Cover reveal!

tagged out coverI can finally reveal the cover of my debut novel, Tagged Out. Ta-da!

Tagged Out is a middle-grade (grade 6-8) novel for reluctant readers. It’s set in Christie Pits in Toronto.

Here’s the back-cover blurb:

The inner-city Toronto Blues baseball team is having a lousy year. Shortstop Gnash and the Blues can’t seem to win. They especially hate losing to their arch-rivals, the snooty Parkhill Pirates. When all-star player Jock joins the team, it looks like the Blues might be able to turn the season around. The only problem? When the Pirates find out that Jock is gay, they ambush Gnash and Jock, and Gnash has to decide whether he wants to stick with his old ways–or become the person he really wants to be.

You can pre-order a copy of Tagged Out, on Amazon.

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Fightin’ Words

Librarians got this. Check out the literary trash talk going on this week between the Toronto Public Library and the Kansas City Missouri Public Library. Their two cities are embroiled in an exciting playoff baseball series.

It’s all in good fun, but man, ya don’t wanna mess with a librarian!
Follow @TorontoLibrary and @KCLibrary.

library wars

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Cool Baseball Facts

Photo by Kris Robinson licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo by Kris Robinson, CC BY-NC 2.0

CBC Kids posted a terrific article of cool things you might not know about the World Series.

For instance:
* the Curse of the Billy Goat
* how one player wanted to trade his World Series ring for an engraved shotgun, and
* the name of the only team in the “World” Series that isn’t from the United States.

Check it out here.


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Last round of edits for Tagged Out

Pits pano hi rez Oct 2015

I’m in the final round of edits for my baseball novel, Tagged Out, which comes out in March 2016.

This round is when I check and double-check and triple-check everything, and supply the dedication and acknowledgements information.

After this, the book goes “into production,” which means that it will go from my current editor, the amazing Kat, to a project manager. She will find a copy editor/proof reader for it, and she’ll co-ordinate all of the production, cover photography and design, layout, etc.

So, as I am wont to do… I headed down to Christie Pits. I just sat and looked out at it and man, it was beautiful! Good setting for a novel, if I do say so myself.

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Tagged Out

The latest word is that my new book will be called Tagged Out. (We’re 99% certain that’s going to be the title.)

We went from Bottom Nine, to Hit by a Curve, to Out at Home — to Tagged Out.

Here’s someone who is definitely being “tagged out,” and in a pretty spectacular manner. “Flying bodies,” as the baseball kids say.

“Tagged Out” is my first novel, a baseball book for reluctant readers, to be published March 2105.

Image from GazetteNet.

Image from GazetteNet.

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Out at Home


Christie Pits Panorama Bigger

The title of my baseball book may be “Out at Home.”

It still has to pass muster with Lorimer’s marketing and publishing experts, but Out at Home seems to be the leading contender. I like it–it not only harkens to the book’s gay theme but it is also (slight spoiler alert) descriptive of one of the major chapters.

Out at Home.

I love it.

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Hit by a Curve — my first novel!

Image: Paul Hum

Image: Paul Hum

I’ve just hit ENTER and sent my first novel manuscript to my editor, Kat, at Lorimer Publishing.

It all started last August, when Christie Harkin–who had signed me for the Gabby series at Fitzhenry and had recently moved to Lorimer–sent out a note to authors asking if they wanted to write a middle-grade novel.

I called her and she suggested that I write a baseball novel, since my son (the kid on the left in the photo, back when he was 10 years old) is an avid baseball player and most days in the summer I can be found on the sidelines at a game–or two, or three.

Christie said the novel had to have a few specific things: an urban setting, kids around 12 or 13 years old, lots of baseball action, diversity and problems or issues that kids can solve for themselves, without involving adults.

I went home and talked to my son and my husband about it. Together, we came up with a scenario in which a struggling PeeWee Select team is getting a talented new player–who just happens to be gay. It’s a new situation for these kids, who aren’t the most open-minded bunch to begin with. So how do they react? On one hand, they desperately need the new boy’s skill and expertise on the team. On the other hand, they’re now confronted with their own prejudices–that they perhaps didn’t even know they had.

I’ll be blogging about the novel and about the writing process, so please stay tuned. And I’ll let you know what my new editor says about the manuscript! (Fingers crossed!)

PS: Christie has recently started her own publishing firm, Clockwise Press, whose “mission is to publish high-quality young adult and children’s books featuring themes of diversity, inclusion, and global awareness.”

PS2: “Hit by a Curve” is just the working title. It will be changed. I’ll letchya know.


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