If you like to read, write, blog, talk or just share ideas and info about good books, welcome to my blog. Let your friends know about me and my books - and let me know what you'd like to read about!

Monday, December 16, 2013

I traveled down to Southern California this past weekend, to prepare for a program I will be doing in January at the Huntington Beach Author Festival on January 28. While there, I will visit three schools and speak to the students about gathering ideas, outlining the story arc, and plotting a novel. Should be fun!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Next year will be a biggie for me! WHEN THE WIND BLEW will be available in March, and EGGS OVER EVIE will come out in paperback during the summer. In addition I have four new manuscripts that will be under consideration: a teen ghost story, a sequel to EGGS OVER EVIE, and two early reader concept books. Wish me luch!

Monday, November 25, 2013

My presentation at the Marina Library on Saturday was great! Kids helped me tell I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE, using my story apron from Lakeshore Learning Materials. Then we acted out THE BALLAD OF VALENTINE together. There was a raffle drawing at the end for free copies of my books. Everyone had a wonderful time!

Monday, November 18, 2013

I will be giving a presentation at the Marina Library (part of the Monterey County Free Library System) this Saturday, November 23. While there, I will talk to children and parents about writing and read a few of my books to them. Should be fun!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Exciting news! I have signed on with the Susan Schulman Literary agency. My agent's name is Christine LeBlond and she is very interested in three of my manuscripts: NEW YEAR'S EVIE, BOXES BOXES, and EVERYWHERE HOLES. I am hoping that she will find a publishing home for all three!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Just got back from Hawaii! We hiked all around Kauai and snorkeled almost every day. While there, I visited the local public library, which also serves as the school library for Koloa Elementary School. It was small, but the collection still had a couple of my books!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The event at Ord Terrace Elementary was fantastic, and very well attended! The students went from reader to reader for 15-minute sessions. Besides me, there was a policeman, a fireman, a ballerina, and a karate instructor! Afterwards, we all met in the cafeteria for refreshments, book signing and a raffle. The teachers and parents were very excited and want to do it again next year!

Monday, September 30, 2013

I have been invited to speak and present a story time of my books to the students at Ord Terrace Elementary School in Seaside, California! The program is scheduled for tomorrow night, and I will be giving three presentations, followed by a book signing session. Should be fun!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

If any of you out there had a chance to watch THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM on the Hallmark channel last Friday night, it was excellent! Based on the wonderful book by Newbery winner Christopher Paul Curtis, it is the story of a black family in the 1960's who travel from Detroit to Alabama during the civil rights movement. The youngest daughter attends the historic 16th Street Baptist Church on the day it is bombed  in 1963.The actual event, which was precipitated by desegregation legislation, eventually served as a catalyst for civil rights reform in the south. Read the book, if you haven't already!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just got back from Orlando, where I saw old friends and ate good food! I also visited the library in Seminole County, where I used to work. While there, I read a great adventure book for kids entitled WRECKER!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I have finished writing my sequel to EGGS OVER EVIE. Entitled NEW YEAR'S EVIE, the book takes place a year later. Evie and Mrs. Hamilton decide to enroll their dogs in a dog obedience course offered at the local rec center. And - of course - Shanti  is the instructor. In the meantime Evie must deal with her mother's new boyfriend, her father's twin toddlers, and a strange little boy who lives in her father's condo complex.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Two more great sci-fi books for young readers: LARKLIGHT by Philip Reeve is sort of a Lemony Snicket version of space travel which takes place in a flying house during the Victorian era in England. A girl and her brother encounter robot spiders and space pirates. Yikes! H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden is an acronym for Higher Institute of Villainous Education. It is somewhat like Hogwarts, but for Superhero Villains. The school, which is hidden inside an inactive volcano, recruits (make that kidnaps) children who exhibit extraordinary talents in particular areas. Only trouble is...leaving is not an option!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Good news! WHEN THE WIND BLEW will also be available as an ebook in early 2014.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I just finished a great science fiction book for kids entitled THE RUDEST ALIEN ON THE PLANET by Jane Leslie Conley. It's the story of a headstrong (and sometimes rude) girl from another planet who is sent to planet Earth in a variety of life forms as punishment for her rudeness. While here she learns a lot about herself and about people in general. A fun fast read!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just joined a great new organization: SPLAMBA! It's the School and Public Librarians Association of the Monterey Bay Area, and the group consists of local children's librarians who are interested in promoting and continuing excellent library service to children and young adults. As a representative of the Pacific Grove Public Library, I am proud to be a member!

Monday, July 15, 2013

For anyone living in the Monterey Bay area...author Bruce Coville (JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER and MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN) will be speaking at California State University, Monterey Bay on Thursday evening, July 18 at 8:00 pm. I have heard him speak before, and he is a very entertaining and informative speaker!

Monday, July 8, 2013

A quick correction! The paperback edition of EGGS OVER EVIE will be available in June of 2014, and not 2013. WHEN THE WIND BLEW is still scheduled for publication in early 2014 as well. So, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming year. I am still writing the sequel to EGGS OVER EVIE and I am still looking for good recipes to include. If you would like to contribute, simply send your recipe to pieauthor@aol.com and I will give you credit in the book. You will be a published author!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Local Speaking engagement

Last week I addressed a group of local writers in the California Central Writers Group. I spoke about my writing career, focusing on the changes which have taken place in publishing during the past twenty years. The event was followed by a dinner and book signing at the Pinot Grill, overlooking the Pacific Grove Golf Course.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Great news! EGGS OVER EVIE will be appearing in paperback, starting on June 14. That's only two days away! The book will be available from Henry Holt, Inc. or Amazon.com or me! And I will send a free copy to the first person who sends in an order to me: pieauthor@aol.com. Happy reading!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The results are in! Winners of the California Young Reader Medal (voted on my students throughout the state of California) are:

Primary - WE ARE IN A BOOK by Mo Willems
Picture Book for older readers - NUBS, THE STORY OF A MUTT, A MARINE, AND A MIRACLE
  by Brian Dennis
Intermediate - GIANT SLAYER by Iain Lawrence
Middle/Junior High - OUT OF MY MIND by Sharon Draper
Young Adult - MATCHED by Ally Condie

You can find all of these great books at your local library!

