The Indubitable Dweeb
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March 17, 2015

Giving Thanks for THE WHISPER

Today is the release day for The Whisper. I wrote the darn book, but you better believe I didn’t write it alone. It exists because of the many people who inspired it, helped create it, and supported it and The Riverman. Since the acknowledgements are buried at the end of the book, I thought I’d post them here. That way, even if you don’t read the thing, you’ll know who was essential to its very existence.

Second volumes in trilogies are notoriously tricky things. They often feel like they’re, for lack of a better term, all middle. When I wrote The Whisper, however, I focused on the new. My daughter Hannah arrived in the world as I was trying to figure out how to make a crazy, unwieldy sequel come together, and her beautiful, babbling presence inspired me to treat it as an origin story–not just of the Riverman and Aquavania, but also of Alistair and Charlie’s relationship and of Fiona’s reluctant journey into adulthood. I wanted to show why the first volume was told the way it was told, and I wanted readers to anticipate the third volume with a fresh perspective on events. If I achieved that goal, I certainly didn’t do it alone. The following people guided and encouraged me along the way:

Joy Peskin was the first person who read The Whisper and she infused it with her brilliance and a healthy dose of confidence and clarity, which is what all books need. Therefore, in my humble opinion, she should edit all books. I’m not sure she has the time, though. Maybe with Angie Chen’s help she can do it. Actually, together, they definitely can.

Michael Bourret, the man I’m honored to call my agent, continued to trust me, advise me, and keep me sane through the entire publishing process. Why? It’s because he’s a sorcerer. Everyone at Dystel & Goderich, including Lauren Abramo, dabbles in sorcery, actually. How else would they understand these byzantine contracts and represent such an awe-inspiring group of authors?

Beth Clark had an even trickier job designing this book than she did with the first volume, considering all the multiple narratives and their unique appearances. Did she pull it off? Come on! Of course she did.

Yelena Bryksenkova created yet another stunning cover that I’m sure people will tell me is stunning, when they really should be telling her. Now they have no excuse. Tell her: yelenabryksenkova.com

Mary Van Akin has been an advocate like no other. She’s tireless and talented and you better watch out, because she will make you read this book. Perhaps she already did, by handing you the copy you’re holding right now. If so, thank her and the rest of the gang at Macmillan Kids for me.

Kate Hurley and Karla Reganold have taught me a lot about writing with their essential copy edits. I would look like a fool without them. I really wood (sic).

Some other authors read The Riverman and said some amazingly kind things about it. Jack Gantos was the first, and I’m still flabbergasted that his words graced the cover of volume one. Following in his sizable wake were Kurtis Scaletta, Laurel Snyder, Nova Ren Suma, Bryan Bliss, Steve Brezenoff, Kelly Barnhill, Kim Baker, Stephanie Kuehn, Kate Milford, Robin Wasserman, Jeff Kay, Laura Marx Fitzgerald, Stephanie Bodeen, Dan Poblocki, and many others I’m sure I’m forgetting. I hope they read this book too. And I hope you read their books, because they are better books than this one.

All the bloggers, librarians, teachers, journalists, booksellers, festival organizers and fans who have reached out to me and helped me share my stories, I don’t know what I’d do without you. Probably pursue a career in break dancing, which would be unwise.

Finally, thank you to my family. To Jim, Gwenn, Pete and the extended Wells and Evans clans. To all the Amundsens and Starmers out there. To Tim, Toril, Dave, Jacob and Will, because this is a story of siblings and kids. And to Mom and Dad, the finest and most caring creators I know.

Finally, Cate and Hannah, you inspire me every day, and I love you dearly. Now put down this book and let’s go get into some more adventures together!

This is what is printed in the book, but there are so many people who I forgot, as well as people who came on the scene after this was written, like Claudia Howard at Recorded Books, who produced the audio version, and Graham Halstead, who provided the voice for Alistair. Not to mention all the other loud mouths and online advocates for The Riverman and The Whisper, including Angie Manfredi, Alex Dawson, Betsy Bird, Caitlin Luce Baker, Matthew Winner, Beth Panageotou, Brooks Sherman, Alex London, Mary G. Thompson, Michael Northrop, J.A. White, Nikki Loftin, Andrew Karre, Sarah LaPolla, Sean Ferrell, Jordan Brown, Laura Ruby, Josh Berk, Ted Sanders, Claire Legrand, Clay McLeod Chapman, Justina Ireland, Barry Goldblatt, John Zeleznik, Jonathan Wlodarski, Mark Bobrosky, Sylvie Shaffer, John Farrier, James Riley, Sarah Hawkins Miduski, Julie Faltko, Colten Hibbs, Jean Giardina, Dana Langer, Joshua Whiting, Marcy Beller Paul, Susannah Richards, Travis Jonker, Lindsay Currie, Victoria Coe, Rebecca Zarazan Dunn, Tara Dairman, Shelley Moore Thomas, Edith Cohn, Stephanie McKinley, Donalyn Miller, John Schu, Colby Sharp, Katherine Sokolowski, Kellie DuBay Gillis, Carrie Gelson, Colleen Graves, Jenna Krambeck, Judi Evans, Stacy Dillon, Michael Specks, Chris Dexter, Chrystal Ocean, Jenn Estepp, Julie Jurgens, Beth Sanderson, Tracey Petrillo, Anthony Paull, Maria Selke, Ilse O’Brien, Marianne Knowles, Emily Toombs, Melanie Conklin, Niki Ohs Barnes, Dan Dooher, Mike Lewis, Jason Lewis, Kayla King, Joy Piedmont, and I’m forgetting others and of course I am sorry for that. But a nonillion thanks to everyone who has read and shared these books. You. Are. So. Cool.

