Monster Update!!!

Exciting Stuff…

Whew! It’s been a hectic couple of months for me with final edits and rewrites, but I’m thrilled to say:

Monster or Die, Book 2:


is off to the copyeditor and very soon will have its Cover Reveal!

October 10, 2017 is the release date for the new monster adventures–just in time for plenty of Halloween mayhem. Please put it on your To Be Read list!

Next up for this author is the MISSOURI ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL LIBRARIANS conference in St. Louis next week–March 26-28. I will have the opportunity to share FROM THE GRAVE with all the awesome librarians there. I’ll also be on panels talking about Authors Helping Teachers and Monsters & Mayhem. Click on the link to get an idea of what my fellow author, Stephanie Bearce, and I will be presenting.

Stay tuned for more upcoming author events where I’d love to meet you! Questions or comments–please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

Scary on!




April News

April has been a busy, crazy, fun, busy, poetical, busy, bunny business month–and it’s not over yet.
So before it gets any crazier, I’ll share what I’ve been reading, doing, writing…

Who says libraries are just for books? Not the Lorain, Ohio children’s librarians! They are encouraging kids to explore their creative side in fashions with “Sew Lorain Kids.” A long time ago I worked in a couple of libraries in the Cleveland area. I’m so glad to see that the librarians there are continuing to be innovative. There are so many great craft how-to books in libraries, but why not give kids a chance to actually put the lessons into practice. My hats off to all of you in Lorain!!!

 I’ve been working on a variety of writing projects–one of them is an easy reader narrative nonfiction book on stars. So I was delighted to see a new book by Kathleen T. Isaacs which highlights picture books dealing with nature: BUGS, BOGS, BATS, AND BOOKS. Young readers–as well as their parents–often need help in finding age-appropriate books on various nonfiction subjects. This title also including science activities relating to various topics in the book. Look for this book at the library or ask your librarian to help you find some delightful nonfiction books to share with your children.

Kuddos to another librarian–this time with the focus on poetry. Thinking totally outside of the norm, Cathy Jo Nelson, a South Carolina educator, blogs about “The Unexpected Perks of Poetry.” She and a teacher collaborated on a poetry assignment–encouraging the students to create poems from words in book titles: spine poetry. Ms. Nelson elaborates in her blog about the many bonuses of this activity for both students and faculty. Poetry always seems to expand the world for us.

I’m writing the rough draft of chapter book with a poetic ghost in it. Although the story didn’t start out with a lyrical ghost, she just appeared out of thin air–so to speak. And who am I to tell her that she doesn’t belong in this story. I might be haunted for eternity…so I continue writing.

 Apparently April is also NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH. Although I was unaware of this, I have been reading some humorous picture books of late. A couple of favorites are CREEPY CARROTS by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. Here is a video by the illustrator explaining how he envisioned the sneaky carrots. My two-year-old grandson loves this books. We’ve read it over and over again. I’ve even made him his own creepy carrots with real carrots and a black sharpie. Beware biting into that next crispy, orange carrot! There may be many more lurking in the shadows–just waiting to pounce!!!

The other fun picture I’ve been studying of late is WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore, illustrated by Howard McWilliam. The author uses the “what if” storyline to create an elaborate beach day fantasy complete with fire-breathing dragon. And the illustrator brings the creature to life with humor and charm, sure to entertain children of all ages. But of course, there is the dilemma–once a dragon moves in how do you get him to move out??? Rather like the moles in my backyard, I’m afraid. 🙂

So here’s hoping April is poetically humorous–and beware of carrot-eating dragons, or something like that!

An Alligator at Story Time

A very courageous librarian in Whitestone, New York–Susan Scatena at the Queens Library–promised eager summer readers that if they read at least 4,000 books she would read to a real life alligator. Well, close to 350 students signed up and read nearly 5,000 books, so Ms. Scatena did what she promised.

She read “There’s An Alligator Under My Bed” to five-foot Wally, a female alligator–and to hundreds of amazed children. Wally made no comment about the Mercer Mayer picture book, but she seemed mesmerized during the story time. A good book will do that to a reader.

