Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I don't blog much, do I?

Nope. Not much. Sorry.

I'm behind on returning messages to those of you who have mailed me letters too. Double sorry.

Since I feel like I owe this blog a few fresh words, or perhaps even a new picture, here you go… if you've read SCUMBLE, you might remember the way Ledger Kale blasted apart (then put back together) a gold Harley similar to, but much older, than this one I saw parked outside a Walmart a while back. 

SCUMBLE readers… did you ever notice how many references to gold things I put in the book? In case you were wondering, that was intentional… I wanted to mirror the talents of the original savvy ancestor, Eva Mae El Dorado Two Birds Ransom, whose story is first mentioned in the second book.

I'm feeling like I ought to briefly mention Eva Mae again as I work on revising book three. 

We'll see. We'll see.

We'll also see if I keep this whole blog thing around for much longer. 

I don't blog much, do I?


Monday, November 11, 2013

Farmington Public Library, Thursday, November 14, 6pm

I will be speaking at the Farmington Public Library, in Farmington, New Mexico, on Thursday, November 14th, at 6:00pm. Books will be available for purchase.

Event Type: Youth Services Programs
Age Group(s): All ages
Date: 11/14/2013
Start Time: 6:00 PM
End Time: 7:00 PM
Description:
 Author, Ingrid Law presents her book at this evening event. Books will be available for purchase.
Library: Farmington Public Library
Location: Main Library – Multipurpose Room
Other Information:
New York Times bestselling author of two novels for young readers, Savvy and Scumble. Ingrid's books have been placed on over 25 state reading lists, and have earned accolades from Publisher's Weekly, Oprah's reading list, the Today Show's Al Roker's Book Club for Kids, and Smithsonian. Savvy was named a Newbery Honor book in 2009. Ingrid lives in Lafayette, Colorado, where she writes full time and is currently working on her next novel.

For more information, please check the library's website:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Savvy - in French

I love the French cover for Savvy--or, should I say: 
Le Formidable Voyage de Missi Beaumont.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Long time no book..."


Image from The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss
Illustrations by Crockett Johnson
(HarperCollins)
“Long time no book”… this was the title of an email I received the other day. It was a lovely email from a wonderful young reader—a reader who emailed me two years ago, when she was eleven, and again now, at thirteen. In her message, she asked the same questions many people write to me to ask these days:

What’s Taking So Long?

Where’s the Next Book?

I have mixed feelings and reactions to these questions: there is guilt, and the pain of feeling pressure to create; there is the people-pleasing desire to make my readers happy by providing them with what they want from me—more books instantaneously! And there is always APPRECIATION, a deep sense of gratitude that there are readers who want more books from me. Readers who keep asking:

What’s Taking So Long?

Where’s the Next Book?

To these questions, I have a few basic but important answers…

ANSWER #1: Creation takes time. The amount of time it takes differs for everyone.

We live in a world that is moving faster and faster by the minute. Computer operating systems get speedier every year. The next, best, latest bit of technology is always on the horizon. We can download videos and watch them instantly, rarely even waiting for them to buffer anymore, let alone listening to the beep-beep-SCREEEEECH of the computer dialing up to connect to the Internet. Instead of having to wait for a television season to play out one week at a time, new series are added a full season at a time to online streaming services. In a world where even instant gratification has begun to feel as though it takes too long, there is pressure on authors to produce a book a year or more if we can, to keep our careers in motion. To keep people from forgetting us.

But some things take time. There are those talented people who can be both brilliant and quick--it does happen. A lot. I know many fellow writers who write beautifully and speedily. But some stories, and some people, can’t be rushed or forced into shape like the processed meat inside a can of SPAM. Crafting the right story, the right sentences, the right themes—these are just a few of those time-taking things for some of us.

I’m not a gardener, but my father is. Maybe if more people were gardeners, we’d have a deeper understanding of patience and of the process of waiting for things to grow from a seed and ripen to maturity. In this way, writing a book is really not so different from growing a carrot. And even though cookies are my favorite food, I’d much rather eat a carrot than a hunk of SPAM.

What’s Taking So Long?

Where’s the Next Book?


REASON #2: Choosing what’s important.

In a way, it was fitting that I received an email from someone who was eleven the first time she wrote inquiring about my next book and thirteen when she wrote again still wondering the same thing. My own kiddo was eleven when I began writing SAVVY and was thirteen when SAVVY was published.

