Iowa City– but for a much less fun reason.

This week, my husband’s grandmother passed away.  She was a truly wonderful woman. An even mix of sweetness and steel.  In the 10 years I knew her, she was an example of conviction, faith and love. I learned a lot from her, was entertained by her, and inspired.

Now she’s gone.  And so we are here, in Iowa. We got to see her before she left, say goodbye, and I’m so glad…

But after. After we’d laid her to rest. After she was out and through…

I found myself thinking how funny it was that I was in Iowa, to celebrate the publication of this very Iowa book. Driving through the cornfields, down the two lanes and gravel roads. Inhabiting the very place my book attempts to capture and describe.

I felt, suddenly, like I’d been drawn here. I know it sounds goofy, but it’s true.  It feels like I’m supposed to be here today. Not in NY, here.

The universe, she is a funny thing.

Goodbye, Louise.  I am certain you are where you were headed, all along.

Hello, Iowa.  It feels like I am too.

My Novel Journey…

Monday, May 18th, 2009

I did a really fun interview with Noel De Vries, and it’s up today at Novel Journey!

Maybe you’ll give it a read!

On Fandom with Abandon…

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Today, I searched online for fan groups for one of my all-time favorite authors, Edward Eager.  Know what I found almost immediately?

“a young vampire named Edward. Eager fans”

Sigh. Groan.

Even in a hunt for fans of other books, you’re bound to stumble on Stephanie Meyer.  She and her minions lurk behind every door.

So I soldiered on, deeper into google.  But further searches revealed that sadly, after half a century in print, despite his early status as a #1 bestseller, and the love of countless children, Eager has no fan club. He has no web site.  He has nothing but a linkless Wikipedia page and the sites required by various booksellers to peddle their wares.

Which leads me to wonder what inspires fandom.  I don’t mean to ask what makes people enjoy a certain book, or what establishes literary merit.  Eager’s got all that covered.  I don’t even mean to question how publishers spark big sales.  I mean how do you attain  fandom.

Why do some books cause kids to collect stickers and join chat groups, while other books—even well-loved books, even bestsellers—are simply read, enjoyed, and then returned to the library, or set on a back shelf to gather dust?

What is it about boy wizards and teen vampires?

Really, I’m asking!

I’ve got some thoughts on the matter myself, but I’m curious to hear what you think…

The Reading Tub!!!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

There are, in the world of children’s literature and literacy, some folks who just go WAY beyond the call of duty.  At the top of that list are the fine folks at The Reading Tub! Their level of preparation, research, professionalism, web skillz, and community building blow me away. I’m not kidding!  If you happen to be a teacher or librarian, or a parent homescooling your kids, or just a serious reader or lover of books, this is a need-to-read site.  And you should REALLY sign up for the newsletter!

Today, I’m honored and thrilled to be interviewed on their blog.  Take a look!

Giddy as a schoolgirl…

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Some months back I mentioned this in a whisper, but I haven’t said anything about it since, because I almost couldn’t believe it was really happening.

But today I found an image of the book cover. Which means, I think, that it’s true.

So…. LOOK!

It’s a book. One of my most favorite books of all time.  By one of the most important children’s authors of all time.

And if you look below the title, “Five Children and It” and then below the name, “E. Nesbit” you will see that it says, in small but dignified print, “With an Introduction by Laurel Snyder.”


It’s true!  For some reason I will never fully comprehend, I have been granted a wish.  I have been given the opportunity to “introduce” my favorite Nesbit book to the world.


If you haven’t read it, or if you have  a child who hasn’t read it… I must implore you… READ THIS BOOK!

Nesbit is the person who invented the entire genre of backyard magic.  Without her, there would be no Harry Potter, no Spiderwick Chronicles, no Percy Jackson.


I’m BACK!!!

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Sorry for the vacation.  I let my hosting expire.

Because I’m an idiot.  That’s why.

Here’s what you missed.

Mose attended his first bonfire, and discovered he’s money with the ladies.

Lew got himself a snack. Of peanut butter. No spoon.

Slides were slid.

Sleep was earned.