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Author Interview: Kit Grindstaff

Mon, 2013-05-13 18:21
by Jennifer Sheffield

Our second interview is a conversation with debut author Kit Grindstaff. She'll be reading here this coming Sunday, May 19, from her middle grade novel The Flame in the Mist, "a fantasy-adventure for fans of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass." Come join us at the seventh annual Mt. Airy Kids’ Literary Festival for Kit's lunchtime reading and book-themed refreshments!

Hi, Kit! Thank you for taking the time for this interview! It was very exciting reading your book, especially having read part of an earlier draft when you joined our writing group at the bookstore. I’m looking forward to your reading at the Kids' Literary Festival!

Thank you for the interview, Jen—and for inviting me to the store! I’m looking forward to reading at the “book lunch” too.

1) Some of your characters in the book are twins, or have family members who are. Do you have twins in your own family, or did this idea grow from someplace else?

I love that you asked this! Of all the blogger interviews I’ve done, nobody ever brought it up—strange, since as you know, it’s pretty pivotal.

As a kid, I was obsessed with the idea of twins, without knowing why. People often mistook my older brother and me for twins, which I thought was neat. I dreamed of having twin baby brothers, and later on fantasized about having twins of my own when I grew up and became a mum (which never happened) (the mum bit, anyway…). It wasn’t until I was older that I learned my mother had a twin who was stillborn. This left her an only child, and to this day she says the loss of that twin has affected her deeply all through her life. So I believe that in some way I picked up this fascination from her and from the untold story of loneliness that she lived with.

However, I didn’t consciously set out to make twinship a theme in the book. So its importance in the story is example to me of the wonderful way that the subconscious can work its magic into what one writes, as if such untold stories are demanding expression—in this case, my mum’s lost twin needing to be laid to rest in some way.

2) Please tell me about some rats you’ve known. How did you come to choose rats for Jemma’s companions? How do their personalities complement each other? Also, how did they get their names?

Ha ha! Well there was this guy….Oh, wait. Not that kind of rat. Actually, I never knew any furry rats. Guinea pigs, yes—Pikelet, Muffin and Flump—but I always feared rats. Living in London and New York, you see plenty of the brown sewer kind lurking in the garbage or scurrying across your path at night. Eek. And ew.

So I initially chose rats for Jemma because a) there’d be rats in a castle (so it made sense) and b) I thought the “ew” factor would be fun for kids. Little did I know how I’d fall in love with them. By the end of draft one, I swear, my lifelong fear of rats had vanished.

Originally their names were Scurry and Flurry, and they were the regular brown variety. Then, as their powers of telepathy evolved in the story and their role grew stronger, their names began to feel too cute and rhyme-y. So I changed them to Noodle and Pie. No idea why—the names just felt right, and chimed well together. It wasn’t until a very late draft that their fur turned golden. Which of course was perfect, going along with golden Light and the missing sunshine.

3) How does landscape affect your writing/writing process? Your bio says you “grew up in the rolling countryside of England, which is curiously similar to Anglavia.” Does the Mist have its origins there as well? Does it evoke a particular memory? And did any of the writing of this book take place in similar surroundings?

England can be very misty, for sure! And the memory of damp foggy winters certainly played into the Mist. But actually, classic Brit literature was a bigger influence. I read an abridged version of Great Expectations when I was 8, and Dickens’s description of the misty marshes where Pip first meets Magwitch wormed deep into me. In other books too, fog seems ever present. But thankfully it’s all logged in my memory, so I didn’t need to be immersed in it to write it!

4) Which characters’ voices were the most difficult to write? Which came the most smoothly? Do you have particular strategies to help you along with this?

I suppose one of the most challenging was Jemma’s herself, as she has no dialect, no particular idiosyncrasies. The others’ voices on the whole were very clear in my head—almost as if the characters were speaking, and I was merely transcribing.

In terms of dialect, though, Rue’s was challenging to get onto the page. When it came to copy editing all sorts of questions arose, for example about why I was substituting “yer” for “your” or “you’re” in some places and not others. I was embarrassed to realize how horribly inconsistent I’d been! For some reason, the logic of her speech was tricky, and it took me days to figure out how make it cohesive.

5) I saw this question in another interview with you, and I want to reiterate it here: What is some of the best writing advice you’ve received, and how has it helped you in your writing?

Hmm, I wonder if I’ll give the same answers now? First thing that comes to mind is love what you write, and write what you love. The road contains lots of pitfalls and frustrations, and without the passion to carry you through, it would be too tough. And besides, why expend time and energy on something you only feel half hearted, or even three quarter hearted, about?

For technical advice, a workshop I took with Donald Maass taught me three things in particular that really stick with me. First, every scene should count: every paragraph and sentence, even, needs to serve the story. Second, the main character should be changed, however slightly, at the end of each scene: what has she or he learned? What’s different now than it was before the scene took place? Third, Maass talked about microtension. As well as the big picture conflict, and/or internal conflict, there should be tension in every paragraph—some emotional significance that ramps up the stakes at every turn.

The idea of microtension was immensely helpful in revising action scenes. For example, in Jemma’s fight with the Aukron, originally it was only action. After Maass’s workshop, I added in two fleeting thoughts: Jemma’s defense of Noodle, and how his imminent death fires her up; and then her thinking of all the things she’ll never see or experience if she dies right now. Those two small things suddenly gave the scene much more consequence for her, and I think strengthened it a lot.

6) You also have a professional career in songwriting. What kinds of music have you recorded, and what other kinds of music do you enjoy? Do the songwriting and the prose writing ever overlap?

Generally, I’ve written pop songs. Pop with different flavors: pop rock, pop folk, pop jazz. Pop r’n’b, not so much. French café jazz—love!