February 17, 2015

Come to the Official Book Launch of THE WHISPER: Tuesday, March 17th at McNally Jackson Books

0714AR2Let’s take a moment to shed a tear for the Book Twos in trilogies. Not the beginning, not the ending; no one ever throws parties for them.

Until now!

We will be celebrating the release of The Whisper, Book Two in the Riverman Trilogy. And you can join us! Here are the details:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
(between Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York City, NY 10012

Feel free to RSVP via Facebook. Or just show up!

If you can’t make it, but are still interested in ordering a signed, personalized copy, then you can do that right here. And if you are my nemesis, remember this: the more you order, the more my hand will cramp up.

February 5, 2015

A Visual Guide to the Characters of The Riverman

Okay. This is insanely cool. Insanely cool. I’ve seen a little bit of fan art inspired by my books, but nothing compares to this drawing by a young reader named Bridget. In it, she depicts every character from The Riverman. Every single one. I’m not joking when I say that my editor is using this guide to keep the characters straight. Heck, when my memory starts to go, I’ll be using this thing.

In any case, check it out and please give Bridget a round of applause if you see her. Now I just have to get her to do the same thing for The Whisper!

Click on the image to get a clear, high-res image:

riverman chars

February 4, 2015

Upcoming Appearances (March & April, 2015)

Updated often, so check back from time-to-time why don’t you?

  • Tuesday, March 17, 2015:  The Whisper Launch Party! at McNally Jackson (New York, NY) at 7pm. Celebrate the official launch of The Whisper. Open to the public, but if you can’t attend, you can order a personalized copy of the book here.
  • Friday, March 20, 2015: NYC Teen Author Festival (New York, NY)  at 42nd Street New York Public Library at 2pm. “Crafting Something Out of Nothing” panel with Selene Castrovilla, Sarah Cross, Amalie Howard, Claire Legrand, Mary McCoy, and Jennifer A. Nielsen. More panels with more amazing authors to follow.
  • Sunday, March 22, 2015: NYC Teen Author Festival, Mega-Signing at Books of Wonder (New York, NY), at 3:30pm. With myriad and sundry young adult book royalty. Officially signings begin at 1pm, but I will be appearing at 3:30pm.
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2015: Teen Author Reading Night at Jefferson Market Library (New York, NY) at 6pm. With Elizabeth Eulberg, Kathryn Holmes, Elisa Ludwig, Kass Morgan, Danielle Paige, Shani Petroff, Darci Manley, Marie Rutkoski, Kieran Scott, and Nova Ren Suma
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015: Meet the Author event at the Miller Branch of the Howard Country Library (Ellicott City, MD) from 2-3pm. With Jonathan Auxier and Kate Milford and in association with GreenRow Books.
  • Saturday, April 25, 2015: YA Fest Junior at Bethlehem Public Library (Bethlehem, PA) from noon-3pm. With a variety of middle grade authors.
October 8, 2014

Upcoming Appearances (October & November, 2014)

Updated often, so check back from time-to-time why don’t you?

  • AaronStarmerAuthorPhotoSunday, October 19, 2014: Book Court  (Brooklyn, NY) at 2pm, Skullduggery with Alex Dawson, Mikki Knudsen, Clay McLeod Chapman and Kate Milford
  • Saturday, October 25, 2014: McNally Jackson (New York, NY) at 6pm, with Jonathan Auxier, Kate Milford and Laurel Snyder
  • Monday, November 10, 2014: The Browning School (New York, NY)  at 11am
  • Saturday, November 15, 2014: Rochester Children’s Book Festival (Rochester, NY), all day (presenting at 12:30pm in the Brighton Room) with middle grade and picture book authors galore
  • Sunday, November 23, 2014: Metuchen Library (Metuchen, NJ) at 2pm, with Alex Dawson, Claire Legrand and Clay McLeod Chapman