During Picture Book Idea Month (or PiBoIdMo, as those in the know call it), participants are asked to come up with new picture book ideas. One of the best way to come up with picture book ideas is to find inspiration through reading other picture books. Therefore, in honor of  PiBoIdMo, we are doing a picture book giveaway!

Inspiration is an evolving thing, and what we can do with inspiration changes over time as well. So the prize here is actually a set of two autographed picture books: my first, Tightrope Poppy, the High-Wire Pig, and my last (or, at least, my most recent) Pirate Princess. Are you excited? Ready to be inspired? I hope so!

There are several ways to enter:

(1) Leave a comment telling me about the best picture book you’ve read in the last two years (just so every answer ins’t Where the Wild things Are)

(2) follow me on Twitter — mention that in a comment

(3) like my author page on Facebook — mention that in a comment

(4) follow this blog (right sidebar) — mention that in a comment

or (5)  follow fellow blogger Kami Kinard’s Facebook author page — mention that in a comment

So, that’s FIVE ways you can enter to win! Just make sure you tell us in the comments which types of entries you’ve submitted. We will select a winner on November 26 (*) so the contest will remain open until November 25. Good luck to everyone!

* Only entries from the US or Canada are eligible to win the autographed books

Contest Winner and Onward

First of all, we at Nerdy Chicks Rule want to send our thoughts out to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Many of our friends and followers are without power today. We hope that everyone is otherwise well.

We are postponing the interview scheduled for today until we know that our interviewee is back online. Look forward to hearing from Picture Book Author and creator of PiBoIdMo, Tara Lazar. Her interview will be up later this week! Don’t know what PiBoIdMo is? Click on the link in the right sidebar!

Also coming soon, in honor of PiBoIdMo, we will be doing another giveaway featuring signed picture books from Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. Details will be announced in the next week or so.

Finally…. Winner Notification.

Winners of the YAmazing Race were announced HERE.

There were almost 200 entries in the Nerdy Chick Giveaway of The Boy Project Prize Pack! Thank you all for entering! To select a winner, each entry was numbered, then the total number was submitted to The winning number was 51, and the person with the 51st entry was PamM.  Congrats Pam! Pam has been contacted by email.

Another offer: For fans of The Boy Project who didn’t win, but who did enter the contest. I just had bookplates made and will send a signed bookplate, a bracelet, and a tattoo to those of you who comment below to let me know you would like these. I’m hoping to extend this offer until people without power get it again, but I’ll let you know here when it ends.  Thanks for your comments everyone. I am going to end this now, since I will be shipping a few of the swag packs internationally. 🙂 But if you live in an area where you lost power and are seeing this for the first time, go ahead and comment and I’ll ship to you.

Okay everyone, keep safe! And check back soon  for the next giveaway and interviews with nerdy chicks.

YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes

The YAmazing Race is now officially over, as is the Nerdy Chicks Rule Contest.  Winners will be notified soon! All entries recieved after 12:00 pm today, October 29 will not count. Thank you for stopping by!

Nerdy Chicks Rule is participating in the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes. That means this post will be up for a week, while race contestants run through the blogs of over 50 participating debut authors for chances to win awesome prizes. Haven’t heard about it? Click the HERE to visit the Apocalypsies blog for complete details. Whether you are participating in the YAmazing Race or not, check out the additional contest we are running here at Nerdy Chicks Rule. Details follow the information about THE BOY PROJECT below.

So for race contestants, here’s what you’ll need to answer that race question:

Wildly creative seventh grader Kara McAllister just had her best idea yet. She’s going to take notes on all of the boys in her grade (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she get a boyfriend?

But Kara’s project turns out to be a lot more complicated than she imagined. Soon there are secrets, lies, and an embarrassing incident in the boy’s bathroom. Plus, Kara has to deal with mean girls, her slightly spacey BFF, and some surprising uses for duct tape. Still, if Kara’s research leads her to the right boy, everything may just be worth it. . . .

Full of charts and graphs, heart and humor, this hilarious debut will resonate with tweens everywhere.

