Hooray for Alexandria, VA!!

I visited lovely Alexandria, VA recently. While there, the amazing HoorayForBooks set up several school visits and share some about my book VILLAIN KEEPER and my Last Dragon Charmer series.  It’s a great book store with a large children’s section but also some adult books, too. The owner, Ellen, recommended a book – Ricky Ricotta – that my niece and nephew love.  So hooray for Ellen.  And Hooray for Hilary who set up the visits for me :)

The schools were all different and all interesting. The students asked great questions.  At every school, at least one person asked me if I drew the dragons. Sadly, I can’t take credit for that. That honor goes to Eric Deschamps. One cool thing, a few days after the visits I received a nice pack of cards from the kids of Alexandria County Day School.


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And book three of The Last Dragon Charmer is titled….

REALM BREAKER (The Last Dragon Charmer #3)!!!  The title still could change but I don’t *think* it will. I’m revising REALM BREAKER now. I got a great editorial letter from my editor and good input from my agent, so my brain is full of ideas. IDEAS! Lots of then. Thanks to Jocelyn and David for those. I feel a bit overwhelmed, too, but mostly feel sparkly and amazed that I’m working on book three! Honestly, I don’t know how I managed to write three books.


I have lots of work ahead of me. I have to edit and think and make the draft better. There is so much work to do. So much work to do.  That’s how I feel at the beginning of a revision, or a draft, or a story. Writing is hard! And fun…definitely fun, too.  But also HARD…

Lisa Simpson Writing

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School visits at Timber Ridge MS and Fischer MS


Last week, I visited 6th and 7th graders at Timber Ridge MS in Plainfield, IL and at Fischer MS in Aurora, IL with my fabulous fellow Fearless 15er fri20151016_085946ends and authors David Fulk (RAISING RUFUS) and Mike Grosso (I AM DRUMS). Anderson’s Bookshop set it all up for us!

This was the first author visit I’ve done with other authors. Usually, before these visits, I’m excited, but also nervous. I have to find the school, find whoever I’m going to meet there, and then present my program – all on my own. Although I was still excited, still nervous, it was nice to share the stress and the spotlight with friends. And I *think* we put on a good program for the students.

At Timber Ridge, the students had made posters of our books. It was amazing to see the giant cover art posters. They also had a band playing at the beginning of our program. Afterwards, several students came up to us in the halls to talk about our books. It’s just great to see kids excited about reading.

(Below there is a pic of us beside our posters. If you didn’t know, I’m the one posing like supergirl.)


After Timber Ridge MS, we visited Fischer MS. We got great questions from the 7th grade class and then got to chat with some of the 6th grade library shelf helpers.

It was a great day at two great schools. IMG_0923

On Saturday, we had an event at Anderson’s Bookshop in LaGrange. The booksellers gave us a warm welcome and we got to chat about our books and read to a nice group of kids and adults.



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Looks like my main character

When I was searching for gifs, I stumbled upon an anime character (looks-wise) that reminds me a lot of my mc in VILLAIN KEEPER and QUEST MAKER – Caden, eighth-born prince of Razzon in the Winterlands of the Greater Realm and currently of Asheville, NC.

First, Caden has an enchanted blue coat with gold and silver embroidery. On the book cover it has white trim…

looks like Caden

Second, if he had to dump water over his head, I believe he’d do it with a similar dignity.

Now, I need to find the rest of my character anime/manga lookalikes. It’s like a quest.

(And I just need to track down this anime and watch it! Although, then the character may look less like Caden, but that’s okay.)

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October Goodreads Giveaway

I ended up with one more Advance Reader copy of QUEST MAKER so I decided a Happy Halloween month October Goodreads Giveaway for it and for a copy of book one VILLAIN KEEPER. Enter here to win book one and here to win book two.

ghosts dancing


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First Review for Book Two…

Yay! It was great to see this from Kirkus for book two QUEST MAKER in my The Last Dragon Charmer series. I’m really excited about the second book so I hope others will be too. Beware, though, spoilers abound in the middle paragraph of the review!


Cover #2

Cover #2

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Books and Bears!

I visited The Fountainhead Bookstore in Hendersonville, NC recently – a cool bookstore in a great town – for the bookstore’s Bookapalooza event. I got distracted by books and fun stuff inside the store and forgot to take pictures, but I got nice shot out front the next day.


Then I had to go get pictures of many of the Hendersonville Bears. For instance, there was the ice cream bear in front of the Kilwin’s chocolate shop:


And there was the baseball bear in front of the bar/grill. I didn’t eat there this time, but there is always next time.


I used instagram to combine some photos of the main street. Like many thing, I’m still figuring instagram out. But look at the shops and the bears! My mom and I are in a few of these too. Mainly posing beside artsy bears.


All and all, I great visit to a great town!

Hi panda

And Goodbye for now!

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UNC SILS Workshop

Click on the slide!I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in May, 2000!  I’m excited to get to come back and chat about writing and my books. Come by the SILS Library in Manning Hall today at 5pm to join us.

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Rearranging things.

I’m considering rearranging my website/blog a bit. Now that I’ve been posting fairly regularly, I feel like things could be divided and organized better. However. If I do that, I may have to add more categories across the top of the page, and that might look jumbled. Mainly, it sounds like it might be a lot of work. Ah well. Decisions, decisions. I’ll do it. Soon. I think. Maybe. I just need to sit at my desk and NOT take a nap on the floor…

Falling over

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Unleashing Readers Guest Post

The wonderful Unleashing Readers blog let me write a guest post for them. It was put up today! Check it out at the link below and read all their great articles and reviews as well.  It’s a site full of good and interesting information and book stuffs.

Unleashing Readers

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