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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SOAP - I can't remember!

BLOG TOUR!!!!
Today I'll be a guest at Jessica Handler's Swimming in the Trees. Remember when I talked about Jessica's new book Invisible Sisters? She writes for adults so had a different and interesting approach with her questions. Prepare to read about learning new languages!
     See the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here.



     I'm still celebrating the release of my first picture book as both author and illustrator, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón. Today I'm sharing a SOAPy grocery list to help you remember what you need to buy at the store. (Hugo could have used one of these!)
     Jessica actually suggested this idea - and what a good one it was!
     Click the image to go to the SOAP ACTIVITY PAGE and download the grocery list!

     Click the cover to learn more about SOAP, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday! - SOAPy Hugo

BLOG TOUR!!!!
Today we hang around my blog to play and color - what could be better?
     See the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here.

Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     This is the star from my new picture book as both author and illustrator, SOAP, SOAP, SOAP and SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON! - HUGO!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.

Have you been following my Blog Book Tour? There's been lots of cool interviews and activities. Some of this week's SOAPy related subjects were...
   Teachers Love SOAP!
   SOAP Bubbles!
   A Sudsy Bookmark (and Kickin' interview by Debbi Ohi - I'm a cartoon!)
   Happy Birthday SOAP, SOAP, SOAP! Official release date!
   SOAPy Dizzy Ducks!
   Dancing Duckies!!!
   See the rest of the Blog Book Tour Schedule Here!


     Click the cover to learn more about SOAP, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Teachers Love SOAP!!

BLOG TOUR!!!!
Today I am honored to be a guest at Teaching Authors. This is a collaborative blog by some of the best authors in the biz: April Halprin Wayland, Carmela Martino, Esther Hershenhorn (I'll be interviewing the Illustrator of her latest book, S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet, soon.), Jeanne Marie Grunwell Ford, JoAnn Early Macken, and the infamous Mary Ann Rodman.
     See the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here.


     As anybody knows, if you're going to hang out with teachers, it always helps to bring food! (We think so much better with chocolate, don't you think?) Luckily Hugo, the star of SOAP, SOAP, SOAP, is in to making mud pies! Here is an awesome Mud Pie Dessert shared by my publisher, Dawn Jeffers, at Raven Tree Press:

Mud Pie Dessert
• 25-36 Sandwich cookies
• 1 stick butter
Melt butter and crush cookies. Mix together and put in 9 x 13 wax paper lined or greased pan - FREEZE.
• 3 sq. unsweetened chocolate
• 1 c. sugar
• 1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
Mix next three ingredients and spread on top of above the above mixture and freeze. Once hardened, cut into squares.

A NOTE TO TEACHERS
     With the swine flu scare there's been a strong focus lately on washing your hands and hygeine, especially in the children's world. SOAP, SOAP, SOAP has a strong get clean element to it. So much so, that Anastasia Suen recently made it one of her Picture Books of the Day and included links to hand-washing activities. Also, the Alliance Theatre's Teaching Artists picked up SOAP for their programming this year, partly for the "getting muddy - getting clean" aspect in the book.
     Can you use SOAP in your classroom as a kick-off to this topic?

     Click the cover to learn more about SOAP, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

SOAP Bubbles!!!

BLOG TOUR!!!!
GADS! Did you SEE the comic strip Debbi Ohi did of me yesterday!? Woosie!! Bernie's even in there - love, love, love it!
     Today I'll be a guest at Sarah C. Campbell's Blog. Sarah won a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor for her latest book WOLFSNAILS. So slime a trail on over there!
     See the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here.

     Per Sarah's very scientific approach to things - today I will share the recipe to make most excellent soap bubbles:

     Soap Bubbles
     • 15 parts water (about 1 cup) to
     • 1 part dish washing liquid
      The longer the solution stands open, the better it will work. Try to make it the day before!
     • Something to use as a ring - this could be a paperclip bent to shape or even a big ring like a hanger bent to shape! Be sure to leave a little length at one end to bend up for a handle.

