Move over, Dr. Zhivago

Hi everyone,

Among the joys of winter is that on occasion I get to drive my sweetie to an appointment. It’s quite rare but has happened a couple of times lately. I’ve been working to respond to questions from hosts of my blog tour next month to promote AFTER DARK so timing is critical.

I never leave home without a writing pad so I can continue, albeit in longhand, what I was working on before taking a break.

Granted, working in a car on a wintry day is not the best accommodation, but I can testify that writing can happen wherever it needs to happen.

I’m just like Dr. Zhivago — only my car is nice and warm so I didn’t have to blow on my fingers.

Visiting “my” school

Hi everyone,

Pictures of me at David Harrison Elementary yesterday have already been posted on Facebook by others but I still want to say how much I enjoyed visiting with 4th grade teachers — Roxie McQuarry, Shannon Bossing, and Julie Vaughan — plus all three classes of 4th grade students.

The kids are into a poetry unit and one of my books, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, is on their reading list this year. They wanted to know the differences in how an author prepares to write poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. They had a lot of excellent questions, always the sign of strong preparation in the classroom, and I enjoyed providing some answers. I’ll go back later to see how they’re doing so that will be another highlight of my year.

New review

Hi everyone,

AFTER DARK was just reviewed well in Publishers Weekly. My thanks to my editor, Rebecca Davis, for making me aware of it.

Publishers Weekly—January 21, 2020 issue

After Dark: Poems About Nocturnal Animals
David L. Harrison, illus. by Stephanie Laberis. Wordsong, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62979-717-5
Harrison explores the active nighttime hours of 21 nocturnal species—amphibians, birds, fish, insects, mammals, and reptiles are all accounted for. Scientific facts and lifestyle insights, some slightly veiled, are woven into poetic language in a mix of free verse (“Mama skunk/ knows the story./ Never play/ in an empty street”) and rhyme (“Firefly females/ watch from the grass,/ checking each flash/ as suitors pass”). Warmth and foreboding emanate from the nocturnal creatures as Laberis’s shadowed nightscapes show a hum of quiet—and not so quiet—activity in an otherwise sleepy world: a mother wolf oversees rambunctious pups, cockroaches tackle a plate of noodles, and a hermit crab lays eggs on a moonlit shore. Back matter includes additional (and clarifying) facts about each subject mentioned. An immersive volume of nocturnes for young animal enthusiasts. Ages 5–9. (Feb.)

Blog tour, signing, and presentation plans are coming along and will be announced shortly. For now, back in the wheel.