Reviews, trailer and three ways to order THE BOY PROJECT right HERE.

Ready for the next stop on the YAmazing Race? Hop on over to E. C. Myers’s blog: !

WAIT! THERE’S ANOTHER GIVEAWAY. Keep reading for Details!

Enter my contest for THE BOY PROJECT inspired prize pack pictured here: Signed copy of THE BOY PROJECT, Spill Your Guts journal, Paint Splatter Duct Tape, Graph paper journal, BOY PROJECT pen, heart topper pencil, and THE BOY PROJECT Friend pack (5 each of bookmarks, tattoos, magnets, and bracelets).

There are several ways to enter! Leave a comment telling me about a favorite use of duct tape, follow me on Twitter, like my author page on Facebook, follow this blog (right sidebar), or follow fellow blogger Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s Facebook author page. When you’re done just fill out the form. (Form must be filled out so you’ll get proper credit!)

Jocelyn Rish: Award Winning Writer and Filmmaker

I met writer and filmmaker Jocelyn Rish at an SCBWI Carolina’s conference. I was immediately struck by how modest she was despite the fact that she had recently won two major (but very different) awards for her writing. In 2009 she won the Highlights Fiction contest, a very big deal in the children’s writing world. Then she won a generous grant from the SC Film Commission to fund making her award winning story Saying Goodbye (another award!) into a film. Impressive, right?

This past spring I was thrilled to be able to watch Saying Goodbye, which Jocelyn produced with her brother Brian Rishat the Beaufort Film Festival. It is a sweet and funny movie. (You can enter for a chance to win a copy below.)

 Jocelyn graduated from Duke University with a major in psychology and a minor in computer science. She is simultaneously working on two novels and her filmmaking. Thanks for joining us today Jocelyn to answer questions about writing for film, and being nerdy! 

If you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be? You know that little voice in your head – the one that keeps whispering at you to quit being so scared? LISTEN TO IT! It’s trying to keep you from torturing yourself with the “what if” game years down the road. Be brave, be bold. 

How can I get a little voice in my head that tells me to quit being scared? I need one of those! Just kidding, the last thing I need is another voice in my head. Do you have a favorite way to flaunt your brain power?I love using big words. I’m actually kind of obnoxious about it, even though I don’t mean to be, they just pop out before I can stop them. And now I’m making it worse by learning a new word each day and using it to write a tweet tale on twitter. If you want to play along, come find us at the hashtag #15tt.

You won the Highlights fiction contest a few years ago. Now you are winning awards for your short film. What are some 

differences between writing for children and writing for film? The biggest difference is in HOW you tell the story, and I don’t mean format, although that is a big difference too. When writing a story people will read (children or adults), you have a lot more freedom. You can describe things using all five of the senses. You can explore what the characters are thinking and feeling. But when you’re writing for film, if it can’t be seen or heard, then it doesn’t happen. You can’t describe the way the tang of fresh cut grass reminds the protagonist of picnics with her dad, or that these memories make her sad because her dog ran away during one of these picnics. Unless you go the easy route with a voiceover, you have to figure out other ways to convey these thoughts and feelings (plus hope the actors are strong enough to express complex emotions visually).

My short film Saying Goodbye was actually a short story first, written from close third person POV, focusing on the protagonist’s thoughts about what was happening around her. My brother Brian and I worked together to translate it to a screenplay, and it was a definite challenge – we ended up using flashbacks and switching some of her internal dialog to actual dialog. If you’re interested, you can do a comparison yourself – the original short story is here: and the film is available to watch for free here:

Thanks for offering the comparison!  Did anything unexpected and wonderful happen to you while writing the script for, and filming Saying Goodbye? The main character of Alma was based on my maternal grandmother, who had passed away in a nursing home a few months before I wrote the short story, so writing it helped me feel more at peace with her passing. And so many wonderful things happened while filming that I could write pages and pages about it, but I’ll pick two:

One, we filmed in an actual assisted living community and the residents and staff were warm and welcoming and sooooo excited to be extras in the movie. They were very inspiring and exemplified the “carpe diem” spirit we tried to convey in the film. We had a special screening for them when the movie was finished, and I still get teary thinking about their reactions to seeing themselves on the big screen.