     Pour the solution into a shallow pan and dip the ring into the liquid. Pull out making sure there is a soapy film in the ring. Gently blow through the film or drag the ring through the air. Voila!

Learn all about bubbles at Bubble Town!


     Click the cover to learn more about SOAP, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Sudsy Bookmark

BLOG TOUR!!!!
Today I'll be a guest at Debbi Ohi's Inkygirl! Do you follow her bookie comic strip? It's hilarious!!
     See the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here.
     Today I have a new bookmark to share with you. Click the image to head over to the SOAP ACTIVITY PAGE and download the bookmark.


     Click the cover to learn more about SOAP, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Birthday SOAP, SOAP, SOAP!!


...Drum Roll Please!...
Today we're sticking around Dulemba.com to celebrate the birthday of my first picture book as both author and illustrator, SOAP, SOAP, SOAP and SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON!



     And we're giving some books away!!!! Hubbie helped pick the winner from our first drawing way back in August (thanks so much to everybody for all the nice comments!), and the winner of a free, signed copy of SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON (she asked for bilingual) is . . . Paula Chan!!!!
     Yip, yip, yahoooooo!!!!! Congratulations Paula!
     Paula won by watching my SOAP Book Trailer and leaving a comment. Let's give it a celebratory gander, shall we?



     There's still more chances to win!!
1.  Visit the official kick-off Blog Tour post HERE and leave a comment to enter another drawing for a signed copy of SOAP. Comments deadline is September 30th and the winner will be announced on the last day of the Blog Book Tour - October 2nd.
2.  Leave a comment on every day of the book tour at my blog each day (September 20 - October 2nd) and at least 8 of the blogs I visit, to have your name go into a drawing to win a SUPER PRIZE PACK including two signed copies of SOAP (one for you and one for a friend or your favorite library), a COLORING PAGE TUESDAY coloring book, SOAPy bookmarks and postcards, and a rubber duckie keychain!!!! (Deadline to leave comments will be October 4th and the winner will be announced as soon as I figure it all out.)
3.  Several of the blogs I will visit will also be doing drawings - so there's lots of opportunities to get some free SOAP in your life!

     And the blog tour continues!!! The interview questions range from school visits to my illustration method, to finding your own style. I hope there's something interesting in these for everybody! Here again is the
SOAPy BLOG BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE
9/17 - Janelle's Brimful Curiosities
9/20 - Stephanie Ruble of sruble's world
9/20 - Guest at Children's Authors and Illustrators on Facebook (hosted by Simon Rose)
9/20 - Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
9/21 - Guest at Tina Nichols Coury's blog Tales from the Rushmore Kid
9/22 - Coloring Page Tuesday!!! AND a LIVE interview at Suzanne Lieurance's Book Bytes for Kids at 3:00pm est!
9/23 - Guest at Wendy Martin Illustration
9/24 - Guest at Kim Norman's Blog - Stone Stoop
9/25 - OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE FOR SOAP!!! YIP, YIP, YAHOOOOOOO!!!!!
And there's more coming!!!
9/26 - Guest at Debbi Ohi's Inkygirl!
9/27 - Guest at Sarah C. Campbell's blog
9/28 - Guest at Teaching Authors
9/29- Coloring Page Tuesday!!
9/30 - Guest at Jessica Handler's Swimming in the Trees
10/1 - Guest at Tarie Sabido's Into the Wardrobe
10/2 - Guest at Donny Seagraves Winterville Writer

Thursday, September 24, 2009

SOAPy Dizzy Ducks!

BLOG TOUR!!!!
Today I'll be a guest at Kim Norman's Stone Stoop. Remember when I hosted Kim for her new picture book Crocodaddy? Well, Kim is sharing the love. She'll feature me and SOAP in the November "Dear Author" column of Kidsville Magazine! Woohoo! (She also asked some great questions and focused on slightly different topics than we've covered so far (school visits!), so swim on over to her blog today.)
     See the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here.


