TSOOPH Book Trailer

Some lovely footage here to set the stage for 1970's Alaska. Makes me want to have singing contests with my sisters (I always lost) while walking to Dairy Queen on Airport Way in Fairbanks. Sadly, that Dairy Queen was destroyed in an explosion and fire in 1984. Aw, Fairbanks and its history.  Shout out to Faber & Faber for this cinematic book trailer. 

Fisch ist nicht gleich Fisch!

I'll be at BuchPalast in Munich with Sonja Finck, the translator for 'Der Geruch Von Hausern Andere Leute.' This Thursday, 29. September at 7:30pm.  It's going to be fabulous! 

I also love that just because they couldn't find Alaska salmon or halibut, that didn't stop them from putting a Kugelfisch in the window. Does anyone know what a kugelfisch is? 

Window display at Buchpalast in Munich.  Photocredit: Katrin Ruger, Buchpalast

Window display at Buchpalast in Munich.  Photocredit: Katrin Ruger, Buchpalast

Buchpalast showing their Alaska love. Photo credit: Katrin Ruger, Buchplast

Buchpalast showing their Alaska love. Photo credit: Katrin Ruger, Buchplast

Exciting News!

I'm thrilled and a little stunned to announce that The Smell of Other People's Houses has been long listed for the 2016 Guardian Children's fiction prize. The authors on this list are brilliant and these books are amazing. So, all I can say is what a crazy, crazy wonderful thing to be part of. Thanks to the Guardian judges, and for librarians and readers everywhere. 

Editors...

There is nothing a writer needs more than a good editor. I mean, besides coffee. I have been incredibly fortunate to have not just one, but two amazing editors. Here we are in New York City the first time I met them in person. Alice Swan, my editor at Faber & Faber and the infamous Wendy Lamb, of Wendy Lamb Books.  

Photo credit: Dylan Hitchcock-Lopez

Photo credit: Dylan Hitchcock-Lopez

Quick recap from London, Germany & Austria

I still love radio...

Pre-recording for the BBC's The Cultural Frontline. (airs May 21, 2016) Photo: Molly Ker Hawn

Pre-recording for the BBC's The Cultural Frontline. (airs May 21, 2016) Photo: Molly Ker Hawn

In the 'Woman's Hour' green room. Photo: Molly Ker Hawn 

In the 'Woman's Hour' green room. Photo: Molly Ker Hawn 

It was so much fun visiting the BBC in London with my agent Molly Ker Hawn. We toured the second largest news room in the world, leaving me awestruck and speechless. (Which is a terrible thing right before a live broadcast) Check out my press page to hear what we did at the BBC, besides taking selfies. 

Do not go to London without taking a detour to visit THE ALLIGATOR'S MOUTH bookshop in Richmond. 

Lots of colorful Bent Agency Books at Alligator's Mouth. (Shout out to RIVERKEEP by Martin Stewart)  Photo: Molly Ker Hawn

Lots of colorful Bent Agency Books at Alligator's Mouth. (Shout out to RIVERKEEP by Martin Stewart)  Photo: Molly Ker Hawn

Alwyn Hamilton, author of REBEL OF THE SANDS, and my agent sister. Photo: Molly Ker Hawn

Alwyn Hamilton, author of REBEL OF THE SANDS, and my agent sister. Photo: Molly Ker Hawn

That Rebel, Alwyn Hamilton & Molly Ker Hawn, & Me. Photo: Alligator's Mouth staff

That Rebel, Alwyn Hamilton & Molly Ker Hawn, & Me. Photo: Alligator's Mouth staff

While in Germany, I visited The Franconian International School and spoke to students there for three days while they peppered me with brilliant questions about my book and even endured listening to one of my old radio stories featuring one of their teachers who used to work in Fairbanks (very small world). I wish I could post pictures of our pizza party but school rules say no. Instead, I give you a couple shots of my sister, who is a middle school librarian at The FIS and who was also very excited to find the German version of my book in Erlangen. 

Knowing people will read translations of the book gives me all kinds of joy. The first German copy was gifted to this guy, an old friend I met in Austria 32 years ago.

