Happy Book Birthday, TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS! (and a Double Giveaway!)

In honor of the book birthday of my newest picture book, TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS!, I have such an awesome treat for you! First, a guest post from my incredible illustrator, Zachariah OHora, about his creative process. Then,there is an awesome giveaway where two lucky winners will get some great prizes (scroll down to the end for more information on the prizes, though you don’t want to skip over this great post, do you?)

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Zachariah Ohora

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!

by Zachariah OHora

When I first heard about this project I was super excited to work with Chad (creative director at Abrams) and Sudipta.
That excitement quickly turned to fear when I realized I’d never really drawn dinosaurs before.

Not even as a kid.

Plus there seemed to be a whole lot of dinosaurs I’d never heard of.

Gallimimus?!
Really?!

I think there were like five dinos when I was a kid and half of them don’t even exist anymore, er, I mean, they ALL don’t exist anymore, but uh…you get the point.

I realized I couldn’t just fudge through with a vague lizard creature.
So I started where all ignorant people do, with a Google search.

Fear turned to terror as I collected images. NO WAY WAS I GOING TO PULL THIS OFF!!!

Then I had an idea. One that might appear brilliant enough to fool everyone into NOT noticing I can’t draw dinosaurs. What if it was kids DRESSED as dinos instead?

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This seemed like the perfect solution as it allowed me a good deal of creative license.

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(Left: One of the first sketches for T Wrecks Boy. Right: Then I thought since he was always wrecking stuff perhaps he couldn’t see out of his mask)

TrexStudy 3

Then Abrams politely showed me a book that already had my “brilliant” idea in it that came out two years earlier.

Illustrator gulps.
Illustrator whines.
Illustrator wrecks!

Illustrator practices and practices drawing dinosaurs!

Until finally the characters ended up having some human qualities but were most definitely dinosaurs!

TWrecksNewNEw-1

Fortunately everyone was happy with the new version and that’s what you see in the book.
Fear of failure forced me to get my proper dinosaur education on. And best of all Sudipta was happy with them too.

Sometimes in a collaboration you have to go way out of your comfort zone.
And that’s a good thing.

zauthorphotoZachariah OHora is an illustrator and author of a number of children’s books. His debut STOP SNORING, BERNARD! was awarded the Society of Illustrators Founder’s Award and was chosen as the PA One Book for 2012. His book NO FITS NILSON! was awarded a Kirkus star and was the Huffington Post Book of the Year for 2013. He lives and works in the tiny village of Narberth, PA with his wife, two sons, and two cats.

Sudipta wasn’t just “happy” with these illustrations — she was thrilled! (Why am I referring to myself in the third person??)

Thank you, Zack, for such a great and insightful post. And just so you know, I hadn’t heard of a Gallimimus either — not until my then 4-year old son educated me on that and all the other dinos in the book (except the Tyrannosaurus — I had heard of that!).

And now, for the part you’ve all been waiting for…

THE GIVEAWAY(S)

In honor of TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS, we here at Nerdy Chicks Rule are going to give away TWO prizes to one lucky winner.

First, the winner is going to score a copy of TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS! signed by both Zach and me! And second, the lucky winner will get an original sketch from the book, signed by the illustrator himself!

Book and art — how can you not like that?

How do I win? asks my faithful blog reader.

It’s very simple.

1. To register, fill in the form below with your name, email, and Twitter and/or Facebook handles. (Don’t forget to hit ‘Submit’!)

2. Tweet or post about the TYRANNOSAURS WRECKS! release with the hashtag #TWRECKS and tag Sudipta (@SudiptaBQ on Twitter or Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Children’s Book Author on FB) AND tag Zack (@ZachariahOHora on Twitter). Don’t know what to tweet/post? Cut and paste one of the suggestions below:

  • Happy book birthday to TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS! http://wp.me/p126Z2-N4 #TWRECKS @SudiptaBQ @ZachariahOHora
  • Do you know #TWRECKS? http://goo.gl/m28AnO @SudiptaBQ @ZachariahOHora
  • Got #TWRECKS? http://goo.gl/7nd3xU  @SudiptaBQ @ZachariahOHora

3. Every time you share using the handles you’ve registered, you’ll get one entry. The contest will close on April 7, 2014 at 11:59pm. At that time, we will gather up all the entries and choose a WINNER!

GOOD LUCK!

Winner! Winner! Winner!

graphics-fireworks-655059We have reached the end of our week-long Moose Day Celebration.

Did you enter the MOOSE DAY Giveaway?

If you didn’t, I bet you regret it.

And if you did, you’re probably waiting with bated breath for the announcement of the winner.

I’m here to un-bate you. Because I’m just that kind of girl.

Just as a reminder, here is the lovely TRIPLE Prize:

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So, are you ready?

Really ready?

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OK, I won’t keep you waiting any longer….

The winner of the triple giveaway is:

@Loveofxena

CONGRATULATIONS!

Thanks to everyone for entering, celebrating, tweeting, posting, ducking and moosing…Mostly, thank you for helping me to welcome DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE into the world with all the love that I was hoping for. You’re the best!