     Yup, I'm celebrating the release of my first picture book as both author and illustrator, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón, all week and the whole way through I'll be sharing some of the fun activities that go with SOAP. Today is a fun Dizzy Duck from the creative mind of Linda Ragsdale.
     Click the image to go to the SOAP ACTIVITY PAGE, follow the directions and make this Quacky Duck fly!!

     Click the cover to learn more about SOAP, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dancing Duckies!!

BLOG TOUR!!!!
Today I'll be a guest at Wendy Martin's Daily Art Food. And I have to say, illustrator to illustrator, Wendy asked some of the best questions I received. So trot on over to her blog today.
     Did you listen to my interview on Book Bites for Kids yesterday? It's been archived, so you can go hear it here.
     See the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here. And don't forget to leave comments to enter the SOAP Giveaways! Click here for more info...


     You can't have a party without any dancing!! So, in celebration of the release of my first picture book as both author and illustrator, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón, let's dance!
     Click the image to go to the SOAP ACTIVITY PAGE, follow the directions for the Finger Dancing Duck (by the brilliant Linda Ragsdale) and make this Quacky Duck boogie!! Par-TAY!!

     Click the cover to learn more about SOAP, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday! - SOAPy Rubber Duckie

BLOG TOUR!!!!
Today I'll be on internet radio - LIVE!! I will be a guest of Suzanne Lieurance's BOOK BITES FOR KIDS at 3:00 e.s.t. on Blog Talk Radio. I hope you'll listen in!
Update! The show was archived and I can embed it! Have a listen....

     See the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here.

Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     This is the rubber duckie from my new picture book as both author and illustrator, SOAP, SOAP, SOAP and SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON! (Have you left a comment to be in the drawing for a free copy of SOAP?)
     My big WAHOO - A BOOK IS BORN! version of e's news went out today. You can sign up to receive this every-so-often newsletter (and/or Coloring Page Tuesday alerts) at Coloring Page Tuesdays.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.

     Click the cover to learn more about Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rubber Duckies Take Over the World!!!

BLOG TOUR!!!!
Today I'm being interviewed by Tina Nichols Coury - so float on over to her blog to have a read!!! And see the rest of my BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE here!

     In honor of the release of Soap, soap, soap, artist Florentijn Hofman created this 9.5m tall by 11m long rubber duck!!! Okay, well, not for SOAP, but he still made this fantastic rubber duckie and so far it's been spotted in Europe, Japan, and Brazil. More Rubber Duckie photos here.

     You can watch the duckie being primed for action in this video - and hear all about it from the artist himself. Okay, so it's in dutch. What - you don't speak dutch?


     This week I'm celebrating the release of my very first picture book at both author AND illustrator, SOAP, SOAP, SOAP. It comes in both all-English and bilingual versions, SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON!! See a SOAP Book Trailer and learn more about the book Here!!! (Click the cover.)
     Visit the Blog Tour Kick-off Post and leave a comment to win a free drawing of SOAP and learn how to win other giveaways all week!

     Did you know you can save SOAPy images as Wallpaper for your computer? Yup - here are the choices at the SOAP ACTIVITY PAGE:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SOAP, SOAP, SOAP RELEASE PARTY and BLOG TOUR!!



