Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

YA/MG May GalleyChat

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

This session of YA GalleyChat has now ended. Join us for the next one on June 16, 5 to 6 p.m. EDT (4:30 for virtual cocktails).

Note our brand-new hashtag, #ewgcya (the old one is now definitely NSFW)

Chat with Ellen Airgood

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
 Live Chat with Ellen Airgood - THE EDUCATION OF IVY BLAKE(05/06/2015) 
4:53
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Welcome, everyone.

In a few minutes, we will begin our chat with Ellen Airgood, the author of The Education of Ivy Blake, which will be published by Nancy Paulsen Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers on June 9.

The Education of Ivy Blake is a companion to her previous title, Prairie Evers. In that book, Prairie moves from North Carolina to New Paltz, in upstate New York. Her accent, her name, and the fact that she was previously home schooled make her feel like an outsider. Happily she meets another outsider, Ivy Blake and they become fast friends.

Prairie comes from a loving family and Ivy does not. When Ivy's single mom decides to move to another town, Prairie’s family convinces her to let Ivy finish out the school year with them.

The Education of Ivy Blake shifts focus to Ivy and picks up when she rejoins her mother.

In a starred review, School Library Journal says. “Like Anne of Green Gables and many other neglected creative girls before her, Ivy is irresistible, and readers will be rooting for her all the way.”

This is Ellen’s third book. Her first, a novel for adults, South of Superior, was published in 2011.

Wednesday May 6, 2015 4:53 Nora, EarlyWord
4:55
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Hey, great to see you, Ellen. We'll start in a few minutes!

Wednesday May 6, 2015 4:55 Nora, EarlyWord
4:55
Ellen Airgood: 
Great to be here, Nora!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 4:55 Ellen Airgood
4:57
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Unfortunately, Lisa Von Drasek isn’t be able to moderate today’s chat, so I am sitting in for her.

Wednesday May 6, 2015 4:57 Nora, EarlyWord
5:00
Nora, EarlyWord: 

We've already got some greeting for you from participants, Ellen, so I will start posting them. First of all, Lisa is out there and says


Hello! Thank you Ellen for being here,

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:00 Nora, EarlyWord
5:00
[Comment From JoAnn from NMJoAnn from NM: ] 
Hi Ellen!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:00 JoAnn from NM
5:00
Ellen Airgood: 
Hello, Lisa! It's lovely to meet you in this way. Thanks for the wonderful questions you sent.

And Hello to JoAnn as well!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:00 Ellen Airgood
5:01
[Comment From PamelaPamela: ] 
Love both books.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:01 Pamela
5:01
[Comment From JaniceJanice: ] 
Thanks for this, Ellen and even more so, the BOOKS!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:01 Janice
5:01
[Comment From School LibrarianSchool Librarian: ] 
Can’t wait to share the book with my kids. I know they will love it
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:01 School Librarian
5:01
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
Loved the book, Ellen. Glad I could join the chat.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:01 Bob
5:01
[Comment From JackieJackie: ] 
Looking forward to getting to know you, Ellen.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:01 Jackie
5:01
[Comment From Jenny BJenny B: ] 
Thanks for chatting. Love both books.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:01 Jenny B
5:01
[Comment From Pam PPam P: ] 
Hi from Ohio!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:01 Pam P
5:02
Ellen Airgood: 
Hello, everyone. Thank you for your kind words about the books, and for being here to chat. I'm excited about it.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:02 Ellen Airgood
5:02
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Lisa sent me some questions in advance, so I’ll let her do the honors of beginning --

Question from Lisa:

The education of Ivy Stands alone…

If you read that one first… you want to know more about the Evers…

If you read Prairie first…

You want to know what happens to Ivy…

Did you plan the books this way?

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:02 Nora, EarlyWord
5:03
Ellen Airgood: 
I didn’t plan it that way, but I’m so happy that’s the way it works out. I’m always trying to make characters palpable, truly human. Faceted. I hope readers always wants to know more, as they might want to know more about any person who piqued their interest.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:03 Ellen Airgood
5:04
[Comment From PamelaPamela: ] 
Do you think people need to read both the books?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:04 Pamela
5:05
Ellen Airgood: 
Pamela, I'd love it if people do read both books, of course...
But I really think they can each stand on their own very well. Both my editor and I tried to make sure that was the case....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:05 Ellen Airgood
5:06
Ellen Airgood: 
I feel that Prairie and Ivy are themselves, actual spirits out in the world, and not 'mine,' really. And I want them to be able to stand on their own feet out in that world....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:06 Ellen Airgood
5:06
Ellen Airgood: 
They are wonderful friends, but at the same time, they are very much individuals, and I wanted the books to reflect that. For them each to be strong in their own right.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:06 Ellen Airgood
5:07
[Comment From PamelaPamela: ] 
What did you have to do in the writing to make each stand alone?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:07 Pamela
5:07
Ellen Airgood: 
Pamela, that's a great question, about what I had to do as a writer to make them stand alone. I think, in a way, I had to forget about P. EVERS as I wrote IVY....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:07 Ellen Airgood
5:08
Ellen Airgood: 
It was a bit like starting completely new. Here was Ivy, in a situation. She had this great friend, and lovely family she'd lived with for a while, but the book is about NOW, and what will she do next...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:08 Ellen Airgood
5:09
Ellen Airgood: 
I wasn't sure as I began how much Prairie and the Evers would show up in Ivy's book. I had to let that play out. And in a way, Prairie is such a strong character, a force of nature, with such a bouyant voice, I was a little concerned about her taking over if she was too much present.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:09 Ellen Airgood
5:09
[Comment From Pam PPam P: ] 
The cover of IVY is darker than PRAIRIE, which fits with the books in my mind. Also, it seems to indicate they are two quite different. I assume that was deliberate?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:09 Pam P
5:10
Nora, EarlyWord: 
Since you've mentioned the covers, I will post them for people to look at.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:10 Nora, EarlyWord
5:10
Nora, EarlyWord
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:10 
5:10
Nora, EarlyWord
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:10 
5:10
Ellen Airgood: 
Pam, covers are so important, and I'm so happy with what the art dept. at Penguin has done. I love both the covers. Today the UPS man brought a finished hard cover of IVY, and I love it. LOVE it. The hardbacks are bright yellow beneath the dust jacket...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:10 Ellen Airgood
5:11
Ellen Airgood: 
And that brightness beneath the somewhat somber cover is perfect for Ivy. It makes my skin prickly, actually. That is Ivy's beautiful golden heart beneath the sober realities of her life.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:11 Ellen Airgood
5:12
Nora, EarlyWord: 
-- I hear you run a diner in Marais, Michigan -- is this the one?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:12 Nora, EarlyWord
5:12
Nora, EarlyWord
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:12 
5:13
Ellen Airgood: 
Yes! That's our diner. I'm currently sitting just behind the window on the second floor. I can see Lake Superior and some boats out on the water.

We have a little gift shop on the second floor, and one table in the window for people to drink coffee and use the internet without being on the main floor using tables we need for diners. Also it’s quieter up here! ...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:13 Ellen Airgood
5:13
Nora, EarlyWord
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:13 
5:13
Nora, EarlyWord: 
You also sent me a great shot of the diner in winter.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:13 Nora, EarlyWord
5:14
Nora, EarlyWord
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:14 
5:14
Ellen Airgood: 
And just to add a little more about the covers, I loved Prairie's cover too, the brightness was perfect for her, and I can't count how many diners asked if those were my legs. They weren't, but could've been.
Ah, and there is my window, the view I am seeing right now...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:14 Ellen Airgood
5:14
Ellen Airgood: 
Winters are quite dramatic here!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:14 Ellen Airgood
5:15
Nora, EarlyWord: 
Running a diner is time-consuming. HOW do you fit in writing?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:15 Nora, EarlyWord
5:15
Nora, EarlyWord
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:15 
5:15
Ellen Airgood: 
Nora, I have been asked that question about time so many times. I'm stubborn and I have worked very hard, I will admit. I've been dogged in my pursuit of this dream. And hard as it is...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:15 Ellen Airgood
5:16
Ellen Airgood: 
I have to say that running a diner feeds some fundamental core of me. I'm a high energy person, and the diner is a high energy place in the season...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:16 Ellen Airgood
5:16
Ellen Airgood: 
And the people. That's the real payoff in work like this. The people, the people. The friendships I've made. The things I've learned, both joyfully and not so joyfully. This place has grown me up.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:16 Ellen Airgood
5:17
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Michigan seems like a great setting. Why did you pick New Paltz for Ivy and Prairie?

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:17 Nora, EarlyWord
5:17
Ellen Airgood: 
New Paltz seemed to pick me. Prairie arrived in my head, already talking, one rainy April day many years ago. (the far-gone year 2000!) …
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:17 Ellen Airgood
5:17
Ellen Airgood: 
I literally sat up in bed and started taking notes of what she was 'telling' me, grabbing sheets of scrap paper, the back sides of drafts of a different novel I’d worked on all winter. I hadn’t been looking to start another just then, but all this knowledge sprang seemingly from nowhere and I had to get it down...
Prairie’s first words to me were, "Folks said it could not be done but I did it." That line didn't end up in the book, but the words perfectly convey her resolute attitude that shines through …
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:17 Ellen Airgood
5:18
Ellen Airgood: 
One of the things she let me know is that her family had moved from North Carolina to New York State, and she did not like it one bit. I had lived in New Paltz for a year after graduating from University of Michigan--I was a writer for Scenic Hudson, an intern--and so that's probably why Prairie's images of New York State were images of New Paltz. A great town in so many ways. Great pizza! And The Bakery... Mmmm.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:18 Ellen Airgood
5:18
Nora, EarlyWord: 
Lisa just asked if she can buy a coffee mug from your diner!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:18 Nora, EarlyWord
5:18
Ellen Airgood: 
Yes, Lisa, absolutely! We have those old fashioned thick ceramic mugs...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:18 Ellen Airgood
5:19
Ellen Airgood: 
I will happily mail you one...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:19 Ellen Airgood
5:19
Ellen Airgood: 
And totally off-topic but fun, I love stories of where those mugs show up...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:19 Ellen Airgood
5:19
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Thank you for posting the covers! The differences are powerful!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:19 Deborah Baldwin
5:19
[Comment From School LibrarianSchool Librarian: ] 
You live in a small town. How do people react to your being a writer?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:19 School Librarian
5:19
Ellen Airgood: 
One of my favorites: on the table of a monastery in North Dakota. how random is that?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:19 Ellen Airgood
5:20
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Prairie meets Ivy when she changes schools and has to try to learn to fit in. You write about that experience so well – it’s like everyone in the diner stopping and staring when a stranger walks in Did you experience that yourself?

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:20 Nora, EarlyWord
5:20
Ellen Airgood: 
Deborah, It's really interesting and great to hear that about the covers. And about changing schools...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:20 Ellen Airgood
5:21
Ellen Airgood: 
I never did that, but there are endless situations where kids feel like outsiders, and I think I experienced most of them.

I was a bookish kid and somewhat shy in grade school, though I was also cheerful and sure of myself. In middle school I began to flounder. Oh, those wars girls have. Maybe boys, too, but girls seem more guilty to me of mean campaigns. ..
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:21 Ellen Airgood
5:21
Ellen Airgood: 
The machinations of cliques made me miserable, but I was part of them at least once, out of desperation, and I remember feeling ill afterward...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:21 Ellen Airgood
5:21
Ellen Airgood: 
The awkwardness grew in junior high, and by high school I was a band nerd with excellent grades, a horrible haircut and worse clothes, huge eyeglasses, and no idea of how to talk to people...

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:21 Ellen Airgood
5:21
Ellen Airgood: 
But as awkward as I often felt, I always had friends, good friends. I always had fun things going on. I loved to be outside, ride our horses, to read and play clarinet and piano, all kinds of things. I was close to my family, I had things I knew I was good at. I had joys...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:21 Ellen Airgood
5:21
Ellen Airgood: 
I remember what a refuge and delight friendship was--and is. That’s what I wanted to write about.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:21 Ellen Airgood
5:21
[Comment From JoAnn from NMJoAnn from NM: ] 
Were you a reader as a child?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:21 JoAnn from NM
5:22
Ellen Airgood: 
JoAnn, I was a VORACIOUS reader, always. My parents and siblings also. We did not have a TV in our home until I was 12. I lied about this at school...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:22 Ellen Airgood
5:23
Ellen Airgood: 
I pretended I had seen whatever everyone else had seen. usually this didn't work out, because I'd get it wrong. Oh, the humiliation of that.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:23 Ellen Airgood
5:23
[Comment From Lisa from MnLisa from Mn: ] 
In Prairie Evers- Prairie is home schooled and KNOWS that she will hate school because she is an excellent reader. I loved that both your books portray a nuance of school experiences… was this deliberate choice?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:23 Lisa from Mn
5:24
Ellen Airgood: 
Lisa, I so wanted to give a balanced portrait of the pros and cons of both homeschooling and public school. School is such a huge part of kids' lives, and I have such vivid memories, both of the joys and the terrors...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:24 Ellen Airgood
5:25
Ellen Airgood: 
But as far as thinking ahead of how book one would be more a homeschool bias, a little, and book 2 a public school slant, Nope. I really did not know I would ever write a companion book to Prairie until I did it...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:25 Ellen Airgood
5:25
Ellen Airgood: 
Honestly, it seemed quite impossible to me in the two years between them that I would do that. Prairie seemed to have said all she had to, to me anyway, and quiet Ivy took a while to warm up to me and tell me what she had to.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:25 Ellen Airgood
5:26
Nora, EarlyWord: 

I think this earlier question from Lisa fits in here:


Librarians are talking a lot about diversity in books . Finding stories that express economic disparity this vividly are rare…can you say a few words about your choices.

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:26 Nora, EarlyWord
5:27
Ellen Airgood: 
One writes what one knows, I suppose. What one knows and loves....


Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:27 Ellen Airgood
5:27
Ellen Airgood: 
I have a wonderful life here on Lake Superior. It has not been an easy road, however. It’s not for most people who make a life here while they’re young, as I’ve been blessed to do. The economy is tough. It’s a great life, and this place develops some amazing people, stoic, funny, understated...and rugged...and I’m a part of it all....

And growing up on a small farm in the thumb of Michigan, equally wonderful, also let me be comfortable with writing about economic disparities.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:27 Ellen Airgood
5:27
Nora, EarlyWord: 

You said you were a "band nerd." That's more acceptable now -- do you think kids have a wider range of ways to be accepted today, or do they still deal with the same age-old problems, just in new forms?