Monday, May 20, 2013

This year's theme for the California Summer Reading Program is READING IS SO DELICIOUS. The theme ties in quite nicely with a number of my books, and two of them are recommended on the official state reading list. I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE appears on the lower grade list and EGGS OVER EVIE is on the upper grade list. As a result, I am hoping to speak at a number of libraries this summer!

Monday, May 6, 2013

More fun news! I have been invited to present at the Westminster Author Festival in Southern California on  June 4. A number of children's authors will attend, meeting at the library, then visiting an elementary school for the day. We will talk to students about gathering ideas, writing, revising, and editing. Should be a great day!

Monday, April 29, 2013

I have been invited to speak at the next Central Coast Authors Association meeting. The organization, which has nearly 100 members will be meeting at the Pinos Grill Restaurant, overlooking the scenic Pacific Grove Links golf course. I will be talking to them about my career as a writer, some do's-and-don'ts of manuscript submission and the challenges of writing for young people in the "digital" age. It should be a fun and exciting event!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Here is an article which appeared in the April 5 issue of THE CEDAR STREET TIMES, the local newspaper for the city of Pacific Grove, California:

ALISON JACKSON NAMED NEW CHILDREN'S LIBRARIAN:  Popular author Alison Jackson is the new children's librarian at the Pacific Grove Public Library. Ms. Jackson comes to our library with more than 20 years of experience as a children's librarian, both in Southern California and Orlando, Florida. Her many published books for children appeal to young readers in pre-school, elementary, and middle school. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (Viking Penguin) is a favorite Thanksgiving story among teachers and librarians nationwide. The Ballad of Valentine (Viking Penguin) appeared on the New York Times Bestsellers List, and If The Shoe Fits (Henry Holt, Inc.) was awarded the Parents' Choice Award and appeared on the American Library Association's list of Best Books of 2002. In addition, she has published novels for upper grade and middle school readers. Her thirteenth book, When the Wind Blew (Henry Holt) is due out in the spring of 2014. Alison has been with the library since January. "I don't think I can possibly improve upon the level of service or the incomparable book collection Lisa Maddalena has developed during her 30-year tenure. However, I hope to continue strengthening the collection and perhaps add some programming for 'tweens,' since the library already offers programs for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and teens."  You can reach Alison at the Pacific Grove Public Library 831-648-5760.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The city of Pacific Grove is hosting a fun event this weekend. "The Good Old Days" celebrates the history and traditions of the city, with booths, entertainment, food, crafts, and historical tours of the museum and library. Admission is free, and the festivities last from 7:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon. There's something for people of all ages, so if you are within driving distance of Monterey Bay, it's a fun way to spend the day!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Just got back from New Orleans where I had an author presentation and book signing. I also visited the lovely public library there. It is housed in a converted mansion in the garden district and is absolutely beautiful. Plus they have five of my books in their collection!

Monday, March 18, 2013

I recently attended a wonderful three-day workshop in Asilomar, which is in the Monterey Bay Area. The Society of Children's Bookwriters held its annual conference for children's book writers and illustrators in Northern California March 1-3. There were many fellow writers in attendance, along with editors and agents. The keynote speaker was Lemony Snicket, and he was very informative and entertaining!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Here is the cover of my book WHEN THE WIND BLEW, due out in 2014. It is a companion piece to IF THE SHOE FITS, published by Henry Holt, Inc. in 2001. The illustrator is not the same, but I think she did a wonderful job complementing the original!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I had a wonderful time signing books at the Huntington Beach Author Festival. It is an annual event, featuring many children's authors, who visit schools in the morning and then meet for a book signing event at the Huntington Beach Public Library during the afternoon.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day is over, but I found some wonderful web sites with lesson plans for THE BALLAD OF VALENTINE. Here is a good one:  www.homeschoolshare.com.
Also...there are a couple of very good sites with plans for usings THEA'S TREE:

Monday, February 11, 2013

I found some more wonderful websites with printables to go along with my books!

www.making learning fun.com/themepages/OldLadyPiePrintables.htm
supermommy to the rescue.com/free-printables-I-Know-An-Old-Lady-Who-swallowed-A-Pie

Happy printing!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Here are some great websites to visit, if you want to read reviews, recommendations or lesson plans for my books. There is a great one called "measuring Thanksgiving"!

Monday, January 14, 2013

I already broke my New Year's resolution to recommend a good children's book every week. Yikes. Well, since I am now helping with story times at the Pacific Grove Library, here goes. This week we are sharing stories about arctic animals, and two of my favorites are THE THREE POLAR BEARS by Jan Brett and POLAR BEAR, POLAR BEAR, WHAT DO YOU HEAR? by Bill Martin. Then we'll top that off with a rendition of "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, turn around" and BABY BELUGA by Raffi. More recommendations to come!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In addition to my sequel to EGGS OVER EVIE (tentatively titled NEW YEAR'S EVIE), I am now making major revisions to my teen ghost story, WELCOME TO THE VELVET ARMS. It is the tale of four girls who live in a foster home which was once a famous Hollywood hotel. One of the foster kids begins to suspect that the building is haunted by the ghosts of the hotel's many illustrious guests and that the ghost's stories are somehow connected to those of each of the girls...