WOOHOOOO!!!!!!
Today kicks off my official release party and BLOG BOOK TOUR for my first picture book as both author AND illustrator, SOAP, SOAP, SOAP!!
     What's a Blog Book Tour you ask? It's when other bloggers host me on their blogs with interviews, giveaways and more information about SOAP. Basically it's a great way to reach out and introduce me and SOAP to new people.
     And we'll be having fun here too! Every day I'll share fun things to do from my SOAP ACTIVITY PAGE.
     There are also three GIVEAWAYS going on this week for free, signed copies of SOAP.
1.  There's the drawing for watching my Book Trailer. The comments will close Tuesday, September 22nd and the winner will be announced Friday (SOAP's official birthday) on my blog. (Hint: the post is now in my August archives.)
2.  Visit the official kick-off Blog Tour post HERE and leave a comment to enter another drawing for a signed copy of SOAP. Comments deadline is September 30th and the winner will be announced on the last day of the Blog Book Tour - October 2nd.
3.  Leave a comment on every day of the book tour at my blog each day (September 20 - October 2nd) and at least 8 of the blogs I visit, to have your name go into a drawing to win a SUPER PRIZE PACK including two signed copies of SOAP (one for you and one for a friend or your favorite library), a COLORING PAGE TUESDAY coloring book, SOAPy bookmarks and postcards, and a rubber duckie keychain!!!! (Deadline to leave comments will be October 4th and the winner will be announced as soon as I figure it all out.)
4.  Several of the blogs I will visit will also be doing drawing - so there's lots of opportunities to get some free SOAP in your life!

     So, I hope you'll help spread the word! Link to my Blog Tour Schedule or forward people to my blog or SOAP ACTIVITY PAGE. And let the party begin!! THANKS!

Did you know?
     SOAP has already been picked up by the Alliance Theatre Teaching Artists program! Why? Partly because it comes in both all-English and bilingual versions: SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON! But also because it addresses some very basic ideas that we all need to learn. You know the ones - if you get muddy, at some point, you've got to get all cleaned up!!! (Especially important in this germy flu season!) Of course, taking a bath can be much more fun when you have a rubber duckie! Earnie says it so well.... (Video from Sesame Street...)



SOAPy BLOG BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE
     I'm kicking off the two week long tour with a BIG BANG! Today I visit Stephanie Ruble's sruble's world; Children's Authors and Illustrators (on facebook); AND Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast!!!!!! So float on over to these fabulous blogs to have a read!!!

Here are all the stops I'll be making over the next two weeks:
9/17 - Janelle's Brimful Curiosities
9/20 - Stephanie Ruble of sruble's world
9/20 - Guest at Children's Authors and Illustrators on Facebook (hosted by Simon Rose)
9/20 - Guest at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
9/21 - Guest at Tina Nichols Coury's blog Tales from the Rushmore Kid
9/22 - Coloring Page Tuesday!!! AND a LIVE interview at Suzanne Lieurance's Book Bytes for Kids at 3:00pm est!
9/23 - Guest at Wendy Martin's Daily Art Food
9/24 - Guest at Kim Norman's Blog - Stone Stoop
9/25 - OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE FOR SOAP!!! YIP, YIP, YAHOOOOOOO!!!!!
9/26 - Guest at Debbi Ohi's Inkygirl!
9/27 - Guest at Sarah C. Campbell's blog
9/28 - Guest at Teaching Authors
9/29- Coloring Page Tuesday!!
9/30 - Guest at Jessica Handler's Swimming in the Trees
10/1 - Guest at Tarie Sabido's Into the Wardrobe
10/2 - Guest at Donny Seagraves Winterville Writer
10/2 - Guest at Renee Ting of Shen's Books MULTICULTURAL MINUTE

AWESOME SHOUT-OUTS:
     Picture Book of the Day by Anastasia Suen
     Fusenews (by Betsy Bird of Fuse #8)
     Little Shop of Stories' Little Blog of Stories

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Talk Like a Pirate Day 2009


It's TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!! ARRRRRRR!!!!!

In honor, I created another pirate-themed Coloring Page on Tuesday - did ye see it me hearties?

Q. What is a pirate's favorite vowel?
A. Aye!

Q. What is a pirate's favorite consonant?
A. Arrrrr!!!!

Pirates are on Facebook, did you know it? You can join the International Talk Like a Pirate Group here. And you can set your facebook page to "English (Pirate)" under "Settings>>Language."

