Book news

My Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is a global blog tour, started in Australia, to showcase authors and illustrators and their current work.  I was tagged by the talented Cynthia Cotten. Thanks Cyndy! And I should also give a nod to another talented friend, Mary Cronk Farrell, because she tried to tag me earlier this year and I was too swamped to participate.

So now I’ll answer some questions about my newest book, then pass the Q&A along to two others who’ll pick up the tour next week.

1) What is your next big thing?
That would be my newest book Sorting through Spring.

“Sorting through Spring,” by Lizann Flatt and Ashley Barron

2) Where did the idea for the book come from?
My kids would complain that doing math patterning problems seemed to have no purpose. It made me think what if…? What if you could see animals and nature making patterns and sorting all around you?

3) In what genre does your book fall?
It’s a nonfiction picture book.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Well, since there are only animals in the book, I’d hope Disney’s Pixar would make the movie. I can see them having fun with the schools of smelt and the mosquitoes. Think this or this.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
If animals and nature knew numbers like you, can you imagine the sorting and patterning they’d do?

6) Who published your book?
OwlKids Books. Find them here:

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took about a month, but before that it took a lot of time to decide the content and focus of the series. I’d say nearly a year till the four-book format was set. (Sorting through Spring is book two in the series– Counting on Fall is the first, Sizing up Winter will be the third, and Shaping up Summer will be the fourth.)

8) What other books would you compare this book to within your genre?
It deals with some of the same ideas as Math for All Seasons. These books, in a running story format, go into deeper detail about math concepts that are in my book:  The Great Graph Contest, A Very Improbable Story.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It sounds cliche, but Nature fascinates and inspires me all the time. Math was never my favourite subject. Put one with the other and hopefully it results in some fun with both math and nature.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The art is gorgeous and invites you to touch the page. I think with the different spring nature phenomena and some rhythmic or rhyming language it’s a less serious way to talk about math, plus you can use the book with young children as a segue into more math, language, or science.

Now I get to tag a couple other lucky people. Hope you’ll drop in next Thursday, April 25th to these blogs for their next Next Big Thing:

Rachel Eugster

Peggy Collins

You won’t be disappointed!

And thank you for stopping in here to help me celebrate my “Next Big Thing.”

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

The Ceremonious Opening of THE BOX

It was a regular summer morning when, rather inconveniently, the doorbell rang. I looked down at the night shirt I was still wearing even though I’d been up for hours. No way was I answering the door in that. I looked at my daughter. She was also sporting jammies, but she could answer the door in her jammies, right? I mean she’s only 9. Apparently she disagreed.

So I ran to my room to find a sweater and sweat pants to throw on over top. I guess in the meantime my daughter took pity on me because I reached the door in time to hear retreating footsteps on the gravel and see my daughter staggering to lower a big box to the floor–a big brown box, a big brown box with the Owlkids logo on it. OMG it could only be the advance copies of Counting on Fall!!!

I didn’t bother to close the door. I started shouting incoherently and jumping up and down like I was deranged. Was it my imagination or did I also hear a van peel out of the driveway? No doubt the driver was freaked out by the realization that a crazy woman resided inside.

Big brown box in hallway complete with shoe clutter.

Anyway, I admired the box and then…I went upstairs. What!? you’re thinking, right? I just left it there? Yes, that’s exactly what I did. Am I crazy? Maybe. But I’m also the type of kid who ate the best thing on her plate last. I’d draw out a good dessert with tiny little bites. As for the box, I needed to be in the right frame of mind, the right clothing, to savour the moment of opening it.

So it was an hour later when I was dressed, when I’d gathered my family, when we had the Ceremonious Opening of the Box.

It went like this:

  1. Be oh so careful with the blade of the scissors as you slice through the tape on top of the box. 
  2. Gently peel back the box flaps and the white packing paper underneath. 
  3. Gasp, ooh and ahh at the spectacular site of your books packed in the box, nested and cosy.
  4. Open the letter from the publisher’s assistant and smile. 
  5. Then finally pick up a copy of the book you have worked on for months but have never physically touched until this moment.
  6. Ahh, brings a tear to the eye, no?
  7. Pass around the single copy to family members so we don’t put our grimy fingerprints on more than one copy at a time.
  8. Realize once again that this is the best gig in the world.

Ashley Barron, illustrator, you are a genius. Thank you OwlKids for the stellar match making and for assembling such a fantastic team to bring this book to bookstores everywhere. It’ll be officially on sale and available at/through bookstores everywhere on September 15, 2012.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.