I’m an Oregon Book Awards Finalist!

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I’m beyond thrilled to see my book on the list of finalists for this year’s Oregon Book Awards!

Five years ago, when I was trying hard to do the things I thought real writers did, I submitted 25 pages of a manuscript I was working on to the Oregon Literary Arts fellowship program on a whim. Miraculously, I was awarded the Edna L. Holmes Fellowship in Young Readers Literature. I used the monetary gift they so generously presented me to attend a retreat that helped me shape that manuscript into THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN. And now, that book is up for an Oregon Book Award! Talk about full circle.

It’s a real honor to be listed among the finalists for the ELOISE JARVIS MCGRAW AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. The books are all incredible, and I wanted to give a shout out to each of them.


SHAKE A LEG, EGG by Kurt Cyrus

Oregon Book Awards 2018 | shake-a-leg-egg | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

From celebrated author-illustrator Kurt Cyrus comes a playful and whimsical picture book that celebrates the excitement and anticipation of a soon-to-be-born baby.

It’s springtime, and the pond is bursting with new life. There are beaver pups, heron hatchlings, and lots and lots of ducklings. Everyone is out and about, swimming, flapping, chirping, and quacking—except for one family of geese. When, oh when, will their last little one break on out and join the waiting world?

BRIDGE OF THE GODS by Diane Rios

Oregon Book Awards 2018 | bridge-of-the-gods | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comTwelve-year-old Chloe Ashton is an only child living in the remote wilderness of Oregon. She spends her days happily exploring the forests around her home, and is astonished to find the animals seem to know her, to follow her, and even try to speak to her. When a family tragedy results in Chloe’s abduction and sale to the vagabonds, she is taken deeper into the woods, and finds out just how much the animals know.

Set at a time when technology is first touching the west, there is an evil rising in the land. The country is under attack, and all creatures, man and beast, must hide. The old legends speak of an ancient, natural magic deep within the mountains and rivers, and as Chloe struggles to survive, she finds that it still exists deep within the forests. Friendship can be found even in the darkest of places, and it doesn’t always come in human form.

Bridge of the Gods is a novel for all ages about the magical power of nature, and of finding friendship in the darkest of places.

THE  MUSIC OF LIFE by Elizabeth Rusch

Oregon Book Awards 2018 | the-music-of-life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comAward-winning biographer Elizabeth Rusch and two-time Caldecott Honor–recipient Marjorie Priceman team up to tell the inspiring story of the invention of the world’s most popular instrument: the piano.

Bartolomeo Cristofori coaxes just the right sounds from the musical instruments he makes. Some of his keyboards can play piano, light and soft; others make forte notes ring out, strong and loud, but Cristofori longs to create an instrument that can be played both soft and loud.

His talent has caught the attention of Prince Ferdinando de Medici, who wants his court to become the musical center of Italy. The prince brings Cristofori to the noisy city of Florence, where the goldsmiths’ tiny hammers whisper tink, tink and the blacksmiths’ big sledgehammers shout BANG, BANG! Could hammers be the key to the new instrument?

At last Cristofori gets his creation just right. It is called the pianoforte, for what it can do. All around the world, people young and old can play the most intricate music of their lives, thanks to Bartolomeo Cristofori’s marvelous creation: the piano.

LIFE by Cynthia Rylant

Oregon Book Awards 2018 | life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comCynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel explore the beauty and tenacity of life.

Life begins small, then grows…

There are so many wonderful things about life, both in good times and in times of struggle. Through the eyes of the world’s animals—including elephants, monkeys, whales, and more—Cynthia Rylant offers a moving meditation on finding beauty around us every day and finding strength in adversity. Brendan Wenzel’s stunning landscapes and engaging creatures make this an inspiring and intriguing gift for readers of all ages.

And (because I’m so excited I can’t resist):

THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN by Patricia Bailey.

The Tragically True Adventure of Kit Dononvan | Patricia Bailey | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comLife in a 1905 Nevada mining town is not easy for any thirteen-year-old. For Kit Donovan, it seems downright impossible. When her mother dies of a fever, Kit is certain she is to blame. Guilt-ridden, she is determined to honor her promises to her mother—namely to be a “proper lady.” Only being a lady is tougher than it looks. When Kit discovers that Papa’s boss at the gold mine (the menacing and self-serving Mr. Granger) is profiting from unsafe working conditions in the mine, she convinces her dad to speak out. But sometimes doing the right thing leads to trouble. Now Kit must find a way to expose Granger’s misdeeds before it’s too late. Aided by an eccentric woman, a Shoshone boy, and a drunken newspaperman, Kit puts her big mouth and all the life skills she’s learned from reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to work. With a man’s hat and a printing press, Kit defies threats of violence and discovers that justice doesn’t always look like she imagined it would.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on April 30. I can’t wait to meet everyone and fan girl my heart out.

