Good News!

Oct. 19th, 2016 10:48 pm
rj_anderson: (Nomad - Ivy)
First, thanks to all who weighed in on my earlier post about my cat possibly having arthritis. I did call the vet to make an appointment, but the receptionist recommended that I buy a package of TheraBites (a once-a-day cat treat which contains supplements for hips and joints) and try her out on those for a while to see if there was any improvement.

Well. Not only does Snickers LOVE the treats (so no need to trick or force her into eating them), we're not even halfway through the bag and she's already moving much more comfortably. In fact, the other day she was up on the bed chasing her tail, which I hadn't seen her do since she was a kitten. Phew! Problem solved... at least, as long as I keep giving her a treat every morning for the rest of her life. Which is doable. So I am much relieved.

Second, I was surprised and delighted to discover that A Pocket Full of Murder is one of the ten Canadian middle-grade novels nominated for the Silver Birch Award this year. That means a whole bunch of 9-12 year olds will be reading my book this winter, along with at least four more other nominated titles, so they can vote for their favorite in the spring. I've always longed to be nominated for this award, and it's a big boost for the book generally, so I'm very thankful.

I'll be reading from Pocket and talking a little about the sequel this weekend, at the Local Authors reading portion of the Stratford Writers' Festival. All the other events are ticketed and this one is free, but it's also up against the #CanLitPit session where aspiring writers get to pitch directly to editors, so I'm not holding my breath too much for a big audience... still, it was nice to be asked and I hope the Festival does well.

* * *

And thirdly, speaking of Stratford and festivals, I had the pleasure of attending a matinee performance of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at the Avon Theatre with my youngest son's school group today. I'd really been hoping to see the play, especially after my fellow Narnia purist [personal profile] grav_ity  gave it her enthusiastic thumbs-up, but didn't think that I'd ever get the chance... except it turned out a few of the kids in P's class weren't able to attend, so the teacher entered all the interested parents in a draw for the remaining tickets and I was one of the winners. Which is a minor miracle, because I never win anything.

Anyway, I ended up sitting beside P and one of his friends, and we had excellent seats -- about five rows from the stage, bang in the centre. Where I proceeded to tear up halfway through Mr. Beaver's speech about Aslan in Act One and spent most of Act Two desperately wishing I'd brought tissues, because the production was fantastic. I'm so glad they stuck close to the original story, including a lot of the dialogue, instead of introducing a lot of flotsam for the sake of novelty or a false notion of drama (*side-eyes the movies of Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader*).

I'd read an early review that complained about the songs being intrusive, but I didn't find them overly long or distracting at all, and the one about coming to Aslan's table pretty much killed me (as I said on Twitter, "I was not prepared for the communion metaphors").

And tomorrow Adrienne Kress is coming for our annual tea-and-catch-up, which is always a treat, and will be an especially happy occasion this time with her new MG adventure novel The Explorers coming out in 2017. I really enjoy Adrienne's narrative voice and my boys are big fans of her writing as well, so we're looking forward to this one.
Considering that I started my first blog in 2002 you would think I would be a little more assiduous about maintaining it, but frankly these days I haven't the energy for much beyond Twitter. Plus, I have been so busy beating my head against the first draft of Quicksilver and all the associated research (which will NEVER END, I swear) that I have neglected even to report on my weekend at the Nebulas. But really, does anyone care about all that? Except for possibly wanting to hear how I (along with four other authors) ended up serenading Neil Gaiman in an elevator?

(Before we got on the elevator, however, I should mention that he also serenaded us with a rendition of Derek & Clive's "Jump", which is pretty much the sort of song one would expect Neil Gaiman to perform on short notice. He has quite a nice singing voice and can even keep a tune unaccompanied; clearly his wife has trained him well.)

(And before that he told us a few bits of trivia about his Bradbury-nominated [and later winning] script for "The Doctor's Wife", such as that it was called "Bigger On The Inside" until practically the last moment, and then Steven Moffat decided to change the title on the grounds that it was too spoilery. To which Neil objected, saying that he could think of any number of other story ideas that could be called "The Doctor's Wife", but Moffat said patiently, "Yes, but in the case of your story it's actually true.")

(All this happened late on the Saturday afternoon before the Nebula banquet, because Ellen Kushner, Diana Peterfreund, Franny Billingsley and E. Lily Yu had decided to sing folk ballads in an out-of-the-way corner, and invited me to come and sing along. Neil came looking for Ellen because she's an old friend, and the best bit was sitting across from Diana and Lily when they realized what was going on and watching their jaws simultaneously drop.)

