Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Poetry Friday: Red-Hearted Winter


Red-Hearted Winter

In these dark, windblown
days, Hawaii is a rich 
red heart in my own. 

Lorie Ann Grover, 2010


Friday, December 10, 2010

Poetry Friday: My Year in Status

I'm so happy someone thought to create this application! Here's a free verse of my year in Facebook statuses. Sweet!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Poetry Friday: Nancy Pearl


Nancy Pearl is our
super hero, brandishing 
books to marvel hearts.

Lorie Ann Grover, 2010

Nancy really is. We heart her as much as she hearts books. Marvel. :~)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Novel Gift: rgz and First Book Partner!


BREAKING NEWS! readergirlz and First Book are partnering to give away more than 125,000 brand-new books to low-income teen readers.


They’re great books, too, donated by generous publishers. Among the three dozen choices are P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast’s HOUSE OF NIGHT series and Alyson Noël’s SHADOWLAND.

We need your help getting the word out about the A Novel Gift campaign. Right now! Right now! As in, now!

Let's get organizations serving these teens registered with First Book so they can be matched with inventory during the holidays.

Here’s what we need you to do:

Post to Facebook and tweet your beak off about these books using the hashtag #novelgift.

Here’s a tinyurl link to their registration page:http://tinyurl.com/2a5mwpj.

Or you can link to this blog post:http://readergirlz.blogspot.com/2010/11/novel-gift-over-125000-free-books-to.html

Then, get in touch with every group you can think of that works with young adults–schools, after-school programs, church youth groups, community centers, etc.—and let them know that these books are available now. 

The five-minute online registration these groups can use is here:
http://booksforkids.firstbook.org/register/.

First Book is also eager to answer questions, either by email to help@firstbook.org, or by phone at 866-READ-NOW or 866-732-3669.

If you participate, drop us a note at readergirlz@gmail.com to be included in our blog roll of thanks to run December 31.

Be a part of A Novel Gift! OK, go! And thanks, sincerely, from First Book and the readergirlz teams.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Poetry Friday: Be Warned

I heart my Polyvore, but I felt the haiku urge today. Here goes:


Be Warned

You see me through a
slick and colorful bubble.
I am no Glinda. 

Lorie Ann Grover, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Say It Again: Lack of Regard for YA


"The lack of regard for YA fiction in the mainstream isn't an altogether bad thing. There's something to be said for living in a disreputable, ghettoized bohemia."
Cory Doctorow

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Questions from Readers: Time Management

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In case anyone else, besides the inquiring journalist, is remotely interested in my personal time management, I've added this info to my Questions from Readers Blog Page. It's just the way I roll. If it's any help to you...yay!

Here are my answers for the curious.

I do not write during the same hours every day. I write according to project deadlines or creative interest. Whatever is shouting the loudest receives my attention for the amount of time available. Still having one child at home, when I write fluctuates around her ever changing schedule. I used to homeschool two daughters, and then writing was tucked into all the spare bits of time.

My schedule is always too fluid to maintain specific, consistent writing hours. The needs of readergirlz fluctuates, and the nonprofit can take much of my time. Also, I need time to play and refill the well. Having strict writing time feels too constrained. That said, almost all my free time is given over to writing and reading. That can be anywhere from 7 am to 11 pm.

I start the day with a mental list of what I'll probably achieve. I keep an open hand with my expectations, however.

I personally might have a 40 hour work week for project managing readergirlz. That is the case in transitions or during special literacy projects. Writing then falls into the other available hours. If readergirlz is sustaining from the other 30 volunteers, I might devote 2 hours to it, readertotz, social media sites, and my own blog. I might write or draw for 6 hours, and then maybe read for 2 hours.

I do take writing retreats several times a year where I work on my novels exclusively, for 8-10 hours a day, for 4-6 days. I do not have internet access at those times.  

Regarding tracking, if they are online projects, I leave the email exchanges in my inbox until the project is complete. I use my journal for tracking creative projects I need to develop or refine. These are generated from chatting with my agent. When projects are completed and sent to my agent, I record them in an Excel file. Longer term online projects and future novel ideas I keep in Window's One Note documents.
That is the story of that. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Dance becomes physical free verse."

