Category: Appearances

An interview about The Third Chimpanzee for Young People

Back in September I was featured in an interview on the website A Science Book a Day.  I talked about how I wrote the Young People’s version of Jared Diamond’s book The Third Chimpanzee, and about the challenges of taking someone else’s work and giving it a new form. I also had a chance to talk about another project of mine.

You can read the interview here.




NIWA Symposium, February 2014

Most of the books I’ve published have been nonfiction, often stuffed to the Plimsoll line with facts. (The Plimsoll line is the reference mark on a ship’s side that indicates the waterline at maximum allowable load. Thank Samuel Plimsoll, who pushed a law mandating such marks through Parliament in 1876. Fact.) Novelists, too, use facts to buttress their fictional constructions. Whether traditionally or independently published, every writer is sometimes responsible for researching and checking facts.

I’ll share what I’ve learned from several decades of fact-wrangling in a presentation on “Being Your Own Fact-Checker: Tips and Methodologies for Research” at 9:45 on Saturday morning, February 1, as part of the first ever annual symposium organized by the Northwest Independent Writers Association. The symposium is a two-day event filled with sessions on writing, publishing, and marketing, as well as chances to network with other writers, both traditionally and independently published. I’m excited to be taking part in it.

Radio interview for A Different Mirror

Recently I was interviewd by Francesca Rheannon for her radio program “The Writer’s Voice.” You can listen to a podcast of the interview here. While you’re on the site, check out some of the other fascinating interviews Francesca has recorded with writers of all sorts.

Launch party in New York

This weekend I’ll be traveling to New York–barring a hurricane-caused disruption–for the launch of Triangle Square Books, a new children’s and YA nonfiction imprint from Seven Stories Press.

Seven Stories is the publisher of my YA adaptation of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, as well as my new YA adaptation of Ronald Takaki’s history of multicultural America, A Different Mirror. Seven Stories has long been committed to publishing progressive books on politics, history, and social and environmental justice. I believe Triangle Square will fill an important need, and I can’t wait to see what books they will be offering to young readers.

A visit to Wilkes Elementary

This week I traveled to Wilkes Elementary School right here in Portland to visit several classes of second-graders. The kids had just read my book Ant, which is part of their reading anthology.

I read my book Beetle to the group and then spent some time answering the kids’ questions. Some questions were about ants, but a lot of questions were about being an author. My best advice to kids who think they might want to become authors is: “Write a lot. Start now.”

Afterward I got to have lunch with the principal of Wilkes and a table of kids who’d been chosen to eat with the special guest–me!–that week. The table was beautifully decorated with model insects and some of my books. There was even a banner that said:


I had a great time. Thank you to Wilkes Elementary and everyone I met on this visit!

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