Monday, October 21, 2013

A visit with Claire Legrand



A few days ago, I was lucky enough to have Claire Legrand visit my library.  She is the author of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (2012) and The Year of Shadows (2013), both published by Simon and Schuster.  An eclectic crowd of 5th-7th-graders, parents, and older adults attended the program.  Everyone was impressed.  Though Claire's books may be classified as middle-grade horror and the stuff of nightmares, Claire, herself, is a delight.  In fact, the most often asked question was "How did you ever think of that?!" "That" being something creepy, horrific, or downright terrifying.  (How could someone so nice spawn Miss Cavendish, one of the most frightening villains of children's literature?)

I'm holding Igor from The Year of Shadows
Ms. Legrand shared her earliest writings and drawings (horses, unicorns, more horses), her rejection letters (74), her publisher's edit requests (11 pages), passages from each book (creepy ones),  a bowl of candy (Starburst and Three Musketeers), and a bit of herself (as I said, she's delightful). She was inspiring, but took care to underscore the simple fact that writing is hard work; it takes time and dedication. After her presentation, she stayed on to sign books and chat with attendees. No one left empty-handed. Kids who did not purchase a book for signing were sent home with attractive autographed bookmarks (one featuring each book).

If you have the opportunity to have Claire Legrand visit your school or library, take it!
 (She Skypes, too!)

A Reading Guide and the first chapter of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls are available at the author's website. http://claire-legrand.com 

Reviews for The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls:

Reviews for The Year of Shadows:

Next up for Claire Legrand - an anthology of dark, short stories for middle grade readers, The Cabinet of Curiosities (Harper Collins, 2014), and Winterspell (Simon & Schuster), a young adult, dystopian retelling of The Nutcracker.  Find her on Twitter @clairelegrand

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