Here is the latest author response. Once again Leslie Connor goes to prove just how awesome and cool authors really are. I love it!
As the judges submit their decisions about which books make it to the next round I have been trying to email or Tweet or Facebook the authors to let them know that their book has been nominated to move on. I have had some responses from the authors so far and just thought I would share them with everyone as I am still blown away that we can easily connect with these wonderful people. Nothing is more exciting than hearing back from the authors.
Check out this link to view all author contacts as well as reviews and rationales.
Here is what I have sent them via my message format
Good afternoon, my name is Aaron Maurer and I am a gifted education teacher for Bettendorf Middle School in Bettendorf, Iowa. I have operated a blog now for students for the last two years where I read and review books. This year I was awarded grant money to run a book tournament where students nominated books to be read, we paired them off as judges to read the books, and they had to make a decision as to which book is better and why. You can find all the details on my blog(posted below).
Anyways, I am contacting all authors that I can to let them know when their book makes it to the next round. Your book has passed Round 1 and is now in Round 2. Congratulations to you and your novel.
I also am contacting you for the fun aspect that if you would like for me to add anything on my blog to help promote your book that I would be glad to do so. The students would to have any author participation in any capacity that they can. I am leaving things open as I know that you are probably super busy, but just wanted to make you aware of what some amazing students and staff members are doing in the state of Iowa.
Have a great day.
Here is the response from Leslie Connor
Well, thanks for the excellent news! I've not seen a program like yours before, not where books are paired up and judged. You've got some critical thinkers on your team. Hope everyone is enjoying the process.
I am never too busy to give readers a chance to learn something a little "insiderly" about my work. You can share with your students that my books are always inspired by everyday life, and often by a sense of place. Waiting For Normal began that way. I passed a trailer on a city street corner over and over again. Someone was clearly living there, as was evidenced by the full clothesline in summer, a pot of flowers on the step in spring, and the jack-o-lantern in fall. It captured my imagination because it was unusual in Schenectady, NY for someone to be living in a dwelling other than an apartment or a house. From there I began to ask myself, who comes out that door, and what are the circumstances that brought that person to live there? My characters are almost always composites of people I have known, read about, heard about, or can conjure. (I'm not brave enough to write about anybody real!) Basically, I love to make stuff up.
Please tell your students that I love to receive letters, and I always write back. My contact information is at my website at leslieconnor.com.
Aaron, thanks again to you and your readers for including my novel in your program. I'll check in at the blog to see that comparison review posted. You've made me quite curious.
"The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention." ~ Flannery O'Connor
Check out my website! leslieconnor.com