Danielle, aka The First Daughter, wrote a lovely review of Promise the Night on her blog TheresABook.com. An excerpt: An adventure a minute that will teach young readers the importance of perseverance and discipline.
Archives for March 2012
The Children’s Book Review just assembled a reading list for Women’s History Month. Most of it is non-fiction — so I’m honored to be the historical fiction choice! Check it out here.
Recently I was invited to visit the Young Critics Club at the Perrot Library in Greenwich CT. The club has been meeting continuously for over 30 years! Kids in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade have to apply to get in (no parent applications allowed) and there’s always a waiting list. There’s a younger group too for 4th and 5th graders. The club is run by uber-amazing librarians, Mary Clark and Kathy Jarombek. These ladies have some clout because they can get advanced copies of EVERYTHING. Seriously, these kids had read my newest book before I got the advanced reading copies. The group was a blast to talk with — bright, engaged and confident. I came to talk about my newest book, Promise the Night, but left with four beta readers for my next novel.
After I’ve written and sold a book — the work begins. I will exchange the manuscript 5 or 6 times with my editor — tightening my plot all the while. I’ve gone from a 100K ms to 82K — losing each word was a little bit like pulling off a bandaid… but the manuscript was far far better. And then my baby gets handed to a stranger. Someone with initials and a Red comment color in Word. And suddenly my manuscript is full of more deletions, “suggestions” and outright mistakes that I didn’t catch before. (In my first book, I changed the hero’s eye color 4 times without noticing). And when you write historical fiction, a good copyeditor is also paying attention to anachronisms… language that I’m using before it should be used. Or inventions that weren’t invented yet. My latest book, (tentatively titled) Miss Dickinson and Mr. Nobody, was blessed to have a copy editor who really understood Emily. Her myriad deletions were useful and made the book better. She caught some language that was just a little too modern and asked some great questions. She was a gift to the book and someday soon to the reader.
However, that doesn’t stop me from really enjoying this cartoon, courtesy of the Society of Editors and Proofreaders.
I was honored and pleased to be asked to contribute a guest post to Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month. The post just went up today and looks great! Check it out!
I’m always so pleased when a librarian likes my work. In the battle against video games, YouTube and a zillion channels — librarians are our first offensive line for books!
Check out the golden librarian’s review of Promise the Night.
Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl is a fictionized account of Beryl Markham’s childhood growing up in British East Africa. She was raised by a native tribe as much as by her father, learned to hunt and fight with the young boys who will grow up to be warriors, trained horses, avoided formal education, was attacked by a lion, and was the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from England to North America.
Journal entries and news articles preface each chapter giving us a glimpse into the adult Beryl and her flight. The majority of the book however is about her childhood and what an amazing childhood it was. Written beautifully, Michaela MacColl’s words help us visualize what this part of Africa looked liked as British settlement began in the early 1900’s. The boarding school scenes are quite funny. While her relationship with her father was strained at times it was obvious that they loved each other. Beryl Markham is an example of strong female who grew up with a dream and succeeded in making that dream a reality. Recommended highly for those who enjoy historical fiction, books about Africa or someone looking for a strong female character.
You never know what you are going to get when you review books for the Historical Novel Review! Check out this variety — a 3rd c. Japanese story about a princess destined to be the spiritual leader of her clan, a non-fiction, kid-friendly biography of Raoul Wallenberg — one of the unsung heroes of WWII, and a coming-of-age story set in San Francisco in 1971. I may get chronological whiplash — but I won’t be bored!