I am a single parent. I have one amazing and sensitive and complicated offspring who just started college six weeks ago. Of all the things I’ve had a hand in creating in this lifetime, my kiddo is the greatest and the most important.

While I was working on my second book, SCUMBLE—a book that took me 2½ years to write—I was not the kind of parent I wanted to be. I love SCUMBLE. I worked so hard on that book, I’m more proud of it than I am of SAVVY, Newbery Honor and all. But I am not as proud of those 2½ years of parenting; if there were an award for parenting, I wouldn’t have been in the running from 2009-2010. While I am deeply appreciative of the opportunities my books have given both myself and my kiddo, I will always regret the many missed experiences, missed conversations, and missed fun we might have had together if I hadn’t been working so hard and traveling so much—if I hadn’t been so overwhelmed by the stress of expectation, of perspective-losing perfectionism, of the trying-and-trying-and-trying to get things right in the creation of my second book, all while feeling like I was neglecting my Most Important Creation. My one and only child.

By the time I began working on Book 3, my kiddo was in high school. I knew that I had only a few years until graduation and college and a big ol’ empty nest. I knew I had only a few years left to be the most present, sane, and engaged parent I could be. I did not want to look back on those years and wish, too late, that I had spent more time with my kiddo, that I had been a less-stressed mom. I was willing to risk letting the fast-fast-faster world forget about me if it meant that my kiddo would never think that I’d forgotten him.

What’s Taking So Long?

Where’s the Next Book?

ANSWER #3: The book will be done when it is done--it's getting much, much closer. Thanks for your patience!

Thank you dear, patient readers. I will be sure to shout the news from the rooftops (and whisper it to the carrot seeds) as soon as I have a finished book, a publication date, an official title, and a gorgeous cover to shout about and share. If you’re looking for something to do while you wait, ask a librarian to recommend a new book, write a story of your own, or maybe think about planting a winter garden. Draw a picture. Watch a sunset. Notice the way the leaves on the trees are on the verge of changing color. Spend time with the people you love. Slow down. Take a breath...

Then take another.



Monday, August 19, 2013

So many authors... so much fun at Barnes and Noble

I spent an enjoyable afternoon chatting with kids, parents, writers, teachers, librarians, and even unsuspecting passersby on Saturday at the first annual Boulder Children's Book festival at Barnes & Noble. The event benefitted the local 'I Have a Dream' foundation. Here I am with some, but not all, of the authors who attended.



Left to right: Claudia Mills, Phyllis Perry, Cathy Morrison, Lindsay Eland, Ingrid Law, Natasha Wing, Elaine Pease, Leslie Ann Clark

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Savvy in Indonesia

Today, I received three copies of Indonesian Savvy, published by Bakat Istimewa, in Jakarta. They even came with bookmarks!

It's interesting to look at the covers of foreign editions and see how alike or different they are compared to the North American edition.

In case you're wondering what the first sentence of the book looks like in Indonesian, here it is:

Ketika abangku, Fish, mencapai usia tiga belas, kami pindah ke daerah terjauh di pedalaman karena hujan badai, dan, tentu saja, kenyataan bahwa dialah yang menyebabkannya.

I'm assuming this approximately translates to:

When my brother Fish turned thirteen, we moved to the deepest part of inland because of the hurricane and, of course, the fact that he'd caused it.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Children's Book Festival
Barnes & Noble - Boulder, CO

August 17th, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00

Join me and eleven (11!) other children's book authors for an afternoon of book signing fun at Barnes and Noble in Boulder, Colorado, on August 17th.

Also appearing:

Leslie Ann Clark
Lindsay Eland
Kerry Lee McLean
Claudia Mills
Cathy Morrison
Nancy Oswald
Elaine Pease
Kathleen Pelley
Phyllis Perry
Pat Postek
Natasha Wing

There will be prizes and games, and all kinds of wonderful people and books! Yay!

For more information about the festival, please call:
303-444-0845    

Teachers! Stop by my table at the festival to enter a drawing for a free classroom visit for your 'SAVVY' readers.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Author Appearance - Cedar Falls, Iowa


If you're anywhere near Cedar Falls, Iowa, come join me!

Thursday, April 25th, 2013
6:30 - 8:00pm

Cedar Falls Public Library
Cedar Falls, Iowa

I will be presenting and signing books in celebration of Cedar Valley's annual Youth Read. This event is made possible by the Kathryn Ray Foundation and the Waterloo and Cedar Falls Friends of the Library organizations. 


