Where’s Waldo? No, not Waldo! Where’s Robin?

 

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Sincere apologies for being M.I.A. from the blog lately but the fall has been crazy busy with book festivals, conferences, revisions, writing, and book deals.

Reader: Wait one second! Did she say book deals?

Why, yes I did.

I am thrilled to finally announce that the third book in The Wilcox & Griswold Mystery Series, The Case of the Bad Apples, illustrated by the amazing Deborah Zemke, will be out fall 2020. Heartfelt thanks to Liza Fleissig, Ginger Harris, Marissa Moss, and to everyone who read, reread, and re-reread drafts of the book.

There’s more good news to come on this front . . . so please stay tuned. YIPPEE KI YAY!

Now, as we all know, being crazy busy for an author is AWESOME! Below is a quick recap of where I’ve been.

First stop, the Highlights Foundation, Honesdale, PA. If you’ve never been, I have one word for you. Go! Actually, two words. Go now! You won’t regret it. Not sure if it’s the pixie dust in the Honesdale air or just the to-die-for food, but Highlights is pure magic. It was beyond wonderful to have a few days to focus on work, and then just be able to ask an editor a question or two.

Sample Author-Editor Discussion Simulation 

Me:  Do you have a minute to read something? Is this working? Does it need another beat? Is it funny enough because my dogs always laugh when I read that line.

Editor: Do you give your dogs treats when you read that line?

Me: Maybe.

I’d like to shout out a very big thank you to Jennifer Jacobson, Juana Martinez-Neal, Gareth Hinds, Nikki Grimes, Padma Venkatraman, Neal Porter, Kathleen Merz, Laurie Calkhoven, and Alison Morris for sharing their words of wisdom, time, and for their encouragement and support, and to the above and beyond amazing Highlights staff for making the weekend extraordinarily special.

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My adorable cabin. 

Second stop, Collingswood Book Festival, Collingswood, NJ. This is one of my all-time favorite book festivals and it was such a treat to be there with so many author friends, including Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Laura Shovan, as well as so many friends from the KidLit Authors Club, including Hallee Adelman, Jodi Moore, Charlotte Bennardo, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, David Neilsen, Jeffry Johnston, Jennifer Robin Barr, and Kell Andrews.

Third stop, West Jersey Reading Council’s Fall Conference, Pennsauken, NJ. The West Jersey Reading Council provides educators, administrators, and parents with literacy-based enrichment programs. This year Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and I presented on Using Picture Books to Teach Empowerment and Inclusion. We also participated in the author meet and greet.

(Note: If we look like drowned rats in the photos, it’s because it was POURING cats and dogs.)

Fourth stop, Easton Book Festival, Easton, PA. Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the first ever Easton Book Festival. The book festival was the brainchild of Andy Laities, the former manager of the Bank Street Bookstore. In a word, it was AWESOME!

A quick side story . . . one of my first book signings was at the Bank Street Bookstore. Since I have a detective book, naturally I thought the kids would enjoy a fingerprinting activity. Well, this was a very bad idea. Not just a very bad idea but an exceptionally bad idea. The children were running around the store with ink on their hands while Andy was chasing them down with wipes. (So, if you have a detective book, I strongly advise against any kind of fingerprinting activities.) P.s. I’d like to note that I LOVE Bank Street Bookstore and am so thrilled that I wasn’t banished from the store.

Here are a few photographic highlights from Easton:

There was a spectacular author dinner, with belly dancers. 

I’d like to shout out a super huge THANK YOU to Andy Laities, Sarah Laities, and to all the volunteers for making the Easton Book Festival unforgettable. Can’t wait for next year’s festival.

Where will Robin be next? NerdCampLI on November 2nd and the Huntington Public Library’s Picture Book Palooza on November 10th.

And in the words of the great Porky Pig . . .

 

 

Kids Read: A Book Festival

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On Saturday I had the privilege of attending the first annual Kids Read: A Book Festival in Poughkeepsie, New York, with 35 plus authors and illustrators. It was DY-NO-MITE!

Here are a few photographic highlights:

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Aram Kim 

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Karen Kaufman Orloff

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David Neilsen 

Timothy Young

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Me and Kelly Purdy, teacher extraordinaire

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Diana Murray 

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Nick Bruel and Charlotte Bennardo

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A VERY HUGE THANK YOU to John Torres, head of Youth Services for the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, Our Lady of Lourdes High School, Dutchess County, Dutchess Reads, Merritt Bookstore, and to the amazing staff and volunteers for bringing this incredible day to fruition. Can’t wait for next year’s festival!

Special Delivery for Santa

 

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Dear Santa,

What a wonderful surprise to see you at the Princeton Club of New York last Saturday! And let me tell you, you look marvelous! Was that a new suit? You know, not a lot of people can wear a bright red suit but on you it looks fantastic.