DDM cover

(and if you’re REALLY disappointed, get a copy of your own at IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local independent bookseller!)

#MooseMoment

Our week of MOOSE DAY celebrations continue…if you haven’t registered for the TRIPLE GIVEWAY, there is still plenty of time! Click here to fill our the official registration form, and remember, any tweet or Facebook post about Moose Day with the hashtag #DuckDuckMoose is an entry to win! (Don’t forget to tag Sudipta, too — @SudiptaBQ on Twitter or Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Children’s Book Author on FB.)

ddm balloonsWe’re going to sweeten the deal, though — add the hashtag #MooseMoment to your posts/tweets, and get TRIPLE the entries!

What is a Moose Moment? you might be wondering.

We’ve all witnessed a Moose Moment. We’ve also all experienced a Moose Moment — probably many more than one.

A Moose Moment is a moment of disaster. When you accidentally back your car out of the garage — while the passenger door is still open. When you leave the house so early and so tired that you don’t notice you’re wearing two different types of shoes (this one I have done personally!).

If you have children in your life, you’ve seen plenty of Moose Moments. Here’s a fairly common one:

100_0108-001Toddler + chocolate bar = MOOSE MOMENT

Once, I left my daughters with a babysitter…who thought it would be fine to let them play with a ballpoint pen. Which lead to this Moose Moment:

Bella left alone with penThen there was the time I didn’t notice my daughter sneak the baby powder into the playroom:

3429 (2)Another memorable Moose Moment…(She looks so happy! So blissfully unaware of the MESS!)

So, why should we celebrate Moose Moments? After all, they just cause trouble, right?

NO!!!

Moose Moments are the best moments of life. They are the ones we remember for years, the ones we laugh about time and time again. They bring us joy in times of trouble and they put things in perspective when life gets too serious. Moose Moments are crystallized drops of inspiration.

DUCK DUCK MOOSE wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t witnessed hundreds of my children’s Moose Moments.

As we continue our Moose Day party, can you share your favorite #MooseMoment?DDM cover

Please enter the official MOOSE DAY GIVEAWAY and win a great triple prize!wpid-20140107_094935.jpg

 

 

 

It’s a MOOSE DAY Party! (And a TRIPLE GIVEAWAY!)

THIS CONTEST HAS NOW ENDED. (But keep celebrating Moose Day anyway!)

It’s MOOSE DAY! It’s MOOSE DAY!

Shockingly, this is not an official, national holiday (though it should be!), so you might be wondering what Moose Day — today — is.

Simple.

Today is the book birthday of DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE! Hooray!!!

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It is a day of joy! Of celebration! It is a day for all ducks and all mooses to put aside their differences and celebrate the true meaning of friendship! (The true meaning of friendship, coincidentally, is the theme of the whole book.)

A lot of people are already celebrating DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE.

It has been selected for the CBC’s Hot Off The Press.

It’s on the Winter 2013-2014 Kids’ Indie Next List — “Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers” in the General Listing.

Kirkus says, “Two ducks plus one moose equals mayhem, mischief and true friendship.” YAY!

Publishers Weekly says, “Moose’s pratfalls provide short-term entertainment and an opportunity for dramatic read-aloud performances.” Wow!

School Library Journal says, “Good fun that gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘duck.'” Woo-hoo!

Booklist says, “Though this silly story has a lot of well-earned laughs, the sweet ending is a touching reminder that clumsiness is easily forgivable.” HOORAY!

The lovely Robin Newman is celebrating Moose Day here. The fabulous Matthew Winner’s Moose Day Festivities are here. The most creative Creative Bookings is celebrating here. The adorable Darlene Beck Jacobson has her Moose Day party here.

The internet is just a-twitter with Moose Day Festivities!

Which brings us to the GIVEAWAY.

The TRIPLE GIVEAWAY.

In honor of DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE, we here at Nerdy Chicks Rule and going to give away a TRIPLE prize to one lucky winner.

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Doesn’t that look lovely? (Oh, did you notice the hand-made paper rose decorating the gift bag?)

Let’s break down the swag:

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One signed DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE

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Another signed DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE

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Cleaning supplies for the Moose in your life!

Yes, that’s TWO autographed copies for your ducks, and some cleaning supplies for your Moose (because you know he’s going to need it, right?).

How do I win? asks my faithful blog reader.

It’s very simple.

1. To register, fill in the form below with your name, email, and Twitter and/or Facebook handles. (Don’t forget to hit ‘Submit’!)

2. Tweet or post about Moose Day with the hashtag #DuckDuckMoose and tag Sudipta, too (@SudiptaBQ on Twitter or Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Children’s Book Author on FB). Don’t know what to tweet? Use any of the links above or copy the pic below of the book cover and share that!

DDM cover

3. Every time you share using the handles you’ve registered, you’ll get one entry. The contest will close on January 14, 2014 at 11:59pm. At that time, we will gather up all the entries and choose a WINNER!

GOOD LUCK

and

HAPPY MOOSE DAY!