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In the meantime, be sure to cast your vote in the Readers’ Choice Award survey!

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Surreal Moment No. 11

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – November 18 2017
St. Louis, MO. (NCTE) National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference

It’s been a week,  and I still cannot believe that I was part of a conference session at NCTE. Talk about surreal. I never would have imagined I’d be speaking to English teachers on a national stage – ever – let alone after I stopped being one.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had the honor of presenting a session at NCTE on Refreshing and Renewing Reading in the Secondary Classroom with fellow Class of 2k17 members McCall Hoyle, Alexandra Ott, and Leah Henderson. It was so fun speaking about teaching again – and extra fun to be speaking about something so dear to my heart – how to implement pleasure reading in the Language Arts classroom. The me who read Nancie Atwell’s In The Middle religiously while I was getting my teaching certification would have been thrilled.

Surreal Moments | NCTE Panel | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

surreal moments | Barnes and Noble Ladue | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

McCall and Alex and I also got to do a book signing at the wonderful Barnes and Noble in Ladue, MO. The staff was so friendly – and it was so fun being around so many kids and adults excited about books.

Surreal Moments | Barnes and Noble Ladue Store | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

 

 

 

I’m also happy that I’ve gotten the chance to see some amazing scenery in my travels this year.

St. Louis | NCTE | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

But mostly I’m thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had to talk about books with people so passionate about reading and about kids. I’m extra grateful for all the new friends I’ve made along the way.

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Surreal Moment No. 10

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – June 24 and 25, 2017
Chicago, IL. (ALA) American Library Association Annual Conference

So, June was a month of firsts! I got to go to Chicago. I got to attend the American Library Association’s Annual Conference. I got to meet my editor, Kristin, plus a lot of great folks from Albert Whitman. And, best of all, I got to meet and hang out with a bunch a debut authors!

I stayed with a couple of other Class of 2k17 authors at the Marriott downtown where we had a great view of the city – and killer access to The Riverwalk and The Magnificent Mile.

ALA Chicago View | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comALA Chicago Fog View | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

ALA | Chicago riverwalk | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comALA | Downtown Chicago | www,patriciabaileyauthor.com

My ALA experience started with a book signing at the Albert Whitman booth. The line went on and on until we ran out of books and had to pull one off the shelf for a kid who was bummed to see them all gone. Can’t beat that! Everyone was so sweet!  And I even got to see (and pose with) my rock star local library director. Later that day I got to hang out with the Albert Whitman crew at the American Writer’s Museum for a cocktail party and celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Boxcar Children.

ALA | Klamath Gals | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comALA | Albert Whitman Booth Signing | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

On Sunday, I shared the PopTop stage with fellow Class of 2k17 debuts, Leah Henderson and Jodi Kendall, where we talked about setting as a character in middle grade fiction.

ALA | Class2k17 Poptop Stage | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

 

 

 

Every moment at  ALA was a blast. I met so many great people, saw some beautiful sites, and came home with a pile of great books. A truly perfect weekend just hanging out being an author.

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Surreal Moment No. 9

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

Surreal Moment – April 25, 2017
Ashland, OR. Bloomsbury Books

THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN is officially out in the world and on the shelf at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland!

Ashland Oregon and Bloomsbury Books has always held a special place in my heart. I went to college in Ashland, and Bloomsbury Books was one of my favorite places to browse. I especially loved their staff recommendations. In fact, the first book I read that made me think it might be possible for me to write stories about things I knew was a book I bought at that bookstore.

So to see my little book on the shelves there was beyond thrilling.

KIT DONOVAN Book Launch | Bloomsbury Books | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com   KIT DONOVAN Book Launch | Bloomsbury Books | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

Thanks so much for the staff at Bloomsbury for making my visit a memorable one! By now, Kit should also be at Treehouse Books in Ashland and Barnes and Noble in Medford.

As for me, I’m back in Klamath, still in a state of shock.

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Surreal Moment No. 8

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | Karen Cushman blurbed my book! | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – March 6, 2017
Klamath Falls, OR.

Karen Cushman Blurbed My Book | Surreal Moments in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

Karen Cushman blurbed my book!!

