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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetic Nod to Cleopatra's Moon

It’s a good week for historical fiction in the Atlanta area, specifically, in Decatur. – Lynn Cullen spoke about her hot-off-the-press Reign of Madness (Putnam) Wednesday evening at the Dekalb Library (shout-out post below), and tonight, Vicky Alvear Shecter is launching her YA Cleopatra’s Moon (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic) at The Little Shop of Stories.

I’m lucky to be in a critique group with Vicky and happy to help celebrate. Hence my rather long-ish book spine poem in honor of Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra VII and Marc Antony. Caveat: I’m purchasing my book this evening and haven’t read it yet – so I hope my “poem,” scoured after bedtime from bookshelves upstairs and down, is somewhat on target! (Well, books and one DVD case.)

Congratulations to Vicky, whose novel is raking in rave reviews.

Here’s my poetic take on the story, if the titles aren’t clear in the picture:

Cleopatra Rules!
Golden Legacy
Between Parent and Child
Born Free
Girl in a Cage
Another Country
Night
Out of the Depths
New Moon –
Girl in the Mirror
Who Does She Think She Is?


For the Poetry Friday Roundup, start off the new school year with Libby at A Year of Literacy Coaching.
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Go, Lynn Cullen!

Lynn Cullen signing Reign of Madness
Go, Lynn Cullen!

Last night I met up with Kim Siegleson, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Vicky Alvear Shecter in Decatur (Ga.) to hear our friend and author extraordinaire Lynn Cullen
speak about her brand-new REIGN OF MADNESS (Putnam). The talk was sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book, and it was standing-room-only in the conference room at the Dekalb County Library.

I always enjoy hearing Lynn describe her European jaunts and treks down little by-ways, all for the sake of research, of course. She brought a fun slide show to share. I can't wait to dive into this story of Juana of Castile, daughter of Queen Isabella. Was she really mad, or was she the victim of rumors fueled by insatiable appetites for power?

From School Library Journal:

"While not as well known to American readers as her mother, Queen Isabella, or her son, Charles V, Juana is a sympathetic heroine, and lovers of historical fiction will enjoy her story."


I'm one of those, and I'm sure I will. Congratulations, Lynn! Read More 
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VICKY ALVEAR SHECTER GIVES CLEOPATRA ROYAL TREATMENT

If you think ancient history is as stuffy as the inside of a tomb, think again. SCBWI Southern Breezer and talented author Vicky Alvear Shecter (ALEXANDER THE GREAT ROCKS THE WORLD) brings her “history with a twist” approach to one of the most fascinating characters the world has ever known, Cleopatra VII. In CLEOPATRA RULES! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen (Boyds Mills, 2010), Vicky shows readers young and old why you shouldn’t believe everything you’ve seen or heard about Egypt’s last pharaoh.

Welcome, Vicky! In this beautifully designed and kid-friendly book, you dig way past the stereotype of Cleopatra as a femme fatale and reveal her fiercely loyal, politically-savvy side. When did you first become Cleopatra-crazy, and how long have you wanted to write a book about her? Read More 
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Calling historical fiction writers: Children's Writer contest

Are you crazy about historical fiction like I am? I love to read it; I love to write it. Recently I completed my first manuscript for a historical novel, and I'm looking forward (with crossed fingers) to the publication in Highlights this spring of a story inspired by my mother's childhood.

If you need a wee bit of motivation to complete that historical story your Muse is pushing you to write, look no further thant he current contest being sponsored by Children's WriterRead More 
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Kristin O'Donnell Tubb Does Things Different

Before I turn things over to this week’s fabulous award-winning author, Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, let me tell you why I especially love her first book, AUTUMN WINIFRED OLIVER DOES THINGS DIFFERENT (Yearling/Random House, 2008). When my brother and I visited my grandparents in Knoxville, we often drive into “the hills” to Gatlinburg (for my fellow Georgia residents, imagine Helen on steroids – lots of steroids). Even more special were trips into the Great Smoky Mountains, where my grandparents had hiked and explored back in the 1930s, and where we wandered barefoot through pebbly streams. For many reasons, the little village of Cade’s Cove at its entrance is a place I’ll always treasure.

Welcome, Kristin, and congratulations on such a successful writing career! In your delightful novel, 11-year-old Autumn becomes wrapped up in how the opening of a national park affects her small community. Autumn is definitely feisty! How long had you been living with this character before she made herself known on the page?
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Historically Speaking from the Decatur Book Festival

Greetings from Decatur, Ga., where thousands of folks have been enjoying the gorgeous weather and taking in all-things-books! Between shifts at our SCBWI PAL booth near the Children's Stage, I was able to listen to some fabulous authors speak about writing historical fiction. Here's a gem or two from several participating in a couple of different sessions:  Read More 
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