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:27 Nora, EarlyWord
5:28
Ellen Airgood: 
Band nerd is a more acceptable thing now?! That’s cool. Even so I would suspect, human nature being what it is, that lots of kids face problems similar to Prairie’s and Ivy’s, and to the ones I faced in school...

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:28 Ellen Airgood
5:28
Ellen Airgood: 
And anyone at any age needs to be able to walk that line between fitting in and not being vulnerable to the agendas of folks who might not be at the kindest part of their walk in life.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:28 Ellen Airgood
5:28
Nora, EarlyWord: 

I like what you said about it being important to have a community of friends, but also to be able to stand on your own. Tell me more about that theme.

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:28 Nora, EarlyWord
5:29
Ellen Airgood: 
Friendships for kids--for adults too?--seem both easy and difficult to me. Natural and forced. But they become weird when the power play of school cliques comes in. …

I guess really, PRAIRIE EVERS, is about Ivy. About how sheltered Prairie has been from the kind of hardships Ivy knows, and how once they know each other, they complete each other in certain ways....


Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:29 Ellen Airgood
5:29
Ellen Airgood: 
I did not set out to write the story of one of my own friendships in school, but I'm sure it was a big part of the novel's origin. I had a wonderful childhood, but a close friend did not, and I was so sheltered that all I knew was, something was off, something was sad...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:29 Ellen Airgood
5:29
Ellen Airgood: 
I always wanted to help that friend. I had a special tenderness toward her. But it was not at all one way. She was lively and creative and FUN. She was more outgoing, more of a go-getter, much more daring. We helped each other.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:29 Ellen Airgood
5:30
[Comment From Judy DJudy D: ] 
Can you say who you like better? Ivy or Prairie?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:30 Judy D
5:31
Ellen Airgood: 
Judy, I love them both. I really do. I absolutely could never choose between them. They both have such wonderful and unique personalities. And I say this with that feeling that they are their own people. I helped them tell their stories, but those stories seemed to be already out there, waiting to be told.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:31 Ellen Airgood
5:31
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
I appreciate the authentic voice you write with and how your stories deal with differences; economic, family, setting...yet show a community... a family (not necessarily the family you're born with).
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:31 Deborah Baldwin
5:31
[Comment From Lisa from MnLisa from Mn: ] 
The adults are all fully realized from the hardware man to the waitresses to the teachers…I was in awe of Beryl
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:31 Lisa from Mn
5:31
Ellen Airgood: 
Thank you, Deborah. That's a wonderful compliment. And thank you Lisa, as well...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:31 Ellen Airgood
5:32
Ellen Airgood: 
I’m so glad the characters seem so vivid and real to you. I am a very serious writer, and that kind of veracity is what I want more than anything.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:32 Ellen Airgood
5:32
[Comment From Lisa from MnLisa from Mn: ] 
You perfectly captured the ambivalence of the child who yearns for her mother but the mother is incapable of that role even with repeated ample evidence… …how do you know exactly how this feels?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:32 Lisa from Mn
5:33
Ellen Airgood: 
Lisa, Thank you. I am not sure how I knew that. My own mother was fantastic. Much more like Prairie's mom....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:33 Ellen Airgood
5:33
Ellen Airgood: 
I have a good friend who had a mom more like Ivy's...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:33 Ellen Airgood
5:33
Ellen Airgood: 
She said, when she read the draft, "Did you KNOW my mother?"
...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:33 Ellen Airgood
5:34
Ellen Airgood: 
Good for me, not so good for her. I did not know her mother, and she doesn't talk about her much, so that's not how I knew. I pay attention, I suppose. I meet a lot of people. I see a lot of things....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:34 Ellen Airgood
5:34
Ellen Airgood: 
And to be very frank, for some aspects of Tracy, I took a long hard look at mistakes I have made....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:34 Ellen Airgood
5:35
Ellen Airgood: 
Not that I am her at all, but I think we can all relate to mistakes and missteps and times when we have been lost or confused, when we haven't been or best selves... and I tried to amplify that. And, as I said, I observe.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:35 Ellen Airgood
5:35
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Could you share a little bit about your writing process?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:35 Deborah Baldwin
5:36
Ellen Airgood: 
Deborah, I could go on and on about that, and will try not to...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:36 Ellen Airgood
5:36
[Comment From Lisa from MNLisa from MN: ] 
ohh, I like that phrase "best selves"
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:36 Lisa from MN
5:36
Ellen Airgood: 
As far as process, I often find myself leaned forward with my eyes narrowed when I’m working on early drafts and names and the core actions of scenes. The tough stuff makes me feel ill sometimes. When Ivy’s mom lets her down badly in this new book, I had to leave the desk and the room as soon as I’d drafted the scene....

I felt nauseous and had chills and headed for the diner, where the reassuring hum of ‘real life’ was going on...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:36 Ellen Airgood
5:37
Ellen Airgood: 
Thanks Lisa! I think we do contain multitudes, as Whitman said, and so selves seems apt to me...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:37 Ellen Airgood
5:39
[Comment From BethannyBethanny: ] 
Did you study writing anywhere?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:39 Bethanny
5:39
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
I think the intensity you feel while writing the action, helps us as readers connect with the story. You keep it real for us.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:39 Deborah Baldwin
5:40
Ellen Airgood: 
Thanks, Deborah! And Bethanny, I didn't study writing formally. I have a Bachelor's of Science from U of M. But I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I was in the fourth grade...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:40 Ellen Airgood
5:40
Ellen Airgood: 
My fourth grade teacher gave lots of creative writing assignments.

The Halloween assignment, the first, was a huge Ah-ha moment for me. Those books I loved to read--somebody, some PERSON, wrote those books! I wanted to be that person. The first book I wrote....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:40 Ellen Airgood
5:41
Ellen Airgood: 
Was not at all good. PRAIRIE EVERS was probably the fourth. How I started--I just started. I decided there was no time like the present. My adult novel, SOUTH OF SUPERIOR, was the first to come out, in 2011, but I had written the first draft of Prairie Evers many years before that. It did need lots of work, but Prairie's voice was already there, and the main themes of the story.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:41 Ellen Airgood
5:41
Ellen Airgood: 
I was writing all along, of course. My first readers were my family. Not long out of college I wrote a short story I wanted to share with my siblings. I made them sit on the couch with afghans over their heads while I read it out loud to them. No kidding! (They said it was good.)...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:41 Ellen Airgood
5:42
Nora, EarlyWord: 
You studied SCIENCES st the University of Michigan, NOT writing?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:42 Nora, EarlyWord
5:42
[Comment From Suzanne (from Tennessee)Suzanne (from Tennessee): ] 
(I was a bookish band nerd with thick glasses and y best friend from those years is still my bestie, Her kids call me "Aunt Suzanne." )I think you did a great job of showing that sort of strong friendship.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:42 Suzanne (from Tennessee)
5:42
Ellen Airgood: 
Yep, Nora, science! I wanted to be an ecologist. Work outside by day, write novels by...night?... and now run a diner and write. Inside most of the time.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:42 Ellen Airgood
5:43
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
What advice would you offer for young writers?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:43 Deborah Baldwin
5:43
Ellen Airgood: 
Suzanne, cheers to another b.b.n. Several of my good friends from then are still good friends as well. And advice for young writers... oh, I love that question...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:43 Ellen Airgood
5:44
Ellen Airgood: 
I've had a lot of good advice, but a piece I always come back to I read in Janet Burroway's book about writing fiction...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:44 Ellen Airgood
5:44
Ellen Airgood: 
Write about what troubles you, especially if it seems to trouble no one else.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:44 Ellen Airgood
5:44
[Comment From Lisa from MnLisa from Mn: ] 
was it hard to get Prairie published?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:44 Lisa from Mn
5:45
Ellen Airgood: 
Lisa, that's a great question about publishing.... It's kind of complicated. Short version: my adult novel came out first, and PE followed along easily.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:45 Ellen Airgood
5:45
Ellen Airgood: 
BUT....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:45 Ellen Airgood
5:45
Ellen Airgood: 
I had written PE and worked on it for years and finally put it away and then turned to the adult novel...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:45 Ellen Airgood
5:46
Ellen Airgood: 
I worked on that over the course of seven years between beginning and pub. date....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:46 Ellen Airgood
5:46
Ellen Airgood: 
until at last...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:46 Ellen Airgood
5:46
Ellen Airgood: 
I had an agent!...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:46 Ellen Airgood
5:46
Ellen Airgood: 
The phone rang at the diner one spring day and the woman on the other end said, “Hello, Ellen, this is Joy.” I said, brightly, “Hi, Joy!” while I scrambled to think who that was. I wasn’t expecting my agent to phone me so soon after approving the mss as a go. I was in the middle of serving an order. Then it hit me: Oh my god. Joy! My agent!...

She had a book deal for me. I sank down onto the diner stool nearest the phone and put my head on the counter. “I think I might faint” I told her. She laughed. “Don’t do that,” she said. A moment later I served the breakfasts that were up. They were identical, to a couple from Wisconsin: two cheese omelettes with bacon and pumpernickel toast.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:46 Ellen Airgood
5:47
Ellen Airgood: 
For Prairie, it was different...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:47 Ellen Airgood
5:47
Ellen Airgood: 
I had worked on revisions with my agent’s assistant at the time, but I wasn’t aware that she and my agent were shopping the manuscript around. Sarah, Joy’s assistant, called me out of the blue one August night and gave me the news that PRAIRIE had been taken on by Nancy Paulsen. It was crazy busy and I remember that I had pizzas in the oven, and I gaped at the phone again....

This is not a pizza order, is it? It was a wonderful surprise.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:47 Ellen Airgood
5:48
Nora, EarlyWord: 

That diner does keep you real, doesn't it?


What was the process with your editor like for PRAIRIE?

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:48 Nora, EarlyWord
5:48
Ellen Airgood: 
Nora, the diner does do that. Keep me real. And I'm really very thankful for that. (Mostly.) The process with Nancy Paulsen was great. She would put questions in the margins, leading me to think through some of the scenes more thoroughly, to go beyond where I’d stopped.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:48 Ellen Airgood
5:49
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Did you ever hit a wall in the writing process?



Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:49 Nora, EarlyWord
5:49
Ellen Airgood: 
Hit a wall? Oh, yes. A number of times. But I’m stubborn. I hit the wall and slump against it for a while, but then I get mad and climb over or around or whatever. Now and then I have been known to sledgehammer a wall down.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:49 Ellen Airgood
5:50
Nora, EarlyWord: 
I'm going to show the photo you sent me of the journal you kept about Prairie and Grammy …
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:50 Nora, EarlyWord
5:50
Nora, EarlyWord
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:50 
5:50
Nora, EarlyWord: 
Please tell us about that.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:50 Nora, EarlyWord
5:51
Ellen Airgood: 
Nora, That journal is another of those things that makes me smile and makes my skin prickle a little at the same time. When Prairie was 'talking' to me I was keeping a journal and also cutting out photos from magazines that reminded me of Prairie and Grammy. The second photo, another journal page, involves the origin of character names...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:51 Ellen Airgood
5:51
Nora, EarlyWord
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:51 
5:52
Ellen Airgood: 
There it is. Probably impossible for you to read, but I'm writing there about a walk I took, trying to 'hear' more of what the character was telling me. Her name.... It was as if I was listening closely to a far-off voice. I talk about that in the journal I was keeping at the time. I spelled Prairie wrong and my punctuation was terrible, but almost everything essential about the story was clear to me from the first. It’s scary, in a way. What if in a future book the ideas don’t come zinging along the metaphysical story wires so clearly? Will it work out?....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:52 Ellen Airgood
5:53
Ellen Airgood: 
Mostly the names and the core facts just come. I have to listen for a while, and make sure I’ve understood correctly, but then I’ll know....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:53 Ellen Airgood
5:53
Ellen Airgood: 
The last line in that photo says something like...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:53 Ellen Airgood
5:53
Ellen Airgood: 
Fear is what makes people mean.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:53 Ellen Airgood
5:54
Nora, EarlyWord: 

That's a great one -- so true.

Unfortunately, we have less than ten minutes left and some questions piling up. We'll try to run through them quickly.

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:54 Nora, EarlyWord
5:54
[Comment From Lisa from MnLisa from Mn: ] 
would the grown ups who read your kid books like your grown up novel?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:54 Lisa from Mn
5:55
Ellen Airgood: 
Lisa, that's a great question. Yes! It's been so wonderful, a great feeling. My adult readers of SOS have also responded warmly to Prairie, and I hope they will to IVY as well...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:55 Ellen Airgood
5:55
Ellen Airgood: 
I am a little nervous for Ivy...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:55 Ellen Airgood
5:56
Ellen Airgood: 
Her debut... I'm protective of her. She's been through so much, and is such an inspiration to me. I hope people will respond positively to her brave telling of her story and what she's learned.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:56 Ellen Airgood
5:56
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Lisa's been asking the following and I've been holding her off, but she insists! Just give her a "yes" or "no"!

Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:56 Nora, EarlyWord
5:56
[Comment From Lisa from MnLisa from Mn: ] 
I need to know!!!! do you raise chickens? Goats? Do you make your own cheese?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:56 Lisa from Mn
5:56
Ellen Airgood: 
No, no, and no. Sadly. Dreams of mine. Diners don't allow that sort of thing...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:56 Ellen Airgood
5:56
Ellen Airgood: 
SOMEDAY.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:56 Ellen Airgood
5:57
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Is there a certain place or time of day you like to write? How frequently do you write?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:57 Deborah Baldwin
5:58
Ellen Airgood: 
Deborah, I prefer to write in the morning, but I will plow on regardless, as in the diner business I very often don't get my druthers. I try and write every day, pretty much. Try. I often write in bed. Also a great deal of all the books have been written at a long wooden booth in the back part of the dining room of the diner. (there's a whole set of rooms behind the facade.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:58 Ellen Airgood
5:58
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
I think boys will enjoy this -- the girls are kind of tom boys anyway and are kids most boys would like to hang our with.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:58 Bob
5:59
Ellen Airgood: 
Bob, thank you. I hope boys will like it, and I think so too. I received wonderful comments from boys on P. EVERS, as well as earlier unpublished books I took into the local schools, to reading groups, in order to feel like a 'real' writer long before I was published, and to get real input from kids.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:59 Ellen Airgood
5:59
Nora, EarlyWord: 
We might be able to combine the following two questions into one answer …
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:59 Nora, EarlyWord
5:59
[Comment From JoAnn from NMJoAnn from NM: ] 
Whose your favorite kids book author? Did you ever meet any authors when you were growing up?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 5:59 JoAnn from NM
6:00
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
What authors and/or books have influenced you as a writer?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:00 Deborah Baldwin
6:00
Ellen Airgood: 
Oh, favorite author. Oh gosh. Wait, stop....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:00 Ellen Airgood
6:00
Ellen Airgood: 
Favorites is always too hard of a question. Growing up, I loved Elanor Estes, I remember that. And Emily Dickinson's poem I'm nobody, who are you? And a thousand others... I never met any authors growing up...
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:00 Ellen Airgood
6:01
Ellen Airgood: 
Though one of the tv shows we watched at my grandparents house, The Waltons, was beloved of me, and when Will Gear came to our school, I was dumbstruck.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:01 Ellen Airgood
6:01
Nora, EarlyWord: 
This may have to be our final question …
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:01 Nora, EarlyWord
6:01
[Comment From JaniceJanice: ] 
Are there more Ivy/Prairie books in the pipeline?
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:01 Janice
6:01
Ellen Airgood: 
As an adult... Steinbeck, Tolstoy, Dickens... are all authors I am inspired by. Again, so many.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:01 Ellen Airgood
6:02
Ellen Airgood: 
Janice, I'm not sure if there are more Ivy/Prairie books. I heard a voice in my head the other night, and it was a girl somewhere between 6th and tenth grade... She wasn't Ivy or Prairie. I haven't found out her name yet... I'm working on another adult novel at present....
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:02 Ellen Airgood
6:03
Ellen Airgood: 
But the moment I can, I will be leaning forward to listen to that girl who said, It was squash or be squashed, that's what my parents didn't understand.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:03 Ellen Airgood
6:03
Nora, EarlyWord: 
Let's sneak in just ONE more … Lisa wants to know if you do school visits and if so how people can reach you.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:03 Nora, EarlyWord
6:04
Ellen Airgood: 
Lisa, Yes, I do like to do school visits, although I am so very far from anywhere it's not always easy to arrange. But I LOVE them. They are energizing. Also I can skype and etc. I have a website, EllenAirgood.com, and there's a contact form there that comes directly into my email. And I'm on Facebook, though the email is probably a better way to talk about visits.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:04 Ellen Airgood
6:05
Nora, EarlyWord: 

Thanks, so much Ellen. This was a lot of fun.

And thanks to all of you for joining us. What great questions!

Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:05 Nora, EarlyWord
6:05
[Comment From Judy DJudy D: ] 
Thanks, Ellen and thanks Penguin Young Readers for the eGalley. Loved it.
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:05 Judy D
6:05
Ellen Airgood: 
Thank you ALL! It was wonderful to talk with you. Cheers!
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:05 Ellen Airgood
6:06
Nora, EarlyWord: 

The next title in our program is: The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me: A Novel by Sara Nickerson A talented new middle-grade voice tells a story filled with heart about finding something all your own while the world changes around you. Read More »

Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:06 Nora, EarlyWord
6:07
Nora, EarlyWord: 

The next title in our program is: The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me: A Novel by Sara Nickerson A talented new middle-grade voice tells a story filled with heart about finding something all your own while the world changes around you. Read More »

Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:07 Nora, EarlyWord
6:08
Nora, EarlyWord: 

The next title in our program is:

The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me: A Novel

Sara Nickerson

A talented new middle-grade voice tells a story filled with heart about finding something all your own while the world changes around you
Wednesday May 6, 2015 6:08 Nora, EarlyWord
 
 

GalleyChat, BEA Edition,
Tues. May 5

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

This month’s GalleyChat has now ended. Join us for the next one on Tues., June 2, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails)

Live Online Chat with Josh Lieb

Thursday, April 16th, 2015
Live Blog Live Chat with Josh Lieb, RATSCALIBUR
 

BEA — First-Timers Guide
for Librarians

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

EW-logo-BEABook Expo America is just six weeks away — time to start planning so you can get the most out of the show.

Several pf EarlyWord’s GalleyChatters, veteran BEAers, have created the EarlyWord BEA First-Timers Guide for Librarians to share tips and recommendations.

We’ve set it up as a forum, so you can ask questions, make connections with like-minded librarians before the show (maybe even find a roommate) and enter your own favorite tips.

We like to think of this as a free-flowing pre-BEA cocktail party, so please join in.

Live Online Chat with M.J. Arlidge

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

The chat has now ended. Please join us for the next one on Wed., June 4

Live Blog Live Chat with M. J. Arlidge: Eeny Meeny
 

GalleyChat, Tues. April 7

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

This month’s GallyChat has now ended. Join us for the next one to find out which galleys fellow librarians are loving – Tuesday, May 4th,
4 to 5 p.m. EDT (3:30 for virtual cocktails)

LiveChat Today with CIRCUS MIRANDUS Author, Cassie Beasley

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Our live chat has now ended. Read the archived version below.

Live Blog Live Chat with Cassie Beasley: CIRCUS MIRANDUS
 Live Chat with Cassie Beasley: CIRCUS MIRANDUS(03/18/2015) 
4:10
Lisa Von Drasek
Wednesday March 18, 2015 4:10 
4:45
Lisa Von Drasek: 
We will begin our live online chat with Cassie Beasley, author of CIRCUS MIRANDUS, in about 15 minutes.

The book will be published by Penguin/Dial in June.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 4:45 Lisa Von Drasek
4:48
Lisa Von Drasek: 
A debut middle grade novel, it just received a starred review from Kirkus.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 4:48 Lisa Von Drasek
4:48
Lisa Von Drasek
Wednesday March 18, 2015 4:48 
4:48
Lisa Von Drasek: 
Here's the full review …
Wednesday March 18, 2015 4:48 Lisa Von Drasek
4:48
Lisa Von Drasek: 
KIRKUS REVIEW -- starred One strange afternoon, 10-year-old Micah Tuttle finds out that magic is real. Micah always thought Grandpa Ephraim’s wild stories of the centuries-old Circus Mirandus were spun solely for his amusement. But when his dying grandfather writes a letter to the “Lightbender,” hoping to call in the miracle the magician had promised him as a boy, Micah learns the stories were true, and the appearance of Ms. Chintzy, the circus’ cantankerous parrot messenger, clinches the deal. Happily, Micah finds a loyal if somewhat challenging friend to help him track down the elusive light-bending magician: the magic-leery, science-minded Jenny Mendoza. Their budding rapport is nuanced and complex, a refreshing illustration of how absolute like-mindedness is not a prerequisite for friendship. On one level, the book is a fantastical circus romp, with fortunetelling vultures and “a wallaby that could burp the Greek alphabet.” On another, it’s both serious and thick with longing: Micah’s ache for the companionship of his once-vital guardian-grandfather; Grandpa Ephraim’s boyhood yearning for his absent father, as fleshed out in flashbacks; the circus founders’ desire to keep enchantment alive in a world where “faith is such a fragile thing.” A delicious confection and much more: it shows that the human heart is delicate, that it matters, and that it must be handled with care. (Fiction. 9-12)
Wednesday March 18, 2015 4:48 Lisa Von Drasek
4:55
Lisa Von Drasek: 

I’m your moderator.


In addition to being EarlyWord’s Kids Correspondent, I am the curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections at the University of Minnesota, one of the world’s largest collections of children’s literature manuscripts and original. Before that, I was the Children's Librarian of the Bank Street College of Education. I’ve served on many awards committees including the Newbery, the National Book Awards for Young People's Literature and American Library Association's Notable Children's Books.

Wednesday March 18, 2015 4:55 Lisa Von Drasek
4:56
Lisa Von Drasek: 


You can send your questions through at any time. They'll go into a queue, and we'll submit as many of them as we can to the author before the end of the chat.


Don’t worry about typos – we’re sure to make them too!

Wednesday March 18, 2015 4:56 Lisa Von Drasek
5:00
Lisa Von Drasek: 
I see that Cassie has joined us -- we have a crowd gathering. Say hi to them.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:00 Lisa Von Drasek
5:00
Cassie Beasley: 
Hi, Lisa! Hi, everyone! So excited about this chat.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:00 Cassie Beasley
5:00
[Comment From M. Circus FanM. Circus Fan: ] 
LOVE the book! Thanks for doing this!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:00 M. Circus Fan
5:01
[Comment From Pam D.Pam D.: ] 
Been looking forward to this all month!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:01 Pam D.
5:01
[Comment From Sunny, OhioSunny, Ohio: ] 
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:01 Sunny, Ohio
5:01
[Comment From FridaFrida: ] 
Great to know you're a real person, Cassie.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:01 Frida
5:01
[Comment From Brenda J.Brenda J.: ] 
Hi from Florida, land of circuses.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:01 Brenda J.
5:01
[Comment From Frances, INFrances, IN: ] 
Thanks, Lisa and thanks, Cassie
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:01 Frances, IN
5:01
[Comment From Book LoverBook Lover: ] 
Hi from a fan.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:01 Book Lover
5:01
[Comment From M.G. TeacherM.G. Teacher: ] 
Can't wait to share this book with my kids.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:01 M.G. Teacher
5:02
Cassie Beasley: 
Hello, hello! I am totally a real person, and I have been looking forward to this at least as much as you guys have!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:02 Cassie Beasley
5:02
Lisa Von Drasek: 

I'll start with a few comments.

I know you are excited about that great Kirkus review.



Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:02 Lisa Von Drasek
5:02
Lisa Von Drasek: 
You also got some other pretty great news recently. Film and TV rights were recently sold
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:02 Lisa Von Drasek
5:03
Lisa Von Drasek: 
And, for audio fans, there's the announcement that Bronson Pinchot to narrate the audio book …
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:03 Lisa Von Drasek
5:03
Lisa Von Drasek
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:03 
5:04
Lisa Von Drasek: 
You must be feeling pretty good about all that.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:04 Lisa Von Drasek
5:04
Cassie Beasley: 
My head is spinning with all of the good things that have happened for CM lately. The Kirkus review was such a thrill, and the movie news was a big surprise!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:04 Cassie Beasley
5:04
[Comment From Brooklyn librarianBrooklyn librarian: ] 
I LOVED this book! I can't wait to share it with my students!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:04 Brooklyn librarian
5:04
Cassie Beasley: 
And Bronson is lovely, lovely. He's promised to sneak me a clip of the audio ahead of schedule.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:04 Cassie Beasley
5:05
Cassie Beasley: 
Hi, Brooklyn librarian!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:05 Cassie Beasley
5:05
Lisa Von Drasek: 

I'll start with a really tough question:

Is there a one sentence “handle” that can describe the book to librarians and teachers?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:05 Lisa Von Drasek
5:06
Cassie Beasley: 
Lisa, that is a tough question. I would say that...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:06 Cassie Beasley
5:06
Cassie Beasley: 
Circus Mirandus is the story of a boy trying to save his dying grandfather by finding the magical circus that changed his life many years before.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:06 Cassie Beasley
5:07
Cassie Beasley: 
Which doesn't cover all of it of course! But one sentence can be tough!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:07 Cassie Beasley
5:07
Lisa Von Drasek: 

It works!

What does Mirandus mean?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:07 Lisa Von Drasek
5:08
Cassie Beasley: 
It means “wondrous” or “that which is to be marveled at”!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:08 Cassie Beasley
5:08
Cassie Beasley: 
It's Latin.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:08 Cassie Beasley
5:08
Cassie Beasley: 
I spent a ridiculously long time combing through lists of words to find the perfect name for the circus...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:08 Cassie Beasley
5:08
Cassie Beasley: 
so I'm glad you asked!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:08 Cassie Beasley
5:08
Lisa Von Drasek: 

Even though I know that Great Aunt Gertrudis (now that sounds Latin) is from Arizona I am not sure where Micah lives- is that a deliberate?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:08 Lisa Von Drasek
5:09
Cassie Beasley: 
Yes...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:09 Cassie Beasley
5:09
Cassie Beasley: 
I was hoping to give Micah’s hometown an Everytown kind of feel…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:09 Cassie Beasley
5:09
Cassie Beasley: 
I wanted readers to feel like the circus might show up where they lived...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:09 Cassie Beasley
5:10
Cassie Beasley: 
and of course the settings I’m most familiar with are all Southern settings, so I wanted to avoid giving the impression that this was a specifically “Southern story.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:10 Cassie Beasley
5:10
Lisa Von Drasek: 
I think Brooklyn librarian has a one-sentence handle for your CIRCUS MIRANDUS -- one you might enjoy …
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:10 Lisa Von Drasek
5:10
[Comment From Brooklyn librarianBrooklyn librarian: ] 
I'd say if you have kids that love Dahl and want a meaty fantasy...this is for them
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:10 Brooklyn librarian
5:11
Cassie Beasley: 
Ooo....I love that! "Meaty fantasy."
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:11 Cassie Beasley
5:11
Cassie Beasley: 
Can I steal that?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:11 Cassie Beasley
5:11
Lisa Von Drasek: 
How about the reference to Dahl -- are you fan of his?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:11 Lisa Von Drasek
5:12
Cassie Beasley: 
I have heard that comparison so often lately. I do love Dahl, but it's actually been a very long time since I read his books!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:12 Cassie Beasley
5:12
Cassie Beasley: 
Matilda was a favorite of mine growing up.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:12 Cassie Beasley
5:12
[Comment From Brenda J.Brenda J.: ] 
Do you like circuses?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:12 Brenda J.
5:13
Cassie Beasley: 
You know, I only went to an actual circus once as a child, but…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:13 Cassie Beasley
5:13
Cassie Beasley: 
we went to the fairgrounds every year for the traveling fair. I think there’s an element of mystery…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:13 Cassie Beasley
5:14
Cassie Beasley: 
and maybe even a kind of darkness to it. It’s all so pretty and bright and exciting, but then…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:14 Cassie Beasley
5:14
Cassie Beasley: 
there's the background of it. Just at the corner of your eye. Something that makes the glitz seem like a cover for the otherworldly.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:14 Cassie Beasley
5:14
Cassie Beasley: 
I think that's a lot of fun to play with as a writer!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:14 Cassie Beasley
5:15
[Comment From Brooklyn librarianBrooklyn librarian: ] 
It's all yours. That and I appreciated the juicy lNguage. I am looking forward to reading this aloud
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:15 Brooklyn librarian
5:15
[Comment From Brooklyn librarianBrooklyn librarian: ] 
The Dahl reference is that you are unafraid of showing difficult circumstances with unsympathetic adults as well as giving agency to the kids....also the wordplay and subtle humor
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:15 Brooklyn librarian
5:16
Cassie Beasley: 
Yay! Thank you Brooklyn librarian. I'm going to start telling people I write meaty fantasy with juicy language. My books will sound scrumptious.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:16 Cassie Beasley
5:16
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Who were your favorite authors as a child?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:16 Deborah Baldwin
5:17
Cassie Beasley: 
As a child? I loved William Goldman -- The Princess Bride, The Silent Gondoliers (which too few people have read). I was also a big fan...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:17 Cassie Beasley
5:17
Cassie Beasley: 
of my parents' collection of adult epic fantasy. And Harry Potter. Of course.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:17 Cassie Beasley
5:18
Lisa Von Drasek: 

Micah lost his parents at an early age- (this is typical in children’s books as adventure can’t happen if parents are supervising) we don’t really know anything about them…like how his dad and his aunt got along.

