02 Dec

In case you’re wondering where to shelve Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!

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…I think this Barnes & Noble has the right idea:

ABC on shelves at BN 2

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! + LEGO + Minecraft? Sure — I’m OK with that.

Oh, and + Frozen? That looks pretty good, too.

ABC on shelves at BN 1

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30 Nov

2015 Austin SCBWI Conference: You will win!

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(What’s with the Shark Vs. Train reference in the post title? Well, read on…)

Registration opens one week from tomorrow for the annual conference of the Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Regardless of whether you’re aspiring or accomplished, the March 7-8 conference has something for you:

    keynote addressess and panel discussions
    writing craft breakouts
    all-day illustrator track
    all-day professional development track
    critiques and reviews of manuscripts, portfolios, and picture book dummies

There’s all that, and more, and I haven’t even listed the editors, art director, agents, New York Times bestselling authors, and other artists and authors who will be on the faculty. You can see that list here, but I do want to point out that I’ll be among them, as will illustrator Tom Lichtenheld.

Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld

In the nearly five years since the publication of our book Shark Vs. Train, this will be the first time that Tom and I have appeared together at the same conference. I’m excited about that, and I hope you are, too.

So, get it on your calendar today, get ready to register next Monday, and we’ll see you in March!

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23 Nov

Bartography Express for November 2014, featuring K.A. Holt’s Rhyme Schemer

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This month, one subscriber to my Bartography Express newsletter will win a copy of Rhyme Schemer (Chronicle), the new middle-grade novel in verse by Kari Anne Holt.

If you’re not already receiving Bartography Express, click the image below for a look. If you like what you see, click “Join” in the bottom right corner, and you’ll be in the running for the giveaway at the end of this week.

20141120 Bartography Express

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20 Nov

In which I talk with Katie Davis about gaming, writing, marketing, and 85 or so other things

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Podcast Archives - Author Katie Davis  Video Marketing for Writers

I’m a few days late to the party, thanks to my participation in the YALSA and ILF events, but I’m happy this morning to share with you this recently recorded interview I did for Katie Davis’ kidlit podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

In addition to discussing Shark Vs. Train and Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!, Katie and I talked quite a bit about my email newsletter, Bartography Express, which I wrote about earlier this year for Cynsations. And in fact, while I was listening to our interview, I was actually putting the finishing touches on this month’s edition.

The November edition includes, among other things, a Q&A with K.A. Holt and a giveaway of her new book, Rhyme Schemer. If you want to receive this issue in your very own inbox and get in the running for the giveaway, you can sign up on my home page.

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17 Nov

Goodbye, YALSA! Hello, ILF and B&N!

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There’s nothing better than a crowd of librarians and authors to remind me how lucky I am to be in this line of work, and to inspire me to keep on writing and earning my place among this bunch.

This past weekend, Austin hosted the annual YA symposium of the Young Adult Library Services Association. I participated in the Saturday evening Book Blitz — in which authors seated behind stacks of publisher-donated books get blitzed by librarians snagging their share of signed copies — as well as a Sunday-morning panel discussion including (left-to-right in Paula Gallagher’s photo above) Jonathan Auxier, Lisa Yee, Andrew Smith, moderator/organizer/wrangler Kelly Milner Halls, Bruce Coville, and Laurie Ann Thompson.

It’s going to be a full week, as I’ll also be speaking at the Indiana Library Federation’s annual conferenceShark Vs. Train is a winner of the Young Hoosier Book Award — and then reading Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! at a Barnes & Noble back here in Austin.

If you’re interested in hearing me talk for, oh, 27 minutes and 59 seconds, but won’t be making it to either of those events, I’m happy to offer a third option: this podcast interview that author Jason Henderson recorded with me last week. Enjoy!

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10 Nov

Researching, writing about, talking about and — yes — playing video games

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Recently I was struggling to remember the name of the YA novel I had read that got me all choked up at the very end, but then I realized it hadn’t been a novel at all. It had been…

…a video game.

But which video game? Ah, for that piece of information, you’ll need to check out Laurie Ann Thompson’s interview with me about how I researched and wrote Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet.


Laurie and I also talked about our gaming experiences, including the ones that led me to dedicate the book to a childhood (and lifelong) friend of mine.

And I disclose which letter of the alphabet provided the biggest challenge. If you think you know which one it was, go see if you guessed right!

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09 Nov

Get caught up on Picture Book Month

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My post on “Why Picture Books Are Important” went up on the Picture Book Month blog this past week — but my insights are just one-ninth (at most!) of what’s been shared so far by a host of authors and illustrators.

If you haven’t stopped by yet and enjoyed what Arree Chung, Robin Preiss Glasser, Kelly Bingham, and others have had to say on the topic, what are you waiting for?

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05 Nov

A much closer look at The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

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John Roy Lynch final cover

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers is offering quite a generous preview of the picture book biography by Don Tate and me that’s coming in April 2015.

The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch is the true story of John Roy Lynch’s 10-year transformation from teenage field slave to U.S. Congressman during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Just yesterday, I got to see full-size printed pages of this book for the first time. I’ve never been more proud of anything I’ve written, and I can’t wait for you all to be able to see the whole thing.

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02 Nov

Who you’ll find in Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet

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I absolutely love this peek at the characters that illustrator Joey Spiotto created for Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!

But, man, is it tough being a dragon.

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31 Oct

Picture Book Month starts tomorrow!

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I’m excited to be featured in Picture Book Month this year along with a host of other authors and illustrators. My spot on the calendar comes next Thursday, Nov. 6, but throughout the month the picture book champions will include:

Aaron Becker
Kelly Bingham
Sophie Blackall
Arree Chung
Anna Dewdney
Johnette Downing
Ame Dyckman
Jill Esbaum
Carolyn Flores
Lupe Ruiz-Flores
Robin Preiss Glasser
Deborah Heiligman
Marla Frazee
Stefan Jolet
Kathleen Krull
Rene Colato Lainez
Loreen Leedy
Betsy Lewin
Ted Lewin
Brian Lies
Kelly J. Light
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Alexis O’Neill
Sandra Markle
Ann Whitford Paul
Aaron Reynolds
Judy Schachner
Linda Joy Singleton
David Schwartz

We hope you’ll join us in this celebration of the print picture book and all it does for readers and families.

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