Friday, October 30, 2015

Pelham Reporter: Author thrills RMS students with ‘Thrones and Bones’

Today, I am interviewed by the Pelham Reporter in an article entitled "Author thrills RMS students with ‘Thrones and Bones.’ The occasion of the interview, which was conducted by Jessa Pease, was my recent visit to Riverchase Middle School, though the article is also about my Thrones & Bones series and school visits in general. Please check it out!

Here's an excerpt:
“I wanted to write a strong, strong female and a clever boy instead of what’s usually done,” he said. “I wanted to write a fantasy that would encapsulate all the things that I loved about the fiction I read growing up, but that would have parts for girls and parts for people who are not white. I wanted to write a fantasy for today’s kids.” - See more at:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Reflections from the Road: Vestavia Hills Elementary Central

Yesterday, I got to visit with the students at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central. I arrived in the morning, walking into a busy project-in-progress in their library, but was quickly swarmed by kids wanting their Scholastic Book Fair edition of Frostborn signed and personalized. This library is clearly the heart of the school, with a lot of activities and interesting things ongoing on tables throughout the room and students taking advantage of it throughout the day. The library even has a 3D printer, and I got to see student-designed fabricated creations!

Then I had a nice lunch with Librarian Elizabeth Hester and several school staff and teachers. The brownies were delicious! After lunch, Elizabeth took me around the school on a whirlwind visit to most of the thirty-three classrooms, to pop in for quick hellos and pictures with students.

Finally, it was off to the gymnasium for two back-to-back presentations, one to the fourth grade and one to the fifth. These were shorter presentations than my usual, but we hit the highlights and you could tell the students were eating it up.

All told, I got to speak to a lot of VHEC students, both around the school and in the short Q&As after each presentation, and I was very impressed with their engagement, the quality of their questions, and how enthusiastic and polite they were.

Thank you to Media Specialist Elizabeth Hester, Principal Marian Humphries, and all the wonderful teachers and students for a great visit to VHEC!

Monday, October 26, 2015

I'm Coming to FaerieCon 2015: International Faerie Convention

I'm very excited to announce that I have joined the amazing guest lineup of FaerieCon 2015, held in Baltimore, MD on November 6th-8th!  Come see me and a host of other guests, including Holly Black, Kami Garcia, Kelly Armstrong, Melissa Marr and Einar Selvik, founder of the band Wardruna, who provide the music for the show Vikings

This year's convention has a strong Norse theme. Hmmm, wonder why they invited me?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Reflections from the Road: Liberty Park, Riverchase, and Berry Middle Schools

This week was an incredibly fulfilling but Herculean tour of three schools in three days, across which I spoke to a total of approximately 2, 193 sixth to eight grade students about my Thrones & Bones series.

On Tuesday, I visited Liberty Park Middle School in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. My visit started off by speaking to all 470 students in their gymnasium. After this, I went to their library to sign books at their Scholastic Book Fair. It was tremendous to once again see the awesome sign that Scholastic has made for their edition of Frostborn, the first time I've seen the sign in action (as when I saw it last that school's fair had already
ended). Then I had a bit of a break, during which I lunched with the teachers and talked about all things geeky. After lunch, I conducted a writing workshop in the LPMS Library for a small group of students who were all up and coming storytellers. The whole day was very nice. The students and teachers were great. I was very impressed by the students' questions after my book presentation, and I'm sure I've met the next generation of talented authors who will one day give the rest of us a run for our money. Thanks to everyone at Liberty Park, especially Librarian Jean Deal and Assistant Principal, Roger Dobnikar.
On Wednesday, I spoke to 523 students at Riverchase Middle School in Birmingham, Alabama, divided into five separate groups, with a book signing after each presentation. This was a day long undertaking, with books on hand courtesy of Little Professor Book Center.  The most talking I've ever done in one day before was four back-to-back sessions and that left me exhausted, but I've got a lot more experience presenting to schools since that time and this was both a blast and a breeze. The kids were great and had fantastic
questions. Highlights were being asked "Are you a feminist?" (after I described my reasons for writing Thianna the way I did) and meeting a girl who introduced herself as "the shortest person in my school" who said she felt an instant kinship with my half-sized giant character. Thank you to Librarian Kathy Collins, and all the teachers and students, for a wonderful day. 

