Upcoming Fall Events!

I can hardly believe that there’s little more than a week left of summer vacation. Where did the time go? On September 7th, I’ll be the crazy lady doing the happy-first-day-of-school dance! I am more than ready for fall and could not be more excited for these upcoming AWESOME events:

9/18 WANDA SYKES will be doing a recorded reading of The Case of the Missing Carrot for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Storyline Online. For more information, click on SAG-AFTRA. Stay tuned for more information! (THANK YOU Wanda Sykes and SAG-AFTRA Foundation!)

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9/24 LUNA PARK’S HALLOWEEN HARVEST

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TIME: 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM

LOCATION: Luna Park in Coney Island, 1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Come out for WITCHTASTIC, SPOOKTACULAR, BOORIFIC story time and crafts with Hildie Bitterpickles. For more information about Luna Park’s month-long Halloween Harvest celebration, click on LUNA.

9/30 SOUTHOLD FREE LIBRARY

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TIME: 11:00 AM

LOCATION: 53705 Main Road, Southold, NY

What do a mole and two mouse detectives have in common? Friendship, food, fun, and rodent camaraderie, of course! Listen to Nancy Armo, author and illustrator of A Friend for Mole, and Robin Newman, author of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake and The Case of the Poached Egg, share their books and the stories behind their books. Come celebrate this picture book/early chapter book rodentfest palooza with mole-ri-fic, mouse-tas-tic crafts, snacks, giveaways, and more!

10/7 WARWICK CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL

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TIME: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

LOCATION: Railroad Avenue, Warwick, NY

Bring the kids to beautiful Warwick, NY for this AWESOME event. Come meet your favorite author and illustrator, help support the Albert Wisner Public Library, and be sure to check out the EGGTASTIC swag Wilcox & Griswold will be giving away! For more information, click on WARWICK.

10/21 CRANFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY’S FIRST ANNUAL PICTURE BOOK PALOOZA

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TIME: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

LOCATION: Cranford Community Center, Room 200

Could not be more thrilled to be participating in The Cranford Public Library’s First Annual Picture Book Palooza with the amazing ARIEL GORDON BERNSTEIN, ANNIE SILVESTRO, LAURA SOUTH SASSI, and ELIZABETH UPON. Story time, crafts, swag, and more! For more information, click on CRANFORD.

10/29 WORD Bookstore

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TIME: 3:00 PM

LOCATION: 126 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY

The witches are coming! Celebrate an early Halloween with Grimelda and Hildie Bitterpickles. It’s sure to be a most SPOOKTACULAR, WITCHARIFIC event! For more information, click on WORD.

11/4 NerdCampLI

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TIME: 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

LOCATION: Boyd Intermediate School, 286 Cuba Hill Road, Huntington, NY

Nerdy Book Club + Ed Camp = nErD Camp

If you’re a nerd or a nerd wannabe, Nerd Camp is for you! nErD Camp is described as the “unconference” edcamp. It provides a fluid forum for educators, authors, and illustrators to discuss “all things” literary; get inspired and give inspiration; and teach and learn from one another. For more information, please click on nErdCampLI.

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Lots of great stuff coming this fall. Hope to see you at one or more of these terrific events.

 

 

 

 

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A Writer’s Phone Call to Santa

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ROBIN: Hey Santa, it’s Robin Newman. How are you?

SANTA: Robin who?

ROBIN: Robin Newman. Remember me from last year? I’m the author of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake and Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep.

SANTA: What time is it?

ROBIN: It’s 5:00 a.m. New York City time. What time is it on the North Pole?

SANTA: Much earlier.

ROBIN: Geez Santa, I’m sorry I woke you. I was just so excited to talk to you. I noticed that Starbucks started its Christmas season early and then every radio station is decking the halls, so I thought I might try to catch you a little earlier this year.

SANTA: Robin, have you been good?

ROBIN: Don’t you think “good” is one of those words that’s subjective and open to interpretation? You know it’s like an editor reading your story and hating it because she has a thing against talking animals. I mean like what kind of person doesn’t like talking animals, right? Or another editor hyperventilating when she sees your word counts are hovering around 160,000 and she’s having a hard time believing this is a picture book.

So, I would like to say that I’ve been sorta good . . . , in the neighborhood of good . . . , and at the very least, extremely well intended.

SANTA: And how’s the writing been going? Are you writing every day like you promised?

ROBIN: It’s funny you should ask. Did I mention you look marvelous? A lot of guys can’t get away with the beard and red suit, but on you they look great.

SANTA: Robin, are you trying to avoid my question? I’ve been dealing with a lot of politicians lately and they ALL keep telling me how great the beard and red suit look before they go into their presidential wish list.

ROBIN: No, worries! I would never run for office, although I wouldn’t mind living in the White House. I’d love to have an indoor swimming pool.

SANTA: So, back to the writing.

