Archive for July, 2009

What’s the coolest thing you’re doing this summer?

Posted in Appearances, Miscellany, Plugs, YA Books on July 27, 2009 by Matt

I attended exactly 3/4 of a summer camp when I was a kid.

The first was a soccer camp that my best friend was attending.  Granted, he was two years older than me and he’d been playing little league soccer for years but I thought I had the skills to compete with the big boys (Note: I spray-painted my soccer ball silver and pretended it was the Death Star, so you see where my skills really lie).  I lasted a day and a half.

Next was Cub Scouts Camp.  Now this time I was really excited – Cub Scouts!  Wilderness!  Hiking! Camping!  While a poor sportsman I was a pretty darn good outdoorsman, I loved scrambling around in the woods, building forts and catching snakes (catch-and-release only, I promise.)  I looked forward to Scouts Camp all summer long – two weeks in a national park exploring, adventuring.  Maybe I’d learn to whittle.  I’d always wanted to whittle.

But the first day of camp arrived and with it so did the rain.  So we sat in a shed behind a church and painted paper fish to go in our imaginary aquarium.  The next day the sun came out, but the humidity was so bad that the den mothers decided to cancel the scheduled hike and spend an extra hour on arts and crafts.  On the third day . . . well, I really have no idea what they did on the third day because I wasn’t there.  I quit.

So if you add up my total summer camp attendance it makes just under a week.  Roughly 3/4 of a single, short summer camp.

But I will go out on a limb and say that my spotty camp record is because I never had a camp as cool as this:  This summer I’ll be a part of Symphony Space’s Thalia Kids’ Book Club Camp!  What a great time this is going to be!  Follow the link and take a peek at the line-up of activities they have planned and I bet you’ll wish you were a kid again.  As a matter of fact, I may see if I can snag an extra-large camp tee shirt and disguise myself as Matty the Giant Twelve-Year Old, just so that I can hang out with Brian Selznick!

And that is by far the coolest thing I’m doing this summer!


A nice little audio interview with a terrific author (no, not that one!)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2009 by Matt

(but interviewer ain’t so bad himself!)

Following up on yesterday’s post about exciting blurbs by bestselling authors, I came across this nice, affordably-priced item on  It’s a recording of an event featuring Jonathan Stroud, moderated by yours truly.  Over the course of 90 minutes Jonathan and I talked about his latest book Heroes of the Valley, and fielded questions from a very astute group of young readers.

There’s a bit in the middle where the kids are working on their own stories, and Jonathan and I cleverly covered our microphones so that we could share writerly secrets in the Secret Language of Children’s Authors (sorry, but if you heard it we’d have to kill you).  But do fast forward through the dead air and get to the part where the kids read their own stories out loud – really fantastic stuff!

Then spend some time crawling around the kid’s audible site as they also have some really good free downloads of classic stuff.  Free, unabridged Tell-Tale Heart anyone?  Really spice up that summer car trip . . .  thump-thump . . .  thump-thump . . . thump-thump . . .

Welcome to the new site!

Posted in Plugs, Powerless on July 20, 2009 by Matt

So cool, yes? I’m thrilled at the new look of the place – designed and built by the extraordinary Denise BiondoPowerless is just around the corner (well, November is still a few months away so let’s just say that it’s lurking near the corner and down the street a bit.  Maybe even stopping for cup of coffee and a doughnut first, but it’ll get there!)

What I love about the site is its pulp/comic book feel, presented in a clean, modern design.  Mystery and adventure and a big old “Kaboom!” – what more could you want?

But there have been a lot of exciting developments over the last few weeks and I’ll be posting them here soon.  But to start I’d like to give a HUGE shout out of thanks to Jeff Smith and Jonathan Stroud for their kind words about Powerless.  Their exact quotes are up on the site, but I’ll leave it to you to find them.  (See, it’s like a treasure hunt!  We even have games at!)

So take a look around and let me know what you think!

Bear with me a little longer . . .

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2009 by Matt

The new website is being built as I type (can you hear the hammering?)  I promise that it’ll go live within a few weeks and I’ll have plenty of news to share on Powerless and various other writerly projects that are brewing!

Stay tuned to this url!