Awards and Desserts

I’m very honoured that A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius was awarded the Chocolate Lily award for 2016! It’s amazing to be nominated for awards, and I’m so stoked that I actually won one! It means so much to an author to know that their book was chosen by readers as the best one of the bunch, especially with so many amazing novels in the race. It just warms my heart to know that kids around BC have connected with Arthur Bean and friends! So this is my huge thank you to all the readers who chose my book; I’m so thankful to you all. You guys rock!

In other very awesome news, I found out that A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius was up for a record ten awards in a classroom “Academy Awards” style competition at Deerfield elementary school in Short Hills, New Jersey! This idea is amazing; I love hearing about kids celebrating their reading accomplishments, and how creative and engaging to have them vote in different categories. Arthur and friends won six awards in total, including Best Book of the Year, and I won Author of the Year! I celebrated by eating pie* for breakfast (because my day is only starting when school is ending in New Jersey, so it only seemed right to celebrate at breakfast.) They celebrated by eating cake based on the American cover, and they shared a photo of this epic cake. It’s amazing, so I’m sharing it here with you!

Lastly, Scenes from the Epic Life of a Total Genius was nominated for the Manitoba Reader’s Choice Award! Thanks, Manitoba! You’re a real peach to include my book on a list of epic proportions!

*You’re probably wondering what kind of pie. It was strawberry and cream cheese pie. And it was delicious.

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Berton House, Here I Come!

I am very, very excited to announce that I’ve been chosen for the Berton House residency next year!

And you’re reading this and you’re like, “What is that?”

The Berton House is in Dawson City, Yukon. It was Pierre Berton’s childhood home, and now it’s a retreat run by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Four writers are chosen every year to spend three months in the Yukon, to work on their writing projects and experience Pierre Berton’s north.

And I’m one of them!
I’ll be heading north next year, from January to April, to write a middle-grade novel about a night at the aquarium gone wrong. I’ll be experiencing long, dark nights and the north at what I think of as its northiest. And I’m going to try dog-sledding, and photographing northern lights and snowshoeing in the twilight… it’s going to be magical.

As long as I can find a coat that’s warm enough.

Notes from the —– Life of a Total Genius

Summer is coming, and what does that mean?
It means that the adventures of Arthur Bean will be available soon!

Notes from the —– Life of a Total Genius is coming to bookstores near you September 1st. Follow the adventures of Arthur as he heads into grade nine. He writes a play, he gets in trouble… I’ll leave the rest for you to discover…

New Reviews and Great News!

My first book, A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius, came out in the States in November, and it’s getting some great press that I wanted to share with you!

There’s a lovely review on Publishers Weekly that you can read here.

It’s been chosen for the Junior Library Guild! This is a big deal; I even got a pin in the mail to celebrate!

Hooray for me!

Scenes from a Book Launch

I had the chance to launch my second book at Kidsbooks in Vancouver on September 3rd. It was amazing to see all the friendly faces, and talk about Arthur’s new adventures to friends, family and fans. I also changed my hair colour for the first time in my life. This was exciting for me, although I still feel like I’m wearing a wig.

Here are some photos to mark the occasion!

Calgary Book Launch

It was such an honour to be at Monkeyshines Books in Calgary for a book launch in my hometown. It was a blanket of love from people I’ve known my whole life. My grade five teacher Mrs. Lewis came, which was magical, and a few other teachers from my elementary school too! Not only that, but one of my favourite teachers of all time sent his mother to my book launch because he couldn’t make it. Now that’s dedication to your students! We sold out of books before the event even started!

A Western Sweep!

This is a photo of me sweeping, in true Western Canada fashion.

It’s official: A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius is getting some play in the Western provinces. As of today, it’s been nominated for all four Readers’ Choice Awards in Western Canada! If you, or kids you know, would like to participate in voting, here’s the information for each province.

British Columbia: The Chocolate Lily Award
Alberta: The Rocky Mountain Book Award
Saskatchewan: The Snow Willow Award
Manitoba: Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award

I’m so excited to be on lists with such fantastic books! I hope I get a chance to read many of the other nominated books; the lists look amazing. (But if I could vote, I’d still vote for my own book. I’m selfish that way.)

Things I’ve Learned.

It’s been a whirlwind of a six months since A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius was published, and I’ve been learning all kinds of new things, about publishing, about myself, and about my writing habits. I’m procrastinating on book three right now, so, to make myself feel better, I thought I should strike something that is long overdue off of my to-do list: a blog post to recap the last little while.

Things I have learned:

1) I am terrible at keeping a blog. You think I would know this, since I have two other blogs out floating out there in the ether of the internet, one with approximately six entries over two years, and one with none. It has a great title though. I wish I could remember what I was going to say on it. My guess is book reviews, but who knows?

2) I love talking about myself. I find myself so highly entertaining that school visits, and chatting with kids about my favourite subject (me) gives me an adrenaline high that takes hours to wear off. It’s pretty great.

3) I really thought I could get into good writing habits, and every week I try a new tactic to fool myself into writing more. None of them work.

4) Netflix is the devil. A beguiling, enticing devil.

The Vancouver Book Launch

It’s way late, but here are some photos from my book launches on Galiano Island (at Galiano Island Books, which is an awesome indie bookstore; one of the best!), and in Vancouver at the Writers’ Exchange. So many friendly faces!

Ottawa Launch and Writers’ Festival

I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the Ottawa Writers’ Festival in September 2014. I visited five different schools in the Ottawa area, chatting about writing and my book. It was my first foray into school visits, and they were amazing. I’m hooked!

I also had the chance to do a super cute book launch at Kaleidoscope Kids Books. The staff were so lovely and accommodating. They even sent me home with books to read and extra brain cupcakes, baked specially for my launch!