ROBIN: Right! I have tried to write something even if it’s the word “something” every day. I have been a very well-intentioned writer.

SANTA: And what do you want for Christmas?

ROBIN: As always, I would like all of my writing and illustrator friends to find agents and get publishing contracts. And if it’s not too much, could I get 10 publishing contracts of my own? Ten is such a nice round number, don’t you think?

SANTA: Ten seems like a lot.

ROBIN: Nine?

SANTA: Robin, I’m not doing nine for my authors who write every day. A well-intended writer is not getting nine contracts.

ROBIN: Well, what kind of numbers are we talking about? One’s as low as I’m going.

SANTA: Robin, you know this is a busy time of year for me. I get a lot of requests from authors and illustrators, but I’ll see what I can do.

Now, I’m going back to bed. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, and a very Happy New Year. Goodbye!

ROBIN: Wait! I’m not done with my list. I’d like world peace, an end to hunger, poverty, disease, and a national holiday celebrating the cheese donut.

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By the way, if you’re looking for stocking stuffers, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, is a great gift for kids on both the good and naughty lists. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your favorite neighborhood indie on the North Pole. And I just signed a number of copies at Bank Street Book Store. You can even pre-order Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local indie. If you happen to order it from Bank Street Book Store, I’d be thrilled to stop by and sign a copy when it arrives. 🙂

Did you get all of that, Santa? Santa? Are you still there? Did you just hang up on me? We must have been disconnected. Let me redial.

RECORDED MESSAGE: You have reached the North Pole. Please leave your name and number and an elf will return your call in the order that it was received. Thank you for calling the North Pole. Happy holidays!

 

 

 

Thank You Princeton Children’s Book Festival!

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Dreams do come true. I have been a HUGE fan of the Princeton Children’s Book Festival for as long as I can remember, and have always dreamed of participating as an author. Yesterday that amazing, incredible, you-take-my-breath away, someone-is-going-to-have-to-pinch-me dream came true.

In a nutshell: It was AWESOME! Over 100 authors and illustrators participated in this year’s festivities, the 10th anniversary of the Princeton Children’s Book Festival. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to ask everyone about their books, craft, and tell them HOW MUCH I LOVE THEIR WORK in a not-so-stalkerish kind of way. But in a mildly stalkerish way, I managed to catch Katya Szewczuk from KidLit TV in the bathroom. Since she was sporting a pair of cat ears, I figured she might be game for a quick hello and then the barrage of “OMG! I am such a HUGE fan.”

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Detectives Wilcox and Griswold 

My dauntless detectives, Wilcox and Griswold, from The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, were on the job. They had taped off the crime scene area under the purple tent at table #4 and had taken a GAZILLION mug shots of potential suspects identified as avid readers.

The day flew by faster than I can say “Publishing Contract” 500 times, and aside from mug shots, I had few opportunities to take photos.

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Matt Myklusch, Emily Christie Burack and Samantha Berger

But I was extremely fortunate to have been table “roomies” with the great Matt Myklusch and Samantha Berger. I only had a brief chance to catch up with the amazing Ame Dyckman, Audrey Vernick, Kate Samworth, Beth Ferry, Monica Wellington, Kristine Lombardi, Emily Christie Burack, and my old school friend, Nick Bruel.

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Matt Myklusch, me, and Samantha Berger

The festivities ended with a wonderful picnic at the home of Joanne and Deanne, the booksellers for this incredible event.

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Ame Dyckman

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Audrey Vernick and Kate Samworth

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Allyn Howard, Kristine Lombardi, and Monica Wellington 

On my way back to the garage, I paused one last time to take a look at the Princeton Public Library when I noticed a quote from Jorge Luis Borges. During my junior year abroad I spent an entire year (yes, you read correctly!) studying Borges. At the time I very much had a love-hate relationship with him for challenging me as a reader, writer, and student. He kept me up at 3:00 am with three different dictionaries (French-Spanish, Spanish-English, and French-English), and my notes reflected the madness of his textual labyrinths. Anyway, it seemed very fitting that the last words that I saw on my way out were his.

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Thank you Allison Santos and the amazing team at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival. I am certain that you all must have super powers for putting this incredible event together. I cannot wait until next year’s festival.

p.s. Mr. Borges, I think you’re right. Paradise has to be a library. What else could it be?

Wilcox & Griswold on the Job at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival

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At the donut shop on this crisp fall morning, I managed to catch up with the #2 detective on the MFI force.

RN: Detective Wilcox, can please you tell us what’s happening at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival this weekend?

DW: I can’t go into specifics about an ongoing investigation, but I can tell you this. A person of interest in a case about a missing carrot cake is apparently a HUGE fan of the Princeton Children’s Book Festival. We’ve heard from a reliable source that he or she may try to make an appearance at the festival.

