Celebrating Purple Dragonfly Awards

I couldn't resist posting this picture of me with my two Purple Dragonfly Award 2018 certificates. Thank you Story Monsters for your encouragement and support. The Lost Celt won the Middle Grade Fiction and Charity/Making a Difference categories.

me with purple dragonfly awards.jpg

The Lost Celt on Middle Grade Lunch Break Blog

The wonderful writers at Middle Grade Lunch Break recommended The Lost Celt, along with friend Darcey Rosenblatt's The Lost Boys, as Memorial Day reads. They also recommend some of my all time favorite books e.g. Wednesday Wars, Wolf Hollow, Inside Out and Back Again and Echo. Thank you so much Anne-Marie Strohman! Read the entire article here.

A. E. Conran Interviewed by Darlene Carman for KMTV15

Last year, having met Darlene at the Orion School Author Day, I was delighted to accept her invitation to be interviewed for her community TV program. Thank you Darlene and the crew for being so welcoming and enabling me to share my story and book with a wider audience. 

A. E. Conran's book, The Lost Celt, is about soldiers of war, past and present and the effects on families. This program was aired on KMVT15 Community Media.

#PitchWars Middle Grade Mentor, 2017!

I'm delighted to announce that I was one of the 54 from over 300 applicants to be chosen as a mentor in the 2017 #PitchWars. For more information see the website of the co-founder, Brenda Drake.

This is my chance to help a middle grade writer looking for an agent or editor to revise their manuscript and pitch their book. I'm honored to be part of this contest that has helped so many people on their road to publication.

Rockin' Jump Authors Day

A few pictures from the Rockin' Jump authors' day, including evidence of MG and YA authors, Jennifer Gennari and L. B. Schulman, trampolining before opening time. If the writing in your personalized book looks a bit shaky, this is probably why. Thank you Shells Legoullon of Rockin' Jump, Vacaville, an SCBWI member, for inviting us to such a rockin' day. And a big thank you to Rita's Italian Ice for the  free samples! The mango ice was delicious!

California School Librarians Association Conference: Rohnert Park, 2017

My fellow MG writers Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, Guardian Herd Series, Jill Diamond, Lou Lou and Pea and the Mural Mystery and I were warmly welcomed on Saturday by a room of school librarians passionate that their students should not skip middle grade books for YA: the topic of our talk. That was followed by an enjoyable author mix and mingle and an evening with award winning author Kristin Cashore. Wow, what a day celebrating the people who strive to get great books into the hands of great kids!

The Lost Celt Mentioned in Dispatches, the Magazine of the Military Writers Society of America

Pun intended, The Lost Celt appears in Dispatches, the MWSA magazine, alongside award winners in all the literature categories. Very grateful for the recognition and good company.

Busy Weekend at California Library Association and California Reading Association

Sweet Sixteen debut authors: K. C. Held,     A. E. Conran, Janet Sumner Johnson, Jill Diamond, Amy Allegher, Parker Peevyhouse and Laura Shovan.

Sweet Sixteen debut authors: K. C. Held,     A. E. Conran, Janet Sumner Johnson, Jill Diamond, Amy Allegher, Parker Peevyhouse and Laura Shovan.

From Sacramento to Visalia, I was thrilled to meet some inspiring authors, librarians and reading specialists at both the California Library Association conference in Sacramento and the California Reading Association conference in Visalia. Highlights were meeting six other debut authors from the Sweet Sixteens; sharing my signing table with friend and YA writer extraordinaire, Kim Culbertson, and sharing my love of middle grade in a presentation to educators wanting empathetic and challenging mg books for their students.

The Lost Celt reviewed on Mom-Spot.com

Very happy with this positive review from the website Mom-Spot.com. I love to think that girls and boys can't put The Lost Celt down. To visit the Mom-Spot.com review click here.

"Why We Like this Book:

  • Page turner that keeps your interest from cover to cover
  • Lots of twists and turns
  • Story draws you in so deeply that you simply cannot put the book down
  • Book will appeal to both boys and girls."

"Write a Book in a Week" Camp: Book Passage, July 18-23

Four brave 12-year olds met with me for five three-hour sessions to think-up, plot, write and edit a book in a week. It was a blast with ideas flowing thick and fast and furious days of writing fuelled by Italian sodas.

Day 1: We brainstormed all the things we wanted in our book: flying leopards, red and black bugs, jungle adventures, eyes floating the dark and chocolate. We then wrote character studies, setting studies and our backstory. 

Day 2: We plotted the entire book using Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat" Beat Sheet. I then wrote a chapter summary for every chapter.

Days 3 and 4: We allocated the chapters and had to write a chapter an hour. Where necessary we all brainstormed the chapter to make sure that we were working in scene and to ensure we were evoking all the senses and emotions we needed. 

Day 5: We edited, revised, illustrated the front cover, printed and bound our novel, Leona Bloom and the Drexonia Plants of Imaginus. It was completed literally on the dot of 12pm on Friday ready for our presentation and reading in the Book Passage Event Room. I'm very proud of my fearless fellow authors, Kate, Megan, Petra and Pilar.