Thursday, July 31, 2008

Podcast Review of 52 Days by Camel on Just One More Book

Listen to what the fine folks at Just One More Book!! have to say in a podcast review recorded on live TV of Lawrie Raskin's 52 Days by Camel.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Podcasts are Here!!

We are so excited! Our podcasts are ready and available for your listening pleasure!

  • Go behind-the-scenes with your favorite Annick authors.
  • Listen to them talk about the inspiration for their books.
  • Find out what it’s like being an author.
  • Learn about the fun and fabulous things they discovered researching their books.

Listen to Lawrie Raskin, author of the fascinating travel adventure across the Sahara Desert, 52 Days by Camel.

Listen to Melanie Little, award-winning author of the brilliant story set during the Spanish Inquisition, The Apprentice's Masterpiece.

Listen to Mariatu Kamara, co-author of The Bite of the Mango, as she shares her astounding journey from victim of war to UNICEF Special Representative.

Listen to Susan McClelland, journalist and co-author of The Bite of the Mango.

Listen to author Laurie Coulter, author of two funny, fact-filled books about jobs in 19th-century America, and in Mesoamerica before the Spanish Conquest.

Listen to Peter Christie as he discusses his latest book, The Curse of Akkad, a fascinating look at how climate has shaped human history.

Listen to Charis Cotter whose latest book, Wonder Kids, explores the lives of child geniuses.

Listen to Bridget Sinclair as she talks about how St. Stephen's Community House fostered the development of The Little Black Books, teens talking to teens about sex and relationships.

Listen to Anna McQuinn, author of My Friend Jamal, first in a series of colorful picture books about young friends across cultures.

Listen to Kate Scowen whose book, My Kind of Sad, offers potentially life-saving advice to teens suffering from depression.

Listen to Kathy Stinson, best known for the children's classic, Red is Best, as she talks about her first picture book in over 20 years.

Listen to Henry Aubin, author of Rise of the Golden Cobra, a thrilling story from the time of the pharaohs.

Visit Mark Oakley to learn more about his innovative book, The Seventh Expert, where history meets interactive storytelling.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

And the Winner is...

At the recent ALA Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Annick Press held a draw to commemorate the upcoming publication of The Bite of the Mango, a memoir by Mariatu Kamara written with Susan McClelland. A victim of the civil war in her native Sierra Leone, Mariatu tells the astonishing story of her experience at the hands of rebel soldiers and its aftermath. Now living in Toronto, Mariatu has been named a UNICEF Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

The winner of the ALA draw is Linda Adams, in whose name a $100 donation has been made by Annick Press to UNICEF. Linda will also receive a copy of The Bite of the Mango.

Linda is the Young Adult Coordinator at the San Bernardino (California) Public Library. She has three children and two grandsons, both under a year old. In her “spare time,” she works with Cartoonists across America, a group which promotes literacy around the world, using art and humor.

Thank you to all who participated in the draw.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Harmony Book Reviews Interviews Claire Carmichael

Interview with Claire Carmichael - Harmony Book Reviews

I’m lucky enough for Claire Carmichael to take a few minutes out of her schedule to answer a few questions on Leaving Simplicity and writing. Now, without farther ado, the wonderful Claire Carmichael:

1. Inspiration for Leaving Simplicity?
The realization that advertising was becoming more and more intrusive in everyone’s life, particularly online. Advertisers are becoming sneakier, too, with product placement in movies and TV programs.

2. My opinion of advertising today and where it will be in the future.
We are bombarded with so many ads that we scarcely notice most of them, which leads advertisers to do two things–either produce ads that are frantic to catch our fleeting attention with noise, color, movement, or to find more underhand ways of seeping into our consciousness.

The future will be more of the same, but utilizing even more research into consumer’s motivations and psychological hot buttons. Also ads will be tailored to specific receptive audiences, rather than to the general public.

3. My favorite character in Leaving Simplicity? Whom am I most like?
My favorite would be Barrett. It was fun seeing the world of the near future through his astonished eyes.
I’m not like any of the characters, although of course, like most authors, I realize there’s a little bit of me in every one of them.

4. Writing process–outline or wing it?
I start with a premise and one or two main characters come to life as I ask myself “What if…?”
I know how the novel begins and ends–but everything in between I discover as I write.

5. Write with music playing? Some of my favorite singers and bands?
I have to have absolute silence while I write so I can hear my characters speaking to me. I read all dialogue aloud to make sure it sounds natural for the individual in question.

As far as music is concerned, I enjoy the widest range, from classical to the latest hits. My only true dislike is Hawaiian music–I can’t stand it!

6. Favorite books? All-time favorite author?
I have countless “favorite” books–there are so many excellent writers in the young adult field. Two authors I do particularly admire are Lois Lowry (”The Giver” is a masterpiece) and Philip Pullman (especially “His Dark Materials” trilogy).

7. Working on now?
I’m writing a YA novel about the need for young people to be electronically connected to each other 24/7. It’s called “Gotta B” (got to be connected) and is set slightly in the future where huge communication companies link everyone in a worldwide electronic sea. I asked myself what would happen if one of those young people were to be totally cut off from everyone–no Internet, no instant messaging, no team game-playing. In my imagination, I heard the character say, “When I’m disconnected, I feel like I don’t exist.”

8. Advice for readers?
The world is full of the most fascinating things. Don’t waste of moment!

This interview can be found on Harmony Book Reviews along with Harmony's review of Leaving Simplicity.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thinking Ahead

While most companies gear down for the summer, that is not usually the case with publishers. This is the time when we frantically make last-minute editorial or design changes to our Fall titles, send them out to the printer and start executing the marketing plans that were developed months ago.

At Annick, this is a particularly exciting summer as we look forward to some very special books. Every so often, a book comes along that makes you realize the power of the written word to transform the reader. Such is the case with The Bite of the Mango, a memoir written by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland. The true story of Mariatu's experiences growing up in Sierra Leone, her imprisonment and torture at the hand of rebel soldiers, and her survival, is a striking example of a book that leaves the reader with a sense of wonderment at the strength of the human spirit. Mariatu today looks like any young, hip woman you might pass in the street. It is hard to imagine how she managed to pull together the pieces of her broken life after her horrendous experiences. Her courage, resilience and unflagging optimism are a welcome antidote to the cynicism that often creeps into books and movies aimed at young adults. We can't wait till the finished copies of The Bite of the Mango arrive from the printer so that we can share this remarkable story with the world.