What I’ve Been Up To…

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For the couple months or so I’ve been busy with two things: finishing up the manuscript of a new book, and lots of travel and school visits. I talk a little about the upcoming book in this interview – and lots more to come soon.

The highlight of my recent travel was getting to hang out with Daniel Ellsberg at a mutual friend’s house in Oakland. Turns out he liked Most Dangerous, and even read Bomb and The Notorious Benedict Arnold too!

And for anyone hoping for a new Walking and Talking, I’m finally getting back to the comics now. I’ve got an amazing interview lined up for this week – can’t wait to announce who it is.SteveDan

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Walking and Talking with M.T. Anderson

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Here’s the latest in my series of Walking and Talking comics – M.T. Anderson! Tobin (he said I could call him that) is known and lovedTobinBoston for his fiction, so it was interesting to talk about his latest work, the incredibly ambitious and moving YA nonfiction book, Symphony for the City of the Dead. Why did he choose to write this story as nonfiction? And how was writing narrative nonfiction different from – and similar to – writing fiction? That’s what I wanted to know…

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New Podcast Interview

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So I just had a chance to do an extended interview for this new podcast – Actually: Where YA Gets Real. As their website says, “Each episode will feature a hot topic for discussion, plus a reading from the interview guest’s work.” I love the idea, and I think I was their first-ever guest. Interestingly, I got paired with a discussion of “A Birthday Cake for George Washington,” which is definitely the “hot topic” in the industry this week.

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Walking and Talking with Dav Pilkey

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Just finished a new Walking and Talking comic – this time with my son’s favorite author (other than me, I hope) Dav Pilkey! You may need a bit of familiarity with the Captain Underpants books to get some of the gags, but hopefully it works either way. We talk about the origins of Captain Underpants and the many rejections it was met with, and I get the chance to propose to Dav (pronounced like Dave; apparently a pizza restaurant where he worked as a teenager misspelled Dave, and it stuck) my theory about the meaning underlying George and Harold’s mad antics.

 

WalkingPilkey

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On TV in Miami!

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So here’s something new – me on TV! This was at the Miami Book Fair, and PBS did segments with the National Book Award finalists. I got fancy make-up and everything. And the host, Rich Fahle, was very well informed about the book and asked terrific questions.

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Two New Audio Programs

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While I’m plugging away on revising the next book, it’s fun to take short breaks to talk about the books that are already out there. In this audio resource from the amazing Teaching Books website, I give a quick summary of Most Dangerous, and then read a short excerpt.

Then there’s this new segment from Vermont Public Radiosheldon_readers, in which some very thoughtful middle schoolers ask me questions about The Port Chicago 50. At the end of the piece, I read a bit from the book.

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Walking and Talking with Tim Federle

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My newest Walking and Talking comic – with the great Tim Federle – is now up on Betsy’s Bird’s Fuse #8 blog!TimPanel I’m a huge fan of Tim’s NATE novels, and on a recent car trip I got my whole family into the audio book of BETTER NATE THAN EVER. Tim reads – or really, performs – the book, and adds a whole extra dimension to an already moving and hilarious story. In our interview/comic he gets into his switch from Broadway dancer to writer, and his message of hope for miserable middle schoolers everywhere.

 

 

 

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Lies, Legos, and Richard Nixon: A New Book Trailer

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My kids and I have gotten really into Lego animation recently, and I thought I could use our newfound skills to make a sort of book trailer for my new book, Most Dangerous. Basically, I took snippets audio from the Nixon White House tapes – with a focus on the parts where he plots to destroy Daniel Ellsberg – and added Legos. Special thanks to my wife Rachel for building the amazing White House sets.

One word of caution: Nixon does a bit of cursing here, so it may not be fit for very sensitive ears! NixonDesk

 

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PUBLICATION DAY

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Okay, finally, the day is here – Most Dangerous is officially published. We’ll have a launch party tonight at my local bookstore in Saratoga Springs, and then I’ll head out on the road for a tour, speaking at bookstores and schools. For more info on stops, check out my events page.

Also, I’ve been lucky to have my last few books made into audio books, and I just got to hear some of the new recording of Most Dangerous. It sounds really cool, if I say so. I love how good actors can bring a whole new element to the story.

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New Comic / Washington Post

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After a pretty long break from the Walking and Talking comics (trying to finish up a first draft of the next book) I’m back to it this month with a new one starring the Deborah Wiles!

11222141_10206302132084508_4241734748628360467_oAnd in other news, the release date for Most Dangerous inches closer. I just saw this great new review in today’s Washington Post. The reactions so far have been amazing… and still, I’m nervous about sending the book out into the world…

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