Author Archive

Live Chat with Tom O’Donnell

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Read our Live Chat with the author of the middle-grade novel, Space Rocks! below.

Join this new program here.

 Live Chat with Tom O'Donnell, SPACE ROCKS!(02/19/2014) 
4:45
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We will begin our live online chat with Tom O’Donnell, author of SPACE ROCKS! in about 15 minutes.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 4:45 Nora - EarlyWord
4:46
Nora - EarlyWord
Cover
Wednesday February 19, 2014 4:46 
4:51
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Space Rocks! got a great review from Kirkus...
Wednesday February 19, 2014 4:51 Nora - EarlyWord
4:51
Nora - EarlyWord: 
KIRKUS REVIEW

Xotonian Chorkle’s home asteroid Gelo is so boring that of course it’s going to spy on the iridium-stealing, fur-tufted invaders from Eo.

Chorkle’s originator allowed it (there is no gender on Gelo) to check out Jehe Canyon for human incursion as long as it agreed to leave if it saw them…but they’re so interesting, and they have amazingly fun technology. Xotonians are adept at hiding, so the aliens are oblivious to Chorkle’s presence, but it makes off with their hologram device. When the Xotonians decide to unleash the dreaded, destructive Q-sik weapon to chase off the humans, Chorkle wants to warn the humans. It knows the ones it saw in the canyon are young ones. Having learned some human language from the hologram device and human transmissions, Chorkle intends to warn them…but it’s distracted by the sugary pink magic of Feeney’s Original Astronaut Ice Cream, and the young humans end up marooned on Gelo. Now Chorkle must keep them alive until their originators return for them. When the Vorem, the ancient enemy of the Xotonians, reappear, the fate of the solar system might hang in the balance. O’Donnell’s debut is an imaginative, smart and laugh-out-loud adventure. Chorkle is charming, and its alien perspective on the human invaders and the ensuing culture clash never falters.

Clap your thol’graz—the open ending begs for a sequel!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 4:51 Nora - EarlyWord
4:54
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I see several 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 Tom before the end of the chat.

Don’t worry about typos – and please forgive any that we commit!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 4:54 Nora - EarlyWord
5:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Our author, Tom, has joined us and so has our chat leader, Lisa Von Drasek. Say hi to the everyone!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:00 Nora - EarlyWord
5:00
Tom O'Donnell: 
Hello, everyone! I'm looking forward to answering your questions.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:00 Tom O'Donnell
5:01
lisa von drasek: 
hi everyone
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:01 lisa von drasek
5:01
lisa von drasek: 
you may call me your fearless leader
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:01 lisa von drasek
5:01
Tom O'Donnell: 
Greetings fearless leader.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:01 Tom O'Donnell
5:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Participants, please say hi to Tom and Lisa.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:01 Nora - EarlyWord
5:01
lisa von drasek: 
Greetings human.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:01 lisa von drasek
5:02
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Hi, Tom and Lisa!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:02 Guest
5:02
[Comment From Janie PickettJanie Pickett: ] 
humans, well, maybe =)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:02 Janie Pickett
5:02
[Comment From LibraryLessLibraryLess: ] 
Greetings!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:02 LibraryLess
5:03
lisa von drasek: 
Tom, we had a few minutes to chat yesterday. Can you say a few words about yourself? Where do you live? Is this your first book ? Do you have a pet?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:03 lisa von drasek
5:03
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Greetings, Tom and Lisa!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:03 Guest
5:04
Tom O'Donnell: 
Sure. My name is Tom O'Donnell and I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:04 Tom O'Donnell
5:04
lisa von drasek: 
Hello snowy Maine from to be blizzarding Minnesota
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:04 lisa von drasek
5:04
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Greetings from snowy Maine!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:04 Guest
5:04
Tom O'Donnell: 
My neighborhood is currently covered in filthy gray snow but otherwise lovely.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:04 Tom O'Donnell
5:05
Tom O'Donnell: 
This is my first book. It was a blast to write it.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:05 Tom O'Donnell
5:06
Tom O'Donnell: 
I have one pet. A very lively tuxedo cat named Bug.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:06 Tom O'Donnell
5:06
Tom O'Donnell
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:06 
5:06
lisa von drasek: 
For those just joining us and haven't read the book, the Kirkus review (above) is a perfect recap