Two, as part of the grant we won from the SC Film Commission, we worked with students at The University of South Carolina and Trident Technical College. These students were dedicated and talented and so much fun to work with. I now refer to them (all nineteen of them!) as my babies, and I’ve been so proud as they’ve gone on to work on shows like The Vampire Diaries, Drop Dead Diva, Army Wives, and several Hollywood movies.

I can understand your pride. It is great to see the ripple effect of your work. So do you have plans for future films? We recently finished our second film High Heels & Hoodoo, which is a complete 180 from Saying Goodbye. It’s a supernatural story that’s part spooky, part funny. We’re just now starting the film festival circuit with this one. After that, I’m not sure. My brother and I have talked about trying a feature film next, but that will involve raising a lot of money, so we’re still debating our next step.

How is brain power an asset to your career? On the writing side of my career, my brain power turned me into a story sponge. I grew up as a mega bookworm (which is a subspecies of a nerdy chick, right?), and I absorbed so many lessons about story structure and characterization and the crafting of words from reading. Now many of these aspects of storytelling are like second nature, so I can let my creative side take over when I write.

As for my career as a film producer (can I call it that if no one is paying me?), the most important thing is organization. There are so many moving parts that a producer is kind of like a plate spinner – and if one plate gets neglected, they all come crashing down. So this is where I get to indulge my not-so-secret love of spreadsheets. From budgets to actor availability to which props are needed for a scene, I track everything in spreadsheets in all their tab-filled, color-coded glory.

I know there will be more award winning fiction and films in your future, Jocelyn, and I look forward to experiencing both!

 To find out more about Jocelyn, visit her website, or follow her on Twitter. You can find out more about her movie, Saying Goodbye, here. More on her movie High Heels and Hoodoo can be found here.  

Jocelyn has offered to send a copy of a DVD of Saying Goodbye! All you have to do to enter to win the DVD, which contains outtakes and more, is leave a comment! Contest ends at midnight on September 23 and a winner will be selected using on Monday, September 24.  

Have a peek at the movie trailer here! Don’t forget to comment.


Nancy Raines Day: Interview and Picture Book Giveaway!

I met author Nancy Day shortly after moving to Beaufort SC, when I visited her critique group in nearby Savannah.  Nancy, who lives on St. Simon’s Island in Georgia, drove in once a month to meet there. We found our critiquing styles to be compatible and later we formed an online critique group, which I loved being in for over a year. Nancy’s newest picture book, A is for Alliguitar is one of the manuscripts I saw as part of the group and it is so thrilling to see it now as a hardback book! Nancy is also on SCBWI’s list of writers approved to offer professional critiques. Nancy is celebrating the release of A is for Alliguitar by offering a picture book to give away here! Details at the end of the post. Thanks so much for joining us today Nancy!

I’ll start by asking you what I ask everyone. If you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be? Actually, I got by those years by giving myself this advice at the time: Later, this (fill in your most recent embarrassing incident here) will make a really funny story.

After attending multiple high school reunions, I have a couple of observations. One, good friends who once ditched you to hang out with cooler people will likely remember you fondly. Also, by and large, the people who were kind of nerdy back then have gone on to live more interesting lives than the ones in the “popular” crowd.

You’ve published seven picture books so far. What’s the best piece of advice you can give aspiring writers? Persistence is the name of the game. When I started writing picture books, I told myself that most people never get published because they give up along the way—and I wouldn’t. Although I was tempted at one point during the ten years it took me to sell the first one, I kept going. And that, to borrow a line from Robert Frost, has made all the difference. So keep on keeping on!

 So true, Nancy. What was the inspiration for your newest book, A is for Alliguitar?  Standing on the St. Simons pier, I was thinking about going to a reunion concert of the youth orchestra I played viola with in high school (nerdy chick that I was)–all the different instruments and the people who played them. Some tourists on the pier were excited about an alligator they had just seen. So, while scanning the water for an alligator and thinking about instruments, my wires got crossed and I said “Alliguitar!”