Ay matee, be ye lookin' fer treasure? Well head over to the Rhode Island Historical Society for a set of directions to real pirate booty - no kidding!

Things to do today:
Watch "Pirates of the Carribbean"
Read "How I Became a Pirate" or "Pirate Pete's Talk Like a Pirate" or "Roger, the Jolly Pirate"
Learn the lingo at this Pirate Dictionary
or...
Go COLOR MY "PIRATE POETRY" ONLINE!!

Is this not the COOLEST!? A Multimedia student in South Africa, Dimitri Kouvdis, has been using my "Pirate Poetry" image to learn how to set up a Flash activity and is letting me share it with you guys. He set up some other great stuff too - click the image to visit his "Pirate Cove."

Don't you LOVE it!?

You could also go play Puzzle Pirates!


Learn the song "Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A Pirates Life for Me!"



Visit my other pirate posts Here and Here and Here!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Donny Seagrave's GONE FROM THESE WOODS

Today I interview debut author, Donny Seagraves, about her new novel GONE FROM THESE WOODS.

Q.      What a gripping tale, Donny! The story centers around a tragic hunting accident near Athens, Georgia and 11-year-old Daniel who must work through his grief over the loss of his favorite Uncle and find a way to move on. What inspired this story?

A.     I got the idea for Gone From These Woods from a real story that I heard when I was a kid. The husband of my second grade teacher, Mrs. Campbell, was accidentally shot by her nephew. That’s all I knew about that real-life tragedy in my community. The story stuck with me all these years and every now and then I found myself wondering how a person could go on with life after such a horrific event. I sometimes jot down story and book ideas. On one of those lists years ago, I wrote this idea: The boy who idolizes his uncle. One day he goes hunting with him and accidentally shoots him. The uncle and part of the boy die that day.
     This list of ideas floated across my office for several years. One day, when I was looking for a book idea (I’d already written nine other books that hadn’t been published and was ready to start a new one), I found the list with the “boy shoots uncle” idea and decided to write that book.

Q.      Daniel's grief is so palpable and his journey through it felt so genuine - was it difficult to write?

A.     Yes. Of course I felt the emotions Daniel feels as the story progresses. Plus, as I wrote I thought about my own beloved uncle, Terry Bailey, who died young, and used those memories and feelings to create the character of Uncle Clay. The hardest character to write was Daniel. I’m a middle aged woman and Daniel is an eleven-year-old boy. When I decided to tell the story in first person as Daniel, I knew it would be a real challenge. But I like challenges so I went forward with that idea, using memories of my own son at that age, my younger brother Mike, and my youngest nephew Joseph, and two neighbors down the street, Brian and Michael, to create the character of Daniel. I also gave him some of my own thoughts and feelings. For example, when they encounter the already dead rabbit in the woods, I used details and feelings I’d had when I discovered a rabbit who had died in mid run on one of my morning exercise walks around my neighborhood in rural Winterville, which is about six miles from Athens.
     Another difficult part of writing this book was dealing with the hunting/gun part. I’m not a hunter or a gun person, but I needed to use hunting and a gun in this story. So I got a gun “lesson” from our former police chief in Winterville, Eric Pozen. We took a .410 rifle out in the woods and Eric and I recreated the hunting accident scene, with him playing Uncle Clay and me acting the part of Daniel. My editor had asked me to make that scene more clear, so I actually fired the gun and listened to the sound, smelled the gun smoke, and learned what it feels like to hold a gun in my hands.
     Another challenge for me was writing the counselor scenes and creating Mrs. Hardy, the counselor who helps Daniel. For that, I made an appointment with Becky Kelley, a counselor at Malcom Bridge Elementary School in nearby Oconee County. Becky was kind enough to give my imaginary boy, Daniel, an hour’s worth of imaginary counseling. I used Becky as the model for Mrs. Hardy and her office as the model for the counselor’s office.