I have an advance question from a participant


"Why did you choose six days for the mothership to be repaired and the parents out of reach? It seems like a long time? (I have not had a chance to finish the book yet.)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:06 lisa von drasek
5:07
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Tom, in the book I noticed a lot of environmental references. I am a high school librarian, but I think this would be a great read aloud with an elementary class making connections to science.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:07 Guest
5:07
Tom O'Donnell: 
Six days felt like a long enough time to have an adventure, but not too long for a rescue.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:07 Tom O'Donnell
5:07
Tom O'Donnell: 
I love to hear that re: science! I can't claim that the book is 100% scientifically accurate.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:07 Tom O'Donnell
5:08
Tom O'Donnell: 
But I did try to use logic when imagining some of these things. Such as what precious metals are found on asteroids; why the asteroid has an earth-like gravity etc.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:08 Tom O'Donnell
5:08
lisa von drasek: 
The advance question as Kelly Page of Texas-
She also wrote
I will definitely be recommending this book in my library. Quality space adventures for elementary age kids are hard to find. I love the fact that it's from Chorkle's perepective instead of one of the children.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:08 lisa von drasek
5:08
[Comment From Janie PickettJanie Pickett: ] 
Question: should I be hearing audio? I *am* hearing a keyboard, but no talking. Or is this a silent chat?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:08 Janie Pickett
5:08
lisa von drasek: 
yes. no mics just tap tap tapping
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:08 lisa von drasek
5:08
Tom O'Donnell: 
Great! Yes Chorkle's perspective was really fun to write from.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:08 Tom O'Donnell
5:08
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
And the playfulness of language! I loved it! My is'pog was beating with delight!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:08 Guest
5:09
lisa von drasek: 
Mine too!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:09 lisa von drasek
5:09
Tom O'Donnell: 
I thought it would be fun to give kids a different perspective on normal human behavior through Chorkle’s (five) eyes. A lot of humor comes from detached observation and I thought an alien might be the ultimate detached observer.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:09 Tom O'Donnell
5:09
Tom O'Donnell: 
Although of course Chorkle becomes more and more attached to the kids throughout the book.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:09 Tom O'Donnell
5:10
Tom O'Donnell: 
Glad you liked the language! I had to keep a very long running list of words I made up.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:10 Tom O'Donnell
5:10
lisa von drasek: 
Chorkle (how do you pronounce?) is of an alien race of with no gender. Could you talk about that?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:10 lisa von drasek
5:10
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
How did you decide on the names; such as is'pog..
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:10 The Brain Lair
5:10
Tom O'Donnell: 
CHOR-kuhl is how I would pronounce its name.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:10 Tom O'Donnell
5:12
lisa von drasek: 
Astronaut Ice Cream is an essential component of the story. Have you ever tasted astronaut ice-cream? when? Do you have any in your house right now?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:12 lisa von drasek
5:12
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Why did Chorkle love the Astronaut Ice Cream bars so much? Was this something you loved as a child???????
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:12 The Brain Lair
5:12
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Did you intend on this book being a series when you started. I admit I haven't finished it, but the Kirkus review seems to indicate a sequel.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:12 Guest
5:13
Tom O'Donnell: 
I think my friend Matt brought some astronaut ice cream back from Space Camp when he went in the second or third grade. My lovely wife made her own version of Feeney’s Original Astronaut Ice Cream to celebrate the launch of the book as well! It’s got to be better than the real stuff.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:13 Tom O'Donnell
5:13
Tom O'Donnell
Here's her version.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:13 
5:13
Tom O'Donnell: 
Yes, I intended the book to be a series. In fact the sequel is coming this Fall.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:13 Tom O'Donnell
5:13
Tom O'Donnell: 
I just turned in final edits.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:13 Tom O'Donnell
5:14
Tom O'Donnell: 
Back to your question about Chorkle's gender, Lisa.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:14 Tom O'Donnell
5:14
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Do you have a 3D Holographic device?? If so, where can I get one???
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:14 The Brain Lair
5:14
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Yes, I loved the idea of no gender!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:14 Guest
5:14
Tom O'Donnell: 
I thought it would be interesting to imagine such a society and a great way to differentiate the Xotonians from the humans they are observing...
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:14 Tom O'Donnell
5:14
Tom O'Donnell: 
I also thought a genderless protagonist might allow readers of any gender to identify more easily with it...
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:14 Tom O'Donnell
5:14
Tom O'Donnell: 
And, last, I wanted to make the book more difficult to copyedit!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:14 Tom O'Donnell
5:15
Tom O'Donnell: 
I don't have a 3D holographic device. I have to make do with a puny old Xbox 360 :(
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:15 Tom O'Donnell
5:15
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Weirdly, I pictured Chorkle as a boy
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:15 The Brain Lair
5:15
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
As well as him having a father and grandfather!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:15 The Brain Lair
5:15
Tom O'Donnell: 
Well, I think any interpretation of Chorkle's gender is the right one.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:15 Tom O'Donnell
5:16
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I love the cover. Did you have any say in the design?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:16 Guest
5:16
Nora - EarlyWord
Cover
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:16 
5:16
Tom O'Donnell: 
I did not, though I really like it (sparkly!)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:16 Tom O'Donnell
5:17
Tom O'Donnell: 
I have a background in illustration and cartooning but it was nice to only be responsible for the words this time.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:17 Tom O'Donnell
5:17
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Did the character names have any special meaning for you? Did you create a family tree to keep everyone straight?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:17 The Brain Lair
5:18
lisa von drasek: 
your futuristic inventions with a foot in reality were a lot of fun
If someone gave you a rocket bike where would you go right now?


Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:18 lisa von drasek
5:18
Tom O'Donnell: 
No family tree. And the names were just meant to sound good (and hopefully consistent). Xotonian names tend to be five or six letters long, maybe using a few extra Ks.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:18 Tom O'Donnell
5:18
lisa von drasek: 
Space Rocks has really captured what it is like to be a little brother. - do you have any brothers or sisters? Older? younger?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:18 lisa von drasek
5:18
Tom O'Donnell: 
I’d probably fly home to Virginia, where I'm from. Tickets to the regional airport cost more than flying to, say, Paris.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:18 Tom O'Donnell
5:19
Tom O'Donnell: 
I have an older sister. I do tend to think that the younger child is more of an observer. You’re kind of watching things play out with your sibling first before you try them.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:19 Tom O'Donnell
5:19
Tom O'Donnell: 
That might be a little Chorkle-like.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:19 Tom O'Donnell
5:19
lisa von drasek: 
My favorite line is from Gus when asked what makes his stew so tasty he says “the secret ingredient is love” Does anyone you know say that??
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:19 lisa von drasek
5:20
Tom O'Donnell: 
I do not! But feel free to say it whenever you want.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:20 Tom O'Donnell
5:20
Tom O'Donnell: 
Actually, you may have to clear it with Penguin's legal department :)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:20 Tom O'Donnell
5:20
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Did you have a fun relationship with your Grand Originator like Chorkle and Hudka?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:20 The Brain Lair
5:20
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I love that! What a fun writing assignment-to write about your family from your place (perspecitve in it).
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:20 Guest
5:21
Tom O'Donnell: 
I had wonderful grand-originators! My grandmother was particularly magical—she spoke with an English accent and let us draw on the walls.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:21 Tom O'Donnell
5:21
Tom O'Donnell: 
My grandfather used to secretly sneak us lots of Little Debbie snack cakes. I kind of thought he made them, maybe.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:21 Tom O'Donnell
5:22
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
I loved how you explained Kalak being harder on Chorkle. I'm a teacher, and my daughter always said I expected more of her at school than other students.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:22 The Brain Lair
5:22
Tom O'Donnell: 
i can definitely imagine that. You can't play favorites so you have to be a little tougher.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:22 Tom O'Donnell
5:23
lisa von drasek: 
I loved when Chorkle realized that perhaps as a kid his originator didn't always do what his grand originator wanted
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:23 lisa von drasek
5:23
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Ha!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:23 The Brain Lair
5:23
lisa von drasek: 
Teachers are always asking for school stories- stories that reflect kids lives and relationships. Space Rocks feels like a school story- do you have any comment about that?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:23 lisa von drasek
5:23
Tom O'Donnell: 
Yes, I think that's an important part of growing up. Realizing, strange as it may seem, that your parents were just like you once. And maybe your loveable grandparents weren't so loveable to them all the time :)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:23 Tom O'Donnell
5:24
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Their relationship was so realistic to me!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:24 The Brain Lair
5:24
Tom O'Donnell: 
Really glad you found to be so.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:24 Tom O'Donnell
5:24
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
What did you base the Qsik on?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:24 The Brain Lair
5:24
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I agree all the relationships and emotions felt realistic to me as well.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:24 Guest
5:25
Tom O'Donnell: 
Re: school stories - On the one hand Chorkle is a five-eyed alien who lives on an asteroid. On the other hand it’s just a kid with regular old kid problems. That’s the trick of the book that I hope works for readers.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:25 Tom O'Donnell
5:25
lisa von drasek: 
It does for me
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:25 lisa von drasek
5:25
Tom O'Donnell: 
I guess the Q-sik is a little bit like The One Ring. It gives great power at a terrible cost.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:25 Tom O'Donnell
5:25
lisa von drasek: 
What did you like to read as a kid?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:25 lisa von drasek
5:26
Tom O'Donnell: 
The Choose Your Own Adventure and Time Machine series were big in my school. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:26 Tom O'Donnell
5:26
Tom O'Donnell: 
The Mouse And The Motorcycle. The Bunnicula series. Ender’s Game. A Wrinkle In Time. Treasure Island.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:26 Tom O'Donnell
5:26
Tom O'Donnell: 
The one that really feels like it changed me forever, as the answer to the previous question might indicate, was Lord of the Rings. For whatever reason, it’s still kind of THE book for me.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:26 Tom O'Donnell
5:27
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
So I have to ask what you think of the LR movies?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:27 Guest
5:27
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Did you also read the Hobbit?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:27 The Brain Lair
5:28
Tom O'Donnell: 
I liked them but they will never supplant the books for me. Also, making Gimli a source of comic relief was unconscionable.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:28 Tom O'Donnell
5:28
Tom O'Donnell: 
:)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:28 Tom O'Donnell
5:28
lisa von drasek: 
Space Rocks is fast paced and very visual. At times like being in a game or movie. Was that intentional?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:28 lisa von drasek
5:28
Tom O'Donnell: 
Yes, I read the Hobbit. But after LOTR for some reason?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:28 Tom O'Donnell
5:28
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Greetings from Florida!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:28 Guest
5:28
Tom O'Donnell: 
Greetings!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:28 Tom O'Donnell
5:29
Tom O'Donnell: 
I tried to make it fast-paced and exciting with crisp dialogue.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:29 Tom O'Donnell
5:29
Tom O'Donnell: 
I also have done a little writing for TV so maybe that influenced the style.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:29 Tom O'Donnell
