DNA Detective at the Lyceum

I visited Christianne’s Lyceum last night to meet with the Chronicle Crusaders, a parent-child book club. Then I faced off against the readers on a DNA crossword puzzle (I lost), and tried my hand at genetics pictionary (thus demonstrating why I don’t illustrate my own books).

The Lyceum is truly an amazing place. It’s chock full of books and curiosities and it draws the loveliest readers of both grown-up and kid varieties. One of the kids asked how royalties worked, so we had a rather depressing conversation about how writers get paid, but honestly… I could have been born on a farm in the Ukraine, and spent my life telling stories to chickens. How blessed am I to find myself in the Lyceum loft instead, eating dragon fruit and talking dragon’s blood trees?

Thank you, Chronicle Crusaders, for a fantastic evening!

Special delivery

Look what arrived at my door yesterday! It came just in time for me to show it off at a writer’s group meeting, and just in time to get packed in my Ontario bag.

These copies arrived by mail. The rest are still on a ship somewhere, crossing the Pacific. But I can’t wait for them to arrive, mostly so everyone can experience illustrator Lil Crump’s sense of humour. Wait until you see how she’s transformed DNA scientists into rock stars…

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New book resolutions

Having completed the index for DNA Detective, I have decided to follow new rules for all future books:

1. I will not refer to anyone by name. I will use “that guy” or “some woman.” Thus, there will be no indexing of proper names.

2. I will replace all country names with “place to the west” and “place to the east.”

3. All references to birds and animals will be replaced by “a creature.”

4. Book titles, names for theories, and titles of royalty will be omitted.

5. Where possible, sentences will be comprised of only verbs, adverbs, and adjectives.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, check out this page. Illustrator Lil Crump has done the impossible, and found a way to make a dead scientist look interesting:

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S.O.S.

I am wandering lost in the index for DNA Detective. (Queen Victoria or Victoria, Queen?)

You can read my past thoughts on indexing and Pine Sol here and my thoughts on alphabetization here. Apparently this is a recurring theme.

If I don’t emerge in the next few days, call search and rescue.

DNA Detective

There is this wonderful stage of the book-creation process in which all the writing and illustrations are done, and no one has yet said the word “index,” and I get to see designed pages for the first time. So exciting!

I’ve just received the first page proofs for my Fall 2015 book, DNA Detective. And I LOVE them. Apparently, the designer has never worked on a children’s book before, but has always wanted to. I think she may have found her calling.

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(I am probably not supposed to post this yet. It hasn’t been proofread and it’s quite possible the art hasn’t been approved/purchased, but… well, it’s too late for them to fire me. It’s it fun?)

Hopefully I’ll be able to post a cover soon!