To listen to, I’ve always loved classical music—Bach and Vivaldi are particular favorites for an optimistic hit first thing in the morning. Then there’s choral pieces (I once sang Handel’s Solomon in the university choir at Durham Catherdral in England—one of The Most Awesome Experiences ever!), Thomas Tallis, as well as chants, Tibetan bells, Christmas carols, Hindu chants, African choral. Some trance music, even. And Bhangra—a joyous way to get moving! The only genre I don’t love on the whole is rap—though there have been a few particular songs I’ve really liked.

As regards overlap, though both are “writing”, I don’t find there’s much connection between song writing and prose. The two are very different—3 minute story vs hundreds of pages of prose—and demand very different kinds of focus and creative process.

7) What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

Well, one begins with the letter ‘s’ and ends with the letter ‘l’ with a ‘q’ in the middle…The first draft is nearing completion, though there’s a tonnnnn of layering in to do yet. Other than that, I have two pet projects on the back burner, one told from two points of view across several centuries, the other from three points of view in a more futuristic England. And I often dream of writing a picture book someday. I have an idea, but as yet have no clue how to frame it.

And now, for our regular "3 for 3" book questions:

3 favorite books from childhood/teen years:

From childhood: The Famous Five (a series…sorry, can’t choose just one! They’re all an archetypal British blur), and Friday’s Tunnel, by John Verney.

From teens: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White. Getting into the classic and ghostly…Oh sorry, that’s 4. (I knew it was 4.)

3 books you've read recently that surprised you:

1. The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann. His prose style is delightful to me, the story both funny and tragic—and the fact that it was written by a 16/17 year old just adds to its “Whaaaa? Blown away!” factor.

2. Brianna on the Brink, by Nicole McInnes. I didn’t love the title, but Nicole and I both belong to The Lucky 13s, a group of authors who all have our books debuting this year, so I took the opportunity to read an ARC. The opening pages irritated me—Brianna’s voice was kind of glib—but the synopsis was intriguing enough me to read on, and I was so glad I did. Turned out I was missing the point of this glibness, which is part of Brianna’s defense system. A short book by most standards these days, but it packs an emotional punch. I really loved it.

3. The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I’d heard great things about it, and the book delivered. Only it was much better than I’d anticipated, and hit me way deeper.

3 books that influence/d your work:

1. The Golden Compass. I love Pullman’s world building, the steampunkish parallel Oxford he creates. I also love Lyra’s spunk. She definitely influenced my writing of Jemma.

2. Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt. Not that the story bears any resemblance to The Flame in the Mist, but the beauty of Babbitt’s prose, especially in the prologue, is amazing—something to aspire to.

3. Last but not least, I still feel Dickens breathing through Jemma’s Anglavia! And since I’m writing a sequel—oh, there. I just said it. The ‘s’-word :-)

Thanks so much, Kit!

You’re welcome, Jen!

Kit Grindstaff was born near London and grew up in the rolling countryside of England. After a brush with pop stardom (under her maiden name, Hain) she moved to New York and embarked on her career as a pop song writer. Kit now lives with her husband in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the SCBWI. The Flame in the Mist is her first novel. You can also find her at http://www.kitgrindstaff.com, http://www.facebook.com/kitgrindstaff and on Twitter: @kitgrindstaff.

On May 28th, come check out Cordelia's interview with Melanie Crowder, author of the debut middle grade novel Parched, as part of Melanie's upcoming blog tour!
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Jen’s Five Books Not Just for Parents

Fri, 2013-05-10 16:12
Looking for last-minute mother's day gifts? Early father's day gifts? Random books for thoughtful readers? These are all books that I've loved reading, and I feel that the lens of parenthood through which I read them merely added to the richness of the experience.

Also, any parents who are reading should know about the seventh annual Mt. Airy Kids' Literary Festival we're hosting next weekend! Events for toddlers and teens and kids in between. Music and readings and workshops and crafts and a poetry slam. Come check it out!

NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (Little, Brown, $14.99)
I keep telling people that everyone should read NurtureShock who has either had a child...or been a child. It’s a book of stories about research studies that turn much standard parenting wisdom upside down – or at least sideways. The writing is engaging, and topics range from infants to teenagers, from language development to lying, from sibling relationships to the importance of sleep. Go read it!!

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (Scribner, $37.50)
This is a huge, compelling book about identity and difference, focusing specifically on differences within individual families. Each chapter involves an identity -- such as deafness, musical prodigiousness, autism, or gender dissonance -- with which most of the parents interviewed had no experience until their child was born. At the heart of the writing is the question of whether each difference is something to be nurtured or cured/minimized, and how to strike a balance that nurtures the family as well as the broader community. Go read this too!

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick (Harlequin, $16.95)
Okay, this is mostly for parents, but it’s pretty funny on its own. Based on the author’s blog of the same name, it features clumsy but endearing illustrations and stories told with sharp wit. Or overtired wit.

Half Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn, and How We Both Learned to Breathe by Alexa Stevenson (Running Press, $14.95)
A powerful memoir about what happens when you spend your life preparing for the wrong worst things. In this case, where the title refers both to a twin who wasn’t born and a twin who was born 15 weeks early, the author learns to transform both her anxiety and her “preparing” skills into advocacy that, in the end, saves her newborn daughter’s life.

Confessions of the Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms Tell All! edited by Harlyn Aizley (Beacon Press, $16.00)
What’s it like to be the nonbio mother in a lesbian relationship? So many possibilities! Nif and I both found the essays in this book really helpful to read before embarking on our own parenting adventure.