(And that's about the whole story I think, except that the song we sang to Neil in the elevator was "Greensleeves", in four-part harmony, which dwindled to three-part and two-part harmony as we got off at the various floors, and Neil later described it as the best lift ride he'd ever had, which I have to agree with because it was tremendous fun and would have been even without him, but it's always nicest to have an audience.)

(Also, you should read E. Lily Yu's Nebula-nominated short story "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" because it is really clever and she is a lovely person, whom I hope I shall meet again some day. Ditto on Ellen, Diana, and Franny, of course, and also on Delia Sherman, whose Freedom Maze is utterly wonderful and thoroughly deserved to win the Norton, so I am thrilled for her and not even sorry I didn't win.)

(And I also met Genevieve Valentine who is delightful, and then I bought her Nebula-nominated novel Mechanique to read on the plane ride home, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.)

ANYWAY, after that truly epic series of parentheses, the actual point of this post was to mention to any of my readers in the Toronto region that I will be signing the Canadian paperback release of Arrow this Saturday at Chapters Brampton along with Megan Crewe (The Way We Fall) and Leah Bobet (Above), and we will even get to speak and answer questions for a few minutes first, which makes it more of a Proper Event than any bookstore event I've done yet. So I am quite excited about that, and if you should happen to be in the Brampton area around 2 p.m., please stop in and say hello!

(And now I must go and put dinner in the oven, and then I shall collapse.)
Monday 31 January: LONDON
12:30 p.m. -- Foyle's, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London
1:30 p.m. -- Blackwell's, 100 Charing Cross Road, London

Tuesday 1 February: LEEDS
4:30 p.m. -- Waterstone's, 93-97 Albion Street, Leeds

Wednesday 2 February: NEWCASTLE
4:30 p.m. -- Waterstone's, Blackett Street, Newcastle


Getting excited now -- so close!
I am happy to announce that today is the official UK and Ireland release date of Arrow! It should now be widely available in bookstores, and I hope my readers will like it.

***

I can also now share a little more detail about my planned trip to England at the end of this month. I'm still waiting for confirmation on a few times and locations, but I'll be splitting my time between London and the North, and the general run of events will look something like this:

31 January:
Book Signings at Foyle's (Charing Cross Road) and Blackwell's (also Charing Cross Road), London (PM).

1 February:
Author Visits to Rossall Junior School, Lancs. (AM) and Benton Park High School, Leeds (PM).

2 February:
Author Visits to Royal Grammar School, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (AM) and other school TBA (PM).

3 February:
Two more school visits in London and Area (details when available).


I'll also be in London on 4 and 5 February, as my plane doesn't leave until the 6th -- so if there's anybody in the area who would like to get together on the Saturday (or can recommend a reasonably priced hotel in central London for me to stay in on Friday and Saturday night!) then I'd love to hear from you.

***

I am now wonderfully close to finishing my last major revision of Ultraviolet before it goes to the copyeditors and gets turned into galleys. I plan to get the final chapter written today, then spend the next three days reading it over and giving it one last polish before it's out of my hands.

And then, gentle readers, I shall collapse, because 2010 has been by far the busiest and most demanding creative year of my life. I guess that's what happens when you have a book coming out every six months in 2011/12. But it's been rewarding and enlightening, too.

Belated best wishes to everyone for a happy 2011!
Busy week and weekend ahead!

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 11th, I'm going to be reading to a group of young library patrons from Spell Hunter and Wayfarer and talking about what it's like to be a writer, at the West Perth Public Library in Mitchell, Ontario.

On Saturday the 14th, I'll be signing from 12 - 3 p.m. at Chapters Bookstore on Stone Road in Guelph, Ontario. Which probably means that like last time I was there, I will spend the time wandering the MG/YA section giving out mini chocolate bars and making recommendations to random patrons of my favorite books by other people, after which I shall incidentally mention that I too have written a book, here's my card in case you would like to buy it!

(In case you missed that, the operative words are free chocolate. You know what to do.)

And then on Sunday the 15th, I'll be doing the author thing from 3 - 4 p.m. at Kidspark, a free children's festival at Victoria Park in downtown Kitchener, Ontario.

So if you happen to live or be visiting in southwestern Ontario, drop by and say hello!

Shiny News!

May. 31st, 2010 11:15 pm
rj_anderson: (Default)
Did you know that you can now read the opening five chapters of Wayfarer online for free? Well, you can. But there are only 22 days left until the book's official North American release -- and it should be trickling into stores before then, so keep your eyes open...

