Friday, June 21, 2013

June is for JOONE!

JOONE, a picture book by author-illustrator Emily Kate Moon, celebrates creative spirits and life's simple joys. The book published last week (in June, of course) from Dial Books for Young Readers.

The story centers upon a little girl named Joone who loves the color orange and ice cream sandwiches...

Joone lives with her grandfather in a yurt and has a pet turtle named Dr. Chin, who often travels around on her purple hat.

According to Moon, Joone simply walked into her head one day and Moon knew she had to write about her. But while Joone's idiosyncracies and fun-loving lifestyle came easily, the best way to render Joone in illustration form was a little more challenging.

Moon first created JOONE in Flash, a computer animation program.  When Dial Books for Young Readers expressed interest, they requested "more organic" illustrations. So Moon experimented with several different styles until she hit upon the perfect one: pencil and gouache.  Read more of the story and see examples of Moon's experimentations on her website here.

Once the illustration style was decided upon, the deal was struck, and the agent-author-editor team became official! The three met up several months ago to strategize about the book. Moon is pictured in the middle with Dial editor Nancy Conescu on the left of the photo and agent Jennifer Weltz on the right.

After the deal was made, Moon's next steps included completing the full and final illustrations. On her website, Moon shows two of her illustrations in each stage of that process: from early pencil sketches and thumbnail sketches (which were shown to Dial for feedback, notes, and approval), to more detailed sketches, to the finalized illustrations in pencil and gouache. See the stages here.

Below, you can see Moon hard at work completing her illustrations.  Her son supervises from her lap.

In order to celebrate JOONE's publication last week, JVNLA held an office party complete with what else but orange dresses and ice cream sandwiches.  Multiple Dr. Chins made appearances, as well as Joone's shoes and one very large purple hat. Below, we present some of the photos from all of the fun!

Above, multiple Dr. Chins hang out with Joone's purple hat, her shoes, and the book itself.

You can never have too many Joones! In the top row, from left to right, are Moon's agent Jennifer Weltz, Assistant Ariana Philips, and Agent Laura Biagi. In the bottom row, from left to right, are Agent Jessica Regel, Intern Megan Mills, and Agent and Contracts Manager Tara Hart.

Above, Joone runs toward ice cream sandwiches.

And, lastly, above is a group shot of many orange dresses, ice cream sandwiches, and JOONE picture books.

JOONE has been on the road, too. For the Niagara Writers Retreat and Conference, JVNLA Agent Laura Biagi attended a costume dinner in Joone's orange dress with Dr. Chin on her head. There were several other picture-book-themed costume attendees as well:

From left to right: Agent Laura Biagi; Susan Rich, editor of THE DARK by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen; and Barbara Elizabeth Walsh, author of THE POPPY LADY

While JVNLA has clearly had a lot of fun with JOONE, so have reviewers!  Below is a sampling of the wonderful reviews that have come in so far for the book.

“The brisk and breezy depiction of a single summer day features familiar activities, unusual settings and a cheerfully childlike first-person narration...Moon’s bright and colorful illustrations provide additional details and amplify the gentle humor...Listeners will request repeat readings to pore over the details of Joone’s unusual home and enjoy her creative approach to life. Joone could be a contemporary, country-dwelling cousin to Eloise: another precocious, articulate and turtle-loving child with charm to spare.” --Kirkus

“With her idiosyncratically spelled name, openhearted precociousness, and ever-present pet turtle, Dr. Chin, five-year-old Joone makes a winning tour guide to life with her grandfather...With a one-of-a-kind home, a spectacular tree house, a nearby river for swimming, and the supportive presence of her grandfather, Joone’s life is an enviable one. Moon’s ability to convey her heroine’s self-assured contentment and love for her grandfather without resorting to the twee or overly literal is the mark of a real...talent.” --Publishers Weekly

"A sweet, gentle narrative about a child who is being raised by her grandfather. The text, which celebrates the small things in life that a child might appreciate, reads smoothly and is written with some flair...The bucolic setting, Joone’s home, and the mood are more central to the book than the action. Moon shows promise, not only as a picture-book writer, but as an illustrator as well. The gouache and pencil illustrations are bright, colorful, and full of interesting detail." --School Library Journal

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Love with a chance of publishing: A fearful adventurer's journey to publication

What happens when a woman who's afraid of the ocean falls in love with a man who plans to sail around the world in a rather rickety boat? Enter Torre DeRoche's memoir, LOVE WITH A CHANCE OF DROWNING, which tells this tale, one of love, adventure, and fear.