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I received a request for an interview from a teen in the Netherlands. Rachel van Eck wanted to examine On Pointe for her IB Diploma Extended Essay. She asked me engaging questions which you can read in my former post. She has now completed the work, and I am honored she looked so closely at my novel. I was given permission to share a few excerpts here.

Rachel begins the work with this question: 

‘How does the author Lorie Ann Grover portray dance movements in the novel ‘On Pointe’ through the characters by means of style and structure?’ The process of this research was done by stylistically analyzing the novel to find how the movements were being portrayed and if they really did make the reader picture and feel the movements being described. Lorie Ann Grover did this with her special way of writing this novel.

Rachel goes on to show how literary devices convey breath, pacing, sound, and movement. It was fun to see these specific examples as many were intuitive during the writing.

Here is an example of an excerpt from On Pointe and Rachel's analysis:

We piqué turn across the floor.

Snapping our heads,

We spot

one speck

on the wall

we are moving toward.

The room blurs,

but the spot

is in focus.

Everyone moves

across the floor

toward their spot.

Just like the ‘Grand Battements’ this spinning movement is shown by the short sentences. This phrase emphasizes the spotting of the swift, repeated spinning movement. Not only does this passage mention spotting very often in just a small time, it is made up of short sentences. This indicates the movement that when the character is looking at the spot, one bit of the sentence is thought of, and then the character does another spin, with having the sentence cut off as a result, but when she’s back to her spotting she has time to think of another part of the sentence, and so it continues.

Rachel's paper concludes with this passage:

Dance movements might be hard to describe with just single words, however, through the use of free verse, anaphora, dance terminology, figurative language, sound techniques, diction, and imagery, this can be elaborated to the point that the reader is able to picture, feel, or even hear what the movements are like. Lorie Ann Grover does this “so that a reader unfamiliar with ballet could still gain an impression/feeling of that particular movement.” (Grover),,,,as if it is choreography on paper....In this novel Dance becomes physical free verse.

Thank you, Rachel! I greatly appreciate your analytical thoughts, kind words, and time. Here's to your own dance and writing. Brava!

Photo Friday: I am a Woman Who Runs With Wolves

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I'm reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes' classic Women Who Run With the Wolves, Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. It's an excellent source that challenges you to care for your inner self, to nurture that creative spirit. Not a follower of Jungian psychology, I can still glean insights and lessons from the piece. It's also fueling my work in progress. So here's my image to depict the content of Women Who Run With the Wolves. Happy Photo Friday!

Woman Who Runs With Wolves

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Be Heard: Attending Doc NYC '10


To Be Heard

Doc NYC Documentary Film Festival, runs November 3-9.

Okay, I'm basically running around the room in excitement! Let me back up. A few months ago, Justina Chen kindly invited me to go with her to screen a documentary and add my two cents to the review process.

To Be Heard was amazing, and I had so much fun discussing the work with the gathered screeners. Justina and I represented the YA lit field. We got to answer questions, give our feedback, and share our impressions. It felt very much like a book critique gathering, actually. And what a film To Be Heard is! So truthful and hopeful. You will cheer when you see this genuine work. You will engage with these passionate young people, be wowed by their poetry, and applaud their altruistic instructors.

Pretty soon, I was emailing one of the directors, Roland Legiardi-Laura, exchanging thoughts. And now! Jim Angelo and his beautiful wife Jill, the producers, have invited Justina and me to the NYC premiere at Doc NYC!

In the meantime, this awesome review was just released. Here's an excerpt:

"These authentic sequences leave a real dent in the heart because they are so genuine; a great example of good documentary film-making....One of the surprise hits of DOC-NY." [A-]

Fabulous, right? Woohoo! I'll be sure to post pictures. More soon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Questions from the Netherlands: On Pointe

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I just received a provocative email from a teen in the Netherlands who is writing an essay on my verse novel, On Pointe. She noticed how the literary structure itself reflects dance. I thought to share a few of her questions and my answers. How fun when readers make writers think!

Q. Did you mean for the style and structure to influence the movement of the novel?
A. Yes. If you compare On Pointe to my other works, Loose Threads and Hold Me Tight, you'll see that the entries are not titled as they are in the other two novels. By crafting the work without titled verses, my aim was to mimic the flow of one long dance.

Q. Why use this way of portraying the movements the way you did, rather than using more imagery?
A. The structure of the verses imitates ballet steps (pages 126-127) so that a reader unfamiliar with ballet can still gain an impression/feeling of various movements. I definitely didn't want to descend into particulars of steps and lose the non-ballet reader.