I wondered if I could come up with a combination like that for every letter of the alphabet. Mostly, I did it for my own entertainment. (Some people do crossword puzzles; I set myself these little challenges.) Then I wondered if I could put it all in rhyme, which–this time–came easily. It was a gift.

It’s always a wonderful gift when things like that work out when writing. Who knew there was an instrument for every letter of the alpahbet? I’m sure some research was involved. Can you tell us what kind of research goes into writing a picture book? Each of my books have called for different kinds of research.

For A is for Alliguitar, Google was a big help in finding lists of animals and instruments that started with the right letter or sound. It also helped me come up with scenarios to pair the two musical alphabeasts in the same stanza and spread. For instance, googling ibis and jackal, I discovered the Egyptians had two gods, one with the head of an ibis and another with the head of a jackal. So the resourceful illustrator, Herb Leonhard, drew them next to a pyramid with alphabeast hieroglyphs below.

For On a Windy Night, my best research was the experience of getting lost in unfamiliar woods as it was getting dark, and walking faster and faster as my camera (instead of a trick-or-treat bag) banged against me and I got more and more worried imagining what—or who—might be behind the next tree. That helped me rewrite the rhyme with a quickening pace, and gave me a good clue about what was going cracklety-clack next to the boy’s ear!  (See the trailer for On a Windy Night HERE.)

For the Miami at Christmastime setting of Flamingo’s First Christmas, I watched videos of movies set there and talked to the children’s librarian at the Miami Public Library. I had already spent hours watching flamingos at my in-law’s Florida trailer park, but I read up on flamingos’ habits to describe how Flamingo moved, etc.

For my first book, The Lion’s Whiskers: An Ethiopian Folktale, I couldn’t travel to Ethiopia, then in a civil war, but I did extensive library research trying to imagine myself there. After I had written the story, I had an Ethiopian who had moved to the U.S. read it. He couldn’t believe I hadn’t been there, so I must have done my homework well.

 So interesting. I’m finding that most nerdy chicks really enjoy research. What is another way that you like to flaunt your brain power? Other than writing picture books that critics call clever? I do like playing along with Jeopardy questions at home—and participating in trivia nights when I get a chance.

I’m sure you would stomp me at any trivia game. What’s something you like to do that might be considered a tiny bit nerdy, but is actually really fun?  Singing in my church choir. It’s something I’ve done since I was in middle school—and everywhere I’ve lived since then. I haven’t kept up with the viola—though I do occasionally take it out of mothballs and play just for fun. But singing in the choir is a good way to make music with other people, which helps me switch creative gears.

Actually, everything I do is NERD-y, because those are my initials!

 You’re the only person I’ve interviewed who can say that Nancy!  To find out more about Nancy, you can visit her website at You can also check out her Goodreads author profile, or read this interview.

Nancy is giving away a copy of A is for Alliguitar! There is a downloadable Activity Guide HERE. You can find out more about this book HERE.

Enter to win this book by leaving a comment!  Contest will end on July 31 and a winner will be selected using  on August 1.  Contest open to residents of US and Canada.


Jaime Reed: Author Interview and Fabulous Giveaway

Author Jaime Reed is a member of a group of 2012 debut authors with me called the Apocalypsies. When I realized she was promoting her trilogy The Cambion Chronicles, I checked out her website and her books and was impressed by this smart woman who fell into writing after looking back at the notebooks she kept in high school. Since my debut novel evolved from my middle school notes, I understood completely how looking back helped move Jaime forward. I’m so glad that Jaime agreed to be interviewed here today. And she’s GIVING AWAY the first two books of her YA paranormal trilogy here too! Details and book synopses follow the interview. Keep reading for Jaime’s informative and entertaining answers to the interview questions.

