Friday, October 31, 2014

Reflections from the Road: Randolph School Part 2

Today, I returned to Randolph School to teach four back-to-back one hour writing workshops. My ScripTips workshop generally runs about two hours, sometimes longer. But for the 7th grade English classes of Randolph, I condensed it into a one-hour presentation. From approximately 8am to noon, I taught this x4 for some very smart and fun kids. Thank you to Nichole Liese, the English teacher whose classroom I took over for half a day. Also thanks to students Jack and Dave who gave me a tour of Randolph. And to everyone who participated. I had a blast, and the students' questions helped me articulate some of my points in ways I've never done before. Thanks for spending the first part of your Halloween with me, Randolph!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reflections from the Road: Randolph School of Huntsville, Alabama

Today, I spoke to 320 kids across grades 5 to 8 at the Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama. It was a terrific time. The presentation was held in their auditorium, and we set the Thrones & Bones trading cards out on every chair before the kids entered (and while some were helping set up), so there was a lot of excitement before I ever stepped up to the podium. And that excitement carried throughout the talk. There's nothing more fun than a large room full of enthusiastic kids and me with a wireless microphone. That energy is so amazing!

I'm going back tomorrow to teach four back-to-back one-hour writing workshops to their 7th grade English classes. Can't wait!

Thank you to all the students and teachers of Randolph, especially Kelly Kessler, Middle School Library Associate, who arranged the event. Thank you also to the Barnes & Noble Booksellers at the Jones Valley Mall, who kindly arranged preorders to have copies of Frostborn on hand for the signing afterwards. (And thanks to Trish King, who snapped these pictures--because I completely forgot to take some!).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Staff Pick: A Game of Thrones for Young Readers

Books Inc has named Frostborn a Staff Pick (the sixth bookstore to do so). Their review, from Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto says:
"Frostborn is a magical and exhilarating story that’s perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Fablehaven. I can even see it going as far as being a Game of Thrones for young readers. Dragons, wyverns, after walkers, and giants all play a part in this story making it exciting and magical. Anders’ use of Viking mythology also plays a subtle roll in Karn’s history and the legends of Norrongard, which always has me wanting more. We need more Viking stories! I loved it, and it’s definitely worth picking up!"

Friday, October 24, 2014

Frostborn: Autographed Editions

Want an autographed edition of Frostborn but can't get to a signing?

Well, now ThinkGeek has them for sale! Follow the link to get you own autographed (and rune-stamped) edition of Frostborn (Thrones & Bones book one).

Frostborn: Two New Reviews

Two new reviews of Frostborn (Thrones and Bones)appeared today.

The first is from Random Musings of a Bibliophile, who calls my book "a fun, adventurous MG fantasy with wyverns, frost giants, barrows, and one very large dragon."

I'm particularly gratified by this paragraph:
Both Karn and Thianna have strong characters and their development happens in a believable and wonderful way. They find the power within themselves they need to do what must be done, coming to terms with the things that were holding them back, and learning so much. This is woven organically into the story of their adventure. I loved their friendship and how it developed over time. This too was realistic. They start out wary of each other, as most children are and break the ice with rough play. Karn and Thianna are different, but respect each other's differences and honor each other's strengths. It's a partnership that works well.
And can't complain about "...the pace is quick. It is hard book to put down and vastly entertaining. This is a perfect read for young fantasy fans, particularly ones who like fantastical creatures."

Meanwhile, I am just thrilled by a review that was posted on LitPick, from a 13 year old reviewer in Arizona, who gave Frostbornfive stars and said:
I really liked Thrones and Bones: Frostborn. It was very thrilling, adventurous, and funny. It was also fairly descriptive, like when the author, Lou Anders, described Helltoppr's draug minions as smelly, rotting, undead beings. One of my favorite parts in the book was where Karn and Thianna faced the dragon, Orm, and they outsmarted him. This book didn't really feel like it had any bad parts to it, other than a few very minor parts where it confused me a bit. My favorite character was Karn because he was a boy who always wanted to go adventuring to explore lands near and far. I would recommend this book to anyone aged eleven through seventeen or to readers who enjoy books with action, suspense, and excitement, yet can also handle a minimal amount of death.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Reflections from the Road: NYCC video on YouTube

Filmed at New York Comic Con courtesy of Suvudu, I talk about Frostborn,the Thrones & Bones board game, Viking helmets, and... my fear of oatmeal.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reflections from the Road: The Top of the Hill

