Saturday, December 26, 2015
Thursday, October 22, 2015
This is fun!
Popsugar lists The Mermaid's Sister among its 200 best books of 2015 for women. I'm ignoring the fact that they seem to have forgotten O'Neill is a guy. :)
There are lots of good books on the list & a few I'm adding to my personal TBR pile.
Check it out here:
Thursday, October 1, 2015
The Mermaid's Sister, Bookstore Visits,
& a Star Whale
Below, you'll find a press release for a book signing I'll be doing in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania at Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University. I thought I'd post it here because it contains a little bit about the book (The Mermaid's Sister)and the author (me!)--in case you don't know us.
If you're in central PA, please come & meet me at Webster's Bookstore & Café on November 6, 2015, during State College's First Friday events. I attended Penn State there, so I'm very excited to be revisiting its hometown.
Check out my events page for more info on signings & appearances, including links to the stores' websites. I hope to meet you soon!
Lewisburg Bookstore to Hold Signing for Award Winning Author
LEWISBURG, PA- On Friday, October 2, Barnes and Noble at Bucknell University (400 Market St.) will host a book signing event with Carrie Anne Noble, winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction. Noble will sign copies of her novel “The Mermaid’s Sister” from 6 to 8 p.m.
Opening in Pennsylvania’s mountains in the 1870s, “The Mermaid’s Sister” tells the tale of Clara and Maren, 16-year-old foundlings adopted by an old healer woman. When Clara discovers shimmering scales on her sister’s side, she realizes Maren is becoming a mermaid—and there is no cure for being who you truly are. Because mermaids cannot survive long on land, Clara, Maren, and their best friend O’Neill undertake a journey to deliver Maren to the sea. But no road is ever straight, and they fall prey to an evil family of traveling performers. Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening mermaid Maren before it’s too late.
“The Mermaid’s Sister” was published in March by Skyscape. Praised as “a must read” by Publishers Weekly, and called “engaging and magical” by Kirkus, the novel has received over 900 5-star reviews. Although the book is marketed for teens, readers of all ages have enjoyed Noble’s delightful blend of fairy tale elements and historical fiction.
Noble wrote the first draft of “The Mermaid’s Sister” as her National Novel Writing Month project in November 2012, weeks after the death of her own beloved sister. Writing a fictional “sister story” provided her with comfort and a path through grief to acceptance and hope—themes that lie just beneath the surface of the lyrical fantasy novel.
A native of Lycoming County, Noble has been writing fiction for most of her life. As an adult, she spent a year as a staff writer for a local newspaper, but she much prefers inventing stories of her own.
More about the book and author can be found at http://www.carrienoble.com. For more information about the book signing event, call Barnes and Noble at (570) 577-1128.
|It's a Star Whale. If you don't know him, you're way behind in your Doctor Who episodes!|
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Dear Leprechaun Novel,
We've been through a lot together over the last three years. We've spent two nutso, Nanowrimo Novembers holed up in my office, shared many delicious chocolate bars and countless cups of tea, explored (imaginary) Ireland hand in hand, defeated the evil Tooth Fairy and violent Garden Gnomes, and fallen in love.
Well, dear never-ending-work-in-progress, I'm not in love with you anymore.
The feeling has been creeping up on me for months now, the feeling something was wrong in our relationship (in spite of all my desperate work-- four drafts, maybe five!).
The knowledge that spending time with you is no longer a joy fell down on me like a wet woolen blanket. Ugh.
My friends say it's time to put you aside. To start over with another story. Something that will make me giddy about writing again. I know they're right, but I hate breaking up with you. It makes me sad. It feels like defeat, and little like grief. The thought that you could be a "trunk novel" (a work abandoned and tucked away in a trunk forever) is truly ouchy.
Maybe someday we'll get back together. I'll change, and then you'll be able to change. We could still be great, I think. We could still make the hallowed shelves of the school book fair (a precious dream indeed!).
In the corner of my heart, there will always be a place for you, my reluctant Leprechaun. But for now, scurry off and look for your gold without me. I have other tales to tell, other roads to travel.
I'm so sorry.
P.S. I'll remember you and your pots of gold whenever I see a rainbow. How could I not?
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Book Festivals Near & Far
Here are a few photos of the sweet, small town book festival I attended yesterday (August 29, 2015). It was held in a pretty little wooded park near the river in Watsontown, PA. About 15 authors attended-- a few of them dear friends whom it was such a delight to see!
