Archive for August 2010

Seven Impossible Things- I'm One Of Them!

I'm on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast today!! Go check it out!! (Yes, I am ridiculously excited!!)

Jules did a really neat round-table interview with the four people most directly involved in Hush, Little Dragon and Over At The Castle- me, Kelly Murphy (the illustrator), Maggie Lehrman (the editor) and Chad Beckerman (the art director). I think it's a great inside peek at all of the different processes that go into making a picture book.
So go see!


Bernadette is almost here!!

The really cool part about being an author is not what you'd think.

Yeah, the fame, the fortune, the public recognition... I mean, it's cool, to a point, but after a while it gets a little old, y'know? That's why the best part of my chosen profession is getting to see things like this:

Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer and Scott Magoon

way before other people do. In fact, I saw Mostly Monsterly way back when it was just a little old work-in-progress by my writing pal, Tammi. Of course, a lot of things have changed for little Bernadette since I first met her. She's now adorably illustrated by the fabulous Scott Magoon (he of Ugly Fish fame, one of my all-time top favorite picture books ever) and she even has a new title.

But the *best* part of getting to see this cute monster back when she was just words-on-paper is that one of the words that ended up in the book is MY word! It's like a little piece of me is in this fabulous book. So go to the bookstore on Tuesday and buy Mostly Monsterly (because that's the day it comes out and that's what you should do, says me). Then, when you are reading your new book to your favorite child (or to yourself, I won't tell) and you get to the page where a TOOTHY grin spreads across Bernadette's little monsterly face... that's where Tammi Sauer, incredibly talented author, thought, "Hey, that Boni Ashburn has a good suggestion here in this critique, making her grin a toothy grin, and I'm going to use it!" Yeah, that makes being an author, for me at least, really, really cool!


This And That

Big things have been happening and I'd be remiss in not mentioning them here, wouldn't I?

1. Several of my writing pals have had new books released lately! Yay Debbie and Ruth and Lisa!! If you haven't seen these books yet, get thee to a bookstore or a library and check them out:

The Pout Pout Fish In The Big Big Dark by Debbie Diesen
Ellie McDoodle Best Friends Fur-Ever by Ruth McNally Barshaw
Ugly Pie by Lisa Wheeler

And don't miss the cool contest Debbie's running on her blog, Jumping The Candlestick!

2. The coolest auction EVER starts Monday:

and I've been torn about whether or not to mention it here... I mean, if millions of people bid on these awesome works of art, I'll never get a chance to win one, right? But I decided, hey, it's for a good cause, 826LA, and I'll still bid and you just never know, right?? And besides, not one but TWO of my illustrators have items to bid on- Kelly Murphy, the lovely illustrator of Hush, Little Dragon and Over At The Castle, and ALSO Julia Denos, the lovely illustrator of an upcoming picture book of mine out next year. You can find out everything you need to know at

3. I sold a couple of new picture books! I can't share any details yet, but I'm really excited about both of them. I have had zero writing time this summer (as well as zero blogging time, huh??) and have not felt much like a writer for the past several months. I have kids and it's summer! What little "writer" time I've had has been spent addressing the promotional needs that have cropped up, author visit stuff, submissions- all the accoutrements, so to speak, of BEING a writer without doing the actual activity of WRITING. This I am not so much a fan of, as Clementine would say. So in two more weeks, ya'll ought to notice a big improvement around here as I dry my misty eyes and send those kids back to school. Until then, we have summer to kiss good-bye...


Hey, it's August already...

So, yeah, it's been a little busy around here.

We drove 4,000 miles on a family trip (hello Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota and home!) and not only lived to tell about it, but had a lot of fun, too.

Then I flew out to LA for the SCBWI National Conference which was amazing! The last time I went was in 2007 and I only "knew" a few people. This time I met up with bunches of people I knew and met new ones I didn't.
(This is where I shamelessly name-drop...)

Michael Reisman, who writes the Simon Bloom series
The Gravity Keeper by Michael Reisman

(one of my son's favorites of all time)

was charming and super-nice and funny, even to this non-fantasy-loving picture-book writer who was just scoring a signed book for her son (to impress him.) I'm such a fan of Michael's now, however, I may have to go read his books...

Kristin Clark Venuti was just as cool and smart as the writer of Leaving The Bellweathers should be. You should hurry up and read her first book
Leaving The Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti

if you haven't already because the sequel is coming! I even touched an ARC of it! Darn it if I couldn't distract her long enough to swipe it, but she did give me a Super Special, Limited Availability, Alligator Paper Clip which is ultra-cool.

Dan Santat is just as funny as I thought he'd be. Or funnier, if that's possible.

I also met Deborah Freedman (who is ridiculously talented and NICE to boot!) and Jacqui Robbins (who is both ridiculously *tall* and FUNNY) and Mike Jung (who is just as Mike Jung as I expected him to be, which is all the nice adjectives I've used so far in this whole post) (except *tall* because he is really not that tall), all of whom I'd gotten to know quite well online and was *thrilled* to meet in person and talk endlessly with about my favorite subject.

(Insert many, many more names here, too many to mention, of other *fabulous* people I met and hung out with in LA but really, this post is already too long as it is...!) (But do be sure to yell at me on facebook for not listing you- I can take it!)

Leaving me with a "last-but-not-least" sort of spot in which I mention the two authors I sort-of went to LA with the intention of quietly stalking- Mac Barnett and Jon Scieszka. Met them both! Funny, gracious, genuine... did I mention FUNNY?? And boy, do they KNOW children's books. Wow. I'm now in awe of them both even more than I was before I met them. Jon even signed my original Stinky Cheese Man copy, so all is now right in my world. Yay for SCBWI conferences!