Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life is good

It's been a busy week. Our grandson was here - lots of shrieking and giggling and animated cartoons around the house. Our daughter was here for a few days too. So good to catch up. I visited two schools on three days and there was an SCBWI event. Today is my husband's and my anniversary. Some highlights - kids lining up to buy Bull Rider. Aspiring writer who attended her first ever workshop and wrote "I'm framing my M.O. for $35 - it's my first investment in me." A writer friend in Canada whose husband is a TBI survivor saying about me "Suzy has done her research on TBI." Watching our daughter lug two suitcases, a carseat, and our grandson into the airport without a complaint or a misstep - all in a normal day for her. Seeing the snow fall. Nothing else earth shaking. This week I will be writing more, doing less of everything else. Life is good.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Buzz Team at Sundance

I had my first bookstore signing and if you are reading my blog and came by, thanks. It was so fun for me and I know a lot of you met up with friends there too. And thanks to Christine and Dan and the Sundance crew for making it such a lovely day for me. They still have some signed copies, so if you missed it you can pick one up there.

In that obsessive authorly way, I was surfing the Border's website and they are carrying Bull Rider in a lot of their stores in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Southern California. I didn't find it in Northern California or Washington, Oregon, Montana. Those are big rodeo states, so if you know anyone there, suggest they ask for the book at their local Borders. Maybe we'll get them to expand it beyond the Southwest and Plains states. You are my "buzz team."

I promise to get off of Bull Rider soon enough and back to some other GREAT books I've read lately, but I had to take this detour into self-promotion and self fulfillment. I've been waiting a long time for this month and I'm happy to share a little of it here. Catch the latest interview on Debby Lytton's blog deborahlytton - and look up my FIRST review from California Cowgirl Happy Day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Book Signing and Junior Library Guild

Wanted to invite any of you in the Reno area to my first, official book signing, Saturday, March 14, Sundance Bookstore near Fifth Street and Keystone in Reno, NV. Would love to have a great turnout. And, I got a pretty, shiny gold (tone) pin from the Junior Library Guild today because they selected Bull Rider for their Spring collection. They keep sending me notes that say they are a bell weather in choosing books that go on to more awards and accolades. From their lips to God's ears. For now, I have the pin :). Come by on Saturday if you can.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Amazing Sunny Day

Sunny Day keeping the clouds away - it is sunny and the two year old is enjoying the wonders of watching the bubbles in the washer. Yesterday a stick and pond water occupied him for half an hour. The world is indeed wonderful from two feet off the ground and we are blessed to share that.

Yesterday, Cory Farley interviewed me on his radio show here in Reno, and it was tons of fun. He really liked Bull Rider and that, of course, felt very, very, good. Thanks Cory and I hope you like the ending as well as the first half of the book.

And we had a three way skype conversation on three continents and three time zones. I am constantly amazed. Guess it runs in the family.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Time and Two Year Olds

OK, I'm really enjoying having our two year old grandson here, but that leaves little time for blogging. Just checking in - I'm still here and have been sprayed with apple juice, rescued our very patient Ralph from the over enthusiastic boy, watched the snow fall and the birds fly by the window, and learned to spell WATER several different times on PBS. It's a good day, but not much writing happening.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another Book for Kids in Military Families

I have hoped for a while that Bull Rider would touch kids in military families and give them a jumping off place for discussing their own concerns or the opportunity for seeing a family that is going through changes because of the Middle East wars. There are a lot of military families out there who live every day hoping their loved one will come home safe.

Heart of A Shepherd, by Rosanne Parry, Random House, January 2009, does the same. Her book's setting is literally forty or fifty miles from Bull Rider's fictional Salt Lick, NV and her main character, Brother, is a ranch kid too. His dad has been deployed to Iraq with the reserves along with most of the men in their small town. His older brothers are away at school - his small town doesn't have a high school - and that leaves Brother, his aging grandparents, and a ranch hand, Ernesto, to care for the ranch. Brother takes his role seriously. Heart of a Shepherd is a genuine, gentle book that looks at ranch life, growing up, accepting responsibility. It also reflects the kinds of changes the wars have made on communities. I am proud to know Rosanne Parry and to be signing with her and Terri Farley at the Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington on April 5th. 10AM. Our books are similar in so many ways, and yet they are totally different stories. I think Heart of a Shepherd will appeal to a little younger read than Bull Rider will. Read them both and you decide. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reading Out Loud

Hi again. I got an e-mail from a high school teacher friend in Wyoming that said a student picked up the copy of Bull Rider that was on her desk and asked to read it. She was pretty excited about that and so am I. AND I know of two of you at least, who are reading Bull Rider to your classes. That got me to thinking I should have one of those online contests - but only for teachers who are reading Bull Rider out loud, or have passed the book on to their students in some way. But there needs to be a great prize. What do you think about half off of a school visit, or an online chat with your students? Let me know. If you are reading this, comment on your favorite prize. If you are a teacher or librarian who is reading Bull Rider out loud or recommending it to students let me know. I'll start the list for the drawing NOW. This will be fun.

On a personal note, our dog Ralph was released from doctor's care following his eye surgery in January. Poor guy had gotten an ulcerated cornea and it wouldn't heal. Dr. Lavash (sp?) in Reno worked miracles and Ralph is back to his old self, sparkling eyes and all.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Launch Week for Bull Rider

It seems when you publish a novel you get a launch day and that stretches into a launch week and then a launch month. Best case scenario is a fabulous debut year. Bull Rider's launch started before the official "day" as Amazon shipped copies a few days ahead and I started to get cool e-mails that said people were reading the book. My agent called me on the very day to wish me a happy one, and my husband took me to lunch. I went to Sundance Bookstore, our local Indie, to pick up some copies for a reading at a local school and there was Bull Rider displayed on a prominent rack. I missed it the first time because I was searching the shelves. That was a rush. The book hit several blogs and I did a school visit and then attended the Asilomar SCBWI conference. My editor was speaking and she requested the bookseller stock Bull Rider. They sold out! And I provided some extra copies and THOSE sold out. Yeeha!

So it's been a great week - thanks to all of you who bought, read, and talked up Bull Rider. There are some nice reviews on GoodReads and Amazon too. If you love Bull Rider, you might want to add yours. If you are looking for more good debut novels check out and also More tomorrow!