Q.      The imagery of Winterville and Athens, Georgia and the Mouse Creek area of Cleveland, Tennessee was so familiar to me. I know you live outside Athens, but what's the connection to Tennessee?

A.     About 30 years ago, my father was named postmaster of Cleveland, Tenn., a charming mountain town located about 30 miles from Chattanooga. My dad died four years ago, but my mother still lives in Cleveland as does my younger sister, Leanne, and her family. Over the years, I’ve spent many days visiting in the Cleveland and Chattanooga area. When I needed road names, I decided to borrow Mouse Creek Road and Hooper Gap Road from Tennessee. I like the sounds of these names and think they fit in well with the fictional rural area of my story. The real Mouse Creek Road is a long road that winds through beautiful Tenn. countryside. Hooper Gap intersects with Mouse Creek. Of course, I liked the name Mouse Creek because we think of a mouse as maybe a timid creature and perhaps a boy who cannot shoot a rabbit is like a mouse?
     When I think of the fictional town of Newtonville, I envision it as being somewhere out in Oglethorpe County, past the real small town of Winterville where I live. I took some details for the actual setting from my morning exercise walks around the rural area of Winterville where I live. For example, the lake is a real lake behind my house. I would often stop in the early morning and watch the mists float across the lake, as Daniel does in GFTW.

Q.      The dogs in the story seem reminiscent of Where the Red Fern Grows. Was that book an inspiration for you? Were there others?

A.     I’m familiar with the book, Where the Red Fern Grows, and may have even read it years ago. But the dogs came from a man named George Langdale, who was the inspiration for the neighbor character, Frank Hooper, in my book. George used to ride up and down the road when I was on my early morning exercise walks, in his old pickup truck with the back of it full of barking hunting dogs. He’d sometimes stop and talk to me and the dogs would bark the whole time. George, who passed away about three years ago, owned a farm past the lake behind my house. I used the rural land in his farm as a model for the woods in my book.

Donny's writing space:

Q.      This is your debut novel and it's with a top editor at a top New York publishing house (Delacorte) - CONGRATULATIONS! I know people want to hear your journey to being published - mind sharing?

A.     Thanks, Elizabeth. I’ve been writing for at least 25 years! (Yes, that’s a very long time.) But it’s not like I’ve been sitting in the chair writing that whole time. I’ve also done many other things at the same time. I raised twins (Greg, who lives in Cumming, GA and Jenny, who lives in Duluth), worked as a freelance newspaper columnist, magazine article writer, worked many part time jobs, including a year and a half as a children’s library assistant, served five years as a Winterville City Councilmember etc. I decided to write children’s middle grade novels after unpacking Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, at the elementary school library where I worked (this was when that book was new and before it had won awards). I went for years sometimes without writing middle grade novels (for example, the five years as an elected official and the ten years as a used and out-of-print book-dealer on the Internet). About five years ago, I got serious about writing middle grade novels again and Gone From These Woods is the result.
     I can thank the Southern Breeze Region of SCBWI (and I did thank them in the acknowledgments page of GFTW) for providing the opportunity for me to make this first book sale as a result of the 2007 SpringMingle Writers conference in Atlanta. At the First Pages session, Michelle Poploff, VP and Editorial Director of Random House Chileren's Books made some very favorable comments about the first page of what would become GFTW. So I decided to send my first three chapters to Michelle after the conference.
     A couple of weeks later, I got an email message from Michelle asking me to send the rest. I did, and two or three weeks later, I got another email message from Michelle asking if she could call me the next morning to chat about my manuscript.
     Of course I said yes. She called and about half way through our approximately 45 minute conversation, she said, “I’m going to make this a very lucky Friday the 13th for you -- I’d like to buy your book!” That was one of the best sentences I’d ever heard in my life. After that, it was contract negotiations and rewriting and then the waiting for the publication day, which was August 25, 2009.