Jennifer Sheffield, May 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Author Interview: N. Griffin

Tue, 2013-04-30 10:00
Author Interview: N. Griffin
By Cordelia Jensen

Hi there! I want to start by saying THE WHOLE STUPID WAY WE ARE (Atheneum, 2013) is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The mood lingered with me for days after I read it, and the characters sat around and kept chatting with me long after I put the book down. Dinah and Skint both have such endearing and distinct voices. 

Thank you so much for saying such nice things!  I am so glad the book made you feel that way.

What was your inspiration for the book?

So many ideas and loves joined forces to make this book, but here are three:

1. Tons of teens I know who care about the world and the people in it the way Dinah and Skint do.  I am well sick of people acting like teens are only concerned about their jeans and themselves.  This is patently untrue and makes the blood in my writerly veins boil.

2. Winter.  I love winter and wanted to write a book that feels like the spare gray of that season.

3.  This concert I went to one time.  It was the world’s worst.  At one point, the choir sang a lament as if it were some kind of rageful testimony to a crazed despot.  So unnerving.  I tracked down the actual song and the deep grief of it made me want to write a book that felt like that, too.  

But don’t worry.   There are funny bits in the book, too.  :)

How did you decide to use multiple narrators? And, when you made this decision, how did you decide to have Dinah's narrations be dominant while Skint's be much smaller? Do you see the story as predominantly her story? If so, why is it important to hear his voice?

I don’t know that I actually decided to write in multiple viewpoints, but I may have.  I have a terrible memory. :)  I do know that I wanted to use an omniscient third person in the book, both for the freedom it allows in terms of getting inside a character’s head as well as its ability to travel outside that head to put that character’s point of view in some kind of perspective.  Writing in both Skint’s and Dinah’s voices also helped me (and hopefully will help the reader as well) see that there are things going on in Skint’s life that Dinah is not privy to that make Skint feel and behave in certain ways.  And Dinah’s ignorance of those things affects her actions, too, if you see what I mean.  I wanted to create that dynamic partly because relationships are always like that, at least somewhat. We can never know, not all the way, what someone else’s experience is, but our experience always informs what we say and do.  And that is heartbreaking but also lovely and necessary.

Not to spoil the book for readers, but the ending is not your typical Hollywood ending. Did you play with other endings?

Nope. :)  That was the ending that was true, and any other would have felt wrong to me.

I actually read most of this book in Colorado in the mountains. This helped me feel the cold that is such an essential part of the story and almost operates like its own character. Did you do free-writing around weather and weather as a narrative force? 

Oh, I love that you read it in the cold!  As I said above, the feeling of winter was central me in writing the book.  I didn’t free-write around it, but I did imagine myself all the way into winter, and all the way into Skint and Dinah, so the feel of the season was never not present in me as I was writing about those two kids in the cold of February. 

What comes to you first when you start a story: character, plot point, image, setting? Or something else entirely?

Character, always. I love thinking about people and the way they talk and interact.  That comes first.  Then I have a deeper bunch of thinking to do, about why they talk and act like that; who they are; what their lives are like; what they love.  Some of that is conscious, hard-work thinking, but the best of it comes in waves of realization that wash over me and feel wonderful and like the truth. It's my favorite part of writing.  Then, when I know who everybody is and how they feel, I can think about what that would make them DO, and that becomes the plot.

Are you working on any new projects?

Yep.  I am working on a new YA right now but it messes me up to talk about it so I can’t.  I am sorry! :)  I do have another finished book coming out with Candlewick in fall of 2014.  That one doesn’t have a title yet, but it is a cheerful middle grade mystery, also about a pair of best friends, as it turns out.  I like pairs of best friends.

Do you have any rituals around writing? Anything that gets you "in the zone"?

Tons of green tea.  Earplugs.  The wonderful pictures and paintings (not done by me, I hasten to say) that I have all over my office.  They make me feel happy and like the inside of my mind but more snuggly.

And now for our "3 for 3":

3 Favorite Books as a child/adolescent:   

Hard to pick just three because I read constantly as a kid.  To the point of addiction, really.  There are so many I loved I feel like I am being wrong and mean not to list every one.  I am sorry, books!  I love you all!  But here are three of the my favorites.  Two are series so that is more books but ha ha I am putting them on the list anyway:

1. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.  Pivotal!  It exploded my understanding about what you could do in a book.  I could not give it more of an A+. 

2. All of the Melendy family books by Elizabeth Enright.  Her writing is perfection and I still want to be friends with all those characters and live in their house with the cupola on top.

3. All of the Moomin books by Tove Janssen.  They are works of absolute genius on par with all the geniuses.  Moomins in November, in particular, is breathtaking.

3 Books you've Read Recently That Surprised You:

1. Arcadia by Lauren Groff.  Unbelievable.  When I was reading it, I kept turning to my beau because I felt like I had met someone I needed him to know about, but it turned out to be Bit, the protagonist of Arcadia, every time.  THAT is writing.

2. I just finished Jaclyn Moriarty’s new book,  A Corner of White. I was very surprised it was fantasy, as I am so used to her more realistic work, and I loved it!  It boils about like the best of Diana Wynne Jones, and has the same wonderful characterization and pacing as The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, which is my favorite of her books.

3.  This is not a book but I read National Geographic magazine from cover to cover every month and I love it desperately and am always surprised by at least three things in there.

3 Books that Influence Your Writing:

Well, I would feel presumptuous to say that these writers have affected my writing for the better, but I can safely say I love them hugely:

1. Jane Gardam.  She is perfect.

2. Toni Morrison.  She is also perfect and intimidatingly out of reach but my lord what she can do and has done.

3. Tom Stoppard.  I still think about his play, also named Arcadia, at least five times a week.

Thank you!

No, thank *you*!  And I can’t wait to read your book!


