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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Checking In

Just checking in to post a few updates:

1) New reviews: We got good reviews from both KLIATT and The Edge of the Forest. I especially love this part of The Edge of the Forest review:

"Johnson's book strikes a good balance; it's gripping and sensitive at the same time. It doesn't oversimplify; it doesn't pull punches. And, perhaps most importantly, it does not pass judgment."

I love that readers and reviewers "get this" about Rhombus. It gives me faith that I did something right.

2) Updated website: I've added a couple of pages to the website -- a dedicated calendar page and a page on school visits. If you see any misspellings, please let me know.

3) On the Vermont College front, I wrote my first picture book last month. It started off at about 1500 words, and by the time I submitted it, I had cut it down to 1070. Now Rita wants me to trim off at least 200 more words.

4) Among the many books that I read last month, the one that stood out the most was E. L. Konigsburg's A View from Saturday. I'm not quite convinced that it has a plot, but I don't care. It's a great story. I see why it won the Newbery.

5) I hit the big 3-1 today. I celebrated by filling out paperwork that I had neglected for the past month.

6) Congratulations to both Paula Yoo and Sara Zarr for getting nominated for the 2009 ALA BBYA list. Of course, they're both great writers, so I'm not surprised in the least.

7) Thanks to everyone that saw me at all of my book signings and at the South Carolina Book Festival. And thanks for buying books!

8) Likewise, I had a great time talking to the students at Darlington High School and at Gardner Betts last month. Talking to those kids reminded me why I started writing in the first place.

Okay, back to work!