5:29
lisa von drasek: 
and quite a bit snappy dialog it is.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:29 lisa von drasek
5:29
Tom O'Donnell: 
And I think visually, as a cartoonist.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:29 Tom O'Donnell
5:30
Tom O'Donnell: 
Although I was a little bit deliberate about not describing exactly what a Xotonian looks like.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:30 Tom O'Donnell
5:30
Tom O'Donnell: 
I love the cover illustration for the book that Kristin Lodgson did, but I tend to think that whatever Chorkle you imagine is going to be better than the one I describe.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:30 Tom O'Donnell
5:31
Tom O'Donnell: 
Writing dialogue is maybe the most fun part of writing for me.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:31 Tom O'Donnell
5:31
lisa von drasek: 
yes I did notice that. and although I did long for illustrations especially of the thsss-cat, the words did paint the pictures in my mind's eye.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:31 lisa von drasek
5:31
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
What about the inside illustrations for the chapters. Did you draw those?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:31 The Brain Lair
5:31
Tom O'Donnell: 
I did not. But again, I think they're great.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:31 Tom O'Donnell
5:32
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Does Gus have a mom?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:32 The Brain Lair
5:32
Tom O'Donnell: 
I don't think that he does.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:32 Tom O'Donnell
5:32
lisa von drasek: 
Tom, time to explain the facts of life
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:32 lisa von drasek
5:33
Tom O'Donnell: 
Okay...
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:33 Tom O'Donnell
5:33
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
She wasn't mentioned when we were talking to parents, so I was wondering if she was still in his life...
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:33 The Brain Lair
5:33
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
:)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:33 The Brain Lair
5:33
Tom O'Donnell: 
Oh, sorry, I got those chats out of order.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:33 Tom O'Donnell
5:33
lisa von drasek: 
or as one of the humans in Space Rocks put it "the talk"
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:33 lisa von drasek
5:33
[Comment From NoraNora: ] 
I've seen, and enjoyed, some of your humor for adults in the New Yorker. Do you approach writing for adult differently?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:33 Nora
5:33
Tom O'Donnell: 
To answer your question, I think Gus's mom passed away.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:33 Tom O'Donnell
5:34
Tom O'Donnell: 
Lame answer: yes and no.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:34 Tom O'Donnell
5:34
Tom O'Donnell: 
On the one hand, certain concepts aren’t relevant to kids. Like, say, whether or not Congress intends to extend unemployment insurance or something like that. You obviously can’t fill a children’s book with what we would call in the South “cuss words”.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:34 Tom O'Donnell
5:34
Tom O'Donnell: 
On the other hand, I believe that if a joke or an idea works for kids it should be strong enough to for adults as well. But when I was writing Space Rocks! I wasn’t trying to write a good story for kids. I was just trying to write a good story, period. I don’t really want to pander to anybody.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:34 Tom O'Donnell
5:35
lisa von drasek: 
hey! that's what I was going to say!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:35 lisa von drasek
5:35
Tom O'Donnell: 
We have mind-melded fearless leader.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:35 Tom O'Donnell
5:36
[Comment From Maryland LibrarianMaryland Librarian: ] 
Do you write full time?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:36 Maryland Librarian
5:36
Tom O'Donnell: 
Usually, I do. Some of it is freelance writing for other places, like the aforementioned New Yorker. Other times it's a little ghostwriting.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:36 Tom O'Donnell
5:37
Tom O'Donnell: 
I also do some graphic design, art and animation for video games.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:37 Tom O'Donnell
5:38
lisa von drasek: 
Animation?? Anything for kids?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:38 lisa von drasek
5:38
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
You mentioned you had done some TV writing. Was that for adult or children's shows?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:38 The Brain Lair
5:38
Tom O'Donnell: 
It was for an adult show, airing on Comedy Central in April.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:38 Tom O'Donnell
5:39
lisa von drasek: 
this would be the one with cuss words we don't use in the south?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:39 lisa von drasek
5:39
Tom O'Donnell: 
Yup! It's a cartoon but very much not for kids :)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:39 Tom O'Donnell
5:40
lisa von drasek: 
can we follow you on twitter? do you have a webpage?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:40 lisa von drasek
5:40
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
hahaha!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:40 The Brain Lair
5:40
Tom O'Donnell: 
Yes, on Twitter I'm @tomisokay and my website is tomisokay.com.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:40 Tom O'Donnell
5:41
Tom O'Donnell: 
Chorkle has a Twitter account which is @chorklefromgelo
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:41 Tom O'Donnell
5:41
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Have to head out, but wanted to thank Lisa and Tom for this opportunity. Loved it! And I will make sure all the elementary librarians in my area buy Space Rocks!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:41 Guest
5:41
Tom O'Donnell: 
Thank you, I really appreciate it!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:41 Tom O'Donnell
5:42
lisa von drasek: 
so the chorkle account is safe for teachers to share with kids?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:42 lisa von drasek
5:42
[Comment From Janie PickettJanie Pickett: ] 
I particularly like this new approach to authors and librarians connecting, and the chance to get to know more about the authors our kids will be reading. Thanks so much to Tom and Lisa and Penguin!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:42 Janie Pickett
5:42
[Comment From El TeacherEl Teacher: ] 
Are there any supplementary materials for SPACE ROCKS! that I can use with my students?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:42 El Teacher
5:42
Tom O'Donnell: 
Yes it is.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:42 Tom O'Donnell
5:43
Tom O'Donnell: 
Thank you for participating Janie!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:43 Tom O'Donnell
5:44
lisa von drasek: 
supplementary materials would be things like- a discussion guide, a vocabulary test on alien words... a game to hand out....stickers...

