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."

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
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!

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: 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:

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.

“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!