Yesterday, I visited Hilltop Montessori School, in Birmingham, Alabama. I spoke to around fifty-six children from three classrooms, then signed books. It was a wonderful visit with some very sharp children, and in addition to introducing many kids to my world, I also met some very enthusiastic Thrones and Bones fans who have already read my book and are eager for the sequel. Thank you to Ms. Janet, Sherry, and Chelsea for allowing me to speak to your kids! Thanks also to Sara Glassman of Little Professor Book Center, who was on hand to handle Frostborn sales.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Reflections from the Road: New York Comic Con, Word Bookstore, and Wik'14

Last week, I made a hit and run visit to the New York Comic Con as the latest stop on the Frostborn tour. It was a quick trip, in and out from Wednesday night to Friday night, but packed full of excitement.

I get in late Wednesday night, checked in to my hotel, and then grabbed a cab to my favorite beer bar Rattle n Hum. I was there to meet my friend (and colossal talent) Garth Nix, who was in the US over from Australia on the start of his own tour. I haven't been in the same place at the same time with Garth in some years, so it was really good to catch up with him. Also, I got to introduce him to Goose Island Bourbon Barrel County Stout, which I can't get at home and only drink when I'm at Rattle n Hum. I shouldn't have eaten as much calamari as I did, but it was a great time!

Then Thursday morning I met Mark Smylie (Artesia, The Barrow), who I used to edit but have never met in the flesh, for a quick bite at Gotham West Market. Mark is wonderful, and though I no longer work with him in a professional fashion, I do hope our paths will cross again soon.

Then it was off to the convention. NYCC hit a reported 150,000 attendees this year, which might just make it the largest comic con in the US at this point. I've been to the Javits Center before for Book Expo America, but this was my first New York Comic Con. I got to the Random House booth, and before I'd even set down my backpack, I had to sign a copy of Frostborn for a kid! What an awesome way to start the day.

Then they filmed me talking about my book, the con, Viking helmets, the Thrones and Bones board game etc... (I'll link to that piece when I figure out where it is!), after which my amazing editor Phoebe Yeh and wonderful publicist Lydia Finn arrived, and we were off to the first panel of the day. 

Coffee Talk with Dragons and Monsters was a panel to debate "What makes a monster something to be feared? A force to be reckoned with? Or just misunderstood?" My fellow panelists were R.L Stine (Party Games), Caitlin Kittredge (Black Dog), Barry Lyga (Blood of My Blood), Paul Pope (The Rise of Aurora West), Ethan Reid (The Undying), Ransom Riggs (Hollow City; Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) and it was moderated by Ali T. Kokmen (Director of Sales, eBooks
Barnes & / NOOK Media). It was a blast, and I really enjoyed it. You can see the whole panel on YouTube here:

Afterwards, we signed books, where I got to spend some time taking with Paul Pope. Back in 2009, I reviewed his Batman: Year One for We corresponded briefly after that, and it was very nice to be able to talk to him in person now (especially since our respective career paths have brought us both around to children's books now.)

After the signing, I got my first taste of Uber, when Phoebe and Lydia whisked me to an event at the Word Jersey City bookstore for a Thrones and Bones "Game Night." We set up card stock versions of the game, which my editor played for the first time (she won "by accident"). I got to play a long session with a very challenging opponent who has designed games himself and was quite knowledgable about the entire history of board games. Thanks to everyone at Word for hosting this even. Also, I should mention that Word previously named Frostborn a staff pick, saying "This is the most fun I’ve had since the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." They have signed and rune-stamped copies on hand now, so please support this awesome store.

Afterward, Phoebe and I went to dinner at Landmarc Restaurant at the Time Warner Center. Then back to the hotel. The next morning we breakfasted with Lydia at The Smith Restaurant and Bar. Then I had a few hours to work out, and back to NYCC. I checked out Weta Workshop's Smaug head, and spent a long time standing and staring up at it absorbing what being in close proximity to such a magnificent creature would actually feel like! Very valuable experience for this fantasy author.

I arrived at the Random House booth to learn they had sold out(!) of Frostborn, but I dumped off another batch of my trading cards (which go like hotcakes), then Phoebe and Lydia escorted me to my second panel.

