The earliest drafts of Summer of Lost and Found had the book start with Nell anticipating summer fun on a New York barrier island–but those Fire Island sections were cut because “killing your darlings” is a task us authors really have to do. Can you blame me for wanting to sneak a few darlings about my favorite summer place into the book, though? Fire Island is just an hour and change from Manhattan, but a world away. No cars, no chain stores, no tall buildings: just a necklace of friendly communities strung along miles of white sand. I was lucky enough to spend some time on the island earlier this month.
All winter I dream about being back on the beach, where I can dig my toes in the sand while digging into a good book.
What’s your favorite place to read when the days are long and hot?
Summer of Lost and Found is out in the world, so I’ve started catching up on some of my favorite summer activities. Like chasing the ice cream truck. They’re not hard to chase in NYC because Mister Softee is ubiquitous, but an old-fashioned Good Humor truck is harder to find.
And sneaking out to the country, where I can read and write in a backyard cottage. Tiny house = big word count. Who knew?
In other news, I signed the contracts for The Last Grand Adventure; hooray! I’m excited to dig into this story.
Coming up in July: I have two bookstore panels scheduled. On July 21, I’ll be in Arlington, VA, at One More Page with author friends Tara Dairman and Jen Swann Downey. Then on July 28, I’ll be in Larchmont, NY, at The Voracious Reader with a bunch of fantastic MG authors: Tara Dairman, Laura Marx Fitzgerald, Lauren Magaziner, and Michelle Schusterman. Check out my Events page for updated info.
I grew up visiting a wonderful children’s bookstore, Pooh Corner, in my hometown, Madison, WI. So I was delighted a few years ago when a new independent bookstore, Mystery to Me, opened on the same block where Pooh Corner once had a home. I try to stop by every time I’m back in town, and last week I got to launch Summer of Lost and Found there. (I wonder if kid-me would believe that adult-me was back on Monroe Street as an author!)
It was so much fun to meet up with family, old friends, former teachers and librarians, and new readers to talk about writing the book–and to sample some scuppernong grape juice and Duck Donuts. Here are a few pictures:
Thanks to Joanne Berg and the staff for having me! It was a fantastic day.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to chat with Jeanne Kolker of the Wisconsin State Journal about Summer of Lost and Found and my career as an author. I grew up reading the State Journal–starting with the funny pages and eventually cover-to-cover–so it’s pretty exciting to have a chance to talk about my work in its pages! You can read the full interview online here: “Behrens digs into 16th-century mystery in new book for young readers.” Thanks for a great conversation, Jeanne!
And I’ll be in Madison for an event at Mystery to Me this weekend–Saturday at 1:00 p.m. There will be Duck Donuts, scuppernong juice, and plenty of bookmarks and stickers for young readers to take home. Stop by and say hi!
I had a fabulous time celebrating Summer of Lost and Found at Books of Wonder on Tuesday night. Here are some pictures of the festivities:
I hope readers will have as much fun discovering the past and present Roanoke Island as I did while writing it. Thanks to everyone who helped get this book into the world, especially: my agent, Suzie Townsend, and her assistant Sara Stricker; and my editor, Alyson Heller, publicist, Faye Bi, and the whole team at Aladdin.
If you’d like to read a little more about the book and my experiences writing it, here are some interviews, reviews, and guest posts to check out:
And last but not least–it’s time to announce the winner of the pre-order giveaway! Annette Burns won the beautiful bag of blurber books and school/library donation. Thanks to all who entered.
So you might have seen some news in Publishers Weekly this afternoon:
That’s right–I wrote another MG book! The Last Grand Adventure will be in bookstores sometime between January-April 2018. Like When Audrey Met Alice, I created a character based on a real, fascinating woman (in this case, Amelia Earhart, whom I’ve been obsessed with since childhood) and like Summer of Lost and Found, my MG protagonist unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a history mystery. But for the first time, the whole book is historical fiction. It’s an adventure-ful road trip, a love letter to sisters, and a celebration of spunky grandmas. I loved writing this story, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
I’m thrilled to keep working with Alyson Heller and the Aladdin/Simon & Schuster team again, too! Many thanks to them for giving my books a home, to Suzie Townsend for being such a great advocate for my writing, to Sara Stricker for all her help and encouragement–and especially to readers, who keep us all going!
Summer of Lost and Found will be out in six weeks, and I can’t wait!
Basically, readers who pre-order books are helping out all the people who make and sell books! As a thank-you to those who pre-order Summer of Lost and Found, I’m doing a giveaway.
But I know that some readers will get Summer of Lost and Found from the library (I love libraries!) or a friend (sharing books is the best!). I want to thank them, too, so one randomly selected reader* will receive a special prize:
*Just to be super clear: This raffle is not limited to those who pre-order. No purchase is necessary, and anyone in the US or Canada can enter. If you are pre-ordering, I will enter your name when I send your swag. If you’re not pre-ordering, use the contact form at the end of this post to enter the raffle.
How to pre-order and get your thank-you swag:
1. Before 11:59 p.m. EST on May 23, order Summer of Lost and Found from the retailer of your choice. Here are links to major retailers:
2. Email me with the following info: Name, mailing address, instructions on how to personalize your bookplate, and proof-of-purchase (e.g., screenshot of an order confirmation or receipt, or forward the order in your email). Feel free to delete or blur any personal info, but I promise I will not use or save any info you send me.
3. That’s it! I will email you to confirm once I’ve put your pre-order swag in the mail.
Thank you for your support, and happy reading!