 N. Griffin is the author of The Whole Stupid Way We Are (Atheneum 2013), as well as an as-yet-untitled middle-grade mystery to be released in the fall of 2014 (Candlewick).  She received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives outside of Boston with her beau and their dogs. You can learn more about her at http://ngriffin.com/

Thanks for reading!!! If you're local to the area, please let the bookstore know if you would like to place a special order for THE WHOLE STUPID WAY WE ARE. You can email orders to orders [at] bigbluemarblebooks [dot] com, call (215) 844-1870, or come see us in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia at 551 Carpenter Lane.

In a few weeks, Jen will be interviewing debut Middle Grade author Kit Grindstaff, so check back soon!
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

New Author Interviews Coming!

Sat, 2013-04-27 10:00
It's time for a new series on our blog! Starting next week, we'll be posting monthly or bimonthly author interviews, proposed by Cordelia and conducted by Cordelia and Jen. We'll combine preset questions with individual questions for each author. Our current reading focus ranges from picture books to young adult novels, though we're not ruling out other possibilities as well.

Our first three interviews will be with authors all newly published in 2013!
April 30: N. Griffin, author of The Whole Stupid Way We Are.
May 13: Kit Grindstaff, author of The Flame in the Mist.
May 28: Melanie Crowder, author of Parched.

Stay tuned!
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Tate and Lily's Five Picks

Sun, 2013-04-21 10:21
Cordelia's 7-year-old twins pick their five favorite books from our children's section:

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems (Hyperion, $8.99)
"Very funny and I like the ending when it melts and no one gets the ice cream because Gerald took too much time deciding if he should share." —Lily

Magic Tree House #9: Dolphins at Daybreak by Mary Pope Osborne (Random House, $4.99)
"Really adventurous and fun. I like it because I like the ocean and how Jack and Annie get to actually ride on dolphins." —Tate

Henry and Mudge and the Big Sleepover by Cynthia Rylant (Simon & Schuster, $3.99)
"I like this book because I love sleepovers and I like dogs. I like how everyone has a dog in the story and brings them to the sleepover." —Lily

Big Nate in a Class by Himself by Lincoln Pierce (HarperCollins, $12.99)
"Funny because Nate always gets in trouble. He breaks the record of the whole school for detentions. Also, the end is really good." —Tate

How Are You Peeling? Foods With Moods by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers (Scholastic, $6.99)
"Very funny because faces are made out of fruits! They use stems for mouths and put on little eyes on vegetables." —Lily

Cordelia Jensen, April 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Micah's Five Picks at Almost 2, According to Jen

Sun, 2013-03-31 23:50
[Editor's Note: We're squeaking this list and the previous one in just under the wire before another parent of a Micah joins the staff in April...]

Maisy’s Fire Engine by Lucy Cousins (Random House, $5.99)
Full of exciting noises, action, and heroism (and a cat), Maisy’s Fire Engine was one of the first books Micah learned to recite in call and response fashion: “Maisy and Cyril are driving the fire engine today./Nee-nah, nee-nah!/Time to check the water./Swoosh!” In fact, fire engines have remained “nee-nah” trucks, even as the book has passed out of rotation. Meanwhile, Micah continues to love Maisy, especially in the lift-the-flap books like Ha ha, Maisy! and Where Is Maisy? (which I particularly like because of the line "Is Maisy in the closet? Nope, not here!")

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman (Random House, $8.99)
One of my own childhood favorites, Go, Dog. Go! combines short, patterned sentences with expressive illustrations that Micah loves. Dogs big and small, up and down, wearing hats, or driving to the big dog party at the end. The book also reduced Micah’s frustration when we stopped the car at intersections: “Stop, dogs. Stop! The light is red now,” I’d explain, followed by the eponymous “Go, dogs. Go! The light is green now.”

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, illustrated by Eric Carle (Henry Holt, $7.95)
One of our toddler books says that kids learn their colors around age 3 or 4, unless the parents have specifically focused on them. Which I guess we have… This is not where Micah learned color names, but it has been an excellent book for practicing, with bright, bold pictures and an enticing question/answer format.

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever by Richard Scarry (Random House, $15.99)
Micah has recently become excited about big books with lots of things on a page. Richard Scarry is great for that, with detailed illustrations and cute animals, and to my old copy of Best Word Book Ever (which we must soon replace with the modern, less sexist version) we have recently added Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, which leaves Micah screaming with laughter at the crazy vehicles and their upsets.

I Spy: Super Challenger by Jean Marzollo & Walter Wick (Cartwheel, $13.99)
Another big book with lots of things on a page! Each page is a photograph of an elaborate array of toys and other objects, arranged in a pattern or randomly strewn, or riding along winding and criss-crossing paths. Micah can sit and stare at it for hours. Okay, not hours; he’s a toddler. But it feels like hours to me…

Jennifer Sheffield, March 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Micah's Five Picks at Almost 2, According to Nif

Fri, 2013-03-29 15:43
[Editor's Note: We're squeaking this list and the following one in just under the wire before another parent of a Micah joins the staff in April...]

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $6.99)
It's like someone asked Micah how the perfect book should go. Animal noises, catchy rhymes, AND the protagonist and hero is a TRUCK. I'm on my way to memorizing this one, and Micah is too. He has reached the point where he can fill in the rhymes when he knows a book, even if the word isn't in his active vocabulary. So much fun!

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $6.99)
Sheep in a Jeep features tongue-twisting short rhyming lines, plus a BROKEN TRUCK. Micah says "Boo hoo!" in the saddest, most sympathetic tones. What's not to love?

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins (Random House, $4.99)
Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum! Rhythmic nonsense plus monkeys: perfect for my musical son.

Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik (1920-2012), illustrated by Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) (HarperCollins, $3.95)
We lost two bright lights in childen's publishing this year. Little Bear is an enduring classic, and Micah loves both the illustrations and the story. Early readers are awesome for toddlers, because the limited vocabulary helps them to follow more complicated story lines.

Listen to My Trumpet by Mo Willems (HarperCollins, $8.99)
I have been WAITING and WAITING for the day Micah would learn to appreciate the GENIUS synergy of Elephant and Piggie. THAT DAY IS FINALLY HERE. Any and all are wonderful, but we particularly like Listen to My Trumpet because Micah has a trumpet-playing grownup friend. The ridiculous trumpet noises are a fun read-aloud challenge.

Jennifer Woodfin, March 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Grace’s 5 Books About Women with Mental Illness

Thu, 2013-02-28 21:00
Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher (Mariner Books, $15.95)

Life Inside: A Memoir by Mindy Lewis (Washington Square Press, $22.99)

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison (Vintage Books, $15.95)

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, $9.99)

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (Vintage Books, $14.95)

Grace Gottschalk, February 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Janet’s Five Here-or-Almost-Here (like Spring) Picks for February

Tue, 2013-02-26 17:13
Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson (Katherine Tegen, $17.99)
Published on January 2, 2013. Kadir Nelson has created another artistic masterpiece with simple but historically factual text.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $28.95)
Available on May 31, 2013, Hosseini's newest book is a multi-generational story about family complexities: wounds, betrayals, and sacrifice.

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, $26.00)
Burgess Boys will be on the shelf by March 26th.  Strout again artistically describes the dynamics that shape families and the invisible threads that hold siblings together.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (Atria Books, $28.99)
Due out on February 26th, Picoult's newest novel reveals in depth research into the pyschological aspects of the Holocaust: seeking forgiveness as a true turning of the soul requiring the efforts of a lifetime rather than a simple act of expressing remorse.  Who is it that ultimately grants that level of forgiveness?

The Genius of Dogs by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods (E.P. Dutton, $27.95)
On March 5th, all dog lovers will have access to this volume of cognitive research which provides information about the roles dogs have taken in our daily life. 

Janet Elfant, February 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Cordelia's Five Well-Written, Addictive, Non-Series Young Adult Reads

Tue, 2013-02-05 17:12

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins, $9.99)

Every Day by David Levithan (Scholastic, $17.99)

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth (HarperCollins, $17.99)

How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr (Hachette, $8.99)

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Penguin, $8.99)

Cordelia Jensen, January 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Grace's Five Books About Post-Apocalyptic Worlds

Fri, 2013-01-25 10:00
In the past couple years we have faced many predictions for the end of the world. These books are great examples of worst case scenarios in post-apocalyptic societies; from children sent into a battle to the death for the government’s entertainment in The Hunger Games, to a father and son on a journey to find hope and shelter in The Road. However, every book on this list is about more than violence and strife: they are really about love and resilience in hard times.

The Giver by Lois Lowry (Laurel Leaf, $6.99)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, $10.99)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Vintage Books, $15.00)

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (Dial Press, $15.00)

1984 by George Orwell (Signet Classic, $9.99)

Grace Gottschalk, January 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Quote: Jo Walton

Wed, 2013-01-23 09:00
I was rereading Among Others for this Thursday's Young Adult Book Discussion (for details see our book clubs page and/or the January YA newsletter), and I found this early passage, beautifully linking language and landscape and knowledge:

"The places of my childhood were linked by magical pathways, ones almost no adults used. They had roads, we had these. They were for walking, they were different and extra, wider than a path but not big enough for cars, sometimes parallel to the real roads and sometimes cutting from nowhere to nowhere, from an elven ruin to the labyrinth of Minos. We gave them names but we knew unquestioningly that the real name for them was "dramroads." I never turned that word over in my mouth and saw it for what it was: Tram road. Welsh mutates initial consonants. Actually all languages do, but most of them take centuries, while Welsh does it while your mouth is still open. Tram to dram, of course. Once there had been trams running on rails up those dramroads, trams full of iron ore or coal. So empty and leaf-strewn, used by nobody but children and fairies, they'd once been little railroads.

"It wasn't that we didn't know history. Even if you only count the real world, we knew more history than most people. We'd been taught about cavemen and Normans and Tudors. We knew about Greeks and Romans. We knew masses of personal stories about World War II. We even knew quite a lot of family history. It just didn't connect to the landscape. And it was the landscape that formed us, that made us who we were as we grew in it, that affected everything. We thought we were living in a fantasy landscape when actually we were living in a science fictional one. In ignorance, we played our way through what the elves and giants had left us, taking the fairies' possession for ownership. I named the dramroads after places in The Lord of the Rings when I should have recognised that they were from The Chrysalids.

"It's amazing how large the things are that it's possible to overlook."

- Jo Walton, Among Others
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Janet's Five Art Galleries Honoring the Before and After of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mon, 2013-01-21 18:23
Kadir Nelson's artwork is a treasure worth viewing. The facial expressions of his subjects, the play of light on their faces, combined with factual, informative text, tell the story of the African American Journey in such a way that all the viewer's senses become involved.

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson (HarperCollins, $19.99)

Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Scholastic Press, $16.99)

Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange with paintings by Kadir Nelson (HarperCollins, $17.99)

Change has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit, the drawings of Kadir Nelson with the words of Barack Obama (Simon & Schuster, $12.99)

We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson (Hyperion, $16.99)

Janet Elfant, January 2013
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Bookstore Bestsellers, 2012

Fri, 2013-01-11 18:12
Happy New Year! It's time for the annual list of Big Blue Marble bestsellers -- this time we'll do the top 20 books sold in the past year, and top 25 overall.

