July 20, 2012
It’s been a slow year for this blog because it’s been a slow year for publishing. Still no firm date yet for GRIM 6 – it looks like it will be pushed up to the New Year. The main thing is, it’s coming along – hopefully soon!
WHAT IS COMING SOON is a GRIM HILL short story. Actually it’s not that short – it’s about 70 pages long and 17 chapters. I’ll be posting the link to it on this page in a couple of weeks – end of July-ish.
It’s a thank you to every reader that’s still interested in Grim Hill, and a hope that you’ll stay interested. Keep your eye out.
In the meantime, often I get readers asking if there are any illustrations of the GRIM HILL characters besides Cat and Sookie. Here are some gorgeous illustrations from the Korean edition. Personally, I love them.
To my delight, I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking if there is a book six to t he Grim Hill series. Yes, I’m excited to say, there is.
I’m hoping it will be coming out before too long in 2012. And of course the last book is always my favourite book – so I’m super hyped about this one! There’s no cover yet.
In the meantime, look what a very dear person, Mariana Garcia has done. She had a friend of hers who is a doll-maker make these Cat dolls for me from The Secret of Grim Hill, The Secret Deepens, and The Forgotten Secret.
I think they are totally awesome!!!
Above: Secret of Grim Hill Interpretations by: the students of Hillcrest School in Moncton, New Brunswick
Some of their comments …it reminds me of a haunted house……this scene reminded me of the time I went to Citadel hill it kind of looks like Grimiore but with big walls around it…this reminded me of a day I was dreaming about being in a big room…part of the book reminded me of my Halloween party…when I was little I got stuck in a room and there was a little key hole and there was a book shelf…this reminded me about one day when I was in grade 3 I was late for school so I raced across the grass…
Pictures of my rollicking great time at a pizza night with Moncton Public Library’s mother and daughter book club. (Can I say that I thought they had excellent tastes in restaurants and books??)
TD Canadian Children’s Book Week Touri’ve just returned from my travels from New Brunswick to Port Alberni, British Columbia
Throughout April and May I’ve been visiting schools and libraries in British Columbia and New Brunswick – talk about coast to coast…
And have I mentioned this before – middle grade audiences are the best audiences in the world!!!
Where do I begin? There were so many kind teachers and principals and librarians who invited me into their schools, classrooms and libraries. Students were so interesting and attentive and creative during our discussions. Every moment was a treasure.
Clayburn Middle School in Abbotsford was the first stop where I presented in a most beautiful library decorated with murals of scenes from all my own favourite books. Then on to New Brunswick with my first stop in Dalhousie at Reinsborough School where I staged the presentation in a wonderful school theater with student and teacher tech support while 120 grade fours and fives streamed in – Then onto Campbellton where I met with 80 enthusiastic students in Lord Beaverbrook Gym.
Next was Campbellton Middle School where 110 students who were familiar with the books greeted me. In Edmunston I presented at the Mgr. W.J. Conway Public Library – such a beautiful building. The librarian gave me a colourful poster advertising the event for my scrapbook. In Perth-Andover the librarian watched in surprise as more and more teachers and students piled into the cozy library where there were comfortable spots for everyone.
Wednesday I arrived at the wrong school to start things off. I remember thinking, Gosh; those students look awfully tall for middle school. So, a late start could have been a disaster but the vice-principal in Glen Falls School greeted me warmly and helped me set up, as did the librarian at Kennebacasis, where I also arrived behind schedule.
By the afternoon I was back on track and had time to enjoy a wonderful tour of Saint Martins School where the principal had arranged for two girls who’d presented my book at the Hackmatack Awards last year to introduce me. It was an awesome experience.
Thursday in Edith Cavell/Queen Elizabeth consolidated, again the coordinator and I watched in amazement as class after class filled the entire cafeteria where I was presenting.
In Moncton I had the opportunity to thank the coordinating librarian, Nancy Cohen in person for the support and comfortable accommodations throughout the tour.
To my delight Yvonne Young had the wonderful reading room set up for an audience of over 60. One School presented me with a booklet where each student had written a paragraph on their favourite part of the book (see above). What a treasure. Then my tour finished with Dorchester Consolidated where I hooked my lap top up to my first smart board – I could get used to that.
Back to Vancouver with just a short break before I went to Port Alberni where I presented to A. W. Neill School and Eric Dunn. You’d think by that time it would all be a blur, but not so – those were some of my most memorable presentations.
My sister was part of the audience and when we talked about things we didn’t like, one student said sometimes little brothers and sisters who get you in trouble. I looked across the audience at my sister and said, I can relate!
When it came time to talk about things that scared us, my sister muttered, “Older sisters…”
By the end of the tour I’d visited over 1200 children. Like I said – best audiences in the world…
Winter for me is always a quiet time – bad weather lures me to my writing desk and I escape into my imagination. But it doesn’t last.
March is coming and spring is going to be a busy time. I’ll be travelling to Abbotsford and Port Alberni in B.C. to meet students and have book chats – which is always super fun. And wait for it…I’ll be heading to New Brunswick for the TD Canadian Children’s Book Tour in May. It’s been a life-long wish to visit the Maritimes and I’m looking forward to it.
Book 5 is coming out soon and here is an early review:
!!! Exciting news – Grim Hill is being developed into a cartoon series! This could be awesome.
Just thought I’d include links to nice things Grim Hill readers have been doing. Check out the totally amazing video, extremely cool cartoon strip, and the super neat petition to make Grim Hill a movie.
2010 FALL EVENTS
Hope some of you can drop by
Book Event 1-4
Deer Lake Art Gallery Offices, Burnaby
Vancouver Public Library South Hill Branch
1:30-2:30 – author reading
Oct. 1 & 2nd
VCon – Vancouver’s Science Fiction Convention
McGill Branch Burnaby Library
7-8 pm – author reading
How I Spent My Summer
Finishing Grim Hill Book 5!!! – more news on this soon
Staying in an old hotel in Oregon for a mystery writers’ workshop and a writing retreat – check out the picture – kind of spooky don’t you think?
Babysitting Belle – my mom’s dog – cute huh?
What a writing/school year! Last fall began with more mind boggling nominations for Grim Hill, and lots of new exciting adventures visiting libraries and schools.
SILVER BIRCH NOMINATION: The first time my book was nominated for the Silver Birch, I clearly remember thinking I should soak it all up, the chances of this ever happening again were impossible. So imagine my glee to return to Toronto, and this time to also have the opportunity to visit schools and libraries and meet so many delightful readers.
The first stop was at St. Clements School, and what a wonderful warm welcome I received!
The next morning’s stop was at St. Martha School where the students swapped the most bone-chilling Halloween stories I’d ever heard. Stephen King look out, I definitely see your future competition.
The next stops included the Milton Sports Complex and Oshawa Public Library. In both these events I met the most supportive library staff. I can’t believe how devoted everyone was to making reading an amazing event. The actual Forest of Reading Festival of Trees was like being a star in a rock concert! My final stop was at Durham Sport’s Complex where hundreds of children attended – it was quite the luncheon. When I left Toronto, my head was spinning, and I’m still grinning thinking about it all.
MORE ABOUT RED CEDAR:
The Kootenay Red Cedar visit was incredible. Such a scenic area of British Columbia, and I envied the students I met living in such beautiful towns with wonderful landscapes. It was not surprising to hear the students talk about all the sports they’re involved in – skiing, snow-boarding, hockey, rugby, baseball and of course, soccer!
I just received this in the mail from Red Cedar readers I’d visited in Fernie. It was so awesome to get the card, and I’m definitely hanging these two decorations on my Christmas tree.