Geek Geek Revolution is a "no-holds-barred geek culture game show featuring six science-fiction/fantasy Authors competing for the chance to be TOP GEEK." Some of the questions come from the audience. Prizes are given out for stumping the contestants, and the loser has to wear a hat of shame. My fellow panelists were Peter Brett (The Skull Throne), Maureen Johnson (The Name of the Star series), M.D. Payne (Monster Juice), Amber Benson (Witches of Echo Park), and John Scalzi (Lock In). The panel was masterfully moderated by Patrick Rothfuss (The Slow Regard of Silent Things). This was a blast, even if Scalzi's arm is lightning fast (and he is so wrong about "Joey Chill.") You can watch the entire event on YouTube (that's me off camera shouting "With his mother" and "Sleepy", btw).

Afterwards, we signed again, and I got to spend some time talking with fellow Birmingham-raised author Amber Benson, who proved to be as delightful a person as I've always heard. She has a new book out - The Witches of Echo Park - so please check it out!

I got to say only a brief hello to my friend Jen Heddle then my time at NYCC was over, and I was whisked into a car and sent to LaGuardia airport, unfortunately to face a three hour flight delay. The delay did afford me a delightful conversation with Lindsey Brown (PR Pro) and Charlie McLravy (Investigative Producer, The Today Show). I wowed Charlie with my ScripTips theories, and he wowed me with this. Unfortunately, I didn't get home and in bed until close to 2am. Unfortunately because I was up at 7am for another event.

Saturday I taught my ScripTips workshop at the Southern Breeze Writing and Illustrating for Kids 14 Conference. Fortunately, there was a lot of coffee and some very good treats to fuel up with. The workshop was sold out, and I learned at the party that evening that it has been one of the first workshops to do so. I also signed a good number of books that day.

Yesterday, Sunday, this leg of the Frostborn tour officially winds down, and reality came back with a heavy dose as I cleaned all the bathrooms in my house. Thank you to everyone everywhere who has made me feel like a rockstar these past two months. I have a few more appearances slated for the rest of the year, and a few more in the works, but now it's time to knuckle down and finish the revisions of book two! 

Monday, October 06, 2014

Next Up: New York Comic Con

The next stop on the Frostborn tour: I'll be at the  New York Comic Con this week, for two panels and two signings. As per always, signed books also get "rune-stamped"! Come say hello! And that Thursday night, I'll be at Word Jersey City doing a reading/signing and hosting a Thrones and Bones Game Night!

Coffee Talk with Dragons and Monsters | Thu. October 9 - 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

What makes a monster something to be feared? A force to be reckoned with? Or just misunderstood? Join R.L Stine (Party Games), Caitlin Kittredge (Black Dog), Lou Anders (Frostborn), Barry Lyga (Blood of My Blood), Paul Pope (The Rise of Aurora West), Ethan Reid (The Undying), Ransom Riggs (Hollow City; Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) and Moderator Ali T. Kokmen (Barnes & Noble / Nook) as they discuss the “monsters” in their books and what makes them truly something monstrous...

Track: Books
SPEAKERS: Ali T. Kokmen, Barry Liege, Caitlin Kittredge, Ethan Reid, Lou Anders, Paul Pope, R.L. Stine, Ransom Riggs

Coffee Talk with Dragons and Monsters Author Autographing | Thu. October 9 - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Word JC: Lou Anders presents a Frostborn Reading and Game Night
10/09/2014 7:00 pm

This event will take place at our Jersey City location. (GMaps)

Calling young gamers: come meet author Lou Anders, learn about the Viking-inspired adventure Frostborn, and play the game that goes along with the book! Recommended for ages 8 and up, open to all.

Facebook RSVP encouraged, but not required.

Geek Geek Revolution | Fri. October 10 - 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Geek Geek Revolution is a no-holds-barred geek culture game show featuring six science-fiction/fantasy Authors competing for the chance to be TOP GEEK. Audience members will be asked to 'write-in' questions in hopes of stumping the Authors and winning a pack of books. Hold onto your hats, Nerf herders, this might get ugly. Featuring Peter Brett (The Skull Throne), Maureen Johnson (The Name of the Star series), M.D. Payne (Monster Juice), Amber Benson (Witches of Echo Park), Lou Anders (Frostborn) and John Scalzi (Lock In). Moderated by Patrick Rothfuss (The Slow Regard of Silent Things).

Track: Books, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

SPEAKERS: Amber Benson, John Scalzi, Lou Anders, M.D. Payne, Maureen Johnson, Patrick Rothfuss

Geek Geek Revolution Autographing | Fri. October 10 - 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM