Category Archives: Cool Stuff

More Books From Me. Sort of.

Happy New Year!

I’ve been a very neglectful blogger, I know, but I find myself so busy with many things at once and end up only posting when I have big news. Well, guess what?

BIG NEWS (you saw that coming, right?)

I have two middle grade books coming out this year from Simon and Schuster, and they are multi-storyline, choose your own path type stories. But they are slightly different from the Choose Your Own Adventure books that you might be used to. These are kind of romancy, and the typical CYOA format doesn’t really allow for a lot of character development and story building (reading more like a walk-through video game), so in these books, there are fewer, but more meaningful choices.

The super-cool covers were illustrated by Cassandra Calin:

There are many ways this story can go. YOU decide what happens next. And if you don’t like how it ends? Just start again! The Yes No Maybe So series is an interactive reading experience about friendships, family, and all the feelings.

Every day before and after school, Tara Singh helps her parents at their Indian sweet shop, but the only business Tara is interested in is show business. When a local theater announces a casting call for The Wizard of Oz, Tara is determined to wear the ruby slippers.

As she prepares for the audition, Tara is distracted by some unexpected drama: There is Rohan, the delivery boy her parents hired. Hiro, her forever crush, who wants to rehearse with her. And Desmond, a shy theater nerd who has started lighting up her heart. Can Tara win the part and get the guy?

You have the power to choose what happens…and the chance to choose differently next time! 

There are many ways this story can go. YOU decide what happens next. And if you don’t like how it ends? Just start again! The Yes No Maybe So series is an interactive reading experience about friendships, family, and all the feelings.


Yael Lewis is dreading her bat mitzvah. Her loving but clueless mother insists on throwing an epic birthday extravaganza, even though Yael hates the spotlight.

Despite herself, Yael is excited when her crush Cam accepts the invitation. But then she meets Gabriel, the emcee’s son, whose chill attitude makes her rethink the party plans. Thank goodness her old friend Eli will be there to keep her steady, even though he’s returned from camping a little bit different. Will Yael’s party be the best…or a bust?

You have the power to choose what happens…and the chance to choose differently next time!

 

Both books are available for pre-order at your retailer of choice and you can also add them to your To Be Read list at Goodreads.

Thanks for your support and stay tuned – I may just have some more news coming soon (I did say I was busy…).

 

A Proud Canadian Ginger

It’s no secret that I’m a redhead. As a kid, I wasn’t so fond of the hair that made me different. As an adult, I now appreciate my gingerness but feel like maybe I needed to grow into it, to be comfortable in my own skin before I could embrace having hair that made me stand out. It took a long time to realize it was an essential part of me, what made me me.

Canadian Ginger So when I heard about the opportunity to participate in an anthology by and about redheads, especially Canadian redheads, a club of which I am a very proud member, I was stoked to join in.

The result is my story SEEING RED which is included in this awesome anthology, CANADIAN GINGER from Oolichan Books, edited by Kim Clarkand Dawn Marie Kresan. SEEING RED is a sassy and tongue-in-cheek look at some of the stereotypes all redheads have endured at one time or another.

I hope you’ll check it out and enjoy not just my short story, but the essays, poems, and fiction that embrace the redhead experience.

Get your copy at Bryan Prince Booksellers, your local indie bookshop, or Indigo.

Telling Tales!

I know, I know, it’s been forever since I posted. I’ve been busy with some writing things (news to come!) and some personal things, like an upcoming move, and an otherwise busy summer, but I wanted to personally invite you to come see me and many other amazing authors at this year’s Telling Tales Festival on September 17, 2017!

This is one of my very favourite book events where tons of authors and book lovers come together for a day of stories and fun at one of Southern Ontario’s best-kept secrets – Westfield Heritage Village.

Check out the lineup.

I hope to see you!

CRUSHING IT Launch Party!

Even if you’ve already bought (and hopefully loved) CRUSHING IT, if you’re in the Hamilton, Ontario area, why don’t you come out to help me celebrate the book? I’ll be reading from the book and answering questions AND will be signing while you mingle and consume snacks.

There will be giveaways, too! Bring the book you’ve already purchased for me to sign or there will be copies there to buy.

Please join the official Facebook event so I know you’re coming.

Hope to see you!

 

I’m CRUSHING IT Today!

See what I did there? I made a corny pun with my book title! Well, you know what? It’s my blog, so it’s my prerogative to make corny puns!

Back to the business at hand – it’s they day we’ve all been waiting for – CRUSHING IT release day!

***Throws confetti***

To celebrate, I’m chatting with my excellent friend, Debbie Ohi, over on her site today and I’m also talking about writing funny at the Nerdy Book Club.

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, you can get yours from Bryan Prince Bookseller, or at one of these fine retailers:

Chapters/Indigo

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

If you’re local, I’d love to see you at the LAUNCH PARTY on January 28 at the Westdale Libary (2pm).

Don’t forget to please review CRUSHING IT (unless you hated it) at review sites like Goodreads and at retailers. That is the kindest, and cheapest way you can help authors get the word out about their books.

So this happened!

“As always, Levy’s refreshing tween voice is spot on in CRUSHING IT. It’s the perfect laugh-out-loud read for middle graders.”

Lisa McMann
NYT bestselling author of the Unwanteds series

 

!!!!!! How cool, right? Here’s me doing my happy dance. You know, if I wore skirts. Which is almost…no, not almost, it’s never.gdance_e0

Thank you, Lisa!

Don’t forget, you can read the first three chapters of CRUSHING IT here.

 

A little taste of CRUSHING IT!