Thursday, March 28, 2013

How a book is made, a video series by Lauren Oliver

I just came across this marvelous collection of videos made by bestselling children's book author, Lauren Oliver. 

Teachers, you're going to love this video series! 

You can watch all seven episodes by clicking on the link below.

http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/2013/03/lauren-oliver-shares-how-book-is-made.html



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ava's 6th Grade Savvy Book Talk

I love seeing the great work readers come up with. Thanks Ava's mom for sharing this with me!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Having Fun with Spine Poetry

Inspired by Jesse Stommel's spinepoetry.com, I had to try a bit of book spine poetry for myself. It's fun! Raid your bookshelves and give it a whirl! I call this one: The Making of a Poem.


The Making of a Poem:
illusions,
breadcrumbs,
clay,
red glass...
a crooked kind of perfect
shine.
The ruby notebook,
33 minutes.
Good enough!

Thanks authors: Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, Anne Ursu, David Almond, Laura Resau, Linda Urban, Lauren Myracle, Laura Resau (again), Todd Hasak-Lowy, and Paula Yoo, for the wonderful titles used in my spine poem.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Poison, by Bridget Zinn


I'm often asked what it was like to see my first book in print, to see it sitting on a bookshelf inside a bookstore, waiting to be purchased by some eager reader who happened to like the cover or the description inside the jacket flap. It was a thrilling moment. A moment filled with an overwhelming sense of giddiness and disbelief. Of excitement. Of dreams fulfilled.

This week marks the release of Bridget Zinn's debut novel, Poison. Bridget, sadly, died of cancer before she could see her book in print, before she could go into a bookstore and poke the cover and run away giggling, the way my kiddo and I did together when we first found Savvy, released a week early, on a shelf in Borders. 

Since Bridget, who was also a librarian, is not here to see her book on the shelves of a library or bookstore, there are many, many, many other people--people who knew her, people who didn't--who are celebrating for her this week and sending our thoughts to her husband, Barrett Dowell.

About Poison, Kirkus wrote: 

"Don't let the title or cover fool you! No grimdark teen fantasy or angst-y heroines here; just a frothy confection of a fairy tale featuring poisoners, princesses, perfumers and pigs, none of whom are exactly what they appear (except maybe the pigs)…. Good silly fun—a refreshing antidote to a genre overflowing with grit and gloom." We're sure this is the first of many happy reviews to come for Bridget's debut.

I've read that Bridget's last tweet was, "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect." Bridget was 33.

I hope your day, this day, is filled with sunshine and a brand new book... maybe a brand new book by a lovely woman, taken too soon. A lovely woman named Bridget Zinn.

To learn more about Bridget's life, and her book, check out her official website: www.bridgetzinn.com

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy World Read Aloud Day!



I am so thankful to have grown up in a family that valued reading aloud. I have the best memories of my mom reading The Chronicles of Narnia and The Little House on the Prairie books to my sister and I while we ate breakfast each morning, before we went to school. And I'll never forget my father's voice, and his laugh, as he read aloud The Princess Bride every night after supper one summer, back when I was nine or ten years old.

My dad was also my 4th grade teacher and the highlight of any school day was "Story and Drawing." Dad read our class the Chronicles of Prydain while we drew anything we wanted--none of us ever wanted 'Mr. Visser' to stop reading. I was also blessed with an older sister who read aloud to me into my teens (and beyond)--particularly during summer vacation. Michelle introduced me to the books of Diana Wynne-Jones, Dorothy Gilman, Joan Aiken, Gillian Bradshaw, P.C. Hodgell, and more.

For myself, I was lucky enough to have a child who wanted a bedtime read-aloud until birthday #17. I got to read so many wonderful books aloud for so many years--we went all the way from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to The Mouse and the Motorcycle to The Ranger's Apprentice series to--coming full circle--The Princess Bride.

Today, via Skype, I had the opportunity to read aloud to group of 4th and 5th Graders at Mill Pond School, in Massachusetts, in honor of World Read Aloud Day. I hope everyone gets the chance to read to someone special before the day is done. Pick a book! Pick a poem! Find a child! Find a friend! Read, read, read, read, read!


Monday, February 11, 2013

A Mighty Girl


There is a really terrific online resource called A Mighty Girl, www.amightygirl.com, that anyone who is a girl, who teaches girls, who parents girls, or who has a niece or a granddaughter, will appreciate. A Mighty Girl is "The world's largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls." Pretty cool, right? Right!