Top 20 Bestsellers at Big Blue Marble in 2012:
1) The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (2013 selection for the One Book, One Philadelphia program)
2) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
4) Swamplandia by Karen Russell
5) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
6) Bill from My Father by Bernard Cooper
7) Stray Cat Blues by Hal Sirowitz (local author)
8) The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
9) Bossypants by Tina Fey (onetime local author)
10) Anatolian Days and Nights by Joy E. Stocke (local author)
11) The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
12) State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
13) Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
14) Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
15) The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
16) Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
17) Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer Holland
18) Wild by Cheryl Strayed
19) Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
And tied for spot 20:
a) Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
b) Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel (not P.D. Eastman)

Top 25 Bestsellers at Big Blue Marble to Date:
1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
2) Body Trace by D.H. Dublin (local author)
3) Philadelphia Chickens by Sandra Boynton (onetime local author)
4) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5) Good Night Philadelphia by Adam Gamble and Cooper Kelly (local setting)
6) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (local author)
7) The Daring Book for Girls by Miriam Peskowitz (local author) and Andrea Buchanan
8) The First 1000 Days by Nikki McClure
9) Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
10) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
11) Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
12) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (selected as companion book for the 2011 One Book, One Philadelphia program)
13) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
14) Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
15) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
16) The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
17) The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
18) Blood Poison by D.H. Dublin (local author)
19) Flotsam by David Wiesner (local author)
20) Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
21) The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
22) Zen Shorts by Jon Muth
23) Just Kids by Patti Smith
24) Ella Elephant Scats Like That by Andy Blackman Hurwitz (local author)
25) Green Jobs Philly by Paul Glover (local author)
Oh, all right... And tied for spot 26:
a) The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
b) Mount Airy by Elizabeth Jarvis (local author)
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Cordelia's 5 Books about Moving: Picture Book through Young Adult

Fri, 2012-11-30 23:59
Picture Book:
Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Byron Barton (Alladin, $5.99)
A young boy is full of trepidation as he moves from New York City to Out West; however, he finds that two places that seem so different might have some things in common.

Early Reader:
Henry & Mudge and Annie's Good Move by Cynthia Rylant & Sucie Stevenson (Simon & Schuster, $3.99)
Henry is very excited that his cousin Annie is moving in next door; however, Annie is so nervous her skin has broken out in blotches! Henry figures out a way to help his cousin.

Chapter Book:

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $6.99)
Opal Buloni has just moved to a small town in Florida. There, she finds friendship with a dog along with a myriad of quirky characters. This newfound community helps fill the hole she has in her heart from having lost her mother at a young age.

Middle Grade:
Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass (Hachette Books, $6.99)
Bree's parents are taking Ally's parents’ job at Moon Shadow campground, and both girls are devastated about moving. Through friendship and a solar eclipse, they each find a new way to look at themselves and the process of moving.

Young Adult:

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (Viking, $19.99)
Every time McLean moves (which is a lot), she chooses to reinvent herself. But how will falling love and making true friendships in her newest town change her forever?

Cordelia Jensen, October 2012
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Poetic Profile: James Arthur

Tue, 2012-11-13 14:46
Please join us on Saturday, November 17th, at 5:00pm, for a reading with James Arthur and Rahul Mehta. This event is co-sponsored by Apiary Magazine.

1) How would you describe your poetry?
For me, rhythm is important. I use a lot of rhyme and assonance, and many of my poems contain meter -- but my poems usually are not metered throughout; within one poem I might switch back and forth between iambs, anapests, and very irregular free verse. I love the power, beauty, and precision of metered poetry, but I think of many of the traditional forms (the Spenserian sonnet, for example) as being expressions of order, and most of the time I'm more interested in expressing what I think of as disorder and the uncontainable. I create rhythmical patterns mainly for the sake of disrupting them.

When performing, I recite my poems from memory. The rhythmical drive behind my poems makes them easy to memorize -- and also, I hope, makes my poems accessible to audiences. My dream reader would be somebody who reads my poems aloud, so that he or she is hearing the words, not just seeing them.

2) How does poetry fit into your everyday life?
I try to write every day. Some days I fall short of that goal. For me, poetry is a way of processing and understanding experience -- so when an idea or event somehow disturbs my equilibrium, I write about it. The more settled and calm my life becomes, the more I need to look outside myself to find sources of disturbance.

3) What poets and/or authors inspire you?
I seem to fixate on particular poets for years at a time, trying to learn as much from them as I can -- and the poet who I've fixated on longer than any other is Auden.

Auden's writing has all the dynamism that I love in poetry -- his poems can swerve from thought to thought, impression to impression, taking in a huge amount of territory, going places that I'd never expect -- but at the same time, Auden's poems are intellectually coherent. I never feel that he's exploring tangents just for the sake of bombarding the reader with more and more stimulus; in the Auden poems I love best, every line has purpose. Look at these lines, for example, from The Sea and the Mirror:

But now all these heavy books are no more use to me any more, for
Where I go, words carry no weight; it is best,
Then, I surrender their fascinating counsel
To the silent dissolution of the sea
Which misuses nothing because it values nothing;
Whereas man overvalues everything
Yet, when he learns the price is pegged to his valuation,
Complains bitterly he is being ruined which, of course, he is,
So kings find it odd that they should have a million subjects
Yet share in the thoughts of none, and seducers
Are sincerely puzzled at being unable to love
What they are able to possess ...

Amazing! I wish I'd written that passage. Each line seems to develop and enlarge the implications of the previous lines. Other poets whose work has been important to me are W.S. Merwin, Philip Levine, Edna St. Vincent Millay, W.B. Yeats, E.E. Cummings, and James Wright. I'm not sure who my next fixation will be. Maybe Amy Clampitt, Elizabeth Bishop, or Frank O'Hara.