Next stop: The Beaver County Book Fest in Beaver, PA on Sept. 12. Fifty authors in a circus tent, and some more outside the big top, as well as food stands & crafts. What could possibly be more fun than fifty authors in a circus tent, I ask you!!! I'll post pictures after the grand event!
First time out for my fancy banner
The free cookies proved quite popular!
Thanks for stopping by the blog! Come back soon!
You can purchase The Mermaid's Sister here:
Monday, July 13, 2015
I attended back to back writers' events in June: UtopYA Con in Nashville followed by the St. Davids Writers' Conference in Grove City, PA. Two very different experiences!
UtopYA was a convention for Young Adult speculative fiction fans & writers, and it was a swirling extravaganza of hundreds of people, shiny books, panel discussions, swag giveaways, and signings. To top it all off, I finally met my editor in person.
About 60 people attended St. Davids, spending four days on a peaceful, beautiful, rainy college campus, taking classes, making friends & connections, & eating way too many desserts.
Here is photographic documentation!
One of the UtopYA exhibition halls. The lovely Rysa Walker shared her table with me & 3 other Skyscape suthors.
A few of the authors of Skyscape Publishing: Jacqueline Garlick, Theresa Kay, Alys Arden, Rysa Walker, & me!
Selfie with Mr. Pew of Grove City College. He's kind of shy.
Nice dorms at Grove City.
Cool doors & relief. I stepped in a puddle
to get this picture, so you have to
look at it!
My roomies at the St. Davids Conference. Fun & talented!
Thursday, July 2, 2015
I live in the country. There are birds.
Don't get me wrong. I love birds. They're amazing little creatures. However, every morning at 4:45, a single bird starts singing outside my window.
The sun hasn't even begun to come up. It's still dark. I'm trying to sleep, for goodness sake!
But he sings.
After a while, another bird answers him. As dawn sneaks up, more birds join the birdy choir. By the time the sky is well lit, tweets and whistles fill the air.
This morning (shortly after Bird 1 began tweeting), I thought about What It Means. This one bird's song. So here are my deep thoughts (these are rare occurrences, so pay attention!).
Bird 1 sings alone. He sits in a dark tree and no one is listening to his song. He sings anyway. He makes music because he likes to, because it's what he was meant to do. If he had to sing alone all day, he would.
But then the other birds hear him. They open their beaks and let the notes fly. Bird 1 has inspired them, led them into a great chorus to welcome a new day. Bird 1 has spread the joy through every tree in the neighborhood.
Lessons from the perch of Bird 1:
- Sing your song. Or write your words, dance your dance, paint your canvas. Do that thing you know you're meant to do. Even if it's only for your own pleasure. Even if other people don't seem to appreciate it. Only you know your "song." Sing it loud!
- Sing in the dark. Things may look bad, but dawn is coming. Birds aren't very smart, but they've figured this out. Dare to hope that the new day will be bright. And if it rains on you, keep singing anyway. Emily Dickinson wrote:“Hope” is the thing with feathers -That perches in the soul -And sings the tune without the words -And never stops - at all
- Don't wait for permission to "sing." Don't put off your dreams until the house is clean or you lose twenty pounds or you "get it together." It's 4:45. Go for it with all you have. Who knows what other birds you'll inspire to tweet? Who knows what joy you'll add to the world?
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Any avid reader knows there are books and then there are books.
There are books you read and then forget, and there are certain books that stick with you for the rest of your life.
When I was about 14, I read Mervyn Peake's novel Titus Groan for the first time. Reading has always been my favorite sport, and I began making up stories at an early age...but this encounter with Peake changed me. His rich, somber fantasy was a world unto itself. His characters and settings were odd and fascinating and wonderful--and presented with such skill that although I've not read the Gormenghast trilogy for years, I can still remember Peake's people and places with clarity.
Reading Peake made me write in a new way. His novels and poetry unlocked a deep love of language in me, a love for the shapes and sounds of words. This love flowed out of my pen and filled my notebooks with brooding teenage poetry (stuff you will never read and that I ought to burn for my own protection!).
To me, Peake's books are books. They are "sticky." They're in me and with me forever.
Titus Groan was a library book, borrowed again and again.
Eventually, I took my hard-earned baby sitting money downtown to Otto's Bookstore and ordered my own copies of the Gormenghast books. They had to be special-ordered from England (which was so romantic!). Once they were mine, I shared them with only my most trusted friends. And without fail, each of them loved discovering Peake's sprawling, magnificent world. I like to think that the books stuck with them, just as they stuck with me.
