Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Happy Halloween from
seven authors & illustrators who write for kids and teens

October means the Texas Book Festival and Halloween and many other activities for the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels! We love seeing so many old and new friends at the festivals and other events that proliferate in the fall. Many of us are still scheduling school and library visits, as well as festival and event appearances, and hope to see you soon!

We love the Texas Book Festival and next to Halloween it is the biggest celebration in Austin every year. Several of the Sweethearts will be featured presenters and you are likely to spot a few of the rest of us around the Capitol grounds. Come to Austin during the weekend of October 27th-28th for a feast of literature.
Kari Ann Holt will be moderating two panels this year: Lunch Ladies, Mummies and Class Clowns with Jarrett J. Krosoczka, James Luna, and Kirk Scroggs, Saturday Oct. 27th at 10 am. And then Captain Underpants! with Dav Pilket, Lisa McMann, Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Mac Barnett on Saturday Oct. 27th at 2:15pm.   

We knew it but now it's official. Don Tate is a Reading Rockstar! On Friday, October 26, he and R. Gregory Christie will participate in the Texas Book Festival's Reading Rockstars program, where they'll present to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders at Ortega Elementary School.

On Saturday, October 27
at noon, Don Tate, R. Gregory Christie will present at the children's Read Me a Story tent (13th and Colorado Streets). Then from 2 to 3 p.m., Don will participate in the panel discussion Drawing on the Lives of Artists, in the Capitol Extension, Room E2.010. Don Tate, R. Gregory Christie and Duncan Tonatiuh will discuss their nonfiction picture books.

Jo Whittemore will introduce Elaine Scott on Saturday,  October 27 at 3:30 p.m. in the Capitol Extension, Room E2.012.


Several of the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels are featured in the Dear Teen Me anthology coming October 30th, 2012 from Zest Books! There are some amazing letters from some amazing people that are going to be perfect for sharing with your teens! We highly recommend this as a book to read along with your teens to help with those difficult conversation starters. Those of us who are not in the book are probably in the blog that started it all so check us out.  

For those who live in or around the Austin area, there will be a book launch party for Dear Teen Me. Come for the fun!  

When: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 2:00 
Where: The Book Spot, 1205 Round Rock Ave #119,
 Round Rock, TX 78681  
What: Book Release Party for Dear Teen Me

This now-annual festival was a big hit. Jessica Lee Anderson was thrilled to have participated !  Here she is pictured with fellow Sweethearts PJ Hoover and Jo Whittemore. If you have a chance, be sure to attend next year's Austin Teen Book Festival.

KA Holt is taking her vitamins to prep for an extra busy late October. In addition to a lot of school visits (see below), she just returned from a week at a Highlights Foundation workshop on verse novels in Honesdale, PA, studying under Sonya Sones, Linda Oatman High, and National Book Award-winning Virginia Euwer Wolff. What a productive week of intensive study and writing!

Jeanette Larson has been teaching an online class for librarians on collection development. Of course she has recommended that every library should have copies of every book by a Sweetheart!

We love the Book Spot, an independent book store in Round Rock, TX. Why? Because in addition to being a great store, the Book Spot always carries our books! And you can order our books by mail and we can sign them for you.

They also host a range of author
events. If you are in the area, plan now for December 8. We expect that all of the Sweethearts (and a Scoundrel or two) will be there from noon-2:00 p.m. We'll be reading, doing some crafts with the kids, and signing our books. We don't have to tell you that books make great holiday gifts!

Check out the calendar for other events at the Book Spot at


Look for the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels at your regional librarian event! And if we are not coming to an event near you, invite us. In addition to programs about our books, some of us do teacher in-service training and workshops.

Jeanette, Jessica, P.J. and Kari are scheduled to be at the ESC Region XII (Waco) Library Jubilee on November 6, 2012. We'll be talking about our writing and how to use our books with your students and presenting some of our books as reader's theater. It will be fun to watch us being dramatic!

Interested in an author visit? The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels would love to visit your school. We understand that library budgets are tight, so our honorariums are flexible and reasonable, and visits can often be combined with other trips to your area.  
Don kicked off the new school year with his first visit at Rutledge Elementary in Leander, Texas. He looks forward to sharing with students his story about how he became a published author. And he draws! Lots of drawing! Contact him soon as his schedule is filling up.     

Jeanette recently spoke to (gulp) adult birders at the Rockport Hummer Bird Celebration. She added to her experience for school presentations by watching bird banders (have you ever been up close to the south end of a north bound bird?) and taking some great photographs. She also spoke to students at Sacred Heart School in Rockport. Contact Jeanette about speaking at your school or library event at
Later this month, Kari is thrilled to be joining Westview Middle School in Pflugerville, Texas as the first visiting author in their new Writers' Den program. Kari will be spending lunchtime with several groups of middle schoolers, sharing work, answering questions about writing and revisions, and helping students gain confidence in their writing abilities. And rounding out the month will be an impromptu visit (shh!) to the 5th graders at Zilker Elementary in Austin to talk about horror books, zombie haiku - and maybe, just maybe - to give a quick lesson on the proper way to apply zombie make-up.Kari enjoys letting students in on a few of her secrets - authors are just regular people, and just because you write about zombies and chupacabras doesn't mean you can't write poetry. Contact to bring Kari to your school!

Creating new worlds, mythology, and monsters is what P. J. Hoover loves to talk about the most. As a former Electrical Engineer, P. J. will share with students her transition to writing, inspirations for her books, and tips that will help even the most reluctant kids believe being a writer is possible. P. J. also partners with Jessica Lee Anderson for school visits. Contact P. J. at
Jessica Lee Anderson looking forward to an upcoming school visit at Westwood High School, Austin (TX). She is a certified teacher and loves sharing her journey from struggling writer to published author. She is happy to customize any presentation. Jessica also pairs with P. J. Hoover to provide exciting, interactive programs. Contact her at


Can't afford to bring a Sweetheart to your school? Skype provides a great way to introduce us to your students for a fraction of the cost.   
Not sure how Skype visits work? Win a free 10-15 minute Skype  visit with a Sweetheart (well, it's possible that you might get a Scoundrel). Click here to send us your name, school, and contact email. We'll draw one name on October 31 for a free Skype visit (time and date to be arranged) with Sweetheart Jeanette Larson.   Forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to join our mailing list so they can also enter to win a free Skype visit. We'll be offering them throughout the year. 

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