I vote for stickers!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:44 lisa von drasek
5:44
[Comment From Janie PickettJanie Pickett: ] 
thank you! Have a great evening.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:44 Janie Pickett
5:44
Tom O'Donnell: 
Penguin certainly has loads of stickers.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:44 Tom O'Donnell
5:44
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
I love that Chorkle plays Alien Invasion. How did you decide to use that tidbit?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:44 The Brain Lair
5:45
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
We've ordered multiple copies for our library system.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:45 Guest
5:45
Tom O'Donnell: 
Well, I just thought it would be fun to have Chorkle be totally entranced with human culture. That it would really see the magic in junk food and brain-rotting video games. :)
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:45 Tom O'Donnell
5:46
lisa von drasek: 
I do see this story sparking many discussions. I loved how you showed how much we fear the unknown. The emotional meltdown at the council meeting was spectacular
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:46 lisa von drasek
5:46
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Our community librarian was asking yesterday for fun sci-fi middle grade reads for book clubs this summer. Do you ever do Skype visits with book clubs who've read your book?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:46 Guest
5:46
[Comment From Sara from PenguinSara from Penguin: ] 
We do have stickers!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:46 Sara from Penguin
5:46
Tom O'Donnell: 
I just thought it would be funny to have an alien blasting other aliens within the game and sort of not giving it a second thought.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:46 Tom O'Donnell
5:47
lisa von drasek: 
Sara????author's visits!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:47 lisa von drasek
5:47
Tom O'Donnell: 
I would certainly do a Skype visit. You can contact me on Twitter or email me at thomas.peter.odonnell@gmail.com
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:47 Tom O'Donnell
5:47
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Thanks!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:47 Guest
5:48
lisa von drasek: 
Tom, Do you like to travel? what was the best, coolest, most fun place that you have ever been to?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:48 lisa von drasek
5:48
Tom O'Donnell: 
I'm glad you liked the council scene! I tried to make a big group discussion by "adults" as lively as I could.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:48 Tom O'Donnell
5:49
Tom O'Donnell: 
I studied abroad in France when I was in college. It was an invaluable experience.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:49 Tom O'Donnell
5:49
Tom O'Donnell: 
Learning a foreign language in another country does make you feel a bit like an extra-terrestrial. It renders the most mundane things—like the difference between our McDonalds and their McDonalds—extremely interesting.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:49 Tom O'Donnell
5:50
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Ten minute warning, everyone. Get your final questions in!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:50 Nora - EarlyWord
5:50
lisa von drasek: 
For those who haven't been, it reminded me of ALA council chambers on a particularly fraught meeting. Next time I am just going to imagine them as Xotonians
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:50 lisa von drasek
5:50
lisa von drasek: 
okay, I'll bite- what is the difference between their McDonalds and ours?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:50 lisa von drasek
5:50
Tom O'Donnell: 
Haha! Do ALA members break down into tears or start fistfights?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:50 Tom O'Donnell
5:51
Tom O'Donnell: 
Well, they had a bunch of Asterix-themed meals for one thing. Asterix is like their Mickey Mouse, only more ubiquitous and beloved.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:51 Tom O'Donnell
5:51
lisa von drasek: 
Nora, I'm still active- do you want to answer that one?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:51 lisa von drasek
5:51
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Haha! And pretty much all board meetings!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:51 The Brain Lair
5:52
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I agree about ALA Council meetings involving melt-downs. But, I though Council was its own breed of being. Now I see its universal.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:52 Nora - EarlyWord
5:52
lisa von drasek: 
Tom, Do you have any questions for librarians?
I do- what should is the most important advice you would give to a new children's/YA author?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:52 lisa von drasek
5:52
