Where Children’s Book Authors Work

Not long ago I saw a blog that featured where fantasy writers write. Not to be outdone, I decided I should do a blog about where children’s book authors write. As you can see, I frequently work with children draped around my neck. It helps with the dialogue and all that.

Shannon Hale (Princess Academy) employs the same technique. When people ask her how she manages to write with children, she says she doesn’t–children are too unwieldy. She writes with a computer. Although here you can see she is clearly trying to print block letters using her baby’s footprints. I love the laundry in the background. You are my hero, Shannon!

Next we have James Dashner’s (The Maze Runner–which everybody loves and which I still do not have an ARC of–not that I’m hinting or anything) work space. He isn’t around because he is obviously out on tour, rubbing shoulders with celebrities. What do you suppose he keeps in that backpack and why does he only have half a lamp?

This is Aprilynne Pike’s (Wings) workspace–she is absent too, probably out on tour with James having mocktails with JK Rowling or something. Love the wooden floor! A lot of my house is done in tile that we picked because it matched the color of dirt. But that’s just my family.

Here is James Owen’s (Here, There Be Dragons) workspace. Although you can’t see it very well, he is holding a sword. Personally, I think all authors should be issued swords. It would help out when dealing with editors. (Just kidding, Tim!) His wall is the coolest!

This is the lovely Lisa McMann, author of Wake. I love the fact that she has cover art from her books framed. How very authorish. I should do that. Except for then I’d have to find a place for the 300 pictures of my kids that cover the walls of my house.

Next we have P.J. Haarssma’s (The Softwire ) workspace. He wins the prize for most computers. (Okay, there wasn’t a contest, but there should have been.) I love the fact that he has the galaxy nearby for inspiration. Since I write teen romances perhaps I should put up a picture of Robert Pattinson or something.

Chris Gall (Dinotrux) claims that this is where he writes. I don’t believe him though. I’m sure he writes down all of his award winning ideas on napkins and then sends them to his editor. Truly great minds work that way.

This is Chris Crowe (Mississippi Trial, 1955) proving that he is Super Dad. I mean, that’s real dedication. Bonus points to anyone who can recognize what sort of computer he’s working on.

Here is Sydney Salter Husseman.(My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters) You can tell she’s a writer because her bookcase is big enough that it would kill someone if it toppled over. I have several like this at my house.

And here’s another one of my author friends, Janni Simner. (Bones of Faerie–which I always end up spelling wrong because I can never remember the cool way to spell Faerie. If you pick up my book, My Fair Godmother, you might surmise that I don’t know how to spell the uncool way either.) If you look closely on Janni’s wall you’ll see she has a certificate that proclaims she is a “Real Writer”. I’m still waiting for my certificate to show up.

This lovely woman is Dotti Enderle. (Man in the Moon) You die-hard Rallison fans will realize right off that I named the hairdresser in Revenge of the Cheerleaders after Dotti. Is that a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream carton on the top of her desk? If it’s not, it should be. That’s the sort of thing muses like to eat. I generally leave out some Almond Joys for mine.

Next we have Melissa Walker (Violet on the Runway)who is obviously trying to promote the idea that you can write in style and comfort. How cool is that chair? I want to write in that chair!

And last but not least is Heather Tomlinson (The Swan Maiden) whose cats like to help her write. I have one that does the same thing. Sometimes it’s dang hard to get to the keyboard without getting cat fur in my mouth.

Note to my author friends: If you sent me a picture and I didn’t put it here, drop me an email as your picture is probably lost somewhere in my computer files.

Project Book Babe

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Where do I start about Project Book Babe? I would have blogged about this earlier, but for the last few days my computer joined my children’s labor union—meaning it only worked when it wanted to, which was about three minutes a day.
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Project Book Babe actually started the night before when Stephenie Meyer, Shannon Hale, Laini Taylor and I went over to Jon Lewis’s house where his lovely wife fed us dinner and made us feel at home while we signed roughly a gajillion posters.
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Laini shares an editor with me: the illustrious bow-tied one.
Here she is posing with My Fair Godmother. Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s a striking likeness to Chrissy.
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The next day we went early to Marcos De Niza High to practice our fab dance number where James Owen would be singing Baby Baby I Love You, by Aretha Franklin. Shannon had sent us backup dancer instructions earlier, which my six-year-old and I practiced faithfully.

Unfortunately the band was practicing on stage plus we found out that we had not in fact signed all of the posters and there was another bajillion waiting for us.
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So we had to go on stage and do the song without ever practicing it. As you can see I came up with a gold sequined top to wear because I am just that cool.
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Despite not having practiced together, the dance number went pretty well. Okay, there was a moment when Brandon Mull thought we were doing our free dance portion of the song, and we had to tell him that no, actually we weren’t to that part of the song yet, but that sort of thing adds to the ambiance of our free spirits.
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Next we did the author panel. Since we were running behind we were told beforehand at our author pow wow
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(and yes this is what our pow wow looked like from underneath) that we shouldn’t all answer every question and that in fact we should only speak if we had something smart or funny to say.
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Luckily we are all very smart and witty people so it went well.(Here we are clearly being smart as opposed to witty.) And the audience laughed at all the right places which goes to show you that we have brilliant fans. (Okay, they were mostly Stephenie’s fans, but they were still brilliant!) They were also very generous when it came to the auction items and we raised lots of money for or dear friend, Faith, and breast cancer. Faith is the lovely lady in blue.
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Here is P.J. Haarsma with Dean Lowery modeling one of the auction items, Stephenie’s Eclipse Prom dress.
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Didn’t have a chance to come? You can still bid on some cool items at ebay under project book babe.
Next we did a story activity where we let the audience choose the title of a story—they chose Stephenie’s dress– and then we went down a line and gave a one sentence to add to the story. Yeah, it was bizarre but funny and just goes to show you why there aren’t a lot of books by ten authors.
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Anyway, I have to say that all the authors there were wonderful and I was so glad to have a chance to hang out with them all. (And I haven’t gotten all my pictures off of my camera so I will add a few more to this.)

Want to hang out with Stephenie Meyer? (Okay, that got your attention, didn’t it?)

Come to projectbook.babe on Saturday, April 4th 2009, 2:00PM to 5:00PM at
Marcos de Niza High School Auditorium,
6000 S. Lakeshore Dr.,Tempe, AZ 85283

Look at this a-list of authors who will be there (in alphabetical order):

Frank Beddor-The Looking Glass Wars series
Chris Gall-There’s Nothing to Do on Mars
P.J. Haarsma-The Softwire series
Shannon Hale-The Princess Academy
J.S. Lewis-The Revenge of the Shadow King
Dean Lorey-Nightmare Academy series
Stephenie Meyer-Twilight saga
Brandon Mull-Fablehaven series
James A. Owen-Here, There Be Dragons
Janette Rallison-Just One Wish
Laini Taylor-Faeries of Dreamdark series

And it’s all for a good cause too. We’re helping out our very good friend and YA advocate, Faith Hochhalter, who is going up against cancer—a nasty villain in anybody’s book.

Everyone who buys a ticket will receive an autographed copy a book. Really, it is going to be a ton of fun, and I won’t let the cat out of the bag, but Shannon Hale is busy at work guaranteeing that we will all make fools of ourselves. Also Stephenie is auctioning off some Twilight memorabilia, which as you all know, has an ample sprinkling of vampire dust on it. I’m pretty sure Edward Cullen has touched all of it, so touching it is just like being caressed in his marble cold embrace.

You can buy tickets to this fab, once-in-a-lifetime event by going to projectbookbabe.com

Hope to see you there!