***

In other news, I'm going to be a guest at Infinitus 2010, a gigantic Harry Potter convention being held in Orlando, Florida from July 15-18. I'll be on a panel for Friday's Keynote Luncheon with Naomi Novik, Karen Healey, and Ali Wilgus, talking about making the transition from fanfic writer to professional novelist -- it should be great fun and I'm really looking forward to it!
OH HAI GUYS I FORGOT TO MENTION I'M DOING A SIGNING IN TORONTO TODAY:

January 7, 2010 @ 7 p.m., Yorkdale Mall Indigo Books
with Megan Crewe (author of Give Up The Ghost)
and Neesha Meminger (author of
Shine, Coconut Moon)

Both Megan and Neesha's books are beautifully written and they are also lovely people, so even if you are justifiably sick of me waving Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter under your nose, you might want to come out and say hello to them and pick up some great new reads in the process.

Or, you know, you could say hi to me and get me to sign your books and stuff. Whatever.

***

Also, today is the OFFICIAL release date of Rebel in the UK which means it should now be freely had at all good bookstores (including the noble law-abiding ones in Ireland who have been clinging fast to that embargo notice). Yay!

Flying Visits

Nov. 18th, 2009 03:26 pm
rj_anderson: (Author Portrait)
I drove to Toronto this morning to do an author visit with fifty schoolchildren aged 9-11, and it was so much fun. The kids all sat cross-legged on the floor and looked up at me with big eyes, which is pretty endearing to start with, and they were really attentive while I was talking about the book and reading. And afterward, they asked great questions -- I've been amazed by the insight and degree of interest some of these kids have in the process of writing.

I got a chuckle out of the boy in the front row who raised his hand toward the end of the session and asked plaintively, "Do you have any books that aren't about faeries?" He was so polite about it!

Really, I love doing visits and readings. And I hope to do some more of them now that I've joined the Skype an Author Network, which makes me potentially available to school groups, book clubs, and libraries all over the world by web chat. I got to do a little test run with a group of librarians yesterday thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kmessner, just a 15-minute meet the author thing (including a super-short reading from Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter), and it went off without a hitch.

So if you're a librarian or a teacher anywhere in the world, and you think you might like to have me speak to your school group or book club, check out my author page on Skype an Author Network and drop me a line!
I am happy to announce that in just a couple of weeks (well, three to be exact), I will be flying down to the AASL Conference in Charlotte, NC to do a signing for many lovely school librarians, and while I am visiting I will also be doing this:

Meet the Debs!

Where:
Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC

When:
Friday November 6, 2009 at 5 p.m.

Who:
R.J. Anderson (Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter)
Lauren Bjorkman (My Invented Life),
Jennifer Jabaley (Lipstick Apology),
Neesha Meminger (Shine, Coconut Moon),
Shani Petroff (Bedeviled: Daddy's Little Angel),
Cynthea Liu (Paris Pan Takes the Dare), and
Erin Dionne (Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies).


We will be signing copies of our books and chatting to all comers -- if you're in the area, please drop by and say hello!

I am especially excited about this trip because not only do I get to meet a bunch of terrific fellow authors and hang out with my wonderful agent, I will be jaunting up to visit my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] cesario while I am there. Whee!

***

Next, I am exceedingly excited because today -- yes! today! -- I am going to have tea and hang out with the lovely and hilarious Adrienne Kress, author of two of my favorite middle-grade books of the last few years -- Alex and the Ironic Gentleman and Timothy and the Dragon's Gate. More people need to read these books. Seriously. They are adventurous and fantastical and witty and insightful and just plain fun. And so is Adrienne. So this too is made of WIN.

***

There may also be some very, very good news brewing on the writing front. I cannot say what about, exactly, not yet, as the details are yet to be confirmed. But I will tell you as soon as I can.

***

And finally, something for you lot -- it's Debsness time again!

Find Out What's In The Bag And Win It Today
Janet Ursel, a fellow fantasy author who was kind enough to accompany me to my first school visit in Ottawa last week, posted this on her blog and it is well worth watching -- if for no other reason than to find out how a book gets put together. But really, the idea of books-on-demand is simultaneously thrilling and harrowing, don't you think? Behold, the Espresso Book Machine:



And here's a couple of pictures of me talking to the crowd at that school visit -- 200 kids at Knoxdale Public School, on April 27th:

Under Me )

When I looked at these photos my first thought was, "Wow, that's a lot of kids," and the second was, "Man, I have really terrible posture." Do they still have those charm schools where you learn to balance a book on your head?

