A word about fan mail — RyAnn, are you out there?

So I’m working my way through my pile of mail, and here’s this LOVELY letter from RyAnn in Louisville, Kentucky, and I’m eager to reply, but there’s a problem–RyAnn forgot to include a return address.

Oh dear, it’s always so distressing when this happens!  I hate knowing that there’s a disappointed reader out there, thinking I’m a total twerp for not answering their letter, and the fact is I CAN’T because I don’t know where to send it!

So please please please make sure to include a return address with your letters (and make sure it’s crystal clear), OK?  Otherwise your letter goes in the “Sad” file.  As in “Sad Author,” that is…

More fun fan art

I’ve been tackling my stack of mail this week, and oh my goodness have I unearthed some treasures!  You are all just too sweet to send me such beautiful, creative artwork.

Here’s a fun picture from Marissa and Eunice:

And look at these gorgeous character sketches by their friend Angie!

Cool, huh?

Thank you, my dear readers!  I’m honored and delighted — and I love hearing from ALL of you, whether you send artwork or not!

 

And the winners are …

ALEXANDRA, who loves Cinderella, and BRENNA, who loves Snow White!  Congratulations to you both — I’ve sent emails with details on how to claim your prize.

What a great turnout for this contest!  You guys are AMAZING — I had nearly 80 entries, with many of you blogging, tweeting, and telling friends to help get the word out.  Fantastic!  I ♥ you all!

There were so many entries I almost needed a bigger hat!

Oh, and a number of you guessed the catchphrase — it was “And now for something completely different,” from the old TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Picking the winners was so exhausting that Billie and Bonnie had to take naps

Hey, I have good news!  The pub date for ONCE UPON A TOAD has been pushed up to April 10th!  That means you can get your hands on it a week earlier than originally scheduled, how cool is that?!

Stay tuned for more fun stuff and hoopla as publication day draws closer.  Meanwhile, I’m off to answer (finally) my mountain of mail…

 

 

A Jess Delaney moment

Look what I saw yesterday while walking the dogs!

It’s a great blue heron.  They’re very majestic birds — and very LARGE birds.  Like nearly the size of Bonnie and Billie, our two Shetland sheepdogs.  Well, OK, maybe not that big.  But BIG for a bird.  We have a lot of them around here.  This guy was standing really close, though, and even more exciting, I got to watch him eat a frog!  (eew, I know)

He was standing on the bank of a creek with this, uh, thing dangling out of his mouth.  At first I  couldn’t tell what it was, and then about the time that I did, he swooped up into the air, showing off his huge wingspan, and landed on a branch at the top of a nearby tree.  Where he enjoyed his lunch…

Anyone else have a Jess Delaney nature moment they’d like to share?

 

And now for something completely different…

Ta-da!  I promised you all a sneak peek of ONCE UPON A TOAD, my new book coming out in April, and it’s finally ready.  Click here to hop on over (*groan*–bad pun, sorry!) and read the excerpt.

I also promised you a fun giveaway, so here we go.  Since this book is WILDLY different from my mother-daughter book club stories, take a deep breath and switch gears.  Then leave a comment below telling us which is your favorite fairy tale and why.  That’s it, simple as that.  You’ll be entered to win an ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy) plus a copy of the original book jacket (the one pictured here has been tweaked–you’ll have fun spotting the differences).  I’ll autograph both for you.

If you tweet this, blog about it, mention it on Facebook, or tell a friend who then also comments below, you’ll receive an additional entry for the drawing.  (U.S. and Canada only, please.)  Two winners will be chosen at random after midnight Pacific Time on February 20th, and announced on the 21st.

**For all of you baby boomers out there — or non-baby boomers, why not? — a bonus entry for the first three people who recognize the TV show catchphrase mentioned somewhere in this post and email me about it…

 

From one of you

 

Thought you’d enjoy seeing this.  It’s from my friend McKenna and I think it’s really clever — it was  for a book report at school.  Here’s another view:

 

I wrapped it around a sneak peek copy of ONCE UPON A TOAD, which you will be hearing more about next week!  (Hint:  giveaways ahead!)

And one last view:

 

The actual book report starts on the inside jacket flaps and continues on the back cover.  Love it!  (And if you look REALLY closely, you can see that she got an “O” for OUTSTANDING — fabulous job, McKenna!)

More fun art from some of you coming next week as well.  Stay tuned …

Ciao for niao!

 

C’est finis!

Dusting off my high school French here to let you know “It’s done!”

Yep.

WISH YOU WERE EYRE is finished!  And shipped off to Alexandra, my charming editor, who will soon be rolling up her sleeves and diving in (and, I hope, enjoying what I’ve cooked up).

For those of you who are curious as to what happens next, once Alexandra has had a chance to read the draft and mull it over, she’ll then get back to me with what’s called an “editorial letter.”  I LOVE receiving editorial letters — this means we’re about to get to my favorite part of the writing process:  REVISION!

Anyway, the editorial letter contains all of her feedback and ideas about the book — the good, the bad, and (occasionally) the ugly.  (Actually, I’ve been very fortunate in my publishing career so far, as there hasn’t been much ugly.)  She’ll praise what deserves to be praised (and let’s face it, we writers LIVE for praise ha ha), poke holes in what deserves to have holes poked in it, make suggestions and comments, and help me brainstorm about bits that are raggedy around the edges or otherwise need work.  And then it’s my job to dive back in and wave my magic wand and make the story sing.

Which is what I love to do.

So now, while I’m waiting for Alexandra’s feedback, I get to catch up on:  sleep, housework, fan mail, exercise, visiting with family and friends, playing with my dogs, movies I’ve missed, books that have been stacking up, and more sleep.  All the things that fall by the wayside when I’m on deadline…

Ciao for niao!