I must admit that I’m much braver reading or writing a story ABOUT an alligator than actually reading TO one. But my hat is off to brave Ms. Scatena. She proved just how important children’s literacy is to her. Hopefully, you’ll be just as committed in helping the children you know–or yourself–be the best reader(s) possible.
The library–at your school or at the public library–is always a great place to start. There are so many choices of interesting, exciting, funny books that you can choose from. And I bet you can find a helpful librarian there as well.
Here’s to COURAGEOUS reading!


On September 15, Martha Smith of Vinland, Kansas, celebrated her 103rd birthday! Congratulations to Ms. Smith, who according to the American Library Association, is the oldest librarian. 

Ms. Smith has been working almost non-stop at the Vinland Public Library since 1926. The Library first opened in 1859 and is now filled with historic finds–like Ms. Smith herself. She has never ventured farther away than Nebraska.
According to a story about her in the Kansas City Star online newspaper, Ms. Smith follows John Wesley’s motto, “Do all the good that you can to all the people that you can and by all means that you can as long as you can.”
Best wishes, Ms. Smith, and thanks for all the good that you’ve been doing for so long!

LAUNCH PAD Needs Authors & Illustrators

LAUNCH PAD, a free online magazine for kids 6-12, needs juvenile authors and illustrators. The ezine–a bi-monthly literary and arts publication–includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork from children in the U.S.

Read the request below from editor and publisher, Paul Kelsey.

Dear Launch Pad Readers,

I am pleased to announce that the second online issue (Fairy Tales & Fantasy) of Launch Pad has now been published. The issue is accessible on the magazine web site. In this issue, you will meet a genie who loves to work out at the gym, some uninvited guests, fairies that light up the stars, an evil magician, and two brave fairies on a quest to save their village from the dragon. The stories and artwork are superb, and I know you will enjoy reading these outstanding creative works.

Launch Pad still needs contributors. We are looking for works for our upcoming issues about the Ocean, Summer Fun (hiking, camping, summer sports, vacations, etc.) and Mysteries. If you are a teacher, librarian, or parent, please encourage young people to submit their work! We still have space in all of our upcoming 2008 issues, and Launch Pad especially needs young artists. I would welcome any comments that you might like to share about the second issue. Please feel free to forward or post this announcement on listservs, blogs, Facebook, or other resources.

Enjoy the magazine!

All the Best,
Paul Kelsey
Editor and Publisher
Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off!

Consider this an immediate bulletin for all librarians, teachers, parents–especially those who homeschool their children. What a great way for a child to have his story or her illustration published!


Nancy Pearl, world renown librarian immortalized with her very own action-figure, is pictured to the left to announce that today, April 13, is the start of NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK.

The American Library Association’s website provides a brief history and explanation of this special week promoting libraries:

What is National Library Week?
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.

The entire month of April is School Library Media Month. I know I’ll be celebrating with school students in the St. Alban’s School Library on Wednesday when I spend time with two first grade classes and their extremely well-organized and energetic librarian, Christy Bobbit.
How do you plan to celebrate libraries this week? Here are some suggestions:
  • Check out a library book–or two or three or more
  • Say an enthusiastic “THANK YOU!” to your librarian
  • Send your favorite library (librarians) a “Just Because You’re Special Card”
  • Donate time or money to your favorite library
  • Attend a library story time with your children
  • Soak up the zen when you stop by your favorite library for some quiet reading time

Writing for the Children’s Educational Market

Today’s entry is especially for children’s authors. Here is information from Margot Finke ( and, children’s author and one of the CHILDREN’S WRITERS’ COACHING CLUB.

The National Writing for Children’s Center ( the home of the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club (CWCC) –a growing resource for children’s writers, aspiring children’s writers, and elementary school teachers and/or librarians.
This Thursday, February 28 , 2008, at 2:00 p.m. eastern time,the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club will offer another excitingand informative teleclass for children’s writers. Rita Milios will present session #1 in her:Writing for Children’s Educational Markets Series – The Lucrative Educational Market: Where Do YOU Fit In?
Find out on Thursday if writing for the educational markets is right for you. When you join, you will receive links to the other three teleclasses that were presented earlier this month.