4) How does your current neighborhood or community play a part in your poetry?
I do a lot of walking. Walking gets me away from my theories and fixed ways of thinking, because as my feet wander, my thoughts wander, too. Most of my poems begin as words or phrases that come to me when I'm walking, so my physical environment always seeps into my poetry: a firetruck here, a weathervane there. I don't feel that I'm documenting my environment -- many of my poems contain details that are completely imagined -- but my poems definitely reflect my environment, or at least they reflect my feelings about wherever I am.

5) What is the last book you have read that you enjoyed? Tell our Big Blue Marble community a little about it.
I have a toddler, so some of the books I've read mostly recently are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Susan Marie Swanson's The House in the Night -- a truly beautiful book -- and Diggers. I grew up on Beatrix Potter and I can't wait until my son is old enough to enjoy The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, and The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher.

A couple of days ago, a friend lent me Bucolics by Maurice Manning, and that's what I'm reading right now. The poems in Bucolics are short, unpunctuated lyrics addressed to God, or to a God-like entity named "Boss." They're philosophically ambitious, but they're also funny and disarming. Here's a passage:

you toss the stars like clover seed
you sling them through the sky you must
be glad to be a sower Boss
you sow so many things besides
the sky you sow the seed of dew
the seed of night you let it grow
until the morning overgrows
the night ...

I love it when poems direct my thoughts toward real questions, and at the same time, are so free of pomp and self-regard that they seem effortless. They're not effortless, of course! It's extremely difficult to write about serious topics in a serious way without taking yourself too seriously. But Manning succeeds at it, I think.

James Arthur was born in Connecticut and grew up in Canada. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The American Poetry Review. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry, a residency at the Amy Clampitt House, a Discovery/The Nation Prize and a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. His fiery debut collection Charms Against Lightning is available from Copper Canyon Press. He’ll be reading with Rahul Mehta at Big Blue Marble Bookstore on Saturday, November 17th at 5:00pm. This event is co-sponsored by Apiary Magazine.
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Erica’s Five Books: Le Geek, C’est Chic (or Revenge of the Creepy Carnies)

Wed, 2012-10-31 23:30
Have you noticed Geeks are getting way too much play these days? Even before Alexandra Robbins’s The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, there started to abound some kind of cultural caché of coolness in conjunction with being a Geek. This is absolutely fulsome, people! What about the original Geeks, the ones who bite heads off of live chickens in carnival sideshows? They don’t want to be cool and they don’t appreciate having the word Geek co-opted by runty ne’er-do-wells hoping to parlay their quirky, underdog, outsider status into the new chic. To that end, I’ve compiled a list of books designed to restore meaning to the term Geek, while paying homage to angry, creepy carnies everywhere.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (Vintage, $15.95)

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Vintage, $14.95)

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Anchor, $15.00)

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (Avon, $7.99)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Quirk, $17.99)

Erica David, October 2012
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Janet's Five Suggestions to Unplug, Stay Present, and Uni-Task

Mon, 2012-10-29 18:46
Is the ability to multitask truly an asset? Are we more efficient or simply racing in so many directions that we convince ourselves that we must be getting more accomplished? Do we really stop to listen and pay attention enough to remember? Or are we so plugged in that our memories, our stress level, our time with the people we love constantly being sacrificed? How many new phobias, anxieties, pranks, language changes, brain overloads, accidents, learning disabilities, and more are a result of being constantly connected?

Try turning off your device for a while (chances are you won't miss an emergency) and try one of these books to help reclaim yourself in the natural world:

Beginner's Guide to Birds by Donald and Lillian Stokes (Little Brown & Co, $9.99)
Entrances to Carpenter Woods are all over West Mt. Airy... pick one trail, take this simple, pocket size book along and enjoy a slow watchful walk.

Trees of Pennsylvania by Stan Tekiel (Adventure Publication Inc, $12.95)
Knowing the variety of trees surrounding us can bring about more of a grounded feeling to our day. It really is kind of nice to hug a tree.

Where to Bike in Philadelphia by Julie Lorch (BA Press, $24.95)
It is amazing how different our daily routes become on foot or on bikes. We see more of our everyday environment and become more connected to change of seasons, our bodies, our senses.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (Harcourt Inc, $12.00)
Try this simple children's book illustrated to capture the heart of fall foliage to encourage both you and your child to take long walks in the next few weeks. Collect leaves. Jump in leaves. Press leaves. Make leaf crowns.

Stars by May Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee (Beach Lane Books, $16.99)
Before bed, on a crisp October evening, walk outside on a clear night and just look up. Everyone will sleep better.

Janet Elfant, October 2012
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Young Adult Author Profile: Ruth Tenzer Feldman

Thu, 2012-10-25 00:41
Please join us this Thursday, October 25 (tonight!), for an evening of new young adult literature! Four authors, three local and one formerly local, will be reading from and discussing their newest books. This interview with Ruth Tenzer Feldman, author of Blue Thread, is the last of the author profiles I've been posting on the blog this month.

For more details about the event, see our website or the Facebook event page.

1) How would you describe your writing?
The marketing folks at Ooligan Press would say that my writing is primarily nonfiction and historical fiction/fantasy for young adults. The editor of ODYSSEY magazine sees my writing as mainly about health and science. My writer's critique group describes my writing as nuanced and passionate. But I'd describe my writing as the process in which I strive to churn a gazillion emotions and ideas into a good read.

2) How does writing fit into your everyday life?
Right now I'm madly revising another historical fiction/fantasy manuscript that is a companion book to Blue Thread. Writing fits into nearly every available moment.

3) What authors and/or poets inspire you?
That's a long list! I read a wide range of young adult books, and draw inspiration from so many authors. Where do I start? OK. Here are a few: Paolo Bacigalupi (Ship Breaker), Vera Brosgol (Anya's Ghost—a graphic novel), John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), Ransome Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children), Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), and Tim Wynne-Jones (Blink & Caution). I also seek sustenance and guidance from back to the classic authors: Ursula Le Guin, Mark Twain, Flannery O'Connor.