I’ve visited your website and blog and it seems like you are really in touch with your readers: teens. So if you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be? Stop worrying what everyone thinks about you. You’ll barely see any of these kids again in six years anyway. It’s not worth stressing out over. Seriously.  Just do you.

What is your favorite way to flaunt your brain power? I have a tendency to use big words and using crazy analogies. My favorite thing is to sum up a friend’s problem in 10 words or less. No matter how heavy the drama or how long they took to explain it, I can outline and diagnose the matter in less than 30 seconds. Unfortunately I can’t use this super power for myself.  But for the most part I just use sarcasm. It’s never failed me before. So you can say that I’m more of a smart ass than I am smart.

Summing things up is an excellent skill. It must help you write synopses! Now that we know how you flaunt, can you tell me what social norms you are fond of flouting? Racial stereotypes are my main rule breaker. I don’t really like labels and preconceived notions about people and I certainly don’t act like the typical “black chick” and I make a point not to perpetuate that stereotype.   I tend to write about characters that break outside of what is considered normal. Generally, I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, or what is expected of me.

I love that answer. I hate stereotypes too. I read that you have interests in movies, music and art. How do you use your talents in these areas to create fiction? I love movies. I dreamt of becoming a movie director or a screen writer when I graduated from College. Since that never happened, I went with my second love, which was writing. I think fiction writing is as close as I’m going to get and I’m perfectly cool with that. I do have a habit of using movie references and camera jargon in my stories. It gives a bit of cinematic flare as far as visualization for the reader.

And I’ll bet your ability to visualize helps keep your writing vibrant too! What kind of research went into developing the paranormal element for The Cambion Chronicles? How can I describe it? It was like those Russian stacking dolls where one doll is inside of another and it gets smaller and smaller. It was kinda like that- layers of information, one discovery then another then another.  I wanted to find a monster that wasn’t so popular, but I also loved vampires as a kid. So I studied the origin of vampires and found a whole world of lure that hasn’t been explored, creatures who absorb human energy, hybrids, fallen angels, etc.  That’s when I found Cambions. The lure of the Cambion is obscure and I did as much research as I could. The rest was creative license, which is a dream when you want to create a new cannon.

So research really did bring you to the Cambions. Kudos to you for your skills!

I read that you have a playlist for every occasion in life. I thought it’d be fun to give you a list of occasions and you can share the appropriate songs for them. If you’re game, give it a shot.(Just answer the ones you like. If you think of other fun/funny occasions, add them to the list!)

  • You dumped him: Rumor Has It- Adele
  • He dumped you: I Bust the Window Out Your Car – Jazmine Sullivan
  • Irritating teacher:  Break stuff – Limp Bizkit
  • Zombie attack: Fire starter- Prodigy
  • Forgot homework:  Because I Got High – Afroman
  • Getting ready for prom: Music Sounds Better With You- Daft Punk
  • BFF is back from Europe: Magic – Ladyhawk
  • Tripped and fell in front of school: The Benny Hill theme song
  • Wearing your favorite jeans: I Know What Boys Like – The Waitresses

Great list Jaime! I have to laugh at that last one. I remember that song so well… 

 Can you tell us about a well-known fictitious chick you admire and why you admire her?  I don’t really have one, but if I had to choose I would say Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. She’s the smartest one out of the trio and she always comes prepared. I would take brains over brawn any day. It’s an invaluable trait.

I think another nerdy chick or two picked Hermione. What a great character. What’s something you like to do that might be considered a tiny bit nerdy, but is actually really fun? I think not having much of a social life is nerdy enough. Reading and talking movie trivia with other film nerds could qualify too. I simply kill at six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I also have an obsession with British TV shows.

All of that sounds great to me, proof that I’m nerdy? Do you ever give nerdy traits to any of your characters? I do write smart characters and I’m pleased to announce that being smart is becoming popular these days. The love interest in the Cambion Chronicles, Caleb, is an undercover nerd, with his medieval weapon collection and obsession with music. Sam, the lead character likes to read Shakespeare and talks in Elizabethan speak at random. So yeah, there’s a nerd factor there, but it also makes for interesting character development too.