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
I've been to ones that remind me of the Observers.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:52 The Brain Lair
5:53
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
I was left wondering so much about the parents at the end of Space Rocks. Do they get reunited??????
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:53 The Brain Lair
5:53
Tom O'Donnell: 
Yes, what IS the most important advice you'd give to a new children's/YA author?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:53 Tom O'Donnell
5:53
Tom O'Donnell: 
Hmm. I suppose you'll have to check out the sequel in Fall 2014, Brain Lair.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:53 Tom O'Donnell
5:54
lisa von drasek: 
thats what I like- the sequel in the same year- thanks penguin!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:54 lisa von drasek
5:54
Tom O'Donnell: 
Hooray for sequels!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:54 Tom O'Donnell
5:54
Tom O'Donnell: 
Except the Ghostbusters sequel. Not a fan.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:54 Tom O'Donnell
5:54
lisa von drasek: 
My advice to first-time children's authors -- get out there and have fun with the teachers and kids
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:54 lisa von drasek
5:54
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Gah! But that's in the Fall!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:54 The Brain Lair
5:54
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Be accessible! Things like this chat, Skype, Twitter chats, any way I can connect my students to the person behind the book - ups the book being checked out
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:54 The Brain Lair
5:55
Tom O'Donnell: 
I'll try to do it!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:55 Tom O'Donnell
5:55
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Which means I can buy more copies and continue buying it!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:55 The Brain Lair
5:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Tom -- you and I both live in Brooklyn. Are you amazed that it's become SO hip?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:55 Nora - EarlyWord
5:56
Tom O'Donnell: 
Hmm. I've been here for 10 years and it has become even hipper in that time.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:56 Tom O'Donnell
5:56
lisa von drasek: 
... and don't decide after just 4 books to stop. keep going!!! you have a universe to explore
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:56 lisa von drasek
5:56
Tom O'Donnell: 
Across the street it looks like they're opening a hipster pharmacy!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:56 Tom O'Donnell
5:56
[Comment From KimberlyKimberly: ] 
Great advice The Brain Lair!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:56 Kimberly
5:56
Tom O'Donnell: 
Where I can get artisanal small-batch aspirin, I guess?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:56 Tom O'Donnell
5:57
Nora - EarlyWord: 
A "hipster pharmacy"? Sounds like it could be the setting for a book!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:57 Nora - EarlyWord
5:57
Tom O'Donnell: 
I would love to keep going. I'm working on an outline for Book 3 as we speak...
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:57 Tom O'Donnell
5:57
lisa von drasek: 
there is one in Carroll Gardens called Farmacy. artisnal ginger syrup. I import it to Minnesota
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:57 lisa von drasek
5:57
Tom O'Donnell: 
Wow! You are hipper than me Lisa.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:57 Tom O'Donnell
5:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
As the sky darkens over Brooklyn, it's time for us to wrap up.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:58 Nora - EarlyWord
5:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Thanks so much, Tom and Lisa. And thanks to our participants for so many great questions.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:58 Nora - EarlyWord
5:58
Tom O'Donnell: 
Well, thank you both for the chance to do this!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:58 Tom O'Donnell
5:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
SPACE ROCKS! Is available now.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:58 Nora - EarlyWord
5:58
Nora - EarlyWord
SPACE ROCKS! On Bookshelf
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:58 
5:58
lisa von drasek: 
Goodbye Tom, I have had a really good time getting to know you
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:58 lisa von drasek
5:58
Tom O'Donnell: 
And thanks to all the participants! If I didn't answer anything, find me on Twitter.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:58 Tom O'Donnell
5:58
[Comment From KimberlyKimberly: ] 
Thanks so much! I love meeting authors.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:58 Kimberly
5:59
Nora - EarlyWord: 
This chat will be archived on the Penguin Young Readers page on EarlyWord :

