In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

American Library Association "Banned Books Week" and Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK

Eleven years after publication, Laurie Halse Anderson's YA novel SPEAK is under attack again -- but this time, defenders of the book and the right to read freely are speaking up more clearly than ever, thanks to social media like Twitter and Facebook.

To read the ALA explanation of "Banned Books Week," Sept. 25-Oct. 2, click here.

For School Library Journal's interview with author Anderson, click here.

And here's the synopsis from the back of SPEAK, where the protagonist has been raped -- a far cry from what its critics are labeling "pornography":

Melinda Sordino busted and end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t know hate her from a distance. It’s no use explaining to her parents; they’ve never known what her life is really like. The safest place for Melinda to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she admitted it and let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have no choice. Melinda would have to speak the truth.

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