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beaver chewing

The past three years I’ve been incredibly busy and this has resulted in lots of blog-neglect on my part. After sixteen years of teaching I decided to pursue my Special Education Credential, which basically entailed taking many graduate classes both at night and during the summers while also teaching. After a three year blitz, I completed the program.

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At the same time, I got my first book contract and was working on rewrites of Surviving Bear Island, which came out in March. The learning curve of having my first book out, plus being in Graduate School while also teaching squeezed out other things in my life, like blogging. I was able to keep up with my once a month posts at Project Mayhem.

The past few weeks I’ve been spending time at a local wetland and have witnessed a family of Beavers working over the area. I’ve seem them cut down trees, haul them across the water to their lodge and continually eat leaves, all the while being on the look out for predators. Yes, they are busy!!

DSCN0504If I had to do the three years over again, I’d probably do what I did even though certain stretches were brutal in terms of having a new teaching job, graduate level work due, and revisions due all at the same time.

I don’t have any words of wisdom here. I’m a person with a generally positive outlook on life so I focused on being grateful that I had all these things in my life.

I hope to post more regularly, not just updates about my book, and share what I’ve been up to now that my head is above the water enough to take a look around.

Thanks for stopping by!!

 

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A couple days ago, I did my first Surviving Bear Island school visits. I visited two schools where I was student back in the 70’s, John Marshall and Andrew Jackson Intermediate Schools for grades five to eight.

paul and marshall board

I felt very taken care of at both schools. The visits were set up on really short notice and the school staff did a fantastic job of being prepared. And the kids were just awesome and full of questions about writing and about Alaska.

paul reading at marshall

Later that day, I got my first letter from a student who had read my book.

The next night I went out to dinner with my high school English Teacher and signed books for him and for the school library.

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If you’d like to schedule a school visit or book signing check out my schedule and contact information by clicking here.

Surviving Bear Island comes out March 25th. Look for it in bookstores or order online now at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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On the 25th I’ll be celebrating the release of Surviving Bear Island and will be giving away ten copies of my book!! One of them could be yours!!

I hope you’ll stop by then for a chance to win!!!

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Newspaper reviews are coming in for Surviving Bear Island.

From the Juneau Empire: Surviving Bear Island is an exciting book outdoors-minded boys and girls both will enjoy, and Southeast Alaskans will find a lot they can relate to. It’s fast paced enough to keep reluctant readers’ attention, but it also avoids oversimplification while communicating real-life dilemmas in understandable ways.

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Surviving Bear Island is a heart-pounding adventure that both kids and adults will enjoy… It follows its hero through a brilliant coming-of-age the likes of which are unlikely to be found anywhere outside Alaska.

You can order a copy of Surviving Bear Island

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Indigo

Thanks for stopping by.

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I don’t know if the full moon had anything to do with this odd but cute moose behavior that occurred just outside my door.

 

What surprising animal behavior have you observed?

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Below are a few brief things about Surviving Bear Island. A little history and a look toward the future. (A version of this post was also published on Project Mayhem.)

 

  1. Surviving Bear Island, my debut novel, a survival story set in the wilds of Prince William Sound, Alaska comes out March 25th (Move Books). Having completed the first draft of this novel 10 years ago, and then countless drafts since then, I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a home for this book. As my agent was trying to sell a different manuscript we started working on getting Surviving Bear Island ready for submission.
  1. When I wrote Surviving Bear Island I didn’t envision it being illustrated. In fact, I first wrote it as a young adult novel and then six years into the revision process, it morphed into both first person and middle grade. One thing the illustrator James Madsen said about Surviving Bear Island is: “This book in particular has been one of my favorites because I grew up an avid outdoorsman and there’s no where I’d rather be than in the mountains or around wildlife.”

I feel fortunate to have my book matched with an artist who has spent a lot of time in the outdoors. In the past fifteen years James has illustrated more than 75 books. Below is one illustration from the book. James also did the cover.

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  1. Surviving Bear Island is a 2015 Junior Library Guild selection. Again, I feel incredibly fortunate that the Junior Library Guild is putting their energy into getting my book into school and public libraries.

 

 

 

  1. As of a couple days ago you can now pre-order Surviving Bear Island on Amazon.

 

As Surviving Bear Island nears publication I’m working on two books. One is an MG adventure set in Interior Alaska. The other is a contemporary YA novel.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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It’s been a week of good news for me with Surviving Bear Island. First, a great review from Kirkus, and now Surviving Bear Island has been chosen as a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection in the High Interest Middle Category for grades 5 to 8.

From Junior Library Guild: These exciting, age-appropriate titles will appeal to even the most reluctant middle-school readers. Perfect for: Middle schoolers who have difficulty finding books that interest them.

I’m honored that my book has been chosen.

You can order Surviving Bear Island from Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my good news.

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There’s no spoilers in this short, 30 second trailer for Surviving Bear Island due out in March 2015. There are, however, some cool visuals, and some eerie growling noises!

Thanks for stopping by.

 

You can order Surviving Bear Island from Amazon.

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