Yesterday, I returned to Berry Middle School. I'd visited them during their Fall Scholastic Book Fair in September, but I came back to speak to all 1,200 students in there gymnasium across three sessions of 400 each. I did all three presentations back to back, speaking to the sixth, seventh, and eight grades separately. Once again, great questions from the kids and their enthusiasm was just tremendous. One girl is obviously the Berry Middle School resident expert on mythology and fantasy, as she answered four of my questions in a row! Finally, we ended
midday with a lunch with a student, several teachers, Media Specialist Ginger M. Hewitt, and Principal Dr. Chris Robbins.  Thank you to Ginger Hewitt, Dr. Robbins, and everyone at Berry for another great visit. (And to The Heavenly Donut Co.! Mmmm!) 

Talking with students about the world of my books has got to rank up there as one of the most fun things I've ever done. I'm grateful to everyone at Liberty Park, Riverchase, and Berry for such a fantastic week! 

Next week is three more schools on the Nightborn tour. I'll be back with another report then.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Podcast: Let's Get Busy

Today, I am a guest on the fabulous Let's Get Busy podcast, hosted by super librarian Matthew
C. Winner, aka The Busy Librarian. I've been a big fan of Let's Get Busy for a while now, so I was very excited to get to talk to Matthew. He's a great host, and he got me to talk in depth about all the world building that went into the writing of Frostborn and Nightborn.We also talk about gaming, and whether the cornucopia  of technological resources available to kids today are a distraction or a boon (you can guess where we both fall). I'm very proud of the interview, and I hope you'll check it out.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reflections from the Road: Oak Mountain Middle School and the Southern Festival of Books

Last week was a double whammy. On Thursday, October 8th, I spoke at Oak Mountain Middle School.  The school has approximately 450 sixth grade students, and we broke them up in to groups of around 90 kids at a time, which meant I did five sessions in one day! Frostborn was on hand as part of the Fall 2015 Scholastic Book Fair. And Nightborn was provided through Homewood, Alabama's wonderful independent, Little Professor Book Center.

The kids were great, and very enthusiastic. I got to see the wonderful promotional display poster that Scholastic has made for their edition of Frostborn, and I was honored by the great fan art a couple of the students produced as well. Thank you Whitney Howton librarian and to Crape Myrtle's Cafe for the Grilled Fresh Fish Sandwich.

Then on Saturday, October 10th, I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the second time this month to attend the 27th Annual Southern Festival of Books. The festival is held in the Legislative Plaza of Downtown Nashville. I drove up that morning, lunched quickly at the excellent Crepe A Diem Food Truck, gave my presentation at noon, then did a book signing where I was delighted to meet, among others, two very enthusiastic fans that told me September was far too long to wait for book three. Afterwards, I snuck away from the festival for a bit to walk to Germantown and the Nashville Oktoberfest Street Festival,  where I heard some interesting music and had one of the best hot chocolates of my life at  Tempered Cafe and Chocolates.  Then it was back to the festival to attend a private authors reception and call it a night. Thanks to the festival organizers, and to Parnassus Books for facilitating sales of Frostborn and Nightborn.

And now, some more pictures from my visit to OMMS!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Southern Writers' Showcase

On Saturday, October 17th, I'll be participating in the Southern Writers' Showcase at the Barnes and Noble Patton Creek located in the Patton Creek Shopping Center, 171 Main St., Hoover, AL 35244. The event is from 11am to 3pm, and I'll be joined by host of southern authors. Here is the event poster and press release below. Come out and see us all!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sandra Foreman
Phone:    (205) 682-4467

October Autographings & Events
Barnes & Noble
171 Main St.
Hoover, AL 35244

Date: Saturday October 17, 2015 @ 11:00AM-3:00PM
Event: Southern Writers Showcase featuring: Patti Callahan Henry, Lou Anders, S.L. Duncan, Hunter Murphy, Heather Jones Skaggs, Rebecca Cybulsky Walden, Catherine Pittman Smith, Kim Johnston, Shane Busby, Vita Coop, Mark Glick and Todd Gerelds. 
Every hour authors will host a 10-minute quick talk about their latest title followed by a Q&A session and signing. There will be several author stations throughout the store so make sure to stop by them all!

