Thursday, September 24, 2009

Authors, forgive me, for I have slacked -- or -- the blogger's burden

Maybe it's because I grew up Catholic (we're notorious for intense, deeply ingrained feelings of shame), but I've always been really good at guilt... especially when I have a really good reason to feel guilty!

I realized I never linked to the websites/blogs of our talented, gracious, and good-looking guests of honor at the Bookish Ball several weeks ago. Had I been on top of things, I would have linked to them beforehand so that you would have been even more excited for the event. Um, now you can get pumped to come in and snatch up the few remaining signed copies of their books?

Here is Jo Knowles's official bio: "Jo Knowles is the author of Lessons from a Dead Girl and Jumping Off Swings (Candlewick Press). She teaches writing for children in the MFA program at Simmons College. She was the 2002 winner of the SCBWI Contemporary Novel Grant and the 2005 winner of the PEN New England Children’s Book Discovery Award. Jo lives in Vermont with her husband and son." Jo is also an encouraging and gentle critic, a witty and prolific blogger who facilitates JoNoWriMo (an online writing challenge/support group based on NaNoWriMo), and an all-around lovely lady. I read both her novels in great big suspense-filled swallows. Stop by her FAQ, which addresses such all-important queries as "Why do I have to go to school?" and "Why can't Batman fly?"

Steve Kluger, "author, Red Sox fan, uncle," is the author of Last Days of Summer, Almost Like Being in Love, Changing Pitches, Yank: The Army Weekly, and Curious George favorite My Most Excellent Year. Many of these novels feature baseball, Boston, GLBT teens, World War II, and/or musicals. My roomie and CG alum Nicole nominated him our "author in residence," and Steve said he's okay with that. His Facebook page includes adorable pictures of Steve with various nieces and nephews, often at Red Sox events, and links to the various charitable organizations he supports, from Save Fenway Park to GLSEN.

Matt Tavares is the author and illustrator of the baseball-centric picture books Zachary's Ball, Oliver's Game, and Mudball, as well as the illustrator of Lady Liberty: A Biography, Iron Hans, Jack and the Beanstalk, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and the just-published Gingerbread Pirates. You can get a sneak peek at some of his work in progress (and personal paintings, like this luminous view of Monhegan Island) at his blog. Matt's illustrations should look familiar to Bostonians: being Boston born and raised (well, Winchester raised, technically), Matt bases much of his art on the locales and architectural styles of the area, and Fenway Park provides the setting of Zachary's Ball. Cambridge publisher Candlewick Press publishes his books. Rumor has it Cambridgian and fellow Candlewick author M.T. Anderson modeled for a character in 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

I hope that you're inspired to go leave our guests a little love on their websites or blogs, and that they'll forgive me for being so late in posting them! (Why are all their pictures in black and white -- or black and sepia, as the case may be? No idea, unless that's the way all the talented, gracious, and good-looking authors are doing it these days.)

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