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!


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.

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.


Hi everyone,

Tomorrow morning at 10:00 CST I’ll be the guest on Larry Freund’s radio show, “The W-Factor.” The advance announcement reads, “Upcoming guest for January 11, 2018: David L. Harrison, award winning children’s author (and educator) 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS, co-authored with Mary Jo Fresch. If you are a writer, teacher or educator you will want to tune in to this informative show. THE W-FACTOR.”

Full details:

KWTO Talk Radio, 560 A.M.
Springfield, Missouri
10:00 a.m.
stream at
phone: (417) 862-9977
toll free: 800-375-0056

The program is essentially about the new book and how it applies to getting prepared before starting a project, be it writing or anything else. If you have an interest in tuning in, I hope you will. Please share this information with others who might like to listen in. You can use the streaming link to hear us live. By using the phone number, you can call in with a question or comment. I’ll be given a CD of the interview after the show but it would not be available to anyone else.

Reviewing the year

Hi everyone,

2017 is about out of gas but I think we can walk to 2018 from here if need be. My only complaint about 2017 is that it seemed to be a short year.

It was productive for me though. In addition to posting here most days, seven days each week, my work received recognitions (from Society of Midland Authors for best nonfiction book of the year and NCTE’s list of Notable Poetry Books for Children, for NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T), sold my 99th book (to Holiday House, called RUM PUM PUM, co-authored with Jane Yolen), sold my 100th book (to Holiday House, called I WANT AN APPLE), had one new book come out (from Scholastic called 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS, co-authored with Mary Jo Fresch), published an article in Arizona Reading Journal and two (one of which was co-authored with Mary Jo Fresch) in Missouri Reading Journal, was featured interview in Children’s Book Insider), included in anthologies, including POEMS ARE TEACHERS (collected by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater) and THE BEST OF TODAY’S LITTLE DITTY, 2016 (collected by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes), appeared in a multi-skill course book in India called REVISED EXPLORING ENGLISH), took an agent (Karen Grensik), made two research trips (Arizona and New York) signed in books stores in Missouri and Florida, presented and signed at NCTE, visited schools in Arizona and Missouri, participated in two children’s literature festivals in Missouri, and an updated bio appeared in SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

Coming up in 2018: two new titles, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY (from Charlesbridge) and CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS (from Boyds Mills Press) plus two children’s literature festivals, a feature spot in a magazine, two radio programs, school visits, a live evening program at The Library Center in Springfield, more anthologies, another poem in an Indian publication, and will present and sign at Texas Library Association and at ILA.

My first conference in 2019 is inked in. Five new books are under contract and in the works.