As an author, my favorite compliments come from readers who sigh about being kept up past their bedtimes by my story, and those who say they can't seem to stop thinking of my characters once they finish the book. Maybe my story is "sticky" too. I hope so.
On Friday, May 1, 2015, I'll be signing copies of The Mermaid's Sister at Otto's Bookstore. I'll remember teenaged me, and marvel at what has happened since I bought Peake's fantastic books in that very place so long ago.
Here's to sticky books, beautiful words, and thousands of glorious chapters yet to be written!
Author Mervyn Peake
For more info on the book signing, see my Amazon author page. www.amazon.com/author/carrieannenoble
The Mermaid's Sister is available here. http://tiny.cc/np53vx
Friday, April 3, 2015
Yet more Mermaidy Trivia...
- I collected the name "Scarff" from the side of an appliance company van while on a trip to Virginia. I guess there are real people named Scarff in the world. And they travel about fixing washing machines. I wonder if they ever find orphans under apple trees or tucked inside seashells.
- Pilsner was almost named "Pilcrow," but it seemed kind of wrong to name a raven something with the word "crow" in it.
- The Red Hedgehog Tavern was named after the tavern Johannes Brahms liked to frequent in Vienna (Zum Roten Igel). For more on the bits of Brahms in the book, see the other 10 Fun Facts list on this blog. http://www.carrienoble.com/2015/02/10-fun-facts-about-mermaids-sister.html
- Clara SchumannThe figure in the upper left corner of the book cover is Dr. Phipps, not Scarff, as some have assumed.
- Originally, Auntie was supposed to have a stubby-winged pet bat in addition to Osbert the wyvern. I'm kind of sad he didn't make it into the story!
- In one version of TMS, Osbert ate Pilsner. To be fair, Pilsner was a very bad birdy in that draft!
- Clara was named after Clara Schumann, a fellow musician and the wife of Brahms's best friend. Supposedly, Brahms loved her and took care of her after her husband died.
- Maren's middle name is Pearl.
- My star beta reader (i.e. person who bravely read & critiqued the manuscript in its semi-raw state and corrected historical inaccuracies) was Amanda C. Davis, author of a bazillion brilliant short stories & co-author of Wolves and Witches, a fantastic fairy tale anthology. Find that here http://tinyurl.com/npp6xvw.
- Many of the final edits were done in my gypsy caravan. Okay, it was a rather sad, old, pop-up camper parked in my yard. Maybe someday I can write in a real caravan. You know, after the blockbuster movie comes out...
Available at Amazon.com http://tiny.cc/np53vx
Monday, March 9, 2015
Book Launch Party for The Mermaid's Sister
Thanks to everyone who attended & helped with the party at the
James V. Brown Library on March 6!
It was a great success. I think we really shocked the sweet librarian who helped to plan the event by having 135 guests show up!
Advertising in the elevator. I found it exciting!
The happy author herself
Book signing table
What beautiful books!
Refreshments table inspired by Scarff & O'Neill's caravan of exotic wares
Osbert tote bag--a door prize
College room mates reunited!
Author & the husband who puts up with her
Special thanks to Cindy Knier & John Noble for taking most of these photos.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Stuff you'll probably never be asked about on Jeopardy...
In a spirit of fun (and as a way of procrastinating working on my next novel), I offer you 10 random facts about The Mermaid's Sister--things that even Alex Trebek doesn't know!
|Bushy-bearded Brahms, or Ezra Scarff|
- O'Neill was named after my friend's neighbor's dog.
- Brahms' German Requiem was a major part of my writing playlist. Which leads us to number 3...
- O'Neill's looks were modeled after young Johannes Brahms and...
- Scarff's appearance was inspired by older, bushy-bearded Brahms.
- In an early draft, Pilsner the raven helped Soraya Phipps capture Clara, O'Neill, & Maren.
- Maren's name means "of the sea."
- Clara's middle name is Amelia, which was my great grandmother's middle name.
- The tune O'Neill hums to Clara in Chapter 29 is Brahms' Waltz in A-Flat Major. (Again with the Brahms, I know. But it's such a beautiful piece of music! You can hear it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBteIPP832s)
- The original title of the book was Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree, in reference to the origins of Maren, Clara, and O'Neill.
- The first line of the book ("Wishing gets you nothing.") is a direct quote from my dear friend Sunday Parfitt. Alas, she was not spinning a fantastical yarn when she spoke these special words. Instead, she was advising her young son that he'd have to get his own drink!