I hope you enjoyed story time with the amazing Roxie Munro, Laura Schroff, and Rocco Staino. I managed to take a few photos.

Now, I know you’re quite busy these days but I’ve been a reasonably good author this year. Okay, I’ll confess that I didn’t write every day but I can honestly say that I did mull over my stories and revisions daily. Then, I felt extreme guilt for when I wasn’t writing. Does that count for anything?

My list hasn’t changed much since last year. Here goes:

  • I’d like world peace, an end to poverty, famine, disease, universal access to education, and a special place for every child to call home.
  • Book deals for all of my author and illustrator friends.
  • And any chance you can make all of my books New York Times best sellers? Three books? How about just one? (Figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.)

Also, if you’re looking for last minute gifts, might I recommend some AWESOME books from the KidLit Authors Club?

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For more information about these wonderful books,

please visit the KidLit Authors Club.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday! Here’s to a great new year of reading and writing.

Much love,

Robin xo

BEST CONFERENCE EVER! New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference 2017

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I say this every year, but cross my heart it’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference is the BEST conference ever!

What makes it great? I’m so glad you asked. Here goes my laundry list:

Critiques, first pages, workshops covering every imaginable kidlit topic from picture books to YA, pitches, connecting with editors and agents, and more editors and more agents, getting solid feedback on your stories and illustrations (the good, the bad, and the sad ugly truth), inspiration galore, and lifelong friendships. Shall I go on?

Here are a few photographic highlights:

Behind the scenes the day before the conference.

Opening Keynote with Stephen Savage

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Blake Hamilton and Matthew Winner

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Sheela Chari and Leslie Zampetti

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Me with Detectives Wilcox and Griswold on the job

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Anita Arakelian and me (Mawrters in the house – Anassa kata ’89)

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Virginia Law Manning, me, Leslie Zampetti

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Leslie Santamaria

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The Liza Royce Crew!

(Left to right: Me, Laurie Wallmark, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Liza Fleissig, Leslie Santamaria, Yvonne Ventresca)

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Me and David Lubar

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(Top row, left to right: Kathy Temean, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, me)

(Bottom row, left to right: Katey Howes, Jody Staton, Colleen Rowan Kosinski)

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Me and Hallee Adelman

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Cathleen Thole Daniels and Rosanne Kurstedt

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Anita Arakelian

 

 

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Heather Montgomery

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Stephen Savage, Mike Ciccotello, Annie Silvestro

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Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

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Cathleen Thole Daniels, Kirstine Erekson Call, me

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Closing keynote with David Lubar

I’d like to shout out a HUGE THANK YOU to the amazing, incredible, you-take-my-breath-away NJ SCBWI team, including but certainly not limited to, Cathleen Thole Daniels, Rosanne Kurstedt, Karen Romagna, Annie Silvestro, Kelly Calabrese, Charlotte Bennardo, Guy Olivieri, Mike Ciccotello, Linda Bozzo, Tami Charles, and to all the incredible volunteers.

And do you want to know a little secret? If you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and cross your fingers and toes and hope the publishing gods are on your side, you’ll notice the hint of publishing contracts in the air. How could any conference ever get better than this?

The 2016 NJ SCBWI Annual Conference—The Best Conference Ever!

 

Every year the NJ SCBWI Annual Conference gets better and better. This year did not disappoint.

Here are some photographic highlights: 

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Opening Keynote Speaker, David Wiesner

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My amazing agent, Liza Fleissig, and my fellow Liza Royce Agency peeps! 

Yvonne Ventresca, Cathy Breisacher, Laurie Wallmark, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Erica George, Leslie Santamaria, me, and Liza Fleissig 

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Diana Murray and me

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Johanna Bilbo Staton, Yvonne Ventresca, and Cathy Breisacher 

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Katey Howes

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Lauri Meyers

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Darlene Beck-Jacobson and Carole Lindstrom

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Annie Silvestro and Kim Pfennigwerth

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Me and Cristina Ergunay (Mawrters in the house! Anassa kata!) 

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Beth Ferry 

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Julie Matysik and Yvonne Ventresca

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Jacki Morris

Liza Fleissig, Keisha Senter, Kathy Temean, Carole Lindstrom, Leslie Santamaria, me, Karl Jones, Colleen Rowan Kosinski, Marlaina Cockcroft, and Linda Patterson Kujawski

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Laura Sassi and Diana Murray 

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Leeza Hernandez

Me and Katya Szewczuk

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Tara Lazar 

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Lori Degman 

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Laurie Wallmark accepting the Crystal Kyte Award.

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Julie Gribble 

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Tish Rabe

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Jonathan Rockefeller 

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Guy Olivieri and Charlotte Bennardo 

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Closing Keynote Speaker, Suzy Ismail

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Me and Suzy Ismail 

A very big THANK YOU to everyone who made this year’s conference so special. I’m already packing my bags for next year’s conference. I can’t wait!

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NJ SCBWI