Heli Steinmassl, Leben Extrem.  Photo: Bonnie-Sue HItchcock

Heli Steinmassl, Leben Extrem.  Photo: Bonnie-Sue HItchcock

Curious what he will think of the German translation, but he's busy hanging off cliffs and putting up climbing routes in Oberosterreich so all bets are on whether or not he'll actually read it. 
 

Thankfully there's no video of me trying to walk this line. Think I'll stick to writing.   Photo: Heli Steinmassl

Thankfully there's no video of me trying to walk this line. Think I'll stick to writing.  
Photo: Heli Steinmassl

Student Writing Prompts

I was blown away by students at Floyd Dryden Middle School in Juneau, Alaska when I asked them to do a five minute writing prompt. They were so engrossed that we ran out of time and I wasn't able to read all of their writing, but two students showed up at my reading later that night with prompts in hand. I asked Aidan, an 8th grader, if I could post his writing on my blog. Here it is with his permission--a five minute freewrite about smells. (Klukwan is a Tlingit village in Southeast AK)

"Like an old cedar basement, not the sour moldy ones like in Klukwan, but instead the kind of a welcoming grandparent. Old and dusty like the basement they reside in. jarred fish, dust and sunlight. Pillows in a corner littered with crisp yellow pages. The kind of place where if you let your breath out you can see the golden flakes of dust dance away from you. Last nights fire with the nettle leaf tea whistling its call. An open window allowing cold north wind to play with my back."

WE EAT FISH!

My niece, Kendall Rock, made this film for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. It's all about the water! Lovely visuals of life in Southeast Alaska and what it means to rely on healthy fish and ecosystems. (The boat my kids fish on makes an appearance around the 14:37 mark)

Our Voices Will Be Heard

ERIN TRIPP. Alaskans are going to be hearing this name a lot. This Tlingit actress from Juneau is currently starring in the lead role as Kutaan in Our Voices Will be Heard A brave, important play by talented Alaska Native playwright Vera Starbard. The play premiered in January at Perseverance Theater in Juneau and will be at the Sydney Laurence Auditorium in Anchorage through February 28. 

Erin Tripp is also the voice of Dora in the audio version of  THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES.  Here she is in the spacious production studio in Juneau, getting ready to record: 

Erin Tripp at Studio A in Juneau, AK   (Photo credit: Bostin Christopher)

Erin Tripp at Studio A in Juneau, AK   (Photo credit: Bostin Christopher)

Erin is the first Alaska Native actress that Listening Library and Penguin Random House audio have cast. It was an unbelievable collaboration from the word go.

Normally audiobooks are read by professional actors and actresses in LA or NYC. I knew the voice of Dora had to reflect her character--a young Inupiaq girl. I sent the New York producer some news stories featuring teenage voices that I had produced in Alaska and she agreed with me that Dora's character absolutely needed authentic representation. We sent out queries and within hours found Erin. Long story short, she auditioned and was amazing. We found a studio in Juneau where she could record while skyping with the producers in LA.

Nellie Moore with Grandkids Dylan and Blair (Photo Credit: David Moore)

Nellie Moore with Grandkids Dylan and Blair (Photo Credit: David Moore)

We also pulled in my mentor from Independent Native News days, Nellie Moore, who voiced up all the Inupiaq pronunciations for Erin and for the producers in LA and New York. (I believe someone's twelve year old in LA knows how to pronounce akutuq accurately now). It was truly a first of its kind collaboration and I am thrilled that so many dedicated people were willing to make it happen.

Side note: Nellie was also the consultant for Sesame Street when they did an AK segment. She's kind of a one woman show and I could talk about her all day long, but I'll refrain.

So, if you like audiobooks, give this one a listen. In addition to Erin (as Dora), it's read by Jorjeana Marie (Ruth), Karissa Vacker (Alyce), and Robbie Daymond (Hank). 

And if you're in Anchorage, please go see Erin Tripp and the rest of the cast in "Our Voices Will be Heard."