Saturday, January 30, 2010

#9 on the Indie List!

Hey, look WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON is number 9 on the Indie Bestseller List!! YAY!!!

In Chinese culture, the #9 symbolizes longevity. Maybe that means the book will be on the list for a long time! I think I need to go buy myself another jade bracelet...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

looking back

My good friend Elaine posted a lovely retrospective of all my promotional efforts and triumphs of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Book promotion is such a long process which is truly a labor of love, I am so glad and grateful that I had readers (such as you) and great friends (like Elaine) with me on the way. And look how long my hair was!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lissy Friends on TV!

Author Katie Davis chose Lissy's Friends as one her picks for Inspirational Stories for Kids!

(if you liked this, please comment on the wtnh site so the station knows that Katie's children's books segment is something that should continue!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

book talk tuesday

The London Eye Mystery, by Siobhan Dowd

IndieBound Description: Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim board the London Eye. But after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off–except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery.

My thoughts: This book was great! One of the best MG mysteries I've read, with dimensional characters and no annoying loose ends. Really impressed and was incredibly sad when I looked up the author and realized she was deceased.

Monday, January 25, 2010

on my desk monday

A table full of flowers! Congratulation bouquets from all over! Knopf (my picturebook publisher), Listening Library (publisher of the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon audio book), Little Brown (publisher of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon) and The Foundation of Children's Books all sent me flowers for my Newbery Honor nab (see the silver sticker?)! Squatchie added the monkey.

Thanks all!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

fortune cookie friday

"After three days without reading, talk becomes flavorless."
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

all the little details about "the call"

So Sunday night, the evening before the big award announcements, Alvina and I (with friend Jon & Squatchie) had dinner. Throughout the week, many people had been sending me mock Newbery blog links and congratulating me on the "buzz" about my book which I tried to politely ignore. Part of me didn't want to set myself up for disappointment, another part didn't want to jinx it and the rest of me just felt it was impossible-- so I tried to dismiss it all from my mind (tried being the operative word). But, somewhere in the dinner conversation, Alvina said something about "the call" coming early in the morning and being awake at 5:30 AM. I, somehow, interpreted this to mean that "the call," if you got one would come around that time.

So, I went to sleep that night fooling myself that I had achieved a zen-like calm. Of course, this was not true because at around 5 AM I found myself wide-awake.

And I began to think, I had about 30 or so minutes before everything would be known for certain. Maybe my attitude of expecting it NOT to happen wasn't the best. I wasn't letting myself enjoy the dream! So I decided for the next 30 minutes I'd fantasize a little. I realized if I won an award I could possibly:

1. make my living off of my books instead of my school visits
2. get my hair done professionally for the wedding
3. get cable tv for Squatchie
4. have a book that could live on and be a classic
5. buy a new pair of boots

About the time I decided that I would choose the olive and taupe boots over the black and beige ones, I realized it was about 6:12. No call.


That is when I poked Squatchie and said, "I don't think I won an award."
To which he said, with a snore, "Huh?"

No, Squatchie was very comforting and at about 6:45 the phone rang and I saw it was Victoria Stapleton, from Little Brown & Company. Since, I knew it was always the committee that called if it was good news, not the publisher, I half-heartedly picked up the phone.

"Hello," Victoria said, "How are you doing?"
"Okay," I said, "No news here. You?"
"Oh," she said, "I was just checking to make sure you were answering your phone*."
"Yep," I said, "I guess no calls either place, then."
"Well, keep your phone on, just in case," she said.
"Okay," I said, trying not to sound too dismal.

Squatchie went to make me some tea and I started to buck up a bit. It was just an award, anyway. I was still the same person. The people who had enjoyed the book before would still like the book with or without an award. I still had a nice Squatchie, I could still make more books, and I didn't really need new boots. The award was not a big deal.

Then, a little after 7, the phone rang again.

It was Katie O'Dell, the Newbery Committee chair! Where the Mountain Meets the Moon had won the honor! The silver! There would be stickers!

And, suddenly, it was a big deal (again). A big, happy deal! Squatchie, who quickly figured out what was going on, grabbed a camera and captured the 360 degree turnaround.

Later, I was to find out that Victoria had known that the book had won the Honor & had called to congratulate me, only to find out that I didn't know yet and had to cover so as not to spill the beans. I was also to find out that Alvina meant she had to wake up at 5:30AM to go to a 6:30 AM breakfast to wait for calls that would come (hopefully) later that hour. Basically, I put myself through an emotional roller coaster due to poor listening skills. Oops.


At the LB booth with the stickered book!

