Another chance to win a signed book

Hi everyone,

My thanks today to Darlene Beck-Jacobson for featuring my new book with Mary Jo Fresch, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR SUCCESSFUL WRITING, on her blog at
There's also a free book involved so check it out if you're interested.

Darlene, many thanks!


Tomorrow at Barnes & Noble

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow (Saturday the 27th) at 1:00 I’ll sign A PLACE TO START A FAMILY at Barnes & Noble in Springfield. I hope some of you who live in the area can stop by to say hello.

Yesterday I confirmed March 10 for a signing at Sun Dog Books in Seaside, Florida. I’m looking at other dates including stores in Destin, Panama City, and Kansas City. Gotta push dem books!

So far no one has left a comment on to get their name in the drawing for a free copy of A PLACE TO START A FAMILY. Someone I don’t know left a lovely review but so far that’s it. You have until February 16 to meet the deadline. So far it looks like I’ll get to save the copy I’ve been planning to give away.

Scholastic has posted about 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR SUCCESSFUL WRITING. Here’s the link if you’re interested or know someone who might be.

Promoting two books at once

Hi everyone,

With two books out at once I’m spending more time than usual with my marketing cap on. 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR SUCCESSFUL WRITING is being well received by those who’ve read it. Today or soon Mary Jo Fresch and I will have an article on the subject on Scholastic’s blog. More when I have it. Some of you saw (and participated in) Kathy Temean’s interview of us/book giveaway on her blog January 28. I don’t think she’s awarded the free copy yet so there might still be time to check on it. Mary Jo and I presented on the subject at NCTE and are on the ILA agenda later this year with a two hour workshop. Last week I was interviewed about the book on radio. I’m open to other suggestions for promoting 7 KEYS. Sometimes SKYPE sessions are effective, either with students or teachers.

Now that A PLACE TO START A FAMILY is out, I’m getting busy promoting that one too. This Saturday I’ll sign copies at Barnes & Noble in Springfield (1-3 p.m.). I’m arranging a store signing in Florida in February, be in a magazine in March, and in April will speak/sign at Texas Library Association, do an evening program at our main library, make a school visit in Kirksville, Missouri about four hours from here, and appear on radio to celebrate National Poetry Month. I also have my own giveaway opportunity in progress for those who leave a comment on Amazon about the book. One person has already done so although I’m not sure I know her. Bibi, I’ll be happy to put your name in the hat for this great review. Many thanks for your kind words!

“Hurray, this book finally arrived today! (I ordered it months ago.) It definitely lives up to its promise. The artwork is intricate, fascinating, and gorgeous. The poetry is fresh, fun and informative. I bought this for my toddler grandson, and had to be very careful. He was so excited by it and wanted to ripe the pages! My 10-year-old grandson is quite the naturalist, and he loves the illustrations, the poems, and especially the Learn More! boxes which lead him to more information about the builders he is curious about. Altogether, a book that offers so much: a look into the hidden world of builders and tunnelers, beautiful explanations of how they feed and hunt, mate and build. The poems are alive with rhythmic fun. This is a must for the child’s library!”

Again, I’m open to possibilities for promoting 7 KEYS so keep that in mind if you hear of anything interesting.

Here and abroad

Hi everyone,

I had a fine time yesterday on Larry Freund’s Talk Radio show, which was co-hosted by David Eslick. Left to right in the photo are David, Larry and me. Larry, thanks again for the opportunity to present and discuss my new book with Mary Jo Fresch, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS.

On another front I received a note from a student in France who has read “It’s Me” in her classroom. She isn’t the first one but I’ll relate hers.

“Hello, I’m one of the 12th grade students of Miss Plessis. I just wanted to say that is a great and funny anecdote ! Also “It’s Me”, fit much more with the “Marilyn Diptych” of Andy Warhol than the “cow”.
It is also a very original poem! We read it out loud in class with several people (one person did a sentence and an other did the next sentence), and it was a very fun moment to give a voice to your poem!
Goodbye ! ”

Some of you might remember this poem. I wrote it for Jan Greenberg’s book of poetry inspired by art called HEART TO HEART. It has been picked up in various other publications, including ART AND ARTISTS (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets). It was inspired by an Andy Warhol painting of cows but when we couldn’t obtain the use of the painting I switched to Marilyn Monroe because we could get that.

From presearch to research to writing

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I followed the advice Mary Jo Fresch and I present in 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS. In this case, step one was my trip to NYC in October. I set up dates with several editors, thoroughly enjoyed our visits, and came home with lists of ideas and categories I might tackle in 2018.

Yesterday I took the second step in applying presearch to my preparation. I went over the lists and settled on one that has been calling my name. I printed a working title (yes, pen on paper) and started a list of potential subjects, dividing them into seven groups. There are twenty-four of them.

At this point I’m thinking poetry but that might change. With a list of twenty-four subjects, I’ll start reading and making notes. I’ll keep track of key words to guide further efforts and stay awake for unexpected information that will inject surprise and entertainment value when I start writing. This isn’t going to be nonfiction. Still I need to bone up on each subject to see if it holds up well enough to stay on the list.

Today after my radio interview I’ll start the research effort and see where this idea takes me. Hopefully, it will eventually lead me back to the editor who expressed in such an idea in October.