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:18 Lisa Von Drasek
5:18
Cassie Beasley: 
Oh, and Louis Sachar. I loved the Wayside School books and Holes.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:18 Cassie Beasley
5:19
Cassie Beasley: 
I know…children’s authors are terrible to parents aren’t we?…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:19 Cassie Beasley
5:19
Cassie Beasley: 
In my mind, Aunt Gertrudis has been more or less estranged from the family, happily living her own life apart from all of her brother’s “nonsense” stories…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:19 Cassie Beasley
5:19
Cassie Beasley: 
so Micah's dad would have known her but not been close to her.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:19 Cassie Beasley
5:20
Lisa Von Drasek: 

Love the name Gertrudis! Names are clearly important to you. How do you come up with them?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:20 Lisa Von Drasek
5:21
Cassie Beasley: 
Gertrudis...I just thought it sounded so crotchety and uptight. Perfect for her!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:21 Cassie Beasley
5:21
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Where did you get your ideas for your characters, especially Aunt Gertrudis? ...Any real life inspirations or purely fictional?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:21 Deborah Baldwin
5:21
Cassie Beasley: 
I do think a lot about names. I usually just try tons of different ones until one feels right.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:21 Cassie Beasley
5:22
[Comment From Pam D.Pam D.: ] 
How did you come up with the great character, the parrot Chintzy-
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:22 Pam D.
5:22
Cassie Beasley: 
Deborah, my great aunt is the sweetest lady in the whole entire world! So I'm going to have to be really careful to explain to her that...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:22 Cassie Beasley
5:22
Cassie Beasley: 
Great Aunt Gertrudis is not in any way based on her!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:22 Cassie Beasley
5:22
Cassie Beasley: 
As for the others--none of them are based on anyone in particular, except...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:22 Cassie Beasley
5:23
Cassie Beasley: 
Except for Chintzy, Pam!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:23 Cassie Beasley
5:23
Lisa Von Drasek: 
We thought it would be fun to ask people who their favorite characters are. Here comes the poll …
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:23 Lisa Von Drasek
5:23
Cassie Beasley
Chintzy is based on this pretty girl!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:23 
5:24
Lisa Von Drasek: 
OK, now everyone is totally distracted by Chintzy!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:24 Lisa Von Drasek
5:24
Cassie Beasley: 
Oh, it's a contest! I get to see who everyone likes best! :)
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:24 Cassie Beasley
5:24
Lisa Von Drasek: 

You mention that you read Harry Potter as a kid- How old were you and can you tell us a little about that experience?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:24 Lisa Von Drasek
5:25
Cassie Beasley: 
Yes, that's my African Grey parrot! She's sweet...except for the biting. And very talkative.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:25 Cassie Beasley
5:25
Cassie Beasley: 
Harry Potter-- I was in sixth grade!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:25 Cassie Beasley
5:25
Cassie Beasley: 
My homeroom teacher read us a few pages after lunch every day.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:25 Cassie Beasley
5:26
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
What a beautiful bird!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:26 Deborah Baldwin
5:26
Cassie Beasley: 
The whole class was enthralled, but it was taking her so long to get through it! I made my mom drive all the way to Savannah (an hour) so that I could get my own copy and the second book.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:26 Cassie Beasley
5:26
Lisa Von Drasek: 
Have you tried reading CIRCUS MIRANDUS aloud to any kids?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:26 Lisa Von Drasek
5:27
Cassie Beasley: 
Oh, she knows, Deborah! She thinks she is hot stuff. :)
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:27 Cassie Beasley
5:28
Cassie Beasley: 
That sounds terrifying, Lisa! What if they didn't like it?! Seriously though, I have a friend who is reading a copy to her two boys right now, and I am on pins and needles waiting to find out if they like it or not!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:28 Cassie Beasley
5:29
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
How long did it take you to write Circus Mirandus?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:29 Deborah Baldwin
5:29
Cassie Beasley: 
I have heard from a few librarians (Yay librarians!) that their students are really enjoying it, and that is the best feeling.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:29 Cassie Beasley
5:29
Cassie Beasley: 
It took me about two years to write the book. Almost all of that spent on various revisions.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:29 Cassie Beasley
5:30
Lisa Von Drasek: 
So far, Ms. Chintzy is beating Lightbender in our poll. Come on, Grandpa!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:30 Lisa Von Drasek
5:30
Cassie Beasley: 
The writing process never seems to stop though...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:30 Cassie Beasley
5:30
Cassie Beasley: 
I just made my very very final tweaks a few days ago, and sent it back to my editor.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:30 Cassie Beasley
5:30
Cassie Beasley: 
It's totally out of my hands now!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:30 Cassie Beasley
5:31
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Thank you for sticking with it!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:31 Deborah Baldwin
5:31
Lisa Von Drasek: 
Interesting that revisions continue AFTER galleys are sent out.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:31 Lisa Von Drasek
5:32
Cassie Beasley: 
I know, isn't it though?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:32 Cassie Beasley
5:32
Lisa Von Drasek: 

How did you develop the character of the grandfather?

He has many endearing attributes not the least is his faith in Micah. (and the twinkly in his eye)

Who is like that in your life?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:32 Lisa Von Drasek
5:33
Cassie Beasley: 
Revisions can happen write up until the moment when they pry it out of the author's fingers and send it to the printer! Which has happened! It's going to be a real book!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:33 Cassie Beasley
5:33
Cassie Beasley: 
Grandpa Ephraim has had his own backstory from the very beginning…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:33 Cassie Beasley
5:34
Cassie Beasley: 
which I think is so important, because too often grandparent figures in kids’ books are a little one dimensional…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:34 Cassie Beasley
5:34
Cassie Beasley: 
Grandpa Ephraim's part of the story--finding Circus Mirandus as a boy and then losing it as an adult--is at the heart of the book...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:34 Cassie Beasley
5:34
Cassie Beasley: 
so he grew as a character right alongside Micah.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:34 Cassie Beasley
5:35
Lisa Von Drasek: 

There are small humorous moments throughout the story that lighten the sadness and desperation of the plot, Chintzy of course but also in the dialog.

My favorite is when Micah is desperate to speak with Jenny and says it’s an emergency, its about home work and the mom says, “ Oh, okay.”

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:35 Lisa Von Drasek
5:35
Cassie Beasley: 
And, I seem to have said that "Revisions can happen 'write up until'"...proof that I am a real person, folks!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:35 Cassie Beasley
5:36
[Comment From Pam D.Pam D.: ] 
We agreed to overlook typos!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:36 Pam D.
5:36
Lisa Von Drasek: 

Circus Mirandus survives because of faith…can you talk a little about why that is important to you?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:36 Lisa Von Drasek
5:36
Cassie Beasley: 
Oh, Jenny! She's so cool. She's a lot like I was at that age. And she and Chintzy both make me laugh!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:36 Cassie Beasley
5:37
Cassie Beasley: 
I think that's important in any book...not to have one tone. To have humor and heartache...just like life!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:37 Cassie Beasley
5:37
Cassie Beasley: 
I don’t know if this answers the question, but…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:37 Cassie Beasley
5:38
Cassie Beasley: 
I think for Micah the circus represents hope, even after he reaches it and finds that things aren’t what he had initially expected…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:38 Cassie Beasley
5:38
Cassie Beasley: 
the hope that there is something better out there, and the belief that that something is within his grasp…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:38 Cassie Beasley
5:39
Cassie Beasley: 
it keeps him going even when the situation seems unassailable. It makes him stronger. Hope, faith, belief-- I think we need it...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:39 Cassie Beasley
5:39
Cassie Beasley: 
I think we lose some of it as we go through life, especially at the moments when we need it most, and I think that’s tragic.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:39 Cassie Beasley
5:41
[Comment From FridaFrida: ] 
That is, after all, what life is about. And kids really eat up stories that show both sides.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:41 Frida
5:41
Lisa Von Drasek: 

I related to the themes of a child learning how to deal with change and overcoming adversity. Were you conscious of those, or did the story just reveal itself to you?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:41 Lisa Von Drasek
5:42
Cassie Beasley: 
I don't think too much about themes/lessons/morals when I'm writing, especially the initial draft. I think the story has to come first...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:42 Cassie Beasley
5:42
Cassie Beasley: 
and then once that's done, readers are the ones who can really find all of the potential meanings I didn't even know were there!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:42 Cassie Beasley
5:42
[Comment From Pam D.Pam D.: ] 
Well said!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:42 Pam D.
5:43
[Comment From Pam D.Pam D.: ] 
Tell us about the art in the book. i loved the second cover!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:43 Pam D.
5:43
Lisa Von Drasek: 
Speaking of that cover -- here it is:
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:43 Lisa Von Drasek
5:43
Cassie Beasley: 
I love it too, Pam! It's by Diana Sudyka...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:43 Cassie Beasley
5:43
Lisa Von Drasek
Interior cover by Diana Sudyka
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:43 
5:44
Cassie Beasley: 
They didn't give me much say in the art, and I'm glad...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:44 Cassie Beasley
5:44
Cassie Beasley: 
because I never could have come up with something so cool!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:44 Cassie Beasley
5:44
Lisa Von Drasek: 

There are references to children’s literature embedded throughout this book- Peter Pan…. Can you tell us another?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:44 Lisa Von Drasek
5:45
[Comment From Suzanne (from Tennessee)Suzanne (from Tennessee): ] 
Wow! I love that much better than just the circus tent .
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:45 Suzanne (from Tennessee)
5:45
Cassie Beasley: 
I love that that art will show through the die-cut hat on the hardcover's dustjacket. And wait until you see the interior art! I just saw it all for the first time last week. Soooo good.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:45 Cassie Beasley
5:45
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Love the new cover!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:45 Deborah Baldwin
5:45
[Comment From Suzanne (from Tennessee)Suzanne (from Tennessee): ] 
I was a Latin major in college, so I love the name of the circus!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:45 Suzanne (from Tennessee)
5:45
Cassie Beasley: 
Oh yes. The book has two covers basically, which is so neat!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:45 Cassie Beasley
5:46
Cassie Beasley: 
Lisa...about other references.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:46 Cassie Beasley
5:47
Cassie Beasley: 
Those usually aren't intentional, so I have a hard time picking them out!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:47 Cassie Beasley
5:47
Cassie Beasley: 
I think the books we really love stick with us, even if its been years since we've read them,
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:47 Cassie Beasley
5:48
Cassie Beasley: 
we all internalize things, often without even realizing it, and then as a writer…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:48 Cassie Beasley
5:48
Lisa Von Drasek: 
Tell us what it was like to find out about the TV and film rights.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:48 Lisa Von Drasek
5:48
Cassie Beasley: 
hose story elements you’ve internalized and those themes, they keep cropping up whether you know it’s happening or not!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:48 Cassie Beasley
5:48
[Comment From FridaFrida: ] 
Which would you prefer, a book or a movie?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:48 Frida
5:49
Cassie Beasley: 
I wish I had a picture of myself jumping up and down and squealing, because I did quite a lot of that!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:49 Cassie Beasley
5:49
Cassie Beasley: 
And it all happened very very quickly. The producer who pre-empted the rights contacted me, and five days later we had the deal!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:49 Cassie Beasley
5:50
Cassie Beasley: 
Well, around five days. I didn't keep perfect track.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:50 Cassie Beasley
5:50
Cassie Beasley: 
Frida, books! I am a book girl through and through.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:50 Cassie Beasley
5:50
Cassie Beasley: 
Though I do love to go to the movies. I love sitting in the theater in the dark and seeing stories unfold.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:50 Cassie Beasley
5:51
[Comment From FridaFrida: ] 
That was a slip -- I actually meant to say -- which would you prefer, a movie or a TV series!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:51 Frida
5:51
Cassie Beasley: 
For that to be a possibility with Circus Mirandus--it's hard to fathom and so, so thrilling!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:51 Cassie Beasley
5:51
Cassie Beasley: 
Oh! A movie. I think.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:51 Cassie Beasley
5:51
[Comment From Suzanne (from Tennessee)Suzanne (from Tennessee): ] 
Who wouldn't be jumping? That's such exciting news.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:51 Suzanne (from Tennessee)
5:52
[Comment From M. Circus FanM. Circus Fan: ] 
I've seen comparisons to the adult book, NIGHT CIRCUS. Have you read it? I don't agree -- NIGHT CIRCUS had great atmosphere, but NO plot!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:52 M. Circus Fan
5:52
Cassie Beasley: 
Yes, a movie. Only because I'm not sure I can picture how they would string the story out into multiple seasons.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:52 Cassie Beasley
5:52
Lisa Von Drasek: 

THIS MIGHT BE A SPOILER perhaps not but….Can you talk about your choice to have Aunt Gertrudis be unredeemed.