Hyperion released LOVE WITH A CHANCE OF DROWNING last month in the US, just after Penguin Australia's release in February. Summersdale in the UK will follow in July, with more international publishers to come!

The history of the book's publication is a bit of a real-life fairytale. It was originally self-published by DeRoche in 2011 under the title SWEPT: Love with a Chance of Drowning. Here's the old cover of that version:

As DeRoche promoted her book on her website and across the social media sphere, people fell in love with it, and soon separate film and UK offers came in. Shortly thereafter, DeRoche got agency representation and more offers followed! Read about DeRoche's exciting publishing adventure in her own words here.

Be sure to peruse through the rest of her website and blog, too. The experiences DeRoche recounts in her memoir began at the same time she began blogging. Now, she has nine years of blogging savvy under her belt, which means that is simply not to be missed!

While DeRoche's incredible story and compelling writing have taken the world by storm (the book has been called“thrilling” by Courier Mail, “irresistibly offbeat” by Kirkus, and “hilarious” by Vogue Australia), so too has the trailer. Complete with a catchy whistling tune and fortune cookies symbolic of fate, the trailer perfectly captures the book's tone. Take a look:

For a glimpse into what went wrong on the trip, the best parts of the trip, and why DeRoche decided to recount her story in memoir form, check out the interview below:

An Interview With Torre DeRoche from Torre DeRoche on Vimeo.

Given that multiple countries are publishing LOVE WITH A CHANCE OF DROWNING, the book has two different covers—one for the US and one for Australia and the UK. The US cover is bold and speaks to the danger of DeRoche's voyage....

...while the Australian and UK cover captures the whimsy of the adventure. Below, you can see it featured on a giant billboard at the Sydney airport!

Image courtesy of @yTravelBlog

Take a look at a sampling of the reviews from those who have already fallen in love with the book--and then be sure to pick up a copy yourself so you too can fall in love with it!

“A charming memoir...A funny, irresistibly offbeat tale about the risks and rewards of living, and loving, with an open heart.” --Kirkus

Hilarious...recounts the adventure of a lifetime.” --Vogue Australia

“Wow, what a book. Exciting. Dramatic. Honest. Torre DeRoche is an author to follow...Such a beautiful, thrilling story you'll have to remind yourself it's not fiction.” --Australian Associated Press

“The story of how DeRoche overcame her fears, her self-deprecating humour and her way with words would have been enough to make this a great story. The fact her Argentinian boyfriend combines the passion of a Latin lover with the grit and spirit of a Scandinavian seafarer makes this book a Hollywood dream come true.”--The Sydney Morning Herald, Great Holiday Read

"In her debut, DeRoche has penned such a beautiful, thrilling story you'll have to remind yourself it's not fiction. Her language is effortless." --Courier Mail

“The book is by turns gripping, laugh-out-loud funny, moving and uplifting...any reader with a sense of adventure or a desire to confront their fears should love it.” --Bookseller+Publishing Magazine

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A photo journey through BEA 2013

Last week, book madness descended on New York City for BookExpo America (BEA), an annual publishing conference and book exhibition extravaganza for publishers, industry experts, booksellers, librarians, and book lovers.

While educational panels, subsidiary rights meetings, and more take place throughout the conference, the most dazzling feature of BEA is always the Exhibition Hall, where publishers showcase the books they are most excited about for the upcoming fall season or that they have recently published.  JVNLA's books were featured prominently, so of course we hunted them down and snapped some photos in order to bring a part of BEA 2013 to our blog! 

