You can see by the date that this has not been a good year for frequent website updates...because I've been too darn busy enjoying the success of my last book and getting the next one written. :-) The hardcover of Effigies was published on February 1. By February 15, I heard from my publisher that stock in the warehouse was low...dangerously so, since I was in the middle of a huge book tour. Frantic calls to various bookstores to make sure they had already received their books ensued, and the publisher rushed a trade paperback edition to press. Heroic organizational coordination and split-second timing meant that I never arrived at a bookstore, only to find that they had no stock. Some people were disappointed to miss the hardcover, which I suppose might now be considered slightly collectible, but the paperback got out in time to keep them from going home empty-handed. My habit of throwing a couple of cases of books in the trunk of my car helped the situation substantially. It was stressful, but how can running out of books be considered a bad thing, really? I bet the publisher prints more next time. And the bookstores pre-order more, to make sure they actually get them. And the readers buy early and often, so they don't miss out.
During my March tour of Mississippi, my daughter and I visited my friend archaeologist Robert Connolly. He has a podcast called Archaeology Overlooked that has achieved a certain level of notoriety due to a mention in USA Today.l Robert interviewed me for his podcast, which was particularly fun for me, since a Ph.D. in archaeology will naturally ask different questions that the usual interviewer. And while I'm posting links to the sound of my own voice, you can listen to a recording of the song I recorded for The Merry Band of Murderers here. The song, "Land of the Flowers" won second place in this year's Will McLean Best New Florida Song contest.
More exciting developments for Findings remained. In March, it was named a Book Sense Notable book. The reviews were fabulous. You can see them here. And the educational interest in my work continued. I was a featured speaker at a reading conference for the Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute. I was an invited presenter at the Kennesaw State University Conference for Young Adult Literature, at the Mississippi Association for Middle and Lower-school Education, and at the Georgia Council for Teachers of Mathematics. A point of pride for me was the placement of all my books on Georgia state lists of recommended books for teaching both science and mathematics. Two educational consultant groups in Mississippi are also recommending my books to schools.
Particularly close to my heart was an invitation to speak to the faculty of Choctaw High School, on the reservation of the Mississippi Band of the Choctaw. They purchased a copy of Effigies for each student in the school. I saw that book as a tribute to an old and enduring culture, and I was so pleased that they appreciated it.