Hello friends! It has been a MINUTE since I’ve updated the blog and a lot has happened!
First off, THIS APPEARING HOUSE is in the world and available for you where ever books are sold – or borrowed from the library. You can get signed copies from Books Are Magic and Books of Wonder so please support local indies. Also I can mail you a bookplate and then your copy will be signed! Hit me up in the contact me! If you read it and you enjoy please take a moment to drop a quick one line review on goodreads or amazon. It would mean the world to me!
I had a great launch with my friends at Spooky Middle Grade. Which reminds me, if you’re a teacher or librarian we can come visit your classroom for free! You’ll get a free half hour class visit with four authors and we will answer all your burning questions about publishing and writing and if the universe is really just turtles all the way down.
For the book I did a bunch of podcasts to talk about trauma and haunted houses and why kids deserve horror books. I was on my favorite podcast, Talking Scared, with some friends (Lora Senf who wrote The Clackity and Dan Poblocki whose recent book is Tales to Keep You Up at Night). I also spoke with Joe Shaw on DTalks and Rob Kent on Middle Grade Ninja. And tomorrow I’ll be recording an episode of Terrifying Tomes with my friends Lora, Lindsay Currie, and Ben Acker!
And then, promptly after my book came out and after nearly three years of not traveling we went to London and Stratford and Liverpool!
We had a really fantastic time. I’ve been to London a few times now and it has always felt like my “far away home.”
Since we had been there before we did some new things this time. Jay put together a little “Scrooge” walking tour. This is the location most likely that is his counting house (right across the street from the church whose bells drive Scrooge crazy. Oddly enough, the bells rang while we were there!)
We also found LeadenHall Market which is where Scrooge sends the boy to get the biggest goose in the world to send to the Cratchits.
We also went to this famous store where a certain young man bought a certain stuffed bear, a donkey, a piglet and a kangaroo for his son Christopher and changed the history of children’s books
In keeping with the Dicken’s theme, we also did a tour of his house. Here’s Dicken’s writing desk!
And we went to Pollack’s Toy Museum which is a place I have wanted to go to for some time
And why did I want to go here so badly? Because it’s full of creepy dolls!
Good luck sleeping tonight!
Okay so we also went to Stratford Upon Avon – or as I call it Shakespearelandia. The last time we were there in 2009 they were doing construction on the chancel and we couldn’t see the grave. I had feelings about this as you can imagine
So this time, we went right there and I SAW SHAKESPEARE’S CURSED GRAVE!
They also had his baptismal record! It’s number 25 with the X next to it
And I’m really glad we went that first night cause then the Queen died and the church was closed AGAIN. Imagine going to Stratford twice and not seeing Shakespeare’s grave? Talk about a curse.
And we went to his birth house and stood on the board that is an original from when he lived there. The guide said writers stand on it for good luck, inspiration and success so you know I had to do it.
After that, we headed to Liverpool!
Where we hit up the Beatles Museum
And saw cool stuff like this hat that Paul used to wear
And this ticket from their final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco!
And John’s Piano!
And his glasses!
And the Beatles Break Up Court Papers!
And of course we went back to do the tours of John and Paul’s homes. This is Mendips, where John “dreamed all his little dreams”
Not gonna lie, seeing his bedroom – even though I have done it before – was pretty emotional.
And Paul’s place! That’s the drainpipe he would have to climb to sneak in the bathroom window when he came home past his curfew. He used to say he just hoped the toilet seat was down.
And we took a stroll out to the Dingle to see the new mural for Ritchie and his house (which we didn’t find in 2017 the first time we were here). It’s the little pink and white one.
And then back to London where we went to one of my most favorite places in the world! The GLOBE!
We saw TWO productions at the globe as groundlings (gotta get those elbows up on the stage!). The first was Henry VIII (with an awesome feminist bend)
And the second was The Tempest which was hilarious. As you may know the Tempest is about people stranded on a desert island and there is no roof on the Globe. When plane flew overhead some of the actors ran to the lip of the stage and pretended to flag it down. It was great.
It was a really great trip and it was so nice to be away and out of the US and hanging out in one of my favorite cities which is why it really sucked two days afterwards when we got home we tested positive for Covid.
Sigh. Two and half years and it finally got us. But it was only one bad day and a bit of a nagging cough that won’t go away so yay for vaccines and everyone wear your masks!
Since getting home, and getting better I was luck enough to go to the Maplewood South Orange Book Festival!
See all those books?? By the time I went home four hours later they were nearly all gone!
And I got to finally meet some new friends (Hi Lorien!) and get to see some old ones (Hi Jeremy!). It was a really great day.
And then….I know this is the longest post but this is the last thing, trust me. Then a writer goal and dream was achieved when I got my first ever Starred Review for THIS APPEARING HOUSE from BookPage
You can read the whole review, but this part in particular, well this part made me cry. Cause if there was anything I was trying to do with this book, it was to correct the narrative about disease.
Okay, that’s IT! I promise. If you’ve stuck around this long, you’re probably my mother.
Back to writing – got two books I’m working on, plus something on submission that is NOT horror or middle grade and a super secret project I can’t talk about….yet.
Peace, love and starburts,