Photos from the Calamity Jack party! Otherwise known as the Shannon, Dean and Nathan Show!

January 12, 2010

If you have never been to an event that features Shannon and Dean Hale and their trusty sidekick and illustrator extraordinaire, Nathan Hale (no relation), you are missing a show!

Folks who came to the event hosted by TKE at the Anderson-Foothill library were rewarded with a fabulously funny afternoon. Nathan Hale, seriously talented artist and illustrator of Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack gave a multimedia presentation starting with how he got into illustrating all the way through how his original first drawing of Rapunzel and how he actually laid out Calamity Jack.

And then, oh yes, and then Shannon Hale, New York Times best-selling author of six award-winning young adult novels, and Dean Hale, her super-human husband and co-author of Calamity Jack, presented their interpretive dance: Cooperation. The room was filled with fans and everyone got a chance to meet all the contributors, get their books autographed in a rainbow of colors, and snack on Screaming Brownies and some Pixie Dust.

You had to be there, but if you weren’t and even if you were, here are a few pictures that help describe the scene.

Click on the photos to see in a larger view. Photos by Stuart Jensen

Happy Birthday to Us

September 10, 2008

It’s TKE’s 31st Birthday! And not only that, it’s also the one year anniversary of my hiring. Hard to believe, isn’t it? So I thought, in honor of the day, I’d do a little retrospective on the highlights of my first couple of months at TKE:

  • Our 30th Birthday with Diane Ackerman, September 10, 2007: This was the first event I worked at TKE — talk about a whirlwind! As exciting as it was to come into the store during its 30th year of business (buy local!), it was even more exciting to meet one of my favorite nonfiction authors of all time. Not only was it fantastic to meet her and hear her talk about The Zookeeper’s Wife, but I literally got chills when she was nice enough to sign and personalize my very dog-eared copy of A Natural History of the Senses.
  • Pam Munoz Ryan came, September 17, 2007, to sign copies of Paint the Wind, after spending a day at local schools. This was the first time I was attached to an author for an event, which means I was introduced into the fine arts of book prepping — PostIt-ing books for kids in line, getting stock ready for her to sign, etc. Ask any events bookseller, it really is an art.
  • September 22, 2007, was my first Shannon Hale event, for Book of a Thousand Days. If you’ve ever been to one of our events for Shannon, you know exactly how overwhelming they can be. Definitely a lesson in crowd control!
  • October 11, 2007, was the first time they ever left me alone to run an author event; it was also the first time I introduced an author. To understate, I was nervous. Fortunately for me, it was the lovely and talented Alexandra Enders, in town to promote her debut novel Bride Island. She was sweet, the crowd was great, and everything went well. Phew!

Since then there have been too many events to count, all buckets of fun. You may think I’m just saying that, but it’s true. Ask any events coordinator: All the madness of setting up the event, finding a venue, publicity, making sure you have the right books, making sure the books get to the venue on time, staffing, and the million other details that need your attention — all of that fades to nothing as you watch an audience and an author connect.

Rapunzel Roundup Pictures

August 28, 2008

Lots o’ Goodness

August 27, 2008

The Next Big Thing: Rapunzel

August 5, 2008

Rapunzel’s Revenge, written by Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation), is already making waves! Estella’s Revenge has featured it in their latest zine, with the following glowing recommendation:

In my house, it is very rare that my 8-year-old and 12-year-old daughters will agree on anything, let alone both agreeing with each other and with both of their parents. This miracle happened recently, however, by the time we all finished Shannon and Dean Hale’s most excellent graphic novel.

And Al Roker has picked it for his kids’ book club — a mighty coup.

Salt Lake, you are lucky we’re here. We’ve already planned a huge party to celebrate the release! Shannon, Dean and Nathan will all be there, plus six more fantastic local authors: Ann Cannon, James Dashner, Jessica Day George, Mette Ivie Harrison, Kimberly Heuston, and Sara Zarr, each of whom has a new book out. So mark your calendars for August 23rd at the Foothill Library, and keep your eye on the blog for posts leading up to the event, featuring each author and their new book!

