What I’m Reading…

Everything, actually.

My high school-aged daughter and I have been battling all summer to see who can read the most books. She prefers long tomes in the fantasy genre and I love middle grade fiction which tends to run much shorter. She finally resorted to grabbing a stack of Goosebumps titles to gain a quick advantage. On the afternoon I caught her doing that, I snapped “I better not catch you with another book!” Sigh. Not my finest parenting hour, but needs must.

My favorite books this summer are classics that I am re-reading from Corrie ten Boom. I had forgotten how beautifully written THE HIDING PLACE is and how deeply moving. I have two regrets in my life, the first being that I never had a chance to meet her, and the second being that my mother neglected to take me to an Elvis concert when I was a baby so that he could kiss me. It seems that being kissed by Elvis as an infant conferred magical properties on some kind. I’m sure of it. I’ve been able to pin most of my life’s misfortunes on this tragic omission.

But as they say, if it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.

Now, get out of here and go read a good book!

Summer at the Post Road Library

Every summer, I partner with the incredible staff at the Post Road library here in my cozy north Atlanta suburb and bring young adults a super-cool writers workshop. My kids tell me I shouldn’t call it super-cool, but I think it fits.

Here’s how it works:
We watch a movie on a Saturday, then the following week, we have a discussion about the techniques used by the screenwriters to bring the story to life. There’s no homework except to watch the movie…and perhaps eat popcorn for extra credit. :) Writers will gain a better understanding of what makes each genre work, and how their own stories can come to life with the right techniques.

Here’s our schedule:

Adventure Stories
Movie: Saturday, June 4 at 2:30 p.m.
Back to the Future (Rated PG, 1985)
Workshop: Tuesday, June 7 at 1:30 p.m. Please register.

Boy Meets Girl Stories
Movie: Saturday, June 18 at 2:30 p.m.
10 Things I Hate About You (Rated PG-13, 1999)
Workshop: Tuesday. June 21 at 1:30 p.m. Please register.

Teen Against the World Tales
Movie: Saturday, July 2 at 2:30 p.m.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Rated PG-13, 1986)
Workshop: Tuesday, July 5 at 1:30 p.m. Please register.

Detective Stories
Movie: Saturday, July 16 at 2:30 p.m.
Super 8 (Rated PG-13, 2011)
Workshop: Tuesday, July 19 at 1:30 p.m. Please register.

Teens can also bring in their own work to read to the group, but not everyone feels comfortable reading their work out loud, so there’s never any pressure….but we do promise positive feedback and plenty of encouragement.

Come join us if you can. You can register at the Post Road library or on their website at
http://www.forsyth.public.lib.ga.us/

Here’s what the media is saying about THE LAST MONSTER

“The world around us is filled with monsters
and freaks and mysteries.
And me?
I am the Guardian, who will watch over them all.”

THE LAST MONSTER, by Ginger Garrett, Delacorte Press

“An appealing tale for readers dealing with their own insecurities.”
Booklist

“A perfect recommendation for introspective kids who feel like outsiders.”
School Library Journal

Preorder now for the best price at:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Monster-Ginger-Garrett/dp/0553535242

Or:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-monster-ginger-garrett/1122342054

Here

“The world around us is filled with monsters
and freaks and mysteries.
And me?
I am the Guardian, who will watch over them all.”

THE LAST MONSTER, by Ginger Garrett, Delacorte Press

“An appealing tale for readers dealing with their own insecurities.”
Booklist

“A perfect recommendation for introspective kids who feel like outsiders.”
School Library Journal

Know A Kid Who Needs Encouragement?

THE LAST MONSTER, a new novel for young adults, is available for preorder from any book seller. Published by Delacorte Press/Random House, the novel is getting some great reviews…most importantly, the reviews are helping booksellers and librarians get the book into the right hands. Here’s a sample of what the media is saying:

“ An appealing tale for readers dealing with their own insecurities.” Booklist

“A perfect recommendation for introspective kids who feel like outsiders.” School Library Journal

“poignant and sophisticated…punctuated with wry humor”
Kirkus Reviews

I’m thrilled that the reviews will help the right readers find the book. Preorder now- the book releases in early April!

SCBWI SpringMingle

Just got home from the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators SpringMingle conference, hosted by my region (Southern Breeze).
If you want to write or illustrate for children or young adults, you really must join us at SCBWI:
http://www.scbwi.org/

It’s a wonderful organization and has been enormously helpful to me in my career.
That’s it for now: I have to get back to working on my synopsis for another book. Or two. :)

The Last Monster Is In The Can!

I’m so excited (and relieved) that the edits for THE LAST MONSTER (Delacort/Random House) are officially done. We’re moving on to copyediting now, and I am busy outlining new material.Meanwhile, check out the new book THE MIDDLE SCHOOL RULES OF BRIAN URLACHER (BroadStreet Publishing. This is a book I had a hand in shaping, and was thrilled to get to work with Sean Jensen from Thrive Sports.

It’s a great read for middle school kids who love sports stories.

The Last Monster

I’m so thrilled to announce that THE LAST MONSTER, my middle-grade novel, has been acquired by Delacorte/Random House. I’m deep in edits right now, which means drinking lots of tea and getting red ink all over my fingers every day. The novel is scheduled for release in Spring 2016, and I’ll be updating the site as we get closer.

The book is about a thirteen-year-old cancer survivor, Sofia, who discovers a Bestiary written by Aristotle’s last student. Sofia learns that the world is filled with monsters in hiding, and the ancient conspiracy that once doomed Aristotle’s student  is now threatening her. Sofia must save them all by becoming the Guardian. She learns that some things are worth fighting for…most especially, our right to be different.

There’s more to come but for now…go enjoy a beautiful fall season!

Why I Love Stingrays and Hate Goats

Summer is in full swing here at Casa Garrett, which means I am probably at the beach right now, getting sunburned. But the upside of that is seeing all the stingrays at my favorite beach, and they are such ethereal creepshows that I don’t even mind when they swim around me. (That’s actually a lie. I yelp.) My favorite beach has had a ton of them this year, and I’m not really sure why, but I love watching them in the water.

While I wait for news on the middle-grade series that my fabulous agent is pitching, I’m also hard at work on a new series. I’ll be editing a sports biography series for middle grade boys. Part of the work involves interviewing sports celebrities. I bought a lovely new sweater set for a recent interview, one carefully chosen to make me look both editorial and intelligent. (Sweater sets do that.)

One thing that no one bothered to tell me was that the celebrity lived on an estate with over 70 animals, including about twenty goats. I don’t trust goats. I never have. Plus, they are completely impervious to my charms. A witty anecdote has zero effect. On the estate, one goat seemed to sense my attachment to the sweater set and went on the offensive.

As I walked around the place, this goat followed me and ate a new section of the sweater each time he caught me standing still. Apparently, vanity is the new delicious in the farmyard world. Sigh. Leave it to a goat to quickly dismantle all my attempts to look important.

I’ll post more when there’s actual news. Until then, enjoy your summer!