P.S. More character inspiration images can be found in the Photos & Illustrations section of the blog, and on my Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/13hedgehogs/the-mermaids-sister-a-novel/
You can order The Mermaid's Sister here:
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
"dreams all made solid"
(to quote Peter Gabriel)
That's how I feel about this special package the UPS man brought yesterday.
I gave away my first copy today, to my sweet, bookaholic grandma. She was the first one to read an early version of The Mermaid's Sister--which she still keeps wrapped in tissue paper, as if it were a very precious treasure. I love how she loves the story.
I hope you will read it and share her enthusiasm!
The Mermaid's Sister is a Kindle First pick for February:
and the paperback and audiobook can be ordered here:
Monday, February 2, 2015
Grape Pudding for a Snowy Day
In my novel, The Mermaid's Sister, Clara reminisces about a snowy day she shared with her sister Maren and their best friend O'Neill when they were very young.
When Auntie forced us inside, we unwrapped ourselves from our layers of woolens and hung them to dry near the fireplace. And you were the first to notice the heavenly scent of Auntie’s hot grape pudding. Steaming in our soup bowls, as purple as an Easter crocus, with dollops of whipped cream melting into froth. I can still taste it if I close my eyes. Can you?
We ran our spoons around the edges of the pudding to scoop up the part that had cooled from scalding to merely hot. O’Neill giggled when he took his first bite. He said it tasted like purple heaven.
Here's a recipe for grape pudding. It's also called Kram, and my Swedish mother-in-law always made it for her children after the first snowfall of the year. This isn't her secret recipe, though. She's keeping it secret, the little dickens! I was forced to figure it out on my own, with a little help from the internet.
Hot Grape Pudding (Kram)
In a sauce pan, whisk together:
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup sugar
Then whisk in 1/4 cup cold water until the mixture is smooth.
Slowly add 2 cups of grape juice and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and darkens (about 7 or 8 minutes).
Pour into saucers immediately, and top with whipped cream. Enjoy your "purple heaven!"
Note: The better the quality of the grape juice, the better the pudding will taste!
You can order The Mermaid's Sister here:
Sunday, February 1, 2015
A year ago--almost to the day--I entered my novel (now titled The Mermaid's Sister) in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I had no intention of winning. I didn't really believe my entry would go far among ten thousand others, although I hoped it would get far enough to win the free manuscript review by Publishers Weekly offered as a prize for quarter finalists. And it did! Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree (the book's original title) received a glowing review from PW. I was thrilled! Mission accomplished.
But wait! The ride wasn't over!
I remember the July day when the phone rang and the caller i.d. said Amazon. I thought they were calling to ask how I liked a recent purchase. Instead, two very excited ladies gave me some of the best news of my life: I'd won the Young Adult category and was in the running for the grand prize. Not only that--they gushed over the book. They loved it. And I had thought that only my grandma would ever love it!
In the end, I didn't win the grand prize. But I did win a publishing contract with Skyscape, and a nice advance.
Today, after a lot of work (and collaboration with wonderful editors, a pesky copy editor, a proofreader, and a cover designer), my book has been born. Because it was chosen for the Kindle First program, it's being read right now in places I will never go.
My book has just been born, but in this digital world, it has instantly become a grown-up child and it has gone off to have adventures of its own.
I am grateful.
I am in awe.
Today, something the character O'Neill says in The Mermaid's Sister springs to my mind. The hope he expresses has been fulfilled for me. I share that sentiment with you and for you.
"And I hope that you will soon see that the world is also more beautiful than you had known, and more full of kindness and love. Perhaps, on our journey, you will find this out for yourself. You will come with Maren and me, won’t you?”
Thank you for sharing my joy.
Monday, January 26, 2015
I'm very excited to announce that my local library is hosting a party in honor of the release of The Mermaid's Sister. I've been going to this library for as long as I am able to remember, so that makes my joy even sweeter.
What a dream come true!
I hope to see you there.
Monday, January 19, 2015
The countdown to publication is on!
March is just around the corner, I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be able to count the days until I get to hold my very own book in my hands! Talk about a dream come true!
Here is the complete cover:
And here is my first official blurb:
"The Mermaid’s Sister is a lyrical and enchanting debut with enough adventure, magic, and heart to fill an ocean.” —Gwenda Bond, author of Girl on a Wire
As if that wasn't enough excitement...my county library is going to host an event for me March 6. Details coming soon!
The book is available for pre-order here http://www.amazon.com/Mermaids-Sister-Carrie-Anne-Noble/dp/1477820884/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411144021&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mermaid%27s+sister