Sunday, March 07, 2010

An Unfortunate Coincidence

While I was at a writers' retreat yesterday, I learned about a new book called Happy Face by Stephen Emond. The cover and title couldn't help but catch my eye, given how similar they are to Happy Kid!.

Then I read what the book is about--"a shy, artistic boy who decides to reinvent himself as a happy-go-lucky guy after he moves to a new town." Happy Kid! is about a boy who is "friendless, mistakenly taking super-difficult accelerated courses, and infamous for allegedly being involved in a violent "incident" on the bus" "...but a self-help book from his well-meaning mother changes all that. Magically, the book seems to know all about him. And it wants him to improve his life."

Happy Kid! was published four years ago, which is probably a generation in publisher years. Nonetheless, it's hard not to be frustrated.

Happy Face's author even lives in my state.

UPDATE: After fifty minutes or so of exercise and a hot shower, I have started moving on. Also, is the Happy Face cover supposed to be a paper bag? Because that would make it different. Let's say it's a paper bag. Yeah. Ommmm.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Book Club Questions

MotherReader's summer book club members sent me questions last week, and here are my answers.

I think this is such a neat thing for Pam to be doing with her blog. And her Girl Scouts, of course. I would think so even if she hadn't included my book. Really, I would.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Get A Load Of These Cookies!

MotherReader is running a Summer Book Club for her Girl Scouts, and their second book was Happy Kid!. Notice the fantastic cookies they had to go along with their book discussion.

I was a member of an adult book club for many, many years. The level of discussion at most of our meetings was nowhere near as high as at Pam's. I'm not just talking about the meeting for my book. Take a look at the report on the discussion of the first book, Shug by Jenny Han.

One of the most interesting revelations to come out of the first two discussions--some of the club members aren't terribly fond of realistic fiction. Very thought-provoking.

Watch MotherReader for my answers to her club members' questions, which should be up at her site some time next week.

I'm going to remember those cookies.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Good News For Happy Kid!

Happy Kid! has gone into a second printing. Happyhappyjoyjoy. I must remember this moment when I'm angsting about other things. Yeah. That's right.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More Good News For Happy Kid!

Happy Kid! is on the master reading list for the Sequoyah Book Awards in the Young Adult category. That's the Oklahoma Library Association's readers' choice award.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

An Anniversary Gift

I wasn't expecting any gifts for Original Content's anniversary because a blog anniversary isn't a big deal like International Women's Day. (I just heard last night about a guy from a former Soviet bloc country who buys his wife a gift each year for International Women's Day, which just happens to be today in case anyone in our capitalist stronghold would like to start observing the event.) However, I received an e-mail Thursday afternoon from the home office informing me that Happy Kid! has been nominated for the Georgia Children's Book Award.

I like the folks in Georgia. They nominated Butch and Spike for the same award a few years back.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Our Lives On The D-List

While I was on vacation last week, I caught an episode of My Life On The D-List. (That link didn't go to a site with Kathy Griffin doing standup when I plugged it in here. If it does now, I deny all responsibility.)

Watching The D-List made me think of my trip to the Twilight Zone Convention last year. The TZ Convention was similar to a literary festival, and the life Kathy Griffin projects on The D-List is similar to life for a lot of us kidlit writers.

Maybe I'm just self-centered, and everything reminds me of my own life.

But, think about it. In last week's episode, Kathy was going to London where she was going to do a stand-up routine, and she was trying to promote it. Sort of the way we writers try to promote an appearance at a bookstore, see? Or even a new book. Or an old book. Or even just our names. Evidently Kathy has a following in the U.S., and she was trying to promote herself to the same group in London. That's similar to how we kidlit writers try to promote ourselves to librarians. Wait. No. We should be trying to attract reading teachers. No, no, no. Booksellers! We've got to make sure the booksellers know who we are!

Kathy and her posse were always looking for ways to get her some publicity. Writers do the same thing. Should I contact bloggers? Make a trailer? Submit workshop ideas to conferences? Mail postcards to schools? Throw myself a book launch party? What should I do, what will I do, to get a little higher up on the literary hierarchy?

Man, I so related to that show.

This is good place to mention that the September issue of School Library Journal has an article called Rules of the Game: Focus on Middle School that includes Happy Kid!. And the print issue uses the cover!

Imagine Kathy Griffin and me jumping up and down.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

On A More Upbeat Note

If you've published a book and you're really lucky, things will continue to happen for it without you having to move from your chair.

Two good pieces of news have come in regarding Happy Kid!:

Happy Kid!
received a very nice review at Ms. Yingling Reads, a very attractive looking blog maintained by a school librarian. I've only scanned some of her posts (though I read every word of the one that related to me, of course), but one of the things I find interesting is that she's careful to consider the tastes of the student population she serves.

My editor tells me that not only has Happy Kid! been included on the Bank Street Children's Book Committee Best Books of the Year list, it received a starred entry. I'm particularly appreciative of this because Bank Street College was supportive of my early books. I'm delighted the folks there liked Happy Kid!, too.