I grew up wanting to be a mighty girl. I pretended I was Princess Leia, a knight at King Arthur's round table, a superhero, a wolf-riding, sword-weilding elf, a viper pilot on the Battlestar Gallactica... and yes, *sigh* even one of Charlie's Angels.

So, you can see why I was over-the-moon and pleased-as-punch when the awesome Mighty Women at A Mighty Girl asked to interview me for their new Creators Series. I am happy to share a link to the interview HERE.


Be mighty!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Savvy Soiree in Pasadena, California - November 8, 2012

Photo by Jen Pino,
Vroman's Bookstore
In the Pasadena area? Come join me at the "Savvy Soiree" at Vroman's Bookstore on Thursday, November 8th. It's sure to be great fun. 'Hope to see you there!

  Savvy Soiree!!!

11/08/2012, 4:00 pm

   Location: 
   Vroman's Bookstore
   695 E. Colorado Blvd
   Pasadena, CA 91101
   Tel: 626-449-5320
   http://www.vromansbookstore.com/savvy-soiree

   email@vromansbookstore.com

Meet Samson's turtle, take a photo on the pink bus, share your savvy on our wall, play ring toss, and stop by our tattoo and science stations. Special guest: author Ingrid Law will be joining us to present and sign Savvy at 5pm. Refreshments will be served.
Vroman's Bookstore is proud to sponsor the Young Readers League, a community-based program that encourages and fosters a love of reading! Our committee (comprised of educators, parents, booksellers and students)  read and voted on our first selection: Savvy by Ingrid Law. This title is recommended for grades 3-7.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview on KidsEBookBestsellers.com

KidsEBookBestsellers.com recently asked me to answer some interview questions for them, asking about Savvy and publishing and e-books. To read the interview, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

I don't have an e-reader myself. I briefly owned a first generation i-Pad after a friend gave me his. I'd only just begun to use it for reading e-books when I left it in a rental car at the Atlanta airport and never saw it, or my electronic copy of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, again. And I was enjoying that book, too!

Here's the link to the interview:

KidsEBookBestsellers.com: Ingrid Law Has the Savvy to Hit the Kindle Top Ten...: On September 15th, Savvy by Ingrid Law reached the number 5 spot in the "Children's & Young Adult" section of the Amazon Kindle store. So o...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

1st Annual Steamboat Springs Book Feast

Bud Werner Memorial Library - Home of the Steamboat Springs Book Feast

September 8th was a beautiful day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I enjoyed my day as part of the town's first annual children's Book Feast. I shared the day with (see above) Janet Stevens, Michelle Rodenburg, Craig Brown, Sneed Collard III, Avi, Caroline Stutson, Bonnie Phipps (not pictured) and more. Below, you can see Janet Stevens drawing a wonderful bear for the crowd during her presentation in the morning.

So many talented kids attended my writing workshop, Go Crazy and Get Creative! And my student 'Gopher,' Olivia, was the best assistant anyone could ask for. The great folks from Off the Beaten Path Bookstore (www.steamboatbooks.com) worked their tails off! The people of Steamboat were warm and welcoming. And the aspen trees were already beginning to turn.

If you're in the Colorado area--or even if you're not--watch for this festival next year! I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Illustrator Janet Stevens


Monday, June 4, 2012

Girl Scouts Studio

I'm so excited to be this week's featured author at The Studio, Girl Scouts online "Behind the Scenes" site designed to inspire storytellers of all kinds.

http://studio.girlscouts.org/

There are all kinds of fun things to check out for each and every featured author: Q&A, writing exercises, background information... So, if you enjoy learning about the process of telling stories, you'll certainly love exploring this site. In fact, I highly recommend reading Kate DiCamillo's comments about being a professional RE-writer. It's so true for all of us, and so good for people to know and remember! Nobody writes a perfect first draft.

Thanks, Girl Scouts!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow: Author Interview with Ingrid Law

I'm wondering if the lovely bloggers who interviewed me on their site today put the crawling spider in the sidebar just for me... *shudder* Where is Uncle Autry when I need him?

Don't let the spider stop you...

The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow: Author Interview with Ingrid Law: The DMS was lucky enough to interview   I ngrid Law , author of the middle grade novel  Savvy .  Lizzy reviewed this fantastical book and i...