Monday, May 11, 2009

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Book

Today is the first day of Children's Book Week.  More information about how this week came to be, activities, printables, etc.can be found here.

Today, I bring you Irene Latham.  Irene is the author of LEAVING GEE'S BAND, a middle grade, historical novel, due out January, 2010 from G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Please help me welcome Irene as she talks about expecting a book.

As a life-long reader, I have always loved that new-book smell and how pretty the books looked all lined up on the shelf. What came before never much interested me. At least not until I wrote and sold my first novel, LEAVING GEE’S BEND, scheduled for release by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in January 2010. Then, like any other eager, expectant mother, I became completely absorbed by the pregnancy.

And I can tell you this: in the beginning it doesn’t feel real. You can’t see the book, you can’t hold it. All you have is a little piece of paper that says Awesome Publisher is paying you X amount to print YOUR words. So you read it over and over the same way you keep looking at that little blue stick with the red + sign. It’s the only proof you have.

When you get your revision letter, you give in to your cravings for ice cream and Oreos and Jamocha milkshakes from Arby’s. It’s such a temporary thing, this pregnancy. You’ll get back to exercising just as soon as the baby is born.

You think the baby will never get here. You get so tired of waiting, you can’t sleep. You turn on Animal Planet and immediately feel a kinship with African elephants and their two-year gestation.

Eventually you walk in a bookstore and find your book on the shelf. You breathe in that new-book sweetness, and you fall completely and utterly in love. You know it was all worth it, and you can’t wait to do it again. (At least that’s what I hope it’s like. Will let you know January, 2010. :)

Irene Latham is a poet and novelist who writes heart-touching tales of unexpected adventure. She’s also the mother of three sons and remembers pregnancy with much fondness, probably because it’s been a while. You can find her on the web still waiting.

Congratulations on your book, Irene and thanks for stopping by today!


I don't have copies of Irene's book because it won't be out until January, but I do have some books for you today.  Another children's author, Karma Wilson has generously given me 2 of her children's books to giveaway.  To top it off, she has autographed them for the winners!  

Bear is out looking for a snack, but when the sun sets he loses his way. How bear wants to go home! But where is his cozy cave? Bear searches and searches and as the skies grow dark, Bear feels scared! But bear is never alone, and his resourceful friends put together a search party to find their missing companion. A tale about friendship and feelings, this story will be sure to resonate strongly with children.

Mama Bird and Mama Cat and even teensy-weensy Mama Mole must leave their little ones from time to time. But rain or shine, in a tree or in the sea, mamas everywhere find their way home with cozy hugs and lots of love, because mamas always come home

There will be 2 winners, 1 for each book.  All you have to do is comment on this post either about Irene's thoughts or something about children's books.  The contest will end one week from today and is open to US and Canadian addresses only.  

You can earn extra entries by following +1, tweeting +2, or blogging +3.  Make sure you leave an email in your comment so that I can get in touch with you.


Janet said...

Hi, I would love to have my name put in for the drawing! I'm trying to become a published children's writer, I love picture books and MG books. I liked your interview with Irene, especially the part about it not feeling real until you can see and feel the book. I will have a short story published in September and can't wait to see and feel the book in my hands!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in this. (I also am having a giveaway on my blog. :) The reason I like kids books so much is that I have 2 little boys. Ages 3 and 1 and they love for me to read to them. Which makes me happy because their dad doesn't like to read and I feel they get a negative feedback from him. But when they see me read my oldest will ask me what I am reading and I will have to stop and read them a book. :) It is so important for me to read to my kids.
My e-mail is
lovestoread0708 (at) yahoo (dot) com

I also twittered about it

and i am also a follower now. :)

Unknown said...

I love reading and collecting children's books. We are a homeschool family and we love books. I also am a grandmother to 4 small children ages 4 and under. I look forwards to seeing all the books you will be giving away and reading your reviews. Thanks.

gahome2mom at gmail dot com

Unknown said...


Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Tweeted @gahome2mom

RT 1st Children's Book Week post - What to Expect When You're Expecting a Book + giveaway

Unknown said...

Hi Shelly, This is such a great contest. Please count me in. I am about to twitter this and I am a follower. Leaving Gees bend sounds really good. I have it marked on my TB list. I am sure Michael would love to win a book. He is a big time book person like his mom. We love reading children books.

cindysloveofbooksarc at gmail dot com

Kami Garcia said...

I can totally relate to receiving the editorial letter & turning to oreos, although I usually turn to chocolate peanut butter ice cream 3x a day. I think it's even more difficult when you're writing children's books because they are so much shorter. You have to be more precise. My 4 year-old is a HUGE Karma Wilson fan. We love bear, although I love wren.

Irene Latham said...

Shelly, thanks so much for being such a great supporter of children's books... it's an honor to be a guest on your blog. Keep up the awesomeness! (and yes, I linked you at

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Oh! My boys would love to win these books! They are huge fans of the "Bear" books! Thank you for supporting Children's Book Week, Shelly! I tweeted about this contest:

KR said...

Please count me in.
I teach kindergarten and I love children's books!! My class and I love Bear Snores ON. I'd love to win another of Karma's books for my classroom.


cdziuba said...

My kids always loved when I read them The Snowy Day. They enjoy when I read to them nightly.

cdziuba said...


cdziuba said...


entry #2

cdziuba said...


A Reader said...

The children's books look great --especially Mamma Always comes home. I have to travel for work and this looks like a good book for those times when I'm away.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Katie said...

I'm a follower on google reader and a tweeter @ and I'd love to win these two!

cstironkat said...

Please count me in, we read every night and some of our favorites are Curiouus George and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win one of these books! We take out children's books from the library each week - my daughter just can't get enough books!
nic0ler917 at

Brimful Curiosities said...

For my baby shower we played a game where you had to match animals with their gestation periods. The African elephants comment reminded me of that game. 9 months is long enough. You know we love books...any books, but for sure any by Karma Wilson.
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