Q. Are there any particular sections in the novel that you wanted to convey the movement more than other parts of the novel, and if that were so, which parts would those be?
A. Here are a few examples, at least. I believe I have used repetition of words on page 99 to convey the endless repetition of the preparation needed in order to master the ballet art form. I think of the short lines beginning on page 51 that run onto 52 talking about doing a split. The terseness mimics how Clare is split, cut thin by her situation. Generally, descriptive passages, like those on page 17, have the freedom to meander and run longer, like Clare's life outside of dance. Ballet passages tend to be tighter, more controlled like the art demands. And finally, on pages 4-6, I meant to reflect the long leg of a dancer on pointe.


Q. Is there a particular reason you chose to write this novel in free-verse rather than prose?
A. Yes, I believe the story works well in free verse as the format carries heavy emotion easily. It is difficult to write a work wherein the protagonist does not achieve her goals/dreams. I knew verse would allow the reader to dip in and out of the pain more easily. The white space allows the reader room to breath. And as you've discovered, verse can mimic dance. 


Here's to critical thinking! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Love Letter to readergirlz

As we get ready to change to our new format, I wanted to reflect on how we came to be, remember what we've done together, and just pause to appreciate our journey. I made this for all of you. Thank you for being a part of rgz. Thanks for the lemonade. :~)

Feel free to repost!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish: 100,000 copies sold!

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In celebration of Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish selling over 100,000 copies, I thought to post this fun interview with illustrator Debra Ziss. Enjoy!

1. Can you describe your process, Debra?

i usually see something in my head the moment i read the manuscript. then i sit down at the computer and "sculpt" in illustrator. by this i mean that i draw shapes and refine them until they begin to look like something. what i see in my head is NEVER what appears on screen. i'm usually pleasantly surprised by the end result.

2. Want to share an early sketch?

you can see sketches on: debbiedoesdoodles.blogspot.com i posted my original ideas for the book along with some finishes so readers could see the process. Like this:


3. Do you have any totz in your life now?

i sometimes test out my drawings on my "peanut gallery", my friends kids. if they like and understand what i've drawn, i know it's good!

4. Um, do you like to eat fish?

sushi is a personal favorite. good nite fishies!

Thanks, Debra! I love how our work came together. Thanks also to editor Rotem Moscovich and Scholastic. *hugs* And final thanks to everyone who has purchased copies!

Here's one last look at that sweetie pie reading to us:


video

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Teen Read Week!


Thanks to Holly Cupala for the gorgeous poster for rgz! Happy reading, everyone! Print your own poster by clicking here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Summer of Music, 2010

Oh, yeah. It was the summer of music. I loved every minute. Here's a peek.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers with Joe Cocker opening; Lucy Woodward; my hubbie's band, Fair Warning; and Adam Lambert. Rock on! I'll see if I can transfer a bit of video...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oh, hi. I love you.

I love the whimsy of this. I was thinking about my husband, children, and the sweet joys of life. The text came without a comma. I think it needs a comma. But Happy Photo Friday, anyway!

I love you
Lorie Ann Grover, 2010





Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mother/Daughter Book Club Reads Loose Threads and Raises Funds

Wicked Local Photo by Anne Kasper

Here's a shout out for the Mother/Daughter Book Club in Georgetown, MA! They held a bake sale to raise money for breast cancer awareness. In conjunction, the girls read my novel Loose Threads.

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“I learned that you never know what people are going through at home,” said Michaela Perry.

The book dealt with some tough subject matter, though, such as the treatments and surgery that the grandmother goes through. For example, Shelby Cherwek said that one thing she learned from reading the book is that sometimes women have to have surgery to remove their breasts because of breast cancer.

The girls all agreed that it was a sad book....The book was set in the 1970s, and the girls said that they know that technology and treatment for breast cancer has improved a lot since then.

“You have a better chance of living now,” Michaela said.

Samantha agreed. “Try to keep hope,” she said."

Absolutely. "There's hope. Look." You can read the full article in the Georgetown Record here.

readertotz is Awarded!

Many thanks to Guide to Online Schools for recognizing readertotz as one of the Best Children's Lit Blogs in the industry. Joan and I are honored!