To give you a sense of what the Exhibition Hall looks like, check out the photo below, showing conference attendees milling around several publishers' booths, including Algonquin and Workman.  Now, imagine this multiplied over 760,000 square feet of exhibition space! 

Clearly, many, many eyes were on the look out for exciting, new books.  We were pleased that so many of JVNLA's books were a part of the spotlight!

According to reports from the front at Sourcebooks, the line for a signed galley of Dianne Dixon's newest novel, THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY (September 2013), was long and didn't end until the last copies were given away!  THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY is the story of three women, each caught up in a web of secrets, and one haunted by a nightmare of a beautiful woman in a silver dress.  While we didn't get a picture of the galley line, we did snap one of Dixon standing beneath her cover as it presided over the Sourcebooks exhibition area.

One woman got started reading THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY right away!

The Lyons Press exhibition booth featured ONE PUNCH FROM THE PROMISED LAND: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, and the Myth of the Heavyweight Title by John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro (September 2013).  The book is a narrative nonfiction account of the two famous boxing brothers and the divergent paths their lives took.

At the Skirt! Books display table, Linda Hundt's recipe book based on her award-winning bakery of the same name, SWEETIE-LICIOUS PIES: Eat Pie, Love Life (October 2013), made passersby salivate.

C.J. Sansom's newest novel, DOMINION (Mulholland Books, January 2014), was an eagerly anticipated giveaway over at Hachette's booth. DOMINION sets readers in an alternate history in which Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany in 1940, and, twelve years later, a spy for the Resistance must rescue a man with a secret from a British mental hospital and smuggle him from the country.

Soft Skull Press's booth showcased Berlin Reed's just-released part-food memoir, part-argument for sustainable living, THE ETHICAL BUTCHER: How Thoughtful Eating Can Change Your World (April 2013). 

At the Penguin exhibition area, Jillian Cantor signed galleys of her new novel MARGOT (Riverhead, September 2013).  The novel is a reimagining of the life of Margot Frank, Anne Frank's sister, had she not died in a concentration camp in 1945.

Conference attendees were so excited about snagging a copy of MARGOT that even a baby rifled through the pages to get a quick glimpse of the story!

At Smithsonian Books, YOUR TICKET TO THE UNIVERSE: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos by Kimberly K. Arcand and Megan Watzke (April 2013) stood out on a display table.

PASSION BLUE by Victoria Strauss (November 2012), a YA novel about a seventeen-year-old in Renaissance Italy sentenced to live in a convent when all she wants is true love, graced the display tables at the Amazon Children's Publishing booth.

BEYOND THE BEAR (March 2013), a memoir about surviving a bear attack and learning to live and love again, written by Dan Bigley and co-author Debra McKinney, was featured in the display racks over at Lyons Press.

Meanwhile, Algonquin arranged its featured books on the walls of its booth.  Just to the right and below the center, you'll find A LIFE IN MEN by Gina Frangello (February 2014), a novel of a woman diagnosed with debilitating cystic fibrosis who takes up her best friend's adventurous lifestyle across many countries and with many men after her friend's tragic death.

Jeryl Brunner signed copies of her newest celebrity travel book, MY CITY, MY LOS ANGELES: Famous People Share Their Favorite Places (March 2013) at the Globe Pequot Press booth.  We snapped a photo of her (center) with her agent Jessica Regel (left) and editor Amy Lyons (right).

In addition to Brunner, Slash Coleman was another JVNLA author selected by Globe Pequot Press to sign books at this year's BEA. Below is the sign announcing the times of the signings for Brunner's MY CITY, MY LOS ANGELES and Coleman's THE BOHEMIAN LOVE DIARIES (Lyons Press, July 2013).

And, here, check out Brunner's and Coleman's books on display at the Globe Pequot Press booth.

As you can see in the previous photo, the cover of Coleman's THE BOHEMIAN LOVE DIARIES features a young boy, shirtless and shoeless, wearing a motorcycle helmet.  Well, that boy made a special guest appearance at BEA.  Here he is below, pictured with the author.  Together, they took the BEA by storm!