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:52 Lisa Von Drasek
5:52
Cassie Beasley: 
I *have* gotten a lot of comparisons to NIGHT CIRCUS.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:52 Cassie Beasley
5:53
Cassie Beasley: 
I waited to read it until after I was basically finished with CM because I was afraid I would pick up elements, and I didn't want to copy!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:53 Cassie Beasley
5:53
Cassie Beasley: 
I enjoyed it, by the way. Love her conception of the circus.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:53 Cassie Beasley
5:53
Cassie Beasley: 
Lisa, absolutely!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:53 Cassie Beasley
5:54
Cassie Beasley: 
I did have a few early readers question whether it was right for Aunt Gertrudis not to have her moment of redemption…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:54 Cassie Beasley
5:54
Cassie Beasley: 
but I’ve been pretty adamant from the start that she doesn’t get that. Just because it would feel good to have that tidy bow on the ending…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:54 Cassie Beasley
5:54
Cassie Beasley: 
that doesn’t make it the right thing for the story. I want to write characters who are real, and the real Aunt Gertrudis has had decades to build up…
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:54 Cassie Beasley
5:55
Cassie Beasley: 
her emotional armor, her resentment, her bitterness. She’s not willing to change. She doesn’t even want it for herself.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:55 Cassie Beasley
5:55
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Are there more "Circus Mirandus" stories in the works?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:55 Deborah Baldwin
5:56
Cassie Beasley: 
CM does stand on its own, so it's not the kind of story that has to have a sequel. But, I have written one! It's a work in progress...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:56 Cassie Beasley
5:56
Cassie Beasley: 
waiting to see how my editor feels about it. I like it a lot, but that's pretty unsurprising. ;)
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:56 Cassie Beasley
5:56
[Comment From M.G. TeacherM.G. Teacher: ] 
Do you do school visits?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:56 M.G. Teacher
5:57
Cassie Beasley: 
I haven't done one before, since this is all so new, but I am totally game for school visits!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:57 Cassie Beasley
5:57
[Comment From M.G. TeacherM.G. Teacher: ] 
How can we contact you for a visit?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:57 M.G. Teacher
5:57
Cassie Beasley: 
The person to contact about that is my publicist at Penguin. Lauren Donovan.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:57 Cassie Beasley
5:58
[Comment From Deborah BaldwinDeborah Baldwin: ] 
Looking forward to hearing if there will be more adventures... good luck... hope your editor like it.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:58 Deborah Baldwin
5:58
Lisa Von Drasek: 

We're closing in on the last few minutes.


One last question --

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:58 Lisa Von Drasek
5:58
Cassie Beasley: 
Or, you can always send requests through my website, and I'll forward them to her to address since I haven't quite got a handle on my own upcoming schedule!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:58 Cassie Beasley
5:59
Cassie Beasley: 
It's probably cheating to pick something that involves me reading books all day long isn't it?
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:59 Cassie Beasley
5:59
Cassie Beasley: 
But I guess I would be either a literature professor or a chef. School, books, food—my loves are simple ones!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:59 Cassie Beasley
5:59
Lisa Von Drasek: 
Oops, forgot -- I think you have a pecan recipe to share with us!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:59 Lisa Von Drasek
5:59
Cassie Beasley: 
I do!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 5:59 Cassie Beasley
6:00
Cassie Beasley: 
http://www.myrecipes.com/re...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:00 Cassie Beasley
6:00
Lisa Von Drasek: 

And, WHY do yo love pecans?



Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:00 Lisa Von Drasek
6:00
Cassie Beasley: 
My favorite way to bribe editors, agents, and everyone in between! It's the best toffee there is. :)
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:00 Cassie Beasley
6:00
Cassie Beasley: 
I do!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:00 Cassie Beasley
6:00
Cassie Beasley: 
But even if I didn't I would be obligated to say yes, all things considered. Farmer's daughter and all. :)
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:00 Cassie Beasley
6:01
Lisa Von Drasek: 
Cassie, thanks so much for doing this. We know we'll be hearing a lot more about CIRCUS MIRANDUS come June and we feel privileged to be amonth the first to talk to you about it.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:01 Lisa Von Drasek
6:01
Cassie Beasley: 
Oh...WHY? Because they're delicious. And good for your heart...
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:01 Cassie Beasley
6:02
Cassie Beasley: 
Thank you too! Thank you all! This was so much fun.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:02 Cassie Beasley
6:02
[Comment From Frances, INFrances, IN: ] 
Thanks, Cassie, good luck.
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:02 Frances, IN
6:02
[Comment From Sunny, OhioSunny, Ohio: ] 
Agree! This was great!
Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:02 Sunny, Ohio
6:03
Lisa Von Drasek: 

Over and out, everyone.

The next title in our program is Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb -- The Tonight Show showrunner reinvents the Excalibur legend—with rats!


More: http://bit.ly/1ByT1wZ



Wednesday March 18, 2015 6:03 Lisa Von Drasek
 
 

YA (and MG) GalleyChat

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

This month’s YA & MG GalleyChat has ended. Join us for the next one, Tuesday, April 21, 5 to 6 p.m. EDT (virtual cocktails served at 4:30).

GalleyChat, Tues. March 3

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

This month’s GalleyChat has now ended. Join us for the next one, Tuesday, April 7, 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern (3:30 for virtual cocktails). PLEASE NOTE: We will have sprung ahead to DAYLIGHT time by then so make adjustments for your own time zone.

Penguin Young Readers Live Chat

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Below is the most recent chat from the Penguin Young Readers Author Program. To become a member of the program, sign up here.

 Live Chat with Piers Torday, THE LAST WILD(05/21/2014) 
4:38
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We will begin our live online chat with Piers Torday, author of THE LAST WILD in about 15 minutes.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 4:38 Nora - EarlyWord
4:39
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Meanwhile, here’s the cover of the book…
Wednesday May 21, 2014 4:39 Nora - EarlyWord
4:39
Nora - EarlyWord
THE LAST WILD, Cover
Wednesday May 21, 2014 4:39 
4:42
Nora - EarlyWord: 
It's received many admiring reviews. Booklist gives a good summary -- "In a world where there are no more animals (only a few rogue varmints ), Kester Jaynes finds himself in an unusual position: a cockroach is asking him for help. Kester, who hasn't spoken since his mother died, answers the entreaty of the cockroach (and some persuasive pigeons) and escapes to the forbidden wild, where a few animals have been hiding ... an enchanted adventure with a message of empowerment and hope that ought to sweep readers along to the planned second volume."
Wednesday May 21, 2014 4:42 Nora - EarlyWord
4:56
Nora - EarlyWord: 
It’s great to see our chat participants gathering. You can send your questions through at any time. They'll go into a queue, and Lisa will submit as many of them as we can to Piers before the end of the chat. Don’t worry about typos – and please forgive any that we commit!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 4:56 Nora - EarlyWord
5:02
lisa von drasek: 
tech difficulties!!! here I am!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:02 lisa von drasek
5:04
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Hurrah! Welcome Lisa!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:04 Nora - EarlyWord
5:04
Nora - EarlyWord: 
The clock has struck the magic hour. I see that Piers is here from the U.K. -- say hi to everyone, Piers!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:04 Nora - EarlyWord
5:04
Piers Torday: 
Hi everybody! Great to be here
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:04 Piers Torday
5:04
lisa von drasek: 
Hello Piers!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:04 lisa von drasek
5:04
Piers Torday: 
Hi Lisa!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:04 Piers Torday
5:05
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I see some others out there -- say hi to Piers!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:05 Nora - EarlyWord
5:06
Piers Torday: 
Please feel free to ask me anything
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:06 Piers Torday
5:06
[Comment From MD LibrarianMD Librarian: ] 
Looking forward to getting WILD, today, Piers!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:06 MD Librarian
5:06
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
::waves:: Hi, all three of you.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:06 sdn
5:06
lisa von drasek: 
Piers, can you say a few words about the response that middle graders have been having to The Last Wild?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:06 lisa von drasek
5:06
Piers Torday: 
Great MD Librarian - hope you enjoy - and hi sdn!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:06 Piers Torday
5:07
lisa von drasek: 
sdn- would that be Sharyn November Piers' editor?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:07 lisa von drasek
5:07
Piers Torday: 
Lisa I've had the most phenomenal response from middle graders - beyond what I expected. I think I had forgotten how powerful animal stories can be for younger children
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:07 Piers Torday
5:08
lisa von drasek: 
... what do kids like best about the book?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:08 lisa von drasek
5:08
[Comment From Michy FishMichy Fish: ] 
Greetings from the wilds of Michigan!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:08 Michy Fish
5:09
lisa von drasek: 

Although this book is dystopian, there is an undercurrent of humor.... especially the Wild...I love the white pigeon and the wolf pup
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:09 lisa von drasek
5:09
Piers Torday: 
I think they find the beginning - which we find quite bleak as adults - very exciting and then are thrilled when some humble cockroaches and pigeons break our hero out of his horrible prison. And they really respond to the humour in the characterisation of the animals, absolutely
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:09 Piers Torday
5:09
[Comment From PDLibFanPDLibFan: ] 
Not surprising that this was a big hit at the Texas Library Association convention last month!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:09 PDLibFan
5:09
Piers Torday: 
Hello Michigan and thanks PDLIbfan, that's great to hear!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:09 Piers Torday
5:09
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
(It would indeed be Sharyn November, Piers's editor!)
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:09 sdn
5:09
lisa von drasek: 
We got this advance question from one of the program members:

How did you choose the animal that would save the little boy?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:09 lisa von drasek
5:10
Piers Torday: 
The one and only SDN!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:10 Piers Torday
5:10
Piers Torday: 
Great question Lisa. I chose animals that I felt were neglected and taken for granted by us - the cockroach and the pigeon. Because I wanted animals that any child who has felt that way could identify with and also make a point about biodiversity.

In the 19th century the passenger pigeon was the most prolific bird in the US. Their flocks went up to 3.5 billion in size and when they flew the sky went black. But following the commercialization of pigeon meat and massive deforestation, by 1914 there was only one left alive and she died in captivity.

Not many of us like cockroaches but they are nature’s garbage collectors and recyclers – the world wouldn’t function without them.

So I guess I'm saying - you can't take things for granted!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:10 Piers Torday
5:11
lisa von drasek: 
Sharyn, I noticed in my reading that you and Piers left "British" English alone. can you comment on that?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:11 lisa von drasek
5:13
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
Sure! Whenever possible, I prefer to keep the original flavor of a book when it comes to language usage and spelling -- it makes for full-story immersion, if you will.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:13 sdn
5:13
Piers Torday: 
As Sharyn has said, she had no desire to Americanise more than necessary, which I really appreciated - but this wasn’t just her choice, it was borne out by all the responses from her test readers.

And as a result I think if anything the story is how many English words young American readers weren’t troubled by. I was allowed to keep ‘torches’ rather than change to ‘flashlights’ , ‘rubbish’ rather than ‘garbage’ or ‘trash’, and so on.

Not only that, there were a number of words that some young English readers might not get which their US counterparts had no problem with -like ‘bally’ - meaning ‘bloody' and ‘chuffed’ - meaning ‘delighted’.

Of course, I did have to make some changes. As Sharyn says, ‘Trackies’ (sweatpants) and ‘Trainers’ (sneakers) just make no sense at all over in the States, so they had to go.

A few others:

We ‘click’ our fingers to make a point, American readers ‘snap’ theirs, so I changed that.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:13 Piers Torday
5:14
lisa von drasek: 
what is the difference between a rabbit and a hare?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:14 lisa von drasek
5:14
Piers Torday: 
Lisa the difference between a rabbit and a hare is chiefly in the ears. The hare has longer ears and longer legs, which mean they can run much faster. The hare sleeps above ground, unlike rabbits in their burrows. Rabbits tend to breed like, well, rabbits – which hares don’t.

A hare being pursued or “harried” by a dog (hence their name) can make an awful cry which sounds like a baby in distress, which rabbits can’t do.

Hares can make tremendous pets, being very happy on duvets and armchairs, rather like cats.

And… they box, which rabbits don't!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:14 Piers Torday
5:15
lisa von drasek: 
You're pulling my leg! Like a Kangaroo?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:15 lisa von drasek
5:15
Piers Torday: 
Absolutely - do you want to see a photo?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:15 Piers Torday
5:15
lisa von drasek: 
yes, please!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:15 lisa von drasek
5:16
Piers Torday
Boxing hares
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:16 
5:16
lisa von drasek: 
wow!

Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:16 lisa von drasek
5:16
Piers Torday: 
They do this every March... Hence the rather prickly “March Hare" in Alice in Wonderland
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:16 Piers Torday
5:17
lisa von drasek: 
I read that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of your favorite books to recommend. Did I hear that you met Roald Dahl?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:17 lisa von drasek
5:17
Piers Torday: 
I did meet the great man, Lisa. When I was growing up my mother ran a children's bookshop, and she invited Roald Dahl to speak at a book week event...
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:17 Piers Torday
5:18
Piers Torday: 
...And a few days later a mysterious brown envelope arrived addressed to me and my mum. Do you want to see what was inside?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:18 Piers Torday
5:18
lisa von drasek: 
yes, please.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:18 lisa von drasek
5:19
[Comment From Michy FishMichy Fish: ] 
Wonder why rabbits don't do that?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:19 Michy Fish
5:19
[Comment From Boston Lib.Boston Lib.: ] 
Piers -- did you draw your avatar?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:19 Boston Lib.
5:19
Piers Torday: 
Michy Fish - I don't know - think they're happy to let the hares go for it!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:19 Piers Torday
5:19
Piers Torday
Miranda Mary Piker
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:19 
5:20
Piers Torday: 
This is the note I got from Roald Dahl when I was little - an Oompa Loompa Song he cut from the first draft of Charlie - about the character Miranda Mary Piker, also cut, because his daughter didnt like her
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:20 Piers Torday
5:20
lisa von drasek: 
OMG! you really know your way to a curator's heart
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:20 lisa von drasek
5:20
Piers Torday: 
I keep it as a reminder that even the very greatest writers make big mistakes
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:20 Piers Torday
5:20
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
I have never seen that in color, I don't think. WOW.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:20 sdn
5:21
Piers Torday: 
Hi Boston Lib - yes, I did!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:21 Piers Torday
5:21
lisa von drasek: 
Do you save all your drafts? Do you show them to kids?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:21 lisa von drasek
5:21
lisa von drasek: 
when you were writing did you have pictures of all the animals at your desk?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:21 lisa von drasek
5:21
[Comment From HCLibrarianHCLibrarian: ] 
I wondered if Roald Dahl was an influence. I was reminded of Dahl quite a bit when I read The Last Wild--in very good ways.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:21 HCLibrarian
5:22
Piers Torday: 
Lisa I save all my drafts - I don't show them to kids but when I do talk to kids I really try and get them to enjoy the process of writing and not worry too much about getting perfect end results straightaway
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:22 Piers Torday
5:22
lisa von drasek: 
do you have a day job or are you a full time writer
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:22 lisa von drasek
 
Piers Torday: 
Lisa - I used to work in TV as a producer but now I divide my time between writing full time and speaking to children in schools and libraries.
  Piers Torday
5:22
Piers Torday: 
HCLibrarian - thank you, he was a massive influence hopefully not too much!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:22 Piers Torday
5:23
lisa von drasek: 
-- Can you talk about your writing process? Do you get up at 4:00 am to write?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:23 lisa von drasek
 
Piers Torday: 
cant write till after breakfast - about 9am, and I think and write till about 1pm, and then try and tidy up what I've done after lunch. It's quite haphazard. as long as I get my 750 words a day, I'm happy. But no work after 7pm!
  Piers Torday
5:23
Piers Torday: 
Hi Lisa Lisa no I didn't keep photos of the animals on my desk because I wanted to keep the characters in my head and not get too waylaid by the actual everyday animal.