4) What part does the community of Philadelphia play in your life and your writing?
I went to college in Philadelphia, and lived and worked in the city for a while. Traits from real people in the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections (my first job out of college) still show up in my characters. My husband is Philly-born and bred. Philadelphia also gave me a very real, walk-the-streets sense of American history.

5) What is the last book you have read that you enjoyed? Tell our Big Blue Marble community a little about it.
I recently devoured The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. It's my kind of fiction, with just enough fantasy to tickle your brain. On an island off the coast of England, sometime in the 20th century, a guy we adore (Sean Kendrick) competes against a girl we adore (Puck Connolly) in a dangerous horse race. We want both of them to win, but only one can be first across the finish line. Did I mention that they love each other? And that the horses are flesh-eating "kelpies" from the sea?

Ruth Tenzer Feldman is an award-winning author of books and articles, mainly for children and young adults. She has been an attorney, editor, research analyst, ticket seller, and keypunch operator. Her 10 nonfiction books focus on history and biography, while her articles range from leeches to Einstein’s refrigerator. Blue Thread (Ooligan Press, 2012), historical fiction/fantasy for young adults, entwines the struggles of two teen girls living 3,000 years apart. Ruth lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, dog, and innumerable dust mites.
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

Young Adult Author Profile: E.C. Myers

Mon, 2012-10-22 00:07
Please join us this Thursday, October 25, for an evening of new young adult literature! Four authors, three local and one formerly local, will be reading from and discussing their newest books. This interview with E.C. Myers, author of Fair Coin and Quantum Coin, is the third of four author profiles I'll be posting on the blog this month. Keep checking back!

For more details about the event, see our website or the Facebook event page.

1) How would you describe your writing?
Functional? Unadorned? In all seriousness, my style is often described as “clear” and “accessible,” which not every author would like to hear. In young adult fiction, this can be a strength though, and it’s just a reflection of the kind of books that I like to read. I can appreciate a clever or well-crafted line, and I respect wordsmiths who write beautiful prose, but as a reader and a writer I am most interested in characters and story and not so much in describing every detail. Every work is also different; some books need a snappy pace, and others invite a more leisurely approach to convey a particular tone or atmosphere.

2) How does writing fit into your everyday life?
Writing is the focus of most of my waking hours! First of all, I write and edit articles, letters, and speeches for my day job, and I’m working on my fiction every chance that I can get around work, family, and friends. When people say they don’t have time to write, they usually mean they won’t make time to write. As busy as life gets, and it gets very busy, I write every morning for sixty to ninety minutes before work, and often in evenings and on weekends. Of course, “writing” these days often means “writing-related activities,” whether I’m blogging, answering interview questions, designing bookmarks and swag for my book, updating my website, etc. I love watching films and television, reading, and playing video games too, but those all take a back seat to social interactions and writing, if they aren’t entirely left by the side of the road for months at a time. Though I’m a big consumer of content, I get more satisfaction from creating my own.

3) What authors and/or poets inspire you?
I am most inspired by authors who get published through talent, hard work, discipline, and sheer determination. You know that everyone who has a book on a store or library shelf has had to give up something important: time with family, hobbies, checking their Facebook page. And most authors don’t do it for money, but because they want to—they’re compelled to—tell stories. That goes for anyone who creates any kind of art.

I enjoy the work of a lot of contemporary authors of science fiction and fantasy, for adults and young adults, and I’m fortunate enough to be friends with many talented people who create amazing stories and are devoted to writing the best work they can. Every one of them inspires me to keep writing and improving and challenging myself. But I’m also inspired and encouraged by authors I read when I was young, like William Sleator and Robert C. O’Brien—writers who perhaps never achieved the fame and fortune they deserved, but created books that deeply affected me as a child and as a writer that stick with me today.

4) What part does the community of Philadelphia play in your life and your writing?
I’m a recent transplant from New York City, where I was part of a large, diverse creative community. It has taken me a while, but I’ve found a similar community in Philadelphia that is just as active and supportive. It feels somewhat smaller, but I’m impressed by how passionate everyone is about their work and excited about what their friends are doing. The only problem is I haven’t gotten as involved with the local scene as I’d like. One of the reasons it took me so long to meet other geeks and writers is because I was so busy with settling into a new city and a new job and spending time with family, but I’m ready to take more advantage of the culture and creativity here and contribute more to it.

5) What is the last book you have read that you enjoyed? Tell our Big Blue Marble community a little about it.
I’ve just finished Railsea by China Miéville, a young adult novel which takes place in a very post-apocalyptic earth covered in train rails maintained by mysterious mechanical “angels.” Trains navigate the crisscrossing network of tracks like ships on the high seas, hunting the giant, deadly creatures that now inhabit the dirt; scavenging old technology for treasure; or pirating. The story is focused on a boy named Sham Yes ap Soorap, who joins Captain Naphi’s ship as she searches for her “philosophy,” a humongous mole she’s been hunting a la Ahab and Moby Dick. Adventure ensues. It reminds me a bit of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series crossed with Philip Reeve’s Predator Cities Quartet, which are some of my favorite books.

E.C. Myers was assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts and raised by a single mother and a public library in Yonkers, New York. He has published short fiction in a variety of print and online magazines and anthologies, and his young adult novels, FAIR COIN and QUANTUM COIN, are available now from Pyr Books. He currently lives with his wife and a doofy cat in Philadelphia and shares way too much information about his personal life at ecmyers.net and on Twitter @ecmyers.

Photo credit: S. Kuzma Photography.
Categories: Bookstore Blogs

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