quick countdown updates and back to work

Quickly from me: I'm writing away this week on book two of the Sixties Trilogy, before I head off on the weekend to Charleston, for Jim's mother's birthday, and Spoletto. Spoletto! I'm bringing my camera... I always have fun shooting in Charleston.

This just in: Countdown is IndieBound! and is part of the Summer 2010 Kid's IndieNext List -- Yahoo! Thank you, indie booksellers! Wish I could be at BEA right now, to thank you in person. What good company I am in -- what a thrill.
 Next, Countdown is reviewed at Bloomberg.com. It's a fabulous review, and look at me, sandwiched between John Grisham and Louis Sachar. Fun! Humbling. And wonderful.

Back to work this afternoon. I've got my girls runnin' for a train. They're about to meet Partheny, who is 101 years old in 1966, which means she was born a slave, just as the Civil War was ending in 1865.

It interests me that kids in the schools I visit almost never understand that there were 100 years between the end of the Civil War and the end of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Here is a character to span that time. She is wise. She is no-nonsense. And she is full of mystery. I love her.

Back to it.


  1. I'm reading a lot of fabulous COUNTDOWN reviews. Congrats!

  2. Thanks, Caroline! It's very exciting!

  3. Great Idea spanning the Civil War and Civil Rights. Kids have no sense of time and often think that Martin Luther King Jr. was a slave. So... that's an awesome idea to have a character bridge the gap.

  4. Hey, Leslie. You know, I didn't create Partheny for that reason. She just appeared, and that's who she was, and I needed her to be about 100, so I made her very, very old... and then I realized the history she would hold. That was exciting! But I didn't start out to try to bridge those 100 years consciously. If that makes sense. I think that's part of the magic of revision, actually - xo

  5. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Countdown. You did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of that era. I was born in 1957 and though I remember JFK's inauguration when I was a toddler, the missile crisis got past me. Probably just as well. But the old Methodist hymnals Franny describes and the meatloaf TV dinners and so many other details just took me back to my childhood in Columbus, Georgia. I'll be looking forward to the next book of the series.

  6. Anne! Another Methodist hymnal lover! I tell kids that, at one time, I could play almost every hymn in the Methodist hymnal. I can still sing almost every verse of every one. Long years of plunking that piano in a hot Mississippi town, for hours, in the summer when there was nuthin' else to do, and long years of summer revival, too.

    Thanks for your kind words about Countdown.


Howdy. Moderating comments to prevent spam. I'm sure you're not that. Thanks for your thoughts! Write on, warrior on. Make art.