Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Serendipity ... or ... What are the Chances?

Today is my day to post over at Smack-Dab-in-the-Middle, so to save you a click, I'll be cross-posting here:

I am a definite fan of book trailers.  In our digital media-rich world, it's important to use anything we can to get kids to pick up a book.

The strangest thing happened yesterday.  I was getting to work on this month's Smack Dab blog post which happened to be about book trailers (!), when I saw a tweet from library media specialist, Lori Kirtley, with a link to a book trailer that she and her fourth graders had done for my first book, ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER.  It took serendipity to a whole new level.  Seriously, what are the chances of that happening?

I direct messaged Lori to get permission to post it, so here it is:


Thank you, Lori!

In making the video for my second book, A FINDERS-KEEPERS PLACE, I called upon cheap child labor, also known as my daughter, Holly.  She has a cameo in the video, but she may not appreciate my telling everyone.  Also, she may be huffy about her paycheck which is apparently still "in the mail".  Please click below:

Book Trailer for A FINDERS-KEEPERS PLACE by Ann Haywood Leal   

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Have Only Three Words: Escape, Lost, and Urgent ...

What do those words have in common?  I can't say!  I want to, but I am of Irish background, and something very terrible could happen if I give too much away.
Holly Schindler

Something I can say, is that I was thrilled to be asked to blog hop with the wonderful Holly Schindler.  
Please check out her blog HERE.  

Here are Holly's questions for me:  

1.  What am I working on now?

I am a little superstitious about giving too much away (must be the Irish in me!).  I am actually working on two things right now.  The first is a middle-grade novel with an unusual setting.  It has been both the most difficult thing I've ever written and the most fun.  The second is also middle-grade, and I'll only give away two words:

"escape" and "lost".

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

Hmmm... very good question.  My first two books have been realistic fiction about pretty serious subjects.  Of my two current works-in-progress, the first probably pushes the realistic part of realistic fiction, and the second includes a lot more humor.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

I am on a constant quest to write the book that would make my twelve-year-old self race to the shelf in the library.  I would love to give my readers that same urgent "can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-it" urgency.

4.  How does my writing process work? 

I usually start with a setting ... then I wait for the characters to show up.  I try to drop myself right into the setting and imagine what might have happened there.  Who lived there, and what might have gone wrong?

Please don't forget to visit some of my fabulous author friends at the next stops on the tour:

Jolie Stekly:
Jolie Stekly is a freelance writer and novelist, teacher, fitness instructor, and former SCBWI co-regional advisor of the Western Washington chapter.  She now directs the fall retreats for the region.  Jolie is a member of  "Team Blog" for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and was awarded SCBWI's 2009 Member-of-the-Year.

Deborah Lytton:

Debby Lytton is a writer and actress who grew up in front of the camera, beginning her career at age six when she was discovered by a Hollywood agent.  Her acting credits include five years on the hit daytime soap opera Days of our Lives as “Melissa Anderson."  Debby is also an attorney and most importantly, a mother of two. 

Debby's debut novel JANE IN BLOOM (Dutton Children's Books) was honored by the Missouri Association of School Librarians with Third Place in the Truman Awards (2011-2012) and was chosen by Chicago Public Library as one of the Best of the Best Books of 2009.  JANE IN BLOOM was also selected by the Kansas National Education Association for the 2010 Kansas State Reading Circle Catalog.