Title List: 
The Idea of Love- Patti Callahan Henry
Throne and Bones Frostborn- Lou Anders
Throne and Bones Nightborn- Lou Anders
The Revelation of Gabriel Adam- S.L Duncan
The Salvation of Gabriel Adam- S.L Duncan
Imogene in New Orleans- Hunter Murphy
Images of America Bluff Park- Heather Jones Skaggs 
Images of America Hoover- Heather Jones Skaggs
Images of America Vestavia Hills- Rebecca Cybulsky Walden
Images of America Mountain Brook- Catherine Pittman Smith
Haunted Shelby County, Alabama- Kim Johnston
Haunted Talladega County- Kim Johnston and Shane Busby
Hearing Colors: The Birth of Anniston- Vita Coop
Serpent Kind- Mark Glick
Woodlawn- Todd Gerelds 


Monday, October 05, 2015

Southern Festival of Books

This coming Saturday, October 10th, I'm excited to be participating in the Southern Festival of Books in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. I'll be giving a solo presentation on the Thrones & Bones series from 12:00-1:00 pm in Room 30 of the Legislative Plaza. I've heard great things about this festival and cannot wait to discover it for myself. So if you are in or near Nashville, come say hi and check it out. I'll be signing Frostborn and Nightborn afterwards, courtesy of Parnassus Books.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Meet the Author: Lou Anders Interview with PSJA KTRI TV

Recently, I toured the southern tip of Texas in support of the release of Nightborn. While I was there, I was interviewed by Celia Torres, Producer/Reporter for PSJA KTRI TV. That interview is now online at YouTube and Vimeo. The students I spoke with on my tour were especially wonderful, so please make sure to stay through the end of the interview, where kids from the schools I visited ask me questions!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Reflections from the Road: Madison Middle School and Wright Middle School

Yesterday, I was in and about Nashville, visiting two schools on the Nightborn tour.

I drove down the night before, where I tried the friend chicken and fried catfish at rustic cabin-themed eatery, Cock of the Walk, where your server flips a pancake-sized loaf of cornbread high into the air before placing it before you, and where I ate far too many picked onions.

Then the next morning it was off to Madison Middle School, located in Madison, Tennessee, where I spoke to around seventy-five students in the 5th grade. The kids were great, very engaged with the material, and had fantastic questions. They also clapped at some of the artwork I showed (by the brilliant and talented guys Justin Gerard and Andrew Bosley). They even clapped for the photo of the Thrones & Bones cake we had at the initial launch party. I've never seen a cake get a round of applause before and I think more cakes should get that. It was a great visit and let me give a sincere thank you to librarian Angela Frederick and her students for making me feel very welcome.

Afterwards, I drove to the other side of Nashville, where I visited with around two hundred 6th grade students at Wright Middle School in Nashville. We spoke in the gymnasium. I am happiest when I have a wireless microphone in my hand and can run up and down the stands asking kids questions directly like a day time talk show host so I was in my element. Two boys in particular were ancient history and mythology experts and answered the bulk of my questions. But all the students were great, and we had a great time. Thank you very much to Media Specialist Denise Tabscott and her students for a great visit (and for the jar of peach jalapeños sauce! My son and I are both eager to try that out!)

I'd also like to give a shout out to Parnassus Books of Nashville, who helped set up both of these Frostborn and Nightborn visits and was on hand for my talks. Afterwards, I drove to Parnassus to sign a stack of books, where the wonderful employees had me in and out fast enough to beat the five o'clock traffic. (This was much appreciated as I had a three-hour drive home.)

Than you to Parnassus, Madison and Wright for a great day in Tennessee! I'll be back in nine days time for the Southern Festival of Books, where I'll be giving a talk at noon on Saturday, October 10th! Catch me there!

Meanwhile, here is a shot of Denise Tabscott and I making our Viking Faces!