Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weepy as Soon as the Book is in my Hands

Right now I'm reading Eva Ibbotson's last* book One Dog and his Boy, and I've been misty-eyed ever since picking it up. I KNOW that it is going to end well, because her books always do. But she's going to make me suffer to get there. Even more than that, I'm weepy because I know there won't be any more Eva Ibbotson books. The late Eva Ibbotson is one of my favorite writers. Was perhaps my favorite living writer. (Luckily I still have Laurie Graham. Ms. Graham, please eat well, look both ways and all that!) Sigh.

* At least one more Eva Ibbotson book is being released -- The Abominables. But I don't know how I feel about an author's heirs publishing an old manuscript that the author deliberately held back. Apparently her beloved husband died as she was completing it, and in her grief she decided to abandon funny, silly books for those with more emotional depth. But her comedies do have emotional depth, and her more serious work always has a comic element, so... Well, I'm glad there will be one more, but I'll feel a tad ambivalent reading it. Which of my old manuscripts would I want my heirs to release? Some, perhaps, like The Bulbuls of Baghdad, a time travel fantasy set during the Iraq war and a particularly bloody period of Medieval Baghdad that no one seems to want to touch... but certainly not some others, handwritten Mary Sue juvenilia...


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CLEVER ELODY -- a sweet fairy tale for kids

Here is a sweet little story called CLEVER ELODY about a poetic prince and the poor girl he loves. All seems hopeless -- until Elody teaches the prince how to turn one borrowed chicken into perfect bliss.

Here is the first line:
Elody was beautiful – which, as she told everyone, wasn't her fault – and clever, which was only natural because she read everything she could get her hands on.

And the last two lines:
Then they were truly happy with what they had – each other, and a chicken. Which is all anyone really needs.

It is written at about middle grade level, but also makes a perfect read-aloud for fairytale-loving younger ones.

Right now you can get CLEVER ELODY at AMAZON, but it will be available at Barnes and Noble soon. If you'd like a review copy in any format, let me know!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Some Short Stories -- This One About SQUID!

I'm making some of my short stories available in e-book format. Some of them have been previously published in magazines like Story Quarterly, GUD, and others, some have been published under my nickname and are now being restored to my real name, and other are completely new and never before published.

Here is the cover of one of them, A MAN OF KIRI MARU, designed by yours truly. What do you think? I'm still finessing my Photoshop skills, so if you have any ideas for improving it, let me know. Ditto any of the copy. The nice thing about e-books is that they are easy to tweak.

A MAN OF KIRI MARU is for ADULTS. It's not that kind of adult book, but it does have sensuality, danger, and mature situations.

Here is the blurb:

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, bathed by the Humboldt currents, lies the island of Kiri Maru. It is a strange and lovely place, where time is so fluid that days and nights merge, but the hours of a new moon are never remembered. The natives had a god once, but he died in a drunken fall. Now the islanders live on luck, generated by the manner of a person's death. Being ripped apart by a wild animal is considered very lucky indeed.

To this island comes a scientist, searching for the elusive giant squid. Instead he finds love in the arms of a young woman, the daughter of a man of Kiri Maru and an American anthropologist.

She ensnares him, body and soul, and wants to bear his child. But first he must become a man of Kiri Maru himself... if the Red Brothers will accept him. Who are the Red Brothers? The man-sized Humboldt squid who haunt the local waters, and are said to be so jealous of human men that they sometimes... well, you'll see.

A MAN OF KIRI MARU is available at Amazon at the moment, and will be available at Barnes and Noble soon.

Monday, October 7, 2013


This bird is called a SQUAWK. (Guess what their call sounds like?)

They are also (more commonly) called Yellow Crowned Night Herons, and their favorite hobby is to really freak me out when I'm walking by a lake in the evening. This one was sleeping just before I took his picture, no doubt resting up so he can properly scare the dickens out of me when I'm lost in thought later...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Under the Green Hill is Honored

Did I mention the pleasant news that UNDER THE GREEN HILL was selected for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award list? That means thousands of middle school kids throughout the state of Florida (my home state!) are being encouraged to read my book. I am so honored, and thrilled, and giddy!

This is the paperback cover.
And this is the hardback cover.