RN: Will the Missing Food Investigators be ready if he or she does?

DW: Absolutely! Captain Griswold and I will be working our beat from the Purple Tent, Table #4. We’ll be fingerprinting and taking mug shots of potential suspects.

RN: What can visitors to the festival expect?

DW: Fun! The Princeton Children’s Book Festival is celebrating its Tenth Anniversary with over 100 of authors and illustrators participating in the festivities.

RN: When are the festivities scheduled?

DW: September 19, 2015, 11 am to 4 pm.

RN: Thanks for answering my questions. And I’ve got to ask, what’s your favorite kind of donut?

DW: Nothing’s better than a cheese donut with a cup of black coffee. (You know, just like the cops on TV.)

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2015 NJ SCBWI Annual Conference—THE BEST CONFERENCE EVER!

Every year NJ SCBWI’s annual conference gets better and better, and this year was no exception. Here are some photographic highlights:

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Opening Keynote Speaker Denise Fleming

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Annie Silvestro, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Kim Pfennigwerth

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Lori Degman and Liza Fleissig

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Me, Laurie Wallmark, Jody Staton, Darlene Beck-Jacobson

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Artwork by Patricia Keeler 

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Susanna Leonard Hil and Lori Degman

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Ame Dyckman and Adam Lehrhaupt

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Me and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

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Meet the Newest Missing Food Investigators on the hunt for Miss Rabbit’s missing carrot cake.

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Detective Newman

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Detective Allegra

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Detective Cockcroft

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Detective Zampetti

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Detective Degman

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Detective Silvestro

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Detective Hernandez and Detective Bardhan-Quallen

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Mafalda Cardim, me, Ellen Grogan

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Closing Keynote Speaker John Cusick

Many thanks to everyone at NJ SCBWI who made this weekend so very special. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference.

An Evening of Celebration at The Corner Bookstore for The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake

The old adage, “Good things come to those who wait,” is definitely true in my case. It took just about eight years for Wilcox and Griswold to make their first public appearance. A very big THANK YOU is due to everyone who helped Wilcox and Griswold on their journey, especially Creston Books, Marissa Moss, Deborah Zemke, Liza Fleissig, Ginger Harris-Dontzin, my critique group (Jill Davis, Jacki Morris, Joanne French, Ellen Grogan), and my family. Many thanks to The Corner Bookstore for making the celebration extra special!

Here are some photographic highlights:

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From the bottom of my heart, thank you!!! xoxo

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Wilcox & Griswold Launch Party at The Corner Bookstore

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The Case of The Missing Carrot Cake

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Crime Scene: The Corner Bookstore

Blog readers, this launch party invitation for The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake is real. Only the author and illustrator names have been changed . . . because who wouldn’t want an alias?

Be prepared for over 300 carrot cake cupcakes. All frosted with cream cheese. Each and every one calorie free.

I am Robin Newman, the author. The boss and creative genius is Deborah Zemke, the illustrator. We’re the team behind the MFIs, Missing Food Investigators.

Whatever food, whatever the crime, Wilcox and Griswold make the bad guys do the time.

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The celebration’s from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Thursday, April 30th at The Corner Bookstore, 1313 Madison Avenue at 93rd Street. I’ll be working the night shift out of the party division. There will be lots of fun surprises. Hope to see all of you there!

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© 2015 Deborah Zemke. All rights reserved. This illustration cannot be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information or retrieval systems without permission in writing from its publisher, Creston Books, LLC.

Best Way to Begin the New Year: Shameless Self-Promotion

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Here’s a conversation between a random blog reader and Robin Newman.

Reader: You’re not going to do it.

Robin: Of course, I am.

Reader: It’s not a good idea.

Robin: Really?

Reader: Really!

Robin: Why not?

Reader: It’s in bad taste.

Robin: Like a little bad taste. Or a lot? I can live with a little. It’s not like I’m doing a reality TV show. (But if anyone is interested, call me! We’ll talk. 🙂 )

Reader: You’re not going to listen to me, are you?

Robin: No, but I’ll be super quick about it. Promise!

Reader: Go for it!

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Robin: Deborah Zemke and I will be signing promo copies of our book, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery, at the ALA Conference in Chicago on Saturday, January 31th from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, McCormick Place West, Exhibit Hall, Booth 4226. If you’re around, please stop by! We’d love to see you!

Reader: That wasn’t too painful.

Robin: I’m not done yet. And I also want to let everyone know that The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake is available for pre-order at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Super awesome, right?

Reader: Right! Are you done now?

Robin: Almost. If anyone would like some bookmarks, postcards, stickers or flyers, not to mention some super groovy glow in the dark Wilcox & Griswold bracelets, please e-mail me your address. And if any of you could kindly help spread the word about The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, I would really, I mean REALLY, appreciate it. Happy New Year! Wishing everyone all the very best in 2015! xoxo

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