[where: The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S 1500 E, Salt Lake City UT]

A Worthy Cause

July 8, 2008

How cool are our local authors? This cool! (Thanks, Shannon!)

Writing for Charity

This summer have unfettered access to professional children’s authors, all in the name of charity! Saturday, July 19 several local authors will host a Writing for Charity event in Salt Lake City, with all profits going to The Wheelchair Project. Come hear writers talk about their process, how to write for a young audience, storytelling tips, and the ins and outs of the publishing business. In addition, have your picture book text or first page of your novel (the most important page!) workshopped by professionals.

When: Saturday, July 19, 9 am to 1 pm
Where: Salt Lake Main Library, 200 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: $45 (should be tax deductible!)
Event breakdown: 9:00 am — Registration
9:15 – 10:15 am — Panel discussion in the auditorium
10:30 – 11:15 — Break out discussions in topic groups
11:30 – 1:00 — Small group workshops

Authors and publishing professionals include Brandon Mull, Shannon Hale, Mette Ivie Harrison, Ann Cannon, Kristyn Crow, Becky Hickox, Kimberley Heuston, Anne Bowen, Aprilynne Pike, Laura and Tracy Hickman, Ann Dee Ellis, Mike Knudson, Sydney Husseman, Chris Schoebinger (editor), Amy Jameson (agent), and Wendy Toliver.

Space is limited, first come first serve. To reserve your spot, mail in the $45 registration fee.
Mailing address: 1176 E 2620 N, Provo, UT 84604-4132
Make checks to: “LDS Philanthropies” (the organization that runs The Wheelchair Project) and write “Wheelchair” in the memo line.
Also include: Your name, age, phone number, and area of interest–picture book writing, fantasy novel, or realistic fiction novel.

On the day of the event, bring 15 copies of the first page of your novel or picture book text (maximum word count: 300 words) for some hands on workshopping. If you don’t have a first page to workshop, don’t let that stop you!

100% of the proceeds go to The Wheelchair Project, a wonderful charity that donates new wheelchairs to people in third world countries, many of whom have never had one. A wheelchair can completely change the life of a disabled person, offering mobility, increased independence, and a chance to go to school or find employment. Because this charity is administered by volunteers with LDS Philanthropy, there is no overhead and every penny donated goes directly to purchasing wheelchairs. This is not a religious charity–the wheelchairs go to the needy regardless of their faith. Thank you for supporting this extraordinary cause!

Author Update | Shannon & Dean Hale

February 13, 2008

Last night was quite possibly the funniest author events I’ve ever had the pleasure to organize and attend. Shannon and Dean Hale, in the store for First Kiss (Then Tell), had the crowd practically in tears. They deserve their own show. Maybe even a reality show! I would watch it, and I don’t even have TV. Rather than attempting to describe it, here are a few highlights from the evening:

Money Quote: [Shannon describing the strange coincidence that the illustrator of their graphic novel rapunzel’s revenge, due out this fall, is also named Hale] “When I go on tour and people ask me about it, I tell them that Dean and Nathan are my two husbands. [audience laughs] And people believe me!”

Thing I Didn’t Know About Shannon: Before she was able to write full-time, she was an Instructional Designer [I’m not even sure what that is] and held computer trainings for corporations.

Thing I Didn’t Know About Dean: He writes absurdist horror stories on his blog,

Best Anecdote of the Night: At their wedding, Shannon and Dean performed an improv skit in the form of a Telenovela (Spanish soap-opera, for those of us who don’t know), entirely in Spanish!

Here are some pictures. Dean’s shirt is covered with “bloody” handprints because it’s his Intramural Zombie Hunting League shirt, which he wore to counteract the extreme girliness of being published (for the first time no less!) in a first kiss anthology.

Congratulations to Kennedy (in the very last picture), who won our drawing for a free copy of First Kiss (Then Tell)! Tomorrow we’ll be posting our favorite First Kiss stories. Come by and submit your own in the comments!