Those do sound like really interesting characters! How has brain power helped get you through the tough times in life, like when you were trying to decide which career path to follow? It was more of a gut thing than a brain thing. I had to do something that I really enjoyed and would do for free if it came to that. Writing happened to be the first thing that came to mind. Looking back, it didn’t seem the most logical direction, and the odds of success were against me. I actually had to fight my brain to do what I felt was right for me.

It really is hard for logical people to give in to gut instincts sometimes. I know you have tons of readers who are glad you let your gut take over.

I’m so glad Jaime joined us today. To find out more about her and her books, visit her cool WEBSITE, find her on GOODREADS, join  her FACEBOOK page, and follow her on TWITTER .  

How to win the first TWO BOOKS in Jaime Reed’s THE CAMBION CHRONICLES. Living Violet and Burning Emerald!

It is super easy to enter! 

1. Leave a comment below to enter.

2. For extra entries, spread the news about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. Add a (+1) beside your comment each time you spread the news.

That’s it! The last day to enter will be Tuesday, July 17. A winner will be picked using on Wednesday, July 18. 

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile. But Caleb’s secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

Coping with loss, keeping secrets from friends, and juggling
classes has kept Sam Marshall busy in her senior year. She
finds comfort in her unlikely companion, Caleb, as their
connection grows to where one cannot survive without the other.
But Sam’s biggest problem is a powerful enemy that wants
her for himself and to destroy Caleb and his family.
Determined to keep Caleb safe, Sam fights a battle where
she is both the enemy and the prize, but victory will come
at a deadly price.

The winner of the So You Want to Be A Rock Star prize pack is… a photo essay, kind of

Everyone who entered had their name written on an old business card (those things come in handy). The folks who chose to enter more than once with a (+1) had their names added again for each plus one. See that funky background? Those are my kitchen cabinets made with oyster shells. I love these since I live on the coast!


Next the cards were dropped into a hat, courtesy of one of Barnum's suckers. (i.e. the kid that paid $15 for a hat full of popcorn, but at least we're still finding uses for the hat.)



We tried to get our dog to pick a winner from the hat... but she only wanted to eat the hat!


So my daughter C. drew Cathy M's name from the hat. Congrats Cathy! Audrey will be mailing you the loot!


Thank you Audrey Vernick for the great interview and hosting the great giveaway! And thanks to all who entered!  

Audrey Vernick: Rockin’ Writer

            I met Audrey Vernick a couple of years ago at the home of my friend Sudipta Bardhan-Quallenwhen a group of writers decided to meet there to talk shop and get some editorial feedback on our work. Several picture books and one award-winning middle grade novel later, Audrey is now preparing for the release of her fifth picture book.  

So You Want To Be A Rock Star debuts tomorrow, February 28! Congrats Audrey! It’s very exciting to post an interview just a day before the release date. So instead of jumping right in to nerdy chick questions, I want to ask about this awesome book. (And readers, don’t miss the win your own copy at the end of this post.)

Publisher’s Weekly  called So You Want to Be a Rock Star “a delightfully snark-free guide to how kids can release their inner spotlight-loving performer …”  What a great description! How does your book encourage creative expression?

It didn’t occur to me until after I read it in published form, so this wasn’t my intention, but the book seems to be a cross between Blue’s Clues and the Clash. (Yes, I know. Yet another Blue’s Clues/Clash mash up in an already cluttered market.) It’s a direct-address text, which sort of demands participation.

It’s probably easiest to give an example from the book. After a basic primer on air guitar, the text reads: “This is very important: while you’re strumming your stomach, can you also close your eyes and make the kind of faces you make when your stomach really hurts? And move your head slowly from side to side?” I’ve been reading the book to kindergarten classes when I visit schools, and seeing a whole class making strained rock star faces is always a highlight of the day.

The text guides readers from air guitar basics to stage technique to video considerations, wardrobe and hair concerns, and of course, a quick lesson on how to sneer. The same review you quoted also said, ‘The low-tech premise–you can still rock with a mop on your head and family members as backup dancers–is refreshing.” That really pleased me.