*Imagine me repeating that quietly over and over again – because that’s pretty much what I did when I got the email – for days.

Way back when I first signed my contract, my agent mentioned that she knew Karen and that she was going to send her an ARC when the time came. For months, I tried not to think about the fact that sometime in the future, my little book would be on Karen Cushman’s TBR pile.

It was just too unreal to fathom.

It’s still too unreal to fathom.

So imagine how surreal it was to read what she had written about it once she was finished reading.

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan is a rip-roaring tale of love, friendship, and betrayal set in the gold mines of Nevada. It’s chockablock with bad guys and good guys, mysteries and deceptions, dangers and disasters. The bad-tempered, outrageous, courageous, and determined Kit will steal your heart. This is a romping good read!

-Karen Cushman, Newbery Medalist for The Midwife’s Apprentice

She actually wrote that down – about my little book!

This is the stuff writers’ dreams are made of!

Because THE Karen Cushman only blurbs your debut novel once in a lifetime, I’ve decided to celebrate with a contest. Simply sign up for my newsletter (there’s a subscribe button at the top right of this post) and you will be entered to win one of the legendary author’s books.

Karen Cushman Blurbed My Book | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

I promise you, they are all “…romping good read(s).” And, as fate (and surreal moments) would have it, Catherine Called Birdy  actually served as inspiration for THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN from the moment I started writing it.

It’s almost as if Catherine and Kit have come full circle.
That’s some writerly magic right there.

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Surreal Moment No. 7

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – January 21 and February 1, 2017
Atlanta, GA (ALA Midwinter Conference) and Klamath Falls, OR (My doorstep).

My book is a book! And it’s out in the world where real people I’ve never met can read it – and *gulp* review it!

Advanced Reader Copies were available at the Albert Whitman & Company’s booth at the American Library Association’s Mid Winter Conference in January.

 

Surreal Moment - The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan ARCs in the wild Surreal Moment - The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan ARCs in the wild

 

And if seeing pictures of my book out in the wild wasn’t cool enough, a box of ARCs arrived on my doorstep.

Surreal Moment - The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan ARCs unboxing

Surreal Moment - The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan ARCs unboxing

And, because things keep get cooler, THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN is up on Amazon for pre order. You can even read the first chapter for FREE! Now, that is really surreal.

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Surreal Moment No. 6

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – January 4, 2017
The Internet

One of the questions I ask myself regularly is “What would a real writer do?” This question has led me to submit stories to journals and contests, apply for fellowships and scholarships, and generally build a writer’s life. In November, a Middle-Grade focused blog I have been reading for years announced that they were looking for some new contributors. This is a blog I love. A blog that’s inspired me. A blog that’s filled with writers that impress me.

So I read the call for applications and asked myself the question I always ask:

What would a real writer do?

I applied.

Sometime in December, I received an email that started with “We are happy to announce…”

And now, I’m officially a contributor at From the Mixed-Up Files… of Middle-Grade Authors!

Soon you’ll be able to read my thoughts about books and writing in two places. How cool is that!?

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Surreal Moment No. 5

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – January 1, 2017
Klamath Falls, OR.

I know a lot of people spent a fair amount of time in 2016 wishing the whole year would die in a fire. And I know a lot of people are entering 2017 with trepidation. I spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrating both. 2016 – The Year I Got a Book Deal and 2017 – The Year My Book Comes Out.

I have to admit, I’m filling a little bit giddy over here thinking that in just four months my novel is going to be in bookstores and libraries and (fingers crossed) in the hands of happy readers.

I’m running into 2017 bright-eyed and busy-tailed. I hope you’ll  be joining me.

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Surreal Moment No. 4

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – November 30, 2016
Klamath Falls, OR.

I had a marketing call – with my agent, my editor, and the marketing person at Albert Whitman. They told me all the exciting things they have planned like ARCs, and blurbs, and reviews, and even a place on the table at ALA in January. Then they gave me a list of people – real people –  in charge of publicity and marketing and social media for my little book. They even gave me their email addresses – so they actually want me to contact them. I feel like I’ve crossed through some secret passage into the publishing world.

April 25, 2017 is getting close, y’all. Can you believe it?

Surreal Moment No. 3

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – October 21, 2016
Fly the Point. Draper, Utah.

My name is listed on my publisher’s website – right there next to all the real authors with real books. People like Eileen Spinelli and Patricia MacLachlan.

This is starting to get real, people.

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