http://penguinyrauthors.earlyword.com
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:59 Nora - EarlyWord
5:59
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
This was awesome! Thank you so much! Putting in an order for two copies. Can't wait to tell the students about our chat!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:59 The Brain Lair
5:59
Nora - EarlyWord: 
If you enjoyed our chat with Tom, tell your colleagues about this program and please come back for next chat!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:59 Nora - EarlyWord
5:59
lisa von drasek: 
when is our next chat nora?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:59 lisa von drasek
5:59
[Comment From KimberlyKimberly: ] 
Will do!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 5:59 Kimberly
6:00
Tom O'Donnell: 
Bye everyone! It's been a lot of fun.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:00 Tom O'Donnell
6:00
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
I'll be here!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:00 The Brain Lair
6:00
[Comment From KimberlyKimberly: ] 
Bye Tom
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:00 Kimberly
6:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
The next title in the Penguin Young Readers program is NIGHTINGALE’S NEST by Nikki Loftin. Chat is March 26.

Sign up to join the program here:

http://penguinyrauthors.earlyword.com
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:00 Nora - EarlyWord
6:00
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Bye! Thanks for your time, Tom!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:00 The Brain Lair
6:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Thanks everyone. Over and out!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:00 Nora - EarlyWord
6:00
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Do we have to re-sign up each time?
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:00 The Brain Lair
6:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Thanks for that question! This is like a book of the month club...
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:01 Nora - EarlyWord
6:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Once you sign up, you automatically get access to new titles every 5 weeks or so.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:01 Nora - EarlyWord
6:01
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
Oh! Awesome!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:01 The Brain Lair
6:02
[Comment From The Brain LairThe Brain Lair: ] 
So I am opted in!
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:02 The Brain Lair
6:02
Nora - EarlyWord: 
A great note to end on. Thanks everyone.
Wednesday February 19, 2014 6:02 Nora - EarlyWord
 
 

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