Q.      Do you have any events lined up to celebrate the book's release?

A.     This summer, I presented two sessions at the Harriette Austin Writers Conference in Athens and I also had my first area book signing event at Borders and sold all the books! Recently I participated in a panel at the 4th Annual AJC Decatur Book Festival and I will be traveling to Greenville, SC for SIBA and on to Nashville for the Souther Festival of Books. I have other festivals plus some school and library visits lined up as well. More information is available on my website, donnyseagraves.com and on my blog wintervillewriter.com.

Q.      Finally, what's next for you in the book world?

A.     Right now, I’m working on rewriting what I hope will be my second published book. The working title is Josh and Tiffany. This middle grade novel is quite different from Gone From These Woods. It’s the story of Josh Meyers and Tiffany Ash, two eleven year olds who learn to live in the land of like and face each other in the school bee. Random House has an option on this book. I’m also working on the book after that, Fantastic Dinwiddies. I have an agent now, so my main focus is on writing rather than selling. I like that change.
     Thanks for asking me these questions, Elizabeth. I appreciate your comments on GFTW.--Donny

Thanks Donny!

Donny is visiting several more blogs during her release if you'd like to read more:
Monday, September 21: Leandra Nessel's Madame Queen
Tuesday, September 22: Lynn Coulter's Seedlings
Wednesday, September 23: Eddie Suttle's Georgia Books and Water
And of course, she'll be at her own blog, Winterville Writer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

SOAP's first online review!!

Janelle of Brimful Curiosities is the first official online reviewer of my first picture book as both author and illustrator, SOAP, SOAP, SOAP! And wowsa, what a nice write-up!! Thank you Janelle! (I was nervous...)
     She's also the first official stop on my blog tour (this is a teaser) which will wind into full gear this Sunday with a big TA-DA!! - so I hope you'll go visit Brimful Curiosities today and come back Sunday to help kick off the party!

FYI:
     Something I want to bring to your attention in this swine flu season - SOAP has a strong element of getting dirty then getting clean. Per Anastasia Suen and others, teachers are starting to use SOAP as a launch to teach general hygeine, like hand-washing, in their classrooms. In fact, along with the bilingual aspect, it's one of the main reasons the Alliance Theatre's Teaching Artists picked up SOAP to use in their programming this year. Might that work for you and your classroom/kids?

Oh - and don't you LOVE the coloring job Janelle's daughter did of the rubber duckie from SOAP? Visit the SOAP Activity Page to do one yourself!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Filter Between Your Ears...

I just have to share this line from a recent article in PW...
Anne Collier, coordinator of ConnectSafely.org is quoted as saying, "Librarians are the best filters. Because they can teach students about the filter between their ears."
Bravo Ms. Collier, bravo.


Have a great librarian in your life? Nominate him/her for the I LOVE MY LIBRARIAN AWARD! Nominations close October 3rd - so act fast!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday! - Pirate '09

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     Did you know that this Saturday is Talk Like a Pirate Day? This quirky holiday is the invention of two nutty guys, John Baur and Mark Summers (you can read about the creation of TLAP day here). I've done a pirate coloring page for several years now - you can find them at the Coloring Page Tuesday main collection under 'holidays'. And I'll have a big write-up on Saturday too - so be sure to come back matees or I'll make ye walk the plank - arrrr!!!!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.

And to keep with the Random Act of Publicity, I want to let you know about their book, The Pirate Life. Check it out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hispanic Heritage Month 2009

Tomorrow kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th - October 15th, and ¡Colorín colorado! has some great activities to help celebrate. Of course, I also have activities you can use such as coloring pages, bilingual word find puzzles and more...

     Click to learn about my bilingual picture books Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante and coming soon, Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.
     Let's celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans, Hispanic heritage and culture, all month and beyond! ¡Diviértase!

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