It’s such a pleasure to host my longtime friend, Janet Lee Carey, today. I think I’ve known Janet since dragons roamed the earth! And now she’s written a third book featuring them. Please pour yourself a cup of tea and sit back to enjoy your time with one of the kindest and most creative women in children’s literature.
Thanks for hosting the post, Kirby. I was recently asked to donate some signed books to a school auction. The school was raising money for a “Buddy Bench,” 2nd grader Christian Buck’s cure for playground loneliness. (More here.)
Go Christian! I love his heartfelt solution to playground isolation. I could have used a buddy bench in elementary school. It wasn’t until later in my teen years that I found some friends of the heart who were artists, creative sorts who understood and supported my dreams.
Fast forward to now. As an author I work alone at my desk, and though I’m rarely lonely, I still need supportive friends who understand my dreams, people like my fellow authors in my critique group the Diviners. Here is a photo of some former members and present members of The Diviners taken at my recent book launch party. Many of us in costume for the celebration.
This group of dedicate children’s and YA authors began in the early 1980s years before I joined. The name “the Diviners” came into existence about twelve years back and the members have changed many times over the years. The group meets weekly to read and critique our work. We shore each other up when we get rejection letters. Conversely we indulge in madcap celebration, waving pompoms and shouting cheers when one of our members lands an agent, or sells something for publication. Here we are celebrating Kathleen Freeman’s good news with Pompoms and the coveted “Nancy Award of Writing Excellence.” This is the famous Nancy Pearl doll with amazing Sushing Action!
A few months later, Peggy King Anderson won the Nancy!
We love supporting each other’s book launch parties! Here are some of us stepping out of the limo onto the red carpet at Katherine Grace Bond’s launch party for Summer of No Regrets
Every partygoer got their moment of fame that day! The Diviners have also done some fun panels. One year at Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference we presented a panel entitled “Researching Outside the Box.” Diviners shared some interesting things we’d done to research our books. Katherine Grace Bond told about the time she went up onto her roof with a bag of flour to “research” a scene in her book where a young mother rescues her newborn from a building. The central question, “Can you climb down a ladder with a baby in your arms?” Hum . . . Her neighbor saw her up there and Katherine had some explaining to do. I talked about holding a tarantula exoskeleton for the book Wenny Has Wings.
Peggy King Anderson brought a jar of slugs and talked excitedly about her slug research. Diviners know how to sit on the “Buddy Bench” with each other through sickness and health, acceptance and rejection, birth and death. We know how to mourn, how to support, and how to celebrate. Thank you dear Diviners, former members Justina Chen, Molly Blaisdell and Holly Cupala, and present members; Judy Bodmer, Dawn Knight, Peggy King Anderson, Katherine Grace Bond, Nancy Carlstrom, Roberta Kehle, and Kathleen Freeman for supporting my dreams as I’ve pieced my novels together one phrase, one chapter at a time. I was an unpublished author when I joined you. I couldn’t have completed this trilogy without you!
About the Book: Beware the dark moon time when love and murder intertwine. All Uma wants is to become a healer like her father and be accepted by her tribe. But when the mad queen abducts her and takes her north, Uma’s told she must use her healing skills to cure the infertile queen by Dragon Moon, or be burned at the stake. Uma soon learns the queen isn’t the only danger she’s up against. A hidden killer out for royal blood slays the royal heir. The murder is made to look like an accident, but Uma, and the king’s nephew Jackrun, sense the darker truth. Together, they must use their combined powers to outwit a secret plot to overthrow the Pendragon throne. But are they strong enough to overcome a murderer aided by prophecy and cloaked in magic?
~In the Time of Dragon Moon is a story of courage and romance that readers will not soon forget.~ VOYA
About Janet: Janet Lee Carey grew up in the bay area under towering redwoods that whispered secrets in the wind. When she was a child she dreamed of becoming a mermaid (this never happened). She also dreamed of becoming a published writer (this did happen after many years of rejection). She is now an award-winning author of nine novels for children and teens. Her Wilde Island Chronicles are ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She won the 2005 Mark Twain Award and was finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Janet links each new book with a charitable organization empowering youth to read and reach out. She tours the U.S. and abroad presenting at schools, book festivals and conferences for writers, teachers, and librarians. Janet and her family live near Seattle by a lake where rising morning mist forms into the shape of dragons. She writes daily with her imperious cat, Uke, seated on her lap. Uke is jealous of the keyboard. If Janet truly understood her place in the world, she would reserve her fingers for the sole purpose of scratching behind Uke’s ear, but humans are very hard to train. Visit her website here.
Thanks again to Janet Lee Carey for appearing. For other stops on the Dragon Moon blog tour please click here.