But I did do a lot of library research to make sure that – other than talking – none of the animals did anything they wouldn’t or couldn’t do in real life. And I stored a lot of photos to make sure physical details were correct.

And…I did got to meet a real wolf. Want to see a picture of that?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:23 Piers Torday
5:24
lisa von drasek: 
yes , please
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:24 lisa von drasek
5:24
[Comment From Boston Lib.Boston Lib.: ] 
I'm fascinated by you're not wanting to be overly influenced by the actual animal -- can you elaborate on that?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:24 Boston Lib.
5:25
Piers Torday
Tala the 18-month wolf cub who inspired the one in the book
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:25 
5:26
lisa von drasek: 
wow. that cub is really big. I imagined it to be the size of a golden retriever puppy all bouncy and loose.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:26 lisa von drasek
5:27
Piers Torday: 
Boston Lib - what I mean is that although I want them to look and feel like real animals, there is a danger that when you look too much at photos of "real" animals there is nothing behind the eyes, and so when you are trying to use them in ways which draw on their symbolic, poetic, mythological - or simply comic - potential, too much reality can deaden it for me. I really care about them from an eco point of view in the real world, but in the study I need to see them more figuratively
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:27 Piers Torday
5:27
Piers Torday: 
Lisa - maybe this is the size Kester's wolf cub grows into!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:27 Piers Torday
5:27
lisa von drasek: 
-- I read that you were friends with Eva Ibbotson. Had you read Secret of Platform 13 before Harry Potter came out?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:27 lisa von drasek
5:27
[Comment From Boston Lib.Boston Lib.: ] 
Thanks for that -- makes sense.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:27 Boston Lib.
5:28
Piers Torday: 
Eva was my mum's greatest friend and she'd just started writing books when my mum opened her shop. She used to record them on cassette (remember those?) and send them to us for our thoughts. So yes we had read Platform 13 and were, ahem, as surprised as anyone when HP came out..
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:28 Piers Torday
5:28
[Comment From MG LibrarianMG Librarian: ] 
Sorry; I'm not familiar with Secret of Platform 13 -- is it like HP?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:28 MG Librarian
5:30
Piers Torday: 
MG - the big deal is the secret hidden platform at Kings Cross station in London in both books
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:30 Piers Torday
5:30
Piers Torday: 
But hey - I clearly borrow from lots of other writers.. I think these things are overplayed and so did Eva
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:30 Piers Torday
5:30
lisa von drasek: 
To me they were alike in that they were both really fabulous fantasies with a lot of humor, really bad guys and adventure and magic from authors that I wasn't familiar with. I read both of them aloud to 4th graders
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:30 lisa von drasek
5:30
Piers Torday: 
Exactly Lisa!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:30 Piers Torday
5:30
lisa von drasek: 
When I was book talking the Last Wild, I had trouble coming up with comparable titles. Sharyn...what did you tell the sales reps?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:30 lisa von drasek
5:31
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
I told them exactly what my first US reader -- Alice, who was 11 at the time -- said: "It's like sci-fi Roald Dahl!"
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:31 sdn
5:31
Piers Torday: 
Still my favourite blurb ever, sdn
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:31 Piers Torday
5:31
lisa von drasek: 
I love that! Can I use it?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:31 lisa von drasek
5:32
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
Oh, feel free! It's on the jacket.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:32 sdn
5:32
lisa von drasek: 
oh now you all know that I don't read book jackets!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:32 lisa von drasek
5:32
Piers Torday: 
It's a great book - the secret of platform 13... and everything Lisa said about is true
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:32 Piers Torday
5:33
lisa von drasek: 
Piers, speaking of villains -- I really really really hated Captain Skuldiss. I wanted to kill him with my own bare hands.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:33 lisa von drasek
5:33
Piers Torday: 
Lisa, sorry but thank you! Now he is inspired by The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, only as an animal catcher
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:33 Piers Torday
5:34
lisa von drasek: 
Piers, I read that you had a pet monkey. picture please
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:34 lisa von drasek
5:34
Piers Torday: 
You mean Basil? Hang on, I just need to try and get him to sit still for a moment...
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:34 Piers Torday
5:34
Piers Torday
Basil, my pet monkey
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:34 
5:34
lisa von drasek: 
thank you.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:34 lisa von drasek
5:35
lisa von drasek: 
I loved Kester's scarf. Do you have a favorite piece of clothing that is also an object of comfort?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:35 lisa von drasek
5:37
Piers Torday: 
I'm not sure as much as him, but I was sent some great fan art of his scarf
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:37 Piers Torday
5:37
lisa von drasek: 
can I see it?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:37 lisa von drasek
5:37
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
(I want someone to knit you that scarf.)
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:37 sdn
5:38
lisa von drasek: 
Sharon, I will. are you okay with wool? Piers, I will need some measurements.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:38 lisa von drasek
5:39
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
I love you, Lisa Von Drasek.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:39 sdn
5:39
Piers Torday: 
Boston Lib - Monkeys are not only difficult pets, they are a nightmare and forever throwing coconuts at my neighbours head, not recommended
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:39 Piers Torday
5:39
lisa von drasek: 
Where in the world would you like to travel?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:39 lisa von drasek
5:39
Piers Torday
The scarf I would like SDN to get me knitted
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:39 
5:40
Piers Torday: 
Lisa I would like to travel to the Antarctic before it disappears
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:40 Piers Torday
5:42
lisa von drasek: 
Do you have plans to visit the united states?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:42 lisa von drasek
5:43
Piers Torday: 
I would love to come. I have so many friends over there from my time at school in USC, working in LA and New York, and now lots of new friends from the books, so perhaps once The Last Wild is out in soft cover and the Dark Wild is out in hard cover I can come and meet some of them!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:43 Piers Torday
5:44
Piers Torday: 
Lisa - you also asked about my working process, what time I get up and so on. I cant write till after breakfast - about 9am, and I think and write till about 1pm, and then try and tidy up what I've done after lunch. It's quite haphazard. as long as I get my 750 words a day, I'm happy. But no work after 7pm!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:44 Piers Torday
5:44
lisa von drasek: 
What are you reading now?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:44 lisa von drasek
5:45
Piers Torday: 
I am currently reading a million books - a book on the sea, a book on making my handwriting better, a book on extinction, a novel from the 1970's by Anita Brookner, a fabulous MG adventure called Ironheart and some very old Balzac tales. Oh and I just started a book called Grasshopper Jungle today as well.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:45 Piers Torday
5:45
lisa von drasek: 
I am dying to read the sequel The Dark Wild. When can I get my hands on it?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:45 lisa von drasek
5:45
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
(Viking will be publishing THE DARK WILD in Winter 2015 -- the season one year from now.)
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:45 sdn
5:46
Piers Torday: 
Can't wait!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:46 Piers Torday
5:46
Nora - EarlyWord
The U.K. cover of THE DARK WILD, the sequel to THE LAST WILD. To be published in the U.S., Winter, 2015
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:46 
5:47
lisa von drasek: 
Have you had any surprising reactions to your book?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:47 lisa von drasek
5:47
Piers Torday: 
A mysterious white dog, a needy rat and a bossy starling...
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:47 Piers Torday
5:47
lisa von drasek: 
no that is just mean...teasing us like that!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:47 lisa von drasek
5:47
Piers Torday: 
Lisa I’ve mainly had the most lovely reactions – so many emails and letters from children who it has really touched, and you can’t ask for better than that.

Some parents have said they were animal lovers and appalled by the fact it is about some animals dying...which is a little ironic as really it is about animals surviving and encouraging us to look after our fellow creatures a little better!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:47 Piers Torday
5:48
Piers Torday: 
Ok... and some mean foxes too!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:48 Piers Torday
5:49
lisa von drasek: 
Do you have more than one story going at once?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:49 lisa von drasek
5:49
Piers Torday: 
Lisa I have more than one story going in my head, sure, but not on the page. I’ve learned that focus really pays dividends. I do write around in a book though, I’m not always strictly chronological.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:49 Piers Torday
5:51
lisa von drasek: 
What did you eat for breakfast? Sharyn?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:51 lisa von drasek
5:52
Piers Torday: 
Today it was porridge which means tomorrow it will be boiled eggs!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:52 Piers Torday
5:52
lisa von drasek: 
what is porridge made of?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:52 lisa von drasek
5:52
Piers Torday: 
Rolled oats and water stirred over a gentle heat + milk/honey/fruit/whatever takes your fancy. Scottish!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:52 Piers Torday
5:53
lisa von drasek: 
Any last questions for Piers? I have one- do you ever Skype an author's visit?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:53 lisa von drasek
5:53
[Comment From Boston LibrarianBoston Librarian: ] 
Was just browsing your site -- very nice by the way -- and I see THE DARK WILD is already out in the UK! http://www.pierstorday.co.uk
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:53 Boston Librarian
5:53
Piers Torday: 
Hi Lisa - I have never Skyped an author's visit before but totally up for that
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:53 Piers Torday
5:53
lisa von drasek: 
Boston Librarian, Are you going to wait for the US edition or get a UK bootleg?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:53 lisa von drasek
5:54
lisa von drasek: 
tempting isn't it?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:54 lisa von drasek
5:54
Piers Torday: 
Boston Lib - thank you! Yes it is and I've had some lovely feedback, mainly -- Hurry up and finish the 3rd!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:54 Piers Torday
5:54
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
Hey, Lisa! NOT FAIR. ::grins::
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:54 sdn
5:55
lisa von drasek: 
oh right. please forgive me. sigh. Can you at least simultaneously publish number 3?
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:55 lisa von drasek
5:55
[Comment From Boston LibrarianBoston Librarian: ] 
I would try to get a bootleg edition, but don't know how!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:55 Boston Librarian
5:55
[Comment From sdnsdn: ] 
No, wait for the US version. Signed, US publisher and editor
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:55 sdn
5:56
[Comment From Boston LibrarianBoston Librarian: ] 
THANKS for that, Lisa!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:56 Boston Librarian
5:56
Piers Torday: 
Gladly Lisa if you can not only get me a scarf knitted but invent a time machine so I can finish it quicker!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:56 Piers Torday
5:56
Piers Torday: 
Boston Lib - I promise you will be the first to get the US signed TDW, right sdn?!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:56 Piers Torday
5:57
lisa von drasek: 
I will knit you AND Sharon scarves. just tell me the colors that you want.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:57 lisa von drasek
5:58
lisa von drasek: 
Thank you everyone for joining us.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:58 lisa von drasek
5:58
Piers Torday: 
Red and blue as in the book please!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:58 Piers Torday
5:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Thanks to you and Piers, Lisa -- this was really fun.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:58 Nora - EarlyWord
5:58
Piers Torday: 
Thanks for having me everybody and for all your support, this has been great
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:58 Piers Torday
5:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
And thanks to those of you who joined us today.
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:58 Nora - EarlyWord
5:59
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I want you to know that, offline, Lisa is finding out what kind of wool Piers peters!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:59 Nora - EarlyWord
5:59
Piers Torday: 
I'm not revaling the answer!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:59 Piers Torday
5:59
Nora - EarlyWord: 
This chat is now archived on the Penguin Young Readers page on EarlyWord -- http://penguinyrauthors.earlyword.com/last-wild-live-chat/
Wednesday May 21, 2014 5:59 Nora - EarlyWord
6:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
The next book in our program is THE FORBIDDEN LIBRARY. If you are not already a member of the Penguin Young Readers program, you can sign up here:

http://penguinyrauthors.ear...
Wednesday May 21, 2014 6:00 Nora - EarlyWord
6:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Goodbye, Piers, Lisa and the Penguin Young Readers Program members!
Wednesday May 21, 2014 6:00 Nora - EarlyWord
 
 

Live Chat, TODAY, 4 to 5 p.m. EDT

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

This live chat has now ended. Replay it, below, to get to know author Tom Sweterltisch and his first novel, Tomorrow and Tomorrow, coming in July (digital review copies available on NetGalley and Edelweiss), which Stewart O’Nan calls, “rich, absorbing, relentlessly inventive.”

To get free galleys of forthcoming books by debut authors, join Penguin’s First Flights program here.

 Live Chat with Thomas Sweterlitsch, TOMORROW AND TOMORROW(05/07/2014) 
3:45
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We will begin our live online chat with Thomas Sweterlitsch, author of TOMORROW AND TOMORROW in about 15 minutes
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:45 Nora - EarlyWord
3:46
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Here’s the cover of the book…
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:46 Nora - EarlyWord
3:46
Nora - EarlyWord
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:46 
3:47
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Below is a special video message that Thomas recorded for Penguin First Flight members:
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:47 Nora - EarlyWord
3:47
Nora - EarlyWordNora - EarlyWord
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:47 
3:49
Nora - EarlyWord: 
A blurb from Stewart O’Nan:

Simultaneously trippy and hardboiled, Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a rich, absorbing, relentlessly inventive mindfuck, a smart, dark noir... Sweterlisch's debut is a wild mashup of Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick and William S. Burroughs, and, like their work, utterly visionary."--Stewart O'Nan author of "The Odds"
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:49 Nora - EarlyWord
3:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We’re glad to see so many chat participants gathering. You can send your questions through at any time. They'll go into a queue, and we'll submit as many of them as we can to Thomas before the end of the chat. Don’t worry about typos – and please ignore any that we commit!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:58 Nora - EarlyWord
3:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I see that Thomas has joined us -- welcome!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:58 Nora - EarlyWord
3:58
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hello!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:58 Thomas Sweterlitsch
3:59
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
And feel free to call me Tom!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:59 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Say hi again, Thomas!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:00 Nora - EarlyWord
4:01
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hello!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:01 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:01
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
My avatar looks like I'm standing in a wheat field, even though it's really just a shrub in my side yard...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:01 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:02
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Also, feel free to call me Tom!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:02 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:03
Nora - EarlyWord: 
There you are! I wanted to see your photo so I could note you look a bit different than you do in the video.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:03 Nora - EarlyWord
4:03
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Ah, you must mean the beard. Yep, it comes and goes. For the record--I'm fully bearded right now (hockey playoff season).
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:03 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:05
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Those of you out there, please say hi to Tom!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:05 Nora - EarlyWord
4:06
[Comment From Ref. LibrarianRef. Librarian: ] 
Hey, Tom -- loved the book!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Ref. Librarian
4:06
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Happy Wednesday Tom.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Guest
4:06
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Thanks!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:06
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
And a happy Wednesday to you, too!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:06
[Comment From PDPD: ] 
Hi Tom! Great book!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 PD
4:06
[Comment From Kids LibrarianKids Librarian: ] 
Hope you've got Spring there, Tom!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Kids Librarian
4:07
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
HI to Tom from the Midwest and personally I like the beard. :-)
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Lucy
4:07
[Comment From Sue DSue D: ] 
Good afternoon from St. Charles, Mo
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Sue D
4:07
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Thanks, PD!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:07
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Yes, Kids Librarian, it is full-on Spring here in Pittsburgh. Started out with a massive thunderstorm but not the sun's shining. Perfect weather.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:07
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
All right, Lucy!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:08
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Tell us about the cover – it doesn’t look very science fiction-y. Was the intentional?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:08 Nora - EarlyWord
4:09
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Good question, Nora. That's right--I think the flipped bottom Tomorrow is meant to convey a sort of feeling that there might be a mind-bending mystery at play...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:09 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:10
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
But at the same time, I know Putnam is interested in promoting this book as a mystery/thriller and a "literary" novel as much as a sci-fi book, so they probably stopped short of being "too sci fi"...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:10 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:10
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I love the cover quite a bit--I like that they used the skyline of Pittsburgh, though a few astute friends noticed that the picture itself is reversed!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:10 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:11
Nora - EarlyWord: 
For those that spot the flipped skyline, that could also read as mind-bending.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:11 Nora - EarlyWord
4:11
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Haha, that's right! All part of the plan.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:11 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:11
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I'm amused by how different the British cover is.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:11 Nora - EarlyWord
4:12
Nora - EarlyWord
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:12 
4:12
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Looks almost like a spy novel!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:12 Nora - EarlyWord
4:12
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Yes, very different. I think the American cover focuses on the "post apocalyptic" moments of the book; the British cover seems to focus on the "man in danger" aspect.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:12 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:13
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Every time I see that British cover I try to place who that guy is.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:13 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:13
[Comment From LauraLaura: ] 
The British cover reminded me of the "Taken" movie posters with Liam Neeson on them.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:13 Laura
4:13
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Perhaps the Brit cover was trying to present/focus on a noir aspect?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:13 Lucy
4:14
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Laura, oh yeah! I definitely see that!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:14 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:14
Nora - EarlyWord: 
This is your first book, but not your first published work, right?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:14 Nora - EarlyWord
4:14
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I think you're right, Lucy. Definitely reads more "thriller."
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:14 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:14
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
First book, yes. I've published a few short stories, all science fiction, on-line.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:14 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:15
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Did you set out to write science fiction, or did that evolve from the story you wanted to tell?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:15 Nora - EarlyWord
4:15
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I think genre should evolve from story--but it just so happens that all the good stories I come up with are science fiction!...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:15 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:16
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So, yes--all my ideas for future projects have a sci-fi element to them.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:16 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:17
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Does all of this talk about genres really matter?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:17 Nora - EarlyWord
4:18
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
"Genre" is a strange thing--especially right now. The only time I get frustrated by the genre question is when some people rank certain genres lower in importance than others.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:18 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:18
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
We're living in a moment when "high-art" and "low-art" are mashed together--maybe really starting with Warhol, but also in things like "Superflat" art/Murakami. It's an exciting time to write "genre."
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:18 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:19
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Ah, and then there's the favorite back-handed compliment -- "rises above genre"!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:19 Nora - EarlyWord
4:20
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
That's right!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:20 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:20
[Comment From Kids LibrarianKids Librarian: ] 
Have you ever thought about writing a YA book?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:20 Kids Librarian
4:21
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Thanks for the question, Kids Librarian! I've had an idea kicking around in my head about the Homestead Steel Mill Strike that I think could make a good YA book; but honestly, my writing tends to be fairly "R" rated, so I'll probably just stick with adult fiction.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:21 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:22
[Comment From Kids LibrarianKids Librarian: ] 
Interesting -- do you find the "R" rated stuff essential?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:22 Kids Librarian
4:23
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I think that material should flow from story/character. So, R rated stuff is never strictly-speaking essential, and some of my short stories are pretty clean.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:23 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:23
Nora - EarlyWord: 
You seem adept at online chatting, Tom -- you mentioned to me that you had some background for that. Tell us about it.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:23 Nora - EarlyWord
4:24
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
That's right, Nora--a handful of years ago I was the person at our library who manned the "InfoEyes" virtual reference desk. The chat interface was very similar to this one...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:24 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:25
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
We'd have people from all over the country pop up on the screen and ask questions--I'd find myself (in Pittsburgh) trying to track down answers about very local information in other states!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:25 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:26
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Did your experience working reference affect how you shaped the story or the character of Dominic?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:26 Nora - EarlyWord
4:27
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Absolutely. I have often thought about getting an MLIS degree specializing as an "archivist." ...And as I started thinking of ways that Dominic could access information he needs, my touchstone was always library work...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:27 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:28
[Comment From Sue DSue D: ] 
Those questions still happen at our very regular reference desks. Out of state or snow birds calling.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:28 Sue D
4:29
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
In earlier drafts of the novel I had TONS of sections about how exactly the Archive works, how it was connected to the Library of Congress. I was modeling it off the Library for the Blind services, ultimately run by the National Library Service/LOC. I even had an application for the Archive at one point.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:29 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:29
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
That's right, Sue D--even on the phones!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:29 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:30
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I enjoyed how you combined the familiar with the futuristic, letting me figure out some things (hey! That taxi doesn’t have a driver!) You really have to trust the reader to do that.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:30 Nora - EarlyWord
4:31
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Driverless Taxi--shout out to Total Recall...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:31 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:31
[Comment From PDPD: ] 
Really interesting take on SF. Did you live there? Did you ever eat at Memphis Minnie's :-)?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:31 PD
4:32
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi PD! Actually, I've never been to SF. I'm very familiar with Washington DC and Pittsburgh, but when I got to that last section I wanted to explore a city completely virtually (Google Street View), so that I could "flip" it in my mind: Pittsburgh the virtual city that I actually live in; SF the real city in the book that I'm exploring only virtually...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:32 Thomas Sweterlitsch
 
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Now THAT was living through Dominic!
  Nora - EarlyWord
4:33
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Plus, SF is where Vertigo takes place, which was one of the earliest and deepest influences on Tomorrow and Tomorrow.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:33 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:34
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Several of the authors we’ve had in this program have purposely set their books a bit in the past because they find today’s technology gets in the way of telling their stories -- for instance, communications are speeded up by email and you can find out things via Google, which can make it difficult to introduce tension. Your book does the opposite, with technology leaping ahead.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:34 Nora - EarlyWord
4:35
[Comment From Joe, MD LibrarianJoe, MD Librarian: ] 
I KNEW you knew D.C. well, but you def. had me fooled about San Fran Cisco!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:35 Joe, MD Librarian
4:35
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Great question, Nora. I often wonder at how common cell phones/the internet are in real life, but how infrequently they appear in fiction...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:35 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:36
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi Joe! That's good to hear!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:36 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:36
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Re: cell phones: in some ways, I think it's the kind of problem that happens in Shakespeare, where you just want the characters to talk to each other to make all their problems go away...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:36 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:37
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So the challenge as a writer has to be how to make the dramatic tension fit around current/future technologies. I have Dominic Google a lot of information, and in my plot I have a lot of that information "corrupted" so he can't find it out right away...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:37 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:37
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Also, funnily enough, I was a very late adapter to smart phones/mobile devices--I didn't have a cell phone until after this book was finished, so I was completely inventing what it's like to live with this stuff.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:37 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:38
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Re: San Francisco. I just had a couple of close friends move to SF, so hopefully I'll make it out there soon!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:38 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:38
Nora - EarlyWord: 
That is so amazing. I've gotten used to avoiding what I call "device zombies" on the streets of NYC.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:38 Nora - EarlyWord
4:39
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Full confession: I was a device zombie a little earlier this afternoon.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:39 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:40
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I was struck that Dominic seems to not only mourn his wife, but the city of Pittsburgh itself. As someone who lived in NYC during 9/11, that's very evocative. I remember a news report that astronauts on the space station could see the smoke rising and one sent a message that "I just want the folks in New York to know their city still looks very beautiful from space." — I couldn’t figure out why, but that bought me to tears. (Speaking of technology — I wasn’t sure if I remembered this correctly, so I googled it and got the exact quote!)
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:40 Nora - EarlyWord
4:41
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Sense of place is so vital to a good novel (speaking as a reader). So, I wanted Dominic to be as much in love with the past city as he was with his past life...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:41 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:42
[Comment From Pam, Kansas Lib.Pam, Kansas Lib.: ] 
It also made med think of how we mourn the old new Orleans.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:42 Pam, Kansas Lib.
4:43
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Interesting, Pam. In Pittsburgh, there is a very, very heavy sense of nostalgia for the way things once were (before the Steel mills left).
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:43 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:44
[Comment From Pam, Kansas Lib.Pam, Kansas Lib.: ] 
How scary is it to write about your family and your city disappearing?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:44 Pam, Kansas Lib.
4:45
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Good question, Pam. (I should Google this quote, but I'm going to wing it)--I once read a quote where an author suggested that you write about what horrifies you, so the emotion comes through. This book is basically a check list of my personal fears.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:45 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:46
Nora - EarlyWord: 
How did TOMORROW AND TOMORROW end up getting published?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:46 Nora - EarlyWord
4:46
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Welp, interesting question. Do you know the author Stewart O'Nan?He's been a favorite of mine for many years--I've read just about ever book he's written. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh but lived much of his life in New England...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:46 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:47
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
A handful of years ago, he moved back to Pittsburgh--and I was struck by thinking this world-famous writer, who is one of my favorites, lives very close to me...(Pittsburgh's a small place)...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:47 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:47
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So I did something completely out of character and wrote him a fan letter...That letter led to him reading a short story of mine, called The City Lies Within...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:47 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:47
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
He wrote back very enthusiastically about the short story, saying it's only problem is that it should be a novel...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:47 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:47
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So I made it into the novel that became "Tomorrow and Tomorrow." He got my foot in the door with his agent, but then the agent rejected the book...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:47 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:48
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So I spent the next full year rewriting the entire book. When I approached the agent again, he accepted! (There were many other bumps and details along the way).
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:48 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:49
[Comment From Joe, Maryland LibrarianJoe, Maryland Librarian: ] 
You mentioned publishing stories online. Do you think librarians are doing a good job of handling e-material?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:49 Joe, Maryland Librarian
4:50
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi Joe, wow--great question. I think libraries are making great strides to work with a format that will either become the core of the library's mission, or put library's out of business...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:50 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:51
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I know the Carnegie Public Library System here is making e-material a major focus of what the library is. I think that's a smart move. At the Library for the Blind, we reached an interesting point where we could circulate cassette books one at a time, or put almost every title on one flash drive and circulate it once. Interesting times.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:51 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:51
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I read the book has been optioned for a movie — that must have been exciting!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:51 Nora - EarlyWord
4:52
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
But to receive such encouragement based from a fan letter, how grand! I can see how that would inspire you to take the leap into writing a novel. Congratulations on it's publication, by the way.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:52 Lucy
4:52
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi Lucy--you wouldn't believe how excited I was! I remember my hands shaking as I opened his envelope back to me. We've since met, and he's a truly great, honest and friendly guy.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:52 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:53
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi Nora--that's right! It was optioned for a movie by Sony. I was working the reference desk on a particularly slow afternoon, when my agent called. He basically said, "all right, let me explain what's happening right now..."
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:53 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:54
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Of course, an option doesn't mean that the movie will be made! But, fingers crossed!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:54 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Let us enjoy the fantasy of getting that call at the reference desk! Did you scream!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We're getting close to the end, so get your final questions in!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Here's a last one from me:
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Privacy is a big issue in Dominic’s world. Many librarians have told me that they are shocked by how willing the general public is to hand over their information. Have you seen that, too?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:57
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Yeah, I've definitely seen that. I think we're struggling with the idea of privacy, what it means, how it can help/hurt us. Even I admit, that one of my reactions when it was learned the NSA can read my email, was, "welp, they're going to be pretty bored..." That being said, here at CMU they demonstrated facial recognition software that can scan you and find out all sorts of info about you--I find that very creepy.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:57 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
If librarians want to contact you for appearances, how can they reach you?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:58 Nora - EarlyWord
4:58
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Best way to contact me--about anything at all--is my email: Letterswitch @ gmail!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:58 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:59
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Great handle! Thanks for talking with us, Tom. Looking forward to your book's publication.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:59 Nora - EarlyWord
4:59
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Thanks for chatting, everyone! It was great to "meet" you all!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:59 Thomas Sweterlitsch
5:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Reminder to everyone -- This chat will be archived on the Penguin First Flights page on EarlyWord

http://penguindebutauthors....
Wednesday May 7, 2014 5:00 Nora - EarlyWord
5:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
The book is coming out on July 10

If you’re a librarian and aren’t yet a First Flights member, you can still access digital readers copies until publication day on Edelweiss and NetGalley.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 5:01 Nora - EarlyWord
5:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Click below to join the Penguin First Flights program:

http://penguindebutauthors....
Wednesday May 7, 2014 5:01 Nora - EarlyWord
5:02
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Goodbye, everyone, and thanks for your questions!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 5:02 Nora - EarlyWord
 
 
 Live Chat with Thomas Sweterlitsch, TOMORROW AND TOMORROW(05/07/2014) 
3:45
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We will begin our live online chat with Thomas Sweterlitsch, author of TOMORROW AND TOMORROW in about 15 minutes
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:45 Nora - EarlyWord
3:46
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Here’s the cover of the book…
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:46 Nora - EarlyWord
3:46
Nora - EarlyWord
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:46 
3:47
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Below is a special video message that Thomas recorded for Penguin First Flight members:
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:47 Nora - EarlyWord
3:47
Nora - EarlyWordNora - EarlyWord
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:47 
3:49
Nora - EarlyWord: 
A blurb from Stewart O’Nan:

Simultaneously trippy and hardboiled, Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a rich, absorbing, relentlessly inventive mindfuck, a smart, dark noir... Sweterlisch's debut is a wild mashup of Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick and William S. Burroughs, and, like their work, utterly visionary."--Stewart O'Nan author of "The Odds"
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:49 Nora - EarlyWord
3:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We’re glad to see so many chat participants gathering. You can send your questions through at any time. They'll go into a queue, and we'll submit as many of them as we can to Thomas before the end of the chat. Don’t worry about typos – and please ignore any that we commit!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:58 Nora - EarlyWord
3:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I see that Thomas has joined us -- welcome!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:58 Nora - EarlyWord
3:58
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hello!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:58 Thomas Sweterlitsch
3:59
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
And feel free to call me Tom!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:59 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Say hi again, Thomas!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:00 Nora - EarlyWord
4:01
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hello!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:01 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:01
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
My avatar looks like I'm standing in a wheat field, even though it's really just a shrub in my side yard...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:01 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:02
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Also, feel free to call me Tom!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:02 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:03
Nora - EarlyWord: 
There you are! I wanted to see your photo so I could note you look a bit different than you do in the video.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:03 Nora - EarlyWord
4:03
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Ah, you must mean the beard. Yep, it comes and goes. For the record--I'm fully bearded right now (hockey playoff season).
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:03 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:05
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Those of you out there, please say hi to Tom!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:05 Nora - EarlyWord
4:06
[Comment From Ref. LibrarianRef. Librarian: ] 
Hey, Tom -- loved the book!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Ref. Librarian
4:06
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Happy Wednesday Tom.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Guest
4:06
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Thanks!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:06
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
And a happy Wednesday to you, too!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:06
[Comment From PDPD: ] 
Hi Tom! Great book!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 PD
4:06
[Comment From Kids LibrarianKids Librarian: ] 
Hope you've got Spring there, Tom!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:06 Kids Librarian
4:07
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
HI to Tom from the Midwest and personally I like the beard. :-)
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Lucy
4:07
[Comment From Sue DSue D: ] 
Good afternoon from St. Charles, Mo
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Sue D
4:07
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Thanks, PD!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:07
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Yes, Kids Librarian, it is full-on Spring here in Pittsburgh. Started out with a massive thunderstorm but not the sun's shining. Perfect weather.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:07
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
All right, Lucy!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:07 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:08
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Tell us about the cover – it doesn’t look very science fiction-y. Was the intentional?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:08 Nora - EarlyWord
4:09
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Good question, Nora. That's right--I think the flipped bottom Tomorrow is meant to convey a sort of feeling that there might be a mind-bending mystery at play...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:09 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:10
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
But at the same time, I know Putnam is interested in promoting this book as a mystery/thriller and a "literary" novel as much as a sci-fi book, so they probably stopped short of being "too sci fi"...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:10 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:10
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I love the cover quite a bit--I like that they used the skyline of Pittsburgh, though a few astute friends noticed that the picture itself is reversed!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:10 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:11
Nora - EarlyWord: 
For those that spot the flipped skyline, that could also read as mind-bending.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:11 Nora - EarlyWord
4:11
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Haha, that's right! All part of the plan.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:11 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:11
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I'm amused by how different the British cover is.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:11 Nora - EarlyWord
4:12
Nora - EarlyWord
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:12 
4:12
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Looks almost like a spy novel!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:12 Nora - EarlyWord
4:12
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Yes, very different. I think the American cover focuses on the "post apocalyptic" moments of the book; the British cover seems to focus on the "man in danger" aspect.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:12 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:13
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Every time I see that British cover I try to place who that guy is.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:13 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:13
[Comment From LauraLaura: ] 
The British cover reminded me of the "Taken" movie posters with Liam Neeson on them.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:13 Laura
4:13
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Perhaps the Brit cover was trying to present/focus on a noir aspect?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:13 Lucy
4:14
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Laura, oh yeah! I definitely see that!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:14 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:14
Nora - EarlyWord: 
This is your first book, but not your first published work, right?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:14 Nora - EarlyWord
4:14
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I think you're right, Lucy. Definitely reads more "thriller."
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:14 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:14
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
First book, yes. I've published a few short stories, all science fiction, on-line.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:14 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:15
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Did you set out to write science fiction, or did that evolve from the story you wanted to tell?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:15 Nora - EarlyWord
4:15
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I think genre should evolve from story--but it just so happens that all the good stories I come up with are science fiction!...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:15 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:16
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So, yes--all my ideas for future projects have a sci-fi element to them.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:16 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:17
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Does all of this talk about genres really matter?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:17 Nora - EarlyWord
4:18
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
"Genre" is a strange thing--especially right now. The only time I get frustrated by the genre question is when some people rank certain genres lower in importance than others.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:18 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:18
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
We're living in a moment when "high-art" and "low-art" are mashed together--maybe really starting with Warhol, but also in things like "Superflat" art/Murakami. It's an exciting time to write "genre."
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:18 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:19
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Ah, and then there's the favorite back-handed compliment -- "rises above genre"!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:19 Nora - EarlyWord
4:20
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
That's right!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:20 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:20
[Comment From Kids LibrarianKids Librarian: ] 
Have you ever thought about writing a YA book?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:20 Kids Librarian
4:21
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Thanks for the question, Kids Librarian! I've had an idea kicking around in my head about the Homestead Steel Mill Strike that I think could make a good YA book; but honestly, my writing tends to be fairly "R" rated, so I'll probably just stick with adult fiction.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:21 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:22
[Comment From Kids LibrarianKids Librarian: ] 
Interesting -- do you find the "R" rated stuff essential?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:22 Kids Librarian
4:23
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I think that material should flow from story/character. So, R rated stuff is never strictly-speaking essential, and some of my short stories are pretty clean.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:23 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:23
Nora - EarlyWord: 
You seem adept at online chatting, Tom -- you mentioned to me that you had some background for that. Tell us about it.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:23 Nora - EarlyWord
4:24
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
That's right, Nora--a handful of years ago I was the person at our library who manned the "InfoEyes" virtual reference desk. The chat interface was very similar to this one...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:24 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:25
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
We'd have people from all over the country pop up on the screen and ask questions--I'd find myself (in Pittsburgh) trying to track down answers about very local information in other states!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:25 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:26
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Did your experience working reference affect how you shaped the story or the character of Dominic?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:26 Nora - EarlyWord
4:27
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Absolutely. I have often thought about getting an MLIS degree specializing as an "archivist." ...And as I started thinking of ways that Dominic could access information he needs, my touchstone was always library work...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:27 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:28
[Comment From Sue DSue D: ] 
Those questions still happen at our very regular reference desks. Out of state or snow birds calling.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:28 Sue D
4:29
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
In earlier drafts of the novel I had TONS of sections about how exactly the Archive works, how it was connected to the Library of Congress. I was modeling it off the Library for the Blind services, ultimately run by the National Library Service/LOC. I even had an application for the Archive at one point.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:29 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:29
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
That's right, Sue D--even on the phones!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:29 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:30
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I enjoyed how you combined the familiar with the futuristic, letting me figure out some things (hey! That taxi doesn’t have a driver!) You really have to trust the reader to do that.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:30 Nora - EarlyWord
4:31
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Driverless Taxi--shout out to Total Recall...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:31 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:31
[Comment From PDPD: ] 
Really interesting take on SF. Did you live there? Did you ever eat at Memphis Minnie's :-)?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:31 PD
4:32
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi PD! Actually, I've never been to SF. I'm very familiar with Washington DC and Pittsburgh, but when I got to that last section I wanted to explore a city completely virtually (Google Street View), so that I could "flip" it in my mind: Pittsburgh the virtual city that I actually live in; SF the real city in the book that I'm exploring only virtually...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:32 Thomas Sweterlitsch
 
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Now THAT was living through Dominic!
  Nora - EarlyWord
4:33
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Plus, SF is where Vertigo takes place, which was one of the earliest and deepest influences on Tomorrow and Tomorrow.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:33 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:34
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Several of the authors we’ve had in this program have purposely set their books a bit in the past because they find today’s technology gets in the way of telling their stories -- for instance, communications are speeded up by email and you can find out things via Google, which can make it difficult to introduce tension. Your book does the opposite, with technology leaping ahead.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:34 Nora - EarlyWord
4:35
[Comment From Joe, MD LibrarianJoe, MD Librarian: ] 
I KNEW you knew D.C. well, but you def. had me fooled about San Fran Cisco!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:35 Joe, MD Librarian
4:35
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Great question, Nora. I often wonder at how common cell phones/the internet are in real life, but how infrequently they appear in fiction...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:35 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:36
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi Joe! That's good to hear!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:36 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:36
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Re: cell phones: in some ways, I think it's the kind of problem that happens in Shakespeare, where you just want the characters to talk to each other to make all their problems go away...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:36 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:37
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So the challenge as a writer has to be how to make the dramatic tension fit around current/future technologies. I have Dominic Google a lot of information, and in my plot I have a lot of that information "corrupted" so he can't find it out right away...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:37 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:37
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Also, funnily enough, I was a very late adapter to smart phones/mobile devices--I didn't have a cell phone until after this book was finished, so I was completely inventing what it's like to live with this stuff.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:37 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:38
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Re: San Francisco. I just had a couple of close friends move to SF, so hopefully I'll make it out there soon!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:38 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:38
Nora - EarlyWord: 
That is so amazing. I've gotten used to avoiding what I call "device zombies" on the streets of NYC.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:38 Nora - EarlyWord
4:39
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Full confession: I was a device zombie a little earlier this afternoon.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:39 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:40
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I was struck that Dominic seems to not only mourn his wife, but the city of Pittsburgh itself. As someone who lived in NYC during 9/11, that's very evocative. I remember a news report that astronauts on the space station could see the smoke rising and one sent a message that "I just want the folks in New York to know their city still looks very beautiful from space." — I couldn’t figure out why, but that bought me to tears. (Speaking of technology — I wasn’t sure if I remembered this correctly, so I googled it and got the exact quote!)
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:40 Nora - EarlyWord
4:41
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Sense of place is so vital to a good novel (speaking as a reader). So, I wanted Dominic to be as much in love with the past city as he was with his past life...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:41 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:42
[Comment From Pam, Kansas Lib.Pam, Kansas Lib.: ] 
It also made med think of how we mourn the old new Orleans.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:42 Pam, Kansas Lib.
4:43
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Interesting, Pam. In Pittsburgh, there is a very, very heavy sense of nostalgia for the way things once were (before the Steel mills left).
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:43 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:44
[Comment From Pam, Kansas Lib.Pam, Kansas Lib.: ] 
How scary is it to write about your family and your city disappearing?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:44 Pam, Kansas Lib.
4:45
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Good question, Pam. (I should Google this quote, but I'm going to wing it)--I once read a quote where an author suggested that you write about what horrifies you, so the emotion comes through. This book is basically a check list of my personal fears.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:45 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:46
Nora - EarlyWord: 
How did TOMORROW AND TOMORROW end up getting published?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:46 Nora - EarlyWord
4:46
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Welp, interesting question. Do you know the author Stewart O'Nan?He's been a favorite of mine for many years--I've read just about ever book he's written. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh but lived much of his life in New England...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:46 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:47
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
A handful of years ago, he moved back to Pittsburgh--and I was struck by thinking this world-famous writer, who is one of my favorites, lives very close to me...(Pittsburgh's a small place)...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:47 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:47
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So I did something completely out of character and wrote him a fan letter...That letter led to him reading a short story of mine, called The City Lies Within...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:47 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:47
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
He wrote back very enthusiastically about the short story, saying it's only problem is that it should be a novel...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:47 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:47
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So I made it into the novel that became "Tomorrow and Tomorrow." He got my foot in the door with his agent, but then the agent rejected the book...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:47 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:48
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
So I spent the next full year rewriting the entire book. When I approached the agent again, he accepted! (There were many other bumps and details along the way).
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:48 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:49
[Comment From Joe, Maryland LibrarianJoe, Maryland Librarian: ] 
You mentioned publishing stories online. Do you think librarians are doing a good job of handling e-material?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:49 Joe, Maryland Librarian
4:50
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi Joe, wow--great question. I think libraries are making great strides to work with a format that will either become the core of the library's mission, or put library's out of business...
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:50 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:51
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
I know the Carnegie Public Library System here is making e-material a major focus of what the library is. I think that's a smart move. At the Library for the Blind, we reached an interesting point where we could circulate cassette books one at a time, or put almost every title on one flash drive and circulate it once. Interesting times.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:51 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:51
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I read the book has been optioned for a movie — that must have been exciting!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:51 Nora - EarlyWord
4:52
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
But to receive such encouragement based from a fan letter, how grand! I can see how that would inspire you to take the leap into writing a novel. Congratulations on it's publication, by the way.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:52 Lucy
4:52
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi Lucy--you wouldn't believe how excited I was! I remember my hands shaking as I opened his envelope back to me. We've since met, and he's a truly great, honest and friendly guy.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:52 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:53
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Hi Nora--that's right! It was optioned for a movie by Sony. I was working the reference desk on a particularly slow afternoon, when my agent called. He basically said, "all right, let me explain what's happening right now..."
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:53 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:54
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Of course, an option doesn't mean that the movie will be made! But, fingers crossed!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:54 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Let us enjoy the fantasy of getting that call at the reference desk! Did you scream!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We're getting close to the end, so get your final questions in!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Here's a last one from me:
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Privacy is a big issue in Dominic’s world. Many librarians have told me that they are shocked by how willing the general public is to hand over their information. Have you seen that, too?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:57
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Yeah, I've definitely seen that. I think we're struggling with the idea of privacy, what it means, how it can help/hurt us. Even I admit, that one of my reactions when it was learned the NSA can read my email, was, "welp, they're going to be pretty bored..." That being said, here at CMU they demonstrated facial recognition software that can scan you and find out all sorts of info about you--I find that very creepy.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:57 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
If librarians want to contact you for appearances, how can they reach you?
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:58 Nora - EarlyWord
4:58
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Best way to contact me--about anything at all--is my email: Letterswitch @ gmail!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:58 Thomas Sweterlitsch
4:59
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Great handle! Thanks for talking with us, Tom. Looking forward to your book's publication.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:59 Nora - EarlyWord
4:59
Thomas Sweterlitsch: 
Thanks for chatting, everyone! It was great to "meet" you all!
Wednesday May 7, 2014 4:59 Thomas Sweterlitsch
5:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Reminder to everyone -- This chat will be archived on the Penguin First Flights page on EarlyWord

http://penguindebutauthors....
Wednesday May 7, 2014 5:00 Nora - EarlyWord
5:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
The book is coming out on July 10

If you’re a librarian and aren’t yet a First Flights member, you can still access digital readers copies until publication day on Edelweiss and NetGalley.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 5:01 Nora - EarlyWord
5:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Click below to join the Penguin First Flights program:

http://penguindebutauthors....
Wednesday May 7, 2014 5:01 Nora - EarlyWord
5:02
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Goodbye, everyone, and thanks for your questions!