Adina at Her Best finally up for sale!

adina cover-3While I have not gotten my copies yet (they are in transit, and they arrived in NYC on Thursday), Adina at Her Best is indeed on sale on the Menucha Publisher’s site.

In other fun news, I just posted a second video about writing picture books. This one is broadly applicable to all writing, especially narrative forms. It’s about getting into the heads of your readers and into the heads of your characters. You can view it here.

And I just got great feedback on some changes I made to the adult novel I’ve been trying to snag an agent for. (Thanks, Cy and Daniel!) I’m hoping that as soon as all the craziness surrounding the release of Adina is done, I’ll be able to get that query all polished up and out to some more agents.

 

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Shavuos almost here…

With Shavuos starting tomorrow night, that means school librarians and parents have been reading A Dozen Daisies for Raizy to their younger ones. I keep having kids come up to me, “Mrs. Klempner, did you really write about Raizy?” and “When will Raizy have another adventure?”

It’s very touching, but also frustrating. I’ve tried to sell other stories about Raizy to the publisher – with no success – and the book sold out about a month ago. You can’t buy it for any kind of reasonable price on Amazon anymore. And the publisher hasn’t decided whether to issue a new edition or not. I’d LOVE it if they did. Next year will be Raizy’s 10 anniversary, I think, and wouldn’t it be amazing if they re-issued it, maybe with an update?

Right now I’m brainstorming a sequel for Glixman in a Fix as well as working on my long-suffering adult novel. I really, really want to finish a complete first draft by next Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the Jewish month of Tammuz). If I can send it off to a publisher by the end of the summer, I will be overjoyed.

Also, if you have picked up Glixman, and you or one of your kids or your students have read it – it would be amazing if you could mosey over to either website you purchased it from or Goodreads and write a review. Your reviews will help Glixman find other readers!!!

Fun Storytelling Project I Just Started

I kicked off my Pesach cleaning with a little not-strictly-necessary-for-Pesach file purging on Sunday. Once again, I was astonished by how many stories I have lying around unread after their initial publication. I decided to do something about it.

Opening a Soundcloud account, I chose four of my children’s stories, and read them aloud. Now there is downloadable audio of those stories on my Soundcloud account! You can listen to them in the car, at home, even in a waiting room. No story is longer than 10 minutes.

It’s been nearly 9 years since A Dozen Daisies for Raizy came out, and I’ve written several sequels which were never published or were published in a different form. My favorite of these is set at Passover time. It no longer stars Raizy, but I think young readers will enjoy it just the same. I decided to include this story – now titled “Bella’s Busy Day” – on my Soundcloud. You can listen to that story – for ages 4 to 6 – here.

When it came to choosing the other stories to read aloud, I selected three that have been requested by teachers and therapists in the past. They follow Chaim Mendel, a 14 year old Jewish boy with Asperger’s, and his friends. If you want to listen to Chaim Mendel’s adventures, I recommend you listen to them in the opposite order in which they appear on the Soundcloud page: 1) “The Gift of Giving,” 2) “Not So Far From the Tree,” and 3) “Team Thinking.” Those stories are perfect for kids 9 – 14.

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me if I’d be willing to do audio for them, and I refused. I’m very self-conscious about my voice. Half the time, I sound like I’m mumbling (thanks to being from Baltimore, home of a very strange accent), and I tend to sound high-pitched when recorded. These recordings didn’t turn out too bad, and I figured it was a low-stress environment in which to share my voice with the public.

I plan to add other stories later – particularly as Sefirah follows Passover, and for some of us, that means we don’t listen to music. If you like the stories, please share the links and so on.

 

Need a little reading material for those long Yom Tov and Shabbos afternoons?

cropped-sliding-doors-cover.jpg

Spring is here, and with it come holidays and long Shabbos afternoons. If you have a tween or a teen who likes to spend them reading, check out my two most recent books!

SLIDING DOORS and other stories

(11-16 year olds)

While home sick, a teen interrupts a burglary in progress…

A mysterious stranger offers a young man an extra hour, for one-time use…

Slipping into an alternate universe, a girl discovers a few surprises…

A teenager lacking social skills adjusts to his new yeshiva…

Sliding Doors and other Stories features 17 of my finest stories for tweens and teens and one essay in a single volume sure to please old fans and new ones.

mazal coverMAZAL’S LUCK RUNS OUT

(8-11 year olds)

Do you think of yourself as lucky? Mazal always did – that is, until her luck ran out.

Mazal Tehrani is an 11 year-old girl living in Los Angeles’s bustling Jewish community. Her first name means “luck,” and she’s always been just that: lucky. Mazal has great parents, adorable siblings, and her best friend, Bluma, really is the best! But when one thing goes wrong after another, she starts to wonder, is she lucky after all?

Both titles now available on AMAZON!

Oh, all right, I’ll spill the beans.

So, yesterday’s post mentioned that I’ve been working on a few big projects. I can’t tell you about all of them, but I can tell you about two:

  1. I’ve compiled several of the stories I have published previously in international Jewish kids’ magazines into an anthology, selecting the ones that got the most fan mail, and which teachers have mentioned they’d like to use in their classrooms. I’m self-publishing it, IY”H. Target audience: readers age 10-16. We’re just waiting on the proofs – which I’ll have to proofread – before they will be up for sale.
  2. Also on the self-publishing front, many years ago, I had a number of stories starring two characters, Esti and Bluma, which ran in a local-to-L.A. Jewish magazine. Those stories got lots of fan mail here in L.A., so I started to shop around for a publisher. I had a couple near-misses, where a publisher said they were very interested, but then backed out pretty late in the game. After that, I added some more material, changed some things around to make it more like a middle-grade novel, as opposed to a short story collection, and tried yet another publisher. As they say in Yiddish: gornisht. My husband, though, really believed in the book, and my beta testers – kids from around the neighborhood – enjoyed it thoroughly. Doing Maker Camp over the summer really inspired me, as well as this post on Positive Writer, so after working on the anthology, I pulled out this older manuscript and started editing that one.

G-d willing, I’ll have news for you soon about these upcoming releases. I’m hoping to have them available online and at bookshops in L.A. Keep your eyes peeled for updates! (And prayers for the success of this project are welcome.)