It’s exactly two months until CRUSHING IT comes out, so it’s time for me to share a bit of it with you.

Want to read the first three chapters? Yeah, you do.

Read an excerpt here.

Then, once you’re in love with the story and can’t wait to read the rest (or at the very least are a family member and feel obligated), come back and pre-order a copy.

Order from Bryan Prince Bookseller.

Or you can order from other retailers below:

Chapters/Indigo

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

STAY TUNED for info about the CRUSHING IT launch happening in 2017.

Book News!

Apparently it’s been months since my last blog (September? How did that much time slide by?) but I guess that goes along with the theme that I’m not a very good blogger and really only crawl out of the woodwork when I have something to tell you. Well guess what? I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU!

While Small Medium at Large is out in the world and people still seem to be reading it (thank you!) I’ve been working on some other things and one of those things will be published by Simon and Schuster’s Aladdin M!X imprint in 2017  December 2016! If you’re not familiar with the M!X books, check out the website (see, those exclamation points were intentional).

The book is called Crushing It and is a tween version of Cyrano de Bergerac – see the official deal notice at Publishers Weekly. I can’t tell you too much about the story yet, but it will be fun and funny and will likely include some awkward moments and maybe a cat. You’ll just have to wait and see.

And if you believe it, some kind soul has already put it up on Goodreads (which means you can add it to your TBR list, you know, because you’re already worried about what you’re going to need to read two years from now).

This isn’t the Oscars, so I’ll keep this short, but I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to my agent, Caryn Wiseman for facilitating this. She has been tirelessly working toward getting my books out there and I so appreciate having her on my team.

And now, just because this is how I feel today:

dancing_bird

Writing Process Blog Tour

Yes, I know, I haven’t blogged in a while and I probably wouldn’t have even written this post if not for the wonderfully awesome Philippa Dowding! I have to tell you how I met PhilipGwendolynpa, because meeting her was just one part in the amazing Forest of Reading experience I had last spring! When I did the ‘near north’ tour, Philippa and I traveled together (through some crazy terrain and a heck of a storm, I might add) from North Bay to Parry Sound and we got to know each other and had great chats, as writers often do. I can’t tell you what we talked about (what happens on tour, stays on tour) but by the end of the trip, I was so glad to have met her!

2014-09-09 09.34.50AND we exchanged books, which I love, because the one thing I cherish and collect more than anything (because it’s hard to collect cheese, though I do love it so) is signed books.

Please check out Philippa’s post and her books and make sure you tell her I sent you. Make sure you watch the trailer for The Strange Gift of GwendolynGolden (Philippa even did the music for the video—could she be any more talented?).

Now, to the questions!

1. What are you working on?

Oh, okay, so let’s start this with the hardest question to answer! I hate talking about projects I’m working on, because inevitably, they don’t freaking sell and then people are all like, “Remember you were working on that story about the purple alien that fell in love with a crocodile who ate beets? When is that coming out?” and I have to tell them that the book will come out on the fifteenth of never. So I think I’ll play it safe here and tell you I’m working on a wickedly funny Facebook post.

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I wrote it, so that’s the most notable difference. Plus, my writing tends to be funny and honest. I try to mine the most embarrassing moments from my own youth (real or imagined) and project them onto my characters. Then, I manipulate those scenes to make them even funnier and work them into a plot. So yeah, there’s a good chance if you’re reading my work, you will laugh. I keep hearing there’s not enough funny books, so I’m trying to help fill the niche.

3. Why do you write what you do?

2014-05-14 13.14.06I have always looked up to authors who honestly portray the lives of tweens/teens and who write the books that everyone relates to. There are so many experiences that we all go through in some way or another and sharing those experiences is one of the great parts of being human. Dogs can’t share the story of a great romp at the leash-free park or describe the taste of a really delicious steak bone found at the bottom of a garbage can. The stories we share bond us to each other with no reciprocal hind-end sniffing required. So I write to share stories like that. ALSO, and maybe more importantly, I love to make people laugh and if I can do that with strangers I’ve never met, well, that’s the most amazing feeling ever. No, the second most amazing feeling—having a kid come up to me wearing a shirt with my book on it, that’s pretty much THE most amazing feeling.

4. How does your writing process work?

This is a very wide-open question, which I’m guessing is by design… Uh, I come up with an idea, and then I have four or five plot points in my head before I start actually writing. Then I sit down (or, actually these days, I go to my treadmill desk) and start writing. I don’t normally write to outline, so I make up the story and characters as I go. This means I need to do more editing/layering of details later as I learn more about my book and what/who it’s actually about, but it’s hoTend a Gravew I work. I’ve tried outlining and it just doesn’t work for me. If I need an outline or synopsis for a proposal, I pretty much have to write the book (or most of it) first.

Thanks again for tagging me, Philippa! And of course, one good turn deserves another, so I tag: Jocelyn Shipley! I know Jocelyn from #TorKidLit, a social group of writers from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) that gets together monthly. I’m a big fan of Jocelyn and her work (particularly her HOW TO TEND A GRAVE that I couldn’t stop raving about when I read it) and I’m looking forward to her post next week.

Thanks so much for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment about your process.

Fan Art!

I know it’s kind of crazy that after months of nothing, I’m posting twice in a week, but remember when I talked about going to Sudbury to do some school visits? (You can’t tell me you’ve forgotten, it was just a few days ago!) Well, I just got an e-mail with a picture of another poster made by one of the kids. How cool is this? So cool, I just had to share:

Fan Art by Scott

Thank you, Scott! This is one of my favourite scenes in the book, too. Great job!

clapping