As an aside, the role of the grandparents in this book–something that wasn’t in the text at all but shows up in Kirstie Edmunds’ illustrations–is absolutely hilarious.

I can’t wait to read it! It doesn’t sound like the characters in Rock Star are very nerdy… but do any characters from your other books have nerdy traits that help them out?

In WATER BALLOON, thirteen-year-old Marley would much rather read or play Monopoly than hang out with her lifelong best friends at a party with high school kids. I’m not sure she would say this helped her out—it was a hard time for her to live through—but with the distance I have from writing that book now, I can say sticking to her comfort zone and being true to herself definitely helped Marley survive a very rough patch.

I love it when a character is true to herself! Are there any fictitious chicks you particularly admire?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Harriet the Spy lately. It seemed like everyone hated the way she was always scribbling in her notebook, but it was impossible for her to stop, so she kept doing it. (And spying on people from a dumbwaiter.) It hurts me every time I remember the shock Janie and Sport must have felt when they read Harriet’s unkind words about them. But that’s the kind of experience that is so true of childhood and is so often so missing from children’s books—that excruciating I-hurt-people-and-I-don’t-think-I-can-live-through-this realization. I admire the fact that Harriet did live through it in her own messy way.

Great choice. Harriet is definitely true to herself. She’s brainy too.  How is brain power an asset to your career?

I’ve learned that I’m a research geek. When researching my nonfiction picture books, I love the thrill of a new discovery, the puzzling required to fill in a timeline hole, and the unearthing of a little-known story.

But I also love applying that research to my fiction picture books. I have a book coming out next year, BOGART & VINNIE: A COMPLETELY MADE-UP STORY OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP, about a square-lipped rhinoceros and a crazy happy dog, and I loved learning all about rhinos as I was writing it. Did you know that in the fifth century BC, people thought that ground-up rhinoceros horn could be used to detect poisoned liquids (the liquid in question would start to bubble!).

Nerdy chicks rule, right?

Right! Tell us a story about a time when nerdiness turned out to be an advantage for you.

I cowrote my first book with my sister Ellen. It was published by a small house, Overmountain Press, and there was a day when the brother and sister who worked as editor and publisher of that family-owned Tennessee business were in New York. The four of us met for lunch.

In the way that big sisters sometimes do, Ellen managed to work one of my dark secrets into the conversation—that I had been on the math team in 9th grade. As I was turning eleven shades of red, the editor and publisher both chimed in with, “So were we!”

As the baby sister, it was so rare—but I clearly won that round.

Go Audrey! I’d like to root for the baby sisters in general, but my baby sister (also named Audrey) might let it get to her head! It was great growing up with a sister. If you could go back and give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Hang in there. People will start acting less crazy and be more kind once you get older.

What’s something you like to do that might be considered a tad bit nerdy, but is actually really fun?

I watch a ridiculous amount of baseball. I try not to miss a game when the Yankees play. And they play 162 time a year. You’d think that would make more me prolific in the offseason—all that free time!—but I’m generally busy lamenting how much I miss baseball. 

Well, they do say that baseball is the thinking man’s game. It’s gotta be a thinking woman’s game too. This seems a perfect time to mention that Audrey has written two picture books with baseball themes. BROTHERS AT BAT:THE TRUE STORY OF AN AMAZING ALL-BROTHER BASEBALL TEAM debuts April third!  And  check out the trailer for SHE LOVED BASEBALL . There is a special story that goes along with this trailer. It was shown at an Effa Manley Day promotion at a Newark Bears baseball game last May. Since the team Effa owned, which won the 1946 Negro League Championship was a Newark team, Audrey was was especially happy to see her trailer shown at that field!

Thank you Audrey for joining us today! To find out more about Audrey, visit her website at or take a look at her blog about literary friendships!

