Tuesday, December 23, 2014

... and three more Cabin Creek Mysteries are up!

Hello reading friends!  Three more Cabin Creek Mysteries with new illustrations are available on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle.  I hope you enjoy Cody Rutty's drawings as much as I do:

Look for Longhand: One Writer's Journey, to be published Spring 2015.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good news for Cabin Creek readers

Yesterday I was happy to answer this mother's email, about the Cabin Creek Mysteries, with a bit of good news:
Hi Kristiana:  I have a 10 year old daughter who just started reading your Cabin Creek Mysteries.  She asked Santa for the whole series because she absolutely loves your books. I could only find the first 2. I've been told that the others are out of publishing or printing.  Is there a way that I can make this girls christmas come true with getting the 4 last books by christmas?  Sincerely her mother
     When the series went OP (out-of-print) several years ago, I kept getting letters -- tons! -- from teachers, parents, librarians, and 3rd-graders.  They requested more "Jeff and David stories," about the young detectives who solve mysteries in the mountain town of Cabin Creek.  Most frustrating of all, copies were nearly impossible to find and prices ranged up to $50, which is obscene for a kid's book.  
     Finally, FINALLY, Scholastic returned the rights to me, which means I now have creative control.  Boom, my family and I have been converting the series into new paperbacks with fresh covers and illustrations by my son, Cody Rutty.  The smaller 5.25x8 size allows us to keep the price low.  I think $5.95 for a book to hold in your hand is fair, as is $4.95 for a Kindle version. 
     So the good news:  Cabin Creek #1, 2, 3, & 7 are available on Amazon, and ready for Christmas!  We're still working on #4, 5 & 6, so hang in there if you're looking for a complete set.
I  hope you enjoy these new paperbacks ... and look for my memoir, LONGHAND: ONE WRITER'S JOURNEY to be published this Spring. Thank you for being such faithful readers!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New baby: memoir 27

In 1984 my husband and I welcomed another baby boy -- so did Princess Diana! I devoured every tabloid story about her castle life, envying her heated towel racks and diaper warmer. Nannies and cute clothes. A chef! She was thin and pretty. Down the road I learned that along with our sons being born in the same years, she and I had had another thing in common: bulimia. I really felt for her.
     But back to our new buddy: Cody Rob, his middle name after my brother. Because it snowed nearly eight months of the year in Idaho and temps often fell below zero (minus 33 one December), our favorite outing became the public library. Betty Holbrook, Pocatello's wonderful children's librarian, introduced us to a wealth of kid-lit. Oh those picture books! They were beautiful, evocative, and such fun to read aloud. Memories from my childhood flooded back.
     Art Seidenbaum and I talked about the Children's Book Column for The Times. If it were available, I'd be so stoked if he would consider me.
     Thankfully he did! In March of 1985, life became sweeter. When the UPS truck rumbled up the icy street, the boys and I watched out the window. Boxes delivered resembled treasure chests brimming with brand new, crisp-smelling, colorful stories and illustrations, just thirty-six pages, not hundreds. My lighter workload was heaven.
     I signed up for a correspondence course with the Institute of Children's Literature, to learn about the craft. The lonely days of long winters with toddlers eased when the mailman would deliver a large white envelope, feedback from my scrawls. I worked on a novel about a California beach girl growing up in the 60s. In A Town By the Sea was coming from my heart.
     As I watched Greg and Cody's faces light up when read a story, then their saying, "keep going!" and "more," I realized I wanted to write for children. If kids could grow up hearing and reading beautiful words, would it make the world a gentler place?

From LONGHAND: ONE WRITER'S JOURNEY, to be published Spring 2015