Easy Entry Giveaway Reminder

boy problem cover

This contest is officially over. Winners announced on October 10. Thanks everyone! 🙂

Just want to remind everyone about the Cover Reveal Giveaway! You could win a virtual classroom visit from me (Kami Kinard) for the school of your choice. For super-easy entry into the contest, just leave your name and email address (it won’t be shared) below, and you will be added to the pool from which a winner will be selected! Contest ends at midnight on October 9.

See how easy that was? There are other ways to enter. Visit the original post for details. But if you’ve entered above, you’re in!

Thanks!

Cover Reveal and Giveaway

This contest is officially over. Winners announced on October 10. Thanks everyone! 🙂

Authors don’t design the covers of their books. Cover art is usually conceived by in-house book designers and I am very very lucky that the designer Scholastic assigned to my books is Whitney Lyle. Whitney has done an amazing job with both covers! And I love the way the second cover, the one you are about to see, compliments the first. I asked Whitney to share a little about how she came up with these cover designs.   Here is what she said:

I loved the cover creation process for both The Boy Project and The Boy Problem! The story reminded me so much of my crafty, boy-crazy, methodical self back at Robert Frost Middle School! I had notebooks with lists of boys, slam books that I shared with my best friends, and boxes full of ticket stubs, fortune cookie slips, and notes. 
 
Back when we started working on The Boy Project, we considered several directions that the cover could take, but in the end we decided to make the cover feel  like a journal because it would fit the story really well. I looked to my old notebooks as inspiration, making a collage of elements that fit the story. 
 
For The Boy Problem, we thought that some of the doodles should allude to the story, so I drew several pages of equations, Magic 8 Balls, fortune cookies, cupcakes, and shooting stars and narrowed them down to what looked best. I also looked for silhouettes of different boys to place on the sticky notes. We wanted to find different stereotypes (the jock, the romantic, the life of the party).

Thanks Whitney! It turned out great!

So… now time for the drumroll… here is the cover for THE BOY PROBLEM!  I’m so excited about it that I’m doing a giveaway. Make sure to scroll down to the end of the post for details.

boy problem cover

Isn’t that great? I especially like the way the post-it notes used here compliment the index card found on the cover of my first book.  You can see more of Whitney Lyle’s fabulous work HERE.

Now, those of you who’ve kept up with what’s going on with this book might notice a really big change on the cover that you weren’t expecting. See it? Yep, in the past two weeks we’ve undergone a title change!  So now The Boy Prediction is The Boy Problem! (But we managed to work the word prediction in anyway, so don’t worry, you’ll still get your fill of 8 balls, fortune cookies and the like).

Let’s go on to the contest, shall we?  Sudipta’s virtual visit giveaways were so popular last spring that I thought I’d try one too.

IN CELEBRATION OF THIS FABULOUS COVER, I will be giving away a free 30-minute Virtual Classroom Visit, where I would be happy to tell your chosen class all about how this book came together, and answer questions about being an author. (Don’t worry if you’re not a teacher — you can donate the Virtual Visit to any class you choose! Or  I’ll send you one of my new signed paperbacks of The Boy Project instead.)

Entries will be accepted until October 9, 2013.  The winner will be selected using the random number generator at random.org and announced  on October 10.

Here are the rules for this giveaway. It’s super-easy:

The ONLY thing that is Required is to enter your name and email address in the form below. This is so I can reach you. Email addresses will not be published.

If you want to enter multiple times, keep reading. This is optional!  You will get an extra entry for doing any of the following:

(1) leave me a comment here with your thoughts on the cover.

(2) follow me on Twitter – mention that in a comment below. (You can follow from the right sidebar too.)

(3) tweet this post to your own Twitter followers and tag me @kamikinard in the tweet.

(4) like fellow blogger Sudipta’s author page on Facebook – mention that in a comment below.

(5) follow this blog (right sidebar) — mention that in a comment below.

or (6) like my Facebook author page – mention that in a comment below.

Good Luck!

The Quotable Nerdy Character

A few weeks ago, I did a workshop on creating believable contemporary characters, and in the research process, I found a lot of inspirational quotes for writers — and readers. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

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“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

― Ernest Hemingway

“Your source material is the people you know, not those you don’t know, but every character is an extension of the author’s own personality.”

― Edward Albee

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

― Mark Twain

“Characterization is an accident that flows out of action and dialogue.”

― Jack Woodford

Picture1“When you’re with your wife, you don’t say I love you to your wife every day but the ways you look at her and your actions are another way to communicate. Don’t focus on dialogue, only focus on what you’re expressing.”

― Michel Hazanavicius

“I tend to relate to a character in terms of the arc: what’s interesting is where he starts versus where he ends up .”

― Edward Norton

“If you’re writing about a character, if he’s a powerful character, unless you give him vulnerability I don’t think he’ll be as interesting to the reader.”

—Stan Lee

What do you think? Are you ready to pick up your pencil (or open up your laptop) and get creating?

 

REMINDER

If you haven’t already, please remember to check out The Busy Librarian’s podcast featuring ME and enter the newest Nerdy Chicks GIVEAWAY!