And before you go, check out this giveaway!  For those of you who remember me saying I was going to use Rafflecopter next time, I tried, and it isn’t compatible with WordPress. Phooey!  But entering is easy! Just leave a comment here. There, that gets you in the drawing. If you want more chances to win, you can like my Facebook page or Audrey’s So You Want to Be A Rock Star Facebook page.  It’s easy to like these pages, just click on the like buttons in the right sidebar of this blog! Add a (+1) by your comment for each FB like. Also, if you follow this blog you can add a (+1).  You can follow by clicking  follow this blog in the right sidebar too. 🙂 Good luck everyone! Contest ends on March 19, 2012.

Here is the loot you could win: 

The winner will receive a copy of the book signed by the author. And in case the winner's worried about how to carry such a book--there's also a ROCK STAR tote bag which reads: Are you ready to rock?

What little (or big) reader wouldn’t want this prize. Hey, we probably all need tips on how to improve our air guitar skills! Thanks again, Audrey!  


This Nerdy Chick: 10 Ways to Win

When I started this blog, I said I’d jump in and let you know what is going on with this nerdy chick (a.k.a. me) every now and then. Well, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews. I try to post all of those on my Facebook author page. Click HERE to view.  Book promotion involves more time than I ever imagined. But it feels like things are going well, so I’ll keep on, keeping on. My biggest news for the time being is that Greek rights to The Boy Project were sold by my wonderful agent to Psichogios Editions. This is the same Greek publisher who publishes Diary of a Wimpy Kid, so I am very excited.

There are a couple of ways to win a copy of  The Boy Project or some book bling on the web right now, so I thought it’d be fun to list them here in one place before the contests are over. Check out these sites:

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This site offers a chance or multiple chances to win a hardback copy of The Boy Project. It also includes an interview! Contest ends Feb. 22, 2012

Click here: I AM A READER NOT A WRITER for details!

Over at KRAZY BOOK LADY  there is another chance to win a hardback copy of The Boy Project. It also includes a book review and a guest post by me! Contest ends Feb. 25. Check it out HERE.

YABOOKSCENTRAL is offering a chance to win book bling from The Boy Project, and other debut novels, and some advanced reading copies of forthcoming books too! This contest ends March 1, 2012.

(11:42 pm, and we’ve already got 7 for the below giveaway. I’ll do another one soon… probably on my FB page next time, but who knows. Thanks for all who commented. 🙂 )

Finally, you can win right here. I put together 7 friend packs of The Boy Project book bling. Each set includes:

5 tatoos 


5 bracelets

So if you have a tween/teen reader in your household, or you are a tween/teen reader or you’re a teacher and librarian who has students who would like these, or if you just want them…. all you have to do is be one of the first 7 people to comment below and I will mail the friend pack to you. Couldn’t be easier!  Contest open to US, Canada, and Europe. One per household please!

I hope to have more interesting things to share with you soon. Thanks for reading! I feel really lucky to have been able to interview so many great nerdy chicks!


And the Winner is….

Wow!  Thank you all for entering. There were over 75 entries when I added in the (+1)s for FB and blog followers. I appreciate everyone who stopped by. Drawing a name out of a fishbowl didn’t seem nerdy enough! So here is how the winner of the first ever giveaway was selected:

After compiling all of the names in the comments and adding in extra entries for the (+1)s, the names were put onto a spreadsheet. Each name was assigned a number in the order they were entered.

Then I headed over to where they have already”generated over 1,1078 random bits for the Internet community.”  What a cool site! If you visit there, you will learn some interesting stuff about randomness including the fact that their particular variety of randomness is based on atmospheric noise.

I entered the number of entries into the True Random Number Generator, then clicked on the Generate button, blinked my eyes, and there was the number of the winning name!

Time to head back over to the spreadsheet and see who the lucky person was. It was Jessica@Book Sake. Congratulations Jessica!  I have sent you an email, but you can also contact me here.

Nerdy Chicks Rule will be hosting another giveaway at the end of the month. I might try rafflecopter for that one.

I’ll be posting another Quoteable Nerdy Chick post later today, so stop back by.

Thanks again everyone!