*this might seem suspicious, but the people at LB know that I, almost 99% of the time, do not answer the phone. My voicemail message says to e-mail me instead of leaving a message as I tend to be phone-phobic. I had been given instructions ahead of time to get over the phobia on announcement morning, so it didn't seem that strange to me that Victoria wanted to check to make sure.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


When it finally sunk in that Where the Mountain Meets the Moon won a Newbery Honor, I have to admit I blew a kiss into the sky. It's no secret that the book is dedicated to Robert and my homage to what he brought to my life. And still does, in some ways.

I remember last month after my Today Show appearance, my friend Janet Wong and I decided to see a palm reader for a lark but instead of being amused, I was annoyed.

Because after hearing about Robert (another thing that bugged me was that she asked me a lot of questions about my life before telling me what she "saw") she kept telling me that that my palm indicated that I had been unlucky in love.

It took me a while to figure out why that bothered me so much. And I realize, it's because I don't believe I have been unlucky in love. With Robert, I was with someone who truly loved me, who fought with every ounce of his being to try to be with me. Robert was unlucky with life, the shortness and the pain that his life contained. But I was lucky to have him in mine.

I guess, the truth is, I don't think love can ever be unlucky. I think it's when the love disappears, when one mistakens something else for love, or when others twist their own desires in it's name--those are the things that cause misfortune. One of my favorite quotes is, "Love is, simply put, truly wishing another to be happy."

Which is why I know Robert would be so proud about the book's reception and happy for the new life I am creating; and, as the good wishes and congratulations continue to stream in from all over, I know that I am truly lucky.


Friday, January 15, 2010

fortune cookie friday

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
-Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

book talk tuesday

THE MOFFATS by Eleanor Estes

IndieBound Description: Meet the Moffats. There is Sylvie, the oldest, the cleverest, and-most days at least-the responsible one; Joey, who though only twelve is the man of the house...sometimes; Janey, who has a terrific upside-down way of looking at the world; and Rufus, who may be the littlest but always gets in the biggest trouble.
Even the most ordinary Moffat day is packed with extraordinary fun. Only a Moffat could get locked in a bread box all afternoon, or dance with a dog in front of the whole town, or hitch a ride on a boxcar during kindergarten recess. And only a Moffat could turn mistakes and mischief into hilarious one-of-a-kind adventure.

My thoughts: A classic I've reread and loved just as much as the first time--holds up very well and still very relate-able and extremely charming. Estes was a great writer, wonderful at writing child characters. My copy is from the 1960's!

Monday, January 11, 2010

on my desk monday

A while ago, I presented at the Boston Book Festival and was quite pleased when they gave a parting goodie bag. Amongst the lovely gifts was this:

which I assumed was a mug. So I did not open it until recently and found out it was actually...


This is officially the longest I have ever had uneaten chocolate in the house. My last record was a bag chocolate chips uneaten for 8 days. I suppose I should disguise my chocolate more like mugs in in the future.

Friday, January 8, 2010

fortune cookie friday

"He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself."
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

new beginnings

So, it's a new year and this year I've decided to import a Canadian Squatchie. I really think I could use one around the house. They are tall. I have high ceilings. They are strong. I have groceries. Some of them like to cook. I like to eat.

However, importing a sasquatch is actually a very complicated process. Once a sasquatch has gone through the proper quarantine and given his clearance papers, there is only a 90 day trial period before the sasquatch must be officially declared as claimed. No returns after the 90 days and if the sasquatch is not properly claimed he will be forcibly removed. No money back guarantees.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

book talk tuesday

Hey, today is Tuesday! It's the first Tuesday of the New Year, and if you remember from my resolutions I am going to begin a new little series called book talk tuesdays.

On book talk tuesdays, I'll be recommending my favorite middle grade novels. For those of you not in the book industry, a middle grade novel is a novel for about a 3rd-6th grade reading level, usually ages 8-12.

Now, since I am recommending MY favorite novels, you should probably know that my personal preferences lean toward the younger side of the 8-12 range as well as books some people label as "sweet." I, of course, label them as heartwarming and timeless.

In other words, I probably will not be recommending too many "edgy" books but they should be able to be read by the whole family as well as the individual child.

All the books I recommend will be books that I own and have bought (or given as a gift)--I'm not going to be a reviewer for publishing companies. Because of that the books are going to be a mix of old (ones I read & loved as a child) as well as new.

Also, my book talks will probably be short, maybe not more than a summary. I may not say "I LOVED this book" because that will get repetitive week after week. Suffice to say, if I am talking about the book, I loved it!

Will you love the books, too? I hope so! Stay tuned for next Tuesday and my first book talk!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cybils finalist!

Hey look, WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON is a CYBILS finalist! Neato! What a great way to start the year!

on my desk monday

Even though I'm away from home, I've been working on a new novel (cross your fingers the publisher goes for it) with some of my Christmas presents keeping me company.

Friday, January 1, 2010