Couple of things

Hi everyone,
One is that Jane Yolen is celebrating her 400th published book and is being celebrated by fans everywhere. Here’s the link to one of the articles coming out.
Way to go, Jane. Did someone say you’re thinking 500 is in your future? I just hope I sell one more!

The other item is that I was asked this year to participate in Drury University’s “Match Madness” fund raiser by making a 10 minute video reading from AFTER DARK. It is now posted sometime. If you have young ones in the family or classroom, I hope you’ll check out the site at

Making the plan, revising as I go

REMINDER: Don’t forget the reading of JESSE AND GRACE tonight. Information was posted yesterday.

Hi everyone,

I know how I’ll start my day. I planned it before I went to bed, same as always. I’m not sure how it will end though. If either of two possibilities happens, I’ll probably pull off the project I’m on to attend to one of the others because they both have higher priorities (earlier due dates). I was asked during my virtual presentation last Saturday how I work on so many things at once, and this is how. While Tim Rasinski, Mary Jo Fresch, and I wait for word about our counter offer for a contract on two books, I have roughly two weeks to make things happen. Jane Yolen and I are also waiting for a multiple book contract offer from a different publisher and expect word back on that one any day now. For me the trick is to make the most of these little windows that open and close all the time before and after major projects click into place and take my attention for longer periods. I work thirty-five hours a week so I can get quite a bit done but the important thing is to plan how the time will be spent.

Lighting the fuse

Hi everyone,

On WednesdayJane Yolen and I had a delightful 4-way conversation with two editors at a publisher we respect. We discussed several ideas and got excited about some projects we might develop. Between this initial vision and seeing the result in print there are exactly 5,034,269 steps. I counted them once. But this is where it starts, lighting the long burning fuse that gets us excited enough to say yes to a new adventure and the possibility that one day, 5,034,269 steps from now, we’ll be holding some new books.

Early thoughts for the week

Hi everyone,

Wow. It must be Monday. When I sat down to work at 6:15, I already had a rejection in my e-mail. It’s a whimsical story that may or may not find a home somewhere, and this is only the first time out, but still I wish I’d had my coffee first.

Today I’m working on a science story that I think is good but so far hasn’t found its niche. I’ve pulled it aside to rework by telling it in a different voice. I hate to see a good story go to waste.

My thanks again to the folks at The Library Center in Springfield for putting together, promoting, and hosting the virtual presentation Saturday morning by Jane Yolen and me. It turned out well. During the AFTER DARK segment, kids gave me some sound effects to one poem and we did some echo reading with a couple of others. Jane joined me for the next forty minutes to talk about and read from RUM PUM PUM. All in all, a quick sixty minutes.

On Wednesday Jane and I have a conference call with an editor to discuss options on what we might do for them. Looking forward to that.

How to get books for tomorrow’s event

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow morning at 11:00 I, along with Jane Yolen, will give a virtual presentation at The Library Center. You can still sign up today for the free program by calling the library and give them your library card ID. This will be a very kid friendly event. I’ll read a poem or two from AFTER DARK and kids who are signed up can follow me along with echo reading and sound effects. Then Jane comes on and we’ll read from and talk about our book, RUM PUM PUM, about a little boy in India who misplaces his drum. A friendless tiger finds it, learns how to make it “talk,” and sets off down the road attracting a parade of new friends.

These two books as well as other of my titles are available through Pagination Bookshop at 1150 E. Walnut Street, an independent bookstore and literary venue housed in a historic home built in 1905.
You can contact Jen Murvin and the staff at or visit visit the store in person. They’re open to socially distanced and masked browsing Tuesdays-Sundays 12-5, with extended hours Saturday until 6 PM, and their ONLINE STORE is open 24/7! You can choose in-store pick up, shipping, or ship a gift to a loved one. Jen is offering a 15% discount on my books so that’s a good deal. If you want me to sign your books, let her know and I’ll take care of it when I go to her beautiful store later to sign them.

I hope to see some of you tomorrow.