I'm off

Apr. 25th, 2009 07:15 am
rj_anderson: (Author Portrait)
(All together now: "We knew that.")

I'm about to jump in my rented car and zoom off to Guelph for a women's conference, and from there I'm going straight to the Ottawa Writers' Festival to do some school visits (whee!), so I won't be around until Tuesday night or Wednesday... have a great weekend, everyone!
[livejournal.com profile] flycon2009, the international online fantasy/SF writers' convention, has begun!

Here's the opening speech from Marty Young, president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association.

There will be a discussion on the topic of When is Young Adult not really for Young Adults? starting at 12 noon EST today (other time zones: 9 am US Pacific, 4 pm UK, 3 am AUS, 5 am NZ) which you can attend here at SFF.net -- no need to sign up or register for anything, just type in your name and go!

And at 3 pm EST today, as previously advertised, I'll be on the Crossing Over from Fanfic to Pro Writing panel at the same SFF.net location.

It's free! It's open to all! The discussions can go on as long as you want! Enjoy!
I am poaching this entire post from [livejournal.com profile] lisamantchev and altering it to suit my purposes, because I'm insanely lazy busy right now...

***

I am pleased to announce my participation in [livejournal.com profile] flycon2009, March 13-17, 2009.

From the LJ Profile:

Flycon will be an online convention planned to have activities during the peak hours of every time zone. It will begin midnight, Friday 13th in March 2009, in Australia and roll with the sun. We are looking for panelists, authors and editors and agents to host discussions, podcasts as readings, volunteers, and for people to spread the word through the blogosphere. We will be having a couple of sites host forums and chat space, with everything co-ordinated through this Live Journal community with rss feeds, updates and eventual archiving. We will be running IRCs as well as bulletin boards, so that every time zone is covered.

Preliminary Schedule is up here.

PANELS I AM ON:

Crossing over from fan fiction to pro writing: Pros, cons, weirdnesses, how-tos
Friday, March 13, 3 p.m. EST
Other panelists: Karen Miller, positive pat, Saundra Mitchell

They may do things differently there, but I'm reading from here: How do we, as readers, negotiate the borders between fiction and commentary, between when it's about the human condition, and when it's about us?
Friday, March 13th, 8 p.m. EST
Other panelists: Alma Alexander, Maureen Kincaid Speller, [livejournal.com profile] a_d_medievalist

Author chat: Debut 2009 SF/Fantasy novelists session
Saturday, March 14th, 9 a.m. EST
Other panelists: Lisa Mantchev, Jenny Moss, Saundra Mitchell, Deva Fagan

***

Please drop by the community and comment on the threads with your questions and contributions! LJ means it's never too late to participate!
Or, should I say, you can be invited, if you want to. I'm not so big on the spamming random people who live 500 miles away and don't know me from Eve, so you're going to have to let me know.

Anyway, it looks as though the Official Launch Party for my debut novel FAERY REBELS: Spell Hunter is going to be held at a nice children's bookstore called Fundamentals Books and Toys in the very lovely theatre town of Stratford, Ontario, Canada. We're looking at the first weekend in May as the most likely slot for the event, though the exact time hasn't been decided yet.

This will be a two-hour event with readings, book signings, giveaways and the like, and I hope to follow it up with a celebratory late lunch or early supper at a local café for anyone who'd like to join me.

So what I'm wondering is:

How many of you who live within striking range of Stratford, ON (or who were planning to go there to see a play or two this season anyway) would be interested in getting a fancy schmancy e-vite with all the details in a few weeks' time?

If you would like an invitation, please leave a comment here with your e-mail address and I will put you on the mailing list. Comments are screened by default, so your e-mail will be safe with me. And if you're not on LiveJournal, anonymous comments are welcome.

I'm really looking forward to this chance to meet fellow authors, librarians, booksellers, and readers of all ages!
I'm delighted to announce that at the kind invitation of [livejournal.com profile] jamesbow and the Festival committee, I will be making my first official appearance as a Real Proper Author on Sunday, September 30, 2007 at the Word on the Street Book and Magazine Festival in Kitchener, Ontario.

According to this here Festival Program, I'll be sharing a panel with the aforementioned [livejournal.com profile] james_bow and SF author James Alan Gardner, discussing "Teens, Fiction, YouTube and the Internet". I'm honored and excited to be taking part in the Festival and really looking forward to the discussion.

I know this is pretty unlikely where most of you are concerned, but if you should happen to be at the Festival around 2:30 p.m., please drop in and say hello!

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